Digital Marketing In 2020 and Beyond: Cobalt Catalysts Boost Performance Standards

Digital Marketing In 2020 and Beyond: Cobalt Catalysts Boost Performance Standards

Posted on Monday, November 30th, 2020 at 6:11 pm    

When you begin structuring a digital marketing plan, aligning yourself with a company that embraces growth and innovation is a critical first step toward securing the best return on investment for your products or services. Marketing is the practice of connecting with your audience at the right time, and with data showing 87% of buyers search for products to buy online, digital marketing has become one of the most valuable investment tools needed to reach this enormous market size.

Leveraging digital channels including search engines, social media, email, and other websites are avenues to reach existing and prospective customers, but alone, it’s not enough to maximize your business’s potential. Cobalt Digital Marketing has dedicated Cobalt Catalysts who focus on maximizing performance across platforms offering our clients the best ROI, and we are a Google Partner Agency.

The Benefits Of Working Alongside A Google Partner Agency

Teaming up with a Google Partner Agency, you gain greater confidence knowing you’re working with the best of the best. As a Google Partner, we track the latest trends and stay up to date with the latest product information to generate optimal results for our clients. How does this impact you? Through our experience, in tandem with our Google Ads product certifications, we provide the best Google Ads service for your business, and myriad of additional benefits including:

  • Tracking the Latest PPC Information: The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and a successful campaign strategy centers on staying on top of these changes and structuring a digital marketing plan that reflects the latest industry trends and developments. To maintain Google partner status, our agency undergos recertification exams to ensure our Catalysts have the skills and knowledge needed to drive your business needs forward.
  • We Use the Same Tools Available to Our Clients: Our success comes from working with businesses who trust us in bringing advanced strategies to ensure successful campaigns that resonate with consumers. At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we use these same strategies that make us an industry leader.
  • Offering Exceptional Service: As a Google Partner company, we comply with Google standards to maintain partnership status, which acts as an added layer to the already notable level of service Cobalt Digital Marketing extends to our clients.
  • Access to Beta Features: Prior to granting broad public access, Google tests numerous features such as the latest updates to Google’s Google Ads system. As a Google Partner agency, we have access to these beta features which we integrate into our clients digital campaigns. Doing so gives our customers an advantage over their competition.
  • Working Directly with Google: Working with us offers a direct line to the top search engine platform. As a Google Partner agency, Cobalt Digital Marketing works with a dedicated team offering direct communication to address topics pertinent to meeting the needs of our clients.

The Future Of Digital Marketing Remains Bright

While 2020 has been a roller coaster year for industries across the nation, one constant has been the exponential growth across the digital space. This year has seen our customers ad budgets expand on platforms such Google, social media, and OTT. Why is this important? It’s important because it signals our targeted messaging strategies lead to improved brand building. This coupled with our Cobalt Formula™ has been proven across industries to generate traffic, leads, and sales.

Having earned specialization in search ads and display ads, Cobalt Digital Marketing has the demonstrated expertise and sustained client performance that tells our customers we work hard to earn the trust of each and every business we serve. Blending website design, optimization techniques, and superior content with advanced data strategies, we’ve been able to learn all aspects of our clients needs and profitably fulfill them.

Creating customized content for conversion is another important aspect of what we do. As we’ve seen companies evolve and adapt to “new normals” in 2020, we haven’t missed a beat. Our success rests on yours, so we use every tool at our disposal to offer a multichannel approach that bolsters your business’s conversions.

Offering the Cobalt Formula™, we provide the know-how and experience needed for businesses of all sizes to be competitive and win within the digital landscape and beyond. Do you want to explore your company’s potential and learn about how our Cobalt Catalysts can help strengthen your brand’s awareness to a broad reach of consumers? Take the next step to giving your business a significant advantage over the competition alongside a team that employs creativity and ingenuity as part of their A game.

Our digital marketing strategies offer endless opportunities for continuous growth, and we forge strong business relationships with our clients to ensure they’re fully engaged in seeing the demonstrable results we offer.

Contact us to receive your digital marketing proposal, and let’s get started and work together to maximize your company’s ROI.

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How to Perfect Your Marketing Strategy in the Age of Streaming Services

Posted on Friday, October 9th, 2020 at 1:43 am    

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things about our daily and social lives.

The shift in staying away from large social gatherings and remaining socially distant has forced many people, and industries, to adjust. One of the most glaring examples is how consumers have changed the mediums through which they view TV. While some forms of media have excelled in this new environment, the traditional TV industry has not been one of them.

It’s not that people don’t watch television anymore, it’s just that the manner in how they consume it has shifted. Cable, satellite, and telecom TV providers have already lost plenty of clients and are poised to lose even more subscribers in the upcoming years.

