June 2019 - YasTech Developments
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[Video] Tour of My Budget Recording Setup | You Can Make Video, Too!

You CAN Make Video!

Video is a necessity for reaching your audience in an interactive way. Last week’s blog gave you some incredible statistics about why you need to start working on video, and this week, as I promised, we’re taking a tour of the “Yas Studio”.

My setup cost less than $400 and you’ll see that you can start making your own videos for even less than that!

Cost Breakdown:

Shure MV88+ Video Kit: $250

Yas Poster: $60

Replacement Plant: $20

Reflective White Surfaces for Light: $3 at the Dollar Store

Pointing at the wrong part of my phone at the beginning of the video: Priceless

Shure MV88+ Video Kit



The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

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CalgaryEdmontonMarketingReginaSaskatoonSEOSocial MediaWeb Design

[Video] 20 Reasons You Need To Include Video In Your Marketing RIGHT NOW

Join me this week as I talk about creating video content for your marketing. As you can tell by my content lately, the video bug has bitten Yas.

Now, like many of you, we didn’t have a bunch of equipment just lying around. Check back for the next video to see what I used to make this makeshift recording studio!

Here are all of the statistics I discuss in the video:

  1. 35% of users trust online video ads
  2. 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week
  3. By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic – 15x higher than in 2017
  4. 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read text
  5. 65% of people use YouTube to help them solve a problem
  6. 50% of viewers aged 18-34 said they would stop what they were doing to watch a video from their favorite creator.
  7. 80% of users recall a video ad they’ve seen in the past month
  8. 40% of users take action after viewing a video ad
  9. After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online
  10. Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text.
  11. A website is 53x more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video
  12. Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined
  13. Video Marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year.
  14. Using the word Video in an email subject line boosts the open rates by 19%
  15. Video in email leads to a 200-300% increase in clickthrough rates
  16. Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users
  17. Marketers who use video receive 41% more web traffic from search than non-users
  18. Including video on landing page can increase conversions by 80%
  19. 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of video marketing on social media
  20. 70% of marketing professionals report video converts better than any other medium





Want more tips on improving your website? Check out one of our latest articles, Top 8 Most Important Qualities of a Great Website.


The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

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EdmontonMarketingWeb Design

Should You Learn 3D Modeling For Your Business? Here’s My Story:

Hello, my name is Zack and I’m going to tell you the story of my journey with 3D Modeling, how I integrated it into what I do here at a Marketing company, and how you or someone on your marketing team can make it happen without having to spend money on programs or classes.

The reason I first got into 3D modeling was actually kind of an accident. I play a lot of tabletop and board games, and one day after a local 3D printing company opened in my city, I thought to myself, “It would be really cool if I could take character models from video games and print them”.

I found out that I could either pay $30 for each 30” figure, or that I could just buy my own printer and print the figures for less than 10c each. I bought my own printer.

So of course, I did what any unreasonably motivated person with too much time on his hands would do. I downloaded a free 3D program called Blender and started watching YouTube videos.

What I Downloaded and How I Learned:

I read through some articles and forums and found out that there was a free-to-use program with a ton of functionality and a steep learning curve, Blender. Blender is currently the only 3D modeling program I’ve used, and it’s powerful enough for my personal hobbies, my 3D marketing renders, and even my 3D video.

I’m sure there are plenty of websites you can pay for courses through, but save yourself some money and watch The Blender Guru’s tutorials for free on YouTube. His very first tutorial series shows you how to set up a scene with a donut on a plate next to a coffee cup.

Before you start, here’s my warning: Blender’s User Interface can be overwhelmingly complicated. You will most likely find yourself looking at a screen or menu you’ve never noticed before. I struggled through these sort of issues for about 2 weeks before I got my footing.

Pro tip: Google is your friend! For every issue I came across, hundreds of others experienced the same troubles and shared their answers in articles and videos.

As I write this article, I’ve been 3D modeling for about half a year now. By no means do I consider myself a master or an expert, but the first character model I made back in December took me a whole month of pulling my hair out with mistakes. These days, I can make much more complicated models in only a few hours.

