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Google My Business: The Hows and Whys of Getting Your Business Listed

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If you’re like me and you have a WordPress website that promotes your business or service, then you’ll always be on the lookout for new ways to get targeted visitors to your site. In this article are going to look at one such way and that is Google My Business.

For anyone promoting themselves and their services online, there has never been a better time to be doing so than now. With so many different channels available that can send potential clients and customers your way, the hardest part of generating traffic today can be choosing which method to implement next.

While focusing on SEO and ensuring you’ve done all you can to increase the visibility of your website in the search engines should be your first priority, after that, you’re spoilt for choice.

From paid advertising, content marketing, guest posting, social media marketing, and a whole host of other options, there’s always something new to try. I would recommend though to hire a professional company for SEO services since SEO is much more complex these days.

However, most of those channels for generating more traffic are ongoing and that means your work is never done. Nevertheless, there is another way you can attract more visitors to your site that you might’ve overlooked. That is adding your website to Google’s recently launched My Business service and it’s something you can do today, and then check off your list.

In this article, we’ll explain the purpose of My Business and how it ties into Google’s new strategy. We’ll also walk you through the process of getting set up on Google My Business. This will help you to start getting more targeted traffic to your website and increase the number of ways you can be found online.

As well as this being something you can implement for your business website, it’s also another value-adding service you could offer your clients. So let’s get started and find out how to get featured on Google My Business.

What is Google My Business?

How your website and listing could look across Google

From the mouth of Google, My Business enables you to connect directly with your customers. Due to the unparalleled reach of Google and their services, plugging into the My Business network means your customers and clients can now find you more easily through Search and Maps.

Google My Business doesn’t just serve traditional businesses with a storefront. You can also sign up and instead of listing your business address, add the area you serve or just details of your brand.

We all know the importance of being ranked prominently in the Google search engine. It’s by far the most popular search engine out there today. Depending on who you ask Google has between 70% and 89% of the global search engine market share – something that isn’t predicted to decline anytime soon.

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However, when it comes to getting noticed in the search engine results pages (SERPS) there’s more to just working on your search engine optimization and aiming for a top spot in the regular results. As we’ll now see, by signing up with Google My Business, there are more ways to be found and connect with your target audience than ever before.

What Happened to Google Places?

My Business is the replacement service for Google Places for Business. It’s a key part of their attempt to simplify the process of harnessing the power of the Google suite of tools to get more traffic to your business. This means that Google Ads, Insights, Maps and Search are all closely tied into My Business, making it easier to use and more powerful than its predecessor.

Benefits of Being on Google My Business

Right, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of engaging with My Business in order to get a better sense of what this Google service has to offer you.

Better Search Visibility

Stand out in the SERPS

Ever wondered why some businesses you search for are featured in a high-visibility panel that lists their information, right next to the regular search engine results? This isn’t anything to do with paying Google through their PPC Ads service. Instead, it’s a result of being on My Business.

Once you’ve been included in the service, your most important info will be on display right away, with the rest of your content only a click away from those searching for you. You’ll still be listed in the regular search engine results, but now you’ll also take over the right-hand column, giving you even more exposure.

Put Your Business on the Map

While no longer being the world’s most popular smartphone app, Google Maps is still accessed on over half of all smartphones in the US as of July 2019. Apple is making great strides with its own mapping app, but there’s no doubt about the current popularity of Google Maps.

Therefore, it’s vital that your business – or those of your clients – is listed on the Google Maps platform.

Google My Business gives you an easy way to verify your business and get it added to Google Maps. Now your customers and clients can find their way to you much more easily. They’ll also be able to view information about your business and check out your ratings and reviews.

Display More Useful Information

Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to complete the integration process, useful information about your business will be readily displayed on Search and Maps.

This business information can include a description of your business; hours of operation; directions; busy periods; and the all-important call now button which are displayed for mobile users.

Google My Business is fully mobile responsive

As Google is fully committed to the mobile revolution, your listings will be as easy to access on smartphones and tablets as they are on notebooks and desktops. Your audience will see the same information as they switch devices, delivering a consistent user experience before they even get to your website.

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Another Chanel of Communication

By creating a My Business profile, you’ll be opening up another new interactive channel of communication with your target audience and existing clients and customers.

