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Google Updates Service Area Options

Service Area Business (SAB) establishment has been a growing pain for Google Maps users and local businesses. Businesses without physical locations were disfavored by the algorithm as opposed to brick and mortar local businesses. In an effort to ease this pain, Google has introduced a new sign-up flow for SAB’s.

A Brief History:

Google’s local pack algorithm has three key factors for ranking local businesses:

Relevance (Are you a Dentist?)

Prominence (Are you a notable Dentist?)

Proximity (Is your physical location near the searcher?)

With this trimodal factoring system, SAB’s outside of the area are at an immediate disadvantage with regard to proximity. They will have to overcompensate in prominence to outrank competitors who are in the searcher’s area by relying on links, reviews, and other authority factors. So what can SAB’s do to increase their online visibility?

1. Double-down on SEO content strategy.

Let's face it, you are not going to get noticed by bots unless you really PURSUE content within your desired area. This means link-building to your location pages and targeting reviews that specifically mention the areas that you want to show up in.

2. Make sure your SEO Basics align with your targeted service area.

Does your website contain strong landing pages for each city you serve? Are these pages populated with relevant content? The more content you have that is location-specific, the more likely you will be favored in local packs.

3. Reviews in target service areas matter.

Doing business in your targeted service area is best documented with review content. User reviews are one of the most trustworthy forms of content by local bots. Check out our review system for more information on how we can help boost your local feedback.

4. Multi-location maps are important.

If you serve multiple area, it’s beneficial to have a store locator on your website. According to SEJ, even points of reference with a phone contact listed will help bots rank your service areas. Any geo-tagging reference points that Google can crawl will benefit your business.

In Conclusion, time will tell if this update has any effect on SAB’s. This could improve visibility for businesses that may not have a hard location in a big city, but seek to increase their online visibility.


Source: SEO Land


Algo-Rhythm: Updating your Business Categories

Google is constantly looking to improve their algorithm for local businesses. They use these updates to see how well their users will adapt to the improvements and if they will be adopted by a widespread audience. You may have heard of Google Plus? Yes, it’s still alive and well. The point isn’t to say that Google is at fault for trying to make the improvements. Google is releasing these features for local businesses to take advantage of them. Google has recently updated their business category section to help organize the vast amount of niche businesses within local communities. Here are a few points to note:


  1. Google Changes the names of these Categories Frequently.  Your favorite “Natural Foods” store can seamlessly be renamed a “Natural Goods Store” to accomodate a more comprehensive list of goods and services. The only problem is if the Natural Grocers, which specializes in food, gets relabled, it's now categorized with niche natural goods and services. This is a much smaller market in comparison to supermarket grocery stores. This is why it’s important to utilize multiple categories in businesses.

  2. Categories get removed all the time.  In 2018 Google removed 36 categories and added 34. In the most recent update, Shower-Door Supplier was taken out of the list. Moz Local suggests these new categories are very important to update in your business profile. This also emphasizes how attentive businesses need to be with their own profile data.

  3. New Categories will BOOST your Rankings.  A recent update in a business owner’s industry put him in the top of the searches extremely quickly when he was on top of Google’s Category update. While some categories remain ossified for quite some time, when these updates happen, it can be a huge benefit to your visibility!

  4. “Category-Dilution” is not a real thing.  There has been widespread concern that classifying your business under multiple categories was going to diminish your ranking authority. That isn’t the case. Adding more categories increases your rankings and click throughs. Adding a new niche category could even boost your business to the top of the searches.

  5. Your Primary Category Holds Weight.  The last point to note is that the primary category should be thoughtful and precise, properly defining your business. Search Engine Land mentions how a personal injury attorney saw dramatic ranking increases when he switched his category from “Insurance Attorney” to “Personal Injury Attorney” as his main classification.  Making sure your business is classified correctly is important.

Staying updated with your Google My Business (GMB) information is determinant to your local search rankings. Using them lets them know you care about your data, and your business.