So what does all this mean for your marketing strategy?

It means you should be prepared to shift your strategy and adapt to today’s (and tomorrow’s) platforms that will not only be more beneficial than your traditional television platforms, but better targeted to the audiences that you need to reach.

However, before we discuss how to build an effective marketing campaign for your business. Let’s delve into the analytics of cord-cutting.

Cord-Cutting Data

According to Emarketer.com, by the end of the year, the historic shift in cable cord-cutting will result in:

  • 31.2 million U.S. households will have “cut their cable TV cord” in aggregate.
  • 6.6 million households will cancel their pay-TV subscriptions.
  • By 2024, more than one-third of U.S. households will have cut the pay-TV cord.

The Streaming Shift Trend

In 2019, Forbes reported that more Americans were already paying more for streaming services than cable. Among the rising trends in their report was data that showed that 69 percent of consumers pay for an internet streaming service video, while only 65 percent of consumers pay for enhanced traditional TV subscriptions.

These numbers highlight a significant increase from the 10 percent of consumers who subscribed to streaming services in 2009.

Developing a Winning Strategy

Now that we have gotten the gist of how streaming platforms have become the future of how people consume television, it’s vital to consider what marketing and content strategies will work best to help your business excel in this changing environment.

While ads on traditional TV and cable networks are prevalent today, streaming services have also begun to support digital ads. From Hulu to YouTube and everywhere in between, companies are now using these platforms to showcase their goods and services.

So how can your business begin to take advantage of this new streaming frontier? Consider these tips brought to you by the digital marketing experts at Cobalt Digital Marketing:

  • Create original, exclusive content that consumers won’t find anywhere else.
  • Be versatile enough to sell a wide range of products to your customers. It’s easier to retain old customers than acquire new ones, so with that in mind, cross-selling your business products or information is important.
  • Appeal to different segments of your customer base. If the data shows that specific customer demographics are drawn to and purchase particular products more frequently, then you can begin to create content and ads that appeal to that segment. You can then create other content to reach your other target groups.
  • Stay true to your vision statement. In a world full of copycats, nothing works quite as well as originality and being transparent.
  • Outhustle your competition. If your competition isn’t making content campaigns for streaming services, now is the chance to get a leg up on them before they do. Create brand awareness, visits to your website, social media, and pay-per-click ads on your dynamic inventory by embracing the streaming medium before they do.

Aligning yourself with a digital marketing agency that knows how to build skip-stopping video streaming content can be a wise investment for your company. Working closely with the right digital marketing team to formulate a complete and quality strategy that will allow your business to take full advantage of these new streaming mediums is the way to go.

Are you ready to take advantage of streaming platforms by enhancing your digital ad opportunities? The experts at Cobalt Digital Marketing have developed the Cobalt Formula™ to maximize your customer demographics and give you a great return on your marketing investment.

 

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Let’s Face It: Negative Reviews Drive Customers Away

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 9:21 pm    

Negative reviews: If you’ve been in business long enough, chances are you probably have one. No big deal or is it? While the impact of one or two negative reviews can be minute, a handful of negative reviews can hurt your site and your Google ranking.

In a nutshell, your negative reviews have the potential to drive customers away.

Alarming Algorithms

Google has over 200 factors that govern how it ranks websites, everything from being mobile-ready to how fast your website loads. An abundance of negative review information, on the other hand, is likely to cause Google’s algorithms to pick up all of that negative feedback.

In fact, in what is known as the Décor My Eyes situation from as far back as 10 years ago, Google has used legitimate negative reviews as a means to rank businesses. Therefore, if you have a handful of negative reviews, that can alarm Google’s algorithm in your search engine results page (SERP).

As a result, lots of negative reviews drive potential customers away from your business because they won’t ever see you on the first SERP after they have searched for keywords related to your business, product, or services provided. If customers can’t find your business online, you are throwing away a viable source of revenue. In this day and age, you can’t afford not to do business online, and knowing the influence of negative reviews keeps you ahead of the competition.

A recent study conducted by Moz found that it only took one negative review of their product or service for a business to lose around 22 percent of interested customers. As you acquire more negative reviews, the chance of losing more customers goes up further. For instance, three negative reviews can result in 59.2 percent loss in customers, and four negative reviews increasing the percentage of lost customers to 70 percent.

While the basis of how Google’s algorithm works is not an exact science, it is no secret that ratings based on reviews affect your Google ranking. And when it comes to negative reviews, Google is going to try to push customers to those businesses who are rating well.

 Be Proactive

All is not lost. A great way to deal with customer assessments is to become proactive when responding to reviews, both positive and negative. The importance of your online reputation cannot be underscored.

