tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/search-marketing Latest Search Marketing content from Econsultancy 2018-04-23T15:59:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69961 2018-04-23T15:59:00+01:00 2018-04-23T15:59:00+01:00 The implications of voice tech for marketers, from brand to customer service Nick Hammond <h3>2013: The year that voice took off  </h3> <p>2013 was the pivotal year for voice tech, with big improvements achieved via a combination of greater word accuracy and the impact of deep neural networks. Andrew Ng commented on this progress from a user’s perspective, in his famous tweet, as follows:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">As speech-recognition accuracy goes from 95% to 99%, we'll go from barely using it to using all the time! <a href="https://t.co/TfjqJLDTPJ">https://t.co/TfjqJLDTPJ</a></p> — Andrew Ng (@AndrewYNg) <a href="https://twitter.com/AndrewYNg/status/809579698883727360?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 16, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Whilst this sounds encouraging on the accuracy front, the voice recognition/activation journey has been a long and slow one, and to demonstrate this point, at SXSW we were shown an early attempt at voice technology — <a href="https://mediacenter.ibm.com/media/%281961%29+Shoebox+-+IBM+Archives+%2878-013%29/0_4m2ynnkk">IBM’s Shoebox</a>, from 1961.</p> <p>In the modern, digital era, things have moved on a pace from the launch of Siri (to <a href="http://www.mac-reviews.net/siri-the-good-the-bad-and-the-crazy/">decidedly mixed reviews</a>) in 2011.</p> <h3>A conversational technology, for all generations</h3> <p>Following pivotal changes in 2013; 2014 is now perceived as ‘Year One’ for voice activation, and already this technology is growing faster than smartphones, at the same time in their development - using the launch of the iPhone 2007 as the comparable starting point. Not only is take-up faster, but it is being more quickly adopted by older generations.</p> <p>Not all older people are necessarily comfortable with the technology (see the great video below of an Italian grandmother learning to use Google Home) but the adoption of voice is easy; as it is the first technology that will not need to be learnt. Intuitive by nature, unlike computers and phones, this technology will adapt to us, not the other way around.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/e2R0NSKtVA0?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>With all connective technology, even with the keyboard, it has always been a conversation, involving a ‘back and forth’ and ‘process and progress’. The process, for the consumer at least, is getting simpler. And, although it is likely, that the ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69954-will-the-rise-of-voice-search-kill-off-screen-based-search-marketing-3/">screens of tomorrow will increasingly be speakers</a>’; one element holding voice back are the different approaches being taken in the East and West. In order to really prosper, the approach needs to be a concerted global enterprise.</p> <h3>The ‘voice’ challenge for marketers</h3> <p>With the rise of voice technology, so comes the rise of the screenless / voice marketer and developer. These roles are becoming essential as voice become the first filter and the main point of brand, consumer contact. I like the following perspective on the challenges these roles will be facing (<a href="https://thenextweb.com/syndication/2018/01/20/interfaces-dying-brand-needs-bigger-personality/">from The Next Web</a>):</p> <blockquote> <p>Interfaces are gradually becoming invisible as we move toward a world of Zero UI. Screens will start to go away, and interactions will primarily happen via voice, gestures, glances, or even by thought. Branding means a lot more than just visuals these days.</p> </blockquote> <p>Admittedly, some brands have recognised the importance of different modes of human interaction, for example the importance of gestures was addressed <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2015/01/22/spotify-adds-touch-to-play-and-swipe-to-save-gestures-taking-cues-from-snapchat-and-tinder/">by SnapChat, Tinder and Spotify</a> in 2015; and whilst work on the ‘impact of the mind’ is still fairly nascent, one example is in the area of thought-controlled drone flight. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxyxYmCaQ9A">Here's an example</a> courtesy of Emotiv Epoc. </p> <p>Understanding humanity and individual cultures is essential to understanding effective communication — as Peter Drucker (may have) said, ‘<a href="https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/05/23/culture-eats/">Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast.</a>’ Understanding culture (the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society) is the essential starting point for an effective communications strategy.</p> <h3>The changes that voice may bring</h3> <p>Some of the more obvious effects of voice activation may include — the complementing of human customer service with voice activiation; the ‘long-tail’ impact on search (as voice searches are generally longer than text searches); and the rise of selling through voice search.</p> <p>Some less obvious effects may include — the monetisation of ‘conversation data’ and the rise of audio ads around questions (pre-roll, post roll). The future of voice apps is more open to question, as only 3% of apps are used actively in a given week.</p> <h3>The impact on search</h3> <p>In terms of success metrics, search is currently interested with the accuracy of answers provided to questions asked — e.g. ‘who’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ — and metrics such as purchase, adoption and retention. Increasingly, we will be more preoccupied with new notions of ‘emotional success’ — such as engagement and happiness.</p> <p>Amongst all of this, it is important to remember, that whilst voice can shrink the space between brand and consumer, designing artificial commercial conversations that adequately replicate human interactions is highly challenging. When it works well, from the consumer’s perspective, voice is about efficiency and ease – essentially, ‘being met where you are’.</p> <h3>Getting the technology right for the user</h3> <p>Optimal approaches in this space include the importance of successfully ‘evolving the mediation in a conversation’; the need to successfully translate ‘user intentions’; and moving through three key stages of connection: ‘the foundations of conversation’, ‘to changing the conversation’, ‘to better conversations’. As voice becomes more familiar, it becomes more relevant, and more effectively fulfils user journeys.</p> <p><a href="https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16318694/south-park-amazon-alexa-google-home">In this example involving an Amazon Echo in South Park</a>, Cartman seems to have had a fulfilling user journey, and there are some interesting things on his (and other people’s shopping lists) (please note - NSFW).</p> <h3>A new perspective on marketing </h3> <p>Finally, there is also need for a change in marketing perspective - from ‘how your brand looks’ (old) to ‘how your brand looks at the world’ (new). Brands need to have a personality and perspective, like people, to fully connect in a voice activated world. </p> <p><em><strong>More on voice:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69717-remove-the-waffle-from-your-content-or-risk-failure-in-voice-search">Remove the waffle from your content or risk failure in voice search</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69809-trainline-s-head-of-engineering-building-our-own-voice-app-was-a-no-brainer">Trainline's head of engineering: "building our own voice app was a no-brainer"</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69724-how-will-voice-technology-change-consumer-behaviour">How will voice technology change consumer behaviour?