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How to Build Effective Location Pages

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Protect the Hours of Operation on Your GBP from Unwanted Google Edits

The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

Location pages are an important part of multi-location SEO for enterprises and SMBs alike, but they aren’t easy to get right. At best, they should give potential customers zero excuse to choose a competing business. Often, though, they struggle to provide unique value and offer essentially the same information as the home or service pages — but with a different city in the H1 and meta title.

This happens because unique content is hard to come by when every location does or sells the same thing.

The question isn’t, “How should I go about creating an awesome location page?”, but rather, “Am I giving customers enough unique value to even justify this page in the first place?”

If the answer is “no,” it’s time to find new opportunities for valuable content. Read on for ways to determine whether you’re offering unique value for your location pages, and how to make them better.

Is your content actually unique?

When it comes to building awesome location pages that will impress your customers and search engines, content is your most powerful tool. And I’m not just talking about words-on-a-page, paragraph-form content. Content is any information on your page, in any medium.

Regardless of the way you communicate to customers (text-based content, video, images, etc.), location page content will fall into one of three buckets:

1. Boilerplate

    Boilerplate content can be copied and pasted across all locations and remain accurate. A brand’s mission statement falls into this category, for example. The good thing about boilerplate content is it doesn’t require much work to implement. It also doesn’t provide the unique value we’re looking for.

    As a rule of thumb, use boilerplate content when it’s necessary (and it will be) but avoid creating pages where the majority of content falls into this category.

    2. Technically “unique”

      Let’s say you want to avoid duplicate content across location pages so you rewrite the same information (business description, services, etc.) over and over again. Voila! It’s unique, right?

      Not exactly.

      Technically, it’s unique — but it’s not saying anything new about that location. (Hence the quotation marks.) In other words, the content isn’t duplicative, but it’s also not that valuable. You’re simply using different words to relay the same message.

      This type of content is, in my opinion, the worst of the three because it takes manual effort to create but isn’t more helpful to customers than copy-and-pasting the source material.

      3. Unique value

        The third, final, and best type of content is “unique value.” This content only applies to the location the page is about. It can’t be copied and pasted anywhere else because the value of the content is tied to the value of the location itself.

        While this type of content takes a lot of work to create, it’s also the most helpful and should account for the majority of the content on location pages.

        What should a location page include?

        Creating enough unique value on location pages to outweigh boilerplate content isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible either. The following list includes content features that can add new layers of unique value to your pages — or close to it.

        1. Paragraph-form content

          Paragraph-form content is a great way to provide information to users about your location. When writing location pages, focus on information that is specific to the storefront the page is about. Here’s an example:

          • Diluted Value – “All of our locations have great customer service and we’re super passionate about offering [product / service] to people like you!”

          • Unique Value – “We’re located at the corner of [Street] and [Avenue] and a five minute walk from [Landingmark].”

          There is a time and a place for “diluted value” content, but your goal should be to provide as much unique information as possible.

          2. Location attributes and features

            If you’ve optimized a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business or GMB), you’re familiar with location attributes. In short, these are a list of features that help customers plan their visit to your location.

            If you’re not sure what to include in your attribute list, check your GBP and carry over any boxes you checked there. That said, don’t limit yourself to those items — feel free to add as many attributes as are helpful to your customers.

            3. Staff profiles

            One of the things that is (almost) always unique to each business location is the people who work there. Highlighting notable staff members’ profiles is a great way to show humans and search engines what (and who) to expect when they arrive.

            4. Hours & NAP

            Hours of operation and NAP info (name, address, and phone number) are the most basic form of unique content, but don’t forget to add them to your location pages. Additionally, make this information easy for customers to find on the page so they can get in touch or get directions quickly. NAP information can also be accompanied by an embedded map.

            Illustration of a mobile phone showing a location page with hours and NAP info.

            5. Photos

            Photos on your location page (and GBP for that matter). Should be of the location the page is about. Avoid generic, santistized storefront images that aren’t of the actual storefront. Instead, include photos that show customers what they’ll experience at the store (inside and out).

            Both of your audiences (humans and search engines) are very good at detecting these types of patterns and, should a website visitor become foot traffic, customers are more likely to be disappointed, confused, or frustrated if the photos don’t match reality.

