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Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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)

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

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 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.

DirectFeed – Your Business Needs This Service!

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

Did you know over 40% of business listing information is incorrect across the internet.

This bad information is costing you customers and hurting your online marketing efforts. The simple way to start correcting this bad data is to use DirectFeed. DirectFeed is an enhanced owner-verified business listing service.

DirectFeed submits your accurate business listing to the four major data providers: Factual, Acxiom, Infogroup, and Neustar (Localeze). Together, these data providers are referenced by over 300 online listing directories.DirectFeed - Listing Distribution

Optimize your listings for four factors that impact local search rank:

  1. maximize the number of online citations (very important trust factor for search engines)
  2. ensure listings appear on public, trusted sources  (like Yelp, Google, YP, etc.)
  3. improved accuracy and consistency of business listing information
  4. increase direct website traffic from directories (i.e. get more new customers from online directories)

To see how DirectFeed works, check out this video.

Google My Business – Adding Your Business to Google [VIDEO]

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

It is very important to establish a listing on Google My Business. Google My Business is a platform that puts your business information on search, maps, and Google+. It creates a cohesive environment and it makes it easier to manage how your business appears across those three platforms.

Now if you’ve previously used Google Places for Business, your account has automatically been upgraded to Google My Business, but you’ll want to review the information as new options are available to you.

Let’s walk through how to set up your page on Google My Business.

 

[VIDEO] A Matter of Facts – Mobile Responsive Websites

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

Should I care if my website isn’t mobile responsive?

The simple answer, absolutely! Upwards of 50% of your website traffic is coming from a mobile device. If your website isn’t mobile responsive, research shows you are losing site visitors and ultimately money.

Check out this video and see the facts related to mobile responsive websites and design.



[VIDEO] What Is An Enhanced Business Listing & How Can It Help My Business?

By | Local Search, Online Advertising, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Every business should have an “enhanced business listing”. Why? Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing rely on signals from well respected directories to build trust, so HometownLocal created DirectFeed.  DirectFeed is an enhanced business listing service that removes the hassle of manually inputting your business information across the many search engines and directories.

DirectFeed sends your business information to over 125 directories for greater visibility to potential customers.  This tedious task can take hours and sometimes days to find and add your business information. DirectFeed can handle this task seamlessly, so you can get back to running your business.

How does DirectFeed work? Check out this video to see DirectFeed in action.

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FREE SEO Audit Tool – Is Your Website Helping Your Business? Find The Answer Here [VIDEO]

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

The ability of your website to draw traffic depends almost entirely on the strength of your SEO content. As a website owner who relies on revenue from your site, you should be very interested in how your SEO content is performing on the various Internet search engines.

The most effective way to determine whether or not your SEO content is effective is to utilize our SEO audit tool free of charge. This is a powerful tool that will let you know if you are reaching your audience and if your message is being read.



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