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Google My Business Updates Following the Covid-19 Outbreak

Google My Business Updates Following the Covid-19 Outbreak

Google My Business and Covid-19 Outbreak

Whether you run an eCommerce website or operate out of a brick-and-mortar location in Dallas, you have probably felt an enormous impact on your business traffic and sales due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

But don’t worry about that. Google is not going to let your business fail.

As a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and how the nationwide lockdown has affected businesses across the country, Google My Business has introduced a couple of key changes in the last few weeks — here’s what you need to know:

Google added a temporarily closed button to the GMB dashboard

The majority of businesses are temporarily closed as the country has gone in a state of emergency to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Google has responded to this by allowing business owners to mark their business or any of their locations as “temporarily closed.”

GMB Listing

Important: If you mark your business as “Temporarily closed,” your local search ranking or visibility will not be affected since it will be treated similarly to open businesses.

Marking your local business as temporarily closed lets your customers stay updated on your opening hours so that they are not surprised if they show up at your store expecting to receive service. To make your business profile appear as temporarily closed, all you need to do is sign in to your Google My Business account, select ‘info’ from the top-left menu icon (☰), scroll down to ‘Close this business on Google’ and then click ‘mark as temporarily closed.’

Reviews have been suspended.

On the one hand, Google has provided some additional functionality to help companies keep their customers constantly updated during the violent COVID-19 outbreak. On the other hand, it also had some trusted features temporarily suspended.

Firstly, Google My Business has officially confirmed that no new reviews will be published until further notice. While users may still add reviews to your business profile, they will not be shared publicly. Review Replies and Q & A entries have also been suspended, meaning you cannot respond to any reviews or answer any questions about your business. This is partly due to the fact that Google is short-staffed, although the nationwide shutdown also suggests that reviews have very little value at this time.

At the same time, no new listings, claims or verifications will be reviewed by Google’s support team for the time being — with the exception of healthcare-related companies and essential businesses.

Business information edit delays

With Google working with limited resources, it is no wonder that any changes made to the company information on the Google My Business profile will take a little longer to be reviewed by Google. Although businesses related to healthcare and critical services will be given preferential treatment here as well. For businesses that fall outside of these exceptions, only the following bits of information will be reviewed by Google:

  • Changes to open and closed states
  • Special hours
  • Temporary closures
  • Business descriptions
  • Business attributes

Google says it may take up to three days to review these changes.

Post a COVID-19 update

Google My Business posts allow you to provide all the necessary information — such as events, new product lines, offers, and policy announcements — to target customers. Given the current public health crisis, Google has added a new post type, ‘COVID-19’, to help businesses get the message out to users in their targeted region. COVID-19 posts differ from regular Google My Business posts in that they appear more prominently on your business listing, making it easier for your customers to understand the current status of your business and how you run things during these trying times.

Some examples of announcements you can make using ‘COVID-19’ post type may include temporary closures of physical locations; new operating hours; changes to regular service (such as if you are only offering delivery or take-out instead of full-service); safety precautions being taken by the business to keep employees safe; in-stock, low stock, or out of stock announcements for high demand products; and so on.

To create a new post, sign in to your Google My Business account, click on ‘Posts’ from the top-left menu icon (☰), choose the ‘COVID-19’ post type and then click publish.

Google My Business Listing

The shelf life of a COVID-19 post, as it stands, just the same as any other Google My Business post — i.e., 14 days. However, with the situation changing rapidly, it is possible that this timeframe could change. But you should assume that your post will be valid for only 14 days and you will need to re-publish it if the information is still relevant after that period of time. Of course, if anything changes, you can always edit or remove a post at any time.

Possible issues with Google My Business

Pretty much every business, including global tech giants like Google, has been severely impacted by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and is, therefore, unable to deliver its usual services. We hear reports on a number of issues relating to Google My Business functionality despite the efforts made by Google to equip businesses with the tools they need during these trying times.

At the outset, Google suggested that companies should add or modify their business descriptions to make people aware of the damaging effects of COVID-19 on their services, times of opening, and so on. That being said, a surprising number of Google My Business users report that they are unable to do this, and Google has since removed the suggestion from their help documentation. In addition, far too many users report that their posts have been rejected, even though they have complied with Google’s terms of service. Some businesses also report being marked as temporarily closed, even when they have not requested for it.

Alas, as a byproduct of the outbreak, Google My Business is no longer providing phone or chat support, so you will need to fall back on Google’s email assistance if you experience either of these (or some other issues).

