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The Latest Trends and Insights on Digital Marketing from Milestone

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  • Which is the fastest CMS in the market?

    Apart from the popular and reputed Content Management Systems in the market such as Adobe Experience Manager, Drupal, WordPress, etc., Milestone is regarded as one of fastest CMSes in the market. Considering that load speed of a website is an important factor for it to rank on search, Milestone CMS is the only SEO-first CMS in the market and ensures delivery of relevant content to create an engaging mobile-first experience. Using Milestone CMS, we have deployed more than 6,000 websites and our client websites have an approximate viewership of 26 million user per month. Our client websites have reported an average of 100% faster load page time and a 20-30% increase in leads and revenue due to this very factor of high-speed loading websites - which is critical for the user experience of website visitors.
  • Which CMS is best for SEO?

    Milestone CMS is the only SEO-first CMS in the market that covers all the must-haves that websites need to rank and be visible on search. Using schemas wrapped over relevant content, Milestone CMS ensures that search engine crawlers have clear context of the content when indexing the website, ensuring that your website content it ready for visual and entity search and the future of search – voice search. In addition, Milestone CMS delivers high-performance mobile designs, that is supported by mobile-first optimization, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) and PWA (Progressive Web App) frameworks. Our SEO-first websites that takes businesses through the entire customer journey has ensured an average increase in leads and revenue by almost 25%.
  • Which CMS is best for hotels?

    While there are certain players like WordPress, Squarespace and SmartCMS that are used by hotels around the globe due to their custom and personalization features, Milestone CMS is a thorough-bred CMS for businesses in the hotel industry. With Milestone having 2 decades of experience of servicing the biggest brands in the hospitality industry, our CMS is created to take hotels through the whole phase of the customer journey – REACH – ACT - CONVERT – Engage. Our Milestone CMS comes with products such as Milestone Local, to ensure that the information of hotels is delivered across multiple channels with just a few clicks, ensuring that no customer is left frustrated wishing to know the key specifics of a business. In addition, our features like event calendar and FAQ Manager help drive leads and footfall to the business, while the FAQ Manager helps the businesses answer pressing questions and concerns of their customers and ensure the information is consistent across all channels. In addition, being an SEO-first CMS, visibility on search is a priority and this is done using a built-in schema deployment and monitoring process, and the websites are built on mobile-friendly, AMP and PWA frameworks to give customers the best possible user experience. Of course, competitor benchmarking is a necessity and that’s where our omni-channels Analytics comes into play. Now, your business can track customer behavior, your advertisement spends, return on investments, and lots more.
  • What are must-have CMS features?

    According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management 2020, listed below are the functions that CMS features need to have:
    • Basic and advanced content creation functions such as templating, workflow and change management
    • Content repository that provides metadata about the content
    • Key website management features such as the layout of the website, menus and navigation options
    • Content deployment tools
    • Analytics and Personalization capabilities
    • Integrations via APIs, to connect with digital commerce platforms, social media platforms, and marketing automation platforms
    • Hybrid and API-driven omni-channel content delivery options
  • What CMS features are needed for businesses with physical locations?

    CMS that support businesses with physical locations need to have a comprehensive local platform that ensure that key business information such as hours of operations, whether the store is open or not, are consistent across multiple platforms and cover the thousands of touchpoints of potential customers. For this, having a platform to enter key business information and having API integrations to multiple-channels (GMB, Yelp, directories, etc.) and social media platforms is required to ensure that the business details are consistent online. In addition, knowing your and ratings and getting feedback from customers is critical to improve and scale. In addition, having key features such as a FAQ Manager to answer queries of customers in time-bound manner and answering common questions about the business’s product and services is imperative. To drive traffic to your physical location, having an event publishing and management feature like Milestone’s Event Calendar is important to create a buzz around the property and drive footfall to the property.
  • What CMSes are best for large enterprises?

    While CMSes like Adobe Experience Manager, Acquia, SiteCore, Oracle and Episerver all cater to large enterprises, however they charge premium fees and the features are bundled and are not customizable to give business only what they need. Milestone CMS caters to small-medium business to supporting enterprise businesses as well, and allows customization of features with flexible packages to give businesses the liberty to choose just what they need and the option to add on features as the business scales and modifies their scope. Milestone CMS offer the lowest total cost of ownership and bundles the key requirements for any business such as the hosting infrastructure, security, speed and technical SEO and does not package these key elements and features separately.
  • What CMSes are best for healthcare?

    While the usual Adobe Experience Manager, SiteCore, Oracle and Drupal are in the healthcare space as well, each come with their own perks and challenges for businesses, with the biggest being pricing and flexibility of packaging features. Milestone CMS offers the key ingredients for health care businesses with affordable packaging options, giving businesses to choose exactly what they need and not more. Having serviced diverse industries, for healthcare businesses, Milestone CMS ensures ease-of-use to create and deploy quality content that is wrapped with schema to give search engine bots a better understanding of the content, entities and its relationship to power voice search, ensures consistent brand information across multiple channels, and checks key requirements such as page speed, security, hosting infrastructure, and the nitty-gritties of technical SEO.
  • Do CMSes help with local and maps?

    Considering that a majority of searches online are local and local-flavored content is picked as the most relevant answer, CMSes need to have a local platform with map integrations. Why? Handing all the required information for potential customers and ease to reach the business property is imperative. All popular and reputable CMSes have local and map integrations and Milestone CMS leaving no stone unturned, has a dedicated local platform that supports maps integrations to ensure that potential customers have ease in the REACH phase of the customer journey.
  • Do CMSes handle FAQs, events, and mobile?

    Of course, to ensure that customers aren’t left hanging for an answer having a mobile-friendly, FAQ and event features are necessary. Milestone CMS has dedicated features for FAQ, events and websites are built on a mobile-friendly platform. Using Milestone FAQ Manager, businesses can fetch the most relevant questions from multiple locations and channels and answer them with a few clicks across multiple channels instantaneously. Our FAQ Manager is built to power voice search by helping business create conversational and long-tail content that is most relevant to a query online. Milestone Events Calendar feature ensures that customers are drawn organically to the business website and has proved to increase footfall to the business property.
  • Do CMSes need service support to operate?

    The search landscape is forever evolving and having an expert team guiding your business and its website through these changes is absolutely necessary and this allows you to focus on the core of your business’s functions. Think about it, for a website to rank and be visible on search, the content has to be fresh and have interactive elements that make your site stand out. Also consider that now you should consider Google as your homepage and your website should be an important touchpoint for users online – which means your website needs to constantly change and evolve to stay in the game or ahead of the pack or your competitors.
  • Does Milestone CMS do schema automatically?

    All customers who elect to have schemas enabled get them with the CMS license.
  • Which CMSes have the best AMP solution?

    Milestone has done more than 4300 AMP sites and sees significant lift from AMP.
  • Can I delete a bad review?

    Usually you cannot delete a bad review. The typical strategy is to increase the volume of positive reviews to reduce the visibility of the bad review.
  • Which CMSes include an FAQ module?

