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Localeze’s Future with Moz Local

Localeze’s Future with Moz Local

I received an email from a fellow Local SEO a few days ago asking me my thoughts on Moz Local. My first thought was, “I’ve never heard of Moz Local”.

I head on over to the Google machine and check out the first listing I see which is from the Moz Blog.

Apparent, David Mihm and Moz have been hard at work fixing some of the most glaring issues with Local SEO, namely having to register your business or a client’s business with the 3 longstanding, major data aggregators InfoUSA (Infogroup), Acxiom, & Localeze separately.

Moz Local fixes this by giving you one platform to manage your data with all three of the major data aggregators along with Factual and Foursquare which they consider as 2 other major data aggregators. The product also has a few other interesting tools but the ability to submit to the major data aggregators simultaneously is arguably its major draw.

That’s a pretty cool product. One that I am definitely interested in.



Being well versed with Localeze and actually in the middle of trying to start reselling Localeze’s premium product myself (which they now call “True Identity“) to other Local SEO’s, I was more than a little surprised that Localeze went along with such a proposal.

I later reasoned that there was no way Moz was tapping into Localeze’s premium product. Localeze must have allowed them to tap into the free product API.

I called my Localeze rep to check in and what she told me really floored me.

Moz Local’s product includes the premium Localeze product.

Why did this surprise me? For a few reasons.

One, Localeze sells their premium product for $300 a shot. That’s a huge discount from $300 to Moz Local’s $49.

However, as we know bulk can certainly make up for almost anything, see Sam’s Club. Localeze will actually give you a bulk discount if you will sign a contract with them and pay an upfront fee. They’ll discount you down to a very affordable price if you have enough volume. So, that’s not initially surprising.

What is surprising is Moz Local’s own rate of $49. Even at Localeze’s lowest quoted price (to me), Moz Local still beats it (although just barely) AND Moz Local also packs in InfoUSA & Acxiom as earlier mentioned.

This just doesn’t make sense on so many levels.


Localeze’s Product Future

My first thought in all of this is that Localeze has seriously undermined their premium product. I highly doubt they had much sales coming in from the one off local businesses that were willing to pay $300 a year. I imagine they had a few but that couldn’t have been their main sales strategy.

Their main strategy had to be on the reliance of the Local SEO community knowing and understanding Localeze’s value to their Local SEO campaigns and success. This is where the contract pricing came in with a relatively hefty up front cost. However, the Moz Local price point has made Localeze’s contracts futile. The Moz Local price point is lower, doesn’t have a contract, doesn’t have up front pricing, and provides more bang for your buck with the other data listers.

There is seemingly zero advantages toward being a Localeze reseller at this point not to mention steep downsides.

So what’s the future here? Why is Localeze undermining their entire pricing structure for their premium product? What is Localeze’s thought process?


Sales Game

One explanation is that Localeze may be having sales issues. Whether it’s volume, staffing, or something else, this would explain a lot.

If volume is an issue, Moz’s branding solves a lot of that, especially with David Mihm’s sway and brand in the Local SEO world.

Localeze is also only one of Neustar’s products. Neustar may see the Localeze product under performing and plan on downsizing and streamlining the Localeze department down to just a few people. This would make sense as Moz Local will drive all of the sales for Localeze and all they would really need at that point is probably 1 support and a few techs. And realistically, they probably wouldn’t even need a dedicated tech at all.

Downsizing & streamlining. That’s an easy way to make a languishing product profitable.


Long Term

While Localeze may be having sales issues, this could just potentially be a branding issue. An interesting and highly unlikely theory, Localeze could cash in on Moz’s enviable branding machine and when Moz’s contract comes due, simply refuse to renew it and revert back to their old pricing structure and keep up their own branding. Or, Localeze could negotiate a higher price that makes more sense for them.

However, I would imagine crossing a company like Moz wouldn’t bode well for business as they are the “good son” of the SEO world.


Other Considerations – Profit Margin

I also am very curious about Moz’s profit margin on this. For them to make money off of a $49 product, your margins have to be pretty decent or you have to have massive volume to make up for it. While Moz can draw a lot of volume, I’m not sure there’s enough volume in the Local SEO world to go around and make this work financially. But obviously Moz has done their homework and I’m sure feel confident in it. That means, in my opinion, Localeze must be selling at pennies on the dollar.

If Localeze really is selling razor thin, consider what that means in conjunction with Moz Local’s attractive $49 price undermining Localeze’s entire pricing structure. Localeze has two audiences, the local business owner and the local SEO agency.

