The Best Technology to Keep an Eye Out for in 2016

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As 2015 comes to a close, many of us are keeping a keen eye on what types of technology will emerge in the coming year. From lightning-fast Internet services to three-dimensional printing and beyond, what can we expect to enjoy in 2016? Let’s take a closer look at a handful of trends that are expected to dominate our lives.

Three-Dimensional Printing Technologies

While the art of 3D printing has been around for the past few years, technological innovations have now enabled these systems to become affordable for the average individual. How will this affect our lives? Many will now be using three-dimensional printers to create common objects such as smartphone cases and even fashion accessories. Sectors such as the medical industry are predicted to benefit in the same way; prosthetics and dental molds are only two items now being constructed with the help of this amazing technology.

The So-Called “Device Mesh” Revolution

As the name may already hint, device meshing is the act of bringing multiple points of technological contact together within one centralised platform. In other words, consumers can expect multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptop computers and even home security systems to be integrated together. This allows for streamlined remote access with it is needed the most. Some examples here can include faster communications, remote employment opportunities and instantaneous data transmission at the click of a button. This evolution only makes sense, for there are now millions of individuals who are interacting with the virtual world every day.

The Rise of Machine Learning

This is perhaps one of the most interesting advancements that is already taking hold in developed countries. Using the power of such innovative systems as deep neural nets (DNNs), computers will begin to learn at a breakneck pace; interpreting the world around them while enabling “smart” machines to appear even smarter. Some common applications for these systems include smartphones that are more aware of the desires of the user and enhanced shopping experiences through targeted advertising. However, DNN systems are still in their infancy and we can expect much more to come.

Megabytes of Data Access

Countries such as the United Kingdom have always struggled to provide lightning-fast Internet access to remote regions. In the past, some areas were still utilising speeds that were considered outdated a few years ago. Thanks to an enhanced infrastructure and transmission methods including fibre broadband internet, the majority of users should be able to enjoy massively increased communication speeds in 2016. This is great news for those living in remote locations who still require unfettered access to the online community.

It should be noted here that these are only three of the numerous other technological breakthroughs which are only now becoming realised by the average individual. Other developments include adaptive security software, 4G mobile data coverage and the emergence of the bitcoin as a form of virtual currency across the Internet. 2016 will indeed prove to be an interesting year.

What Local Businesses Need to Do to Show Up in Google

What Local Businesses Need to Do to Show Up in Google

Often local businesses call me at my You Can Be Found consulting company and ask how to show up in Google for their local searches, such as “product or service offered” followed by “town in which they do business”. This comes down to taking advantage of local search, or those maps that pop in search with different businesses and pins on them.

There are a number of factors that you need to take advantage of in local search, and I tell them if you want to help yourself, at least cover the basics.

What Local Businesses Need to Do to Show Up in Google

  1. Secure your Google local business listing: Go to Google Places for Business or Google My Business or whatever they decide to call it this month. They change this a lot. I typically just Google “Google places for business” and you will find it.
    1. Go through the process of telling them about and claiming your business listing. Be sure you pick and use a business name, address, and phone number that you can use over and over. That is an important part of this.
    2. Don’t try to outsmart Google. Use the name your business would use when you answer the phone. Don’t try to load the name with keywords. That doesn’t work anymore.
  2. Spread out your NAP: A big factor in local search is your Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) citations. This is the number of reputable local databases that show your consistent NAP.
    1. Make sure you are precisely consistent. New Jersey Route 34 is different from RT-34 NJ and Trail and Trl are different. Be consistent
    2. Choose to get in the big local databases like Yelp and Merchant Circle, etc.
    3. It helps to go out and claim listings in major core databases like Acxiom, Localeze, etc.
    4. My company helps local businesses be sure they normalize their NAP’s in all of the important databases for a pretty reasonable price, but you can go out and do it on your own.
    5. If you are buying or taking over a business, be very aware if your business has inconsistent NAP listings spread across the internet, as they can hurt you.
  3. Online Reviews Matter: Reviews are helpful and they matter, but they are also all relative. Just like everything else that helps people in Google, there are industries built up to do fake reviews and try to cheat the system. Don’t do this. It will hurt you in the long run.
    1. Review success is relative. If your leading competitors have three, it would help if you had five. Don’t go out and get 30 in a day. That is a red flag.
    2. Just bake it in to your process. Just get used to asking your good clients to leave you a review. Though Google reviews will help Google the most, having a mixed bag of reviews across Yelp, Google, Yahoo and other places is better long term for your business. Let your customers leave reviews in the places that are comfortable to them.
  4. Your Site SEO Strength Matters: Because inbound links to your site are important to SEO, they are also important to local search. There was a time when your local search presence and your organic presence were somewhat separate but those days are over. Your organic search strength is now a key factor in your local search presence. Make sure you get those reputable links that you can.
    1. Get Accredited with the BBB. This is a nice, solid reputable link to have and build your strength.
    2. Make sure you secure links from existing relationships: You’d be surprised how many clients are members of chambers or business organizations but forgot to put their link on their profile. Make sure you have any easy link that you would automatically get from our off line relationships.
    3. Announce your business with an online press release: Online press releases can give your organic presence a shot in the arm. Announce a new service or business opening through a reputable online release service.

These are some simple basic steps to follow to at least get you going with a presence in local search. Of course we can help you do this or take it to the next level, but in some less competitive markets, this can be enough to get you where you want to be. Good luck!

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