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Showing posts from January 18, 2016
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Freshen Up Your 2016 Email Strategy

It’s a new year, and predictions abound. I’m not interested in passively waiting to see if they come true; I’d rather take the “make it happen” approach. That means taking stock of where we are, articulating where we want to be, then prioritizing the steps it will take to get there.These are my suggestions for starting 2016 off with a plan to identify areas for improvement in your email strategy and then make those improvements happen.Figure Out Why People Are Signing Up For Your ProgramI don’t think enough companies really study this part of their program. The first place to look is at your signup pages, such as offline sources, online purchases, signup boxes, online banking registrations, mobile app downloads and so on, to ensure you understand what’s driving your customers to sign up.Review the content to ensure that messaging is compelling and consistent, and then make sure you are delivering on the expectations you’ve set. And I don’t mean just the email program itself.If a perso…

Five of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.This week: Pandas, Periscopes and Paid search.Google integrates Panda into the core ranking algorithmAs our own Chris Lake reported this week, there has been a new roll-out of Panda, and “it’s a biggie.” Google has made Panda part of its core ranking algorithm, meaning that it will be paying more attention to site quality signals than ever before. There’s loads more information in the above linked post, but one of the most interesting bits is Google’s comment that, “content owners shouldn’t ask how many visitors they had on a specific day, but rather how many visitors they helped.”Panda update leads to search gains and losses for online publishersAccording to a new analysis by Searchmetrics, this week’s Google search algorithm update has meant big changes in how websites currently rank.There have been visibility gains and losses for many sites, including TheAtlantic.…

Does native advertising really work?

I’ll set out my stall straight away, I don’t particularly like native advertising. However, I’m seeing this as an exercise in trying to dispel my own confirmation bias.I would love nothing more than to rant endlessly about an advertising practice I’ve described before as no better than “autoplay video, Spotify ads and downloading spyware onto your browser” or, horror of horrors, downloading a U2 album into your iTunes.But… as you will have noticed from time to time, we run sponsored articles on SEW and I would come across as somewhat hypocritical. Just like how I accused pop-up ads of being “contemptible” yesterday and yet you were probably presented with one on your first visit here.The balancing of user-friendliness, our own editorial judgement and the need to make some actual money is a difficult thing to get right. I’ll save the pop-up conversation for another time though, let’s get back to native advertising… Despite any personal feelings, they are part of our business model for …

Competition time: win tickets to Connect, our two day search event

As you’ll hopefully already be aware, Search Engine Watch has launched a brand new search event, Connect, taking place on the beach during 4-5 February 2016 at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne in Miami.To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’re bringing together all the best and brightest of the search marketing industry to discuss how to thrive in the new customer-centric landscape, as well as having a big party on the beach.You should come to! There will be 500+ of your peers, from SEO specialists, digital marketers, webmasters, developers, business leaders and industry professionals joining enjoying two days of sun, sea and search in Miami.Tickets are still available, with early bird rates expiring on Friday 15 January. You can register here.Or… you could win a ticket to Connect in one of our Twitter and Facebook contests running next week!Every day from Tuesday 19 till Friday 22, we’ll be giving away one ticket per day to the lucky winner of our “Fill in the Blanks” contest. This will …

What do you need to know about ‘responsive content marketing’?

When content marries with mobile, mobile will truly excel. At the moment, content is universal. You do some research, get the lightbulb moment and then write an article. You publish this to the web and, hey presto, it’s available on desktop, tablet and smartphone.The content itself will soon be responsive though. Text will actually change depending upon the device. Content will adjust automatically just as a responsive website would adjust to the device it is being displayed on. Articles will be much shorter and concise on small mobile screens, with more bullet points. On desktop, the full version will be available.Content needs to be responsive in order to serve users better.Some apps have already gained popularity in this sphere. Yahoo! bought Summly which is kind of an app version of responsive content marketing. Duplicated contentWith all these versions of responsive content how will search engines deal with duplicate content issues? Well, the answer lies in Google’s latest develo…

Why companies create content – Part one: to create and change perception

There’s a lot written about how to plan, publish and promote content, but much less on the reasons for doing so in the first place.The majority of businesses know there’s a damn good reason for having branded social media profiles and regularly communicating with their audience about something other than their products, but actually pinpointing ‘why’ can often be difficult.After reviewing the output of thousands of companies we’ve established seven core reasons for creating content. These can all be tied to genuine business objectives; tangible activities that can be tracked and contribute to the bottom line.Working out the rationale for activity is often harder than actually getting on and doing it, but that’s where the heart of a solid strategy lies. Get that bit right and everything else should slot neatly into place.Here is part one of our seven part series:Part one: to create or change perceptionBrand identity is one of the most powerful assets a business has. Maintaining a posit…