            Screenshots of location page examples of Sprinkles shops showing unique storefront images.

            It goes without saying that stock photos shouldn’t show up on your location pages, either.

            6. Reviews

            Think of reviews as user-generated content for your location pages.

            When you add them, make sure you’re including ones specific to the location the page is about, as opposed to one feed of every review for every location.

            The goal is to provide a realistic look at what potential customers can expect based on the past experiences of others. Additionally, reviews about the location itself (and only that location) add another layer of unique value to the page.

            7. Products and inventory

            I recommend adding product information or an inventory feed to every location page, even if the products offered at each location are the same.

            Your customers only care if a given product or service is in stock near them, so inventory information is, in a way, another form of unique value content.

            8. Nearby locations

            Nearby locations are great if you have multiple storefronts in close proximity. They’re also another opportunity to add unique information to your location pages.

            These can be added as their own module on the page or integrated with an existing map. I personally prefer to dedicate an entire page section to them to avoid confusion for readers who land on the page to get directions.

            Illustration of a mobile phone showing an example location page with unique reviews, other locations, and what's in stock.

            9. Offers and specials

            Specials and offers don’t have to be unique for every location. I just wouldn’t make sense. That said, coupons and offers that are geographically relevant can be an opportunity to build additional value for local customers. Coupons, offers, deals, etc. by state or metropolitan area are one way to accomplish this.

            10. FAQs

            Frequently asked questions are one of my favorite ways to create rich, in-depth and unique content on local landing pages. I’ve seen a lot of businesses add FAQ modules to their pages, but I’ve also seen a lot of businesses only add generic questions and answers to those modules.

            When adding FAQs to your local landing pages, ask questions that will elicit a unique response. Also, try to avoid yes or no questions, unless you plan to expound on the answers.

            Generic:

            Unique Value:

            • Question: “Can I get to {Location} from public transportation?”

            • Answer: “You sure can! We’re a five minute walk from the {specific} bus stop. Just head toward {street} and take a left at {street} and you’ll find us on the right.”

            11. Departments and services

            Departments and services are another example of content that can be unique, but isn’t always. For some business types (automotive dealers, for example), departments are clear: Sales, Finance, Repairs, etc.

            For other business types, this content type isn’t as obvious. A bakery chain, for example, could include services in their location pages to highlight which locations offer wedding cakes versus their typical inventory.

            Like inventory, the value of these departments or services comes from the fact that as a customer, I only care if the location nearest me offers the specific thing I’m looking for.

            Illustration of a mobile phone showing an example location page with geo-specific specials, departments, and unique FAQs.

            A few words about structured data

            Schema (also called structured data) is code that tells search engines about your website content. Often, your customers won’t even know the schema is there — it’s strictly for search engines, with the exception of rich results.

            Schema is important for two reasons:

            • Context: It helps search engines understand how the “things” that make up your business form a larger entity.

            • Specificity: It removes the natural ambiguity caused by keywords (and language).

            If a website mentions the word “Avocado,” for example, it could be talking about the fruit or the mattress brand. Language alone isn’t enough to clarify without context. Marking up your content with schema removes this margin for error when it comes to Google understanding your content.

            Structured data can also help you qualify for rich results like FAQs or review snippets for products.

            Location page Schema best practices

            When it comes to location pages, there are a few things you should keep in mind regarding schema markup.

            First, make sure you’re using as many relevant schema types as possible. If you’ve optimized your page with unique images, FAQs, and staff bios, don’t add LocalBusiness schema to the page and call it done. Mark up every available item on your page to give Google as much information as possible. After all, search engines have to understand your content in order to index and rank it.

            Second, use the most specific schema type available. Within the “LocalBusiness” schema category, there are 145 types of schema for specific businesses. Dentists, for example, should use “Dentist” schema instead of “Local Business,” and restaurants should use (you guessed it!) “Restaurant” schema.

            Conclusion

            Creating valuable location landing pages takes time, effort, and a bit of creativity. As you review the elements above, don’t gloss over the ones that seem the most difficult or time-consuming. That’s what your competitors are already doing.

            Instead, prioritize the value you’re providing to potential customers because strategies that don’t scale may be your competitive advantage.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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