Archive for the ‘Bing Local’ Category

Search + Social: Why Reviews Matter

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Testimonials and Recommendations matter!

This is simply a fact for any business be it word of mouth or online reviews. Personal recommendations are extremely powerful with regard to growing your business and bringing in new clients and patients. Are people leaving your business positive reviews? Do enough people look closely at what is said in reviews to help your online business grow?

The Role of Online Reviews

google-local-denver-dentistOnline review sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google Places, and Bing Local give people fast access to location facts and ratings for local neighborhood businesses.  Every year, a growing number of online visitors are using reviews to build their trust in local businesses.

According to a BrightLocal study done in 2013, 85% of consumers said they read online reviews for local businesses.  79% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  And 73% of consumers said that positive reviews online make them trust a local business more.  There is no denying that customer reviews help you engage with your potential clients and also help you understand potential customer needs.  Reviews also help you improve your online visibility in search results by increasing trust and click-through rates for your website.  This actually helps push your site higher in the rankings if enough people continue to engage with the content they find on your site.

The Role of Social Media

So, how do search engines use reviews in their search results?  At first glance, it’s easy to see that Google and Bing both show the amount of reviews a business has in its local results. With the growing popularity of social networking websites, online searchers have more access than ever to attitudes, opinions, and viewpoints of people who have interacted with a business.  Search engines are realizing how trustworthy and useful this information is by incorporating activity on these sites as favorable ranking factors.  Google utilizes +1s in its algo.  Bing recently rolled out their new Smart Search feature which incorporates reviews from places like Facebook, Mapquest, and Yelp in local results.  Reviews are increasingly becoming more about personal interactivity on social platforms, and sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are playing a bigger role in how a website ranks in search.

How to Best Leverage Social & Online Reviews

With social and review sites in mind, what is the best way to incorporate those reviews and interactions into your greater web marketing plan?  First, if you don’t already have listings or pages on these sites, then, you will want to actively work on claiming and optimizing those listings.  Make sure your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and website url are up to date and current so people can find you and contact you.

Create an outlet where you can expertly provide advice and information about your business.  Promote your special services.  Offer something that “the other guys” do not.  What makes you stand out from the crowd?  Create value, and share it on these pages with potential new clients and customers.

Share and engage with your audience, don’t just spew information (I call this “soap-boxing” – this will lose you followers faster than it will gain them).  When customers feel engaged, they tend to be more loyal to your products and services.  Loyal clients become advocates for your business. With social media, engaged clients and patients can (and probably will) endorse your company for everyone to see.  When that happens, it can be a very powerful tool to enhance your online presence.

Denver Dentist Search Results on Google (with reviews)

Additionally, local businesses with negative reviews will want to respond openly to negative reviews.  A bad review is not necessarily a bad thing.  If used the right way, it can become a positive influencer.  Use the opportunity to reach out and change that reviewer’s experience into something positive.  If the reviewer is not interested in responding, it at least shows future visitors that you are concerned about the experience people have when visiting your business or using your products.  It also shows that you are willing to go that extra mile to make amends.

You will also want to continually generate new reviews from happy clients promoting what you do best.  In doing this you can drive any negative reviews further down the page and keep the newer, positive reviews higher up.  Reviews don’t just affect the impressions a potential client has on your business; it can affect how your business website ranks on Google, Bing, and Yahoo search.

by Tammy Smith SEO Analyst, Page 1 Solutions, LLC

How Is Mobile Search Different from a Desktop Search?

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

It is estimated that more people will be accessing Internet information via a mobile device than a personal computer by the year 2013 (that’s not very far away, folks). As we know, most standard websites do not render well on a smartphone screen due to the smaller screen size, or use of incompatible plug-ins (such as flash). As many businesses opt for a mobile website to complement their standard website, one wonders what this means for keyword optimization and search trends? Do smartphone users search the same way desktop searchers do?

Interestingly enough, mobile search is used and rendered very different from a desktop search. Here are my Top 5 reasons why this is so:

  • Mobile search is highly geared toward local information. Statistically 9 out of 10 smartphone searches result in an action. Chances are, if you are looking for for something on your phone’s browser (like a food, a museum, or a bike repair shop) it is because you want to purchase, find, or visit the searched item. Desktop searches tend to be less action oriented overall and more information oriented in nature. Because of this pages like Google Local Listings are positioned to rank higher than pages that are not locally oriented. Domains with geo-targeted keywords will also rank well in this system.
  • Google has 97% of the mobile search market share, and their algorithm is different for mobile devices than desktops.
  • Smartphone screen size is much smaller than a PC’s screen size, so it will be even more important to snag the top few spots on a mobile search in order to be on the first page.
  • Site loading speed becomes critical in a mobile search. A site that takes too long to load when on-the-go information is needed quickly, will lead to higher bounce rates than a standard desktop site search.
  • Android users are always logged in to Google on their mobile system.  This means that Android users will always be served personalized results more often than folks searching on a PC who may not have logged in. This will obviously change as more and more people begin to use Google+ or who search when logged into their Google accounts.  Most users aren’t aware if they are logged in or not, and personalized results definitely have an impact on what you will see in your search results.

