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Who is Eligible for Local Services Ads?


Friday December 18, 2020

Reading Time: 9 minutes

It’s been a long while since we talked about Local Services ads for lawyers – in the time since then, Google has made a number of changes to this ad delivery method. Today, we want to tell you about how this exciting new platform can get your business in front of potential clients… right when they need you most.

Nashville local services ad company

Nashville Local Services Ads: A Primer

On their Local Services ads page, Google says that this approach will “get more leads and grow your business” – as a Nashville Local Services ad company, we agree. Here’s the rundown on how these Google ads work.

First, a person types their search into Google. If they’re looking for a service your business provides, your ads will show up. Pretty simple, right? It gets better. Google’s algorithm will only show your ads to customers in your service area, and on top of that, you only pay if they call you directly through the ad.

At a glance, the benefits of Local Services ads include:

  • Get seen at the top of Google.
  • Connect with customers who are looking for you (and more likely to book).
  • Use the mobile app to communicate with customers anytime.
  • Customers can call, message, or schedule a booking directly through your ad.
  • A wide array of tools are available to help build out your profile.
  • Only pay for the leads related to your services.
  • Google Guarantee and Google Screened badges boost conversions.
  • Only hear from customers who have chosen your profile.
  • Get listed as a local provider on the Assistant.

 

A Badge of Trust

Recently, Google has introduced a new offering for your Nashville local service ad company. By becoming a Google Screened or Google Guaranteed provider, you will earn a badge for your listing based on your industry. This little checkmark works a lot like the “verified” badge on Twitter – it gives you extra credibility and increases the likelihood that customers will book your services.

 

Who is Eligible for Nashville Local Services Ads?

Thanks to some recent changes, a variety of businesses around Nashville will be able to promote themselves through Local Services ads.

Initially, Google was very conservative with the professions which were eligible for this ad delivery method. Their logic was that household services (and those which could help with emergencies) would, by nature, need high quality, hyper-localized results. Until May of last year, Local Services ads were only available for electricians, HVAC professionals, carpet cleaners, plumbers, garage door repair services, and locksmiths.

Today, in addition to the above, professionals and those offering these services can apply for Nashville Local Services ads.

Active now:

  • Cleaning services
  • Window cleaning services
  • Criminal lawyers
  • Water damage services
  • DUI lawyers
  • Siding services
  • Tree services
  • Lawn care services
  • Air duct cleaning services
  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Litigation lawyers
  • Estate lawyers
  • Pest control services
  • Movers
  • Malpractice lawyers
  • Fencing services
  • Personal injury lawyers

Coming soon:

  • Appliance repair services
  • Bankruptcy lawyers
  • Videographers
  • Tax services
  • Financial planning services
  • Chiropractors
  • Towing services
  • Architecture services
  • Mechanics
  • Window repair services
  • Foundation repair services
  • Interior designers
  • Junk removal services
  • Family lawyers
  • Immigration lawyer services
  • Labor lawyers
  • Carpenters
  • Event planning services
  • Business lawyers
  • Flooring services
  • Countertop services
  • Contract lawyers
  • Photographers

Whether you are a lawyer, real estate agent, or someone who provides household repairs – roofers, appliance repairmen, and tree removal specialists – we strongly encourage you to work with a Nashville Local Services ad company to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Do I Need a Nashville Local Services Ad Company?

Local Services ads have a host of benefits. As we’ve mentioned above, they solve one of the biggest pain points of online advertising: spending money on people who won’t hire your company. You don’t want to show your listings to people who are too far away to use your services or who are searching for something unrelated. This method has the potential to bring in a lot of new business for a relatively small monthly investment.

By hiring a Nashville Local Services ad company, you can be sure that your ads are properly calibrated. Agencies like Webconsuls work directly with you to understand what your business offers, how you can outrank the competition, and how to maximize your budget. We believe that most of digital advertising is smart money management, combined with constant ad tweaks, updates, and optimization.

For many people, Google Ads don’t work right out of the box. They may try a “set it and forget it” approach, which usually results in wasted money and minimal return. A professional Nashville local service ad company will continuously modify your ads based on performance. Additionally, we’ll suggest budgetary fluctuations and other strategies that can improve your results over time. These small changes add up to big results.

