Posts Tagged ‘google’

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You Are Properly Using Google Places; Right?

November 14, 2010

Having your business listed in Google places is extremely valuable
for increasing your visibility and your page ranking in a Google
search. There are several things you should do in order to help
increase your Google Places ranking.

Google recently reconfigured the way they rank pages. If they
think the person doing the search is trying to find a local business they
will automatically put the Google Places results at the top of the
search page. If your business isn’t listed in Google Places you will not
show up in that list. Therefore, make sure you have your Google
Places page set up.

Once you have created your page you should do as much as possible to
make  your page rank higher than your competition’s Google Places
rankings.

Here are a few things you can do to help create a positive Google Places ranking.

1. Have a 100% complete profile. If you took enough time to fill out all
the information you should get much further along than those who
don’t fill out the profile. That’s common since.

2. Upload photos and videos [If you have them] to your places page. Make
sure your favorite photo is the first one you upload. This picture will be
used as a profile photo that people can actually see when your place
shows up in a Google search. Here is an example of what the
places search results
will look like when it displays your photos.

3. Get reviews! This is extremely important! First of all, don’t write your
own reviews. Most of the time it is obvious that they aren’t genuine. Take a
look sometime at someone who has a lot of reviews and look at the
dates they are posted. Some businesses will suddenly have a boost of
reviews all on the same day or within a period of a few days. Then the
reviews stop coming in. Those almost always turn out to be the
company writing reviews on itself.

If you have a quality business it shouldn’t be hard to ask a few of your
top customers or clients to write a short review for you. Asking 10
people to write a review for you will significantly improve your
ranking and credibility. You could even offer an incentive to get your
favorite customers to write for you.

4. Use Google Posts. Using Google Posts is like using the status
update for Facebook. You are able to enter as many as 160 characters of
text and publish it with your places page. If you have something going
on make sure to use the Google Posts option to let people know about
it. Also, consider using keywords to add to your industry relevance.

5. Have a well designed website. If your website is built well for search
engine optimization purposes you will seem important to Google. This will
of course be helpful for your places ranking when someone is
searching for a local business.

6. Add a description for your company. This is a short description but it
is an excellent place to add the most relevant keywords for your
industry.

7. Properly categorize your places page. There is a section that allows
you to categorize your business. If you own an ice cream business and
don’t categorize it as ice cream it may be difficult to get your page to
show up in an ice cream business search. Make sure to categorize your
business properly.

There are some more strategies and aspects to successfully using Google
Places but I think the seven points listed above are perhaps the most
important things to be taken advantage of.

I hope this helps and please feel free to leave comments and suggestions
to this post!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

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3 Important Things to Check on Your Website

October 31, 2010

I don’t know much about html and programming, but I can tell if my
company website is designed to get the attention of Google and other
search engines.

I’ve noticed that a lot of websites are built to appear attractive to
visitors but ignore hidden aspects that make search engines happy.

Here are some steps my company took to increase our page rankings
on some various search terms. We now rank number one in almost
every search that people use to find us.

Go to your website and right-click on the background. In the tab that
appears you will see an option to click on “View Source (V).” Click that
option.

There are three things in that crazy maze of letters, numbers, and
symbols that you need to find.

Meta Descriptions

Three SEO Tips1. Look for where it says
<META NAME=”description” CONTENT= towards
the top of the window. This is the description of
the website that Google displays in the Google
search. This is the first thing people will read
about who you are and what you offer. This is
very important because the keywords people
are using to find you should be in that
description. That will help google give your page a
higher ranking. If you leave this section blank
Google will make up a meta description for
you. It’s better to make your own description using the keywords you
want. The meta description should be no more than about 160
characters long and should be written in readable sentences and not just
a list of keywords. People will read your meta so be careful as you
craft it.

Meta Keywords

2. Look for <META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=. This should be very
close to where it has the description. This is the place where you want to
add the keywords that are most relevant to your site. You don’t have
to list them in sentence form like you do for the description. Just
add some keywords or phrases which are separated by commas. Most
people recommend that you have somewhere from four to nine keywords
or phrases. Choose your keywords well. I would recommend using
Google AdWords
to find the best keywords for your site. One good idea I
read was to include your city as a keyword. Don’t just include the products or
services you offer.

