Visit These Sites For The Best Local Marketing Advice

Looking for local marketing advice? With all of the ‘expert’ marketing guidance out there on the internet, it can be hard to know what sources you can trust. And which pieces of local marketing advice you should leave behind. As a small business owner, you want to be sure you’re not wasting your time!

We get it, and we want to see you succeed. So we’ve compiled a list of resources we believe offer great insights that you can feel good about.

Local University

Local U teaches business owners all about online marketing, focusing on Local Search Engine Optimization. Pre-COVID, Local U brought together SEO experts to deliver training at in-person, full-day seminars. (Note: you can buy access to past, recorded conferences or stay up-to-date on upcoming events here.)

But Local U is more than just a marketing conference. They have an affordable, paid membership forum where local business owners have access to more than 20 local search experts to get professional advice to their most burning questions, as well as access to discounts on event tickets.

They also have several free resources, including a blog and unique tool that gives you the ability to score your Google Homepage.


Wordstream offers “online advertising made easy,” pairing advisors with businesses. But we think the real gem on their site is the Local Marketing section. Here they have a blog full of tips and advice for local businesses who want to drive more sales with cost-effective marketing strategies.

They recently published a new blog called Our 7 Favourite (Free!) Local Marketing Resources for 2021, a list explicitly curated for local businesses. Their list offers resources on everything from pay-per-click advertising to SEO and lifestyle and career growth. No matter where you are in your business, there’s a tool for everyone on Wordstream. 


Uberall offers various online marketing services and products, but they also deliver a vast amount of free resources. These resources include tips, news, and industry insights for local businesses.

One recent blog post looks at the Future of Retail and the “seismic shift” that happened in the market thanks to COVID-19. Online shopping exploded last year – what does that mean for the brick-and-mortar store?

Uberall also has webinars, e-books, and reports, if you want to take a deep dive into any of the content topics, including a white paper called The Automotive Guide to Digital Marketing.

Full disclosure: 10|20 Marketing is a Uberall reseller. 


Moz was founded in 2004. It was initially a blog and online community dedicated to search engine optimization, and eventually, they created some of their own tools and products.

You can bet that a company that started out as a blog about SEO still has a great blog all about search! Their articles go beyond the basics and dive into the specifics. For example, they discuss long-tail SEO in 2021 or using low-search volume keywords to optimize content. If you’re ready to take on your website’s SEO, Moz is the place to go!

10|20 Marketing

Of course, our very own site is full of carefully curated blogs, advice, and stories from other local business owners to help you learn and grow your business. We’re passionate about supporting local businesses in any way we can, so our blog is full of advice like tips on how to Spring Clean Your Business for Growth and Four Creative Ways to Use GeoFencing.

At the same time, we love giving the spotlight to those local businesses we want to support. So we created a series to highlight Owner Stories, where we chat with local business owners about all things business! And PS: we’re always looking for folks to feature, so if you’re interested in sharing your story, send us a message!

We’ll continue scouring the internet for the best local marketing advice for you, so be sure to check back often to see what’s new!


Local Marketing Links of Interest, Volume 2

Hey hey! We’re back with a new batch of links tailormade for small business owners who have a location-based business and/or e-commerce websites who are looking to make a splash in local search or drive conversions to their website. 

We’ll be posting links from time to time. If you have anything to share with us, please add your links in the comments below. 

Let’s jump in!

Are Coworking Spaces Against the Google My Business Guidelines?

This story was of particular interest to us as we rent out of a Coworking space. Like so many other small business owners, the benefits of working out of such an office are too good to pass up. If you’ve been wondering if you can claim your space within a Coworking space, the answer is in this article. Essentially, if you’re going to claim your listing, it’s best to have a fixed, permanent suite inside the Coworking space. And it’s even better if you have some images to prove it.

By the way, read our Owner Story to learn more about the people who run Metspace, 10|20 Marketing’s home base. 

Do Google My Business Identity Attributes Impact Ranking?