Google integrates Panda into the core ranking algorithm

You may have followed the various murmurings on Twitter and beyond about a possible algorithm update from Google. Certainly the data seemed to suggest that something was happening.It was rumoured to be the much anticipated Penguin 4.0 update, but it turns out that there has been a new roll-out of Panda, and it’s a biggie.This time around Google has made Panda part of its core ranking algorithm, meaning that it will be paying more attention to site quality signals than ever before. Google confirmed the update to Jennifer Slegg over at The SEM Post.Panda is an algorithm that’s applied to sites overall and has become one of our core ranking signals. It measures the quality of a site, which you can read more about in our guidelines. Panda allows Google to take quality into account and adjust ranking accordingly.This seems straight-forward, though Google’s Gary Illyes has sown some confusion with this reponse to a question on Twitter from Pete Myers of Moz. @dr_pete what?! No no, it was ju…

US display ad spend will overtake search ad spend in 2016… wait, what?

In news that will possibly contradict what you assumed about display advertising, in 2016, digital display ad spending will surpass search ad spending in the US for the first time ever. According to a new report by eMarketer video ads, sponsorships, rich media and the loosely named ‘banners and others’ will account for a 47.9% share of digital ad spending, worth $32.17bn.That subsection of display named “banners and others”, which also contains native and social ads, will also receive the most investment from advertisers. The report states that “overall, one in five dollars devoted to digital in 2016 will go to ‘banners and other’ digital display ad types.” So what the heck happened? I thought display ads were long dead. One of my most over-used stats is this from Solve Media: “You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad.” There are loads more similar stats here.But I now realise these are more than two years old now. However there was plenty of evidence to back…

Should you be paying more attention to DuckDuckGo?

The Goliath in any industry will always have their version of David. Sometimes they may have more than one.  Right now Google has their standard competitors and a recent upstart called DuckDuckGo.  Just like Ello was to Facebook, DuckDuckGo will not retain or use consumer data. This has caused a lot of digital media outlets to cover this challenging newcomer.  I applaud what they are trying to do. DuckDuckGo is filling a niche that in the world of the internet today solves a major issue consumer’s face… privacy.  I took a look at some of our own client’s data points to see how this search engine was performing and provide my own point of view.GrowthOur client base in 2015 has seen a 181% increase in referring traffic from DuckDuckGo. This compares to 30% growth in traffic coming from Google.  While those are some impressive growth numbers, it is off a very small base and represents only 0.2% of total search engine traffic vs. 81% for Google.  So we have a challenger with a growing (al…

Super Bowl 50 Advertisers: These Brands Are Ready To Play The Commercial Game

On February 7, two NFL teams will take the field to battle it out on the most-watched sports night of the year, but marketers know where the real competition is happening: the Super Bowl Ads!Super Bowl is a whole lot more than football, it is the ultimate advertising arena. This year, a select number of brands are spending upwards of $5 million to reserve their spot during the game – making a play to win the minds and hearts (and laughs) of the biggest ad audience available.To prepare for game day, Marketing Land is keeping its own scorecard of which brands are competing and what they’re planning for game day.We’ll continue to update this list as more information is made available from the advertisers and more ads are released.Also, be sure to check out our 2016 HashtagBowl where we track pre-game and post-game social media visibility for this year’s Super Bowl TV commercials: Game On: The 2016 Marketing Land #HashtagBowl Is Coming Soon.AcuraBrand Category: Automotive
Agency: Mullen L…

ZTE Nubia Prague S Announced for $380, Features an IRIS Scanner and 3GB of RAM

Prague S comes as the latest addition to the ZTE’s Nubia smartphone series. The smartphone has been launched in China. Just like most of the other smartphones in the market, even the Prague S is a mid-range phone with decent set of specifications along with an elegant design. First glance at the new Nubia Prague S tells us that the company has left no stones unturned in the design department and the metal chassis reciprocates the same.ZTE Nubia Prague S is fitted with a 5.2-inch FHD Super AMOLED display with 2.5D arc glass and it draws power from the Snapdragon 615 SoC coupled with 3GB of RAM and runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop along with the Nubia UI 3.0. On the imaging front, the smartphone sports a 13-Megapixel rear camera and an 8-Megapixel front camera with 78-degree wide angle lens.ZTE has ensured positive ergonomics with the 6.8mm anodised aluminium frame which is made up of FIT (Frame Interactive Technology) and is crafted for easy one handed use. The Nubia Prague S offers a …

