4 Free Tips to Get Your Business to Show Up on Google Maps

If your business profile isn’t complete, has inaccurate information and doesn’t have any photos of your business, you probably won’t show up.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Google is still the King, Queen and court jester of online search. Sure, Facebook and Amazon are trying to carve out their own slice of the search pie, but as of July 2019, Google dominated over 90 percent of all search queries. When someone does a Google search for a product or service, they are demonstrating intent and motivation. The beauty of searches based on intent is that this traffic can be free. Paid keyword advertising works, but it isn’t the only way to get clicks and customers. Ever notice how some businesses and entrepreneurs are always just below the paid ads on Google Maps, while others don’t ever show up? Those that get displayed do four things to their business profile better than everyone else.

Before we get into the four specific tasks, it’s important to know that your business will not appear on Google Maps unless you establish a Google My Business (GMB) profile for each and every location. Google the phrase “Google My Business” to find a direct link to set up your GMB profile. It is connected to your Google account.

Related: Want to Rank Higher on Google? Learn SEO Strategies From an Expert.

If you are establishing a brand new location, you are going to choose between a service location and a physical location. A physical location is an actual office or retail space people go to, like a doctor’s or lawyer’s office. Clients come to you. A service location is one where you service a neighborhood or town but do not have an office or retail space. Examples include a plumber, realtor or HVAC service technician. You go to the client. In both cases, you need a mailing address so Google can mail you a postcard verification. You “claim” your listings and start to take charge of your online presence.

With that baseline set, let’s go over these four quick and easy ways to get your business to show up on Google Maps when people are searching for a local (fill in the blank) like yours. 

1. Photos, photos and more photos

Ever look at a business profile and wonder if the place is still even in business? You can tell when a business profile looks deserted. The first dead giveaway is when the only photo for that business profile is the Google Maps street view.

You have to upload relevant photos. This cannot be emphasized enough. People eat and buy with their eyes. You don’t have to hire a professional photographer. The cameras on most smartphones will suffice.

Original Article Here.

4 Payment Methods to Integrate for the Holidays

Convenience and security increasingly impact online selling. That’s especially the case for the upcoming holiday season, as consumers will likely seek flexible, seamless payment options.

Here are four payment methods to consider for this year’s holiday selling.

4 Payment Methods

Buy now, pay later. Expect this method to gain momentum for the 2020 holidays. Unlike traditional layaway, where consumers make payments on products before taking delivery, BNPL allows customers to pay for purchases over time after receiving the goods. Merchants process these orders like any other.

The latest offering is PayPal’s “Pay in 4,” which lets customers pay for orders from $30 to $600 interest-free over six weeks. Merchants receive the money upfront and pay only the standard PayPal rate. PayPal assumes all the payment-acceptance risks.

There are other BNPL options, such as Afterpay and Klarna. But Pay in 4 brings with it PayPal’s 300 million global users, which dramatically increases the chance of a customer already having an account.

Apple Pay. The number of iOS and macOS devices pales in comparison to Windows and Android OS. Still, on average, Apple users spend more money per transaction — up to three times as much. They’re also more apt to purchase nonessential items and luxury gifts.

Apple Pay is a preferred method for many consumers because of its efficiency and security. Consumers keep their credit card info on file with one source — Apple — and merchants receive the information needed to process the order. Apple Pay can also work on Macs. Thus consumers don’t have to use their iPhones to complete a transaction.

There’s typically no additional charge to merchants to accept Apple Pay. Merchants pay their normal credit-card rates. But merchants do need a shopping cart that supports Apple Pay.

PayPal, Venmo. PayPal and Venmo have been the most-used methods to send money to family and friends during the pandemic. Now, with many of those accounts having positive balances, consumers are more likely to pay with them rather than transfer funds to bank accounts.

While Venmo hasn’t yet rolled out business accounts, consumers can pay with Venmo funds via PayPal. For this to work for ecommerce purchases, merchants should integrate PayPal with their checkout. Instead of a Venmo button, consider making a “Venmo accepted” indicator.