We wrote about Google’s attributes and their importance a little while back. We’d encourage you to go back and read that for a refresher. If you click through to our Link of Interest, though, you’ll see what experts think the impact of adding attributes is. In short, the answer is, “Yes, quite possibly.” A lot has to do with the attribute selected and the search volume in your local area. Read the research done by Sterling & Sky to gain a great understanding. 

Google Has Quietly Become a Key Player in Takeout Dining

Run a restaurant and trying to get through your local government restrictions to survive? Ensuring your restaurant sets up online ordering is vital. In this article, you’ll see just how great an impact Google has quietly had in this space. Their efforts are not without controversy, but with Google so crucial for local business, you may have no choice but to take advantage. 

E-Commerce Has Been A Lifeline For Small Businesses During The Pandemic. Where Do They Go From Here?

Many of our clients started to focus on Shopify and other e-commerce platforms when the pandemic hit. Of course they did after lockdowns completely depleted their on-site traffic. With the pivot to online sales, some of our clients started to see that their local business now had a wider reach. How did they take advantage? What’s next now that restrictions are loosening? This article has a good look at these questions. 

Why your business should run Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads – and how to get them right

Built a website and nobody is coming? Have an e-commerce site and need to convert more sales? Running a pay-per-click advertising campaign can be a solution, but only if done correctly. The key is to track your campaigns to understand what is working and what is leading to conversions. Online ads are something we specialize in, helping clients big and small meet their goals. We encourage you to read this article and let us know if you think a PPC campaign is something you’re ready to launch. 

Read our last batch of links here!


What You Need To Know About Shopify For Small Businesses

There’s a reason Shopify is a top name in the e-commerce website industry: it was built for people and businesses like you by people with businesses like yours. The first Shopify website was their own; when the company’s founders wanted to sell snowboards online. Not finding an e-commerce site that gave them everything they needed, they decided to create a platform. And that platform became Shopify. 

Shopify is a DIY platform, allowing business owners to “start, run, and grow a business.” Ten years after creating the site for themselves, almost 2 million businesses use Shopify around the world today! The platform handles everything from marketing and payments to checkout and shipping. It’s a one-stop-shop that makes it easy to keep track of everything in one place. No fussing with complicated integrations!

Great, so how do I get started?

  • First, sign-up! (Here’s a link to the free trial for you). Shopify will ask you for some basic information, like your personal info and what type of products you are or might be selling.
  • Set up your shop. After signing up, you can start right away on the fun stuff: customizing your store!
  • Choose a theme for your storefront. Shopify storefront themes are easily customizable and look great, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t know how to write code or develop websites. That’s the exact point. Personalize it by adding your business colours, logo, and fonts.
  • Add your products. Hit ‘Add a product’ at the top right corner of the screen and follow the prompts! Add photos, a description, and anything a customer would want to know about the product.

That’s it! After you’ve created your site, all that’s left to do is add your payment option (whether with PayPal, Amazon payments, or something else) and get ready to go live.

The Shopify Checklist

Of course, no matter how user-friendly the platform is or how great their customer support team is, creating and launching an online shop can quickly get overwhelming. Luckily, Shopify put together this Launch Checklist, which includes 13 steps you should go through before publishing your online store. There are many pieces here, but luckily Shopify has a great blog and customer support system to help you through each stage if needed.

  1. Choose and Add your sales channels 
  2. Add your custom domain
  3. Do a thorough review of your checkout experience and payment settings
  4. Prepare your standard website pages, like your Home, About, and Contact pages
  5. Review your email notification settings
  6. Do a content audit (or have someone else do it for you) to make sure there are no spelling errors or other grammatical mistakes. 
  7. Optimize all of your pages so people will easily find your website.
  8. Install an analytics tool, like Google Analytics, to track your results
  9. Create a pre-launch marketing plan
  10. Adjust tax and shipping rates as needed
  11. Make it easy for customers to contact you
  12. Remove any non-essential apps (or don’t install them) 
  13. Set up your billing information

Shopify plans are all month-to-month, so you can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time. You’re never locked in, which can sometimes feel intimidating for business owners. And in the post-COVID era, this rings truer as we’ve all quickly discovered that anything could happen.

