Places Scout Webinar – Google Places SEO Software Training Event

If you have ever used any of the following software tools:

  • Market Samurai
  • GPScraper
  • Power Leads Pro
  • Map PI
  • Raven Tools
  • SEScout
  • SEO Spyglass
  • Traffic Travis
  • Whitespark Citation Finder

Or any other tool that provides lead generation, rank tracking, keyword generation, competition analysis, or citation finding

BUT you’re also the kind of person who values:

  • Freeing up your time from repetitious tasks so that you can talk to more potential clients with key information and make more money
  • Staying on top of the Local SEO Game and being an expert in the industry
  • Having ONE awesome “Go-To” tool for all your Local SEO needs
  • Innovative, powerful, and easy-to-use software that challenges the status quo by raising the bar for Offline Consulting and Local SEO Research Tools

Then we’ve got JUST THE SOLUTION for you!

Mark Kabana, local business consultant for over 5 years, has created Places Scout because too many consultants spend far too much time knee deep in manual research.

So, what can Places Scout do for you?

  • Full parallel processing support provides blazing fast data gathering
  • All data is exportable to multiple formats, including CSV, Excel, and HTML
  • Simplistic softwar user interface makes Places Scout easy to learn and use
  • Accuracy of data can be easily verified with links to actual SERPs for each query
  • Data visualization technology with fully featured integrated map views provide you with a visual geographic understanding of all the data gathered
  • Automatic hassle free updates
  • Real time data gathering
  • Support for 14 countries
  • Money back guarantee
  • Excellent customer support with fast response times

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Register for a FREE LIVE DEMO WEBINAR to be held April 12th at 2pm EDT! You’ll get to see this amazing piece of software in action BEFORE you buy it! Did we also mention the money back guarantee?

What that all means is you’ve got nothing to lose! So signup for the FREE webinar, and come see what Places Scout can do to put more time and money on your side.

Places Scout Webinar – Google Places SEO Software Training Event

Hello, Google+ Brand Pages!

The wait is finally over! Google+ Brand Pages are upon us. Have you got one for your business yet?

GeoLocal has one, so be sure to add us to your circles! If you’re already following me on G+, you should have seen the message.

But wait! Before you run off like a kid that’s just heard the ice cream truck, here are a few things you should know about the G+ Brand Pages…

Tied to a Gmail Account – Yep, you read that right. As of right now, these brand pages are linked directly to a Gmail account. So, if your business doesn’t have a “yourawesomebizname@gmail.com” address, now would be a great time to get one. The Gmail account that creates the page is the only person that will be able to make changes.

It is unclear as to whether or not G+ users will be able to create multiple pages, like users on Facebook can admin several pages. So, while the email address might not matter, it’s still sound advice to keep things separate, wouldn’t you agree?

Look like G+ Profiles – The brand pages have the same layout as the G+ Profiles, with a few new options, like page sharing and +1.

Ugly URLs – For example, this is what the GeoLocal URL looks like: https://plus.google.com/107931383586099514689/posts. Anyone familiar with SEO knows how much wasted space those numbers take up! There are some URL shortener services, but nothing officially endorsed by Google itself.

Direct Connect - Try going to Google and typing in “+ Cowboys“, and you’ll see that their G+ Brand Page appears before you’ve finished spelling out the word. Google worked specifically with a few companies (Toyota, Pepsi, for example) for its initial page rollout. The best part is that Google can automatically add this brand page to your circles. Not available for all pages yet, but one can reason that it will come soon enough.

All other G+ services - Brand pages can still do Hangouts, upload pictures and video, and share posts. If your company is really techy, think of how a Hangout (live chat) could do wonders for your customer service efforts.

You’ve got the lowdown, now where do you get one? Easy, http://plus.google.com/pages/create. It’s only a few steps: pick your business category, fill in the profile information, upload some images, make a post, and invite people to your circle. If you’ve already got a place page, it’s even easier to connect the two.

