Tag Archive | "advantage"

Business Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage, Says Equinix CEO

“We’re seeing right now continued strength across our business because people are prioritizing digital transformation as a way to gain competitive advantage,” says Equinix CEO Charles Meyers. “The reality is people who are responding well to that are thriving and people that are not are being left behind. What companies (like Walmart) are doing essentially is using a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. They have private infrastructure that they may house in a significant caged environment at Equinix but they interface it then with the public clouds.”

Charles Meyers, CEO of Equinix, discusses their huge under the radar role in facilitating the massive digital transformation in progress with companies worldwide. Meyers was interviewed by Jim Cramer on CNBC:

There’s A Very Deep Demand Pool For Data Centers

We continue to see a really strong set of underlying secular demand drivers for the business. We’re seeing real strength in the business globally right now. Broadly, we’ve seen the sector respond very well. We think there’s a very deep demand pool for data centers. I do think that Equinix plays a very unique role in the market and our differentiated position is allowing us to even outperform relative to our peers. Public cloud adoption is a major catalyst for our business. As enterprises are adopting public cloud and looking at hybrid and multi-cloud as their architecture of choice we’re seeing really strong demand.

We may not be a household name but I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re probably impacting the lives of millions of consumers on a day to day basis working with (many big-name companies such as Salesforce and Netflix). We play a very important role in terms of interconnecting our customers sometimes to public cloud providers, sometimes to SAAS providers like Salesforce, sometimes to other members of their supply chain, and sometimes to networks. A really big part of our legacy and history has been interconnecting people to networks. The interconnection story is a really central piece of the Equinix story.

Equinix Is The Best Representation Of The Digital Edge

Equinix is in fact the best representation of the digital edge today. That is the point at which people are interconnecting their private infrastructure with public cloud infrastructure, with networks, and with other members of their supply chain. When you hear about edge, oftentimes that edge is in fact within an Equinix facility and being interconnected over private interconnection facilities that are facilitated by Equinix.

Typically, when inside one of our facilities, we’re unlike some wholesalers which might have one or a very small number of customers, we tend to have a larger number of customers in any individual facility. They are distributed across the site typically in private cages or sometimes in shared caged environments or shared rack environments and they have their equipment. They’re all obviously very secured and something that’s available just for them to access. But they’re all across the facility. You typically wouldn’t be able to see who the customer is because they are very sensitive about that from a security standpoint.

Firms Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage

We’re seeing right now continued strength across our business because people are prioritizing digital transformation as a way to gain competitive advantage. The reality is people who are responding well to that are thriving and people that are not are being left behind. So we’re seeing strong demand. I think the trade tensions, etc. probably affects some level of sentiment but we have not seen that impact the demand profile for our business.

What companies (like Walmart) are doing essentially is using a hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. They have private infrastructure that they may house in a significant caged environment at Equinix but they interface it then with the public clouds. They’re using a variety of public clouds to house some of their workloads. So that hybrid multi-cloud environment is really the architecture of choice for enterprise customers of all sorts. Retail is actually an incredibly strong segment for us. That architecture of choice, hybrid and multi-cloud, is a major driver for Equinix’s business.

Business Prioritizing Digital Transformation For Competitive Advantage – Equinix CEO Charles Meyers

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The Local SEO’s Guide to the Buy Local Phenomenon: A Competitive Advantage for Clients

Posted by MiriamEllis

Photo credit: Michelle Shirley

What if a single conversation with one of your small local business clients could spark activity that would lead to an increase in their YOY sales of more than 7%, as opposed to only 4% if you don’t have the conversation? What if this chat could triple the amount of spending that stays in their town, reduce pollution in their community, improve their neighbors’ health, and strengthen democracy?

What if the brass ring of content dev, link opportunities, consumer sentiment and realtime local inventory is just waiting for you to grab it, on a ride we just haven’t taken yet, in a setting we’re just not talking about?

Let’s travel a different road today, one that parallels our industry’s typical conversation about citations, reviews, markup, and Google My Business. As a 15-year sailor on the Local SEO ship, I love all this stuff, but, like you, I’m experiencing a merging of online goals with offline realities, a heightened awareness of how in-store is where local business successes are born and bred, before they become mirrored on the web.

At Moz, our SaaS tools serve businesses of every kind: Digital, bricks-and-mortar, SABs, enterprises, mid-market agencies, big brands, and bootstrappers. But today, I’m going to go as small and as local as possible, speaking directly to independently-owned local businesses and their marketers about the buy local/shop local/go local movement and what I’ve learned about its potential to deliver meaningful and far-reaching successes. Frankly, I think you’ll be as amazed as I’ve been.

At the very least, I hope reading this article will inspire you to have a conversation with your local business clients about what this growing phenomenon could do for them and for their communities. Successful clients, after all, are the very best kind to have.

