South Dakota recently launched a new anti-meth marketing campaign that has gone viral. But is it all over the internet for the right reason? That’s what we discuss in this episode with Tatum Richards, who recently moved from South Dakota, and Chris Norris, who has worked on other public health marketing campaigns.


Episode Transcript

Missy 0:00
Welcome to the social feed podcast. I’m your host Missy, thank you for listening. In this episode, we get into an interesting topic that has been on everyone’s radar for the past week. I would say since the campaign launched “Meth We’re on it” is South Dakota’s newest anti-meth campaign. And everyone has been talking about how it was executed. Is this the right way to bring awareness and we wanted to really dissect the campaign. the good, the bad, the ugly and everything in between about how we got to this point. We have two guests on the episode Tatum Richards who’s actually from South Dakota and brought this campaign to light when it first launched. The campaign features a bunch of people from her hometown and different areas around South Dakota. So she really dives into be the resident and how that impact is on her. And then we have Chris Norris, whose background is in working on multiple campaigns that involve like the opioid crisis and working with the Red Cross on blood donations and getting more awareness to the public in that fact. So we dive in really deep from both sides of that for this campaign. So let’s get into this week’s episode number 99 “Meth- We’re on it” South Dakota’s anti-meth campaign. So many of you have probably seen all over your LinkedIn feeds the news, social media in general. South Dakota launched a new campaign the past week, that has been blowing up everyone’s feeds called “Meth- We’re on it.” And is everything about trying to you know, bring light to the addiction which they definitely have. I’ll say in the best way. That’s what we’re talking about today. So uh, Tatum being the South Dakota resident, and growing up there. I want to get your thoughts on been from there what you thought about this campaign when you first saw it.

Tatum 1:49
It definitely grabbed my attention initially, because homestate is the logo, the big slogan on it. I will say I don’t love it. It’s not my favorite.

Pat 2:06
Because you’re from South Dakota or just in general?

Missy 2:09
Do you find it offensive? Being from South Dakota, like, what are your thoughts?

Tatum 2:13
I don’t, I don’t know if it necessarily find offensive. I mean, people think we’re on meth now, so that’s not ideal. But more so just that I think it didn’t really hit the mark and achieve the goal that it was intended to. So I don’t know that I’m offended. I’m just confused.

Missy 2:33
So Chris, and I’m really curious about your opinion on this campaign. Will you talk a little bit about your background? Because I feel like that’s pretty perfect for what this show idea is.

Chris 2:41
Yeah. So prior to my time at Hubbard, I spent about four years in the public health marketing world. So working on campaigns like anti-tobacco, anti-obesity, and prevention campaigns, things like that. And so this campaign was right up my alley. I had never worked specifically on a meth campaign, but from what I can gather from this campaign, this is an example of what it looks like when nobody involved really understands what they’re trying to accomplish, or has worked on a public health or behavior change campaign in the past. Because if you had done any research or done any focus groups or anything like that, and really understood kind of the public health problem that they were trying to address, when you would not make light of it, and to there would be much more of kind of a segmented approach to the audiences to address the issue and put out a message that kind of resonates with the people that they’re actually trying to target. This seemed like they were trying to target almost like LinkedIn and Twitter and just get a rise out of the media and other agencies. And I mean, mission accomplished there. Here we are, but in terms of actually addressing the meth addiction problem that they’re allegedly trying to address they did not.

Missy 3:56
What’s interesting about the campaign is there in with the creative like Tatum you mentioned, they used The state of you know, South Dakota and they put the tagline “Meth- We’re on it”. But then they have all these images of like the football team and the captain and, you know, the farmer and all these different images that they’re using with that tagline. So I was kind of curious when you, Chris, you talked about the segments. What their thought process was when they were putting that together.

Chris 4:20
I mean, I don’t think there was one to be like. I mean,

like, it’s just, there’s clearly a lack of understanding like, both in the like the the local agency that we that presented this to the client in South Dakota, and then also on the clients we have, it’s just, like, incredibly clear that nobody understood what they were trying to accomplish. And everyone just kind of shrugged them in like, Oh, yeah, that sounds cool. We’ll get for four days of attention talking about North Dakota like I’m sure. Or South Dakota Excuse me. I’m sure South Dakota is indexing way higher on Google right now than it was last week which could result Dakota but but to what end? Yeah, and I mean it to your point about the images. I mean, like they’re one of them. There’s three kids, it looks like they’re under 18. And

Tatum 5:06
yeah, it says, Oh, I know the kids actually, that’s from my hometown on my high school football field. And,

Pat 5:13
of course, you know them

Missy 5:14
so they actually went to South Dakota and these images are from South Dakota?

Tatum 5:16
Yeah. I mean, one of the I mean, obviously, the people in images disclaimer, are not on meth. But, I mean, my vice principal is in one of the images from high school. So I just wondered, I think, are we trying to say, you know, like, there’s more math than you think, like, meth’s all around. Like, I’m assuming that was the approach, but just not. It didn’t come across that way.

Missy 5:40
What I’m curious about is so this campaign cost half million dollars to put together so they so obviously, this agency, like pitch this idea to them to South Dakota to put this together, and then it sounds like not everyone in the town got involved because they’re in the campaign, which I didn’t even know that part that they were actually people from South Dakota. Yeah. So how did we get here? It’s kind of my question.

Tatum 6:04
Well, I know they. So governor Noem asked for agencies to pitch her last summer. So this has been ongoing for a while. So, for a campaign that’s been happening for so long, or in the works, at least you think this has been run by a few heads down them. But um, anyway, so yeah, and I know, a bunch of agencies, at least nine from in-state pitch here as well. So that’s how it came about I guess. She asked for open pitches for out of the box ideas and this one was the winner.

Chris 6:45
I think something that’s interesting to me about this is it this is a great example of a campaign where traditional marketing metrics aren’t how you should measure success because they’re gonna see a ton of impressions on this ton of reach ton of engagement obviously, probably ton of website visits as a result, they’ve gotten a ton of PR out of it, like they were in the New York Times I saw, but I don’t think anybody who looked at this critically and put any thought into it would look at any of those metrics and be like, yeah, this campaign helps reduce meth use in our state. And so the like, kind of the traditional agency lens on this I think is where got problematic because they just saw and it’s like, we get a ton of impressions a ton of reach a ton of engagement. That’s how we’ve measured success in our past campaigns with soda company X, you know, or shoe company Y, and in the behavior change and public health world, that’s just not how you measure success. And, I mean, the result is just this kind of a disaster.

Pat 7:47
I just, I just find it almost offensive. It just there’s nothing about the campaign that speaks to the the problem or any sort of solution to the problem. And when we’re talking about marketing, almost anything, we’re always we’re generally trying to point to solutions like, you know, if you need a home built, we can help you build a home if you need, if you’re hungry, this food will satisfy your hunger in this campaign, there’s nothing about it, it draws more attention to the meth. And using pictures of people that aren’t on meth. I mean, not that you want a bunch of pictures of people that are on meth, but at least that would highlight the problem- I don’t know, it’s there’s just like Chris was saying it’s just the they were going for the wrong metrics, at the detriment of I think anything positive that could be accomplished by a big statewide campaign like this over an issue that needs to be addressed and, you know, fixed.

Missy 8:56
So there is the president of the agency that did this campaign. It said in an article because now that is getting national attention, she’s getting a lot of being spoken to a lot. She said we knew is going to be provocative. We wanted to do something different. Because it really does really impact all of South Dakota. So that imagery we have for it is really inclusive. She said

Chris 9:17
something different is instead of reducing meth use, they might be increasing it. So good job there.

