Think about your typical Comcast Cable TV bill. You pay a basic fee, then have the ability to purchase “packages” that add a.) additional channels like HBO or b.) services like high-definition video. Read more

I recently learned that 50% of small businesses in the US don’t have a website. I don’t think time and money are the issue. I believe the biggest reason is that there are so many options available, it’s hard to decide which one is the best. If you’re not a computer person, websites seem complicated. Without good information, the simple solution is to just ignore the problem.

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A client recently sent me this question about Facebook reviews.

If you search for me in the Facebook search box, it brings up our studio with places being at top.  If you click “see all” you see a negative review by an irate customer that happened a while back. Is there a way to push that review down because we have had so many 5-star reviews since then? I do not want that one bad review to be the first one everyone sees.

I appreciate your frustration. With so many positive reviews to choose from, it has to be annoying when Facebook highlights your single 1-star review first. It appears from comments from other Facebook users that highlighting the lowest rated review on a business page is a common complaint.

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Equifax Inc. is one of the four main consumer credit reporting agencies in America. If you’ve ever bought a car, a house, or used a credit card they have all your personal information on file.

Equifax was recently struck by a cyberattack that affected 143 million U.S. customers. Intruders stole user’s names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver’s license numbers. Credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers were also accessed.

As a result of the data breach, millions of Americans are now potentially at risk for identity theft. I’ve met people who were victims of ID theft and it is terrible.  Once your ID is stolen, you can easily spend years trying to get your credit back in order before you can purchase a car or a house or even apply for a new credit card.

Here’s a quick list of links to websites you should use to protect yourself.

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This is an example of a Realtor’s listing search in an iframe container. An iframe container “contains” the contents from a website page. It allows you to search a page on one website from another website.

Here’s another example using only a single input form. It is not formatted with CSS:

Millions of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices where sold this Christmas. They are great at answering questions. That’s why sometime in the near future someone in your town is going to say:

“Alexa (or) OK Google: who’s the best (insert your business or service here)?”

Obviously, you’d like both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home’s Assistant to mention you or your business. To do that, here’s what you’ll need to do:

Google Home

To start, the odds of being mentioned on Google Home increase drastically if you have a Google My Business account with lots of positive reviews. When you type “best something” in Google – and you’re logged in with your Gmail account – it assumes you mean “best something near me” and returns the top search results in your area.

This means that if your business shows up today in Google’s local 3 pack (the first 3 search results on the map) it’s likely you’ll be mentioned when someone asks Google Home to search for local businesses.

There is one challenge, however. Starting this year, Google will show different search results to desktop and mobile users. The big difference is that on mobile devices, websites that are mobile friendly will get preferential treatment on mobile devices. However, you’ll still have to be in the local search results to even be considered for a mention by Google Home.

Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Since Bing doesn’t offer reviews like Google, Amazon’s Echo uses’s search and rating results. This means that to get mentioned on the Echo, you need to have a Yelp account with several positive reviews.

While it isn’t clear if the Echo uses you Bing Places for Business account, it may in the future, so it wouldn’t hurt to set it up now if you haven’t done so yet. In addition, a Bing Places for Business account will make it more likely your studio is found on new Windows 10 Desktop PCs that use the Microsoft Edge browser, since it uses Bing search by default.