Beyond Venmo, consumers can store credit card details with PayPal, paying merchants with a single tap.

Amazon Pay. Expect to see more shoppers using Amazon Pay this year. The reasons are three-fold: Amazon Pay ensures security and privacy; consumers have Amazon gift card balances to spend; and, for many, it’s convenient as, like Apple Pay and PayPal, their credit info is saved there.

Beyond Credit Cards

Traditional credit card payments require consumers to enter their shipping, billing, and payment information. But the methods discussed here transfer those details automatically. The customer does little more than confirm the shipping address and shipping method before the order is complete.

PayPal and Amazon Pay do more than credit-card providers to protect merchants, which decreases the risk of illegitimate chargebacks. That alone can save merchants time and money, making slightly higher discount rates worthwhile.

Moreover, Apple, PayPal, Venmo, and Amazon come with huge built-in audiences. Some of those users will likely seek out participating stores.

None of these methods will replace credit cards alone. But the benefits to merchants are substantial. Implement the ones you can to gain additional traction this season.

Original Article Here

Google users experienced a widespread disruption to services including the company’s email, YouTube and Google Drive.

In addition, the outages seemed to affect corporate customers of Google’s cloud computing service.

Google did not immediately respond to questions about why the services were experiencing problems.

Original Article Here

Privacy Changes on Apple Devices, Chrome Will Impact Targeted Advertising

Privacy-related changes on Apple mobile devices and Google’s Chrome browser will make it more difficult for businesses to target advertising at specific customers across platforms, applications, and websites.

At issue are two technologies with similar privacy implications.

First, there is Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), which is a random number assigned to an Apple device, such as an iPhone. This number allowed apps to track and identify a user, without necessarily revealing personal information, so that it could provide custom, personalized ad experiences.

Second, Google announced changes to how Chrome will handle cookies, which are another way for advertisers to track and identify users.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE

This VPN Is a Must-Have for Remote-Based Small Businesses

Browse faster and more securely with this innovative tool.

Remote work presents a number of challenges for teams. From collaborating on projects, running effective meetings, building a culture, and a myriad of other issues, the new normal of “office” life will come with some growing pains. But have you thought about digital security?

When individuals are all connecting to business information from different internet connections, it’s hard to ensure that your company’s precious data is protected. That’s where Speedify 10 Bonding VPN comes in.

Original Article Here

10 Tools to Help Your eCommerce Business Get off the Ground

A round up of some of the best budget-friendly tools to help get your business going.

Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global economy, eCommerce has proven surprisingly resilient. As brick-and-mortar shops close, many people turn online to purchase, putting eCommerce in a promising boom.

If you’re thinking of starting an eCommerce business in these times, technology can be a significant boon for you. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best budget-friendly tools to help you get your business off the ground.

1. ImageX Ultra: Image & Graphics Editor – $28.99 (Orig. $85.00)

A budget-friendly alternative to the Adobe Creative Cloud, ImageX Ultra gives you design powers, even if you have no idea what you’re doing. With more than 500 customizable graphics templates, you can quickly create a design for your website without any technical expertise needed.

2. SocialBot by ZapApps: Lifetime Subscription – $29.00 (Orig. $1,740.00)

Facebook Messenger can be an excellent tool to improve your customer service and boost your sales. But who has time to constantly monitor messages? With SocialBot, you’ll have dedicated bots for Messenger, SMS, and email marketing to handle any job you program them to.

3. Blueprints Website Builder: Lifetime Subscription – $39.00 (Orig. $149.00)

With 200 examples pages, 500 responsive blocks, more than 30 navigation panels, and many more tools, Blueprints helps you build websites without writing a single line of code. Creating a custom eCommerce site is easy, even if you’ve never coded before.

