two men in suits smiling looking at a tablet

Are Your Customers Finding You On Google?

Find out on your own with this easy, 5-minute DIY audit. There’s no registration, subscription, or paywall – just scroll down and get started.

See Where Your Business Ranks On Google Maps

These rankings are especially important for brick and mortar businesses – ones that serve customers on-site, at a specific location. Businesses that are significantly impacted by Google Map rankings include restaurants, medical clinics, salons and spas, just to name a few.

Why does it matter?

Searches with the terms ‘near me’ were at an all time high before the coronavirus caused a change in behavior. But with businesses reopening, we can expect searches for providers in a specified geographic location to increase again. This is especially true for businesses serving local markets.

Search phrase examples:
dental clinics in los angeles, roofing contractors in langley, internet marketing agencies in coquitlam

When people make geo-specific searches like the examples above, the search results include what’s known as a “map pack” – 3 Google Map listings which appear on the first page of the search results. These map listings rank higher than organic search results, which makes them very visible to searchers. As a result, businesses that appear in the map pack for keywords that are relevant to their business receive a lot more leads than businesses that don’t.

How can I do it?

1. Go to maps.google.com

2. Search for: ‘your service’ in ‘city’ (E.g. Dental Clinics in Los Angeles)

3. Make a note of what position your business appears at in the search results

Video Guide

Understand Where You Need To Improve Your Organic Search Performance

For most businesses with an intuitive, easy to navigate website, organic search is the most important website traffic source for top and mid-funnel leads. It’s these leads that are most likely to convert into paying customers for your business.

Why does it matter?

Organic search results are especially important while potential customers are in research mode. People looking for specific information will most likely find it from organic search results.

Search phrase examples:
cost of dental implants in vancouver, asphalt shingles versus cedar shake roofing, how digital marketing can benefit dentists

If you have content on your website that answers important questions that people have during their research process – and that content ranks well on search results – then people will find your website. And if your website provides these organic leads with value and a good user experience, then there’s a good chance some of them are going to contact you.

That’s why it’s important to understand which search terms – also commonly referred to as “keywords” – potential customers are using to find your business, then check where you rank for those keywords. If you aren’t ranking highly, then it’s a good sign that you need to put more time and effort into search engine optimization (SEO).

How can I do it?

1. Go to www.google.com

2. Search for: Your business name

  • E.g. ElementIQ
  • Make a note of your position

3. Search for: A primary keyword relevant to the main product(s)/service(s) you provide

  • E.g. digital marketing agencies in ‘your city’
  • Make a note of your position

4. Search for: A query that you believe may be commonly used by your target audience to research product(s)/service(s) you offer

  • E.g. does google pagespeed matter
  • Make a note of your position

Video Guide

Check If Google Is Missing Important Pages From Your Website

This is a quick and simple way to find out how many pages of your website Google is able to discover, and double-check to make sure all of your website’s most important pages are showing up in the search results.

Why does it matter?

Simple – if Google can’t find your website’s pages, then they won’t appear in the search results, and potential customers won’t be able to discover your business. Having a greater number of indexed pages than your competitors does not mean you will outrank them; however, the top ranking websites on Google tend to have more indexed pages than low-ranking websites.

By checking your site’s indexed pages, you’ll be able to discover if important pages on your website aren’t showing up in Google’s search results. From there, you can note down which pages are missing, then take steps to have them indexed by Google.

How can I do it?

1. Go to www.google.com

2. Search for: site:www.yoursite.com

Video Guide

Make Sure Your Website’s Loading Speed Isn’t Hurting Your Search Rankings

People are impatient – and Google knows it. Websites that load slowly won’t rank well on search engines, so you need to make sure that your website loads quickly and provides visitors with a zippy user experience.

Why does it matter?

There are hundreds of factors that influence which websites rank higher on Google Search. One of them that is definitely important is website speed. If a website is slower than average to load on mobile or desktop, Google views it as providing a bad user experience.

That’s why checking your website’s load speed is essential – websites with faster load times have a higher probability of outranking websites that are slow. Essentially, helping your website load faster is helping it to rank higher too.

How can I do it?

1. Go to GTmetrix

  • Type in the address of your website
  • Make a note of “Fully Loaded Time”
    P.S. You want this to be lower than 7.2s – the lower the better

2. Go to Google PageSpeed Insights

  • Type in the address of your website
  • Make a note of:
    • Mobile Score
      P.S. You want this to be higher than 50, the higher the better
    • Desktop score
      P.S. You want this to be higher than 50, the higher the better

Video Guide

Example Audit Template

You can create an identical table on your computer on a document or a spreadsheet, or on your notepad if you prefer using pen and paper. Follow the steps listed in the blog post to document results for your company. Repeat the step using your competitors and you’ll have a nice and easy one-page view to compare your digital presence on Google search with your competitors.

Better yet, download your free printable digital marketing audit here

Do-It-Yourself Digital Marketing Audit Results

Date: 
Your Business Your Competitor #1 Your Competitor #2
Google Maps Ranking: maps.google.com Position Position Position
Search for: ‘your service’ in ‘city’

E.g. Internet marketing in Coquitlam

Google Organic Search Rankings: google.com Position Position Position
Your business name
Search for: A primary keyword relevant to the main product(s)/service(s) you provide

E.g. Digital marketing agencies in Coquitlam

Search for: A query that you believe may be commonly used by your target audience to find product(s)/service(s) you offer

E.g. Does google pagespeed matter

Number of Indexed Pages Result Result Result
Search on Google for – site:www.yoursite.com
Website Load Time Result Result Result
GTmetrix
Fully Loaded Time
Google PageSpeed Insights
Mobile Score
Desktop Score
phone next to laptop on glass table top view

Social media usage has skyrocketed globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. This rapid shift to digital media prompted businesses to adapt and find ways to communicate with their customers and prospective clients online, rather than in person. As government restrictions begin to lift, and businesses begin to re-open, it is essential to share updates with followers on social media. 

