Can You Leave A Google My Business Review Without a Gmail Account?

Google My Business (GMB) is a bit of a gem in the business world. Google, a giant in the tech game, has their fingers in all aspects of the universe (or at least it seems). With a Google account, you have access to all of the Google products: Gmail, Ads, YouTube, access to log into sites with autofill and so on. However, if you don’t have a Google Account, no big deal, except you once were missing out on the ability to leave a review with Google My Business. Not now! While it is much easier to leave a review with a Google account, there is a work around to leave a review for your favorite (or not so favorite) business. Business owners appreciate honest feedback, so it is important to follow through with a review. Take the leap and leave a response. Here’s how!

Step 1 & 2: Click The Review Link

Hop on over to Google, search for the Google Business Profile that you’d like to leave a review for and find the area that has some reviews already posted. Click there, then click Write A Review. 

Step 3: Create An Account

If you do not have a Google account, click on create account, then select For my personal use.

Step 4 & 5: Use Your Current Email Address

Make sure to select Use my current email address instead, then fill in your information. As always, use a secure password when creating your account. 

Step 6 & 7: Verify It and Agree

Google will send you a verification email. Verify that, then continue to fill in the required information. Read through and accept Google Privacy and Terms, then…

Step 8: Leave A Review

Now you can leave your review without a Google account! Adding photos if you have them is always great, whether it is a positive or negative review. 

The Bottom Line

We understand that not everyone has a Google account. Hopefully this work around will help those who do not and more reviews will be left for businesses. It is helpful for others to read about your experiences so they can continue to research and make a choice and it is also great for a business to hear about your experience – whether it is good or bad!

Advertising 101 – Where and How Much to Spend on Advertising

In today’s world, there are so many different places a business can advertise. It isn’t just the newspaper and television commercials anymore. It is social media, streaming services, at the movie theater before the show begins, electronic billboards, apps and so much more. So how can a business even start to determine where they should advertise and how much money they should be spending? Let’s discuss traditional advertising and marketing spend to get the most out of your budget.

Have a Marketing Plan that Includes Advertising

Word of mouth advertising is great, but it only gets a business so far. Creating a marketing plan that incorporates advertising through different mediums can be far more effective. Within your marketing plan, a target audience should be determined. Their age, likes, trends, etc. can help to navigate where they gather most of their information. And once you take a deeper look at those items, you can then determine which medium will work best for your business. 

A marketing plan without an advertising budget is like fishing without a worm. You might get lucky and catch something, but it isn’t going to happen as fast as you’d like, and it might not be your target customer. With an advertising budget, that is your worm that you are putting on the hook to lure in the right customers. 

How Much Should A Business Spend on Advertising?

There isn’t a magic number when it comes to advertising budget. Your marketing team or advertising agency can help determine what the best budget is specifically for your business and where they feel you will get the most bang for your buck. The business owner, manager, whoever is making the call on spending, needs to be comfortable and feel confident in the budget and return on investment.

That is not to say there isn’t a general rule of thumb. Within the business world, the general consensus is to aim at spending between 2-5% of your sales revenue on marketing. Small Business Trends reports a lower number at 1.08% of revenue for advertising, but of course it will vary from industry to industry. Some industries spend more, like retailers at about 4% while restaurants spend 1.93%. Business to Consumer (B2C) companies typically spent slightly more on average, with product companies spending 9.6% and B2C services companies spending 11.8%. Those percentages might scare someone but let’s put it into perspective. If your revenue were $1 million per year, your marketing and advertising budget should be $50,000 annually based on the 5% of sales revenue rule. From that $50k, you can drop different amounts into different marketing and advertising buckets. 

Advertising 101 - Where and How Much to Spend on Advertising Track Your Return On Investment

When you are just starting out, it might seem like a hard decision to do a lot of advertising, but once you get rolling, it is a good idea to be reinvesting revenue back into the business through more advertising. You need to keep that momentum going, keep on pulling in more customers. But it is always best to track your return on investment in every medium.

Measuring your spending and the effectiveness of the advertising should happen quarterly. It does take some time to garner effective data, so if you are just starting out, give the advertising some time to get out there. Become a detective and find out which advertising works best for your target audience and which medium brings in the most business.

What are My Advertising Opportunities?

Working with an advertising agency like Triple-Nine Digital can help your business research which targeting tactics will work best for you. While we are always open to exploring new and different ways of advertising, here are the tactics that we pride ourselves on:

Targeted Display

Targeted Digital Advertising is just that, targeted. We don’t just blast your ad to whoever and wherever we can. The targets we look for are age ranges, gender, location, and interests. We also make sure that the style of the display ad matches your business and appeals to your audience. With pay per click ads, we match the text to the ad, sale, promotion, whatever we are running to generate more clicks.

