December 31st, 2020

Email Takeaways Worth Remembering from 2020

At a macro level, there aren't too many things I care to remember from this year, but before I enthusiastically click "next" on my calendar, I wanted to share a few nuggets from my favorite email marketing recaps that might help you get your campaigns off to a roaring start in 2021.

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December 17th, 2020

2 Major Survey Results and a Surprising Test Result

I feel like the first two pieces in this issue each deserve their own dedicated newsletter! The annual Local Search Ranking Factors Survey and Consumer Review Survey both came out this week and they are both well worth a detailed read. Hopefully many of you will have time to give them that read over the …

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November 19th, 2020

Newsletter “Inception” Featuring Ann Handley’s Tips

I’m pleased to see lots of validation around the blogosphere these last couple of weeks for some of Tidings’ fundamental pillars: choosing MarTech that plays well with others in your Stack, the layout of our template, and the benefits of bringing social media and email marketing together. There’s a little bit of newsletter “inception” 😂 …

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November 5th, 2020

Still Debating Subfolder vs Subdomain? (And More)

Brandify puts out a ton of great content — their GMB COVID Insights is one of the best pieces of content this entire year. But when I saw their recent piece favoring subdomains over subfolders for location pages, I had to comment with something more than a 280-character tweet 🙂 Speaking of things longer than …

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October 22nd, 2020

[New] Required Local Search Reading

I’ve been around awhile, so it’s harder to impress me with a blog post than it used to be. But my good friend Mike Blumenthal did just that this week with his 18-month case study of what I’d call the “median” local business. Mike worked 1-2 hours a month, using only Google’s DIY tools and …

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October 8th, 2020

Re-Starting Up for Agencies :)

Those of you who subscribe to my Minutive newsletter got my first message in quite awhile last week. For folks who only subscribe to this agency-focused newsletter: I’m no longer with ThriveHive and have been enjoying some much-needed downtime with my family this summer. So it’s back to “our scheduled programming” — look for this …

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December 31st, 2018

Your 5 Favorite Articles of 2018 (Plus My Predictions for 2019)

I thought I'd round out the year by highlighting your five favorite stories (based on click percentage) from my last 51 weekly newsletters. And if you're already looking forward to 2019, get a head start with my predictions for what's coming.

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December 10th, 2018

Agency Insider: More Thoughts around Local Ranking Factors

Mike Blumenthal and I discuss the multi-modal nature of Google's local algorithm in our latest StreetFight conversation.

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November 26th, 2018

Agency Insider: Is Local Google’s Backdoor to Social?

Sorry to interrupt the onslaught of Cyber Monday emails with one that’s not selling you anything, but the show must go on 🙂 Hope you all had a delicious and relaxing week last week — even if you’re outside the U.S. and don’t celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday! Google’s Backdoor Shift to a Social Network Source: …

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November 12th, 2018

SMBs Take Center Stage

I had a great time seeing some loyal readers at the LSA Localogy conference in Redmond on Friday. It was the LSA’s third event in the same week (!) on the heels of their Bootcamp and Tech Adoption Summit in San Francisco. Greg Sterling and Kevin Kalinowski deserve a vacation! It was also my last …

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October 30th, 2018

This One’s Personal

Those of you who've connected with me on LinkedIn no doubt have already heard the news -- I think half of my time last week was spent thanking you for your notes of congratulations (!) -- but I'm now a member of the ThriveHive team! TL;DR--This move doesn't affect Tidings at all, and in fact my goal is that it serves as a second set of boots on which to further bootstrap Tidings' growth. Moving forward we'll be increasingly focused on building out our agency feature set.

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October 15th, 2018

Adapt to Google’s New Reality

Reality Check: Adapting to Google’s Ever-Growing Control of the Search Experience Source: Mike Blumenthal and I respond to Rand Fishkin’s “fury” at Google’s reduction of traffic to websites in our latest StreetFight column. We don’t find it infuriating, but it requires a massive shift in the mindset of Local SEO agencies, consultants, and their …

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October 1st, 2018

An Epic Google Posts Shelf-Life Hack

Greetings Agency Insiders, and welcome to my favorite month of the year! Hard to believe we’re already starting the Fourth Quarter. Google My Business Posts Shelf-Life Hack: How to Keep Your Posts from Expiring Soon Source: I can’t emphasize enough that Posts are one of the easiest, highest-value services your agency can offer its …

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September 17th, 2018

How You Can Adapt to Google’s Ad Automation

Attend the free, virtual Local Marketing Summit this Wednesday and Thursday and learn from loads of great speakers! Replay: Is Automation an Existential Threat to Agencies? Source: Missed my webinar discussion with the LSA’s Greg Sterling and Location3’s Alex Porter? Not to worry–the LSA recording is available here! Gannett is putting a local spin …

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September 4th, 2018

Is automation a threat?