Source: Joy Hawkins

Psychology and Social Media

Working in Digital Marketing, we find a lot of our clients more closely link our expertise with sales and ROI. They believe that marketing is a means to increasing sales. They’re right. As content marketers, we look to increase the overall visibility of our clients. However, quantitative information only goes so far. Our biggest objective is translating quantitative information into qualitative copy.

How clients and prospects interact with a Brand is becoming increasingly collaborative. Managing multiple accounts for various industries, we end up being the voice that addresses client (and prospect) feedback. We seek authenticity within our role because each user needs to be addressed as an individual. The following list is something we have applied to our branding model for ourselves and the businesses we represent:


  1. Transparency: Digital marketing is not perfect. We are a team of digital marketers on the other end analyzing numbers, pulling data, and building relationships. From weekly client meetings to addressing customer feedback, there are a lot of feelings that we need to address (including our own team’s). Online engagement is only part of the picture; there is content that our clients are accountable for because collaboration works two ways.

  2. The Halo Effect: Building off of the last point, we try and steer away from getty images as much as possible when creating new content. What we’ve found is that prospects seek to know your actual business. This means staying away from blatant stock images. Currently, users have a bigger Bull-sh!t B.S. Meter than ever before. Therefore, the transparency of your content directly affects how much trust you have with your audience.

  3. Reciprocity: The idea behind this is simple, yet powerful. If someone does something good for you, you return the gesture. If our clients are helpful in getting us the information we need to generate content, we will go a step beyond the contract and give them extra marketing resources. We utilize reciprocation in social media campaigns, email marketing, and as a focal point for generating reviews on Google My Business.

  4. Color Matters: Colors affect behavior. This is why it’s so crucial to remain consistent within branding and be mindful of the graphics and content you are publishing. We need to consider how color affects the tone and voice of every client we work with. We highly advise those of you who use social media to color code every post to match your brand. Check the list below for some key examples.


  • Yellow: optimism and youth

  • Red: sense of urgency

  • Blue: trust and security

  • Green: wealth and relaxation

  • Orange: aggressive

  • Pink: romantic

  • Black: powerful

  • Purple: calm

5. Why people Share: There was a study conducted by the New York Times that examined the Psychology behind online sharing. They found five primary motivators for online sharing with a general conclusion that people are motivated to share based on their relationships with their online network. In essence, we need to focus on creating and sharing content that will enhance their relationship with their online network.


5 key motivators of online sharing are:

  • They wanted to better the lives of others.

  • They wanted the content to reflect their online identity.

  • They are looking to grow or nourish their relationships

  • They share because they like the feeling of having others comment or engage in it.

  • They want to spread the word about something they believe in.

Source: Buffer App


Indexing: Stepping Stones of SEO

When it comes to running a client’s SEO analysis; we start with indexing. Indexing ensures that your website pages are being read by Google, Bing, and other key databases. Indexing is the first step to take in an SEO crawl with clients as it shows that the page we’re looking at is able to be picked up by search engines.

Whats up with it?

At a core-level; search engines read pages and treat each page individually. In other words, every page counts towards your overall ranking. You can actually look up how your site is being indexed here. Entering the site code txt beforehand will specify that page beyond its visibility to Google. When you specify and target a domain in the search query, the pages that show up are ones that have been indexed. Therefore, it needs to examined as a crucial point of reference during an SEO analysis.

What happens when a page is not indexed?

If your site is not being indexed, the most common culprit is a meta-tag misuse within the coding, or you have disallowed robot.txt files to scan this data. Meta-tags and robot.txt  files instruct the search engine indexing bots on how to process your site’s information. Meta-tags help guide these bots through the pages individually and robot.txts scan the site as a whole.

Bottom Line

Your site has to be indexed in order to be ranked. Search engines need to be able to find and read your content in order to index. Google has very specific instructions on how your indexing is coded here. Prioritize the indexability of your content as you add onto your website.  Remember, the bottom line in SEO: Happy Robots, Happy People, Happy Business!