Meta Alts & Titles

3. The last place to look for is a little more tricky than the first
two. You will need to find the part of the page that says “<body….” If you
have a picture in the body of your website you will also see some text that
says “<img….” After  and are the last two places you want to pay some
attention to. Each time you have an image in your website there will be alt
and title names available to the image. You could think of alts and titles as
very brief descriptions you can give to your photos. Again, you
want to use keywords that are associated with the page. By adding
alts and titles to each image you can give Google and other search
engines more opportunities to see what your page is about. The more
you can describe your page to the search engines the better.

These three steps are focused on making keywords for the search engines
to see.

I would strongly suggest looking at your website to see if you
have individual descriptions for each page, individual keywords for
each page, and unique alts and titles for each image in your site.

If your site isn’t taking advantage of these SEO methods you should
come up with descriptions, keywords, alts, and titles and ask your
webmaster to include them in your site.

Give it a few days for the search engines to take a look (crawl) your
page. Once this is done I suspect your page ranking will improve.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions or anything to add
feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading!

~Joshua Lyons

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Are Social Media Your Minions?

October 10, 2010

This post is very different from everything else I have done on this
blog; but it should help drive home the point that social media platforms
should work in unison and not independantly.

Here are three of the best minions I have ever had working for me. I have
given each one some orders. They are as follow:

Minion #1: Twitter – Twitter, when someone runs a Google search there will
be 10 results on the first page. Your job is to make my name, my
reputation, and what I have to offer appear as all ten of those top search
results. By doing this we can knock all opposition off the first page of the
search results.

Minion #2: Blogs – Blogs, your objective is to continually give the world great
information. Tell them what they want to hear and give them a longing to
come back to see what you have to say next time. Then, create interest and
desire within the reader. Persuade the reader that we are awesome and that
they will do anything for us. Convince them that they need us!

Minion #3: Facebook – Facebook, your mission is to direct our fans. If we are
needing to push them to our blog and feed them information you will give
them incentives to go there. If we need people to go to Twitter, to help
increase page rankings, you will convince the fans that they need to go to
Twitter. Do whatever is necessary to guide the world in the direction we
desire.

By having my minions work together I can create an effective plan for world
domination. If they do not work together I will be left with a team of
minions who are aimlessly trying to do something but will not be able to do
so effectively.

1. Use Twitter to get your company, products, and services all over the first
page of Google.

2. Use your blog to inform your target market and to create a desire for
what you have to offer.

3. Use Facebook as a way to guide your fans to do whatever it is that needs to
be done. This could be retweeting your tweets, posting comments on your
blog, giving feedback about a product, or something else. Facebook should
be used to direct your fans.

By making your social media platforms work together you will find your
social media campaigns to be much more successful than if they are not
working together.

Use your minions and rule the world!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

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How Are Customers Finding Your Competitors?

September 21, 2010

One of the best things you can do, if you want people to find you online, is to
find out which keywords people are typing in a Google search to find your
competitors.

There is an excellent tool that helps you find out what you need to use as your keywords in order for people to find you.

Go to Google AdWords and enter the website of your top competitor. Once
you do this you can hit the search button and
you will be able to see a list of all the
words that are used in Google searches to find
the competitor.

You can see how many times each word is searched, which words are used the most and how competitively your competitors are using those words to drive traffic to
their sites.

You need to find out what is working for your competitors and make those
keywords work for you. Some of the best places to incorporate your top
keywords include your websites, articles, blogs and Twitter bio.

By discovering the best keywords to use and incorporating those keywords in
your website and other sites you will be able to make major
steps toward catching up to your competitors and even surpassing
them.

Good luck with the keyword search!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

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Use Keyword or Kiss Your Business Good Bye

August 29, 2010

If you don’t know how to use keywords your business will die. This is because
keywords are vital to getting your site seen on the internet.

Prehaps the best way to get traffic to your site is by understanding and
using search engine optimisation (SEO).

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo look at titles, bios, and articles for keywords. Keywords are used to show the reader and the search engines what the website or article is about.

The first thing to do is find out what the best keywords for your industry are. If you go to Google keywords you can enter
keywords to see how popular they are or you can enter a competitor’s website URL to see what people type in Google to find them. This could
be extremely valuable! The top keywords you see are
the keywords you should consider using for your website, blog and articles.

Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, a website or you are writing articles it is important to know and use your keywords.

By including keywords in your titles, bios, and content you can tell the search engines what your site is about.

When people search your keywords your site will appear! As you drive more traffic to your sites you will get a higher page ranking. The higher your ranking the more traffic you will get to the site.

Here are some more sites about SEO if you would like some more reading.
SEO Article
Keyword Article

Good luck on your search for and implementation of outstanding keywords!

