Online Reviews: What Businesses Need To Know

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Online Reviews: What Businesses Need To Know

Online Reviews: What Businesses Need To Know

Online Reviews: What Businesses Need To Know

Online reviews are here to stay. Not only have they spread across different platforms, but our society is becoming more and more accustomed to reading – and leaving – online reviews. Now, more than ever, businesses need to grow their online reviews, and the right review generation strategy can take your company straight up the Google ladder.

Consumers have found a valuable resource in online reviews. Being able to read what others have experienced goes a long way when you’re trying to decide which restaurant to visit, auto service facility to use, even which dentist or physician to see. Google, Facebook, and other search engines have integrated online reviews into their algorithms to deliver users the best possible results. Distance, Relevance, and Prominence are three major signals which figure heavily into that algorithm. Essentially Google is saying, “Is this business close by?” “Is this business publishing info that is relevant to this search?” and “Do people have good things to say about this business?” These signals are very important to how your business appears in search, with reviews being among the most important. OMG National has the strategies and resources to help any business prepare the right review management plan.

Review-Centric Society

A recent study shows that 62% of consumers believe that online reviews are important or very important when choosing a business. Americans are becoming savvy consumers, and who can blame us? No one likes to be taken advantage of or mistreated. Reviews have become a part of life for every business. From the smallest cafe to the largest car dealership, every business must now integrate a policy for dealing with the occasional bad review, or face the consequences. Leaving reviews unanswered can say to the public, “Frankly my dear customer, I don’t give a damn!” It’s just not good business, nor is it in keeping with a best practices approach to customer service. The way that you deal with negative feedback can mean the difference between turning a potential customer into an actual one.

Buying habits indicate that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation, and this statistic is on the rise. It’s all about the numbers. The more reviews generated for your business, the more chances of positive feedback and valuable SEO keywords potentially left by highly rated Google Local Guides.

Final Thought

Replying to every review, positive or negative, has become an essential part of doing business in 2018. Understanding the different response approaches can become a time consuming task unto itself. Worrying about reviews on multiple platforms like: Yelp, Yahoo, Angie’s List, BBB, Google My Business, Facebook, Bing, YP.com and many others means that you need digital eyes in the back of your digital head, and that you are ready to respond. Sounds like a big, digital headache to me! That’s where OMG National comes in. We’re well versed in responding to every type of review and can help your business create the right review strategy tailored to your industry or profession.

Our Review Stream 3.0 platform is created specifically to enhance the search value of your reviews with Schema markup code, which can improve the way Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines find your company and place you within the search results. Find out more here or call us directly to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives, 800.789.4619.

Directory Listings: Win Big in 2018

Directory Listings: Win Big in 2018

By: Henry Heredia

Understanding how Google and other search engines deliver results to their users is the Online Marketer’s biggest challenge. When I ask a new client what their goals are when starting their marketing program, the most common answer is: “to get my business to the top of Google”. Most don’t understand how it works (which is why they hired a marketing agency in the first place), but when our clients start paying, they start expecting results…the clock is running!

Understanding Search

Many factors come into play when Google sends out their “bots” to “crawl” for information relevant to what the user types into the search field. Relevance, proximity, and prominence are three components that the algorithm takes into account when creating the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), but where does the algorithm get this information?

Google uses highly trusted sites to gather all kinds of data. You may know a few like Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Merchant Circle, etc., there are hundreds, and the first step in our OMG Partner – Online Marketing Program is building these many internet properties out for your company. The OMG Power Network’s sites include 70+ Directory, Search Engines, Review portals, and Social Media platforms. We make sure you are prominent across all of them.

 Google regularly indexes these sites and holds their information in high regard, which in turn benefits our clients with enhanced visibility leading to phone calls and web traffic. By allowing us to place backlinks, keywords, categories, business contact information, images, videos, and a well-written narrative; search engines confirm the veracity and professionalism of your business. This helps place your business website higher within the search results, and adds your Google My Business listing to the first results within the map pack.

Just like businesses that canvas neighborhoods with flyers, or add billboards to an area where customers are likely to pass, maintaining and managing these directory listing sites can help your brand stay in the top of the search results, and top of mind to your future customers. You can’t control where your next customer is going to find you. Searches conducted on an iPhone will yield a different set of results than on an Android. A customer using their laptop at Starbucks might find you on your Yelp page while another using a desktop computer and doing the same search across town, may find you on the Google map. We make sure that you have listings in all the places that customers search.

