Maxys Personalising the Web

Maxys - Personalising the Web, looking at digital media communication and internet video for business sales and marketing.
Tag » Marketing

This is a Digital Media Strategy Beginners Article.

Local Search Results

One of the biggest failures of the web to date has been the generally poor results you get from a local search - particularly here in Australia where only around 30% of small businesses have a website.  The poor performance is understandable when it's only logical that if your business doesn't have a website, then it's hard for Google to know you exist and for people to link to your site.  

Coffee Shop Dolls PointThere have been many attempts over the years to address this gap, from the old, once dominant, Yellow Pages type paper advertising directories (which have finally migrated to online directories); Government and commercial initiatives like Google and MYOB (leading Australian Small Business accounting software); consumer comparison and ranking website portals; through to customer generated content - forums, bloggers; Facebook Places; Fourquare; Twitter; new Google+ and my new favourite service www.quora.com (founded last year by the ex CTO of Facebook).

From a business owners perspective it's a Catch 22 situation - if your immediate sales are not generated from the web then why as business do you need to invest the time, energy and money to develop new skills; keep information up to date; maintain the website; and also communicate through these online channels - "I sell coffee I'm not some computer nerd!" they cry.   

The answer to that question is very simple - depending on what report you're reading then 50-90% of new customers will search online before purchasing - Online Retailing's SOBO "Search Online Buy Offline". 

If you're not actively marketing and communicating online then there's a very high probability your competitors are or will be.

Opportunity and Competition Drives Innovation  

Ten months ago, I wrote about a new coffee shop which opened in the local neighbourhood "Foodies Deli Cafe" which brought a refreshing new competitor to the local coffee drinking marketplace - back then as a test I asked how long would it be before they commented on my blog post.

Today, that moment arrived, Matt - one of the owners told me they'd launched a website a couple of months ago; that it wasn't ranking in Google and if I could take a quick look (contra coffee).

Sensing a potential mutual win relationship (and also content for my blog) once back in the office the first thing I did was a test search in Google

Foodies Deli Cafe: burgers worth scrapping over

www.smh.com.au/entertainment/.../foodies-deli-cafe-20110401-1cnou.html
2 Apr 2011 – Rate Foodies Deli Cafe with 0.5 a star Rate Foodies Deli Cafe with 1 star Rate Foodies Deli Cafe with 1.5 stars Rate Foodies Deli Cafe with ...

Foodies Deli Cafe

www.smh.com.au/entertainment/.../foodies-deli-cafe-20110401-1cnot.html
2 Apr 2011 – Rate Foodies Deli Cafe with 0.5 a star Rate Foodies Deli Cafe ...

Foodies Deli, Cafe, Dolls Point Part I « Eat My Shots!

eatmyshots.com/?p=204 - Cached
4 Nov 2010 – Foodies Deli, Cafe, Dolls Point 

 

As Matt said the website http://www.foodiesdelicafe.com.au/ doesn't rank at all, so we take a look at source code.  If you right-click on your website from your browser there is usually a "source code" option - it's gobbly gook stuff Google sees.  Without going into finer details the website is not search engine optimised (SEO) and in its current form I doubt it will never rank in the top three search results.  Yes, the web developers didn't mention that!

As mentioned there are many elements which influence search engine ranking but the most important is the "Search Engine Term" your potential customers will use.

The Future of SearchSearch Engine Term and Inbound Links

The key point to note is that most people will NOT search for the name of the coffee shop, they will search for "coffee shop Dolls Point" or "coffee shop Sans Souci" or maybe "best coffee shop in St George area".  The most important element to SEO is the title of any external websites inbound link to your site.  

The higher the Pagerank of the external website "referring" the more influence that will have on your page ranking and your subsequent search results listing. For example, A Sydney Morning Herald food guide review will have a greater link importance than my website blog (except when it is published in my Istrategy blog post).

Example - The top three results "Best Coffee Shop Sydney City" includes one of my favourites Vivo Cafe - Vivo has a SEO website plus Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare accounts - all roads lead to a destination. 

