Reviews are important. As a business owner you know that, but at the same time you don’t want a few negative reviews to tarnish your business. 

As a marketer dealing with businesses 24/7 the number 1 reason why business owners don’t push reviews is “They don’t want to get negative reviews”. They spend all their time and effort trying to deliver the best service possible…they don’t want one upset customer to ruin all their hard work.

Look, I don’t care what business you are in…you will NEVER please every single customer you ever get. It would be nice…but it is statistically IMPOSSIBLE. Therefore getting grey hairs over worrying about that bad review…a business owner should invest time into training his employees on what to do when they do get that bad review.

How to Respond to a Negative Review:

  1. Speed – A negative review should be handled IMMEDIATELY. Never more than 2 hours.
  2. Keep it simple – In the review response DO NOT get into asking questions. Also DO NOT ask for specifics within the review. You do not want that information all over the internet for anyone to find.
  3. Apologize – The customer is always right (even when they are not). Saying something like “I am very sorry to hear about your frustrating experience with (company name). I appreciate you alerting me to this fact and it will be taken care of”.
  4. Move the Conversation Offline – The first response should alway be online answering the person’s negative review, but once that has been handled…ALWAYS get the conversation to a personal email or phone call.

If you or any of your staff can do the above, chances are 67% of the time you will be able to salvage that customer and even bring them back to purchase again from your business.

Negative reviews are a part of life and they are going to happen, but if you are prepared to properly handle them…it will not be a problem.

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Many local businesses have physical locations where potential customers or existing customers can enter and get a service or product.

For these businesses, the only reason they even have an online presence is for new potential customers to find them and enter their establishment, at which point you can upgrade them from someone curious about your business to an actual customer.

As a potential customer it can be extremely annoying to drive to a location to find it has moved or that a service or offering is no longer available. When a potential customer finds that information online doesn’t match what actually exists within a business or in a store they lose confidence in that business.

Therefore these are some things all local businesses should ensure are correct for their business

1. Hours – Your hours of operation need to be spot on!

If you are a potential client and you checked online to ensure a business is open, go to the business and find the business closed due to a change in business hours…you have probably lost that customer for life. They just wasted their time to try and pay your business money…only to find you are not open.

Hours of operation is the one of the most looked at aspects of any business listing and people expect this information to be on a businesses page.

2. NAP – If you don’t list an address then you don’t have a NAP citation.

NAP = Name, Address and Phone number. Therefore if you have a business listing without the address…then you don’t have a NAP citation and NAP citations are VERY, VERY good things to have for Local and Organic SEO.

As a business you make money when people purchase your product or service. If they can’t find you…they most likely won’t be doing any buying. Food for thought.
The USPS is generally the go to for all search engines. If USPS doesn’t match what you have listed online…there will be problems. So ensure this is correct for your business.

3. Mobile – If they can’t find it using their phone, they don’t want it.

We are coming to the end of 2020 and if you don’t know by now that over 50% of all internet usage happens on mobile devices…then you haven’t been paying attention.

People don’t carry desktop computers with them when they are on the go. They carry their phones. Therefore if you want them to be able to find you…they will need to access your website on a mobile device.

Your business needs to have a website that is built with responsive design. Meaning that no matter what device you look at the website on…it still looks good.

4. Website – Still the first impression for most potential customers.

Before you ever see a potential customer…they most likely know everything they can about your business. They will have “internet stalked” your business. That is the way of the world today.

If your businesses website hasn’t been updated since sometime in the early 2000s, you are going to be out of date and look….old. Not up with the times and that leaves a bad first impression.

A businesses website should be updated every three years. If you fall outside that time frame…get your website updated today.

5. Local – Google 3 Pack is the most trusted!

Most people want something local. They feel it will allow them more control in the outcome of the product…even if it doesn’t.

Think about it. Would you rather use a local company or some company in another state? That is why the Google 3-Pack is one of the most trusted sources on the internet.

Working on each of the above points will help tremendously in getting a business on the Google 3-pack. Example below:

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Understanding how to use Google Tag Manager can actually make one’s life easier.

In a previous article we showed you how to set up a Google Tag Manager account. In this article we are going to walk you through how to use Google Tag Manager.

Tags are small pieces of code added to web pages that allow a business to track certain activities that occur within a web page separate from the web page traffic itself, such as form fills, ebook downloads, newsletter sign-up, etc.

Therefore understanding how to use Google Tag Manager can actually make one’s life easier.

If you do not have a Google Tag Manager, please read “How to Guide – Google Tag Manager” before continuing with this article.

Every analytic tool on planet earth has its own lingo. If you have never used a specific tool before, not understanding this lingo can make it difficult. Google Tag Manager is no different.

There are three specific terms that one needs to fully understand when working with Google Tag Manager.

Each of these categories make up an essential aspect of the Google Tag Manager system.

