Common Google+ Local Business Listing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Google+ Local is one of the best places to promote your business online. When you create a business page on G+ local not only your business gets listed on the Google Maps, but your company’s SERP ranking improves significantly. These days, people search for everything in social media sites and thus, it is crucial to have a corporate page on G+ Local. For example, when food lovers search for “Italian restaurants in New York”, Google+ provides them the details of several restaurants serving Italian dishes in that city. Thanks to G+ Local, if the customers search on Google directly, they get a list of restaurants with direction and other details immediately. If you have not listed your company in Google+ Local yet, you can hire a SEO company in India for the job and they will enlist the brand name on your behalf.

GooglePlus

The search engine giant has some strict rules and regulations regarding Local listings and if you make any mistakes, then not only your page can get demoted, but it can be removed from G+ Local completely. Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Keyword stuffing: It happens when you put keywords in the fields that are not supposed to feature keywords. For instance, suppose your company name is “ABC Technologies”, but instead of writing just the company’s name you write “ABC Technologies, offering web design and web development solutions in Los Angels” as your brand name in the profile. All the words beyond “ABC Technologies” will be considered as keyword stuffing by Google. Unfortunately, even some of the seasoned SEO professionals make this mistake. Therefore, while hiring the professional SEO company, make sure that they are well versed in Local guidelines. When filling the category field, mention what your business is not what it does. For example, ABC Technologies is “IT solutions”, not “web design and development company”.

Inconsistency in information: Google relies on directory websites and public information to check whether your business is genuine or not. Google wants to provide authentic information to users because Local is all about accuracy. It is of no use if someone searches for Hospitals in LA and the SERP shows him hospitals located in San Francisco. Therefore, you must provide the same address in every business directory, otherwise Google will smell something fishy. For example, if you have posted “25 Times Square” in one directory and in the G+ Local page “Times Square. Building number 25”, Google can eliminate your information.

Using 1800 number: In order to verify the location of a company one of the primary things that Google check is the area code provided in your phone number. So, if you give an 1800 number as your contact number, the search engine giant won’t be able to verify your address. Therefore, use a number that displays the area code and make sure that it is posted across all the other business directories.

Not adding pictures and videos: It is very important to fill up all the details about your business. Address and phone number is necessary, but so are the pictures and videos about your business. There is no need to upload studio quality photos, but you should give some pictures to assure that web users that you have an establishment. The pictures can be complied as an animated slide-show and uploaded as well. You can include any picture that is relevant for the target audience. For example, an IT company can show the pictures of office and employees. A restaurant can show the interior decoration and a snap of the menu so that people can check the pricing of dishes.

Writing fake reviews: Never fill your corporate page with fake listings. If you try to do it, the search engine giant will detect the fraudulent behavior and penalize your page. In case customers are not writing reviews, you can encourage your most loyal clients to write a few good words about your business. You can also ask your employees to log-in using their own account and write some good reviews.

So, now you are aware of the most common mistakes. If you hire an SEO company in India for business listing in Google+, then they will take care of everything, but if you are planning to do it on your own, then don’t commit the aforementioned blunders.

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Bootstrapping Your Startup Idea 101

In today’s economy, money can be tough to come by, even if it means investing in your dream business. Fortunately, you don’t need to let economic factors out of your control and rain on your parade. When you start your business, you do not have to go all out in a sense of going bankrupt or worse, relying on investors and credit. There are easy and powerful ways for you to keep your costs down while starting a business. We have found four easy ways for you to follow. Keep reading to learn the basics on how you can bootstrap a business.

Be a Minimalist

You may think part of the fun of starting a business lies in some of the equipment and supplies that goes along with it. It’s okay to relish in the idea that you’ll get to pick out numerous pieces of furniture and technology that will give your business a personality all its own.

But if you’re on a strict budget, then you simply need to put this luxury off for now. At the moment, you must focus on only purchasing the necessities. You’ll enjoy acquiring all the other necessities more after your business becomes a success and later on when you’ve earned the budget necessary to purchase them.

Consider a Partner

One reason you may find yourself taking the bootstrap route is because you’re going at it alone. Doing so might give you the control you yearn for, but it might also be keeping your company from starting off on the right foot. You can easily solve this problem by taking on a partner.

So you don’t jump out of the frying pan and into the fryer, be sure you do your due diligence when looking for a partner. Find one who mirrors your vision and drive and taking one on might be the best decision you make.

