Local Google Advertising For Small Businesses

Everyone wants their company to Rank #1 in Google (or as close as humanly possible).What if you sell products or services LOCALLY?Would you want to field phone calls from a thousand miles (or more) away from your target demographic area? Would it do you much good to rank in Oklahoma if you only competed in Florida? There is such a thing as LOCAL Google search results. Before we get too carried away, be advised there are 3 parts to a Google search page and one of those is specifically local.- Anatomy of a SERP
- What is a serp? “Search Engine Results Page”. They are divided into 3 distinct sections.
- The Local Business Listings
- The Organic or Natural (main body of search listings)The Sponsored listings/ Paid listings/ Straight Advertising or in other words Google AdWords Number 3 can sometimes be split in 2 places: AdWords are always on the right side of a SERP, but depending on the volume of searches (and the volume of people paying to rank for a given keyword) sometimes sponsored listings are at the very top of a search result page. Google is far and away the largest search engine but not the only one on the planet that people use; Yahoo, Bing and AOL search, Ask.com, and every yellowpage clone I’ve seen lists the sponsored links prominently at the top before any eyes ever get to the main body of listings.Google shows different results to those out of town than they show to people locally (that includes you). Google can do this because they knows quite a bit about you, before you ever hit the “search” button. If someone is searching for X locally (and Google knows that hypothetical person is physically searching IN said locality) the Google Maps listings will display above the organic listings.If said person is searching for X product or service in a given location and they are NOT physically located within said locality, the local business listings (Google Maps) will show up in the middle of the organic listings.What you want to do as a business owner is to get your company website to rank in 2 or more of the 3 available slots. My research shows me that it seldom does a company good to rank in the organics if they are not ranking in the Google Maps. Similarly if you are found in the top of the Googlemaps but not in the top ten organic listings this can severely lessen the number of phone calls or inquires your advertising is attempting to receive.If you (or the SEO firm you contract with) manages to get your business in all 3 slots in a serp, that’s the brass ring of local Google advertising. Depending on the product/ service and the competition vying for those serp rankings, if you’re in all 3 spots of a serp, you are most likely to clean up. The reason is that your prospects are likely to assume that Google apparently thinks very highly of you if it lists you “everywhere”.For a fee, a competent search engine marketing firm can get your company listed prominently in 2 or more of those coveted Google segments. For a fee I’ll do it as well, but for free I’ll give you this much: Rename your website with the geographic area you wish to compete in and you’ll do much better than a competing website named something else.Hint: No one cares what your name is, I know you’re very proud of it, but trust me, the prospective clients you’re wooing care ONLY about 2 things: What they need and where they can get it.For example, I’m located in Maryland, so any client of mine who is paying me to rank statewide, will get a serise of blogs with Maryland in the title, in the domain name, in the opening paragraph of text and so on.

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The Fed moves up its timeline for rate hikes as inflation rises

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday considerably raised its expectations for inflation this year and brought forward the time frame on when it will next raise interest rates.

However, the central bank gave no indication as to when it will begin cutting back on its aggressive bond-buying program, though Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged that officials discussed the issue at the meeting.

“You can think of this meeting that we had as the ‘talking about talking about’ meeting,” Powell said in a phrase that recalled a statement he made a year ago that the Fed wasn’t “thinking about thinking about raising rates.”

As expected, the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee unanimously left its benchmark short-term borrowing rate anchored near zero. But officials indicated that rate hikes could come as soon as 2023, after saying in March that it saw no increases until at least 2024. The so-called dot plot of individual member expectations pointed to two hikes in 2023.

Though the Fed raised its headline inflation expectation to 3.4%, a full percentage point higher than the March projection, the post-meeting statement continued to say that inflation pressures are “transitory.” The raised expectations come amid the biggest rise in consumer prices in about 13 years.

“This is not what the market expected,” said James McCann, deputy chief economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “The Fed is now signaling that rates will need to rise sooner and faster, with their forecast suggesting two hikes in 2023. This change in stance jars a little with the Fed’s recent claims that the recent spike in inflation is temporary.”

