How Exactly Do Search Engines Work?
Posted by Meredith B on 14 September 2020 09:49 am
We know we open an internet search page, type in what we’re looking for, and hope we get what we’re looking for. But what is actually going on? Many consumers don’t actually know how search engines work. And even more just click on the first thing that pops up, which is usually an ad.
When you type a query into a search engine, all relevant pages are identified and given to you in a set of search engine results. This relevant data is driven by more than what you just typed in, other information is used such as:
The websites that are being returned to you are also determined by Google algorithms which can be made up by all kinds of different factors. These factors can include:
How search engines work should matter to you, because you’re trying to reach consumers and rank higher on search engine results pages. You need to be creating content for users, not search engines like Google or Bing, because ultimately, users drive exactly how search engines work!
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5 Reasons Online Reviews Are Essential for Your Business in 2020
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 28 August 2020 10:19 am
It’s an accepted fact that online reviews are essential for businesses. Online reviews build credibility, help seal deals, and encourage clients to reach to you to start a one to one conversation. All of that adds up to a vital component of a business’s online reputation management efforts.
2020 is kicking this importance into high gear. In their most recent 2020 State of the Local Industry Report, Moz found that reviews are now the second most important factor in rankings in SEO rankings. We, in the digital marketing sphere, have watched this component of marketing continually increase in importance with seemingly no end to its rise.
But their importance doesn’t just stop at SEO. Today, your friendly marketers at Webtivity Marketing & Design will explore five reasons why online reviews are essential for your business in 2020 and moving forward.
Search Engine Rankings
The importance of online reviews to search engine rankings cannot be understated. Google is now, and has been for the past three years, the largest and fastest growing review platform. Garnering Google reviews should be your first priority out of any platform. Google uses these reviews to ascertain your rankings in its algorithms. Next to Google My Business elements, Google reviews, are now the second biggest factor Google takes into account for your rankings. In terms of the easiest and fastest search ranking factor to influence, Google reviews are it.
Local Traffic = Local Clients
In essence, there are two types of rankings in search engines. Overall rankings and local rankings. The latter is the biggest concern for small businesses that rely on online sales and lead generation as an essential component of their business. If overall rankings are influenced by online reviews, local rankings are doubly so. Behind being physically close to the searcher, reviews are the second most important reason a search engine shows a business before another. The other important factors being the consistency of citations and the quality of content on the business’ website.
Brand building should be a concern for every business owner who seeks to excel in their market. If your clients don’t know your brand or don’t trust it, your business will suffer in the short and long term. Reviews show that other users of your service or buyers of your product had a positive experience with it. Companies who ignore this importance often suffer from a lack of reviews, which can lead to once-off negative reviews having a significant impact on their business. Get ahead of any disgruntled customer, enact a review gathering strategy before you need positive reviews to help counteract any negative ones. Google’s review policy offers little leeway in removing reviews.
Reviews Close Deals
Always Be Closing or ABC can be translated to RCD for Reviews Close Deals when it comes to consumer decisions online. BrightLocal recently found that 82% of all consumers read online reviews for local businesses, that number jumps up to 93% for people aged between 35 and 54. In that last second, when a potential client finds your business and is close to deciding to make a purchase, reviews are your best closers. The high regard buyers hold in reviews cannot be understated. The importance increases as the demographics get lower as the younger generations lean on the opinions of their peers to make decisions in an increasingly choice-field market.
Communication is STILL Key
From year 1 to the year 10,000, one thing will always be true; we humans love to communicate with each other. Online reviews are essential for communicating with your clients online. They are a forum for honest interaction with your customers where you can reinforce positive perceptions and explain any negative issues you may encounter. The important factor to consider here is that this conversation exists with or without your input. The ability to get it to be written down in a format where you can respond to it represents a dynamic shift in not only reputation management but overall brand management as well.
This brings us to the end of our top 5 reasons why online reviews are essential for your business in 2020. If you are ready to proactively take control of your online brand call Tim at 941-753-7574 x107 or send him a message here.
