On Our Radar: SweetIQ Rave Review, Yahoo! Revived, and Google Sells Car

On our radar

We’re back this week with some interesting news in local search marketing. And we’re particularly excited to bring it to you this week. Why? Because our ears were burning and while we were sifting through the top stories in local search, found ourselves smack dab in the middle of it with a great review of one of our products.

We’ve decided to give you that scoop in a little more detail. Along with that, there are some big moves on the horizon for Yahoo! Local and an interesting location based sales integration for automotive business happening on Google.
But first thing’s first . . .

Sweet IQ’s Solution for Multi-Location Stores

Location based marketing is vital if you want to thrive in the market. Despite the challenges this marketing approach has for smaller mom-and-pop shops with a single location, it presents an even bigger challenge to larger, multi-location businesses.

Managing more than one location means having to keep track of the local search marketing for each destination. This can get difficult – fast.  Sweet IQ’s solution allows businesses to increase their presence, manage brand visibility, and bridge the gaps between online customer engagement and offline, in-store sales sales.

The dashboard provides multiple views with critical analytics including: Where your business is listed, the number of citations for your business, where you can list your business, the number of reviews you’ve received, the source of those reviews, overall review ratings, social media mentions,and more (too much to cover in one blog).

A heartfelt thank you goes out to Greg Sterling for the shout out and review.

New CEO to Revamp Yahoo! Local?

And you’ll never guess who it is.

Last week we mentioned that Zagat might take the fall after seeing some of Google’s tests of the tried and true star rating system. The president and CEO of Yahoo! now is Marissa Mayer – the very same who first greased the wheels of Zagat.

Whether we like Zagat or not matters little given Mayer’s considerable contributions to location-based marketing to date. It looks like Yahoo! Local is about to see the benefits of that experience.

Here are some things we may see in the near future from Mayer:

  • Lifting the paid barrier of the “enhanced” listings
  • Add more content to listings including menus and videos
  • Teaming up with Foursquare to integrate more reviews
  • Social media integration
  • Building mobile experience

We can only hope that these are actually set into motion and done so effectively. Then, maybe we’ll forget about the whole Zagat thing altogether.

Google Gives a Hand to Automotive

An interesting and unique approach has been taken by Google for selling cars. Instead of having to go straight to the company website, Google is now testing the ability to view available cars for sale locally on its search page.

The test works by assuming what stage of the sales funnel you’re at. Just searching “Honda”, for instance, won’t trigger the listings to pop up whereas “Honda Civic dealer New York” will. These listings appear beneath the initial ads on the first page. By clicking on a car, you’re instantly brought to a stock inventory page where you can view pricing info and anonymously contact the dealer.

Google says this new approach has several distinct benefits including quality leads, free inventory listing, interactive platform for users, and greater control over leads.

Summing it up

Needless to say we’re happy our product has got some great feedback. Local search is booming and businesses need a way to capitalize on it by knowing where they stand and how they can act to better their local impression.

The other two stories provide a good sense of where things are headed. Yahoo! Local can give businesses a great tool to reach out to local markets if done right. The promise of these new milestones on the horizon is stifled only by the fact that  they are being hoisted on the same shoulders that pushed Zagat into Google territory. We cross our fingers for bright days ahead on the Yahoo! Local scene while we look to Google’s tests to see what they can tell us about local markets.
Keep on the radar for more news regarding local search and insights into local marketing info.

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