About Me, Andrew…
I’m a content creator first and foremost; I have been for the majority of my life – dating back to the Amiga 500 and “Deluxe Paint”.
When I think of creating content, whatever springs to mind is defined by the context because I’m fortunate that my hobbies and pleasure synergise so intricately with my work and business that listing a series of trite, overused and underwhelmign tech-terms, ”entrepreuneuer speak” and acryonyms just won’t suffice. Perhaps 10 years ago when I was cutting my teeth in the world of Limited Companies, Tax Returns and Networking.
Through a convalescing of inevitably, unfortunate events, less than ethically-sound contemporaries and also incredible heights of success I became jaded to the norm. So I can’t, don’t and won’t claim to conform to a new norm.
This particular website is an introduction to myself, in the context of somebody who may be the perfect person to work with you on your project. So the absolute most logical angle, if my brutal honesty hasn’t prompted you to hit back and continue your search (presumably) for “web developer” or “web designer”, is to tackle the only issue that truly matters at present. Given the astronomical paradigm shifts brought about by Covid…considering the drastic changes, decisions you may have found less challenging in the past now may seem either harder to make, confusing, or both.
Questions about cashflow – is a website, a revamped website, spending effort in becoming visible on Google etc.. a worthwhile undertaking – and more importantly when will you see a return on investment financially and in terms of time; it takes time to convey your goals, to build a rapport, to receive honest and non-technical feedback on where your goals and my services meet.
“Tell me something you’ve made recently to help me understand what you do and whether you’re good or not…”
Kiefer Sutherland‘s team approached me to help with marketing. As I mentioned earlier, I’m a content-creator – so marketing is one strand, of one string of one bow in an arsenal of tools.
To cut a long story short, marketing was of course a necessity; but you could liken it to wanting to grow vegetables… without having prepared a space, or dealt with pest-insects. The metaphor could go on.
The result of some of my work was a drastic improvement in Kiefer’s websites natural exposure to potential visitors.
Around February Kiefer’s site was naturally (as in, not paying for people to click an advert) receiving between 10,000 and 20,000 hits per month). By August it had peaked at 18,400,000 hits… taken on it’s own, an increase of visitors in excess of 18 million is great; it was at arguably the “worst” time because Google changes the way it works very often – it has to. They had just recently implemented an update, they nickname them – this was “Google BERT”. It was, but this will absoultel ynot be acknowledge by traditional wb agencies, the end of Search Engine Optimization / SEO as it’s known – and it was the beginning of cutting off shortcuts, penalising outsourcing, requiring a drastically intimate knowledge of the target-audience and the language they use. Being a word geek was a blessing. Being extremely enthusiastic about aspects of psychology, psychiatry and neurology was a blessing. Google BERT created a new playing field where an affective player with knowledge and experience was capable whereas Web Development Companies and Web Agency’s were no longer able to throw money and mass at problems to solve them.
There was no way around it; if you want your client to win, you have to get to know their market – which means you need to know what ‘getting to know a market’ involves – and apply neurolinguistics to the words, meanwhile still knowing the geeky/techy stuff – the “programming” and the “web servers”.
To win more business onlinne, you need to win more eyeballs on your website – Google is much more ‘aware’ of things like the intent used behind language, how authentic a web page is (is it just copied with words changed or does it have actual impact?) – whereas before the domain name “toyshop.com” for example, being stuffed with words that are related to toys, would trick good OLD Google into thinking this site simply must be a top-relevance result. Not only does Google require so much more real authentic work to be done, it’s awareness is backed by the other aspect of the Internet which has changed everything…. Social Media. Arguably you could be a genius at writing search-engine compliant content, and even be clued up on neurology so that you’re deliberately taking triggers for serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin into account…. a true prodigy, but the website just doesn’t show up on Google. People aren’t tapping on it – making calls to your business, ordering any of your stock, buying your tickets, signing up for your online classes…why would that be? Google is wiser than to consider it’s own abiltiy to judge whether a site is the real deal or not.. it scourts thousands of social media ‘signals’. Afterall, a clever Google becomes cleverer if it’s being reinforced by the very people it’s trying to be clever for… again, there are countless ‘signals to take into account, but to keep it childishly simple….a Facebook page with a context-relevant high number, of frequently incoming Likes – along with other form of enngagement such as Commenting (…bearing in mind, Language is vital – the Internet; you can’t spell Internet without Intent – so if people’s comments are are inquisitive, suggest a ‘buying mindset’, can be guaged as likely to puurchase….. or the comments are inflammatory…or worse, “an SEO Specialist” has paid for 5000 Likes (referring back to SEO is not what it was; cheating is penalised so strongly that I have personally watched thriving businesses drop off the face of the Internet and their entry on Companies House becomes quite depressing).
