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Volume 15 - February 2018
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A Dose of Dave: Google as The Gatekeeper

By: Dave Squires, President, February 27, 2018
In the last few months, I’ve written articles going over how Google is launching into local services. The first one covered how Google Local Services (GLS) was rolled out, and the second covered the potential impact and ramifications of GLS on the marketplace. From sources within Google, it appears that their goal is to have GLS nationwide by the end of 2018. As I went over in my last article about the potential impact of their program, that is probably when you can expect the game to change. As I brought up before, the game will totally change when Google starts explaining what the Google Guarantee is to the public.

As I shared in the last article, our MORE Marketing Program, headed by Lori Smith, sat down with 25 Salt Lake City homeowners with no relationships or affinity to an HVAC contractor. First, Lori showed a Google search page result for HVAC repair—without the GLS ad at the top of the page. She then asked how they would choose a contractor for a repair for their home. As expected, our homeowner’s choices and reasons were all over the board. However, most of their reasoning could pretty much be boiled down to who they had heard of—or were familiar with. Next, Lori showed them a search page with Google Local Service ads at the top. When asked if that changed anyone’s opinion, it didn’t. They thought it was just another ad. Then, Lori explained what the Google Guarantee symbol in the ad meant, and that Google’s would guarantee up to $2,000 that the job would be done right, for anyone who used Google to select a contractor from GLS where that symbol appeared. When she asked if knowing about Google’s guarantee affected anyone’s choice, all 25 of the homeowners changed their decision and

Google and Voice Search

By: Tom Waddington, Google My Business Top Contributor
Originally published December 15, 2017, reprinted with the author’s permission
With the huge push into voice search, I thought it would be good to go over where it’s going. Obviously, Amazon, with its Alexa device, will forever be a pay-to-play option for contractors. But what about Google? Google is beginning to heavily compete in voice search with its ‘Google Assistant’ phone app, as well as its new ‘Google HOME’ device. If you’re curious about where Google’s Voice Search products are headed, you will enjoy the following article by Tom Waddington. Tom is very respected in the Internet search community and is a Google My Business Top Contributor. I recently had the pleasure of corresponding with Tom
regarding Google Local Services, and on his Twitter feed, came across a very well-written article he did on what to expect regarding Google’s voice products. I asked Tom if I could republish his article for our contractors, and Tom graciously gave me permission to share it with you. --dave
Pay-to-Play Local Search will be Increasing Thanks to Google Assistant
Search results from Google Assistant saw a significant change recently for many home service-related searches. Instead of providing a local 3-pack result, Google Assistant is taking users through a much different journey to connect them with a prescreened contractor…

Having a Second Site is Not Necessary,
nor a Good Idea!

By: Mitch Ortenburg, CSR Manager & SEO Specialist; February 27, 2018
If you’re familiar with the 1986 cult classic Highlander, you’ll know the movie’s corny tagline – (read in Christopher Lambert’s horribly broken accent) “In the end, there can be only one!” Google agrees with this mindset for a great many things. (People need only one search engine – Google. They need only one browser – Chrome …you get the picture.) It’s fitting then that they believe that for every conventional Service Area Business there should be only one website. This statement applies to over 99% of our clients. Gone are the days of being
able to double-dip search engine rankings by having multiple sites for different physical locations nearby or for different divisions of the same business. In the HVAC/Plumbing industry, it’s not a “thing” any longer. Conventionally, one of two things will happen if more than one site is found: 1) Google will usually disregard the newer site so you’ll just end up throwing all the money spent on SEO efforts for the new site down the drain. Or, 2) The second, and far rarer,
outcome is that Google will favor the new site over the original and will disregard the previous site. Both outcomes involve you needlessly kissing your hard-earned money good-bye.

This is one of those things that I, quite honestly, would have expected to die out more in recent years as Google’s algorithm gets even better at sniffing out these, and yet, it’s 2018 and they’re still a “thing”. Sincerely, we grieve when we hear stories from new clients coming over to us with multiple sites under the guise of “you just need to”. It hurts even more when we hear our current clients say that they’ve just signed a long-term contract with a large search engine marketing (SEM) firm because they promised them the moon and a sales pitch that closes with what equates to “and all you have to do is pay us gobs of money”. All this…

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