Friday, September 15, 2017

Why Selplaining is Important for Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Are you “selplaining” With Your Customers? If Not, You Are In Jeopardy of Churn and/or Worse, Being Poorly Reviewed!

How many customers have you lost because those customers wouldn’t take some time to understand what you are doing for them?  How many customers switch agencies only to receive the same “poor results”?



What do you mean I am in sales?
If you are a digital marketing agency or you work with any part of the content, SEO or social media team then this article is written with you in mind. Anyone in an Internet advertising firm or agency that directly communicates with a customer, a client or prospect should realize that they are in sales. Even the receptionist has a role in sales. You may not be part of the sales team, but surely you are in sales. For brevities sake from here on in, I will call customers, clients, and prospects by one name which is the real “Employer.”
You see that while a company may pay you to work at their discretion, the real “Employer” are the companies that pay your company. While your boss or team is important, the “Employer” is much more important to the overall agency. Why? Because they pay your company, that takes their money, and divvies it up amongst you and your teammates as remuneration or pay for your services or labor.


Do you directly or indirectly communicate with your company’s clients?
So now you must be wondering what all this has to do with the term selplaining. In fact, you may be wondering what the heck is selplaining anyway? Read on, I will get there, and you will get it.
Selplaining is the art of selling, training, and explaining why certain things that you do on their behalf, are important to the digital marketing results that you are getting for them. Simply put, selplaining is taking every interaction or encounter with your real “Employer”: whether it be via email, phone call, text message or in person and using that time to remind them what they are paying you for and how little steps can gain them new clients or revenue.
Do your reports educate your clients or drive them crazy?  
At our firm, we provide clients weekly reports that are designed to build trust, to convey that we are working for them and that what we are doing for them is working.  We send them an email that takes about 10 seconds or less to digest and comprehend, all while it confirms and validates our value to them.  Image 1A is the actual image a client receives modified with their data.  Notice that we point out something valuable that happened with the data in their account.  
Blog-Image-1.png
Image 1A
It could be as simple as receiving five new backlinks to authoritative domains. It may be that three of their keywords have moved to page 2, after debuting on page 24. Little things that show progress are the key items.
These progress points teach your client about what is important and what drives the overall traffic via the organics. SEO, as you know, is that mystical magic that clients don’t understand.  But, teaching them SEO components gently using this approach is extremely effective.  
Remember you get to pick the progress points. We have used this report at varying times when a client won’t make a change that we know is needed. Sometimes clients won’t pay for backlink building which holds us back from generating enough quality backlinks. We use the Snippet to key in on the loss of backlinks, or keywords going in the wrong direction. This reinforces why these other items are needed.


Do you report regularly to the client?
The weekly “Snippet” has become a powerful tool that helps to keep our clients informed, which helps us retain them keeping our churn rate under 5%.  At the end of the month, we send them a monthly wrap up. It provides all the pretty graphs and charts and other data that they don’t understand or care to understand - but still, we provide it to them.  
The four email Snippets that we send each month provide them with knowledge, while showing them we are on top of their account and are doing our job. It also provides them with a positive feeling about our work. So, it’s a sales tool, right? Sort of, but that wasn’t why we originated it.  
If the Snippet shows data going in the wrong direction, it validates the need for them to change.  It also relieves pressure on you or your firm if there is not a lot of gain within their data.
We don’t use it for our PPC clients often. But, we easily could if we felt it was needed. Since our clients are B2C, they see our results via form submissions and phone calls. Phone calls (which we record and review) are another vital topic that I have covered in 5 steps to Turning Clicks Into Clients®.
Blog-Image-2.png
Image 2A


Ok, the Snippet thing is good, but in every interaction someone should be selling?
YES, YES, YES!  Let’s say that you work in an agency, and it is your job to make sure that reports are emailed. Take a minute to review the monthly report and highlight something positive that is within the report. Write a short sentence or two on the report’s email that could say something like this:  
“Bill – great report attached! You will be happy to see that you gained 3 new backlinks. This is great news as both Google and Bing pay attention to backlinks and attaches high importance to them which affects your domain’s overall score.”
Let’s say you are a technical person that normally doesn’t interact with the real “Employers,” and now you have to be on a conference call with the client. Ask your account management team something that you can highlight or note that is happening within the account. You could say this to the client:  
“Hey, Bill!  Tamaqua tells me that your account is really moving in the right direction. She said you have 3 keywords showing up on page one of the search engines, that’s great!”
That’s it; you have just sent a sales email, client services email and account overview - all in one email. They may not even open the report, but they at least know that someone is watching and that something good happened.


The wrap!
Ok, do you get it? Selplaining is the act of artfully interacting with a client and providing them with news that is usually good, while teaching and/or training them. The act reaffirms that you or your agency are positively working on their behalf, behind the scenes for them and that reassures them they made a good decision to engage you or your firm. It also innocuously provides you with greater value and worth to them.  


