Customer Spotlight – White Glove Detailers in Charleston, SC

Fu Dog Media just launched a new website for White Glove Detailers in Charleston, SC, and we are so stoked about this new venture. White Glove Detailers has just opened it’s doors for business and with ozone sanitation as one of their core services, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

What is ozone sanitation you ask?

It is a process that completely sanitizes offices, hospitals, restaurants, and any other enclosed area, without using harmful chemicals and toxins. With perfect timing, Jeff Bailey and his team of professionals has become one of the few companies in the United States to obtain a certification in ozone sanitation. It is a Godsend for not just businesses everywhere, but the public at large during these unprecedented times of COVID-19.

What is Ozone Sanitation?

The traditional way of sanitizing an area is to manually spray toxins and chemicals onto surfaces. But the old way isn’t good enough anymore. There is a strong possibility of human error at missing all the cracks and crevices—it might clean viruses, bacteria and germs, but it leaves behind toxic residue that isn’t good to ingest or breathe.

Ozone sanitation works by removing all the air from an enclosed space, sanitizing it, and then returning it completely contaminant free. In essence, it sanitizes anything that air touches. White Glove Detailers saw a hole in the market to provide a more efficient and safer way to keep the public healthy; and they are just in time for Charleston businesses opening back up.

Not Just About Sanitation

Don’t be misled by the word “Detailers" in the name. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill car detailers. White Glove Detailers was built on an entirely new philosophy of detailing. It isn’t about wiping down dashboards or running your car through a car wash. What they provide is a service that returns your car’s paint and interior to new condition, specializing in high-end cars. And the ceramic coating that they provide isn’t a once and done proposition. It leaves a shield between your car and outdoor elements that lasts for the long-term. The coating they apply makes your car impervious to all the dirt, dust, and debris that it comes into contact with for a lasting effect.

So Much More Than Car Detailing!

Again, the word detailers might be misleading. White Glove Detailers isn’t just about restoring high-end vehicles to their “new” state—they also tackle glass throughout your home or business. And they give it the same wicking surface that makes window cleaning a thing of the past. No more worrying about soap scum or dirty exterior windows. After the coating is applied, your windows remain streak-free without any work on your part.

And if you have solar panels, the whole reason you installed them was energy efficiency. But how efficient can they possibly be with all the contaminants they likely collect? White Glove Detailers not only wipes them with fine detailing; the coating they apply keeps them clean to absorb the most energy possible for the long-term. Applying coating pre-installation to solar panels gives you max protection and efficiency over the long term.

Who Can Benefit From White Glove Detailers Service?

Whether you are a small business, large business, or car lover, the service that White Glove Detailers provides is unparalleled. When it comes to paying attention to the fine details, White Glove Detailers hits the mark. But they offer an invaluable service that you can’t get anywhere else to clean, sanitize, and make new again. Words can’t really describe what they do to restore your windows, solar panels, and car’s appearance – but seeing is believing. Visit their website today and see what their white glove service is all about.

SEO and PPC Management—The Ultimate Power Couple

SEO is a must for your company, but it takes time to move your target keywords up the search ranking pages. The goal of SEO is to rank your website for highly coveted keywords that will affect your bottom line. If you can include PPC as part of your search engine marketing budget, you can affect your leads coming in immediately. That’s why a mix of PPC and SEO can be awesome together.

Search Engine Marketing – Where do you start?

The best way to develop long-term digital success is to adopt a marketing strategy that combines the power of SEO practices alongside Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC). SEO works by increasing the visibility of your site through rankings. That is achieved by using things like keywords and keyphrases to signal search engines when someone is organically searching to find something within your industry. And it also takes quality content that is both informative and useful to the reader. Some key factors in SEO are:

  • External Links – Backlinks from numerous internet sources that help to foster more credibility and relevance between your site and a specific audience or niche market
  • On-Page Optimization – Using keyword density and metadata that will point search engines directly to your site
  • Off-Page OptimizationMeasures that can be taken outside of your website in order to improve its position in search rankings
  • Online Reputation – Reviews around the web on listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, TripAvisor, etc.
  • Page Speed Optimization
  • Mobile Responsiveness

PPC Ad Management

With PPC, you’re dealing with a strategy, whereby, you pay for advertising only when followers directly click an ad on Google, Bing, Social Media sites, retargeting or other paid advertising sites.

This type of digital marketing strategy has a high likelihood of success if your ads are properly managed, tested, tracked, evaluated and adjusted. Pay per click fees are worth it IF you get the leads and convert them to justify the expense. SEO and PPC both help to enhance the exposure of your website. SEO helps you show up in organic search results just below Google Map listings, and PPC helps you show your ad at the top of Google search results.

So, Why Combine SEO & PPC?

The reason that you should incorporate SEO and PPC is that you get maximum exposure with successful PPC and SEO campaigns. You can double the chance of click-throughs to your website by showing up both in the number one ranking in organic results and on the ad for search queries. SEO also impacts if you show up in the Google Map listings as well. If you have a properly designed website, it will be designed for maximum conversions when visitors go to your site. More on that below.

Challenges Specific to Small Business

Small businesses have the challenge of building both their audience and their reputation when starting up. PPC and SEO combined are an excellent way to both gain visibility and to rapidly enhance it at the same time. When you combine targeted PPC adverts with high ranking for keywords simultaneously, you provide two different modalities to establish your site as an authority in your industry. And once you have users, you can start converting visitors into leads.

Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization

Driving consumers to view your site is only half of the battle; you have to make sure that they find the advertising promised via your meta-descriptions and PPC adverts. Getting them there is not enough; you have to keep them there. The key analytic you want to pay attention to is the “bounce rate”. The bounce rate is how many visitors leave your site before they engage. It is the measure of how successful your strategy is working. Factors like load time or aesthetics can both increase the bounce rate, leading to poorer outcomes.

How to Entice the Consumer

The trick is to make it easy for your customers to convert by guiding them through the process. To do that you have to consider four key aspects:

  • How well does your content connect with the consumer – how easily is it understood?
  • Is your link making navigating your site easier?
  • Does the design of your site reflect your company’s intention, and, more importantly, is it what the consumer is looking for?
  • Is everything on your site operating correctly – do you have any dead pages that can lead to frustration?

Successful Digital Marketing includes Both SEO & PPC

Since digital marketing is not an exact science, there is always a built-in element of chance. The key is to minimize it through a successful combination of using SEO and PPC. If you keep in mind the user’s focus and experience, understand that it is not static, and follow the strategies outlined above, you will position yourself to have the best digital marketing campaign possible for success.

At Fu Dog Media, our goal is to create the most effective digital marketing campaign, using all the weapons in our arsenal including SEO & PPC. Contact us today to discuss how we can get your website on the road to success with a successful digital marketing campaign that uses both SEO and PPC.

If COVID-19 Has Taught us Anything, It’s That E-commerce Matters – Deep Dive Into Shopify!

The lessons learned from the COVID-19 era will be numerous and very telling going forward in both our social lives and our business ones. The one thing that all businesses, small and large can agree on, is that they learned the importance of E-commerce. If you are considering creating an online store or building on the one you already have, Shopify is a must! With so many different platforms to consider, it can become overwhelming deciding which is best for your needs. When it comes to the best of the best, Shopify is right there at the top. 

Reasons to Choose Shopify for all of Your E-Commerce Needs

Shopify has quickly become the most widely used e-commerce platform available, servicing more than 500,000 businesses worldwide. To date, more than 1.2 million business owners are using Shopify to power their online stores. And once more, over 131 million consumers have purchased goods using Shopify powered online merchants.

A Cost-Free Server Saves You Money

When you use the Shopify platform, they pick up the cost of using the server. Even better, Shopify doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all plan for business owners; you get to choose from many monthly subscription plans to suit your needs. And it is free for the first fourteen days – so you can create your online store first, and then choose the subscription that is right later.

Shopify Offers More Than Just E-Commerce Tools

Unlike other e-commerce platforms, Shopify offers tools that help to track inventory, keep a product database, integrate with social media channels such as Facebook and Pinterest, and calculate sales tax collection. It also allows business owners to use portable card readers when they take their stores on the go to trade or craft shows.

Effectively Handles Large Inventory

Shopify can help you easily handle large inventories with ease and they offer beautiful design options. It can also accommodate a growing business, being able to add more features as you go, when needed. Shopify makes it easy to get your online business up and running quickly, and just as easy to go back and make the necessary adjustments. That way, you aren’t stuck in the creation phase trying to foresee what the future will bring and worrying about whether you can adjust to fit your growth.

Easy Integration With Social Media Creates Added Marketing and Sales Options

Because Shopify integrates so seamlessly with social media channels, it helps to enhance your marketing and advertising exposure. You can manage everything from one source, instead of going into each to update, which can become very overwhelming and time-consuming. By using social media, you are able to increase your selling channels quickly and easily.

Enhances Your SEO

Shopify is an excellent tool to increase your SEO. It gives you the ability to use meta titles, meta descriptions, page titles, and customized URLs to enhance your visibility. Shopify is a platform that provides one of the most advanced dynamic marketing tools for your online store.

Endless Design Capacity

Highly critical to the favorability of your online store is the aesthetics of it. When you use Shopify, you have an endless number of design options and possibilities to increase your brand likability. You can use a standard theme or upgrade to a more professional one with ease. And with Shopify, you can completely customize your site so that it is as unique and engaging as your company.

High Security and Monitoring With no Additional Costs

Millions of people use Shopify for one simple reason; it has unparalleled security. Knowing that your information is safe is highly critical to the consumer, and one of the reasons that they chose one vendor over another. Shopify is one of the few platforms that is being monitored around the clock for attacks. And it also provides add-ons that lower your risk of trojans or viruses. Although other companies provide the same security; they charge for it. Shopify provides the highest level of security for free. When they see the Shopify logo; customers know that their information and data are being protected. That helps you to build trust and loyalty for the long-term. And it encourages repeat business!.

Discounts Available on Annual Plans

Not all businesses want to be locked into monthly rates. So to address concerns about plans, Shopify has discounts on both annual and biennial plans. If you sign up for a yearly plan, you get a 10% discount. And if you choose to use the biennial plan, your discount increases to 20% – they value business loyalty and reward it too.

The COVID-19 era will inarguably teach business owners many things when all is said and done. What is apparent already is the necessity of e-commerce for small and big businesses alike. If you are ready to take your business to the next level and create or build on your online store, let Fu Dog Media, along with the power of Shopify, realize the most profits and growth imaginable. Contact us today to get started!

Getting Ready to Turn Your Open for Business Sign on Again? Come Out Swinging Post COVID-19!

We are living in unprecedented times, which have been extremely stressful and difficult to navigate. But the one thing that we can all rely on is that the COVID-19 era can’t last forever. The good news is that we are all beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And those who persevered and showed fearlessness by forging ahead with their marketing will undoubtedly come out ahead when life returns to normal.

When only the strong not only survive, but thrive; understand that it takes courage and forethought to stay ahead of the fray. Now is the time for businesses to see the opportunity that will present itself in the post-COVID-19 boom. And to be successful, they will seek to take full advantage of it by taking action. What steps are you taking to get ahead of the competition so that your small business can reap the benefits of the economic aftermath of COVID-19?

