Three Reasons Why Customers Research Your Business Beforehand

Three Reasons Why Customers Research Your Business Beforehand

Posted on Friday, May 18th, 2018 at 6:12 pm    

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Google is an invaluable research tool like no other. Particularly when it comes to researching businesses.

Anything from fine dining establishments to entertainment to even the most obscure events – like a local rattlesnake round-up (if that’s your thing). Regardless of their preferences, research-obsessed customers have the ability to scout your business in the comfort of their own homes, finding out details ranging from your menu to how clean your bathrooms are.

This information can be a boon (or bust) to your business, and we’re going to tell you why.

1. Customers Get Hyped!

So we’re going to follow a basic premise for this blog.

Let’s say a potential customer is going out on a date. Your customer and their date are going to a fancy dining establishment that they’ve never been to before. Your customer will want to check out the menu to see what type of cuisine your business offers.

A quick Google search later and they have got the website for your restaurant pulled up right on the SERP (search engine results page). They check out the menu and the images are inviting.

But your customer can’t just end the date after dinner. No, they have got to find something else to do.

So they end up searching for things to do in the same vicinity, and wouldn’t you know it, there is a fair a couple of miles away. Now there’s another experience they can share together.

They’re excited. It’s going to be a great night.

In essence, researching the restaurant and things to do in an effort to make a positive impression on their date has become a part of the overall experience, helping to build anticipation about the wonderful time that is going to take place.

And this happens billions of times a day, 365 days a year, for an innumerable amount of experiences.

2. Customers Get A Confidence Boost

One of the main reasons why customers scout a business before they visit it is to conjure the illusion that they have been there before. In the case of visiting a restaurant, it might even be so that your customer can learn how to pronounce the items on the menu.

Your customers will search up the restaurant’s address because they don’t want to get lost, in consequence, making them late.

At the same time, they’ll want to make sure that the restaurant doesn’t usually have a long wait time. According to Google, mobile searches for “wait times” have gone up in the past two years. That and because mobile has become a huge phenomenon, accounting for more than 50% of all organic search engine visits in the United States.

And since the restaurant is pricey, they’ll want to make sure that they have enough money saved up for the occasion, down to the last penny. Searching the menu for pricing gives them the confidence that they can afford to dine there with their date, and still have money to spare for the fair afterward.

3. Customers Can Create the Best Possible Experience For Themselves

Still with us on this long-winded example? Great.

As your customers peruse through the pricing, they’ll see that the restaurant has a special promotion for crab legs. The promotion just so happens to be taking place while the date is taking place.

But the sweet can’t always come without the bitter. While researching what to do at the fair, they’ll see that a ride that made them really sick once is going to be there. It’s going to be on the south end of the fair, so they’ll want to avoid that area as much as possible.

Research-obsessed customers want to experience the best that they can without missing out on important details. Because of this, they also want to avoid any pitfalls that could cause a negative experience that can dampen the fun.

Where Digital Marketing Comes In

As digital marketers, knowing the different outlooks and moments that customers go through is great information to seize upon. We do this to ensure that your business becomes a part of a potential client’s consideration early on during their planning phase.

We do this by:

  1. Creating different methods to aid the client in their planning process – For instance, if your restaurant website has a blog describing what type of dishes go best with first dates, it may attract more customers to your restaurant as they’ll build confidence and feel less anxiety.
  2. Making the client’s planning process simpler to save time and money – Digital markets will do research to find out what customers want, what interests them, and what is important to them, to make suggestions that meet their financial needs.

Ultimately, catering to the inquisitive customer can make them feel comfortable choosing your establishment over others.

As digital marketers, we know what customers want and how to use Google to your business’s advantage.

At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we’ve been doing this for a long time. We know what it takes to drive customers to your website, and we know how to tailor our content to meet your research-craving customers’ needs.

 

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Android P Cometh, and With It a Slew of Features, Both New and Familiar

Posted on Monday, May 14th, 2018 at 4:05 pm    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Recently, the Google I/O conference gave us a glimpse into what’s in store for Android P.

To say the least, this technologically-aggressive operating system update is jam-packed full of new features and performance updates that would make the biggest of technophiles rejoice.

No word yet on what the update will be officially named, though. People in the know say that it may be called “Pistachio Ice Cream,” going along with Android’s sweet treats routine, but it hasn’t been confirmed just yet.

