All posts by DAS Group

A picture is worth a thousand words: Why pictures are such a critical part of your local search strategy

Local Search Strategy

The cliché that a picture is worth a thousand words has proven true over many years and across many mediums – especially in local search strategy for businesses. Pictures are so effective because a large part of the human brain is devoted to visual processing. In fact, studies have shown that we can recognize a familiar image in just 100 milliseconds. When you consider how difficult it is to capture your target audience’s attention in today’s short-attention-span world, it’s easy to see how pictures can help you do it quickly and effectively.

Using images is just as important as using keywords in helping drive traffic to your website. Finding the right ones – in addition to using those specific to your business – is easier than you may think. Try using Google’s Images search; this is Google’s own images index where it keeps billions of pictures. Although using these is an often-overlooked strategy, they can drive traffic to websites as people search for examples of all sorts of products, activities, services, etc. More than 10% of all Google searches are for images and daily page views of Google images number more than a billion.

When you use unique, quality pictures that help tell your brand’s story and provide visual cues for location and service, you can convert more customers and improve discoverability through image searches. In addition, geotagging each picture is essential. Geotagging is the process of storing the latitude and longitude of your current location with your pictures so that the data is picked up by those using devices for local searches of businesses to patronize.

For businesses that have a Google My Business (GMB) profile, pictures play an exceptionally important role in optimizing their local search presence. Google My Business is a directory that Google created; it presents results on branded and generic keyword searches of your business and for keywords related to products and services you provide.
To have the best chance of your listing grabbing someone’s attention, the following images are key:

  • Logo – Help your customers recognize your business on Google by including your logo. For businesses that have their basic information (phone number, hours, etc.), the Business Profile portion of the listing will highlight the logo.
  • Cover photo – Add a cover photo to the top of the profile that best represents your business. This photo, like your logo, goes a long way to establish your brand’s identity.
  • Additional photos – Add additional photos to highlight features of your business that customers consider when making purchasing decisions. Your business will look best on Google if you add category-specific photos. The pictures you add to your profile can also help differentiate your business from others on Google.

Types of business-specific photos to include in your GMB profile:

  • Exterior photos – These help customers recognize your business as they approach from different directions.
  • Interior photos – These help your customers get a feel for the ambiance and décor of your business.
  • Product photos – These should be representative of your products or of your popular products to give customers a better understanding of the kinds of goods you offer.
  • Team photos – These are important to show the personal side of your business.

The use of similar pictures and videos on social media and across other local listings profiles also delivers results in several powerful ways:

  • Pictures call attention to your profile and posts.
  • On social media, photos and videos help your audience remember your message.
  • Using the same types of images across several social media platforms and local listings profiles will help define your brand and establish a brand that customers will recognize.

DAS Group can assist your business with ensuring photos are part of your local search strategy. Contact us today!

Understanding General Data Protection Regulation Compliance

Understanding General Data Protection Regulation Compliance

The deadline for compliance with the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Compliance Regulation (GDPR) is approaching fast. By May 25, 2018, all companies that do business in the EU, process the data of EU residents, and have more than 250 employees must show that they are taking substantive measures to protect the personal data and privacy of EU citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.

The GDPR also regulates the exportation of personal data outside the EU and affects companies with less than 250 employees whose data processing rights impact the rights and freedoms of data subjects on a more than occasional basis and include certain types of sensitive personal data.

Essentially, any company doing business in the EU’s 28-member states or utilizing the data of EU citizens is subject to the regulation’s standards. Understanding how to meet these standards is particularly important for US businesses and others worldwide that operate internationally – specifically those with customers in the EU. In addition, all data processors and data controllers that work with these businesses must be in compliance – the reasoning being that if your vendor is not in compliance, then your company cannot be in compliance. So, all contracts with vendors of this type must be updated to reflect that systems and practices have been put in place to comply with the GDPR. As with individual businesses, these vendor contracts need to define consistent processes for how data is managed and protected, and how breaches are reported.

While GDPR standards are considered high, they are uniform across all EU member states – so initiatives can all meet one standard. However, a recent report by Ovum found that about two-thirds of US company officials feel they will have to rethink their strategy in Europe due to system and business practice requirements, and nearly 85% feel the GDPR is putting them at a competitive disadvantage with European companies.