Even if we weren’t susceptible to the way Google ranks our business pages, we want to show potential customers that we are proactive in not only thanking customers for their kind words but alleviating and addressing any of our dissatisfied customers’ concerns as well. That’s just good business that should be rewarded as excellent customer service is key to a business’ survival.

Here is a quick checklist on how to be proactive when responding to reviews:

  1. If you feel that a customer is experiencing a negative situation with your business, try and resolve the issue before it ever goes online. Being apologetic and empathizing with customers can go a long way towards making a compromise.
  2. Respond to reviews as quickly as possible. Develop a strategy as to how you will respond to all reviews. Customers love businesses that rely on swift and thorough communication for problem-solving.
  3. Take your conversation offline. After responding to the initial negative review, ask the customer if they can send you a direct message so that you can try to fix the problem without other potential customers getting a glimpse of your bargaining power.
  4. Encourage customers who have had positive experiences to leave you a review! Your tenured customers will more than likely be happy to go to bat for you and give a quick assessment of just how awesome you and your business are.

 

If you need a digital marketing agency that understands the nuances of online reviews and reputation management, reach out to Cobalt Digital Marketing today.

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Elements That Don’t Affect Your Google Ranking

Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 at 9:18 pm    

While we have a great inkling as to what elements Google looks for when ranking your website, you should be knowledgeable about what factors don’t count towards your ranking. Knowing what factors won’t impact your Google search ranking is important. It can help you concentrate on the areas of your website that you need to maintain, especially if you’re stretched for time.

Keep in mind that when we’re discussing what factors Google doesn’t take into account, we’re tackling myths. We are going to dispel some misinformation that many digital marketing agencies may believe matter when it comes to SEO.

Not a Google Search Ranking Factor

Google has said that when it comes to ranking, variables such as Google ads, social media mentions, and click-through rate rates have no impact on search results. While the search engine has ads, Google has gone on record that they don’t give them any preference. Google doesn’t use ad signals when determining its search results. These results are completely separate from ads.

No matter how many followers or likes you have, Google doesn’t use that metric in their algorithm when it factors search results. Google crawls the internet in order to find relevant information to your search query. However, for Google, the truth is if this factor was important to search results, Google would be sampling an imperfect web where identity would be an issue. Google is mindful that if they extracted data from followers and likes, and perhaps relationship status, that data is always going to be fluid, it can change in an instant. A reliable digital marketing agency will be able to go further into detail about why Google doesn’t rely on social media impact for its search results.

When it comes to interactions such as click-through rate, Google has stated that while they do use them in a variety of ways, for example when it comes to personalization, evaluation, and training data, they do not currently use them in their ranking algorithm.

While many have debated the issue, Google has stated that they don’t use Google Analytics data with regards to their search ranking algorithm. Other elements that are not Google search ranking factors are:

  • responsive design
  • word count
  • bounce rates
  • user-behavior
  • URL length
  • product prices
  • outbound links
  • shopping cart abandonment among others

An Important Distinction

It’s important to make this distinction so that you can focus on what will result in your business ranking high on Google. Any sound digital marketing agency would be aware that great content on your website is important for success. Also, factors such as mobile-first and page speed matter. As do domain factors, relevance, and usability of pages, how precise your information is, along with location and settings.

You need to make a distinction because at the end of the day if you build a great website Google will notice, and will rank your page well for relevant queries. Focus on the vitality of your web site as a whole and don’t dwell on factors that Google isn’t using in their search ranking algorithm. Hiring a digital marketing agency with a great track record of proven results can help bring your website up to speed in Google’s search results.

 

Do you need help in making your website relevant? Our proven Cobalt formula will ensure that we focus on engaging content and the big picture of your site.

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Set Special Hours With Google My Business

Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2020 at 5:18 pm    

Many of life’s lessons are layered in silver linings. For many of us, these uncertain times have taught us that we just need to refocus our vision. The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced many customers to shop online–whether it’s for retail therapy or obtaining much-needed essentials–using their purchasing power as a means to adjust to their everyday lives.

From buying cars to online curbside pickup, the scope of how businesses work and cater to customers has definitely shifted. In fact, online sales have surged over the course of the stay-at-home orders the nation had in place, and with so many consumers getting accustomed to buying products online, that eCommerce momentum isn’t going to decline any time soon, even as we slowly reopen many facets of the economy.

The best thing your business can do is to capitalize on this momentum and start mapping out an online strategy to get these buyers to be aware of your brand and your product. There are many simple measures a business owner can take such as replying to reviews, maintaining an updated website and social media page, and even making sure their hours on Google My Business are up to date.

How to Optimize Your Hours for Google My Business 

Business owners should be aware that Google has premiered a new category within Google My Business that will allow them to set more hours for their company. These hours are characterized by types of hours, such as when supermarkets offer early morning hours for specific customers, specific access times a physician is available, or special pickup hours at a given business.

