Positioning for 2020

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A recent Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum, shows the Top Ten Skills employers will be demanding in 2020 are shifting from the most critical skill demanded in 2015.

Complex problem solving remains #1 with critical thinking and creativity now rounding out the top three positions. This same set of skills can help businesses evaluate other crucial decisions. If you are considering working with a new marketing firm, you may want to learn about their approach to solving your problems – that’s what marketing is about. Do they offer the typical needs assessment – a check list of standard advertising and marketing items. Or do they insist on spending time to understand your business, the problems it faces and your target customer before offering solutions?

Problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. Your marketing firm, and every advisor you work with, should bring all the top ten skills to the table.

 

 

Get Better Search Results

While we don’t call ourselves SEO (search engine optimization) specialists, we do take SEO seriously, and it pays off for our clients. We received this testimonial from a long time client, and it reaffirms that our approach to marketing, including web development, works.

“I was attending a conference with about 75 speakers and authors from across the country. One session was about “owned media,” which includes the domain name for our websites. The speaker asked us to Google our own name to see where we appeared on that search, if we ranked on the first page or, better yet, on top of that page.

Our speaker asked who found their site and name on the first page. There were only five of us, including myself, that showed on the first page. He then asked if anybody owned that first page, meaning are you the only search that is showing up on Page 1. There were only two of us, myself included, that raised their hand.

I would not be in this position on Google if it wasn’t for Trusty & Company’s SEO marketing through my website, through my newsletters, and anything related to the marketing that they have handled for me. A big thank you to Claudia and Tom Trusty for your excellence in SEO Marketing.”

–––Peter Margaritis, The Accidental Accountant and author of Improv Is No Joke 

Wow, thank you so much, Pete!

While every client wants their website to be on the first page of every search engine, I’m not really sure they know how that happens.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a precise process of setting up a site to improve visibility by search engines. While we are not an SEO company, every site we design is developed using current SEO best practices for organic search.   (There is also paid search – another topic altogether.) Since Google owns about 75% of all search, we adhere to their guidelines.

White Hat versus Black Hat

We provide white hat SEO. For us, SEO is just another part of a client’s marketing strategy, not a stand-alone item. During our discovery meeting with a client we ask about their target customer, business drivers and conversion goals. We research competitors to garner insight into the market. Often we meet with staff members to better understand how they need each web page to interact with customers. No games, no fake content, no false inbound links – that’s black hat SEO. It is a deceptive practice, and we never engage in that.

It starts with really good web design that connects visually with your customer. While the site is being developed, we craft web-rich content that is search friendly and, more importantly, tells the company’s story to its audience.  The coding of each site is designed to remove any barriers for search, so much of what supports SEO is not visible on the page.

After your site has gone live, the work continues. Search engines reward new and relevant content. They respond to valid inbound links from social media, professional directories and other sources. Google consistently revises their search algorithms, as many times as 500 in a year! That means you must be vigilant about reviewing site analytics and offering your customers new content.

Be wary of any company that guarantees top page ranking. Outsmarting Google isn’t easy, and trying can get your site shut-down!

It’s a Sign!

g&m_buildingsignTook a walk through Historic Dublin (OH) on Sat. with our dog Murphy and saw this sign. We designed that logo for Gerber & Mitchell, Attorneys at Law, and it was great to see it. They recently purchased this office building, the oldest in Dublin dating to mid-1800s. Love seeing our work out there!

Build A Social Plan

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Many businesses have jumped on the social media bandwagon in the past year or so, and while some are pleased with the results, others are not. Social media platforms are actually not very useful tools for businesses unless you have a plan that meshes your company’s values, culture and business drivers with your customers’ personalities.

We have delved deeply into how to best use social media, and believe that it plays a significant role in marketing most companies. When advising our clients, we discuss benefits, obstacles, liabilities and best practices. As you develop your marketing plan for 2016, we offer these suggestions, tips and tools.

Social media must be a part of your overall marketing strategy.

Tip: As with all marketing, know your audience and understand what they find interesting and share worthy.

Develop a specific policy including damage control – what to do when negative comments are posted.

Tip: Never delete a negative post. Once posted, the comment never really goes away.

Determine who will be managing all social media campaigns.

Tip: This should not be an intern or temp but rather someone who has an understanding of your customer and company.

Understand which platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. – will best connect with your customers. It’s okay to start with just one platform and add more later.

Tip: Research what key competitors are doing, especially larger companies that invest big dollars in social media, and learn from them.

Keep in mind that social media is just that…an interactive tool to connect with people. The rule of thumb is that 80% of posts should be of general interest to your audience and 20% specific to you and your business.

Tip: Share posts from online resources that are aligned with your company.

Take time to analyze the data collected by each platform and adjust your approach as needed.

Tip:  Look for posts that garner high shares, comments and likes to identify topics that your audience prefers and measure customer engagement.

Try the planning tool we use to help get organized, and we’ve offered a few how-to suggestions on a sample page, too.  And if you need more ideas, contact us!