Google Robocalls: What To Do If You Get A Phone Call About Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

100% of these calls are a scam, and here is what you need to do… Just hang up. For no reason should you give any personal information, or hire the caller to help verify or claim your business listing. The Google listing phone call is not coming from Google. Google does not call about listings. Read on to get all the details about these scam calls, and how to actually verify and update your Google business listing. But one last time, please understand — if anyone ever says they are calling you from Google they are LYING.
Sorry to harp on that point. Even when we explain this to clients, by the end of the talk they are asking what to do the next time their “Google rep” calls. And we have to say, yet again, that person is not working for or with Google. Far too often we hear of clients who have paid to some random company a subscription for services that Google offers for free. Again, the call is Not Google. There will never be an emergency or an urgent problem with the way that search results show your business info. If you ever feel pressured when it comes to Google, it’s a sign that someone is trying to con you. With that out of the way, let’s go over all the details you need to know about the Google My Business options. Click any of the links below to jump to the most important topic for you right now. And don’t worry — this article is for small business owners. So there will be no confusing tech jargon. Just simple explanations so you can protect yourself and understand how the local search directory works.

What A Google Listing Phone Call Scam Sounds Like

It could be a robocall asking you to press 1 to verify, or press 7 to be removed from a list (you won’t actually be removed). Or it could be an actual person who is “alerting” you that you are not showing up on Google, or that there is a problem with your listing. They might even say your listing is “scheduled for deletion” or “flagged for removal”. Finally, they could offer to sell you a “lifetime Google listing at a discount”. If you do not let them bamboozle you, and you ask some pressing questions, they will usually admit they are not Google, but may say they are “working with” Google. They’re not. These calls happen so often, that the actual support team from Google had to release a public statement. They gave a list of some things that they would NEVER do:
  • they don’t charge for inclusion in Google My Business or in Google Search
  • they don’t offer to improve your search ranking or manage your business’s online profile
  • they don’t ask you for your password or for a verification code
Any pressure or scare tactics you hear over the phone are meant to confuse you into taking action before you think it through.

What To Do If You Already Got The Google Phone Call & Are Paying For Help

First, don’t worry too much. These scammers are just trying to overcharge you for a simple service you could get for free, or that you could do yourself. So the worst thing that happened is you just over-paid for the “help”. You may even be on a monthly payment plan. If you try to cancel, the phone rep could try to scare you by saying that your site will drop out of the Google search, or some other bad thing will happen. It won’t. The first thing you should do is to remove their access from your page. Go here: https://www.google.com/business/ You may already be signed in on your computer. If not, you’ll need the email tied to your Google Account, as well as the password of your Google account. Here are the instructions to remove a manager from your Google listing: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3403100?hl=en Once you have removed any control this scammer may have, you can stop paying them. If they have you on recurring billing and will not stop it, call your credit card company to explain the situation.

What Is A “Google Partner”?

To further protect you, it helps to know some terms. There is a title called “Google Partner”.
This is a third party agency or marketer that took some basic online training and got a certification from Google. All it really means is that the agency / marketer has at least an entry-level understanding of how Google services work. It does not guarantee you (the small business owner) any results. So someone might call you and offer to help you show up higher in the search results for a specific phrase, or to run pay-per-click ads for you. They might let you know they are a Google Partner. As long as they don’t claim to be working with or for Google, or promising specific results, you can just weigh their offer versus the cost like any other service. We list some red flags for scammy SEO providers here.

View All Current Scams Involving Google

Here is an official list of all the scams done in the name of Google: https://support.google.com/faqs/answer/2952493 This list is updated each time a new scam happens. The robocalls we are discussing are under the heading “Google telemarketing calls”, but it is a good idea to be familiar with all the other scams out there right now.

How To Stop Google From Calling Your Business

Lots of people ask us if they can make (Fake) Google stop calling. So is there an easy way to fight back, or at least report these scammers? It’s not really worth your time. Hanging up and ignoring them is the best option. Even when they give you the option to press a button to “be removed from the list”, they will still call back. Don’t press any buttons when prompted! But if you feel like you need to do more, here are some options: 1. Get on the Do Not Call list in Canada / USA 2. Report a violation to Google But from our experience, after simply hanging up or telling them no a few times, they seem to move on. Of course, you can also block the number from calling you. However the scammers tend to use a bunch of different phone numbers all the time, so that doesn’t always work either.

