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Search Engine Optimization Tips Small Business Marketing

Are you Missing this Important Opportunity to Get More Clients?

Word of Mouth (WoM) will always be the best form of advertising, but it’s gone digital. If you’re not prioritizing your Google reviews and actively managing your digital reputation, you are missing an important opportunity to be visible and vetted by more clients or customers. Keep reading to learn more about online reviews and how they affect your rankings in Google.

How Google Reviews Can Bring You Clients

When you enter a local search term into Google, three main factors will affect the ranking of each site displayed:

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence

The first two ranking factors are explanatory–Google will attempt to present the most relevant options within your immediate vicinity. Makes sense, right?

Reviews, however, fall into the category of prominence. If you searched for “dog groomer” and found one with hundreds of highly rated reviews, that groomer may outrank a closer local competitor if they have fewer, less positive ratings and reviews.

3 Simple Steps to Get More Reviews and Boost Your Rankings

Let’s say you’re one of the many businesses that doesn’t have a ton of reviews. Here are three steps you can take to bump those review numbers and, consequently, your SEO results.

 1. Fix Your Listings 

“Near me” searches are growing exponentially year after year. With the rise of voice search, they’ll be even more important. It’s estimated that 22% of voice searches are location-based. That’s a big number and growing by the minute.

If you haven’t done so already, claim your Google My Business (GMB) profile. This is your most visible listing, since it will show up every time someone does a search for your business.

It’s incredible how many businesses don’t take this simple step to boost their rankings and online visibility. Some of these businesses still have their old business address and phone number listed and then wonder why they don’t get more phone calls!

If you want to make sure your Google listing (or Yelp, Bing, or any other listing service) is correct, Google your company and see what pops up. If you think you need help fixing it, give us a shout. We update and optimize Google My Business (and other) listings every day.

2. Send Review Requests 

Customers trust reviews. The more reviews you have, the better. That’s why it’s important to ask your customers to leave reviews. This is the kind of social proof that future customers will trust and can ultimately encourage them to convert. 

To get the best results, make sure you’re sending review requests via text and email. This makes the process easy for the customer. They don’t have to spend time looking for your business or where to post the review. All they have to do is click the link and write about their experience.

Also, there’s no need to feel weird about asking. Happy customers love to help out. Asking can feel awkward, but more for you than for them. Make it easy for them and you’ll get more reviews. If asking directly is still too much for you, GoBeyond has a cringe-proof process in place to get you those reviews without making you blush.

3. Respond to Customer Reviews 

Lots of business owners don’t respond to online reviews. That’s a big mistake. A study by Harvard Business School showed that responding to reviews leads to a higher overall star rating. 

But the benefits don’t end there. Genuine responses help build loyalty with your customers. A simple “Thanks a ton, we hope to see you soon!” can leave a positive impression in the mind of your customers and encourage them to come back for more. 

Google has confirmed that responding to reviews can help your business rank higher on search engines. What’s not to love about that?

Don’t Stress About Getting Reviews

Word of Mouth will always be a factor when it comes to decision making. We’re social creatures and the opinions of others dictate everything from how we behave at the dinner table to how we make our laws. Word of Mouth has not and will never go away, but how we access those opinions has changed permanently.

Don’t stress about the review process. These days, having the occasional bad review is not a business death sentence. The far worse outcome sounds more like this: “Acme Products and Services? Never heard of ‘em”.

Want to automate your review process to make it easier and less painful to get more reviews of your business? Contact GoBeyond SEO to learn more about our process for getting reviews without the hassle.

Categories
SEO Tips

How to Deal With Fake Negative Reviews of Your Business

Negative reviews are never fun to deal with, but fake reviews can be even worse. However, by handling reviews the right way, you can protect the reputation of your business.

Prioritizing reputation management should be an important part of your process whether or not you receive the occasional fake review.

Most businesses have to deal with a fake review at some point. Even GoBeyond got a fake review on the Better Business Bureau website. The person leaving the review was very disappointed that we had not sent her the supplements and diet shakes she ordered.

For those just tuning in, GoBeyond doesn’t sell supplements. Or shakes. Or products of any kind.

When we found the review and the woman who left it, we had a lovely conversation and sent her our website, showed her our faces, and demonstrated that we were not the culprits. She agreed to amend the review.

But had this bad (although fake) review been on Google, it would have been easier for her to recognize that we were not the offending company.

