Tag Archive | "Panels"

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Taking Full Control of Your Google Knowledge Panels

Posted by MiriamEllis

They say you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip, but when the turnip (and your biggest potential competitor) is Google, the lifeblood of the local business locations you market could depend on knowing where to take control.

As Google acts to confine ever-more stages of the local consumer journey within their own interface, local enterprises need to assume as much control as possible over the aspects of the Google Knowledge Panel that they can directly or indirectly influence.

This cheat sheet is your fast track to squeezing the most you can out of what Google is still offering.

How Google changed from local business benefactor to competitor

It may not come naturally, at first, to think of Google as a competitor. For many years in the local space, their offering of significant free screen real estate to any eligible local enterprise was like a gift. But, in their understandable quest for maximum profitability, Google is increasingly monetizing their local product, while at the same time giving more space to public sentiment when it comes to your brand’s reputation.

As this trend continues, your business needs to know which features of the Google Knowledge Panel that appear when searchers seek you by name can be controlled. You’ll also want to know which of these features has the most potential to influence rankings and consumers. We’ll explore both topics, as follows.


Core features on most Google Knowledge Panels

Different industries have different Knowledge Panel features, but the following graphic and key represent the elements that commonly pertain to most business categories. Each numbered feature will be described and designated as controllable “yes” or controllable “no” in the accompanying key. Some features will be labeled controllable “partly”, with notes explaining that designation. You will also discover pro tips for best practices, where appropriate.

1.) Photos & videos

When clicked on, this takes the user to both owner and user-generated photos in a set. Photos significantly impact CTR. Photos must be monitored for spam.

On mobile, there is a separate tab for photos, beyond the initial profile images.

Pro Tip: Videos can also be posted to your photos section, but try to post more than 2 videos so that you’ll get a separate mobile video subtab.

Controllable?

Partly; this is both an owner and crowdsourced element.

2.) Maps

When clicked on, this takes the user to the Maps-based Knowledge Panel accompanied by map with pin. Be sure your map marker is correctly placed.

Controllable?

Partly; owner can correct misplaced map marker, but users can submit placement edits, too.

3.) Exterior photo

When clicked on, this takes the user to an interactive Google Street View visual of the business.

*On mobile, no separate space is given to exterior photos.

Controllable?

Partly; owner can correct misplaced map marker.

4.) Business name

This must reflect the real-world name of the business and be formatted according to Google’s guidelines.

Pro Tip: If your enterprise is a Service Area Business, like a plumbing franchise with no storefronts, your name should match what appears on your website.

Controllable?

Yes; owner provides, though public can edit.

5.) Maps star

When clicked on, this gives users the option to either save the location to their map, or to view the location on Maps. Very little has been published about this easily overlooked feature. Users who star a location then see it as a star in the future on their maps. They are a form of “lists.” It might be posited that a business which many have starred might see some form of ranking boost, but this is speculative.

*On mobile, there is no Maps star. There is a “save” icon instead.

Controllable?

No.

6.) Website button

When clicked on, this takes the user to the website of the company. In multi-practitioner and multi-location scenarios, care must be taken that this link points to the right URL.

Pro Tip: Large, multi-location enterprises should consider pointing each location’s Knowledge Panel to the right landing page. According to a new study, when both brand- and location-specific pages exist, 85% of all consumer engagement takes place on the local pages (e.g., Facebook Local Pages, local landing pages). A minority of impressions and engagement (15%) happen on national or brand pages.

Controllable?

Yes; owner provides, though public can edit.

7.) Directions button

When clicked on, this takes the user to the Maps-based widget that enables them to designate a starting point and receive driving directions and traffic alerts. Be sure to check directions for each location of your enterprise to protect consumers from misdirection.

Controllable?

Partly; owner and the public can report incorrect directions.

8.) Review stars and count

The star portion of the section is not an average; it’s something like a “Bayesian average.” The count (which is sometimes inaccurate), when clicked, takes you to the separate review interface overlay where all reviews can be read. Review count and sentiment are believed to impact local rankings, but the degree of impact is speculative. Review sentiment is believed to highly impact conversions.

Pro Tip: While Google is fine with your business asking for reviews, never offer incentives of any kind in exchange for them. Also, avoid bulk review requests, as they can result in your reviews being filtered out.

Controllable?

Partly; owner can encourage, monitor, thumb up, and respond to reviews, as well as reporting spam reviews; public can also flag reviews as well as thumbing them up.

