Today I came across two new features in LinkedIn which will definitely help marketers and pro-active networkers. And one negative feature.
Throttle Control is ON
LinkedIn is clearly pushing for greater revenues – many of my favourite work-rounds for search and connecting are now getting blocked. Have you noticed this?
I got blocked from searching for 2nd / 3rd degree connections on 10th May. That was because I had apparently already used up my allocation for the month! It renews next month. So pretty irritating….. Having said that, there are some neat work arounds and some new apps which I’m trialing in beta which may help with some aspects of this.
In the meantime, pay up or go away. The choice is yours.
Saved Search Alerts
I was doing some searches and spotted what I think may be a beta release feature in the right sidebar…. I was searching in “People” for a search string. And so I made a search alert to save that search. In fact I made a couple.
The saved search name i18n_rail was default applied by LinkedIn. Probably code for something….. suggestions?
It appears to be similar to Google Alerts but with less functionality. The options are only for weekly alerts and to be received by email which suggests this isn’t yet a fully featured roll-out. But a nice touch, especially if we are all going to have to pay to use LinkedIn Search in future.
Company page article title edits
While uploading an article to our company page I noticed another new feature – you can edit the title so that the URL link title is not the default option.
You have to be in the admin view to use this feature. And isn’t it nice that 140 characters is offered as the link text? Importantly this is only link text, not the URL or destination title. I think this will be great for improved keyword searching and SEO – plus those of us who like to write long headlines will have a field day!
Now go and try these – tell me if you can find them in your profile.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/LinkedIn-edit-article-title.png11001446Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-05-23 09:00:472019-05-22 15:20:222 new LinkedIn Tools - Saved search and Article title edits
Can a prospect tell “at a glance” whether you are the right business for their needs? Web visits last ever-shorter durations and so your positioning [the message about what you do and for whom] is critical.
I was asked by a client to provide examples of marketing agencies who have good positioning on their websites.
Do you agree with my picks?
Good brand positioning copywriting
https://www.disruptiveunicorns.com/ We specialise in inbound marketing and lead generation on the HubSpot platform. Using design thinking, we help businesses scale in a sustainable growth manner.
One way to find out if you don’t want to work with them, is to re-write their offer in the negative. So if I don’t want inbound and lead generation – don’t go here. If I’m not using Hubspot I probably won’t get well-served either.
If I’m not a digital marketer needing tools or training – go away.
Below that they have 3 audiences identified – Teams, Marketers and Agencies so they offer further refinement of tools and training offers.
https://spur.co.nz/ Creating live experiences that build brand love. We are a full service live-marketing agency. Our areas of expertise include sponsorship, experiential marketing, corporate events and promotional staffing. We connect brands to people to create brand love.
So if I don’t want a live experience – go elsewhere. Using the bold words allows speed reading to focus in on key services and skills. The “Brand Love” message is lovely and slightly fluffy – who doesn’t want this for their brand?
Finding your audience and positioning your business to align is not something to do once and leave. The business world changes frequently and so fine-tuning your language, offering and audience is a useful exercise.
Remember – excluding prospects who don’t fit your ideal customer persona is important too.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Three-audiences.png9622328Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-05-22 14:52:352019-05-22 14:52:37Business positioning - do this
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/LSI-keywords-seed.png4662054Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2019-01-04 14:07:162019-01-04 14:07:24Keyword tool tip for 2019
What is new in SEM for business? Rebecca Caroe discusses the Wild West of agency service providers and how to avoid getting ripped off by a marketing firm.
Louise runs the Creative Store – a recruitment and placement agency specialising in the creative industries. This is her interview with Rebecca published in August 2018. When starting our companies, Louise and Rebecca shared offices in the BizDojo and shared jokes about English sweets and beer!
Q. How do you define search engine marketing?
A. Anything you do for your business that gets it showing up in search results.So thiscan cover keyword SEO on your website, having a strong LinkedIn profile, guest articles, Slideshare presentations and advertising.
Q. Are many companies doing a terrible job of this?
A. It is my view that SEO service provision is a “wild west” there are a lot of cowboys.This is not just a supply side problem, it’s also caused by clients who do not brief well, are not experienced buyers and have unrealistic expectations of what is possible.We know that business owners come to our events because they want to learn.Many tell anecdotes about past experiences which didn’t go well.To challenge and counteract the wild west, I am part of a Facebook group called The Ethical Digital Marketing Community (EDMC) – you’re very welcome to join us, share and learn together.I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers.