What is the Buy Local movement all about?

What’s the big idea?

You’re familiar with the concept of there being power in numbers. A single independent business lacks the resources and clout to determine the local decisions and policies that affect it. Should Walmart or Target be invited to set up shop in town? Should the crumbling building on Main St. be renovated or demolished? Which safety and cultural services should be supported with funding? The family running the small grocery store has little say, but if they join together with the folks running the bakery, the community credit union, the animal shelter, and the bookstore … then they begin to have a stronger voice.

Who does this?

Buy Local programs formalize the process of independently-owned businesses joining together to educate their communities about the considerable benefits to nearly everyone of living in a thriving local economy. These efforts can be initiated by merchants, Chambers of Commerce, grassroots citizen groups, or others. They can be assisted and supported by non-profit organizations like the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR).

What are the goals?

Through signage, educational events, media promotions, and other forms of marketing, most Buy Local campaigns share some or all of these goals:

  • Increase local wealth that recirculates within the community
  • Preserve local character
  • Build community
  • Create good jobs
  • Have a say in policy-making
  • Decrease environmental impacts
  • Support entrepreneurship
  • Improve diversity/variety
  • Compete with big businesses

Do Buy Local campaigns actually work?

Yes – research indicates that, if managed correctly, these programs yield a variety of benefits to both merchants and residents. Consider these findings:

1) Healthy YOY sales advantages

ILSR conducted a national survey of independent businesses to gauge YOY sales patterns. 2016 respondents reported a good increase in sales across the board, but with a significant difference which AMIBA sums up:

“Businesses in communities with a sustained grassroots “buy independent/buy local” campaign reported a strong 7.4% sales increase, nearly doubling the 4.2% gain for those in areas without such an alliance.”

2) Keeping spending local

The analysts at Civic Economics conducted surveys of 10 cities to gauge the local financial impacts of independents vs. chain retailers, yielding a series of graphics like this one:

While statistics vary from community to community, the overall pattern is one of significantly greater local recirculation of wealth in the independent vs. chain environment. These patterns can be put to good use by Buy Local campaigns with the goal of increasing community-sustaining wealth.

3) Keeping communities employed and safe

Few communities can safely afford the loss of jobs and tax revenue documented in a second Civic Economics study which details the impacts of Americans’ Amazon habit, state by state and across the nation:

While the recent supreme court ruling allowing states to tax e-commerce models could improve some of these dire numbers, towns and cities with Buy Local alliances can speak plainly: Lack of tax revenue that leads to lack of funding for emergency services like fire departments is simply unsafe and unsustainable. A study done a few years back found that ⅔ of volunteer firefighters in the US report that their departments are underfunded with 86% of these heroic workers having to dip into their own pockets to buy supplies to keep their stations going. As I jot these statistics down, there is a runaway 10,000 acre wildfire burning a couple of hours north of me…

Meanwhile, Inc.com is pointing out,

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since the end of the Great Recession, small businesses have created 62 percent of all net new private-sector jobs. Among those jobs, 66 percent were created by existing businesses, while 34 percent were generated through new establishments (adjusted for establishment closings and job losses)”.

When communities have Go Local-style business alliances, they are capitalizing on the ability to create jobs, increase sales, and build up tax revenue that could make a serious difference not just to local unemployment rates, but to local safety.

4) Shaping policy

In terms of empowering communities to shape policy, there are many anecdotes to choose from, but one of the most celebrated surrounds a landmark study conducted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance which documented community impacts of spending at the local book and music stores vs. a proposed Borders. Their findings were compelling enough to convince the city not to give a $ 2.1 million subsidy to the now-defunct corporation.

5) Improving the local environment

A single statistic here is incredibly eye opening. According to the US Department of Transportation, shopping-related driving per household more than tripled between 1969-2009.

All you have to do is picture to yourself the centralized location of mainstreet businesses vs. big boxes on the outskirts of town to imagine how city planning has contributed to this stunning rise in time spent on the road. When residents can walk or bike to make daily purchases, the positive environmental impacts are obvious.

6) Improving residents’ health and well-being

A recent Cigna survey of 20,000 Americans found that nearly half of them always or sometimes feel lonely, lacking in significant face-to-face interactions with others. Why does this matter? Because the American Psychological Association finds that you have a 50% less chance of dying prematurely if you have quality social interactions.

There’s a reason author Jan Karon’s “Mitford” series about life in a small town in North Carolina has been a string of NY Times Best Sellers; readers and reviewers continuously state that they yearn to live someplace like this fictitious community with the slogan “Mitford takes care of its own”. In the novels, the lives of residents, independent merchants, and “outsiders” interweave, in good times and bad, creating a support network many Americans envy.

This societal setup must be a winner, as well as a bestseller, because the Cambridge Journal of Regions published a paper in which they propose that the concentration of small businesses in a given community can be equated with levels of public health.