If I’m a local business owner, I’m saving $250 dollars by using Moz Local (not to mention all the other awesome features).

If I’m a local SEO agency, why would I sign a binding contract, pay an upfront fee AND pay essentially the same price for less product?


What I Do Know

At the end of the day, there are a lot of unknowns in this deal. But there is one thing I do know:

I’ve already cancelled my Localeze reseller contract.


Fantastic Local Business Opportunity

This opportunity has expired. Thank you for all that participated!

We’ve been privileged enough here at Tutelary Marketing to get in on a limited time deal for local businesses and we’re passing on the good news (and savings). If you’re a local business and you want to dominate Google, read on! Choose the statement that best applies to you below so that you can best understand what is being offered to you.

Choose Which Statement Best Applies to You:

“I know about local SEO. I know what local search directories are. I know who Localeze is and what they do for my local SEO ranking.”


“I have little to no understanding of SEO or local SEO. I have little to no knowledge of local search directories or what they can do for my local business. I have no clue who Localeze is or what they can do for me on Google.”

Position 1:

“I know about local SEO. I know what search directories are. I know who Localeze is and what they do for my local SEO ranking.”

The Deal:

Tutelary Marketing is going to become a channel partner with Localeze and because of this, the normal listing service they provide for local businesses that costs $297 for a year (around $25 a month) is only going to cost us $100 a year ($8.33 a month). We’re passing this on and not marking up the cost to local businesses that are interested. Why? Honestly, because there is a steep initial cost to becoming a channel partner and we want to recoup that cost. So, we feel like it’s a fair trade. We get the listings at $100 a piece, you get a phenomenal deal (66% off) and we get to recoup a business cost.

Some people are going to ask why we don’t mark the cost up and make some money off this deal due to the fact that it’s already incredibly cheap. As a business owner myself, I’m just not too interested in that. I’m happy just to recoup our cost, even though we may lose a bit of money due to the time it takes us to set it up for you. But mostly, I just like passing on a good deal. It makes me feel good.

So, if you want to jump on this, we have 7 spots left. Call us to reserve your spot. But make sure you do it quick. After the 7 spots are taken, this deal will be closed off.

You can learn more about the product at Localeze.

Position 2:

“I have no idea who Localeze is or what they do. I don’t know the first thing about Google. I have no idea what SEO stands for. I do not know the first thing about how to market my local business on Google.”

Short Version:

To rank well on Google, you need to have your business information all over the internet so that Google can pick it up. The more places your business information can be found, the higher you will rank. Localeze is the most powerful tool to make this happen. Localeze sends out your business information all over the internet and can easily be the difference between a top ranking or obscurity on Google.

Normally, Localeze is going to charge you $297 a year to use their service. However, for a limited time you can go through Tutelary Marketing to secure that service from Localeze for $100 ($8.33 a month) for one year.

Why are we doing this? Frankly, because our deal with Localeze costs us a good amount of money up front. The best way to recoup this expense is to sell the spots we don’t need. In our deal we were allotted a certain amount of spots at a certain price. Each spot cost us $100. Why aren’t we marking them up? Because we don’t want to take a month (or longer) to recoup this cost, we want to get rid of them now and $100 is going to sell more quickly than $150 or $200. That’s just the brutally honest truth from me directly to you.

So, we have 7 spots left for this deal out of our original 15. It will be first come first serve. The last 7 companies to put down their $100 deposit will be the last 7 companies that we will add to the first 8. After that, the deal will be closed.

If you are interested, we highly recommend you read the longer version below to get a better grasp on what is being offered and what exactly it will do for your local business.

Long Version:

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Google is a search engine. Therefore, SEO is the process of optimizing your local business to appear high on Google search results. For example, if you’re a dentist in Nashville, you want to show up #1 when someone types in “dentist Nashville” into Google. If you’re an auto repair shop in Boise, you want to show up #1 when someone types in “auto repair shop Boise”.

Why Google?

Why do you want to show up at the top of Google search results? Because 9 out of 10 people when looking for a local product or service use a search engine (Google, Yahoo, or Bing) to find it. No one uses the phone book anymore to find local businesses, they use Google. People are even starting to rely on word of mouth less these days because Google provides reviews of a business for you. 72% of people trust an anonymous review just as much as if they knew the person and Google gives them the ability to instantaneously find reviews on a local business versus the customer taking the time to call or text someone they know to ask for a recommendation. SEO absolutely and unequivocally reaches the most amount of people when it comes to local business marketing. That’s why you want to optimize for Google.