How I’ve Used 3D Modeling in Yas’ Marketing:

The first things I worked on as a 3D project at work were some shiny new graphics to display on our website, blog posts, and ads.

Here are some of my creations:

Integrations integrating gears blue white papercut graphic responsive screen design tablet phone desktop blue white papercut graphic Interactive web design touch blue white papercut graphic Yas Website Papercut Layered Design Paper Art Yas Logo in 3D blocks

When I got a little more comfortable, I made the commercial you saw earlier in this post. It’s only 6 seconds, but I was so proud of myself for figuring out how to record the models moving like that.

After those applications, I kind of hit a wall as far as what I could actually do with this skill.

How I Wish I Could Use 3D Modeling in Yas’ Marketing:

Yas is a marketing, website, and branding business, which means we don’t sell any product. I’ve spent a good amount of time looking around the internet to see how I should use 3D modeling in my business, and I quickly found out that the absolute best use is for product marketing.

If I had product that came in bottles or cans or tins, I could spend 20 minutes making a simple cylinder shape and wrapping my advertisement image around it. Then, I would set the lighting just right, add some splashes of color and voila! No more bland photographs for me.

Now, I’m not going to stop figuring out clever ways to use my 3D modeling skills in my industry, but that brings us to the question of the article:

Should You Learn 3D Modeling For Your Business?

If you sell products or take part in any sort of visual marketing, this skill can bring your team ahead of the competition! However, don’t forget that it’s quite difficult at the start and will take a month or two to start to feel comfortable doing.

What would you use 3D models for in your marketing? Let me know in the comments!


The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

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[Video] A/B Testing in Marketing; Your Secret Weapon

What Is A/B Testing?

A/B Testing is when you make two variations to measure against each other. In marketing, this means creating two or more ads for a similar purpose.

Using Google Ads as an example, it’s important to make two ads in the same ad group that use different headings, descriptions, landing pages, etc. Basically, anything that can be changed can be A/B Tested.

What Am I Looking For With A/B Testing?

When you’re A/B Testing, and, especially in a platform like Google Ads that gives you analytics to compare, you’re looking at performance. Which Google Ad was clicked more? Which email campaign has the highest open rate?

With that data, you can sit down and begin to understand the types of things that work well with your clients. Maybe they didn’t like one of your landing pages because it was too broad. A/B Testing may not be able to tell you why some things work better than others, but everyone can benefit from identifying and acting upon trends.

Google Ads Note*

One thing to be careful about when it comes to measuring your A/B Testing is that Google Ads has settings where they basically do the A/B Testing for you. Google will analyze which of your ads are doing the best and show those ones more. This will make it more obvious for you to compare, but keep in mind that the difference you’re seeing may not be accurate.

Don’t change your entire marketing plan just because it looks like one Google ad is doing 1000% better than the other one.

Keep your marketing evolving by using great marketing techniques like A/B Testing!


The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

Where would you like the Mini Course sent?

What's in this course? Grey Arrow

Google is the new Yellow Pages: The Importance of Being on the First page of Google

Invisible on the InternetWhen was the last time you opened the Yellow Pages to find a business? If you’re like me, it’s probably been at least 7+ years or more, or, if you’re part of our younger audience, the answer may be never. So, why am I even talking about this?

Back when the phone book Yellow Pages were a thing (it still is but I’m not sure why), if you were a business, you ‘needed’ to have a Yellow Page listing. Businesses could even pay for a Bold listing or larger graphic ads to try and stand out from the competition. But, at the very least, just being listed there got you exposure.

Today though, things are different. Google has taken over as king, and if you’re not on their first page when someone searches for a business in your industry, you’re almost invisible.

The first page of Google today also means much more than just the first 10 organic results. When doing a local search for a business, this will include ads, the local map pack, and the top 10 organics results. Let’s dive into some of the stats about each of these sections.

Google Ads

As a test, let’s do a search for ‘lawyer in Edmonton’. This is what is considered a local search. It has the industry and the location. The first thing we find on Google for this search is 4 paid Google Ads.

