Google Reviews Study: How Many Reviews Do Businesses Need?

Google Reviews Study: How Many Reviews Do Businesses Need?

We analyzed the Google Reviews of 93,000 local businesses in 26 industries to understand star ratings, number of reviews, and if reviews impact rankings.

Source: Google Reviews Study: How Many Reviews Do Businesses Need?

The above study is interesting. Bright Local found that many frequently used services like hotels, restaurants, plumbers, etc. get more reviews (good and bad) on Google than do businesses that are used less frequently like marketing agencies, accountants, and lawyers.

The latter fact, though not surprising, brings up a very interesting thought. If you are an accounting firm, it would behoove you really go after reviews. It should be easier to rank higher with less competition.

What do you think? Post your thought in the comments.

The Importance Of A Good Solid Contract

The Importance Of A Good Solid Contract

The importance of a good solid contract before starting a new project is extremely important. Not doing so can and will result in pain. Sometimes a lot..

Disclaimer

Before I start let me get a disclaimer out of the way. I’m not a lawyer, I don’t play one on TV or in real life. I’m a business owner who has been bitten more than once by his own contract and impatience s to get started on a project. My goal is to make it so you don’t make the same mistake, or at least less times than I have.

Okay, let’s get started.

If you do work for yourself or do project management for a firm who has you writing up the contracts for projects, you know how important it is to have a solid contract. Not just to protect your own backside, but your clients as well.

A good contract sets expectations and what you will and won’t do. Agreeing to something and not fulfilling it or omitting something rather important to the scope of the contract can and most likely will come back and bite you in the rear.

A little background

I started Goldstein Media 11 years ago at the best time in the world to start a business. At the end of 2007 when the financial markets went BUST in a BIG way.

To be honest, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. People lost their jobs and many decided to go out on their own. This was a prime time for digital shops like Goldstein Media to help these new bergoning companies get a foothold on the net.

I quickly read about how to start a Web design business and how to charge clients. I bought a Web design contract from a from a design firm. I had a friend, who happened to be a lawyer, read through it and give it his blessing. And I was off and running.

The next 11-or-so years would be marked with lots of fun and success, but also some rather harrowing and stress-inducing times for my little company.

Having not gone to business school, (In fact I was a History and Journalism major with minors in Anthropology and Political Science) I had no idea what the heck I was doing. Luckily my wife did go to school for business and was able to help me along the way. But this didn’t save me from making some pretty idiotic and stupid mistakes along the way.

Fast Forward To Current Day

It’s been 11 years. I’ve been through many iterations of my contract and in fact I’m currently working with a lawyer to rewrite my contracts. But I’ve learned a few things along the way.

  1. When doing business always have a contract, even if it’s with a friend.
    1. Having a contract protects both of you.
    2. Not comfortable having friends sign contracts? At least  have the agreement in writing. Email works, but not as well as a contract. Again I’m not a lawyer, so if you are unsure check with one.
  2. Don’t cut corners. Make sure all the T’s are crossed and the I’s are dotted.
    1. If you don’t you’re leaving yourself open for interpretation and issues.
    2. Just because it’s taken 6 months to get a deal spend the time on the contract don’t rush through the contract.
    3. It’s not the end of the world if your client comes back with questions, changes, concerns. Be open with them and be willing to work with them to make the contract fair to both of you.
  3. Don’t let money or lack thereof get in the way of writing a good contract. In the end you’ll lose money if your contract isn’t solid.

So what have I learned? Above all, I’m not perfect at following my own advice. But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep learning and revising the process.

What lessons have you learned since you started your business? How do you use contracts for projects? I’d love to hear your ideas. Post them below in the discussion area.

Getting Used To WordPress 5.0 And The New Editor

Getting Used To WordPress 5.0 And The New Editor

There is something I have to admit. When I first heard of Gutenberg, the new editor for WordPress, I was excited. I love new things and testing them out. But when I downloaded it to say I was nonplussed is an understatement. It was buggy and nothing quite worked.

Enter WordPress 5.0 and the public, out-of-beta, version of Gutenberg. Is it still a little buggy? Sure. But overall it works quite well and the blocks that you can add to the posts and pages make it much more appealing than the old TinyMCE “Classic” editor.

Does this mean, I’m convinced? Maybe. It really depends on the project and if this new editing system plays well with the theme/framework we’re using for our clients. But overall, I’m pleased with it.

Interested In Learning More About WordPress 5.0 And The New Editor?

Drop us a line for a free 30 minute consultation on how Goldstein Media can help your company not only capitalize on the new features in WordPress, but get found online by your customers.

WordPress 5.0 Is Out

WordPress 5.0 Is Out

WordPress 5.0 is out in the wild now — as of December 6th. It’s a definite departure from the previous versions. The biggest is the new editor, pre-5.0 called Gutenberg.

In addition to many nifty under-the-hood improvements, the new editor is the biggest change.

We’ve made some big upgrades to the editor. Our new block-based editor is the first step toward an exciting new future with a streamlined editing experience across your site. You’ll have more flexibility with how content is displayed, whether you are building your first site, revamping your blog, or write code for a living.

Though Websites can still use what the WordPress universe is calling the “Classic Editor” well on through 2021, the new editor is here to stay and after a bit of a learning curve for us “old hats” it’s pretty slick.

The Classic Editor plugin restores the previous WordPress editor and the Edit Post screen. It lets you keep using plugins that extend it, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor. To install, visit your plugins page and click the “Install Now” button next to “Classic Editor”. After the plugin finishes installing, click “Activate”. That’s it!

