Date: April 27th, 2013 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Google Hangouts, Google Plus, Google+, Hangouts On Air | No Comments »
There’s been a lot of confusion over how to properly schedule a Google Plus Hangout On Air event. It all stems from the confusion between Hangouts and Hangouts On Air. Not everybody is aware of the differences between the two, of which there are a few.
1. Hangouts On Air are broadcasted live on your Google + page, YouTube channel and anywhere else you decide to embed the code.
2. Hangouts On Air can have an unlimited amount of viewers but not all of them are active participants in the Hangout. All viewers are able to comment and watch the Hangout however. With a normal Hangout, only those participating are able to view the Hangout.
3. Hangouts On Air are recorded and uploaded to your YouTube channel so anybody can watch the replay. You can even download the recording, edit it on your computer, and upload back to YouTube or anywhere else you’d like host it.
Now, when scheduling a Hangout On Air event, it’s important that you select “Hangout On Air” and not the one that just says “Hangout“. There’s also a difference between “alert” and “invite“.
Ronnie Bincer explains why:
“Follow along this disaster scenario that I’ve seen happen more and more lately which inspired me to write this post to try to help out. You’ve got a Live Hangout Scheduled for three days from now at 10 AM. You finally got your highly acclaimed panel all scheduled and available at the same time (man was that a pain to set up, but it is finally set). So you create your Google Plus Event to alert the world that this once-in-a-lifetime HOA will be happening and tell them they really need to watch and enjoy the show.
You add in some nifty graphics and you even make up a teaser video to add to the Event invitation in order to improve conversions. You’re loving the fact that the Google Plus Events tool takes care of translating the time zones automatically for everyone. You are also loving the fact that when people respond to the Event Invitation with a “Yes, I’m Going” or a “Maybe” that they will be automatically alerted by Google+ one day before the event and again at the time of the event – Sweet!
All is good with the world. If you read my post about using Events to Alert the Public about your HOA you even know about the ability to paste in the embed URL at the proper time so viewers know exactly where to click to watch the show (or they can even watch it inside the Event Invitation via the ‘YouTube URL’ field).
Then the Mistake Happens!
Here it comes (whoops)! While creating the Event, you choose the logical choice for the Event Type called “Hangouts” since the thing you are inviting people to come attend is a Hangout, right? It is a logical choice, but it is wrong!
You don’t want people to “Attend” a hangout, what you want is to Alert them that the Hangout on Air Exists, and let them know they can sign up to be alerted and reminded about it when it is happening. But you did it anyways, you chose Hangouts as the Event Type. So here is what you did without realizing it…” [Continue Reading]
Date: April 10th, 2013 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Poll, Social Network, Twitter | No Comments »
Lifehacker is running a poll asking visitors what their favorite social network is. This may come as a surprise to a few people, but Google+ is blowing away the competition. Sure, readers of Lifehacker tend to be fairly tech savvy, which is why Google+ is probably winning the poll, but it still goes to show how far Google+ has come!
Vote for your favorite here!
Date: April 8th, 2013 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Google Places, Google Search, Google+, Local SEO, SEO, Small Business | No Comments »
This can be a very confusing issue for small business owners, and it doesn’t help the fact that Google has been taking it’s sweet time with the Google Places/Google+ Local merger.
As of right now, you shouldn’t have any issues merging your Google Places page with your Google+ Local page if..
1. You’re a local business with an actual storefront. Service area businesses that don’t have a physical storefront are out of luck still.
2. You only have a single location. Multi-location support hasn’t rolled out quite yet for Google+ Local.
3. You select “Local Business or Place” when creating a Google+ Page. If you select any of the other options, your Google Places page won’t merge with your Google+ Page.
So why should a small business merge the two?
When it comes to Local SEO, Google+ is the way forward. Google Places probably won’t even exist within a year or two. Also, you get to start engaging with potential customers on Google+ and start benefiting from all the social features Google+ has to offer.
In short, Google+ is going to be a game changer for SEO, so it’s best to get a head start right now!