You can go into your Google My Business account and click on the tab labeled “Info,” go under your main hours, and you can select the option that will allow you to set “More Hours.” You then can select the pencil edit button to pick from a category of hours that includes access, brunch, delivery, drive-thru, happy hours, kitchen, pickup, takeout, and senior hours. With this tool, you have plenty of flexibility to set those hours by day, even if they occur at various times throughout the same day.

Always Looking Out for You, Especially During These Uncertain Times

With this update to Google My Business, your customers are now aware of any special hours that you have installed specifically for them when they look you up on Google, helping facilitate business during those hours. This update from Google is a boon to your business, especially during these uncertain times.

While this is an activity that you can do on your own, aligning yourself with a marketing company that knows how to reach both customers and potential consumers can be an effective way to not only implement the Google My Business special hours update but help you strategize other facets of your overall digital marketing strategy as well.

 

Cobalt Digital Marketing can help you optimize your Google My Business account, along with any other digital marketing needs, through our proven Cobalt Formula™. 

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The Scoop on Facebook’s Free Service Aimed to Help Businesses Suffering From COVID-19

Posted on Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 at 2:51 pm    

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As states slowly begin to open, local businesses are still faced with many obstacles to overcome. After being closed due to shelter in place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are scrambling to get back into the good graces of shoppers with real questions at the back of their minds:
Will my customers come back? How do I sell my inventory when customers aren’t coming to my business?

How do I recover from this?

Needless to say, it can be a nerve-wracking time for any business owner worried about what the future has in store for them, and while not every business has the ability to open to full capacity and operation today, they now have a glimmer of hope in how to sell their product, and this very familiar hope is someplace where consumers spend a lot of their time: Facebook and Instagram.

Digital relief is on the way, courtesy of the biggest of the social media giants. Facebook is launching a new eCommerce service called Facebook Shops that will help turn local business profiles into digital storefronts. You will finally be able to get your products in front of consumers even if you haven’t had the chance to open your store yet, and today, we are going to tell you how.

Source: Plunge in Retail Sales as COVID-19 Spreads

But First, A Little Context to Facebook’s Decision

Facebook, along with the Small Business Roundtable, recently reported that a third of small businesses across the country have stopped operating altogether, signifying how the pandemic has been especially hard for small companies. The survey also reported that an additional 11 percent of those surveyed expressed that their business could go under within the next three months if the pandemic continues.

Despite this terrible news, the COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders have resulted in record sales for eCommerce companies, prompting many companies to make the move to become digital entities. As more and more consumers shift to buy products and services online, it would be imperative that your company also follow suit if it hasn’t done so already.

Facebook understands this and believes that helping local small businesses remain relevant online will help them stay afloat. There are currently more than 160 million small businesses using the company’s apps, and if you’re not utilizing Facebook as a way to sell your products, you’re missing out on many potential sales.

Introducing Facebook Shops

The Facebook Shops tool is designed to help small businesses set up shop on the site and sell products across their apps, even Instagram. On Facebook, if a customer visits your shop, they will be able to see your business story, your featured products, and buy those products in their apps.

Facebook Shops will team up with big-name eCommerce entities like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics, with the objective to turn the new platform into a top-tier shopping destination that provides a welcomed relief to business owners that suffer from the concerns that current small businesses are now facing during the pandemic: low sales and few customers.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a post that they decided to do this as a means to help small businesses stay relevant amidst so much turmoil because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “As people are being told to stay home, physical storefronts are having a hard time staying open and millions of people are losing their jobs,” Zuckerberg said. “I’ve been personally working with our teams on Facebook Shops every day for the last couple of months so we could accelerate launching it to small businesses who could use tools like this now.”

With Facebook and Instagram expanding their eCommerce services, this platform will be a godsend to small businesses that are aiming to rebuild as the pandemic continues to shape the way we live our lives. By opting in to this free service, even if stores or restaurants have yet to open up completely, customers will still be able to order products online where they can later be shipped, and many small businesses that have never moved their product online will have easy access to do so for the first time.

So just how exactly does it work?

Facebook Shops will have an organic theme built for speed, utilizing an available network of tools that manage the customers’ shopping experience from beginning to end while empowering business owners to decide what level of integration they choose.

“On top of that, we’re building a bunch of features across our apps to help people discover things from small businesses that they might want to buy,” Zuckerberg stated. “We’re building a dedicated shopping tab on Instagram and a destination inside Explore where you can find and buy products you might be interested in. Soon, we’ll also be launching new live shopping features across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on live in real-time.”

