How To Properly Use Schema Markup For Local Business?

How To Use Schema Markup For Local Business?
How To Properly Implement Schema Markup For Local Business Website To Improve Search Visibility?

Today I Came Across Quora and Found a Question About How To Use Schema Markup For Plumber and HVAC Business Website To Improve SEO?

I answered the question and I thought It would be great, If I publish my answer here at my Blog.

Google's search result pages support Semantic Markup that allows local business owners to provide information about their business by using schema.org vocabulary. By providing with a mix of required, recommended and optional properties with values for the https://schema.org/LocalBusiness class, a business can now provide Google with information about things like the business's name, address, telephone number, physical location and hours of operation in a machine readable way.

This also called structured data markup, and can be eligible to appear in two categories of Google Search features:

Rich Results Snippet: Structured data for things like recipes, articles, and videos can appear in Rich Cards, as either a single element or a list of items. Other kinds of structured data can enhance the appearance of your site in Search, such as with Breadcrumbs, or a Sitelinks Search Box.

Google Knowledge Graph Cards: If you're the authority for certain content, Google can treat the structured data on your site as factual and import it into the Knowledge Graph, where it can power prominent answers in Search and across Google properties. Knowledge Graph cards appear for authoritative data about organizations, and events. Movie reviews, and movie/music play actions, while based on ranking, can also appear in Knowledge Graph cards once they are reconciled to Knowledge Graph entities.

Google has supported the provision of local business information with schema.org since April 08, 2014, but this is the first time they've published prescribed property specifications for Local Business.

You can provide structured data markup in your HTML and AMP pages. Google Support Following Structured Data Markup Formats:

Microdata: Microdata is a WHATWG HTML specification used to nest metadata within existing content on web pages. Search engines, web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process Microdata from a web page and use it to provide a richer browsing experience for users.

JSON-LD (Google Recommended Format): JavaScript notation separate from the body of the HTML itself. Markup is placed inside a script tag in the head of the HTML page. The markup does not have to be interleaved with the user-visible text, which makes nested data items easier to express, such as the Country of a PostalAddress of a MusicVenue of an Event. Also, Google can read JSON-LD data when it is dynamically injected into the page's contents, such as by JavaScript code or embedded widgets in your content management system.

RDFa: RDFa (or Resource Description Framework in Attributes) is a W3C Recommendation that adds a set of attribute-level extensions to HTML, XHTML and various XML-based document types for embedding rich metadata within Web documents. The RDF data-model mapping enables its use for embedding RDF subject-predicate-object expressions within XHTML documents. It also enables the extraction of RDF model triples by compliant user agents.

How To Implement Schema Markup For Local Business Website To Improve Search Visibility?


Make sure your Plumbing and HVAC Business Contact and Geographic Information is implemented correctly on your website should be the first step when it comes to implementing schema markup onto your website.

The Local Business section of https://schema.org/LocalBusiness has a variety of categories that businesses can implement as part of the footer or contact page of their website, including address, phone, fax, operating hours, and even accepted payment types.

Microdata Example For Plumbing Service

The microdata schema markup is displayed via div tags and isn’t displayed on the live version of the website. The div tags designate the information that applies to the chosen schema markup:

<div itemscope="" itemtype="”https://schema.org/Plumber”">
<span itemprop="”name”">ABC Plumber</span>
<br />
<div itemprop="”address”" itemscope="" itemtype="”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”">
<span itemprop="”streetAddress”">123 Main Street</span>
<span itemprop="”addressLocality”">Phoenix</span>,
<span itemprop="”addressRegion”">AZ</span>
<span itemprop="”postalCode”">85001</span>
</div>
Phone: <span itemprop="”telephone”">555-555-5555</span>
<a href="http://googlemapsurl.com" itemprop="”maps”">URL of Map</a>
</div>

In this example for an Plumber’s Business, the only information that is displayed on the public-facing side of the website is the information between the span and div tags. Visitors won’t be able to tell that a business is using schema unless they view your website source code.

The ‘itemprop’ in the span tag identifies the schema markup property for that piece of information. All available properties are shown on Home - schema.org in their applicable category.

JSON-LD Structured Data Example For HVAC Contractor

Below is an example of a common JSON-LD syntax which can be used to define a single HVAC Company Business Information:

<script type="application/ld+json">
     {
     "@context": "http://schema.org",
     "@type": "LocalBusiness",
     "address": {
  "@type": "PostalAddress",
  "addressLocality": "Phoenix",
  "addressRegion": "AZ",
  "postalCode":"85001",
  "streetAddress": "123 Main Street"
  },
   "description": "This is your HVAC Contractor Business Description.",
   "name": "ABC HVAC Contractor",
   "telephone": "555–555–5555",
   "geo": {
 "@type": "GeoCoordinates",
 "latitude": "40.75",
"longitude": "73.98"
     },
 "sameAs" : [ "http://www.facebook.com/your-hvac-company-page.",
"http://www.twitter.com/your-hvac--company-profile",
"http://plus.google.com/your-hvac--company-profile"]
   }
</script>

In this example for I created an HVAC Company schema markup by JSON-LD Format.