    Milestone CMS includes FAQ management functional and integration with traditional and vertical search engines.
  • How does Milestone host websites?

    All websites of Milestone are designed on Milestone CMS and the CMS uses Azure as the hosting provider and the application framework is built on ASP.NET - where the code and business logic are integrated. Now to avoid repeated SQL calls from the servers and improve response time, Milestone CMS uses Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Cloudfare and Cloudinary. Cloudfare functions in caching to improve response time for repeated website visitos and is also used to flush cache for any changes done on the website presentation, business logic, etc. Cloudinary on the other hand is used to pull image data from the source system as it has superior image manipulation features as compared to Cloudfare. In addition, Microsoft SQL is used to store data where as Midguard API is used to retrieve data from the servers through API calls.
Omnichannel Content Marketing
  • What is omnichannel marketing?

    Omnichannel marketing is the discipline of operating integrated campaigns in all digital channels to generate communication synergy and better cover the the buyer's journey with targeted messages.
  • What is schema markup?

    Schema markup is an advanced SEO approach as it gives search engines context of the website content (as it is semantic vocabulary categorized on Schema.org), and in turn, paves way for the content to be displayed as rich results on SERPs. In 2011, the Big Four search engines at that point – Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex – collaborated to create Schema.org in order to classify and categorize entities online in the form of microdata or tags which came to be known as schema markup.
  • What are schema types?

    Schemas are basically a set of topic types, and each type has its set of properties. As defined by search engines Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, schema types are arranged in a hierarchical structure and there are 818 Types, 1326 Properties, and 289 Enumeration values in the schema dictionary or vocabulary.
  • What are schema attributes?

    Schema attributes are basically information in JSON code that make up the schema property. While the attribute is simplistic, the combination of attributes is complex and help define the schema property and its relationship. There are generally two types of attributes–default attributes and fixed attributes.
  • Does schema directly impact SEO?

    While search engines have made it clear that adding schema tags to your website code isn’t a direct signal to rank, it favors recent Google Algorithm updates like Rankbrain and more recently, BERT. Schema gives search engine bots context of the website content and in turn, the content is featured as a rich result on SERPs which even gives online users answers to their queries even without having to click. This helps boost the impressions of the website content on SERPs and possibly the Click-through-rate (CTR) as the answer to a query is directly displayed.
  • How many schema types can I put on a page?

    While there are no limitations as such of how many schema types you can put on a page. To give you an example of what Google prefers as per the latest schema guidelines released by Google regarding FAQs, if a website has the same FAQ (same question and answer) across multiple pages of the website, schema markup has to be added for one instance of that FAQ across the website and not for every instant.
  • How do I validate the schema code?

    There are a number of tools you can use to validate the schema code, but the most popular is the Google Structured Data Testing tool. Run the code on the tool and it will flag warnings and errors in the schema code.
  • What is a schema error?

    Schema error is basically if an invalid character is included in the schema markup or structure or order of the file is incorrect. If there is a schema error then the markup cannot be validated, hence fixing the error is of importance. Schema errors usually cause drops in visibility and traffic.
  • Where do I check for schema errors?

    By validating the schema markup on Google Structure Data Testing tool, you can check for errors and warnings in the structured data code.
  • How many schema types can I put on my site?

    You can put as many schema types on your website as there are no limitations.
  • Does schema impact rank?

    Schema is not a direct signal to rank but works in entity recognition for the content on your website, enabling it to displayed as a rich result on SERPs and conclusively, betters your visibility, impressions, and traffic for your website content.
  • What are the most common schema types?

    As per Schema.org, listed below are some of the most common schema types:
    • Creative works: CreativeWork, Book, Movie, MusicRecording, Recipe, TVSeries …
    • Action
    • Event
    • FAQ
    • HowTo
    • Product
    • Person
    • Review, AggregateRating
    • Embedded non-text objects: AudioObject, ImageObject, VideoObject
    • Organization
    • Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
    • Health and medical types: notes on the health and medical types under MedicalEntity
    • Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant
  • What is the relationship between schema and entities?

    With the roll-out of BERT and the previous algorithms by Google, they made a clear indication that rather than index keywords, they were moving towards indexing entities, in short, entity optimization as entities are language agnostic and hold universal significance. On the other hand, schemas play an important role in entity recognition as they give search engine bots a clear context of the website content, thereby enabling the content to be indexed as a rich result on SERPs.
  • Will I get more traffic if I use schema?

    Schema mark-up helps search engine crawlers understand the components of web page content better, thus offering richer and better results to end-users. With proper mark-up, the likelihood of search results displaying rich snippets goes up. Example: HowTo schema type explicitly explains the search engines that the content includes step-by-step answers to a ‘How–To’ question. The search engine is thus able to render the steps in the form of a rich result. Therefore, an immediate benefit that schemas drive is increased CTR or click-through rate. In fact, Milestone Research found that schemas drive around a 30% increase in traffic as users find richer and useful search results. But it is not just clickthroughs that improve with schemas. As search engines map content to more relevant searches, searchers end up clicking the results more, thus increasing organic traffic (and higher quality traffic!) as well as search impressions. At Milestone, of the 9400+ schema projects executed, we have observed a 25-60% increase in search impressions and organic traffic post schema implementations.
  • Should I use RDFa or JSON schema format?

    JSON-LD should be used. Over the last few years, JSON-LD has become the most preferred structured data. Why? JSON-LD is well-implemented. It can be embedded in "script" tags in the head of a document (moving out of HTML body), separated from the data it describes. This makes JSON-LD a format that can be templated, easily implemented and a great option for adding, deleting, or updating purposes.
     
    Other formats like Microdata or RDFa are neither that flexible nor easy to use options for adding, deleting, or updating purposes. RDFa are inline markups applied to HTML documents and define attributes that are added to the HTML.
     
    Above all, search engines prefer JSON-LD and thus JSON-LDs are more picked up and displayed in the SERPs. Here is what Google has to say – “Google recommends using JSON-LD for structured data whenever possible”. Period.
     
    Source: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data
  • Who is doing schema right?

    Very few! Schemas drive 30-50% more search impressions, organic traffic, and clickthroughs. But if you are thinking that, with such a powerful value proposition, every website would have already implemented them – you are in for surprise! Just 40% of the websites in the world have schemas and of them, only a handful-10% have advanced schemas of 8 types or more, and only 4% have advanced error-free schemas.
     
    When it comes to schemas, it is not just about ‘doing or not’ – it’s about ‘doing it RIGHT or not’. And only a handful of websites manage to do schemas the RIGHT way. Why? While schemas are great to have, they are tricky to implement and require coding experience, and IT knowledge. Having continuous updates, nested architecture–all these make schema implementations challenging. And that’s where tools ,like Milestone Schema Manager can help deploy schemas with no-coding.
     
    Another reason for the low adoption of schemas is that it’s difficult to understand the impact of schemas with very few tools, such as Milestone Presence Cloud quantifying it. But remember one thing–schemas are getting more important than ever as voice searches continue to grow. So, if you do not have schemas – do implement it RIGHT now, in the RIGHT way.
  • Does Yoast in Wordpress work well for schema?