Google Changes Language, Being “Plus-Size” Or “Curvy” Isn’t A Negative Physical Attribute

Ad disapproval notices are typically uninteresting bland affairs, free of controversy. Last week, however, a disapproval notice from Google raised eyebrows.WordStream received a disapproval notice for a Gmail ad — the ads looks similar to email messages and appear in the Promotions tab — in a campaign that used “curvy” and “plus size” keywords in the targeting. The disapproval reason given in the AdWords UI simply stated, “Gmail Ads- Body type and personality targeting”. It was the full policy explanation that the team received that caused a reaction (bolding is mine):====================Disapproval Reason====================Gmail Ads- Body type and personality targeting: Given the unique nature of Gmail ads and how users interact with these ads, we’ve developed an additional layer of policy requirements specific to Gmail ads. At this time, Gmail Advertising policy does not permit promotion of products and services that targets individuals with negative physical attributes such plus s…

MarTech Today: Microsoft Reportedly Buying InMobi, Limelight’s Live Marketing Platform & SEM Automation

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Report: Microsoft To Buy Global Mobile Ad Platform InMobi — [Updated]
Jan 15, 2016 by Greg Sterling
According to an unconfirmed report, Microsoft is buying mobile ad network/platform InMobi. The company, which is based in Bangalore, India, says that its network touches more than a billion users per month.Limelight Scores $3 Million To Launch Its Live Marketing Platform In U.S.
Jan 15, 2016 by Barry Levine
Toronto-based company says this is the first set of digital tools designed specifically for face-to-face events like test drives, in-person product sampling, trade shows and the like.Minneapolis-Based Startup Nabs $3 Million To Offer Brand-Sponsored Online Courses
Jan 14, 2016 by Barry Levine
Launched late last year, The Big Know is providing expert-created courses about happiness, stress, diabetes and other topics for thousands of student…

WhatsApp Abolishes Subscription Fee; Hints at Wechat-like Revenue Model

Whatsapp, the biggest messaging app in the world in terms of subscriber base has an important announcement to make today. Jan Koum, founder of Whatsapp told Re/Code’s Ina Fried that the chat app plans to drop its $1 subscription fee, but in reality, Whatsapp never really enforced the subscription fee. However from now, Whatsapp will remove the payment option from the app altogether. Also anyone who has made a subscription payment this year or in the past will not be getting any refund.The bigger news is that Whatsapp now finally plans on becoming a platform. As we had discussed in our previous article, Whatsapp has all the things in place to become a successful platform. Today, Jan Koum has confirmed exactly that.“It really doesn’t work that well,” Koum said Ina about the $1 subscription fee. He noted that while a buck a year might not sound like much, access to credit cards is not ubiquitous. “We just don’t want people to think at some point their communication to the world will be c…

Best 7 Apps and Cameras for Capturing 360-Degree Panoramic Photos

Immersing yourself in a beautiful 360 degree scene that stretches far beyond what photography can usually offer may sound like an otherworldly idea, yet with the help of the latest technology, this is something you can definitely achieve. It is less known that this technique has roots in the 19th century, when Friedrich von Martens greatly improved a panoramic camera that people had already been using for nearly a year. The original camera displayed a generous Daguerreotype and had the ability to cover 150 degree of field view.Based on Friedrich’s technical breakthrough that consisted of adding several mechanisms which improved the stability of the camera, the end of the 20th century started the phenomenal concept that 360 degree photography is. Today, shooting images and stitching them together to create a wide format photo is a lot easier than it used to be, due to digital processing.Obtaining a great panoramic photo requires not only patience to capture multiple images from various…

Facebook is Apparently Testing a New Browser that Will Not Need You to Leave the App

After recently rolling out a slew of new features for its app, now Facebook is testing out a new in-app browser which has been drastically improved. Facebook has been testing out this new in-app browser from December last year and it seems close to rolling it off.As it is obvious from the screenshots, the UI has undergone a major revamp and along with it the browser also comes baked with new features. It is now that you will realize the old browser was just a bridge that hyperlinked to the stories along with a teeny tiny abstract, plus it also came with a “open with” option that would let users access the link on their favorite browsers. So the screenshot of the latest browser shows off a field to actually input the URL which will allow users to access other pages within the Facebook browser. In the bottom, the article is accompanied by a bar which tells you how famous the article actually is, this however is done by displaying the “number of people talking about it” stats.It is eviden…