Your Google My Business Page Can Be Ready in No Time
By now, we know that having a Google My Business listing matters. It helps your local SEO and gives your business more visibility. People who search for a product or service online usually visit a store on that same day, trying to get what they need. Imagine if your business shows up on their search. Boom. Sales. It’s an excellent place to focus your efforts, especially when you’re starting.
When you first get started, you might feel a little overwhelmed. It happens with everything you have to do for the first time. You might not know what to do or where to go. That’s ok, though. We got you.
Create Your Listing
You will need a Google My Business listing to kick things off. All you have to do is:
Assuming you already have a Google account that you want to be associated to your Google My Business listing, log into it. Otherwise, you should start by creating a Google account.
Visit google.com/business and click on “Start Now” at the top of the page.
Enter your business name, followed by your address. You can keep your address private if you work out of your home.
Choose the correct business category. This is very important, as you are telling Google what kind of customers should see your listing.
Add your business website or phone number.
Select a verification option. You can select “try a different method” and then click on “later” if you’re not ready to verify your business just yet.
Verify Your Business
To ensure you indeed created your listing, Google asks that you verify it. There’s more than one way to do it: by postcard, phone, email, instant verification, or bulk verification.
Google allows most businesses to go through the verification process by phone, but in some cases, the option to verify by email will be available, but Google will make the call. Let’s go through the most common options:
Verify by Phone
Once you’re logged in to Google My Business, confirm your phone number is correct and click on Verify by Phone.
You’ll receive a text to your phone with a verification code. Enter that code, and you’re all set.
Verify by Email
Once you’re logged in to Google My Business, confirm your email address is correct and click on Verify by Email.
Check your inbox for an email from Google My Business. It will contain a verification code and a button that takes you to the verification page. Just click on it to verify your account with the code given.
Finish Up Your Profile
After verifying you will need to add some information —including photos— about your business in the “Info” section. Make sure it is as accurate as possible. Anyone can suggest edits to your listing, so getting it right the first time will prevent random people from suggesting or making edits. Also, keep your information up to date. If anything changes, be sure to update your profile with the new information.
Now and then, businesses need to bring new light to their brand. Although it doesn’t happen frequently, rebranding is hard work, but sometimes it is what your business needs to kick off a new era.
Once you’ve decided to make that move, there is one part of the process that you definitely cannot skip, and that is communicating to your customers that you are rebranding. It is a must. Why? Not doing it can create confusion. Your customers are used to your brand as it is today. Letting them in on such valuable information shows you genuinely care about them.
So, how do you break it to them? Social media is a powerful tool that can help you get to everyone at once. Here are some tips to help you use social media to let your audience know you are rebranding:
Give Them a Sneak Peek
Although, keeping your rebrand to yourself so you can let everyone know when its ready sounds like a great surprise, it is best not to take risks. Some customers might not respond the way you expect them to if you choose that approach. Instead, create some suspense by releasing a little sneak peek, so they’ll know something new is coming. If you have an engaged crowd, you can ask their opinion so you can take what they say as feedback while you’re still working on your rebrand. That will not only make your audience feel valued, it will also build anticipation and get people excited for the launch.
Remember to Update Your Profiles
Whether you have one social media profile or many, they should all be consistent. If your business has a new image, so should your social media profiles —handles, photos, colors, and all that jazz. Be sure not to leave any of them out, not to confuse your current audience or even future customers by showing them an outdated brand.
Refresh Your Google My Business Page
First, if you don’t have a Google My Business page, you should certainly set one up. It provides excellent opportunities to bring in more business. Now, if you do have a Google My Business page, you must make sure all of your information is up to date. If you recently changed your name, your phone number or your address but your page shows outdated information, whoever Googles your name might end up going to the wrong location or calling the wrong number, which would defeat the whole purpose of your Google profile. And don’t forget to encourage your customers to provide reviews. The detailed your page is, and the more positive reviews you have, the greater your chances will be to rank high in SERPs.
Although, updating every piece of information across your social media profiles can be time-consuming, letting your audience know of your rebrand is critical for your business.