Beyond the theory that eating fresh and local is good for you, it turns out that knowing your farmer, your banker, your grocer could help you live longer.

7) Realizing big-picture goals

Speaking of memorable stories, this video from ILSR does a good job of detailing one view of the ultimate impacts independent business alliances can have on shaping community futures:

I interviewed author and AMIBA co-founder, Jeff Milchen, about the good things that can happen when independents join hands. He summed it up,

“The results really speak for themselves when you look at what the impact of public education for local alliances has been in terms of shifting culture. It’s a great investment for independent businesses to partner with other independents, to do things they can’t do individually. Forming these partnerships can help them compete with the online giants.”

Getting going with a Go Local campaign, the right way

If sharing some of the above with clients has made them receptive to further exploration of what involvement in an independent business alliance might do for them, here are the next steps to take:

  1. First, find out if a Go Local/Shop Local/Buy Local/Stay Local campaign already exists in the business’ community. If so, the client can join up.
  2. If not, contact AMIBA. The good folks there will know if other local business owners in the client’s community have already expressed interest in creating an alliance. They can help connect the interested parties up.
  3. I highly, highly recommend reading through Amiba’s nice, free primer covering just about everything you need to know about Go Local campaigns.
  4. Encourage the client to publicize their intent to create an alliance if none exists in their community. Do an op ed in the local print news, put it on social media sites, talk to neighbors. This can prompt outreach from potential allies in the effort.
  5. A given group can determine to go it alone, but it may be better to rely on the past experience of others who have already created successful campaigns. AMIBA offers a variety of paid community training modules, including expert speakers, workshops, and on-site consultations. Each community can write in to request a quote for a training plan that will work best for them. The organization also offers a wealth of free educational materials on their website.
  6. According to AMIBA’s Jeff Milchen, a typical Buy Local campaign takes about 3-4 months to get going.

It’s important to know that Go Local campaigns can fail, due to poor execution. Here is a roundup of practices all alliances should focus on to avoid the most common pitfalls:

  1. Codify the definition of a “local” business as being independently-owned-and-run, or else big chain inclusion will anger some members and cause them to leave.
  2. Emphasize all forms of local patronage; campaigns that stick too closely to words like “buy” or “shop” overlook the small banks, service area businesses, and other models that are an integral part of the independent local economy.
  3. Ensure diversity in leadership; an alliance that fails to reflect the resources of age, race, gender/identity, political views, economics and other factors may wind up perishing from narrow viewpoints. On a related note, AMIBA has been particularly active in advocating for business communities to rid themselves of bigotry. Strong communities welcome everyone.
  4. Do the math of what success looks like; education is a major contributing factor to forging a strong alliance, based on projected numbers of what campaigns can yield in concrete benefits for both merchants and residents.
  5. Differentiate inventory and offerings so that independently-owned businesses offer something of added value which patrons can’t easily replicate online; this could be specialty local products, face-to-face time with expert staff, or other benefits.
  6. Take the high road in inspiring the community to increase local spending; campaigns should not rely on vilifying big and online businesses or asking for patronage out of pity. In other words, guilt-tripping locals because they do some of their shopping at Walmart or Amazon isn’t a good strategy. Even a 10% shift towards local spending can have positive impacts for a community!
  7. Clearly assess community resources; not every town, city, or district hosts the necessary mix of independent businesses to create a strong campaign. For example, approximately 2.2% of the US population live in “food deserts”, many miles from a grocery store. These areas may lack other local businesses, as well, and their communities may need to create grassroots campaigns surrounding neighborhood gardens, mobile markets, private investors and other creative solutions.

In sum, success significantly depends on having clear definitions, clear goals, diverse participants and a proud identity as independents, devoid of shaming tactics.

Circling back to the Web — our native heath!

So, let’s say that your incoming client is now participating in a Buy Local program. Awesome! Now, where do we go from here?

In speaking with Jeff Milchen, I asked what he has seen in terms of digital marketing being used to promote the businesses involved in Buy Local campaigns. He said that, while some alliances have workshops, it’s a work in progress and something he hopes to see grow in the future.

As a Local SEO, that future is now for you and your fortunate clients. Here are some ways I see this working out beautifully:

Basic data distribution and consistency

Small local businesses can sometimes be unaware of inconsistent or absent local business listings, because the owners are just so busy. The quickest way I know to demo this scenario is to plug the company name and zip into the free Moz Check Listing tool to show them how they’re doing on the majors. Correct data errors and fill in the blanks, either manually, or, using affordable software like Moz Local. You’ll also want to be sure the client has a presence on any geo or industry-specific directories and platforms. It’s something your agency can really help with!

A hyperlocalized content powerhouse

Build proud content around the company’s involvement in the Buy Local program.

