As we all know, Google Places is constantly changing and updating. Over the past week, there has been plenty of buzz about the new makeover Google Places has undergone. After our Local Splash provisioning team has researched the new face of Google Places, here is an outline of the changes we’ve found.
The New Search Engine Results Pages:
• The red Google pins are now grey. If you hover your mouse over the grey pins turn red.
• The map is vertically larger and more pins are displayed.
• When you click on the red arrow a new panel to the right is displayed with more information. This information includes Place Page photos with more details and the business’s home page.
Great Marketing Opportunities
When a user already knows the name of the business they’re looking for, the results page looks like this:
• All of the important business information is above the fold on your page – this is prime marketing real estate.
• The Places Page and website are both displayed; if you click the right arrow it will go between both.
• Citations (listings and directories) are shown.
The new look of Google Places is great because it displays information without needing to actually click on the business’s Places Page. This is extremely beneficial for small businesses that may not have much of a marketing budget or online presence because Google Places is completely free. Claiming your Google Places listing allows you to establish your business online with little investment. Be sure to completely fill out your Google Places page information with plenty of details about your business (including photos, videos, etc.) to maximize your Google Places page’s value and boost your rankings.
Visibility magazine recently wrote an article about the importance of email marketing and rules to follow when sending out your messages. Here are five email marketing techniques you should use when reaching out to your email subscribers.
1. Create an aesthetically-pleasing visual design. Every time customers receive an email from you they should know right away that it’s from you because of the format and design. Always keep your design consistent so you don’t confuse your subscribers and your message is remembered long after they’re finished reading. Make sure your design is easy to read, consider colors, font sizes and offer plenty of white space and points of entry on the page so they can skim and read the full articles that they’re really interested in.
2. Provide interesting content for your readers. Make sure the point of the email is very clear and ensure that the content is valuable. Keep your email short and avoid long paragraphs; people generally like to skim online. Use catchy headlines that will drive email opens and clicks. Shorter headlines are best.
3. Share your social media. Encourage your readers to find you on social media for more information and updates. According to a study by GetResponse, newsletters that have a social media sharing option have a 30% higher click-through rate than those that don’t include sharing options.
4. Email your message at the right time. It’s important to test the time of day you send your message as well as the day of the week. Sometimes a letter sent at the beginning of the day might not be as effective as one sent in the afternoon. Plan a day of the week and time that you think will best work for your clients and stick to it for every email message in the future.
5. Conduct tests. Test subject lines, time/frequency of delivery, text format, images vs. no images, design/layout, etc. to figure out what gets the best response from your target audience. Most email marketing systems will be able to provide you with this information.
Follow these tactics in order to send successful email marketing messages to your clients. Start driving customers to your website with the help of email marketing today.
If you’re a local business owner trying to make a name for yourself online, local search engine optimization (SEO) is what’s going to help you do it. Want people to find your business in the search results instead of your competitors? Here are 5 quick local SEO tips that you can use to help make that happen.
1. Complete your Google Place page. Claiming your business’s Google Places page then completely filling out all the information, including all five videos, all 10 photos, business hours, payment options, contact information, etc. will drastically improve your search rankings.
2. Make sure you have a physical address in the city you want to be found for. Businesses that are physically located in the city searched for have the best chance of ranking for keywords in their city. Chances of ranking well in surrounding areas decrease significantly unless you have a Google Adwords pay-per-click advertising campaign.
3. Submit your business to local directories. The more local directories your business is found in, the more chances you have to be found on page one of Google, Yahoo! and Bing search engines. Make sure your business appears in directories like Yelp, Facebook, Merchant Circle and more.
4. Encourage your customers to write reviews. Google takes into account how many reviews your business receives and whether or not they are positive. Gaining many positive reviews will boost your search engine ranking significantly.
5. Keep your business information consistent. Even so much as having your street address written using “St.” in one directory and “Street” in another can hurt your rankings. Search engines like to see clear, consistent information, which means inconsistent business information can hurt your rankings drastically. When submitting your business to directories or claiming your business, make sure you are always using the same format to write your business name, address and phone number to avoid this.