Category Archives: Organic SEO

“Press one to reach our customer service department. Press two for our sales department…For all other inquiries, press star. Press the pound key to return to the previous menu.”

Surely you’ve heard this one too many times: calling to complain about a T-Mobile phone bill after being charged with hidden fees, scheduling a doctor’s appointment, or getting in touch with Yahoo! in regard to your local listing. Whichever the case may be, it’s a headache, a vicious cycle, and you end up not resolving anything!

There is hope. As opposed to Yahoo! and Google, Bing offers a live chat to ease your worries. It’s no automated machine, nor is it a person ready to direct you to the wrong department. It is a real person, real conversation and chatting with you – real time.

No more dealing with phone calls you dread making, as you try to get past the automated machine. Bing Business Portal Support offers a virtual chat session and will assist you with any Bing related issues. The chats are personalized and tailored to your immediate request and they are super friendly, too! Bing’s support chat is dedicated to their Microsoft and Bing users. Their reps provide answers and discover solutions to Bing business listing issues you may be experiencing. A few problems may include:

  • Previously claimed listings
  • Removing duplicate, competing listings
  • PIN numbers not registering when verifying your listings
  • General questions
  • Log in issues
  • Any other issues you’re struggling with

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Get What’s Yours

So you’ve claimed, prepared, and optimized the listing you wish, but arrive at a verification screen that displays this message: “This listing has been claimed and verified by another user.” Hey, it happens. But there is an easy fix.

Bing’s support chat will help release the claim on the listing you want. To expedite this, the Bing representative will request a verification email from the email associated with your business. For example, if your business is Panera Bread, Bing will request an email from *****, verifying that you are connected to the business.  This is so not just anyone can claim your business listing.

Once Bing receives an email from your business’ email address, the listing will be approved under your ownership. Bing representatives also will verify your listing after releasing the claim from the previous owner. No need to endure the long days of having your listing screened as you wait impatiently, unaware of what is going on behind the scenes. The listing is now yours and it is verified.

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Duplicates: Say Bye-Bye to PIN-Verify

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With Bing, there are several ways to remove duplicate listings. One of the most common ways is to claim, PIN verify, and then hide them on Bing Maps. This tactic works and may take 2-6 weeks for Bing to remove the duplicate off Bing Maps; in some instances it may take longer. Google offered the same strategy for removing dupes before they released Map Maker.

Another way to deal with duplicates – although it may not be the ideal practice – is running a community edit on the listing itself by clicking “Report a Problem.” There is an option to mark the business as closed. This may or may not remove the business from Bing Maps.

Using Bing’s support chat is a viable process for removing your duplicates. It’s simple. Once you’ve gathered all your duplicate listings, save the URLs until you meet a Bing rep on chat and instant message them those URLs. A Bing rep will take it from there, verifying and ensuring the URLs you’ve sent are legitimate duplicates – and that you are not some pretentious, first page-invested business owner who wants to wipe out all competing listings conflicting with yours. To verify true competing listings, Bing reps require an email from your business verifying that the business is active and located at the address provided. Other times, Bing reps call the phone number on the duplicate listing you want removed. The help is flexible. If you prefer one method over the other, discuss with them and determine which process is better for you.

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Bing Support chat may not make up for its search engines’ struggling popularity – proven by the majority of internet users, consumers, entrepreneurs and the remaining Google-elitists – but they aren’t the least favored either.

According to a recent statistic by eBiz  (April 2013), Bing trails Google by over 700 million users, with an Alexa rank of 22 versus Google’s Alexa rank of one. (Alexa is a well-known ranking system that audits and retrieves a website’s rank depending on its page visits. Webmasters and advertisers may use Alexa to measure their website’s efforts and that of their competitors). Bing does exceed Yahoo by 5 million users compared to past years, when Yahoo held the lead.

No machine-operated calls, unattended forum posts and headaches over your questions and concerns! Bing Live Chat   is committed to taking the initiative in providing solutions that best fit your situation. It’s free. It’s easy! All you need is a contact email and name to start the conversation. No more waiting. Help is a keyboard and mouse click away!

*Bing Business Portal has recently migrated to Bing Places for Business. Updates and changes (due to the new interface) has taken effect and few things mentioned in this article are subject to change.

Foursquare updates

Foursquare has grown substantially, since its inception in 2009. Designers and developers have continually enhanced the mobile app features to provide a better user experience.

Foursquare recent check-ins

Below are just a few of the changes that have affected local SEO strategies in regards to Foursquare:

1. Included an Interactive map and adding more search categories
2. Introduced a new rating system for venues
3. Introduced “Foursquare for Business” app
7. Included larger, highlighted location photos
8. Added more recommendations to the Explore tab
9. Introduced the suggested nearby places map
10. Has an algorithm that not only considers what is nearby, but what is similar to what you have already searched.

