I was doing a bit of research on the search trends in Dublin Ohio and Dayton Ohio within Google Trends when I noticed an interesting phenomenon. While both cities have enjoyed growth with respect to visitors searching from within the state for their city, Dublin seemed to be experiencing more searches based on good news, while Dayton searches seem more focused on neutral or negative news.
As a native of the Dayton area, this concerned me, so I did a bit of digging. It looks like a classic case for some creative reputation management. Dayton has a great deal of good news to share, but it doesn’t seem to be getting the same “play” as good news in Dublin. This comes down to Public Relations, specifically reputation management. While the subject of reputation management is in itself fascinating, since I’m primarily a search guy, I’m going to restrict my observations to the convergence of PR and SEO.
I Don’t Have a Dog in this Fight
Or perhaps I have two dogs in the fight. Since I spend so little time in our Cleveland office, I can’t speak to how I feel about Cleveland yet. But as I spend half of my professional time in Dublin and the other half in the Dayton area, I can speak to how I feel about Dayton, and I think I’m uniquely qualified to give Dayton a gentle slap on the wrist. I love the Dayton area and as a resident I know that there are plenty of great things to talk about. We just need to collectively do a better job of getting the word out.
Dublin Uses What They Have
If you look at the major headlines for Dublin Ohio searches, you’ll see they are predominately related to the annual golf tournament. This is great, and I’m sure to some extent “just happens” as a result of having the tournament. I have to assume however, that there is some effort being applied to directing the news about Dublin based on the near absence of any other “tragic” news.
But Dayton Doesn’t have a Memorial Golf Tournament
Having good news isn’t enough. You need to leverage the technologies available to make your good news known. Dayton could take a page from the Dublin playbook and use all of the great news they have to their advantage.
Niche industries present a tremendous opportunity for targeting “interest trends”. Often, you’ll find that interest cycles throughout the year in many industries – we usually refer to this as “seasonality”. You can target the seasonality of online interest if you know where to be and when.
Using some Google trends for the steel industry for example, we can see two distinct peaks for “1018 steel” throughout each year, one in February and one in September. If you wish to minimize your spend to the time of year when the interest is peaking, you can budget for ads in these months.
Additionally, you’ll note that there are some very specific (and predictable) geographies. When we are working to get the most from our budget, we’re going to want to restrict our activities to where our visitors are as well.
Determine Your Campaign Type
Based on what we know, we can now target our ads by date (Feb and Sept) and by Geo (Texas and California). This will allow you to greatly improve the number of “target” visitors that you would like to see your brand. In many cases, there would be a great opportunity for display advertising and remarketing. This would get your brand in front of the right people and keep it there for the duration of the peak season.
For example, using my remarketing example – you could create a program where you display your ads during these months on display networks within the target geographies (in this case, Texas and California). Once a visitor clicks your display ad, you could add them to your Google Remarketing campaign and continue to appear on many of the sites they visit. This is a very effective way to get more eyes on your brand – and it’s relatively inexpensive.
If you are looking for someone to bounce ideas off of, just give me a shout. I love to talk about industrial marketing and I’m usually available for a quick chat.
Interactive Director Crystal Olig with Zack, developer with Task Rabbit and Brandon, developer with SendGrid. Photo courtesy: Malone & Co
My first time at Big Omaha surprised me for several reasons. I expected to meet cool people and hear about cool projects. I expected great speakers. I even expected to have a bunch of fun—after all, a conference that includes yoga, manicures, a fashion and a skate show has to be awesome, and it was.
What I didn’t expect is the spirit of community and inclusion, the overwhelming positivity of everyone I met and the shared excitement about what is going on in tech in the Midwest. It went beyond intellectually engaging to be an experience not only of the mind, but of the soul.
I went to the conference with three goals in mind:
1) To meet interesting people from whom I could learn
2) To hear big ideas I could take back to my team and my clients
3) To be reinvigorated to tackle the everyday challenges of being part of a technology business
I achieved all three. Instead of a long narrative speaker recap, which you could find on Silicon Prairie News, the conference co-organizer with the Kauffman Foundation, here are some quotes and snippets of wisdom that were meaningful to me along the way.
Tony Conrad, @TonySphere, founder of About.me and Sphere. Startup guy with True Ventures, WordPress, MakerBot, Typekit and Blue Bottle Coffee
“Why am I spending my time on About.Me? To reframe social media so individuals have a voice and more control over how you’re presented online,” he said.
“Google algorithms should not define you…My tweets don’t define me.”
