Posted by enetwal on Mar 29, 2011
In the following video, you will see one of my secrets revealed, and learn a bit about citations and the eventually important dynamic role reviews will play in your businesses future.
I use the resource mentioned to jump start my clients citations, but going beyond that takes more personalized attention over time.
While some of my competitors will hide the resources they use, I am willing to share them with you. If you have the time and know how, you can do this all yourself. If you prefer to let an expert take this function off your hands, I can get it done for you inexpensively.
Do you have a small business and want your Google Places listing to rank well in the Google Maps 7-Pack?
PS: UBL has raised their prices since this video was first released.
There are other services such as Merchant Circle that do a partial job, but still a good start. Here are some of the places citations go:
These are national citations and while you may wonder why you want to show up on someones in-car navigation, you presence there is a definate plus in the Google Places Ranking game.
What’s missing in these solutions are the local listings from within your community. For now you will be better of with these citations than with none. In the future, the prize will go to those who learn how to get in the local directories from within their communities. These will eventually make a big difference. The best time to prepare for this eventuality is now. Early adapters with effective programs will gain an insurmountable advantage that will pay off for them for years to come.
I can help your business win the Google Places game now and in the long run. Contact me at email@example.com to set up a free initial consultation.
[tags]UBL, universal business lists,google places pages,citations, getting citations, google places reviews, Importance of reviews, [/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Mar 26, 2011
I was just informed by Thumbtack.com that my Minneapolis Internet marketing services have been ranked in the top three of such services in Minneapolis by them. All such recognition is welcome.
My efforts in Minneapolis are focused on helping local businesses attract new customers by being more findable online. Pretty much the same as here. I do tend to focus more there on non internet marketing businesses, and have been pushing as hard as I can for businesses to take advantage of the new Google Places pages opportunity.
[tags]thumbtack, Minneapolis internet marketing consultant, awards, Local Business, [/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Mar 21, 2011
Local businesses have just had a huge new factor applied to their marketing needs with the advent of Google Places Pages and the Google Map. Those who are quick to act and internet savvy have been handed a huge advantage.
This time around, the techniphobes will suffer. Those who do not take action will loose future customers without knowing what hit them.
Many small businesses with web sites saw little benefit till now. About half of all small businesses have web sites, which implies the other half does not. The reason for that? Those who had web sites were seldom seen unless someone already knew to search for them specifically.
Those who waited to get web sites may have the last laugh. With Google Places Pages, they may never need to get additional web sites of their own.
Now they will still want to get found when someone is searching for them. Web sites will still play a huge positive role to those who know how to use them. Google Places pages is a turning point in online marketing. Those who act now and act effectively will benefit by getting a larger share of the “new” customers in any market.
New customers are the lifeblood of any business.
A good web site can tell many stories to those who read it. The primary purpose of a web site though for most business was to get seen by new custoemrs. From now on, in most cases that function will be dominated by Google Places Page search results.
The places page service will (and to large degree already has) replace the traditional role played by the Yellow Pages in the last century.
When people have a need for goods or services that they do not have an already established supplier for, they go the easiest reference source they have to find possible solutions. In the old days that meant turning to the Yellow pages to find a dentist or auto repair shop if one didn’t already have a regular supplier.
Today, the majority of people do that search online and of those who do most rely on Google. This is true of all age groups, but is even more predominant in the younger generations where the Yellow Pages are seldom used at all.
This online search traffic is valuable. And this is why Google has focused on it, and redesigned their entire search process to meet the needs of this population of searchers.
Google wants to replace the Yellow Pages recognizing that businesses are willing to pay high advertising fees to get active prospects. People who are searching for a supplier are doing it because they have a need and thus they are much easier to convert into customers and cash. Same is true with the online version today.
But now, despite the volume of buyers who are finding suppliers online Google is offering in essence a free ad to any business who takes the time to effectively complete their listing. It might not always be free? It’s such a huge value today, its amazing so few people have woken up to its value today. Afterall, it’s free.
Now Google is selling little tags for $25 a month that provide additional visibility, and will eventually make revenues from that means. Their initial goal is to get their online directory as complete as possible.
To get businesses to fill out their listings as fully as possible, Google rewards those who do by giving them a higher ranking on the Google Map than those who only to a partial job or fail to do it at al.