So, what kind of products can you sell on the e-commerce platform?

Almost anything! You can sell most physical products, manage a drop-shipping business, and sell digital products and services. There are some exceptions, but they are familiar to most e-commerce platforms: no pharmaceuticals or supplements, alcohol or marijuana, or gambling products.

Do you use Shopify? Here’s what we’ve done to help clients who use it. We’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!

Are Flyers Still Useful for Local Marketing?

It’s a question all small, local businesses ask in the age of digital marketing: are flyers still effective for local marketing? According to London Circular, flyers have been around since Renaissance Italy, when vital information was handwritten on paper and passed around. Of course, the process improved with the invention of the printing press, but the method worked: flyers are still making their way into mailboxes today as one of the most-used local marketing tactics.

But are they working as effectively as they used to? We’ve put together a list of pros and cons to help you decide if your business should consider adding (or keeping) a paper trail in its local marketing plan.

Pros Of Using Flyers For Local Marketing

One of the biggest pros of distributing flyers in today’s digital marketing age is that it’s much easier and cheaper to design and print your own. With tools like Canva and the rise of the gig economy, it’s easy for business owners to either create their flyers or hire a freelance graphic designer at an affordable price. Printing, even in large quantities, is also relatively inexpensive today.

But, then what do you do with them?

Door Drops (flyers put in mailboxes without being addressed to the home or business occupant) have an open rate of 5%. 16% of people put it aside for later, and 85% threw it away. If we take the 16% who set flyers aside for later and combine it with the 5% who opened it right away, we’re looking at a combined 21% open rate – considered a very good open rate for email marketing!

When flyers land at a specific address, the numbers increase dramatically. 57% open them the day they arrive (sky-high numbers in the digital world!), 5% glance at it right away, 24% put it aside to look at later, and only 26% threw the flyer away.

The key to any successful marketing campaign is to execute properly:

  • If you’re advertising your new restaurant, include pictures of best-selling menu items, your location and opening hours. Coupons go a long way, too!
  • Real Estate agents can advertise their newest or best listings.

Door-to-door marketing campaigns are all about location, location, location. You can choose neighbourhoods within walking distance of your new shop and put flyers in mailboxes of every home. Make sure they know you’re just around the corner!

Of course, instead of stuffing mailboxes, you can also wander around and hand out flyers to people you meet directly. Handing flyers directly to prospects gives you the bonus of talking to potential customers, answering questions, and sharing more information than what is on the flyer.

It takes roughly 1 hour to distribute 100 flyers.

Cons Of Using Flyers For Local Marketing

The biggest drawback of handing out flyers is that it’s almost impossible to measure your Return on Investment – or ROI – efforts. You have to rely on tactics like asking the consumer to bring in the flyer or mention it at the store (and seeing them follow through with that) to know if the flyer drove leads or sales.

How Likely Are People To Forget About A Flyer?

Flyers (albeit, like all ads) cut straight to the chase and don’t offer consumers the chance to build that relationship and trust with your business that is so valuable today. Because of this, you’re likely to convert anyone with an immediate need for your offer, but not others. Most people will likely recycle the flyer and forget about it by the time they need your services.  

While the use of flyers is becoming less and less popular, there is still evidence that people are, at the very least, still looking at what ends up in their mailbox. If you’re considering adding flyers to your marketing strategy, you may want to consider starting with a small sub-section of the area you want to target and track your sales following distribution to see if you notice an increase. You can then decide if the Return on Investment was worth it and build your campaign from there.

If you’re unsure about using flyers in your local marketing plan and are interested in learning more about driving qualified traffic to your location or website, there are many proven techniques to do so.


Local Marketing Links of Interest, Volume 1

From time to time, we’ll go ahead and curate some of the most recent and significant news about local marketing, so you don’t have to. If you have any links you’d like to add, please share them in the comments below.

