For many businesses, Google My Business (GMB) is the hub of their online presence. It’s where they manage their online information as it appears in Google search, maps, photos and more.
Busy, on-the-go business owners are frequently challenged to find the time to manage their Google presence.
Recently, Google launched an updated version of their Google My Business app. The new features allow small business owners to easily manage their GMB presence and engage customers from their mobile device.
Highlights on Google My Business App New Features and How You Can Use Them
The new updates to the GMB app—available for iOS and Android platforms—brings many functions of the desktop version to your mobile device.
Post Content from Your Phone
Now, you can create Google posts to your Google My Business Profile from the convenience of your phone. This includes uploading photos or creating an offer or event.
How could you use this feature? If you’re a restaurant, upload a photo of the day’s special and post a discount offer for lunch diners who order the dish. If you’re a pressure washer, announce in the morning you’re going to be in a specific neighborhood that day, make it an event and offer a special for the neighborhood.
Engage Customers Who Connect with Your Profile
Now you can be notified in real time on your mobile device if customers connect with your business, send a message, ask a question, leave a review or book a request on your GMB profile. You can easily respond to these customers almost immediately through the GMB app.
In our opinion, this is a significant feature. Customer engagement should be a high priority for any business and the ability to do so “on-the-fly” is a potential game-changer for many business owners.
Consider that when a customer reaches out to a business for information they might be in research mode—looking for information to make a purchase decision. Businesses that respond quickly are better positioned to gain that customer’s business.
Additionally, when a customer leaves a review—good or bad—your ability to respond quickly with a “thanks” or “acknowledgment to correct an issue” helps build your reputation as a trustful and honest business.
Take a Temperature of How People are Using Your GMB Profile
The GMB app provides valuable data on your online viewers. Notably, it shows how many:
- Views to your business profile
- Searches for your business
- Viewers took action from your business profile
- People requested directions to your business
- Visited your website from your business profile
- Called your business through your business profile
- Viewed photos on your profile
This can be valuable information to analyze the impact of ad campaigns, events, special offers and publicity your business receives.
Are You Utilizing Google My Business?
Surprisingly, there are a substantial amount of businesses that haven’t claimed or developed their GMB profiles.
As GMB moves beyond just a business information platform to a robust online customer relationship management tool, businesses should consider fully using the features of this free tool.
Reach Out for Help on Tasks
While Google is definitely on the path to make managing your GMB profile easier and convenient, we understand that many business owners might feel this is just another task on their plate.
That’s why we’re here.
Give Business Solutions Unlimited a call today at (904) 429-4588 and let us handle all of the marketing tasks to better positon your business.
During a networking meeting, someone expressed frustration that their Facebook ad campaign wasn’t getting the results they expected.
The Facebook ad was performing well by driving traffic to their website…but their phone wasn’t ringing.
Assuming the Facebook ad campaign was targeting the right demographics for their business, it might not be a Facebook ad issue. Instead, it might be the destination of the click—the landing page on their website.
It’s been our experience that many small businesses focus primarily on design and copy when it comes to building websites. While those are important, businesses should also consider their conversion funnel. Mainly, how to simply and quickly convert a visitor to a prospect or customer through an effective landing page.
Build Your Landing Page to Convert
Below are simple tactics you can use to help improve your landing pages to better convert visitors.
Make Sure It Loads Fast
Ad clickers are fickle. They expect an almost immediate response for their action (the click). A one-second delay can result in 11 percent fewer page views.
Site speed matters. Make sure your images are optimized. Be sure your website hosting is up to the task of delivering your site quickly.
Keep your page simple—complications can task the speed of your site.
Keep it Uncluttered, Focused and Beneficial
Speaking of simple…
Many times, I’ve clicked on an ad only to arrive at a landing page showing everything about the business (including the kitchen sink), and many times that destination is the home page.
When people click on your Facebook or Google ad, they’ve expressed an interest in your initial message. The destination page should reward that visitor by continuing just that message.
Everything on the landing page should focus on the message. Anything else is just a distraction for the visitor. A distraction is an opportunity for the visitor to leave. Keep your copy focused on message and benefit-oriented. The beneficial copy and images should help drive the visitor to an appropriate call to action.
A/B testing can show you what works and what doesn’t on your landing page.
Don’t hesitate to try new colors, images or copy. See if a different headline increases how long people stay on your page. Maybe a video will increase conversion. How does a green button work compared to the blue one? Change one element at a time on your landing page or create two landing pages and have your ad automatically split where the visitors go.
The data you gather from A/B testing will be invaluable to improving your landing page conversions.
Reach Out for Help
An effective landing page can drive the customer to your business, but it takes time to find out what an effective landing page looks like for your target market. If that’s time you don’t have, consider delegating. A Virtual Assistance Firm like Business Solutions Unlimited can provide the expertise and talent to build, test and manage your landing page.
Give us a call at (904) 429-4588 to discuss what we can do for you today.
Have you incorporated videos into your online presence yet?
If not, you’re missing out on one of the largest marketing and promotion strategies available to get the word out about your business.
According to frequently quoted stats from Hubspot, 72% of consumers prefer to use videos to learn about products and services.
