Responsive Web Design: How Businesses Risk Losing Customers by Ignoring Google’s Recommended Mobile Friendly Configuration

Mobile Internet users are expected to outnumber desktop users by next year. It is therefore no surprise that Google is paying close attention to this development. And so should you. Because if your website is not yet “mobile responsive,” you may be turning away prospects who browse your web pages via smartphones, tablets, or laptops. And frankly, mobile users are prospects you wouldn’t want to lose.

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Go for Mobile Responsive Web Design

Getting More Leads and Sales, Not Just Fancy Cosmetic Redesign

Implementing responsive web design means opening up your online storefront to mobile visitors, effectively increasing your chances of getting more leads and sales through your site. While it may come as a mere fancy redesign to some business owners, you should realize that this change is geared toward marketing more than cosmetics. Making the decision to have a responsive site means giving your business more opportunities to grow, especially for the long haul.

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Is Your SEO Service Provider Compliant with the Dreaded Google Penguin & Panda Updates?

Most people think of cute animals when they hear the words “Penguin” and “Panda” but for many search engine optimization service providers, these two words are to be feared. Google’s Penguin and Panda are algorithm updates that play separate roles in improving the overall experience of online users.

While algorithm updates should be primarily a concern for companies providing online marketing services, business owners who use SEO services should also know about them. That’s because if your SEO service provider happens to violate Google’s SEO guidelines, these algorithm changes will drastically affect your website’s ranking and your business will suffer the consequences. So before it’s too late, read our guide on the dreaded Google Penguin and Panda updates and what they mean to your business.

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Video for Real Estate Professionals

Video can help real estate agents and brokers gain trust and new customers, depending on how you market it.

Download this free white paper on how professional video benefits real estate agents.

Here are Sample Real Estate profile videos by our partner videographers and video producers.

30-second profile: $695

30-sec. profile: $695

Sample Custom video: ($1000+)

60-second video profile:  About $1200

That real estate salesman explains the close relationship he develops with his clients as well as the pleasure he derives from helping them. By mentioning that he is from Burnaby, he increases client confidence in his knowledge of the area.

30 sec. profile – Mortgage Broker

See our prices here

New Marketing Landscape

Welcome to the new world of online marketing. 

Effective marketing begins with not only knowing WHO is your audience, but the main MEANS by which they respond to marketing. 

Here’s a new infographic to show the 3 best marketing mediums to use today.  How is your business doing with them?

New World Marketing

by Column Five Media.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Did Google Call You to Update Your Listing?

Someone asked me, “Google phoned me with an automated message and said I needed to update my business listings – is that legit?”

The short answer is NO.

These tricksters are wanting you to THINK they are with Google.
The only automated phone call from Google I know of is when they are verifying a phone number that you just recently submitted to them online for your Google Maps or Google My Business listing, and requested a verification PIN.

Whenever somebody phones you offering any SEO services, or anything to do with your listings or ranking in Google, you need to first find out if they are honest and actually care about your business. Ask them questions.

I got that automated message several days in a row. Here’s how it went.
Phone rings.
Me: I answer, “Hello, Found Online Solutions, … (& realize it’s an automated message – so I listen.)
Caller: “Our records show that you have not updated your Google listings” “To update them now, press 1. To be removed from this call list, press 2” (something like that).
Me: I press “1” so I can find out if they are legit.
Caller: The tone switches over like transferring to a person. “Hello, this is Mike. Who am I speaking with?”
Me: “Duane. Who am I dealing with? Which company are you with?”
Caller: “Didn’t you hear the recording” (Note: not only avoids answering & tries to make like my question is dumb, but the ONLY mention of a company in the short message was Google, therefore his INTENTION was that I assume he is with Google withOUT him having to specifically claim it – a pre-thought-out legal loophole so he could say, “I never claimed I was with Google”).
Me: “Yes, but I want to know what company you are with and what’s your website”
Caller: “What are you doing, a research project or something? I’m the one calling you and asking questions.”
Me: “Well, it’s reasonable I should know who I’m dealing with before continuing”
Caller: (obviously annoyed) – “Have a nice day” (hangs up).

