Let’s Face It: Negative Reviews Drive Customers Away

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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Google Has Added New Video Ad Options; Here’s What That Means to You

Posted on Friday, August 21st, 2020 at 4:12 pm    

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has certainly ramped up the way we consume media, as all the principle streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu have seen an increase in viewers over the past several months. Despite these uncertain times, the good news is that it has opened a new door for digital marketing agencies to take advantage of, where the benefits cascade down to the businesses they serve.

These platforms have certainly taken notice of increased viewership, and it will more than likely impact future ad spending as viewers become more accustomed to streaming video services. The uptick in viewership on streaming platforms away from their traditional counterparts has definitely made Google take notice, which in turn has made digital marketers follow suit.

Identifying Opportunities

“The disruption of TV upfronts and suspension of live sports are encouraging advertisers to shift to the more flexible and on-demand ad strategies that connected TV offers,” the company said in a blog. “As a consequence, we’ve heard from many advertisers that they are accelerating their move to video streaming advertising.”

In order to take advantage of the shift, Google recently announced new video ad options that will capitalize on the shift of streaming services. Their goal is to help advertisers find the best deals when it comes to their marketing strategies, which is why they have added a committed TV section in its ad Marketplace ”specifically for publishers and inventory that let you reach TV audiences across devices.”

Advertisers and marketing agencies will be able to use the listings to find ideal partners in order to increase their campaign reach when using streaming providers.

Google has also made it easy to access information on any publisher. They have done an outstanding job of giving you the analytics to convey how well these streaming services perform, audience reach, and inventory, and you can even use the platform to send requests for proposals from the publishers you’d like to work with.

But Wait, There’s More!

To complement this service, Google is also adding new ‘ready-to-buy’ choices, which makes it convenient for businesses to run streaming ad campaigns.

“For marketers who want to skip the negotiation process, we’ve worked closely with exchange partners such as Google Ad Manager, FreeWheel, and SpotX to bundle inventory from top publishers, along with broadcast and cable networks, into ready-to-execute deals,” Google said.

These deals, known as auction packages, are available to all Display & Video 360 users in Marketplace, Google added. Packages will be available by genre, popularity, seasonality, formats, or audiences.

“For example, you can easily add available themed packages from publishers, such as ‘Hulu – Parents’, or from exchanges, like Telaria’s ‘Cord Cutters’ bundle,” Google said. 

YouTube Select streaming lineup will be available in Display & Video 360, according to the tech giant.

What This Means for Your Business

With more people engaged on streaming platforms, Google is wisely betting that this will be the future moving forward, even after we have returned to pre-COVID living conditions.

The company sees a new frontier of content marketing with TV ad possibilities where you can target your audience. It will allow businesses and their brands to be more strategic with marketing campaigns that deliver a better performance as a result, targetting specific potential customers to increase your overall conversion rate.

Need help putting your company’s ad campaign on Google’s Display & Video 360? Cobalt Digital Marketing has a successful track record, getting results with our proven Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ.

 

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Google’s Recent Glitch Disrupts Search Results

Posted on Monday, August 17th, 2020 at 10:01 pm    

Rumblings that Google was unveiling a new variable to their search results algorithm were at an all time high recently when their search engine experienced what the company called a “glitch”.

The glitch resulted in poor search results and, in some instances, did not make sense to what the user was searching for. Thus, many within the SEO community believed that Google was in the process of launching a new update to their search algorithm since it led to the disruption of search results and impacted many page rankings.

Many digital marketing agencies had to discern whether rumors of an update to Google’s SEO search algorithm would come to fruition; however, it didn’t take long for the company to address the issue.

What the Glitch Means

Ultimately, for Google, the glitch was just a disruption to their search results inquiries. Even if there were a planned update to their algorithm, the tech giant is known for guarding what exactly is implemented into their algorithm closely, so while the glitch had many of us wondering if a new update was coming, Google emphatically denied the claim.

