Tag: slam strategy

Googles New Pidgeon Update Could Push Franchisees Over the Edge

Google recently did another update to their algorithm and this one was called “Google Pigeon”.
This most recent update could greatly impact the rankings of Franchisors franchisee listings in Google search results and therefore sales revenue due to the fact that Google will be showing fewer “pack results”.
In a recent article done by Mod Girl Marketing called “top 8 ways googles pigeon algorithm changed local seo”. The very first of the 8 reasons identified discussed how franchisee listing would be negatively impacted.
A likely reasons for Google making this change is that Google wants to connect with the smaller more independent operators and not alienate them as they represent a large part of the bread and butter of Google. There is after all a lot of independent operators out there that Google can earn revenue from. According to Googles boffins that number is more valuable than the franchisees it is going to now down grade the rankings of.
While I understand diversity, variety and fairness, I am not sure that this decision is based purely on that. It will be interesting to see which franchisee listings are lowered and why? Just being a part of a “pack” shouldn’t be a negative. At the same time being a part of a pack shouldn’t be a boost.
Franchising is an integrel part of our financial system. Franchising represents the small to medium business owner. Franchising not only contributes billions to our markets it also employs millions around the world. Google needs to be careful how they implement this change and how they evaluate one business vs the next. With Google being as influential to a franchisees survival as it is, it could be enough to convince some franchisees to leave franchising and go independent, something that every franchisor should be very concerned about.
Variety and diversity is what Google is always after to give the searcher more options, however the result of this will be that it will make it harder for a franchisor to show all their store listings one after another. In other words some franchisee listings won’t show up on the first page of Google any more.
This has the potential to be very costly to sales for not only franchisees and franchisors but any multi store company. The scary thing is that most companies are blissfully unaware of the heavy impact it’s going to have digital sales for their organisation. Why? Well Google local listings are cheap and an easy way for small businesses to rank very high for potential customers who are searching for a local business. Examples of this are “Coffee shop Darling Harbour”, “lawn mowing Chatswood”, “Pool cleaner Geelong” or “key cutter Glenelg”. When 60% of people click on the first 3 business websites listed in a Google search result, small businesses have become heavily reliant upon this traffic for generating a lot of their income. See below a typical search result.

Who is most at risk
Any franchisees within shopping centres with low advertising and marketing budgets who heavily rely on foot traffic for income. These businesses generally look to low cost online methods like Google local business listings and Google maps to help channel online traffic to their shops. As a customer I myself have often pulled out my phone to find the nearest local coffee or key cutting shop to service my needs. Not coming up on that list of choices could be catastrophic for a franchisee that has to shell out huge rental fees each month.
In a time when business attitudes are already flat and franchisees are often struggling to make ends meet, a change like this could be the tipping point that turns a profitable business into one that isn’t.
However it’s not all doom and gloom for franchisee’s as there are many advertising and marketing work arounds ranging from optimisation strategies to Google advertising and social media that can help to counter act this new algorithm. However many businesses still don’t employ the services of a dedicated Internet strategy company to help develop these strategies yet. The role of an Internet strategy company is to do more than just provide the required services but also to allow a business to tap into the huge resource of knowledge of a company that works in this space every day. This kind of relationship will help to develop better strategies to allow the business to continually bend and flex with the changing digital environment.
Below is a typical local search and we have highlighted the most important locations where a franchisee needs to make sure they appear in search results. If you’re not here then you’re potentially missing out on a lot of business. Click on the image to enlarge.

local-listings

Below is more detail from the original article;
A Google “7 Pack” refers to the highlighted Local listings (business name, address, phone number, website) displayed on a map within the first page of a Google search query — say, for something like “restaurants Boston Massachusetts.” In the past, small, independent mom-and-pop businesses had a hard time competing with multi-location franchises. These little one-off businesses seemed to be outgunned and never appeared among the first results. Suddenly, you’ll notice there are only two or three “pack” results listed — perhaps not the biggest chains anymore — and so many websites saw their number of queries drop by more than 23%. Other common searches affected included: jobs, cars for sale, cruises, apartments, train tickets, and sofas.
To read the full article click on the link below
http://www.8waysin8days.com/top-8-ways-googles-pigeon-algorithm-changed-local-seo/

