Google Local Services in in Milwaukee – How To Get Listed

Google Local Services – What is It and How Do I Sign Up?

Google is constantly coming up with new ways to display search results (and make money of course). One of their newest products is called “Local Services” and is for service-based businesses only and is another way for your business to show up 1st on google and get more overall exposure.

What is Google Local Services?

Google local services are ads that are catered to specific industries in the service sector such as plumbing, locksmiths, HVAC services, electricians & more. These ads show up towards the top of google searches and display your business, ratings & a link to call your service.

Once the searcher clicks on one of these listings, google asks the user to confirm the job they are looking for and where they are located. If your business fits the job description and the service area, the searcher will be able to view your listing in detail before calling your business.

What makes this service unique is that you pay per qualified lead instead of per click. This unique google product is slowly being released across the U.S. and we are starting to see these pop up in the Milwaukee area. Google also gives you the opportunity to dispute a charge if the lead is a spam lead.

Not only do you pay per lead, but there are no large lists of keywords to manage or A/B testing ad formats. This makes management easy, and if you have a PPC company managing these, much more affordable than traditional CPC ads.

 

Google Local Services show on both desktop and mobile devices.

 

Why Should You Sign Up For Google Local Services in Milwaukee?

Right now, there are not many businesses in Milwaukee using this – the less competition, the more likely you will grab a large portion of the leads looking for this service. We can’t guarantee this, but if you are one of a few businesses in your industry advertising, you may not even need to pay per lead because there are no paid ads ahead of you!!

If you are in the following industries, you can take advantage of these services in the Milwaukee Area: 

  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Auto Service Technician
  • Carpet Cleaner
  • Electrician
  • Event Planner
  • Garage Door Pro
  • HVAC Pro
  • House Cleaner
  • Junk Removal Provider
  • Lawn Care Provider
  • Locksmith
  • Mover
  • Pest Control Technician
  • Pet Care Provider
  • Pet Groomer
  • Photographer
  • Plumber
  • Roofer
  • Tree Service Provider
  • Tutor
  • Water Damage Service Provider
  • Window Cleaner
  • Window Service Provider

Not utilizing Google Local Services, and don’t know where to start? We can Help!

 

How Do Google Local Services Ads Work?

After signing up for their service and being approved by Google, you will set a weekly budget and are charged on a per lead basis. The lead cost is set based on the industry your business is in which will vary based on the category and market. Typically, you’ll see leads costing you from $5-$140 per lead. 

Don’t want to pay per lead? This is possible! You can list your business for free with google local services, however, your listing will likely not show at the top of results – they show up below the paid ads and are not displayed as “Google Guaranteed”.

What is “Google Guaranteed”? Upon sign up, Google will screen your business which typically includes license and insurance verification & employee background checks. Once you are approved, you get a green check mark next to your listing saying you’re “Google  Guaranteed”- the ultimate Google stamp of approval. Along with this “Google Guaranteed” stamp, if a customer is not satisfied with work quality, google may refund up to the amount paid for jobs booked through Local Service Ads. Google puts a lifetime cap of $2,000 for this coverage. You can read more about the Google Guarantee HERE

This Sounds Amazing! How Do I Get Started With Google Local Services?

 

You can start the sign-up process here.

You will fill out a form and google will let you know if the service you provide is currently available in the area you are located. If it is, you will then be able to estimate your spend to give you an idea for a weekly budget.

From there,  you create your listing and Local Services Profile.

After that, you will then be asked to provide license and insurance details.

In order to be “Google Guaranteed,” you will need to pass the background checks and have your license and insurance details verified.

 

If you need help signing up, we offer management services! Contact Us to learn more!

 

Google Calendar is Down 6-18-2019

If you’re experiencing google calendar issues, you aren’t the only one.

Currently, our team at One Click is getting a 404 error upon loading calendar and our phone apps are only displaying random calendar events.

According to google’s Service Details at 6/19/19, they have reported “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Calendar. We will provide more information shortly. The affected users are unable to access Google Calendar.”

