Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Go Local Online
143 followers -
Helping Local Businesses Go Online - Around the Globe!
Helping Local Businesses Go Online - Around the Globe!

143 followers
About
Go Local Online's posts

Post is pinned.Post has attachment
GLO Insights: GMB Listing Done … Now What ? ... Part 1 of 4
 
Google’s Get Your Business Online (GYBO)/"Let's Put Cities on the Map" program (along with Google Partners) is helping put cities on the map but that program is only handling the Google My Business (GMB) listing … so I decided to research into this matter and share my findings.

Even though GMB listing is a huge step forward in terms of being found in “local search” but it is only one step - of many !

The operative question for SMBs (Small and Midsize/Medium Businesses) is : am I done after my GMB listing is claimed and verified?

The simple answer is no !

… and this answer is a series in itself … because just the overview requires a mini-series, such as this post and the next 3 (i.e., a 4-part mini-series). This overview outlines what constitutes a proper and complete local listing or “what is done beyond GMB.”

Before considering the listing work, it’s important to mention two crucial and foundation level activities, i.e., digital audit and some understanding of local search ranking factors (including the implications of semantic search).

A. DIGITAL AUDIT

A digital audit shows the current state of affairs for the SMB’s “web presence” - examples are : does it have a website, if yes is it mobile friendly, does it have a GMB listing, how many “places on the web” does a listing exist? are they accurate and consistent everywhere - is the Name, Address, Phone (NAP) and business category correct?? is the business represented in review sites? are these the best review sites for the business? are all these "listings" in various "places" “owned (claimed)” by the business? … what social channels, if any, does it have, what shows up for the business in searches general category or by-name, on various devices), ... is the business listed in its "niche" related sites (e.g., nolo.com or findlaw.com for lawyers)? ... the list goes on ....

Additionally such an audit will also reveal (or confirm) some basic information about the business i.e., “what it is” (e.g., restaurant, pizza delivery, takeout), it’s actual name, official address, phone number(s), etc. Gathering all the audit results and the basic information is extremely valuable for any SMB going forward on its “digital journey.”

Audits can be "quick" or "in-depth."

Ideally a digital audit should precede any such “listing activity” so a clear roadmap of “what’s to be done” is known, upfront … vs doing the work “piecemeal” …

For some reason, it appears that digital audit is not an “accepted norm” prior to “getting cities on the map” … so for now we'll leave the audit matter aside … but another post on audit will be forthcoming in this series.

In my view, a digital audit is a crucial “1st step” investment for any SMB if they want to “clean up” and take control of their web presence - i.e., know what needs to be done. It is also essential for a "local search" service provider because it helps create what they have to "deliver."

As a point of reference, a quick digital audit can be done in 15 minutes to an hour, an in-depth one can take longer but is still well worth it! 

Lots of good posts have been written on audit - here's one from Moz: How to Perform the Ultimate Local SEO Audit : https://goo.gl/nM4dTu


B. LOCAL SEARCH RANKING FACTORS

What are the factors that determine the ranking of an SMB in the local search?
 
This is yet another complex arena where digesting what the experts are publishing can be a challenge for an SMB … there are a total of 106 factors that have been distilled down to 50 or 30 most important ones, depending on the focus.

Discussing these factors (and the resulting actions) is also a series in itself … so for simplification .... let’s extract some key "general" factors for the purposes of this post:
➢➢ GMB/other-similar listing - accounts for 5 factors : 5, 14, 20, 25, 27
➢➢ citations (& aggregators) - accounts for 6 factors : 2, 4,10, 11, 15, 16
➢➢ reviews - accounts for 5 factors : 9, 18, 19, 22, 23
➢➢ locally optimized website - accounts for 11 factors : 1, 3, 6, 7, 12, 13, 21, 24, 28-30

These 4 “general” factors have been derived from, and are a very broad classification of, the Top 30 Difference-Making Factors in Competitive Markets identified by Moz in their most recent, 2014 local search ranking factors survey ( https://goo.gl/X2ZgnX ). For example the above citations "general" factor is a loose aggregation of six citation specific factors from the survey.

It is worth noting that an Individually Owner-verified My Business Page is # 20 out of 30. ... so a GMB listing is no silver bullet or an "end all."

Also, the above factors show that citations are very important for ranking - 3 of the top 10 factors are related with citations! ... so citations can not be ignored.

The locally optimized website is a large topic and is yet another series. This is not the focus of this 4-part mini-series but, suffice to say that this website optimization is essential (covers 11 factors with 4 from the top 10!) and must be done to ensure "best/better" results.

SEMANTIC WEB/SEARCH IMPLICATIONS

"... Rankings are important, but discovery, trust and authority is what will pay the bills. ..." (excerpted from "Why Trust and Authority Is The Ticket To Brand Visibility In Google Search" - David Amerland's interview by Darren DeMatas - https://goo.gl/DtmgGv )

Even though the "ranking motivated" actions for a "complete" listing are essential, in today's semantic web (as David Amerland mentions) it is even more important to build trust and authority (i.e., in the SMBs particular arena) .... why? ... because that will impact the search visibility the most, particularly as more time passes.

