What Exactly is a Google My Business Account?

Several pushpins on a road-map of a tourist
Get on the map with your Google My Business account.

If you have been using Google Places or Google+, Google has a new property call Google My Business that you need to be looking at and migrating to.

First notice that even if you have been posting on Google+ pages you may not have a Google My Business site. For that matter if you’ve had a Google Places or Google Maps page, you may still need to re-verify to migrate that page to Google My Business.

Here’s what I’ve found out. I have a number of Google+ pages that I routinely post to as well as a personal Google+ page. I even had one Google Places page. When I set up my own Google My Business page, it was a different URL than any of them. Sigh… that means I had to start all over in building a fan base as any of my existing pages did not migrate into the new Google My Business page.

The Google My Business pages even look different. You’ll know you have one if over the cover image you see things like your office hours, your address, and website URL. You can see the cover image of my own in this post and view my site online.

Google is really pushing the Google My Business pages. My Google AdWords account rep even told me this past week that Google AdWords will be doing away with the ability to add business addresses manually in AdWords and using only the Google My Business  page for locations in the near future. This means that it is time to get going on embracing this new Google product.

Personally I hate that the migration did not allow me to pick up one of my existing pages about my business that had a nice number of followers, but this is Google, it is their way all the way.

So, better get prepared for the future, as it is clear that Google will want to only deliver Google Maps and Google organic results pointing to a verified Google My Business page in the very near future.


Google My Business Can Bring You New Local Clients

Image of a Google Maps exposure on Google.com.
Image of a Google My Business exposure on Google.com.

Yes I know, Google My Business is tied to a Google+ Page and no one seems to like Google+, but I have to say that there is a place for Google My Business and the reviews that are done there.

I recently moved to the Fredericksburg area which is in central Virginia. I need all new doctors, a new beauty salon, a new dentist – well new everything! How have I, an experience web marketer found new businesses to trade with and doctors to go to? From Google My Business!

As Google showcases Google My Business listings in the search results preferentially and returns them based on your own location, the results are catered to you personally. Click a result and you do not go to a website, but rather a larger map view with all local listings at the side and a plethora of reviews.

Which listings did I take time to review – those with reviews. Who did I not even bother to look at – anyone with no reviews or those with poor reviews and a low number of stars.

I never even went to any websites but the last two selections I made and then to only get the phone number and check out the faces of people who I would be trading with.

That’s the new way Google is forcing us to use their search engine. Clicking into a business website is secondary to getting the information you need fast right from Google AND this is where the Google My Business page is so important, as this is now the landing page before a client even gets to your website.

If you are smart and work the Google system, you will start now by setting up your Google My Business page and then aggressively working to add reviews to that page. Remember, Google is wanting people to stay on THEIR site to serve ads and to not even need to click into your website for information.

If you need savvy solutions to help with your website visibility visit us at McCordWeb.com – there’s no SEO “snake oil” here!


VPN’s for Smartphone Protection

My bank's been hacked! How Could that Be?
My bank’s been hacked! How Could that Be?

If you are like me, you use your smartphone as an extension of your business. From banking to email to social media to entertainment, my smartphone allows me to work from almost anywhere. But just how secure can that be?

It turns out that if you connect to Wi-Fi at stores, Starbucks, and even the grocery store you may be putting your personal information and even credit card and banking information at risk. Connect to your bank while piggybacking on free Wi-Fi and you may be letting hackers into your accounts.

This is where a private encrypted virtual network can solve the security problem, especially in airports or while on travel.

I have tested a number of applications this month and NordVPN has been my winner. First I am not being paid for this blog post or given free service for my review. I did test Norton Wi-Fi Security, ViperVPN and NordVPN

Here’s why NordVPN gets my vote:

First, it is super easy. To be protected, I click one button in the app. If I want I can select my server location. So if I am in India, I can appear to be located in the US. But, I don’t have to do that if I don’t want. I did not have to use any complicated settings as I did on the other apps.

Second, it works! I connected at Giant Grocery Stores, Target, my home Wi-Fi, and even secured login Wi-Fi and wide open Wi-Fi. I had trouble with the Norton app connecting anywhere but home. With ViperVPN they have your free trial so limited that you cannot even test could you connect where you wanted. NordVPN on the other hand gave me a free three day trial no strings attached.

As I will be using this app to be secure for my business when I travel, ease of us and consistency was really important for me. I am no techie and don’t want to learn about TCP and packets, I just want to be secure. NordVPN makes is super easy. I can easily see I am connected, I get connected fast, and I can see the key in my top menu to know I am encrypted on Wi-Fi or using data.

