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How Words Get You Found (IABC Summit Breakout Session Recap)

In my first recap of the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC, I covered the keynote address about demystifying content marketing. So let’s look at this recap of a presentation that demystifies search engine optimization, or SEO. And I’ll be honest, I still find the concept mystifying in a lot of ways, but this breakout session helped me get a better idea of what it means and how to use it. In her presentation, “How Words Get You Found,” Kelly Stanze, search strategist (and self-proclaimed SEO nerd) for Hallmark shared the basics of SEO and how both the content side and the technical side need to work together to provide the best SEO bang for your buck. Kelly describes search engine optimization as the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website. She also made sure to point out that SEO has become more than “just marketing.” It’s about content strategy and technical skills for website development/maintenance. The elements of content strategy involve not only what is on the pages of your website,…

Content Marketing Demystified

Content Marketing Demystified (IABC Summit Keynote Address Recap)

If you work with me or any other AWG digital specialist on your digital marketing, you’ve probably heard us discuss content marketing. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s not just about the content we post on your social media profiles, your website or your blog. It’s the strategy behind the content that’s being posted. I recently attended the 2018 Business Communicators Summit for the KC chapter of IABC. The keynote speaker was Quinn Tempest, a digital marketing strategist and graphic designer from Phoenix. Her presentation was titled “Content Marketing Demystified” and she covered the myths of content marketing and the lessons she’s learned about content marketing throughout her career working with various companies and individuals. Quinn describes content marketing as “the art of providing relevant, useful content to your prospects without selling or interrupting them.” She asserts that instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your audience more informed before they buy. The goal is to deliver consistent, ongoing, valuable information your customers/prospects so that they will ultimately reward you with their business…

Google search

AMA Recap: The Future of Search

American Marketing Association (AMA) held a workshop titled, “The Future of Search”. Scott Schaper from Unravel talked about the trends of Internet browsing over the years and Google’s ever-changing algorithm. Considering Google dominates searches on the Internet with 90% of the market, it is important to try to stay on top of what they are up to. One of the big things they are up to right now is making non-secure connections more apparent to website users. I talked about this a few months ago in SSL Certificate = Secure Connection. Browsers have begun showing discreet warnings. I’ve noticed some people question and show concern over these warnings, while others are either not bothered by them or they don’t even notice them. Google plans to make those warnings more prominent to users in their Chrome browser. I first heard this was going to happen in October of this year but I haven’t seen it yet. Schaper is saying it will happen in January of 2018. Security was only one of the topics covered in the workshop regarding a user’s experience.…

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How to Integrate Paid Media into Your Existing Campaigns – Tips from Emfluence

You’ve established social media channels, communicate regularly with your followers and produce new content routinely that you think they will like. How do you take your digital marketing campaigns a step further to see better results? Paid digital media could be your answer – but only if you approach it strategically. Alan Schieber shared some tips at the recent Emfluence Conference I attended. He explained how to integrate paid media into your existing digital campaigns in a smart way. First, he needed to debunk a few general assumptions about paid media. Many think paid media costs too much, isn’t effective, or they want it good, cheap, and fast, among other issues. To clear this up, Schieber noted that paid media is effective for an affordable price, but only if you address it in a strategic way. Marketers and retailers may want it good, cheap and fast, but achieving all three strategically isn’t possible. Instead, pick two. Now that we’re on board with paid media, define your goals. This must be done before you choose the paid media channel. Have your…

Screenshot example of Monthly Google Analytic Report

How to Read your Monthly Analytic Report about your Website Traffic

If I am the person you call to make changes on your website, you might have noticed a new report in your email the past few months. The report is sent the first week of each month. We now send out monthly reports about your website traffic. Look for an email with the subject: “(Your store name) Website Report”. If you can’t find one you might also try looking in your spam folder or search for “From” noreply-analytics@google.com. Attached to this email you should find an attached .pdf file: “Analytics All Web Site Data (your store name) Website Report (beginning and end dates).pdf”. If you can’t find this report and would like to see it, shoot me a email with the address of where it should be sent or your phone # so I can give you a call. Here are some guidelines to help you read this report: Q: What is a “Session”? A (from Google): A session is a group of user interactions with your website that take place within a given time frame. For example a single…

