Business as Unusual: How to Communicate Your New and Updated Services with Google My Business

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Posted by ktaing Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, business owners have had to move quickly to make drastic changes in their services to meet searchers’ new needs in a continuously unpredictable landscape. While “Near me” searches saw a slight drop in early 2020, since then, have maintained a steady increase, further solidifying the need for brands and businesses of all sizes to be present and discoverable online. During the pandemic, almost a third of shoppers have purchased from a brand that’s new to them . In this article, we’ll explore tactics for surfacing your new or updated services digitally to guide and convert these new searchers during their decision-making process. What types of questions are searchers asking? How can I do business with you? When thinking about your Google My Business profile and adjustments to your information, the most important element is informing searchers how they can do business with you. You’ll want to ensure all of your core location data is updated. This includes marking whether or not you’re temporarily closed . If you’re open, you should have the most accurate operating hours published. Furthermore, you should make it as easy as possible for searchers to get in contact with you if they have any questions. This includes making sure your phone number is accurate, monitoring your Q&A; section on Google My Business, and enabling messaging if you have the staff to respond. These are all methods that make customers feel connected to you, which will encourage them to convert and purchase from you. What type of safety precautions are you taking with your customers and staff? The health and safety of customers and employees is top of mind for all searchers. As a business, this information should be front and center so potential customers can understand how important this is to your organization. It should be incredibly clear to anyone looking to engage with your business what types of safety precautions and protocols you’re following, and how this could impact their trip to your business or the delivery of your services. These should include things like social distancing measures which may result in long lines, mask requirements, etc. Surfacing this information as early as possible makes the decision to do business with you that much easier. What types of services are you offering, and are these different than normal? Businesses and consumers have had to …

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Operating During COVID-19: Helpful Tips for Local Businesses

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Posted by MiriamEllis Local businesses know better than any other model what it means to fully participate in community life. You are the good neighbors who are there to serve, inspire, and sustain the people and traditions that make your town a unique and enjoyable place to call home. As we explore this topic of what local businesses can do during the COVID-19 pandemic, I want to honor all that you have always done to take care of your community as a local business owner or marketer. Thank you. In this article, you will find local SEO tips that could make a difference for your business in the coming weeks, innovative resources for support, advice from my own tight-knit community of some of the world’s best local SEOs, and some serious thinking about building a better local future. Adhere to all regulations First and foremost, start each day with a …

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Top 10 Changes That Impacted Google My Business in 2020

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Posted by ColanNielsen 2020 has been a busy year for Google My Business (GMB). Since January, Google has launched new features, fixed bugs, and had to adapt to the global pandemic. At Sterling Sky, we think it’s important to keep track of all the changes that happen in the local search space in general, and that impact GMB specifically. So far in 2020 we are up to 54 changes. As you can tell, changes that impact Google My Business came at a fast pace — and at high volume — in 2020. In this post, I highlight the changes I think were most important in each month of this year, so far. For an exhaustive list of all the updates that have been made, check out this timeline . January: Google posts borked — hello, 2020! Foreshadowing things to come, GMB started off the year with a major issue in …

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2021 Local SEO Success: Expert Tips & Predictions

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Posted by MiriamEllis “We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh , Buddhist teacher Image credit: Maulvi My warm New Year’s greetings to all local business owners and local SEOs reading my column today. Add to this my sincere sentiments of solidarity for what we went through together in 2020 — we won’t soon forget it, and our stories from the journey contain important teachings for our market and industry. I often find that the best local SEO takeaways sprout from the real-world anecdotes of colleagues and friends, and you’ll find those here today along with my personal predictions for the year ahead. Let’s get learning! Teachings from the real lives of local SEOs In a year when we were physically distant from one another in unprecedented ways, I’ve found memorable lessons in how local business owners broke down barriers to keep communities connected. …

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Google My Business: FAQ for Multiple Businesses at the Same Address

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Posted by MiriamEllis How should I get listed in Google My Business if I’ve got multiple businesses at the same address? How many listings am I eligible for if I’m legitimately running more than one business at my location? What determines eligibility, and what penalties might I incur if I make a mistake? How should I name my businesses at the same address? The FAQs surrounding this single, big topic fill local SEO forums across the web, year after year. The guidelines for representing your business on Google contain most of the answers you’re seeking about co-located businesses, but sometimes they can err on the side of too little detail, leading to confusion. Today, Iet's quickly tackle the commonest FAQs that local business owners and marketers raise related to this scenario, and if you have further questions, please ask in the comments! Q: I have more than one business at …

