Matt Morgan, the CEO of Optimize Worldwide, knows all about the changes brought by the Digital Revolution. He’s been running a marketing business for himself in Shasta County since 1997. “I started my first business in high school,” he says. “I had a vinyl plotter and would make logos, signs, and banners for local motocross and skateboard shops. That funded me through college. As I started to become more interested in tech, I converted the business to a web design company.”
About five years ago, Matt Morgan began Optimize Worldwide out of his bedroom with “a laptop and no money.” Over time the business expanded. “I hired my first employee,” he recalls. “Then I moved into my first office. Then I moved into a bigger office. Then I hired more employees. Today we’re the largest web design firm in the Redding area, with clients all over the nation. 40% of our clients come from outside the area, drawn by our own web optimization and online marketing efforts.” This success reflects the growing need for the services of companies like Optimize Worldwide.
The success of Optimize Worldwide: How smartphones have upended advertising
Matt Morgan has definitely noticed the number of clients needing better websites increasing at a constant rate. “Traditional marketing, whether it’s print, TV, or radio, just doesn’t get the same traction as the information that can be found on a phone,” Matt remarks. “There was a time when it was merely advantageous to a business to have a website, because then customers could find information 24/7, but once everyone started using their smartphones it became a necessity. If someone uses their smartphone to look at a business and find out whether they’re open and what they offer, they want that information immediately. They find it from their smartphones, and that means they’re looking at your website.”
“Customers aren’t using an actual phone book anymore,” Matt continues. “They’re not responding to TV or radio ads. They use DVR to skip right through the ads, and they’re listening to music on Spotify and Pandora instead of on the radio. So if you want to do advertising now, it’s got to be digital ads, Facebook, and mobile.”
“The demand for our services have dramatically increased. I feel pretty good about being in this industry now,” he laughs. “I’ve got job security!”
Consistency, simplicity, and Google – What businesses need to know about marketing
The first concept Matt pointed to that service companies need to understand is the simple necessity of showing up on Google search. “Customers are going to Google because it’s the top search engine,” Matt says, “and more than likely, they’re going to search on their phone. So not only do you need a beautiful website that’s mobile friendly, but you need to be found in Google search.”
Matt cautions that “If you’re spending a ton of money on TV and print ads, but you’re not number one in Google search, you might be driving people to your competitor. If you’re an attorney, people will see your ad and it will remind them, “Hey I need to call an attorney to deal with the claims from the car accident I had,” and then they’ll go to Google and see all the other lawyers who rank ahead of you. So if you aren’t number one in Google search you might be driving customers right into your competitors’ arms. Having a mobile website that ranks well on Google is your number one concern, and then you’ll wrap all your other marketing services around that.”
“Also, you’ve got to keep it simple,” Matt advises. “Your website should say who you are, what you do, and what your phone number is. That information should be easy to find.”
The number one problem that Optimize Worldwide deals with is somewhat more counterintuitive than simply failing to produce good content or failing to use social media effectively. “Consistency of information,” he says, is the largest aspect he sees lacking in businesses that come to him. “One of the major headaches we deal with is when the name, address, phone number and so on for a client is inconsistent across multiple directories,” Matt explains. “Customers get their information in different places. They might be on YP.com or Superpages or Google or Bing and it frustrates them when they wind up at your old location or call your old phone number. It’s hard to track all that stuff down when a business changes its information.”
Fortunately, he points out “there are services that clean up your logo, name, contact information, hours, and address and make them consistent across all platforms, including your social media. Brand consistency can be a nightmare if you can’t figure out where the wrong information is published.” Matt highly recommends using these services, and making an effort to keep information as consistent as possible.
The value of Optimize Worldwide
Finally, Matt cautions against trying to do online marketing “in-house” as many small businesses try to do. Especially, he advises companies not to foist such responsibilities off on administrative assistants. “It’s not a good idea,” he says. “Your office admin people can take care of a lot of basic things such as sharing updates on social media or checking e-mails that come through your site. But it takes a full marketing team to properly advertise and optimize your business. I couldn’t do it all by myself here, even if I wanted to. We have twelve people involved in our campaigns with different layers of expertise – graphics, optimization social media expertise, copywriting, advertising, project management and so on. You might scratch the surface with your office administrator, but there’s a lot more involved if you really want to get your business out there. So it just makes sense to hire a marketing company that has that experience.”
Optimize Worldwide is located at 833 Mistletoe Lane, in Redding California. For questions about their work in online marketing, they can be reached at 530-710-8283 or online at https://optimizeworldwide.com.
Joe’s Web Geeks also do web marketing.