Category Archives: Reputation management

Latest Google My Business Updates – Summer 2017

Google has been very busy in 2017 with the latest Google My Business updates! While some updates are well widely advertised, many go unannounced even though they feature major changes and added features Google My Business users should know.

If you feel you are not up to speed on the Google My Business Updates, you can check the Google My Business Updates leading up to 2017 in case you missed any.

Latest Google My Business Updates for Summer 2017

1. Create A Free Mobile Website with Google My Business

June 2017 – You can create a free mobile-optimized website to represent your business from your Google My Business listing.  You can customize themes, photos, and text of the site Google creates from the information and photos on your Google My Business Listing.

The free website you create updates automatically whenever you change your business information or add photos. It is also optimized for display on desktop, laptop, and mobile devices.  You can find this option by signing into your Google My Business Listing and clicking on the “Website” menu option.

This free website is meant to be a super simple free website for small businesses that don’t have a website, so absolutely nothing fancy or complicated is going on here.

Latest Google My Business Menu - Website Button

2. Google Posts Now Live for GMB Users

June 2017 – Publish events, products and services directly to Google Search and Maps with Google Posts from your Google My Business listing.  These posts appear to customers in search results and on maps in a few moments.  REMEMBER these posts are supposed to be timely, so they are automatically removed after 7 days or after the event has passed.

Latest Google My Business Post ExampleCreate a Google Post on Your Desktop

Latest Google My Business Updates Post - Desktop

Create a Google Post on Your Mobile Device

Latest Google My Business Updates Post - Mobile

Here you’ll find Google’s instructions to Edit or Delete a post.

3. Google Rolling Out Messaging Feature within GMB

July 2017 – With the new Messaging feature in Google My Business you can message customers from your Google Local Panel in mobile search.  This chat feature is currently available on desktop and mobile browsers, as well as the search app on Android.

The biggest of the latest Google My Business updates, chatting with potential customers can be a game changer for small businesses able to offer the personal touch researching customers crave. There is an in-depth question and answer post on Bluementhals.com that will answer a lot of your questions on what you can and cannot do with this new feature: Google My Business Messaging FAQ

On your Google My Business home page you should see a new section for “Messaging” in the menu and a big box option for “Message with Customers” to get set up by verifying your phone number to receive messages and setting an autoreply to customers who use the chat feature.  Once set up, when your business shows up in the local panel in mobile search people will see a message icon next to the call icon where they can send a text message to the number you selected.

Latest Google My Business Update - Message Icon

4. GMB Updates Insights Email Sent to Businesses

July 2017 – Google My Business Insights gives you an inside look at how people find your business listing on the web. Insights focus on how customers use Search and Maps to find your listing, and what they do once they find it.

Each column in the bulk download serves to provide insights in the following sections:
• How customers find your listing
• Where customers find you on Google
• Customer actions
• Driving directions requests
• Phone calls
• Photos

CLICK & LEARN: Using and Understanding Google My Business Insights – Free Download

With concrete performance data, it is now much easier to justify investing in local SEO as it is a huge advantage to be able to tie this type of activity to direct changes in search performance. If you can pair this up with an effective local keyword tracking tool and URL tracking parameters, then you’ll be able to clearly demonstrate the value Local SEO activity has had to a business.

The new bulk download option provides data broken down into the following columns:

  • Total searches
  • Direct searches
  • Discovery searches
  • Total views
  • Search views
  • Maps views
  • Total actions
  • Website actions
  • Directions actions
  • Phone call actions

Visit Google’s guidelines for descriptions of what each of these columns means.

There’s still only one line per location, so you don’t get a daily breakdown. This means if you want to make any comparisons then you’ll need to download the data in 7 days, 30 days,90 day or custom bursts. Which isn’t ideal but this is still a major improvement.

5. Add Customer Action Links to GMB Listings

Aug 2017 – Include specific action links people viewing your profile can click to do things like make online orders or reservations directly from Google Search or Maps.  I consider this the most impactful of the latest Google My Business updates when looking at increasing sales.  Getting customers exactly what they want with just a click moves them through the sales funnel faster.

These actions include:

  • Booking an appointment
  • Placing an order
  • Reserving a table
  • Searching for items
  • Viewing the menu

If your business already uses a third-party appointment booking service, links to those may appear automatically and cannot be edited in Google My Business.