Where Do I Start?

So, how do you start ranking on Google? Google wants to see you optimize the three pieces of internet property that your business has: your website, your Google+ Local page, and your local search directory information.

We are only going to focus on search directory information in this post as it is relative to the deal we’re offering. If you’re interested in how to optimize your website or Google+ Local page for local SEO, you can find all the information you need by doing a quick Google search on the subject.


Local Search Directory Information

So, what are local search directories? Local search directories are also called IYP’s (Internet Yellow Pages). You can understand why, because they are literally just digital versions of the old yellow page phone books. However, unlike the telephone books which were few in number, there are literally hundreds of IYP’s on the internet. You’ve probably heard of the more popular ones such as CitySearch, Yelp, Judy’s Book, Angie’s List, etc. Google wants to see your information on all these local search directories (or IYP’s). Not only do they want to see your information out there but they want to see it in a consistent format. This means that your business name, address, and telephone number are always the exact same across all the local search directories. This is called your NAP (name, address, telephone number). If your NAP is consistent across the board, Google will rank you higher.

The Methods

Now, you can get your information to these hundreds of search directories a few different ways. The first way is to just go to each search directory individually and submit your information. This can take between 15-45 minutes per directory depending on how thorough you want to be with your information (including coupons, photos, descriptions, etc.). As we said, there are hundreds of directories out there. As you can see, this can be extremely time consuming. Most businesses just make this a gradual process and try to gradually cover as many local search directories as they can in a year or so.

However, there is another option and luckily, this option is a whole lot easier. You see, these local search directories we’ve been talking about don’t rely just on local businesses (like you) to submit their business information to them. If they did, their databases wouldn’t have even 10% of the amount of business listings that they have. No, what these search directories do is BUY local business information (NAP) from local business data aggregators. If there were only a way to to get your information on these local business data aggregators, then you could submit your information to them and sit back while it populates across all of the local business directories without you having to do so much as lift a finger. I think you know what I’m about to say next. There is a way to do this and yes, it is as easy as advertised.

Submitting to the Local Business Data Aggregators

How do you do this? Well, fortunately there are only three major data aggregators out there: InfoUSA, Acxiom, and Localeze. You just submit your business to all three and you’re in good shape for the most part.

InfoUSA is free to submit to. Acxiom is a bit complicated to submit to but it’s going to cost you between $50-$75 for a full year no matter how you do it. However, the real jewel, Localeze, is going to cost you a whopping $297 for a full year. I’m sure that you feel exactly the same way about that as I do. That’s way too expensive for the ordinary local business.

Luckily, for a select few there is a way around that. Tutelary Marketing has a temporary deal with Localeze where the same package that costs $297 a year normally is only going to cost you $100 ($8.33 a month) a year through Tutelary!

What’s the Catch?

Why are we doing this? Frankly, because our deal with Localeze costs us a good amount of money up front. The best way to recoup this expense is to sell the spots we don’t need. In our deal we were allotted a certain amount of spots at a certain price. Each spot cost us $100. Why aren’t we marking them up? Because we don’t want to take a month (or longer) to recoup this cost, we want to get rid of them now and $100 is going to sell more quickly than $150 or $200. That’s just the brutally honest truth from me directly to you.

So, now that you know what’s going on, you need to take advantage. Localeze submission is a staple of our Local Search Solution and every local business with Tutelary Marketing is submitted to Localeze as one of our first priorities. Localeze is an absolute necessity if you want to dominate Google.

You can learn more about the product we’re talking about at Localeze.

There is limited space available as we mentioned. In fact, we only have 7 spots left out of the original 15. So, the first 7 to get in contact with us and put down their payment will be the 7 we go with.

If this offer doesn’t interest you, maybe it will interest a fellow local business owner you know. Please email this page to them and give them a fair chance to dominate Google as well.

The Complete Website Purchase Guide for the Local Business Owner

Purchasing a website is a big deal. Once you have a website, it is in the best interest of your business to stick with that particular website. So, you need to carefully choose a website company that you feel comfortable being with for the long haul. If you pick the wrong company, they can make your life a nightmare. I have two personal stories for you that drive home that point.

The AT&T (Corporate) Horror Story

I have a client who paid over $1,000 each year for his website to AT&T. Each. Year. Now, you may think that’s not such a big deal and even now you are in the exact same process. If you are, let me be clear here: you are being bamboozled. My client, just like you, was paying over $1,000 each year to rent a website when he could spend that much once and OWN his own website! When I mentioned this to him, you can imagine his surprise and delight at first, and then his outrage later on that he had been paying more money to rent a website than he would have had to pay to own a website outright. He immediately wanted to switch to our website services and so we did.