As a business owner, you may be wondering ‘how do I communicate new office hours, restrictions, and new rules to followers?’ Many companies have turned to social media to alert their followers about updates to their business. There are several ways to send the message out, and we suggest experimenting with multiple social channels to determine what works best for your business. 

Determine Your Message 

It is important to outline a clear message of what you want to convey to your customers before you post on social media. Ask yourself: “What are we doing to adapt to the current situation?” “What steps are we taking to keep our staff and customers safe?”

For example: if you’re a dental clinic, do you need patients to come in with a mask in order to attend them? 

It is essential to be transparent with your clients and let them know what has changed and what to expect. You can use social media to inform patients about your weekly schedule, things they need to bring, and any precautionary measures you are taking during this time. 

Create or Update your Social Accounts

There have been many changes going on during COVID-19 and several are actually quite positive. Businesses that previously did not have social media accounts have created them to share updates and information with customers. We highly suggest you create social media accounts for your business if you haven’t already. Here are the key social channels that every business should have in 2020: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin. 

Communicate Updates on Social Media  

Once your social media account is set up and you have customized it to your business, it’s time to get started and share your message with your customers. 

Publish a Welcome Video

In a time of social isolation, social media has become an incredibly important source for digital, social interaction. An excellent way to put your customers at ease and share information ‘face to face’ is by posting a video update on your social media channels regarding your new operating hours, rules, and restrictions your clients must follow. 

You will immediately establish a connection with your following and you mimic an in-person interaction, which will come as a welcome change to isolation. Face to face interaction helps to rebuild trust with your customers during this time. If you have never filmed a video to post on social media before, we have some helpful tips to get you started. Visit our blog to learn the “8 Best Practices for Recording Videos With or Without Professional Equipment.”

Go Live

In a similar vein to video, you can use Facebook and Instagram stories to communicate with your customers. Leverage stories to update them about your changes or if you are open. Instagram and Facebook stories appear at the top of your users’ screen when they are posted, so you get their attention right away. 

You can also use the stories platform to ‘go live’ on Facebook and Instagram. Your stories do not need to be overly complicated. Check out the examples of two Instagram stories we created for a local restaurant below for ideas: 

Instagram stories

You can also go live on Facebook and Instagram to talk directly to your customers. Let them know you are there and that you are doing your best. Use Facebook and Instagram lives to update customers about changes your business is undergoing or updated for opening dates. It is an easier way to share lots of information all at once. If you are unsure about how to go live, both Facebook and Instagram make it very straightforward to do. Here are their how-to steps “How to go live on Facebook and Instagram.”

Publish Updates Directly to your Feed

Once you have a clear message you want to convey, you can share it as a post on all of your social media channels as well. Below are some examples of what your message might look like: 

Post Updates if you are Open“We are now open! These are the measures we are currently taking…call to book appointments…we will be doing health assessments before you enter our premises (temperature)…use a mask”

Post Updates if you Aren’t Open Yet “We are currently closed to ensure the safety of our customers, however, we are expecting to open on such and such date. Keep an eye out for updates…sign-up here if you want to receive our updates.” 

  • Posts to feed – **pro tip – don’t forget to pin your post to the top of your Facebook page.

Dental Facebook post

Update Your Bio Information 

Your bio is the first thing your clients will see when they visit your social media profiles. It’s essential to keep your profile up to date during this time. That way, new clients visiting your page will be aware of your current situation. Be sure to update your bio information on each of your social media profiles to ensure that your message is consistent across platforms. Check out the example below: 

Instagram Bio

Likewise, if you are not opening yet make sure you let customers know what you are doing to provide your services remotely. This could be through virtual consultations or by offering delivery services – be sure to inform them in your bio.

Dental Facebook post

Pro-Social Media Tip from ElementIQ 

As a team of Digital Marketers, we have been working to keep our clients’ social media profiles up-to-date with new information regarding COVID related changes. Here is our key pro-tip when it comes to social media; it allows you to share more information with your clients, all in one place. 

Linkin for Instagram 

At ElementIQ we have started implementing LinkIn Bio’s for instagram accounts. It’s a new way for Instagram profiles to share organic content on Instagram. Instagram limits businesses to share links on their platform. Links shared on posts are not clickable and they limit you to one link on your bio. LinkIn Bio allows businesses to share links to website blogs, YouTube videos, service pages, pretty much anything. This is done through a Landing Page that users can access through your Instagram Bio. 

  • Implementing LinkIn Bio from Later has allowed us to share valuable resources within Instagram for us and our clients. Users can now access your blog, resources, and videos from your Instagram page. It is pretty simple – LinIn Bio makes your posts clickable, allowing businesses to send traffic to their website. 
  • In our case, we have used LinkIn Bio to share valuable COVID-19 resources for businesses to use. 
  • This is what our Instagram page looks like:

Linkin Instagram Profile

  • When users click on the link displayed in our bio; they are sent to a landing page, where all our linked posts will be displayed:

Linkin Instagram images

  • From here users can navigate to the home page and access our resources and blogs. As you can see above we have been able to share COVID-19 resources with our Instagram community quite readily and easily. 
  • LinkIn bio can be used in different ways, businesses can send their followers to their COVID-19 update page, to their contact page, to their contact form, to their virtual consultations page, resources, YouTube videos, and their blog. 

