Tag Archive | "Business"

Survey: More consumers trust accuracy of SMB websites over Google My Business

BrightLocal also found an overwhelming consumer preference for phone calls vs. other channels such as email and messaging.



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Google adds short names and URLs to Google My Business listings

The new feature has yet to be publicized by Google, but local guides like Mike Blumenthal report that it’s already available to some verified business in Google My Business.



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Creating ‘Craft Content’ for Remarkable Business Results

The term “craft” is a modern trend indicating something that’s been put together with care, appealing to select palates. In…

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Win That Pitch: How SEO Agencies Can Land New Business

Posted by TheMozTeam

If you’re a digital agency, chances are you have your sights set on a huge variety of clients — from entertainment and automotive, to travel and finance — all with their own unique SEO needs.

So how do you attract these companies and provide them with next-level SEO? By using a flexible tracking solution that delivers a veritable smorgasbord of SERP data every single day. Here are just four ways you can leverage STAT to lock down new business. 

1. Arm yourself with intel before you pitch 

The best way to win over a potential client is to walk into a pitch already aware of the challenges and opportunities in their online space. In other words: come armed with intel.

To get a lay of their search landscape, research which keywords are applicable to your prospect, load those puppies into STAT, and let them run for a few days (you can turn tracking on and off for however many keywords you like, whenever you like).

This way, when it comes time to make your case, you can hit them with hard data on their search visibility and tailored strategies to help them improve.

Walking into a pitch with deep insights in just a few days will make you look like an SEO wizard — and soon-to-be-new clients will know that you can handle any dark magic unleashed on the SERPs by a Google update or new competitors jumping into the mix. 

2. Look at your data from every possible angle

As an SEO for an agency, you’re vying to manage the visibility of several clients at any given time, and all of them have multiple websites, operate in different industries and verticals worldwide, and target an ever-growing list of topics and products.

So, when prospective clients expect individualized SEO recommendations, how can you possibly deliver without developing a permanent eye twitch? The answer lies in the ability to track and segment tons of keywords.

Get your mittens on more SERPs

To start, you’ll need to research and compile a complete list of keywords for every prospective client. When one keyword only returns one SERP, and people’s searches are as unique as they are, the longer the list, the greater the scope of insight. It’s the difference between a peek and peruse — getting a snapshot or the whole picture.

For example, let’s say your would-be client is a clothing chain with an online store and a brick-and-mortar in every major Canadian city. You’ll want to know how each of their products appears to the majority of searchers — does [men’s jeans] (and every iteration thereof) return a different SERP than [jeans for men]?

Next, it’s time to play international SEO spy and factor in the languages, locations, and devices of target audiences. By tracking pin-point locations in influential global markets, you can keep apprised of how businesses in your industry are performing in different cities all over the world.

For our example client, this is where the two keywords above are joined by [jeans pour hommes], [jeans for men in Montreal], and [jeans pour hommes dans Montreal], and are tracked in the Montreal postal code where their bricks-and-mortar sit, on desktop and mobile devices — giving you with 10 SERPs-worth of insight. Swap in “in Quebec City,” track in a postal code there, and gain another 10 SERPs lickety-split.

Unlock multiple layers of insights

While a passel of keywords is essential, it’s impossible to make sense of what they’re telling you when they’re all lumped together. This is why segmentation is a must. By slicing and dicing your keywords into different segments, called “tags” in STAT, you produce manageable data views with deep, targeted insight.

You can divvy up and tag your keywords however you like: by device, search intent, location, and more. Still running with our earlier example, by comparing a tag that tracks jeans keywords in Montreal against jeans keywords in Vancouver, you can inform your prospect of which city is bringing up the rear on the SERPs, and how they can better target that location.

STAT also lets you to segment any SERP feature you’re interested in — like snippets, videos, and knowledge graphs — allowing you to identify exactly where opportunities (and threats) lie on the SERP.

