ElementIQ Internship: Karmen’s First Week

Heading Internship Post

As a recent graduate of English Literature, I had past experience with writing in an academic setting, as well as writing digital content. I was curious, however, about moving into the marketing side of the business I’d only briefly been exposed to previously. This internship with ElementIQ gave me the perfect opportunity to apply my current education and build upon it, with practical work-related experience – to eventually enter the field of digital marketing.

Let’s Get To Work!

I knew that I would have a lot to learn, as most of my colleagues had been practicing in the field for much longer than I had, but you have to start somewhere! Therefore, in early March I left my hometown of White Rock, BC behind and moved to the city to pursue an intern position with ElementIQ. The following are my first impressions and experiences during the first week of my journey.

My First Day:

10am – The team immediately greeted me warmly. Ramesh started off by introducing my training schedule. I was given a tour of Spacekraft, the open concept, co-working space that was our office for three days of the week. The other two days are spent working remotely from home.

10:15 am – 12pm – I got to create my ElementIQ email address and was able to log in to my accounts on Quip, Google Drive, Teamwork and Slack. All of these are different programs that everyone uses to communicate. These programs hold all of the information with regards to clients and projects that the team is working on.

Teamwork is so highly efficient that I learned you would actually log everything you do through it to keep a record of what you need to complete and what’s already been finished. It also tracks the amount of time it takes for you to work on each project. The existing communications between employees helped me learn about the history of the company and how the group interacts.

Order Is Key:

I learned about the schedule that ElementIQ follows:

9:08am – Daily Huddle: Accessed online through Quip/Slack/Hangouts.

Weekly meeting – Thursday’s at 4pm: Here each of the team members shares their wins, numbers (financial) employer feedback, deep dive (20 min) and final thoughts.

Weekly check-in – Every Monday by 10am – We email all of our current clients with updates on what we have completed for them in the past week, as well as what we are currently working on for them. We outline all tasks and communicate with them weekly to keep them updated, and allow time for client feedback. The weekly check-ins are largely related to the 90 day plans that we outline for clients. They’re a way of keeping on track with client expectations. We also have monthly reports, which we aim to have out to clients by the 5th of every month.

12pm – 1pm –  Lunch

1pm – 3:30pm  Ramesh led me through the SEO elements that contribute to an optimal blog post and we met with my subsidy advisor to further discuss my training process as an intern. Everything was highly organized and I made sure to take extensive notes, as the sheer amount of information would be hard to remember on its own.

Apps!

I downloaded multiple app extensions for Google Chrome, and subscribed to Marketing Land, Search Engine Land, Moz Top 10 and the Hubspot blog. We also checked out the DistilledU website and logged in through the company profile. There were a lot of useful instructional videos on these sites and information that I knew I would need to look into further.

3:30pm – 5:00pm –  In the afternoon I was able to put some of what I’d learned into practice at the end of the day when I logged my task schedule into Teamwork. I added all of my homework tasks including writing a bio for the website, writing a blog post on my first week, downloading more apps and following ElementIQ on social media, along with other helpful websites. I also noted that I will need to brush up on NHL legacy…

There was so much to remember on the first day but I was reassured that it would fall into a routine soon enough. I was worried about forgetting something for the following morning so I outlined a basic schedule in my notes for the next day.

Day 2:

I started the day off by observing my first morning huddle. The team went around the table and stated their tasks for the day. We talked about goals for the week and goals for the company. These were my tasks for the day:

9:00 – 9:37EIQ

9:37-9:52First Huddle

9:52- 12:00Client overview with Ramesh

12:00 – 1:00Lunch

1:00 – 3:00Digital Marketing Overview with Ramesh

3:00 – 5:00First week blog, continue to familiarize self with Slack, Quip and Teamwork, read the wiki pages on Slack, classes on DistilledU

On day two I was also able to sit in on a link building discussion and got to learn about backlinks and started a project on title tags.

Day 3 – Work From Home

Today was my first workday away from the office. I actually found that it ran quite smoothly, despite some technical difficulties… for example finding the link to Google Hangouts for the morning huddle. Ramesh was very helpful with this and showed me via his computer screen, how to navigate the Slack page and find the huddle link. He also gave me a thorough outline for my day.