As far as the services they may or may not perform for my listings – I can’t say if they are scammers or not – but if they operate this way right up front – what kind of services will they be? Their “intention to deceive” is right at the beginning with their very identity.
See more I wrote about SEO scams and ripoffs.

However, I fell sorry the many that are falling for their very short sneaky phone message thinking they are Google. I’d love to hear if anybody has actually received any services from them. I didn’t get far enough to test it. I should have kept letting on that I thought they were Google and see what they offered me! (but then I guess I would be deceiving?)  Since posting this, some told me they give them a few hundred $, but saw not changes – either in their listing or their rankings.  Another told me the message is changing, causing a false alarm that they are “about to lose their listing”.  This is not normally true.

What about the “no call list”?

A word about “no call list”. If you are a business, you cannot be on a no-call list. If you are working at home, but you ever gave your phone number as your business number, then people are calling you as a business, not home. Also, companies phoning from overseas pay no attention to home-number no-call lists anyway – and nobody can do anything about it.

I get sick of those calling “about your computer. it’s not secure” stuff (who used to make you think they were with Microsoft), so after being interupted so many times and telling them to remove me, I finally said, “Look, I’ve told you to remove my number 3 times – please delete it now while we speak. Go into your database and remove my number. (pause, or he keeps trying to speak) Have you done it yet? (keeps trying to talk). Is it done yet? I hope so. (I hang up). I know it’s not very polite Canadian, but it works – they haven’t phoned me again.
They get my polite answers the first one or two times.

In summary: For any solicitation call – they’re not ALL bad – just politely ask their company name and website address. Any legitimate or non-hiding search engine marketing company will be happy to tell you.

Call us at 778-578-1202 for any legitimate help in optimizing your local business listing in Google. We are not with them, but we study their many changes, keep up to date on what they want, and make sure you do things right for best chance of being found online for your key search terms.

5 small business marketing essentials

5 Essentials of Small Business Marketing to Keep You Ahead of the Competition

Small business marketing is not for the faint of heart, but if you’ve been in marketing for longer than two seconds, you know that. Marketing your business is dependent on doing some key factors well and these items can make or break a small business in this dog eat dog world we live in. Competition is fierce and learning how to make the most from your web pages is tricky.

Here are five important actions to keep you ahead of the competition!

  1. Create a Marketing Plan – Don’t leave anything to chance. Construct a well-thought out, concise plan that maps out every one of your marketing elements along with what you need to do to make it work. Make it as detailed as possible. At the very least fill in the broad strokes.  But don’t just plan blindly, base it on research.  How do customers typically find and choose a business like yours?  No point planning a direct mail campaign if most of your audience prefers to look online
  2. Social Media Marketing – 91 percent of experiences social marketers generate improved website traffic and 79 percent generate more quality leads according to How do they do this? They don’t waste time with their social media marketing. Map out a plan for social media an stick to it.
  3. Build a Mailing List – reported emails averages a ROI (return on investment) of $40 for every $1 spent. This far exceeds keyword ads ($17) and banner ads ($2). Don’t be misled into thinking collecting and building an email list is dead. If you don’t build a list, you’re failing to build your business!  You just cannot afford to leave such a large source of potential profits for your competition.  Build an email list above all things – it’s worth gold.
  4. Video Marketing – Research shows a video is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google than any other text page! This really is too good to pass up. Small businesses can engage in this by video marketing. The video market is still relatively untapped and having a simple video advertising your wares can gain you loads of Google traffic along with authority.
  5. Have a Mobile Presence – Ensure your site is optimized for mobile, as more than half of all searches now are emanating from some type of mobile device. Microsoft reports that mobile browsing is projected to overtake desktop browsing by 2014. Having your pages mobile optimized can help improve your reach, and also corral impulse buyers.

Don’t Be a Superhero and Do It Alone!

