Fontanelle Group http://fgi.media Publishing Media Group Thu, 14 Mar 2019 20:29:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Why I Love Working With Small Business Owners http://fgi.media/2019/01/16/why-i-love-working-with-small-business-owners/ http://fgi.media/2019/01/16/why-i-love-working-with-small-business-owners/#respond Wed, 16 Jan 2019 18:06:06 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=184 by Darrin J. Cook (Sales and Marketing Director)

I started my sales and marketing profession right here in Geauga County in the mid to late 90’s and through the nearly two decades of B2B I was able to learn a lot about small businesses in the area. I have met with car repair shops, nurseries, car dealers, furniture stores, electronic stores, floral shops, restaurants, and every other possible business you can think of. Each business has its own model, and it’s own reason for existence. The one thing they all have in common is hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. When I meet with a small business owner I can get a much clearer picture of what they need or don’t need because they don’t have time to tap dance around a conversation. Once I have the opportunity to talk with them they speak passionately, honestly, and to the point.  I am a good listener and extremely patient, and they see that I am taking in the issues. Most, by the end of the meeting, feel a weight lifted just talking to someone who is neutral and willing to listen. I couldn’t ask for better data to go back to the drawing board with. This is something algorithms can never really track. This is vital information to begin discussing how I may be able to assist.

I have met with these owners as early as 5:30 am and as late as 8:30 pm. This is a typical day for a small business owner. Their passion wakes them up each morning and the adrenaline of problem solving keeps them going through out the day. The pressure to maintain both the mechanical and human side of a small business is immense. The ever changing employment laws, taxes, overhead, payroll are all on the mind of a small business owner yet they maintain a spirit that is hard to match. They are such an intricate part of our communities, often donating to several local organizations and schools. They invest back into the community far more than one might realize.

So, the next time you see a small business celebrating even 1 year in business it is an accomplishment that took thousands of hours, strategy, patience, leaps of faith, educated guesses, strong workers, and even a little luck. Thank you to all of the small business owners for being such a vital part of our communities. Best of luck in 2019 and beyond!

 

 

 

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10 Advertising Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Credibility http://fgi.media/2018/11/08/10-advertising-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-credibility/ http://fgi.media/2018/11/08/10-advertising-mistakes-that-will-destroy-your-credibility/#respond Thu, 08 Nov 2018 16:03:39 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=117 Erin Sagin – https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/02/08/advertising-mistakes

Last updated:  October 7, 2018, Copywriting

When it comes to paid search, advertisers only have one tiny snippet of copy—130 characters, to be exact—to win over new customers. You’re under tremendous pressure to create ads that are both engaging and informative, include a clear call to action, and stand out against competitors’ ads. Unfortunately, one sloppy grammatical misstep can counteract all your hard work and destroy your credibility. And if you violate Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) policies, your ad will never even get approved.

To avoid giving searchers a negative first impression, be sure to double-check your ads to be sure you’re not committing these all-too-common advertising mistakes:

Advertising Mistake #1:Jumping Between Title and Sentence Case

Top advertising mistakes…

Lately, I’ve noticed that tons of people have a habit of capitalizing random words, seemingly with no rhyme nor reason. When writing ads, you should be using either title case or sentence case—no exception. What’s the difference? Sentence case is the standard format for most communications. With this method, only the first letter of the sentence is capitalized (along with any proper nouns).

Here at WordStream, we tend to favor title case for ads, as it typically yields higher click-through rates. With title case, you capitalize the first letter of the sentence, the first letter of any “major” words and all words with four letters or more.

Beware that excessive capitalization, such as FREE SHIPPING, and inter-capitalization, such as FrEe ShIpPiNg, are strictly prohibited in Google Ads and can spark an ad disapproval. Stick with sentence case or title case and you should be just fine!

Advertising Mistake #2: Neglecting to Use Commas

While they’re definitely useful, commas are the bane of my existence. Sprinkle in too many and your work becomes unreadable—too few and you risk dangerously altering the intent of the sentence.

“Come on People.” by Bill Cosby

Either this was some weird foreshadowing or the editor needs a crash course in comma use.

Perhaps the most common misuse of commas is neglecting to include them after introductory clauses or phrases, especially when addressing an audience. This can dramatically change the way the reader interprets the sentence. I think we can all agree that “come on people” and “come on, people.”

“I like cooking my family and pets”

Uhh, ok Jeffrey Dahmer.