In the end, it is important to experiment and determine what your users respond to. If you find that you get the most engagement on Facebook, consider focusing your efforts on that platform. Or, if you have a high YouTube following, that would be the place to target your message. If you have any questions about social media marketing, the team at ElementIQ is also always ready to help. 

Contact ElementIQ for More Information 

Whether you are just getting started with social media, or you are an industry expert, now is the time to be using social media to build trust with your customers. ElementIQ has helped several companies pivot, adapt, and thrive during this time, and social media marketing has played a large role in making this possible. 

Our team of Marketing Specialists are committed to helping your business grow and prosper during this time of uncertainty. If you are interested in learning more about what social media management can do for your business, give us a call or contact us for a digital consultation. 

person sitting at a desk with laptop writing in a notebook
Your business connects with its customers through so many different online avenues. There are social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, business directories like Yelp, and – of course – your very own website too. That’s great for helping your business build a strong and effective digital presence, but it can become a real headache when you need to deliver important updates to your customers. To help you out, we’ve put together a fast and simple checklist that you can apply to your business. It’s an easy way of ensuring that the primary online channels your customers use to find you are updated with crucial information about how your business has adapted to the COVID-19 situation.

Digital Communications Checklist

Update Your Website

  • Publish a COVID-19 policy page
  • Use a pop-up to share the most important message along with a link to the policy page (Example 1.1)
  • Use a website banner with your COVID-19 message that is visible at all times on all pages (Example 1.2)

Update Google My Business

  • Update ‘hours of operation’ if applicable (pro-tip: edit special holiday hours instead of changing the regular hours)
  • Add a COVID-19 update using Google My Business ‘posts’  (Example 2)

Update Yelp

  • Update ‘hours of operation’ if applicable
  • Use the COVID-19 update feature to share your message (Example 3)

Update Facebook

  • Publish your message as a post (pro-tip: pin this post to the top of your page) (Example 4)
  • Publish your message to Facebook stories

Update Instagram

  • Publish your message as a post
  • Update your business description and link (if you have a COVID-19 designated page) (Example 5)
  • Publish your message to Instagram Stories

Email Your Clients

  • Deliver your message to your clients’ email inboxes (Example 6)

Visual References/Examples

1.1 – Website Pop-up


1.2 – Website Banner


2 – Google My Business COVID-19 Post


3 – Yelp COVID-19 Update


4 – COVID-19 Facebook Post


5 – Instagram Description Update


6 – Email to Customers

woman in a white blouse writing on a tablet at desk

Keep Customers Up to Date on Your Business

As your business adapts to the new restrictions that COVID-19 has brought, it’s essential for your customers to be kept in the loop. After all, your customers won’t be able to support your business if they don’t know that it’s open and that you’ve taken steps to operate safely.

To help you do that, we’ve created a handy template that you can use to clearly communicate how your business’ operations have been affected by the current situation, and what precautions you’ve put into place to safeguard the health of your customers, your employees, and the broader community.

Ready to get started? Use the template below – it’s all you need to create a reassuring and informative policy for your customers in just a few minutes.


[Your Business Name] COVID-19 Policy

As the current COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation evolves, we’ve taken steps to adapt our business to the current situation. As we continue to serve our customers, these measures will protect their health, the health of our employees, and the safety of the community.

Critical Updates

Is our business open?
Have our hours of operation changed?
Have there been changes to the selection of products/services that we offer?
How can you contact us?

Safety Protocols To Protect Our Customers

1. How are we practicing social distancing while interacting with our customers?

E.g. Managing all communications over the phone or by email, accepting payments online, no-touch delivery…

2. How are we practicing social distancing with our client’s in our office?

E.g. Only serving one customer at a time, using video-conferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings…

3. How are we practicing social distancing with our clients at their homes (if we provide on-site residential service)?

E.g. Not having any member of our team go inside the house (not even to use the washroom), not asking clients for any items (not even a glass of water), ensuring a minimum of 6-feet of distance from the client(s) under all circumstances…

Safety Protocols To Protect Our Team

1. How are we practicing social distancing in the workplace?

E.g. Maximum 3 people allowed in the office at any time, virtual offices set up for team members to work from home…

2. How are we keeping our office, tools, and supplies disinfected?

E.g. All washrooms have an alcohol-based liquid hand soap, the office is being professionally cleaned with a disinfectant every morning, use-and-throw surgical gloves are being used to handle tools and equipment…

3. What measures are being taken to promote healthier lifestyles among our employees?

E.g. A mandatory routine of 21 push-ups a day for all employees…

Person in yellow hazmat suit holding coffee reading news

Lockdown. Shelter-in-place. Social distancing. There are a lot of things happening right now – and for good reason – but the end result is the same: you and your team are stuck at home. So what are you going to do about it?

For a lot of people, the answer is the same: work remotely. While that’s become common and even necessary in bigger organizations, it isn’t something that small businesses have always been readily willing or able to accommodate. But with COVID-19 taking the decision out of people’s hands, there are a lot of small businesses that are nervously dipping their toes into remote work for the first time.

Here at ElementIQ, we know a thing or two about getting things done remotely. It’s something that our team has been taking advantage of for years; different countries, different time zones – you name it, we’ve made it work. Armed with that knowledge, we’ve put together a rundown of habits, tools, and activities that’ll keep your team on their toes no matter where they are.

Remote Working Tips from Our Team

Keep People Accountable, But Don’t Be Big Brother

Mr. Zuckerberg? Mr. Putin?! Nope, it’s just your boss.