Tatum 9:23
Yeah, I mean, my feed the past week has just been memes on memes of meth and people like editing photos, and it’s having on every platform, Snapchat, Twitter, I’ve seen it on Facebook. So until Marks himself safe from the meth use. And like, I mean, they run some really funny creative things I’ve seen. So I think to your point, it’s creating awareness but the absolute wrong kind of awareness and it’s not. That was one of my kind of problems with this campaign as well as the didn’t have a A call to action. Like you said, Pat, like it doesn’t. So okay, great. So what do we do about it? There’s no, you know, how do we seek help towards epidemic and there’s nothing really promoting it just kind of that it’s there and now it’s can just be made fun of so

Chris 10:17
the other thing that’s interesting about this campaign is I was just thinking, who is this for? Like, who is struggling with meth addiction or any sort of addiction, sees one of these images or see some of these stories and things? You know what? I think I’m going to go get help for my addiction. I just that’s not the type of campaign it is. It’s not empathetic to those addictions, or anything.

Pat 10:39
It doesn’t give anybody who sees it anywhere to go. Like it doesn’t it doesn’t give them anything to do like, Oh, yeah, I’m struggling with a meth addiction. I saw this campaign now I know exactly who to call to, to help because I don’t want to be addicted to meth anymore. No,

Tatum 10:55
I’m not the only one on mass here obviously, so it’s probably fine.

Missy 11:00
It almost makes it cool in a strange way. That’s how the ads are and they have bumper stickers now with meth were on it like they this agency put together a ton of creative around

Chris 11:09
there are bumper stickers?

Tatum 11:10
Bumper stickers, pop sockets, hats..

Missy 11:13
Like swag there is swag.

Tatum 11:15
So it costs this campaign is closer to 1.5 million. So the because of the merch and swag and media placement and TV ads, and the campaign itself is slated to be running through May. So this isn’t, yeah,

Missy 11:32
this is going to be we’re going to be seeing this for a while.

Tatum 11:34
And I saw a quote that said unless we need to take it down sooner kind of thing. But

Chris 11:42
yeah, that was the other thing. You read the quote from the agency. And just generally speaking, if you’re an agency and you’re working on a project, and less than a week after it launches, you feel compelled to come out with this statement defending that work. That’s when you know you’ve stepped in it a little bit. And I mean, they’re obviously not going to admit it. And I get that, but I think it everyone involved kind of recognizes that they may have overplayed their hand a little bit with all the comments they’re making about maybe reducing the budget or trying to defend it in weird ways.

Missy 12:15
Yeah, I’m really curious when you’re talking about the results, like, what what is that going to look like in the next five to six months as far as meth usage? And are they going to report back on that and how this campaign is helping? And is there like, I haven’t tried to search? Is there a website that people can go to learn more about it?

Tatum 12:31
The website title is

Missy 12:34
Oh, okay. That’s okay.

Tatum 12:36
So if you want to go there?

Missy 12:39
Pulling it up now!

Pat 12:41
Will our spam filters get flagged?

Missy 12:43
I’m waiting for IT to be like, what are you doing?

Tatum 12:45
I did it on my work computer too so fingers crossed there

Chris 12:50
I will say the one decent thing that campaign did if you actually look at the content at the site, it’s decent, they have resources for people to get addiction help, or if whether you are the person addicted or your family member who knows somebody that’s addicted. So there is like a kernel of, I guess, goodness, and there is just, you’ve like slept all this nonsense on top of it that you can’t like people aren’t even talking about that part of it. Like you didn’t even know that they had that those materials. And that’s really what they should be promoting in a more interesting way but they’ve just kind of slapped this nonsensical bumper sticker over everything.

Pat 13:27
So my biggest question at this point is when the governor put the pitch out, like what was the obviously meth addiction, is something that they wanted to solve, but what was the point of asking for campaigns? Are they trying to are they are they just trying to reduce meth usage? And so they needed some crazy national campaign like how does how does this marketing affect anything done in South Dakota towards meth addiction prevention and so on?

Chris 13:59
So I will say I did not read the RFP of the South Dakota put out. But generally speaking, I’m sure what they did is they identified we have a high percentage of addiction in our state. And then they determined that a hyper as high percentage of those addicted or addicted to meth, and it’s like disproportionate to other states. And it seems like that’s what they solved. And so they said, Okay, well, we need a campaign focused on education about addiction to meth, and then we needed and then part of that campaign needs to be providing resources to people who are addicted and want to get help. So I would imagine that’s where it started. It started in a good place. But yeah, again, like you get these, like traditional agencies who haven’t worked in this field and haven’t spent time with like the public health research, and you get like a Pepsi campaign for a public health like topic and then this can be the result sometimes.

Tatum 14:53
Right- Yeah. And I know the meth statistics in South Dakota are crazy. Higher than they are 2x the national average,

Missy 15:01
Yes twice as many teenagers in South Dakota between ages 12 and 17 have reported using meth in the past year, which is like way.

Tatum 15:09
So it’s definitely a problem that she wanted to address. I know, going into her time as Governor, so I think that’s kind of probably obviously where it’s done from sure.

Missy 15:21
There’s really just an article about how Meth use is a surging in South Dakota and the government is desperate to stop the crisis. They say it’s hurting every resident and then that’s why this campaign this campaign came about.

Chris 15:32
Which that part is true- like that is a good foundation.

Tatum 15:37
Awesome. I think we should have a campaign for sure.

Chris 15:41
I mean, what did you think when you saw it?

Missy 15:43
At first, I thought, this is like, I hate to even say it a lot. I laughed. I thought it was hilarious. Like, I was like, This is so funny.

Tatum 15:49
You thought I was kidding.

Missy 15:50
I thought I thought it was a joke about our Slack channel and I was like, oh my god. I’m like South Dakota. That’s funny, you know? And then I was like, This isn’t real. And then as I started people start talking about morals like there. They actually think this is like a campaign that’s going to help solve a serious, serious crisis and like I grew up in a rural farm town. So meth is an issue in my area as well. And if I saw people from my school or were like, I went on those boards saying “Meth, We’re on it.” I would be offended. That’s why I asked you if you were offended, because it’s like you’re from your area. I was like, what that that’s just I don’t know. I don’t like it.

Tatum 16:30
I honestly I want to say I wish I was surprised. That’s so bad, but I just I don’t know. Man. I just think there’s a line. I saw a quote and I really liked it. And it was, at what point does clever cross the line to become insensitive? Yeah. And I think this is the clear line. South Dakota has done another campaign for “Don’t Jerk and Drive”

Missy 17:00
South Dakota has a history it sounds like..

Tatum 17:01
It has a quite a history of using kind of controversial out there campaigns and slogans to get people’s attention. And don’t my thing was don’t drink and drive is like, you can kind of play on that, like, it’s not a subject, you’re talking about swerving in a car. And also, it’s like a funny sexual inuendo. And so you can, you can play on that. And it’s funny. And that’s a subject matter that you can kind of use this kind of slogan on by twisting the words and using them in that matter for meth. I just think probably shouldn’t have gone there.

Missy 17:37
I’m curious, Chris, what your thoughts are on because you’ve launched other campaigns for awareness? What is the right way to do something like this? Because we know this is not the right way.

