Google Read It

Today, we’re reading more than ever before.

No, not necessarily from a book, magazine, or newspaper. The internet has permeated every aspect of our lives. We even carry a device with internet access in our pockets at all times, wherever we go.

In fact, we’re spending an average of 6 hours and 42 minutes online a day. Much of that time is spent reading news feeds, articles, or even social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

That being said, reading isn’t always convenient, enjoyable, or even possible for some. We’ve all been too busy to sit down and read a page with crucial information not to mention those with reading or visual disabilities.

In steps Google Read It.

What is Google Read It?

Google Read It is a new innovation that allows users to ask Google Assistant to read a webpage for them. It’s as easy as opening your browser on your Android phone and giving the voice command: “Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page.”

Google Assistant will then read all the contents of the webpage out loud, highlighting words along the way to provide context and make it easy to follow.

While it’s not out yet to judge, Google aims to create an automated voice that’s as natural sounding as possible. For this, they are aiming to create the same intonation and rhythm any person would use when reading out loud. Users will also be able to choose from multiple voice presets according to their preferences.

Google Read It was announced in January 2020 and while no precise date is set, it should launch later this year.

What does it mean for content?

In the content marketing business, we know that the best way to engage and entertain readers is to use a conversational tone. Whether it’s an article, top 10 list, tutorial, or “how-to” piece, the reader should feel directly spoken to.

Finding and maintaining a brand’s voice to carry that conversation in is one of a content marketer’s chief concerns.

Google Read It is just another milestone on the way to voice-driven internet. The emerging popularity of voice assistants, like Google Home, and voice search has already kicked-off this trend.

In terms of SEO, long-tail, intent-rich keywords that match natural language are also emerging as the winner in the ongoing war between short and long-tail keywords. Furthermore, it will open up your audience to those who genuinely might not have been capable of reading your content before.

In a future where more and more “readers” are actually “listeners”, finding your voice will be more important than ever.

Coronavirus Business Marketing Ideas

Well, the Coronavirus pandemic has well and truly arrived, penetrating every sphere of society. With lockdowns going into place, everyone is affected, particularly small business owners who rely on steady traffic from loyal, long-time customers.

However, as history has shown us, times of great crisis are often times of great opportunity too.

At the very least, you will have a crash course on how to deal with similar future situations to disaster-proof your business.

So, let’s get creative and look at how you can effectively market your business during this crisis.

#1: Go delivery! Go!

Uber Eats, Grubhub, DoorDash, and Postmates – meet your new best business partners. These delivery services provide the opportunity for mom-and-pop stores or restaurants to deliver, without any additional resources.

Merely having a listing on these platforms is already an advertisement for your business as it’s the first place people will go to.

Uber Eats selection on laptop

#2: Pre-orders and gift certificates

This is a fantastic option if your product is non-deliverable or your brick-and-mortar location is critical to your business. It’s incredibly easy to create gift certificates and promote a sale on social media or via your email newsletter.

The best part is, you’ll be generating some cash flow without having to open your doors.

Another plus is you’ll be proactively encouraging foot traffic once people feel safe to come out and cash-in their orders. There’s no surer sign that you’re open for business than customers in your store.

#3: Get creative. Go remote.

Businesses today are lucky to have the silver bullet in a time of social distancing: the internet.

The internet is a 24/7 channel that allows you to connect face-to-face with virtually anyone in the world. With today’s high-bandwidth and high-speed connections, it doesn’t have to be just one-on-one either.

Using Skype, Zoom, Facetime, or even social media, you can live stream activities or even set up conference calls.

This will give you and your customers something productive, and even entertaining, to do to eat up all that extra free time. And, it will keep you fresh in the mind of your audience.

Here are just some examples:

  • Yoga classes
  • Cooking lessons
  • Life/business coaching

Local Service Ads for Personal Injury Lawyers – Coming Soon

Local Service Ads is a powerful online marketing tool in any local business’ arsenal.

