tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/seo Latest SEO content from Econsultancy 2017-09-18T10:00:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69385 2017-09-18T10:00:00+01:00 2017-09-18T10:00:00+01:00 Ask the experts: Mobile SEO trends, challenges & strategy Ben Davis <ol> <li> <a href="#First%20of%20all,%20is%20it%20worth%20making%20the%20distinction%20between%20mobile%20and%20desktop?">First of all, is it worth making the distinction between mobile and desktop?</a> </li> <li><a href="#What%20are%20the%20biggest%20mistakes%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20mobile%20SEO?">What are the biggest mistakes when it comes to mobile SEO?</a></li> <li><a href="#With%20a%20mobile%20first%20index%20on%20the%20horizon,%20what%20sort%20of%20content/UX%20features%20should%20we%20prioritise?">With a mobile first index on the horizon, what sort of content/UX features should we prioritise?</a></li> <li><a href="#Much%20has%20been%20written%20about%20optimising%20for%20voice%20-%20is%20this%20hype%20or%20reality?">Much has been written about optimising for voice - is this hype or reality?</a></li> <li><a href="#Is%20there%20a%20consensus%20on%20Google%20AMP%20or%20progressive%20web%20apps%20yet?">Is there a consensus on Google AMP or progressive web apps yet?</a></li> <li><a href="#If%20you%20had%20to%20sum%20up%20a%20good%20mobile%20SEO%20strategy%20in%20one%20short%20sentence?">If you had to sum up a good mobile SEO strategy in one short sentence?</a></li> </ol> <p>Further guidance can be found in our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide">SEO Best Practice Guide</a>, and if you have any topics you would like us to cover in these 'ask the experts' articles, let us know in the comments below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/8623/app-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="mobile" width="470" height="329"></p> <h3>1. <a name="First%20of%20all,%20is%20it%20worth%20making%20the%20distinction%20between%20mobile%20and%20desktop?"></a>Is it worth making the distinction between mobile and desktop?</h3> <h4> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewgirdwood/">Andrew Girdwood</a>, Head of Media Technology, Signal: </h4> <p>Yes! If you’re not making the distinction you clearly have SEO in a silo and are not coordinating with the likes of PPC or UX. SEO should not just be about getting traffic to the site - it should be about qualified traffic and what the customer does and so having a strategy which excels across devices is essential. </p> <h4> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholastott/">Nichola Stott</a>, MD, The Media Flow:</h4> <p>Absolutely, as there are differences in what you need to achieve to drive optimal improvements per device. To split out how you focus your efforts and emphasis it can be worth setting routine activities as well as strategic quarterly pieces (such as mobile performance audits, or app indexing maintenance) with a mobile only focus.</p> <p>That said, there are many performance areas that are device agnostic to some extent. For example <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68441-site-speed-for-seo-why-it-s-about-more-than-just-loading-times/">improving site speed</a> will benefit any user regardless of device though we know that poor performance here hurts mobile users most.</p> <h4> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/josecapelo/">Jose Capelo</a>, Sr Account Manager, Caliberi:</h4> <p>For any successful SEO strategy in 2017 and beyond, the most vital element to consider is search intent. By making the distinction between mobile and desktop, brands acknowledge that search intent is different across different devices and they are ready to understand the opportunities and threats affecting them. </p> <p>From a SEO point of view, while there are some common characteristics to both when it comes to building authority and relevancy, such as content, a relevant backlink footprint, and schema mark-up, there are areas that are more relevant to mobile, for example voice search, local listings and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68490-google-s-accelerated-mobile-pages-12-pros-and-cons/">AMP pages</a>. </p> <h4> <a href="https://twitter.com/Adoubleagent">Adam Gent</a>, Sr SEO Strategist, Branded3:</h4> <p>Absolutely! It is now critical that businesses make the distinction between mobile and desktop devices. At the time of writing these mobile searches make up over 60% of all searches globally in Google. This worldwide change in how people use mobile devices to search has caused Google to rethink how they rank websites in Google Search.</p> <p>At the moment all mobile search results are based on desktop content, which is obviously not great if websites have a poor mobile site. To align search results with user expectations the engineers at Google announced at the end of 2016 that they will be <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68425-google-to-create-separate-mobile-index-what-you-need-to-know/">switching to a mobile-first index</a> which will cause ranking signals to move from desktop content to mobile content.</p> <p>If a business does not have a mobile-friendly website then this will impact on their SEO performance on Google when the mobile-first index rolls out.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2290/IMG_2621.PNG" alt="google amp" width="250"></p> <p><em>Google AMP</em></p> <h3>2. <a name="What%20are%20the%20biggest%20mistakes%20when%20it%20comes%20to%20mobile%20SEO?"></a>What are the biggest mistakes when it comes to mobile SEO?</h3> <h4>Nichola Stott:</h4> <p>One of the worst mistakes is to have a separate URL intended for mobile device users (such as m.domain.com) and neglect to use any form of device detection or URL canonisation. I’ve seen some really significant brands make this mistake which leads to URL duplication in the SERPS, splitting users, performance data, equity and polluting the site potential in so many ways.</p> <p>The second biggest mistake that we can all make, is never using your phone at work. Most of our working toolkit is desktop-optimised and for most projects it is quickest and easiest to work on at least two desktop screens as opposed to a mobile phone. So this often means that we’re relying purely on quantitative data to “work” on mobile performance. There’s so many insights to be gained by working (or trying to) work on your phone. I don’t mean toggling the device in Chrome Developer Tools, but using multiple phones models to replicate checks and create user-centric observations.  </p> <h4>Andrew Girdwood:</h4> <p>Most SEOs know that speed is important and they know enough to use Google’s various speed-tester tools. Too often, though, those tester tool results lead to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68738-what-is-technical-seo-and-why-is-it-important/">technical SEO</a> recommendations that will cost brands a truck load of money in development costs but not actually provide a speed boost.</p> <p>While the best design and build agencies are thinking mobile first too many SEOs are still in the desktop frame of mind when it comes to linkbait. If your linkbait strategy involves whisking up a groundswell of interest in some content then you need to think mobile first.</p> <h4>Jose Capelo:</h4> <p>One of the biggest oversights by brands is to treat mobile as an extension of desktop. </p> <p>The biggest mistakes are generally not related to the technical side of SEO (except for page speed), but more often down to the design and the visualisation of content. These mistakes - such as illegible fonts, not enough spacing, popup ads and slow page speed - have a detrimental impact on user experience directly impacting rankings and organic growth.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8740/Screen_Shot_2017-09-05_at_12.13.17.png" alt="mobile friendly test" width="615" height="301"></p> <p><em>Google's Mobile Friendly Test</em></p> <h3>3. <a name="With%20a%20mobile%20first%20index%20on%20the%20horizon,%20what%20sort%20of%20content/UX%20features%20should%20we%20prioritise?"></a>With a mobile first index on the horizon, what sort of content/UX features should we prioritise?</h3> <h4>Andrew Girdwood:</h4> <p>Good UX teams are generally well placed to crack the navigation challenge. Don’t get me wrong – navigation and architecture for mobile can be awkward but based on my experience few UX experts are at a loss of ideas what to do about it.</p> <p>I think brands will be well advised to think again about their content strategy. How many versions of their content do they want? One for desktop, mobile, AMP and other devices? Or is that too much? Is now the time to thinking about a headless CMS or is it too soon for the company? I certainly encourage brands to think about content as a layer.</p> <h4>Nichola Stott:</h4> <p>I recently spoke about at The Inbounder on the audit areas we’re working through with clients in anticipation of the mobile first index change, and the presentation is <a href="https://www.slideshare.net/WeAreMarketing/nine-things-were-checking-for-a-mobile-first-index-by-nichola-stott-in-the-inbounder-london">available on Slideshare</a>. But to summarise, the key focus should be: speed, UX, (navigation as well as answering the primary visit motive “above-the-fold”), Schema or similar structured data mark-up and optimal data collection without increasing latency.</p> <h4>Adam Gent:</h4> <p>...the biggest changes a webmaster should be prioritising are to make navigating around the website and scrolling through content as easy as possible on mobile devices. Both Gary Illyes and John Mueller have both <a href="https://www.seroundtable.com/google-content-tabs-hidden-change-22950.html">confirmed</a> that hidden content will be fully weighted for ranking purposes, so webmasters should begin to think about testing hidden content on mobile devices and review the mobile user engagement metrics to see if it improves the user's site experience.</p> <h4>Jose Capelo:</h4> <p>In a world of mobile first indexing, your priority needs to be mobile optimised design, user experience, and content.</p> <p>...