Improve Your Search Ranking With Citations or Business Profiles

Citations or business profiles are becoming more and more important to Penguin, Google’s newest algorithm update. Since Penguin now gives more value to business profile /citation they have become very important in improving your website and company ranking with the search engines. Citations or business profiles are also valuable for referring potential clients or customers to your website because these profiles show up in Google searches and help your business’s Google+ and map listings rank higher. Citations/business profiles are essential for branding as well. The more mentions you have of your business across the web on quality sites the better.

What is a Citation Listing/Business Profile?
This is a business listing that includes your business name, address, and phone number. Some citation listings include even more details like a link to your website, photos of business or products, videos, business category, description, products and services, and social profiles. They are essential if you want to rank locally in search engine results because they create trust for your business name and reputation. Basically they’re like the old phone book listings, but online.

How to Find Local Business Citation Opportunities
First, make sure you’ve got the big listings covered: Google+, Yahoo, & Bing Local. Then you can start creating or claiming the big name local citation listings online: City Search, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Info USA Listings, Super Pages, Brown Book, and Map Quest. If you get stuck you can always head over to White Spark or Bright Local (mentioned below) and do a citation search for your business. Alternatively, you can Google competitors’ phone numbers that are ranking well locally to see where they’re listed. Make sure you perform searches of their phone numbers with brackets, dashes, and with just the number because they will all yield slightly different search results.

Great sites to upload business citations and profiles

Great sites to upload business citations and profiles

Best Third Party Business Listing Sites
If you don’t have time to submit your business to business profile citation sites there are a few quality and affordable listing submission sites to consider: Localeze, Yext, and City Grid.

Citation/Business Profile Submission Tips
While it’s important to have a consistent name, address, and phone number across multiple sites, make sure you use unique descriptions when you can. Also, be sure to have your business’s logo, product, and other images saved to your computer. Once they’re saved right click on each image and select properties, then details. Then you can add a title, subject, tags, and copyright information for each image. Also make sure you have a word document or spreadsheet saved with the following information ready to cut and paste:

1. Business Name
2. Address
3. Phone Number
4. Website
5. Description
6. Business Email Address
7. Link Building Email, Username, & Password
8. Social Profile Links: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Maps
9. Business Categories
10. Business Tags

 Make Sure Your Business is Not Already Listed
Check to see if your business is already listed on the site to avoid duplicate listing issues. You can do this by using some easy search operators on Google: (inurl:listingsitehere “your business name”). So if you want to see if SM Business Solutions was listed on Super Pages you would type the following in a Google search: (“inurl:superpages “SM Business Solutions”). Another way to search for your business on a specific website is conducting a search using your phone number and the site name. If you’re not familiar with search operators you can learn more about them from Google here.

If you find an existing profile with inaccurate information, just claim it and update the information. If your listing has already been claimed you can usually contact the listing company and make a request for them to release the listing so you can claim it. Other times they will simply delete the incorrect listing information and you can create a whole new one.

Start Creating Business Profiles
Now you’re ready to start submitting your business profile listings. Just remember to track the progress of each listing and be sure to safe your login details should you ever need to update your listings.  Let me know if I missed any good citation building sites in the comments or if you have any local listing questions.

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How Can Local Search Marketing Help Your Business in Long Island New York?

This is the first in a series of posts that focuses on how Local Search Marketing can help your business in Long Island New York. This post looks at  what is Local Search Marketing and what business can benefit from using it.

It is conservatively estimated that 30 to 40 percent of all online search is made with local intent. The fact that at any given second of any day, people are searching online for information to help them in their every day life makes Local Search Marketing extremely important in helping you reach your prospective customers and clients.

Top Local Search Marketing Tools

Top Local Search Marketing Tools

What is Local Search Marketing?
Local search is the use of specialized Internet search engines like Google Maps, Yahoo Local and Bing Places for Business that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a database of local business listings. Local search is any search aimed at finding something within a specific geographic area. Example: “Caribbean restaurant in Baldwin new York.” Local search is seeking information online with the intention of making a transaction offline. Example: “atm Rockville Center.” Anything that you would traditionally look for in the printed yellow pages becomes a local search when it is conducted online. Example: “immigration attorney on Sunrise Highway.”