So, if your tag is tracking the all-important local places pack and your prospect’s brick-and-mortar store isn’t appearing in them, you can avoid the general “we’ll improve your rankings” approach, and focus your pitch around ways to get them listed. And once you’ve been hired to do the job, you’ll be able to prove your local pack success.

For more tag ideas, we created a post with some of the keyword segments that we recommend our clients set up in STAT.

3. Put a tail on the competition

Monitoring a client’s site is one thing, but keeping an eagle-eye on their competition at the same time will give you a serious leg up on other agencies.

With an automated site syncing option, STAT lets you track every known competitor site your prospect has, without any additional keyword management on your part.

All you need to do is plunk in competitor URLs and watch them track against your prospect’s keywords. And because you’ve already segmented the bejesus out of those keywords, you can tell exactly how they stack up in each segment.

To make sure that you’re tracking true search competitors, as well as emerging and dwindling threats, you should be all over STAT’s organic share of voice. By taking the rank and search volume of a given keyword, STAT calculates the percentage of eyeballs that players on the SERPs actually earn.

When you know the ins and outs of everyone in the industry — like who consistently ranks in the top 10 of your SERPs — you can give clients a more comprehensive understanding of where they fit into the big picture and uncover new market opportunities for them to break into. They’ll be thanking their lucky stars they chose you over the other guys.

4. Think big while respecting client budgets

As an enterprise SEO, having economies of scale is a critical factor in beating out other agencies for new business. In order to achieve this, you’ll want to collect and crunch data at an affordable rate.

STAT’s highly competitive per-keyword pricing is designed for scale, which is precisely why STAT and agencies are a match made in heaven. Thinking big won’t break anyone’s bank.

Plus, STAT’s billing is as flexible as the tracking. So, if you only need a few days’ worth of data, whether for a pitch or a project, you can jump into STAT and toggle tracking on or off for any number of keywords, and your billing will follow suit. In simpler terms: you’re only billed for the days you track.

And with no limits on users and no per-seat charges, you’re welcome to invite anyone on your team — even clients or vendors — to see your projects, allowing you to deliver transparency in conjunction with your SEO awesomeness.

If you’d like to do any or all of these things and are looking for the perfect SERP data tool to get the job done, say hello and request a demo!

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5 Google Business Profile Tweaks To Improve Foot Traffic

Posted by MiriamEllis

Your agency recommends all kinds of useful tactics to help improve the local SEO for your local business clients, but how many of those techniques are leveraging Google Business Profile (GBP) to attract as many walk-ins as possible?

Today, I’m sharing five GBP tweaks worthy of implementation to help turn digital traffic into foot traffic. I’ve ordered them from easiest to hardest, but as you’ll see, even the more difficult ones aren’t actually very daunting — all the more reason to try them out!

1) Answer Google Q&A quickly (they might be leads)

Difficulty level: Easy

If you have automotive industry clients, chances you’re familiar with Greg Gifford from DealerOn. At a recent local search conference, Greg shared that 40 percent of the Google Q&A questions his clients receive are actually leads

40 percent!

Here’s what that looks like in Google’s Q&A:

It looks like Coast Nissan has a customer who is ready to walk through the door if they receive an answer. But as you can see, the question has gone unanswered. Note, too, that four people have thumbed the question up, which signifies a shared interest in a potential answer, but it’s still not making it onto the radar of this particular dealership.

Nearly all verticals could have overlooked leads sitting in their GBPs — from questions about dietary options at a restaurant, to whether a retailer stocks a product, to queries about ADA compliance or available parking. Every ask represents a possible lead, and in a competitive retail landscape, who can afford to ignore such an opportunity?

The easiest way for Google My Business (GMB) listing owners and managers to get notified of new questions is via the Google Maps App, as notifications are not yet part of the main GMB dashboard. This will help you catch questions as they arise. The faster your client responds to incoming queries, the better their chances of winning the foot traffic.