Q. How do you identify your clients?
A.Our clients are businesses who sell to other businesses.Many are new to marketing and do not have in-house staff with expertise.
Q. You can spot pretty quickly where they are going wrong
Normally, they aren’t going wrong – they are getting started.For many, the part of their marketing which they notice is not performing is their website.It’s not showing up in search, they aren’t getting inbound enquiries and competitors are more prominent.We recommend they do a self-test using WooRank Checker or Hubspot Website Grader Tool and see what their website score out of 100 is.That identifies many of the areas where they’re underperforming.
Q. If clients wish to engage you, is this on a retainer or do you do a sweep of their work for a charge?
A. We do both.Unusually for an agency we are very happy to train and up-skill the client’s team and also work with existing agencies who they already have on retainer.Our strategic leadership allows both to deliver better outcomes for the client – and that is always the end goal.By having a clear strategy and goals we are able to brief agencies better, they work to a clear objective and the client trusts us both to get the results.It’s a win-win-win scenario.
Q. You are hosting an exciting event with Blair Enns in October about this subject – how do you put a price on your work – what will we expect to see from this workshop?
A.Blair is a world expert in how to win without pitching.October is his first event on the topic of pricing creative work.His thesis is that most creative firms under-price their skills and expertise.And so he teaches “value pricing” where you learn how to price the client, not the job.Watch Blair’s summary webinar and understand where you could improve http://pitchpack.co.nz/pricing-creativity-free-webinar/
Q. Who needs your services the most?
A.Owner-managed businesses where the owners don’t know modern digital marketing and are too busy to do it themselves.
Q. Where is the future of SEM going?
A. Deeper and wider into ever more businesses.Good SEM techniques are straightforward to apply to any business.I summarise this into – State what you do, Answer questions clearly and Keep your focus on local or niche audiences.Then repeat and improve.
Q. Any helpful tips and hints to our clients on their SEM and simples fixes they could be applying?
A.Sure – Three things. 1 do a website check and see what your score out of 100 is.2 connect your Google Analytics and Search Console so you can see the queries driving your natural search traffic.3 review where your last 10 new clients came from – was it referrals or web search or directories or public speaking or something else.Then double down on what’s working and do more of it.
Q. Where to from here for Creative Agency Secrets
A. More collaborative relationships with other agencies and mutual clients.I firmly believe that collaboration is an under-used business principle and it is working amazingly well for us.Who doesn’t want to look good in front of the client?
Anyone should know that to establish a good online brand presence, you need a good Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. Keywords are a main part of that strategy – they’re more than just using the right tags to find relevant blog posts – they help boost your business’ search results so your website gets more traffic.
Last year, we helped Living Goodness develop an SEO strategy that saw them appear on the front page! And to top off the cake, it was also the first time that Living Goodness ranked higher than a competitor.
Seventh place! Not too shabby.
In this blog article, I’ll show you three key skills that we utilised for their SEO strategy, and show you how you can put them to work on your own business.
For example, Living Goodness were ranking for “fermented foods nz” (though they appeared on the second page of search results). They wanted to rank higher for this search term, and also wished to show up for “sauerkraut nz”.
Which we achieved, by the way.
We went on to conduct our own research to find relevant keywords that would complement these. A handy tool that we turned to is called Answer the Public.
This allowed us to see what users were also searching for alongside the terms “fermented foods nz” and “sauerkraut nz”. We picked up key phrases and words such as “probiotics”, “raw”, “organic” and “kimchi” alongside many more. This also gave us a good starting point for blog article ideas.
2. Incorporate these keywords into existing content
Now that we had a lovely list of keywords, we needed to disperse them around different landing pages in a natural manner. For SEO purposes, there were key points that needed keyword boosting:
Landing page headings
First paragraphs of content
These were just a few places where we implemented keywords into the existing content in a manner that was natural and flowed. Being a business that sells fermented foods, this wasn’t a problem. We also made sure we used a mix of these keywords because no one likes repetition (especially not Google!).
3. Help out your visitors with handy internal linking
Keywords aren’t the only way to boost SEO. There are many things that affect search engine rankings, and relevance is a big contender. If people aren’t spending long enough on your website and are bouncing away quickly (tip: check the bounce rate in Google Analytics), it may very well mean they’re not finding what they are looking for on your website.