Reach out and Engage With Established Customers

Out of sight, out of mind, is something that you don’t want to happen. People might be practicing social distancing physically, but they still want to engage with others. If you have taken a hiatus from communicating with your established customers, now is a time to make contact. Reach out and tell them about what precautions you are taking due to COVID-19 to keep them safe.

All those emails about companies' responses to the virus might seem useless, but for many businesses, they are highly critical to give people security knowing that their safety and health is your number one goal. Although COVID-19 restrictions might be lifted soon, the fear will remain. And even though you can reopen, there will be a large majority of people who will forever alter the way that they look at things and the dangers that contagion will present to them. COVID-19 might be almost over for now, but there are threats that it will return, and now is the time to let people know that you are preparing for the future.

Communicate in full detail how you are taking precautions for the here and now, and how you plan to address future threats. The reality is that the steps taken in the COVID-19 era will forever change the way that the public deals with outbreaks and perceives the threat of doing business as usual. As a business owner, put procedures in place to calm and reassure your customers and it will build loyalty for when you reopen and well beyond!

Update Your COVID-19 Policy on Your Website and Social Media

Never before have you had such a captive audience. According to SocialMediaToday.com, the average person is spending 20% more time on social media due to COVID-19. Pre-COVID-19, the average person spent two hours and twenty-four minutes, so that is a significant additional amount of the day that you have to communicate with established and potential customers.

Not only is it important to reach out via things like email marketing, but now is the time to chalk your social media sites full of information about your response to COVID-19. And also, to distribute material about how you plan on protecting those you serve. The key is to provide information that is upbeat, non-threatening, and engaging. Customers want to hear a positive approach to COVID-19 and future viral scares by seeing that you are taking actionable and real steps to stop the spread of the virus, and also to keep them safe. They shouldn’t have to wonder if you are taking precautionary steps.

Or, to think they have to go the extra step to ensure on their own, and their family’s, safety. When you outline what your new procedures are, they have the reassurance that hiring you is a safe way to go. If you are explicit and devise a real campaign to communicate to customers, you will win out over competitors who don’t. Although COVID-19 might be near the end, you still have to respond and let the customers know how your business is forever changing to address not just the current threat, but any that might come our way in the future.

Post-New Policies to be Highly Visible

Don’t leave your customers guessing if you are going to take this threat and future ones seriously by changing policies. Give them the information they need to find safety by posting the steps you are taking to keep them safe. Policies should be outlined in full detail, explaining not just the responses and alterations you are making, but why you are, and how long they will last.

People are growing tired of all the rules and regulations, but if you provide an explanation of why you are taking them and find them necessary, they will go from irritated to finding security. And they will begin to feel good about choosing your company over others that are not taking current or future threats seriously by forever changing the way that you do things.

Announce Your Intentions to Reopen

Although the stay-at-order will be lifted soon, people are still unaware of which companies will open their doors and what changes will be made. Make sure to give people the information they need not just about procedural changes, but also about any hour changes you are making.

It is highly critical to be on top of any hours of operation changes that you have made by listing them on your website, your Google Maps, and Google my Business listings. It has become very difficult to know whether businesses are keeping up with open and closed times when consumers Google business hours. And it has become super frustrating to believe that businesses are open due to the information found online only to find out that the information is wrong and has not been updated.

It literally only takes you about five minutes to change your hours of operation; so do it! Also, when you are ready to reopen, shout it out via email, social media, and whatever media outlets you have used in the past! You want to take full advantage of the post-closing order. When people begin to feel safe to leave their homes, they are going to be excited to go out and enjoy life again. Make sure that you are one of the businesses they go back to once this is all behind us by reminding them that you are open and ready to serve.

Communicate Via the Internet and All Other Ways Possible

It is not only important to use social media outlets and website details to give information in these uncertain times about your company or business; make sure to be very communicative and responsive on the web and in person. Your voice message should be clear about what changes you are making, especially if you don’t have a real person answering your phones.

And any communication you use should also have projections about what the future will hold. You want to ensure that you are highly responsive and engaged with your customers by providing the most information possible, and when possible. And also by having a real person to answer questions to ease the tension of the atmosphere we are all living.

Come Out Swinging

COVID-19 has thrust us all, especially small businesses, into a time of uncertainty where we are all just trying to make it through the storm. But those who show fearlessness in the face of adversity are the ones who will not only survive; they will thrive. Now is not the time to give up and shrink from the public’s eye. Rather, it is the time to engage with your existing and potential customers so that when this is behind us, you have built loyalty, trust, and reassurance that you are there to serve.

And also, that you care greatly about those who put faith in you by responding not just to this pandemic, but to the way that it will forever change the consumer’s psyche about safety and health. Be brave, forge ahead, and make your voice known by every channel available to help those around you find security in such insecure times. Let Fu Dog Media help you take full advantage of the post-COVID-19 era by taking the right steps now to come out swinging.

Is Drone Photography Right for Your Business? 7 Reasons to Incorporate It Into Your Marketing

Drone technology has come a long way in just the past few years, giving small business owners who use it a leg up on the competition. It has a wealth of benefits for small and large businesses alike. And for the small cost of purchasing one and learning how to use it, you reap huge rewards in cost savings, marketing, customer satisfaction, and time management.

It is also an excellent way to reduce risk for many industries since the drone becomes your eyes for hard to reach and dangerous places. These are just seven reasons, of many, that drone photography is not only your window to the world; it can bring your business to new heights!

Drone Photography for new website coming soon: pepperspressurewashing.com

You Can Ditch the Crappy Cell Phone Pics

We are in the business of making you look good online, but we can't do that without great photography. Professional quality photographs make all the difference in your website design and your overall digital marketing strategy and web presence.

Instead of pulling out your cell phone to snap a picture of the $60,000 pool you just built, you can send the drone up for easy, spectacular shots from the air. For roofers, siding installation companies and other construction industry companies, you can get great images of your finished work from your drone to incorporate in your website portfolio, your social media timelines, and to share with future customers as proof of the quality work you do.

Social Media Marketing Exposure

There is one thing that scores high on social media marketing, and that is beautiful full color images and stunning video! Posting your drone in action to your social media accounts will captivate your audience and provide them a post to engage with. Drones allow us to easily create images and videos that can really show off our work. And since social media is all about branding yourself as the latest and greatest, drone photography is an excellent tool to show off how tech-savvy you are. When your competitors are posting bland and static images, you will be stealing their thunder by showing an incredible bird's eye video or photo of your drone capturing your amazing work.

Zoom Down Aerial Video

Zoom Up Aerial Video

Rich Content for Your Website

One of the best ways to increase your SEO rankings and lead conversions is through content that is rich and engaging. But when it comes to things like pressure washing and roofing, there are only so many things that you can say. People are visual. Drone photography is something that offers an amazing perspective and let's potential customers see your work up close and in dramatic fashion. Using drone photography and videos on your website also shows that you are more advanced than the other businesses out there that haven’t incorporated it. Compare two roofing websites, one that incorporates aerial photography and one that doesn't, and you will see a huge difference.

Give Your Customers What They Can’t See for Themselves

When it comes to roofing, gutters, and construction, traditionally, the customer has to have faith in the contractor they choose to do the work. Since the consumer can’t get up on the ladder themselves to see what you do, they have to believe that you are telling them the truth. Once more, although you can take a picture, or describe to them what you see, it doesn’t tell the whole story. And sometimes it is not enough to push them to act when they should.

Drone photography gives them a bird’s eye view of what they would see if they were able to climb the roof themselves. They no longer have to rely on your eyes or your words; they have full images to back up your evaluation and assessment. And when people can see for themselves what is really going on and how serious it is, they are more apt to follow through and invest in fixing the problem before it becomes more problematic.

A Lot of Bang for Your Buck

Unlike other technology that can be both a serious investment cost-wise and hard to tackle, drone photography is relatively easy to grasp and not too expensive. The images that a drone delivers are high-quality, stunning, and in real-time. Typically with the type of businesses who can integrate drone photography, 1-2 new jobs added from drone photography will pay for your investment.

Drones bring your evaluation a little extra professionalism and your recommendations become a little more reliable to accept because people can see for themselves. The small price it costs to use drone photography pales in comparison to the rich benefits that it provides your overall brand and customer satisfaction.

Aerial Photography in Eleuthera, Bahamas

It Shows You Are Cutting Edge

With small business, things change very quickly. What better way to show your customers that  you are on top of your game and on top of your industry?

Updating your technology, along with your website and social media look, just looks like you care about always providing the most advanced products that your industry has to offer. It also creates goodwill when you show your clients you care about investing in them, by investing in yourself. And drone technology is an excellent way to be exciting, new, and cutting edge in any field.

Caribbean Drone Photography for AirBnB Rental

Reduce Employee Risk

Every time that either you or your employee climbs a ladder to get up on a roof, there is a great risk involved. Not only do you want to be safe yourself; you want to limit your risk of a slip and fall accident that can wreak havoc on your workers’ compensation premiums. When you use drone technology, you can send a machine to do the risky work while you sit back and reap the benefits.

Also, there is no need to have a team of people to evaluate, one to capture, and one to spot while the other does the dirty work. You can do the job of many without anyone having to do much of anything besides maneuver a drone where it needs to be to be your substitute. Take the risk out of your risky business and have more peace of mind.

Aerial photography taken for gutterboyzsc.com

Aerial photography taken for gutterboyzsc.com

Drone photography is an up and coming technology that saves time, money, and risk for many industries such as roofing, gutter work, and construction. It is also very inexpensive and requires very little education to operate and become certified.

And best of all, aside from all the benefits that you get personally, drone photography helps to enhance your web presence and your social media with more engagement and excitement. For the small cost of a drone and a little learning curve, you can get ahead of your competitors, so what are you waiting for? Drone photography is worth every penny of investment you make, so get on the bandwagon now and put your business ahead of the pack.

Be Present—Reap the Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your Website

The coronavirus era has presented a host of challenges for large corporations to small businesses alike. Those who learn to adapt and find new opportunities to accommodate their customer base will not only survive; they will thrive long after, life as we know it, has returned. With people maintaining social distance, and some being in complete isolation, giving your customers a way to reach out without leaving home is essential.

And if you haven’t yet incorporated a live chat to your website to make contacting you easier, now is the time! Live chat is the best way to convert a visitor to a customer. And it is also an excellent way to build loyalty that will far outlive the coronavirus.

Benefits of Adding Live Chat to Your Website

Customers Prefer the Convenience of Live Chat

Even before the coronavirus forced us all to communicate remotely, live chat was an excellent way to provide convenience to the consumer. When people visit your website, reaching out to contact you takes an extra step to seek you out. According to Statistica, “51% of consumers are more likely to stay with or buy again from a company if they offer live chat support.”

And, “20% of the shopping population prefers using chat to contact a retailer over any other communication method.” When you make contacting you for information, ordering goods, or to provide support easy via live chat, you are likely to enhance the consumer’s experience and create loyalty for the future.

Live Chat Software

It Saves Money

At a time when small businesses are scrambling to find cost-effective solutions to cut their operating budgets, live chat is an excellent tool to eliminate the need for a call center. And since it is text-based, you can communicate and help more than one customer at a time. When you are on a call, you have to give someone your undivided attention.

And you can only help one customer at a time. With text customer service, you can have one agent working with many people at once. That cuts down on employee hours since they can multitask and allows one employee to service many people at the same time.