Looking Into the Future  

While Facebook Shops will use artificial intelligence to improve consumers’ experience, eventually augmented reality technology will enhance how users will shop on the platform. In addition, Facebook will automatically identify and tag products in feeds so people can easily click through to purchase when they find things they like.

“Small businesses will also be able to personalize their storefronts to first show products that are most relevant to you and use augmented reality to let you virtually try on things like sunglasses, lipstick or makeup to see how they might look on you before buying, or what furniture might look like in your room,” Zuckerberg said in his post.

Couple this daring move with Google offering free product listings in search results as a digital commerce lifeline for both merchants and consumers and you’ve got something that shows a trend in how big tech companies will be stepping up to help small businesses stay relevant. Now, two of the biggest and most recognizable brands in the world are connecting your website and products online to help you reach consumers.

What does this all mean? In the big picture, both Facebook and Google are realizing that more customers will continue to not only spend more time online but also do more shopping there as well. 

If harnessed correctly, your small business will have effective tools to help you serve your customers moving forward while attracting new customers as well. If you haven’t done so already, you can start building your online presence across Facebook and Instagram and use their Messenger and WhatsApp tools to communicate with your customers regarding specific business changes due to the pandemic or any particular sales that may be available.

Using Google in conjunction will only enhance what you’re doing on the Facebook end. You’ll now have the ability to reach new customers through ads on social media and best of all, set up an online store experience even if your physical storefront is still closed. These tools are currently open for business and will help you position your company as more and more customers get used to the notion of shopping online.

This graph created by SEMrush details several retailers’ traffic spikes during the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak. Source: semrush.com

Opting Into the Service

Facebook Shops can be accessed on the business side of your Facebook and Instagram profiles. Signing up for the service is simple and quick, and it allows you to capture the essence of your brand, down to the color optimization, cover image, and what products you want to feature.

What is important, however, is that you have a Facebook and/or Instagram account for your business in place, as customers can access your shop via your business page or profile. Customers can also find you via your Facebook Stories and any ads that you may be running as well.

Once your page is all optimized as you see fit, customers can peruse through your entire selection, choose what they want to purchase or save it for later, and order it straight from the Facebook or Instagram Shops page–if your business has enabled checkout in the United States–or be routed to your website to make a purchase there.

If your customer has a certain question regarding one of your wares, they can use Facebook Shops to reach you via WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct for support. Later on, a customer can use these services to make a purchase directly from you.

Make the Most Out of These Uncertain Times

Nothing is more important nowadays than helping out your fellow neighbor, and at Cobalt Digital Marketing, all we want is to just pay it forward to a community that has helped us become the marketing agency that we are today.

When times are hard, good deeds don’t go by unnoticed, and the fact that these tech giants are using their power and resources to help give small businesses a chance at surviving through these unprecedented times is something that we are grateful for.

However, staying up to date with SEO and Google ranking can be a full-time job on its own, so aligning yourself with a digital marketing company that has proven knowledge in converting leads into sales could help take this burden off of your shoulders.

The Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ can help maximize your business’ online presence via Facebook, Instagram, Google’s SERP, and Google My Business.

 

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Source: cnbc.com, Semrush.com

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Secure Your Sales With Google for Free During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2020 at 4:20 pm    

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The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought a sense of doubt to just about every retail sector in America. The shelter-in-place orders have closed the doors to many physical stores that are now relying on digital sales and curbside pickup to stay afloat. 

Consumers, many of whom are staying at home as essential businesses are only allowed to be open, have flocked to purchase goods online, including everything from essential products to apparel to kid’s toys. If one thing is for certain amidst these uncertain times, however, people still enjoy a good shopping spree or bargain find. 

The Benefits of Marketing With Google

The key for businesses–for those who find themselves working with a limited scale of what they are accustomed to–is to continue engaging with these customers by implementing a strategic digital marketing plan.

That is where we believe digital marketing can separate your business from your competitors.

The silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic and utilizing a solid strategic content marketing strategy, is that Google will now show search results primarily consisting of free listings in an effort to help retailers connect with potential consumers. 

This is crucial because Google is the tool that buyers use to access countless shopping searches that affected businesses have in stock but are not necessarily discoverable online commodities.

What You Need to do in Order to Benefit

For those retailers who have been impacted, Google’s “freebie” is a lifeline to sell their merchandise to millions of people who need digital access to their shopping desires. Retailers can maximize potential sales by emphasizing their content marketing plans as well as their products, with the help of their paid digital marketing and Google’s free listing search to work in tandem and draw from a great reservoir of consumers. 

It is worth noting that if you are already employing Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don’t have to do anything to take advantage of Google’s free listing. 

