AdWords for Nonprofits: Setting Up Google Grants & Tips

If you’re a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status, then you should have a Google Grants Account. If you don’t, you are missing out on $10,000.00 IN MONTHLY FREE AD SPEND! You know Google, the search engine that processes 5.5 billion searches per day?! You can easily bet there are searches happening that are related to your non-profit and it’d be a shame to not be appear for those searches FOR FREE.

If you’re not familiar with Paid Search, it’s paying to appear on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Say someone is searching for charities to give money to. Their first step is to do a little research:

google nonprofit search query

Your organization would then appear in the Paid Listings for generous donors to find you!

nonprofit google search results

Keep reading. We’ll take you through the steps to get there and start advancing your organization’s mission.

Google Grants Program Qualifications

In addition to being a 501(c)(3), you must fulfill these 2 eligibility requirements:

  1. Must be currently registered with TechSoup
  2. Formed for charitable, educational, religious, literary, scientific, or other tax-exempt purposes
  3. You must own your website- So no sites created through third parties like Blogger or social media pages such as Facebook.

How to Create a Google Grants Account

If you meet the eligibility requirements here are the steps to secure your Google Grants account:

  • Create your account here and review these steps to see what to expect for next. Be sure to NOT enter your billing information when creating the account, otherwise you end up paying for your ad spend.
  • You will see the option to create an AdWords Express campaign. I only recommend this option if you have absolutely no time or resources to manually set up an Ad Grants account. It is exponentially more beneficial for you create your own campaign because you will have full control over what searches your ads appear against.

Google Grants Program Parameters

Once you have your account, it’s important to understand the limitations of the program and what you need to do to keep your Grants status:

  • Your ads will only appear on
  • Your ads can only be text and you can only target keywords (AKA no Display ads)
  • There is a $2 max bid, so don’t enter CPCs higher than that amount
  • You are allotted a daily budget of $329. Don’t miss out on free money, make sure your daily budget totals are not set to anything less
  • If you’re an organization with multiple websites, only the domain that was reviewed/approved by Google can be advertised. However, if that is problematic for you, there are certain exceptions you can request, more information on that here.
  • Ad Grants accounts must appear as though they are being managed, so an account must be logged into at least monthly and have one or more changes implemented every 90 days. If you don’t display active management, Google will turn off your account and you’ll have to request to be reinstated.

Congratulations, you’ve made it this far! Now it’s time for the real work, constructing your nonprofit’s Paid Search campaign.

Tips for Setting Up Your Grants Campaign

When it comes to preparing to launch your campaign, here are a few do’s and don’ts

Do robust keyword research.

  • Utilized the AdWords Keyword Planner ->Find New Keywords tool to expand the keywords you think you want to target.
  • Once you’ve generated a keyword list that encompasses all facets of your organization, use the Keyword Planner -> Plan Your Budget tool to generate keyword estimates. Keywords with high CPCs should be set aside.
    • Since the Grants program doesn’t allow a bid over $2, you won’t be able to achieve visibility on high CPC keywords. If you feel those terms are crucial, go ahead and test, but remember to pause those that the system isn’t serving due to low bid to preserve Quality Score (you should have this notification by 48 hrs. post-launch).

Do make sure you’re spending your FULL $10K in FREE ad spend.

  • If you are not hitting your full monthly capacity it’s time to revisit your keyword list
  • Make sure your keywords are targeting more than just 1 aspect of your organization. Examples of keyword categories to consider adding:
    • Donation
    • Volunteers
    • Promotion of special events
    • Searches your cause may enter (low income childcare, activities for adults with autism)

Don’t geotarget locations you can’t service

  • If your organization only helps the state of Missouri, National targeting is an incorrect geo-setting.
  • Not only is it a disservice to your audience, it’s a waste of your ad spend that could be better spent furthering your mission.
  • Also, don’t target too deeply as IP address can differ between users due to their Internet Service Provider. So rather than targeting zip codes, you have a safer bet targeting cities. If you service a city, consider targeting surrounding cities as well or the DMA.

Don’t serve the same ad copy across all ad groups.