Google My Business: What Is The Cost To Add, Claim, or Verify A Listing?

Free. It costs nothing to make or modify a Google listing. It does take a little time and patience, and a bit of know-how. Some business owners would rather just pay a pro to take care of it, to save themselves the energy. Simply put, the Google My Business listing is an easy way to show up on search results, help people find you on a map, show all your contact details and hours, and feature your customer reviews. It’s very useful for mobile searches as well.

Very Important — Pass This On To Your Friends

Now you know about the Google Listing Call Scam. Please be a responsible member of your local business community, and tell other small companies about it. Share this article on your Facebook or Twitter accounts, or email a link to friends that also run a business. You could save them some money, and a whole bunch of stress and worry. Think about it — it’s impossible to follow every change in technology, especially when you are so busy. We just need to help each other and to follow clear and honest business practices. Then everybody wins. Except the scammers… but, really, maybe even them, too. They’ll be forced to get a real job.
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Incorporating User Experience into Web Design and overall SEO Strategy Part 2 | What is your website visitor interested in?

“You don’t build it for yourself. You know what the people want and you build it for them.” Walt Disney Well, so what do they want? Too often business owners and marketers will be so concerned with our desires for immediate gratification, that we forget the most important part of the user experience is to first know what the user wants to begin with.  The User’s wishes have to be fulfilled, and this can only be done by understanding what their actual wants are.

Know Your Website Users

Some sample data and use existing models to determine what the user may want for their desired field and interests.  This is a legacy method that, while it can’t be abandoned completely, has to adapt to incorporate new, and in some cases, yet to be developed methods. Using bots and spiders to pull information can give us a decent picture of the past, but little more.  Simply assuming that what has always worked will continue to without refinement is a recipe for marketing disaster.  Instead, we need to make use of the resources available to use and to constantly incorporate the ideals of “what is next” into our user engagement plan.  Sampling data, while important, will need to continue evolving to keep up with the users of today and tomorrow. Some methods include using call and data tracking methods that will replace the antiquated methods of only a few years ago.  There are voice and ad tracking software resources now that are able to determine exact ad responses, and the tracking of those ads. One might ask, “when will a data tracking software come out where the user is able to rate the ad itself?”. This may sound like an absurd question to those in legacy mentalities, but when thinking of what the user wants, there is no better place to begin.

Content That Writes Itself

In the end, the most likely reason a user will be at your site is the content they are searching for. Ensuring that you have the right content for your target market is always the starting point of a strong User Experience Web Design and Development strategy. A futuristic idea is to eventually engage with more than just dynamic content. Some sites and developers are trying to design and develop with predictively created content in mind. No, this isn’t a reference to retrieving content predictively for an individual, but to aggregated and create content customized for that individual, based on their wishes.  Many apps and sites are trying this now, but are still locked in predisposed rules, there is some traction to developing a truly customized experience with completely original and created content based solely on the user’s desires. The option of AI responsiveness is also worth mentioning since it would be the logical step forward in producing a truly responsive development.  How long something like that will take to get here is only limited to our motivation to bring it.
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How to incorporate User Experience into Web Design and overall SEO Strategy Part 1 | Empathy and SEO Keywords

