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PSPinc will help your business thrive by providing for all of your technology needs. We offer a wide array of products, including Web & Email Hosting, Website Development, Email Marketing and Data Storage Solutions. Visit pspinc.com to learn more.

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SEO Trends For 2019

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Mobile First

Mobile traffic has only recently surpassed desktop traffic around the world. Which means Google needs to adjust how they look at and rank websites. How do they plan on doing this? Google announced “Mobile first indexing” – which basically means if you have a desktop and mobile version of your website, Google will look at the mobile site first.

In 2019, you’ll want to make sure your mobile website is optimized for small screens and fingertips. But remember, it’s mobile first, not mobile only, so don’t ignore your desktop website either.

Website Security

Website security has made countless headlines in 2018 and it will continue to be important into the New Year. Google checks websites for an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which indicates whether a website is secure or not. Websites without this certificate will be labeled ‘Not Secure’ by Google search results. Don’t have an SSL certificate? Don’t worry, PSPinc offers SSL certificates!

Video Carousels

In the past when you searched for videos on Google you had three thumbnails to choose from. Now, Google is expanding the video search results to show a carousel of multiple videos. This expands the amount of videos that can be listed for each Google search. Video marketing has been growing over the past few years. Google realizes that users are searching for videos so they’ve made changes to reflect that.

Going Beyond Google

According to a 2018 survey done by Adeptmind (https://adeptmind.ai), the number of shoppers who start their search on Amazon is 46.7%. That’s more than 10% higher than those who start their search on Google, 34.6%. If your company sells products online, it’s important to expand your reach beyond Google searches. It’s not where people start their online shopping anymore and that trend will continue into 2019.

Local Search Geo-targeting

Attracting local customers is becoming increasingly targeted and will keep heading that direction next year. When updating your website content try to be as specific as you can about your location, even including cross streets instead of broad suburbs. A great way to help with local search is by running highly targeted ads to specific neighborhoods and areas surrounding your business.

#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #SmallBusiness #OnlineMarketing #Google #Amazon #SEO #OfficeTips #2019 #NewYear

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Google's Social Network Ghost Town

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In the summer of 2011, Google launched a new social network service: Google+. After strong initial user growth, the service experienced long periods of lulls with little growth, accompanied by a series of substantial changes to the platform.

The service was, at the time, a response to Facebook’s growth which was capitalizing on personal data to sell advertising. In 2011, Facebook was projected to overtake Google in the display ad market. The social network was supposed to be a way for Google to build a diverse network, and use the personal information given by users, to sell more ads.

After 7 years, Google announced on October 8th they will begin the process of shutting down Google+. But why?

1. Software bug

The main reason Google cites for shutting down the service is a bug that was found in the software, initially reported by the Wall Street Journal. The bug, which exposed half a million users’ data, was discovered in the spring of 2018 but Google decided not to disclose that information to its users. The bug was a glitch in the social network that allowed developers to access user information.

Google was afraid that exposing this would bring harsh scrutiny on an already struggling service. After the story broke, Google claimed they had no evidence that any user information was misused. Regardless, the damage had been done and Google+ was unlikely to bounce back.

2. Low usage and engagement

If you’ve spent any time on Google+ you’ve probably noticed the platform was a ghost town. Google tried several times to revamp the social network with new features, new designs, and changes in management. All of which had very little success.

In their statement, Google said the other primary reason for ending its service was “low usage and engagement” citing that 90% of Google+ user sessions lasted less than 5 seconds. That’s astoundingly low for a company as big as Google.

So what will happen to Google+?

Google is giving users 10 months to transition off the platform – they intend to shut it down by August 2019. They are shutting down the consumer side of the service and shifting to a more corporate approach. It’s probable they will try to focus on an internal corporate social network.

However they approach these changes, one thing is for sure; they’ll have a lot of trust to build before anyone gets serious about using it.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Marketing #Advertising #B2B #SocialMedia #Google #DigitalMarketing #OnlineMarketing

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Top Free Web Tools for Small Businesses

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Google My Business - Google is the homepage of the Internet and there isn’t a better place to input your business information than Google. It’s free and it’s powerful - what more could you want? Set up your Google business page and update your company’s information, add pictures, descriptions, and show your reviews. If you’re not using Google My Business, you should start immediately.

Google Analytics - Add a simple code to your website and Google Analytics will provide helpful insights into how your visitors are behaving and who is coming to your website. Analytics will help you make decisions on website design and content changes, as well as plan for online ads.

Skype – This is your virtual conference room. Sign up for a free Skype account and break down the barriers between you and your next client. Host and attend meetings virtually while still remaining professional.

Hootsuite - Hootsuite is a great place to start managing your social media accounts and scheduling posts. It offers a free plan for individuals and you can include 3 social accounts before you’ll have to upgrade to a paid account. Simplify your social presence by managing all of your accounts from one Hootsuite dashboard.

Pixabay / Pexels – Visuals attract more clicks and likes, and good graphics are extremely important for social media and web marketing success. For free high-quality stock photos you can’t get any better than Pixabay.com and Pexels.com. They offer a seemingly endless supply of beautiful images that you can use on your website, social channels, and anywhere else you may need them.
#ENnews #PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #WebTools #Analytics #Google #GoogleAnalytics #Skype #Hootsuite

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Google My Business: The New-Age Phone Book

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If your business isn’t registered on Google My Business, make that your next priority. This is a free service that will get your business more visibility on Google and Google Maps. Basically, you help Google make their local search results more relevant by registering, and your business pops up when it’s applicable to the search. It’s a win-win, which is probably why Google offers it for free.