Markets reacted to the Fed news, with stocks falling and government bond yields higher as investors anticipated tighter Fed policy ahead, including the likelihood that the bond purchases will slow as soon as this year.

“If you’re going to get two rate hikes in 2023, you have to start tapering fairly soon to reach that goal,” said Kathy Jones, head of fixed income at Charles Schwab. “It takes maybe 10 months to a year to taper at a moderate pace. Then you’re looking at we need to start tapering maybe later this year, and if the economy continues to run a little bit hot, rate hikes sooner rather than later.”

Even with the raised forecast for this year, the committee still sees inflation trending to its 2% goal over the long run.

“Our expectation is these high inflation readings now will abate,” Powell said at his post-meeting news conference.

Powell also cautioned about reading too much into the dot-plot, saying it is “not a great forecaster of future rate moves. “Lift-off is well into the future,” he said.

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Bitcoin plunges 30% to $30,000 at one point in wild session, recovers somewhat to $38,000

plunged 30% to near $30,000 at one point on Wednesday, continuing a major sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets that began a week ago.

The digital currency hit as low as $30,001.51 as the selling intensified Wednesday before paring some of those losses. The cryptocurrency hasn’t traded at those levels since late January.

Bitcoin rebounded as the day went on, was down 12% to about $38,205.49 shortly after 3 p.m. ET. At its intraday low, the cryptocurrency’s loss for the past week was more than 40%.

The sharp drop means bitcoin had temporarily erased all its gains following Tesla’s announcement that it would purchase $1.5 billion worth of the cryptocurrency. It was also down more than 50% since hitting a record high of $64,829 in mid-April.

Other cryptocurrencies also plunged on Wednesday. Ether, the digital currency that powers the Ethereum blockchain, was down more than 22% at $2,620.97, according to Coin Metrics. Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that started as a joke and has been talked up by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, fell 25% to less than 36 cents. Both had substantially larger losses earlier in the session.

Additionally, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was temporarily down for some users as the coins plunged on Monday morning.

Negative news over the past week has dampened sentiment for bitcoin.

On May 12, Musk said the electric carmaker had suspended vehicle purchases using bitcoin, citing environmental concerns over the so-called computational “mining” process. This is where high-powered computers are used to solve complex mathematical puzzles to enable transactions using bitcoin.

Musk’s comments caused over $300 billion to be wiped off the entire cryptocurrency market that day.

Musk did suggest on Wednesday that the automaker was not selling its existing bitcoin, saying with emojis on Twitter that Tesla has “diamond hands.” That tweet was published near bitcoin’s lows for the day.
The announcement to suspend bitcoin payments came just three months after Tesla revealed that it bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, and would start accepting bitcoin in exchange for its products.

Early this week, the Tesla CEO suggested the company may have sold its bitcoin holdings but later clarified that it has “not sold any Bitcoin.”

Then on Tuesday, three Chinese banking and payment industry bodies issued a statement warning financial institutions not to conduct virtual currency related business, including trading or exchanging fiat currency for cryptocurrency.

China’s hard line on digital currencies is not new. In 2017, authorities shut down local cryptocurrency exchanges and banned so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs), a way for companies in the space to raise money through issuing new digital tokens.

Traders in China once accounted for a huge share of the bitcoin market but after the crackdown, their influence was reduced significantly. Chinese cryptocurrency operations have moved abroad.

“The crypto markets are currently processing a cascade of news that fuel the bear case for price development,” said Ulrik Lykke, executive director at crypto hedge fund ARK36.

More than $250 billion evaporated from the bitcoin market alone last week, Lykke said. Though that number seems “astronomical,” such moves aren’t uncommon in the volatile crypto market, he added.

“In terms of Bitcoin’s outlook, things may be looking grim right now, but historically this is just yet another hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome and a small one compared to what it has braved in the past,” said Lykke.

Bitcoin is still up over 30% year-to-date and around 300% in the last 12 months.

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