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69954 2018-04-20T11:28:16+01:00 2018-04-20T11:28:16+01:00 Will the rise of voice search kill off screen-based search marketing? Marcus Tober <p>Half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 <a href="https://twitter.com/stekenwright/status/794184621114228737">according to comscore</a> while 30% of web browsing sessions will take place without a screen by that time <a href="https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/gartner-predicts-a-virtual-world-of-exponential-change/">according to Gartner</a>. And smart speakers are set to be the <a href="https://www.canalys.com/newsroom/smart-speakers-are-fastest-growing-consumer-tech-shipments-surpass-50-million-2018">fastest growing consumer technology</a> this year.</p> <p>So, with many consumers eventually accessing search via spoken results from the likes of Google Home and Amazon Alexa, what does this mean for the way we use traditional search results in marketing – those with search listings presented on screen?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3735/AI_red.png" alt="smart assistant" width="615" height="308"></p> <p>The truth is that marketers are going to have to get used to developing search and content strategies that satisfy both spoken results and screen based results (not least for devices such as the <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Introducing-Echo-Show-Black-Now-Alexa-Can-Show-You-Things/dp/B01KGEWACK">Echo Show</a>).</p> <p>To be sure, voice assistants and voice activated devices are fantastic. They allow you to be online, scour the web and remain productive when your eyes and hands aren’t free - while driving, cooking, walking, socializing, exercising and operating machinery for instance.</p> <p>But there are a variety of important reasons why screen-based search results will be here - and remain very valuable to marketers - for the long term:</p> <h3>1. Some searches are best satisfied by visual content</h3> <p>Think of the <a href="https://www.searchmetrics.com/news-and-events/study-universal-search/">23% of search results that return a video</a> on the search page for example and the 16% of images results. Google’s algorithm has learned that visual information is the best way to answer certain queries. Examples include someone searching for fashion or furniture or for visual 'how to' instructions that explain how to do something.</p> <p>Some searching is to do with finding <em>inspiration</em> rather than finding answers to specific questions, which is why sites such as Pinterest are now popular destinations for search. Providing visual ideas is also why many retailers are introducing <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69358-asos-visual-search-is-it-any-good">visual search</a> apps that let consumers take and upload photos of products they’ve come across to help them find similar products online.</p> <h3><strong>2. People love on-screen browsing – and you just can’t replicate that experience via spoken results</strong></h3> <p>Think about how screen-based search results can set people off on an online browsing journey moving from link to link as they learn about a topic from a variety of different online sources. People while away hours doing this in their leisure time and with spoken search results as yet it’s not possible to re-create the same browsing experience. </p> <p>So expect consumers’ love of on-screen browsing to continue and for marketers to find ways to capitalise on this in their organic and paid search and content strategies.   </p> <h3> <strong>3. Spoken ads in voice activated</strong><strong> searches are still too problematic</strong> </h3> <p>Search ads work well on screen because they are integrated on the page - above and below organic results – and, importantly, they do not detract from the searchers’ experience.</p> <p>But having a spoken voice ad interrupt your voice activated search session is just too disruptive. The likes of Google and Amazon are still trying to find a way to monetize spoken search via advertising in a way that consumers will feel comfortable with. So it’s unlikely that either is going to want to see screen-based search advertising disappear any time soon. In fact Amazon is currently <a href="https://digiday.com/marketing/amazons-ad-business-grew-60-percent-quarter/">heavily focused</a> on expanding its screen based search advertising business with many experts predicting continued growth.</p> <h3> <strong>4.</strong> People<strong> don’t always want just one ‘right’ answer</strong> </h3> <p>With spoken search results, your smart assistant will give you just one answer to your question. But there’s evidence to suggest that people prefer to choose their answers from a range of alternatives.</p> <p>For example, Google has been displaying ‘direct answer’ boxes in-on screen results that call out a single answer in a distinctive box on the search page when someone is obviously asks a ‘why’ or a ‘how’ question. Usually, Google Home only reads out one answer to a search question – and this is mostly the same result that features as a direct answer in search results.</p> <p>However, currently Google only returns 16% of desktop searches with a direct answer box (4% on mobile), so presumably it’s algorithm has learned that for many searches, people prefer to view a list of results. </p> <p><strong>5. Sometimes you don’t want your search results to be heard by others</strong></p> <p>In an office environment or on the train or bus home, it just would not be done to have everyone listening to your voice based interaction with your device. Plus sometimes you just don’t want anyone else to know your business! Screen-based search results can be more personal and easier to keep private.</p> <p>So on-screen search results provide a number of advantages over spoken search results for both consumers and marketers. In future, marketing professionals will need to develop a greater understanding of the types of searches and situations in which spoken results are most appropriate and those that favour visual, screen-based results.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3235/SEO_Best_Practice_Widget.png" alt="seo report banner" width="615" height="243"></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69946 2018-04-13T15:58:16+01:00 2018-04-13T15:58:16+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Facebook ad spend grows despite recent controversy</h3> <p><a href="http://www.4cinsights.com/StateofMedia/" target="_blank">New data</a> from 4C has revealed that Facebook saw a marked increase in ad spend this Q1, despite the recent Cambridge Analytics scandal. </p> <p>Following the news in March, Facebook ad spend increased 62% year-on-year.</p> <p>The travel and legal/financial verticals saw the greatest quarter-over-quarter increases of 129% and 32%, respectively. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to deliver ROI for advertisers, with an 18% quarterly decrease in cost per thousand impressions (CPM).</p> <p>Elsewhere, Snapchat saw a whopping 234% year-on-year increase in ad spend in the first quarter of 2018, largely due to its re-designed Discover page presenting even more opportunities for sponsored content.</p> <p><strong>More on Facebook:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69902-facebook-is-in-real-trouble-what-it-could-mean-for-marketers">Facebook is in real trouble: What it could mean for marketers</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69840-facebook-quietly-rolls-out-new-ad-placements-as-power-editor-merges-with-ads-manager">Facebook quietly rolls out new ad placements as Power Editor merges with Ads Manager</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69787-five-tips-for-a-successful-facebook-advertising-strategy">Five tips for a successful Facebook advertising strategy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-social-media-advertising">Paid Social Media Advertising Best Practice Guide</a></li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3556/facebook.