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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.

Your Privacy vs Being Accessible

Eric Schmidt quote on privacy

The new world is I’m Googling you the second you email me. I’m going to find everything I can about you. Google can find almost anything these days. I should be able to search your name and contact information and find all relevant information about you. I mean it’s 2014, you have to assume everyone is going to Google you at some point, right?

Now the privacy pundits will tell you to stay as anonymous as you can, as Lloyd Christmas once said, “lot of bad drivers out there!”. But REALLY, really?  How many people do you know who have been stalked?  Is that even still a thing?  We’re too concerned about privacy that we’re losing out on business opportunity.

I had a meeting booked with an organization, the night before the meeting I search the person I was meeting with on Google (I do this with a lot of people surprisingly) the only site other than LinkedIn said she was in Swift Current not Regina. I sent an email asking about her whereabouts, I receive nothing in return. I Googled the organization to find a phone number but there’ only a Regina contact. The “Contact Us” page had a form to fill out, no numbers. Finally I search for her email because for sure her phone number would be in the salutation at the bottom of the email right?  Wrong.

It was 30 minutes till a meeting with someone in another city that I had no number for, what would you do?

I didn’t make the meeting.

The lady called, she was upset. I didn’t mention the difficult time trying to find her contact info let alone a phone number. She didn’t want to hear what I had to say, her mind was made up.

I hate offending people. I don’t like upsetting people. I really try hard never to miss a meeting. By that time I think it was for the best. To help someone with social media when they won’t as much as publish a phone number is relatively impossible.

Answer the new phone. Be accessible, especially your workplace. Nothing says we hate our customers like not being able to find a phone number to call.

Google yourself. Google your company. Google your company name and “contact info”. See what comes up. If it isn’t exactly what your customers want then change it.

Oh yeah, how your customers find information about you will change, it will always change, it’s in your best interest to ask them periodically if you’re still providing information where it is most easily accessible.

What’s Your Zero Moment of Truth?

zmotI think anyone who’s future depends upon the internet or some form of it must read Winning The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). And it’s really easy to get your hands on because you can download it for free here:

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth by Jim Lecinski Read more

What We Learned About Social Media in 2011 | Part 1 of 2

Bill Lumberg

This is part one of two in the wonderful year end wrap-up.  If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s part two: “7 Marketing Predictions for 2012”

1.  Most Businesses treat Facebook wrong   Simply hosting a contest on Facebook doesn’t cut it anymore.  People are finding that after the contest is over they don’t understand how to interact with the community they’ve developed.  Inevitably they continue to push their “company news” as updates on their Facebook page because someone in the marketing department thought it was a “good idea”.  Eventually people see the meaningless one-way communication and quickly find the ‘Unlike’ button. Read more

Something To Believe In…

Hugh MacLeod Print

From http://gapingvoid.com/

Does your company have a philosophy?  A purpose? A vision? A mission?

What’s your BHAG (big hairy audacious goal)?

What do you give your employees to believe in?  Why are you in business?  If it’s just to make money you’ll never attract the talented employees you’re going to need to grow.  Read more

In the plex

How Do You Measure Your Strategy?

How do you measure your business strategy?  I know, what a horribly cliche sounding question.  But seriously, how are you measuring what you do so you know what’s working and what’s broken?  I came across a brilliant idea to create clarity in your business strategy by reading a book about none other than Google.

In the plexIn the book “In The Plex. How Google thinks, works, and shapes our lives Steven Levy talks about how Google introduced the concept of outcomes and key results (OKR).  John Doerr, one of the early Venture Capitalists who was an investor in Google, nudged them towards adopting the concept after Andy Grove at Intel also adopted a similar strategy to create clarity in their business strategy.  The original idea of management by objectives came from a 1954 book written by Peter Drucker called ‘The Practice of Management’.

John Doerr later said; “Google not only adopted it, they embraced it.” Read more