Google search-a year in review

Why Should You Care About Google Search?


Every year for the past few years Google has been creating these “Year in Search” recap videos that are emotionally charged, a little funny, and for some reason most people on Youtube hate them. I can’t understand why, I love them! I get goosebumps when I watch them, probably because they are rehashing some of the most important events of that year, its a neat way of looking at where we’ve come from.

For a while last year I was showing the 2014 Google year in Review video and it got a great response. People would be tweeting about their goosebumps after watching. I use it to tell the story of the most important yet most overlooked part of your marketing strategy, search. 

Social media will change, it always does. From MySpace to Hi5, and Facebook to Snapchat, it’s a never ending cycle. It’s hard to build a business around an ever changing platform. Do you know what doesn’t change? Search. Well I shouldn’t say “it doesn’t” change, because it does, it gets more and more valuable. As you use Google more and more it becomes easier and easier to navigate. From searching on your smartphones to voice commanded search, we love to search. It’s only getting more and more pervasive, making it easier for potential customers to find you.

Why is Google search so important?

1. It’s not decreasing in popularity like most online platforms. Most popular sites have a shelf life. They gain in popularity, they grow to their peak, and just like any growth curve, there’s a decline. The online world has made it much easier to decline after your 15 minutes of fame. Search hasn’t declined, actually quite the opposite. Some of the keyword searches we’ve tracked over the past 3 years have quadrupled in volume. Think about that, “Real Estate Regina” three years ago was getting a quarter of the searches it gets now. That’s growing at a steady rate.

2. You can measure a lot with search. Every time someone goes to your website you can see where they went, where they found your website and how long they spent on your website. If you want to learn more about measurement, make sure you have Google Analytics on your website and talk to me about it! There’s an incredible amount of information on the backend of your website.

3. It’s the easiest way to solve your problem, specially in places like Regina. Think about it, ten years ago you used to look at the phone book or ask a friend when you needed something. How archaic is that? Today, whether it’s an argument about what the Mayor makes for a salary or who to call for a boost, Google is the number one place we go.

Sure other local apps will try and compete, obviously there is a lot of advertising revenue to be made if people frequent your “phone book” to find an answer regularly. That book is now Google, dislike it if you want, but it’s the future and if you want to be relevant in the future you have to understand Google the best you can.

Search on.

Social Media Etiquette 101: how not to suck on Facebook

This is how i feel when you like your own posts

Last week we release episode 22 of the #InTheLab video series.

Social Media Etiquette, or what I call How Not To Suck On Facebook“. Each social media platform has a set of unwritten rules you need to follow. Every time you break the rules you are apt to have followers leave you, online masses upset with you, and you may even piss off one of your loved ones. Don’t make the silly mistake, watch the video and get the tips for yourself.

Do you follow me You should

Stop broadcasting, stop interrupting, stop worrying about what you’re sharing and be a good community member. Amplify the good, help people spread their message. Then when it comes time that you need some help spreading your message your tribe will be there to help.

How not to suck on facebook

 

Why Using an RFP to Hire a Company is Fundamentally Flawed

Regina recycling not recycling glass

RFP=Request For Proposal. When a public institution needs to contract a company to do a job they aren’t capable of themselves, they send out a Request For Proposal (RFP). The RFP outlines what needs to be done, what tools should be used and some contain a whole lot more. A RFP is basically the project outline for any company that wants to bid on the project. Just like the recycling service in Regina, the City put out an RFP and Emterra won it.

When it comes to RFP’s the cheapest company usually wins. In business, simply going with the cheapest solution is rarely a good idea for your business.

Case in point: City of Regina hasn’t been recycling glass food containers

Turns out the “recycling” company (Emterra) the city hired doesn’t recycle glass. Doesn’t recycle glass?!?  What do you mean? Isn’t that a major portion of what we recycle?
When the city put the RFP out about recycling pickup, Emterra responded (conveniently leaving the glass part out) and quoted a cheaper price to do the job.

The city went with the cheaper option, without reading the fine print.

RFP’s suck. It’s a race to the bottom. It’s undercutting everyone else to get a job, that’s not right nor is it sustainable. Even if you do win the RFP, you have no budget room whatsoever, you have a slim chance at making this project successful, you’re forced to cut corners to make it work. Sadly it is the public entities that use RFP’s that pay the price.

That’s exactly what Emterra did, they didn’t exactly come out and say they weren’t going to recycle glass but with how little they’re getting paid per bin pickup there’s a reason they can’t process glass. And from the cities response you KNOW they didn’t catch it, if anything it sounds like it was directly the city’s fault.

Lets stop using RFP’s they aren’t helping anyone.

** I am making an assumption here that Emterra mischievously left the glass recycling out to create the cost savings. I recognize that they may have found it in hindsight and been an honest mistake. But if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably not a chicken!!!

How To Get People To Not Share Their Ideas With You

(dont)Poke the bear

Tell them they’re wrong. Tell them you have a better idea. Back up your idea with some made up evidence based on opinion. Make sure they know you’re smarter about whatever topic you’re talking about. That’ll work! That person will never want to share an idea with you again.

Every time you shut down someone’s idea it’s like poking a bear. Sure you can get away with it the first time and maybe the second, but sooner or later if you keep poking, the bear is going to eat you.

Don’t strive to be “right” in conversations, that’s your ego coming through. Be confident in yourself, so confident in fact that you let others be right. Then more and more you’ll find others wanting to share their ideas with you.

Get Used To Feeling Stupid. It’s a Sign of Growth.

Get Used to Feeling Stupid. It's a Sign of Growth - Julien Smith

I love that quote from Julien Smith.  As kids we don’t care about feeling stupid, we don’t care how others will react, we just approach problems with a clean slate. To a child there are no repercussions, that’s why they use their imagination so much. Somewhere between having a child like sense of wonder, and being a grumpy adult, we lose our imagination. Or as Hugh McLeod would say,

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

 

The real world eats away at us, older people are quick to call out ludicrous ideas, and unless they’ve heard about it before they don’t trust it.

School teaches us that being wrong is bad, you should listen to what you’re told, shut up, and sit still. That problem with that is, I’m 28, I STILL can’t sit still, I never do what I’m told and it’s still relatively impossible to shut me up.

So what happened to our world?

In her brilliant Ted talk on why it’s OK to be wrong, Kathryn Schultz tells a hilarious story on how she was wrong about a simple sign on the side of the highway.  But she reminds us that being wrong is fine, it’s a sign of growth. And we can never shy away from sharing how we truly feel. It’s those who are willing to risk being wrong that are going to make a difference in our world.

I coach volleyball, I’m also on the Regina Volleyball Club board as the coaches rep. I had a ball bag of another coaches and she emailed me to leave it in my backyard for her to pick up and exchange for the ball bag she had.
I put the bag in yard and a couple days go by. It hasn’t moved. A week goes by, it’s still there. And this was February in Regina so her bag was pretty much entirely covered in snow before I messaged her asking about why she’d neglected to pick up her bag nearly two weeks ago.

Her response: Jeph, I picked up my bag two weeks ago, I exchanged it with your bag. That’s your bag in the back yard covered in snow.

Me: Well don’t I feel like a horses patoot.

Go on, risk being wrong. And the next time you feel stupid, look at it as a good thing, you’re growing.

The Two Things Every Leader Of A Nonprofit Must Have

Dr Seuss QuotesA vision and they must care, a lot.

I’ve worked with many Nonprofits,  as well as volunteered on several boards (currently president of one and vice president of another). I’ve seen the good and the bad, the purpose driven and the lost souls.

One day going back and forth with a good friend discussing the growth strategy of Nonprofit organizations she pitches me, “if you want to run a successful Nonprofit the person in charge has to have a vision of what they want to create and they must care a whole lot.” This struck me as odd because how could something so complex as the leadership of a Nonprofits be summed up by satisfying two variables? It couldn’t possibly be that simple could it?

This moment in time reminded me of a Woody Guthrie quote.

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”

Nonprofit leadership comes down to two things. Having a vision and caring. A leader with an inspirational vision but doesn’t care is a snake oil salesman. They have grandiose ideas, they’re smooth talkers, they could sell a Ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves. But when the chips fall, when the going get tough, when the real work begins, this snake oil slinging fella is nowhere to be found. Read more