How Do I Market My Small Business? – Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

How Do I Market My Small Business? – Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!

If you are a small business owner, particularly one who markets to a local audience, there are several things you can do to really boost website conversions and sales. The instinct of an entrepreneur is to DIY whenever possible and to weigh the cost savings vs the time spent to implement strategies. Is it worth learning SEO vs hiring a professional, for example. That’s up to each individual business owner. If you’re an established business, present in your market, I would bet the answer is easily “go hire someone”. But, if you are a start up without a lot of capitol, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy getting reviews. Table of Contents1 Why Start With Reviews?2 Get Google Reviews3 Find and Claim Your Business On Yelp4 How to Respond To Negative Reviews5 Promote Your Latest Reviews on Social Media6 How To Encourage Customers To Write Reviews6.1 Ask In Person6.2 Asking By Email7 Add Citation Sites or Directory Websites Why Start With Reviews? A great reputation is the most robust marketing assets an organization has to influence new customers to buy from them. The “social proof” contained in reviews and star ratings assist customers in short-cutting their research and making decisions quickly and with more confidence than ever before. Get Google Reviews Reviews will be the life blood of your young company. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to have a healthy obsession for getting reviews. START WITH GOOGLE. Why? Because Google LOVES Google. The fastest path to page 1 rankings is to optimize your Google My Business account. Here are some basics: Claim Your Business – If you’ve been...
1/4 of ALL Local Businesses Ignore Social Media – COMPLETELY!

1/4 of ALL Local Businesses Ignore Social Media – COMPLETELY!

Oftentimes, small businesses are fast to implement new ideas. Other times, they are hesitant or “too busy” to even know what is out there. So it is with social media. As highlighted in Clutch 2017 Small Business Social Media Survey, 24 percent of small companies have zero social media presence. That is, in today’s business environment, completely unacceptable. Digging deeper into the Clutch data reveals that fewer than half of all small businesses are, in fact, utilizing their social media presence on a constant basis. Sure, an eatery may have a Facebook Page setup, but there’s a good possibility its latest post was the Wednesday evening special in early May 2015. Clutch found that less than 45% of small companies are on their social media sites multiple times a day. Another 23 percent are posting to their social properties on a daily basis. Things to Keep in Mind If your not productive on social media on a regular basis, your company’s message will be lost. Followers are drastically more likely to see content and updates from businesses that are more active on their platform. A relatively dormant profile is far more likely to go unseen. If a company is inconsistently posting, the reach will be poor even if the audience is pretty substantial. This is particularly true with Facebook. Inconsistency is tantamount to forfeiting your audience. Help Me Help You! Since the last two major Google updates, social media has been married to Search Engine Optimization. “Social signals” are a significant aspect of the major rank factors. Think about it, what legitimate company these days DOESN’T have a solid social...
From Local Search to Hyper-Local Search in 2017

From Local Search to Hyper-Local Search in 2017

The topic of local search is hardly a new one but as the mobile platform grows at hyper speed, it is a topic that is ever evolving. Local SEO is becoming “hyperlocal” SEO because of your smart phone and its location settings. In a recent post by SearchEngineLand.com, they stated the following: As mobile continues to grow, consumers are conducting more searches with hyper-local intent – and Google is refining its results in response to this trend. Google Trends plainly reveals a remarkable rise in “near me” queries, specifically since the middle of 2015. Hyper-local targeting, or advertising to clients within your area depending on their GPS location, has the potential to enable companies like yours to answer the instant needs of your potential customers. Recognizing how to optimize your content for these visitors can provide you with an exceptional opportunity to capture their attention. Google has been demonstrating signs of pressing searchers toward hyper-local. Back in 2016, Barry Schwartz announced a noticeable lowering in the amount of pages offered for Google Maps search results, indicating an attempt to thin the results down to a smaller geographic area. Google wants to better serve users by individualizing their results based upon their precise location. More from...
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – You Get What You Pay For