More Quality Control

Live chat allows you more quality control when dealing with customers. If there is ever a question about a previous exchange, there is a written transcript of the conversation. That not only allows you to have the evidence you need about what transpired, should you need it; it gives you a way to keep track of your customer issues so that you can analyze where you are getting things right.

Live chat also allows you to track conversations according to things like keywords, customer demographics, support outcomes, or sales channels. The ability to comprise a database with rich information is an excellent tool to use for further live chat sessions, sales, and marketing.

Being Available When Your Customers Need you Most

There is nothing more frustrating than needing help and not being able to get it. With a live chat, you can be available more hours like during the evening and on weekends. That will make you more responsive to your customer’s needs. And it will also build trust between you and the consumer.

When you provide people with the assistance they need, that isn’t just a Q&A section on your website, it eliminates frustration and hard feelings on the part of the consumer. And even better, your employees can work remotely, so you aren’t paying them to sit in an office idle. Being available when your customers need them is important now, during the coronavirus era, more than ever before. And the trust that you build will last for years to come.

Live Chat Software

It is an Excellent Tool for Service as Well as Sales

Live chat options are excellent for all types of small businesses. They not only help to increase sales, but they also help to provide service to your customers at a moment’s notice. According to Forrester Research, live chat helps to reduce customers from dropping out during the purchasing process.

Therefore, it helps to increase sales and overall profits. “44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person while in the middle of an online purchase is one of the most important features a website can offer.” A live chat is also a great tool to discern where along the chain of purchase consumers drop out most often so that you can pinpoint those weaknesses in the process, and work to eliminate the potential that a customer will not follow through.

Gains Advantage Over Your Competitors

Although live chat is becoming quite popular, not many small businesses have it available to their consumers. If your website offers the ability to support the consumer, and to answer questions, you are going to beat out the competition that doesn’t have the added convenience. When you are available more often, provide instantaneous service, and get consumer's questions answered fully when they need you most, they will always choose you over another provider, period.

Studies show that although 80% of companies believe that they offer their consumers “superior” customer service, only about 8% of customers agree that the same businesses offer “superior” service. So if you think that you are doing a great job providing the service that your customers need, you might want to think again.

You Can Respond More Quickly

The average wait time for consumers with live chat options is about 23 seconds, and usually no more than forty-two seconds. When you compare that to email, where the response time is about forty-five minutes to as much as seventeen hours, that is a huge advantage for customer satisfaction.

And although social media users expect that they will receive support within about five minutes to the same day, the top 100 U.S. retailers take about 24 hours to answer via Facebook, and eleven hours to respond to Twitter. That is a staggering difference between communicating with a consumer who needs support, wants to place an order, or just has a general question. The amount of goodwill that being immediately available builds, is immeasurable.

Take Action, Install Live Chat on Your Site!

Now more than ever being innovative by reaching out to your consumers where they live is critical not just to survive the coronavirus era, but to thrive in the post coronavirus boom. At Fu Dog Media we have partnered with livechatinc.com to provide our clients with the most advanced live chat tools available in the industry. Live chat options not only build loyalty and goodwill between you and the customer; they save you time and money. And they will position you well ahead of the competition.

LiveChat Chats iPad

Contact us today and we’ll set you up with a FREE 15 day trial and install everything.

10 Ways to Improve Your Business While You’re Shut Down

The COVID-19 scare has changed pretty much everything in the nation. And it has people scrambling to adjust to the new business normal. If you are one of the millions of small businesses forced either to shut your doors for a while or to downsize due to the downtime, try to think of it as a positive!

If you put your downtime to good use, when life as we know it returns to the way we used to know it, you will be positioned to fully experience the boom that is likely to follow. Now is not the time to sit back and wait, it is time to push forward, stay on course, and make your business even more amazing thanks to a host of new opportunities that you might just miss if you aren’t vigilant.

1. Evaluate New Opportunities – You’re an Entrepreneur, Do What You Do Best!

The reason you became a small business owner, to begin with, is because of your entrepreneurial spirit. So it is time to conjure it up again! Look around at the new normal and find the ways that you can offer your services in a different way. Evaluate what it is that people need and how you can provide it by pivoting from the “norm”.

If you think outside of the box to find a way to provide what your competitors can’t, you will not only survive the current crisis; you might just find a new way to thrive long after COVID-19 is behind us. The virus is just a temporary thing; the way that you respond to it by adapting how you service your employees can be long-term and profitable!

2. Shoot Video or Get Professional Photography Taken

Now that you probably have a little more time on your hands, it is time to forge ahead and update! If it has been a while since you have freshened your website with quality images, do it now. If you can provide the consumer with a video that is engaging and informative, it will do wonders not just for your brand, but also for your customer’s impression.

One thing that COVID-19 has done, which is predictable, is increase the number of people who are turning to the internet both day and night. So make good use of the increase in audience by engaging potential consumers through the use of eye-catching and professional content on both your website and your social media pages. Spending a little now will do wonders for your long-term branding and marketing!

3. Now’s a Great Time to ask for Client Reviews and Work on Showcasing Your Work

Guess what… if you have downtime, quite likely so does everyone else you have worked with. People are reluctant to provide reviews when life is hectic and busy, but things have changed. The clients that have not responded might be more willing to lend a hand right now. Or, if you haven’t reached out to previous jobs, now is an excellent time to ask for a quick favor!

People are looking for something to do, so give them a review to complete and increase your local presence by posting those reviews to things like Google my Business and Google Maps. If you have previous work that you haven’t showcased, do it now!

People can’t leave their homes to shop or go out to find what they need, so now is the time to bring it to them. Toot your own horn as much as you can, because even if people aren’t making moves right now, they will be in the future. And the more exposure you can get during this time, the better positioned you will be to build brand awareness and familiarity when things start to boom again.

4. Restaurant Owners – Remodel and Spruce Up the Joint!

If you are a restaurant owner, you have likely been hit hard! But instead of sitting back, surge ahead by tweaking your menu design, evaluating food costs and margins, and renovating your restaurant. That way, when you open your doors again, you will have an exciting new look and a fined tuned menu. It will go a long way in making a good impression on your customers.

Also, evaluate the cost of your menu items and think about things like menu psychology when creating your new design. When times were good, it was easy to rest on the same old, same old. With the lull, it is time to go all out and renovate your menu, your menu design, your restaurant and the amount of understanding you have about what drives your customers to choose you.

5. Content is King! Get to Creating!

If I had a dollar for every time a small business owner told me they could write their own blog… My answer to them is, “Sure you can, but do you?” The reality is that most business owners are the perfect authors for their blogs, but because they have too much on their plate, it is hard to keep up. Well, you are in luck! With the newfound time you have on your hands, you can start writing your blogs.

Not only will it help you rank higher in an organic search, now is a perfect time to connect with your audience. Things like “how-to” articles, quick tips and tricks, and everyday hacks are much appreciated. And they will have people returning to your website again. The more repeat looks you get, the more your ranking will increase. As a rule of thumb, the sky's the limit when it comes to adding fresh content to your website. Make this interim time your time to shine with some creative, engaging, and valuable website content.

6. Take Stock

COVID-19 has made the world take stock, not just of their many blessings, but also to how much we take for granted daily. Although you had to shut your doors, they are still open to you. Take the time to go through your inventory and analyze what you have, what you need, and what you don’t.

Don’t let things sit around expiring, get rid of them now so that when you are ready to open again, you have cleared out what is no longer good. That way, you have room to restock and be ready for when you can put the open for business sign back up! It is also a safe way to get some fresh air from your home confinement and maybe a little alone time!

7. Clean Out the Clutter, Organize and Renovate

Do you know who has not stopped working? Contractors. If you have been wanting to renovate or clean out, now is a perfect time without having to worry about losing money due to downtime. And it might also be a fantastic time because you might not have as much competition. And with less competition, comes less cost.

If you don’t have the resources to hire someone for renovations, do what you did when you first opened your business, put your own sweat into cleaning things up. When you are allowed to reopen, it will be like a grand reopening! Surely there are a ton of improvements you can make that cost nothing but your hard work and motivation. So stay motivated and get on it!

8. How Efficiently is Your Business Running?

When times are good, we get too caught up in the day to day operations that we don’t stop to evaluate if there are better and more efficient ways to do things. Look over the way that your business operates to find either easier or less expensive ways to conduct business. Things are going to have to be lean for a bit, so find out where you can cut costs that won’t affect quality.

9. Start a Vlog for Your Business

Most small business owners can appreciate the importance of a blog, but few have a vlog on their website. A Vlog is a marriage between a blog and a video feed that you update with the same regularity that you do your blog content. Video blogs are a great way to document things in full color and vividly. They are also an excellent way to engage with the consumer on a whole new level.

What is more valuable to existing or potential customers than tips on how-to, video step-by-step clips, or even just relating to people in an innovative new way? The more that you put yourself out there, the more your customer will become familiar with you and establish a relationship. And with a relationship, comes loyalty, so you will be bridging the impersonal nature of an internet site and giving your brand an entirely new brand, “You.”

10. Freshen up Your Website

Not only do you want to add new and exciting images and video content to your social media pages and your website; now is a great time to overhaul your site to impress. Most businesses design their sites once and then do very little to update because they lose focus and are caught up doing other things. Not only do you want to beef up your blog, think about new ways to freshen up your static pages with content that is upbeat, creative, and, above all, innovative!

If you have been neglecting your website, it is probably time to make it more appealing. Also, evaluate your website to ensure that people are able to contact you easily. And if you can offer online services that you don’t have now, add them! Your website might be a portal to a whole new business endeavor if you take advantage of all the ways that you can use it to further your business – that’s where Fu Dog Media can help!

Times are tense, I am not going to sugar coat it.

But when times get tough, the tough get going! Use this interim shut-down time to enhance your business from A to Z. After all, your entrepreneurial spirit has led you here, it is time to break it out and let it go full speed ahead! Contact Fu Dog Media to help attack your marketing and web presence today.

Keeping Work and Home Life Separate – 8 Hacks to Avoid Work From Home Pitfalls!

For many who work in the corporate world, the idea of being able to work remotely from home seems like a dream. But like anything in life, with the coronavirus forcing us all to take social distancing measures, working at home can begin to feel like anything but a dream. Although there is an abundance of advantages that come from being able to roll out of bed and be at work instantly, there can also be some substantial disadvantages if not properly planned for.

Being able to go from work to home life instantly is both a blessing and a curse. If you don’t set boundaries, the lines can begin to blur. Studies show that people who work remotely, on average, work as much as 40% more per week than those who commute to an office.

Boundaries are important to reduce the risk of burning out, developing the imposter syndrome, and losing motivation. But sometimes that is easier said than done. If you are someone who is finding themselves having a hard time going from work to home when working from home, these are some quick tips to keeping the two separate and you moving forward.

1. Set Normal Work Hours

Not everyone operates well in the nine to five world, which is why remote working is ideal for many. But once you find out what hours you are most productive, set them and don’t veer from them unless necessary. So you might not be a nine am starter; be a seven am'er.

Just make sure that your hours are set at 8 hours a day just like they are when you are within the confines of a workplace. Or, what you will find is that your workday might start to increase, you might find yourself not staying on task and extending your workday, or you might find that you are working overtime and burning out.

