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I've started rounding up notable posts each month, with aim of ensuring our dear readers never miss a useful article, or a blog post that can make you feel a bit more of a jedi.
Here's the roundup from September, with 10 posts for you to bone up on SEO, analytics and the like, and three posts to sit back and enjoy with coffee.
Conversion optimisation is great, but to some extent it works on the premise that customers know what they’re looking for. Ok, checkouts, calls to action, merchandising should always be finessed, but optimisation is a means of squeezing more from specific intent.
But what if moving the customer towards the magpie psyche is the future of selling online?
A new ecommerce model is emerging and it works on the premise that customers can be encouraged to ‘bag at will’. All retailers need to do is surface rarer, quality products that are socially proven and most importantly look great.
There are many considerations when harvesting the email address of your customer. How much information do you ask for? How hard do you push the sign-up? What do you include in a welcome email?
For luxury brands, the purchase decision is surely all about education and information. Giving those moneyed customers knowledge of new lines and must-haves will keep them returning, in fear they're missing out.
Most luxury brands sell 'lifetime' pieces, and so to hook the customer ahead of your competitors, every word of your comms should entice and exude the charm of a private members club.
Here's how some of the most searched for US luxury brands do email welcomes.
Coach has an ultimately frustrating website.
Don’t get me wrong, the desktop site, designed this year, isn’t presenting too many barriers to customers. It also has some nice touches that should shine in a tweaked redesign. And it has some amazing product images (of amazing products).
But, at the moment, it’s a little buggy and has a homepage lacking in features above the fold.
With a little work, the desktop ecommerce site could make content and products easier to surface, and provide a much more immersive experience.
In this post, I’m looking at the US website. If you’re not in the US, you can hit ‘global sites’ in the footer and take a look at the American view.
For those outside of the US, Coach is big, with revenue of $3.23bn in 2009. It’s big enough that when I Google simply ‘coach’ (and bear in mind I’m in the UK), I get a Google company ‘card’ on the RHS of the SERPS (see below), which I can click to take me to results more relevant to the luxury leather goods store.
So, now that I’m in the store, what does it look like?
British fashion brand Lyle & Scott is looking for its next great leader, a new CEO.
To do this, shunning traditional recruitment methods, the company is using social media predominantly, linking to a microsite to attract the right person.
Will we start to see this kind of recruitment process more and more? Those at Lyle & Scott think that to find the right candidate, one has to mix things up a bit, and use a selective medium, symptomatic of the candidate one is looking for.
Let’s take a look…
It continues to trouble me just how much dross there is floating about in the world of search marketing. Only the other day, I asked a prospect how their current agency had chosen the keywords that they were currently targeting.
Their response: "They asked us to supply a list of keywords we wanted to rank for and just went with those".
"Holy crap" I thought, "this still happens?"
There are plenty of good articles out there that talk about how to establish a keyword strategy so I’m not going to cover old ground in this article. Needless to say though, simply asking a client to supply a list of keywords, which are then ‘targeted’ without further analysis or discussion, is pretty scandalous in this day and age.
Unfortunately, this is just one example where agencies and consultants sell ‘search strategies’ that, in reality, are not strategies at all.
It’s an empowering time for online retailers. Thanks to sites like Pinterest and Curisma, retailers know more about what their consumers are demanding than ever before.
Two thousand years ago, Romans would make a shopping list by scratching the name of items they needed into a thin layer of wax on a wooden tablet.
Today, it’s a new generation of tablets that are playing an increasingly vital role in the retail journey, reviving a retail pattern that has long dominated the offline shopping experience: discovery shopping!
Google has a unique viewpoint from which to look at mobile’s part to play in the customer journey.
SERPs, AdWords, Google Maps, Google Chrome, Google accounts – all have a part to play. And perhaps soon Google Wallet and Google Glass.
I attended Latitude’s client summit last week and listened to Harry Davies, Lead Product Marketing Manager, Large Customer Marketing, at Google (helping customers get the most from search).
I’ve tried to sum up some of what Harry had to say, giving an overview of mobile’s involvement in retail in 2013.
Stats from IMRG and Experian Hitwise released today show the ten most popular mobile retail sites in the UK. They are, as you may expect, almost the same as the top desktop sites, with the exception of Apple.
So, since these retailers have the most popular sites, (and they must be aware of this from their own analytics) you would expect that they have optimised for mobile users.
I've been taking a closer look at the sites..
Do you have a localised SEO strategy? Are you making effective use of Google Places? If you are not, like many brands, then you are missing a trick.
For any brand, having an all-encompassing long term SEO strategy, targeting high volume key phrases, is essential to maintaining a continual revenue stream.
However, a vital area that can produce shorter term success but is often overlooked is the opportunity for localised SEO.
Some of Australia’s biggest retailers have recently spoken out at a conference in Melbourne saying that while selling online has the benefit of lower overheads, it is not yet as profitable as traditional bricks-and-mortar retailing.
A new TNS study across 43 countries suggests that 21% of shoppers use smartphones in store to 'showroom', 43% read reviews, 31% compare prices and 25% seek advice before they buy from friends and family.
This phenomenon has put the fear of God into many within the retail industry, woken businesses up to the link between the high street and internet and made retailers aware that they are not ready to service this reality.