tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/seo Latest SEO content from Econsultancy 2016-08-24T14:41:52+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68214 2016-08-24T14:41:52+01:00 2016-08-24T14:41:52+01:00 40% of banks in the US have registered a .bank domain Patricio Robles <p>Only verified banks and savings associations are permitted to register .bank domains, and registrants are required to adhere to "enhanced security" requirements, such as the use of strong encryption.</p> <h3><strong>So how is .bank doing?</strong></h3> <p><a href="http://www.bna.com/banks-flock-newbank-n73014446420/">According to</a> Bloomberg Law, 2,883 banks have registered nearly 6,000 .bank domains since the gTLD went live in mid-2015. </p> <p>fTLD Registry Services' Craig Schwartz says that that amounts to "a slightly better than 40% market penetration of banks that have bought .bank domain names" in the US.</p> <h3>Adoption versus use</h3> <p>Schwartz says that of the banks that have registered .bank domains, "a couple of hundred" have actually migrated to use a .bank domain.</p> <p>One such bank is Lead Bank, a three-branch bank located in Missouri, which migrated its website from leadbankonline.com to <a href="https://www.lead.bank/">lead.bank</a>.</p> <p>Lead Bank's marketing director, Melissa Beltrame, explained the rationale to Bloomberg Law's Paul Shukovsky:</p> <blockquote> <p>.bank allows differentiation of the bank from a branding perspective, a strategic perspective and a technology perspective. It’s the market perception that community banks lag and have less technology than national banks.</p> <p>It’s to our advantage to adopt .bank, which helps us to start changing that perception.</p> </blockquote> <p>Beltrame indicated that there were concerns about the effects the migration might have on the bank's brand equity, but that "clients understood why we were making the migration and came right along with that."</p> <p>She did not comment on any SEO effects.</p> <p>Despite the fact banks have been slow to put .bank domains into real-world use, fTLD Registry Services' Schwartz is confident that other banks will follow Lead Bank's lead and believes 2017 will be a "tipping point."</p> <p>In an effort to speed the process, Schwartz says his organization is working with banks to assist them with migration plans. </p> <h3>Low recognition of new TLDs a challenge despite security concerns</h3> <p>With hacking and identity theft on the rise, the security value proposition of the .bank gTLD is obvious.</p> <p>But banks considering a switch from .com to .bank will have to contend with comparatively low recognition of new gTLDs.</p> <p>While recognition is up in 2016 versus <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66557-new-top-level-domains-struggle-for-recognition/">2015</a>, awareness in North America is still well under 50% <a href="https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-2016-06-23-en">according to ICANN's latest study</a>, a far cry from the 95% awareness of .com. </p> <p>What's more, despite increased awareness, reported visits to new gTLDs have actually declined in the past year.</p> <p>Large banks like Barclays, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67789-five-companies-using-branded-top-level-domains-tlds-why/">which actually has its own brand TLDs</a>, .barclays and .barclaycard, might be able to overcome the recognition challenge.</p> <p>But expect smaller institutions, which don't have huge marketing budgets and may lack the technical expertise needed to ensure their website migrations go smoothly, to take a wait and see approach.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-08-24T09:35:00+01:00 2016-08-24T09:35:00+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 a B2B report) 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> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online 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, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where 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/68180 2016-08-17T15:24:00+01:00 2016-08-17T15:24:00+01:00 Are payday lenders prepared for Google’s paid search ban? James Perrott <p>Further to this, Google is also banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher in the US only. Ads sending you through to products where repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue are also banned. </p> <p><em>(UPDATE: As of the beginning of August 2016, the payday loan ban has still not been implemented by Google. There has been no official word as to why.)</em></p> <p>This ban was introduced as research showed to Google that these loans can result in ‘unaffordable payment and high default rates’, which results in users entering a dangerous spiral of unrepayable debt. </p> <p>So, what does this mean for websites and brands that are relying solely on paid ads to acquire business in this space?</p> <p>This niche has been one of the most fiercely fought SERPs in recent years, historically dominated by black hat SEOs.</p> <p>Because of this and the ‘spammy nature’ of queries, payday loans also saw the introduction of its own algorithm in 2013 to help improve the results provided by Google.</p> <p>To analyse the paid space, we have a proprietary tool called Market Defender which assesses current bidding strategy based on positions/impression share and outputs your ‘digital market share’ based on total volume of available impressions from the keyword/s positions.</p> <p>Below shows the share of voice within the paid payday loan space:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img1.png" alt="share of voice" width="976" height="686"></p> <p>By directly comparing this against the best-performing websites in the payday loan organic search niche, we’re able to then begin our analysis.