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Is there a place on the Internet beyond Google? Facebook, having recently signed up their billionth user, is making a run at them, but Google is still numero uno for page visits around the globe. Google claims that if you add up all the services they provide (YouTube, Gmail, Google News, etc.) they have way more than a billion users. Of course, they still dominate search. In both in numbers and revenue, they win, and the numbers for each are increasing every day, week and year. So to forthrightly answer the question I posed in the first place, well, no. But is that the right question? A better question might be:
How do you compete?
Asking how many websites there are is like asking how many human beings there are. New websites are proliferating, and the big sites have time, resources and expertise on their side. So how do you compete? Think local.
There’s search, and then there is local search.
Most users know that if you type a town or neighborhood or even a zip code into a search for a type of business on a computer, or if you search on a smart phone, Google will take you to a Google Map (as long as you don’t have an iPhone 5) to show you what businesses are in your area. If you’re selling engagement rings in Peoria to someone who wants to look at and try on what they might buy, you don’t have to beat Tiffany’s, just the other local jewelers.
So how do you win in local search? A good first step is to claim all your business profiles on the web. There are many business directories – you must claim you’re your spot with the biggies, like Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and Angie’s List to get started. But the more you add and optimize, the higher your business will show. Add your business profile to as many local business directories as you can, like the Chamber of Commerce, Citysearch, ThinkLocal and Zipweb (I could go on and on) and Google will move you ever closer to that coveted “A” listing on the local search map. Start claiming your rightful place in local search results today.
Google is on a mission. They keep improving the formula they use to rank almost everything on the Internet. This is good news for true marketers like you. The better Google gets at weeding out the spambots and automarketers, the better their search results, and the easier it will be to find real people and real businesses like you and yours.
Author Rank is Coming!
Without getting too technical about it, Google is about to launch Author Rank, a new wrinkle in the super-secret, mega-powerful and ridiculously profitable PageRank algorithm for producing the search results we have all come to know and love/hate. AuthorRank will use Google Plus to help the girls and boys at the Googleplex attribute content to an author and rank it, based on a variety (they’ll never tell) of factors to rate both the content and the author. The better the content (clear, well-written, original) the better the ranking for both it and the author. The better the author (as represented by his or her Author Rank) the better the ranking for the content. Confused? Me too, but suffice it to say that Google will advance their long-term agenda of selflessly producing better search results and selfishly reaping greater search market share and profits. I’d count that as a win for all involved. Except Bing.
So if you are already writing content for your business’s website or blog, make sure you sign up for Google Plus today so Google can start compiling an Author Rank for you and your content. Remember, better search results means more clicks, more sales and bigger profits.
Business is not for the weak. Competition for customers is getting tougher every day and you need to do everything you can to keep your business in business. In this post, I will share with you a relatively new tool for enhancing your promotion and advertising strategy, the Quick Response or QR code.
QR codes are popping up everywhere!
QR codes are small square symbols that can be read by QR readers on mobile devices. QR codes can launch your website or contain text about your business. It provides INSTANT information about your service, product or special offer, so mobile users can immediately act on that information. Delayed gratification is no longer part of the marketing equation, for you or your customer.
Here are 4 ways you can use QR codes to boost your bottom line:
1. Social Platforms
- Social media is the powerful new venue businesses are exploring to attract new customers. QR codes can be attached to your website or social media profiles such as Facebook or Google Plus to directly communicate the information you want your customers to have.
2. Business Cards
- With a QR code on your business card, customers and prospects can easily go directly to your website or promotional offer.
3. Packaging Products
- You can use QR codes on product packaging to direct customers to online guides and presentations about your product. User manuals can also be distributed using QR codes, saving on printing costs and always having product information up to date.
4. Include on All Printed Advertisements
- QR codes are perfect for branding your business and smoothing the way to more customers and more informed prospects. If you use flyers, brochures, postcards or even billboards to promote sales, you know that there are limits to the information you can fit on those ads. QR codes enable your potential customers to get the additional information they need at the moment of decision, making it more likely they will follow through and make the purchase.
The possibilities are endless!