Let’s jump in!

Get on the mic: Local marketing expert says now is the perfect time for businesses to start a podcast.

Do you have a podcast? Have you thought about starting one? Local marketing expert Ryan Alford says that now is the perfect time for your business to start a podcast? Why? He believes that the industry is still growing and that the value is there for lead generation. This article dives into the argument and provides resources for those who are thinking of diving in. 

The Importance of a Google Maps Marketing Strategy (+How to Create One That Works) 

We’ve sounded this alarm for a long while, but sometimes it’s great to see a different perspective. Check out LOCALIQ’s comprehensive guide to enacting a Google Maps marketing strategy, which could undoubtedly help your business generate leads and new business. We know a little something about this topic as well. 😉

Localogy and Soci Quantify Local Marketing Benchmarks. 

The third annual Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) was released. As explained on, “The report quantifies localized marketing success by calculating scores for 276 multi-location businesses, and an overall benchmark. Scores are based on marketing performance across 19 search and social marketing criteria.” You’ll note that localized search marketing scoring criteria include completeness of profile, claimed listings rate, reviews per location, review response rate, location posts and more, all areas where we have some expertise. Please look at the basis of the report to understand why what we preach is so important to practice. 

Google Maps Highlighting Businesses That Have Posted Recently. 

Google’s work here is super interesting, as they are running a test to show when businesses have updated their listing with a post. Doing so indicates that Google is starting to emphasize the importance of Google Posts within the Google My Business platform. Our experience shows clients who do post consistently have a greater likelihood of getting more views and actions from their GMB listing over time. With Google experimenting with bringing attention to these fresh posts, perhaps we’ll see that growth sooner. 

Google My Business: Phone Numbers Not Allowed In Google Posts. 

So Google has come out and clarified its position on “phone stuffing. Their Google Posts Content Policy now includes this explanation: “To avoid the risk of abuse, we do not allow your post content to include a phone number. You can make your phone number available on your Business Profile or website. Instead, you can attach a “Call now” button to your post that uses your verified Business Profile phone number.” This move is likely a response to pressure Google has received to explain why more posts are getting rejected than normal. To recap, don’t write a number in your text or hide it in a photo. Just use the “Call now” call to action button to generate phone calls from your posts. 

How Alex Bottausci And The City of Dollard Are Supporting Local Businesses

Last week we had the chance to catch up with the Mayor of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Alex Bottausci. This article is the result of that conversation.

How Alex Bottausci And The City of Dollard Are Supporting Local Businesses

It’s been a little over a year since the pandemic began, and local businesses across the country have been battling lockdowns, new and changing regulations, and uncertainty for most of the past 13 or 14 months. While minimizing the spread of COVID-19 has been a priority, it has without a doubt been a difficult year for businesses, especially independent small businesses. While business owners and entrepreneurs have been pivoting, so have the towns and cities in which they operate. In Dollard-des-Ormeaux, located on the West Island of Montreal, Mayor Alex Bottausci shared some insights into what shifts have been made, how the city is helping businesses, and what the post-pandemic landscape of Dollard-des-Ormeaux could look like.

When The Pandemic First Reached Quebec

A year ago, Mayor Bottausci explained, the messaging from officials to businesses and individuals was largely education-based:

“At the start, no one knew what was going on. How can a business owner suddenly be expected to deal with COVID-19?”

A lot of time went into first learning about the virus and then transmitting the latest information to business owners. And not only transmitting the information but helping businesses understand and implement health protocols; for example, setting up aisles for appropriate traffic flow.

“A lot of information about the virus was sent to business owners in very formal, official French-language documents, whereas many are Anglophones [or French is their second language]. We helped the best we could with understanding, helping find masks, etc.,” said Alex Bottausci.

The past year has been a long learning curve, but after the initial wave of unknowns the pandemic brought with it, small businesses and communities have now entered a “new reality.”

“Keeping your distance, wearing masks – these things are ingrained now.”