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – You Get What You Pay For

Most of you are familiar with the phrase “you get what you pay for”. For just about all products and services, there exists some measure between cost and value, but naturally there are always exceptions. There are affordable things that work perfectly well, and high-priced products that are overpriced junk. With SEM, you will be paying for a service and because goods aren’t included, pricing is far more likely to vary. Though, in our experience, the saying certainly continues to be true – you get what you pay for. Table of Contents1 Why Do Cheap SEOs Under-perform vs. The Best?1.1 Knowledge and approach1.2 High Quality Backlinks1.3 Maintaining & Troubleshooting1.4 Only The Best Stand The Test Of Time Why Do Cheap SEOs Under-perform vs. The Best? Knowledge and approach With SEM, you’re going to pay more for results. Dedicated pros have put in a number of years sharpening their skills and improving their solutions, and the tactics they deliver are the results of that learning process. A beginner may be able to fake their way through the minimums but will likely not be in a position to to build you a custom solution the way an experienced SEO will. If you choose the beginner, you may spend countless hours and a lot of money undoing what an inexperienced “expert” implemented on your website. High Quality Backlinks Link building isn’t quite as simple and easy as it used to be. Google looks at the range and quality of links leading back to your website URL to measure how trustworthy your site is, then positions it appropriately. The challenge is, you simply can’t just start submitting links wherever you...
Google May Have Updated Penguin (unannounced) To Reduce Spammy Links

Google May Have Updated Penguin (unannounced) To Reduce Spammy Links

Did Google Block PBN (Private Blog-Network) Back-links with an Update to Penguin? Here’s Our Theory: Google might have made some adjustments to their algorithms this month on how they target spammy back-links and other forms of spam. Google would not validate or refute there was an algorithm adjustment, but in accordance with the indicators I am monitoring, there seems to have been an algorithm revision that has hit individuals who practice more aggressive link building techniques. The revision seems to have taken place around Feb 1, 2017. It may well have been an adjustment to how Google Penguin recognizes and discounts un-natural links, or it may well be a completely new formula – we are unclear. But a lot of internet marketers inside the “black-hat” SEO forums seem to be experiencing this and stressing that their techniques are not performing as well. The vast majority of the Google traffic monitoring systems, such as Moz, Algoroo, RankRanger and numerous others, show unusual turbulence around Feb 1st. Meanwhile virtually all of the non-spammy Search Engine Marketing communities are not noticing the same ranking fluctuations. If I had to speculate, I would guess this is an algorithm revision around how Google discredits spammy back-links, maybe updating the Penguin algorithm or something else. What This Means For Your Business If you’re a local business owner, you don’t have time to digest and learn everything there is to know about how Google works. That’s the job of your SEO Expert. When you’re deciding on who to work with, make it explicitly clear that your DO NOT want any Black Hat techniques directly impacting your main website. If they are not...

Citations and Google Rankings at Desert Welcome Luncheon

Citations are a key component to ranking in Google and Bing. A citation is a business listing or online profile that contains your business name, address, phone number, and other details. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to create free business listings. You want to choose relevant and high quality websites and make sure your contact info is the same info on every listing and matches the information on your website. Top 10 Free Listings You Should Get For Your Business Google Plus (Business Page) Yelp.com (Business Page) Facebook.com (Business Page) Linkedin.com YouTube Channel Manta.com Superpages.com Local.Yahoo.com MerchantCircle.com Yellowpages.com Be Meticulous When Creating Your Citations Make sure that you enter these profiles as completely as possible including your logo and images. When writing your business description, make sure that you include some of your best keyword phrases that you want to rank for. Another valuable reason to create these listings is because some of them will rank for your keywords giving you multiple page one Google rankings. Below is an example of how Citations can influence Google Rankings for several web properties: 1. Website #1 in Organic Rankings 2. YouTube Video Ranks #2 (contains URL in description) 3. Optimized Images Ranking #3 4. Website Sub-page Ranking #4 5. Google Plus Page in Right Side Bar with...