Is automation an existential threat to agencies? That’s the question that Greg Sterling of the Local Search Association will be posing to myself and Alex Porter of Location3 on a free webinar this Friday. We’ll be focusing on automation as it relates to digital advertising, but slides will be minimal, so I’m sure the discussion …

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August 20th, 2018

How Your Agency Can Position Itself Amidst “SaaS Chaos”

In this issue of the Agency Insider, Mike Blumenthal and I take a look at how one (very) large agency is attempting to reposition itself in a world where the average small business subscribes to more than 20 SaaS products. Will they be successful?

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August 6th, 2018

What If There’s NO Creative, Though?

Google's march to complete SMB advertising automation continues to be under-appreciated by industry analysts -- and especially by Adwords (sorry, "Ads") resellers. That was my top takeaway from a busy week of announcements and data releases in the world of digital marketing.

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July 23rd, 2018

New Digital Marketing Survey Results and More

How Businesses Use Digital Marketing in 2018 Source: More evidence that the market for digital services is changing dramatically — social media, websites, and email marketing are all in strong demand from small businesses. Click through to be surprised by the channel that’s in lowest demand… The Local SEO’s Guide to the Buy Local …

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July 9th, 2018

Agency Insider: SMB Content Marketing FTW

Become Your Market’s Storyteller  Source: H/t to fellow Local U faculty member Matt McGee on this one. It’s just an incredible, creative piece of content marketing. Amazingly this is an in-house marketing project, but there’s no reason agencies couldn’t help higher-budget clients execute a similar campaign. (Matt and I are both speaking to an …

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June 25th, 2018

A Traditional Media Company That Seems to “Get It”

Dive into the this week's must-read stories: a Nieman Lab interview with GateHouse's CEO, an aHrefs pricing study, Facebook's new (?) roadshow, a great guide to call tracking, and irrational doom-and-gloom from at least SOME email marketers.

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June 11th, 2018

More Ammo for My “Ricky Bobby Theory of SEO”

Google to Offer Combined Content (Paid and Organic) Search Results Source: Bill Slawski reviews a recent Google patent on combining paid and organic results for the same brand. The patent language is typically dense, but the visual is incredibly clear. Just look how far down the page the first purely-organic result appears. If Google …

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May 29th, 2018

Should Google Bear Any Responsibility for Stupid Knowledge Panels?

Hope you all had a restful, reflective Memorial Day weekend (in the U.S., at least). I’m sure readers in other parts of the world enjoyed the relative peace-and-quiet in the digital marketing industry during our holiday weekend! Thanks *so much* for choosing to re-subscribe to my newsletter after I sent my GDPR notice last week. I’ll be …

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May 14th, 2018
Tidings Agency Platform

Make Email a Centerpiece of Your Strategy in a Bifurcating SMB Market

How Much Money Can You Make with the Tidings Agency Platform? Source: We’ve reconfigured our Agency Platform to make it even more profitable to offer email marketing to your clients. $77/mo. gets you your first 7 client accounts, with clients beyond that just $7/mo. And, we’ve built a handy profit calculator to help you …

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April 30th, 2018

A Major Red Flag

Local Merchants Highly Dependent on Social Media at Time of Uncertainty for Platforms Source: Social has consistently been rated the top channel in terms of both performance and investment for several years. David Card rightly notes this may be problematic as social platforms become more pay-to-play and more fragmented. The most important nugget of this …

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April 16th, 2018

Agency Insider: Big News in Reviews This Week

Lots of major developments this month already! Perhaps the biggest of the last two weeks, at least for some of you, might not have even been a “story.” Allyson Wright of the Google My Business team announced at Local U Advanced on Thursday that you can now assign a “Works-At” relationship for practitioners and practices. Contact @GoogleMyBiz …

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April 2nd, 2018

Client Services and Service Clients

SMB Sales: Go With SEO For the Margins, Social Media for The Easy Pickup, Websites for The Platform Source: Peter Krasilovsky highlights this presentation from Boostability at the recently-concluded Borrell conference. While I question their margin and lifetime value assessments, the way they’re approaching their service bundle and the criteria they’re evaluating (great last-slide summary) is insightful. I …

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March 19th, 2018

Is Google Stupid? Or More Brilliant than Ever?