Apply for a Grant

Many state governments as well as private organizations make small business grants available for those wishing to take part in the dream of starting their own company. Any one of them could provide just the capital you need to get your business off the ground and walking in the right direction.

Don’t be fooled, however. It’s not free money. You’ll need to do your research in order to find a grant you’re eligible for and then all the work that comes with applying.

Turn to Crowdfunding

Modernity has helped make starting your own business easier in a number of ways. One such way would be crowdfunding. It’s the simple process of asking the general public to donate money in order to help you get your company started. The best part is this money comes with no-strings attached and you’ll never have to repay it.

Although you’ve probably dreamt about your own business for years, you might have to put off that exact version if you’re strapped for cash at the moment. Follow the above advice, however, and you can still start a great company on budget.

This post is from serial entrepeneur Issa Asad who has founded various successful technology companies.

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7 Questions That Need Answers Before Hiring a Brochure Designer

Brochure is a great marketing medium for all types of businesses and should be utilized by companies to promote their products and services among the targeted offline audience. A brochure may seem like a small book, but designing it is not that easy. Color, graphics, text and placement of all these elements matter a lot. Therefore, you should hire a professional brochure designer for creating the perfect offline marketing tool. There are many brochure designers in the market and some of them may design a brochure at a very low cost, but price is not the only factor you should consider while hiring a designer. Here are the 7 questions you need to ask a brochure designer before hiring him.

# Ask him to speak about himself: The best way to know a designer and his work method is to ask him to say a few words about him. He will open up quickly and say the things that will help you understand his level of education and professionalism. For example, if a designers says that he holds a degree in graphic designing and wanted to pursue this career forever, it is wise to trust him than someone who failed miserably as a programmer and started designing brochures because “it is a simple work”.

# How many years in this business: Every year, new designing tools are launched by software development businesses and anyone can learn them to design a brochure. So, why does experience matter? Experience is crucial if you need flawless work. Anyone can know how designing tools work, but only a seasoned artist knows the perfect blend of colors, selects the right fonts and includes attractive graphics to create a visually beautiful marketing collateral.

# Do you have an office or work from home?: You should hire a designer who has an office, and not a freelancer. He may charge you more than freelancers, but you can be certain about a few things like genuine design and timely delivery. Freelancers often take the money, but fail to deliver on time. On the other hand, when someone has several brochure designers in his office, you can be sure that he won’t give you silly excuses.

# Can I see some previous work?: The best certificate of a designer’s prowess is his work. You should ask him to show his previous designs. See how he designed the brochures of his past clients. Did he follow any particular trend? Did you see the same designs before? A good designer does not follow any trend and designs each pamphlet differently to suit the brand image of the client.

# Can I see some testimonials: The artist may have promised that he will deliver your pamphlet within a week, but is he really capable enough to meet the deadline? He may talk softly with you now, but is he truly polite? You should read the testimonials to know the true character of the artist. If the past clients praises him for his skills and behavior, you can trust him as well.

# Do you provide printing service?: It is better to hire a designer who offers designing as well as printing services. A brochure needs to be printed for public distribution and thus, is wise to hire someone who can print the brochure as well. Since he will provide both designing and printing services, he may offer a combo deal and you will be able to save money.

# How much will you charge?: This is certainly one of the key questions, but your choice should not be determined by remuneration only. Experienced and famous designers always charge more than newbie freelancers, but their quality of work justifies the price they demand. After all, how can you expect that a man will help you make thousands of dollars, but charge only a few dollars for his service? Make sure he fits in your budget, but should not be the “cheapest designer” in the market.

If you ask these questions to expert brochure designers in India during meeting, different person will give you different answers. Select the one who provides satisfactory answers to all the aforementioned questions and let him create the perfect brochure for your organization. When you hire the right artist for your pamphlet design, he not only promotes your business through his design, but also boosts the value of your brand in the customers’ eyes.

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Social Media To Focus On In 2014

As we enter into the New Year, our focus on social media and the many benefits it has for business will continue and evolve. Companies who are looking to grow their business in 20140 will need to continue their focus on social media and the effects that it has in regards to maintenance and improvements of customer relationships and relevance and impact it has on SEO and SERP rankings.

social media 2014

social media 2014

As many social media sites offer free pages and accounts for businesses, SM is a cost-effective way to continue marketing your company in the New Year and therefore businesses and marketers need to focus on the now traditional social media sites and the evolving sites that are predicted to be more popular in the New Year. For businesses in 2014, here are the best social media sites to be on to help improve visibility.

