tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/search-marketing Latest Search Marketing content from Econsultancy 2018-01-19T16:36:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4695 2018-01-19T16:36:00+00:00 2018-01-19T16:36:00+00:00 Opportunities and Challenges for Marketers in 2018 <p>The 2018 Opportunities and Challenges report, produced by Econsultancy, examines digital trends, opportunities and challenges shaping the approach of marketers.</p> <p>The report reflects the Research team’s thoughts on what should be on marketers’ radar and is based on our exposure to and knowledge of the industry. </p> <p>The report provides some high level thinking on:</p> <ul> <li>Customer Experience</li> <li>Trust, Transparency and Brand Safety</li> <li>Blockchain</li> <li>Data privacy and the GDPR</li> <li>Internet of Things / Wearables</li> <li>AI Use Cases for Marketing</li> <li>Visual and Voice Search</li> <li>Amazon</li> </ul> <p>Econsultancy is planning to follow up on these topics during 2018 and will publish in-depth reports about most of these topics. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69739 2018-01-19T13:20:00+00:00 2018-01-19T13:20:00+00:00 10 of the best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium" target="_blank">Internet Statistics Compendium</a> also includes further facts and figures, should you fancy a little something extra.</p> <h3>Winter weather makes UK consumers more receptive to ads</h3> <p>Those icy winter winds we’ve been experiencing might not be such a bad thing, from a marketing perspective at least. A new study by the Trade Desk has found that winter weather can boost UK consumers’ receptiveness to online advertising.</p> <p>How, exactly? Well, it’s all to do with our desire to escape the reality of the bleak weather outside, meaning our interest in certain verticals increases. </p> <p>As temperatures dropped to 0.6 degrees celsius last December, Trade Desk noted that click through rates for family and parenting-related ads soared by 113% compared to average. Click through rates for fashion ads increased 196%. Unsurprisingly, travel-brands reaped the biggest rewards of the cold weather - click through rates for travel-related ads were 386% higher than average on 2nd December 2017.</p> <p>Consequently, it’s been suggested that brands should take external factors into greater consideration, as there is clear opportunity to inspire and influence consumers dreaming of sunnier climes.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1783/weather_ads.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <p><strong>More on online ads:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69708-five-trends-for-online-advertising-strategy-in-2018" target="_blank">Five trends for online advertising strategy in 2018</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67675-six-online-advertising-tactics-set-to-rise/" target="_blank">Six online advertising tactics set to rise</a></li> </ul> <h3>One third of UK organisations have no formal data-cleansing process in place ahead of GDPR</h3> <p>A <a href="https://www.royalmail.com/corporate/marketing-data/trends-innovation/industry-research/research-report-use-management-customer-data" target="_blank">new report</a> by Royal Mail Data Services has revealed that poor data quality puts many UK organisations at risk of non-compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. The report is based on an online survey of 281 brands and agencies in the UK.</p> <p>It suggests that one third (or 32.7%) still have no formal process for cleaning customer contact data, with just 43.1% of marketers overall feeling very or reasonably confident that their third-party data will be compliant. 29.4% of respondents expressed worries about GDPR compliance – a 242% increase year-on-year.</p> <p>Elsewhere, respondents estimated the average cost of poor-quality customer data at 5.6% of annual revenue in 2017, just slightly lower than 5.9% in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1777/Royal_Mail_GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="710"></p> <p><strong>You’ll find lots more on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/" target="_blank">GDPR right here</a>.</strong></p> <h3>Voice search results failing to align with Google text snippets</h3> <p>How do voice keywords rank in search engines? Roast’s <a href="http://weareroast.com/voice-search" target="_blank">Voice Search Ranking Report</a> attempts to find out, specifically looking at Google Assistant alongside a Google Home device. Using STAT search analytics to determine the top 616 key phrases in the UK, it analysed which domains and URLs have the highest visibility across a set of key phrases.</p> <p>Overall, the results showed that the Google Assistant doesn't always read out a result, despite a website providing Google with a featured snippet answer box on web search.