Virtual office solutions are perfect for all business who don’t want to spend an awful lot of money for hiring employees & renting physical office space. However, it’s not going down well with Google.
From now on, Google will not consider virtual office space as your service area businesses as per their updated Google My Business guidelines . Your virtual office must be staffed during the business hours. They have recently updated the Google my business guidelines and made it clear that the virtual offices are causing a lot of confusion and that’s why they are compelled to take this step.
So unless a team is there to receive the customers during business hours, Google will not consider it as the Service-area businesses.
Here’s the new section that has been added:
Service-area businesses — businesses that serve customers at their locations — should have one page for the central office or location and designate a service area from that point. Service-area businesses can’t list a “virtual” office unless that office is staffed during business hours.
Some businesses, like pizzerias that have both have restaurant seating and deliver pizza to customers, are hybrid service-area businesses. These businesses can show their storefront address and designate a service area in Google My Business. If you serve customers at your address and want to set a service area, your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.
Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your business information as well as information from other sources. Learn more about service-area businesses.
Be it the upcoming Mobile first index or the launch of features that are focused on mobile users, Google is encouraging the “Near Me” searches to the maximum. People who search for “Service+ near me” tend to make decisions faster as they are not only looking for the information but they are about to make a decision as well. For instance: When people search “Restaurants near me” it is most likely that they will go there and grab something to satisfy their hunger. This micro-moment can be your moment to rise & shine.
The intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shape are defined as “Micro-Moments” by Google. When people are actively looking to learn something, buy something or watch something, their expectations are higher than ever & they are willing to make a decision in a fraction of the second.
So in these moments, people expect from businesses to deliver exactly what they are looking for, instantly! For example, if someone is willing to watch a movie in next 1 hour, they will require information as soon as possible. And the site that will succeed in providing instant result will reap mammoth benefits.
Google has published a guidebook that sheds light on this new consumer behaviour and how brands can boost their sales by focusing on the shift to mobile & “near me” searches.
The only thing constant in the world of SEO is change. To stay on the top, we need to follow the current trends and optimize our sites so we can reap maximum benefits. Unlike other things, SEO is not one size fits all, it should be bespoke, then only it will work.
Here are the tips that you can follow to get on the top of the search results:
1. Title Tag & Meta Description
The most noticeable element on the search engine result page is Title Tag. Title tags are so basic that they often get ignored despite the fact that the first thing a user notices about your website is the title tag. Experts say that Title tags are the 2nd most vital on-page factor for SEO, after content. So here are some valuable tips to optimize your title tag:
· Auto generated title tags are your enemy i.e. Wordpress could create your title tag, but sticking to it will cost you visitors. So first analyze that what could possibly be the best title tag that sums up your whole content in an appealing way.
· Don’t try to stuff your titles with keywords, use a keyword which is also describing the title.
· Keep your title tag in the front, it's helpful for both search engines and users.
· Your title tag should guide the user, so make sure that you're making title tags for humans.
· Also, the meta description gives you 160-200 characters to play with, so make sure you are making full use of it.
· Be as creative and descriptive as possible. Consider it like your little ad space.
2. Online Directories and Citations
Local search is becoming more fruitful as compared to big scale search. Since you are a local small business owner, you know the specific requirements of the local audience and that's where you can beat your competitors. Nowadays, being the best bakery shop in California is much better than being an OK bakery shop on a national level.
Instagram, has recently launched a new update which will allow its users to post several images and videos of a particular occasion in a single post. So, now you can share all your best pictures and videos of the occasion in a single post, like an album and make it memorable.
The best thing about the update is that now you don’t have to spend time in selecting your best picture of the event to upload and share your happy moments with others. Now, you can combine up to 10 pictures and videos in one post and see them all one by one.
With is new update you can share the pictures of the entire celebration step by step as per the flow of the event. You can even share pictures of your recipes or craft work you have done, with your friends and explore your talent amongst them.
While uploading the post, you can see a new icon on the screen from where you can select several picture and videos. You can select the pictures as per your wish the way you want them to be lined up, you can also change the order, by tapping on the post and hold to edit it. Either, you can apply a filter to the entire post at once or edit it one by one. Your post will display on your profile with a single caption and a little icon of the first picture or video of your post.
Like always Instagram has made your sharing experience wonderful and memorable, this new update will make your experience more pleasant.
The converted clicks were the old metric that counted the number of clicks that lead to one or more conversions. From last 15 years, advertisers were using this metric to track the success of their ads.
Google has decided to replace the “Converted clicks” with “conversion” metric as the later is more sophisticated and provide greater insight. The conversion metric has been developed to provide advertisers with accurate data so that they can plan things accordingly. Earlier the converted clicks showed very little data, but the conversion metric not only shows the direct purchases but also shows data about the indirect purchases. Below is the infographics that will help you understand it better!
A recent research by Moz has revealed that the proximity is the new king of the local search.
