Easier Google My Business Reviews

Easier Google My Business Reviews

Do you want to provide an easier way for your customers to quickly write a review for your business on Google My Business Maps?Getting-Google-My-Business-Map-Reviews

Sure you do!

Here is a quick and easy way to give your customers a single link that they can click on to take them directly to the review form on Google My Business Maps for your business.

Follow the 5 easy steps:

Step 1: Go to Google’s Place look up tool and search for your business.

Step 2: Enter your business name in the “Enter a location” field at the top of the map.

Step 3: Click your business name in the list that appears.

Step 4: Your Place ID will appear on the map, beneath your business name.

Easier-Google-My-Business-Review

Step 5: Add your Place ID to the following URL to create your link:
https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=

So, for Clark Marketing & Design, the direct link would look like this:

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJ2WwwMj4u1moRfHGOzrd02c0

Now if you find the above link a little daunting in length, then you can go to this website and shorten the URL: https://bitly.com

Simply copy and paste the above link into bitly and it will automatically shorten it to the below much friendlier URL – try it:

http://bit.ly/2Fx43lb

Which can be simply added to your emails or thank you messages when you request a review of your business.

Google online reviews turning a negative into a positive

Google online reviews turning a negative into a positive

Customers are and always will be king!

But today customers are also more vocal and sometimes more cynical than ever before.

A consumer survey by Bright Local, a leading SEO and online marketing company suggests that over 90% of consumers read and use reviews to evaluate local businesses before engaging with the business.

The fact is consumers love reviews! With Google My Business Maps reviews have been a solid fixture on Google’s for some time now and they are here to stay.

With the world going crazy about online reviews, it’s great to know that positive reviews have a positive impact on your local SEO rankings. In fact, in an article by Moz, 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors according to Google and other search engines take into account 10% of your site’s online reviews to determine your website’s rank!

SEO-Melbourne

But what about a negative or poor review?

Ouch, they can hurt! But you simply can’t ignore a negative review.

The most important reasons being, customers expect a relatively quick response, usually within 7-days or less, and the nearly 80% on consumers feel that a business that responds to reviews, positive or negative, is one who engages with their customers and cares about the consumers.

So, how should a business respond to a negative review? We believe the best way is by acting in a positive and professional business manner. Here are 4x top tips to convert a negative review into a positive experience.

Turning a negative review into a positive experience

Tip 1. Don’t ignore the review. Keep ego out of it, be honest and make every effort to correct things even if it is not your mistake! When responding, don’t let anger and frustration take over. Let cooler heads prevail and Apologise, if needed, by saying you are sorry for their experience and explain how this is unusual in your business.

Tip 2. In some cases, respond with an offer to discuss the complaint in private or via phone.

Tip 3. Put it all into perspective, in business, it is highly unlikely that you will always provide a five-star experience to every customer. A few bad experiences are inevitable. Take each one as an opportunity to learn, develop and improve. In fact, a few negative reviews might help your reviews look natural and normal.

Tip 4. If the reviewer is just trying to stir things up for the heck of it by writing a negative review, don’t engage in a back and forth conversation online. Revert to tip #2. They’ should get the message.

Many businesses fear negative reviews, without realising that they are generally easy to deal with and can actually have a positive effect on your business.

The Impact of Local Reviews on Google

The Impact of Local Reviews on Google

Google-reviews-the-importance-for-local-search

Google My Business Reviews

A little background Information!

With the initial release of Google Maps many years ago, reviews were not part of the initial release, but have been a solid fixture on Google’s for some time now and they are here to stay. The fact is consumers love reviews!

A consumer survey by Bright Local, a leading SEO and online marketing company suggests that over 90% of consumers use reviews to evaluate local businesses. 84% of them trust reviews. it’s, therefore, no wonder that Google likes them too and features them so prominently.

With reviews and star ratings now displayed in search results, they can affect the way people find your business online and may determine whether they want to engage with you.

It also stands to reason that if consumers love reviews, Google’s ranking algorithm does too. Businesses with strong and positive review profile on Google tend to be rewarded with higher rankings.

So why are reviews important? By encouraging customer reviews will lead to more reviews, which in turn lead to better online visibility, which leads to more customers, which again will result in more reviews. It’s one of the highly important marketing techniques any business can engage in to increase their online presence.

How Google Evaluates Reviews

Well Google, as secretive as it is we can only guess, but many local SEO and search experts have theorized for years that Google primarily evaluates reviews across some key attributes. I’ve listed the major ones in below.