</p> <p>The study also found that the Google Assistant mostly gives a standard answer, e.g. “according to (website)…”, however, there are six other formats including location result and action prompt. Meanwhile, there isn't always a consistent match between the website referenced in the featured snippet answer box and the website referenced from Google Assistant.</p> <p>Google's Speech Quality Rating porbably goes some way to explaining these differences, with responses rated for length and formulation, as well as content (<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69717-remove-the-waffle-from-your-content-or-risk-failure-in-voice-search/">read more about that here</a>).</p> <p>In terms of the best performing domains, Wikipedia is the number one for both answer boxes and assistant results. Interestingly, WebMD was found to be the second highest performer on answer box results but fifth on voice search, again proving that results do not always match up with standard search.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1776/Voice_search.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="560"></p> <h3>60% of UK smartphone owners use voice search</h3> <p>Continuing with the topic of voice technology, Stone Temple has been looking into how UK consumers are using voice commands on their smartphone. The results come from a survey of 1,036 users.</p> <p>It found that 60% of users reported using voice search functionality on their devices, with those aged 25 to 34 being the most likely to do so. Meanwhile, 56% of users typically use voice controls for messaging and texting applications.</p> <p>In terms of user satisfaction, 48% of iOS users said that they wish Siri provided more direct answers, however only 38% of Android users said the same about Google Assistant. </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://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/69610-what-do-voice-user-interfaces-mean-for-marketers-brands">What do voice user interfaces mean for marketers &amp; brands?</a></li> </ul> <h3>Top retail brands drive loyalty through innovative use of tech</h3> <p>Kx has surveyed 5,000 UK consumers for its new <a href="https://kx.com/solutions/retail/retail-innovation-index/download-report/" target="_blank">Retail Innovation Index</a>, with the aim of better understanding the key drivers of customer favour and loyalty. </p> <p>The results show that innovation is the key to retail success, with the best scoring brands growing at twice the rate of those that are not seen as innovators. Amazon, Apple and Ocado were ranked top overall, while Ikea was ranked particularly highly on innovation in product and price.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Argos ranked as the highest performer in multi-channel retail, largely due to its focus on connecting the supply chain and providing consumers with real-time information and service. </p> <p>Finally, the key drivers for customer loyalty were found to be range and choice to suit individual needs, good availability of products, and the ability to find products easily and efficiently.</p> <p><strong>Recent articles on retail:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69727-how-retailers-are-using-geofencing-to-improve-in-store-cx/">How retailers are using geofencing to improve in-store CX</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69705-what-is-best-practice-pagination-and-how-does-it-create-amazing-online-experiences">What is best practice pagination? And how does it create amazing online experiences?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69679-luxury-brands-must-focus-on-digital-experiences-to-fight-the-discount-trend">Luxury brands must focus on digital experiences to fight the discount trend</a></li> </ul> <h3>UK marketing budgets grow at slowest rate in two years</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.ipa.co.uk/page/ipa-bellwether-report#.WmHDd6hl-Uk" target="_blank">Q4 2017 Bellwether Report</a> has revealed that, while marketing budgets continued to expand last year, they also grew at their slowest rate since 2015. This is based on data drawn from around 300 UK marketing professionals.</p> <p>23.9% of marketing executives raised their budgets in 2017, however 15.2% also reported making cuts – the main reasons being economic uncertainty. The resulting net balance of +8.6% is down from +9.9% during the previous quarter, and the lowest since the start of 2016.</p> <p>The report also revealed that internet marketing is the best performing subcategory, with budgets returning a net balance of +10.9%. Lastly, mobile advertising is also on the up, improving to return a net balance of +6.0% - up from +5.8% in Q3.