Archive for the ‘Search Engine’ category

Get on Google with a FREE Business Listing

October 18th, 2016

It’s pretty safe to say that every website owner’s dream is to get found on Google’s search results. And not only do they want their website to get indexed by Google, they want it to rank high on Google’s search results — like first page, first overall kind of high. I’ve seen so many people jump onto Google’s search engine to search for their own website literally just seconds after they’ve launched it, only to be disappointed not seeing it listed.

While getting your website indexed by Google is pretty easy — you can submit your website to Google through their Add URL page — getting it to rank high is not. If you want your website to rank high, it’s going to take some work and time — lots of time. You will need to build up an online reputation and basically show Google that your website is extremely relevant to what users are searching for.

What a lot of small businesses don’t seem to realize is that it doesn’t really matter if your website ranks first, second, or third. At the end of the day, you just want your potential customers to find you. So instead of putting all your focus on Google’s search result rankings and chasing that carrot on a stick, you can get better results with less time spent if you use other marketing tools like Google AdWords and Google My Business.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free service that complements a business’ existing website by giving it a presence on Google. By signing up for Google My Business, Google will take the information you provide about your business and make it appear on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google+, making it one of the most powerful online marketing tools out there. For example, your business will be marked on Google Maps:

 

Google Map

 

And if we do a Google Search for “Doteasy”, this is what we will see:

 

Google Search

 

Basically, when someone does a search for your business, Google will show a business profile next to the search results. This provides your potential customers with some vital information about your business including the address, phone number, hours of operation, directions, and a link to your website. This is extremely powerful because it basically guarantees your business gets found. The power of Google My Business becomes even more pronounced when we do a search on a mobile device, where the first thing you see is your business listing:

 

Mobile Google Search

 

Retail businesses and restaurants will benefit the most out of Google My Business as mobile searches become more and more popular. Imagine, anyone on a mobile phone can just type your business name in Google and your information is the first thing they see. If they need to find out more, they can click on the “Website” button and go directly to your website.

How can I get on Google My Business?

Getting on Google My Business is really easy. If you already have a Google Account, like a Gmail account or any email account that you sign into Google with, you can sign up for Google My Business for free. To get started, just go to the website www.google.com/business and click “Start Now”.

 

Google My Business Step 1

 

You then be asked to enter your business’ information.

 

Google My Business Step 2

 

You can just fill in what you want to display and click “Continue”. Just make sure you enter in a valid address because Google will use your address to verify you. Next, Google will need to confirm that you are authorized to manage this business. Just check the box and click “Continue”.

 

Google My Business Step 3

 

You will then see a series of prompts asking you to confirm your mailing address and that Google will be sending you a postcard containing the code that you’ll need to verify your account. You can go through those prompts until you see the welcome screen.

 

Google My Business Step 4

 

Great! This means you’re done! Now, just keep an eye out for that postcard. Google says it usually arrives within 12 days. Once you get it, follow the instructions that it gives you to verify your account and Google will make your business profile go live. In the meantime, you can fill out your business profile so that it’s more helpful to your potential customers.

 

Google My Business Step 5

 

For example, you can click “Add profile photo” to add a logo and other pictures of your business to your profile. You can also add other vital pieces of information such as your business hours and a link to your website by clicking on “Add hours of operation” and “Add website”. Feel free to change anything here aside from your business address. This is because changing your business address will delay your verification process. If you really need to change your business address, we would recommend you wait until you verify your account first before doing so.

6 Must-Know Strategies For SEO

May 11th, 2015

6-Must-Know-Strategies-For-SEO

1. Social media matters.

Social Media is highly underestimated when it comes to SEO- but it shouldn’t be. There is so much potential to improve SEO using social media. Some key points:

  • Social media sites allow users to find and visit your website more easily. Build sustainable relationships with your clients and increase potential for them to click back into your site.
  • Gain attention through social media to increase the potential for others to link and reference you.
  • Use social media to build relationships with the influencers of your industry.
  • With a blog, search engine spiders see that your site is active and frequently updated. Blogs also provide valuable content to be shared on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

2. Use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.

Use these free tools to find out where your traffic is coming from, as well as to help you understand user behaviour. Harness this knowledge to optimize your site and create a great user experience. Happy website visitors = more shares, fewer bounce rates, and a happier webmaster (that’s you!).

3. Avoid “black-hat” SEO methods at all costs.

“Black-hat” SEO refers to methods that are disapproved of by Google, such as buying text-link ads or buying links on blog networks. Stay away from the seedy path when developing your SEO strategy. In the short run, you might see a boost in rankings, but ultimately, black-hat techniques can have disastrous long term results, including loss of credibility and even penalties from Google that will haunt you for years. Instead of trying to scam the system, focus on providing quality content.

4. Do a tech check.

Broken links? Get them fixed. Both site users and search engine spiders don’t appreciate a glitchy site. Check your website from a user’s perspective often to make sure everything is in tip top shape.

5. Link-building is great. Relationship building? Even better.

The key to SEO success these days is to build lasting relationships with industry influencers. Build relationships and find out how you can genuinely help each other. For example, honest recommendations of your services from a key industry player is worth much more than having multiple back links on random sites.

6. Are You Mobile Ready?

By now, you must have heard the news about Google’s new search algorithms. In sum: if you’re not mobile ready, your rankings will be penalized. If your website fails to pass Google’s mobile site test, you will not be prioritized on searches performed on mobile devices. Be sure to create either a separate mobile site or use use a responsive layout to optimize your site for mobile devices.

As search engines continue to tweak their ranking algorithms, remember to keep up with SEO trends and news. However, having a high quality site that offers relevant information is a strategy that can never go wrong.

