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Get more Reviews to your Google Profile

Google Review Card

Let’s have a quick show of hands:  Who wants to get more reviews on their Google Business page? We all know that reviews to our Business profile give us an unfair advantage over our competition and and is a potential way of getting onto page 1 of Google.

But we also know that it’s a long, arduous task to get your customers to sit still long enough to post those all important reviews.  It’s not their fault:  Business, Personal and Life in general gets in the way.  We at DVH Design are always looking to make this an easy task.


And We have just found the solution ...

DVH Design have partnered with RevCards.  With your Review Card you can simply Tap your customer’s Smart phone.  This takes them directly to your Google profile. From here they can leave their 5 Star review while you wait.

Pricing varies from £29.99 for one card.  Set up is easy.  Click the button below and use the code DVH at the checkout for 10% off your order.

We can also supply cards that have your branding printed on them. Click Here for Pricing

Google Business Profile: What you need to know

Google Business ProfileThe last few motnhs, I have had an ongoing learning curve going with setting up and keeping up Google Business Profiles (formally Google My Business or Google Places).

If you haven’t got a Business profile set up for your business, then I would recommend you get one. Set up correctly, a Google Business profile is a potential way for your business to be listed on page 1.

I’ll explain.

If, for example someone wanted to search for web designers in Braintree.   You get the paid adverts right at the top of the page, but below here is a map for every web designer in Braintree.  Users can view more businesses by clicking the button to view more businesses, but the top 3 positions are money in the bank.

Here are some tips to get you there:

Give as much info as possible: Hear you can add opening hours, your logo, a cover photo, other images of your product or service or building. All this information adds to your profile and has it working for you.

Answer questions: People can ask you questions on your profile. Yes you will get questions saying “how much if your product service, etc” Answer politely and fully or direct them where they can find the answer. Adding your FAQ’s will also serve you well.

Get reviews. It’s one thing telling everyone how brilliant your company service is, but to have testimonials endorsing your product/service speaks volumes. Go as far to ask your customers if they are happy with your service and ask for a review. It all builds good reputation and Google recognises the feedback.

Use your right to reply: On the same point, not every review is good. This could be a case of mistaken identity, a disgruntled customer for the most petty reasons or old fashioned corporate sabotage. If this is a disgruntled customer, then you have a right to reply. Be polite and fair as your reply reflects on your company’s image.

As a sidenote, if you believe someone has given you a bad review for another company, or believe a competitor posing as a customer has given you a bad rap, then you can appeal to Google. You will however need to provide evidence that this is the case. Google take about 3 business days to reply somtimes a little longer.

Be honest: I have saved this one until last, because it is the most important. Tell the truth. If you’re company is called Acme Enterprises then call your business Acme Enterprises, don’t call it Acme Business services and valeting service. Google suspends any profile that they think might be gaming the system and the difference between a visible profile and a suspended profile can be detrimental.

Now this is the scope for much debate.  Google do ask you to verify your business prior to listing your company, but if they get a complaint or suspect that you are not being straight with them, they have the right to take your profile offline and ask you to verify again.  It is after all, their system.

Google will ask for a recent bill or your company signage to prove your name.  So unless you have genuinely changed your company name and can prove it, your smartest move would be to revert back to your company name.

If you want to debate the issue with them, all I can say is good luck. Google take up to 3 business days to reply, but they often go over that.  Also you may have to ask more than once, as their vast support team have a tendency to give copied/pasted answers.

So to conclude, a Google Business Profile can be a potential foot in the door for your business, but you will need to put the work in and just be honest.

If anyone has any questions or can beat my email ping pong record with Google support (2 months), then let me know in the comments.




So where exactly is Number 1 in Google Nowadays?

Once upon a time, website owners were constantly bombarded with wannabe SEO “experts” namely from another country that could promise to rank them number one in Google.  A lot of people took it for what it was:  a steaming pile of bull; while some went along with this expert and may have got some rankings but only for a very short term.  After which, Google had wised up that yet another fool was gaming the system and dropped the offending website from its listings.

You don’t really get that nowadays, do you?  There is a reason for that:  The natural listings for Google now start halfway down the page.

It was an ideal world when you could rank your website with little or no effort without having to pay a penny, but since then Google (et al) came up with Cost-per-click where adverts were made for specific keyphrases and you just pay when someone clicks onto your ad.

To make things more difficult, the search engines other branches including, videos, images and business search.  Great news for the searcher, not so great for the website owner.

Let me give you an example:  We have recently had our patio laid so the trade is still quite fresh in my mind, so let’s do a Google search for “Landscape Gardeners in Colchester”


Ok, the top 4 positions are all paid adverts.  All well tailored to match my query and to help me make an informed choice.  Google have also identified that I am looking for a trade in a specific area so they’ve also included a map showing some of the local businesses in that specific area, couresy of Google MyBusiness.  But this is the first page, above the fold and so far there is no sign of any natural search listings yet.  So lets come down the page.



So Google My Business (Used to be Google Places) list the top 3 landscapers in Colchester and provides a link to their website and directions.  Below that begins the first top 10 listing of the organic listings followed by 3 more paid adverts at the bottom of the first page.  I might add, that the number one listing in hese results is a directory of tradesmen in that local area.

Lets try another example:  I do a lot of work for an office furniture supplier.  My son could do with a snazzy new student desk, so let’s try with “student desk uk”.


desksA slightly different format as I am searching for an object not a company but Google assumes that I might be looking to buy a desk so other than the top 2 listings being paid adverts once again Google have also provided a little box listing the top products for Student desks for the UK from their shopping channel.  These are also paid ads also known as PLA’s (Product Listing Ads).

the number 3 position in this case (circled above) is now the top natural listing which is Amazon, followed by Argos, Ikea and then Desk Warehouse.

