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google 3 pack search

Google Search for Businesses – Part 3: Achieving the “Three-Pack” Listing on Search

By | Google, Google My Business, Google Search | No Comments

For our third and final installment of the Google Search for Businesses, we’re going to bring everything we’ve talked about so far in the series and tie it all together as we talk about the “Google 3-Pack.”

Jump to Part 1 | Jump to Part 2

The Google 3-Pack

google three packFirst, let’s talk about what the 3-pack is. Imagine the Google 3-Pack like the business Olympics. You want to be in the top three so you can receive that medal (or get customers to your door, in this case). When you do a local business Google search, you will see three company listings. Since it’s almost lunch-time here at Turn the Page, I’ve got tacos on the brain, so we will use that search as an example.

This listing is consistent with how search results appear on your phone. Make note of the star rating for each business. You’ll also notice that below the three options you have the option to click on “More places,” which then opens up all local options.

Now you can see how vital it has become to be in that top three for your business to succeed. Without showing up in the top three, it’s much more challenging to get your business in front of potential customers.

So, how do you get there? (And stay there?)

Here’s where the good news comes in – if you’ve been following along with this blog series, you’ve likely already started taking the steps we have discussed to do the following.

Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

Let’s review this process: If you want to stand out in Google’s ranking system, you must claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, like the Taco joints have. Be sure to do the following:

  • Have accurate business information: your name, address, phone number, etc.
  • Add useful images of your business, products and services you offer.
  • Enter an informative company description with the main keywords for your business and links to pages on your site. For our tacos example, we would want to be sure and let our audience know the type of food offered (Mexican, Tacos, etc.) and if we have amenities, like a bar or patio.
Imagine the Google 3-Pack like the business Olympics. You want to be in the top three so you can… Click To Tweet

google my business infographic (2)Claim Aggregator Sites 

As discussed in the second part of this series, it’s pertinent to claim and update new profiles on the many available listing sites over time. Some of the most common are:

  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • YellowPages
  • Trip Advisor
  • Yahoo
  • Facebook

The first place to push reviews is on Google itself. But it’s also very important to get online reviews on other sites as well, like Yelp, and Yellow Pages, and Angie’s List, etc. Having the best star rating and several reviews not only increases your chance of reaching the top three of the local pack, but it also means your business has an excellent change of a visit or purchase. For our Taco restaurant, we’ll need to seek out all the restaurant review sites as well.

Have a Top Notch Website

It’s imperative that you have a site that has meaningful content on itThis means that you should include videos, articles, images, and information that potential customers will find helpful. You want to keep customers on your site for as long as you can in order to motivate them to buy your products and services.

Google monitors interactions with your site. The more your site converts new customers, the more that Google will increase the site ranking in organic search results, and in the much sought after 3 pack.

The moral of the story is: Don’t get left behind because you haven’t taken the time to follow each step of this process. Make it a weekly habit to check in on your listings, reviews and ranking.

Now, let’s go get those tacos! (Only ones that have a great star-rating, that is)

Need help with making the most out of Google and reaching the Google 3-Pack? Contact us today to get started. 

 

google listing business optimization

Google Search for Businesses Part 1: The Importance of Claiming and Optimizing Your Listing

By | Business Listing, Business Practices, Google, Google My Business, local search | No Comments

Welcome to our three-part series on Google Search for Businesses! We’ll share the whole series over the next week. Stay tuned for more!

If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely set up a Google business listing at some point. Your current business info on Google is not only the #1 source for your customers in finding your business and affecting your bottom line, but did you know that your listing also serves as a bullhorn to other business sites?

How your Google listing and online aggregators can affect your business

An aggregator refers to a web site or computer software that aggregates, or collects information on a specific type of information from multiple online sources. For example, you might see listings for you company on sites like Manta or City Search.  And they pull your business info over to their site.

So, let’s say when you put in your Google listing info you made a typo on your phone number or address, but don’t realize it until a few weeks later. By then, aggregators have likely scraped the bad phone number/address and listed it on their sites. And now you have a mess on your hands because you’ll have to try and fix the Google problem, then address the others. A good rule of thumb is to go in and “claim” each listing from the get-go so you have the power to to put in the correct info.

The phone/address issue is just one example of how strongly your Google My Business info impacts your business. If a customer can’t reach you due to an incorrect phone number, or they can’t find your physical location, you will probably never see that customer because they found another business to go to. And for you, that means revenue loss.

google my business searchGoogle checks several sources to verify your business info, searching for consistency. Here are just a few:

From search to customer visit

Now let’s back up a bit and talk about how Google search works for businesses, and the current statistics on how we are searching online in this day and age.

  • There are now more than 60 trillion (yes, you read that right) pages on Google.
  • Each day there are roughly 3.5 billion searches – and half of them are on a mobile device.
  • 30% of those searches are local, meaning individuals are searching for a local business or service.
  • 60% of “nearby” searches lead to in-store purchases. That could be anything from a restaurant to gasoline or a grocery store to a dry cleaner. (If you’ve ever taken a road trip and weren’t paying close attention to the gas gauge, you’ve used this feature)
  • 28% of those nearby searches have a greater chance to visit the business if found via mobile search (folks who are on the go, usually).
  • 90% of nearby Google searches lead to a visit within a day (nice!)

