Elements That Don’t Affect Your Google Ranking

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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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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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 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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Surprise! Google Algorithm Updates Are Shaking Things Up.

Posted on Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 at 12:48 pm    

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Whenever Google rolls out with a core update to its search algorithm, it’s usually a big deal for businesses, institutions, and digital marketers alike. As per usual, however, mum’s the word regarding a recent update to their search algorithm or how it might ultimately affect search engine optimization (SEO).

Usually, that’s for us catalysts to find out.

Our McAllen digital marketers at Cobalt Digital Marketing have put their heads together, using expert Google skills, a little elbow grease, and some good, old fashioned SEO know-how to find any insight on this sudden update. Staying on top of the SEO game is so important to your ranking on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) to prevent catastrophic consequences to your web presence and, ultimately, your business’ bottom line.

Unofficially Dubbed the “Turkey” Update

For the better part of the last month, what started as a few whispers of an “unconfirmed November update” within dark corners of SEO forums eventually turned into a tweetstorm of discussion within the SEO community.

Many marketers, web developers, and business owners noticed unusual shifts when their traffic numbers took a drastic drop in ranking and expressed their concerns. Within these observations, this update only seemed to affect smaller U.S. based websites, and the ones that took a significant hit revolved around the food, travel, health, and lifestyle blogs respectively.

As for Google themselves, it took them a few days to officially put out a statement via Twitter thread. While they did not specify what changes were made to their algorithm, they simply stated that these kinds of “routine” updates happen on a regular basis–which of course they do–and that if there is no major announcement prior, website owners should not have to prepare for anything in terms of adjustments.

Google’s Recommendations For SEO 

As mentioned, any update Google makes is a big deal, especially if it’s in distributed as a curveball.

Since three out of four Google users do not go past the first results page when looking for a specific topic or service, local businesses and institutions heavily depend on digital marketers and SEO experts to place their website on the first search engine results page (SERP).

With that said, Google has previously panned out a number of suggestions for SEO specialists and website owners if their pages were affected at any given point due to an update:

1. Original, Accurate, and Relevant Content Is Key – One of the main things Google has emphasized to its users is to ultimately focus more on creating the most relevant, accurate, and original content that best pertains to what the user is looking for, rather than just focusing on keywords.

While keywords are important, however, your webpage should also focus on precision and consistency with the information being distributed. Users expect to find credible content when they search, so ultimately running a trustworthy and reliable page would, over time, benefits your business, raising you to the top of the SERP as more people visit your website and trusts you as an authority in your particular niche.

2. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize – As mobile technology grows in popularity, it is absolutely necessary for digital marketing to adapt. This means keeping page load times short (often by compressing images), optimizing your site to be mobile-friendly (able to be viewed and formatted for smartphone or tablet users), and giving your content that sleek visual while addressing the walls of text.

3. Compare With the Competition – While nobody likes to think about what their competitors are doing, analyzing the successes and failures can give you crucial insight necessary to implement a digital marketing strategy that can work, giving you a better edge in building revenue for your business.

The Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ Means Adaptability in a Volatile Environment

Our McAllen digital marketers of Cobalt Digital Marketing are always one step ahead of the game as we are always constantly watching out for curveballs that might be thrown at the SEO community.

Our dedicated catalysts strive to build lasting brands from the ground up, designed to ultimately increase your online audience engagement and sales through our successfully proven and award-winning Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ.

Our catalysts are renowned for their attention to SEO updates. So much so that our Cobalt Lab helps other digital marketing companies create content that complies with these SEO updates so that they retain happy clients.

Not only can we create a custom-made formula based on what your goals are for your company or business, but our new service, Cobalt Alpha, can easily help business owners, freelancers, or other creatives build a sleek, professional website all on their own with all the tools you need in a manner of seconds.

 

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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 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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SXSW: A Digital Marketer’s Dream

Posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 at 12:59 am    

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Our very own Moe Piña is out at SXSW, soaking up plenty of knowledge, expertise, and just a little bit of fun.

In today’s post, we’re taking a look at some of the weekend’s most intriguing sessions relevant to digital marketing, and exploring how what we learned will build upon our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ.