</p> <p>To do this analysis, we’ve compiled 508 of the most competitive keywords within the space that has an estimated return of 403,857 visits if you were to rank first for each individual term.</p> <p>We have removed all aggregator websites such as uSwitch to focus purely on the lenders themselves.</p> <p>The chart below shows who these websites are:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img2.png" alt="competitive landscape" width="997" height="351"></p> <p>Broken down, we can see how each of the top performing websites in organic search is doing:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img3.png" alt="organic search ranking table" width="940" height="382"> </p> <p>Now by overlaying the top performing websites in paid with organic, we’re able to identify how the best performing paid websites do in both channels:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8138/Screen_Shot_2016-08-17_at_11.27.28.png" alt="" width="469" height="371"></p> <p>You can quickly identify that 11 of the 20 websites do not have over 100 visibility in organic search.</p> <p>This has to be a huge concern for these websites once Google's new policy eventually comes into place.  </p> <p>Looking at two important organic metrics - domain authority and number of referring domains - we can dive a little deeper into how these websites stand up to one another.</p> <p>The top 10 paid websites’ authority and number of referring domains can be seen below:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img4.png" alt="da and linking domains" width="1060" height="191"></p> <p>From this research it’s clear that quickquid.co.uk has had both paid and organic sewn up.</p> <p>In organic, the site doesn't have the highest authority, but does have the highest number of referring domains.</p> <p>QuickQuid is close to being the market leader in paid and is the clear market leader in organic search, so let’s look at which bits it's doing well.</p> <h3>Analysis of QuickQuid's performance</h3> <p>QuickQuid's link acquisition strategy is working well with links from websites such as inhabitant.com, lifehacker.com, lifehack.org, buzzfeed.com etc.</p> <p>It's generally assumed that distributing content about payday loans is difficult, but with the right strategy it can be simple.</p> <p>QuickQuid isn't limiting itself to payday lending, but day-to-day facts people are interested in, which is shareable and, most importantly, linkable!</p> <p>The method QuickQuid has most often utilised is infographic creation on topics that have huge human interest; lifestyle and the environment.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img5.png" alt="top referring content" width="940" height="476"></p> <p>An infographic on ‘Could the entire world really run on solar power’ appears to have done very well – its placement on inhabitant.com acquired 9,900 Likes alone on Facebook, as well as 31 referring domains into the placement, which in turn links through to QuickQuid. </p> <p>Another infographic on ‘How to create a spa day at home’ was included in a Buzzfeed article on making yourself a happier person.</p> <p>Lastly, there’s an infographic on ‘How many calories can you burn in 10 minutes’, which has been placed on lifehack.org and attracted 273 shares.</p> <p>Looking through the ‘<a href="https://www.quickquid.co.uk/quid-corner/">Quid Corner</a>’ blog, you’re able to quickly see that this is the company's main method of content creation and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67491-how-to-do-successful-link-building-on-a-startup-budget/">link acquisition</a>. </p> <p>This method is working in an impressive manner and is helping lift QuickQuid's website in a difficult niche. </p> <p>Following on from what is clearly working for QuickQuid, I ran a mini ideation session to better understand how the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">content strategy</a> might work for QuickQuid. </p> <p>This is a rundown of our ideation:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img6.png" alt="our ideation process" width="621" height="369"></p> <h3><strong>Content ideas</strong></h3> <p>Instead of veering too left field, we’ve tried keeping our ideas related to finance in some capacity.</p> <p>Below are the ideas, as well as content types we created.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8168/ideation.png" alt="" width="635" height="643"></p> <h3><strong>Content campaign plan</strong></h3> <p>Below shows a potential content distribution plan that would take place over three months. It shows the different teams required to make it happen, as well as ensuring good content flow is achieved. </p> <p>Constantly posting infographics may become tiring for your audience, so it's important to mix up the content formats. This varies from short form blogs to quizzes. </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/img7.png" alt="campaign timeline" width="1028" height="566"></p> <h3>In summary...</h3> <p>The analysis shows that 12 of the 20 websites are going to massively struggle once the ban is in place due to having next to zero visibility in organic search.</p> <p>If it was a quick method of making money via paid acquisition, that’s fine, but if these websites want longevity, they’re going to have to begin looking at an organic strategy, and <em>fast</em>.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68102 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 Why there should be more plaudits for digital audits Chris Bishop <p>Those at the top of organisations don’t feel they have the strategic sweep to justify the time and effort required to commission them.