You can now add description of your business directly within the Google My Business. It’s not a new feature though. Google removed this feature back in 2016 when they dropped the Google+ support. And now made it available again. This feature offers a hassle free way to keep the information about your business updated and ultimately help the searchers.
Here’s how you can add business description:
The character limit is 750, out of which only 250 characters will be visible in the knowledge panel. So make it crisp and engaging. You can use the copy from your best-performing AdWords ad as inspiration.
A recent study shows that more review stars translate into higher paid search conversation rates. Businesses with an average of 3.31 stars managed to get 10.42 percent conversion rate, whereas, businesses that had 4.5+ stars achieved a remarkable 12.83 percent conversion rate.
The study also revealed that the response rate also affected the paid search performance. Business with highest response rate saw an average conversion rate of 13.86 percent. While the those with the lowest response rate had to settle down for 10.42.
Engaging with customers & responding to their reviews is directly related to improved conversion rate as it builds trust among other users.
So reviews not only help you improve the local search rankings, but also paid search ranking, and conversion rates as well. So if you are not focusing n reviews, now is the time to do so.
To help you get more reviews for your business, we highly recommend our review widget. It’s a small piece of code which is placed on your website and helps you get positive reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook. In addition, it helps to filter out negative reviews too thus ensuring positive experience to website users. Need more details? Please connect with us.
Google has started rolling out the mobile first index. Google has already moved a limited number of sites to mobile first indexing, but this time it’s on a much larger scale. Apart from sending messages on the search console, they are sending emails to the site owners informing them about the shift.
Here’s how the Email looks:
Mobile-first indexing enabled for “your domain name”
To owner of “your domain name”
This means that you may see more traffic in your logs from Googlebot Smartphone. You may also see that snippets in Google Search results are now generated from the mobile version of your content.
Background: Mobile-first indexing means that Googlebot will now use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking, to better help our (primarily mobile) users find what they’re looking for. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have historically used the desktop version of your site’s content, which can cause issues for mobile searchers when the desktop version differs from the mobile version. Our analysis indicates that the mobile and desktop versions of your site are comparable.
The real take away with this is that you’ll be able to quickly know if your site has been moved or not. No more checking logs or guess work.
Google has announced new features to the Google My Business API, a brand new GMB agency dashboard & also launched a partner program.
Google My Business API Version 4.1 Features
The new agency dashboard is designed for those who manage multiple businesses and gives these folks:
Trusted partners will be eligible for early access to new Google My Business features, a partner manager, and the potential to be featured on the Google My Business website. You can sign up for notification of this program here.
Pinterest has redesigned profile pages for user and brands, with a cover image from a collage of users latest pins. Its a good opportunity for brands to can take advantage of this update and display their best products campaigns, and most pinned items right up front on your profile page.
Once the new profile design is up, your most recent pins will automatically be featured in the cover image. Here are steps on how to get your best pins at the top of your profile.
Pinterest offers three different options for choosing specific pins that you want to feature in your cover image.
If you choose the option to have a certain board or latest pins featured, Pinterest also creates a tab in the upper right corner to send users directly to that area.
Lately, Pinterest has been striving hard to spruce up its platform and make it more brand-friendly and at the same time helping consumer finding what they are looking for. The new profile design is just another effort of providing a fresher experience on the platform.
Geotargeting is an important part of international SEO and can benefit your search engines rankings, if done correctly. But the concept behind geotargeting is not the easiest to understand, which is why I would like to provide you with some guidance in this article.
I’ve also included detailed step-by-step instructions on how to set up geotargeting in your Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools.
So without further ado…
What Is Geotargeting And When Is It Useful?
First of all, I would like to define what geotargeting is and explain why it’s needed to make sure that we are all on the same level.
With the help of geotargeting you can tell search engines which of your domains, subdomains, and subfolders is the most relevant for users in a specific country. An example:
Let’s imagine that you run an eCommerce store for outdoor gear targeted at all the people but only the people living in the United States and your website’s name is awesomeoutdoorgear.com.
