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Archive for the ‘local search’ Category

Use This 14 Point Checklist To Dominate Your Personal Brand On Google

Google yourself. See that? It’s your personal brand. Unless you love everything about each listing on the first page, it’s time for some personal branding SEO.

There are two goals in personal SEO:

  • Dominate the entire first page of Google (branding)
  • Push negative or embarrassing search results off of page one (reputation management)

Here’s a checklist of ways to make that happen:

1. Design your snippet: Google+

Start by optimizing the one profile that you know Google is indexing: your G+ profile. When you fill out your profile, you’re actually creating the snippet in Google. Here’s how your Google+ fields appear in search results as a snippet. Notice how the snippet text (meta description) is a combination of four fields, listed one after the other.

  • None of those four fields include your location, so if you want to be relevant in your local area, add your city or town to your employment field (i.e. “Orbit Media, Chicago, IL”).
  • Use keywords relevant to your skills and personal brand.

2. Make your resume search-friendly: LinkedIn

LinkedIn is ubiquitous in search results. Here’s how to polish this part of your personal SEO:

  • “Location,” “Position,” and “Company” appear in Google snippets. Make sure they’re complete.
  • Click “edit” next to your public profile link.
  • Customize your public profile URL. Pick a URL that includes your name.
  • Make sure your entire profile is visible to the public.
  • Make LinkedIn as complete as possible. Embed a WordPress blog, embed SlideShare slides, seek recommendations, add any active Twitter accounts, etc.
  • In the “Websites” area of your profile, add links to your site, your blog, and your G+ profile.

3. It’s all about you, baby: your profile on your site

Unlike every other profile on this checklist, here you’re not building on rented land. You control it, so make it your masterpiece. Fine tune design, tweak on-page SEO, and use your best writing.

  • Make sure your profile has its own page.
  • Use your name in the URL if possible.
  • Use your name in the beginning of the title if possible.
  • Every profile should link to this page.
  • This page should link only to current profiles and networks where you are active (these links can be “nofollow” and target=”_blank”).
  • Link to your Google+ profile using the “rel=me” tag.
  • Watch Analytics for this page to monitor search performance and referring sites.

4. Signed by the Author: Google Authorship

Thanks to Google Authorship and rich snippets, bloggers are taking personal branding SEO to the next level. The faces of some bloggers and guest bloggers appear in search results for hundreds of keyphrases. Do it for the clickthrough rates, do it for the traffic, and do it for your personal brand.

  • If you’re not “signing” your content using “rel=author,” it’s time to start using Google Authorship Markup.
  • Check the search performance of all of your articles by checking Author Stats. Log into Google Webmaster Tools using your Google+ login.

Those are the most important places to manage SEO for your personal branding. But there are hundreds of other profiles that rank in search. The rest of this checklist is a list of sites where you can create a profile and create a link.

Tip! You don’t actually need to be active on a website to create a profile and affect your personal SEO. There is no reason not to use them all.

Caution: if you setup a hundred profiles, you’ll need to manage a hundred profiles, lest they go out of date. When setting up profiles on sites where you’re not likely to return often, avoid using numbers, such as “5 years of experience” or “50 successful projects.” By keeping the profiles more general, you reduce the risk of the profile going out of date quickly.

5. Twitter

Twitter profiles still rank extremely high in Google. Get out your best profile picture, a short bio and a link to your website.

Even if you never use Twitter, add one tweet to tell people where to find you “I’m not active on Twitter, but feel free to connect with me on [other network]”

6. Facebook

Facebook ranks high. Although your Facebook profile may not be relevant to your job, make your primary profile picture isn’t unprofessional. Depending on your privacy settings, a lot of people may see it. Also, claim your vanity URL.

7. Vimeo

Of all the video hosting/sharing sites, profile pages on Vimeo seem to outrank all others. Enter a bio, add a link, set your location, claim a URL and even add featured videos.

8. Tumblr

This one also ranks well. By default, Tumblr accounts are setup as subdomains, so grab yourname.tumblr.com, if possible. The bio page is open HTML so add anything and everything.

9. Quora

The profile pages are very simple, but they rank! After you add your picture and short bio, follow a few people and a few topics. Following topics will indicate to visitors what your interests are.

10. About.me

It’s just a simple page that links to your other profiles, but these show up in search results. Grab it. Upload a nice background photo and setup the links. If possible, use a URL that includes your name, such as about.me/yourname.

11. Delicious

Create a simple profile that has a decent chance of ranking for your name. Not room for much more than a picture, short bio and link. Delicious will give you a shortcut URL, such as delicious.com/yourname, but once this is set, you can never change it.

12. Flickr

This is the only photo site that gets traction in SEO. Profiles include all the basic information, such as a profile picture, location, bio and link.

13. SlideShare

A profile here is more likely to rank toward the bottom of page one, but you can add a LOT to a SlideShare profile. First, set the Account Type. Now you’ll see all kinds of places to add relevant info. You can also add a visual theme to your profile for $19 per month, but don’t expect this to affect SEO.