The Top Reasons Why A dotBrand is Better Than A Brand.com

The Top Reasons Why Dotbrand Beats brand.com Every Time
What may be particularly surprising and even shocking to many in the domain industry is that unlike the generics TLDs, the success of the brand TLDs really has very little to do with the domain industry at all. The reality is it has everything to do with massively improved cost efficiencies and commercial relationships between trademarks and their target audience both online and off. No matter how you want to cut it up, in every way you look at it dotbrands are going to be the real big winners over the next decade on the Internet, contrary to what many may think. From heavily lowered advertising costs to centralised marketing initiatives and vastly improved bigdata, dotbrands give trademark holders exposure on a global scale like nothing they have ever seen before in history. With better control and management of the trademark on the Internet, dotbrands are where the real money is going to be made. What ever you think dotcom makes from selling domain names will pale into insignificance when dotbrands unleash the full potential of their secret weapons. And if that wasn’t enough great reasons to have a dotbrand lets not forget that its a closed shop with only 500+ kids allowed in the sandpit.
gtlds
Trying to compare the success of the new generic TLD with the success of brand TLDs is the equivalent of trying to say that steam is the same as ice. Just because they both come from water doesn’t mean they are going to behave in the same way. I find it incredibly interesting that there is so much of a focus on what is happening in the generic world when really the BIGGEST, MOST SIGNIFICANT development since the invention of the Internet has to do with brands. By far the greatest invention to ever come to the internet since its inception has been to allow brands the opportunity to run their own slice of the internet. But still some people just don’t see it.
Sometimes the most impressive moments in history have been brought about by the smallest and simplest ideas. Take the paper clip for example or the pen or even email. Where would we be today if not for these small yet fundamentally significant inventions? Simple yet effective, life changing ideas that have impacted on our society is so many ways. No differently with online, the new dotbrand Top Level Domains are going to do exactly that.

Many of those that applied for a dotbrand initially did so out of a defensive need to protect their Internet identities. As time has moved forward the bigger questions of what to do with their dotbrand verses their .com and what’s their compared value, has started to surface. What many seem to be looking for is something radically different from a technology or administrative point of view when in fact (just like the paper clip), a dotbrand is a very subtle yet a significant shift is how consumers will perceive a brand on the Internet. It seems to be a sticking point for many of the old school domain industry but dotbrands have nothing to do with a naming convention although that is what they are. A dotbrand is a far richer tool than that. Fundamentally it’s the fact that it is so simple that makes the dotbrand concept so truly amazing and potentially lucrative to the brands and their consumers.

Why dotbrand (The digital bond x factor)
Purely owning a dotbrand for defensive purposes is like owning a Swiss army knife and only using the bottle opener, there is so much more you can do if you just look inside and get a little creative. Besides the obvious legal and technical advantages, a dotbrand provides the highest level of control of a trademark on the Internet you can get. The most important benefit of a dotbrand is the relationship brands can build with their customers. A dotbrand is about building direct digital bonds between a brand and those that have a close affinity with them, their customers. However once .com has been removed from the equation everything starts to make sense. Doors start to open, lights start to go and the creative juices start to flow like never before because a dotbrand creates new possibilities more in line with their brands ethos “if it’s not dotbrand, its not us. A dotbrand more closely resemble the very principles that bond a customer to a brand, thus making for a more personal, intimate connection. With a dotbrand the customer can feel like they are more than just a customer, they become a part of the brand and everything that makes it a success they can feel like in some small way they had something to do with it. Along with a dotbrand also comes a sense of responsibility, respect, trust and loyalty that only a dotbrand can develop. A dotbrand has the ability to bring about a feeling of a symbiotic relationship between the brand and their customers that cannot and will not ever be possible with a brand.com. That is the x factor that can only come with a dotbrand.

Why not a brand.com? (The ugly, irrelevant middleman)

Well the first thing to do is to just write it out and have a look at it, its ugly and partly irrelevant. The middleman “.com” waters down the relationship between brand and customer because dotcom means nothing to the consumer, its like wasted text on a short advert, you don’t need it so why have it? So which looks more visually appealing to you? offer.ferrari, product.ferrari, customer.ferrarri or ferrari.com/product? Which looks and feels more authentic, which is more memorable and which could be the brand and which is the brand? One can only be the brand, actually owned by the brand at the highest level of the Internet while the other is just bad advertising. A dotbrand means it is run by the brand, by people who work with the brand. One has a logical order about it that says we run our own slice of the internet and you can trust us. A dotbrand actually makes you feel like you are more than just a customer of the brand but an integral part of it existence while brand.com says your just another number.

