Discussion of Web Marketing issues, including optimizing your FoundLocally.com business listings

FoundLocally.com's Web Marketing Blog

Canadian SEO for non-Canadian SEO Firms

We get inquires form Web marketers who are not from Canada, but working with and on behalf of their Canadian clients (as much as we –on principle—prefer businesses support other local businesses), we wish everybody all the best with their marketing. Our goal is to encourage everyone to make EFFECTIVE use of FoundLocally.com

Non-Canadian Companies

Listings by non-Canadian Companies are GENERALLY NOT WELCOME on FoundLocally. Our directory is for targeting Canadian consumers or travelers in their OWN COMMUNITY. As such,  overseas businesses (Asian Africa, Europe, South & Central America), are not welcome. However, we welcome American companies in close cross-border proximity like Niagara Falls NY , Sault Ste Marie, Michigan.

But, Pakistan, Los Angeles, or New York City business definitely do NOT meet "local" listing requirements... Don't WASTE your time trying.

If you are a foreign web marketer, add yourself as a Registered Contact (in the second part of the phone number field put your full phone number with INTERNATIONAL PREFIX. USA companies can just enter area code + phone number in the second phone number field. Use your own corporate email address. This way we can contact you about listings you enter. There is no bias in how fast your listings are approved, so be honest and accurate with this contact information!

Enter your Canadian clients into the most appropriate directory (see the simple Cheat Sheet, below)

Responsive Design: WordPress or NOT?

“Responsive Design” is a popular topic in the web design field these days, and a big business builder for designers and programmers. But what does it MEAN FOR YOU?

 Responsive Design lets a single version of a website adapt to each device’s resolution and show a “most appropriate” version suiting each device and its typical audience. This recognizes that both the audiences and their needs & priorities can be VERY DIFFERENT on different devices. That means businesses need to consider not the just form-factor (how content, menus, and navigation may change), but the actual content may change.

Calgary Herald's responsive website is a WordPress site

 To view Responsive Design in action, click on the right margin of your browser window (the cursor will look like a two-headed arrow) and start dragging the right margin toward the left side of your monitor, to see how different screen and tablet resolutions are displayed, until you get down to roughly the width of a smartphone screen. Do this for the top of the screen, the middle of the page, and the bottom (footer) to observe how elements and display of those elements changes before your eyes. No only is this process fun, but it is informative as well.

Mobile-Geddon: Is it really?

Google announced (months ago) that it will adjust its search results to favour those sites with mobile-ready web content. They say changes will affect search results after April 21. This is causing some consternation with many businesses. Why? They are afraid they won’t show up in organic search results costing them traffic and business.

An effective website, includes both desktop and mobile versions

Why is Google REALLY doing this?

  • Two-thirds of internet searches and surfing is being done on mobile devices from smart phones (when people are in meetings, when people are using transit, when people are waiting for the movie to start, when people are in a bar--to win a trivia bet). http://FoundLocally.com sees about 2/3 of our traffic from mobile users, on either smart phones or tablets.
  • Companies using Google AdWords [http://Google.com/AdWords] to get traffic over and above their “organic” search results, are going to be affected—and have been already--- they are paying for search clicks going to their site, but those 2/3 of people on mobile devices see a desktop-only site and click back to Google and go to the next site. You’re paying for “traffic” that is not going to waste time on your Troglodyte website (and Google looks stupid to mobile users by sending them to badly formatted content, just because an advertiser is paying them to)
  • The “Apps” revolution of a few years back turned out to be a DUD (but a total money maker for Google and Apple). Users prefer mobile web sites for brands not already core to their lives. It’s a pain to download and maintain “apps” for each business they just MIGHT patronize. Businesses win because they do not have to have an app for Blackberry, iPhone/iPad, Android, and Microsoft… just create and maintain one mobile website.

Updating Your E-commerce Presence

E-commerce can either supplement the sales of a bricks & mortar business, make the customer process easier for their customers, or indeed create a business selling only online to a specialized but geographically diverse market. FoundLocally has clients who fall into each of these three groups.



If your business sells online, you need to stay on top of current trends, or at least not fall noticeably behind. Because if you dont, your COMPETITION will.

Older e-commerce sites have a lot of catching up to do, especially those custom-built, or that that have their engines dating back to the 1990s or early 2000s.