I typically try to keep these limited to 5 items for the sake of brevity, but couldn't resist a (relevant) 6th this week in honor of the history-making UMBC Retrievers!

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March 5th, 2018

A Whole New Google?

The calendar has turned to March, and it’s officially conference season. If you’re attending Engage PDX this week, or SMX West next week, please introduce yourself. I’ll be at both events and I always enjoy meeting subscribers! Tidings celebrated its 1st birthday last week! Progress update here. Google’s Walled Garden: Are We Being Pushed Out of …

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February 19th, 2018

The SMB Marketing Universe, AMP for Gmail, and More.

Follow-Up Thoughts on the SMB Marketing/Operations Universe Source: My latest StreetFight conversation with Mike Blumenthal. The key to success for both agencies and small businesses in our current-and-future digital marketing environment is to choose best-of-breed components that integrate with each other, enabling you to add relevant and profitable services over time. Bringing the power …

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February 5th, 2018

What Does the Mobile-First Index Really Mean?

Thanks to Street Fight’s judges for honoring Tidings as the year’s Best New Product at last week’s Street Fight Summit West! Mobile-First Indexing or a Whole New Google? Is Mobile-First the Same as Voice-First? Source: No one dissects Google’s “eyes-free” mobile long-game better than Cindy Krum. The Mobile First index may very well usher in a tidal wave …

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January 22nd, 2018

What Local Marketers Need to Know in 2018 [Upcoming Webinar] + More

SEO & Beyond: What Local Marketers Must Know in 2018 Source: Join Mike Blumenthal, Greg Sterling, and me on this webinar on Thursday as we take a look at the important trends, strategies, and tactics that local marketers should be paying attention to in the coming year. Facebook News Feed Armageddon Survival Guide: 6 …

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January 8th, 2018

Will 2018 Be a Tipping Point for Voice? (+ 4 other must-reads)

After a great holiday break, I’m looking forward to getting back on track with the bi-weekly Agency Insider. Here are just a handful of stories that have caught my eye early in the new year. Will 2018 Be a Tipping Point for Voice? Source: There may only be 6-7 ‘commands’ that we use regularly …

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December 6th, 2017

Articles of High Intrigue from the Last 2 Weeks

I guess the Thanksgiving food coma didn’t hit the rest of the marketing world as hard as it hit me! Some amazing insights this week from BuzzSumo, CampaignMonitor, Aleyda Solis, and Joy Hawkins. And an absolutely HILARIOUS story from with dark implications for local search. Welcome to Issue #4 of the Tidings Agency Insider. Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did!

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November 22nd, 2017

Are You Eligible for GMB’s New Verification Option? (+4 more items of interest)

Here's some light holiday reading to give you a break from those awkward family conversations around the Thanksgiving table :)  Hope that everyone here in the U.S. has a great holiday & that those around the world enjoy a few days without interruption from American clients and vendors!

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November 8th, 2017
"Action Scene" from Assembled

You’ll Never (actually, you probably will) Believe Yelp’s Latest Announcement.

Welcome to the latest Tidings Agency Insider: my bi-weekly analysis of key stories in the SMB digital marketplace. Yelp increasingly cracking down on ‘review solicitation’ across the internet  SEARCHENGINELAND.COM Evidently Jeremy Stoppelman & team have never heard the advice “when you’re in a hole, stop digging.” Already the brand with the second-lowest Net Promoter Score among small business …

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October 25th, 2017

Inaugural Edition

Welcome to my bi-weekly newsletter featuring the latest research, products, and innovations in the SMB digital marketplace. It’s designed to help your agency recruit more small business customers, deliver more effective services, grow your margin, and prepare for the future. Many of you signed up when you downloaded my recently-released Local SEO Handbook, but if …

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