About 68% of US-based companies expect to spend $1 million to $10 million on systems to meet GDPR requirements, while another 9% expect to spend more than $10 million, according to a recent PwC survey. The type of basic identity information companies must now protect includes name, address and ID numbers; web data such as location, IP address, cookie data and RFID tags; health and genetic data; biometric data; racial or ethnic data; political opinions; and sexual orientation.

The first step in protecting data is to make certain that your company’s IT and security teams understand how it is stored and processed. The GDPR specifies the roles that are responsible for ensuring compliance as the data controller, data processor, and the data protection officer. The data controller defines how personal data is processed and the purposes for which it is processed. The controller is also responsible for making sure that outside contractors comply.

Once your team of professionals has worked together to gather the necessary information for GDPR compliance, they can then agree on a compliant process for reporting, articulate that in a new policy for the company, and include it in new contracts with vendors.

Companies that do not take these steps internally and with their data management vendors by the May 25 deadline are at risk for being charged EU regulatory non-compliance fines, which historically have been steep. However, there is little need to place your business at risk of GDPR non-compliance. With careful attention to detail and proactive initiatives, companies can meet the GDPR standard and at the same time know they are protecting customers and their own business by making all less vulnerable to data breaches.

At DAS Group, we are aware of the GDPR requirements and are ready to ensure we advise our clients to ensure they are also taking the necessary measures. It bears repeating that compliance is required by all companies with customers in the EU as well as by all vendors who have clients with customers in the EU. If you have questions about meeting GDPR compliance, contact DAS Group. We are happy to discuss your concerns and help your brand ensure compliance.

DAS Group, Inc. CEO Recognized Again as Top Women-Led Business Owner by The Commonwealth Institute

DAS Group, Inc. CEO Recognized Again as Top Women-Led Business Owner by The Commonwealth Institute

The Commonwealth Institute (TCI) honored Top Women-Led Businesses from the state of Florida at a luncheon held today at Hilton Miami Downtown. TCI is a non-profit organization that works to advance businesswomen in leadership positions in Florida and Massachusetts; they partnered with Kaufman Rossin to administer and analyze the 2018 Women-Led Businesses Survey. The survey gathers information about women-led businesses in the state, identifying trends and common concerns.

CEO of DAS Group, Christina Parsons, was recognized today as one of the 50 Top Women-led Businesses in Florida; DAS Group was ranked 20th. Christina and DAS Group were also recognized last year and held the same rank. Although she was not able to be present today because of a prior commitment to attend a Google event in New York, two of Parsons’s daughters accepted the award on her behalf. Parsons and the other female business leaders that were recognized are CEOs, senior executives, entrepreneurs, and more from a wide variety of industries. This group of successful women has worked diligently to create and grow successful businesses, organizations and careers.

About Christina Parsons, CEO
Prior to working at DAS Group, Parsons was Director of Marketing & Electronic Media at Global Directories and Director of eStrategy at Saveology.com. A graduate of University of Miami, Bachelor of Business Administration (2003) and Florida International University, Master of Business Administration (2011), Parson’s hard work and dedication as a strategic and connected businesswoman has led her to this point in her career. At DAS Group, she has developed strong relationships with franchise and multi-location businesses and implemented strategies to help these brands create successful marketing programs. On a personal level, Parsons is the proud mother of four talented children and enjoys traveling and hiking.

About DAS Group, Inc.
Founded in 1980, DAS Group is a digital marketing company, specializing in local digital marketing programs for franchise organizations and national and regional multi-location brands. DAS Group employs first in class technology, but never loses sight of the people that use it. We offer customers the opportunity to increase visibility, providing a focused customer experience, while still balancing local and national marketing.

Using What We Learned in 2017 to Plan for 2018

Using What We Learned in 2017 to Plan for 2018

One of the most exciting aspects of starting a new year for us is the opportunity to leverage the knowledge gained over the past one. 2017 brought about a lot of new changes, tools and trends in search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and more.

The rise of accelerated mobile pages (AMP) for advertisements is particularly exciting, considering Google’s launch of a beta that enables businesses to point their mobile search ads to AMP-enabled landing pages. Using AMP landing pages proved so effective for advertisers over the past year that some e-commerce companies have begun to develop a complete AMP experience for mobile search audiences.