You don’t need people giving you status reports every hour, but you do want to keep people securely moored to their professional obligations. For us, that means meetings: a daily morning meeting for 15 minutes, an hour-long weekly review, and one-on-one meetings whenever we need them to get things done. The daily morning meeting, especially, is a must-have for making sure everyone is on the same page and has the support they need to complete their tasks.

Create a Structured Schedule (With a Bit of Wiggle Room)

The truth is that there’s no such thing as too much caffeine.

Nothing is more useful for staying on track than organization, so that’s a habit you’ll want to start building right away. If you’ve got a workday morning schedule, stick to it – as the days go by, it’ll be your anchor for staying professional and in “work mode”. Ditto for the end of your day; tidy up your workspace as if you’re leaving for the day. Use your phone calendar to set reminders for meetings and deadlines at the start of each week, and make sure you have achievable goals to complete every day. Things will inevitably come up, but structure and a schedule will make it much easier to slot in new tasks and prioritize them.

Define Your Workspace

They may look innocent, but they’re actually remorseless productivity killers.

The trick here is to have everything you need within arm’s reach so you won’t wander and get distracted. Now, that won’t be much help if distractions start coming to you, so make sure your boundaries are your family’s boundaries too. That might mean doing a little extra planning in advance – like getting up early to tucker out your pupper or planning an activity schedule for your kids – but whatever it takes, stick to your guns and ensure that the boundaries of your workspace are respected.

Take Breaks for Your Mind and Body

Contrary to popular belief, it is indeed possible to meditate without yoga pants and a sports bra.

All these tips on staying focused, and now we’re telling you to break your concentration? Yes! Of course, if you’re in the zone and working at peak productivity, that’s probably not the best time to take a break. But if you’re feeling fatigued and notice yourself getting distracted by your phone or other family members, that might be a good sign that you should call a timeout to let your mind and body get their bearings again. 10 minutes of meditation (you can call it a brain break if the M-word scares you) or a quick stretching routine will do wonders for your ability to focus.

Recreate Your Workplace Atmosphere

Not that we’d know from personal experience or anything, but be careful about leaving your webcam on if you’re fond of singing or dancing at home. Just saying.

Certain folks just flourish in a communal environment. If that’s you, some of our team members recommend setting up a group call to work alongside friends or family for brief periods over the course of the day. Even if nobody’s actively speaking, just having the ambient sounds of a keyboard and mouse or shuffling papers can be a great way of preventing yourself from feeling overly isolated. And if you don’t know anyone who’s keen on leaving a video call on, there’s a huge selection of background sound videos on YouTube for places like coffee shops and offices.

The Digital Nomad Starter Kit

Communication and organization are always important, but once you make the switch to working remotely, they become absolutely crucial. Since every organization has different needs, there’s no universal toolbox that’ll work for everyone; that’s why it’s so essential for you to take time to pick tools that’ll support an optimal workflow for your team instead of just rolling out the first approach that seems like it can get the job done. With that in mind, here are the tools that work for us:

Zoom

Nothing makes distance disappear quite like video calling, and that’s a big plus when you’re accustomed to physically sitting with your colleagues. It gives messaging that human touch, and with intuitive tools like screen sharing, it’s phenomenal for recreating those quick, get-things-done collaborations that make every workplace tick.

Slack

If Zoom replaces power meetings and the boardroom, Slack basically fills in for all the other internal communications – workplace banter included ;). Whether it’s one-one-one messaging or team-wide client updates, Slack can keep you organized and up-to-date. For us, that means separate channels for each client, plus a few other app integrations like HeyTaco! – which recognizes good work and keeps things light – and G Suite to streamline document sharing. And speaking of G Suite…

G Suite

If your team can’t access the files they need remotely, it’s safe to say they’re not going to be getting much work done. That’s why we love Google’s G Suite lineup; by putting all the essential productivity tools online, it makes the process of creating, sharing, and reviewing documents completely seamless. Coupled with Zoom for instant communication, we’re able to work together just like we’re sitting side-by-side.

Teamwork

How far along is this project? Who’s doing that task? When is it due?

Getting clarity about those questions isn’t easy when everyone’s in the same place, and it can be doubly troubling when teams are spread across different cities and countries. Thanks to Teamwork, though, our team always has an easy way to stay on the ball with our projects. Since we’re often working separately, we use it to centralize our workflow into projects and tasks. From there, it’s easy to keep track of progress and make sure that any documents and collateral are clearly tied to specific tasks.

Experiment to Keep Things Exciting 😉

By the time this is all over, you and your team could be finger tutting masters. 

The thing about going to a physical workplace is that there’s so much more to it than just projects and meetings. All those moments of camaraderie in-between tasks are the mortar that holds great teams together. We don’t have a perfect formula for capturing that magic from the other side of a screen (yet), but we’re certainly going to try to find one!

One of the things we’d like to try is team matinees. That could be in the form of watching a TED Talk together, or even just getting everyone online for a Netflix Party.

We’re also going to kick the tires on group wellness sessions – right now that looks like it’ll be focused on meditation and 15-minute lunchtime workouts, but it feels like that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Last but not least, we’ve mooted the idea of dabbling in a bit of virtual team-building with group activities like scavenger hunts, costume challenges, and Jeopardy. There’s no two ways about it; we’re a competitive group, and with no sports on air right now, we’ve decided to pick up the slack ourselves.

The Takeaway

Who doesn’t love a good motivational wallpaper?