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Make Your Location Page Work for Your Business Website
Posted by Meredith on 18 November 2019 03:20 pm
Every business is trying to jump to the top of Google’s search results. With everyone vying for that top spot, it’s important to take each page of your business website, and position it for the best results possible. People are always searching for something “near me” and you can’t just keyword load “near me” or “close to me” in all the pages of your website. Here are some tips to make your location page work harder for your business website.
Business Name, Address, and Phone Number
Be sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number appear exactly the same as it does on your Google My Business Profile, as well as all other citations you have claimed.
Include photos in your location page, with correct ALT tags. Don’t just have outdoor photos, have photos showing the interior of your business as well. This allows potential customers to see what to expect when they arrive. Exterior photos should include your sign, a parking lot, as well as nearby businesses; this is especially helpful for new businesses and if your business is in a strip mall.
Describe Business Location
Include your business location, and what makes your location unique. If you have several locations, don’t just copy and paste the same info while changing out the city.
CTA (Call to Action) Options
Use CTA’s which are helpful to the user such as directions with a link to Google Maps, a link to request an appointment, a button to shop now, or a call now button.
When you’re including directions to your business, it’s an excellent way to add some geographically specific keywords to your page.
Optimize for SEO
Be sure to optimize the location page for SEO. This includes images, the title, and the meta data of course. The meta data will be used for the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), so it should include your brand, the location keyword, as well as your keyword; all of which should have been in the title too. The meta data allows a bit more space for extra selling tips!
Your website is your 24/7 sales tool so your website must be ready to receive visitors and convert traffic into sales. We work with you to understand how you approach your business and industry, your customer acquisition tactics, and most importantly your competitors and how you position yourself against them. With this information we solidly position your business online and become your partner in success.
Show your business to the world with Webtivity Marketing & Design!
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5 Ways to Handle Online Reviews to Win Customers
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 10 March 2017 12:04 pm
Why do online reviews matter?
You already know that online reviews are feedback left by past customers on websites, but why should you even pay attention to them? There are hundreds of reasons why online reviews make a powerful online marketing tool. Most important of all is customer relationship management. Client satisfaction is the cornerstone of the success of any business venture regardless of its size.
Before online reviews there were testimonials, an affidavit of a business’s quality of service. In today’s fast paced internet world most people (91%) regularly or occasionally read online reviews. Online reviews have become the new word-of-mouth communication tool for customers among each other.
Search engines that cater to these very same customers have noticed how much emphasis users place on reviews. Therefore, they have enacted algorithm changes to the way they present search results to favor better reviewed websites. Online reviews are invaluable to Search Engine Optimization, especially to small businesses.
Top 5 best online review websites
If you are a small local business, like Webtivity!, you don’t have a huge amount of resources to begin with. Let your friendly local web design marketing company make mastering your online reviews game a whole lot easier. Here is a list of the top five online review websites you should be focusing most of your efforts on:
How can I ask customers to leave online reviews?
You understand how important online reviews are to your local business’s success, but how do you get or encourage clients to leave those reviews? There are several ways to encourage clients to leave reviews.
The easiest approach is after a sale is made or a service is provided. This is when the customer has your business fresh in their minds; they understand the benefit your business has provided so they are more likely to make the effort to leave a review. Strike while the iron is hot so to speak.
To acquire reviews indirectly, businesses have employed feedback cards, QR codes, emails, and even phone calls to encourage clients to leave reviews. When suggesting to a client to leave a review, remember to focus on one or two of the major sites we previously mentioned where you need reviews the most.
How do I track online reviews?
Now that your business has started receiving reviews how do you keep track of all the various review sites? There are various solutions out there but they cost money. If you currently have a search engine optimization partner managing your digital marketing efforts, give Webtivity a look (hint shameless plug).
If you are more of the do-it-yourself kind of person, look into setting up a Google Alert on your branded name. For example for us that would be “Webtivity Marketing and Designs”. You’ll be notified any time your business is mentioned online.
Another nifty online tool for review management is Social Mention. They will track a variety of social media platforms for mentions of your branded name as mentioned above. It is free and it allows you to set up email alerts for specific keywords.
It bears mentioning that none of these tools beat regular manual checking of your listings on the review sites we mentioned earlier.