First we should consider, what is the focus of the user experience? Since the user is going to define your business with their experience more than any other aspect of your marketing plan, you should first assume that the focus is to ensure that your user's experiences meet "AT LEAST" your basic expectations of your business model. This means that in every aspect of your marketing approach, your user experience should become the focus of your efforts, not just conversions and sales.   Using this definition, let’s consider how best to ensure a quality user experience from start to finish.  The user experience has to start with empathy for what the user would wish to encounter in your digital business profile.  More and more digital customers want the same effort for an experience placed into digital media as they would expect for arriving at your business in person. For too many years, the marketing method of welcoming users to a site was to simply inundate them with data and articulate information.  While both are important, the same can be garnered using a billboard.  Instead, we need to consider how to welcome them to our sites, even if we are ranking the top for a keyword. (what is the point of ranking the highest if you also have the highest bounce rate?). So, we start with empathy: Why did this customer search this term? Choosing keywords needs to be user oriented.  For too many years, marketing director and SEO gurus have chosen keywords solely based on sales and conversions with little regard to additional reasons a customer may come to their site, as a result, the market has been marginalized when it comes to keyword targeting. Users are not completely satisfied with Search Engine Results now due to the mixed bag of outcomes in the results.  Much of this is the fault of our SEO Strategies that have pushed businesses to the tops of search results by providing the best answer in text, even when they may not be the “best answer” in reality.  This has caused the modern consumer to become less and less impressed by search engine placement. Don’t get me wrong, local services and immediate need sales are still in vital need of top placement in the search engines, but the non-immediate purchases are becoming more and more thought based. Local searches for plumbers will certainly still benefit from the top listing in organic and map, but what about for their non-emergency sales?  The searching customers not requiring an impulse purchase are becoming more reliant on user investigation and “purchase assurance” than just the need to address the issue in the easiest way possible. As a society, we are becoming more diligent about the items we individually care most for, and as a result, our marketing methods have to shift to accommodate for digital narcissism. We are obsessed with the desire to garner the attention of our fellows and become recognized as individual “truth givers” and “knowledgeable people” to our fellows. People inherently work for the acceptance of others, and with the advent of the digital age, people have begun basing self-worth and assessment on how others view their ability to be knowledgeable resources of data and information.  As a result, you should start by considering what the individual will be looking for to satisfy that internal need and proceed with a marketing strategy that incorporates this knowledge. Google coined the term the “0” Moment marketing Truth, I would go to say that this is the precursor to it. Empathizing and breaking down the average user to his core understanding has to come first. Doing so allows us to choose keywords based off of what the user actually wants in the way of an experience, not just what we wish to sell them. There are many deeper aspects to this line of thought.  Next, we will discuss why finding the customer/visitors interests before they do is a vital use of this empathy and the next step in your User Experience Based marketing strategy.
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SEO Content Countermeasures Part. 2 | How Public Safety and Public Trust Are Under Attack