    YoastSEO is a popular plugin used in many Wordpress sites. It offers both free and paid versions. The paid version (Yoast SEO Premium v13) of the tool includes support for about 20 of the approx. 800 schema types. If you are a WordPress site and have no plans to move to an enterprise CMS now or in the future, YoastSEO is a nice plugin. However, when you are making a decision, do keep in mind that - while WordPress is a wonderful hosting platform for blogging sites, mid to large-size businesses consider other enterprise-focused CMSes, such as Adobe AEM, Sitecore, Drupal or our very own Milestone CMS too. So, if you have scalability in mind, do consider a schema markup product, such as Milestone Schema Manager that support all major CMSes and lets you deploy schemas at scale across hundreds and thousands of pages with ZERO coding expertise.
     
    Milestone Schema Manager comes with support for all 800+ schema types and is a self-updating software that updates itself for every schema vocabulary change. It is an easy to use schema tool that offers schema tagging, validation, deployment at scale as you can bulk-apply schema to all pages that share the same structure. The Schema Manager also comes with powerful analytics on schema impact helping you quantify the usefulness of the software. Learn more about Milestone Schema Manager.
  • Is there a schema type for reviews content?

    To display your reviews section as a rich snippet or review snippet on Search Engine Results Pages, you can use the Review schema. However, it is not possible to add a review without rating and thus, for individual reviews, the Review schema has to be added and for products, services or organizations, where average rating comes into play, the aggregateRating property has to be added. Apart from the aforementioned, based on the context you can also add schema properties such as itemReviewed, reviewAspect, and reviewBody.
  • Is there a schema type for review ratings?

    With regard to schemas, reviews and ratings go hand-in-hand, and while the Review schema has to be added, the aggregateRating property has to be included in the script.
  • Does schema help with EAT scoring?

    Emphasizing on quality content as a key factor for websites to rank on search, Google rolled out the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) framework and has since become the guidelines for SEO experts around the world to ensure their pages rank on search. Getting to the whether schemas help in EAT scoring, yes, they do. In the words of Google, schema mark-up offers clues of the relationship of entities of the website and as it helps search engine bots understand the context of the content. In short, schemas help Google’s EAT scoring process easier as they help the search engine reduce ambiguities between entities, create connections between them and provide additional information about an entity that Google might not have picked up when indexing a page.
  • Does schema help with BERT?

    Google rolled out BERT towards the end the 2019 and called it their biggest algorithm update in almost 5 years, since RankBrain. BERT was basically the stamp that Google had moved past indexing pages based on keywords, and juggernauting to index entities rather, as entities are language agnostic - giving search an overhauling. With the focus shifting to entity optimizations, schemas play an integral role as they function in entity recognition by giving search engine bots context of the website content and the relationship between entities on the website.
  • What is BERT? What should I do about it?

    To mark the shift of indexing entities, Google rolled out the algorithm. The BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is a deep learning algorithm that is rooted with natural language processing to help search engines understand the nuances of languages and not merely deliver results based on keywords.
     
    Following the roll-out, Google immediately stated that there isn’t anything that a website can do to optimize for BERT, but if the content is conversational, answers a query online directly, and relatable, it will be picked up. To sum up, content has to be of quality, conversation and straight to the point.
  • Does schema help you get the voice search answer?

    While you can’t directly co-relate schemas and voice search answers, schema help you optimize your website content to displayed on SERPs as a rich result and featured snippet – which are generally picked up as voice search answers. Considering that a good portion of the voice search queries revolve around ‘Ask for’ directions, ‘Near me’ searches or research on product or services, having quality content wrapped with the right schemas will improve the chances of your website content being picked up as a featured snippet or rich result, and voice search answer. In relation to the common queries, utilize the following schemas to boost your chances of being picked as a featured snippet, rich result or voice search answer:
    • Spekable schema
    • Local Business and its specific types
    • Product Schema
    • FAQ Schema
    • How-to Schema
  • What are the best FAQ tools?

    There are a number of FAQ tools that work well to create self-authored questions and answers reflecting the details of your product, services and organization such as Spiceworks, Inkling Knowledge, Tettra, Helprace, SupportBee. In addition, Milestone Inc has its very own FAQ Manager as well, that does more than just give you the ability of authoring Q&As about your business. Before we get into what are the perks of the Milestone FAQ Manager, keep in mind that FAQs have gained traction over the last few years as Google now creates rich snippets of Q&As online and more importantly, FAQs are now being the pick of voice search answers. That said, take a look at what Milestone’s FAQ Manager will take care for your business:
    • View customer reviews from multiple channels and locations or crowdsource questions and ideas from SemRush, GSC, Answer the Public (ATP), chatbot unanswered questions, industry specific Q&A library, etc.
    • Using the plethora of connections to fetch the most relevant questions for your business, you can create questions and answers on the tool and the one-click publish will ensure that your FAQs (which are verified) are published on multiple channels. You can also choose to bulk upload FAQs and bulk publish FAQs across multiple channels.
    • Optimize for voice search answers, as the content will be created with the right intent and in a conversational and relevant style. The content will be wrapped with relative schemas to give search engine bots recognition of the context of the FAQs.
    • Ensures consistency in managing FAQs and determines deletion of obsolete information about the organization or its product and services to ensure customers are up to date with the latest.
    • Multi-channel support and integration with Milestone CMS website FAQs, AI chatbots, voice apps – Assistant and Alexa, GMB and Yelp.
  • How many FAQs should I have in my section?

    There aren’t any guidelines that specify the number of FAQs you should have in a section, but ensuring the quality of the content is crucial if it needs to be displayed on SERPs or picked up as a voice search answer. In addition, FAQs need to be categorized well enough with relevant FAQs in each category to improve the experience for website visitors to ensure that they do not leave the page without getting the information they were looking for.
  • Why is Milestone good at FAQ and schema?