Top 5 Reason Domainers Resist New gTLDs

Top 5 Reason Domainers Resist New gTLDs

gtlds

On the eve of the largest expansion of the Internet since its inception I did my usual of reading the latest articles on the new gTLDs from my Google alerts. As I often do, I read an article from Michael Berkens from www.thedomains.com and as usual read the comments afterwards. And as usual I found that the responses where almost always negative towards the new expansion. The reasons for this are almost always the same usual responses too and I realised that there are two separate schools of thought at play which are worth noting because in my opinion it highlights the fact that potentially both parties (TLD industry and domainers) have not figured out how to communicate this expansion in a way that benefits both. In fact I would go as far to say that it appears to me like a case of “doing what we have always done” on both sides of the fence.

There is a lot of press and talk about what the domainers think about the domain industry as they are being looked at as potential investors in the new gTLD’s. How they perceive the new space is considered by some as pivotal to the profitability of these new domains especially in the early days. I think the reality is that most new gTLD operators are more concerned about being able to get to market at all than they are about registrations from domainers. Many of the owners I have spoken to are fully aware that this is a long term strategy that will develop over time as people become educated about the variety of options and the ways they can be used. However not being able to get to market due to delays is putting a real strain on the new gTLD applicants. A few new TLDs is one thing, a thousand is quite another and ICANN is also feeling the strain from all the interested parties who are under pressure to get to market ASAP so it’s never going to be fast enough.

The addition of so many TLDs to the root level will inevitably create diversity, improve choice, stimulate creativity and foster innovation if for no other reason than the fact that the opportunity to do so is there. You can’t innovate until the tools are there to do it and the creation of such a large number of TLDs backed by huge money and the right environment for new ideas means we will see new success stories (although some can’t yet see it).

Top 5 reasons domainers don’t want new Gtlds

1.       Invested interest in .com

2.       Resistance to change

3.       Lack of understanding of new industry

4.       Short term objectives

5.       Old thinking

Invested Interest in .com – Holding on to what we’ve got

Domainers have worked out and well formulated, tried and true strategies, invested money, done the research and built business models around the existing dotcom world. Any alternative to this is a direct attack on their revenue streams and considered a threat to their profits.

Resistance to change – Human nature to fear change

Domainers need to come to terms with the fact that there is no going back so start thinking outside the dotcom square now or risk being left behind and thinking coulda, shoulda, woulda. As much as they would like things to remain the way they are the reality is that these new domains are here to stay in one form or another. There is just too much invested in the industry for it not to work.  While they understand the internet to work a certain way and have profited from it once upon a time, they will be missing the opportunity to embrace a new industry as early adopters. Those that have invested in the new gTLDs have long term strategies. Domainers are thinking about today’s domain space and not about what it will look like in 5 to 10 years’ time. I often read things like “we don’t need them” or “it’s just a money grab by the wealthy”, or “dotcom will always be no.1”. This resistance to change is common in our lives and is a part of our DNA, we like things to stay the way they are because we understand it and it makes us feel comfortable and safe that we won’t get any surprises, its human nature to feel this way.

Lack of understanding of new industry – The domain river has changed course

When you have always done what you have always done it is often hard to see change when it is staring you in the face. Domainers where born from the old domain industry, a manifestation that occurred as a result of the availability of the addition of a few TLD’s to the root of which .com has been the champion. A big fish in a small pond that will soon be a small fish in a big pond. It’s quite normal then for a disconnect between domainers and the new gTLD industry. I liken it to a river that flows and the animals that enjoy the water that it provides. Then suddenly the river changes course and no longer can the animals drink from the same location. As much as the animals are displeased with the fact that they have to change their habits, unless they do they will die. This is what is happening in the domain industry at the moment and there is a lack of acceptance by domainers who are still heading to the same watering hole looking for a drink.

