That Robocall From Google Is Not Google
Have you received an automated robocall that sounds something like:
“Hi, this is Julie, your local Google Specialist. Your business listing is about to expire … “
I’m not sure what “Julie” says next because I hang up and so should you. These calls are scams to claim or protect your free business listing (and rip you off in the meantime). The operators will claim they are Google representatives. Simply put, Google does not cold call about business listings. In fact, Google doesn’t call you at all unless you request them to.
Anyone can claim their free Google My Business listing. It’s not rocket science.
Robocalls Are Illegal (Mostly)
According to the FTC:
A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless a company has your written permission to call you that way. To get your permission, the company has to be clear it’s asking to call you with robocalls and it can’t make you agree to the calls ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization by Noah Lamson on August 6, 2019
What is remarketing and how does it work?
Have you ever been to the Home Depot website to look at a lawn mower and then realized that every ad you see on the internet is about Home Depot and their fine selection of lawn mowers? That’s not a coincidence, it’s remarketing.
Remarketing allows companies to follow you around the web with ads based on your behavior, in hopes that you will come back to their site and complete a purchase or request a quote.
Milwaukee Journal Website with Remarketed Home Depot Advertisement
Google and Bing both have robust remarketing programs, as does Facebook and LinkedIn. Remarketing is also commonly called “retargeting” depending on the platform but is basically the same thing. Each platform requires you to add a tracking code to your website, called a tag or a pixel, to identify what visitors are looking at. It also writes a cookie in their browser that allows you to serve up the ads as your past ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Social Media by Jon Ballard on April 26, 2019
3 Online Review DON’Ts (and a few Maybe's)
We’ve given a lot of attention to online reviews recently. We’ve pointed out why they’re important, how to respond to negative ones, and how to generate more of them.
Now, let’s talk about some of the things you should NOT do with online reviews.
Jamie Pitman at BrightLocal researched Google, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, TripAdvisor, BBB, and Yellow Pages, and he assembled a list of Guidelines for the Top Local Review Sites.
We’ve summarized some key takeaways for you to keep in mind as you work on your reviews.
1. DON’T pay for reviews.
Don’t offer cash, prizes, products, or any kind of incentive in exchange for a review. This is a big no-no across the board. All review sites frown on this behavior, and they are likely to penalize you for doing it.
2. DON’T negatively review a competitor or encourage anyone else to do it.
Not only is it against the rules and a conflict of interest, ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Reputation Management by Rose Stricker on November 21, 2018
Tips For Improving Your Website’s Crawl Budget
Optimizing websites for ranking in search engines is an ever-precarious set of tasks. The algorithm Google uses to determine search results is a secret that evolves with each new release. Each time the algorithm is updated, Google gives out clues on what to look for. In a 2017 blog post, Google explained how crawl budget is not a factor in ranking. It shouldn’t be.
In simple terms, the crawl budget is the number of links Google will follow on your site. Your website’s crawl budget may be large or small depending on the size of your site, its popularity and its ease of use to crawl. Given that every site has a different amount of pages, it would be unfair to rank higher a site that gets crawled more simply because of its size.
Is Optimizing for Crawl Budget Worth It?
If the number of crawls on the site does not help rank, is crawl budget worth ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Web Development by Noah Lamson on November 13, 2018
Why You Need To Proactively Manage Your Local Citations
Local businesses need citations to build an online presence. Search engines use citations to build a reputation for a business on the web. If your business doesn’t actively manage these, you will have more than just poor rankings in Google. You will have frustrated customers and poor reviews.
What is a Citation?
Simply put, a citation is any online mention of a business’ name, address, or phone number (sometimes referred to as their NAP). These mentions could be on a website, social platform, or in an app.
Citations can appear on major platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, and even social platforms such as Facebook. There are also geo/industry-specific platforms such as chamber of commerce websites, professional associations, and guilds.