Google calendar is used by companies worldwide so we hope this is resolved soon! No other G suite apps seem affected.

Is your company affected by this outage? Let us know in the comments below!

 

UPDATE: GOOGLE CALENDAR IS BACK UP! at 12:13, google noted: “The problem with Google Calendar should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

 

Although we can’t fix this issue, we can help with general business IT issues – need help? Contact us!

Windows 7 Reaches End Of Life Next Year – What This Means And What Should You Do?

 

Microsoft Announces Windows 7 End Of Life  – What Does This Mean?

 

Once a new Operating System is released, Microsoft waits a few years before it retires their old system in order to streamline their security and software updates. After 10 years of support, this is now true of Windows 7.

When Microsoft announces End of Life for an operating system, that means that they will no longer release software updates, security updates, and software upgrades to their system.  Starting January 14, 2020, all computers on Windows 7 will no longer receive updates pushed from Microsoft that keep your computer safe and secure.

 

What Does This Mean for Me?

If you are still on Windows 7 after January 14th 2020:

  • Your Computer will be more vulnerable to viruses and malware
  • Microsoft Customer Service will no longer be able to help with technical support for your computer
  • Some programs may slowly stop working on your computer due to software updates to comply with windows 10
  • Windows Explorer support will discontinue on Windows 7 devices as well
  • Businesses running on Windows 7 may be susceptible to viruses that can cause data loss

 

What Should I Do With My Windows 7 Computer?

Your best bet to keep getting security updates and make sure your computer is as bug-free as possible is to move over to Windows 10.  You will need to purchase a license for this (or ask your computer technician to help you with this) and update your computer to Windows 10.

Not all computers can be upgraded to Windows 10. Microsoft listed their requirements on their website: 

Required Processor1 GHz or faster compatible processor
Required memory1GB RAM for 32-bit; 2GB for 64-bit (One Click suggests minimum of 8 GB RAM and to always use 64 bit)
Required hard disk spaceUp to 20GB available hard disk space
Required video card800 x 600 screen resolution or higher. DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver
Required connectivityInternet access (fees may apply)
Other system requirementsMicrosoft account required for some features. Watching DVDs requires separate playback software.
Additional system requirementsYou must accept the enclosed License Terms, also at microsoft.com/useterms

Activation required • Single license • 32 & 64-bits on USB 3.0 media included

 

If your computer does not meet those requirements, you may need to upgrade your computer, or buy a new one that can work with Windows 10.

If you need more time for your business to complete the Windows 10 migration, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Enterprise users can purchase Extended Security updates until January 2023.  You can learn more about this on their FAQ’s page here

 

Need help upgrading your computer or business to Windows 10? We can help! Contact us or call 414-800-1002 and see what we can do for you!

SEO is More Human Than You Think

Search engine optimization sounds technical, but it’s more human-oriented than we think. Humans are on the other end of every search phrase, so it makes sense that the best strategy is to write engaging content. Google has stated this fact numerous times over the years in different ways. As long as you write good content and don’t use black hat SEO techniques, you don’t need to worry about being burned by an algorithm update.

Content is King

Original, valuable content is one of the most important aspects of your website and SEO. Google’s goal is to display high-quality, relevant web pages in the top 10 search results. These webpages should answer the question searchers have when they entered the search term. The hundreds of ranking factors that Google looks at indicate the quality of the page in some way. Google’s algorithm updates are about ensuring the best content ranks high in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

You can strategize high-quality content by paying writers to create content for your website and either brushing up on your grammar or having any content you post to go through an editor first. Keeping content free of errors helps establish your website as an authority. It should also be engaging to create loyal readers.

Social Proof Matters

Social proof is a phenomenon in which people give more credibility to behavior, the more they see other people doing it. If you’re trying to choose between two new businesses, you will feel more comfortable choosing the one that has a greater number of positive customer reviews. Customer reviews, likes, and retweets are indicators of social proof online.