Palm Desert SEO Expert Earns Google Partner Badge

Palm Desert SEO Expert, Operation Web, recently earned the coveted Google Partner Status. For more than 18 years, Operation Web has served the Coachella Valley with Web Design and Search Engine Optimization services. Recently, they’ve turned their focus primarily to web marketing for local businesses. Since then, they’ve been hyper focused on achieving this status as it allows them to provide elite level services with Google’s stamp of approval. “We are so proud of our team! There are less than 300 Google Partners in North America and Operation Web is now one of them” said Co-Owner William Gee. “We are now equipped to offer our clients the absolute best web marketing solutions available. This is a great day for our company and our clients.” The Google Partners status is awarded not just on qualifications and experience of managing SEO and advertising accounts, but also on customer service and quality. Essentially, a Google partnership means better, direct communication and trust between our agency and Google. In Google’s own words: “The Google Partner badge means that we trust you, and your clients should too. It shows your business is healthy, your clients are happy, and that you follow Google best practices.” What a Google Partner Means for Your Business “Certification means that Operation Web’s SEO team understands the intricacies of how Google products work, so you, the client can receive the best service, insight and advice to expand with peace of mind.” – Randy Myers, Founder. Working directly with Google means we can act as your first-hand source of digital knowledge, access the latest Google training, and uncover the latest research...

Google Plus for Business Owners by Operation Web

Google Plus is very important for local business owners. It is without question, the fastest path to a page 1 ranking for any local company. There are 3 keys to ranking your Google Plus page. They are as follows:  Claim Your Page – We will soon be posting a video on exactly how to do this but all you really have to do is follow the promts on Google Plus when on your page. It’s a simple process but a timely one due to the address verification. Get Reviews – It should be a priority for all business owners to ask for honest reviews from customers. If you reach the magic 5 reviews, your stars will appear in Google search results which will dramatically increase your click through rate. Keyword in Title – Put your company’s main keyword in the title of your Google Plus page. This is a big part of Google’s confirmation regarding the nature of your business. If you have questions, leave them in the comment section below. If you’re interested in working with Operation Web, visit our Inquiry Form page and we will create a custom plan to help your business dominate...

SEO Tips for Local Businesses – Social Signals and How You Can Use Them To Rank

Social Signals are shares, likes, comments and other engagements from social media properties like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. They’re called signals because they serve as confirmation to Google your website content is relevant and worth ranking. It is one of the most important factors in today’s SEO. If you’re a local business, try not to sell at every turn – especially in your social media properties. Try to put yourself in the minds of your audience by asking yourself “Would I share this?”. I’m not suggesting that you never promote, but you’ll get far more engagement by providing useful information for your audience to take in. And remember, Google loves social activity or signals so, although you may not be directly promoting, your engagement will serve to rank your site. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below, or visit our contact page to email us. To find out how you can take over the first page of Google, visit the OperationWeb.com home page today....

Why Citations Are Important For Local Businesses

Citations are simply “mentions” of your business’ name, address and phone number. Examples of important citations pages are sites like Yelp, Google Plus, and your local Chamber of Commerce site. Citations are important because they are a major ranking metric for Google and Bing algorithms. In other words, all things being equal, the company with correct and high quality citations will out rank those without them. Basically, these citation sites act as confirmation to search engines that your business is relevant for your niche and your geographic location. For best results always write your citation the exact same way. This is very important! If, for example, you are inconsistent with the comma between the city and state, you are doing your company a disservice. We like to follow the format below: Victor’s Auto Repair 1251 Montalvo Way Palm Springs, CA 92262 (760) 322-2357 It’s very important that your citation be consistent in two critical locations. First, your website. Using your new correct format, contact your developer and have them insert your citation into your website. Second, you want it the same way on your Google Plus page. Also, make sure your Facebook, Twitter and other social properties feature your correct citation. This tip alone can significantly increase your website traffic. If you have questions, please leave them in the comment section below or email us at: Contact@OperationWeb.com For Local SEO Services, fill out the form on our Inquiry Form page.  ...

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