Rich's Web Design - Nov. Newsletter
Not! Mobile Friendly Icon in Google Search Results
Google has just begun testing new icons in their mobile search results, which are meant to tell your potential site visitors if your website is mobile friendly - or NOT... Google isn't making a statement about their plans to roll these icons out officially, but this is their normal process when rolling out these types of ranking factors. In a year or so the same thing will be happening with HTTPS sites.
That being said, we expect to see more of these icons popping up sooner rather than later. Especially since Google has said on a number of occasions (most recently at SE Roundtable) that responsive design will be a ranking factor in the near future...if it isn't already.
Google Penguin Update
Just this past week, Google initiated another 'Penguin Update'. This is most likely a tweak to the Penguin update from September, but it is too early to pass judgement.
Web Reviews - What Are these? How Do We Get Them?(*)
For Google Reviews, you need to have a Google+ business page ( Remember the Google postcard? Verification PIN?). Reviews can only be written on Google+ Local business pages. Take some time to read and understand Google's guidelines for reviews. Customers must also have Google+ accounts in order to write a review. Customers need to post the reviews themselves, through their Google+ accounts. Customers can leave ratings without actually writing a review. The rating is just the "stars" without the text of a review. At least in terms of rankings, the number of reviews you have seems to matter more than the quality of those reviews.
Search and Review your OWN reviews - Do a search for your own company and see the sites that come up with reviews. They may be found on Yelp, Angie's List, City Search, the BBB, or specific field related sites such as ... HealthGrades.com or even Vitals.com . Be aware of what reviews are out there, POSITIVE & NEGATIVE. Most of these sites allow you to interact with these people; Respond appropriately to the negative reviews and THANK the people who create a positive review ... If you have the time ... MAKE the time ... It's your business reputation!
Best-practices for requesting reviews - Ask everyone for a review, not just your diehard, happiest customers. Point out as often as possible that you'd like your customers' honest feedback. Don't incentivize - Not only is it against the rules, but makes you look as though you're desperate. Your customers care. Not all of them, sure. But that's OK. Many will write a review if you ask and if you maybe give them basic instructions as to how.
Place a line on your email signature that guides people for reviews. Where have you seen this before???
* = Edited and improved upon from 9/13
Editorial Calendar; Why Have One?
Traditional print publishers have used editorial calendars in some form for centuries to manage the publication of books, magazines, and newspapers. The internet has dramatically increased the number of publishers who also need to organize content and ensure content is published at regular intervals.
Editorial calendars are used to define and control the process of creating content, from idea through writing and publication. An individual or small business might have this publishing process:
Let me help you create your own calendar for regular and timely subjects. These can be geared around your own targeted keywords / phrases or simply directed towards interesting subjects that your customers / patients may have some interest.
Have a Great November 2014 !