Chris 17:47
Yeah. I mean, the first question that you would want answered in the meeting between the agency and the client would be what are we trying to accomplish? Like what does success look like for this campaign does it does success look like follow up research where people in for example, South Dakota, know more about meth addiction than they did a year ago? Does success look like increased enrollments and, addiction services, things like that. And so that would be the where you would start. And then the next piece of that is you would want to like figure out who are you actually targeting? Are you targeting 18 to 25 year old young adults? Are you targeting 55+? Are you targeting women? Are you targeting men? Are you targeting minorities? Are you targeting like white males, for example? And then determine within that audience why how did they get to on the path to where they are addicted to meth? Because it’s not like they just woke up one day or like, okay, cool, I’m gonna I want to be addicted to meth. Like there’s, there’s a path there. There’s a reasoning there, maybe they were in pain, maybe they felt like they, you know, they didn’t have anything going for them. There’s all these reasons that if like, focus groups, like online, like you can take online surveys, there might already be research out there. If anybody just kind of pump the brakes and stop you. That’s where you would have started. And then once you determine what those audiences are in segmented, you would have figured out why. Or what’s the most common reason why they’re getting addicted to meth. And then you would have addressed that head on and offered services with that lens.

Missy 19:15
Yeah, this it’s interesting, too, because with this podcast, with all the conversation coming up, I was like, Oh, do I want to contribute another piece of content to this campaign? So invite inside me, I was like, oh, but I’m like, we need to talk about this one, because the agency was was from Minnesota, which is where we’re based out of, and also just because of, we kept coming up in conversations. I was like, we need to really dive into this and like, what’s the right way to do it?

Pat 19:39
Is there a way that this campaign is effective for what they’re trying to accomplish?

Chris 19:49
I mean, it’s gonna it will be effective in the sense that nobody’s going to do this again, and like try this approach. I mean, but like in terms of actually reducing meth addiction or increasing services. I mean, I would love to be wrong in this case, because I would like people to get the help they need, but I just don’t see it.

Pat 20:10
Not from this campaign specifically?

Chris 20:12

Tatum 20:13
I agree with Chris. Like, again, I hope I’m wrong, but I just see it on. It’s a snap filter now like, and it’s a you know, it’s just a big joke. So I don’t think it’s necessarily doing anything but making a joke out of math and if anything, potentially making it more popular, so

Missy 20:33
I’m curious what because we work with Hazelton and Betty Ford as one of our clients and so I’m curious what other Institute’s like that that help people with drug abuse what they’re thinking about this campaign because they are there are taking light of it. South Dakota is with this and I’m just kind of curious what their thoughts are on that. Would love to love to hear that.

Pat 20:55
I mean, just in the in the few projects I’ve worked on with Hazelton and Betty Ford- they’re so they’re so serious and intentional about the wording they use and talking about addiction because it’s real people that are affected by it’s real families that are affected by it. And I just I can’t see anything even close to this getting getting past that filter. It’s just It seems so insensitive and so impersonal even though they’re using pictures of real people but there’s no there’s no context there’s no story there’s no there’s no feeling behind it and like Chris was saying, there’s lots of feelings and lots of emotions and write up that go into somebody getting to the point where they’re addicted to meth that you can’t just throw that out and put a slap a cool saying on a bumper sticker and fix it.

Chris 21:54
What is fascinating to me about this campaign is think like imagine being at Thanksgiving dinner next week, and somebody in your family saying I have an addiction, I’m looking to get help. And then somebody in your family laughing at them. That’s essentially what South Dakota has gotten all of us to do. Which is wild.

Missy 22:15
Yeah. That’s that’s so true. That’s so true. And that’s why when I really wouldn’t tell you something, I was like, this has to be a joke. Yeah, there’s no way.

Tatum 22:23
I mean, that’s the premise of it. Honestly, the font is almost kind of even a mean font. Like it kind of looks like But yeah, I mean, it’s just such a serious matter that shouldn’t be made light of and it just got totally twisted around.

Missy 22:42
And it sounds like I mean, the governor of South Dakota standing behind it as well. Obviously, the agency is too but she’s been tweeting and posting about that.

Tatum 22:51
She had a tweet and she said the goal was awareness. So I think it’s working. Well, okay, like we kind of talked about earlier. Sure, the goal is awareness, but it’s the wrong awareness. So I don’t know.

Missy 23:06
I feel like when you do a follow up podcast in like three or four months, I know the results of this and what happens. I’m curious what happened, what happens with that agency and what that looks like, because that’s a whole branding thing for them to know having this on their list.

Chris 23:19
Yeah. This is the campaign they’re known for now.

Pat 23:22
So say, I’m just trying to think of trying to redeem this a little bit.

Tatum 23:28
Pat’s like, Can we spin it positive?

Pat 23:31
If this was like the first phase of a campaign. Would that make this more okay? Like, if this was say, you said, it’s like that if this was the first two or three months of a six month campaign, and then they switched to something else with that? Would that make it okay?

Tatum 23:55
I see what you’re saying. But I almost want to say it’s too far gone. I don’t know.

Chris 23:57
I think I mean anything any changes they made to more effective campaigns moving forward would be in spite of this there’s no I just don’t see any successful road to build up this which sounds like is what you’re asking. Um, but yeah, I mean yeah there’s still time for them to salvage something out of the timeline and the amount of money they spend on this but not building off this slogan.

They’d be starting over basically.

Tatum 24:25
I mean, yes, this grab people’s attention, but it’s still playing right now. If you’ve seen things about you know, get help here. Mess like I just see the word meth out when I’m like, making fun of my campaign. You What do you see Meth now you think of South Dakota? Yeah. That’s that’s what, that’s great.

Chris 24:47
I would bet $100 that this is going to be on a Simpsons episode in the next two years.

Tatum 24:52
I’m waiting for SNL this Saturday. At least the Weekend Update I’m betting on that.

Chris 24:59
Oh, that’s a lock.

Missy 25:03
Oh my gosh. Well, I think we’ve talked enough about the math campaign is there anything else you guys want to add any parting words?

Tatum 25:11
Good intentions, bad execution there.

Missy 25:13
That’s that’s the perfect way to end this segment. So hopefully, future podcasts will have some better campaigns. All the links we talked about in today’s podcast will be the show notes at We’d love to hear what you think about this episode, and past episodes. If you could leave us a rating on Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to the social feed, we would appreciate that. And thank you guys for listening. We’ll be back in two weeks to record our hundredth episode of the social feed. Oh we made it will be doing that live from Hubbard digital Academy. If you haven’t been to it Academy or want to come again. You can register at Harvard digital academy. com. Be sure to use code podcast 50 for 50% off your ticket. We have a few seats left and we’d love for you to attend.

Pat 26:01
Yeah, that’s December night. So it’s coming up pretty quick. But yeah, we still have tickets left in US podcast 50 for half off your ticket. We’d love to see you there.

Missy 26:09
We’ll see you all in two weeks.

Announcer 26:12
The Social Feed is a production of Hubbard Interactive with music provided by a Minneapolis-based artist John Atwell

On This Episode

Missy Young

Social Media Services Manager

@miss_shredbetty Missy Young

As the Social Media Services Manager for Hubbard Interactive, Missy Young’s position entails working with clients and team members to drive social media strategy and lead initiatives to identify new technologies and digital best practices. She develops customized micro and macro campaigns that drive online interaction, promotes and creates content that enhances the customer experience and creates lead generation for medium to large-scale companies. She regularly speaks at local and national events on a variety of subjects including: social media, PR, analytics and content strategy.

