Category: Google

Here are my thoughts on Google Adwords – it makes sense for some people, but not for everyone.

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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:

  • who’s really calling
  • why (and how) they target you
  • how to make it stop.  (well, most of it)

Follow along and learn how to kill the calls – and optimize your online presence at the same time!

The post How to Stop the Google Phone Calls appeared first on Ken Ivey.

I rarely post on SEO stuff (because it changes almost daily) but this is kind of an important update for my friends who are business owners or otherwise depend on the Web for new clients or sales.

The post Google update appeared first on Ken Ivey.

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If you have any questions just let me know.  Please comment below!

The post Google Rolling Out New Interface For Places appeared first on Ken Ivey.

[box color=”green-mute” type=”round” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

Google Plus

Worried about the sudden changes Google has made to Google Places?  Wondering how the new Google Plus Local format will affect those all-important business reviews?  Well, you can relax.  Google Plus Local is actually a great change – and one that will enable customers to leave even more comprehensive, detailed, and accurate reviews than before.  What’s more is that Google has made the whole process super simple, even for those completely unfamiliar with the Google Plus user interface.  Want the details?  Here are instructions for how to set up a Google Plus Local review in five easy steps:

Create a Google Plus account.  You must have your own Google Plus account in order to leave reviews.  However, you can now leave reviews from either a personal Google Plus profile or a business Google Plus page account.

Visit the Google Plus Local page of the business you want to review.  This is simple: log in to your Google Plus account and search the left hand side of the screen for a vertical tab menu.  See the “Local” tab?  Click on that to access the Google Plus Local search.  Once you are on the appropriate page, you click on the “Write a Review” button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Rate the business.  The new Google Plus Local rating system – called the Zagat scale – will ask that you rate the business from 0 to 3 on a number of different aspects related to the particular business you are reviewing (food and service categories when grading restaurants, for example).  The numbers you enter are then calculated according to the Zagat scale formula in order to deliver an overall rating of 0 to 30.  This score is also broken down into specific categories so that page visitors can accurately assess different aspects of the business – including its strengths and weaknesses.

Write a review.  Underneath the Zagat scale rating section is a text box in which you can write your business review.  Take your time and be sure to provide plenty of detail, as well as specific tips and suggestions you would recommend potential customers follow when dealing with the business.  Also, be sure to go over your review once you’ve finished it, in order to add any missed information and edit mistakes.

Publish your review.  Once you are sure that you have rated and reviewed the business to your satisfaction, it is time to publish the review.  Click on the “Publish” button underneath the review text box to publish it to the business’ Google Plus Local page.  The review will be listed under your profile, and anyone who sees the review, including the business itself, will be able to check out your profile page.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

The post How to Set Up a Google Plus Local Review in 5 Easy Steps appeared first on Ken Ivey.

[box color=”green-vibrant” type=”round” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

Google Places Business Listing

Lately, there is a lot of talk about Google Places – Google’s newest web offering that seems to be revolutionizing the way businesses reach customers and market online.  If you are responsible for marketing for a business, then you simply cannot afford to miss out on all the talk.  That is because Google Places can be one of the most powerful tools you have when it comes to establishing a strong business presence on the Internet.  Interested in knowing more, but not even sure where to start?  Check out these five most asked questions about Google Places:

How does Google Places help people find my business?  Google is the number one search engine in the entire world-wide web, encompassing a network of web-based applications (like Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Voice, and Google Directory Search) and other partner websites.  When you set up your Google Places listing, your business becomes a part of that network.  That means that any time someone uses Google to search for either your specific business name/location, or even for a business category related to yours in your area, your business listing is likely to appear in the return results across the entire Google network.

How can I make the most of my Google Places listing?  First of all, make sure that it has a score of 100 percent (based partly on completeness).  Also, upload as many photos/videos as Google will allow, encourage customers to post reviews, and employ search engine optimization (SEO) strategies when writing your Places page content.

