Following the presentation & design theme this week – I’ve stumbled across three noteworthy presentation design firms / designers – that also have great stuff to share (you understand how critical good design is with presentations, branding, marketing, content – when you see it). Take a peek…
Scott Brinker of @chiefmartec has done it again – further updating his Marketing Technology Landscape infographic / map. I love this infographic for two reasons; (1) if I ever need to see what companies are providing services in a certain area, I just have to zoom in 15x, and (2) it gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger every year.
The real lesson out of all of this is that if you – as a business – have to rely on a graph like this to get traffic / customers – instead of showing up on page 1 search results for a simple, topical search keyword – you have a SEO problem.
Thanks to Melissa Mackey with SEW for mentioning some of the not-so-obvious PPC / SEM / Paid Search tools out there that make life more, well… fun (aka – giving you the time back in your day so that you can actually go off the grid for a minute or two). She highlights 23 free tools like;
- Uber Suggest (keyword suggestions outside of keyword planner)
- Soovle (search results on various engines)
- Convertable (lead source & keyword tracking)
…and more in her article on SEW.
Gartner is a powerhouse when it comes to research and understanding the vendor / tool / platform / provider landscape, similar to Forrester. What I love most is their use (or the way that they’ve branded the standard competitive landscape quadrant) into Gartner’s Magic Quadrant. Now, if only it actually worked magically, I would give it a bit more credit. When evaluating any supplement to your business, it’s helpful to get a bird’s eye view on what all of your options look like with this ‘tool’ and it’s definition of;
For those uncomfortable conversations that you need to have with executives that don’t understand how search works (or those that don’t know that ‘natural’ / organic search results aren’t really 100% natural) – Google’s found a way to make that akward convo more entertaining with Inside Search & How Search Works. Everything from how search engines (particularly Google) crawl, index sites, how their algorithm ‘works’, fighting spam, and cool toys in the ‘playground’ area (with some oldies and goodies) – and some tips & tricks on how to make life, well… easier.
Interesting report released recently by Digital Marketing Depot as a Marketer’s Guide to Enterprise SEO Platforms in 2015. This brings up the case that any platform would be useless without the team needed to assess and interpret the data, implement changes, and develop content around a solid content marketing strategy.
So – a SEO platform is really only one piece to the SEO puzzle, whereby most top SEO agencies these days give you access to these very same platforms at a reduced cost, or as part of their cost, similar to the same cost of the platform itself. SEO Strategists, Analysts, Tools, Content Dev, Link Building, Reporting Management = Agency Team, where even the… Cost of an Agency Team & Tools = Cost of a Single SEO Platform.
Still – SEO platforms are worth reviewing, just to stay on top of what’s available in the marketplace;
Google did it again – they’ve built another great tool to help geeks like me spend hours delving through all of the research they’ve managed to attain and present in a nice, simple, interactive format (that’s a case study in itself!). This time, with the Consumer Barometer, where you can explore key findings from research or build your own graphs with data collected around;
- The Multi-Screen World
- The Smart Shopper
- The Smart Viewer
For instance, in studying The Smart Viewer, asking the question, “how often do people watch videos on their smartphone?”
Testing, testing, testing. One thing reigns true – with marketing, everything is a test – as part of active, ongoing optimization to constantly improve ROI performance (that should be in a stuffy ‘Marketing 101’ book somewhere). Erin Everhart with SEW pulled together a nice list on UX tools we should all embrace – with a few I added from experience;
- UserTesting.com (Cost: $49, Priority: Necessity)
- SurveyMonkey (Cost: FREE – $65/mo.)
- Google Consumer Surveys (Cost: $.10 – $3.50/ea.)
- Invision Prototyping and Design (Cost: FREE – $100/mo.)
- Visual Website Optimizer Prototyping (Cost: FREE to $129/mo.)
- Usability Hub Testing Tools (Cost: $20/mo+)
- Optimal Workshop Testing Tools (Cost, FREE)
- ClickTale Click Tracking (Cost: FREE)
- Monetate Multi-Channel Personalization (Cost: TBD)
- CrazyEgg Eye Tracking (Cost: $9-99/mo.)
- Qubit Personalization Testing (Cost: TBD)
10 points to Google for incorporating a Justin Timberlake look-alike in the homepage visual on Consumer Surveys (they’ve obviously been testing & personalizing that page just for me).
Great for large and small businesses alike – Creads – a crowdsourced creative agency for all the little things in marketing that mean so much: brands, logos, business cards, brochures.
