Tag Archives: google places

Google My Business Webinar

Google My Business Webinar Recap

Yesterday Google invited all of us to join in on their live webinar to share more of the new benefits of it’s latest release Google My Business, so we decided to jump in on the action.

A little impersonal with not much engaging interaction, Google partners representative Alex and Jade Wong dove right into the demo of the Google My Business explaining some of the new features within it’s dashboard.

Google My Business Webinar Team

Jade explained many of the new My Business features we have already seen released such as a new dashboard that allows for easy navigation to any of the applications needed to monitor everything from your Google + insights, Reviews and even your sites analytics.

“A key part of a local businesses success is getting online.” – Jade Wong

Google My Business Dashboard

Some of the other great features of the new Google My Business dashboard noted are the ability to a storefront image or walkthrough video right to your page.

The new dashboard also shows you your level of completeness your profile has reached. This is a plus for business owners that helps them grow their profile to a point to where your profile is maximized.

Google My Business Profile Completion

The new dashboard also shows you a clear list of the items left to complete in order to reach your profiles maximum potential. A list is shown off to the right side of the screen displaying the list of “to-do” items helping you finish incomplete items.

Google My Business List of things to complete

Previously not discussed in any detail was the mobile application version and web versions of Google My Business. The Google team explained more about how the mobile application works and how business owners can leverage it and get more out of their experience.

Google My Business Mobile Dashboard

Below you can see the synergy pointed out between desktop, mobile and mobile web applications in a single dashboard and the ease of use for business owners.

Google My Business Desktop & Mobile screens

The new mobile apps are designed to provide easy navigation and use from one touchpoint. As shown below it’s easy to navigate directly to your business editor from any mobile device and make changes as needed.

Google My Business Mobile Navigation

Although the team did not speculate on an actual release date for the iOS version of the application you can see below in the screen shots that the app is in development and should be released soon.

Google My Business iOS

Even though Google’s My Business webinar was brief, lasting only 30 minutes from start to finish including questions including the ever popular “Bulk Upload”, which still wasn’t answered it did provide some useful information.

The new dashboard is available now at google.com/mybusiness. It is available across 236 regions and in 65 languages.

Also, Google is providing support at http://support.google.com/business

We look forward to more control over our business listings with the new dashboard that is Google My Business. Read more about some of the features in our original blog here.

Google My Business More information

Google My Business Sign Up

New “Google My Business” to replace old Google + and Places dashboard.

So for quite a while now it seems as if Google has been experiencing somewhat of an identity crisis of sorts. With now discontinued names such as Google Places, Google Places for Business and Google Plus Local it’s local platform has undergone so many changes it’s hard to keep track let alone be able to determine the best ways in which to optimize your business for it.

Google My Business Signup

Google announced today that Google + Local is officially no more and that users upon logging in or creating a new account will experience the new Google My Business.This will now be the default experience for those presently using any of Google’s other business related tools or services.

Google’s new My Business platform aims to be more of a seamless management system for business owners with individual locations. Brands and Service Areas are also supported but the GMB focus is more intent on a one-stop interface to allow for easy navigation and interpretation of data in one location. The new changes won’t affect any external users’ experiences with your Google + page in any way nor will it appear any different. The back end is where the owner will notice a significant change, which is a huge step in the right direction to help keep your brand identity consistent.

It has been rumored that the new GMB is aimed more at people who have not figured out how to “Get found on Google”, and with a button labeled with that same expression it just may in fact, be true.

For new users, upon signing up you will now have your business information dispersed to other Google tools such as Google Search, Google +, Google Maps for any device.

A few of the new tools available in the GMB update are the ability to manage both your Google + Local and Google + Business pages in one integrated dashboard. Furthermore the ability to manage reviews, customer insights, YouTube and even AdWords express are all here in one place at your fingertips.

Google My Business Dashboard

Another great new feature is the management and streamlined approach to your reviews, a highly critical aspect of your profile. You can not only see reviews from around the web, but their analytics and even a break out of top sites and your average rating on Google + and the rest of the web. This data is easily accessible from the Reviews tab shown above.

Google My Business Reviews Tab

A few of the other great tools now offered in the NEW Google My Business dashboard –

  • Post to your Google + page and respond to review right from your GMB dashboard.
  • More intuitive user insights that include visibility (views & clicks), engagement (posts & actions) as well as audience insights to let you know who is engaging with you!
  • Basic Google Analytics that shows All Web Site Data (for a 30 day period) including new visits, unique visitors and overall pageviews as well as the ability to jump right into your full analytics from your GMB dashboard.

Google My Business Insights

Google My Business Analytics

A Google My Business mobile application has already been released for the Android operating system (live now on Google Play) that allows you to do all of the same things from your mobile device or tablet. Google plans to release an iOS version within the coming weeks.

Google My Business Android Application

Google has also made it easier to distinguish your business type for your Google + page upon setup which now looks like this:

Google My Business Setup Type

Take a look at the Google My Business introduction video released as well:

As of the present time the Google Bulk Upload tool has not appeared to have been given any attention or updates, which still leaves brands or business owners with multiple locations at a bit of a stand still or at least a disadvantage. With all of the updates we can only expect, or at least hope this will happen soon.

Overall, the new GMB dashboard gives users a much more intuitive and cohesive experience for their brand identity. Google has already begun transitioning accounts to the new dashboard so login and take a look. You may just like what you see.

Is SEO Dead? Is Google Responsible.

The Death of SEO – Is Google Responsible?

