Category Archives: Marketing

For discussions and post related to marketing news, information, and insights

SEO Tips: Why Updating SEO Maintenance Is Critical To Marketing Success

Over the years experts have emphasized or de-emphasized of SEO tactics with the advent of new platforms or technology.  Take social media for example. SEO tactics at first required just a focus on a website content and link structure.  Today, examining social media usage should be included in a SEO plan, since Bing and Google have added social sharing clues into social engine results.  Platforms such as Pinterest have started to verify accounts with associated websites, creating a stronger digital presence in some instances. Moreover, the advent of HTML5 has introduced new variations of web page element which needs to be optimized in some cases. So new technology means updating SEO maintenance is essential.

Another factor is the increased usage of mobile devices – customers search patterns can differ under mobile. Moreover customers can have a immediate purchase intent when accessing a site on the go. Thus deciding how to display your online presence for mobile search is necessary.

Finally, page load speed can also be a factor in encouraging return visitors, so examining page load performance lead to changes which may impact SEO tactics. Minimizing images would mean a new set of image files which can then be named with intended keywords, for example.

All of these factors mean that a website can become limited by both changes in the business (which drive content changes – imagine the need to remove a discontinued service, and you have the idea) and the opportunity to incorporate new web developments to better enhance the customer experience online.

Thus recording SEO audit dates becomes essential in managing website changes and in guiding when to update a site.  Businesses should be particularly aware of how the site generates content. Frequently updated content drives the need to audit. The successful maintenance of that content will be what ultimately drive branding, leads, and customers who will purchase from a business.

How Coupons Can Influence Mobile Strategy

In my childhood days I brought home the Sunday newspaper and clipped coupons from it. But like many people today, I tend to look for coupons delivered to my smartphone while I am on the go.

Delivering mobile coupons to customers have altered the value coupons have for marketers. That value is now a meaningful connection to customers carrying mobile devices. Shoppers are acclimated to digital retail offers. Take loyalty programs for example. Customers in these programs want rewards for their loyalty. A coupon associated with a reward level can be a natural fit in saying “thank you” to customers.

Marketers should appreciate shopper attitudes that have arisen from better smartphones and programming technology. Recent research notes that mobile smartphone users are more likely to act on a purchase. Chain Store Age illustrated in a 2012 post that four our of five smartphone users access retail content through their phone.

The end result is a steady surge of mobile coupon usage. eMarketer noticed that mobile coupons are becoming more popular for in-store deals, albeit with a slow growth. The research firm predicted that over 100 million customers would use a digital coupon by 2014.  In 2015, MediaPost reports how consumers are adopting mobile tools, especially coupons.

Coupons can be combined with other digital marketing media to increase awareness of a retail event. Mobile coupons for products advertised on a digital signage can be the impetus for customers to try a new product or to head towards a nearby store. In either case coupons can take advantage of smartphone-owning customers propensity to act.

In fact, a coupon strategy integrated into an overall digital marketing campaign may be the best bet in attracting fence-sitting customers into a retailer’s store. eMarketer also noted in a separate NPD survey that US internet shoppers indicated price as the number one consideration in deciding where to shop. The second ranked consideration was sales or special deals. These influences overrode shopper interest in receiving one price across multi-channels, implying a strategy for personalized pricing through coupon offers. The strategy can also serve as a countermove against showrooming.

To make the most of a coupon trial campaign, retailers can add an analytics tag to the coupons or a landing page related to the coupon. Custom variables can also be used for tracking response to several groups of coupons organized across several campaigns. Incorporating analytics tracking can reveal how well a given campaign succeeds.

The behavior associated with the Sunday newspaper may be gone, but customer appreciation for a sale is not waning. Digital coupons on mobile devices can potentially change that appreciation into a meaningful connection with retailers.

Relating Content Marketing and Semantic Search to Customers

Search engines have subtly changed their methodologies over the past few years. One methodology that has yet to see widespread adoption has already experienced its most significant change yet.

Back in 2013, an ontology library site, Good Relations, announced an alignment of its markup structure definitions with those used on schema.org, a metatag library. The end result is increased consistency of definition usage among businesses, and a wider shared usage of structure markup among web developers and search engine optimization practitioners.

This merger occurred thanks to increasing search discovery needs for digital media. From music to webinar presentations, businesses have added numerous content to appear when potential customers research product and service information online.