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400"></p> <h3>71% of people think ads are becoming more intrusive</h3> <p>A recent survey by Kantar Millward Brown, <a href="https://www.emarketer.com/content/people-believe-ads-are-becoming-more-intrusive?ecid=NL1002">reported by eMarketer</a>, has found that the majority of people think ads are far more intrusive than they were three years ago. 71% of survey respondents uphold this opinion, with 74% also suggesting that they’re seeing more ads overall.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 79% of people say that adverts appear in more places, making it impossible to avoid advertising while online. </p> <p>Despite this, opinion towards ads isn’t <em>all</em> bad – 41% say that ads tell better stories than they used to, while 47% agree that ads fit together better across different formats. </p> <p>Naturally, this type of survey is not good news for advertisers, especially alongside the prediction (according to eMarketer) that three in 10 US internet users will use an an ad blocker this year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3576/Intrusive_ads_blog___twitter_size__1_.png" alt="intrusive ads 71% consumers think so" width="615" height="308"></p> <p><strong>Now read:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69326-google-to-start-warning-sites-about-bad-ad-experiences" target="_blank">Google to start warning sites about bad ad experiences</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69750-in-a-blow-to-marketers-google-will-let-users-opt-out-of-remarketing-ads" target="_blank">In a blow to marketers, Google will let users opt-out of remarketing ads</a></li> </ul> <h3>Text messaging declines YoY in the UK as chat apps take precedent</h3> <p><a href="https://www.reportlinker.com/data/series/H-u9khxCiJs" target="_blank">New data</a> from ReportLinker has revealed the changing habits of global mobile users. Overall, it suggests that people are paying less as we move towards free chat apps rather than traditional text messaging.</p> <p>In the UK, the average monthly household expenditure on mobile smartphone service has decreased nearly 3% this year, and is predicted to keep on getting lower to 2020. Meanwhile, text messaging has also declined as users make greater use of chat apps like WhatsApp.</p> <p>ReportLinker also suggests that traditional landlines could soon be extinct. In Australia in particular, this prediction could come true in just a couple of years. The number of people who will have a smartphone but no fixed telephone line is estimated to be well over 8.5 million by 2021. By that time, the number of smartphone owners in Australia is anticipated to be over 20 million, up from over 15 million in 2017. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3555/reportlinker.JPG" alt="" width="543" height="395"></p> <h3>Trustworthiness is the most impactful characteristic of celebrity endorsers</h3> <p>A recent study <a href="https://www.warc.com/content/article/jar/enhancing_brand_credibility_through_celebrity_endorsement_trustworthiness_trumps_attractiveness_and_expertise/117436" target="_blank">published by</a> JAR suggests that trustworthiness is the most important trait of celebrity endorsers, ranked more effective for boosting brand credibility over other factors like expertise or attractiveness.</p> <p>The study in question examined the impact of celebrity endorsers’ source characteristics - including trustworthiness, expertise, and attractiveness - on consumers’ brand attitude, brand credibility, and purchase intention. Overall, it found that trustworthiness was related to consumers’ positive associations with a brand (an airline, in the case of this study).</p> <p>This means marketers must demonstrate greater caution when partnering with celebrities, as the research also suggests that a lack of trustworthiness can be hugely detrimental to a brand’s reputation.</p> <p><strong>More on celebrity campaigns:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69846-celebrity-chefs-and-their-instagram-strategies-more-than-just-food-porn/" target="_blank">Celebrity chefs and their Instagram strategies – More than just food porn?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68691-why-iceland-has-replaced-celebrities-with-micro-influencers/" target="_blank">Why Iceland has replaced celebrities with micro-influencers</a></li> </ul> <h3>Travel industry sees 13% increase in search interest</h3> <p><a href="http://www.hitwise.com/gb/white-papers/peak-travel-report-2018/?bis_prd=1" target="_blank">New research</a> from Hitwise suggests UK holidaymakers are showing renewed enthusiasm when it comes to travel. </p> <p>From the analysis of the online behaviour of three million Brits, Hitwise found a 13% increase in searches related to the travel industry in the first two months of this year. In terms of specific brands, Travelodge saw a 36% increase in searches year-on-year, perhaps highlighting the positive impact of its new initiatives like SuperRoom.</p> <p>Elsewhere, the research also suggests an increased interest in luxury travel. There was a 16% rise in traffic to luxury operators and cruise operators in the first two months of 2018, while luxury travel provider Kuoni also reports that store appointments were up 171% during this time.</p> <p><strong>More on travel:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69384-seo-david-vs-goliath-how-travel-sector-minnows-can-overcome-their-big-brand-competitors">SEO David vs. Goliath: How travel sector minnows can overcome their big brand competitors</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69652-four-key-digital-trends-impacting-travel-and-hospitality-brands">Four key digital trends impacting travel and hospitality brands</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68871-how-travel-brands-are-capitalising-on-youtube-adventure-search-trend">How travel brands are capitalising on YouTube adventure search trend</a></li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3557/Hitwise.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="459"></p> <h3>Parents are the biggest adopters of voice-assisted devices</h3> <p>Publicis Media has <a href="http://www.adweek.com/agencies/parents-and-families-are-the-biggest-supporters-of-voice/" target="_blank">undertaken research</a> on smart speaker usage, involving the study of 70 voice assistant users in the US and UK.</p> <p>Overall, it found that parents and families are the keenest early adopters of smart speakers, largely due to the technology’s ability to streamline and enhance daily routines. </p> <p>Smart speakers also enable parents to help children learn, with the tech allowing users to easily search for queries (without disrupting their current activity).</p> <p>Despite this uptake, however, the research also revealed that parents aren’t too keen on changing how they use voice technology. The majority say they’re uninterested in discovering capabilities that they don’t already use, while they’re also reluctant to share personal information in exchange for deeper personalisation. </p> <p><strong>More on voice tech:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69724-how-will-voice-technology-change-consumer-behaviour">How will voice technology change consumer behaviour?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69610-what-do-voice-user-interfaces-mean-for-marketers-brands">What do voice user interfaces mean for marketers &amp; brands?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69473-what-paddy-power-learned-about-voice-interfaces-by-creating-an-alexa-skill" target="_blank">What Paddy Power learned about voice interfaces by creating an Alexa skill</a></li> </ul> <h3>Paralympics reaches 251 million people on social media</h3> <p>According to new data from IPC, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games reached more people than Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Paralympics combined.