However, it wasn’t that simple. AT&T owned his website, his content, and his domain name. To my great surprise, they were going to release the domain name to us (in my experience this is rare) but we had to apply for a domain name transfer. The transfer took over a week, which meant his website was down for that period of time. Now, this client through his own hard work and through my help as well ranks incredibly well on Google and other search engines and I think he would tell you that the majority of his business come from search engines. That means, for a whole week, he lost out on probably thousands of dollars, maybe even tens of thousands of dollars, all because he had to switch website companies. And in his case, he was extremely lucky. The process could have taken even longer or they could have held onto his domain name. See, most companies that rent websites will not give you your domain name. Had we not been able to secure it, he would have lost ALL of his ranking completely, crippling his main source of revenue. Are you starting to see how important it is to make sure you pick the right company right off the bat?

The Local Guy

The last story was a story that is honestly fueled by corporate greed, in my opinion. This story, however, is about the local website guy. The guy who you may know of through a friend of a friend, or a family member, who may or may not have a legitimate business. The guy who can put your company in a bind, QUICK.

I have a client who went through a local website guy and the local website guy actually owned his own company. The relationship was amicable for awhile but then they started to notice severe lags between times when changes were requested and when those same changes were completed. They also started to notice their website would be down every once in awhile. This was particularly tough on them because they ranked #1 for every major keyword on Google in their respective business market. So, when customers were searching for them and found them, their website was down. Not only were they not able to capitalize on those potential customers but it ruined their brand image. If your website is down, potential customers relate that to the quality of your business (whether right or wrong). If your website is down, it says something about you. So, not only was he costing them business by turning away potential customers, he was ruining their image as a quality business as well.

Well, my client decided enough was enough and wanted to switch companies. So, I asked them whether they owned their website, content, and domain name. They had no clue. When I took a look at it, I was doubtful that they owned any of their website, content, or domain name. It was even more doubtful that even if they did own the website, whether they could get it from him in the first place considering his aversion to communication. In fact, my client was so tired of this local website guy that she just wanted to buy a whole new domain, content, and everything, costing her a lot of money. However, I explained to her that her domain name was worth thousands of dollars because of all the work we had done to it. She was so fed up with him, that for a time she didn’t even care, she was willing to take the hit and move on. But, knowing how valuable the domain name was, I convinced her to make an attempt to get it from him.

We’re currently still in the process of trying to obtain the domain name. The local website guy registered the domain name under his own personal name which means that legally, the domain name is his. He owes them no legal right to the domain name that I would conservatively estimate at being worth between $3,000 – $5,000 because of its ability to bring in new business and the amount of money we’ve spent on building it up in the Google rankings. At this point, losing that domain name would be devistating to her business. I hope this starts to shape how important choosing the right company is.

How To Avoid a Website Story Worthy of This Post:

So, how can you avoid being swindled? How do you make sure you choose a company that is going to not only provide you with an excellent service but also the ability to walk away with everything intact if need be? You need to find a company that has a website service with these 5 traits: Practicality, Functionality, Flexibility, Beautiful Design, and an excellent SEO service.


Strangely enough, practicality put me on the path toward writing this blog today. As an SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) I work a lot with my clients’ websites. There are the rare companies that make this easy on me and there are the all too common companies that make this extremely difficult. In this particular instance, all I needed were a few simple changes, changes that take me 5 minutes to make on any website that our company creates and changes that would only take 10-15 minutes for my clients to make to their own website themselves (our service is so simple, our clients can make changes to their websites on their own). It took this particular company over 30 minutes just to tell me not only could I not make these changes myself but they couldn’t either, that they would need to put in a support request to the coders to make the changes. By the way, 20 of those 30 minutes were spent on hold or calling them back because they dropped my call twice. This is the same company that just a few months ago took so long to make a few simple changes I requested that I was able to get my client their website service for free for two months.

The Issue: I say all this to make a point: find a practical website company. A website company that has a system where you can easily make the changes yourself and the company has a great response time of between 24 – 48 hours for more complicated changes or changes you don’t have time to make.

The Solution: Ask the company for a tour of the system they use to make changes. Note how user friendly it is. If they don’t have a tour, ask if they have a mock website for you to play around with.