The human being is curious by nature. In the digital communication era, we as a global population have become extremely obsessive in demanding free of charge information, delivered in real-time. We nourish in data every day. However, nothing is free in life. Is it?
This non-stop, data traffic flow certainly comes at a cost. A cost that many are still sizing and don’t understand what it entails. To have access to this monumental size of data is extremely valuable with endless uses. You are required to share important information as well, and this is when your online privacy could be jeopardized.
Understanding Online Privacy
Privacy is defined as freedom from being observed or receiving public attention, or the ability of an individual to seclude themselves and their information. That applies to all kinds of scenarios, including the digital world. However, when it comes to digital privacy, most people find themselves confused about what it represents. I mean, how can we keep our privacy in a digital world that requires and demands information to operate efficiently?
Businesses try to acquire as much personal information about you as possible. Your behavior and online preferences are continuously tracked by companies looking to provide highly relevant information to your queries, tailored advertising campaigns, products, and services. The original idea was to provide a better experience to the user. However, this magnificent opportunity of access to people’s heads is well exploited by other entities, brands, governments, and of course, cybercriminals or hackers.
Even though collecting data, displaying it, selling it, or also providing it to third parties, all seem to be standard practices. They should all be and are trying to be regulated, which gives birth to concepts such as Internet privacy. Internet privacy is the right to keep sensitive data and information produced as a result of using the web, private.
In an ideal world, no one would have anything to hide, or no one would have to worry about protecting themselves from anyone else. Unfortunately, our world is far from ideal, and this means that we need to keep personal information safe from being used in the wrong way. The thing about the Internet is that to interact with most websites, some information is necessary.
When setting up an account on social media or on an e-commerce site to make online purchases, you are required to share specific information. Otherwise, the interaction would not be possible. That information is more than enough to harm you if it falls into the wrong hands. It doesn’t matter if you believe you are a minor or moderate Internet user. It takes one single web search or the creation of an email account, to leave your digital footprint.
How Vulnerable is my Online Privacy?
Internet privacy or online privacy is becoming a growing concern these days for users of all ages, all around the world. As the Internet continues to evolve, and the number of websites, online products, services, and special applications continues to expand, the full range of potential internet privacy issues grows exponentially. Ironically, people continue to daily share their personal lives on social media, losing the boundaries of how much they are exposing themselves.
There are millions of Internet users connected at the same time, all over the globe. Interconnectivity has brought incredible benefits to the world today. However, you don’t know who you might trigger online, and that’s when keeping vital, personal information private, is essential. We need to safeguard personal information such as financial data, medical records, home address, social security number, phone numbers, and much more, from being used against us or in a wrong way.
Internet Privacy – A Shared Responsibility
People need to understand that they and all of us must take ownership of our data security. Every individual is responsible for the privacy of their information and how much of it they decide to disclose. However, it seems that people aren’t aware of this. They mistakenly believe that the protection of their information is entirely responsible for the website, social media, or online business that they are accessing.
The responsibility of your online data privacy is a two-way street. Businesses have a great responsibility to handle customers’ information appropriately, use it strictly for the purposes requested, and to not share it with third-party companies or individuals. On the other hand, users should also empower themselves in their data protection.
That is why it is vital to acknowledge your Internet rights. Even if they are not entirely defined, and the discussion about when, where, why, or the scope of these rights is still pretty fresh. The precedents have already warned us of the risks as cases of information become available. For example, the Equifax hack in 2017 compromised 143 million of American’s social security numbers and Facebook users’ records exposed on Amazon, and also Jullian Assange’s famous Wikileaks case. These are becoming more often and severe.
If you don’t take precautions towards your digital information, you could suffer a wide range of attacks and frauds such as Phishing, pharming, spyware, and malware. Through these and other strategies, cyber crooks can easily steal your identity, make unapproved purchases or credit card frauds.
Spyware is designed as an offline application to build or obtain data without the user’s consent. When the computer is online, previously acquired data is sent to the spyware source. These are well hidden in your system and sometimes are hard to detect.
