Google disrupts customer service industry Did Google just disrupt the disruptors? The tech giant recently announced that it is offering the technology for a button that will launch a Google hangout directly from a company website. Hangouts is Google's name for its videoconferencing service that allow several people to join the same video chat from multiple devices, including smartphones. A related service, Hangouts on Air, allows a video conference to be recorded directly to Youtube. Originally a part of its Google+ social network, it has since spun off into a standalone service. The service was announced on the official enterprise blog for Google posted by Stephen Cho, Head of Google Apps and Hangouts Technology Partnerships "With this new Hangouts button, apps everywhere will let colleagues, partners, and customers meet face-to-face anytime, anywhere, and work more effectively together with just one click" Cho explained, "A number of our early partners have already enriched their applications with Hangouts". He specifically mentioned several of their partners in the sales and customer service space, "Sales reps working in Salesforce.com can automatically kick off a Hangout with their account team through Esna; in myERP, a sales rep can start a video meeting with any customer prospect. Zendesk helps support agents start a Hangout to consult with other agents and internal staff, while Freshdesk lets a customer service agent Hangout with a customer to quickly resolve support issues". The hangout start button can be configured by any moderately skilled developer and let you specify if it starts up a text chat, a video call, a video conference or a recorded on Hangout on Air. Since the customer has control of their own camera settings, this essentially allows for deployment of an Amazon Mayday- like customer service button on any website or app allowing customers to see and communicate with the representative, whether they are using their video camera or not. It seems that Google has once again put a disruptive game-changer on the market. As described by the CITEworld blog http://goo.gl/KlurVp "Pretty much everybody has access to Google Hangouts, and Google is letting anybody embed the button. Obviously, you lose some of the really deep functionality for customer service agents to go hands-on with customers that Salesforce offers, but it's definitely more lightweight and almost certainly easier to deploy in an application. There's a move towards using collaboration and chat technology for better customer service. It's going to be really interesting to see if Google Hangouts gets further built out as an enterprise offering with that kind of service as the focus". What will this free application do to the large number of startups and small software companies have developed similar fee-based applications? No one really knows, but the news can't be good. They will likely either have to either adjust and offer more value added services, or incorporate the technology into their own offering. Clearly this is a development in the customer service technology industry that cannot be ignored. Companies like www.teledini.com, a client of ours seem to like the news. It will bring further viability to WebRTC and Video applications.
Monthly SEO Check and Web Presence maintenance.
From time to time we are asked what we do monthly to check on a web sites SEO status. So, instead of boring you with a narrative I thought we would just post some of the instructions I give to our SEO people. It’s in no way completely inclusive, but if you want to D.I.Y this is a good guide.
On Site:Home Page and Main keyword page.
- Meta Tags: The Title and Description
Does it contain the keyword(s))
Does one of the two contain a local intent keyword if a local company.
Find the meta tags by right clicking on a blank part of the page. Click on “page source” A new page will open.
- Does the home page have a G+ icon that goes to the business G+ profile?
If not, refer them to this link on how to add a business page: http://www.google.com/+/business/
Mention that when the Business profile is complete, they should add the G+ badge to their home page. Instructions are in the G+ business page information.
- Does the home page have at least one out bound (external Link) to a high authority site? Example: Check our B.B.B. ratings and a link to their B.B.B. page
- Does the site have good quality content?
Internal pages should be added from time to time, and a page from the main navigation should have at least 700 + words. The information should be useful and well written.
- Does the site have a Blog? If yes, is there new valuable content on the blog? Are blog titles used that will be easy for the search engines to identify what the blog post is about. Are they using a SEO plug in for a word press blog.
- No blog? Add one. They can pay content writers to produce blogs. (average cost $70 to $129.00) or write their own.
Site Structure: Is the navigation clear and using a silo system for main search topics ?
Site Load Time:Does the site load in an acceptable time. Check GWT for speed test.
NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
Does the site clearly display the local businesses Name address and phone number on the homepage and contact form. Suggest they use http://schema.org mark up for their address. Their web master can do this very quickly.
If its a local company are they using a local number? Add one if they are using a n 800 number.
Google Web Master: Is there a current site map on G.A.?