Commas also must be used to separate words in a simple series of three or more items. Again, failing to do this can result in a complete misinterpretation of the writer’s intent. If someone said “I like cooking, my family, and my pets” in the bio section of dating site, I’d probably be down to meet them. However, if their profile claimed, “I like cooking my family and my pets,” it would likely warrant a 9-1-1 call.

If you’re struggling to determine when to include a comma in your ad, a good (and completely unscientific) rule of thumb is to read the sentence out loud. If you hesitate or pause at any point while reading it, you probably need to insert a comma at that juncture. Here’s a more detailed primer on proper comma usage.

Advertising Mistake #3:Including Emoji

Believe me, I understand the temptation to use emoji characters in ad text. I’m guilty of sprinkling those cute little guys throughout my texts, tweets, posts—even emails! It may not be the most professional mode of communication, but you sure can convey quite a bit with these images.

emojis in tweet

WordStream’s Twitter account certainly has no shortage of emojis.

Unfortunately, adding emoticons in your ad copy is a major paid search faux paus. The Google Ads policy team has explicitly warned advertisers that this practice violates their policy guidelines. While some account managers have managed to evade disapprovals, it’s definitely not worth the risk. (Don’t listen to Larry.)

Advertising Mistake #4:Non-Standard Use of Numbers/Characters

ad with *s

Don’t bother trying to get creative with symbols and characters in your ad copy. Google considers this strategy to be “gimmicky” and, if you employ it, your ads will probably never see the light of day. Rather than using visual shortcuts to attract searchers’ attention, you should be striving to compose eye-catching headlines.

That said, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if your brand or product names contain symbols (think: Arm & Hammer) or if you are legally required to include asterisks to indicate that conditions apply to your claims, you can use them in your copy (pending Google Ads’ approval).

Advertising Mistake #5:Using Improper Punctuation

comment with no commas

Failing to punctuate your sentence properly leads to a host of problems. Firstly, your copy will appear hastily composed and unprofessional. Even worse, it can lead to misinterpretation. For example, in the post above, does the writer mean to say “We have 2 hours to kill. Someone come see us” or “We have 2 hours to kill someone. Come see us”? These two versions carry drastically different sentiment.

Not only should you strive to use proper punctuation in your copy, you should try your best create sentences that fit within each description line of your ad. If you’re able to end the first description line with punctuation, your ad will be eligible for a mega-headline, whereby your headline and your description line are combined to create an extra-long header. Typically, ads with mega-headlines garner higher ad click-through rates, so you definitely want to create ads that are eligible for this!

Advertising Mistake #6:Substituting Slang Terms for Real Words

text slang terms defined

Back in the ‘90s and early 2000s, AOL’s instant messenger program took internet users by storm. As a middle schooler, I spent hours upon hours gossiping with friends and flirting with crushes via AIM. And anyone who was anyone conducted these conversations entirely in short hand. Back in those days, you was exclusively spelled u, too/to/two was always 2, thanks was thx…you get the picture. We then got even lazier and moved to initialisms like LOL, TGIF and BRB.

Nowadays, this slang has made its way into our day-to-day communications. However, it’s certainly not acceptable to incorporate into PPC ads. Not only are these slang terms unprofessional, they’re also not universally understood. Some are regional, others are generational and all seem to be constantly evolving. Moreover, if Google detects such language in your ads, they will be automatically disapproved. Stick with real words—they’re worth the extra characters!

Advertising Mistake #7:Going Bananas With Exclamation Points

omg!!!

It’s important to convey urgency in your ad copy, but dousing it with exclamation points is not the best way to do this. Excessive use of exclamation points, be it multiple in a row (!!!) or throughout the copy (Bright pink lipstick! Luscious color! Buy yours today!), are deemed “scammy” by Google and will result in ad disapprovals. Instead, leverage more sophisticated tactics like ad customizers and enticing ad copy to woo searchers into taking action.

Advertising Mistake #8:Skipping Out On Spell Check

Just use it. Enough said. 

Advertising Mistake #9:Misplacing Apostrophes

comic with misused apostrophes

Nothing gets under my skin more than a misplaced apostrophe. Remember, aside from conjugations, the main role of an apostrophe is to indicate possession. However, many people mistakenly use them to demonstrate plurality—a major faux pas.