Not important to me but may be important to you is the low price. I am paying $8 a month on a month to month basis, but could pay about $6.58 or so a month if I paid for the year in advance.

With my bank account having been hacked and the hackers knowing my online user name, password, and PIN you just cannot be too safe when it comes to your smartphone and any banking information.

Try it out yourself by visiting NordVPN. You’ll have to ask customer support by email for the three day trial. Set up your account, but don’t pay and give them your email to get your trial.


Who Should Use Bing Ads?

Nancy McCord is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional
Nancy McCord is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional

As a Google Partner and AdWords Certified Professional as well as a Bing Ads Accredited Professional and Bing Ads Certified Company I know pay per click. So who will be successful using Bing Ads?

In my experience, not every business will be successful using Bing Ads. Here are the industry sectors that I have managed on Bing Ads and their success or lack there of.

Lawyers – no, not successful on Bing Ads
We’ve done three lawyers and none have had good results on Bing.

eCommerce – yes, successful on Bing Ads
Several clients have been very successful on Bing Ads. We’ve found that relatively inexpensive merchandise and health and beauty products do well on Bing Ads.

High End Business Software – no, not success on Bing Ads
We’ve found that typically for high end products and that includes services and software that Bing Ads is not the best match. I am sure that it has to do with the demographics of the users. Stick with Google AdWords. If you want to test Bing Ads for market saturation plan on branding and recognition only. I just have not seen strong conversion traffic in these sectors on Bing Ads.

Industrial Equipment – mixed, some good some not so good
It depends on the industry, I’ve seen both warehouse and aviation have some success, but not to the degree that these same accounts have on AdWords.

Medical Professional – yes, good success on Bing Ads
Both doctors and medical facilities I have worked with have been very successful on Bing Ads. For these market areas, expanding exposure from AdWords to Bing Ads is a good match. In many cases we are getting nearly the same conversion results as we do on AdWords.

If you need help with your AdWords strategy, I am here to help. Give me a call today at 540-693-0385 to chat about our services and how I can help you get more from pay per click today.


Just Nancy – The Trouble with Travel

Nancy McCord
“Just Nancy” – My Point of View for Today.

Recently my husband had his identity stolen and I had my checking account hacked. As a result we are both now super careful and security conscious to the Nth degree. As we are getting ready to travel in September out of the country and I need to continue to stay in touch with customers, I had done massive research on how to stay connected and still keep my data and communications safe.

Here are the things that I have learned as I am preparing for my trip that I thought I would share with you.

• For any kind of banking set up two step verification or biometric recognition access. Plan on only accessing your banking on an emergency basis or not at all.

• For Google set up advanced verification with either two step verification or phone verification. But make sure to generate codes that will allow you to manually enter a code to get in if the text or message is not received. Google had previously locked me out of my AdWords accounts when I traveled and I am hoping that this will solve my access problem.

• Try never to use unsecured Wi-Fi on your travel. If you will need to, as I will, get a secure VPN app to allow you to connect securely. I am currently testing NordVPN and have tested Norton Wifi Privacy and ViperVPN. When I settle on one I will write a post about the app. These apps allow you to be on any Wi-Fi system and be totally encrypted and secure.

• Don’t count on river cruise or cruise ship Wi-Fi as your method to access the internet. The cruise I am going on is trying to sell an onboard internet package, but the speed is 2G. For me this is archaic and not feasible to use. The river cruise was similar. It was so excruciating to connect that I stopped trying. This time I will be having Verizon sell me a short term global internet access package for my phone and I am not even taking my laptop.

• Make sure to have backup staff to monitor email and customer accounts. Although I will try to access my email and manage client AdWords accounts with my team, I know from experience that this may simply not work based on where I am traveling. As a result I have trained staff and created backup plans on how to keep my customers happy. The takeaway is I may get online, but I should be totally prepared in case I cannot.

• Move all important things you will need while on travel to access to the cloud. Apps like GoToMyPC will be excruciatingly slow (I learned this on a previous trip abroad). So I have moved all my mail, files, and documents to cloud storage that I can access from anywhere. This includes email. I moved out of Outlook two years ago and now only use GMail and Google Drive for my work items as well as perform team collaboration there as well. I have learned that to review email on travel and then have to re review when you come home is too much work. I want all my work to be synced everywhere all the time.

When I return, I will share my experience with you on how it went this time around in regards to staying connected to work while out of the country. Alaska and Canada here I come!