“Google Guaranteed Program” for Local Businesses

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“Google Guaranteed Program” for Local Businesses

“Google Guaranteed Program” for Local Businesses

Google Tests “Google Guaranteed Program” for Local Businesses

The Google local search game is about to change drastically! Google is testing what they are calling the Google Guaranteed Program. Currently, the program is in beta and only available to home services, locksmiths and other similar businesses in San Diego, Sacramento, Stockton and San Francisco, CA.

All businesses that want to become “Google Guaranteed” have to go through a strict screening process by Google including a background check, license and insurance check as well as a screening of your reviews and ratings.

—I WANT TO SET UP MY GOOGLE BUSINESS PAGE SO IT’S READY FOR THE GOOGLE GUARANTEE—

As seen in the image below these Google Guaranteed business listings are the first results shown in a Google search, topping even the traditional Google Search Ads from AdWords and verified Google My Business listings.

When someone clicks on a Google Guaranteed listing they will be taken to a screen like the one shown below, allowing the consumer to request an estimate for the company’s services.

Any customer that works with a Google Guaranteed business and is not happy can submit a claim to Google. Any job booked with a Google Guaranteed business must be done correctly or the customer can receive their money back. The work done by the businesses are guaranteed for up for $2,000.

The Google Guaranteed Program is part of its AdWords product and businesses will likely be charged per lead they receive through the program. Because the program is still in beta and only available in certain markets, the pricing is not yet publicly available. However, we can expect that Google will charge businesses a fee to get the Google Guarantee badge to cover costs for its screening process.

Be Prepared For The Google Guarantee To Come To Your Area

The businesses in the beta test have had drastic amounts of success with increased leads by 1800% when compared to other companies who are using other forms of advertising! With this type of success, the Google Guaranteed Program is likely going to attract a plethora of businesses once the availability expands.

To prepare for the Google Guarantee in your area be sure to:

  • Ensure your business is properly licensed and insured.
  • Create, verify and maintain your Google My Business page.
  • Address negative reviews and ask satisfied customers to leave your business reviews on Google and other review platforms.
  • Sign up for the program as soon as it becomes available to your business type and area.

What does this mean for verified Google My Business pages?

GMB is not going away (at least not yet). So of course, you’ll want to maintain your current GMB pages to take up as much real estate on search results as possible. A complete search marketing plan would include Google Guaranteed listings, AdWords search campaigns, a complete GMB page and search engine optimization (SEO).

—I WANT TO SET UP MY GOOGLE BUSINESS PAGE SO IT’S READY FOR THE GOOGLE GUARANTEE—

Final Word

The OMG National team is actively following the advancements with the Google Guaranteed Program. Stay tuned for more updates. If you need help getting your current online presence up to par before the program launches in your vertical market, contact an expert at OMG National today at 800-789-4619.

Directory Listings: The Foundation for Success

Directory Listings: The Foundation for Success

By: Henry Heredia

In 2017, nearly 60% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. People are continually relying more on their smartphones and digital marketing is falling in line. Businesses must begin managing their digital presence and the first step is by making sure your company’s directory listings are updated and showing accurate information so Google (and your customers) can find you.

As we’ve discussed in past blogs, directory listing websites like Yelp, Google My Business, and even Facebook have taken the place of physical Yellowpages and Whitepages telephone directories. This evolution has helped simplify searching for the products or services you may need, and now we live in an age of almost instant gratification with technology improving the way we interact with our environments. At OMG National, our professionals understand the power of directory listings and can help your company’s exposure grow with creative and innovative local SEO strategies.

How do directory websites impact mobile search?

In digital marketing, and in the practice of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specifically, there’s a term that you’ve more than likely heard but may not understand. LOCAL OFF PAGE SEO can sound like some marketing buzz term, but the truth is that the results are real when you understand how to harness its power. How can you improve your company’s local off page SEO? By managing, updating, and enhancing the many directory listing websites that Google and other search engines rank highly.

For this reason, OMG National has created our “Power Network” which includes over 70 of the most relevant directory listing websites. If your business already has profiles on these sites, we’ll claim them and update the information. If your company has no online presence, we’ll create, build, and manage your business profiles so your Google ranking can immediately improve. This is the foundation on which your brand’s digital marketing efforts are built on and can leave lasting benefits for years to come.

The average consumer now relies on their mobile device to gain insight into what they’d like to spend their money on. Google has dedicated its efforts to making this process as simple to the user as possible, with best practices and priorities focused on enhanced user experience. With this in mind, businesses are forced to fall in line with Google’s “rule of law” and must obey their latest terms or face the wrath of low rankings. As discussed in past blogs, relevance, distance, and prominence are the key factors that can make your company successful on Google.