</p> <p>Audits are viewed at times as a little “too tactical” or only done once every blue moon by agencies aiming to impress for your business, only to then collect dust on top of Econsultancy buyers guides print outs or even your old New Media Age magazines (<strong>Ed</strong>: We let this lie, but only to show we have a sense of humour).</p> <p>For the in-house Head of Ecommerce, requesting a digital audit might sound dangerously like a turkey voting for Christmas. </p> <h3>Are we selling audits wrongly?</h3> <p>Or is it the slightly cheesy marketing of website or marketing auditors themselves that is putting people off?</p> <p>All that tired ‘digital health check’ stuff might be the kind of foot in the door tactic that make brands feel suspicious of then giving access to their precious AdWords account, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">affiliate network</a> or analytics suite.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7503/healthcheck.jpeg" alt="health check" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>How important are digital audits anyway?</h3> <p>In reality, though, digital audits are absolutely vital. And third party objective auditing ensures that you’re not marking your own home work or ignoring long term problems.</p> <p>Proper auditing, UX testing and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67473-seven-conversion-rate-optimization-trends-to-take-advantage-of-in-2016/">CRO analysis</a> means you can elongate the lifetime and effectiveness of your website and digital media activity, in a way that can be done on any budget.</p> <p>Your digital real estate is often an expensive investment - you’ve got to maintain it properly to get results.</p> <h3>Regular servicing is vital</h3> <p>Think of that shiny new website you’ve just spent months developing as a new car you’ve just acquired.</p> <p>To start off with, it’s the envy of everyone who sees it. After-sales support is pretty good and you can see years of trouble free motoring ahead of you. Before you know it, though, your warranty is up and you’re on your own.</p> <p>As the car ages, small problems become big problems. It performs less effectively. You’re paying for petrol, but it’s becoming less and less economical to run. There are so many things going wrong with it you don’t know where to start. Eventually the car's value is so diminished you might as well scrap it and buy a new one.</p> <p>It’s the same with websites and digital marketing campaigns. They can’t be left to look after themselves – and even the mechanic themselves might need some fine tuning or training themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7504/service-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="car service" width="380"></p> <h3>What a digital audit can do for you </h3> <p>Audits can show you how to balance your budget more effectively through action and prioritisation. They can identify common issues like plateaus in activity and drop offs in acquisition; all the elements that reduce profitability. </p> <h3>The Lessons of the Audit</h3> <p>Constantly learn, constantly improve, constantly trade! A timely and constructive audit will help you:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up to date with the latest channel trends - Google changes, new publishers in affiliate, new platform or techniques for social. </li> <li>Use competitor analysis to keep your enemies close! It’s crucial to analyse and understand market share/spend and its consequences for your brand. </li> <li>Help you (re)define your goals.</li> <li>Confirm your objectives or KPIs so you can measure success.</li> <li>Understand new opportunities.</li> <li>Benchmark improvements or conversely measure areas of decline.</li> <li>Ensure corporate compliance – its best practice to have someone external “rubber stamp” your activity.</li> <li>Encourage serendipity – the uncovering of that nugget of information that transforms your understanding and makes the commercial difference.</li> </ul> <h3>Should you take the plunge?</h3> <p>Regular and skilled digital auditing is a detailed and never ending task.  It can transform the effectiveness of your digital advertising, website and budget.  </p> <p>Is it sexy? It’s showing your website a lot of love and attention. It’s optimizing and maximizing your marketing profitability and performance. Sounds pretty sexy to me.</p> <p><em>More on auditing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68031-answering-the-key-question-of-content-auditing-where-do-i-start/">Answering the key question of content auditing - where do I start?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68040 2016-07-19T13:40:00+01:00 2016-07-19T13:40:00+01:00 Five digital strategy tips for mono-brands that wholesale and sell direct to consumer Ben Potter <p>For many businesses, the wholesale route allows the brand to build awareness via retail partners, such as department stores, but at the expense of margin and the ability to form a direct relationship with the end customer.</p> <p>At some stage, the brand will decide the time is nigh to create a direct proposition. However, this presents a number of challenges in the digital marketing space that are often not understood or properly considered from the outset.</p> <p>Having worked with a number of mono-brands over the years, here are a few things we’ve observed and helped them overcome:</p> <h3>1. You must give people a compelling reason to buy direct</h3> <p>By the time a typical mono-brand goes direct, they are likely to have a number of well-known, trusted stockists selling their wares online (normally with much deeper pockets).