[As regards usability] there are a variety of techniques that come into play, such as using sticky navigation to help users with visual clues of the journey, optimising design layouts for touch screens, or the use of HTML 5 (stay away from flash!).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8739/n_stott.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="333"></p> <p><em>A slide from Nichola Stott's Inbounder presentation on preparing for a mobile-first index</em></p> <h3>4. <a name="Much%20has%20been%20written%20about%20optimising%20for%20voice%20-%20is%20this%20hype%20or%20reality?"></a>Much has been written about optimising for voice - is this hype or reality?</h3> <h4>Nichola Stott:</h4> <p>Reality for sure. We’re working with brands that have huge year-on-year growth in term composition of “near me” and “show me” keywords in the mix. Interesting too that one of our clients has a large appeal to toddlers and they’ve seen the biggest growth so anecdotally, too, we’d say that the emerging device using generations use this search tactic intuitively.</p> <p>Much as today’s 10-year-olds would ‘swipe’ the TV when they started toddling I think we’ve got a generation of little ones that will stare at us accusingly if the car fails to start with a voice prompt.</p> <p>Structured data and a less is more approach to page-by-page content is key to success in voice. So not so much a reduction in the number of pages on your site, but a reduction in the points addressed per page. Making pages more specific and punchier. Get to the point above-the-fold or in a single swipe down.</p> <h4>Andrew Girdwood:</h4> <p>Both. Can I say both? I’m going to say both. The reality is we are rushing into a multi-device and multi-interaction era. I’m surprised at how often I use my Alexa and her voice controls. Brands with content there, for me, are stealing a march on competitors.</p> <p>It’s also hype, though, as we don’t yet know exactly what the future will look like. It might be that we do not see much growth in smartphone voice searches in the next few years. It may be smart-TVs that get their first.</p> <p>One of the reasons I encourage brands to think about their content as a layer is that it helps build the basis of portable content. If you’re doing that right then it gets easier to swiftly pivot your plans in the direction of reality.</p> <h4>Jose Capelo:</h4> <p>Mobile, local search and voice are inextricably linked and as the trend grows towards more specific local searches voice search will grow exponentially over the next few years. </p> <p>Something that digital marketers have to realise is that when the user activates voice search, the only answer is the one that search engines consider the best answer. Therefore, the winner takes all and there is no share of the cake for everyone else!</p> <h4> <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathan-verrall-62787230/">Jonathan Verrall</a>, Associate SEO Director, Jellyfish:</h4> <p>As of May 2016, over 20% of searches on the Google app were from voice. Voice assistants for phones, homes, watches and cars will become more prevalent and a more natural experience for people. If anything, it’s the bigger step towards Hyper-Reality.</p> <h4>Mike Jeffs, Commercial Director, Branded3:</h4> <p>Both! The reality is that there are things you can do now to optimise your site for voice searches. However, voice optimisation is probably more hype than mainstream currently (I’m no exception to adding to the noise of voice search). I think it will [become commonplace] – others disagree.</p> <p>The deciding thing for me will be device/technology adoption. 20% of searches are voice searches according to Google. Word error rate in voice searches has halved in the last year to around 4%. Perhaps most importantly voice devices are growing at the same rate as the first iPhone. Brands should be thinking; “is my site/content accessible via voice devices?” in the same way that historically they’ve been asking “is my site accessible to search engines? Is it accessible to mobile devices?” As with all new tech, early adopters will steal a march on competitors.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2430/Mobile_marketing.JPG" alt="voice search" width="615"></p> <h3>5. <a name="Is%20there%20a%20consensus%20on%20Google%20AMP%20or%20progressive%20web%20apps%20yet?"></a>Is there a consensus on Google AMP or progressive web apps yet?</h3> <h4>Adam Gent:</h4> <p>Whether you like them or not <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68490-google-s-accelerated-mobile-pages-12-pros-and-cons/">Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)</a> are becoming widely used across the digital landscape. In the news media industry, it is imperative for webmasters to use AMP to keep up with competition on mobile devices, as the AMP carousel jumps ahead of all organic results in Google mobile search.</p> <p>A lot of businesses are beginning to test AMP to bypass difficulties in implementing site speed changes to their technical stack and are beginning to see positive results. However, make no mistake, AMP is very much a framework for Google to deliver ads to its audience quicker. It’s up to business owners whether they want to invest in improving their own website’s speed to improve their overall mobile experience or invest in building pages which provide speed improvements just for Google’s mobile search results.</p> <p><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68601-what-are-progressive-web-apps-pwas">Progressive Web Apps</a> (PWAs) will change the way we interact with the web on our mobile phone. With the ability for users to use a PWA offline and the fact that they load super-fast means that these hybrid apps can provide a way for webmasters and business owners to create a frictionless mobile experience. Even when customers are on the go.</p> <p>Some great examples of PWAs in action are Twitter’s mobile website and Washington Posts PWA. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are a technology which all business owners should be thinking about and explore.</p> <h4>Andrew Girdwood:</h4> <p>I think there’s consensus. There are some verticals where AMP is an absolute boon. That’s not mutually exclusive with progressive web apps, though. You can have both.</p> <p>I doubt there’s a one-size fits all approach yet. Brands building media technology today (you know; sites, apps and other digital assets) should be thinking about this long and hard before a line of code is written.</p> <h4>Jose Capelo:</h4> <p>The consensus lies in that if your website gets more traffic from mobile devices or you have an HTTPS website, you can never do away with AMP and PWA. If your website is mainly content based then AMP will be perfect for you, but an ecommerce website can never ignore PWA.</p> <p>The general agreement is towards using them in conjunction to deliver fast initial loading and reliable second-visit performance, as well as advanced features like offline reading and richer UI treatment.</p> <h4>Jonathan Verrall:</h4> <p>There are various case studies demonstrating AMP’s improvement to click-through rates, conversion rates and revenue.</p> <p>Progressive web apps are worth exploring if you have the resource to; this will likely continue to grow into firstly being used as an alternative or gateway to downloading native mobile apps.</p> <p>PWAs and Google AMP serve two different purposes. Progressive web apps add greater interactivity to your website and prompt further engagement through the use of service workers which allow businesses to serve push notifications to users who have downloaded your app. </p> <p>Additionally, PWAs allow sections of your website to be used offline too. The major benefit of PWAs is that they do not restrict functionality, which is a fundamental drawback with AMPs.</p> <p>Use PWAs if:</p> <ul> <li>your website is dependent on custom JavaScript frameworks to operate.</li> <li>your website incorporates complex design elements that you wish to retain.</li> <li>your website’s content is constantly being updated and adds value to the user at every update.</li> <li>there is functionality within the application that can be used even though the user may be offline. </li> </ul> <p>Use AMP if:</p> <ul> <li>you are a news publisher that can greatly benefit from being positioned within Google’s news carousel.</li> <li>you are struggling to reduce page load speeds through speed optimisation.</li> <li>you are using static landing pages to promote a service or product.</li> </ul> <p>For those who want the best of both worlds, some webmasters have been toying with the idea of using both AMPs and PWAs in unison to create a user-friendly journey throughout the website that’s then geared for retention.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2090/pwa.png" alt="pwa" width="250"></p> <p><em>PWA, Air Berlin</em></p> <h3>6. <a name="If%20you%20had%20to%20sum%20up%20a%20good%20mobile%20SEO%20strategy%20in%20one%20short%20sentence?"></a>If you had to sum up a good mobile SEO strategy in one short sentence?</h3> <p><strong>Nichola Stott:</strong> Speed is money.</p> <p><strong>Andrew Girdwood:</strong> Good mobile SEO begins when you first start to write your user stories and then it never finishes.</p> <p><strong>Jose Capelo:</strong> Make your content easy to digest, quick to load, and delightful to read, watch or listen to.</p> <p><strong>Adam Gent:</strong> Get ready for the mobile-first index and think about the needs of your mobile users...</p> <p><strong>Jonathan Verrall:</strong> Build upwards using ‘mobile first’ methodology and assess how users engage with your content...</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69396 2017-09-11T02:00:00+01:00 2017-09-11T02:00:00+01:00 Three ways B2B marketers can drive more traffic to their sites Jeff Rajeck <p>All of these suggestions, though, are of little use if the B2B marketer suffers from low traffic volume to their site.</p> <p>To help out, B2B marketing specialist Anol Bhattacharya spoke about three ways in which B2B marketers could drive more traffic to their site at a recent Econsultancy Digital Intelligence Briefing in Singapore.</p> <p>His tips are summarized below, but first we'd like to invite all B2B marketers in the APAC region to attend <strong>Econsultancy's Masterclass in Lead Generation</strong>, led by Bhattacharya, on the <strong>19th and 20th of October in Singapore</strong>. You can find out more information and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/masterclass-in-lead-generation-singapore/dates/3132/">book your spot here</a>.</p> <h3>1. Stop trying to figure out Google's algorithm</h3> <p>There is little doubt that organic search, especially from Google, is one of the best ways for B2B marketers to drive traffic to their site. To make this happen, though, marketers need to get their site to the top of the search engine result page as that is where most clicks occur.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8861/google.png" alt="" width="884" height="500"></p> <p>Because appearing high in the search rank is so important, though, marketers have long been scheming about how to 'game' Google's algorithm. Google, naturally, is aware of this and understands that if any old site can trick its search engine then Google users will have a bad experience and search elsewhere.</p> <p>As a result, Google does not offer much information about how to appear high in its results apart from the <a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/40349?hl=en">vague statement</a> "provide high-quality content on your pages, especially your homepage."</p> <p>Additionally, <strong>the search experience is now different for each user</strong>, so even if a marketer figured out how to appear the top of their own SERP, the search result may be different for the person sitting next to them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8865/ec.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <p>So, Bhattacharya said that instead of trying to reverse engineer Google and find some sort of 'trick',<strong> B2B marketers should use a much more straightforward tactic - focus on finding keywords and key phrases</strong> which are: </p> <ol> <li>relevant to their business,</li> <li>have a reasonably sized search volume, and </li> <li>are in the 'long tail' of search queries. </li> </ol> <p>Then, once marketers have identified a few key terms, they should deliberately include these terms on the homepage and in other relevant content and endeavour to provide the best user experience for someone searching on the term.</p> <p>The difficult part of this tactic, though, is to find search terms which are used often enough to be useful and not too competitive. With some effort and practice, though, brands can rank at the top for organic search results which are relevant to the products and services they offer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8862/b2b.png" alt="" width="800" height="462"></p> <h3>2. Pay attention to six key factors when executing an email campaign</h3> <p>Bhattacharya told attendees that email is another great way for B2B marketers to drive traffic, but that there are six key things that they should be keeping an eye on. </p> <p><strong>First,</strong> <strong>marketers need to maintain email database hygiene</strong>. What this means is that your email list should be regularly reviewed to ensure that you are sending emails to people who still care about your service. If one subscriber hasn't opened your email in a year, then get rid of them as they obviously are not interested in what you are sending.</p> <p><strong>Secondly, marketers also need to pay close attention to subject line</strong>. A well-crafted subject line will result in many more opens than a generic one. Research also indicates that using personalisation will improve open rates for most industries</p> <p><strong>Third,</strong> what you include in your email headings is also an important factor for improving open rates as most email clients include the first line of the email along with the subject line. Avoid out-of-context notices (e.g. "Click to view this email in your web browser") and <strong>try to give people an additional reason to open your email in the first few words.</strong></p> <p><strong>Fourth,</strong> timing of emails often is the difference between a successful campaign and one with low opens and clicks. <strong>Avoid sending email out-of-hours</strong> as mobile email clients allow for people to archive all commercial emails with a single click.  </p> <p>Also Bhattacharya suggested that marketers should avoid sending emails at the beginning, middle (lunch), and end of the day as well as on Monday and Friday.</p> <p><strong>Fifth</strong>, Bhattacharya also discussed a few best practices for body copy. <strong>One of the main mistakes marketers make is to try to include multiple subjects in one email.</strong>  Unless the email is intended to be a broad overview, say a company newsletter, keep to one, easily-digestible subject in the body.</p> <p><strong>Finally,</strong> B2B marketers should decide what they would like the email recipient to do and <strong>have a clear call-to-action (CTA).</strong> Along with having one subject in the body copy, marketers should aim to have a single CTA in the email. That way, your subscriber will not have to prioritise the actions and end up doing nothing at all.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8863/email.png" alt="" width="800" height="408"></p> <h3>3. Concentrate your display efforts on retargeting</h3> <p>To complete his overview of how B2B marketers should drive traffic, Bhattacharya asked a simple question: Who has clicked on a banner ad recently?</p> <p>Those who did put their hands up agreed that all of their clicks had one thing in common - <strong>the banners people had clicked on were part of a retargeting campaign.</strong></p> <p>For those unfamiliar with the term, retargeting simply means that the ad you see is very closely related to another activity you performed online recently. You may have searched for something, viewed a particular web page, or put an item in a virtual shopping cart and then didn't purchase it and then, as if by magic, you see the item again as you surf the web.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8864/retargeting.png" alt="" width="800" height="452"></p> <p>Bhattacharya told delegates that <strong>B2B marketers should use retargeting ads as they perform far better than other ads.</strong> The reason is that you will be able to advertise a specific product or aspect of a service which the viewer has already shown an interest in.  </p> <p>This can reduce your target market to a 'market of one' which allows you to give them a compelling reason to return to your site.</p> <h3>A word of thanks</h3> <p>Econsultancy would like to thank <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/anolbhattacharya/?ppe=1">Anol Bhattacharya</a>, CEO at GetIT Comms and B2B marketing specialist, for his presentation as well as the delegates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend.</p> <p>We hope to see you all at future Singapore Econsultancy events!</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8472/4.jpg" alt=""></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69384 2017-09-01T10:00:00+01:00 2017-09-01T10:00:00+01:00 SEO David vs. Goliath: How travel sector minnows can overcome their big brand competitors Richard Marriott <p>Perhaps the reason it intrigues me so much is the huge opportunity to grab traffic from the typical head terms, right through to capturing the long tail search queries at the awareness stage in the buying journey. Alongside this is the challenge smaller brands face competing with the giants in the market and having to get smart with leveraging search. </p> <p>During this post, I want to take you through an example overview of part of the travel market and give an understanding on how smaller brands are capturing search traffic against the bigger brands in the industry. </p> <h3><strong>The Goliath Challenge</strong></h3> <p>So, Google has a patent in place in regard to brand weighting and how it is calculated. However, it’s <a href="http://www.seobythesea.com/2015/05/google-site-quality-scores/%20">pretty difficult to understand</a>.<br></p> <p><em>'The system determines a site quality score for the particular site, and might be determined by computing a ratio of a numerator and a denominator, where the numerator is based on the count of unique queries that are categorized as ones that refer to the particular site, and where the denominator is based on the count of unique queries that are just associated with the particular site, just don’t refer to it in the same kind of way.'</em></p> <p>Perhaps something easier to digest is <a href="https://moz.com/blog/rankings-correlation-study-domain-authority-vs-branded-search-volume">this piece</a> by Tom Capper over on Moz, around a ranking correlations study which compares domain authority against branded search volume. Basically, bigger brands seem to rank better and have an uplift due to their authority in the market which is certainly a challenge in the travel industry with giants such as Virgin, Thomas Cook and Thomson.</p> <p>Now I could list at least 20 brands here, but for the purpose of this example I have selected a few that have appeared in a particular SERP that I’m going to be talking about later, with a mixture of big brands, specialists and aggregators.</p> <p>The scale of this can be seen from a simple bit of keyword research along with monthly volumes:</p> <ul> <li>Thomas Cook: 1,400,000</li> <li>Thomson: 992,000</li> <li>Virgin Holidays: 224,000</li> <li>Travel Supermarket: 139,000</li> <li>Lastminute: 75,000</li> <li>Kuoni: 43,000</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Market Landscape</strong></h3> <p>I’m sure you all know how to see where you are in comparison to your competitors, with tools such as Sistrix, SEMrush and Searchmetrics allowing you to see your visibility vs. competitors. We prefer to export all of the keywords that each of the brand ranks for, and then categorise, strip out branded terms and then drop it into a graph to give you a visual.</p> <p>So, for this example we’ve taken a sample set of just over 3,000 keywords, which would equate to just over half a million visits if you were fortunate enough to rank first for them all with conservative CTR assumption.