Tag Archives: Brand Awareness

Vol. 89: Remove your Disconnect in Client Expectations

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Client Expectations

Setting Business Expectations Early Saves the Relationship

When you think about it, most of us spend more time with our business associates and coworkers than our families and personal partners. It’s like a marriage of sorts but we don’t always have the opportunity to formulate a plan for the future and revisit those goals as often as we do with our loved ones at home. But maybe we should.

Not everyone delivers communication in the same way. Moreover, not everyone receives communication in the same way. This painful truth, left unchecked, will continue to set the marketing agency and client relationship at odds. Why?

We forget that behind the business titles and job responsibilities, we are all just people. How we perceive words, imagery, body language, voice inflection, and other clues that reveal how we think and the way we might act are often left in the digital dust. And no, emojis just won’t cut it here.

This is our greatest challenge: Knowing that we communicated expectations effectively and verifying that they were received with the same understanding.

But in this virtual age of how business gets done, not every marketing agency can take it old school and meet with clients face-to-face often. Though that would help.

If well-meaning and congruent intentions were enough to keep clients happy, we’d all be with the same advertising and SEO company for the lifetime of the business (or at least a 5-year span). But who does that? Nobody. Would it be easier if we did? Yes.

While we can’t promise that you’ll maintain the marketing alliance or client for an extended period of time, the following will help you get on the same page right from the get-go: from initial contract signings, scope creep, and unexpected business shifts.

3 Rules to Healthy Marketing Agency/Client Relationships

  1. Say what you mean.
  2. Mean what you say.
  3. Document it.

These must-dos will keep emotions on an even keel and help guide your initiatives as a collective transformation, taking ideation into realization with positive results. But your attorneys won’t be invited to this party, because expectations are best set when they are understood, revisited, and attainable. Here’s how.

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From the Eminent Team

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The Marketing Agency of 2020: A New Paradigm Is Around the Corner

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What You Should Know About Inbound Marketing Before You Hire an Agency

Nurturing and building customer engagement is more complex than ever before. Finding that sweet spot isn’t as simple as counting on your brand reputation…

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Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Owner, Digital Marketer, SEO Strategist and Writer.

I am passionate about researching, writing and sharing information on important topics as well as fun ideas and helpful reviews. I focus on health, wellness, beauty, marketing, design, art, work/life balance, quality, sustainability, ethics, human rights, personal growth, collaboration, inclusion and making the web a better place.
I am a mom of 6, glamma and partner to a wonderful man who supports me in every way, including co-owning and running our business and managing this crazy life we’ve created with each other. In my free time (what’s that?) I love to listen to podcasts, read, cook, sing, paint, dream, spend time with my family and create beautiful memories.

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Why Cannabis Design Without Showing Flower Gives Marijuana Business an Edge

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Why Cannabis Design Without Showing Flower Gives Marijuana Business an Edge

On the face of this notion, you might think that I’m ashamed of marijuana use as a whole. You could believe that there’s an insinuation here, that cannabis-related businesses should act as though they’ve got something to hide.

According to the federal government, they do. Facebook, Google and Amazon might concur with that sentiment as well because as long as cannabis product and service offerings don’t play by their rules (when they choose to enforce them), these businesses don’t or won’t exist. Then again, marijuana industry sales certainly don’t dictate that. In fact, there’s a lot to celebrate: It’s a billion dollar industry. But the same challenges that stand in the marketing and public positioning of these businesses also exist in cannabis design. It could be one of the factors for success and failure. Here’s why.

Marijuana Advertising and Cannabis Design Must Overcome Stigma in 3 Seconds

There is a three-second rule. No, not the one that applies to food dropped on the floor that’s still fit for consumption; that’s actually a five-second rule. I’m talking about three seconds. It may not sound like a lifetime. It is in radio. But there’s no visual element in that media channel – just the power of the mind. However, three seconds on a print piece, billboard or web display will represent a lifetime of brand perception to the viewer, whether the impression is on target or totally off the mark.

Many existing dispensary shops and ancillary weed-based businesses use the obvious indicator of the product, the marijuana leaf. But according to a recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office report, 44 percent of logos in this industry had some form of the plant included. Isn’t the cannabis industry much bigger than that?