Shifting From Education to Tangible Help

Things shifted from education about the virus to how the city could best help small businesses. The Montreal, Provincial, and Federal governments were able to come together and provide grants for business owners. Mayor Bottausci gave credit to his fellow government counterparts for their collaborative efforts on many fronts. The collaboration includes information about all available funding programs across government levels was shared with local businesses to provide as much relief as possible.

Dollard-des-Ormeaux adopted a Shop Local, Buy Local slogan, and Mayor Bottausci was keen to put the city’s money where its mouth was. For example, last year’s virtual Christmas event featured gifts from local vendors, and the focus going forward is to continue to keep it as local as possible. For Alex Bottausci it’s not just about “keep it in Quebec or the city of Montreal,” but right down to his riding of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux whenever possible.

Infrastructure projects also became a big focus as many restaurants and cafes began opening patios and expanding outdoor dining. Laws were relaxed to allow permits to be granted much more quickly, and car dealerships were permitted to fly flags advertising their businesses.

“Drastic times call for drastic measures,” said Mayor Bottausci. It was important to him and his office to pull out all the stops and allow businesses to take action that would help them survive the pandemic.

The city of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux recently launched a new website. While there are still updates coming, it’s a work in progress Mayor Bottausci is proud of.

“There is a strong business community in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux,” he said. “One of my dreams as Mayor is to really build up that community. We wanted to make sure there was a space on the site where business owners can go to find the information they need quickly and easily – information on things like permits.”

Fostering A Team Environment At City Hall Also A Priority

Mayor Bottausci also took a moment to focus on the hard work his team has been doing. 

“It is easy to focus on the negative when talking about the pandemic, but the City rose to the challenge,” he said. “We’re stronger not only as individuals but as a team. We continue to give services to the community and have become more nimble in how we do that.”

“Moving forward, we have to ask ourselves: were all of these stops really necessary? I think there will be a shift back in some ways, but not totally.”

What does the city of Dollard-Des-Ormeaux look like in the future? Developers are already changing their plans by moving away from large office buildings to creating small eco-systems, with local businesses on the first floor and residential quarters above, the Mayor said.

“It creates an ecosystem where you come home from work and pick up what you need from within your own building. You can’t go from zero to 100, but you can go a little bit at a time.”

For Mayor Alex Bottausci, that shift is what it’s all about: Creating environments conducive to businesses thriving – now, and post-pandemic, too.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, 10|20 Marketing has been supporting small businesses by sharing stories of business owners to shine some light on their effects and keep them in the news. If you own a business in DDO or anywhere for that matter, we’d be happy to share your story too. Just let us know you’re interested and we’ll be happy to work on your story too.


Five Ways A Spring Cleaning Can Help Your Business Grow

It’s the time of year when everyone seems to be in a cleaning frenzy – windows are open, fresh air is flowing, closets are being de-cluttered and baseboards are being dusted. But what about your business? If you run a local store, clinic, dealership or e-commerce site, spring is the perfect time to give it a thorough cleaning, too. But only if you want to see your business grow. 

It can be easy as a business owner to fall into the trap of working IN the business and not ON it, but if you can check these five things off your list this month, your business will be in great shape to continue growing!

1. Review Your Marketing Strategy and Goals

What goals do you have for your marketing strategy? What do you hope to achieve, and does your current strategy offer the right path to get you there? It’s a good idea to regularly review your strategy and make sure that:

  1. It still aligns with your goals
  2. You’re following it consistently
  3. It’s giving you the results you want, and 

If it’s not working for you, adapt it!

2. Don’t Sweep COVID-19 Under the Rug Just Yet

Of course, with COVID still very much a factor for local businesses, it’s important to take the pandemic into consideration when planning for the year ahead. What messages do you want to convey? Have you pivoted in any way? How else has the pandemic affected your business? Ensure your store hours are updated, adjust the number of employees working at a time, factor costs of masks and sanitizer into your budgeting, and keep your Google My Business profile up-to-date at all times, so customers are aware of any changes that may impact how they deal with you.