The Issue: The website needs to function well. It needs to have a 99% uptime, load pages fast, etc. Every company is going to claim that they offer this as it is very basic. However, you would be surprised at how many companies manage this poorly.

The Solution: Ask for contact information to references. Ask if these references receive any financial benefit for being a reference. If they do, ask for the contact information of a reference from someone who doesn’t. If they won’t provide one, you can find one. Almost every company puts a link to their own site on the websites they design. Just Google the website company name and snoop around. Find a business that uses them and call that business.


The Issue: This may be the biggest trait. Your website company should be flexible. They should allow you domain name and content control. Possible even hosting control as well. This allows you to own everything associated with your website and if the relationship heads south quick, you retain control of your website.

The Solution: Tell the company you will be purchasing or have purchased your own domain name and hosting. Ask if they will be able to accomodate this. If they won’t allow you to own your own domain name, that is a red flag. However, if the hosting is an issue, you’ll need to make your own decision on that. If you really like the company besides this one fact, I wouldn’t let it stop me. Just make sure it’s understood that you own everything having to do with the website. Content and domain name.

Beautiful Design:

The Issue: I worked for a guy once that had the first 30 minutes of every single day dedicated to straightening our showroom because he knew that if the showroom was unkempt, no one would stick around long enough to buy anything. Your website is your online showroom. If the design of your website looks terrible, just like in a real showroom, customers won’t stick around. Beautiful and attractive website design is of paramount importance.

The Solution: Take a look at the websites in your industry and location. Then, take a look at the websites in your industry in a much more populated location. These websites will probably be on the cutting edge and may represent something you want to shoot for. It might be good for business to have a website that blows everyone else away but also works for your respective niche. Finally, you should have a good picture of what you want and then see if the company provides what you’re looking for. You can ask to see samples of their other websites.

SEO Service:

The Issue: Your website is a 24/7 salesman. It’s never late, takes breaks or vacations, or calls in sick. It works all day, every day and never needs to be managed, encouraged, or motivated. It is your single most profitable sales tool, period…IF you rank well on Google. That’s what SEO does. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO optimizes your website to show up as high as possible on Google which gets you the attention of potential customers. In my opinion, if you’re not ranking on Google, you’re wasting money on a website. When people are looking for a local service or product, 9 out of 10 will use a search engine to find it. You do the math.

The Solution: Just as with Functionality, go through the reference process. You might not want to ask for references from the company on this one. Do the legwork to find your own references. When it comes to SEO, the company will definitely put their best foot forward. You can also ask to see the search engine ranking reports that they give their clients, something they should be doing. If they’re not doing this, that’s a red flag. What company doesn’t report to their clients their results?


If you can find a company that offers the five traits above, you’ve found a winner. Stick with them, treat them well, and make sure they stay in business. Refer them out and get them more customers and make sure they have a referral program too. You brought them money, you should get a cut as well.

Companies We Recommend:

This is pretty straightforward, we recommend Tutelary Marketing. Everything we just described and told you to look for in a company, we have..and more. Check out our website services and watch the video on the page to learn more.

Always Brand Yourself

“Shoulda-coulda-woulda.” Man, did I mess up. Early in my entrepreneurial career, I wasn’t accustomed to taking advantage of golden opportunities when they were given to me. Learn from my mistakes.


Scene: The Local Electrical Store

One day, I realized I was going to need an ethernet cord. You know, one of those pesky things that plugs into the back of your desktop computer and provides you with internet if you weren’t cool enough to have a wifi-card. I was cool, I just didn’t have a wifi-card, okay? Anyways, I realized I was going to need a pretty long one as my roommate had conveniently placed our router almost as far away from my desktop in our house as possible. So, I called up a local electrical store for a 50ft investment.

Let me interject this for a moment. Local electrical stores are awesome. I bought an ethernet cord for about 70% less (if I remember correctly) than what Lowes, Home Depot or even Wal-mart would have charged me. Wal-mart actually doesn’t sell them that long obviously but if I bought all 10 ft ethernet cords, became an expert electrician overnight and was able to cut and connect them all…well you get my point.The fact is that your local electrician store is a magical emporium with goodies unimaginable. Give it a look-see.

Anyways, the electrician priced me for a 50ft cord at a great price, so I told him to hold it for me. I head on over there and the electrician takes me to the rack with a ladder to grab it. He climbs up and says, “Uh oh”. I’m thinking he’s about to fall so I brace the ladder. After seemingly no impact, I look up and he tells me, “Apparently, I don’t have one. Since I told you I did, tell you what, I’ll just sell you the 100ft at the same price.” Bingo!