Think of it this way. If you had a company that manufactured a coffee drink flavored with butter (some people drink coffee as such), how impactful would coffee beans or a stick of butter be to the logo? Pretty meh, right? And it wouldn’t pass the three second test. That is, if a consumer even needed the entire three seconds before passing it over and looking for “Next”…

The Right Look and Feel of Cannabis Branding Makes Consumers Want to Touch It

Strong branding and alluring cannabis design are one in the same. Brand colors and placement, typeface, size and tone all play a significant role in how a consumer perceives who you are, what you do and how you do it. This is inclusive of marijuana enterprises as well. It boils down to creating the experience that a person wants to visit and revisit.

Positive Logo Brand Experience

More than likely, the first customer experience happens on a website. Unless it’s a landing page, the home page is the starting point. From there, people will then venture into the brick and mortar of the company, the dispensary, for example. But what then?

The Journey of the Marijuana Brand Experience

Let’s say you’re driving home from work on a Friday evening and although you’ve put the work week behind, you’re still carrying the stress of the job (as many of us do). While you’re approaching a stop light as dusk begins its descent, something catches the corner of your eye. There, at the top right corner of it.

There’s a billboard, extolling the virtues of a marijuana dispensary located just around the corner. You’re a card-carrying member of the cannabis community so you follow the sign to check it out. You’re thinking that, more than likely, they’ll have something to help ease the tension from your neck and back. And they’re just two miles from home. Timing is everything. But here’s what I haven’t told you yet: the company’s name, Kind Meds. Emotionally approachable? Heck yeah!

One more anecdote before we move on … If your web brand doesn’t align with your on-site experience, you’ve created a consumer disconnect. For businesses that rely on marijuana marketing to increase brand awareness, engage new customers and build brand loyalty, it’s everything.

Let’s take this up a notch.

Tomorrow’s Marijuana Advocates Might Be Today’s Adversaries

What if the person in that car heading home from work wasn’t a marijuana advocate? In fact, what if he/she is one of the millions in the United States who still support the Schedule I drug classification? Even with the recent news that the DEA moved some marijuana formulations into Schedule V, making this the first time it provided a sliver of government-backed legitimacy to its use, it isn’t widely known to the general public.

Even with the anti-cannabis tide changing, leaning more towards acceptance, how could a brand convince a person, dead-set against the product, to give it a moment (three seconds) of consideration?

The Don’ts of Cannabis Design and Branding

If you’re trying to get the attention of consumers who are on the fence about cannabis use, reminding them about past stigmas and conflicting legal regulations (state-to-state and federal) won’t do your brand any favors.

Instead, make sure your cannabis design and overall brand sell an experience or a lifestyle. There are effective ways to execute this, as there’s no reason to state the obvious by using a marijuana leaf. It’s boring, dated and represents lackluster creativity. Besides, you cannot “sell” product through cannabis advertising any way.

What you can do is create cannabis design that excites the senses and exudes a direct representation of the company and the corresponding audience(s) you’re wanting to attract.

It’s All About the Packaging

Recent stories and concerns across the country are forcing necessary changes in the way cannabis products are packaged. Some states are instituting new guidelines in marijuana products that not only minimize the allure of edibles to children, but make it more difficult to open the products (child-resistant and child-proof).

Brand Persuasion in a Name

Meanwhile, let’s get back to the potential new cannabis lover, yet to try the product. Normally, a billboard that had a hint of marijuana theme to it would never get a second chance. But there’s something about the name Kind Meds. It’s warm, inviting and supportive. What if the entire brand experience echoed the same description?

This is powerful brand positioning. It creates, through suggestion and statement, what the dispensary stands for and what they deliver to the consumer. No matter how the cannabis industry evolves (or stands still at some point), the term kind will always relay positivity and something to be shared. Perfect for social media campaigns.

Brand Differentiators Are Essential to Shine Beyond Competitors

Just like any other industry, cannabis businesses must use design and marketing to create memorable impressions on their customers and prospects. In today’s retail culture, it isn’t just enough to throw up a sign, open your doors and expect the sales traffic to flow.

Consumers want to do their research. They want to find verifiable sources that speak to the benefits of what you have to offer. And when they finally decide to come face to face in store, the research and testimonials have to match up to their experience. If it happens, they’ll buy that product and cannabis swag you have on the shelves, share their experience and be your brand ambassador. Then hit repeat.

How Do You Put Cannabis in Front of People? We Do This, Well.

