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A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

Ensuring that your business shows up in Google Maps is paramount to long-term viability. Prospective customers are often skeptical of businesses with little or no online presence. Fortunately, Google Maps provide one of the easiest and fastest ways to get online....

You Measure SEO success by

You Measure SEO success by

Measuring SEO Success If you measure SEO success by the progress on a to-do list, you are doing it wrong. At the end of the day, we want to be judged by one thing – the results we provide. It helps if everyone agrees on what success looks like in the...

Daily Search Forum Recap: April 8, 2019

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web. Search Engine Roundtable Stories: Google Search Console Performance Report Discover Feed DataGoogle Discover, formerly the...

Google Search Console Performance Report Discover Feed Data

Google Discover, formerly the Google feed, is a great source of traffic for many web sites. But there is no real good way to see in Google Search Console or Google Analytics how people are finding your web site via Google Discover. Well, that looks like it may change...

Google Tests More Graphical Google My Business Dashboard

Google is experimenting with a new dashboard for the Google My Business section. The new dashboard shows larger cover images and photos that you can change for your business. Andy Simpson spotted this change and posted the following screen shot on Twitter: I...

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    If you’re a local business, optimize for the Local Map Pack

    If you’re a local business, optimize for the Local Map Pack

    You’ll be as familiar with the “Local Pack” as you are with the featured snippet, if not more. The Local Pack feature shows Google Maps results, reviews, open hours, and a physical address.

    The local pack changes based on your searchers’ location.

    For instance, here’s how the SERP page appears for the search “Top restaurants in Vancouver:”

    How to optimize your website for the Local Pack SERP feature:

    • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile, as many people use the Local Pack to navigate to your website while on the go.

    Make sure your website is optimized for Local SEO.

    • Make sure you’ve updated and maintain your Google My Business Profile
    • Ensure you’ve added your website to TripAdvisor, Yelp, YP.com, etc.
    • Add schema markup to your website’s backend (allowing Google to see your whole website)

    Note: Optimizing your website for the “local pack” SERP feature is a good idea for sales as well.

    Typing “men’s jackets” into Google results in a map and links for where to buy men’s jackets before it provides images or links to do so. Searchers don’t need to express buying intent for your business to appear in the local pack.

    To Wrap Up

    I hope most of these strategies will help you get the amount of traffic you want. Once you have everything set up, they are easy to implement but the results they can bring will pleasantly surprise you. And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

    A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

    Ensuring that your business shows up in Google Maps is paramount to long-term viability.

    Prospective customers are often skeptical of businesses with little or no online presence.

    Fortunately, Google Maps provide one of the easiest and fastest ways to get online.

    Business owners now have an opportunity to market their goods and services in real-time to anyone with a mobile device.

    What Is Google Maps Marketing?

    Google Maps marketing is simply the optimization of your business presence on Google Maps.

    The goal is simple: by ranking higher in search, you have an opportunity to significantly increase your business.

    The better your profile optimization, the better your chances are for showing up in a Google Maps search for your business type in your area.

    Why Is Google Maps Marketing So Important?

    Google handles about 3.5 billion searches per day and accounts for nearly 88% of all mobile searches.

    Local Google searches also directly translate into sales with 76% of those searching for local products visiting a store within the day.

    Google Maps marketing can impact the way Google views your business and how or if it appears in organic search in what is known as the local 3-pack.

    A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

    Google Map Results (local 3-pack) appear at the top of the page in this Google Search.

    Google Maps can channel thousands of potential customers toward your business.

    Unless your business ranks in the 3-pack, your chance of being found is exponentially lower.

    That is why Google Maps Marketing is generally considered the most important facet of local SEO work.

    Setting up & Optimizing Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

    Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is totally free.

    This is because it technically isn’t an advertisement at all – you are simply letting Google know that your business exists.

    That said, the end goal is to get your business to rank higher than your competitors.

    Setting Up Google My Business

    To set up your Google My Business listing:

    • Sign in to Google and go to https://www.google.com/business/
    • Then locate or create a listing for your business. Sometimes other factors or inputs have led to an impromptu assumption listing about your business. Make sure you claim and correct it if that happened.
    • Fill out all of the information to the best of your ability.
    • Make sure to select the correct category and to add a contact.
    • Verify your account. This can be done with Google via phone, email, or traditional mail.
    • Add quality photos.
    • Double-check all of your information.

    Read this guide to learn how to completely optimize your GMB listing.

    How to Rank Better in Google Maps

    Google Maps take into account a number of factors when it decides how to rank results.

    The geographic distance from the person conducting the search and the business category relevant to their search are the most obvious.

    Perhaps more important is how complete and accurate your GMB listing is. This could be the tie-breaker among you and your competitors in determining who appears in the search.

    Finally, positive sentiment (good reviews) can be a deciding factor.

    Getting Good Reviews

    Many companies have developed systems around cultivating positive reviews.

    Some will ask customers directly, at the conclusion of a transaction, to give them a review.

    Other businesses put a request for a review prominently, at checkout. Some even have used QR codes.

    One effective method is to leave a review request, on a business card, attached to a “Thank You” memento. Something as simple as a complimentary air freshener can go a long way.

    In all of your promotional materials, it’s good business practice to provide a link for customers to leave a Google review.

    What About Bad Reviews?

    Handle bad reviews calmly. Work hard to overcome them with more good reviews.

    When you get a bad review, apologize, accept responsibility and offer to make it right; even if it wasn’t your fault.

    It’s a losing proposition to get defensive or aggressive in your reply.

    A bad review give you the chance to demonstrate your professionalism, helping to mitigate any potential damage.

    Posting on Google as Your Business

    This is an underused feature.

    Business owners can “publish … offers, events, products, and services directly to Google Search and maps.”