None of us can do it all, particularly when it comes to the constantly changing world of online marketing. Find out what’s working now, learn from the best you can afford, and hire the best outsourcing you can get. It will pay off handsomely in the end!

Getting Started with SEO

Some ask me how to do SEO themselves and where to learn SEO online.

Of course, you can do it yourself – just like almost any profession out there. You can even be your own lawyer in court if you want to – there’s nobody saying you HAVE to pay an expert $400/hour to use their knowledge for much better chance of success – but most people don’t.

I’m not saying search engine optimization is that complicated, but most professionals that know what they’re doing, only know that from thousands, I mean 1,000’s of hours beyond the basics of SEO, of reading all the latest Google updates, experiences of others, experimenting and testing themselves, learning from past mistakes by self and others, spending lots of dollars on tools and tips.

Of course, you can do all that yourself to reach where other professionals are at.
Why not?  Start today.
Here are the best online resources to start your learning: (I will be gradually adding to this list).

  1. Download and read the latest from Google’s own starter guide on search engine optimization, which includes Mobile sites.
  2. Follow this mini SEO course on searchengineland.
  3. Be sure you are a member of LinkedIn, and join some of their industry Groups, like SEOMoz, and SearchEngineLand.
  4. Bookmark those two sites.  SEOMoz and SearchEngineLand.
  5. Download a handy free SEO tool for Firefox plugin here:  SEObook
  6. Get started with free software to research keywords, track your ranking, etc.  Google Analytics and Search Engine Console hooked up to your site is a must to track – but it can get complicated.  Good data in an easy-to-read and follow format isn’t free anymore, so the only real valuable search intelligence tools are paid subscriptions like SEMRush or ProRankTracker.
  7. For local businesses that need to show up in Google Maps better, learn how to optimize your Google My Business listing for best visibility with this constantly updated GMB tutorial.  It’s a thorough step by step course, so it’s not free – but it’s valuable practical knowledge.

More coming.  Stay tuned.

Of course, getting your website optimized for search and getting found in Google can be boring, tedious work for most business owners just trying to keep on top of their day to day business activities.  It’s not a typically enjoyable activity for the extrovert or person not wanting to go through a whole new learning curve.

Let Found Online Solutions do it for your.  We will.

  • get your local business found in the Google Maps 3-pack in most cases for various search terms
  • get your local or national website discovered on the first page of Google for your targeted terms.
  • help you build and keep tabs on your online reviews and reputation.

Book an appointment today with Duane- I’m sure you will learn something. I’d love to get to know your business and do a visual audit of your web presence and where it can improve to reach your goals.

Places to +1 Local Transition Updates

It’s Aug.20, 2012 and Google is still in transition from their “Places” to Google+ Local listings

I know they are making things very confusing for local businesses right now, and they will still take more time to settle into their new system.

These questions arise all the time.

  • After I verify my business, where do I edit it – the Places page, or in Google+ Local page?
  • What do I do if I’m a service area type business and not storefront type?
  • I was a service area business in Google places, but now I’m not visible in the new Google+ Local – what happened?
  • I verified my business, but now I’m waiting – it’s been weeks and it’s still “pending”.

They’ve now finally posted some updates and a FAQ on this site.

If you received our guide for setting up Google local listings, then you need to keep in mind these updates and constant changes.  The core of setting it up Places is the same, it’s just after you’ve done it where it get’s trickier.

We service-area type businesses that go TO our customers are still left hanging in the transition.  It seems neither big govt. nor big Google still see the importance of our type of business in the economy.  We’re always the last ones or ignored.  Here in Surrey, BC – small home-based businesses make up over 40% of all businesses in Surrey (most of these are service type).  Many of these provide jobs or contract work to others.  Though small individually, collectively we make a huge contribution to the economy.

Come on, guys.  Treat us small service businesses like any other business and equally important!

So, currently, where you EDIT your business listing depends on how new it is, whether it’s brick & mortar, and whether it’s been verified or not.

Those of you who are my Google Places optimization service clients, please be patient as well – we cannot control Google and their many changes – we just have to keep up to date with them and adjust accordingly.