How to manage Google reviews

Google is shaking things up yet again. Reviews from sites like Facebook and Yelp will now be displayed in search results with well-placed keywords and link-worthy content. Here’s how you can efficiently manage your business’s reviews

How Google changed search results

Google now automatically aggregates and includes online reviews to display in the Knowledge Panel found on the right side of the search results. This useful panel displays information like address, hours, web address, and more.

Which review sites does Google include?

Relevant sites vary between industries, so if, for instance, you manage a restaurant, reviews from Yelp or Zagat will likely be displayed next to your online listings. If your business is a bit more niche, however, there are a few steps you can take to determine which review sites affect you.

To determine these sites, go to Google and type the following:
“[your company name] reviews” – to locate sites that already have reviews on your business
“[industry] reviews” – to determine industry reviews sites you should be listed on
“[industry + location] reviews” – to find review boards where you can boost your local presence

Then, list the review sites you found on the first page of each search query and categorize them based on their search ranking and your company’s current rating on them.

After creating the list, write down an objective for each review site. This can range from getting listed on the site to improving your rating.

To narrow down your choices, focus your review-generating efforts on the five most popular websites on your list, especially those that include negative reviews of your business.

Getting reviews

Regardless of your objectives for managing reviews, the most important thing is for people to write reviews about your products and services. With that in mind, here are a few strategies to encourage people to rave about your business.

Send follow-up emails
You could send a short message thanking them for purchasing your product or service, with a request for a review.

Simplify the review process
Many customers skip writing reviews due to the complex steps and instructions involved. You need to simplify this process by having a review site widget that customers can easily access, asking them to comment on your service before they leave your website.

Offer rewards for reviews
Another way to encourage people to rate your business is by presenting them with a chance to win free goods or services if they submit a review.

There are a lot of steps involved in managing your online reputation, but starting early is the key to enhancing your SEO, attracting new customers, and improving your bottom line.

Contact us today if you need more advice on climbing up Google’s search rankings or tips on social media management.

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Here’s how you can manage Google reviews

More consumers are now turning to online reviews to help in their buying decision process. With Google reviews, you can enhance your online presence by making sure your business ranks well in search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s what you need to know to make that happen.

 

How Google changed search results

Google now automatically aggregates and includes online reviews to display in the Knowledge Panel found on the right side of the search results. This useful panel displays information like address, hours, web address, and more.

Which review sites does Google include?

Relevant sites vary between industries, so if, for instance, you manage a restaurant, reviews from Yelp or Zagat will likely be displayed next to your online listings. If your business is a bit more niche, however, there are a few steps you can take to determine which review sites affect you.

To determine these sites, go to Google and type the following:
“[your company name] reviews” – to locate sites that already have reviews on your business
“[industry] reviews” – to determine industry reviews sites you should be listed on
“[industry + location] reviews” – to find review boards where you can boost your local presence

Then, list the review sites you found on the first page of each search query and categorize them based on their search ranking and your company’s current rating on them.

After creating the list, write down an objective for each review site. This can range from getting listed on the site to improving your rating.

To narrow down your choices, focus your review-generating efforts on the five most popular websites on your list, especially those that include negative reviews of your business.

Getting reviews

Regardless of your objectives for managing reviews, the most important thing is for people to write reviews about your products and services. With that in mind, here are a few strategies to encourage people to rave about your business.

Send follow-up emails
You could send a short message thanking them for purchasing your product or service, with a request for a review.

Simplify the review process
Many customers skip writing reviews due to the complex steps and instructions involved. You need to simplify this process by having a review site widget that customers can easily access, asking them to comment on your service before they leave your website.

Offer rewards for reviews
Another way to encourage people to rate your business is by presenting them with a chance to win free goods or services if they submit a review.

There are a lot of steps involved in managing your online reputation, but starting early is the key to enhancing your SEO, attracting new customers, and improving your bottom line.

Contact us today if you need more advice on climbing up Google’s search rankings or tips on social media management.

