Directory Listings: Essential for success in the digital world

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Directory Listings: Essential for success in the digital world

Directory Listings: Essential for success in the digital world

Directory Listings: Essential For Digital Success

The internet has changed the way we live our daily lives. Instead of having to visit a big brand/specialty store or contacting a service company hoping there will be products or services you need, we can now confirm that an item is in stock or a service is available before stepping out of the door. Currently, 81% of all consumers in the United States begin their buying journey with an online search. Google, Yelp, and Facebook all gather information from directory listing sites across the internet to create a relevant result for their users and understanding how this works can benefit your business tremendously.

As the word suggests, the Internet is a worldwide network of information, and search engines like Google catalog this information to deliver relevant results to their users. Imagine a World Wide Web with billions upon trillions of connections all pointing in different directions. Local directory listings help point the big search engines towards your business information which then translates to customers being pointed to your brand.

OMG National ensures that our clients’ sites evolve with the times. If Google updates their algorithm, we make sure to add corresponding edits, navigational changes, and plug-in updates to keep clients’ sites prominent within the search results.

Enhancing local off-page SEO

At OMG National, we’ve been able to identify the directory listing websites that Google values the most and integrate them into our Power Network, so that our clients show consistent business information across the internet. On top of that, we lock them down so that any suggested edit (made by data aggregators or other users) goes through an approval or denial process. We’ll secure your business information with our lock-down system.

Now, ensuring that all of your business information matches and stays locked is only one benefit. Directory listing management consists of so much more. Did you know that having multiple business profiles on one directory site actually hurts your Google Ranking? Duplicates pop-up continually and being able to handle those duplicate listings by redirecting or suppressing those profiles is very important toward enhancing your online presence.


Not only that, our team of Digital Marketing experts continually add categories, keywords, images, and additional content to maximize results. Constantly updating the directories ensures that Google keeps indexing your business profiles and improves your company’s ranking on both desktop and mobile searches, as well as helps your business scale to the top of the map section.

Final thought

The pros at OMG National understand the power of leveraging digital content, and have been able to harness the benefits of our Power Network for businesses across the United States, in almost every industry. For more information contact us today at 800-789-4619 or visit omgnational.com

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

Facebook Reviews and Your Online Reputation

It’s one week before your mother’s birthday and you want to find the perfect gift. You would like to buy from a trustworthy company with good prices and great quality, but have no idea where to start.

You ask friends and family about gift ideas and you go online to search reviews from other customers.

85% of consumers use the Internet to find local businesses and 88% of consumers read online reviews. With statistics this high, it is evident that people will be searching for you and seeking out reviews for your business.

Facebook is Very Important to your Business

Facebook is one of the most important sites where reviews cannot be ignored. With 864 million daily active users, Facebook is no longer just a social site to connect with friends and family, but is now a major site for researching and connecting with local businesses.

If your business is on Facebook and you’re not monitoring reviews, you’re missing out on important feedback from customers and failing to impress potential buyers who are judging your business based on these reviews on your page.

Facebook Reviews: Who, Where, How?

Facebook reviews can be written on any local business page, by any Facebook user, at any time and all reviews are public.

Seen on the left, your overall rating for reviews is directly located under your business name, which immediately associates your business with either a high or low score.

If your rating is 4 stars or above, 92% of users are likely to use your business. 3 star rating? Now, only 72% of users will use your business. With 2 stars, only 27% are likely to use your business.  It’s obvious to see the decline of trust in a business when their ratings are low.

Don’t let your company lose business and revenue from a low Facebook rating. Give users a reason to look further down your page after you impress them with your 5 star rating!

How do I Handle Facebook Reviews?

Your Facebook reviews need to be monitored daily and responded to ASAP. Whether you’re responding to a positive or negative review, your customers expect to be answered.

Responding to negative reviews gives you the chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one. Take this feedback seriously and make time to find out more about their experience. This also gives you a chance to impress others by showing that you truly do care about all customers’ experiences and make an effort resolve the issues.

When responding to positive reviews, thank your customers for their business and personalize your response as much as you can. By responding, you show your appreciation for their feedback and increase your chances of them using your business again.

 Summary

Quick tips for high Facebook ratings and reviews:

  • Give high quality customer service to each and every customer in person and online
  • Monitor all reviews and ‘like’ positive comments
  • Respond to every review, positive and negative
  • Keep your ratings 4 stars and above to make the most of your online efforts
Courtesy of: ChiefIngredient.com
Read It Here: http://www.chiefingredient.com/2015/01/facebook-reviews-online-reputation/

Five Reasons Why Your Company Needs Negative Reviews!

All business owners cringe at the sight of a one- or two-star review shown publicly on any review site.

The immediate feeling is often disbelief, anger, and resentment toward both the customer and the review site. There is almost nothing that makes business owners more emotional than public criticism of their work.

But emotions aside, negative reviews can actually be a good thing. Here are five ways they can help your business thrive.

1. They improve conversion rates.
On SiteJabber, businesses with 10-30 percent negative reviews actually receive more than 10 times more leads than businesses with nearly all five-star reviews. Other studies have shown that 68 percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad reviews.

This is true partly because many consumers want to understand “worst-case scenarios” before doing business with a new company. If they feel that they can live with the worst-case scenario, they may decide your company is one they want to work with.