Search for business name on Google.
Check all first page results for any positive or negative reviews.
Here’s what you find under My One Call LLC
What ever review sites show up (Google, Yelp, Youtube) you should encourage the web owner to ask for more positive reviews on those sites and make them aware of any non positive mentions or reviews.
MOZ Rankings: Go to MOZ.com and log in.
Run an open explorer report on the main URL. Note and communicate the Page Authority, and Number of links. Down load a monthly back link report.
Competitive assessment: Search for their main keyword and city (if Local) Note the top ranked sites. Make a note of the top three. (do not include directories)
Go to moz.com open Site Explorer. Add top three competitors to “compare link Metrics ”Copy report to client.
Run Open Site Explorer for the top three sites. Look for linking opportunities.
Provide a brief summary of work completed this month or period.
Continued Web site presence on My One Call LLC sites
Tips and updates.
New Keyword ideas
New content ideas. (FAQ page)
Rankings for main keywords.
By Mike Bayes
My Google Plus Profile: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MikeBayes/about
More about us www.salesjumpstart.net
Want to learn more about Google Plus and promoting your business?
Try these two G+ Guru’s (my words not theirs)
Stephan Hovnanian is a true G+ Master! https://plus.google.com/+StephanHovnanian/posts
1.2 Million Dollars in New Leads, With 1 Page and no off site SEO.
I know, SEO is a very difficult to understand these days… but we all must conceed there is “something” that determines where Google and other search engines place a result from a search query. Understanding how that works (or at least some of how that works) is what a good search engine optimization company does.
The process of understanding that is to watch carefully how certain pages move up and down in the search engine results for certain specific keywords. And when you see positive movement, figuring out what may have caused it. This is where it gets really tricky, especially for an SEO who is actively working on marketing a clients website, because in my humble opinion, Google does some very interested things concerning “timing” of search rankings.
The short version is, what you see happening today may only be temporary, and based on Google wanting you to think what you did in the last few weeks, or month may have been the cause of the change, when, the truth is, they’re just waiting to see if you react to a positive change by doing more of what you did, and then seeing that you do, they ZAP your silly little SEO process and drop your rankings like a bowling pin going down for a 7-2 spare pick up.
It’s the typical “Google is smarter than you syndrum”. Look,I am pretty sure they only hire people with an IQ higher than 195, and thats for part time positions. You are NOT going to outsmart them… really. Go ahead.. try.
So what do you do? Well, doing nothing with a pages SEO is a great process. You see , once you get past the basic’s of some good quality promotion of a site, and making sure the site has decent if not great on page optimization, the rest falls into the hands of the audience.
The people who search will have a much larger impact on your pages ranking than any backlinking or SEO wizardry you may do.
Here is my example. This page is ranked very highly in about 7 different city searches for the major keyword. In other words, if I set my browser to Denver, or one of the major suburbs around denver, and type in the keyword, with no location intent (a city or zip) this page is in the top 2. That by itself doesn’t mean much, but it also brings in a huge amount of the right traffic for the client. This year they are getting about two proposals a month from the page, with an average value of 50K.
There aren’t a bunch of backlinks to the page. We haven’t done any SEO to the page except the concept, and the onsite work… meaning just the basics.. title tags and such. So why does this page rank so well? People LOVE it! The click through rate is huge, and the time on page is excellent.
This page is so popular that I know of at least two other competitors to the company that use it to show their prospects what a basement finish might cost. Now thats a great testimonial.
So what’s the most important element to SEO? Popularity of the page you build. (past the basics,. aAnd, isn’t that exactly the way it should be? I told you those Google people were smart.
You’re optimizing the wrong page on your Google +
I had a discussion with Stephan Hovnanian ( https://plus.google.com/105076725141939280120/about , who is someone you might want to follow by the way on Google Plus) about optimizing your Google plus profile. Here’s the deal in my opinion. People are always talking about “optimizing” your profile, when that’s a long term losing game.
Your profile page is like a scrolling screen. Google probably see’s every post you make as a new page, and every time you make another post about cute cats, or your amazing insight into… whatever… every post you made previously gets pushed down the page (or buried under more stuff). That causes your links in those posts to gradually diminish in value, both from a readership standpoint (come on, when was the last time you read more than 3 or 4 of the most current posts on a profile page) but also from a SEO value.
