How (and Why) to Use Google Posts

How (and Why) to Use Google PostsIf you’re looking for new ways to promote your business, products, services, or events, Google Posts could be just the ticket. They allow businesses to post fresh content that can appear in local searches as well as the Knowledge Panel on certain results pages.

If you don’t know what a knowledge panel is, here’s an example outlined in red.

Google SERP Knowledge Panel

What are Google Posts?

Google describes Google Posts as “up-to-date posts from verified people, places or things, directly in search results.”

I describe them as snack-sized content packets that can promote anything from an in-person training sessions to a recent blog post. To get started, you need to “verify” your business or organization through Google My Business. (There are so many reasons to have a GMB account there’s really no reason not to have one.)

Once you have your account, you will see Posts as an option in the left hand navigation.


How to Build Your Email List

If you’re looking for tips, tactics and tools to build your email list so that you can generate more leads and close more sales, you’ve come to the right place. In this post we’ll look at some of the most effective ways to generate signups online and off so you can reach more of your ideal customers.

These slides came from a recent presentation I gave on list building tactics. You can check out the interactive slide deck at the bottom of this post.

List Building: How to Grow Your Empire

List Building…or “How to Grow Your Empire”

Email and list building has always been a passion of mine. When people come into my office to talk about a new website, or ranking on the first page of Google, or running some Facebook ads, I always direct the conversation to, “how will this help build your email list? How can we turn those email subscribers into customers and revenue?” 

On my digital marketing podcast, The Agents of Change, I get to interview marketing experts each week on topics like Pinterest, Local SEO, paid search, and Instagram stories. But regardless of their area of expertise, they are all focused on building their email list. They know that if they want to get hired as a consultant or sell more courses they need to have a robust email list. 

Even if you’re a Facebook marketing expert, you pay more attention to getting new email subscribers than to getting more Facebook followers.

In fact, when I get asked the question, “if you were starting your business today with everything you’ve learned over the past twenty years, what would you do differently?” the answer is that I would start building my email list from day one and never let up. 

Grab the slides & notes now!


Does Your SEO Suck? [13 Point Checklist]

Does your SEO suck?

Do you wonder why you’re getting so little traffic from the search engines? Why Google ranks your competition higher than you? This 13 point SEO checklist will help you navigate your way to page one.

The Best Place to Hide a Dead Body...Lately I’ve been reviewing a number of business websites that seem to be ignoring SEO completely. Now, obviously, the reason I’m reviewing these sites is because they’ve reached out to flyte because they feel like their website isn’t working and they want to know why. 
So, they know something is wrong.
And just because their SEO is non-existent doesn’t mean that’s the only hurdle to generating more leads at their website, but it is a critical piece. 
So, if you feel like your SEO isn’t working, maybe it’s time to take a look at the basics…at least the basics as they stand today. 
Needless to say, this isn’t everything you can be doing to improve your chances of beating your competition at the search engines. There’s plenty of advanced SEO tactics we’ll save for another day, like schema, rich snippets, and externalizing JavaScript and CSS.  
In the meantime, here’s a 13 point Basic SEO checklist broken into 5 distinct categories that will impact your ability to get discovered by your ideal customers using their favorite search engine.


How to Avoid Squinting at Your Smartphone

Are you like me? Do you find yourself squinting at your smartphone to read it? Or maybe you can’t read the menu in the restaurant any more? (Ever stick the menu under the bar track lighting, or put a candle over the menu to read it? You’re not alone.)

Well, the maker of your iPhone or Android phone feels your pain. There are a number of features on your phone that make it easier to read the text on the screen, or even off it! So, I took these tired old eyes and chatted with accessibility features for farsighted people with Rob Caldwell on 207. You can watch the segment below! 👇

Here are some of my notes from the show. They’re focused on the iPhone because that’s what I own. If you want information on the Android you can buy me one and mail it to flyte, c/o “The Rich Brooks.”

Larger Text

Under Settings > General > Accessibility > Larger Text. Turn on Larger Text and then you’ll see a scroll bar that allows you to change the text as necessary. Works on many, but not all apps.


Under Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom. Once you turn this on you can use three fingers to double-click on the screen. That will create a zoom window that you can navigate around with three fingers. Click outside the zoom window to hide it.


Under Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech. Turn on Speak Selection. Once it’s on, whenever you select text, along with Cut, Copy, and Paste, you’ll have a Speak option. Choose it and Siri will read to you. 


Under Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier. Once this is on you can triple-click the home button and your phone turns into a magnifying glass, complete with a slider for increased magnification. 

Attaching “Cheaters” to your smartphone

Under my iPhone > ThinOptics case. I hate bulky iPhone cases. However, I recently purchased a pair of ThinOptics cheaters (readers) that attach to the back of my iPhone. They’re so slim I don’t even notice them, but they work great. Not for long-term reading, but for that menu in the romantically-lit restaurant, they’re just the ticket.

In Conclusion

It sucks getting old! I hate having to buy cheaters by the five-pack at Amazon! But, at least there are some nice features on my phone that make it easier. Any other thoughts on how to make smartphone browsing easier for farsighted people? Let me know in the comments below.

The Power of Scarcity in Marketing and Advertising

The Power of Scarcity

Do you want to motivate your prospects or clients to take action? There are few things as effective as scarcity when it comes to marketing your product or service. 