Foursquare + TechEthics: Creepy, Cool & In-Between

After a detailed discussion from Dennis Crowley of Foursquare reflecting on how its “check-in” technology has evolved over the last 10 years, he and tech journalist, Laurie Segall, explored the ethics behind data collection.

While all of this information was fascinating, what this particular session uncovered was a multitude of different advantages marketers can benefit from when using location-based ads in their digital marketing campaigns.

To maximize results, location-based search engine optimization is crucial to creating ads and content that target specific customers online — a.k.a. your audience. It can be based off information collected anywhere during their journey through the sales funnel and categorized, creating a database of customer information that can be used to create specific ads or content to entice that demographic to make a purchase.

The new thing that we learned at the session, however, is that we can use Foursquare data to improve specific customer experiences when they physically go to a brick-and-mortar establishment including getting product recommendations based on their needs.

So what does all of this mean for our clients? The best part about this revelation is that, if done properly, a customer can visit your store with the item they need already in mind, while also being presented with additional items they may need in the near future – ultimately increasing your sales.

What’s New With Foursquare

Foursquare is developing a prototype that gives a real-time, bird’s eye view of places and events near you that are trending.

Exactly how it works is quite innovative.

Foursquare understands how phones move throughout the world quite well. So well, in fact, that your own personal privacy is safe. The feature will not reveal personal identification, just what’s trending based on how many phones are centralized in a sanctioned area.

Moe actually got a chance to beta test this feature at SXSW over the weekend.

Think about it. Once this goes live, if your business is booming and attracting a lot of customers, this feature may pique the interest of others, driving them to your business to see what all the commotion is about, increasing your sales in the process. Couple that with some positive, reliable online reviews, and you’re set.

Artificial Intelligence is Your New Design Material

This eye-opening session explored the usefulness of assistive-technology in creating design – and boy were we impressed. Josh Clark spoke about how user experience and product design in AI is critical in defining what comes next in digital marketing.

This particular session highlighted how to use AI-generated content, interactions, and insights to conduct everyday business. The ability to recognize speech, learn, plan, and problem solve is something that AI has mastered as of late. One big industry for upcoming technology that would embrace AI would be the self-driving car.

Needless to say, this session gave us some ideas. Not only can we make our existing Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ better, but we can also develop new services that can greatly improve user experience and, through artificial intelligence, improve the look and design of websites based on data that shows what is proven to work.

Of course, this data would all be collected and implemented by AI.

While simplicity is key with this emerging tech, implementation can be complex. That’s why you’ll want quality support to implement these tools in your digital marketing campaigns.

RIP Websites, the End is Nigh

This session was, admittedly, a little frightening to witness. As the title of the session suggests, Alex Spinelli, CTO of LivePerson, explores how “the website” may meet its gravely end at the hand of smart speaker devices like Alexa and artificial intelligence, otherwise known as conversational commerce.

Spinelli has worked with a lot of top industry brands like AMEX, Citibank, and T-Mobile to name a few, and from all the insights he recovered from working with them, he is confident that conversational commerce will one day seize 90 percent of industry sales.

And he’s right. When we look at how far smart speaker devices have come and what they are capable of, everything is pointing into that direction. In one of our recent posts, we explored how voice search would start to become more popular with estimates showing that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be done by voice search, and 30 percent of web browsing will be done without a screen.

That’s why optimizing your websites not only for mobile but for voice search is also imperative if you want to stay above water. Failure to accomplish this means missed opportunities to build relationships with potential customers and losing authority in your particular niche.

Luckily for our clients, we’ve already started working that process into our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ.

Is Social Media the New Fast Food?

During this session, four social media professionals and digital marketing speakers (Amy Moussavi, Zihla Salinas, Melanie Shreffler, and Alphonzo Terrell) wondered if social media will experience the same decline in relevance as many vintage fast-food chains are facing among younger consumers, who are instead opting for healthier, more cost-effective alternatives.

The four explored what the future of social media could become, questioning:

  1. What is healthy content?
  2. What are the ethical responsibilities for creating “healthy” content?
  3. How will it affect engagement and ROI?

The statistics that were highlighted in this session raised a few eyebrows:

  • 21 percent of young people cannot go an hour without checking their social media.
  • 70 percent think that social media is making people less social.
  • 37 percent have taken a “digital detox” (.i.e. where someone refrains from using a smart device in order to stay away from social media).
  • 46 percent have temporarily deleted social media.
  • 36 percent permanently deleted their social media.