</p> <p>We then pulled just a few of the brands with visibility for these terms, and below you can see the output:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8639/Competitive-Landscape-Image-1.png" alt="" width="650" height="249"></p> <p>To summarise this, the higher you are the better your average rank across these terms, and the further to the right means the site ranks for a higher number of terms.</p> <p>However, looking at a whole market is perhaps a bit too broad, especially with so many locations and resorts, so if you’ve categorised your keywords well you’ll also be able to run graphs for individual categories. Below is an example for Thailand which contains 480 keywords, which again would equate to 69,000 visits, so still a significant amount of traffic:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8640/Competitive-Landscape-Thailand.png" alt="" width="650" height="249"></p> <p>We can see that Virgin is out in front with a brand presence of more than five times that of the smallest in the list, Kuoni. So how does Kuoni start to compete or even take market share away from all the other brands with pretty much double the awareness?</p> <p>Let’s take a look...</p> <h3><strong>Links</strong></h3> <p>Like everyone else with any SEO knowledge, I know that it’s not just about number of links. However they are still a very important ranking signal.</p> <p>Below I’ve simply the taken number of referring domains and domain trust from Majestic and charted this in... you’ve got it, another graph:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Travel-Domain-Trust-and-Linking-Domanins.png" alt="" width="938" height="385"></p> <p>When you correlate the size of brand vs. the volume and quality of links then it’s not representative at all, with Kuoni appearing to do well at earning links and having a higher volume at the same quality as Virgin Holidays. This starts to show that if we took the brand weighting out and relied on authority and links, the market landscape would certainly look different.</p> <p>Next, I’ve looked at links into the key destination landing pages. Interestingly this is a slightly different picture: Virgin Holidays only has nine referring domains and a lower quality of links into its Thailand holiday page and Kuoni has three times the volume of links and significantly more domain trust from those domains.  </p> <p>So more links into the whole domain, individual location directories and a better quality from the smaller brand which is competing against these giants:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Giants-Domain-Trust-and-Linking-Domains.png" alt="" width="939" height="390"></p> <h3><strong>Engagement</strong></h3> <p>After looking at links I wanted to understand engagement metrics, and for this I used time on site and bounce rate taken from Alexa.  <img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Time-on-Site-and-Bounce-Rate.png" alt="" width="938" height="263"></p> <p>Here’s where some of the bigger brands start to excel and should really be a focus for Kuoni. Interestingly, as they are very bespoke holidays, it links off to a subdomain page potentially making bounce rate inflate and time on site decrease, so would benefit from being all on the same subdomain.</p> <h3><strong>Pages indexed</strong></h3> <p>Next I wanted to understand content depth for pages indexed relevant to Thailand on each of the sites.</p> <p>Here’s how it stacks up (to get the volume simply type site:<em>{url here}</em> inurl:<em>{location}</em></p> <ul> <li>Thomas Cook: 18</li> <li>Thomson: 579</li> <li>Virgin: 136</li> <li>Travel Supermarket: 49</li> <li>Last Minute: 4,440</li> <li>Kuoni: 349</li> </ul> <p><em>**slight caveat alert: lastminute.com has the most amount of pages indexed for /Thailand/ simply due to its broad hotel offering.</em></p> <p>As we saw earlier Kuoni is significantly smaller in terms of overall branded search volume. However, it has the second highest volume of pages ranking for the Thailand keyword set. This shows the brand is making content work hard in order to drive visibility into the keyword set that’s been sampled, and I’m sure if we were to broaden the number of terms then Kuoni would in fact rank for more terms than a lot of the larger brands.</p> <p>A good example to look at is perhaps its multi-centre holidays. This has a reasonable monthly search volume of 590 searches per month. For this term, it outperforms the competitors looked at in this post, and when you look at the pages in comparison to each other you can see why...</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.kuoni.co.uk/thailand/multi-centres">http://www.kuoni.co.uk/thailand/multi-centres</a></li> <li> <a href="https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/destinations/asia-and-far-east/thailand/multi-destination">https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/destinations/asia-and-far-east/thailand/multi-destination</a> </li> <li> <a href="http://www.thomson.co.uk/holidays/multi-centre">http://www.thomson.co.uk/holidays/multi-centre</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/holidays/thailand/pattaya/">https://www.travelsupermarket.com/en-gb/holidays/thailand/pattaya/</a> </li> <li> <a href="https://www.thomascook.com/holidays/signature/multi-centre/">https://www.thomascook.com/holidays/signature/multi-centre/</a> </li> </ul> <p>Not only has Kuoni written more content on the main landing page, it has also created lots of other landing pages surrounding this term for each location <em>(Koh Samui/Chiang Mai/Bangkok etc)</em> <em>+ multi centre</em> and along with an internal linking strategy to this content.</p> <h3><strong>Summary...</strong></h3> <p>If you are running the digital strategy for a large brand then you have the ability of exploiting the power of the patent that’s in place for brand weighting in your favour, but don’t rest on your laurels of simply having “the brand” as being enough. </p> <p>As we have seen, despite this patent, smaller brands still have a huge opportunity to capture traffic through building and creating relevant landing pages and driving authority into deeper pages of the site.</p> <p>Below I’ve summarised the findings in a simple table. As we have seen Kuoni is managing to compete with the ‘giants’ of the industry when it comes to visibility of specific locations. While we can see that it is only really competing in the ‘site specifics’ on overall domain authority, Kuoni is focusing on driving deeper authority and creating more location specific content on the site to drive location specific visibility.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Screen-Shot-2017-08-29-at-11.52.09.png" alt="" width="894" height="152"></p> <p>Despite this relatively small sample keyword set and list of brands analysed, it's clear to me that between them they all could be driving further awareness visibility through content output. While a lot of them are ranking for ‘I want to know’ micro-moments they are all appearing much further down the SERP for these types of terms.  </p> <p>For example, ‘things to do in Phuket’ delivers an average of 3,600 searches per month giving the Davids of this world an opportunity to capture lots of this traffic, right at the top of the purchase funnel.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, check out these Econsultancy resources:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide"><em>Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Best Practice Guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/seo"><em>SEO training courses</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2017-08-25T11:33:00+01:00 2017-08-25T11:33:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to two sector-specific reports, B2B and Healthcare &amp; Pharma) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet statistics and digital market research with data, facts, charts and figures. The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need - a huge time-saver for presentations and reports.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Sector-specific data and reports are also available:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a><br></strong></li> <li><strong><strong><a title="Financial Services and Insurance Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/financial-services-and-insurance-internet-statistics-compendium/">Financial Services and Insurance</a></strong></strong></li> <li> <strong><a title="Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/healthcare-and-pharmaceuticals-internet-statistics-compendium/">Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals</a></strong><strong> </strong> </li> <li><strong><a title="Retail Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/retail-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Retail</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="Travel Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/travel-statistics-compendium/" target="_self">Travel</a></strong></li> </ul> <p><strong>Regions covered in each document (where data is available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69372 2017-08-24T14:07:00+01:00 2017-08-24T14:07:00+01:00 AI and search: How one agency does keyword classification at scale using machine learning Ben Davis <p>I asked a few questions of Owned Media Executive Josh Carty, to find out more.</p> <p>Before we get stuck in, a reminder that this year's Festival of Marketing features one stage (of 12) dedicated to AI in marketing – <a href="https://goo.gl/nJMlTI">book your tickets now</a> and see headliners such as Stephen Fry and Jo Malone.</p> <p>On with the interview...</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Josh, could you give us an overview of how you use machine learning for keyword categorisation and SEO at iProspect?</h4> <p><em>Josh Carty:</em> We work with one of the UK’s largest online retailers on their organic search and performance content strategy. We’re interested in understanding how their customers search for their products online and how we can use these insights to inform their SEO and performance content activity.</p> <p>Given the size of our client’s product range (spanning hundreds of thousands of items) and the variety of ways in which customers can search for them, there were millions of relevant search terms for us to consider. To transform this data into meaningful strategic insights, our first objective was to classify keywords into categories. It would be impossible to classify millions of keywords into a complex product hierarchy manually, so we leveraged <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/66207-how-can-nlp-technology-be-used-for-marketing">natural language processing</a> and machine learning to complete the task.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8526/Screen_Shot_2017-08-24_at_12.17.32.png" alt="" width="650" height="387"></p> <p>Using a training set of 15,000 manually-labelled keywords, we developed a classifier that categorises keywords with a high level of accuracy. This performance was achieved in part through natural language pre-processing. Search queries are stemmed to their root, common words are discarded, and sequences of words and word pairs are used to discriminate keywords between categories. To ensure our insights best align with our client’s internal operations, we classify keywords into their internal product hierarchy. This is composed of three top-level categories, 11 subcategories and 52 individual product classes.</p> <p>With a way to classify keywords at scale, we have been able to provide unprecedented insights into our client’s organic online visibility. For example, by combining data on search demand around keywords with click-through rate and search position data, we can model what proportion of traffic our client is capturing by product category.</p> <p>In modelling the relationship between organic position and click-through rate, it’s important to consider variation in customer behaviour. Online shoppers may, for example, be much more willing to look lower down the search results when looking for a new laptop than a new pair of shoes. Using our classifier with a category-level regression analysis of position on click-through rate, we created individual click-through rate models for each product class.</p> <p>Combining these two powerful machine learning techniques, we offer an unprecedented picture of our client’s opportunities in organic search. It has been the backbone of our organic and content strategy this year, helping us identify content opportunities and prioritise SEO recommendations.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> We're seeing supervised learning used for various functions in ecommerce - what do you think are the real success stories so far?</h4> <p><em>JC:</em> Machine learning offers enormous opportunities in ecommerce, from product classification to customer segmentation to product recommendation. Given the variety of tasks machine learning seeks to solve, it can be useful to distinguish between types of machine learning algorithm.</p> <p>One such distinction is between supervised and unsupervised machine learning methods. In the supervised setting, an algorithm is provided with examples of the desired output, such as the categorised keywords provided as training data in our classification project. In the unsupervised setting, the algorithm draws inferences without such examples and are typically involved in clustering and segmentation tasks.</p> <p>While both methods have great application in ecommerce, the wealth of labelled data, made available by retailers’ analytics platforms, has seen an abundance of supervised learning applications. One particular success is in the development of recommender systems. These systems, familiar to users of Amazon and other online retailers, offer product recommendations based on the purchase histories of customers. In a supervised setting, these may be generated from users’ past views, ratings and purchases.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What size of retailer should be looking at machine learning, and how hard is it to achieve?</h4> <p><em>JC:</em> Online retailers are exposed to millions of customers, making it impossible for any team of analysts or marketers to act on them all effectively. Machine learning offers retailers the opportunity to scale both their insights and operations in an efficient way. Whether it’s clustering thousands of customers into segments, or making personalised product recommendations to its customers, even the smallest retailers can benefit from machine learning.</p> <p>With a wealth of open-source projects and free documentation available, machine learning is becoming increasingly accessible to all industries. Technologies once only available to large companies, with specialist research teams, are now accessible to insights and analytics teams.</p> <p><em><strong>More on AI and ecommerce:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68921-an-introduction-to-ai-powered-ecommerce-merchandising/">An introduction to AI-powered ecommerce merchandising</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69098-could-ai-revolutionize-high-street-retail-as-well-as-ecommerce/">Could AI revolutionize high street retail as well as ecommerce?</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/marketing-in-the-age-of-artificial-intelligence">Marketing in the age of artificial intelligence</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69252 2017-07-14T14:04:40+01:00 2017-07-14T14:04:40+01:00 10 dazzling digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>Three in four shoppers browse elsewhere before making Prime Day purchases</h3> <p>Research from <a href="http://blog.bazaarvoice.com/2017/07/10/brands-retailers-seize-amazon-prime-day/" target="_blank">BazaarVoice</a> suggests that Prime Day shopping extends beyond Amazon, with 76% of people visiting other online retailers before making a purchase. 46% of consumers are said to visit Walmart, while 40% check Target. </p> <p>BazaarVoice also found that consumers tend to browse other retailers depending on product categories. For example, more than half of shoppers researching electronics brands will also visit Best Buy, while 49% turn to Lowe’s for researching outdoor items like hammocks or barbeques.</p> <h3>33% of consumers say they will erase personal data as GDPR comes into effect</h3> <p>A new survey by SAS suggests that nearly half of consumers plan to utilise their new rights over personal data in May 2018.</p> <p>In a poll of over 2,000 UK adults, 33% said they plan to exercise their right to remove personal data from retailers, while 33% will also ask for their data to stop being used for marketing purposes.</p> <p>17% of people said they will challenge automated decisions, and 24% will access the data that retailers hold on them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7477/SAS_GDPR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="298"></p> <h3>Prime Day is the biggest sales day of the year for Amazon so far</h3> <p>New data from Hitwise has revealed that there were 9.5m transactions processed on Amazon.com during Prime Day 2017 – making it the biggest sales day of the year so far. The day generated even more sales than last year, when Amazon processed 6.7m transactions.</p> <p>Altogether, Amazon.com accounted for 87% of all online transactions processed by the top 50 retailers on Prime Day – a day when one in every 10 visits to the site resulted in a purchase.</p> <h3>Companies experience digital performance problems once every five days</h3> <p>Research by <a href="https://www.dynatrace.com/digital-transformation-audit/" target="_blank">Dynatrace</a> suggests that organisations are encountering digital performance problems on average once every five days, with individuals across business and IT functions losing a quarter of their working lives fighting to address these problems.</p> <p>In a survey of 1,200 global IT and business professionals, 75% of respondents said they have low levels of confidence in their ability to resolve digital performance problems. 48% also stated these issues were directly hindering the success of digital transformation strategies in their organisations.</p> <p>Marketing professionals are said to lose 470 hours per year or nearly two hours every business day to addressing performance problems, while IT operations professionals lose 522 hours per year or over two hours every business day.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7475/Dynatrace.JPG" alt="" width="582" height="293"></p> <h3>Debit cards overtake cash payments in the UK</h3> <p>The latest <a href="https://brc.org.uk/news/2017/debit-cards-overtake-cash-to-become-number-one-payment-method-in-the-uk" target="_blank">Payments Survey</a> has revealed that debit card purchases have overtaken cash for the first time in the UK, with nearly £190bn being spent via this channel in 2016.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the share of cash transactions shrank 4.5% to account for 42.3%, leaving credit and charge cards to make up the remaining 11.4%. </p> <p>The use of contactless technology has contributed to the rise in card payments, with consumers increasingly using contactless to pay for smaller purchases. The average transaction value on cards declined from £30.53 in 2013 to £25.40 in 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7474/Cash.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="513"></p> <h3>37% of online spend goes through Amazon</h3> <p>The success of this year’s Amazon Prime Day might be indication enough, but new research from <a href="https://info.salmon.com/amazon-king-of-jungle-research" target="_blank">Salmon</a> has also highlighted just how much the retailer dominates the ecommerce industry.</p> <p>In a survey of over 6,000 consumers across Europe and the US, Salmon found that 37% of all consumer spending goes through Amazon. This could rise, too, as 73% of consumers say they will increase their use of digital shopping channels in future.</p> <p>53% of survey respondents also said they would be more likely to buy through Prime than a retailer’s online store, while the majority of consumers feel that Amazon is ‘leading the way in digital retail’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7478/Salmon.