Perhaps ironically, if potential customers cannot find any information on “worst-case scenarios,” their imaginations may run wild, leading them to decide your business is too risky to engage with.

2. They instill trust.
It may seem counterintuitive that reading bad reviews can make a consumer trust a company more, but we live in an age where fake “social proof” is everywhere. Nowadays, anyone can buy thousands of Facebook likes or Twitter followers for a few dollars.

Savvy consumers understand that reviews also can be fake, so when they see a business with 100 perfect five-star reviews and no bad reviews, they tend to believe all the positive reviews are fakes, even if they are real.

Customers are smart: They know that all businesses, even the best ones, have at least some unhappy customers. So as long as negative reviews are seen alongside good reviews, they can humanize your business and reassure consumers that the rest of your reviews are legitimate.

3. They highlight brilliant customer service (if you respond to them publicly).
Consumers trust brands that have great customer service. Nordstrom is a great example of this.

However, smaller companies often find it challenging to show that they, too, strive to provide the best customer service possible. Responding quickly and proactively to negative reviews is a great way to show you care.

When companies respond publicly to negative online reviews with comments like, “We’re so sorry for the miscommunication. Please contact our representative and we will take care of your issue right away,” prospective consumers gain confidence that the business will address their needs if something goes wrong.

Moreover, customers who rewrite their review after a bad experience can be some of the best public reviews you can get because they show consumers you will work with them if a bad situation arises. So the next time you get a bad review, think of it as an opportunity to show off — and show that you care about customer experience.

4. They publicly educate future customers.
Many business websites have FAQs and return policies that no one ever reads. When things go wrong, consumers often blame the company for bad customer service, even though the business tried its best to state its policies upfront.

By addressing negative reviews publicly, you can help future customers understand your policies and why your company makes certain business decisions. For example, say your business signs up customers to a subscription program when they make an initial purchase. This information is written on your site, but some customers miss it. They then write a negative review explaining they didn’t know they were going to be charged on an ongoing basis.

By answering that review and saying, “We’re sorry you weren’t happy with the subscription. We only use subscriptions because we feel it’s the best way for us to deliver our service to our customers, but we’ve refunded your account and hope you try us again at a later point,” you can show prospective customers how and why your product or service works the way it does.

5. They give you a competitive edge with insights for improvement.
Large corporations spend millions on customer surveys and feedback forms to improve their customer service. Negative reviews are an untapped goldmine of valuable information that can help a business grow and expand.

If someone writes a negative review — justified or not — a business can assume that many other customers feel the same way but didn’t bother to express themselves online, and just stopped using the business’ product or service instead. That review has information that the business can use to its advantage — and that its competitors might not have.

Embracing a glowing five-star review is easy, but even a few one-star reviews can paralyze business owners and cause them to ignore reviews altogether, to the detriment of their business. Instead of fearing reading one-start reviews or engaging with the customers who leave them, you should see each negative review for what it is: a golden opportunity.

Written by: Rodney Gin
Courtesy of: StreetFightMag.com | Read it Here: http://streetfightmag.com/2015/10/15/5-reasons-why-your-business-needs-negative-reviews/


Rodney Gin is co-founder of SiteJabber, the leading community of online business reviewers.

How To Incorporate Reviews Into Your Social Media Strategy

How To Incorporate Reviews Into Your Social Media Strategy

Reviews have become extremely important for search engines when determining search results. Nowadays, consumers value reviews as much as word of mouth from friends. Did you know that almost 70% of consumers look at customer reviews before purchasing a product or service?

The kicker for most consumers is the star rating that typically accompanies reviews.  Research shows that increasing your star rating on social platforms such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook can help increase conversion rates by nearly 540%! The key is to continuously gain reviews on all platforms.

Monitor Reviews

The first step is to continuously monitor your reviews. Now, this does not mean to check each of your product star ratings on sites like Amazon, just know your average star rating on each platform. This helps you build a foundation to show progress as your rating increases.

Ensure that you have notifications set up for the top review sites that you care about, such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook. This makes it easy to see when you receive new reviews and respond to them in a timely manner.

Ask for Reviews

You’d be surprised how many customers or clients will review you on social media if you just ask.  If you are not asking for reviews, chances are the only ones you’ll receive are either people who had a very negative experience or those who had an extremely great experience.

Think of it this way, if you have 2 reviews on Facebook, one person who had a wonderful experience and left a 5-star rating and one person who had a horrible experience and left a 1-star rating. This would result in a 3-star rating on Facebook which is not a true representation of your business.

Asking your customers for reviews can help increase those 4 and 5-star reviews which can weigh the average in a more positive manner. To ask for reviews, you can simply hand the customers a card that has links to review sites on it or if you’re emailing a customer a receipt, include the links at the bottom of the email or in your signature.

Use Your Reviews to Market Your Business

Getting good reviews is great for your online presence but you’ll also want to use them in all your marketing materials. For example, let’s say you are printing postcards to mail to people in your area, advertising your sale for the spring. Use a quote from a great review as part of the design to draw people to your good reputation. You’ll also want to include icons for Facebook, Yelp, and Google as a reminder to the consumers that you have more reviews online.

Monitoring and responding to reviews online is a key aspect of any digital marketing strategy. Want some help maintaining your online reviews and overall online reputation? Call the pros at OMG National today at 800-789-4619.

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.