Blog

Does blogging really help to support my business website?

Posted by on October 7th, 2019

The short answer: YES! Ready for the long answer and the proof? While browsing a Facebook group the other day, I was surprised to hear that a poster commented saying something along the lines of “no one wants to read a blog”. This shocked me, but at its essence, it told me that this poster (and everyone agreeing with them) had convinced themselves that blogs have no value, and therefore give no value, which means that people shouldn’t spend time on them. This comment couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Is your hosting costing you unnecessary amounts of money?

Posted by on August 26th, 2019

At hasOptimization, we intend to apply optimization to all facets of work that we do. If we see something that can be done better somehow, we’ll at least make a point to suggest an easier, more optimized solution to that process. One of the constant sources of audit, especially for new clients, is their hosting packages. Time and again we find that clients are happily paying for services they don’t need, never use, or can be purchased cheaper elsewhere. This often means we can make a lot of cost-cutting suggestions to our clients that can sometimes save them hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run. In this post, we’ll go over how you can conduct your own hosting audit and give you the information and tools needed to decide what services you should be paying for – and what services you shouldn’t.

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Claim your Google My Business Short Name Now (Before Someone Else Does)

Posted by on July 2nd, 2019

As Google sunsets programs such as Hangouts and Google+, we may find some of the better features managing their way over onto our new platforms like Google My Business. We’ve already seen posting on Google My Business happening, now we’re seeing a new feature: short names. What is a shortname? “Short name” is just a fancy word for “username”, the same way you would have a username on Twitter or a page slug on Facebook. Google My Business is giving you the opportunity (much like we were able to on Google+) to choose your own short name. What does it do? Your “short name” will be an easier way that people can find your Google My Business listing without that huge, long string of characters that we normally see when sharing Google My Business listings. Here’s a great example. We claimed “hasoptimization”, and now our Google My Business listing can be accessed from https://g.page/hasoptimization/ That’s a much nicer looking URL than the one it redirects to: https://www.google.com/maps/place//data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x89e26add098f4d89:0x1e02af670eb22801?source=g.page.default Wouldn’t you agree? Google has also made it easier to ask for reviews Typically, in the past, we have either created custom redirects for clients (say, https://www.domain.com/google) to hand out to their customers so they can ask if someone wants to give them a review. If you don’t have a website, or you don’t know how to set up a redirect, this is an easy way that you can point people to where they can leave you a review. Google supplies this, for…

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Google’s New Agency Accounts are Kind of a Mess

Posted by on October 3rd, 2018

Listen, we’re Google users at hasOptimization. We talk great things about Google. But let’s face it… Google doesn’t always do everything well. Whether it’s having a myriad of unnecessary messaging apps for no good reason, or half-way phasing out an interfaced platform but not entirely that businesses and users alike use… Google has a history throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. So we come to Google’s new Agency accounts for Google My Business.

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Reviews: What to do and what not to do

Posted by on March 27th, 2018

One of the biggest sticking points when it comes to small business is reviews. While we have guides on what to do with bad reviews, and guides on how to ask for reviews, we need to also talk about the importance of reviews, especially when it comes to running a small business. Why are reviews so important? Reviews can make or break a small business. Online reviews are now “word-of-mouth” advertising on the internet. When you Google a business, often times you will see an aggregate of Yelp, Facebook, and Google reviews, showing off blurbs from reviewers as well as a star review (up to five stars). The problem is that most people don’t think to review a business unless they have a problem. That means if they ran into an issue, or were dissatisfied with their service, then someone will go out of their way to leave a review — usually negative. One negative review — and it being the only review — can tank a small business quickly. The thing is that it doesn’t give us a clear picture of this business. One single star review can look really bad, but say the customer was in the wrong or the company usually gives perfect, polite service every other time. You wouldn’t know this just from judging off of the one-star review. Because of this, we need to tap into every available opportunity to ask for reviews and try to get our good customer service to outweigh our bad customer service. Do Ask for…

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Google Built-In Websites

Posted by on March 5th, 2018

We’ve had a lot of notifications about this particular feature on Google My Business. When managing a lot of different locations on Google, Google can get obnoxious with reminders sometimes. However, any other owners on these accounts will also get notifications, which means that the business owners may be getting confusing notifications from Google as well. Don’t worry, business owner! We have it handled. What is it? Google has integrated the use of a “website” on their own server. This is great if you don’t have a website, and Google gives you the tools to build one without worrying about domains or server space. It is located in the Google My Business dashboard, under “Website”. Not to be confused with your actual website… If you’re one of our customers, chances are you actually have a website, and a decent one at that. Don’t be confused when Google asks you to “publish your website”. Publishing additional information on top of what already exists on your existing website can confuse customers. This “website” and your actual .com website are two entirely different entities. Why shouldn’t I use it? It’s great if you don’t have a web presence. However, because it is highly Google-centric, customers may have a hard time finding this website outside of Google. Since all of our websites are general search engine optimized, that means any search engine can find your normal website, meaning Bing, Yahoo, Lycos, Ask, and all other search engines can and will index this site appropriately. Using just the Google-centric website might mean you’re…

