Digital Marketing News: Google My Business for Franchisees

Every week we’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of August 24, 2018.

Google My Business Tips for Franchisees

Solidifying your presence on all of Google’s properties has the greatest potential to attract customers and increase revenue, which should make it a top priority for all franchise marketing strategies.

This is especially true for Google My Business, where much of your business’ online identity is initially presented to potential customers. In fact, Google is providing so much information for users that they never have to leave the search engine. If your Google My Business profile is serving as your de facto website, it’s vital that it’s equipped with all of the pertinent information that potential customers need.

Location3 Local Listings expert Brett Dugan recently shared how franchisees can make the most of their Google My Business profile. With Google constantly developing new features and the limited time available for franchisees to master its intricacies, this post is intended to help navigate the tool. Here are a few tips on reviews:

“Business reviews can be nerve-wracking, but they serve as a valuable sounding board for you and your customers. Reviews are especially important because of their placement on your listing. They appear next to your Maps and Search listing, a highly visible area that can have a significant effect on potential customers.

Don’t hesitate to encourage reviews. It’s a great way to spread the word and build trust in your business. Here are a few tips for responding to reviews:

  • Be nice and don’t get personal
  • Keep it short and sweet
  • Thank your reviewers
  • Be a friend, not a salesperson

Shady SEO Practices That Aren’t Worth the Risk

They’re commonly known as black-hat tactics – SEO practices that promise quick results without adhering to search engine guidelines. Some SEO professionals are open to such tactics and even encourage their implementation. In a post for Search Engine Land, Stephan Spencer chooses not to address the right and wrong of the situation, and instead look at it as risk assessment. Is it worth it? Here are a few tactics he says Google will eventually catch on to.

Private blog networks: This tactic involves buying expired domains with good authority and then linking back to your site. The problem here is many expired domains are expired for a reason, and Google is well aware of such sites. This tactic is a surefire way to tank your entire network, says Spencer.

Spinning articles: This tactic involves copying, or creating very close variations of successful content from outside sources. They then insert extra keywords in an effort to get the most out of their fraudulent content “production”. As Spencer points out, Google’s ability to comprehend grammar and natural language has all but ended this practice.

For more tactics to avoid, Spencer’s full post can be read here.

How Often Should You Be Publishing Content?

Quality over quantity has become a common refrain from publishers when it comes to content. We’re all in agreement that quality content trumps all, but that still leaves the question of just how much content should be posted. Search Engine Journal recently polled its Twitter audience on publishing frequency, and here are a few of the results:

  • 70 percent responded that publishing high quality and quantity content is the most effective publishing frequency.
  • 14 percent said that publishing less content (with a high-quality focus) works best for them.
  • 12 percent found success in publishing content often (with a high-quantity focus).
  • Content? Who needs it! was what 4 percent of the respondents had in mind.

It might be an unsatisfying answer, but this informal poll reflects a thought that publishing high-quality content frequently is the best bet. This might be possible for full-scale content teams, but many businesses have limited resources for content.

If you’re part of a smaller team, we recommend focusing your energy, first and foremost, on quality. If that means one post a week, that’s more than acceptable. See how many pieces of content you can publish before quality starts to suffer. Producing content is a unique process, which makes prescribing standards a little silly. Create your own plan and execute.

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