Chris Norris

Social Media Operations Manager, Hubbard Interactive

Chris is the Social Media Operations Manager at Hubbard Interactive and oversees the day to day operations of the social media team. Prior to joining Hubbard, he worked on public health and social change marketing campaigns as a strategist. Previously, he was a failed entrepreneur and successful Peace Corps volunteer.

Tatum Richards

Social Media Coordinator, Hubbard Interactive

@tatum_richards Tatum Richards

Tatum Richards graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in Media & Journalism Strategic Communications and minor in Sport Media Marketing. Passionate about all things copy, Tatum enjoys helping brands deliver their message in a voice that resonates. If Tatum’s not drafting up kick-butt client content, you can find her teaching dance classes in the evenings or hitting the links on sunny weekends!

Pat Laeger

Digital Content Specialist

Pat Laeger

Pat has over 10 years of creative production experience and has produced radio shows, video campaigns, podcasts, and other digital content. Pat is an outgoing introvert, a spreadsheet lover, an Oxford comma advocate, and an avid Mountain Dew drinker.

Getting Google to see you and rank you high in search results is a tall order, so are there tools and tricks to make it easier? That’s what we discus in this episode. Ruth Tambornino and Sam O’Byrne are digital strategists at Hubbard Interactive and offer some tips on getting ranked higher on Google for businesses who are just looking to discover and expand their online presence.


Episode Transcript

Missy Young 0:00
Welcome to the social feed podcast. I’m your host Missy, thank you for listening. In this episode. If you are a business owner and you’re wondering how the heck do I get Google to see me? We’re going to tell you all about what you should be looking for online. We give you tips, tricks, and some really great advice from Ruth Tambornino and Sam O’Byrne, who are a digital brand strategist at Hubbard Interactive. So let’s get into this week’s episode number 98. Auditing your online brand. So what’s the first thing you should be doing when you are auditing your online brand?Ruth Tambornino 0:31
I would say the first thing that’s that you should do is use an incognito window. A lot of people think that they’re coming up really well in search results for their business. But the reality is that they go to their website 12 times a day. So Google just keeps bringing them up at the top of the search result go I’m doing great. Yeah, yeah, it’s a false sense of vanity actually. So what you want to do is in case you don’t know what a incognito window is, is at the top right. corner of your screen, there’s like three dots, you click on that. And there’s an option for a new incognito window and the screens going to be black, so you know that you’re in the right spot. And that has zero cookies, no save data or anything. So it’s going to be a true search result. So you want to start there and just google yourself and see what happens. or Google your industry, maybe not your own website. And then also, maybe have some friends or you can do it yourself, but you want to search from different locations as well. So searching from the same location that you’re sitting in, is obviously going to bring up a search result. That’s because that’s near me, right? So that’s number one. That’s where you guys start. Yeah,Sam O’Byrne 1:43
I couldn’t agree more with that. giving yourself a search and to ruse point search both for your name and you know, possibly your name in quotations, maybe even your phone number or address, um, see how those things pop up or somebody might be searching for you, as well as searching for some of your top products. Top products or service lines, see if you’re showing up in some of those searches that you expect you should be. See where you’re showing up if it’s page two, or three or four might not necessarily be so valuable. And once you kind of can get to that, that basic, you know, how do I feel about my my search rankings or where I show up, then you can get into this a lot of tools that we use to really identify how many keywords are ranking for what those are and things. But oftentimes, the best place to start is just give yourself a Google search. Yeah,Missy Young 2:26
what’s like a good report card? Like you type in your name incognito mode, and you’re in the top 10? Or maybe your list says five? Is that good? Is that bad? Obviously, there’s room for improvement there.Ruth Tambornino 2:36
I would say that you want to be on page one for sure.

Sam O’Byrne 2:40
Yeah, I’d say if anything, if you’re searching for your own name, you want to have multiple listings on page one, you want to show up multiple times from different ways. One might be your website. Another might be a social property, or even depending on your industry, you might want your Yelp reviews to show up or your reviews from another another location. So it’s all those things where if you’re searching for your own branded name, I hope that it There’s multiple results that should show up on that first page. If you’re searching for your services, your main service lines you want those be first page, but you should expect to have more competition there too. So you might be, you know, two or three, even if somebody else is number one, that’s not the end of the world. But if you’re searching for your own brand and name, I’m definitely hoping you’re showing up right away. And again, multiple times

Pat Laeger 3:21
what’s what’s more important searching for your own name or searching for products or services that you offer?

Ruth Tambornino 3:27
That’s a great question. And it all depends on the business. And I would say as well, you want to be googling your competitors to to see how they’re coming up, because it isn’t just about how you’re showing up. It’s what it’s what are they doing, which also can give you some strategy on Hey, they’re doing this maybe I should be doing that too.

Sam O’Byrne 3:45
Yeah, and I would say that what tourists point one is it more important than the other. If you have a lot of brand recognition in the space, if everybody knows your name, then you definitely better be showing up for your name. But if you want to be reaching out to people who never heard of you before, then Those services are your product lines are going to be extremely important because if they don’t know your name, and that’s the only way you’re coming up in search, then you’ll never be able to expand your audience through searches on Google Yahoo. Bing,

Missy Young 4:12
so I searched for, like car dealer near me. And I get, you know, auto Mart, Sally’s automotive, Metro motor sales. But those are all in the map section, right? And then Luther auto, which is a pretty big dealership and town is down. It’s still on the first page, but it’s in the in the more organic section. How do you get in the map section? And how important is that?

Ruth Tambornino 4:32
Well, it’s really important, especially as we’re seeing more of those car dealership near me searches. So it’s actually become a lot more important than it even was maybe a year ago. But it’s important to remember that the map section and the organic section both have their own algorithms. So just because you’ve mastered one or the other doesn’t mean you’ve mastered both of them. So I will also say that you’ll see those rotate, just like the organic search Does so just because you’re coming up on the first page of the maps, you might not be tomorrow or next week or whatever. So this is an ongoing process that you want to be monitoring all the time.

Sam O’Byrne 5:09
You bet. I would say that as far as making sure you do show up in the map section. First thing is most businesses that have a physical location probably already have a maps listing, it’s important to make sure that you control it though. If it’s if it’s your business, you find yourself in maps, but you don’t actually have control of that, you will actually have the ability to go in there and say, This is mine. Google will go through a process to confirm oftentimes, they might send a physical postcard to the address listed things like that with a code on it. But it is important that you have control of that and that you use that to the best of your ability, add images that that you’ve added in, make sure that all of your about information there is accurate and optimized, make sure that your hours are accurate. Another thing is just like you can place ads and organic or above organic search results. You can place ads in the maps as well. So if you’re not showing up there, it’s important to Find a way to I guess that brings in another point of reviews on Google Maps are extremely important. No matter how great you feel like your web presences. If somebody’s going to find you a maps, a lot of times, the only thing to look at is that that those review numbers, and then they’ll they’ll decide what business they’re going with. If you have a 2.5. And you’re right, next, someone who’s got a 4.5 chances are, they’re gonna go see your competitor there.

Ruth Tambornino 6:23
Yeah, that brings up another good point about conversion. So coming up on the first page is great. But if people aren’t compelled to select you for various reasons, having the right content, having an SEO strategy, those are all really important, just to make sure that you’re actually getting people to engage with you. The other thing too, as far as placement goes, is we see a giant jump in conversions if you’re in the top three to five positions versus those five to 10 positions. So and it’s it’s harder for us to get a client when we’re doing SEO for them from page it’s harder for it’s easier. For us to get them from page to page one or even page four to page one, that it is for us to get them from position eight to position for that. So getting moving up that first page is is quite a challenge.

