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Linda Buquet
Works at Local Search Forum
Lives in San Marcos, Ca
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Linda Buquet

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Local Search Webinar for Consultants: Selling to SMBs in 2015 - +Street Fight recently released The Local Merchant Report 2015. It offers an inside look at 500+ local businesses to understand which platforms they trust most, how they manage spend, where they struggle in local digital marketing, and much more in this exclusive research report.

Next week they are offering a free webinar which dives into some of their findings.  I've compiled a variety of stats to give you a feel for what is covered in the report and much of this info will be discussed at the webinar.
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Web & Graphic Design Resources for the Non-Creative Local SEO Mind - Unfortunately a creative mind and an analytical SEO mind, often don't live in the same body. Most people are gifted with one or the other, but not both.

Some of you may have noticed, I'm really into graphics. But if you know me REALLY well you know, I'm not very detail-oriented and analytical. One of the many reasons I got out of doing SEO myself for clients.

However, no matter how visual I am and how much I love graphics, I'm not an artist by any stretch. So I LOVE graphic tools that help me create nice visuals.

Here's a nice list of resources from +SEO Book.  Found a couple new ones I had not seen before. Plus I share one of the main tools I use to make social gifs.
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Oooh! Thanks, this is great stuff. You're right, one can never have too many free graphics and graphics tools. Wish I had more to add, but they were all covered!
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Video is LIVE! Local Data & Tracking - Using the Right Metrics to Deliver Local Marketing Success - We had a great turnout for this webinar! If you missed it, here's the replay. 

Thanks again to our great line-up of speakers: +Dana DiTomaso +Wesley Young & +Bill Hartzer

This was our last one for this season. See you in the fall.

Thanks as always to +BrightLocal for all their hard work on organizing and hosting and to +Colan Nielsen and +Ross Marchant for helping me with all the questions.
 
WEBINAR: Local Data - Using the Right Metrics to Deliver Local Marketing Success - Friendly reminder, this webinar is coming up tomorrow and is our last one of the season. Hope to see you all there! Featuring: +Bill Hartzer, +Dana DiTomaso and +Wesley Young

Brought to you by +BrightLocal and the Local Search Forum. With QA support by +Colan Nielsen 
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NEW: Gold stars from Google Plus reviews showing up in Adwords ads now. So don't need to use Adwords Express to get them. Discussion at the Local Search Forum too: http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-reviews/33609-gold-stars-without-using-adwords-express.html

Thanks for sharing with us +Joy Hawkins 
 
Great news for small businesses! You can now get gold stars in Google +AdWords  via Location Extensions that show your Google Plus reviews. No more need to use AdWords Express! 
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Monster List of Review Generating Ideas - The Good, bad and ugly! My critique plus highlighting a couple interesting ideas from +Synup 
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Micro-Moments! What's Comes After The Click In Local? - Google really started something with the Micro-Moments concept and +Adam Dorfman from +SIM Partners-Velocity sums it up very well.

Micro-moments can include “I want to know” moments, “I want to go” moments, “I want to do” moments,” and “I want to buy” moments that trigger search behaviors.

I heard a Googler at I/O say something like: "We no longer GO online, we ARE online."  And it's so true!

Thanks to Top Contributor +Casey Meraz for sharing!

What other thoughts do you guys have about this post?

#localsearch #googlelocal #seo  
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Thanks +Linda Buquet +Adam Dorfman good afternoon:)
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Local Search Consultants: Have you Tried PEEK for your Clients Yet? -  It's FREE!  Traditional usability testing solutions cost over $10,000 per test and take a month to complete. There is a company that offers a more affordable remote user research platform used by top companies like Google, WalMart, Facebook, Home Depot, and Apple.

But they also offer PEEK. It's free and only takes an hour!  Use it on your own site, a client's site OR one of their competitor's.

Video and more deets inside.
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Local Meets Mobile: Official Google Hangout Today - The Google Small Business Community is doing a Hangout about Mobile today at 11 PST.  RSVP above if you want to attend and you can submit questions in advance too.

I will try to be there. Are you going???
 
Mobile is an increasingly important tool business owners can use to impact their customer’s purchase decisions. In fact, 82% of smartphone users consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy. One in ten of those end up buying a different product than they had planned (Source: https://goo.gl/CmP9V2). From the small business local solutions team at Google, Sheryl Lim will will be joining us in a live Hangout On Air Q&A to talk about how small businesses can use mobile to reach customers on a local level.

RSVP and submit your questions. 
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Google+ Your Business. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
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Local Meets Mobile
Mon, June 22, 2:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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Thanks for sharing +Linda Buquet 
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The Hidden Dangers of Being a Local Search Consultant - No this is not link bait and I'm not going to tell you something exciting or worrisome about Google. This is about your health!

Did you know all the ways that SITTING all day, working on the computer - negatively affects your health???

I thought I knew the main dangers, since I'm crippled up with RSI due to bad back and neck from sitting on my ass 70 hours a week. But NO, that's not even the worse part.

I had no idea sitting caused all these other health problems. See a few of the ways I'm combating the problem inside.

So what about you???

Were you guys aware of all those other health issues sitting causes???

Does anyone else have RSI?

