yahoo maps

CC image courtesy of Aaron Parecki.

Effective the end of June, Yahoo has discontinued Yahoo Maps. The company says that it will still have some mapping services available within other realms of Yahoo, but the maps won’t necessarily be powered by Yahoo.

What does this mean for you, as a small business owner? Basically, it’s a good reminder for you to make sure that your business is listed accurately with Google and Apple Maps. If your business name, address or zip code is not correct, you may end up with some very frustrated would-be customers!

Even if your address is listed correctly, sometimes a technological glitch will make it so the map displays incorrectly, which can, again, frustrate your visitors and customers. What can you do about this?

  1. Check Google Places and Google Local. If you have listings there, one might be incorrect. Updating to the right address will extend to all branches of Google, including Maps.
  2. Type your business name and incorrect address in a search engine. If another website has your information displayed inaccurately, it can trigger Google to do the same. If you find this to be the case, contact the site owner and ask them to update their information.
  3. Submit a help request to Google. Use Google’s Report a Problem page and follow the instructions. You’ll be able to let the company know what the issue is, and they will fix it. You might need to submit more than one help request, so keep an eye on whether you receive an answer in a timely manner.
  4. Report the problem to Apple. Last fall, Apple improved the process for reporting an issue with mapping with the IOS 8 update. You can follow the directions as described here to get your problem resolved.

You might have heard that location is everything when it comes to success in business, but in reality, having the best location in the world is not going to help you if people can’t find it! Now that Yahoo Maps is defunct, it’s important to double check your other map listings to make sure they’re correct, so your customers can find you easily.

 


mobilegeddon

CC image courtesy of Carlos Luna

You may have heard the hullaballoo about what was affectionately termed “Mobilegeddon” a couple of months ago. If not, here’s a quick recap:

Google’s latest algorithm change was to ensure that the sites coming up in mobile searches (i.e. on smartphones) would be mobile-friendly. This means that the sites would load quickly on mobile devices, the links would be easy to open on a tiny touch-screen, and users wouldn’t have to scroll from side to side or up and down to see the entire mobile page. Websites that were not deemed mobile-friendly would still come up with their original rankings on searches performed via laptop, PC, Mac or tablet, but would be pushed further down the list on searches performed with smartphones.

Sounds simple, right? Some businesses might not have worried about it, figuring that most of their clientele were using devices other than smartphones to search for their websites anyway. Unfortunately, it’s those very businesses who have noticed a drop in their rankings.

As Brandon Prettyman, a website strategist quoted by searchenginewatch.com explained, small businesses might lack the resources and know-how involved in making a site mobile-friendly. What they might not have realized is that many customers will search and shop on their phones, then switch to a computer to make their purchase. So if your company is not coming up on mobile searches, you’re already at a disadvantage when the time comes for a customer to log onto their laptop and make a purchase.

If you are among the sizable percentage (40 to 50 percent) of small or medium-sized businesses to be affected by this change, it’s not too late to get your website up to par. The first thing you should do is run the Mobile-Friendly Test. This is a Google tool that will analyze your site and let you know what needs to be done in order to make it mobile-friendly. You can make the changes yourself if you’re technologically savvy or you can hire a web developer to go in and fix the site. If you’re doing it yourself, or even if you’re hiring someone to do it for you, take a look at these common mistakes people make when trying to upgrade their mobile-friendliness.

It is important to keep things in perspective, however. With approximately 200 factors that go into the Google algorithm that decides where your website falls in the search results, this one on its own is not going to make or break your success. This latest change is taken into consideration along with all of the other factors. If your site is the best answer to a search query, it’s likely that it will still show up on the first page of mobile search results; at the same time, if it’s not the best answer, but one of a dozen or a hundred, that’s where mobile-friendliness is going to be an issue.

If you have questions about Mobilegeddon or about anything else pertaining to SEO, digital marketing or local search results, the gurus at Most Optimal can help. Please sign up for your 14-day free trial to claim your free site audit and analysis.