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Showing posts with label Business Updates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business Updates. Show all posts

Sunday, 25 June 2017

How cyber insurance helps you deal with a data breach [Infographic]

How cyber insurance helps you deal with a data breach [Infographic]

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Russia threatens to block access to Telegram for not providing enough info

Russia has threatened to ban encrypted messaging app Telegram, Sky News reports. Authorities threaten to block access to the chat app and deny millions of people using Telegram to communicate if the messaging app fails to provide enough information about itself. Russia’s head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor Alexander Zharov said all efforts towards obtaining the […]

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WhatsApp to roll out new feature that lets you send any type of file

WhatsApp will soon roll out a new feature that lets you send and share any type of file. This will mark a significant shift in the way we have always used the chat app. You will no longer be limited to sending video/audio, PDF, images, and Word documents. However, report suggests that the chat app […]

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Google AdWords Agency Hacks for Scaling Your AdWords Account

Photo-Mix / Pixabay

Once you have your Google AdWords account up and running, your work doesn’t stop there. Now, it’s time to scale your strategy so that you can generate the most leads and sales from your ads. Below, we’ll share some expert tips to help you scale your account like a Google AdWords agency.

Add new keywords.

One of the easiest and quickest ways to start generating more traffic with your AdWords account is to add new, relevant keywords that you are not currently targeting. For best results, you can combine a variety of tactics to find more relevant keywords. Here are just a few ways to add keywords:

Take a Look at Search Term Reports

A good place to start looking for new keywords is in your search term reports. The report shows you all of the searches that have triggered your display ads. It may surprise you how many relevant keyword search terms and phrases have generated ad clicks. Some of these keywords will be relevant and may be useful for targeting.

To access your search term reports:

  • Sign into your AdWords account.
  • Click on the “Campaigns” tab.
  • Then, click on the “Keywords” tab.
  • Click on the “Search terms button.”
  • You’ll then be able to see and download data on which search terms triggered clicks and impressions.

Picture1-2242.png

Once you’ve accessed the data, you’ll want to download the report so that you can more easily see which keywords are converting to your account. Based on the results of this report, you can add new keywords to the appropriate existing ad groups as well as develop new ad groups.

Utilize the Keyword Planner

You can also discover new keywords using Google’s Keyword Planner. To access this tool, go to the “Tools” menu in AdWords. Then, add a few of your highest converting keywords into the Planner to get suggestions from Google.

You can also use competitor URLs to find more new keyword ideas. The screenshot below shows how the user’s ad impressions appear next to their competitors.

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One thing to remember when using the Google Keyword Planner is that even though it is a great tool for finding potential keywords, you still need to be strategic about which you plan to use. Review the list, and make sure that you are only adding the keywords that are relevant to your business.

Research Competitor Keywords

If you want to scale your account like a Google AdWords agency, you’ll need to think like an agency when it comes to finding new keywords. And this means researching the keywords that your competitors are bidding on. A simple (and free) way to do this is by performing some actual Google searches to see which of your competitors pop up in the search results.

Performing manual Google searches can be a bit time-consuming. That’s why many companies choose to use a paid tool like SEMrush. These tools provide a much more efficient way for you to find out which keywords your competitors are bidding on. Many of the paid tools will also show you examples of ad copy from your competitors. Once you’ve discovered some new relevant keywords, you can add them to your list.

Use Ad Extensions.

Expanding your keyword list is not the only way to grow your AdWords account. Ad extensions are another great strategy for scaling your account as they help your ads stand out on the search engine results page (SERP). Ad extensions can help drive more traffic to your page by boosting your click-through rate.

There are a few different types of ad extensions that you can use to grab the attention of your audience:

Sitelink Extensions

Sitelinks are additional links displayed underneath your ad on the SERP. This allows you to guide searchers to other pages on your website other than the ad’s main URL. The image below shows where the links are located underneath the ad content.

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Sitelink extensions can be used to highlight reviews, FAQs, complementary products, and other pages you may not want to use for the landing page but could be helpful for the searcher.

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions are similar to the sitelink extension as they allow you to display additional text in your ads. However, the callout extensions are not links. Instead, they are simply an opportunity to provide more information for searchers. This can be about your company, the products/services you offer, or the benefits and features of your products.

The image below shows the call out, “Get a Free Online Quote Now.”

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Like the example above, you can use the callout extension to provide a compelling call-to-action that entices users to click. Slogans or catchphrases also work well if they are a well-known part of your company’s branding.

Location Extensions

With the location extension, you can include your business address, phone number, directions, and Google Maps pin as part of your ad. The example below shows the location information for the company that’s advertising.

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In order to use location extensions, you have to have a Google My Business account that’s linked to your AdWords account. Once you’ve done this, simply choose “Location” from the “Ad Extensions” menu. If you have multiple locations, Google will choose the location that is closest to the person searching and display that address in the ad.

Call Extensions

When you use a call extension, it allows you to include your phone number as an extension in your ad. This type of extension can help drive more traffic to your brick-and-mortar location, and it is especially useful for mobile users. Many individuals will use their mobile device to search for businesses when they have an immediate need. By using the call extension, you can make it easy for these mobile users to call your business.

call-extension-mobile-300x300.png

To call your business, all the mobile user has to do is press the “Call” icon. Using the pay-per-click advertising model, your business pays a fee for each click on the icon, much like you would for a visit to your website.

Take advantage of Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA).

Another way to scale your account like a Google AdWords agency is to make the most of remarketing and RLSA. These tools allow you to market to those people who have already visited your website. Remarketing ads appear on the Google Display Network, which is a group of sites that display AdWords ads, including sites on mobile devices and apps. While the RLSA ads show up in the Google search results.

To get started, you’ll want to tag your website or landing page for remarketing. You can do this with Google Analytics or with the AdWords remarketing tag. For Google Analytics, the remarketing will be included as part of the code. To tag your site using AdWords, go to “Shared Library” and choose “Audiences.” Then, you’ll see a prompt to set up a remarketing tag in the upper right-hand corner of your browser. When you see the green check mark, you’ll know your tag has been installed. You can also click on “Tag Details” to get the code to place on your site.

Once your site has been tagged, it’s time to set up your Audiences and confirm targeting settings. Google gives step-by-step instructions for how to do this on their support page.

Creating a Remarketing Campaign

Now that you’ve set up your audiences, it’s time to use them as targeting criteria in your campaigns. To get started, create a “Display Network Only” AdWords campaign. Then, create the ad groups that you’d like to use for your remarketing campaign. Go to your first ad group, click on the Display Network tab, and then choose, “+Targeting > Interests & Remarketing.” Then, you can choose which remarketing audience you’d like to target with your ads.