Last week we discussed SEO Countermeasures and Content Countermeasures that are hurting the structure and information flow of the internet; today, we will take the conversation a step further.  The lack of honesty in the reputation and information sharing services is one problem, but what happens when we ask the same questions in regard to political and legal questions. Political and Anti-Science  SEO Content Countermeasures Anyone who has a family member on the Newsmax Spam List knows all too well the problems with misinformation and dishonest content promotions.  For years, false information, fed to the masses has been the hallmark of political propaganda.  Both right and left are equally guilty of this dishonest practice, and it seems both will turn blue in the face complaining about how dishonest the other is. Pushed articles are common place for the purpose of having multiple sites replicate the same false story, over and over, and then link to each other to offer a seemingly relevant citation. Again, this requires an audience that is predisposed to believe that a specific viewpoint is possible or likely. Sites like Politifact, Snopes, Hoax-Slayer, FactChecker, and many others have become the bane of the political fringes who WANT their preconceived ideals to be realized in the most obvious of dishonest rallies. The proliferation of the political scams is two fold; the first goal being to direct public opinion by preaching to a choir, the second being to drive traffic to sites filled with products aligned with the content itself.  Many of the Natural News (and its affiliates site's) articles are solely produced to push traffic to their product affiliate sites for purchasing books or 'natural remedies".  The traffic for survivalists will take them to sites promoting solar water heaters and wood-burning stoves (sold at ridiculously expensive prices at that). The scam site method is fairly simple, it only requires having a bunch of sheep ready to repost network stories for ad and clickbaited traffic.  Often, most of the reproduction sites will be owned by the same group as the originating site. The SEO methods used by reposting false information include medical info as well. In spite of medical science, the proliferation of false claims on medical needs is growing by the day.  People, convinced in spite of science, that medical needs like vaccinations and treatments are some form of evil scam to make people sick (irony being that they avoiding the vaccines increases sickness) are increasingly promoting false narratives at the behest of their blogger overlords.  Often, this information will be completely void of even the most basic scientific study. Again, Natural News is a notorious for the use of down-line blogging to perpetuate its SEO Content Countermeasures to recognized science. You may ask, "why would they do this to sell a few books?", and in doing so you will be asking a legitimate question. The answer is simple, they make millions off of affiliate book sales, vitamin sales, and training/event sales associated with the topics they push.  In the end, the irony is that they claim the motivation for medical science to promote medical cures is money, while in the end, it is their own primary purpose. Obviously, Natural News and its many clone sites is an easy target, but it certainly isn't the only one.  Often the hoax stories used on its network are dusted off months or years later to replicate the same affiliate gains. Even after pointed out to be the obvious lies they are, the dedicated who desire it to be true will promote the false stories without question. Ultimately, public safety is put into jeopardy by these groups because of the purposeful direction of the public to act in a manner that is contrary to their health or basic common sense. Yes, the people who fall for and repromote this misinformation are guilty of being naive, gullible and ignorant, but those leading them by the snout are doing so in a way that is blatantly irresponsible and places large populations in danger... all to make a buck and push agendas. Using SEO and Content Countermeasures to Hide Criminal and Legal Data Someone will always be trying to invent a better mousetrap, but what happens when the mousetrap itself is under attack?  People entrust their futures, businesses and family welfare to background and identity checks; what happens when the information gained from them is bogus?  The answer is simple, the system fails those who deserve to know enough to protect themselves, their businesses and their families. People of ill repute and those with a past worth hiding use SEO Countermeasures and Content Manipulation to promote a fictitious form of themselves so that their past, present and future victims are blind to the actual threats the individual can hold.  We ran into a typical scammer recently who had an intricate manner of hiding reports of his previous scams. He produced so many member and blog accounts in his own name that even articles about his scams from Ripoff Report and NY Times were pushed to page 10. Many are getting in on this option; from legal offenders to financial swindlers, the option allows them at least one more hustle and a crowd of people unable to find the sourced information about the scammer's history.  The scammer mentioned above even went so far as to seek legal orders to force google to hide search results mentioning his name (since he apparently trademarked himself).   As a result, attempts to find accurate information on this person who has scammed and stolen from so many are often in vain. The "push down" effect of Content Countermeasures and SEO Tactics used for these dishonest means are likely to persist.  Google has given no indication that is has a real solution to counter the SEO Countermeasures being deployed.  Google attempted to kill the duplicate content and spun material game, but only so much can be done when some of these scammers are running hundreds of accounts and sites to keep a clean image. They're wolves and their fake wool consists of the SEO Content and descriptors of themselves used to promote the false narrative. We can hope that they will finally be curtailed, but they appear to be a constant from generation to generation. These are the same sad sacks that would be selling snake oil and 'miracle cures" in the 1800's.  The unfortunate reality is that Content Countermeasures are only the latest tool of those who wish to defraud their fellows.  That they have learned how to manipulate SEO techniques for these scams is only the latest step in a long walk.  We can only assume that their growth online will continue, marking less honesty and more skepticism.
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How SEO and Reputation Content Countermeasures Are Ruining The Internet Part 1