Leave it to Cobalt Digital Marketing to give you the skinny on what exactly this new OS will provide. Seriously, you’ve got to check this out.

Android P looks to improve a lot of the performance and stability issues.

Lot’s of changes are going down when Android P officially launches. For now, it is in public beta, so you might want to give it a shot if you would like to help out the devs.

Here are a few changes that are coming:

Battery Life Updates

Let’s get some of the basic information out of the way first. Android users know for a fact that recent updates have been draining their battery life. It seems like you can’t even play a game of PUBG Mobile without 30 percent of your battery life dropping in an instant.

As is customary before every update, Google reassures us that they are continuing to work on these battery issues just like they have in the past. This time is no exception. Android P is looking to refine the way the Battery Saver app works. The update will allow owners to turn on the app around 70 percent or below. And you can count on not seeing that annoying orange bar within the Battery Saver app. It will be replaced with a persistent notification icon.

But the coolest part about this battery life update that is expected to come with the OS update is the Adaptive Battery. Imagine a battery that learns how you use apps while restricting battery use from apps that you don’t use that often, effectively reducing CPU app wake-ups by 30 percent. That means battery life savings!

Upping Security

While Google typically does a decent job adding security features in their updates, this year they are taking it to the next level.

In the coming update, encryption will be built upon, making your device and data more secure. Android P will focus on client-side encryption, meaning that data encryption or decryption that takes place will now happen on your phone and require authentication in the form of a password, PIN, or pattern.

As Google backs up our information into its cloud, this change will make getting access to your information from a computer difficult for even the most seasoned of hackers.

Every time you access a network, your unique media access control (MAC) address is shared with said network. The neat thing about the new security changes is that you will be allowed to create your own random MAC address for every network you access. Keep in mind, however, that every time you access a familiar network, Android P won’t create another randomized MAC address.

You can bet your sweet bytes, though, that Android P will be bringing along other security features that affect third-parties, like a user notification whenever they use an old application programming interface (API) and encrypted network traffic on their apps. Not only that, but finally, a unified user interface for fingerprint authentication will be available.

Privacy

The update is also trying to improve the public’s privacy faith in Google, who hasn’t been the most private of companies in the past.

The update wants to restrict OS access to your device’s microphone, camera, and other sensors. That means when an app is running in the background or idle, it cannot access any other sensors within the device, save for GPS. If the app wishes to gain access to them, a persistent notification will pop up.

Cutout Support

Since Apple introduced the notch with their iPhone X, it is cascading over to an increasing number of Android devices. Currently, Android doesn’t offer native support.

That all will change when the OS officially launches because Android P will feature a native cutout support. Cutout support will improve how apps render on your device, ensuring that you don’t lose any content on streaming apps like Netflix, YouTube, or Hulu.

Faster App Reactions

Another big change in performance care of Android P are the enhancements to Android Runtime. The enhancements from Android Runtime will allow apps to launch faster and use less memory by rewriting their own execution files on the device.

And now for the good stuff…

This update really packs in the new features and improvements. For instance:

Navigation Bar Changes

This is probably the biggest change that Google is doing for Android P. The navigation bar has been relocated to the bottom portion of your screen, and your Home button will be replaced with a pill-shaped icon.

However, with change, some things can get left behind. With the new navigation bar, you’ll notice that the Overview button has vanished alongside the Clear All button. Don’t worry, though. As per a tweet by David Burke, VP of Engineering for Android, the features will return in a future edition of the beta.

In future updates, the navigation bar will be customizable as well, allowing users to change the color and background, and add custom widgets to it.

With the new navigation bar with Home button, you can swipe across the Home button to access a lot of cool functions like…

New Gestures

After a 6 year hiatus to gestures in general, Android P will bring with it a bunch of new interesting and innovative gestures, like:

  • If you want to prevent ringing, all you’ll have to do is hold the Power button and the Volume Up button on your device.
  • Swiping up on the Home button will allow you to see your recently used apps.
  • Swiping left on the Home button will allow you to open up multitasking views.
  • The ability to silence your phone by simply turning it over, which switches on the device’s Do Not Disturb feature.