“I want more customers, I don’t know how a website will make that happen…”
How physical stores can benefit from the surge in online shopping
Life looks and feels very different now than it did at the start of 2020. The use of technology by people and businesses leapt forward during lockdown, accelerating remote working, e-learning, e-commerce, and online social connections. People are spending more time online than ever before and are turning to Google to explore, research, and plan their purchases — both online and in the real world.
Owning physical stores is incredibly difficult right now. Yet retailers of all sizes are finding that maximising their presence online can help them reach potential customers who do want to buy in person. Connecting offline and online retail experiences has never been more important.
Buying behaviours have changed dramatically in the last six months and many of those behaviours are likely to stick. People are planning their visits to stores more carefully, leading to a spike in interest for real-time information. People care about what’s in stock, and they want to know whether a store offers curbside pickup and when its doors open and close. Everyone needs reassurance that they’ll find what they’re looking for before they leave home.
For example, in Germany, we’ve seen search interest for “opening hours today” double compared with last year.1 And global searches for “in-stock” have grown more than 700% year over year.2 At the same time, shopping locally has become even more important: searches containing “available near me” have more than doubled globally.3
Retailers of all sizes are finding that maximising their presence online can help them reach potential customers who do want to buy in person.
New Google research shows the pandemic has made people more flexible about whether they buy online or offline. Seventy-three percent now describe themselves as channel agnostic, compared with 65% before the global health crisis.4 While the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption and online sales are growing, new research from Euromonitor found it’s expected that 78% of purchases will still be made in stores by 2024.5
Meet your customers where they are — whether online or in stores
My team’s mission is to help companies of all sizes drive growth by meeting consumers where they are, whether online or in store, and to put digital transformation within reach for more advertisers.
For instance, to help connect retailers with shoppers looking for more contact-free purchase transactions, we introduced “curbside pickup” for Local Inventory Ads.
Research found it’s expected that 78% of purchases will still be made in stores by 2024.
DIY retailer Castorama is just one of the many retailers globally that quickly pivoted to launch curbside pickup service amid lockdown orders and store closures. To keep its customers informed, Castorama updated its Google My Business profile and started using Local Inventory Ads for the first time, highlighting its new offer. Overall, Castorama saw online sales increase tenfold over a 10-week period.
To give retailers more flexibility, we’re now expanding this capability with the launch of “pickup later” for local inventory ads so that shoppers can pick up a purchase in a few days if it’s not available right now.
New attributes and tools to make buying online even easier
We’re also making it even easier to communicate key details about your business by launching service attributes for Local Campaigns. Restaurants can now specify services like dine-in or takeout in their Local Campaigns ads on Google Search. And we’ll soon be adding retail service attributes such as “in-store shopping” and “curbside pickup”. These features help people use digital tools to explore the world around them, providing greater certainty and reassurance when they make a trip to physical stores.
These tools have all been developed with an eye toward helping retailers and restaurants maximise visits. At the same time, we’ve begun to integrate store sales measurement within our automated Smart Bidding product. Designed with privacy at its core, retailers and restaurants will be able to automatically optimise for “store sales” on Google Search in the same way that Smart Bidding already does for online conversions or store visits.
There will continue to be challenging times ahead. And we’ll continue to pivot, innovate, and respond to shifting needs. To help you stay up to speed, we’ve created one simple hub — the Advertising Solutions Center — which provides insights and recommendations designed to meet your marketing goals.
The retail environment will continue to evolve at a rapid pace, and thankfully, online marketing tools can help drive recovery. While I don’t know what 2021 will bring, I do know the use of technology will help people and businesses prepare for what’s next.