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17 ways PPC can help your business survive economic crisis

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People are clicking, but are they buying? WHEN will they buy? Are they buying too much too fast? When will stores reopen and foot traffic resume? Consumer demand is evaporating for some businesses, while others may be unable to fulfill orders due to supply chain disruptions or shipping challenges. Dynamics shift daily, if not hourly. Now some good news: Search marketing is adaptable, measurable, and when done correctly, cost effective. Even with shifting data models, PPC pros can use timely trends to guide strategic decisions. COVID dashboards Tinuiti has created a useful dashboard that provides a look at trends in paid Facebook media since the pandemic took hold. It requires you to sign up (free, with your email) and offers insights into media spend by key verticals. Tinuiti advertising spend tracker shows changes in ad spend week over week and month over month. The dashboard is regularly updated with week-on-week …

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How Your Local Business Can Be a Helper

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Posted by MiriamEllis “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers This quote is one I find myself turning to frequently these days as a local SEO. It calls to mind my irreplaceable neighborhood grocer. On my last essential run to their store, they not only shared a stashed 4-pack of bath tissue with me, but also stocked their market with local distillery-produced hand sanitizer which I was warned will reek of bourbon, but will get the job done. When times are hard, finding helpers comes as such …

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The State of Local SEO: Experts Weigh in on Industry-Specific Tactics

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Posted by MiriamEllis The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the way we engage with local businesses. We're ordering more food for delivery, spending more money in online shops, and checking for safety measures on the web listings of businesses of all kinds. But what do these new trends mean for the ways businesses market themselves online? We asked five local SEO experts to zero in on the trends and tactics businesses across five industries should focus on to get ahead — and stay ahead — during this time. For more local insights, download our State of Local SEO Industry Report . 1. 70% of local marketers reported marketing budget cuts due to COVID-19, leading marketers to focus even more on the most impactful local SEO campaign elements. Which three local search marketing tactics are delivering the most value for businesses right now, and why? Phil Rozek : Health and Wellness Services …

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The Local SEO Stats & Practical Tactics of Google’s Top-Ranked Grocery Stores

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Posted by MiriamEllis Grocery stores belong at the center of the 2021 local SEO industry conversation. Other than medical facilities, no enterprise stands out more clearly on the map as essential to daily life in the US, and few verticals have had to adapt more rapidly in mid-flight than our neighborhood food stores in the COVID-19 era. From independent grocers to major supermarket chains, there are heroes in every aisle keeping the nation fed. Any data that supports the strong continuance of these businesses is well worth sharing. In this article, I’ll provide results from 900 data points I pulled while analyzing the top local-pack-ranked grocery store in each of the 50 US capital cities. I’ll also summarize the practical tactics I’ve learned from listening to grocers and their marketers, highlighting how they’re adapting and succeeding in unprecedented times. It’s my hope that both in-house and agency grocery marketers will …

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Practical tips to transition your ecommerce business in the second half of 2020

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30-second summary: The idea of flexible pricing is to ensure sales, and it’s easier to make sales by selling products at the lowest price. However, your goal should be to find a price at which consumer purchasing friction is low, and the profit margin is fair enough. Leveraging perpetual inventory management software for inventory accounting is ideal for ecommerce sites. It will keep you up to speed about the sale and purchases of goods and items. Be it a loyal customer or a new customer, ecommerce stores need to ensure that every customer passes through the same authentication steps with no exceptions. Employing AI and Machine Learning algorithms could help in this case. If you haven’t got a chatbot for your business, then this is the time to get one. You can get a chatbot builder or take the help of an agency to construct a bespoke chatbot to drive …

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Third-party vs. In-house Delivery: A Guide to Informed Choice

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Posted by MiriamEllis   Image credit: Robert Couse-Baker Before all else, gratitude to every delivery person, whether in-house or third party, doing the essential work of keeping households safer and supplied in these times. I’m dedicating today’s column to the manager of a nearby Sprouts grocery store who personally drove my order to my door when an Instacart driver just couldn’t get the job done. If your business or clients are weighing whether to fulfill delivery in-house or partner with a third party, my small experience is an apt footnote to the huge, emergent debate over last-mile fulfillment options. I’d searched all over town for scarce potatoes, finally arranging by phone with the local Sprouts market to hold their last two bags for me one morning, and texting the Instacart driver about where the spuds were being held. Next: For whatever reason, the driver chose not to retrieve them, …

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