  • The predecessor to this tip is: don’t put all your keywords in the same ad group as well. We group keywords by theme so segmented messaging can be served. Think about it this way- the ad you want to appear when someone is searching a donation query (“donate wildlife preserve MO”) is going to differ wildly from searches directed at your nonprofits program (“kids summer nature program”).
  • Also, test more than 1 variation of ad copy. Best practices are to rotate 3-4 ads per ad group. AdWords’ ad rotation default setting will serve better performing ads more often.

Don’t drive all traffic to the homepage.

  • To position yourself up for the best response from your visitors and the highest Quality Score possible from AdWords, make sure the landing page assigned to your keyword is pulled from the most relevant option on your site. If that page doesn’t exist, make a note of it because that’s the next page you need to create.
  • A good rule of thumb to follow is, all your keywords should drive to the same landing page of the ad group they reside in.
  • Building out your website pages for specific keywords will not only benefit your Paid Search efforts, but your SEO as well. Search engines like seeing new, content-rich pages added to your site.

There you have it! Now you’re on your way to generate awareness, participation, and most importantly, donations to help your cause. Don’t be intimidated by the unfamiliar interface. If you run into something you don’t understand, Google has free help resources that can help you get back on track.

Why You Should Consider Using WordPress as Your CMS

There’s a number of reasons why WordPress is an ideal CMS, but there’s some misconceptions out there as to why an organization should use WordPress instead of a hard-coded website. So, we’re going to take you through all the truths and falsehoods so you can understand why WordPress is the right choice.

5 Common WordPress Misbeliefs & Why WordPress is an Ideal CMS

False: WordPress is limited to pre existing designs.
Truth: We do select a theme to theme to kickoff development, however, there’s so much customization performed that your site will not be a cookie cutter of another using the same theme.

There are thousands of themes to select from and just about every aspect of your theme is customizable. What’s more, when selecting a theme, you can check out reviews of current and past users so you can feel confident in your decision. Your theme is simply a starting point. Once the creative specs (logo, fonts, color pallet, etc.) and content is added, your theme will become uniquely you.

False: WordPress can only accomplish a limited spectrum of tasks because the code on the side isn’t individually crafted.
Truth: You can have just as much site flexibility and at a lower price, by using WordPress.

WordPress is built using common programming languages that have been extensively used and tested. And when I say extensively, I mean it. WordPress’s community consists of highly skilled and dedicated coders, testers, and contributors. Updates, fixes and improvements are implemented regularly across themes. WordPress also has over forty thousand plugins available that can automate things faster (and cheaper!) than hiring a manual coder. This means you get a reliable site that has been tested and refined within a faster turnaround time than you would if you hired someone to hard code your website.

False: WordPress is meant for small businesses.
Truth: WordPress is used by all, big and small. 

Examples of large companies that use WordPress are The Walt Disney Company, Sony Music, TechCrunch, Explore St. Louis, and IZOD. WordPress powers about 1 in 4 websites. In fact, WordPress has persisted the fastest-growing CMS for the seventh year straight! While the big dogs with deep pockets may use WordPress, so can a small business on a shoestring budget. WordPress isn’t exclusive to the affluent and has more flexibility than a hard-coded site. Your WordPress site will grow with you as you successfully blast off.

False: WordPress cost as much as a hard-coded website
Truth: WordPress is much cheaper than custom development

No matter how you look at it, WordPress will always be much more affordable than custom development. During the creation of your site, thanks to the pre-built framework and available plugins, much of the coding is already completed. When your site is completed, the backend is user-friendly, so simple updates can be made yourself instead of paying the agency a fee every time you want to make simple changes. And after you’ve had your site for some time and want to make growth adjustments, thanks to the WordPress contributors, your theme has the flexibility to change, whereas a completely new site would have to be made if it was custom coded.

False: WordPress isn’t secure
Truth: WordPress is obsessed with security

The WordPress Security Team is made up of 25 experts, half of which are internal and the other half in security fields. WordPress also collaborates with competitor security teams to address shared concerns. They practice Responsible Disclosure to expedite security vulnerabilities and push out automated security enhancements without the site owner needing to do anything- the security update will install automatically. And leader of all WordPress security measures is their Security Czar, Aaron Campbell. Not only does he have a cool title, his experience in the online security space is top-notch.