Do Not Disturb will also be improved upon by giving users the ability to completely turn off notifications. That means no lock screen notification, no notifications in your notification drawer. Nothing.

Multi-Camera Support

Hot on Nokia’s Dual-Sight heels, Android P is making similar features to the app that will be widely available to most Android smartphones. The Android P feature will allow developers to access streams on multiple phone cameras at the same time.

While it is unlikely that Android P will have a native feature that is similar to Dual-Sight within the update, developers can easily create a third-party app that can fulfill that desire.

ML Kit

Speaking about allowing developers to access some pretty nifty things, ML Kit will allow them to use Google’s device learning tasks within the apps that they create.

ML Kit, while not exclusive to Android P, can allow a developer to use the camera for face detection, text recognition, or even landmark recognition. This feature can spark a lot of innovation in the app-developing community.

Improved Notifications

Google has the technology. They can build notifications bigger, faster, and better. Notifications have been under the microscope for some time now, and Google wants them to still be more useful.

Android P solves this problem by allowing the user to use smart replies, which allow you to attach pictures, stickers, and also let you type out your own reply, thanks to Google’s “MessagingStyle”.

Google Maps Will Get Some Love

Google Maps is about to become more versatile with the OS update. Before, the app was solely used for navigation at the street level, meaning that only those that drove or walked on the sidewalk could get directions on the go.

With the OS update, Google Maps will now be able to go inside businesses. For instance, if you were in a new city and wanted to go to the mall to visit a certain store but didn’t know where it was, Google Maps will now not only lead you to the mall but also direct you to the store itself.

How? By using Wi-Fi Round Trip Time (RTT), which pinpoints your indoor location through Wi-Fi.

Dashboard

This feature will be a godsend to those that think they spend too much time on their phone—preach!

Dashboard helps track the time that you spend using your device. There, you can see just how long you’ve been using your phone divided into what actions you are taking, whether it be texting, streaming content, or even making calls.

Dashboard gives you control again, allowing you to set up screen time limits for specific apps. It also sends out recommendations to take a break after binging on YouTube or Netflix.

Wind Down Mode

For those of us that like to take our phones to bed to read or watch video content, Wind Down Mode can help us put the phone down before bed.

The new feature uses grayscale to turn your screen gray, reminding you that it is time to get some sleep. The gray color is easier for your eyes, promoting sleepiness since computer and phone screens can cause sleeping problems because of the light they give off.

Speaking of Brightness…

Android P is also coming out with Adaptive Brightness, a feature that uses artificial intelligence to determine the brightness settings you prefer. Once learned, it can make adjustments depending on the lighting around you.

Your eyes will thank you.

A New Way to Lock That Screen Down

Even though the screen orientation lock option is a thing now, it can be difficult when switching between apps. Android P is looking to fix this issue by offering a whole new way to stop those accidental screen rotations.

Once the update goes live officially, you will be able to pin a screen in a certain rotation. If you want to switch orientations, all you’ve got to do is tap on the Phone icon to the right of the Recent Apps and Home button.

Slices

Slices are similar to widgets, and they allow app developers to use its API within Android to create contextual suggestions depending on your use; effectively creating shortcuts for apps you use frequently. These interactive snippets grant you the ability to use the app without having to launch it, minimizing the amount of tapping you have to do.

For instance, if you searched for a Lyft, you may get an option that will allow you to book a Lyft in the future without having to actually open the app. The options can be a series of photos or even a slider, and while they may be added to other functions in the OS in the future, when it is released in Android P, it will be accessible first through the Search.

App Actions

Last year, Android used A.I. to determine what kind of apps users would like based on different criteria. Now, Android P is looking to enhance that feature through what is called App Actions.

App Actions allows your phone to use A.I. both as it was initially proposed for but also to make suggestions based on your usage history. Take, for example, your Home screen. If you make a phone call to your parents around 5 p.m. daily, whenever you open your Home screen, you may get a suggestion to call them.

App Actions can also make suggestions within context. For example, let’s say that you just plugged in your headphones to your phone. Shortly after, you’ll receive a suggestion for a certain type of music or podcast app.

What phones can support it?