    Milestone doesn’t stop at just helping our client create trustworthy FAQs or add schemas to their website content, but by being a thought leader, we ensure that our clients get the best of both these entwined worlds and emphasize on the brand’s visibility on search results and be the pick of voice search assistants. Our FAQ Manager does more than just being a platform to author business content, but on a single platform, our clients can:
    • View customer reviews from multiple channels and location, crowdsource questions and ideas using various tools and arrange the most apt questions and answers for your business and even bulk upload questions
    • Bulk publish FAQs on multiple channels ensuring content is managed efficiently and accurately
    • Create FAQs wrapped with schemas with the right intent and publish verified answers for it to be picked by voice assistants
    • Our FAQ Manager tool comes with multi-channel support and integration – Milestone CMS, Chatbots, Voice Apps – Alexa and Assistant, Google My Business (GMB) and Yelp
    Though schemas are influential for content to be displayed as a rich snippet or featured snippets, only a small portion of websites across the globe have schema tags and a miniscule amount of those websites have advanced schemas – which set the platform for the content to be picked as a voice search answer or displayed as a featured snippet or rich result. Milestone’s Schema Cloud aids clients through the whole process of tagging schemas and lots more to ensure the process is not a burden anymore. It carries out the following functions:
    • Auto discovery of Page URLs that need schemas tags. The tool can auto discover up to 1 million URLs
    • Point at the website content and click to tag with schemas
    • One-click validation and deployment of schemas
    • Continuous health check of schemas added with error and warnings notifications. Raises alerts for deprecated schemas and ensures that the schema vocabulary is up to date
    • Powerful Recommendation Engine to assist clients when adding schema tags using auto suggest and predictive methods
    • Bulk application of schemas to similar pages even by the thousands
    • Integration with any CMS across the globe, Google Tag Manager, Adobe Tag Manager, and E-commerce Integration as well
    • Top-notch reporting to check performance and impact. Clients can check impact by page/data type, rich result growth, universal saturation, and segment reporting showcases schema impact, errors and warning
    Both these tools are in complete sync with Google direction to optimize for entities rather than keywords, which they made clear with the BERT algorithm. The FAQs will help your business create conversational and relevant content, while schemas will function in entity recognition as it gives search engine bots a clear context of the website content and relationship between entities.
  • How many words should I put in the FAQ for SEO?

    While there is no specified limitation on the number of words that should be in an FAQ, having an answer that is concise and directly answers the question should be the focus to suit the requirements of Google’s BERT algorithm. That said, according to LARK, a short answer should be no more than 256 characters which is anywhere between 50 –65 words. In addition, according to another study, to increase the chance of your FAQ being picked up as a voice answer, it should be concise and preferably be limited to 29 words.
  • Is there an FAQ schema type?

    Yes, there is. For your FAQ to be displayed as a rich result on SERPs, using the ‘FAQPage’ schema type is essential. However, as per the guidelines, it should be used in cases when the FAQ is written by the site itself or written to support a product page and there is no way for users to submit alternative answers.
  • What is an FAQ?

    An FAQ (frequently asked question) is a medium for organizations, companies, businesses, individuals, etc., to answer possible concerns of their customers about the products and services on offer. The entity authors the question and answer to preclude the customer being misled or misinformed and, in the process, build trust with customers. Unlike community forums' Qs&As, FAQs have a single answer and no alternate answers can be added by users.
  • How do I find topics for my FAQ section?

    If topics are related to your product and services, then speaking with your customer service team and other related product and services teams, and ideating on the possible concerns your customers could and would face is the best way to come up with FAQs. If you're looking to have FAQs with localized content to add content freshness on your website, you can make use of topic trending tools, such as Keyword Planner, Answer the Public, and topicseed, etc.
  • Is there a schema type for FAQ content?

    Yes, ‘FAQ Page’ schema type can be used for FAQ content as well. However, as per the guidelines, it should be used in cases when the FAQ is written by the site itself or written to support a product page and there is no way for users to submit alternative answers.
  • What is the difference between FAQ schema and QA schema?

    The ‘FAQ Page’ schema can be used in cases when the FAQ is written by the site itself or written to support a product page and there is no way for users to submit alternative answers. However, in the case of the ‘QA Page’ schema, it can be used in the question and answer format when multiple answers by users are eligible for a single question in a community forum setting or a product support page.
  • Is there a schema type for Help content?

    There is no dedicated schema type for Help content, however, if the content is formatted as FAQs then the ‘FAQ Page' schema can be used.
  • Does FAQ help with voice search performance?

    Yes, FAQs with longtail keywords and FAQ schema helps your website meet the requirements of Google’s BERT algorithm (which focuses on picking up conversational and relatable content that directly answers a question online) and optimizes it for voice search.
  • How do you show up in the rich snippet?

    Using schemas tied to quality content gives search engine bots a clear context of the content and in the process, following indexing of the page, the content is more likely to be featured as a rich snippet. Now, the bonus of appearing as a rich snippet is that it gives searchers the most relevant answer and attracts clicks from users due to its relevancy and attractive nature. Depending on the schemas that you use and the content, you could show up as a rich snippet for the location of your business, reviews, and ratings, breadcrumbs to your website, as a description, video, photo, event location and timing, recipe, price range of your product, etc.
Marketing FAQs
  • What are FAQs and why do businesses need them?

    FAQs or Frequently Answered Questions, as the name suggests, are those questions that are commonly asked by customers or potential customers. Instead of repeatedly answering each query, businesses can publish these common questions on their websites, local directories (such as Google My Business, Yelp) or to voice assistants. Therefore, customers can discover the answers to their questions even before they ask. Here are some reasons why publishing FAQs is a MUST today:
    • Voice Search: The question & answer format of FAQs match the conversational answer type of voice search. Therefore, there are higher chances of FAQs getting picked as a preferred voice answer
    • Consistent Brand Image: Customers use multiple channels to look up for answers about business. If FAQs are managed well and are consistent across all channels, that builds trust among customers while building a consistent answer about the brand.
    • Customer Experience: Searching and not finding answers about a business can get frustrating. By proactively answering common questions, businesses deliver a superior experience to customers looking for answers.
    • Reduce Support Time: By publishing answers to commonly asked questions, businesses can reduce the time spent by sales & support teams on individually answering the same question to multiple customers.
    • SEO: FAQs are a great content for SEO purposes and help improve rankings in conventional search.
    Milestone FAQ Manager helps you realize these benefits of effective FAQ management while removing all complexities that are involved in manually managing FAQs across digital channels for multiple locations of your business. The FAQ Manager is an end-to-end FAQ Management solution that lets businesses curate customer questions across channels & locations; and helps publish verified answers to voice assistants and other channels.
  • What are the main challenges of managing FAQs?

    Delivering consistent answers across channels for a multi-location is complex. Here is why:
    • Curating questions and then optimizing and publishing them as FAQs for voice assistants involves a complex process.
    • Brands evolve. So does their answers! Ensuring consistency across multiple channels over time is challenging.
    • Timely response to customer queries across multi-locations is daunting and not scalable without effective FAQ management.
  • What is Milestone FAQ Manager?

    Milestone FAQ Manager is an end-to-end FAQ Management solution that lets businesses curate customer questions across channels & locations; and helps publish verified answers to voice assistants and other channels. The FAQ Manager can help you drive the following benefits:
    • Preferred answer on Voice devices
    • Local rank improvement
    • Consistent branding
  • How does Milestone FAQ Manager work?

    Milestone FAQ Manager’s Curation Engine lets you listen to your Google My Business listings across all your business’ locations. The FAQ Manager provides an editing interface where you can add responses to the questions, add new question and answer pairs. The FAQ Manager’s Publisher then publishes these edited responses and question and answer pairs in bulk to the GMB listings as well as Google Voice assistant for multiple locations.
  • What sets Milestone FAQ Manager apart when compared to other tools in the market?

