Why is Google calling my business non-stop? Who’s REALLY behind the calls? HOW CAN I MAKE THIS STOP??????
I get asked this all of the time, so I go behind the scenes to reveal:
Follow along and learn how to kill the calls – and optimize your online presence at the same time!
Yelp is getting some more negative attention, this time from Prost Productions and Director/Producer Kaylie Milliken. Her Kickstarter campaign describes Billion Dollar Bully as “a documentary on marketing giant Yelp’s $3.6 billion racket against small business owners.”
This isn’t the first time Yelp’s been under fire for business practices that some describe as bullying.
Do subscribe to Yelp’s advertising campaigns? What’s been YOUR experience? Please comment below.
Chances are, it’ll probably still be there. But according to Google, if it doesn’t display properly on mobile devices – they might pull it from search results, giving preference to those sites that do, effectively making it invisible to searchers.
I’ve had lots of questions from my clients about this, and most with recent work are just fine. If you’re not sure, there’s a link to a free tool to find out if your site is mobile friendly a little further down in the article.
So why is being mobile friendly so important to Google? The fact is, mobile browsing is set to overtake desktop browsing this year. I won’t bore you with all the mobile statistics – you’ve likely heard this all before. Or maybe your favorite Yellow Directory representative has been bugging you all of last year trying to push a mobile website. (Which will likely be extinct soon). Suffice it to say that the popularity of smart phones and tablets has expanded to the point that most online searches, web browsing, and maybe even Netflix watching is done on the small screen.
Google is – and always has been – all about the user experience. It makes sense that if you’re searching on a mobile device, you want content in your search results that you can easily read or watch. Old designs are hard to read on small screens.
So, how do you know if your website displays properly? Google’s got a tool you can use to find out.
Another quick way to find out is to just resize your browser window on your desktop to the size of a phone display. If it reads and looks fine in the resized window, chances are it’s okay. But do the Google test anyway. There are lots of factors in mobile design to consider when thinking about usability.
So, what can you do if your website isn’t mobile-friendly? Depending on the architecture of your website it could be as easy as installing a software add-on, but for most – a website redesign is probably the cure.
Fortunately, you know a guy.
This isn’t the first we’ve heard about Yelp allegedly targeting small businesses – sadly, it’s not likely to be the last. The BBB currently gives them A+ status – even with 1400+ complaints!
So, the claim is that you’re penalized if you don’t advertise.
But – what if you DO advertise?
Here’s an example of a complaint and Yelp’s reply:
Thank you for writing. We are glad to have this opportunity to address your concerns.
You expressed concern with the results of your Yelp advertising program. You signed up for 500 ad impressions plus video hosting for the price of $315 per month, with a 12-month commitment period. During the 8 months that ads have been running for Inspiring Hands Therapeutic Massage, 1/3 of the traffic received has come as a result of clicks on the ads that you paid for. Additionally, when you were using the Call to Action feature, which provided a link for customers to click to make an appointment, 19 clicks were received. You can view a monthly breakdown of your User Views and Customer Leads on the landing page of your Business Account.
All in all, the ad program is doing precisely what it was intended to do. It has increased your exposure with a relevant audience and provided you with opportunities to convert traffic into customers (the CTA feature being one of these tools).
If you would like to cancel your program, please send a written cancellation notice to your account manager before the 15th of the month. If you choose to cancel before the end of your commitment period, an early termination fee of $930 will be assessed.
Yelp, Inc. – See more at: http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-services/yelpcom-in-san-francisco-ca-193927/complaints#sthash.RQiuShox.dpuf
So let’s do the math –
8 months X $315 = $2,520
$2,520 / 19 clicks = $132.63 per click. And then there’s the $930 “Early Termination Fee”. That sure would have bought a lot of other kinds of advertising.
Darned if you do – Darned if you don’t.
The good news is – Yelp isn’t the only way to get honest reviews that help your business. Need advice? Just ask.
Truth be told, your actions make us feel like you don’t respect us….All we do is give, and all you do is take. We give you text posts, delicious food photos, coupons, restaurant recommendations… and what do you do in return? You take them and you hide them from all our friends.
…But the bigger picture issue is that we can’t trust you. You lied to us and said you were a social network but you’re totally not a social network. At least not anymore.
Facebook used to be pretty cool. But not anymore. I guess that’s the price of going public and working for your shareholders instead of your customers.
The argument against Facebook for business is pretty well laid out in the article above, but I’ll explain a bit anyway. Facebook at one time allowed you to create a page, invite people to like (or follow) the content you added, and all was well with the world. You’d add a video, picture, or news about yourself, product, or service – and all of your “followers” would see your stuff. Now however, Facebook has slowly filtered who gets to see your content so that only a fraction of your fans see it. Of course, they then offer to “boost” or “promote” your content – for a fee.
This is a twisted variation of the “freemium” model, in which you get something for free – and you can get something even better for a premium. It’s up to you to decide if the added service is worth the investment.
In this case, Facebook is merely taking away what used to be free – and then charging you to restore it. In many cases – as evidenced above, business is not biting. They’re moving on.
For those that would like a better alternative, consider Google+
Most importantly – and I’ve said this 1,000 times – own your message. That means build your online presence on your own website, and use social media to support it – instead of the other way around.
Questions? Comments? Leave’m below!
With a big year ahead of us, I figured it was time to do a ‘soft launch’ to officially announce “Living Water Digital”.
So what does this mean?
At least for now, we’ll be selectively be taking on clients as we roll out our services and get staffed.
I’m sure that as a business owner you sometimes wonder if your marketing is working. There are lots of articles you can read on the subject – just Google the following term:
So, if you browse a bit you’ll find plenty of articles that show you how to tell if your marketing folks are doing a good job. A good measure of success is how often you get leads – you know, how often your phone rings or you receive a web inquiry.
Here’s another fun way that I know my client’s marketing is working – after I rank a client in the search engines for a very competitive term, I start getting phone calls like this from my competitors wanting to “borrow” my client’s popularity…
“Hi, this is John Anderson with BEEP, and we’re the attorney-focused web marketing group. And, the reason I’m calling is I’m seeking relevant links for my attorney clients so I was hoping if you could possibly do relevant links exchange, uh, since we’re only focused on the attorneys and law firms of our marketing so and I hope you understand the link building which helps us to drive traffic and all that. So if you are open to this arrangement you can reach me at BEEP and you have a great day, bye.”
I’m pretty sure if they really knew that I do this professionally (attorney marketing ) they wouldn’t have left the message – but it’s comforting to be unknowingly promoted by the competition, LOL!
Listen, marketing is something EVERY business owner needs to do to stay successful. If you have the time, then learn all you can about making your business easy to find for your clients, and take action – even if it isn’t perfect. If you need help promoting YOUR organization, you can reach me here.
Have a great day – Ken