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69724 2018-01-16T10:21:34+00:00 2018-01-16T10:21:34+00:00 How will voice technology change consumer behaviour? Nikki Gilliland <p>So, what are the opportunities for brands and consumers alike? Here’s more on the changes presented by voice technology now and in the near future. </p> <h3>Voice vs. text </h3> <p>Let’s start with the basic premise of why consumers are willing to choose voice search over text-based queries. One of the most obvious reasons is that it mimics natural behaviour. Unlike picking up a smartphone and typing in a question, talking is a much more instinctual and casual thing to do. </p> <p>It also means potential communication between a brand and consumer is more intimate, which gives brands a greater opportunity to match a query with a highly relevant and valuable answer.</p> <p>This also due to the fact that voice search typically shows greater intent. For example, if a user searches via text using one or a set of keywords – e.g. window cleaner – Google will not be able to decipher whether the user wants a product or service. In contrast, searching via voice naturally prompts the user to flesh out their query to show intent, e.g. “show me window cleaners in my area” or “how to clean windows”.  </p> <p>That being said, this also leads to the greater danger of user disappointment, as a (for now) screen-less interface means search results must be narrowed down to a single (and potentially irrelevant result). In this case, it is vital for marketers to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69717-remove-the-waffle-from-your-content-or-risk-failure-in-voice-search/" target="_blank">cut down on the waffle</a> in order to meet the searchers needs.</p> <h3>Most popular skills are utility-based</h3> <p>So, what are consumers using voice technology for exactly? According to Google, the majority of users turn to devices like Amazon Echo in order to multitask. For example, asking Alexa to play music while they’re busy doing something else like cooking or cleaning. Another prominent type of user behaviour is to instantly get answers and information – again without the need to use their hands or focus on a single task at one time.</p> <p>Many brands have responded to this by creating a service or skill that solves a specific need. For example, Domino’s Pizza has developed a skill so that customers can order pizza via voice. PayPal has also created one which offers voice-activated payments, and Whirlpool's skill responds to voice requests to adjust settings or processes on cookers and other appliances.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1670/dominos_alexa.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="466"></p> <p>In this sense, the growing role of voice technology in our lives means that traditional search advertising could be challenged. Voice-based recommendations may grow, with consumers only responding to brands that promote their products or services at the right time – i.e. at the point of user-need. </p> <p>It’s recently been reported that Amazon is in talks with a number of big brands to deliver this new type of advertising. The result would be brands like P&amp;G or Clorox potentially paying for higher placement on certain products or categories when requested via Alexa, or recommending products based on customer data, e.g. “you bought ..., you might like this”.</p> <h3>Shift to voice commerce</h3> <p>Alongside what people buy, voice technology looks set to also impact <em>how</em> consumers shop online. This is because – without screens – consumers won’t need to use different channels or interfaces in order to make a purchase. So, instead of apps, websites, and mobile responsive checkouts – brands will focus on creating a single interface so that consumers can do it all in one go, simply by using their voice.</p> <p>This already exists for Amazon customers, who can order anything via Alexa. The next step could be Amazon suggesting repurchasing products based on data, e.g. calculating that you are about to run out or haven’t bought a regular purchase in a while.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/1671/alexa_kitchen.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="395"></p> <h3>Will it lead to bias?</h3> <p>When you ask Alexa to buy an item, like toothpaste for example, Amazon responds with two suggestions rather than the long list you would usually get via regular search. Amazon typically chooses products that come under its 'Choice' umbrella, which is determined by a number of factors including Prime eligibility and customer reviews. </p> <p>As a result of this, it’s been suggested that Amazon could potentially show unfair bias, even deliberately responding with products that are more expensive.</p> <p>This hasn’t been proven, yet it poses an interesting question about how Amazon’s dominance (a reported 70% of the market share) could change the current landscape for brands – where voice performance takes precedence over SEO rankings. Even worse, meaning smaller or lesser-known brands could find it difficult to break through, with Amazon favouring brands or products that are available on its Prime service. </p> <p>We’ve already seen Alexa users get preferential treatment on Amazon Prime Day, showing that the brand is clearly intent on driving adoption and loyalty to the technology. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Prime day starts July 11, but Alexa deals are available now! Save up to 40% on Alexa Deals: <a href="https://t.co/Jl25af1i7U">https://t.co/Jl25af1i7U</a> <a href="https://t.co/qFl13hQxO7">pic.twitter.com/qFl13hQxO7</a></p> — Amazon.com (@amazon) <a href="https://twitter.com/amazon/status/882714456429559810?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 5, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h3>Potential for greater loyalty</h3> <p>It's also been suggested that the growing adoption of voice technology among consumers could mean that we see a ‘brandless’ future. </p> <p>In other words, people won't consider the connection they feel with brands when it comes to the products they purchase – only convenience or whether a brand is ‘top of mind’.  </p> <p>Regardless of whether or not this comes to frution, for the time being at least this is likely to give brands greater impetus to create a better customer experience - one that is highly relevant and hyper-personalised.</p> <p>On the other hand then, in contrast to the 'brand-less' argument, you could suggest that developments in technology will create a level playing field for brands, whereby CX will once and for all overtake other factors such as social media presence or general marketing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69717 2018-01-11T13:29:36+00:00 2018-01-11T13:29:36+00:00 Remove the waffle from your content or risk failure in voice search Ben Davis <ol> <li>More than ever marketers and content creators need to be thinking about meeting the needs of searchers.</li> <li>If you are still including reams of waffle on your landing pages, you need to be slapped with a fish.</li> </ol> <p>Here's a brief explanation of why, for search novices (like me) who perhaps haven't time to read through the Rating Guidelines.</p> <h3>Why are Search Quality Rating Guidelines important?</h3> <p>These guidelines are referred to by real-life human beings whose jobs are to keep an eye on search results and, hence, Google's algorithm (either before a release or to test effectiveness). As such, the guidelines give a good insight into what Google wants to see on the search engine results page (SERP) and, now, what it wants to hear from voice assistants using Google search.</p> <h3>What stands out in these voice assistant guidelines?</h3> <p>The guidelines list a series of example queries alongside the response given by Google search and some analysis of whether this response meets the searcher's needs.</p> <p>Speech Quality Rating <em>always</em> looks at the following two factors (NB. I've abridged them slightly from Google's doc):</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Length:</strong>​ Was the response of an appropriate length matching the complexity of its content?</li> <li> <strong>Formulation:</strong>​ Was it grammatical? Was the response formulated in a way you would expect a native speaker to formulate it? As opposed to a machine or someone not fully fluent in the language.</li> </ul> <p>Obviously the content of the answer is assessed, too, to see if it meets "the information needs of user", but that's common to all Google Rating Guidelines.</p> <p>Interestingly, though the guidelines say that a search response can be too brief or too detailed, the examples given (to my mind) show that longer answers with poor grammar deliver the worst user experience.</p> <p>Indeed, Google's blog post <em>may</em> hint that overly long answers are more problematic than brief ones – its comment on response length begins "when a displayed answer is too long, users can quickly scan it visually and locate the relevant information. For voice answers, that is not possible."</p> <p>So, in a nutshell – meet your searcher's need, don't get too frothy or too waffly, and make sure your house style doesn't produce sentences that look okay on the page but don't sound right (loads of parentheses may be a bad thing, for example).</p> <h3>Think of voice as 'Featured Snippets Plus'</h3> <p>These voice assistant guidelines aren't too different from guidelines produced in 2015 to assist with quality ratings for new mobile search content - such as 'Special Content Results Blocks' (aka knowledge graph cards).</p> <p>You should already be thinking about the 'Needs Met Rating' in terms of how helpful and satisfying your content is in search for the mobile user. The jump from succinct mobile content to content delivered without a screen may not be a big one. Marketers need to think about helping users, rather than garnering page views.</p> <p>Featured snippets, too, rely on a similar content philosophy.</p> <p>Jeniffer Slegg <a href="http://www.thesempost.com/insights-googles-voice-search-quality-rater-guidelines/">writing for The SEM Post</a> points out that "in the case of voice search, Google is selecting one and only one result from the potential 10 or so results of the page. And a site owner has less control over which site Google is choosing for the answer and how well that answer fits with the specific query. But it does come down to featured snippets...