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The Sharpest Tool™

Google Secrets to Success

Cheryl McRae
Josh Smith
Bob Uttenreuther is a Senior Strategic Partner Manager at Google. In his role, he equips Scorpion with the knowledge and expertise to use Google's tools strategically for clients.

Bob Uttenreuther (00:03):

[inaudible]

Josh Smith (00:03):

Hello and welcome back to the sharpest tool where we take the sting out of marketing with everything that we bring to the table. And I'm super amped up as always, when I get in the booth and have an awesome guest, I have Bob and Ruth there from Google in the booth with me, Bob. Welcome

Bob Uttenreuther (00:19):

Josh. Thanks for having me. It's always a pleasure to be here. Awesome. Well, it's

Josh Smith (00:22):

Always a pleasure to have you in the office. Being able to bring it out, draw from all your knowledge and expertise and experience. You know, a lot of people probably don't know exactly who you are. So what's your role at Google and how you interact with scorpion?

Bob Uttenreuther (00:35):

So I'm going to strategic partner manager and I get the title senior because I've been a Google 16 years. So I started the Google in 2002 and my current role is a partner manager. I manage the partnership between scorpion and Google. So what I try to do is bring the best of Google to scorpion in scorpion can do the same with their customer base.

Josh Smith (00:54):

That's awesome. So partnership seems like Google has specific partnerships with agencies. A lot of our business owners might not know exactly what that means or what it means to them. So what is the Google partner program? How are there different levels? How how's that work? Yeah,

Bob Uttenreuther (01:11):

So anyone can essentially assign up and attempt to be a Google partner and we have two types. We have a premier partner and a regular partner. And within both, you can go simply to Google partners and see the, the differences between the two. But I'm just going to talk specifically about scorpion and what they get through the partnership,

Josh Smith (01:30):

If that's okay. Yeah,

Bob Uttenreuther (01:30):

Absolutely. Let's do it. So scorpion and working with me in the premier program, not only get access to betas insights from our team directly via conversations with myself and my counterparts, but also invited to events at Google as well. So we have Google marketing live coming up. We're excited to have you guys join us at that. But in addition to training that we provide your team and customized say acquisition events, marketing events, um, to where we can go out and actually meet with your end customers and potential prospects.

Josh Smith (01:59):

That's awesome. Is there, is it pretty difficult to get like a premier partnership status? Is that, or is that like how many people, how many premier partners do you work with

Bob Uttenreuther (02:08):

Revamp of our partner program and mainly to simplify it or those actually in it, and that way we could provide actually consistency across. And so the numbers will vary depending on who's coming in and out, but actually to be a premier partner, you're held to a really, really high standard. And I'm not just saying that for soundbite, it's the truth. So product expertise, you know, you have to have a certain amount of certification within the Google ads products as well is I would say certain amount of customers that you actually have to maintain. So it's not just, oh, they're certified. No. Now they're certified and they've proven they have a high retention rate of good customer satisfaction in as well from our view, they add value.

Josh Smith (02:46):

Yeah. And you're constantly assessing that if I'm not mistaken right. Year over year running surveys, making sure that they're maintaining that status. Yeah.

Bob Uttenreuther (02:54):

We, we actually do a couple of surveys. So we do one where we survey you. Yeah. So we survey you and get partner feedback on what we could be doing better. And that's something that I actually love. That's where I get what I need to do to help you do better. Sure. But we also send surveys out to your customers. And I want to say it was over the last two years, a scorpion has actually come out where they've won the award for customer satisfaction of the year, which is pretty cool.

Josh Smith (03:17):

Pretty cool. Well, from your perspective, what value does an SMB get in working with a Google premier partner?

Bob Uttenreuther (03:24):

They, they really do get top-line insights and they also have the experience. I would say, you know, it could be a new partner, could be a partner that's been with Google 10 years. But I think in the end, they're adding a tremendous value. Whether it's through a technology, through a customer service, actually taking the weight off of maybe in-house marketing sure. There, but everything from website development to lead management, they're facilitating that and actually helping that customer do a better job with it. That's awesome. But ultimately they just want their phone to ring or they want a form fill and they want, you know, they want to make more money. And I feel like it is those insights and trends that they're staying on, that you as a partner staying on top of helps them actually stay ahead and win more business.

Josh Smith (04:06):

Yeah. You know, in the stratosphere, I think there's a lot of, uh, disagreements or people on both sides about what the ultimate goal of Google is like, what direction they're taking their business. Can you talk kind of high level on that? What what's, Google's ultimate goal at the end of the day?

