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The Power of Positive Reviews on Local SEO

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People are very interested in business and product reviews these days. It’s the reality of doing business online in this modern world and it will only become a bigger part of our purchasing habits as we advance and shop remotely. What this means for you as a business is it’s time to realize the importance of online reputation management.

Online reputation management is a way for you to manage and respond to user customer reviews online through various channels such as Google+ and Facebook. It can be hard to keep an eye on all of your reviews, but for the welfare of your business reputation, it’s a good idea to dedicate a portion of your time to it, or ask your team to monitor reviews on a regular basis. Unfortunately, you are at the mercy of your customers/reviewers because you can’t edit what they say, however, you can control how you interact and respond to them, particularly negative reviews.

Research suggests Google gives higher scores to businesses with more reviews and higher ratings, especially when it comes to local search results. Again, Google’s intention is to show the most relevant information to users, so why wouldn’t they want to put forth the best local options with the best customer ratings?

What should you do if you get a negative review? Respond to it in a professional manner. It’s important for your ratings and local SEO, but more importantly, for your reputation – online and offline. Good customer service can make or break a company’s reputation, we already know that. But taking the time to respond to a negative review with a sincere response can actually turn the situation into something positive. Prospective customers who read your response may really appreciate how you dealt with the situation. No company is perfect, but you can make a positive out of something negative if it’s handled properly.

How can you get more positive reviews? Ask your happy customers to review their experience on the spot. One way to do that is to include a link to your business’ review page, such as Google+, Yelp, Facebook or other. Include those links in the checkout experience, or in an email, or text message. You can also add the links in a thank you or confirmation email.

Unless you put it out there, your customers may not even know you have review pages. Satisfied customers are typically more than happy to share their experiences with others online, so take advantage of their generosity.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #CustomerReviews #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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How to Get your Business on Google Maps

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In order for your business to appear on Google Maps, you need to claim your business at Google My Business (or Bing Places), and fill in the details about who you are, what you sell, or where you provide service.

In Google My Business, you will need to add information such as your correct company name, business categories, operating hours, website address, photos, phone numbers and address. Some of those edits are audited by Google because they want to make sure the information you entered is reliable and true.

Once your information is approved, you can see it on the map by clicking “View on Search,” or “View on Maps” to verify. But if you didn’t select the right business category, you won’t appear on the right search result pages, so choose carefully and only select categories that apply to you. For example, if you own a pizza delivery place, don’t select a category for eat-in restaurant, because you won’t appear in a search for that category. It’s better to stick with the category that fits the closest description of your business so you can compete in local search rank for that business category.

You can include multiple categories and multiple locations in Google My Business. Maybe you have one location for one service, and another location that offers something different. You can manage multiple locations, each with its own business category that makes the most sense. Note, however, that Google does match your locations and phone numbers to your website, so a fake address won’t sustain visibility on Google Maps if you try to beat the system simply to add more opportunities for your business to be seen.

It’s also important to note that Google knows each user’s physical location, so your business is more likely to show up in a search if you’re close in proximity to that end user.

Next up, we’ll discuss the importance of getting business reviews to boost your local SEO.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #GoogleMyBusiness #GoogleMaps #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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Keywords are Critical for Local SEO Success

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Content is king even when it comes to local SEO. It’s critical to use the right keywords and key phrases in your website content, meta tags and descriptions if you want to be found organically in search engines – which means when someone searches your keywords, your site pops up because Google indexed it, not because you paid for it.

Google indexes a website by “crawling” the site’s content (by what some call a Googlebot or spider) and adding it to the search engine. Basically, it’s fetching the data on the website, and indexing it by the majority keyword(s) it finds within your content, so it can list the website as a relevant source when someone searches for those keywords. The points of a website that will be crawled include the URL (unique resource locator - your address in short), the folder and file names, your meta tags (i.e. meta title and descriptions) along with the main text in the site.

PSPinc’s headquarters is based just outside of Seattle, Washington, so I say let’s test what comes up for local listings when I search, “Seattle best coffee shop.”

Please note: The results will vary depending on your physical location and what device you are using. Your results may also differ depending on whether you’re signed into Gmail or not.

