Over the past few months, Google has undergone a few exciting changes. Penguin 4.0 had its final phase rolled out, meaning it’s now in real time. The search engine is also displaying official Twitter profile feeds for entities to all English searchers worldwide.
There is a clear emphasis on providing current content to users, so searchers receive the most up-to-date and relevant results first. Google is now taking a further step towards providing real-time updates by introducing Google Posts, also referred to in the past as Your Podium on Google.
This “experimental new podium” will allow individuals and businesses to produce content directly on the search engine. When people search for a particular business or name, the content will appear highly ranked in the search results. In a way, it seems to be the new Google+ for brands and celebrities.
How Does It Work?
Google has been relatively quiet about the new feature, but it has been experimenting with it for some time. Back in January of 2016, it was released as a way to allow political candidates the chance to post lengthy debate rebuttals.
The aim is to give people the opportunity to hear from the companies and people they care about directly. At this stage, it’s on an invite-only basis and only verified individuals and organizations will be able to use the feature.
Those with an invite will be able to communicate directly on Google via images, videos, and text. The process of creating content is meant to be quick and straightforward, much like on social media. Once you’ve published your piece of content, it will become instantly visible in search results related to your name or that of the organization you represent.
Entities also get their own profile, which looks much like it would on your average social media page. It displays a profile photo above your name, over what appears to be a cover image, along with your post feed.
Clicking on one of the posts opens up a dedicated full-screen web page displaying the full text and accompanying images. You are also able to share the posts on popular social networks quickly. All you have to do is click on the social sharing icon to share the post directly on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or Google+.
It looks much like the carousel Twitter profile feeds we can currently see on Google, with a card-like format. However, while you can share the content, you are presently unable to like or comment on it. These options may be something that will be introduced in the future, as it is currently in its very early stages.
We know Google has struggled in the past with the development of its own social network; only time will tell if this new platform will pan out any differently than Google Buzz and Google+.
Manage a One-Way Content Feed
For Google users, the new feature will allow them to receive up-to-date information straight from their favorite brands and people. But what will it mean for public figures and organizations? Well, it puts a one-way content feed that is built directly into the top of the search results pages entirely in their control.
The fact that the feature is not available to just anyone helps to instill a sense of trust. Google verifies all individuals first, so you know the information and messages are coming up are all from a trustworthy source.
There are various ways you can benefit from the new feature, now that you have a podium on which to reach your customers instantly. Users will be able to access the content you put out directly from the search pages, without having to navigate any other links. They will see all of this, even if they only type in your name.
You get a chance to introduce relevant content into Google, increase user interactions through the use of text, images, and videos, and encourage social sharing. Increased engagement will also help you to increase conversion rates. Since you know the reader has specifically searched for you; there’s a higher chance that they will be interested in what you have to say.
You can instantly publish lightweight content with fast loading results, much like in social media. However, the fact that you get a dedicated web page means you have a bit more control over the amount of information you post and the correlating images.
What Does This All Mean for SEO?
With brands and individuals being offered the chance to directly control the content that comes up on Google when you search for their names, you can see some pretty significant implications for both organic and paid brand searches.
The carousel comes up below the paid ads, but above the organic listings, so it features prominently in the results. If you do it right, there is a lot to gain. While it may take clicks away from your other results, it could end up saving you money you would otherwise have spent on pay per click ads.
You just need to make sure that you take full advantage of the opportunity and include links within the posts that lead your users back to your website. Since we’re talking real time, it’s the perfect way to draw attention to any current sales or promotions you are running and thus increase conversions.
As we said, it essentially puts you in the driver’s seat. You get to steer the content in the direction you want, so you could even use it to distract users from any negative bits that appear in your branded search results.
Creating a strategy to target a local market can be a bit complex for some. It’s about a lot more than just choosing localized keywords to include in your campaign. However, local SEO is essential for companies that are brick and mortar or that offer local services. There are various complex steps that have to be taken in order to generate traffic from your local SEO initiative.
For instance, having directory listings is key for your local SEO campaign, but you have to make sure that they’re within the right local directories. It’s essential to locate directories that are unique to the area you live in, so your chances of reaching your target audience is increased. Then there’s optimizing your listings for geospecific hyperlocal neighborhoods, rather than just providing a general location for your company.
The following tips can and should be used as your tweaking your local SEO strategy.
Accuracy and Consistency Are Key
It’s very important for your information to be consistent and accurate across all its listings, including what’s found on your website and social media. The most important pieces of information search engines look at are your business name, address and phone number (or NAP). Some marketers say NAP+W, the W standing for website.
Many online listings gather data from the web, which means they sometimes collect outdated information. According to a ConstantContact survey, 85 percent of small businesses that local search apps and directories are essential to their business, however, only half of them update their listings online. Fifty percent of these organizations know that their listings aren’t all accurate, but 70 percent state they don’t have the time to update all of their listings. If this is the case with your business, you should consider hiring SEO companies to handle this task for you.
Including Other Valuable Info in Your Listings
The basic NAP+W details are vital, but this doesn’t mean you should ignore including other important details inside of your listings. Doing this can be rather tedious, but you can always enlist the assistance of an expert from an SEO company.