Bob Uttenreuther (04:23):

Well, it's our mission statement. And when I started, I don't think I really realized how big it is, but organize the world's information and make it useful and accessible. Wow. Think about that. Yeah. I thought of it in terms of, oh, it's just online digital. Yeah. You know, now we have project loon. We have actually, you know, balloons flying in the stratosphere providing internet access. Oh wow. To countries who don't have it otherwise. And I'd say other things from, you know, things that like barely in those things, those companies are doing within Google, but within channel sales, it's actually to do something slightly different. But in the same vein, we empower our partners to deliver the benefits of Google marketing solutions at scale. And with that, it's, it's helping businesses worldwide grow. And I th I wanna say once a year, we do a report that we send out in Sundar promotes it as well as us, but, uh, it's the economic report. And it's pretty, pretty amazing to see how companies are leveraging Google and how that's actually impacting the overall economy

Josh Smith (05:25):

Really fuels and drives all the product development internally. Right. If you've constantly seeing it through that lens, that big picture, vision of information technology and all the technology you're building, which massive amounts of developers to do that it's all fed through

Bob Uttenreuther (05:41):

Through that. Yeah. And that's something that I value a lot through the partnerships we have is we get real time feedback from our partners. There's, there's no filter, right. It's like, Hey, this doesn't work. And we have the means to, you know, work with our product teams to actually make sure that's heard put on the roadmap. But in addition, you know, we're, we're not afraid to fail. And I think that's, uh, that's something that I've value in working at Google is it's okay. Right. The point is, did you learn and did you make the correction? Sure. You know, don't do it every time, but I think, you know, to move forward, you are going to fail a little bit. It's just matter of you making those adjustments and you, I mean, you could pick a product, right. It sure. There's definitely been some ups and downs, but ultimately it's moving towards, I think, a better future for everybody. Yeah.

Josh Smith (06:27):

Fail fast. Fail often would always fail forward. Right. Um, from your perspective too, on the Google side, what do you see as one of the biggest challenges facing small and medium businesses today?

Bob Uttenreuther (06:40):

I mean, it depends on the business to be fair. Like if you go around the country, it totally varies. Sure. But really there's just noise everywhere and users are using any, every device, anything. So it's actually, how do I reach them at the right time with the right message? And I know all of us taught, we can do that, but it's a big challenge. It's a challenge for, for Google. It's a challenge for scorpion to make that happen. But more importantly, it's a challenge for that business to understand where they're coming from. And I feel like that's all working together. One, the client communicating who their customer is and scorpion, communicating what they can do to hit that customer in Google, actually sharing the insights and how we can make that happen as well. I think is critical for them to get the most out of digital advertising in general. But I'd say, yeah, it's the, the many, many touch points that the consumer has today. Um, you know, it's not three channels on TV anymore. Yeah. And I'd say that applies to everything. So it's actually, uh, finding where they are in the right at the right moment, the right time. And hopefully it's the right customer. That's actually interacting with them. Absolutely.

Josh Smith (07:46):

And with the various changes that Google's making to like search average advertising, you know, I know we have the local service ads, um, which are now showing up in tandem with, uh, you know, pay-per-click, um, advertising on the, on the search engine. Uh, how important do you feel SEO is for an SMB these days we've seen organic listings move further down on the page. Um, some might pose the argument that, oh, it doesn't matter. Some might stress that it's still is wildly important. What's your perspective on that?

Bob Uttenreuther (08:15):

Yeah. Well, let me just start with, you know, anything's possible in terms of development down the road, but I think SEO is a very, to me, let's just take off the Google hat. Let me be a consumer. Sure. It's a validation. Yeah. So I'm going to validate your business. I saw it, maybe your ad, or I saw a TV commercial, or read something in a magazine or however, you know, I discovered you, I'm going to go validate you online. And typically it involves me visiting your website. Right. So if I let's say it's a keyword that I typed in and I found you via the organic listing, or I went directly to Euro either way, I'm going to go and visit your website to make that validation smaller, large purchase, you know, before it'd be just large purchases. Now I feel like I'm doing it for a toothbrush. Yeah.

Josh Smith (09:01):

Yeah. And I think too, you know, alongside that for the validation part, it's not just validating for the consumer to see the website, but as a business owner, you're, you're validating to Google that you're the trusted authority on whatever somebody's searching for. And so that trust takes time probably, you know, to build it. And that hasn't changed regardless of where, you know, what tools Google's rolling out on the search engine.

