Most Popular Posts
We’ve had a quick look around the greater social web to see what other people are up to this Halloween and there’s some really cool stuff happening. In the United States, Halloween is one of the year’s most popular, fun holidays and it’s and exceptional point to leverage from when using social media for your campaigns.
Whether the campaign's aim is to increase revenue or raise brand awareness, taking the stiff aspect of business out of the mix and replacing it with Halloween makes for much easier convincing. Social media also just makes it so much easier to drive a message home.
IHOP’s Scary Face Pancake is their Halloween emblem and has been offered free to all patrons under 12 years old eating in-store on Halloween. A brand campaign of sweet proportions with the pay-off line, “all treat, no tricks” is a simple and fun way to get families into their stores on Halloween, but also to keep IHOP top of mind when it comes to family orientated outings. The campaign has been driven via their website, and pre-generated content on Facebook and Twitter and an event was set up on Facebook to keep fans in the loop.
Google’s (pretty awful) news about 100% “not provided” with regards to keyword referral data was a pretty solid blow to the collective stomach of SEO practitioners around the world. That “not provided” element in Google Analytics has always been a small bone of contention for many; obscuring data that relates to organic search and preventing SEOs from proving 100% that what they do is of value. However, even though the news is bad, as Ruth Burr states, if we are continuing to market our products online, we will always have a need for SEO. Search engines will still be the go-to place when looking for information on the web, so we can still use this platform to drive traffic to our sites. We might not be able to measure said traffic the way we used to, but perhaps we don’t need to – perhaps we need a different perspective.
We’ve looked at Ruth Burr’s post on “What is SEO now?” and have used it as a basis for this post. Mainly because her opinions are always valid, but also because she’s put a lot of time and thought into this piece and it really does shed some light on an otherwise dark situation.
If you follow SEO news, you already know that bad links are toxic. They poison your site, they can get you penalized, and they can sink your rankings. That's what the unnatural link penalty is about. That's what Penguin is about. Everybody knows this.
Could everybody be wrong?
Google's guidelines on manual actions clearly describe a penalty that exists for unnatural links to your site. So that's it, right? Links can count against you. Case closed. What more could you possibly say?
Well, sorry, it's just not that simple. (more…)
As we discussed last week, the key to growth isn't "viral sharing," it's audience retention. When it comes to your Twitter account, this means that getting more followers doesn't have as much to do with getting your content shared as you might think. Instead, it all about getting them to come back.
If it's not immediately clear why, let me explain. If you get a 20 percent lift on your initial audience through retweets and sharing, but you lose 20 percent of your initial audience each time you share, you get zero growth. But if you lose only 10 percent of your initial audience, you grow, and you grow exponentially.
A net 10 percent lift might not seem like much, but if you successfully did it 50 times, an audience of 100 would grow to 11,739. Do it 100 times, and that audience would grow to 1,378,061. If you could do it 200 times, your audience would be larger than the number of humans on planet Earth.
Unfortunately, most tweeters reach less than half a percent of their "followers." So how do you keep them coming back? It all starts with getting them to click.
Let's talk about how to do that. (more…)
Remember back when Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion? There was already speculation back then about advertising space creeping onto the social platform, but it has taken a while for it to become a “thing”. Facebook would have to make that money back in some way, so it was only a matter of time.
According to the Instagram blog, the 150 million user strong platform will soon be hosting adverts within each user’s feed in order to keep Instagram running as a sustainable business. This is set to roll out over the next few months.
If you can get your content shared, you'll make money, right? That's a fundamental assumption that drives countless digital marketing strategies. But is there any truth to it, and is there a better way?
Anybody with some background in SEO already knows that “sharing” in the form of a link drives traffic, and that this drives sales (when leveraged properly). I'm not even going to bother questioning this premise.
But there's another premise: the idea of “viral marketing.” This is the idea that social sharing can dramatically expand your reach as one person shares it with their friends, who go on to share it with their friends, and so on. It's an appealing idea, but things don't actually work that way. (more…)
Google turned 15 last week, and for their birthday they gave us a new algorithm! How kind. Hummingbird isn’t actually an update; it’s a complete replacement of the current algorithm, a major change last seen in 2001. The name was coined from Google thinking of it as “precise and fast”, much like the delicate and incessant motions of a Hummingbird. The new algorithm will enhance search for users across the globe by moving towards interpreting user intent rather than individual keywords.
With voice search features such as Siri, a lot has changed in the way that people find information, particularly on their mobile phones. With this in mind, Google has started looking at the various different ways in which people search and it’s definitely geared towards the massive uptake in mobile search.
Search has been evolving for a long time, always moving with the needs of the user. The Panda and Penguin updates have already taught us some lessons in how to best serve the user in terms of content and quality web experiences, now Hummingbird is the next step to ensuring that each user finds exactly what he or she wants or needs by interpreting their intent.
What separates the industry-leading SEOs from the bargain barrel ones? Everybody has their opinion, but a surprisingly off-the-radar joint study by Search Engine Land and Conductor puts their data where their mouth is. I have some reservations with the methodology (as usual), but it does help point us in the right direction.
Let’s take a look at the takeaways: (more…)
It’s no secret that Google is the kingpin when it comes to web search. “Google it” has become an everyday term and it’s the search engine of choice for the largest percentage of web users, worldwide. Bing has done whatever they can to step up to the plate, but even though they match up to Google in look-and-feel, functionality, features and they even sometimes come up tops for marketers in terms of their webmaster and keyword tools; the public prefer Google.
While Google’s positioning hasn’t been an issue for marketers in the past, it appears that soon it will be. If you’ve ever worked with any analytics software, you’ll know that many of the valuable search terms and data surrounding searches on Google have shown up as “not provided”. Meaning that Google masks that information so as to limit the amount of insight gained from their organic search traffic. Why would they do this? In the past, this has been because of users being logged into any of their Google accounts while searching the web so as to protect their privacy. Conspiracy theorists will claim that it’s because Google don’t want web owners to use SEO (unpaid) methods to direct users to their websites, but would rather encourage them to use PPC (pay per click advertising – paid) methods, because there are shareholders who need to be kept happy. By hiding the data that depicts the success of SEO marketing efforts, it makes it difficult to pinpoint where results are actually coming from.
"Now is the winter of our discontent."
As William Shakespeare wrote these famous words to begin Richard III, it's almost as if he was speaking to the SEO industry precisely at the current moment in time. As you've no doubt heard, Google made some major changes this past month that will affect the future of search engine optimization. After the "Keyword Not Provided" announcement and the Hummingbird update, it is more important than ever to have a multifaceted strategy for driving traffic to your website.
That's why we gathered up the best SEO, content marketing, and social media articles from September for you to enjoy. Whether you think Google's recent changes are good for the industry, which they may be, or you're running for the hills screaming, eventually "Keyword Not Provided" and the Hummingbird update will be yet another moment in the evolution of SEO. Just give us the winter.
The social network run by Google — the gateway to your business — is a game-changer. It ties together several Google products and delivers many rewards for brands. Vic Gundotra, the head of Google+, has said, “It’s really the unification of all of Google’s services, with a common social layer.” (more…)