We know from past studies of organic search results, that ranking matters. The higher your business ranks, the more calls you will get compared to the others in almost all cases. As a general rule you will get more business by being higher ranked, and a quantum more calls than if you are on the second page of results.
Today, for many businesses in many communities across the world the word is just beginning to get out. In many niche, in many cities it is still incredibly easy to get a top listing on the Google Places search results.
It’s so easy, that many businesses are making a mistake and not taking the time to learn what is needed to ultimately prevail when the word gets out more fully in the marketplace. And it will. They need to understand that they need to not only completely fill in their listing, but also show up on Googles competitors. Within months for some and perhaps years for others, what will matter even more is the accumulation of positive reviews from satisfied customers.
The technology consumers use has changed and will continue to do so. The reality is that it’s not changed at all from the merchants perspective. A local business need to be where the customers are, or where the customers are looking. And that means a business must be visible when their prospective customers to a Google Places search.
The development of Google Places pages as a major force in local marketing has lead to the development of a new blog of mine which will focus on Google Places Search
[tags]Google places pages, Google places search, Google map[/tags]
Posted by enetwal on Mar 5, 2011
Calling all cars, calling all cars. Be on the lookout for a massive search engine that has killed dozens of small business marketing gambits and mortally wounded the titan of marketing.
Among the dead are A-Aardvark, ABC whatever, A-ABC whatever and similar efforts to be on the top of any category in the Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages themselves are in intensive care, and not expected to survive.
If you were to look in any yellow pages directory in any city in America, you could find an ABC named company in a dozen or more categories. Why, because it paid to be in the top listing in the yellow pages.
The beauty of the yellow pages was the fact that the people who used it, were in a buying mood. They had a need to find the right person for a specific purpose. Most businesses would welcome an actively interested prospect over three casual browsers any day.
That was the magic of the Yellow Pages and why they were able to charge such huge sums to advertise. Outrageous sums. But it worked.
You had three options.
Go with your free listing and not expect to get a lot of calls.
Buy visibility from a bolded text, to being listed in multiple categories, or to really be seen, to invest in display advertising. If you went for display advertising, the cost quickly hit the stratosphere. But as expensive as it was, it obviously worked, or people would have stopped using it.
The third option was to game the system, by naming your company something like A-aardvark commercial cleaning, or plumbing, or dry cleaning etc to get the top listing in your particular category.
The yellow pages franchise was a huge money maker for many decades. But today it is all but dead. And despite their efforts to reinvent themselves as an internet directory they are having the life crushed out of them by the ten-thousand pound gorilla, Google.
And recently Google has initiated is coup de grace.
For years now, Search Engine Optimization specialists and knowledgeable marketing consultants have been encouraging businesses to set up their web sites to show up when people searched online for “Accountant” and then your home town. This tactic and related tactics gave their clients the visibility display ads and the A-aardvark strategy offered yellow pages advertisers. Visibility at the top of the category.
At one time, it was only young people who were computer savvy. Today virtually every age group is equally and nearly totally computer oriented when it comes to searching for information. Yellow pages use has shrunk and most people find information that they used to get there online. Google has virtually 80% of that traffic. But this is old news. It’s been that way for almost a decade now. But there is new news.
For the last several years Google has been experimenting with its Google Map. It has evolved over time and may continue to do so, but in its current status it shows up to seven businesses in virtually every category the Yellow Pages ever dreamed of. And since it knows where a person is searching from, it can serve up those businesses that serve that market area.
The new game in town is to find a way to be the A-aardvark on the Google Places Page which is what they are now calling the Google Map feature.
Currently, you can often get there just by claiming the page Google may have already set up for your business and filling in the information they ask. As time goes on, the savvy business will seek advice from experts in the field. Such experts are popping up like dandelions after the first warm spring rain.
There are some tricks to the trade, but the actual work is not rocket science nor particularly difficult. But you want to find such a person and get yourself a fist mover advantage. It will take a year or two before all your competitors catch on to the new changes. In the meanwhile, if you move quick, you can capture more than your share of the new customers in your market.
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The author Earl Netwal calls himself the Micro Business Specialist. He is a Minneapolis Internet Marketing Consultant. He provides support to businesses who are interested in becoming more visible online using Google Places and other techniques. He offers an inexpensive ebook which provides useful advice in filling out a Google Places Listing at Google Places Map.
[tags]Yellow pages, Google, Google Places, Google Places Page, Google Places Page Rank, Google Places Page Ranking[/tags]