  • Write about all of the economic, environmental, and societal benefits residents can support by patronizing the business.
  • Motivated independents take time to know their customers. There are stories in this. Write about the customers and their needs. I’ve even seen independent restaurants naming menu items after beloved patrons. Get personal. Build community.
  • Don’t forget that even small towns can be powerful points of interest for tourists. Create a warm welcome for travelers, and for new neighbors, too!

Link building opportunities of a lifetime

Local business alliances form strong B2B bonds.

  • Find relationships with related businesses that can sprout links. For example, the caterer knows the wedding cake baker, who knows the professional seamstress, who knows the minister, who knows the DJ, who knows the florist.
  • Dive deep into opportunities for sponsoring local organizations, teams and events, hosting and participating in workshops and conferences, offering scholarships and special deals.
  • Make fast friends with local media. Be newsworthy.

A wellspring of sentiment

Independents form strong business-to-community bonds.

  • When a business really knows its customers, asking for online reviews is so much easier. In some communities, it may be necessary to teach customers how to leave reviews, but once you get a strategy going for this, the rest is gravy.
  • It’s also a natural fit for asking for written and video testimonials to be published on the company website.
  • Don’t forget the power of Word of Mouth Marketing, while you’re at it. Loyal patrons are an incredible asset.
  • The one drawback could be if your business model is one of a sensitive nature. Tight-knit communities can be ones in which residents may be more desirous of protecting their privacy.

Digitize inventory easily

30% of consumers say they’d buy from a local store instead of online if they knew the store was nearby (Google). Over half of consumers prefer to shop in-store to interact with products (Local Search Association). Over 63% of consumers would rather buy from a company they consider to be authentic over the competition (Bright Local).

It all adds up to the need for highly-authentic independently-owned businesses to have an online presence that signals to Internet users that they stock desired products. For many small, local brands, going full e-commerce on their website is simply too big of an implementation and management task. It’s a problem that’s dogged this particular business sector for years. And it’s why I got excited when the folks at AMIBA told me to check out Pointy.

Pointy offers a physical device that small business owners can attach to their barcode scanner to have their products ported to a Pointy-controlled webpage. But, that’s not all. Pointy integrates with the “See What’s In Store” inventory function of Google My Business Knowledge Panels. Check out Talbot’s Toyland in San Mateo, CA for a live example.

Pointy is a startup, but one that is exciting enough to have received angel investing from the founder of WordPress and the co-founder of Google Maps. Looks like a real winner to me, and it could provide a genuine answer for brick-and-mortar independents who have found their sales staggering in the wake of Amazon and other big digital brands.

Local SEOs have an important part to play

Satisfaction in work is a thing to be cherished. If the independent business movement speaks to you, bringing your local search marketing skills to these alliances and small brands could make more of your work days really good days.

The scenario could be an especially good fit for agencies that have specialized in city or state marketing. For example, one of our Moz Community members confines his projects to South Carolina. Imagine him taking it on the road a bit, hosting and attending workshops for towns across the state that are ready to revitalize main street. An energetic client roster could certainly result if someone like him could show local banks, grocery stores, retail shops and restaurants how to use the power of the local web!

Reading America

Our industry is living and working in complex times.

The bad news is, a current Bush-Biden poll finds that 8/10 US residents are “somewhat” or “very” concerned about the state of democracy in our nation.

The not-so-bad news is that citizen ingenuity for discovering solutions and opportunities is still going strong. We need only look as far as the runaway success of the TV show “Fixer Upper”, which drew 5.21 million viewers in its fourth season as the second-largest telecast of Q2 of that year. The show surrounded the revitalization of dilapidated homes and businesses in and around Waco, Texas, and has turned the entire town into a major tourist destination, pulling in millions of annual visitors and landing book deals, a magazine, and the Magnolia Home furnishing line for its entrepreneurial hosts.

While not every town can (or would want to) experience what is being called the “Magnolia effect”, channels like HGTV and the DIY network are heavily capitalizing on the rebirth of American communities, and private citizens are taking matters into their own hands.

There’s the family who moved from Washington D.C. to Water Valley, Mississippi, bought part of the decaying main street and began to refurbish it. I found the video story of this completely riveting, and look at the Yelp reviews of the amazing grocery store and lunch counter these folks are operating now. The market carries local products, including hoop cheese and milk from the first dairy anyone had opened in 50 years in the state.

There are the half-dozen millennials who are helping turn New Providence, Iowa into a place young families can live and work again. There’s Corning, NY, Greensburg, KS, Colorado Springs, CO, and so many more places where people are eagerly looking to strengthen community sufficiency and sustainability.

Some marketing firms are visionary forerunners in this phenomenon, like Deluxe, which has sponsored the Small Business Revolution show, doing mainstreet makeovers that are bringing towns back to life. There could be a place out there somewhere on the map of the country, just waiting for your agency to fill it.

