Uncategorized

Google Snack Pack

Yes, it’s the delicious pudding snack from your lunch box. But I’m not here to talk about lunch today. Google is shaking up the local business search (again) and this time it’s a doozy. Do you remember what used to be called the 7-pack? It was the list of 7 businesses that appears with a map nearby. Google went off and reduced that list it by more than 50%! Now, it’s 3 businesses, affectionately known as the Google Snack Pack. Here’s what it looks like:​ Why did Google make this change? They are always testing and some theories include that they are trying to make the desktop and mobile experiences similar; showing 7 results to a mobile user is a bit futile. Another theory is that they are trying to create a listing format where they can sneak paid ads in there without users knowing (very sneaky that Google). Yet another theory is they looked at the percentage of clicks the bottom 4 received and didn’t think it was valuable to keep 7 businesses in play. I personally like seeing 7 businesses and frequently call more than the top 3, but they didn’t ask my opinion… What does this mean to your business? Now it’s more important and more competitive than ever to be ranking in your top 3 for maps, to stay inside the snack pack. 1. Do you know your target keywords that trigger the maps results? 2. Do you know your maps ranking for those keywords? For example, if you were a roofing company in Toledo, you might target ‘roofing toledo’ as a keyword since that gets a good amount of search volume. If you have to click ‘more results’ before you ever see your company name, you are not getting as many views, clicks & calls as you...

Read More

The Crazy Importance of Google Maps

One of the most reliable ways to generate leads for your local business is through online presence, specifically Google Maps. For those that don’t know, when you search a term with ‘local intent’, Google serves up a map with 7 businesses listed on it, A through G, and their address, phone number and website, including any reviews. Getting into (and on top of) this ‘Google 7 Pack’ has long been the goal of many SEO and local marketing campaigns. There are over 200 signals that Google considers when selecting the businesses that will fall into this group, and these change every year. The only way we even know what the signals are is from testing and surveying end-user clients, Google will not tell us directly. The cool part about the maps rankings is that the rankings do not fluctuate as much as the organic rankings for a website. Also, people use these much more often for contacting businesses because they include all of the relevant information needed to hire a business or inquire about pricing. There are so, so, so many factors that contribute to your rank, how can you focus on them all? What are the trends? Where should I put my attention? The easiest answer is to hire someone to take care of all of this for you, because of the changing nature of the business. But, you can also do a lot of it yourself if you’re willing to do the work. Moz publishes a fantastic resource for the ranking signals every year. This is invaluable. Get it here. A few things you can do. Get more accurate citations. Citations are essentially backlinks for maps. This seems to be something that might not carry as much weight in the future, but it still seems to push business pages upwards when more citations are gathered. A citation is a listing somewhere else (Yelp, Citysearch, Manta, YP, etc) that has the EXACT SAME name address and phone number (abbreviated as NAP) as what is on your site. Google recognizes these as validating the information it already has and gives you credit for it. We offer help for this. This is easy to do, but never spend more than 15 minutes getting a citation. I recommend getting 5-20 per month, because Google also considers the velocity at which these citations are gotten. If you have more than 1 location,...

Read More

Why I think Facebook Ads are a great value

I’ve been more and more interested in Facebook ads lately. Facebook Ads are a main competitor to Google Adwords.  Google Adwords works when someone searches a particular keyword, then your ad pops up. Facebook Ads are different. Instead of displaying your message to anyone who types in a keyword, it displays to the audience you’ve defined. Facebook knows so much about it’s users (all 1.4 billion of them) – interests, hobbies, likes, lifestyles, etc. This means that if you can define your typical client market segment with information from Facebook, you can get really highly-focused ad displays. Let’s say you are a pediatric dentist. As opposed to targeting the keyword ‘pediatric dentist + your city’ on adwords (which isn’t a bad idea, but may be pricier), you can define your audience. You can actually choose to display only to parents of a certain age of child!  You can even display to parents of 0-3 and 4-12, as opposed to 13-15 with the knowledge that getting a patient when they are younger means a larger CLV (customer lifetime value). This is powerful! Especially since if you do it right and test your ads, you can get clicks and calls for much cheaper than Adwords (always be testing). With Facebook Ads, you are advertising to a ‘person’ instead of a ‘search’. This can be good and bad.  A searcher has intent to purchase or get information, so a click on an Adwords ad may have a higher conversion rate. But – a person may not even be entering their search into Google yet, they may be putting it off or not ready to actively look for a pediatric dentist. By putting your ad in front of the correct audience, you’ll have a good chance at capturing those that are interested before they even know they are interested. With the amount of information voluntarily given to Facebook, you can be very, very specific about your audience, which leads to higher conversions and more clients/customers/patients for your business. There is a great resource for learning about Facebook Ads at Adspresso (not my company, just a resource I...

Read More

Recent Review

Read More