Customers are turning more and more to mobile search, making high visibility in local search results a critical ingredient in a business's marketing mix. The toolkit for businesses that want to rule local search results is already rich, and continues to deepen. Citations in sites such as Yelp, Superpages, Angie's List, and others are invaluable. Use of Google+ Local Page Optimization gives businesses higher ranking in Local Pack Results, inclusion in the Local Carousel, and having a Pin in the Local Pack Map. Encouraging reviews on a Google Local Page is another powerful way to get better local search results. Writing on Search Engine Journal, Kelsey Jones provides helpful infographics detailing do's, don'ts, and tips in 5 areas: Google+ local page optimization; citations; reviews; on-site optimization; and inbound link profile.
Nine of out 10 (88%) consumers searching for local businesses on their mobile devices call or visit businesses they find that way within 24 hours. But 25% of small businesses still don't take the steps they need to have a meaningful presence in local search results. Andy Beal, writing on Marketing Pilgrim, uses an infographic to deliver an in-depth look at how local businesses are using the Internet to reach customers and expand their marketing reach.
Writing on Search Engine Land, Eli Schwartz, online marketing manager for SurveyMonkey, reports on the results of a survey asking Americans how much they care about their online privacy. Turns out they are concerned, but don't really know what to do about it. More specifically, when asked "How concerned are you about privacy when using a search engine?" nearly 90% expressed some level of concern, with 26% "extremely" concerned. But only 3% responded that they use DuckDuckGo (which bills itself as the search engine that does not track its users' online behavior) as their search engine. Asked about what they do to protect their privacy online, 6 in 10 (58%) said they deleted their history and 5 of 10 (53%) deleted cookies, but only 1 in 4 (27%) used incognito or privacy mode when searching online. The survey also asked respondents about the types of searches that would embarrass them if seen by others, about the government snooping on their web searches, and if search engine companies should be required by law to delete certain types of personal information.
Instead of worrying about the impact of customer complaints in your social media pages and feeds, take them as an opportunity to show that you care, that your brand is responsive, and that you really listen. Sue Cockburn, founder and CEO of GrowingSocialBiz, writing on Social Media Today about the opportunities presented by customer complaints, begins with a quote from Zig Ziglar: "Statistics suggest that when customers complain, business owners and managers ought to get excited about it. The complaining customer represents a huge opportunity for more business." After all, people who take the trouble to tell you about a problem in your business are often some of your most loyal customers - or can become enthusiastic fans if treated with care. It's most important for those customers to feel heard and understood. If you show them that they are important and respected, you can turn a complaint into a chance to build an ongoing relationship.
Writing on Search Engine Journal, Jean Dion, a senior journalist with InternetReputation.com, takes a look into how businesses are responding to negative online reviews. The details are a little sketchy, but according to many media reports, a hotel in Hudson, N.Y., had posted a policy stating that it would levy fines for negative reviews posted on Yelp by people who had rented space at the hotel for a special event - charging credit cards belonging to the renters $500 if the hotel owners found a negative review online after the event took place. Tempting, surely, and in some cases probably justified, but definitely not the best way to deal with negative online comments or reviews. The policy drew hundreds of responses (as well as plenty of sarcastic media coverage), and the hotel has since changed its policy. Dion provides some constructive advice on better ways to deal with negative reviews.
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