When choosing ad content for your remarketing ads, it’s important to think strategically. Avoid just showing the user the same content they’ve already been exposed to. Instead, think about their behavior and decide what type of content makes the most sense. You might choose to show them a special promotion or deliver an ad for a complementary product or service.

Setting up an RLSA Campaign

Though RLSA is similar to remarketing, these campaigns deliver ad content in the Google search results instead of through the display network. To get started, copy one of your search campaigns and choose a remarketing audience. To add an audience, navigate to the ad group and then choose the “Audience” tab. From there, you will add an “Interests & Remarketing” audience for your RLSA campaign in the same way that you did for your remarketing campaign.

Again, you’ll need to consider what will be most effective for your copy. RLSA allows you to show different search ad copy to those who have already shown an interest in your site. You’ll need to take advantage of this by delivering dynamic ad copy that entices them to click again and revisit your site or landing page.

It’s Your Turn!

Now you’ve got the best practices you need to grow your Google AdWords account to generate more traffic and boost sales. Be sure to choose the strategies above that make the most sense for your business based on your goals and objectives.

With these tips as a starting point, you’ll be on your way to scaling your account like a Google AdWords agency in no time!



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5 Ways to Keep Your Social Media Team Motivated This Summer

Summer is upon us, which means your social media team has a barrage of big days like Father’s Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day to plan content around.

During this busy season, social media teams are tasked with generating a wealth of new content on short deadlines, responding to hundreds of comments, and being available to tackle last-minute requests for posts on evenings and weekends.

How do you help your team stay motivated when you know you’re asking a lot?

Here are a few simple tips for equipping your team to do their best work during a challenging time.

social-media-team-motivation

Bring the Entire Team on Deck

You hired (or outsourced) your rockstar social team because they’re great at what they do, but even they can benefit from some fresh perspective from time to time.

In fact, the majority of social teams are comprised of just one to three people.

Don’t be afraid to invite other team members to brainstorm sessions to foster new ideas and ways of thinking if your small, overworked social team is feeling the threat of burnout.

Some companies choose to adopt an all-employee social media strategy, providing incentives to encourage all employees to post about work on their personal feeds.

Whether or not you choose to take it this far, a few new faces around the brainstorming table could push your social team in new and innovative directions at a time when they really need it.

Make Shut-Eye a Social Media Team Priority

Over the course of one month, five percent of adults admitted to falling asleep while driving in 2015. It’s not a stretch to say that sleep deprivation is a widespread issue across the U.S. right now.

Plus, the myriad consequences of being sleep deprived can have measurable effects in the workplace.

Far from just being drowsy, overtired employees are more prone to irritability and shorter attention spans—far from ideal during the demanding summer season.

Excessive stress during busy times for the company can trigger insomnia for some, which leads to fatigue and reduced productivity during the day, starting a cycle of sleep deprivation and sub-par performance.

Whether your team’s poor sleep habits are directly related to work or not, reminding your team to make healthy sleep habits a priority can help ensure that inadequate sleep doesn’t impact their ability to create quality content.

Have a Laugh or Two

When your social media team has a lot on their plate, team bonding and other downtime activities often fall by the wayside in favor of longer hours and truncated small talk.

In fact, it’s during these times you should be striving to maintain and strengthen your team’s bonds. Though you may not have as much flexibility, you can still encourage your team to come up for air from time to time.

Staying on trend is a huge part of your social team’s job, and if they spend all of their time responding to comments and creating content solo, they won’t be exposed to new ideas.

A simple discussion about a new restaurant or a weekend getaway could foster the spark of creativity needed for another round of rich, relevant content.

Plus, researchers have found that laughing as a team fosters bonding and feelings of contentment, with laughter-filled meetings leading to “more productivity and more innovative solutions.”

Take a Look at the Big Picture

Spending hours editing and fine-tuning individual posts can leave your social media team struggling to understand how those smaller tasks are impacting the business can be difficult, especially when more demanding workloads reduce communication.

Be sure to take the time to let your team know how social campaigns and strategy fit into broader marketing and overall goals for the company, and try to remind them that they’re making a difference as individuals and as a part of a team.

A sense of being valued, especially for new or smaller role team members who may feel their contributions are nominal, is a powerful one.

Recognize Your Social Media Team

On small social media teams with loosely defined roles and the expectation that everyone will “pitch in,” the importance of communication and recognition is paramount to employee motivation.

Starting from as far up in the organization as possible, effective communication helps everyone stay on the same page, even when the workload is heavy.

By recognizing your hard-working social media team, you can solidify a sense of appreciation for teams both among their peers, who may not know just how much they’ve been doing, and upper management.

Pushing through a summer heavy on social demands doesn’t have to leave you with drained and overworked team members.

With a few simple strategies, you can equip your social team with what they need to stay creative and focused through a tough time of the year.

Challenge yourself to address your team’s needs, and you’ll all reap the benefits.

How do you motivate your social media team? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Unifying Data Sources Across the Customer Journey: Key to Seeing the Complete Picture

In the past, online businesses reacted to customer behavior after they moved along the path to purchase. With the release of advanced analytical tools, businesses are now empowered to not only act in a proactive fashion, but they are able to shape customer journeys on the way to purchase in a more active way. Just because the technology is available, doesn’t mean that businesses are using it sufficiently enough. However, those that do are able to shape customer decisions and negate any buying objections in optimizing the path to purchase.

When optimizing the customer journey, which will shape their decisions, it is most effective to get a complete picture to understand the customer’s path from beginning to end. When I talk about the entire customer journey, I’m talking about across the entire spectrum of sources which includes all devices, sessions and touchpoints. This can be quite a complex endeavor, given the plethora of touchpoints and the various channels that are an intrinsic part of that journey.

In order to get this all-encompassing view of the customer journey, you must conduct time-series path analysis. It is imperative to unify all this user event data emanating from multiple platforms such as Marketing (Campaign, email, etc..), CRM, financial and Social Media.

When joined and unified in one place, the highly varied data, representing all customer actions is very valuable when joined together and analyzed. These user actions include, clicking on a registration form, registering, visiting a catalog, viewing specific items, etc…

This new way of analyzing each customer’s action at the granular level in understanding their behavior opens up a world of opportunities for marketers to take this understanding and make wiser, better informed business decisions.

Let’s look at a few examples of how businesses achieve this:

From the First Ad Click to Higher Retention and Conversion
Understanding player behavior is paramount in the world of mobile gaming. Knowing who clicked and installed the game is just the first step of many to understand gamer behavior. Gaming platforms need to have a deep understanding of player behavior and retention to get a leg up on the competition. It really is the primary way to gain an edge in this fiercely competitive industry.