Internal links are a great way to boost SEO and retain website traffic. If you aren’t linking to your products whenever you mention them, it’s a huge opportunity wasted. You also want to encourage a longer customer journey by suggesting other pages that are relevant.
For Living Goodness, we added links to their stockists page and social media handles on the recipes pages. This call-to-action prompted visitors to seek the closest stockist after reading a delicious recipe – “Are you running low on delicious sauerkraut or kimchi? Check out your local stockist here.” The social media links also encouraged visitors to share any of the recipes they’d followed. Being a foodie Instagram account, any photos using a Living Goodness product was free user-generated content, and of course, we were going to make the most of it!
Three simple tips that you can do yourself
As you can see, these tips are all very simple, easy and free to do. Hopefully, you’re able to apply them to your website straight away.
All these were tasks that we did as part of our SEO Starter Pack. It’s a comprehensive analysis of a website with actions to improve SEO and a recommended guide for next steps.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/answerthepublic.png577816Creative Agency Secrets Teamhttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgCreative Agency Secrets Team2018-06-21 17:22:582018-07-17 16:36:583 Takeaway Tips: Building an SEO strategy for Living Goodness
Has Google been sending you emails recently? If you are the webmaster for your domain, you will be getting messages from Google Search Console as they find new errors on your website.
Search Console email text alert
The newly helpful Search Console Reports are good to get. This is all part of a rollout of improved reporting. Now you can take control of your own website SEO and won’t have to rely on bespoke or paid developer tools which you don’t want to buy.
What does Google’s email say?
Typically the standard email you receive is not written in plain English – this is tech-speak. Let us help you decode it.
New Index coverage issue detected for site https://www.yourdomain.com
The Google is trying to be helpful. So click through from the link supplied and see what the Search Console summary error page says. There are quite a few possible variations – but here are some of the possible issues [Read the Google Support page]
Helpfully Google offers suggestions on how to research the issue you can test if the Robots.txt file is blocking, you can fetch the page as if you are Google [superb trick this], View the page as a search result and lastly, re-submit to the Google database.
Don’t worry – this isn’t terminal
If you have received this message you can research some how-to guides, blast through the Support guide or call us and we will help you fix it. Remember Creative Agency Secrets will teach you how to do these fixes yourself, or we can do them for you.
I just checked the error from one client and found a lot of other broken links – use a broken link checker tool to find your priority pages. It’s worth getting these sorted out – you know “nanny knows best.
Sage publishes an annual survey of accountants attitudes – what’s interesting is that it is global and the summary report details some good findings about the profession.It’s called The Practice of Now 2018
As a marketer who works with professional services businesses, my reading highlights some big numbers in the research about artificial intelligence, fear of competition, lack of optimism and increasingly demanding clients.The implications for marketing, I will cover at the end of this article.
10 take-outs from the Practice of Now 2018 report
Clients are changing faster than accountants. – 42% of clients expect accountants to provide business advice.This shows how frontline accountancy is in the mind of the client and how banks and business mentors have failed to take up the slack here, which is an opportunity for growth.
Revenues rise as cloud accounting allows firms to be more productive.56% of firms saw a revenue rise.If your firm didn’t see this fee income growth – start to review your working practices.
Practice Management in the cloud is at 53% adoption – clearly we are into the mainstream majority now.
But confidence is lower – 40% feel less confident about the prospects for their practice.Clearly Xero’s goal of putting accountants out of business is realistic and beginning to come true.
Competition within the industry is more visible – are you buying up a practice from a retiring competitor?Clients will go to an accountant who serves their needs – even to another city or country.This is both a threat and and opportunity for new business development.
Artificial Intelligence is helping free up administrative tasks and it’s more than just automation. Moving from data entry, email and diary management to higher value services is a no-brainer… but how to set it up is the challenge as these skills aren’t in-house and they may not be in the IT services organisations who work with accountants either.
Most accountants are doing some workflow automation – 49% want to do more of it.So the benefits are noticed (see 2 above).
The language of accountancy is changing – “Tell me how much money I have” and “How much am I owed?” is SO refreshing compared to “debtors, creditors and accruals”.From a marketing point of view, these messages are very powerful and simple – but does your firm use this language?
Advisory services are wanted by 42% of clients – but if you don’t market & position the firm to capture this revenue, clients will go elsewhere.
