Digital Marketing News: Google My Business Adds Service Menus

Every week we’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of April 13, 2018.

Location3 Publishes White Paper: Online-to-Offline Store Visits Tracking

Location3 released on Tuesday a new white paper: Online-to-Offline Marketing: Tracking & Measuring Store Visits for Multi-Location BusinessesThe white paper examines the history of our ability to track and measure store visits, how store visits are currently measured, and the future of online-to-offline marketing attribution. Download a free copy to learn how Location3 can help track Store Visits for your franchise.

Google My Business Pages Adds Service Menus

Google officially announced on Monday the addition of service menus to the local Knowledge Panel. This feature was initially introduced for the food service industry in January, but will now include service-based industries such as plumbing, florists, and health and beauty, among others.

This feature allows these businesses to list their services much like a restaurant has been able to list food and drink items on their Google My Business listing. Businesses can add menus under the “Info” tab in the Google My Business dashboard.

Do Local Businesses Need Blogs?

In a recent survey from BrightLocal, 69 percent of respondents said local businesses need a blog. As Rosie Murphy of BrightLocal points out here, perhaps the more relevant result from the survey is the 20 percent of respondents who are undecided on the importance of running a blog for their local business.

It’s true that operating a blog is time-consuming and can be difficult for small business owners. But a blog presents more opportunities to drive business than you might think. Company blogs allow your business to connect with potential customers through how-to guides, relevant news, community participation, as well as simple brand awareness through SEO tactics.

The important takeaway here is that it’s not enough to simply have a blog. It requires consistent production of relevant content and a fleshed-out strategy designed to promote your content to a target audience.

So the short answer to this question: Yes, local businesses need blogs.

Analysis: Why are Brands Still Focused on Desktop?

The mobile experience has become so intertwined in our every-day reality that it’s a wonder why brands continue to prioritize the desktop experience over mobile. That’s the argument put forth by Brian Solis via Marketing Land in this cautionary critique of big-brand rigidity.

Google recently reported that 40 percent of consumers prefer to complete the entire shopping experience on their mobile devices. While that’s the minority for now, it’s easy to envision that number increasing and increasing quickly. So while the desktop experience shouldn’t be tossed aside, it should no longer be the primary focus of brands looking to connect with potential customers.

Solis’ analysis echoes Location3’s Everything Is Local mantra, where mobile experiences are no longer separate from real-time behavior. Consumers are turning to their phones to make purchasing decisions, and if your brand is not present at that all-important moment, your brand will miss an opportunity to create a customer.

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