9.) Editorial summary

This is generated by Google via unconfirmed processes and is meant to provide a summarized description of the business.

Controllable?

No.

10.) Address

For brick-and-mortar businesses, this line must display a genuine, physical address. For service area businesses, this line should simply show the city/state for the business, based on hide-address settings in the GMB dashboard.

Controllable?

Yes; owner provides, though public can edit.

11.) Hours

When clicked on, a dropdown displays the complete hours of operation for the business. Care must be taken to accurately reflect seasonal and holiday hours.

Controllable?

Yes; owner provides, though public can edit.

12.) Phone

This number must connect as directly as possible to the location. On desktop, this number can be clicked, which will dial it up via Hangouts. A business can add more than one phone number to their GMB dashboard, but it will not display publicly.

*On mobile, there is no phone number displayed; just a call icon.

Pro Tip: The most popular solution to the need to implement call tracking is to list the call tracking number as the primary number and the store location number as the additional number. Provided that the additional number matches what Google finds on the website, no serious problems have been reported from utilizing this strategy since it was first suggested in 2017.

Controllable?

Yes; owner provides, though public can edit.

13.) Suggest an edit link

This is the most visible vehicle for the public to report problems with listing data. It can be used positively or maliciously.

Controllable?

No.

14.) Google Posts

Introduced in 2017, this form of microblogging enables businesses to post short content with links, imagery, and video right to their Knowledge Panels. It’s believed use of Google Posts may impact local rank. Each Google post lasts for 7 days, unless its content is designated as an “event,” in which case the post will remain live until the event ends. Google Posts are created and controlled in the GMB dashboard. Google has been experimenting with placement of posts, including showing them in Maps.

Pro Tip: Posts can be up to 1500 characters, but 150–350 characters is advisable. The ideal Posts image size is 750×750. Images smaller than 250×250 aren’t accepted. Posts can feature events, products, offers, bookings, phone numbers, 30-second videos, and links to learn more. Images can contain text that can prompt users to take a specific action like visiting the website to book an appointment, and early days experiments show that this approach can significantly boost conversions.

Controllable?

Yes.

15.) Know this place?

When clicked on, this feature enables anyone to contribute attribution information to a place. A wizard asks the user a variety of questions, such as “does this place have onsite parking?”

Pro Tip: Google has let Top Contributors to its forum know that it’s okay for businesses to contribute knowledge to their own Know This Place section.

Controllable?

Partly; both owner and public can add attribution via this link.

16.) Google Questions & Answers

Introduced in 2017, this crowdsourced Q&A functionality can be contributed to directly by businesses. Businesses can post their own FAQs and answer them, as well as responding to consumer questions. Q&As with the most thumbs up appear up front on the Knowledge Panel. The “Ask a Question” button facilitates queries, and the “See all questions” link takes you to an overlay popup showing all queries. This is becoming an important new hub of social interactivity, customer support, and may be a ranking factor. Google Q&A must be monitored for spam and abuse.

Controllable?

Partly; both owner and public can contribute.

17.) Send to your phone

Introduced in 2016, this feature enables desktop users to send a place to their phone for use on the go. It’s possible that a place that has been sent to a lot of phones might be deemed popular by Google, and therefore, more relevant.

*On mobile, this option doesn’t exist, for obvious reasons.

Controllable?

No

18.) Review snippets

This section of the Knowledge Panel features three excerpts from Google-based reviews, selected by an unknown process. The “View all Google reviews” link takes the user to an overlay popup featuring all reviews. Owners can respond to reviews via this popup or the GMB dashboard. Review count, sentiment, velocity, and owner response activity are all speculative ranking factors. Reviews must be monitored for spam and abuse.

Pro Tip: In your Google My Business dashboard, you can and should be responding to your reviews. Surveys indicate that 40% of consumers expect businesses to respond, and more than half expect a response within three days, but it’s best to respond within a day. If the review is negative, a good response can win back about 35% of customers. Even if you can’t win back the other 65%, a good response serves to demonstrate to the entire consumer public that your business is ethical and accountable.

Controllable?

Partly; both owner and public can contribute.

19.) Write a Review button

This is the button consumers click to write a review, leave a star rating and upload review imagery. Clicking it takes you to a popup for that purpose.

*On mobile, this is formatted differently, with a large display of five empty stars labeled “Rate and Review.”

Controllable?

No.