These are key points to keep in mind when conducting a search on either platform, and even more important to keep in mind when positioning yourself and your business for the future, whether or not you have a mobile website. Keeping a claimed and optimized local listing has always been an important piece in your overall SEO strategy. But now, it seems as if listings such as Google Places and Bing Local could have even more impact on your search results in the future.

by Tammy Smith SEO Analyst, Page 1 Solutions, LLC

Why Should I Re-Optimize My Website? – SEO Basics XVIII

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Some reasons to re-optimize your website :

    Your site has enjoyed great rankings for several years but you’ve now lost your top or first page listings.

    Your website statistics show a big drop in the number of people visiting your site.

    Your site was optimized a long time ago, the keywords you originally used to gain high rankings no longer work.

    Your site has undergone a redesign or moved to a different platform.

    Your competitors seem to be achieving top rankings, you need to market your site to improve rankings.

    Your business has changed it’s focus and the priority Keyterms have changed.

    Your location has changed or you have new offices and you need to update your optimization accordingly.

Strategies to keep in mind while re-optimizing your Website to Increase Rankings and Traffic

    1.Look at the keywords generating the most visits. Are they currently included in your Title tags and content? Use keyword research tools to find related keywords that can be added to your web pages. Create extra web pages that target high priority keywords.

    2.Do searches for your top priority keywords and find the competing sites that are showing up at the top of the first page. Analyze these competitor websites for title tags, web copy plus the quantity and quality of their backlnks.

    3. Find related keywords and include these within your web pages to increase web traffic.

    5. Incoming links to your website help your web page rankings increase. Link building is a task that must be done regularly to stay ahead of your competitors. Boost the number of backlinks across your webpages so they can achieve better rankings.

    6. Look for high quality local directories and review sites where you can register your website and increase visibilty for your business.

    7. Optimize and verify your Google Places and Bing and Yahoo Local listings.

SEO for Mobile Search (kinda)

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I was at a baby shower this weekend, discussing Droids with a fellow attendee who had just gotten hers, when she said something odd – she told me that she prefers Bing to Google on her Droid because Bing tells her what’s nearby while Google would not.

Huh? I thought Google was all over that. I mean, click-to-call, baby! So I checked it out on my own Droid and concluded that she’s just doing something wrong. Not only does Google geolocate you for local search results, but it does it automatically. (With Bing, you have to ask it to detect your location.)

We already knew all of this. It’s old news. But there were some interesting insights to be head in that conversation.

First, people really are using their phones to conduct local searches. This isn’t anything earth shattering, again, but honestly, it was the first time I’d seen this much ballyhooed phenomenon in the wild with someone who doesn’t work in the tech industry, and it makes the second insight all the more important.

Second, when looking at the Google results, there was a minor epiphany. Unfortunately, however, I don’t know how to take a screenshot of my mobile phone’s screen. This led me to recruit John, SEO ninja and newly minted member of the Droid Cult that exists along the SEO department’s row of cubicles, to help me take a photo of it. After a few utter failures, we got his new Droid X to do a passable job.

So the epiphany revolves around those click-to-call buttons you see in the terrible photo of my pizza search. Again, this is nothing the industry hasn’t reported on already ad nauseum, but there’s an important connection to SEO in here:

The businesses that show up in the 7-pack as being nearby all have click-to-call buttons. Most of those businesses have ratings and reviews, and have been claimed, verified and sometimes even have been optimized – which we already know have quite a bit of influence in the 7-pack rankings.

So the lesson here is this: Verify and optimize your Google Places page to maximize your local search potential. Why optimize just for the people finding you on their computers when those who find you with their smartphones are presented with an option to contact you at the touch of a single button?

Seven Reasons Why You Need a BBB.org Listing

Monday, April 5th, 2010

There are many of us who see the BBB sticker posted on trucks and business buildings around town, and the meaning of it kind of surpasses those of us who are less savvy with internet marketing. Yes, the Better Business Bureau has some awesome implications for your business in the physical world, if anyone knows what it is or what it stands for. But the real power of the BBB can be seen in your web presence. Being a member of the BBB and having a listing on BBB.org can be one of the strongest things you can do for your online presence. The most important “person” to see your online influence with the BBB is Google, and other search engines. Here’s seven reasons why your BBB listing will improve your search engine results!

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Getting Creative with Link Building

Monday, March 8th, 2010

As the competition for first page listings, web traffic and business leads keeps getting tougher, optimizers are always looking for new ways to get inbound links and authority and credibility for their clients’ sites.

The fact that results from search queries now increasingly include real time search results , it’s becoming imperative for us to craft strategies above and beyond the traditional link-building methods.

While making sure that the fundamentals like custom Title tags, compelling descriptions, high quality content and user friendly interfaces remain the cornerstone of our work, we can successfully use some strategies to boost the presence of our sites.

  • Publishing targeted blog posts, interacting with the viewers and syndicating blog via feeds.
  • Making sure Google Maps and Bing Local listings are verified and updated with the latest media rich information about the site.
  • Finding Local directories to add sites and create a presence within a smaller, more focussed geographic area.
  • Using Twitter and Facebook to build a brand following for your site, thus proving the popularity of your site to the search engines.
  • Using e-PRs , articles and press releases to target specific key phrases through latest updates.
  • Using Video especially YouTube to build a strong presence for your site.

These strategies will bring definite advantages to our sites, helping us get an edge over competition in the search engine rankings and potentially bring in high quality web traffic and business leads for our clients.


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