Search Engine Marketing (Google Search Ads)

The average web user won’t go past the first five listings on a search engine results page. In fact, more than 67% of all clicks go to the top five listings.

Increase online traffic and visibility of your business with Google Search and be on top of search results at the moment customers are searching for your products and services.

Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is making sure that your posts get seen by more people than those who just follow your business’s page. With Social Media Advertising, you can get your message seen in only certain areas or by only a certain gender and much more targeting options. By having an advertising budget on social media your message will go further than organic reach.

Video Pre Roll, OTT and CTV

Target your customers with your existing video on platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and OTT/CTV platforms and channels such as Roku, Sling, AppleTV, CNN, Fox, CBS and more.

Google Discover and Direct Email Marketing

Powerful, cost effective programs to promote products, services and events by delivering ads to Gmail accounts and targeted email lists.

Waze GPS App

Waze Advertising is owned by Google. There are three types of ad options within the Waze platform. They are Branded Pins, Promoted Search, and Zero-Speed takeovers that are part of an advanced Waze ad program. Each of these programs offers different capabilities, but all are driven by either your current location or your destination. Your ad appears in targeted search results or when a driver is near your location.

The Bottom Line

Every business is different. Every budget is different. What works for one business may not work for another and that is fine! True Fit Marketing will work with you to learn about your goals, products or services, and your target audience. From there we will do research of our own to create a strategy that fits for you and your business. Every business is unique and we know that there is no one size fits all strategy. We will research your competitors, demographics, and services to find what will work best. Once we create a plan and put it into action, we will adjust as necessary, reminding you and our team of the goals and evaluating performances so we are all on the right track to success. 

SEO 101 – What Is It and Why Should I Know About It?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which, according to Moz, is a “set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.”

There are several elements to a whole marketing strategy. As we break apart different segments of a strategy on our social media posts, we will also blog about them as well. This blog will focus on SEO services. These services consist of a combination of things. There is not a magic button that someone can push that says optimize my keywords, make my website rank higher than my competitors, or show my images on page one. Rather, SEO is a combination of a variety of services. The biggest thing to always remember with SEO is that there is no one-sized-fits-all approach. It’s important to address SEO services with your marketing team or agency, but as a leader, it is also important to be aware of what SEO is, how it can help your business, and then make sure you are paying for only services that are addressing your SEO needs and not for a “bundle” of services you don’t need.

Let’s just skim the top of SEO so that you can have a basic understanding of what it is. If there’s more you’d like to learn, contact our team and we can dive deeper into it with you.

What is a Search Engine?

Search engines are sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo. DuckDuckGo, etc. There are so many different search engines that can be used, but according to Joe Barker, all search engines consist of three parts:

  1. A database of web documents
  2. A search engine operating on that database
  3. A series of programs that determine how search results are displayed

Professionals argue over which is the best search engine and why. Even our team has a difference in opinion. It is a major science that goes into creating a search engine. And it is even a science of figuring out how to manage SEO for clients. 

Google is typically the dominant search engine in the world, but there are reasons why some users won’t search through Google, including the theory of information being withheld. Sites like DuckDuckGo are said to be best for users who have privacy concerns and want to keep their browsing information personal. This list could go on and on as to what search engine is best and why, but it typically boils down to personal preference and where the information wanted can be found fastest.

What is Organic Search?

There are two kinds of search results:

  1. Paid results
  2. Organic results

It is easier to understand paid results – basically it is results that populate because money is behind that result. Organic search results happen because of strategy! These results then lead to organic traffic, which then hopefully leads to whatever the conversion goal is. 

Here’s where it can get confusing and tricky. Organic search results differ from search engine to search engine. It just depends on that search engine’s algorithm. Figuring out that algorithm is a lot of work, research and patience because it is ever changing! There’s never a guarantee that anything will rank in a particular position. The good news is that Google Analytics expert Avinash Kaushik once determined that around 86% of search engine users prefer organic search results. We have been accustomed to scrolling past the ad to get to the first section of results. 

How Do I Ensure I Am Optimizing Search Results?

The best advice when it comes to SEO is to write for what humans want to read first – SEO second. Like previously mentioned, the “rules” for SEO are constantly changing. So whether you are writing website copy, a blog, social media posts or whatever, write to your audience, post what they want to see, and then think about SEO. After you have your content written, think about keywords. Go back through your text and see if your keywords are there. If not, add them! Not sure about keywords? There are SEO tools to help with that!

If you are building a website, build it for the user, not the search engine. There is nothing worse than a website that is hard to navigate. User experience ranks higher in our book than SEO factors. SEO can be a second thought in this situation as well. Build your website to you and your target audience’s liking, then address headings, sub folders, mobile friendliness, links, and so on. Test the website to make sure it loads quickly. If not, take care of whatever is slowing it down because that will hurt your SEO. If users are jumping on and then off of your website because it loads too slow, that will hurt your rankings.