The best news is that change is possible. A recent study in Science magazine states that the tipping point for a minority group to change a majority viewpoint is 25% of the population. This is welcome news at a time when 80% of citizens are feeling doubtful about the state of our democracy. There are 28 million small businesses in the United States – an astonishing potential educational force – if communities can be taught what a vote with their dollar can do in terms of giving them a voice. As Jeff Milchen told me:

One of the most inspiring things is when we see local organizations helping residents to be more engaged in the future of their community. Most communities feel somewhat powerless. When you see towns realize they have the ability to shift public policy to support their own community, that’s empowering.”

Sometimes, the extremes of our industry can make our society and our democracy hard to read. On the one hand, the largest brands developing AI, checkout-less shopping, driverless cars, same-day delivery via robotics, and the gig economy win applause at conferences.

On the other hand, the public is increasingly hearing the stories of employees at these same companies who are protesting Microsoft developing face recognition for ICE, Google’s development of AI drone footage analysis for the Pentagon, working conditions at Amazon warehouses that allegedly preclude bathroom breaks and have put people in the hospital, and the various outcomes of the “Walmart Effect”.

The Buy Local movement is poised in time at this interesting moment, in which our democracy gets to choose. Gigs or unions? Know your robot or know your farmer? Convenience or compassion? Is it either/or? Can it be both?

Both big and small brands have a major role to play in answering these timely questions and shaping the ethics of our economy. Big brands, after all, have tremendous resources for raising the bar for ethical business practices. Your agency likely wants to serve both types of clients, but it’s all to the good if all business sectors remember that the real choosers are the “consumers”, the everyday folks voting with their dollars.

I know that it can be hard to find good news sometimes. But I’m hoping what you’ve read today gifts you with a feeling of optimism that you can take to the office, take to your independently-owned local business clients, and maybe even help take to their communities. Spark a conversation today and you may stumble upon a meaningful competitive advantage for your agency and its most local customers.

Every year, local SEOs are delving deeper and deeper into the offline realities of the brands they serve, large and small. We’re learning so much, together. It’s sometimes a heartbreaker, but always an honor, being part of this local journey.

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Data: Google monthly search volume dwarfs rivals because of mobile advantage

Google likely has 30+ billion queries per month across platforms.

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The New Moz Local: Make Local Your Advantage!

Posted by dudleycarr

Today we’re excited to share our latest updates to Moz Local. Moz Local is unique in that it serves a large number of small business, enterprise, and agency customers. Today’s release has something for all of our customers, and we believe it’s an important step to providing the best value to everyone, independent of their size and shape.

What are we announcing today?

We’re announcing an exciting set of new functionality and integrations for local marketers to help them be more productive and more effective, and a collection of new product packages. All of this is designed to help you — local businesses, enterprises and agencies — make Local your advantage.

Try the new Moz Local today!

Google My Business Sync

Google My Business (GMB) is Google’s tool used by businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Now Moz Local automatically associates your GMB listing(s) with your Moz Local listings, enabling you to push updates to, and continuously sync any changes with GMB. Ensuring that your data is accurate on Google is essential to appearing and ranking higher in local pack search results. With this major new feature life just got easier — you no longer have to manage in both Moz Local and Google My Business. You can now manage all your local data from a single dashboard without ever going into GMB again.

Connecting your Google My Business account to Moz Local is a snap.

Your Google My Business listings are automatically associated with your Moz Local listings and any changes in either Moz Local or Google My Business automatically sync between the two systems.

New listing services

Continuing our focus on automating distribution to the services in the local search ecosystem that most impact local search results, we’ve added active management of listings on 5 new services.

Hotfrog: One of the most prominent directories for years, Hotfrog is a mainstay of the Local Search Ecosystem and we’re proud to add them to our direct network.

Apple Maps: Our new partnership with NavAds now gives us direct control over 4 other data sources — the first being Apple Maps. Now you have direct control over your listing information on the second-most popular navigation platform out there.

Here: Next we have Here, which powers the mapping platform for Facebook as well as many other navigation networks worldwide.

TomTom: One of the most popular GPS systems for cars in the country makes TomTom another vital addition.

Navmii: Rounding out our complete mapping coverage is a Navmii, another growing mapping and navigation platform.

Listing Alerts

The best approach to local marketing is one that’s proactive. One of the most frequent complaints from businesses everywhere, regardless of size, is that Google can sometimes change your business information without warning. Though active location data management can help mitigate this, elements like “store hours” can still change, which can be detrimental to your business. Listing Alerts returns your control, notifying you immediately in our new Activity feed whenever your listing information is changed. This means you can proactively correct the problem, preventing potential complaints from customers, your organization, or your client if you’re an agency. This feature is especially powerful for enterprises and agencies who manage listings at scale.