Source: https://searchengineland.com/the-first-steps-of-your-seo-audit-indexing-issues-296853

Key Benefits of Partnering with an Outside Digital Agency

Hiring a digital agency to handle your online marketing is a time and money saver, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be completely hands-off with your strategy. We’ve found that the best marketing hold accountability on both our agency and the business we’re working with. Working in tandem provides objectivity when planning a strategy and can also be the most effective way to optimize your marketing budget. We created a quick list of reasons why hiring an agency should be in your best interest.

A Broader Skill Set

Partnering with a digital agency gives you access to a team that has a variety of skill-sets. Chances are that each team member specializes in a certain area of digital marketing so you have access to these experts as a resource moving forward. It is extremely cost effective when you look at how much it would cost to hire an SEO, Social Media, and Branding Director as in-house employees.

Cost

It is extremely cost effective when you look at how much it would cost to hire an SEO, Social Media, and Branding Director as in-house employees. Total costs can vary based on the size of your business. The fact is that every successful business invests a portion of their earnings into their marketing budget. Are you utilizing this budget where it matters?

Productivity

When You partner with an agency; 100% of your money goes towards their production of deliverables. You don’t waste time aimlessly trying to figure out your strategy on your own, spending the energy it takes to hire in-house, or having to cover more benefits, PTO, ongoing education, ect. You are paying for a service that’s efficient and refined.

 

Source: https://seekbrevity.com/digital-marketing-agency-in-house-hybrid/

Need for Speed

In the latest SEO updates; Google has favored websites that have a quicker load-time than its competitors. Breaking down each pages contents into its algorithm; Google ranks sites with optimized content considerably higher than outdated websites. Issues at hand include Lose redirects, lagging server response times, and unoptimized images. Using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) increase user-engagement and overall site performance.

 

Google holds user-experience as a top priority within its service objectives:

 

In addition to these tools for measuring UX; Your sites security and hosting settings play a big roll in your SERP rankings. Do not let a poorly designed website hinder your digital outreach. At Deluge Digital Marketing, we make sure your site is optimized to the fullest extent. We additionally identify a content strategy that keeps your pages active and boosts your user-engagement.

Source: Jamie Pitman

Power to your Pages

Power to your Pages

 

The web is growing rapidly; there are 1.8 million pages added every day. Web-crawlers scan these pages constantly. These bots scan new pages for keywords, content, and overall relevancy. According to AHREFS Traffic Study, only 5.7% of web pages gets ranked in the top 10 search results of Google. In other words; roughly 90% of websites get zero traffic from Google.

 

Two common factors that can greatly increase your relevancy:

  1. Backlinks- Backlinks significantly help your website rank higher in Google.

  2. Targeting relevant information and content-People can’t search for things they’re unaware of; you need to publish pages about topics that are trending within your industry.

Bottom line: Link-building your blog content and proper keyword research will greatly impact your SERP status and Google rankings.

Creating a Community of Wellness: What Doctors Can Do to Engage Patients and Build a Cult Following

Word of mouth as we all know is the best from of advertisement. Doctors can take advantage of this beyond just being good at their job. Especially for the millennial demographic, patients value services that are multidimensional; meaning, they want to be part of a community. Looking at strategies that large companies are incorporating right now can be a great way to boost your business. For example: Tiffany’s & Co. and Gucci are opening their own restaurants to extend their brand identity and allow consumers to be part of their brand experience. Millennial nowadays view luxury much more through an experiential lens than materialistic. Health and wellness is becoming a status symbol. Doctors can incorporate the same strategy luxury companies are using to take advantage of this new trend in luxury. Below are the few things doctors can do to cultivate a following and build a brand. 

1. Develop a fitness club:

Weather it’s SoulCycle or Barry’s Bootcamp, doctors can bring their clients together for a workout class not only to promote health but also show their clients another side of themselves that aren’t so serious. Creating a facebook group centered around fitness and wellness is one method to organize group activities in your community.

 
fitness-cycling
 

2. Have a wellness newsletter:

This is a great strategy to allow your patients to be notified of your practice’s updates. This newsletter should focus on things that your patients find useful, such as which food to eat and avoid, debunk health myths, and promote upcoming initiatives. Your social media accounts should serve a similar function as well, drawing in new patients and maintaining the interest of current ones.

