Archive for Need To Know

Beware of What Internet Companies You Hire

We have recently been experiencing an influx of companies contacting our clients offering them services to “improve” their search rankings. Offering gimmicks, setting false expectations and sometimes even posing to be working for Google. Our goal is to educate you on the dangers of companies like this, and offer you some guidelines to follow when hiring a company to help your online presence.

The #1 rule to follow: before hiring any company or individual who wants to you to help improve your rankings – speak to your current internet marketing team. No matter whether you think that what you are already doing won’t be effected by what you hire this new company to do, discuss it with your current partners. The internet can be a tricky place, it’s always best to discuss these things with people in the industry.

What steps can you take if you don’t already have a company working for you? There are plenty, we recommend you do all of the following before signing up for any services.  (yes, even if they are FREE…actually, ESPECIALLY if they are free)

- Go to the Source: Go to the company’s website and look around. Be sure to read testimonials and get a general feel for the site. Chances are if they use a template for their own website, that’s what you will be getting too.

- Research: Search for their Google Place page ratings, as well as their general Google rankings. Read the reviews that are posted and check around to other sites as well (to name a few: BBB, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List).  And remember – if they can’t handle their own reputation, they certainly won’t take good care of your reputation.

- Ask for references: We cannot stress this enough. Any good business can give you at least 3 solid references. And don’t just ask for the references – CALL THEM!

- Stay in Control: Make sure that you will be given access to all accounts created for you at all times. Never let another company ‘Own’ your accounts and passwords. You need to stay in control, these accounts belong to you.

- Ask Questions: Google offers a specific set of guidelines for advertising to prevent spamming. Be sure to ask the question “Do you follow Google Guidelines?” and educate yourself on a few, so you can make sure they are telling the truth. Here are a few examples, make sure the answer you get for all of them is a resounding “NO”.

  • Can I use a PO Box as my address?
  • Can I list my business in multiple zip codes when my physical address is only in one zip code?
  • Can I have multiple listings for the same business?

The biggest claim that you need to beware of is when someone offers you a guaranteed ranking on Google, this is the biggest red flag of them all. Google itself offers you a quote to help you weed out the good companies from the bad:

Nobody, and that means nobody can guarantee you a #1 ranking on Google.

What are the repercussions of signing with one of these companies?

There can be a number of issues that can arise from using the wrong company. Here is a short list of a few things that could happen (Source: Experiences of our Clients)

- The company could create multiple business listings, which will get you great rankings at first, but then Google will mark you as ‘Spam’ and all of your listings will be taken down.

- Create a landing page for you that you have no control over or access to, that they host on their own server. (Which means if you terminate your service they take your page down-potentially leaving you with an error page or a ‘site no longer exists’ landing page)

- If you cancel your account and you do not hold the control of your accounts, the company could sell your listings to a competitor.

What is the bottom line? It’s simple. Ask questions and educate yourself. Stick with your instincts – and always remember, if it sounds too good to be true- it probably is. If you still aren’t sure, then give PinPoint Local a call, we will be happy to provide you with guidance and answer any of your questions!

Social Media Engagement: Right vs. Wrong


Social media engagement done right can be tricky, but Walmart’s recent Facebook failure has reminded us of some of the major pitfalls of a large organization. For some larger organizations the issue is finding an individual store’s niche within the local community. Yet for some big companies, it’s finding how to balance a corporate mentality with no localbility in their stores to social media.


The purpose of any business outreach is to drive consumer action, but steps like engagement, awareness and reputation take place before any action is even thought about in the mind of a consumer. Social media by definition generates awareness and sustains engagement - probably the most important aspects of a organization’s reputation. However, generating engagement with your consumers has to be earned. Your company has to have the appropriate look and presence, so that users will want to communicate and feel like their efforts to connect matter. If these things are missing, consumers will not feel it worth their while to engage, thus you’re business’s reputation will diminish or remain stagnant.


This is where Walmart failed, they made their local Facebook pages look too generic and stiff. Naturally, users felt it not worth their while to engage. As a result all action-based efforts the store was trying to drive probably failed. What Walmart failed to realize was that this type of engagement probably should have never been in their social media strategy to begin with.