The company tweeted that they found a problem with their indexing systems that affected Google search results. After identifying the issue, Google put their site reliability engineers to work in order to fix the problem. Moments later, everything is in optimal working order for the company’s search engine, however, many still can’t help to wonder if Google really did have something up their sleeve.

We’ll just have to take Google’s word for it. The glitch was just a disruption to Google search results page and the company looked to get a hold of things quickly, and things appear to be fine now. Blame it on 2020.

However, this isn’t the first time that Google has experienced a glitch with their search engine results. Earlier this summer, another glitch prevented new content from being indexed in Google search. Last summer, a search issue prevented results from fully populating search engine result pages for a number of users over several days.    

What This Means for Your Business

Anytime there is a disruption with Google’s search algorithm, it impacts your business. If you’re in the business of making the best sushi rolls in town and someone is searching for your restaurant on Google during such a glitch, they may end up with a recipe for baked beans, no matter how well done your SEO is.

Much like when an electric company addresses a power outage, so too must we wait for Google to fix these issues as no amount of SEO will get your site ranked in its proper position during a glitch. In order to prepare, however, it’s best to review your digital marketing plan to ensure that it’s ranking potential is high when the search engine returns back to normal.

Google did a great job of identifying and fixing the issue in a timely manner this time. Albeit, while it can negatively impact your business for that particular moment, a reputable digital marketing agency can be on top of any issues that may arise with Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and so on.

Glitches happen but our Cobalt Formula™ assures that our clients are minimally effected. SEO is important and should be done right but it is just one tactic is our lead generating formula.

 

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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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The Shocking Importance of Click-Through-Rate: Everything You Need to Know (And Tantalizing Tips to Improve It)

Posted on Saturday, February 15th, 2020 at 4:26 pm    

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Organic click-through-rate, or organic CTR, refers to the percentage of search engine users who click on a specific link during a search query. CTR is one of the main ways of measuring your digital marketing efforts on search engine result pages, emails, web ads, and other forms of content. Like any other form of data analytics, it isn’t enough just to understand the CTR percentage for a given link, page, ad, or website – you then have to utilize that information to make meaningful strategy adjustments that will help to get users to engage with your content or visit your website. At Cobalt Digital Marketing, our proprietary Cobalt Formula helps you dive deep into your data analytics to ensure that your search engine marketing is getting the results and conversions you need to acquire new customers and drive higher revenue. Click-through-rate is a key SEO metric and by understanding how CTR works, you can make strategic adjustments that have an immediate impact on your digital marketing efforts and bottom line.  

What does the research say about CTR?

Because click-through rate is such an important metric, digital marketers spend a lot of time tracking changes to search engine algorithms to understand how they will affect CTR and rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). Generally speaking, the higher you rank in a search engine query, the more people will click on your link and the higher your CTR will be, which will help you move even higher up in the rankings. Research conducted by Backlinko used massive amounts of search engine query data to understand, by the numbers, how CTR is affected by SEO techniques, tactics, and strategies. The study provides invaluable data about CTR and what it means for digital marketers in 2020:

  • The top result of Google’s organic search has an average 31.7% CTR and is 10X more likely to be clicked on than a link that ranks 10th. What this means is that if your company is investing in SEO, then you should aim for the top spot or don’t aim at all. Of course, that’s not always possible because your competitors are also investing in SEO, but no company stays at the top spot forever and they can be replaced by you if you have the right strategy (for help with this, consider using our Cobalt Formula for digital marketing).
  • The organic click-through-rates for spots 7 through 10 on a search page are relatively equal. In other words, it’s crowded at the bottom so always try to stay on top. Moving up one spot in search rankings can boost your CTR by 30.8%, but this also depends on your position. Moving from the #3 spot to the #2 spot is a major boost, but moving from #10 to #9 not so much, simply because few people scroll down farther than the #3 search result (in fact, the top three results get 75% of all clicks).
  • There are many small SEO techniques that can help boost your search engine rankings and CTR and help drive new business. Simply by framing a title tag as a question, for example, you can increase CTR by up to 14.1%. The number of characters in your title tag can also make a big difference. Titles with 15 to 40 characters have an 8.6% higher CTR than those with more (or less) characters. It’s also important to use keywords and even emotional language (“Get Awe-Inspiring Results”) that grabs peoples’ attention and will get more of them to click. In fact, CTR climbs by 45% when a keyword is included in the URL because it shows people that you have exactly what they need. This is what SEO is all about.
  • On the other hand, implementing a ‘power word’ (Amazing, Ultimate, Powerful), into the title tag can often negatively impact CTR and decrease it by 13.9%. It is important to have an SEO strategy that uses best practices in all areas of digital marketing, including copywriting. Our agency is fully integrated to provide the full-stack of marketing techniques, from copywriting to web design, to make sure you have the best possible digital marketing strategy.
  • When it comes to the more-specific SEO tactics, meta descriptions on the page can also make link clicks rise by up to 5.8%. While meta descriptions are not always used by Google, these short “previews” of text and content provide SEO optimized copy in the event that Google does use it. Otherwise, Google just pulls text from the link and it may or may not be SEO optimized or have the right keywords. Wherever you can, focus on copywriting that gets to the point and shows search engine users that your company has exactly what they need – if they just click on the link.

How an Increased CTR can benefit you.

An increase in organic click-through-rate should be an immediate priority for any business and serves two functions:

  1. The more clicks a link gets, the more traffic a site generates. A click-through-rate that increases from 10 to 20 percent generates double the amount of site traffic. Again, CTR is one of the most important (and also one of the easiest) ways to improve your digital marketing efforts.
  2. Click-through-rate can have a cyclical effect, as users are much more likely to click on your link the higher up you are in the results. The higher you are, the more clicks you get, which helps you keep moving up higher. It’s all about keeping up with search engine algorithms and making adjustments to your SEO tactics on an ongoing basis. If you are committed to increasing your CTR and search engine ranking, it will show up in the results. 

In order to grab the attention of your target audience, your links need to be SEO optimized, have the right keywords, with the right tags and descriptions, the right character length, and even the right creative finesse (this is where copywriters play an invaluable role). In other words, there is a proven methodology for increasing CTR, it just takes a little time and effort to implement it.

How can Cobalt Digital Marketing deliver?

Our McAllen digital marketing agency has the essential strategies needed to improve your organic click-through-rate. Our SEO specialists, content creators, and PPC team know exactly which methods will draw the most attention to your links.  We also offer help personalizing websites that fit your brand and promote the strengths of your business. If you wish to maximize the effectiveness of your advertisement, organic click-through-rates are the way to go. Let us help you build a unique website and attention-getting link that will raise your site traffic, ultimately bringing in new clients to your business.

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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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The Future is Now in Digital Marketing: Social Media & Content Trends for 2020

Posted on Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 at 12:57 pm    

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Digital marketing is an ever-changing set of guidelines, best practices, and strategies for reaching your customers — and potential customers — through their preferred channels. If your digital marketing approach is not evolving in 2020 along with the latest technology, then you will quickly be overtaken by competitors who know how to adapt to the digital “rules of the game.”

Our Cobalt team likes to think of ourselves as digital chemists, producing and fine-tuning the right mix of chemical reactions to get the results you need at that moment, whether leads, reads, clicks, or likes — this is what we call The Cobalt Formula™.

One of the most important areas of digital marketing to pay attention to is when Google changes its search engine algorithm and other products. Last month, we wrote about how an update to Google Ads now gives users specific insight into recent changes in their digital performance, such as the most likely reasons for impressions, clicks, and cost changes. This allows users to focus more on executing campaigns and reflects the growing importance of having usable data and intelligence that makes it easier and quicker to adapt your digital strategy, in real-time.

But Google is just one piece of the larger digital puzzle and all the other tech giants — from Instagram to WhatsApp and TikTok — are forging new social media and content trends for 2020 and beyond. 

Here are a few of the big changes to keep on your radar.