</p> <p>During a 10 day period, IPC’s digital media channels reached 251 million people across multiple platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo - more than Sochi 2014 (which reached 66m) and London 2012 (which reached 94m). It also generated 17.4m video views - three times Sochi and London combined - and 650k engagements, up 67% on Sochi 2014.</p> <p>This looks to be due to IPC’s innovative use of technology and video, with social media teams posting real-time highlights of every race, match, and ceremony on YouTube.</p> <p><strong>For more on Social Media, subscribers can check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-best-practice-guide" target="_blank">Best Practice Guide</a>.</strong></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aCICoyzPnbk?list=PL6CBAXPeBajm6gtohfO5-mapvjW00isMX&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69908 2018-04-01T10:22:00+01:00 2018-04-01T10:22:00+01:00 Google's mobile-first indexing is finally rolling out: Here's what you need to know Patricio Robles <h3>Mobile-first indexing is...</h3> <p>First things first. What is mobile indexing? As the name suggests, mobile-first indexing is an indexing system under which Google will "predominantly" look at a mobile version of a site's content for indexing and ranking. The rationale for this is simple: most Google users now access the search engine through a smartphone so, where appropriate, Google should prioritize the content that mobile users see when it crawls sites.</p> <h3>Google will still have one index</h3> <p>It's important to note that Google has not created a separate index for the content it crawls using mobile-first indexing. The company will continue to maintain a single index. Mobile-first indexing is merely a change to the way Google adds content to that index.</p> <h3>A lot of sites won't be affected</h3> <p>Mobile-first indexing is an important development, but many sites won't be affected by it. Most notably, sites that use a responsive design won't be subject to mobile-first indexing because their content is the same on desktop and mobile. Also not impacted: sites that only have a desktop version and canonical AMP pages.</p> <p>The sites that will be affected by mobile-first indexing are those that use separate URLs for desktop and mobile users, and those that serve content dynamically based on device type.</p> <h3>Those affected will want to heed Google's best practices</h3> <p>Sites that will experience mobile-first indexing should take care to review and implement <a href="https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing#best-practices">the best practices Google has published</a>.</p> <h3>Search Console is being used for notifications</h3> <p>Google will be letting site owners know that mobile-first indexing has rolled out to their sites via notifications in Search Console.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/3213/hurray-mfi-party-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="220"></p> <h3>Crawl rates from the Smartphone Googlebot will increase</h3> <p>Google says that sites subject to mobile-first indexing will see increased crawl rates from the Smartphone Googlebot, so it's a good time to check that robots.txt directives are appropriate for mobile sites and to ensure that there's enough capacity to handle higher crawler traffic.</p> <h3>Mobile-first indexing doesn't affect ranking</h3> <p>As noted above, mobile-first indexing changes the way Google adds content to its index. It does not change the way that Google ranks pages. </p> <p>As Fan Zhang, a Google software engineer, <a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2018/03/rolling-out-mobile-first-indexing.html">explained</a>, "Content gathered by mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over mobile content that’s not yet gathered this way or desktop content." He did, however, stress the importance of mobile-friendly content, adding, "We do evaluate all content in our index -- whether it is desktop or mobile -- to determine how mobile-friendly it is. Since 2015, this measure can help mobile-friendly content perform better for those who are searching on mobile."</p> <h3>Desktop content will continue to be indexed</h3> <p>While it's increasingly difficult for companies to avoid offering a mobile-friendly site, those that still only have a desktop site need not worry: Google isn't doing away with the indexing of desktop content.</p> <h3>Mobile-first indexing extends to the SERPs and Google cache</h3> <p>Because it alters the way Google adds content to its index, it's no surprise that sites affected will have their mobile pages displayed in search results, as well as in the Google cache, a reminder of the importance of making sure that mobile pages have the same content, including metadata and structured data, as desktop pages.</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-in-2018-industry-experts-tell-marketers-what-they-need-to-know">SEO in 2018: Industry Experts Tell Marketers What They Need to Know</a></li> </ul> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3235/SEO_Best_Practice_Widget.png" alt="seo best practice guide (subscriber only)" width="615" height="243"></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69904 2018-03-28T09:15:00+01:00 2018-03-28T09:15:00+01:00 Do Google's single-result SERPs raise more questions than answers? Kevin Gibbons <p>It’s more than just an idle question. Last week <a href="https://searchengineland.com/google-search-results-page-displays-answer-without-search-results-294076">Google ran an experiment getting back single answer pages</a>. This was later confirmed by Danny Sullivan (now Google’s public liaison of search), stating the project has concentrated on queries around local time, conversion of units and <a href="https://twitter.com/rustybrick/status/974646388272320513">calculations</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Because we only are experimenting with that for local time, unit conversion &amp; calculator</p> — Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) <a href="https://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/974159207288066050?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">15 March 2018</a> </blockquote> <p>With these queries there is only ever an undeniable single answer. 'The time in NYC', '100 multiplied by 47' or 'litres in a gallon' are known and are not up for debate.</p> <p>Danny further <a href="https://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/976192861757673473">revealed</a> towards the end of March that the initiative had received enough feedback and the “condensed view experiment” had come to an end. Early results indicated that they had decreased page load time by a significant 0.5 seconds.</p> <p>It’s going to raise a lot of speculation in the search industry – could the experiment point to what could one day be the norm? If so, what would be the impact? And could it even go further for different types of search query?</p> <p>This raises four fundamental questions Google will need to address before it decides if the experiment is acted on.</p> <h3><strong>1. What impact might this have on publishers?</strong></h3> <p>For any site involved in niche content providing answers to these time, calculator and unit search queries, the future could be bleak.</p> <p>Their business model is clear. If they rank highly on Google, they drive traffic to an advertising-supported site which displays the answer. Take away the click-throughs, because people already have the answer, and these sites have lost a huge source of revenue.