And as always, constantly research, improve and update your content, website, whatever it is you are working on. There really is no finish line to this work since it is always evolving. Whatever it is that your competitors are doing, search engines changes, and even your own business/personal changes are always going to happen. A strong online presence gives your business credibility, a professional image, and an improved customer experience. Our team can review your brand through your online listings, SEO scores, social media presence, website speed and more. We can also compare how your business performs online compared to your top competitors. Then we can discuss what the plan should be moving forward if you’d like! Take us up on this opportunity!

Google My Business – What Is It and How Does It Work?

Launched in 2014, Google My Business became a business’s best friend for online searching. Google My Business is an online business directory that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. If you skip out on using Google My Business, you potentially will miss out on customers and sales. Why? Well let’s dive a little deeper into what is Google My Business and how it works.

What is Google My Business?

In simple terms, it is a business profile within Google. But it is not just your Business Profile, rather a tool by which you enhance your Business Profile to boost its visibility and effectiveness. Business Profiles appear in Google Maps and in the local results of Google search. A listing on Google My Business can be an amazing marketing tool for search engine optimization (SEO). Obviously Google has some power on their search engine, but now it has allowed businesses to have their search space as well.

All that Google requires within the business profile is the business name, location, and category. Once it is confirmed that the business is not a duplicate, Google will create the business profile for that location. You can have multiple location profiles per business if you have separate addresses. For example, a doctor has two offices. The doctor can have two business profiles for the business with two separate locations. 

Is Google My Business Free?

YES! And it isn’t a scam. Google doesn’t charge to create a Google My Business profile. Plus, Google My Business does not operate on a pay by service level, like free, super, premium, etc., business model. This means that your business has the same level of access as your competitors. However, this could all change and it could become a paid service and eventually upsell the account levels. But for now, June of 2021, it is free.

Why Should I Use It for My Business?

Google always favors Google My Business profiles with extra information and user engagement, especially recent engagement. If your profile is up to date with a business image, hours, location, and services/products, Google will know that it is relevant information and will know to show it to someone searching for something similar. 

Additionally, your business profile is open to people to leave reviews, add their personal pictures, ask questions and even answer others questions. Google might also populate your profile for you from information that it finds online. Of course that can always be edited to make it fit to your business standards. You know your business best!

How Do I Set Up A Google My Business Profile?

Yay! Glad you’ve made it to this point of wanting to set up a Google business profile. It is the right thing for your business. 

To get a Google My Business account, go to google.com/business and click “Manage now,” which will take you through the steps of creating an account. Enter all of your information. Google will then need to verify the business location is actually yours. You’ll be sent a postcard by mail that will have a code on it to confirm it is yours. 

In the meantime, optimize and nurture your profile. Add your business hours, ask your best customers to add in some pictures and reviews, add your own pictures and make sure the other business information like location and contact information are correct.

Now What Do I Do with My Google My Business Profile?

Post to your Google My Business listing at least once a week. Think of it as an additional social media post. Make the Google My Business post something specific to your business and link to your website. Hashtags won’t matter for this post. If you have an image that you took, post that instead of one that you create and is just a general image. When you use a picture that you took at the business, it has location tags within the file that Google will recognize. We don’t have to get deep into how that works. Just think of it as picture magic!

Being active on your listing is always a good idea. Manage reviews, good and bad, add events that are happening for your business, add a new picture of a product or someone doing your service, or add in an offer that you want to share with your potential and current customers. If Google releases updated information grabs, a new item where it already shows the things mentioned previously, this should be posted about. At the time of this blog (June 2021) there is a Covid-19 update area where businesses can post Covid updates, like if they are closed or the rules have changed. There is a good chance that this particular information will be ranked better than others. Update your profile to match whatever Google is suggesting. 

Good luck with your Google My Business profile! If you have any questions or would like help setting up or managing your profile, contact us.

Google’s Newest Core Update and First Since COVID-19

Google has just released its second core algorithm update of the year, but the first since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Google releases many algorithm changes a year, but these are minor fixes, whereas the core algorithm update is, “a core update is a tweak or change to the main search algorithm itself.” (Search Engine Journal)

When Google rolls out the core algorithm updates they generally take about one to two weeks for the update to fully rule out.

With the pandemic, people are changing the way they are searching. They are searching more about what’s happening in their area, instead of traveling and tourist destinations. Google stated that many searches were about sheltering and resources for COVID-19 in their area. (Twitter: Google SearchLiason).

Google does not release what is included in its updates, but it is always advised to continue to focus on quality content for SEO purposes. Those that have original content, resources, and research will rank better.

Please reach out if you have any questions or need help with SEO: