People are relying on voice search more and more these days, and it is essential that local businesses are set up so they get included voice search. It’s believed that two out of five adults use voice search daily and it is expected that half of most searches will move from the keyboard to voice. Voice speakers like Google and Alexa are most frequently used and 62% of people using these voice-activated speakers expect to buy something through them within the next month. This means that businesses that are optimized for local search have a better chance for ranking at the top of the search results page. This is why it is important for your business to be prepared for voice search. Let’s dive a little deeper.
What is Google 3-Pack and Why Does it Matter to Voice Search?
Local Pack is a section of Google’s search results that shows the local businesses related to your search query. Whenever your query has a local intent, Google will show three local businesses that might answer it. Why is it important to be among the 3-Pack? It shows in the #1 position 93% of the time. Also, the “near me” search query has increased 34x since 2011. So, it is important that your local business is on Google My Business and other local directories like Yelp. If you are not set up yet, here is how to do it. Voice search can help a small local business beat larger chains, and it makes Google happy because they want their search queries to be accurate.
How Do I Set Up and Rank for Local Pack?
First, it is important to note how essential to make sure all your business information is consistent. Small errors like “Ste” or “Suite” can make a difference to Google. Streamlining this process is easier with directory assistance. We use “Smartlist” which ensures all information on all directories is the same. Second, Google wants to make sure they answer their search queries as accurately by using the best results with results such as key factors such as proximity, category and keyword.
How Does Local Pack and Reviews Improve Voice Search?
Voice Search is increasing every year. 20% of the online population already uses voice search and 58% of mobile users use it for a local business search. Many of these users consider it as their first choice. Making sure your business information is online is crucial, but so are reviews. Reviews are extremely important to ranking in the Local Pack and essentially voice search. By having many reviews from Google and Yelp, especially five-star ones, it is likely Google will rank your business. Reviews can also determine if you get into the 3-Pack or not. This is why it is important to have a reputation management program. We use “SmartRep” to manage our reviews and reputation. Ask your satisfied customers for a Google review because it has a positive impact not only for voice search, but also for web traffic and search engine optimization (SEO).
Where Do Voice Devices Get Their Data?
Not all voice search devices are alike. Each one obtains data from different sources. Siri and Google Assistant obtain information from the 3-Pack Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and from Yelp. Alexa obtains data from Bing, Yelp and Yext data. To get the most out of voice search, you want to optimize your business for all devices.
We’re Here to Help
Strategic Marketing is a full-service advertising agency that can assist you with local SEO, reputation management and many additional services. Please contact us with any questions or let us know how we can assist you with voice search.
The age-old debate of using in-house marketing vs. an agency is still being discussed because marketing is ever evolving. Take a look at how COVID-19 has changed the way businesses are marketing now. Brick and mortar businesses are finding the value of online marketing and are ramping up their marketing efforts to improve traffic to their business. There are many pros and cons to both that may be helpful in scaling or growing your business. Listed below are just a few things to think about before making that difficult decision.
#1 – Resources
Your customers need to know that you are available and are still providing the services or products they need to maintain their business. While businesses may not be functioning as usual, many are working remotely and are focusing more on their online communications. Let your customers know how to reach you and advise them of the services or products that may have changed due to the complications of the pandemic.
#2 – Mastered Skillset
It is possible to find well-rounded marketing employees when developing an in-house marketing team, but it does indeed take a team to have mastered skillsets. Not all start-up businesses have a marketing budget or enough revenue to hire a full-service team so it makes sense to outsource certain pieces, or all of their marketing to an agency. An in-house marketing team in a large-scale business may have the resources for a mastered team but it must be determined if the ROI outweighs the costs.
#3 – Maintaining A Competitive Edge
Marketing is ever evolving and it is important to keep abreast of the trends and technology that keep you ahead of your competition. It is possible to do this with in-house marketing if the company invests in marketing education, new technology and resources. However, most of the time, unless you have a large enough marketing team, this investment outweighs the Return on Investment (ROI) and it is more cost-effective to outsource the marketing to an agency.
#4 – Growing or Scaling Your Business
When you have an in-house marketing team, if you want to grow or scale your business you will need to either hire or let go of employees. The hiring of new employees is a rather lengthy process, between interviewing and training. For example, say your competitor decides to launch a new product or a new feature to enhance their existing product. How quickly would you need to ramp up your marketing efforts? Rather quickly. With an in-house marketing team, it may not be quick enough to get you to where you need to be in time to beat your competition. However, an agency already has the staff in place to take on new work or scale it without you losing an employee. In-house marketing may make more sense when your business is in a place to maintain a dedicated marketing team. There are many pros and cons to in-house marketing vs. agency.
#5 – Communication and Networking
Communication and networking are extremely important in marketing, whether you have an in-house marketing team or if your company confers with an agency. An in-house marketing team, depending on the size, may have some limitations brainstorming with other peers in their field. However, when a business has partnered with an agency, that business would have both employees who are knowledgeable about business operations and an outsourced marketing team that has the ability to brainstorm marketing ideas. Communication with an agency is essential to understanding the company mission, branding and goals.
#6 – Cost
Cost is a major factor when hiring an in-house marketing team or outsourcing it. The pro for a small start-up is that they can manage and closely monitor their own marketing content and brand. However, as that small business grows, it will need to hire more employees or think about outsourcing. When considering an in-house team, a business needs to think about employee turnover, factor in the costs of replacing that employee, the additional training and the effect it has on other staff members, all which can cost thousands of dollars. When everything is outsourced, that cost goes away and you just pay your retainer or monthly fee.
There are several situations to consider when planning an in-house team or choosing an agency. Both can work well depending on your business’s challenges and goals. Some businesses choose both so that they have control over content, branding and other marketing deliverables while others choose to outsource everything and keep a very open communication flow with an agency. Strategic Marketing is a full-service agency that will help you with your marketing planning or what will work best for your budget and your overall company mission. Let us help you decide. Contact us at https://thinkstrategic.com/contact/ or at 561-688-8155.
In our series to celebrate Women’s History Month this week, we discover a little more about Emily O’Dea. Emily moved up the career ladder at Strategic Marketing from Account Manager to Director of Account Services and now Vice President. On March 8th, at 31 years old she was granted a seat on Strategic Marketing’s Board of Directors and promoted to Vice President of Account Services. Having worked with a variety of industry clients, Emily’s leadership contributes to the success of the team and getting the job done.
How did you get to the position you have today? Can you share your professional story?
Hard work, patience, great ideas and sheer tenacity.
I’ve always been an all or nothing person. If something is worth doing, then I put 150% effort into it. I learn everything that I can, and I apply that knowledge while working as hard as I possibly can. I take this approach with both short- and long-term goals.
My professional story started when I took my first class in marketing. I was not a marketing major; however, my school required that in our freshman year we take a “learning community” class in a major different than the one we had chosen. I was a psych major at the time so I chose to take a marketing class called Consumer Behavior. I was fascinated. I wanted to learn more about marketing so I set myself up with a summer internship in the advertising department of Conde Nast.
While untangling necklaces in a style closet for hours alongside my boss, I learned that the fashion/ publishing world was not for me. However, I was intrigued by the ad agencies sending us the creative ads for our magazine so I kept interning, but this time on the agency side.
Since graduating, I’ve continued to work in advertising over the past ten years. I joined Zimmerman as a Traffic Coordinator and then switched to Account Services. After Zimmerman, I went to a boutique digital agency and then onto the client side as a Marketing Director before joining the team at Strategic Marketing.
Along the way I learned to speak up when you have a good idea, learn everything you can and work hard.
How hard or easy was it to get in the job market when you started?
I graduated in 2009. That was a really hard year to get hired for any industry, especially marketing. Before graduating, I anticipated this challenge so I interned every single semester to ensure I had an edge when the time came to get a full-time job. I also realized that no one really knew a whole lot about digital marketing and that presented an opportunity to carve out a little niche in a tough job market.
Was working in the Advertising and Marketing industry always on your radar?
Not at all. I went to college undecided but firm on the fact that I wasn’t going to be a business person. I saw myself as the creative type with an aptitude for science. Then through the classes I took I realized that advertising is about being both creative and analytical in a collaborative environment. I tell students all the time to get out and intern because before I did, I never really knew my job existed.
What are some characteristics of a great leader in your perspective?
To me, great leadership is about being out in the trenches with your team doing the hard work and leading the charge. Leadership is letting your hard work and passion for the project inspire your team to do their best.
Any life lessons that you learned in your career that you believe helped you to make it where you are today?
Take the risk. If you want something, ask for it. If you don’t get it, let your work speak for itself and ask again.
Do you believe in the power of diversity?
Absolutely. Whether it’s through the relationships we build with our clients or through the creative the end consumers are seeing, we’re in the business of connecting with people. Having empathy for experiences that differ from your own are of paramount importance when making that connection. Having diversity within your team is a powerful catalyst to developing that empathy and understanding so that you can make a more impactful and authentic connection.
Do you think that the women in leadership make any difference in your organization?
Of course, and the answer is twofold. We have long understood that the woman is the buyer in the household. Most consumer advertising needs a female perspective in order to create a stronger connection with that consumer. Secondly, the next generation of adwoman need more role models.
In this fast-paced market, people are always trying to do things better, faster and smarter. Can you share how you made a project more efficient?
Finding and implementing the right software that elevates the quality of our product and arms the team with the tools they need to get the job done correctly.
What’s your superpower?
Multitasking. Keeping all of the plates spinning and switching gears at a moment’s notice.
Any advice for entrepreneurs that want to partner with Strategic Marketing?
Creative is subjective and targeted toward a specific audience and goal. When an agency creates work for you, seeking too many outside opinions can create feedback that mucks up the intended message.
How does your career background contribute for you to make great work at Strategic Marketing today?
Having experience on both the agency and client side helps me to better connect with my clients and teammates. The one-woman-show marketing director role I once had directly before coming to Strategic made me very resourceful, which is a powerful trait to have in an industry that continues to change.
How would you describe your working style?
I plan as much as I can knowing that the most carefully laid plans will still need a back-up.
Any company run or founded by Women that you would like to have as a client?
Orangetheory Fitness! Hit me up! We’ve got expertise in franchise marketing and we’re ready to help each of your locations succeed.