The building of trust and authority is yet another large subject - that is a series in itself - and is not the focus of this overview mini-series. Suffice to say here that it is part of socialization, which will be covered in Part 4 (of this mini-series - see #5. below).

Also worth noting - both ranking and building trust/authority are important ... and both need to be handled - more on this in Part 4.

==== ==== ==== ====

So, .... what is the foundation work for a “proper and complete local listing” (i.e., “beyond GMB”) ? …. excluding the “locally optimized website” component.

Let's take a look at what needs to be done (with some rationale) vs the detailed how or the mechanics (e.g., how to list on bing or Apple Maps etc.).

➢➢ 1. Other (non-Google) search listings : Bing and Yahoo
➢➢ 2. Data Aggregators and Citations
➢➢ 3. Review sites and Reviews
➢➢ 4. And then ... what about Apple Maps?

When the above four "steps" are done then the foundation is largely created for “local listing” ( and this foundation will be complete when the "locally focused website" part is done ) …. but ... one can not stop here either …. because … there is … ongoing work ... due to the ever evolving nature of "local search" ... and let's not forget the impact of semantic search.

➢➢ 5. Ongoing Management of these properties, particularly "Platform" Changes and Socialization
➢➢ 6. Finally … keeping up with the broad implications of this ever changing “local search” landscape (beyond #5) 

We will take a brief look at each of the above six - again from an overview perspective in subsequent posts of this mini-series : numbers 1 & 2 in Part 2, ... 3 & 4 in Part 3 ... and 5 & 6 in Part 4.

==== ==== ==== ====

Post authored by +Sanjiv Manifest  for +Go Local Online 

==== ==== ==== ====
Image: by +Sanjiv Manifest    ... Background grey world map image is Map of the World, by Woodpuncher, ( https://goo.gl/11RRFy ), CC0 Public Domain ( https://goo.gl/WNCmZn ), and GLO Logo is by +Cherie Manifest  and +Sanjiv Manifest     ... The composite image designed using  +Canva 

#GoLocalOnline     #OnTheMap #GoogleMyBusiness #GYBO #GLOInsights #GMBListing   
Photo

Post has attachment
GLO Insights: The Importance of Reviews ...

Reviews in the context of “going local online” is a large topic and is a series in itself … this post’s focus is only the statistical basis for why reviews are important for local businesses.

Assertion : Increasingly reviews help consumers assess a local business, determine its trustworthiness, and influence their {purchase} action ...

1. Since 2011, Bright Local (www.brightlocal.com) has been conducting a “Local Consumer Review” - a “study into consumer usage and attitudes toward online reviews,” primarily for USA consumers (typically the results are published in July) … let’s take a look at the last two years:

”88% have read reviews to determine the quality of a local business (vs. 85% in 2013)”
”72% say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more (vs. 73% in 2013)”
”88% trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (vs. 79% in 2013)”

”92% of users will use a local business if it has a 4 star rating”
”72% of consumers will take action after reading a positive review”

The Bright Local data is excerpted from +Myles Anderson’s posts on 1) +Search Engine Land ( http://goo.gl/g109NB ) and 2) Bright Local ( http://goo.gl/SslW4d )

==== ==== ==== ====

2. Google’s study with Consumer Barometer spanned multiple countries and demographics over Jan-Mar 2014 and Jan-Mar 2015 and it found that when searching for local information (for USA) .. on average:

”... 27% consumers are looking for reviews and recommendations…” ( https://goo.gl/QdoVLd )
”... 24% looked for opinions, reviews, advice online to help make their purchase decision…” ( https://goo.gl/bFSpne )

==== ==== ==== ====

3. The 2014 Google/Ipsos survey ( https://goo.gl/Pm8DdQ ) analysed consumer behavior and found that when viewing complete listings:

”... 83% {said} reviews or ratings stand out…”
”... 87% {said} positive reviews or ratings would have a  positive impact on their likelihood to use the business…”
”... 80% {said} links to positive reviews or ratings would have a  positive impact on their likelihood to use the business…”
”... 56% {said} option to write a review would have a  positive impact on their likelihood to use the business…”
”... 71% {said} seeing many positive reviews/ratings on the search engine results page would make me more comfortable using the business…”
”... 66% {said} having reviews on the search engine results page would save me time…”

==== ==== ==== ==== 

Reviews are the key influencing factor when businesses have complete listings.

Also, ... reviews help create a foundation for customer engagement and relationship cultivation.

==== ==== ==== ==== 

This is the 3rd post of the GLO Insights series (see below for series info) ...

Stay tuned for this weekly series … :-) ... weekly posting is coming soon.

==== ==== ==== ==== 

For 1st-time readers: this series intends to share some insights for small businesses by providing “easy to digest” information about "going local online" that consolidates pertinent definitions, technical details, and relevant trends/statistics. This series is primarily targeted towards the USA businesses - and the quoted data is for US markets. 