The content has led marketing managers to give a refreshed look at their optimization strategies through apply semantic search. Semantic search involves organizing keywords and content with website element protocols and structure markup language. The organization makes the pages and site content more visible to nuanced search engine queries.

Good Relations and schema.org support separate protocols for semantic search. Schema.org contains metadata meant for HTML5, an update of the venerable website structure code language positioned for future website development. Good Relations contains RDF – resources description framework that has proven utility for current retailers and E-commerce sites.

One strategic benefit for managers is learning enhanced ways to translate potential client language to its digital properties. If businesses within a given industry agreed to ontology for services and needs, those businesses can adjust their content tags to position its content to potential query results from those businesses. Imagine a video on better financing for construction projects – With a metadata protocol, now imagine that video section appearing in a search query run by a construction firm.

That exact example lies at the heart of HTML5. HTML5 added video- and music-related tag elements, developed to increase media exposure to relevant search engine queries. Other tagging protocols, such as Google’s authorship tags, can help search engines recognized a group of authors – an aid to marketing teams leveraging personal brands of its members online. The fundamentals of digital marketing is increasingly shifting toward strategic data ownership, which is supported through content marketing and semantic search.

With the schema.org – Good Relations alliance, digital marketers and website developers can optimize metadata and RDF information across varied content.  The success of such an effort will create a true application of semantic search’s definition – the science of actual customer’s language.

 

Social Media Analytics: Starting Points for Measuring Interest on Pinterest

Pinterest Board With Video

This Pinterest Board, featuring an embedded Google Hangout Video, is an example of what Pinterest users typically discover and how unique content can make a difference

If you are like most people with a smartphone and a penchant for conversation, you want to share images with friends and family. One of the most popular for image sharing has been Pinterest. And if you are running a business or developing a marketing strategy for a business, you may want to take a closer look at analytic tools to measure Pinterest performance.

Stats regarding Pinterest as an attractive platform for women are well known. A Pew Institute study in late 2012 revealed a now well-known discovery that women were 5 times as likely as men to use Pinterest. More recently RJMetrics noted a sizable female presence in its study, suggesting topics that garner pins from women.

This trend plays a critical role in retail strategy. Women have been influential in major consumer purchase decisions – this Carconnection.com post notes women extending an influence in car purchases to friends and colleagues. Understandably this demographic aspect has been valuable to marketers looking to build a brand.

But other trends on Pinterest have developed since that Pew report:

  • Consumers are discovering the search capability on Pinterest. In July 2014, Pinterest redesign its subject pages to displayed more nuanced sub-topics. This change introduced new ways for a product, service, or brand to be discovered and shared.
  • Although usage remains low, men are acknowledging that Pinetrest influences their decision to buy. According to comScore, 25% of men survey make purchases after they had discovered the product or service on Pinterest
  • Pinterest is influencing eCommerce. Business Insider noted that 23% of global commerce is attributed to Pinterest influence. So Pinterest a key in online retail strategy almost irrespective of region with a robust internet commerce environment.
  • Pinterest is a way to access people while mobile. TechCrunch reported that 75% of Pinterest users access the site through mobile.
  • Pinterest is increasingly introducing marketing tools as a result of all the, er, interest. Website magazine reported on the successful insights gained from a beta run of promoted pins. These are pins which brand pay to have pins exposed with a broad reach similar to other earned media such as paid search ads. Advertising on Pinterest is expected to widely available during 2015 according to Business Insider.
  • Mashable noted that Pinterest had a higher referral traffic rate than other social media platforms such as Linked In. This is extremely meaningful for analytics practitioners. The

These stats plus other discoveries is making Pinterest an excellent referral traffic source for segments. This makes the platform more targeted than other social media platforms in some instances.

So where do you start to measure its Pinterest activity?

Monitoring the number of pins over time may feel like the obvious first metrics choice. Pinterest makes this metric available in Pinterest Analytics, a set of dashboards with each profile.

But analytics reporting only on the number of pins does not delve into the potential reasons for why people share and pin images. The end result for businesses analyzing the activity is an overlook of meaningful behavior that can influence strategic marketing decisions.