    The Milestone FAQ Manager is perhaps one of the most complete and end-to-end FAQ Management solutions in the market. While some tools in the market allow you to manage your GMB listing, some others let you create voice answers. However, the FAQ Manager helps you take a scientific approach towards sourcing and publishing content across local channels and voice assistants, for multiple business locations from one place, thus ensuring that your answers are consistent and get noticed everywhere users are looking for. The answers get published as “Verified Answers” thus establishing the authority over other user-generated answers. The benefits do not end here – Multi-location management, bulk upload capabilities and one-click publishing makes FAQ Manager a powerful technology solution for all businesses – no matter how big or small. Some factors that help Milestone FAQ Manager stand out:
    • Single-view multi-location dashboard: Complete visibility into customer questions across all channels & all locations
    • Content Curation: Curate across local listings across multiple locations
    • Bulk Upload: Bulk upload Questions & answers
    • One-click publishing: click to publish across channels
    • Publish verified answers: Publish verified answers on voice assistants and GMB
    • Ability to channel information directly into voice assistants (without any coding)
    All these make Milestone FAQ Manager an amazing tool that makes FAQ management simple and voice search friendly.
  • Will content freshness improve my ranking on search? Do FAQs count as fresh content?

    While there is no way to say that fresh content will ensure you website content latches on to the top search results for queries, Google emphasizes on content relevancy. Think about it, what’s news today is archived tomorrow and ensuring that your website content stays relevant is a must for Google to deem it relevant and be the right answer to a query on search. Products and services are forever evolving, and so is your brand, and ensuring that your content keeps up should be the priority. In addition, it gives your website the scope of adding fresh links and answering the most recent queries or concerns of your customers. Of course, FAQs are an excellent medium to have fresh content on your website. FAQs are forever evolving based on the progress of your business - with the products and services on offer, and it’s any easy way to answer the concerns of your customers – which adds up to content relevancy.
  • Why is Voice Search important? How can FAQs help get found in Voice search?

    27% of the world population and 58% of the population of the United States of America are using voice search to find their answers and most of these voice search queries are about local businesses or local-flavored content. Ensuring that your business website is optimized for voice search is critical for customers to find you. Voice search is focused on long-tail queries and conversational content and FAQ are the perfect medium to create content that is conversation, long-tail and be that single answer that is picked for a voice search queries.
  • Are Local Questions & Answers Important?

    According to a ComScore Study, 88 percent of smartphone users and 84 percent of tablet owners conduct local searches which are focused around hours of services, directions to the business, address of the business and queries related to product availability. Ensuing that you have FAQs that are locally flavored are integral if you wish to be found by potential customer easily. Of course, not having such content will just add to the frustration of a potential customer and you’ll end up losing potential sales. Monitoring your GMB Q&A and that of other local directories is essential to ensure that you know the needs of your customers and addressing their concerns in a timely manner.
  • Why is it important to ensure consistent brand answers across all sources?

    There thousands of touchpoints from where customers will be trying to access information and having inconsistent brand answers online will not only mislead and frustrate your customers, it will result in you losing on potential sales and possible revenue. In addition, having consistent brand answers online not only builds a stong brand image, it instills trust in customers and will lead to higher engagement and rankings as Google will view the website and brand as one that is trustworthy.
  • What are the best sources to collate FAQ content?

    When collating a list of FAQs for your business website, the priority should be content relevancy which means that answering the queries of your customers about your business’s service and products should be your approach. Having FAQs that are sourced from local GMB Q&A, other local directories, chat bot queries, search listening tools with questions of local-flavored content and trends, should be your source to create custom FAQs that cover all aspects of your business and the needs of customers.
Voice Search
  • Does voice search SEO work?

    Yes, not all content on the internet gets picked up as voice search answers, and optimizing your website content to suit voice is crucial. You can do so by ensuring that your website has:
    • Proper Site Structure and Content: Structure your website to have FAQs on the major pages answering questions of customers directly. Content should suit Informational intent (guides, how-to, etc.), Navigational intent (store locations, services, press releases, customer service info) and Transactional intent (videos, product information, comparisons, product stories) - basically optimized for local content. According to Backlinko, an average voice answer should be around 29 words.
    • Schemas: While there is no proof that schema or structured data directly impact voice searches, they function in entity recognition and improve the chances of the content being displayed as a featured snippet and rich result on SERPs, and increasing the chances of the content being the pick of voice assistants.
    • Optimum page speed: Page speed has an effect on the ranking of the website and business on the whole. Having Accelerated Mobile Pages for the pages getting the highest traffic and the rest of the pages mobile-friendly will ensure better engagement and ranking on SERPs.
    • Use keyword planning tools: Use keyword planning tools to look for the common questions asked by users online. Create concise and straight-to-the-point content that suits the trends and common questions.
  • How does voice search help my business?

    Considering that 27% of the world population and 58% of the population of United States of America are using voice search to find their answers, apparently 75% of questions asked are about local businesses, optimizing your website content to suit voice search answers (with local-flavored content wrapped with relevant schemas) is imperative to cover all possible touchpoints with your potential customers. In fact, 2 out of 3 voice search questions are about shopping and if you’re a location-based business, being the pick of voice search answers is crucial.
  • Where can I find SMX voice search presentations?

    The content for the SMX voice search presentations are currently private, but refer to this blog to get a good summary of the SMX voice search presentations carried out by the best in the business:
    • Benu Aggarwal, President & Founder, Milestone Inc.
    • Jason Douglas, PM Director for Actions on Google, Google Inc.
    • Arsen Rabinovich, Founder & Director of SEO, TopHatRank.com
    Here’s the link to the recap of the session on Search Engine Land - https://searchengineland.com/session-recap-smx-west-optimizing-voice-search-virtual-assistants-294512
  • How does search by voice work?

    Voice assistants rely on speech recognition technology combined with complex natural language processing systems to deliver an answer to a voice search. Voice search has adopted Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) as the core technology and Recurrent Neural Networks to deliver an answer even in noisy environments. The DNNs employs the Connectionist Temporal Classification and Sequence Discriminative Training Techniques to understand the nuances of a language and speech, and delivers a result as accurately as possible. In simpler terms, the voice assistant uses these complex technologies, understands the intent and delivers a result that is a most apt using entity recognition. Most often, content that is displayed as a featured snippet, in the Knowledge Panel, Google My Business, People Also Ask section, as a rich snippet, etc., are fetched as the answer to voice searches.
  • What apps are there for voice search?

    Here are some of the most recognized and used voice search apps across the globe:
    • Google Assistant
    • Siri
    • Cortana
    • Amazon Alexa
    • Bixby
    • AIVC (Alice)
    • Hound
    • Lyra Personal Assistant
    • Extreme Personal Voice Assistant
    • DataBot
    • Butleroy
    • 24me
  • Is Google voice search the same on phone and assistant?

    While Google Now which is the app and Google Assistant share similar functionalities, Google Assistant has a deeper artificial intelligence than Google Now and serves answers in a more convenient, accessible and conversational format. However, it seems like a merge between Google Now and Google Assistant seems to be on the cards, according to experts.
  • How does voice search work on Chrome?

    To carry out a voice search on Google Chrome, open a new tab (CTRL + T) and click on the microphone by the search bar and ask a question.
  • What is voice search?

