Month: February 2018

Six Optimization Tips to Get More YouTube Views

YouTube is known for its entertainment value: on YouTube, you can find a video for everything. However, the popular platform is more than a source of entertainment. YouTube has become the second largest search engine behind Google itself. Processing over 3 billion searches a month, YouTube search is used more than Bing, Yahoo, AOL and combined.

As a result, whether you’re optimizing a brand’s or your own channel, it is important to take advantage of this platform. Here are some tips and tricks that will improve your YouTube SEO that will help your videos get more views, and your channel thrive. I will be using my own personal YouTube channel as an example throughout this post as well as other popular channels.

1. Craft the perfect video title

Your video’s title is like a page’s HTML title: the title of your YouTube video informs the YouTube community what your video is about and what viewers will learn from it. As a result, this is an important place to incorporate your target keyword or phrase not only to encourage users to watch your video but also to help your video rank on and in organic search. The first thing to do is do keyword research to find the best keyword(s) for your title; you can do this by using the following tools:

Let’s look at some examples from my channel:

Bad: “Snow for Dayzzzz”

This video is a vlog about my family’s first day in Iceland. I don’t know what I was thinking for this title:

  • It’s not compelling
  • It does not describe what my video is about
  • It contains “Dayzzzz” which is not at all a commonly-searched term

If I were to change this video’s title, I would try to incorporate keywords and better convey its content. For example, “Snow day in Iceland” would be better because it describes what the viewers will see in my video and contains stronger keywords such as “Iceland” and “Snow Day.” (While this video won’t rank for these key terms these are more appropriate key terms for the video and is more likely to capture viewers for Icelandic tourism videos.)

Better: “DJI Spark First Impressions!”

This video is where I get my first drone, the DJI Spark. In this video, I talk about my first drone and take it for its first flight. Here’s what I did well with this title:

  • I used a very common phrase on YouTube, “first impression”.
  • I also did incorporate some good keywords that will make finding my video very easy. Using keywords such as “DJI” and “DJI Spark” are highly searched terms.

However, this is still not the best title to have. To make this more compelling, I should have titled this video with a question such as, “Is the DJI Spark Worth it?” This title would be more effective because:

  • It’s backed by keyword research with more than 50 average monthly searches (as opposed to my current title).
  • In a question format, it is implied that I am answering a common question which may encourage potential viewers to watch.

Best: “The BEST Budget Lens: Canon 50mm 1.8 STM”

In this video, I do a review on the Canon 50mm lens. This is why it is my strongest video title:

  • It includes keywords such as, “Canon”, “50mm” “Budget Lens”,
  • It includes a superlative “BEST” which targets viewers who are actively searching for camera lenses that are cheap.
  • It provides context, before clicking on the video the viewers will know that they will learn why this is the best lens they can buy on a budget.

This should help you get the ball rolling when it comes to thinking and formulating a title for your new video.

Pro tip? Keep your titles under 70 characters: while YouTube allows you to craft titles up to 100 characters, you should aim to keep your video titles short particularly for how they’ll appear in Google SERPS – Google currently truncates titles at around 66 characters.

2. Select compelling thumbnail images

Video thumbnails are not a ranking factor. They are however an opportunity to compel viewers to watch your video, by providing them with a snapshot of what your video entails.

Second to a video’s title, thumbnails are one the first things a prospective viewer sees when browsing video content. And since everyone’s goal is to encourage more people to watch your videos, it’s important to make sure your video thumbnails are representative of your video content and as captivating as possible.

To start off, I do not recommend using YouTube’s thumbnail generator. Your best bet when selecting a video thumbnail is to create and upload your own. Here’s how to pick or create an ideal video thumbnail:

  1. Watch your video, and select the most visually engaging section of the video.

    1. Make sure this video segment is representative of your video’s title.
    2. Make sure your freeze frame has one central focal point, and a simple color palette to avoid distracting viewers.
  2. Take a screenshot of this video frame.

    1. Make sure your image follows YouTube’s rules:

      1. 1280 x 720 pixels, 16:9 ratio
      2. Under 2MB
      3. You can use a .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, or .PNG

Here are some examples of good and bad thumbnails:




Is thumbnail good quality and in focus?

Does it have the right dimensions?

Is the thumbnail relevant to its video title?

Is the thumbnail compelling?

You can add a text overlay (like “Version 2.3 Test/Review 40% More Torque?” in my example below), or symbolic annotations (think: arrows, dollar signs or exclamation points) to your thumbnails, but you should use overlays like these sparingly to avoid “cluttering” your thumbnail image.

Using branding and logos are a good idea as well, especially if your brand has a recognizable logo. Superimposing text on video thumbnails is very common, but entirely optional. Here are some examples of good thumbnails that meet our criteria above that also have some text or annotations:

Without Text/Annotations

With Text/Annotations

From the thumbnail examples above, you can see the difference of adding text overlay and symbolic annotations. Adding these to your thumbnail is a judgement call. The goal of a thumbnail is to be eye-catching and compelling to the potential viewer. If you believe that adding text and annotations will help you reach that goal, then you should go ahead and do it. But use your best judgment: don’t  overwhelm your prospective audience with excessive text or annotations.

3. Make use of the first 125 characters in descriptions

Video descriptions are kind of like a webpage’s meta description: they provide some additional information about the content of the video. While users can see the full video description once they have navigated to the video’s page, the first 125 characters (or so) is what viewers will see as the “meta description” on search results from Google and YouTube. This first couple of lines help YouTube (and Google) determine what your video is about. However, everything after the first few lines is purely for the viewer.

The picture above from YouTube’s Creator Academy shows which parts of the description are pulled from YouTube video list pages and SERPs (blue area) and which part is for the viewer (green area).

Here’s how you should craft your video descriptions:

Blue area

Write a brief description of your video. Be sure to use a primary keyword (or query) in this area and expand upon what you viewer should expect to see and/or learn from this video.

Green area

In this area, YouTube says that there are “infinite ways” to organize and use this space. Since this section of the description is strictly for viewers, it should provide relevant information to augment their experience and reinforce your channel’s brand.

  • Links to any mentioned/related products, articles, or featured personalities and/or companies.
  • Calls to action for viewers, such as:
    • Asking viewers to answer a question, and generate engagement(“Are you planning on getting the iPhone X? Leave a comment below and share why!”)
    • Encouraging viewers to like your video and subscribe to your channel
    • Calling upon your followers to RSVP to an event, or donate to a cause
  • A signature for your channel – you should include this on every YouTube video you upload. These should include:
    • Your personal, or company’s social profiles (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
    • Related links (videos, blog post, product page etc.)
    • Company/personal website

Below is an example from one of my videos where I follow the Blue/Green description format.

4. Leverage tags to make videos easier to find

Tags are essentially additional keywords you can associate with your video. This helps YouTube make your video easier to find for users and add additional context to what your video contains.There is no limit to how many tags you can put on a video.

Even though the sky is the limit with tags, you should make sure to:

  • Choose tags that describe your video, do some keyword research (use research tools mentioned above).
    • These can the be the same keywords you used for your title and description, but be sure to include more!
  • Do

    • Add as many tags as possible; there is no limit
    • Use keyword research tools (mentioned above) to find any primary or secondary keywords
    • Use relevant keywords
  • Don’t

    • Set random keywords just because they are popular

Example of tags used for one of my videos:

5. Use video cards to engage with viewers

Video cards are a good way of engaging your viewers while they are watching the video. They can set up to appear at specific times in the video and live under the ℹbutton at the top right of the video. You can add up to five different video cards throughout your video.


  • Video/Playlist: suggest a video/playlist to the viewer
  • Channel: promote another channel
  • Donation: feature a nonprofit or cause for the viewers to donate to
  • Poll: viewers can participate in a poll (good for engagement)
  • Link: link to a website

This is how video cards will show when the viewer pulls out the menu:


Video cards are a great way to increase engagement on your video. One of my favorite things to do is mention previous videos I have made in a current video, and then I place a video card of the video I mention it in the exact time I say it in the current video. By doing this, it makes it easy for the viewer to quickly click and watch my other video as well. Any cards made in the video will again, live under the ℹbutton for the viewers to see.

Video cards are quick and easy to set up. To do so:

  1. Go to your Creator Studio and click “Video Manager”.
  2. Click ‘Edit’ on the video you want to add cards to, then click ‘Cards’ on the top menu.
  3. Once you click on ‘add card’ and choose the type you want, you can then click and drag the card onto the progress bar.

6. Encourage users to view more content using end screens

End screens are a great way engaging with your viewers at the end of your video. End screens do a great job of encouraging viewers to click on another video and any other type of link(s) you provide. The goal here is to keep viewers on your channel, watching your videos or bring them with any additional information related to the video they just saw. With end screens, you can make this very easy for them.

There are four types of end screens:

  • Video/Playlist: Promote a video or playlist

    • “Most recent upload” – Attach the most recent uploaded video from your channel
    • “Best for viewer” – Let YouTube decide which video the viewer may enjoy
    • “Choose a video or playlist” – You can select which video/playlist to attach that may interest the viewer
  • Subscribe Button: Create a button for viewers to subscribe to your channel
  • Channel Button: Create a button to promote another channel
  • Link Button: Create a link to an approved website

End screen templates

YouTube has a variety of end screen templates to choose from that will help you create them faster. Depending on who are you and what type of end screens you want to use, there are different templates for everyone.

For example, if you are doing this for your personal YouTube Channel I recommend using the “2 Videos | 1 Subscribe” template. You should set one of the videos to be “Best for viewer” and set the other to be “Most recent upload.” (Doesn’t matter which is which).

However, if you are a business or organization etc. I recommend using the “1 Video | 1 Subscribe | 1 Link” template. For the video I recommend selecting the “best for viewer” option, this will allow YouTube to choose the best video from your channel for the viewer to watch next. For the link, I recommend setting a link to external sites, like a custom page, blog post or product link pertaining to the topic of the video. Another thing to remember is that you are free to move the end screen buttons anywhere you want in your video.

How I set my end screens using the “2 Videos | 1 Subscribe” template.

I hope you guys were able to learn from this post. YouTube is great space, not only for individual people but companies/brands as well. It is important to know how to reach and build your audience on the platform. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave a comment below or tweet me.

Six Optimization Tips to Get More YouTube Views was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Using for Content Management has become one of the most effective SEO tools in our toolbox, as it has a wide variety of features that makes it feel like you are using more than one tool. We have done reviews for SERPED itself, along with a guide on using it for keyword research, yet there are still some features that we can still cover. If you want to try it out for yourself, here is the link to their website.