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Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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New Addiction Treatment Certification Allows Rehabs to Bid on AdWords Again

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Several of our addiction treatment center clients here at Eminent SEO, and those of our partner Addiction-Rep.com, have asked us about this news: “Exclusive: Google unveils vetting process for drug rehab ads.”

So far, there have been several direct questions that stem from this article, so here I will attempt to answer all of these questions. In addition, I will give some suggestions and professional insight, being that Eminent SEO is an agency that works with several addiction treatment centers and behavioral health care consultants.

Question 1: Does this mean we can bid on Google AdWords again?

Yes, kind of. Google did announce it will allow treatment centers to run ads after they have been vetted by Portland, Oregon firm LegitScript.

However, don’t expect this to happen overnight. In a new article posted this week, “LegitScript’s New Certification Program for Addiction Treatment Providers Will Help Those Most Vulnerable,” LegitScript included an important note:

“During the first three months, we’re going to intentionally take it slow. Irrespective of how many applications we receive, we’ll probably only certify about 20 to 30, simply so that we can make sure and get the process right. After that, we’ll ramp up the speed. (This goes into the “lessons learned” bucket from our existing healthcare merchant certification program.) This also works well with Google’s timeline, since they have indicated they will actually begin allowing these advertisers in July.”

Question 2: What does it take to get the addiction treatment certification?

The LegitScript website says the company is now accepting applications and that the evaluation includes criminal background checks as well as license and insurance verification. Rehabs will also have to provide “written policies and procedures demonstrating a commitment to best practices, effective recovery and continuous improvement.”

They will charge $995 up front and then $1,995 annually for the vetting.

You can see the full LegitScript Addiction Treatment Provider Certification Standards here. They are not messing around. If you want to get approved, better read this first.

Question 3: What does this change for rehabs?

Up until recently, treatment centers could buy Google ads without a certification. However, over the last few years, Google has been rolling out a new vetting process for certain industries that will only allow entities to bid once they get the certification.

Before this announcement, the certification process only applied to garage-door repair techs, locksmiths, pharmacies and prescription drug providers. Now you can add addiction treatment centers to that list. From the LegitScript article, it sounds like Google will also be asking for more documentation from political advertisers soon this year as well (thank God).

Question 4: Does this LegitScript company manage the ads?

No. This is a qualification process, but the company will not be managing the ads. What LegitScript does is verify you meet the criteria and then provide a legal certificate to Google as proof. You would still need to have a professional Google PPC expert run your ads.

So, this cost is in addition to the ad management, and apparently required if you want to do Google ads in the future.

Question 5: How much will Google ads cost now?

This is still yet to be determined. Before the Google rehab keyword crackdown, the ad rates were out of control. Keywords were going for $50 to $150 a click sometimes. It was crazy!

Since the rollout doesn’t come until July, all we can do is speculate. And since LegitScript is only certifying up to 30 applicants, I can’t imagine there will be a bunch of competition driving up the bid rates.

Anyone care to speculate? Please add your thoughts to the comments.

Question 6: Can my treatment center get certified?

If you are a treatment facility with a valid company website, physical address, qualified staff and think can meet all of their certification qualifications, you can definitely apply!

However, it looks like the early bird gets the worm in this case. With only 30 applicants being accepted for a trial run and more than 14,500 specialized drug treatment facilities in the U.S., it may be tough to become one of the first.

You can start the process here if you’re interested and ready to begin AdWords as soon as Google permits: LegitScript’s Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment Certification Application.

Maybe the bigger question here is really: Should I get certified?

A successful Google AdWords campaign now requires a significant financial investment each month:

  • A LegitScript fee of $995 up front, and then $1,995 annually.
  • A professional setup and management fee, which could run you $500 to $5000 per month, depending on who you hire and their level of skill.
  • Expertly written ad messages and optimized landing pages, which could run another few thousand dollars.
  • Google AdWords and Display ad fees, which historically have run companies anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000 per month. That’s right, I said $500 THOUSAND. These people were not messing around. I don’t know what ads will run for these 30 or so accepted applicants, but I am guessing they will need a few thousand dollars, just the same.

What Does That Total?

Conservatively speaking, you’re looking at $5,000 for the setup costs and at least $10,000 per month including ad fees, landing pages and management costs. I guess you could do it for cheaper, but if you think your ads will perform without expert management and optimized landing pages, you’re probably wasting marketing dollars.

