Business Mobile Web Design | Durham Web Design | Local Maps SEO http://www.skunkworxcc.com Website Design | Maps | Mobile Marketing Sat, 23 Jan 2016 23:39:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.4 Get ‘Google My Business’ Verified Without Getting Robbed! http://www.skunkworxcc.com/get-google-my-business-verified-without-getting-robbed/ http://www.skunkworxcc.com/get-google-my-business-verified-without-getting-robbed/#respond Sat, 23 Jan 2016 22:36:41 +0000 http://www.skunkworxcc.com/?p=1095 How Thieves Target Business in Google’s name. Many businesses, large and small; have never even heard of ‘Google My Business’. Some may have gotten ‘auto-calls’ from underhanded (I’m being nice!) purveyors of overpriced SEO services, with grandly exaggerated results waiting for you. The best line READ MORE...

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How Thieves Target Business in Google’s name.

Many businesses, large and small; have never even heard of ‘Google My Business’. Some may have gotten ‘auto-calls’ from underhanded (I’m being nice!) purveyors of overpriced SEO services, with grandly exaggerated results waiting for you.

The best line they give you: “We have a page one listing reserved for you, and we can guarantee unlimited traffic for a low monthly fee.”

This is an outright lie. GOOGLE has a local business listing for you. Not them. It’s Google’s property, so “they” have nothing of the sort.

The only way they can guarantee a front page listing is if they have you run ads on Google’s Adwords platform. You can get to the front page of Google like that, but it’s going to cost you ‘per click!’

I get calls 3 times a day from “Sharon”. Sharon is a very busy woman. She calls from 3 different states each day.

My biggest problem I have with these folks is this: I’ve been in the forums and membership sites that teach these would be experts that they should charge local businesses anywhere from $400 to $1500 to just verify and “SEO” their “Google My Business” pages.

If they actually verify it AND do the proper SEO for your listing, I can see $300 to $500 dollars. But $1500 setup fee, than ongoing monthly charges to actually finish the SEO work is way over the line of outrageous.

Just to verify your business with Google, it takes these arduous tasks (and about 10 minutes) to do it.

1-Find the free listing that GOOGLE has reserved for you.
2-Click on the button that asks “Is This Your Business?”
3-Say ‘yes’. Proceed to follow Google’s simple instructions from there.

At this point, you would have to update all your business information. Make sure it’s VERY accurate, and submit that info (there will be a link to do that).
That’s pretty much it.

(You will also have a Google+ page automatically created that will link to your business page.)

Then one of two things will happen.

Google will prompt you to chose to be verified by phone or by mail. (As in ‘snail mail’).

Most businesses will be blocked from a phone verification. I assume it’s partly to do with the cost of verifiying 30+ million businesses by phone. Also, they assume you are a legitimate business and will be able to receive mail where you show your business address to be.

They wouldn’t have created the free ‘Google My Business’ page otherwise!

A US Mail verification is really simple. Once you’ve been prompted to chose verify by mail, you will see a little box pop up that asks for the code Google gave you.
That code will be mailed to you by Google. Once you get that, enter it into the box and hit enter. You now have a business verified in Google. Pretty simple really.
(The box stays there until you come back to enter the code. The business page also has a banner at the top asking you to enter your code, until you do. Then it’s gone.)

Now I’ve just given away a small piece of income that I could have easily made by just being deceptive about it. Telling you how hard it is and how you need an ‘SEO’ expert like me to save the day. Well, I don’t know about saving the day, but you certainly just saved some money if you read this article.

I Don’t Recommend It

Do I think a business owner should verify their own listing on Google? No. Here’s why.

Once you verify your business in Google, you’ve started a process of competing with everyone else who is listed in Google. Before being verified, you had to be in the top of the search results in order to be found. Now, you can compete for those top spots on a much more even playing field. Many of the top ranked business listings in Google aren’t verified! This gives you a head start.

But this is just the beginning. Now you need to ‘SEO’ your listing. This means a few things. You want to add content to your business page, you want to setup a Social Media presence. I would mainly get up a Facebook fanpage and a Linked In account. A YouTube account if you have videos related to your business. (You should!)

Next, and just as important, it getting “citations”. You really need to get these and get them done correctly. Citations are pages setup at all the business listing aggregates online. YellowPages.com, Yext, Yelp, Angie’s List, etc. There are a few other national firms that are also very important and relied on heavily by the search engines for this information.

So, if you want to be found in local searches for your business field, you have to verified in Google and you really need to have a mobile-friendly website. This is another Google criteria that recently went into effect on April 21, 2015.

Getting verified in Google is an important step in being found in the search engines, but your business also needs to do the proper SEO at the same time. This will have a tremendous effect on your business’s listing in the search engines. Remember though, this won’t happen overnight. It generally takes up to 3 months to see significant results, but not always.

And this is where I tell you the ‘rest of the story’ about ‘Sharon’ and why calling me is ridiculous.

I haven’t had the heart to tell them, but I did just what I said above to SEO my own business, and within one month I had taken over the top spot in the Google Maps section. This is for building mobile websites locally. I also now have listing on the front page of Yahoo and Bing, as well as citation site listings showing up on page 1 and 2.

