According to Google, almost 60% small business owners don’t have a website because they think that either it’s too complex, expensive or way too time consuming. To combat that, Google has launched a new platform within GMB (Google My Business) that lets business owners create a website within minutes.
Google is offering a FREE single page website bundled with all the GMB tools. However, it’s not for those who are willing to have at least 5-10 pages (which is recommended btw). It’s just a very basic webpage, where one can list their business name, tagline, few images, content, contact information, timing and directions. Here’s an example – https://indonesiahandicraftsupplier.business.site. It will be difficult to even impress your prospect clients with this website, let alone generating trust.
Now, if there is a verified listing in GMB, the data for hours, driving directions & business name as well as photos will be automatically inserted into the web page. Any changes to the GMB will also auto-flow to the web page.
We feel the product is not really a replacement for a full blown multi page website but it can be a reasonable play for a business that has a social only presence but wants more exposure in local search.
Although you can buy a customized domain from Google – little better than using business.site domain, it will still lack that WOW factor. The product lacks a number of obvious features like social sharing buttons, structured data, control over title tags & meta-descriptions and an easy way to create a call to action button. Also, when a user clicks on your uploaded image, they will be redirected to Google Photos, an instant curiosity killer!
As of now there are close to 200K website developed, which can be confirmed by searching this in Google – “site:business.site“. Over the past several days, sites have been coming on-line at the rate of about 1500 per day.
The product isn’t an obvious knockout win. While it may be of value in developing countries, it is not at all clear what value it will provide in the US were websites are the norm and can be built inexpensively.
What do you think?
Until now, Google only allowed a few celebrities, film studios & sports team to post social media style update about their activities directly to Google’s search results pages. But now even local business owners will be able to update their activities. Google has fully launched Google posts to most small business owners. It allows business owners to post to their audience directly within the business listing & local knowledge panel.
It is going to be really helpful in luring more traffic to the site. Google experimented this feature during the US elections and it turned out to quite successful. After all who doesn’t want updated info, right in the search results?
If you are a small business owner, you might want to test out this new feature. First it’s FREE and second, it has proven to be very successful. Here are ideas that Google gave on what to post:
Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.
To get started, just follow these steps on a desktop:
Sign in to Google My Business. If you have two or more locations, click Manage location for the location you’d like to manage, which is the little building icon.
You’ll end up on a page that looks like this. Click ‘CREATE POST’ or click ‘Posts’ from the menu.
You’ll see the options to add photos, text, events and even a button to your post.
Once you’ve created your post, you have the option to preview it before you post. If it looks good, click ‘Publish’ in the top right corner of the screen.
Here’s an example of a post:
If you’re a multi location business then you’ll need to tell Google you’re interested in posting across multiple locations using this forum.
And, as we said, Google has rolled this out to most single location businesses. So, if you find you are NOT one of them then use this form to request access. Google wasn’t 100% clear which categories were left out but did mention hotels specifically in this statement:
Thanks for all of the excitement around this launch – we’re equally excited and definitely want to get you posting! If you’re not seeing the Posts section on your business page, it might be because we haven’t launched to all business categories. “Hotels” is the category where local posts are not available.
So how popular is this going to be? That’s hard to say but, Mike Blumenthal has been tracking the sites being created and there are already well over 100,000 in Google’s index since launch!
Voice search is picking up the pace quickly. Google reported that more than 20% of the searches are already being performed via voice search. And due to the increasing number of Internet of things, experts are predicting that the number might go up to 50% in 2020.
Well, the prediction might seem a bit exaggerated, but the growing trend is indicating that it might be possible. Amazon Echo and Google Home are not only creating buzz but also getting a lot of positive reviews. The Amazon Echo was the best selling product during the 2016 holiday sales! Also, now every smartphone comes with a personal assistant, which further escalates the possibilities.
While many people may argue that the “Experts” are predicting such things from quite sometimes, without any success. But the thing is, now people are more tech savvy and they prefer convenience over anything, and that’s exactly what voice searches provide. For seniors, it’s really hard to type a long sentence into the search box. And then there are those with big fingers, they struggle a lot to type juts a single sentence.
Voice search makes it easy for everyone to ask questions, without struggling with the tiny keys. Also, the fact that human can barely type 40 words in a minute but can speak up to 150 words pushes the possibility even further. Google has reported that their Voice search is now 95 percent accurate, 20 percent more as compared to 2013.