3. Refresh Your Website

It’s natural that your business and the services or products you offer will evolve over time, so if you haven’t refreshed your website since you launched your business, it probably doesn’t paint an accurate picture of what you do anymore. The reasonable shelf life of your website is three years, give or take. So now is a great time to go through your website and make sure it still reflects your offers, pricing model, brand, and current team!

4. Adopt Automation Wherever Possible

Automation can be nerve-wracking at first; trusting that computers and systems are just going to ‘do’ things for you without you checking in – but the amount of time you will save by adding in automation wherever possible can have a huge impact on your business. And many of these ideas go hand in hand with refreshing your website as well. 

For example, consider setting up a scheduling software to allow customers to book appointments with you automatically based on your schedule, and put forms on your website to automatically add new newsletter sign-ups to your mailing list. You can create a simple e-commerce shop to allow customers to order online, and you’ll be automatically notified via email when a new order is placed for you to fulfill. You can even automate your marketing, using scheduling tools to plan and set everything up a week or month ahead, and then you don’t have to worry about posting to your blog or social media when you’re tight on time later in the month.

Automation might feel like a loss of control at first, but the amount of time and control you gain back in the long-run is well worth it. Plus, many of these software solutions offer free basic plans to get you started.

5. De-Clutter Your Documents

Missing emails, lost contracts, version-control problems with documents – nothing causes a bigger headache than unorganized systems! It can be a big task, but now is the time to sit down, create a system that works for you, and put everything where it belongs. While this might take a good chunk of time to complete, you’ll be saving yourself and your employees a lot of time down the road (did you know employees spend, on average, 20% of their time looking for information?)


If your business is in need of a spring cleaning but you don’t know where to start, send us a message and let’s chat about how we can help your business grow! From websites, to Google My Business, to targeted marketing campaigns – 10|20 Marketing can help ensure everything your local business is doing is helping it grow.

Building Community At Centaur Theatre During the Pandemic

The pandemic has strained many businesses in many industries, but what do you do when your business is all about building community through public gatherings and live performances? We recently spoke with Eda Holmes, Artistic and Executive Director at Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal, about planning, pivoting, and re-planning throughout the past twelve months.

Before joining the Centaur Theatre in Montreal, Eda was a ballerina, first with the San Francisco Ballet and later with the Dutch National Ballet and Frankfurt Ballet under William Forsythe. When a knee injury sidelined her, she knew it was time to transition. Eda wanted to stay in the performing arts industry. With a love of storytelling, directing programs was a natural transition, and she eventually landed at Centaur Theatre here in Montreal full-time.

Quality, relevance, and bridge-building

If you’re familiar with Centaur Theatre or the arts scene, you’ll already know the special place Centaur Theatre holds in the local landscape. Eda’s goal was to build on the rich reputation that Centaur has for producing high-quality, relevant contemporary English language theatre and make the organization even more inclusive of all Montreal community aspects.

“My three guiding principles are quality, relevance, and bridge-building so that every aspect of the organization gradually becomes a brilliant reflection of the diversity of languages and cultures that make Montreal such a unique and exciting city,” she told us.

“The pandemic is giving us a moment to really reflect on what place theatre occupies in our society and our lives. We have an opportunity to actively re-examine what we value about the arts and especially narrative art – like theatre. As the incredible African/American playwright August Wilson has said, ‘A community is only as strong as the stories it tells about itself.’ So I am looking to build up our capacity to tell the stories of our times and our city in the most compelling and engaging ways possible – and to become an incubator for artists that reflect our city’s rich diversity.”

Adapting to the new reality

Centaur Theatre has been taking a page from the movie and cinema fields as much as possible (though the budget to test large casts isn’t there). Actors have been rehearsing in preparation for any potential upcoming performances, and spring and summer bring relief and hopes of opening again soon.

But while the desire to reopen is powerful, the danger of doing so too early is real.