Marketing has always consisted of presenting a narrative of your product, service, or even ideas and crafting them in a manner more pleasing to the audience.  With the increase in data sharing and interactions online, this has only grown.  The problem with this growth is that it comes with an increasing rate of growth for Content Countermeasures that are intended to stifle, erase, or completely distort the truth about specific content online. Content Countermeasures are nothing more than the attempt to deceive the public with exaggerated, inflated and, in some cases, invented information. In some cases, this serves a very legitimate purpose, like incentivizing positive reviews and ratings from clients to overcome someone who griped about not getting his water and hot bread fast enough when entering a restaurant.  There are certainly legitimate cases like this for businesses to present a positive image of themselves to the public. There is a duality of this topic as there are those who purposefully mislead the public with positive or negative spam of business content, causing a countermeasure to any possible chance of receiving accurate information.  While this might seem like a trifle act, it damages the ability to have a reasonable expectation of receiving correct and verifiable data in search results. "Reputation Management Scams" When it comes to the dirtier uses of Content Countermeasures, the "reputation managers" of the world are almost always going to be one of the top offenders.  The ads heard on talk radio and pushed for local companies are usually nothing short of bragging on how they can spam the public with disinformation about your company or yourself.  Sure, it's sold as "restoring your good name", but if you are going to go through extreme steps(and reputation management often requires extreme steps) to garner enough faked or duplicated content to push down the negative reviews and ratings, then the entire concept of public relation is in shambles. Again, this isn't being critical of those who have a solid and honest goal of ensuring honest content about their business (because we will talk below of the content assassins below).  Let's be clear, if you have to market your company or yourself with false or spammed information, then you or your product simply aren't worth what you are trying to present them as. Scam Spam The same holds true for people who want to push down legitimate information to hide their concerning content from the public.  Content writers are notorious for this one. We get a different one filling our spam folders every week with messages bragging about how they can spam the highest ranking blogs on the internet ... for a price of course.  This is a two-pronged version of Content Countermeasure SEO.  First, they are spamming mass content about themselves on the front end of the conversation, then, they have to do something to remove data from all of the people who are complaining about the unsolicited content.  There will be the guys who have dozens, sometimes hundreds of wordpress.com, blogger, webly, Tumbler...etc, sites with several variations of their own name and all with content claiming to be the most relevant.  We've found the same thing done lately with people who have warrants and want to confuse police (from identifiable IP addresses though, so not sure how well that works).  Additionally, they will play the game of buying any and all variations of ones name in domain format, and again, spamming the internet with redundant and often obscure data to attempt to divide relevancy on the person's identity.  We ran into one of these guys recently who had over 200 variations of his own name out there, all to push down the 40-50 ripoff reports filed about his poor business practices. The spam data traces act as a SEO Countermeasure to prevent people from finding about his actual business practices, and instead focus on a false narrative that is completely opposite to reality. No, I am not coming down on narratives themselves.  As I said in the intro to this post, narratives are shaped by the marketer, but as soon as they are completely falsified narratives, then nothing is left but a dishonest scam being perpetrated on the reader.   The petty marketers who believe that there is a magical line of lies they can hover on and still have their integrity intact are some of the most genuine and shining examples of cognitive dissonance available. SEO Assassins These are the lowest bottom-feeders of he internet. They include "Yelpers", "Competing Reviewers", and all the others willing to destroy.  Content Assassins, or SEO Assassins are often written off as competitors or disgruntled employees, but we've found more instances lately of little to no association being the culprit. The internet gives strength to those who wish to do damage to others with impunity. A restaurant client of ours apparently slighted a patron by serving his therapist.  The individual saw this as a slight against him, and went on to commit a fake review and spam campaign to destroy the restaurant's reputation. Using a photoshopped comment image, the spammer made it appear that the restaurant (run by a gay man) had made anti-gay statements to him on Facebook. This one fake image, posted in several LGBT social media groups, caused over 500 negative reviews in one night. By the time the  restaurant came to us, we had over 900 review accounts to send individual requests and explanations to.    
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Marketing and SEO Mistakes Chicago Businesses Should Avoid

