Claiming Your Business Location Is Foundational, But Does It Match Your Mapped Address?

We’ve recently learned an important lesson about claiming your business location online, thanks to the collaboration of one of our clients. As a result, we’d like to ask you this important question: Have you searched for your business’ address recently? Here’s why we’re asking.

After working with the business owner to claim his store’s location on Google My Business and Google Maps—along with other directories including Bing, Facebook, FourSquare, Yelp and Apple Maps—the client’s location was properly placed and pinned across these networks. Leading with his store’s name, we claimed, placed and pinned his store on all of these online networks.

Almost immediately, we noticed that his listing was performing well. In fact, amazingly well. His Google My Business metrics exploded from the minute we took control of his listings. His views have increased and held steady every month, to the tune of 190% growth from the first month to the most recent. His total actions, which add together clicks of their phone number, directions and website buttons from their Google Listing, have increased by 202%.
Like any good business, though, his marketing presence didn’t end there. Because of the nature of his business—he’s a retailer with time sensitive promotions and always-changing inventory—he also advertised in local newspapers. And at the bottom of every ad, he wisely put the address of his store.

That’s when he started to get phone calls. The problem? When potential shoppers would search for the address of his location, the pin for that search was misplaced on Google Maps and was leading his customers to another store. In other words, if you searched for the name of his store, you’d be brought to the right location. But if you searched for the address of his location, you’d be lead elsewhere. And he had concrete evidence that his customers were being misled, leading to lost visits and sales.

“My customers would search for our location on Google Maps and were brought to another area on the opposite side of our premises,” said our client, who asked for his name not to be published. “This was frustrating and confusing for all concerned. I had numerous clients tell me that they circled around until they figured out on their own how to get to us, or called us.”

When he brought this to our attention, we immediately jumped into action, contacting Google directly and requesting that they match the pin placement for the search of his address to the one we claimed for the name of their business. It took some time—exactly a month—to go from request to successful pin move. The request was actually escalated from the Google My Business (GMB) team to the Google Maps team to reflect the importance of the problem.

So, now, when our client buys advertising in print publications, he can do so with confidence, knowing that those who want to come to his store to shop will find it.

Within a month or two, we should see the impact on the GMB metrics for this listing, likely resulting in more views, as well as more calls, website visits and in-store traffic. We’ll check back in on this story and let you all know.
In the meanwhile, we suggest you conduct a search of your address and see if it matches up with your listing. If not, we’d be happy to help you set things straight—and help shoppers head straight to your front door.

One year has passed, a second phase launches!

We would like to thank all of our clients, subscribers, technology partners and associates for helping make our first year a great success. We have learned a lot this year and helped many businesses move closer to their goals. We’ve also evolved quite a bit and plan to even more in year two. There’s no doubt that we wouldn’t be here without you and thank you for your interest, time and support!

Introducing Our Power 35 Package

To kick off our second year, we are excited to officially announce the launch of our new “Power 35” package. Starting now, we’re offering listings on 35 of the busiest search engines and directories on the web. With this package, our clients can gain a greater, wider web presence and increase their Google juice by 3.5 times more than previously offered.

In addition, our standard package, which traditionally consisted of 10 different search engines and directories, now includes 15 – all at the same cost! Our existing clients will be automatically upgraded to the Core 15 plan.

QuickBooks Connect Toronto

In early December we were thrilled to present at the QuickBooks Connect user conference in Toronto. We spoke about leveraging review sites for business growth and our session was lively, with a lot of questions and feedback. We came away from the event inspired, having listened to many seasoned small business advisors, and we met a lot of great people as well. If you’re receiving this newsletter for the first time after meeting at the conference, welcome aboard! Let us know if you have more feedback for us.

Know A Business That Can Benefit?

Don’t forget our referral program, which stays the same as always. Feel free to make an introduction and we’ll compensate you for your efforts should it lead to a sale. Ask Jamie at jamie@10-twenty.com for details.

And Happy New Year Too!

From the entire team at 10|20 Marketing, we wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year. May your business keep growing and your online presence be a source of many new opportunities.

Lo-Lo-Lo! Why It’s Important To Think Local Marketing For the Holidays

Halloween is about to come and go and, with it, Christmas lights and displays will arrive. With the big shopping season just around the corner, it’s vital to think about your local marketing efforts to get your retail location ready to generate traffic.

This means ensuring that your online local business listing is updated and accurate.

Retailers are always thinking about how to increase foot traffic to their store. And with 72% of all in-store purchases made following online research, it’s vital that your business details are correct. Even more so during the holidays. As hours and other details change, you must make sure you’re optimized online.

