Category Archive : Business

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What Was Your Favorite Ad of 2021?

As we enter a new year, we’ll see plenty of new ads debut in 2022. We will likely see creative ads from insurance giants Geico and Progressive, plenty of savory ads for food items, trailers for upcoming movies and so much more. While we’ll wait to see what 2022 has to offer, we’re reminiscing on some of 2021’s most creative, unique and odd advertisements. Below are our top 5 ads from the last year.

Creativity Winner: Heinz Draw Ketchup

Heinz wanted its loyal customers to draw the flagship condiment and as you might foresee, the results were a disaster. The artists were all adults who struggled to conceptualize a bottle of ketchup onto a piece of paper. The results were funny, the ad was creative and what they did next was brilliant – they took the drawings and placed them on real products in stores, on outdoor billboard ads and of course, in the commercial.

Unique Winner: Cadillac Edward Scissorhands

As if Timothee Chalamet wasn’t already having a killer year, especially considering the success of Dune, he starred in this faux sequel to the Johnny Depp classic, Edward Scissorhands. The concept was pioneered by Cadillac and is guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings.

Odd Winner: Introducing Meta

Finally, we saw the introduction of Meta in 2021. The company’s new name comes after several instances of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg being heard in court for a variety of privacy issues. While many speculate the name change to Meta is a result of Facebook’s legal troubles, the company debuted it nonetheless with Zuckerburg in this forgettable ad.

What Ad Was Your Favorite?

These are just a few of our favorite ads over the course of the last year. We saw some greats in the Superbowl and many other ads come out during the year. While these are our picks, we’re interested in knowing what you liked? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Should You Be Using Yelp?

One thing we commonly hear from readers of this blog is whether or not a business should be using Yelp as part of its marketing strategy. Known as a review aggregator for restaurants and small businesses, Yelp can bring many benefits to business owners. So, what’s the hesitation?

The Place for Negative Reviews

Yelp started at a time before we had Google My Business reviews or Facebook reviews. For a long time, it was the go-to website for customers to leave reviews about businesses so as to promote or warn about a business. If a customer felt they had a negative experience with a restaurant or small business, Yelp was the place to let everyone know. As newer systems evolved and we soon had reviews coming from more places than Yelp, the company turned to a paid model to work with businesses. While there are many advertising opportunities and options for great visibility on Yelp, it’s now known among many people as the place to leave negative reviews.

For this reason, many business owners choose to stay off of Yelp and instead focus their efforts on building other channels.

Yelp Is a Great Citation

In the world of local SEO, businesses that try to rank better in Google Maps results rely on citations to do so. Places like Bing local, Facebook, Merchant Circle, the Better Business Bureau and Yelp all help Google understand where a business is located and what category it fits in. And because Yelp is quite authoritative to Google, the search engine does look at Yelp profiles to gather information about a business.

Apple Maps

Getting a listing in Apple Maps is another way to have Google find your information, however, it can sometimes be a more difficult citation to acquire. For this reason, search engine marketers use the information on Yelp profiles. Yelp has a relationship with Apple Maps (just look at the review source the next time you search for something in Apple Maps) and will help create a citation in Apple Maps based on the Yelp information.

Is it a Risk?

Putting your business out there is a risk in and of itself. At some point, you will want to integrate digital advertising into your strategy and there’s a good case Yelp will be part of that. However, if you consider the benefits of what you would get out of a Yelp profile, it may not seem all that risky.

What About Yelp Ads?

Like any major online network. Yelp has plenty of opportunities for advertising. The site uses keyword-based advertising like Google Ads to trigger profiles for certain keyword searches. For instance, if you search for a laundry service in Sacramento, you’ll see plenty of sponsored ads at the top and bottom of results. The advertiser bids on the category of keywords and on the location then shows a profile mixed in with organic results. Yelp measures its conversions in a slightly unique way that may not actually mean a conversion for you. Be sure to start with a small test budget and then expand if you feel it’s working for you.

If you are interested in using Yelp ads as part of your digital strategy, it’s best to work with a dedicated account manager at Yelp. This will help ensure your ad spend is being used properly.

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What to Know About Website Builders Available Today

Any small business owner has many options when it comes to building a website. They can choose to use a templated service for a website, use a DIY platform or hire a professional web designer. Of course, there are costs associated to each as well as design aspects and functionality. A templated site is likely the cheapest option and also tends to be the most boring. Building a site with a popular DIY builder is cost-effective, but also carries certain limitations. And hiring a professional website designer will run you at least a few thousand dollars.

So what is the best website builder for your business? Below are a few things to consider when you decide to build a website for your business.

Cost

Cost of a WebsiteYour budget for a new website is likely the deciding factor in which option you choose. Depending on the age of your business and what your revenues look like, you may be limited in what you can do.

Google Sites

Although extremely limited, a Google site will get you online right away. You simply need to sign up for a Google My Business account and choose the website option. Google provides you with a handful of templates to choose from, you fill in the text, change a few pictures and you’re ready to go. It’s free, so it is a very cost-effective option.

GoDaddy Sites

GoDaddy also offers a templated system for as little as $12 per month. Unlike a Google-operated site, here you will be able to choose your own domain name. For any successful business, choosing to use your actual domain name is very important because it’s what most customers will type into their browser. With GoDaddy, you’ll choose from a few templates, input your own text content and replace a handful of images. Even though it’s only $12 / month, be warned that there is limited support and very little customization available.

Design

Web DesignDesign is another important characteristic to consider when building a new website. Stepping away from basic builders like Google or GoDaddy, there are a few more expensive options that offer a few more design tools.

Wix

Wix has gained tremendous popularity among small businesses and new businesses. In recent years, the company has made significant improvements to make its software less templated and more geared toward custom designs. Wix users can still choose from templates or they can build completely unique designs. With a front-end builder and several features, it’s no wonder why Wix has become popular in the last few years. Of course, it does have certain limitations as much of the codebase is not available to users.

Squarespace

Known as the budget-friendly e-commerce website builder, Squarespace is another affordable option to start a website with. This platform gives its users a variety of building blocks to quickly drag-and-drop the look-and-feel of a website. And for online stores, adding products, photos of products and adjusting various features is very easy. Like any other builder mentioned on this list so far, it too has limitations and you’ll need to upgrade when you hit a roadblock. It’s still cost-effective, but it can be discouraging at times.

Functionality

Finally, if it’s custom functionality you need in a website, you’ll need to consider hiring a professional. While the previous platforms mentioned get the job done, you’ll only be able to take them so far. This is where more advanced platforms come into play.

WordPress

WordPress is by far the most popular website platform available today, powering more than 30% of the internet. It gives designers endless options to work with and makes customizations a breeze.

For these reasons and a few more, WordPress is a great solution for a lot of businesses. If you’re looking for a website that can evolve with your business, offers customization and flexibility with third-party plugins, then it’s worth every penny to hire a custom developer to build on WordPress.

Other Contenders

It seems as if new website platforms come out every few months. Of the notable platforms not mentioned here, business owners could also consider Shopify for e-commerce, BigCommerce for e-commerce, Webflow for a graphical front-end builder and Figma to focus on design. If you have recently built a new business website, which platform did you choose and why?