Those retailers who are new to developing Merchant Center ads can maximize their profits by working with a digital marketing agency that can walk them through the do’s and don’ts of the onboarding process that will develop over the course of the next month or so.

Google and Existing Partners Have a Variety of Tools to Help You Track Products and Inventory

Google’s adjustments will take place in America by the end of April, and the search giant is looking to expand the service worldwide by the end of the year. Local retail merchants will have access to Google’s help center to understand information regarding how to engage in free product listings and Shopping ads.

Google is also partnering with PayPal to help merchants synchronize their accounts, which will help your onboarding process run smoothly and ensure that you are getting a sound search engine results page (SERPs) for your business. 

It would be a smart move for merchants who wish to maximize their digital footprint to align themselves with an affluent marketing agency that can outline an efficient plan that utilizes search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and an appropriate digital marketing campaign that will enhance this great resource Google is offering to merchants all across America.

How to Set Up Google Merchant

Signing up for Google Merchant Center is as easy as having a Google account in hand and entering your business information in merchants.google.com. Everything from your business name to minor nuances like your timezone and familiarizing yourself with
guidelines can be filled out in this section. Reviewing the terms in the Merchant Center will help you on your way to start ranking on SERPs, which is going to help your organic traffic and overall sales.

Cobalt Digital Marketing understands how to navigate businesses through this time of uncertainty and implement an effective digital marketing strategy to go along with Google’s new objective of helping retailers sell products online for free to maximize your business on all fronts.

Our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ can help your business get back on track while helping your customers find you!

 

 

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Part 2: Unlock the Potential of Google My Business During COVID-19

Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 at 3:52 pm    

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COVID-19 is bringing changes to all of our lives, so it’s no surprise that it has also changed the landscape of the way many companies tackle their digital marketing strategy. In truth, those that don’t act proactively with their content marketing strategy during this time are not seeing the big picture.

Despite the harm this virus has done, now is an optimal time to pick ourselves up and handle routine maintenance, search engine optimization (SEO), and content strategy. Now is the time to have discussions about keeping up with the current business climate and pouncing on revenue-generating opportunities once–and even slightly before–life returns to normal. 

If there is one thing businesses should be doing to get a leg up on their competition, it’s to proactively transform their Google My Business (GMB) and SEO into something that informs their customers about the appropriate coronavirus safety protocols, business procedures, and hours of operation you will practice during the pandemic, and your catalysts here at Cobalt Digital Marketing want to share some more of that helpful information with you so that you have one less thing to worry about at this time.

The Importance of GMB

 To understand the importance of GMB, you need to think of it as more important to customer acquisition and your bottom line than your own website. GMB has become such a force multiplier in 2020 that you can’t really justify sitting idle on the sidelines — even during a pandemic. Your business will benefit from a manager who is engaged and understands how powerful a search tool Google has become. 

 The tech behemoth has modified it’s search engine so that consumers see their results first, meaning that potential customers may never see your website. The key to harnessing this technology is to recognize the assets available to you so that you can get your foot in GMB’s algorithm door and then bust it wide open. Getting your content in front of as many people as possible is vital to customer acquisition. 

 Below we will explain how to use digital marketing to ensure continued traffic will come to your website during the current pandemic. Ideally, you should consider consulting with a reputable digital marketing agency on your content marketing strategy. Their expertise can help your business survive the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 Game-Changing GMB

 To explain GMB strategy, first we will examine the ways in which Google has changed the way they operate their search engine results page (SERPs). Approximately eight years ago they altered their SERPs to ensure that users will interact with their paid content before ever reaching your website. The de-prioritizing of organic search results for paid ads is known in the industry as “No Click Searches.” 

 Never heard of No Click Searches? Well, you’ve probably seen them. No Click Searches occur when people search for information on Google, but they obtain that data without ever having to visit a website. 

 Google knows that they can only be so cunning when it comes to prioritizing ads over organic search results without clueing in users who might lose trust in the results. Instead, they’ve focused on getting potential customers to remain on the results page until they have to click on an ad. 

For example, you may have checked to see your local weather forecast only to see a No Click Search of Google already giving you the prediction in a text box. Because of this, the chances of you clicking on a website–be it AccuWeather, Weather Channel, or your local news station–is greatly reduced; they’ve already given you the information that you were looking for. If you pay close attention, you’ll likely notice more No Click Searches in your own life, and they’ll probably only become more common over time.

 No Click Searches are affecting local businesses more and more every day. Knowing how you can counter Google’s efforts will help your business not only stay afloat but remain relevant while Google ramps up their growth of No Click Searches. 

