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Author Archives: Josh

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The Honey Bear

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When Expectations Collide

When I was in college a local church put together a weekend retreat – for 3 days and 2 nights we were paired up and would even spend the night with volunteer host family.  There were great activities of fun and fellowship and engaging speakers each evening.  On our first night our hosts had to leave early the next morning so they showed around and welcomed us to the use of their kitchen in their absence.

As we were fixing ourselves cereal, only plain Cheerios were available and I needed some sugar.  No matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find the sugar; but I did find the honey-bear.  I poured on a liberal amount of honey, sat down in front of my college-mate,  and with a smile on my face I took a huge scoop of honey covered Cheerios!

Immediately I gagged and spit the cereal out!  My college-mate was quite alarmed and between spits and gags I choked out one word “Soap!” – The honey-bear was filled with yellow colored dish-soap! The honey-bear was certainly a cute accent near the kitchen sink but turned out to be my nightmare.

I’ve had my share of honey-bear experiences;  I would buy a service or package with one set of expectations only to face a very different reality.  Many businesses today, even with the best of intentions, continue to make honey-bear experiences for their customers.  At SMS, we design Sales Experiences for your customers Worth Talking About.  From Sales Automation and Drip Campaigns to Interactive Ads and Social Media Posts our focus is creating a meaningful relationship and building a bridge of trust.

I would love to hear about your Honey-Bear stories.

  • 0

Location, Location, Location

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Google’s landing page today looks nothing like what it did even 4 years ago.  The Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is full of information tiles and getting your business featured in these tiles will be the new play in the SEO game.

Google has always been the goto search engine, but look at how the Google SERP has evolved and also consider Google’s entry into the Digital Assistant arena. I propose that Google is evolving from a Search Engine to an Information Engine.

As a result, more people are finding the information they need right at the Google results page without having to follow a link to get the information they need.  In the end this can mean less traffic for your website but if you are prepared, there are several strategies that you can use to take advantage of this.

We will be writing a series of articles with tips to take advantage of this evolving search results page.  For today’s tip, we definitely recommend that you take advantage of the Q&A feature within Google Maps.  Search results that are destination specific take the user directly into maps on the first click.  These destinations have a section dedicated for Q&A.  Read more about this new feature in our article: Updates to Google Maps

Look below at the samples below for the same search:

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Have you reviewed your reviews lately?

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From Facebook to Yelp reviews for your business reviewscompany are probably scattered everywhere. How do you determine which to participate in?  How do you overcome a review site that represents your company under a negative light?

 7 tips to make reviews work best for you

  1. Determine the Scope – Take an inventory of all the review sites that your company appears in.  Note the quantity of reviews and how well your company is represented.  Also check and see if your company’s listing is ‘claimed’ and correct.
  2. Claim your Listing – make sure you own the listing and that all the contact info, including hours of operation, are correct.  We recommend that you claim your business listing in all review sites – Google loves this type of consistency across the internet.
  3. Pick the best review site that fits your industry and the lifestyle of your customers.  As Google slowly evolves to an information website more than just a search engine expect to see review sites like Yelp slowly evolve in their focus to businesses are that are less transactional and where choosing the right company is critical to the consumer.  Research heavy industries include contractors for home remodels, doctors, long-term care facilities, and private schools.
  4. Offer Free Wifi if you are frequented by people using mobile devices.  Guest wifi usually has features to direct the user to a webpage.  There is no harm in directing them right to your review page.  Free wifi makes it very easy for them to get online and with a fast experience they have one more reason to brag about your amazing service.
  5. Don’t wear your clients out asking for reviews everywhere, rather engage with your customers on your preferred review site.
  6. Show appreciation in all your positive reviews.  Thank them, like the review, use an emoji.
  7. Respond to Negative Reviews showing your commitment to great service.  A negative review is an opportunity to care for your customers. Remember, people want to be understood so validate them by repeating why they are frustrated and what you are doing to improve future experiences.

5 star review

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Updates to Google Maps

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Google my BusinessGoogle My Biz FAQ mishap for Arrowhead Stadium is the tool to check your business listing on Google Maps with all the relevant info (Address, Phone number, Web Address, etc).  This information is critical if you want to be quickly found in any Google Map app on a mobile device.

Google Maps for has been expanded with an FAQ section (previously it was only available on the Maps app on Android) that is populated by internet users and works similarly to Amazon’s FAQ.  We see this feature becoming popular and recommend that you Pre-Populate your Google my Business  FAQ section ASAP to ensure relevant content and avoid being a target of some clever teenager. What to know more? Look at the picture on the right or try it yourself:

  • Take out your Android smartphone and search for: Arrowhead Stadium
  • Scroll down and read the Questions & Answers
  • When you search you will no longer find the question ‘Do they have hookers at Arrowhead?’  – This question certainly got alot of attention at the expense of Arrowhead.

We recommend that you use the Q&A feature as a chance to front-load questions that prospects would find valuable about your company or industry.  Google is evolving more form a Search Engine to an Information Engine – meaning that instead of just search results, Google is attempting to answer your question without you needed to click on a result and leave the Google page.

UPDATE: The article has been updated to reflect Arrowhead stadium’s cleaned up Q&A


How are you using Google Map’s Q&A feature for your business?

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