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Local Business

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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What to Expect in SEO in 2016!

By | Google Changes, Google Maps, Google My Business, Local Business, local search, mobile phone, mobile search, Mobile Websites, Mobile-Friendly, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Optimization Changes, SEO, Small business, smart phone, Social Media | No Comments

When it comes to SEO, we unfortunately don’t have a guidebook detailing what to expect, or a crystal ball for predicting the date of the next algorithm change.

We do, fortunately, have some hunches about what we think is pretty darn likely to go down in 2016.

Check out what we think might be in the cards for online marketing in the next year.

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Home Service Ads

Google’s New Home Service Ads Could Spell Trouble for Local Businesses

By | Google Changes, Local Business | No Comments

And you thought the Snack Pack was rough on local businesses. Right around the same time Google rolled out the Snack Pack, the search giant began beta testing in the San Francisco Bay area what could be an even more significant, and potentially devastating, update to its search engine results page (SERP) and local listings.

Google’s New Home Service Ads

Take a look at this screen grab of a search for “san francisco plumber,” juxtaposed with the same search for Lee’s Summit, MO (TTP HQ). Looks a little… different.

Home Service AdsSnack Pack
The Lee’s Summit search is a prime example of the new Snack Pack of local listings, while the San Francisco one seems to throw that update right out the door in favor of an even more refreshed look. And while a map is noticeably missing from the San Francisco search, that isn’t the most significant change with this beta test. This little pack of three isn’t a group of top organic local listings, like in the Snack Pack – these are sponsored, paid advertisements, known as home service ads, from the plumbers listed.

Sponsored

(Okay, they “may” be paid. Right.)

When you click on “More” at the bottom of the pack of home service ads, rather than seeing an expanded map with additional local listings, like you do with the Snack Pack, searchers are now taken to this page:

Send Request
Here, you can select the type of plumbing job you need and then send requests to one, two or all of the listed professionals, straight through Google.

What’s Going On?

Like we mentioned before, this beta testing of home service ads is only in the San Francisco Bay area. It’s currently restricted to handymen, house cleaners, locksmiths and, of course, plumbers (home services), but we predict it will rapidly spread not only across the country, but across industries and professions.

What Does This Mean for Me?

While the answer should surprise no one, that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. The expansion of the home service ads beta testing into a full-blown update comes with a few consequences:

  • SERPs will have more ad space
  • They will have significantly less organic local listings
  • Local businesses will have to spend money

If you are a local business, no matter how hard you have focused your efforts, whether by yourself or through an online marketing agency such as TTP, if you have not invested money in paid search for Google, you will be affected.

With more ad space and less room and focus on organic local listings, we expect clients to see a decrease in calls as their links begin to drop and get buried in the paid results.

What Can I Do?

As local business lovers, we’re on your side. We encourage you to contact your Account Executive with any questions or concerns you may have as to how home service ads may impact your business. And if you’re not yet a client, we welcome you to call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 to get in touch with one of our online marketing experts.

web design

Web Design Techniques to Encourage Interaction on Your Site

By | Local Business, Online Marketing, Small business, Website Content | No Comments

Every website must have a purpose. When visitors come to your site, you want there to be an outcome from the visit. Whether it’s commenting on a blog article, submitting a contact form, or buying a product, you want your web design to foster engagement in some way. It makes no sense to start your web design by just throwing a bunch of pictures and text online and tell everyone to check out your website. That’s like inviting everyone over to your house to watch your dog take a dump. If you don’t give something of value to offer, you won’t get something of value.

Here are a few web design techniques that every website should have so you’re not exchanging your visitor’s time for the value of your dog’s crap.

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Answer the Recession

By | Business Growth, Local Business, Online Marketing | No Comments

Marketing your business at any time is a challenge. It is particularly difficult in a recession. Where do you spend your money? Can you be sure of a return? Currently businesses are confronted with a staggering array of marketing options. People selling these marketing options are consistently proactive pushing you to do something.  So many alternatives spread across a diverse range of platforms is a complex situation with no easy answer. All this, in a climate of change, driven by the advance of Social Media and the Digital Age is in the midst of a recession. What is the answer for local business?