 The Data Behind No Click Searches 

 The truth is that No Click Searches equate to 47% of all search queries today. Google is so focused on offering users as much tangible information within their search results as possible that when a user inputs something that the search engine can’t answer immediately, Google has dramatically improved the chances that the user will click on a paid ad. It’s a win-win for Google, and it’s a meticulous and crafty way to add to their bottom line, while local businesses get phased out from attracting potential customers. 

 Companies who used to get residual traffic from search engines previously had to only worry about paid ads that appeared above the organic search results. Now, not only do you have to worry about paid ads, but No Click Searches as well. The data is staggering.

 Key leader and expert in SEO practices, Rand Fishkin, recently stated that, upon examination of all Google search queries, he found that the organic click through rate (CTR) was at 53 percent. Paid CTR accounted for 4 percent of clicks and No Click Searches accounted for the rest, at 47 percent. This means there were 15 organic clicks for every paid click, down from 20 only a year ago. For every 10 organic clicks there were 8.8 searches that resulted in no clicks at all. 

 This effect is even worse on mobile devices which will likely influence a large portion of your customer base. Due to the relatively small screen size of phones when compared to their desktop counterparts, No Click Searches account for a majority of all searches. Smaller screens help Google because ads take up a larger portion of the available screen on mobile phones, meaning fewer organic options appear at all. Google’s efforts to keep users from digging for organic results is also aided by ads that result in No Click Searches. 

 Organic results may not even be seen by potential customers until the bottom of the third screen. This goes to show the efforts Google has gone to to enhance their paid ads with No Click Searches.

 As a business owner, this can be frustrating because all the effort that you put into building your website and optimizing it so that it will rank at the top, or very close to it, could now mean very little. If you’re starting to wonder why your site has seen a decline in search engine traffic, it could be because of these changes.

 The biggest takeaway from this information is that the money that you’re putting behind your website and SEO aren’t bringing the bang for their buck like they used to, and many other digital marketing agencies may refuse to tell you that truth. Their livelihoods depend on you not knowing this information. Not with us, however. We believe that you and your company will be better off understanding the full dynamics of GMB in order to take full advantage of it.

 The Pinnacle of Google My Business 

 While Google My Business has been prominent for quite some time, Google has become more robust in their actions. Google has cultivated traffic results to their benefit, and they aren’t going out of their way to send someone to your website unless you pay for that with advertising. 

 The silver lining, however, is that customers are not only willing to speak to local businesses, they need to. The only drawback is that Google has built their search engine platform by having people connect with local businesses on their own terms. It’s frustrating, but the fact that GMB brings in more customers than your website means that it’s better to be involved than to be dismissive of Google’s methods.

 The fact remains that many people use Google in order to find answers regarding local businesses. Reviews are just as significant as recommendations and, when used correctly, GMB can be an excellent way to acquire customers.  

An effective GMB will result in new customers, the retention of existing clients, and a strong bottom line, all things that are vital to a business’ success. Now is the ideal time to post about what your business is offering: are you open during COVID-19, offering curbside pickup, discounts, delivery, telemedical services — anything that you are doing to service your customer right now should be addressed.  

Cobalt Digital Marketing Helps Businesses Connect with Consumers

 One of the best ways to harness GMB is to link up with a marketing agency that can devise an execution plan so that you can turn GMB into a tool for customer acquisition. Keeping GMB services updated during COVID-19 is essential for keeping your business in operation during this uncertain time.

Aligning your business with a reputable digital marketing agency to tackle your GMB strategy can help you and your business reach all of your goals. That is why Cobalt Digital Marketing is offering advice on GMB, SEO, and content marketing. We have the wherewithal to show you how to keep your business going while your competitors lose out on customer engagement and retention because of the lack of a plan of action during the pandemic.

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Cobalt Digital Marketing Can Help Your Business Weather the Pandemic By Maintaining Your Communication With Your Customers

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Part I: Adapting Your Digital Marketing Strategy During the Coronavirus

Posted on Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 at 8:49 pm    

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Businesses are trying to access the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the future of their digital marketing footprint. Before you decide to scale back on your digital advertising viability, it’s important to understand how marketing trends are starting to emerge in this new era of “shelter in place” that is emerging across the country.

So, before you decide to scale back on your content marketing strategy, ask yourself if this wouldn’t be an ideal time to optimize or adjust it instead. While there will be a shift in marketing trends, there is also a massive audience before you where you can capitalize on your brand awareness and community impact appeal.

In times of despair, people love to share the slivers of hope that keep us going while we face the biggest medical uncertainty of our lives. Now is the time to not only be sympathetic to our affected communities but be extremely creative with your digital marketing endeavors. With Cobalt Digital Marketing and our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ, you can use the millions of eyeballs who are engaging across all social media platforms to maintain your relevancy during this period of insecurity.  