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Get your network gear ready with UPS

Clever business owners utilize an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) during disasters like fires, storms, and other emergency situations. A UPS is usually set up for desktop computers to give users enough time to save their work and progress. Another useful power-saving plan for emergency situations would be to use a UPS for networking gear.

UPS for network equipment

UPS systems provide backup power in case of outages and protection against power surges, which don’t just damage computers but also make you lose unsaved work. Deploying them for Wi-Fi routers and modems allows you to stay connected to the internet during these  typically chaotic instances.

Moreover, it makes sense to not just keep your PCs powered up, but to also have internet access during a disaster. This strategy works relatively well if your staff are predominantly laptop users, as that means you only need to juice up your Wi-Fi gear.

Better than generators

Although generators are indispensable for certain businesses, they also require greater upkeep. Small- and mid-sized businesses may not have enough capacity to maintain them because they typically require a utility crew who can manage high-maintenance equipment.

What’s more, misusing or mishandling generators could result in generator-related fatalities. On the other hand, misusing a UPS unit could result in the loss of a day’s work, but it’s unlikely to lead to anything as extreme.

Why internet access is important during a disaster

UPS-supported modems or routers help you stay online for as much as 90 minutes, which should be enough time to get your bearings before power finally runs out. Internet service providers are usually prepared for catastrophes and would normally have an emergency power source to stay operational. And if you can stay online via Wi-Fi during an emergency, you get the following benefits:

  • Internet speed that’s faster than cellular access
  • No extra telecom costs resulting from overreliance on cellular data
  • All devices stay online using a stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Devices don’t have to rely on cellular data-equipped phones for internet connection

Plug in your network gear now

Businesses that aren’t located in disaster-prone areas probably don’t give much thought to installing UPSs for their computers, let alone their modems. But accidents and emergencies are inevitable. And when they happen, you’ll find that having internet access is one of the most important things you need to ensure business continuity.

Think of an emergency power supply source like a UPS as an investment that not only protects your systems from data loss but also keeps your Wi-Fi equipment functioning in emergency scenarios. Call us today for productivity-saving tips and other hardware hacks for your business.

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Will you put UPS in your network equipment?

When a power outage occurs, smart business owners use an emergency power system to keep workstations from suddenly shutting down. This prevents data loss and keeps computers operational. Connecting your networking equipment to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system will also keep your employees productive during a power outage.

UPS for network equipment

UPS systems provide backup power in case of outages and protection against power surges, which don’t just damage computers but also make you lose unsaved work. Deploying them for Wi-Fi routers and modems allows you to stay connected to the internet during these  typically chaotic instances.

Moreover, it makes sense to not just keep your PCs powered up, but to also have internet access during a disaster. This strategy works relatively well if your staff are predominantly laptop users, as that means you only need to juice up your Wi-Fi gear.

Better than generators

Although generators are indispensable for certain businesses, they also require greater upkeep. Small- and mid-sized businesses may not have enough capacity to maintain them because they typically require a utility crew who can manage high-maintenance equipment.

What’s more, misusing or mishandling generators could result in generator-related fatalities. On the other hand, misusing a UPS unit could result in the loss of a day’s work, but it’s unlikely to lead to anything as extreme.

Why internet access is important during a disaster

UPS-supported modems or routers help you stay online for as much as 90 minutes, which should be enough time to get your bearings before power finally runs out. Internet service providers are usually prepared for catastrophes and would normally have an emergency power source to stay operational. And if you can stay online via Wi-Fi during an emergency, you get the following benefits:

  • Internet speed that’s faster than cellular access
  • No extra telecom costs resulting from overreliance on cellular data
  • All devices stay online using a stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Devices don’t have to rely on cellular data-equipped phones for internet connection

Plug in your network gear now

Businesses that aren’t located in disaster-prone areas probably don’t give much thought to installing UPSs for their computers, let alone their modems. But accidents and emergencies are inevitable. And when they happen, you’ll find that having internet access is one of the most important things you need to ensure business continuity.

Think of an emergency power supply source like a UPS as an investment that not only protects your systems from data loss but also keeps your Wi-Fi equipment functioning in emergency scenarios. Call us today for productivity-saving tips and other hardware hacks for your business.