“I think of you and me as entrepreneurs and founders, and I get it. It’s a lot of stress, how get funded, stay funded, get hired, no detail is too small for any of us. If you can think, ‘How do you start a movement,’ that is your path to true north.”
Megan Casey, @megancasey, founder of PackLove.com and formerly of Squidoo
Something Megan said really resonated with me, because I’ve felt the same thing:
“[I was] starting to feel a bit of stress about not building anything real, tangible, crafted. But then realized that we’re building worlds. Don’t ever let yourselves think you’re doing something trivial if you’re doing it online. We’re connecting real human stories, creating wealth, supporting families.”
“It’s a really uncanny thing that we’re building worlds— and we’re just sitting there typing.” (She used a great dog on laptop .gif to illustrate.— LOL.)
Megan also gaive special invites to her product, PackLove, to Big Omaha attendees. See my new page for my dog Fenway!
The key to getting great talent to work for you: “People can pick cool tech or cool tech + mission,” he said. “People will pick cool tech + mission.”
He spoke at length about making data actionable and working in partnership with people who benefit from the software on both ends of the spectrum—healthcare payors and healthcare consumers— to be truly disruptive with the (free!) product offered.
This was one of the most moving stories of the day. While some seminars were based on how software solved a problem, and others spoke directly to entrepreneurs about the challenges of running a business. Catherine started a non-profit, and she had a real mission. She “transforms the lives of business leaders and people with criminal histories through their collaboration along the entrepreneurial journey.”
She told a story about being the child of immigrants, who believed that anything was possible for anyone in America—and found that people who were formerly incarcerated were not able to live the American dream after paying their time.
Her program includes a selection process to “make sure they have the heart.” It’s a one year long, MBA -like program; a semi-shark-tank with more than $100,000 in micro loans available. It teaches character development and life skills that many former cons did not get in their old lives.
There were two utterly remarkable things about the results of her program:
1) These formerly troubled people have since launched 44 new businesses and; the first initial ones made $250,000 in their first year of operation and created 24 employment opportunities.
She had more stats that I didn’t get down, but generally, there were no instances of recidivism. They are paying an immense amount of money through their businesses back into the U.S. economy and tax system. Ultimately, she stopped the cycle of poverty, discrimination and violence for these people—through entrepreneurship.
2) She brought three recent graduates of the program up on stage. For several it was their first time in front of a crowd that large, and it was utterly moving for them and for us to see them stand up, in suits, and share their mistakes and their business goals.
Anil Dash, @AnilDash, Co-founder and director of Activateinc
One of the most intellectual presentations of the bunch, I left feeling like Anil Dash was the Sam Adams of our time. His presentation was about the freedom of information on the web, and the values of those who create technology translating into personal values, not business ones.
“Empathy and humanity helps build open source communities,” he said. “We must not fund our products at the expense of our communities.”
“We want to believe that software is neutral, that it doesn’t affect our culture,” he said.
He spoke vehemently about the need for openness and transparency on the web, repeating that “technology has values,” and “we can do better,” railing against the pages and pages of Terms of Service agreements that we’ve all agreed to, but not understood.
He pointed out real issues with the way personal data like photos and posts are treated by big companies— that it’s disposable and temporary.
“We must build things that last again,” he said.
Something that struck me as a new parent was this comment: “Our kids will know our real life stories by what we’ve posted in our lives.” I stopped and thought about what feelings and stories my son will know about me, simply because I’ve posted them along the way. That’s transparency in parenting redefined.
Ben Milne, @bpmilne, of Dwolla, an internet payment network
This tech and finance entrepreneur is trying to revolutionize how payments work on the web. As I know from working on numerous e-commerce web projects, our monetary system is untenable today for the way real consumers and businesses need to share money digitally. His Dwolla product has the potential to be transformative across the web.
His technology was impressive, but I was just as heartened by his perspective on the values of the Midwest.
“You probably want to see your kids and eat dinner with them; you don’t want a future on Skype,” he said.
“There are a lot of people on the [East and West] coasts who are creating and consuming. But having a family out there is at astronomical cost. We have something special in the midwestMidwest worth protecting.”
His company is based out of Iowa, and he shared why:
“I’m happy we didn’t leave, I think it was the right choice,” he said. “There’s a certain level of humility that is unique to the Midwest. Those are traits that are unique to this area, don’t lose them.”
Ben also shared his belief, with which I agree with, that, “Creation is greater than consumption. We should create vs. just overwhelmingly consume. The person who can create no content creates no value and maybe isn’t that valuable.”