Your “About Page” on G+
You could be optimizing your “About ” page, and getting far more SEO value. The About page doesn’t scroll, and is attached to your profile page. Every time you get a mention of your about page or add it as a link on an decent authority site, you are getting far more value when it comes to SEO. Not that you want to ignore all the very cool and important ways to utilize your profile and posts. That IS important. But a complete focus on your profile is a short term strategy. If you build the value of your about page…. it will naturally build the visibility of your profile, and… you don’t have to constantly update, plus, mention, post, engage…
Places to add your About Page URL
Here are places you should mention and add your About page:
Your Facebook page
Your Linkedin Profile
Your Web site (the Google badge goes to your profile, why not add an additional mention and link to your About page)
Any other social directories you participate in.
Any forums you participate in
Blog comments you make from time to time
On your blog
Add to your email signature
I bet you can think of many more. So what happens if I do all this you ask? Well, all the things you hope will happen as far as your sites, blogs and authority will get better.
Needless to say, if you are going to start paying more attention to your About page, please read up on all of the good info out there on how to build a good one. And trust me, it can be a very powerful page for your internet visibility, and therefore every page you have a link to on that page..
So, if someone were to ask me, would you rather have a link to your site in a post on a profile which slowly just loses it’s value as it sinks deeper and deeper into the G+ (or Facebook, or whatever) catalog of millions of posts that are made every day, or on an About page, which never moves down into that cavernous digital vault of old posts. Which makes more sense?
By Mike Bayes. My About Page on Google Plus
A collection of great articles and Blogs over the last few months.
When I read an exceptional blog I put it in my pocket to read or reference later. I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the better ones here. Some are SEO related, some are content marketing (same thing right?) and then just good marketing.
Just one of the best and simple SEO articles in years. Can it really be as simple as he makes it sound? Yes. Read this if you get stuck on an SEO project.
Well, more like content distribution. If you want some tips on how and where to publish your blog, Mike Allton is the guy to read.
If you don’t have one, this is really great. From beginners to professionals you should find some great ideas here, or at least a nice list to work from and cross check.
Creating a referral group:
We all want them, but how do you build a really strong referral group? This article has some powerful ideas if you are willing to work at it. In my experience, it’s one of the better tactics you should use. Stop advertising and get on the referral ban wagon.
Non technical Startups:
And here is one for all of us non tech types who want to do a startup. I loved this article. If you have ever felt a bit frustrated because it seems like all of the successful startups are tech driven, read this. Great advice for all of the non tech entrepreneurs.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think about these articles.
By Mike Bayes
Google + for SEO. A Fellini Movie Set in Algorithms.
SEO practitioners are, by their very nature, curious. I think this is the main reason they continue to research and track and measure in a business area where there are no “right answers, or at least, not that stay right for very long. SEO is a changing landscape like no other I’ve experienced in business. It’s more analogous to a game of chess where the rules change every three moves. The queen becomes the pawn, the pawn becomes a soccer ball. Its a Fellini movie set in algorithms.
According to wikipedia.org “Curiosity killed the cat is a proverb used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. An easier definition of the phrase curiosity killed the cat would be that being curious can sometimes lead to trouble”. As SEO companies we all understand that we ultimately are lead to trouble when we become completely focused on the newest SEO rage, currently the Google plus platform.
It seems like every 30 minutes there is a new post (on G+) about the miracles of G+ and SEO. It’s a mass conscientious thing. One well known SEO makes a post or blog stating G+ has potential, and then every young SEO gun slinger wants to prove it is so. The young guns do a lot of the early testing, and when one or two stumble upon some curious correlation between say… the alt tag in your g+ profile picture and one high ranking low competition keyword, the content marketing crowd goes to work flaming the fires of curiosity, all for the benefit of traffic, not truth.