The URLs for the top 3 sites looked like this:


They all contained the keywords “best” “coffee” “shop” and “Seattle” in the URLs. The same keywords were also found within the website content and the page titles as well.

So, when you’re crafting your content be sure to include relevant keywords to your business, but also local keywords -- such as city names or neighborhoods -- within your content in order give yourself a local SEO boost and show up higher in those searches.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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Protect your Business Identity Online

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Once you’ve ensured your company’s contact information (location, phone number, email) is accurate and uniform across all online platforms, you need to make sure you claim your business on the major search engines using Google My Business and Bing Places for Business.

To claim your business, first visit the Google My Business page, and Bing Places for Business. They require you to log in. For Google, use your Gmail account, and for Bing Places, you can choose to login from your Microsoft account, Google account, or Facebook account. Both platforms are easy to understand and user-friendly.

Google will ask for your street address, and follow up by sending a postcard with a PIN number to that location – which helps them verify that you are who you say you are. This verification process takes several days, but it will safeguard your business from others trying to steal your identity online. Remember, Google not only wants to display popular sites, but also credible and trusted sites to end users in the search engine result pages. It’s a good thing for end users, and for your local SEO efforts.

Once you have entered your PIN and claimed your business, you can login and manage information such as your business description, category, business hours, toll free number, address, etc. and add your own images and logo. You can even correct the balloon on Google Maps to pin your accurate location in case they missed the mark.

Bing uses the same method except you can choose to verify via a phone call or by postcard.

Even if you don’t do a lot of marketing online, make sure you at least ‘own’ your business identity both offline and online! Register with these search engines to make sure your information is protected and in the right hands.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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Location, Location, Location is Critical for Local SEO

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Your business name, address, and phone number must be cited consistently and uniformly across all online platforms, including web and social media and directories (such as Yelp). If your address displays differently, Google will not log it nor display your information in the local listings on search engine result pages (SERPs).

Even if you’re not a restaurant, you should still check online directories like Yelp, claim your business and make sure your address and phone numbers are consistent. It’s easy to check, just search your business name to see how it is displayed in the SERP. If you have an abbreviation like us, i.e. Pacific Software Publishing, Pacific Software Publishing, Inc. and PSPinc, check all of them on search engines. If your business name doesn’t show up in the SERP, you need to start investigating why not. Maybe it's because you never put your address on your website homepage, or Facebook, or Yelp.

Google and other search engines do their best to show the most reliable results, but it all starts with us business owners.

If you put yourself in the consumers’ shoes, would you feel safe purchasing online from a lesser-known or smaller business that doesn’t list their location – even if their website looks great? Personally, I would like to know where the business is located even if I’m getting a great deal on their site. It makes me feel more secure knowing I can contact the company headquarters and it adds legitimacy behind their brand.

So, the moral of the story is your online contact information is important for your local SEO, but also for your business etiquette.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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How to Achieve Local SEO Rank

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This month we’ll once again focus on SEO, but we’ll get more specific to ‘local SEO’ since it’s becoming a much more prominent feature in search engine result pages (SERPs).

As we look ahead to 2018, businesses need to be aware of local SEO as another strong marketing tool when planning for next year’s strategies. If your company has an online presence, you’ll want to make sure to include local SEO into your plans and learn how to be a contender in that space.

You’ve probably noticed when you search Google, you get listings for businesses near you, the brick and mortar locations. You could say Google is the new telephone book. Instead of flipping for phone numbers and addresses, we simply search online for that which interests us, and Google will show us a variety of stores nearby with location and contact information. No longer do I have to memorize the phone numbers for my favorite restaurants, because I can pull it up quickly on my smart phone.

With the convenience of searching online via smart phones, and from our activity on social media sites and even email, Google and other search engines have come to know our search behaviors, interests and location, and therefore try to show us the most relevant information. Often you’ll see local shops and contacts for whatever it is you’re searching for.

On the flipside, if you want your business to be the one showing up in SERPs for local SEO, you have some things to work on.