Have any questions or interested in launching your own WordPress website? Contact us today to discuss the vision of your online presence! We’re exclusive WordPress developers that will make sure you’re set up for success with responsive web design, user-friendly navigation, and conversion optimization best practices in place.

How Big Brands Are Using Emojis & How You Can, Too

Emojis – they’re everywhere. I would comfortably wager that over 60% of my texts and social media postings use them. In fact, 78% of internet-using women and 60% of internet-using men use them. Emojis add a certain “je ne sais quoi” to our messages. How could you ever post a message about your new kicks without using a 👟, or eating an amazing dish at a restaurant without 😍 or 🤤… I mean, they both work so well, right?

Even more interesting, there are emojis that resonate with particular people more than others. There are some that you can always count on to really boost the personalization factor. For example, my staple is the flamenco dancer 💃🏽 (don’t judge). This is where branding comes in. Sure, when making the effort to emphasize via emoji, should use the most relevant symbol. But what about post strictly about your brand? This is where you need to identify what’s sets you apart, but remain genuine and natural.

Here are 3 examples of how brands use emojis:

Starbucks Twitter Green Heart


Starbucks has obvious emojis to pick from (☕️?) and they’re active emoji users. But, where they’ve narrowed in on emoji for brand-use, is with their Veterans support program and other positive movements, such as their “Do Good” campaign. These special causes are always marked with a ?.



whole foods twitter praise handsWhole Foods

Whole Foods has the lucky disposition of being brand that has many applicable emojis. However, if you follow the brand, you’ll see they are big fans of ?. While celebration hands might not scream “grocery store”, it serves a bigger brand initiative. One that says, “we got you, count on quality food sources from us”.


Under Armor Twitter Strong and Punch emoji

Under Armor – Women

Under Armor hasn’t committed to a single emoji, but they do consistently use 2 strong emojis: 💪and 👊.  Seeing strength-suggestive emojis next to body-positive imagery really amps up their message.



Start thinking about how your brand can utilize emojis

So, what steps can you take to establish a more cohesive brand identity when using emojis in your social media? Pick 1 -3 emojis that speak to your brand and use them consistently when talking about organizational updates, offers, or special initiatives. You can still accentuate expressions with appropriate emojis, but be consistent to your brand-focused messaging. Not only will it help your audience associate you with particular images, but it’ll help them navigate your feed to identify specific posts.

And if you’re ever not sure if the emoji you want to use is appropriate, we’ve got you covered:

  • There’s the Emojipedia, the emoji search engine. Use it to browse every emoji by name, category, or platform. You can also use it to copy and paste emojis into other applications or text spaces (like WordPress!).
  • Another user-friendly option is, the Emoji Dictionary. Here you can click images and get multiple levels of information.
  • And here’s a shortcode cheat sheet if you ever want to use an emoji in one of their listed properties (Ex. YouTube, Slack, Basecamp, etc.)

Emojis are a great way to humanize your message, evoke immediate emotion, and bring an element a fun to a text-heavy world.  Take advantage of emoji communication in your social posts! Extend your brand and make your messages more consumable. After all, humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text!

How New Voice Search Options Are Affecting SEO Practices

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As of 2015, over half of the U.S. teens & 41% of U.S. adults use voice search on a daily basis, while it continues to grow daily. Siri, Cortana, Google Now, Alexa are all “digital assistant” voice search platforms that are changing the search landscape.

Voice search is going to change your SEO strategy. However, you can capitalize on this growing trend & advance with a refined SEO strategy.