Once you have your markup/code placed on your website, go ahead and test it with Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

If you have little or no web development experience, it’s easy to run into error when trying to customize the code examples with your own business information. In this case, i advocate you to hire an Professional Consultant.

If you enjoyed the article, please share.

SEO and Content Marketing with Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin

SEO and Content Marketing with Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin
Search engine optimization (SEO) has come a long way since the days of stuffing keywords and hoping for the best. Back then, it was too often used to bolster weak writing, to trick people into reading something that wasn’t worth their time.
Now, good SEO makes great content even better. We use the keywords people search for to make sure what we offer will have value—which, in turn, makes the content naturally keyword rich. Good SEO practices help people find valuable content. As such, SEO is an essential part of content marketing strategy.
Few marketers know more about the mysterious inner workings of search engine algorithms than Rand Fishkin. Rand and the team at Moz have been helping clients improve their inbound marketing for over a decade. In addition to serving clients, Rand shares his expertise with the marketing community on the Moz blog, particularly in his Whiteboard Friday series.
As Arthur C. Clarke said (sort of), “Sufficiently advanced SEO is indistinguishable from magic.” So it makes sense that Rand’s official job title is “The Wizard of Moz.”
As part of the The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing, we asked Rand to share his thoughts on SEO’s role in content marketing strategy. Read on to learn which SEO skills all marketers should have, which opportunities marketers should capitalize on within the coming year, and more.

Ask the Expert with Wizard of Moz Rand Fishkin

LinkedIn: If you were starting a content marketing program from scratch, where would you begin?

Rand Fishkin: I'd work hard on getting to know my audience, studying my competition, and formulating a strategy around what would resonate before I ever took to the content creation itself. But, from that point, everything would be experimentation and evolution based on what I learn. Every audience and every platform are different. I suspect that, depending on how unique the new audience I was going after was from my current audience (of mostly marketers and tech folks), it might take me some serious time to get good at finding a sweet spot.

LinkedIn: In your eyes, what is the biggest difference between content marketing five years ago and content marketing today?

Rand: A lot has changed, but I think, more than anything else, the last five years have reduced loyalty and attention to almost unrecognizable levels. No one subscribes to just a few feeds or just a few accounts on social media. No one's messages have a shot at reaching 60 or 70% of their audience—even the audience that's opted in and said "I want to see what you're sharing." All of the social networks have substantially reduced reach. Email deliver-ability and open rates continue to shrink. RSS readers are barely alive anymore. Earning your audience's attention five years ago was relatively easy (or at least, much easier) if they'd already connected themselves to you. Today, that advantage is gone—a subscriber doesn't mean what it used to, and I doubt it ever will again.
Every new message you want to send will have to pierce the cacophony of noise that overwhelms us in the digital age.

LinkedIn: If you were tasked with hiring a content marketer, what is the #1 attribute you would be looking for?

Rand: Empathy. Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they'd respond. That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.

LinkedIn: In your opinion, what is the baseline of SEO skills content marketers need to have?

Rand: I think a content marketer actually needs more SEO skills than marketers in nearly any other position (with the obvious exception of SEO specialists themselves). That means understanding keyword research and how to do keyword targeting, how search engines generally rank pages, some of the technical aspects of SEO around indexation and crawling, how content on the same domain can boost that site's authority and ranking potential, etc. Given that content marketing isn't just about producing content, but about earning traffic to it as well, SEO should be a cornerstone of any content marketer's repertoire.

LinkedIn: What current SEO opportunities will content marketers be glad they acted upon two years from now?

Rand: First, better content > more content. This is one that's tough because A) many teams and managers and clients still want a certain number of pieces rather than aiming for fewer pieces of higher quality and B) quantity is how content marketers get their reps in—it's how we practice our art and get better at it.
The reason this matters so much is that engines are starting to learn which domains people prefer, to put those domains in front of them more and more. If you fall behind this curve, and a substantive portion of your content doesn't interest, excite, or engage visitors, you could quickly find yourself in a negative spiral of a feedback loop that lowers your aggregate rankings long term.
Second, schema and rich snippets. This one's obvious because it not only drives up clickthrough rates today, but is likely to have more and more influence and opportunity over time. If you get good at it now, you can expect a string of returns.
Finally, link outreach and link-earning content. Many of us keep hearing how link building is dead, and it's something I've said myself. But the need for links is not dead, and it doesn't even appear that links are getting less correlated with high rankings. So links are still something we need, but classic, old-school, manipulative and low-quality link building is diminished if not gone. Thus, we need to produce content that naturally earns links, and content that's likely to earn links once we do the right kinds of outreach. Then we need to do that outreach!
The best part is that if you get good at link earning and link outreach now, you'll rank and earn visibility and those links will compound and earn you more and more rankings over time.
Thanks to Rand for carving out time to talk with us. You can follow him @randfish and find more of his always awesome content on the Moz blog.

Again Google Local 3-Pack Makeover!

Google continues to update the display for local search results in the Local Pack by removing the website, directions and call buttons from listings, and replacing with an image.