Listing Alerts in our new Activity Feed help you prevent potential customer complaints by bringing listing issues to your attention, helping you proactively correct any problems

Improved reviews

Consumer reviews are becoming more important to local search ranking. In this update we’ve added Google reviews to our list of the most popular review sites that you can monitor from your Moz Local dashboard, also including Citysearch, Foursquare, Superpages, YP, and Yelp. Now you can get Google reviews from Google My Business and reply directly to them from your dashboard. And for other review sites, our workflow provides direct links to the specific reviews on those platforms for fast action. Additionally, review notifications ensure that you never miss a review by showing you when you’ve received new ones.

Now you can get Google reviews right in your Moz Local dashboard — along with reviews from CitySearch, Foursquare, Superpages, YP, and Yelp.

Now you can respond to Google reviews directly from your Moz Local dashboard. And for other review sites, our workflow provides direct links to the specific reviews on those platforms for fast action.

What are the new product packages?

Our core principle is providing the industry’s most effective local marketing solution with great overall value. As local marketing continues to rapidly evolve, customer needs are expanding. To continue delivering on our core principle it became apparent that we needed to restructure our packages to offer greater and more targeted business value to local businesses, enterprises and agencies. Starting today, Moz Local will be available in 3 different product packages:

Moz Local Essential

Moz Local Essential is our new entry-level solution, designed to enable local businesses with one or dozens of locations to easily capitalize on best practices and the latest trends in local SEO. This package offers our industry-leading Active Location Data Management, including Google My Business Sync. In addition, Reputation Monitoring and Management is integral in this package since reviews are becoming more important in local search ranking. At $ 99/location per year, it’s packed with functionality — while remaining priced less than 50% of the leading competition.

Moz Local Professional

For Enterprise brands and agencies that need an enterprise-class solution to manage their location data at scale (hundreds to thousands of business locations), Moz Local Professional includes everything in the Essential package — PLUS:

  • New Listing Alerts that notify you immediately in the new Activity feed whenever your listing information is changed
  • Local SEO Analytics that enable marketers to analyze results and make informed decisions that improve local marketing performance
  • Our Success Assurance Program, with an assigned Customer Success Manager to oversee your account, perform a listing health audit and competitive ranking analysis to establish your baseline, assist with FastStart onboarding, and provide local SEO insights to help you achieve your search performance goals.

Moz Local Professional is available at $ 179/location per year.

Moz Local Premium

For Enterprise brands and agencies that have a higher level of business need or unique integration requirements, Moz Local Premium includes everything in the Professional package — PLUS:

  • All of the advantages that Moz Local has to offer made available via Moz Local API
  • With a minimum of 100 listings, the full suite of organic SEO tools from Moz so that no part of your SEO strategy remains unmanaged. With Moz Pro, Keyword Explorer, Open Site Explorer and more, you can make sure the rest of your site is performing well to complement your local listings.

Moz Local Premium is available at $ 249/location per year.

Learn more

Learn about all of the features in our new product packages by checking our new features page.

See the new Moz Local in action by registering for one of our free webinars.

Local is the new front door

Local search is exploding: According to Google, there are now more searches on mobile than on desktop, and 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day, and 28% of those searches for something nearby result in a purchase. To borrow a phrase: Local has become the new front door. With this level of consumer behavior and these new product offerings, there’s never been a better time to give Moz Local a try. We look forward to helping you make Local your advantage!

More coming soon!

Today’s just the beginning for the new Moz Local. As the global leader in SEO software, we’re continuing to invest in advancing local marketing with the industry’s most effective location data management solution. By the end of January — and a bunch more pizzas and, okay, some salads from now — we’ll be delivering another update with additional new functionality, including our new Customer-Actions metric, more enhancements to Google My Business Sync, and additional distribution enhancements. We might even have some exciting news to share along the way…

Questions about our new features, product packages or pricing? Leave a comment or contact us at help@moz.com.

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Local Search Advantage: SEO, Linkbuilding, Voice Search, Mobile Wallets & More

SMX East workshop on Monday takes a deep dive into all things local search.

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Stand Out or Don’t Bother: Sally Hogshead on Harnessing Your Fascination Advantage

Sally Hogshead Authority Rainmaker

Why is Jägermeister the bestselling liquor brand that no one likes?

Because it’s toxic taste is what sets it apart from all the other liquor choices behind the bar. The worst it tastes, the more people talk about it. That creates a unique experience that people seek out.

This illustrates what Sally Hogshead suggested in her opening keynote at Authority Rainmaker – different is better than better. Sally is a best selling author, keynote speaker and marketer who has consulted for brands ranging from BMW to Target.

Sally says that the uniqueness of a brand is what can be translated into their competitive advantage. When you are able to put that competitive advantage into words, it translates into something people will evangelize and purchase.

The same logic for brands can apply to individuals too. Your unique advantage is what will makes people hire you, promote you and remember you.