For voice search, take into consideration the following SEO techniques:

[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1489719845743{margin-top: 35px !important;}”][vc_custom_heading text=”1. Focus on Conversational Queries” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:22px|text_align:left|color:%23333333″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Conversational search & voice understanding, not only voice recognition, is the future. Conversational search queries give us a much higher chance to predict searcher intent. To answer natural language questions correctly, you need to work on your long-tail keywords. While short tail keywords won’t disappear entirely, they do become far less relevant considering the natural phrases used in voice search.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1489719851024{margin-top: 35px !important;}”][vc_single_image source=”external_link” onclick=”custom_link” img_link_target=”_blank” link=”” custom_src=”×439.jpg”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner css=”.vc_custom_1489719851024{margin-top: 35px !important;}”][vc_custom_heading text=”2. Provide Context with Schema Markup” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:22px|text_align:left|color:%23333333″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552242806405{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Simply put, schema makes voice search better. Schema data, or structured markup data, was created to improve user experience in SERP results & helps Google algorithms better understand and index your data. It only makes sense that search engines would rely heavily on this type of extra information when determining what people mean by the semantic language voice search encourages.

To ensure your company’s web pages are presented to users in current & future voice search iterations, schema markup will become increasingly important in helping the engines understand your site & how it should be ranked.

The volume of rich answers appearing in search results has nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016 so it’s time to familiarize yourself with schema markup & get started using schema data!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner css=”.vc_custom_1489717838329{margin-top: 35px !important;margin-bottom: 35px !important;}”][vc_custom_heading text=”4. Add Pages that Answer FAQs” font_container=”tag:h2|font_size:22px|text_align:left|color:%23333333″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552242896876{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Make the search experience quicker by Implementing a FAQ or Q&A page to your site. This is a great way to add natural language to your website. Scour your search query reports & analytics for natural language queries. This can give you a good idea of what keywords users are already using and help to alter your strategy targeting more conversational keywords in the future.

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Voice search doesn’t mean you have to overhaul your entire SEO strategy, but you are going to need to make a few changes that will help you be successful in the voice search world. The goal for voice search in 2017 is to go above and beyond voice recognition and evolve into voice understanding.

Need help optimizing for voice search?
WE’RE THE GUYS TO HELP![/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

5 Signs It’s Time For a New Website

[vc_row padding_top=”1px”][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552243483652{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]It can be difficult to decide if your website is in a place where it needs to be completely overhauled. Not so much because you’d like your website to look better, but because you likely don’t want to invest the time or money to do so. This is understandable and not lost on us. While you may think your current one is doing the job, I recommend you reevaluate your position after going through our quick checklist.

Here are 5 warning signs that it’s time to get a new website:

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1.  Your website is built in Flash.

Not all devices can support Flash (i.e. Flash does not work on phones). It’s reported that nearly 60% of search queries happen on a mobile device. Additionally, Google’s ranking algorithm heavily favors mobile-friendliness, it’s extremely important that your website function splendidly on smartphones. Also, Flash is also terrible for SEO. With only 1 URL and slow load speeds, you won’t be able to optimize for searches and visitors will bounce quickly.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552243503726{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

2.  Your website isn’t mobile-friendly

This is a BIG one. As stated in the first warning, a major portion of search traffic comes from smartphones and Google is shifting to mobile-first indexing. So, if your mobile site is giving visitors a negative mobile experience, you’re going to see a drastic drop in your rankings, which in turn, will lower your website traffic.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image source=”external_link” external_style=”vc_box_border” custom_src=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_empty_space height=”10″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552314895774{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

3.  Your website is slow

Akamai and found that nearly half of web users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Flash isn’t always the culprit for slow load times. Your site may have images that are too big, HTTP compression isn’t enabled, or there’s too many redirects. You may just need your site optimized (and we’re the folks to tell if you if that’s the case!), but if there’s a myriad of issues, you’re better off starting anew.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552243568761{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

4.  Your website is lacking content

Your website serves in almost every stage of the consumer journey. It’s important that your site is set-up to fulfill each of these touch points. Supplement these areas with webpages that feature thorough content such as YouTube videos, quality blog posts, social media sharing capability, downloadable assets and forms.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552314948236{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