To learn more about Local Services ads, contact Webconsuls today. Our managing partners are happy to help you through the process of creating and optimizing your online presence.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Ah, the age-old question of internet marketing: should I focus on PPC or SEO? When brainstorming about your digital marketing strategy, you’ve probably asked yourself this more than once. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, like Google Ads, pop up in relevant searches, promoting your company to a wider audience, while SEO can boost your ranking in these same results, free of charge. So what should you spend more time on? It’s not quite as complicated as it seems. We’ll guide you to online success in today’s blog.

What’s the Deal with SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the practice of putting relevant content on your website. This content helps to boost your site’s visibility to search engines and the people using them. For example, if you’ve got an online portfolio with a small amount of text and alt-tag-less images, search engines probably won’t know much about your products and services. By writing keyword-rich, long-form content, like pages and regular blog posts, you educate Google, Bing, and other search engines about what’s on your website. This incentivizes them to raise your ranking and send visitors your way.

SEO Pros  SEO has a lot of benefits. First, it’s free. If you take the time to educate yourself on SEO best practices, you can handle this entire process in-house. We recommend writing clear, descriptive, and helpful content that’s easy to read. Try to use keywords – terms you think people would search for – when putting together pages and blogs on your site. Avoid the temptation to “trick” the algorithm. Google and other search engines have evolved to punish scammy or sketchy sites that are stuffed with keywords or nonsensical language. These deceptive pages will be buried in search results.

SEO Cons – There’s one major drawback to sustained growth via SEO: it’s time-consuming. Setting up baseline SEO is simple. Continuing to improve is a bit more challenging. If you want Google to see you as a dynamic, exciting place to send searchers, it’ll take some regular writing. Long blog entries, ranging from 800 to 2,000 words, are a staple of killer SEO strategy. There are also some more technical components of SEO, like backlinking, with which you may want expert assistance.

In summary, SEO is a long-term strategy that requires a bit of elbow grease. By writing great blog posts and doing some keyword research, you can expect a boost in your ranking (and an increase in leads).

Google Ads Explained

Google Ads represent a pay-per-click advertising strategy; you and your competitors can bid on the chance to show ads on relevant Google searches. You can customize the goal of your campaign. Do you want potential clients to call you for a quote? Would you rather they visit your site to complete a contact form? This customization is available to Google Ads users.

PPC Pros – Google Ads don’t charge for exposure; instead, you’ll only be charged when a person clicks on your ad. Additionally, they involve a great amount of flexibility. You can modify campaigns to reach new audiences who may not have heard of your services before, or to promote a timely offer. This can be an incredible boost for smaller companies who don’t have time to update their SEO to reflect promotions and seasonal changes.

PPC Cons – Unfortunately, Google Ads aren’t a magic bullet. They cost money, and they don’t improve your organic search rankings. This means that you’ll need to do the work of SEO in addition to your advertising efforts; otherwise, you’ll be stuck paying for traffic instead of receiving any organically. However, they are a quick, exciting solution for businesses who are just getting started or who are short-staffed.

Basically, PPC is a tool for specific advertisement. If you’ve got a sale to promote, or if you’d like to reach new people, this is the path for you. Google Ads can help you to get eyes on your business, even if you’re in the earliest phases, while you build your SEO strategy from the ground up.

Finding Your Strategy

As we promised, the answer to SEO or PPC isn’t cut and dry. Both of these methods can help your business in different ways. By investing your time in creating helpful, descriptive content, you can boost your company’s organic search ranking. This helps you to be found more often and build your reputation online. Through campaigns on Google Ads, you can reach new audiences, promote seasonal sales, and reach new customers more immediately. By combining these two approaches, you can bring traffic to your site and enhance your chances of long-term success.

If you need help setting up stellar SEO that moves the needle (or Google Ads that draw more clicks), we’re here to help. Contact us for more info.

Webconsuls is a digital marketing company specializing in SEO and Google Ads.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

The top section of the Google search results page was recently replaced by a large banner showing a SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) addiction hotline number. SAMHSA is a government agency whose website contains addiction and mental health resources. This change has been implemented in certain states, and according to a source at Google, it will soon be implemented nationwide. In the coming weeks, the majority of addiction-related terms will trigger this banner to show above the fold, before paid ads and organic listings.