How do I get a Google Places listing?  Start by creating a (free!) Google account.  Then visit the Google Places homepage and click on the “add business” option to claim your business location.  Once you have submitted all of your information, you will have to verify your business by providing a valid telephone number or document, and then wait for Google to publish your listing.

What will it cost to use Google Places?  Google Places listings, and every feature that comes with your Google Places pages, are absolutely free.

Is it possible to advertise my Google Places page on Google?  Yes, Google has made it simple and easy to advertise for Google Places using Google Adwords Express.  Access Adwords Express through your Google Places account page.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

The post The 5 Most Asked Questions about Google Places appeared first on Ken Ivey.

[box color=”blue-vibrant” type=”square” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

Yellow Pages Dead

Does your business have a Google Places listing?  If you answered “no,” then you need to get on the task of setting up your Google Places listing, and right now.  There are a number of very compelling reasons to include Google Places as an integral part of your business marketing plan.  If you need some convincing, then you should look over this list of reasons for why having your business on Google Places is so important:

The Yellow Pages is obsolete.  Studies show that 97 percent of all consumers use the Internet to search for and choose local businesses.  Most of those people haven’t touched a Yellow Pages book for years.  Look at it this way: if 97 percent of your potential customers are searching the web for businesses just like yours and you are not there, you are missing out – plain and simple.

Your Places listing will work for you, even when you are sleeping.  The Internet never sleeps, and your page is always accessible to potential customers, even long after you shut-down your shop.  You can even link your Google Places page to your website, so that customers can make transactions while you catch your Z’s.

Branding.  Google Places is especially effective when it comes to your business branding (which, in today’s market, is essential to your business’ success).  By uploading photos and videos, and customizing your content to speak for your unique niche, you can go a long way in strengthening your brand.

Reaching your target market.  You can create content for your Google Places listing that speaks specifically to your target market, and then count on the Google search engine to deliver targeted traffic straight to your virtual-reality door.  There are very few types of advertising that enable you to reach exactly who you want to by means that are within your control, and Google Places is one of them.

Google Places is free advertising.  Regardless of how successful your business is, you have a business budget . . . and you simply cannot argue that many of your business choices come down to the bottom line.  Unless you have a limitless marketing budget (and who does?!), you need all the free help you can get.  It just doesn’t make any sense not to take advantage of such a powerful marketing tool when it won’t cost you a single cent to get involved.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

The post Why Having Your Business on Google Places is So Important appeared first on Ken Ivey.

[box color=”blue-vibrant” type=”square” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

internet marketing

Google Places can be an invaluable marketing tool for your business, no matter how big or small it is.  As a matter of fact, studies show that over 97 percent of all consumers looking for a local business use a search engine like Google to find it.  If you want to take advantage of this massive market, then you need to have a Google Places listing.  However, it is also important that you optimize your listing in order to reap the full array of benefits offered by Google Places.  How do you do this?  You start with a complete and detailed listing.  Here are five essential components of a good Google Places listing:

Your Google Places score.  Google scores your Places listing – up to a 100 percent – based on how complete your listing is.  Ensure yourself a top spot in the Google rankings by scoring a 100 percent on your Google Places listing.  This means putting information about your business in every single blank in your listing information.

Photos and videos.  Google Places allows you to upload images and videos to your listing.  You should upload as many as Google will allow for, as studies show that Internet users are more responsive to images and videos than they are to textual content.

Positive business reviews.  Encourage your satisfied customers to write reviews for your Google Places listing, so that people evaluating your business for the first time – going solely on your Google places listing – will be more likely to choose you over the competition.

Keywords.  Using keyword-rich content in the body of your business listing information will improve your listing’s SEO and ultimately get it ranked higher in the search engine results.  Take some time to research strong keyword phrases, and be careful not to overuse them.  Consult with an SEO professional if you need help in this regard, as using keywords appropriately can be a bit tricky.