“We’re learning how to work and adapt. Compared to last year, we have much more information about the virus, which has helped us make decisions that provide a forward motion but keeps everyone safe,” explained Eda.

Internally, the Social Justice movement we saw in 2020 has changed the conversation around how to support the community. Last year, Centaur launched the Artistic Diversity Discussion (ADD) at Centaur initiative. Throughout the year, the five-member panel will meet with Centaur Theatre board members and Eda to develop more ways to de-stigmatize and celebrate diversity on stage and off. The ADD @ Centaur will roll out through ongoing and new initiatives as the year unfolds, the first of which was the initiative named Saturday Salons. Centaur Theatre has also created a year-long residency for an Indigenous theatre artist interested in stories that reflect the Indigenous heritage of the Island of Montreal and the Province of Quebec. An announcement will be made soon about this residency!

A new Old Montreal scene

Pre-COVID, Vieux Montreal, where Centaur is located, was coming into its own with shops, restaurants, bars, and genuinely unique hotels. It is also a neighbourhood that thrives on tourism, depending on summer travel and winter holiday parties, so the lockdowns have been particularly painful. Typically, a bustling business worker crowd eats lunch and has drinks and goes to the theatre.

When the first lockdown happened, Centaur planned to do more outdoor theatre.

“We hope that it will be part of a variety of projects that will entice Montrealers to come down and discover the incredible beauty that Old Montreal has to offer,” Eda said at the time.

Still, the ever-changing in-and-out of lockdown status has kept Eda and Centaur Theatre on their toes.

“We keep planning and re-planning, but we’re starting to run out of letters of the alphabet,” she joked.

“This virus is challenging to everyone who depends on – and is even defined by – people gathering in warm, friendly and intimate settings. There is much talk of “pivoting,” but that is not something a neighbourhood known for its narrow cobblestone streets and delightful little bars and restos, museums and theatres can do in the short term. We have to try to be as creative and as resilient as possible.”

New projects to be excited about

A new project born out of the pandemic is the Portico project. The Portico Project, a new initiative designed to present theatre safely outside in the Portico and on the steps in front of the theatre, is scheduled to take place again this year in September. Even though some of the performances last year had to be cancelled when the first big lockdown happened, everyone is hopeful that this unique celebration of live theatre outside can go ahead uninterrupted this year. Cross your fingers and come on down to St. Francois-Xavier.

“As a small community, it’s been hard to be constantly planning and re-planning,” said Eda. “But it has been nice to have small business connections in the community to go through this together.”

Learn more about Centaur Theatre’s Portico Project, ADD @ Centaur, or purchase tickets to their upcoming MOB performance. You can also support the Centaur Theatre by making an individual donation.

Geofencing: Four Creative Uses To Build Awareness and Drive Traffic

Geofencing is a highly effective way to target your ideal customers the moment they’re primed for responding to an ad from your business when done right. For example, traditionally you may put a geofence around a competitor’s location, and send ads to people who enter the area letting them know your products or services are currently discounted.

Thanks to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic, however, many businesses have changed their business model and many consumers are now shopping online as opposed to in-store. So how can small business owners still take advantage of geofencing, a location-based targeting tactic? Here are a couple of ways to keep it functioning as an integral part of your marketing strategy.

Expand Your Location Parameter

Curbside pick-up, long lines outside of stores, and drive-thrus are becoming increasingly popular as this pandemic continues. Because of this, it’s important to expand your geofencing parameter to a larger area in order to incorporate those consumers. Of course, you’ll want to double-check that the locations you’re targeting are still open, or what their current hours are so that you’re not targeting locations without an audience present.

Build Awareness About Amenities

Whether it’s a city park, a stadium, a hospital, or a shopping center – instead of driving traffic to your location from a competitor, you can use geofencing to alert consumers already on or near your site to available amenities. This can include food services, public restrooms, taxi pick-up; a number of services consumers still require, but that are more difficult to locate these days.