Positive reviews contribute to organic search performance. Search engines perceive customer reviews as a sign of trustworthiness and authority. Google reviews are especially important in Google rankings for local businesses because Google displays important information like customer ratings about the top three businesses it lists in the SERPs. You can encourage customers to leave reviews by responding to current reviews, asking them to write reviews, and adding your business to multiple review sites.

User Experience is Key

Metrics like bounce rate and page load times, which affect user experience, are part of ranking algorithms. Search engines understand that people get frustrated easily with long page load times. Webpages are expected to load instantly with today’s technology. Users will often hit the back button if the page takes too long to load. This can increase your bounce rate, which is the percentage of users who leave your website after seeing one page.

The average bounce rate varies among industries. In general, bounce rates of 60 percent and below are normal. 90 percent and above is when you may want to consider there is something chasing people off of your website. Design pages with user experience in mind by making all pages on your website mobile-friendly and quick to load. Use ads sparingly as well. Pages cluttered with ads deter readers.

A Personal Touch

Google delivers personalized search results based on each person’s browsing history. This increases the importance of appealing to your target audience. Write content for your website with the target audience in mind. Don’t focus too much on the SEO beyond using the keyword at least once and naturally within the content.

SEO techniques like header tags and meta descriptions also matter, but content is written for humans. Incorporate pictures into your content to improve their readability, and keep paragraphs short. Also understand that because of personalized search results, not everyone will necessarily see the same SERPs for the same search term. The goal is to reach people who are interested in your content.

SEO is becoming more and more human as Google refines its algorithm and technology evolves. Webpages load faster, so users have higher demands. Mobile search traffic has also overtaken desktop traffic, resulting in a necessity for mobile-friendly design. Google’s SERPs is even personalized now based on what sites an individual frequently visits, their search history and other data that Google gathers on them. Businesses must focus on providing high-quality content, and use SEO to support that content.

Do I Need A Website For My Business? Yes – And Here Are 5 Reasons Why

5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Website

 

1. People Use The Internet Heavily To Find Information

Did you know that on average, Americans spend over 22 hours surfing the internet per week? And 92% of these internet users use their cell phone to go online! If your website is not one of the billions of sites people can peruse on a daily basis, you are missing out on a large part of the market!

 

2. If You Do Not Have A Website, Your Business Will Likely Be Passed Up

In the age of information technology, people want information quickly.

Let’s say you do not have a website, but you do have a google maps listing. People are able to call your business for more information. Having a listing on google maps is a great start, but what if someone finds you outside of business hours? They want to know about a service you offer or a product you have but they will have to wait until tomorrow. Unfortunately, most consumers don’t want to wait to get the answer they are looking for, so your business will likely be passed up in favor of a competitor with a website.

In addition to missing out on after-hours customers, research by YP and LSA found that 30% of consumers will immediately decide not to go with a particular business if it does not have a website. You may run the risk of being viewed as a business that no longer exists or one that isn’t established if you do not have a website.

 

3. You’re More Likely to Be Found on Google if You Have A Website

Google search results are heavily reliant on a website or domain associated with a business. According to MOZ, most ranking factors include having a domain with website and associated keywords. This means even though you may have a facebook or google maps listing, creating a website will make it substantially easier to rank on search engines.

 

4. A Website Is Your 24/7 Salesperson

You need to sleep, but your website doesn’t! A website can capture leads you otherwise would not be able to reach due to its constant presence online. A well-optimized website can convert up to 5-10% of your visitors – and you won’t have to lift a finger to get these clients once the design and funnels are worked out!

The best part of this salesperson? Websites are much more affordable than they used to be due to advances in web technology which significantly reduces your cost per lead.

 

5. A Website Is The Best Way To Control Your Brand

With other platforms such as social media or google maps, you have limited control of what is said and the information displayed about your business. With your website, you can control all of the content and information people see – including showing customer testimonials. You can use your website to target specific markets and target your ideal client base. In other words, Facebook, Google Maps & LinkedIn are not enough – you need your own website to control your brand. 