</p> <p>If it moves searchers away from having to click into content build solely for the purpose of ad impressions, few can argue that it’s not providing a better search experience:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/3200/featured-snippets.png" alt="Google featured snippets " width="500"></p> <p>Google would undoubtedly inflict serious harm on a wide slice of niche publishers without any noticeable revenue loss to itself. Will Google throw these sites under the proverbial bus to offer users a simpler, cleaner experience?</p> <p>If it improves the user experience and comes at no cost to Google, I wouldn’t bet against it. Would you?</p> <h3><strong>2. Does this make Google anti-competitive? Again?</strong></h3> <p>Does Google really want to start limiting who gets access to its search results pages, again?</p> <p>The European Commission handed it <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69213-how-europe-s-2-7bn-google-antitrust-fine-could-impact-the-internet-economy">a record €2.7bn fine</a> for anti-competitive behaviour last June – an <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/11/google-appeals-eu-fine-search-engine-results-shopping-service">appeal</a> was launched three months later.</p> <p>The case had been going on for several years and boils down to whether the company was unfairly shutting out competition by providing quick answers (such as flight times and maps) as well as shopping results in boxes that appeared to be only available to its own companies.</p> <p>Moving forwards, Google would surely struggle to justify providing a single answer in a box, with no accompanying organic listings, that only promoted one of its own sources of data.</p> <p>If it made the solo answer a “best of” what the internet has to offer, perhaps it could get around this. However, it would need to find a way to rate how useful answers on third party sites truly are.</p> <p>Picking its own content at the expense of other publishers or picking one third party above all others raises the risk of Google being seen to create a new way to be anti-competitive. Will it want to risk infuriating the European Commission, again?</p> <h3><strong>3. Does this make Google a publisher?</strong></h3> <p>This has been a hugely contentious issue for Google. At what stage does it consider itself a publisher? When does it move from being a resource pointing people in the direction of someone else’s content to assume responsibility for the content?</p> <p>Culture Secretary, Karen Bradley, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/oct/11/government-considers-classifying-google-facebook-publishers">announced last October</a> that the Government is considering re-categorising Google, as well as Facebook, as publishers. The authorities are concerned over copyright infringements and the spread of extremist content. They feel these would be better tackled if platforms accepted their responsibility as a publisher, rather than continuing to say they are conduits for others to share information.</p> <p>The moment Google provides a single answer, rather than a series of listings from which an answer may be sought, it surely moves the result from opinion to fact and makes them closer to being a publisher, doesn’t it?</p> <p>It would be very hard to argue Google isn’t a publisher if the single answer comes from one of its own companies. There might be an argument still if it selects what it considers to be the best answer from a variety of sources it does not control.</p> <p>Even so, providing an answer, rather than a list of resources moves Google in to the realms of publisher, or at least editor.</p> <h3><strong>4. Fake News</strong></h3> <p>The US General Election and the Brexit Referendum have seen the term “fake news” become an everyday phrase.</p> <p>So, if Google was ever going to go beyond obviously objective queries and results such as 'what time is it in Calcutta?' and 'how many yards in a kilometre?' – how could it ensure the single answer it went for is correct?</p> <p>What answer would it give for how many people attended <a href="https://www.factcheck.org/2017/01/the-facts-on-crowd-size/">Trump’s inauguration</a>, for example?</p> <p>If it were to ever go for a rating system of third party sites, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine how open to abuse that might be potentially be. If it decided one publisher was more trustworthy than another, there would be accusations of bias.</p> <p>If it opted for a Google company, it could verify where the data is coming from but would surely be open to more anti-competitive accusations.</p> <h3><strong>Will Google go there – what do you think?</strong></h3> <p>Google is always focussed on improving searcher experience and bringing in shareholder value. The sweet spot where these meet is normally the direction of travel most likely to be favoured.</p> <p>When it comes to SEO listings it could be argued that neither improve either consideration. Ten choices of how to find out the time in Sydney doesn’t help a user more than a simple answer which comes at the cost of organic links which don’t boost Google profits anyway.</p> <p>However, a single answer with PPC results at the top of the page, and no organic listings, would be the only scenario where both user experience is simplified and Google’s bottom line can still swell.</p> <p>But will it ever go there? Maybe it would consider a trial becoming reality for the limited answers it has already experimented with.</p> <p>But wouldn’t this send Google in a direction where user experience is blighted by a lack of choice? Receiving a single selected answer to a question is one thing. Having no choice of additional content is quite another.</p> <p>The interesting thing is this is exactly how voice search works and if the expected growth (50% of searches to be voice by 2020, comScore) comes anywhere close to this, it’s a challenge they are going to have to face soon one way or the other.</p> <p>Google’s meteoric success is in steering people to a list of places that are most likely to help them discover what they’re looking for.</p> <p><strong>Can you please everyone with a single answer? Surely it’s a step too far, isn’t it?</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69862 2018-03-09T15:00:00+00:00 2018-03-09T15:00:00+00:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Study reveals optimum send-time for data-consent push</h3> <p style="font-weight: 400;">With GDPR coming into force in less than 100 days, many organisations still need to seek consent. According to SmartFocus, companies asking customers to make a decision run the risk of triggering mass unsubscription requests if they email in the morning. </p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">From the analysis of 1.4 billion email marketing messages, it found that the most likely time for unsubscribes is between 10:15am and 12:30pm, with this time-period producing a 20% higher unsubscribe rate compared to the rest of the day.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">In contrast, 6pm produced the fewest unsubscribes – 15% lower than the daily average and 35% below the peak. Most marketing emails were opened between 6pm and 9pm.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;">Insight suggests that emails sent earlier in the day are more likely to be seen as an intrusion, as recipients are busy at work and going about their day. Consequently, emails sent at night will be seen in a much more positive light.</p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2838/smartfocus.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="480"></p> <p style="font-weight: 400;"><strong>More on email marketing:</strong></p> <ul style="font-weight: 400;"> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69833-eight-time-honoured-tips-for-writing-awesome-email-copy/" target="_blank">Eight time-honoured tips for writing awesome email copy</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69688-email-trends-in-2018-what-do-the-experts-predict" target="_blank">Email trends in 2018: What do the experts predict?