5.  You aren’t getting results

If the pathway to actions you’re wanting visitors to perform isn’t made clear, there’s no chance you’re going to achieve your business objectives. There’s a lot of reasons why this could be happening such as: the layout of your desktop website is too busy, your mobile site isn’t build out enough, or the organization of your website is difficult to navigate so visitors give up trying to find the information they need. It could be you need to test new pages to identify what users respond best to, then take those learning and build out your new and improved Website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image source=”external_link” external_style=”vc_box_border” custom_src=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552498120211{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Here at Decantery, we specialize in conversion optimization and employ many tactics to identify what is triggering your conversion dropoff. Since the spectrum of problem-causers is long and varied, it’s crucial that a website audit is performed so that all potentials are explored. From there we’ll develop strategy and tactics to address our findings.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552498148952{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]If you’ve checked off 1 or more (gasp!) of these warning signs, contact us today and we’ll see how we can help your business. Your website is often your first impression, so make sure you’re website delivers on that expectation.[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Instagram Facts & Should You Be Using It?

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There’s no denying that Facebook is by far the Social world’s industry leader. Its user base is about 3 times larger than Instagram, who’s the 3rd most used Social platform (YouTube is 2nd, but we don’t consider YouTube a social platform- it’s a video search engine in our opinion). The growth Instagram has experienced this past year is enormous and not to be taken lightly. It’s amazing that despite it’s 600 million Instagrammers, we still run into organizations who don’t know (or care) what it is.

We thought it’d be inspirational and helpful to outline some fun Instagram facts. Use this information to not only be informed, but determine if Instagram is a space your business should be participating in.

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Instagram Usage

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  • Instagram officially passed the 1 billion user mark in June of 2018. It adds about 200 million new users each year.
  • The average post engagement is 1.1% and there is 38% more engagement with photos that feature a face.
  • 30% of IG accounts are considered inactive and 8% of accounts are fake.

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  • 60% of users log in daily, 2nd most engaged network with Facebook being 1st.
  • Images with a single dominant color generate 17% more “Likes” than images with multiple dominant colors.
  • 50% of post captions contain an 50% of post captions contain an emoji.

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Audience Statistics

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  • The US is by far the highest user of IG
  • Nearly 60% of the users are 18-29
  • Active users are highest among women (60%), and
    50% of active users are under age 25
  • The household income of US users is relatively even,
    all falling with the 30-something percent range for
    each category (see chart to right)

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Instagram Business Insight

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  • 75 percent of Instagram users take the desired action (shop now or visiting website)
  • Top brands now post about 5 times per week on Instagram and approximately 60% of them use a consistent filter
  • 48% of US brands use Instagram
  • The average sales order value from an Instagram-referred conversion is $66.75
  • Retail 50% of retailers are active on and Nike is the most popular brand on Instagram
  • 50 percent of Instagram users follow at least one business and 60 percent of users say that they learn about a product or service on Instagram
  • Examples of brands you wouldn’t expect to be on IG, but are and doing it well are: NFLFedExReynolds WrapGeneral ElectricMicrosoftUS MarinesState FarmAlfred TeaGlad Products

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Instagram History

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  • Launched 10/6/2010, the first photo posted was by the CEO and co-founder who took a picture of a dog in Mexico near a taco stand (the foot belongs to his girlfriend).
  • When filters were first released in September of 2011, there were only four: Amaro, Rise, Hudson, and Valencia. The app now offers more than 20
  • April 9, 2012, Instagram sold to Facebook 18 months after its launch for $1 billion
  • The company is projected to generate nearly $14billion in revenue in 2019 alone

[/mk_custom_list][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][mk_divider style=”thin_solid” divider_width=”one_half” thin_single_color=”#f06781″ margin_bottom=”0″][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1488416139792{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552420782144{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]While Instagram’s account is the most followed, Selena Gomez held the title of most followed person for quite some time. However, she was recently bumped to third at 147 million followers, closely trailing Cristiano Ronaldo (157 million followers) and Ariana Grande (148 million followers).[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”870″ img_size=”large” add_caption=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1552421866781{padding-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1488416148017{margin-top: 20px !important;}”][vc_empty_space height=”40px”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552421693674{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Previously held by Beyoncé’s “pregnant with twins announcement” and Kylie Jenner’s announcement about her child Stormi’s birth, the most liked photo ever on Instagram now belongs to… an egg? A photo of an egg gathered 53+million likes! [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”869″ img_size=”463×374″ css=”.vc_custom_1552421725628{padding-top: 30px !important;}”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552498566022{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Having trouble with your social media? Contact us for a consultation on your strategy![/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

