Categories
Reputation Management Social Media Marketing

How these fake Facebook and LinkedIn profiles tricked people into friending state-backed hackers

ZDnet’s latest hacking story includes an cautionary tale for anyone in the business of social media marketing. For anyone who interacts daily with the big social media networks, security has to be top of mind.

Do read the whole story to understand how crucial it is that social media managers and engagement teams employ a system that protects important social media accounts for their customers. Here, using a password app like LastPass is invaluable for it’s convenience and security. Our own customers routinely get a friendly nudge to take security seriously.

However, the article here detailing this method of hacking would circumvent any password app:

“Cyberespionage activity apparently being conducted on behalf of the Iranian government is targeting organisations in the financial, oil, technology, and sectors, with advanced social engineering based around a single, prolific social media persona that’s absolutely fake. Its goal? To install Trojan malware onto the networks of target organisations.”

No security process is 100 percent safe, when human beings are involved. Be smart out there, and don’t open docs from people you have not vetted. This is another reality that we all have to live with now, in the digital age. Protecting your social media accounts is protecting your Reputation. Take it seriously, and avoid a lot of trouble.

Categories
Local Search

How To Watch What Google Is Doing

Google’s Local Search algorithm is an ever evolving, and sometimes cruel beast.   Google admittedly makes updates every day, but some updates have broader impact than others.  Just last June 25th, many Local Search observers were reporting flux in rankings.  To anyone monitoring these observers’ social feeds recently, it was another fascinating look at how an action by Google can reverberate out into the SEO social sphere.  But watching others talk about it on social media is not the same as getting hard data.  Some conclusions were that the recent update affected positions 5 thru 10.  Some said they only affected niches like Food and Beverage, Travel and Health and Fitness.  And those are good niches to monitor, no doubt.

There are many ways to observe Google’s algorithm changes.  One component in following Google is know where they test new changes first.  It’s my opinion that to get a good idea (bear in mind, one can NEVER have an exact approximation as Search is just too encompassing and complex), following the niches of Locksmiths and Plumbers is a terrific place to look.

These business models have low barrier of entry, depend greatly on the inbound phone call, and have a lot of Local Search professionals being compensated for improving visibility for these business owners.  That means you have a lot of cooks in that kitchen, doing lots of smart AND very dumb things.

Last October, in fact, Google first rolled out a new verification program for Google My Business to combat Maps listing spam and their first niche to target was Plumbers and Locksmiths.  These two niches are notorious for these kind of shenanigans, and Google’s choice of niches there speaks to the dynamic change and attention that is paid to those search results.

I would recommend any Local Search professional to pick a Plumber and Locksmith search profile in a very competitive market like Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco to keep an eye on how Local Search and the 3 pack evolves.     Reach out to me on Twitter at @JayTurnerSEO with your own thoughts… what niches do you follow intently to track what works and what doesn’t?  Am I off base here?

We all need to be careful on where we get our feedback.  And you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

 

Categories
Local Search Video Marketing

Video Marketing’s Decided Advantage With Local Search

The evidence keeps pouring in thru my research feeds, and my own experience… Video Marketing has a decided advantage when used for Local Search.  Local business owners have always had the pressures of squeezing as much value as they can when it comes to marketing their services.  One of the mediums that has been out of reach for most Main Street business marketing budgets is the TV commercial.  Why?

Because production costs have always put a quality video selling services has made it high risk.  Match that with the risky proposition of putting that video on Television.. and you have a Hail Mary, not a Sure Thing.  Television commercials have always had the disadvantage of gauging their effectiveness.

Enter the Digital age of Video Marketing.  Video no longer has to be streamed over the airwaves thru the limited channels of broadcast TV.  Yes, it’s funny to say that, as only 10 years ago the complaint on everyone’s mind was that Cable TV had too many channels.  The Internet age has changed it all.  Our choices are now even more complicated.

That’s where Local Search comes in to play…

With all these digital video channels available to them, people can now target with critical specificity, what kind of video they are looking for.

Does a resident in Austin TX have a question about urinary infection symptoms for her dog?  She no longer needs to wait til her Sunday evening show on PBS… she can find it right now.  And she would probably rather get the information right there from a local Expert Veterinarian.

Maybe a resident in Chicago needs a plumber for some drain cleaning, but wants to know more about what goes into that kind of project before calling a plumber.  He doesn’t have to wait for the next DIY show, he can find a video on it instantly.  For most people, where to look is the easy part, compared to this type of search before the search engines got so terrific at putting videos in their search results.

Search Engines Displaying Videos In Their Results Is A Major Advantage For Those Who Use Video

What better way for a local business do demonstrate their expertise than to answer their customers most often asked questions.

We all prefer to build relationships.  Long lasting relationships based on trust and experience, are a comfort to us.  The local business can build those relationships thru video, cheaper than ever because of these Mobile Devices we carry around (and the apps we use with them).   The markets are speaking, for we are seeing that handheld mobile video converts just as well as elite quality production value.  People prefer the personal touch.  They are inherently less likely to trust a big corporation like Walmart, Petsmart or K-Mart, and more likely to trust a video from a Local Business owner pointing out the latest consumer industry news.

This kind of consumer awareness content is easy to produce for the business owner.  Match that with a marketer who knows how to put that video in front of amenable digital audiences, and you have the recipe for growth, and predictable stability from a constant flow of customers.

