While consulting with a San Francisco Bay Area company, they revealed a few new clients were finding their business, yet they had no idea what changed in their marketing.
We quickly uncovered some great reviews for their services they’d not even known existed. That’s the power of Google Places – a free listing to help people find your business and services.
You can’t ‘buy your way to the top’ of Google. That requires a very complex analysis, extensive keyword research and top notch SEO (search engine optimization) from companies who’ve actually acheived top page ranking for clients on Google (like the SEO teams at our agency)!
A Sidenote on Keywords: Almost Everyone Gets This Wrong
Still, we find people believe they know how to choose their own keywords. Why? Because in the olden days – a decade ago – one could use ‘descriptor words’ (like “marketing”, “building websites”, “writing promotional copy”, “Allison Bliss” – examples of “descriptors” ) as keywords for their company or services. Now that there are millions more websites registered on Google, one must be far more strategic in analyzing actual keywords that people are searching where you’ll also have a likelihood of being found and more highly ranked (top of Google).
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Google Places & Yelp
I get lots of questions about Yelp from clients, so wanted to share some updates.
First, sign up for Google Places even if you’re on Yelp. Why? It appears Google is gobbling Yelp. Many businesses are unhappy with Yelp’s seemingly questionable policies so readers seem to not trust it quite as much as Google Places. But you should measure this for yourself. Google Places has great measurements: you can find where people are searching from to find your location, and track visitors’ traffic to see what’s working and what’s not.
Did you know that Yelp can remove all those great reviews you have without notice?
So, I suggest you copy and save your Yelp reviews into a word doc or add those to your ‘testimonials’ on your site or blog section on client reviews. (here’s my example of saving yelp reviews – scroll to bottom of that linked page to see how we use those reviews).
UPDATE ON GOOGLE PLACES AS OF MAY 30, 2012
Here’s a terrific, yet very extensive article on updates about Google Places replaced by Google+ pages: http://searchengineland.com/google-places-is-over-company-makes-google-the-center-of-gravity-for-local-search-122770.
Please share your experiences by commenting below so we can all benefit from each others’ wisdom!
Have you had a bad review on Yelp? What did you do to address it?
Do you get clients from either source? How long were you aboard before those clients started to find and call you?
Share your wisdom and it will come back to you. After all, knowledge is bliss.