If you have a business, you know that it is becoming more and more vital for your store or office to be found in online, especially in Google searches. We recently met with a Google representative who gave us the low-down on Google Business Photos, which can give your company a distinct edge, both in experience for the prospective customer as well as in your online searchability. (Hint: If this program is being promoted by Google, you can bet that it is a factor in search.)
So, what are Google Business Photos? They are a series of panoramic images of the inside (and often outside) of your store, office or premises that create a 360-degree interactive online tour. Online visitors can “step inside” and take a look around. This tour is hosted by Google and appears on Google searches, Google maps and Google+ Local business listings. As a business owner, you have full rights to all of the images. You can also embed the tours on your website(s) and social media.
The types of businesses that have been participating in Google Business Photos vary. Participants so far have included restaurants, retail shops, athletic clubs, car dealerships, office headquarters (such as the local office of a major home cleaning franchise), spas and hair salons, medical practices. They’ve even created tours of limousines for a limo company, an outdoor dog park and a campground. Business Photos can enhance the listing of many types of businesses; it’s not limited to retails shops.
To get started, you need to make an appointment with a Google-certified photographer (not just any photographer can do this for you- contact us and we can put you in touch with a Google representative at no charge). You will discuss pricing with the photographer, but it’s usually much less expensive than you might think because right now Google is not charging to upload the photos from your photo session. The photographer will work with you to plan the tour and emphasize any special areas in your store, restaurant or office. Sessions often last an hour or more as hundreds of photos are taken and then uploaded to Google. Once Google does its thing with the photos, they are available under a new “See Inside” window below the map of Google search results.
Businesses who participate in Google Business Photos have seen an increase in unique impressions, and many are seeing a link between the launch of their photo tours on Google and an increase in walk-in traffic and/or inquiries. We haven’t seen data released by Google, but again, if Google is promoting it, being an early adopter is probably a smart move.
The majority of consumers search for local businesses online. These photo tours are a great way to showcase your unique qualities, decor, products, experience, etc. Think of it as a fun and fascinating way to invite customers inside your business before they get there.
If you’d like to participate in the Google Business Photos program, contact us. We’ll connect you with a Google representative (at no charge to you).
Today’s post is from guest writer Kyle Lagunas. Kyle is the HR Analyst at Software Advice, a resource for selecting a talent management or an applicant tracking system. Kyle reports on trends and best practices in HR and recruiting software—offering fresh insights into the ho-hum of people processes.
Qualified candidates are regularly overlooked, and for the simplest of reasons: they didn’t plug the right combo of buzzwords into their resumes. Candidates are taking things into their own hands. In an attempt to circumvent the keyword-laden resume game, job seekers are adopting a more creative approach to captivating recruiters. Rather than dropping the resume altogether, the trend seems to be more focused on breaking away from over-automation and a return to the heart of what makes a good hire. In short, they’re using elements of multimedia—video, infographics, and social media—to bring their resumes to life.
While there are certain guidelines that you should always follow when submitting a resume regardless of mode of delivery, there are a couple of multimedia elements a candidate can tap into to get that extra oomph into his resume:
1. Adding a Face and Voice with Video. By replacing a cover letter with a quick video pitch, job seekers can showcase skills and abilities lost in translation in a traditional resume. As Bruce Hurwitz of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing says, “Video can increase my confidence in a candidate’s ability to successfully interview–Is she professional? Is she articulate?–or eliminate a candidate from consideration.” Of course, time is money, and candidates need to give recruiters a reason to keep watching. My advice: personality is great, but don’t get too cute. Balance is key.
2. Bringing Flat Resumes to Life with Infographics. Breaking out of the traditional resume template isn’t easy without a degree in design. But presenting a recruiter with a more visually stimulating overview of experience and qualifications can go a long way in setting a candidate apart. Thankfully, it doesn’t take an Adobe Illustrator savant to turn a boring old resume into an interesting infographic. Not only are these easy to create, but they’re easy to share across multiple channels.