About the author
Mike Bannan is a blogger and marketing professional with over 30 years of building client relationships via sales and marketing. Bannan is a co-owner of the Philadelphia digital marketing agency Results Driven Marketing™. Mr. Bannan is RDM’s managing partner and Chief Vision officer. RDM supports him with a strong team of marketers and professionals and technical wizards.


The agency
Founded in 2013, RDM works primarily with clients that are in the B2C category. Lawyers, franchise owners, and small business owners are the main client types. RDM is a full spectrum Digital Marketing Agency which provides content services, blogging, graphics design, video services, web design and development, PPC, SEO, Local SEO, Reputation Management, and Social Media Management.   Furthering the SEO team created the RD-Metric, a tool that finds the best keyword choices. The company overall has 16 employees, and the team holds over 35 active certifications within the digital marketing arena.

To contact Mike Bannan for help for a 45-minute no charge consultation call, 215-600-3540. Emails can be directed to Mike@Digitalrdm.com or check the agency out on the web at www.digitalrdm.com.


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Friday, September 08, 2017

Search Engine Optimization Today in 2017 vs. SEO From 2007

Search Engine Optimization in 2017 vs. SEO in 2007
Today, 10 years ago, search engines were not as smart as they are in 2017. Algorithm changes have been occurring regularly and are still occurring due to companies like Google pushing out new updates and features for their search engine. This will only make the quality of search results better for the end users.


Additionally, you need to realize that progress doesn't stop. By 2020, techniques that are effectively used by SEO enthusiasts in 2017 will either be  repetitive or essential. They can build updates on it, or they will be expelled in the entirety.


Keeping up is key, but there's a difference between learning and application too.


So, here is a list of Search engine optimization changes in 2017 that were either not present in 2007 or features that were not as optimized (updated).


Optimized Mobile Experience


In this year alone, Google has started implementing several upgrades that will make mobile experience a very important factor for ranking. You should know that this update has been an obvious path that any and all SEO experts have been waiting for.


10 years ago, the mobile experience was not given much attention unlike with PCs that were the most popular at the time, but now that more than 60% of web searches originate from mobile devices, it was more than obvious that they would choose to give mobile browsing, its due credit.




Innovation


You have to be original, or it is going to be difficult for you to survive. In this year, to prevent content spamming, Google, for example, has implemented an update that has a psyche of its own.


Its job is to restrict spammed and plagiarized content from the front page. Also, it's the same for the various pages after that. The competition was already there, but this update has kicked it up another notch.


So, in order to create SEO rich content, originality in any and all forms of writing is heavily favored by the new Google update.


Security


Evidently, any website with a buffed up security framework in place gets ranked higher on SERP. Since user security is important for any site that requests personal information from users. Google has always championed the cause of the users, and this makes perfect sense as you don’t want to visit a site that can compromise your personal or financial data.


Amazon and eBay are prime examples of this. They get higher positioning on SERP because of the security they offer their users (unlike in 2007). So, obviously, Google (as an example) will recommend Amazon because they want to protect user interests.


Good answers!


Google currently wants you to provide rich answers on your websites. If you provide the audience with specific and relevant answers, your ranking on SERP will improve since you're providing users with exactly what they need and want.


Clearly, unlike in 2007 where users had to sieve through information to get answers or people could get away with keyword stuffing. Google now values what we view, and in their chase to provide excellent user experience, this algorithm update makes a great case for user experience.


Caching


As far as web sites are concerned, caching can be used to improve your ranking. Since Google favors sites with quick load time. So based on the possibility that you can appropriately utilize caching as an asset to accomplish such load times, there will be a good chance that your website will rise in SERP positioning.


How this Affects Digital Marketing in Philadelphia, USA


The changes above are not the only ones that have been implemented by search engines. These are just some of the most important ones.

If you’re looking to increase the search engine rankings of your business, you should be looking at agencies which are up to date with the latest trends in SEO. Results Driven Marketing is the perfect agency for you! Give us a call at 215-393-8700 to find out how we can help you improve your search engine rankings and bring in more traffic.


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Friday, September 01, 2017

Why Local Search Engine Optimization is the Top Choice for Businesses

Local Search Engine Optimization is the Savy Choice for Local Businesses


Local SEO differs from general SEO in that it targets increased visibility for your business in local searches. If your business offers products or services that cater to a local audience you should concentrate on Local SEO. People who are searching on certain directories for a certain local business will see your business faster there, as opposed to generally searching it and having businesses come up that are nowhere near the location you are searching for.Web-Market-Central-Local-SEO (1).PNG


Businesses that Benefit from Local SEO:


Brick and mortar businesses or franchises that have a local presence and cater to customers in the immediate vicinity can benefit from local SEO.