Add Customer Action URL to Your GMB Listing:

Latest Google My Business Updates - Add Links

6. GMB Lets Businesses Edit their Listings Directly in Search Results

September 2017 – Businesses can quickly edit their Google My Business local listing directly in Google Search results.  Google has created a business dashboard visible to you right in Google Search.  To see your editing options, first make sure you logged into your GMB account, find your business on Google Search, and click on the “EDIT” button that appears above your listing.

Latest Google My Business Update - Edit in Search

On this search dashboard you can:

  • Add or correct business information, post updated hours, and more.
  • Post on Google and stay engaged with your customers.
  • Share photos that make your business stand out.
  • See how many views your listing gets, and easily access detailed information about your listing’s performance.
  • Know when users upload photos of your business.
  • Quickly take the most important actions to complete and enhance your business listing.

Latest Google My Business Updates You May Have Missed from Early 2017

  • Google Removed “Permanently Closed” Listings from the Local Finder
  • Google Removed Access to Classic Version of Google Plus
  • Google Launched Desktop Platform for Reviewing Edits to Business Listings on Google Maps
  • Google Rolled Out Snack Pack to More US Industries
  • Business Can Now Access 18 Months of Data from Insights on Google My Business Dashboard
  • Google Started Actively Showing Local Pack Ads on Mobile

Learn How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing for Local Search

Knowing that Google is Master of the Universe when it comes to search engine use and new customers finding your business, it is VITAL you understand the importance of optimizing your Google My Business listing. Give Google the information they want so you can rank higher search and make your business more visible to new customers using local search.

CLICK & LEARN: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Complete listings also influence search engine user behavior as one study shows that users who view more complete listings are about 30% more likely to report an intention to visit a store or purchase from it (Gybo 2014).  Don’t miss out on new business when these seven easy Google My Business optimization tips.

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics – FREE DOWNLOAD

Do you feel like you are spending a lot of time and money on your marketing and not getting results? Maybe you could use some low-cost small business digital marketing tactics?  Could be you just don’t know where to start, much less how to level up.

Digital marketing can seem complicated when technology changes so quickly and every trend promises to change the way we do everything. Knowing what works and committing to simple small business digital marketing tactics you can master quickly keeps your business growing above the influx of trends and quick fixes.

Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Gives You the Competitive Edge

Everyone uses the internet to research, compare, and buy their next purchases, so you need to be strategically positioned online to get found by new customers. For your business to succeed, you are going to have to jump on board and grow your online presence.

 

low cost small business marketing tree

Just reading that sounds expensive, right?  A list of all the digital marketing activities you could pay to have someone do for you is long.  You’ll find strategies such as Paid Search (pay-per-click and online ads), Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Conversion Optimization, Content Marketing and Email & SMS (text message) Marketing.

That’s not even a full list and it’s daunting!

Sure, you could find experts and marketing agencies to market your business.  But there are low-cost small business digital marketing tactics you can execute in-house that will save you money while growing your business.

Learn What Digital Marketing Tactics Grow Your Business in “8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics”

Digital marketing can work for even the smallest business by keeping it simple and concentrating on the tactics you as a business owner can do yourself or at least manage with a low-cost professional service.

These 8 Low-Cost and No-Cost Digital Marketing Tactics will get you in the game, growing your online visibility and attracting new customers. A bonus list of free resources at the end will help you jump ahead in growing your business.

Time to Get Started Growing Your Online Presence and Reputation

Sometimes the problem isn’t exactly knowing what needs to be done – it’s figuring out how to start, right?

When you begin working on your digital marketing, it seems like there always a new way to market your business online. Wasting time and money on one new marketing strategy after another seems to be the norm for small businesses committed to growing their online presence.  Seasoned business owners and online marketers have been through this, and they’ve tried everything and learned the handful of methods that truly work for small businesses.

No Defined Digital Marketing

Why Digital Marketing Makes More Sense Than Ever

No matter what industry you are in, there is a good chance that your top competition has a better internet presence and reputation than your business.

New customers are searching online before they make their next purchase.  You need to show up in the first positions in search engine results to remain competitive in any market.

The most successful businesses have also created a strong awareness of their company with an audience of potential customers.  Digital marketing positions your website as a high-ranking online presence that works 24/7 advertising your business.