Missy Young 7:11
When you guys have talked about reviews, does the number of reviews you have factor into that algorithm? Like the more reviews, the higher you’ll show up? Or is that more just a vanity thing? So definitely, yes.

Sam O’Byrne 7:25
Yeah, so the number of reviews definitely matters. Google wants to make sure people are having a positive experience. Yeah. Because if people are using Google search, and then they find a business on Google search and have a terrible experience, some people might actually blame Google on Google does want that to happen. So yeah, if you have a larger number of reviews that are all mostly positive, Google is more likely to show you than a competitor

when they have the opportunity to show both of you.

Missy Young 7:51
So let’s move to the clients websites. So if you’re listening and you know you have your website, what are some updates or teach me some cheat tools you can use to make sure that set up for success. To be shown on Google,

Ruth Tambornino 8:02
one that I really liked, because it’s super easy is just think with Google, just, you know, you can just literally Google that. And you can do a speed test. For those of you who need a little help, that’s okay, if you do. But you’re just going to put your URL in there, and it’s going to run a report card for you. And it’s going to give you some information that may not make sense to you. But it’s going to make sense to a developer. If your site’s really slow or whatnot, it’s going to give you a picture of things you can do to to improve that, that you can share with the developer. That’s an easy first step.

Sam O’Byrne 8:32
Yeah. And I really like that because making sure that you have a good mobile sites feed in particular, is a big ranking factor for Google. So if you run one of those speed tests, like Ruth said, that should give you both a desktop and mobile score. And even if it does spit out a lot of recommendations that you might not directly understand. Hopefully, you have a web developer who can help you out and make some of those changes. Another tool that I might recommend right away would be well, when we’re talking about free tools, would be spy food spy FQ I’m sorry.

But anyways, it is a great tool because it can allow you to see up, you know, the number of the volume of organic keywords that you rank for, where those are within those top 50. As well as what some of those keywords are. The other big benefit, despite who is you can run your competitors websites through there too. And see, if there’s a big competitor in your space. And they’re doing things better than you, you can start seeing what areas they might be edging you out on. Now, with the free version, you only get some results. And if you want to pay for I think they might even do 30 days free trial, which might be enough for a small business, not for an agency like us. But for small business that might be enough. That kind of tool can give you a lot of great ideas on what you’re doing well, and if there if you’re not ranking for your service areas, maybe you better start writing some content about those and getting them online. What kind

Pat Laeger 9:57
of what kind of stuff is Google Looking for, like you said, page load speed? Like, is it number of pages on the website? Is it amount of videos, texts? Like what? What sort of stuff is Google really looking for?

Ruth Tambornino 10:10
It’s all of those things. I was just gonna say that another tool that that would be really invaluable to pay attention to is just your Google Analytics. Because user experience is where I mean, it’s probably in the top, you know, to Yeah, of what Google’s gauging. So those page views, the bounce rate, how how long somebody stays on your site, do they come back, all of those things are playing into it. And Google Analytics is free, for a reason, because they’re also capturing all your data and probably using it but but you still, that’s literally the richest information you’re going to get as far as how people are engaging, and how are they finding you?

Sam O’Byrne 10:47
You bet. And as far as the, you know, what ranking metrics are most important Google, there’s some, you know, well over 200 different items that they that they take into consideration with those rankings. And you have to remember that those are they’re taking those into consideration for both you and every other of those, you know, 3 billion listings that come up when somebody searches for something. So it’s important, they do take care of some of those big ones that are, you know, like page load speed, is it mobile friendly. Also, as far as the content goes, you want to make sure it is readable by Google, a lot of times people will upload an image their site, and those uploaded as you know, jpg 7438 dot image, or whatever. And if they do that, then Google when it’s reading through the site will look at that image as as blank space. And the only information it has is, you know, image 143782. jpg, or whatever I just said. And it won’t say that this is an image of, you know, a family in front of a home. So oftentimes, making sure that you feed that information to Google is really important. Which brings up another point of ADA compliance if you have a website that somebody who’s blind couldn’t use, for example, that can also have have impact. So you need to make sure that something like a screen reader Somebody who’s blind is using your site, it’s gonna be able to go through and read all the content to them. And Google Doc you if it’s not if it’s not a DA compliant, or if you’re trying to trick Google, they’ll also dock you for those things to how does

Missy Young 12:12
Google is there like another cheat tool that you can use to make to see if your site is a DA compliant or anything like that.

Ruth Tambornino 12:19

this is going to become a huge focus of conversation in the next probably, I mean, it already has become more and more but I would think in the next 18 months, we’re going to be hearing even more about it. And and the requirements are so vague, that it’s really difficult for just about any business. The first businesses that have been affected really by it, I would think are the health care industry and also legal, those are the ones that have been, I think making a huge migration to become a DA compliant. Whereas some of our you know e commerce and things like that are a little slower on the on the adoption rate there

Sam O’Byrne 12:59
you Yeah, if you for what it’s worth, there aren’t a lot of super easy tools for checking everything with ADA compliance. There are some for checking certain areas. For example, if you’re, you know, for users who are blue, green, or if sorry, red green color blind, eight, Adobe offers tools that allow you to make sure there’s enough contrast between your color and the backgrounds, the text color in the background, things like that. So that even if you are colorblind, it would show up appropriately. What I would recommend for that is a Google WCAG. Two point O those are the web access or website content accessibility guidelines.

Ruth Tambornino 13:34
Sounds fun. Yep.

Sam O’Byrne 13:36
Super fun. If

Ruth Tambornino 13:37
you have insomnia, you just pulled that out.

Sam O’Byrne 13:40
That does give you kind of the three main tiers of ADA compliance, everything from as I mentioned earlier, making sure that somebody who has a screen reader could that screen reader could read all the content to them all the way through to the top tier Where’s if you are doing a live video, it creates closed captioning for audiences who are You don’t necessarily need to hit every single one of those. But I would say that in those guidelines, they’re broken out by a double A and triple A, if you can hit all the double A ones, which most medium and small businesses can, you’ll be in good shape. If you’re a Coca Cola of the world, you better be hitting those triple A’s too. But

Ruth Tambornino 14:17
well, it does. I think the your, your online profile does play into how important this is. We actually have a client right now who was redoing their website. And it’s a giant project because they had a person trying to purchase a ticket on their website and was unable to do so because of a site issue that they had and file a lawsuit actually one. So it’s not, it is something that matters. It’s just something we’re going to start hearing more and more about because, sadly, that community of people who’ve kind of had to tolerate not being able to, you know, read things or whatever, they’re big, they’re gaining a voice, which is a great thing. Yeah. You definitely want that. We all we want Avoid lawsuits if we can and maybe just be more proactive, but it is it’s a really it’s a hot topic that I think it’s just going to gain more momentum.

Sam O’Byrne 15:08
Yeah. Especially with, you know, people accidentally discriminating if you only allow applications online, but then you have somebody who’s colorblind is cannot can’t go through your website or a blog can go through your website, you know, are you discriminating against that person? You kind of are, you know, not intentionally, but it’s one of those things that needs to be be taken care of just like having a handicap accessible building. You should it should be something that should be thought about every time you build a new website,

Missy Young 15:30
as long as we’re talking about all these super fun, regulations.

gd PR compliance, can you talk a little bit about what that is and what you need to do? Yeah,

Ruth Tambornino 15:43
just hide.