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69733-how-consumer-tech-habits-could-be-impacting-email-success/" target="_blank">How consumer tech habits could be impacting email success</a></li> </ul> <h3>Price comparison websites dominate UK banking-related search</h3> <p>New analysis from Stickyeyes has revealed that in the UK two big price comparison websites are driving the most organic traffic from search within the consumer banking sector. </p> <p>Both Money Supermarket and MoneySavingExpert are dominating, with the former generating an estimated 427,000 visits from organic non-brand search. To put this into perspective, this is more than three times the traffic generated by the most visible banking brand, Halifax. </p> <p>As a result of this success, we’ve also seen banks up their game, with the likes of Barclays, Nationwide and Tesco Bank focusing less on traffic-driving terms and more on focused content around informational search queries and consumer advice.</p> <p>Mortgages is by far the biggest driver of traffic, generating just over 32% of the overall search volume in the consumer banking market. Meanwhile, car finance appears to be growing, with many brands adapting strategy to meet specific consumer needs.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2834/Consumer_finance.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="514"></p> <h3>Legal and insurance sectors capitalise on longer search snippets</h3> <p>As Google extends the length of search snippet meta descriptions from 155 to 320 characters, Click Consult <a href="https://www.click.co.uk/blog/longer-meta-descriptions-how-can-you-benefit-on-the-serps-seo/" target="_blank">has analysed</a> which sectors are displaying longer snippets.</p> <p>Out of all six industries included in the study, the legal sector was found to have the highest proportion of listings over 200 characters (52%), with the average character count being 312. </p> <p>Second to this was the insurance sector, where 41% of search results were 200 characters. Within this sector, 34% of the results were optimised for the expanded character limit – not too surprising considering the sector’s highly competitive nature.</p> <p>Overall, the study suggests that while longer metas are often being pulled through by Google (as a result of a new focus on relevancy), there is also a new opportunity for brands to optimise themselves and potentially increase CTR. </p> <p><strong>More on search:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69824-how-can-financial-services-companies-win-featured-snippets-in-search-an-investigation" target="_blank">How can financial services companies win featured snippets in search? An investigation</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69599-why-seo-is-getting-vertical-specific/" target="_blank">Why SEO is getting vertical-specific</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK online retailers see sales increase by 23%</h3> <p>Newly-released figures from RPC have revealed that sales at the UK’s biggest online retailers <a href="https://www.rpc.co.uk/press-and-media/sales-at-uks-biggest-online-retailers-jump-23-percent-in-a-year" target="_blank">jumped 23%</a> in the past year. They rose from £6.8 billion in 2015-16 to £8.4 billion in 2016-17.</p> <p>RPC suggest that mobile commerce has been the driving force behind this, alongside other emerging technology including AI chatbots, smart speakers, and visual search.</p> <p>Criteo’s <a href="https://criteo-2421.docs.contently.com/v/global-commerce-review-q4-2017-united-kingdom-en" target="_blank">latest report</a> also backs this up, stating that mobile devices account for more than half of online transactions in the UK, with half of these mobile sales taking place on shopping apps. Fashion and luxury, and health and beauty retailers have seen the most dramatic rise in UK mobile sales, seeing a 56% increase year-on-year. </p> <p><strong>More on ecommerce:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68839-the-10-principles-for-creating-amazing-online-retail-experiences" target="_blank">The 10 principles for creating amazing online retail experiences</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69853-four-examples-of-hard-luxury-brands-embracing-ecommerce" target="_blank">Four examples of ‘hard luxury’ brands embracing ecommerce</a></li> </ul> <h3>Mobile is key for millennial engagement</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.globalwebindex.net/reports/millennials?utm_campaign=Social%20Q3%202017&amp;utm_source=hs_email&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_content=61210372&amp;_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9vgfIP0xqiN36dTUB7a5KZKSiWV8qG_LMb2_dB-GHSEb5jdRMB6qWNO4uvtkDah8iRUrJWpfoOoxCqzeEC7XSF6S9tb_Z_8rYCRVsPx5HwexrSicQ&amp;_hsmi=61210631" target="_blank">new report</a> by GlobalWebIndex has delved into the behaviours of millennials, specifically in terms of device usage and commerce engagement. Results come from GWI interviews of over 350,000 internet users, from which it then identified those aged 21 to 34.</p> <p>Key takeaways from the report include the fact that 68% of millennials choose their mobile as their most important device, compared to just 16% for laptop and 14% for desktop PC. This group also use an average of 2.8 devices to access the internet, and average nearly four hours spent online each day.</p> <p>Elsewhere, search engines are the first port of call for brand research, with 49% of millennials using this channel. Social networks are also highly impactful for purchasing decisions, with 44% researching products and services via platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. </p> <p>Lastly, the report highlights the importance of free delivery, with 58% of millennials stating that this is the most influential purchase driver (with coupons and discounts coming second). </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2835/GWI.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="297"></p> <p><strong>More on millennials:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69058-how-millennial-entrepreneurs-are-disrupting-retail-and-ecommerce" target="_blank">How millennial entrepreneurs are disrupting retail and ecommerce</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67822-four-great-examples-of-marketing-to-millennials" target="_blank">Four great examples of marketing to millennials</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68044-millennials-don-t-hate-advertising-it-s-all-about-the-value-exchange" target="_blank">Millennials don't hate advertising: It's all about the value exchange</a></li> </ul> <h3>Businesses need to do more on data privacy</h3> <p>From a survey of 9,500 senior executives, <a href="https://press.pwc.com/News-releases/organisations-are-not-doing-enough-to-protect-data-privacy/s/b56bf806-5712-4462-98a1-161c1a3f9cbe" target="_blank">PwC has found</a> that businesses are not doing enough to develop stable security and data-privacy strategies.</p> <p>It found that just 51% of executives have an accurate inventory of employee and customer personal data, while 53% conduct compliance audits of third parties who handle this data. Meanwhile, 48% of respondents say advanced authentication has helped reduce fraud, and 46% plan to boost investment in this area in 2018. </p> <p>Finally, only 53% of businesses say they require employees to complete training on privacy policy and practices, and just 32% say they had started a GDPR assessment in 2017.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2836/PWC.JPG" alt="" width="668" height="417"></p> <p><strong>You’ll find all the GDPR resources marketers need, in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69825-all-the-gdpr-resources-marketers-need-in-one-place" target="_blank">one place here</a>.