Address: Rankhigher
980 Fraser Dr #116, Burlington, Ontario, ON L7L 5P5

Phone: +1 (905) 637-9033

E-Mail: info@rankhigher.ca

Google Invites RankHigher.ca For An Exclusive Strategic Initiative Event

Google invited the top 30 performing Canadian digital agencies from across the country to their Canadian head office in Toronto.  RankHigher was one of the firms invited to this exclusive event and we punched our ticket based on the accelerated growth our clients achieved in the past 6 months.

RankHigher had the good fortune of a 45 minute drive to the 111 Richmond Street, Toronto office; however other companies flew in from Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Montreal and the East Coast.

We ventured to the 12th, and then proceeded to the 14th floor – that’s where all the magic happened.  What transpired there?  What was discussed?  We wish we could share that with you however we signed a lengthy NDA preventing us to do so – See Appendix “A”

What we can tell you is that we had the good fortune of being asked to participate in an event where Google was sharing something with us that had not been released to the public at large.  We can say however that as a result of our close allegiance with Google, our current and prospective clients will benefit.

RankHigher.ca employees Marc Tytus (center) and Domenic Rupolo (right) discussing Google’s latest product for agencies with Todd Boxer (left) from Google

Having hand selected the companies and individuals invited, Google took a very human approach to the event.  Google asked those in attendance for their opinions and perspectives on Google products during a collaborative discovery session.

Google expressly asked us for feedback and recommendations on how to enhance the yet-to-be-released subject matter.  Google tech support was on Google Hangouts and ready for questions and comments on all Google apps and platforms.

Michael Halbmeier, President of RankHigher.ca, at Google

Google treated their guests to an environment filled with technology and collaborative spirit.  We also had the good fortune of bringing home Google-branded items for our office and personal enjoyment.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Google, and the organizers of the event.  We learned a great deal and are excited to put in to practice the training that was received.  The future is indeed a bright one.

Curtis Hayes at the treat table at Google in Toronto Christi Campbell hanging out at Google post-event

Appendix “A” – The NDA RankHigher signed prior to entrance to this highly – exclusive event:

3 Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Brand Online

You worked hard to create a brand, make it recognizable, and create a brand strategy.  You did this to open more doors for yourself while being recognizable to the public.  It’s important that you receive all the benefits from your hard work.  Below we have the top 3 easiest ways to keep your online brand safe.  Most of these initiatives will not cost you anything.

1.) Claim Your Domain and Its Variations

Buy your domain and all the popular TLD’s for it (.com, .ca, .info, .org, .net) as well as variations of your brand (plural, non-plural, hyphenated, past tense, etc.).   This will prevent other companies from using your reputation to gain your business.  Without taking preventative measures ($10/year for each domain), it could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in court fees to re-claim these domains if someone else registers them.  We may or may not be speaking from experience.

2.) Claim Your Social Media Handles

Even if you don’t have a plan for them yet, you should have all branded handles for the most popular social media platforms (and non-branded if you can find it. Below are social media properties we recommend which include claiming your handles in addition to some tips you can use that allows you to do less work and not have to continually update all of your social media platforms (although we do recommend updating content regularly).

FACEBOOK
You will need over 100 likes in order to change your url to be branded. You can only change it once so make sure its spelt properly and is branded. Set up your page with your logo as the profile and a cover photo related to your company. Maybe the facility you work from or some products. (We do social media page set up as an a la carte service).

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS / GOOGLE+
If you already have a Google Places account do not make a Google+ account. They are in the process of migrating them over. If you don’t have a Places account make a Google+ account. If you have a franchise and no places account. Call us.

YOUTUBE
Make an account and make playlists of related videos. Make a branded page with a background and profile picture. We specialize in video content for social media!

MYSPACE
This is most likely only relevant to your business if you are in the entertainment industry. Claim the name to protect your brand image.

TWITTER
A twitter account is easily set up and automated. If you want to schedule tweets we recommend the buffer app!

LINKEDIN
Make a business profile and customize it with your logo and services. This can be time consuming however one of your most important profiles

PINTEREST
Make and account and create pin boards with your own pins. Infographics, pictures, tips on your industry and photos of events.

INSTAGRAM
Claim your name, let one person instagram your work world.