    Voice search is basically using voice commands or speaking the question aloud rather than typing out the question or query on the search bar to find an answer. Using speech recognition technology, the answer is fetched and delivered by the voice assistant.
  • How do you optimize for voice search?

    You can optimize your website for voice search by ensuring that your website content is localized, conversational and answers questions of customers directly, while ensuring on quality. In addition, your website should have authority, proper site and content structure, schemas/structured data to optimize for entity recognition, optimum page speed and SEO-optimized to ensure it ranks on preferably the first page of SERPs as a rich result to be picked up as a voice answer.
  • What schema types are best for voice search?

    To appear in voice search results, you should optimize your website for Featured Snippets. With schemas, search engines understand your content better and thus displays your business in position zero or as a rich snippet or featured snippet. This makes schemas a very important strategy for performing well in voice searches.
     
    To understand which schema types are most effective for voice search, lets first look at commonly asked voice search question types that are relevant for local businesses:
     
    • 'Ask for' directions
    • 'Near me' searches
    • Research product or service
     
    Trends indicate that voice search users are increasingly searching for local results. Keeping the above questions in mind, it’s essential that your business implements the following schemas:
     
    • Speakable Schema: Currently intended for use in news articles, the Speakable schema indicates that a particular section of the web page is “Speakable”. This schema is utilized by voice assistants to “speak” the text using text-to-speech conversion.
    • Local Business and its specific types: This is perhaps the most critical schema to indicate that the content is about a local business and relevant for ‘near me’ searches. Local Business schema has many specific types (such as AutomotiveBusiness, FinancialService, MedicalBusiness, Store, ProfessionalService) and you need to identify the type that suits your business the most. Include useful properties such as openingHours.
    • Product Schema: Useful to indicate that the content is about any product or service that you offer. Includes useful properties such as aggregateRating, offers, sku, reviews
    • FAQ Schema: FAQ schema is useful in implementing FAQ markup. FAQ markups are especially useful for appearing as FAQ rich snippets - that occupy a lot of real estate on the search page, and lead to high CTR. Especially useful in voice searches.
    • How to Schema: Similar to FAQ schema, the ‘How-To’ schema mark-up helps you appear for “How to..” text & voice searches.
  • Where is sample code for voice search schema mark-up?

    While you can’t really decide whether the content will be picked as a voice search answer or not, you can at least improve the chances by publishing content that is optimized for featured snippets that voice search algorithms love. Here is a sample schema deployed that has helped one of our clients’ content show up as featured snippet on the website:
  • Where is Google voice search used?

    Google voice search is Google’s technology to perform search queries on the internet using voice commands. Users can ask questions such as “Ok, Google, which are the best car dealers near me?” on their voice-enabled Google devices. Google voice search can be used for performing searches on:
    • Android supported smartphones & tablets
    • Smart speakers (e.g. Google Home or smart TVs, headphones and watches)
    • Voice assistants on desktops/laptops
    • Google app on iPhones or iPads
    According to Google Web Index 2018, 27% of the global online population are using voice search on mobile devices. The Google voice search uses automatic speech recognition to understand the voice queries and renders output on-screen as text or as voice answers using text-to-speech technology. Voice searches are used for various purposes. Some of the top searches are for quick facts or news, research or compare products/services, ask for directions, and more. In fact, 2 out of 3 top voice search types are related to shopping. So, if you are a location-based business, you should work towards implementing a voice-optimized content strategy for your website.
  • What voice search is used most?

    The current trends indicate that voice-search is witnessing exponential growth in adoption. While over 27% of the global online population are already using voice search on mobile, researchers claim that 58% of the US population had performed a local business search using voice on mobiles. Also, 75% of smart speaker users perform voice search for local businesses every week and 53% of users do it daily Here are some of the top uses of voice search:
    • Quick facts
    • Weather forecast & news
    • Research products or services
    • Ask for directions
    • Play music or stream videos
    • Place order online
    • Make reservations in restaurants or cab service
    Current trends indicate that voice search is being increasingly used to look for local businesses and for shopping. In fact, 2 out of 3 top voice search types are related to shopping. So, if you have a location-based business, you should optimize for voice search by focusing your efforts on voice-optimized content that trigger featured snippets.
  • What schema do I use for local optimization?

    To build a powerful website for your local business that drives relevant traffic you must implement schemas that aid local optimization. Some of the most relevant schemas for your business:
    • Product Schema: To mark-up content about the product(s) and service(s) that your business offers.
    • FAQ Schema: Mark-up local specific FAQs with FAQ schema
    • Local Business and its specific types: Mark-up content about your local business. LocalBusiness has numerous types and you should pick the type that best explains your business:

    Specific Types of Local Business More specific types

    AnimalShelter
    ArchiveOrganization
    AutomotiveBusiness AutoBodyShop
    AutoDealer
    AutoPartsStore
    AutoRental
    AutoRepair
    AutoWash
    GasStation
    MotorcycleDealer
    MotorcycleRepair
    ChildCare
    Dentist
    DryCleaningOrLaundry
    EmergencyService FireStation
    Hospital
    PoliceStation
    EmploymentAgency
    EntertainmentBusiness AdultEntertainment
    AmusementPark
    ArtGallery
    Casino
    ComedyClub
    MovieTheater
    NightClub
    FinancialService AccountingService
    AutomatedTeller
    BankOrCreditUnion
    InsuranceAgency
    FoodEstablishment Bakery
    BarOrPub
    Brewery
    CafeOrCoffeeShop
    Distillery
    FastFoodRestaurant
    IceCreamShop
    Restaurant
    Winery
    GovernmentOffice PostOffice
    HealthAndBeautyBusiness BeautySalon
    DaySpa
    HairSalon
    HealthClub
    NailSalon
    TattooParlor
    HomeAndConstructionBusiness Electrician
    GeneralContractor
    HVACBusiness
    HousePainter
    Locksmith
    MovingCompany
    Plumber
    RoofingContractor
    InternetCafe
    LegalService Attorney
    Notary
    Library
    LodgingBusiness BedAndBreakfast
    Campground
    Hostel
    Hotel
    Motel
    Resort
    MedicalBusiness CommunityHealth
    Dentist
    Dermatology
    DietNutrition
    Emergency
    Geriatric
    Gynecologic
    MedicalClinic
    Midwifery
    Nursing
    Obstetric
    Oncologic
    Optician
    Optometric
    Otolaryngologic
    Pediatric
    Pharmacy
    Physician
    Physiotherapy
    PlasticSurgery
    Podiatric
    PrimaryCare
    Psychiatric
    PublicHealth
    RadioStation
    RealEstateAgent
    RecyclingCenter
    SelfStorage
    ShoppingCenter
    SportsActivityLocation BowlingAlley
    ExerciseGym
    GolfCourse
    HealthClub
    PublicSwimmingPool
    SkiResort
    SportsClub
    StadiumOrArena
    TennisComplex
    Store AutoPartsStore
    BikeStore
    BookStore
    ClothingStore
    ComputerStore
    ConvenienceStore
    DepartmentStore
    ElectronicsStore
    Florist
    FurnitureStore
    GardenStore
    GroceryStore
    HardwareStore
    HobbyShop
    HomeGoodsStore
    JewelryStore
    LiquorStore
    MensClothingStore
    MobilePhoneStore
    MovieRentalStore
    MusicStore
    OfficeEquipmentStore
    OutletStore
    PawnShop
    PetStore
    ShoeStore
    SportingGoodsStore
    TireShop
    ToyStore
    WholesaleStore
    TelevisionStation
    TouristInformationCenter
    TravelAgency
Mobile
  • How do you get the fastest mobile pages?