Over the past six months we have seen numerous tests in the pack display. Today we are seeing a widespread (re) appearance of the snack pack type display that shows images instead of the click to call icon.

Previously this display was exclusive to restaurants and hotels but today (anyways) is being seen across most types of retail and service industry results. Although NOT on lawyers or doctors.

We have seen this style before but the rollout today seems more broad based. A test? The new normal?


The imagery persists across the local finder requiring at least two clicks in to get to driving directions or click to call….. the rabbit hole appears to be getting ever deeper.


Here is a comparable screen shot taken last week that shows the same search result and comparable screen :


Whether this is the new normal this week or not, it clearly demonstrates Google’s desire to:

  1. Keep searchers at Google and
  2. Force them into the Local finder.

This has plusses and minuses from the local business POV. It makes it harder for users to take immediate action and but it provides users with a greater range of choices from which to choose. The former hurts those ranking in the 3-pack and the latter helps all the others. What it does for any given businesses traffic is unclear.

Obviously this design offers up significantly more choices to the user and in doing so moves away from the idea of “the 3 best” companies that is implied with the 3 pack. If this were tied to the horizontal local finder that you now see in the Google iOS app, the idea that the listings are more equal would be even further reinforced.

Like with most recent changes this one, if it is a real rollout, seems to offer a mixed bag for the merchant and plus for Google and a few more steps for the searcher.

A Little History: Three, Ten, Seven, Three

In 2006, Google launched the One Box. In terms of local listings, this was also known as the very first “3-Pack.” This box was a blessing to many wishing to receive local business information quickly.

In January 2008, Google began to unveil its new 10 pack. The 10 pack was a godsend to many SEO professionals offering local listing services to their clients, as they could prove real ROI (“Look, you’re being highlighted by the Google Gods!”).

By October 2009, the 10 Pack was cut to the lucky 7 pack (Lucky for some, anyway!). Many local SEO professional saw this as a challenge, but not one that was too difficult to master. Google has been very straightforward from the beginning, explaining what was expected of local businesses in their online presence in order to appear on the new 7 pack.

In 2015, after a long, strong run, the 7 pack that local SEO professional have grown to love and master was replaced by what is now known as the Google Snack Pack.

How To Dominate The Google Snack Pack & Local SEO

If you don't have a Google Local SEO Strategy to Get your Business Found on Google Maps, You can follow My Local SEO Strategy. Adopting My Local SEO strategy will help your business flourish locally. Whether you are a local brick and mortar retailer or a national brand, starting at home is an excellent way to get your feet wet with Local SEO and become a local authority. I always advise clients that before you worry about your visibility around the world, take the top spot in your home city and scale up from there.

So how to do you get started? Get ahead of your competition and stay there with My 4 Phase Local SEO Strategies.

1. Full Citation Audit: The most important part of any Local SEO Campaign is ensuring NAP consistency, which is why MY every single Local SEO Campaign starts with a full audit. Without this crucial step (that most cheap competitors skip), you’d be throwing money down the drain.

I put every campaign through this extremely detailed, time intensive process. I record correct and incorrect citations, avoiding any duplication of efforts. This results in a fully detailed report, including a road map on how to repair incorrect citations most effectively.

2. Local Citations Building: Local Directory Citations are the bread and butter of Local SEO. With MY careful, manual submissions, I make sure you are in the BEST directories for your niche and market. This is not just a standard list of directories. Every single campaign is different and I leverage 3 strategies for determining which directories to submit to for that particular client.

Strategy 1: Ego directories – The most popular, traffic dense, authority directories.

Strategy 2: Competitor directories – I take your specific keywords and find out what citations are important not only in your industry but your specific SERPs.

Strategy 3: Competitor review directories – I scrape competitor review directories to find Google trusted directories.

I claim all the most important directories where possible, and provide detailed instructions for all others that should be verified by the client (some require a phone call for verification or other methods). Only live profiles are delivered, including all login info.

3. Rich Media Citations: Anyone can do plain old directory submissions, but to make them count, I beef them up with geo-tagged photos and videos, plus citations and links from rich media sources.

Video: I create straightforward, Animoto style video slideshows, with music, pictures and text. These videos are optimized to the fullest extent, including geo-meta data. I then submit these videos to the top video hosting sources, creating high authority, legit links and citations.

Photos: Here, you provide ME with 10, ideally relevant & branded images. I optimize, upload, and again optimize, including geo-meta data. I then submit these images to the top image hosting sources, creating high authority, legit links and citations.

4. Social Citations: Social Media Today brings together the news, trends and best practices around enterprise social and digital marketing. I make sure you’re ahead of the game and rounding out your citation profile by getting you awesome Social Citations.

In this phase, I create careful, manual Social Citations Submissions, adding all media and content which again results in high authority, legit links and citations. I submit to powerful & authoritative social media sites.

Need Help? Contact Me.