This is indicative of how much of a quality tool that is, giving us the best value for our money. If can be used for keyword research, it also can be used for content management as well. Content management is usually the next step after searching the right keywords for your website, as it help prepare for the creation of blog posts and landing pages. With that in mind, here is a simple guide on using for your content management needs.

Looking for your content

Creating and managing content begins with keyword research. Looking for the right keywords is a challenge, as you would have to find the right balance between searchability and competitiveness. He have covered in detail how to use SERPED for your keyword research needs, and the features allow you to be able to look for the best keywords, and see how it stacks up from the competition.


Once you have found the keywords for your website, the next step is to find the best kind of content that would benefit your users. There are some questions that you would encounter when doing this, which includes the following:

  • Where can I find possible sources for my topics?
  • How can I track and manage my content in WordPress?
  • Would I be able to restore lost content?
  • Can I check the grammar and quality of my content?

All of these questions would be on people’s minds when thinking about content management. Thankfully, all of these questions can be answered using by using specific features.

Content Curation


Content generation can come off as a challenge at times, especially in blog posts and landing pages. aims to make content creation quicker and more efficient with their Content Curation tool, which automatically generates posts based on your keyword, along with images, videos, and related news.


As you can see in this example, I typed in “SEO” and instantly got a post about three types of SEO services, which is an informative article by itself. While having the ability to automatically create your own content seems like something great to have, it is still best to write your own content, and only take inspiration from the Content Curation tool.



Along with automatically generated posts, also provides you with image and video sources that you can use for your post. This makes looking for reference material much faster. You can also get news articles as well, although you might need a more specific search term to be able to find the right articles.


After editing the post and placing the image and video, you can conveniently post the article on your website. All you have to do is to fill up all the criteria needed before having it posted. This feature may not be as efficient and effective compared to writing a post, but this enables users to be able to smoothen their content writing process, and be able to instantly access a wide source base.

WordPress Manager


If you have an established website that contains a high amount of articles, it can be tasking to monitor and update these posts without the right tools. With that in mind, has a plugin tool called WordPress Manager, which helps you keep track of all of the posts in your website using a single interface. All you have to do is to download the plugin and install the plugin into your WordPress site. You would also be able to see all of your websites that have the plugin installed, which means that you can track all of the posts in a single place.

Grammar Checker


Grammar checking software is heavily used within our content management teams, and ensures that are articles are well written and edited during the whole process. Looking for quality grammar checking software might take time, and some ask users to pay premium rates for their services. Thankfully, has a Grammar Checker that enables you to edit your posts instantly.

Along with the regular grammar checker itself, you also can also have your article checked in Copyscape for plagiarism checking. After editing the article, all you have to do is to copy and paste it wherever you wish to do so. Most grammar checking software would simply give you corrections, meanwhile makes sure that your entries are authentic and sound enough to be published.

Site Restorer


When content in a website gets deleted, it can be a challenge to retrieve it without the right tools. Site Restorer is a feature that allows you to be able to retrieve different versions of your webpage, which allows you to pick which version would you like to restore. You can also use Wayback Machine to track down archived webpages, which is reliable when it comes to looking for older websites. Site Restorer is an effective and reliable tool that makes sure you would not have problems looking for previous versions of your website.

Key Takeaway continues to be one of the best SEO tools available, as it offers the most variety at a solid price. With this guide, you would be able to utilize the tool for your content management needs, and be able to create high quality content that would generate high traffic.

If you have questions about SEO tools or SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Using for Content Management was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Google Expands AMP into Emails and Ads


We have previously covered some of the latest Google updates this 2018, which includes removing the “View Images” button in Google Images, the upcoming Speed Update, and Google My Business preventing former employees to post negative reviews about their previous company. As usual, these updates aim to improve the user experience and optimize the content and performance of different websites.

Another update that Google aims to roll out this year is the planned expansion of Accelerated Mobile Pages into email, which is intended to make it more interactive than before. This is an attempt by Google to modernize email and make it more engaging and actionable. Like the Google Images update, this may come as divisive and controversial to many users, as a lot of people have been used to Gmail’s standard format. Let us look into the details of the update, along with how it further pushes the use of AMP in websites.

The Update in Detail

Based on the announcement from Google, they aim to create emails that offer more functionality that would increase engagement. Based on the demonstrations in their announcement, AMP emails will allow different tasks to be accomplished within the emails themselves. For example, if you want to confirm your account in a website, you can instantly access the confirmation page itself, instead of having to click on a link that would open a new tab on the browser.

From how it looks like, this is a feature that can save a few more clicks, and make different processes more efficient for users. This can help emails remain fresh and up-to-date, which means that you may no longer have to send those updated emails every now and then. This also eases up on the number of emails in general, as one of the most prominent problems of users is having a large backlog of unread emails that take time to navigate.

For developers who want to try and test out AMP-enhanced emails, Google is offering preview access by signing up to this site. Some websites like Pinterest and have begun their development on implementing AMP into their emails to improve their service.

SEO Implications

With email marketing still an effective strategy to generate traffic and conversions, AMP-powered emails has the potential to increase click-through rates, and generate more interest compared to regular emails. One of the challenges of email marketers is to generate interest, and make users click. With AMP-powered emails, users would have a better time navigating through their emails, as it no longer clutters their browser by having to go to a new tab, which happens after clicking email links.

Content marketing would also benefit from the AMP expansion, as users would now be able to receive and access content, and view it on the email itself instantly. People prefer quick and efficient processes, and Implementing AMP to emails would enhance the experience, and make going through emails a more pleasant experience. The mobile experience would also be enhanced with AMP, as emails would become more accessible and viewable on different devices, which is one of the main aims of AMP.

With all these updates, one concern that may show up would be loading speeds. With a slew of new features present in email, this may affect the performance of Gmail, and affect loading times. While these issues may be ironed out eventually, this will definitely cause some early issues that have to be resolved as soon as they become present.

Key Takeaway

With Google rolling out new updates in the upcoming months, we should expect some changes in their other services, especially in Search. With AMP and mobile-first approach being one of the biggest priorities this 2018, expect to see its integration into more websites.

If you have any questions about AMP and SEO in general, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Google Expands AMP into Emails and Ads was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

How to Create an Online Marketing Plan to Grow Your Business in 2018


All online marketing plans are created with the objective of growing your business, improving customer loyalty and enhancing brand awareness. With the right strategy, you should have the ability to generate more traffic–which, can then boost your client numbers.

It certainly makes sense to create a marketing plan built for the digital environment–consumers are online so, it’s where you need to be. That is all well and good, but what if you don’t know where to start?

You’ve read as much content as you can digest on SEO, social media tips, content marketing strategy and business marketing. And, you are probably burnt out—confused about where to start.

Not to worry. We’ve curated a list of digital marketing strategies to help you achieve your online marketing goals. In addition, we provide options that are flexible enough to modify as needed. So, let’s get started.

Why You Need an Online Marketing Plan

While there is a universal challenge of figuring out where to start and how to draw up your online marketing strategy, it helps to know that this doesn’t have to turn into a massive report. In this piece, we emphasize the need to begin your focus with only one marketing channel. This helps to ease that overwhelming feeling of needing to master multiple marketing avenues at once.

Each technique must be evaluated, analyzed, prioritized and then put into action. Nonetheless, a marketing plan gives direction to the directionless. If you don’t have goals, you then will not put resources into any goals and you won’t achieve those goals. With an online marketing plan, you get a step-by-step guide towards success.

Another reason why you need a digital marketing plan is to help you better understand your online marketplace using digital tools and feedback. Furthermore, if you don’t have an online marketing strategy this year, you can be sure that your competitors will eat up your market share.

While you’re still trying to figure things out, your competitors are eating your digital lunch.

According to Coschedule, marketers who document their strategy are 538 percent more likely to report successes.

How goals relate to strategies and execution

As you begin the process of creating your online marketing plan, it is crucial to keep in mind the difference between goals, strategies and execution. Once you grasp the differences, you can improve your content marketing plan.

Plus, you’ll have a better idea of how to tie each function together for optimized results. To start, the goal is the umbrella of what you want to achieve this year. This is the first thing you want to focus on before any other details are produced. Your goal might be to generate $200 each day in revenue using your landing page and content.

As a result, the strategy is how you can achieve your objective of attaining $200 per day in revenue. So, your online marketing strategy would be to attract more business through a customized conversion funnel. Now, the execution might be to update your website so that it is more relevant to your target audience and to produce more personalized content with links to your products and a call-to-action at the end of every piece.

Many online marketing plans go awry when they fail to focus on just the execution and forget about the strategies and goals.

When setting up your execution, it’s important to have the bigger picture in mind and how your strategy helps to achieve your objective. If you can separate goals from strategies and executions, then you can immediately work on the steps you need to take to achieve your business goals.

And, you might keep the same goal, but you can always modify your strategies and executions depending on their results. If your website isn’t generating enough business as you would like, then continue tweaking and modifying. With this plan, you are better prepared to reach your goals and your target audience.

Start by creating a buyer persona

It’s a no brainer that you need to know more about the recipients of your online marketing plan. To create the best marketing plan for your business, you need to create detailed buyer personas. These are representations of your target and ideal customer(s).

You get the specifics for your personas by researching, polling and interviewing members of your target audience. In addition, it is better to base your persona on real data instead of assumptions. You’ll be happy to note that buyer personas are not difficult to create.

Think of it as creating a character for a fiction book, except this character is as close real life as it gets. If you’re still wondering why buyer personas are so critical, consider this: buyer personas make it easier to customize your messaging, branding, product development, services and content specifically to their needs, behaviors and expectations.

Depending on the size of your business, you might have between one and 20 buyer personas. If this is your first experience with creating a buyer persona, start with just one. As you get better at the process, you can always create more personas at a later date.

Once you have at least one buyer persona, you can personalize your marketing efforts for varying sectors of your target audience. As a result, you’re not creating messaging in the dark. So, let’s delve a bit deeper into the steps for setting up your first buyer persona:

  1. Search for trends around how your customers consume your content.
  2. Use web forms to capture content such as company size, job role, job responsibilities, location, age group, biggest challenges, marital status, educational background, shopping preferences and similar demographics.
  3. Ask your sales team or customer service representatives for feedback on the types of customers and prospects they interact with the most.
  4. Interview prospects and customers over the phone, in person or via online chat to find out what they like most about your products and services.
  5. Offer incentives, such as a gift card, to motivate interviewees to answer your questions. Then, make it easy for them to participate.
  6. Interview at least three to five people for each persona.
  7. Follow up each question with “why.”