Even though the official update won’t be dropping until around fall, you can still try out the public beta. But you must have one of the nine phones that can support it:

  1. Pixel and Pixel 2
  2. Essential Phone
  3. Sony’s Xperia XZ2
  4. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 2S
  5. Nokia’s 7 Plus
  6. Vivo’s X21
  7. Oppo’s R15
  8. The soon to be released OnePlus 6

If you do have anyone these phones, installing the software is rather easy, and you can find the steps here.

A lot to take in? Don’t sweat it. Luckily, you’ve got a dedicated team of catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing that know everything from mobile updates to mobile optimization. It comes in handy in helping you get to the top of Google rankings and staying there.

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Google I/O Is In the House: Major Announcements Made in 2018

Posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2018 at 3:56 pm    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Silicon Valley is at it again. Big changes are a-coming, and Google appears to be at the forefront of these advances.

The 2018 Google I/O event has been nothing short of spectacular with the industry titan announcing some exciting news about state-of-the-art products and services they are currently working on.

While your Cobalt Digital Marketing team may not be there in the flesh, we are definitely there in spirit. And we’ve got our eyes on a couple of the major announcements made at this year’s conference.

  1. Google’s Android P update is in public beta.
  2. In case you aren’t familiar with Android P, it’s the next version of Android that features navigation design changes, improved shortcuts, an adaptive battery life enhancement, app actions, visual tweaks, and a bevy of other changes.

    The public beta was released immediately after the Google I/O 2018 keynote and the final version is likely to come out sometime in August of this year.

  3. Gmail knows how to write emails (kind of).
  4. Google has worked on improving Gmail by creating a Smart Compose feature. While the feature won’t literally write out an entire email for you, it can predict and recommend complete sentences for you. Think of it as another level of auto-complete, but instead of one word at a time, it’s going to handle an entire thought.

    Scary? Maybe. Cool? Most definitely!

  5. Google Duplex is making some important calls.
  6. Google Duplex – Google’s new chatbot – is on the verge of a whole new level of helpfulness; it’s becoming able to make calls for you, schedule an appointment, and share the details.

    Google Duplex isn’t designed to work with personal calls but to carry out specific tasks (e.g. making a dinner reservation) in what Google has called “closed domains”. It’s amazing technology that we are looking forward to using soon.

  7. Google Maps wants to compete with other local business apps like Yelp.
  8. Google Maps is going to be seeing some new enhancements soon including a new “For You” tab that allows you to find trending restaurants and businesses near you. With this tool, Google is hoping its Google Maps app becomes an invaluable tool for local businesses and customers alike.

    But that’s not the only thing Google Maps has cooking up. Google is working on using augmented reality to help you find your way around town. You’ll simply point your camera towards the street and Google will use AI with Street View data to give you an overlay that will guide you along your path with arrows and other helpful map keys.

    This one might not come around for some time, though.

  9. Google Lens wants to do more in the real world.
  10. Google Lens has a couple of improvements that are sure to make life just a little bit easier (and shopping a little more fun). One of those features is Google Lens’ ability to copy text from the real world straight into your phone. This can be helpful for a number of tasks such as copying a password written down by hand and pasting it online.

    Google is also introducing a Google Lens feature that will allow you to scan an item with your camera and help you to locate it (and buy it) from an online retailer. This particular improvement can prove to be absolutely game-changing for e-commerce sites and online businesses.

As Google I/O continues on, you can depend on Cobalt Digital Marketing to keep you up-to-date on the latest info and important news that affects digital marketers and the digital world alike.

Sources:

https://www.cnet.com/news/duplex-android-p-and-assistant-everything-important-from-google-io/

https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/news/google/136940-google-i-o-2018-all-the-announcements-that-matter

https://www.techradar.com/news/google-io-2018

https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/8/17328828/google-io-keynote-summary-highlights-news-recap-2018
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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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Three Quick Daily SEO Tips, Tactics, and Practices You Should Be Doing in 2018

Posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018 at 9:23 pm    

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Times, they are a-changin’, but when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), you can guarantee that change will happen at least a few times daily.

Why? Google updates their algorithm at least 500 to 600 times a year, which is around twice a day.

What may have worked before may not work any longer, and in order to keep your head above the proverbial water, you’ve got to be able to adapt.

Luckily, we here at Cobalt Digital Marketing have got your back. In order for us to be successful as local digital marketers, we have to be on top of the industry’s top SEO tactics and practices. When we are successful, your website and your business reap all of the benefits.