Utilizing advanced analytics, mobile game publishers are empowered to quickly determine which marketing campaigns realized the highest ROI, which ones had the best retention rates and which paying players had the highest conversions. Just understanding these alone shows how essential it is for an online gaming business’ decision-making process. Integrating and unifying all this data from the various sources in one place gives gaming app publishers a holistic view of player behavior.

Straight from the Source(s)
Appsflyer, a company that measure mobile app attribution is an example of a source that releases campaign data. From this one source alone, businesses can understand which signup channels drove the most mobile revenue. Going further, mobile app publishers can conduct cohort analysis in analyzing the retention rate of groups of users, segmented by signup campaigns.

Gaming app publishers can utilize these insights to further optimize marketing campaigns by focusing on social media channels to promote their apps, instead of relying on mobile ad or in-app campaigns. Cohort analysis is another way they can determine which marketing campaigns increased player retention.

Page Views and Clicks –> Better Content Optimization
Content’s success is primarily determined by the number of shares. In media and publishing platforms this is paramount. When you have the ability to measure shares, it will bring you insight into the types of articles. channels, topics and campaigns that are successful and that should be further optimized.

For instance, once marketers see which of their posts had the highest share rates from both direct (60%) and Facebook (11%) traffic, they’ll be empowered to know on which channels they should concentrate their efforts.

Focusing on the Most Valuable Customers Optimizes Revenue Performance
The combining of financial data such as customer payment methods, number of items purchased, and returned items with behavioral data is critical in understanding how impactful are your marketing campaigns. You’ll be positioned to know the success of an eCommerce 20% off campaign if you can see that a large portion of your customers ended up returning the items purchased a short time later.

For example, industry experts agree that the data says a large chunk of returns are a product of improper sizing when it comes to apparel. With that in mind, high return rates might be the impetus for businesses to offer detailed sizing charts with guidelines on how to choose the proper size. Upon offering this chart and guidelines to their customers, businesses may notice a significant decrease in returns while realizing an overall spike in revenue. Via the integration of payment with marketing campaign data, businesses would be poised to focus on identifying problems before they spiral out of control and begin focusing on the customers that will bring them long-term value.

The Customer Journey: A Holistic View
Businesses which succeed in gaining a full and comprehensive understanding of the customer journey have a bright future ahead. It’s not just understanding it. It’s about understanding the customer journey better than their competitors.

Let’s look at a survey from 2015 that still holds true today. Based on the feedback by national US advertisers, top performers were those that:

• Gained a full understanding of the customer journey better than their peers.
• Were bound to a better process for analyzing user data, gaining insights and applying those insights in improving marketing performance.

A comprehensive understanding of the entire customer journey across all devices, touchpoints, sessions and platforms will give businesses all the insights they need to compete.



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When Is the Right Time to Break the Credit Card Chain? Try Never.

Mediamodifier / Pixabay

A cardinal rule when it comes to online subscription sales: Never cancel a subscription order because a payment card transaction fails.

Cards are declined for many reasons. They expire, they get stolen, they fall out of back pockets, and, yes, customers often exceed their spending limits. But breaking the chain of transactions with a customer will break your bottom line.

Fortunately, decision makers who are facing recurring payment failures can implement certain strategies that will allow them to continue shipping and that will ensure high lifetime customer value.

Issuers Make Transactions Complex

Generally, there are only three categories of cards — credit, debit, and prepaid or gift cards — but there are many more issuers, networks, and banks that add layers of intricacies to card transactions. To add insult to injury, the credit industry operates on its own timetable driven by payrolls, interbank transactions, and clearing schedules.

Each card transaction is effectively either making a withdrawal from a customer’s bank account or stored balance or taking out a loan, and timing is everything in regard to the accessibility of funds or available credit.

Subscription operators have an advantage in knowing their customers’ habits and performance over time better than the payment card networks and banks. Savvy operators can use their combined customer knowledge and awareness of payment industry cycles to maximize returns from shipments and collections.

Attempts at Fraud Slow Service

Not everything is coming up roses for subscription services, though. Subscription services deal exclusively with situations in which the card is absent, which leads to more fraud. For subscription businesses, most fraud attempts occur during the initial enrollment transaction, so many systems need built-in screening at this stage.

Bad things can happen to good payment cards. They are lost, stolen, and hacked. A 2016 study by Javelin Strategy and Research found that 15.4 million U.S. consumers suffered identity theft in 2016, amounting to $16 billion. Identity theft totals have reached close to $112 billion in the past six years.

Two key markers for subscription fraud are high transaction volumes and rapid reuse of a payment card, which often are associated with either the same IP address or a small number of delivery addresses. Tracking use patterns of cards and scanning for potential telltale markers can be an effective fraud screen.

Perseverance Pays Off

Multiple payment card processors exist, and they all have their own strengths. Many providers focus solely on payment card billing. Decision makers typically use one of these companies and let its business rules decide what happens at each step. Thinking through your business rules critically and adjusting as necessary is essential for cultivating high lifetime customer value.

If a card is declined, many e-commerce companies stop at the initial stage of the payment life cycle: the order stage, or when the card is first enrolled. An increasing number of subscription businesses continue to the “recycling” stage but quit there if a recycled card still fails to authorize.

However, several powerful strategies are still available to save the sale after that point. When you’ve already invested your marketing resources, it’s worth fighting for every customer and each extra shipment you can fulfill to lift the lifetime value above the sunk acquisition costs.

The ebb and flow of funds and available credit in the banking and payment card marketplace means a single failed authorization shouldn’t be the end of your efforts to get an authorization and continue to ship to a customer.

Savvy Leaders Don’t Break the Chain

So how does the smart, experienced decision maker handle subscription credit card transactions? Here are three options businesses can use when card authorizations fail:

1. Payment Card Optimization

There are two strategies here. First, card updater services keep cards usable by automatically obtaining updated information or replacement card information — new expiration dates or card numbers — from issuing networks and banks. Second, if cards don’t initially authorize at continuity time, recycling services repeatedly seek an authorization on a schedule in sync with the financial and credit marketplace.

By evaluating decline codes and patterns from the financial institutions, you can optimize recycling strategies tailored to each situation, always adhering to rules established by the networks to avoid chargebacks and excessive fees.

2. Open Billing

If a card still fails to authorize but has successfully transacted many times, some systems also provide for open billing. Open billing allows a product to be shipped to a customer with an invoice and a request for a replacement card.

Clear, concise messaging is essential for this strategy’s success. In addition, business intelligence analysis can determine when and how open billing can be used most profitably.

3. Extending Credit

The decision to send products to reliable customers by extending credit is unique to subscription businesses. It’s rarely used because it can be hard to implement, but subscription companies, contrary to e-commerce and one-shot transactions, have standing relationships with customers and, on the basis of their histories with existing customers, can extend credit.