I hope this helps,

~Joshua Lyons

P.S. Feel free to add some feedback in the comment box if you found this to be helpful or have anything to add.
Thanks.

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Tweet Tweet – Why Twitter is Awesome!

August 16, 2010

I used to think that Twitter was just a giant world-wide chatroom that was never offline. Why bother getting a lot of followers on Twitter? There is no good reason! That’s what I used to think. I recently learned however that Twitter is extremely valuable.

Twitter is valuable because Google indexes everything that is said in Twitter. Let’s say you just opened a new business that sells furniture in your city. How in the world are you going to build a reputation equal to or greater than the veteran furniture stores in the area? You will use Twitter.

When Google sees keywords used in Twitter it catalogues them and classifies them as important. Lets say you tweet “Your Company Name: Your City: Classic wood tables. http://www.yourcompanyname.com&#8221; Now, Google knows that your company and classic wood tables are related to each other. Then, when someone is looking for classic wood tables in Google your name [which is obviously relevant because of Twitter] will appear.

The more people tweet and re-tweet about you, the more Google sees you and the more relevant you appear. If you want to pop up first in a Google search you should use Twitter, include your name and include keywords relevant to you.

I hope this helps you begin to understand the importance of Twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Joshua Lyons

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Which Social Media Outlets to Use for Business?

August 13, 2010

There are so many different social media platforms to use. How do you decide on which one(s) you want?

When you are working on developing a social media presence you want to focus on three key aspects of communication. These aspects are visual, informational and conversational. Ideally you will make use of all three of these types of communication.

The following is a list the social media platforms that I came up with in a brainstorming session. I will indicate why I am or am not planning to use them for the signage business I work for.

YouTube – Yes

YouTube falls under the category of visual. Like a said, you need to show visual imagery. This is good because it allows people to see a face to your organization. They feel as though you are more personable. On the same note, that is why you want to use a profile photo for your avatars and not a logo. People don’t connect to logos, but they do connect and build a rapport with people. I will also use YouTube because it allows me to explain how to make signs and how to care for them. I can show funny sign videos. I can use it as a tool to connect with my audience.

WordPress – Yes

Conversational communication is important. You always want two-way communication. If you are lacking this you can talk till your blue in the face [or fingers from typing] and never communicate once. Feedback allows you to know that you are getting somewhere. You can customize your communication to fit the needs of your audience. If you don’t know what your audience is thinking, and they aren’t communication with you, then you are probably not saying what they need to know. Establish two-way communication through a blog like WordPress and get to know the heart of your target audience.

Twitter – Yes

Twitter is HEAVILY used for search engine optimization (SEO) which I will talk about in more detail later. For know I will just tell you that it is very important to do two things with twitter. 1. use keywords that relate to your business in your tweets. 2. try to give relevant information in your tweets so that people are interested in what you have to say. You want people to read your tweets and share them with others. If you always tweet useless information you will be looked upon as a waste of time and nobody will ever read your tweets.

Hootsuite – Yes

I will talk about this more later. Hootsuite is extremely useful for organizing your tweets on twitter and for monitoring what people say about you.

Pingfm – No

Pingfm is a lot like Hootsuite but in my opinion it is not quite as good. There is no point in having two Hootsuites.

FourSquare – No

For my business this is not a very relevant tool. If you are in the type of business that caters to frequent visitors, such as a restaurant, amusement park or something of that nature I would highly recommend looking into FourSquare.

Facebook – Yes

This is perhaps the most important platform when it comes to informative communication. Facebook allows you to make use of video, blogs, photos and just about any other type of communication method that you can imagine. Also, if Facebook were the size of a country it would be the third largest country in the world. http://tinyurl.com/22ofvb5 Facebook has more than 500 million users and is used around the world. If you want to communicate with your audience you need to find where they are. They are most likely on Facebook, so don’t be left behind.

MySpace – No

Facebook is very useful but for my business it is not. The signage industry caters more to the business world with customers having graduated from college. Facebook’s median age is in the 30’s. MySpace is focused more on the younger demographic. This would be more for teenagers. We don’t generally have too many teenagers buying signs in Pensacola, Fla. If your industry has a strong teenage presence I would highly recommend getting involved with MySpace.

Let me leave you with one note to summarize this posting. You want to communicate visually, informativly and conversationally. Also, you want to find your key target audiences and make sure you are communicating to them. Don’t worry about everyone else. You want a rifle approach and not a shotgun approach. Get your key audience.

Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful.

If you have found another platform that you think should be included please leave a comment.

I’ll talk to you again next week,

~Joshua Lyons