The above indicate that Foursquare is gradually moving away from its original focus on gamification, and is looking to improve search and recommendation features with their app.

Foursquare considered reasons people use their mobile app. Even though every feature adds to a more enhanced user experience, there is a progression that most users take when moving through the site.

Foursquare wanted to provide a more direct way to navigate to the areas that are most popular with their users. Users don’t usually want to see random places their friends have visited, but specific, local places. Therefore, exploring nearby places should be the focus.

Foursquare introduced another change Wednesday, April 10th to iOs. It made the “Explore Nearby” search area the first thing you see on the home screen, rather than your friend’s check-ins, when you log on.

Android users have a similar home screen look, but there are still some differences (e.g., the suggested text in search bar) between what Android users see and what iOS users see. One can compare home screens for Android (left) vs. iOS (right) by viewing the two screenshots below:

Foursquare home screen on android

Foursquare home screen on ios










What do these changes mean for the local search professionals?

Foursquare can now compete on a level with Google Plus Local and Yelp. Relying heavily on check-ins was not the best route to go when shifting to more of a local search focus, similar to their competitors.

Now, recommendations based on current time and location are presented even before reaching the check-in button. Businesses have a better chance of catching a potential customer’s eye.

Foursquare has been on many local search professionals’ radar. With the most recent change, though, Foursquare is positioned to become even more important to local SEO’s. It is time to think about optimizing businesses so they can become one of the “trending” or “suggested” businesses for a particular area on Foursquare.

The Explore feature, in itself, isn’t new, but placing it at the forefront means local search gurus will want to incorporate it within their local search strategies. Below are some recommended articles and/or posts for exploring this topic further:

1. 10 Reasons To Use Foursquare Explore For Personalized Local Searches
2. Is Foursquare the Latest Dark Horse in the Local Search Race?
3. Foursquare Explore: Search, Social, and the Real World

Maintaining high placement on major search engines is a constant struggle on an ever-changing playing field. Luckily, there are many paths to choose from when trying to get your site to the top of the list. Of the myriad options available to the potential SEO enthusiast, one of the most obvious paths to pursue is to create an effective video campaign.

Is It Better To Burn Out Or Fade Away?

There are several questions to consider when launching your video campaign, not the least of which should be where to host them. The first thought on nearly everyone’s mind should be YouTube. 72 hours of footage are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and much of it will never cast more than a few views’ worth of dim glow over the dull and glassy eyes of your average web surfer. Of course, there are a few elite videos that attain the coveted “viral” status, spreading across the internet like wildfire, racking up millions of views and, in some cases, refusing to relinquish their place in your head once they’re there.

I’ll just watch Gangnam Style one more time…just one more time…

Can A Viral Video Take My Business To The Top?

Viral videos have notable benefits over other video strategies. For starters, viral videos spread across large audiences at an exponential rate, putting your name in the minds and on the lips of viewers and spreading by word of mouth very quickly. Creating a viral video usually costs less than other video strategies, and since it relies on being entertaining enough to grab a viewer’s attention and keep them watching, a viral video is usually a real pleasure to watch.

We can all learn something from this man.

It’s easy to think that if you can get just one viral video, it will be all you will ever need. Unfortunately, it usually isn’t that simple. Going viral worked for PSY, but for most brick and mortar businesses, viral videos are risky ventures. A viral video isn’t guaranteed to increase sales and since the odds are against a video going viral, relying on viral videos to promote your business isn’t a sustainable approach. Don’t get me wrong; a viral video can be very beneficial for a business, but there are more reliable options out there. 

So What Does That Leave Me? 

Most successful video strategies are built on the backs of more than just one video. They’re steadily constructed out of multiple high-quality posts that promote brand awareness- much like a blog. A video strategy comprised of several different types of content, compiled in a well-managed and regularly updated channel, will take you much farther than a single high-view viral sensation.

In addition to regularly posting high-quality videos,  it’s important to make sure your YouTube channel is properly organized. For instance, a series of tutorials on how to effectively use your product or troubleshooting steps to follow when a product fails to function properly is a solid choice for a well-rounded video campaign. However, if your channel is disorganized and hard to navigate, your clients are less likely to find the right video when they need it.

Though the allure of several million YouTube views is tempting, it’s important to remember that statistically, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than having your video go viral. While that might be a humbling thought, just try to keep in mind that anything worth having is worth putting the effort into getting, and, like the old fable, you’ve got a better chance of winning the race with a slower, steadier approach.