Ads need the right strategy to get results. It’s easy to blow tons of money fast if you don’t have your campaigns set up right.

Final Take

My advice? If you’re not prepared to spend thousands of dollars, don’t bother. There are so many other channels of marketing that you can utilize to generate qualified leads without breaking the bank. I would strongly suggest you really think through all of your options and talk with a strategist before making a decision on investing into Google AdWords again. It’s a commitment.

On the other hand, if you DO have the money, this could be an opportunity for your rehab organization to come out ahead of the insanely high pre-ban bid rates.

What do you think? Worth it or naw? Weigh in below.

Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Owner, Digital Marketer, SEO Strategist and Writer.

I am passionate about researching, writing and sharing information on important topics as well as fun ideas and helpful reviews. I focus on health, wellness, beauty, marketing, design, art, work/life balance, quality, sustainability, ethics, human rights, personal growth, collaboration, inclusion and making the web a better place.
I am a mom of 6, glamma and partner to a wonderful man who supports me in every way, including co-owning and running our business and managing this crazy life we’ve created with each other. In my free time (what’s that?) I love to listen to podcasts, read, cook, sing, paint, dream, spend time with my family and create beautiful memories.

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Did Google Crush Your Addiction Treatment AdWords Campaign?

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Eminent SEO - Google Crushes Addiction Treatment AdWords CampaignsAround September of this year, Google placed new restrictions on advertising keywords related to searches for addiction treatment. This had a tremendous impact on addiction treatment centers around the country that relied on Google AdWords campaigns as their primary digital ad source.

In fact, word on the street is certain centers have been hit so hard they are cutting staff, selling their facilities and even going bankrupt.

Why Did Google Crack Down on Addiction Treatment Ads?

As a long-time addiction treatment marker myself, I have watched the recovery industry evolve over the last 12 years. Over that period of time, I have seen a lot of shady marketing practices in general. I mean, a ton.

However, what has become even more alarming over the last few years has been shady (sometimes even illegal) addiction treatment center business practices. I even recently wrote a blog post directed to addiction treatment centers as an open letter on what NOT to do: Dear Addiction Rehab Owners.

Those of us who preach ethical marketing saw this coming and said it would happen. Overnight, Google decided to stop selling ads for a giant number of “addiction treatment” related search terms, including “rehab near me,” “alcohol treatment” and thousands of others.

Imagine the SHOCK around the country as the $35 billion addiction treatment industry discovered its primary lead generation source was practically shut off overnight.

Google told The Verge in a statement:

“We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision, in consultation with experts, to restrict ads in this category. As always, we constantly review our policies to protect our users and provide good experiences for consumers.”

Isn’t This a Loss for Google?

Uh, yes. Some of the top-searched rehab terms were going for $100-plus per click! We know addiction treatment centers that were spending millions of dollars a year on Google ads alone.

But, you know what a bigger loss is? The 570,000 people who die annually from drug and alcohol use every year in the United States. According to National Institutes of Health drug facts, that number breaks down to more than 480,000 deaths related to tobacco, about 31,000 due to alcohol, nearly 22,000 due to overdose on illicit (illegal) drugs, and close to 23,000 due to overdose on prescription pain relievers.

If those deaths don’t shock you, let me give you something to compare that too. This is the list of the top 10 causes of death in the United States every year:

  • Heart issues: about 630,000 people die of heart disease annually
  • Cancer: a source of roughly 596,000 deaths annually
  • Chronic lower respiratory disease (a collection of lung diseases): 147,000 deaths
  • Accidents and unintentional injuries: 136,053 deaths
  • Stroke: 140,323
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 110,561
  • Diabetes: 79,535
  • Influenza and pneumonia: 57,062
  • Nephritis and nephrosis (kidney issues): 49,959
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 44,193

If you combine alcohol and drug related deaths, we are talking about 90,000 annually. Doesn’t that place substance abuse and addiction number 7 on the list?

People are dying! And, the saddest part? They are dying because they aren’t getting the help they need.

Although this stat is outdated (real-time stats on this stuff are hard to find!), the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found only 10.9 percent of the individuals who needed professional substance abuse actually received it.

We can do better. We MUST do better.

How Can Addiction Treatment Centers and Marketers Do Better?

Jenny Stradling - Quote on Ethical MarketingUnfortunately, this crackdown wasn’t rolled out based on the legitimacy of the facility or its advertising agency, like the organic rankings have been. This change impacted all treatment centers and their marketing agencies, legitimate or not.