Number of Reviews

In Google’s world, popular businesses rank near the top of search results. Less popular businesses rank further down. Reviews are one way for Google to assess popularity.

All other factors being equal, popular businesses tend to serve more customers than less popular ones. So, if your customers leave reviews of your business at a higher rate than your competitors’ customers do, your business will appear more popular and stands a good chance at outranking the competition.

Content of Review

Not only is Google looking at the number of reviews when assessing the popularity of local businesses, it’s looking at what people are saying about local businesses in those reviews.

For example, plumbing contractors whose customers mention the kind of projects they execute, such as “bathroom renovation,” are likely to rank better for searches for those kinds of projects.

Google’s ability to analyse reviews through semantics includes a sentiment filter. Adjectives like “great,” “terrific,” or “best” are likely to rank your business higher than reviews with adjectives like “poor,” “average,” or “OK.”

The content of your customers’ reviews isn’t generally something you can control. But prompting your customers to think about specific questions as they write their review e.g. “What service did we conduct for you – bathroom renovation or laundry renovation?” “How would you rate our overall service – excellent, very good, fully satisfied?” can help improve the effectiveness of those reviews with respect to your rankings. Obviously, you need to customise these questions according to your business.

Star Rating

Google’s algorithm seems to value volume and the content and sentiment of the reviews more strongly than the star rating that customers leave for a business. However, from a consumers point of view, 5 stars always stand out!

Diversity of Reviews

A common misconception is that Google does not use third-party reviews to rank local results. They do! In some cases, reviews on sites such as Facebook, True Local etc., can also improve your rankings even more.

It’s not only a best-practice, but it’s also valuable to gain reviews from your customers on some other sites beyond just Google.

Getting ongoing positive reviews is what will lead to long-term success.

Implementing a review request strategy and processes should be part of any business full transaction cycle and part of a strong marketing regime with their clients.

Like to find out more about Google My Business and online strategies, we ‘d love to help, call us on 03 9739 5445 or take a look our range of SEO Services.

Google Security Warning Notices

Google Security Warning Notices

Google-Website-Warnings
Google Security Warning Notices for HTTP Sites

Is your website secure?

Before we go on, let’s try to simplify this by explaining a few important terms you will need to know:

What is HTTP :
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. HTTP is the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web and this protocol defines how messages and data are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands.

What is HTTPS:
HTTPS Stands for HyperText Transport Protocol Secure. HTTPS is the same thing as HTTP but uses a secure socket layer (SSL) for security purposes. Therefore, secure websites use the HTTPS protocol to encrypt the data being sent back and forth with SSL encryption.

What is SSL:
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSL Certificate.

So what’s happening now? Very soon Google Chrome (version 63) will show ‘Not Secure’ warnings on HTTP websites in three situations:

  1. When a user arrives at a HTTP site.
  2. When a user enters data (such as filling in a contact us form) on an HTTP page.
  3. When a user visits a HTTP website when using an Incognito mode.

In addition, Google will begin sending out notices to website owners that their sites will be tagged as “Not Secure” in Google Chrome beginning in October 2017!

So, what does this mean, what are the practical implications?

Firstly, will your website be affected?

is your website secure

Here are two important questions you need to answer:

  1. Does your site require visitors to input any text? This includes a user simply filling in a contact form, a request for more information form, or even a request for quote form etc.?
  2. Is your website using HTTP:// in the address bar? (i.e. http://www.yourwebsite.com.au)

If you answered “Yes” to both of those questions, you strongly need to consider implementing, an SSL certificate on your website to avoid it showing a “Not Secure” warning in a visitor’s web browser and potentially turning them away from your website!

A secure website is indicated on a web browser by a green address bar and the protocol prefix HTTPS as opposed to HTTP in the website’s URL, these are often found on a website that involves monetary transactions, however, https is the preferred web protocol for the future. In fact, all new websites regardless should be built on the HTTPS protocol. At Clark Marketing & Design this is now a standard inclusion for all new web design.

Whilst you may not have monetary transactions on your website, how might a visitor feel when, once they have gone searching for your products or services, found your website and then decided, yes, I will request a quote and starts to complete a request for quote online form, only to receive a “Not Secure” warning?

So, whilst this new preferred web protocol of https, is basically about making the web a safer place, what can an adding an SSL Certificate, and thus changing from HTTP to HTTPS do for your website and business?

Firstly, it simply makes your website more secure. Displaying the secure message on your site shows your customers your site is fully secured, building a trust connection. Having a secure site helps increase conversions by showing users that their details will be secure and the site is reputable.

