Google Plus for Business [infographic]

With the recent migration of Google Places Business Pages to the Google Plus platform; participation in the Google Plus network is no longer an option.

Local Search and Google Plus clients at RightNow Communications can rest assured that we are working on making this transition as seamless as possible. In some instances the process has required the coordination of a re-validation phone call from Google. There are some bumps in the road for organizations that have more than one physical business location.

The following Google Plus infographic from Chris Brogan is an excellent primer on Google Plus for business to help get you up to speed. As always, it you have questions give us a call.

[Read more…]

Local Search – Infographic

Ranking factors that contribute to your success in the search engines local search results. Start at the center (most important) and work your way out.

For a full explanation of terms and ideas visit Web Equity.

Web Equity Infographic
Web Equity by Mike Blumenthal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.blumenthals.com.

Google Changes – Is The Sky Really Falling?

Search Engine Optimization by RNC

…and, What Does it All Mean For My WebSite?

Google has made several high profile changes to their search algorithm in the last few months. This has sparked a flurry of concerned emails from search engine optimization clients wanting to know how this might impact their online marketing. Here are the major changes and how it will impact you and your website:

Google Places, Local Search Update – This is the change that is most likely to impact you directly. We have written on this topic several times – read more here: Google Places SEO

Google Panda Update – Also called the Farmer Update (Panda, named after someone on the Google team.) This was the most recent update that sent “shock waves” around the Internet. Every media outlet and online resource rang the bell that this “was the big one,” and that entire websites would evaporate overnight. Some did, but none of our clients were ever at any risk. Here is a Q & A regarding this Google change: [Read more…]

Local Search Consulting – Free!

Google Places Local Search

Current clients receive Local Search and Google Places consulting and advice as part of the cost of your current campaign. Call or email to set up an appointment to discuss your current positioning, what needs to be done to improve your visibility, and answer questions or concerns. If you situation requires an expanded campaign we can develop a work profile and proposal.

Remember, you have a partner on the Internet – pick up the phone and call us … Partner!

Big Changes in Google Search

Google has made a number of aggressive changes to the way search results are displayed when the search term includes a City and/or State. This is going to have a direct impact on your business if you target search terms that include physical locations.

What Has Changed – Google has introduced “Place Search” as a replacement for Local Search. The familiar 7 Pack Map Grouping at the top of the page has been eliminated. The map now resides in the right sidebar. The Local Listings have been integrated into the search results. In many cases this has displaced organic results, pushing top 10 listings on to the second page of the search engine results.

Who This Will Effect: [Read more…]

The Right Way to Handle Bad Online Reviews

The Right Way to Handle Bad Online Reviews
Google Local – Bad Business Reviews

No matter how dedicated you are to customer service, there will be a time that you end up dealing with a customer that just cannot be satisfied.  Often, these customers will take to the internet to even up the score and you are left with a bad review that may rank first in Google search results.

If you let that review sit there, it is only going to harm your company’s reputation.  No company is perfect, but when a consumer sees that bad review, they are not going to be thinking about your side.  You need to be proactive in handling this situation so that your business is not adversely affected.

The first thing that you need to do before addressing the search results is do what you can to make the situation right with your customer.  Document everything you do and keep a record of all communication.  Remember, it is vital to be professional and ingratiating!  If you cannot solve the issue, at the very least, you will have the proof at your disposal that you tried.

Now, let’s move on to fixing that review.  While many of us would love to be able to write Google and ask them to remove that nasty review, the chances of this happening are very slim.  They have a no intervention policy in place, and it will be up to you to handle the issue on your own.

The first step you need to take is to bury that bad review with good reviews.  This will move it further down in the ranking and provide potential customers with a more balanced view of your site.  This is the easiest step that you can take, and will have the best results.

Please keep in mind that for local results, Google frequently harvests data from several review sites such as Yelp.com, ApartmentRatings.com, TripAdvisor.com and many others.  It is vital to monitor the review sites that carry your listing to see what reviews have been posted.  You will need to address the bad reviews on each one to get the best results.

While Google does provide you with the ability to flag a review posted from an individual directly to Google, this should not be abused.  You can certainly flag a bad review that uses incendiary language, but it is not recommended to use this feature to make a bad review disappear.

For these on-site Google reviews, you have the option of handling bad reviews in a very positive way.  Google allows anyone to leave a review, so you can utilize this to your best advantage with a little creativity.

Now, let’s focus on a few more ways that you can ensure that bad reviews will not be posted for your company.

Go Above and Beyond – Treat every single customer you have as though they are your only customer.  Handle all communications with respect and make sure that you are doing everything in your power to keep them happy.  This benefits your company in more ways than one.

Ask Happy Customers for Feedback – If you have a customer that is beside themselves with glee over your service, you need to take advantage of that.  Ask them to write a brief testimonial and then place it in on a special testimonial page on your site.  You can link this page to your Google Maps page quite easily.  Look for the “Link to this Page” link that is found on the bottom right corner of your reviews page.  Add the link to your testimonial page and you’re done!

No one likes getting a bad review, but by following the steps listed above, you can minimize the damage it could cause.