It’s not fair, but Google never claimed to be fair. One bad apple might have not ruined it for the rest of us, but a LOT of bad apples did. And you know what? Good.

You heard me.

I’m tired of shady business practices. I am tired of seeing the greed in this industry. I am tired of getting calls for “grey hat” marketing practices from treatment centers who still think they have to trick Google in order to win.

I am tired of finding misinformation on legitimate sites (yes, I see you spammy rehab marketers and your regurgitated, ill-researched content). I am tired of seeing zero value being placed on quality and ethics. I am tired of auditing digital brands only to find crap.

Wake up, addiction treatment providers and marketers! This is not why we do business. We MUST find a way to do better.

Start by putting your clients first. Start by laying out a clear goal and mission. Start by agreeing to do things ethically. Start by working with other industry professionals that care about getting results AND are passionate about making a difference.

The only way your brand stands a chance in the long run is to do things the right way. Otherwise, it will catch up with you. It always does.

What Should You Replace Your Addiction Treatment AdWords Campaign With?

As a multi-channel marketing agency, we have always suggested a custom brand and marketing strategy for our addiction treatment center clients. There is no single marketing channel that will ever supply any business with all of its leads indefinitely, especially when you consider the ever-changing digital landscape.

Typically, our addiction treatment center clients will have a campaign that includes several tactics and digital channels of marketing:

  • Quality Website Design and Images
  • Professional Landing Page Optimization
  • Technical Website SEO
  • Optimized Content and Meta Data
  • Website Blogging
  • Brand Asset Development
  • Organic Search Engine Marketing
  • Local and Geo-targeted Marketing
  • Social Channel Management
  • Paid Social Ad Campaigns
  • Newsletter and Email Marketing
  • Testing, Tracking and Custom Reporting

We may also supplement with Google or Bing paid ads, but we have never relied on them. Why? Too expensive, higher cost per admit and lower conversion rate than the organic channels.

However, if you have recently been hit hard by the Google AdWords “rehab” related keyword restrictions, here are some channels you can explore:

Social Paid Ads

Yes, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat can generate addiction treatment leads when done properly. Facebook and Instagram ads are killing it for our clients right now.

Inbound Marketing

It’s not a quick fix, but utilizing custom landing pages, gated assets and email campaigns with smart, automated workflows can have a big long-term impact on your brand reach.


It’s not just “local marketing” anymore. Google gets to decide what search queries are considered local and which ones are not. You must optimize your website and ad strategies for the geo-targets you want to rank for. (Looking for more? Ask us about geo-fencing.)

Video Marketing

We can talk about video for days, but I’ll just say this: videos are valuable assets for your brand. But, not all videos are created equally. A well-researched video strategy can drive the entire marketing campaign. 2018 is the year to invest into video.

Website and Social Chat

A surprising number of treatment centers think online chat won’t work for them. Well, I am here to tell you something: it does work, and I know because I see the conversions from our client chat campaigns. If it isn’t working for you, you’re doing it wrong.


When you are in an industry that is known for false advertising, illegal patient brokering and bidding wars, it’s imperative you take the time to A) put ethical business practices into place, and B) hire a company who can guarantee they are doing the same.

If you need an agency that understands the addiction treatment industry and cares about quality, ethics AND the bottom line, give us a call. Let’s make something special together.

Contact Us to Get Started

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Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Owner, Digital Marketer, SEO Strategist and Writer.

I am passionate about researching, writing and sharing information on important topics as well as fun ideas and helpful reviews. I focus on health, wellness, beauty, marketing, design, art, work/life balance, quality, sustainability, ethics, human rights, personal growth, collaboration, inclusion and making the web a better place.
I am a mom of 6, glamma and partner to a wonderful man who supports me in every way, including co-owning and running our business and managing this crazy life we’ve created with each other. In my free time (what’s that?) I love to listen to podcasts, read, cook, sing, paint, dream, spend time with my family and create beautiful memories.

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Going Up Strong: A Baller’s Guide to Managing Social Media Trolls

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Going Up Strong Ballers Guide To Managing Social Media Trolls - ESEO

Flinging a basketball through a hoop is hard enough without somebody guarding you. That’s why the NBA’s top ballers, stars like Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, have dozens of moves for getting around their defenders. When it comes building your brand through social media, your business will run into interference as well.