20.) Add a Photo button

This button takes you to the photo upload interface. Third-party photos must be monitored for spam and abuse. Photos are believed to impact CTR.

*On mobile, this CTA is absent from the initial interface.

Controllable?

Partly; brands can’t control what photos users upload, but they can report inappropriate images.

21.) View all Google reviews

This link brings up the pop-up interface on desktop containing all of the reviews a business has received.

Pro Tip: Enterprises should continuously monitor reviews for signs of emerging problems at specific locations. Sentiment analysis software is available to help identify issues as they arise.

Controllable?

Partly; brands can’t control the content reviewers post, but they can control the quality of experiences, as well as responding to reviews.

22.) Description

After years of absence, the business description field has returned and is an excellent place to showcase the highlights of specific locations of your enterprise. Descriptions can be up to 750 characters in length.

Pro Tip: Do call out desirable aspects of your business in the description, but don’t use it to announce sales or promotions, as that’s a violation of the guidelines.

Controllable?

Yes.

23.) People Also Search For

This section typically shows brand competitors, chosen by Google. If clicked on, the user is taking to a Local Finder-type view of these competing businesses, accompanied by a map.

Controllable?

No.

24.) Feedback

This link supports suggested public edits of the Knowledge Panel, which Google can accept or reject.

Controllable?

Partly; brands can’t control what edits the public suggests. Brands can use this feature to suggest edits, too, but there are typically better ways to do so.


Additional features on some Google Knowledge Panels

Some industries have unique Knowledge Panel features. We’ll list the most common of these here:

Price summary

This is meant to be an overview of general pricing.

Controllable?

Partly; this is both an owner and crowdsourced element.

Lengthier editorial summary

Shown in addition to showing the category of the business, this editorial summary is created by Google by unconfirmed processes.

Controllable?

No.

Menu link

A somewhat complex feature, these can link to third-party menus, or can be generated directly by the owner in the GMB dashboard for some businesses.

Controllable?

Partly; owner can control the menu URL and content in some cases.

Reviews from around the web

This features a rating summary and links to relevant third-party review sources, determined by Google.

Controllable?

Partly; owners can’t dictate which 3rd parties Google chooses, but they can work to build up positive reviews on featured sources.

Critic reviews

These are chosen by Google, and stem from “professional” review platforms.

Controllable?

No.

Popular times

This information is drawn from users who have opted into Google Location History. It’s meant to help users plan visits. It’s conceivable that this could be utilized as a ranking factor.

Controllable?

No

Booking

This “see schedule” button takes the user to Maps-based display of the company’s schedule, with the ability to reserve an appointment.

Controllable?

Yes

Groupon ads

This controversial element found on some Knowledge Panels appears to feature Groupon being allowed to advertise on brands’ listings without owner consent.

Controllable?

No

Local business URLs

There are a variety of additional URLs that can either be added to the GMB dashboard or stem from third parties. These URLs can represent menus, ordering, booking, reservations, and product searches.

Controllable?

Partly; owner can add some additional URLs, but some come from 3rd parties

Google Messaging

This is Google’s live chat feature that lets clients directly message you.

Controllable?

Yes

Hotel Knowledge Panels

Hotel Knowledge Panels are practically a completely different animal. They can offer much more detailed booking options, more segmented review sentiment, various ads, and deals.

Controllable?

Mostly; owners have a variety of features they can enable, though some are out of their control.

Prioritizing Google Knowledge Panel features for maximum impact

Every location of an enterprise faces a unique competitive scenario, depending on its market. What may “move the needle” for some business locations may be relatively ineffectual in others. Nevertheless, when dealing with a large number of locations, it can be helpful to have a general order of tasks to prioritize. We’ll offer a basic list that can be used to guide work, based on elements that most important to get right first:

✓ Guidelines

Be sure all listings are eligible for inclusion in Google’s product and adhere to Google’s guidelines, both for the listings, themselves, and for reviews.

✓ Duplicates

Identify duplicate Google My Business listings using Moz Check Listing or Moz Local and handle them appropriately so that ranking strength isn’t being divided up or thwarted by multiple listings for the same location.

✓ NAP

Create a spreadsheet containing company-approved name, address, phone number and website URL data for each location and be sure each Google listing accurately reflects this information.

✓ Category

Without the right primary category, you can’t rank for your most important searches. Look at the category your top competitors are using and, if it’s right for you, use it. Avoid repetition in category choices (i.e. don’t choose both “auto dealership” and “Toyota dealership”).

