Google’s Consumer Barometer on Internet Use

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?”

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 2.00.36 PM


Why Millennials Use Snapchat? They’re obsessed.

Snapchat is now the #3 social network among millennials (trailing Facebook and Instagram, and, making me feel young again – thanks Business Insider!).  BI didn’t just provide a guide showing you how to use snapchat, but also – some qualitative feedback on WHY millennials are so… obsessed. (Keep in mind, this is the PG version of all of the feedback they received).

Answers to various questions on ‘Why do you like Snapchat?’;

  • Snap Art.  No chance to edit, it’s a slice of life.
  • Discover.  Favorite brands with only the best video content.
  • One-to-One Engagement
  • Quick & Visual (Images & Video)
  • Disposable Content.  Content that has a lifespan… for 5 seconds.
  • The User-Interface is non-existent.
  • Ugly Selfies.  When you get ugly selfies from someone, that’s how you know you’re good friends.”

8 UX Tools Every Digital Marketer Needs

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;

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).

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 12.40.44 PM

The Google 200 – Organic Search Rank Factors

Backlinko put together a nice list of about 200 different organic search rank factors for Google – broken down by ‘type’;

  • Domain Factors (Domain Age, exact match, etc.)
  • Page Level Factors (Tags, Content Length, Keyword Density, etc.)
  • Site-Level Factors (Content, Pages, Sitemap, etc.)
  • Backlink Factors (# of Linking Root Domains, .edu/.gov links, etc.)
  • User Interaction (Organic CTR, Repeat Traffic, Dwell time, etc.)
  • Special Algorithm Rules (Newer Pages, Searcher History, etc.)
  • Social Signals (Tweets, Likes, Shares, etc.)
  • Brand Signals (Branded Search, Company Page, etc)
  • On-Site Webspam (Panda Penalty, Bad Links, etc.)
  • Off-Page Webspam (Penguin Penalty, Unnatural Influx of Links, etc.)

Lovely!  Thanks, Backlinko.

D&B’s Take on Relevance & Responsiveness

Great study & book report from D&B – where digital relevance = marketing relationships (which is directly related to responsiveness).  They highlight a new book Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results, by Ardath Albee – that has some great ‘lessons to live by’ – applicable to both marketing plannign and daily life;

Marketers know relevance is critical, but they need to understand what it truly means in action and how to accomplish it….With this competency, they’ll help their companies reverse the credibility gap and help their buyers get on the fast track to problem resolution by creating better connections with depth of meaning.

D&B goes on to state that;

Digital Relevance argues that relevance maturity is contingent on how responsive the marketing team is in its execution. For example, a relevance maturity level of “irrelevance” requires the lowest level of responsive execution (the “reactive state”). Conversely, the highest relevance maturity level (“radical relevance”) calls for the “dynamic state,” or highest marketing execution level.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 5.02.40 PM


Facebook’s Ad Relevance Tool is a 10!

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

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 11.52.06 AM

AdAge reports;

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%.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 11.51.56 AM

(Thanks to AdAge & Senor Moreno)

Converged Content & Media Strategy Checklist

If you remember Altimeter Group‘s Converged Media Imperative when it came out in 2012, you’ll be surprised when you reread the content and realize that marketing as an industry – and most marketers – still aren’t there yet.  Channels are still siloed.  SEO still reigns supreme, Paid is still questionable, Social Media still exists in a bubble – and for most, marketing budgets still match last click attribution.  Reevaluating this Converged Media Strategy – and with a checklist – might be the way to help make a drastic (better late than never) change in your Content Strategy;

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 3.03.50 PMScreen Shot 2015-01-13 at 3.04.01 PM

Desktop vs. Mobile – Cost & Conversion

Another lil’ gem found in The Guide to Social Media Advertising, published by Ad Age’s Content Strategy Studio (so that’s what they do!) and sponsored by Kinetic – share’s data from Kinetic Social and Ad Age on the debate between Desktop vs. Social, from eCPM to Action Rate, effective Cost Per Action and Mobile Social ROI;

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.19.54 PMScreen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.20.40 PM

Organic Search – Industry & Vendor Trends

Back to DigitalRelevance‘s 2015 Enterprise Buyer’s Guide to SEO – it includes even more info on organic search industry trends – and – trends in best vendors that sums up the state of the SEO industry in a few lists (love!) – here are the highlights;

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 2.37.53 PM

Organic Search Trends

  • The Big Picture > Sustainable SEO – understanding macro-trends (not just the micro-trend code-level updates) in SEO is mandatory, now that competition is more intense – this means SEO is at the core of your Content Strategy & marketing machine.
  • Increase of Long-Tail Search Traffic (16% of all searches done today have never been seen before – and – social & video are an ever present search competitor).
  • Changing Display of Search Results (Google Carousel, Knowledge Graph, and future changes & updates).
  • Merging of Thought Leadership and Social Engagement – social engagement is needed as proof to Google that you’re a true thought leader (or, it could be correlary, in that brands that do great SEO also support great social efforts).
  • Value of Truly Earned Links – link building is alive, and better than ever – given that it’s one of the few ways to still rise above the competition, prove relevance, and leverage content.
  • Fragmentation of Search – optimization on other platforms is necessary, as Google is losing a bit of search traffic to other info providers; Amazon, Wikipedia, Yelp and mobile apps.  Amazon SEO is a great next step to consider.
  • Diminishing Focus on Keywords and Rankings – first manifest in Google’s encryption of keyword search data – putting more focus on the use of Google Webmaster Tools (GWT).
  • Personalization – personalized results across channels will set brands apart.
  • Importance of Mobile – mobile surpassed desktop in 2014 so mobile-specific content and pages are a must.