He’s a frugal, frugal man

As a Mackens, the scent of righteous savings overwhelms me. I’m about to sweep up a killer steal! But then I start to feel bad. If I were this guy, in this economy, I would hate taking a loss on something like that, especially right now. However, 100ft is longer than I need and I don’t want to pay more or go anywhere else, I’m already here and he did tell me he had it in stock.

We stride on over to the register and I tell him, “Hey man, tell you what. How much did it cost you to bring that thing in? I’ll pay the cost that way you don’t have a loss.” I don’t know if the smile that came out of him was because I just dropped a super sick rhyme and he appreciates art when he sees it or because I was meeting him in the middle and saving his company money a good bit of change (I bet it was my rhyming skills, I can turn a phrase when called on). No matter the reason, he was very grateful.


Always Keep A Weather Eye

We idled in the store a bit, chit chatted and then I went on my way. I arrived at my house, plugged up my computer and proceeded to draw up what today is Tutelary Marketing. Great story, right?


I had created a great situation where my true colors as a person had shown. I created a beautful moment where someone saw me for who I was and isn’t that what we’re always trying to do, if we’re honest people anyway? That was a perfect opportunity for me to hand him my card, talk a brief smidgeon about what I do and sear my company into his memory by branding.

Another aside: branding is all too often associated with manipulation. People want to brand their company as something they’re really not and because of that, the branding fails. Customers will always be able to tell a fake after they’ve interacted with you and trust me, there’s nothing more a customer hates than a fake company. They will quit your product and then trample on it by telling anyone and everyone that will listen about you and do just about everything short of burning down your building. Sure, you may fool some people but they’re the minority. The majority will find you out and the majority will root you out. Become what you want to brand yourself as, then brand.

Back to the story. That was a missed chance to really cement myself in this person’s mind as a quality company. Through my actions, I showed him my integrity as a person, my true self and therefore, should have associated those values with my company through branding.

You may think that was just one opportunity Josh, don’t beat yourself up. You’re right. I shed a tear when I realized my mistake and then I moved on. No, really though, it’s not a huge deal but it’s a lesson you can learn from. Carry business cards with you always (a simple act we seem, to our detriment, to neglect) and when you have a positive experience with someone and show your true self and your character, do yourself and that person a favor and brand. It doesn’t need to be a targeted consumer either. Consumers talk, word of mouth (something I know you’ve never heard of), and it will move around.

Always be looking for these opportunities, they’re everywhere. But don’t just start doing nice things to brand yourself (if you’re considering this, read the aside on branding again and digest it this time). As mentioned previously, you’ll be found out and will be in worse shape than before. Work on your charatcer, yourself as a person, and let that reflect in how you treat people and do business. Like I said, it will get around.

The Google Places Transition to Google+ Local

The Google Places to Google+ Local Transition

Well, here it is. The blog I’ve been telling you guys I would be writing on the changes that have happened in the last week and a half at Google that is going to seriously impact Local SEO.

Now, most of you that read my blog are involved in some type of local business and as you know, our aim with the Tutelary blog is to keep you updated on trends in marketing, especially in internet marketing as those changes seem to be the ones that happen to most frequently and can also be the most confusing. With that being said, I am going to keep this pretty short, basic and to the point with a more in depth analysis coming later.

What is Google Places and why do I care about the transition?

Some of you reading this know what Google Places is and some don’t. As a quick explanation, Google Places is simply the platform that Google used up until a few weeks ago which allowed local business owners to control how their business appeared to the public on Google search. So, when someone searched for a service in a specific area, ie “Chiropractor Nashville” more than likely the results Google would return would be a “Local Google Result” (formerly a Google Places result). They look distinctly different than regular search results on Google:

Google+ Local vs a Natural Google listing

Local Google results are differentiable from regular Google listings by the contact information right in the search results themselves along with other information such as how many Google reviews the company had and the quality of those reviews. Google Places also allowed the business to extend offers to their customers, post pictures and videos (among other features) and also had a place for their customers to leave reviews and for the busines to reply to those reviews, giving the business an effective (albeit limited) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.

On May 30th, Google announced the transition from Google Places to Google+ Local as their platform for local search. Why is this important for the local business owner? The biggest reason is because 9 out of 10 people, when looking for a local product or service, use a search engine to find it and most people using a search engine use Google. So, when Google switches interfacing platforms for their local search, it’s a big deal.


What has changed?