✓ Map markers

It may seem obvious, but do an audit of all your locations to be sure the Map marker is in the right place.

✓ Reviews

Acquire, monitor and respond to reviews for all locations on a daily basis, with the goal of demonstration accessibility and accountability. Reviews are part-and-parcel of your customer service program.

✓ Images

Images can significantly influence clickthrough rates. Be sure yours are as persuasive and professional as possible.

✓ Posts

Make maximum use of the opportunity to microblog right on your Knowledge Panel.

✓ Ability to implement call tracking numbers

Analysis is so critical to the success of any enterprise. By using a call tracking number as the primary number on each location’s Knowledge Panel, you can glean important data about how users are interacting with your assets.

✓ Q&A

Post and answer your own company FAQ, and monitor this feature on a regular basis to emphasize the accessibility of your customer support.

✓ Product/service menus

Where appropriate, a thorough menu deepens the experience a user can have with your Knowledge Panel.

✓ Bookings

Depending on your industry, you may find you have to pay Google for bookings to remain competitive. Alternatively, experiment with Google Posts image text to pull users from the Knowledge Panel over to your own booking widget.

✓ Attributes

Add every appropriate attribute that’s available for your business category to deepen Google’s understanding of what you offer.

Summing up

Each element of a Google Knowledge Panel offers a different level of control to your Enterprise, from no control to total control. Rather than worry about things you can’t manage, focus on the powers you do have to:

  1. Create positive real-world consumer experiences by dint of your excellent customer service
  2. Prompt consumers to help you reflect those experiences in your Knowledge Panel
  3. Monitor, track, and interact with consumers as much as possible on your Knowledge Panel
  4. Publish rich and accurate information to the Knowledge Panel, knowing that Google wants to retain as many users as possible within this interface

Local enterprises are in a time of transition in 2018, moving from a past in which the bulk of customer experiences could be controlled either in-store or on the brand’s website, to a present in which Google is successfully inter-positioning itself an informational and transactional agent.

Google wants your Knowledge Panel to work for them, but with the right approach to the elements you can control, you still have a significant say in how it works for you.

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What to Expect When Installing Solar Panels




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As the price of electricity and other fuel sources continue to skyrocket as the resources they depend on diminish, many are looking toward environmentally friendly energy sources that can be maintained by a single home owner to help both the environment and their wallets.

While other forms of green energy are available on an industrial level, the easiest way to transition to an environmentally friendly electricity source on a budget is to invest in solar power system. A lot of electricity can be made from sunshine by a process called solar photovoltaic, which can easily make enough energy to handle a majority of home owner’s needs. Any house can be equipped with solar panels, but depending on the location and the amount of sunlight the area gets while determine whether it is the best option.

Solar energy will not fully remove a consumer’s reliance on an electrical grid but it is still a great way to save money. For houses that live in an area that get a sufficient amount of sunlight, electricity costs can be substantially reduced and can be installed with ease. In order to begin the process of setting up solar panels it is probably a good idea to first contact the electrical company. When setting up solar panels, the electrical grid is still used, but only for days when there is low sunlight. As an added bonus to being connected to the power company, any excess electricity that the panels make can be sold back to the electrical plant resulting in extra money that pays for the investment.

After consulting with the local electricity company, the next step is to find a nearby solar panel retailer. Nearly every large area that gets sun has a company that deals exclusively with the selling and installation of panels. However if an area does not have a native solar panel store, ordering them online is a great alternative. For those with a local company, give them a call and they will be able to assess the roof and house location in order to get optimal electricity from the sunlight, and will begin planning the installation from there.

Once the solar power company has determined the best setup for the household, they will set a date to install the panels. A team of qualified professionals will work with your power company to get a modified power box that is compatible with a new solar system. After the power box is properly configured, the solar panels are ready to be installed. This process can take a few hours to a few days, but once the solar panels are installed and configured, they will last a lifetime. When thinking of installing solar panels, make sure to weigh the positive environmental and budgetary benefits versus the effort and process of choosing and implementing a system.

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What Size Solar Panels Do You Need?

Solar panels come in different sizes. And when it comes to sizes, usually we refer to the wattage of a panel can produce, or physical size. Both are linked because the watt panel can produce, the bigger.

Decide on the size of your solar system depends on two factors: the amount of electricity used his house, and the money they are willing to invest in the solar system. Solar systems can be very expensive, and even if they pay for themselves over time, buying all panels to power an entire house can be financially out of reach for many families.