Here is an example of a buyer persona:

James Cordova

Age: 33-42

Gender: Male

Race: Hispanic

Marital Status: Married

Education: Masters

Readability Level: Grade 10 – 12

Family Status: Young children 1yr – 7yr

Career Type: Full Time

Career Stage: Middle Management

Location: Southeast

Income Range: $65k – $80k

Homeownership: Own

Urbanicity: Suburban

Time Spent Online: 7 – 10 hrs

Interests: Business & Finance

General Notes: “I work closely with finance and business operations. My primary focus is managing financials from accounting to forecasting.” I want to… reduce spending while improving productivity, not deal with repeatable manual processes I like… finding answers (i.e., solving problems/puzzles) I like… being organized I like… being an enabler I don’t like… being inefficient…wasting time.

Isn’t it easier to now tailor your online marketing efforts when you have a descriptive buyer persona. 

Determine which digital tools you need

It’s important to have the right tools in place to measure your progress against your online marketing goals this year. For instance, if your goal is to generate 15 percent more online revenue, then you may have to figure out a way to produce 30 percent more leads through your website.

Regardless of your objective, you need to measure it with the appropriate digital tools. How you measure your results will vary depending on your needs and goals.

To illustrate, you might use a website tool such as Unbounce to test your landing pages. In terms of visuals for your content marketing, you could use the web-based design tool Canva to create unique pieces.

Audit current marketing channels and content

While working on your online marketing plan that grows your business, it’s also important to audit your current marketing efforts and content. In terms of content, the media you own can include:

  • Social media profiles
  • Your website
  • Images
  • Written content
  • Owned channels
  • Guest blog posts

You may also have earned media, which is recognition you have received through the press, interviews, company reviews and people who share your content. Another piece to audit is your paid media, such as your online advertising and anything else you paid for to improve brand awareness, exposure and to increase leads.

The goal is how you can get owned, earned and paid media to work together cohesively to meet your online marketing goals.

It also helps to understand how your marketing executions have worked so far. Yet, the most significant piece is your owned media. Any message you share about your brand is content–these can be articles, white papers, social media posts, product descriptions and more. When your content is optimized for your buyer persona(s), it brings more leads and traffic.

Whatever your objective, you will need to decide how your owned content can help reach your goals. Perhaps a new, and relevant, white paper will generate more leads through your site than what you accomplished last year. Or, maybe an eBook you shared last year was successful in driving more leads–if so, then you’ll want to build on that momentum and promote more eBooks this year.

So, with this audit, review all the pieces of owned content that performed best for your brand in the previous year–which pieces of content brought in the most leads? Then, look at your buyer personas and how you can revise some of your older content pieces to appeal to your newly-created buyer persona.

As you can see, the purpose of this audit is to figure out what works–do more of that this year–and to make revisions for media that could be improved. Click here some very interesting statistics on content marketing trends.

Stay on track and focus on just one marketing channel

To really jumpstart your online marketing momentum, it helps to first concentrate on paid search. You might have heard of paid search but are still unclear as to how it works. There are many definitions for paid search.

At its core, paid search marketing means you pay to become a sponsored listing on a search engine, and you pay when your ad is clicked (pay-per-click–PPC) or by the number of impressions (cost-per-impression — CPM). For instance, if you own a pet store and someone searches for “cat snacks” your ad would be listed on top of the search engine results page (SERP).

If you’re wondering why we’re directing your initial efforts towards paid search, the reason is simple: you want to get your company listed at the top of the SERPs. More than that, when your company is one of the top four results, it increases the opportunity for clicks and traffic.

And, paid search is the fastest and most efficient way to get to the top–especially if you still don’t fully understand how to optimize your content for SEO, which should be your next target. For now, paid search will produce the best results in the shortest amount of time.

In fact, the top three spots on Google get 58 percent of the clicks.

Additionally, tracking paid search is quite easy and straightforward. Every keyword and investment you make can be tracked.

More than any other media, paid search offers a lot of transparency–in real time too. You can see which keyword combinations and ads work best compared to ads that could use improvement.

What’s the result? You get a truly accurate ROI. To illustrate, if you invest $300/month and receive 50 conversions for every $100, then even a 10 percent return can equate to $5,000 in sales. It’s difficult to replicate these types of results through any other marketing channel when you are just starting out. Not to mention, paid search can give you immediate global reach–try doing that on your own.

Regardless of the size of your business, paid search can be tailored to your budget and needs.

Once your campaign is set up, you can get traffic in a matter of minutes. Still, it’s not just about the initial flow of traffic, this is about investing in paid search to receive consistent traffic every day.

Consistency is the key to success. Massive spikes and equally massive lulls can destroy a website. Another reason to invest in paid search is you can test and optimize your ads to ensure they are hyper-targeted.

This is relevant traffic because they saw your ad based on their search query. They did not bounce onto your site. This traffic wants to see what you have to offer.

If you wanted to build upon your current client base, you can do that as well. For example, you want to expand your business outside of your town or city. With paid search, you can target your prospects by zip code, radius, location and even household demographics. Without paid search, it would be difficult to compete with similar businesses in the cities you want to target.

One of the hidden advantages of paid search is the ability to see what your competitors are doing. Through your paid search campaign, you can see local and national businesses who are competing with you in your targeted markets. You might then hop on to their site to get a few ideas.

Also, think about how you might advertise a new location or perhaps you are moving to another address. It would take time to announce the news efficiently through organic methods.

Not having enough traffic at your new site or losing customers because they keep going to your old location can destroy your business. Instead, paid search gives you immediate presence which can be targeted to the areas around your new city or address.

Tie it all together

You’ve created a buyer persona, you’ve done the research, you’ve audited your content and are learning about paid search. You now have the components you need to build your online marketing plan.

It’s time to tie everything together to compose a comprehensive, cohesive and robust strategy. You want to ensure your plan maps out the executions you will make to achieve your business objectives. Set up your plan as a guide you can use for the next 12 months. For instance:

  1. In February, launch a new eBook customized for your buyer persona–promote through paid search.
  2. In July, start to audit the results of your website–tweak where necessary.
  3. In October, focus on attracting more media in the form of press releases, interviews and more–reach out to journalists and relevant publications.

With this format, you not only have a guide, but you also have a timeline to follow.

Wrapping up

The basis of a successful online marketing strategy boils down to a thoughtful plan.

Your outcome should be tailored to your business. This isn’t about a one-size-fits-all strategy–but, you can use the tips above to create some unique for your organization.

Keep in mind the reason for your plan is to direct the executions you will take to achieve your business objectives throughout the course of this year. Since you now understand the difference between goals, strategy and executions, you won’t have to worry about going around in circles. So, grow your business this year by working on your plan right now.

How to Create an Online Marketing Plan to Grow Your Business in 2018 was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Common Pitfalls of E-Commerce SEO: Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is one of the most common SEO pitfalls that many e-commerce sites struggle with.  And with the growth of a business riding partially on organic success, both regular assessment and proactive SEO work are imperative to give the business its best chance to succeed.

Having spent a few years working for a solely-online retailer, I noticed a few trends in locations where duplicate content issues consistently popped up on our site and those of competitors. Knowing what to keep an eye on can save a lot of time and troubleshooting down the road – so here are some of the repeat offenders to look out for and how to fix them.

Problem Area: Across Categories

The most blatant form of duplicate content on an e-commerce site is at the category level. This happens if multiple categories target the exact same type of product (for example, “Men’s Boots” and “Boots for Men”). This can happen for a variety of well-intended reasons such as wanting to present the category within two different parent categories, trying to appeal to different markets, or even in the name of targeting keywords for SEO.

However, regardless of intent, if the pages are targeting the same topic, Google will not have a clear picture of which page takes priority and will likely not serve either of these pages to users above sites that offer clear structure.


There are a couple of courses of action that can be taken on this issue depending on whether you are working in more of a preventative or reactive capacity.

If you are lucky enough to be involved in a process before duplicate categories are added, education is the best strategy. Many merchandizers or product teams don’t realize that there is any issue with having multiple landing pages for a product type. Helping them understand what to avoid and why can help reduce the number of duplicates preemptively.

The reactive solution to this issue is to clean up the existing pages to more clearly indicate importance. To locate the most obviously problematic categories, start with a crawl and look for identical or highly similar H1s. Then, if possible, follow that up with a manual check through a list of all live categories, as some duplicate intent (such as with synonyms) would not be as straightforward to find via crawl data.

When searching for duplicate categories on a site, remember that Google also uses on-page content to interpret page intent. So product selection within categories also needs to be considered, as the bulk of the content on most category pages comes from the product titles. Some e-commerce CMSs have a view that allows you to see which products are dual categorized and where; this can be very helpful for locating this particular type of duplicate content.

Once you’ve found the categories, the best course of action is to 301 redirect all but one of the overlapping categories to the one that you have determined to be most valuable (via rankings/traffic/sales/user experience). Alternately, if removing pages isn’t possible (like if they are being used for marketing purposes), you could add noindex tags to the duplicate pages or have them canonical back to the primary page.  I would recommend putting a noindex, nofollow tag on a page that is not linked to from the site, such as a stand-alone landing page for an email, and using canonical tags for pages that live within the site’s navigable structure.

For example, if I found these categories and determined that they all contain mostly the same products:

I would then identify what each page is for, where it is linked from,  and determine the action to take based on those factors:

Problem Area: Filters or Filter Combinations

Even if categories are targeting different product types you can still end up with identical targeting on certain pages when filters are applied. Of course, this issue will only be a significant problem if the filtered pages have unique URLs and are indexable.

To give an example, the site below sells many types of throw pillows, some of which are specific to indoor or outdoor use, and some of which are multi-use.  They have separate categories for “Decorative + Throw Pillows” and “Outdoor Pillows,” which are located in respective /outdoor/ and /decor-pillows/ sections of their site.

At this point these categories are fine. While there may be a bit of overlap in intent, users and Google can both understand how they are differentiated.

However, duplicate content becomes an issue once filters are applied to these categories. Because “Outdoor Pillows” is such a broad term, this category includes a type filter for “Throw Pillow”: 

And since some of the “Decorative + Throw Pillows” are multi-use, that category features one for “Outdoor”:

So now we have two self-canonicalized unique URLs targeting the exact same type of item (and even returning the same specific products).

