Google Mobilegeddon: Truths vs. Myths

There has been a plethora of e-mails, warnings and alerts about the big change that Google is implementing tomorrow in regards to mobile-friendly websites and how rankings will be impacted.

Some of these messages have distressing warnings about losing your Google page ranking unless you have a mobile-friendly website.  Others warn you will never be found again unless you immediately create a mobile-friendly site.

Keep in mind, there are two different search results that Google generates.  One set of search results is returned for people searching on desktops, laptops and tablets.  Another set of search results is returned for people using their smartphones to search.

This change in search algorithm only impacts the mobile search results.

The Google Mobile change only impacts the organic search results returned when someone searches on a smartphone.

The Google Mobile change only impacts the organic search results returned when someone searches on a smartphone.

Here’s the straight scoop as posted by Google and other SEO experts.

  1. The change will only impact rankings for the organic results displayed for mobile searches. In other words, people who are using their smartphones to search may now get different results in the organic area of search results.In JanSan, approximately 85% of searches are done on desktops, laptops, or tablets … not smartphones.
  2. People searching on desktops, laptops, or tablets will receive non-mobile search results which are not impacted by the new algorithm.

  3. The “Local Maps” area (or local pack) on the mobile search results also will NOT be affected. If you have a high ranking in this area of search results, you will not fall off the rankings.
  4. The only area that might be impacted is the organic area of mobile search results. Keep in mind that the competition for search results for “janitorial supplies” is not as heated as for, say, pizza or movie theaters.In other words, even if your website is not mobile-friendly, you may not see a change in your rankings in this area, as well.

Additionally, there are other factors involved with rankings, such as content and strategic use of various optimization tools.  It has yet to be determined how Google will weight a mobile-friendly site vs. great content and optimization.

Below is a chart showing what search results will be impacted by the new Google Mobile algorithm if your website is not considered “Mobile-Friendly” by Google:

Device Used for Search Local Map / Local Pack
Ranking Impacted?
Organic / 10 Blue Link
Ranking Impacted?
   Desktop Computers No No
   Laptop Computers No No
   Tablets No No
   Kindle/Nook No No
   Smartphones No Yes

That said, If you are interested in having a mobile-friendly website, we are more than happy to build one for you. Keep in mind, however, that to create a fully responsive website, it requires additional time and formatting. This, of course, adds cost to the website build.

For the JanSan industry, we suggest waiting to see how this change takes effect and if it even impacts you before spending marketing dollars in a website re-design.

Interested in hearing more? Give us a call at 630-922-1125 or send us an email at ginny@petru.biz.

> Read “Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algo: Everything You Need to Know”
> Read “Google’s Mobile Friendly Algo Will Only Affect the “Ten Blue Links”
> Read “Google’s Mobile Ranking Signal Does Not Affect Desktop Searches”

Just Like High School – Popular vs. Smart JanSan Marketing

The most recent study by Content Marketing Institute shows Social Media as the most used tactic by B2B marketers ...

The most recent study by Content Marketing Institute shows Social Media as the most used tactic by B2B marketers …

The statistics on B2B marketing for 2013 are in, and they bring back memories of high school, where everyone flocks to the attraction of the “in group” versus tracking a course that is smart, effective, and will have impact for the future.

According to the study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, B2B marketers are using 12 different marketing tactics, which is an increase over the average used in the past two year (8 tactics). In 2013, social media (not including blogs) were reported to be the most popular contact marketing tactic, as 87% of marketers engaged with it.

but social media does not even register on the "most effective" tactics.  Still at number 1 ... in-person events followed by case studies.

but social media does not even register on the “most effective” tactics. Still at number 1 … in-person events followed by case studies.

Most Effective Marketing Tactic
However, reminiscent to high school, popular is not the most effective for long-term ROI.

When queried regarding the most effective marketing tool, social media didn’t even crack the 50% mark.

Which tactic was considered the most effective? In-person events with nearly 67% of those surveyed placing value in the old-fashioned face-to-face marketing tactics.

Second on the list for effectiveness was the use of case studies, which have become the new “word of mouth” and testimonial. E-newsletters also ranked in the top ten, with 58% remarking positive effectiveness.

JanSan Marketing Reality
These statistics reflect what we see every day in marketing in the janitorial supplies industry. Many in our industry are embracing social media … I don’t think a month goes by that I don’t see some type of article in a trade publication about the merits of social media marketing. However, when we look at the hard statistics, we see a completely different story.

Today, you are lucky if even 3% of your facebook “likes” see a post. Compare that to an average of between 9 – 15% open rate on an e-newsletter for an average B2B prospect list. Many experts will tell you that your tweets reach even fewer people.