Conclusion

When it comes to Google My Business functionalities, a lot has changed in the past few weeks and there could be even further developments in the months and years to come – we will be sure to keep you updated on all the major ones. The Dallas digital marketing team at Click4Corp is ready to answer any questions you may have about online marketing for your business during this critical juncture.

Need help with your Dallas Google My Business listing and page posting? Contact us today!

We Look Forward To Working With You, To Grow Your Business

5 Ways To Handle Negative Business Reviews

5 Ways To Handle Negative Business Reviews

The RIGHT Way to Handle Negative Local Business Reviews

The sway of online reviews continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. A number of studies have taken the wraps off the fact that consumers view online reviews as the second most trustworthy source of information, second only to recommendations from friends and family. There is no doubt that glowing reviews will help your local company a great deal by bringing in new business to your doors and making online reputation management more effortless. In a similar fashion, negative reviews can be absolutely toxic to your company’s image and lower your likelihoods of making a name for yourself in the local market.

Negative experiences described by your past customers — even if they are fabricated — will naturally cause review readers, your potential customers, to be skeptical of doing business with your company. In many cases, those who read these negative reviews will prefer to do business with one of your direct competitors. That being the case, it is no surprise that business owners are constantly trying to learn how to do away with negative reviews — and you should too.

But how?

Did you know? Back in 2012, a Virginia contractor sued a woman for $750,000 for posting negative reviews of his company’s work on the popular online review sites Yelp and Angie’s List. Well, you do not need to do that. Pressing charges on a reviewer is, of course, an extreme reaction and may cost you even more customers than a negative review would in the first place. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five (more) viable options for dealing with negative online reviews.

1. Respond Well or Don’t Respond At All.Reputation Management

Many local companies choose to simply let all their online reviews be there. This is not a terrible approach seeing as even responding to bad reviews can be tricky business. Nevertheless, even if you decide not to respond, at least read your reviews. It is easy to recall what you are doing well and shelve bad reviews as the work of a bitter rival. But too many negative online reviews can hurt your business, so it is better to hear the bad news. It may turn out that there are indeed issues of which you have been blind to. Once addressed, the bad reviews will fade into the past and be replaced with rave reviews. And if the reviewers note the positive changes (we have seen this a lot), previous and prospective customers can be assured the problems of the past have been patched up.

If you do decide to reply to a negative review on the review site, on the other hand, it is important not to blame or insult the customer. Do not come across as defensive or sarcastic and do not get dragged into hashing out online the specific details of their experience. Reviews are mostly read by your potential customers, so they are more likely to side with your disgruntled guest if it feels like an argument is taking place.

How To Address Negative Reviews Diplomatically?

Never get into an argument or use sarcasm. State that you are truly apologetic that the customer had a bad experience and that you take their genuine concerns sincerely. Emphasize your steadfast commitment to quality and let everyone know that you or your staff are available and trained to address problems right away because your goal is to be sure everyone leaves a satisfied customer. This will make it easier for readers to empathize with you, a compassionate business owner, and serve to cushion the blow of the negative review. Needless to say, this only works if there are only a few negative reviews.

2. Contact The Reviewer.

Negative reviews are often written by customers in a moment of frustration. Instead of writing off someone who wrote a negative review, write to him or her. Businesses often find that consumers who have a bad experience simply want to have the problem sorted out and will even be willing to promptly remove bad reviews they have written if the company makes an effort to rectify the situation. In fact, extensive research has shown that consumers who have a problem with a company and have that problem corrected are actually more likely to recommend the brand to others in the future than are customers who have no issues to begin with.

3. Contact The Review Site.

When reaching out to the reviewer does not turn out well, it is time to reach out to the review site. Most sites have systems in place that you can use to request removal of certain controversial reviews. Depending on the site, a review might be eligible for prompt removal if it is too vague, mentions a competitor by name, or is one of several reviews written by the same reviewer. In order to remove negative reviews, however, you will need to build a compelling case for why the review should not be posted.

4. Build Up a Bank of Good Reviews.

There is no reason to be at the mercy of review sites and reviewers when you can take pragmatic and proactive solutions. It is better to build up a base of good reviews than to be caught off guard by excessive bad reviews later. What’s more, the fewer reviews you have in general, the more the bad ones will stick out. So, stack the deck with good ones by encouraging the quiet, happy customers to speak up.

Turn Mistakes Into A Customer’s Feel-Good Story.

Mistakes are going to happen, but when you have built an environment in which your staff knows that an unsatisfied customer experience is unacceptable, correcting mistakes can be a major opportunity. A bad situation that gets promptly corrected creates a perfect little mini-drama. As long as the story has a happy ending, their journey from initial high hopes to the problem to peaceful resolution creates the perfect anecdote for your customers to share online and with their friends. As long as there is a hero you provide in the form of an attentive staff member who does what it takes to fix the situation, someone’s initial displeasure can be turned into a cute story to share. People love these types of vignettes with a happy ending.