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="435"></p> <h3>Fresh grocery searches on the rise</h3> <p>From analysis of over 100m online searches in Q2, Criteo has discovered that searches for online groceries increased by 108% during the period of April to June 2017.</p> <p>With consumers relying on faster and more flexible delivery options, buying fresh produce online is becoming all the more convenient. Consequently, searches for milk, eggs and cheese all increased in the second quarter. Online searches for milk increased by 92% from the first three months of the year.</p> <h3>More than 50% of travellers look for inspiration during the planning process</h3> <p>A <a href="https://info.advertising.expedia.com/multi-national-travel-trends-in-the-tourism-industry" target="_blank">new study</a> by Expedia Media Solutions has uncovered the motivations and behaviours of travel consumers across eight countries including China, Australia and the UK.</p> <p>In all eight countries, at least 50% of travellers say they are often undecided on a destination close to booking, with most looking for help and inspiration during the planning process. More than 65% say they are influenced by informative content from travel or tourism brands.</p> <p>That being said, the research also found differences in the kind of marketing people respond to. While ads featuring deals are most likely to influence Americans, Canadians and Australians, Chinese travellers are prompted by ads with appealing imagery and informative content. Both French and German travellers place equal value on appealing deals and imagery.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7476/Expedia_Media_Solutions.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="363"> </p> <h3>Marketers struggling to localise content</h3> <p>According to research from the <a href="https://www.cmocouncil.org/authority-leadership/reports/328" target="_blank">CMO Council</a>, marketers are finding it difficult to localise content and tailor their output for individual media platforms.</p> <p>In a poll of 150 marketers, just 36.2% agreed they were performing well when it comes to translating creative strategies across all the necessary physical and digital touchpoints. Furthermore, just 32% believed they are succeeding in adapting branded content for different markets, audiences, and locations served by their companies around the world.</p> <p>47.7% of respondents stated that ‘localisation demands’ – e.g. language, cultural values and religion – were putting pressure on teams to deliver creative at scale. 43.9% also cited new digital formats and device types as a big challenge.</p> <h3>Emojis lose momentum as a marketing tactic</h3> <p>Research from 2016 showed that 95% of Brits were more likely to open an email if they contained emojis that juxtaposed the subject line. However, a new study by Mailjet suggests that emojis might be losing their effect.</p> <p>In a series of tests, Mailjet found open rates in the UK and the US rise by just 5% and 6% respectively when emojis accompanied the subject line.</p> <p>While the crying-with-laughter emoji was previously the most popular, Brits are now 33% less likely to open a message using the crying emoji than an email without it. The current overall best performer is the simple red heart emoji, being one of the few to generate a positive net result across all test regions with a 6% increase in open rate. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7479/emojis.jpg" alt="" width="540" height="540"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69227 2017-07-11T10:45:00+01:00 2017-07-11T10:45:00+01:00 How to attract lots of quality online reviews to your ecommerce store Andy Favell <p>But how do you build and sustain a wealth of quality reviews across your own sites and those of your partners?</p> <p>Answer: 1) Post-interaction email; 2) syndication.</p> <h3>There are two sorts of reviews found on retailer (and other) sites.</h3> <p><strong>1. Organic reviews</strong></p> <p>These are ratings and reviews that the company has collected itself from its customers, probably with the help of a tool, such as Trustpilot, Yotpo, eKomi, Feefo or Bazaarvoice.</p> <p>Let’s be clear, there are lots of ways that companies can and do elicit reviews from customers. These include incentivized requests (e.g. sweepstakes, coupons); post-checkout web survey; sampling (sending out free product; trialling services); requesting reviews via social media channels (paid and unpaid) and soliciting reviews via a homepage banner.</p> <p>However the most common tactic for getting reviews is to request them via post-interaction email (PIE). According to a 2016 survey conducted by Bazaarvoice among its 5,000 retailer and brand customers, PIE is used by 87% of its brand clients and 64% of its retail clients.</p> <p>This could also be called post-purchase email. But then PPE doesn’t have the same acronym appeal as PIE.</p> <p><strong>2. Syndicated reviews</strong></p> <p>These are reviews that were collected on different sites and/or by different companies.</p> <p>These could be reviews that were posted on one retailer website and then reposted to another site in the same group that sells the same products. For example some reviews for products on Shop Direct’s Littlewoods.com were left by customers on the sister site Very.co.uk – see, for example, <a href="http://www.littlewoods.com/calvin-klein-eternity-moment-100ml-edp/1005793955.prd" target="_blank">this perfume</a>.</p> <p>More commonly these are reviews that were collected by brands, perhaps while customers registered a new product to secure a guarantee, which are then supplied to the retailers that sell the brand’s products. These will be distributed through a syndication network such as Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Reevoo.</p> <h3>Why reviews matter</h3> <p>As noted in my previous article, which outlined the importance of putting someone <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69220-who-should-own-customer-reviews-in-your-organisation/" target="_blank">in charge of reviews</a>, consumer opinions of products are influenced not only by ratings but also by the number of ratings.</p> <p><a href="https://www.profitero.com/2017/06/profitero-finds-strong-correlation-between-a-products-number-of-online-reviews-and-sales/" target="_blank">Research by Profitero and BzzAgent</a> (June 2016) backs this up. The report concluded that there is a strong correlation between the number of online reviews a product has and ecommerce sales.</p> <p>As shown in the graph below, just adding one review to a product with zero reviews will lead to a sales lift of 10%. Adding 50 reviews leads to a sales lift of 30%. Above 50 reviews products continue to receive a lift in sales, but at a diminishing rate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7584/bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="700" height="436"></p> <h3>Post-interaction email - PIE</h3> <p>When a customer has purchased a good or service or otherwise engaged with a company, it is increasingly common for the customer to receive an email asking for feedback. This will often then be posted to the relevant pages of the website. PIE generally gets good results – or better results than other methods – for the retailer.</p> <p>Data provided to Econsultancy by Bazaarvoice, based on insights from its network of 5,000 retailers and brands, shows that this is certainly the case among its customer base. Of all organic reviews on retailer sites the vast majority come from PIE: 81% in APAC, 84% in Europe and 77% in North America. Of all organic reviews on brand sites 80% in APAC, 70% in Europe and 62% in North America come from PIE.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7267/t8_reviews_pie_bazaarvoice.png" alt="" width="615" height="416"></p> <p>Conversations with retailers suggests that success with PIE is an industry-wide phenomena. Shop Direct, which runs the UK-focused online department stores Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, sends a PIE to every shopper post purchase.</p> <p>Paul Hornby, head of ecommerce at Shop Direct, tells Econsultancy:</p> <blockquote> <p>Our biggest driver for reviews volume is our post purchase email, which goes out weekly to every customer who’s bought from us. The email needs to go out at the right time and must represent a consistent customer journey across device.</p> <p>We’ve found from experience that the email should be clean and to the point, with no sales tactics distracting from the call to action. We also introduced an incentive, which has definitely helped to encourage more feedback.</p> <p>We’re now doing a piece of work to understand the optimum length of time to wait before asking for feedback, depending on product category.</p> </blockquote> <p>The screenshot below shows a PIE from Very inviting the customer to write a review for two products purchased, with the added incentive of a chance to win £500 in a monthly draw.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7268/t8_review_email_shopdirect.png" alt="" width="467" height="492"></p> <p>Requesting reviews by email also works extremely well for smaller ecommerce vendors.</p> <p>PuraVida, a San Diego-based ecommerce startup that sells hand-made jewellery from artisans in Costa Rica, has generated a volume of reviews for its <a href="https://www.puravidabracelets.com/collections/best-sellers" target="_blank">best sellers</a> that would make eyes water at many much larger retailers. See image below.</p> <p>Griffin Thall, CEO of Pura Vida Bracelets:</p> <blockquote> <p>We use Yotpo to gather customer reviews. To date, we have sent out over 1.7m emails and have received over 130,000 positive reviews.</p> <p>After 12 days, the customer receives their first review request, five days later they receive their second, and five days later they receive their third. There’s no particular time, just the set amount of days after they purchase.</p> <p>For the copy, we recommend being sincere, personable, and thankful that your new customer shopped with you.