Changing the Way Content is Ranked

Instagram is testing the idea of making “likes” private rather than public. The company has said that this would be a “fundamental change” to their product and that’s why it’s only being tested for now. The purpose of this change would be to shift the emphasis on how content is ranked and measured; rather than amassing thousands or millions of likes, the focus would be on content quality and relevance.

Although it’s a small change, it points to bigger changes in the evolution of social media. People simply have too many social media channels and connections to follow regularly, and companies like Instagram need to make sure their daily feed is delivering the most relevant content from the user’s network. A funny video may have millions of likes, but there may be another piece of content that is more relevant to that user, at that moment, even though it has fewer likes.

The important takeaway here is that social media content has to become more relevant and easier to consume. It is a privilege to have access to someone’s social media feed, and more brands will be focusing on the quality of content over going viral or amassing likes from people who may not be their core audience.

Using Social Media for True Digital Commerce

One of the knocks against social media sites like Twitter has been its inability to translate content into commerce. But this is changing as content creators are becoming more conscious of how their content can be used to get people shopping right from their social media feed. 

The old days of stock photos are giving way to branded photos and videos where actors are wearing the products they are trying to sell. Facebook and other sites are making it easier to pin these products with links to an online store. In other words, users can see it, click on a link, and buy it within a few moments of seeing the product.

Besides the direct sales benefits of this change, it also makes it easier for marketers to sell their social media strategies and budgets to C-level executives, who may be wary about spending money on something without a clear return on investment. 

Social media is now part of the fabric of how we share all our activities — personal, social, and commercial — and if you aren’t thinking about how to monetize your social media posts, then you are going to miss out on significant revenue in 2020.

The Rise of Video Content in the 2020s

Just as the text-based chat rooms and discussion forums of the early Internet gave way to photo-driven social media, we are now seeing a rapid transition from text/photos to video, even on sites such as LinkedIn. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer Internet traffic — an astounding 15 times higher than in 2017.

This is being driven by the growth of smartphone cameras, video-based apps such as Snapchat and TikTok, and the application of next-gen technologies such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR). 

But it’s also about being more personal and authentic on social media. In a world where people are Skyping into work and video conferencing with family and friends, nobody wants to sit down and read a long string of posts on Facebook anymore. Both B2C and B2B brands are using video to be more personal and intimate with their content, and integrating more video from their fans and customers (UGC or user-generated content).

It’s no longer just about having a social media content plan with a certain number of posts a month, it’s about having a real conversation and being more spontaneous with different kinds of content. That might even mean fewer posts but better quality with each post.

The Evolution of Messaging Apps as Social Media

Finally, messaging apps are not only growing in popularity, but they are becoming social media channels in their own right. This was pioneered by China’s WeChat and Tencent which combined text messaging with in-app services such as bill payment and virtually anything else. The dominant messaging apps in the U.S. such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are evolving in a similar way.

The “dark social” dilemma — where users share links or others engage in other activity privately in a messaging app — is going away and brands will have to approach messaging apps as true social media channels, where they can track and measure results, and even provide customer service.

Twenty-twenty is the start of a new decade, and social media is no longer the “younger brother” of digital marketing. In a way, social media is now synonymous with digital marketing and the very idea of “content” is evolving in new and unexpected ways.

Is your brand prepared to adapt to the changing technology and get the most effective results from your digital marketing strategies? Let Cobalt Digital Marketing help you craft a social media and content strategy that delivers results and helps turn clicks into leads, sales, and revenue.

Don’t let 2020 pass you by with minimal revenue growth and less-than-mediocre search engine results.

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

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Google Ads Update Now Gives You An Insight On Recent Performance Changes

Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2019 at 1:09 pm    

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During the first week of December, Google Ads rolled-out a new beta feature that will allow users to see what changes are being made performance-wise within your Google Ads campaign(s). This new beta-feature, referred to as “Explanations,” was developed with the overall objective to save users time by getting straight to the point with precise performance change analytics and diagnosis – all in a single location. 