Easily update your listing from anywhere

How to Get on Google My Business

Ok, so now that you’re convinced of the need and benefits of being on My Business, let’s look at what you have to do to join the party.

Sign Up

Firstly, you’ll need a Google account. If you’re already using a service like Gmail then you should be good to go, if not sign up here.

Choose Your Listing Type

Choose the right type of listing for your business

If your business has physical premises or a storefront, then choosing this listing type this is the best option. But what if you’re an online-only business or operate from a home address? Alternatively, perhaps you serve your local area, but just don’t work from a standard location and instead go and visit your clients and customers. In these cases, you can use the service area or brand options.

Add your business details

Whether you want to create your listing with a storefront location or just a service area, you will need to create a business listing first. Once you’ve added your business you can then choose not to display your physical address if that information doesn’t need to be made public.

Do you operate remotely?

If you don’t want to display your business address, you can instead enter the area you serve. To prevent your listings from publically displaying your business address, check the box that states that you deliver goods and services to your customers at their location. Then uncheck the box that states you also serve customers at your business address.

Set the area your business serves

The service area is a flexible feature of Google My Business. It allows you to enter whole cities and zip codes that you serve, or set a custom radius from your business location.

Once you’ve completed those steps you will need to verify your business listing to prove your address. Depending on your business type, this usually takes place by mail verification.

While you are waiting for your postcard from Google, you can get started on setting up your business page. This gives you an opportunity to build out your profile and add your contact information, hours of operation, and upload a selection of photos.

Make any necessary changes

Thanks to the new integration features of My Business, through the dashboard you can start promoting your listings with AdWords Express right away. You can use the pay per click service to ensure you listing shows up in more places than it would otherwise. However, this isn’t essential, as by simply having a listing, you’ve already created a new way for your target audience to find you.

Drive traffic with easy AdWords integration

Once your account has been verified, you can find out how often your listing has been viewed through the Insights tool. As a verified account holder, you can also read and respond to reviews left for your business.

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Creating a Brand Page

If you don’t have a physical location that you want to publish and you don’t need to enter a specific area that you serve, the best listing type for you is a brand page.

When creating a brand page you can get started by entering your details, before verifying your account. You get a few different options for verifying your account, with the default choice being by SMS or a call to your phone.

 

Create a brand page instead

Once you’re, in you can create your brand page and start populating your profile with information about your brand and the services you offer.

View your brand page

Managing Your Google My Business Listing

After creating your My Business profile, you have plenty of options for managing your listing. You can do this through the My Business online dashboard, on either your desktop or mobile device. Alternatively, you can download the apps for Android and iOS devices.

Get the mobile app for management on the go

These mobile apps make it easy to stay up to date with and respond to customer reviews; update your business details, such as a last-minute change in opening hours; upload photos straight to your listing, and view the Insight visitor analytics data.

If you are on the go and need to respond to customer queries, feedback, and reviews in near real-time, these apps and their notifications can really help you out.

Integration with WordPress

There are a few plugins out there for integrating your Google My Business listing with your WordPress website. However, the best of the bunch seems to be the freemium Google Places Reviews plugin.

Google Places Reviews plugin

This plugin gives you the ability to display reviews that have been left on your Google My Business listing in the sidebar and other widgetized areas of your website. You can also embed these reviews into your posts, pages, and other content by using the included shortcodes.

While the free plugin does get the job done, if you want the ability to filter the reviews that are displayed on your site by their star rating, then you will need to upgrade to the pro version. This commercial version of Google Places Reviews is available from $37.

By using a plugin like Google Places Reviews, you not only get an easy way to add some social proof and credibility in the form of customer reviews, but it also adds an easily accessible link to your Google My Business listing.

Following this link gives your visitors a quick and straightforward way to view your listing and location on Google Maps – if you’ve set one in your profile. To really make your listing stand out amongst the competition, you will need to acquire as many positive reviews as possible. Any method that gives you an easy way to send visitors to your Google profile page is welcome.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you can now see the benefits of engaging with this recently updated service from Google. Getting on board with My Business gives you more opportunities to be found, connect with your audience, and send more targeted traffic to your website or offline premises.

It’s a free service from a market leader and it’s very easy to setup. What more could you ask for?

Alex is a content marketing specialist based in the UK. He likes to write about various subjects and is currently working for digital marketing agency Breakline which is offering SEO Services to UK businesses.