What should be the first thing on your holiday list then? Ensuring that your holiday hours are accurately represented. This means everywhere. On your website, social networks, and local listings on search engines, maps and review sites. Consistency matters!

Inconsistencies across networks can easily lead to consumer confusion and a loss of foot traffic. During a recent bank holiday, it was found that 85% of brands never updated their opening hours online. This included not only major retailers, but also local shops and businesses that need every advantage to attract people to their door.

Back home in Canada, this can account for a significant loss in revenue. According to the CPA Canada 2016 Holiday Spending Monitor, last updated in January, 37% of Canadians planned to spend over $800 during the last holiday season. It’s easy to see just how easy it would be to lose out on your fair share of the pie if shoppers were frustrated with the accuracy of your business listings.

Something else to think about is that the shopping season starts earlier than it has traditionally. Last year, retail sales in Canada decreased 0.5% in December over November – a decline that followed four consecutive monthly increases in Canadian retail sales. Sales made during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are pulling more money into November – which gives you all the more reason to ensure that you’re all set up and ready to go with your listings before then.
So, with all this in mind, we ask you this: It’s October 19th, are your listings ready?

Online Local Business Listings Defined

What is a local business listing?

A local business listing is an online profile that contains:

  • Your business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Hours of operation
  • Written descriptions of your business
  • And other important details.

When you claim your listing on search engines, social networks or review sites, more people who are looking for what you offer in the area where you operate will find your business. This makes it easier for them to call you, get directions to your business, click through to your website or share details about your location with others.

When there are errors in your business information across the internet, your chances of being presented in search engine results diminish when potential customers search online. According to a study conducted by the Local Search Association, about $10.3 billion worth of potential annual sales are lost because of wrong, missing, or incomplete local business information. As a result, it’s important that your business information is presented consistently across several directories, as it helps validate your business on each network. This has an impact on your listings’ SEO overall and makes your locations more findable overall.

Ratings and reviews matter too

A business listing also contains ratings and reviews of your location, which help people find your business. The more reviews you have, the greater the SEO benefit. The higher your ratings, the more likely that customers will choose you. When customers have a positive experience and help create buzz, your reputation grows. In fact, 90% of respondents who read online reviews claimed that positive online reviews influenced buying decisions. As a result, a lack of reviews – and a lack of positive reviews – for your business can lead to lost customers.

With the volume of “near me” searches only growing, it’s important to be optimized – and understand what online local business listings mean for your business.

Learn More

Have a question about your online business listing and how to claim it? We’re happy to help. Please complete the form in the right-hand sidebar and we’ll be happy to reach out with the information you’re looking for. Thanks!

QuickBooks Connect Toronto, Here We Come!

The phone call came last Thursday, when @IntuitBry called with an invitation to speak  at the Intuit QuickBooks Connect conference in Toronto. The event is coming up in early December and we couldn’t be more excited to lend our expertise to the small business leaders and accountants in attendance. Intuit has asked us to share our expertise in local listing management and online review strategies.

QuickBooks Connect provides small business owners and accountants with an opportunity to learn, connect and be inspired to grow their businesses through breakout sessions and keynote presentations. Breakout sessions are led by industry experts and participants will have the chance to get real world advice and connect with peers.

10|20 Marketing’s Presentation Abstract

How to Improve the Odds of Attracting Small Business Clients Online
Where can an small business owner, be it an accounting practice, individual accountant or retailer, get the most value for their dollar online? What are some of the easy-to-use tools available to them that don’t require too much of their time? What should they know about these low-hanging fruit solutions that will help drive business to their doors, keep them relevant in a digitally changing world and help them build online relationships?

Also, we’ll examine which metrics they should look at to prove that their investment is bringing a return. This presentation will look at these challenges, provide solutions and outline which tools can be used to achieve these goals. We’ll look at Google My Business, relevant review sites, and platforms designed to drive phone calls, website visits and walk-ins to their locations, in addition to the metrics that make the effort worthwhile.

Let us know if you’re going to be there and we’ll be happy to set up some time while we’re in Toronto. QuickBooks Connect is taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre December 4 – 6, 2017. Hope to see you there!

Three Ways To Avoid Losing Existing, Potential and Paying Customers By Keeping Your Online Listings Accurate

Our clients tell us stories all the time of people who come to their store or restaurant angry only to reveal that it was something little that set them off. An online issue that the business owner has no idea about is often at the source of the problem too. When they hear these stories, though, they should consider themselves lucky. It’s likely that some of these problems result in no visit at all. Our clients don’t always hear why their customers are upset and, worse, why they’ve lost a sale.

