Raise your hand if you wish Google would stop making secret updates already! Just when you think you've mastered local search, Google launches a change that turns everything on its head. This time, it's the Hawk update. This latest update has serious, wide-reaching consequences for small, local businesses like yours. It's crucial you understand the impact this update could have on your business. That way you can take steps to protect yourself. Keep reading to find out everything you need to … [Read more...] about Could You Be Targeted Next by Google's Aggressive New Filter?
It's no secret you need photos and images to fill out your website. After all, who wants to look at a website that's 100% text? This is one of the reasons we're always asking our clients to send us pictures of their business. Whether they're group shots of the whole staff, pictures of your storefront or office building, or photos of your company truck on various job sites, you need to populate your website with pictures so visitors are more likely to trust you. However, pictures are equally … [Read more...] about Why You Need High-Quality Images on Social Media to Build Trust
We've lightly joked before that Facebook is the new Google. This is mainly because Facebook users are asking their social network for recommendations of local businesses rather than conducting their own searches on Google. However, as Wesley Young wrote in a recent article on Search Engine Land, Facebook has made several updates over the past couple of years that point to a greater focus on local businesses and places. In other words, it looks like Facebook is preparing to challenge Google's … [Read more...] about Is Facebook Preparing to Take Over Google in Local Search?
Have you gotten this phone call? Caller: "Hi, this is Alan from Vandelay Web Services. We scanned Google for your business and, according to our report, your business is not currently on Google." You: "Uh... That's weird because I work with an online marketing company that manages my Google listing for me." Caller: "Well, your business isn't visible. Clearly, you need our service. If you sign up with us right now, we'll put you on Google and hundreds of other sites. You'll rank number one in a … [Read more...] about How to Arm Yourself Against Dangerous Phishing Scams
Be on the lookout for any changes to your Google star rating! Seeking to provide a valuable user experience, Google has long highlighted customer reviews and star ratings on its business listings. However, Google has altogether changed the way it determines and displays a business's star rating. Of course, it's still based on customer reviews, but it now only requires a single review. Previously, Google wouldn't generate a star rating until a business had at least five customer reviews. This … [Read more...] about Keep a Close Eye on Your Google Star Rating
You want to be one of the first local businesses people see when they search for products or services you offer. Obviously, you know that to be prominent and visible in local search results, you need placement on Google Maps. So, it makes sense that you would start your online marketing efforts with a Google Maps listing for your business. There are a lot of reasons to believe Google Maps and a handful of other sites (namely Yelp and Facebook) are all you need to be visible on a local level. … [Read more...] about Want to Dominate Local Search Results? Here's One Thing You Need
How can a small business like yours compete with big brands? Four words: Focus on local search. The fact that you operate on a local level can be your biggest strength in the battle against large corporations. Many big names rank nationally in organic search results; however, they don't necessarily have the upper hand when it comes to local search. So if you leverage local search the right way, you can stay competitive with larger brands and come out on top. Here's what you need to know. Local … [Read more...] about How Local Search Empowers Small Businesses to Compete
Now that you've hired an online marketing team to help your small business, your work is done, right? Not quite. It's really tempting to want to hand your marketer the keys and never think about your website or Google again. However, that's not how it works. During the initial weeks and months of working with your online marketing team, you'll need to help out by providing them with lots of information about your business and even giving them access to your online listings (including … [Read more...] about Are You Trashing Your Online Marketing Without Knowing It?
If you've been frustrated with how difficult it is to monitor activity on your Google My Business account, you'll be relieved to hear about some updates that just rolled out. Most notably, business owners are excited about an update that now pushes notifications to your dashboard. You can see in real time things like new customer reviews, location status changes (e.g. published, disabled, or pending verification), and NAP data updates. In short, the new Google My Business API V3.1 makes it much … [Read more...] about Google My Business Updates You Need to Know About
We're always harping on business owners to up their photo game. Websites with photos simply perform much better than those without. Plain and simple. But did you know it's just as important to have photos on your business's Google profile, too? This hasn't always been the case. In fact, it's only been in the last year or so that Google and Bing have been displaying images and logos in their local search results. They made this move as users increasingly want to see photos of whatever they're … [Read more...] about Enrich Your Local Business's Google Profile by Adding Images