Website building keywords are very competitive in Google. A local contractor or doctor should fare much better in less that 3 months.

Read more about getting verified in Google here, and call me if you would like to discuss having your business verified without getting robbed.

You can check to see if your business’s website is mobile friendly here.

If you need a reasonably priced website that’s designed to bring in leads, click here for more information about that.

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Google Local is Coming to Your Business http://www.skunkworxcc.com/google-local-is-coming-to-your-business/ http://www.skunkworxcc.com/google-local-is-coming-to-your-business/#respond Sat, 23 Jan 2016 21:30:45 +0000 http://www.skunkworxcc.com/?p=1093 Most local businesses are aware that Google and mobile are playing a larger role in their success or failure everyday. In an article referenced here, it seems Google is going to be able to tell you when your busiest and slowest times are, based on READ MORE...

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Most local businesses are aware that Google and mobile are playing a larger role in their success or failure everyday. In an article referenced here, it seems Google is going to be able to tell you when your busiest and slowest times are, based on Mobile GPS and location geo-mapping.

Now Google unveils a huge improvement to it’s local search capabilities. This past summer, Google announced that it can tell people when you, the local business; is busy or slow!!

This is being touted as a boon to consumers to avoid congestion and long lines. But there is a much more powerful use here for each and every business.

This is another tool to help your business in it’s marketing. While it’s not in use nationwide, Google is expected to finish rolling this out this year.

Using this data, you can know when you should run your promotions and sales, in order to drive traffic on your slow days. You can also adjust

employee hours based on your ability to better predict high and low traffic days.

There is a downside as this change rolls out.

Many businesses are not happy due to the negative effects it’s had on their traffic patterns. Since this will be used by millions of people to figure out the best times to visit any given business, they are now changing their normal shopping patterns drastically. This has caught many businesses off guard.

Many retailers, and especially restaurants; are complaining that suddenly their traffic patterns have changed to drastically. They are finding themselves over staffed and over budgeted on their normally busy days, and under staffed on the ‘new’ busy days.

This seems more of a problem of not keeping up with the technology than anything else. Business is going to have to get up to speed if they want to take advantage of this trend.

More importantly, they will HAVE to learn to work with this new shift, if they want to stay competitive.

As this technology advances even further, this will just get better overtime. Business who adapt will have the edge. They will know when to push advertising and marketing, and when to focus on customer care. The best part is, it won’t cost business a dime to do it. All this information will be available online.

ONE MAJOR CAVEAT, and A Warning You’ve Heard Before

In their announcement, Google stated that this would be rolling out, almost exclusively; on the mobile networks. Mobile is the direction all search is going. And it’s going there faster each day.

If a business does NOT have a mobile presence, they will not even be found in this new search environment.

Google already announced back in April 2015, that if your website was not mobile-friendly, you will be pushed down in the search engines, as they favor mobile-friendly sites over traditional desktop versions.

With local search becoming ever more precisely targeted, every business will have to follow this trend and plan accordingly.

Bottom line: You need to be mobile-friendly, and you need to catch up on local search trends and what it takes to be found there.

Here’s an article I wrote about that here: Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Website

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GET MOBILE OR GET LOST! http://www.skunkworxcc.com/get-mobile-or-get-lost/ http://www.skunkworxcc.com/get-mobile-or-get-lost/#respond Sat, 23 Jan 2016 19:18:43 +0000 http://www.skunkworxcc.com/?p=1088 If you haven’t heard by now, Google dropped the hammer last April on all the websites in their search index. Specifically, all the websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Meaning, if your website does not ‘render’ (appear) on a mobile phone or tablet properly; it will be READ MORE...

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If you haven’t heard by now, Google dropped the hammer last April on all the websites in their search index. Specifically, all the websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. Meaning, if your website does not ‘render’ (appear) on a mobile phone or tablet properly; it will be pushed down in the search index results.

IS YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE FRIENDLY? CLICK HERE TO CHECK!

Many of the uninformed in the SEO world say that it’s a rumor. We can dispel that notion right now.
Here two links to Google’s own Webmaster Central blog with what they have to say about it:

FAQ’S: April 21st Mobile Friendly

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Finding more mobile-friendly search results

So why the big push for getting everyone’s websites mobile-friendly? It’s simple. Google says 94% of the people with a smartphone, in the US; uses it for searching local businesses and information. 77% of all mobile searches (in the US), are done at home or at work, where a desktop computer is likely to be sitting unused!

Another eye opening study found that “62% of smartphone users are more likely to take action right away” toward solving an unexpected problem or new task because they have a smartphone and near instant ‘local’ results. Before, they had to do that search from home or work, on a desktop computer; and than save that info to followup at a later time.
Welcome! | Mobile Friendly Websites | Google Developers

IS YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE FRIENDLY? CLICK HERE TO CHECK!
So what is a ‘properly rendering’ mobile site look like?

A website is considered mobile-friendly if the following things are true about your site:

1-Does your website load fast without much hesitation?