</p> <p>After the customer writes a review, we email them with a coupon code to say Thank You.</p> <p>We also use Delighted to monitor our NPS (net promoter score) on a weekly basis. </p> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7269/t8_reviews_email_puravida.png" alt="" width="615" height="482"></p> <h3>What works makes consumers read PIEs, click through and review?</h3> <p><a href="https://www.yotpo.com/data/benchmark/" target="_blank">Research by Yotpo</a>, based on analysis of the 200,000 stores that use the platform worldwide, finds that review solicitation emails have an 8.1% response rate on average. Of course some PIEs will deliver a much higher conversion and some much lower.</p> <p>As any email marketer would expect, just the smallest tweaks to the format and wording – particularly the subject line – can increase the email open rate and the response rate. Yotpo’s research highlights three dos and don’ts:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Do:</strong> phrase the request as a question (delivers an 86% increase in response rate); use an incentive (18.5% increase) and include your store name (10% increase)... duh!</li> <li> <strong>Don’t:</strong> include urgent words e.g. now, today (delivers a 28% decrease in response rate); include customer’s name (19% decrease); use a TOTALLY uppercase word (5.8% decrease).</li> </ul> <p>Great advice, but we’d add two more tips. Don’t: just take Yotpo’s word for it. Do: A/B test your emails to see which tweaks work for you.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7270/t8_reviews_email_yotpo.png" alt="" width="615" height="443"></p> <h3>When is the best time to send a review request email?</h3> <p>According to Yotpo’s analysis of 4.5m emails:</p> <ul> <li>The best time is Saturday 8am.</li> <li>The worst time is Thursday 3pm.</li> </ul> <h3>Syndication of reviews</h3> <p>Syndication of reviews happens more regularly than most marketers would expect and certainly more often than most consumers would notice.</p> <p>There is a mutual benefit for the brand and retailer. It is in both their interest if product conversions on retailer sites are improved due to having more and better quality reviews and ratings.</p> <p>Research undertaken by Bazaarvoice among its customer base finds that some types of retailers are particularly heavily reliant on the syndicated reviews. For food, beverage and drug sites 98% of the volume of onsite reviews are syndicated; in pharmaceuticals 93% are syndicated and in footwear it’s 91%.</p> <p>Retailer dependency on syndication for reviews also varies by region. In APAC 81% of reviews are syndicated, in North America it’s 67% and in Europe 33% of reviews are syndicated.</p> <p>Companies will commonly syndicate reviews via a network of brands and retailers, operated by vendors such as Bazaarvoice, PowerReviews or Reevoo. These network providers will verify the reviews/reviewers and distribute to the brand pages on participating retailer sites. The networks also notify brands and or retailers when reviews have been posted, particularly negative ones, so the brand/retailer can respond.</p> <p>For example, if you checkout <a href="http://www.boots.com/electrical/electrical-dental/electric-toothbrushes" target="_blank">electric toothbrushes on Boots.co.uk</a> there are a variety of products from Philips, Colgate and Oral-B, some with hundreds of reviews.</p> <p>But closer inspection of the best sellers, shows that many of the 352 reviews for the <a href="http://www.boots.com/oral-b-pro-2000-rechargeable-electric-toothbrush-powered-by-braun-10176433" target="_blank">Braun Oral-B Genius</a> toothbrush are from the Oral-B site or Victoria.co.uk, which belongs to P&amp;G (the parent brand), though many are also from Boots shoppers. The majority of 194 reviews for <a href="http://www.boots.com/philips-sonicare-easyclean-hx6511-50-rechargeable-toothbrush-10090162" target="_blank">Philips Sonicare</a> brush are syndicated from Philips.co.uk (as shown below). Similarly the <a href="http://www.boots.com/colgate-pro-clinical-c350-max-white-one-electric-toothbrush-10176644" target="_blank">Colgate Pro Clinical</a> draws the majority of its 80 reviews from Colgate.co.uk.</p> <p>Some products by comparison have no reviews, including <a href="http://www.boots.com/electrical/electrical-dental/electric-toothbrushes/panasonic-ew-dl82-sonic-vibration-rechargeable-toothbrush-10176652" target="_blank">Panasonic Sonic Vibration</a> and <a href="http://www.boots.com/lab-chrome-sonic-rechargeable-toothbrush-10182106" target="_blank">LAB Chrome Sonic</a>, both products are found at the wrong end of the Boots bestsellers list. If the two brands wish to improve sales, a good place to start would be soliciting reviews from customers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7271/t8_reviews_philips_boots.png" alt="" width="615" height="575"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69028 2017-04-21T15:10:00+01:00 2017-04-21T15:10:00+01:00 10 tremendous digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <h3>UK search data shows surge in ‘snap election’ queries</h3> <p>Following on from the announcement of the snap general election this week, Hitwise has analysed how the UK responded online.</p> <p>Data shows there was a 2,000% increase in searches for Theresa May on print media sites, while three out of five searches on Tuesday 18th were about the election news. Most searches were in the form of questions, with the nation generally appearing unsure about what a ‘snap election’ actually means.</p> <h3>One fifth of retailers are failing to offer preferred delivery options</h3> <p><a href="http://ampersandcommerce.com/insights/yougov-consumer-survey-delivery-2017/" target="_blank">Research from Ampersand</a> has found that many of the UK’s biggest retailers are failing to offer next day delivery, despite a YouGov survey showing that 58% of people favour this method over any other.</p> <p>In comparison to 2014, Ampersand found that most people still favour next day delivery over click and collect and same day delivery, with preference for this increasing 6% within three years. </p> <p>Meanwhile, preference for same day delivery has gone from 21% in 2014 down to 12% this year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5625/Ampersand.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="492"></p> <h3>UK add-to-basket rates on the up in Q4</h3> <p>Monetate's latest <a href="http://info.monetate.com/ecommerce_report_EQ4_2016.html" target="_blank">ecommerce report</a> has revealed that UK add-to-basket rates were 3.75% higher in Q4 2016 than a year previously. </p> <p>The report also shows that both global and UK conversion rates were lower this Q4 than in 2015. However, global and UK conversion rates saw its first increase since Q4 of 2015.</p> <p>Meanwhile, website visits via mobile continued to increase globally, with 44% of UK website visits coming from smartphones.</p> <h3>75% of UK consumers have not spoken to a chatbot</h3> <p>New research from <a href="https://insights.ubisend.com/2017-chatbot-report" target="_blank">Ubisend</a> has uncovered the brand characters people would most like to see turned into chatbots. Compare the Market’s Meerkats topped the poll, followed by the Andrex puppies and Nespresso’s George Clooney. </p> <p>Other research found that 75% of UK consumers have not yet spoken to a chatbot, however, 57% of consumers are aware of what a chatbot is. </p> <p>Lastly, 35% want to see more companies adopting chatbots to solve their queries, with 68% citing ‘reaching the desired outcome’ as the most important factor in their experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5628/chatbots.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="297"></p> <h3>Expedia outperforms other travel brands with 7% market share</h3> <p>Conductor has released its first ever <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwis1ZyKnbXTAhXOaVAKHc0ZA4EQFggiMAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fww2.conductor.com%2Frs%2F149-ZMU-763%2Fimages%2FConductor-Organic-Online-Market-Share-Report-Holiday-2016.pdf&amp;usg=AFQjCNGO-bWF8Ak2EEpMJ7kZeecHFR3fjA" target="_blank">Organic Market Share</a> report, detailing the brands that excel at reaching consumers from organic search.</p> <p>In the travel category, Expedia was found to be the overall top performer, taking a 7% market share. Meanwhile, TripAdvisor dominates the ‘early stages’ of the consumer journey category with a 10% share. </p> <p>Data shows that airlines, car rental companies and hotel chains (including Hilton) have the potential to increase their visibility. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5627/Online_market_share.JPG" alt="" width="713" height="404"></p> <h3>Consumers prefer traditional advertising to digital</h3> <p>Research by Kantar Media has found that UK consumers feel significantly more positive about advertising on traditional platforms, such as TV and magazines, than they do about online formats.</p> <p>In a survey, 33% said they actively dislike seeing advertising on online video services and search engines, while 30% dislike being served ads in news and articles online. In contrast, only 13% and 14% of consumers dislike seeing ads in printed newspapers and printed magazines.</p> <p>With online ads predicted to account for more than half of all advertising spend in the next few years, this provides food for thought for brands.</p> <h3>Connected shopping driven by Generation Y </h3> <p>New research from Savvy suggests that the mass adoption of smartphones and social media has contributed to a fundamental change in the path to purchase.</p> <p>Data shows that Generation Y is driving changes in retail due to being constantly connected. 66% say they regularly use their smartphone to buy products and 49% regularly use their smartphones while in the supermarket. While this group represents around a third of shoppers at the moment, they are predicted to account for 47% by 2022.