List your services, products and amenities

Are you double checking your Google listing yet? You should be. In fact, it’s important to review your listing on a regular basis, add new photos and stay on top of online reviews (more about that later).

Optimizing your listing can also help lead customers to your doorstep. Be sure to list out your services and products. Do you have any amenities like WiFi or a patio? Do you serve alcohol or offer gluten-free menu options? All of these items should be included in your profile for those narrowing their search. Remember when you used voice search to find a nearby happy hour on a patio?
90% of nearby Google searches lead to a visit within a day (nice!) Click To Tweet

To speak for your business, or let others speak for you?

The moral of the story is – if you don’t claim your free Google My Business listing, Google will turn to other data to try and fill in the gaps. And even when you think you’ve got everything up to speed, you’ll need to go back and make adjustments to hours, new offerings, store closings, etc.

Remember: consumers begin forming their opinion of your business when they hit “search.” Be sure your information is correct, your reviews look good and you will be set up for success.

Next week – Part 2: How Revenue and Google Analytics Tell a Bigger Picture

 

 

Google & AI

How Google Uses Artificial Intelligence to Rank Your Website

By | Google, Google RankBrain | No Comments

To many people, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a concept found in sci-fi movies. From the Terminator series to Her to Battlestar Galactica to I, Robot, there are plenty of futuristic films and television shows that feature AI heavily, whether as protagonists, antagonists, or somewhere in between.

Take a look around, though, and you’ll see a lot more AI at work in your day-to-day life than you probably realize. From the software running on your smartphone to the Netflix code that recommends what to binge-watch next, there are many AI applications you probably rely on.

In October 2015, Bloomberg broke the news that Google now uses an AI system to rank websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs). Though it may seem like a plot straight out of Ex Machina  — in which the creator of a Google-esque search engine uses query data to give a robot sentience — Google is ushering in an age of AI.

So how exactly does RankBrain, Google’s search engine results AI, work? Check out this infographic to see how the robots are indeed taking over — our SERPs, at least!

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Search Engine Results

INFOGRAPHIC: New Google Search Results Page: What Your Small Business Needs to Know

By | Google, Google Adwords, Infographics, Local Business, Online Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, PPC, SEO | No Comments

Forget Facebook’s new Reactions. That’s not the biggest change in online marketing this week by a long shot.

Just when you think you know Google, the search engine giant decides to change up how it displays results.

We blogged about the change to the local listing pack — formerly known as the 7-pack — back when it was rolled out in August. Now, Google has given itself another makeover, creating a sleeker Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with some notable change-ups.

See how Google's #SERP changes impact your #SEO & #onlinemarketing efforts! Click To Tweet

Here’s what you should know about Google’s new look — and its implications for your online marketing efforts.

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Don’t Get Left out in the Cold with Google’s Penguin Roll-Out

By | Google, Google Changes, Penguin Update | No Comments

March of the Penguin Updates

Google rolled out its last Penguin update last December. It was designed to penalize websites with spammy links and keep everyone on the up and up. However, every algorithm roll-out leaves websites as either winners or losers.

If your website is running smoothly and you’re getting the results you want as a business owner, auditing your website and running last-minute checks is probably not at the top of your mind. However, now is a great time to make sure your website won’t be penalized by the new Penguin update, which will roll out next year.Facebook Graphic 3 (4)

Avoiding Penguin Penalties

If your website does not conform to Google’s standards, its algorithms will make sure to penalize your website, meaning that it won’t land on the coveted first page of search results. Searchers will click on your competitors’ websites and buy whatever they’re selling before you even have a chance to show the searcher what you’re all about.

Penalized by not Being Penguin-ized

Spammy practices can mean you get a sudden spike in referring links. and that sudden increase raises a red flag for Google. especially when even a couple of websites link to your website from every page. It’s a good thing when a website refers traffic to yours, but it has to make sense.

Disavowing those referring links means telling Google that you had nothing to do with those sketchy, spammy links pointing to your site. However, simply disavowing a link is not a substitute for getting the links removed manually.

Internal Link Optimization

External links get the most Penguin-related attention, but you shouldn’t ignore your internal links. Internal links don’t necessarily affect rankings, but they do influence how search engines crawl your site in a big way. Your website needs to have varied anchor text, not just the keywords verbatim. It needs to link related pages together — ask yourself, “If someone is searching for Thing 1, would he or she also be interested in Thing 2?”

User experience is everything to Google, and if your website doesn’t meet its standards, you’ll be penalized and people won’t find your website. For more information on how you can get ready for the Penguin roll-out, call Turn The Page Online Marketing at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

 

 

 

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What in the World Wide Web Is HTTP/2?

By | Google, Web Speed | No Comments

What exactly is HTTP/2? We didn’t even know about it until we heard that GoogleBot will start to support it later this year or early next year. Because we like to stay on top of such things to better serve our clients, we scoured the Internet for information. We found out lots of information about HTTP/2 and the Internet itself. (For instance, did you know that there’s an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)? Yeah. That’s a real thing.)

