Everything listed under: Online

  • Google Alerts - The Simplest Free Way To Monitor Your Business / Organization Online


  • 5 websites every small business / organization needs to be listed on

    [Pic credit: "Waterlogged phonebook." by Rich Anderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Cropped.]

    You need to be listed online.


    It doesn’t matter the size or scope of your business/organization, if you can’t be found (easily) online, you might as well be invisible to majority of people searching for what you offer.

    I’ve listed the top five websites (plus some extras) to help you reach the masses and are all pretty simple to set up and free (or have a free option).

    1. Search engines sites: listed below are the big three, but Google is a must.

    Google Places for Business
    Bing Places for Business
    Yahoo Local Listing

    2. Facebook Business: one billion users, half of those people use it everyday. Not to mention, Facebook is on 75% of all smart phones.

    3. Yelp: this site is the go to for millions people looking for reviews and recommendations. If you don’t list your business/organization, someone else might.

    4. Foursquare: like Yelp, it lists comments and feedback, but also encourages connections by having customers check in.

    5. Directories: even though the phone book has gone the way of the dinosaurs, online listings are still a good place for people to find you. Choose one or two (or all) of the directories below to improve your chances of being found. (Be advised, these companies have a reputation of contacting you to upsell you advertising.)

    Yellow Pages
    White Pages

    One other thing you might take into consideration: create a simple website. You don’t need anything too fancy, but it should look nice and include your basic (up-to-date) info. Send me an email if you need help setting any of this up.

  • People may think your business is a porn shop

    I was new to the Boise area when my beagle developed a cough -- so I did what any normal person would -- I typed “vet” in the search bar on Google Maps and went looking for help. I started with the locations nearest to me and found a couple of excellently reviewed clinics.

    Then I got the “XXX Vet Clinic”.

    Now, it’s not what you think (I’ll let your imagination go wild) -- it was a hijacked Google Maps account leading to a porn site instead of the small business’ homepage (which I’m assuming they didn’t have).

    This is more common than you may think. With approximately one billion searches a day, Google maps is one of the most used websites in the world and an attractive target to hackers. All it takes is for your business not to be claimed and for someone (occasionally with good intentions) to go in and change your hours, leave a negative review, or even close your location.

    Kevin Poulsen wrote a telling article for Wired.com about a business owner suing Google over having his business listing be hacked. His words of warning: “...if you ignore your Google Maps listing, you’re inviting trouble.”

    Don’t be the next XXX Vet Clinic.

    You can set this up yourself: www.google.com/business. Or you can contact me. I'd be happy to help.

  • 53% Of Internet Searches Are Locally Motivated

    If you're reading this, I am assuming you're not one of the many business who still think it's O.K. to ignore the internet. If you are (or aren't), check this out: Microsoft said that 53% of searches in Bing (their search engine) have local intent. And Google said their figure is 33%. Either way, a ton of people may be trying to find you.

    With that said, here's a tiny checklist of what you need to have up-to-date this coming year to be found online:

    1. Current / Updated Website: Most of the search engines give special attention to websites that have fresh content. This can be done by blogging, linking up with social media sites, or by simply making sure everything is current and correct on the site.

    2. Claimed Business / Organization: There are a bunch of places where you need to mark your territory or be prepared to be overlooked. Google Maps, FourSquare, and Facebook are all major players in having people find you. I can't tell you how many business have incorrect info or are not current when being searched for.

    3. Socialized: Be available on at least one social media site, whether it be Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook -- people expect to find you there, so be there.

    By the way...if you need help, just ask. (Shameless plug, I know.)

    Here's to a super happy new year!


Online Neighborhood