Secondly, Search Engines including Google have stated from 2014 that having a secure site will become an important ranking factor and this will only increase in importance in 2017 and beyond. Having a secure site will not only help with your organic ranking efforts but will also have a positive impact on users on your site.

Thirdly, if you have an eCommerce website it qualifies you for accepting payments and helps ensure authentication.

Having a HTTPS site will be as important as having a mobile-friendly website over the coming years.

If you would like to find out more we can advise on HTTP to HTTPS conversions, as well as a range of web and SEO Services

Google New Posts the top things you need to know.

Google New Posts the top things you need to know.

Are you utilising the new Google Posts feature in Google maps? It’s great for promoting local business.
Google has been ramping up the opportunities for business this year for local search via Google My Business.

The latest thing to hit the market is Google Posts. This new feature allows you to publish your events, products and services directly to Google Search (in the Knowledge Panel) and Maps. Google Posts content will appear in both Google search and maps results.

Go to your Google My Business account and click on “Posts” on the left-side menu when you are in your Google business listing.
If you don’t have a a Google My Business account or Google map listing, we can help you set up with our affordable SEO services.

Google says this give local businesses the ability to:

1. Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers,promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.

2. Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.

3. Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.

But note, these Google Posts generally expire within seven days after posting them!

Here’s an example of what a Google Post looks like:

Google-Posts-What you need to know

Here are the top things you need to know to get the most out of Google Posts.

1. Use the Google posts to highlight sales, specials, promotions or unique selling propositions. Don’t just shove a bunch of keywords into your post!

2. The best size to use for the image is 750 pixels ×750 pixels. If you use anything smaller than 250×250, it won’t be accepted.

3. The first 100 characters are what shows up in the Knowledge Panel. Make these characters count, and make sure your sentence doesn’t get cut off.

4. If you have multiple posts, the newest ones will show first, and the older ones will show in a carousel format.

5. The posts have unique URLs you can share by clicking on the posts.

6. Post often as the posts only stay live for seven days, and there currently isn’t a way to schedule posts. Events will stay live until the event is over.

If you really want to maximise your Google Map listing, find out more about on of our SEO services – Citation Listings and why citations they are a key factor in local search rankings. Or simply call us on (03) 9739 5445 and we will explain more.

The Value of Search Engine Optimisation

The Value of Search Engine Optimisation

It’s important to be listed on Google’s first result page for the keywords and keyword phrase you want to be found for. If people cannot find your website in the search results, then it’s highly unlikely they won’t visit your website. But how important exactly is it to be listed on Google’s first results page and what’s the value to your business?

A recent study by Ignite Visibility, a premier Internet marketing company based in San Diego in the USA shows the click-through-rates in 2017 by search engine position.

Click-Through-Rates-in-2017-by-Google-Position

The first result gets 44.64% of the clicks and generally, the findings show higher ranking pages in Google have higher click-through-rates because people don’t want to scroll endlessly through the search engine. However, interestingly, position #10 on Google Page #1 gets more clicks than position #6!

Click-Through Rate % in 2017 By Position:

  • Position 1 – 44.64%
  • Position 2 – 28.92%
  • Position 3 – 28.52%
  • Position 4 – 19.50%
  • Position 5 – 20%
  • Position 6 – 14.62%
  • Position 7 – 16.53%
  • Position 8 – 15.02%
  • Position 9 – 12%
  • Position 10 – 17.26%

As we can see there is a clear correlation between ranking position and click-through rates in Google.

What’s the value of high Google rankings for your business?

Having top 10 rankings is great but are the results really worth the time and effort? Here’s a very simple hypothetical example:

Say you run an ad on Google AdWords for a particular keyword that gets 1,000 impressions during a week. 20 visitors click the ad to visit your website.

Of these 20 visitors, let’s say 6 of these visitors purchase something or take on your services and the total profit is $50.

The keyword delivers 20 visitors and 6 buyers to your website. The total profit is $50. That means that the average single visitor who finds your website through that keyword is worth $2.50 to your business (20 visitors created a profit of $50: $50/20 visitors = $2.50/visitor).

In this simple example, 1,000 people search for the keyword every week. If your website was listed as the first result for the keyword, you would get 446 visitors per week (44.64% of all clicks go to the top ranked page, as explained above, this example assumes that all searchers click a listing in the results).

As the average visitors adds $2.50 to your profits (see above) you would earn $2.50 x 446 visitors = $1,115.00 per week with just one top ranking!

Can you afford not to have your website search engine optimised?

Want to find out about our affordable SEO services and how we can help your business and website – check out our SEO services Page and our Exclusive SEO Page.

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