The Future of Directory Listing Management

As we move towards artificial intelligence, our dependence on virtual assistants is growing. Siri and Alexa have already become household names, and understanding the most innovative search engine marketing techniques will ensure your business is included when these intelligent virtual assistants deliver their results to the end users.

Final Thought

The year has just begun, now is the best time to take action and get your company’s listings cleaned up. Interested in seeing how you stack up currently? Click here to take our FREE OMG National listings scan and see for yourself!

Make the right choice and contact OMG National! We’ve helped thousands of businesses around the country, and we can help you too. Call us now to speak with a representative, 800-789-4619 or click here to browse our catalog of services.

Online Reviews: One Pillar of Success in 2018

Online Reviews: One Pillar of Success in 2018

2017 has seen an enormous shift in how Google and other search engines factor in ratings and reviews. Online reviews which were once the online equivalent of “word of mouth” have become much more. The trend continues to move and encompasses an overarching theme, that Google is working more and more on displaying the most logical results possible for any given query. Is a company who has a significant amount of online reviews a prominent player in their market? Yes, likely so.

Google has realized that online reviews have the power to shape customer behavior. So why should I listen to what a company has to say about itself? Won’t this information likely be slanted in an effort to sell to me? Within the same search, you can read what actual customers have said about their experience, and this would be a more trusted assessment of “the truth.”

Reviews, as important as they are to a small business, have gotten a whole lot more important this year. The reason can be summed up in another annoying marketing anagram, SERP. It stands for Search Engine Results Page. When you look up your company name, you get a set of results. This will likely include your Google My Business page, website page or pages, perhaps some ads for your own company or for competitors who are bidding on your name, AND the directories and review sites with your business information. This is the “SERP” for your company.

Taking a look at your search engine results and that of your competitors, it is easy to see how the online reviews have crept into those results. It is also easy to prove that more reviews mean a higher page presence on Google. Whether on mobile or desktop, you will notice that Google is now quite obviously factoring in the reviews when showing results.

Earlier this year we talked (blogged) about the “signals” that Google looks for when determining the results to show. Distance, relevance, and prominence were given as three important factors. It is now obvious that they (Google) have determined that a preponderance of online reviews, does in fact make a company more prominent within that search. In the end, it’s all about giving the best possible experience to their users, providing the best results for any given query.

Online Reviews – New Marketing Horsepower

Here at OMG National, your online reviews is a subject which we have spent thousands of man hours working through and studying. We are in the process of developing our 4th generation Review Platform. Our current platform, Review Stream 3 provides the structured data markup from Schema.org to ensure your website’s first party reviews appear prominently in search. As the process by which online reviews are interpreted, handled, and displayed continues to evolve, so will our Review Stream platform. We will ensure that your small business marketing program is leveraging the best practices for how Google wants you handling online reviews.

Bad Review? Handle It.

In the early days of digital marketing and online reviews, a business could choose to ignore reviews in the hopes that the review would disappear so potential clients wouldn’t see them. The option to ignore online reviews no longer exists.

Unless you are 100% certain that everyone representing your organization is delivering outstanding customer service, a review strategy must be established to thank users for positive feedback and resolve the negative feedback that can result in the loss of thousands of dollars in potential revenue.

Responding to bad reviews is essential going into 2018. With that in mind, we’ve incorporated a make it right button directly into our Review Stream 3 platform so a bad experience can be resolved before turning into a negative review.

What’s the best way to ensure your company is getting positive reviews? Employing excellent customer service skills every time, with everyone. Set expectations so the customer understands the extent of your service, and always listen and consider your customer’s feedback.

There’s no pleasing everyone, so in the event that your company does get a negative review, the best course of action is to respond to that review. Address the problem, clearly state your intentions to resolve the issue, and move the conversation offline by suggesting the reviewer contact the business owner directly at a specific number.

Final thought

Upcoming Webinar: Dec. 20th @ 12pm Online Reviews: The Key To Your Success in 2018

We live in a transparent marketing society. Our failures as business people are out there for the world to see in the click of a mouse. There are real dollars associated with this issue, real emotions too. Working as hard as we do on our business, we know how the sting of a bad review can hurt. It feels like someone is insulting your child. However, knowing that this transparency is a part of business life today, forces you to be a better company. So even though it can be painful to address, your online reviews can give you a road map for improving your operation, each day.

Learn more about online reviews today by contacting one of our digital marketing experts at 800-789-4619 or visit http://omgnational.com/contact

Book your spot in our December Webinar where we’ll cover the most important elements when it comes to review management. Click here to reserve your spot, and don’t forget to check out OMG University for complete access to all of our past webinars.