When it comes to local marketing there are no set rules but there are some known "no no's". Each community in the Chicago Area, be it Naperville, Glen Ellyn, Barrington, or even as far as Rockford,while related is different; and each individual business has to adjust to its target customer base within that community. Still, there are some basics to marketing successfully to a specific local audience that can't be ignored. If you feel like the return on your local promotional initiatives is hit or miss, you may be neglecting some basics that can bolster your business and reputation in your community. While there are many mistakes to be made, here are five common mistakes are businesses make when it comes to reaching targeted local customers: Lack of Any Web Presence. Chicago Web DesignEven owners of a longtime, Glen Ellyn mom and pop establishments could have benefited from a simple website or inclusion in an online directory. We encountered a client who had absolutely no presence in any directory, yet had been in business in Glen Ellyn for over 30 years.  We thought something like this would be impossible, but he was an internet ghost. It is not often that a local business owner says he or she has “too many” customers(although we may switch keywords at times to keep from peeking). In addition to regular, sustainable and residual customer, a web presence brings in new clientele that happen upon sites when looking for a product or service. Many websites cost very little to create and maintain, and results-driven online directories are affordable too. If you're unsure of where to begin in building an online following, hire someone to help you or contact us today. The money you invest will pay off over time and many companies offer a flat fee to maintain the site for you. Ultimately, if you don't tap the resource, it is an avenue of growth that your business will not experience. Remember that it is not enough to rely on word-of-mouth or traditional marketing techniques to bring in new local customers. Hanging your digital shingle in cyberspace is also vital and easier than ever to accomplish. Give potential customers the answers to their questions in an immediate way in order to win their business and not lose them to more visible competitors. Beautiful Sites Unable to be Found in Search Engine Results. This point is similar to having a lack of web presence but applies beyond the digital realm. Having a website is a great start, but the having one that is invisible to the search engines is nothing more than a place for people to go when they read your business card.  One of our Naperville SEO clients learned this the hard way. He had a brilliant website, that was designed well, and written well; it was just all images and invisible to the search engines (warning, any images of text on your site are absolutely worthless). Ultimately, he brought us to his Naperville office to discuss a way to boost his Search Engine Optimization and elevate his listing in the SERPs. It took an entire rebuild of his site due to the poor decisions of his previous web designer, but we had him on the top of his 5 main keywords within a month. Location Location Location If people do not know where you are located, they cannot give you their business.  We often work start Chicago clients who don't even have access to their Google+ and Local citation sites. This data is absolutely imperative to building business in the local market. This means promoting your web location in addition to your physical address. Unfortunately, people are so programmed to find the answers to all questions immediately that they will not take the time to track you down if a competitor offers ease of information. Additionally, with the improvements in local search functions on smart phones, over 50% of local market share is now going to the top 5-10 listings in a map search.  Do whatever it takes to let people know where you exist, from web presence optimization to the signage outside your location to inclusion in web listings for your industry. Take the Temperature One of our Barrington Web Design clients was absolute in that he didn't care about what his clients thought of his services. That was, at least, until he started reading his reviews online.  He soon found that reputation and feedback management are absolutely critical in the way of local business targeting. There has never been a financial advantage to being an industry “best kept secret.” Ask customers how they found you and how you can improve your physical visibility. Those that are most loyal to your business will want to help and will be honest with you. Do not lose customers to frustration or impatience at having to track you down, instead make it easy to find you and even easier to buy your products or enlist your services. It's Hard to Acquire Community Business without Community Outreach. There is a reason that people say “the more you give, the more you get.” Find simple ways to give back to the community of your loyal clients and build your reputation for future local clients. Simple ways to get involved include sponsoring a local event, donating a product or service to a fundraising auction or volunteering at a local non-profit organization. Align your name with a cause that you believe benefits your client base and one that represents your business ideals. Not only does outreach earn you the respect of the community, but it also creates a culture of social consciousness in your business, encouraging employees to reach out when they are off the clock too. You can feel satisfied knowing that you went beyond the call of duty to help the community and build a strong image of beneficence in the process. Focus on local marketing does not have to be overwhelming. Find simple ways to reach out to your local audience through an online presence, easy-to-find location and outreach programs. By participating in just a few initiatives, you’re taking down some of the barriers that may be holding your business back.  This then allows you to increase your business and root yourself in your community.
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WordPress 4.0 Released With Useful Features To Add A Richer Platform

What do CNN, The Blaze, Fox News, Flickr, TechCrunch, eBay and Best Buy all have in common? They all use WordPress. Initially developed as a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved in the last 11 years to a full-fledged popular content management system (CMS), capable of hosting static and dynamic content, e-commerce and event calendars, audio and video podcasts, and more, thanks largely to an expansive plugin system and a supportive community. Of the top 10 million Alexa-ranked websites, 23% use WordPress; of those sites that use a CMS, WordPress accounts for 61% of the market. WordPress dwarfs the competition, with Joomla and Drupal holding only 8% and 5% of the CMS market, respectively.