Does anyone here have a standing desk? Or how about a treadmill desk?
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Standup desk changed my life. Reduced nagging back issues at least 90%
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Mobile Local Search: Goldmine, Micro-Moments & Mobile User Experience - Due to the mobilegeddon update (which was a bit of an over-hyped dud so far) I think most companies put all their energy into RANKING for mobile. I agree the focus needs to initially be there, because if you don't rank not many will find you.

But I think more emphasis now needs to be on mobile conversions and capitalizing on all those very real and very immediate "Micro-moments" Google keeps talking about.

Warren Raisch, the Chief Customer Officer over at +Rio SEO did a good post at +Search Engine Watch I wanted to share.

Plus at the bottom I offer up a great idea for a study I think Rio, or +SIM Partners-Velocity or +Moz Local or +BrightLocal should do. :-) 

What do you think?
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Dissecting and Surviving Google's Local Snack Pack Results - Great post by Miriam Ellis @ +Moz Discussion started at the Local Search Forum: http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-search/33518-snacking-googles-local-snack-pack-leaves-one-feeling-bit-hungry.html

Thanks for sharing +Priya Chandra 
Google's Snack Packs (a.k.a Local Stacks) haven't gotten the best reception in the local business community. Let's take one of these results apart and discover how best to respond to their limitations.
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Speaking of niches!  Here is an inspiring post from +David Kutcher. If you missed it see my Google Local Niche post from this AM too. Ties right in: https://plus.google.com/u/0/101037504613481726969/posts/bT7vTt8wSXN
 
Don't lament an unfilled need; fill that niche yourself

Have you ever found yourself saying "I wish there was someone that did [insert]"? You then scramble around, ask a few people, put out a few inquiries, perhaps run a google search, and low and behold, nothing.

Without thinking much about it, you just stumbled upon an untapped opportunity. You've identified there was a need (because you just wanted it), and you've also, in a quick way, demonstrated that there was a lack of providers for that need.

But that's often where the thought process stops.

You might lament the fact that nobody is doing this thing that you've identified a need for, perhaps vent your frustration in a blog article or twitter post that you can't find this/that close to you, and then move on, perhaps missing out on a golden opportunity.

Lots of people express their desire to one day start their own business, or are looking for new services and products to provide, but feel that they haven't found "the Idea" that will lead them to the Promised Land of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Ownership. What most people fail to realize is that the Idea doesn't have to be amazing, it doesn't have to be entirely unique, and it doesn't even have to be grand in scale; the only business requirement is that it fills a Need

Our own example

My web design firm (+Confluent Forms LLC)  is a small business, and as such, our sales strategy has to be exceptionally organic yet targeted so that we're not wasting valuable time chasing dead-end leads. In the early stages of our company we chased any lead that we could find, paid for expensive Request for Proposal and lead-generating services to bring us potential projects, and even tried the cold-calling route. We often found great RFPs that we were qualified for, but found out about them too late. The lead-generation services we paid hundreds and thousands of dollars for turned up few projects that we could bid on. And nothing is truly as dispiriting as cold-calling. There was nowhere on the market that was compiling RFPs and providing them for a reasonable price.

This was our "A HA!" moment. Being that we're a web development firm it wasn't hard to create a website that was equipped for the task, and we realized that if we were having this trouble, there were probably hundreds and thousands of other sales teams having the same trouble. So, frustrated by the lack of return on investment on these costly services and wastes of time, we created a site called +The RFP Database  We initially populated it with RFPs that we found in our searches for projects but that weren't good fits for our company. We encouraged others to do that same. That site has grown to over 135,,000 registered users, has announced over ~240,000 RFPs with an average of 400-500 new RFPs each week (easily over $1 billion in opportunities), and has grown steadily since its inception. It fills a need, while doing so with a unique value proposition that makes everyone's ROI calculations jump in favor of joining ($2 for a $1,000,000 lead? a no-brainer).

Put your talents and interests to good use

Perhaps you're a restaurateur, have you noticed that the your area doesn't seem to have a good Jewish deli? Or maybe you're a real estate mogul or venture capitalist; the lack of small-sized office spaces and incubator spaces is frustrating. Or dance classes, or book groups, or wedding planning, or what have you. Whenever you have a frustration from being unable to find something, you're simply identifying a need. And if you have that need, others likely do too.

So why not lead the effort? Write down your idea in as much detail as possible. Determine what it would need to exist. Does it need a store front, a storage space, a website... is it something you can do from home in your spare time or something that you'd have to take a plunge to accomplish? Could you do it yourself or would you need to partner with someone else? How much investment is needed in time and money? Are there people or organizations that you could reach out to that might be interested in partnering with you on this idea who could lessen your exposure or make it happen faster?

You can also approach it from the other angle of "what service can I provide that nobody else seems to be providing?", "what do I wish I could drive down the street to get instead of driving to Hartford?", or "what would I do more of if it was located nearby?".

Take the plunge. Create something that fills that need in your community and don't look back. It's not always so simple, but there is no harm in taking just that first step.
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Google Local Training & Consulting
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Visit the Local Search Forum for breaking G+ Local news, tips and support from Local Search Pros!

Need help? Please use the contact form on the site.

Thanks, Linda

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I've been a Google Top Contributor for 3+ years and lived to tell the tale. ;-)
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