Category Archive : Marketing

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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.

5 Key Things Needed to Rank Well In Google

So you have a business and a website, but you’re not getting any traffic. You’ve tried using different ad platforms, but the cost doesn’t outweigh the benefit. So, what’s next?

Many business owners turn to content creation and search engine optimization to get traffic for their websites. This traffic, dubbed organic traffic, comes from search engines like Google and Bing anytime a person clicks on one of the natural listings. To show up in these results, websites have to create content that matches what a person is search for. However, there’s more to it than just creating great content. Below are 5 things you need to do with your website to rank better in search results.

Start a Blog

A blog gives your website a sense of freshness and allows you to build on your existing content. Instead of only having a handful of static pages on your website, you can create new content that covers a time-sensitive topic or is seasonal for your business. Instead of a page like “Services”, you can have blog posts that go into more detail about a particular topic. This also gives search engines a reason to crawl your website and index the new content.

Once you start to develop a blog you’ll begin to refine your website’s overall tone. Be sure to make the content long enough that it answers a visitor’s questions and use images or videos to make it more engaging.

Sign Up for Business Directories

Business directories are a great way for Google to find your website. Directories like Yellow Pages, Yelp, Merchant Circle and the Better Business Bureau are all accessed by Google when trying to find information online. As Google discovers these profiles, they are able to see the category of services your business fits in, your location and key details like website address or phone number. Once Google finds enough of these directory pages with your business’s information, you’ll see more organic traffic come through to your website.

Make Sure Your Site is Secure

Google relies on certain trust factors when ranking a website in its search results. One of the key things Google looks for is a valid SSL certificate, which makes your website show as https. Without a valid SSL certificate attached to your website, there’s a chance Google won’t trust your website and therefore won’t show it in search results. Be sure to find out what your SSL status is through your hosting provider. While most independent web hosting providers will give you an SSL certificate for free, larger organizations like GoDaddy or Host Gator will charge for the certificate.

Have a Great Mobile Experience

In 2022 we know that everyone is accessing the web from their mobile phone. For this reason, it’s imperative that you develop your website (or hire a web development company like Thrive Engine) to be friendly for all screen sizes. You never know whether a person is on a mobile phone or a tablet, but you should create a great experience despite the device. Consider how a mobile visitor will want to use your website and then adjust it accordingly.

Create Relationships with Other Website Owners

Once your site has a blog and is technically sound, you need to build links to it from other websites in your business’s niche. This means developing relationships with other website owners to earn links from them by either placing a link in existing content or providing them with new content. As Google finds the link to your website from another website, it sees you are being referred by another online business and establishes a sense of trust. The more links you earn from quality websites, the better your website will rank in search results.


As you can see, there are a number of things you can do beyond creating good content that will help rank your website in organic search results. If you prefer to hire an outside company or web development firm, simply turn to Google to look for a top-ranking SEO company near you. Be sure to read reviews of any SEO provider you’re interested in working with to make sure they are a good fit.

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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.