Sam O’Byrne 15:47
So yeah, with the GDPR it’s all around data privacy, and right now it’s a it’s those are laws that really only affect users located in Europe. If you have people coming from Europe, coming to your site, be sure to either block them so they stopped coming or, or get up on those those regulations really quickly because you do need to allow them to have access to all the information you’re collecting and the ability to to tell you, they don’t want you to collect it, or what means you want to collect it for so at its most basic, that’s pretty much GDPR. But it’s one of those things where it’s, it is an extremely complex, it’s so complex that they’re currently companies that all they do is GDPR compliance, consulting. So if you do work heavily in Europe, I would recommend contacting one of them and making sure your legal team or continental lawyer about it as well, because the fines can be astronomical and forth even though right now it’s only European users. America is likely to follow suit at some point once Congress gets their stuff together. So maybe and

Ruth Tambornino 16:53
I would also say that we’re seeing more and more websites and any consumer is seeing more and more that are just that’s popping up with You know, you gotta click that I agree to your you know, except the cookie. Yeah, you know, which is just a smart thing to do. So I would say as a business owner, just go through that step so that you are just covering yourself it’s

Missy Young 17:12
not that hard to hover interactive. com and our role to help our legal team was like you need to put verbiage on the bottom of your site about Yeah, so just like, Oh, I want to bring this up during this podcast.

Ruth Tambornino 17:23
Yeah. Sadly,

Pat Laeger 17:25
it’s kind of annoying from a user standpoint whenever I go to a new way. Except I’m

Ruth Tambornino 17:30
like rebellious a little bit. So I don’t really like to click the Yes Okay, you can have my information but you do,

Pat Laeger 17:38
I guess gotta go along with and it makes sense to me like, I want to make sure I’m giving my any info that they might get to the right people and not the wrong people. But still, it’s one extra clicks

Ruth Tambornino 17:48
voluntarily saying yes, you can have all my information. The truth is they have it anyway. So

Missy Young 17:55
yeah, so we talked a lot about keywords coming up in searches, using those keywords. blogging has been a huge thing that you to talk about constantly with clients. Tell me a little bit more about how someone can start a blog. And what’s the best way to get that content out there.

Sam O’Byrne 18:10
What I always recommend for a client to start a blog is come up with your top five or 10 frequently asked questions and write an article about them. It’s the easiest content free to write because you already know the answers. But then thinking with search terms in mind, so that the art is can I write this thing where it’s going to be SEO friendly, but also be consumer friendly? And that’s not always easy to do. But that’s where I would start with blogging. Yeah, I think that’s that’s a really great point, starting with those frequently asked questions, because it’s likely that people are searching for those as well. The other thing to note about blogging is creating a content calendar planning it out. A lot of times we’ll have clients were like, yeah, I run a blog and there, they started out good and they wrote three or four topics, then it just sat by the wayside because they were busy running their business. So if you write out a content calendar and have dates with specific categories, Want to write about specific topics you want to write about, you’re going to be much more likely to follow through with that content. I’d say Another thing to note about blog writing or any you know, I guess really blog writing particular is have a mixture of content have some that’s evergreen content like those FAQs or or you know, 10 things to help your basement never flood whatever that whatever your industry is. Something that’s winning might switch at any time as well as here and now content. Like we just hired missy. Missy is the best social strategist this side of the Mississippi.

Pat Laeger 19:31
I’m lying, different,

Ruth Tambornino 19:34
different podcast.

Sam O’Byrne 19:37
But it is important to have a mixture of those content that stuff that’s going to be forever there as well as some of you know if you have press releases or new products, things that are more important today than forever. Having that mixture of content does feel more natural to people than just having, you know 40 BuzzFeed articles in a row.

Missy Young 19:53
How long should have blog be?

Ruth Tambornino 19:56
That’s actually changed it like six months ago, it was like 200 50 to 500 words. And now Google’s looking for more like White Paper Type 1500 word type blog. So we still on average are sticking to the to 50 to 500. blog or word count for our blogs. But we are seeing more and more need for that longer. But it has to be strategic. I mean, you don’t just, you know, nobody’s going to read a novel. And you have to remember that, if you’re writing papers like that, it’s literally just for the search engines. It’s not for your consumer, because it’s unlikely anybody’s actually going to take the time to read all that unless you’ve got an extremely interesting topic, which certainly there’s some out there, but

Sam O’Byrne 20:36
yeah, I would say Tachyon to that, you know, write it as long as it’s necessary for the topic. You know, don’t don’t don’t just lengthen it just because you have to link those keywords in there saying, Yeah, just do do what feels natural, because again, people need to read it, if you want them to be engaging. Or if you’re writing it just for for the search engines, then you know, you might be a little bit longer but you Then you don’t want it to be you’re around an 80 page novel, if it’s never gonna be useful to anyone that’s not a productive use of your time

Pat Laeger 21:06
is the so you say you’re writing a blog for more so for the search engines, then then the user, if that page rarely gets visited on your site, is that going to hurt you in search results at all?

Ruth Tambornino 21:17
You know, my, my thought on on this whole thing is if you’re thinking about a topic, and you’re not sure if it’s valuable, type it into Google and see what the search results look like, if there’s 3 million websites that address that content, that might be a good one to

Sam O’Byrne 21:30
write. You know, you know, that’s, yeah, you can also use the tools like Google Trends and see if people are talking about that are searching for those topics already. So I would say, Yeah, I’d agree with that, you know, writing content just for SEO, if nobody’s coming to the site, it won’t necessarily hurt you, but it’s not necessarily gonna help you either. You do want to write content that is going to generally have people coming to the site and sticking around off of based off of what they’re reading.

Ruth Tambornino 21:54
So you could start with Google Analytics First, look at your pages, figure out how much traffic goes to each page. Start with the highest traffic pages, that would be a good place to start. Yeah, which

Sam O’Byrne 22:03
of those content pieces are keeping people around,

Missy Young 22:05
we had a client that we had worked with, and they had a recipe on their site about lactation cookies for a recipe for this was for a birthing center, obviously. And it was the highest visited, like blog on their site. So then they focused on more recipes from that, but I was like, interesting that that is what people are going to, like shock factor, are they Okay, are

Pat Laeger 22:29
they the only one who has content like

Ruth Tambornino 22:33
that later? Yeah.

Pat Laeger 22:36
incognito window.

Missy Young 22:40
So the other thing that I think is a huge trend, not even a trend, it’s just kind of part of naturally what everyone’s doing now is video blogs. Yes. How does that affect search? Because it’s not actual text. And what does that look like?