1. Optimize your website for voice search.

Voice search has been a useful mechanism for a few years now and it’s grown tremendously in popularity. Back in 2014, Google released an infographic that stated 51 percent of teens and 41 percent of adults use voice search more than once a day. Of course, those statistics have only increased since then.

According to Alpine.AI, at the start of this year, approximately one billion voice searches would be occurring every month – and it’s believed the numbers are actually higher than that. They also concluded that by the end of 2018, over one billion voice-enabled devices will be in circulation.

[bctt tweet=”Over 1 billion #Voice #Searches occur every month #HearingVoices #DigitalTip” username=””]

That’s a lot of potential customers that you want visiting your website, and if your SEO isn’t optimized for voice search, you can kiss a whole lot of traffic and sales goodbye. So what do you do?

Make a new keyword research strategy that takes voice searches into account. Normally, when people use their device’s voice function, they ask in full-sentences and in a natural manner, so you will want to focus on this instead of short queries.

For now, Google Analytics doesn’t carry a function to separate voice search within its console yet, but take an hour or two to write down commonly-asked questions in your particular niche in order to flesh out an editorial content strategy optimized for voice search.

[bctt tweet=”By the end of 2018 over 1 billion voice-enabled devices will be in circulation #TalkingOutLoud” username=””]

2. While you’re at it, don’t forget to optimize for mobile too.

In a report generated by Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of all online searches come from mobile devices. And just recently, Google announced that they will be issuing out “mobile-first indexing” sometime this year. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of a website for ranking and indexing in an effort to help mobile users find their desired content.

If you haven’t yet, you’ve got to get on the mobile optimization bandwagon. You can start with double-checking that all of your web pages on your site are optimized for mobile users.

One easy way to do this is to check out your Google Search Console, and look for and click on “Search Traffic” and then select “Mobile Usability”.

Doing this shows you site-wide results and allows you to see any mobile usability errors that might be hurting your website. You might also want to run your landing pages through this free mobile-friendly test to make sure that they are in good shape too.

[bctt tweet=”Nearly 60% of all online searches are done through #mobile devices. #TargetStrategy #OnTheGo” username=””]

3. Re-optimize existing content and compress those images.

If blogging is your business, you’ll eventually want to do a content audit, where you search through all of your past blogs and improve weaker-performing ones, combine two similar ones, or remove it completely.

Remember, you want to target your content to customers, not keywords. Google’s algorithm is becoming more and more sophisticated, so it knows when you are trying to game the system with keyword-heavy content. Keywords aren’t even within the top-ten ranking factors for SEO anymore.

A content audit for the purposes of SEO enables your website to gain rank by using a variety of performance metrics to find out which of your blog posts need that extra little boost to bring in, or back, traffic. Don’t conduct it weekly or anything, but do it in a timely manner. Aim for conducting a content audit at least quarterly, which may be a little easier to do instead of waiting every six months to a year.

One strategy that you can apply when conducting a content audit is best done by using the Google search console to find what keywords Google is associating with your article. By using this data, you can rewrite your article in an effort to target the main topic that the keywords cover. Check it out in the Google Search Console.

Other than that, it’s no secret that page loading speed will become a ranking factor when it comes to Google’s algorithm changes in July 2018, even in mobile searches, and the best way to speed that up is to compress those images.

Besides, uncompressed images can make your website look amateurish, which makes you lose credibility, and potential customers.

That said, most experts agree that the average loading speed—depending on location and industry—is around nine seconds. Google, however, disagrees and thinks that is too much time, rating nine seconds as poor. Instead, Google recommends that websites shoot for a three-second loading time.

When your page takes nine seconds to load, it leaves your bounce rate at 123% or higher. Think about it, if you landed on eBay and it took nine seconds to load a web page, would you stick around for another web page to load? No, not when other websites work at reasonable page speeds.

Search Engine Optimization can be difficult to keep up with but trust that Cobalt Digital Marketing is on top of it for your benefit.

You need experts that know and keep up-to-date with Google’s algorithm changes to keep your website ranking high – and we know just the right people to help you get the job done. You need none other than the catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing.

 

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Our Cobalt Formula™ can help your business prosper, reach one of our catalysts today at (866) 224-5705.

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