My biggest fear was that I would forget how to do something or do something wrong, and not have someone close by to ask questions, but I was able to communicate easily with Ramesh and my other colleagues over Slack.

I Get By With A Little Help

With efficient messaging, I had a clear plan for my day and went about completing a graph of quick wins for a backlinking project with Caleb. I also was able to search title tag and meta-description formats and proceeded to correct some of the title tags for a client’s blog posts, to better optimize their blog posts for search engines.

To end my day I worked on the social media-sharing calendar for a client with Jackie, adding written content as he edited photos to post for their Facebook page. It was fun being able to research the client and thinking of content to post for them on social media.

Practice Makes Perfect

I also spent time looking over notes that evening because there’s so much information in the first week that it’s easy to fall behind or get confused. I wanted a clear understanding of all the concepts I’d learned that day. It was also terrifying to close my computer tabs that evening. I was worried I wouldn’t know how to navigate back to them!

Day 4 – Back To The Office!

9:00-9:08EIQ

9:08-9:30Huddle

9:30-11:00I worked on title tags for a client website.

11:00- 12:00Digital strategy and introduction to Google Analytics with Ramesh and Jackie. It’s important to have a digital strategy for each company we work with. It helps us stay organized and ensures we meet goals. An intimate knowledge of each client and their customer base is essential, so we use Google Analytics to monitor website statistics and track how content is received.

12:00 – 1:00Pho

1:00 – 2:00I learned about website hosting from Lincoln. He demonstrated how to choose a domain name and how to create a website for a company. I also learned where an IP directs and how to direct it. He showed me why it’s important to run an email separate from your website account incase it ever crashes. He also taught me how to select a static homepage for a website, rather than having the homepage change after each new post.

2:00 – 3:00Edit blog post and new ElementIQ t-shirts!

Lights, Camera, YouTube!

3:00 – 4:00YouTube video run through with Jackie. I got to learn about all the different editing programs that we use for clients who want videos posted. They send us the raw material for the video and we can edit it and post it across social media channels, for optimal exposure.

4:00 – 5:00 – I was able to sit in on my first weekly meeting. The team went over the wins of the week, the important numbers, employer feedback, and the deep dive – where we delve into one specific topic of interest. For this weeks deep dive Sam told the group about his experiences at a summit meeting in California that he attended recently. Top secret stuff. We ended with final thoughts and a team photo for #DigitalAgencyDay on Twitter.

Day 5: Friday! Work From Home

9:00 – EIQ, I added tasks to the huddle documents to discuss during the huddle.

9:08 – Huddle! Via video chat on Google Hangouts

9:30 – 12:00 – Ramesh taught me how to optimize blog posts for clients and I was able to test out what I’d learned by optimizing two blog posts.

1:00 – I made a list of ongoing tasks that I need to complete on a Quip document. This was very helpful, I will be able to stay organized and up to speed as my workload increases over the next few weeks. Teamwork is also where I keep a record of tasks but Quip works well for an easy reference.

2:00 – I subscribed to our ElementIQ YouTube channel and was able to learn a lot from the existing videos posted.

3:00 – 5:00 – Blog edits!

Final Thoughts:

This first week with ElementIQ has taught me more about digital marketing and how to practically implement successful SEO tactics that I’ve ever known previously. Getting to work hands-on with things I’ve only learned about before was an invaluable experience to my overall education. I know that I still have a lot to learn after this week but the team has been really helpful and patient, introducing tasks little by little, each slightly more challenging than the next.

5 Advantages Of Local Search Optimization

The purpose of local search optimization is to:

  • Help businesses show up on the map
  • Outrank their competitors on the map
  • Be the most desirable choice among the businesses that show up on the map

Map results show up when users search for products/services in a specific geographical region/city. For example – when users search for ‘best seafood restaurants in Vancouver’, they will see 3 restaurants pop up on the first page on the map between the advertisements and the organic search results.

This post highlights 5 advantages of local search optimization.

1. Get Found With The Buyer’s Intent

Have you ever searched on Google for things like ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘plumbers near me’? Do you remember phoning the ones that popped up on the map? When users search for such keywords, they are generally searching with a buyer’s intent.

