Tag Archives: Trends

More Politicians Are Embracing the Web

Nancy McCord
Nancy McCord – Point of View for Today.

Donald Trump, love him or hate him, he has masterfully used social media to his benefit and forever changed the way politicians relate to the electorate.

But, not only are politicians moving to Twitter and Facebook as they seek votes, but some are even embracing Google AdWords to try to drive traffic to their election websites.

Glitzy websites with donate now buttons or click here to sign up for our email updates are standard fare for judges, congressmen, senators, and of course our presidential candidates. Never before have we seen a politician use Twitter to his ultimate benefit as Trump has. Rapid firing off tweets that carry his special brand of candor, make it clear that no ghost writer is writing Trump’s tweets. They are “All The Donald”.

Not every politician wants the high profile and electorate exchange that Trump has embraced, and not every politician has the sass and bad boy demeanor that Trump has embodied online, but for The Donald, it is certainly working.

For others in the political landscape using Google AdWords allows for strong, very targeted exposure that increases the chance that voters will see the message that they want to share and not the message of PACs or of that of other candidates. That’s especially important when negative campaigning is being used.

We are currently running one AdWords program for a Circuit Judge in a Midwest state and expect to see more politicians move onto the Web and into Google AdWords in the months to come.

Find out more about our AdWords credentials and services today.

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2014 Trends for Business Websites and Online Marketing – Part Two

Looking into 2014.
Looking into 2014.

In continuation from Tuesday in this blog post on trends for business website marketing and visibility, I’ll talk about Google+ Local pages and YouTube.

Google+ Local Pages Also Known as Google Places

Big changes happened last year for Google+ Local pages. First, Google removed many of the fields you can use to add information, removing any degree of optimization you could previously do on keywords. Once the account is set up, what the customer sees about your business is limited. Google now returns listings not based on optimization or the number of reviews but based on the smartphone user’s location. For desktop searches, Google Places/Local Page listings are shown based on proximity to your location and possibly in some markets based on the number of reviews and possibly again on click through rates.

What a business owner used to be able to do to get placement on location specific keywords is gone. We do still recommend a regular update of videos and pictures on the account, but there is simply not a lot of updating to be done once the account is set up. In fact in the last three months, Google even removed the owner’s comment field where promotions and specials were listed.

YouTube Videos

For many businesses we work with, YouTube is still “undiscovered country”. Many business owners feel that they have to pay to have professionally created video for YouTube, but actually even videos made with your phone or camera are considered the same to Google. Videos that show your products, explain your services, explain briefly a concept are still excellent for business owners to use for exposure. As videos may be shown in with organic results and not even associated with a link to your website utilizing YouTube better should be a New Year’s resolution for business owners for 2014.

Product Listing Ads Now Called Google Shopping Campaigns in AdWords

If you have an ecommerce store and are an AdWords advertiser and are not using Product Listing Ads – soon to be called Google Shopping Campaigns, you are missing out on one of the best things that Google has brought to the AdWords arena. Google shows pictures of products within the organic results and you pay be the click for activity on your store products. Although the data feed is onerous to create and requires much more than just a download of your products (it requires the use of Google’s own taxonomy for each product,) implementation can really boost your individual product sales. Your competition is already embracing Google Shopping Campaigns!

2013 has brought us some sweeping changes at Google. It will be interesting to see how these important changes will impact business and visibility as we enter 2014.

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2014 Trends for Business Websites and Online Marketing – Part One

Confused about how to effectively promote your business on the Web?
Confused about how to effectively promote your business on the Web?

As a online business marketing provider and small advertising agency since 2001, this post is about my identification of trends that will impact online visibility and business for 2014.

Google AdWords

Everyday I am getting more calls from old clients who state – “Our business has lost placement. We’ve been doing some things ourselves over the past years and now we know we need professional help. We seem to have simply fallen out of the Google index and need to get fast exposure and leads. Can you help us?” In fact in the last 10 days alone I have had five calls just like this.

