Understanding Google Algorithm Implications for Content and Social Media Marketing

 

Sometimes referred to as the SkyNet of our generation, Google has concretized its place as an internet industry leader due to its campaign of multi-platform expansion and search engine dominance. Advertisers and small business owners alike are in a position where adhering to Google’s policies and practices is pivotal to securing more customer conversions. Staying mindful of the latest updates to Google algorithms allows online marketers and business owners to vie for high-ranking spots in Google search results, which is instrumental when it comes to driving traffic towards your website. ClickTech search engine optimization experts are very familiar with the need to keep pace with Google updates to maintain a front-runner position in the competitive and oversaturated online marketplace. With this idea in mind, it is important for business owners and marketers to familiarize themselves with Google’s latest algorithm updates. Read on to learn how Google’s recent algorithm changes affect content marketing and social media use, so that ClickTech can propel you towards the head of the online marketplace!

How can companies prepare for Google algorithm updates?

2014 has seen Google push out new content and service updates at a frenetic pace. Major changes have been made to Penguin and Panda algorithms, and the recent Hummingbird platform has fully matured and taken flight. The variety of changes made by Google executives have only worked to increase to need for SEO specialists, so that small businesses’ best chance of preparing for the future and remaining competitive lies in investing with ClickTech SEO experts.

The myriad of changes released by Google in the past 12 months have exciting implications for ClickTech SEO specialists. Changes to spam-fighting protocols and ranking systems have allowed smaller SEO budgets to remain competitive when driven by solid and fresh content. That is to say that algorithm updates have now enhanced the value of qualified ClickTech SEO strategies, as small-scale businesses are given new opportunities to be noticed by online audiences. New updates have impacted the ability of budget-heavy websites to “cheat” their way to peak Google rankings, and have heavily penalized websites that offer content with limited value to consumers. The key to success in the post-update Google era is to produce high-quality content, a field where ClickTech content marketers excel.

 

Google algorithm updates’ effect on Content Marketing

With the updates to Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird, Google will be paying rapt attention to company websites that provide online audience with strong and original content. Google has made clear their intention to support companies that offer useful services to users, as part of their attempt to help shape a streamlined and efficient internet experience. Keeping these changes in mind, ClickTech recommends investing in high-quality content creation in order to access the following benefits:

  • Target relevant audiences with your business. High-quality content answers user queries about products or services that are directly related to what your small business offers them. This means that when seeking answers to their questions, audiences will be diverted to your company’s content, and will be highly likely to convert and take action with your company as a result.
  • Encourage broader audiences through sharing. Everybody online likes to be the person “in the know,” and consequently, if your company’s content is useful, informative, and engaging, people will be compelled to share it with friends and social circles. Regular sharing and broad audience engagements such as these are the foundation of good social signals, which are vital to establishing your online brand identity.
  • Appear relevant, up-to-date, and authoritative. Good-quality content takes note of the questions floating around the industry and seeks to answer them. When people see your company associated with the answers to their new questions, your company is perceived as having its finger on the pulse of the industry. Your brand will become recognized as an industry authority, and sought out for a variety of answers to industry-relevant questions, thereby increasing the sizes of your audiences in a big way.

 

Google algorithm updates’ effect on Social Media

Content marketing is not the online component of the online marketing industry that has been affected by Google updates. Social media has long been an industry staple, but new changes encourage business owners to diversify their platform of choice. The monolithic platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are rarely given inadequate attention, but others such as Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram are increasing in popularity and demanding new attention. It is no longer sufficient to target one or two platforms. Google+ profiles are now very important for social media marketing positions, with this platform’s presence being a major contributing factor to acquiring a solid SEO ranking. Business owners should approach ClickTech specialists for help, or try to establish Google Authorship on their own by tying content to their Google+ accounts. Finally, the use of “+1s” is looking to factor greatly into SEO positioning in the future, so companies should take heed of these pending changes, or seek out ClickTech specialists for help!