4. WooCommerce 110+ Premium Plugin Bundle – $39.00 (Orig. $199.00)WordPress is one of the top platforms for building eCommerce websites these days because of plug-ins like WooCommerce. WooCommerce Plugin Bundle makes it extremely easy to build and manage an eCommerce website, and with this massive bundle, you’ll have everything you need to get the most out of your business. With more than 110 plugins, you’ll be able to vary images, analyze site data, and much more.

5. .STORE Domain Name 5 Year Subscription – $39.99 (Orig. $145.00)You’re an eCommerce business, why not have a domain that says what you do? With a .STORE domain, users will know exactly what they’re on your site to do: buy! Plus, you’ll have access to secure, fast hosting and be able to find a domain that more accurately describes your brand.

6. Sellful: All-in-One Business Software for Freelancers & Entrepreneurs – $49.00 (Orig. $840.00)You could invest in a dozen different programs, or you can just use Sellful: All-in-One Business Software for Freelancers & Entrepreneurs. This ingenious platform combines a website builder, CRM, SEO planning, appointment scheduling, and much more in one platform.

7. Botsify Chatbot: 5-Yr Subscription – $49.99 (Orig. $2,940.00)Botsify Chatbot is one of the leading bot builders on the market. With this clever tool, you can build your own chatbots and customize them to help customers answer their questions, complete sales, and much more.

8. Bouncer Bulk Email Verification: Lifetime Subscription – $50.00 (Orig. $100.00)Nobody wants to work hard on an email campaign only to discover that half of your email list is expired or broken. With Bouncer Bulk Email Verification, you’ll be able to verify your entire email list almost instantly. It goes through to verify syntax, check activity, and remove duplicates so your email list is always up to date.

9. JumpStory™ Authentic Stock Photography: Lifetime Membership – $99.99 (Orig. $2,340.00)

Stock photography is essential for any business that engages in digital marketing. JumpStory™ gives you unlimited access to more than 25 million authentic photos, videos, illustrations, vectors, and icons, as well as an AI tool to edit them instantaneously. You can crop images, insert text, insert your own logo, and much more, allowing you to quickly spruce up marketing campaigns in just minutes.

10. ThunderDrive Cloud Storage Plans: Lifetime Subscription – $59.00 (Orig. $1,200.00)

Every organization needs reliable cloud storage. This seamless tool gives you 2TB of access to secure AES 256-bit encrypted storage as well as a central hub for organizing all of your files. ThunderDrive is the perfect Dropbox cost-effective alternative.  

Original Article Here

4 Tips for Launching a Business While Working From Home

This could be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You might regularly dream of running your own business and being your own boss. Imagine: You don’t have anyone to answer to, you get to make the decisions and you directly benefit from the fruits of your labor. 

Interestingly, this season of working from home could actually be the perfect time to launch a side business. Sixty-five percent of Americans report they are more productive, and 27 percent say they are working more hours from home. 

Original Article Here

Why CEOs Need to Take an Innovation Sabbatical

Immersing yourself in another company could spark new ideas for your own. Here’s how to get started.

I’ve had the unique opportunity to launch two different companies. While seemingly glamorous, it’s more like a series of long, thankless, and sleepless hours of work and worry. As with every entrepreneur, every day feels like you’re changing the wheels on a moving truck. The litany of lessons learned, from making bad hiring decisions to conducting multiple pivots, reads like a story of love and loss. 

Original Article Here

5 Content Marketing Ideas for September 2020

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and promoting articles, podcasts, and videos with the intent of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. Producing such content in September 2020 is difficult, however, without recognizing the worldwide pandemic.

Fortunately, there are still many opportunities to generate productive content around back-to-school, dating, hobbies, shopping, and reading.

Here are five content marketing ideas your business can try in September 2020.

1. Back-to-school Tips

Although many schools will start in August, there is plenty of time to offer back-to-school content in September due to the on-going coronavirus pandemic.

This year, many schools will likely hold some combination of online and in-person classes. What’s more, the balance of homeschooling and physical classes will probably be fluctuating throughout the month and beyond. Your business could help with this uncertainty.

Original Article Here