Can Online Reviews Help My Search Rankings?

Online Reviews

Online Reviews and Search Rankings?

This is one of the most popular questions we get when meeting with clients to discuss their online presence. In a short answer: No. In a longer answer: Absolutely. Here’s why.

Bing Search Engine Results for “dallas sushi”

For the purpose of this blog, I went to both Google and Bing and did a search for ‘dallas sushi’ and on both search engine results pages, the very first thing that popped up were online reviews. Yelp for Bing and Google Reviews for Google. That means when people are searching for your business, if you have a less than stellar rating on either service, you aren’t presenting your business in the proper light.

If you’re out searching for the best sushi joint close to your home and there’s a 3-star review and a 5-star review, which one would you likely choose? Of course, there are many factors that go into that ranking, but, upon first glance, the 5 star review will be chosen more often.

Bing Online Reviews
Bing Search Engine Results for “dallas sushi”

It is not just Google and Bing anymore.

The restaurant and retail industries have become more and more dependent on the online review aggregators over the past few years. The rise of Yelp, Urbanspoon, Foursquare and Google Reviews shows that potential customers are willing to spend the time needed to wade through reviews to find what customers have to say about a business before they step in the front doors.

If your business has any reviews online, you must take action and address problems and compliments to your business, just as you would if someone were telling you in person. If an unhappy customer is out there writing reviews of your business in a negative light, then the number of customers lost can noticeably affect your income.

Google Online Reviews
Google Search Engine Results for “dallas sushi”

So, back to the original question: Can online reviews help your search rankings? While you may not notice an uptick in your traffic from Google or Bing, you will notice an increase in traffic from the countless number of review sites out there. Where are they coming from? Just do a search for “sushi” in your preferred search engine and take a look. Underneath the reviews and the local maps, is the organic search results, Yelp and Google Reviews are the all over the place.

Have you noticed an increase in traffic from online review sites?

Is Internet Explorer Dead?

 

If you’ve read the news and seen the posts on Facebook, then you’re probably wondering what all the hub-bub is about Microsoft dumping Internet Explorer. Fear not! They won’t just hand over the reigns to Chrome or Firefox as the #1 most widely used web browser. So, is Internet Explorer Dead? Not quite.

Then what is all the fuss about?

With the news that the Microsoft team is working on their newest operating system, tentatively titled Windows 10, they have made reference to abandoning IE. As happy as that made many die-hard Mac fans, the news is somewhat misleading. In Microsoft’s case, they won’t be abandoning the browser itself, just the name. Currently, IE browsers are responsible for a whopping 56.64% of all website traffic. For Microsoft to stop making a program that has that much market share would be foolish. A simple rebranding and a redesign, hopefully from the ground up is what needs to happen.

Over the years, Internet Explorer has gotten a bad rap due to poor security standards, slow loading times, and clunky website rendering. Any website designer will shudder when you mention the disaster that was IE 6. We still, to this day, groan at having to troubleshoot the problems in one of the most widespread incarnations of the most popular website browsers. Thankfully, IE 6 now only commands a 1.31% market share.

What is Project Spartan?

With Microsoft renaming their web browser comes (hopefully) a new era of the PC version of Safari. Yes, every Windows machine has IE on it, but that doesn’t stop you from downloading Chrome, Safari, Firefox or even Opera, for that matter. Let’s hope that this new era of the Microsoft browser won’t be a mistake. I for one kinda want to see what it does. After all, when Firefox came out, it was the neatest thing in the world, then Chrome came out and it superseded it. After all, from early reports, the working title is Project Spartan. That’s a bold name for any project. Surely, Microsoft knows that in order to keep that 56% market share they will have to make some big jumps in usability and give users something that they’ve never seen before. Otherwise it’ll be more of the same and could go the way of the Zune.

Top 3 Reasons Not To Stop SEO

Many people think that you can do SEO for a few months and then quit. Quite the opposite actually, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Here are top 3 reasons not to stop SEO for your website.

1. Algorithm Changes

 

 

Google and Bing are unquestionably the leaders in search and they conduct algorithm changes on a regular basis. Sometimes weekly, sometimes more often. These algorithm changes affect the way your website ranks for the keywords and phrases that you want to rank for. For instance, in April 2012, Google released the famed Penguin update. This particular update caused havoc in the SEO industry because they changed the way Google saw links and how they were factored into rankings. So if you spent many months cultivating links, you would have woken up one day and your traffic would have been cut in half or more.