Building Upon What’s Already There

HTTP/2 — formerly HTTP/2.0 — is the second major version of HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, used by the World Wide Web. The IETF’s HTTP working group developed HTTP/2 largely based on Google’s SPDY protocol. SPDY — pronounced speedy — is an open network protocol that reduces web page load latency and improves security. HTTP/2 is HTTP/1.1’s successor, and it’s a much-needed update because the Web has changed since 1999. The update brings improved efficiency, speed and security, making a much better experience for users. Busy users simply don’t have time to wait for an outdated website to load. The faster your website is, the more conversions you’ll see.Facebook Graphic 3 (3)

HTTP/2’s Major Improvements

  • Single Connection – Websites only require one server connection to load, and that connection stays open as long as the website is open.
  • Binary – HTTP/2 is binary, which makes it more compact and less prone to errors. No additional time is wasted translating text to binary — which is your computer’s native language, anyway. Faster speeds mean more conversions for you because your web traffic won’t leave because of slow load times.
  • Multiplexing – Multiple requests can happen at the same time and on the same connection, making things much more efficient. HTTP/1.1 required each new transfer to wait for other transfers to finish. Speed is the name of the game, and website efficiency can mean business growth for you.

Even after all of our HTTP/2 research, some of this stuff still went over our heads. For more information, please contact our talented and knowledgeable web development team that can answer your questions at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

TTP blog (2)

The New Google+: What You Need to Know

By | Google, Google Changes, Google Updates, Small Businesses | No Comments

In recent months we’ve seen a flood of changes and updates overtake the Google world as we know it. Google+ has served as an effective social tool for small businesses for several years. Its integration with Google Maps and Google My Business, in addition to its advantage in Google search visibility, have made it a useful platform on which to promote a business and ensure that the business shows up in search results. However, many recent reports have predicted the Google+ apocalypse, partially because Google’s recent changes seem to be moving away from Google+. But then, this happened: the official Google blog announced big changes to Google+ last week, and with those changes a whole new potential for the future of Google+.

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Google My Business

Google My Business Dashboard Gets an Update

By | Google, Google My Business | No Comments

Businesses’ best friend, Google My Business, has gotten a face lift. The search czar began covertly introducing the revamped dashboard on September 29th after very quietly announcing it on Google Business forums (as of this writing, the post only had 334 views). And we have a feeling you’re going to love it.

What is Google My Business?

Google has so many services, it can be hard to keep track of what’s what. In case you need a refresher, Google My Business is, at its core, a way for your company to ensure that the information potential clients or customers find on Google’s SERP is correct. This can include:

  • Your business address
  • Hours
  • Phone number
  • Price range
  • Website URL

It can provide valuable information such as:

  • Directions to your business
  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Photos

And it also offers a place for consumers to write said reviews and allows them to access your business information across devices.

What’s New in the Google My Business Dashboard?

This new roll out seems to be all about convenience and ease of use. Overall, what we notice is a cleaner presentation and simple interface. In fact, one of the first differences you’ll likely find in this streamlined dashboard is that locations and brand pages are easily accessed, with those being the only two options in the main navigation.

Google My Business Dashboard

Once you begin clicking around, another helpful feature you’ll find is the addition of breadcrumbs, which makes navigation much easier in what could be an overwhelming service if you manage a lot of pages.

Another useful component is that you can now view locations in either card view or list view. The new card view for locations gives you the option to choose how many you see, as well as quickly manage or view the location, while the list view offers convenience in selecting and editing multiple
The hamburger menu in the upper-left corner of the new Google My Business dashboard is a dream. It offers another way switch back to look at all listings or brand pages, should you navigate away from one of those views, allows you to bulk import locations from a file or add them individually, as well as bulk download locations. It also offers a neatly-organized summary of errors and issues, including:

  • Duplicate addresses
  • Google updates
  • Missing store codes
  • Unverified listings

This menu also allows you to monitor published locations and those that are permanently closed, on top of showing you any pending reviews your pages may have.

It also provides accessibility and high-visibility to the “Create business account” and “Contact support” features, so you no longer have to fumble around the dashboard.

Got Questions?

We’re really excited about this update to the Google My Business dashboard and we think you will be too. If you have any questions about the face lift, or about anything related to online marketing, we welcome you to contact our team today. You can reach us online or call us at our Kansas City area office at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

And for a visual walk through of the updates, check out this video from Mike Blumenthal of Local University.

Google Updates

Two Years of Google Updates (Infographic)

By | Google, Google Changes | No Comments

Google is always making updates, as is evidenced by their “controversial” new logo, meaning your rankings could potentially be slipping or climbing all across the internet. In this infographic, we take a look at some of their more impactful updates and what they’ve done for websites the world over.

Google Updates

 

For a more detailed look at every update since 2000, be sure to check out Moz’s full list of the Google Algorithm Change History.

Have You Been Hit?

If you’ve seen a dramatic drop in your rankings after one of the past algorithm updates, contact the online marketing experts at Turn The Page, an Inc. 500 company. Call us today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 for more information.