2. Put Mobile Devices Away When “at Home”

Once you have left the office, you likely return home with a sense of accomplishment. When working from a home office, it can be really easy to let the day go on forever. All of those little things you failed to do when at work can wait until the next day, but when you work from home, there is always time to go back and continue.

Commit to putting your day to rest when the day is over. That means putting your mobile devices away and leaving them for the morning. Working from home does not mean that you are on-call around the clock, so don’t get sucked into going back for more. It will still be there the following day when you are back at it during “office hours”.

3. Get Dressed For The Day

What sounds more amazing than spending the day in pajamas? But the thing about not getting ready for work is that, eventually, it becomes monotonous and loses its luster. It is important mentally to separate the day into work and home life, which includes the outfit you wear.

Although it might not seem like a big deal, wearing comfy clothes and pajamas day after day can start to put you into a slump. Even if you aren’t going anywhere, make a special point to change your outfit daily. It is alright to go casual, but not to the point of wearing sweat pants all day, every day.

4. Have One Out of Home Activity Planned Everyday

After a while, living behind the same four walls can begin to feel more like a prison. With technology as it is, you can literally sit home and wait for everything in life to come to you. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Every day, make an activity plan to get out of the house.

Regardless if it is running to the grocery store or hitting the trails for a nature hike, removing yourself from the same monotony will help inspire and motivate you. If you include some exercise in your plans, it will also help to enhance your mood, save you from anxiety and depression, and help you to be more productive and creative.

5. Have a Separate Space for Work

Although the living room couch might be super comfortable to sit down and get your work done, there are too many distractions that might get you off course. Also, it can work to blur the lines of when you are working and when you are finished. Find a room to design your workspace that has ample light and good lighting. A good ergonomic desk with a keyboard is also essential to keep your posture strong. And when you sit up tall, your body receives more oxygen, which will boost your brainpower and make you more focused throughout the day.

6. Get Up at the Same Time Everyday

It might be super alluring to hit the snooze button over and over. After all, when you work remotely, you don’t have anyone standing over you or monitoring when you make it to the office. But it is important to maintain a schedule, which includes a time to get up in the morning. Routine is going to be king to keep on schedule and motivated. It might seem like sleeping late is a great idea, but what you might quickly see is the lines between work and home life blending, and procrastination at its highest. Even if you take a little extra time in the morning for your coffee, set an alarm and stick to it!

7. Listen to Music to Accommodate Times of Stress and Lulls

Although some people might think that music is a distraction, what studies show us is that listening to music is highly motivating and enhances your productivity and creativity. There are going to be the same natural lulls and chaos during your at-home day that there are when you are in an office. Create playlists that help to keep you on task. Whether it is soothing music during times of deadlines and stress, or uplifting music to help you get through those tasks that feel like torture, music is a great way to relieve stress and also to stay focused.

8. Planning Ahead Will Help Keep you on Course!

Working from home is hard enough when it is just you, a computer, and a mobile device, but add some children and pets and what you have is a recipe for a shortcoming. Not only will it potentially make you feel like a bad parent because you have to work, if you don’t have a plan in action, you probably won’t be able to complete your job with the same attention that it commands.

Self-motivating and working from home can be difficult, but you can do it!

This whole pandemic has thrown you into a new way of working. If you were thrust into a new work from home position, it's probably taking some adjusting. Follow these quick tips, and the transition should be smoother and it will help you embrace and thrive in your new workplace.

Google Announces Anticipated Delays – Now is the Time to Take Action

Corporations and businesses around the globe are taking measures to respond to the COVID-19 virus by keeping their employees safe. Google is no different and has announced that they are doing all they can to limit contagion by allowing people to work from home instead of coming into the office.

In their letter to their constituents, they apologized for any temporary delays that it might cause. They did maintain, however, that their priority is also to limit businesses being affected. And also that they seek to make the information on their Google Maps and Google Search as current and reliable as possible.

As a result, there will be temporary changes to their product services

Business Information Edits

Since health information and services are highly critical, health-related businesses will be prioritized for edits and reviews. Google will also pay close attention to updated closures, special hours of operation, businesses that are open or closed, business descriptions, and any business attributes edits that will provide people with the information they need most.

Newly Created Google Business Listing Claims, Verifications and Listings

Their support team will manually be reviewing all new claims, listings, and verification for health-related businesses and services. That may lead to delays in the publishing of new claims, verifications, and listings for other businesses that are outside of the healthcare industry.

Q&A and Reviews

Until further notice, all new reviews, replies to reviews, and any question and answer sessions will be unavailable on your Google My Business Listing.

So What Does That Mean for You as a Business Owner?

At Fu Dog Media, we encourage you to stay positive and remind you that these are just temporary changes in response to the pandemic. Don’t lose sight of the long-term goal of SEO and social media marketing! Now is not the time to pull back, rather make use of your time and go full speed ahead.

Update Hours

Things are very uncertain right now and people are looking for information about what is available. Make sure to update your hours of operations, special changes to your practices, or any other critical information people need to find you. When people do venture out, they want to know that they can trust you will be open and available. So give them the information necessary to limit frustration.

Keep up With Your Google my Business Posts

Now more than ever, it is important to engage and communicate with your customers. People are spending a good majority of their time on the internet, so while you have a captive audience, reach out to them and keep them in the loop. Post small details about what is happening and the changes you are making. Also, try to keep your engagements positive and uplifting. People appreciate something that makes them feel okay when everything around them is uncertain.

Update Your Listing so There Isn’t Any Information Missing

Now, while you have a little downtime, use it wisely to ensure that your Google my Business page listing is fully complete. Enhancing your page will help to increase your local presence and rank you higher both in an organic search and a local one. Remember, people don’t want to go very far from home. If you show up first in a local search, they are going to choose you over the competition. And the more complete your listing is, the better likelihood there is that your business will rank higher.

Add Engaging Photos and Videos

People are looking for a distraction, so give them one! Add uplifting and engaging photos and videos to attract their eye. Social media and your Google my Business listing are both excellent ways to further your brand marketing. And while people are looking for something to do, captivate them to enhance their brand familiarity, which will increase their loyalty not just today but for the boom that will follow this downtime!

Create Google Ads

Although most people are tightening their marketing belt, it isn’t a wise move. Now is the time to go full speed ahead. While there is a lull in the market, Google Ads will give you a tremendous amount of bang for your advertising buck! And things like pay per click advertising are an excellent way to stay ahead of the competition.

At Fu Dog Media, we understand that these are unprecedented and uncertain times. Companies like Google are taking the necessary precautions to keep their employees safe. Although there might be delays in their day to day operations, don’t let that deter you from taking smart marketing actions right now to put you ahead of the competition.

You might not feel it today or tomorrow, but when the dust settles and people go back to normalcy, you will have positioned yourself for success. Make the best use of this time by contacting us and let’s get ahead of the business boom to come!

Take Advantage of COVID-19 Downtime To Prepare Your Marketing for the bounce back to come!

One of the hardest parts of the COVID-19 era is not just losing business, but also having so much downtime to be in your own head. When the distractions of cleaning out closets, yard work, and do-it-yourself projects run out, all you are left with might be worry about the dwindling business atmosphere. That's why now is a perfect time to focus your attention on your digital marketing strategy.

Things have been so good for quite a while, and what we have seen is that small business owners barely have had the time to answer simple questions about how to proceed with their marketing. While you have the time, use it to your advantage, and get started on the recovery boost that is right around the corner by doubling up not pulling back!

Is Your Website Outdated?

You have been so busy with the day to day operations of supply and demand, your website has probably been the last thing on your mind. But as the days of social distancing and isolation drone on, people are hitting the internet with unprecedented numbers. That is giving them time to research services in the area that are on their to-do spring list, who delivers, and what errands they can do via the internet to check off of their sitting idle list.

If you update your website now, you will create a better impression. And you will also beat out the competitors who think now is the time to tighten their marketing belts. A little upgrading goes a long way not just to impress existing and potential clients, but also to signal Google that you are at the top of your game, which will catapult your website ranking.

How is Your Long-Term SEO Campaign Working for you?

Hopefully, you understood from the beginning, that your SEO digital marketing plan was a long-term process. Many small businesses who are feeling the crunch of the economic slowdown and fearful of a recession are cutting back on their digital marketing efforts when they should be going full-speed ahead.

Your SEO presence will not be felt today or tomorrow, but it will when the COVID-19 era is behind us and daily life has returned to normal. If you drop things now, you are going to lose a ton of ground. It will be like starting all over again. And worse, because your competitors probably will not, they will gain steam.

So, shortly, you will have to work twice as hard to catch up while they are reaping the benefits of hanging on. SEO is much like the rabbit and hare fable… slow and steady wins the race. We can help you win it by staying the course and doing what we can to gain exposure.

How About Your Social Media Marketing?

Unlike any other time in history, people are glued to their social media. Social media marketing is all about creating a brand, growing it, and enhancing customer familiarity. The timing could not be better to captivate your audience with positive messages that will build a favorable bond with your consumers that will last long after the COVID-19 scare is behind us.

Boost your efforts and keep your message both informative and inspirational, and it will pay off ten-fold in both the near and distant future.

Beef up Your Local SEO

People are responding to the request to stay home. And when they do need to venture out, they don’t want to go far. Now is a perfect time to beef up your local SEO. Make sure to maximize your Google my Business page and update your Google Maps listing to keep customers up to date and boost your visibility.

Also, now is an excellent time to think about pay per click ads. Not only do statistics show that the cost of them might be dropping as much as 6%, due to less competition, but their conversion rate is also going way up. A long-term SEO strategy is important for your future success, but a successful PPC campaign can help to give you a boost that will help you in the short term. Then, your SEO efforts will keep you there for the long run.

Content Marketing and Keywords

Content marketing is the way that Google picks up timely and relevant keywords and keyphrases to categorize your business and match you to an organic search. But it is not a once and done proposition. Although the business might be slowing, Google's efforts are not. They continually update their information due to recent content to rank your business.

And although cutting your content efforts might seem like an easy and quick way to tighten your belt, it will do a whole lot of damage to your Google ranking. Freshening up your content via blogs and static content according to what people are currently searching, is critical to saving all the ground that you have made. If you drop the ball now, you will be playing catch up for a very long time.

Think Outside of the Box and Stay Current

So many things have changed in the SEO world while you were busy doing what you do best, paying attention to your service or product. Now is an excellent time, while you have time, to consider new changes that will enhance your visibility and ones that your competitors aren’t taking advantage of.

If you haven’t updated your Apple Maps listing, do it now. Statistics say that more people are using Siri to find local businesses, and Siri only uses Apple Maps data. So make sure that you not only have Google Maps maximized; but also that you have thought about new up and coming ways to make it easier for your niche market to find you via the internet!

Remember – COVID-19 is a Temporary Situation

At Fu Dog Media, we understand that everyone is fearful of the COVID-19 fallout. But it is a temporary situation. And if we look to the fact that China, who experienced the worst of it, is now recovering to business as usual in just three months, we are more than halfway in. And, hopefully, we got a bigger jump on its effects thanks to public health measures. Now is not the time to tighten your marketing budget, it is time to double down.

Take advantage of the downtime to make sure you are prepared for the boost that will follow by making a list of all the ways to not just stay afloat, but also to forge ahead in the months to come. Contact Fu Dog Media today to go through your checklist and start marking things off!

Digital Marketing in the COVID-19 Era – Breathe Deep and Think Rationally for the Future!