Most important of all, link the profiles together when you can.

3.) Google Your Brand Name… Often

You never know what other people are writing about your company online.  You can’t stop people from posting negative comments about your business online, but you can respond.  Try and make their negative experience a positive one!  Reply to posts where you can.  At the very least it shows you care about your clients experience with your brand.  Once you find postings of your brand, determine whether you have control of the content or another user.  For example, some accounts you can just simply change your privacy settings so no one can see tags, giving you , more control of what is visible but not of what is out there.  You can also see what accounts have been automatically generated for your brand and take steps towards claiming them.  The more you claim the more control you have on what is posted about your brand.   A great strategy to keeping up to date on what is being published is using googles “Me on the Web” and searching for yourself and your brand, and setting up google alerts for your brand name and variations.  Getting regular alerts will keep you current on what is being published about you.

Graphic Design For The Non Graphic Designer

So you want to dabble in graphic design and just are not sure where to start? Well, you came to the right place. Most people are scared to try it, but once you get the hang of it, graphic design isn’t scary at all. Graphic design can be anything from your logo design, to business cards, and even down to your web design. Having roots in graphic design does not necessarily mean you are the world’s greatest artist; it could be something as simple as knowing what looks good and what doesn’t.

Becoming a graphic designer, or even just periodically presenting some creative elements, is a skill that can set you a part from others within your workplace. It is all about finding what works well for you and how you can create graphic pieces that will reflect your creativity and your assigned task. When being assigned some design work, here are some tips you can follow to get your creative juices flowing and how to keep them flowing…

Start by getting comfortable with your setting
Grab a coffee, sit in your favourite chair, put on some tunes, whatever it takes to make you feel relaxed. Designing can become frustrating if your head is not into it. Make sure you are in an environment that will foster creativity, not hinder it.

Identify your goal and key elements
There is nothing worse than not having a clear vision. Knowing what your end result should be ie. ‘An image that will direct my clients to the shop page,’ will make it easier for you to come up with a design. Without a clear goal, you will be swimming around in a circle for hours. Having an end goal will keep you focused and will and will allow you to use your time wisely.

Research designs
There is nothing wrong with researching and looking at what others have done. Doing a little bit of research will help you to determine what you like and do not like and how you can shape your assigned task. Sometimes you will find that inspiration will come from the most unexpected places and elements.

Decide on your layout and colour palate
Unless specified, choosing your colours and page layout can be a bit of a task, mostly because you will have hundreds of ideas running through your head. Deciding on a main colour design and page layout will help to keep you on task. Obviously your page design will change throughout the designing process, but having an idea of what you want will keep the actual execution of it on the right track. Sometimes I find it best to sketch out a really simple and basic outline on a piece of paper, that way when you get lost you can easily refer back to the drawing and attempt to rearrange your roadblock.

Be open to opinions and criticisms
When it comes to designs, you will not always see eye-to-eye with everyone who reviews your work. You have to remember to stay open minded, regardless of how much your work is criticized. Everyone has their own ideas and being able to take criticism and alter your work will make you a better designer. Design criticism is not a personal attack; it is a way to get everyone’s goals met.

Review
Before sending your work to the client or publishing it, make sure to look back and ask yourself “What am I trying to obtain with this piece?” Next, ask yourself “Did I get that message across?” If your answer is “No” then you may want to spend a little bit of more time on it before you send it off. If you answered “Yes,” double check that all copy, file sizes, file types, bleed (if needed), and requirements are met, and then feel free to submit your work for print or upload to your client. You are done!

Almost as important as it is to have a creative eye, having a default program that you are with comfortable using is completely okay, Adobe Photoshop CS6 being my go to program. But you should never limit yourself to only one program. There will come a day when a client will need something changed ASAP and they will send you a file for a program that you will have to learn on the fly. So be sure to experiment and dive deep into various designing programs that are available – this way you will always be prepared for the unexpected.

Getting the hang of designing is something that does take time, but it is a great learning experience. In the beginning you will find that your designs may not be working out, but eventually with practice and experimenting, you will get the outcome you hoped for. It is all based on trial and error; do not get discouraged. Sometimes your greatest works will come from a mistake or an unplanned tool selection. Don’t be afraid to experiment; you will thank yourself later for it!