Who can benefit from Local Search Marketing?
If you want your customers and clients to find your place of business you can benefit from Local Search Marketing.
1. HyperLocal Business – If you are a hyperlocal business that only draw customers from within a specific service area. Some examples are restaurants, barbers, manicurists, dry cleaners, delicatessens, and sandwich shops. It’s a given that if someone is searching for these types of products or services, they intend to purchase them from a location nearby.

2. Location Specific Business –  If your business is location-specific, but the people searching for them are most likely elsewhere. While potential customers might not currently be in your immediate area, they hope to be some time in the future. Examples are cruise lines, ski resorts, car rental agencies, campgrounds, and convention centers.

3. Non-Location Specific Business – Some business draw clients from both nearby and far away. Examples of these are immigration attorneys, financial advisers real estate brokers, regional hospitals, household movers, and mortgage companies

As you can see, just about anyone who conducts any business offline can be impacted by local search. Have you started to use Local Search Marketing? How is it working for you? We look forward to your comments. Do feel free to contact me at sandra @smbizsol.com if you need help with your Local Search Marketing.

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7 Rules To success on Social Media – According To Coke

Coke’s SVP (left) with Fortune Editor at large Patricia Sellers

Coke’s SVP (left) with Fortune Editor at large Patricia Sellers

In social media, Coke is it. Coca-Cola is the biggest consumer brand on Facebook. Recently, at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit Wendy Clark, SVP of Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities at Coca-Cola was interviewed. She shared her seven rules for building a mega-brand in social media:

 1. Be share-worthy in everything you do.

In a market that is now completely socially connected, we increasingly are thinking about our audience in two ways: our Initial Audience–those we can reach directly (52 MM Facebook fans, 600K Twitter followers, 18MM My Coke rewards members, etc)–and our Ultimate Audience, which is those people whom our Initial Audience can reach for us. For Coca-Cola, our Facebook fans are just over one fan or friend away from the entire Facebook community of 1 billion+. So if we do our job well of developing useful, compelling, interesting and share-worthy content, our fans become our sales force for us.

 2. Listen. Then respond authentically and humanly.

The days of hiding behind two-sentence corporate statements have to end. This is easier said than done. We’re still unlearning this. Consumers and all constituents expect more. Coca-Cola isn’t a faceless corporation to them; it’s a brand they love and enjoy throughout their day. So when they interact with us, they expect that same experience: a human interaction. There are more than 15,000 Tweets everyday on brand Coca-Cola; any that are a question, we answer. We have to. Consumers’ expectations are that we’re listening and responding.

3. Think big. Start small. Scale fast.

If you have an ambition that you want to double the size of your business in, say, 10 years, you had better have a big innovation pipeline to help get you there. When we’re at our best, we think massively, but we beta and test that thinking in small bets to learn. To meet our innovation (and growth) ambitions, we are trying to get much better at discussing failures or learnings. For a big company like ours, it’s critical. Because we’re built for scale and if we don’t get better at testing, learning and then scaling, we have the potential of scaling the wrong thing perfectly.

4. Social is not a silver bullet. But social can make everything else better.

So much is made of social media and marketing that we can tend to overrate what it can do. We do not see social marketing as a standalone. Rather, our mantra for our media and connections planning is “social at the heart.” So we think in terms of ideas and campaigns that are social (share-worthy) at their core and then we think about how we can amplify the ideas and campaigns.

 5. Content is the new currency. Create accordingly.

With 72 hours of content uploaded every minute on YouTube, the world is not suffering from lack of content. With this in mind, content creation has to be useful, interesting, important, share-worthy. We learned this in seeing the difference in interaction level between status updates and Tweets that we wrote vs. those that our agencies wrote. We also learned that replication isn’t always a good thing in social marketing. When we had a hit viral video in Coca-Cola Happiness machine, our first instinct was to replicate the film. We did that and had a fraction of the views.