Through Pharming, hackers can redirect a legitimate website visitor to a different IP address. Once there, the user will be unprotected and will provide information to the wrong hands.
Phishing is an Internet hacking activity used to steal private information such as usernames, passwords, bank account numbers, security PINS, or credit card numbers.
Malware is an application used to damage computers either online or offline. Most of them are injected through trojans, viruses, and spyware.
Understanding Your Internet Rights
When it comes to Internet rights and legislation, the European Union has taken leadership for decades. Even forcing significant corporations such as Google to pay considerable fines for not complying with their antitrust regulations. The GDPR or the EU General Data Protection Regulation, as its name suggests, regulates Internet rights and legislation in Europe, today. It was approved in 2016 by the European Union Parliament and enforced in 2018. It is designed to:
Harmonize data privacy laws across Europe
Protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy
Reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy
Thanks to that, the EU can manage and regulate essential aspects such as subject data rights, condition of consent, the right to Internet access, data portability, privacy by design, and others. These establish fines and penalties up to €20 Million, for those who do not comply with their regulations. That includes not only organizations located within the EU, but it also applies to those located outside of the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behavior of, EU data subjects. It applies to all companies processing and holding the personal data of data subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company’s location.
How to Protect Your Online Privacy
It is crucial to have a better understanding of how your personal data can be used against you, either by massive companies or cyber-criminals. Also being aware of the multiple potential risks, such as viruses or spyware that you could face while surfing the web or interacting on a social network. And having a better comprehension of your Internet rights. All these will allow you to empower yourself in controlling your Online Privacy, making smarter decisions when managing your data.
Be Smart with Your Personal Data
Remember that you have the right to decide how far you go when sharing your personal information. Be smart and safeguard the knowledge no one really should be interested in having. There is a wide range of single steps you can take that will help to keep your private data secure.
For instance: remember always to log out of websites and apps once you are done using them and avoid setting them to remember your user name and password. Avoid using public web providers and if so, avoid visiting bank accounts and similar.
When shopping online, try to stick to well-known websites with high-security levels. Also, avoid posting your personal information such as private email, phone number, or home address. This data is vital to safeguard.
If you commonly use third parties’ public storage services to transfer or keep your information, highly consider the type of data you plan to save there. Under no circumstances should you keep personal data like passwords, IDs or passport scans, or other similar valuable documents.
The same goes with social networks. It is up to you how much you want to share or with whom you are willing to share it. However, it is quite easy to lose track of your social network posts. Therefore, it is vital to set up privacy settings. It is in social networks nature system to collect as much data as possible. With such size of information, the chances of a breach are incredibly high with massive consequences.
It is recommended to stick with those contacts that you trust, even if it means losing a little popularity. Use little personal information and avoid sensitive details that could be harmful.
Go Beyond Internet Privacy
The recommendations above are just simple and essential tips that every Internet user should consider when surfing the web or sharing their daily lives in social networks. Besides, you can take further steps in protecting your online privacy against illegal and compromising issues.
Search engines are a great and essential place to start if you want to use the web safely. According to Google, an average person conducts between 3 and 4 searches online, every single day. This search engine itself receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. The number of personal data companies, and individuals can get access via search engines is simply immeasurable.
As you search and surf the web, search engines and websites track your behavior to provide more relevant information to your queries, which is great. However, it can also be used for the wrong intentions. Look for the privacy settings in the sites and services you visit and try to keep them as private as possible. You can also use individual windows or incognito to avoid sites from tracking you.
You can also go further and try special private search engine services that won’t track your search history. There are several sites specialized in offering an individual experience as you safely surf the web.
Another excellent option to keep your Internet activity safe and private is by using a VPN or a virtual private network. A VPN will provide you with a private IP address, hide your real one, and make it will seem as if you are using another server. You can also encrypt the data you send.
Up to this point, it should be evident to you how valuable your personal information could be for companies and Cyber Crooks. More data is easily translated into sweet money. Like any other asset or good, some companies actually make a living out of your data. That’s right; they sell your information.