Finally, Facebook is taking a step ahead with the release of its new Ad Relevance Tool (rating 1-10) for advertisers. We knew they’d get here eventually – as we’ve seen that;
Quality Content (Creative) = Higher Engagement = Lower CPMs
This move appears to be the latest way Facebook is trying to get a grip on the firehose of content flooding people’s news feeds. Last year the company moved closer to a pay-to-play model for brands to communicate with people on Facebook, which made room in people’s feeds for posts from friends and family. But heated as the competition may be to freely take up space in people’s feeds, things are also heating up on the paid side.
For the past two years, the average price for a Facebook ad has been on a steep incline, while the number of ads the company serves has dropped. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Facebook’s average price-per-ad rose by 335%, and the number of ads it served fell by 65%.
Conductor (a top-notch SEO analysis & reporting tool) provides some valuable tools that help to visualize the Opportunity and ROI with SEO tactics – (#1) over time & in comparison with other tactics, (#2) from a market share / potential perspective, (#3) revenue growth, and (#4) growth over time. Great tools for forecasting available, too.
Logbar’s RING was successfully funded in kickstarter earlier this year, and with a disappointing launch of the iPhone watch, has quickly found a place in my heart. OR – on my finger. To be able to control something with the wave of a finger sounds like something straight out of Harry Potter (so naturally, I can’t wait to get my hands on one) – all puns intended.
…when two great, relevant tips cross your desk like;
If you’re an optimization junkie (ever spent way too much time on WhichTestWon.com?) – you’ll love Optimizely’s new Optiverse Community – learn from active optimization tests and training, get tips & engage…
Adometry just joined the Google family, bringing a multi-channel attribution tool to the mix. We were just talking about the need for this kind of tool at the Bazaarvoice Summit – and while it might not have every aspect marketers are looking for (does any tool, really?) – it comes pretty close with it’s ‘Single Source of Truth‘ model…
I’m here in the ‘Innovation Lab’ at the Bazaarvoice Summit and VERY pleased to see all of the great new Ratings & Reviews add-on solutions (also served stand-alone) that they’re releasing this year from their Incubator program… a few that seem to be getting the most buzz;
Bazaarvoice Local (Ratings & Reviews for Locations Pages, a critical factor for any company that has dealers, distributors, consultants, agents, locations in the supply chain). This supplement still requires optimized locations / dealer pages, but when implemented (along with the reviews moderation) helps these pages stand out in search.
Bazaarvoice Curations (Curating social content via hashtags, monitoring & moderating it)
Bazaarvoice Connections (Allowing brands to respond to questions, reviews, comments – for their brand or network partner, locations, dealer pages).
Bazaarvoice Conversations (Including product sampling, seeding as ways to help generate targeted influencer awareness and reviews for new products, or the same products with a new audience).
Thank you, Bazaarvoice for putting on such a great show this year – keep it weird, Austin!
Influencer Marketing – and the co-creation of meaningful, brand-sponsored content that better engages any customer / consumer audience – is certainly a way to gain additional unclaimed visibility and source for referral traffic. Good news is – there are some great tools that make a daunting task, manageable…
TapInfluence (solely influencer marketing & management)
ViralHeat (influencer marketing and social media management)
Traackr (influencer marketing and management)
Sprinklr (‘social experience management’)
Basic, free one-unit reputation / reviews alerts for businesses via Reputology.com – pricing plans for multi-location units.
Yet another website reviews site to consider for Reputation Management / Customer Service… SiteJabber.com
- Keywords NOT PROVIDED (more organic search encryption, GREAT!) – NOTE, the amount of “not provided” data on Google is now at 81%! A great reason to setup Webmaster tools to help with insight into some of that ‘not provided’ data.
- That big black ‘beta’ bar called ‘Google Shopping’ or the new format for Local Search Results (for specific industries only – like travel/tourism, food, etc). Note – if this takes off, could it take down Yelp!? STAY TUNED!
- Google Hummingbird, powered by voice recognition, now increasing the value of optimizing for conversational search.
- Google+ Shared Endorsements for Product Listing Ads – maybe it IS worthwhile to engage in Google+ after all…?
- AND, here’s my favorite part… just when you think Google isn’t THAT IMPORTANT…
Google squashed Wall Street projections for YOY with a reported $14 billion in revenue for Q3 2013, and a net income of $2.97 billion, a 12% increase.
Google doesn’t mess around with search, and they are aiming to be the destination for product searches and purchases online. Google Shopping may make a lot of changes, but if you’re an online merchant that’s looking to profit, Google is the largest revenue and traffic generating shopping channel.
Pinterest launched it’s first developer API last week – making it easier to post content from sites without interrupting the shopping experience. First brands in line are Disney, WalMart, Zappos, etc. Expansion to new partners and updates with new features are said to roll out over the next few weeks. Thanks, TechCrunch!