The Upside of Digital Marketing During COVID-19 

If you’re an owner within an industry whose product/services are deemed essential, or you envision that your services will be highly sought after once this ordeal is over, now is the time to develop a sound content marketing strategy that will help your return on investments (ROI), return on advertising spend (ROAS), and ultimately your bottom line as well.

While big tech companies are capitalizing on the many Americans who are currently quarantined, once the pandemic is over you will likely start to see an influx for automotive, housing, litigation, retail, and hospitality services amongst others. Because of this, finding a marketing agency to partner with will be essential in beating out your competition.

The government will look to bolster these industries so that they can get the economy back on track quickly. Formulating a digital marketing strategy today can help your business capitalize on your vision moving forward. The great thing is that you can start right now with some of the essential organic dynamics–and least costly–available to you such as search engine optimization (SEO) and email to keep your business relevant and crescendo to full-blown social media campaigns once this pandemic is over. Discussing the options available to you with the right marketing agency will be crucial to the impact your business will have today and tomorrow.  

In the meantime, if you want to see how your website is performing during COVID-19, examine the metrics concerning your website and ask yourself these questions:

  • Has your organic traffic decreased? A quick examination into what keywords dropped in rankings should help you determine which ones will be more effective.
  • Has your organic traffic increased or decreased? Examine which of your web pages are performing well and try to replicate that on the ones that aren’t doing so well.
  • What terms are customers using to go to your website? Has there been any changes since the pandemic began?
  • If you have Google Ads, what ad groups are performing well? Have you seen a change in impressions? (You can do this for all your Facebook ads as well)

Now is the time to assess this data and make necessary changes with regards to content based on what your audience’s search behavior is indicating. Something as simple as updating your meta tags will help search engines filter your pages based on the information displayed in the search results.

Cobalt Digital Marketing: A Helping Hand During Uncertain Times

 If you are a business owner, you can alleviate some of your current content marketing concerns by having a robust digital marketing existence that concentrates on maximizing SEO, social media, and an ad strategy that not only has the thumb-stopping power you desire but builds upon your brand’s trust within the community, as well.

Cobalt Digital Marketing is here to help you with the perfect blend of digital marketing services to help you succeed in getting your message in front of an audience and consulting with you on the best measures to achieve those results, and don’t forget to stay tuned for the second part of our digital marketing analysis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Secure your digital marketing presence and ease your customer’s concerns during this health crisis by subscribing to our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ.

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Protect Your Business Operations From the Coronavirus With These Recommendations From Google

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 9:11 pm    

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As we are continuing to monitor the current state of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on a day-to-day basis, the McAllen digital marketers of Cobalt Digital Marketing are coming up with the proper solutions within our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ in order to protect our clients’ needs throughout this worldwide pandemic.

Rightfully so, many businesses across Texas and the United States are taking the necessary precautions and sanitary protocols in order to prevent the spread of the illness. This includes everything from lowering the hours of operation, sanitizing their environment every so often, and minimizing certain services.

Additionally, Google sent out an email to Google My Business users in regards to what protocols business owners should take during this time period within their listings. With this being said, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight the steps Google is recommending for fellow business owners to take in order to ensure their customers are aware of any changes made because of COVID-19.

Update Your Business Operation Information

With so many families and individuals relying on the internet and other forms of media to be kept up to date with any COVID-19 updates, Google has sent out an email to business owners urging them to update any necessary information in regards to the coronavirus affecting their operations.

In order to give out the most accurate information to its customers during this pandemic, the following listings should be updated via Google My Business:

  • Hours of Operation: If your business is minimizing its hours of operation or customer capacity, it is crucial to update this information online so your customers can be aware of the changes.
  • Business Descriptions: Updating your business descriptions will help notify your customers if there are any changes in operations and/or delays due to COVID-19.
  • Phone Number: This is only if there is a change in the phone number. If this information is already in place, no further action is required.
  • Coronavirus-Related Posts: It is recommended to create posts notifying your customers about any changes made to your business that are going into effect as well as any protocols and/or extra services provided in order to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Google have teamed up to launch its “Do The Five” coronavirus prevention campaign in order to inform its users of the essential steps we all need to take to prevent the spread of the disease:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Maintain at least 3 feet from anyone sneezing or coughing, a.k.a. social distancing.
  • Avoid touching your face, including the nose, eyes, and mouth.
  • Cough into your elbow, if needed.
  • Stay at home if you feel sick, and seek medical attention early on, if needed. 

Cobalt Digital Marketing: Always Looking Out for Your Health and Your Business

At Cobalt Digital Marketing, part of our award-winning Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ is to stay on top of all of the recent changes made in digital marketing, regardless if made by Google updates or shifting global events. Your health and safety is our priority, and we want to ensure that communication between you and your customers remains intact during these scary times.

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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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