Previous post : # 2: GLO Insights: Why Businesses Need to Go Local Online? ... Search to Store Behavior ... Realize The Benefits ... : https://goo.gl/c6bNGR


==== ===== ==== ==== 

Authored by  +Sanjiv Manifest    for   +Go Local Online 

==== ===== ==== ==== 

Image: by +Sanjiv Manifest   ... Background grey world map image is Map of the World, by Woodpuncher, ( https://goo.gl/11RRFy ), CC0 Public Domain ( https://goo.gl/WNCmZn ), and GLO Logo is by +Cherie Manifest and +Sanjiv Manifest    ... The composite image designed using  +Canva 

#GoLocalOnline     #OnTheMap #GoogleMyBusiness #GYBO #GLOInsights #GMBReviews  
Photo

Post has shared content
"... How to Make Your Google My Business Page Shine... "

+Mary Stovall 's post below is spot on - simple and effective ! ... any small business will benefit from her advice.

Mary's post title is most apropos .. so I've used it  AS IS :-)...

Well done Mary!

==== ==== ==== ==== =====

Posted by +Sanjiv Manifest  on behalf of +Go Local Online 
==== ==== ==== ==== =====

#GoLocalOnline #GMBTips #GoogleMyBusiness #OnTheMap   #GYBO  
How to Make Your Google My Business Page Shine
Think of your page as the landing platform where everything comes together.

First step
Create a GMB page

Next Steps: Shine up your presence

Claim ownership 
Verify your page.  Claim your personalized URL. Connect YouTube.

Business Name
Name & spelling correct?  

Address
Complete? Including suite number and postal code?

Contact Information
Telephone number & email address complete and accurate?

Hours of Operation
Take extra care to show the correct operating hours. Else the business may show up as closed.

Category
Choose the correct category for your business. Add more detail if available.

Photos
Show pictures and videos inside and out.  Add videos of special events.
Add a professional logo or a professional picture and cover photo.

People
Show who you follow and who follows you. Display communities

Story
Add a catchy tagline. Tell people who you are and what makes your business special

Links
Add website, social profiles & publications

Connect with Customers
_Follow customers. Share special offers with your customers.

More detail in the post below:

Post has attachment
GLO Insights: Why Businesses Need to Go Local Online? … Search to Store Behavior ... Realize The Benefits ...

In this 2nd post of the GLO Insights series (see bottom of post for series info), we continue to answer the above question of Why …. by considering the broader "search to store" consumer behavior - from initial interest to ultimate action and the key factors in between, i.e., trust and perception.

Note: this behavior is, and has been, further broken down into “moments or micro moments” but that is the subject of a subsequent post - the focus here is the broad behavior.

To underscore the importance of “local online,” it is worth reminding ourselves that ”... words like "near me," "closest," and "nearby" are increasingly common across the billions of queries on Google every month. More and more, people are looking for things in their vicinity…”

And, ”... Google search interest in "near me" has increased 34X since 2011 and nearly doubled since last year. The vast majority come from mobile—80%...”

So, “...consumers have heightened expectations for immediacy and relevance. They want what they want when they want it….”

Above three quotes are excerpted from : I-Want-To-Go Moments: From Search to Store, April 2015, by  +Matt Lawson   (https://goo.gl/ayvTNg ) at www.thinkwithgoogle.com

==== ==== ==== ==== ====

The broad "search to store" behavior can be characterized by : Does it have what I need (interest)?, is it dependable (trust)?, does it care about customers (perception)?, and should I go there (action)? …

Of course these questions can be addressed by reviews and/or by getting references from “trusted sources” like friends and family on social media .. but …

What if we did not have access to these other sources … OR were not interested in such input ?, i.e., a complete listing was the only basis ? .... so …

==== ==== ==== ==== ====

The assertion is: Complete listings engage interest, establish trust, create positive brand equity, and motivate action… i.e., 

1) Complete listings engage interest ... Why? … because 
”... 43% are more likely to view it as has what I need”
”... 79% are more likely to view it as a place for someone like me”
”... 51% are more likely to view it as worth reading more information about”

2) Complete listings establish trust ... Why? … because 
”... 197% are more likely to view it as a place I can depend on” 
”... 91% are more likely to view it as knows what it’s doing”
”... 201% are more likely to view it as current”
”... 215% are more likely to view it as offers the latest products or services”
”... 78% are more likely to view it as well-established”

3) Complete listings create positive brand equity (or perception) ... Why? … because 
”... 199% are more likely to view it as cares about its customers”
”... 501% are more likely to view it as well-liked”
”... 204% are more likely to view it as offers quality products or services” 
”... 94% are more likely to view it as is a reputable business”

4) Complete listings motivate action ... Why? … because 
”... 29% are more likely to visit the business  
”... 29% are more likely to consider purchasing from this business”
”... 38% are more likely to view it as a business I would visit ”

==== ===== ==== ==== 
➢➢➢➢ So, above facts provide compelling reasons for business owners to have complete listings and thereby realize the key benefits of engaging consumer interest, establishing/building trust, creating positive brand equity, and motivating action.

NEXT Up : Reviews in complete listings lead to a higher likelihood of consumers using that business ...