</p> <p>This means that the mono-brand is, in effect, competing against themselves online, via those stockists. The customer is therefore presented with choice as to where they buy that brand.</p> <p>Last year, we <a href="http://www.leapfrogg.co.uk/froggblog/2015/07/insight-edit-consumers-favour-multi-brand-retailers-over-single-brands/" target="_blank">questioned our consumer panel</a> on this very topic - <strong>89% of respondents stated they favoured buying from multi-brand retailers over single-brand sites.</strong></p> <p>When pressed a little further, of those that preferred buying from single brand sites, 71% stated it was because the brand makes them feel more valued as a customer.</p> <p>Added value is therefore the key to driving conversion on the brand site - the promise that if a customer buys direct, they are buying into more than just the product itself.</p> <p>This is where the brand has an advantage. Getting to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67526-how-retail-marketers-can-ensure-they-deliver-the-right-customer-experience/" target="_blank">know the customer intimately</a>, what it is they value and then delivering on this is something that a multi-brand retailer, such as John Lewis, <strong>cannot replicate, at scale, for each and every brand they stock. </strong>Some get the specialist treatment but even then the breadth of content is fairly limited.</p> <p>For example, despite Levi’s being a ‘featured brand’ on the John Lewis website, content is limited to a brief overview of the brand, a few images and a men’s fit guide (strangely, in the women’s section with a link that didn’t work at the time of writing).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7209/Capture.jpg" alt="John Lewis Levi's category page" width="526" height="489"></p> <p><br> Ultimately, as THE brand, you need to be able to answer (and act upon) one, fundamental question;</p> <p><strong><em>‘Why would someone buy from our site as opposed to an established multi-brand retailer?’</em> </strong></p> <p>If you can’t, then you need to go back to the drawing board.</p> <h3>2. Make it your mission to ‘own’ organic search results for brand terms</h3> <p>The remit of an ecommerce manager is to grow the direct channel, which of course yields a number of benefits compared to the wholesale model (control, acquiring data, building a relationship with the end customer and so on).</p> <p>Search will be a key part of the strategy. <strong>Occupying as much of the search ‘real estate’ for brand terms, as possible, should be the aim.</strong></p> <p>To what extent you can do so will ultimately depend on how many retailers stock your products and how sophisticated their natural search strategies are. The more stockists you have, the more competitive the search results are likely to be for brand terms.</p> <p>Utilising site links, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64778-what-is-schema-markup-and-why-should-you-be-using-it/">schema mark-up</a>, My Business pages, reviews, social media profiles and optimising rich-media assets, such as images and video, are just some of the means by which you can occupy a greater share of the search results for brand terms, at the expense of stockists, as highlighted by Sony below:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7211/Capture3.png" alt="Sony Google search result" width="532" height="597"></p> <p><br> Please note, there is often a balancing act between aggressively growing the direct channel and keeping stockists on side. Stealing share from stockists is inevitable so needs to be carefully managed.</p> <h3>3. You will almost certainly have to pay for brand PPC traffic</h3> <p>Assuming stockists are present in paid search and bidding on your brand name, you will have to do likewise. There are a million and one articles debating the pros and cons of bidding on your own brand terms so I won’t repeat those arguments.</p> <p>Instead, a slightly different take on the issue, born out of a recent client conversation. Despite the presence of some fairly small but aggressive stockists, the client in question was determined not to bid on their brand terms, due to two questionable assumptions.</p> <p>Firstly, they felt that searchers would, by default, seek out their organic listing. Some no doubt will.</p> <p>However, we demonstrated that other searchers were distracted by a compelling ad from one of their stockists and therefore didn’t even think about scrolling down to find the brands organic listing. Opportunity lost.</p> <p>Secondly, they assumed that if somebody searched for their brand, then that searcher would go onto purchase one of their products (whether direct or via a stockist). However, with some qualitative insight, this was proven not always to be the case.</p> <p>The presence of a multi-brand retailer meant that some were distracted by the greater choice on offer, going onto buy a different brand altogether. Again, opportunity lost.</p> <p><strong>By being present in the paid listings, ideally by being as aggressive as you can to own the number one position, you give yourself the greatest chance of getting the click.</strong></p> <p>This is especially important on mobile where it is common for only ads to appear ‘above the fold’.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7210/capture2.png" alt="Search results on mobile" width="330" height="583"><br> </p> <p>Therefore, paid search is increasingly the only way in which you can guarantee a presence on the devices searchers are most likely to be using and where they are most likely to click. Don’t leave money on the table.