Visual Social Media

2013 saw the rise in popularity of visual social media sites with Pinterest, Instagram and Vine becoming even more sociable. The reach of video social media such as Vine is vast, as it has the ability to become integrated with other sites, meaning that the creation of content by a company on Vine can then be shared on Facebook and Twitter allowing for better reach, visibility and popularity on all platforms.

In 2014, businesses should be prepared to focus on visual social media content and how to optimize it to increase awareness, SERPs, and web presence, all of which will help with the real increase of trade.

Facebook

The reign of Facebook will no doubt continue throughout 2014, with businesses being able to easily increase awareness using this popular social media site. Those using the site will have to spend time researching the most dynamic ways to use it, and like with other networks, will need to begin to look at how to attract genuine customers rather than merely an increased number of page likes so as to have popularity on this platform mean increase in trade and sales as well as brand visibility.

Twitter

Another social media ruler, Twitter is a beneficial platform for all industries as it allows businesses to target a wide audience of other businesses and consumers. With an improvement in the way that promoted tweets were viewed in 2013, businesses can now target audiences that aren’t following their Twitter account by appearing in their timeline allowing them a wider reach. As Twitter is now becoming a key way to find new stories and social trends, businesses should look into innovative ways to harness these to their advantage in 2014.

Google+

Users of Google’s own social media site Google+ have already seen the benefits of how it effects their SERPs rankings and therefore increase in site traffic, and this is a trend that is most likely to continue in 2014. Businesses who don’t currently have Google+ accounts for their employees and are not registered on Google Places should set about doing so immediately to help improve the visibility of their business in terms of search engines results pages and make use of the review and ratings feature that Google offers.

Featured images:

By Beth Stubbings

Beth Stubbings thinks that businesses need to become more dynamic in the social media that they use to promote themselves in 2014. She would recommend Marketing By Web to companies who would like their social media managed by a professional experience company.

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Affiliate Marketing Myths You Should Ignore

The affiliate marketing industry is one that is shrouded in mystery. The vast majority of people who attempt to start an affiliate marketing business fail within the first year, and the most successful gurus love to make it sound like there are some magical secrets that only they can teach. The truth is that running an affiliate marketing business is a lot like running any other kind of business: hard work. Let’s take a look at some common affiliate marketing misconceptions, and the truth behind them.

1.    Affiliate Marketing Lets You Earn While You Sleep

If only this one were true! Successful affiliate marketers do have a lot of web properties that earn them some residual income, so in a way, they are able to earn while they sleep, because their income won’t just dry up the second they stop working. However, to get there they had to work hard day in, day out, for many months. In that sense, affiliate marketing is a lot like having a real job. You work hard today to get time off in the future. If you take too long off, the income will dry up.

2.    Affiliate Marketing is So Easy, Anyone Can Do It

The people selling make money at home products like to make it sound like anyone with a computer and an internet connection can become a millionaire. This is, sadly, not true. The Internet gives you the opportunity to try to make money, but it’s up to you to take advantage of that opportunity.

3.    Affiliate Marketing is Just Glorified Spam

There are a lot of spammy affiliate websites out there, but most of them aren’t making money. The best affiliates are the ones you don’t even notice; the bloggers offering good advice and promoting the occasional product alongside it, the price comparison sites, and other online services that add value, and take a little commission in return.

4.    The Market Is Saturated

Don’t be put off by affiliates that complain that the market in general, or the niche you are considering in particular, is saturated. It’s true that there are, literally, millions of affiliates out there, but there are millions of bricks and mortar businesses too. The market always has room for someone with a great idea and the skills to pull it off.

5.    Quantity is The Key To Success

A lot of posters on webmaster forums sell “turnkey” websites, promising that this website makes $40 a day, and if you launch another, that will make another $40 and so on, until you become a millionaire. This strategy simply does not work. Firstly, even if the site you buy is making money, it won’t continue to do so if you don’t update it and continue to promote it. Secondly, the earnings figures shown by the seller are usually artificially inflated through bought traffic or fake clicks.

Think about it for a moment, if someone could reliably make microsites that earned a reasonable amount of money per day, why would they waste their time selling those sites on?

Affiliate marketing is a great way to make a living, but the key to success is hard work, research and testing. If you have a good idea, and are willing to put the work in to make it succeed, then you can run a viable online marketing business.

Amy is an online marketer who has assisted affiliate marketers in embracing a holistic approach to building and marketing their websites. Today Amy writes for affiliate network ClickSure.

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