Users who desire to connect with local businesses on social media do it because they feel they and the company are stakeholders in the community. This could mean a store hosting exclusive local sales or sponsoring a local baseball team they watch. But big companies that have identical stores and don’t perform community outreach in the first place, shouldn’t try to reach out locally on social media. Marketers need to evaluate what social media strategy best fits the company and engage users on social media accordingly.


Ultimately, we can not stress enough how important it is to engage with your online audience. It’s also vital to make them feel connected and special to your organization, whether that’s using localbility or corporate initiatives, if you want to drive them to action.
We have the tools and knowledge to make your organization’s social media experience successful and drive consumer action! Contact us to discuss our service or strategies! We’d love to hear from you!

Be Careful Who You Trust!

Our firm had personal run-ins around March with fraudulent companies approaching us and our clients.

As a result we wrote a blog post explaining how to determine the legitimacy of these firms. We also recorded the call from one of these firms to increase awareness of these disturbing organizations.

If you would like to see our informational post to learn about this, check it out and for the recording follow this link.

@Help! How should I handle twitter complaints?

Twitter proves to be a very strong social platform for you to advertise your business and brand. Nearly 50% of Twitter users follow brands (Source: Marketing Pilgrim). This proves to be a great advantage for your company because tweets are short and sweet and only 140 characters. Additionally, tools like hashtags (#) and replies (@) give your followers an easy way to connect to you.

Easy connections mean a lot of great things for your business. Your customers will feel like they can reach you easily and they can leave you feedback quickly without much personal interaction. Of course, this also means they can leave you negative feedback just as easily as they can leave you positive feedback. So what should you do? How do you handle all these tweets? Read this explanation from Twitter:

First and foremost, you need to be actively managing your twitter feed, and we don’t just mean sending out tweets on a regular basis. You should be monitoring WHO is following you, and keeping a close eye on any replies and hashtags that involve your business. Twitter provides simple tools for you to use, such as getting email notifications of mentions (@), and there are a number of other programs that can help you manage all of this information all in one place.

Hopefully, this information has helped you to understand the twitterverse a little better!

Check out our Twitter: or @PinPointLocal

Huge Local Business Opportunity

Bet you didn’t know 80% of customers abandon a mobile site if they have a bad user experience?

Even more staggering is the fact that one half of all local searches occur on mobile devices.

So local business owners, is your mobile online presense good enough to corral and maintain your consumers? Do you have the knowledge to make your mobile online presence visible and alluring?

Don’t fear, because we have the digital solutions for all those questions. PinPoint Local is offering a revolutionary business opportunity in a customized package that gives you the tools to not only be successful, but to be your own digital marketing team.

In this package we provide you with a local city directory thats applicable to your area, a city mobile app, mobile website and a social media presence. The app includes up-to-the-minute information on all local events, business locations, coupons and more. We also provide you with a comprehensive dashboard that allows you to control all these platforms from one easy-to-use access point.

But you may be asking why use PinPoint Local?

That’s easy, we have the experience and knowledge to give you the real deal — to get what you actually paid for. What a revolutionary idea! Instead of giving you a mobile website posing as an app, like most firms do, we actually give you an app customized to Apple, Andriod and HTML5 platforms.

Best of all, we provide you with the hands-on training and full service support that you need to conduct your business’ activities and these platforms on your own. This means that you would be your own boss, you would get paid directly from clients (no third party firm) and you would keep 100% of what you sell in advertising.

Want in? Go to or @PinPointBiz for more information.

What Makes PinPoint Local Different?

What makes PinPoint Local stand out from all of the other Digital Media  & Local SEO Companies?

· Vertical Exclusivity
- PinPoint Local will not work with any competitors in your industry.

· Manual Updates - We claim all listings by hand, we do not use bulk uploads.

· Communication - We conduct weekly calls with you to discuss results and challenges. In addition we have monthly calls with all Franchisees.

· Duplicate Deletions – During the claiming process we delete all duplicate listings.

· Ranking Reports – Each month we provide ranking reports to the Franchisees as well as to corporate.

· Google Guidelines – We strictly follow Google Places Guidelines, eliminating the chances of account suspension.

· Monthly Updating – We make monthly changes and updates to your listings, to keep the content fresh and active.