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What You Need To Know Before Building A Website

What You Need To Know Before Building A Website

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Email Newsletter Strategy is Key to Startup Food Franchise Success

In today’s world, remaining competitive can be difficult as the new owner of a food franchise start-up. With twenty-four hour celebrity chef cooking content flooding the airwaves, a crowded market for easy online meal delivery, and a veritable fleet of food trucks parked on every conceivable big-city street corner, food franchise success requires a certain level of technological innovation and industry insight. Whether you are speaking to old loyal customers or seeking fresh faces, one of the most effective means of informing your customer base of new menu items, promotions, and locations is through a focused email newsletter strategy.

 

Unfortunately, the email newsletter approach is about as competitive as the food world is. The average person’s inbox is cluttered with marketers’ messages, click-baiting titles, special offers, and competitor’s subject lines crafted specifically to grab user’s attention. Billions of e-mail are sent each day, a testament to the effectiveness of email newsletter marketing strategies. Still, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. Supposing you can evade the ever-tightening conditions of spam-mail blockers, how are start-up food franchise owners expected to compete with a sea of competition? How do you separate your specific signal from the industry noise? The key is to craft a compelling message with a concrete bottom-line. Read on for some simple and effective tips to enhance your e-mail newsletter strategy.

  •  Avoid standardized e-mail templates with name-specific greetings.

 

There is no quicker way to ensure your newsletter ends up in the trash bin, or worse still, marked as “junk” mail, than to open with a direct mention of your customer’s name. Though including the potential customer’s name may seem like a way to distinguish yourself from a sea of e-mail automatons and grab the reader’s attention, the reality is that personalized emails that include the user’s name are not very effective. The current internet landscape is teeming with security threats, as phising websites threaten users with the prospect of identity thefy or credit card fraud. For this reason, many users are extremely untrusting of unfamiliar e-mails that address them personally. It comes across as a violation of privacy, and has the opposite effect that is desired, causing the user’s hackles to rise rather than endearing the newsletter to the reader.

  •  Personalize newsletters by minding the user’s product purchase history.

 

Much less suspicious than an automated greeting on a first-name basis, tailoring your newsletter content to the user is best achieved by marketing specific useful products towards them. Whether you gain this information through knowledge of their purchase history, or by simply marketing towards their specific demographic, marketing useful and well-liked food items to the buyer will elicit a positive response much more frequently. This is a much more meaningful kind of personalization that does not set off warning bells in the user’s head.

  •  Make your subject lines shine.

 

One of the most fundamental flaws that email newsletter strategy-makers commit is to over-extend their subject lines. Many people aim for between 60-70 characters, locked into the character parameters set by website meta-descriptions. This is much too long, however; marketers refer to this character length as a “dead zone.” Short and sweet is the way to go when it comes to subject lines. The user is likely combing through hundreds of back-logged e-mails, and a wordy subject line is muh more likely to be glazed over.  The shorter the subject line, the more likely the chance that the reader will open the e-mail. Conversely, longer subjects line are correlated to improved clickthrough ratings. Ultimately, you need to decide on your newsletter objective, but a good rule of thumb is to always keep shy of 60-to-70 characters.

  •  Target prime time with your e-mail blast.

           

Many business owners and marketers struggle with this fundamental guideline. E-mails sent between 8PM and midnight consistently perform better than those sent outside of this window, and yet marketers consistently err by sending them earlier. The reason for this mistake is understandable. Many marketers craft their e-mails during business hours, and make the mistake of immediately sending their message out between 9 and 5. Marketers would be best-advised to sit on their newsletter for a few hours, and target prime times so that the most eyes are paying attention.

  •  Make it worth their while.

 

No matter how eloquently you have phrased your food franchise newsletter, the best way to engage audiences and generations conversions is to offer them something. A call-to-action is great, but actions always speak louder than words, and the best way to convince your audience to take action is to give them something for their trouble. E-mail newsletters are the best place to attach your coupons, discount codes, and special offers.

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Franchise Online Branding and Brand Recognition in the Digital Age

It is a tough world out there for franchise owners. The online branding game is a highly competitive one in the modern digital age, with convenience technologies and legions of dedicated marketing firms establishing themselves as industry staples and being responsible for generating an endless sea of content. Engaging audiences and getting your brand or product identify out there is very difficult, and it is easy to see why when one imagines the real-world implications of the over-crowded online market. Picture yourself driving down a street. As you crest a hill, you are greeted by a wall of signage; literally millions of individual signs are vying for your attention with compelling colour-combinations, call-to-action slogans, and fancy fonts. Now imagine how difficult it would be to pick out a single sign amongst those millions. Not only does the online world’s overcrowding make it difficult to focus on singular products or advertisements, it actually has a numbing effect for the viewer, who becomes accustomed to tuning out the flood of irrelevant stimulus. What does this mean for the franchise owner? Should the owner simply submit to the struggle and ignore the value of online branding? The obvious and sometimes uncomfortable answer is no.