The Direction of Digital Marketing: 2017 and Beyond

The Direction of Digital Marketing: 2017 and Beyond

The industry has changed a lot in the last year, and as we head toward the year’s midway point, it’s important to take a second and think about the direction of digital marketing in 2017 and beyond. To market effectively, it is critical to stay on top of the latest trends. Research them, understand their usefulness, plan your direction and take advantage before your competitors do. Here are seven trends stirring up the marketing world this year.

1) Live Streaming Video

Web surfers are begging for more immediate, engaging content. Live streaming video platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope and others provide just that. Discussions about crowd size aside, the inauguration of President Donald Trump cracked the record of largest live streaming audience to date, reaching an estimated 4.6 million online on-lookers at its peak live viewership. Live-streamed events allow viewers to share an experience as it unfolds, piquing their curiosity and keeping their interest. Brands like yours can live stream events, discussions and more to display a less filtered, intimate side of their business.

2) Augmented Reality (AR)

In the last few years, augmented reality has made amazing strides. Pokémon GO had our neighborhoods teeming with virtual monsters and obsessed millennials. Earning $10 million a day at its peak, the app‘s developers proved it’s possible to translate the spectacle of AR into ROI. And though the excitement around the game has died down, brands are still investing in this yet to be truly tapped into tech. Snapchat recently introduced its new World Lenses feature that allows you to drop 3D animated objects into the setting of your photos and videos. We expect we’ll see more brands to release new AR tools, games, ads and innovative ways to capitalize on existing AR apps.

4) 360 Videos and Immersion

People want to be amazed. Augmented reality and virtual reality have captured our imagination. Those technologies seem out of reach now but, with 360 video, you can create immersive content that no one can ignore. Record an event or product demonstration in 360 video and your customers will feel as if they experienced it firsthand. Developing immersive experiences don’t just grab their attention but turn the world around them into the experience itself.

5) Native Advertising

As consumers continue to avoid most forms of advertising, more and more brands turn to native advertising. These appear to be normal magazine or news articles, but they are infused with brand specific content to target readers of particular publications. This is a sneakier form of advertising that is designed to not be as off-putting as traditional ads. Major publishers have been offering native advertising for quite some time. We expect more publishers to follow this trend, and to see more sneaky ways to advertise without scaring off your audience.

6) Make it Short, Make it Dense

Our attention spans have changed. We skip ads and posts that don’t interest us. We skim articles or even share them after just seeing the headline. From movies and MTV to 140-character tweets and second-long Snapchats, our tolerance for lengthy content is rapidly disappearing as technology progresses. This is especially true for younger consumers who have grown up in the social media era. It’s essential to make the content you put out dense to communicate your message without being disregarded as static.

7) Data Analytics Improved with New Tools

In marketing, data drives all. With the market and media landscape splintered between traditional and online avenues, it has become harder than ever to understand the wealth of data collected. We are only human, which is why we rely on data visualization tools. There are several data visualization tools out there already to enhance your ability to sift through the numbers and make marketing magic happen. And with new data visualization tools being developed all the time, there’s no limit to how we can improve our campaigns.

We encourage you to read up on these trends. Find out how other companies have utilized things like native advertising or live streaming video to their marketing advantage, and see if you can include one of these trends in your marketing strategy. They may be unfamiliar to you now but, based on what we’ve seen in the last year, they won’t be for long.

OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEOpaid searchsocial media managementreputation managementlogo designwebsite design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it!

Social Media And Your Business

By: Henry Heredia

Once upon a time, small business advertising meant television, radio, and print formats. Companies needed “Big Bucks” to compete. But the internet changed all that and there are now almost unlimited possibilities to produce creative ads for any budget. In this post, we’ll discuss how businesses can directly benefit from communicating with consumers through social media platforms.

Today, businesses don’t have a choice on whether or not to use social media. Often, a patron will check in from your company location which creates an unverified profile page. For business, social media is a powerful branding tool that can generate effective engagement with your audience and customer loyalty towards your brand, so it would be wise not to overlook.

Audience Targeting

Think about it. How do you keep in touch with friends and loved ones? How do you get your news and information? What app do you most use on your phone? If the answer is Facebook, then you’re just like the other 1.5 billion active users worldwide; and social media doesn’t stop there. Different social sites provide access to a variety of audiences with specific interests, and understanding user demographics can help companies target the customers they want while reducing inefficient spending.