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69852 2018-03-08T13:15:00+00:00 2018-03-08T13:15:00+00:00 Will digital phenotyping ever be applied to pharma marketing? Patricio Robles <p>While pharma marketers have lots of room for improvement in terms of how they connect to professionals and consumers online, they're increasingly active in digital channels ranging from search to social.</p> <p>Through these digital channels, pharma marketers have the opportunity to connect healthcare professionals and consumers to content and resources that are relevant to conditions they treat, are being treated for, or need treatment for.</p> <p>Of course, thanks to regulations like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67498-digital-media-vs-hipaa-violations-risking-your-reputation-in-healthcare">HIPAA</a>, pharma marketers are far more limited in how they can target their digital ads. Use of first-party data is generally a no-no, and some otherwise commonly-used types of remarketing are also often not permissible.</p> <p>This makes it more difficult for pharma marketers to reach the specific people they want to reach. So they develop campaigns that are less granularly targeted and thus often more expensive. They purchase ads against specific condition-related terms. And so on and so forth.</p> <p>But in the not too distant future, is it possible that pharma marketers will have access to targeting solutions based on digital phenotyping?</p> <p>As the New York Times <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/25/technology/smartphones-mental-health.html">recently detailed</a> in a piece about digital phenotyping, which one study defined as “moment-by-moment quantification of the individual-level human phenotype in situ using data from personal digital devices, a growing number of tech companies and researchers “are tracking users' social media posts, calls, scrolls and clicks in search of behavior changes that could correlate with disease symptoms.”</p> <p>Much of the exploration of digital phenotyping to date has focused on mental illness and mood disorders. For instance, Mindstrong Health, a mental health startup, is analyzing smartphone usage in an attempt to detect signs of depression. And Facebook is already using artificial intelligence to scan content posted by users for signs of suicidal thought. In some cases, it has used its technology to display notifications or to alert local authorities so they can follow up and intervene if necessary.</p> <p>While there are significant questions about the accuracy of digital phenotyping, it's not difficult to see the potential for it to also be applied to digital marketing, giving pharma marketers the ability to target consumers on more than just demographics, stated interests, search keywords and the like.</p> <h3>The big question: will this ever happen?</h3> <p>That isn't clear. Facebook, for instance, <a href="https://www.statnews.com/2016/11/01/facebook-pharma-drug-ads/">has been vying for pharma ad dollars</a>, apparently with mixed success. The social media giant late last year <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/07/facebook-held-a-breakfast-to-promote-clinical-trials-strategy.html">held an event</a> to pitch pharma marketers on the use of Facebook to target users for clinical trials. At that event, it reportedly indicated that it would not allow pharma marketers to target users based on health conditions.</p> <p>Facebook's stance makes sense. Allowing pharma marketers to target its users based on conditions the social network knows or thinks they have would almost certainly lead to a PR backlash. There would no doubt be calls for legal and regulatory action. In Europe this sort of profiling is regulated by the new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">GDPR</a>.</p> <h3>A reminder of the value of digital data</h3> <p>While it's possible that other players in the digital advertising ecosystem might be more willing than Facebook to apply digital phenotyping to marketing solutions – there is already a sizable and growing market for <a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/312819/in-pharma-marketing-programmatic-offers-solutions.html">third-party data</a> – one of the most important take-aways for pharma marketers in the rise of digital phenotyping is that digital data is extremely valuable and might prove even more valuable than previously thought.</p> <p>Pharma marketers should keep this in mind as they develop homegrown digital initiatives.</p> <p><em>To learn more about digital transformation in Pharma, join us at ePharma in New York on March 21-23. Our VP of Research Stefan Tornquist will be discussing the future of digital and marketing with Anthony Lambrou, Director of Corporate Strategy and Innovation at Pfizer, as well as hosting a roundtable for you to learn, share and connect with fellow pharma marketers. Find out more and secure your spot:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://lifesciences.knect365.com/epharma/agenda/3#epharma-roundtable-digital-transformation-to-future-proof-your-marketing">ePharma Roundtable: Digital Transformation to Future-Proof Your Marketing</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://lifesciences.knect365.com/epharma/agenda/3#main-stage-keynotes_the-future-of-digital-and-marketing">The Future of Digital and Marketing</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3463 2018-03-08T13:07:53+00:00 2018-03-08T13:07:53+00:00 Fast Track Digital Marketing - London <p>This intensive two-day course is a great place to start your digital marketing training.  It gives marketers a complete overview of the digital marketing landscape including all the essential disciplines, how they fit together and how to assess what’s right for your strategy and where you need further in-depth learning.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69824 2018-02-23T14:00:00+00:00 2018-02-23T14:00:00+00:00 How can financial services companies win featured snippets in search? An investigation Richard Marriott <p>Featured snippets continue to iterate. Last year, for me perhaps the most significant was Google starting to test the introduction of ‘suggested clips’ from YouTube videos (showing the importance of educational video content moving forwards) along with several other formats.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.blog.google/products/search/reintroduction-googles-featured-snippets/">recent post </a>by Danny Sullivan on the Google blog also revealed a plan to add/test another layout with <strong>more than one</strong> featured snippet.</p> <p>Just look at how this renders on mobile:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2458/Picture1.png" alt="" width="300"></p> <p>Alongside the continuous growth of mobile, another key reason that you need to ensure featured snippets should be a part of your 2018 strategy is that voice assistance also leverages the same information for returning results. In the Google blog post mentioned above, Danny Sullivan writes, “with the growth in voice-activated digital assistants, more people are doing voice queries. In these cases, the traditional "10 blue links" format doesn't work as well, making featured snippets an especially useful format.”</p> <p>Last year, Google estimated that 20% of all searches were voice. Within another two years they anticipate this will actually be as high as 50% and so with mobile and new smart home devices such as the Echo Show hitting the market it’s critical to be thinking about a voice strategy.</p> <p>We’ve seen some interesting studies using huge keyword sets, including number of queries with a snippet, clickthrough rates (CTRs) and number of snippets pages can rank for. However, I really feel it’s now time for brands to be running market specific data on these types of insights (and more) to ensure they are covering everything off when it comes to a content focused search/snippet strategy. For the purpose of this post I chose to delve into the finance sector as this has a lot of question based search opportunity and seems to be very prominent within the industry.