3. Create partnerships with other doctors of different expertise:

Creating synergy with others in your field is one of the best ways to expand your network and attract a larger audience. Developing a referral network is beneficial to everyone. 

 

How to Set a Marketing Budget for Your Business
 

In the early stages of a company's success, many entrepreneurs try to avoid setting a marketing budget. We're here to tell you, it's not as intimidating as it sounds. See our tips for getting the most for your money.

1. Define Your Marketing Goals 

A company's marketing budget should be customized to fit the needs of the company. Do you need more sales? Do you want to create brand awareness locally or nationally? Do you want to use marketing to revitalize relationships with existing customers?

2. Evaluate the Stage Your Business is in

For new businesses, it is widely recommended to spend between 8-10% of your revenue on marketing. However, there are exceptions for businesses in high-competition industries.
If you're industry is highly competitive, your budge can range anywhere from 12-20% depending on how high your operating costs are. 
For established businesses, with at least $5M in revenue, 12% is standard budget allocation. 
Additionally, understand that marketing drives revenue. Meaning you need marketing to grow as a company. Creating a marketing plan with a professional is one way of making sure this occurs. 

"Marketing Drives Revenue"

3. Test

It's highly likely that you won't KNOW the magic number until you test multiple marketing strategies, and evaluate which ones work best. This should be factored in to your marketing plan from the beginning. Marketing investment is a necessary risk. 

4. Don't Panic

Easier said than done. However, building up your marketing presence to accomplish your goals takes time. Make sure you look at how your marketing investment will pay off long term! You may not see direct results within the first couple months, but a successful marketing plan should increase your over-all revenues within the first year!

For clarification on marketing budget spending by industry, check out this helpful graph:

 
How to Set Up a Business Page on Yelp and Google!

For most business owners, reviews are a sore subject. It feels like everyone has a story of that nightmare client. Collective groans aside, reviews are important to new clients!

So what’s the first step to getting online reviews?

Depending on the industry, certain platforms will be more important than others. Websites like Yelp, Google, Zocdoc and others provide tools for business owners once they have claimed their pages. To start you off, here’s a step by step guide to listing your business on Yelp and Google.

 
 

Yelp:
 

Step 1: Claim your business page 

Step 2: Add company information such as address, phone number, and your website.

(If you don’t have a website, feel free to contact us for a consultation. Adding recognizable photos such as your company logo will make it easier for customers to find your page.

Step 3: Make sure you respond to your reviewers!

When customers leave reviews, positive or negative, make sure you respond politely using your business account. Displaying your amazing customer service skills online will make your customers feel safe!

 

(Via- Yelp Support)

 

 
(Via-  Google Help )
 

Google:

To Start, Sign up to “Google My Business”

Follow these steps to sign up:

  1. Go to google.com/business and click Start now at the top right corner of the page.
  2. Sign in to your Google account, or create one if you don’t already use Google services.
  3. You’ll see a map of your country with a form at the top left. Enter your business name in the first field.
  4. As you type, suggestions for possible matches will appear. If you see your business, select it from the suggestions.
  5. Complete the rest of the fields with your business information, then click Continue. You may see a potential matching business suggested to you. If this is your business, click it. If it’s not your business, click "Keep the information I entered."
  6. You'll see the option to confirm that you're authorized to manage the business. If you are, check the box, then click Continue. If you aren’t authorized to manage the business, find the person in your organization who is, then continue signing up.

Now that you've finished that, Navigate to Google My Business

  1. Search for your business using its name and address.
  2. Brands, organizations, or artists should follow these steps.
  3. If you see a dialog letting you know that someone else has verified the business, follow these steps.
  4. If you don’t see your business listed in the menu, click No, these are not my businesses or I’ve correctly entered the business. You’ll then be prompted to enter some details for your business. Make sure you enter an accurate, complete street address, and a phone number which reaches your business directly.
  5. Click Submit.

(via – Google Help)

and viola! You're all set up!