What’s that, you ask? Why bother? Fair question. The short answer is that Google+ Brand Pages won’t be a relevant medium for every business. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But Google is hot right now. And for a search engine to own over 60% of the search market (sharing the other 40% with a boatload of other search engines), that is something worth paying attention to.

Google is making the effort to stay ahead of the curve by trying out new things and stepping into social media. While Google is facing an uphill battle against Facebook, it’s worth keeping an eye on. Or are you still updating your MySpace Page?

Here We Go(ogle) Again!

Google Place PageIt seems the spring cleaning bug has hit Google hard. In the wake of all the buzz around Google +, the company quietly streamlined their Google Place Pages.

Place pages used to pull reviews from other sites like CitySearch and Yelp. Not anymore. Place Pages now only display content from other Google users. They have larger call to action buttons higher on the page. So if you want to review a place or upload photos from a recent visit, it is now easier to do so. Google is also working to unify their platform across different mediums, so your Google experience looks the same on your phone as it does on your computer. Avni Shah, Director of Product Management for Google, blogged that Google is “Bringing you more personalized results when you search for local places — because we understand that information from the people you know is most meaningful.”

While reviews, whether good or bad, help boost your Place page ranking, any small business owner in the service industry will tell you that one bad review can be detrimental. Will a review from a Google user carry more weight as far as SEO is concerned? Not likely. What this change will do, however, is knock your total review counts way down.

There will still be links to your company’s reviews on other sites like Yelp, but it will require that the user actually click through to those pages. What can you do to counteract this drop in rating counts?

Ask your customers for a review! If they’ve had a positive experience, encourage them to leave a review (via their Google account) on your Place page. It may even be worth it to offer an incentive for them to leave a review. Perhaps a discount on their next purchase?

The aim of Google + is to provide a better social experience. Combine that with the easy integration with all the other Google products and services, and you’ve got one gargantuan hub where absolutely any and everything is at a user’s fingertips.

Are you optimizing your Google Place Page to reflect these new changes?

GeoLocal on Google +

Remember last week when I talked about Google Plus? I got invited, joined, then started a GeoLocal Circle. After just a few days, I’ve already used it more than I’ve used Facebook in the last month. Suffice to say, I really like Google Plus, a lot.

The plan is unconfirmed by Google, but the company recently told brands and businesses not to create Google+ profiles just yet, as it works on a better experience for them.

When you combine G+ with Google Places, Boost, City Pages, Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar and everything else, well that sounds like everything in one place. Hmmm.

Here’s a great overview of Google + and what it can mean for local business owners.

If you need a Google + invitation, just shoot me an email with your Gmail address.

See you inside the GeoLocal Circle…;-)

Google +

Google PlusWhat keeps Google on top? Their ability to, and obvious lack of fear for, trying new things. Not every project is a success and not every service lasts. Remember Google Wave or Google Buzz? It seems that Google, once again, flexes its muscle to remind us that they are not just a search engine.

Hot on the heels of two recent rollouts (Google City Pages and Google +1), Google has launched Google+. In a nutshell, Google+ aims to do what we humans naturally do: compartmentalize our social life.

Google+ breaks down like this:

- Circles : A topic/category that you create (i.e.: bowling), then you add people to this group (the people you bowl with).

- Sparks: As with any group, you need something to talk about. Can’t think of anything? Google will use what they call SPARKS to “feed [the circle] highly contagious content from across the Internet.”

- Hangouts: Google’s less invasive answer to instant messaging. Let’s say you have a few minutes to talk bowling with your circle. Log into this video-chat option so others will know you’re available. According to the Google blog, “Hangouts lets you stop by when you’re free, and spend time with your Circles. Face-to-face-to-face.” Sound familiar? Yea, I call it Skype too…

- Mobile: Another service that will allow you to geo-tag your updates.

To be honest, this all sounds like a mash-up of several different social media services (Twitter, HootSuite, LinkedIn), but most notably…Facebook. Talk about a clash of the Titans…we’re looking at a combined user base of over 1 BILLION people worldwide!