Here are some additionally compelling stats about the effectiveness of videos:
- 76% of marketers say videos help them increase sales
- 47% say it helps reduce support questions
- 81% were convinced to purchase after watching a company’s video
- 85% of people surveyed say they want to see more videos from businesses
- 83% of consumers would consider sharing videos with friends
Ok, now that you’re sold on making videos for your business, where do you start?
Can’t Think of Content for Your Videos? Start with Your FAQs!
If you’ve got a list of questions and answers from customers, you’re set up with some great content to put online.
Recently, we shared how you can share your questions and answers with your Google presence.
Take that same content and create a series of brief videos—one question and answer per video. These videos don’t have to be long or elaborate. Keep them to about a minute.
Use your cell phone to video your Qs&As from your office, your store floor, maybe on a service call.
Schedule creating and posting at least one or two videos per week so as not to overwhelm your time.
Before you know it, you’ll have a wealth of valuable video content that people genuinely are interested in viewing.
Where to Put Your Videos
Of course, Youtube.
That video platform is the most powerful place to post your videos. It’s the second largest search engine in the world and should be the hub of your online video presence.
Additionally, the video network offers you a number of useful tools to analyze visitors to your content. Plus Youtube provides easy to use sharing tools that you can use to distribute your videos on different platforms.
How to Promote Your Videos
Once you’ve posted your videos on Youtube, how do you let people know about them?
Share on Social Media
Post on your social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, etc. Ask your friends, relatives, customers and clients to watch your videos and share with their online friends.
Post Links in Your Company Email
If you’re emailing your customers and lamenting about your open rates the following quote should grab your attention.
“Using the word ‘video’ in email subject lines boosts open rates 19%, click through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 25%,” according to research conducted by Brainshark, a software company.
Once a month, send out an email with links to your latest videos.
Also, invite your email audience to submit questions they might have about your products and services. That’s a great way to come up with more—and relevant—content.
Embed on Your Business Website or Blog
This is wonderful and applicable content for you to post on your website. As an added bonus, videos have been shown to help reduce the bounce rate of websites—a plus for your SEO efforts.
Don’t have time to set up a Youtube channel, upload videos or promote them? Consider using a Virtual Assistant. Business Solutions Unlimited will be happy to help you take advantage of the benefits of videos marketing.
Give us a call at (904) 429-4588 to see how we can help you.
by Christie Tostevin
As you’re probably aware, the IRS tends not to be popular with the American public.
Over the years, stories have circulated through the news media and social media about IRS harassments, unfair audits, and penalties. And when you add in the stereotypical image of an uncaring bureaucratic staff, it’s apparent the IRS has a major PR problem.
While it might not be as apparent with us taxpayers way down here in St. Augustine, Florida, those IRS folks up in Washington work for us. And we should expect good service from our employees.
That mindset led to the creation of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights in 2014. This bill of rights lists 10 guarantees and protections you—as taxpayers—should be aware of when dealing with the IRS.
Without Further Ado, Let’s Look at Your Taxpayer Bill of Rights
- The Right to Be Informed
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.
- The Right to Quality Service
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.
- The Right to Challenge IRS’s Position and Be Heard
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum
IRS Description:Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.
- The Right to Finality
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.
- The Right to Privacy
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.
- The Right to Confidentiality
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.
- The Right to Retain Representation
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System
IRS Description:Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.
Taxpayer Bill of Rights Empowers You to Demand Fair Treatment
When dealing with the IRS regarding your tax issues, it’s important to understand that these rights are recognized by the IRS—not granted by them. Meaning these are your rights by law and the IRS is obligated to follow them.
The bill of rights provides you with a bit of leverage to push back if you feel you’re being unreasonably treated.
If you ever have any questions regarding the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, give us call at (904) 429-4588. We’ll see if we can help you out or guide you in the right direction for assistance.
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” – A A Milne.
Being organized is not only an asset to our everyday life but is a vital part of running a business. Without organization, chaos can ensue and drag a business down. Did you know that when paperwork is not organized correctly it can cost a business roughly $120 in labor to track down a document and roughly $250 in labor to recreate that said document, a manager roughly loses 1 hour a day due to disorder, and the average American will spend one year searching through desk clutter?
All this time wasted due to being unorganized can cost a business a substantial amount of time and money. There are many benefits for being well organized at work and in your everyday life. Some of those benefits include: being able to focus more closely on your goals, managing your time more efficiently, using your time more economically, prioritizing your tasks and presenting and maintaining a more positive and efficient business image.
Not only does being disorganized lose your business time and money, it also creates a more hectic and stressful environment for your employees. When your employees are stressed they are unhappy, when your employees are unhappy they will take less pride in their work environment and work attitude toward your customers.
So what are some ways to help better organize your business? Ditch those paper receipts, there are some pretty handy receipt management scanners or even special apps for your smartphone that you can use to make an electronic copy of those receipts you need to keep. Stay on top of your paper files, emails, and even your social media profiles, anything that is no longer relevant to your business or is out of date get rid of. Clean your desk weekly to make sure you don’t end up with stacks of paperwork on your desk that becomes clutter. By maintaining an organized business, you are maintaining a fun and stress free environment to work in which can only be beneficial to everyone!