As 2013 draws to a close, thoughts often turn to resolutions for 2014. Losing weight and saving more money are perennial favorites as personal goals. Getting a new job or a pay raise are cited by many as professional goals. And all of those are very worthy resolutions for sure.
But if you are involved in sales and marketing, an important resolution may be to increase your knowledge level about how Google works. Why do I say this?
I’ve been immersed in digital marketing for nearly 15 years and even remember when not many were even aware of Google. (Wow, even writing that is quite a stunning realization of how quickly the big “G” has transformed our lives.)
One particular item that stands out is what little understanding people have of search marketing. This becomes apparent when presenting to potential clients. For example, even some Digital Strategists and Social Media Marketing Managers haven’t heard of Google Carousel.
Google Carousel is what replaced Google Local earlier this year. It launched primarily for restaurant, travel, and hospitality queries. If anyone should be familiar with Carousel, it should be a hotel brand. This new, visual format is extremely beneficial for hospitality brands whose audience is increasingly reliant on reviews and social integration to search.
Sadly, or tragically, I don’t know which, digital marketing strategists being in the dark about current search trends isn’t uncommon. I realize the demands on Directors of Marketing and others who have similar responsibilities. A new reality is in play at most companies that requires more responsibilities and tasks on fewer and fewer people. Adding to that is the fact that marketing budgets are traditionally under-funded and you have a situation where limited time and resources make for stressed environments and difficult decisions about what to invest in and why. There isn’t, after all, a direct line of ROI from becoming more educated about search marketing, but perhaps there should be.
I am both a fan and critic of Google. One area in which I am a huge fan is their willingness to provide expert advice and education about their products and how to use them. And they are free. You can even get certified in several categories such as PPC Campaigns. There are a few reasons why you should make this your number one New Year’s resolution for 2014.
- You will improve the performance of your search marketing efforts
- You will ask more informed and pertinent questions to your digital marketing partner (and know if and/or when they are outside of their comfort zone about search marketing)
- You will have more confidence in the data you are reporting to your management and in your understanding of it
- You will have fewer meetings, phone calls, and email communications with your marketing partner and others trying to get answers or insight about the data
- It may help you achieve other resolutions mentioned earlier in this post – a new position or a raise – by demonstrating superior understanding of search marketing
- And perhaps most important is that you will know when it is time to change marketing partners and how to decide on which new one you need
If you don’t want to wait until 2014, you can start right now by learning how Google works.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and here’s to a better informed and very prosperous New Year!