Posted in Business, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Why UPS is important in network gear

Storms, floods, fire, and other emergencies can cause productivity loss due to power failure. Utilizing an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for your workstations will ensure that you never lose unsaved work. But what about your online connection? To avoid being crippled by loss of internet connection, it’s a good idea to plug routers, wireless access points, and cable modems into a UPS.

UPS for network equipment

UPS systems provide backup power in case of outages and protection against power surges, which don’t just damage computers but also make you lose unsaved work. Deploying them for Wi-Fi routers and modems allows you to stay connected to the internet during these  typically chaotic instances.

Moreover, it makes sense to not just keep your PCs powered up, but to also have internet access during a disaster. This strategy works relatively well if your staff are predominantly laptop users, as that means you only need to juice up your Wi-Fi gear.

Better than generators

Although generators are indispensable for certain businesses, they also require greater upkeep. Small- and mid-sized businesses may not have enough capacity to maintain them because they typically require a utility crew who can manage high-maintenance equipment.

What’s more, misusing or mishandling generators could result in generator-related fatalities. On the other hand, misusing a UPS unit could result in the loss of a day’s work, but it’s unlikely to lead to anything as extreme.

Why internet access is important during a disaster

UPS-supported modems or routers help you stay online for as much as 90 minutes, which should be enough time to get your bearings before power finally runs out. Internet service providers are usually prepared for catastrophes and would normally have an emergency power source to stay operational. And if you can stay online via Wi-Fi during an emergency, you get the following benefits:

  • Internet speed that’s faster than cellular access
  • No extra telecom costs resulting from overreliance on cellular data
  • All devices stay online using a stable Wi-Fi connection
  • Devices don’t have to rely on cellular data-equipped phones for internet connection

Plug in your network gear now

Businesses that aren’t located in disaster-prone areas probably don’t give much thought to installing UPSs for their computers, let alone their modems. But accidents and emergencies are inevitable. And when they happen, you’ll find that having internet access is one of the most important things you need to ensure business continuity.

Think of an emergency power supply source like a UPS as an investment that not only protects your systems from data loss but also keeps your Wi-Fi equipment functioning in emergency scenarios. Call us today for productivity-saving tips and other hardware hacks for your business.

Posted in Business, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Android: Comparing Office 365 and Google Apps

There are so many variables to consider when choosing a software solution, especially now that cloud-based options run on mobile devices. If you’re choosing between Office 365 and Google Apps for productivity software, understanding what they’re capable of on an Android phone or tablet could make the choice much easier.

Text-based documents

Google Docs sacrifices a few features in the name of speed. It makes simultaneous editing from multiple users, syncing with cloud storage, and sharing documents with colleagues on an Android device a breeze, but it doesn’t afford users the same level of customizability as Office 365.

Microsoft’s productivity platform has been evolving for decades, which means there’s very little it can’t do. Depending on the Android device you have, this can translate to a slower, less responsive user experience.

Spreadsheets

Tables that store data and simplify calculations may seem pretty straightforward, but Google has found a way to set its offerings apart. Although its Sheets lacks powerful features compared to Microsoft’s Excel, it does have some cross-platform integrations worth considering. For example, Google Forms is much better at surveying users and organizing their responses into easy-to-use spreadsheets.

The main selling point of Excel on Android is that it can do almost anything on a mobile device that it can do on a desktop. Using templates, creating charts, and formatting Office 365 spreadsheets aren’t any more difficult to do with just finger gestures than to do them using a mouse.

Presentations

Similar to Sheets, G Suite’s Slides shines when it comes to integrations. Adding images to a presentation from the web is intuitive with Google’s built-in search function, and Q&A sessions are streamlined with customized URLs where participants can submit questions that are displayed on the presenter’s screen.

PowerPoint was the original platform for creating presentations, and its core functionalities are unmatched, even on Android devices. There are no shortages of pre-made themes, transitions, and layouts, which means the time between tapping Create New and saving the final draft is much shorter.