Remember filling out your Facebook profile? Probably not, but you surely mentioned interests, chose pages to follow, updated your employment status, marital status and so on. What seemed like insignificant information while filling out a form has become invaluable data for marketers to use and identify target demographics.

Just as Facebook has done, other Social Network Sites are now leveraging the specific information gathered to build paid advertising networks that can market directly to consumers with the exact demographics your business wants (occupations, interests, gender, age group, etc.). Social sites have become the most popular platforms for content distribution to the masses, and businesses are changing the way they spend advertising dollars to reflect this trend.

Convert followers into consumers

A recent study found that 88% of consumers consider online reviews to be very influential when making a purchase decision. Social media sites now include ratings and reviews within a business profile, making a company’s reputation visible to any and every potential customer, partner, or patient. Actively responding to reviews, messages, comments, and posts shows that your company cares about customer service.

There are no guarantees when dealing with social media followers, but understanding social conversations and trends can assist businesses to effectively engage with users. Companies need to be wary of over-posting or overselling through social media. Barraging followers with sales driven posts will inevitably result in loss of interest and worse of all, loss of following. Consumers are searching for humor, video, facts, motivational posts, authentic images, and personal communication in their feeds, so adjusting your strategy can keep your brand in the minds of your audience.

Social media is a very important cog in the content marketing wheel. Social media touches every part of an organization. From customer service to frontline sales and human resources to Information Technology; it’s a living, breathing, and ever-evolving entity. The only way to keep ahead of the game is to remain informed on all the best practices or contact OMG National and let us do the heavy lifting. Call today to speak to a representative, 800-789-4619 or visit our website to find out more, https://omgnational.com/online/social-media

Reviews In 2017

We live and we market our companies amidst an ocean of online reviews. They stream in from all sides. It is available to us in heavy doses, from the time we wake up until we hit the sack at night. Consumers are searching for towers, plumbers, restaurants, mortgage brokers, and everything in between. Recent studies show that more than 85% of consumers consult and rely on online reviews to help them make the right call. These consumers have come right out and said, “Yes! I am influenced by online reviews.”

As reviews have gained importance, Google, the largest information and data aggregator in the world, is shifting the focus of their search algorithm to heavily weigh reviews in ranking search results. To understand what impact this trend has on marketing, one must realize how search engines have evolved over the past ten years. At the turn of the century, with limited information and metrics, Google took a best guess as to what a user was searching, providing a list of 10 blue links.

Several years ago, the platforms Google Places, Google Maps, Google+, and Google My Business began their evolution to where they are today. The search giant has now shifted its priority to displaying verified information first—with review content as a close second—on the Google Knowledge Graph; the helpful sidebar that highlights information when making a Google search. Location has now become the center of search, and a simple query for “flowers” will no longer just display 10 websites that are perhaps relevant (sometimes including irrelevant results such as “what flowers are native to Indonesia”). Instead, Google now provides a Google Maps and Google My Business powered map with local florists, highlighting their reviews.

Last November, our leadership attended Location World in NYC, a meeting of minds for the leaders of companies that drive the adoption of best-practices when it comes to online reviews. The consensus was clear: Google has modified search results to prioritize Google-friendly business profile information, and Google IS NOT taking review ratings from any ONE source. They have taken control by algorithmically balancing reviews from ALL Google-friendly sources, and displaying them in the Knowledge Graph.

You may be wondering, “What does that mean to us, and as marketers where do we go from here?” For consumers looking for a product or service for the first time, Yelp and Facebook— two of the leading industry lead providers—are only as relevant as their ability to prominently show up when someone is searching for said product or service. “Where do most consumers search?” Google! What this means to us is that we have a new set of rules to play by, and that we need to adopt guidelines to make our clients successful at showing up first. Knowing we need to influence Google search results, here are the most important new review metrics alongside OMG National’s new Review Stream 3.0 (RS3) solution:

  •         First-Party vs. Third-Party. Repopulating third-party reviews on your website is becoming a thing of the past, as first-party reviews now can directly affect search results. With the latest Google update, the search engine has empowered businesses to do their own review publishing ONLY when operating within Google’s Developer framework. RS3 lets you solicit and publish first-party reviews to your website, increasing the relevancy of the online property, and allowing your website to trump competitors in local search rankings.
  •         Relevancy Through Recency. Having 20 reviews in the last month on Facebook does not help you if you don’t have a single review on Yelp within the past year. RS3 helps you balance where both positive and negative reviews go to make sure reviews are distributing across review platforms.
  •         Respond Instead of Remove. The industry is flooded with review technology that specifically caters to suppressing negative reviews (our still available Review Stream 2.0 does just that!) However, you must ask yourself, is being number one on Google more important than having a 4.9 rating when someone shows up and looks for you? RS3 has a set quarantine time that gives you time to respond so that you don’t have a naked bad review online. Businesses are human, mistakes happen, it’s about how you address those mistakes that will make all the difference when someone finds you first during their next search.

