Why Googling yourself doesn’t reveal your SERP ranking

Posted by on February 25th, 2020

A consistent complaint we get from clients is “why am I not #1 when I search for myself on Google?” As an SEO company, it’s our duty to help our clients rank when they weren’t, and rank better than they were prior to coming aboard. However, the simple question of “why am I not #1” might seem like a simple answer (such as we aren’t doing our job), but the answer is much more complex than you might think.

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Pinball! Tracking User Eye Movement on the SERP

Posted by on December 2nd, 2019

One very interesting thing about SEO is the science that happens behind it. Whether it’s psychologically crafting content in a way that makes people click (i.e. clickbait), or it’s understanding how people navigate a page, understanding usability and the flow of any web page is important to crafting your perfect optimization approach. We were excited to read about this study by Nielsen Norman Group which tracked user eye movement on the search engine results page (SERP). A few years back, it was common to have ten blue-link results in a list. That required customers to read and examine what they were clicking. Now, especially on Google, the SERP can have all kinds of more visually appealing bits of information, such as business listings to the right, rich snippets highlighted at the top — sometimes even with pictures, or even accordion answers to questions. How can we know where a user’s eye travels, and what listing is most important to optimize for? The Pinball Pattern NNG compares the way they found a user’s eye to move about the SERP to be similar to a pinball inside of a pinball machine. That means that they found users aren’t consuming information on the SERP in a linear fashion — instead the eye can be moving left, to right, to left again, causing a “pinball pattern” effect. What’s it look like? Let’s get into the nitty gritty about what a typical SERP looks like and what the pinball pattern suggests. You will see in…

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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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Mobile-First Indexing: What You Should Know

Posted by on April 19th, 2018

By now, if you’ve spent any amount of time on the internet researching SEO and reading up on best practices, you may know that Google has begun to roll out what is known as mobile-first indexing. In this blog post, we’ll discuss mobile-first indexing, what it is, whether you should be concerned about your Google ranking being in jeopardy, and what you should look at to optimize your site.

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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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Happening Now: Google Beacon

Posted by on January 8th, 2018

Some of our clients–as well as ourselves!–have received complimentary Google Beacon devices mailed to their business address lately. If you have a Google My Business account, you may receive this device in your mail. If you have received a Google Beacon device and want to activate it, click here to skip to the instructions. What is Google Beacon and What Does it Do? Google Beacon is a new way for customers to find something that they may not normally see. It’s a small device that is either standalone or utilizes another device to work (there are different types of beacons, so we are unsure which device you may receive). They work by emitting low energy Bluetooth beacons via Eddystone. With Google Beacon, you can really pin-point your location. This is helpful if your business location is hard to find, has poor signage, or you are in a location with a lot of passing business traffic. Think of it like this — if someone is using their phone and walking through New York’s Times Square, they may not know where the best place to get a coffee might be — or if there’s anywhere nearby. With Google Beacons, they can easily see stores participating in the Google Beacon service and know where, exactly, to head to get coffee. Along with pin pointing your location, you can also send push notifications to entice users into your location. When a user enters into a specific proximity of your beacon, it may trigger an…

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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 get more reviews on Yelp and Google+

Posted by on September 6th, 2017

One question we often get asked if how to get better reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, or any other review site. The problem with “getting better reviews” is that you can’t just get 5 star reviews – you really have to earn them. Most of the time customers will not go out of their way to rate your business unless they felt they had a bad experience. Often times this means that Yelp or Google can be littered with poor reviews of a business that may not entirely be deserving of being rated 1 or 2 stars. The more people you invite to review your business, if you’ve got a really great business, then the more chances you’ll get for a 5 star review. Invite people to review your business You want people to review your business and how they felt about the services they received. Unless you’re a business where you’re expecting reviews, photos, and a lot of social media presence (i.e. an event or a restaurant would be one of these businesses), chances are most people will generally not look to go out of their way to review your business until they have a bad experience. The simplest way to mitigate this is just to ask! Ask former or current clients if they have a few moments to review your business on Yelp, Google, or elsewhere. Send them a link so they don’t have to fish through your website or the review website to look for it. Invite…

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When a Problem’s Not a Problem

Posted by on May 9th, 2012

I had the opportunity today to fix what appeared to be a big, ugly, wasteful problem in a very simple way, and I have to say: There are few better feelings in my line of work. In brief, I had a client whose Adwords data was not coming through into Analyics, leaving me and the PPC lead with no real information as to which ads were most effective. Never having encountered the issue before, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. Most of the time, this data passthrough happens fairly automatically. I’m still not totally certain why it did not do so in this case. Ultimately, what appeared to be a big nasty issue turned out to be a fairly simple process of following the (for once accurate and up to date) Google documentation on the issue, which explained the proper way to link the two accounts. Turns out this account had been set up with some old information. So what I thought was going to be a drawn out process of testing and troubleshooting turned out to be a fairly simple reset of some account linkages, and I’m about 90% certain that the issue is now resolved. There are few better feelings in this gig than the discovery of a simple solution to a problem that had several other staffers all in a twist. And while it’s in many ways more satisfying to work through a complex solution to fix a problem, there’s…

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