From Our Desks: An Ode to Coffee

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552498941193{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]I cannot start my day without a cup of coffee.  I’ve tried numerous times to break the habit. Not because I think it’s unhealthy, there’s plenty of research that enables me to carry on my addiction consequence-free. But, because the compulsion it has over me can be inconvenient at times. If I’m not at home, my morning must set off like an explorer, hunting out the nearest, decent coffeehouse. And if it’s cold or raining, that journey can be pure treachery, no one wants to start their day that way.

I’m aware there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, so despite my intermittent inconveniences, I recognize the good coffee brings to my life unquestionably outweighs the cons – therefore, cementing a lifetime commitment to my coffee relationship.

Think of all the career benefits that come from a good ‘ol cup of joe: endurance to finish yearly planning, coming up with creative solutions, and laser-focus on rows and rows of data, just to name a few. Let’s explore these benefits in detail so that we can give our liquid joy the educated appreciation it deserves.


Studies show that caffeine, the very caffeine that’s floating in our mug, can increases alertness, wakefulness, and feelings of “energy,”, while also decreasing the sense of effort associated with physical activity. Basically, fueling us to do more while making it feel like it’s easy…AKA super powers. In fact, coffee’s caffeine has ergogenic benefits – in that it actually improves endurance performance.


The coffee bean itself isn’t going to make you think of the next Snapchat or Uber. But what it can do is promote actions that lead you down that road. In an article from Redbooth, research from MIT found that coffee can help people be more creative both individually and in a group setting. Sitting together over coffee at work can break down normal social and professional barriers, leading to more casual or freewheeling conversations. For some, drinking coffee stimulates their brains, blowing out the cobwebs and making room for innovative thinking or a bolt of inspiration. Others thrive when they work in a coffee shop because the ambient noise that improves their creativity.


It’s hard to focus when you’re tired and have a never-ending to-do list. So whenever I have to bunker down and complete out a lengthy project, you best believe it’s been fueled by some java.  The EFSA evaluated a significant number of studies and concluded that caffeine increases both selective and sustained attention. Meaning that when you drinking your brew, your able focus on the task at hand and can do so for a longer period than you would sans-coffee. However, the caveat is, you need to figure out your tipping point because increasing your intakes do not necessarily result in an increase in alertness. Too much and you’ll just jitter your way through the rest of the day.

In addition to improving focus, drinking coffee can also make you smarter. A study from PLOS found that the caffeine value of 2 cups of coffee prompted the brain to identify words and phrases more quickly. The study also found that coffee consumption leads to improved short-term memory and an increased ability to solve reason-based problems.

I think it’s important to hug your handle with an extra appreciative intention as you start each day. It’s what’s going to get you through it, get the job done,  and its time here is limited, after all… coffee is apparently going extinct.

So let’s lift our mugs to productive days and higher focus![/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Driving Data: Desktop Is Not Dead

[vc_row container_style=”fullwidth” padding_top=”0px”][vc_column][vc_column_text]The digital marketing industry has been raving about mobile’s reign for at least the last 7 years, so much so it’s loss some of its rightful impact on the ears of marketers. While the hype of mobile may have been proclaimed a bit prematurely, the sophistication its achieved makes sense as to why we’re seeing the shift away from the desktop continue to accelerate.In our own client experience, some business verticals are indeed, heavily engaged in mobile… but we have an exceeding number clients that see their success come from desktop. So it was a welcomed surprise to see our experience validated in Search Engine Land’s article about how, “desktop’s death has been greatly exaggerated”. Despite consumers “spending roughly three hours a day on their smartphones”, an eMarketer study found, on average, 80% of conversions are taking place on desktops, versus 20% on mobile.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”888″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center” onclick=”link_image”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”2/3″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1486142138588{padding-top: 15px !important;}”]

