Yesterday, David Mihm highlighted an article in his Tidings Newsletter about a dentist that had legally changed his last name from Draper to Better so that he could change his practice name to Better Dental and rank better. Matt Marko pointed out the “shortsightedness in his leaving the obvious opening for Dr. Best”.
At GetFiveStars I just penned a post: Can 5-Star Reviews Backfire? And based on research published in the Harvard Business review I think it very likely that having a review profile that is “too perfect” can be bad for business.
Ive just logged into my account to see that there is no longer a contact us under the support tab. It just states “Need More Help?” and that does not let me fill out a form to contact and a “Send Feedback”. Have they cut off phone support for us who need it?
Well all support is not lost but it sure has been buried very deeply within the bowels of the Google My Business Center and signs seem to be pointing towards a desire to cut down on support phone calls.
Even after the public form was removed two weeks ago you could still go into the GMB, select support from the drop down and fairly quickly both find the correct button to get a call back.
Google now seems to hasve buried it at least two levels deeper and offered fewer support choices.
Here is the new instructions I wrote to now find it:
To get in touch with Google My Business Support ou need to:
1- log into your Google my business dashboard http://www.google.com/mybusiness
2- select support from upper left hamburger menu
3- a help screen will appear to the right
4- It used to be just a scroll down to contact us
5- But now you have to dig into the specific problem
6- Click though to the appropriate help page
7- Read the help page and then
8- Scroll to the bottom of the page and choose most appropriate contact method for you (some are not always available)
At the end of that path, once you dig deep enough, you MIGHT see something like a contact request at the bottom of the help page. I did see one screen that offered a call back but after hitting it once, it disappeared on me. So while I think they may still offer limited call backs, the availability seems to have been dramatically decreased.
Could this be a bug in their support or a fluke in the phone system? Sure. I am waiting to hear whether these are mistakes or intentional actions to reduce call volume. I fear the latter.
This week’s Deep Dive at LocalU, with Mary Bowling and myself, looks at the data behind a discussion between by myself and David Mihm for StreetFight magazine about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and local.
We dig into the details of a case study for a single location and ask the questions:
What are the critical KPI’s for a location-based business?
How can you measure conversion?
Where do new customers come from?
Join us at LocalU for the video and a complete transcript!
Google has significantly upgraded the interface and functionality of the photos section within the My Business Dashboard.
The new interface replaces the arbitrary categories with tags and allows for a simpler interface for the cover photo, the profile photo and a business’s logo. Although there is no ability to add custom tags, it is a simpler and easier interface that the previous one.
While the profile photo interface is easy to use, it is still not clear whether Google will use that photo or override it with their algo based preferences.
In addition the interface surfaces customer uploaded photos so that a business can see what user generated content exists without the trouble of going into Maps. They do not yet allow inappropriate photos to be reported or removed via the interface but one can hope.
Photos come pre-tagged in set categories. It behooves you to scan each tag result as there are the occasional errors. To edit the tag simply click into the image and select the info button upper right to change the tag. As noted there is no custom tagging at this point.
Click the info icon in the far upper right and the info panel will appear allowing for easily retagging the photo
Deleting a photo is equally simple. Just select the trash can. Google will then confirm the deletion.
In a recent case study, I found that 70% of web based actions leading to a sale occurred on Google, either in the Knowledge Panel, Maps or the search result. Photos seem to play a huge roll in both the first impression and the subsequent user action. Google research (found here in pdf) has indicated significant click through improvements on listings with photos vs those without:
Having great photos is one controllable step that can facilitate that initial client interaction. With this improved interface there is no reason not to take advantage of this bump.
Update: As a note different business types and different photos generated different tags. Given that I have not seen Local Guides asked about these I assume that they are machine learning generated. And I also assume that they will be editable when Google has in place a way to prevent abuse. Continue reading Google My Business Photos 3.0 Launches→
This morning I spotted a new Google Local Shopping ad that places local inventory in a pack like display with a Map. This new ad unit is obviously a display test of their shopping campaing local inventory ad unit as it is not visible by many. For the history see Jennifer Slegg’s write up here.
It is not particularly well marked as an ad and it fills the whole screen above the fold on my iphone.
It is immediately followed up by another ad with site links which takes up a fair bit of space and then finally, the 3 pack. By this time, the user is 2400 pixels down the screen. Oh yes and local organic results below that.
Lots of scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and did I mention scrolling? The page is ugly to boot. I have added a pixel ruler to give you a sense of the height of the ads before any local or organic content is seen.
Confederate Memorial Day is celebrated as a public holiday in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. Although in Texas it seems to be referred to as Confederate Heroes Day and is celebrated on January 19th. Apparently there though it is considered an optional state holiday “meaning some state employees will come to work while others do not”.
Obviously it is a day with deep and to many, abhorrent symbols of our history. And many would contend unnecessary and hurtful as we already have a Memorial Day to remember all fallen soldiers.
And Google seems to be in the middle of it. Read this post in their forum:
Hi, it seems that every business in Texas, including ours, has a “Confederate Memorial Day” holiday within their hours listed on Google. Our business absolutely does not want to be associated with this “holiday.” Can Google please address this?
As reader Tom Waddington points out below, in those states that have a state holiday for Robert E Lee’s Birthday, that state event trumps the federal holiday of Martin Luther King Day.
Although it appears that bulk uploads from national accounts have some control over the labeling of the holiday.
And this example being discussed in the Google Search Community (h/t to Thomas P below):
Update Monday 4:30 CST: In states like Alambana that celebrate Robert E Lee Day, Google has apparently updated the display to jointly note both days.
They have not updated Texas’s Thursday holiday: Confederates Hero’s Day. They retain the mislabeling indicating that it is called Confederate Memorial Day. Google knows the actual name as indicated in this answer box:
And clearly even agencies are open that day so it is not clear why there is any notation needed at all.