Making changes isn’t always easy, and even if you’re following guidelines and best practices from experienced remote workers like ourselves, you might still have some hiccups. Which is okay – like climbing any learning curve, it’s just about making those iterative improvements and discovering what works best for you, what works best for your team, and how you can harmonize both sets of needs.

It might be COVID-19, a financial downturn, or some hotshot upstart dropping their disruptive innovation into your industry’s lap, but obstacles are bound to come up from time to time. When changes are coming fast and often – as they are right now – a successful business needs to be agile and versatile to respond, and with our tips and tools your team will be well on its way to creating a remote work routine that lets your business thrive.

Show Your Customers How Your Business is Adapting to COVID-19

ElementIQ has created a collection of templates, tools, and tips that your business can use to share updates with its customers and the community.

 

 

 

Man working at desk

Have you ever wondered how to stay ahead of your competitors, while creating more sales opportunities for your business? Klue, a software platform founded in 2015 from Vancouver, BC lets you do just that.

In an ever-changing technological world, having insight into your competition helps your brand succeed. Whether it is an updated website, a new CRM system or email marketing campaigns – your online presence can make the difference between keeping a client or losing them to the competitor. In the age of inbound, client-focused marketing, the company that makes the buying process easy and seamless for the client gets the sale. 

According to a recent article by BC Technology, “Thirty percent or more of deals are lost directly to a competitor.” Whether they offer better content, more streamlined information or a user-friendly platform, it is absolutely vital in the age of technology to monitor competitors. 

Competitive Intelligence for B2B Companies 

Klue tackles this problem head-on – the software utilizes machine learning to collect, and compile information shared by your competitors online. The platform displays the information collected in easy-to-understand dashboards that provide active tracking on all B2B competitor activity. Klue

Jason Smith is the co-founder of Klue. He and his partner Sarathy Naicker created a solution to a problem most B2B companies have – primarily, “How do I get ahead of the competition?” 

This is the founding idea behind Klue, Smith comments  – “ There were no real solutions that could keep a monitoring eye on all of my competitors. Nor, actually, reduce all of that intel into a manageable set of information for my salespeople. So, we went ahead and built that and ended up with a collection curation distribution system that helps companies understand what’s going on with their competitors.” 

Smith and his partner were able to find a gap in the market; one that would prove incredibly important in the age of technology and corporate monitoring. 

Klue takes a three-pronged approach to market intelligence: 

  1. It tracks competitor activity 
  2. Centralizes the information 
  3. Enables sales with the information they need. 

Never before have we seen a platform that takes abstract information gathered from competitors online and centralizes it to track how your brand and online presence measures up with the competition. This tool provides groundbreaking market intelligence. It utilizes bot and machine learning to filter through web content so your team is always aware of your competitors’ next move. 

The incredibly fast success for Klue saw the company double in size in the past year. The extensive growth for Klue is certainly not the result of overnight success, the team found a pain point in the industry and created an incredibly powerful platform to overcome the problem. 

Looking To Grow Your Business?

We know how to get you found online and drive new clients to your practice. Helping our clients present the best version of their business online is our passion.

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SEO & Local

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Reviews

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Websites

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Tracking

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Email Marketing

A Lesson In Start-Up Success 

Jason Smith, Co-Founder of Klue, is a self-proclaimed “geek” with over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience in start-ups. He was kind enough to share a few tips with the team at ElementIQ and invited us to visit the Klue head office in Vancouver, BC. 

As a young, tech-savvy entrepreneur, Smith is not new to the start-up industry. He and his partner previously founded a successful web development company called Columbus Group, which was acquired by Telus. He currently is also focused on investing with start-up companies both locally and internationally. 

Smith describes his success in marketing and business innovation as a result of his fascination with branding from an early age. “I was always thinking about things from somebody else’s perspective. And that is fundamental to branding and marketing, it’s thinking about how others are gonna perceive your company or person or asset.”

He notes that the key to start-up success is perseverance. “I think that’s one of the core things that you need to succeed is the determination and grit.”(Smith) 

Klue was born out of a problem – the need for transparency in a competitive market. Smith was able to see that gap in the industry. He and his partner worked tirelessly to develop Klue as a platform, once B2B companies saw the inherent value of the product, there was no going back. 

From an investor’s standpoint, Smith notes that the key to success as a startup is the product itself – “The marketing and branding side is secondary to the product and the people and the technology.” Indeed, Klue stands out as a successful startup, due to the solution it provides. At its core, it is a valuable product, with a powerful marketing team to back its success. 

Klue shares profiles of your competitors
Klue gathers competitor updates and swiftly shares them with your sales team

The Future of Klue

Klue was recently named a Gartner Cool Vendor in an article released by Gartener for its success in sales enablement. It is used by millions of companies daily and things are only looking up for the platform. 

In the words of Jason Smith, “we think we’re on to something that a hundred million companies need, and that is providing them with insights around their competitors and their market that, once understood, can help them accelerate their own business.” 

Klue provides a unique answer to the needs of millions of companies worldwide. It gives companies a lens and insight into their competitors’ markets. As Jason Smith mentions “Our mission is to make sure that every company is well equipped with not just the alarm monitoring, but the functions that enable them to accelerate their business by understanding that competition.” 

Indeed, Klue has provided an unmatched solution to help businesses gain insight into their competitors. Klue helps to bring your sales and management teams the confidence they need to navigate and dominate their markets while keeping competitors in check. Click to learn more about Klue today. 

ElementIQ and Klue

At ElementIQ our team aligns with the core values that Klue promotes. Klue helps businesses grow by giving them the tools to stay one step ahead of their competitors. Likewise, at ElementIQ it is our job to enable and empower our marketing clients; so that they can succeed in a modern, competitive, digital world. 