Desktop Example

SAMSHA hotline desktop

Mobile Example

SAMHSA hotline mobile

 

Google’s Hotline Boxes

The top section prominently displaying the SAMHSA phone number is referred to as a hotline box: a part of Google’s knowledge panel. Today, a Google source confirmed that they are applying hotline boxes to addiction-related terms. Google does this for important searches that suggest a crisis or emergency requiring immediate help, like human trafficking and suicide.

The exact layout of the page differs slightly by term and device, but overall the SAMHSA number occupies the top. Google Ads have been moved either under the hotline banner or to the bottom of the page. A majority of the time, the top result receives the most clicks.

Combine this with the phone number being recommended by Google and a government behavioral health directory, and the advantage for SAMHSA is enormous. A large portion of leads will be calling this number.

What Happens When You Call SAMHSA?

So, what exactly happens when SAMHSA’s hotline number is dialed? We tested it and received a list of the 5 treatment centers closest to our location which is their standard practice.

Although the intentions of this are good, there are an array of issues that arise, affecting user experience from both a search and addiction treatment perspective.

Dialing the SAMHSA hotline directs you to the closest centers, when local help isn’t always the best option. There are times where an individual needs to get out of toxic environment to have the best chance at recovery. Additionally, local centers may not offer the appropriate levels of care or clinical services required by the individual.

The Impact on LegitScript and Google Advertising

Taking away the top section of the search results page diminishes the value and purpose of LegitScript certification and centers competing fairly for addiction treatment terms. Addiction marketing online became so unethical that Google banned addiction related ads until a strict certification process could be implanted. That certification process became LegitScript certification.

Many treatment centers pay thousands of dollars and dedicate dozens of hours to becoming LegitScript certified to be able to run Google Ad campaigns. Search ads show at the top of the search results, and therefore drive many leads to treatment centers.

Removing the top section and replacing it with a hotline number moves Google Ads down the page, diminishing the value of Google Ads and the value of certification.

Diminishing the value of LegitScript certification isn’t in the best interest of the treatment industry or those seeking help. LegitScript assures a center is licensed/certified, but also goes into a much more rigorous process to make sure the center is ethical and provides quality treatment.

The requirements for being listed on SAMHSA are much more lax than becoming LegitScript certified.

What Treatment Centers are on SAMHSA?

There are several non-certified centers on SAMHSA. On our first search, the third treatment center listed on SAMHSA had a facility name that was questionable, which made us think it could be a lead generation company. This listing didn’t have a website, so we Googled the address, revealing a different treatment center’s website whose name didn’t match the name on the directory. Upon further research, we found the original center’s name was changed because the owners were arrested for patient brokering a year ago. Patient brokering is akin to human trafficking, meaning that the Google hotline that seeks to help those in crisis can actually cause unintended harm.

Protecting those seeking addiction treatment from unscrupulous players is precisely what the industry worked so hard to achieve.

If we’re putting addiction in the same category as suicide and human trafficking, we need to hold it to the same standard of delicacy and scrutiny. If an individual considering taking their own life or a victim of human trafficking called a hotline with unsafe resources, it would be unacceptable.

Help Stop Google from Implementing the Addiction Hotline

Since not all centers on SAMHSA are LegitScript Certified or members in good standing at the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, we want to urge Google to stop using the hotline box for addiction related searches.

If you’d like to help, mention the hotline to your Google Ads representative during your next meeting or submit feedback on the hotline box. To submit your feedback on the hotline, click the small grey feedback text in the bottom right corner of the box.

hotline feedback

After clicking the link a box will appear that will give you the opportunity to voice your concerns.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Increased Social Ad Spend

According to the latest forecasts, social media ad spend is predicted to surpass print ad spend for the first time in history. The report indicates that while social ad spend will jump 20% in 2019, spend on print sources like newspapers and magazines will dip 6%.

Today, social media is the third-largest advertising medium, accounting for 13% of global ad spend. It is surpassed only by paid search (17%) and television advertisements (29%). Overall, television ad spend is shrinking, while total amount spent on paid search is expected to exceed $100 billion for the first time in history.