    Unlimited Keyword Research for PPC & SEO
    Search any domain and see where they’ve shown up on Google: every keyword on Adwords, every organic rank, and every ad variation in the last 13 years.Download NowADVERTISEMENT

    This can be another effective way to stand apart from your competitors.

    Google Maps Optimization Checklist

    To give your business a better chance of showing up in Google Maps for relevant searches, just follow the checklist below.

    • Claim or create a listing for your business.
    • Fill out all of the information:
      • Correct service area and address.
      • Business hours / workdays.
      • Website / URL for them to make a purchase.
      • List your specific offerings. Clearly and simply. Try to add keywords in naturally when possible.
    • Pick the most relevant and common categories for your business.
    • Ensure information is consistent across the web.
    • Add high-quality photos.
    • Double-check all of your information.
    • Cultivate good reviews.
    • Talk about your business in Google My Business.
    • List your business in other directories.
    • Use analytics to adapt your strategies.

    Paid Advertising & Local Search Ads

    Google gives you the tools to target your local area with local search ads.

    This is paid advertising that can help you appear at the top of the Google search page or Map App when someone searches for your relevant services.

    If you are struggling to bring in customers and can’t wait for your organic efforts to pay off, you may want to consider paid advertising.

    Many businesses have had great success in employing local search ads on Google. It can be the perfect complement to organic marketing efforts.

    Tracking Your Google Maps Marketing Performance

    Tracking your performance on Google Maps is done via analytics offered with your Google My Business account.

    This is necessary for evaluating your current web presence and optimizing it, moving forward

    Following are the key metrics you should pay close attention to:

    The Google Services That Customers Use to Find Your Business

    An important metric to pay attention to is the type of searches leading to your website.

    This will let you know the volume of users that are searching for you by name, vs those discovering you via the keywords relevant to your brand, location, and industry.

    This may help you gauge the percentage of new versus repeat customers coming to your site via Google.

    Where Customers View Your Business on Google

    This section will let you know the frequency that you are being found on general search vs map listings.

    Taken in conjunction with the first metric you can gauge the general success of your Google Map Listings in attracting new customers.

    As you make changes, monitor these stats to ensure you are making the right decisions and moving in a positive direction.

    A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

    Listing Visitor Action Taken

    “Customer actions” will show you what actions people are taking in response to your listing.

    You will discover if your listing is helping people find your location, your website, or leading to some form of contact.

    This is perhaps the most important metric as you embark on optimizing your listing.

    Working to improve customer engagements and interactions is your best path to success.

    A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

    Where Customers Are Coming From

    “Directions requests” shows where customers are requesting directions to your business from.

    With this information, you can begin to localize and better target your other marketing ventures as well as perhaps adjust your target keywords.

    The Performance of Your Photos

    Photo views and Photo quantity” shows how your photos are performing as compared to competing businesses.

    It also shows the mix of photos coming from you versus those posted by your customers.

    Humans react positively to appealing visuals, so you should take the time to capture the best possible photos of your business.

    A Complete Guide to Google Maps Marketing

    The Final Takeaway

    While getting the basics right is simple enough, fine-tuning will set you apart from the competition.

    Pay attention to your analytics.

    The best way to market yourself across all Google apps is to:

    • Keep your information up to date.
    • Keep your social proof (customer reviews) positive.
    • Make certain that your visual presentation is always top-notch.

    More Resources:


    Image Credits

    All screenshots taken by author, October 2019

    HAVE YOU CHECKED THE AUTOMATED ADS TOOL ON FACEBOOK YET?

    HAVE YOU CHECKED THE AUTOMATED ADS TOOL ON FACEBOOK YET?

    A new Automated Ads tool was announced by Facebook recently. The social networking site claims it to be of great help in creating result driven ads.

    The Tool Will Have Following Features:

    • Suggestions to create up to 6 different versions of your ad.
      • Call-to-action buttons
      • Text
      • Other creative details

    (Facebook will show the best-performing version, once the ad is active)

    • Tailored audience recommendations based on the information available on your page.
    • Budget recommendations that are likely to generate results as per your goals.

    (Your own budget can also be shared to determine the estimated results)

    Receive timely notifications to help you understand how your ads are performing and how you can improve them.

    Additionally, Facebook has expanded its free business tools to allow appointment booking and managing.

    You can also find 3 new features added to their video editing tools…

    • Automatic Cropping
    • Video Trimming
    • Image & Text Overlays

    Have a look at the announcement page that provides complete details and video guides on how these tools can be used.

    You Measure SEO success by

    You Measure SEO success by

    Measuring SEO Success

    If you measure SEO success by the progress on a to-do list, you are doing it wrong.

    At the end of the day, we want to be judged by one thing – the results we provide.

    It helps if everyone agrees on what success looks like in the beginning.

    There are no guarantees in SEO, but everyone can agree to goals.

    As long as those goals are achieved using Google’s guidance on good techniques, clients and bosses need to give the SEO provider enough rope to either climb to new heights or hang themselves.

    I tell every prospect, if we can’t show you at least a 3x return on your SEO investment in 6 months, you should fire us.

    The goal may be 3x return – or it may be a percentage increase in email subscriptions. The bottom line is the bottom line.

    You need to know what success looks like. Then either help your SEO person/team, if you are able, or get out of the way.

    Sure, it’s fine to send an article over asking what your SEO manager thinks if you are curious.

    I don’t know an SEO professional worth their salt who doesn’t love to talk about the latest and greatest developments in the algorithm.

    But if you are constantly questioning whether your SEO is doing a good enough job, you either need to re-evaluate your goals or fire the SEO.

    In the end, you’ll both be happier.

    Tony Wright

    Tony Wright
    CEO at WrightIMC via Search Engine Journal

     / March 25, 2019

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