Staying on top of trends and algorithm changes insures that your website can recover from any changes made to the search engines.

2. Competitive Advantage

 

 

 

Your competition is always changing, and that means that the keywords and phrases you are using today, may lose steam. Your rankings and your traffic will start to suffer as your competition moves in and they start to pilfer your much-coveted traffic. Stay on top of your keyword research and competitive analysis and don’t lose those rankings!

3. Fresh Content

 

An effective SEO strategy means your website is being updated with new content, and keywords. Fresh content is one of the many factors in your organic search engine rankings. By keeping up-to-date analytics, and ranking statistics, you can keep track of what keywords are working and what isn’t. If you stop your SEO campaigns, then you run the risk of losing valuable space on the search engine results page (SERPs) and revenue generating traffic.

Increasing Brand Awareness via Linkedin

It’s super easy to get lost on Facebook. I can attest to that, in doing research for this article, I logged in and within 15 minutes, I had forgotten why I was there. It’s a common occurrence. But where do you turn when looking for business-related topics and keeping up with companies you follow and friends who work for those companies? Linkedin, that’s where. LinkedIn has just recently surpassed 200 million users and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Social media users are constantly looking for smaller niche networks to drill down their interests. Professional networks pique the interest of something most people care about, their jobs. For a small business, Linkedin can introduce you to the people who make the decisions regarding their business. A study done in January of 2012 noticed that 49% of Linkedin users household income is over $100K. That stat tells us that the people who are on it, are likely the decision-makers of the companies that employ them. If your business is a B2B company, you absolutely must stake your claim on Linkedin.

Once you stake your claim, how do you utilize it? That’s the real question, after all, the reason you are making an effort to promote your business is to develop a relationship with potential customers. Just like Facebook, every user has a news feed that keep you up-to-date with your professional relationships doings. If someone has a new job, is looking for someone to hire, or is touting the merits of their work, these will be put front and center. Use these status updates to showcase what your company can do, a blog post, or an announcement. This will be broadcast to all of your followers. Don’t over-do it, posting annoying sales pitches will definitely make sure your follower count goes down. You want to create a relationship and foster open discussion about your company. The people who are following your company are likely to never need your services, but the people they work with, their customers, even their close friends, will. Keeping your company front and center in their head-space is one of the keys to successful online marketing and brand awareness.

Newest Additions: Today Movers

 

Today Movers

Moving is the worst. I’ve read a few online polls asking for the most stressful events in one’s life and moving is at or near the top in every single one of them. There’s a reason for that, stuff gets broken, people (you) procrastinate, you have to ask your friends/family to help you, borrow or rent a truck, all things that generally give people the heebie-jeebies. There’s a reason I’ve lived in my 3rd story apartment for 4 years and have no intentions of leaving soon, I don’t want to move. Plain and simple. I know I will have to move eventually, that’s when I’ll hire movers. For me, it’s a no-brainer, I’ll pack my stuff up, and let someone else carry it down the stairs. Today Movers does just that, they take the physical work out of moving. Let their crew handle your boxes, mattresses, couches, televisions and anything else that needs to be moved. You can visit their website and get a free estimate by filling out a simple form with a few questions and quantity boxes of your belongings. There’s even a nice long list of moving tips to help make it easier on the guys who will be handling your move. Check out some of their testimonials and see what others had to say about their work! If you’re moving anytime soon, contact Today Movers and let them handle the muscle work.

The Advantages of Facebook Ads For Your Business

Facebook ads have gotten a bad rap. I hear of people complaining of low click-through rates, wasted money and no conversions from their ads. GM even pulled their ads from the social media giant completely, only to announce that they were returning after an 11 month absence. One of the keys to running a successful ad campaign is knowing who you are advertising to and engaging them. You have to remember that Facebookers are not there to see ads, they are there to see what their friends are doing, or the newest cat video. Only if something catches their eye and is in line with their interests, will you see a response. Facebook ads allows you to specify the interests of the people who you are wanting to gain exposure to. We all know that Facebook is a data goldmine. Use that data to your advantage and target only the interests and groups that you know will respond to your product. Otherwise, you’re wasting money.

Once you figure out who your audience is, you have to figure out a way to get your message across to them.