Growth Fueled by Small Businesses

One key contributor to this trend is the accessibility of social media advertising to small business owners. While multi-million-dollar budgets permit international corporations to purchase Super Bowl ads, radio promotions, and full-page spreads in prominent magazines, newer companies must instead tailor their approach to a smaller scope. There are two key benefits to social ads: comprehensive local targeting and an increased sphere of awareness.

Broader Reach, Increased Relevancy

For a fraction of the cost of traditional advertisements, family-owned businesses may make use of Facebook’s targeting tools to identify individuals near and far who are interested in their products or services.

On a local basis, marketers may tailor their ads’ demographic parameters to those who are nearby and interested. Rather than casting a wide net via the local paper or missing out on the younger demo, business owners are able to reach a different audience (without wasting money on irrelevant exposure).

On the other hand, social ad spend may be used to grow the brand beyond the confines of city limits. While small businesses were previously limited by word-of-mouth, today niche products and services may reach potential interested customers all over the world. Through social media, companies can build brand equity and loyalty; they are able to tailor their ad objectives to engagement and audience-building, rather than just attempting to sell a product or service

What Does This Mean for Your Marketing?

By keeping track of this data, businesses are able to position themselves in a way that takes advantage of changing ad trends. Social ad spend and paid search will play an increasing role in advertising in the months and years ahead. Use these ads to lead your customers to optimized landing pages for best results.

Founded in 1999, Webconsuls is a full-service digital agency headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. We have grown alongside social media platforms and major search engines. To learn more about our digital advertising services, call 949-701-4714.

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A very important feature of Google AdWords is the ability to target all areas you have defined as your target audience, but just as importantly is not having those outside your coverage area not able to find you.  Pay Per Click is a pay to play game, and throwing away money on a searcher who finds your ad and therefore costs you money without being able to utilize your product/service hurts the program significantly.

In a specific case, I was targeting only the state of Florida.  So to sum up, I only wanted people in Florida to be able to find my ads.  The problem is, my tracking shows a majority of clicks from outside the state, namely New Jersey.  How can this be?  Here’s Google’s answer:
I. IP Address Does Not Match User’s Location- the good old AOL example, where all AOL users have an IP of Virginia, their home base.
II. Target Region Larger Than Expected- this makes no sense.  I have a preset area called a STATE selected.
III. Ad Showing on Location-Specific Queries- technically my ad will still come up when searchers outside the state of Florida specifying Florida in the search query like ‘Florida shoe shine’.
IV. Ad Showing on Country-Specific Domain- like point 3, searchers specifying my target area from outside the country will still find my ad.
So to sum up- the geo-targeting is not going to be able to limit the ads as advertised, although for points 3 and 4 seem to still be targeted results.
If you have information outside these 4 Google rep. points- please share.
*Update – Google AdWords now has the ability to target users in your location, or users in – or interested in – your location. Choosing users in my location will eliminate ads showing outside your target location.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

The continued quest in the Pay Per Click world of writing a good and targeted ad within the allotted 70 characters is not an easy one. It is widely practiced concept of writing an ad not only to attract searchers to your business/web site, but also to deter those that are not targeted to your desired audience- keeping in mind clicks are far from free. I have written in the past, not all traffic is good traffic in the PPC world.

Recently a client of mine was getting a substantial amount of clicks and responses to the call to action of his site- phone call traffic- but those phone calls were mostly of poor quality. A tactic was chosen to modify the ad to let the searcher know up front the minimum cost of the service at hand, as to confront that searcher (potentially) before the per click charge was realized. This made a significant difference in the quality of caller, because we were able to educate the searcher to what he/she was getting into with the facility at hand.

That is, the ad itself, not the landing page, stated what the minimum cost was as to get in the door. This promotion of up front facts supports the no nonsense approach that works more times than not. We are looking to promote clicks for those not scared by the ‘sticker shock’ of the price- a way to potentially modify behavior in our favor and lower costs at the same time. In this instance the time of taking that un-targeted phone call traffic was also costing money.