If a customer has been a reliable payer in the past but has his or her card declined, consider shipping your regular delivery on credit and follow up with gentle dunning messaging to obtain a payment and replacement card. Showing judicious flexibility and faith in customers will build your reputation and grow your business.

Crafting credit card rules and systems that preserve the chain of transactions with each customer will pay off in the long run, particularly in times of increasing fraud and identity theft. A missed transaction in a subscription relationship, and the value of the potential loss of that relationship, is much bigger than just one shipment. Don’t break the chain — think creatively instead.

Need help updating your subscription company’s recurring billing process? Schedule a demo today to see how my company can help.



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7 Effective Ways To Market Your Mobile App

In this post, let’s talk about how you can market your mobile app and get people talking about it.

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Tumblr Updates Safe Mode Filter, Now Allows LGBTQ+ Posts

umblr has fixed the issue about filtering out harmless posts, especially LGBTQ+ content, thru its Safe Mode feature. On Friday, the company recalled how events unfolded since it launched Safe Mode and the immediate backlash it received from its community. It publicly apologized in the blogpost and corrected how its filter handled flagged or hidden […]

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Google adds private medical reports to list of banned material

Soon, and very soon, all private medical reports on Google search page will no longer be available. Bloomberg reports that search engine giant has started removing a new category of online content that contains personal medical records. What this means is that the public will no longer be able to access your private personal record […]

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5 Indicators You Need a Website Redesign & 5 Indicators You Might Not

FirmBee / Pixabay

Thinking of a redesign for your website? The fact that you’re even considering it indicates that something is not going as well as you would like. Your reasons may be rather obvious or they may be more subtle. These first five indicators act as tell-tale signs that your site needs a refresh:

Poor Branding, Logo, and Style

Style is something noticed immediately when someone opens your website. Before reading anything, the user gets a visceral sense of who you are and what you’re about. Your color scheme should be modern, typically with one or two colors that dominate. Fonts should be stylish but not difficult to read. And your branding message should be clear and obvious from the get-go. Don’t try to be fancy or complex with the value you bring.

Boring Layout

Websites used to be laid out like books and newspapers, in block form with boxes and tables – think brochureware. Today, websites are more pleasant to the eye when they are free-flowing with featured areas that stand out, along with large buttons for easy navigation. Remember that a majority of visitors to your website may be using a smartphone or tablet to access it. Your layout should be responsive and easy to view on a variety of devices.

Lack of White Space

Older websites have a tendency to feel cluttered and full. Cramming too much information onto the page has a negative effect and may lead the reader to give up. Feature your most important information at the top of your home page, with the goal of drawing readers in and leading them to scroll down or clicking into another page when they want to read more. There is a classic tendency to want to include everything on your home page. Resist that. It’s like a clothing store putting men, women’s and children’s clothing right at the front door – potential customers would walk in, get overwhelmed and then walk right out.

Difficult to Use

Websites that are not easy to navigate require a great deal of patience. And today’s web visitors are notoriously impatient. In fact, if your website even takes more than two seconds to load, you begin losing users. And if your visitors have to fumble around your site looking for the information they need? They’re likely to give up. Be strategic and thoughtful about any videos, animations or rotating banners you may want on your home page. Your visitors may be gone by the time they load.

Archaic Code or Browser Incompatibility

Websites built more than just a few years ago may have difficulty functioning in today’s internet world. Websites can begin to look slightly “off” with incomplete borders, text that overlaps photos, or other items that simply are out of sync. This may be due to incomplete code or lack of browser testing.

Your website should work well on all browsers, including Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. In addition, it should be equally functional on both PCs and Macs. As mentioned earlier but bears repeating, in this day and age you should also be aiming to make your site mobile-friendly. Be sure the web developer you are working with has the capability to test these aspects.

Indicators Now is Not the Time for a Website Redesign

Honestly, not every company is in the best position for a redesign at any given moment. It may have to do with timing, lack of budget, your company’s goals, or other factors. Here are some reasons that postponing your website redesign might be in your company’s best interest.

Fuzzy Vision

If you aren’t sure where you are headed as a company, waiting might be your best bet. Once your company has declared its vision and goals, then you’ll be more prepared to establish yourself with a clearer online presence. Don’t think your website redesign will bring clarity to poorly defined business goals or strategy.

Lack of Resources

Re-designing a website does not have eat up all your company’s resources. But it will take some. Not only financial resources but also time and energy investments. The timing of a website redesign should fit well into the overall plan of your company’s stage of life. Any of these factors may indicate that you should wait:

  • Restructuring staff
  • Prep for a major industry conference
  • Office remodel or move
  • CRM, ERP or other enterprise system implementation
  • Re-launching your brand

You will need an employee with decision-making authority and possibly a marketing manager or specialist who can load content, build workflows and monitor the new website.

Unclear Target Audience

If you don’t yet know who you are trying to reach, it’s important to figure that out first. Focus on narrowing down your target audience, branding your company, and then redevelop your website when you have these other items in place.

Your Site Looks Good But Isn’t Converting

Simply because you don’t have visitors converting to leads on your site does not mean you need to rebuild what you have. It is possible that your site actually looks and functions fairly well and simply just needs to be restructured with better content. If you’re attracting visitors but not generating more leads that may point to a problem with the content on your website – either the website pages themselves or downloadable content.

You Need Something Else Entirely

If you’ve been through a recent redesign but things still aren’t “clicking,” it is possible that your business just needs something else. You may simply need a CMS (content management system), better content, or a research project to determine who you are reaching. Before assuming that a website redesign is what you need, do a bit of research to make sure the other aspects of your business are in place first. Review the leads you are generating outside of your website and the percentage that convert. See if you can mimic your most successful sales processes on your website to create a digital salesperson for your company.



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6 Non-Technical Ways to Boost Your SEO

Search engine optimization isn’t rocket science—although, to be fair, it can sure seem that way at times. You can get pretty deep into the technical dimensions of SEO, which for small business owners who lack a tech background can be daunting. But here’s the good news: There are some completely non-technical, novice-friendly SEO strategies that can actually have a big impact on your site’s visibility and rankings. In this post, we’ll share just six things you can do to make Google love your site more—no advanced technical training required.

Simple Ways to Ramp Up Your SEO

Make a User-Friendly URL

Sometimes, URLs will default to random strings of letters and numbers—but that’s obviously not very helpful to users (or search bots) trying to determine what the page is about. Make sure each page of your site (and each blog post) has a short and descriptive title—for example, the page where you can learn more about the Grammar Chic content marketing services is http://ift.tt/2sNiIip. Right to the point! Content management systems like WordPress usually make it quite easy to change your URL to whatever you want it to be.