You undoubtedly have seen many companies release their response to the COVID-19 crisis. The reason why corporations and large businesses alike have gone on record with their words about understanding the hardships that many are facing is to relate to their consumers and to demonstrate their concern. You are never too small of a company or business to reach out to customers during these trying times.

In fact, it is the best way to create a sense of community and goodwill that will last long after social distancing and isolation are behind us. One key thing to remember is to keep your messages inspirational and positive. Remind your customers that out of struggle comes growth. And also that it is during these times of hardship when the goodness within people shines through, which includes how your company shows your empathy for those around it.

Calm Fear and Anxiety by Keeping it Positive

People are on high alert, with reason, and your job as a leader in the community is to fight against fear and help people to channel it in positive ways. Your customers want to be reminded that the COVID-19 conditions are temporary. And also that you are doing everything as a company to still service customers, but in the safest way possible while observing the CDC's recommended procedures for COVID-19.

Don’t just use epithets to lift their spirits, use factual knowledge that will give them hope and bring back a sense of reality versus panic. Be more transparent than ever, as people need your authenticity as a business owner to shine through.

As a small business, just one full week into social distancing and shutdowns might feel like it is a disaster.

And for many, financially, it has been. But remind your customers and yourself that now is not the time to give in and give up. Once the virus is over and cases around the world have plateaued, things will not just return to normal, they will be ripe for businesses to forge ahead for a strong second half of the fiscal year.

There is still time for small businesses to meet their revenue goals. When panic mode sets in, you may think it is time to pause your marketing efforts. However, if you do so, you are opening the door for competitors to overtake you at your time of weakness. The businesses who continue to forge ahead for the next month or two will come out ahead.

Forward Thinkers Excel – Just Look at History

Throughout history, there have been times of economic growth and others of decline. The one thing that all businesses that excel after times of recession show are that those who stay the course outperform those that cut their resources and shrink their marketing efforts.

According to studies focused on analyzing stats across historical recessions, the data is conclusive that you should not waiver on your marketing efforts, especially during downtimes such as this. According to Forbes magazine, there is one tried and true fact, and that is the adage, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”

Examples of how great campaigns during times of hardship work are:

  • Kellogg’s “Snap,” “Crackle,” and “Pop” campaign during the Great Depression in the 1920s helped grow their company profits by 30% and positioned them as leaders in the dry cereal industry. At a time when other companies brought their marketing efforts to a standstill, Kellogg doubled down. And it more than paid off when they left competitors, who ceased to take advantage, in the lurch for decades afterward.
  • In the 1973 recession that spanned over two fiscal years, Toyota, who was the front runner, was tempted to drop their marketing and advertising budget. But they saw the threat of Honda’s popularity, so they stayed on course with their marketing campaign. In 1976, Toyota was far ahead of both Honda and Volkswagen who did not increase their efforts. And Toyota quickly became the top carmaker in the country.
  • McDonald's was by far ahead of the other fast-food restaurants when America hit the 1990-1991 recession. Seeing themselves as the market leader, they scaled back to weather the storm. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut didn’t, and they went full force ahead. As a result, Taco Bell’s sales increased by 40% and Pizza Hut by 61%, while McDonald's sales decreased by 28% in the following year.
  • During the 2009 recession, Amazon took advantage of a weak economy not by cutting costs, but instead by growing their technology. They released the Kindle, which took off with fervor. Their sales, due to their efforts, grew by over 28%.

Although these are examples about big businesses and corporations, the same principle holds for small businesses. One inarguable fact is that life will return to business as usual. And what you want to do over the next couple of months is to keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds for when it does—not disappear and let your competitors steal your share of the marketplace.

Now is the Time to Double Down!

One unprecedented difference between this recession and others is internet use. People who are practicing social distancing, or even lockdowns, are finding themselves with time on their hands and nothing to do. While stuck at home, they are hitting the internet like never before. Social media marketing is all about building your brand through engagement and brand familiarity. So now is not the time to throw in the towel, it is time to double down.

Although you can make predictions about when people are viewing their social media during regular times, you can safely assume you are going to get maximum exposure whenever you post throughout the COVID-19 era. The opportunity to build your brand and create familiarity has never been so rich! It is a unique scenario of having an incredibly captive audience.

What Makes Your Business Beneficial During These Specific Times?

Now is the time to set your business apart from the rest by telling your audience how you can benefit them most. Do you deliver? Is your business able to help people online rather than in-person? If you are a small business owner, think of ways to deliver your services without contact and then advertise. Although it might appear that having your work out club shut its doors is detrimental, get your trainers online and offer in-home training. Or, for dentists, offer online consultations.

You have a captive audience who is looking for things to do. Think about the ways that you can innovate your business practices to provide them with services from home. The key to growing any business is to adapt and innovate in the face of new demands. So instead of seeing this time as devastation for what you can no longer provide, think outside of the box to see how you can find a niche to overcome.

Once you find your new in, make sure to double down your social media efforts to reel people in. You will reach an entirely new audience if you do. And then when the COVID-19 era is over, you can resume business as usual. Or, you can continue to offer services that do well.

Find Mediums to Bridge Social Distancing

The only way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is through social distancing. But that doesn’t mean people don’t still need services! If you have a business that can provide online sessions or use the many different connection platforms available, then not only will you not miss out, you can profit! Things like Zoom Video Conferencing and Skype can keep business running as usual. And since they are highly popular and simple to use, people might find that it is a better way to connect even in good times.

Maybe you are a business that can use technology such as drone imaging to inspect people’s roofs? Are you an HVAC company that can perform contactless services to your customers? Going digital  will give your customers confidence in your service during this time of panic.

SEO Has Always Been a Long-Term Strategy!

Hopefully, you understood when you began your SEO digital marketing that it was a slow and steady process. SEO is a long-term marketing strategy that you build over time. It isn’t a flash in the pan, but a way to gain exposure and brand familiarity that happens with time. Now is not the time to pull the plug on your efforts.

If anything, it is time to enhance them. Never before have people been so tied to the internet, which is why you should make sure that they find you first. The reason to stay strong, or perhaps even increase your budgeting efforts, is two-fold. One, you are getting the most exposure time possible right now. And, two, in weeks when the COVID-19 era is over, you will beat out the competitors who tightened their belts and dropped their efforts.

Stopping your SEO efforts now could set you back for months or longer. For those companies who pull their efforts, it could be like starting over again. Now is NOT the time to disappear, it is the time to go at it harder than.

Reduce Fear… Panic is NOT Your Friend

Although it might seem that scare tactics help to motivate people to take action, too much fear makes people shut down. It is important to discuss COVID-19 and how it affects your services and industry, but don’t be a fear monger and present the worst-case scenario.

And, in the same respect, don’t panic yourself! As a small business, we understand how devastating and scary it is to see all of your hard work disappear almost overnight. But the key to staying in the game is not to give up. When panic rules, people begin to pull out and that only makes things worse.

Before you take any action with your marketing, take the time to breathe and think through things rationally. Just like any life-altering event, it is essential to take the time to mull over the entirety of a situation before decision-making. Especially in marketing, making knee jerk reactions can end up costing you a lot.

And the last thing you want to do is throw out all that you have accomplished, or to miss out on what could be one of the most lucrative opportunities possible because you fed into the pandemonium and made rash financial decisions.

The Importance of Local SEO Will be at an All-Time High

Now more than ever it is critical to focus your SEO marketing efforts locally by using things like Google my Business and Google Maps. People are wanting to stay as close to home as possible. And they are going to pick the first service they find within their area.

There are many ways to foster your local presence, which will cost you nothing. And now is the time to find out what they are and maximize them! Also, to catapult your business to the top spot and get noticed, pay per click ads might be the ticket.

You’ve got the Time – Use it!

Times have been very very good for many small businesses. Most of the companies that we deal with haven’t had time to really sit down and think about the wealth that digital marketing provides, or the steps they should take to beat the competition. Now, while you have time, use it to your advantage. Things like web design, PPC, content marketing, SEO and updating your web pages to make them more appealing are critical.

And they are something that might have fallen by the wayside! What we have found at Fu Dog is that half of the battle of helping our clients with a highly effective digital marketing plan is getting them to focus when so many other things are going on. You have the time to really analyze your digital marketing needs, make critical decisions, and devise a plan to come on strong both now and for the future. So put that time to good use! Make a useful list of the ways to engage potential and existing clients and check them off. Or, pull out that list that has been on the back burner and let’s get to work.

We are in the Same Boat – Let's Steer it Effectively!

At Fu Dog Media, we get it. We are all in the same boat, and understand that it can be very tempting to tighten your belt and make cuts to help your business survive. But making marketing knee jerk decisions based on fear and panic is never the smart way to go. Breathe deeply and think about the real facts: Coronavirus will only last for another couple of weeks to months. And what you are doing now will affect how well you will bounce back. It will also affect how well you fare against the competition who pulled back when they should have gone full speed ahead.

As hard as it is to keep your eyes forward-looking and your brain forward-thinking, it is the only way to weather this storm and to come out the other end not just surviving; but thriving.

Take the rational road and consider what steps you take now and how they will not only affect you tomorrow or next week; but months from now when life as we know it returns. You have the time to take advantage of some unprecedented good things in digital marketing if you think rationally and allow us to help! Set up a digital meeting with Fu Dog Media today to discuss the wisest steps to take for your long term success during such a tumultuous time.

Everyone Wants Results NOW…But Digital Marketing is a Long-Term Strategy!

As humans, when we want something; we want it NOW. But as the old saying goes, “All good things come to those who wait”. We are all creatures with the desire for instant gratification, especially when it involves the internet and social media. But unfortunately, the digital marketing game is not about the here and now, but rather planning now to reap benefits for the long-term.

Throughout time, industry and businesses have had to put in their dues to be successful. And it also took a combination of many different advertising and marketing strategies to get there. Although the internet has made it appear that things should come instantly, when it comes to marketing, the same rules apply – patience and persistence are the only way to success. That is why I tell my clients that the digital marketing process is a progression with a long-term goal instead of the goal being a flash in the pan. As we all know, a flash in the pan will eventually go out. With a good digital marketing strategy, your business will continue to burn bright forever.

Content Marketing Is All About Continually Updating!

Content marketing is focused on a happy-medium between good information, valuable tools for your clients, and keywords to signal search engines. But it isn’t just about writing one blog or finding amazing content for your static pages. Google isn’t a once and done service that puts everyone in categories where they hold their place forever. It is an entity that continually searches the internet for content that reclassifies, reorganizes, and ever-changes by the minute – literally.

Content is an ongoing process where you have to supply the right words, in the right succession, and provide quality to have the viewers not bounce to another page and continue to return to view. That is a whole lot of requirements necessary to be successful. That is where blogs are so critical. Updating your website blog by continually seeking the right keyword trends and what people are looking for is the only way to stay above the competition.

Content marketing is like swimming; if you aren’t moving forward, you will sink.

Also, as the internet changes, your content has to change too. Although most business owners create their static pages like “about us” or their “services” page and never alter them, to stay on top with Google searchers, you have to stay in tune with the demands of the market. Google is as good as Google is because they don’t rest on their own merits. As soon as you think you have figured out the game and what they are looking for; they shake things up. Things like adding location pages to areas you serve with their own URL address is an excellent way to give yourself a more physical address when your real one is different for areas that you want to target. That is just one way, of many, to use content and innovative ways to trigger Google to help your niche market find you. Content requires that you be ever-changing and always one step ahead for the long-term.