Sam O’Byrne 22:54
So I will say that with video, Google is actively working on trying to get their algorithms to Pull content directly from video so they can index the video that said, they’re working on it. They were also working on Google Glass couple years ago. And here we are, I would say that the best thing you can do is if you do have a video like that, make sure that a you have closed captioning. If it’s one that you’ve pre recorded, and you you know, write out the transcript of what was there if you can, if you can take the time, and add that as a closed caption or even have a transcript of what was what was read that that’s readable by Google,

Ruth Tambornino 23:24
even just titling your content correctly, can help. So I mean, it doesn’t even have to be overly complicated. It’s just rather than video ABC. It should be titled something that someone would search for. The other thing we kind of skipped over with the blogs was the snippets and the increase of volume of leveraging that kind of content for your website. It’s a way for especially if you’re in a really competitive heading, it’s a way for you to win some SEO without having this 18 month strategy. You know, if you can write the

Missy Young 23:57
so when you say snippets, like what part are

Ruth Tambornino 23:59
you so much When you search for something like, how do I fix my sink, and then you get these results of people also searched for, and those kinds of things, if you’re writing content like that, those while we’re all doing it, we just didn’t realize what they were. But But everybody, I mean, at least me, but I mean, you start all of a sudden you’re an hour later, you’ve looked at 25 different things because it’s intriguing and it’s a right in line with what you were looking for. And you finally find what you’re, you know, what you intended for. So,

Sam O’Byrne 24:28
yeah, and those featured snippets, it’s like I just googled, you know, best TVs 2019 and an article from PC mag comes up and it shows it shows a little bit of the article right there in the snippet in the search results. And I guarantee you that particular article is you know, considerably more traffic than anything else on this page, because it has the most real estate on the page. So anytime you have a you know, to roost point, if you can write content for for example, if you have a if you have something in your industry that is regularly searched for Nobody has possession of that event snippet, write a piece, write a blog that answers that question directly. And if you can get a lot of traffic to that, you might take that event snippet spot and then boom, that’s a huge boon to your traffic. Or if you look at some of those questions, and the what’s in that event snippet is from 2014, or 2013 is an old piece of content. Right? That because Google also wants up something real relevant and recent.

Pat Laeger 25:22
That’s a huge point, Ruth, is that what gets hit when you do a voice search for something? Say, Alexa? What’s the best TV for 2019? Is that event snippet going to bed?

Sam O’Byrne 25:33
It is what Alexa is going to read to you. Yeah, exactly. Same as a, OK, Google is gonna do the same thing. So if you are the one that invents of it, that means that Google trust that you’re the, you know, authoritative source for this particular question. And yeah, they’ll it’ll get read right off to you and again, now more people will go into voice search or using those devices that’s an even even more beneficial in just in a different way. Because you know, through your Alexia not likely to come visit my website, but still a few other ones. providing that information. It’s still a

Ruth Tambornino 26:01
whole nother conversation.

Missy Young 26:04

Ruth Tambornino 26:06
Yeah, for sure.

Missy Young 26:08
Um, go back, jump back to the video piece. So you mentioned like putting the transcript on there. So I mean, sort of to record the video, because we talked about doing that with us podcasts like we should have a transcript on socially podcast. com. Yeah.

Pat Laeger 26:20
It’s not easy to type

Missy Young 26:21
that out. There are a couple tools though they use,

Ruth Tambornino 26:25

Missy Young 26:26
those tools that maybe you could use.

Pat Laeger 26:29
Yeah. So otter Ott er, is a good one that I’ve used before. It’s a app you can download on your phone and just hit record at the beginning of a meeting or your video recording or this podcast. I haven’t going on my phone right now to test it out and equal, and they do that one does a pretty good job. Sometimes it misses punctuation, and it doesn’t always recognize different speakers. And so you should proofread that but for you know, half an hour podcast episode that we’re doing, how detailed Are we going to be going through everything but for Two to three minute video that you’re putting on your website. Yeah, that’s definitely something you can go through and proofread. Even if you’re using one of those free tools, but there are paid ones as well. That you could actually Rev. com is one of them that that we’ve used, and you actually send your file to someone to

Ruth Tambornino 27:18
get a high schooler to do this.

Missy Young 27:22
Like an intern for

Sam O’Byrne 27:25
you pay per minute a video basically, and then they type it and send that transcript or those captions back to you. And so you know, that a real person is seeing those, so it’s going to be more accurate, but you’d have to pay a little bit of money for it. And again, that’s that’s important because you know, as of right now, with the podcast, we’re missing an entire audience of people who might be deaf. Whereas if we have that transcript on there, they could read through what’s what we’re what we’re talking about, and they could read through that information. Same with, same with we posted a video about something and we don’t you know, if we don’t have closed captioning on there, you know, that’s, that’s a lost audience, and an underserved audience too. So doing those things right. Will will help your rankings for that piece of content.

Missy Young 28:02
And then as far as embedding that video onto your site, do you guys recommend upload it to a YouTube channel and embedding it because of, you know, Google, obviously? Or would you do it just regulate? Just upload it to the site?

Ruth Tambornino 28:15
I would usually save embed it right in the site. But that doesn’t, I don’t know that there’s a hard fast okay.

Sam O’Byrne 28:22
to that one, I’d say I’d say it depends on the content. You know, if you’ve been bedded just on your site, and it’s just yours, there’s a couple of benefits to that. One is, you know, at the end of that video, it’s not going to show somebody else’s related content. And five minutes later, they’re watching somebody try to eat his own fist. You know, whatever they

Ruth Tambornino 28:37
are, they’re on somebody else’s website. Now. I mean, you don’t control that user really, if they’re, if it’s done differently, but you know, again,

Pat Laeger 28:45
lots of questions about you just going

Sam O’Byrne 28:48
What are you watching? And the second side of this argument is that you know, it is it can be beneficial to post them on YouTube because YouTube is a searchable by Google. It’s an owned by Google Well as if somebody might stumble upon your site based on the YouTube video then if you do it that way, because somebody because it would be again, indexed by Google. So I would say it depends on the concept. You could do both.

Ruth Tambornino 29:10
I mean, it’s not like one or the other. Really? You bet.

Missy Young 29:13
Yeah, exactly. And then Ruth, and you’re talking about those column snippets? So above that, Sam when you pull that up, there’s those Google Shopping ads. Yeah, yes. So let’s talk about that a little bit cuz that’s probably holder section of that. So those who have ecommerce, tell me about that.

Ruth Tambornino 29:28
Yeah, these are extremely effective, as you mean, we all know,

you don’t even go down the page anymore if you see the pictures. So we’ve got, you know, some clients that we work with that are are doing these ads, and they’re extremely effective, but they’re also very time consuming. Depending on how many skews you have this could be not even worth it. In some cases, I would say you would probably want to start with your top sellers, maybe your 10 top sellers and experiment with those that way.

Sam O’Byrne 30:00
Yeah. And it is worth noting that those are purchased spots, you know, just like

Ruth Tambornino 30:05
part of an AdWords Can you

Sam O’Byrne 30:06
basically You bet. And to this point you might even something you might want to put a, you know, an intern on or something because you can get stuck in XL hell for a while, try trying to set all that information up and feed it directly to Google appropriately so pulls the right image with the right text with the right link with the right pricing and all that so it can be it can be a beast, but they’re extremely effective for e commerce call. Yeah,

Ruth Tambornino 30:29
the other the other caveat there too is what are you using for your e commerce or your point of sale? So you know, those all have to play well together too. So that factors? Yeah.

Missy Young 30:40
Is there any other advice? We’ve talked about a lot of different things. So so far, a lot of like free cheat tools and and tips. But is there any other piece of advice you guys would give for someone who’s just really looking to do a deep dive audit for their brand?