Structure Your Site for Readability

You can enhance user experience (UX) and SEO by designing a website that guides the reader from top to bottom—that is, from headline to call to action. Make sure the headline itself is compelling, and that you break up the content with descriptive section sub-headings. Use bulleted lists when you can.

Place Keywords in Strategic Places

You don’t have to do a lot of complicated math to figure out the desired keyword density for a Web page. Instead, just naturally and judiciously insert keywords in titles, section headings, and meta descriptions, then perhaps once or twice in the content itself. Always make sure they feel natural, not cumbersome to read.

Enrich Your Content

Make sure each page has an image, video, GIF, infographic, or something else to provide added interest. You shouldn’t have just isolated blocks of black-and-white text.

Link to Relevant Resources

Internal linking is key to SEO success. If there are other pages of your site—or blog posts, for that matter—that augment the page in question, include strategic links to them. There’s really no right or wrong number of internal links. We’d just caution you to make sure the links you include really are relevant and helpful.

Encourage Social Sharing

When a piece of online content is shared on social media, that signals to the search algorithms that it’s useful—that is deserves a prominent ranking. Share your own content on social media, but also make sure you enable the social sharing buttons that let others quickly and conveniently share your content. Again, WordPress and other content management systems make this pretty easy.



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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Recent History’s Most Controversial Ads

We’ve made the case for controversial marketing in the past. Campaigns that rise above monotony, trigger a strong emotional response, and drive widespread engagement can experience unprecedented returns on investment. The name of the game—in advertising, as in most aspects of life—is balance. When does the incendiary become scandalous? When does gender targeting become sexist? At what number of Monday bathroom breaks, having already taken five, have you officially taken a sick day?

No matter the medium, these are the questions (the first two, to be sure) we marketers must ask ourselves before embarking on an against-the-grain, or an “out there” campaign. Luckily for us, there are myriad advertisers in recent history for whom abandoning the cookie-cutter has also meant abandoning common sense. Just the same, plenty of campaigns have found the line, toed it deftly, and enjoyed rampant success.

So the question remains: Where is the line? In the embarrassment of controversial ads we examined, we found two lines, delineating three distinct categories. We took the best of the best from each category, and voilĂ :

Most Controversial Ads

The Good

We’re a positive bunch of marketers here at WordStream. Let’s start with a nod to an “iffy” campaign that, in recent history, boasted great results.

Most Controversial Advertisements Recent

You flirted with disaster and came out victorious. Good on ya’.

1. Carl’s Jr.’s “Au Naturel” ft. Charlotte McKinney (2015)

Most Controversial Advertisements Recent Charlotte

Perhaps the most conservative gif that came out of this campaign.

Former CEO Andy Puzder has said that sexy burger ads saved Carl’s Jr. from obsoletion.“If you don’t complain,” he told Entrepreneur, “I go to the head of marketing and say, ‘What’s wrong with our ads?’ Those complaints aren’t necessarily bad for us. What you look at is…sales. And our sales go up.”

Football fans: you remember this one from Super Bowl XLIX. The suggestive looks. The epic lighting. The guy shaving ice who, when Charlotte McKinney walks nudely by, starts shaving ever more distractedly, ever more vigorously.

Most Controversial Ads Ice Shaving

Hopefully though, you noticed something else about Ice Shaving Guy (ISG). He’s wearing a sweater. In fact, all the male voyeurs in this ad are wearing inexplicably warm clothing (on what is ostensibly a sweltering day). They’re also in various stages of cooling—besides ISG, there’s the guy in the flannel, working the hose…

Most Controversial Ads Flannel Guy

and the guy struggling with an inordinate amount of bread (another cooling agent, think about it)…

Most Controversial Ads Bread

Which brings us to the first reason this ad succeeds:

1. Executes a damn good aesthetic

So much of this is about drawing attention, which means creating contrast. For Carl’s Jr., contrast amounts to a pristine-looking McKinney making a collection of rough-and-tumble, overdressed men hot under the collar. It’s tough not to look at this ad and come away with the conviction that the goal here is to objectify Charlotte McKinney. Or that, if we’re being generous, Charlotte McKinney is objectified as a byproduct of the goal. To be clear: we’re not advocating for this. Used mindfully and as a technique, this kind of objectification is morally dubious at best, reprehensible at worst. In terms of efficacy, though, it succeeds because it…

2. Knows its target audience

“We got the attention of this demographic, young hungry guys, which was what our marketing and research department advised us to do.”

Andy Puzder

You can polarize people. You can even viscerally offend people. Just make sure your target audience comes away with the feeling you want it to associate with your product. The rest becomes an exercise in not getting the ad pulled, while simultaneously pushing the aforementioned feeling to its apex. Viewers who are not morally fond of your tactics, but who are in your target demographic (for Carl’s Jr, this writer), will most likely not hold it against your brand, or your product. At the same time, viewers who are more qualified—and, perhaps, less self-aware—may now experience primal arousal at the sight of a Carl’s Third-Pound Thickburger. And what about the Twitter chatter, the rhetorical analyses, the reactionary op-eds?

Most Controversial Ads Headline

These all amount to (free) pyrotechnics in a laser show of fallout publicity. These viewers weren’t going to buy your product (in great quantities) anyway. Now, they’re going to help you sell it.

3. Clear and concise in its message

Here’s an ad that probably could have dropped its slogan and avoided controversy altogether. This Young Hungry Guy remembers being so riveted by the aesthetic (touchĂ©, Carl’s) that he didn’t really appreciate the message until further examination. If you’re not familiar with Charlotte McKinney, she is a model whose proportions could easily be mistaken for having been artificially manipulated, were it not for her notoriety as a model whose proportions have not been artificially manipulated. The slogan of the ad is, “The All-Natural Burger.” Bravo.

Most Controversial Ads Sarcastic Clapping

The Bad

Nationwide’s “Boy” (2015)

Most Controversial Ads Nationwide Boy

Most Controversial Ads Richard Sherman

I couldn’t enjoy the Super Bowl uninterrupted because Nationwide tried to sell me insurance

Affectionately coined “Dead Boy” by the Twitterverse, this Super Bowl ad evoked less shock and outrage than sadness and resentment. Of course, there were some among the 114.4 million viewers for whom sadness spilled over into annoyance:

“Boy” features what we might call an O’Henry ending from hell; think Sixth Sense, without the sense. The eponymous Boy, muss-haired and eager-eyed, spends the ad’s first 30 seconds doing all the things he’ll purportedly “never do”—ride a bike, get cooties, fly—because, spoiler alert (0:28), he’s dead. In terms of why this ad fails, well—that’s mostly all you need to know. But let’s take a closer look.