Conclusion: Speed vs. functionality

The difference between these two platforms on Android is obvious. Both will be able to accommodate basic tasks, but G Suite prioritizes responsiveness and simplicity, while Office 365 favors having more features and a broader range of capabilities.

Creating eye-catching work on a six-inch screen isn’t ideal, but depending on your business model, it can revolutionize how your team works. For advice on all things mobile, call us today!

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Microsoft or Google: What to use for Android?

Out of the more than three million apps in the Android store, only two are serious contenders for productivity software: Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite. The key to deciding which is better for your business is understanding their respective pros and cons. Let’s run through those.

Text-based documents

Google Docs sacrifices a few features in the name of speed. It makes simultaneous editing from multiple users, syncing with cloud storage, and sharing documents with colleagues on an Android device a breeze, but it doesn’t afford users the same level of customizability as Office 365.

Microsoft’s productivity platform has been evolving for decades, which means there’s very little it can’t do. Depending on the Android device you have, this can translate to a slower, less responsive user experience.

Spreadsheets

Tables that store data and simplify calculations may seem pretty straightforward, but Google has found a way to set its offerings apart. Although its Sheets lacks powerful features compared to Microsoft’s Excel, it does have some cross-platform integrations worth considering. For example, Google Forms is much better at surveying users and organizing their responses into easy-to-use spreadsheets.

The main selling point of Excel on Android is that it can do almost anything on a mobile device that it can do on a desktop. Using templates, creating charts, and formatting Office 365 spreadsheets aren’t any more difficult to do with just finger gestures than to do them using a mouse.

Presentations

Similar to Sheets, G Suite’s Slides shines when it comes to integrations. Adding images to a presentation from the web is intuitive with Google’s built-in search function, and Q&A sessions are streamlined with customized URLs where participants can submit questions that are displayed on the presenter’s screen.

PowerPoint was the original platform for creating presentations, and its core functionalities are unmatched, even on Android devices. There are no shortages of pre-made themes, transitions, and layouts, which means the time between tapping Create New and saving the final draft is much shorter.

Conclusion: Speed vs. functionality

The difference between these two platforms on Android is obvious. Both will be able to accommodate basic tasks, but G Suite prioritizes responsiveness and simplicity, while Office 365 favors having more features and a broader range of capabilities.

Creating eye-catching work on a six-inch screen isn’t ideal, but depending on your business model, it can revolutionize how your team works. For advice on all things mobile, call us today!

Posted in Android, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Head to head: O365 vs. G Suite for Android

For business owners looking to increase employee productivity, one of the most heated debates is over which cloud productivity software is best. If your company uses Android devices, we have some tips on whether Microsoft Office or Google Apps is the better choice for you.

Text-based documents

Google Docs sacrifices a few features in the name of speed. It makes simultaneous editing from multiple users, syncing with cloud storage, and sharing documents with colleagues on an Android device a breeze, but it doesn’t afford users the same level of customizability as Office 365.

Microsoft’s productivity platform has been evolving for decades, which means there’s very little it can’t do. Depending on the Android device you have, this can translate to a slower, less responsive user experience.

Spreadsheets

Tables that store data and simplify calculations may seem pretty straightforward, but Google has found a way to set its offerings apart. Although its Sheets lacks powerful features compared to Microsoft’s Excel, it does have some cross-platform integrations worth considering. For example, Google Forms is much better at surveying users and organizing their responses into easy-to-use spreadsheets.

The main selling point of Excel on Android is that it can do almost anything on a mobile device that it can do on a desktop. Using templates, creating charts, and formatting Office 365 spreadsheets aren’t any more difficult to do with just finger gestures than to do them using a mouse.

Presentations

Similar to Sheets, G Suite’s Slides shines when it comes to integrations. Adding images to a presentation from the web is intuitive with Google’s built-in search function, and Q&A sessions are streamlined with customized URLs where participants can submit questions that are displayed on the presenter’s screen.

PowerPoint was the original platform for creating presentations, and its core functionalities are unmatched, even on Android devices. There are no shortages of pre-made themes, transitions, and layouts, which means the time between tapping Create New and saving the final draft is much shorter.

