A little more than a year after announcing its plans to build a superfast, experimental broadband network somewhere in the U.S., Google has announced where that’s going to happen: Kansas City, Kansas. In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We’ve found this in Kansas City. Google says that nearly 1,100 cities applied to host the high-speed broadband network. Many used public and government support to show Google how desperately they wanted to win the project — Topeka, Kansas, even changed its name to Google, Kansas for the entire month of March 2010. Google announced its plans about 13 months ago, saying its high-speed network will “deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections.” About The … [Read more...] about Google Selects Kansas City For Superfast Broadband Network
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Conversion rate improvement, for many of us, is as much a part of the overall process of optimizing a paid search campaign as, say, “off-page factors” are to SEO. Recall the holistic view taken in last month’s column, Your Paid Search Performance Is Relative. I spoke about the potential for widening the gap between your company and a competitor by looking beyond just simple bid management, to improving conversion rates, working on the business model, and other larger issues of business process. The end result of doing these things can be a virtuous circle, allowing you to bid higher, to appear prominently in high ad positions, and to return a strong ROI on those ads but on significantly higher volumes. Your momentum and market share continue to build, while competitors acquire customers at a lower rate. Describing this ideal snowball effect that leaves a business potentially pulling away from a rival like Secretariat in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, I wrote: … [Read more...] about How To Test A Home Page For Conversion Effectiveness
UPDATE: After this article was published, Google reached out to the author to clarify a few things: Google plans to add pure service-area businesses (SABs) back into the local results — this includes home-based businesses. The disappearance of results for home-based businesses in markets without Home Service Ads was due to a bug (not intentional), which Google says should be resolved soon. Once these promised changes go live, Joy will write an article covering the impact, so stay tuned. If you are a local business that provides home services in the United States, you should be bracing yourself for what will happen when Home Service Ads roll out in your industry and market. The changes are vast and make a huge difference in who ranks in the local results on Google. When they first started expanding them last year in San Diego, it wiped out 89 percent of the listings in the local results. Unlike other features, Google isn’t preannouncing where they plan on rolling these … [Read more...] about Are Home Service Ads the death of home-based businesses on Google?
After my column about Home Service Ads came out last week, I got a message from Google with some great news. They told me two things: Google plans to add pure service-area businesses (SABs) back into the local results — this includes home-based businesses. The disappearance of results for home-based businesses in markets without Home Service Ads was due to a bug (not intentional), which Google says should be resolved soon. So, almost a year after deciding to remove service-area businesses from the local results, I’m starting to see that Google is adding them back. Here is an example of a search result I spotted this morning. A few days ago, it looked like this (Notice how every listing has a directions icon — meaning the address is showing on the listing): Although owners of service-area businesses will be extremely excited about this change, service-area businesses aren’t the only listings returning to the local results. One of the good things about … [Read more...] about Markets with home service ads: Service-area businesses are coming back to the local results
Few people may know the Dwyer Group - but, there's a good chance you've heard of Molly Maid, The Glass Doctor or Mr. Appliance, all brands that belong to the company's family of home-service franchise businesses. Up until this year, the 13 different franchises had been managed separately on a brand level. "Dwyer Group is not a consumer-facing brand," says Lisa Zoellner, CMO for the company. "There's never been any sort of link between these brands, no communication effort to help folks understand that all of these brands are from the same family of brands." Since joining Dwyer Group in January of last year, the CMO says she has been focused on building an "overarching" growth strategy that connects the company's collection of well-known home-service businesses. Recently, her team took a major step toward bringing together the company's 13 franchise brands under one umbrella when it launched Neighborly, an online resource that houses all of the Dwyer Group's home-service franchises, … [Read more...] about How Dwyer Group connects the dots between its 13 different home-service franchise brands