The McAllen digital marketers and SEO experts of Cobalt Digital Marketing are here to break down everything you need to know about this new Google Ads beta feature.

What to Know About “Explanations”

Explanations is meant to be the go-to solution within Google Ads to see what is currently affecting your campaign(s) and ad groups. 

According to Google, “You can view the most likely reasons for impression, click, and cost changes with the click of a button. This makes it easy for you to spend more time focusing on optimization, and less time investigating performance issues.”

As this feature is still currently being developed, there are a few things to take into account when using it:

  • It is only currently available for manual CPC and/or eCPC Search campaigns.
  • You are able to compare (2) two different time periods of equal length from the last 90 days.
  • It will only show those campaigns that have seen a significant change within Performance.

Key Factors and Areas “Explanations” Focuses On

  • Bid Changes: Will be able to show how many times your ad has been shown, where it was seen, and how any modifications made have affected your ad.
  • Bid Modifier Changes: Will focus on the changes that affect the performance on the campaign in terms of device bid modifiers, location bid modifiers, demographic bid modifiers, and audience bid modifiers.
  • Budget Changes: Will be able to tell you how any changes to your budgeting plan may have impacted the ad’s ongoing traffic. 
  • Budget Allocation: Will be able to tell you how spreading your budget through different entities may have affected your current performance.
  • Budget Exhaustion Rate: Will show you how changing your average cost-per-click (CPC) will affect your overall budget at the current rate it’s at.
  • Eligibility: Highlights how certain factors came into play within your ad’s traffic eligibility. 
  • Change History: How any recent changes or modifications affected the performance of your account overall.
  • Targeting Changes: How any changes or modifications in terms of location targeting, keywords targeting, keyword status, and adding/removing an audience will affect your performance.
  • Auction Competitions and Search Interest: How any changes or modifications made within search volume on search partners or opt-in/opt-out of search partners will affect your overall performance.

How to Access Explanations 

Accessing this feature within your Google Ads account is pretty straight-forward. After you have signed-in to your account:

  • Go to the navigation menu on the left and select Search Campaigns.
  • From the page menu, select either Campaigns or Ad Groups.
  • From the top-right corner of your screen, select the down arrow alongside the date range.
  • Select on the toggle next to the Compare option to turn on a second date range.
  • Choose the exact dates you want to compare within the top range.
  • Select Previous Period under Compare.
  • Hit the apply button to view the results side-by-side within your performance chart.
  • You will be able to detect a “%” change applied below the numbers in your performance metrics columns. You will see either a +X% or a  -X% symbol. Major changes will be able to be identified as they are marked within a blue highlight. 
  • In order to see the exact specifics within your performance change, select More Details.

While Google still works on fully developing this exciting feature over the next couple of months, the McAllen SEO experts of Cobalt Digital Marketing are able to utilize tools like these and ultimately take your business to the next level with our award-winning Cobalt Formula

How the Cobalt Formula Can Elevate Your Sales

At Cobalt Digital Marketing, our team of McAllen digital marketers, (or “catalysts” as we call them) are fully engaged with the idea of building brands from the ground up. 

With this idea in mind, our Catalyst will be able to develop the right Cobalt Formula for you, which will lead to expanding your online audience engagement. The Cobalt Formula can be tailored to best suit your business’ overall goals and aspirations. 

And with the right data analytics tools and resources, such as Explorations, we are able to provide the most effective results. The longer you hesitate on reaching your online audience, the more sales you are potentially losing. So why wait?

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

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The Cobalt Digital Marketing Formula 2.0: Bigger, Better, Bountiful

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2019 at 2:52 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=”3.26.6″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Is your passion to run a successful business? Does the marketing process confuse and overwhelm you? Would you rather automate that whole process so you can focus on what truly matters within your business while increasing that revenue stream?

Good news, you can! Gone are the days of expensive traditional marketing costs that might help you break even on your return of investment. Now, through the power of the Internet, you have access to millions of potential customers at a price that dwarfs what traditional marketing charges.