The formula to achieve a local SEO presence is constantly changing, but there are quite a few important factors for you to know, and we’ll discuss those in detail in December.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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How to Track the Success of your Keyword Campaigns

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Once you have your keywords defined, your SEO in place and your PPC up and running, how do you tell if it’s working for you? You want your business exposed to more people – your target audience – but in the end your ultimate goal is to generate revenue.

If you’re getting clicks into your site, but no engagements or transactions, meaning people are bouncing out, that doesn’t do your business any good. So let’s figure out how to measure the results of your keyword campaigns and analyze a good strategy going forward. The best way to do this is by tracking the users who visit your site.

There are many tools available to you, but the most commonly used tool is Google Analytics. It’s free and simple to use by embedding tracking tags into your site. You will be able to capture data such as number of visitors, repeat visitors, their general demographics, their behaviors like how long they stayed on your site and where they departed. This kind of information will help you make intelligent decisions going forward, and help you fine tune your campaigns or web pages.

If you find that people are bouncing out, maybe you need to try some new keywords, or your target audience needs to be reassessed. Or perhaps you simply need to rethink your content or call to action in hopes to better connect with your audience.

Whatever it might be, the answer lies in the data. Tracking and analyzing visitor behavior on your site can open up a world of insight into what’s working and what’s not.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #GoogleAdwords #SERP #Keywords #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #Analytics #GoogleAnalytics

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The Key to PageRank in Google

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Sticking with our “electric bike” keyword example, let’s analyze what the #1 organic search listing did to get such prestigious page position. Search results may look different from person to person, but in general, the fundamental reasons for different listings to rank high are the same.

According to Google:

“Relevancy is determined by over 200 factors, one of which is the PageRank for a given page. PageRank is the measure of the importance of a page based on the incoming links from other pages. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site's PageRank. “ (

Another factor for PageRank relevancy is content. We’ve said it before, content is king in the world of search engines. You need to craft your web content using the keywords you want to rank for. Wherever it makes sense (and it should read naturally), use keywords within the text of your pages, within image file names, within the URLs including your domain name, folder and HTML file names.

When I searched “electric bike” this listing came up on top: As you can see just from this, both the domain name and the folder name contain the keyword “electric bike.”

When I scanned the webpage further, I found the critical keywords plugged into the content:

bike- 140 times
electric- 119 times
electric bike- 96 times

It makes sense this one page ranks so high with that many keywords included!

There isn’t an overnight solution to rank high organically on search engine results, but it is true that your content matters, and can help get you there eventually.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #GoogleAdwords #SERP #Keywords #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #PageRank

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Thankful for Innovation in Technology

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Okay, today we are going to pause the keyword talk! Today is Thanksgiving, so in the spirit of fun and thankfulness, we tech-minded folks at PSPinc want to “give thanks” for the technology that has changed our lives in the past 30 years.

We don’t often reflect on how far we’ve come so quickly, so join us as we take a walk down memory lane to highlight some of our favorite innovations. Today, we’re thankful for:

The Mouse (1946)
A trackball pointed device was developed for a fire control radar plotting system – which was the birth and concept of today’s mouse.

The Internet (1950s)
The development of Internet began in the 1950s with an initial concept of a wide-area network in several science labs. This became ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) in the 1960’s and was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense as a method of networking computers.

Computer Icons (1963)
A product called Sketchpad was introduced, the first of its kind to navigate a computer through its graphical user interface program (GUI). This prompted the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) to introduce the Xerox Star 8010 in the 1970s, with the standard GUI known today. The center also led many other technology inventions, such as laser printing.

Ethernet (1973)
Ethernet, the wired network system, was designed at Xerox PARC. The same year, the first handheld cellular mobile phone was developed, which went to the market in 1983 by Motorola.

IBM Personal Computer (1981)
IBM introduced its model 5150 as a Personal Computer. The word PC was born, leading our computing platform of today.

Apple Macintosh Computer (1984)
Apple’s first Macintosh went on sale two days after its famous Super Bowl XVIII ad. (

Our business is built upon the foundation of these great inventions, and we are thankful it has allowed us to innovate and create new technologies for our customer base. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and we’ll catch up with more on our keyword conversation next week!
#PSPinc #Blog #Technology #ModernTechnology #IBM #Apple #Computers #Networks #GiveThanks #Thanksgiving

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