On the other hand, it appears as is social media still has quite a grip on users.

The ever-popular, Snapchat, boasts a 95 percent satisfaction rate among users. Snapchat is still a big medium to use for digital marketing as over 188 million active daily users are on the app. Instagram has over 500 million daily active users.

You can rest assured that as “healthy content” becomes more purely defined, Cobalt Digital Marketing will implement it into its already proven social media strategy.

Designing for Films at Pixar Animation Studios


While Pixar animation isn’t really a part of digital marketing, a lot of value was taken from this wonderful session, particularly learning about their creative process.

For some of their characters, they designed elements that complemented them. For example in “Up,” every design element was based on Carl. In other films, they all had their unique design sets based on characters.

The three speakers (Paul Abadilla, Joshua Holtsclaw, and Deanna Marsigliese) reflected on the creative process they took in creating a scene in Incredibles 2, and it got us thinking: “Why can’t we use that same creative process to create websites that really stand out?”

This session has inspired us to consider many other different aspects about web design that we overlooked beforehand, and with a renewed vigor, we look forward to creating websites that catch users’ eyes and solidly captures your brand’s identity.

Ready, Set, Action! Building for Google Assistant

This session was quite a treat. Four speakers from thirteen23 (Morgan Gerber, Tom Hudson, Laura Levisay, and Max Wade) discussed Google Home’s great functionality and improved customization.

But the value that we got from the workshop was in learning how to create our very own Google Assistant Action, along with the best practices. They even taught us how to create our very own horoscope with it, but we decided to ditch that and create a test project bot that referenced one of the restaurants we run digital marketing campaigns for. That’s when the ideas began to flow.

Imagine creating a Google Assistant Action for visitors trying to book reservations at a restaurant or what if we created a bot that could update clients on their legal cases. These bots can make a big difference in how information is input or retrieved for our clients, and that is something that we are DEFINITELY looking to perfect and implement into our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ.

Thanks to SXSW, Our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ Just Keeps Getting Better and Better.

Can you believe we learned all this over just the weekend? That’s right. There are still four more days left of SXSW, which means plenty to learn and absorb, so we can provide the most up-to-date digital marketing for our clients.

Make sure to keep an eye out for more blogs as we cover SXSW 2019.
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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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Your Law Firm’s Impeccable Reputation + The Cobalt Formula™ = Raising The Bar

Posted on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 at 9:55 pm    

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Let’s start with the truth.

Digital marketing – just like the world of law – is constantly evolving. Once you think you’ve got a solid handle on things, social media trends shift, Google’s algorithm changes, a new technology emerges…there’s a million things that can happen seemingly overnight.

This means you have to stay ahead of the game. As digital marketers, we continually analyze metrics, explore new Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, remain up-to-date on evolving social platforms – and even sometimes – fail.

That’s something we’ve realized here at Cobalt Digital Marketing (and have learned to work with). Digital marketing and SEO isn’t a science, it’s an organic, living thing that grows and changes. And in today’s tech-driven world, businesses, and law firms alike, have to be willing to adapt to these changes in order to prosper.

But why do attorneys need a website?

In business, it’s all about competition. We work with our clients to identify and show their competitive advantages. For lawyers and law firms, it is even more important to maintain an impeccable online reputation and clearly communicate what their practice is all about. When clients are reaching out to an attorney for personal injury, bad faith insurance, auto accidents, lawsuits against dangerous medications and medical devices, or even home insurance disputes, law firms truly provide hope in the darkest of times.

But if clients can’t find you…

If you weren’t aware of it, attorneys can benefit tremendously from responsive websites and a comprehensive digital marketing program including content, SEO, and reputation management.

Google conducted research in 2013 that found that after searching for a lawyer through their search engine, 29.5% of respondents visited the law firm’s site, while 27.6% read reviews of the firm on Google. This comes to a total to 57.1% of people finding law firms through online research.

[bctt tweet=”57% of people find law firms online #attorney #SEO #web” username=”cobalt_digital”]

Understandably, a strong reputation in your respective city or region is essential to building a client base. But in today’s market, a robust and active online reputation is just as important – or even more so. The reality is that in order to remain competitive in 2017 – and into the foreseeable future – law firms need a well designed site that offers an exceptional user experience.

