chatmeter launches to help small business manage their online reputation and improve online marketing

I haven’t posted here in quite awhile.   This is because I ‘ve been working very hard on the launch of my new company, chatmeter.  chatmeter’s goal is the help small businesses with rep management and online marketing.  We are providing tools for the small business owner to get back in the drivers seat and control their online reputation.  Many local businesses have lost control over their online reputation due to the explosion of customer reviews and social media. The chatmeter will track your business listings (on local sites like Google Maps, Bing, and Yellow Pages, customer reviews (across sites like Yelp), and chatter on social media sites (FB, Twitter).   Our free report can get you started managing your online reputation today.    If you are a local business owner or marketer, please go to

We’re getting some great coverage:  Greg Sterling was the first to cover the chatmeter here.

Kelsey just wrote about us on their blog as well:

Read more…

Google Buzz Launches: Their new Social Local Service takes on GeoTweets, Foursquare, and Yelp at once

February 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Google has finally launched their answer to the frenzy of activity in mobile social local arena.  It’s called Google Buzz and it allows user to “buzz” about anything and publish their comments either publicly (to anyone listening) or anyone is they’re private circle (i.e. Gmail contacts).   They just posted on the Google blog:

Google Buzz available in multiple ways:  You can buzz about anything online since it will be integrated with your Gmail account.  It did not roll out to everyone so check your account regularly.  This is another option to share Youtube videos, Flickr photos, websites/pages, etc. just as many do today on Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter today. Therefore, it’s hard to say if this will take off, especially with the younger generation who is already using these other sites frequently.

What becomes really interesting is the mobile local implementation.  Read more…

Yelp in 2010. It’s been a busy year so far and only more to come. Company and Product Updates

February 10, 2010 1 comment

Small business owners that I work with continue to have mixed feelings about Yelp today.   Many wish it would die off along with online reviews, but it seems that Yelp and customer reviews are here to stay.  Yelp had over a 60% increase in traffic in 2009.  Furthermore, the recent rumors of a potential acquisition (Google and Microsoft) along with a $25 million new investment have provided greater validity to it’s business model.   Inc. magazine recently published a great article on Yelp , both positive and negative points included.   In addition, with AT&T’s announcement of (soon to be released consumer site that allows customers to create favorite places and share positive, brief comments with friends via their social circles, like Facebook), the world of online customer reviews will continue to grow as well. Forbes just provided some insight. is set to launch in the next couple months.  Small businesses must continue to stay on top of their reviews and continue to encourage new ones in order to properly manage their online reputation.

Yelp has had a very busy couple months.  Here are some of the key points:

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Keeping up with Google Place Page Updates

February 6, 2010 1 comment

As a small business owner, it can be difficult to keep up with the number of changes going on across all the different local sites, from Google Maps, Yelp, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Citysearch, …not to mention all the local sites in your town that keep changing as well.  However, in the last month alone, Google Place Pages has undergone a frenzy of important changes.  This posting will get you up to speed on what’s new and what you can do to improve your profile, increase your ranking on Google Maps and other local SEO strategies for the small business.

  • Enhanced Listings
  • Reviews added from local media, bloggers, and unconventional review sources
  • Special Announcements/Event Messages

Read more…

2010 Predictions – Am I That Crazy?

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

Since I am fairly new to the world of blogging, I’m going to hold off on developing my own top 10 Digital Marketing Predictions or Top 10 Mobile Predictions for 2010.   There are plenty of them out there (see below for more).  I only have one prediction for 2010.  It will be better than 2009.   2009 was a tough year for everyone and hopefully one we will not forget for a long time (even though we’d like to).  For many people, 2009 could be one of the toughest ever, but it will be important to keep in mind when everything starts bubbling up again.  We live in a boom and bust society these days and, as Americans, we tend to be overly optimistic (which can be positive too).  Anyway, I am looking forward to a great 2010!

I will say that one positive thing that happened in 2009 is the year of mobile.  The iPhone became the definition of a game changer, changing the entire landscape of mobile services from handset development, data usage, application adoption, and smartphone purchases.  It’s been long overdue and I’m glad to finally see it arrive.  Look for continued growth and adoption and interesting developments from Google’s phone and the Android platform, especially its effect on the entire GPS industry.  Their free offerings could end up being a game changer in that space.

Anyway, I’d like to thank Courtney Mills, who put together a great list that I just finished reading from industry experts about there predictions for 2010.  This is a comprehensive list on a various aspects of Digital Marketing (SEO, Advertising, Social Media, Mobile, SEM, etc). Here are my thoughts on a few on them that relate to Mobile and Local.

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Local SEO Checklist

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

Local SEO is the new way to help level the playing field for small businesses.   Over the last few years, it has become more difficult to get to that valuable first page ranking for Google Web searches since publishers (superpages,yellowpages,  citysearch, merchant circle, had mastered the rankings.  However, when Google integrated Maps into results, the Google 7 pack has now become extremely valuable.   Getting into this valuable real estate takes some work and the strategy is significantly different than normal SEO.   Read more…

Local Listing Ads End. Analysis for San Diego Categories

December 4, 2009 1 comment

If you have not heard, Google has ended the Local Listing Ad (LLA) Test that was running in San Diego and San Francisco.  Mike Blumenthal posted this announcement yesterday  and I noticed it that same day when I was trying to start a new ad for a client.  I was working on some analysis behind the offering this week so I wanted to share some basic analysis comparing PPC Adwords to LLA costs. Read more…