How do I handle negative reviews?
Just like positive reviews, you should strive to respond to each and every negative review. There are several guidelines you should follow however to ensure you do not make an already bad situation worse. You will only serve to alienate the customer and anyone else who reads that review.
Do not write anything argumentative or even defensive. Instead seek to resolve the customer’s issue as fast and as directly as possible. Reach out with a message offering to help solve the difficulty this client had with your product or service.
If the issue is resolved, ask the client to update their review, most happy clients will. If they do not respond your response should act as a great signal to potential customers that you care about client satisfaction.
Finally, bury negative reviews with positive ones. Redouble your efforts to acquire more reviews to balance out the negative reviews. Most clients looking for reviews will only pay attention to the final business review standing.
3 biggest mistakes small businesses make with online reviews
If I leave you with one thing…
Engage, engage, and engage. Please do not disregard the online review marketplace as a non-issue in your marketing efforts. Make sure your business is taking advantage of this free source of direct client to business engagement opportunity.
If you are ready to make the first step give us a call at (941) 753-7574 or schedule a quick conversation with Tim!
For more facts about online reviews check out this awesome infrographic from our friends over at invespcro:
Infographic by- Invesp
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Wrong Information Is Bad For Your Business!
Posted by Troy Newport on 26 March 2014 08:25 am
That is the title of an email I received the other day, and boy did it burn me up! Not because it’s untrue. Just the opposite: inconsistent information on the web about your business can seriously hurt your SEO. What burned me up is the email came from a service that claims to help you keep your business information consistent online. On the surface it sounds great — pay an annual subscription fee and an automated service helps you keep your business listings up to date. The problem is these automated services only work with a handful of directories and don’t work with some of the major ones where your business should be listed. Even more problematic is these services are not perfect; and some are far from it.
This particular service’s name is met with much contempt in our office. We’ve had clients who previously tried the service and then had to hire us to clean up the mess it made. It’s an uphill battle dealing with the fallout and in some cases it took many months to clean up. Sometimes the service erroneously created duplicate listings on directories because the existing listing did not have the exact business name, or perhaps had a different phone #. A human could have found the old listing using a little elbow grease and deductive reasoning; something a mathematical algorithm is still not smart enough to do. There are also times when wrong information was entered by the service and that information started getting ‘scraped’ by other websites and directories.
There are hundreds and thousands of places on the internet where you can post information about your business. Most of those websites crawl the internet looking for information about companies and auto-populate themselves so the website seems full of information when people get there. The problem is those websites don’t verify information they find, they just find stuff and post it there whether it’s accurate or not. Then that information is found by another automated bot and gets populated somewhere else, and so on and so forth. So if you aren’t constantly monitoring your online identity it’s easy to see how out of control your online identity can become.
Automation technology has been amazing for manufacturing and other processes in our brief history on this planet. So I suppose it’s become second nature for some to assume Automation = Good (unless your job was eliminated by it.) The problem is that automation in our industry sometimes isn’t so good, and some things should still be done manually for accuracy. Or you at least need to have humans in place to verify what the algorithms and robots are telling you. These automated directory-building services don’t have humans double-checking the work. And what’s worse, from our experience and from the multitude of complaints you can find online, they don’t seem to have the resources in place to correct errors that occur. Unfortunately Google places a lot of weight on having consistent business listings across the internet (the same addresses, phone #’s, etc.) so when your identity starts to get screwed up it quickly pervades across the internet, Google takes notice, and your website gets dinged for it. When a service can muck up something as simple as having multiple satellite offices in the same town you have to ask yourself how valuable the service really is.
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How to Opt Out of Google Displaying Your Information in Ads
Posted by Patricia Sennhauser on 17 October 2013 08:03 am
Privacy. It’s a topic that Google seems to be deeply concerned with recently. As of September, 2013, Google announced it would be encrypting all keyword searches – in the name of protecting your privacy. But at about this time, Google also announced that it would also be using your name, face, reviews, and social networking activity in ads to your friends or anyone else Google thinks might be influenced by your opinion.
Hmm, touché Google.
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