4 Ways Digital Marketing Grows Your Business

  1. Attract new customers
  2. Building a positive online reputation
  3. Find out what customers want
  4. Stand out in a crowded marketplace

All marketing activities should be geared towards two things: growth and profitability. Digital marketing provides a wide array of cost-effective tools and platforms that give even the smallest business direct access to a huge audience of potential customers.  These customers are dependent on their computers, phones, and mobile devices to decide where to buy. That’s good news for digital marketers!

That’s you by the way.  You’re the digital marketer in this success story. 

At least you will be after you download your free copy of 8 Low-Cost Small Business Digital Marketing Tactics above.

Here are some of the 20+ free resources you’ll get with your download:

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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Facebook Advertising – Reach Your Marketing Goals with Ad Objectives

Why You Need Facebook Advertising?

Why FB Advertise ReputationLoop

If you want to grow your business, you have to reach new customers. You can bet that a large cross-section of your customer base is using Facebook and Instagram every day.  To effectively market your business and increase awareness among the audience that matters to the growth of your business, effective Facebook Advertising needs to be a priority.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Facebook Advertising Objectives

Benefits of Facebook Advertising

Highly Targeted Audience Selection with Facebook Advertising

Facebook Advertising makes it easy to target very specific audiences with targeting features built into the Facebook Ad Manager and Power Editor.  This means more effective marketing and a higher return on your investment. You can choose who sees your ad by demographics, contact information, location, behaviors, or interests.

There are three audiences you can choose from with Facebook Advertising:

  • Core Audiences where you select your audience manually based on characteristics, like age and location.
  • Custom Audiences where you upload your contact list to connect with your customers who use Facebook.
  • Lookalike Audiences where you use the information you have about your current customers to find similar people on Facebook.

facebook advertising objectives screens

Easy and Affordable Facebook Advertising Budgeting

With the ability to drill down to a highly targeted audience you get more for your buck with Facebook Advertising.  You create your ad, set your budget and then bid it in the ad auction.  You can start low, and set or edit your ad budget at any time.  Your ad budget will be the total amount you want to spend daily or over the course of the ad campaign. You also set a bid—the maximum amount you’re willing to pay when someone sees your ad or takes your desired action.

There are two specialty buying options with Facebook Advertising for advertisers used to purchasing brand awareness and television ads:

Reach & Frequency

  • When you want your advertising campaign to reach more than 200,000 people, reach and frequency buying gives you predictable, controlled ad delivery at a locked price.

Target Rating Points

  • If you’re used to purchasing TV ads through Target Rating Points, you may be interested in purchasing video ads for Facebook, Instagram or the Audience Network in the same way.

The ad auction determines which ads should be shown to which people. Base on the information used creating your ad, the auction shows your ad to the people most likely to be interested in it.

facebook advertising objectives reputation loop

Extend Your Reach Running Ads on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network

One of the best things about Facebook Advertising is that you can create your ad once and with a few clicks run it across Facebook, Instagram or Audience Network.  One ad can reach your selected audience where they hang out on their favorite apps and websites, on mobile and desktop devices, with no resizing or reformatting is required.

Supported Facebook Advertising formats include:

  • Video
  • Photo
  • Carousel
  • Slideshow
  • Canvas (mobile only)

Available Placements are:

Facebook

  • Feeds
  • Instant Articles
  • In-stream videos
  • Right column

Instagram

  • Feed
  • Stories

Audience Network

  • Audience Network lets you extend your ad campaigns beyond Facebook to reach your audiences on websites and apps across devices such as computers, mobile devices and connected TVs (this feature may not be available to everyone yet.) It uses the same Facebook targeting, measurement and delivery to make sure each ad on Audience Network helps you reach your campaign goals at the most cost-effective price.

Messenger

  • Home
  • Sponsored messages

Reach Your Marketing Goals with Facebook Advertising

With Facebook Advertising, businesses just like yours are capturing the attention of interested customers.  They are showing off their products, highlighting their services and collecting leads right where people are spending their time online.

Find your next customer easily with a simple 3-Step Facebook Advertising plan:

  1. Choose your audience based on demographics, contact information, and behaviors.
  2. Create eye-catching ads that automatically resize and reformat to work on different platforms and every device.
  3. Use ad reporting tools and study ad channel behavior to see how your ads impacted your business and pinpoint when, where, and how to connect to your audience.

