Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

April 22, 2019

Chatbots – A Digital Marketing Trend Not to be Ignored

In terms of digital marketing trends, chatbots are ranked exceptionally high. Have you ever visited a website to find – within just a few seconds – that a chat window appears, offering assistance?

This is a chatbot, in its full glory.

This specially-designed technology is made possible by artificial intelligence. To date, approximately 1.5 billion people have interacted with these computer programs. As a result, approximately 80% of all businesses are utilizing these or plan for integration by the year of 2020. It is in your best interests to get onboard now as it will aid in your future success.

woman communicating with chat bot on phone

Chatbot Basics

Chatbots are utilized by various types of businesses for the sole purpose of interacting with various people.

They are programmed in such a manner that they are able to communicate in a highly formal fashion, resolve queries, and provide direction to consumers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

They have the capability of facilitating the reading and the receiving of a vast amount of information.

The response level, the prompt answers, and the familiarity with account and purchasing information make chatbots ideal for any business, in any industry.

Essentially, chatbots are virtual assistants that never have to be paid, never have to take leave, and are not governed by emotion.

Why Are Chatbots Gaining in Popularity?

Chatbot programs are considered to be intuitive, highly engaging, and generally low-key. Most consumers desire live chat responses to emails.

Chatbots succeed in this.

Additionally, the customers that you service will not have to leave the page that they are on with your website to get the answers that they seek. These are quickly gaining in popularity because they are able to answer quickly, they are cost-effective, and once set up – which takes virtually no effort at all – they remain active.

The Benefits

Apart from the fact that each and every single one of your customers will receive a very quick and highly responsive service when they utilize your website, there are several additional benefits associated with the integration of chatbots. These include – but certainly are not limited to – the following:

  1. The customer service experience is dramatically improved when chatbots are utilized. This means that the wait time is reduced, constant around-the-clock service is available, there is no need to have a live representative staffed, and that customers are not transferred from one rep to another rep.
  2. Chatbots have the capability of engaging a customer in the form of outbound marketing. This comes in the routine follow-ups. Additionally, chatbots can provide updates and additional relevant information.
  3. Chatbots are an effective and inexpensive means of connecting with customers, gathering information, and analyzing information that is gathered to boost your metrics.

Conclusion

As you can see from the information contained in this brief guide, chatbots are highly beneficial to your digital marketing plan. These effective tools should not be ignored.

To learn about how to provide a boost to your business in 2019:

Contact Us Today

July 29, 2018

Why Your Site Should Have an SSL Certificate

SSL Security Screen

Google has recently released an algorithm update that not only displays the warning that unsecured sites are “Not Secure” but are penalizing the ranking of websites that do not possess an SSL Certificate. Continue reading this guide on why your site needs this and the benefits you will reap from the integration of an SSL Certificate.

SSL Security Screen

What is an SSL Certificate?

An SSL Certificate is a type of security-based technology that enables the communication between a server and a web browser to be encrypted. This encryption aids in reducing the chance for sensitive information from being illegally accessed by those that do not have permission to that information, such as identity thieves.

Examples of the information protected with an SSL Certificate includes names, email addresses, home addresses, bank account information, credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords.

In simple terms, an SSL Certificate allows the virtual-based conversation between an internet user and a website to remain secure and private. It aids in authenticating the real identity associated with a website and encrypts all of the data transmitted to and from that website.

If you are a website owner, it is imperative that you protect your site and your visitors with an SSL Certificate.

Internet2.jpg
By Fabio Lanari - Internet1.jpg by Rock1997 modified., CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Google Now Places a Special Emphasis on HTTPS

The Google Update, which was released in July of 2018, now places a special emphasis on websites and encourages the use of SSL Certificates to transition those websites from “HTTP” to “HTTPS”. “HTTPS” stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”.

This is a type of communication protocol that is used on the internet that helps in protecting the information that is transmitted between an internet-accessible device and a site.