In keeping with this trend, Google worked toward opening its Purchases on Google beta in 2017 to simplify and accelerate the process of buying from product listing ads (PLAs). We are eagerly awaiting the results of this effort in 2018.

These trends are not surprising given the conclusion that many marketers and advertisers have come to the conclusion that mobile-based user searches are the way of the future. Now, more than ever, you and your business are missing out if you are not creating your ads, online experience, and other content to suit mobile users.

Another example of how to leverage the mobile usage trend is the ever-increasing use of mobile video – a tool whose views grew six times faster than desktop views in 2015. It’s easy to see that mobile video use is still on the rise if you simply glance at your Facebook feed. Chances are, you will find that 95% of it is in mobile video format.

Another important social media trend that we will be leveraging in 2017 is short-lived content. We noted in 2017 that Snapchat’s huge appeal was the fact that its content disappears – and in doing so attracted the important Generation Z audience, which is known for its much-maligned eight second attention span. With most modern audiences’ short attention span considered, this trend is precisely why we will be considering ways to make the most of creative and targeted short-lived content.

Also in 2017’s social media realm, we were intrigued by the fact that chatbot technology has become more sophisticated, as exemplified by Facebook. The social media leader has made an art of creating bot programs that provide users with news updates and personal responses in which readers cannot tell if they are talking to a human or a bot. Since this is truly the mark of a great bot program, we are exploring how we can use this tool to influence the purchases of products and services in a variety of industries.

The ultimate challenge for marketers in 2018 will no doubt be winning more business from the wildly effective interactive content trend. There’s no question that this type of content is more popular now than content that is just read. Buzzfeed’s “What City Should You Live In?” is a great example of how interactive content can engage multiple audiences. Chances are good that if you can think of ways to get readers to actively participate in your content rather than to just passively consume it, you will hit a marketing home run with a high return on investment. This type of content can include assessments and polls, as well as surveys, infographics, and contests.

2018 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years ever in online marketing for DAS Group, as the tools we have to work with encourage us to be even more creative. We eagerly look forward to using all of our new concepts and creations to the benefit of all of our clients in a wide variety of industries. Call us today to discuss how we can help move your brand in the right direction!

DAS Group, Inc. Spends an Afternoon Giving Back to the Community at Feeding South Florida

DAS Group at Feeding South Florida

PEMBROKE PINES, FL, December 4, 2017 – Led by CEO Christina M. Parsons and Founder Karen Korner, the team at DAS Group organized an afternoon of community service on Friday, December 1, 2017. The office closed up early and everyone headed over to Feeding South Florida’s warehouses in Pembroke Park, FL. Feeding South Florida is a member of the Feeding America network and is the leading domestic hunger-relief organization in South Florida serving the hungry population of Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties. For every $1 donated to the organization, 6 meals are provided. They are able to rescue 44 million pounds of food per year in addition to leading hunger and poverty advocacy efforts and providing education for the community. There are countless ways to help and get involved if you want to help make a change.

Our team pulled together to pack 468 boxes that were loaded onto 13 pallets. Each box contained a variety of non-perishable items such as canned vegetables and peanut butter that will be given to senior citizens throughout South Florida. “The need in our community is incredible and doing this was really eye-opening. We take a lot for granted every single day and it’s important to give back when we can. We’ll be working on a few service projects throughout the year to keep ourselves connected with our community.,” said Parsons. Marketing Assistant Alyssa Beingolea agreed and added, “It was really fulfilling to see the pallets rolled away with all the boxes ready to go to those who need them.”

About DAS Group, Inc.

Founded in 1980, DAS Group is a digital marketing company that specializes in lead generation utilizing, search engine marketing and local search engine placements, custom application, and web development. We are a certified Google partner. DAS Group strives to bring customized solutions to our clients through unique lead generation and marketing efforts. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” solution. Clients have different needs and objectives that allow us to utilize the many options at our disposal to help achieve measurable results.

Contact:
Sophie Gatto
Account Manager
DAS Group, Inc.
(954) 893-8112
sophie@das-group.com
//www.das-group.com/