People search data providers, and data brokers have existed for a long time, even when most people are not aware of them. However, you can count on your personal information being there. Journalists, marketers, advertisers, lawyers, and obviously, hackers and scammers usually visit these sites. Their business is legit as they are sharing necessary public information.
The good thing is that you can ask and demand them to remove your personal information from their database and forbid them from sharing it. They are forced to respect your Internet privacy. Remember, you have Internet rights! To get your personal info out of their database, you have to submit a request, which might, by the way, be kind of complicated.
There are several businesses out there that offer online tools to identify those sites that have your information and will proceed with the request submission for you.
Keeping your personal information private is your right, but most of all, your responsibility. It doesn’t matter if you surf the web on your own, or you provide an online service. It is your responsibility to use and manage the information correctly and safely.
If you have doubts on whether your site handles privacy, contact Impressions Agency today. We will gladly help you safely manage your online privacy. Offering customers a secure website must be at the top of your list. We can help you set up a top-notch website that addresses your needs, and those of your customers, including privacy and security. Let’s talk about how we can help your business stay on top of the game.
Homepages vs. Landing Pages: 3 Things That Make Them Different
The term home page is one that you might be more familiar with, but when you throw in the term landing page, suddenly everything sounds the same. The thing is they aren’t.
If you are new to landing pages, have a landing page, but aren’t exactly sure what it’s for or need to build one for your site, on the last blog we talked about goals and guidelines for landing pages. But if you’re confused about the difference between a home page and a landing page, you’ll need some more details as to what they are and how they’re different. So let’s break it down into three main differences:
Your home page is where your visitors will get to when they go to your website, especially if they come from organic traffic, meaning that they found your site on organic search results. This type of user might not be looking for anything in particular. They are just browsing around, hoping to find something that interests them.
On the other hand, when we talk about landing pages, we are referring to a standalone page where your visitors will land after clicking on a call to action, whether it comes from a paid ad or an email marketing campaign. This type of visitor is further down the sales funnel and is more likely to convert.
Homepages have links for all sorts of things: navigation, terms & conditions, social media, etc. That is how you help your visitors interact with your site. In contrast, the links on landing pages are meant to convert traffic. Landing pages rarely have links to anything else because you want your viewers to focus on converting.
Your homepage will have a lot of different information about your business, and although you might use some of it on your landing page, its content should be strictly related to the service, product or offer that you are promoting. A landing page is a way to think ahead. When someone clicks on an ad or marketing email and gets to your landing page, you want them to think that is precisely what they need.
It comes down to purpose. You will use one for information, sources, and link ads, the other for conversion. Which one do you need?
Urban Peak is an overnight shelter for youth in Denver. They house residents up until age 25. The shelter works 24/7, all year round and offer a safe and welcoming environment for the youth they serve.
At Impressions Agency, we are passionate about giving back to the community and making a difference in the world. We partnered with The Lion Project to support Urban Peak Service Day to make an impact in the lives of the Colorado youth experiencing homelessness.
Check out the recap video of Day One. More than 80 volunteers came out to lay flooring for homeless youth on June 22nd. One of the most important things for these youths is to have a home to be proud of, so they can have something to work hard for and that’s the purpose of this service day project at Urban Peak.
In the video below you will hear from Cheri Hall, Property Manager for Urban Peak, about why this project is meaningful to these youth.At the end of the video you’ll see Junior, one of the Rowan Garden residents, doing a moonwalk across his brand new floor. These youth were so excited about this project.
Join and Give Back!
When? Saturday, August 3rd, 2019. From 8am to 6pm.
Where? 2485 S. York St. Denver CO 80210
Next Saturday, August 3rd, 2019, the lovely people at The Lion Project will be hosting Urban Peak Service Day #2. The goal is to renovate three 0f fifteen apartment units at one of Urban Peak’s transitional supportive housing facilities. Volunteers are needed to move furniture out of the apartments, remove carpet and tile, lay new flooring, cleaning up and more. If you’re interested in joining this great cause, sign up today and help put a smile on the faces of those who are residents at Urban Peak. Need more details? Check out the brochure of the next service day.