It's time to take a drink, or maybe 15 drinks! The official jWAG drinking game is to take a drink every time I mention Google Maps. Why? Because the very first Golden Nugget I wrote was about Google Maps and it's been one of the most common topics I've written about since I started writing these Golden Nuggets on July 27, 2010. I've been writing special edition version of the Golden Nugget every 100 since. Today is my 1500th Golden Nugget.... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Welcome to the 1,400th Daily Golden Nugget. In honor of reaching another "00" status, I'm returning back to the root topic of where these Nuggets began, which is an update on what's happening with Google Maps. It's become our own personal drinking game, so let's explore it again with a beverage of your choice.
During the last 5 months, Google has changed a tremendous amount with regard to how Search, Maps, and Google+ work together. It started with a large c... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Once again, the Daily Golden Nuggets have reached another milestone: 1300!
It was 1,300 weekdays ago that I wrote the first Nugget about Google Maps. In honor of my first topic, I now write about Google Maps and its subsequent incarnations ever since, and save them for these milestones.
The original Maps service has transformed several times through the years and had names like Local, Places, Local Business, and Google+ Local. Ever since Google started using Google+ to tie all its services together, the p... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Jennifer Shaheen, President of Technology Therapy Group was among those speakers chosen to present at the 2015 JCK Las Vegas show. Jennifer and I are industry colleagues and we share 99% of the same point of view about the internet and how retail jewelers should be using it for their marketing.
If you're jewelry store is located in a strip mall or a shopping mall, Google will probably be changing your address, if they haven't already.
In honor of my 1200th Daily Golden Nugget I'm bringing you some updated information about Google+ Local today. Way back 1200 post ago I began these Nuggets with a a post about Google Maps, since then I've carried the tradition or reviewing Google business related changes every 100th Nugget. So here we are again.
A few years ago, Google undertook an extremely ambitious project to extend its Street Mapping technology inside buildings. Specifically, they created a way that Google Maps Street View could reach inside individual retail stores to create virtual walk throughs of those businesses. These virtual tours are called Google Business View, and the businesses taking advantage of this technology are reporting more engaged customers and higher sales.
Time flies and another one hundred Daily Golden Nuggets have passed. This is the 1100th edition of my 5-day a week newsletter, and to commemorate that milestone, I'm returning back to my favorite topic: how Google drives customers to your door, literally.
Google's free business listing service has morphed over the years from its original simple name of Maps, to Local, to Places, to +Local, and Places for Business. In April 2014, Google finished migrating all business accounts from the "Places" interface to the "Places for Business" inte... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Seventy-seven week days ago, when I reached the 1000th Nugget milestone, I got the idea that I should write a recap of all the technology that I wrote about that came and went since 2010 when I started this daily newsletter.
Although I really want to be nostalgic, I don't even have the time to look through 1000 posts to create a full list. But I'm going to give it a try and see where this goes, so let's have a little fun... Instead of learning something new today, I'll look at some old topics that I'v... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The discussion of today's Daily Golden Nugget was requested more than a year ago by a few of my daily readers, but it wasn't until recently that I could provide the correct answer to it.
The topic is how to use Google Places for Business if you are a personal jeweler or a jewelry professional working out of your house. Personal security is usually a bigger factor for these types of jewelers since they will often carry styles with them when visiting clients. ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
How can Google lead potential customers to you unless they know what type of business you are?
Although Google might spend a ridiculous amount of effort reading and indexing your website to figure out who you are and what you do, they also rely heavily on exactly what you tell them from within your Google Places for Business account.
The screen shot below was taken from a jewelry store's Places for Business account. You can see the list of categories... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Ever since Google started hiding keywords from their Analytics reports, it's been harder and harder for marketing professionals and business owners to figure out what keywords customers search for when they find your website.
Google Places can help you get found in local search results, but you'll get into trouble if you disobey the Google Places for Business quality guidelines.
Over the years, I've seen many jewelry stores using a lot of tricks to place higher in Google's ranking results. Perhaps the most common trick is changing your business name to include specific keywords.
Using the jewelry store name Perosi Jewelers, located in Totowa Borough, NJ, here are some examples of what some jewelers ha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Google Maps will help people locate your business online, but sometimes those online reviews will chase people away screaming, instead of luring them to your door.
The power of the online review is undeniable now. I've read a few case studies about negative online reviews and the affect on a business, and I've had personal experience helping several businesses deal with the aftermath caused by horrible online reviews.
The legitimacy of online reviews has gone through some controversy over the last 4 ye... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
During the summer of 2013, as part of their product unification process, Google converted all YouTube accounts into Google+ accounts. This resulted in duplicate business pages on Google+ Page for several businesses. Now that Google is transitioning the old Places listings into the combined Google Places for Business and Google+, these same businesses now have a triplicate listing.