1. Lazy storytelling

One analogous trope to a “ghost ending”—i.e., just kidding, character is dead—is a dream ending, and think of how annoyed you were the last time you saw one of those (looking at you, Alice in Wonderland). In Alice’s latest iteration, actually (2010, ft. Mia Wasikowska), the writers make some adjustments—Alice awakens from her dream an ever more confident and resolute person. This, as an audience, is what we like in our character arcs—growth, change, revelations, redemptions. Typically though, awakening a character from a dream in a fictive work’s ultimate or penultimate chapter/scene can be terribly off-putting for an audience. “You mean she was dreaming the whole time? What do we make of all that awesome stuff that just happened?”

This is essentially the effect of Dead Boy’s deadness—it’s not earned, and therefore neither is our sympathy. What we’re left with instead is a metaphysical gut-punch—provocation for provocation’s sake, a gross abuse of powerful ad space.

2. Fear-mongering

Most Controversial Ads Trump Fear Monger

If you’re going to appeal to an emotion, don’t prey on it; if you’re going to prey on an emotion, don’t prey on fear—if not for moral assurance, then for no other reason than it’s easily detected and unbecoming (normally). Really though: fear is one of those emotions over which people hold relentless vigil. Think about that friend of yours who, in spite of the ratings, refused to see Get Out because it was partly a horror movie. To what end is our fear being used here? To sell insurance? Come on, Nationwide.

3. Ill-fitting in its ad space

We’ve certainly seen worse examples of this…

Most Controversial Ads Grilling

But this isn’t the Display Network—placement isn’t left to the discretion of keywords and algorithms. It’s the Super Bowl. You know exactly who’s watching it, what kind of mood they are/want to be in, and the general tone of the surrounding ads. So you know that, realistically, your audience may have just finished watching a baby project itself out of its mother’s womb for a bag of Doritos.

Appealing to those viewers who are afraid of losing their children to a freak two-story fall (see above meme: curtains billowing ever-so-subtly out of open window) just isn’t prudent targeting, even if you execute well.

*Bonus incompetence: A word about public statements

If you’re not going to renege and pull the ad, if you’re not going to express public remorse, definitely don’t make yourselves out to be wrongly-vilified altruists:

Most Controversial Ads Nationwide Statement

Matthew Jauchius exited Nationwide a little over two months after making this statement; this after being with the company for nine years. Here’s what we can learn from his demise:

Taking the moral high ground when you’ve already offended millions of people is going to come off condescending—or worse, disingenuous. A public statement should be approached like an attempt at reconciliation with a significant other; your relationship with your audience is just as delicate. Simply put, there’s no winning here. Take the loss, apologize, and move on. You’ve already spent an average of $160,000 per second on Dead Boy’s on-air existence. “We did it for the kids!”

Most Controversial Ads Homer Receding

Nationwide, assuming responsibility

The Ugly

Pepsi’s “Live for Now Moments Anthem” ft. Kendall Jenner

Most Controversial Ads Pepsi Kendall Jenner

We’re going to shred this. But we’re going to try to be measured about it.

So listen: What would you say if I told you that for over 100 years, nearly unencumbered, a brand sold exclusively heart disease, obesity, and otherwise indigestible hoo-ha, sold it well, and then one day, that same brand tried to remarket itself as the solution the single biggest social injustice that occurred in all 100+ years of its unexamined thriving? Hubris? Never happened? Nothing could be worse than peddling heart disease?

Hubris indeed! We were willing to leave Pepsi well-enough alone until the prodigal daughter of the family “famous for being famous” reached out a well-manicured hand and pseudo-satiated the Black Lives Matter movement. Let’s not throw stones from afar, though. 3 reasons this ad fails:

1. Brand vanity

Who else but Pepsi would have the clout to take on social inequality? Seemingly an answer to Coca-Cola’s 1971 “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” (created by Don Draper, don’t tell us otherwise), the Jenner ad can also be viewed as an example of brand insecurity—i.e.,“Coke took a crack at the iconic, why not us?” Thing is, harmonious hilltop singing doesn’t quite aspire to the level of social action that Pepsi’s going for. Perhaps if the singing had been directed at a collection of anti-Vietnam protesters, and had they been thus appeased, Pepsi would have had an apt model.

2. Tone deaf

Even an ad with a completely nuanced understanding of contemporary social movements can seem like it’s pandering (and it probably is). That’s why, if you’re going to appropriate these movements, you better nail the tone. The protesters in this ad, even before Jenner breaks the ice, are smiling and dancing. You know, the stuff you’ve come to expect from Black Lives Matter rallies/protests.

Really, though: if that’s how you want your ad to look, and if we’re going to think in terms of monetizing movements: can’t we think of a more celebratory, less violent one than this? It’s as if the people at Pepsi just went with what was topical (not the worst strategy, generally, though here, clearly, it is).

Most Controversial Ads Pepsi Berkeley Riot

A man attempting to break up a riot with a Pepsi.

3. Didn’t get a second opinion

It has come out, since the ad’s inception, that all of the members of the creating body were white. Assembling a collection of like-minded individuals is no way to do anything creative, but especially if you have concerns about marginalizing or offending a portion of your audience: get second, and third, and fourth opinions, and get them from an eclectic range of creatives. Otherwise…

Most Controversial Ads Seesaw

ROI vs. production cost



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Friday, 23 June 2017

A to Z about mobile apps [Infographic]

A to Z about mobile apps [Infographic]. 4 billion mobile phone connections and nearly 80% of the world's population is served by terrestrial GSM networks.

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6 Extensions to Broaden Your AdWords Reach

FirmBee / Pixabay

More and more, marketers are blurring the division between paid and organic reach—often marrying content marketing with PPC in order to claim larger sections of online real estate. For instance, a focus on content marketing can lead to more organic search listings, while an AdWords campaign will land you further visibility at the top and along the margins of the SERP. It’s only through using both strategies in tandem that you can truly dominate the search listings.

Something else to consider: Some AdWords ads take up more of that online real estate than others. By making an ad bigger, you can actually increase your visible dominance of the SERP—and also increase the odds of people clicking the ad. The way to make your ads bigger is to take advantage of AdWords extensions.

These extensions come in different types, but they all do basically the same thing—they make your ads bigger. So which ones should you be using in your AdWords campaign? Allow us to highlight six of the most essential and versatile AdWords extensions.

AdWords Extensions You Should Be Using

Sitelink Extensions

Rather than just including one link within your ad, this extension will allow you to showcase up to five—your regular link, then four extras. You can pick a unique description for each link, too, and the cumulative effect is a single AdWords listing that looks like five separate ads! There’s really no better way to expand the reach of your paid Google ads.

Location Extensions

This option will automatically display your physical address to customers who happen to be nearby—so, it’s a really good option for brick and mortar businesses looking to increase their foot traffic.