The key is knowing what your unique advantage is, how to describe it and harness it to focus on doing what you are good at.

Sally Hogshead tell us how to leverage your Fascination Advantage® in order to stand out and transform your career.

What is the Fascination Advantage?

In ancient Latin, facsinare means to bewitch or hold captive so people are powerless to resist.

Sounds pretty powerful, right? Your fascination advantage, is the thing about your authentic self that will allow you to captivate.

According to Sally, there are 7 primary fascination advantages. For most people there 2 advantages where they communicate most confidently and effortlessly.

The 7 Fascination Advantages:

  • Innovation: Creative brainstormers
  • Passion: Relationships builders with strong people skills
  • Power: A leader who makes decisions
  • Prestige: Over achievers with higher standards
  • Trust: Stable and reliable
  • Mystique: Solo intellect behind the scenes
  • Alert: Precise detail manager

The combination of your primary and secondary advantage are what create your archetype. Once you know your archetype, you can open the door to harnessing your best self.

Find out your type here: howtofascinate.com/you (Code: copyblogger)

49 Personality Archetypes

10 Things you Can Do Better Once You Know Your Fascination Advantage

Once you know your fascination  archetype, you know what differentiates you from others. Remember, different is better. Once you know what makes you better, you can leverage that to do even more.

Number 1: Create your anthem

An anthem is a very short phrase that describes how you are different. It is the easiest way to describe your unique value.

Typically a combination of an adjective (describes you) and a noun(describes what you do). For example Cutting Edge Social Strategist.

Number 2: Update your marketing copy

One you have your anthem update your LinkedIn profile or resume to speak to your unique advantage.

Number 3: Stand out to get hired and promoted

Now that you have been able to condense and communicate your unique advantage, continue to leverage that in the job you choose and the tasks you complete. When you focus on being the best authentic you, it becomes very easy for the right people to hire you to do the right things.

Number 4: Don’t become a commodity

A commodity is interchangeable. Competing with everyone else who is saying the same thing you are, is a hard way to make a living. Use your Fascination Advantage to side step the competition, as you offer a unique value proposition.

Number 5: Avoid tasks that do not speak to your strengths

If you are a Catalyst (Passion + Innovation), then be careful of tasks which focus on very detailed follow up. Focus on your strengths and if possible, pass the tasks you are less adept on to someone who is the best at them.

Number 6: Be more convincing and confident 

When you are at your most authentic and natural you will be most convincing. For example, an Innovation archetype will be at their most compelling when speaking about creative ideas, rather than the details of a project (leave that to the Alert archetypes).

Number 7: Build better teams

Great teams are built on diversity. Having a balanced team will allow others to take the lead where you are not comfortable. If you only hire people who speak the same language as you, you’ll be at a disadvantage when completing tasks that require other skills. For example, if the primary advantage of your whole team is passion, there will be great banter, but not much follow through.

Number 8: Convert People into advocates

Powerful brands aren’t merely purchased, they are evangelized. Honing in on what you excel at, will encourage people to not only hire you, but to spread that word around. Good word of  mouth, is a great way to build your career and business. If you can’t offer value on a project, it’s best not do it at all.

Number 9: Do more with less (less money, less words, less time)

If you are able to harness your Fascination Advantage, you can do more with less. Fascinating brands get more reach and recall with less budget. You can do the same by focusing on your strengths, spend less time communicating is words and platforms that are ineffective.

Number 10: Take advantage of a short attention span

The average human attention span in only 9 seconds today. With only 9 seconds, what is the most fascinating thing you can say? Speak the language of your advantage and you will be more likely to captivate your audience in a very short time period.

Imagine that you as an individual can be as compelling as some of the most powerful brands in the world. Look inward to your natural self, in order to determine, develop and harness your competitive advantage for marketing, for business and for personal success.


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The post Stand Out or Don’t Bother: Sally Hogshead on Harnessing Your Fascination Advantage appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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Google Glass Offers a First-Mover Advantage You Shouldn’t Overlook

close-up of an eye wearing Google Glass

Have you ever wondered what the subreddit “ShittyBattleStations,” hammerhead sharks, and the Internet have in common?

Yeah, me neither.

But I recently discovered that the three seemingly unconnected entities all stretch my sense of nostalgia.

ShittyBattleStations is a subreddit where people share photographs of their gaming environments. Imagine bad camera angles of a bean bag chair, milk crate, high-powered computer, and a gallon of water.

It’s a place for snapshots of a subculture interested in avoiding the complex world — a subculture that reminds me of my own sad attempts as an adolescent to master Donkey Kong, since people scared the daylights out of me.

And I’ve been a fan of hammerhead sharks ever since Momaw Nadon’s cameo in the original Star Wars.

The Internet? Well, in the beginning, only a select few were entertained by slow-loading, grainy information and pixelated images. I stood aloof, fearful.