This is a bad situation that needs to be corrected and I'll explain why in this Daily Golden Nugget. I'm documentin... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
That's how it all began way back on Monday, July 26, 2010 with the first Daily Golden Nugget I wrote. It was only 147 words because, after all, it was only supposed to be a "nugget" of information. Many nuggets are now 10 times tha... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
In this edition of the Daily Golden Nugget I'm going to share a short case study about a recent experience with Google Places and Google+ Local. If you've ever edited and verified your own Google Places listing then this is a must read. If you've never edited your Google Places or Google+ Local then it's even more important that you read this.
I'm pretty strict about verifying Google Places accounts and maintaining that information for my clients. Over the years I've had to verify them with post cards... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It's happen ending even if you don't realize it, and if you realize I sure hope you are taking steps to accept it and use it for your benefit.
The internet is changing rapidly and it's because of mobile technology. You should be aware of the subtle differences between mobile technologies so you can continue to compete in this new age of business.
I can't believe I've been writing these for 500 weekdays straight. In calendar days that's 697, and definitely qualifies me as a professional blogger.
I was inspired to start the daily Golden Nuggets while I was traveling around France. While there during July 2010 I was using my iPhone 3 to navigate, find restaurants, read reviews, and even leave my own reviews.
Back in December 2009 Google mailed out door signs to 100,000 businesses whose Google Local Business page was popular. These door signs included a QR Code, not that anyone in the USA knew what a QR Code was at the time.
In France, what surprised me was the number of small shops all around the country that I found with one of those December 2009 Google Local QR Code door signs. Each one of them also appeared v... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Let's check in on the ongoing statistics for this current holiday season to take advantage of over the next 16 days.
Here's the Bitly link we set up a few months back to monitor the 2011 holiday season:
That leads us to a live Google Insights for Search page showing active data for the most popular search phrases related to Google's Luxury Goods/Gems & Jewelry category. (Of course if you are reading this after December 2011, it's going to be static, preserved data of what was.)
Using the starting date of October 31, 2011 the search interest in jewelry has risen 57% as of Sunday December 4, 2011. The most popular single word is "jewelry." Here's the list of the top 10 search phrases in their order of popularity:
As mentioned a few days ago, American Express is trying to popularize Saturday, November 26, 2011 as the day when people should go out and buy local, not online, and not from big brand stores. This is the 2nd year in a row they are promoting it and they call it "Small Business Saturday."
Those looking to support their local community will visit the stores they already know about. Other shoppers might make an extra effort to read their local newspaper or direct mail circulars and ValPak, Money Mailer, or similar ad mailers.
Smartphones are everywhere and we are already inside the mobile age. Mobile websites are a thing of "today" not "tomorrow." However, if you don't have one yet there are still many things you can do to beef up the chances of being found on Small Business Saturday.
Review websites are popping up everywhere. Not too long ago, the only review sites we worried about were Google Places, CitySearch, Yelp, InsiderPages, MerchantCircle, and a few others. In the Spring of 2010, Google was so hungry for reviews they created new HTML tags to tell Google when a review was showing on a page.
Since then, reviews online have exploded because digital marketing agencies realized the power behind the tool. Does your marketing agency get it yet?
The review services mentioned above are typically out of your control, or you may have to jump through a few hoops to manage the reviews. Other online reviews can appear on your Facebook Business Page or on your website, and these are easier to control.
Your first ACTION ITEM for today is to contact your web programmer and tell them you want a review... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Since the major change to Google Places last week, several features of your Places account have vanished.
Some places accounts are missing descriptions and some are missing the store hours. The missing description was a bug and should be fixed, hopefully by the time you read this. We've already seen the store hours starting to show up again.
It seems like all of the places pages are missing the Payment Terms and Additional Details part of the Places page. The Additional Details area of your account is where we always recommended adding the brands that you carry, jewelry services, credentials, and other random keyword phrases like "diamond wedding rings."
These changes are certainly disruptive to the users who have come to expect these details. We see these changes as to detrimental so we went searching through man... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Early last week, there was an important video announcement from one of the Google+ developers about Google+ Business Profiles. Originally they were going to keep G+ Business Profiles to a limited group, similar to how they have the trial period for current users. However they changed their mind and they are just going to allow everyone in (without a trial period) as soon as they are ready.
They are rushing, but they are not starting from scratch.
As we expected, Google is making huge strides forward to integrate Google Places and Google+. As of June 22, 2011 the appearance of all Google Places listings (i.e. your store's listing on Google Maps) now matches the fancy gray, red and black design that you see in Google+ and on google.com search.
I really didn't expect my review of Google+ to take all five days this week. This will be my last interstitial Daily Golden Nugget (for at least a few days).