5. Hire a Professional

Rather than trying to work with reviewers and review sites directly, opt to work with an online reputation management company instead. These firms are known for their ability to remove or suppress negative content in online search results for clients who need a reputation repair, but many of them can also manage your online reviews. Since professional reputation management companies have more skills and resources than you have, they will be able to try to get to the bottom of negative reviews and determine whether or not they are legitimate. On top of that, these organizations will be familiar with the steps that one needs to take to contact review sites for review removal. Hiring an online reputation management company to remove bad reviews will end up saving your time and ensuring that the job will be done right.

Take Steps To Control Reviews Today

Local review sites like Yelp can be a boon, a bane or just part of the background of doing business in today’s online world. Pages of glowing reviews can drive new customers excitedly in the door. Still, as a business owner, you should know that too many bad reviews, or even one harsh accusatory one, can do untold damage. Let the team of online experts at Click4Corp help you get your local business back on the right track. With our reputation management services in Dallas, TX, we can help shine a positive light on your business. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can give your online reputation a leg up and take you miles ahead of your competitors.

We Look Forward To Working With You, To Grow Your Business

Web Design 101: What to Expect From Responsive Web Design Services

Web Design 101: What to Expect From Responsive Web Design Services

Looking to hire a professional web designer? That’s great! Even better, we’re going to help you in this endeavor. Below, we’ve written a detailed guide on what to expect from responsive web design services. We’ll help you understand what responsive design is and why it’s important. You’ll also learn why outsourcing to a professional is your best option, what it entails, and how to tell a good designer from a bad one. This knowledge will help you choose the best web design service at an appropriate price. Learn all this and more in this essential guide.

The Importance of Responsive Designresponsive web design services

Responsiveness is one of the most necessary website features for ranking high in search engines. Why’s this? In 2017, the number of mobile internet users surpassed that of desktop users. Today, mobile users still account for more than half of all internet traffic. Not long after, Google changed its algorithm to favor responsive (mobile-friendly) websites over unresponsive ones. It’s now essential that you have a responsive website if you ever want to show up on the first page of the search results.

What Is Responsive Design?

Responsiveness simply means a website can automatically optimize itself for whatever device is accessing it. A responsive website displays the full version for anyone using desktop computers powerful enough to run it without crashing or lagging. And it displays a simplified version on mobile devices so they load faster and fit the screen appropriately. Besides that, there are many more than two kinds of devices out there. And they come with multiple browsers and operating systems, too. As such, a responsive site usually has multiple mobile versions optimized for the various technological combinations that may view it.

What Happens Without a Responsive Design?

As we mentioned already, an unresponsive website will never rank in the top ten search results. But, worse than that, it’s very unfriendly to your site visitors, most of whom are visiting via mobile devices. It increases the site’s loading time to potentially unbearable extremes. And when it finally does load, it’s difficult for mobile users to read it. Most users won’t waste their time on such an inconvenient site, given the thousands of better alternative sites they could visit instead.

Why Outsource to Professional Responsive Web Design Services?

Companies like Wix and WordPress let you design a responsive site for free. So why pay a professional to do it? There are lots of reasons.

You’re Not an Expert

Considering you’re reading a guide on web design, it appears you’re not an expert web designer. If you were, you wouldn’t be learning how to design your website; you’d be designing for others. So then, which website do you think will perform better, a DIY amateur site or one designed by a professional? A good third party web designer knows the ins and outs of designing and optimizing your website for search engines or anything else you need it for. Whatever results you’re after with this website, a professional web designer will help you achieve them. On the other hand, if these results are worth nothing to you, you can spend nothing and build your own site for free.

You Don’t Have Time

Speaking of results, what do you need a website for, anyway? Perhaps it’s to sell products, promote your company, blog for affiliate marketing, or something else entirely. Whatever it is, it’s something you’ll want to focus most of your time and effort on. Adding DIY web design to your to-do list is the same as working a second job. That’s why professional web designers exist. Effective web design is a job in and of itself. If you stretch yourself thin trying to do both of these jobs, both will suffer the consequences. Neither job gets your full attention, so neither will turn out as well as it should.

Choosing the Best

How can you tell the difference between a good web designer and one who’s all talk? Ask the following questions, that’s how.

How Much Will the Project Cost?

