The Importance of Verifying On Pinterest, Google+ and Bing

VERIFIED-VECTORIf you are new to Social Media marketing for your business and have noticed the option to verify your business on sites such as Google+ or Pinterest, and Bing do not ignore this opportunity, nor underestimate them.  The more and more cold research I do about local businesses, far too often I notice their social media sites are not verified.  This isn’t an intractable move but mainly a common mistake most companies make do to their lack of understanding of the process and it’s importance.

Verification started a couple years ago with the launch of Google+ and the introduction of Google Local, which has now taken the place of Google Places for Businesses. The initial idea behind verification was to get businesses and companies more involved on certain social media platforms and to help impel their Google ratings. Now, verification has developed into an essential off page SEO tool in amping up your link juice!

 What is Verification?

Verification is now used not only by Google and Bing but also by Pinterest and LinkedIn. The intention of the verification process is to validate that you are a legitimate business and your listings online is accurate and authentic. The significance of this verification is fundamental to the health of your online presence and to help boost your efforts in your off page SEO. Not only does it facilitate with searches but also gives you a boost in your Google ratings and gives weight to the ownership of your blog and website by back linking.

In addition to site verification you also have the opportunity to partake in the Analytics portion of Google, Pinterest and Bing. These analytics give you essential inside information about the traffic going to and from your website/blog and social media bands. Moreover, it is absolutely FREE.

Learn how to verify your sites here

Social media has converted into more than just posting, pictures, specials and content; it has become an alternative variety of SEO and off page link juice and link building. If you are still viewing social media as just place to post your specials and business information, then you are missing out on an extraordinary opportunity to inaugurate the process of off page SEO and link building. It’s simple, easy, FREE and effective!

 

 

My Favorite WordPress Plugin – All In One SEO Pack

At some point you might develop your own website, and personally if you are trying to learn about SEO, building a website is good practice. There are some great plugins out there to help you with your on page SEO and I have found one that has it all the “All In One SEO” plug-in. It is robust, intuitive, easy to use and more importantly, effective. Here’s how it works.

Where to find it in your WordPress Site

Goto: Plugins —> New —> All In One SEO Pack —> Version 2.0 | By Michael Torbert —> download —> activate

Once downloaded and activated, you can now plugin your information, literally. You will see the AIOSEO information at the bottom of each of your web pages. See below 1A:

First off, the rating on this plug-in is high and my rule of thumb when downloading any plug-in of any type is to check it’s ratings. Read reviews and what customers are saying, do your RESEARCH! Otherwise, you could be left with a crashed website scratching your head, and no one, ever wants to be left in the dust like this. AIOSEO is tried and true and I’ve worked with developers that have used and love it as well. When you are trying to do simple on page SEO this is a great tool to start with. Page titles and Meta descriptions are vital when it comes to Google and you want to make sure you are labeled, printed and exploited everywhere on your website and within Google’s parameters. You want to be found right? Well this is where you start the foundation of being found and begin your quest for on page SEO.

One of the first things you need to comprehend is writing a good Meta Title. The motive for this is so that you index well on Google, which in turn gives you high-quality Google searches. Secondly you are labeling your web pages accurately, as this is also incredibly vital. Furthermore, by using this plugin, you are told straight away how many characters you should use in your descriptions and Meta Titles. If you stuff your Meta titles with too many keywords, Google will notice, trust me, and they will strike your site as a stuffer. This will in fact hurt your Google searches. So play nice and within the rules and guidelines and before you know it, you will be found, found, found!

AIOSEO allows you to either write your own Titles/Descriptions or you can have them auto generate them for you. I like to write my own, that’s just me, but the auto generate option is effective as well.

Meta Title (formula)
*Make sure to use only 60 characters or less

what the page is about | who you are | where you are

For example under my “marketing services” page it looks like this:

Marketing Services | 512City Design | Austin, TX

Always make sure to post under 60 characters and yes, spaces count as a character, otherwise Google and Bing will give you a lashing for stuffing your Meta Titles. Stuffing your Meta Titles was common practice before Penguin came into town, Google has changed how they read your page and look for repetitive content.

Meta Description
*Make sure to use only 150 characters or less

Meta Descriptions are important as well, as they explain what this page is about, another important factor when Google and Bing are crawling your site. When writing your Meta Description make sure to only use 150 characters or less. My rule of thumb is to use the first 150 characters of the page I am describing. You can easily copy and paste this content into your description box.

Meta Tags
You can also write Meta Tags as well, the jury is out on whether or not these really make a difference in Google searches, but I still use them, the more the merrier is my rule. Just keep within the guidelines and you all should be well.

AIOSEO also gives you the opportunity to place your Google Analytics ID and Google/Bing Webmaster and verification codes as well (see below). After you have set up your Analytics/Webmaster accounts you are given a code, within AIOSEO you are able to place this code so you can look at the Meta data from your website, ie , traffic, bounce rate, keywords etc… (SEE A2 BELOW)

All in One SEO Pack is not the end all be all of on page SEO, but it is the beginning of a journey. This journey will take you down many twists and turns and paths you never thought imaginable. SEO is beyond crucial when it comes to building your website and it is a continual machine one that never ends. All In One SEO Pack is a great way to start greasing the wheels of your SEO machine, get found!

