Trends | Tips | To-Dos
23 September 2019
TRENDS: WHAT ARE THE COOL MARKETERS TALKING ABOUT? #CoolKids
Reviews Go Bye Bye –
Bye, bye reviews as Google cracks down on review stars on Google search results. Review stars show up in search results for categories like recipes. Check out Chicken Soup Recipe as a Google search, and you’ll see stars.
What Does This Mean?
Google is cracking down on shameless, spammy self-generated reviews by vendors on their own websites. Says Google, “Reviews that can be perceived as self-serving aren’t in the best interest of users.” #DUH. What can be done about it? Nothing, other than being in the right category and your to-do (if you’re in a lucky category) is to use the right Schema.org markup. The nifty Google Structured Data Markup Helper can do this for you (if you’re signed in to your Google Search Console account).
Google Ads Changes Match Types (Yet Again) –
As for Google Ads, well, match types ain’t what they used to be. Exact ain’t exact, phrase ain’t phrase, and don’t get me started on broad or broad match modified. You can get even more confused about match types for keywords on Google ads, here and here. [No Thank You], “No Thank You”, + No +Thank +You, and No Thank You, Google. And Basecamp founder Jason Fried got well, fried, about Google’s policy over trademarks and organic, here. Your to-do here: 1) check out your branded search query (your company / product / service name), and 2) run ads that say “Official Website” on them if you have any budget at all, and care about your branded reputation.
TikTok Ticks and Tocks for Social Media –
As for social media marketing, TikTok never stops. Check out this amazing tutorial from HubSpot on How to Use TikTok for Marketing and play Ke$ha’s original 2009 Tik Tok Video while you’re learning. The girl studied marketing, and was wayyyyyyyyy ahead of her time. So especially if you are a B2C business, then perhaps your to-do is to get TikTok’ing. Oh, and my own Marketing Almanac is out with a new edition, chock full of amazing free tools for Social Media Marketing, SEO, and Google Ads.
TIPS: WHAT DO THE COOL MARKETERS KNOW THAT YOU DON’T? #SmartyPants
Local SEO: How to Optimize Your Site for Local –
Something like 120% of all searches are local in character (according to the fact checkers), but seriously many searches are local in character – ‘pizza near me,’ ‘chiropractor near me,’ even ‘SEO expert’ – and you often ignore local to your SEO peril. The smart marketers know how to ‘do’ Local SEO and here are some new or evergreen resources. First, there’s the ‘How does the Local Algorithm Work’ whiteboard Friday from Moz, second, there’s the new ‘Google Ranking Factors 2019′, and third, there’s this fantastic ‘Local SEO checklist‘.
And your to-dos are…
So if you’re local, your to-do is to learn how to do local SEO. And if you’re not local, you can still search your company name plus reviews to check out your “reputation” online. For example, check out this search query – Geico Reviews – and replace ‘Geico’ with your own company name. What do you see?
Cool Tool Fool – Content is King, Queen, and Jack
It’s an open secret that content is king, queen, and jack, and that we ALL need to be writing better content for both SEO and Social. But how? Well, fool, there are fun free tools to write pithy, eye-catching, and click-grabbing blog headlines, here, here, and here. Beyond simply better blog headlines, there’s LSI / semantic search, and new weirdo tools such as the free SDL content assistant. AI is coming, AI is coming, AI is coming (to content and content marketing). Your to-do? Well, #1 worry about the singularity, and #2 start analzying your content like Google does – semantically.
TO-DOs: IF YOU HAVE A MINUTE, AN HOUR, A DAY #DoIt
To-dos If You Have But a Minute
For SEO, improve your tag structure. Tag structure and strong but keyword heavy content remains very high value. Know your keywords, and write / rewrite / edit your homepage TITLE tag, META Description tag, visible content, and links downward to reflect your SEO content. Pay attention to Google’s shift towards ‘semantic search,’ but get those keywords into your homepage content and homepage TITLE tag. (Use the Ninja tool for quick OnPage Analysis). If you’re doing social media, focus on what real people are actually sharing. Use a tool like Hashtagify.me to find relevant hashtags, and then research LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram (the ones where hashtags actually have traction) to find out what’s trending on that hashtag. For instance, you can create and bookmark a hashtag as a URL such as this one for ‘#Marketing’ on Twitter – https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Marketing.
To-dos If You Have More than a Minute
Rethink your online advertising whether SEO and/or on Social Media. Used to be Facebook had organic reach, but not really any more. (So advertise?). Used to be that SEO worked well on mobile, but now there are usually four (!) ads on top of every relevant local search. Used to be that Amazon was 100% organic, but now Amazon, too, has online ads on the platform (and more and more and more and more and more of them). So many people hate advertising (I GET IT). But the reality is that Google wants to sell ads (and put them in front of folks), Facebook / Instagram wants to sell ads (and put them in front of folks), and Amazon wants to sell ads (and put them in front of folks). Every single one of them has a robust ‘learning’ site for vendors on how to advertise on the platform.
Is online advertising easy? No. Is it inexpensive? Hell no. But really, realistically, does advertising need to be part of your digital marketing plan? Yep, it does. Increasingly so. So either you know how to advertise – on Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, etc., or you don’t. If you do, learn how to do it better. If you don’t get started learning how. It seems, very much, like the age of free – the age of organic – is slowly dying. The asteroid hasn’t hit us yet (but it may be coming). Among the weird, fun, strange tools, check out the Ad Library on Facebook and my video on How to Get Certified on Google Ads.
To-dos If You Have Time on a Plane, a Train, or In Betwain
You know what I love? Reading? And the best thing to read? Books. Pat Flynn has an amazing new book out, Superfans: The Easy Way to Stand Out, Grow Your Tribe, and Build a Successful Business. I’m a wannabe superfan of Pat’s, and I read the book. It’s a deep dive into why they might love you, and how to grow the love. Among the insights – create those memorable moments, and personalize your relationships. Pat is super positive, much more so than his nemesis (whom I won’t name because haters gotta hate and boy his haters can hate). Highly recommended, along with my other book fav on the topic, Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth by Jay Baer and Daniel Lemin. Why would your customers talk about you? And how do you encourage WOM / eWOM (Word of Mouth)? Via Talk Triggers and Superfans,, that’s how. Your to-dos? Tell your boss you’re off to the beach, the pool, or the plane and have some marketing reading to-do.
SIGNING OFF: #Bye-bye
Well, friends, that’s SERIOUS HUMOR for 9/23/2019.
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~ Jason McDonald