Content Marketing: 6 Steps to Building Your Editorial Calendar

I've seen content marketers in a state of paralysis, overwhelmed with the responsibility to create a constant stream of quality content. I get it. It's daunting to even get started because it’s not just about churning out blog posts, either; part of content creation is fitting each piece into an overall strategy. 
In the last B2B Content Marketing benchmarks, nearly half of those with stagnant programs said content creation was a major factor. Which makes sense. I get questions from marketers who ask me, "where do I even start?" Or claim, "we just don't have enough content.
Let's conquer this together. 
It all starts with an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is a tool you and your team can use to map out content for the entire year. Building out your calendar naturally focuses your strategy, ensuring that you have the right mix of content types, the right topics covered, and enough content for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Now that you know where to start, here’s just 6 steps to building out your editorial calendar that I guarantee we relieve any paralyzed marketers. 

1. Find Your Topics

First things first -- it's your job to identify the most relevant topics for your audience. You’re looking for the sweet spot where your audience’s needs and your brand’s expertise overlap. But don't lock yourself in a room and stare at a blank whiteboard. Act like an investigative reporter and hit the streets, if you will, to understand what resonates most with your audience. 
  • The Field: What are the conversations they're having with prospects -- what are their pain points, what keeps them up at night?
  • Buyer Personas: Assuming you have these already, use these as a catalyst to understanding what's important to them. 
  • Social Media: What content topics and thought leaders are your audience engaging with the most?
  • Keyword Research: Leverage Google Adwords to understand the key phrases around your brand's expertise, their search volume and competitiveness. 
  • Forums: Find where your audience goes to get answers and consume content. 
Basically, anywhere your customers are talking is a place your brand can listen. All of these sources will help identify the broad topics that will shape your calendar.

2. Audit Existing Content

When marketers tell me, "we just don't have enough content" for a content strategy, I quickly dismiss their argument. Sure, if you're literally launching your business today, chances are you don't have much content. But in most cases, your marketing team has been sending emails, promoting eBooks and whitepapers and publishing blogs for some time now -- perhaps just not at the always-on pace and volume of an effective content strategy.
So start your quest for sourcing more content by auditing the work you have already spent resources creating. Once you have your topics in place based on your research conducted in step 1, check your back catalog for content that fits. 
I always say if you have a 20 page eBook, you can squeeze 20 blogs from it. Or if you have just 5 blogs on a similar topic, you have an eBook. If you want to test me, find me on LinkedIn -- happy to prove my theory. 
Dig into your Big Rock assets and slice and dice. Look for older blog posts that still have value but are due for a makeover and re-launch. Find successful email content and convert into a blog. Turn webinars into Q&A blogs and presentations into SlideShare decks.
Odds are even your most popular content last year still didn’t reach your entire potential audience. So don’t be shy about adding new value and republishing.

3. Plan Content throughout the Buyer’s Journey

Once you have identified some re-purposed content that can act as tent poles to your calendar, it's now time to work on the gaps. Make sure each piece is targeted at a specific stage of the buyer’s journey, and aim for a healthy mix of early and late stage content.
Many marketers focus their content on the late stages, because perception is that this content is contributing more directly to revenue. But without a healthy proportion of early-stage content, you won’t be building an audience for the late-stage stuff -- a cart before the horse issue, if you will. 
For help turning your topics into blog posts, try HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator, or Portent’s Content Idea Generator.

4. Set Your Cadence

Is it better to publish daily, three times a week, once a fortnight? Plenty of research has been conducted to find the perfect publishing cadence. But I'm sorry to say, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The one thing we do know is that consistency is far more important than frequency.
So as you plan your calendar, plan to publish as frequently as you can reliably create high-quality content. Your audience may prefer short-form content every day or more substantial pieces weekly. Use your best-performing pieces from the past year, as well as your current capacity, to set a sustainable cadence.

5. Fill in Your Blanks

Now it’s time to actually fill out your calendar. This is the fun part because you start to really see your content strategy come alive. Start with your broad topics, then fill each of your content slots with related posts from your existing content and your idea generation sessions. Aim for a mix of content types for variety, and make sure to vary the stage of the buyer’s journey.
A few recurring series can help fill out the calendar, and can give your audience something to look forward to every month. For example, on the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog we do a Marketing Book Worth a Look and Millennial Minute each month, and a Trending Content roundup weekly.
It’s also a good idea to leave an open slot or two each month for timely posts, new turkey slices, guest posts, or news jacking—anything that would add value but is hard to plan in advance.

6. Adjust As Needed

Once your calendar is complete, it can guide you throughout the year. But don’t carve it in stone—it should be a living document, evolving and iterating. Evaluate how each piece of content performs, and use that data to make strategic tweaks to the calendar. The focus should always be on what is resonating with your audience, not what you planned six months ago.
Creating a year’s worth of content is a hefty challenge for marketers. Start with a quarter or just the next two months. Leverage your research to generate broad themes and then build out secondary and tertiary topics based on those broad themes. Add existing content, recurring series, and a few wild cards, and you will find your calendar starting to fill up in no time.

Top 13 SEO Resources: Become a SEO Expert

Being a SEO Expert means understanding how skills such as SEO, content, social media savvy, and other skills impact our ability to move the needle for ourselves and the organizations we work for.

When it comes to SEO, marketers don’t need to gain an intimate understanding of search engine algorithms. Rather, marketers simply need to have a basic understanding of how SEO impacts the “findability” of content. The following ten resources will get you there, and then some.