Social Media is the New Search 

We are increasingly using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Youtube etc and applications like Trip Advisor to ask friends or other web users for their feedback.  On top of the social media layer, services like Google+; Linkedin Q&A (think corporate Facebook) and the previously mentioned http://www.quora.com/ are facilitating question and answer and developing expert status.

Google is already indexing this high quality content (except where it has very recently been precluded - ie Twitter real time results and public Facebook Status) and you are beginning to see this data influence rankings. 

Social Media Pureplay

Another local coffee shop I must mention is social media marketing pure play Montgomery St Cafe, headed up by the highly talented Internet Chef and Electrolux brand ambassador Bridget Davis and Twitterati Iconic88.  They did an exceptional job at building awareness prior to opening through Facebook status updates, #mostreet and regular Youtube videos.  

Increasing Competition

Last week another new local coffee shop opened - "Kiss the Barista" at Georges River 16ft Sailing Club; and another around the corner couple of weeks. 

There are now three new coffee shops that have opened within a short (less than 500m) distance within the last 10 months making a total six.

As you can see even at the local coffee shop level it's a highly competitive online marketing but you know the most important thing?  The customer experience they then share.

How do you rank on Google and what are your customers saying about you on social media?

It was February 9th so says the Google Apps shared document but my thoughts and discussions go back many months earlier.

This series of blog posts aims to chronicle the development of how a dissatisfaction of the status quo manifested into challenging our approach to what we do.

We were sick of the "hard sell", we were bored with our own brand approach, we wanted to focus on showcasing what we do best, less production focus and more strategic creative.  

I reminded of a quote  "The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo"  from Bob Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company.

Creative RisksI suppose there are many factors that instigate a need for change - either internal or external motivations - some we force upon the world and others are forced upon us.

Whatever the motivation, the one guarantee is there will be change.

When interviewing Ted Johnson, CMO, Minnesotta Timberwolves last year I was reminded that "attitude" is the one that makes the most difference.  "Attitude is Everything"

My dear dad (RIP) also said that it is not money, size, education, or privilege but the focused team that gets the greatest results. 

So my CEO challenge is to create a highly focused, innovative team with great attitude that resonates with our customers.

From a business perspective I suppose "attitude" is about culture - your people, your products, your customers experience,

It prompts the question what's the attitude and personality of your business?  Is it Friendly? Risky?  Innovative?  Conservative?  Arrogant and so on.

I'm suddenly back to snoozy Marketing and Psychology 101 lectures of Pavlov's dog, Maslow and Jung (Freud was just a sex fiend Cool).

In my current world of online advertising and media there's much discussion around online behavior and contextual advertising.

But I think it's less about sophisticated targeting algorithms and more about connecting with people, of dealing with customers who appreciate, like and advocate your work. 

How does your brand personality resonate with your customers?  Do they like you?  Do they share their experience with the friends?  

Be unique - mass marketing is for mass producers and audiences.

Mass marketing is for mass producers

Following are a few quick thoughts on brand engagement.

  1. Understand the audience - the who/ what, when, where, how much and why?
  2. Insure clients understand that in this digital media and communications age, online social media customers are now firmly at the power centre of the buying Universe - empower your audience with knowledge and tools - be open. For example, who are your "influencers (experts, role models etc), sneezers (people who advocate) and flamers (people who critic) and how do you connect? What channels are they in?
  3. That Brands/ Services need to provide a unique sales proposition and create a compelling story/ experience that engage and resonates with their audience(s) - both in short term attraction and longer term relationships. This can be online, offline or a combination of the two "inline". 
  4. Create desire and value viewer attention - develop and create short, high quality, very creative advertising and marketing collateral that viewers trust to share, interact (comments, likes, blogs) etc, purchase and recommend.
  5. In summary much of the advertising and marketing principles we've all learnt are still the same  - the only difference now is scalability (niche), the technology, the heavily fragmented, flattened non value layers of middlemen and the integration and importance of customer service and experience into our brand engagement programs.

 

12 seconds

 

"There are approximately 70 words to a 30 second script.

On websites you've an average 12.5 seconds to get attention and engage your new visitors - that's 28 words!

At Maxys, we can help you increase your website effectiveness.

Browse around and Contact Us."