Tags – As covered above are small pieces of code. This code is used by marketing platforms and analytics systems to integrate with sites and even mobile applications.

Google Analytics uses these tags to track user interaction with a website or app. The Tag Manager acts as an interface to make it easier to control the different tags within a website. Google Tag Manager obviously uses all Google tags, but works with a number of third-party tags as well (Supported Tags).

Triggers – A trigger is a small piece of code built into a specific page that tracks events. Events are user interactions with content that can be measured independently from a web-page or load screen.

Thus when an action is taken or accomplished (click on a link, clicks on other elements, a specific time met, or a form is submitted etc) this is a trigger and the Google Tag Manager collects the information of what happened.

Whenever one of the events happens it triggers the tag, but you can apply filters to only gather the information you want.

Variables – A variable relates to both Triggers and Tags. I’ll be completely honest, there is a lot of technical information that goes into setting up variables.

I’ll try to keep this as basic as possible. When dealing with triggers the variable determines when the tag should actually fire and when dealing with tags it tells the tag exactly what information to gather. That is the simplicity of it.

How to Create a Tag

There is a lot that Google Tag Manager can do, but its most basic function is creating tags. Once you have set up a few tags the process becomes easier and you can do it easily.

For now, we are going to walk you through a step by step process of how to set up a Page Views tag.

In the container you will see a “New Tag” field. Click on the add new tag link. And it will take you to this window.

In the upper left hand corner there is a place to name the tag. Ensure the name is something that will easily identify exactly what the tag is doing.

There are two options to pick here. Tag configuration or Triggering. Click on the Tag Configuration box. This will take you to the next section.

A window as shown above will pop out asking you to pick an option. For this particular tag you will choose the “Google Analytics: Universal Analytics” button. Just click on it.

Once you have done that it will bring you back to this:

Now that you have picked page view as your track type you will need to head over to your Google Analytics account, as that will be the one actually tracking the event.

In the bottom left hand corner is the admin tab. Go ahead and click that tab.

Which will open up this screen for you to use.

Under the property column, click the tab that says property settings and this will open up a new section for you to use.

At the top of this page you will see “Tracking ID”. You will need this tracking ID.

Once back with Google Tag Manager, at the bottom you will see a box labeled “Enable overriding settings in this tag”. Ensure that you click this box. After you have clicked the box, it will give you a place to input the “Tracking ID” from your Google analytics.

Now since we have not hard coded this tag into each page of the website, we need to create a user-defined variable to do that for us.

So click the save button in the upper right corner. It will tell you that you haven’t picked a firing yet, that is ok. Just save the tag.

Now in the left handle panel of Google Tag Manager you will see a variables tab. Click it.

The above window is what you will see. It has a list of Built in Variables and even a place to make a User-Defined Variable. Click on the “New” button.

It will open up this section:

Name the variable in the upper left hand corner and then click the box. It will open up this section:

We will want to pick “Constant” under the Utilities section. Once you have clicked this it will show you this.

Input your Google Analytics Tracking ID in the value field then hit the save button.

Now let’s go back to the tag that we saved. It will be under the tags tab.

What we are going to do now is uncheck that box “Enable overriding setting in this tag”.

Once you have unchecked that box, I want you to hit the “Google Analytics Settings” drop down menu and pick “new variable”. It will open this screen:

In the “Tracking ID” field, hit the plus symbol button and choose the new user-built variable you created. You should know what this is as you just named it.

Now we have created our first tag and have it configured. We now need to handle the Trigger.

Click the Trigger box to get to the next section. It will only have one trigger for you to pick “Page Views”. Press that trigger. You will end up with this.

Press the save button and you have everything set.

Before this tag will actually start collecting information you will need to publish it, but before you publish a tag, you should always ensure that everything is working properly.

In the main overview window of Google Tag Manager you will see a preview button:

The preview button is in the upper left hand corner right next to the submit button. Click on that button and this will appear:

Where it has a URL field, input your URL and start. It will then go through a process and if something is wrong it will tell you. If everything works it will let you know.

Once this has been tested and works, just hit the submit button and everything is good to go!

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If you work in marketing, the Google Tag Manager can be one of your best friends, especially if you don’t know how to code a website.

Google is all about increasing the user’s experience. Therefore every product that they release to their users, they do everything possible to make it friendly.

Tags are pieces of code that you can put into the website to track aspects of what is happening on the site. Google Tag Manager is a tool that Google set up to keep track of all the tags to make it easier for a business or marketers or marketing companies to keep track of all of them on a certain site.

Therefore we thought it would be beneficial to discuss how to set up Google Tag Manager. The best thing about it, is that it is free.

Step 1 – set up your Google Tag Manager

google ads tampa

In the upper right corner there is a button “sign up for free”. Click that button to take you to the next window.

google ads tampa

The first thing it will ask you to do is to name the account. Best to put your business name here.

Then you will put your geographical location, such as the United States.

