Your Business Needs a Local Search Listing

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Without a local business listing on a search engine, small businesses are missing out on potential customers.

That means a lot of small businesses are missing out on sales. New data from Google and Gybo reveals that just 37 percent of small businesses have a local listing (PDF) on any search engine, including Google, of course.

Those numbers mean that the four in five people who search the Web to find a business’s operating hours, phone number, or other vital data, aren’t getting that information on a majority of local small businesses.

So, Google is introducing a program it’s calling “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” that aims to get small businesses listed on search engines.

With the help of Startlogic, Google is even offering a free website and domain for one year for businesses that participate.

Google has actually had its Get Your Business Online team operating since 2011, but obviously its reach has been limited so far.

As part of this new initiative, Google is working in 30,000 cities across the country to get more local small businesses listed on the search engine.

To back the importance of getting local small businesses listed online, Google says its new data shows that people are 38 percent more likely to visit a small business that’s listed online. And further, 29 percent of people asked said they are more likely to consider buying something from those businesses listed online.

Google’s new program is a multi-pronged effort. According to Soo Young Kim, Google’s head of marketing for Get Your Business Online, businesses and the people who enjoy local businesses can help.

First, Google has created a custom website for each city it’s targeting. At these sites, local businesses can find the resources they need to get listed online. That includes a diagnostic tool that shows businesses how they currently appear online, according to Kim’s post on the Official Google Blog.

On the street level, Google is linking up with local chambers of commerce and other small business groups. The company is giving these groups resources to help their local merchants. And these groups will be encouraged to hold seminars and other meetings to help guide local business owners getting their businesses online.

Kim writes:

“These local partners know the challenges for local businesses more than anyone — and they recognize the value of getting businesses online.”

And, finally, businesses that are slow to get themselves online may get some help from loyal or impressed customers. The public, by visiting their city’s website via, can support their favorite businesses by listing their information online for them.

Image: Google

This article, “Your Business Needs a Local Search Listing” was first published on Small Business Trends

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The Most Successful Marketing Plans Have One Thing in Common

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Annual marketing plans are important to keeping businesses organized and goal-oriented. But the best marketing plans usually have one thing in common: flexibility.

In order for your marketing efforts to be successful, you have to be open to changing them up once in awhile. For example, if there’s a change in your industry, you should be ready to respond.

Or if there’s a new social platform that you can use to reach customers, you should at least consider using it, even though you couldn’t necessarily plan for it at the beginning of the year. And certain pop culture events could even tie into your marketing efforts throughout the year. But you have to be ready to act right away. And that means your plan has to leave room for last-minute changes.

Technology makes that flexibility even more important. People are constantly connected to brands and news via social media and mobile apps. And customers like seeing brands that are in tune with the trends. So that means that your team should be constantly looking for new opportunities to tie news items or trends into your marketing materials.

Author Jim Joseph wrote about flexible marketing plans in a recent Entrepreneur post:

“By staying in tune to what’s happening online, you may uncover ways to reach out to your customers in real time. You may see something happening in pop culture or in the news that merits your participation, showing your customers that you are present in their lives. You may see a development in your industry that warrants your point of view, proving your leadership.”

Aside from those news items that might fit into your marketing materials, Joseph also pointed out a few other ways your marketing plan might change over the year. Those include: activity from your competitors, evolving customer attitudes and behavior, marketplace fluctuations, and sales attainment.

The bottom line is that your marketing plan should never really be completed. Instead, you should consider it to be a work in progress so that you can continue to work and improve it throughout the entire year.

Flexibility Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “The Most Successful Marketing Plans Have One Thing in Common” was first published on Small Business Trends

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Should There Be A Death Penalty? – The People Speak

VICE News traveled around the world speaking to people about capital punishment, and differences in global attitudes on the death penalty. In this episode, we asked you whether the death penalty is outdated, and how effective capital punishment is as a crime deterrent. Find out what people from Yokosuka, Japan to Pleven, Bulgaria had to say about about it, and tell us what you think: share a post with the hashtag #vicenews on Twitter, or send us a Skype video message. To leave a Skype video message, follow the instructions here: With support from Skype. Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:

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The War Against Boko Haram (Trailer)

Since 2009, the militant Islamist group known as Boko Haram has wreaked havoc in northern Nigeria. Instilling terror through bombings, abductions, and beheadings, Boko Haram is fighting to create an Islamic state in the most populous country in Africa. VICE News traveled to Nigeria to embed with the country’s army as it ramped up its fight against Boko Haram, whose rise has caused a state of emergency. As the only journalists on the front line in northern Nigeria, we witnessed the beginning of the largest military against the insurgency to date. Watch “The Human Cost of War in the Central African Republic” – Watch “Blood Diamonds and Religious War: Diamonds and Division” – Read “UN Adopts Resolution Calling for International Coordination Against Boko Haram” – Read “Can a 72-Year-Old Former Military Dictator Bring Nigerians the Change They Have Voted For?” – Read “Nigeria Reacts to a Historic Change as President-Elect Buhari Prepares for Power” – Subscribe to VICE News here: Check out VICE News for more: Follow VICE News here: Facebook: Twitter: Tumblr: Instagram: More videos from the VICE network:

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