Archives for November 2013

Google’s New Algorithm is Good News for Printers

Most printers are seeking additional sources of customers these days and a search optimized website may provide the solution.

A month after implementation, Google announced that it has replaced their search algorithm. “Hummingbird,” as it’s known, is not merely an update to their previous one–it’s a complete replacement. 90% of search results will be affected. Some claim it’s their biggest change in a decade.

While SEO experts and marketers may hate it, most printers are presented with an opportunity. I’m going to avoid a technical discussion and try to explain this as simply as possible.

Google has shifted away from “keyword” search and moved to conversational search, also referred to as “long tail keyword” search. By analyzing all of the words in a search query, Google gets a more accurate feel for the “intent” of the search and seeks to match it up with the true intent of content on websites. Hummingbird levels the playing field by seeking out meaningful content that need not be optimized with lots of keywords and phrases. Content that is relevant to a printer’s services and their clients’ needs will almost always naturally contain the key phrases and words that Hummingbird looks for.

I’m not saying that Google’s intentions are completely altruistic, but for printers it’s accurate to say that the new algorithm will reward those that post genuine content to their site and penalize those that try to “trick” Google by utilizing a host of SEO techniques.  If the intent of your content is to provide your audience with meaningful information relating to your expertise, then it will match you up with people seeking your expertise.

Going forward, having updated, relevant content and sharing them out on your social sites (search is now social) including a G+ page (Google plays favorites) will provide an adequate level of SEO. Posting links to mass distributed, third party attributed articles will not help.

I would strongly encourage all printers to start a blog on their website, add content on a consistent basis, get a G+ page for your business and share your content out on all of your social networks.   Bottom line is that you no longer have to be an SEO expert to get great results. At the same time, if you ignore the need for good SEO, you risk falling behind competitors who, because of its ease, will be quick to take advantage of these changes.

If you are struggling with producing relevant content or trying to implement an effective marketing strategy for 2014, please reach out to me directly pat@greatreachinc.com or via the form on our soon to be replaced website, greatreachinc.com.

For a more in-depth discussion of this, print industry SEO expert, Katherine Tattersfield recently posted a fantastic article. Email me and I will forward you the link.

Most Often It’s About Trust, Not Price

Brand is simply a mental creation to help people understand one company and its services over another. How aware are people of all your services? If you still hear “I didn’t know you could do that”, chances are your branding efforts are failing.

Position your company as the go-to resource. Strong branding reduces the perception of risk. Ultimately, that will have more influence over who gets the job than anything else. 75% of buying decisions are based on emotion. It’s all about trust. Price is often just an easy excuse.

Building your brand is a journey, not an event. There’s no such thing as a quick branding campaign. If you want to sell solutions rather than transactions, you need to make a long-term commitment to cust­omer engagement, extending your reach, fostering trust and staying top of mind. A simple, straightforward strategy and a commitment to execution is all it takes.

Content is a very powerful branding tool. Create content for humans and not for search engines and the SEO will take care of itself. Quality content that engages the audience generates knowledge and effects emotions. Both are critical for effective branding. Leverage social media as well to help promote your content.

Branding isn’t complicated but it’s also something that can’t be ignored.

Do you have a marketing plan in place for 2014? We offer a suite of customizable, area exclusive direct mail and online marketing tools. To request samples and info, click here. Or email me direct at pat@greatreachinc.com.