Here’s how to do it:
1. Create a Google+ page for your business. Remember make sure to select “Local Business or Place” when creating your page. If you already have a Google Places page, Google will recognize this from the phone number you used. It will then ask you if this is your business. Simply select your business and finish filling out the rest of the information.
If you don’t have a Google Places page, then don’t worry about it. You won’t need one since you’re creating a Google+ Local page.
2. Verify your Google+ page. After you’ve created your page, you’ll be asked to verify the business address. They’ll do this by sending you a postcard containing a special pin code. It can take 2-3 weeks for you to receive the postcard in the mail, but usually it arrives within a week.
3. Optimize your Google+ page. Adding pictures and video is a huge part of optimizing your page, but so is user engagement and review collection, which are both ongoing tasks.
You’ll want to put in place a system for collecting Google+ reviews for your business. This will ensure you have a fresh supply of positive reviews coming in. Google+ pages that have a lot of good reviews generally rank higher than other Google+ pages. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
Engaging with users on Google+ is pretty straight-forward. Simply start adding fellow Google+ users to your “circle” and a percentage of them will follow back. The better you target your “following campaign” the better your results will be. For example, if you’re a software company selling software to small business owners, you’re better off “following” small business owners than you are “following” a teenage kid that listens to ICP.
Once you start to build up a following, the next step is to reach out to your following. Ask them questions, share useful informational with them, reply to them if they message you. That’s about it! Pretty simple right?
Update: What if my Google Places and Google+ Local page don’t merge?
In some cases, the two will have trouble merging, leaving valuable reviews on your Google Places page, which sucks because we want those reviews on our new Google+ Local page. If your pages aren’t merging, all you have to do is visit your Google Places page and click “report a problem”. Let Google know that it’s a duplicate listing and needs to be merged with your new Google+ Local page.
This happened with a client of mine, and it only took a few days to merge after I reported the issue.
Am I leaving something out? Leave a comment and let me know!
Date: March 29th, 2013 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Case Study, Google+, Local Marketing, Local Search Marketing, Local SEO, Small Business | No Comments »
I helped a local Phoenix courier rank for a keyword earlier this month. The keyword it ranks for is “scottsdale courier delivery service” and here’s how I did it.
Step 1. I created a simple WordPress site using a responsive theme, and added some content. I optimized the title tags to include our targeted keywords and I embedded a Google Map showing the physical address.
Step 2. I created a Google+ local business page.
Step 3. I added Google+ “publisher” tag to the website.
Step 4. I added multiple local citations. (Yelp, Angieslist, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Yellowpages, Foursquare etc.)
Step 5. I optimized the Google+ page with video. We got this done on the cheap obviously, but you can really go all out on the video commercial. The more creative you get with the video, the more likely it is to go viral and rank high in Google.
I believe once Sun State Delivery collects some positive reviews on their Google+ page they’ll easily rank for more competitive keywords like “Scottsdale Courier”. Only time will tell!
Date: March 4th, 2013 | Author: Steve Longoria | Tags: Google+, Real Estate Marketing, Social Media Marketing | No Comments »
Real Estate professionals face a unique challenge when it comes to web marketing, as they simultaneously target a hyper-local audience and a worldwide audience. But Google+ can serve as a vital tool, since the social network’s postings receive favour in Google’s search results. And Google+ social interactions create an important digital footprint that enhances your marketing efforts.
Via Massachusetts Real Estate News
“The listing of a villa for sale in Florida posted on Facebook may get a little bit of interaction with some of those who see it, it may get re-shared a few times, particularly if it is a spectacularly appointed or expensively priced villa, but its finding a buyer has about the same chances that traditional, one-off print advertising offers or worse as at least the latter can lie around for a while the former will get buried in the stream within a couple of hours or so.
The chances then of the right person seeing it, at the right time, with the right mindset, are so slim that they hardly do justice to the effort involved in posting it. Now look at that same listing posted on Google+. The data is indexed by Google. The search engine notes that the listing is for a villa in Florida. It sees that those who interacted most with the listing come from Britain. It notes that the person who posted it frequently blogs about villas, engages in posts about real estate in Florida and interacts with realtors and clients who are based in the State…” [Continue Reading]