This morning a client came into our office for a meeting and actually showed me something new: Google’s Hotel Finder. Like many Google products, this tool didn’t launch with a huge amount of fanfare and, even now, it isn’t bold and in your face. The implications, however, could affect many businesses tied to the lodging industry.
What does the Hotel Finder do?
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"Old woman!""Man.""Man. Sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?""I'm 37.""What?""I'm 37. I'm not old." Clippity clops, plippity plops, finally on to Friday Props! The quest continues for all sorts of creative treats! Because I'm in charge of giving away our first (of many) customized Nerf Guns, this week I'm relying on brevity to speak for me and your comments to fill in some of the blanks. Read More >>
Google has made an important change to Google Apps for Business - it is no longer free. Read More >>
You have a little shop tucked away on the cutest street in town, but the patrons aren't coming through the door. How can you let people know where your business is and help them discover you? Read More >>
When it comes to connecting with your local audience - and by that I mean the people who are physically local to your business - there are a number of options and a collection of strategies your business can employ to help improve the likelihood that customers will come knocking at your door at the time they are looking for what you offer. The very first thing that every small business serious about taking advantage of local search traffic must do is ensure that their website has all the basic things covered: Make sure your website features your telephone number prominently. For Read More >>
Here in Vermont, the mantra "buy local" is everywhere you look. The same way that recycling programs changed our consciousness, buying local is such a part of the culture here, many people are hardwired to think of the shopping resources close by before even considering an online purchase. Funny thing is, Google is doing the same thing with their search results. Whether you are using a mobile devise or sitting comfortably at a desk top, when you log into Google and type in your keyword search, Google is using both the keywords and your location to bring up the most pertinent results. A good example of this would be tracking down a tasty lobster roll. Imagine your self taking that long walk down the beach at sunset with your beau in York, Maine, Vacation Land, the undisputed Lobster Kingdom. As the sand squishes between your toes and the ocean breezes gently toss your hair, your stomach beings to growl. You feel yourself getting a little grumpy. You are having a harder time focusing on things. Hearing the gnashing of your innards, your kindly beau whips out their mobile phone, punches in a search for "lobster rolls." You're a master chef (didn'cha know?) [....] Read More >>
As we’ve mentioned before in previous articles, links are a positive signal to search engines affirming the value and validity of your website. By this logic, the more websites linking to you the better your page rank, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple. In the early days of search engines, yes, it was that simple. Early search engines only assigned value based on quantity. They possessed no ability to ascertain quality or origin of external links. Webmasters constructed entire networks of interlinked pages designed to boost the ranking of specific websites and this still happens today! Their overall impact is, however, diminishing. This and other tactics intended to fool search engines and boost page rank are considers “black hat” strategies. After all, how does a web crawler definitively ascertain the value of the originating site? Only the people behind the search engines know. Suffice to say that as search engines and their crawlers evolve, so does their criteria for evaluating the origin of the website hosting your link. As you attempt to gain stature in the eyes of the search engines, be wary of engaging in the following practices; the short term gain isn’t worth the monetary loss and long-term [....] Read More >>
Your Business on the Web: Episode 1 - The Basics of SEO Below is the first video in our "Your Business on the Web" series where we discuss the basics of SEO. This video is the first in our series on SEO for your business. Our intent is to demonstrate the value and the strategies involved with SEO to boost search engine Page Rank and visitor traffic to your website. Below is a transcript of the video and, of course, we welcome your feedback! Ed: Hello and welcome to the first episode of our series, “Your Business on the Web.” In this episode we will be discussing the basics of SEO. SEO is… Phil: Santa Eating Oreos. Ed: No. Seo is… Phil: Swirling Earth Orbits. Ed: No. SEO is… Phil: Actually, Sweaty Engaging Omelets Ed: No! SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Phil: Right. Search Engine Optimization is about increasing the visibility of your website through unpaid, natural, organic search results. Ed: That’s right. In general, the higher a website ranks in the search results and the more frequently it appears in search results, the more traffic those websites can anticipate from search engine users. There are different types of SEO targeting such things as Keyword Search, Image Search, Video Search, Local [....] Read More >>
The number one frustration for most small business owners is a lack of visibility of their beautiful well-designed website. “I spent all this money on a website but no one can find it! How do I get it to the top of the Google?” Welcome to Search Engine Optimization and Marketing (SEO/SEM). It’s true. You can have the most awesomest on the web, but it won’t make a bit of difference if no one can find it! The goal of any business is to be ranked #1 on any SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for keywords relating to your business, driving traffic to your wonderful, gorgeous website. The short-term fix to the problem is to spend money on advertising through Google, print media, promotions and such, herding potential clients to your website where they’ll say “Wow! This is EXACTLY what I need!” Or they’ll leave without spending a dime and your bank account shrinks. This strategy will drive traffic to your site, and, if the guest finds your website useful, they might spread the word out to their friends. But what if you don’t have the money to promote your website, first-time visitors don’t return and you see zero return [....] Read More >>
One of the most effective tools we have in our bag of tricks is the effective planning and execution of well-done Landing Pages. If you own a business and are looking to expand your reach, it is worthy of your time to consider a Landing Page campaign. What are Landing Pages? I'm glad you asked. Landing Pages are simply web pages on your site that are typically designed for a singular purpose - usually a sign-up (lead generation) or a sale. A typical business might have anywhere from a handful to hundreds of Landing Pages. They are closely tied to online advertising such as a Google AdWords campaign in order to be logical extension of the advertisement or link. Why Landing Pages? Landing Pages are designed to speak to the target audience directly. When combined with contextual search advertising they are able to reach people interested in your service or product at the exact moment they are looking. Landing Pages provide businesses a valuable resource for gaining new contacts and customers. When done properly a Landing Page campaign can easily pay for itself by generating new business leads. How are Landing Page Campaigns Done? When we create a Landing Page Campaign we look at several important [....] Read More >>