Call Extensions

Display your phone number in your ads—allowing search engine users to give you a call without even needing to click on the ad.

Callout Extensions

If you’re running an ad for a particular product, this extension will allow you to highlight some of its key features; you’ll need to practice brevity, but the extension will let you pick out a few keywords or phrases to include in the ad, forming a list of benefits for your reader to consider.

Price Extensions

Include the prices of your services and products within the ad itself—a great option for companies whose affordability is a key selling point.

Review Extensions

If you’ve received rave reviews from reputable blogs or magazines, you can showcase that feedback with a review extension—a powerful way to build credibility and trust.



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Smart Ways to Skip Social Trace without Upsetting the Consumer Protection Acts

Smart Ways to Skip Social Trace without Upsetting the Consumer Protection Acts. Do not leave public messages on your client’s social media profile.

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Win Over Your Brand Audience Despite the Rise of Ad Blockers

Unsplash / Pixabay

A few years ago ad blockers began to emerge which has greatly impacted the number of visitors and subscribers on a brand website. Since Google has updated algorithm and new apps have emerged these important online relationships have dwindled. The good news is there are a few non-intrusive ways to encourage people to stay on your website and engage.

Today it is much harder to connect with the audience on a personal brand’s website when there are too many ads. By implementing a few strategies your brand can start growing your audience again.

How can your brand effectively change its advertising approach and bring back more subscribers? Through reminders, ad placement, and daily follow-up.

Use these strategies to help facilitate growth again without being intrusive on your audience:

How to build a strong website with ads

The following steps are things your personal brand can start doing today with better results.

  • Find out who your visitors are – Conduct target market research to determine exactly who is coming to your website and how many are leaving, especially due to advertising. Through this data, you can discover whether they are using ad blockers. If this is the case, your brand can install a simple message to encourage them to turn this off as some users may not even realize they have this installed.
  • Request your website to be whitelisted – Approach your visitors with a simple, clear, and direct message with a reminder for them to “allow ads.” It’s important that you offer them something of value in your content and products or services to encourage them to whitelist your website.
  • Make it easy for the end user – Remove any hindrances to visitors coming to your website — especially for mobile users. Know exactly where ads should be placed for all devices, including computers or laptops. Run a speed test to determine whether your pages are loading too slow as this can lead to people turning away as quickly as they arrive.

Taking the time to assess your brand’s website means investing some time and effort, but the payoff is great as you begin to see an increase in subscribers and sales. Stay up to date with the latest changes on Google in order to avoid any conflicts with their policies, and pay attention to how many ads are being placed on your landing page.



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Why Marketers Should Embrace Cross-Device Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

Unlike in the past when consumers used to browse the internet from the PC only, these days the average consumers switches from device to device on a daily basis. This is what is known as cross-device consumption. According to Marketing Land, the typical consumer now owns 3.6 internet-connected devices.

Cross Device Marketing Statistics and Trends

Infographic source

Therefore, marketers have to find ways to keep pace with customers. Although doing so isn’t easy, it is the only way to engage the customer throughout the customer journey. As consumers engage brands using cross-devices, they create fragmented identities within each platform. That is why some marketers end up lacking a connected view of their customers.

Some of the questions that you need to ask yourself include: is your customer’s journey with your brand on multiple devices a smooth journey? Is their experience the same whether they engage your brand via desktop, tablet, smartphone or offline? Do you know your customers and how they normally interact with your brand across multiple devices?

In other words, online purchases occur whenever it is most convenient for the customers. Perhaps this explains why online purchases have been on a steady rise and it is projected to hit 43% of retail purchase by the year 2020.

So what does this mean?

It simply means that if you do not take care of cross-device marketing then you might end up losing nearly 50% of your online traffic. It also means that you may not be able to accurately monitor your customer’s online behaviors.

Cross-device monitoring offers a more accurate picture of the customer journey by gaining insights into the online behaviors of your consumers. This helps marketers to understand their customers more deeply.

Cross-Device Tracking makes it easy to deliver the right messages to consumers

It is important for marketers to gain accurate insight into cross-device tendencies of consumers because one is able to know how consumers are interacting. Therefore, cross-device tracking will add granularity to your marketing spend analytics.

Cross-device tracking increases

Although 81% of markers claim they understand their customers, only 38% of consumers agree with this. According to PRNewsWire, 85% of customers expect personalized content from marketers. What this means is that only by engaging cross-device tracking will you be able to understand your customers. the good news is that 90% of digital marketers understand that cross-device identification is an important part of digital marketing because cross-device marketing increases conversions and brand engagement.



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Google My Business Tips and Tricks: What You Need to Know

What would you do if someone told you there is a completely free tool that can almost instantly help your business gain more visibility in Google search? We bet you’d jump right on it. In reality, however, many business owners are missing the proverbial boat.

The tool we’re talking about is called Google My Business. It’s not that business owners are outright neglecting to use it. The problem is Google has not done a great job promoting it, and an even worse job communicating how it works and why it’s beneficial to businesses.

In this post, we aim to clear all of that up by explaining what Google My Business is, and how it can be used to market your business in search results. Even if you’re already familiar with Google My Business, it’s likely you’ll learn something new about the platform you didn’t already know. Let’s get right to it.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a platform designed to help put local businesses on the map – literally. Information contained in a Google My Business page is used to build a local business’s listing in Google Maps and Google Search. It replaced the much more confusing Google+ Local and Google Places in 2014. Instead of having multiple platforms for managing local businesses on Google, the company streamlined the process with the introduction of GMB. Having a GMB listing essentially makes it easier for searchers to find your business on Google.

Anyone can create a GMB listing for their business, people can even create listings for other businesses, but in order for it to be “official, ” the listing needs to be verified. That requires going through a verification process. The verification process usually involves Google sending a postcard to the business address with a unique code for the owner to input confirming they are in fact managing the listing.

Creating a GMB listing is as simple as going to this landing page and following the prompts. You will, of course, need to have a Google account if you don’t already have one. If there already happens to be a GMB listing for your business, you can “claim” it by going through the aforementioned verification process.

Google My Business has come a long way from the comparatively basic version we saw when it first launched. With the addition of new features, and access to valuable insights, it has evolved from being “nice to have” to “must have.”

In the next sectio, we will go over the updates rolled out to Google My Business over the past few years. By the end, you’ll be fully up-to-date on what you can do with GMB.

Google My Business: Latest Updates and New Features

Google My Business Introduces Photo Galleries

When Google My Business first launched in June 2014, it barely had the ability to display photos. It would take the cover photo from your Google+ business page and use it as the only photo displayed in search results. In February 2015, Google not only introduced the option to customize the photo displayed in Search, it introduced the ability to add multiple galleries of photos. Now you can upload identity photos, interior photos, exterior photos, photos at work, team photos, and any other additional photos you want to show off.