The use case for apostrophes is simple. To show possession, plug in an apostrophe after your noun and tack on an s. However, things get a little trickier when the subject term already ends in an s (either because it is a plural or a singular word that ends in s). In this case, you can go one of two directions. If you adhere to the AP Style Guide, the apostrophe should appear after the s and there is no need to add a second s. For example, the kids’ parents were very mean. On the flipside, according to the Chicago style, singular nouns that end in s get an ‘s. For example, the Lexus’s bumper was dented. With words for which the plural term does not end in an s, like children, the apostrophe is applied after the word and an s is added.

There are two major exceptions to this rule that are downright confusing. The biggest culprit is definitely its versus it’s. Let’s set things straight. In this case, it’s serves as a contraction for it is. Its, without the apostrophe, is the possessive pronoun of it. Another confusing set is whose vs. who’s. In this case, who’s is a contraction of who is and whose is the possessive of who.

Advertising Mistake #10:Misusing of Homophones

friends ross complaining about homophones

Homophones are two or more words that have the same pronunciation, but different spellings or meanings. For those of us that think phonetically, this is an easy trap to fall into that can result in extreme embarrassment. Here are most frequently misused homophones to watch out for (definitions courtesy of Dictionary.com):

Affect/Effect

Affect: Verb: to have an effect on, make a difference to

Effect: Noun: a change that is a result of or consequence of an action or other cause

*Note that, at times, affect can be a verb and effect can be a noun, but the above definitions *usually* cover the bases.

 

Two/Too/To

Two: a cardinal number, 1 plus 1

Too: in addition, also; to an excessive extent or degree

To: preposition used to express motion or direction toward a point

 

They’re/Their/There

They’re: contraction for they are

Their: a form of the possessive case of they used as an attributive adjective, before a noun

There: in or at that place

 

Whether/Weather

Whether: conjunction used to introduce the first of two or more alternatives

Weather: the state of the atmosphere with respect to wind, temperature, cloudiness, moisture, pressure, etc.

 

Your/You’re

Your: a form of the possessive case of you used as an attributive adjective

You’re: conjunction for you are

 

Then/Than:

Then: at that time

Than: used, as after comparative adjectives and adverbs, to introduce the second member of an unequal comparison

 

Complement/Compliment

Complement: something that completes or makes perfect

Compliment: an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration

 

Complementary/Complimentary

Complementary: forming a complement; completing

Complimentary: given free as a gift or courtesy

In Closing 
Hey, we’re all human. In fact, this post probably has its fair share of grammatical errors. However, the more cognizant you are of these common slip-ups, the more likely you are to avoid them. Have you seen any other common grammar faux pas in ads?

 

 

 

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Comma! http://fgi.media/2018/10/24/comma/ http://fgi.media/2018/10/24/comma/#respond Wed, 24 Oct 2018 13:48:17 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=112

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Facebook Ads Manager http://fgi.media/2018/03/14/facebook-ads-manager/ http://fgi.media/2018/03/14/facebook-ads-manager/#respond Wed, 14 Mar 2018 13:09:50 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=105 Facebook is combining the powerful ad creation and editing features of Power Editor with the ease of use and familiarity advertisers love in Ads Manager.

This redesigned interface provides advertisers the tools they need to manage their business on Facebook successfully, no matter how complex, or simple, those needs may be. By combining Ads Manager and Power Editor we are simplifying Facebook’s ad buying ecosystem. This simplification reduces the tools advertisers need to learn, and allows us to focus our resources on maintaining and improving a single interface.

We have been combining Ads Manager and Power Editor features over the past year. The tools are now quite similar. Advertisers will see the updated Ads Manager interface in locations where they previously found Ads Manager or Power Editor on the Facebook business platform.

Facebook ad manager page

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Return on Investment – ROI – Formula and Use http://fgi.media/2018/01/04/return-on-investment-roi-formula-and-use/ http://fgi.media/2018/01/04/return-on-investment-roi-formula-and-use/#respond Thu, 04 Jan 2018 15:21:50 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=101 Return on investment (ROI) is a measure of the profit earned from each investment. Like the “return” (or profit) that you earn on your portfolio or bank account, it’s calculated as a percentage. In simple terms, the ROI formula is:

(Return – Investment)
Investment

It’s typically expressed as a percentage, so multiple your result by 100.

ROI calculations for marketing campaigns can be complex — you may have many variables on both the profit side and the investment (cost) side. But understanding the formula is essential if you need to produce the best possible results with your marketing investments.