This example is relatively straightforward, but given the limitless possibilities that some sites have for filter combinations, duplicate content from filters can quickly get out of hand if unaddressed.


Much like the cross-category duplicate content issue, the preventative solution to this one lies largely with education and process. If merchandising teams know:

  1. That duplicate content is a thing
  2. That it’s a problem
  3. What to look at before creating a filter

Then they can keep these issues from existing in the first place. It may also be helpful to keep lists of similar categories or commonly overlapping filters to check before adding new filters – On sites I’ve worked on in the past, we consistently saw issues in overlap between filters in indoor and outdoor furnishings as well as between furnishing categories for general consumer and commercial clients.

If these filtered duplicates already exist, the solution is to remove them and 301 redirect the URLs to the page that takes precedence. Depending on what the filter was, it may be better to redirect them to one or the other of the parent category pages. However, before you remove anything, be sure to take a peek at any existing rankings or organic traffic that a page may be getting so that you consider any existing value before making a final decision on which to axe.

Problem Area: Product Descriptions

Every product page needs text on it to explain features and product details and add an element of branding. To meet this need, many e-commerce sites will use an unedited description directly from the manufacturer.

While there are obvious reasons behind this practice, including the implied accuracy of the initial description and efficiency of onboarding processes, this is a big problem when it comes to differentiating your site in the SERPs.

Because the manufacturer sends the same information to all brands that it sells through, this leads to many sites having identical text on their product pages. Even big brands are guilty of this. For example, the product description for a specific bookcase is identical to:

Home Depot



If you are using identical content to compete with a more prominent brand in the SERPs, both Google and users are likely going to prioritize the site with more brand authority.

Another instance where duplicate product descriptions become an issue is when a brand expands the number of platforms they sell through. For example, if an independent company initially sells through their own site, but then decides to list their products on Amazon as well. If this company uses the same descriptions on both sites, it can result in the brand losing the top place in the SERP for their own product, as Amazon has such a high domain authority.


Unique content is the solution to this problem. High effort though it may be, there is no substitute. This can be from internal teams that have writing skills, or it can be outsourced – different solutions work better for different organizations. The important part is ensuring that the content you are creating is both high quality (proper grammar, no misspellings, etc.) and unique to your site.

Problem Area: Title Tags

Duplicate title tags are an extremely widespread problem across the web in general. When SEO teams say “we need title tags on every page,” often developer teams will find the quickest and easiest solution to this problem: rolling out a standard tag across all pages.

However, title tags are supposed to help both users and Google to understand what a page is about at a high level. And clearly, identical tags on every page help no one identify topics.


The solution that many come to on this issue is algorithmically generating title tags based on the page’s H1.  If this is feasible, it can be a great way to achieve SEO goals efficiently. However, in most organizations this will require developer resources to accomplish, which can be a significant constraint.

However, if your CMS is configured in such a way that it will accept a bulk upload of meta-data values, this can even be accomplished without dev dependencies by using Excel. If you use Screaming Frog to pull a list of URLs and their corresponding H1s, you can create a template design that will integrate the H1 text.

For example, If I wanted to make title tags that read “Shop *Product Type* | Example Site” I could create the following layout in Excel:

Then, I would use the CONCATENATE function to automatically generate text for all the title tags by inserting the H1 after “Shop” and putting “| Example Site” at the end as shown below.

Apply the formula to the column, and you have a list of unique title tags and their associated URLs:

Problem Area: Blog Posts or Resource Section

Most e-commerce sites these days feature some inspirational or informational content in the form of a blog or resource section. While this can be a great asset, it can also be a bit of a minefield for duplicate content.

Poor quality outsourcing, internal content producers who don’t understand the significance of creative integrity, or even just individuals who don’t know how to cite or refer to a source appropriately can end up producing content that is duplicative of another website’s.

Even if you invest in quality unique content for your site, sometimes it can be “borrowed,” overly quoted, or just straight copied by other sites. And if the site that does this has higher domain authority, the content can be beaten by itself in the SERPs.


Depending on when you are coming into the content creation process, the first step could be an initial audit of existing content to see if any is duplicate. While much of this must be done more or less manually by doing a quick search for exact matches to sections of your content, there are some tools available that can speed the process up a bit (I like Copyscape). If you find content that is duplicate, assess the value of the topic to your site and the extent of duplication, then either remove or refresh the content piece.

If you are lucky enough to be in on the content creation process from the beginning, ensure that the writers know what duplicate content is, and both how and why it can be a detriment to the site.


While many of these recommendations sound relatively simple, I understand they can be much harder to execute in practice. But if you keep tabs on these specific areas, and work to educate teams and integrate SEO considerations into their processes, your site will be one step closer to organic success.

Common Pitfalls of E-Commerce SEO: Duplicate Content was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Google Images Update Removes View Image and Image Search


Two months into 2018, Google has been rolling out a slew of updates into their services. All of these updates aim to improve the user experience, and help make Google and its services much more reliable and efficient. Google Images is one of the most popular services that Google has to offer, and the latest update may prove to be divisive for most users.

The newest Google update removes the “View Images” feature, which allows users to be able to access an image without the need to access the website that contains it. This feature has provided convenience to its users, as they can use Google Images as a massive image providing platform that offers the widest variety.


What is the new Google Images Update?

With the new update, users can now only view images through the “Visit” button, which takes them to the webpage that contains the image. This means that users would have to access the website first, before retrieving the image from the internet. While the update might seem like a simple option change, it is one of the most frequently used buttons on the site, as it instantly leads users to the image in fewer clicks. Image search has also been removed as well. However, users would still be able to do a reverse image search on the website to look for images sources.

While the update might seem like a sudden change, it has been something that was bound to happen, due to the charges filed by Getty Images against Google. The accusation was that Google was promoting image piracy by giving users an easier way to access multiple images. This led to Google establishing a partnership with Getty, and updating Google images in order for the charges to be dropped.

What Does This Mean?

With the removal of the “View Image” button, users, must now search for the image, access the website where it came from, and download the image from there. While this will leave some users dissatisfied, this is one way to prevent rampant image piracy across the internet. There have been numerous cases in which images from the internet are copied and altered without the permission of the owner, and this would cause more trouble than it’s worth.

As stated by the Google Search Liaison Twitter account, the update aims to “help connect users and useful websites.” This not only helps users find the most suitable images, but also discover relevant websites that can give them more information and context with regards to the image.

We tried it out ourselves to see if we would be able to access the image through a website. I searched for an image of a sandwich, and see if I would be able to access the website it came from, along with being able to find the image.



I was able to access the image, along with the image source, which gives me a nice Italian sandwich recipe that looks delicious and healthy. While this may be accurate on certain sites, there have been numerous issues when it comes to certain images and websites. There are instances that websites do not contain the image within the website, while some websites are malicious and may harm your computer. This is an issue that needs a lot of ironing out in the upcoming months, as a lot of users use Google Images as their platform when looking for images.

SEO Implications

Seeing that users must access the website first before accessing the image, this can help increase the traffic that goes in different webpages across the internet. This is an update that can be taken advantage of by SEO practitioners, as optimizing the image text and alt text would make the image easier to look for on search engines, which in turn would help users discover your website.

It is best to make sure that your images are just as searchable as your content, and that a watermark is present to be protected in case of plagiarism or photo manipulation. Images are another effective way to improve your rankings and generate more traffic, as new users would be able to discover your website. Images are a very important element in your content, as it helps set the tone and message of your website.

Key Takeaway

While the update may frustrate a good amount of users during the first few months, it is a change that we have to deal with until another update rolls out. For SEO, this is an update that can be utilized to increase your rankings, and an opportunity to optimize your content to make it easier for users to find you. With more Google updates coming up this 2018, expect more changes in the search engine landscape.

Google Images Update Removes View Image and Image Search was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Related Questions are Joined by ‘People Also Search For’ Refinements; Now Using a Question Graph

meyer lemon related questions

I recently bought a lemon tree and wanted to learn how to care for it. I started asking about it at Google, which provided me with other questions and answers related to caring for a lemon tree. As I clicked upon some of those, others were revealed that gave me more information that was helpful.

Last March, I wrote a post about Related Questions at Google, Google’s Related Questions Patent or ‘People Also Ask’ Questions.

As Barry Schwartz noted recently at Search Engine Land, Google is now also showing alternative query refinements as ‘People Also Search For’ listings, in the post, Google launches new look for ‘people also search for’ search refinements. That was enough to have me look to see if the original “Related Questions” patent was updated by Google. It was. A continuation patent was granted in June of last year, with the same name, but updated claims

The older version of the patent can be found at Generating related questions for search queries

It doesn’t say anything about the changing of the wording of “Related Questions” Some “people also search for” results don’t necessarily take the form of questions, either (so “people also ask” may be very appropriate, and continue to be something we see in the future.) But the claims from the new patent contain some new phrases and language that wasn’t in the old patent. The new patent is at:

Generating related questions for search queries
Inventors: Yossi Matias, Dvir Keysar, Gal Chechik, Ziv Bar-Yossef, and Tomer Shmiel
Assignee: Google Inc.
US Patent: 9,679,027
Granted: June 13, 2017
Filed: December 14, 2015


Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on computer storage media, for identifying related questions for a search query is described. One of the methods includes receiving a search query from a user device; obtaining a plurality of search results for the search query provided by a search engine, wherein each of the search results identifies a respective search result resource; determining one or more respective topic sets for each search result resource, wherein the topic sets for the search result resource are selected from previously submitted search queries that have resulted in users selecting search results identifying the search result resource; selecting related questions from a question database using the topic sets; and transmitting data identifying the related questions to the user device as part of a response to the search query.

The first claim brings a new concept into the world of related questions and answers, which I will highlight in it:

1. A method performed by one or more computers, the method comprising: generating a question graph that includes a respective node for each of a plurality of questions; connecting, with links in the question graph, nodes for questions that are equivalent, comprising: identifying selected resources for each of the plurality of questions based on user selections of search results in response to previous submissions of the question as a search query to a search engine; identifying pairs of questions from the plurality of questions, wherein the questions in each identified pair of questions have at least a first threshold number of common identified selected resources; and for each identified pair, connecting the nodes for the questions in the identified pair with a link in the question graph; receiving a new search query from a user device; obtaining an initial ranking of questions that are related to the new search query; generating a modified ranking of questions that are related to the new search query, comprising, for each question in the initial ranking: determining whether the question is equivalent to any higher-ranked questions in the initial ranking by determining whether a node for the question is connected by a link to any of the nodes for any of the higher-ranked questions in the question graph; and when the question is equivalent to any of the higher-ranked questions, removing the question from the modified ranking; selecting one or more questions from the modified ranking; and transmitting data identifying the selected questions to the user device as part of a response to the new search query.