</p> <p>"If you can steal the featured snippet away from a competitor, then yours will be the answer that is read out by Google. You can then try and tailor that answer so that it would be rated higher..."</p> <p>Slegg also remarks that some fluctuations in search positions over the past month may be directly related to featured snippets being adjusted based on user feedback.</p> <h3>Answer questions directly and cut the waffle </h3> <p>Voice search strategy could resonably follow featured snippets strategy.</p> <p>Search Engine Land <a href="https://searchengineland.com/get-featured-snippets-site-224959">lays out</a> the following process:</p> <ul> <li>Identify a common, simple question related to your market area.</li> <li>Provide a clear and direct answer to the question.</li> <li>Offer value added info beyond the direct answer.</li> <li>Make it easy for users (and Google) to find on your page. (i.e. mark-up) </li> </ul> <h3>And don't forget hygiene factors</h3> <p>Remember, your content will be problematic if it's noticeably out of date. And, of course, it doesn't matter whether your content meets the needs of users if your content does not demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT).</p> <p>EAT may take into account many factors, such as intrusive advertising or lack of authority or author information.</p> <h3>Ironic conclusion</h3> <p>This article probably doesn't get to the point quick enough.</p> <p>There's still room for long content though, obviously, as long it meets user needs. Here were talking about sneaking into the voice assistant repertoire – don't go deleting the rest of your valuable content.</p> <p>But those of you who waffle on your landing pages – B2B marketers, I'm looking at you – wake up and smell the Quality Rating Guidelines.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3388 2017-12-20T12:14:54+00:00 2017-12-20T12:14:54+00:00 GDPR Essentials for Marketers - Online <p>This online course will help you learn everything you need to know about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) before it comes into force in May 2018, and crucially: what to do about it.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/918 2017-12-19T10:47:03+00:00 2017-12-19T10:47:03+00:00 SEO: Trends, Data and Best Practice <p>Econsultancy's Trends Webinar for January 2018 looks at some of the key trends around SEO emerging for 2018 and insights from key experts. This insight will come from Econsultancy's own research and best practice guides, along with collated third-party data and statistics.</p> <p>The webinar will be hosted by Lynette Saunders, Senior Econsultancy Research Analyst and Steffan Aquarone, author of our SEO report 'What’s next in 2018' who will be sharing his thoughts on what companies should be looking out for in 2018 and tips on delivering SEO success, as well as answering your questions in the live Q&amp;A session after the presentation.</p> <p><strong>Key Points this session will cover:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Key trends and issues around SEO that SEO practitioners need to think about going into 2018.</li> <li>Understand the challenges and opportunities organisations are facing for SEO and features on the rise. </li> <li>Best practice examples </li> </ul> <p><strong>Reports referenced:</strong> </p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide">SEO Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li>“SEO: What’s next in 2018” Report (tbc) </li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">Search Marketing Training</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/917 2017-12-09T06:58:38+00:00 2017-12-09T06:58:38+00:00 Digital Outlook 2018 <h3 style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: #004e70;">The best digital marketers never stop learning, listening and looking ahead.</h3> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">With overwhelming responses at last year Digital Outlook's events (<a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154296603034327" target="_blank">DO17</a> &amp; <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/Econsultancy/photos/?tab=album&amp;album_id=10154626086294327" target="_blank">DO17 part 2</a>), we will kick-start the year with Digital Outlook 2018 in Singapore, where marketers and business leaders convene to find out about the outlook and trends shaking up our industry, and how we can leverage on these insights to accelerate our competitive advantage and business growth.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">There will be 6 keynotes and 2 panel discussions - all aiming to provide the audience with a 2018 outlook/prediction on spotting early trends that will help inspire, sharpen business plans and overall performance.