Note: You can download free ROI calculators from our marketing planning and management app. Click here>>>

For step-by-step guidance on calculating ROI for a marketing campaign, check out our demo:

For marketing ROI, the tricky part is determining what constitutes your “return,” and what is your true investment. For example, different marketers might consider the following for return:

  • Total revenue generated for a campaign (or gross receipts or turnover, depending on your organization type and location, which is simply the top line sales generated from the campaign)
  • Gross profit, or a gross profit estimate, which is revenue minus the cost of goods to produce/deliver a product or service. Many marketers simply use the company’s COG percentage (say 30%) and deduct it from the total revenue
  • Net profit, which is gross profit minus expenses

On the investment side, it’s easy for marketers to input the media costs as the investment. But what other costs should you include? To execute your campaign, you might have:

  • Creative costs
  • Printing costs
  • Technical costs (such as email platforms, website coding, etc)
  • Management time
  • Cost of sales

Marketing ROI Formula

One basic formula uses the gross profit for units sold in the campaign and the marketing investment for the campaign:

Gross Profit – Marketing Investment
Marketing Investment

You can also use the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) instead of Gross Profit. CLV is a measure of the profit generated by a single customer or set of customers over their lifetime with your company.

Customer Lifetime Value – Marketing Investment
Marketing Investment

However, some companies deduct other expenses and use a formula like this:

Profit – Marketing Investment – *Overhead Allocation – *Incremental Expenses
Marketing Investment

*These expenses are typically tracked in “Sales and General Expenses” in overhead, but some companies deduct them in ROI calculations to provide a closer estimate of the true profit their marketing campaigns are generating for the company.

The components for calculating marketing ROI can be different for each organization, but with solid ROI calculations, you can focus on campaigns that deliver the greatest return. For example, if one campaign generates a 15% ROI and the other 50%, where will you invest your marketing budget next time? And if your entire marketing budget only returns 6% and the stock market returns 12%, your company can earn more profit by investing in the stock market.

Finally, ROI helps you justify marketing investments. In tough times, companies often slash their marketing budgets – a dangerous move since marketing is an investment to produce revenue. By focusing on ROI, you can help your company move away from the idea that marketing is a fluffy expense that can be cut when times get tough.

Home

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How to Choose the Right Domain Name http://fgi.media/2017/10/02/how-to-choose-the-right-domain-name/ http://fgi.media/2017/10/02/how-to-choose-the-right-domain-name/#respond Mon, 02 Oct 2017 00:37:36 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=91 Source: Word Press

 

Back in the day, way way back, your website domain could have had a major impact on your site’s rankings. That changed a few years ago (2012 to be exact) when Google wanted to weed out websites that may have good domain names but very little “substance”.

Exact Match Domains (EMD) is where the problem started. Businesses would essentially purchase keyword domains to rank for a particular keyword. And the EMD was enough for them to rank: they barely focused on quality content and relevance (two things that matter greatly for SEO nowadays). That strategy no longer works.

That’s not to say that domain names no longer affect SEO. They still do (and studies have proven that), but how?

Let’s find out.

How Domain Names Impact SEO

There have been a lot of changes to SEO, particularly from the largest search engine: Google. But one thing that hasn’t changed, but has been emphasized more, is original quality content, relevance and always aligning with search engine best practices. A component of this is your domain name – it’s unique, only you can have it.

Even though it may not directly impact your rankings anymore, a good domain name will get you more brand recognition, trust and higher click-through-rates (CTR).

However, the definition of a good domain name has changed, at least according to Google. We see this in how the search engine treats certain types of domains.

Exact Match Domains (EMD)

EMDs are domain names that include keyword phrases. For example, let’s say you are selling hair products and want to rank for “quality hair products.” The EMD you would most likely use is qualityhairproducts.com. Just purchasing that domain would have gotten you the first page ranking a while ago.

Yup! You wouldn’t have needed original content or backlinks. You would simply rank for it with your domain name. That all changed after Google released the Exact Match Domain Update.

The update essentially made EMDs obsolete in search engine rankings. In fact, a study by High Position showed that the average EMD ranking went from position 13.4 to 26.6 (yikes!) after Google’s update. The average top 10 EMD also dropped in rankings: from 3.2 down to 11.9. So now we know that choosing an exact match domain in 2017 is quite pointless, a bad idea even.