Bob Uttenreuther (09:24):

Yeah. I mean, it, you know, that's kind of how Google started. I remember in college testing, you know, some of the original portions, but yeah, it's the SEO and the ranking and so on. It's, it's evolved a lot, I think it for the better. Um, but that being said, that's, I think it's a key component for our business, for sure.

Josh Smith (09:40):

Sure. I'm going to throw a curve ball your way. Uh, so get ready. Uh, we hear this all the time from customers want to get your perspective on it. A competitor of ours, maybe doesn't have a legit office address. You know, I know we've gone through a lot of changes, uh, on the SEO side, the organic ranking side with office addresses the importance of having a brick and mortar building that somebody can visibly see your business resides in. And so we have a competitor that doesn't have a legitimate address, but they're ranking above a client. For example, what would you say to a client who's in that position where they have a competitor ranking above them, but they know they don't have a legit office address

Bob Uttenreuther (10:21):

The others, well, obviously complain, but let's not, you know, that's up to them. Yeah. There, there are means in, in terms for folks to actually send feedback to Google directly, but I recommend they review the resources available to them within our SEO side of the house, which would be webmaster tools. Sure. And the search console, those are two things I think would give them insights into how they can improve their website overall, regardless of that one component. So maybe it's a, you know, the host or the sum of all those things might improve their ranking. Sure.

Josh Smith (10:52):

Well, webmaster tools and search console, what's kind of a top level description though. Some of our business owners who maybe are just starting their business out, they're not familiar with those. What are those and how do they benefit the,

Bob Uttenreuther (11:02):

Yeah. So I'm, you know, I'm one, I am not a web designer knower on that side of the house, but shirts, I direct people to the webmaster tools to actually gain access to things that will help them develop a better website where the search console is going to give them insight into how to make or where they should be making those changes. So webmaster tool would, would give you the resources to make the change in the search console will give you the insight.

Josh Smith (11:26):

Got it. I'm going to go back to another thought that we had, um, uh, we were mentioning LSAs local service ads. Let's do a top level overview of what LSA is our

Bob Uttenreuther (11:36):

Yeah, so local. So one, it started off with being home services, home service ads, and then it switched. And I believe the latest is local service ads by Google, by Google. Um, but if you think about it, it's a, it's connecting that local service to the consumer. So we started off with mainly HVAC plumbing and a couple others. And that's, if you think of local service, it's going to expand. And we have some more coming out later on this year, which I think will be really exciting to, to folks what and how it works is it's a guarantee that shows up on your ad. And the way that happens is you, those customers are actually participating in this, have to go through quite a few hoops. Sure. Unintended, you know, on our side. So for those of you that are with us, thank you for those of you that are still in the verification process. We're working on it. Sorry about that. But it's so the end consumer, to be confident in that business shows up to their house that work's going to be done properly and that, you know, they don't have to worry about any safety issues. And so on

Josh Smith (12:40):

Just a thought did, did that come out of a problem that Google was seeing a rise specifically with home service businesses or other local business providers? Was there an issue they were trying to solve there?

Bob Uttenreuther (12:52):

I think it's really for the businesses out there looking for some additional validation and certainly from the consumer standpoint. So you hear from both sides and it is an attempt to address that that need from a business standpoint, getting good qualified leads. And then from a consumer standpoint, getting good qualified businesses to come out,

Josh Smith (13:13):

To come out. Definitely. Are there any new developments in the LSAs that you might be able to share with us? I know we got a number of things rolling out. Is there anything, uh, on the road now?

Bob Uttenreuther (13:22):

So definitely new cities and states and certainly additional verticals will be opened up, um, within pretty aggressive timeframe. I'd say on the product front, is it as a beta product within Google? There'll be further advancements in that, that front. So everything from reporting to looking at what we can do to simplify the process, um, not only for the consumer, same direct, but for our partners and actually leveraging this for their customer base at scale. And then when I say that I'm going to mention the term API. Sure. Don't know where that stands, but that is certainly something that Scorpion's been an advocate for. And what that means to the customer or the end customer is a simplified version to make changes faster.

Josh Smith (14:07):

Yeah. Yeah. Just closing that loop. Are there any best practices or recommendations that you would have for those who are not yet involved with LSAs but they need to get involved. What's the best practice 1 0 1 for that process.

Bob Uttenreuther (14:20):

Yeah. So visit the site. You can go to local service ads and check out the requirements, go to a partner, gain the insights on what that would take, get your background checks in order. So make sure that you have those available and start the process early. So scorpion or another partner's coming out and telling you, Hey, this is opening up in your market, jump on it and get ready. The reason is this is another means for you to reach your consumer.

