Local Optimization

Google Expanding Their Business Offerings for SMBs

With so much happening in the world with businesses, regulations, and consumer engagement, it was only a matter of time before Google began working on ways to expand it’s reach (and revenue) through SMBs. Google+ was one of the first foray into these types of efforts, beyond Google Local and Google My Business. Google Hire By now, you likely heard about Google Hire or Hire with Google. This function is now enabled and allows job seekers to find available job posts right in the search results. Are career placement services, staffing services, and job search tools a thing of the past? No, of course not. Concierge career services help both businesses and job seekers connect, often taking on the role of hiring manager or talent agent. Google is not going to operate in this capacity. The hiring application is really a job posting solution for businesses. Google acquired Bebop, a startup focused on productivity and enterprise tools, in 2015, that is the backbone–we believe–of this functionality. The tool isn’t fully active yet but offering to let you sign up for announcements at hire.withgoogle.com. Google Posts Via Google My Business Access to the Google Posts is found in Google My Business. Enabled accounts should show a “Posts” option for your business listing(s). The posts can be from 100-300 words, feature for images, videos, and GIFs like most social media updates but Google Post will only display the first 100 words of your Post (ref. RevLocal, Google Apps). Posts appear directly in Google search results, as such they are extremely quick to load. Business posts can contain a status update (similar to something you’d post on social media) or an image. Some appear as a carousel of images and text; searchers can use right and left arrows to scroll through the post contents. Despite what some outlets are saying about these updates (looking at you SEL), these changes are inline with Google’s business model and desire to focus on business. Why should Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms have all the social fun? The concern however, with these and other changes like AMP, are that Google is taking content from the businesses, websites, and references. Historically, the search engine facilitated traffic reaching the content on the site’s of the content owner. SEL and others worry that as Google continues to use content, resources, and details from publishers, users won’t reach the properties themselves, reducing the value of organic for these businesses. The Wrapper The concern is valid, but ultimately, Google can’t be every business, provide every product, solve all the problems. Is it right that they play intermediary? No, not really, but in the end, users and consumers reach the answers to their queries by finding the businesses that can help them through a mixture of digital solutions, to include...

Read More

Yext adds Google+ Support, Finally

For those of us marketers that have used Yext, the need for easier integration of Google local pages has been a sticking point for years. Although support has existed for setting up Yext to allow business owners and web marketers to allow Yext access to their Google+ profiles for posting to the Page of their choice, it has never synced listings on Google. The difference is around the valuable NAP information used to ensure citations align to the business in question along with promoting specials, the website, and other pertinent information. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number and sometimes website (just like “Y” in the alphabet). However more often than not, the website is a key element. Each year Yext adds new partners and valuable services. By adding Google syncing services, they are now allowing users to sync to the largest search engine system in the world, literally. Google has roughly 70% of the search market and continues to put more emphasis on local and mobile. Syncing with Google make Yext viable for local lead generation as well as reinvigorates the value of the service to B2B services that resell the solution for directory management. According to the launch email, the sync option should be available on February 16th. Along with syncing, the integration will include: Rapidly update location data around closings or changes to opening hours across Google platforms (search, plus, and Maps). Control the data Google receives about your clients’ locations and ensure it is always consistent, authoritative, and up-to-date. Manage information on Google My Business and across the web from a single interface using the Yext Location Management Platform. There are a number of solutions that provide this type of service, WhiteSpark, SignPost, YellowPages, etc. So, what platform do you use (if, any) for this types of service? The Wrapper Sure, it’s been years since Google Maps came out and even more since the transitions from Maps to Local and Local to Google+ and Google+ to Google My Business, but hey, sometimes APIs aren’t easy to manage. It’s great that Yext is finally adding this functionality. For the sake of honesty, I do use Yext, but this isn’t a paid post and I have little dog in this fight. If there is a more worthwhile solution, I’d love to hear about it! Vendesta was a potential replacement, but just like BrightEdge for SEO, for the pricing and the SMB clientele C.SEO serves, it was a little pricy and more work than value at that level. #QuantityvsSize UPDATE Following the launch webinar, Yext has released the webinar recording along with details on how to integrate the Google+ Page into your Yext account. View the webinar (and the C.SEO shoutout) or follow the login link if you have a Yext account and ready to sync Google! You’ll need to still verify listings in Google but updates and changes can be made in Yext once syncing is linked up....

Read More