 So what happens if you do get a negative, fake review on Google? Are you stuck with it? Not necessarily. Here’s how to deal with fake negative reviews on Google.

Flag the Fake Review for Google to Remove

Google will not just remove a comment because you say you want it removed. That said, if a comment violates Google’s policy, and you flag that comment, Google will step in and remove the flagged comment. Here’s a short list of violations that can be grounds for removal:

  • Spam and fake content. Content should reflect genuine experiences and should not be placed in an attempt to manipulate ratings.
  • Off-topic. Content should be related to the specific location being reviewed.
  • Restricted content. No calls-to-action for materials restricted by law such as alcohol, tobacco, guns, etc.
  • Conflict of interest. Business owners, employees, and employees of competing businesses cannot review your company.

If you have a bad review that fits in the criteria above, here are the steps you can take to flag that comment:

  1. Find your business listing on Google Maps. If you have not claimed and optimized it, do it now! Not sure how? Book a time to meet with us to find out how.
  2. Find the review you’d like to dispute.
  3. Do not respond to the comment. Not yet. If the review is mean or rude, of course you want to politely and professionally respond to that. However, if it’s simply untruthful, don’t respond. It’s hard to make a case for Google to remove it if you’ve engaged with the comment.
  4. Click the three vertical buttons on the right side, then flag as inappropriate.

Remember, reviews posted on Google My Business are meant to represent the genuine experiences of customers. If Google believes a review doesn’t represent a real experience, it will be removed.

What Happens If the Review Isn’t Removed?

If the review doesn’t get taken down, there are a couple of other steps you can take.

  1. Contact Google by phone to ask about the status of the flagged review.
  2. If that’s not enough, you can fill out a legal removal request if the review can be considered libel. 

There’s never a guarantee that Google will remove a fake review. Being proactive, building a process, and responding to negative feedback is usually the best way of dealing with reviews whether they are good, bad, or ugly.

If you think it’s time to automate some of that process, we can help you at GoBeyond SEO. Find out how by booking a call with us here!

Categories
Marketing

How to Add Users to Google My Business, Google Analytics & Google Ads

How to Add Users to Google My Business

To invite someone to manage your Google My Business account, you must be the owner of the account. You can simply add a new manager by signing in to your account, then selecting the location or location group you’d like to add the manager to from the menu on the top left.

For location groups, open your group, then go to “group settings”:

how to add users to google my business from a business group

For single listings, open your listing and navigate to “users”:

how to add users to google my business

Click on “Manage Users” and then “Add Users”. Next, enter the email address of the person you’d like to invite to manage your account.

Once that person accepts the invitation, they will have managing capabilities, including being able to add and remove users and locations in the group you selected.

How to Add a User to Google Analytics

To invite someone to your Google Analytics account, you must be the Administrator of the account, whether at the account, property, or view level.

If you’re an administrator, you can add or change users on the level where you have that role. To delete users, you must at least be an administrator on the account level.

When you want to invite someone into Google Analytics, begin by signing in to your account. Next, click on Admin, and then on the Account, Property, or View permissions you’d like to access.

View access management in Google Analytics

Once you’re in your desired column, click on “Access Management”. There will be an Account Permissions list, where you can then click “Add Users”. Enter the person’s email associated with their Google account, then invite them by selecting the “Notify new users by email” check box.

How to add a user to Google Analytics

Here, you can also select which permissions you want the user to have, and finish up by clicking “Add” when you’re done. The user will then be able to access your Google Analytics account and utilize it based on the permissions you selected.

How to Add a User to Google Ads

To invite someone to access your Google Ads account, sign in to your Google account. In the upper right-hand corner, there will be a tools icon (a wrench). Click on this, and then click on “Setup”, then “Access and Security”.

Google Ads access and security

There will be a “+” button for you to click on. Once you click on this, you can select the level you want the new person to access, then, when prompted, enter the person’s email address. Once you’re done, click “Send Invitation”.

How to add a user to Google Ads
Categories
Local SEO Marketing Small Business Marketing Small Business SEO

Three Reasons To Claim Your Google My Business Listing

If you haven’t already jumped on the Google My Business bandwagon, now’s the time. Leaving a Google My Business profile unclaimed (psst: even if you’re virtual) is like leaving an entire host of free marketing opportunities on the table and willingly ignoring their existence…and you know better than that. 