Short term objectives – the stagnant pool

The new gTLDs represent a change that is going to happen over the next 10 plus years. Domainers are looking at how this will impact on them today. If you look at the evolution of the domain industry over the next 10 years something has to change, it can’t remain the same or it will become a stagnant pool of the same old same old. Domainers should be looking to the future and looking for the next big thing. They should be embracing innovation of the DNS rather than looking at it as a threat. The biggest threat to domainers is not the domain industry but a lack of an evolution of the domain industry.

 

Old Thinking – Innovate or die

The reality is that the entire internet has changed tact and moved to a different dimension. It’s not even going to be the same domain industry any more. Embrace the change, look for the opportunities, be creative, and think outside the square. The domain industry is nothing more than a technology that can be relaced by something new and the expansion of the TLDs is about securing its future by making it more relevant to more people. Domainers need to embrace this or they are “cutting off their nose despite their face”. If the domain industry doesn’t evolve it runs the real risk of becoming irrelevant. If the domain industry becomes irrelevant due to a lack of innovation by a new technology that supersedes domains then all domainers will lose, so innovate or die.

New Top Level Domain Names Could Render Facebook Pointless

The social media giant “Facebook” has for the first time in history lost users to other social media channels according to Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite.

This article reflects what I have seen coming for many years. Why should it be any different to any other empire? All good things must come to an end.

With the creation of new branded top level domains due to begin the approval process in the last quarter of 2013, Facebook is set to be attacked by brands looking to communicate better with their customers using social media. Ferrari, Tiffany, NFL, ANZ and about 900 other brands can carry a pretty big stick.

Soon customers of these trademarks could be offered a personalised domain name to coincide with their new personalised branded web presence.

This transformation means that brands will be able to provide social media platforms with which to communicate (without restriction, without Facebook) to their customer base. While I don’t believe that this will be the end of Facebook, it is clear that Facebook is already being pressured by existing social media competitors. So imagine what it will look like when these powerful global companies start to flex their social muscle by taking it to a whole NEW TOP LEVEL of competitor.

These brands took the leap of faith and invested up to around $500,000 just for the privilege to run their own slice of the Internet. Therefore they are not going to be wasting this opportunity to create added value to their brand where their competitors can’t without a fight. There is just too much invested, to much at stake, too many heads that might roll, too much on the line for something that is little more than a naming convention.

However what that naming convention means is what counts. Global brands are looking for profit increases of as little as 1% in order to generate millions of dollars of new revenue. These new gTLDs provide that incubator for brands to be able to make that become a reality.

It is this drive that will make these new branded top level domain names successful and why Facebook needs to be very, VERY watchful. Many of these brands are wealthy and highly powerful and together they can make a big impact on Facebook’s social customer base. There is only so much time you can dedicate to being social on the Internet. So while brands currently HAVE to drive traffic to Facebook in order to do business, soon they won’t and that could be devastating. I certainly wouldn’t have shares in Facebook at the moment.

Perhaps Facebook not applying for their own gTLD will be their undoing. More likely (and something I would be prepared to put a wager on) Facebook will apply in the second round (if there is one) and suddenly the kid who was the “cool kid”, will now be the “new kid” on the block.

Here is the article from Ryan Holmes – CEO of HootSuite
http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130709145114-2967511-global-social-media-networks-set-to-overtake-facebook

The dotbrand Revolution – Interview with Nick Morris and Shaun Le Cornu

The New Top Level Domain names are almost here and this video interview with Nick Morris and my self Shaun Le Cornu goes into detail about how these new domains will affect all business. It is well worth anyone with a trademark who are interested in understanding what is coming to watch this video so that they can start to ask the questions about how their brands are going to deal with these new domain names and how they are going to integrate this change into their business and capitalise on it.

SLAM Strategy is an Internet Strategy company focused on not only helping businesses to navigate this new change but we are also the leading advisor in Adelaide South Australia on new top level domains.

Using our collaborative connections and combined skills some of the industries best new top level domain strategists, SLAM Strategy is a leader in this field. Focused on producing ROI results for our clients we help those businesses who ahve already purchased new top level domains to market and advertise their New TLD’s both on and offline to the right target market ensuring that their TLD is seen by the right people resulting in increased registrations of their domain.

Watch this video