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How Local Pages Help Your Store

Retailers with multiple locations have a decision to make when it comes to creating Facebook business pages: do you make one page that represents all locations or do you make individual pages for each store? I discussed in a recent blog post how to do both, as well as how to link the location pages to the banner page. In the post, I highlighted the more practical reasons you should consider setting up the locations pages. For example, setting up individual location pages might make sense if your products, services and messaging vary widely from store to store. Those practical reasons are important but there is a less tangible reason to create local pages for each individual store location. Your customers are more likely to engage with a local page versus a banner page for the entire chain. According to an article on MediaPost, “local store pages generated 25 times more impressions than brand pages.” Citing research from MomentFeed, MediaPost highlighted findings of their analysis of impression data in early 2017 from approximately 50 national brand clients, including restaurant chains,…

Google My Business logo.

Claiming Your Google Places Listing

How often do you Google a local business in your area? Your customers are doing the same thing with your grocery store on a regular basis, so it’s important for you to be able to control what they see when they Google your store. But how do you do that? How do you manage the information that comes up on the most popular online search engine? The answer is: Google Places. Google Places allows you to list the exact location and address of your store on a map in Google, with all relevant store information to help your customers find you when they are not only looking specifically for your store but also when they are looking for specific services your business provides. According to Google, “simply being listed gives you a boost in rankings for your main website and therefore leads to more traffic.” Google gives you the option to include as much or as little about your business as you want on your Google Places listing. This includes coupons, special offers, videos, images, opening hours and preferred payment…

Digital face depiction

Internet Technology and It’s Crazy Capabilities

I attended a presentation on technology and consumer trends. Here’s a little of what I came back with. Ever log onto the Interwebs to browse your favorite sites and an advertisement pops up? Of course you have. Did you think it was coincidence that the ad was promoting something you had searched before? Well, it wasn’t. In fact that advertisement was specifically for you. I know you’re thinking to yourself. How is that even possible?! I knew the government was hiding aliens! No, not really, well maybe, who can really be sure. What I can tell you; is that aliens didn’t generate that advertisement; it was delivered to your screen by something called AI (Augmented Intelligence). Augmented Intelligence is a technology that analyzes 2.5 Exabytes per day. What’s an Exabyte? I know, I had to look it up too, but to save you time I’ll share. An Exabyte is one quintillion bytes, or one billion gigabytes. Gigabytes are one billion bytes, so it’s a billion times a billion times 2.5…A LOT of data. We all contribute data. The sites you…

Keeping it Fresh – Content & how it affects your Google rankings

We commonly receive calls from retailers looking to improve their Google search rankings. One way you can help do that is to keep the content on your website, blog, and social media channels fresh. Just posting random links or recipes isn’t enough, though. You need to put some thought into what you’re posting, when you’re posting it, and who you’re posting it for. That’s all a part of your content strategy. At the November AMAKC lunch, Scott Schaper of Unravel shared his thoughts on why you need a content strategy and how to design your content. Search engines like Google love content, and they prefer real, trustworthy, and relevant content. But don’t think you’re creating content just for search engines, writing for search engines is really writing for your customers. You’re able to share your knowledge and expertise to your market (and to the search engines). Schaper laid out six steps to creating content: Ideation The first step to brainstorm ideas. What do your customers want to know? Let them see how things work behind the scenes. Answer commonly asked…

Gary's Foods about us photos

“About Us” on your website

Everyone loves a story. People have been telling stories since… well, since people have been around! What do campfires, drawings in the sand, music, movies and your website have in common? All of these tools can help make telling a story easier. The About Us page can attract your customers with a story they can relate to. The more your customers identify with you, the more they will trust your store. The content on this page is also good to share via links in social media. Read this About Us example >> You may not think your story is interesting, but it only seems that way to you because you lived it. You lived the long version, day by day. Believe it or not, millennials prefer the story of how a business came to be rather than having big bold SALE! messages crammed down their throats. These stories tend to be read on mobile devices during down time, like during the commercials while watching TV or waiting for a Dr. Apt. Write about the stories you hear over and over at family get…

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