Josh Smith (14:47):

Absolutely. Um, you know, as voice search is coming predominant, we're starting to see Google home is starting to become kind of a staple in the household. We have Alexa, we have Siri. It seems that the technology world from a marketing perspective is moving in this direction. How can clients take more advantage of that? Well, let's talk about Google homes specifically since, uh, since that's, what's near and dear to your heart.

Bob Uttenreuther (15:15):

Well, in our house, you know, I gotta be honest. Uh, we don't have Alexa. That doesn't mean we wouldn't have it. It's just, we have a Google home, but we certainly have Siri as my daughters. Uh, and my wife both are apple phone users. I'm honestly pleased with the progress. If you were to say, you know, three, four years ago that this would be where it is today, I'd be like, ah, no, no way. Um, now the Google home can distinguish between me and my wife, uh, when we're asking questions and it gives, it gives us different answers based off of who we are, which, uh, that's pretty crazy. Um, certainly have some frustrating points. Cause I have many of these at my house. I have, I have the internet of things. So I have smart bulbs and thermostats and cameras and Shera. You tell one and another one responds, you know, I'd love to see that be corrected.

Bob Uttenreuther (15:59):

So for the Google engineers listening on that one, let's make it happen, but I'm excited. I've, you know, I've, I've heard and I've been asked many times I K is voice going to be something that we can target or bid on directly. I don't have an answer to that, but I do know it is something that we're thinking about as a company and how we can make, just make it more useful, et cetera. So with that, um, from an end advertiser standpoint, stay tuned. You just stay, stay reading up on it. But I think more importantly, I was just reading one of your books in your lobby, you know, think of the user's search behavior, how it differs between when you're on your laptop or on your phone. And then when you're actually talking to, uh, a smart device or an assistant,

Josh Smith (16:42):

Definitely how's Google determining to who's recommended in those voice searches. If I go to my Google home and say, Hey, I need a plumber. I got a leak. Who does Google recommend? How do they know to recommend that? I guess at this point, I'm sure three years from now, we're going to see a completely different thing, but right now, how do we, how does Google determine

Bob Uttenreuther (17:00):

Well, and the LS, when we're talking about local services, ads, it's actually going to be pulling from a host of things. So it'd be similar to bid ranking. So looking at your ad rank, it's the same kind of thing within local services ads. Yeah. It's looking at your, what is your budget? Should we be showing you, do you have enough in there to actually show on this? What's your proximity and what's the service you provide could even be hours of operation. Right? And then it looks at reviews even. So it's looked at as pulling in a whole host of things that we feel are valuable to that customer. So we're showing the right business to the right customer at the right time. Awesome.

Josh Smith (17:33):

Well, this has been awesome, Bobby. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy, busy schedule to, to swing on down. I want to kind of tie it up with a nice bow here. Sure. What is on the horizon for Google? I mean, Google has been around in the game, arguably the biggest when it comes to search and getting you what you need online as quickly as possible. What can you tell us about what's what's common.

Bob Uttenreuther (17:56):

I would say, you know, I'll go up pretty high on this one at Google. You know, the only thing that's constant is change. So for those that want to be on the forefront, I'd pay attention to Google IO this year, it's coming up and it's a fun event I'm really excited for, you know, not only things we put out, but the advancements we're making. And I feel like that's a celebration at that point to share the advancements we made over the past year and what's to come. So certainly tune into that in terms of Google ads, we're always testing. So for the, for the customers that are listening, um, certainly look at those beta opportunities and take advantage of them. Yeah. A couple I could rattle off a responsive search ads. That's a cool one. Um, there's some, there's some smart bidding that you could actually take advantage of and there's some predefined audiences. Sure. So they're worth exploring. And so either, you know, talk to scorpion or take a look within the ad platform itself, you know, being there or having been at Google 16 years, it's been a pretty awesome journey of, I see a lot of products roll out over the years and I'm excited for the future what's coming. That's awesome.

Josh Smith (18:58):

Well, Bob, this has been awesome. I really appreciate your time. Yeah. Thank you

Bob Uttenreuther (19:01):

Josh. I appreciate it.

Josh Smith (19:02):

Coming in for all of you listening. If you found a lot of value in this episode, definitely hit that subscribe button, wherever you're listening. So you can continue to get more of this awesome content from some industry leaders and share it with your friends and from all of us here at the sharpest tool, we'll catch you next time. Thanks.

Bob Uttenreuther (19:21):

[inaudible].

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