SMB Updates That Actually Matter

Google & Facebook - Keep Changing

When Google, Facebook or anyone else does something important effecting small businesses I will list it here. Subscribe for these dead simple updates.

Recent Updates

Facebook - Find Home Service Professionals With Marketplace - Provide an all-in-one place to complete your next home project — from proposal to completion,

Google Maps / Google AdWords - Google just patented a way to take up the whole search results with a paid ad and maps listing. 

Google AdWords - Safari requires changes to your Google as tracking codes or you will no longer know how your adspend did.

Google Maps / Google AdWords - Google Opens up map ads to more (now 30) cities and more categories of businesses with a rebrand to Local Services (formerly Home Service Ads). The days of free business from Google searches and maps are near an end. Important things to note are you must have a none hidden (setting in Google maps) commercial building (Not a house) and a solid BBB rating. They also do background checks. The good news is it will be pay per lead so at least you get an exclusive lead for your money.

Here is a the best article to understand the effect, "What Are Google Local Services Ads and Why Should You Care?"

Facebook Free Clicks - Facebook website and the app further decrease the organic reach for pages, and will give more priority to pages that decides to spend money on advertising, for most pages this basically means the end.

Google Maps - Let people book an appointment with you or say a table at a restaurant. I see the benefit as a service professional (Accountant, Lawyer...) to be transparent and available. Office 365 or or Calendly are great options to offer appointment setting.

Google Search - Somewhere in the last year Google has really made replying to reviews and getting reviews a powerful ranking tool. Show up higher just by engaging your customers.

Yelp - Yelp has doubled down on its no no asking for reviews and is now threatening to penalize companies who ask for reviews on Yelp’s much bigger competitors like Google, Facebook, and TripAdvisor. They have always said they will punish you if you ask for reviews on Yelp. Now they are just taking that to a whole new level.

Google Maps - Google guides are testing video reviews of your business. 

Google Maps - Customers can now "Text" you via an optional live chat feature.

Google Maps - Google wants you to do Twitter like short blog posts. These do help rankings and are great for sharing specials and updates.

Google Reviews - Free posters made from your Google reviews to display in your location. They actually look nice.

Google Maps - Google now offers a free 1 page websites. Seriously these are bad for SEO and such even more for Google AdWords. This is better than no website but not by much from a marketing perspective.

Google Search - Testing showing review abbreviations in search results. 

Google Maps - Q/A - customers can now ask questions and you need to reply to them publicly.

Google Search & Google Maps - Your business address has to be close to customers. The more competitive the closer it needs to be to pick up some free clicks from maps and google organic results spots now.

Office 365 Business Premium - New business apps - Microsoft Connections—A simple-to-use email marketing service. Microsoft Listings—An easy way to publish your business information on top sites. Microsoft Invoicing—A new way to create professional invoices and get paid fast.

Spotify Ad Studio - The World’s First Self-Serve Audio Ad Platform. Voice over ads created and served for as little as $250 in your local market. Way better than Pandora's 2k minimum. 

Older Updates

Facebook Messenger For Business - You look dumb if you don't answer chats fast enough. There is also a new ad type allowing chats.

Facebook - You can make a video your cover for your business.

Angies List and Home Advisor Merge and Angies List goes free membership. Google and Facebook are stealing the market share of directory sites.

How fast your website loads matters.

You can't have popups on mobile devices that take up more than 1/3 of the screen and preferably don't require you to exit them to navigate the site.

Your site must look and function amazingly on mobile devices. Design mobile first or else. 

Your website needs to by https or look unsafe on Chrome browsers.