What are the three small things you should do to make sure you have a steady flow of customers who don’t start off frustrated? Keep your online listings accurate. 

1) Make Sure Your Store Hours Are Accurately Listed Online

We hear this one a lot. People look online for store hours, plan their visit and pull up only to see that the store is closed. There’s nothing more frustrating. Not only is your customer unable to accomplish what they were hoping, but they have to plan another trip to accomplish their task. More time wasted. Frustration and resentment gets built up. Sales are lost.

What can you do? Ensure that your hours are correct on your website, online listings across the web and on social media profile pages. For holidays, make sure exceptions are listed and communicated as well. Merchants across Canada (with the exception of those in Quebec, who have until Labour Day), you have until the first Monday of August to ensure that your holiday hours are accurate. It’s t to start thinking about what your store hours look like online, folks!

2) Check Your Price Lists and Menus On Search Engines and Review Sites – They May Be Old!

When people are hungry, they want fast, accurate information to help make a decision on where and what to eat. In fact, 86% of people view a menu online before dining out. But what if your menu has changed and people ordering in had no idea? Or what if they came to dine in and wanted something specific that wasn’t offered any longer?

What can you do? Get online and update your menu. Google, Facebook, Open Table, Zomato, Yelp, Trip Advisor – all of these networks need your attention – and so does your website. Update some and not others? All it takes is a handful of people to discover the wrong menu and you risk not only upsetting them, but also give them license to upset others too. How? They can simply leave negative reviews about your business for anything that upsets them. That’s why your best strategy is to update your price lists and menus and keep everyone happy.

3)  You’ve Moved But Haven’t Properly Communicated The Change Online

This one is a classic online mistake that small business owners make. When you move down the street or to another neighbourhood, you have so many details to think about. Phone lines, internet connections, moving companies, insurance and bank account updates, and the list goes on. Everything needs to be changed, including your online listings so your business is pinned, mapped and easily found by the people who matter most – your customers.

What can you do? Again, get online and make those changes. Think about your listings on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Bing, Yahoo and, if you’re a professional (think dentist, doctor, psychiatrist, lawyer, accountant, etc…) make the change on industry specific sites as well. Remember, for every error in your listing, you risk upsetting customers, not ever getting found, or getting penalized by search engines because they’re not fond of inconsistent listings. If you don’t, the result is lost sales. And you can do better than that.

If keeping your online listings accurate seems daunting, the task doesn’t have to be. There’s a low-cost solution to your problem, just ask us how we can help.

Why It’s Important To Claim Your Business Listing On Other Search Engines When Google Has The Highest Search Market Share

Small business owners often ask us a very smart question: If Google has the highest search market share, why do we need to claim our listing on other search engines, directories, review sites, and social networks? After all, their reasoning goes, all roads pretty well lead through Google.

While the question is certainly valid, I’d be willing to bet that Google’s market share in Canada isn’t quite as high as you’d think. And, even so, your Google listing benefits when you also claim your business location elsewhere.

Reason #1

First, have a look at the numbers.
In Canada, search engine market share as of April 2017 looks like this:

Google’s 62% certainly leads, but is it as high as you thought? We’ve heard people say with certainty that it was over 90%. So, who owns the other other 38%? Well, mostly Bing, as 21% of all searches in Canada are conducted on Bing’s engines. That’s significant! In the U.S., Google’s combined market share – including desktop and mobile – is just under 86%, followed by Yahoo and Bing, each with about 6.5%.

So, the first answer to our clients’ question is: Google’s share of the search market isn’t quite as big as you would think. As a result, there is still significant business to be driven to your location from other search engines.

Reason #2

Secondly, the consistency of listings across different networks is also crucial to the SEO of your listing on Google. When Google creates a listing on a company’s behalf before it’s claimed, they aggregate information from other directories. Once a merchant claims its listing, Google will continue to validate it against on other directories.
As a result, the consistency of your listing on other websites still influences Google’s view of your business. So it’s vital to provide different directories with the same exact information initially and every time you make a change. This will have an impact on the SEO for the listing itself on Google, where three out of every five searches by Canadians are taking place. Simply put, the more accurate the listing, the higher it will be presented to an online searcher.

Once you have your listings up and running, wait to see how many more views you’ll get and keep optimizing.

Three Takeaways

  1. Google’s search market share isn’t nearly as high as you would think.
  2. Google validates your listing against the information you provide to other engines.
  3. Make sure that your listing is consistently posted across multiple engines and review sites.