One of the best actions an attorney can take to secure a top position in Google listings – which is the leading search engine in the world – is to have a responsive website. As the gold standard for today’s web design, responsive websites are streamlined to work optimally on any device, from desktop to smartphone and even tablet.

By placing the user experience in the forefront of your web design, you’ll be providing a solid first impression.

Providing Value to Potential Clients

Google’s bread and butter is giving people what they’re looking for. With frequently updated algorithms designed to spot bad website etiquette, such as keyword stuffing and bad linking, Google can quickly bury an attorney’s website into the deep, dark dungeon of the internet – if they aren’t offering quality content.

However, by writing meaningful, quality content on a regular basis, Google will more frequently crawl and index your page – that’s a good thing! Of course, you’re likely to be busy with clients and growing a thriving law practice, which means you don’t have much time for anything else.

That’s where we come in.

As part of our comprehensive digital marketing programs, we’ll give you a competitive edge by creating original, valuable, and frequently updated content that will put you front and center on Google, making it a whole lot easier for potential clients to find you.

It’s also important to know with the growth of semantic search and machine learning, Google is utilizing technologies that are spanning the gap between online human interactions and understanding.

Because the language you use to describe your services may vary from the manner in which a potential client describes their problem, these new technologies are better adept at understanding user intent and finding them the answers they need. By staying on top of these trends, we are better able to utilize them to your benefit, and ultimately, help you connect with your next clients.

Be a Social Butterfly

While professionals may view social media as something only the “kids are doing”, the reality is that successfully using social media can provide attorneys (and their firms) the opportunity to connect with new clients.

Just think of it as another tool in your arsenal to help you remain ahead of the pack.

Today’s generation of clients is looking for a brand to trust in. Being on social media can help you to deliver a consistent message and experience whenever they run across your firm.

There’s also the benefit of being able to promote blogs and links back to your website, which can increase your traffic and clientele base.

Social media also offers attorneys a cost-effective means to stand out and make a name for themselves. This can prove to be vital in developing your community engagement.

By remaining active on social media, your community – both virtual and real – will begin to develop a greater sense of trust and value in your services and this will help to further enhance your reputation.

We recommend your firm uses the most important social networks for professionals, which include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ (Google Plus).

Staying Mobile

If you weren’t aware, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches several years ago. With the majority of people using mobile devices to browse the web, your site has to be optimized for mobile user experience.

graph

[ Image drawn from https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/]

[bctt tweet=”Mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches on Google. #mobile #ready #beprepared” username=”cobalt_digital”]

SEO is Alive and Kicking

While the process known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has gone through several reiterations, it’s far from being dead.

And it’s important to understand why you should consider investing in SEO as part of your law firm’s overall digital marketing strategy. The law is an ever competitive field that requires you to take advantage of all marketing solutions:

Get found locally – Understandably, people are searching for firms they can trust, but they also need one they can access. Most clients will seek out consultation from local firms and quality SEO strategies can help you to rank under terms relative to your location. By including your location on web content, such as blog posts or articles, people can find you close to where they are.

SEO (and content) is king. Law firms optimize their SEO usage by writing useful and informative content that is highly searchable by Google. The more frequently you post new content, the more often Google will crawl it and increase your brand’s visibility. Provide value and your customers will remain loyal. Provide great services and your base will continue to grow.

SEO benefits all your content. While SEO is implemented in a blog or article, there are numerous other opportunities to insert keywords into the right places. Think of it as having a chance to take more shots at the basket.

SEO is investing in the future. The truth is that SEO does require a financial investment, and while costs are always an issue with any business, the fact remains that it will remain an effective tool for brand visibility and actual sales into the foreseeable future.

It’s OK to follow the crowd. As “far back” as 2012, 89 percent of consumers turned to Google, Bing, or other search engines to find information on products, services, or businesses prior to making a purchase. This means you need to be where your customers are – online. But even then that’s not enough.

You need to make sure you are implementing a quality Search Engine Optimization program to be visible enough for customers to actually find you. To be competitive you have to know the game and SEO is a perfect place to start. If you’re not doing it, your competitors are only getting further ahead.

