Local Business Visibility - A Non Technical Guide


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This presentation was given to a local chamber of commerce, and is purely for the non-technical user. It shows how and where to begin setting up local listings for better visibility in search.

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Local Business Visibility - A Non Technical Guide

  1. 1. Getting Your Local Business Found Online August 20, 2013 Presented by: Scott Hendison
  2. 2. About Me • I started marketing online in 1999, as the owner of a computer repair & software store • I began internet marketing full time in 2004 with Search Commander, Inc. • In 2007, I founded SEO Automatic, a set of end user & “white label“ Internet Marketing tools & WordPress plugins.
  3. 3. What we‘ll cover • Search Results & Evolution • Consistency of Information • Before You Edit in Google • Google – G+ Personal – G+ for Business – Google Places for Business – Google Offers • Reviews overall
  4. 4. Search Results & Evolution
  5. 5. Search Results • Actual results are personalized. They vary by: – Geographic location – Users web browser history – User signed in or not – What device is in use (as of June 2013) • The presentation of the results also vary by: – Industry – Device – Geographic location – Inexplicable whim
  6. 6. Layout
  7. 7. Layout
  8. 8. Layout
  9. 9. Layout
  10. 10. Layout
  11. 11. Layout
  12. 12. Search Results • There are no “normal“ search results • Two people will almost never see the exact same set of 10 search results for a phrase. • Google changes and tests results on the fly, based on their best guess at user intent. • Sometimes you‘ll see different layouts in the same day or on two different pc‘s • It will be changing again tomorrow, so don‘t get too used to it...
  13. 13. Consistent Information
  14. 14. Your Business Infomation • Comes from multiple sources • Not just from your website – Other websites – Web directories – Review sites – Membership sites – Business organizations • That‘s why the single most important thing you can deliver is...
  15. 15. Business Fact Sheet • Before you go to the internet, put together a consistent message • Establish all of your facts, info, and style and submission guidelines like the big brands do • From logos to marketing messages, to printed advertizements, the search engines (and your customers) value consistency.
  16. 16. Business Fact Sheet • Getting everything into a single document means there will never be incomplete data. • Include online images, descriptions, history, and key personel bios, profile links, etc. • Everything you might need for your listings should be in one place.
  17. 17. Business Fact Sheet • It all starts with your NAP – your Name, Address and Phone • It should be identical everywhere at every data source on the web. • You‘ll be amazed at the inconsistencies you can find from site to site
  18. 18. NAP - Name • How are you registered? What do the bills say? Using a legal business name is important, and may be worth a $50 dba. • Subtle differences actually matter – i.e. Greta‘s Grocer vs. Gretas Grocer, etc. • NEVER EVER stuff a key phrase into your biz name, despite what you see from others.
  19. 19. NAP – Address - Start at USPS
  20. 20. NAP - Address • USPS generally uses all caps • USPS has no consistency on address abreviation, so see how they have your address listed • USPS uses punctuation ONLY for biz names • USPS always uses Zip+4
  21. 21. NAP - Phone • Which is better 503- or (503) ? • Most directories use (503) • WWGD? Google uses (503) • So why differ?
  22. 22. NAP - Name, Address and Phone • Change your website to match the USPS • Single location biz - Use main NAP on every page, in the footer, or sidebar, etc. • NAP must be in text – not an image of text! Can you click, copy and paste it? Then it‘s text. • Multi location biz - Ensure a separate page is available on your website for each location, but just use one sitewide NAP.
  23. 23. Business Fact Sheet • Complete a Business Fact Sheet in it‘s entirety, skipping nothing - http://bit.ly/bizsheet • Include key personel for your company • Take the time to do it right, so that you can delegate future submissions to others. • It‘s the foundation for everything you‘ll do.
  24. 24. Business Fact Sheet http://bit.ly/bizsheet
  25. 25. Business Fact Sheet
  26. 26. Business Fact Sheet After your worksheet is complete...
  27. 27. After your fact sheet is complete...
  28. 28. Unless you complete them all VERY quickly, the order in which you work in actually matters.
  29. 29. Where Should You Start?
  30. 30. Not where you might think!
  31. 31. Infogroup # 1
  32. 32. Infogroup # 1 http://ExpressUpdateUSA.com
  33. 33. Infogroup # 1 http://ExpressUpdateUSA.com
  34. 34. Infogroup # 1 http://ExpressUpdateUSA.com
  35. 35. Infogroup # 1 http://ExpressUpdateUSA.com
  36. 36. What Next?
  37. 37. Localeze # 2
  38. 38. Localeze # 2 http://bit.ly/localeze
  39. 39. Localeze # 2 http://bit.ly/localeze
  40. 40. Localeze # 2 http://bit.ly/localeze
  41. 41. After Localeze ?
  42. 42. Acxiom # 3
  43. 43. Acxiom # 3 http://MyBusinessListingManager.com
  44. 44. Acxiom # 3 http://MyBusinessListingManager.com
  45. 45. Acxiom # 3
  46. 46. Pre-Google Action Items • Check USPS for correct address format • Put that NAP on your website • Complete your http://bit.ly/bizsheet • #1 go to Infogroup (ExpressUpdateUSA) • #2 go to Localeze • #3 go to Acxiom • Then... • Go to Google?