What Google did in 2013 is now bleeding over into 2014; with businesses being pushed right into AdWords to get exposure and sales leads. Many prospects ask “Isn’t there a better way to get sales other than paying for them in pay per click? Won’t blogging get me sales?” Hands down the best way to increase revenue is to get into pay per click. Although for some clients Bing may be the right place to start, typically it is best to start off in AdWords.

Organic Placement and Blogging

The new SEO model is not about anchor text, volumes of links, or even article marketing – rather the new SEO is about relevant, unique, quality content for your website and blog. I am seeing very few clients invest in blog postings with a three day a week frequency, rather the preferred trend is to buy longer more authoritative blog posts with a one post per week frequency.

Although I am still getting clients that want keyword density, keyword anchor text links, and think they want article marketing, using these tactics now for placement on Google may actually push your site into one of Google’s filters that looks like a penalty.

Tune in Thursday for our trends on Google+ Local and You Tube.

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Blurring the Lines Between Paid and Organic

Check your vision that may be an ad you're looking at
Check your vision that may be an ad you’re looking at.

In 2013, I feel that Google has actively worked to blur the lines between paid and organic. With algorithms that forced businesses aggressively into Google AdWords, advertising that nearly blends in at the top of the page with organic results, Google+ Local ads that look like regular listings, and now Google Shopping ads that are scheduled to appear within the organic search results, paid ads are becoming the new “organic” way to drive traffic.

Just ask any consumer of your services, “how did you find me?” Nearly all will say “on Google”. But probe further and the consumer really does not know if they saw and organic link or a paid link.

With Google testing new ad layouts and new ad products they are pushing the envelop to move search placement almost into a fully paid arena. Although today on Google.com the ads at the top of the page sit inside a pink box, earlier this year they have sat in a very, very light blue or gray box, to being in a white box that matches the page with a small goldenrod box in front.

But Google’s not alone Bing is additionally testing some of these same exact formats. I believe that we will see even further blurring between paid and organic this next year with more emphasis on paid placement programs than paying firms to place your website content in the organic results.

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Are You Focused On Building Your Mobile Empire?

Everything I have been reading lately is really pushing the growth trend of mobile and I have to say I think that the growth and opportunities for doing business and connecting with others via mobile phones and tablets is a sector to really watch. I think that for pay per click programs there are some real growth opportunities for advertisers to move into mobile before the cost per click goes up to the level of desktops. I think that more casual surfing will be done with tablets, but I don’t think that laptops will ever go away – at least not yet.

As for me, I love being untethered to my desk, with full email access on my smartphone. Not only do I do email, but I use my smartphone for a mobile hotspot to power my tablet and laptop. I use my smartphone’s navigation tools and do review deals and discounts to decide if I will visit a new store for the first time. I consider having the information at my fingertips wildly freeing. But my usage only reflects about 40% of the US market at this time. That means there is about 60% more of the population who will, in the near future, be using new smartphones to connect the way I am now. That means astronomical growth and market positioning for those businesses who embrace this new way to connect with customers or at least to give additional options to connect now.

For many the first step into the mobile market it to advertise there, and that’s a great start. AdWords allows you to target smartphones with full Internet browsers and tablets separately from desktops. What I’ve found is that for high cost keywords the mobile and tablet click prices are cheaper, they do have less impression activity, but they do still generate conversions.

Think about what you should be doing in regards to positioning your own business to take advantage of this new trend in mobile and you may just find yourself riding a new crest of traffic and sales that takes your business to the next level.

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Our Recommended Strategy for Google+

Dear Friend,

Our February 2012 newsletter issue, is an important newsletter about my thoughts on Google+ and the strategic actions that I feel you should take now. Although my firm does not offer client services yet for Google+ account updates or business page updates, what you should do about Google+ should not wait for our services to be rolled out.

I feel that Google+ and +1’s will be extremely important to your organic search placement and warrant careful and close consideration now. In fact, there are several actions you should take within the next 30 days.

If I can help you implement these early steps, just let me know.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

What You Should Strategically Do About Google+ Now and In the Near Term

Much has happened just in the last month on Google.com and specifically with Google+. In fact so much so, that I wanted to make sure that all of our newsletter subscribers and clients knew my feelings about how to use Google+ and its importance for organic placement for the future.

