a tablet with sales trending up shows digital marketing results from a Facebook and AdWords campaign

Mandatory: Digital Marketing That Produces Results

By | Content Marketing, Lead Generation, SEO | No Comments

It may seem obvious that business owners, CMO’s and marketing VP’s want their digital marketing to produce results, but as a growing trend, this is becoming a requirement and not a want. Results need to be easily measurable so businesses have proof that their investment in digital marketing truly works. For proof of this trend, take a look at Gabe Leydon, CEO of Machine Zone, one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. This interview below should scare a lot of brand agencies and media buyers. Not because it’s shocking, but because it’s true. Watch the video here: Read More

Should You Hire Marketing Staff Or Use A Marketing Agency?

By | Content Marketing, Pay Per Click, SEO | One Comment

(note: This post originated at Marketing Land on November 28th)

Is it better to do your online marketing in-house or through an agency? It’s an important decision to make.

Now, you should probably know that I’m a founder of an online advertising agency, so I might have a bit of a bias. But I have worked in-house and done my own fair share of hiring agencies throughout my career, so I’ve seen the good and bad of both options.

With that in mind, I’m going to try to take off my digital marketing agency hat and tell you the honest differences that come with both approaches. Read More

Outsourcing Digital Marketing To Support Executive Staff

By | Content Marketing, Lead Generation, Pay Per Click, SEO, Social Media | One Comment

In the business world, time is money. This is especially true for key executives. Their time needs to be spent on high-level strategy, developing key relationships and product innovation. Dealing with the day-to-day issues of entry and mid level employees, however, can drain their valuable time and energy. This is especially true with digital marketing. More and more companies are looking at outsourcing digital marketing to support executive staff. It might sound counterintuitive at first, dealing with a “vendor” instead of internal staff as a means to save time. After all, conversations are easier when held in person right? Read More

man in his 50's a fitness writer and blogger poses for a picture

Four Personas Of Freelance Digital Marketing Talent

By | Content Marketing, Lead Generation, SEO | No Comments

If you’re like most business owners, when you hear the term “digital marketing” and “outsourced” in the same sentence, you instantly think of a fresh-out-of-college techie with some basic web design experience. And that is largely true. Many young people with digital skills are bucking the traditional job market in favor of the gig economy. They crave project-based work and freelance work that doesn’t require a commute, a 9 to 5 and an office setting. Read More

A blue background on a whiteboard includes all the phrases related to outsourcing digital marketing

The Complete Guide To Outsourcing Digital Marketing

By | Content Marketing, Pay Per Click, SEO | One Comment

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in outsourcing digital marketing, hiring a full-time digital employee, or some combination of both. This article is aimed at making your decision process easier. When does it make sense to outsource? What about outsourcing parts of an internal marketing function, but not all of it? Below we’ll answer some of these big questions. Read More

a list of things to outsource are shown on a white board

78 Marketing Tasks To Outsource Right Now

By | Content Marketing, Pay Per Click, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

(note: This post originated at QuickSprout on June 29th, 2016)

If you’re like me, you stay busy.

Running a business (or a marketing department) is a tall order in and of itself. When you throw marketing into the mix, things can quickly become overwhelming.

If you haven’t felt this way yet, you’re going to feel it soon: There just aren’t enough hours in the day! Read More

a bogus local seo seller dressed as a cheesy sales person

Avoid Bogus Local SEO Companies With Knowledge

By | SEO | No Comments

“Hello, this is Kate, your Google Local representative, with an important message…”

It’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve founded this company, and still to this day there are bogus local SEO companies calling my phone with auto-dialers. If you’re a business owner (or if you just answer the phone at a small or mid-sized business), chances are you’ve fielded one of these annoying auto-calls. The premise is that they’ll tell you A) your Google places (now called Google my business) page isn’t claimed or B) it isn’t optimized correctly. Usually there’s an offer that rides along with that to “maintain” the page for a low monthly cost, or even provide some sort of reporting along with it.

Bogus local SEO companies like this are a dime a dozen. They know that there are still plenty of uninformed people out there looking to raise their profile in the business community and reach more customers. Don’t be one of those people. Be armed with facts. Aside from knowing that you should always hang up on crummy companies like this, here’s a few things to know:

Fact #1 – if you don’t have a “category fit”, you won’t appear in local listings on Google’s SERPs.  Take this image below for instance. Pizza and Restaurant are both category options. Makes sense right?

Bogus SEO companies try to manipulate google + rankings with fake locations

But what if your company provides hydraulic hoses? Or electric welding equipment? Or any other unique widget that doesn’t fit a standard description? Well…there are no local listings to be included in, that’s the cold truth of the matter.  Google has been mum on when they’ll expand their list of categories as well.

Fact #2 – if you don’t have a brick and mortar location, you will eventually get kicked out of local listings. Hey, online biz is great. But the premise of local listings are to help people figure out what’s nearby. If you try to ‘claim’ a PO box or another building as your place of business…eventually you’ll get booted. There’s no real value to be had from this either.

Fact #3 – if you’re in a competitive area and industry, just claiming a listing won’t get you very far. Let’s say you’re a plumber in down town Kansas City. How many plumbers are in a 20 mile radius? More than can fit in the local listings, that’s for sure. Claiming your profile, setting it up correctly, and all that goes with it is important…but it’s just the first step in actually making local search work for you. You still have to slowly and naturally gain positive reviews, build the domain of your brand’s domain strength, and ensure that all of your online citations are accurate/consistent. Bogus search providers won’t tell you this part, they’ll lead you to believe that they’ll “maintain” the listing and keep it updated, and this in itself will bring you business. Know that this isn’t accurate.

Local SEO entails more than just your Google+ page. It requires content made specifically for your local audience. It requires reputation management to ensure that your brand is reviewed positively online in a variety of ways. And of course, it’s building great earned links to your domain over time to build trust and authority.

So, the next time you get a junk call about your Google Places or Google My Business page, just hang up. Fraudulent local SEO providers are banking that you’ll be uninformed. If you really want to harness the power of local search, call us (or a trusted, proven digital marketing company). Local search works well in tandem with paid advertising – including remarketing campaigns – and email marketing. The right partner will give you solutions for all of the above at a fair price. If your marketing isn’t providing you a return, why bother with it?

*Update* If you REALLY want to send a message to these bogus and fraudulent local search scammers, learn as much about them as you can (it will require a few minutes on the phone), and then report them to the federal authorities here. One of the biggest problems with this industry is the lack of transparency, and the ease of manipulation. Let’s work together to bring that to end, with the help of just a little knowledge.

Your online reputation is important, but these clowns won’t know how to help…