After reviewing our successes we’ve brought to our clients over the years, we sat down one Monday morning and wondered how we could make it better. As a result of our efforts, we’ve updated our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ down in the Cobalt Digital Marketing laboratory to take full advantage of current digital marketing strategies while maximizing your earning potential in the online space through many new and different avenues. Let’s check them out below.

1. Social Media

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Social media platforms are a popular way to connect with both family and friends, but it is absolutely crucial for business owners to realize the potential social media has on how you can market yourself and/or your products and services.

The beauty of social media from a business perspective is that it opens up sales opportunities to a worldwide audience, something that advertising through a local TV ad agency can’t do. The world is—quite literally—at your window by utilizing this effective method of advertising that can increase your business revenue exponentially.

Let’s analyze the facts. According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of adults in the United States use at least one social media site, whether it is Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter. As per the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. population falls around 329,638,702 individuals at the time of writing this blog. Put two and two together and you get a social media platform that enables you to reach millions of potential customers.

That is if you know how to optimize social media to do so. Luckily, your friendly catalysts at Cobalt Digital Marketing make a living off of doing just that, giving you the opportunity to make large returns on your investment.

2. Content Marketing

Blogging isn’t only about documenting your feelings anymore, so you don’t have to dust off the ol’ LiveJournal to rake in all of that internet revenue. In fact, blogging is just one area of practice within content marketing that digital marketers like us have perfected.

What is content marketing? At its base, content marketing is an inexpensive strategy that builds relationships between businesses and consumers through engaging storytelling. In detail, content marketing embraces long-term marketing strategies that focus on the development of strong relationships with consumers through high-quality content that is designed to attract them to your website, establish you as an authority figure in your particular niche, and, ultimately, entice them to purchase your product and/or service.

In actuality, content marketing isn’t only employable through written word like blogs. Content could mean any medium in which you distribute high value, relevant information. For example, you could create video content that shows how a certain popular dish is prepared at your restaurant with alluring visuals and a solid call to action that prompts viewers to stop by there and eat.

Regarding content marketing’s success, don’t just take our word for it. Demand Metric conducted a study that found:

  • Content marketing generally costs 62 percent less than outbound marketing and generates around three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
  • On average, a company increases its lead acquisition by 67 percent per month through company blogs produced.
  • Around 60 percent of consumers actually enjoy reading relevant blog content from the brands they do business with.
  • Most importantly, about 90 percent of consumers found that content produced by brands useful.

3. Web Design/Creation

According to Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility, approximately 75 percent of consumers who visit business websites claim that they will judge its credibility based on the design of their website. If anything is certain in digital marketing, it is that first impressions mean everything, and simply using default templates on your website won’t cut it.

Web design encompasses the overall planning, creation, and maintenance of a website. It may seem like a simple process, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Like content marketing, web design includes a bevy of different skills and disciplines that web designers use to make websites pop, such as:

  1. Web Graphic Design
  2. Interface Design
  3. Authoring (i.e. Publishing Content Tools)
  4. UX Design (i.e. User Experience Design)
  5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The most visually appealing website may intrigue a visitor, but it won’t make them stay. In fact, designing a website that is poor in legibility (e.g. spelling errors, poor choice of font style and color) and is lacking in usability (e.g. hard to navigate, broken links, etc.) is one of the primary reasons why visitors leave websites.

Improving the aesthetic of the website by streamlining the user interface (UI) with the visitor in mind is what keeps them coming back. In an online marketing space where looks matter, poor web design is essentially wing clipping your business from soaring to more profitable skies.

4. SEO/SEM

The best content, website design, and social media campaign will do little for your business and conversion rate if you aren’t adhering to the rules that search engines enforce. All websites must follow numerous rules, which, in some cases, number up to the hundreds—looking at you, Google.

The thing is, search engines keep their ranking algorithms a secret, so digital marketers must analyze industry data, ranking fluctuations, and analytics in order to determine how our websites are “graded” and subsequently ranked in the search engine results page (SERP).