Does that mean abandon social media? Not at all. It is a necessary component to today’s marketing mix.

But what we do say is be prudent in your marketing  … just like high school, the most popular kids don’t always show up at the reunions as the most successful ones.

> see our examples of case studies

Smile Marketing in the JanSan Industry

Smile marketing ... it's good for business! We’ve preached it for years … stand out from the big boxes by taking advantage of your competitive edge. One of the most significant competitive edges that independent distributors have over big boxes is their experienced, friendly staff who can provide expertise in any area of cleaning and maintenance.

Every website we build for JanSan distributors utilizes the opportunity to reach out to visitors in a personal and meaningful way. We view the “about us” page in particular as the vital first step to engaging website visitors and involving them with you and your business. People buy from people they know, like and trust.

Seeing smiling pictures of your staff is the equivalent in our high tech society of opening your door, reaching out your hand, and personally greeting your customers to make them feel at ease.

This last spring, we were pleased to see that American Express published an article that has come up with terminology to explain this approach. They call it “Smile Marketing.”

A person’s smile is “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content.” There are some physiological factors that explain why smiles create such positive feelings. When the smile muscles in the face contract, there is a feedback loop that goes directly to the brain, reinforcing the feeling of joy that even transcends the elation created when eating chocolate.

Consider the number of ways that your sales staff can implement Smile Marketing. Of course, nothing replaces the in-person smile and handshake. It is perhaps the most simple and effective action to make customers instantly feel comfortable or diffuse their anger.

Discuss with your customer service reps the importance of smiling when they are on the phone with customers. Studies show that your voice tone actually changes if you are smiling, making it more inviting to the callers.

Think about the power of a smile in the sales process. Sales reps who smile display an air of confidence about the product and caring about the customer. It is easy for the customer to feel connected, as when someone smiles, there is a pretty good chance that the other person is smiling back.

Smiles advance the process of engaging customers and connecting them to you and your business. After all, customers want to buy from a business where people seem happy, confident in their product, and ready to satisfy the customer. People do buy from people they know, like and trust.

Keep smiling! It’s good for business.

> Read the full article “The Science Behind Smile Marketing”

> Real vs. Fake smiles … can we tell the difference?

Content Marketing Takes Front Seat In 2014

content-is-kingYour mantra for 2014 should be “help, not hype” as you build meaningful content on your website and in your marketing activities.

We’ve said this for years .. there has been a  sea change in the sales process and marketing strategies due to technology.

Customers don’t want to be “sold” anymore.  They want to have significant information about how products solve their particular problems and meet their facility needs. After the information gathering, they “sell themselves” on a supplier and/or product.

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JanSan Distributor Monthly Marketing Program Launched

Turn-Key Monthly JanSan Marketing ProgramJanSanOptimize.com launches our JanSan Distributor Monthly Marketing Program!

It is an easy, affordable, automatic way for janitorial supply distributors to stay in front of customers and prospects with both electronic and physical marketing materials.

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Is the 20th Time the Charm in Janitorial Supply Marketing?

Thomas Smith's "Successful Advertising"

Thomas Smith’s “Successful Advertising” first expressed the theory of frequency effectiveness in advertising.

I am often asked, “What is the optimum number of times someone needs to see my ad to make it stick?”

In short, there is no one, quick, easy, and accurate answer to that question.  Each market segment is different, each geographic area is different, and each of your customers is different.  A message that may impact one prospect as it directly relates to a situation they are currently dealing with may be quickly tossed aside by another one.

And, of course, the message and its delivery also come into play when trying to make a firm impression.  Today’s prospect wants to be educated, not sold.  Companies that engage in content-rich, educational marketing have a better chance of cutting through the clutter and staying top-of-mind.

So what does that mean for janitorial and maintenance supply marketing?  Provide education with your advertising.  For example, don’t just promote the product that is effective in killing bed bugs … discuss recent studies that show the actual increase in bed bug infestation in various types of venues, such as nursing homes, offices, and restaurants.

When I was studying advertising in college, the standard “three time exposure” was accepted as the optimum number of exposures before your message was “received.”  It was a theory created by Herbert Krugman  in the 1970s, and theorized that the first exposure to an ad elicited a  “What is it?” response.  The second exposure elicits a “What of it?” reaction with the third exposure creating the true reminder of the message and committing it to memory.

