Category Archives: Local

Increase My Click Through for Local Search Listings

I built my Hyp3rL0cal directory a month ago and I submitted to the CityGrid partner account management team for review. I want to be treated like any other developer, so I understand how to use the CityGrid API places and advertising API properly, and give feedback when things don’t work or make sense.

One of the first items I’m working on is enhancing my local search listings page with the CityGrid Custom Ads API. The CityGrid partner account management team said:

To increase your click through rate for business listings which are advertisers, we strongly advise you to integrate our Custom Ads API and display these listings at the top of your search results page. You can view an example of how the Custom Ads API is implemented on Citysearch’s Search Results Page in the 4th screenshot under 3.6 Places that Pay here.

So I added a method to the CityGrid Advertising PHP Class I wrote for making calls to the Custom Ads API. The API call returns back XML or JSON parts and pieces of a local ad I can list at the top of the search listings page.

I’m able to format the advertising to appear with my CSS styling, and I used the image, name, tagline, description and address if they are available, and provide a link to the advertising destination URL.

I like the way I’m able to blend the custom ads into my local search listings. It definitely seems like users are more likely to click through when presented with a sponsored link that is relevant to their local search.  I’m working more on how to lay out the reviews, ratings and offers part of my local sponsored listings next.

The Local Merchant: Inside the Minds and Motivations of the Business Owners Driving a $43 Billion Advertising Market

The awesome hyperlocal blog, Street Fight has produced a new hyperlocal marketing report called, “The Local Merchant: Inside the Minds and Motivations of the Business Owners Driving a $43 Billion Advertising Market.

The 48-page report contains:

  • Data from hyperlocal merchants and other sources
  • Information about how to use hyperlocal marketing channels effectively
  • Best practices for marketing to local merchants
  • Case studies of hyperlocal marketing campaigns
  • Reviews of platform pitches

Key findings are:

  • Low costs, especially upfront, reign supreme for merchants still moving into this sector
  • A significant learning curve about the the technologies and services exists among a large portion of merchants
  • It is unclear to many whether spending on hyperlocal should be viewed as a marketing expense or as means to direct ROI
  • LBS and hyperlocal sites are more effective marketing channels than traditional daily deals within the last mile
  • Health and personal care sectors are best suited to daily deals, while restaurants find more success in LBS

“The Local Merchant” holds lessons and data for companies marketing to local merchants and for anyone looking to better understand this dynamic area — advertisers of all sizes; media companies and technology companies who have local as a focus; investors who want to better understand the customers of the companies they invest in; and the hyperlocal services and platforms who are pounding the street every day for this business.

You can get the report on the Street Fight web site for $349.

What is Social in Local, Mobile, Social?

I am working to define a CityGrid Local, Mobile, Social stack, to help CityGrid developers more efficiently build web and mobile apps. This definition will contain APIs, tools, platforms and other data sets that can be used along with CityGrid Places, Offers, Reviews and Advertising.

I’m working my way through a bunch of tools and APIs for the local and mobile portion of the stack, but I find myself spinning when I’m trying to define the “social”. Obviously providing information on using the primary social networks in your apps is important:

But where do we go next with social in our local mobile applications? We can find our friends, we can check-in and socially share what we are doing in our every day, local lives–but it seems like there is more that I’m missing.

I have some rough ideas of what could be next for social, but I’d like to solicit thoughts from you developers regarding what is next, when it comes to making your local, mobile apps social. What are you doing in your apps? What do you see others doing?  Ping me @citygridapiteam with your ideas.