For Beginners: If you’re completely new to SEO, building a sound foundation of knowledge is your first step. Check out these three resources to get up to speed on the basics.

1. Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (pdf). While I wouldn’t tell anyone to do “Whatever Google says” to do to get your website to rank, it’s important to know what Google’s public position is on a variety of tactics/techniques you might employ.

2. The Beginners Guide to SEO by Moz. This classic resource from Moz includes chapters on how search engines work, keyword research, analytics, and other SEO topics. Check out the ground-level introduction to discover best practices you can put to immediate use in your content marketing.

3. Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors.
Get in the know about on-the-page and off-the-page elements that impact your SEO with this SlideShare presentation from Search Engine Land. Discover how content quality, keyword use, site architecture, and other factors influence search engine results pages (SERPs).

4. An Introductory Guide to PPC by HubSpot.
This eBook outlines the potential benefits of paid search and how campaigns work. Find information on creating a keyword strategy, setting a PPC budget, optimizing ad copy, measuring performance, and other aspects of campaigns.

Taking to the Next Level: Tips and Tools from the Experts: Take your knowledge to the next level with specific tactics and tool recommendations from well-known SEO experts. These next four search resources are chock-full of insights you can use to optimize content.

5. Google SEO Guide: The Ultimate Resource by WordStream is one of the best SEO resource available online. It covers Keyword Research to How to get authority backlinks.


6. Learning SEO from the Experts “Solve for the humans!” Another HubSpot Guide.
This touchstone advice from HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Shah kicks off an eBook that provides SEO direction from the pros. Chapters from search authorities address keyword fundamentals, on and off-page SEO techniques, and link building best practices.

7. 21 Simple and Free SEO Tools to Instantly Improve Your Marketing By Buffer.
Buffer Content Crafter Kevan Lee observes in his blog post, “It’s amazing the difference a good tool can make.” Kevan goes on to provide resources for tasks that include checking the speed and usability of your site, analyzing links, and identifying duplicate content.

8. 37 Awesome Tools to Get the Most from Your SEO Campaigns by SEJ.
Because search engine optimization is so tool-dependent, there seems no better way to cap things off than with this listicle from Search Engine Land. Access tools that can immediately make you better at SEO analysis, link prospecting, and measurement.

Becoming Your Organization's Resident SEO Expert: How would you like to become the go-to SEO resource at your organization? Get there with the help of these final three advanced SEO resources.

9. The Advanced Guide to SEO by Neil Patel.
Go beyond the basics with Neil Patel and Sujan Patel in this Quick Sprout resource for getting more out of SEO initiatives. The infographic-style presentation provides a deep dive look at topics like indexation, accessibility, site performance, and advanced data research.

10. Search Engine Journal YouTube Channel.
Another must-subscribe for anyone interested in what’s next in SEO, Search Engine Journal’s YouTube channel offers frequent posts with industry newsmakers. Hundreds of archived videos cover SEO strategy, local search, and much more.

11. 58 Resources to Help You Learn and MasterSEO by KOSSmetrics.
Dig into this KISSmetrics post for a nice blend of quick tips, resources, and insights. Explore information on Google and Bing Webmaster Tools, review industry-specific SEO best practices, and get a list of bookmark-worthy blogs on content marketing.

12. Webmaster World.
Most SEO bloggers are guilty of writing too much theory and too little in the way of concrete examples. As a result, we’re often left thinking, “sounds good, but how do I know this really works?”

Webmaster World is one of the oldest and most trusted forums on topics related to web development and marketing online as a whole. These are real webmasters sharing their thoughts and issues in an environment conducive to open discussion. As a result, the threads often involve specific issues, a variety of voices and, most importantly, no-holds-barred discussion of the issue at hand.

13. The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Search Engine.
This the legendary paper submitted by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin during their Ph.D. work at Stanford. It is a blueprint of sorts of the original working model for Google.

While in its current form Google in many ways dwarfs the original concept, the original Google concept was truly an engineering work of art – and reading the paper above will take you a long way in understanding the processes that are at the core of the search engines we know today.

Improving your SEO is a great way to make sure your hard work gets noticed by the right people. Rounding out your knowledge doesn’t need to be hard; just nailing the basics can do wonders for your brand’s visibility. Use insights, practices, and tools from these resources and you’ll be well on your way to earning your “SEO savvy” label.

Top Marketers Say: Stop Doing These Things for Greater Success in 2017

It’s always easy to find advice on what new strategies, tactics, and tools marketers should add to their mix. Especially this time of year, the internet overflows with advice. Start this new habit. Try this browser extension. Use this time management plan.
It’s good to learn and grow, of course. It’s great to add to your skill set or your toolbox. You can’t add on forever, though—eventually you need to take a few things out to stop from getting in your own way.
We asked some of our favorite marketing experts what you should stop doing in 2017 to be more productive, more efficient, and achieve better results. Here’s what they had to say.