2-Can you see the main page of your site (or mobile version) without having to swipe your phone or scroll?

3-Are your ‘clickable’ links easy to see and, more importantly to Google, easy to tap to click without getting ‘fat finger’ syndrome.

4-Is your websites navigation easy? Can those coming to your site find what they were looking for easy?

There are a number of other things that factor in, but these are the most important.

Below are some examples of a mobile friendly site versus a non-mobile website. The one on the right is mobile-friendly and only shows the essential elements of your site (the ones YOU decide are essential). The navigation is easy and you don’t have to scroll, swipe or pinch to read the content. The old style (on the left), was fine on a desktop computer, but it looks terrible on a mobile phone.

mobile-freindly-example1

Here are two of my own websites. One is mobile-friendly, one is not. Can you tell which one is NOT mobile-friendly?

mobile-freindly-example2

The one on the right is my Mobile Web Design business site. It better be mobile-friendly!

The implications of the new mobile search environment for business is undeniable. If you want to be found in search today, you need a mobile-friendly website, and be sure it’s on Google’s radar.
This means you will have to add ‘content’, get reviews for your business, and be sure to have a presence on the major social media sites. All of these things are what’s it’s going to take to make it in the new digital business world that is emerging rapidly.

There are many things one can do to improve their visibility in the search engines. But, there’s one thing that every business can do today. Either for free by themselves, or by hiring a qualified web marketing consultant. This person should have a strong knowledge of local search trends and the tools needed to take full advantage of the changing landscape.

So what’s the one thing every business MUST do?

They must get their Google Business page verified. It doesn’t take much time or effort to do this, and it can have an immediate effect on your business’s ranking in Google.
Getting verified allows a business to ‘prove’ to Google they are, in fact; a real business. It also tells Google that your are an ‘active participant’ in the listing and management of your Google Business page. This can also dramatically help your ranking as well, since many businesses in every niche; simply do not know that this tool is available, free; from Google.

That gives every business that does take advantage of this tool, a big jump on their competition.

Finding out if your business is verified in Google is not quite as simple as doing a quick ‘mobile-friendly’ check of your website. There are a couple of ways to do this, each using a different ‘search string’ to root out unverified businesses in any niche, city or state. An experienced SEO consultant, with local search experiences, can not only determine your business’s status, but advise you of the other things that you should do, after verifying.

Things like building “back links” to your listing. Getting citations from the big search aggregators, such as Yelp!, Yext and YellowPages.com.

Having a mobile-friendly website, linked to a properly verified business listing in Google, can provide a big jump to getting your business found in local search.

Chris Garvey is the owner of Business Mobile Web Design. We specialize in simple, mobile-friendly websites, linked to a properly verified and optimized Google business listing.
I can be reached at 919-885-0030 to answer any questions.

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Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Website http://www.skunkworxcc.com/why-your-business-needs-a-mobile-website/ http://www.skunkworxcc.com/why-your-business-needs-a-mobile-website/#respond Tue, 20 Oct 2015 03:04:59 +0000 http://192.168.1.5/wordpress/?p=32 With all the new technologies to come along in the last 10 years, mobile may be the most powerful from a business standpoint. The mobile technologies available today allows any business to reach out to potential customers via mobile websites, review sites, social media, apps READ MORE...

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With all the new technologies to come along in the last 10 years, mobile may be the most powerful from a business standpoint.
The mobile technologies available today allows any business to reach out to potential customers via mobile websites, review sites, social media, apps and text, or sms marketing.
People are now utilizing all of these tools in everyday life, more often than not; on a mobile optimized device.

LOCAL SEARCH HAS SEEN THE BIGGEST IMPACT

Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop; mobile technologies have now surpassed desktop computing as the main way people search and interact online, and local search has become one of? the predominant uses for mobile.

As shown in the survey below, not only are people doing more on mobile, but the bulk of those searches are for local business’s products or services.

88% of consumer’s local searches are done on a smartphone.

50% for store hours

53% for directions

54% for hours of operation.

Local Search Behavior

People are busier than ever today, and the new mobile technologies makes it easier for them to search for the things they are interested in, fast.
Even the search engines have seen this trend and adapted, pushing mobile-optimized websites up in the search engines visibility ranking, to keep up with demand.

More and more, consumer’s are demanding that the information they want is easily found and digested on mobile devices, and most people will not waste time on applications or websites that are not mobile optimized. They’re are just too many choices to bother.

That’s why today’s business has to take advantage of every tool available to be found by these tech savvy shopper’s, and stay informed on how they work and how they can benefit from them.
At a minimum, your business has to have a mobile ready website, with easy navigation, fast loading pages and clear call’s-to-action for the consumer to engage with them.
Of course, your site also has to provide good, quality content that helps the consumer quickly decide if your company can fulfill their needs.

As shown above, with 88% of local searches being done on a smartphone, it’s imperative that your business has a mobile presence.

Visit our Mobile Check page now to see if your website is mobile friendly.

*Source: Google/Ipsos MediaCT/Purchased, Research: Understanding Consumers’ Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
Respondents were screened on smartphone usage and purchase behavior.

All trademarks belong to their respective owners

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