HometownLocal Analytics

No Time for Google Maps? Great, Said No One!

By | Google AdWords, Google Maps, Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Online Reviews, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | No Comments

Check that, your competitors are happy! They are perfectly content that you can’t be bothered with creating or improving your Google Maps listing.

Why do they care?

They don’t want you listed anywhere on the Search Engine Results Page. Plus, they know something you may not know, Google Maps drives a lot of business (see Google My Business Report below) to them and they don’t want you listed there. Still no time? Just remind yourself how hard you have worked to build your business.

Google Maps Listing

Google Maps Listing

Why let your competitors take the low hanging fruit because you don’t understand Google Maps or you don’t have time.

Here are the top 5 reasons for having an accurate Google Maps listing:

1. It’s Free Money

Yes, I said it! It is FREE money! Google doesn’t charge you a fee to be listed on Google Maps. This might be the only free marketing tool that can drive substantial traffic to your website. Check out a recent Google My Business Report (below). Notice that 3,115 potential customers found this company on Google, 53 customers visited their website and 51 customers called directly from Google Maps. These numbers reflect just one month, behold the power of Google Maps!

Google Maps listing requirements are a Gmail account, a Google My Business account and a little time to set up the listing. That’s it!

Google Maps Image

Google My Business Report

Your business listing describes exactly where you are located and includes business hours, contact information, website address, pictures, and reviews (more on reviews later).

2. Google AdWords – Location Extensions

If you don’t use Google AdWords, too bad.

Why is mobile so important?

Screen space! Just pull out a mobile phone and conduct some searches to see why you should be using AdWords. Mobile searches now account for over 50% of online searches. Today’s searchers feel more comfortable clicking on AdWords and Google Maps. Recently, Google added a great new feature that went unnoticed, called Location Extensions.

How does this work?

Google allows you to link your Google Maps account with your Google AdWords account with the goal of reaching many more customers. You now can pay to be listed in the Maps section via AdWords. Mobile customers can now call you directly from a Google advertisement, now that’s convenient! Read More

Why Should I Use Google Adwords? [VIDEO]

By | Uncategorized

Can your business handle more new customers? If so, this is a must see video!

This video details why Google Adwords should be part of your overall marketing strategy. If you are new to Adwords no problem, this video will serve as an introduction. If you are familiar with Google Adwords, hopefully, you will again see why Adwords is very important to gain new and repeat customers.

How Online Reviews Can Save Your Business

By | Local Search, Online Marketing, Online Reviews, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Are you a “luke-warmer” regarding online reviews? Have you ever mentioned the following?

  • “I know reviews are important but I just don’t have the time”
  • “I wish getting reviews was easier”
  • “No one really bothers to read reviews anyway”
  • “Reviews don’t really impact my business”
  • “I have some reviews already”

If you uttered any of the above, you are probably in denial regarding online reviews. Here are 5 reasons that may save your business.

1.     Google Reviews – Website Ranking Factor

Google Maps now heavily incorporates online reviews into their website ranking algorithm. The algorithm calculates review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc. This increased algorithm emphasis not only affects Google Maps, but also the Search Engine Results Page or more commonly Sterling Carting - Google Map Examplecalled, the “organic listings”.

It only makes sense that Google would rely on the public to list the best companies at the top of the search results page. Why? Remember, a searcher that uses the Google search engine is a customer of Google. Not yours. This is important to understand, Google doesn’t care if a business employs good people or operates a great business. They use algorithms (robots) to rank businesses either first, last or somewhere in-between. Businesses need to show them that they run a great business by letting the public respond in the form of online reviews. If they have bad reviews it gets reflected, if they have little or no reviews, it gets reflected.

Customers want information about a business, little or no reviews is the same as having bad reviews.

2.    90% of Customers Are Influenced by Online Reviews

Have you heard of ZMOT (no, it’s not a new electric car)? This is Google’s comprehensive consumer study titled “The Zero Moment of Truth” or ZMOT for short. The study examined how buying decisions are made today. Past consumers used to use three decision buying steps (stimulus, shelf, experience). Today, a fourth buying step developed called “The Zero Moment of Truth”. This is when customers do research, consisting of looking online at reviews, websites, search for coupons, comparison shop, etc. They do this before they head to a store or pick up the phone to call a business. In fact, Dimensional Research (online research company) study results show that 90% of customers say buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Moreover, a high-value purchase decision yields more online research by the customer. If a business doesn’t have reviews and the competition does, who do you think generates more trust (with consumers & Google)? Read More

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google AdWords

By | Google AdWords, Online Advertising

Finding new customers has changed remarkably in the last few years. Customers no longer want to invest a lot of time searching for you or your services.

The solution, the Google search engine. This tool has made this process much easier and certainly less time-consuming. Google has no equal in understanding what searchers are looking for, it borders on the creepy when you type in a few letters and it seems to almost read your mind by offering up potential suggestions. This “artificial intelligence” phenomenon is just getting started.Google AdWords Example

If you haven’t embraced Google AdWords, I have one simple question for you – “why the heck not?”. This question may seem provocative, but the only real reason I can think of is that you already have enough business or zero desire for growth. I hardly think many businesses fall into this category so consider 5 reasons to add AdWords and get more new customers.