Marketing Experts Say: Stop Doing These Things in 2017

1. Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist, Marketing Interactions
In 2017, marketers should stop thinking in terms of campaigns. Every time a campaign ends you give your audience a reason to reconsider how relevant your company is to their needs. This is especially true if the campaign ends before they know everything they need to make a buying decision. Most B2B campaigns do, forcing your buyers to go find someone else who’s telling the rest of the story they want to hear.
Marketers who choose campaigns are also choosing to alienate their audiences when the campaign ends. Instead, focus on a continuum of engagement that builds momentum over the course of the customer relationship— at a minimum from prospect to customer, and if possible through to advocate. This requires the continuity, compassion, and commitment that campaigns inherently lack.
2. Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich, Inc.
The one thing marketers should stop doing in 2017 is THE WRONG MARKETING AUTOMATION. Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell that, but let’s get real. Just because you CAN send multiple emails if someone doesn’t open a previous one, doesn’t mean you should.
I’ve seen two big trends this year: 1) The email that says, on the third or fourth try, “You haven’t responded to me, which means you a) must be rude; b) must not need us; c) must be trapped under something heavy and can’t call for help.” And 2) The email that says, “You must be busy so I’m popping this at the top of your inbox so you can get to it more quickly.”
Both of these approaches assume marketers have the correct list and the people they are emailing are, at best, warm leads. When, in fact, most are cold leads and are from purchased lists. This strategy does not work. So stop it. Stop it now!
3. Amy Higgins, Strategic Marketing Consultant
I wish marketers would stop deciding on their tracking parameters as the last step to their marketing campaigns. Many marketers will publish and promote content without adding trackable data parameters. Or, they add one-off trackable data parameters that are not related to a high-arching goal or campaign metric.
Worse, many add the tracking parameters at the last stage. This is where mistakes can happen in a last-minute effort to getting a campaign launched. You could even end up with trackable data that goes nowhere or adds extra complexity to your data reports.
If you develop your data strategy while you are developing the campaign, you can map the customer journey and decide what metrics you need and do not need to track.  Ask yourself, what's the main goal of the campaign? What journey do you want your customers to follow? What are you trying to get your audience to do at each stage?
4. Doug Kessler, Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners, Ltd
Marketers should stop kissing the asses of our executive 'stakeholders' and start standing up for what we know to be great marketing.
A dumb idea from a Senior VP is still a dumb idea.
Marketers need the backbone to point that out, instead of rushing off to execute it.
They know their stuff. We respect that. We need to start insisting that we know ours.
5. John Lincoln, CEO, Ignite Visibility
I can give you a long list of things that marketers should not do next year. There's so many ineffective strategies that people are wasting their money on right now. It's really sad to see. That being said, the one thing that really resonates with me is that marketers should absolutely not be blogging without any clear goals in mind. I cannot tell you how many blogs I see out there with absolutely no purpose.
What these people do not realize is that their blog traffic can be used for remarketing, it can be used to capture email addresses, it can be used to push people into their sales funnel, it can be used to strategically target large keywords on the internet that have buying intent, it can be used to grow the size of your social media community significantly, it can be used to create ecourses and it is the single most important part of your business for thought leadership (in most cases).
If you know how to blog correctly and you're adding something new to the conversation it can dramatically increase the size of your business. It is at the heart of your entire marketing strategy and most people are doing it just dead wrong. In 2017 I encourage everybody to really define their goals for blogging and study up on how to get there and really maximize the potential of their blog. Most marketers are leaving money on the table there. They don't realize the power that their blog has and next year they really need to grab a hold of it and not continue to make this mistake.
6. Katie Martell, Marketing Consultant
Please, stop buying technology when you really need to solve your strategy problems. Many tools create efficiency, many tools make you more effective, but no tool will help you if you are lacking a foundational strategy. Invest in understanding your customers. Invest in improving your story and your content. Invest in aligning with sales.
With so many options in MarTech, many teams face a new challenge: managing their existing tech stack. Don't get caught up in the hype and when you do make a purchase, hold your vendors accountable to helping you get the most out of your money spent. 
7. Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
According to CMI/MarketingProfs latest research, 70% of marketers are planning to create more content in 2017.  For most companies, I believe this is a mistake.  The majority of enterprise content does nothing for the intended audience. 
I would focus on creating less, but more impactful content on fewer channels...on initiatives that are truly differentiated and truly help us to create better customers.  Consolidate what you are doing so that what you keep makes the most impact possible.

