Category: local

GoPackHoops – our latest project

gopackhoopsWhen our co-owner Ryan joined the coaching staff for the Glacier High School Boys Basketball team this past fall, one of his first projects was to give the premier program in the state a premier web presence.

Allow us to introduce:

Giving the Wolfpack a custom web solution will give fans an easier way to follow their team this season.  This is a project that will evolve over time, but DrySpark is very excited to have our handprint on it.

Google’s Carousel – A new spin on local search

Starting today, when you enter a local search query into Google you should start seeing a new carousel or results displayed on the top of the screen.



google carousel search



Just a few things that we noticed with this great new feature.

1.  Our friends at Swan Hill Bed and Breakfast got a pretty good placement when we searched for Polson hotels.

2.  Reviews are once again driving results.  The more reviews that you have on your Google+ Local page, the better your ranking seems to be in the new carousel results.

3.  If you search for restaurants, you are seeing the Zagat score, along with the genre of the restaurant and $$ scale of the cost to dine.

4.  When you select an option from the carousel you do not go that specific webpage, but to Google’s search results for that business.


Things to consider:

1.  Your Google+ profile image just became that much more important.   By incorporating a visual in with the textual search results – searchers have one more way to choose where they click.

2.  Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews on your Google+ local profile.  In the next few months, I think that you will see these reviews become much more important than other third party sites like Trip Advisor or Urbanspoon.  Because they are going to driving search and effecting your placement in the results.

3.  With Google’s specific search displayed when you click on a link general web presence is that much more important.  Make sure that your information is listed correctly, or better yet, have DrySpark check it for you.



Leadership Lessons – #leaveyourlegacy

I spent a lot of time last week thinking about legacy and small business.  Last year my mothers business, Wakefield’s Beauty Connection,  was awarded for 25 years of service in the Kalispell Center Mall, in Kalispell, Montana.  For years previous to opening the Beauty Connection she owned and operated at least four other very successful business in the hair and beauty industry.   As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title IX and all of the amazing benefits, seeing a woman who has broken all of the small business stereotypes by simply crushing it for 35 straight years.  When you think about it, that is almost nine Presidential terms.  While people were busy blaming Washington’s politics for holding back small business, she simply just kicked ass and took names.  Then she took those names, and turned them into loyal repeat customers.  It was done without deep discount sales and gimmicky tatics – simply through great customer service, an impressive inventory selection and always delivering her personal brand in every sale.

When we think of leaving our legacy in business, it is not much different than leaving your legacy in sport.  The great Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens sums it up the best.

If you are not pissed off at greatness, that means that you are okay with mediocre.

You do not see mediocre businesses stick around for very often.

Enjoy the video below from a small group of amazing students from Stanford University.  It does a great job of highlighting the attention to detail that elite athletes have.  It shows that preparation is key to any sport, business, project or dream.  With Ray Lewis delivering a pregame speech over the top of the music – it simply reminds us to Leave Our Legacy.

Google+ Local featuring Zagat

We have been talking up the need for small businesses to have a Google+ page for the past few months. Today, Google gave us another reason why this is so important. The search giant who purchased Zagat back in September 2011, is incorporating the world renowned review service in with their new arena – Google+ Local.

Full Google release here.

The new iPhone commercial shows John Malkovich asking siri to help him find a pasta restaurant. Siri lets him know of a few in the area…what siri does not tell him is a summary or review score of those establishments. Google+ Local does, and does it well, because they use your social circle to first get reviews from your friends or people in your circles.

When you log into your Google+ account you will see a new Local tab – you can search local and get results based on a 30 point system. If you are not asking your customers to do reviews for your business – now is the time. It does look like Google has rolled over the reviews from their Hot Pot service that slide into the corner a few months back.

Google+ Local example















These reviews and scores look to be incorporated into search and maps, as well as on both Android and iOS devices. This is huge for local businesses.

Google+ Local in Google Maps


Google+ Local mobile example












This last part is directly from Google’s release statement itself (link above) and is far too important to paraphrase.

“Today is just the first step, and you’ll see more updates in the coming months. If you’re a business owner, you can continue to manage your local listing information via Google Places for Business. Soon we’ll make it even easier for business owners to manage their listings on Google and to take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ pages. Get more information on our Google and Your Business Blog.”

Stay Tuned.