</p> <p>As ever, the only place to start was with some keyword research which gave us just over 22,000 keywords to work with - and as you can imagine, a ton of potential traffic opportunity. Luckily for us we have an internal tool at Zazzle Media that scrapes the SERP and allows us to run the keyword set against those leveraging featured snippets. If you don’t have this luxury you could use something like SEM Rush as an example. </p> <p>We started by running the keyword set against the SERP data to give us the volume of featured snippets then overlaid CTR data to show the overall opportunity. Below we have added some of the key brands within the market that capture the majority of the opportunity:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2459/Picture2.png" alt="" width="615"> </p> <p>We then categorised the keywords by vertical to see which categories were delivering the most answerboxes, then overlaid the same CTR data to show opportunity by product:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2460/Picture3.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>That showed the volume of opportunity in the market which I’m sure any board member would be interested in capturing. Next steps were to see what type of terms were being pulled into a featured snippet so we then categorised the terms by search intent. </p> <p>This included the typical terms: best, cheap, how, what, which, who, review, tips, etc. We again applied the estimated CTR rate to show where the most opportunity is per ‘type’ and to keep this simple have added another graph below to show the results.</p> <p>It's perhaps no surprise that price comparison based questions lead the way here, but still a reasonable amount of opportunity sat within <em>how</em>, <em>what</em> and <em>which</em>:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2461/Picture4.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>Following this insight, we wanted to understand what drives these featured snippets… organic rank? On-page word count? Succinct answering of key questions, but how succinct? We ran that data too:</p> <h3>Organic rank</h3> <p>We all know that Google pulls featured snippets from the top 10, but we wanted to understand how this was weighted depending on where the site ranks organically.</p> <p>We looked at the correlation between rank, domain and featured snippet which showed that the top two organic positions capture 54.4% of the featured snippets, positions three to four taking 29.5% and the rest being distributed between six to ten. This further shows how important it is to have a solid organic base to be in with a chance in winning the answerbox.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2462/Picture5.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>Page length</h3> <p>Does page length make a difference as to whether a featured snippet is leveraged? According to a <a href="https://ahrefs.com/blog/featured-snippets-study/">study</a> on Ahrefs out of two million featured snippets analysed, the top performing page captured a whopping 4,658 individual snippets so will probably vary.</p> <p>However, we were looking for correlation and patterns across the sector. Interestingly, 1250-1500 words seemed to be the sweet spot when reviewing the data delivering significantly more than other page lengths we assessed:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2463/Picture6.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>Snippet word count</h3> <p>Finally, we analysed the number of characters pulled into a featured snippet for some guidance of how long answer content should be. This showed that the sweet spot is between 45 and 53 words, showing that you have to be concise in answering the key questions analysed. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2464/Picture7.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>As featured snippets continue to iterate looking at ‘snippet type’ will also be an interesting measure and when live, number of snippets per query. Out of the initial keyword set we ran there were only a select few terms that fired a suggested clip from YouTube (one of the examples below) - but how will this change in three, six or 12 months’ time?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2465/Picture8.png" alt="" width="500" height="476"> </p> <p>As I mentioned earlier, understanding the nuances per sector will be a game changer, as they each have their own requirements for snippets. Think back to the ‘snippets by operator’ graph or the example of the ‘suggested clip’ above - how would this have looked for, say, fashion or maybe even travel? </p> <p>Either way, regardless of this all it comes back to is one thing - brands should really be looking at themselves as publishers. Whether it's creating some really helpful written content or a handy video guide, they should be aiming to own the conversation within the space throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle - answering all the key questions from awareness through to retention. </p> <p><em><strong>Econsultancy subscribers can download our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide">SEO Best Practice Guide</a>. Econsultancy also runs <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/advanced-seo-training/">training in SEO</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3418 2018-02-13T03:34:08+00:00 2018-02-13T03:34:08+00:00 Econsultancy's Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing - Singapore <p>In partnership with the Employment and Employability Institute and NTUC, this Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing programme is facilitated by a panel of experienced digital marketing professionals.</p> <p>In 7 days of live workshop, and guided self-learning (webinars, micro learning modules and reports), participants will gain expertise and skills in wide area of digital marketing topics including social media, analytics, search engine marketing and content marketing.</p> <p>Participants who successfully complete the programme will be awarded the Econsultancy’s Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing.</p> <p>Post-workshop mentoring completes the programme to help participants develop in the digital marketing roles.</p><p>Please take note of the face-to-face workshop dates:</p> <table border="0" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="5"> <tbody> <tr> <td> </td> <td><strong>1st Intake</strong></td> <td><strong>2nd Intake</strong></td> <td><strong>3rd Intake</strong></td> <td><strong>4th Intake</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 1</strong></td> <td>Wed, 21 Feb 2018</td> <td>Wed, 2 May 2018</td> <td>Tue, 24 July 2018</td> <td>Wed, 24 October 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 2</strong></td> <td>Thu, 22 Feb 2018</td> <td>Thu, 3 May 2018</td> <td>Wed, 25 July 2018</td> <td>Thu, 25 October 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 3</strong></td> <td>Fri, 23 Feb 2018</td> <td>Fri, 4 May 2018 </td> <td>Thu, 26 July 2018</td> <td>Fri, 26 October 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 4</strong></td> <td>Mon, 5 Mar 2018</td> <td>Thu, 17 May 2018 </td> <td>Mon, 6 August 2018</td> <td>Thu, 8 November 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 5</strong></td> <td>Tue, 6 Mar 2018</td> <td>Fri, 18 May 2018 </td> <td>Tue, 7 August 2018</td> <td>Fri, 9 November 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 6</strong></td> <td>Mon, 19 Mar 2018</td> <td>Wed, 30 May 2018 </td> <td>Mon, 20 August 2018</td> <td>Thu, 29 November 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td><strong>Day 7</strong></td> <td>Tue, 20 Mar 2018</td> <td>Thu, 31 May 2018 </td> <td>Tue, 21 August 2018</td> <td>Fri, 30 November 2018</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>