==== ===== ==== ==== 

For 1st-time readers: this series intends to answer the question, in the post's title, for small businesses by providing “easy to digest” information that consolidates pertinent definitions, technical details, and relevant trends/statistics. This series is primarily targeted towards the USA businesses - and the quoted data is for US markets. 

Previous post : # 1: GLO Insights: Why Businesses Need to Go Local Online? .. The Basics : https://goo.gl/X76aEu

==== ===== ==== ==== 

Authored by  +Sanjiv Manifest   for  +Go Local Online 

==== ===== ==== ==== 

Above % numbers are from a Google/IpSOS consumer behavior survey ( https://goo.gl/Pm8DdQ ) except where noted inline.

Image: by +Sanjiv Manifest  ... Background grey world map image is Map of the World, by Woodpuncher, ( https://goo.gl/11RRFy ), CC0 Public Domain ( https://goo.gl/WNCmZn ), and GLO Logo is by +Sanjiv Manifest   and +Cherie Manifest  ... The composite image designed using  +Canva 

#GoLocalOnline #OnTheMap #GoogleMyBusiness #GYBO #GLOInsights 
Photo

Post has shared content
There's a first time for everything. Especially when it comes to local businesses finding their way in establishing their online presence.

+Sheila Hensley shares her experience of dealing with a duplicate page and reaching out for help from Google's support staff. Her post resonates with many people, and is sure to  help others feel more comfortable asking for help, especially if the business owner is establishing a Google My Business Listing by themselves.

Sheila adds a bit of  advice in one of her comments, "Get a Local Consultant to guide you or establish the page for you."


Thank you +Sheila Hensley | Real Estate Success Center for your candid description of your experience. And for your humor and straight talking style of helping others through your own story.


Posted by +Cherie Manifest for the +Go Local Online Page.

#GoogleMyBusiness   #GoLocalOnline   #GoogleSearch  
[New Blog Post] Maintaining your Google My Business Listing when a duplicate page shows up.  If you have a Page, it can be difficult if something goes wrong and you don't know immediately what to do.  

When it's panic time and I needed assistance, +Google+ Support was there for me.  Plus many thanks to #PYB  *Local Consultant Course* instructors +Nick Rink and +Priya Chandra for giving me the basics to continue on and take the next step.  
#googlesupport   #GoogleMyBusiness  

Post has attachment
GLO Insights: Why Businesses Need to Go Local Online … The Basics...

This GLO Insights Series intends to answer the above question for small businesses by providing “easy to digest” information that consolidates pertinent definitions, technical details, and relevant trends/statistics This series is primarily targeted towards the USA businesses.

The Basics, is the 1st post in this series covering some definitions and key statistics  …

WHAT DOES GO LOCAL ONLINE MEAN?

Going Local Online means that the business is “known” in the Google “eco system.” … which in turn means that the right information about the business can be easily found on Google Search (particularly local search), … on Maps, and … on Google+.

The “becoming known (or Going Local Online)” is achieved by ensuring the business has a complete Google My Business (GMB) listing with accurate and verified (by Google) information … there are more details to this which will be covered in a subsequent post.

WHY ARE MAPS AND GOOGLE+ IMPORTANT?

Maps: Increasingly people are searching businesses and looking for information on the go and are more likely to visit the business right then so being found on maps is important.

The “... verified business information can appear in Maps, helping customers find directions to your business. They can also find contact info as well as ratings and reviews of your business.”

Google+: Allows business to “get close to the customer” and directly engage by “sharing news and other content, responding to feedback,” and even face-to-face engagement … thus building a deeper (and potentially lasting) relationship. 

G+ is also a platform for customers to directly engage with the business e.g, leave reviews, comment on whatever the business has posted, and more. The business can showcase its products/services through photos and videos …. there is lot more to this which will be covered in a subsequent post ...

IMPORTANT NOTE: +Google+  is undergoing changes and more will be known about this in August so this aspect of Google+ and "Going Local Online" will be covered subsequently - in a separate post.

Also, the Google+ reference here is part of the broader objective of building relationship with customers, which is done using all (or the pertinent) social media platforms, e.g., facebook, twitter, etc. ... more on this topic in a subsequent post ...

==== ==== ==== ==== ====

Based on Google's recent survey data, one can make the following assertions:
➢➢➢ Local businesses get more customers if they are findable.
➢➢➢ Online presence helps businesses grow.
➢➢➢ Map sites/apps are very helpful to consumers, helps save time and prompt in store visits.
➢➢➢ Incomplete or incorrect listings drive consumers away.

==== ==== ==== ==== ====

Assertion 1: Local businesses get more customers if they are findable. … Why? … because:
“... 4 out of 5 people use search to find local info like business hours and directions …” and ...
”... 73% try to use a business that is closest to their location…”
”... 2 in 3 consumers looked for local business information on map sites/apps…”
”... of those looking, 90% found info on maps/apps…”


Assertion 2: Online presence helps the business grow. Why? … because:
”Businesses that are online grow 40% faster than those that aren’t. ….” (Google’s www.gybo.com)


Assertion 3: Map sites/apps are very helpful to consumers, helps save time and prompt in store visits. Why? … because:
”... 97% of those who used maps to gather information say maps helped them…”
”... 70% saved time…”
”... 41% prompted to visit a business/store in person…”


Assertion 4: Incomplete or incorrect listings drive consumers away. Why? .. because:
”... 77% would continue looking after seeing incomplete listings… ”
”... 77% would avoid a business whose listing information turned out to be incorrect… “
”... 65% would avoid a business with little to no information on the search engine results page… “

==== ==== ==== ==== ====


My next assertion: ... Complete listings (i.e., an accurate, verified GMB listing) ... engage interest, ... establish trust, ... create positive brand equity, and ... motivate action…” ...

