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Groupon Adds Big Features for Businesses, Would Fit Nicely with Google

Update:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Mobile Users Are Using Their Devices in Your Store. Are You Taking Advantage?
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9 out of 10 mobile Internet users have accessed the mobile web while at a store, according to a new study from Yahoo and Nielsen. Furthermore, 51% of those users indicate that they make a purchase after doing research on their mobile device. 

Businesses Can Offer Customers Deals for Checking In with Yelp

Yelp has announced check-in offers for businesses, meaning that businesses can offer Yelp users special deals for checking in at their place of business. Check-ins are tied to Twitter and Faecbook (for Android and iPhone users), so when a user checks in, they are potentially sharing it with a lot of their friends. 

The feature is part of the business owner dashboard on Yelp, and the company says it gives businesses a measurable way to reward their loyal customers while attracting new ones. 

Google Apps Gets Much More Useful to Businesses
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Google has widely expanded Google Apps to incorporate many more of the company’s offerings so that businesses and other organizations can use and administrate them more efficiently. Before Google Apps users only had access to a few of Google’s products like Google Docs, Gmail, Google Calendar, and a few others. 

Is Ranking Number One in Google Losing Its Significance?
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As you may have noticed, Google has been putting a great deal more emphasis on local these days than in years past. That includes everything from the introduction of Google Places and Place Pages to automatically showing more local results for certain searches, as well as various other solutions offered to businesses at the local level, such as product inventory or tag advertising.

There’s More to Social Media For Small Businesses than ROI
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Tips For Increasing the Chances of Customers Buying From You Online
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In the fast-paced digital age where everyone wants a piece of that sweet Internet money, competition for small businesses is greater than ever. Fortunately there are  more tools available to small businesses than ever as well. Still, there are so many factors to consider, and so little time. 

WebProNews sat down with Paul Boisvert of Yahoo Small Business to talk about some things that small e-commerce companies are doing wrong and how they can improve their approaches to ultimately get more sales. 

One Thing Small Businesses Can Do Just as Well as Walmart
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Take a look at what Walmart’s doing on Facebook. The retail giant has put together a Groupon-like model for driving sales via its Facebook page, with a Facebook called CrowdSaver. Hat tip to The Next Web for pointing this out

AmEx and Yahoo Partner on Small Business Resources

Yahoo and American Express have expanded upon an existing partnership to offer small business owners new tools and content. The features will be available via a new Yahoo Business Solutions site that AmEx is sponsoring, located within Yahoo Small Business.

A Cloud of Missed Opportunities

Cloud computing is responsible for a large amount of untapped marketing opportunities for businesses of all sizes. We tend to think about enterprise level businesses when we think of cloud infrastructures and implementations, but in reality, small businesses have just as much reason to turn to the cloud than the big companies, if not more. 

Those Getting Feet Wet in Online Marketing May Find Visa Business Network Helpful

You may or may not be aware of the Visa Business Network. This is a site the company recently launched as a way to connect small business owners with one another, providing resources like goal toolkits, mentors, content-ranked information and more. 

We think some of our readers may find this valuable, so we spoke with Michael Lee of the Visa Business Network Outreach Team. He talked about how it helps businesses get started with building their Facebook and Twitter presences. 

A New Option for Businesses to Levarage Facebook Places

Social app developer Fan Appz has just announced that it has integrated its platform with Facebook Places. The company says this gives businesses "a powerful and easy way to create highly relevant offers based on a customer’s offline activities."

That doesn’t sound bad. 

A Few Pointers for Effective Mobile Marketing
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There’s no question that mobile is getting bigger, and is becoming an increasingly important channel for businesses to reach customers.

We had a conversation with Tim Nguyen, a sales manager for mobile marketing firm Trumpia, which has worked with plenty of small and large businesses in assisting them with utilizing mobile marketing to drive traffic and revenue.

Yahoo Expands Local Listing Partnership with Dex One
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Yahoo announced today that it has expanded its partnership with Dex One to allow listings on Yahoo Local. "This broadens the reach of Dex One’s local advertiser network, providing their clients with greater exposure in local communities and more consumers with detailed information on local businesses," a spokesperson for Yahoo tells WebProNews.

Using and Attracting Customers with Facebook Places
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Facebook Places is going to be huge for businesses. It already is. You’ve probably been hearing about all of the opportunities that come with check-in apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. Facebook has half a billion users. This takes things to a whole new level.

Yahoo Lets Store Owners Offer Customer Registration
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Yahoo announced that it has released the first phase of Customer Registration for Yahoo stores. This introduces registration, sign-in, and account features for store owners to offer their customers. This way, customers can register their info for quicker checkout experiences in the future.

Customer Registration uses OpenID, which should make things even smoother for customers. They won’t have to remember new log-in info, and can simply sign in with a Yahoo, Google, or AOL account.

Google Gives Small Businesses a Forum to Discuss AdWords
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Google has launched a section in the AdWords Help Center aimed at helping small businesses improve their campaigns. It’s called Small Business Corner.

Local.com Pays $5m for Local Ad Solution Provider Octane360

Local search site Local.com has acquired Octane360, a provider of domain-based local ad solutions for small businesses, domain portfolio owners, agencies and channel partners.

Local.com is paying $5 million in cash and stock, with an earnout of up to $5.9 million if certain performance criteria are met in the two-year period following the closing.

Ben Huh Talks Building a Business Founded on Lolcats
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Do you think lolcats are silly? You may be right, but that doesn’t mean they can’t provide important business lessons (if you can get lessons from Justin Bieber, why not lolcats?).

Google Generated $54b for Businesses, Publishers, Non-profits in ’09
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Google has released a report that details its economic impact in each of the 50 states in the U.S. In the report, Google says it generated $54 billion of economic activity for American businesses, website publishers, and non-profits in 2009.

"In a time of tighter budgets and a slow economic recovery, we’re glad to support so many small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country by helping them find new customers more efficiently and monetize their websites through targeted advertising," says Claire Hughes Johnson, Vice President, Global Online Sales.

MerchantCircle Aims to Duplicate U.S. Success Internationally
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MerchantCircle is going international. The local business social network, which gets nearly six million unique monthly visitors (according to Compete data), should be increasing that number greatly as it expands into Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.