Engaging content is the heart of making any social media campaign work. FB ads do not have the luxury of normal pay-per-click ads, you aren’t bidding on relevant keywords or phrases that describe your business, you have to actively seek out potential ‘likers’ and give them a reason to stay.  Contact us here at Baggies 47 if you’d like to explore your options for pay-per-click and Facebook ads.

Newest Additions: SOS Kidz

16.7 million children lived in food insecure households in 2011.* The extremely kind-hearted and forward-thinking company, Seeds Of Substance, is dedicated to doing their part in ending child hunger. They exist to give disadvantaged children in low-income communities a greater opportunity to realize their true potential by providing nutritional meals, educational services and extracurricular activities that exercise and enhance their mind, body and self-esteem. In communities across Texas, children are hungry, scared and discouraged because poverty has taken hold of their lives, hearts, and dreams. At SOS Kidz, they provide programs and meals to fill that nutritional gap and give the
youth back their dreams in an effort to make these young people well-rounded individuals. They are always looking for volunteers and new employees to join their crew. They will even come to your apartment community or recreation center and serve 2-3 meals per day at no cost to the residents! If that’s not doing their part to help end child hunger, then I don’t know what is! Visit SOS Kidz today and see what you can do to help.

*Coleman-Jensen, A., Nord, M., Andrews, M., & Carlson, S. (2012). Household Food Security in the United States in 2011.USDA ERS.

Spotlight: Nema 3 Electric

 

Everyone knows that Texas is a football state. Our high school football teams have stadiums that rival the size of some professional teams. We’ve had books written, movies and TV shows produced about our love of football. In particular, Friday Night Lights, is the most well-known. Where did those lights come from? Well, when you go to a football game in the evening, it’s dependent on those tall light towers to provide enough light for the games to take place. Those towers didn’t grow out of the ground, they were put there by professional athletic field lighting specialists. Nema 3 Electric has been installing athletic field (indoor & outdoor), trail and parking lot lighting since 1989 and have a list of satisfied clients that could stretch a mile long. Take a look at their portfolio and next time you’re at a sporting event, walking trail or parking lot and notice the lighting structures, think of Nema 3 and the hard work they’ve put into helping you feel safer at night and allowing your teams to play when the sun’s not out.

Winning the Battle Against Old and Incorrect Content

I’m old-fashioned, I enjoy a physical copy of a book to read. I went to a website for a local bookstore and began searching for their hours of operation. I found it displayed prominently on their site, so I headed out to go pick up a copy of a book that had been recommended to me. Once I got there, I was surprised to see that they were closed. I was taken aback because their website clearly stated that they were open from 8am – 9pm. It was 8:30pm. I waited until the next morning to call the bookstore and lodge my complaint against them. Come to find out, their new hours (8am-8pm) had been in effect for almost 6 months! I asked why they haven’t updated their website with the current hours of operation. Their response was “We never thought about it.” Which leads me to the subject of this blog post. Old or incorrect content on your website is a deterrent for potential customers to become current customers. Even if it’s something as simple as your store’s hours of operation, a price on an item, a phone number or where you are located. Not only do search engines pull valuable information from your website to display on their search engine results pages, but when customers are looking on your website for pertinent information, it needs to be correct, or you may lose them as a customer for life. Baggies 47 believes in keeping your website current and correct. We have maintenance plans that allow you to have us make an unlimited number of changes on your website. If your website needs updating, contact us today and let us handle the work.

Newest Additions: AGC Custom Homes

Baggies 47 is proud to introduce the newly launched website of one of the most elegant custom home-builders in all of the Dallas area, AGC Custom Homes. Choosing a home-builder is almost as important as choosing a spouse. A house is a years-long commitment and requires plenty of work to be done to maintain its usefulness. But the foundations and the workmanship of the house will affect the conditions of the house for many years to come. AGC has been building homes for over 14 years and has proven to be one of the most dependable and thorough home-builders in the DFW area. Angel Gonzalez, the owner of AGC, started his journey to home construction through humble beginnings pouring concrete foundations, driveways and slabs. Once he garnered enough information and knowledge of the home-building business, he started AGC. Take a tour through their photo gallery and admire the workmanship of each room that you see. You can also take note of the addresses of current homes for sale and drive by to inspect them in person. You can even have AGC build a custom home to fit your needs on your own lot!

Contact AGC Custom Homes today!