Why? .... well, that's NEXT IN THIS SERIES … so, stay tuned ...


==== ===== ==== ==== 

Authored by +Sanjiv Manifest  for +Go Local Online 

==== ===== ==== ==== 
Above statistics (except Assertion 2 - where source is quoted inline) is excerpted from a Google/IpSOS consumer behavior survey ( https://goo.gl/Pm8DdQ  )

#GoLocalOnline   #OnTheMap #GoogleMyBusiness #GYBO #GLOInsights  
Photo

Post has shared content
Collaboration is the dominant theme in this week's +Friday Favourites.

Every week +Mick Sharpe provides a treasure trove of great advice, updates and HOA's, as well as highlighting the people that make Google+ so extraordinary, in his #WeeklyRoundUps .   

We're honored to have been mention in this week's #FridayFavourites , along with so many great examples of collaboration in his post. I/we highly recommend that you read his full post and take the time to explore all the posts and people he mentions. 

Here's what he shared about The Midweek Zap ~ Local Love HOA hosted by +Zara Altair - Actation Now! with Sanjiv and Tim as her featured guests:

"I love to see success stories on Google+ and one such success story is that of the #EagleCo  project. +Tim Sweeney  and +Sanjiv Manifest joined +Zara Altair  for Midweek Zap - Local Love (https://goo.gl/MYQOC9) to review the project from its birth to its evolution into +Go Local Online (GLO). 

If you’re involved in Local in any way you’ll get something from this show and great to see the team putting the experience gained to good use helping other communities boost their local online presence." ~ Mick Sharpe

Thank you +Mick Sharpe for including #GoLocalOnline  in this week's  #BitingedgeFridayFavourites !

+Debi Davis has added some very helpful  #Timestamps  to her post of the Midweek Zap - Local Love HOA :  https://goo.gl/B6tV5j 

Posted by +Cherie Manifest for +Go Local Online (GLO) 

#Collaboration   #GoogleSearch  
Never finished

I think we may have had a week without any feature retirements on Google+ (and yes I’m touching wood as I write). There was, however, a new aspect to Local Search shared by +Ana Hoffman (you know Ana always finds the good stuff). Location Aware Search is live unannounced feature in Google Search App (https://goo.gl/r1oZiR) looks at the improvements demonstrated at the SMX Conference in Paris. Smarter and smarter.

I love to see success stories on Google+ and one such success story is that of the #EagleCo project. +Tim Sweeney and +Sanjiv Manifest joined +Zara Altair for Midweek Zap - Local Love (https://goo.gl/MYQOC9) to review the project from its birth to its evolution into +Go Local Online (GLO). If you’re involved in Local in any way you’ll get something from this show and great to see the team putting the experience gained to good use helping other communities boost their local online presence.

More collaboration on the Plus with Disruption: How Successful People Use Social Media for Business (https://goo.gl/yLGl6W). +Randy Milanovic joined forces with +Gina Fiedel, +Vincent Messina, +David Kutcher, +Jodi Kaplan, +Christine DeGraff and many more to produce a practical guide to using Social Media. Yes real life examples from real people. Who knew? I believe you can still pick this up from Amazon for free today and only $3 if you miss the free window. I’m half way through and it’s well worth a read and keeping handy for future reference.

As it was promised, so was it delivered

A small business must-see as +RightStart Websites kick off their new format Small Business WebTech Show with The Basics of Using Your Website As A Business Asset (https://goo.gl/9PgVYg). +Gina Fiedel joins +Marilyn Moore and +John Moore as co-host for the series with expert advice from the Black Knight, +Ammon Johns, digital marketer +Mary Iannotti and business development expert +Mike Bayes. You’ll learn about the level of investment needed for your website to continue to grow and become more valuable. You may have been enticed by the pay monthly, easy build website services. The panel look at some of the pitfalls of this approach to your business website and it’s worth watching for this advice alone. Take the time, make the effort and get the statue to your own company right, (Good phrase, Ammon). This is definitely a watch it all show but just in case you need to dip in and out quickly Marilyn has put together the #timestamp reference post here (https://goo.gl/vyjACY)

More useful advice for small business in this week’s +Geekspeak Guides 301 redirects and 404 Errors and Forgotten Steps (https://goo.gl/CZGJCi). +Susan Finch and +Yvonne Heimann share some great tips if you want to get your hands dirty, or at least be aware of what your web developers are doing for you. Particularly valuable tip to keep old sites active (with their analytics intact) when switching domains which will allow you to catch any old links that you may have forgotten about. A lot of useful stuff packed into a little under 25 minutes.