With the bombardment of messages today, through many different mediums, I find myself re-visitng a  proposition put forth by a British businessman, Thomas Smith.   In his guide, “Successful Advertising he claims it takes 20 exposures to a message:

1st Exposure – The first time people look at any given ad, they don’t even see it.
2nd  They don’t notice it.
3rd  They are aware that it is there.
4th –  They have a fleeting sense that they’ve seen it somewhere before.
5th –  They actually read the ad.
6th They thumb their nose at it.
7th They start to get a little irritated with it.
8thThey start to think, “Here’s that confounded ad again.”
9th They start to wonder if they’re missing out on something.
10th They ask their friends and neighbors if they’ve tried it.
11th They wonder how the company is paying for all these ads.
12th They start to think that it must be a good product.
13th They start to feel the product has value.
14th They start to remember wanting a product like this for a long time.
15th –  They start to yearn for it because they can’t afford to buy it.
16th –  They accept the fact that they will buy it sometime in the future.
17th –  They make a note to buy the product.
18th They curse their poverty for not allowing them to buy this product.
19th They count their money very carefully.
And the twentieth time prospects see the ad, they buy the product.

Interestingly enough, Smith proposed this frequency effectiveness model in 1885 … long before the internet, smart phones, websites and blogs.

In the JanSan industry, I think there is a happy “sweet spot” in-between the widely-accepted Krugman model and the remarkably insightful Smith model for impressing your message.

The real key is to have consistency, professionalism, accuracy, and content in your marketing activities.

Keyword Reality in JanSan Marketing

Keywords in JanSan MarketingI’m sure you’ve heard it at least once a day … you have to use the “latest and greatest” SEO strategies to “get found” in searches so you can increase your sales.

If you are not implementing 152 different online strategies, you will soon be lost forever on the internet and no one will find you or know about the greatness of your company.  Your business will perish because you didn’t use the right keywords in the right way.

So, you either fret into the wee hours of the morning,  hire a SEO firm to handle it for you, or try to learn anything and everything about SEO implementation and try to do it yourself.

We recently had a client in a good-sized market who had those worries.  The company’s website had been built with google analytics, so we were able to take a good look at some meaningful statistics. We evaluated the traffic to the site, where it was coming from, the keywords that were used by visitors to find the site, and the user experience once the visitors landed on the page.

The audit results?  Of the keywords that were recorded for how visitors found the website, 99.8% were some form of the company name in their searches.  That’s right.  Visitors had some form of the company name they used to find the company’s website … not the keywords that had been heavily saturated on each web page.

Is that to say that keywords are irrelevant in JanSan marketing?  No, not by any means. But what our experience tells us is there are other elements that are important to being successful in marketing to prospects that should not be overlooked in a fervor to use every possible keyword on your website pages.

Want to know more about successful JanSan marketing?  We’d love to share our case studies … give us a call today at 630-922-1125!

Janitorial Supply Website Deadly Sin #3: Limp-Wristed Cyber-Handshakes

People buy from people they know, like and trust…especially in the janitorial supply industry. In our world of connecting via mouse clicks and keyboard strJanitorial website handshakeokes, it is imperative that you maximize the electronic conduit to meet, impress, and connect with your prospects in a meaningful way.

Are you unknowingly committing the deadly sin of the “Limp-Wristed Cyber-Handshake” on your janitorial website? In our evaluation of several hundred janitorial supply websites, we found a majority of them were committing this deadly sin in one way or another.

You can begin to avoid this website deadly sin by posting on your website smiling photos of you and your staff, as well as your warehouse, loading dock, and fleet.  The more pictures portraying you and your company as real people, the better. Add a few blurbs about who they are, what they like about their jobs, and their favorite interests.

This technique not only sets you apart from the big boxes, but enables you to virtually open your front door to website visitors, invite them in, and pour them a hot cup of coffee at your breakroom table.

A word of caution …we’ve seen websites that heavily rely upon stock photography.  As great as stock photos can be in certain situations, relying solely on stock photos can give an impression of your business being a “cookie-cutter” or artificial … much like model homes posing as a real family home.  You cannot fully connect with people using pictures that are not authentic.

When you take photos for your website, try to avoid the “mug shot” look.  Position people at desks or counters, smiling at either the camera or with customers, and looking friendly.  Other photos can be of your delivery trucks, warehouse pictures, training session photos, or various shots of your showroom and the products on display.

At JanSanOptimize.com, we specialize in building affordable, effective janitorial supply websites … without committing any deadly website sin.  Whether you need a complete website “re-boot” or a re-fresh on a few pages, we have a package to meet your needs.

E-Newsletters and Their Place in Janitorial Supply Marketing

Download your FREE E-Guide to E-Newsletters at www.JanSanOptimize.com

Never before has the JanSan industry had so many marketing options available to small, independent distributors and boutique manufacturers with so many ways to reach customers in an affordable and effective way.