A question graph would be a semantic approach towards asking and answering questions that are related to each other in meaningful ways.

In addition to the “question graph” that is mentioned in that first claim, we are also told that Google is keeping an eye upon how often it appears that people are selecting these related questions and watching how often people are clicking upon and reading those.

The descriptions and the images in the patent are from the original version of the patent, so there aren’t any that reflect upon what a question graph might look like. For a while, Facebook introduced graph search as a feature that you could use to search on Facebook and that used questions that were related to each other. I found a screen that shows some of those off, and such related questions could be considered from a question graph of related questions. It isn’t quite the same thing as what Google is doing with related questions, but the idea of showing questions that may be related to any initial one in a query, and keeping an eye upon those to see if people are spending time looking at them makes sense. I’ve been seeing a lot of related questions in search results and have been using them. Here are the Facebook graph search questions:

Facebook Graph Search Related questions

As you can see, those questions share some facts, and are considered to be related to each other because they do. This makes them similar to the related questions that are found from a question graph that might mean they could be of interest to a searcher who asks the first query. It is interesting that the new patent claims ask about whether or not the related questions being shown are being clicked upon, and that tells Google if there is any interest on the part of searchers to continue to see related questions. I’ve been finding them easy to click upon and interesting.

Are you working questions and answers into your content?

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Related Questions are Joined by ‘People Also Search For’ Refinements; Now Using a Question Graph was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

To Disavow Links Or Not: Is It Necessary in a Post Real-Time Penguin World?

Link Building

The more relevant sites linking to your domain, the better it is for your rankings, correct? But, what happens to your site when non-relevant (or worse, spam) ones decide to start linking to you instead? These irrelevant sites linking to you could end up pulling down your ranking, and you can get penalized by Google for it. To avoid this, Google gave an amazing solution to this problem via the Disavow Tool in October of 2012. With this, one could separate the good from the bad backlinks.

This is also one of the reasons the launch of Penguin 4.0 on September 23, 2016, was a welcome change among site owners everywhere. While it took quite some time for Google to finally release the update, many would agree that the wait was worth it. In a nutshell, Google released the Penguin update to detect spam automatically. More impressively, the Penguin 4.0 update runs in real time when it comes to recognizing your site cleanup efforts, thereby eliminating the effect of your site being suppressed up until the next time they run the algorithm. That is, Penguin 4.0 stops your site from getting demoted when a spam is detected. Instead, it will just devalue that link and allow you to move on without benefiting (or suffering) from its presence.

While this update is definitely impressive, a crucial question now comes up among site owners: Is it still necessary to disavow links now that we are in a post real-time Penguin era?

What is the Disavow Tool?

The Disavow Tool has long been regarded as a necessary precaution for every site owner. Basically, it gives publishers a voice to tell Google that there are external sites they do not wish to be associated with. This is especially crucial whenever the search engine giant is ranking websites since number and quality of backlinks are two of the factors considered.

What happens is that a site owner creates a file that indicates the URLs or domains they do not approve of backlinking to them, and this is then uploaded to Google. When Google starts to crawl the web and stumbles upon the specific URL or domain included in the disavow file you gave them, these will no longer be included in the calculations when ranking your website. Apart from that, the Penguin algorithm will also disregard the links when it evaluates whether or not you’ve been web spamming.

What is Penguin 4.0 and what does it do?

Google launched Penguin as a webspam algorithm. It does not just specialize in links or domains but evaluates your site’s participation in any web spamming activity. It is essentially a filter exhaustive enough to isolate sites that are engaged in spamming the search results using measures that are against Google’s policies. Penguin is more powerful than the regular spamming methods used by the search engine.

Consequently, sites deemed as “spammy” would be punished regardless of their remedies after their violations. It would only be until the next instance that the algorithm is run that Google would note the changes – a process that could have months in intervals.

The release of Penguin 4.0 completely changed this system.

With the latest update, the corrections and changes from “spammy” sites could be noted in real time. This means that sites tagged with faulty or bad backlinks or domains no longer have to suffer for months until the next time the algorithm is run. So during the regular recrawling and reindexing of pages by Google, the sites could easily and quickly be added or removed from the spam list because Penguin 4.0 provides real-time updates.

Whole websites would no longer be demoted when web spamming activities are detected. Instead of doing this, Google would simply disregard or devalue the spammy links and exclude them in the calculations for site rankings. Ultimately, this latest update eliminated the punitive aspect of the algorithm.

The Dilemma and Google’s Response to the Disavow Tool

With the release of the Penguin 4.0 update, many publishers feel that the Disavow Tool has become redundant. In the beginning, this tool was provided by Google to supplement Penguin. However, the devaluation abilities coupled with the non-demotion of sites caught web spamming push site owners to question the purpose of disavowing.

Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller says that site owners should disavow links when these are incredibly problematic. However, you can simply just not disavow links that are no longer relevant to your site. Mueller basically says that if you are conducting site maintenance or applying some changes to your site, then you no longer need to include disavowing links in your list of things to do. With the launch of Penguin 4.0, site owners would only need to use the Disavow Tool for pressing matters like spotting an alarming link or domain associating with your site.

You also no longer need to disavow for links associated with items or services you no longer offer. Mueller notes that it’s normal to accumulate backlinks from various sites that you may no longer deem relevant right now, but was appropriate to your company’s needs at the time. In short, site owners would only need to focus their disavowing efforts to problematic links and keep the status quo when it comes to previously relevant links.

The Takeaway

In the past years, the SEO landscape has changed considerably. With the release of the Penguin 4.0, disavowing links may have just turned into a thing of the past. However, it never hurts to be absolutely certain that nothing is hurting your rankings. So, disavow when needed, but trust that Penguin 4.0 has your back.

To Disavow Links Or Not: Is It Necessary in a Post Real-Time Penguin World? was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Keep the Pace: Preparing for the Google Speed Update

Loading speed has become an integral part of SEO, being a factor in the overall user experience. It has been proven numerous times that fast loading speeds help users stay longer in a website, ensuring that you have steady traffic and a lower bounce rate. There are a variety of ways to lower loading times, which include using WordPress tools, along with some effective site optimization techniques that keep things fast and smooth.

Having a fast loading website helps improve your search rankings in Google, as they take in page speed as one key element. Mobile usage has also been on a steady upward trend, and emphasis on mobile-first usage is key to gaining more traffic. With that in mind, one of the major upcoming updates arriving this year is the Google Speed Update. Slated to be released in July 2018, here’s what you need to know about the update, and how to keep your website prepared for it.

What is the Google Speed Update?

As announced by Google themselves, the Google Speed Update aims to improve page loading speeds, and use it as another ranking factor in mobile searches. Page loading speed has been a desktop ranking factor since 2010, and it is about time that it has been implemented on mobile search results.

Once a niche option that is available on mobile devices, mobile websites and search results now occupy a high amount of traffic on the internet, with today’s devices becoming more sophisticated and capable of performing the same amount of functions as a personal computer. This, along with the improving internet connectivity across the world, make mobile devices the most convenient platform to access the internet.

With Google seeing the increased mobile usage in the past few years, they want to ensure that users would be able to have a good experience accessing mobile website. This led to the Speed Update, with the intent of improving mobile page loading speeds on some of the slower loading pages. While it has become highly accessible, some mobile websites still have performance issues which cause speed and usability issues.

With the Google Speed update, users would expect better performing pages, and for more SEO companies to focus on their mobile optimization efforts more keenly.

Preparing for Google Speed

With the update coming in July, there are 4 months left until it arrives. This gives you a good amount of time to be able to optimize your mobile webpages, and make sure that it performs well enough by the time loading speed becomes a ranking factor. Here are some of the most effective methods to help you optimize your mobile site for the upcoming update.

Apply AMP

Websites that use AMP have been increasing in number, largely due to the fact that it improves overall page performance, while making it more accessible to mobile users. While it might sound like a complicated process to implement it on your website, it is actually quick and simple when using the right tools.

If you are using WordPress, you can download the AMP plugin, which helps you quickly integrate it within your webpages. After doing so, you can access the website on both desktop and mobile to see the changes in viewability and loading speed. The use of AMP has been highly encouraged by everyone in the SEO industry, including our team here at SEO Hacker. If you want an effective way to optimize your site for mobile, this is the best start.

Content Accessibility Optimization

When users access your mobile website, they will expect that they would be able to access all of the content that would be present in the desktop version. There are many websites that prevent or hinder users from seeing more content on mobile, and this negatively affects their brand image. For our website, we make sure that our users would be able to access the same amount of content on both the desktop and mobile versions.

Having the same amount of content on both desktop and mobile would ensure that your users would be able to have a better experience. For our site, we made sure that our users access the same content for both versions. Restricting content on mobile puts a dent on the user experience, and optimizing your content accessibility would make the experience a good one for people who view your webpages.

Test your loading speed

There are many tools available that would be able to track your page loading speed, especially on mobile. The simplest way to do it is by using the Test My Site feature on Think with Google. All you have to do is enter your website’s URL, and wait for around a minute to see the results. The website offers a free assessment of your site, which helps you analyse what you can do to improve your site performance.

Key Takeaway

With Google taking a mobile-first approach, the Google Speed update is meant to enforce that approach. Adding another ranking factor changes things up for mobile SEO, while optimizing the user experience. With these preparation tips, you are guaranteed that you would be able to ready your website for July’s update.

If you have any questions about SEO or mobile optimization, leave a comment below and let’s talk.

Keep the Pace: Preparing for the Google Speed Update was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing

Marketing Insights from Bob Lachky: Behind the Curtains of the Iconic Anheuser-Busch Campaigns

Marketers Talking Marketing Over Coffee

In today’s episode of Marketers Talking Marketing Over Coffee, we have Robert Lachky, former Chief Creative at Anheuser-Busch. Robert is one of the most well respected creatives in the marketing world and was the man behind  some of the most iconic marketing campaigns over the past 30 years.