Here’s the deal: 80 percent of internet searches go through Google. Think of the last time you actually searched through Bing or Yahoo. Yet, 56 percent of potential Google My Business accounts have not been claimed. This means the business will not be told when a review comes through, you’re allowing third-party photos to be attached to your business without your knowledge, and you’re missing out on a wealth of leads and potential sales.

Keep reading for the top 3 reasons to claim your Google My Business listing.

1. Claim Google My Business Listing for Local SEO

Claiming your Google My Business profile gives you the ability to boost your ranking, free of charge, by instantly making yourself more of an authority in your space. See, Google’s algorithm primarily considers three features: relevance, proximity, and prominence. By claiming your profile, you are essentially sounding an alarm to the algorithm that your listing deserves a higher ranking because of information you’ve provided. Here’s why:

  • By adding your website to your profile, you are adding backlinks, which builds up your site’s reliability.
  • You’ve now provided Google with a location, which tells the algorithm when it should come up in more localized searches.
  • It makes your business more established and well-known in the eyes of Google.

2. Get Found By Potential Clients

As your SEO improves, your business appears earlier in the search ranking, and, as a result, your website traffic increases. Even simply filling out the information in the profile, however, and turning it into your own, enables your business to share necessary content with your potential customers. 

By claiming the profile, you are able to put your ideas, via posts and blogs, in front of them. You give your audience a chance to learn about your business, the hours it operates, any pertinent or new information, and how to find out more. The more information your customers consume, the more likely it is the interaction will end in a sale.

3. Use GMB for Reputation Management

Google reviews are all the rage right now, and it makes total sense. The last restaurant you’ve visited, the electrician you’ve hired, the last salon you’ve entered…I would be surprised if you’ve never checked out some reviews before making a decision. 90 percent of people read reviews. 90 percent. 

When you claim your Google My Business profile, you become notified when there’s a review. And, as every smart business owner knows, when there’s a review, there needs to be a response. Without claiming the profile, you don’t know when the review comes in, and you leave it unnoticed. As positive reviews build up, more positive reviews come in, and all this leads to more sales for you.

Beyond that, Google My Business recently added a messaging feature. More customer interaction means more engagement and loyalty which, again, means more sales.

How Do I Claim My Business on Google?

So now you’re convinced, but have no idea how to claim your Google My Business listing. Follow this process, and if you run into an issue, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

  1. Go to https://business.google.com/create and create an account.
  2. Add your business name.
  3. Add your business category. If your business shows up after this step, it’s possible that your business has already been added via a third-party. This may require a bit more poking around. If you get stuck, reach out for assistance.
  4. Add your location or indicate that you’re virtual.
  5. Different questions will arise based on your answers. Just fill them out.
  6. Add pictures where you can. When adding your pictures, give them names. Most images are labeled with IMG_123 or something to that effect, which doesn’t help your SEO at all. Label your images with a specific name that lets Google know what you’re about, such as “Best-Dog-Groomer-Charlotte”.
  7. Once you’ve completed and reviewed your details, click “Claim this business.”
  8. It typically takes about 24 hours for your business to show up in the Google listings. You’ll receive an email confirmation that your business listing is active.

Don’t leave your business behind by leaving your profile unattended. Google My Business is a fast and easy way to improve your visibility, engage your audience, and provide a ton of content, and it’s all for free. 

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Kristy is an Assistant & Coordinator of Awesome. She has worked extensively in academic administration and brings a varied wealth of knowledge. As a self-starter, she is ready to take on news projects and see them through to completion. Always curious, Kristy is an avid researcher and delights in the challenge of learning new skills.

When Kristy isn’t organizing or researching something, you can find her listening to a true crime podcast, re-watching How I Met Your Mother or The Big Bang Theory and coming up with some crazy shenanigan for her family’s next adventure.

5 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT KRISTY

  1. Kristy prefers the Harry Potter books over the movies. Her favorite book is The Prisoner of Azkaban and her favorite character is Luna Lovegood. Ravenclaw house. She just started her 8-year-old son on listening to the books.
  2. Kristy has a nail technician license, esthetician license, medical assisting certification, associate degree, and bachelor’s degree. She didn’t get her full cosmetology license because she can barely do her own hair, she shouldn’t be trusted with someone else’s.
  3. She doesn’t know how to gamble but is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. She moved to Colorado three months before her 21st birthday.
  4. Her high school graduating class consisted of only 20 people.
  5. Kristy loves gift giving. One of her great joys in life is finding the “perfect” gift.
Kristy Elias