The voice search may have been tasted the limelight long ago, but because the AI was not so good at getting the context, people got diverted from it. Now many people don’t use it because of the past experience. This thing might change because of the high level of accuracy. In near future, the AI will become more sophisticated in understanding the actual context of the queries. They will provide results based on the context rather than going with the literal meaning. And this will compel everybody out there to use voice search, because who doesn’t love convenience?
A recent research revealed that people are starting to use voice search in public, because in the past, most of the users were quite hesitant, and only felt comfortable at home or in private space. But as the technology is advancing, they are getting used to it.
As a business owner, it’s better to keep an eye on the changing trends and this is exactly what we are asking you to do. Until now, optimizing the content for the voice search was mainly for the B2C business, but since it has the potential to go mainstream, it’s better that you start optimizing your site for the voice search. It will not only put you ahead of the competition, but will also affect your overall SEO efforts because it’s not a separate imitative, but just an expansion of the existing SEO practices.
Here’s how you can be prepared for the B2B voice search.
- It’s a no brainier that voice search will be performed using mobile devices, so mobile optimization is crucial.
- As compared to the text search, voice searches will be longer. So research for the long-tail keywords and use them in your content. Also, you might want to start giving your language a natural /conversational tone so that the search engines find your website relevant for the search queries.
- Optimize for local. Voice search will mostly target nearby locations. So, its critical that your business is listed and verified in top tier local directories such as Google My Business, Bing, Facebook, Yelp, etc.
- Targeting featured snippet will help you get the position zero (equivalent to the page one ranking).
Paid media platforms such as Google, Facebook & Bing offer an exceptional way to reach to your targeted audience. Using those platforms, one can not only create brand awareness but can also generate qualified leads and get conversions.
Usually, we look at the top metrics while analyzing the performance of our campaigns. Is the cost per clicks low? How many conversions did we get? How many impressions did we received, but if you look beyond the top metrics, there lies the original picture. Getting the audience to click on your ad is one thing, but what we really get from the leads, in the longer run, should be our main objective.
When you start thinking about the long term, you actually start digging deep and often find yourself where very few ever cared to reach. It’s one thing that you get a good return on your investment from one campaign, but it’s entirely different thing to actually utilize those leads in the longer run. In the other words, you should be focusing on the lifetime value of the leads rather than temporary gains.
For example, you started a Facebook ad campaign which got your page more likes and engagement than you expected. But if you are doing nothing to retain the attention your page received, then all the efforts and money will go in vain.
Start focusing on the post-click experience
Your call to action determines which sales funnel would be better for the potential customers because it’s never “one size fits all”. You have to set a specific line which your users can follow and you have to test it out and ensure that it’s working well before you launch the campaign.
- If you have chosen phone call as a call to action, make sure that you have enough manpower to handle the calls. Also, you want to make sure that only the trained professionals are answering the calls because if they will be unable to provide information instantly, the customer will not take the next step. Also, the wait time should be minimum and it should be human on the other end of the phone if you really want that click to convert into an actual sale.
- If the call to action is “Email”, then make sure that you have a proven and tested email marketing strategy in place. Getting people to open a promotional or any sales related mail is a tough task, but it can be done by employing a good strategy, using compelling copies and engaging images.
- If we are directly trying to get the sales, make sure that item is available. Also, if they leave the site after adding the product to cart, reach out to them via email. It will drastically increase your chances. Even if they make the initial purchase, stay in touch with your customer via mail or social media.
As mentioned earlier, the top level metrics are juts the tip of the iceberg. If you really want your paid campaign to be successful, you must ensure that everything, from the start to beginning is synchronized to perfection.
Facebook is continuously trying to bring new updates to its users for a better experience and let advertisers gain more benefits from it. Recently, Facebook has rolled out some really interesting and useful updates. Check them out below:
- Facebook Has Come Up With Video-Format Cover Images
Facebook has brought an amazing update to help business to catch attention of users with video-format cover images. The update has been rolled out world wide now.
Steps To Create Cover Video:
- The cover video has to be not more than, 90 seconds and less than 20 seconds.
- The crop size of the video has to be 820 pixels by 462 pixels.
- It should auto-play and auto-loop.
- It is simple to upload cover video same as you upload cover photos, group admin can do it.