Video Transcription

Adam Heitzman: Today, I’m excited to have the man behind some of the most recognizable and iconic marketing campaigns over the past 30 years. From Budweiser Frogs, to ‘Whassup?’, ‘I love you, man.’, and the Real Men of Genius, former chief creative officer at Anheuser Busch, Mr.Bob Lachky. Bob, thanks for being here.

Robert Lachky: Adam, my pleasure. Looking forward to talking to you.

Adam Heitzman: Thank you. Would you mind starting off and telling me a little about your background, how you got started in the marketing and advertising world?

Robert Lachky: Sure. In college, I went to University of Illinois. And I also went to grad school there. I was pretty focused at that time, on a career in advertising. They had a good advertising program. It was kind of unique in the country at the time. I think Michigan State, and there were a couple others schools at that time that had programs like that. That’s what I pursued. When I got out, I started right away at an old line big agency on Michigan Avenue in Chicago called Foote Cone and Belding. They no longer exist. They’ve evolved through all the mergers that happened in the 90’s. But I started there. And I moved over to the original Needham, Harper, and Steers, which slowly but surely became DDP Needham, and etc, all these iterations and new agencies.

I learned the business from the agency side. One of my clients, when I was in my young career as an account executive, I was not a creative person. I knew I had some skill in that area. But I wasn’t as good as a real good writer or an art director would be in the old traditional agency structure. I always wanted to be an account management person. My career took a big change when I actively campaigned for a job at Needham, Harper, and Steers, because they had the McDonald’s account. That’s a business that I really respected. I always followed campaigns. Ever since I was a kid I just was into that. I guess I was a TV person. I watched TV all the time. When I got in McDonald’s, it was a great experience. To me, that was like big time, big time advertiser, great client, being based in Chicago. I was born and raised in Chicago. It was great to work at a company that was based there as well.

But that was pretty short lived. It lasted a year. And we lost the business to Leo Burnett. And it was a whole other story you could write a book about. That’s when I got on to Needham, Harper, and Steers the previous year. But I really didn’t have a place to go. I thought I was going to get let go. Needham, Harper, and Steers, under the tutelage of Keith Reinhard, who is a legend in the advertising business, a creative guy. He actually saved everybody’s jobs that worked on the McDonald’s business and put us to work on pitching a piece of business from Anheuser Busch. Needham, Harper, and Steers at that time did have a small piece of business called Busch Beer. But they were pitching for the new light beer called Budweiser Light. And I worked on that pitch team. And I was young. I was certainly not instrumental in winning the business, which we did. But when we won the business, my job was saved. And I started working on Anheuser Busch, Bud Light.

Adam Heitzman: From an account management?

Robert Lachky: I did that for years. Long story short, coming to an end, finally, we ended up winning the business, changing some campaigns to finally get it into the mainstream. And about that time, Anheuser Busch had a fairly major transition in the late 80’s in their own ranks. They had a bit of a scandal that occurred where some executives were taking kickbacks from [inaudible 00:03:55] And Mr.Busch kind of cleaned house and was very reticent to get marketing people from the inside. He wanted people from the outside. I was about as far outside as you could be and still be in. So the hired me to be the Bud Light brand manager. And the rest is history. I started there in 19, late 88. Fortunately for me, I worked underneath August Busch the 4th from the very beginning. He was my Boss. We worked alongside actually, for the first year or two as he was coming into the company. That was really the greatest lucky I could have had, is to work alongside him first, get to know him. And then as he progressed ahead of me, he brought me along with him.

That’s how I got there. And that’s how I ended up at AB.

Adam Heitzman: Sure. Do you feel like the fact that you were on the agency side first actually benefited you somewhat, starting to work for the brand?

Robert Lachky: Absolutely. That was, to me, the lucky break of all time. My feelings about advertising were just about the creative development process. Although I was an account manager, on the account management side, even today, I would venture in agencies, you’re not really a business manager. You’re really a client liaison. When they recruited me, when they wanted me to come to their company, Anheuser Busch, I was very nervous, very reticent to do it. I really didn’t have the PNL, traditional MBA training that all my counterparts would have. I didn’t know a confidence in myself. They didn’t really care about that. They wanted my advertising skill. That’s what Mr.Busch said when he interviewed me. He said, “I want you to come here. We need help.”

They were having a problem with the Budweiser Light roll out. The brand was not getting traction. Miller Lite was kicking their fanny. I was charged with bringing Bud Light back from an advertising perspective. I was very lucky that was the skill set they wanted as nervous as I was, “Can I handle the business side, and the pricing, and all the things that go along with truly managing a brand?”

Adam Heitzman: Correct me if I’m wrong. You just somewhat mentioned it. Anheuser Busch was not the leader it is today back when you originally started. A lot of that growth happened with a lot of the marketing that was done over the last 20 to 30 years.

Robert Lachky: Actually, yes and no. Yes, in the light category, we were in our infancy, because Miller Lite had a 10 year had start on us. And Coors Light was already on the market as well. As an overall company, yes, AB was still the master, the giant of the industry. But I’ll tell you, they were stagnant in circa 1988, 89. Budweiser was starting to get eaten into by the light beers of which AB did not have. They had Natural Light, which was kind of a college beer at the time. It still is. Natty Light, right?

Adam Heitzman: That’s right. Everybody loved Natty Light.

Robert Lachky: They ended up not having enough volume, and certainly not heading where the business was heading. Budweiser was starting to get knocked around. This is in the late 80’s. Yes, they were still the largest American brewer. There was not really any craft business at all in the country at that time. There were imports, the Heineken of the world, Stella, and all those guys were coming in. But AB’s real problem was not having an established light beer. That was where the problem was at that period in time.

Adam Heitzman: Sure. Shifting focus slightly, you kind of mentioned his name earlier. I don’t know if this would be that person. Who would you consider to be your single biggest influencer as a marketer?

Robert Lachky: It’s really August Busch the 3rd. August Busch the 3rd was the chairman at that time in the succession. It was like a monarchy. For a public company to have that much family influence is kind of remarkable. Many books have been written about it. August Busch the 3rd was really the guy that was instrumental in me coming to Anheuser Busch. He really didn’t know me. I was just an agency guy. I was so far down the chain of his awareness when I was working on his business, servicing his company. When he knew who I was and my skill set, we became good friends, as far as you can be a friend with him. Let’s put it that way. He’s a great guy. But I still see him today.

His son was the next most important influence. Although he’s a little younger, he and I are very good friends. We still are. We learned a lot together. The experience I had over him, in terms of being in business, I helped mentor him a little bit. He taught me a lot. The Busch, as much as there’s been written, or said, or whatever, the good, the bad, have been absolutely influential in my career. Taught me a ton. If it wasn’t for Mr.Busch hiring me, I would have never experienced the things I’ve experienced. I dare not say we would have never done this or that. I don’t know that. I do say the man knew what he wanted. He wanted good marketing. Yeah, I had a lot of battles with him. Yes, he was tough to deal with. But with August the 4th’s help of running air cover for me for 15 years, we were able to get remarkable work produced, and make a great impact for the company.

Adam Heitzman: That brings me to a good question. You just touched on it, about having some of those battles. One of the things that happens, especially in marketing, one of the difficulties is getting by in from superiors on a thought or particular campaign, whatever that marketing campaign is.

Robert Lachky: That’s a great question. It was really a day and night story. The night I’ll give you first, is when I first came in, the advertising process was largely still being approved all the way up to the top level of the company. In other words, you’d be bringing a 12 or 24 frame storyboard from the agency, or the agency would help present it for you. A lot of times you’d be carrying the boards up yourself to the board room. You’d be showing it to a bunch of 60 year old guys. Careful making fun of 60 year old guys. It was like a comedy to be presenting ideas that were intended for a 25 year old target audience to guys that are all sitting in country clubs, and aren’t even drinking beer anymore. You think, “Oh my God. How are we going to get anything approved?”

That was the night. When August the 4th came in, it helped immensely, because his father is going to give his son some leeway. As he was getting coached by me on what we need to do, and himself. He had great instincts. We were able to break the pattern of not having to go upstairs to show ideas. The great first ideas we did together, August the 4th and myself were for Bud Light, right when we were struggling. We’re trying to find our identity again. We had had “Gimme a Light. No, Bud Light.”

As a campaign, you may or may not remember, but it was the positioning of Bud Light that finally got a toe hold against Miller Lite. But that ran out of gas. We were struggling. We knew we had to get back to comedy. When we started doing some work together, August the 4th and I, because he was my boss’s head of Bud family, and I was still the Bud Light brand manager, we started doing stuff without anybody’s approval. Some of it was pretty risky. His dad would forgive us, but he’d beat us over the head for not having approved stuff. We even had problems with the agency, because we had a renegade creative team at DDB Needham by that time. I think they were DDP, who was giving us ideas off the beaten path. And we were going and producing them on our heels of an approved shoot. So August and I would be out in LA and say, “Hey, we got this new director. We got this idea.”

And he goes, “Go. Go get it! Go get it!”

I’m going, “Man, we’re going to get shot if get it, get it.”

So we’re in LA for two more days. We’re shooting commercials without anybody’s authority. Even the agency doesn’t know about it, except my little creative team. That kind of approach is exactly what we needed. We needed to go and do ideas, and get out there. Some of the greatest early work we did was done that way. Granted, we eventually got ourselves into a little bit more of, I wouldn’t say professional, but we kept their management in line, and said, “Look. Here’s what we’re out trying to get.”

We followed this formula of going to get it if our gut was right on a lot of things like the ‘Yes I am.’ Campaign, the ‘Wassup?’ We kind of kept going with that approach, because look, we don’t need anymore interference. The last thing you need in a big company is a committee. You even saw it in the big agencies. They’d have a committee before ideas would spit out of the agency. You can’t believe how much stuff would get killed or modified. Lines that were just right would get changed because some old guy is sticking his nose in the business. Come on, man. You’ve got to cut through it and have stuff that’s edgy, and entertaining, and cutting through. Great question. There was a day and a night, night first. And then daylight hit when we realized we’ve gotta do this on our own. We don’t need anymore interference internally.

Adam Heitzman: And you’ve gotta make sure that you’re communicating. Like you said, if that audience that you’re bringing those ideas to is not your core demographic audience, obviously, there’s a disconnect there.

Robert Lachky: You can see, Adam on … I was watching the Super Bowl this last week. Honest to goodness, I would love to just predict most of the stuff I saw, most of the work I saw, was somebody with a particular point of view, jamming it down somebody else’s throat. Whether it was the choice of a certain celebrity, “You know, I always wanna work with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith.”