Even if all of this discourse on Google plus for SEO has a substantial amount of truth in it, the fact remains, (and this is where so many of us fail, and get “killed”), there is no one historic case you can point out where an SEO gold mine platform, wasn’t converted conveniently by Google into just another web page over time, leaving those who invested too heavily in it, poorer than when they began. Can any one who has been working in the SEO community for more than a few years, honestly say, that even IF G+ is the greatest SEO platform in the world today, that in a blink of an eye, it won’t just become another web page or site, like any other, at any moment.
We should be curious… but diverse. We should view all new trends and correlations with historical perspective, and not let the current mania du jour form our operating principles.
By Mike BAyes
Local SEO. The One Fix to Jump Start Your Rankings
A few months ago a new prospect who has been using several different SEO type companies asked me why their site still couldn’t be found online. This is a good question as they have spent thousands of dollars, in a slow and painful trickle, to SEO and Internet marketing people via a $350.00 monthly payment over several years. (That’s like 8K total)
So, I like any professional give the standard SEO guy answer, let me look at it. The first tactic I use to figure out what is going wrong in a Local Business ranking is to see where they are currently listing online and what those listings have in them. Specifically do the sites they are currently listed on have the correct information on the company’s name, address, phone number, and categories.
In this case the potential client had a real mess going on.
One of his “SEO” companies had built two different web sites with two different URLs, both with different phone numbers (for tracking I assume) and their correct company name and physical address. They had also listed these sites with the wrong information in many of the standard local directories everyone uses, including Google of course.
They also had a HomeAdvisor listing with a tracking number, and…. they even had several directories where someone years ago had listed their home phone number and address before they had a nice big office in a nice big office building.
All of this created a very confused Google.
Google loves consistent information about your company. They are robots… they have a mission, and the first mission is to collect information on your business name, address, phone and URL. IF they see different versions, they completely lose their confidence, and push your website rankings way down, so they don’t have to deal with it. I am not joking. These robots are cowards.
The reality was they didn’t need SEO, they needed an Internet Janitor to clean up a horrible listings mess. And this is where so many SEO’s and businesses get it all wrong, from the very beginning. They start with checking back link reports. Back link reports will not show you the inconsistent listing issue. You must search like a human (hey… that sounds like a song title… “Search like a human”), anyway. Go to Google and type in the Company name. Now go to every site that shows up for that company and see if it has the right Name, Phone, Address and URL.
I have seen rankings plummet when a business uses DEX advertising with a call tracking number. Dex will publish the company name, address and the tracking number, all over local directors to encourage salespeople to call the client, so DEX can make a dollar of two on the call.
It all comes down to this.
A confused search engine is a big problem. And when Google see’s different information for the same company, they don’t call you and ask, because they are robots, they just bury your rankings because Robots have no feelings.
In many cases, the fastest way to get your sites rankings up is to fix any old, incorrect, or in any way inconsistent listings that exist online today. Most businesses can do this on their own by contacting each site that needs to be corrected. In some cases, it’s really hard, so if you can clean up most of them, you probably have done enough to fix the problem. Or, you can hire an Internet janitorial firm (like us) and we will do it for you. The main thing is Don’t continue to pay for SEO until this is completed. You may be surprised to see your site appearing on the first page for your important services after a good clean up.
Not sure if this is your issue on rankings? See that click to call banner over on your left,<<<<< —— it rings directly to my desk. Feel free to use it, and I can tell you in 5 minutes if you have issues. If I don’t pick up, leave a message and I will call you back.
By Mike Bayes
Top Five Local SEO Ranking Killers. Sometimes it’s more important to know what will kill your rankings than what will help your local rankings.
1.) Inconsistent Name , Address or Phone, on different web sites.
Clean up old listings that have the old address by searching that address in Google, and then contacting each site and up dating it to the new address.
Same thing for a changed phone number. Google the number to see what sites have it listed and get it changed or deleted, and if for some odd reason (and we have seen this several times) you have a different URL, with a different phone number, please remove the site!
As a side note make sure your business listings are consistent in every directory. Same exact name, same exact phone number and same exact address.