As ever +Ronnie Bincer keeps us up to date with Hangouts. Desktop Hangout Messaging gets "Stickers" (https://goo.gl/wBGTs0) introduces us to the new sticker feature in Desktop Google Hangouts (which has been available for some time on mobile). Another example of unifying the Google experience across all devices.

I’m not sure how they manage it but +Ray Hiltz and the rest of the #RayBunch team, +B.L. Ochman, +Jessica Dewell, +Randy Bowden and +Scott Scowcroft seem to find an interesting topic every single week. This week it’s Who is the Boss of You? Self-Employment: How Hard Can It Be? (https://goo.gl/W2GK8b). Working for yourself is great, isn’t it? Well like everything, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. I think Scott highlights an important point that there is much more opportunity for the budding entrepreneur in the current, well-connected world. Some fabulous takeouts. I have to admit to using something similar to B.L.’s takeout recently to try to manage tasks more effectively. And it works!

Relationships and their dynamics are the subject of This week's PYB show! (https://goo.gl/x7kH8o) as +Travis Taylor, +martin shervington and +David Amerland discuss getting the Google+ bug, understanding intent and intention and investing the time. Welcome to the global village square! Always an interesting discussion and well worth taking in with your favourite beverage while taking a break from your other tasks.

Thinkers corner

Every now and again it serves us well to stand back a little from the rapid development of all things Internet and just see where we might need to make some adjustments. +Eli Fennell flags up the darker side of this rapid evolution in Internet Hospital Pumps: The Perfect Tool for Assassination and Medical Mayhem? (https://goo.gl/E4vEZj), a share of an article by +Maximilian Teodorescu highlighting research that reveals that Internet connected drug infusion pumps are vulnerable to hacking. As Eli points out there are some areas that are just too risky to entrust to an emerging technology. As much as I’m in favour of technological advancements I do worry about the Internet of Things. I remain quite comfortable with a kettle that I have to switch on myself and a fridge that doesn’t tell me I’m out of beer.

Thinking about a different aspect of our future +Gideon Rosenblatt gives us Meat: The Habit We Don't Want to Give Up (or Talk About) (https://goo.gl/Y2ikZ8). Looking at the latest developments that hope to reduce our demand for meat production and therefore reduce the associated environmental impacts. I applaud any effort to mitigate the problems we make for ourselves and it will be interesting to see how this develops.

And finally…

This enjoyable share from +matthew rappaport came to via +Alan Stainer and +Eli Fennell. Ackbar’s Eleven (https://goo.gl/TkfFN0) is a humorous parody of Star Wars and Ocean’s Eleven created by +SYNAPTIC STUDIOS. I think it’s a trap!


Have a great weekend wherever you are

#WeeklyRoundUp  #WeekInReview  #Google+

#BitingedgeFridayFavourites  #MicksPicks

Created by +Mick Sharpe of +Bitingedge
Photo

Post has shared content
The Midweek Zap ~ Local Love

 This week's #MWZlive 's guests were +Tim Sweeney and +Sanjiv Manifest.

They shared their reflections and insights about the #EagleCO Team's project. The collaborative tools used and tips to help local businesses get #OnTheMap . And the #GLO  Team's new venture, +Go Local Online (GLO)! with
+Zara Altair - Actation Now! 


Thank you +Zara Altair!

#GoLocalOnline   #GoogleSearch  
The power of collaboration. Using case study of the EagleCO project +Tim Sweeney  and +Sanjiv Manifest demonstrate with stories and statistics. 
The how: tools used and why.
Collaboration: what works best.

Responding Yes or Maybe will set a reminder so you can catch the replay.)

Watch live at Actation Now! http://actationnow.com/this-weeks-zap/
*Hashtag: #MWZlive * Please use for your tweets and when sharing out the show.

Like the topic? Know someone that will enjoy it? Invite your friends! 

About Tim:
Tagline
Digital Media Marketing
Introduction

Greetings!

Thanks for stopping by to check things out. Similar to many user's of G+ (and perhaps you), I'm a digital adventurer. What this means is that I'm constantly trying to keep pace with the changes in the Google ecosystem, within which G+ plays a big role. My use of G+ largely entails listening to the many people out there who know and have more experience with Google than I do. 

Ok, so what do I do with digital media and how does Google fit in? I'm a digital media generalist helping organizations and people harness it to achieve their goals and objectives, and realize their vision. Digital media being SEO, SEM, blogs/websites, social media, eCommerce, related technologies, platforms and etc... As you know, Google intertwines itself in many aspects of digital media ranging from paid advertising to social and everything in between.

In addition to what I do for others, I use Google on a multitude of levels for developing brand names, product ideas, transformed content and re-purposing products. Along with this, I've have a deep passion of start-ups and teaching others the knowledge I've gained through experience and education.

And even though I've used products such as Adwords, Analytics and worked at massaging Google search for content to be found since their inception, I still have much to learn.

When I'm not in front of a digital device, you'll find me spending time with the wife, hiking and consuming large quantities of garlic.