</p> <h3>4. Getting the price right is more important than ever</h3> <p>We worked with a brand where you could consistently purchase many of their products from a well-known high street retailer for 30% less than the price on the brand site. But we were tasked with significantly growing direct revenue. Errr…</p> <p>Consumers are savvier than ever. <strong>With the prominence of Google Shopping listings, price information is thrust upon eager searchers without them even having to click.</strong></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7212/Capture4.png" alt="Nike Internationalist shopping results" width="481" height="231"><br> <br>Whilst some consumers will of course buy from the brand site and be loyal in doing so again in the future, others won’t give two hoots where they purchase. In fact, if I can buy your product at the same time as all the other stuff on my John Lewis ‘wish list’, all the better.</p> <p>Whilst you cannot dictate the prices your stockists choose to sell at, you need to be aware of their pricing strategy and be agile enough to react should you choose to, particularly during sale periods.</p> <p>It was put to me by a brand in the past that “our stockists can have those ‘sale only’ customers”. Fair enough but I’d always prefer to acquire any customer direct, sale only or not, and nurture the relationship.</p> <p>This brings to light an interesting point regarding loyalty. It should not be measured only in monetary terms. We have discovered that some of our clients’ most loyal customers are not necessarily those that spend the most money.</p> <p>Perhaps these customers can only afford to shop with the brand once or twice a year. However, they are the ones that shout the most about their purchase, something that is often not measured or harnessed.</p> <p>You therefore need to look beyond financial data and models, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix/" target="_blank">RFM</a> when it comes to understanding loyalty.</p> <h3>5. Make sure your direct and wholesale teams are talking to one another</h3> <p>I spoke to a premium menswear brand last year looking to grow their direct channel. ‘Super!’ I thought, we can help. However, as we dug a little deeper, we soon realised it was going to be a huge challenge.</p> <p>We discovered that the wholesale team had some pretty aggressive targets of their own, meaning they were selling into an ever-increasing number of retailers. Worse still, many of these retailers were at the lower end of the market, damaging brand perception.</p> <p>The direct team also had some rather juicy numbers to hit for the next financial year. But nobody internally had joined the dots, namely that the direct team would find themselves gradually hamstrung by increased competition in search as stockists optimised their sites and bid on brand terms.</p> <p>This highlights how <strong>the wholesale and direct strategy have to be working in unison.</strong></p> <p>Growing both channels simultaneously is possible but requires careful planning, great communication and an understanding of how the two will play out online, especially in search. </p><p><strong>Have you worked with or for a mono-brand? What challenges did you experience? Please feel free to share below.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68031 2016-07-19T12:14:01+01:00 2016-07-19T12:14:01+01:00 Answering the key question of content auditing: Where do I start? Michael Hewitt <h3>Existing content</h3> <p>When it comes to investment in content marketing, it isn’t a huge surprise that much of it goes on producing new content, new material and new campaigns.</p> <p>Plenty of marketers will talk at length about how much content they are producing, how packed their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64587-eight-free-content-calendar-templates-to-help-plan-your-output/">editorial calendars </a>are and how they are preparing to launch their “next big campaign”, but what about the content that they already have?</p> <p>Content marketers are focused so heavily on producing new content that meets the evolving needs of both their audiences and the expectations of search engines, that they are neglecting to ensure that their existing content does likewise. </p> <h3>A daunting prospect</h3> <p>The phrase “content audit” conjures up many feelings, and few of them positive. </p> <p>For many, it is a laborious process that involves hours upon hours, days upon days or even weeks upon weeks of manual review, fiddling around in analytics, and identifying gaps in coverage. It’s not, for many, the most enthralling responsibility in the job description.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6721/content-audit.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="300"></p> <p>Even if you do manage to conduct a thorough audit, it can often be difficult to force through changes on key brand pages due to the influence of various stakeholders, compliance issues and various other obstacles.</p> <p>Many also find the results and impact of a content audit difficult to measure, and so decide to focus their efforts elsewhere.</p> <p>But content auditing is something that needs to be a prominent and regular part of not only your content marketing strategy, but your wider digital marketing strategy.</p> <p>Just think about how many search algorithm updates that there may have been, how many new devices have been launched and how many new media platforms have emerged since you last reviewed your content – that could be quite a sobering realisation. </p> <h3>The case for a content audit</h3> <p>The ultimate purpose of any content audit is to understand how your content is performing, how it is delivering for your customers and what value it is providing. </p> <p>There are plenty of both tangible and intangible measurements for successful content, but this doesn’t necessarily confirm that content is useful, relevant or could be considered ‘quality’ by most reasonable measures.