Examples of such businesses are:


  • Real Estate Agents and Property Managers
  • Medical/Dental/Eye/Veterinarian Clinics
  • Accounting Services
  • Restaurants/Bars
  • Beauty Salons/Spas
  • Construction and Maintenance including support services like Electricians, Plumbers, Roofing Services, Landscapers etc.
  • Legal Practices
  • General Services such as laundromats, car washes, carpet cleaners
  • Local retailers


Local Search Engine Optimization


So, in order to get local visibility what should these businesses do?


  • Add Localized content to your web page
  • Ask Local Customers to leave reviews on Google and other third party review sites like Yelp.
  • Get listed on online business directories and citation sites


  • ­    Fill out your Google My Business (GMB) page and include as much data as possible. The things you shouldn’t miss are your NAP(business name, address and phone number) logo, pictures of products/premises, office hours and include a keyword rich description
  • ­    Local citations from well-known directories for various business categories help your rankings in Google local searches. For example, a restaurant may show a top result from Tripadvisor or Yelp.
  • ­    You can use local data aggregator services which can share your business information (NAP or Name, Address, Phone number is the most basic) across business directories they are partnered with.


Top Directories to get Listed on


Getting listed on directories is a great way to get visibility as well as backlinks. The more the number of citations from trustworthy sites with high local authority; the better is the chance of your business to show up on local search.


Here are the top general directories to help your local SEO:


1.        Google My Business
2.        Bing Places for Business
3.        Apple Maps
4.        ExpressUpdate
5.        Acxiom
6.        Factual
7.        LocalEze
8.        D&B
9.        Facebook
10.     Yelp
11.     YellowPages
12.     Yahoo Local
13.     Superpages
14.     FourSquare
15.     MapQuest
16.     Manta
17.     Local.com
18.     Kudzu
19.     Yellowbook
20.     Citysearch
21.     Chamberofcommerce
22.     Merchantcircle
23.     ShowMeLocal
24.     BOTW
25.     Localstack
26.     HotFrog
27.     Brownbook
28.     Cylex-USA
29.     InsiderPages
30.     EZLocal
31.     eLocal
32.     Tupalo
33.     ForLocations
34.     CitySquares
35.     GetFave
36.     2FindLocal
37.     Nokia Here
38.     Yasabe
39.     AngiesList
40.     Salespider
41.     Opendi
42.     MyLocally
43.     MyHuckleberry
44.     iBegin
45.     n49
46.     Thumbtack
47.     MakeitLocal
48.     B@BYellowPages
49.     Bizvotes
50.     Tuugo


This list was obtained from Whitespark.


A Step Above


The directories mentioned above are great but they are also general directories that even your competitors might be using. If you want to do more, you can use tools which analyze the competition and identify the following:


·          The best citation sources for your industry
·          The best citation sources for your location
·          The best citation sources for the search engine you want to rank on


For example, as per Moz, the top 10 Citation Sources for Veterinarians are:


1.        Yelp
2.        YellowPages
3.        VCAHospitals.com
4.        Yahoo Local
5.        Localvets.com
6.        Superpages
7.        Facebook.com
8.        Dex Knows
9.        Myvetonline.com


Which is certainly different from the top 10 in the general list above.


This again varies by city. For example, if you are located in Denver, CO, the top 10 citation sources for your local business per Moz are:


1.        Yelp
2.        YellowPages
3.        CitySearch
4.        SuperPages
5.        Denver.com
6.        Dex Knows
7.        BBB
8.        Yahoo Local
9.        Facebook
10.     Service Magic


As you can see there is some variation from the general listings and the business category listings. This will also vary for the search engines you are ranking for as different search engines have varying parameters. Depending on the industry or business you are in you should list your services in directories catering your specific audience.


Why Does This All Matter For Your Local Business?


Due to the spike in consumers purchasing and relying on their mobile devices, this correlates to more local SEO use because of the convenience factor. Think about it from a personal point of view: You are out in the city for the night with your significant other and want to grab a drink after your lovely dinner has come to an end. You whip out your phone and Google “Bars near me” and 9 times out of 10, you will be given a directory service that lists the many locations close to you that will let you wetten you whistle. By having your local bar posted on a directory you will have more chances of being seen as opposed to the massiveness of the entire, general, world wide web.


Some Cautionary Tips That keep Your Local SEO Strong


  • NAP Consistency: Double, triple, quadruple check all our your information that gets recognized by search engines is consistent so it is easy to recognize. Not having all information the same on multiple platforms will lead the search engine to think you may be a robot or a fake business that should not be getting any sort of recognition.


  • Target Market: Keep the number of listings for your business small and concise. It is better to keep your marketing precise so you do not attracted the wrong type of clientele because most of the time, those people really do not care about your business.

  • Photos: Obviously, post pictures of your business that will make possible customers want to visit it. Society these days is focused on what is most appealing to the eye, so have your business be that.


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