14. YouTube

Create and upload a video of yourself stating your personal brand, and using your name in the title and the description. If you optimize a video for your name, you may see the video itself rank as a universal search result.

Did we leave something out? Let us know in the comments below. Or share this to your favorite social media site.

If you would like to get more information about the use of these types of technology to help brand your business, contact us here or call (404) 920-8041 today.

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Google Moves Local Businesses to Google Plus With Brute Force

In a move that many predicted from the very beginning, Google has finally scrapped the Google Places offering and rolled all Places profiles into what they are calling Google+ Local.

Google+ Local offering

Now, you could argue, and some will, that forcing local business owners on to Google+ is yet another sign that Google is putting way too much emphasis on their desire to become relevant in social media, but the fact is, it’s still very much Google’s world that we playing in.

The most frustrating aspect of this in my opinion is that it took so long. I’m guessing a lot of local business owners jumped in and built brand pages, so now what?

If you’ve created a Google Place page, as I’ve been advising as part of any local search plan, then you may already be aware that Google has moved your page onto Google+.

If you’ve got a Google+ account you can find your page through either local search or through the Local button that now appears on the left sidebar when logged into Google+.

If you don’t have a Google+ account, well, I guess you’ll get one now if you still want to play with Google.

Google has already flipped the switch and is showing these new Google+ Local pages when you conduct local searches in Google and on Google Maps. While you can still gain access to and edit your Places profile pages through the Places login, my guess is that will give way to Google+ profile editing at some point.

Here are some things to note:

Clean up your profile.

Now is the time to clean up your profile

When Google moved the pages to Google+ it made a mess. A bit like moving anything does, I suppose. Go jump in and choose and edit your profile image and banner image. Right now Google is either picking from photos you uploaded or simply using a map.

You might want to add some things to your profile as some of the customization you may have done previously could be lost. Add links to your page.

Check out the reviews

Google purchased the restaurant rating service Zagat a while back and it appears they intend to inject the Zagat ratings system into the entire review process.

Visitors now have the opportunity to rate your business using a point scale. Not sure how this will translate over into the services of a plumber or insurance agency, but it’s certainly worth noting.

Reviews that came over from your previous page are very messy now. You, as the page owners, have a period of time to clean this up. When you first sign into Google+ and find your page you’ll be able to tell Google+ if you want all your photos and reviews from your Places page to be moved and be attributed to you or remain private.

So, now any reviews that you had previously will simply show up as anonymous Google user. Seems like if you really didn’t have much going in the way of reviews, this is a bit of a do over.

It will be interesting to see how much more emphasis Google puts on reviews.

Here’s the bottom line in my view. No mater how you feel about this rather forceful move, Google looks poised to make it a significant part of the Local Search landscape and you can’t ignore that. My guess is there will be plenty of tinkering, adding and tweaking in the weeks and months to come. You can bet advertising and offers will move into this somehow.

Now is the time to get in there and claim, prune, decorate and otherwise take control of your Google+ Local offering. As always Team Internet Marketing is ahead of the pack and can update and manage all your Google+ Local listing. Please call 404-920-8041 or contact us here to get a free consultation about your marketing needs.

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Why Yelp Helps Your Business

What you don’t know about local search could be killing your business

Local Business Listings and local directories feed the local search engines their information, With Google Maps, Local Business Listings, Yahoo Local and Bing – ALL businesses are given a centralized place to present information about their company to the public. THIS is where local search engine takes their LOCAL search results from. The biggest problem is, most business owners don’t know how to make these listings as effective as possible. Leaving out even one important detail could mean your local prospect could end up choosing a competitor with a better optimized listing.

It seems like there are as many online review sites as there are pores on your face, and Yelp has been the king of them for some time.

Why is that? The developers must have been extremely insightful, as they have recognized the delight with which people share information online and have capitalized on the notion of letting people connect this to their own identity.  Yelp users are able to do much more with the site than rant about the terrible service they received at Big Nancy’s House of Waffles.

The social aspect of Yelp allows those who have signed up for it to connect to one another on a personal level through the forums. People get to know their neighbors in a sense and learn to trust their judgment.  This dual-birded slingshot gives users what they want while strengthening the primary structure of the website.

Graphic courtesy of Statista.com.

Here are 5 reasons why Yelp should be a business best friend:

1. Increases the opportunity to be found. Exposure is everything in the  business.

2. Promotes conversation. Reviews are a fantastic source of information that are given freely and without prejudice and the beauty of it all is that many people love to write them. Technology allows people to share their experiences with their network and catalog their favorite products or services.

3. Creates fans. Checked in before? – if you haven’t, odds are someone you know has. People love sharing great experiences – Yelp provides the platform to do so.

4. Increases accountability. It’s one thing to promise a great service or product in an ad but another to have a customer say it is great in a review. Business become accountable when they are opened up for criticism.

However, this can lead to other problems for the business owner. What happens if someone leaves a negative review?

This is where Team Internet Marketing can help you wade thru all the misleading information about sites like Yelp and Google Places. To get more information on local search or reputation management just give us a call at  (404) 920-8041 for a free consultation to see if Team Internet Marketing can help your see what works best in your market.

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