There are 3 steps you must complete to have a successful e-commerce or online business. Without following these steps, you will not succeed.

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A local businesses may have a website as well as listings for people who work for the firm. Examples include, doctors, lawyers and realtors. Google allows both the business and the “individual practitioner” (a Google term) to have a local business listing and to get star ratings.

One of the questions I get asked by these clients is, “should I focus on reviews for the business or reviews for me personally?”

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A recent case study in Search Engine Land reveals what those of us working in SEO over the years have known: great content helps drive e-commerce sales.

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Great article from Search Engine Watch where they talk about a new report that statistically shows how improving “star” review ratings by as little as .1 star can have a major impact on online conversions like sales, phone calls and click-through rate.

Uberall Marketing analyzed 64,000 online business reputation rankings and here’s what they discovered:

  • Small changes in review star ratings make a difference. For example, a 0.1 star increase (3.6 to 3.7 average for example) can improve online conversions by up to 25%. The opposite is also true.
  • a jump from a 3.5-star rating to 3.7 can see a disproportionate jump in conversions of 120%, the highest growth jump available.
  • A business’ priority should be to acquire 3.7 stars or above on sites like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, among others.
  • At 4.4 stars, local or small businesses can outperform larger businesses with ratings below 4.4
  • At 4.4 stars, larger businesses achieve higher conversion rates than local or small business.
  • While it is unethical and against all policies to create fake reviews, businesses should actively seek positive reviews. Otherwise, only reviewers with negative comments will take the time to write one.

You can download the report here (registration required).

Google ranking factors is one of the most respected experts on the subject of Google local search algorithms. According to a recent article on Moz Google My Business (GMB) was the top ranking factor for local searches in 2018.

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I check in regularly at It’s one of the best discussion groups on the Internet.

Recently I found a list by a user named u/linkgannon of the top rated free software as voted on by users. I’ve only copy pasted it here.

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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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