All designers have different pricing plans. But, usually, the price will either be calculated per project or per hour.responsive web design services Which is better? Most of the time it’s safer (that is, cheaper) to choose a per-project designer. The type of work and the number of people required makes it hard to track precisely how many hours are spent. It’s even harder to estimate the final cost before the work starts. Hours and fees can easily rack up way beyond the initial estimate. If you choose a per-project designer, there may still be special fees added. But the final cost should still be much closer to the initial estimate.

How Long Will the Work Take?

It’s important to know how long it will be until your professionally designed website will be ready to publish. But the time estimate is even more important for weeding out disreputable designers. If they promise a finished website design in 2 days or less, that’s a bad sign. It means they’re giving you a premade design template they’ve had sitting around instead of a design that’s custom-made to suit your needs.

What Do Their Services Include?

Perhaps the most important thing to know is what you’re actually paying for. What work, specifically, does the contract you’re signing include? It could be that the premade template example above is your chosen designer’s idea of design services. That’s all some designers do. They may not even implement it to your published website. That is, they do no site-building whatsoever. They merely hand you a design they’ve made (or had sitting around) and leave it to you to apply it to your website yourself. Afterward, it’s likely you’ll end up hiring a different third party for the site-building. For your sake, hire a designer that offers you the completed website, ready to publish. It’s also a good idea to have them show you what program they use for site-building and how to make future updates to your website.

What do They Design For?

The correct answer is, they design for responsiveness, SEO (search engine optimization), and good user experience. Aside from this, they should also design for whatever specific goals you hope to accomplish with the website. If the designer stares blankly and confusedly when you ask about these things, politely thank them for their time and leave.

Keep This List

That officially covers all you need to know when hiring responsive web design services. That said, the advice herein is only good if you use it. Bookmark or print out this list. Take it with you and use it when interviewing web designers. If you want to know more about responsive web design services, ask the experts! Contact us here with your questions.

We Look Forward To Working With You, To Grow Your Business

6 Quick Tips For Writing Better Google Ads

6 Quick Tips For Writing Better Google Ads

writing better Google adsYou don’t need to be Shakespeare to write great ads.

In fact, it’s better if you aren’t.

Beautiful words strung together rarely win the click. Instead, you should rely on strategy and a strong understanding of potential customers.

These six tips will show you how to write Google ads that are more effective and more engaging.

 

1. Include Your Keywords

Nothing kills an otherwise solid ad like a lack of keywords.

People use specific words and phrases on purpose. Your ads should match them. Otherwise, that potential customer loses confidence that you’re offering what he or she needs.

Synonyms and similar words aren’t enough. If the phrase you’re targeting is “truck insurance,” don’t start your headline with “Insurance For Cars.”

Recommended locations: Headline 1, URL, Description 1

 

2. Remember The CTA

No ad is complete without a call-to-action (CTA).

This is the action you want visitors to complete after hitting your landing page. Buy now. Call today. Get your quote.

By including a CTA, you set the expectation.

It doesn’t matter if your company’s phone number is plastered in giant numbers all over the site. Don’t assume visitors know what to do next. Guide them.

Recommended locations: Headline 3, Description 2

 

3. Add Those NumbersGoogle Pay Par Click

Numbers increase the likelihood of catching someone’s attention.

Percentages. Dollar amounts. Years of experience. These can all be great additions to your ad.

Including numbers also helps quantify what you offer. $10 off is much more concrete in a person’s mind than the generic “save money.”

Recommended locations: Headline 2, Description 1

 

4. Capitalize First Letters

Your old English teacher will cringe. That’s ok.

By capitalizing the first letter of each word, you enhance the readability of your ad. This strategy also helps separate you from all of the Google organic listings.

Google Ads aren’t bound by the rules of textbooks. So feel free to slip fragments in there, too.

 

5. Avoid The Questions

Need your car towed?

Too many predictable, lifeless ads start out with basic questions like this. And it’s a complete waste of precious ad real estate.

The person typing a search into Google knows what they’re looking for. They don’t want confirmation. They want a solution.

Instead of reeling customers in with a strong value proposition or unique offer, question headlines are just an echo.

 

6. Rule Of Three

Never settle for just one ad per ad group.

Multiple ads teach what does and does not resonate. Ideally, you’ll have three.

The first ad is what you assume will earn the most clicks and conversions.

The second ad is a slight variation of the first. Only change one or two elements, such as a headline or CTA

The third ad is your wildcard. Try something completely different. Experiment with a different tone. Add more emotion. Highlight a different benefit.

Once you have enough data, the winning ad becomes your first and the process starts over again.

With these six tips in mind, you’re on your way to writing Google ads that stand out from the crowd.