Perhaps the most effective and affordable of  these new electronic tools is e-Newsletters.  However, not many manufacturers or distributors participate in a regular e-newsletter program.

In a recent survey, we found that just 20% of independent distributors were using some form of e-Newsletter to communicate to their customers and prospects.  It is not surprising to find that over 70% claimed they would use an e-Newsletter in their marketing if there was an easy way to do so.

E-Newsletters can level the playing ground for the small distributor and manufacturer by providing the means to stay in front of customers and prospects.  People buy from people they know, like, and trust.  Implementing an e-newsletter program brings you and your company in front of people on a regular basis and provides the means to let them get to know you better, trust your expertise, and eventually buy from you.

The key to success, however, is consistency, content and appearance.  In our years of providing marketing services to the janitorial supply industry, we’ve seen how our customers struggle to maintain an ongoing marketing program.

When successful, professional, e-Newsletter program keeps you top-of-mind in an impressive manner it puts you on the same ground as competitors with marketing budgets that far surpass yours.

Let us share some of our secrets to consistent implementation of an e-Newsletter program:

  1. Plan your editorial schedule.  Do not wait until the last minute to figure out what topics you will discuss.  Take the time in advance to plan your topics, articles, and products that you will highlight each month.
  2. Tie topic to products you carry.  If you have online ordering, hyperlink the product mention in the newsletter  to your order entry program.
  3. Take the time to write the content ahead of time.  If you wait until the day before you are to send your monthly message, you will find yourself consumed by other business matters and you will quickly get off-schedule.
  4. Don’t be afraid to take content and information from your manufacturers.  They can be the best source of information!
  5.  The graphic impact is particularly important in the visual world we live in.  Make sure your graphics are appealing and sized correctly.  Test and re-test your message so you are confident there are no strange spaces, line breaks, or bad images.

These are just a few pointers … you can download more tips and guidance for free with our “e-Guide to JanSan e-Newsletters” at http://www.JanSanOptimize.com. 

Check out our 6-month e-Newsletter Starter Program!

Google’s ZMOT in JanSan Website Marketing: What It Is & Why You Should Care

The Jan/San sales cycle, as we knew it just a few years ago, has been changed forever. The main reason: the internet.

In a few mouse clicks, there is a wealth of information available to the janitorial supplies purchaser, such as product information, company reviews, and item pricing, to name a few.  Prospects can quickly evaluate any number of providers and products to solve their problems in minutes … sometimes seconds.

Purchasers’ proactive search for information has been identified by Google’s marketing gurus as the “Zero Moment of Truth” or ZMOT.

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Should JanSan Companies Stop Cold Calling?

I was particularly interested in a recent article by Nathan Yerian,  “Two Reasons to Stop Cold Calling, Now.”  With the incredible plethora of marketing communication vehicles available to reach customers and prospects, it might make sense to hang up the cold calling receiver for good.Rep making cold calls

Consider the alternative uses of your sales team’s time and energies.

The point of making cold calls is to find leads and determine if those leads are worth the pursuit. By implementing a sound inbound and outbound marketing plan, you will find you are generating those warm and hot leads that all sales people are searching for.  The question then, is pretty simple.  Shouldn’t you sales team be spending their time in cultivating the relationship with these “warm leads” instead of cold-calling?

Consider the tools available to nurture a lead relationship and eventually convert them to a sale:

  1. E-newsletters: Receiving a monthly e-newsletter that is packed with JanSan industry trends, new products, ways to keep facilities healthier, and how your company meets the needs of your audience will establish you as an expert, keep your name top-of-mind, and make you look good.
  2. SEO Website: Your website is your most important sales person.  Quite often it is the first impression a prospect has of your company.  Your current customers are probably getting “wooed” by your competitors, and they are probably going online to see what that competitor can offer.  How do you look “online” compared to your competitors?
  3. Website Updates: You should be updating your website on a regular basis with new information, updates on your products/services, and “success stories” of how you are solving customer problems. This helps in your SEO (search engine optimization) as well as continuing to attract your customers and prospects.  Create and offer a free “white paper” on a cleaning subject particularly suitable for your audience and market. In order to access the information on your website, visitors need to provide an email address.
  4. Direct Mail: Don’t discount the value of getting a hard piece of paper into the hands of your customers.  An advantage of direct mail is the 100% delivery guarantee.  No doubt, it is harder to delete a colorful, informative postcard compared to an e-mail message.

For more ideas on how to get away from cold-calling, generate more leads, and convert leads into customers, call Ginny Petru at JanSanOptimize.com.