New Table of Contents for Easier Navigation

We've improved the Table of Contents on the bottom of FoundLocally.com's website pages. Two years ago, we made them "collapsible" to give  our website a tighter & cleaner appearance, but nowadays Google penalizes website for content not displayed.

So, we added back the full Table of Contents back to our page footer, integrated with our Most Popular Links, as well asl lnks to other FoundLocally.com communities across Canada, and our affiliated websites.

Looking Better in FoundLocally Search Results

We recommend you do a SEARCH, using the Search box at upper-left, and searching by popular keywords that apply to your and your business (like “realtor” or “hotel” or “sushi”)

  •  Review how your listing appears compared to competitors.


  • You can also click on the editorial stories that appear above the business listings, and try the context-sensitive search (by category & neighbourhood) at the right

FoundLocally Mobile websites redesigned, LocalMap feature added

FoundLocally Mobile websites redesigned

June 13, 2014 FoundLocally.com Media Inc has redesigned its mobile version of its website, making its various features more accessible with fewer actions.

FoundLocally Mobile websites redesigned, LocalMap feature added

Using your devices GPS location, the LocalMap provides a person context for wherever they are. A realtor can see what schools, stores, and restaurants are close to a house they are showing. A traveller can see restaurants, sports/fitness facilities, and attractions that are close to their hotel, or conversely, what hotels and restaurants are closest to their highway off-ramp. And, unlike a lot of restaurant guides, FoundLocally.com includes fast-food and coffee franchises in its search results and maps, great for families!

Teachers LOVE FoundLocally.com sites

FoundLocaly.com offers a number of great educational resources, that help students do good research for a variety of subjects and lesson plans (and for fun, too!). And the nice thing is the information is well-researched, balanced, and current.

FoundLocally has lots of content relating to:

  • Social Studies & History
  • Communities & neighbourhoods
  • Recreation & Sports
  • Arts, Theatres, Movies, Festivals

School Bus Front

We also provide and education licence for teachers and students to use our photos in classroom presentations and papers at no cost, and without prior permission (with source credit or link). Just click on the Local-Images page in the Table of Contents, which takes you to that community's /Images directory)

 

Find your Schools on FoundLocally!

Over the past month, we have added both Public and Catholic/Separate schools to our database, so that they are displayed in our Google maps in our many Travel/Nearby and our Home/Neighbourhoods maps pages, in each FoundLocally site.

We have include everything from pre-school / pre-kindergarten through Grade 1 right up to high school. The maps show green school pins, with an  "E" for Elementary schools, an "M" for Middle schools (also called "junior highs" or "senior public" in some schools districts), and an "H" for High schools (which run grades 9-12 or 10-12 in different jurisdictions).

We have also added the public libraries, which have an "L"  on brown pins, and  Universities and Colleges (post-secondary institutions, and other adult education) which have a "U" on their blue pins. (see sample map on full blog post)

This mapping feature is handy for realtors and for home-shoppers, regardless of school district and student age... it works consistently in every FoundLocally across Canada!

How to delete your Listing on FoundLocally.com

Businesses come, and businesses go... that is the nature of commerce.

First thing we want to say is the FoundLocally directory is FREE LISTING... There is no monthly bill (as is the case, with the phone directory) that when unpaid, automatically flags your business listing for deletion. 

On the other hand, YOU must add your listing, which is not automatic when you get a phone line (though unlike the phone company, we don't care if your phone is a business phone, a home phone, or a cell phone)... our ONLY concern is that it is a LOCAL phone (which avoids a lot of the foreign, and in particular Nigeria-based, internet scams)
This means that FoundLocally.com depends on YOU to add your listing, and provide good descriptive & category information, and we also depend on businesses, as well as their customers, and their competitors, to tell us when a business is closed-down.

We  realize when a business closes down, they are pre-occupied with orderly closure, maximizing assets values to pay off staff and creditors to the maximum extent possible. And, in rare cases, the business owners/managers may actually be running out of town as fast as they can. Removing various internet directory listings is not always high on their list of priorities. We try to make it easy for the Registered Contact to delete their business!

Help from others is always appreciated.
We make it easy for the public to bring this out-of-business issue to our attention.

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