Other gems from Ben Milne:
“Ask people around you to go home.”
“Scale how you think, not how much you work—you won’t do more efficient work.”
“Adopt new methodologies, find ways of making the world work for you. Figure out how you can operate, not just take on more work.”
“If you make decisions about who people should be without their consent, trust me, that will go sideways.”
“People are not empowered because they have these views about what normality is. It creates what average people should be.”
Next Post: Day 2, coming soon.
As a Gen Yer I just can’t help but mention: I’d say the majority of people at this conference were under the age of 35. Despite the general bad press Gen Y gets today, I was heartened to see the passion, humility and drive of the young professionals I met at Big Omaha, and believe our generation will do great things.
One of the reasons I love working in technology is the ability to surround myself with smart clients and colleagues who push me to constantly come up with new ways to use digital tools to innovate for all sorts of businesses. In that spirit, I’m attending Big Omaha, a conference built with the challenge to present some of the best disruptive thinkers and tech entrepreneurs to a new generation of business leaders. It’s rumored to be “like [South by Southwest] before it got huge,” with a format that allows face time and one-on-one conversations between attendees and presenters.
Some of the speakers I’m looking forward to include Gentry Underwood, co-founder of Mail, one of the hottest apps of the year; Megan Casey, founder of Pack (gotta love a female Gen Y entrepreneur in tech—who loves dogs!); and Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups accelerator program.
I’ve been eyeing this event for several years, as I’ve watched all parts of the Midwest become more focused on growing technology business and talent. As a Nebraska native and graduate of that other football-playing college (my Buckeye colleagues have forbidden any Husker references at the office), I was intrigued to find a mini technology hub popping up not only in Omaha, but in Kansas City and Des Moines as well. And they say Columbus is a cow town! Apparently in the Midwest we are just teaching the cattle to code.
I’m going to bring new ideas to the team, expand Oxiem’s network of smart folks and rejuvenate my own perspectives. As this is probably the coolest conference I’ve ever heard of—featuring three evening networking parties (one including a fashion show, the other a skate show), free yoga and manicures, a Twitter scavenger hunt and a “Style Your Startup T-shirt” contest—I’m pretty sure I’ll be back with stories to tell.
I’ll be posting and tweeting throughout the conference, and sharing some wisdom from the speakers here on the blog. Keep up with me @SparkleGem or @Oxiem and stay tuned!
The site design is organized around key audiences and utilizes colors for major site sections, like Healthcare Providers, Hospitals and Patients, which correspond to colors used in printed literature and other marketing materials.
A new location finder shares all the regional offices and testing locations for CompuNet, including profile pages for each office to help customers reach the offices via Google Maps and get information they will need for their visit, such as medical forms. An enhanced news and resource center shares crucial information for customers like quality updates, infectious disease bulletins and case studies.
“I cannot thank you and your team at Oxiem enough for your hard work and patience,” said Stanforth in an email to Interactive Director Crystal Olig.
CompuNet is an affiliate of Quest Diagnostics, the leading national laboratory, giving healthcare providers access to vast resources including the complex and specialized testing capabilities of Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute.
Oxiem and Genessa Health Marketing frequently partner to deliver technology solutions to customers in the healthcare arena.
Oxiem is excited to announce the launch of the Tolles Career & Technical Center website, tollestech.com, designed and developed by Oxiem. Tolles is a hands-on learning career-technical education center focusing on high school and adult education.
The new site is a significant improvement in terms of design, usability and functionality. It features a News & Events feed throughout with easy-to-use filtering options, a site language translator to accommodate foreign language site visitors, a dynamic staff directory, and a very unique Experience Center.
The Experience Center is made up of in-class learning experiences across various educational programs such as Business & Information Technology, Construction & Manufacturing, Health Science, and Human Service. Web visitors can visit the Experience Center to learn more about the hand-on learning projects taking place at Tolles.
The new website was presented to the Tolles staff and educators at the tollestech.com launch party. Tolles is excited to share their unique education center via their new website!
Everyone wants transparency into their search marketing progress, but it seems that at each turn there are new obstacles presented by one component or another of the campaign. Today we’re going to look at how you can use a tracking number on your website and your local listings, while using diligence in number portability.
I’ll Use My “Real” Number in my Local Listings, and my “Tracking” Number in my My Site
Nope. Due to most local listings requiring near-perfect “NAP” consistency, this approach will leave you wanting for better optimization. This means that you’ll need your company name, your company address, and your company phone number to be identical on your website and on all local listings you want want maximum impact.
But “It’s Better Than Nothing” If my NAP is Inconsistent, Isn’t It?