5 Google Search Tricks

June 17th, 2014

Did you know that there are more ways to search on Google than by just typing in the words that you want? Check out some of these Google hacks and let us know if you’ve used some of them before!

5_google_search_tricks

1) Search a Phrase Verbatim

If you want to look for words in their exact order, just sandwich the phrase within quotation marks.

Example: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”

2) Narrow a Search to a Single Website

You remember reading about a service on the Doteasy site, but you can’t find it anymore! Just search within doteasy.com by searching “site:” followed by the website URL and the search terms.

Example: site:doteasy.com SSD hosting

3) Fill in the Blanks

If you’re going crazy trying to remember that expression, don’t make a mountain out of a __ and just ask Google! Replace your brain fart with an asterisk, and Google with search for possible results which fill in the blanks.

Example: mountain out of a *

4) Quickly Convert Currency

So you need to quickly convert dollars to francs – let Google do it for you. Just type the name of the currency you know followed by “to” and the currency you want to convert to.

Example: dollars to francs

5) Select a Time Range

If you’re only looking for recent news, take advantage of the Search Tools to limit your search results to those from the recent past.

Under the Google Search Bar, click on Search Tools, click on Any Time, and select the time range of your choice from the drop down menu.

Filtering Images with Google Usage Rights

January 27th, 2014

While it’s nice to have a photographer on hand to capture some unique images for your website, sometimes you just need a quick image to spruce up your blog article or social networking post. We’ve mentioned some of our favourite stock photo resources in a previous blog, but we wanted to highlight a feature that Google has just conveniently placed under their search tools: Google Usage Rights. This tool can let you filter your image results on Google by their licensing rights!

 google_image_usage_rights

How to Use It

  1. Type your search term into Google Search
  2. Hit Images
  3. Choose “Search Tools”
  4. Click on “Usage Rights”
  5. Now choose the category you want

Decode the Lingo

Labeled for Reuse
You can copy or alter these images according to the ways specified in the license.

Labeled for Commercial Use
You can copy or alter these images for commercial purposes, according to the ways specified in the license.

Labeled for Reuse with Modification
You can use the image with alterations, according to the ways specified in the license.

Labeled for Commercial Reuse with Modification
You can use the image with alterations for commercial purposes, according to the ways specified in the license.

Note the emphasis on using images according to the ways specified in the license – we highly recommend verifying with the image creator to make sure the image is actually open to reuse, and whether there are certain terms you need to honour. No one wants to deal with those pesky headaches or other unfortunate consequences that come from making a legal blunder.

Check out Google’s memo for more details on how to use this filter.

Choosing the Right Social Media Network for Your Business (Part 1)

December 11th, 2013

It’s not really a secret that social media networking is becoming an essential marketing strategy for your business. If you’re not on a social network, there’s a lot to miss out on: word-of-mouth marketing, increased consumer trust, brand building, and real communication between you and your customers.

While it can be tempting to quickly sign up for the all the social networking sites you hear about, it would be much more valuable to concentrate your efforts on a select few. This way, you can provide quality content and be able to have a more meaningful connection with your followers.

Here’s our guide to help you choose which social media networks are right for you:

facebook-logo

Good Ol’ Zuckerberg has done well for himself, as Facebook is currently the most prominent social media network on the web.

Why you should join: 

  • It has an estimated active user base of over a billion people: needless to say, Facebook is popular. You won’t get lonely.
  • Facebook offers great ways to connect with your followers, as they can comment on your posts, post up a review of your business, and “Like” your content.
  • The “Word of mouth” marketing potential is sky high, as you and your content can be shared, posted on other Facebook sites, tagged, etc.

Why you should pass:

  • A Facebook business page will take a lot of upkeep. Be prepared to post content often and reply to your followers. It really is a “social” networking site.
  • Also, be prepared to adapt to the constant website changes, as the Facebook functions, features and policies are updated quite often.

twitter-logo

Can you say something interesting in 140 characters or less? If the answer is yes, this mini-blogging site is perfect for you.

Why you should join:

  • Your posts can easily be “retweeted” to spread the word about your business.
  • The “hashtags” are a great way to keep up with popular trends and topics (believe it or not: “hashtags” are NOT doing great on Facebook. So, keep it on Twitter. Check out this article).

Why you should pass:

  • Like with Facebook, if you’re not ready to communicate with your followers, Twitter is not the best platform for you.
  • Make sure you’ll be able to come up with compelling posts on a regular basis.

google-plus-logoWhile you might not know it, Google+ is quickly rising in popularity.

Why you should join:

  • Three letters: SEO. Google+ is, obviously, owned by Google, and this can mean AMAZING search engine results for your business. It might be worth your while to join the network for this advantage alone.
  • You can easily provide contact information for your local customers.
  • Being able to link you business to Google Maps will let your visitors find you easily.

Why you should pass:

  • It’s debatable how “active” the Google+ network currently is, and how often users actually use the network to share information and communicate. Many users join just to boost their SEO rather than to really connect with others. However, there are many predictions that activity levels will soon rise and surpass that of Facebook because of the many advantages of Google+ (e.g. support of animated GIF images) and its increased ease of use.

linkedin-logoLinkedIn is the social networking site wearing the suit and tie. It’s the largest social media network for business professionals, and is currently becoming more popular for business pages.

Why you should join:

  • The “LinkedIn” group is a way for professionals to connect and discuss industry topics.
  • This is a great way to establish yourself as an expert.

Why you should pass:

  • Be prepared to take on a more professional tone with this one. Note that most people using this network are business people and professionals. While LinkedIn is a great place to find professional connections, it won’t give you an audience that’s as varied as you might like.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our social media series, where we’ll highlight pros and cons for more image/media-centric social media networks, such as YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram! Any thoughts? Leave us a comment!