If you’re planning to engage with potential customers, market your services and expand your brand via social media, you will be dealing with online trolls. There’s no way around it. Thankfully, there are several lessons that your brand can learn from the NBA – yes, really – when it comes to dealing with malicious commenters.

Keep reading to learn a few helpful plays that you can use whenever a troll stands between you and a social media victory.

Anticipate the Defense

When future-Hall-of-Famer Dwyane Wade makes a hard drive for the basket, he already knows his move is going to attract attention from defenders. That’s why he’s already got a few counter strategies (a spin, a pump fake, his patented Euro step) queued up and ready to go in case he faces resistance.

By anticipating the defense and preparing a response in advance, Dwayne Wade makes it considerably easier to score, despite the presence of an opposing player.

When it comes to posting on social media, you’ll have to take a similar approach to trolls. If your company recognizes that a social media post may provoke strong opinions or potential ridicule, then it makes sense to prepare responses in advance.

The more accurately you anticipate the type of negative responses a post could inspire, the more efficiently your company can respond to trolls and regain control of your messaging.

Rebound with Reality

Basketball Making Plays In The Social Media Comment Section - Eminent SEODespite being much maligned for his inconsistent defense and tendency to disappear during big games, All-Star power forward Kevin Love remains one of the best rebounders in the league.

How does Kevin do it? He stays focused on leveraging his strengths and always positions himself properly to get the better of his opponents. Once he has the rebound, Love is able to control the play and help his team score a basket on other end of the floor.

Your brand can take the same approach when wrestling with social media trolls in the comment section of any post. By communicating the facts that support your company’s position, including any relevant data or research, you can turn a troll’s negative post into a learning experience for the rest of your audience.

Any time you identify and point out misinformation shared by trolls, your brand demonstrates both their expertise and their professionalism in handling negative feedback. Much like a rebound in basketball, this approach turns shots against your company into a quick win for your brand.

Be Your Brand’s MVP

When rising Kristaps Porzingis was drafted in 2015 by the New York Knicks, he was received by New York fans with jeers, boos and tears. It would have been easy for Porzingis to respond to the vitriol with some shade of his own, but Porzingis made a savvy PR move and instead emphasized how much he was looking forward to “turning those booing fans into clapping fans.”

This approach was not only effective in making Porzingis seem like a classy guy; it also directed praise toward his organization, the Knicks, and their decision to draft a mature, self-aware prospect.

You company must take the same approach when it comes to dealing with social media trolls. Instead of viewing these instances as obstacles, a more proactive approach is to treat trolls as an opportunity to highlight the brand’s values and expertise.

There’s nothing trolls hate more than having the spotlight stolen from them. Your brand can elevate its reputation on social media while also deterring future abuse by learning to turn negative comments to your advantage.

Technical Fouls

Now that you’re familiar with the fundamentals of the game, it’s time to raise your social media IQ. The following technical fouls are not so much tips for getting around trolls as they are common mistakes to avoid when dealing with them.

Failing to play the game the right way can actually deteriorate the quality of your brand and potentially turn your comment section into a war zone. Keep that in mind and consider incorporating the following tips into your company’s social media policy:

Don’t Bite on the Pump Fake

One of the oldest tricks in the book is mimicking a shooting motion, just to watch your defender overcommit and open up a path for you to score. Trolls commonly post provocative, offensive statements in comment sections with the sole purpose of getting someone riled up and into an argument.

“Deflect and diffuse” should always be your go-to strategy when it comes to managing negative social media comments.

Don’t Get Called for the Flagrant

Getting into an extended argument with a troll is a bad idea. Actually hurling insults back and forth with the troll is unacceptable. Not only does this behavior compromise your company’s professionalism, it also speaks contrary to the values your company is supposed to stand for. You are better off deleting the comment than getting caught insulting consumers in your comment section.

Don’t Forget that Fans Are Watching

At the end of the day, internet trolls are more than likely not your major audience. They may be engaging with your brand online, but this engagement does very little for your bottom line.

However, potential customers are observing your behavior on social media, even if they choose not to engage. How you handle trolls says a lot about your company. A strategic, intentional approach to negative social media activity is far more likely to impress observers than an off-the-cuff, snarky rebuttal.

Getting Guidance from the Pros

Brand management is just one of the reasons that social media is so important for your company. Without an effective game plan, it’s only a matter of time before your social media strategy bottoms out.