According to a study performed by the Local Search Association/Burke Inc., there are certain key details users look for when browsing through local listings. The top ten pieces of information include the address, phone number, proximity to location, hours of operation, company name, website, prices, general product or service info, ratings and reviews, and comparisons of features, services, etc. Additional info that is good to include are credentials, forms of acceptable payment, brands and trademarks, and other details about your company and products.
The more information you can provide to prospects, the easier it will be for them to make a sound decision of whether or not to reach out to your company.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
Having a website with a great responsive design is recommended, but it won’t do much for your brand without some type of traffic generator. Your website is like a storefront, it’s where people come to check out your business and make purchases. But getting them there requires a bit more effort. Social media marketing enables you to build your brand quickly and get your voice heard by folks who really matter to your company, which in turn drives them to your website.
According to a 2013 Local Search Ranking Factor survey performed by Moz, locally-optimized sites fell at 18.8 percent in importance, so while it does help, it’s not the be all and end all. What does boost your local traffic substantially is social media. People are using platforms like Facebook, Yelp, UbanSpoon and TripAdvisor to find products and services. Managing your business profile on these sites will help to ensure you maintain a good image, so that prospects will trust you enough to do business with you.
The term marketing is so broad, it covers many different aspects and there are lots of ways companies and brands can market themselves. So here are just some of the basics of the wonderful world of digital marketing and how it can help you and your business.
What is it?
Digital marketing is the promotion of your products or brand via electronic digital media. Instead of using traditional marketing methods like direct mail, flyers, or printed adverts it means using the internet and other digital aspects such as mobile, radio and TV to promote and advertise.
What are the advantages of digital marketing?
Monitor and analyse
Digital marketing allows people to monitor how their campaigns are performing and how much engagement they are receiving, pretty much in real time.The internet is an ever-evolving source of interaction, news and shopping amongst so much more, and now brands have the ability to clearly see the impact they are having. This also allows companies to alter their strategies and campaigns with immediate effect if something isn’t working.
Personal and greater engagement
Digital marketing provides a huge overall increase in brand engagement. Via the means of social media, brands can engage with their customers, offering them personal attention and relevant content and information. For a consumer, receiving an email personally addressed to them can make all the difference.
Your business or brand now has the ability to be seen anywhere in the world. Using social share buttons on your website or blog, means users will end up sharing it to all their followers and this could lead to content going viral. If you’re still not sure, all you have to look at is how quickly news brakes online to understand the power of social sharing.
If you were to optimise your site with Seach Engine Optimisation (SEO) this opens up even more exposure, which then results in a long term Return On Investment (ROI). Ultimately meaning the whole thing will be fairly low cost to maintain.
A major winning factor of digital marketing is the massive reduction in cost from traditional marketing methods. It doesn’t cost anything to use the basics of social media or to send emails. But you can really add value to both of these with the use of eye-catching design and plenty of call-to-actions.
Digital marketing can mean that brands have the ability to control who sees their content.They can choose locations or people who work in certain fields or locations, or even choose to send an email to someone in particular.
One of the biggest advantages of digital marketing is that it’s not intrusive. For example, people hate receiving telesales at inconvenient times, but now they can decide what they want to see online. Consumers choose to click a link or choose whether to read about products or services.
For all brands and businesses, digital marketing is easily one of the best routes to go down and should be considered when you’re looking to increase awareness, engagement and reduce cost.
A custom app and mobile website is not just for business. It’s perfect for associations, organizations, families, and yes, even to keep in touch with your friends instantly. With a professional appmakr you can utilize this powerful tool in many ways.
The smartphone industry is quickly replacing PC’s and laptops as the communication method of choice. If you are marketing anything or just building a brand for your own personal services, you will want to get your customized app on as many phones as possible.
Creating an app also acts as a mini website with up to 6 pages to fill with content of your choice including pictures. Included within the mobil app is the ability to text message your customers. Text messaging is critical to your mobile marketing strategy. Right now today, and the stats are there to prove it, 95% of all text messages are read within five minutes if receipt.
You can even let people subscribe to your text messages without having to download your app by the use of Free QR codes (quick response). With a mobile appmkr you have access to a free qr code generator to help assist in advertising your product or services. All your customer does is “scan in” the QR code using his or her smart phone… no need to type in an address, and no need to type out a text to subscribe to your service! Just imagine having a simple QR graphic on your business cards, or a storefront window, or in all your print advertising… even your stationery, inviting your customers to simply scan it in for immediate access! This way you can integrate all of your offline marketing and promotion with your Mobile Marketing strategies!
Best part of a mobile app is the ability to customize it..Once your phone application is built, you will be given special access to your own control panel and it’s simple, really. This program has been designed not for the technogeeks, but for everyone. Most mobile app creators can build an app in minutes. All you have to do is submit content, graphics, and pictures and you’re done. Promote your app and make money.
Your custom phone app will set you apart from everyone else. It has a “Wow!” factor. It has a sizzle factor. You simply must be part of the ‘in’ crowd, and with our unique program, you’ll be way ahead of the curve.