When a website is using HTTPS, it has three layers of protection that is made possible by Transport Layer Security (TLS). These layers include the following:

  • Encryption
  • Data Integrity
  • Authentication

Why SSL Certificates Are Necessary

As stated previously, SSL Certificates protect sensitive information from getting into the hands of those that would attempt to use that information in an illegal way. In addition to protecting your website and those that visit your website, an SSL Certificate also helps in the following ways:

  • It ensures that the information exchanged between servers is kept highly secure.
  • It builds trust with your website visitors/customers and enhances that trust.
  • It helps in optimizing your website’s conversion rates.
  • It helps in increasing your rankings with Google.

Google Chrome Changes with Update

Prior to July 2018, when you visited a website that did not possess SSL Certificates and was not considered to be “secure”, there was a relatively discrete exclamation point that was immediately to the left of the address of the website.

On the most part, internet users did not notice this; however, if they did click or hover on it, it would inform them that the connection to the website was not a secure one. It would further instruct them not to enter any type of sensitive information on the website.

Since the release of the Google Update, the exclamation mark has not transitioned into the mark and the words, “Not secure”. In the future, “Not secure” will be written in red to draw even more attention to it for website visitors.

Will Website Visitors Know There is an SSL Certificate in Place?

If you transition your website from “HTTP” to “HTTPS” through the use of an SSL Certificate, your visitor will know as there are several different visual-based clues to this. First, a padlock picture will show up to the immediately left of the website address instead of the exclamation mark and the phrase, “Not secure”. Next, the prefix associated with the website address will go from “HTTP” to “HTTPS”.

There will be a trust seal integrated into the website. Furthermore, the address bar will typically display a green coloring, which, generally means “safe” or “go” when it comes to website exploration in the digital world.

What If I Don’t Sell Anything on My Website?

Many people do not sell anything on their website. They may be an affiliate of another website where they direct customers or they may simply have a content-based website. Regardless, your website needs an SSL Certificate. In addition to being listed and ranked higher by Google, the necessity for SSL Certificates is high for websites that engage in the following:

  1. If the website utilizes usernames and passwords
  2. If the site provides the opportunity for users to enter in financial information
  3. If the site requests personal information
  4. There are legal documents associated with the site
  5. If the site obtains email addresses and/or names
  6. If it includes records
  7. If is includes proprietary information

If your website does not have SSL Certificates, contact us today for assistance

CONTACT US

Resources:
https://brickroadmedia.com/google-speed-algorithm-update-in-effect-in-july-2018/
https://brickroadmedia.com/2018-seo-google-trends/
https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change

January 31, 2017

Welcome Kitchen Dance To The BRM Family

kitchen dance

kitchen danceKitchen Dance is a supplier of disposable aluminum foil pans to bakeries, hotels, restaurants, delis, and caterers since 2002. Located in sunny Southern California, their warehouse ships products nationally and internationally on the daily. Lots of them!

Brick Road Media is proud to be working with such a successful and well-established business!

About Kitchen Dance

Online since 2002, Kitchen Dance provides well over 700 different products to personal and commercial kitchens all over the world. From tart pans to to roasters, if it can be made out of aluminum foil and used in the kitchen or for science projects, they have it.

pie pansWhile there are a few stores that are bigger, customers get more of a personal touch when shopping with this still-growing family-owned business. And we love working with businesses in that sweet spot of past success plus tons of room for growth.

Not just a place to buy foil pans and other kitchen accessories, Kitchen Dance also helps customers with ideas for different desserts and meals they can make with these products. Chefs, caterers, and bakers are always on the lookout for new ideas to give their clients that "wow" factor, so it has always been important to provide food for thought along with pie pans and other baking products.

Over the years the product line has expanded to include many items their customers also require, such as turkey basters, ramekins, recipe cards, knives, and even washing machine aluminum lint traps. Having one place to grab all their needs is a great convenience to Kitchen Dance customers.

Our Work

Brickroad Media is responsible for growing visibility for Kitchen Dance. Specifically to make more of their ideal customers aware of the range and quality of products in their line. And to make it all easy to find. 

We are super happy to welcome Kitchen Dance to the BRM family!