It’s like, “What? For Kia? What are you doing?”

“Danny Devito. He’s great. I loved him on Taxi.”

What? Who’s Danny Devito? I know who he is. I know who Steven Tyler is. But when you try to marry stuff like that up … Or, “I really think we need a politically correct message for this and that.”

Yeah, but you’re T-Mobile. What are you doing? This has nothing to do with advancing your … You see the landscape littered with these bizarre, unbelievably twisted messages with no strategy on the biggest stage you could possibly have as an advertiser. And all you’re doing is wasting money, and leaving people scratching their head, or angering people. I see that as an offshoot of not clarity as to what you’re trying to do. Are you really on a strategy? Sometimes people get in this play room called doing the creative. Man, they gotta touch it. That’s the danger.

Adam Heitzman: In terms of strategy, what did your ideation process look like? How did you know when you had a winning idea?

Robert Lachky: That’s a great question. We were in such desperate straights in the late 80’s. When I got in there, I was actually hired to get rid of Spuds Mackenzie too. Spuds Mackenzie was an idea that Bud Light had that was … It’s a long story on the evolution of where it came from. But it was a really genius idea, and it ran out of gas pretty quickly, about a year once the government stepped in and said, “Hey, you’re trying to appeal to children.”

That was never the idea. But the fact that the brewery started producing stuffed dolls of Spuds Mackenzie, not a good idea. That does look like you’re advertising to children. Not even on anybody’s radar screen. When I got in there, I knew that Spuds Mackenzie was dead as well. I had been at the agency prior to that producing Spuds Mackenzie commercials. It was a high ride for us. It was like, “Wow, People Magazine is following us on shoots with Spuds. And it’s such a novelty.”

But we got chopped off at the knees pretty quick. You start to realize that you’ve got to have a plan. And our problem on Bud Light was very simple. We’ve got to get back to a personality that’s different than Budweiser. We can no longer be seen as just a flanker with a one off idea like the dog. What is our idea? And the idea was really nurtured out of Spuds and from the original ‘Gimme a Light’ campaign. It’s like, “Look, we have to have preference strategy. We have to have a strategy about people want a Bud Light for no reason other than that’s the best one there is.”

This was the backdrop of Miller Lite being the dominant presence in the market. We had to tell people that they had a choice. You could go into bars across America at that time, and you’d ask for Light. They owned the bar call, and it was on their label. Any bartender in his right mind, “You mean Miller Lite.”

We had to get people asking for Bud Light, and to make it distinctive from Miller Lite. They had a brilliant campaign at the time, which featured retired athletes and pseudo celebrities. It was brilliant. They walked away from it. I don’t know why they did it. They probably just got tired of it. That’s when our opportunity to get back and return to humor opened up. It not only was a strategy of people going to great lengths, a preference strategy, but it was an executional strategy as well that had to be adhered to. It was, “Whatever you do, you’re going for Bud Light, and it’s gotta be surprising, and fun, and hilarious. You gotta create a Bud Light world that nobody else can create. It’s gotta be so preposterous, yet semi believable. You’re always winking at the customer with this.”

That was the well thought out strategy. It was only validated by doing some work, testing it, seeing what took. We realized there were certain mistakes we were making at times, where it was really too stupid, or it was too sophomoric. You’d always run that line. Some people like ‘The Three Stooges.’ Some think they’re repulsive. Comedy is very hard. It can’t be foul. You want it to be funny mainstream. That’s the battle that was the Odyssey. 15 years, that’s what I protected with my heart. Every new brand manager I had always wanted to come in and play around with it. It’s like, “No. You’re a shepard. You just keep shepherding the sheep along. Nobody needs to change the main deal here.”

That’s the battle you have. Now Bud on the other hand, the thing we had to do is, we had a lot of ‘your dad’s beer’ type of things going on. That’s why we had to take the Clydesdales off the hitch, and start giving them more human personalities. Although the Clydesdales was not your own campaign, the only thing you did for Budweiser. It was a corporate campaign as well. But that was a critical eye opener for us, that we could play with the hitch. We could take the horses off. They could develop personalities. Today, I’m proud to say, that’s at least something that’s continued on. The shocking thing to me is how the current owners of the company don’t even put the Clydesdales in the Super Bowl anymore. Blows me away. To me, the Clydesdales was always the umbrella for the entire company. It helped sell Budweiser. It helped sell Bud Light. It helped the wholesalers, the local distributes. It was America. Blows me away that these guys lost that thing. That’s their deal, not mine.

That’s kind of it. It’s not twelve pieces of paper. I saw creative briefs from people. We’d get a brand manager from some other company package goods train. They’d be in there pontificating with a binder. They’d give the creative team a binder. It’s like, “Get rid of that thing. Throw that away.”

If this thing isn’t stated in a page, you’re not going to get any ideas. You’re never going to get the ‘Was sup?’ You’re never going to get ‘Real Men of Genius,’ if you think that way. The key here is, you get an idea. It’s not change it every year. That’s what drives me nuts is, I see great campaigns that are brilliant. And they suddenly change. I know exactly why it changed. Some new knucklehead got in there. He’s changed it, or she’s changed it. Change for change’s sake in marketing is death. You can evolve it. Most of the time, you can evolve it.

Adam Heitzman: One of my favorite campaigns of all time is the ‘Real Men of Genius.’ But I know, probably from a general audience stand point, correct me if I’m wrong, what won the Gold Lion award was the ‘Wassup?’ How did that idea come about?

Robert Lachky: That’s a great question. ‘Real Men of Genius,’ we were starting to hit our stride again. This is circa late 1999 or so. We were doing well with the television advertising on Bud Light. But radio was always a battle for us. How can you create more of a theater of the mind? The guys actually came up with a precursor to this that ran for maybe half a year, with Charlton Heston. We had done an ‘I love you, man’ commercial with Charlton Heston of all things. Why, I don’t know to this day. He was funny. And they put him in radio as the voice over. It was a very funny idea. A guy, kind of a drone like voice, “Well, I was standing in the line at the theater.”

And then you’d hear Charlton Heston’s voice, “He was standing in the line at the theater!”

And the guy goes, “Uh, yeah. And then I was … “

So you’re getting this dialogue between this slacker and Charlton Heston pontificating. And somehow, Bud Light gets into the story. And it was very funny. It was kind of, we saw it as cenergy to the fact that we were running Charlton Heston on TV in a couple of these, ‘I love you, man.’ Commercials. We realized that he starting to have issues. I don’t think he got the campaign. He was a nice man. We had him to our convention. He’s obviously a legend. With all due respect, he’s just the best. He was wonderful for us, and funny. It was good. We just started thinking, “Is there something else we can do?”

That forced us. The guys came up with an idea that was originally termed, ‘Real American Heroes.’ That was the name of the campaign. And it was done exactly in this format. The sung voice from the guy from Foreigner. That’s the band. I can’t remember his name. He was the lead singer. He’s a great guy. And the voice that you hear very often, is the main delivery voice. It was very good counterpoint, just parodying people in life. It worked. The problem was, when the campaign had just launched, that’s when 9/11 hit. We knew, “Oh my goodness. These are not real American heroes. We’ve got to change this.”

We thought we were gonna have to change the whole thing. We thought, “Oh my goodness. This is so disrespectful to use a line at this terrible time in our country.”

The guys made a real simple fix. It seems like, “Wow. It must have been there all the time.”

We just called it ‘Real Men of Genius.’ Grammatically, it didn’t sound right. It was kind of like, “What? What?”

We just went with it because we loved the format of the singing and the very deep voiced announcer that we thought, “Well, let’s just go with it.”

The rest is history. I think we did over 450 of these things. It ran for how many years until, again, new owners in all their genius just decided to the campaign was no good anymore, that it wasn’t selling beer. It’s like, “Alright, idiots.”

It was something that was so good. We ran it forever. We also adapted it for television, which was kind of an ill fated venture, because when you start showing people, the bald guy or whatever, the nudist colony man, it’s like, “What? We can’t do that, because you know everything is going to go to slow motion. Fat people jiggling. No. We don’t need to do that.”

But I was told, “You have to do it.”

By my senior guy, the chairman of the board, because he heard from somebody that’d be good on TV. You do it on TV and it doesn’t make it as funny, because the theater of the mind goes away. We ran a couple of those for a month and realized, this isn’t funny. It’s hurting the radio campaign, because you’re revealing too much. You’re pulling too much of the curtain back. Long winded, but that’s the story of ‘Real Men of Genius.’

Adam Heitzman: You talked a little about this as well. It seemed like you all had hit after hit with campaign. How did you know when it was time to cut that campaign off, and sunset it, and move on to the next version?

Robert Lachky: That’s a kind complement. It was always with anxiety. I knew this stuff would burn out pretty fast. It always made you worry that, where do we go next? On Bud Light, I wasn’t as worried, because I knew the strategy was right. I knew we were going to be okay as long as we got funny spots. The way we managed that was, we made sure that we were hitting topical things as we went through time. Any creative team could come in and pick up and put their signature on it.

We created our own celebrities. For example, the guys wanted to come up with an idea with Kings of Comedy. Kings of Comedy was not a real well known cable thing that was going on at the beginning. But Cedric the Entertainer was starting to emerge as a key piece of Kings of Comedy. We ended up getting Cedric to do a spot that launched a four or five spot pool with Cedric that ran for two years. That was a great discovery. Not a celebrity for celebrity sake. But a celebrity that could be helped by this. Catapult his fame, because he started doing movies after the Bud Light gig. The fact that he brought so much, but it was always about Bud Light. And another guy we found that could deliver our Bud Light message was Carlos Mencia from ‘Mind of Mencia.’ It was a Cable thing that was starting to become popular. Those are some examples there.

But also doing things like, we had a spot called ‘Robo Bash.’ When these electronic robot battle reality TV things were starting to occur, we did our version of it. We did one spot. We moved on. We were always trying to tap into popular culture with Bud Light. What’s hot now? Let’s try that. What’s fashionable? What programs are people out there talking about? On the Bud Light side, for me it was easier to do. It was much easier to figure out how to stay on the tracks. Bud was a little different. It was difficult because we were starting to his some home runs with some of the things we discovered through other means. ‘Was sup’ is a great example. ‘Wuss up’ is great because the guys found it on an independent film festival. They saw this thing called ‘Wuss up.’ Exactly the way it’s produced was exactly the way it was filmed without Bud by the original director, Charles Stone the 3rd. They showed me the tape. I’ll never forget this. They said, “Well, you gotta see this.”

