Google Local Services Ads – Bye Bye lead gen

Recently I have heard more about Google’s latest move to kill off another part of the advertising world. This time they are taking down lead gen websites with Google Local Services Ads. Now instead of having to search google for a locksmith and then end up on a website that then reaches out to local locksmiths for a bid you will be able to go from Google to a local locksmith.

It is in pilot mode currently which is Google’s new way of saying beta I guess. The local business has to do a background check on the entity, owner, and all field techs in order to participate. You then give Google a budget and pay when you get a lead.

The critical piece to make this effective is to be sure the cost of the lead is less than your average customer profit. Remember there is more to cost that just the money you pay Google. Don’t get Grouponed.

None of my clients are on the pilot yet. Mainly cause they are geographically and industry constrained but as they works things out I see this becoming a new thing to add to your Google budget. You will possibly be able to move some AdWords budget over for this if you do any residential business. It will be interesting to see how it plays into B2B as well.

Track Google Analytics Demographics with Yoast WordPress Plugin

show advanced settings option in yoast Google Analytics for WordPress

Google added a section to Analytics that allows you to see demographic information about who is coming to your website. This can be very useful, and creepy, information about your users and allow you to make intelligent, or creepy, adjustments to your site and marketing efforts. Implementing this is pretty simple unless you use the Yoast Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, in which case you have to implement an, as they say in the industry, ‘work around’.

First login to wordpress and goto the settings section for the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin

Halfway down that page you will see the “Show Advanced Settings” option:
show advanced settings option in yoast Google Analytics for WordPress

Then scroll down to the “Host ga.js locally:” check box and click it.

Once you click on that you will be presented with a text box where you will past this URL:
host ga js locally with doubleclick URL for demographics tracking in yoast Google Analytics for WordPress

Then go into Google Analytics and go to the Demographics section under Audience and click to Validate and boom you are done!

There is also this video where the validation doesn’t work, but it worked for me:

Google Webmaster Tools Crawl Errors 404’s and WordPress

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2013 was awesome and that you have big plans for 2014!

I want to start the year off by writing a post about a problem that I ran into while optimizing a client website recently. I am going to get into the habit of posting here when I find a solution to something that took me a while to figure out. In this case it had to do with Google Webmaster Tools and 404 Errors caused by the default WordPress settings.

Crawl Errors in Google Webmaster Tools

Webmaster Tools - Crawl Errors
As a website owner you should already have an account setup at Google Webmaster Tools. If you need help here is a great post by Kristie Hines on setting up Google Webmaster Tools.
The first thing you should check is the Crawl Errors section. This is where Google tells you when it cannot find a page on your website; this is also known as a 404 error. You want to fix these errors quickly by either creating a page that you may have deleted or by creating a 301 redirect that tells Google and everyone else who is looking for that page to look at the new page you have identified. If you need help with how to setup 301 Redirects I suggest the Redirection plugin for Worpdress.

As you add a redirection for any 404 error that you find in Google Webmaster tools you can click a button that tells Google you have fixed that issue. Do this for each one to help let Google know things are resolved.GWT-Mark-As-Fixed-Button

Strange 404’s caused by WordPress

Google Webmaster Tools Errors Page Archives
One problem that WordPress users may run into with Google Webmaster Tools is 404 errors for pages ending with /feed/ or /page/ at the end of URLs that are valid. This confused me until I found this post from Dan Kern at Kern Media with an extensive list of how to best setup the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin. If you are not using this plugin for SEO on your WordPress website you should right now.

Yoast SEO to the Rescue

Dan’s post on how to set the plugin up is a really helpful resource for understanding a lot of the features of the plugin. The main takeaway here is that you want to enable the “Noindex subpages of archives” and all for options under the “Clean up the ” section in the Titles and Metas part of the plugin. Selecting these checkboxes and hitting save will make these 404 errors go away.
Yoast seo setup settings

I hope this helps in your quest for total optimization! I would love to hear any thoughts or other ways of fixing this type of problem.

Google Plus Business Page Verification and Setup

Google is making a huge push with Google+. The not only want you personally but you business as well. It is vitally important that you pay attention to this and get your business setup on Google + Page and verify it and then get it integrated with your Google Maps/Local/Places listing. This will ensure that when people search for your business that they get the correct information and help them get in contact with you beyond just your address and phone number.

More and more independent research is showing that Google + is influencing the SERPS. Regardless of how Google+ succeeds as a social network it is undeniable that it will be important for your business to show up on the busiest website on the web.

Yellow Pages to Local SEO

For any businesses that has been around longer than 10 years the Yellow Pages were a way of life. If you wanted to be found by someone you needed to be in that big yellow book. Now that we have the Internet and Smartphones the Yellow Pages have become obsolete. Personally I havent looked in one for 10 years and havent had any delivered for more than 3 years. If you want to be found now you need to be online.

Marketers use the term Local Search Engine Optimization(SEO) when talking about replacing what the Yellow Pages Book provided for a company. This is the process of setting up your website and various accounts with companies like Google, Yelp, and others including with the correct contact information such as your address and phone number. As a business owner you need to be making this transition today so that customers can find your business when they need you most.

Website –