SEO is cost effective. SEO is going to provide you with a good Return on Investment in comparison to traditional marketing or other online marketing techniques such as PPC advertising or purchasing leads through an email marketing program.

SEO can help you be in control of your online image. By failing to build your own online profile, you are likely damaging your business. If you lose focus on your digital image, your website and its content, you’ll lose ranking in Google searches. A solid SEO strategy that evolves with every Google algorithm update will keep your online profile healthy.

Can you afford for your competition to get one-up on you?

You know the law. We know digital marketing. With our digital marketing formula and your expertise, we can set the bar higher than any one who has came before.

Investing in your digital marketing and SEO strategy is more important now than ever before. To succeed in today’s tech-driven market, you need to have a plan ahead. Let Cobalt Digital Marketing take you to the next level.

 

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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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Wrong Information is Bad for Business!

Posted on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at 7:21 pm    

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Why you need to verify your business info and how Cobalt Digital Marketing can help.

You’ve worked hard over the years to develop a reputation of quality products and premium customer service. You’ve taken the right steps to make sure that customer needs are met and your company innovative. You’ve fought tooth and nail to separate yourself from your local competition.

But even then, you might be overlooking a basic detail that can have a profound effect on your business—your online business listings.

If your sales are driven by local customers, then you need to make absolutely sure that your business listing info is correct. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, consider that just a few years ago, Placeable released a survey that found 73% of people lose trust in a local business when an online listing is incorrect.

Those listings are starting to look a lot more important now, aren’t they?

With 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device calling or going to that business within 24 hours, it’s a harsh reality that bad info means bad business.

Still not convinced that listing your business on leading sites like Google Places, Yelp, Foursquare, or Tripadvisor, is important? Consider this:

Getting to the Mountain Top

  1. Control your brand. Don’t be surprised to find your business on any online listings, even if you never requested it yourself. Know what that means? That you have an online reputation. And if you’re not in control of it, then who is? Claim your brand and your listings.
  1. Time to be a professional. Your online reputation can make you (or break you), so by verifying your listings and setting them up properly, you enhance your business’s professional look and customer appeal. This is especially important when you’ve just opened, purchased an existing business, or are in the process of building a website. Don’t let your competition have all the fun—get your listings verified and correct.
  1. Google it. Let’s be real, everybody uses Google (or almost everybody). As of August 2016, there were 34 billion monthly searches on Google in the US. With numbers like those, you need to have your listings verified on Google. When you do so, Google knows that the address is very likely to be accurate, so they place you in verified listings for local searches. This means that if someone is looking for a restaurant near you on Google, you’ll end up high on the search results. Not verified? Google is less likely to do so.
  1. 80% of internet users own a smartphone. Consumers are moving towards mobile searches, so verifying your company’s listings on mobile-friendly sites and apps will help to make you increasingly visible to millions upon millions of potential customers.
  1. You get to choose. Don’t let sites and apps choose what category your business should be listed under. When you verify your listings, you get to optimize and make edits to each listing, which can help you to stand out from the competition. Make sure your business address and contact information are correct on each site and app so people can find you easier.
  1. A smart choice at no fee. Gain visibility at essentially no cost to you. Most listing sites will allow you to claim and update your business information at little to no cost, which makes verification an easy and cost-effective marketing tool.
  1. Engage with your clients and potential customers. Apps like Yelp allow you upload pictures, create intriguing business descriptions, develop deals, and more, all while improving conversions and click through rates. At #SXSW17, we constantly heard about the importance of client engagement and authenticity—verification allows you to do just that.
  1. Spreading the word. Verification will get your name out across multiple platforms. The top non-paid search results for broad searches (such as those with only a city name and type of business) will often include listings on sites like YP.com, MapQuest, Angie’s List, and more.
  1. Don’t &*@! off your customers. Hell hath no fury like a customer scorned. Wrong business hours, old addresses, and the likes will definitely cost you customer trust. Avoid having bad reviews, social media coverage, and costly word-of-mouth negativity by claiming your business profiles on listing sites and makings sure all the correct information is put up.

If you’re not sure where to begin with claiming your online profiles and listings, don’t worry, Cobalt has you covered with that too.

What to Expect When Verifying

To begin, every online business index is going to have its own unique process when verifying your listing, but generally, they all have some similar steps that it’s best to familiarize yourself with.