“You mean, like, I could talk to a stranger in Singapore?”

“Yes.”

“I do believe that is terrible.”

It’s safe to say I’ve gotten over that anxiety, but a recent development has caused some of it to reemerge …

The introduction of Google Glass — Google’s wearable technology.

New to Google Glass?

Let me simply say this: it can do everything your iPhone can do, but from a tiny device that sits on the frames of your glasses.

As you might expect, it draws attention like a walking hammerhead shark, has its own subculture of users (early adopters), and utilizes the Internet. But. But. But! Will it become an essential, commonly used tool? How widespread will the technology be twenty-five years from now?

Does Google Glass have a future? Should writers and content marketers even care? And since we’re on the subject of Google, how much attention should we give Google+?

I decided to ask Google Glass expert Rob Garner for his opinion. Rob is Chief Strategy Officer at Advice Interactive Group and author of Search and Social: The Definitive Guide to Real-Time Content Marketing.

Here’s an excerpt of our conversation where he answered all of my burning questions.

Google Glass 101

How practical is Google Glass?

I’ve been a Google Glass Explorer since last July, and I’m fascinated by the future prospects of this technology, as well as other wearable computing. Right now it could be considered elite, but when the price drops to where everyone can obtain it, it will be heavily utilized.

Google Glass will literally make you see some things differently in terms of data overlays in the physical world and ergonomics.

Will the average person get value out of it?

The only people who seem to be jaded about it are folks who haven’t tried it and those who perceive it as a threat to privacy, which is actually a non-issue when compared to other things people have commonly accepted in their lives, such as biometrics and airport full-body scanning machines.

The bottom line is that Google Glass is for everybody, and in a way it’s like a reinvention of the Internet. I remember when the Internet first started, and a lot of people didn’t think it was viable.

I should be recording reactions to Google Glass now, so I can play them back in 20 years.

Google Glass and content marketing

Should marketers and advertisers use Google Glass?

There is a huge first-mover advantage for marketers who figure out smart ways to use it with their businesses. If you can’t think of a use, you probably haven’t thought hard enough.

What about content marketers? Does Google Glass change how you consume content?

I really love Google Glass for hands-free photography and sharing, which is one of its most popular uses. For real-time content marketing, nothing beats it. I can take a photo and share it on any one of several social networks within seconds.

And it’s compelling because it keeps social audiences up-to-date on immediate news, whatever that may be for you or your business. I don’t sit around taking shots of my desk at work, but when I’m at an event and see something interesting, it’s a quick content win.

In addition, the voice-to-text capabilities of Google Glass are very impressive. You can actually post and share text to social networks by voice alone.

Using Google Glass

What is Google Now? Is it useful for content marketers, brands, and advertisers? Why?

Google Now can be thought of as Google Glass’s brain. It combines a number of Google services, like Gmail and Google Calendars, and actually ties in some real intelligence. Google Now (via Glass or smartphone) will tell you when you have an appointment, so you don’t have to check your calendar.

If you’re traveling, Google Now will update you if your flight has been delayed. It basically ties in your data in a very useful way.

What’s it like to wear Google Glass everywhere? How do people react to the device?

Some days it’s like being a celebrity, and other days you don’t feel like having the attention. I typically wear it for 10 to 20 percent of the days I’m using it and have found certain situations where it’s a must-have, like driving on a long trip or going to a conference.

A lot of people give me what I call the “caveman” look. When they see Google Glass, they kind of hunch around and look up and down at it, the way I picture the first cavemen encountering fire would act.

Kids love it, and generally most people are awed by the prospect of having the equivalent of an iPhone strapped to your face. It’s a lot of fun.

The latest on Google+

Vic Gundotra (the man behind Google+) is no longer with Google. What’s the future of Google+?

We’re going to see continued use of the platform throughout Google’s other products and services.

Would you recommend Google+ to content marketers who aren’t currently using it?

I recommend it to marketers who are concerned about their Google visibility across various Google channels and those who want to reach its users. It’s also a must for authors and publishers, which includes just about everyone on the Internet.

Is Google+ still the best social media platform for content marketers?

Yes, I do think it’s the best platform for content marketers. Google+ is the perfect synthesis of search and social together, especially as it relates to content production and consumption. No other social network has the raw algorithmic power to process content for relevancy, recency, authority, and theme than Google+.

Google Glass and your business

Do you think Google Glass will play an important role in content marketing?

Can you think of creative ways to use the new technology to benefit your business?

Join the discussion on Google+, and let us know if you’re ready to embrace looking like an Internet-enabled hammerhead shark!

Flickr Creative Commons Image via FotoDB.de.

About the author

Demian Farnworth

Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

The post Google Glass Offers a First-Mover Advantage You Shouldn’t Overlook appeared first on Copyblogger.

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