CRM or SPAM?: The Age of Over Marketing

Today, I’m watching a business channel and a commercial for Grammarly Business appears. In it, employees are being sucked into their computers, overwhelmed by emails they need to reply to. Of course, the AI tools available in the software are supposed to make things more efficient. I look at this problem from a different angle.

Too Much of an Email Thing

We are overwhelmed by volume, most of which doesn’t need responses. Email inboxes for managers and owners in business are overflowing with way more than necessary notes. We are inundated with CRM generated marketing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for CRM as a form of marketing and customer care, but please, spare me the constant flow of irrelevant sales pitches.

Yesterday I got one that said this:

“I have reached out to you in the past, but I understand that nobody likes being ambushed with random emails. The truth is, I really believe you’d be interested in what we bring to the table. In the interest of efficiency, I’ve removed every unnecessary detail from my previous emails”

At first glance it looks good, considerate, and tailored to something I might need or want. However, the next part is a sales pitch for software development for tech stacks. This is not relevant for my business.

I understand that everyone is trying to build a business and automation is handy. It’s not a perfect science. The problem is, this is the third or fourth email I’ve received. Enough already!

Good Email Etiquette

I run an agency and we need clients too, but, having been in some form of sales for many years, there are some etiquette rules my team follows:

  1. Pitch by email once, follow up once, and call once (if you can find a number). If you do not have anything new to offer, like a new deal or new information that could help your prospect, do not send more emails.
  2. Be courteous. Emails that start with “I am still waiting for a reply” and “I would appreciate a response” are not okay to send to prospects.
  3. Curate a list of leads that you have checked out in advance. Know what their businesses are so you do not waste their time.
  4. If you get a positive response, answer within 24 hours. I have responded to a couple of the hundreds of emails I get every day, and neither one yielded an answer. Is there even a human behind the automated platform?

Earning the Sale is the Goal

Mindlessly pitching people makes us inattentive. We stop reading emails. Instead, we spend the first part of every day deleting and marking things as SPAM, and those automatically generated electrical impulses hit the e-landfill in cyberspace.

So trying to be a bit more mindful of who you are reaching out to; how your offering fits their needs; and the number of times you ping the same email address can help all of us. The goal is to connect and build a relationship with a new client. It would be great to start that bond on the right foot.

Interview with an SEO Expert

This week, we talked to an expert on SEO about all the questions you may have on maintaining a successful website with the best practices for SEO in 2024.

What makes a website SEO friendly?

SEO friendliness takes a lot of things into account. Keyword density and placement, properly using “ALT” tags (which is also important for ADA compliance), and context that is relevant. Meta tags (title/description) for search are also important.

What kind of factors do search engines consider when ranking?

Search engines don’t want to be scammed. They can tell when people are using gimmicks or tricks to skew their SEO scores. Every time the algorithm changes, and people freak out, it’s often because they like shortcuts instead of doing the work.

How can I find relevant keywords?

Chances are you didn’t invent the industry you work in. Use Google trends / search / keywords to find out what is relevant to the specific page you’re working on. If you’re targeting a local market, research that specifically and compare it with larger scale results.

Why is my organic traffic dropping?

Is your content stale? Is it relevant? Keep your content fresh. If you have a blog, utilize it.

How long will it take to rank on search engines?

Could be 2 weeks or 2 decades depending on your content (first) and SEO (second). SEO happens naturally to some extent if your copy is presented well.

 How long should my content be?

Long enough. Sometimes people write novels, sometimes nothing. Present your content in a way that makes sense to humans.

How often should I be adding new content?

Is it good quality content, or filler because you feel like you need to be adding things? Go for quality over quantity but if you can manage both, great!

What are some common SEO mistakes I should avoid?

Don’t put 600 keywords on one page and then list every city on the planet. Keyword density targets are usually small. Overdo it and you’ll lose points fast. Don’t go changing your URLs to ridiculous long-winded keywords. For example, your about page is your about page and should simply be /about; it should not be /about-the-best-car-dealership-in-new-york.

Above all else, remember that your target audience is usually human. Your goal is to engage humans by engaging search engines to get humans to your website. If your website isn’t geared towards humans (simple & concise language), and focused on specific content, then you’re wasting your time.

For example, if I click a keyword in your paid ad for “ice cream” and your page is entirely about salad, I’m going to bounce. Follow the funnel logic (before funnels were a keyword) and SEO drives people to your website, and your website is supposed to convert them by encouraging them to participate (by communication, interaction, sales etc.).

Don’t fall for large company gimmicks that include services like monitored/recorded phone calls as part of their SEO package. Some companies charge many thousands of dollars and do almost nothing for you. If you want to monitor and record your incoming calls, get yourself a good phone service (most good business plans offer this anyway).

Finally, keep your websites fully maintained. Making sure your website is up to date will usually also keep things running safer and smoother. Outdated plugins or scripts can put your website at risk. Any visible risk can often be seen by crawlers, especially if there is a malware or other security issue. These things also affect the speed and reliability of your website, which can greatly impact your search performance.

Catch up with Josh:

Finding Killer Keywords for Your Content

Everyone can’t be a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert, but you can do some simple things that will make your content more competitive.  Using keywords or trending search terms in your content is one way to be found in search results. Even better, there are FREE tools that can help you identify killer keywords for your content, such as Google Trends, Google Search,  and Google keywords.

 Simple Tools for Identifying Keywords

Today I’m going to focus on two of my favorites, Google Trends and Search.  The keyword planner in Google is good, but you have to have an advertising account and I don’t like to give people advice that turns into a whole new can of worms.  Believe me, Google’s advertising platform is not for the faint of heart.

