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Make it easy for your customers to give Yelp and Google+ reviews

Reviews, good positive reviews are probably the most important and beneficial things you can get for your business. But how do you get them? Anyone with a complaint will eagerly leave a bad review, but getting a good one is like pulling teeth.

It’s easier with these easy-to-make review table tents and check sleeve inserts for restaurants

These table tents may help restaurants and any business that has tables where customers sit or transaction counters such as at doctors’ offices. Scanning those QR codes will land your customers right onto your Google+ page where it’s very easy to leave a review.

I’m not losing sleep over Google+ Local’s missing custom categories

Mike Blumenthal recently drew attention to the lack of category choices we’re all going to have to get used to in the new Google+ Local dashboard. Previously, we’d be able to create an additional 4 custom categories to describe our business services more accurately besides the one that Google provides. And we did so in hopes of giving us a better chance of showing up for those keywords.

This lack of choice has gotten a lot of Local SEO’s up in arms because as Mike points out:

“Categories are a critical piece of how Google determines the relevance (not rank) of a listing in local search and there are so few categories that the consumer search results will likely not show businesses that should be shown.”

Who am I to argue with “Professor Maps” as the Local SEO world affectionately calls him (and he deserves that distinction), but this just doesn’t make sense to me. I must be missing something. Isn’t that like saying Google doesn’t know what a web page is relevant for without the meta keywords tag it deprecated so long ago? If we rely on custom-made categories to group businesses into buckets, then aren’t we turning over the wheel to reckless drivers? 

Yext – Nice little local business citation insurance plan, but no Obamacare if you leave

Nyagoslav Zhekov, a well-known Local SEO in the industry, recently wrote a blog comparing manual citation building with Yext, an online service that makes the normally long tedious process of citation building short and sweet.

(Citations, in case you don’t know, are mentions of your business throughout the web that include your name, address and phone number. These usually include listings in Google+ Local, YP, Yahoo, Yelp, Manta, Bing, Foursquare, Citysearch, and other hyperlocal directories and are important for helping local business get found wherever people are looking for local businesses. They also help websites rank higher in Google.)

Since there are literally hundreds of places your business can be listed, citation building is very time consuming, so when I first heard about Yext I was thrilled. Imagine being able to create and maintain 50 of these listings from one dashboard with just one account instead of 50. Truly a time and headache saver.

But, aside from the cost, Nyagoslav drew attention to something about Yext that really ‘got my goat,” so to speak.

Why restaurants can no longer ignore getting Google + reviews

There is nothing better to push up sales than good customer reviews. But if you’re not careful, those good customer reviews can push customers right over to your competitors!

It’s true. Take a look below.

Google Carousel for restaurants

In the Google’s Carousel at the top (the black slider with thumbnails), which one would you be least likely to click?

It’s obvious isn’t it? Poor Yong Lo Garden. With no reviews, they don’t have much chance of getting business from those looking for a restaurant in Saratoga when they’re surrounded by all those 4 and 5 star restaurants.

Site audit: Helping a vacation rental company get off the PPC treadmill

The following is my gift to Kim  Kennedy of Vacation Broken Bow Lake in appreciation for her generous donation to the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Thank you Kim!

Vacation Broken Bow is coming up in the back stretch!

Good news. I’m seeing some things I did not see a couple of months ago when I first peeked at vacationbrokenbowlake.com‘s rank in Google. Back then for their main keywords, they only showed up in the PPC (pay per click) ads. Today, they are in tenth position in the organic listings (free) for “vacation rentals broken bow lake.” For “broken bow lake cabin rentals” they are in position 9. And interestingly, if you switch that around to “cabin rentals broken bow lake,” Google sees that as a local query and returns Place pages where Vacation Broken Bow is in position C and fifth on the page. Looks like the owner Kim Kennedy has been applying some of the things she’s been learning by following the SEO pros in Twitter.  Or maybe she hired out some help. Whatever the case, congratulations, Kim! Nice to see the improvement.

Site audit: How can a local limousine service get found in dozens of cities?

(And once found, how can it stand out in the crowd?)

This site audit freely given to Jen Jaciw in appreciation for your generous support of Team in Training and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and Kat & Mouse’s ride around Lake Tahoe in support of the cause. Thank you Jen!

Challenge –

Lone Star Limousine runs their business in sprawling Silicon Valley and serves more than 26 cities. How does a local business serving local clientele get found in Google for queries on all those cities for all their services and keywords? Add to that the fact that there are literally hundreds of other businesses competing for that position. And then once found, how can they be the one that gets picked.

Problem – One physical location, many locations served.

How does Google know which sites to return in local queries?

Contact Us

Kat & Mouse Co.
(408) 647-2327
1777 Hamilton Ave., Ste. 2310
San Jose, CA 95125
(Just a hop and skip away from Los Gatos,
Campbell and Cupertino)

In Santa Cruz? Call…

(831) 419-9854
We'll meet you at our Santa Cruz office, aka
"The Abbey" coffee shop on High St.

The worst day of my life is the day I told my competitor about Kat & Mouse.

D. Fulton