2) Post about your proximity to nearby major attractions

Difficulty level: Easy

Imagine someone has just spent the morning at a museum, a landmark, park, or theatre. After exploring, perhaps they want to go to lunch, go apparel shopping, find a gas station, or a bookstore near them. A well-positioned Google Post, like the one below, can guide them right to your client’s door:

This could become an especially strong draw for foot traffic if Google expands its experiment of showing Posts’ snippets not just in the Business Profile and Local Finder, but within local packs:

Posting is so easy — there’s no reason not to give it a try. Need help getting your client started? Here’s Google’s intro and here’s an interview I did last year with Joel Headley on using Google Posts to boost bookings and conversions.

3) Turn GBPs into storefronts

Difficulty level: Easy for retailers

With a little help from SWIS and Pointy, your retail clients’ GBPs can become the storefront window that beckons in highly-converting foot traffic. Your client’s “See What’s In Store inventory” appears within the Business Profile, letting customers know the business has the exact merchandise they’re looking for:

Pointy is Google’s launch partner for this game-changing GBP feature. I recently interviewed CEO Mark Cummins regarding the ultra-simple Pointy device which makes it a snap for nearly all retailers to instantly bring their inventory online — without the fuss of traditional e-commerce systems and at a truly nominal cost.

I’ll reiterate my prediction that SWIS is the “next big thing” in local, and when last I spoke with Mark, one percent of all US retailers had already adopted his product. Encourage your retail clients to sign up and give them an amazing competitive edge on driving foot traffic!

4) Make your profile pic a selfie hotspot

Difficulty level: Medium (feasible for many storefronts)

When a client has a physical premise (and community ordinances permit it), an exterior mural can turn through traffic into foot traffic — it also helps to convert Instagram selfie-takers into customers. As I mentioned in a recent blog post, a modest investment in this strategy could appeal to the 43–58 percent of survey respondents who are swayed to shop in locations that are visually appealing.

If a large outdoor mural isn’t possible, there’s plenty of inspiration for smaller indoor murals, here

Once the client has made the investment in providing a cultural experience for the community, they can try experimenting with getting the artwork placed as the cover photo on their GBP — anyone looking at a set of competitors in a given area will see this appealing, extra reason to choose their business over others.

Mark my words, local search marketers: We are on the verge of seeing Americans reject the constricted label of “consumer” in a quest for a more holistic view of themselves as whole persons. Local businesses that integrate art, culture, and community life into their business models will be well-placed to answer what, in my view, is a growing desire for authentic human experiences. As a local search marketer, myself, this is a topic I plan to explore further this year.

5) Putting time on your side

Difficulty level: Medium (feasible for willing clients)

Here’s a pet peeve of mine: businesses that serve working people but are only open 9–5. How can your client’s foot traffic achieve optimum levels if their doors are only open when everybody is at work?

So, here’s the task: Do a quick audit of the hours posted on the GBPs of your client’s direct competitors. For example, I found three craft shops in one small city with these hours:

Guess which competitor is getting all of the business after 6 PM every day of the week, when most people are off work and able to shop?

Now, it may well be that some of your smaller clients are already working as many hours as they can, but have they explored whether their hours are actually ideal for their customers’ needs and whether any time slots aren’t being filled in the community by their competitors? What if, instead of operating under the traditional 9–5, your client switched to 11–7, since no other competitor in town is open after 5 PM? It’s the same number of hours and your client would benefit from getting all the foot traffic of the 9–5-ers.

Alternatively, instead of closing on Saturdays, the business closed on Mondays — perhaps this is the slowest of their weekdays? Being open on the weekend could mean that the average worker can now access said business and become a customer.

It will take some openness to change, but if a business agrees to implementation, don’t forget to update the GMB hours and push out the new hours to the major citation platforms via a service like Moz Local

Your turn to add your best GMB moves

I hope you’ll take some of these simple GBP tips to an upcoming client meeting. And if they decide to forge ahead with your tips, be sure to monitor the outcomes! How great if a simple audit of hours turned into a foot traffic win for your client? 

 In the meantime, if you have any favorite techniques, hacks, or easy GMB wins to share with our community, I’d love to read your comments!

