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

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

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

How do I recover from this?

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

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

Source: Plunge in Retail Sales as COVID-19 Spreads

But First, A Little Context to Facebook’s Decision

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

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

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

Introducing Facebook Shops

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

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

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

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

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

So just how exactly does it work?

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

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

Looking Into the Future  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opting Into the Service

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

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

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

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

Make the Most Out of These Uncertain Times

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

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

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

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

 

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Source: cnbc.com, Semrush.com

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

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

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

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

The Benefits of Marketing With Google

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

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

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

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

What You Need to do in Order to Benefit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to Set Up Google Merchant

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

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

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

 

 

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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 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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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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Google is Brewing Up New Changes for Their Ad Platform

Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019 at 7:03 pm    

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Image Source : Google

The Google Marketing Live conference was held earlier this May and some great news came out of the event for all those advertising and digital marketing fanatics out there. Google Ads is set to make massive updates to their algorithm that will lead to some meaningful changes in how digital marketing is done.

What does this mean for business owners? An improved and streamlined digital marketing process can help you net big returns on your marketing investments. With an estimated 2.8 billion users on Facebook, 330 million Tweeters, 77.6 million Instagramers, and almost 5 billion videos seen on YouTube every single day, lacking a digital marketing plan means you’re missing out on that sweet, sweet revenue.

At Cobalt Digital Marketing, we excel at setting up effective digital marketing campaigns for all of our clients through Google Ads and Marketing as part of our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ. All this tantalizing news coming from the Google Marketing Live conference has got us eager to perfect your digital marketing strategy so that you can reap all of the rewards from these soon-to-be changes.   

Google Ads Changes and Updates for the Near Future

Perhaps one of the biggest announcements regarding Google products this year is the fact that digital marketers can now run one single campaign through multiple channels. Google has really put a lot of effort into enhancing existing products while creating new, innovating campaigns such as:

  • App Campaigns – Implemented in 2015, this system can help advertisers generate more app installations and drive in-app conversions as well. Now, App Campaigns can run through YouTube as well as Search, Google Display Network (GDN), Google Play and AdMob.
  • Smart Campaigns – Smart Campaigns was designed to be used by local businesses through Google My Business when it was launched back in 2018. It was optimized to reach the proper audience through behavioral, device, location and other signals. It can help you through ad creation images, location addresses, and other facets. Smart Campaigns helps small businesses that don’t really have the time or resources to run their own digital campaigns by essentially generating it for them.
  • Discovery Campaigns – A fresh approach, this new service will allow advertisers to showcase their products to customers through a swipeable image carousel. It can run through YouTube, Gmail Promotions tab, and Google Discovery, which launched a little over a year ago.
  • Local Campaigns – This campaign launched last year in an effort to drive foot traffic into local brick and mortar establishments. Now, Google is building upon it, adding support systems designed to help local businesses achieve their goals. It will also generate product information and any special offers the local business may be running. Like some of the other campaigns, it will run across Search, YouTube, Maps, and the GDN.

Other notable channels that will be up for optimization include:

  • Showcase Shopping Ads – These multiple image shopping ads were originally executed through Search, but now, they will cross over to Google Images, Discover, and YouTube.
  • Smart Shopping and Standard Shopping Campaigns – Shopping ads that run across Google Search, GDN, YouTube, and Gmail. Standard only runs Standard product listing ad formats through Google Images but when combined with Smart Shopping, your campaign can be set to appear in Google Discover and YouTube as well.
  • Google Shopping Actions – These retail ads allow users to buy products via Google’s universal checkout through the Shopping Actions program. They were already visible on Google Assistant and Search, but with the expected changes, these ads should be making their way to Images and YouTube, too.

But wait. There’s more.

Gallery Ads

Gallery Ads is looking to take the visual world by storm. This Google service will allow digital marketers to create ads that can catch the attention of a consumer faster. Essentially, Gallery Ads combines images and information to the consumer for an easier, more creative experience.

Its design — a swipeable carousel just like Discovery Ads — may seem a little familiar as inspiration was taken by Facebook and Instagram. These interactive ads will sit on top of the search engine results page (SERP) showcasing compelling imagery with a headline and the URL. It will allow you to pull up a minimum of four to a maximum of eight images and up to 70 characters for each tagline.

Reaching the Right Audience

Google will now be merging its custom affinity and intent features into one service that will be simply known as ‘custom audiences.’

To clarify, a custom affinity audience targets groups that have specific and shared interests in a product. A custom intent audience, on the other hand, will only target a group with a commercial interest for a product. Now, these two will turn into one and will do so through search data.

A new audience expansion tool that will help you reach other potential consumers that are within the same realm and have the same interest as your current custom audience. This new tool can help you grow your potential consumers base, allowing them to be able to see your ads.

Smart Bidding is Seeing Some Improvements

Machine learning is becoming a fundamental tool in the scope of digital marketing. It is essentially the study of algorithms and statistical models that an operating system uses to perform a task without being given explicit instructions; machine learning instead relies on patterns and inferences. The way Google will utilize this is through its advertising properties, more specifically, smart bidding.

Smart Bidding, or auction time bidding, is how Google Ads optimizes your bids for conversions or conversion value through the use of machine learning. It does so through:

  1. Campaign-level conversion goals – This generally helps if your business is focusing on one conversion goal, like increasing sales on your website. With this improvement, you can optimize all of your bids throughout your campaign for that goal.
  2. Conversion action sets: This improvement optimizes your bids throughout multiple campaigns, enabling a digital marketer to create a set of conversion actions that they want to achieve.
  3. Seasonality adjustments: This improvement drastically increases conversion temporarily, working wonders for marketers that are advertising an upcoming sale. Google Ads can optimize these bids for the duration of the sale and then revert back to normal once it has concluded.

Google Ads on the Go? Yes, Please!

As digital marketing pushes heavily towards smartphone optimization, Google Ads app will allow you to finally create and edit search ads all in an improved design.

A new recommendations feature will allow the user to add new or negative keywords, pause keywords that are not performing properly, and opt into all Smart Bidding strategies. The app will also send you notifications when there are new opportunities to improve performance across all of your accounts.

All these new changes and updates for Google Ads are set to launch within the near future and your team of experienced McAllen digital marketers at Cobalt Digital Marketing are excited to utilize these new tools into our successfully proven formula to boost your business and your brand.

Google Ads and Cobalt Digital Marketing go hand-in-hand when it comes to achieving positive results that earn your business money.

While our Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ revolves around combining our knowledge and experience in all aspects of digital marketing to create the most unparalleled strategies for your company/brand, Google products like Google Ads helps us do it in a more efficient manner, setting up ad campaigns that increase your revenue stream.

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. Our catalysts are eagerly waiting to create the perfect ad campaign that aligns with our award-winning Cobalt Formulaᵀᴹ to net your business real results.

 

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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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