Search engine optimization (SEO), a big part of search engine marketing (SEM), is the digital marketing process where digital marketers implement these rules onto their websites in order to lead-free traffic from the SERP to your website.

To illustrate this process, let’s assume that a user is searching for gourmet coffee online, and you own a gourmet coffee retail business. In order to rank up and place on the SERP, you have to make sure that your website is optimized for/with:

  • Mobile Usage
  • Page Load Speed
  • The Value Visitors Get From Your Content
  • User Experience
  • Time Spent on Your Website

If your online gourmet coffee business is significantly lacking in any of these areas—or the over 200 (and possibly over 10,000) other SEO ranking factors that Google enforces—these visitors looking for your product may not see your website as it won’t be designed in a way that Google deems acceptable to place on the first results page. If it is really bad, Google won’t even index your website, meaning that Google won’t pull it up at all. In all, this could lead to lost business.

5. Local Search Marketing

If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar establishment, local search marketing is definitely something that you want to take advantage of. Why? Because—according to SEO Tribunal—88 percent of consumers that did a local search on a mobile device called or visited the store within a 24 hour period.

In fact, the report states that 97 percent of people learn more about your business online compared to any other place.

These statistics signify that implementing local search marketing into their digital marketing strategy is a recipe for success, driving more foot traffic into your business and increasing revenue. A lot of the clients that we service—including us—are local to the Rio Grande Valley

To effectively accomplish this for our clients, we have improved on this aspect of our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ to optimize your business information with accurate local information so that search engines will have no trouble placing them within the right searches.

6. PPC

Also known as pay-per-click, PPC uses ads that entice users to visit your website by clicking on the ad, and in the process, a small fee is charged each time someone clicks on it. Think of it as buying traffic to your website instead of earning it organically through sound SEO practices.

When we say ads, we don’t mean your standard pop-up. By bidding on these ads, you are getting a front row seat on the first SERP, placing a sponsored link when someone searches for your particular keywords related to your business. This could be a blessing to a business looking to make a profit, as according to WordStream, the top three paid ad spots on Google’s SERP get 41 percent of clicks on the page.

In fact, PPC is so successful that, according to research, 50 percent of users that click on a paid ad are more likely to make a purchase than a user who arrived at your website through an organic link. If that visit led to a sale, it would well cover any fee paid to the ad and still provide ample amounts of profit to your business, granting a solid return on your investment.

7. Data Analysis

Data analysis is the majority of what we do. Every day, we must read the stats provided by Google Analytics to help us make better, well-informed decisions that can steer a struggling digital marketing strategy into a more profitable pathway. It requires a trained eye and some good ol’ fashioned digital marketing terminology know-how.

Yet, doing this part of our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ isn’t as much hassle as you would think. Intuitive designs and easy-to-use interfaces within Google Analytics gives us more insight into what aspects of your website are doing well and which ones need improvement.

This is what makes digital marketing so much more effective than traditional marketing. We get results in real-time, giving us the reaction time necessary to stymie any detriment to our strategy and devise one that nets your business more revenue. By doing this, we waste little time, money, and resources, which means the savings get passed back to you.

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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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Quality Trumps Quantity & Other Tips to Handle Google’s Core Updates

Posted on Friday, September 13th, 2019 at 11:05 pm    

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In the fast-changing world of digital marketing, companies notice quickly (and nervously) when their website pages get “demoted” in Google search rankings. This nervousness is understandable because a high Google ranking is crucial to attracting visitors, subscribers, and ultimately, customers. The stats don’t lie when it comes to digital marketing:

  • The vast majority (87%) of shoppers begin their product searches online.
  • 81% of B2B purchasers search for content before they speak to a vendor.
  • Three out of four Google users never click past the first page of search results.