Mobile App

In September 2015, Google released a mobile app for editing your Google My Business listing. The app is available for Android and iOS, and gives business owners the ability to add, edit, or delete information. You can also use the app to upload photos on the fly, which is incredibly useful since there’s likely more phones being used to take pictures these days than actual cameras.

More Options for Business Hours

In November 2015, Google My Business introduced the option to set “special hours” for your business. For example, if your business is closed for a holiday, you can set special hours indicating your business is closed on that particular day. Setting special hours will indicate in search results that your business is closed on a day when it would otherwise be open.

Close And/Or Reopen A Business

In December 2015, Google My Business made it possible to mark a location as permanently closed. With a location being marked as permanently closed, searchers who find your listing won’t end up visiting your business only to find out it’s no longer there. The change isn’t actually “permanent,” however, as there is also the option to reopen a business listing should things happen to change.

Google My Business Introduces Analytics Insights

When we said GMB was basic when it first launched, we meant it. It didn’t even have analytics functionality, which meant business owners had no idea how much traffic their page was getting. It wasn’t until August 2016 that Google rolled out analytics for GMB. That means business owners can now see how many views their page is getting, where visitors are coming from, and how they discovered the page.

More specifically, in addition to overall traffic, business owners can now learn how much traffic is coming from Google Search and how much is coming from Google Maps. GMB insights will also track how many people found your page by searching for your business name, and how many people found it by typing in a related keyword.

Multiple Owners for One Listing

In September 2016, Google introduced the ability to add multiple owners to a single Google My Business listing. Current owners of a listing can send invitations to others and designate them as either an owner or a manager. The key difference between the two roles is an owner has the ability to add other owners and/or managers, while managers cannot. Learn how to add other owners or managers to your page in Google’s help center article.

Bulk Editing of Business Information

In November 2016, Google My Business rolled out an improved editor that includes the ability to bulk edit multiple listings. This feature is available to people who manage 10 or more listings. Bulk editing is accomplished in two different ways. You can either download a spreadsheet of your locations, edit information as necessary, and re-upload the spreadsheet. Or you can edit multiple listings from the GMB dashboard by clicking the checkboxes next to the locations you want to edit and clicking the pencil icon. You can learn more about bulk editing in Google’s help center article.

Email Notifications

Also in November 2016, Google My Business added the option to receive email notifications. Business owners can now receive notifications when customers upload new photos to a listing or leave a new review. Notifications can also be sent whenever Google rolls out new updates to the GMB platform, and Google may also send notifications reminding business owners to keep their listings up to date.

Insights for Photos

In December 2016, photo insights were added to Google My Business. With this addition, business owners can now see how many views their photos received over a period of time. In addition, photo views can also be compared against “businesses like you.” Now you can see how your photos are faring against competitors. Google doesn’t list the names of the competitors you’re being compared against, but at least you can get a general idea of how appealing your photos are in comparison to similar businesses.

Unique Attributes

Also in December 2016, Google rolled out the ability to add unique attributes to your business listing. This could include indicating your location has free Wi-Fi, offers outdoor seating, whether or not it’s wheelchair accessible, or a myriad of other amenities to choose from.

Virtual Offices Not Allowed for Service-Area Businesses

In February 2017, Google My Business made a significant change to its guidelines. GMB pages are no longer allowed to be used for service-area businesses with a virtual office. That means if you run a cleaning company that services a specific geographic area, for example, you can’t create a GMB listing if you run the business out of your home. GMB listings for service-area businesses can only be created if the business has a central office that is staffed during the specified business hours. If you feel like this is unfair to businesses with virtual offices you’re not alone, as the change created a lot of controversy at the time.

Google Makes it Easier to Reclaim Your Listing

In March 2017, Google made it easier for business owners to reclaim ownership of their GMB listing. Small businesses can barely find enough time in a day to run their day-to-day operations, let alone have time for anything else. It’s certainly not uncommon for business owners hand over the reins of their online marketing to an outside agency. Sometimes, if the business relationship goes sour, the agency may refuse to cooperate with the business owner. That could include refusing to transfer ownership of the GMB listing back to the rightful owner.

Previously, if that was the case, it would take a considerable amount of time to resolve the conflict. Google has since automated the process of conflict resolution for GMB listings. Now, business owners can just fill out a simple form. Google will then review the submission and have the issue resolved within 7 days or less.

Google My Business Starts Reporting on Returning Customers

In April 2017, new insights were added to Google My Business showing business owners how much of their foot traffic is made up of repeat customers. The data is gathered using the same method used to collect the ‘Popular Times’ data. It’s collected anonymously from users who have opted into Google Location History. That means Google is now able to track when the same person visits a location more than once.

Add Links to Off-Site Attributes

Also in April 2017, Google introduced the ability to add URLs in your listing that point to pages outside of the GMB ecosystem. If you own a restaurant and have the menu published on your website, for example, you can now include a link to the menu in your GMB listing.

Create a Free Mobile-Optimized Website For Your Business

In June 2017, Google released a free website builder for small businesses that is connected to the Google My Business platform. Having a GMB listing is essential, but it can only take you so far. To get your business to the next level you need to be driving traffic to your very own website. One of the basic expectations of customers today is to search for a business and find their website. Unfortunately, according to Google, 60% of small businesses worldwide still do not have one.

Google is trying to rectify that problem with the release of a simple, one-page website builder. Using the tool, Google will automatically create a website using the information in your GMB listing. From there you can customize it with different templates, as well as add additional text and photos. To be sure, it is not a perfect solution. It lacks many of the elements we believe are necessary for a website to be properly search engine optimized. However, it is arguably better than not having a website at all. Think of it as a stepping stone toward investing in a more full-featured website in the future.

Conclusion

Now you’re completely caught up with everything you can do on the Google My Business platform. As you have learned by now, it is miles ahead of what it was when it was first introduced three years ago. As we said at the beginning of this post, it is a must have for every local business.

Whenever we begin working with a new client, one of the first things we check for is whether or not they have a verified Google My Business listing. If they don’t, we make it our priority to create one and keep it regularly updated.

If you don’t have a GMB listing – what are you waiting for? You have all the resources you need here in this post. If you do have a GMB listing, get the most out of it by reviewing the latest features and ensuring your page is up-to-date.

If you have any questions about anything we covered in this post, please leave a comment down below.



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Facebook Rolls Out New Tools for Group Admins

acebook has rolled out a new set of tools for Group admins–now with more than one billion monthly active users–to improve its functionality. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the set of new admin tools at the company’s first Communities Summit in Chicago. Group Insights The social networking giant added a feature allows Group […]

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