The Google+ Local page for your business has replaced the Google Places page. Your Google+ Local page is what customers will be seeing from now on when they click on reviews about your business from the Google search results.

Lots of people are asking, “What is difference between Google+ Local and Google Places?” Google Places was a pretty static marketing tool. There wasn’t really any interaction beyond being able to respond to reviews your customers left. Consumers just used Google search, found your local listing, read reviews, went to your website, or called you and that was the extent of your interaction. When you take a tool like that and switch it over to a social networking platform (which is what Google+ is) then you get Google Places meets Facebook and that fusion birthed Google+ Local.


Search Engine Optimization has now finally met Social Media in full. They are no longer disconnected entities for local businesses but have become a pair. This transition from Google Places to Google+ Local marks the detachment from static Search Engine Marketing, where owners just focused on gaining a top result on Google search results and fostering online traffic to their website or Google Places page. Now, you’re going to not only need to focus on a top result but social interaction as well. Google+ Local, because it is a social network, will give you plenty of tools do that.

Next steps for local businesses

As a local business owner, what do you need to do about this shift?

The Google Places to Google+ Local transition is in the early stage. The shift is cosmetic in the first stage. The middle and later stages (maybe only a few days away) will see a heavy focus on the functional which will change Local SEO. However, there are a few things you can do now to be caught up and ready for the change.

If you have never claimed your Google Places page, I suggest you go ahead and claim your Google+ Local page now. Search for your business name and location in Google and your Google+ Local listing should come up in the search results. Click “Google Reviews” or “Google+ page” and you’ll be taken to your Google+ Local page. I think you have to sign up for Google+ in order to claim the listing but I don’t know that for sure.

Due to the speaking seminar I am committed to, I got a little behind on the changes for my taste. It took me 3-4 hours to read everything I wanted to read and catch up to a point where I feel more or less comfortable. If I could go back, I would digest 1-2 pieces on the subject a day instead of all at one time. I say this so that you can benefit from my experience. Don’t wait 6 weeks from now when the completed Google+ Local is rolled out and you have a huge learning curve. Go to this form and fill it out. It will keep you informed on changes straight from Google. Also, follow our blog and we’ll update changes as they come out that you need to be aware of.

Otherwise, there isn’t much else to do yet. The change right now is more of a cosmetic change as I said but the infrastructure change is coming. Make sure you are prepared.

Stay tuned to the blog as we will be providing updates as well as insights into the present and future of Google+ Local and Local SEO.

Why You Need Social Media

You Need Social Media

Small business companies are trying to make sense of social media and online marketing trends that appeals to the consumer in different faucets. This whole “FackTwitLink” craze has generated a hot bed of marketing tactics that could help bring good business to great business in a matter of no time.

There are many questions that need answers to suitably help the old fashion small business owners:

– ”Would developing a strategy first before engaging be effective?”

– “How have you incorporated social media into your business processes?”

– “What are you doing to create more sustainable social participation within your organization?”

Developing a contingent and supple strategy that considers business goals and the people to engage will help marketers identify the best mix of tactics for their social media marketing program. Here are a few thoughts to help answer those questions and to help lay a solid framework to construct a viable and profitable social media-marketing program.


Why have a Social Media Strategy to Begin With?

Social Media has made quite the talk in small business circles but that is not a justification for implementing it within your own company. I hope you hear your mother now, saying, “Well, if Johnny (another business) jumped off a bridge (still advertises in the Yellow Pages) does that mean you would?” Now, this analogy doesn’t follow hand in hand with jumping off a bridge. I think we both know that imminent and assured death is much different than advertising in the Yellow Pages (which still works for certain niche market companies but long ago ceased to justify the amount the majority of businesses spend on it) but you get my point.

Many small businesses implement some form of social media and it fails, wasting them money. In fact, I imagine it’s only a few years before people start writing articles about how bad Social Media really is. You shouldn’t listen to them either. Now with this being said, has that looming question mark popped up yet?

Social Media is an underrated tool and with the right hands mixed with the right understanding it could increase your ROI. I am advocating you understanding what SM does and how it fits into your sales process because, let’s face it, marketing exists to drive sales.


So, what does Social Media do exactly?

Social Media allows you to get right in front of your customers on a daily basis. It allows them to interact with you and gives you the opportunity to deeply imbed your image (branding) with them. SM has given you two major resources that were unavailable in the past: the ability to have a daily point of contact versus what use to be maybe two weeks or a month (depending on if they saw your advert or not) or maybe even longer, and an increased quality of interaction. You now have the ability to have a deep and lasting interaction with the customer (enough to make a sustained impression) versus low quality of interaction with them just glancing over your advert if they end up paying any attention to it all.


