Category: Industry News

Encouragement For Our Digital Marketing Clients During COVID-19

“In times of a crisis, average companies fail, good ones survive and great ones transform.” – Unknown Author

One of our partners, Jeremy Lott (President of Sanmar), shared this quote with us along with some thoughts of his own:

“On some days we are average. Most days we are good. But today we have no choice but to be great. I don’t want to sugarcoat things or be overly optimistic. Real people are losing their jobs, many are getting sick, and too many are dying. The next few weeks and months will be hard. Our only chance is to transform.

Let’s do it together. We are here for you.”

This is a profound message. In a time like this, “average” simply isn’t good enough. Even “good” is barely good enough. As a marketing company, we’re not considered essential, but we consider our services essential to your brand. Maybe your particular company is also viewed as a “non-essential” business. But we want you to know that we haven’t forgotten about you or put you on the backburner. To us, you are essential.

CG Marketing Group is open, and that means we’re striving to give you the best service possible. NOT average. People may not be searching for your specific products and services at this time, but they will eventually.

We’re working hard to create great content for your brand so that when the time comes, people will find your website and see an elite level of quality. These are difficult times, but you’re not alone. We’ll all get through this together. In the meantime, here is some advice on how to handle digital marketing in a Coronavirus world.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For Any Questions

What The Google BERT Update Means For Your SEO Strategy

Google recently introduced BERT.

Sorry, not you, Bert. We’re talking about a pretty big algorithm update called “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”. This article does a great job of giving the details on how this update works. Basically, this update impacts SEO by shifting the focus of search results.

Before the BERT update, the search results would be based on the primary keywords. Now, search results are given based on the entire sentence entered in order to give results more accurate to the user’s search goal. Learn more about this here.

Should I Update My SEO To Accommodate The BERT Update? 

That depends. Have you seen a large drop in your analytics in the last couple of weeks? If so, you might need to make updates. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to refresh your content anyway. The main goal of website content shouldn’t be to fit into Google’s algorithm puzzle. Your SEO objective should be to help your customers and potential customers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to writing web content:

Research Is Mandatory

You can’t guess what the best keywords are for your industry. You need to choose your keywords based on actual monthly search volume trends. You also need to research long-tail terms that will help you focus on answering relevant customer questions.

Keyword Stuffing Is Pointless

Search engines are smart enough to know when you’re trying to game the system. If you have paragraphs saturated with keywords with the goal of tricking search engines, you’re going to fail. Keyword stuffing hasn’t worked in a long time, so don’t even bother trying it. 

Context & Accuracy Are Everything

People aren’t searching for your products and services, they’re searching for answers. If you’re not offering answers (or if your answers aren’t good), then your website won’t take priority in search results. After you’ve done keyword research, make sure you’re using terms in content that’s relevant to what people search for.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

Will Google Chrome Block My HTTP Website? Addressing Google’s Mixed Content Announcement

Marketers love to freak out every time Google makes a change.

“OMG! ALGORITHM UPDATES! ALL WEBSITES ARE DOOMED!”

Yeah, we’re a sensitive bunch and change is scary. So, naturally, some questions arose when Google recently published an announcement called “No More Mixed Messages About HTTPS”.

This article might make you think that only HTTPS websites will be allowed on Google Chrome and HTTP websites will be blocked. This isn’t the case! Here’s what’s really happening.

Blocking Unsecure Content, Not Web Pages

Our developer Paul (or P-Money, as we like to call him) helped us out on this one. Google is blocking content with a URL that isn’t HTTPS. We’ll use Paul’s example for a blog post on the Creative Graphics website:

The URL for the post would be something like:

/blog/test-post

However, within this post, we add an image that has an HTTP in the URL.

In this scenario, the blog post would still work, but Google Chrome wouldn’t show the image we used because we used an image with an HTTP URL instead of HTTPS.

Now if a website isn’t secure and still uses HTTP, then it’ll still show non-secure images.

What About Unsecured URLs In Hyperlinks?

This initiative will NOT affect links. We’ll use the blog post example above. If we link to a page that had a URL of “http://www.cgpl.com”, that link would still work even if our website is an HTTPS domain.

<a href=”http://cgpl.com”>This link that would still work on an HTTPS website.</a>

Alright, So What Content Should We Worry About?

If your website is using a secured certificate (HTTPS), these are the content items you need to update to ensure they’re also using HTTPS and not HTTP:

  • Images
  • Scripts
  • Stylesheets
  • iFrames
  • Videos
  • Anything else you can embed in a page that has a URL. BUT NOT LINKS!!!!

If your website is currently using an HTTP domain instead of HTTPS, you shouldn’t worry about your website being blocked in Google Chrome. However, security takes a high priority with customers these days, so you should consider adopting HTTPS regardless. If you’d like to have a secure website, our web development team would love to help you!

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Email Us For A Free Consultation

Why Google+ Failed

Google has announced it will shut down the consumer version of its social network, Google+, by April of 2019. While the ultimate reason for pulling the plug is because of a data breach, the social media site has been struggling since its introduction. Here are the other reasons why Google is bidding farewell to Google+.

The Data Breach

The official and final reason Google is shutting down Google+ is because of a data breach. Back in March, a piece of software was published that could have been used to view “non-public information.”

While the breach could have affected up to 500,000 accounts, Google said they found no evidence that private information was actually accessed.

Lack of Activity

Though launched around the same time as other successful social media sites like Snapchat (2011), Instagram (2010) and Pinterest (2010), Google+ never met the level of use as other social media sites.

social media stats number of monthly users google+ facebook twitter youtube instagram snapchat reddit askfm pinterest

At the time of the data breach, active monthly users numbered around 100 million. Though sizable, that audience is small. LinkedIn has more than double the active monthly users, Instagram as 800 million, and YouTube and Facebook both have billions.

With the low number of people using the site even after seven years, it’s hard to imagine Google being able to increase activity. Google even admitted it themselves this year: “[Google+] has not achieved broad consumer or developer adoption.”

Lack of Niche

It’s often been said that Google+ was only an attempt for Google to compete in the social media realm instead of being able to offer something unique.

Successful social media sites generally have a specific niche for users to connect with each other. (This usually excludes Facebook since its very general format may be a reason why the site became so popular.)

pinterest social media

Twitter: quick, short communication

Instagram: easy photo editing

Snapchat: quick communication by photo and video

Reddit: sharing and voting on images and ideas

LinkedIn: communication for business professionals

Pinterest: sharing craft and design ideas

Not Worth Reviving

With a low number of users and no solid differentiation on top of the data breach, it’s easy to see why Google is opting to shut down Google+.

From their announcement: “Given [challenges in creating and maintaining a successful social media site] and the very low usage of the consumer version of Google+, we decided to sunset the consumer version of Google+.”

Google will, however, continue to offer the enterprise version of Google+ for internal communication among co-workers in the workplace.

Where to Promote Your Brand

Now that Google+ will be shutting down, marketers can focus their attention on other more successful social media sites.

Need help with social media management and advertising? We’ll help your company connect and reach customers on the social media sites where your target demographics are active.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

New Menu Law Calls For New Design and Print

The FDA’s new law

Beginning May 7th, chain restaurants in the US are now required to list the calorie counts of food items on their menus. The law is an effort to encourage Americans to choose healthier options when eating out. This law, enforced on chains with over 20 locations, includes:

  • Restaurants
  • Movie theaters
  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Pizza chains
  • Vending machines

Why it may affect every food business

While the FDA is only requiring certain sellers to list their calorie counts, there’s always a chance the law could change. In the future, all businesses that sell food may need to include calorie counts.

Customers may also begin to expect calorie counts to be on menus wherever they purchase food. With businesses under this new law along with places that already list calorie counts by choice (like Starbucks and Chipotle), it may become habit for consumers to choose menu items—at least in part—based off of calories.

New menu designs

Adding new information requires a new design. Simply inserting the calorie count into the existing menu can increase clutter, especially with the food names, prices, descriptions and images already present. More clutter means difficulty reading and can be a less pleasing experience for your customers.

Adding calorie counts involves choosing specific design elements, like:

  • Typeface
  • Font
  • Placement
  • Sizing
  • Spacing
  • Color

Carefully choosing these elements allows customers to read a menu that’s easy to digest. This is also a good time to update your outdated design to one that’s more modern.

Even digital menus will need an upgrade. Since customers view website menus on their phone, tablets and computers, the information needs to be able to automatically resize and reshape to fit each device. You need to make sure adding calorie counts won’t disrupt how your menu looks on a screen.

New menu printing

After calorie counts are added, you’ll need to print new menus. This is a good time to think about your print options.

Your menu can look cheap and outdated if you’re using a Microsoft Word template, a desktop printer or average printer paper. Consider everything you can do to make your menus stand out and match your branding:

  • Thickness
  • Sizing
  • Single-sided vs. double-sided
  • Color vs. black and white
  • Bound vs. folded
  • Colored background vs. blank background

How we help

Graphic design

Our designers can create, recreate or revamp a menu that is anywhere your customers may see one:

  • Food menus
  • Drink menus
  • Happy hour displays
  • POS menus
  • In-store digital displays
  • Foamcore menus
  • Table tents
  • Website menus

Send us your menu info, and we can create a new design that fits your branding, is easy to read and is appealing to both look at and hold. Even if your menus change weekly or daily, we can design each one or create a template for you to input the menu items yourself.

Printing

We have a full-service printing team, so we can print high volumes of menus often at lower costs than a business can with a desktop printer. We use high-performance printing equipment, so your color won’t fade or misalign like the typical office printers.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Facebook’s Big New Change For Businesses

At the beginning of 2018, Facebook started changing how business’ posts show up for Facebook users. What does this mean for you? Take a look at the basics of Facebook and what changes were made to business accounts.

A quick guide to Facebook terms

  • Post: A single upload of text, photos, videos
  • Like: A way to give positive or negative feedback to a post
  • Share: A way to show your friends a specific post
  • News Feed: A collection of posts you see when you open Facebook
  • Followers: Friends and family that can see your posts
  • Profile: A “homepage” for humans
  • Page: A “homepage” for businesses

How the Facebook News Feed works

Facebook’s News Feed doesn’t show you posts in chronological order. The order and frequency of your News Feed are set to your interests based on a few factors:

  • How you interact with your friends = more/less from your friends
  • Type of post you interact with = more/less those type of posts (sports photos, DIY videos, etc.)
  • Posts with more likes, shares, comments = more often in your News Feed
  • Relatively current (within the past few days) = more likely to be in your News Feed

Facebook adjusts your News Feed so that it’s more interesting to you, and not just random articles and posts that you don’t care about.

The new change

At the beginning of this year, Facebook announced they were touching up the way they adjust your News Feed. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said users have complained that posts from business, brands and media are too frequent, and are “crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.”

Facebook wants to urge people to have discussion and interaction with other users instead of just blindly watching a video or scrolling through an article. In a way, this is how Facebook has always been. Instead of a place to go read a random dump of articles, it was created to connect people together.

“Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

How you can still get visibility

If you strategize your posts, you can still be seen often in users’ News Feeds. Facebook says businesses should create posts that “encourage meaningful interactions between people.” Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Be authentic. Focus less on selling and more on creating relationships with your customers.
  2. Post regularly. Not too much, but more than rarely. Try the afternoon or late evening hours.
  3. Use photos, videos and live videos. These get a better reaction than posts with only text. Showing faces also gets more attention.
  4. Create good quality, relevant, interesting content. Avoid filler and fluff.
  5. Boost and advertise. You can still pay to have your posts shown more often to your own followers and other potential customers.

Users can also set their Facebook to show more of whichever businesses they want by going to the See First tab in their News Feed Preferences. (You can encourage your followers to do this, but it hasn’t worked very well in the past.)

Avoid “engagement-bait” posts that say things like, “Like and Share if you LOVE sandwiches!” and “Share this post for a chance to win tickets!” In December, Facebook began demoting these types of posts.

Our social media tactics

After this news, we’ve definitely changed how we strategize our own and our clients’ Facebook posts. With changes like these, it can be tough to keep up with social media tactics. If you need a hand in reaching your audience on social media, let us know!

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

checkmark
Schedule a
Free Consultation
close

    Free Consultation Form





    X - Close