Recession Marketing

In keeping with “fortune favors the brave”, marketing in a recession is a positive step for local business. From our experience most businesses do cut back their marketing in a recession and in that lies the opportunity for the “brave”. Not all businesses are equally affected by a recession. Those that take a proactive stance by seeing a recession as an opportunity can and do succeed. Online marketing is proving to be a key component for those businesses who decide to thrive. According to the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) internet advertising revenues in the United States surged to 7.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter of 2011, the highest first-quarter revenue level on record for the industry which is a 23% increase over the same period last year.

What Marketing Option?

The marketing landscape is in the midst of change. The concept of permission based marketing was first broached by Seth Godin in 1999. Permission means no interruption and by looking at what email marketing had to do to survive, you can see the power of permission marketing. If a marketing platform doesn’t adapt, it disappears, cold calling is a prime example. The whole concept of permission based marketing is continuing to grow almost exponentially and developing a marketing plan that is permission centric is critical for long term growth.

Permission Marketing

The most clear example of permission based marketing is in online applications where a website attracts so many visitors it can profitably sell advertising on the site. Basically giving free information that engages people to the point where engagement reaches critical mass. Obviously that takes a lot of time and money. For local business it is first important to simply understand the permission concept. The first rule is always ask yourself  “do I have the customers permission.” In just about any online situation your marketing is permission based. The customer can quickly leave for something new if you don’t provide a reason to stay. Is your business marketing with permission….?

Keeping Up With The Internet

By | Blog, Blogging, Local Business, Online Marketing, Social Media | No Comments

I was just reading the 2011 Ranking Factors Guide that SEOMoz just published. Yes, that is how I spent my Friday night. I realize how that looks. Anyway, there wasn’t anything that really surprised me, I think it makes sense that Google and Bing are heading in the direction they are in.  At the end, I was reading comments and one caught my attention, “the tricksters continue to lose ground while honest marketing and engagement efforts gain ground…” I feel the same way.

The internet is more and more mimicking real-life. Just like we engage more with the people that we find the most interesting, search engines will rank sites higher based on what people find interesting by retweeting, sharing or linking. Isn’t this the way it’s supposed to be?

Now I’ve really put the pressure on you, huh?  When I am introducing businesses to social media, there is always a fear of content. What do I post?

I have yet to meet a client who doesn’t have a lot to say about their business or their industry.  In fact, most business owners have similar characteristics in that their passion is magnetic. Some more than others, but if they have an opportunity to talk about their business, they can open up and capture everyone’s attention. It really is beautiful to see and it is one of my favorite things about my job.  I usually say, “If you can speak, you can blog.” But I guess I’ve only said that to people who are passionate about their business and industry. They have a lot to say and they know a great deal. That is why I believe they can learn to post well. You have to post passionately.

Relevant content isn’t just about social media, it’s website content too. And, it will be all internet engagement, including writing reviews, commenting on blogs, pictures and videos you post, everything. It all matters. When it comes to the internet, your opinion matters. And that is the best thing about online marketing.

I won’t be changing what I teach very much.  There may be a few details to consider, but the overall concept is still the same. Content rules!

Go North

By | Business Growth, Business Listing, Google, Google Places, Local Business, local search | No Comments

I don’t want to be really stereotypical and say that as a women I am HORRIBLE with directions. I do have the gift that if I have been somewhere once I can typically get back there no problem. But the first visit can take me a bit. So as a girl please don’t tell me to go north on 150 cause I will look at you like you spoke Chinese. You can say go right or left bythe Panera Bread and I guarantee I will know what you mean.

In the course of my work for Turn the Page I am driving all over the Kansas City area and I don’t have to ask for directions usually. WHY, you ask? Well Google Places of course. If you have a smart phone and google the business you are going to hopefully you can find them on Google Places click directions and a map will POP up and lead you directly there. None of this go North on 435 business. A little arrow will lead you on your way like Dora the Explorer. But if you haven’t claimed your Google places account you are missing a great service for your customers. As well as a great marketing tool. Not only can you give directions, you can put pictures and videos, you can share your website, and inform customers what your business is about. People can view all this information either straight from their phones or computers. If you aren’t using Google Places you need to be cause I can guarantee that your competitor is, they may have seen that no one has claimed yours either and made it their own, so I would take a look. Plus if you want me to come see you I will need to know how to get there, without any of this GO NORTH business.