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5634/connected_shopper.jpg" alt="" width="680" height="453"></p> <h3>UK marketers increase budgets in 2017</h3> <p>According to data from the Q1 2017 <a href="http://www.ipa.co.uk/page/ipa-bellwether-report#.WPnTjtLyuUk" target="_blank">IPA Bellwether Report</a>, marketing budgets increased in Q1 2017 with significant growth seen in internet and main media advertising categories.  </p> <p>The report suggests that the overall outlook for 2017/18 is positive, with 26.1% of companies suggesting growth in total budgets for the coming year. Meanwhile, ad spend is now predicted to grow 0.6%, replacing the previous forecast of -0.7%.</p> <h3>Only 55% of Brits associate Easter with religion</h3> <p>New <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/news/2017/04/13/only-55-brits-associate-jesus-christ-easter/" target="_blank">research from YouGov</a> has found that Brits are more likely to think of Easter in relation to chocolate eggs than religious connotations. </p> <p>In a survey of 2,670 UK adults, only 55% said they personally associate Jesus with Easter, while 67% said they associate it with a bank holiday. Chocolate eggs is clearly at the forefront of everyone’s minds, with 76% associating this with Easter above anything else.</p> <p>In a separate study, Captify analysed found that Cadbury products dominate searches for chocolate eggs, with Crème Egg accounting for 29% of searches and Mini Eggs accounting for 18%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5626/YouGov.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="752"></p> <h3>Luxury ad spend predicted to shift online </h3> <p>Zenith's <a href="https://www.zenithmedia.com/product/advertising-expenditure-forecasts" target="_blank">latest report</a> suggests that expenditure on luxury advertising is set to recover, with growth predicted to occur due to an increase in online spend. Zenith predicts a 3.9% rise in 2017 – a welcome figure following a 0.5% decline in 2016.</p> <p>It also predicts that the internet will become the main luxury advertising medium in 2018, despite print currently being the principal medium, accounting for 32.7% of ad spend in 2016 compared to 25.8% for internet advertising.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68982 2017-04-21T09:59:55+01:00 2017-04-21T09:59:55+01:00 Five keys to managing your online reputation in Google search Marcus Tober <p>As so much of what people do online starts with search, a big part of managing your online reputation relates to search engines: trying to control and influence what appears when someone performs searches of your brand, key people and products and services.</p> <h4>It’s not just about driving out negative mentions</h4> <p>Most people assume that this is mainly about getting rid of negative content (such as in the UC Davis example) or pushing negative references lower while improving the rankings of positive material residing on your website or blog. But managing your online reputation goes beyond taking away negatives.</p> <p>You need to make sure that the information people are seeing about you is accurate, up to date and consistent across all regions and countries. And you should continually find ways of improving what appears so that it’s more engaging and paints a more desirable picture.</p> <p>Google decides what it shows in search engine results pages (SERPs) algorithmically based on hundreds of different factors. And the task for organisations who want to manage what appears for their brand is getting increasingly complicated.</p> <h4>It’s not just about the blue organic links in Google results</h4> <p>In addition to the traditional organic search results (the familiar blue links on search pages), Google now includes a whole array of other search real estate. Take a look at the image below which shows some of the elements that appear on page 1 for a brand search for “Netflix”. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5530/netlfix_search.jpg" alt="netflix search" width="800"></p> <p>So where do you start if you want to manage your online reputation in search? Here are five key considerations to inform your planning:</p> <h4>1. What SERP real estate are people seeing when they search for your brand?</h4> <p>First, it’s useful to conduct an audit of what people are seeing when they search for your brand keywords on Google and other search engines. In addition to the organic results there’s so many other elements that appear (as you can see from the Netflix example above). They range from universal search integrations (news, images, videos, maps, and shopping results) to<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64631-twitter-cards-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time-to-create-a-new-kind-of-web/"> Twitter cards</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66672-semantic-search-the-future-of-search-marketing/">Google Knowledge Graph</a>, as well as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">paid search results</a> and a lot more.</p> <p>And don’t forget that you need to analyse what appears according to region, country, device and search query intent as all these could throw up different results.</p> <h4>2. Of those SERP elements that appear for your brand, which can you reasonably expect to own or control?</h4> <p>You can definitely own or have control over what is on your website, your company blog, how you are represented in industry profiles, your social profiles such as your company Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube page. All of these can find their way into search results pages, so it’s important to take stock of what they are.</p> <h4>3. How do you communicate your brand in those parts of the SERPs you can expect to own and control?</h4> <p>Next you need to ensure that everything on the pages you own or can control is on message. Is all the content up to date? Does it highlight the positive things you want target audiences to know about your company? Is what you are saying consistent across all the different elements – including images, videos, online slide presentations?</p> <h4>4. How do you maximize the visibility in the SERPs of elements you own or can control?</h4> <p>How do you push the parts you own and control higher up the search rankings pages so they are visible for brand searches? This is a huge subject and one which usually falls under the remit of your SEO consultant. It includes making sure that your web pages and properties are technically optimised – paying attention to areas such as site speed, load time, site structure, internal linking - as well as optimising the content on individual pages and earning backlinks and mentions from other sites, all which have an impact on the performance of a domain in search results. </p> <h4>5. How can you influence the parts you don’t own and control?</h4> <p>There are many elements in the results you don’t own or cannot directly control that could rank in the SERPs for your brand. This includes other sites that mention your company ranging from competitors to partners, industry publications, blogs and online forums and review sites.</p> <p>While you can’t directly control what they publish, you do have some influence. If something is incorrect or out of date you can consider contacting the website owner or author and asking them to correct it.  If there is a negative forum or social media post you can respond to it.</p> <p>Going back to the search real estate other than the organic links – here too, there are things you can influence. Examples include:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Video results:</strong> the majority of video results integrated into the SERPs are from YouTube. Make sure you host your videos there and include clear meta tags and descriptions and upload transcripts to let Google know what they feature.</li> <li> <strong>Image results:</strong> ensure you optimise image assets on your website and social sites so they include brand search terms in captions, alt text and descriptions to increase their chances of appearing in image results. </li> <li> <strong>News results:</strong> have a media relations specialist managing the flow of company news to target media to influence the News results that show up when people search for your brand.</li> <li> <strong>Knowledge Graph:</strong> the Knowledge Graph (which appears on the right hand side of the SERP) is incredibly important. Much of the information it incorporates is taken from a brand’s website, social channels, Google My Business account and often from its Wikipedia listing.  You can influence it by ensuring logos, images, contact details, social profiles etc., are all correct and up to date.</li> <li> <strong>Site links:</strong> Google sometimes incorporates links to important pages on a brand’s website underneath the main organic blue link within the SERP. You can increase the chances that it incorporates site links to pages you want targets to see by creating a XML site map and using anchor text and alt text about those key pages that’s clear and informative.</li> </ul> <h4>In summary</h4> <p>Online reputation management in search should be on the agenda of every organisation that wants to have an online presence. It’s definitely not something that can be left to chance. Ideally you should devote time and resources to proactively cultivate it.</p> <p><strong><em>Now read:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65523-what-is-online-reputation-management-and-should-you-use-it/">What is online reputation management and should you use it?</a></em></strong></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3209 2017-03-21T12:29:05+00:00 2017-03-21T12:29:05+00:00 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing <p>Search Engine Optimisation [SEO] is becoming increasingly tricky - continuous innovations between the rival search engines, coupled with increased activity from your competitors, means that you have to identify the right strategy for your business to rank well.</p> <p>This SEO training course will enable you to build an organic search marketing strategy that will mean more of the right kind of visitors to your website, boost online conversions and stand out in today’s fiercely competitive online marketplace, ensuring the best possible return on investment.</p>