DIAGRAM 2A

DIAGRAM 2A

DIAGRAM 1A

Why Google+ Is Important

google+You’ve seen Google transform the way we do things on the Internet. Sometimes Google takes things to an excessive extreme and has a complicated time releasing their products prematurely, but come what may Google always manages to come out on top. Google is THE #1 search engine on the Internet. And if you are not using Google+ and Google products for your business, blog, website and social media, then you are missing out on one of the most significantly effectual Internet platform/tools on the planet!

Google+

First of all let’s talk about what has changed. Being #1 on Google is always on the forefront of all business owners’ minds; significantly for lead generations and searchability. Now, there are so many Google products it’s hard to understand what does what and how.

In the beginning, Google Places was how you were found, you set up your free Google Places account, verify yoru business, made sure your business information was correct and identifiable and voila, you are officially registered on Google. Since the introduction of Google+, Google has made Google Local the new Google Places a one stop shopping if you will, one account for everything. I know it sounds very bewildering but it’s easier than you think. At first, Google was the bane of my existence when it came to SEO and web presence because you had to have a separate login and account for each Google product; this is has all changed. Google has revolutionized their product line and combined everything by allowing you one login for all your Google products. There’s a rhyme to their reason and it’s smart.

When Google+ first came out, it was clunky, confusing and wasn’t all that they promised for a stalwart competition to Facebook. For the most part it functions about the same but this is just a very small part in the scheme of things. When you have a Gmail account as a business you can create your Google+ account, and from that Google+ account you can create a Google+ Page, similar to Facebook right? Right! However, with all of this, you can create a Google Local credential as well, which is where you can create a verified business. Verifying you business is indispensable because it makes you more searchable. For example, if you are searching for a Dentist in Austin, TX, guess what, the verified business in that zip code for that specific industry show up first. By not verifying your business you are missing out on a key link to your SEO chain. Once verified, you will have access to your Google Analytics, Google Places and Google Maps. Even though Google Places doesn’t exactly exist any more you can still login and check on your impressions which you can also do in Analytics. It is important to also, check your Google Maps placement for critical information such as a duplicate location, lack of suite/unit #’s, incorrect address, and pin marker. I had a client whose pin marker was two blocks off from their location. Customers were having a thorny time locating them using GPS. Google can fix all of this for you by requesting a change they will communicate with you via email – there’s no calling Google.

There are so many products that you as business owner can utilize that are provided for FREE by Google. Here’s a list:

Google+ – Social Networking for individuals (you will need this in order to create a Google+ page)
Google+ Pages – Social Networking specifically for your Businesses, Organization, Charity, Special Interests etc.. must have a Google+ personal account)
Google+ Local (verify your business) – Simply put, Google Local highlights your business for everyone to see when they search in your area or zip code if you verify your business and have a Google+ Page this will combine these two acounts into one and show a check mark that you are a Google verified business.
Google Places/Google Maps– This is where people find you, make sure your address and pin location are correct in addition to all of your pertinent busienss information. (Google+ Local will hopefully take the place of this at some point)
Google Analytics – “Google Analytics lets you measure your advertising ROI as well as track your Flash, video, and social networking sites and applications.”
Google Webmaster Tools – “Google Webmaster Tools provides you with detailed reports about your web pages’ visibility on Google. To get started, simply add and verify your site and you’ll start to see information right away.”
Gmail – Google’s Free email service and where you need to start, in order to use any Google product
How to verify on Google Local/Google+

My advice is to start out small. Start with a business related Gmail account—-Google+—Google+ Business page. From here create your content and business information, follow, add people to your circles and build your network and community. From there locate yourself on Google Local by doing a search for your business and create a Google Local page and verify your business which will in turn integrate your Google+ Page with Google Local. Make sure to check your listing on Google Places which is now Google Maps, make sure your address, phone number, and pin location are correct. You can always report to Google if there is a duplicate listing or incorrect street name on Google Maps click here for a screenshot. You can manually change the pin location as well, Google will need to approve this on their end, which can sometimes take a week for the change to occur, but be patient, Google will communicate everything to you via e-mail. You can email Google with any questions or concerns about any or all of your Google products. As far as Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, wait until you have familiarized yourself with the other Google product lines. There are several tutorials and blogs that elucidate the diverse things you can do with these web tools and apply to your bigger picture.

The thing with the new Google product lines is the fact that Google might have introduced them to the general population too soon and too close together. Because of this, people have been skeptical to use them because at fist glance they appear very puzzling. However, since the all in integration things are better now, Google has made great strides to keep their products united and have managed to seamlessly integrated their product line. Like I said start our small and go from there, sink or swim, it’s worth the jump!