The average size of a solar system

Just to give an idea, an average solar panel can produce about 150w. 150w a group of about 1 square foot size. So you should always keep in mind is the fact that the panel can produce as much energy as perfect on sunny days, when the sun falls directly on it. Therefore, the panel will produce 150 watts only 3-4 hours a day (when the sun is brighter) depending on the isolation of the area where you live.

The size of a solar system is calculated in kWp, an abbreviation for kilowatt peak. A 1.5 kWp system can generate 1500 watts of sunshine. This system consists of 10 solar panels 150w and each occupies 10 square feet of roof space. 1500 Wp solar system can not provide all the energy needed for an average household, but it would do a decent job of providing it.

This is just an example and may not apply to you. Unfortunately, a typical house uses a lot of energy, and if you want to provide all the power with the help of a solar system, you would have to pay thousands of dollars on it. It would be best to find a compromise solution that alleviates at least some of the energy needs of your home.

If a solar system which gives all the energy needs of your home is too big, and you have or not have enough space or enough money to pay, there are some solutions you can try. One would be to reduce their energy consumption. You can also buy energy efficient appliances for your home. Another idea would be to buy solar panels one at a time, when you have money. Other financial solutions are also available, such as green tax rebates and incentives, so that would be a good idea to find out about those in force in your state.


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Cheapest Solar Panels

Solar panels provide an effective and environmentally friendly source of energy cost. This is attributed to reject what does not smoke or gas and are therefore environmentally friendly. Also, your only cost is the purchase of the panels and maintain properly. The purchase price must not be huge because there are cheap solar panels. Some of these panels are as effective or better performance compared to those sold at relatively high prices. All you need to know are the right ways and places to get affordable solar panels.
Among the ways that you can easily get solar panels at an affordable price includes the direct purchase of manufacturing companies. This is because these companies do not cover costs included by distributors and retailers, such as transport and storage costs. However most companies that manufacture solar panels are sold whole sales prices. Some manufacturers even offer discounts, provide transportation and installation are mostly to buyers who purchase large quantities. It can also be obtained through solar panels discounted buying opportunity. This means that if you have solar panels that are sold as second-hand, then there is a high probability that they will be cheap. Everything you need to check is whether used solar panels are in good condition and performance.

One of the places you can easily get solar panels on promotion is advertising in different forums, such as small sections of local newspapers and online. This is because most people selling solar panels at reduced prices of advertising in general in these forums. This is especially those who travel and need to sell some equipment from their homes. You can also get these panels at reduced prices by visiting various auction sites. This is due to auctions to sell different things at discounted prices. In addition, the auctioneer is to take things in general, people who can not pay various debts and sell them at prices that are designed to recover debts. Therefore, it is possible to get cheap solar panels always knows the right places and ways to achieve them.


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Solar Panels A Safe Investment Option




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Green energy sources are more sustainable energy production resources. These renewable energy sources can be used several times and do not cause environmental pollution. These are not very expensive. On the other hand, non-renewable energy sources can not be renewed. At the current rate of consumption, the future generation will be under the threat of energy. While green energy sources such as solar energy should be used to meet energy demands.

One of the main dangers of using fossil fuels such as coal oil and natural gas is dramatically affects nature. Carbon emissions through the use of fossil fuels causes global warming and many other health risks. Vehicles and households contribute to global warming. Over the years, people have realized the harmful effects of using them and they are slowly changing to other energy sources that are friendly to the environment. Other sources, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular because it has many positive factors. The sun’s energy is used to generate power here. Solar panels are used to exploit the sunlight, which is converted into other forms. This is also the best method to get rid of electricity bills as the power to homes and commercial organizations can be recovered by the solar panels. People slowly recognize the many benefits of using this technology and make investments in solar panels to produce energy.

Usually, a lot of energy for heating and cooling in the summer and winter use. The use of solar panels for heating, a lot of power and money can be saved. The use of this alternative energy, you help the environment welfares. Green energy sources can also be used for lighting and running appliances. The only drawback is that solar panels can not be used when sufficient sunlight is not available. However, if the sunlight received during the day can be stored in solar cells and can be used at night to power generation. Most people have a misconception that these panels are very expensive and difficult to install. Installing solar panels is not a difficult task if the right help is requested. In addition, the installation cost is not very high in relation to future prospects. Considering all these factors, the investment in solar panels is a good investment to make.

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