I hear this a lot in discussions about optimization. It usually sounds like this: “Yeah, but this will be better than what we’re doing now right? I mean, it won’t HURT anything if my info doesn’t match will it?”
I’ll answer this question with our mantra here at Oxiem. “Doing No Harm” is probably what most of our customers are doing before they hire us. Avoid the DNH trap at all costs. Our customers don’t pay to do “better than nothing”, our customers pay us to optimize them. So, of course “not hurting” is a fundamental goal, but our top goal is to help them beat their competition, and just “not hurting anything” will not get us there.
Why Don’t I Just Use My “Real” Number Everywhere?
You can, if you have a “real” number that allows for transparent reporting. We’ve found that most numbers do not. At Oxiem we use a modern phone number provider (ifByPhone) for our tracking numbers for the following reasons:
They offer a rich API allowing us to bake phone call data into monthly reports
They offer call recording (but it’s not required)
We “pre-buy” numbers and monitor whether they see a lot of telemarketing or wrong number calls prior to using them
We can add our tracking numbers to “do not call” allowing for a cleaner data set in your reports
OK, Then I’ll Just Use My Tracking Number Everywhere
Yes! But. Of course there’s a but.
You need to be sure that you “own” that number (in as much as you can “own” any number). What if you disengage with your agency or phone number provider and they tell you “Sorry to see you go, we’ll de-activate your number at the end of your campaign”? This means that you’ll need to go through each of your campaigns and change the number. This will get harder the longer you use the tracking number.
Enter the Portable Number
The LNP act allows you the right to “port” your number from one carrier to another. The carrier cannot stop this from happening – you just need to be sure that your partner will not become an obstacle if they bought the number.
Work with a Transparent Partner
Be SURE you have the right to exercise number portability before you allow anyone to use a “purchased” number on your campaign. Oxiem allows our customers to port their numbers when the campaigns end, and so should anyone you work with. Ask this question before any numbers are setup.
Fresh on the heels of our big win at the end of February, the Oxiem team was once again humbled and honored during the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting upon learning we were named Small Business of the Year.
The annual award is voted on by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce board and recognizes the top small business with 25 employees or less.
As part of the ceremony, award winners were featured in video interviews on the big screens in the Grand Hall of the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts & Conference Center. Check out our fearless leaders’ thoughts on the Small Business of the Year recognition!
We would be remiss if we let this week pass without acknowledging the exciting news that earlier this week, our team brought home a prestigious Gold Hermes/ADDY Award for our work on the Growing the Cure website design and development.
The site, developed for the worthy cause of fighting cancer through food research, was a result of our relationship with Trupointe Cooperative. As a regional member-owned and controlled co-op headquartered in Piqua, Ohio, Trupointe is a sponsor and huge supporter of Growing the Cure.
To quote our co-founder, John Fimiani: “When we were presented with the opportunity to design and develop the Growing for the Cure site, we jumped at the chance. As anyone in the industry knows, there’s a different level of creative freedom and emotion inherent in cause-related projects and we’re always looking for new opportunities to test our abilities. We’re proud of the end result, and hope that in some small way we’ve helped raise awareness in the fight against cancer.”
In total, our team won 10 Silver and Bronze Hermes/ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation Dayton.
Oxiem’s Silver ADDY Awards included: Dublin, Ohio CVB collateral material; Experience Columbus mobile site; Greater Springfield, Ohio mobile site; SO Springfield campaign.
Oxiem’s Bronze ADDY Awards recognized the following work: Hughey & Phillips Anniversary Ads; Arts in Ohio website; Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce & CVB, Ohio website; Peerless Food Equipment mobile site; Ridgewood, Ohio Book Promotion website; Shopsmith interactive video.
In all, a very successful haul for Team Oxiem. Congratulations to everyone whose hard work contributed to this big win!
Written by bsterzenbach | February 20, 2013 7:36 am
Even after so many years researching the search patterns of people all over the world, every now and then a little gem such as this surprises me. It seems that all over the world, everyone becomes fascinated with coffee makers in December. While there are many phrases that show this sort of “seasonal sawtooth”, for some reason patterns this stark always cause me to do a double-take.
Searches for “Coffee Maker”
I don’t have much in the way of clever observations, I just found it oddly comforting to see such uniform zealotry regarding coffee maker gifting. I also sort of feel sorry for the coffee maker manufacturers – I imagine them desperately vying for the world’s attention all year, only to receive stalker-like attention (and it seems to be growing each year) for about 3 weeks.