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Zero Trust Focuses On the Data That’s Key to Your Business

“The fundamental way you look at Zero Trust is it’s an architectural approach to how do you secure your network focused on what’s most important,” says Scott Stevens, SVP, Global  Systems Engineering at Palo Alto Networks. “You focus on the data that’s key to your business. You build your security framework from the data out.”

Scott Stevens, SVP, Global  Systems Engineering at Palo Alto Networks, discusses Zero Trust in an interview with Jeff Frick of theCUBE which is covering RSA Conference 2019 in San Francisco:

Zero Trust Focuses On the Data That’s Key to Your Business

We’ve been working with Forrester for about six years now looking at Zero Trust architecture. The fundamental way you look at Zero Trust is it’s a an architectural approach to how do you secure your network focused on what’s most important. You focus on the data that’s key to your business. You build your security framework from the data out. There are all kinds of buzzword bingo we can play about what Zero Trust means, but what it allows us to do is to create the right segmentation strategy starting in the data center of the cloud and moving back towards those accessing the data and how you segment and control that traffic.

Fundamentally what we’re dealing with in security are two big problems that we have. First are credential based attacks. Do we have somebody with stolen credentials in the network stealing our data? Or do we have an insider who has credentials but they’re malicious where they’re actually stealing content from the company? The second big problem is software based attacks, malware exploits scripts. How do we segment the network where we can enforce user behavior and we can watch for malicious software so we can prevent both of those occurrences through one architectural framework? I think Zero Trust gives us that template building block on how we build out those networks because everybody’s enterprise network is a little bit different.

You Need To Start With What’s Most Important.

We have to build those things together. On the Palo Alto Networks side what we do is Layer 7 enforcement based on identity. Based on who the user is and what their rights are we are able to control what they are allowed access to or what they’re not allowed access to. Of course, if you’ve got a malicious insider or somebody that’s logged in with stolen credentials we can prevent them from doing what they’re not allowed to do. Working here with Forescout, we’ve done a lot of really good integration with them on that identity mapping construct. They help us understand all the identities and all the devices in the network so we can then map that to that user posture and control at Layer 7 what they’re allowed to do or not allowed to do.

You need to start with what’s most important. Clouds and data centers as a starting point are generally the same. How we segment is actually the same. Sometimes we think that clouds are are more difficult to secure than data centers, but they are the same basically. We’ve got north-south traffic, we have east-west traffic. How do we inspect and how do we segment that? How do we focus on what’s the most important critical data to their business? If we stratify their data sets and their applications that access that data and then move down we may have 50 percent of the applications in their cloud or data center that we don’t micro segment at all because they’re not critical to the business. They’re useful to the employees, but if something goes wrong they’re, no big deal and no impact to the business.

Micro segmentation isn’t just a conversation of where we have to do things but it’s a conversation contextually in terms of what’s relevant and where is it important to do that and then where do you do a much less robust job? You always have to have inspection and visibility, but there are parts of your network where you’re going to be somewhat passive about it and there are parts of your network that you are going to be very aggressive. These include multi-factor authentication, tight user identity mapping, how do we watch for malware, how do we watch for exploits, all of the different aspects.

Zero Trust Focuses On the Data That’s Key to Your Business

>> Read a companion piece to this article here:

How Palo Alto Networks Blocks 30,000 New Pieces of Malware Daily Via AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data

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Creative Business Kryptonite

Idea generation to project execution follows the same trajectory as a piece of writing, from first draft to final draft….

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Romance Your Customers with Some Seriously Practical Business and Marketing Advice

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or if you’re not a fan, Happy Fake Emotional Obligation Day! Whether you’re hunting down a table…

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Google My Business messaging via SMS to end, but where is the alternative?

The end of SMS messaging on the GMB dashboard will have a sizable – and negative – impact on marketing agencies and large enterprises. Here’s why.



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The Root of Impostor Syndrome in Creative Business (and Two Steps to Temper It)

Philosophy of art has been an interest of mine for quite some time. But philosophy of professional art is a…

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