Media  and Plugin Options

WordPress 4.0 focuses on making it easier for site admins to write content, install plugins and manage media. If you spend any time at all in your site's back end (as opposed to using a client like WordPress for iOS or Android or MarsEdit 3 for Mac), these changes will be apparent and appreciated. There are now more options for adding rich content to your posts. Have an image, video or tweet to share with your readers? Since WordPress 2.9, authors have been able to paste the link directly into the WYSYWIG editor (or by clicking "Add Media > Insert from URL") and WordPress would automatically embed the referenced media at a width appropriate to their theme -- for example, so that a YouTube video would play within a site. There's been no need to obtain separate embed code or use the HTML editor. With WordPress 4.0, that automatically embedded media can now come from any of 26 supported sites. Joining essential platforms such as YouTube, Flickr, Twitter and Instagram are others such as CollegeHumor, Issuu, Mixcloud and TED Talks. Also new in 4.0 is the ability to see the embedded media in the WYSYWIG editor, offering a more accurate preview of the published post. But this feature works only when pasting in URLs from the aforementioned 26 hosts. If you prefer to manually obtain, configure and insert a site's embed code in order to, say, start a video at a certain time or add captions, WordPress will not show a preview of media embedded in this fashion.   This is a repost for our Chicago, Naperville and Glen Ellyn web design network team.
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Marketing Your Local Business Online

If you run a local business, you may be missing out on a wealth of effective and economical online marketing opportunities. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is known for connecting people around the globe with their target products and successfully promoting businesses. It's  even more well known for marketing local businesses in their communities. There is an entire  world of marketing opportunities available for location-based businesses, including search, social, and content marketing options. In this guide, we look into two marketing strategies that successful local businesses use to boost their local SEO. Follow these SEO steps to getting noticed in your local community searches. Naperville Local SEO Optimizing your website for local search is one of the top priorities.  There are a number of ways you can optimize your website for local search that will help attract local clients and customers. The first thing you need to do is identify your keywords. These are the words (usually a short phrase) that describe your business.  If, for example, you run a wedding photography business, your keywords might be “wedding photographer.” To localize your business, add the city you target to that phrase, e.g. “Naperville wedding photographer" or "Glen Ellyn Wedding Photography.” Read the Small Business SEO Guide, do some keyword research to make sure the city + keyword phrase has strong search volume, then optimize your website for the best locally focused keywords using the on-site optimization tips in the guide. Next, include a local street address and phone number (with a local area code, not 800 number) on each page of your website. Most businesses do this in the footer. This information must be on the website in text, not image format, so that search engines can crawl the information. If your business has multiple locations, the alternative is to put the primary location on each page and create individual contact pages for each location. Tip: Make sure your website has a contact page for each location that includes the address, phone number, and a map helping customers find it. Adding photos of each location on the contact page is also a good idea.   Find the right local directories to join Local directories and review sites are often referred to as “citations,” and they can help your business website rank well in local search results on Google. Here are the keys to ensuring each local directory and review site you join counts towards helping your business rank well in local search:
  • Make sure your business name, address, phone number, and website are consistent, on both your website and in local listings. Things that will cause ranking problems include having your business name listed as ABC Services in one place and A.B.C. Services in another, or having your address listed as 1500 West First St. in one place and 1500 W. First Street in another, or having your website address listed as abcservices.com in one place and www.abcservices.com/index.html in another.
  • Encourage (but do not incentivize, bribe, or purchase) customers to write reviews about your business on the top local directories and review sites. The more positive reviews you have, the better your business is going to rank.
  • Complete each of your local listing profiles as thoroughly as possible. If you are given the option of adding additional information, social network links, photos, and videos, be sure to do so.
With hundreds of local directories, review sites, and profile pages, choosing which ones to sign up for can be difficult. Start here:
  • Create listings on Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local, and Yelp.
  • Search for your business name using Google and then claim and complete profiles for any of the listings that appear on the first couple of search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Use the GetListedresource pages to find the best citations for your business based on industry and city.
To get in a wide array of listings without spending a lot of time, you can use services like Universal Business Listing. You complete a profile in their system, and they take that information and populate it across all of the local directories and review sites. You can also use tools like Whitespark to find citations for your competitors. They also offer a free review handout generator that helps you create a guide for your customers to use on how to do reviews for your business. Don’t forget about local media and organizations such as newspapers, news stations, and chambers of commerce. Many have their own business directory that you can get listed in simply by asking or becoming a member. You can also reach out to local business owners to see if they are willing to become referral partners. For example, caterers, wedding planners and florists would be ideal referral partners for a wedding photographer. Look for local businesses with partner’s pages or local resource pages.
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