  1. To begin with, most sites and apps will ask you to figure out whether or not your business is already in their index. You’ll usually have to enter your business name or phone number to discover any existing listings. Again, don’t be too amazed if you already exist in their database. Chances are you exist somewhere out there on the web.
  1. The next step will be to review any existing information that might be on their site/app. You’ll want to check for accuracy (and consistency across multiple platforms) by confirming your business name, address(es), phone number(s), website address, business categories, and other core details. Don’t forget that you want all this essential business information to be identical on all those online listings.
  1. The last step is what would really be the “verification” process. Again, every verification process from each individual entity is unique, but you typically see the verification happen in these ways:
  • Via a phone call and verification through a pin number
  • Via a traditional snail mail postcard and pin number verification
  • Via email

Time frames to complete the verification process vary from search engine to search engine and can last from a few days to a couple months. Regardless of the wait time, don’t make any changes to your information as this can cause problems to the process. Be patient and allow the procedure to work its course.

Future changes to core information may require re-verification, but you can usually edit things like business descriptions and photos without much hassle or the need to go through the process all over again.

Last, but not least, don’t get hoodwinked into purchasing “verification” reports from illegitimate online sources that’ll only take your money but offer no true benefits.

Instead, let Cobalt Digital Marketing help you to optimize your local online listings so that customers can find you and you can grow your clientele. Don’t settle for zero results.

Let us get your name out there so you can continue to grow and succeed.
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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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Slam Dunk March Madness Marketing

Posted on Sunday, March 20th, 2016 at 4:33 am    

[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.22″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.0.74″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat”]Friday afternoon across the United States there was a resounding chorus of “Ugggg! There goes my bracket!”. The social media channels lit up with posts, tweets, snaps and memes! Even my 9 year old lamented “There goes my Lambourghini!”. How could the numbers have been wrong? How did 15th seed Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders defeat #2 seed Michigan State in the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament? It’s March Madness at it’s finest!

For weeks leading up to “The Big Dance”, fans are consumed with analysis of players and teams. There are endless discussions of statistics, game theory and bracketology. Everyone has a theory on how to use the numbers to predict the outcomes. The odds, the overs, the unders, the spread, the best bets, the dark horses, the Cinderella stories…. and in the end 9.2 BILLION DOLLARS will be wagered.

All of this number frenzy is in pursuit of the perfect bracket to win money, prizes and bragging rights. This year, Warren Buffet upped the anti in his company pool to give the winner one million dollars a year for life! The Car Lister Bracket Challenge is offering a new Lamborghini. DraftKings, Yahoo, CBS, ESPN are each offering cash prizes and, of course, everyone wants to dominate the office pool. Truth be told, however, the odds of picking a perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.

[bctt tweet=”The odds of picking a perfect #MarchMadness bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808.”]

Upsets like the one on Friday are not uncommon. My family will never forget the 2012 game when 15 seed Lehigh University beat #2 seed Duke University. The big upset was even immortalized in a YouTube video. In 2006, 11th seed George Mason won game after game and shockingly made it to the Final Four! How could these upsets happen? It’s totally inconsistent with what the numbers predicted. The numbers!?!

Perhaps, THIS is the fun of watching March Madness each year? The games are fast and exciting. These basketball teams are comprised of players who are playing the biggest game of their lives or, in many cases, the last game of their basketball career. They play with heart and give 150%. Here we encounter the most important number and the reason why the other numbers aren’t consistent predictors of the outcomes.

This got me thinking about numbers and outcomes. The effectiveness with which numbers CAN predict outcomes in digital marketing is what makes THIS GAME so exciting. In business, however, WE are the teams and consumers pick us. The good news is that we can easily define the selection criteria based on data and then use specifically targeted and placed content to seal the deal.

So let me simplify it in basketball terms. It just takes a little bracketology. Here’s what I would put in my Final Four winning marketing madness data bracket. Measure these and use the data to predict the winning game outcome.

shoot & score

Yes, it is all about conversion, isn’t it? Be the team everyone wants to pick. Consumers in the end will go for the team that will do the most for them. Use your data to outline your company’s Customer MVP. Once you know who your MVPs are you can identify how to best fill their needs, overcome hesitations and be where they are to get them to engage and convert. Slam dunk!
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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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