While this is an incredible finding, this doesn’t mean that mobile should lose its significance. Most consumer journeys involve cross-device and cross-channel usage. Meaning, your customer may find you while on their phone during their morning coffee, but end up revisiting and purchasing during their lunch break from their desktop. It isn’t always this simple, the consumer phases and time to conversion vary by industry. For instance, someone looking to book a vacation is going to have a very different journey to purchase from someone buying replacement earbuds.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552500938164{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]So, what do we do with this information? The takeaway is to leverage your data. Find out the answers to questions like these:

  • Where is your traffic coming from?
  • Where are your conversions coming from?
  • Where are your assist clicks occurring?

Once you have data-driven insights you can take the next steps to determining how to adjust your desktop and mobile strategies.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ thin_color_style=”single_color” thin_single_color=”” thin_grandient_color_from=”” thin_grandient_color_to=”” thin_gradient_color_style=”linear” thin_gradient_color_angle=”vertical” thin_grandient_color_fallback=”” thickness=”1″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552500966576{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Would you like to uncover your consumer’s purchase path and make sure your digital strategy is taking the best approach?[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Serving Customers Through Social Media

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552502641605{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Have you created a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter profile for your business? Are you using these profiles? If your answer to the latter is “no”, then you should be concerned.  And even if you answered “yes”, this still applies to you.

Social media platforms are a way for you to connect with both your current and potential customers. Sure, it’s a place to promote your latest updates, product launches, or special offers… but it’s also a BIG player in direct customer service. This is where questions are asked and where complaints are voiced. If you’re not being a part of these conversations, get someone in place who can be (and properly prepare them). Not addressing these posts is a terribly missed opportunity.

So how should you be handling customer service on your social media platforms? Below are a few tips on how to interact with commenters in order to form customer relationships and transform them into brand advocates.

The Faster, the Better

If a customer is asking you a question, respond as if that person is standing directly in front of you.  You wouldn’t wait 2 days to tell someone your business hours or completely ignore customer feedback (good or bad). Slow responses can result in lost revenues and/or imply a lack of interest in your customers (the people who determine your success) to a stadium on online spectators. Reply to people as soon as possible and be prepared to take the conversation offline – Twitter feuds are a bad look, after all. Same-day replies are your customers’ preference. That’s high bar to achieve, but if it were easy, as the say goes, everybody would be doing it.

Only Employ the Essentials

Interacting with people through Social media is time consuming and expensive- whether it’s your time or someone else’s. Don’t add more to your workload by creating accounts where you don’t need to. Targeting an older demo? Maybe Facebook and Twitter are all you need. Have a highly visual service or product? Perhaps Instagram is your answer. Research your target market’s social usage and compare the findings to your business’s needs. The platforms’ whose answers overlap are the only places you should be.

Establish a Personality

Obviously, personality is easier to display when your brand is more light and fun (hello funny memes and #TBT participation). But, even the more serious lines of business can relay passion, thoughtfulness, and positivity in an authentic manner. Find what works for you and exude it. And something that unifies all types of business is the need to show appreciation. Tell your customers “Thank You”. Say it often. Do it one-on-one. Outside of your website, where else are you going to find an audience that’ll be more engaged with your brand? The quality of your product or service, combined with true gratitude, is how you turn a customer into an advocate. Having brand advocates is what makes your business obtain long-term sustainability. Therefore your advocates value is insurmountable!

Providing excellent customer service on your social media is an obligation. Fewer are the days of people picking up the phone to talk to you. These conversations are happening on your social media, now. And the reward of putting in this hard work can have 10 times the return. Good experiences people have with your brand can result in public acknowledgement for the world to see- a positive tweet testimonial has the potential to reach thousands! So, engage with your customers and see the incredible impact it has on your business.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552501487512{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Need help reviving your social media accounts? Not sure if you’re active in a space where you customers are? Here at Decantery, we are happy to help questions like these and more! Contact us today to discuss your social media strategy and tactics.[/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]

An Intro to Hashtags for Businesses

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552509421251{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]You see them on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds: #tryingtobeclever, #letstalkinhashtags, #worldslongesthashtag. Hashtags aren’t just an accessory to your posts, there is a purpose for them and once you know the why’s and how’s…you may adjust the way you use them.