3. Showing Off with Blogs and Personal Sites. Blogs are an excellent platform for candidates to showcase their hobbies, writing and communication skills, and general interests. Think they’re just for marketing candidates? Think again. Even a meat cutter at Whole Foods can run a successful butcher blog to establish expertise and share experience with an avid audience.And who said blogs are just for writing? Techies can demonstrate their ability to build WordPress templates, too, or simply prove they know how to find and add plug-ins to build websites. And candidates for and candidates for artistic positions can showcase their portfolio of work.
Attention Small Business Owners: The Elite SDVOB Network is bringing its 8th National Convention to Chicago on July 20-22, 2011. Organized by U.S. military veterans, but available to all business owners and entrepreneurs, the convention will include workshops and seminars, Business Matchmaking sessions, tradeshow exhibits and dinner and cocktails.
What is the Elite SDVOB Network?
The term “Elite” is taken from military history, in recognition of veterans who have been disabled as a result of their military service and seek to contribute to business enterprise in the U.S. and its territories. The Elite SDVOB (Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Network) is a non-profit 501(c)19 corporation that was established over fifteen years ago. After serving their country, veterans have historically found themselves struggling as business owners, so a group of veterans established The Elite SDVOB to advocate on behalf of service-disabled veterans and veteran-owned small businesses. Elite is now in 42 states and Puerto Rico. With chapters continuing to form across the nation, the Elite SDVOB Network has attracted the participation of thousands of companies whose collective voice is gaining attention throughout the federal procurement space.
Some of the this year’s Elite convention topics include:
“Mining Data for Opportunities and Partnerships” – Gloria Berthold, President of Marketing Outsource Associates, which created TargetGov and the Government Buyers Guide
“Doing Business with Large Prime Contractors” – Orysia Bunchan, Lockheed Martin Supplier Diversity Program Manager
“Simplifying Social Media for Successful Businesses” – Michele Rempel, Social Media Trainer and Consultant, and founder of Mediavine Marketing
“Working with the Dept. of Homeland Security” and “Govt Contracting 101” – Dan F. Sturdivant II, Assistant to the Director, Outreach Programs, Department of Homeland Security, Offi ce of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
“Understanding Request for Proposals” – Joan Fulkerson, Director of Small Business Programs and Contracting Officer at United States Air Force & Department of Defense
“How to Become a Strategic Supplier to the Federal Government” – Richard Hernandez, Certified Professional Contracts Manager and founder of E-MBE.net
“It’s Just a Blue Pen- Keeping Your Business in Perspective” – Jason Meszaros, founder of It’s Just a Blue Pen Academy and the award winning author of Interrogation of Morals
This year, attendees can choose to regsiter for the entire convention or pay a reduced rate to attend any of the workshops, trade show and lunch on July 21st. If you’re a business owner, you’ll find a wealth of information to help you succeed.
For more information on the conference and to register:
If you’re someone whose livelihood depends in part on networking to find new clients, you’re probably becoming a little more choosy about how far you’re willing to drive to the next networking event. I know I am.
I discovered a great way to network with other business professionals over the telephone using a unique service called Blitztime.com. In Blitztime, you can join any number of virtual networking events and talk with several people in one-on-one conversations or in groups. While you’re talking to people, you are able to see their profiles and check out their websites, Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts and any other information they have chosen to include. The system also allows you to request who you want to talk to ahead of time (as well as any people you might want to avoid). After the event, you have enough information to connect with your fellow “Blitzers” and do some follow-up.
If you become a Blitztime member, you can schedule and hold your own events. Everyone is allowed to attend two free events to check out the service. After your first two free events, Blitztime charges a modest monthly membership fee. I don’t know about you, but after gas, parking, a cover charge and something to drink, I often spend more than $20 on one networking event alone.
If you are looking for a different way to network, I would love to have you join me and other business professionals on May 20, 2011 at 12:00pm CST. Here is the link to register: http://www.blitztime.com/events/4848-1128765808