With the help of local search optimization, you can be a part of this last, which also gives your business some credibility. This will entice your potential customers to come to  you, rather than your competitors.

Here is a video explaining the different categories of search results on Google

2. Have Your Business Information Displayed In The Knowledge Graph

When users search for your business name on Google, what do they see? Do they see a list of websites or see your information display prominently on the right-hand side of the search results (known as the knowledge graph)?

What would you, as a business owner, prefer? You don’t need to answer that question.

Your business information will appear in the knowledge graph when you have a properly created, verified listing on Google Business. A Google Business listing is the preliminary step to Local Search Optimization.

Here is a video demonstrating the same

3. Make Users Interact With Your Business Through Website Links And Phone Calls

When you appear on the maps, are you one-click away from getting a phone call or having them visit your website? By ensuring that your phone number and website links are included in your Google Business listing, you will make it easier for users to get in touch with you to research you further.

It is also important for your business name, website and phone number to be accurately and consistently published on the myriad of online directories where your business information may be published.

Examples of online directories can include Homestars, Yellowpages, Yelp, BBB, Industry Canada etc.

In the attached video, we demonstrate the user experience on a desktop.

4. Run A More Effective AdWords Campaign

To create a verified Google Business listing, Google verifies your business’s physical address by mailing a postcard with a pin number. Upon verification, Google is able to confirm that you are indeed located at the particular address you mentioned.

A verified Google Business listing can be connected to your Google AdWords campaign. By connecting the two together, you can improve the effectiveness of your ad campaign by using location extensions. This is especially important for a business that wants to drive foot traffic. Location extension allows ads to display your address and also show nearby searchers their distance from your business with a link to get directions.

Imagine that you are a hair salon in Yaletown. When a user searches for hair salons nearby from Yaletown using his/her smartphone, your ad shows up with your salon name, ad copy and the user’s distance from the store. They can easily tap the call button or the get directions button. This is great for user experience and translates into more visitors to your salon/store.

Another advantage of connecting the Google Business listing with AdWords and using location extensions is that Google rewards campaigns that use such features. This can mean higher ranking ads, higher click through rates and lower cost per click.

Here is an example of a client we use the location extension for.

Having a link to your address in your ad makes it that much easier for your customers to find you. They can simply tap/click on the address and Google maps will show them directions to the place. It’s these little things that can make a big difference.

Included is a video with live examples.

5. Positive Reviews Will Outrank Competitors With New Search Result Filters

Along with rankings, review management is the other half of local search optimization. A positive review profile on Google, Facebook, Yelp etc can impact rankings.

But more importantly, a positive review profile helps you to get an edge over your competition.

Very recently, Google started testing new filters on the map wherein users can filter results based on ratings or hours of operation.

Here is a screenshot of search results in the map pack for ‘Cosmetic Dental Clinics in Burnaby’:

As you can see, Google has introduced new filter options for users to look only at the results that are relevant to them.

These new filter options allow users to filter results based on:

1. Ratings: Users can choose to only see clinics with 4 or more stars, 3 or more stars or 2 or more stars.

2. Hours: Users can choose to see only the businesses that are open now or only the ones open on Monday/Tuesday or any other particular day of the week.

Here is a short video where I demonstrate the same.

Given that users can now filter results based on reviews, the online review profile has become more important than ever before.

There are software and tools that can help you manage reviews across multiple platforms with ease. You can consult us for our recommendations.

But please do note that, 2017 onwards, online review management needs to be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.

Final Thoughts

The whole idea of search engine optimization (SEO) is two fold –

1) Ranking: For your business to be discovered by users when they are looking for products or services that you provide.

2) Reputation: To appear as the most attractive choice for users as compared to your competitors.

The focus of Local SEO is to be featured on the map results. This is becoming an increasingly popular part of local marketing plans.

The space on the map pack (the 3 map results that show on page 1 of Google search results) is limited and can be highly competitive. Making an effort and allocating some resources towards local SEO can be a great decision depending on the type of industry and the geographical region you are in.

To find out how you can outrank your competitors on the map and for effective online review management solutions, reach out to us and we can assess the benefits of local SEO as it relates directly to your business.