Please browse through our other blog articles for more tips on managing responses to your brand messaging. You can also reach out to us and learn more if your business is in dire need of a revitalized social media strategy.

Avatar for Remy Albillar

Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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Why Your Local Business Needs a Google My Business Page

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Google Plus Local Place Pages

Even though Google+ is the second largest social network (still way behind Facebook), that’s not the main reason your business should be active on the platform. Users spend less than 7 minutes per month on the social network.

So why even get active on Google+ if millions of people sign up for it but never actually use it? 

Because Google+ has actually replaced what most people think of as Google Maps or Google Local or Google Place Pages… and anyone trying to drive local traffic, both to their website and their actual brick and mortar locations, needs to have a Google+ Place Page.

When you are active on Google+, your Google+ Place Pages gets better organic rankings in Google. In fact, for many searches that Google deems “local searches,” businesses with Place Pages get listed at the top of the page – above the normal organic results.

For example, look at what we get when we search Google for “phoenix accountant”:

Google Plus Place Page Organic Results

The usage of the term “Phoenix” implies we are searching for a local result, so Google displays accordingly.

You see that area highlighted in the red rectangle on the left?  What do you see below almost every single company name?  “Google+ page,” right? Those are the Place Pages.

Now up in the right, you see the map? That actually comes with you as you scroll down the page. Remember how the maps used to appear just to the right of the search result? Not anymore. Clearly Google wants you to click on a map!

When users click the map on the upper right before visiting a website they are provided with the opportunity to read and write reviews, see images and videos about the location and get the phone number or driving instructions – all without ever having to visit the actual business website.

How You Can Increase Your Local Organic Visibility

Like it or not, this is what Google is serving up for local organic searches right now.

So how do you get your map listed at the top of the local organic searches?

Unfortunately, that Google Places listing in the left red rectangle is a whole different thing than your Google+ Local Business Page (which is where all your social features can be found) – very confusing!

How can you sort out this mess and optimize both for the best search rankings and traffic?

Here are some things you can do:

Fill out your Google+ Place Page completely.

This is the information that shows up on a Google Map. Make sure to pay extra special attention for the categories in which you list your business. The name, address, and phone number must match the info on your website.

Get links and citations.

What are citations? Generally they are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number – hosted on a 3rd party site (sometimes with a link back to your map or site). This builds your domain’s authority, boosts your map visibility and pushes your site and map up the SERPs.

Encourage people to give you online reviews on your Google My Business Page.

Google knows searchers look at the these reviews and use them to determine the value of a service, product, etc. Generally more reviews show popularity for the place and therefore add value to the listing – especially when the reviews are highly rated.

Fill out your Google Local Business Page. 

When Google moved Maps to Google Local Pages at lot of companies lost their maps. Even though it’s been quite some time, many local companies haven’t claimed their new page and filled out the information correctly. If you’re not sure how to do it, here’s a guide.

Keep your Google My Business Page updated with posts.

This page has all your social features. Share articles, images and connect with others so that your platform is always up to date when people visit. No one wants to follow an inactive account! And when people do visit, they’ll be more likely to add you to their circles, +1 and share your content, which helps boost your rankings.

In Closing

Confused? You’re not alone. Having separate accounts for Google+ Places and your Local Business page was intended to make things easier, but instead many are still lost and frustrated with the transition.

It’s actually a time-consuming process just to set it up properly, and if you want to boost your rankings too that actually requires a large amount of on-going work… so remember you can always hire Eminent SEO to help. We can sort out the mess and get you up and running in no time.

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Jenny Stradling

CEO, Business Owner, Digital Marketer, SEO Strategist and Writer.

I am passionate about researching, writing and sharing information on important topics as well as fun ideas and helpful reviews. I focus on health, wellness, beauty, marketing, design, art, work/life balance, quality, sustainability, ethics, human rights, personal growth, collaboration, inclusion and making the web a better place.
I am a mom of 6, glamma and partner to a wonderful man who supports me in every way, including co-owning and running our business and managing this crazy life we’ve created with each other. In my free time (what’s that?) I love to listen to podcasts, read, cook, sing, paint, dream, spend time with my family and create beautiful memories.

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Alert For Fake Reviews on Yelp

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In an effort to crack down on fake reviews, Yelp announced a new consumer alert label in their blog last year that would appear on pages of businesses who were caught buying reviews (as shown below). “We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews…” Consumers also had the ability to click on the alert and see the fake reviews.