A confused robot is not your friend! ( Robots are what Search engines use to look at your site)
2.) No Address on the Site
I don’t know why I see so many local web sites with no address listed. I assume it’s because they are home based. In most cases, you should either list your home address, or get an office. You can hide your home address on Google Places (as a matter of fact its part of their terms of service that if you are home based, to click do not show my address). Any way, if its really important that you don’t want your prospects to know you are working in your pajama’s, as if they won’t figure it out anyway, your not going to have good rankings. And if you had good rankings you could probably afford the little office up the street. LIST YOUR ADDRESS, PHONE and Company name on the home page.
3.) No local citations
It takes an hour or two to list your company in the important local directories. Go to getlisted.org (It’s free and a great resource). List your business with most of the directories they recommend.
4.) Using Dex tracking numbers for your PPC
There is some disagreement in the SEO world about how damaging this is. I have had several discussions with some of the countries best Local Maps and Local SEO experts , most notably Mike Blumenthal (see his blog here http://blumenthals.com/blog/ and follow it if you are a serious local SEO student), But they all do agree that after looking at some case studies, a DEX tracking number published on multiple different local directories is not good for your rankings.
I would take it a bit further, IT IS A COMPLETE RANKING KILLER for Google Places. It’s the same thing as having different phone numbers published on different web sites. It confuses the Robots, and then you are in rankings trouble.
5.) No Meta Titles or descriptions or poorly written ones.
So your nephew did your web site when he was studying web design… nice! The most important part of your web site for SEO, is your meta title. If you don’t know what that is (and you can not see it BTW on your site) call a web design firm or SEO and ask them to check. If its your company name, your hurting your rankings, unless you want to rank for people who all ready know who you are). Have a pro take a look at your meta tags, and your on site SEO in general while they are there. This one may cost you a few hundred dollars on up to fix (including the on Site SEO changes), and yes 90% of the web design firms you speak with with tell you to build a new site (and maybe you should), but, just get the tags right to start!
These are the top 5 ranking killers for Local sites that we have seen. And any one of them can keep your site from being well ranked. It’s worth the time to have a company ( like us) fix this issues if Search Engine traffic is important.
13 Good Luck Tactics for your SEO program.
We all know SEO is hard work, and lot’s of research, but as in anything, some good luck is always welcome. Here are the top 13 tatctics to attract good luck for your SEO.
1.) Type in your search term every hour, click on your listing, stay on home page AT LEAST 45 seconds. Click onto another page. Stay there as you hold your breath to the count of 10.
2.) Do this again from another IP address, but stick your tongue out as you hold your breath.
3.) Go to any of the Google blogs, and make HIGHLY positive comments about them. But be sincere, like you can tell them how great their Google Places service team is. http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/
4.) Go to Rand Fishkin’s wife’s blog and make a comment about how smart her husband is. http://www.everywhereist.com/ . Buy the way, it’s a great blog!
5.) Never, ever mention SEO in any article or published piece that in any way can be associated with you or a client.
6.) State on your site you do not list clients because you don’t want Google to know who they are.
7.) Each week mention how sexy your wife or girlfriend thinks Matt Cutts is. Post a picture of her on your blog. If need be, post a picture of a model and say its your girlfriend or wife. You can extra points if you mention it here. http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/
8.) Always use broad match in your Adwords… and spend too much.
9.) Do a blog weekly on how great Google Plus is. Extra credit if you bash facebook or microsoft. (I find that pretty easy to do).
10.) Just tell people they can find your site by Googling you or your company name, because, yes, you are that good. ( You might remind them to add the city after the name just in case)
11.) Carry a lucky mouse foot around in your pocket with your keyword and site written on it.
12.) Brag about your new Chromebook on your Facebook page and refer them to the post you made about it on your Google + page.
13.) Hire someone from fiverr to search on google just like this:
Your Company name | Popular in your keyword 100 times a day.
Using all of these on a consistent basis will do wonders for your rankings. Do you have any you can add?
These are just some that work for us.. What good luck tactics have you found work?
A fellow SEO just noticed some major keywords are showing up on the first page of Google. I wonder if you use a hashtags on your tweets for your company or a local brand (company name) of it would do the same thing?
Here are two quick examples of Twitter Hashtags showing up from searches in Denver: Searched : Earthquake
Here is a search for Denver
I think I will start Tweeting with the Company as a hashtag and see what happens. I will use #Myonecall.
Any one else want to help just to see if it shows up?