So how should you decide on a domain name to maximize SEO? You need only do two things: choose a memorable brand name (to make your domain name) and pick a .com extension.

Let’s go into more detail.

Your Brand Name Should Be Your Domain Name

We can all agree that your brand is important. Your brand name is how your customers recognize and find you in search engines and social media platforms. So think of your domain name as the foothold of your online brand.

In fact, the more customers are using your brand name to search for you online, the more your SEO and rankings will improve. This is referred to as brand signalling (any reference of your business online). Matt Cutts, former Head of Web Spam at Google, claimed that Google “actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or New York Times is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side.”

That’s right, Google now cares more about brands for SEO than it does about keywords and links. For that reason, using your brand name is more important than keywords. You’re probably scratching your head at this point, wondering how Google would associate your brand with certain keywords…

Well, Google will associate keywords with your brand as your brand becomes more popular; and as you produce more relevant and high quality content. Let’s take a look at Bitly as an example. It’s a URL shortener and link management platform yet their brand name does not match those keywords. It however ranks at the top for those keywords in Google.

That’s because of its popularity. As long as people recognize it and are searching for it, Google will measure that brand signal and rank it accordingly. For this reason, it is important to have a memorable brand name and consequently, a memorable domain name.

Don’t worry if your brand name contains a keyword, or in other words, is a PMD (partial match domain). That’s because Google is only searching for spam sites with EMDs and PMDs – the actual problem isn’t the keywords, but rather the content and quality of the site. A PMD or EMD with bad user experience and low quality content would experience a steep downgrade in rankings. Whereas, a PMD or EMD with great user experience and content would not be greatly affected.

However, if you are just starting out, you should go with a memorable brand name domain and avoid using keywords.

Opt For a .com Extension

You probably already know that .com is the most popular domain extension. That is because most other domain extensions like .biz and .us are viewed as spam. Although choosing it may not directly impact your rankings, you may be viewed as a low-ranking site which could affect your SEO.

.com is simply the most convenient and safest choice to go with. When in doubt, go with it.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Domain Name

Now let’s recap and go over the tips on picking the best domain name:

  • Use your brand name
  • Don’t use exact match domains. Partial match domains are OK but a brand name is always more effective
  • Choose a .com extension
  • Make it memorable so users can easily remember it
  • Keep it short, 15 characters at most
  • Avoid numbers, hyphens and special characters
  • Avoid misspelling words on purpose. It’s a no-no for branding
  • Make it easy to spell

Wrapping Up

We hope you now have a good understanding of how domain names affect SEO in 2017. If you’re starting a new business or changing to a better domain name, the tips above should help you pick out the best one for your business.

Remember: As long as you have great content and a good SEO strategy, a strong and unique domain name may rank you higher. Choose one wisely, use it correctly and start reaping the value.

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FGi Mission Statement http://fgi.media/2017/02/28/fgi-mission-statement/ http://fgi.media/2017/02/28/fgi-mission-statement/#respond Tue, 28 Feb 2017 21:23:42 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=85 Mission: We are committed to providing the tools necessary for businesses and organizations to connect with consumers and communities in the form of branding, marketing and publishing.

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When you Succeed, we’ve Succeeded! http://fgi.media/2017/01/25/when-you-succeed-weve-succeeded/ http://fgi.media/2017/01/25/when-you-succeed-weve-succeeded/#respond Wed, 25 Jan 2017 13:19:20 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=74 http://fgi.media/2017/01/25/when-you-succeed-weve-succeeded/feed/ 0 Get your Amish Business Directory http://fgi.media/2016/07/19/get-your-amish-business-directory/ http://fgi.media/2016/07/19/get-your-amish-business-directory/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:09:30 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=57 Call 440-632-0782 or 330-389-0094 to purchase your copy for a donation of $2. A portion of the proceeds will be donated the DDC Clinic for Special Needs Children | Middlefield Ohio .

Amish Geauga ~ an exhaustive guide to the Amish Businesses in Geauga County

Amish Geauga
~ an exhaustive guide to the Amish Businesses in Geauga County

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Why are you in business? http://fgi.media/2016/07/19/why-are-you-in-business/ http://fgi.media/2016/07/19/why-are-you-in-business/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 14:06:08 +0000 http://fgi.media/?p=53 Answer this question first. This answer will set you on your way. Why do you do what you do and for whom?  Establish your purpose; is it beyond just making money? Jot down your thoughts.

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