Like Klue, our team has changed the lives of hundreds of small-medium sized business owners. We ensure they are equipped with the latest technology, to help navigate the modern world of marketing. Learn more about what we can do for you by visiting our case studies page. 

Both ElementIQ and Klue value entrepreneurship, knowledge sharing, transparency in business, and technological collaboration. Our team was honored to meet Jason and the staff at Klue. It is always a pleasure to connect, collaborate and share ideas.

elementiq x 1% for the planet

BURNABY, BC, – APRIL 6, 2017 — ElementIQ joined 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate 1% of annual sales to support non-profit organizations focused on the environment.

In the coming weeks, ElementIQ will be announcing the local non-profit organization it will be pledging resources to over the next year.

“Our member companies have donated more than $150 million to our environmental nonprofit partners to date. Currently, only 3% of total philanthropy goes to the environment and, only 3% of that comes from businesses. The planet needs bigger support than this, and our growing network of member businesses is doing its valuable part to increase giving and support on the ground outcomes. Our members lead with purpose and commitment, characteristics that consumers support. We’re excited to welcome ElementIQ to our global network,” says Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet.

“We are thrilled to officially become 1% for the Planet members,” said Ramesh Ranjan, Digital Marketing Manager at ElementIQ. “We see collective contributions from private sector companies for the public good as a responsibility.”

Members of 1% for the Planet contribute one percent of annual sales directly to any of the approved non-profit environmental organizations in the network. Non-profits are approved based on referrals, track record, and environmental focus. Thousands of nonprofits worldwide are currently approved.

“ElementIQ is proud to be working towards a healthier planet for all,” added Ranjan. “We all rely on drinkable water, healthy food, and clean air to survive. We are proud to be doing our part, for the planet.”

About 1% For The Planet

1% for the Planet is a global organization, leading a network of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals working together for a healthy planet. Launched in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, former owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, our network consists of more than 1,200 member companies and thousands of approved nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries. Brands whose products and services feature the 1% for the Planet logo give 1% of sales annually to nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting the environment. Our members have given more than $150 million back to the planet since 2002. Look for our logo and visit www.onepercentfortheplanet.org to learn more.

About ElementIQ

ElementIQ is a digital marketing agency based out of Burnaby, BC. Our goal is to help grow your business online. We take all the elements of Inbound Marketing—Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, Local Search, Paid Search, Social Media and Google Analytics—to drive businesses to increase conversions, improve search engine rankings, and manage your online reputation. We’re ready to get to work for you.

Marketing_agency_office_seating

My name is Preeya Grewal and I’m the new Inbound marketing intern at ElementIQ Internet Marketing. Since I graduated from university in 2012, I have coveted a marketing agency position and I’m overjoyed that ElementIQ hired me as an intern! My goal for the next 4 months is to soak in as much information as possible and provide a valuable contribution to this great team. My first week has consisted mostly of learning and observation and I’d like to share some of the things that I found most interesting in my first 5 days here.

HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Certification

This is the Inbound Marketing software platform that ElementIQ uses. HubSpot offers a free inbound marketing certification course and my colleague Ramesh suggested I take the course prior to my interview. At 11 courses and approximately 15 hours of preparation time—this was a daunting prospect for me. As I began delving into the course, however, I found the content itself to be fascinating and easy to digest. I couldn’t be more grateful that I was introduced to the course because the content is invaluable and extremely useful for anyone starting a career in this line of work. You’re given 3 chances per month to take the test and when you pass, you can display your new Inbound Marketing certification on LinkedIn, on your resume or just use it for bragging rights!

Having taken the course before starting my internship has definitely been helpful in understanding key philosophies, best practices and terminology. The first few days at a new job are already enough of a shock to the system, so having even a bit of familiarity with the material has made a world of a difference to me. You can find the course here.

Seating Arrangement

ElementIQ has an open office seating arrangement­—this is a first for me. The disruption of the traditional office set-up and its rising popularity—specifically for new tech companies has intrigued me. I always wondered what it would be like to work in this sort of space compared to a cubical or office. I’ve questioned whether this kind of set-up could potentially disrupt workflow or concentration given the potential of simultaneous conversations going on at any given time.

Are you a reliable self-starter looking to kickstart your digital marketing career?

After a week in an open office setting, I have to say that I enjoy it. This set-up has been conducive in getting to know my colleagues better, getting familiar to the technical terminology, and easing into the company culture. I asked some of my new colleagues how they like this set-up and from their answers, I’ve gathered that it allows for better teamwork and collaboration and helps everyone get to know one other better. One of the biggest benefits of this setup for this office has to be that it promotes information sharing which is important and necessary to the ElementIQ team. I’ll delve more into this in the next section.Marketing_agency_office_seating

Information Sharing

Information sharing is imperative to this team. More so, in fact, than any team I’ve worked with in the past. It’s a necessary part of the job and integral for servicing each client efficiently. Each team member specializes in 1 or 2 specific channels of Inbound Marketing and depending what each client’s needs are, usually 2 or more team members are responsible for servicing any given client. There are a number of applications used in this office to enable inter-office communications and information sharing.

  • Slack is a real-time messaging app with one-on-one messaging, private groups, and group chats organized by topic, among other things. All conversations are archived and there is a search function. This team uses Slack for general updates on clients and for keeping in the loop about office news and activities.
  • Basecamp is used to keep track of specific project updates. It includes features like to-do lists, assigning activities to various collaborators, document sharing and information management.
  • Highrise is used to house client communication, tasks and notes. When a team member has any sort of communication with a client, they send that information to Highrise where the rest of the team can access it if need be.
  • Google Drive store files through secure cloud storage and file backup for photos, videos, files and more. Here, the team can share folders that contain important files about specific clients so everyone can have access to these files at all times.