6. We might be shepherds, stewards and guardians of our brands, but we no longer control them.

At best, we get to participate and co-create with our fans. I’d estimate that 10-20% of the content and conversation on our brands comes from us. The other 80%+ comes from others. So we need to get invited in to these communities and co-create with our fans.

 7. Think of your constituents as storytellers.

Taking the principle of Initial and Ultimate audiences, we’re increasingly thinking about all of our constituents as storytellers, not just receivers of our content. This includes our consumers, employees, NGO partners, media, etc.. So our principle becomes that we create content and tell stories that we want to be retold.

 

 

 

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4 Simple Ways To Optimize Your Blog Post or Web Page

 

Optimizing your webpage or blog

While the No. 1 search engine, Google, is always changing the rules there are still some tried and true methods for optimizing a blog post or page on your website. Whether it’s a listing or localized post, there are ways to create more authority and permanency with simple search engine optimization tactics.

1. Research on the keyword or phrase ahead of time

Before you start your post or webpage, find the phrase or keyword you want to go after. Use Google’s Keyword Tool to check on several phrases and see if there are searches out there for it. Type in several variations of your topic of choice and check the number of searches. The more popular a phrase or word then the larger the numbers of persons doing searches with that word and the more likely your blog post or page will be found.

2. Do searches on Google for the selected keywords

Once you have a few suggestions, go to Google and type in your phrase in the search box with this at the beginning search “your keyword phrase”.  Click enter or search. A phrase that has search results of about 50,000 to 150,000 results is a .   If you’re over the million mark, try getting a little more specific. If you’re too specific you may only come back with several hundred searches and these are just not enough to draw in the amount of readers or leads you want.

3. Make sure your blog post or web page is not stuffed with keywords

Once you have a phrase with good searches you will want to use that phrase in your title and preferably in a custom URL if you can. Not only do you want that phrase in your title but of course in your content as well. You’re looking for a “keyword density” of about 1-3%. If more 3% is done than the blog post or web page may not read correctly or it may be penalized for “keyword stuffing”.  A good rule of thumb when optimizing a blog post is to have the post be around 300 – 600 words. So, with our percentage of keyword density you’re looking at, use your keyword phrase 1-3 times in a 300 word blog post.  When you do use your phrase make sure it is in bold letters so it stands out, not only to your readers but to Google which scans your page quickly.

4. Make the post interesting, informative, and quick to load

If you optimize your blog post with too many graphics, videos and multi-media, Google will take the length of load time into consideration and may not rank it as high. Re-size photos to small web format about 448 pixels by 600 pixels and keep your videos to less than 90 seconds if possible.

Do share with us how you optimize your blog post or webpage.

 

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Are Your Competitors Stealing Your Sales Leads?

At this very minute someone might be stealing your leads, it might sound crazy but this is happening every day on  the Internet.

Prevent your competitors from stealing your leads

Some important facts

  • Every day 506,000 people are shopping for products and services on the internet.
  • Every minute 305 people are looking for goods and services like what you provide.
  • Google tells us that 9 out of 10 persons will visit your website before calling you or reaching out to you in any way.
  • Microsoft tells us we have only 10 seconds to get the attention of visitors to your website before they hit the back button.
  • An effective website will generate 1% leads from the persons who visit the site.

How do you make sure your competitors are not stealing your leads?

1. Make sure your home page has a very compelling story that will captivate your visitors – If you have a lame website then your visitors will not stay. Your website should look professional and enhance your brand.

2.  Make sure your website is easy to read, easy to get around and easy to understand – Do not use jargon and industry terms that the average person does not understand. If you must use industry terms,  provide more details or explanation.  If a 5th grader does not understand your site then it is probably too complicated.

3. Have a landing page – Sometimes known as a “lead capture page” is a single web page that appears in response to clicking on a search engine optimized search result or an online advertisement. The general goal of a landing page is to convert site visitors into sales leads.

4. Provide free offers – offers of a free white paper, product or service that will help your visitors solve their problems will give them a reason to stay on your site and use you as their solutions provider.

Next week’s post will be on how to create a compelling website.

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