It will ask if you want to share this information with Google and any third party companies Google is partnered with. This is completely up to you. I would recommend you agree to this feature. It will allow Google to better understand the analytics and metrics of the users on your site and give better insights.

The next section is called “container setup”. The first step is to put your website URL.

It will then ask you what the target platform is. Meaning is it a website, is it iOS, Android, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) or server (which is in beta stages).

In almost all cases this will be for a website and you can click that option. Now hit the create button and you will see this screen:

google ads tampa

The code will need to be installed on every single page of the website. There is a Quick Start Guide link if needed to make this happen.

Once you have created the company in Google Tag Manager you will see the following:

google ads tampa

You only have one account set up and that will be the one you just made. Click on the link for your company name to go to the next step.

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If you have spent anytime at all dealing with marketing for a business, you have felt the pressure of presenting ROI numbers for management.

Marketing is an all exclusive subject that effectives every aspect of a business, but when a business is spending hundreds, thousands and even in some cases millions of dollars on their marketing budget, they will demand to see their return on investment. This is just a smart business.

We have seen more marketing directors or marketing companies get fired due to not being able to present marketing ROI.

Many marketers tend to misconstrue why management wants the Marketing ROI. They tend to think it is “all about the money”. It’s not. Marketing ROI is just an indicator of how well a business is reaching its audience based on the money that is being spent.

Management wants to see the money they are spending is getting the target audience to engage with their business.

Therefore we felt it would be beneficial to lay out a how-to-guide for setting up goals in Google Analytics. This will allow a person or business to track the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns they are running.

Google Analytics is a robust system and if set up, will track all traffic coming to every single website on the internet. Which is a ridiculous number of websites.

Before you go into Google Analytics, you generally need to decide which type of Goal you would like to track. There are 4 categories Google Analytics tracks goals:

  1. Destination URLs
  2. Amount of Time spend on a page
  3. Amount of pages/visits
  4. Specific events you have set up

Where Do You Find Google Analytics Goals?

First you need to log into your Google Analytics account.

The above picture is what you will see once you have logged into your Google Analytics account. It is a broad overview screen.

In the bottom left hand corner you will see the admin tab. Click on it. It will open up a window that looks like this:

It will give you 3 different columns. Account, Property and View. You are going to be interested in the last column (View).

In the view column you will see a goal tab. Click on it to open this window:

This window shows all current goals loaded into Google Analytics for your website. Above all the active goals there is a red button labeled + new goal. Click this button.

You now have the option of using a templated goal (premade by Google) or a custom goal.

If you choose a template, then Google will recommend the actions for you to take. If you choose custom then you will determine the best metric to track. For the sake of this article, we will choose the custom method.

Hit the continue button to go to the next function. You will see this:

The first action here is to name the goal so that it will be easy for you to know exactly what you are tracking.

Then it will ask you if it is going to be a

Pages/Screens per session

Let us go into each of these goals in detail so you can make the best determination.

Destination – This goal will track how many users landed on a specific destination. When creating funnels, you will generally make this the last page in the funnel. Meaning they went through each aspect of the funnel and landed on the last page after taking the action you wanted them to take. If this has been done, then you know they converted. In most cases this is a thank you page. It could be a thank you page for subscribing for a blog, downloading an ebook, purchasing a product, etc.

Duration – This is tracking how long a person stayed on the website. This goal is necessary to track engagement. Meaning if a user only stayed on the page for a few seconds, then he most likely wasn’t engaged. But if you find users staying on for long periods of time, you can see they were engaged with the content. You would use this goal for a specific page you wanted to make sure got engaged with.

Pages/Screens per session – This is also an engagement goal, but is directed more to the entire website. This goal will test the engagement level of the entire website. If someone comes to a website and only looks at one or two pages, then the engagement wasn’t very good. But if you find a user looking at 5, 10 pages of your website and spent a lot of time within the website, that user is engaged. With this goal you determine how many pages would equal a conversion.

Event – Events are user interactions with content on your website that can be measured independently from a web-page or screen-load. Downloads, link clicks, form submissions and video plays are examples.

The most efficient way to track events is through Google Tag Manager. This will be the subject of a later blog.

For the sake of this article, we are going to choose destination. Once you have picked the goal you would like to track, hit the continue button to go to the next section.

Now the first thing you will need to do here is add the URL destination that you want to track for the sake of this goal. Just copy and paste from the web page on your site.

Once you have done this, you will then be asked for Value. If you already have a value connected to this goal you can turn this on to input the value.

The step is funnel. If this destination is part of a funnel, then you will be asked to put in the funnel pages before this one so that the entire funnel can be tracked and you understand how well it is working.

Once you have completed this step you save the goal.

We would highly recommend that you then test this goal. Actually go through your website and complete the funnel until you reach the destination and ensure that Google Analytics tracks it fully.

We would do this the day after you have set up the goal. This way you can ensure that all your work has been done properly.

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