You’ve probably noticed on Google a boxed section highlighting the businesses related to your search. You’ll also see a map with red pins locating each business, and some additional information such as hours, photos, reviews and more. Any business can go through the steps to register for a listing in this prime space, whether they have a web presence or not. Take advantage!

Get started:

1. Go to https://business.google.com
2. Click the Start Now button.
3. Follow the instruction on the screen to register the name and address of your business.
4. At the end, it will ask for a contact name, to which Google will send the verification code.
5. The verification code will come in a physical postcard with instructions to proceed and finalize.
6. Login to set up your business information, and even respond to reviews you may already have. You can even move your location pin, if needed.

Here are some additional features:

You can share what’s new with your business, upload photos, give updates, highlight specials or seasonal goods. By adding these little snippets of information into your Google My Business portfolio, that content is eligible to show up in search results.

Now your customers can text message you when you set up the “chat” feature in Google My Business.

You can check important stats (insights) that show where your customers are searching from, what they’re clicking on, and what actions they took on your business listing (did they call, email, click, etc.?).

Since Google My Business is the new phone book, and it’s easily accessible on all devices, your business will be at an advantage when you take the time to get registered.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #Google

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Budget Marketing 101: Use Review Sites to your Advantage

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A great way to get your business seen online at little to no cost is to claim it on search engines and review sites.

There are many online review sites out there, and your business may already be listed on them without your knowledge. It’s important for your company’s reputation to seek out the popular ones and take ownership of your business presence, which means making sure all of your contact information is correct, and replying to customer reviews, especially any negative ones. A lot of business owners don’t want to engage in review sites, but when they do, it can really be beneficial to their business.

These are the big three where you should go and claim ownership of your business:

Google

Google allows you to claim your business through Google My Business. Here you can manage your business hours, your location(s), upload pictures, and respond to reviews. When responding to reviews, the best practice is to be genuine and interact with your online customers the same as you would in person. Negative reviews, when handled with care, can turn into an opportunity to show how much you care about your customers’ experience. Plus, the more reviews you get on Google can place you higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), so encourage happy customers to write a review of their experience.

Yelp

Yelp is the largest review site with 144 million users, so having your business listed on it may get you a lot of exposure you didn’t think was possible. Encourage reviews on Yelp because they often show up on the first page of online search results since it’s such a popular, relevant website. Even if you offer B2B professional services as opposed to consumer or retail stores, Yelp is still for you.

Yahoo

Although Yahoo may not be as popular as Google, some people end up on Yahoo (or Bing) search results without realizing it. For that reason alone, it’s worth it to claim your business on Yahoo Local.

You might also check out sites such as Angie’s List or niche community pages to see if your information is already listed. It’s important to make sure your business is being represented accurately. And best part of all, these efforts take only your time, not your money. Registering your business on review sites and search engines is typically free.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #B2B #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #Google #Yelp #Yahoo

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How your Business’ Online Popularity Factors into Local SEO

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So far we’ve covered many points on how to be more effective in your local SEO campaign, and Google is very open about how they define local rankings in search result pages. Google My Business even has a help section dedicated to the topic called, Improve your local ranking on Google.

One of the last points Google brings up is “prominence.” Prominence is how well-known your business is online and offline. To figure out how prominent (or popular) you are, Google crawls online to see how often your business is mentioned or linked to from other pages, and takes into account the popularity of those other pages too.

Again, Google is trying to do its best to give relevant and reliable information nearest to its users, and the popularity of a page can be a factor in search results. Online reviews are one way to show your business’ prominence, but there are other ways to get your name and links out there on other pages. Consider the following:

Press Releases:

Press releases (or media releases) are one way to get your story and news out. If you get picked up by the news media, your business (and website) gets highlighted on prominent news sources. You can send your releases via a newswire service so it travels beyond your network and reaches a variety of different media sources.

Associations:

Being associated with local city, business or nonprofit organizations is a great way to get networked. It’s especially beneficial if those organizations give you a profile with links on their site.

Awards:

Did you know you can apply for awards and recognition? Inc. magazine has Inc. 1000, and many local business journals have “best of” rankings. If you can get nominated or voted for, or even just apply to be in the running, your business may get some recognition in prominent sites and media outlets.

Goodwill Sponsorships:

Anytime you help in the community is an opportunity to get noticed and featured as a great company doing great things. It’s a win-win, giving you good PR as you give back for the good of society. It’s sometimes referred to as “cause marketing” when spreading goodwill around the community opens up the door to highlight or market your business in a favorable way. And anytime you do philanthropical work, it doesn’t hurt to send out a press release like we mentioned earlier.
#PSPinc #Blog #Advertising #OnlineMarketing #SmallBusiness #DigitalMarketing #Marketing #Google #SERP #SearchEngines #SponsoredAds #SEM #SearchEngineMarketing #SEO #LocalSEO

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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:

/best-new-coffee-shop-seattle-cafe
/the-strangers-guide-to-the-best-coffee-shops-in-seattle
/the-8-best-craft-coffee-shops-in-seattle

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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