Google Ads

It’s hard to find specific stats on how many people click on paid ads for local searches, but most studies confirm that around 40% of clicks go to the top paid ads in search results (Powertraffick.com PPC Stats). With recent changes making ads look more like organic results, more people are clicking on ads.

To appear in Google Ads, you need to pay for them. To get started, you can go to https://ads.google.com. If you need help setting them up, check out our recent article titled Master Your Google Ads Game in 10 easy Steps, or contact us.

Running Google Ads is the easiest way to get yourself on the first page of Google. If your goal is to increase traffic and exposure quickly, this is your best bet.

Google Map Pack

When doing a search that includes the name of a city or town, Google will show you their map pack. This section will include a small map with pins to 3 businesses that match your search. There can also be an ad spot within this map pack as well.

Google Map Pack

Other than the Ad spot, there are many factors in play when Google decides who to place in this map list. Here is what we have found to be factors that help your business get placed in this map pack:

  1. A complete Google My Business listing
  2. Quality reviews on Google for your business
  3. Good website search engine optimization

An important thing to note about the Map Pack, though, is that where you are searching from will also affect which businesses are listed here. For example, if you’re downtown and search for a business, Google may show different businesses than if you search from the North side of your city. This is because vicinity to search also plays a role in who’s shown.

Think of this from Google’s perspective. If you type “McDonalds” into the map, Google is going to show you the closest locations. It wouldn’t be very valuable to show you the location across the city, and Google wants to make sure you keep using their search and their maps.

Organic Search Listings

On each page of Google are 10 organic search results. Your website gets listed within these results based on how well your website is search optimized. We call this SEO.

Just like getting listed in the Google Map pack, there are many factors that decide which websites appear in the top 10 organic search results. Some of them include:

  • Do your website titles, headings, and content include the keyword being searched
  • How quickly your website loads
  • How mobile friendly it is
  • How many quality back-links to your website do you have

Having quality back-links to your website helps Google trust your website. If a website has more back-links, Google feels it can trust this website to be a reliable source of info.

There are tasks you can do yourself to improve the SEO of your website. Here’s a great guide we found on doing that:

Beginners guide to SEO

In this report from April 2019, Advanced Web Ranking breaks down the click-through-rate (CTR) percentages for each of the top 10 positions for both desktop and mobile search:

Position Desktop Mobile
1 31% 22.5%
2 16% 14%
3 10% 9.5%
4 6.5% 6%
5 4.5% 4%
6 3% 3%
7 2.5% 2.5%
8 2% 1.5%
9 1.5% 1.5%
10 1% 1%

On desktop searches, 78% of all organic clicks occur in the top 10 listings, and on mobile, that number is slightly less at 65.5%.

If we add up the number of people who click on ads, the map pack, and the top 10 organic listings, we get 95% of all searchers. That means only 5% of people go past the first page of Google. So, like we said, if your business can’t be found on the first page, you’re nearly invisible on the internet.

So What Should You Do?

The answer to this will depend on your goals.

If you’re looking for immediate results, go with Google Ads. This puts you at the top of the list almost immediately. If you do run Google Ads, it is important that you monitor them to ensure you’re seeing a positive return on investment. Ads can become expensive if you’re not seeing a return.

Another downside of Google Ads is that once you stop paying for them, you no longer appear on the first page.

If you’re wanting to appear in the Google map pack, start by making sure you have claimed and completed your Google My Business listing. Once you have done that, make sure to set up a process to ask for reviews. Google reviews can go a long way in building trust in your business.

If you’re looking for the best long term results, go with SEO. Optimizing your website to appear in the top 10 results can take some time to see positive results, but the work you put in doesn’t disappear if you stop optimizing. After putting in the work to get to the first page, if you stop, you website is still going to appear there, at least until someone else puts in more work.

Depending on your industry and location, though, SEO can be quite competitive, and a lot of work might be needed to get your business onto the first page. If you’ve tried all the SEO basics you can do yourself and you’re not seeing results, let us know and we can help you out.

Whatever strategy you want to take, we’re here for you if you need help. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have.