To increase the sophistication, look at the metrics under the three dashboard segments in Pinterest Analytics:

  • Your Pinterest Profile – this displays three engagement metrics: Impressions, Repins, and Clicks. The results are shown in a time graph, with adjustable date ranges available. Top Impression and Repins are also available, as well as 30 day historical data. This is helpful in gaining a sense of the top pins and impressions.
  • Activity from Your Website – This board appears similar to the Your Pinterest Profile; The same metrics and dimensions appear on both boards, as well as the historical data. The significant difference lies with where the data is sourced. This board is meant to related a company website assets (pin buttons, etc.) to activity on the Pinterest profile. This helps to relate corrleations between Pinterest board activity and conversion activity at the website. One installation note: This dashboard requires website verification to reveal the data, so check at the Pinterest site for verification procedures.
  • Your Audience – This board offers demographic metrics – country, city, language, and gender breakdown of the board visitors. There is also an interest picture board to display additional topics that your board visitors typically see. The Your Audience board initiates discussion regarding what would interest Pinterest followers further – from local topics such as sports to language specific description on images.

Other Analytics Tools Available

Like Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest has berthed a series of support tools that make managing the platform easier. Here are a few resources that can be used alongside Pinterest Analytics reports

  • Pinerly is a tool that permits users to create a pin from an uploaded image and URL. An analytics dashboard is included. This makes a great option for adding analytics tags to the URL in a similar manner to paid search ads.
  • Vraltag (originally called Pingraphy) is a scheduler application similar to Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. Pins can be deployed to be posted later. Using a scheduler can save time in increasing engagement without having to log on every time.The platform cost is $4/month and up.
  • Piquora – this is also a scheduler platform for Pinterest and Instagram. The features allow users to schedule pins and image shares, respectively.
  • PinAlerts – This platform operates similarly to Google Alerts. It lets users know when someone has pinned something on the site
  • Tailwind (Pinreach) – Tailwind acquired Pinreach in 2014, and renamed it as . It has an scoring system to measure performance, trending number
  • Curalate – This platform, like Piquora, also extends usage beyond Pinterest to other social media platforms. It monitors image analytics on Pinterest, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. The solution offers pin-to-purchase tracking, which helps marketers attribute revenue to pins.

Overall, businesses are discovering new ways to measure Pinterest pins performance. These analytic solutions can reveal a branding story about products and services, and potentially bring companies closer to their customers.

SEO Tips: #LocalSEO – Google Hangout With @DIYMarketers Ivana Taylor

Local SEO is becoming a significant factor in attracting customers were searching through smartphones and tablet devices. Local SEO may sound like a new digital hurdle for small business owners to understand. But the tactics are really straightforward, based on SEO tactics that experts have used for years, now influenced by search engine algorithms like Google’s Pigeon.

Another influence is the algorithm changes in the search engines, particularly Google. The changes have focused increasingly with mobile devices. The chart below highlights the influence Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, and Pigeon have had on Google search results. Pigeon is the most recent change, but it also the most related to local search, interpreting local clues on a website into queries.

 

Google Search Algorithtm Chart - Panda Penguin Hummingbird Pigeon

A chart of Google Search Engine Algorithm changes from 2011 to 2014

That difference leads to an emphasis on keywords associated with a metropolitan area, as well as phrasing in the descriptions that show up for local search. The change also impacts review sites such as Yelp.  Customers with mobile phones typically access these sites, looking for local services and products.

In 2012 Search Engine Land had predicted that the majority of local search queries would be mobile by 2015. Judging by the latest data the trend is become more evident as fact.

Ultimately the influence of Pigeon, along with local SEO tactics, means businesses that people typical look for locally – pharmacies, pizzerias, restaurants, barber shops, auto repair shops, banks, laundromats, and other services – must have a website well tailored to local search and to have a robust presence on review platforms that are sharable on social media.

The customer segment that search for services are strategically important because as they discover a business through their smart device, the customer will likely decide to call or contact that business. That means that the customer is ready to purchase… and your business can potential increase sales, registrations, or any other online activity.

I sat down with Ivana Taylor of DIY Marketers to showcase basics tactics that are used with Local SEO. You can view our talk in the recorded Google Hangout below.

One tip which I provided in the hangout is the ability to track character count when modifying the title and page description of a web page.  The reason for this spreadsheet tactic is to permit a better focus on arranging keywords relative to the page, title, and URL rather than worrying about the character count.  Exceeding the character count will not provide any benefit in a search query and can cut off information to display and describe their services in a way that will appear in a Facebook post in a tweet.