It may make sense and work for you in your marketplace. Use this idea particularly with any competitive advantages you may hold and highlight those things. You can reach the searcher before they take money out of your wallet and put it into Google or Yahoo’s.

Let Webconsuls reduce your spend with tools and methods like this. We’ll put it into practice for your businesses unique needs.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Many Google Advertisers received an email from AdWordsnoreply@Google.com stating “In the coming weeks, we’ll upgrade your AdWords account” to their new interface.

This auto email itself stated the following points (to summarize):

-Its a ‘a new web interface designed to make campaign management faster and easier.’

-‘You’ll have at least 30 days from the date of this email before you’ll be required to use the new interface’

-‘We’re working to ensure that the new interface contains all of the reports and controls you need to manage your campaigns effectively’

Therefore there are two major points I will summarize with:
1. This is happening to everyone
2. You don’t have a choice (so you might as well switch and get used to it asap)
If you have already familiarized yourself with the new platform, please pass along any help or feedback you may have.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marketing at the keyword level defines 2 basic types of keywords- general and specific.  General marketplace keywords are expensive because competition is high due to high search volumes, but these keywords are expensive because their ROI tends to be poor.  A general search query means the seacher is not very far along in the buying process and at this point is educating themselves on the market; even if this education is just comparative pricing.  Specific keywords are those further along this buying process where it is evident in the search query that the searcher knows what he or she is looking for.  In extremely specific cases, product numbers are searched for goods and area codes for services.

So along the process of educating, comparing and buying a good or service it also makes sense then, to tailor your ads to each point along that graph too.  I would even argue in many cases that you don’t want to be found along the 1st two points of the graph, but nevertheless, let the data speak for itself– i.e. track everything.
 
To put this into practice it makes most sense to have ad groups within a given campaign differentiated by keyword specificity as it relates to the buying process.  Therefore it is a clear path to writing for the different targets.  Ad group 1 is written for the uneducated searcher, ad group 2 to the price comparer and 3 (if different than step 2) is for the buyer with credit card in hand.  Again, the keywords are making the distinctions for all 3 steps.
 
Confused about how this relates to your web site or online marketing?  Let us know and we’ll make it make sense customized to your business needs.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
New Research suggests that Pay Per Click campaigns can positively affect branding.  In the words of the linked article, ‘Turns out that search lifts brand metrics, particularly when paired with other media. Better yet, post-click lift in search metrics is off the charts, perhaps finally validating my branding effectiveness ‘.

Get you name out there as a goal, while simulanteously achieving your Web Site goals- whether it be defined as sales, leads or phone call traffic.  Brand awarness, especially in your targeted and/or local community can be a significant source of traffic (of all kinds, including walk-in and referral).

The article by Payperclickuniverse, adds that ‘brand lift’ occurs after the click is made, sending the searcher to your web site- according to their research.  And this makes sense in our experience.  How are you catering to your niche, market and locality?  What differentiation is made, and how are you marketing and identifying that to you client base?

If these questions are difficult to answer- visit the one stop shop of all things internet marketing, Webconsuls.com


http://www.payperclickuniverse.com/search-engine-latest-news.php?v=more&id=3402

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Yahoo Search Marketing, the Pay Per Click (PPC) division of Yahoo! Inc has been historically behind the 8-ball, or more specifically behind Google AdWords for the last 3 to 5 years of PPC advertising.
 
Yahoo’s argument was, we were the 1st on the scene and Google has since leap-frogged us by taking our model and improving upon it- an argument with some validity.  But now 5 years down the road, Yahoo is still playing catch-up.  This is even after the famous ‘Panama’ launch that was to solve everything.  Not to be confused with your favorite South American canal, or a Van Halen song.


Well Yahoo has taken a small step in the right direction by now including a full ad scheduling feature.  Previous to this upgrade, Yahoo’s scheduling was all of, start date- end date.  Now, like Google, the PPC advertising can be scheduled to the hour, every hour of every day of the week.

For example, I want to push my Ad’s in the morning only, Monday, Wednesday and Friday but have evenings only on the weekend.  You can customize and specify exactly to the 1/4 hour when your ads will run and when the won’t.  The trick now is deciphering when and when not to run your ads.