· Review Management – Assist Franchisees with review building and responses to negative reviews.

· New Features – Additionally, we now include Facebook , Twitter, and Google+ for business to the list of data sources we update.

PinPoint Local Alert: Google Places Guidelines Update

Google Places Guidelines Update: Google recently announced a vital new change to their “Google Places Quality Guidelines”.
This change effects service based businesses who service customers at a location other than their main business address.

The change to the guidelines states this:
If you don’t receive customers at your location, you must select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option
within your dashboard. If you don’t hide your address, your listing may be removed from Google Maps.

For more information on the Google Guidelines, click here.

Follow our Twitter account for industry information & updates:

Audio Follow Up: Beware of what internet companies you hire

As a follow up to our last blog “Beware of what internet companies you hire” we have an audio clip of exactly what types of pitches you should look out for.

*Please note that the Name & Phone Number have been removed for Privacy Reasons*

Click here to listen now!

Breaking PinPoint Local News: Help #SaveThePanda !

Read All About It! PinPoint Local is outraged at the negative effect that Google’s Panda changes have had on the beloved endangered species: the Giant Panda. Google’s most recent update to its search ranking algorithm was released just one year ago. It was designed to reduce the number of low quality (i.e., content farms) sites online by decreasing the bad websites overall Page Rank. But page rankings haven’t been the only thing affected by these updates, nobody thought about the poor Pandas out there. Maybe they didn’t want to have an algorithm named after them; did anyone ask them about it? We know that Google claims that the name was derived from name of the engineer who designed the algorithm, Navneet Panda, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Panda remains one of the most popular animals. Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe it was planned…we may never know. In an effort to help spread awareness, PinPoint Local decided to team up with the World Wildlife Fund to adopt our very own Giant Panda, and we are calling on all other SEO Companies to do the same!

Let the algorithm to affect the search results, but keep the pandas out of it! Adopt a Panda today to show your Support!

Of course, we here at PinPoint Local are avid supporters of the new Google Algorithm and the positive changes that it has made on search results, and the active efforts that Google makes to reduce spamming sites and content farms on the web. We are fully aware that Google’s use of the name ‘Panda’ in no way affects the safety or lives of pandas. But what is harming the pandas is the loss of their natural habitat and their main food source, bamboo. This article is simply designed to educate you about the Panda Algorithm as well as the seriousness of the endangered Giant Pandas, and we aim to raise awareness of both issues. We urge you to join our efforts and adopt a panda and help save this species from extinction.

Additional Resources:

World Wildlife Fund:

Google’s Blog Post about the Panda Algorithm:

Why do I see different Google search results when I am on different computers?

We recently had a meeting with a franchisee who wanted to know why she saw one Google search result, and her franchise owner saw something completely different. This is a common question, so we have decided to put together this article to help explain why search results differ from one computer to another.

The most important factor is whether you are logged in to your Google account. Google has been focusing on personalizing search results, with “Search Plus Your World” and Google Ad Preferences. These new changes mean that Google is constantly trying to show you results that are relevant to your interests, your search history, age, and gender. These features change what search results display for each user.  Learn more about Google’s Ad Preferences here.

If you are not logged in, there are still other factors that can affect your search results. Your browser cookies affect your Google search results as well. Google uses the data stored in your browser history to determine your search history to give you relevant search results.

The other major factor that affects search results is your current location. Google uses your IP address to determine where you are located. This gives Google the opportunity to show you locally relative search results. For example, there are countless Pizza Restaurants and Chains, if you live in New York City and do a Google search for Pizza Restaurants, chances are you are looking for a Pizza Restaurant nearby, not one that is located in Southern California.

In short, Google is strongly enforcing a personalized approach to search results; it is a great tactic for advertisers so that they are able to reach a more engaging audience. They are also making it easier for users to find locations that are close to home. However it does have an effect on being able to duplicate search results across multiple machines.

So what steps can you take to achieve the same search results on two separate machines?

- Make sure neither computer is logged in to a Google account (nor any other Google linked account, like YouTube or Blogger)

- Clear the browsing history on both machines (you should also both use the same browser if possible)

- Change the location on both computers to match each other.


Additional Resources

Google’s Ad Preferences Explained:

How to change your location: