Digital Marketing Agencies in San Diego Go Remote!

As the Digital Marketing industry continues to boom, agencies in San Diego and all around the US are now turning to innovated ways to please and retain their employees. Each year more agencies begin to offer incentives like weekly remote days or rotating half days, while other agencies offer unlimited remote days and unlimited paid time off. Although some of these incentives may seem somewhat unproductive from a business standpoint, the majority of “flex schedule workplace” studies have proven that these types of incentives generally increase overall productivity and are equally beneficial for both the employer and the employee.

The modern millennial mindset still seem to be “work are, play hard”, so modern companies are now shifting their mindsets to, “as long as the work is getting done at a high-quality level, go forth and explore!” Of course, for this to truly work, everyone working for the given company has to be bought into the flex schedule and understand the responsibility that comes with it. I have worked with an agency that has attempted to implement a remote friendly office (work remote as needed), but unfortunately, some employees took advantage of the perk and it was taken away shortly thereafter. However, for every company that isn’t able to successfully implement a flex schedule, there is one that does. As companies begin to see more employee retention and success by simply allowing their employees to have a flex schedule, more companies will begin adopting the idea.

Here at New Dimension Marketing and Research in Encinitas, we developed and implemented our own flex schedule back in May of 2016. We implemented a rotating remote day system, giving our employees one day a week to work from where ever they please. Everyone gets a different day to ensure we always have a full team on deck. Since adopting this flexibility, productivity has not faltered and creativity has been at an all-time high. The work environment also feels more relaxed and employees have successfully held themselves accountable for the work that needs to be done while working from home. At NDMR, a Digital Marketing Agency in San Diego, the key to success is trusting our team and continuously working together.

We are curious and excited to see how these type of company perks continue to develop and get implemented as businesses begin to see more success with them. If the company you work for is implementing some kind of flex schedule perks, we would love to hear about it!

Building a Better Client Relationship

Nowadays, digital marketing agencies in San Diego have to be much more than just another stellar marketing provider. While our online marketing efforts and successes are generally measured by achieving set goals and positively moving various metric needles, with all the San Diego marketing agency competition, working in the digital marketing industry also means that we are working in the people industry. That being said, it is more important now than ever, to have the ability to build trust and rapport with your clients, beyond the strategy and numbers.

Far too often I hear about a client that has jumped from one agency to another, not because they didn’t like the results they were seeing, but because they don’t connect or work well with the people in place that were running their campaign. This should not be happening as often as it does and could more often than not, be avoided by simply having the right account managers in place for a given client. By being able to build a relationship above and beyond the analytics, it will in return help strengthen your client retention rates, as well as, improve your overall communication and comfortability levels with the client. Thus, also improving the overall quality, smoothness, and success of the campaign.

How do you build this kind of trust and rapport you ask?
Easy!
Well, maybe it’s sometimes not so easy, but it’s definitely not the hardest part of our job.

The best recommendation I can extend, that has been tried and true (just ask our Denver client, Block & Larder), is to truly begin thinking of and treat your client more like your business partners, rather than just another client. Indulge yourself in their company and industry as if it were your own. Show some initiative and be genuinely interested in the client’s business success, as well as, their personal well-being. They are human just like we are and a bond beyond numbers is often what it takes to build a successful, long-lasting partnership.

Invite them out to lunch every so often and chat about none work related subject. Find some common interest and share life stories with them. Treat it as the same type of team building you partake in within your agency. Send them yearly holiday cards and make it a point to celebrate monthly and/or quarterly wins together. Regardless of the size of the victory, a win is a win and it should be acknowledged as such. Let them see and make them feel, that they are more than just another client to you. They are your business partner and together you can help each other’s businesses grow. If they do well, there’s a great chance your agencies will do well, vice versa. Both of you and the client are reaching for success, why not achieve that goal by truly working together. Once they can connect with you on a personal level, the professional level will continue to follow and grow.

As fellow SEO Specialist, Sam Wheeler says, “Building a successful partnership takes initiative, try some creative ways to show effort in building a connection. Go beyond sending the traditional thank you email and extend a handwritten card, invest in personalized corporate merchandise, or even attempt to get together for a happy hour. Taking the additional step to secure a business relationship can create a long-lasting and stable partnership. Take note of small details about your client’s interests, be amicable and approach them as a friend of high importance. Cultivating a client relationship takes time and progress so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Consistently displaying gratitude and sympathizing with their concerns develops a comfortable form of communication. Go the extra mile and invest in new ways for building a strong partnership ultimately forming a team-oriented direction. Continuously seek several methods to connect with your client and not only strengthen client rapport, but also further develop your team communication skills.”

Working in the digital marketing industry also means we are in the people industry.
These days, trust and rapport are just as important as work and results but don’t take my word for it.
Give it a shot!
Start thinking of and treating your client’s business as if they were your own and see how it affects your agencies overall retention rate, client comfortability, and overall campaign stress levels.
I’m sure that over time, you will begin to see both parties happily pleased.

Your Business NEEDS a Website

A professional business website will give potential buyers and consumers the impression that there is a solid, reliable, and skillful team working behind the scenes at your company. Investing time in your website design will portray polish and expertise. It will show your buyers that you care, that you are relevant in a competitive industry, and that you take your work seriously. Here are three ways that a professional website will benefit your business:

1. A Website Connects Your Business to a Bigger, Wider Market

These days, more than 3 billion people use the internet. The majority of potential buyers are using the internet to seek out goods and services, whether through search engines or social media. The beauty of a professional business website with a strong design is that it is basically a digital brochure with round-the-clock sales staff.

2. A Website Allows You to Display Your Work

business website

Online review sites and social media offer potential buyers ways to get to know your business better and to cultivate a virtual connection with your business. Without a website, it will be more difficult to reach out to and impress your target audience. Your website allows you to show customers what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, along with instant updates.

3. Without a Website, You Risk Losing Business

Customers assume that any solid and successful business will also have a website. When a company doesn’t have a website, it confuses and inconveniences customers. They assume that the business isn’t willing to make that investment for some reason and they will quickly find an alternative who does. Customers want to be able to identify a business online before they think about parting with their money, so an online presence helps drive traffic to your physical business.

Tip: Make Sure Your Business Website is Responsive

The internet is the go-to for getting to know a business and potential customers will rely heavily on your company’s website. So all these things considered, isn’t it time you got out there and grew your business?

4. A Website Helps Track Consumers

Website analytics is a wonderful tool that many companies often forget to leverage. Having a website allows you to see how traffic flows on your site and how users interact with different website features. It is also a great tool for measuring ROI on marketing campaigns.

When you are able to map the online flow of consumer traffic, you can see what works for your business and what doesn’t. In addition, companies are able to see which pages have successful conversion rates and which pages need more testing! Once your team knows what pages work best for your business, you can duplicate that content on other pages.

Google Analytics is a free tool that can be installed to analyze this traffic and can provide strong insight into your website. Knowing this information can be an invaluable asset. Check out Moz’s guide on everything you need to know about using and installing Google Analytics.

5. A Website is a Platform for Market Research

Your website is a great resource for consumer’s to reach your business to provide product and service feedback. If a consumer feels they won’t be able to reach your business quickly to resolve any issues, they may be reluctant to give your business their money.

In addition, a website is a great way to conduct market research. Consumer feedback and accessibility is beneficial for your customers, but also for your business. Many businesses put part of their marketing budget toward focus groups. If you’re an entrepreneur who is starting your business via bootstrapping, you may not have the funds for focus groups.

6. A Website Builds Consumer Trust

Your website is the opportunity to show consumer’s what your business is all about. This is where you can write a mission statement and show your company culture.

Your website is also a place where you can display awards and certifications to increase credibility.

Building consumer trust is especially important in industries like real estate and finance. Even small logos of your certifications like the image below will help to establish additional layers of trust that will ultimately support sales growth.


Image credit: GoodLife Home Loans

Bonus Tip: If your website is still in the works, it’s important to have a simple but informative landing page. This page should allow visitors to provide their email address so they can be notified when your site is live. This will help build an email list before the site even opens, offers important information about your services or products that builds trust, and can be a fun way to test out different CTA’s and brand language!

Check out this real-world example of a coming soon landing page from Zacol, as well as this list of other great landing pages from websites under construction.

Want to check out the business websites we have created? Email us at contact@ndmr.com

3 Reasons Why Mohamed Ali Was A Branding Master

Mohamed Ali, many of us honor him for his greatness, in and out of the ring. His iconic status has reverberated through society on a global scale. Ali was spectacular boxer, but many of his culturally significant moments happened off the ropes. Ironically, the fighter was an advocate for peace and a true humanitarian by all measures. So, how was he great at branding? I will explain with these 3 points:

 

  1. Unique Value Proposition

    It’s a common question in business, “what’s your UVP?” Companies look to identify their strengths and play to them in hopes of gaining a competitive advantage in today’s marketplace. So, what was Ali’s UVP? Without going too in-depth about his boxing career, Ali was THE champion who won in dramatic fashion. His unorthodox style made him interesting to watch and his personality made him a fighter to love. His fights were legendary and captivated people worldwide. Nobody could do what Ali did….and it made him an Icon.

  2.  Identity Branding

    Companies can flounder simply because of poor brand recognition. Your brand’s message should be clear, concise and consistent. If you haven’t seen an Ali fight, you’ve likely heard his words. Ali was known for his ability to promote himself with epic copyright, “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” His mental sharpness was remarkable. The man’s nickname was “The Greatest”, how that for marketing genius? When Ali spoke, it gave his audience something to talk about for weeks to come. He became a source of original content and he became know as the greatest– a place all brands would like to be.

  3. Stand for Something

    Ali brought attention to the major issue of inequality. Mohamed Ali was an advocate for equality and had the courage to speak out publicly in order to increase the condition of life for everyone. Ali was a believer, a true believer. He has supported dozens of charities geared towards the improvement of well-being for all. Ali was also outspoken against the Vietnam War, which resonated with the large counter-culture of that era. Ali refused to take part in the Vietnam War and was even arrested for his refusal. Nevertheless, Mohamed didn’t budge, he stuck to his beliefs and set a precedent for future generations to come.

The takeaway from all of this? Be amazing! Create a brand that, 1) makes the world a better place and 2) inspires a group of people. Fight for your beliefs and stand up for what you believe in. Who knows, maybe you will change the world like “The Greatest”. RIP  Mohamed Ali

 

The Importance of Company Culture and How it’s Created

Anyone who has been part of a team knows the importance of culture. It’s this intangible and mysterious thing that drives a team or company. It provides a sense of identity, solidarity and pride within an organization. The Cambridge Dictionary has a fitting definition for culture- the ideas and ways of working that are typical for an organization, and that affect how it does business and how its employees behave. We have seen it time and time again; companies with awesome cultural values succeed. Why is that? I’ll tell you why- because happy employees make great work. Plain and simple. Let’s take a look at Google’s culture, they know it’s the employees that make the company successful, so they have a culture that supports them and makes their work environment enjoyable. How do they do this you ask? Well, for a start, the Googleplex is filled with engaging stimuli. For example, a rock climbing wall, bowling alley, cafes and napping pods. And, we’ve seen how their cultural tactics have worked out for them; Google was ranked #1 best company to work for in 2016 by FORTUNE.

So, now that we know what company culture is, how can we create it? Well, it starts with the leaders and trickles its way down through the rest of the organization. The values, attitudes, and beliefs of the head honchos set company culture. They establish what aspects of their company make their cultural identity unique and select employees that emanate these qualities. Sounds simple, right? In actuality, this is only half of it. For culture to have a positive impact on the company, employees’ needs must be taken into account as well. Now, employee needs can be drastically different from company to company, so the leadership team must listen to employee feedback. This allows the leaders to 1) determine their employee needs and 2) fulfill employee needs at work. Creating a constant feedback loop allows leaders to set a cohesive company culture with the needs of their employees in mind.

Back in 2013, Yahoo transitioned Marissa Mayer into the CEO position. She set in place an employee-focused company culture which has improved the business on multiple levels. Employees who left Yahoo are coming back and its reputation as an enjoyable workplace has improved. Shareholders are happy too as share value and quarter earnings have increased.

The takeaway from all this? Culture has become just as important to employees as salary and benefits. People, now more than ever, have placed a high value on work culture, as it dictates the overall satisfaction of their job. Companies who have yet to establish their culture will benefit greatly from doing so and those who need a cultural refresh will most likely see an increase in employee performance.

2019 Update! Adapting to the Millennial Workforce

Company culture is now more important than ever! Especially with more and more Millennials entering the workforce, companies have started to understand that culture is a key component in retention. However, it is important that your team is not only improving culture but also improving the lives and wellbeing of your employees. Yes, paying employees is great, but does your company offer and personal finance resources? Simple gestures like offering personal finance tools can make a big impact in the long run. There are a lot of great tools out there, some free and some paid that your HR team can leverage. I Am Net Worthy, for example, has a personal finance section focused for only Millennials!

Take this a step further and don’t just offer tools and resources to your team. Bring in experts for hands-on workshops and education sessions! In addition to helping improve the lives of your team, it will also act as a team building exercise and bring your company closer together.

 

Typography 101

2016 is set to be a big year for typography. We thought it would be beneficial to shed some light on what exactly typography is, and how to use it to your advantage.

1. What is Typography?

Typography is the art of arranging type, and encompasses everything from digital type on websites to calligraphy. Many designers use different arrays of typeface to communicate a mood or add additional style to their designs.

2. How to Use It

The first step to take when choosing type should be to determine what the message is you would like your design to convey. Is the design for something professional, such as a doctor or attorney, or something more laid-back, similar to a coffee shop or boutique?

The more professional design should lean towards a “Serif” font (below)

Profess1

Whereas the less professional design would be better suited using a “Sans” type font (below)

Pross2

Another great way of using type to your advantage would be to adjust the spacing,  add color and try using different forms of contrast.

Example One:

Profes2

Example Two:

Profes21

In summary, good typography can make or break a website. Understanding the different characteristics of font families can help you effectively place fonts  to make websites,  banners and other forms of advertisements more visually appealing.

Get Mobile; Get Local for 2015

According to Analytics Clarity, a data analysis firm in Orange County, and also according other Internet research firms and web marketing companies, mobile traffic will triumph desktop traffic in the year 2015.

These companies have indicated that most of the mobile traffic will come from search engines where users will use their mobile devices to search Google and Bing looking for various websites and businesses.

Both mentioned search engines in particular Google realize the value of returning the most relevant search results for their users hence they are more likely to return a mixture of localized search results based on users location, device phone number (area code), and search phrase.

According to a renowned SEO consultant,  SEO in 2015 should be focused around mobile SEO and local SEO.  In a personal interview with him, he added the following:

Phone screens are larger, even Apple increased the screen size of their new iPhone 6 to keep up with the consumer demand. This is because consumers are using their mobile devices more in order to complete their personal and professional tasks. This should prompt any marketer to pay more attention to mobile when formulating their marketing strategy for 2015.

About Local marketing and local SEO he added,

Users appreciate and prefer localized search result when searching the search engines. All businesses and marketers should pay attention this and focus on local SEO and local marketing. Take Amazon for an example; They are not a local company but with their enhanced same day deliver creates a localized impression for their customers and their product Amazon Local offers localized deals for their users. This indicates how important local marketing is!

Along with mobile and local marketing, he added that social media will play larger roles in search engine rankings and will become more important.

In Summary, mobile SEO and local SEO will be name of the game in 2015.  If your company is not on top of this, then better hurry up. If you need help, contact us and we will be more than happy to help you.

 

Legal Concerns For Small Businesses

Small business owners are required to deal with a broad range of issues. When you’re running a small business, you often don’t have access to a marketing department, a finance team or a human resources manager. It may even be the case that you cannot afford to invest too much in professional services, until your business becomes more established. But that doesn’t mean your business will not encounter the potential for legal liability. Every action you take in business has the potential to create liability, and you need to be on top of your obligations to customers, suppliers and the public at large if you are to avoid the pitfalls. But what are the common areas of legal concern for small businesses, and what steps should you take to get the right outcomes?

legal-concerns-for-small-businesses1

Contractual disputes are one of the main areas of concern for small business owners. Every time something is bought or sold by the company, or a deal is struck with a new supplier or client, the potential for contractual liability presents itself. This means that small business owners need to have a functional knowledge of the law in this area, in order for them to successfully navigate the disputes and disagreements that will inevitably arise in the course of their business. Contract law is worth some study time for any small business owner, and can help lead to agreements being reached on more effective terms.

It is not just contract law that has the capacity to cause problems for small businesses. Owners also need to be concerned about product and professional liability, through the goods and services they provide. For example, causing serious injury through supplying a harmful product can give rise to contractual, tortious, and statutory liability. Or, if your company is deemed to have been negligent, you may be exposed to liability as well.

Another area of potential liability arising in the course of business is liability to employees, governed by labor laws designed to protect the interests of employees. For most small businesses, the possibility of an employee grievance can be a daunting one, especially given that large sums can be awarded, sometimes much more than a small business can reasonably afford. This often makes it important to draft in professional legal help, to ensure you are protected in your business practices. Lawyers like those from DLA Piper – lead by Bob Bratt – can advise on these types of commercial scenarios.

legal-concerns-for-small-businesses2

No matter the type of business you are operating, there are always legal concerns to contend with. From the contracts and deals that you sign, through to compliance and taxation provisions, and even the working conditions of your employees, there are plenty of areas where running a business intersects with the law. For more complex needs, it is always advisable to seek professional advice, to help ensure you are operating in a fully compliant, legally sound manner. The best lawyers will aim to understand your business and give solutions that fit your commercial objectives.

Image source: http://www.lynelavergne.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/labour-law.jpg

Image source: http://blog.larrybodine.com/uploads/image/referral%20handshake.jpg

Why Vectors Are Essential For A Slick Marketing Campaign

Marketing is all about communicating your business’ core message. Through various avenues, from advertising to social media through to sales, marketing relies on ancillary materials to promote this message. This is to help convince prospective customers that your business is worth a second look. From a practical perspective, this means that marketing images and logos are often required in a variety of different formats and sizes. For the slickest results, these images must be vector images, to enable easy transition between different required dimensions.

Visuals and printed materials are one of the most important aids you can possible have in marketing your business. These are the tools that do the marketing for you, and that persuade people to buy your products and services when you’re not there to do it face to face. It is perhaps no surprise then that the images used in marketing materials can be of critical importance to the weight and effectiveness of the message.

why-vectors-are-essential-for-a-slick-marketing-campaign1

At the same time, these marketing materials are often designed for a range of uses, and as such cover a range of formats. To build a brand, you need visual consistency – a similarity of design across everything you do, so you can build recognition within your target market and start to develop a stronger brand identity. But to build your business, you may require marketing materials in a much wider range of sizes and formats. For example, the images you use on a 6-foot banner display stand will need to be the same images you use on a small A5 flier, but obviously the sizing will be completely different.