By controlling your content, you are also able to add content that answers most commonly asked questions about your services. This will save you a lot of time on sales calls!

 

Not totally convinced yet? Talk to our team and learn more about what a website can do for you!

 

Advantages of a Cloud Hosted PBX

advantages of a cloud hosted PBX phone system

5 Benefits of A Cloud Hosted PBX Phone System

As technology evolves, more and more companies are starting to move their phone systems to a cloud-based solution. There are countless benefits of a cloud-hosted PBX phone system, but first, before we discuss this, let’s understand the terminology.

A PBX stands for private branch exchange. You can think of this as an internal switchboard that connects your phone to the rest of the company’s phones and to external phones (outside of your company).

Traditionally, this meant that your phone had to be physically connected (through a wire) to this switchboard (PBX) and then physically connected to the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) which would route your call to the intended person.

With a hosted solution, wired connections are no longer needed to connect your phone to the PBX. The elimination of this needed physical connection is what makes the cloud hosted PBX a clear winner over wired connections. Here are just a few of the countless benefits it offers:

 

1) Cloud Hosted PBX’s are Cost Efficient

Because of the elimination of the need for phones to be physically wired to the PBX, this reduces expenses dramatically.  As long as your building is wired up with  Cat 5e, there is no need for complex (and expensive) infrastructure updates to change phone systems.

Cloud hosted PBX’s are serviceable off-site, so you will not need to wait for a technician to come on-site to repair your system which will reduce downtime & repair expenses.

 

2) Cloud Hosted PBX’s are Scalable

Cloud hosted PBX’s are perfect for growing businesses. Adding extensions, phone lines and connecting to mobile devices take significantly less time than the “old style”  phone systems. On a hosted solution, your phone system provider can easily add these without needing to be on site.

Adding on another location? You can host all your locations from one PBX! This allows you to be able to transfer calls from location to location seamlessly and easily.

Moved locations? Phones can be moved with minimal configuration, reducing your moving costs and making relocation a little less stressful.

 

3) Minimal Downtime & Outsourced Maintenance

Unlike the older phone systems, your phone system provider can perform maintenance off-site and typically won’t need to take your system offline to do these maintenance tasks. This can help reduce your I.T. costs and minimize the downtime you will experience during routine maintenance.

 

4) Hosted PBX’s are Loaded with Features

Features that seemed unattainable with traditional PBX systems are easily added with hosted PBX systems. Auto-attendant, call groups, call screening, voicemail to email, busy lamp fields and more are easily configurable and easy to change with a hosted solution.

With hosted PBX systems, an admin can also log into the system using their internet browser and view call history, listen into conversations and even “whisper” to someone in a conversation to help coach them during a call.

 

5) Hosted PBX’s are Reliable

We have heard nightmare situations with traditional PBX systems where the system is down for days while the company is waiting for their phone system company to fix the issue. With hosted PBX, in the rare case that you do have an issue, fixes can be implemented very quickly by your off-site phone provider.

Cloud-based PBX phone systems also offer geographic redundancy – if something should happen to the server your phone system is on, the system is automatically connected to another server – reducing downtime tremendously.

In the case of a natural disaster or internet outage, a cloud-based PBX system can route phone calls to someone’s cell phone which will reduce the amount of missed calls compared to a traditional system. If your traditional system is down due to a natural disaster, calls will not be able to go through until an on-site technician fixes the issue. This could take days to get your phone system back up and can affect your bottom line.

 

Interested in the benefits of a hosted PBX system? Contact your Business Account Executive or learn more here!

4 Reasons Why You Need an Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Should you Have an MSP or Hire In House?

Does this question sound familiar to you: “Should I employ an I.T. guy, or hire an I.T. company?”