You want to manage and maintain the accuracy of your citations because odds are, you are already listed in many directories, but it could be with inaccurate information. Not only would your local search ranking suffer, ...
Posted in: Local SEO by John Tillotson on November 5, 2018
15 Minutes Away From Better Local Search Visibility
I developed this series of blog posts because I want to help small businesses get more from their website in 15 minutes a month or less of work. If you're like most small business owners, including myself, it can be very difficult to work on your business vs. in your business, but I urge you to consider spending a few minutes each month implementing these tips as they can have a big impact on your business.
So here is this months tip:
Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Google makes it pretty easy to claim and verify your listing. To get started visit: https://www.google.com/business. Make sure you complete the phone or postcard verification process as well.
You're on a roll... don't stop now.
Many local businesses just claim their GMB listing and forget about it. complete all the information Google asks for. Even the part about public parking etc. The more complete your listing the better ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Online Advertising, Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on October 19, 2018
Google Reviews - The Best Defense is A Good Offense
No matter how hard you try, sooner or later your business will face a negative online review. Former employees, competitors, or unreasonable customers all have instant access to leave unwarranted feedback about your business. It's time to get proactive about collecting positive online reviews in preparation for drowning out that occasional negative review.
So what is a business owner to do? Go on the offense and generate an avalanche of positive reviews. A good rule of thumb is that it takes about ten positive reviews to offset one negative review. I know this sounds like a lot of work for a B2B business that doesn't generate a lot of reviews organically. But if you follow the steps below, you should be able to get this done in an hour or less, and the return on investment is great!
1. Craft a letter to your personal contacts
Here is one that I used:
“Subject- Need Your Help or Big ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Reputation Management, Social Media by Jon Ballard on October 11, 2018
Best practice tips for answering online reviews
Your business or company digital footprint includes your website, social media platforms and – online reviews. At Foremost Media we can make sure your website is awesome; you’re hitting all your social media benchmarks, but we can’t control what other people write about you online.
We can, however, give you the best advice and advise you on the best practices for handling online reviews that may or may not put your business in the best light.
No one is perfect and no matter how hard you try, how long you agonize over the details and your customer service – you’re going to get a bad review on Google, Yelp or Bing or one of the other sites.
It’s our philosophy that you shouldn’t ignore them even though its tempting. It like that person knocking on your door trying to sell you something and you just won’t answer and they’ll eventually go away. That doesn’t happen on the ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Online Advertising, Reputation Management by Jon Ballard on April 30, 2018
Why your business needs Schema markup now
How often have you searched for something online—say a phone number, local business hours or the weather—and immediately found the answer within the search results, without ever having to click through to another web page? Probably pretty often. Today, it’s rare to have to go beyond a search to get the quick hits of information you need, as illustrated below:
Event Mark Up Example
In fact, the majority of users searching for information find all they need with a simple Google search. The major underlying reason for this: Schema markup. It may be the biggest thing of 2018, yet there are few websites are optimized to leverage it and even fewer understand it fully. Regardless, the detailed “rich” search results Schema markup supports are defining which brands get maximum exposure.
Schema Mark Up 101
Before we get into why Schema markup is likely to be the most critical SEO strategy of 2018, let’s briefly explore what Schema markup ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on February 26, 2018
Five Things You Must Include In Your 2017 Digital Marketing Mix
As 2016 comes to a close, many companies are already planning their digital marketing strategy for 2017. Here are five essential elements to include in your digital marketing mix for the coming year.
Earlier this month, Yahoo suffered a security breach that affected more than one billion of its user accounts. A security breach of this size should serve as a reminder of just how critical it is to ensure that your website is secure in 2017. We provide our clients with server-level monitoring for maximum security.
As scammers become more adept at stealing sensitive information, phishing scams are also on the rise. The Anthem medical data breach of 2015 was one of the largest data breaches in American history, and it caused by a phishing scam that targeted Anthem employees. Today’s scammers will go to great lengths to separate you from your money or to access your customer data. In our blog post, Lessons ...