What is a “#”?

Hashtags are words or phrases, sans spaces, that are activated by putting a “#” at the beginning of it.  Their use is meant for making posts searchable.  They’re of Twitter origin, intended as a means of tagging the topic of a tweet.

Here are 3 top ways hashtags are used:

To Participate in Popular Social Trends – These general hashtags are a way to interact with your social friends/followers. Meant for anyone and everyone to use…they’re part of universal social conversations. When done right, it’s good to see brands participate in these kinds of posts- here to join in the fun, not just pushing their product.

Examples: #TBT (Throw Back Thursday), #TIL (Today I Learned), #ROLF (Rolling On The Floor Laughing, #MCM or #WCW (Man or Woman Crush Wednesday)

Share Event Experiences – This can range from a professional conference, to weddings, fun contests, or simply a reoccurring game nights with a group of friends. By making your event into a hashtag you can easily access photos, posts, and gauge sentiment. You can even register your hashtag here to collect all the elements in one place, plus get analytics insight.

Examples: #CES2017, #Oscars, #ForeverGreen2015, #GoogleSummit, #2016SmithSummerExtravaganza, #CivicTech, #OneLifeMakeItCount, #Tarte2Go

Catalog Experiences – Using hashtags this way is much like their initial intention and have evolved into wide spectrum of use cases. There’s personal use, such as tagging every photo of your child since birth with the same hashtag…sort of a social scrapbooking method. The blogger of Tales of a Twin Mombie does this with her twin boys #lopeztwinsies

Professional use, often as a means of promoting an aspect of an organization such as company culture. Southwest airlines does a great job of this. Look up #SWALuv on Instagram to see photos of internal award moments, company parties, and day-to-day fun on the job.

And lastly the more “general” use so your posts and images can be found when someone is looking for a particular topic. Such instances could be tagging your favorite Mexican restaurant dish with #enchilada if you snap a drool-worthy pic, #bored if you’re standing in line at the DMV and want to publicly complain about your despair, or #CompanyName if you have a great experience at an establishment and want to spread the word.

A Few Beginner Tips

  • Use existing hashtags. Unless you’re creating a hashtag that you plan on using repeatedly, do not make up a phrase that will never be used again just to appear witty.
    • Acceptable: #CompanyName2017Picnic
    • Discouraged: #whenyoubreakyourfavoritemug …just say # SMH (shaking my head) and call it a day.
  • Don’t overly hashtag. Facebook’s is not intended for hashtag use like Instagram and Twitter. Use 3 hashtags in a Facebook post max, the ideal range is 1-2. Twitter allows unlimited hashtags, but they recommend no more than 2. Instagram is where you’ll see an abundance of hashtag abuse, where the limit is 30. There’s a debate over an ideal limit, 3-12 is a general consensus. When hashtags are overly used, it appears spammy.
    • Also, don’t use hashtags in every post. Use them for purpose, not emphasis.
  • Only use hashtags where they serve their purpose, as in the platform they’re meant for. Right now that’s strictly Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
  • Don’t be intimidated by the plethora of hashtag options. Take advantage of the variety and apply the most relevant selections so you can attract the right crowd. Overtime, you’ll figure out what works for you.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ thin_color_style=”single_color” thin_single_color=”” thin_grandient_color_from=”” thin_grandient_color_to=”” thin_gradient_color_style=”linear” thin_gradient_color_angle=”vertical” thin_grandient_color_fallback=”” thickness=”1″ margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”20″][vc_column][mk_divider style=”thick_solid” divider_width=”custom_width” custom_width=”50″ align=”left” border_color=”#f06781″ margin_top=”0″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1552508788468{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]In need of a partner to help you get off to a good start or don’t have the time to bother with your Social messaging strategy?  Contact us today, we’re here to help![/vc_column_text][mk_button dimension=”flat” size=”large” url=””]Contact Us[/mk_button][/vc_column][/vc_row]