Conclusion: Speed vs. functionality

The difference between these two platforms on Android is obvious. Both will be able to accommodate basic tasks, but G Suite prioritizes responsiveness and simplicity, while Office 365 favors having more features and a broader range of capabilities.

Creating eye-catching work on a six-inch screen isn’t ideal, but depending on your business model, it can revolutionize how your team works. For advice on all things mobile, call us today!

Posted in Android, General Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Use virtualization to protect your devices

Cybersecurity threats are increasing for both small and large businesses, which means solutions that protect mobile devices are no longer just nice-to-have solutions. As more work is handled outside of the office, the risks to your data increase. Virtualization vendors are leading the charge to tackle these challenges with innovative solutions.

Mobile device management and virtualization

Mobile device management (MDM) is about controlling how users on any device — from laptops to internet-connected printers — view, share, and store sensitive information.

For example, if you have a user who accesses data via a company-provided laptop, an office copier, and a personal smartphone, IT administrators can install an application on each device to enforce policies from a centralized console.

There are dozens of standalone MDM solutions that consolidate device administration, but by using one that integrates with your virtualization platform, you can standardize policies for any industry across a range of company-owned, line-of-business, and personal devices.

Users are constantly picking up and discarding devices. Solutions like VMware’s AirWatch and Citrix’s XenMobile mean you no longer need to manage security settings for each device; instead, you can configure one virtualized environment for one employee, and its settings will be applied regardless of which device it’s accessed from.

What are the benefits?

Beyond a centralized approach to device management and data access rights, virtualized MDM solutions allow you to enjoy a number of other benefits. For example, IT administrators can remotely lock or erase data on employee devices if the device has been lost or stolen.

You can also benefit from Single Sign-On security. This means your users need only one set of login credentials to access all their applications. Technically, each application will still use a different username and password, but your virtualized solution will securely store each of the credentials and automatically log in users whenever they sign in to your MDM platform.

Hardware and software are evolving so fast that it’s almost impossible to secure them without extensive IT training. With a little help from trained professionals, virtualization is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for business owners to simplify user settings and management.

It only makes sense that the next step would be unifying virtualized desktops, laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices under a single solution. Call us today to get started.

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Mobile device security and virtualization

Securing mobile devices is challenging. They often have privileged access to sensitive data that they connect to via unprotected network connections. Virtualization vendors are finding ways to include solutions to these problems in their products and they’re perfect for small businesses.

Mobile device management and virtualization

Mobile device management (MDM) is about controlling how users on any device — from laptops to internet-connected printers — view, share, and store sensitive information.

For example, if you have a user who accesses data via a company-provided laptop, an office copier, and a personal smartphone, IT administrators can install an application on each device to enforce policies from a centralized console.

There are dozens of standalone MDM solutions that consolidate device administration, but by using one that integrates with your virtualization platform, you can standardize policies for any industry across a range of company-owned, line-of-business, and personal devices.

Users are constantly picking up and discarding devices. Solutions like VMware’s AirWatch and Citrix’s XenMobile mean you no longer need to manage security settings for each device; instead, you can configure one virtualized environment for one employee, and its settings will be applied regardless of which device it’s accessed from.

What are the benefits?

Beyond a centralized approach to device management and data access rights, virtualized MDM solutions allow you to enjoy a number of other benefits. For example, IT administrators can remotely lock or erase data on employee devices if the device has been lost or stolen.

You can also benefit from Single Sign-On security. This means your users need only one set of login credentials to access all their applications. Technically, each application will still use a different username and password, but your virtualized solution will securely store each of the credentials and automatically log in users whenever they sign in to your MDM platform.

Hardware and software are evolving so fast that it’s almost impossible to secure them without extensive IT training. With a little help from trained professionals, virtualization is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways for business owners to simplify user settings and management.

It only makes sense that the next step would be unifying virtualized desktops, laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices under a single solution. Call us today to get started.

Posted in General Articles C, Virtualization | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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