Posted in: General, Inbound Marketing, Local SEO, Marketing Automation, Online Advertising, Search Engine Optimization by Jon Ballard on December 30, 2016
Old School SEO Practices That Penalize Your Manufacturing Company
In recent years, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices have changed a lot. Between Google algorithm updates such as Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin, new technologies, and shifting trends in the way prospective customers search for and find information online, it can be difficult for even those highly experienced with SEO to keep up with all the changes, let alone B2B marketers working for today’s manufacturing companies. To help today’s manufacturers understand which SEO tactics they should stop using as part of their overall SEO strategy, here are some of the most common old school SEO practices that are no longer effective.
Low Quality Content
You may’ve already heard that “content is king” in relation to SEO. The more content you have on your website, the more information search engine bots have to determine what your website is about and match it to what prospects are searching for online.
Because of this, a common old school SEO tactic ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by Online Marketing Team on June 1, 2016
SEO Hackers Targeting Wordpress And Blog Engine
Black hat SEO's are notorious for trying to take the easy route to ranking in Google's search engine, even if it means immoral or illegal behavior. There are many ways they do this. Some of which you've probably seen, but never knew why someone would do something like that. For instance, have you ever noticed really strange comments on a blog that seemed like garbled English? You might've rolled your eyes and said, "Wow, that guy really needs to take an English course.", but the reality is that the person who left that comment wasn't a person at all. It was a robot.
Some "black hatters" will create a piece of content using a simple language called "spintax". Spintax allows them to write a piece of content once, and then "spin" it to make variations in the language occur. Usually, this is done by putting in variant synonyms for particular terms in the content. The ...
Posted in: General, Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Web Development by Online Marketing Team on February 1, 2016
Social Media Does Not Help Your SEO
I hear a lot of sales people always telling business owners that social media helps their SEO. Does it? It CAN, but most of the time it won't. Let me explain.
SEO, or search engine optimization, has become very technical in recent years. There are hundreds of ranking factors that search engines use to determine where to rank your website, and social media qualities are not one of them. Google is the largest search engine, and the only one for the most part that ever communicates anything about its ranking signals. Three months ago at SMX Advanced, Gary Illyes from Google told us that social signals are not used at all as a ranking signal and that they would not be for the foreseeable future. In order to understand why this is, we must walk through 5 years of Google History and understand the technical aspects of social media and how it relates to SEO.
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media by Online Marketing Team on September 1, 2015
Update Your Business Hours NOW: Another Google Change
It may seem obvious that online business hours need to be up-to-date. However, Google has recently given local business another reason to keep their online hours updated. According to a recent article written by Barry Schwartz, Google is now notifying online searchers that they will not have enough time to get to a business before it closes.
Here's an example of the message that will be showing users.
The business hours that Google shows are pulled in from your business' Google+ page. If you already have a Google+ page, make sure that you have your hours up-to-date so you do not lose out on potential customers. If you do not currently have a Google+ page, create one and make sure you list your current store hours.
Posted in: Local SEO, Search Engine Optimization by on June 18, 2015
Local Business SEO Package Unveiled
Every day, more and more people are putting away that big yellow phonebook and turning to local Internet searches in their hometown. According to a recent article published on EntireWeb.com, research has shown that somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% of households do some kind of Internet search for local products and services EVERY SINGLE DAY! What does this mean for your local business? It means you need to be in the right places when people are searching for your business.
Not only do you have to have a good position in local search results, you also need to have a good reputation. This is where Foremost Media's reputation monitoring tool can help you! Combining this tool with a local SEO package makes an unstoppable combination!
"It's a GOOD THING that you're a small business, because that means we can position you to compete against only those businesses within your area, not the national businesses ...
Posted in: Local SEO, Reputation Management by Online Marketing Team on April 13, 2011