So, where does SM fit into your sales drivers?

Well, right now, Tutelary Marketing is on the verge of piloting a SM product so we’ve been doing quite a bit of brainstorming and research. Because of the nature of the SM platforms for business, we’ve come to the conclusion that SM is going to fit traditionally into your customer retention process more than any other segment. Due to the nature of the platforms, they do not make it as easy to interact with potential customers. Basically, they have to come to you and if potential customers don’t know you, how are they going to find you? However, your current customers know about you, will follow your SM and that is where the fruit lies. In fact, we believe that SM has the potential to absolutely BLOW AWAY any other type of retention marketing that you’ve ever used.

This is why you want to have a SM strategy. If you put it in the right place, where it belongs, it’s going to perform the way you’ve heard other small business owners rave and even exceed that hype. It’s all about putting the right tools in the proper place.


Things to consider initially about a Social Media strategy:

Goal Measurement

First, having some idea of what measurable goals and business outcomes you’re after is essential for planning resources, forecasting results & developing a vision (vision is very important, see the next topic). What exactly do you want out of this and how are you planning on tracking it? This is true with any kind of marketing and is certainly the case with social media.

Employee support is critical

You’re going to need the support of your employees on this one. SM is not one person’s job; it is a company-wide initiative and culture. Gaining consensus about social strategy and value within a small business could easily create a bottleneck. A vision based strategy that calls for experimentation with recursive enhancement in the context of overall approach, tactics, goals, audience and an effort to measure success is more likely to be implemented and gain support. Why? Because it allows the employees to own the process and reinvent it (pride of ownership). Do not force this on them. Actively involve them in the implementation and revision and above all, involve them in the fruits of success.


What’s the initial step?

Audience Construction

Building an audience is the initial phase for the SM savvy business. Populating your consumer-based platform where your customers begin to see the real value of the small business (and a firm that continues to interact) is the essential first step to generating that SM buzz for the business that is extremely valuable.

Next Steps

At this point, I would like to think you’re ready to kick off your Social Media campaign. So, where to now?

You need to continue to implement tactics that adhere to your Social Media goals. We talked earlier about customer retention being the main strength of SM but you need goals within it. What is your focus going to be? This should be determined by considering your consumer. Whether it’s “connecting with our customers on a personal level” or simply “building the sales pipeline”, grasping the audience preferences and behaviors will lead to the right tactical mix.

A note on the various SM platforms:

A majority of companies take the path of least maintenance and go for what is suggested to be the run of the mill set of social tools: Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube or LinkedIn without thinking through tactics. For example, one common question often that is thrown around is, “Is a LinkedIn group a better use of time and resources or a Google+ Profile?” What the marketer might want to retort is, “Where do social networking, microcontent and media sharing fit in the context of our social media goals as a marketing company?” Then do the research and execute a plan to determine which social networks or media sharing sites the target audience is a part of and contributing in. That extra credit assignment will help you cover the questions surrounding the standard framework of the social networks and where and why consumers spend their time.

Start by building community and relationships. Listen, respond and create value. Monitor and analyze for opportunities to implement social commerce aspects, but don’t push it.


A note on why is Social Media is so effective:

An imperative aspect that makes SM so effective is what critically acclaimed journalist and author, Malcolm Gladwell calls “the stickiness factor.” Gladwell, who conducts his research in the social sciences spectrum, analyzes the unique qualities of a message that compels it to “stick” in the brain of the consumer and influences the act of a behavior change. You’ve heard of it as branding. Branding is traditionally seen as more effective the more times the message is put to a consumer. Normally, you have a two-week to a month cycle on opportunities to brand, depending on your advert type and rotation and the consumer’s behavior. However, SM gives you the ability to brand EVERY, SINGLE, DAY. Mathematically, that’s a 1,400% to 3,000% increase in exposure. That’s serious branding and you can easily see why it may be worth the maximum of your advertising budget.



Social Media is a great tool in the right process of your business. In fact, anywhere that people spend time is a great avenue for reaching out to your customers. One of the main reasons SM is so effective is you can potentially reach your customer almost every day because that is where they spend their time. SM gives you that unique ability and because of that, everyone should consider SM as a main marketing strategy.


*If you want to consider Tutelary Marketing for your Social Marketing needs, we urge you to give us a call. We have a limited amount of spots left for our pilot program. Contact us today.