Category Archives: marketing

Is Your Business Rockin’ Google’s Search Results?

With all the focus put into SEO these days, one of the expectations is that a properly-managed SEO campaign will automatically take care of your actual presence within the search results (i.e. how dynamic those results are). Unfortunately, however, this is not an assumption any business owner should make lightly and there is still some back-end work you should be doing to give your customers the most complete information about your business in the most direct way.

Working within Google for this example, let’s take a walk through what a customer sees when they search for our business, 603 Media Group:

As you can see above, there are a number of elements that are represented within these results. Each of these elements is controllable and configurable by you and your search engine optimizer.

The first listing you should see when doing a direct search for your business name is your OWN website – not a social media page, referral link site or business listings aggregating site. After all, you don’t want a customer to look for your business and then lose that potential conversion to a competitor because the result they click on gave them – ack! – choices….

Underneath your website listing, assuming that your website has been properly coded using the “title” and “description” tags, you will see neatly listed and described summaries of different pages of your site. This is especially useful to potential clients because it allows them the opportunity to jump right to the product or service they are seeking without having to first navigate through your site. Remember, design for quick conversions and short attention spans!

The next thing you want your customers to see is your Google Places information. Now, you’re a business owner so, of course, you’ve already created a Google account, uploaded and updated all of your information, added photos, hours, services offered, etc…right? Right? If not, we would strongly encourage you to talk to your optimizer and get the ball rolling on that.

One of the things that Google has been very clear about this year is the importance of using their social media platform, Google+, if you want to improve your rankings within their search algorithms. Their goal is to seamlessly integrate all of your Google-based activity into one comprehensive user experience. So take advantage of that! In this example, you can see a snippet of the last blog we published and shared on our Google+ account just a few hours before this screenshot was taken. We’ve accomplished two things with this: Our search results now contain dynamic content that engages our customers before they even leave the results page and we are turning that engagement into increased traffic towards our blog. Win-win!

Finally, the next several results that you want to see under a direct search for your business is as many of your social media channels as possible. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr, Instagram, etc. With frequent use of your social media channels, you can improve the ranking of content that is directly related to YOU, thereby providing customers with a better and more engaging search experience and hopefully turning those searches into sales.

As you can see, with the right application of time and effort, you can ensure that your customer engagement within Google’s search results page is as dynamic as possible. And, if you need a little help…give us a call! It’s kinda’ what we do.

About the Author: Jeremy Jones is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his ten-year-old son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.

Best brand advocates? Your own employees!

Walmart has an image problem. I know that’s not much of a newsflash but the point remains. Lately, the most vocal group of Walmart haters has not been the anti-China crowd or the anti-shuttering of Mom and Pop stores crowd or any of the myriad other normal detractors. No. Lately, it is Walmart’s own employees who are slamming the mega-chain’s mere existence. So united are they in their negative feelings of the company that thousands of employees are threatening a national strike on Black Friday.

In the marketing world, we talk often and loudly about “brand advocates” – that is, those happy customers who are so smitten with your product or service that they tell everyone they meet about you and your organization. We court them, we cater to them, we bribe them with baubles (admit it, you do) and we pray that they will speak on our behalf to all who will listen.

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to an old friend about his work. He never really talks much about what he does. His Facebook profile isn’t saturated with each minute detail of his exciting days at work as so many of my other “friends”‘ pages are, and his eyebrows get this particular furrow whenever the subject comes up. On this particular day, however, I pressed him on the issue.

“Man,” he said, “I hate that company. They suck. I wouldn’t wish that place on my worst enemy. Don’t ever buy from them.”

I was shocked. I always thought he loved his job. Was the product bad? Nope. Were the services sub-par? Never. Were shipments to customers routinely delayed? Not at all. Well, what was it that made this company so bad that his strongest advice to me was to not ever buy from them?

He didn’t like the way he was treated.

Word of mouth from customers is vital to growing brand awareness, to be sure. But in your search for advocates, don’t forget the one group of people who can be particularly powerful in both positive and negative ways – your employees.

I’ve had service personnel come out to manufacturing facilities where I’ve worked to repair equipment. These are workers who are sent out into the field to represent their company to their clients and yet, for some reason, as soon as they have an ear to bend, they unload about how awful their employer is, how little their engineering department knows, etc. Always kinda’ leaves me scratching my head wondering why I’m hiring this company and its personnel if they’re really as inept as their own employee says they are….

On the other hand, I’ve had site visits from personnel who can’t talk enough about their employer – in good ways! Now, I consider myself to be pretty in tune with the particularly odiferous presence of a fresh load of you-know-what. So I can usually tell when someone is blowing sunshine just to keep me happy or is genuinely in love with their work. And when you have someone in front of you who is elbows-deep in ink and grease repairing a busted drive union on a 30-year-old printing press while raving about his company and the work he does, well…that’s just bomber (as my 9-year-old would say). And, the next time an employee puts a wrench through a pair of impressed cylinders, I’ll be darn sure to call that same company back to repair the damage.

Not every organization needs to worry about their employees’ personal feelings making the headline news. However, understanding that sometimes employees are just stuck in the whole “grass is greener” mindset, it still cannot be denied that your workers are your first line of ambassadors when it comes to your organization’s image, brand and reputation. Court them. Cater to them. Find a culture that respects their efforts, rewards their successes and fosters personal investment in the organization and you’ll have your own personal team of brand advocates doing your marketing work for you. Win-win for all!

About the Author: Jeremy Jones is the Senior Marketing Strategist for 603 Media Group. Primarily tasked with the challenges of keeping our small business running, Jeremy also occasionally branches out into public speaking, blogging, website design and raising his nine-year-old son to not be another one of “those damn kids”.