Online branding and brand recognition are two crucial components for successful business ownership. Product branding is one of the most important things you must do as a franchise owner. It represents the literal shaping of your identity in the eyes of the public. The brand profile that you construct will have serious implications for the types of relationships you will be able to build with your customers in the future. If you want to engage the general public and influence conversions, you will need to make your mark in their minds, and the only way to do this is with an effective branding strategy.

A company lacking in online branding will have serious trouble generating new business. In a competitive capitalist culture, the market is continually in the process of expansion of evolution, and this means that your branding must follow suit. If not, your product and services will be perceived as irrelevant, even if you are a former industry-leader, and your customer base will begin to dwindle. Though some franchise owners are reluctant to invest the capital necessary for proper branding in the digital age, the reality is that a modest investment in branding will save a major expense in customer drop-off, especially as franchisees begin to spend money out of pocket in desperate attempts to retain their customer base.

Top-Five Online Product and Service-Branding Tips

The following tips will help any franchise owner stay relevant and competitive in the contemporary digital age.

  1. Establish your identity with a stand-out logo. A well-crafted logo makes all the difference. Logo’s seriously contribute to a brand’s perceived professionalism, and will often act as the customer’s “first impression” of your company since logo imagery is much more highly visible than text. Your logo will appear on your website, business cards, letterheads, and e-mail signatures, so significant attention should be paid to this process.
  2. Invest in your website. Most consumers are transitioning away from paper classified and Yellow Pages business listings, and choosing to research products and services online instead. Your website must be concise, high-performing, helpful, and easy to navigate, or you will lose many customers. Your website should also be compatible with mobile viewing.
  3. E-mail signature. This one-time investment will pay dividends when it comes to establishing brand recognition and raising brand awareness. Simply attach your logo to the end of your e-mail along with relevant contact information and either your slogan or a professional sign off, and you can transform all e-mail correspondence into free advertising.
  4. Pay attention to social media. Social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is a boon for business owners looking to build their brand. This free service allows franchise owners to promote anything they like in a fast and responsive format that can be updated from any mobile device and exposed to a huge audience instantly. Better still, most socila media mediums offer paid promotional services that can give your brand an extra boost.

5.  Streamline an inter-connected online presence. Make it easy for users to navigate through all of your online content by promoting it internally. One of the best examples of this is found with the inclusion of “social buttons” on your website, which allow your users to jump to your social media pages with a single click. This practice is also done through blogging your brand, where product reviews or promotional posts can link back to the website or relevant social media pages, or through forum posts, whether directly through promotional threads, or indirectly through inclusion in forum signatures.

About the Author : Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi

Jamshaid-Jam-Hashmi-200x200A serial entrepreneur with extensive background in franchising and interests in multiple online business channels, Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi has played an instrumental role in the franchise development and success of an international franchise company. His most recent entrepreneurial interests include launching ClickTecs, a Digital Marketing company specializing in Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing as well as Website and Mobile Application development. In 2007 he co-founded Search Result, an online marketing company that supplies services to Internet Marketing Consultants. A sought after public speaker, Jam has been the featured keynote at many franchise conferences and international summits. He regularly trains ‘C’ Level Executives and supports both new and seasoned business owners on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization, Mobile Marketing, Brand Reputation Management and Conversion & Measurement through web analytics. When he’s not scaling the heights of the Internet world, Jam ‘unwinds’ on extreme thrill-seeking adventures from the jungles of the Amazon to the highest summits. His passions include working with NGOs on humanitarian missions to areas around the world affected by disasters and poverty.

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Social Media as a Weapon to Market Your Franchise Business

As recently as 2010, franchisors were avoiding social media simply because they didn’t know how to make it work for them. Today, many social media experts are using social media to market franchises, but only a few are able to coach franchisees on how to use it to reach customers. When used correctly, it can be a valuable tool for lead generation and consumer engagement.  Furthermore, the largest source of Franchise Development Candidates, that visit your FD site, often originate from the consumer site.  Therefore, indirectly by optimizing the consumer site, a franchise organization can reap the benefits from a Franchise Development standpoint.