To use Google Trends first visit the Google Trends site.   Among the graphics and words, there is a blank box where you can type in a search term.  I just tried “books” and got these results.  [Click Here: Keyword Search Result]

Maximize the Power of Trends

The results screen gives you the opportunity to compare different terms and identify them as “web searches”, “youtube searches”, and other kinds of searches.     While you are here you can also:

  • dig down and get more specific, which may return a smaller number of results.  I put in “mystery novel” and saw a couple of spikes over the past couple of days, but not much else happening.
  • see the ranking by state, so you know the locations of people who are searching using your word or string of words in a search.
  • compare terms that may be close in meaning to see if there’s a difference in how popular they are.
  • set a time frame so you can see a whole year of search.  You can see if there are certain times of the year your terms are more likely to be trending.

Google continues to update the features that make Google Trends more powerful and full of information.

Use Search to Find Even More Keywords

Next you can navigate over to Google Search and type in one of the terms you feel is most popular.  Scroll down to the area that says “people also searched for…” and there will be even more phrases and words you can use in your content.  If you are stumped for ideas, you can also do this process in reverse.  Throw some words in the search bar and find some related terms for which other people are searching.  Now you know how to find killer keywords for your content.  Using this process will create greater chances for you to be seen and heard.

Newsletter subscribers will get a video demonstration on how to use Google Trends.  To subscribe please visit

Other articles on topics related to increasing your chances of being found are on our blog.  Here is a more general commentary on SEO – What is SEO and Why Should You Be Interested?


Getting Attention on Social Media

Getting attention on social media can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. With millions of people on each platform, how do you get the right people to see your content? 


Many people think hashtags are a thing of the past, but they do still have their place on many social media platforms. The landscape around them, however, is constantly changing and every site tends to leverage them slightly differently. It can be very confusing if you’re new to social media or coming back from a long hiatus to find everything has changed. This is why tailoring your hashtag strategy should be a routine part of your social media plan.

First you will want to identify your target audience and search for appropriate hashtags that the audience may be interested in. Get in the mind of your audience. Think about what tags they might search for on social media. If you’re an author, #bookstoread and #bookstagram are popular, community-based hashtags that many bookworms use when looking for new reading material. Complete a search of your own to see which posts get the most traction, and remember to be continually researching as information is changing constantly.


Potentially the simplest way to get attention on social media is to tag people or accounts that may be interested in your content. Tagging an account will get your post to pop up in their notifications, giving your content a higher chance of being seen by specific people.

Similar to your hashtag research, you will want to find accounts that you think would be interested in your content. Think about your target audience and identify accounts that may want your content to show up in their notifications. Once you have these accounts identified, you can begin mentioning them in your captions. On Instagram, Facebook, and X, start by typing ‘@’ and proceed to type in the account name you want to tag.

For example, if you put @mckinneymediagroup in an Instagram caption, we will be notified and see your post.

The Algorithm

The main way your content will get attention on social media is through the elusive algorithm. Social media platforms will deliver content they think you want to see based on things you have searched for and looked at previously. It looks at content and users and tries to serve the right content to the right people. 

“Beating” the algorithm and getting people to see your content isn’t always so easy and there isn’t one thing or another that you can do that will work every time. What is important is creating consistent, high quality content that you know your target audience will enjoy. Constantly keep an eye on trends in the algorithm on all your social media platforms to make sure that you’re staying up to date on how content is being pushed to users. Check out these 2024 guides to the algorithm on Instagram, Facebook, and X (Twitter) for more information.

What is SEO and Why Should You Be Interested?

Last month we talked about managing your social media content and audience. Now it’s time to discuss SEO, keywords, and getting people to visit your website. When you hear the term SEO, you may be thinking, what even is that? Or, does that really pertain to me? Everyone with a website should be thinking about SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of designing your website and content in a way that will increase its visibility on search engines such as Google and Bing. Organic traffic from search engines is one of the main ways a website gets viewed. 

There are three main types of SEO: on-page, off-page, and technical. Off-page and technical SEO refer to the optimizations that occur behind the scenes of a website. On-page SEO on the other hand focuses on aspects of the web page itself such as content quality and how much it aligns with what people are searching. This type of SEO can be the easiest for you to control.

The simplest way to begin optimizing your website is to find out what people in your audience are searching for and then create relevant and optimized content using these popular search terms. Use a keyword tool like Google Trends to research what people in your niche are searching. Once you have this information, create the type of content that your audience wants to see. Blogs, videos, interactive tools and more all work in different ways to serve your audience. Research what those you are targeting want to see and model your content accordingly.

Why Does SEO Pertain to Me?

So why does SEO pertain to you and your website? When people are searching for a product you sell or a service you provide, you want your website to show up at the top of their search results so that they are more likely to see it. A higher-ranking search result is made possible by SEO. 

Let’s say you wrote a mystery novel and you want more people to visit your website and ultimately purchase the book. Writing a blog on a relevant topic, such as a certain type of technology used in the book to solve the mystery, may drive more people from that niche to your website. This in turn gives them the opportunity to see your book on other pages of your website. It is not always about getting people to see the content itself, but also a way to drive them to the website as a whole and see the product or service you are selling without directly searching for it themselves.

Think about it, when was the last time you made it to the last page of your search engine results before finding what you were looking for, or even giving up? Probably never. You want your audience to find your website as soon as possible after searching, or there’s not a very likely chance of them finding it at all. 

If you have a website, SEO is something you should be thinking about, and it is something you can do yourself with a little research. Start by looking for those relevant keywords and begin tailoring your content to what your audience wants to see. The higher the search engine ranking you have, the higher your chance of being found organically.

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