About Sanjiv:
Tagline
How do birds learn to fly ? ... they fall and in falling they discover wings !
Introduction
Rumi's poem {paraphrased} above says it all for me ...

Back in Nov’12, when I first updated this profile, I wrote that “I am very inspired by Google+ … I believe it's asea change for interaction on the web ... none of us can really predict how it will help re-shape our lives - but it most certainly will ... so welcome and enjoy the ride !” ...

... Approaching 3 years, I remain inspired, it has been a sea change for my interactions on the web (and likely for those who have truly used G+) … and it continues to re-shape my life - I have met, and continue to meet, fascinating people that I simply would not have, were it not for G+ ! … and these meaningful and heartfelt connections leave me eager for more and to deepen what is … and I’m certainly enjoying the ride !

And, this is still only the tip of the iceberg …

These connections have far reaching implications - both personally and professionally. G+ also helps dissolve boundaries, e.g., cultural, professional,  language … and even blurs the personal and professional boundaries.  

Social media, in general, and G+ is no exception, is flooded with all kinds of “How To” advice for Business, … and the unstated expectation is to “build” one’s business through this avenue. While that may be reasonable for many, I remain drawn to the organic unfoldment - i.e., continue to explore and engage around interests and see what emerges, e.g., as a result of an experimental G+ project, I am considering  a potential experimental commercial venture.

What can you expect in my stream ? ...  

Supporting and highlighting the “good” in humanity (so I converse about grateful living, compassion, altruism, empathy, meditation, social entrepreneurship), Rumi and other Mystical Poetry, Consciousness & Spirituality (all traditions), Quantum Physics, Self-exploration, Outer Space, Movies, Food, Shar-pei furry children, Outdoors, Photography, Psychology (Transpersonal, i.e., Stan Grof … and Jungian), Human Rights, Google+, Technology, Web Entrepreneurship, Podcasting, and of course, exploring uncharted realms ...

If you came to the show and commented in the events page, you will be put in a notification circle to be invited to future shows.
Host +Zara Altair  created *The Midweek Zap*to help you develop an online strategy that works for you and your business. You are here!
Go to Actation Now! website to view all original events plus articles to help you create and sustain your web presence.

Post has shared content
Helping local businesses to reap the benefits of being found in local search is +Go Local Online (GLO) 's main objective ...

Thanks to +Sanjiv Manifest for sharing the opportunity in going local online.

#GoLocalOnline   #LocalBusiness   #GoogleSearch  
The Opportunity in Going Local Online…

In The United States, “... 4 out of 5 people use search to find local info like business hours and directions …” and … ”... 73% try to use a business that is closest to their location…”

===>>> Local businesses get more customers if they have a local listing.

Above conclusions are from a Google/IpSOS consumer behavior survey which also claims that ”Complete listings engage interest, establish trust, create positive brand equity, and motivate action…”

Let’s take a look at the basis for each of these claims (all %s, below, are from the survey):

➢➢ 1) Engage interest because ”43% more likely to be viewed as has what I need” … and … ”79% more likely to be viewed as a place for someone like me”

➢➢ 2) Establish trust because ”197% more likely to be viewed as a place I can depend on” … and 91% more likely to be viewed as knows what it’s doing” … and ”201% more likely to be viewed as current” … and ”215% more likely to be viewed as offers the latest products or services”

➢➢ 3) Create positive brand equity because ”199% more likely to be viewed as cares about its customers” ... and ”501% more likely to be viewed as well-liked” … and ”204% more likely to be viewed as offers quality products or services” … and ”94% more likely to be viewed as is a reputable business”

➢➢ 4) Motivate action because ”29% more likely to motivate consumers to visit the business .. and ”29% more likely to motivate customers to consider purchasing from this business”

And yet, … despite these seemingly compelling reasons ... ”... only 37% of businesses have claimed a local business listing on a search engine …”

So, ... Why aren’t more local businesses “going online?”

Google’s Get Your Business Online program has been available since 2011, but the 37% figure above suggests that there is a gap between GYBO and small businesses, i.e., certain expertise and experience is required to effectively use GYBO and “get on the map.”....” which is also one of the key conclusions of the   #EagleCO   project.

Therein lies the opportunity for those who are interested in helping businesses get online.

And, that is where GLO or Go Local Online comes in...

For the   #EagleCO     team, pursuing this opportunity in various other localities (e.g., CO, NM, TN, NY) is a natural next step - whereby the key conclusions from the case study ( https://goo.gl/0amdjB ) can be applied in multiple different settings.... so Go Local Online (GLO) is the natural outgrowth of EagleCO Vail2015 ( https://goo.gl/jfxiTw ).


+Go Local Online (GLO)  members ( or TeamGLO ) will help businesses get properly listed on Google My Business (GMB) but will go beyond that by helping them manage their ongoing “life on the web,” which means managing reviews, keeping the listings fresh and appealing, and socializing on Google+ (using the listings) and other social channels (i.e., twitter, facebook, instagram, etc).