</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Spot early trends</strong> - Get the lowdown and their impact for the year</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Sharpen your plans</strong> - Filter the noise and spot what will change our industry next</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Be inspired</strong> - Be wowed by innovative work from thought leaders</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;">&gt;&gt; <strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Make things happen</strong> - Leave full of ideas to implement into your organisation or business</p> <p style="border: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"><strong style="border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Heads up, eyes forward and get ready to find out what digital marketers should change today to plan for tomorrow and succeed later.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69644 2017-12-08T13:00:00+00:00 2017-12-08T13:00:00+00:00 SEO trends in 2018: What do the experts predict? Ben Davis <p>As usual, before we start it behoves me to point out some altogether more substantial reading material available to Econsultancy subscribers:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide">SEO Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">Search Marketing Training Courses</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/search-engine-marketing-seo-digital-marketing-template-files/">SEO – Digital Marketing Template Files</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC Best Practice Guide</a></li> </ul> <h3>Local marketing</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewgirdwood/">Andrew Girdwood</a>, head of media technology, Signal:</strong></p> <p>I think we’ll see Google push again at local marketing. This will likely mean even more improvements to Google Local but I think we might also see expanded use and tests with coupons and codes in PPC.</p> <h3>Organic short-sightedness?</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.distilled.net/about/people/will-critchlow/">Will Critchlow</a>, founder and CEO, Distilled:</strong></p> <p>There is a common opinion I've seen growing which I think is partly as a result of the market and regulatory changes that happened in 2017 (Google's TAC - Traffic Acquisition Costs - increasing, and their loss in the EU dispute) and partly as a result of the incredible <a href="https://moz.com/blog/google-glossary">UI changes</a> Google has rolled out as they've gone mobile-first, <a href="https://moz.com/blog/googles-future-is-in-the-cards">card-based</a>, and <a href="https://moz.com/blog/lessons-from-1000-voice-searches">ML-powered</a>. The received wisdom is that it is getting harder and harder to get organic traffic from Google, and that more and more clicks go to either ads or Google's own properties.</p> <p>I predict that we will see some brands pull back from organic search investments as a result, and that it will hurt them in the long-run. </p> <p>The reality (<a href="https://moz.com/blog/state-of-searcher-behavior-revealed">from clickstream data</a>) is that it's really easy to forget how long the long-tail is and how sparse search features and ads are on the extreme long-tail:</p> <ol> <li>Only 3-4% of all searches result in a click on an ad, for example. Google's incredible (and still growing) business is based on a small subset of commercial searches.</li> <li>Google's share of all outbound referral traffic across the web <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/randfish/what-startup-execs-need-to-know-about-seo-in-2017/15-GooglecomOct2016_May2017FacebookcomRedditcomYouTubecomImgurcomBingcomWikipediaorgGainedLost592655445222214Yahoocom_6062659414715211450340613020601010Amazoncom_13_14">is growing</a> (and Facebook's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69530-facebook-s-latest-news-feed-experiment-should-concern-brands">is shrinking</a> as they increasingly wall off their garden).</li> </ol> <p>The opportunity is therefore there for smart brands to capitalise on a growing opportunity while their competitors sink time and money into a social space that is increasingly all about Facebook, and increasingly pay-to-play. I think that is going to be a trend through 2018.</p> <h3>'Voice-A-Geddon'?</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophie-moule-64470542/">Sophie Moule</a>, head of marketing, Pi Datametrics:</strong></p> <p>Recently some of the biggest brands are waking up and realising that as we begin to move towards <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69610-what-do-voice-user-interfaces-mean-for-marketers-brands/">voice</a>, and move further away from the keyword game, the SERPs landscape and the content produced will change dramatically. Like with Mobile-Geddon, we will see a Voice-A-Geddon. </p> <p>Are brands ready? How will Google (and Amazon) respond to this? Will position one be the new page one? And how will advertisers deal with this? Will organic be considered ever more important? </p> <p>What will be the commercial impact for those who are prepared vs those who are not?