Videos are Amazing, But Have to be Innovative and Engaging

The world has become inhabited by the easily distracted. Videos are one of the best ways to captivate your audience and have them engage. People don’t want to just read about how well your product works or how good your restaurant food is; they want a demonstration and an explanation. That way, they can sit back and be passive, while still getting all the information that they need.

But videos are costly and timely to produce. And once they have been played once, they will probably not be watched by the same viewer gain. Therefore, updating relative videos, making your own, or even allowing others to post videos is an excellent way to get your audience engaged. And also a fantastic way to get them to stay tuned to watch again and again.

Social Media – A Perfect Way to Build Brand Image

The average person spends approximately two hours and thirty-three minutes engaged in social media per day. That is a significant amount of time that is easy to tap into. Social media is a spectacular way to show your products and services. But most importantly, it is a place where you want to build your brand image. Your brand image is the impression that you create for your customers. And your branding is a way to create customer familiarity which breeds loyalty.

But social media is something that you have to update regularly to keep people engaged. With all of the images that the average person sees in just one day alone, you have to work diligently and for the long-term to capture their attention and to create a relationship with them. It is a time-consuming and arduous process. But the good news is that once you create a bond through your social media, it will keep people coming back for more.

And if you can create a good enough campaign, people will seek you out and enjoy what you have to offer. The best way to keep an audience is to captivate them. And for branding, that means hounding them with images and visions of who and what you are, your company culture, and what you believe in. That takes a long time to develop! And, once done, just as long to maintain for the long-term.

Think of Digital Marketing in Old Fashioned Terms

Rome was not built in a day. And, unfortunately, since it didn’t innovate and change things up when necessary, it all fell apart. The digital marketing world requires the same steadfastness to stay on top. Sure, you want to be the buzz today…but you also want to be the buzz tomorrow and the next day.

And if you can’t be the flash in the pan always, you want to ensure to keep your branding and marketing light shining for the long-term. So if you want to grow a successful business, and most importantly keep it there, join us to use persistence, industry knowledge, and good old fashioned rolling up your sleeves to get where you want to be – and stay there. Contact FuDog Media today to discuss a long term digital marketing plan for the success and future of your company.

Google Posts Aren’t Just About SEO, They Must Include VEO – Are you Making That Happen?

Google Posts has been around for over three years, and, honestly, up until recently, it hasn’t really made an impact.

But just like everything else Google touches, it is now slated to be one of the biggest and most significant components for your VEO, SEO, and content campaign!

Just What are Google Posts?

A Google Post is a short blip, usually anywhere from one to three hundred words, typically accompanied by an image or video that businesses can use to promote themselves online.

They are an excellent FREE tool to highlight events, promotions, and sales. After posting them, you don’t have to worry about managing or updating them, they expire after seven days! That forces the business owner to post relevant and fresh copy on a continual basis so your profile doesn’t go silent.

Internet users can see your Google Posts directly on your Google My Business listing. You can also scroll to the right or left to see up to ten posts or go to the tab marked “posts” within your GMB listing to get a glimpse of them all at once.

All located in one place, there is also a section to add the much-necessary CTA. And now you can also add insights along with each post. The new forum of Google Posts is an entirely new marketing and advertising venue to showcase your business’s products and services.

Does Engaging in Google Posts Help Your SEO?

Yes, using the full power of Google Posts is an excellent way to enhance your SEO strategy! Using the forum will help to increase your organic presence, which will lead to more clicks. And since Google Posts comes with the highly-critical CTA button, it encourages the viewer to take immediate action. And it also gives them the means to do so.


Google Posts enhance your overall SEO campaign by:

  • Encouraging organic users to click the CTA button, which in turns increases your page rankings
  • Driving traffic to other contact forms that are located on your site will increase the likelihood that viewers will follow through to reach you
  • If you link to collect data on internet users you can then use it to drive traffic over the long-term to tools on your website like your blog and other content

When you update your website with relatable and informational content, you encourage repeat visitors. And every time that someone revisits your site, it drives your page rankings higher. Google has many “Behavioral Signals” that they use when ranking your page. When you encourage an increase in your click-through rate by getting viewers to flow from your Google my Business Listing immediately to your site, that is a behavioral signal that is viewed favorably by Google. And it pushes you higher up in the rankings.

What About Voice Engine Optimization, Does Google Posts Help There?

Forecasts maintain that as many as 50% of all searches by the year 2020 will be done via VEO. So if you want to use all the tools at your disposal through GMB, it is important to keep VEO in mind.

When people use a device to search through voice recognition, it is three times more likely that it will be their mobile device. And once you use voice recognition, you are allowed to choose from three different options that appear.

If you choose to maximize your GMB with images on your listing, you are more likely to have people choose you over your competitors who do not.

Google comprises nearly 27% of smart speaker usage, which is pretty amazing considering they only had less than 8% just last year.

Also, Google Assistant currently holds the highest percentage of answered questions that are correct, according to a 2018 Stone Temple study. Since Google continues to outperform its competitors and continues to increase its market share, it will likely be the most important voice assistant tool you will need to target.

That is why keeping it in mind when building your GMB profile is so critical to your overall internet presence!

Get Ahead of the Competition now

Right now Google Assistants can provide a business’s information according to your Knowledge Graph: address, business hours and phone numbers. But with Google’s new “Speakable” avenue, in BETA, there is a high likelihood that you will see Google being able to provide the information straight from the posts. So now is the time to get ahead of the game and take advantage before your competitors catch on.

To ensure that you are getting the maximum out of your SEO campaign you have to continually include both relevant and fresh content. By using Google Posts, you can showcase your GMB listing to provide location-specific content triggers that target the right niche market. But before you start to post to your GMB listing, it is essential to claim, optimize, and clean it up! To discuss how we can help get your GMB up and running with the most success possible, contact Fu Dog Media today

Digital Marketing Mythbusters…Don’t Always Believe What you Hear! Myths debunked here!

There is a reason why the show “Mythbusters” was so popular when it debuted.

We all have those things that we accept as fact, but they are based on no such thing. No, your blood is not blue until it hits oxygen and turns red.

Yes, it is totally okay if you wake someone while they are sleepwalking. And, no, there is no such thing as the five second rule. In fact, the amount of bacteria that is transferred to a piece of food when it hits the floor is the same no matter how long you let it sit there.

So, you think that you know all there is to know about digital marketing. Or, you believe that what you do know is actually fact, and that you are doing things to foster your business, not hurt it. But, do you know for sure? We are here to debunk the most common seven myths that most people believe about digital marketing practices and how they work.

Marketing Myth One: More Traffic to Your Website Translates Into Increased Revenue

All you have to do to increase your bottom line is drive more people to your website and kaboom…your profits will soar!

The reality is that yes, you want to drive people to your website, but not all traffic is the same. The only kind of website traffic that will translate into profits are the ones that can convert leads to sales.

Traffic is not just the number of IP addresses that make it to your page. Traffic is the audience that makes it to their intended target because behind those IP addresses are people who have the motivation, desire, problems and need for solutions.

What you have to do to make that traffic viable is to communicate to those people who do make it to your website that you have something valuable for them to invest in. You have to give them cause to take action and use your product or service, not just make it visible to them.

So, you can argue that more traffic might increase your bottom line. That part might not be a myth. What is not true is that just getting people to your page is enough to convert them to increasing revenue.

More traffic means more sales, but only if you have the right type of traffic and if you focus on the quality of the traffic flow rather than the quantity, which leads us to the second myth…

Marketing Myth Two: Your Ads Need to be Appealing to a General Audience to Attract as Many People as Possible

In the same respect that more traffic converts to more money, appealing to everyone across the board as being the goal of digital marketing is, likewise, not true. More customers do not always mean more sales.

If you run a campaign and throw out a huge net in hopes of catching everything, what you end up with are a whole lot of things you need to throw back and not a lot of what you were searching for. If you don’t specify your message to your target audience, you might appeal to more people.

But, in the end, you aren’t going to have the right message to get the specific niche that you are trying to capture. It is like fishing in the middle of the sea to get as many fish as you can instead of figuring out where the species of fish that you want to catch live.

So what is the answer?

It’s alright to use a campaign that not everyone is going to get, or an image that isn’t going to catch everyone’s eye. The key is to find out what makes your intended target tick, what gets them to focus attention and use that marketing to attract them.

The goal is not to appeal to everyone on earth. The goal is to appeal to everyone on earth who might be interested in using your product and service. And to do that, you have to find out not only what they are looking for, but what sets them apart from everyone else.

Marketing Myth Three: Email is as Dead as a Doornail

Sure, email might not be the end all be all that it used to be before things like instant messaging and texting came along, but there is no end to it. And the potential that it might present for your business is still valuable!

Although click-rates for email might be lower than other mediums, they tend to generate a lot of sales. In fact, the DMA found that for every one dollar that a company spends using email marketing $38 was generated in revenue. That would indicate that no, email is not dead, not even by a long shot.

Once more, according to Campaign Monitor, using email marketing is more effective than both Twitter or Facebook at generating leads that convert into sales. When you combine that with the fact that everyone, yes, even your grandma uses email, that says a lot!

Email is not on the decline, statistics from Statistica show that the number of emails both sent and received, is somewhere around three hundred billion, not million, literally billion, and that number is increasing every year.

Marketing Myth Four: All You Need to Succeed is an Excellent Ad, Campaign, Landing Page, etc…

A lot of digital marketers will tell you that all you have to do is get one thing right and the revenue will start pouring in. They believe that if they come up with the right ad, slogan, campaign of combination of things, the end result will be an instant success. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if that were only true?

The problem with their philosophy is that it neglects what the facts show, most customers aren’t a one-hit wonder. What I mean by that is it usually takes more than one look or glance to get a customer on the hook. In fact, there is a process that the average consumer goes through before they go from a “first glance” to a “sold.”

When we can explain the complexity of converting a stranger to a sale to our clients, they quickly see that you can’t build your business or your brand on just one hit campaign. There are several steps and processes that you need to go through before you have them hooked.

Instead of focusing on a one-hit wonder campaign, you have to create many different streams and campaigns to generate both engagement and awareness to the consumer. Once you get them to subscribe to one campaign, you shoot them another, and then the target is to get them to convert to sale by campaign three. It isn’t a once and done proposition. And anyone who tells you it isn’t, isn’t doing the groundwork necessary to make you a success.

Marketing Myth Five: Don’t be Creepy by Retargeting

No one wants to be a stalker; that isn’t cool. That is why most marketers stray away from retargeting ads to their consumer. They fear that the general public will get creeped out by being followed around the wide web. But do consumers really feel that way?

According to a study done by Wishpond, retargeting ads are viewed much more positively than negatively. That is why savvy marketers know this little secret and use it! Retargeting is one of the best and most efficient ways of bringing people back to your website. And we all know what that means…don’t we?

  • Website visitors who have been retargeted with a display ad are 70% more likely to convert
  • Over 70% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart and only 8% of those lost consumers return to complete the purchase
  • Ad retargeting brings over 25% of lost consumers back to finalize their sale

The more they visit, the more likely they are to bite. In the same study done by Wishpond, it was revealed that most digital marketing professionals would insist that retargeting is the best use of marketing there is.

