Google turns on ‘mark a business temporarily closed’ for business owners on GMB

Google turns on ‘mark a business temporarily closed’ for business owners on GMB

Roughly a week a go, Google announced that Google Search and Maps will start showing whether a business is temporarily closed in response to the coronavirus crisis. This followed an earlier directive to local businesses to update hours and other relevant content in Google My Business. Queries related to “opening hours” have been trending up as people try and figure out which businesses near them remain open and what their hours might be. This is especially true for grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s. How to do it. Today, instructions appeared on how to “mark a business temporarily closed.” The capability is under “Close this business on Google.” Here are the […]

Pro Tip: 3 important XML sitemap checks to improve your SEO

Pro Tip: 3 important XML sitemap checks to improve your SEO

An XML sitemap is like a roadmap for search engines of the URLs within your website. Regularly checking them is vital to prevent incorrect URLs from being crawled and potentially indexed and important URLs from being missed. Here are three checks that you should be making: 1. Are any important URLs missing? The first step is to check that your key URLs are in there. Your XML sitemap may be static, where it’s a snapshot of the website at the time it was created. If so, there’s a chance that it will be outdated. A dynamic sitemap is better as it automatically updates, but settings should be checked to ensure […]

Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout

Google Podcasts gets a redesign and iOS rollout

The Google Podcast app is now available for iOS devices, and the web version of the app now supports subscriptions, the company announced Wednesday. Google has also reorganized the app with a tabbed user interface that includes an Explore section where users are shown new show and episode recommendations related to their interests. Google Podcasts’ new tabbed user interface. Source: Google. Why we care Podcast discovery has been a challenge for content creators with most podcast apps showing only what’s available through that particular service. Google’s aim is to provide a comprehensive resource for podcast discovery, including paid content, and library management. The addition of subscriptions to its web app […]

How B2B companies can be proactive about managing paid media during COVID-19

How B2B companies can be proactive about managing paid media during COVID-19

Throw away those 2020 forecasts and best practices; the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the game. As marketers, we’re used to being flexible and moving quickly. Now, more than ever, we’ll need to be ready to shift strategies. B2B businesses have some unique challenges in dealing with the effects of COVID-19. Here are tips on how to navigate this changing landscape to make sure that your brand continues to deliver value to your customers while building a pipeline for the future. Set up dashboards What’s the best way to tell if performance is dipping? After all, not all verticals are being impacted the same, and even within verticals, the trends can […]

Video: Hamlet Batista on scaling and automating SEO with code

Video: Hamlet Batista on scaling and automating SEO with code

I had the privilege of sitting down and chatting about something I am personally very passionate about, using technology to help automate, scale and streamline your daily work. Hamlet Batista, the CEO of RankSense, does this for a living in the SEO space. In our talk, we spoke about how to scale your SEO through technologies, such as Python, or even spreadsheets. This helps you take on more SEO work, while automating some of the repetitive daily tasks. There are many inefficiencies that you can overcome through simple coding scripts and Hamlet is a fan of optimizing for those efficiencies. Hamlet also explained how people who are new to this […]

Winners and losers: How COVID-19 is affecting search behavior

Winners and losers: How COVID-19 is affecting search behavior

“There’s a lot of variety here in terms of what businesses are growing and which ones are falling,” said Alexis Sanders, senior SEO manager for Merkle, referencing the striking departure from typical search behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic during our first Live With Search Engine Land video chat Monday. “You can see with things that are very essential to people surviving and a work-from-home-type world, like groceries, they’re seeing massive lifts in performance for those about-eleven days year-over-year.” Sanders shared the following click growth rates for a handful of Merkle clients between March 10, just three days before President Trump declared the Coronavirus outbreak a national emergency, through March […]

Pro Tip: How to fix 3 not so obvious crawl errors

Pro Tip: How to fix 3 not so obvious crawl errors

Everyone hates crawl errors. They show up without warning and can cause indexing issues. In Gary Illyes’ (Google Webmaster Trends Analyst) Reddit AMA last year, he explained you must make your site crawlable: “I really wish SEOs went back to the basics (i.e. MAKE THAT DAMN SITE CRAWLABLE) instead of focusing on silly updates and made up terms by the rank trackers, and that they talked more with developers…” These tips will show you how. How to find and fix index bloat Index bloat means you have more URLs indexed than physical pages. If it’s on a large enough scale, it can negatively impact performance. If severe enough, it’s a […]

Yelp announces fundraising partnership with GoFundMe to support local businesses

Yelp announces fundraising partnership with GoFundMe to support local businesses

Following Yelp’s announcement last week of a $25 million relief package for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus, the company is announcing a fundraising partnership today with GoFundMe. The objective is to enable Yelp users to donate to businesses directly through Yelp. Buttons will appear by default on profiles. Many local businesses have started pages on GoFundMe already. But this program will automatically place a “donate” button and associated fundraising solicitation on the Yelp profile pages of businesses in several categories: restaurants, nightlife, beauty and fitness, and “active life businesses.” The donate buttons will appear by default on the relevant (claimed) Yelp profiles. Businesses will be able to opt-out if […]

Reducing digital marketing due to COVID-19? Read this first

Reducing digital marketing due to COVID-19? Read this first

Last week, I shared real performance data for 10 different websites in 10 different industries that are seeing impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. While some businesses servicing “essential needs” are flourishing, most are seeing performance drops of -20% or worse from just two weeks ago. With a sudden and unexpected loss in revenue, many businesses are being forced into conversations on how they can trim budgets and maximize efficiency. But what does this mean for various digital marketing investments? I reached out to multiple industry professionals to get their advice on how to maximize results in this time of uncertainty. Beware, your analytics data is likely skewed Before we jump […]

Google My Business not functioning as expected under the strain of coronavirus

Google My Business not functioning as expected under the strain of coronavirus

On Friday, Google temporarily disabled new local reviews as well as the ability of businesses to post review responses. This initially surprised many local SEOs, although it was previewed in Google’s earlier announcement about limited GMB functionality during the coronavirus crisis. There are a LOT of things with Google My Business that are not functioning as normal right now due to COVID-19. Many of these just started on Friday. I have compiled a list of everything I’m seeing thus far here: https://t.co/F6IqRRxrA3 — Joy Hawkins (@JoyanneHawkins) March 23, 2020 Multiple problems and delays. On Monday, many local SEOs were complaining about various problems and delays in posting new listings or […]