It was funny. It was cool. I said, “Okay, what do you want to do with it?”

“We want to insert Bud into it.”

I go, “How are you gonna do that?”

They said, “Well just ‘Hey B, what are you doing?’ ‘Nothing. Just watching. Was sup?!’”

That was the way it was. And said, “Just having a Bud and watching TV.”

And they always had a Bud. I said, “Well yeah. That’s cool. So you’re going to call this guy that did it?”

“Oh no. We’re going to rip it off.”

I go, “No you’re not gonna rip it off. You can’t rip it off. You can’t do that. This is this guy’s property. And it’s not going to be as funny if this guy didn’t do it. Plus, those people are perfect. Why don’t we just get those guys to work with us?”

The agency was not really wanting to do that. They swallowed their pride, went and contacted Charles. Charles agreed to do it. As we were going through the process creatively, it was funny how the guys kept trying to put in new people. We said, “No! What are you doing?”

One good time, I can honestly say myself, and August, and the brand team blocked these guys from making mistakes just so they could have creative, … It’s not their idea. It’s his idea. The company will benefit more and more from the good positive PR, if nothing else that we let this guy do his idea for Budweiser. I don’t care what the creative awards program say about you ripping something off. This is a great idea. As a result, we were vindicated by that. The guys even wanted to change. My guys wanted to change the line from, true to right on. I go, “Right on? That’s like a 1970’s Billy Dee Williams move. Are you out of your mind? It’s true.”

“Well, we didn’t think you knew what it meant.”

“Give me a break. I know what it means. I get it. I get it. It means right on. But we’re not saying right on, okay?”

And then poor Charles, he’s sitting in the middle wondering, “Why am I getting into this with these guys?”

He was very grateful to us at the brewery for protecting the idea. They kept trying to change it. My guys are brilliant and did so much great work at DDP. This was one time I was shocked at how they didn’t get it. It was more about, “We want to get credit for this.”

No. You take credit with this man. You brought it to life for him. That was a tough one. A different one is ‘Frogs’ where you see a one off idea, and you just go get it. You know the thing’s not going to run for more than a year or two. The brilliance of what we did there, I think, was we said, “Okay, we know we can’t keep having frogs say, ‘Bud-wise-er.’ You’ve got them talking to each other. They’re riding an alligator. How many more things can we have ‘Bud-wise-er’ do? Not much.”

We’re fortunate by the way we structured our agencies at that time. We had more than one agency. The primary agency didn’t like it, but it saved us. Goodby Silverstein was the secondary agency. They came up with an idea. We asked, “Is there a way you guys can evolve ‘Frogs?’”

And Goodby’s idea was, “Yeah. Let’s have other jealous swamp creatures try to get in the Bud commercial.”

I go, “What? What do you mean, jealous swamp creatures?”

He goes, “Well, you know, like weasels, or lizards, or whatever.”

And honest to goodness, that’s how we came up with ‘Louie the Lizard.’ And the whole idea of their intro to it, that almost got me fired, was to assassinate the frogs on the Super Bowl. The electrocute them in their frog bar. When you still think back to the story boards, you go, “Are you, are you kidding me? We can’t do assassinations.”

“Oh, it’s just a commercial, man.”

And it’s like, “Okay.”

You’re buying into this, and you realize, “I’m going to get killed here.”

We went through it. We did it. They unsuccessfully didn’t electrocute the frogs on national television on the Super Bowl. But it did launch ‘Louie the Lizard,’ which was brilliant. And it got us at least three more years of ‘Louie the Lizard.’ TV spots for sure. But the other brilliant thing about ‘Louie the Lizard’, it worked on radio, because the voices of Louie and Frank, which at the time, ‘Sopranos’ was so big. Again, borrowing from the influence of what’s going on. We got two guys out of Queens who were stage actors that talked like thugs, hilarious. And on radio, they were even better than TV, because they were like, “Aye, Frankie.”

It was just like, “Oh my God. This is exactly what we tried to do on Bud Light. And now we’re doing it on Bud.”

If you can evolve and idea and be open minded enough to say, “Maybe this thing can leapfrog.”

I think you start saying, “Look, I’ve got about a year, year and a half. As soon as I get tired of it, it may be too late, because you’ve got to get out before the customer gets tired of it.”

So maybe we jumped early on some things. But I always felt we made good calls on evolving it. Even when ‘Was sup’ ran out of gas, and it was only a year, it was more driven by the fact that Charles Stone didn’t really want to do this anymore. That was okay. He’s a good guy. We started producing ‘Was sup’ spots ourselves. We decided, “Well, is there another way to say, ‘Was sup’?”

And then we started doing parodies of ‘Wassup’. How do gangsters say ‘Was sup’? They go “How you doin’?”

“How you doin’? How you doin’? How you doin’?”

We started doing evolutions of ‘Wassup’. And the consumer followed us. We got through that. We probably extended the idea another couple years because of that. That’s how you do it, I think. If something is so wickedly popular, and you can slowly get the customer to the next place by an evolution that they understand, then why wouldn’t you do it? A company is doing great right now, a couple companies, is the insurance sector. When you look at Progressive, whether you like Flow or hate her. Farmer’s insurance. These guys are evolving. Geico, my God. It’s the greatest. Geico is doing what we done. I always admired Geico when I was working at the brewery. They’ve been doing it forever. They do have the 15 minutes. “You give me 15 minutes, we’ll give you 15%.”

I get it. I get it. I get it. But I’m always entertained, and I get a good feeling out of their marketing. I think that’s the plan. Evolve. Don’t blow it up. If you have to blow it up, it’s going to be hard to get back on those tracks.

Adam Heitzman: Since you date back to even the mid 80’s ish. Obviously, a lot of digital components and digital campaigns, that’s where everything’s at nowadays for the most part.

Robert Lachky: I agree.

Adam Heitzman: There’s a lot in TV and radio for sure. Is a good campaign a good campaign no matter what platform it’s on?

Robert Lachky: Yeah. I think. I experienced that with ‘Wassup.’ When ‘Was sup’ came out, we originally debuted it on Christmas day. NBA always has a Christmas day basketball game. We had a 60. And the 60 seconds of “Wassup? Wassup? Wassup?” Was like whoa. You have to be a real fan to like that much ‘Was sup.’ And I loved it. August the 4th loved it. His dad was like, “Oh, I don’t know, man. You guys are running out of, … Four African American guys like, all over your, …”

And it was awesome. They’re the coolest looking guys, guys you want to be buddies with. That’s the way we looked at it. But when you’re talking to old wholesalers at Anheuser Busch, all over the country, black and white going, “What are you guys? Are you guys nuts?”

They found it repulsive and we were in trouble. When we launched that, within a week, we were getting crushed. We had just put a call center phone number on our can, packages. And our call center was getting inundated by people who hated the idea. We very quickly, and thank goodness for Mr.Busch as our leader, the 3rd, he allowed us to do some quick fixing. I took the 60 of the air right away. We moved it to 30’s. We had 30’s cut. We had a couple other renditions of it cut where we focused on a single character. And it nullified a little bit of the outrage of that 60 seconds in your face. Within two weeks, because we ran ‘Was sup’ on the Super Bowl three weeks, four weeks later. Within a couple weeks already, you were getting Katie Couric on ‘Today Show’ and Howard Stern, two totally opposite people saying, “Hey, did you see that thing for Budweiser? The guy’s going ‘Wassup’. Isn’t that cool?”

And you’re like, “Oh my God. This is what we need.”

And you started getting people now, and this was the beginning of video content sharing to your original question. We were getting parodies within two and a half weeks of ‘Wassup.’ And we tracked one Iceland. We got one out of Israel. We had this worldwide thing where we had rabbis doing it. We had ladies planting tulips in a garden doing. And they were mocking it, and aping the idea, and sending it. We were getting these videos. We were like, “Oh my God. This thing is taking on.”

And all the negative criticism from our own system, we got thrown out of a few accounts across the country. But the wholesalers backed us, because they started to realize this was a very cool young idea. And it’s about, it doesn’t matter what race you are. This is about friends. We stuck to our guns. Video content, and the sharing of it on the internet, even this was year 2000 I believe. That’s when it was really hitting a zenith. People were ripping the thing. And it was awesome. And that saved us for sure. This is in the space of a month.

Adam Heitzman: Right. That’s crazy. What are you up to now days?

Robert Lachky: I’ve been consulting a little bit in talking to smaller, more privately held companies. It makes it a little easier. I do a lot of speaking engagements and things. People like to hear about what we used to do. You start to feel a little old doing that. I think there’s some really tried and true strategies that we followed, and other great companies have followed. You see many doing it now, like in the insurance category, following, being true to their brands. Not getting mesmerized by hiring a celebrity or doing whatever you think is cool, or following too much of a current production technique. For us, at our era, I’d say early 90’s, it was, we called it the cinema verite. The camera is moving around, trying to find the right- It’s like, “Give me a break. Let’s focus on a certain style that benefits us. And let’s not chase technique. Let’s chase our strategy.”

That’s kind of what I advise when I go. I got to be honest. A lot of people call and say, “Wow. You can help us because of Budweiser.”

It’s like, “Look, you don’t need Bud. You need a good digital strategy. You need a good online thing.”

I have a group of guys that I work with. We do more rebuilding websites, making sure they have suitable video content. Basically front end. That they have a strategy. I guess they think since I just did funny commercials, I never thought about it. It’s always about doing a spot analysis to me, at the front. You absolutely have to know, what are you trying to do? What are your strengths, weakness, and opportunities? What are your threats? You’ve got to understand that. I can’t believe how many small or mid sized companies that I’ve worked with who really are kind of making money and don’t know how, or why, or how they can sustain it. That to me, is the shocking thing. Believe me, nothing that’s too taxing. I had enough of that in one lifetime. That’s about where I’m at these days.

Adam Heitzman: Well, that’s great to hear. Bob, I really enjoyed speaking with you today. It’s been very enlightening. Your stories are awesome. Thank you again, for your time. Like I said, thanks. It’s just been an absolute pleasure.

Robert Lachky: Thanks, Adam. I appreciate it. I really enjoyed it. And good luck to you.

Adam Heitzman: Thank you.

Robert Lachky: Take care.

Adam Heitzman: Bye.

Marketing Insights from Bob Lachky: Behind the Curtains of the Iconic Anheuser-Busch Campaigns was originally posted by Video And Blog Marketing