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How to Succeed when Transitioning to Sales on Screen Shares and Video Calls

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sales-tips-screenshare

It is certainly no secret; personal relationships are vital to a successful sales career. Cold calls or emails may get your proverbial foot in the door, but the close comes from earning a client’s trust. It is hard to beat a face to face meeting and a handshake as a means to building that desired trust.

As times change, however, the world of sales is experiencing a transition from in-person meetings to a variety of collaborations facilitated through technology.

Of particular importance to sales, is how to develop and maintain a personal relationship with a client in the virtual realm. Whether your use of technology in sales is based on social distancing, saving on travel expenses, avoiding time away from home, or any number of other reasons, there are some suggestions that make the absence of the face to face meeting easier.

Consider these five tips for improving video calls.          

1. Send Calendar Invites

Most people tend to remember a meeting scheduled in a conference room, or a colleague’s office, or across town. But virtual meetings have a way of slipping from the collective, or perhaps selective, memories of certain clients. The use of calendar invites can be particularly important for the online conference and can work to your advantage. 

When sending an invitation to an online meeting, do not make your potential client jump through a series of digital hoops to attend. Include links and teleconference ID numbers as needed. If possible, avoid systems that require your client to download an app, or sign-up for an account, or any other inconvenience which might cause them to cancel your meeting.

Next, use titles that remind your client who you are or what you can do for their company. For instance, rather than a calendar invite titled “Meeting with Kevin,” consider a title that works as an ad for your product or service.

Instead, try, “10-8 Systems teleconference,” or “CAD/RMS virtual meeting.” As your customer looks at his or her calendar in the days and weeks leading up to your meeting, they repeatedly see your company and what you have to offer.

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2. Text Messages as Appropriate Reminders 

Communicating with your lead by text tends to show you respect their time and lets them feel they are in control of the conversation. After all, they can respond at their convenience rather than interrupting their day answering a phone call. Start early in your relationship with a potential client and seek their permission to communicate by text.

Regardless of how you first made contact; face to face, an email, phone call, or some other way, asking if you can text them lets your lead know you respect their time and privacy. For example, asking, “Would it be alright if I sent you a text? That way, you can respond whenever you have time,” goes a long way in building a relationship with your potential client. 

A few points of text etiquette are good to keep in mind. First, send text communications during traditional business hours. Unless the relationship with your client dictates otherwise, weekdays after 9 am and before 5 pm are usually best.

Next, maintain a professional tone. Casual phrases and abbreviations between friends and family are far different than what is expected in the business world. Finally, most professionals do not want to have long conversations through text. A brief message to convey information or send a reminder about a video conference is usually all that is needed for effective business communication through a text.       

3. Things Do Not Always Go as Planned: Have a Plan B

Technology continues to make life better. In the business world, the use of the internet and cell phones have successfully taken industries into the second decade of the 21st century. Technology is great…until it’s not. That is to say; it is not without its occasional lapse in expected operation. Having a backup plan helps overcome these rare but potentially embarrassing moments.   

When scheduling a video conference, it may be wise to consider calling into the meeting in addition to logging in via your computer. In the less than ideal situation in which your 21st century, hi-def, fiber-optic, video conferencing system did not come through, you may find yourself on an old-fashioned telephone call with your customer.

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This is when it is crucial to have a plan to make your pitch with what you have. This phone call may be your only chance to make an impression, close the sale, or develop the all-important relationship.

Avoid statements such as, “I’m sorry the connection is not working,” or “If you could only see my screen, I could show you…” Instead, thank the client for their patients, make the best of the situation, and do what sales professionals do: sell your product!

4. Have Your Presentations Ready in Advance 

In furtherance of building a confidence-instilling relationship with a potential client, consider the vital portrayal of professionalism.  Being prepared for your video call helps demonstrate respect, an imperative component of a professional partnership.

A simple step in your preparation is to have your presentations loaded and ready to begin before joining the teleconference. Regardless of the platform you are using for your deck; PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or a similar presentation avenue, have both the program and your file up and running well in advance of the call.

As an example, I normally have these 2 web pages ready for my meetings. 

I have them pulled up, without my bookmarks bar (I’ll talk about this in the next section), so that I can actually show the client our website, our expertise and it’s a web page that they can get familiar with and will influence them to navigate back to it later if they need anything. 