The answer here is to use stock vector images. Normal images cannot be increased in size by much before they become distorted and unusable. This is because there is insufficient data in the image file to actually handle the increase in size. But vector images are designed in a different way. With vector images, sizing is based on ratios rather than on pixels, which makes it feasible to expand an image or shrink an image as much as is necessary to fit. This is the solution professional graphic artists use to get a slick, professional veneer from their market.

why-vectors-are-essential-for-a-slick-marketing-campaign2

 

This can have a major impact on the perception of your business. In a toss-up between a business with blurry marketing images and a business with razor-sharp vectors, the latter will probably win. This might not be a conscious choice, but people are drawn toward businesses with more effective marketing and design, and that certainly extends through to the use of vector images.

The images you use in business say a lot about your company, and they are one of the first bases against which your offering will be judged. Customers do judge the book by its cover when it comes to businesses. This means the way you present yourself must be as slick and as professional as possible to give you the edge over the competition, and a fighting chance of securing their business.

 

Image source: http://www.gopopupstands.co.uk/content_images/bannerexample.jpg

Image source: http://vectormagic.com/images/v3/vectorization_explanation-fp-ac5e89bf84f43f54409fadf8d928286c.png

Keyword Stuffing & Hidden Text Manual Action: Google on How to Fix it

Author’s Note: This article is part of a series detailing specific spam warnings that webmasters might find displayed in Google Webmaster Tools manual action viewer, the types of things that are flagging each warning, and what webmasters should do to fix it to see the warning removed.

Hidden text and keyword stuffing isn’t as common today of it once was, but Google is still warning webmasters to avoid.

When you mention hidden text and keyword stuffing, people often think of the 50 lines long text white text on white background in the footer of a webpage. It essentially means placing text on a webpage but for search engines only, not the user.

This was used extensively a decade ago, although it has evolved to include things such as using CSS to hide it off the page, to place it underneath another element already on the page, or to just set the text of hidden.

Keyword stuffing is putting a keyword phrase, or several, multiple times within a webpage, to the extent where whatever is on the page doesn’t even make much sense because of the repetitive keywords. This is done so that the keywords are visible to search engine, with the idea that it will help it rank better in Google.

Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts makes a point of saying that using things like JavaScript that is used on websites to create mouse over menus and other user-friendly ways to show more text is generally OK.

Cutts very specifically brought up the point that many spinner programs – programs that will essentially take content already available on the web and “spin it” to create new content – often don’t pass the keyword spamming test. The output is often gibberish and nonsensical.

Most keyword stuffing examples are very obvious. While it is good to have your keywords within your text on the page, you can go overboard quite easily. If you want a quick method on how to check to see if your webpage is a little bit too keyword happy, read your text out loud, as it will often sound very unnatural. If it sounds fine to you or to those you read it too, it should be fine.

Why is this a problem? When users search for certain keywords and end up on your site, they want to see those keywords on the page in a useful format. They don’t want to end up there due to hidden text located in the footer. Hidden text and keyword stuffing often make for a very poor user experience for it the user coming in from Google, which is why Google take such a stance on the issue

If you get the warning for hidden text or keyword stuffing, the solution is pretty easy: simply remove it. This type of SEO is still utilized today by some of the scammier SEO companies, so if you are unsure where it is, start looking at your actual source code find it, generally either close to the top or close to the bottom of the code.

Cutts said that occasionally it is a case of hacked site – hidden text and keyword stuffing is most common on WordPress sites, so if you get the warning on a WordPress site, your first thing to do should be to check whether you’ve been hacked, and if so, upgrade your WordPress and all your plug-ins, and then begin your cleanup process.

Google advises you should document your cleanup process. So document what you found, and how you fixed it, and the dates you did. Cutts said you should also include why it happened, whether it was a rogue SEO or a CMS system gone wild, and explain why you believe it won’t happen again.

Article Source: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2291159/Keyword-Stuffing-Hidden-Text-Manual-Action-Google-on-How-to-Fix-it