Ok one last try,  another company fresh in my mind, Videographers in Colchester once again.  Zap.

Videographer SERPs

Now this is interesting.  A videographer in Colchester is named again courtesy of Google My Business (this is a full profile).  Below they list similar companies that people have listed for.  But the top 4 adverts are (you guessed it) paid adverts.

I should add that when I did the same search yesterday there were only 2 adverts listed,mainly because by early evening, most people’s daily budgets have been reached.  Even so, top of the natural listings is by no means top.

So why would you now pay to be top of the Google search results when in effect the top is halfway down?  Simple answer: you wouldn’t.

If you really are advertising your company on a tight budget, then Google My Business is your best bet.  If done correctly this will get you on the first page for your trade and area, but if top is your sole aim, then contact an AdWords specialist (preferably a certified one) and heed everything they tell you.

Hopefully by the time you read this, I’ll be listed on there as well.

SEO in 60 Seconds: Little & Often

I have just realised that my last Blog post was back in February.  In my defence,  since my last post I have moved into a new office, had the new half of the house decorated, and run a half marathon.  But this 60 second SEO tip is simply this:  regularly contribute to your SEO campaign.

Writing a tweet about your latest products, tweaking your Adwords campaign in anticipation for Easter or just take a good old-fashioned analysis session, schedule a small amount of time (preferably at the same time each day) to focus on your SEO efforts.

No one has the time to focus all day solely on SEO.  Just like my 15+ miles per week half-marathon training is set out over 3 sessions of 5 miles.  Doing one session of 15 miles, wouldn’t be practical and would leave me feeling very exhausted and less likely to do anything for the rest of the week.

Some things may require more time and energy, but getting into a regular pattern of doing regular SEO can make the difference of being up there or down here.

And yes, I do practice what I preach.  🙂

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts. For more short-term tips. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

SEO in 60 seconds: Who are you anyway?

New websites are an issue with search engines.  They’ve found your new website, but for the first few months, they’ve got their eye on you to see what type of a website have they found.

Like any new relationship, trust is key.  Trust determines if your website is:

  • A trusted resource (good content that people appear to like/share),
  • Low quality (ok content but a bit samey and not much interaction), or
  • Spammy (links, ads, and or negative interaction).

Sites pop up all the time, and some disappear as soon as they reappear, so in a nutshell:  Are you going to be a good little website that’s around for the long-term, or are you going to mess us about, and then disappear?

When building a new website (or any website for that matter), it makes sense to implement SEO from the very early stages.  So use this time wisely:  read the search engine guidelines, get your good content out there and share it with the world.  And keep doing this regularly.

Sure, you probably won’t rank for any of your major keyphrases to begin with:  A couple of months, a few, 6 months, a year, but the sooner you show Google (et al) that your website can be trusted and not there to play either them or your visitors, the sooner you will start seeing results.

SEO in 60 Seconds: Keep your content compelling

You know you’re an expert in your line of business or a great salesperson, but how do you portray that to the outside world and potential customers?

Sure, some companies give away free samples so you can see how great their product is, but in cyber world there is something more valuable and sought after by many:  Free advice.

I’ll explain.  Search engines are used to give advice, answer questions and to find information.  the Google Hummingbird updates over the past year improve how Google handles conversational queries, for example, “Where is the nearest..?”, “how to…?”, and “where can I get…?”.

Therefore informative and compelling on your website is now key to the success of any online business.

For example an online boutique would maybe give advice on the ideal dress for a pear-shape. An Estate Agent, would review local towns and villages including local schools and facilities.

It does come down to time, but there are many ways you can deliver your content:  A 10 minute video from your YouTube channel, a post (or a quick tip) on your blog or a comprehensive downloadable report from your website. But spare the time and post regularly because it is worth it.  Your information will benefit your readers, demonstrate that you know your stuff and by doing so, Big G will recognise and reward you.

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts. For more short-term tips. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

SEO in 60 Seconds: Keep it natural.

You’re working on your website, writing up some great content that contains lots of lovely rich keyphrases.  Just one quick question:  Who are you writing all of this for:  The search engines or your end user?

Sure the user cannot find your content unless they find it on the search engines first, but if you have written this purely for the benefit of getting your site listed, are your readers really going to stick around for manufactured tot that was merely spun off to keep Google happy?

Google has the reading age of a 14 year old, which for sophisticated software, is pretty good going.  So if you just keep your content clear, to the point and easy to read.  then both reader and search engine should be happy.  Keyphrases naturally occur and that’s fine.  But just don’t force it.

If you’re still unsure, give it to your Mum (or someone whos not in the know) to read.  If they haven’t got a clue what you’re on about then you definitely need to revise your content!

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts. For more short-term tips. Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed

SEO in 60 Seconds: A Quick Word about Links

One way links to your website are good.  Very good.

But here’s the scoop: Getting your site listed in every online directory you can find no longer works.  Google saw to that with their Panda updates. The old tricks of commenting on other peoples blogs and forums is no good anymore as most of these have a nofollow setup, meaning that Google won’t … You guessed it.  So how can you get inbound links while Google make it so increasingly hard?

Google has and always will strive to become an resource and you should do the same, after all you are the expert in your field, right!

For example, If you’re a private tutor specialising in children taking their 11+, it would be good to write about the new changes to the exam. It would be even better to provide a few old test papers that children can complete and calculate their score.

You could also offer your expertise on other people’s websites.  Approach them & courteously explain what you can offer them and why they would benefit from your expertise.

It would certainly be more beneficial to your website and more fun, than wasting your time submitting the same information to directories that don’t even work anymore.

This is one in a series of SEO Shorts.  For more short-term tips.  Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter or RSS Feed



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