Change The Way People See Your Dental Practice


Change The Way People See Your Dental Practice



Did you know, Google offers a unique tool that allows people to tour the inside of your dental office, before walking through your doors?
Over half of prospective patients will research dental offices online before deciding to book an appointment or request a consultation. They want to know where you’re located; what it looks like inside and out; what other patients have to say about their experience through online reviews; and how to get in contact. With so many other businesses in the area, it’s essential to meet people’s expectations by appearing in their search results. People need to see a business appear online with active postings and updated content in order for them to feel confident enough that a business is in fact up and running.  
What are the first steps?
Having a well designed website is a great start. However, for small business owners like: dental offices, walk-in offices, and other physician practices that offer services for health and well-being, it may not be nearly enough to get patients through your door.  
Google My Business gives you the resources you need to connect with photographers in your area who can help you create a 360-degree virtual tour of your business. Prospective patients will have the ability to get a virtual tour of your dental practice with a simple touch of their finger. From their mobile phone, tablet, or any other way they stay connected online. When your business appears in search results for “dentists in the area” or “dentists accepting new patients,” you can invite them in with indoor Street View directly from Google Maps and Search. It’s the most effective way to inspire trust and confidence. Give people the opportunity to experience your business before they arrive.
What’s the added benefit of signing up for Google My Business? It gives businesses insightful information available all in one place, on your own Dashboard. Log on to your secured business profile and see how many times your business appeared in search results with views, or how many people requested directions or called with the number of clicks.  
These are essential tools for kick-starting any small business. New business owners may not always have the time to invest in building the virtual side of their business, which is why services like Airi exist. They’re committed to building and protecting your internet presence, so you can put more time into face-to-face interactions with your clients, patients or customers.

Online Reputation & Reviews for Doctors, Dentists and Physicians


Online Reputation & Reviews for Doctors, Dentists and Physicians



When it comes to research for important decision-making processes, especially for medical and health inquires, online reputation & reviews for doctors, dentists and physicians can be the difference between getting a new patient or deterring others from making an appointment. Statistics show local businesses which offer a service that is most likely to affect our health and well-being, safety, or comfort and hospitality, are those that people believe a strong reputation is most important. When it comes to research for important decision-making processes, especially for medical and health inquires, online reputation & reviews for doctors, dentists and physicians can be the difference between getting a new patient or deterring others from making an appointment.
When asked, “For which of these local business types does ‘Reputation’ matter the most when choosing a business?”
Here were the key findings:
Doctor / Dentist – 47%
Restaurants / Cafe – 46%
Hotel / B&B – 30%
Garage / Car Dealer – 30% 

As you can see, the majority of customers believed a Doctor or Dentist’s reputation mattered most. Which leads up to the importance of why local medical and hospitality businesses should take additional steps to ensure that not only a good reputation, but that this is also clearly represented online through positive reviews. After all, in this era of technology where people can communicate with one another and share information instantly, it’s no surprise that people rely on reviews from complete strangers online to inspire trust in a business. It’s a radical idea when you actually depict it, however it’s something we need to get on board with to be successful or risk falling behind.
Now, this information isn’t meant to worry Physicians who are currently running their own their own practice. There are strategies to help you manage your online reputation and reviews.
Ask patients to rate you
  • Hand your patients a card that provides a link to a patient review website.
  • Keep a tablet at the front desk. Ask your patients to take a moment to rate you on their way out.
  • Create a link on your clinic website that will direct patients to a patient review website
The purpose of this strategy is to get one to two reviews a week at a minimum. You can do this by finding a way to ask every patient to leave a review. Essentially, having a higher number of reviews can actually dilute any negative reviews.
Embrace reviews
This goes back to the fact that people will turn to reviews before considering choosing your medical centre for their healthcare needs. Meet your patients expectations by appearing in their search results. Having a strong internet presence through reviews is how they will gain trust in your clinic. Think of reviews as a good thing for your local business!
Don’t ignore negative comments or reviews
Some medical review websites will allow a physician to respond to a negative review. If it is allowed, your response will be public. In this case, ensure your response acknowledges their concerns in a general way. Show prospective patients you’re serious about creating a positive resolution, and an overall good outcome for the patient.  
“We are sorry to hear you were unhappy with your visit, please get in contact with us so that we may resolve your concerns.  We strive to provide positive experiences for our patients and would like to offer our help in any way we can.”
It is always best to call or get in contact with your patient to offer solutions to resolve their concerns, so that they may change or remove their negative review.  
For more information or to get assistance with building and protecting your internet presence for your clinic or medical centre, contact Airi today.

How do I respond to Negative / Positive Company Reviews Online?


How do I respond to Negative / Positive Company Reviews Online?



Responding to page reviews online is arguably the most important aspect of engagement, solely because of the way reviews are used as a tool for company research. When the modern consumer knows that they need a product or service, the first thing they do is research different brands to find the best option to suit their needs (comparison shopping).
Some consumers care more about a bang for their buck, other consumers care more about the quality of the product, but all consumers care about being cared about. Responding to reviews does just that by showing researches (those reading the reviews on your page) that you actually take the time to read customer feedback, are thankful for their patronage, and would be willing to resolve an issue if one were to arise.

BEFORE YOU START: To respond to a page review for the whole world to see, consider the following:
  • Would you describe your culture as fun or formal? This changes the tone of your response drastically. “Hey There! vs Good afternoon, <name>”. Generally the more trust your customer places in you, and your professional ability the more formal your tone should be. For example you wouldn’t want to see your prospective dentist respond to a negative review with “Opps, my bad.”
  • Do you have a loyalty program new customers should be aware of? Positive reviews are a great opportunity to introduce social media fans your loyalty program or fan club. “Hey, we are glad you like our product! Join our fan club for special offers, and savings www.signuplandingpage.com.”
  • Do you have a return, refund, or discount policy? These are a lifesaver when responding to negative reviews about your product or service. “Hi, @name we are sad to hear you don’t like this product, if you still have your receipt and it has been less than 90 days please return it and we will find one that is right for you! www.customerservicesupport.com

Step 1: Respond to Negative Reviews.

