• About Those Phone Calls

    Businesses are bombarded with phones calls with urgent messages your Google map is in “danger”.

    1-The message varies from you’ll never show up to it desperately needs help.  These calls have become cloned.  We’re led to believe Google is calling, but as often as not it is a third party company with a sales pitch.  You can claim your Google + business listing and fill out your content.  (If you have ever used a company like Yext you might be locked out.)

    What About Those Phone Calls

    2-“I’m from Windows calling regarding your computer…” Hang up.  If you stayed on you would hear your computer has been infected and they can fix it.  Microsoft doesn’t call people to fix their computers.

    3-The recorded messages, “Hi, I’m Sharon from Google…”  Unless you are ready for Pay per Click/Google AdWords, hang up.  Should you be interested in Google AdWords initiate the phone call yourself. Call 855-245-0843 (9am–9pm ET, Mon–Fri).

    And those emails:
    Emails warning your business listings have/may have incorrect information. These come from different sources; many who have partnered with Yext “in one shot” to resolve the issue. Things to know:

    • The best success is a human touch for all these directories. Contact information is not where you want to end leveraging your directory listings. Each can be filled out according to the platform specifics – optimize each with keywords and categories specific to your business.  Automation is not your friend here.  It equals duplication which you are trying to avoid when maximizing online.
    • The shotgun method doesn’t always work – I had a client who tried this to find out the company was unable to take care of their business change and subsequently cannot get back into their accounts to change the information without an involved process.
    • A lot of these business directories have no relevance. Important to keep on top of which ones matter.

    Having a public email address (on your website) means you’re on a list which is sold to email marketers. Spam has increased, for me personally, the past year to hundreds per day – this using filters and flagging emails to be blocked. It’s part of business online.

    The day you get an email from your email address selling “meds” is a rude welcome to address spoofing. There is nothing you can do. Despite the “Name/Address” field you are seeing it is generated from another address.

    SEO emails abound. “I’ve visited your website and while it is lovely it is lacking in SEO…” Most ANY website has something which CAN be improved upon in SEO. The promise is we’ll fix it. SEO isn’t a “fix it” method. It can’t be analyzed once and “you’re good to go”. SEO is not simple.

    #1 on Google promise calls and emails.  #1 on Google goes to the deepest pockets. The best you can get is #1 at some time, somewhere for one keyword. That one keyword may be “animal hospital puppy package in Walnut”. It doesn’t mean you can’t define an AdWord campaign to work, especially if your website is organically sound, this can be effective. Just be informed. Most companies want to include your business name as one of the paid keywords. If someone is searching for your business by name there is little chance you won’t come up.

    What can you do to help your online presence? Freshen your website content (add a page, rewrite dated copy). Search engines are looking for fresh content, new original photos. Stock photography is analyzed by Google unfavorably. While Google is more tight-lipped than in past years how they can make this deduction doesn’t matter, it’s enough to point us in the right direction. Besides: logically – your own photos make a better web presence for your business.

    Add to your website, create a mobile site (if you haven’t already), take advantage of directory listings, gets links to your website, consider a blog for the purpose of writing about your industry. The blog can attract back links and comments, which all aid in your online strength, but use it primarily to give out information which adds weight to your website.

    Your website is your marketing cornerstone. Devise a plan to keep it fresh.

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