First, let’s talk about the actions you should take immediately:

  1. Tie your preferred Google account with Google+.
  2. Lock down your business name as a Google+ Business page.
  3. Lock down a business page with your most important short keyword phrase.
  4. Link your Google AdWords program to your Google+ account user name.
  5. Implement Google +1 on your blog and your website.

These important first steps can easily be done by you or by us. If you need help, please ask us for it as what will be happening with Google+ in the near future is very important to your online visibility.

Second, let’s talk about what Google+ and +1’s are:

Google+ is a social platform. It is not like Facebook but more like Facebook and Twitter combined. However, is it much more important than any of the social networks we know and use now.

You could consider Google+ like a voting and popularity network but one that has the ear of Google. Anything you do on Google+ will most certainly impact your website’s organic placement and Web Visibility in the future. Google has said as much in their releases. Google has additionally stated just this past month that it will be showing social results from your Google+ network in their personalized search results.

What this means is that for people and businesses that embrace Google+ early and start building their network now, there will be strong benefits for their updates and links. This activity will be shown in your own personal and expanded network’s search/social results.

+1’s are Google’s versions of votes. If you like a page, like an ad, like a blog post, like a Google+ comment, you vote it up using a +1. What is crucial to understand is that a +1 is tied to your Google+ activity. These +1 votes will impact your visibility and placement on Google in the new Google Search Plus Your World results.

Third, let’s talk about Google Search Plus Your World:

In mid January, Google rolled out an important change to their search index. They named it Google Search Plus Your World. In my industry we call it Search Plus. Google stated that they will be using activity, updates, Google+ activity, and +1 activity in the search results that they deliver to your personally and to those in your Google+ network.

What is interesting is that even if you are logged out of your Google account, Google is still tracking your activity. Of additional importance is the announcement that the social related results that will be shown in the Google.com index are personally selected for you and WILL contain Google+ activity across your Google+ social network.

That means if you start building your network now, your information and website could be appearing in search results for a very broad network of readers and potential prospects. As this activity comes from your personal network, just like a word of mouth referral, links to you and your profile will most likely carry more authority and legitimacy in the eyes of potential clients. Everyone weights a reference by a friend about a business more than a written review found randomly on the Web. This will be the real impact of Google+ and +1’s in the very near future.

Fourth, why should you take the actions mentioned on this page now:

Based on this new focus for Google, you need to start flowing through search and social activity into your Google+ and +1 bank. If you don’t have accounts, Google can’t tie the activity to you specifically.

If you wait to tie up your business page and top keyword phrase named Google+ Business page, you may find that someone else has tagged it; locking you out of words and phrasing that will be very important to your Google presence in the very near future. Even if you do nothing yet with these new accounts, they will be tied to you so that when you do want to use them you can.

Fifth, why is this so important?

All of these actions to take and the information in this newsletter are important is because the business that is driving this action is Google. As Google owns 65% of the online search market, to be positioned well on Google means taking full advantage of what Google considers important. It is very important to understand that Google+ is not Facebook. Google considers Google+ and +1’s integral to the new face of search and how search results are shaped and delivered. Do not be fooled into thinking that this is just a social network. These new Google offerings are very important and should be embraced quickly and completely for your future organic placement benefit.

Don’t wait beyond 30 days to take the actions we recommend. When Twitter first came out many clients did not move into the platform as they considered it just a time drain. For the clients we work with that embraced Twitter early, many have networks of followers well over 2,500 active users; allowing for some serious marketing action and site promotion. Our recommendation is that Google+ is by far the most important new technology to have come out in the last three years. Don’t miss your opportunity to start now so that you can take full advantage of the future possibilities.

About Our Future Services

My firm does not offer Google+ updating services yet, but will when Google allows for the scheduling of status updates. For now keeping your Google+ page updated is done manually without any automation tools – by Google’s design.

We do however offer Google+ account set up and Google+ Business page set up as well as +1 implementation on your blog and website at our hourly rates of $80 per hour. If you have done set up yourself and we manage your Google AdWords advertising account, make sure to send us your Google+ information so we can tie your accounts together.

To get into our work schedule for set up, implementation or our Google+ services waiting list please contact me today.

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