Before you respond to a negative listing review, consider its validity. If you are a small to medium sized business, odds are there is some truth behind the reviewer’s statement, no matter how exaggerated. Remember not to take negative reviews personally, and when responding be sure to:    
  • Reply in a timely manner.
  • Responses should be brief and professional.
  • Show compassion for their viewpoint, and offer a resolution if the negative review is valid.
  • Try to continue the conversation offline.
    • Review: This product is awful, I am allergic to its ingredients! @companyname is the worst.
    • Response: Hi Reviewer, we are so sorry to hear you cannot enjoy our product. We have been working hard on an allergen free version. Please reach out to @companyemail, we would love to make it up to you! – Company Team.   

Step 2: Respond to Positive Reviews.

This is your chance to have fun, and turn some happy customers into brand ambassadors. When responding to a positive review, remember:
  • Always be grateful for their praise
  • Emphasize the positive message
  • Continue the conversation by asking a question
    • Review: I love this product, feature 1 is a lifesaver! 10/10 would recommend.
    • Response: Thanks Reviewer, we love that you love our product! The team will be happy to hear their hard work on feature 1 is paying off 🙂 Is there anything else that could make our product even better for you? Let us know @companyemail – Thanks again.

Negative Effects of Not Having an Internet Presence for Your Small Business



Negative Effects of Not Having an Internet Presence for Your Small Business


Small businesses should value the need for online marketing and building their online presence. It’s important to note that online presence is not only established in the way you promote and sell your products online. There are definitely negative effects for not having a proper internet presence for your small business. With proper internet presence, you can establish the story behind your brand to your audience. If you own a local bakery or coffee shop, people want to see the behind the scenes in visuals, through photos and video. Sharing your story humanizes your brand, it gives it warmth and makes it all the more desirable to potential customers. 
Of course, being a business owner you may not always have the time to regularly update your blog or manage social media. Which is why there are services available like Airi Business to provide who will work to build your internet presence for you.  It’s no longer a “do it later” option, it’s a must now or you risk falling behind competition. Here’s why having no internet presence is a bad idea:
Lack of confidence if your brand
Having no internet presence is like being stuck in a primitive era, there’s no simpler way to say it.  Today, everyone from buyers to suppliers, and even your grandparents are online making purchases, browsing new products, or researching new services.  If you’re not online, how do you expect people to know about your brand.
Less exposure of your product or service
Again, how will you extend your reach to more people, more neighbourhoods, more prospective customers if you are not online?  Sure, you may attract the people who walk by your business or by word of mouth but, why limit yourself?
Negative Effects of Not Having an Internet Presence
Poor reach
As you can see, all of the reasons why not having internet presence are related.  It all comes  down to getting your brand, your business more exposure.  Getting the word out there on a larger scale.  Meeting your customers expectations by appearing online through photos, testimonials, videos, etc.  These are what people need in this day and age to inspire trust in a business.  It’s all about the image and story that’s online for the world to see.
Lack of control over your brand’s image
If you’re not online telling people about your brand, someone else will.  The power of the internet is inevitable.  Visitors at your coffee shop are probably posting photos of their lattes and scones at this very moment.  
  • Learn what people are saying about your business on Yelp
  • Claim your business on Google
  • Manage your reputation by managing your reviews
Get advice and helpful tips on building your small business internet presence with Airi Business tools today.  An Airi Business membership will get you everything you need to build and protect the virtual side of your business, with access to professionals who will do the work for you so you can spend more hands-on time building the business you love.

How do I get a Profile Canada Business Listing?

How do I get a Profile Canada Business Listing?


BEFORE YOU START: Profile Canada is free to list your business but not to respond to reviews. Go to profilecanada.com/grow-your-business for more info. 

Add a Business to Profile Canada: 

  • Go to www.profilecanada.com.
  • What is your relationship to this company? Select: 
    • I’m the owner of this company.
    • I work for this company.
    • I don’t work here, but I’m acting on behalf of this company.
    • I’m a user of Profile Canada improving the business listing.
  • Add Key Business Info:
    • Name.
    • City.
    • Address.
    • Postal Code.
    • Business Phone.
    • Website.
    • Business Description:
    • Toll Free Number.
    • Fax Number.
    • Email.
  • Search and Select your Business Category.
  • Answer Survey Q’s:
    • What is your top online marketing challenge?
    • Are you currently working with an SEO provider?
  • Create your Profile Canada Account:
    • First Name.
    • Last Name.
    • City.
    • Email.
    • Password / Confirm Password
    • Enter CAPTCHA text.
  • Click Submit Info and Create Account.
  • Confirm Profile Canada’s Verification Email (check all email categories).
After confirming your email, your account will remain pending until reviewed by website moderators. Once reviewed and approved, your listing will be published by Profile Canada.

Fix an Error on your Profile Canada Listing: 

Follow the same steps as above. Moderators will review your Profile Canada Listing Update, and apply it to the existing listing.