January 16, 2017

James Strauss, Vietnam Vet and Author

james strauss

Brick Road Media is proud and excited to welcome James Strauss!

james straussJames is our latest client and has a very interesting story to share with the world. (Actually, he's got many stories both nonfiction and fiction.) Strauss is the author of "30 Days Has September," a full account of his time as a Marine in the Vietnam war. 

Strauss' other works are available on his site for free, or on Kindle, and include:

James is taking a different approach to publishing in that he is putting all chapters of his books on his website for free. If people would like to download to their favorite reader, they are also available on Kindle and in paperback.

30 days has september

Caution: Once you start reading his Vietnam war story, it is going to be hard to stop. The level of chatter this book-in-progress is generating on the site and all over social media is amazing... and intense. Vietnam vets from all over are finding James' style and honesty refreshing in an age where this war has been all but forgotten, along with the surviving soldiers who fought in it. (And still fight to this day!)

About James Strauss

James Strauss was born into a Coast Guard family during WWII. He’s lived in four countries and twenty-seven states, in places from South Manitou Island, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Honolulu, Hawaii. He’s held a variety of positions in many careers, from being a Marine Corps Officer wounded in Vietnam, life insurance agent, timeshare salesman, physician’s assistant, and a college professor in anthropology.

As a CIA team leader in the field he traveled to 122 countries, where he remains welcome in most of them to this day.He is credentialed in the areas of deep sea diving, fixed wing and rotary piloting and hot air ballooning. 

Website: JamesStrauss.com

Follow James Strauss on Facebook

May 31, 2016

3 SEO Tips for Improving Online Visibility

seo tips

seo tipsIf you have a business on the internet – whether you specialize in selling products and/or services, have a website that you have elected to monetize, or, simply share information through a blog where you profit from an affiliate program or pay-per-click – you must focus on your online visibility.

By consistently working to improve your online visibility, your products, information about your services, your website content, and/or your blog posts will reach a larger audience. Regardless of your industry, your niche, or your goals, a larger audience will render larger profits. In the digital landscape, search engine optimization is essential.

In this brief guide, you will learn a few SEO tips that will assist in optimizing your online visibility. Follow these tips, and you are sure to experience vast amounts of success!

Tip # 1: Ensure Only Quality Content is Posted

The first and most important tip for improving online visibility is to ensure that you post only high-quality content on your website, your blog, and/or your social media pages. You should avoid pushing sales on a consistent basis. Today’s internet user wants comprehensive information. You could create posts about your products and/or services, how to use those products and/or services, and how your products and/or services may help to solve a problem for your target audience. You may use written content, graphics, infographics, videos, and more! There are many ways to create the desirable content that your target audience is searching for online. Just make sure it is creative, it is high in quality, and it does not seem as if you are consistently pushing for a sale.

Tip # 2: Build Website Connections

The next step to increasing your visibility in the digital world is to build website connections. You will want to ensure that the connections are to websites that have similar types of content. Once the connection is established, consider offering to link back to that website if that website will link to your website. Not only will this increase the amount of traffic that your website or blog receives, but, it will increase your website or blog’s ranking in major search engines, such as Google.

Tip # 3: Use Keyword and Keyword Phrases That Your Target Audience Would Use

The third and final tip in this guide to increase online visibility is to use keywords and keyword phrases within your content that your target audience would use when searching the internet. Remember, a lot of people are now using voice search programs on their mobile devices to discover content. Because of this, you may want to use more relaxed and/or conversational keyword and keyword phrases.

Brick Road Media is dedicated to helping you succeed in the digital world. Not only do we have the expertise to assist in website and/or blog development, but, we are also well-versed in the creation of high-quality, SEO content, and social media advertising campaigns.

If you would like to learn more, give us a call today at:

765-439-4029

April 16, 2015

Will Your Website Be In Google’s Mobile Search Index in 5 Days?

Google Recently announced that if your site doesn't pass the "mobile friendly test" by April 21st 2015, your site can be taken out of their mobile index. Since the majority of people access the web on mobile, that's kind of a big deal.