The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

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[Video] Here’s What Google’s New Icon Update Means For Your Business

Preface: What Some of Google’s Prior Updates Have Meant

I’m surprised I couldn’t find people talking about this. Maybe I didn’t search the right things. In their quest to become the best search engine, it seems Google continues to weigh the needs and wants of the end customer over business owners. What do I mean by this? Let me answer that question with another question:

How many times have you searched for something on Google and found the answer without having to click through to the page they’re sourcing the information from?

You take your phone out. You search, “What’s the best way to unclog a sink?”. There it is—cat staring you in the face, answers in front of you. Google has displayed a preview of what they deemed to be the most relevant article. If that preview satisfies my question, there’s no need for me to click on the article, right?

Why do we write blog articles? I’ve worked with business owners building blogs for a couple of years, and I know that two of the main reasons to write a blog are:

  1. SEO
  2. Getting Leads

Now, if Google is displaying your article in this way, congratulations—you’ve met your SEO goal. The problem comes from #2. Someone found your information, but they may never have any idea that it even came from a hardworking business owner—that it came from you.

If someone who is searching never lands on your page, you don’t have any opportunity to convert them into a customer, and you also miss out on getting any brand recognition. We didn’t put all that work into our content, images, calls to action, and videos, right? Well, the latest update makes this a little better—if you know what to do with it.

What are Google’s New Changes?

Google’s newest update, which is live on mobile already, adds your business name and your logo to each of your search listings. There are two purposes they’ve stated for this:

  1. “To help you discover these new types of information and quickly determine what’s most useful for you.” –Google
  2. “This new design allows us to add more action buttons and helpful previews to search results cards, all while giving you a better sense of the web page’s content with clear attribution back to the source.” –Google

In plain English, #1 says they want to make the users’ experience easier and #2 says they want to be able to show you more useful information on their pages.

Displaying source names and icons is a great step toward giving businesses a little brand power; I’ll give them that. However, the second point seems to say they’re working on introducing more features that will keep customers on Google, rather than clicking through to your pages.

What Does This Mean to You?

Honestly, it’s a great change for Google’s (and your) customers. We want to find information faster and faster and I wouldn’t mind being able to make purchases right on Google’s pages; the less work I have to put in, the better.

However, if you’re a business owner with a website, the answer is a little different. Here’s the punchline:

It’s more important now than ever to have a clear, cohesive brand.

Your customers are going to get a small glimpse of your name and your logo. If they don’t know you, it’s an opportunity to have your brand seen. If they do know you, it’s an opportunity for them to choose you over your competitors because they’re more comfortable or familiar with your brand.

Here’s what I mean by clear and cohesive:

  • Your logo is recognizable as a tiny image. Are you still using your old logo that’s long across and has your company’s name written in it? Try shrinking it down so it would fit on your fingernail. If people can’t tell what it is or what it says, something needs to change.
  • Your name is consistent. Businesses can develop nicknames over time like McDonalds being called Micky D’s, but this isn’t really what I’m talking about. Look at your legal name, storefront sign, business cards, and all other collateral. Is your business’ name the same across all of them? For example, if someone knows you as BTL, they may not recognize the link by Big Trucking Limited.
  • Your brand is established. What I mean by this is that your brand has guidelines that you follow all the time. I probably use this example too often, but you always know when you’re looking at an Apple commercial or web page. Everything they do follows specific guidelines, so when you see the commercial, you think of their logo, and when you see their logo, you remember everything else that you’ve seen from them.

With the right branding, Google’s new change can do some heavy lifting for you. You want people to see your tiny logo and immediately recall all of the great experiences they’ve had with you, or at least, subconsciously make them think “I like this brand” whether or not they can remember why.

Google isn’t going to stop offering their customers convenience on their own site, but, at least as a business owner, you can take advantage of the bone they are throwing you this time. Now go, go make yourself a square logo!


The Questions You Need To Answer To Make a Website That Makes You Money

Start off with Yas’ Website Strategy Cheat Sheet and follow along as we show you what you need to know to create a high-converting website.

Where would you like the Mini Course sent?

What's in this course? Grey Arrow

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