While most of us don’t have Google’s funding, we can keep them in mind as a model. Try new things, keep up with the competition, and listen to what your users/consumers/customers are telling you.

If you, as a small business owner, were resistant to social media in the past, this may be the wake-up call you need. With more and more people using the Internet to connect to their world, can you afford to be the holdout?

Google City Pages

If you thought Google was only that big search engine that everyone aspires to sit atop…THINK AGAIN! Secondly, if you think of Google as JUST a search engine, you’ve missed the boat.

Google City Pages PortlandIf you are lucky enough to live in Austin, Portland, Madison, or San Diego, then you can explore your city through the brand new Google City Pages! As for the rest of us, we can take a look at the Portland site, it appears to be the most complete.

Been neglecting a Google Places page? Now would be the time to make sure that is optimized before Google rolls out city pages nationwide. By clicking on any of the businesses listed on the Portland City Page, you’ll be immediately taken to that establishment’s Place Page. What you’ll notice is that their page is chock full of photos, offers, Google reviews and reviews from other sites like Yelp.

Each City page has a cool silhouette of the city skyline. The layout is easily navigable, and there’s even information about current events in the sidebar. Click on the “Offers” link at the top of the page, and you’ll be asked to subscribe to receive, “unbeatable offers straight to your inbox!” Are Groupon and Living Social paying attention?

Both the “Community” and the “Business Owners” links are rather barren. Just like anything else Google releases, give it minute. These pages will soon be filled with LOCAL content. Who will supply it? Will Google accept submissions? Right now, Google has appointed what they call “Community Managers.”

There are lots of questions that still need to be answered. But what does this new City Page mean for local businesses? Let me know what you think.

Sick of Boring PowerPoints? Get Prezi…

Sick of boring PowerPoint presentations? Check out Prezi! Words can’t really describe it, you have to experience it.  www.Prezi.com

Here’s a very good one that demonstrates the real power: http://prezi.com/nsu8izuq8jxs/mathematweets

Here’s one that I did using a publicly available resuable Prezi – http://prezi.com/fimlluyyrnqv/geolocal-social –  just changed a few words and called it my own, yes you can do it too and it’s a good way to get started.

http://prezi.com/rqsceo_hxgat/geolocal-inbound-marketing — here’s another one that was created by HubSpot — you’d have to redo the voiceover and change all the places that say “Hubspot”, but if you figure out how to do that, you could use this as your own

I’d like to figure out how to create one from scratch, but there are people on Odesk who list Prezi as one of their skills, and I even found someone on www.fiverr.com who will do one for $5.  We’ll see how that one turns out.

If you can’t figure out a good use for this tool, you should give up marketing…you can take articles, PLR products (such as http://www.geolocal.com/products/item11.cfm), any type of written material and put it into Prezi format and they become VIDEOS. Fun to watch, interesting videos! The possibilities are endless. Especially for LOCAL.

Check it out: www.Prezi.com — I’m still using the free version but am sure I’ll upgrade at some point.

Mailing List Resources

Looking for mailing lists? Here are some resources.

http://lists.nextmark.com

https://salesgenie.com — 3 day free trial

Whitespark Local Citation Finder

Local Citation Finder

If you’re doing Google Places, you need to build citations.

Here’s a tool I like for finding potential citation sites: http://www.whitespark.ca/local-citation-finder

It finds some really unique sites that I wouldn’t have found otherwise.

 

Simple But Brilliant

Remember that screen recorder I told you about last week, screencast-o-matic.com? Some people knew instantly how they could use it, while a few people asked for some ideas.Offline Silver Bullet

Here’s an idea — use it to do a video review of a local business website, then send it to the business owner with a short email and link to the video. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just a quick 5 minute video showing them how their site compares to their top competitors’ and how a few small changes could help them get more traffic, leads, and, most important, customers.

Want a step-by-step guide to doing this? I’ve gone through a few products on the subject and I like this one the best: Offline Silver Bullet

To make it even more effective, you should personalize the video URL with the business or business owner’s name. That’s what I’m doing, with a twist that you’ll hear more about soon…