Common Traits of Winning SEO Providers

  • Passion – a team that will tell any brand what it’s going to take to get the job done, not just what they want to hear – not sacrificing quality for a quick win, yet proposing a sustainable strategy that will work.
  • A Track Record of Success – a demonstration of impressive and sustained results across multiple brands over time (especially if dated back to the birth of SEO).
  • A Long-Term Focus – an understanding of the sales funnel and how content aligns to it, planning, measuring and creating long-term campaigns that make an impact (and please upper level execs).
  • A Multi-Disciplinary Approach – a holistic, sustainable approach to SEO is a multi-disciplinary one that relies on the interplay between search, media outreach, content, technical elements and social factors (and video!).
  • The Ability to Execute and Prove ROI – execution and measurement of the items above for both B2C and B2B clients.

YouTube is a Search Engine & Other Social / Video Search Stats

In CCO this month, Seth Dotterer (VP of Marketing at Conductor / @Conductor) brought up some good points on social search and video search with his article YouTube is a Search Engine – here are the sound-bite highlights;

  • “…video is expected to account for 79 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2018.”
  • “Facebook serves more than 1 billion searches per day, and Pinterest – consistently ranked in comScore’s top 50 digital media properties – launched guided search this summer.  (Pinterest says it wants to be the place where people search for inspiration.)”
  • “…with a little in-house talent, a decent camera and some editing software, any brand can produce video its audiences want to watch. Here are some ideas;”
    • How-to (RZ: these keywords also tend to draw massive search volume as well)
    • List (RZ: pick the most video-friendly topics from your editorial calendar)
    • Unboxing (RZ: if you enjoy unwrapping a gift, you’ll totally understand this one)

Other top video trends to align with your brand and demand (keyword search volume) can be found on YouTube’s Trends Dashboard.

The Wiz of Moz’s Tips for 2015

GREAT article from Chief Content Officer Magazine #CCOMAG this previous month, with commentary from Rand Fishkin, and some good-as-gold tips for SEO, Strategy & Measurement.  Here are the sound-bite highlights;

  • “It may be true that SEO has been around a long time, but it is still the most powerful earned, nonpaid source of traffic on the web”
  • “Google is sending out 10 times more traffic everyday than Facebook does.”
  • “Due to a lack of knowledge, there’s underinvestment in SEO by content marketers to the detriment of their efforts.”
  • “What I also see from those who invest in content marketing is an addiction to the daily drive to add more content – mostly for the reason that if they don’t have something new, they can’t drive more traffic.  SEO is potentially a huge solution for that problem.”
  • “While social media and other sources of promotion fade after a few hours or days, search traffic continues on for months or years.”
  • On Google Universal: “…in these cases, Google is usually taking away traffic when a decision is already made or when there’s not a lot of opportunity to capture conversion-focused value from those visitors.  And by offering the information up front, Google is promoting more and greater use of Google.  You can see that in mobile search statistics, which just keep going up and to the right… in the long term it creates a bigger pie for everyone including marketers.”
  • “Search is one of the most popular things we do on mobile devices, and certainly one of the most popular things we do on the mobile web.”
  • “Many marketers are failing right now to properly connect and measure ROI from various channels… social media is a channel that very rarely figures in the last click before conversion… social media and content marketing are often broadening the very top of the funnel.  They affect how people discover you, get branded by you and first come to know you.  For the next three, six, or nine months, those people will often turn into conversations or amplifiers… but unfortunately, we don’t have great ways of measuring that data.”
  • On Channels like Social Media: “has low competition and much less noise.  A lot of people won’t put dollars towards them – which means there’s tremendous opportunity in those channels.  Unfortunately, people focus on what they can measure.”
  • “…I am seeing a huge amount of investment in content marketing, and that’s exciting, but I think the pendulum has swung too far to quantity over quality.”


Content & Commodities @ CES 2015

From my agency perspective, CES 2015 (#CES2015) was the year of Content & Commodities across technology.  One thing is made VERY apparent at this show – we have even more ways to consume content, but also, ways to power, customize and accessorize the devices with which we consume this content.  That creates a need for (1) lower cost devices / commodities and (2) great branded content.

The nature of commodities is that they are the same high-tech consumers are seeking, only at a more affordable cost, increasing the adoption of such devices.  There are several brands that all provide the same curved TV, the same set of headphones, the same smart phone – making digital content all the more readily available.