</p> <p>You could, for instance, use social shares as a measurement of quality content but, in doing so, it’s likely that you’ll reach conclusions that, whilst they may drive engagement, don’t necessarily drive a commercial return. Providing content that your audiences will engage with is undoubtedly a starting point but, and I hate to break this to you, human beings may not always be the best judges of quality.</p> <p>What your content audit is ultimately about is ensuring that every piece of content on your site is making some form of contribution to improving conversion rates, search visibility, user experience, and relevance.</p> <p>Get it right and you could even start stealing that prized <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66672-semantic-search-the-future-of-search-marketing">Google Knowledge Graph</a> real estate. </p> <h3>The manual approach</h3> <p>If you’re in a position where you are managing a relatively small site with a handful of pages, then manual content auditing might not be such a hardship.</p> <p>Starting with your URL and keywords, you can start to build a picture of where your brand ranks for these key terms, which pages consistently rank for those key terms, and how your competitors perform. </p> <p>It is then down to you to make a human assessment of each of these pages, and you can look at multiple factors to judge <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66971-a-content-manager-s-practical-guide-to-doing-just-enough-seo/">how well optimised your pages are for search</a>, and how they contribute to the user journey. These factors could include URL optimisation, title tags, meta description, ‘H-tag’ optimisation and hierarchy, keyword coverage and word count.</p> <p>You can then add layers of insight from Google Analytics, social monitoring tools and start to understand how these pages contribute to the customer search journey.</p> <p>Are there pages that are haemorrhaging traffic through unusually high exit rates? If so, this page might not adequately serve the customer search query. </p> <p>With only this very top-level and basic approach to content, you can already start to understand just how much time that you're going to have to spend with your head in an Excel spreadsheet, and why many marketers are reluctant to run a manual content audit at any sort of scale.</p> <h3>A scientific approach</h3> <p>But content auditing doesn’t have to be such a daunting prospect, and it is possible to take a more scientific, algorithmic approach to content auditing.</p> <p>At Stickyeyes we use SCOT (<a href="http://www.stickyeyes.com/content-optimisation-tool/">Stickyeyes Content Optimisation Tool</a>), to look at content in the same way that a search engine may look at it, and identify key areas of success and areas for improvement. In short, addressing that critical first hurdle – where to start.</p> <p>The factors we consider include technical elements, such as keyword coverage, meta data and the use of header tags, as well as engagement factors for which there is evidence of a correlation with higher search rankings – factors such as bounce rate, time on page, social engagement and brand awareness for example.</p> <p>For those with sizable websites, this kind of process can be invaluable in understanding just where to focus effort and resource. Here is just one example of a typical output for a printing brand that we ran through the tool. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6722/graph1.jpg" alt="" width="668" height="276"></p> <p>What we can see clearly is that whilst the brand in this example does have some strong content optimisation scores, in excess of 85%, there are a number of revenue-driving keywords for which the domain scores poorly – notably “cheap leaflet printing”, “cheap flyers”, and “cheap flyer printing”.</p> <p>Evidently, this brand has struggled to provide content for search terms with a “cheap” prefix and this therefore provides some direction for their content review.</p> <p>Of course, it may be that the brand sees itself as a quality brand and therefore may not want to specifically target search terms such as “cheap” and “low cost”, but the level of insight provided allows the brand to make that decision.</p> <h3>Identifying the quick wins</h3> <p>Of course, any content appraisal and audit needs to have a degree of human intervention, but what this algorithmic approach does is allow us to automate large parts of the process and using this insight, content managers can start to make some key decisions and prioritise their actions. </p> <p>There are, in this example, a number of pages that score highly and, with a few minor tweaks, can potentially drive further value. These are what we would classify as “quick wins”. </p> <p>Of course, it isn’t simply enough to throw a few keyword-heavy paragraphs into the page in the hope that Google will deem that to be more relevant, but we can now start considering how we can enhance the user experience for these pages and these terms.</p> <p>It may be that we create specific content for these terms, we may change the site structure to make our existing pages more prominent, or we may actually decide to remove certain pages to focus traffic on more valuable pages.</p> <p>What we are essentially trying to do is enhance the user journey rather than hinder it; and there are different ways to do that depending on the circumstances. </p> <p>This process makes it easier to run audits on a more regular basis, allowing you to monitor the success of any changes that you do make, understand the contribution that your new content is making and identify the next key actions for your optimisation strategy. If something appears to be having an adverse effect, this can be identified and rectified very quickly. </p> <h3>The impact on search</h3> <p>We have been using this approach for a number of brands and what we have found is that as we continually work on improving our content scores within SCOT, we have experienced increased visibility within organic search. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6723/graph2.jpg" alt="" width="814" height="336"></p> <p>Of course, what we can’t do is isolate the impact of these content amendments from the various other elements of activity that may have been undertaken to improve search performance, but there is evidence of a strong correlation between the quality of on-page content and search rankings. </p> <p>And it is important to stress that whilst we may be looking to introduce an algorithmic approach to content auditing, this shouldn’t be mistaken as an algorithmic approach towards content creation.</p> <p>What we are trying to do here is to ensure that our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67605-why-content-marketing-isn-t-seo-and-why-seo-isn-t-just-content/">content strategies plug key gaps</a> in what our audiences are looking for, but this shouldn’t turn content creation and optimisation into little more than a box ticking exercise. </p> <p>What matters above all else is that your brand is still providing value to the end user and delivering the best possible experience. Adding a layer of technical competence helps to deliver that user experience, but is also valued by search engines as they look to deliver the most relevant results. </p> <p><a href="http://www.stickyeyes.com/content-optimisation-tool%20">Try the latest version</a> of SCOT for free.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising *to be published soon*</li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67940 2016-06-10T14:39:00+01:00 2016-06-10T14:39:00+01:00 10 grin-inducing digital marketing stats we've seen this week Ben Davis <p>For more stats, as ever, we urge you (all together now), 'check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/">Internet Statistics Compedium</a>'.</p> <h3>US app downloads down 20% YoY</h3> <p>May 2015 saw downloads for the top 15 app publishers drop an average of 20% in the US.</p> <p>Globally, these 15 apps are faring better, with an average growth in downloads of 3%.</p> <p>The research from Nomura and <a href="http://www.recode.net/2016/6/8/11883518/app-boom-over-snapchat-uber">reported by Recode</a> shows the extent to which Snapchat and Uber are exceptions to the rule of negative or minimal growth (see chart below).</p> <p>Both more than doubled their downloads last month, year-on-year.</p> <p>Globally, the mobile phone market is still growing, so the app market is as well. But not by much.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5949/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.03.47.png" alt="app downloads" width="615" height="438"></p> <h3>Time in app also stuttering</h3> <p>The bad news for apps doesn't stop there. People are spending less time in their social media apps overall.</p> <p><a href="https://www.similarweb.com/blog/social-media-usage">SimilarWeb</a> looked at Android apps, comparing Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. Across the four major social platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, time in app for Android users has decreased.</p> <p>The chart below shows this phenomenon for the Facebook app, likely influenced by spending more time in Messenger.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5958/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.42.11.png" alt="app time down" width="500"></p> <h3>The mobile display advertising landscape</h3> <p>IHS and Facebook produced <a href="https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t39.2365-6/12427056_897682517015706_590297266_n.pdf">some research</a> on this back in March, but I've only just come across the results.</p> <p>The charts are compelling, so I've reproduced two of my favourites here.</p> <p>The first shows Facebook's domination of mobile display advertising (44%) and the second shows how much of overall display is on mobile (76%).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5952/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.27.19.png" alt="global mobile advertising" width="615"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5953/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.27.04.png" alt="mobile advertising globally" width="615"></p> <h3>Vote Leave beating Stronger In for website visits</h3> <p>VoteLeaveTakecontrol.org has seen 373,000 visits to its website in the past 28 days from the UK, compared to 185,000 visiting Strongerin.co.uk.</p> <p>The information comes from more research by SimilarWeb.</p> <h3>EU referendum top searches</h3> <p>Sticking with the UK's lengthy referendum debate, Hitwise has studied the online behaviour of 3m Britons, across the four weeks ending May 28, 2016.</p> <p>The results show top keywords included in searches for relevant referendum terms.</p> <p><em>Top keywords included in searches for ‘EU Referendum’ and ‘Brexit’</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5943/brexit_1.png" alt="keywords for brexit searchers" width="271" height="228"></p> <p><em>Top keywords included in searches for ‘EU Leave’ and ‘EU Stay’</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5944/brexit_2.png" alt="eu referendum searches" width="233" height="225"></p> <h3>Football brands</h3> <p>Brand Finance delivers <a href="http://brandirectory.com/league_tables/table/football-50-2016">an annual study</a> that calculates the brand value of the world's top soccer clubs.