  1.  It Works!  Google AdWords Increases Customers and Leads

Google AdWords allows you to target only customers who have an interest in your services and reside in your service area. This eliminates the “spray and pray” marketing strategy that has consumed a large portion of your advertisement budget in years past. How effective is AdWords? We know AdWords is the fuel to Google’s bottom line, period. They wouldn’t be a goliath company if this service was ineffective…enough said, it works! As A Google Partner, we manage AdWords for many customers just like you and they see the results daily.

  1.  Fast, Transparent Results

Did I mention Google AdWords is FAST! Start a Google AdWords campaign today and see results tomorrow. The speed and targeting flexibility allows you to get your advertisements in front of the right customer, during a period when the customer is deciding on service providers. Google calls this the “Zero Moment of Truth” or ZMOT. This moment is defined as the exact moment when someone decides to engage with your company or not. If your company isn’t present in this ZMOT phase, then…well, you know the answer. Thus, incremental sales improve as you’re able to present the right offer at the right moment to the right customer. Read More

How Do I Get More Online Reviews? [VIDEO]

By | Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Online Reviews

Online Reviews Are the Equivalent of Currency.

Poor reviews or a lack of reviews can cripple a business.  Gone are the days where “word of mouth” ruled the day, now online reviews are everywhere and studies show upwards of 90% of consumers make their buying decision based on reviews.

The choice is clear, you can dominate your competition with a review generation strategy or you can hope you don’t get dominated. Remember, “hope” is not a strategy!

Learn how to generate more online reviews and make the process a breeze.

How Do I Get More Leads? [VIDEO]

By | Google AdWords, Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Reputation Management

Looking for more leads?

Today, home service providers have multiple sources to obtain leads. However, most businesses think of the traditional ways of acquiring leads, like a business website, phonebook, newspaper ads, and word of mouth. While these sources can be effective, businesses need to also consider multiple online sources to remain competitive.

Many of these online sources do not require big marketing budgets, in fact, many business owners are surprised when they realize how cost effective it is to acquire additional leads.

This short video details these sources that every business should consider to achieve their growth goals.

5 Tips For Website Domination [VIDEO]

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Your website is your single most important marketing tool. Think of it as the front-door to your business. Like it or not, customers will judge you and your business on the quality of your website. My goal in this video is to give you 5 dominating website tips to help your marketing message fly off the screen and acquire more new customers.

These tips are Google related, but Yahoo and Bing are important too. Google market share in the US currently stands at 63.8 percent, with Bing (including Yahoo’s search volume) coming in at 33.5 percent. Ok, let’s dominate.

How To Dominate Google Maps [VIDEO]

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing

Looking for more new customers? This video contains 8 “must-do” tips to help you DOMINATE Google Maps and improve your local online visibility.

If you are unsure about Google Maps, basically it is the top 3 listings on Google’s search results page (below paid advertisements). Google now calls these listings Google Maps. This is where your business information resides, things like your location, website, reviews, and other contact information. Showing up consistently on Google Maps will generate a lot of new business. All local home service providers need to be located here!

My goal is to help you dominate Google Maps with 8 important tips.

Google is Moving Away from Google+ for Business Reviews. Your Current Online Reviews and Local Listings will be Affected.

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Online Reviews

Google announced late last year that they were introducing a “new redesigned” Google+. This is their fourth attempt at gaining additional market exposure in an otherwise crowded arena. First launched in 2011, Google+ was a way for Google to enter the social media frenzy.

Google’s new redesign is centered around Communities and Collections, they hope to capitalize on people’s shared interests and topics. Google ultimately hopes this new design and concept will compete better with Facebook and other social media platforms. Additionally, it offers ease of use and a better mobile-friendly experience.

New Google + Introduction

How does this affect my reviews and business listings?

Google has separated local business pages (remember Google Places?) from Google+. You now get directed to a business’ Google Maps listing rather than their Google+ page. As you recall, reviews were collected and displayed on Google+, now reviews are collected and displayed on the business’ Google Maps listing (see below). Read More

5 Advantages of Working with a Certified Google Partner

By | Google AdWords, Paid Search

Certified Google Partner Badge for HometownLocalHometownLocal is well known for generating quality sales leads, but did you know that HometownLocal is a Certified Google Partner? So what is a Google Partner, and why should you care? A Google Partner is a trusted digital agency that Google has reviewed and certified in AdWords and other online advertising solutions (YouTube, Display, Mobile and Video). Google Partner status isn’t easily obtained; digital agencies must demonstrate expert knowledge and pass rigorous certification exams. Partners must demonstrate this expertise across multiple accounts over time. Partner status is maintained by ongoing training, best practices, and yearly exam requirements.

What are the advantages of working with a Google Partner? Here are 5 compelling reasons to trust your AdWords budget to a Google Partner: Read More