OMG National is currently including the deployment of Review Stream 3.0 with all OMG Partner, Partner Plus, and Partner Premier marketing programs. Don’t forget to check out our exclusive webinar this month where we will share a whole host of tips and tricks designed to increase the right kind of reviews, adding maximum impact to your marketing plan. Don’t get left behind in 2017! Click below to reserve your seat today!

Google is going to shake things up with their new “Home Services Pack”

Google is going to shake things up with their new “Home Services Pack”

While currently, business verification helps set businesses utilizing Google’s powerful My Business platform apart from their competition, Google is working on implementing a new level of verification that is going to shake the game up pretty significantly.

How do things currently work?

Currently, businesses simply have to verify their address or phone number depending on the options that Google chooses to provide in order to verify their My Business listing. Once the listing is verified, business owners can add images, content, service area optimizations, and a vast array of other content in order to set their listing apart from their competition’s listings. An emphasis on reviews is then placed, because Google takes into consideration all of the optimizations made to the listing as well as the amount and frequency of positive reviews when determining the business’ placement in the currently utilized “Local Pack.” The Local Pack appears when an individual searches for a product or service on Google, and it becomes populated with businesses either nearby or in the designated area that the searcher specified.

How are things going to change?

In specific areas, Google is testing an advanced verification system that will allow businesses to appear in a pack situated above the local search pack in search results. This advanced verification is actually being outsourced to a third-party company named Pinkerton. Pinkerton is a security risk management company that verifies employees and companies before you do transactions with them.

Google is actually asking that, at least in San Diego, plumbers and locksmiths adhere to this new advanced verification system or their Google listing will be removed. This is due to a high number of spam listings in the Local Pack in that region, so Google is relying on the Advanced Verification system to weed out the spammers.

What should you do?

It is unclear at the moment what implications this will mean for small businesses around the country. Google is definitely make a shift towards emphasis on the advanced verification system, however it is unclear if refusing to adhere to the new system will penalize business owners in a similar way as it has in San Diego.

OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEOpaid searchsocial media managementreputation managementlogo designwebsite design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it.

3 Tips for Using Video to Boost Your SEO

3 Tips For Using Video to Boost Your SEO

Video is the biggest trend right now in delivering marketing content. Using video in your marketing campaigns provide a more interactive and personal way to get your messages to your target market. People usually skim long articles, but if they get hooked at the beginning of a video they are more likely to finish it because it’s easier to watch a video than read a long-winded article.

How many times have you ran a Google search and saw YouTube videos in your search results? So why not create videos for your business and optimize them for SEO as another way to get your business on the first page of search results?

  1. Keyword Research
    Video SEO needs the same keyword research as traditional SEO. You are still fighting to come up in search results for specific keywords related to your business; the only difference is the content you want to show up is a video instead of a blog.
  1. Keyword-Rich Video Titles & Descriptions
    Using SEO keywords in your video title and description on YouTube and other video platforms will help rank you higher in search results. However, you don’t want to overdo it. Choose a set of specific keywords that are related to your video and your business without oversaturating the description.

Google and other search engine algorithms are getting smarter every day and they are less likely to rank a video that is “keyword stuffed.” However, don’t forget to take advantage of metadata available as tags on YouTube and other video platforms. Placing keywords, locations and languages in the tags can help the SEO performance of your videos as well.

  1. Use closed captioning
    Closed captioning is the process of providing a transcript of your video to be played over the top of the video for anyone who may be hearing impaired. It is a time-consuming task that business owners usually put off, but it is worthwhile for boosting video SEO.The search engine algorithms can’t crawl the video content (yet), which is where the closed captioning comes into play. Just as Google crawls the text of a blog post for keywords, it can also crawl the closed caption text for a video. Therefore, when creating your video, you should also include keywords in the video script and take the time to add closed captioning. Video SEO can be used on its own to boost videos or as a strategic addition to any SEO campaign. If you are looking to boost your SEO results with video, contact an SEO Expert at OMG National today at 800-789-4619.

