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May 15, 2009

Cebit Australia- Location, Location: Online Maps, Local Listing and Mobile Search

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Tapping into Mobile Search -Mr Gregan McMahon, Group Manager, Mobile Digital Development, Sensis Pty Ltd
There was some poor Twitter feedback on the previous Sensis presentation with it being compared to a sales pitch, Gregan promised this time it wouldn’t be the case.
Brief overview of the current mobile search landscape:
• Mobile search is more than web search on a mobile
• Usage approaching the tipping point
• Previous inhibitors falling away
• Smartphone revolution
• “open web”- but optimisation still critical
Mobile builds bridges between the digital and the physical, it allows search to be carried around by the user. Since July 1st 2008, 3,500,000 links have been embedded in yellow pages text messages. It’s not about new media for new media sake; rather it allows great integration and enables a plethora of information at the users’ fingertips.
Sensis mobile search highlights:
• Used 1.8 million times per month
• Represents 8% of total Sensis page views
• Avg 3.5 million searches per month
• Visits tripled in 2008 (222%)
Five ways to harness mobile search:
• Remember-one size doesn’t fit all
• Find aggregation points
• Optimise UX for mobile
• Don’t forget the basics
• Be prepared to learn
As promised this was most definitely not a sales pitch, some good basics for mobile search optimisation and some great stats from Sensis to back up their methodologies and tips that they presented.

Local Search – How to Leverage the Consumer Uptake in Location-Based Services, Peter Crowe, Chief Executive Officer, Quotify

Why bother? Customers are buying local. Customers are supporting local. Customers are engaging with local media and local customers deliver higher profits. Local search is growing at a rapid rate. The Google ten pack is becoming more and more visible. [Ok encase your like me and weren’t sure exactly what the ’10 pack’ is (after all most of my fav drinks come in either 6 or 12 packs…), it is the list of 10 search results located next to a map on localised search queries at the top of the SERPs. – Kate] It occupies key real-estate, consumer queries increasingly contain location and search engine are increasingly aware of your location. 40% of queries used in a search engine have location based keywords in them. Analysts think that by this time next year, Google will achieve 1 billion dollars in revenue in Australia. Customer ratings are very powerful, 84% of online customers say online evaluations have influenced their purchase decisions. 66% of respondents checked some kind of online review forum when looking to purchase a product/brand
Getting the basics of local listing right:
• Make sure all your locations are listed with Google/Yellow/True Local
• Identify and update any relevant vertical directories
• Create a content page for every branch location on your website
• Develop an inbound link strategy around the location page
• Don’t forget regions i.e. inner west, north shore
• Standardise your location data
Some good technical points made on local business as well as a high level review on converting customers through pipeline management and further using the IVR and leveraging SMS in the pipeline.

Local Search and Online Maps – Super Power Business Platform, John Allan, Chief Executive Officer, truelocal.com.au

John started up by bringing up a great statistic that broadband penetration is currently at 95% for the demographic 35-49, which is also the highest demographic of internet usage. The 25-34 year olds have the greatest frequency of internet usage. People with above average income are still the greatest uses of the internet in Australia. On average, John explains that 80% of online reviews are positive and 20% are negative in Australia.
Local is about disaggregation and narrowing choice. Yelp.com is one of the sites that is doing this well, they have such strength with regard to consumer review; when the consumers on Yelp turn on a business , that business often goes under. From 2004 the highest growth in the local space is whereis.com.au, which has had massive growth and is the market leader. Many apps in the iPhone store have high take up but low usage.
5 Tips for SME’s
• Review your advertising activity
• Go for the free kicks i.e. Google, online directories, Facebook etc
• Upload as much content as you can
• Make sure your listings stand out from the competition i.e. well positioned or eye catching
• Read your reports
I enjoyed this presentation, once again great useful stats and good theories and suggestions on the use of local and how it relates to the purchase decision making process.

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