Now awesomeoutdoorgear.com is what’s called a ‘generic top-level domain‘, or short gTLD, which means that it’s not specific to any country. If you think about it, it would also make sense to run an eCommerce store for outdoor gear targeted at Canadian residents or people living in the UK and still name it awesomeoutdoorgear.com.
You could even deliver your goods worldwide and keep the same generic top-level domain name.
So how do search engines – first and foremost Google and Bing as they hold the biggest market share – know that your store is only relevant for users from the U.S.?
Because after all, if you don’t ship your sleeping bags to Canada, why should your website show up in google.ca each time a Canadian user searches for ‘buy sleeping bag online‘? For this search query your store is almost 100% irrelevant, so it shouldn’t be listed in the search results.
At the same time it’s all the more important that your store is correctly indexed in the U.S. version of Google (google.com).
This is one situation where you can use geotargeting to your advantage.
Please note: I’ve presented only one example for when geotargeting is useful. Of course there are many more!
ccTLDs, Regional Targeting & Duplicate Content Issues
I’m going to explain how to implement geotargeting for your website(s) in a minute, but before I would like to mention three other important aspects:
‘Country code top-level domains‘ (ccTLDs) such as awesomeoutdoorgear.us and awesomeoutdoorgear.ca are country-specific domains, which means that they are automatically geotargeted to the associated country. This also means that you cannot geotarget them to another country.
So if you think about expanding your business and going international further down the road, either start with a gTLD in combination with subdomains or subfolders from the beginning (more on that soon), or otherwise you’ll have to manage two or more separate country-specific sites.
Right now it’s not possible to geotarget whole regions like the European Union or North America.
If identical or very similar content can be accessed via two or more different URLs, then chances are that you will face a duplicate content issue. Google has stated that it usually doesn’t penalize duplicate content, however, it’s definitely something that you want to avoid in order to not cause any indexation problems.
I mention this because let’s say we have an eCommerce store targeting users in the United States and we want to expand into Canada, you shouldn’t just copy all of the already existing content onto a new site and the only modifications you make is changing the currency and the shipping country. That would be considered content duplication.
In order for geotargeting to work properly you have to change the content itself, for example by creating new product titles and descriptions, or by offering entirely different products.
How To Geotarget Your Website
Okay, so how can you geotarget a website and make it country-specific?
This is a pretty straightforward process, as there’s a geotargeting feature included in your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools dashboard.
Your first option is to geotarget a whole domain to a single country, let’s say the United States, if that’s want you want.
But what if you also sell products to users residing in Canada?
The solution here is to either create different subdomains, like us.awesomeoutdoorgear.com and ca.awesomeoutdoorgear.com, and geotarget the first subdomain to the United States and the second to Canada. Or you could create subfolders, such as awesomeoutdoorgear.com/us and awesomeoutdoorgear.com/ca, and set geotargeting for these.
Geotargeting In Google Search Console
The first step for setting geotargeting in your Google Search Console is to claim ownership of the domain that you want to configure, if you haven’t done so yet.
To do that, visit https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home and log into your Google account. Then click on ‘ADD A PROPERTY‘ in the top right corner and complete the verification process.
If you want to geotarget multiple subdomains or subfolders, then you have to claim each one of them separately.
The next step is to choose the property that you want to configure in your dashboard and click ‘Search Traffic‘ in the sidebar on the left hand side. Then click on ‘International Targeting‘.
The page that comes up contains a tab at the top named ‘Country‘. Switch to the tab and check the box below to be able to choose a country from the dropdown menu.
After you’ve hit ‘Save‘, rinse and repeat the process for all your different properties.
Geotargeting With Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools makes it a lot more convenient for us to geotarget all our different subdomains and subfolders, because you don’t have to claim and verify each of them separately.
You just need to claim your top-level domain once and you are good to go.
On the homepage of your dashboard click on the property that you would like to configure.
Next click on ‘Configure My Site‘ in the left sidebar and choose ‘Geotargeting‘ from the dropdown menu.
The new page lets you choose between domain, subdomain, and subfolder at the top. You also need to enter your URL and choose a country accordingly.
To save your settings, click ‘SUBMIT‘ and, again, repeat the process for your different subdomains and directories, if need be.