So, no retargeting is not creepy. Not to retarget gives the consumer the impression that you aren’t all that interested in them, and overall, that you aren’t all that interesting.

Instead of focusing on a one-hit wonder campaign, you have to create many different streams and campaigns to generate both engagement and awareness to the consumer. Once you get them to subscribe to one campaign, you shoot them another, and then the target is to get them to convert to sale by campaign three. It isn’t a once and done proposition. And anyone who tells you it isn’t, isn’t doing the groundwork necessary to make you a success.

Marketing Myth Six: Content is King

Just because you find something that catches and sounds official, that doesn’t mean it is. There is a great argument brewing that content needs to take off the crown and take a step back. The reality is that the online content is quickly exceeding the demand for it. But that isn’t really the problem.

For purposes of marketing success, content marketing isn’t just about putting out a good blog. Content marketing is about something called full-funnel, or the concept that content is there only to lead your potential consumers through the process of awareness to evaluation ending in conversion.

If content is done correctly, it educates potential prospects about what they have to know to appreciate the full value of what you produce or service is and why they need it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be content. There are many ways to get your point across including lead magnets, a podcast, a webinar, or a video.

So is content king…the answer is definitely yes! But not in just one medium or forum.

The best way to convert potential consumers is through using all the content avenues possible to get them to realize the value of what you are offering so that they “gotta have it”!

So, sorry…. That is one myth that can not be debunked, brought up to date yes, but wrong, no!

Marketing Myth Seven: SEO is all in the Keywords

Early in the dark ages SEO was pretty simple. You found a keyword, you used it, your audience found you. And once you found that keyword, you went about stuffing the heck out of your pages to signal search engines “come find me.” Then, there was a point where you don't want to appear to be stuffing so you used hidden text (BTW, huge no-no).

The problem is that many SEO professionals still treat keywords like they are the magic key that will open any door. Don’t misunderstand, keywords are important! But if you want to beat the SEO machine, you have to consider more than finding the right word to punch in and wallah!

You have to consider not just the keyword but the intent that people have when they do a search to really understand a word’s importance and then make sure that you write content that is targeted toward the intent.

Google is Google because Google knows what Google is doing…am I right? Their entire success relies on people having a good experience using their search engine. So if someone does a search and they don’t get what they want, that isn’t going to make them happy or leave a good impression.

If you can make content based around exactly what the intention of the viewer is looking for, then they will stay put on your site. And when they do, Google counts it as a very low “bounce rate,” which means how long someone stays on your page because you had the information they needed instead of bouncing to another page. The lower your bounce rate, the higher your ranking.

So keywords are enough to get them there, but to keep them there you have to provide what a consumer is researching or looking for. So, keywords are still necessary but only to the extent that they point you in the right direction as well as the internet browser.

So, what do all of these myths have in common?

Although the myths we presented were in fact mythical, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t based on some truth. It pays to understand what the myth is to alter what works and what doesn’t. For instance, yes, people are okay with retargeting so that is a myth.

But, no, they do not want to be inundated hundreds of times a day…that IS stalking. More traffic does not necessarily convert directly to more sales. But if you have more traffic and give the necessary tools to those who need it, you have a higher likelihood that you will convert.

If there is one thing that is true about digital marketing, it is ever changing. So, what works today might not work tomorrow. That is why it is important to understand the process, not just the cliff notes.

At Fu Dog Media we take great pains to stay ahead of the game, to recognize what is truth inside of the myth and to always stay ahead of the game to keep you ahead of your competition. Contact us today to discuss how we can convert your SEO into successful sales.

This Week’s #Fudogarmy Client Spotlight: Rent Dump Trailers

To give a shout out to those who make Fu Dog Media as amazing as it is, our clients, each month we are going to highlight one of the fantastic businesses that we service. Our client spotlight this week is Rent Dump Trailers. Now, to those of you who think nothing is exciting about dump rentals, this might change your mind.

Family-Owned and Operated

Rent Dump Trailers is a family-owned and operated waste management service that specializes in bulk waste, junk removal, large scale cleanups, and the best part? They are on call for all things hauling and dumping! They aren’t a one-size-fits-all operation; they take into account each situation and job to devise the best and most reasonable option to get the job done. That means no waste for the customer and huge savings for everyone.

They also offer free estimates and in-person consultation for large scale projects, so that everyone knows what the game plan is, what to expect, and how the process goes.

Do Not Hire on Price Alone!

Although rarely considered until you have to hire one, disposal services are not cheap. There are a ton of competitors out there to help with your disposal needs, so how are you to choose? The best way to hire the best rental company is to not go by price alone. The cheapest option is not always the best! Sometimes when you hire the least expensive company to save project costs, it comes back to bite you in the end. Saving pennies by spending dollars to undo mistakes made, or having to clean up after making a poor decision, doesn’t make much cents!

Offering Same Day Junk Removal Services

Rent Dump Trailer does their best to deliver a dumpster or junk removal container the same day or next. They work behind the scenes to save projects gone awry, and deal with emergencies daily. They are the only “on call” trash service in the Charleston area, which means they are there when you need them.

Rent Dump Trailers recently cleaned out an entire home, on the same day they were hired, so that a flooring crew could start their part a week ahead of when they were scheduled to start. A construction project running ahead of schedule, rare….but not when Rent Dump Trailer is involved.

Owner Trey Langston’s favorite persona is Gary V, a Belarusian American Entrepreneur, author, internet personality, and speaker who motivates Langston to strive harder, work longer, and deliver the highest quality service possible.

So if you are a contractor, builder, apartment community, or realtor in the Charleston area with a big clean up coming your way, make sure to reach out to locally owned, Rent Dump Trailers. They won’t ever leave you hanging!

Want to be Found? Optimize Your Google Business Listing

How to Claim Your Google Business Listing

If you aren’t found on page one of a local Google search, there is a good likelihood that no one will find you. That is why Google My Business has become the hottest tactic for SEO. Google My Business is the most critical digital marketing tool there is. But before you try to manage your account, it is important to understand how to claim and verify your company or business on Google.

What are Google Business Listings?

When someone does an organic Google search on either the Google or Google Maps format, Google lists local businesses to match. The results that are displayed contain information about all the relevant companies that the internet viewer is searching for in their area. The searcher can see all pertinent information such as the business name, ratings, address, description, photos, hours of operation, and phone number.

The way that Google generates business listings is based on publicly available information. If you own a company within a specific location, it is possible that you will come up even if you haven’t added any details to your business listing.

Steps to Optimize Google Business Listing

First, you have to go through a very simple step-by-step process to both claim and verify your business listing. Once you complete the first step, you can post photos, business hours, and respond to both customer comments and questions. After you claim your account, you can also add things like events, promotions, and recent updates to your Google business listing. That means that potential or current customers will get information about your business simply by searching on Google or Google Maps.

Why You Should Use Google My Business Listings to Optimize Google Business Listing?

When someone needs a service or business, Google is the first place that they turn. Potential customers can see information on Google about your company without ever having to go to your website. But if they do want to find out more, there is an automatic link. Google Maps is currently the most favored way that smartphone users find what they need. In fact, it is used by as many as 70% of those who use smartphones. That is nearly six times more than Waze, which is the second most popular mobile search.

Making your Business Listing complete and alluring is critical to your digital marketing. If you aren’t maximizing your profile, then you aren’t showing things like photos and descriptions that can attract potential customers. Things like not having your business hours listed might give the impression that you aren’t open for business.

What can I Include in a Google My Business Listing?

Google My Business listings include things like your address, hours of operation, and a brief description of your business or service. It can also include details that are vital to contacting you like your address, a link to your website, and a phone number.

When people search using Google Maps on their smartphone or mobile device, they can click on the listing, and it will guide them to get directions or to contact you via your phone number. And smartphone users can also send text messages to your business if you have activated the messaging function.

When you manage your Google My Business listing, you can also use it to promote your business activities, promotions, or special events. Therefore, it is like free digital marketing. You can also add things like photos, answer questions, and respond to reviews. Once more, the listing you create will appear across different mediums like voice searches, mobile devices, and desktop computer searches.

Why Should I Verify my Google Business Listing?

Google My Business is one of the best ways to increase your local SEO, and it is all free. Your Google business listing is the first impression that people searching for your company or business via Google will encounter. So make it attractive, update it, and ensure its accuracy to make a good and lasting one.

Adding things like photos, your phone number, and your hours of operation can make a significant impact on the number of people who view your business and reach out to contact you. Once you have gone through the verification process, you can interact with potential customers by:

  • Editing days and times of operation
  • Verifying your phone number
  • Verifying your website link
  • Adding photos
  • Responding to customer reviews
  • Posting promotions and special events
  • Answering questions
  • Alerting customers of your offers, posts, or promotions
  • Receiving text messages from customers or prospective customers
  • Viewing analytics for desktop and mobile internet searches

Many businesses report a significant impact on their SEO when they update their Google My Business Listing, which means that they are being found through more Google searches.

How do I Verify and Claim my Google My Business Listing?



Log into your account via the Google’s Business Manager

If you have more than one Google account, make sure that you use the one that is associated with your business login. The Google account that you choose to go through the verification process will become the manager and owner of your Google business listing. The verification process will go much more smoothly if you log into a Google account that is already associated with your business, and if you use the email address that belongs to your business’s domain.

Enter Your Company Name and Select Your Location

If you have more than one location, you will need to both claim and verify each separately. Start with one and then continue to repeat the process until all listings are claimed. If there is no business already listed, Google does not have a listing for your company. If that is the case, you will need to follow a different set of steps to create a new business listing.

Confirm the Details of Your Business

Google will prompt you to confirm the details of your business such as the name, address, website, and phone number. You will then be asked to select a business category. If you aren’t sure what business category to choose, just pick one that fits best. Or, if your business fits into more than one category, you can choose others.

Begin the Verification Process

Google requires listing managers to verify that they are authorized to manage and edit business listings. Once you have gone through the steps to verify, you can update and manage your business listing. The most common way to verify your authorization is via Postal Mail.

A Google postcard will come containing a verification code according to your address. It may take up to five or more days for your postcard to arrive. But, for some businesses, there might be quicker verification methods including a phone call, an email, or even an instant verification code.

Check Your Postal MailBox

You will receive a postcard sent to your business address within 5-7 business days that will contain the code to begin verifying your Google My Business listing. The code will be inside of the postcard, and it will contain five digits.

Log Into Your Google Account and Complete Verification

Once you’ve obtained the five digit code, log back in your Google’s Business Manager account. Enter the five digits, and you are then verified. And you can update and add things to optimize your Google My Business listing. But, there are times when verification can take a little longer. If your listing needs to be reviewed, it can take up to three days for your updates to publish.

Google My Business is one of the best digital marketing tools that you can use for your local SEO. The best part is that it is entirely free once you verify and confirm your business. Follow these steps and start to create a portfolio to attract potential customers and to keep established ones in the loop! For more tips and tricks to enhance your local SEO contact FuDog Media today!

5 Google Business Profile Hacks to Increase Foot Traffic

As an SEO specialist, you've no doubt implemented various tactics to improve your clients' local SEO ranking, but you have to stop and ask yourself how many of those techniques are actually using their Google Business Profile to convert to actual foot traffic. These five Google profile hacks will help to convert their digital traffic to real-life “walk-in” traffic. The best part about these tactics is that they are relatively simple for the huge payoff they can generate for your customers' bottom line.