Developing a Social Media Strategy

Franchisees need to develop a social media strategy for promoting their franchise across social media platforms. Social media strategies need to be in compliance with the terms of the franchisor marketing agreement. In addition, a social media strategy should form a part of a larger holistic marketing strategy.  This integrated approach to marketing ensure you connect with your consumers when and where they are looking for you.

To begin, listen to what is being said about your brand online. Capitalize on what you’re hearing. Highlight the positive and come up with a plan to address the negative in a way that shows your customers you’re paying attention. Pay close attention to the people who are driving the conversation, and reach out to them.

Identify your goals and objectives. You may want to increase your website traffic, or you may just want to increase your social media followers. Go beyond your company goals and think about your audience goals. What do they want? What do they need? You will be much more successful with your social media marketing efforts if you are able to provide something of value customers are looking for.

Create your plan, and craft the content. Use any relevant marketing and promotional materials provided to you by the franchisor. Create a timeline a year in advance so you can identify events and promotions you can tie into your social media plan.

Create a variety of content suited to your goals and objectives. Ideas can include things such as:

  • Special offers and promotions
  • Case studies
  • Photos
  • News
  • Community polls
  • Factoids
  • Statistics

Respond to All Customer Comments – Even the Negative Ones

By appropriately responding to all comments, you show your current customers you care and are paying attention to what they have to say. By addressing the negative comments, you are showing both current and prospective customers that you not only take the good, but also the bad.. With any business, negativity from irate customers will surface, and ignoring it will hurt your prospective customers by perpetuating the image that you don’t care.

Be Active Where Your Customers Are

With the sheer number of social media outlets available today, it can be tempting, yet overwhelming, to create a presence on all of them. Instead, focus on where you know your customers are. Use the large networks, such as Facebook and Twitter to connect with your audience. If you have a niche franchise, turned to niche social media networks as well, as these can provide more targeted leads.

Make it Personal

Social media engagement is highly personal. Customers like to know they are talking to real people behind the brand. Be real and transparent and you will create much stronger engagements with your customers than you would otherwise.

Pay to Promote, If Possible

If allowed by the terms of your franchise agreement, and possible in terms of your available budget, try to use social media advertising platforms to better reach your targeted audience. This can help speed up your growth and ensure you are connecting with followers who will connect with your brand and become ambassadors on your behalf.

Use Social Media Analytics Tools

While website analytics tools like Google analytics will provide some social data, do not neglect using social media platforms built-in analytics tools.  Facebook Insights and Twitter analytics can provide additional information to help you see who is engaging with you on social media. The information can be used to adjust your strategy to foster more success.

As a business owner, it can be somewhat discouraging if you do not see the results you’re looking for with social media right away. It is important to be patient. It takes time to develop relationships on social media platforms. You have to take the time to develop relationships and build the credible reputation with influencers in your audience. Your early phase will typically be the most time-consuming and require the most effort, but as your audience gets bigger, it becomes much easier to grow and expand.

About the Author : Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi

Jamshaid-Jam-Hashmi-200x200A serial entrepreneur with extensive background in franchising and interests in multiple online business channels, Jamshaid (Jam) Hashmi has played an instrumental role in the franchise development and success of an international franchise company. His most recent entrepreneurial interests include launching ClickTecs, a Digital Marketing company specializing in Search Engine Marketing and Social Media Marketing as well as Website and Mobile Application development. In 2007 he co-founded Search Result, an online marketing company that supplies services to Internet Marketing Consultants. A sought after public speaker, Jam has been the featured keynote at many franchise conferences and international summits. He regularly trains ‘C’ Level Executives and supports both new and seasoned business owners on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Optimization, Mobile Marketing, Brand Reputation Management and Conversion & Measurement through web analytics. When he’s not scaling the heights of the Internet world, Jam ‘unwinds’ on extreme thrill-seeking adventures from the jungles of the Amazon to the highest summits. His passions include working with NGOs on humanitarian missions to areas around the world affected by disasters and poverty.

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