It starts with “Blocks”. Like building blocks, these blocks make it “easier” manipulate the content on the page.

The new block-based editor won’t change the way any of your content looks to your visitors. What it will do is let you insert any type of multimedia in a snap and rearrange to your heart’s content. Each piece of content will be in its own block; a distinct wrapper for easy maneuvering. If you’re more of an HTML and CSS sort of person, then the blocks won’t stand in your way. WordPress is here to simplify the process, not the outcome. No longer will you have to custom code within the editor to get your content working/looking correct.

If you’re a client of ours and you want to try out the new editor, let us know and we’ll help learn it.

Not Yet A Client?


 Want a team of WordPress experts behind you to help build out a site that converts and also utilizes the new editing experience?


WordCamp Philly 2018

WordCamp Philly 2018

WordCamp Philly 2018 takes place this weekend at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. WordCamp Philly is the premiere WordPress-related technical conference in Philadelphia. The two-day event at the University of the Sciences is full of learning and networking opportunities. The first day, Saturday is the main conference full of useful talks and great networking. Sunday is Contributor Day, where attendees can learn how to contribute to WordPress, the open source project.

If you don’t plan on attending, but still want to see what’s going on, follow the hashtag #WCPhilly on Twitter.

If you are going to be there, be sure to say hi!

The Power Of Coworking

The Power Of Coworking

Goldstein Media is a small agency, most of our team is remote. So when it got time to move out of the basement and into a “real” work environment, coworking spaces were at the top of the location list.

Not being in Philadelphia, but in the suburbs, coworking spots are far and few between. When Stacks Co. Workspace opened its doors at the beginning of the summer, I knew it was the place to take Goldstein Media to help it grow.

Officially opened in June 2018, Stacks Co. is located in the heart of Doylestown Borough, which is a fantastic location. Another bonus to moving into Stacks, was that some of my associates moved in as well. Our graphic/web designer, Jenn took a spot, as did Shawn and Travis from ESC Marketing Group. Both groups we deal with almost exclusively.

In addition, since being in the space, we’ve made connections with other independent creatives like Ryan from Hectare Media, who we now use for graphic design, in addition to Jenn.

Coworking is an interesting concept. Essentially you grab a desk and work, but you get much more than that. You get a community of people who are all in similar situations and willing to collaborate on projects and help with ideas.

I’ve known about coworking since Indy Hall opened its doors in the ‘00s in Old City, Philadelphia. And with giants like We Work how can you not know about coworking.

What I love about Stacks Co. is the personal, friendly nature. Jon, the curator of the space does a great job making sure we’re all comfortable and feel welcome.

If you’re interested in taking Stacks Co. for a spin. Swing on by and say hi. Stacks is located at 54 East Oakland Ave. in Doylestown.

Year 3 of WordCamp Lehigh Valley

Year 3 of WordCamp Lehigh Valley

Every year for the past 3 years, WordCamp Lehigh Valley has hosted a fantastic WordCamp. This year is no exception.

There are more first-timers were there and that’s very encouraging. Especially since WordPress now powers 30%+.

A big topic this year is WordPress 5.0 the new Gutenberg editor. I have a love/questionable hate with this change. I love the new editor for blogging and writing content, but I’m still on the fence for laying out content for static pages.

Time will tell. 

If you have a chance to go to a WordCamp, I suggest you do. The community is great and very accepting.

Some great slides from today’s WordCamp:

Killer Keywords: How to Write Content for Both Humans and Search Engines

Using WordPress Tags & Categories Effectively

Preparing Your Clients For Gutenberg

WordPress Security. More Than A Green Padlock

Web Accessibility Matters

Web Accessibility Matters

Note: Read to the end for a link to some great accessibility resources.

508 accessibility compliance might not apply to non-federal Websites, but accessibility still matters to every corner of the Web.

The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect. Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web. — Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

Per the 508 compliance rules, Federal government Websites needs to be accessible to all citizens. As a practice, non-federal sites should do their best to accommodate the Americans With Disabilities Act (ACA) as well.

What Makes A Website Compliant?

According to the W3C. Web Accessibility is the following:

Web accessibility means that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, people can: perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the Web contribute to the Web

Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including:

    • auditory

    • cognitive

    • neurological

    • physical

    • speech

  • visual

Web Accessibility Isn’t Just for Those Who Are Disabled

Web accessibility can help people beyond those who are disabled. Mobile responsive sites make sites accessible on different sized screens. This benefits everyone who uses the Web on their phone’s browser.

Other non-disability related benefits to an accessible site include:

    • People using mobile phones, smart watches, smart TVs, and other devices with small screens, different input modes, etc.
    • Older people whose abilities are changing as they get older
    • People who have limitations that are temporary like broken arms or when they can’t find their glasses. (The latter happens more than you’d think)
    • People in situations where they are in bright sunlight or who can’t listen to audio due to where they are.
  • People with bad connections to the Internet.

The W3C States:

There is also a strong business case for accessibility. Accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile web design, device independence, multi-modal interaction, usability, design for older users, and search engine optimization (SEO). Accessible websites can have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, increased audience reach, and demonstrate corporate social responsibility (CSR).

With All This In Mind, How Does Your Site Stack Up?

There are all types of tools out there that can show you what’s wrong with your site from an accessibility standpoint, but it’s also important to know what you’ve done right and how to replicate it.

The A11y Project has some great resources to check out.

If you’re still stumped or need help implementing what you’ve read, give us a call today.

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© 2017 Seth Goldstein & Ashley Owens