Google already prioritizes mobile friendly websites as well as penalizes non-mobile websites, and search also headed toward this direction with “near me” searches leading the charge. Claiming, verifying, managing, and updating your directory listings are more important than ever, but without a mobile-friendly website (or a website at all), your digital marketing efforts can only go so far. The real power of directory listing management lies in the back-links created in each one of these websites. The more back-links pointing back to your website on these directory listings, the more your Google ranking will improve and the better your chances of being found on mobile, and desktop, searches.

Final Thought

Upcoming Webinar: Oct. 26th @ 12pm Online Directories: Are You Being Found?

Search on mobile devices is increasing at an exponential rate so make sure your business has a mobile marketing strategy in place. Start with your directory listings, or let OMG National handle it all while you run your business. Unsure for your company’s current online presence? Try our free report and find out how well you stack up or call us directly to speak to a marketing consultant, 800-789-4619.

Want to learn more about how managing your company’s directory listings can help your online exposure? Join us for our next webinar where we’ll be discussing the importance and benefits of joining the OMG “Power Network”. Click here to reserve your spot, and don’t forget to check out OMG University for complete access to all of our past webinars.

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

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.

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.

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.

Fact or Fiction: Social Media Marketing Helps SEO

It is true that social media can benefit your SEO, however, it is not in the way that most people perceive. Social media can help businesses build an audience for their content as well as act as an avenue for promoting the content.

The social media audience helps build brand visibility and improve a business’ reputation, which makes it easier to get backlinks for SEO purposes. Also, by promoting business content on social media, businesses can gain additional inbound links that help to improve organic rankings.

How can popular platforms help your SEO?

FACEBOOK

Facebook has more than a billion users across the globe and has many options for helping marketers reach their target market. The ability to post links, blog posts, images and videos provide creative avenues for intriguing and informative content. The ability to run contests, advertise and join groups also help make Facebook the best social media network for content syndication.

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is now the second largest social platform in the world, behind Facebook, which owns the photo sharing platform. Brand accounts are easy to manage on Instagram and contests run on the network have the potential to attract hundreds of new followers. However, Instagram does not allow for links to be included in posts, making it more for building brand awareness and growing your audience, rather than distributing content.

TWITTER

Twitter’s quick pace allows for easy promotion of links and audience growth. Businesses can quickly build a Twitter following by sharing interesting content and interacting with users. The life of a tweet is very short, which allows for content to be shared multiple times without annoying your followers. Keep in mind that though Twitter is a great content dissemination platform, it is showing signs of losing its flare with a loss of users.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn serves professionals, entrepreneurs and people looking to build their careers. The platform caters more toward the individual, despite the capability for company pages. Using LinkedIn on a personal level to share content and grow your personal audience can be extremely effective for getting your content out there.

PINTEREST

Pinterest has a smaller user base than the above social networks. However, if your brand can promote content with highly engaging images, Pinterest can be successful in gaining brand awareness. The platform appeals to consumers with the addition of buyable pins. Great images of products will get repinned or shared and the audience growth can lead to increased traffic to your content, creating more inbound links for SEO.

Each of the social media platforms mentioned above can have positive effects on a brand’s awareness and audience growth. However, a business owner should not jump into all at once without devoting enough time to the platform to make it worthwhile.  Ensure that the social networks you choose to use for marketing your brand cater to the specific audience you are trying to reach.

Looking for help getting your company to rank higher in search results? OMG National can help! Call us at 800-789-4619 today to speak to an SEO expert!

 

Personal feelings aside, the business world can no longer ignore social media

November 08, 2016

By: Jesse Lubar

Here at OMG, we work hard each day to educate you on how digital marketing is affecting our clients. This month, we take a look at social media, its impact, and power in marketing your business.

The idea that social media, specifically sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are passing fads, or cutesy trends for teeny boppers is dead. The mind numbing facts are that the pure user base across the world is in the billions, with millions of users in every state in the U.S. This means that whether or not you enjoy clicking a good “like”, chuckling at a poop emoji, or creating a hashtag for your dog Willy, ( #WillyRocks ) your customers are online right now engrossed in the various social media channels!

The real value to you as a business owner is in the data. I bet you’re tired of hearing that, the data, the data, well… it’s the evolution of marketing and it requires a certain understanding and skillset. The big brands caught on quick. They knew that if they could follow a consumer’s travel, their preferences, their spending habits, their hobbies, they could leverage those data points and “pitch” them the products and services which would most close
ly align with their ideal customers. Genius, right?

Many small businesses followed suit, most were unsuccessful. The rapid change of these platforms and their backend systems for advertising were at first pretty straightforward, but not anymore. On Facebook alone, there are multiple ad management portals and at least 7 different ways of advertising your company posts, pages, events, and more. If you are not a “techie” and log into Facebook’s ad management tool, Ads Manager you will likely end up frustrated. Go a level deeper for the pro’s to Power Editor and you are assured a migraine. You need apro to manage an effective social media campaign. Short of this investment, sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can chew through your budget providing only frustration along the way.

blog_graphic_nov

Here at OMG, we are effectively developing hundreds of our own leads through the best practices use of social media. Before you get started, there is one important lesson you should heed. It’s a tried and true cliché your Dad probably taught you when you were a kid… begin with the end in mind. It starts with just listening. Tune into social media and research where you might want to begin attracting customers from. Is there a large user group in your area interested in classic cars? Perhaps a country club with its own Facebook presence, chock full of the homeowners you would love to have patronize your business. These facts will all become important as you start to create a marketing audience for your social media pages.

Whether you decide to employ an expert, or opt to work with an outside agency like us, experience has shown us that your education is imperative. An educated client is for us, one key to a profitable and successful campaign. With a cursory understanding of the various social media channels and their ad platforms, you will be best equipped to assist a pro in building you a campaign that will drive in the leads on a consistent basis, for much less than you might think!

The team here at OMG National is ready to share the benefits of social media advertising with you. Reach out and learn more about our most popular and all-new plan, The Hometown Builder. This plan is the perfect way to be up and running with your own custom audience, pro-developed pages, fan building efforts, consistent, creative posts, and more. So whether you are ready to go, or would like to know more, feel free to reach out to us at any time!

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

Oh Snap! The Rivalry of SnapChat vs Facebook Just Got More Interesting

When it comes to technology, change happens at such a fast pace that just as we start to get used to something new, it changes again. We live in a very exciting time where we connect at the speed of light with opportunities people only dreamed of just a short time ago.

With that in mind, we want to help you stay on top of the latest and greatest so you can put your best foot forward. We learned late Friday from the Wall Street Journal that one of our favorite social sharing apps is making waves that you may want to stay on top of to keep your business ahead of the game.

What you formerly knew as SnapChat will now be known as just “Snap” and will be soon rolling out new features that pushes the popular app beyond just social sharing. With Facebook as the app’s main rival investing heavily in virtual reality technology with their purchase of Oculus VR a while back, Snap stepped up their game big time with their own take on what it means to be interactive. Snap has done one better than VR glasses that isolate people from the real world. They have developed Spectacles – a pair of sunglasses which integrates a 115-degree-angle lens gives the wearer the ability record up to 30 seconds of video that can be uploaded directly to Snap.

With Spectacles, the user produced video is circular and results in a view that is much closer to the natural perspective of the human eye. Essentially, when you watch a video that was recorded from a pair of Spectacles, you get to relive the person’s memory of the moment almost as the way they truly experienced it. The idea is to bring people together and share their point of view from the real world in a fun way.

Technology has embedded itself in our communications more than ever before and OMG National is on the forefront of social marketing and integrating channels such as Snap into a well-rounded marketing mix. As a small business, keeping up on the latest trends will help you leverage these tools for maximum marketing impact. If your target audience includes people who are young & trendy or if you want to reach tech savvy moms who have major buying power and influence, keep reading. 10 billion videos are viewed every day by the 150+ million people actively using Snap. The app has a captive audience with a reach of 41% of all 18-34 year olds in the US. What this means to a business is 10 billion potential opportunities to build awareness of your brand.

Snapchat Updates

This summer Snap rolled out Snap Ads Between Stories – giving small businesses a less expensive way to advertise on Snap with great features including prompting additional actions when users swipe up on business content. You can send them to an extended video, direct them to a website or article (without leaving Snap), or prompt them to install your app. In a survey of Snap users, the results showed that Snap ads garnered double the visual attention of Facebook and 1.5 times more than Instagram. The ads on Snap were also 1.3 times more effective than YouTube. Those numbers speak volumes.

The rollout of Spectacles will be slow, starting with a limited quantity available this fall at a price tag of $129.99 each. Whether you want to be one of the first to try it or just watch what happens and wait, we’ll keep you updated here so check back soon for the skinny on Snap!