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Brand Reputation: When to Throw Shade

Posted by on March 5th, 2018

One thing small businesses struggle most with is brand reputation. Specifically, bad reviews. One bad review can really do a number on your reputation across the internet, depending on what it says and how it was received. While we do have guidelines on what to do with bad reviews and how to best handle them, we always advise our clients to let us respond rather than have the client respond themselves. Recently we had a couple of clients who did come down with bad response/bad review syndrome. The first case was a bad review that our client wanted to respond to themselves. While this is fine and we like when businesses can take control of their online presence, we often hope for the best, and not the best always comes out of it. In this particular instance, our client had taken some time to respond after telling us not to respond. Our client then sent in a response that gave us some insight into what had actually happened (as there are two sides to every story, and two sides to every bad review as well), but unfortunately felt a bit accusatory. While we did end up revising this review response for the client, we did have a discussion with the client as well in regards to how this can better be resolved in the future. We explained how we can best serve the client and the client’s reputation as a business and brand by following the steps of our review response funnel….

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What is Waze and how can I add my business to it?

Posted by on September 16th, 2017

You may or may not have heard of Waze. Waze is a map program that allows users to do a variety of things that your GPS may not currently do. For example, users can report roadblocks, police, and more. In theory it sounds pretty neat, but because it has limited usage and availability, it can be hard to find places on Waze, and some people who use it may have trouble finding your business. If you’re interested in listing your business on Waze, you will need to do a few things. Download the free Waze app on your Apple or Android device Sign up for a Waze account Be near your business physically (you must be within 1 mile to list it) Ready to add your business? Let’s get started. Assuming you’ve already made your account on Waze, the first thing you’ll have to do is locate your business on Waze. This means you’ll have to be physically near your business (with the location services turned on inside your phone settings). Press the pin button in the lower right hand corner of your screen where you are physically. This will bring up the options. You’ll want to tap “place”. Waze will then require that you take a photo of your storefront. Make sure you do this during a well lit day because this will be the face of your place listing! Once you take a photo of your business and tap the >> button, you can start adding information. In some…

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My business got a bad review – now what?

Posted by on September 12th, 2017

The more I work with clients online the more I realize that not a single business is immune from bad reviews online. Getting a bad review can certainly feel like the end of the world, especially if you’re a reputable business trying to keep up a good reputation online and you don’t have a whole lot of reviews to begin with. The good news is it’s not the end of the world — and often times not the end of your business, either — and handling a bad review in the right way can be super important. Step 1: Don’t freak A bad review can happen for lots of reasons. Maybe you had an off day, or there was a miscommunication between your business or someone in your business and your client. Maybe they were generally dissatisfied with the work done. Sometimes there are even just “bad” people who are unhappy no matter what you may do or say to resolve an issue. As a business, we need to take them all. Bad reviews can be looked at as showing that your business is genuine, existing, and operating. Step 2: Don’t try to get it removed Most places that invite reviews do not let you remove or hide bad reviews just because you want to. Showing a non-biased view of your business is important for customers to make an informed decision. Yelp and Google will not allow you to remove bad reviews just because they’re bad and you think it…

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How To: Create a LinkedIN Company Page

Posted by on February 7th, 2017

What is LinkedIN? LinkedIN is a professional social media networking platform designed for industry professionals to post and build a “resume” type profile to be accessed by others on the same platform. What is a LinkedIN Company Page? A LinkedIN company page is a lot like a Facebook page. It operates a place that you can post as your business and promote inside of your business. People can follow that business and stay up to date with your posts. However, unlike Facebook, you can put in LinkedIN company pages: – Career and employment opportunities – Detailed company information – The ability to link your employees together and establish a hierarchy How do I do it? Step 1: Go to LinkedIn.com and log in. You will need to be logged in to a personal profile in order to take control of and create a company page. Step 2: Go to “Interests” and click on “Companies” Step 3: Click “Create” in the “Create a Company” page on the right hand box. Step 4: Fill in the information. Make sure to check the “I verify that I am the official representative of this company and have the right to act on behalf of my company in the creation of this page.” box. Press “Continue”. Step 5: Fill in the rest of your information for your company. If you don’t know some of it, you can always change it later. In this step, make sure you designate administrators if you will not be the…

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