If you will search for a local business i.e dry cleaners using a mobile device in a small city, you are probably going see that all the dry cleaners are listed out on the map. However, in a bigger city, this whole scenario will change drastically. If you will search for a local business, you will only be able to see few options. For example, if you will search for “Restaurants”, you will only see 6-7 restaurants on the map. So how is Google determining which business to show? Is it about the number of links? mobile friendliness? positive reviews or a measurable presence in the local directories?
A thorough research revealed that it is just about one thing: “Proximity”. Only those businesses appear on the map that is closest to the searcher’s physical location.
Our take on this research is that these results are not the best and it downgrades the quality of local results. Putting high emphasis on proximity is a poor way to show results. I don’t care if a plumber is close to me. I am looking to hire a plumber that’s reputable, prominent in my city, and does good work. The same applies for every business category I can think of.
Google has stepped up there management of business listings with Google My Business. Companies used to be able to have multiple online listings without actual verifiable locations in these areas and receive inbound leads and prospects from these locations. With the rise of artificial inteligence, Google has gotten smarter in recent years. Not only are they monitoring business locations, but they are improving the ability to claim your listings and maintain a level playing field for all businesses.
You can now reclaim your Google My Business (GMB) listing page which was verified by a third party. Google has recently launched an automated process which enables you to claim your GMB page without contacting the previous manager. It came as a great relief to those who were trying to reclaim their listing but were unable to get into contact with the person who was managing it before.
The step by step process:
GOOD NEWS! YOU CAN NOW RECLAIM GOOGLE MY BUSINESS LISTING WHICH WAS MANAGED BY A THIRD PARTY
Navigate to Google My Business.
Sign in to Google with the account you use to manage your business.
Enter the name or address of your business, then select it from the search results.
You may see a dialog showing part of the email address that verified the listing. If you manage this email address, sign in to that account to access your business listing.
Fill out the form. The current listing owner may need to contact you for more info, so you won’t be able to submit your request without sharing your contact details with them.
The current listing owner will receive an email asking them to get in touch with you, and you’ll receive a confirmation email. Check on the status of your request by clicking the link in your confirmation email.
Allow a full 7 days for the current listing owner to respond to your request. If you don’t hear back after 7 days, you'll be able to verify your affiliation with the business to gain access to the listing
If you think Google is done with the Panda and Penguin updates, think again! On March 7, Google released an 'unannounced' algorithm update causing serious damage to websites having poor user experience. Sites which were affected saw anywhere from a 50% to a 90% drop in their organic traffic from Google overnight!
Some of the websites were ad heavy to the point that the ads interfered with the users ability to digest their content. Other sites were built exclusively to cater to Google's algorithm and left the actual website visitor frustrated when they landed there from the search results. There were other categories of sites affected that were either part of low-value niche and lead generation sites, engaging in paid links or were simply low quality affiliate sites. The only thing that ALL of them had in common was that they scored low when analysed via Google's Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
Google hasn't released a statement and so far the only confirmation from them was a confirmation at SMX that the "Fred" update was a Quality Update as well as a Gary Illyes tweet saying that they won't deny there was an update.
We decided to run some numbers. Our dataset of 3,500+ websites and 240,000+ keywords (local and national) makes it easy for us to get a birds-eye view of how our client campaigns are performing.
Not surprisingly, we were happy to find that this update didn’t have any negative impact on our client campaigns. In fact, we have seen improvement. Most probably, the SEO deliverables which we offer saved our clients. This is another example of how our strategies future-proof your business.
GOOGLE RELEASES FRED ALGORITHM UPDATE. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
So, how are we protecting you?
First up, we get the basics right i.e. focusing on On-Site optimization which includes correcting all possible 404 errors, fix duplicate (thin) content on the site, creation of landing pages, etc. Internal blog is also a good addition which we do when allowed.
We do a thorough backlink analysis at the start of the campaign to weed out bad backlinks which can prove to be harmful.
We vary anchor texts to have a proper balance between branded and non-branded links. We also ensure proper link velocity as too many links at a time can be flagged by Google.
We diversify the backlink profile which includes local directories, videos, infographics, informational content, coupons, guest blogs, etc.
Below are some of the additional backlink sources we’ve included in our new SEO deliverables to further diversify the backlink profile.
Startup Business Listings
Magazine / News Placement
So, if you’re hit by "Fred" update OR want to make sure you’re not going to be a likely victim, we can help. Just connect with us and let our professional SEOs to do the work for you. And yes, do not forget to ask for a copy of our latest SEO Deliverables.
Every website and business has different needs and content, and the update, as well as future updates may affect you differently. Talk with a SEO company to find out if this change has affected your SEO rankings and values.
Peak Evolve is a website design and digital marketing services company based in Long Island New York. Talk with us for all of your Search Engine Optimization needs or for a complimentary audit on your website