</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffsmike/">Mike Jeffs</a>, commercial director, Branded3</strong></p> <p>We’ll see more measurement of conversational UX/voice search. I can see Google creating Analytics for voice commands – for example a way to measure the most common intents and conversation patterns:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Me:</strong> OK Google, tell me what films are showing in Leeds tonight</p> <p><strong>Google:</strong> OK Mike, films are X Y &amp; Z</p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> Tell me about Y</p> <p><strong>Google </strong>Synopsis for Y is … </p> <p><strong>Me:</strong> Book me some tickets for Y tonight</p> <p><strong>Google: </strong>Done </p> </blockquote> <p>This example could measure the conversion rate from Google home devices, of those people that ask for a synopsis what percentage go on to book tickets. If on Alexa, what entities and utterances have been used by category and therefore work out intent per product category?</p> <h3>Data and privacy </h3> <p><strong>Andrew Girdwood:</strong></p> <p>I think we’ll see ongoing focus on data and privacy. This will manifest with the likes of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/">GDPR</a>, new EU privacy rules (which the UK may or may not get in on) and data security. Helping to keep the latter in focus will be various governments increasingly concerned with cryptography and perhaps with legislation struggling to keep up with the pace of technology.</p> <p>This loops back to search marketing because some of the analytics practices used by big brands in the US and the UK are enough to make you blink.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/david-smith-94139326/">David Smith</a>, operations director, Branded3</strong></p> <p>GDPR will make life more difficult for agencies, there’s greater risk to agencies and clients in sharing personally identifiable information (e.g. PPC, email marketing etc.). The new E-Privacy regulation may have a huge impact on analytics tools such as Google Analytics but still too early to be certain.</p> <h3>Faster, Google-centric UX</h3> <p><strong>Tim Grice:</strong></p> <p>We'll see further moves towards a faster mobile friendly web. Features that allow you to access products, services information without leaving Google in preparatiob for voice search. There will be less reliance on links with a potential move towards sentiment and mentions</p> <h3>'War for the living room' </h3> <p><strong>Andrew Girdwood:</strong></p> <p>Lastly, I think we’ll see tech brands ramping up the war for the living room. This will manifest through hardware pushes such as connected TVs, personal assistants like Alexa and even VR. I’m not confident enough to predict whether there will be much progress on that front beyond the advertising campaigns I’m expecting but if I had to pick a winner I could always roll an internet connected dice for you.</p> <p><strong><em>That's your lot for 2018 predictions. Stay tuned for a more comprehensive guide to 2018 in January.</em></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69601 2017-12-06T11:30:00+00:00 2017-12-06T11:30:00+00:00 What were the biggest SEO trends of 2017? Ben Davis <p>Before you dive in, remember you can skill up with these resources from Econsultancy:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide">SEO Best Practice Guide</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">Search Marketing Training Courses</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/search-engine-marketing-seo-digital-marketing-template-files/">SEO – Digital Marketing Template Files</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC Best Practice Guide</a></li> </ul> <h3>Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewgirdwood/">Andrew Girdwood</a>, head of media technology, Signal:</strong></p> <p>2017 has felt like quite a good year for search marketing and a busy one. My favourite change came quite late this year, only in November, when Google announced <a href="https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/11/engaging-users-through-high-quality-amp.html">stricter rules on AMP</a>.  </p> <p>I think the jury is still out on Accelerated Mobile Pages, especially with the content not living on the publisher’s domain, but as a reader I like the speed. Google’s tougher new stance was to ensure that the contents of the ‘full page’ was a good match for the AMP page. This was designed to stop publishers serving up a tiny summary and then insisting the user click a ‘read more’ link to get to the article. Google saw it as gaming the system, I saw it as an unnecessary step and my marketing brain worried about the display impressions associated with the interstitial page as they could only be terrible value for the buyer.