Yesterday I started a list of features I foresee being integrated into Google Plus. Google's public company status prevents them from publicly announcing what they are working. The GOOG stock is actually doing very well since the launch of Google+.
Yesterday they reported their quarterly earnings were up and they've officially reached 10 million Google Plus users. I read a report on SearchEngineLand.com explaining how many people have not accepted invitations sent to them. Those of us that have are starting to realize the more compelling nature of Google Plus over Facebook.
When using Facebook, I usually keep a browser tab open. I occasionally look at that ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
As I poke around Google+ I see hints of future features that will eventually merge the online digital world together. So many obvious features relate to white collar jobs. However, there is nothing yet for retail businesses specifically, like useful tools that retail jewelers can use to talk to jewelry customers.
Yesterday, one of the Google+ engineers requested feedback on how the videoconferencing Hangout could be used for business. Within (literally) minutes there were 303 responses! However, not a single one related to retail businesses.
As of today, I will predict your vendors using the video Hangouts to talk to you; but I still don't see a good use for video conversation between you and your customers. If the video quality were better I could argue the idea of showing jewelry, but honestly the video quality sucks ... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This has been a big year for changes with Google as they try to figure out how to change from a purely mathematical search engine into something more socially controlled.
They are reaching out into the real world trying to gather data on how we all use the internet when we're away from our computers, i.e. mobile.
On June 20, 2011 they changed the way Google Mobile search works. If you allow google.com to detect your location automatically they will show you a list of popular nearby places. They've made a specific change to how m.google.com looks so you have fewer taps on your screen to find popular places.
Their top places usually include restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, but their default options on the next screen usually include "jewelry shops."
The mobile market for retail jewelry stores is still very young.
BlueNile and Tiffany already have mobile versions of their sites. We couldn't find a mobile version of the James Allen site. We're not referring to smartphone applications, only mobile websites that easily work in cell phone browsers without needing to pinch zoom.
According to http://www.google.com/think/insights mobile shopping during the holiday season has been increasing more than 300% year after year since 2008. Their data shows mobile shopping spikes for the weekend of Black Friday and then again mid to late December.
According to the research Google published in January 2011, during the 2010 holiday season they tracked 59% of smartphone users using their phones for holiday shopping.
Some people still think that Google rolls out changes in large batches that cause major ranking shifts. We used to call those large batch changes the "Google Dance" because while the roll out was taking place you could see different search results in different locations and the SERP would change with every page refresh.
The days of the Google Dance are supposed to be long behind us. Instead, they roll out changes to the index every day in hopes to have fewer disruptions.
For larger websites this means you have a better chance for your new content to be read, indexed, and appear in the SERP within 1 day. Changes to your Google Places account or Merchant Center will appear in the SERP within a few hours.
Some more explanations from the front line of new SERP results we've seen recently.
Do a search on Google for "engagement rings" and you'll see results including many national brands, products from Google's Merchant Center, and even listings of related searches for engagement rings.
What you don't see in those results are local stores because Google "local" search wasn't triggered. Although you might notice ads from local stores if they target your town.
Google's Local SERP is triggered as soon as you include a town or city name in the search query; let's say "engagement rings Houston." This search request will return some websites and some Google Places results.
What we'd like you to look at are those Places results. They now have a lot more information on the SERP, but unfortunately the information is beco... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It is important to realize that when a new potential customer finds you online, they can't immediately compare the size of your store to the jewelry store down the street. At first, they really will not care if you have a shoe box sized store or a grand palace.
A consumer is only interested in knowing that their needs will be met, that customer service will happily surprise them, and that they will have your complete attention when they visit your store or call you on the telephone.
Some people still price shop, but in truth everyone shops for service. You can create very fancy sales gimmicks to get people into your store, or you can win them over with amazing customer service and then entice them to bring in a friend.
Hopefully, a happy customer will post a raving review about your store online. The popular revie... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Let's face it, our society would rather chat, email or google than have to deal with someone face to face. The telephone? Yuck! Who uses that any more?
When the random foot traffic passes your jewelry store for the first time they will peek at your window display and determine if you are worth their time, and money. They might see something of interest. The first time visitor is taking a chance on you; and they will probably have an aversion to spending until they trust you. The salesmanship g... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Because the Google Maps feature is so much more than getting printable driving directions from your computer.
Smart cell phones can download a mobile version of Google Maps which will lead customer right to your front door. Once your Google Places account is set up it is tied directly into the features of Google Maps. Then, whenever someone is in your neighborhood your jewelry store will appear as a little red pin on the map whenever someone searches for "jewelry."
Better yet, the person could be anywhere in the world planning a trip to your town, yet when they search for "jewelry" they well still see your little red pin on the map.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
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