Article Archive by Michael Buczek


September 8 2010

Creating a Google Places Account

by Michael Buczek

As location based services are becoming more popular with searchers through the use of map searches and mobile devices, it is important that all businesses have some presence.   The first place that you should turn to is Google.   Google Local has recently been replaced with Google Places.   You may have seen the map that appears in Google that includes local businesses related to your search query.   These results are coming from Google Places.

To get started, open http://maps.google.com/ and search for your company.  

Google Places

Once you locate your business, click on the “more info” link to open the Place page.   Here you will be able to claim your listing if you have not already done so.

Google Places
 
Once you go through the claiming process, edit the information to make sure it is up to date.   Choose the most appropriate categories, or create them if they don’t already exist.   You will now have the ability to view statistics about how people are utilizing your Google Places page.   Some of the items you will be able to view include:

  • Impressions (how many times users saw this business listing)
  • Actions (clicks for more information, driving directions, clicks to your website)
  • Top search queries
  • Where driving direction requests came from

Another great feature that you will receive is a QR code.   A QR code is a graphic code that can be read and interpreted by Smartphone cameras with the right application installed.

Google Places

You can place this QR code on business cards, store locations and in other print collateral.   When the QR code is read by a phone, it will give a mobile version of the page, which is easier to read.   Below is an example of what the Google Places page for MoreVisibilty looks like after being read with a QR Code:

Smart Phone

Setting up your Google Places account is the first step to success in the local search landscape.  

July 15 2010

Managing Online Listings and Accounts

by Michael Buczek

Managing online accounts, social media logins and other profiles is not something new.   In fact, our Executive Vice President of Client Strategy, Danielle Leitch wrote a piece in a previous newsletter aiming to alert companies as to how important it is to manage their online accounts.

While the article mostly discussed social media passwords, it is important to have a plan to manage all of your business accounts.   Some of the common mistakes we see are that companies task their employees with setting up and managing multiple online profiles for their business.   If no plan is in place, the employee may simply use their company email address.   In most situations this is ok, but if the employee leaves, it can be a headache for the next person responsible for these accounts.   The email may be easy to figure out, but the password could prove to be more difficult to find.  

To make it easier for online profile management, it is important for a company to set up email addresses that are not necessarily tied to any one employee.   It is also important that there be a way to keep track of these various email addresses and passwords, so that it is easy for other people to get access.   A spreadsheet or a CRM software package can be used to track various usernames, emails and passwords.

You may even wish to create email usernames based on the types of account that it is associated with.   Examples:

  • [email protected] — Use for Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • [email protected] — Use for press release syndication services and other public relations type services.
  • [email protected] — Use this for any type of local search sites that you manage such as Google Places or yelp.

It is also important to instruct employees not to use personal addresses when creating various accounts.   This can be even more troublesome if that employee leaves, or someone else needs to take over their duties. In some cases it is also very difficult to get the email changed if you wish to consolidate listings.   When a personal email is used, it also opens up that employee to sharing personal information.

June 10 2010

Google Caffeine Live

by Michael Buczek

After a year of testing, Google has released its newest search technology.   Google Caffeine is supposed to provide 50 percent fresher results as compared to the last index.   Now when you are searching for news, photos videos and websites, you will see links to more relevant content quicker.

Google says that this technology is necessary to keep up with the staggering amount of content that is created and uploaded to the Web each day.   People and businesses are posting more content through their own sites, blogs and social media channels than ever before.   Google wants to make sure that the most relevant content is posted when a searcher makes a query.   The new index is built with the future in mind.   It has the ability to re-index content quicker and lays a foundation for the growth of information online.   You can read the official post about Caffeine at Google’s own blog.

As this search technology rolls out, we will be keeping an eye to determine how this impacts search results..   Generally speaking, when Google makes a change like this, things will shift around for a little while, but then when all is sorted out, the best results are left standing.   With Google’s push to be indexing the most relevant content, this says to me that the sites with blogs attached, or frequent content updates will fare best.   Sites that remain stagnant in content will not benefit from this new technology.   To stay ahead of the curve, be sure that you are exploring all of the possibilities of frequent content updates.   Start a blog, engage in social media, update your website often and post pictures wherever you can.

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