Extending the advertising reach for your business can be as simple as adding Facebook Advertising to your marketing plan.  Build your presence and create awareness for your business while driving discovery and generating leads.  With deeper engagement and a higher return on investment than less targeted digital marketing Facebook Advertising can be the key to increasing customer loyalty and boosting sales.

Don’t forget to download your copy of FACEBOOK ADVERTISING OBJECTIVES above!

Facebook Advertising Objectives PDF Graphic

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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9 Best FREE WordPress SEO Plugins – Interactive PDF Infographic

Search Engine Optimization (aka SEO) is key to ranking higher on search engine results pages where more customers can find your business.  We’ve dug in and created an interactive infographic PDF that gives you the 9 best free WordPress SEO plugins with a brief overview of what each plugin does.  Images link directly to each plugin’s WordPress.org download page where you can read reviews and research features.

SEO is Vital to the Growth of Your Business

Ranking high in search engine results is a game-changer for any business or website.  But it’s near to impossible to reach the top of search results without an active and comprehensive SEO plan in even low competition industries and localities.

With over 200 ranking factors influencing how Google and other search engines decide which websites are relevant search results and in what order they should appear it can be overwhelming.

Tack on top of that how often search engine algorithms, results page appearance, and ranking factors can change, and add staying on top of what’s new in the world of SEO while managing optimization for a website and it can all seem far beyond many SEO beginners and non-tech business owners.

9 Best Free WordPress SEO Plugins

Whether you a beginner just learning about SEO or an old pro looking for a better and faster way to optimize your WordPress website for search engines, we’ve got a list that is going to make your life a whole lot easier.

 

On the list of the 9 Best Free WordPress SEO Plugins are the best expertly developed plugins, used by everyone from mom bloggers to Fortune 100 companies, that you can download for free on WordPress.org.  These plugins cover important on-page and off-page SEO challenges such as content keywords and tags, image size and redirects, and even site speed and website performance.

What Can Free WordPress SEO Plugins Do For You?

Free WordPress SEO plugins have many of the functions and features of premium and paid plugins, and all the features necessary to successfully optimize a local or small business website.  If you run your website on the WordPress platform, these plugins will help you optimize the content of your web pages and blog post.

Most SEO plugins can help you by pointing out, on-page while you are creating content, what’s missing and what you need to do to make your website more search engine friendly whether it has to do with content text, tags, images, and videos, or page speed and website performance.

There are hundreds of WordPress SEO plugins to choose from with a wide range of functions. Take a good look at the SEO deficiencies on your website and find the two or three free WordPress SEO plugins that address your major website optimization needs.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful not to download and try to use too many SEO plugins at one time.  Competing plugins fighting to perform identical functions on your website can affect site performance and speed and actually hurt, not help, your search engine rankings.

Be sure to CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE to download the 9 Best FREE WordPress SEO Plugins Interactive PDF!

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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Reputation Institute Presents: 2017 Country RepTrak® – Most Reputable Countries in the World

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Using & Understanding Google My Business Insights – FREE PDF DOWNLOAD

Using & Understanding Google My Business Insights

understanding google my business insights screen post

Google My Business provides a wealth of data and useful tools such as Google My Business Insights to help you get more from your Google business listings.

If you have a Google My Business account, you’re a few taps away from knowing every who, when, what, and where of how customers interact with your Google listings with Google Insights. These actionable insights show you the trends in your industry, in your area, so you can make the improvements that can put you ahead of your competition.

 

Data Points Google My Business Insights Gives for Each of Your Locations

Your free Google My Business account and listings not only help you show up in Google searches and on Google Maps.  You also get Insights (also known as analytics) on your GMB listing engagement that show how people find your business and where they are coming from.  You can also see how search users interact with your listing once they have found it.

  • Total Searches
  • Direct Searches
  • Discovery Searches
  • Total Views (Search & Maps)
  • Search Views
  • Maps Views
  • Total Actions
  • Website Actions
  • Directions Actions
  • Phone Call Actions

What’s New with Google My Business Insights?

BULK INSIGHTS FROM GMB DASHBOARD – Access 18 Months of Insights Data

Bulk insight was added to the Google My Business dashboard back in April.  Why should you care?  Because you can now select a custom date range for the data you need instead of relying on the one-week, one-month, or one-quarter standard report dates.  This allows you to compare data in custom ranges to pinpoint improvements and negative trends in your optimization efforts.