Strengthen Your Current Strategy

By adapting your strategy to include a larger parameter, or targeting more people for brand or amenity awareness, you naturally bring a larger audience into your range. Now is a good time to review the audience layers of your strategy and tighten them up to ensure you’re only attracting the most ideal customers to your business. This will help increase your conversion rate.

Keep Your Content Fresh

When driving traffic to your website through geofencing during COVID-19, ensure you’re updating your web and social media content regularly. You want to make sure the potential customers you are attracting have the most accurate information possible, understand what you are doing in terms of COVID protocols, and know how to purchase from you safely. Stale content will result in a potential loss of conversions.

If geofencing is part of your strategy, or you want to incorporate it, but aren’t sure of the best way to do so during the pandemic, send us a message. We’re always happy to help and set you up with a strategy for success. 

Why An Active, Accurate Google My Business Listing Is So Important

Have you been reading our blog for some time? Then you know that having an accurate Google My Business listing is essential for driving web and foot traffic to your business, improving your SEO, and helping build your brand reputation through reviews and posts. But what happens when the system breaks and your listing on Google is no longer accurate?

Daniel Gavsie, owner of Aliyah Massage in Montreal, had the unpleasant experience of twice having his business location changed on his Google My Business listing. For reasons unbeknownst to Daniel, after almost two years at his current location, Google updated his street address from Jean-Talon Street West to Jean-Talon Street East – a 30-minute drive away.

“It’s crippling,” said Daniel, who first noticed the problem when a client was 10 minutes late to their appointment. After calling his client to check-in, Daniel discovered the client was lost and looking for the clinic at the wrong end of the street. The client didn’t make their appointment – and Daniel missed out on the business.

“Searches for information are higher this year,” said Vanessa Gingras, an industry expert. “Every time government regulations change, there is a spike in searches. Ultimately, these inaccuracies lead to lost revenue.”

Guard Your Revenue Drivers

During the pandemic, when small businesses are lucky to be open and operating, lost revenue is no small matter. And when clients are already exasperated with COVID and with trying to figure out if businesses are open or operating regular hours, inaccuracies like this can lead to lost business on a larger scale, too. These inaccuracies may include:

  • Loss of new business.
  • Loss of already scheduled appointments.
  • Loss of recurring business from clients upset with travelling to the wrong location.

So how can you get ahead of Google’s automation system, which determines if your information is accurate or not and, sometimes, makes changes without you knowing? Along with ensuring you are updating your business information regularly, having an active listing is crucial.

“Keep updating the listing even if there are no changes,” says Vanessa. “This tells Google you are an active business, which helps it value your business more than others.”

Because Google is a user-centric business directory, it will always prefer listings that it believes are active and up-to-date.

“It’s important for business owners to understand that having an ‘updated’ listing isn’t just about ensuring your hours are accurate. You have to be consistently updating your description, add photos, and so on, to stay relevant.” Doing so sends the right signals to Google, as their algorithms are always looking for business owners who are active and engaged. And why would they be if their listing was inaccurate? 

Agencies Connected To Google Can Help

That’s why, when you’re relying on Google to maintain your online business information, it’s crucial to stay on top of your listing and show Google you are both active and that your information is accurate. While it’s not a fool-proof system, as Daniel witnessed, it’s your best bet to ensure Google leaves you alone and doesn’t try to override the content you’ve created.

If you’re still unfortunate enough to have an issue with how Google interprets your business information, it’s good to associate yourself with an agency. Choosing the right agency is key because some oversee thousands of business listings and work closely with Google to help solve these types of problems. With an agency on the case, these types of issues get solved more quickly than if you’re attempting to navigate the waters yourself, as the agency will have more pull with Google. And, for small business owners, a quick resolution in these instances is everything.

“This error is on every level,” said Daniel. “It’s tough right now. We’re lucky even to be open.”

And Daniel is thankful this problem is now in his rearview mirror.


If you have questions about how you can better manage your Google My Business listing to avoid this unfortunate situation, send us a message – we’re always happy to help.