Most people have been on the receiving end of an unprepared speaker. Perhaps you even had a short period of empathy for someone who struggled to load a program, warm-up a projector, or find their PowerPoint in a sea of files. That understanding, however, usually has a limited lifespan and can quickly evolve into the perception of someone who does not respect your time. 

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It is best not to hope for the possibility of empathy when making your presentation. Have the deck loaded so you can immediately begin when the client is ready. Whether they consciously recognize it or not, you will have demonstrated both your level of professionalism and appreciation of their time.  

5. Screen Sharing and the Bookmark Bar

Even when technology works as expected, the human factor can still result in a less than favorable digital meeting. During the recent uptick in online meetings due to social distancing, it was not unusual to see videos or read articles about some breach in basic etiquette as working from home became the norm. Regardless of your location when participating in a video call, there are some points to keep in mind to enhance professionalism and avoid embarrassment.

If you are sharing your screen, please remember to hide your bookmark bar. Often, bookmarks contain information that can divulge a great deal about the computer user. In addition to information such as banking and financial links, bookmarks may include a list of your competitors or other business research you may not want to share with the world.

How about your family’s information, such as the kid’s schools, vacation plans, or other items you did not mean to be part of your business meeting and memorialized in a recorded video conference? Hiding your bookmark bar is a small and easy step to protecting your business and your privacy.

Ultimately, the transition from face to face meetings to teleconferences is likely to increase. Sales professionals must make allowances for this transition by leveraging technology, having a backup plan or two, and embracing the evolution of the inevitable digital handshake.

While the journey to get there may be changing, business and sales still are, and always will be, about building personal relationships.

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An Ultimate Guide To Abstract Custom Logo Design

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When you hear the term abstract, what strikes your mind? Odd shapes, unidentifiable patterns, or symbols. We also assume that abstract designs only revolve around paintings, but no, it has also surrounded us in other forms like abstract logo designs.

Using an abstract design approach is a smart choice by designers to make their designs creative and unique. When you ought to have a custom logo design for your business, you search for something that signifies your brand. Abstract logos are the best in passing on unique ideas in cleverest yet simple style. 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several other options of custom logo designs for your business, based on text and colors but through an abstract logo, you have a better chance to reveal your business exclusively.

Abstract icons contain geometric shapes and also differ from traditional or classical symbolic forms. It has a vast ground to play with colors and shapes, and it confers a vision to your Business. 

Abstract logo designs are not understandable at first glance, and they can be challenging for your creative instinct even though some are easy to understand immediately.

Do’s for Abstract Logo Design

1. Keep it Simple

Simplicity is one of the main traits of an abstract logo, and they have the power to deliver those ideas and concepts beyond your imagination. It’s easy to turn your idea into visuals in the form of abstract logo designs with an abundance of simplicity.

2. Research

Your business recognition comes from your brand representation, so it is suggested to consider a custom logo design that highlights every aspect of your business and connects it with the audience.

So, it is essential to do robust research before designing your abstract logo, as the Customers must quickly understand the replication of your business concept and.

3. Make it Memorable

Abstract logos are attractive because of their unique characteristics. It assembles the ideas that tell the fundamentals of your brand. Use symbols or icons that make your logo unforgettable that leaves a long-lasting impact on the audience’s mind. 

It is the aim of a logo design company that they design the logo with a profound message and make it memorable forever.

4. Choose the Best Color

Without any doubt, we know choosing an appropriate color for your custom logo design is always an exciting part of the design process. Your color choice decision should be made wisely. As it encloses the awareness and impression for your audience.

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In an abstract logo, color highly supports the visuals; your colors and visuals should travel in the same direction. Moreover, for the matter of fact, colors also influence the brand image and customers’ psychology.

5. Multipurpose Design

Make sure that you cover every aspect of the abstract logo, and it is easily modifiable according to every source of display. It should have the versatility to dive into many different themes. The abstract logo is not confusing to create, but it must fit every style.

Don’ts for Abstract Logo Design

1. Do not Over Crowd your Abstract Logo

Your custom logo design is the whole lot that introduces the brand and gains an excellent good reputation for your business. The same case with the abstract logo is informative, so it should not have too much detail.

Overcrowding your logo with extra colors, shapes and text might confuse your audience and fail in achieving the main objective.