</p> <h3>Google power-shifts</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.distilled.net/about/people/will-critchlow/">Will Critchlow</a>, founder and CEO, Distilled:</strong></p> <p>For me, the most interesting development in search in 2017 wasn't something technical, nor was it a change in user behaviour. It was two seemingly-unrelated pieces of news that point to interesting times ahead for Google search:</p> <ol> <li>The EU ruled against Google in a landmark judgement. <a href="https://www.distilled.net/resources/eu-ruling-google-in-trouble/">I personally think</a> the ruling is dubious but totally acknowledge the broader point that there are myriad areas where Google has significant market power and is not afraid to use it.</li> <li>We saw Apple drop Bing in favour of Google for Siri web search - apparently continuing to reinforce Google's monopoly, but also continuing a trend of dramatic increases in the Traffic Acquisition Costs (<a href="https://www.distilled.net/resources/september-2017-digital-marketing-month-minute/">TAC</a>) Google pays its partners for search volume.</li> </ol> <p>It seems to me as though we are in a weird position whereby Google's search market share is only increasing, but their power may be slightly decreasing (as shown by increasing TAC), just as regulators and media <a href="https://www.distilled.net/resources/new-york-times-google-monopoly/">start to wake up</a> and take notice of the potential for abuse of power.</p> <p>It's hard to predict the end-game here, but <a href="https://stratechery.com/2014/peak-google/">plausible outcomes</a> certainly include increased Governmental regulation and interference just at the tail end of dominance (somewhat similar to the way regulations were placed around Microsoft's treatment of Internet Explorer just as they became unnecessary).</p> <h3>Voice search</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sophie-moule-64470542/">Sophie Moule</a>, head of marketing, Pi Datametrics</strong></p> <p>For us, 2017 saw the gradual realisation from businesses that voice search might just happen in the way it's being mooted - with up to 50% of searches being predicted to be made by voice by 2020. That’s not to say that they’ll take half of the current searches, but a whole lot more will go on top. </p> <p>This was hammered home when Amazon announced last week that over the recent Black Friday holiday shopping weekend, its Echo Dot home voice assistant was the best-selling item across its entire product catalogue.</p> <h3><strong>Local search</strong></h3> <p><strong>Andrew Girdwood:</strong></p> <p>Lastly, I’m a big fan of Google Local. I think the new (also rolling out) ability to determine not just when a restaurant is busy but <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/07/google-to-add-restaurant-wait-times-to-google-search-and-maps-followed-by-grocery-stores/">how long the wait for food is</a> will be significant. This is a new level of transparency restaurants and franchises have not had to deal with before and I think it’ll be uncomfortable for some.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-kenwright-46103a60/">Stephen Kenwright</a>, Strategy Director, Branded3</strong></p> <p>Location marketing took a big step forward this year, with the conversation driven largely by Yext – the company IPO’d in April and quickly reached $1bn.</p> <p>Like links and content, local SEO is quickly becoming something that requires contributions from the wider business and not just the SEO team. Yext launched some much more robust analytics; Google started to do a better job tying up online and in-store sales with some extremely promising betas and Foursquare continues to prove that anonymised data doesn’t really exist when it comes to location with some impressive analysis of shopping trends.</p> <p>Next year we should see the UK start to invest in location marketing on a similar scale to the US.</p> <h3>Success of pureplays</h3> <p><strong>Sophie Moule:</strong></p> <p>2017 was a mixed year for retailers, with some struggling in the current market, and some, such as ASOS, Missguided and Boohoo seeing impressive growth in the ever-changing digital landscape. </p> <p>Is there a correlation between those prioritising search data as business insight, and those profiting commercially?</p> <p><em><strong>That's it for our roundup of 2017 SEO trends. Check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69644-seo-trends-in-2018-what-do-the-experts-predict/">2018 predictions</a>, and stay tuned for a more beefy report for marketers wondering what to prioritise in the coming year.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3381 2017-12-04T05:26:05+00:00 2017-12-04T05:26:05+00:00 Econsultancy's Professional Certificate in Digital Marketing - Singapore <p>This is an intensive but complete digital marketing certification programme 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> <ul> <li>Day 1 – Wed, 21 Feb 2018</li> <li>Day 2 – Thu, 22 Feb 2018</li> <li>Day 3 – Fri, 23 Feb 2018</li> <li>Day 4 – Mon, 5 Mar 2018</li> <li>Day 5 – Tue, 6 Mar 2018</li> <li>Day 6 – Mon, 19 Mar 2018</li> <li>Day 7 – Tue, 20 Mar 2018</li> </ul>