If you manage multiple accounts with the Google My Business API, then you could download Insights data in bulk since January, but this is a huge GMB improvement for anyone managing multiple locations through the dashboard.

Getting More Out of Your Google My Business Account

Looking at search engine result pages, the local pack and knowledge panel give Google search users a large collection of useful information that makes it more likely they will click through to your website or request directions to your location.  Google My Business Insights lets you see how customers are using the information you have on your GMB account to choose your business.

Off-site engagement such as map views and click to calls aren’t shown on your Google Analytics or Search Console reports.  Use GMB Insights to discover how customers are interacting with your business on Google Search and Google Maps.  Search users are highly engaged and primed to act on the information they find in search by visiting your website or location.

All the information you need to improve your search engine marketing and search engine optimization is just a few clicks away with Google My Business Insights.

 

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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Small Business Trends Presents: Cynthia Hester of Salesforce – Trailblazer Customer Awards

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Small Business Trends Presents: Ronan Galvin of Kickstagram: Marketing Automation Led to 282% Increase in Revenue in Eight M

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Reviews Increase CTR – “Get More Online Customer Reviews” CHEAT SHEET

Get More Online Customer Reviews to Increase Search Click Through Rates

For a local business, ranking high in search results and increasing search click-through rates (CTR) are two top priorities.  Get more online customer reviews and you can see huge gains in both search ranking and CTR, earning new customers.

Local search results are where new customers find new, better, and closer places to do business.  You need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get a business to rank higher in search engine results. And while plentiful and positive online customer reviews are a search ranking factor, they have a greater power that can’t be overlooked: Online reviews heavily influence click-through rate and purchase decisions.

Get More Online Reviews IMAGE 250

 

 

You Can Download “Get More Online Customer Reviews”

– Your FREE PDF Cheat Sheet Below

 

 

 

How Online Reviews Increase Search CTR and Influence Buying Behavior

The latest Local Consumer Review Study found that reading online reviews about a business was an integral part of the consumer buying process. Here are some of the major results of the Local Consumer Review Study:

  • Over 90% of consumers read online reviews when searching for a local business.
  • Over 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  • Overall star rating is the #1 factor that consumers pay most attention to when evaluating a local business.
  • 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if asked.

BrightLocal, an industry leader in local search, recently conducted their latest study to see how much positive online reviews improve CTR.  In measuring the impact of reviews on search CTR, the study focused on what impact reviews and ratings have on CTR from both Local Pack results and Organic Search Results.

You can read the full report but here are the key takeaways:

How Do Reviews and Ratings Affect Click-Through Rates on Google Local Pack Results?

  • Listings with 5 stars earned 69% of clicks from the Local Pack
  • Listings with 4 stars earned 59% of clicks
  • Listings with 3 stars earned 44% of clicks
  • Listings with 1 or 2 stars earned fewer clicks than listings with no stars

Variance in Click-Through-Rates Based on Star Rating

  • Having a 5-star rating earns a business 28% more clicks vs. having no rating
  • Having a 5-star rating earns a business 39% more clicks than having a 1-star rating
  • Having a 1-star rating reduces the clicks a business gets by 11% vs. having no ratings

How Do Users Pick a Business from Google’s Local Pack?

  • 56% picked a business because it had positive star ratings/reviews
  • 10% liked the business name
  • 9% picked the top listing

BrightLocal Picking from Local Pack
How Do Reviews and Ratings Affect Click Through from Organic Search Results?

  • Listings with 5 stars earned 19% of clicks from localized organic SERPs
  • Listings with 4 stars earned 16% of clicks
  • Listings with 3 stars earned 11%% of clicks
  • Listings with 1-3 stars earned fewer clicks than listings with no stars

Customer Reviews Raise Your Rank in Search Results, Increase Search CTR, and Influence Buying Behavior

You already knew that building a positive online presence that shows a stream on recent and positive reviews was good for business.  Seeing the power of online customers reviews to increase Search CTR and influence buyer decisions only solidify the fact that having a review management and promotion process is a necessary part of today’s digital marketing plan.  This is true for all businesses, but especially small businesses who need to compete on the local market level.

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Zach_Color_Trans_small_CroppedAbout The Author

Zach Anderson is the co-founder of Reputation Loop (helping small businesses grow by generating customer feedback and online reviews) who loves online marketing and golf.

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