Third-party directory listings.  If you are not taking advantage of third-party directories, you should be.  Sites like Bing, Yelp, Yahoo! Local Business, and Foursquare actually link back to your Google Places listing and can therefore get it ranked considerably higher on Google search engine results.  These business directories are free to use, and are an integral part of the overall success of your business’ Google Places listing.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

The post 5 Essential Components of a Good Google Places Listing appeared first on Ken Ivey.

[box color=”blue-vibrant” type=”square” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

Duplicate Listing

If you have a business, then you should also have a Google Places listing.  Google Places is not only an effective and free way to market your business online, but it is also a very powerful tool for attracting new customers and gaining the loyalty of those you already have.  However, you only want one Google Places listing.  More than one is too much of a good thing, and can actually detract from your Google search engine potency.  What should you do if you have a duplicate places listing?  Read on to learn about how to remedy this problem:

Multiple Google Places listings for the same business location in Google Maps search results.  If this applies to you, then you may follow a few steps to fix the situation.  First of all, make sure that you have already claimed a valid business location listing from Google Places.  If you have, check to make sure that you have no more than one active listing for that business in your Google Places account; remove the duplicate listing(s) using the method described below.  Lastly, go to the Places page of every duplicate listing, click on the problem reporting link, and report the duplicate pages.  Google will investigate the problem and make any necessary corrections.

Multiple listings for the same business location in a Google Places account.  This situation is very simply remedied by going to your Google Places account page and choosing the listing you want to keep (do this only after viewing all of the Places pages to pick the one that is most complete), making sure the status of your chosen listing is set to “active,” and then deleting the duplicate listings using the “remove this listing” option.  Keep in mind that it may take weeks for these changes to be reflected in Google search results.

Multiple Google Places accounts for the same business location.  Choose the listing you prefer to keep, after viewing all of the listings to determine which is most complete.  Then delete all duplicate listings from all other accounts (to keep any more than one listing for the same business – even if those listings are in different accounts – is a violation of Google policy) using the method outlined above.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

The post What You Should Do if You Have a Duplicate Places Listing appeared first on Ken Ivey.

[box color=”blue-mute” type=”round” icon=”caution”]UPDATE: Google is now merging Maps, Places and Google+ into what they’re calling “Google+ Local”, so all features can be found in one place.[/box]

SEO

Your Google Places listing can be one of the most powerful web marketing tools available – second only to your website.  However, it is not enough just to have a listing.  You also want your Places page to appear as high on search engine results lists as possible.  For that to happen, you must be conscientious of your page’s search engine optimization (SEO).  Fortunately, you don’t have to be an Internet marketing genius to optimize your Places page.  Here are five easy steps to keep your Google Places listing SEO optimized:

Follow the rules.  As you probably know by now, Google is well known for taking serious measures to weed out things like spam, irrelevant content, and erroneous websites when determining its rankings.  Google Places is no exception.  When you create your Google Places listing, make sure you read up on Google’s content guidelines before you publish anything.  Breaking these rules means Google won’t take your page seriously when ranking it . . . and might not even let you play at all.

Third-party business directories.  Make sure you also list your business in other free online business directories, including Bing, Yelp, and Yahoo.  You can link your business directory listings to your Google Places listing to improve your page’s SEO.

Categories.  Google Places allows you to choose multiple categories for your listing.  However, it is advisable that you are picky about which categories you choose, for the sake of not appearing spammy to search engine spiders.  Instead, choose a couple of strong, concise categories for your business and stick to those.

Keywords.  You have the opportunity to dramatically boost your listing’s SEO by including strong, key-word rich content in your business description.  Make sure you do plenty of keyword research to find good, relevant keywords that have a strong web presence and that speak to your target audience.  Also, don’t make the mistake of stuffing your content with superfluous keywords.  When it comes to search engine rankings, your content should flow naturally and smoothly, and should ALWAYS make sense.

Your Places page images and videos.  You should upload as many images and videos to your Google Places listing as allowed.  Also, remember that search engine spiders cannot read images; therefore, you must tag your images with appropriate keyword phrases if you want them to count toward your search engine ranking.

Take advantage of everything Google+ Local has to offer! Visit http://kenivey.com for details.

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