The Importance of Local SEO

The basics of SEO…

Most business owners who understand the slightest bit of information regarding digital marketing know that they have to rank well on search engines, but they do not understand the methods necessary or the different types of SEO at play in order to achieve the results they desire. SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it is truly that: managing content either on a website or on an external site to make sure it is very readable by Google and other search engines, so that the content (and ultimately the business’ information) is easier to find by searchers in order to increase exposure.

Good SEO takes time. It is important to recognize that SEO is not something that can take effect overnight. Most SEO practices utilize content structure and keywords in order to help correlate with searches performed by customers on search engines. This means that an organic method is being used in order to help bump up either the website or third party listing’s placement in search results. This is in stark contrast to the paid approach, which typically produces more immediate results, but is more expensive and the results are temporary. The internet does not function in a vacuum – there is an immense amount of content on the web and it takes time for Google and other search engines to crawl the internet for information and restructure their search results based on optimizations made to content.

Two different types:

  • On-site SEO: Optimizations made to the content on a website that directly affects the ranking of the site in search results, making the website easier to find. This is the typical type of SEO that most people are familiar with.
  • Off-site or Local SEO: Optimizations made to third-party websites, directory listings, or local listings in order to help make information about the business easier to find. While this can result in a slight bump in a website’s ranking due to the numerous third-party sites now directing back to it, increasing the website’s ranking is typically not the priority objective.

How Local SEO Works

Because Local SEO focuses on optimizations made to third-party websites to help make information about a business easier to find, one is typically limited to the features that the particular site they are working on provides to help make optimizations. For example: Google My Business has local listings that allow business owners to specify their service area so that their listing shows up to a higher degree in the results of searches performed in that area. The extent of which business descriptions and the vast array of supplemental information that these types of listings support are entered, also has a great degree of effect on the listing’s search-ability. Furthermore, if the third-party site supports reviews, the number and frequency of incoming positive reviews that your business has will greatly affect its listing’s search-ability as well.

 What this means for business owners

All of this can seem incredibly complicated and overwhelming. Business owners already have enough on their plates, and the continual updates that good SEO practices require can seem suffocating.

OMG National is a full-service digital marketing agency providing SEOpaid searchsocial media managementreputation managementlogo designwebsite design, and more. Do you need someone with experience and knowledge to take the reins and push your business’ online marketing initiatives to the next level? Give us a call at 800-789-4619 or contact us here, and we’ll take care of it!

Cash In On Building Your Online Presence in 2017

By: Jesse Lubar
CEO OMG National

Follow Jesse on Twitter @onholddude

This new age of customer exploration is constantly changing. Mobile Searches are seeing unprecedented growth, and location-based local searches on mobile are growing 146% year-over-year. It sounds like sci-fi, but even self-driving vehicles will be the norm by 2021. In order to reach searching consumers in these “micro-moments” or moments that matter, businesses must be in complete control of the data that appears online. The powerful ability to edit, highlight, and advertise across your entire online presence is a key competitive advantage not to be overlooked.

For small businesses looking to succeed in marketing, education is the key, and that means staying updated on what’s new and changing in the digital space. Keeping up with topics such as search marketing, social media platforms and content ideas, plus location-based technology, is imperative.

Here at OMG National, our leadership and marketing committee stays knee-deep in the new frontier of mobile search and what it means for businesses and consumers alike. We study the current state of search, how your next customer is searching right now versus how the search engines are reading those queries. We also work diligently to keep up with all of the “science” and theory behind the major drivers of Google and friends.

We got our start 26 years ago, pre-internet. At that time, our sales professionals were tasked with educating small business owners on how they could leverage their business telephone to drive customer experience, cross-sales, and prevent people from hanging up when they were put on-hold by a busy company. It was about leveraging the tools of the day to maximize every opportunity and improve on their competitive advantage.

Today is no different. Make sure that you’ve got a firm handle on your online search, social, review, and directory sites. You can begin by identifying the most important online real estate that exists for your industry, company type, and location. Once you’ve got your list, start by claiming and/or building them out to the max. Add imagery, a well-written narrative, and be sure to monitor them for reviews and social mentions.

Your well-built online presence will ensure that you are rewarded with enhanced online activity. Follow this DIY formula, or engage an online marketing agency to handle it for you. The experts agree, your presence across these sites is one major key to your company’s future online success.

For OMG National, this is Jesse Lubar, signing off with a smile.