A few weeks back I found myself at one of those all-day seminars put on by a national company that offers workshops on everything from Project Management to Excel to Managing Difficult People.

I wasn’t enjoying myself. Over the course of the morning I had learned little about Leadership, Team-Building, or Coaching Skills. What I had learned was available in countless blog posts, ebooks, and podcasts, all for free.

During the lunch break I took my car to Jiffy Lube and decided that afterward I’d either return to the office or find a coffee shop and catch up on some emails. However, Jiffy Lube turned my car around in record time and I saw that as some sort of sign that I should return…so back I went.

The afternoon was no better. 

Here’s Where Scarcity Kicks In


The Breakdown: The Social Media Marketing 2017 Industry Report

social media breakdown 2017

The 9th annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report is out, filled with information and advice that can help your business succeed online. What are other social media marketers doing? Where are they spending their time and ad dollars? What is the future of social media marketing?

Social Media Examiner has been releasing their Annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report for nine years. First things first, thank you to Michael Stelzner and his team for putting together an amazing report year after year. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, we’ve put together a list of our biggest takeaways below.


WordPress Security in Two Minutes (Give or Take)

WordPress SecurityDo you worry about your WordPress security? Do you wonder if hackers, spammers, or other ne’er-do-wells are able to hack into your website and do damage? Get up-to-date information on securing your WordPress website in the article below and put your mind to rest.

I’ve heard–mostly from non-WordPress developers, that WordPress is prone to hacks and malicious scripts and attacks. This isn’t true. The fact is that WordPress is by far the most popular CMS (content management system) on the planet for good reason, and powers anywhere from 20% to 25% of the world’s known websites.

Because there are so many WordPress sites out there, there are naturally going to be more WordPress sites that get hacked. The sheer number of them make them an inviting target. However, a few logical steps will keep your WordPress website safe.

Last week during staff our lead developer, Andy Woznica, shared with us how we can keep our WordPress sites–and those of our clients–safe and secure in a world of hackers, spammers, and ransomware. It was so good I asked him if I could share it with all of you.

He consented.

I’ve kept his original document mostly intact. Feel free to read it with an English accent, as Andy’s from London.



Digital Marketing for Small Business…Demystified

Digital Marketing for Small Business

Do you find digital marketing confusing? Does it always seem like there’s something new—like SnapChat or Facebook Live—that you’re expected to master? Does it feel overwhelming, and there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done the social media gurus tell you to do?

After 20 years in business, and 500 plus websites and digital marketing campaigns under our belts, these concerns have been raised by a large number of the people who have come into our offices. 
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to digital marketing. Different businesses and industries need different strategies, tactics, and even strategies to reach different audiences. Even best practices don’t always equal best results. 
However, in working with all these businesses over the years, I’ve developed a framework that works for almost every small business, and I think it will work for you, too. The name has changed over the years, but while working with my book coach as I wrote The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, we hit upon a name for the framework that I feel is going to stick. 


Next Year We’ll Be Able to Drink Legally – flyte Turns 20

flyte turns 20I’d like to say from the very beginning that I knew flyte was going to be going strong two decades later. 
But that would be a lie.
When I started flyte new media—then “b1 communications”—out of my bedroom in my apartment in Jamaica Plain, I gave myself maybe two years before either programmers learned how to design or designers learned how to program and I would be forced to get a real job.
But here I am, twenty years later, still running that business. 
So much has changed in that time, while other things remain the same. I wrote about search engine optimization back in 1997 in one of my first print newsletters. 
Maybe I’ll just leave that there. If that doesn’t sum up “the more things change, the more things stay the same,” I don’t know what does.
My chosen career is in an ever-changing, fast-paced industry. Over the years flyte and our crew has had to adapt. Learn new skills while dropping others. We’ve added email marketing, blogging, content creation, podcasting, and of course, social media to what we offer our clients.
We’ve built sites using certain technologies that years or even months later seem obsolete. (R.I.P., Flash, Cold Fusion, and DreamWeaver.) We’ve needed to adapt to a “mobile first” approach to websites, as more people spend time on their phones than their computers. 
Our desktop computers have had hard drives and floppy drives, zip drives and thumb drives, CD players and DVD players. They’ve been able to write to discs and they’ve come without even a disc player. 
Yes, a lot has happened in 20 years. And there’s no way I would have made it to this anniversary if not for the work of a lot of amazing co-workers and clients over the years. Businesses don’t succeed because of the efforts of just one person.


Twitter Ads vs. Facebook Ads: The Social Advertising Smackdown

Twitter ads vs Facebook ads

You may have  run Facebook Ads and Google Ads, but many people often forget about Twitter Ads.

At flyte, we have many clients that heavily rely on Facebook and Google to drive traffic. However, they’re ignoring the opportunities of advertising on Twitter. A majority of Twitter users use this platform for news, sporting updates, product/service updates, and to join in on conversations on all of the above. Personally, I use Twitter to follow many digital marketing experts and sporting analysts. I always need to know which player will help my fantasy football team win (3 Time Champ)!

Lately, we’ve been interested in branching out from advertising solely on Facebook and Google, and seeing how Twitter ads fare. After running some similar campaigns, I wanted to share some data from our most recent Facebook Ad vs.Twitter Ad test. I have to admit, I was surprised at the results.. It’s almost as nice as finding twenty bucks on the sidewalk.