    It's no surprise that the majority of searches that are carried out online are from mobile devices and having a mobile-friendly website is critical for any local business. Take a look at these stats before we get into how you can get the fastest mobile website to improve conversions and inevitably, leads and bookings.
    • 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. (Junto, 2019)
    • 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. For every one-second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12% (Google, 2018)
    Having a mobile-friendly website that loads in 2 seconds is the goal for any business that wishes to capitalize on clicks and website visitors. Let's get into how you can ensure your business has the best possible mobile website:
    • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
    Google launched AMP in 2016 with the goal to improve the page load time and user experience of searchers. In short, AMP basically strips down the HTML code to bare bones and prioritizes delivering the most essential content of the web page. The Google AMP cache then helps instantly load the page when the visitor returns to the website. However, having AMP to every page of your website is not recommended, and as Milestone CMS deals with AMP, we ensure that the most important pages, or pages that have the highest engagement, are converted to AMP.
    • Reduce re-directs
    Having pages with re-directs will only increase the load time as the server will take time to retrieve the original content which could result in visitors bouncing off the page due to slow page load.
    • Keep the website design simple and compress images
    Having an intricate design might attract website visitors, but increases the load time due to the heavy code. Also, use smaller images that are suitable for mobile devices to ensure there is no time spent loading them.
    • Turn browsing caching on
    This will ensure that the page loads instantaneously when the user revisits the page.
    • Minimize the sign-up steps
    If you wish for visitors to first sign-up to your page to see the content, ensure there are not more than 3-4 steps. However, having a sign-up option on the website rather than the first screen a visitor sees on the page should be a thought.
    • Ensure the mobile page is responsive and meets Google's mobile-first indexing standards
    Having a page that is responsive will certainly help with your rankings as it is a standard when Google indexes the mobile page. Of course, you'd want to carry out an in-depth mobile SEO of your page to ensure that you've got it all covered to be a mobile-first website.
  • What does it mean to be ADA-compliant?

    The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against anyone with a disability in all areas of public life, and in 2018 and 2019, more than 2,000 cases have been brought before the courts of America for websites and apps been inaccessible to those disabled and using screen readers. For this, your website needs to follow certain guidelines with regard to its functionality and accessibility:
    • Should have the ‘Skip to Content’ button to ensure screen readers can read the important content on the web page in a structured manner
    • The web page should respond to keyboard navigation to ensure all the functions of the web page can be done just by using a keyboard
    • Carousels should have a stop/pause button to give readers with poor vision enough time to view the content
    • Labels such as ‘group code’ and ‘coupon code’ should be outside the input area to be captured by screen readers
    • The background of the web page should be contrasting with the tabs, drop down-menus, booking button, etc. to be legible
    To know more, check out our blog What your business needs to take care of to be ADA lawsuit-free
  • Is AMP a ranking factor?

    While AMP is not a direct ranking factor, the benefits that it brings about such as faster page load time, privacy pre-reserved rendering or caching, lazy loading and it being HTTP secure contribute to the SEO of the website by improving engagement with users online and improves their experience. By doing so, it helps a website rank better. Think about it, a few seconds delay reduces engagement and increases bounce rates and have a faster loading page will improve engagement, which Google will take into account when it comes to ranking pages.
  • Is AMP important if I have majority desktop traffic?

    As a business, covering all possible touchpoints with customers is absolutely necessary to leverage the reach of your business to improve engagement and conversions. Though your business has the majority of its traffic on your desktop website, following the latest trends, majority of searches are carried out on mobile devices, and the numbers of searches for local businesses on mobile devices are increasing as every day passes. Having a mobile website is essential in this day and age to not be left behind, and if you do have an existing mobile website, ensuring that it is mobile-friendly and has the AMP framework for the most important pages will certainly improve the traffic to your mobile website.
  • Does AMP decrease the traffic visiting my site?

    While AMP does have its drawbacks with regard to reduction in display of advertisements and stripped-down analytics, decreasing traffic to your website is not one of them. In fact, the sole purpose of AMP is to reduce the page load time and improve the engagement and experience of website visitors. With logical SEO reasoning, AMP will only increase the traffic to your website and inevitably will improve your mobile page ranking.
  • Do mobile apps need to be optimized for SEO? Are they searchable?

    Initially, desktop websites were considered the primary version and mobile websites were the alternate version for businesses, but following search behavior and trends of mobile searches, this has changed and Google decided to introduce mobile-first indexing. What it means is pretty simple, if your website has a desktop and mobile version, the mobile version will be indexed first, which means for it to rank, it needs to follow the SEO best practices. If your desktop is ranking well, and your mobile website is similar in layout to the desktop version, you just have to ensure that it is responsive to ensure that it ranks as well. Of course, they are searchable. If a query is made using a mobile device, Google will display your mobile version to users.
  • What is a progressive web app?

    As the name suggests, Progressive web apps (PWAs) are web applications that give a native app-like experience to users - basically, websites that look and function like apps. PWAs offer several perks such as faster load speed, responsive design, HTTP secure, accessibility for all types of browsers, offline usability, and has personalized functions as websites can use them for push notifications, etc.
  • Are PWAs or responsive sites better for mobile?

    While responsive sites were the first step to allow websites to suit mobile devices, Progressive web apps have gone a few steps ahead for mobile websites and apart from faster responsiveness for mobile websites, they offer advanced functionalities such as faster load speed and caching, offline usability, improved security, easy installation with just the link, accessibility irrespective of the browser, and can be used for push notifications to re-engage with customers. Overall, while PWAs are more expensive, they come with the aforementioned functionalities that are perfect for online bookings and transactions, and better for mobiles.
  • Can you use PWAs and AMP together?

    Absolutely, because the features of AMP and PWA complement each other with their functionalities and pave the way to a super-fast user experience for users. While AMP will help with fast page load speed, the other advanced functionalities of PWA will ensure that your website visitors are getting the best of both worlds. Consider AMP as the entry to PWA. In fact, Milestone CMS makes the best use of the capabilities of both features AMP and PWA to give our clients the best possible website experience. While AMP offers stellar page load speed, we use PWA for our clients to re-engage with their customers using push notifications.
  • Can you optimize an App to be more visible in Apple Store and Google Play?

