Our Top 10 Articles from 2018

The LSA blog aspires to be a great tool and resource for local marketers and strategists. Over the last year, we’ve covered a wide variety of topics from local SEO to location intelligence, social media, reputation, SMB SaaS and more. We’re always trying to learn from feedback and refine our coverage and topic focus.

Based on views, shares and comments, the following are the top 10 most popular blog posts from 2018.

1. The Cost of Bad Location Data: More than $1,000 in This Case (January 29, 2018)
A number of years ago Andrew Shotland and I (Greg Sterling) tried to calculate the cost of bad location data (name, address, phone number) across the industry. We came up with a big number. It was based on a mix of consumer survey data, a set of assumptions and a formula about the frequency of incorrect listings in search results.

2. A 1.5 Star-Review Improvement Equals 13K More Leads in Study (April 18, 2018)
Reviews used to be a “nice to have.” But that was years ago when people assumed they only applied to a few local categories, like restaurants or hotels. Now they’re mandatory for everyone.

3. 2018 Ad-to-Action Award Winners Announced at #LSA18 in Chicago (May 1, 2018)
On May 1, 2018 the Local Search Association (LSA) announced the winners of the fifth annual Ad-to-Action Awards at the LSA18 Conference in Chicago. The program highlights the best and brightest in the local and location-based marketing industry.

4. Local Campaigns: Google Automating Ads for SMBs and Everyone Else (July 11, 2018)
At its Google Marketing Live event (formerly Google Next) yesterday the company announced a number of new ad units, tools and analytics. Among them are: Responsive Search Ads, Local Campaigns, Maximize lift/smart bidding on YouTube and Smart Shopping campaigns.

5. 3 Charts: How Online Reviews Influence Consumer Behaviors (March 9, 2018)
Last year, BrightLocal released their Local Consumer Review Survey, which detailed that an overwhelming amount of consumers (97%) read online reviews when making local purchasing decisions. Additionally, Small Business Trends reported that positive comments from customers or clients produce an average increase in sales of 18% and that consumers are likely to spend 31% more because of positive reviews.

6. Amazon ‘Internal Figures’ Show 50M Echo Devices Sold to Date (August 7, 2018)
In an article arguing that voice-commerce is not happening, The Information (subscription required) says “about 50 million” Alexa devices have sold to date.

7. 5 Google My Business Myths Debunked (January 5, 2018)
Many businesses want to rank in the coveted “map pack”—or the map section of the search engine results page (SERP) that shows local business results—but not every business qualifies. Those that do qualify must adhere to specific guidelines for representing their businesses on Google, or risk suspension.

8. Introducing a Google My Business Performance Benchmark (May 21, 2018)
A GMB listing takes time to set up and manage effectively. Marketers need to keep data up to date, content fresh and images compelling. That effort could be spent addressing other needs.

9. 3 Charts: Understanding Research Online, Buy Offline Behavior (January 30, 2018)
In 2015, Deloitte expected 64 cents of every dollar from in-store sales to be influenced by the internet that year. Over two years later and the impact of digital media on the path-to-purchase continues to evolve, with slightly different paths when it comes to purchasing from a brick and mortar location vs. a service area business.

10. Google Officially Launches New GMB Agency Dashboard (June 7, 2018)
This week Google announced the release of its highly anticipated Agency Dashboard, which was introduced by the company last month at the Local Search Association’s LSA18 event in Chicago. The new dashboard is intended to help agencies manage numerous Google My Business listings efficiently.

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