But great ad copy is only part of running an effective overall campaign. To get a team of experienced experts managing and optimizing every aspect of your account, call Click4Corp today at (469) 441-4678.

We Look Forward To Working With You, To Grow Your Business

Social Media Marketing Agency in Plano, TX

Social Media Marketing Agency in Plano, TX

Social Media Marketing Agency Plano, TX

Whether you like it or not, social media has become the way of the world. Everyone, and we mean EVERYONE, is now associated with social media in some regard. This whirlwind includes businesses. Businesses have found ways to entertain customers through social media marketing, even interacting with them through conversation. If you are a rare business that is not taking advantage of social media marketing, it is time make a change.

What can social media marketing do for your business?

social media marketingTimes are a changing. Back in the day, businesses would rely solely on word of mouth to bring in new customers. They would advertise sales and promotions through fliers or newspaper ads. Now, thousands of potential customers can be reached by simply typing a sentence and posting it online for the world to see.

Through social media marketing, a business can promote their company through words, through pictures and through videos. A business can inform customers of upcoming or ongoing sales, promotions, charities, campaigns, changes in operating hours…practically anything and everything that can affect a consumer.

Social media gives your Plano, TX business an easy way to paint itself in a positive, fun limelight. You can publish posts about business related things, but also other things. Holiday posts are great! For instance, a “Seasons greetings from (insert business name here)!” post with a picture of a puppy with a Santa hat on will surely to bring a smile to a viewer’s face.

Consider the impact your business can have by making use of Facebook and Twitter

Facebook

Facebook is all about reach. You post something, someone likes your post or shares your post; suddenly, that someone’s friends see the post and a few of them decide to like it or share it as well. This cycle continues and continues for as long as your post has traction. Just like that, your post, better yet, your business name and logo have been introduced to a bunch of people. Ultimately, your business gets a ton of recognition by doing something as simple as typing a sentence and clicking enter.

As an example, a countertop company writes a Facebook post, “50% off natural stone countertop installation! Enjoy the beauties of granite, quartz, marble and travertine!”, and also provides a link to a company blog post about the appeal of marble.

Anyone who appreciates or is excited about this post will like it or share it and your countertop company will market itself to who knows how many people.

Twitter

Twitter works very similarly to Facebook, only it is less picture-oriented. You can have fun with GIFs and memes. Just like Facebook, the idea is to show personality, to differentiate your business from those robotic corporations that exist in the world.

You want your business to gain as many followers as possible on Twitter. The more followers, the more people that are going to see your post. The more likes and retweets you earn in a post, the more likely your business twitter account is to gain followers.

Of course, the key is consistent activity (for Twitter and for Facebook). Posting daily is a good habit to get into. If you post rarely or if your account goes through a period of inactivity, people will find no reason to follow your account and will unfortunately “unfollow”.

Other social media platforms to consider for your business…

Instagram

Less about words and more about pictures. Actually, all about pictures. Instagram gives a business the opportunity to share its day-to-day activities with a customer base. Your business can post pictures of new additions to the office, whether it be a new part of the building or a new employee. Also, pictures can be posted about ongoing projects (if your business is comfortable with sharing such information) and upcoming or ongoing sales.

Your Plano, TX business brand can leave a positive influence on people just by showing off the smiling faces of your employees 😊

Pinterest

social media marketingAlso all about pictures, only product related. If you run flooring business or a countertop business, you can take pictures of your product line and pin it to Pinterest. Tons of homeowners visit Pinterest to gain an idea on specific products that would be a perfect fit for their home. Heck, tons of homeowners skim through Pinterest on a daily basis even if they aren’t planning on adding to or improving on their home.

LinkedIn

People associate LinkedIn with mostly job seeking; however, it is also a productive marketing platform. LinkedIn members can follow your business online. Thus, alongside job opportunities, you can post about company news. Essentially, you show people why your business is a great place to work. Even if you don’t get a job application, a follower will still learn about your business and its overall brand.

Social media marketing is all about reaching large audiences through creative and uplifting posting. At the end of the day, people want to be entertained. If your business can entertain people then it is more likely to get interest. And the best source of entertainment is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

Click4Corp

We know you have a lot on your plate as a business owner. If you do not have the time to balance social media posting or you don’t feel comfortable doing it, rely on the social media marketing experts at Click4Corp. We’ve mastered the ability to reach large audiences through all of the aforementioned social media platforms.

Please visit our website—www.click4corp.com—and our blog to learn more about our digital marketing services.

 

Reach more customers by call Click4Corp at (469) 441-4678!

We Look Forward To Working With You, To Grow Your Business