Staying In The Loop

The first week of a new job is usually intimidating for new hires and it’s no different for me. Considering how much I need to learn, I do feel pressure to get up to speed and be able to not only comprehend the conversations going on around me but to actually engage in said conversations at some point! I’m feeling optimistic that I’ll get there, not only because of how fascinating I find the content but because of the graciousness and patience I’ve experienced from the team in my first week.

Part of this learning process will involve a lot of self-study, along with all the learning I’m doing at work. The marketing and technology landscape is constantly changing and although I already try my best to stay informed, I know I‘ll be altering my personal media diet to help myself stay in the loop. Ramesh has recommended some informative marketing blogs for me to start reading—Marketing Land, HubSpot, Moz Top 10, Unbounce—to name a few and I’ve been listening to marketing podcasts on my way to and from work to facilitate my learning.

Studying_with_laptop

Learning Can Be Fun!

Since I have never directly worked with most Inbound Marketing channels, I have spent the first week reading about, receiving lessons in and researching different facets of Inbound Marketing. The nuances of all the Inbound Marketing channels and how they fit together to provide a successful marketing strategy is extremely interesting and I’m fortunate that I get to learn from experts who are passionate about what they do. While I am taking in a substantial amount of information, not the least of it is dry. The more I take in, the more eager I am to continue learning and to eventually apply this to my work and this makes me excited about my next 4 months here at ElementIQ!

phone with map closeup in hand

 

So let’s point out the obvious, building citations is not the most fun thing in the world. On the other hand, local citations are one of the most important things for a business to master. What is the point in having a local business that can’t be found? Or can’t be seen on a map? Or worst of all, that can not be seen on Google? So in this post, I want to lay out the do’s and the do not’s of building local citations; as well as, how to build citations.

Start With The Most Important – Google.

Your Google+/Google My Business page is the most important citation of all. This information has to be 100% correct on Google to lay the base for every other citation you make. How Google wants to have your address set up is like this:

local-search-1

As an example, you have your main address 12322 122st

Then you have your unit number on the end, so: 12322 122St #111, Richmond, VA, USA, 55466

Use that formatting for ALL citations. The key is quality, not quantity. You must always be consistent.

To continue…. You have to know the following: What category is your business in, and where should they be listed?

There Are 5 Basic Types Of Sites You’ll Want To Get Listed On:

-Data-aggregators (e.g. LocalEze)

-Horizontal directories (e.g. Yelp)

-Industry-specific directories (e.g. Avvo)

-Region-specific sites (e.g. Denver.com/places)

-Sites where you can get an “unstructured” citation, like a mention in a newspaper or by a “local” blogger.”

Narrowing down your specifics to which sites suit the business’ needs makes citation building a lot easier.

Claiming Businesses:

When you are creating citations from scratch, this will be a lot easier.  But you want to claim all the listings you can. You will need to create login information and sometimes they will need telephone verification like Yelp and Sales Spider

If you are trying to claim a business that has already been claimed by another person, retain the login info or if you can’t, contact the listing provider directly.

The whole point of claiming listings is to make sure nobody else will mess with it or change the information on you. The littlest mistake on a local citation can throw Google for a loop. As well, it just gets sloppy.

Citation Audits:

When doing an audit for a client you need to search their business by address, name, and phone number. Then redo it in an incognito browser to make sure you found every bit of information related to them.

You should have two different documents for every client you do citations for:

1) The Audit (Source, URL, Notes, Errors)

2) The Corrections and New Citations

 **If it is a new business obviously you will only have one document for citations since they will not have any old citations to audit.**

Citation Audits are important to see what citations businesses have and what more you can give them.

Helpers for Local Citations:

Whitespark: Whitespark is a citation finder that analyzes your business category, location, and targets. It is a very useful tool if you need a jumpstart, or need to find more citations for a client. It is also relatively inexpensive too.

PlacesScout: This is a neat site where it analyzes your client citations as well as the competitors. This too is a bit more analytical and they specifically focus on sites that you can leave a review on.

GeoRanker: Like the others above, it’s a powerful local seo tool. That allows you to find viable citations. It is also well known for the ability to track your local seo presence.

iStock_000003518676_Small

Documentation:

Documentation is very important when it comes to citations.

You need to be able to keep track of what ones you created, claimed, or have had found. It is also necessary to be able to log all the login information to the sites that you have created listings for.

Notes are also important here. Keeping some sort of a paper trail for the listings is recommended because if you needed to change an address, phone number or anything you can refer back to the notes to see if it has been done or not. Because trust me if you don’t write it down you will forget.

Lastly, always have the listings dated by creation, if they have been claimed or not, and “edited by: ”. This is just so you know who to track down for it. It makes things a lot easier than playing the guessing game.

**Making note of all the changes another document source (ex. client center) is a good idea too because you can automatically notify whoever you want, that you have made changes to the document.

Local citations, when done properly, will help a business out a lot with their online presence and their all over SEO. It is amazing what a difference it can make, and that is why it is very important to be consistent. If you follow these guidelines and use some of the tools mentioned above, you are on your way to being a citation pro.

vancouver skyline at night

If you’re the owner of a company operating in or around Vancouver, you’ll know how much of a struggle it can be to attract the right customers to your business, especially with so much competition in every sector. The British Columbia economy is still on fairly fragile ground and Vancouver business owners know this all too well. In order to be found by prospective buyers looking for a business just like yours, you need a sales and marketing plan that is appropriate for the digital age, and you need the right tools to help your business grow. This is where HubSpot comes in.