"According to a recent Google blog post, the search giant is currently working on a major algorithm change that will revolutionize the way mobile friendliness is determined. Starting on April 21, this new algorithm will be gradually rolled out worldwide, affecting mobile searches in all languages in all corners of the globe."  -Jayson DeMers, Entrepreneur Magazine

As we started browsing local websites to see who needed our help in staying compliant with Google we ran across a very high number of local sites that didn't pass the test. Having a mobile compatible site, or a mobile friendly site is not a new thing.

Responsive design has been around for quite some time and, since a majority of searches are now coming from mobile devices, it is definitely not a good thing to have a mobile unfriendly website in 2015. 

Our very own City of Richmond website richmondindiana.gov  does not pass the test. (Last checked 4/16/2015)

richmond

Redesigned so recently, the site should definitely be responsive and mobile compliant, especially for the amount paid and the credentials of the firm that did the redesign. 

Why is this a big deal for local businesses?

According to Mitul Gandhi of seoClarity, around 30% of TOTAL traffic comes from mobile, no matter the industry.  Locals doing searches for food, services, etc. do so at much higher rates on their mobile while they're out and about, obviously.

the-data-behind-mobile-experiences-11-638

 

"Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital" - In June 2014, comScore released a report found that...

"Mobile platforms – smartphones and tablets – combined to account for 60% of total digital media time spent, up from 50% a year ago."  -comScore

Share-of-US-Digital-Media-Time-Spent-by-Platform_reference

New Mobile Friendly Rules

  • Your site must be built on mobile-friendly software, (i.e. no Flash or other protocols that cannot be seen/used by mobile phones)
  • All of the links on your site must be large enough to tap without "mashing" several links at once or forcing hyper-accuracy of tapping by users. 
  • Your site must not make mobile users scroll to see entire content.  Pictures, text, everything must resize to fit the screen properly.
  • Text must be readable without zooming.  If your site appears on a mobile with tiny text, it's a deal breaker.

Does your site pass the Mobile Friendly Test?

Go here to test your site:  https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Just add your site's URL and click "Analyze."

Didn't pass?

On April 21st, Google will begin deciding who does and does not end up with their new and separate mobile index based on their parameters for "mobile friendliness" according to the new rules. 

Talk to your webmaster ASAP to get the recommended changes done before April 21 if at all possible.  Google shows you the recommended fixes after you run the test. 

If you don't have a person capable of making the changes, contact Brick Road.  We're working around the clock on a first-come first-served basis to help as many as we can to meet the deadline.  Some sites are very easy fixes, while a site like RichmondIndiana.gov can be a lot harder to bring into compliance, depending on the platform.

If you cannot get the changes done in time for the deadline, get them made as soon as you can.  Getting re-indexed for mobile search will only happen once you've satisfied Google's requirements.

---

References

"Finding more mobile-friendly search results" -Google

Apps Now Drive Half of All Time Spent on Digital -comScore

"Will Your Website Survive the Upcoming Google Mobile Penalty?" -Demin Farnworth, CopyBlogger

"April 21 Is Your Last Chance for Mobile Optimization Before 'Mobilegeddon'" -Entrepreneur Magazine

October 21, 2014

Brick Road Media Appoints New Vice President of Retail Sales

Brick Road Media Appoints New Vice President of Retail Sales

Fast Growing Indiana based Digital Marketing Firm Strengthens Resources

Richmond, IN - Brick Road Media (https://www.brickroadmedia.com) announced today that Stacey Welch has joined the firm to further develop their growing portfolio of local and regional accounts. Stacey Welch comes with a wealth of experience within the Industry, having spent the last eight years at Brewer Broadcasting (Kicks 96) where Stacey was instrumental in the success of their sales department.

Stacey joins Brick Road Media as the Vice President of Retail Sales to continue Brick Road Media’s recent success providing digital marketing services to many of Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio’s small businesses. Stacey comments “I am excited to start a new challenge within Brick Road Media and look forward to working with the team to further develop their already extensive product and service suite. I am fortunate to be joining such a respected company that prides itself on top quality service.”

Jeremy Kean, Co-Founder of Brick Road Media said “Stacey’s wealth of experience and industry knowledge will make her a key addition to the Brick Road Media family. Our new innovations and the increasing demand from our customers led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and exceptional service, and it is very fortunate that we were able to find someone of Stacey’s caliber to fulfill this role. I’m confident that Stacey will play a key role in providing and implementing high quality solutions for our clients.”