Let’s sign off this article with one more advantage of using video for your Local Search marketing… your competitors are likely ignoring video altogether.

Video Drives More Organic From Search

Most local biz owners are too fearful of video, expecting TV commercial costs and vague results.  Many Main street businesses jumped on board with video a couple years ago, and have since abandoned it.  Unfortunately for them, video hadn’t yet matured, and been adopted by the populace.  In addition, the video marketing tools and channels were not as developed and tested as they are now.  The biz owner that jumps into the arena using video to sell their message today, engage with their market, have a much cheaper and effective route to profitable and predictable response.  All thanks to the world wide adoption of the mobile phone.  NOTE: Facebook Live and Youtube are not in an intense battle for video viewers because it’s a dead end.

To get started using the advantage of Video for your Local Search marketing, click the Talk To An Advisor button

 

 

Categories
Local Search

Small Business Marketing Just For Austin Tx That’s Groovy, Lucrative, And Fun!

Attention Austin TX Small Business Owners…
NOTE: You will only see this invitation once!
Want A Reliable And Predictable Flow Of
Qualified Potential Customers Seeing
Your Very Best Offer?

Local Business Owners in Austin Tx, all over the U.S. actually, have been blindsided by the dramatic and pervasive Technical changes over the last 5 years. The know-it-all economists for Fortune 500 companies like to call this technological change ‘disruption’. You’ve seen this in your market, probably found yourself asking ” oh no, what’s next”? All this change has proven that dismissing technical innovation is COSTLY! You may even have a competitor who is ‘crushing it’, and have no idea how.

Don’t beat yourself up! That is the norm in nearly every Local Business on Main Street today. The tried and true adage of “Location! Location! Location!’ has been turned on it’s head. For example, we routinely hear from Local Business owners who are now confronted with a new challenge: competing with entities that don;t even have a physical presence in in their locale.

All this makes the way forward very clear… compete on the
Technical Edge, or go out of business.
So now for the good news…

Some enterprising marketing minds have been examining your situation. All this complexity has been broken down into 3 steps, proven by a combined 15 years of exhaustive examination of the winners vs losers. What does that mean to you? A reliable, predictable and profitable stream of customers. The 3 factors that can turn it around for you are…

Discover your customer – One reason the Technical changes have given a tremendous edge to your savvy competitor is that most local business owners have a blind spot about their ideal customer. For example, ask yourself… Does your ideal customer prefer high quality to convenience? Does that customer ask the question in their mind that you are answering? Does your ideal customer do their searching EXCLUSIVELY from a mobile device? Does your customer want to buy even more goods and services that you are uniquely suited to creating beneficial commerce with? If the potential customer needs to find you, can they do so in under 16 seconds? (That’s the average, and failing that number is bad news!)

Design Tools To Find Your Customers – The obvious tool here is your website. It’s often the first impression your business makes. It is the KEY tool in your system to scooping up those new customers who should be walking through your doors and calling your number. Most Local Business owners never progress past getting their website tightened up to be a plus, and not a net minus. It’s one of the most expensive mistakes made. Still more THINK they’re sites are giving them an edge. We find that’s rarely the case, however, because usually Factor #1 was ignored

Dominate your market – After nailing down Factors 1 and 2 for your business, a technical edge or several are ready to roll. Your advantage may even seem unfair. The name of the game now is the two headed monster of maintaining this advantage and preparing for the next ‘disruption’.

There is a sizable amount of ‘working smart’ involved in getting those 3 steps implemented and constant for your local business. Here is more good news…

“Small Hinges Open Big Doors”
This your first step to get started, and it’s easy. These technical edges are like small hinges that open up big opportunities for growth in a business. That first hinge is to >>click here<< .

Categories
Local Search

Google Algorithm Update for June 25th, 2017

SEO blogosphere is abuzz about a new update being pushed out from Google. The impact was making it’s way into Search centered forums and social media accounts on the 25th

Google’s algorithm updates aren’t always admitted to, as Google is doing with this one. Sometimes, even after testing, Google will roll one back, or tweak, resulting in sites coming back to the previous ranking.

The only thing constant is change. To ensure our client’s sites don’t get surprises, we:

1) use Content Marketing as our core strategy. Google needs content to determine a site’s relevancy to the terms important to our clients. And in today’s broad content publishing world, there is no shortage of ways to re-purpose good content, and squeeze every advantage out of a single piece.

2) promote authoritative Video channels where our client’s content finds itself. The competition between Facebook Live and Google’s Youtube means there are more eyeballs on those channels. That visibility is a serious advantage for any Local Business, as 90% of the markets out there are not doing video marketing right, if not ignoring it altogether.

3) Use the Channels that Google is watching intently, in ways that helps Google understand our client’s market better. Industry news content is a perfect match for any Local Business, as it tells Google the site is focused on cutting edge change in that industry, and while customers may not want that kind of vivid detail into the goings on of an industry, it does convey that the business is staying on top of things. This kind of content also draws shares on social media sites from other industry leaders, which are terrific authoritative backlinks.

If your not using a content marketing strategy yet in your local business, I can understand. It can be expensive, and when done incorrectly, does not deliver results very quickly. But as the new Google Post innovation proves, Google wants to be fed content by Local businesses. Resist it at your peril, brave Local Biz owners. Now is the time to gain a Technical Advantage over your competition.