  47. 47. Google
  48. 48. Get a personal Google Account • You already have one if you have... – Gmail Address – Google Docs / Google Drive – Youtube account – Google Analytics – Webmaster Tools – Any other Google services
  49. 49. Sign In to Google
  50. 50. Go to Your Account
  51. 51. If you see “Join Google+“, do it
  52. 52. Go to Account > Products
  53. 53. Google Places will be there... Or not.
  54. 54. Google For Your Business
  55. 55. Google
  56. 56. August 8, 2013 both are still live
  57. 57. Which Should You Choose? • Use Google Places for Business – Yes, OLD one, Because you‘re probably already there. • Google+ Business is already migrating pages • Google+ Business should not be used unless you‘re a brand spanking new business. • Google Places will be gone soon enough http://www.google.com/places/
  58. 58. Google Places for Business http://www.google.com/places/
  59. 59. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/
  60. 60. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ Pre existing “claimed“ businesses see this...
  61. 61. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • EDIT to go into the existing business
  62. 62. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • If you see option to ADD a business, you will proceed into to the NEW + system anyway
  63. 63. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • Onsite service? Pay close attention to...
  64. 64. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • If you check the box saying you visit customers then you‘ll see more choices...
  65. 65. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • Submit then determine if you match...
  66. 66. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • Choose continue and VERIFY LATER...
  67. 67. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ Once you are in the business editing area... • NAP • Description, hours, parking, credit cards, etc. • Fill out everything you can from your biz sheet • Use all ten photo uploads and link to videos – cell phone videos to a YouTube acct is easy. • Fill out all legitimate category opportunities • Be careful with Service Areas & Locations Served
  68. 68. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/
  69. 69. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/
  70. 70. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/
  71. 71. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/
  72. 72. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • Add all 10 photos • 1st one added is main • Stock images suck • Use your phone camera • Got Videos? Add links to your YouTube videos too
  73. 73. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/
  74. 74. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ Two areas to be REALLY careful with... 1. The categories you choose 2. Service area and location setting
  75. 75. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ Categories: • NEVER use a geographic location in the categories, despite what you see from others • Always use as many categories as you can by hitting “Add Another Category“, BUT... • Improper use or “category spamming“ can get your listing suspended from Google.
  76. 76. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ Service Area and Location Settings:
  77. 77. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • If you ONLY serve customers at their location, you MUST check “Do not show my address...“
  78. 78. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • If you have a PO Box or other type of maildrop, you MUST check “Do not show my address...“
  79. 79. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • If you live on a residential street w/ no biz sign, you MUST check “Do not show my address...“
  80. 80. Google Places Page What happens if you don‘t hide the address when you are supposed to?
  81. 81. Google Places
  82. 82. Google Places Page http://www.google.com/places/ • Every time you edit, moderators will review • No business is safe from scrutiny • Biz name, categories, street view, etc. are all looked at again, no matter how long the listing has been live and receiving traffic. • Any prior “bad acts“ are held against you • Most common cause of listing suspension – someone makes changes, and listing gets disabled for older TOS violations.
  83. 83. Google Places http://www.google.com/places/ • After making changes, you will often have to verify ownership again. • Sometimes by phone, sometimes by postcard • Phone verification requires auto-answering to be turned off – This is critical • Even after verification, changes you‘ve made can take literally weeks to appear!
  84. 84. Google Places http://bit.ly/googlelocalhelp If you are logged in, you can get help by phone
  85. 85. Google Places http://bit.ly/googlelocalhelp
  86. 86. Google Places http://bit.ly/googlelocalhelp Add your info, and your phone will ring...
  87. 87. Google Places http://bit.ly/googlelocalhelp • You cannot get to the ‘call‘ link any other way • It does not have to be the business line, or even the business owner initiating the call • I‘ve talked to Google reps many times, and each time I‘ve found them to be very helpful • The less you know, the more they‘ll help • Even some suspended listings have returned within 48 hours after phoning
  88. 88. Then who should use Google+ Business? http://www.google.com/+/business/
  89. 89. Then who should use Google+ Business? http://www.google.com/+/business/
  90. 90. Google+ Business Page http://www.google.com/+/business/
  91. 91. Google+ Business Page http://www.google.com/+/business/
  92. 92. Google+ Business Page http://www.google.com/+/business/
  93. 93. Google+ Business Page http://www.google.com/+/business/
  94. 94. What if you end up with BOTH?