</p> <p>You can check out the top 10 below. Other headlines as follows:</p> <ul> <li>Leicester’s brand value is up 132%, making it the fastest growing football club brand.</li> <li>Manchester United remains the most valuable football brand, worth £1.17bn, despite failing to qualify for the Champions League.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5957/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.38.30.png" alt="football brands" width="615"></p> <h3>Keep social honest </h3> <p>A growing number of people cannot distinguish between marketing and non-commercial content.</p> <p>That worrying finding comes from the CIM's intriguingly titled study '<a href="http://www.cim.co.uk/more/keep-social-honest/">Keep Social Honest</a>'.</p> <p>3,000 social media users were surveyed and had the following to say (some of these stats seem like they'd be difficult to prove):</p> <ul> <li>A quarter (25%) have seen a brand fake an online review (compared to 17% in 2014).</li> <li>21% have seen a brand pay or incentivise customers to share positive comments on social media without making this clear to other users (up from 14% in 2014).</li> <li>16% have seen brands pay someone to promote a product or service without disclosing the payment (also up from 14% in 2014).</li> </ul> <p>More stats from the study can be seen in the infographic below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5960/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.51.07.png" alt="keep social honest" width="615" height="586"></p> <h3>SEO in financial services</h3> <p>40% of the top five rankings in Google's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">organic search</a> results for financial services are aggregators, according to new <a href="https://www.equimedia.co.uk/work/whitepapers/seo-financial-services">research</a> by Equimedia.</p> <p>Over 3,000 keywords were analysed across the main financial services markets.</p> <p>Across most categories, aggregator sites such as MoneySuperMarket occupy the top two positions in organic search. </p> <p>Consumer advice services are second in prominence, as shown in the table below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5951/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.22.04.png" alt="financial seo" width="615"></p> <p>To understand the value of the rankings, Equimedia calculated a score for each site based on search volume and using a click bias weighting to account for higher ranking getting better clickthrough.</p> <p>The results of this scoring are shown below (for the current account and mortgages category) - as you can see, moneysavingexpert.com tops both of these tables.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5950/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.22.49.png" alt="financial seo" width="615"></p> <h3>Effectiveness of media spend</h3> <p>Display advertising doesn't come off too well, looking at the chart below taken from the Econsultancy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/media-budgets-index/">Media Budgets Index</a>, in association with Datalicious.</p> <p>TV and point-of-sale are out in front as the most effective channels as regards return on media spend.</p> <p>These results are caveated with the fact that 34% of respondents said they did not use attribution to track the value of marketing channels.</p> <p>A further 22% said they didn't know if they attributed success or that it wasn't relevant.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5453/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_08.26.52.png" alt="effectiveness of channels" width="615" height="608"></p> <h3>Most popular iOS apps</h3> <p>A last piece of app news, from <a href="http://blog.appannie.com/wwdc-most-used-ios-apps-april-2016/%20">research</a> by App Annie.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger, Amazon and Snapchat top the charts of quickest growing iOS apps in the US.</p> <p>With Snapchat's number of daily active users recently overtaking Twitter's, the platform seems well poised.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger, too, is set to grow further, especially on Android, where Facebook has recently removed Messenger from within the main Facebook app, to encourage users to switch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5948/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_10.54.26.png" alt="app usage" width="450"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/818 2016-06-07T12:21:36+01:00 2016-06-07T12:21:36+01:00 SEO: Trends, Data and Best Practice <p>Exclusive to our Enterprise and Small Business subscribers, Econsultancy's Trends Webinar for November looks at the latest trends, data and best practice within SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This insight comes from Econsultancy's own latest research along with collated third-party data and statistics.</p> <p>This session will be hosted by Sean Donnelly, Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/2951 2016-05-11T09:51:31+01:00 2016-05-11T09:51:31+01:00 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing - Singapore <p><strong style="color: #000000;">Learn the Best Practices of SEO Marketing From UK's Top Digital Marketing Research &amp; Training Company!</strong></p> <p>This intensive 2-day course enables you to plan and build an organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The right SEO strategy brings the right kind of visitors to your website, boosts online conversions and helps you stand out in the fiercely competitive online space. The course also gives you the latest updates on the increasingly tricky nature of SEO as search engine continuously innovates and online competition heats up.</p>