If it does, you are probably weighing the pros and cons in terms of the cost of hiring in-house vs. getting an external MSP. Below are 4 reasons an MSP (or Managed Service Provider) is the better choice:

 

#1 Hiring In House is Expensive

A survey from Deloitte’s 2016-2017 Global CIO survey states that on average,  businesses spend about 3.28% of their revenue per year on I.T. expenses with banks being the highest, at 7.16% and construction being the lowest, at 1.51% and 57% of high performing companies (companies that consistently outperformed the S&P) increased their I.T. budgets from 2016-2017.

For a small business, this amount may not be enough to hire a salaried, in-house I.T. professional. This tends to be one of the biggest driving factors for getting an MSP vs hiring an in-house I.T. manager. However, there are a few more reasons an MSP is so enticing:

 

#2) MSP’s Have More Real Life Exposure

MSP’s have a client base that runs into a variety of I.T. challenges. The techs supporting these clients will learn how to overcome them and how to prevent them in the future. Techs do not like fixing the same issue over and over again, so they will apply what they have learned to all of their clients.

An in-house I.T. professional doesn’t have the exposure the MSP has, so when they do run into an issue, the fix might take longer as they learn to work through the problem.

 

#3) MSP’s Try To Stay On Top Of Technology

The goal of an MSP is to provide a service that is hands-off for the client with minimal intervention from the techs – and newer, better systems make this happen. Because of their exposure to different environments and I.T. challenges, an MSP will try to stay ahead of the curve in terms of virus protection, backups & new technology to keep downtime at a minimum.

Although an in-house I.T. professional knows your system very well, they may not have the foresight to make upgrades to protect against new security vulnerabilities or know when the system needs to be replaced with newer technology to keep your data safe.

#4) A Team Approach

In I.T., the phrase “two heads are better than one” certainly applies. If your company runs into a complex I.T. issue, your MSP will likely have multiple techs on staff to bounce ideas off of each other to get the job done which results in a sound resolution and a quick turnaround.

With an in-house technician, they might not have someone to help them through complex issues, get stuck, and ultimately cause more downtime for your business. They might also call an I.T. company for consulting which can become costly.

 

In Summary:

 

  • MSP’s are less expensive than an in-house I.T.
  • If you run into an issue, it’s typically not the first time an MSP tech has seen this problem – they will be able to fix this quicker than an in-house I.T. professional can.
  • Because of their exposure to a variety of environments, MSP’s know when to upgrade systems and are exposed to new technology to make systems run better – an in-house I.T. might not have that foresight due to their limited exposure.
  • MSP’s have teams of techs that can help resolve an issue quickly – an in-house I.T. might not have the resources to do so which can result in more downtime for your business.

 

 

Not sure what you need? We’d be happy to learn more about your business and discuss your needs. Contact us today!

 

 

Are Your Website Forms Going to Your Spam? Try This

How To Make Sure Your Forms Are Being Received

A marketer’s worst nightmare is when they send traffic and potential leads to a website but their client is not receiving the forms that are filled out.

We have run into this issue a few years ago. Short of asking our clients “hey did you receive this lead” after ever form fill-out, we didn’t always know if our clients received the leads coming in. Now, thanks to SendGrid, we can be confident leads are going to our clients’ inboxes!

If you aren’t a web developer, feel free to send this email over to your developer and they can set this up for you!

How To Install Sendgrid on Your WordPress Website:

First, Set up the API: 

  1. Log into SendGrid or create an account
  2. Go to Settings (on the left menu)
  3. Click API
  4. Click Create API Key
  5. Name it the company name
  6. Restricted Access
  7. toggle the mail send option on (should be a bright blue)
  8. Click Create & View
  9. Copy the API Key

Install the Plugin on Your Website

  1. Go to Plugins > Add New
  2. Search for Sendgrid
  3. Install and Activate the first option
  4. Go to Settings >sendgrid
  5. Enter the api Key
  6. Add the Name and sending address
  7. Click “save”
  8. Test the email by sending it to yoruself.

Once you have confirmed you can receive emails, you’re all set! 

Want to make sure your emails are coming in? You can check your sendgrid account to see what has been sent and the status of the email (has it been delivered/bounced/opened).