2. Avoid Too Much Simplicity

We know that simplicity is the best policy, but it is not best when you overuse it in your abstract logo. Too simple and basic logo lacks in displaying the actual meaning of it. It happens that you get tired of using similar shapes and patterns again and again, but that doesn’t mean you oversimplify it without using any shape symbol or icon.

3. Do not Copy

Your branding logo is all about distinctiveness and novelty; it should have its look and recognition. Your custom logo design stands on its own; it must not be the copied logo of another similar brand.

On the other hand, if your logo has a similar look that leaves a bad impression of your brand and creates a distrust between the brand and its customers. Eventually, the abstract logo is all about creating a strong identity.

4. Avoid Color Blast

Color choice is an integral part of logo designing; the appropriate color choice is the success of your logo. Using too many colors in a single logo will make it look like a color pallet than an abstract logo.

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Colors have a high power to evoke emotions and represent the brand so always choose the colors with an open mind and avoid the blast of colors on your logo.

Do check logo design company Logo Grand, an expert in custom logo design based on behavioral psychology of the target audience of your business.

Abstract Designs That Make Your Logo More Artistic 

1. Design with Solid Shapes 

Solid shapes are less complicated, and they send the innate message in your logo. If you want the audience to recognize your logo instantly, they go for this style. Companies like technology and educational institutes like accuracy in their logos, so solid shapes work best. 

2. Design with Lines 

We know that abstract design itself is way distinctive from ordinary things. They tend to portray your image. If we integrate lines in design, it shows connectivity—industries like architecture or construction use lines to share their idea of business. 

3. Design with symmetrical patterns 

You can acquire symmetrical patterns easily if you look around if you look in nature for a while. Clouds, minerals, sea, etc. everything shares a design. 

Symmetrical patterns are eye-soothing; they give the feel of relaxation and peace. Meditation or health centers like to use patterns in their logo. 

4. Illustrative Designs 

If we are calling a logo abstract, that doesn’t mean it is entirely abstract. They do have symbolic objects in them. Adding illustrative purposes can show the value of your brand more clearly. 

Some of the Famous Abstract Logo of Big Brands 

An abstract logo is all you need for your business. They are not bound to any specific industry. So here, you’ll get to see some of the inspiring abstract logos of famous brands. 

Abstract logo for Fashion 

We might think that a logo for a fashion brand also should look fashionable. Fashion brands go with abstract logo design smartly. Instead, they have to use their name in a logo or any other icon they will go abstract. 

Abstract Logo for Food 

Designing an abstract food logo is fun because you have to play with colors and fonts and try different icons in them. 

Abstract Logo for Tech

Mostly solid shapes work for the tech industry; they are modern yet minimalist. They usually have icons with plugs and circuits, or they go with initials of the brand’s name. 

Abstract Logo for Sports 

Like fashion logos, sports logos are also minimalist. They are adding initial referencing and related icons that show the connectivity with brands. 

How Will you Find Inspiration for Abstract Logo Design 

Brainstorming

Start with an effective brainstorming; it helps you know what you need or what you have to ask from your designer, what you want to achieve through the design. Pen down your ideas, make rough sketches, and go ahead. 

Think about your audience and think like your audience. Prioritize customer’s preferences and then start. 

Go for Mood Boards

Visual always helps to understand one’s idea and mood boards are the best way to get the idea. It takes a little effort to find related stuff in the form of pictures, from magazines and posters. Simply cut out and paste printed photos on a single board or a sheet. 

You can also go with a digital one. Unfortunately, you are making for logo inspiration, so it must be based on illustrations, graphics and then you’ll get to know what exactly you are leaning towards in a short time. 

Check Your Competitors 

Idea stealing is very common in the designing field, and competitors are everywhere. So it’s good to check on what is already existing in the industry and what you should avoid. Find out what makes you different from others—Hunt for one element that can create a massive difference in your logo design.

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What Makes a Good Logo 

The one which conveys your brand message instantly and is easy to recognize is considered a good logo. 

  1. Notable and unique
  2. Striking and catchy 
  3. Easily fit to any size at any place 
  4. Enduring 
  5. Always brings recognition to the brand. 

Conclusion

There is no rocket science behind designing an abstract logo, but there are some guidelines to keep in mind while creating one. Abstract logo designs are always upgraded, and the first choice of designers will never go out of trend. All you need to follow the correct direction for designing an abstract logo for your company.

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