Author: Rick Marton

Cold Call Marketing Scams – Identifying a “Google” Scammer

Unknown Caller

Have you recently been called by someone claiming they are from Google?


Recently, we’ve seen a spike in cold calls to businesses from someone claiming they’re from Google.

During the call they may say things like,
“we’ve noticed your business doesn’t rank for certain keywords that it should and this is a big problem”.

Essentially using scare tactics to get you to act quickly and irrationally. They may also offer you a ‘Quick fix’, where for a small fee they can get you to the first page or even number 1 on Google search results for these particular keywords.

For people in the know, it’s an obvious scam, but smaller business owners can fall for this trap.

I just want to point out that there are digital media companies who rely on a cold call to make business. Even though this method has a very low success rate and even lower client retention rate, they are definitely not scammers.

The information i’ll be sharing with you today is only aimed at spotting these scammers.

Keywords

Whilst ranking highly for relevant keywords is important, the very top tier keywords are usually dominated by the big brands. This is because they have the resources (and sometimes entire departments) to spend lots of time and money ensuring they beat everyone else to that top spot. This makes it very hard for smaller businesses to compete, and instead should look for “low hanging fruit” where they can.

With this being said, keywords this scammer is referring to are probably very low ranking and don’t get many searches. So even if they do get you to number 1 for these keywords, it won’t improve your sales. It’s also important to note that ranking for the wrong keywords can hurt your websites ranking in the long run.

This information goes for any cold call you receive about your digital marketing strategy and in particular, keyword ranking.

Google

Google will never call you out of the blue.

If you are using Google Ads, an account manager will contact you first via email. They will introduce themselves and arrange a time that suits you to conduct an account review. If you ever get these emails I highly suggest you accept as they are very professional and can improve your Ads campaigns in just a few minutes.

If you’re trying to claim a business location on Google Maps using Google My Business, they may call, but only if you have ticked the box stating they can.

Google will never do the following;

  • Use scare tactics to get you to make a decision.
  • Offer to improve your website ranking on Google.
  • Ask you for passwords or verification code for Google My Business.
  • Call you via a recorded message or robocall.
  • Offer to manage your online profile.

Remember…

If you aren’t expecting a call from Google, then it’s a good chance it’s a scam.

Scammers are out there with a focus on winning your business, rather than helping it.

Even if the caller is from here in Australia, would you want to place your digital assets and business’ reputation in the hands of someone you have never met?

If you’ve received any requests or information from Google and you’re unsure about what your next action should be, feel free to contact Matt, our Google and SEO specialist.

Matt’s email – matt@effectivenaturally.com

Google created a support document about this specific topic. If you’d like to learn more about how to identify fraudulent calls just follow the provided link. https://support.google.com/business/answer/6212928?hl=en

Hashtags on Facebook: Yes or No?

Hashtags on Facebook Yes or No? Rick Marton Effective Naturally Social Media Support

HASHTAGS: To use or not to use?

There’s some evidence to show that user reach is inhibited by the use of hashtags and our own analytics shows the same. Of course this could change at anytime if Facebook adjust their algorithm.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ‘ever’ use them.

A hashtag is a way of grouping items in a conversation that’s searchable to bring all the posts together. So if you really need, or you think your audience needs to be able to find all the posts under one search term, then a hashtag could help you do that.

Or….there may be a larger international search that you want your content included in. If the content in that group is all linked via a hashtag then you can ‘join’ in on that search by using the hashtag too. Essentially you’re popping yourself in to the eyes of their audience.

As with all hashtags, stop and think. Using too many hashtags makes something visually horrid and can impact your reach. If you’re going to use hashtags, only use one for the point of grouping posts together but only if grouping is part of your strategy and you think people will actually need to search that way.

Should you use a funny hashtag on a Facebook post?

If you think it’s so funny that more people will react to it (thus give it more organic reach), then go for it. But it’s going to have to be bloody hilarious! If it isn’t the crux of the humour in your post, then lose it. Remember the hashtag is there to group things, if you create a hashtag from scratch and no one else is using it, then unless you’re starting a movement or have the Hashtag integrated in to a major sporting event, the chances are it won’t take off. If it isn’t already trending or relevant to anything that’s really happening, steer away.

Oh one more thing, if you grab an Instagram post and automatically post it to your business page, the 30 or so hashtags you used on Instagram will visually pollute and likely pull back the effectiveness of it on Facebook. Just let it do the automatic share (if you have that setup) then edit it on Facebook to clean it up. Speaking of Instagram (and Twitter), on all social channels it’s good manners to only use hashtags that are relevant to your content. Hijacking something with content that isn’t relevant will mean you stick out like a sore thumb. Your content won’t belong there and that’s likely to make the audience disrespect you because they feel you’ve disrespected them.

Oh, sorry another ‘one more thing’…if you’re going to use a hashtag, make sure you spell it correctly.

Hopefully this clarifies some questions around hashtags.

If you have a question about marketing pop them up on our Facebook page and I’ll answer them as I can.

Cheerio!

Rick

Are you really open when you’re open?

One of my biggest gripes that happens with bricks and mortar businesses is in regards to opening and closing times.

Businesses that close at 5:30pm, but already look closed at 5:15pm.

Do you think that makes the customer feel comfortable or uncomfortable? It’s obviously the latter, and making customers feel uncomfortable is a problem for business.

Here are three examples:

  1. Being in a cafe and they start taking the garbage out and stacking chairs while you’re there (within the advertised opening time).
  2. Being at a retail store that starts shutting down computers and is more focused on packing up then helping you.
  3. Taking the signs in from outside before you’ve closed so to anyone passing by you look closed already.

You might think it’s an efficient use of time because business is slow in the last 15 minutes, but let me promise you that giving a customer a substandard experience certainly won’t start attracting more customers. You’ll just end up getting quieter and quieter.

Think of the big brands, they generally have a 10 minute and 5 minute call ready for their doors to be closed at that time. There’s a consistency, but they don’t reduce the experience you’re getting so they can get out early.

The benefit behind a bricks and mortar store is that you have the opportunity to immerse your customer in an experience that online stores can’t match.

How good is that experience if you’ve already started packing up or if you’re not ready when people arrive in the morning.

Your customer experience should be like an event. You don’t rock up to a concert and they’re still setting up. The stage is set before you arrive. You don’t want the magic to be tainted because some of the musicians were just hanging out in front of the curtain before the curtain opened.

And there’s another danger – they stop coming because you look closed!

If you’re paying rent for a bricks and mortar store, it’s important you look open when you’re actually open – especially if you’re paying premium rent at a site that has good passing traffic.

Life’s too busy for customers to remember when everyone closes, so if you look shut I just don’t stop. It’s that simple.

Be open when you’re open, and close when you’re closed. If you don’t want to stay till 5:30pm then set the expectation that you close at 5:15pm and delight them if they come to the door and you grab something for them.

The point:
Whatever you do, when a customer interacts with your business give them the full experience and your full attention.

 

Read more blogs on how to delight your customer here, or download our free ebook ’10 things small business must stop dong NOW.’

Why movement matters in retail

Retail marketing assistance consultancy movement merchandising

When something moves, we pay closer attention to it.

But how stagnant is your business?

A couple of weeks ago we had a fun post on our Facebook page with those air filled stick men they often have on top of a Godfreys store denoting a ‘special event’  (yes one of many). But it doesn’t have a sign saying sale, all we know is that it signifies something going on.