  95. 95. Originally You Could Not Merge
  96. 96. Then You Could Merge • Although some have done it successfully, others have seen problems, including lost reviews, and temporarily disapearing listings • Opinions differ on whether or not merging should be done • I say do not merge - Google is sorting it out
  97. 97. 5 months later I still say NO
  98. 98. Google Offers
  99. 99. http://www.google.com/places/ Google Offers
  100. 100. Less than 5% of businesses use Google offers* • Opportunity to stand out • Costs you nothing (for now) • Reach new customers • Reach more devices • Chance to be daring and creative • Put disclaimers right in the offer * Unimpeachable Source: Well, okay, I made it up, but I‘ll bet it‘s even lower than that. How many of you have even HEARD of it before? There ya go. Google Offers
  101. 101. http://www.google.com/places/ Google Offers
  102. 102. Google Offers
  103. 103. Google Offers
  104. 104. Google Offers
  105. 105. Google Offers
  106. 106. Google Offers
  107. 107. Google Offers
  108. 108. Google Offers
  109. 109. Google Offers
  110. 110. • Must not be for specific services* • Must be printable • Must be “real world“ – no online offers • You get to reach new customers • It‘s your chance to be daring and creative, and put a disclaimer right on the coupon • Does Google favor businesses using offers? * Academic aids, adult services, alcohol, gambling, drugs, fireworks, hacking, health care, medicine, intelectual property, regulated goods, tobacco, radar detectors, weapons, or anything else that Google might add in the future. Google Offers
  111. 111. Reviews
  112. 112. • Reviews are critical – Quantity, diversity, velocity, etc. but not necessarily the quality • You (or AOYB) should *not* gather the reviews then create accounts and post them. • Employees and owners of businesses may not even leave reviews according to Googles TOS • Never leave fake reviews, or hire services that get you illegitimate reviews Google Reviews
  113. 113. http://www.pdxtc.com/wpblog/google/how-to-get-fake-reviews/ Google Reviews
  114. 114. http://consumerist.com/2010/04/14/how-you-spot-fake-online-reviews/ Fake Reviews
  115. 115. • Always take time to respond to a customer complaint or a negative review, whether on Google, Yelp or elsewhere. Make things right. • Responding to positive reviews too, is a trust signal to your customers. Appreciate them. • Report any of the fake reviews to the service, AND call it out right there on that page as a fake, if its suspicious. Google Reviews
  116. 116. https://support.google.com/places/answer/184271?hl=en How To Respond to Reviews
  117. 117. • It‘s helpful to encourage, nag, induce or even incentivize* people into leaving reviews through postcards, emails, contests etc. • Kiosks in your business for leaving reviews are *not* a good idea (same IP address) • FOLLOW UP - Send users to a page on your site designed to facilitate getting more reviews, linking to your profiles. Get More Reviews
  118. 118. • Encourage people to leave reviews in their own account from their own devices Get More Reviews
  119. 119. Get More Reviews
  120. 120. Get More Reviews • QR codes are easy • Popularity is gaining slowly • Send code to specicic URLs • Put them on receipts, exit door stickers, counter cards, menus, vehicles, business cards, T- shirts, print ads, or even on products themselves. Ever scanned one before?
  121. 121. http://bit.ly/scottsqr
  122. 122. GetListed.org
  123. 123. GetListed.org
  124. 124. GetListed.org
  125. 125. • Match your website with USPS text NAP • Create your business profile sheet • Claim the major three data providers • Get a personal Google+ account • Complete Google listings • Try Google Offers while it‘s still free • Gather, encourage and respond to reviews • Make more money Summing Up
  126. 126. Thank You This presentation is available here http://bit.ly/2013-08-20-scott Contact me... Scott Hendison scott@searchcommander.com
  127. 127. Easter eggs? Bonus slides? Stay an extra hour?
  128. 128. GEEK ALERT - Schema
  129. 129. What‘s Schema? • Having a text NAP alone is not enough, and it should be properly formatted on your website. • Plain text or older standardized web formats like vCard, or hCard are acceptable but... • The search and data industries have come together in a scheme to standardize things, and make the sharing of information simpler.
  130. 130. What‘s Schema? • Schema.org provides a collection of html tags so webmasters can markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. • ‘Search providers‘ means not only G, Y and B, but everything from Global Positioning Systems like TomTom to services like Apple Maps • Schema-Creator.org helps your web designer easily add the correct to your site
  131. 131. What‘s Schema?
  132. 132. What‘s Schema?
  133. 133. Measuring Traffic
  134. 134. Measuring Traffic • Is what you‘re doing worth the effort? • How do you justify the time or money spent? • Where can you get quick snapshots of performance metrics?
  135. 135. Measuring Traffic • Google Places Dashboard • Google Analytics
  136. 136. Google Places Dashboard http://www.google.com/places/
  137. 137. Google Places Dashboard http://www.google.com/places/
  138. 138. http://www.google.com/places/ Google Places Dashboard
  139. 139. Google Analytics can easily show you... • Nothing about traffic from your profiles • There is no easy way to see it at a glance • You CAN... • Use a custom page in your profile • Set up advanced segmenting Google Analytics
  140. 140. • You can create a distinct URL, such as www.yoursite.com/localcontact and list that as the URL people click from profile pages • Or you can apend the URLs with a “tag“ so they are easily tracked in Analytics by creating one at http://bit.ly/urlbuilder • Or you can create an “advanced segment“... Google Analytics
  141. 141. Which might make your head explode... Step by step Advanced Segmenting http://bit.ly/trackinggooglelocal Google Analytics