Answer Google Q&A With a Quick Response

According to industry experts, as many as forty percent of the Google Q&A inquiries are actual leads. If you’ve not seen the Q&A section of a Google search, this is what it looks like

This is the listing that appears to the left when someone does a Google search for a business. As you can see, there is a section where customers can send a quick question about a business. If it isn't answered quickly, your clients could be losing potential leads. And after someone adds a question, others can go in and “thumbs up” it, which means that they too would like an answer. So it might mean losing multiple potential leads.

By not answering potential clients, businesses give an impression that they aren’t responsive and they are increasing the likelihood that a lead will seek out the competition. Because it is easy to overlook leads that might be sitting in your clients' GBPs in the form of questions, being diligent about responding should become a high priority.

The most convenient way for Google My Business managers and owners to receive notifications of questions is through Google Maps App. Alerts related to questions being posted don’t appear on the dashboard of a GMB yet. But, if you have your clients set Google Maps App to alert them, they won’t ever let a question, or potential walk-in slip away.

Post Your Proximity to Close Popular Attractions

When people go to attractions such as museums, amusement parks, or even malls, they are likely to Google things around where they are visiting to find additional services. If your clients position their Google Post next to popular attractions, they can guide would-be clients directly to their front door.

That can become increasingly important for foot traffic, especially if Google expands the current way it shows Posts’ snippets not just in the Local Finder and also in the Business Profile, but in local packs.

Since posting is super easy, there is no reason not to! If you need some help explaining the process to your clients, try this Google Intro!

Convert GBPs into a Storefront Window Display

With some help from Pointy and SWIS, it is easy to turn your retail customers’ GBPs into a storefront window display. When you do, that can increase foot traffic exponentially. Set up your clients' “See What’s In Store inventory” to appear on their Business Profile and let potential customers know what the business is and exactly what they have to offer.

Pointy is Google’s new partner for the launch of this fantastic feature game-changer. The Pointy device makes it simple for any retailer to make their inventory instantly available to online viewers. And it means no e-commerce system and costs next to nothing but time and effort.

SWIS is the newest big thing to hit local Google listings. Because only one percent of US retailers already use it, you will be well ahead of the game. If you help to get your clients onboard, you will have them out in front of the competition when it comes to actual foot traffic.

Turn Your Profile Pic into a Selfie Hotspot

When possible, turning your client’s physical premise into an exterior eye-catcher will have people stomping down the doors! Consider an exterior mural to attract customers. Or, convert your integral selfie-takers into your new customers. If you create a grabbing exterior attraction, it can appeal to as many as 43 to 58 percent of those surveyed who said that they were more apt to shop at locations that are visually stimulating and attractive.

If an exterior mural isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of other ways to add inspiration to customers. If you can convince your clients to invest in an iconic new presentation for their locale, the artwork they create can cover the image of their GBP. And if it is eye-catching, then they will attract potential customers more readily than their competition that isn’t.

Local businesses who use community life, culture, and art as an integral component of their business models will attract a growing American audience that is looking for a more authentic and humanistic experience. By embracing culture and heritage, through images and decor, you will be a part of capturing a new paradigm of consumers who want more.

Use Time in Your Favor

If you are like most Americans with a hectic schedule, businesses operating from 9 to 5 only, can’t accommodate your needs. Ask your client this question, “How can a business be successful if they are only open while everyone is busy at work?”. Do some research to find out what hours of operation are posted on their direct competitors GBPs.

If you notice that there is a hole where no other shops are closed, that can be a potential opportunity to set your clients apart from others in the area. There are times when your smaller customers are already working the maximum that they can. But it is a sound question to ask them if they are working hours that suit their needs or their customers’. Posing a new idea to the client might be possible. What if instead of working the hours they currently do, they change things up to work more hours when others are closed?

Have your clients evaluate how busy they are during the week and if they pinpoint a time where it is really slow, perhaps they can take those days and times out and substitute them with other hours where competitors aren't open. If you are the only one open during off hours, guess where the customers are going to flock….

As an SEO manager, your job might be to drive digital traffic, but imagine how invaluable you will be if you can convert that additional digital traffic to walk-in. Try these simple five steps to have customers beating down your clients' door today!

5 Reasons Your Restaurant Needs Quality food AND SEO

To have a successful restaurant, all you need is quality cuisine and then the masses will come running, right? Unfortunately, that’s not all it takes to have a full house night after night. If you are working overtime to make your restaurant amazing but you aren’t working on your SEO, you aren’t focusing entirely on the right place. Word of mouth will always be king, but the internet is the best way to spread the word like fire. Using a Charleston SEO firm to promote your business is the best way to allocate your marketing energy and budget!

Everyone Uses the Internet

Think about the first step you take when you need to know about something. You head to Google to search for it, right? When people are considering what new restaurant to try or where to go for their vacation, the internet is the first place they look. And statistics say that 90% of all internet users only view the first page. So if they’re looking for a place to eat and you aren’t there, they will most likely choose the competition.

It Can Help to Highlight What You Do Best

If you have the best barbecue in the South or you serve eclectic and unique foods, that is your “brand.” But if people are searching for a specific thing like “best barbecue” and you haven’t maximized your SEO with content related to “best barbecue,” then you aren’t going to get listed on a search. But your competition will, and they will get the business nine times out of ten! If you don’t use your specialty to trigger searches, then you won’t be matched with people who are searching for you!

What Good is a Website If No One Sees It?

If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? That’s like asking, “If people can’t find you, does it matter what your website looks like?” You can design the most spectacular website and have exquisite pictures, spending both time and resources to make it exactly as you want to represent your restaurant, but it is all for naught if no one sees it! If you want people to see your menu, pictures of your atmosphere, and to read all you have to offer, then SEO is key. There is no sense in putting the time into something that won’t ever be seen.

If You Don’t Use SEO They Literally Might Not Find You!

A searcher typically researches restaurants by using a keyword followed with a location. For instance, if you wanted to find the best restaurant for Italian food while visiting Charleston, you would type just that. If you don’t have the content marketing that signals Google where you are located, then people won’t even consider you. By not maximizing your website by using local-specific cues, you aren’t going to come up in a search, and people aren’t going to come to you!

It Is the Best Marketing Money You Can Spend!

Ads are great, but they cost money to run. SEO costs very little, but it makes a continual and significant impact on your exposure! By using content marketing to trigger an organic search, you will get the exposure every time. When you run an ad, it is only seen where you place it and for as long as you run it. Although ads are a good idea too, SEO is a bigger bang for your buck to reel customers in.

You spend so much time making sure you are serving quality food and have amazing service. But that means nothing if no one knows about you. To capture people who are looking for a restaurant to try for the first time or an old favorite, SEO is a must to sell out night after night. We know how to get your restaurant on the internet map. Fudog Media is the best Charleston SEO firm around. Contact us today to discuss how we can drive traffic to your site and have the customers coming to your restaurant in droves!

Reasons Your Website Design is so Critical for Your Business

Gone are the days of the yellow pages, and in its place is the internet. 98% of those surveyed said that they use their mobile device to find what they need. And of those, almost all turn to Google to find local services and businesses to contact. If your website is outdated, lackluster, or it doesn’t contain the most effective SEO tools, you are missing out on significant opportunities to drive people not only to it but ultimately, to your business. These statistics prove a powerful point; investing in your website design is one of the best investments you can make to enhance your bottom line!

Web Design Facts for 2019

People Just Don’t Have the Attention Span Anymore – Website Design and First Impression

Instant gratification is what everyone is looking for whether they admit to it or not. If your website isn’t capturing their imagination, there is a good chance that it won’t capture their business. According to statistics:

Mobile Web Design Facts

Since more people are now using their smartphone to research on the internet than ever before, mobile-friendly designs are much more important. Consumers, on average, check their mobile device at least 150 times a day. So if you want to attract them, you have to target them where they live…their mobile devices!

Slightly less than half of all B2B products are researched for using mobile devices

Currently, as many as 91% of all small businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly design, despite the growing demand for it

If a person searches a company and lands on a non-mobile friendly website, they will go back and search for another one

Digital Marketing Website Design Facts

If you are going to spend the money to upgrade to a mobile-friendly design, it doesn’t make much sense if people can’t find you. That is why you need the additional help of a digital marketing campaign to get your newly updated website seen and used.

E-Commerce Facts

The brick and mortar retail shopping experience is nearly a thing of the past. And in its place, is e-commerce. E-commerce allows internet users to shop for what they want when they want. And users can also comparison shop to find the best price. But just like a storefront’s appearance had a significant bearing on how well it impressed consumers and swayed their purchasing decisions, your website is your new storefront and just as important. What does your digital storefront look like?

So What is Your Website Design Doing for you?

Your website is your first, and sometimes your last, way to make an impression with a potential consumer. If you enhance loading speed and make it more attractive, you can significantly increase your bottom line. But only if you use the best SEO tactics to drive people to see your wonderfully designed site. At Fudog Media we understand how important website design is, and also how critical it is to make sure that internet users see your smart website investment. Contact us today to discuss how we can get you on the map and get those contacts driven to buy!

Why a Professional Web Design is Better Than DIY Templates

A website has become the first impression that many businesses have to reach out to potential clients. Therefore, it has become as important to your company’s success as a storefront entry would be. You only get one shot to impress potential clients to make them want to reach out to you. If you blow it with an outdated website, the chances are that internet users won’t make the leap to contact you. So, although you probably can create your own website using a template, that doesn’t mean that you should. These are all reasons that custom website design is an excellent long-term investment.

DIY Builders Are Not User-Friendly

Most people use their smartphones to find the services and products that they want. But most DIY template website designs are not very responsive, have slow loading speed, and simply don’t contain the many options to make it easy to connect. If your website doesn’t lead the way, potential clients won’t take the time to hunt down your information. A custom website design is entirely user-friendly, and it makes it easy for potential customers to find and contact you without wasting their precious time.

One-Size-Fits-All…Not!

You want to set yourself apart from the competition and wow potential clients before they even pick up a phone to reach out. But if you have a one-size-fits-all website template, your website will look like everyone else’s. You want your website to stand out from the rest. To show people that you have a unique culture and to build an exciting brand, invest in a website that isn’t commonplace. There is nothing impressive about a cookie cutter design; it just gives internet viewers the impression that you aren’t anything special—and you ARE special.

Outdated SEO and Code

The way that internet users find you is through using keywords and key phrases. If you have a website that isn’t updated with the latest SEO practices, then you are tanking your ranking. And if you are, then it really doesn’t matter who creates your site, because the chances are no one will ever see it. If you aren’t found on page one, 98% of internet viewers will never see you at all. So, doing it yourself is a waste of time and energy.

The cost of having a custom website design is worth the peace of mind it provides. Sometimes there are things we can do in life, but we simply shouldn’t. When it comes to your website, you want to leave a good impression right off the bat, so you don’t risk losing a potential client due to a poor first impression. Although a custom website is an investment, it is one that is well worth it!

At Fu Dog Media we can customize your website to enhance your brand and company culture. And we work within your budget to get you everything you need to make a lasting impression so that viewers reach out and contact you. We help you attract users who will become your clients. After all, that is the number one objective of your website! Contact us today to discuss how we can help!

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