Today’s search-dependent (and time-strapped) users have to trust Google’s search algorithms to provide the most relevant, authoritative, and well-designed content on page one. Google takes this trust seriously and releases thousands of algorithm changes a year, and several “core updates” to fine-tune its results. A lower ranking following a core update doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve fallen behind in digital marketing, it just means Google has tweaked its product to make it better for users.

Here are some tips for improving or maintaining your site’s ranking when Google makes these core updates to its algorithms.

Focus on Quality Content and Best Practices

Rather than panicking every time your website gets demoted, Google advises companies to focus on the core goal of content marketing and search engine optimization. It’s not about riding the temporary ups and downs that occur naturally whenever there is a core update. At the end of the day, it’s about providing quality content that demonstrates Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (or E-A-T) and doing so on a consistent basis.

In a blog post explaining its latest June 2019 core update, Google compares search engine rankings to an ever-changing list of “best movies”:

“One way to think of how a core update operates is to imagine you made a list of the top 100 movies in 2015. A few years later in 2019, you refresh the list. It’s going to naturally change. Some new and wonderful movies that never existed before will now be candidates for inclusion. You might also reassess some films and realize they deserved a higher place on the list than they had before. The list will change, and films previously higher on the list that move down aren’t bad. There are simply more deserving films that are coming before them.”

In other words, a great movie is a great movie is a great movie, even if a greater movie comes along in the future. Likewise in digital marketing, the best practice is always to produce great content that is as good or better than the current top 10 search results. Nobody stays in the top 10 forever; there is always great new content being created.

If your company is consistently producing top-notch content, then you don’t have to be overly concerned when a core update drops you lower in the rankings. Just keep doing what you’re doing by producing content that is fresh and adheres to E-A-T standards.

A digital marketing agency like Cobalt can help make sure you stay ahead of the pack with new content that maintains these best practices and helps shift the ranking order once again — with your company back at the top.

Focus on Brand, Not Just Pages and Content

Not only is content still king in 2019, but the way people consume and engage content has changed dramatically from even a few years ago. Users are more heavily influenced by their social media feeds and are more likely to engage content if they follow a brand on social media. Think of it this way ⁠— you are more likely to stop and chat with someone on the street if you’ve seen them before or know that they have similar interests.

SEO is still vitally important, and an important part of what we do as a digital marketing agency, but ultimately, SEO is a technique for computers and marketers, not for real people. Nobody searches for sneakers or attorneys while thinking about metatags and word counts. This is how digital marketers and search engines think about content, but real people are thinking about content as an extension of the brand.

Does your content make users excited about your brand and products? Is the content informative and well-presented? Does it feel authoritative and make users want to make a purchase or pick up a phone then and there, without looking around for other search results? These are the sorts of questions that help determine how users will engage content and how the search engines will rank websites and webpages going forward. (Google has provided a longer list of questions at its blog to help you adjust content production to ongoing changes to its algorithms).

Google’s core updates and other algorithm changes (in one year the company made 3,200) are evolving along with how users engage content. If your brand shines through your content, then users will keep coming back even if you’re a little lower in the search results. In fact, they’ll seek your brand out apart from Google, follow you on Facebook, and subscribe to your blog updates. SEO will always be important, but brand presence is becoming much more of a factor in your site’s ranking.

Partner with a Digital Marketing Agency for Better Results

There are some things only your company can do, such as defining what your brand stands for and making sure your content is consistent with these values. But the actual mechanics of producing great content on a consistent basis is a full-time job that requires the expertise and resources of a great digital marketing agency.

Google will continue making regular updates to its core search ranking algorithms, and a digital marketing agency can help you stay on top of these. But just as importantly, digital marketers can combine the technical aspects of SEO with the creative aspects of branded content and adhering to best E-A-T practices. Digital marketing is an art and Cobalt is dedicated to helping our clients get to the top of the rankings ⁠— and stay there.

If you are ready to invest in your business’ future by taking the plunge into digital marketing, no one does it better than Cobalt Digital Marketing. Armed with our award-winning Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ, our catalysts have the experience and creative chops needed to keep you ranking high on Google.

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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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