Do you feel like you want to utilize this type of tool, targeting only parts of the week where you see your best results?  Let us help- Webconsuls.com.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Google has created another AdWords tool for finding keywords to put in a PPC account, creating more competition, bidders, which therefore raises the price in addition to other factors.  This time the tool proposes that it finds relevant keywords by ‘matching (keywords) to specific pages of your website with your ad and search share’.  To translate, it is trying to provide keywords not currently in the account that are best for the account as determined by looking at the whole picture- website, ads and budget.

Of course past PPC blogs on ‘helpful’ tools created by the big search engine giants have made my tone a bit cynical.  These tools are created at best based off user demand, but always tailored to and quietly aimed at revenue.  This is not to say that there isn’t utility and useful qualities of a tool like this one, but it is important to read between the lines.

I used the tool for the first time on a current account I manage, and found some keywords I didn’t currently use; but nothing major or shocking.  Having said that, that is the way it should be.  This should be a comment that I am doing my job as a Pay Per Click administrator.  On the other hand, this tool may be helpful for business owners who are attempting to run the marketing themselves and have to balance the business with the marketing.

The tool can be found in the Campaign Management tab, ‘tools’ sub-tab left-hand column.  Use of the tool is simple- put the web address in the search field and in another box type the essence of the topic to be explored.  The parameters included in the results are keyword suggestions, monthly searches, competition as a bar graph, suggested bid and ad share.

Use this tool in addition to the Keyword Tool, but in both beware of general and expensive keywords that will not return a positive ROI.

Do you need help with Google AdWords or any PPC tools like this one?  Let us know at Webconsuls.com.

Reading Time: 3 minutes
PPC ad scheduling

Both Yahoo and Google have their own forms of ‘ad scheduling’.  This means that we can choose when we want our ads to be shown and just as importantly, when we don’t want our ads to be shown– well kind of.

Google fully provides this functionality- hour by hour, day by day, even down to every 1/4 hour, when to display your ads.  The campaign ‘edit status’ button has what looks like a hyperlink, which is where you can find the ad scheduling function.

Yahoo Search Marketing on the other hand, allows you to schedule a start date and an end date, which is their full and complete definition of ad scheduling.  Therefore, taking your campaigns on and offline at certain hours is a manual process– log in to the account and literally turn the account offline or back online to perform the same function.  This is ridiculous- Yahoo needs to step up to the plate.  We are not asking for voice command here.

Both search engines have the faults and points of utility, but for this function it’s a runaway: collegiate versus kindergarten.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Google AdWords ‘local business ad’ is one of the forms you may choose to create for your keyword listings. If your business is localized to any extent, this is probably very helpful. To take it a step further, if your business takes ‘walk-in’ traffic and/or has a brick and mortar presence, then this functionality is a must.

If you have ever done a Google keyword search where your query included a location, you may have seen this type of ad appear. Underneath the sponsored results but before the organic results, a google map will appear with points on the map representing local results for your query. An easy example would be local pizza restaurants- a business-person is traveling and doesn’t know the area well. He or she is looking for a good pizza for dinner, but wants one in walking distant to the hotel. That person can look at the map to see the closest match and how to get there.

The ad itself as has a description for a tag line like normal PPC ads. The business web site, physical address and phone number can all be included, making this a very useful tool for businesses in a community.

Need help setting up and creating a local business ad for your Google AdWords account? Don’t even have an AdWords account? Either way Webconsuls can help, its what we do.
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Analyze Your Ad Performance
Ads Diagnostic Tool Are your ads showing for a particular search? Find out with this tool.
Ads Preview Tool See your ad on Google without accruing extra impressions, and preview your ad as it appears to users in other geographic locations.
Disapproved Ads Find out which ads have been disapproved and why, (editorial status).
Conversion Tracking Define campaign goals and then pull data to determine which ads are the best at helping you reach those goals.
My Change History Browse changes you’ve made to your account since January 1, 2006.

When it is all said and done, your ad performance is what determines your minimum bids for keywords for positioning, or in other words- the above analysis is how to make your campaign as cheap as possible by being efficient and relative according to Google.

Contact us at Webconsuls for more information and feel free to add to this topic if you have additional notes.