So, you have reviewed keywords or niche terms related to your business and embedded them into your sites content. You have written strong meta descriptions and made sure that your url and other aspects of your site all follow your strategy. But is it all in vain? Is SEO dying, or is it already dead?

It seems more and more these days that black hat seo is everywhere. Everyone is in a race to get their site ranked high in the SERP’s to increase visibility and business. Underhanded techniques such as link farming and spamming posts seem to be everywhere. Can the white hat seo’s really compete with all of the practices like quality citations and linkbuilding used to gain status online that are simply not lawful? The answer is they may not have to.

Google recently announced an update to their places guidelines that now allow a local business to add a single descriptor that helps customers locate their business or understand what your business offers.

Google Descriptor View

Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Starbucks Downtown” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant”.

Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Plumbing”, “Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas”.

This new guideline allows a local business to be found even more using this descriptor and gain more visibility online. Local seo is rapidly growing and more often than not Google Places/Plus listing show up before many organic searches ever do.

Consumers can gain a great deal of information from your local profile leading them directly to your site, if they even visit it. Studies show that 86% of users searching locally for a business will call or click on their local listing and read reviews and never actually visit a website.

Local SEO & Mobile Search

Here are just a few statistics that support why developing and maintaining a positive and informative local profile is critical, and may be more important that traditional on-page seo for your website.

  • More than 54% of Americans now search online for business information versus traditional
    phone books. (comScore)
  • 82% of online local searchers follow up via an in-store visit. (TMP/comScore)

Traditional on-page SEO that supports keywords, topics and other relative information has long been the most widely used and abused practice for ranking a site or web page. With more consumers searching on mobile devices than ever before the need for strong local SEO has increased. More businesses are becoming proactive in the use of their local business profiles to drive traffic, however over 25% of online business listings are inaccurate or unclaimed.

Traditional on-page SEO

As more business owners realize the power of a strong local listing the shift from traditional on-page SEO to rank slowly dies. The movement toward a local listing full of reviews, images and other useful information becomes front and center. Google is well aware of the effectiveness of these listings and is consistently changing the guidelines to make these listing more effective and more desirable to business owners. With each Google + profile that is optimized a little on-page SEO dies and Google takes that much more of a stronghold over how businesses are ranked and viewed online.

Let us develop a strong local presence for your business today by optimizing and maintaining a group of quality local listing that will drive more business to your door.

Source 1: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2014/02/20/google-places-guideline-update-now-allowing-descriptors-in-business-title/

Source 2: https://support.google.com/places/answer/107528?hl=en

Source 3: http://listedlocally.com/faqs/surveys-statistics-on-local-search/

Keep citation listings consitent for more business

Quality Citations & Consistent NAP Equal More Business

So, you’ve started a new business or have realized that your existing one is quite getting the traffic you had expected online and people just aren’t noticing you.

One of the best ways to get your business out there is to develop quality citations for your business so that the SERP’s can see where you exist. But where do you list and which sources are the most effective for your business?

Determining that can be little tricky and it can also be rather time consuming. We’re going to give you a little inside scoop on the best way to determine these citation sources locally and how to keep track of everything.

EV2 Agency Manata Profile

Take a look at what your competitors are doing. If it works for them it can work for you, right? Do a simple search for the type of business you have and see where your competitors are listing themselves. There are quite a few good tools out there to help you, like GeoRanker but a good old fashioned web search can usually tell you a great deal.

One great factor to take into consideration is the MozRank of any given directory or citation source. If you don’t know what a MozRank is read more about it and what it means to you. You can also use a tool like Moonsy to check the MozRank of any give site. Just type in the url of the directory or citation site you would like to check. The higher the score the better the value of the link to your site.

Spending your time developing links on these trusted sites means greater visibility for your business. Knowing which ones to place your information on is a smart starting point and means there is a greater likelihood of your business being found locally.

Another item that is highly important when determining these sources is Domain Authority. If you are unclear read more about it and understand exactly what it means to you and how your site benefits from it. All sites have one and again, the higher the domains authority the better the quality link to your site.

You can check out citations sources and directory sites here on the Moz Open Site Explorer and check the strength of a url.

Once you have done some research make yourself a list of all the best directories and citation sources you feel are worth the time to invest making profiles for your business on. We suggest you create something like an excel spreadsheet like the one shown here with the listing of all these citations and directories. Name them and also give yourself a spot to input your link (url to the page you created) as well. Also, provide a list of your login, password and other critical data you may need in the future for each of them. We leave a notes section to list things such as the date the profile was created, it’s status or if it has been verified and approved or not.

NAP Master Document for management

Once you have developed your working spreadsheet, add in your NAP (i.e. name, address, phone, etc) in a place easily accessible whenever you are working with the sheet. The key here and the element that is of most importance to your business is consistency. You have to make sure that the listings you are taking the time to develop are consistent across the web, so keep that information correct and close at hand.

Inconsistencies in your NAP can not only affect you negatively in searches, but can also cost you business.Learn more about why in this article.

Make sure that your business data is in line with your brand. Write your business description, your UVP and other details that define your business and keep them handy. You may have already done this in a previous branding step but you will need all of this when you are building these profiles.

The consistency of this data says a lot about your business so make sure it is always the same from source to source. NAP consistency on business websites has approximately 18.8% factor in determining the ranking of your site while external sites like Yelp and others account for about 16% of that rank. The most significant yet, is still Google Places which accounts for about 19.6% of your ranking based on title, keywords and more.

These factors make up over 50% of your ranking performance so consistency is key. Let us manage your listings today and drive more traffic directly to your door.