Consumer Alert

Looks like Yelp has rolled out yet another review filter, “Consumer Alert: Something’s Fishy  Here…” The warning reads as follows:

“A number of positive reviews for this business originated from the same IP address, which may mean that someone was trying to artificially inflate this business’s rating. Our review filter wasn’t fooled, but this apparent effort to mislead consumers was serious enough that we wanted to call it out.”

Yelp Fake Review Alert

The value of Yelp for business owners has proven itself over time. Businesses are finally understanding the power of word of mouth and how online reviews effect business. There’s a great Info-graphic from Nielsen, Yelp Drives Local Purchases – that breaks down everything from who uses Yelp, what do Yelp users search for, to how often Yelp leads to local purchases.

Yelp’s states in their support center, that businesses should not “solicit” Yelp reviews. Be careful how you go about encouraging your clientele or customers to review your company. Most definitely stay away from “Online Review Computers” at your place of business, for fear of instantly being flagged with the new IP address filter currently in motion.

Are you currently represented on Yelp? How do you feel about this new “Fishy” filter being put in place?


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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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The Ultimate Infographic to Monitoring Your Online Reputation

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Did you know that 61% of businesses are monitoring their online reputation on a regular basis; Are you? Trackur paired up with Avalaunch Media to bring us this insightful infographic on the steps in tracking your businesses reputation as well as an individuals reputation on the web.

Unless you live in a dark hole somewhere, you must understand nowadays the importance of an online reputation. Online reputation management and monitoring helps companies: develop and maintain their brand, increase the visibility, and build trust across their consumers and audience. Take a peep at the awesome infographic designed by Avalaunch Media and get started in taking the active steps to maintain your online reputation now- Or better yet, reach out to our social media team to get started with a plan of action to clean up, develop and build your online reputation.

Ultimate Guide to Monitoring Your Online Reputation

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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4 Steps To Building A Brand On A Budget

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Piggy bank

So you’re starting a business and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything? (If you say you aren’t, you’re a liar) . You don’t need to be a millionaire to build your brand- everyone has to start somewhere. Social Media is a free and great place to start – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Tumblr are all solid places to get a kickstart your first impression in a digital sense. Below you will find some ways I think you can start to build your brand on a budget and when you’re ready for a little assistance you can reach out to our Eminent team.

1. Customer Service is Key

Have you ever heard the saying, “First Impressions are everything”? Well those words couldn’t be any more true. Customer service is key when it comes to building your brand with your potential audience and/or demographic. Slip up and give some a sour taste right off the bat; people will treat you like the Bubonic Plague and steer clear.

Going above and beyond to make a customer feel appreciated, not only creates a solid foundation for a returning customers but develops brand affinity. Brand affinity builds word-of mouth, and in turn you’ve got a social buzz going. And so the domino effect continues.

2. Think Outside the Box and Get Creative

Dollar Shave Club is by far, one of my favorite companies who reflects the “Think Outside the Box” mentality and created a low budget video- that gained them more than 8+ Million views and one of the most viral campaigns for a start-up.

3. Make Friends & Collaborate

Whether you’re looking to work in a collaborative work environment like Co+Hoots or GangPlank or looking to collaborate two brands, like what Monster Cable and Dr. Dre did to create Beats by Dre  to build awareness of both brands – Each side could bring a little something unique to the table. Each company has their own USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that they can leverage, and in these collaborative opportunities you give the opportunity to bring what makes you shine to the for-front and that too for your collaborative partner. Win-win all around.

broken piggy bank

4. Market Your Resources and Be Resourceful

Don’t take your team for granted and recognize the assets you have at hand. Each individual you have hired has a skill set that gravitated you to hire them and each of those individuals have interests beyond their day-to-day work load. Maybe you need video- and you can’t afford to hire a big production team to execute what you thought was going to be a pricey penny- why not keep it low-budget and entertain the thought of using your own team of real employees and ditch the idea of actors. Have you ever taken a peek at Google’s Videos, featuring one of our favorites, Matt Cutts. Now they are a HUGE company, but recognize they can cut costs and create just as great videos on a small budget.

So remember, you don’t need a huge budget to start to build a brand. Money helps to nurture and build support but if you’re just starting out, I hope these four initial steps will help in conjuring up those creative juices .

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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