Sam O’Byrne 30:53
Um, I guess I would say there’s two other areas that we’ve never really talked about for your digital footprint that are Huge one being social media. Obviously you want to make sure that you have strong social channels a strong brand and can be viewed to talk about that and think you might know a little about. But the other side is your local listings for any company that’s got physical locations that can be a big piece. And what I mean by that is, if you’re on Yellow Pages com or dex calm or

Pat Laeger 31:21
wait, those are still around,

Sam O’Byrne 31:23
say, yes, they search Citysearch, yes, Yelp, Yelp, it’s one of those things where you’re going to be on those whether you realize it or not. And it’s important to make sure that information is accurate has again the right address, and it’s all listed the same way. So you’re not 123 fake st st in one, but 123, fake St. STRET. And another you want to make sure that it’s it’s all the exact same phone number, the exact same address the exact same way that they list your business name. So it is important to go through that there are some tools to do that. None of them for free. that I know of anyways, but there are some like Yext is one that jumps out at me Yandex where you could you could pull one of those audits, it’ll say Yep, you listed it correctly and 90%. But these 10% needed an adjustment. And you can auto auto push that to repopulate all those sites. So it is worth wild and are worth noting that those local local indexing is important to

Missy Young 32:14
know, how do you guys stay up to date with all the changes with the algorithm? There’s certain sites you go to newsletters, you subscribe to give a shout out to the people listening because I need it to

Ruth Tambornino 32:23
help me out here. Search Engine Land is a huge one that I follow. And I get regular updates from I mean, Google sends out great content.

Sam O’Byrne 32:31
Yeah, I think with

Ruth Tambornino 32:32
Google, like you said with Google is a great resource. Sam’s probably got someone Yeah,

Sam O’Byrne 32:36
another one. I I go to those same two quite a bit. But another one that I go to regularly is Seo. Maz? Oh, yeah. Yeah, the Maas blog, they they even do a tracker where every time there’s an update to Google’s algorithm. They try and notate what changes they saw with their clients. So we might say this, this update had a had a strong effect on mobiles, non mobile friendly websites so this had a strong effect. sites that do with dentistry. So that can be there’s a great tracker tool on Ma’s calm that that you can use as well. But I would say Search Engine Land is a big one. They have varied opinions as to how they do.

Ruth Tambornino 33:12
They also it’s digestible. So you don’t have to be extremely techie to really understand what they’re talking about. But they oftentimes will know about things that are coming to not don’t necessarily know, in detail, but they kind of get water dropped like this is coming. And Google’s going to turn everything upside down again. So they’re, they’re a good resource. That’s my probably my big but I would also say we rely on each other, and we rely on our partners to know Yeah, because you can’t be an expert in everything. There’s just no way. Yeah, just try to stay as up to date as possible.

Missy Young 33:47
We’ll make sure to include all the links we talked about in today’s podcast at the show notes at socially slash ep 98. Thank you guys so much for being on today.

Ruth Tambornino 33:55
Yeah, thank you so much for having us.

Pat Laeger 33:57
One thing I want to mention before we wrap this up is that we’re basically doing all of this that we talked about today on an individual level at our next Hubbard digital Academy, which is December 9 at Earl brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn center, Minnesota, and Ruth and then one of our other her interactive employees, Gina Anderson will be doing brand audits and going through a lot of these tools with specific brands. So if you’re overwhelmed by all of this and just need someone to talk to about it, as well as attend a bunch of great sessions throughout the day on video and influencer marketing and social media, and stuff that we didn’t get into today, but Harvard digital Academy is going to be a great opportunity for you to just learn in and dive into this world. And then we’re also doing these free brand audits as well. If you buy a ticket and right now, just for listeners of this podcast, we have a special discount code for you. We will give you 50% off the ticket price for HD a go to Hubbard digital academy. com Buy your tickets and use the promo code podcast 50 podcast 50 you’ll get half off your registration. And that’s December night. So we’ve sold out in the past, so don’t wait too long.

Missy Young 35:07
That sounds like you’ve done that a few times. Oh, wow, that radio is coming out. Make sure to subscribe to the social feed podcast with Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast player to get a brand new episode delivered right to every Wednesday. We’d love to hear what you guys think about these episodes, go to facebook and join our group. Search for social feed podcast and let us know what you think or give us rating and review on Apple podcasts. Thank you for listening. We’ll see you next week.

Announcer 35:31
The social feed is a production of Hubbard interactive with music provided by Minneapolis based artist john at well

On This Episode

Missy Young

Social Media Services Manager

@miss_shredbetty Missy Young

As the Social Media Services Manager for Hubbard Interactive, Missy Young’s position entails working with clients and team members to drive social media strategy and lead initiatives to identify new technologies and digital best practices. She develops customized micro and macro campaigns that drive online interaction, promotes and creates content that enhances the customer experience and creates lead generation for medium to large-scale companies. She regularly speaks at local and national events on a variety of subjects including: social media, PR, analytics and content strategy.

Ruth Tambornino

Digital Brand Strategist

Ruth Tambornino is the Digital Brand Strategist at Hubbard Interactive, Hubbard’s Digital Agency. Prior to joining Hubbard Interactive, she Senior Manager of Field Strategy at Dex Media. Her role at Dex included bringing new digital products to market, training marketing consultants and working with key client accounts. In addition to Dex Media, Ruth spent a year working with a start up software company as Director of Sale Enablement. Ruth has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing. A former small business owner and Real Estate professional, Ruth understands the challenges business owners face. Her professional focus is to educate business owners on the importance of digital marketing. With solid understanding of messaging and digital platforms, Ruth has worked with 100’s of clients locally and nationally, impacting their business in a positive way. Areas of expertise include PPC, SEO, Digital Display, Websites and Mobile platforms. Over the course of her career, Ruth has received several awards for sales and training. She is certified in Google AdWords and is currently completing her business degree at Saint Mary’s University. She is also on the Board of Directors for Alliance of Women in Media.

Sam O’Byrne

Digital Brand Strategist


Sam O’Byrne is a Digital Brand Strategist at Hubbard Interactive. Since finishing school at the University of Minnesota, Sam has become an experienced digital strategist with over 10 years of planning, creating, and executing digital solutions. Sam has extensive experience working with businesses, government organizations, public health initiatives and non-profits from fortune 500s to tiny mom and pop bakeries. Sam holds certifications from Google in AdWords and analytics as well as various other certifications from Bing, Microsoft and Hubspot.

Pat Laeger

Digital Content Specialist

Pat Laeger

Pat has over 10 years of creative production experience and has produced radio shows, video campaigns, podcasts, and other digital content. Pat is an outgoing introvert, a spreadsheet lover, an Oxford comma advocate, and an avid Mountain Dew drinker.

How To Make Everything is a YouTube channel that explores things we use everyday (and some we don’t). Host Andy George takes his curiosity and learns how to make everything from scratch. A sandwich, glasses, an obsidian sward, clothing are some of the things he’s made from scratch for YouTube. In this episode we talk with him about how he grew to over 1 million subscribers on YouTube and amassed millions and millions of views on his videos. Andy shares some tips on dealing with comments, the rigorous schedule of producing a weekly YouTube video and how to deal with the ever-changing YouTube algorithm.


On This Episode

Missy Young

Social Media Services Manager

@miss_shredbetty Missy Young

As the Social Media Services Manager for Hubbard Interactive, Missy Young’s position entails working with clients and team members to drive social media strategy and lead initiatives to identify new technologies and digital best practices. She develops customized micro and macro campaigns that drive online interaction, promotes and creates content that enhances the customer experience and creates lead generation for medium to large-scale companies. She regularly speaks at local and national events on a variety of subjects including: social media, PR, analytics and content strategy.

Andy George

Creator, How To Make Everything

Andy George is the creator and host of How to Make Everything, a Youtube channel that attempts to deconstruct the complexity of modern life by attempting to recreate every day objects, starting from scratch.

Pat Laeger

Digital Content Specialist

Pat Laeger

Pat has over 10 years of creative production experience and has produced radio shows, video campaigns, podcasts, and other digital content. Pat is an outgoing introvert, a spreadsheet lover, an Oxford comma advocate, and an avid Mountain Dew drinker.