GLO, as an entity, will evolve as the various members' participation and needs evolve ... and as Google "local" evolves, ... and as ongoing results are incorporated … GLO is a "living" entity that will grow, change, and adapt over time ... and we'll share updates re our efforts on the new +Go Local Online (GLO)   G+ Page :-) … 


GLO is also an experiment but unlike EagleCO, GLO has a commercial underpinning, each member is pursuing a city (or an industry segment) “going local” as a commercial endeavor ….

Collaboration works ! ... ... it continues to be a real pleasure working with TeamGLO ... Let’s see what emerges from putting prior lessons into further actions!


==== ==== ==== ====
All quotes, above, are excerpted from GYBO (www.gybo.com) or Google/IpSOS survey ( https://goo.gl/Pm8DdQ ).

#GoLocalOnline #OnTheMap #GoogleMyBusiness #GYBO 
Photo

Post has shared content
Sheila Hensley shares the story of her personal  journey with the #EagleCO   #OnTheMap  project and the team's collaboration in this post.

We are grateful to have her on the #GoLocalOnline team and look forward to the successes that lie ahead with helping local businesses to +Go Local Online (GLO)!

Thank you for sharing your story +Sheila Hensley | Real Estate Success Center 
Go Local Online (formerly, #EagleCo   #Vail2015 )
My small part and personal experience from within this group

While progressing between Level 2 and beginning Level 3 of +Plus Your Business! Academy there was a break - about 4 weeks.  

I decided I’d asked if I could join - observe more accurately - the project leader +Debi Davis and the EagleCo Team.  They were processing their project to prove competency in order to move up to Level 4 of the Academy.  I didn’t even know the team name; didn’t care.  It was the people involved I wanted to be around and the project.  I wanted to learn all I could about what they were doing.

Their goal was to help place the city of Eagle, Colorado and it's businesses #OnTheMap during the ski championship in February 2015.  Their mission is well documented and much more complicated than this one sentence so please refer to the completed case study here.  http://goo.gl/jk9QxE

The project was four months of coordination involving several countries and time zones.  Members of the Team were diverse in location, language and culture. 

By the time I arrived, a group of talented individuals were already working in collaboration using +Google and +Google+ tools to accomplish their goals.  Hours and hours of work went into preparation, execution and weekly meetings, again using Google tools and applications - it was a well oiled machine of collaboration.  

They were exhausted. Everything was an experiment, back up and try again, ok that worked, can/should we try this . . . it was a lesson in strategy and cooperation while ideas blended and compromises were made.  Agreements reached, they’d move forward and execute.  All members contributing what they could, when they could, and no one ever complained.  

Before the project was complete, I had to leave to begin my journey through Level 3 but I watched with pride as the EagleCo Team was featured on the +Plus Your Business! Weekly Show: short clip of a PYB Show: http://goo.gl/Lzp2jd.  

I watched the interest of other PYB members swell, as well as interest outside the #PYB Community and Academy.  +Mick Sharpe featured the Team and show in his #FridayFavorites several weeks in a row. Everyone was watching.

The Team completed their task, published the case study and by all measures was a screaming success.  My opinion, I’m sticking to it, I happy with that statement.  The incomparable +Mia Voss  wound the whole thing up with the final interview of the Team in this HOA. https://youtu.be/eBUgTTzzhFs

I was extremely proud of them all but went on with my projects, working with my students and trying to get better at what I wanted to accomplish.

Then I receive a private message from +Sanjiv Manifest.  
I guessed because I was an honorary member of the team - I wondered if it was a mistake. 

It was, in fact, an invitation to continue the work, continue to learn, support each other’s individual Local Online projects in a private community dedicated to helping businesses of all sizes, all over the world get #OnTheMap .

Whaaaat!  I exclaimed inside my head!  Not to worry, I remained cool in my response to Sanjiv. Of course, I enthusiastically agreed to join them.

Go Local Online was born 
See official announcement here https://goo.gl/8itUWK 

How lucky am I?  I get to observe the work and dedication within this collaborative working environment once again.  If I simply show up and be quiet, it saves me hours of research into something I need to know.  I can simply ask “How does this work or here’s my problem; how do I fix it?”  My life working with local businesses and +Google+ Your Business Listings just got a lot easier and more efficient.  

I am most appreciative of this opportunity as I continue my studies within +Plus Your Business! for overall growth.  But this is a focused opportunity, home grown from within #PYBAcadmy and through the leadership of +Debi Davis and the Team plus the most gracious invitation of +Sanjiv Manifest, I’m here.  Thank you all.

Note:  This would never have happened without the support of the +Plus Your Business! Academy, Community and the brain child of the most amazing +martin shervington 

He did it first and shed light on the path to putting businesses on the Google Map in Merisaes Brazil in 2014, that case study is How to put a Village on the Map http://goo.gl/0u9nTv
A special thanks goes out to you big guy. (Smile)

As I continue my journey, I have so many to thank for their support. And, I’m hoping to meet many others as I grow.  

I’m confident that Go Local Online will provide mountains of experience and growth.  Again, how lucky and fortunate am I? Feeling so fortunate. 


#GoLocalOnline   #OnTheMap #PLusYouBusiness #GooglePlusTools #GooglePlusCommunities
Photo
Wait while more posts are being loaded