You might’ve seen these ads before pop up at the top of a Google search results page when you searched for a product or service in an area:

A “message” or “call” icon will be displayed with the ad, allowing users to directly contact a business:

There are a number of reasons they have the potential to be powerful marketing tools:

  • They are displayed above everything else on the search results page, even paid results and Google My Business listings
  • They dramatically shorten the user journey, especially on mobile
  • And they directly target high-intent searchers clearly looking for a product or service

Local Service Ads is a paid service, but you are only charged per lead each time the customer directly contacts you via the ad. To maintain its integrity, Google also runs a background check on businesses looking to sign up. The upside is, if you’re approved, you’ll be a “Google Guaranteed” provider and this will be shown on your ad.

Local Service Ads for Personal Injury Lawyers?

As a new feature, Local Service Ads are still somewhat in an experimental phase. So far, they are being confined to a limited number of industries. It’s also only available in the U.S. and Canada (limited).

Google has recently revealed its intent to include Personal Injury Lawyers in the program. We know via a Tweet by Google My Business expert Ben Fisher:

Up until now, only immigration and estate law firms were allowed. This announcement has come as a surprise to some as personal injury lawyers don’t always have the most squeaky clean reputation when it comes to online marketing. However, this might in fact be the point of including them in the first place.

Google’s top priority over the last few years has been to try and sift through the ocean of online content. Their goal: to weed out any low-quality, disreputable, or irrelevant content and provide their search users with only the most high-quality, reputable, and relevant results.

The Google Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird algorithms are just some of the means they’ve used to enforce their authority over the internet, and who sees what.

If Google is able to similarly police the personal injury market, it could make them the gatekeepers of the industry.

So, what’s next?

Google has historically been cautious of rolling out new features. As we can see from the Tweet, they will first be conducting interviews with relevant businesses to try and establish viability.

However, it’s reasonable to expect that personal injury lawyers will be able to sign up sometime in 2020.

For now, those waiting for the opportunity should research the platform. Particularly, the challenges and benefits that immigration and estate lawyers have encountered so far.

With some customers claiming a 70% boost in business from Local Services Ads, personal injury practitioners should be ready to take full advantage.

Car Dealer News

Recently, there has been some big news specifically for car dealers:

Car dealers can have multiple Google My Business listings, one for each brand of vehicles they sell or department, for example, repairs, parts, etc.

Each brand/department doesn’t have to be tied to separate showrooms or sub-businesses. One dealer with one showroom can brand themselves via multiple GMB listings as e.g.:

“Car Dealer” Chevrolet, “Car Dealer” Nissan, and “Car Dealer X” Parts.

Small to medium dealers might be jumping for joy at this opportunity to have multiple GMB listings, each targeting a specific keyword. However, as is usually the case, it’s not that simple.

Is it all good news?

The benefits may seem obvious, but they do come with some caveats.

On the plus side, dealers can target more long-tail keywords that carry more user intent.

Search engine users hate uncertainty. They want the quickest and most direct route to the information, product, or service they are looking for. 

If a user searches for “car dealer Chevrolet” and you happen to have a GMB listing “Car Dealer X Chevrolet” that’s a surefire sign that you have exactly what they’re looking for. The same goes for any other car dealer/brand combination.

So, what could possibly be the issue?

First of all, it will result in a diversification of reviews and, up to a point, search engine rankings. Reviews are a critical factor in the buyer’s decision-making process. A lack of reviews can be almost as damaging as bad reviews.

If one brand happens to be more popular than others, you may struggle to get reviews for your other brands – even though you provide the same high-quality service no matter which brand customers end up buying.

The second caveat is that it will require more manpower and time to manage all your listings, monitor user feedback, and keep everything up to date. Consumers inherently distrust out-of-date or inaccurate GMB listings, making this more important than it might seem.

And, lastly, you can be sure many others will be doing it as well. This will spread the existing level of competition over these GMB variations, reducing the overall advantage for any single dealer.

When should you use multiple GMB listings?

As you can see, more isn’t always better.

Effective SEO generally requires a careful balancing act of quantity with narrower and more direct targeting.

For most small businesses, this is probably not the way to go and your business is better off pooling its resources and SEO gravitas.

However, those in ultra-competitive markets for particular brands might benefit from this move.

At Grafted-In, we take these kinds of factors into consideration. We approach each client’s SEO needs holistically and come up with a strategy sensitive to their industry, market position, and individual needs.

That wraps up this week in marketing!

What grabbed your interest? Anything you’ll start positioning your business for? If you have any questions or comments, let us know!

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