The interesting opportunity here is also with branded content – the kind of content that is accessible via a TV or digital device, that stands apart – but most importantly, simply… exists.  It’s those brands that have no content, no social presence, no search visibility that in the digital age, don’t exist.  Digital, video, audio, article, infographic, social content – whatever the right mix, start producing the right type of content (i.e. – give consumers something to connect with, the brand experience doesn’t stop with the product / service these days).

Sarah Hofstetter (@pezmeister1) of 360i sums it up well with her perspective on the affordability of new technology across the board…

A 2015 (Enterprise) Buyer’s Guide to SEO

DigitalRelevance (now, Relevance Content Promotion News & Insights) – provides some great resources (in their Resource Hub) for anyone looking to get more out of their content… Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 1.04.22 PM

…and, this year – starting things off right with their 2015 Enterprise Buyer’s Guide to SEO.  This guide includes some 2014 SEO highlights, but also promotes a NEW SEO Structure that is at the core of all content production (right where it should be, aligned with Content Marketing) – as opposed to the OLD way of sticking SEO in a nice compartment right under all of search marketing;

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 12.51.17 PM

Best Stats of 2014

Jim Yu (founder and CEO of Brightedge) compiled a great collection of top stats from 2014 in an article for Search Engine Watch – some stats need a bit more explanation, but at best, a great collection of some of the top stat providers last year;

Organic Search Statistics 2014

No doubt that the organic search channel has proved its place in marketing over the past few years, and data points from 2014 show it:

  • According to BrightEdge data, organic search was the largest driver of traffic to websites across sectors studied, and the largest driver of revenue – even over paid search – in most sectors studied.
  • Thirty percent (30) of traffic to insurance sites in June 2014 came from search, according to a study by Millward Brown Digital.
  • According to an experiment conducted by the Groupon marketing team, up to 60 percent of direct traffic is actually organic search traffic.
  • Mobile implementation errors cost websites 68 percent of organic search traffic, according to BrightEdge data.
  • Search engine marketing, including SEO, is the most effective acquisition channel for 85 percent of retailers, says
  • Search is the starting point for 60 percent of travelers, according to data from Kenshoo.
  • According to BloomReach, 49 percent of U.K. consumers use organic search to find retailers.

Content Statistics 2014

Fueling organic search success is content, and it has its own set of unique opportunities and challenges. From the Content Marketing Institute’s most recent research on content for the B2B and B2C sectors, we find the following stats …

B2B Content Stats

  • Eighty-three (83) percent of B2B marketers use content for lead generation.
  • Website traffic is the key metric for tracking content success, according to 63 percent of B2B marketers, while 39 percent say SEO rankings is.
  • Eighty-one (81) percent of B2B marketers say articles on their websites are a most-used tactic; 80 percent say blogs are, and of those that use blogs, 60 percent say it’s the most effective.
  • Publishing new content multiple times per week was the norm for 26 percent of B2B marketers; the next largest data set was “weekly,” at 17 percent.

B2C Content Stats

  • Seventy-seven (77) percent of B2Cs use content marketing.
  • Engagement was the primary goal for content for 88 percent of B2Cs.
  • Sixty-two (62) percent of B2Cs say website traffic is a key metric for content success.
  • Blogs were the most effective platform for content, according to 54 percent of B2C respondents.
  • Thirty-one (31) percent of B2Cs publish new content multiple times per week.


70% of Consumers have Used Click To Call

Google is touting more Click To Call benefits now with device specific campaign bidding parameters in their Adwords Webinar today – most impressive, is the old data that states even 70% of consumers have used the Click To Call feature (back in 2013!).  More info on Google Think Insights, with The Role of Click to Call in the Path to Purchase.

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 1.51.17 PM


Target Would Almost Rather Give Up TV Ads Than Facebook

Not hard to believe – Business Insider is saying that in a recent conversation with Target, that it was a surprisingly difficult decision, whether to give up advertising on TV or Facebook.  Clearly, Target understands that FB’s targeting capabilities and 2-way communication make it a preferred platform of choice for specific advertising objectives;

[Dustee] Jenkins [VP of PR and Social Media] says Target has become reliant on Facebook because of its scale (more than 1 billion monthly users) and unique targeting abilities (like the ability to show a wedding registry promotion to a user who changes his or her status on Facebook to “engaged”).

Read more:

Content Curators – Amazon & Canopy

Even has realized the power of content curators, in a world full of options (anyone having flashbacks to Google in ’98 all over again?) – with Canopy, their ‘Fancy-style’ app that curates some of the most interesting and design-forward products on the retail site.  Best part of all?  Two words – Amazon Prime.



The New Necessity = Content Curators

With more than an abundance of ANY content on the web (really, any.  editorial, whitepapers, reports, webinars, galleries, infographics) – what seems to be rising to the surface is the return of the POWER of CURATORS – i.e. where consumers are so overloaded (bombarded, bamboozled) by an onslaught of content, that the only way they choose to receive content is through curators they enjoy / trust.  A great case in point, Ivanka Trump‘s latest website redesign and new daily email campaign (where she’s simply curating content that her brand/product audience wants to hear).  Brilliant work, ladies!

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.26.51 AM