The BIGGIE – 67% of accountants say that cloud technologies make client collaboration easier. Phew, glad that worked out because it jolly well ought to be this way.
Should I worry about artificial intelligence?
If you’re not sure what A.I. could do for your business, start asking questions now.Because we all understand automation in things like bank feeds, this is a very small part of the working practice move towards higher functionality for humans and lower functions for machines (or software robots).
The easiest way to understand the potential for AI in accountancy is this extract from the report
“Candidates for automation already include assigning incoming bank statement entries with the correct nominal codes—via training the machine becomes able to predict what codes should be used—but in the near future the power of AI to learn means it will become involved with operations like analytics and report creation. For example, software will be able to predict a client’s cash flow based on the company’s previous behaviour. Based on self-generated data, AI will be able to make predictions and decisions. This isn’t limited to client data. By examining things like seasonality data, AI can help with practice management. AI and automation aren’t just desirable because they make life easier. Research has suggested that the tedium of repetitive tasks can lead to a high staff turnover, introducing additional costs for a practice such as recruitment and training. Automating these processes makes complete business sense.”
It goes on to say
“AI can flag the anomalies, saving time and resources, making the accountant more productive.”
Your strategic marketing pathway
And as a marketer, if I am advising a modern accountancy practice this is what they should be doing for strategic marketing.
Firstly get your brand positioning updated to reflect modern working.Think Nena and Kim Wilde – “Anyplace, anywhere, anytime” and you’ll be on the right track.
How that branding plays out into your collateral, positioning, services and online profile should be straightforward.The key is to get the strategy right first and the rollout should be clear.You will need new keywords for SEO, your client communications will become driven by client preference and choice and your language will simplify and align with clients’ choices of words.
Other than that, it’s marketing business as (un)usual for a modern accountancy practice.
Migrating to digital marketing from traditional marketing is a question I get asked frequently. Giving a talk to the Te Atatu Business Association, I was able to showcase both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) examples of ways to work out these things
Where to start your digital marketing
Which marketing methods will work best for your business
What communications will work best for your clients and customers
The resources on the last slide are worthwhile saving / bookmarking. They relate to directory listings and tips for local marketing.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpg00Rebecca Caroehttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgRebecca Caroe2018-05-16 10:23:272019-04-23 10:51:54How to Migrate to Digital Marketing
It’s that time of the year again where we remind you about the benefits of good ol’ directories! Before the internet, we relied on finding services through the big yellow brick of a book we received each year. Thanks to the world wide web, we now find them stuffed under uneven table legs or as a booster seat. Today we find what we’re looking for with a click of a button. Does your business stand out?
In 2016, Google took away the right-hand sidebar where the paid adverts were displayed. Now the paid posts soar straight to the top, making it a tough battle for smaller companies to get noticed. Directories can be a cost-effective way to help get found via search engines. Being active on directories increases the chances of your business getting noticed.
Why updating your information is vital
It is important to keep your business updated in directories. If your business has gone through a recent change and you didn’t update your information, you could lose a lot of potential customers!
Never forget to NAP, this means not sleeping on the details. Make sure your Name, Address and Phone data is accurate and up to date. Location and accessibility are two of the most important factors when it comes to customers. If your telephone number is an old one and a customer can’t get through to you, they’re unlikely to try again. Likewise, if you were to put your address as a small town in South America, a New Zealand customer wouldn’t follow up with your business!
Pro tip: Check the directories your company is listed in and confirm your details are correct. Some websites take their information from others; resulting in a cycle of incorrect information.
Updated List of Directories*
This year, we bring you an even bigger list of potential directories your business may be found in. Take a look to see where your business is listed and where it isn’t.
It’s the only thing standing in between you and your next big client.
NB: Not all directories will apply to every type of business, some are more specific to particular fields. (eg. Tripadvisor will benefit restaurants and hotels over a telecommunications company.)
*The directories list has been ranked by domain authority, with the highest ranking at the top (accurate as of July 2018).
New Zealand Directories
RateBeer – Directory of beers, breweries, bars and stores.
https://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/map-local-directories.jpg8531280Creative Agency Secrets Teamhttps://creativeagencysecrets.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/CAS_Logo_1line_RGB.jpgCreative Agency Secrets Team2018-03-29 12:48:422018-09-06 12:23:09Boost Your Business with Local Directories