HubSpot vancouver businesses logo

Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you didn’t have to chase as many prospects? Instead, imagine that more of your potential customers actually found you, took themselves through your sales process, and then contacted you when they were ready to make a purchase. HubSpot can help you keep track of all your inbound marketing activities like SEO, blogging, social media marketing, and email marketing, ensuring you capture quality leads at the right time and place.

The Benefits Of Inbound Marketing

First, it’s important to understand what makes Inbound marketing more effective than traditional marketing methods.

It’s less expensive. Buying ad space online and offline is expensive. By using various online channels including websites and social media, businesses can publish their own optimized content, usually at no cost.

It’s more credible. Consumers are more savvy than ever before. They know when they’re being sold to; they can smell a sales pitch from a mile away. Ads and sales messages don’t have the power that they once did. By using content marketing and other inbound marketing techniques, businesses can educate consumers before they are ready to buy, giving their brand more credibility from the outset.

It’s less intrusive. Consumers have more power than ever before to control their social and digital environments. They fast-forward through TV commercials, block incoming phone calls, trash emails, and ignore pop-up ads. Inbound marketing promotes your brand without the “hard sell”.

It reduces the need to cold call. By using the right Inbound marketing strategies, businesses will find that customers come to them when they are ready to make a buying decision.

A Smarter Digital Marketing Solution

Many businesses in Vancouver still rely on a number of tools to help them with digital marketing. They use analytics tools to monitor their website and social media activity, another tool to analyze their email marketing, a design tool for creating landing pages, and publishing tools for blogging and managing their content marketing. It’s becoming way too complicated, and yet these businesses are so busy juggling all these activities with the day-to-day operations of their business, they lose sight of what they are actually trying to achieve. HubSpot simplifies the whole marketing process.

An Overview Of HubSpot

The great thing about HubSpot is that it helps you streamline the entire marketing process, from creating content and attracting customers, to capturing leads and closing a sale. It can help you with SEO, email, social media, blogging, analytics, and more. Ultimately, it will help you attract more people to your website at a lower cost per lead. As a result of the Inbound marketing techniques, the leads are interested in your products or services and are more likely to buy.

HubSpot has been helping businesses since 2006, and because of the continued growth of inbound marketing and the rise of social media and mobile technology, the popularity of the marketing tool is growing faster than ever before. If you are operating a business in and around Vancouver, make sure you don’t lose out to other businesses in the area who are already using HubSpot’s powerful marketing features. The benefits are clear:

  • It gives businesses a greater return on their marketing investment
  • It simplifies the whole marketing process
  • Your target market can find you more easily
  • Prospects are already more qualified and more likely to buy

The core marketing tasks covered by HubSpot can all be managed from one central hub, so you and your team can manage every aspect of your sales and marketing. These include:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Optimizing landing pages
  • Creating effective calls-to action
  • Analytics and reporting

How HubSpot Can Help Your Business

There are many marketing tools included in the HubSpot package. Here are just some of the main features you can use to boost your marketing power:

Prospect Tracking

Most website visitors end up leaving a site without converting into a lead. HubSpot allows you to track these visitors so you can see which companies are visiting your website, how each visitor found your site, and which pages they viewed. If they performed a search, you can also discover what they were searching for. You can then export these results to other team members.

Keyword Research

Use HubSpot to host your blog and get live help as you create each blog post. HubSpot helps you optimize your content with the most effective keywords by analyzing different keyword phrases for their competitiveness, meaning you focus on the right keywords before you publish.

Email Marketing

As with any marketing automation tool, you can send targeted email messages based on the interests of your prospects and their position in the sales cycle. For example, you can set up an email to be sent when a website visitor performs a certain task. Because HubSpot’s email platform is connected directly to its contact database, you can personalize each email to help increase open and click rates.

Lead Nurturing

Set up workflows so you can nurture leads through the sales funnel. You can send automated emails at specific times to each lead, monitor the results and then pass on this data to the sales team.

Lead Management

HubSpot’s lead management tool shows you how prospects interacted with your website. It uses lead scoring technology to identify the most qualified leads, and can even show you a timeline of every interaction between a contact and your company.

Business Blogging

HubSpot’s blogging software helps you create posts that are optimized for search engines and readers, so your content is more likely to rank higher for certain keywords and get more shares. Its blog analytics tool helps you see which posts are most effective so you can optimize future content. Social inbox. Monitor your brand’s online presence from one central location. See all the information about your keywords, customers, leads, interactions, and content across all your social networks.

Landing Page Creation

Creating landing pages that are optimized for conversions is a key part of an effective marketing strategy. HubSpot makes it easy to build powerful landing pages that convert more customers.

Smart Calls-To-Action

With HubSpot, you can segment leads based on specific criteria and display different offers on your website based on the individual visitor.

The Bottom Line – Growing Your Business In Vancouver (With HubSpot)

hubspot for vancouver businesses

Many businesses in Vancouver and the surrounding areas either don’t use HubSpot or don’t use it to its full potential. This is a great opportunity for you take advantage of one of the most powerful marketing platforms around and stay one step ahead of the competition. If you’re finding it difficult to attract customers, capture quality leads, and close a sale, HubSpot could be just what you’ve been waiting for. Why not make it easier for your target customers to find you, and take your online marketing to the next level?

Next up: I’ll detail the latest and greatest with HubSpot’s brand new CRM! Stay tuned!