    Considering that there are millions of apps, ensuring visibility of your app could be a genuine challenge and you could approach like how you would carry out SEO of a website to ensure it is visible on Page 1 to get the highest clicks and impressions. When optimizing your apps on Play Stores, follow the steps:
    • Carry out in-depth market research and identify keywords The first step is to know your competition and analyze what they are doing to achieve visibility. Take note of all the meta data factors (title, icon, developer name, screenshots, description, feature graphic) that they are displaying and achieving success. The next step is to use keyword tools to know the searches and queries on Play Stores that are trending, and jot down the most-used long-tail keywords that you can use in your meta data.
    • Carry out an A/B testing Google has an A/B testing tool integrated into the Google Play Console and you could use it to make a comparison. Make two listings with all the required meta data and elements and make a comparison based on the results each listing will fetch you.
    • Track the performance of the App Like you can change the content of a website to make it more relevant and click-worthy, you can change the meta data of your App to improve its performance. Scrutinize the performance of the keywords that you have used and decide whether it needs to be changed or updated. Basically, optimize your content until you see positive changes.
       
      Pay close attention to the URL structure of your App, this can’t be changed and needs to be concise and have the most appropriate keyword to feature in the search list. Next, ensure that your title, developer name, and description include the keywords of your research (ones that will work) and are catchy to get the user sure that the App is what he/she wants. The screenshots, icon, and feature graphic should be good enough to grab the attention of the user.
Reviews
  • What is reputation management?

    Reputation management is often a misinterpreted topic and often businesses associate it with the management of their social media platforms and promoting their brand image on search. However, reputation management is all about protecting your brand image. To explain what reputation management is, think about what the customer buying journey is all about, and reputation management is often a step of the journey.
     
    Customers are increasingly seeking peer reviews before deciding to buy a product or book a service. As they do so, it’s becoming increasingly important for businesses to secure good ratings and reviews. In fact, 97% of customers make a decision only after reading through a review, while Investpro acknowledged that 88% of customers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations prior to buying a product or availing a service in their study.
     
    It’s not only important for businesses to listen to customers and identify suggestions to improve, but it’s also important to engage with them and at times even carry out damage control of their reputation. The Harris Survey which carried out a study during the holiday season came to the conclusion that not responding to reviews could most likely increase a business’s customer churn by 15% and in addition, following a response by a business to a negative review by a customer, 33% returned a positive review, while 34% of customers deleted their negative review.
     
    Having reviews and timely responses not only builds trust with potential customers but helps instills confidence of the search engine in your brand and its services as a trusted source. Google has even commented by saying that responding to reviews on Google My Business will help a brand improve its local SEO and trust could very well be a factor that will bump your business up in rankings.
  • How do you manage reviews?

    Milestone offers its clients an online reputation management tool called Milestone Presence Cloud Reviews module for businesses to manage their reviews. Businesses have to deal with a growing number of local directories that contain reviews of their listings and having a tool to manage reviews for damage control of their reputation, engaging with customers, and improving their services based on feedback is imperative. Using Milestone Reviews, businesses can manage reviews and ratings in real-time, configure the best responses, and can also use it as competitive benchmarking as you can also fetch your closest competitor reviews – all on a single screen. In brief, here are some of the key features of Milestone’s Reviews module:
    • Track ratings and reviews for multiple directories for all your business locations on one platform
    • Filter ratings & reviews you receive by date range, property, review source, ratings, etc.
    • Track trending keywords across multiple reviews (e.g. if ‘dirty’ is a trending keyword, that could indicate the need to improve cleanliness)
    • Directly respond to customer reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc., from Milestone Presence Cloud
    • Businesses can also configure a set of standard responses against various ratings (We are delighted.. for a 5-star rating; We are concerned…for a 1-star rating)
    • Track competitor reviews for various locations and use them for benchmarking purposes
  • What are the best review management products?

    There are several online reputation management tools out there from companies such as Reputation.com, Brightlocal, and Chatmeter, and Milestone Reviews is right at the top when it comes to managing the reputation of a business online. With over 2 decades of working with the biggest brands in the hospitality vertical, managing the reputation of the brand is as important as building it. Using Milestone Reviews, businesses can track reviews and ratings in real-time, filter ratings based on the property, date, source of review and type of rating it received. In addition, businesses can respond to the ratings from the Milestone Presence Cloud screen to a number of directories and can configure standard responses to ensure all reviews are met with a response. Businesses can also use Milestone Reviews as a benchmarking tool and can fetch and assess competitor reviews from various properties and locations. This can help the business either up their game to reach the standard of their competitors or use the reviews to their advantage and increase the standard gap with their competitors.
  • How do you optimize for the best reviews?

    Putting the words optimizing and best reviews in the same sentence string could be misleading for businesses as there’s no way you can predict the nature of customers and their perspective on services or products - “to each his own” could be a precise expression. Not even the biggest brands are spared from negative feedback but how they deal with them is the biggest difference. If you wish for your business to be on the receiving end of more positive feedback than negative, ensuring that your business responds to negative feedback in a timely and courteous manner is the first step. Build a relationship irrespective of the situation and ensure that your services or product meets their expectation. Ensure that your business is transparent about your reviews, products and services to build trust and in no way should you mislead potential customers just for a sale. From your part, you could use visual representations of your products and services to ensure potential customers know exactly what they’re in for. Most businesses face flak for not meeting up to their promises of their services or products and ensuring that promises meet expectations is the best remedy to optimize for the best reviews.
  • Can I delete a bad review?

    While there are ways you can delete a bad review, the faintest idea of such an approach should be avoided. Reviews are basically a platform for your business to receive honest and unbiased feedback to improve, and deleting bad reviews is not only going to reduce the trust of potential customers in what your business offers but in search engines as well. In short, ‘DO NOT’ delete bad reviews. In fact, address them with your reasoning and if the review is inappropriate or defamatory, your business always has the option of reporting the comment or seeking legal action.
  • Do I have to show bad reviews on my site?

    While online management tools such as Milestone Reviews will give you the option of cherry-picking the reviews that you wish to display on your website, having only good reviews and 5-star ratings will draw caution to the wind for potential customers who wish to book your services or buy your products. Being as honest as possible and displaying mixed reviews and ratings with your business’s apt responses to negative feedback in order to build trust is important.
  • What is pillar content?

    Pillar content is basically an SEO strategy to structure content on your website. Consider a long substantial piece of information of your business that is broken into different sections or topics (to mention the different aspects of your business) using different pieces and materials such as social posts, blog posts, photos and videos to grip your audience through the length of the content. Consider the pillar as the body of your content with different sections and pieces added to it to emphasize what’s on offer and add to the flavor of the content. The body of the content should be evergreen and the foundation of your business or the main topic, and the pieces of content or topic clusters with its elements should paint the perfect picture for readers and potential customers.
  • What are topic clusters?

    While pillar content is the foundation of your topic or everything about your business, the pillar content can just about give a high-level of the different topics that are included. Which is where topic clusters come into play. Topic clusters are basically an integral part of pillar content and link several or specific pieces of content to the main topic – basically, an in depth look into the content. For example, you could consider several blog posts of a certain topic as topic clusters and all the content is linked to the main foundational pillar content.
 
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