About Brick Road Media

Brick Road Media is a full service Digital Marketing Firm (https://www.brickroadmedia.com) which offers customers a range of quality products and services to suite their digital marketing needs. Brick Road Media’s understanding and experience in the Industry is unparalleled. More information on the company’s notable achievements, services provided, key leadership, or history can be provided here as well.

Contact

Brick Road Media
Constance Humphrey
765-439-4029
support@brickroadmedia.com

August 21, 2014

Cloud Income Properties announces Joint Venture with Brick Road Media’s Parent Company

cloud-income-propertiesSuper big day for Brick Road Media Today. We just signed a joint venture deal with Cloud Income Properties to manage and monetize all of their web properties

Press Release: Cloud Income Properties Announces Joint Venture with Tale Chaser Publishing Inc.(Brick Road Media's Parent Company) and The Abundance Group LLC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Phoenix, Arizona, August 18, 2014 – Headquartered out of Phoenix, AZ, Cloud Income Properties Inc. is excited to announce the signing of a Joint Venture Partnership Agreement with Tale Chaser Publishing Inc., and The Abundance Group LLC.
At Cloud Income Properties (Cloud), we believe in the power of the Internet, and have witnessed the incredible growth of online commerce world-wide in the past decade. We’ve seen how the Internet is an incredibly powerful instrument, capable of creating profits in virtually any product or industry, and Gina Gaudio-Graves of The Abundance Group LLC along with Jack Humphrey of Tale Chaser Publishing Inc. are experienced masters in online commerce.

READ FULL PRESS RELEASE HERE

June 12, 2014

Content versus Inbound Marketing

content-marketing-infographic

Content marketing. What is it?

Content marketing is a technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract a defined target audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action. It is the art of communicating to your customers and prospective customers WITHOUT selling. It’s a way of delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent.

The purpose of content marketing is to attract and to retain customers by consistently creating relevant content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an on-going process that should be integrated into an overall marketing strategy, with a focus on owning media, not just simply renting it.

Inbound marketing. What is it?

Inbound marketing is a data-driven way of seeing what is working in your marketing plan and what is not. There are ways to see if you are doing things properly and if your plan is moving in the right direction. These include:

  1. Set goals and measure performance against them. The only way to see measurable progress is to set a goal--whether it is daily, weekly, monthly, etc.--and see where you are at the end of that time frame. If you aren't where you need to be, tweak the goal to make it more manageable.
  2. Be notified. Another good way of checking to see if your marketing plan is working is to see the leads it’s generating. You should be getting a notification every time someone fills out a request form or information form on your website. If you aren’t getting notifications, check your settings to make sure those are coming in and you can track your progress.
  3. Track this month versus last month. Check your progress and compare it to last month (or 6 months or a year). The only way to see growth is to visualize it. If your plan is working, there should be an upward trend. If not, something needs fixed.
  4. Get an expert’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to ask someone who knows what they are doing (and are paid to do). He or she can help you tweak what needs tweaking to improve your overall results.
  5. Compare investment to performance. Are you getting what you’re paying for? While most inbound marketing plans work, the level at which they function (and function well) depends on the time and money invested. A minimal investment will garner minimal return, while a fairly hefty investment will garner much, much more in way of return.

Now that you know a little more about content marketing and inbound marketing, how do you fix it if it’s not performing at the level you think it should be? First, identify the weak spots in your plan and implement an ongoing set of adjustments to fix the trouble spots. This could be changing the content or reworking the landing page(s).

For more information on the infographic, click here.

May 27, 2014

The 45 Minute Sales Funnel–PART 3!

1200x600 part 3

 

This Thursday, join Jeremy in part three of the series on building a sales funnel as he discusses analytics. In this webisode, he will talk about topics like:

  • Facebook insights,
  • Google analytics,
  • Google webmaster tools,
  • LeadPages analytics,
  • MailChimp, and
  • Tracking the funnel.

For more information or to reserve your spot for this webisode, click here.

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