During the run-up to Christmas, which companies are bidding on paid search terms for the most popular products, and which have the most effective landing pages?
I took a look at paid search in my beginner’s guide what is paid search (PPC) and why do you need it? last month, and since then I’ve been a lot more attuned to this method of search engine marketing.
However I've also realised that PPC ads are for nothing, and a complete waste of searcher's time and an advertiser’s money, if conversion isn’t happening.
Responsive email is likely to be a key priority for marketers in 2014 as the consumer shift towards smartphones and tablets continues apace.
It's not uncommon for as much as 50% of marketing email to be opened on a mobile device, so brands need to take action to ensure they are providing a smooth user experience.
The alternative is that recipients have to spend ages pinching and scrolling to read the content, which will inevitably impact on click-throughs and conversions.
To find out a bit more about the process of shifting marketing emails to a responsive template, I spoke to Missguided's affiliate and email marketing manager Cath Higgs.
If one of the things we’ve learnt so far within digital marketing is that becoming more social is a key ways to succeed, does the installing of a paywall on newspaper run websites effectively mean ‘killing’ their shareability?
The most topical example of this is The Sun’s recent introduction of its subscription service. Named Sun+, this has attracted 117,000 subscribers to its £2 a week service in approximately three months.
With The Times, The Telegraph, Financial Times all having already installed paywalls at various points in their online existences, with varying degrees of success, has this made a difference to how their material is shared?
Do they even care? If they are making enough money from subscribers, then perhaps the volume of traffic is unimportant to them.
Within your own social circles, will followers of your channel be annoyed that you’re posting a link to something they need to pay for? This obviously introduces a whole new argument about the value of content, and whether it should be free or otherwise.
Our editor-in-chief Graham Charlton (pictured above) took an in-depth look at The Telegraph's metered paywall in his article earlier in the year, so let’s take a look at the other newspaper paywalls and attempt to shed some light on the questions raised.
The idea of being helpful, of providing content and resources to prospective and current customers that may not have anything to do with your organization, is a new and radical concept for many marketers.
"You mean you want me to publish content that doesn't sell my product?" The idea is simple: give people want they want and eventually they consider you a trusted resource.
But is being helpful enough? Is helpfulness really useful? Or are marketers spinning their wheels creating content that, even though it's helpful, no one really wants?
Although being helpful is something marketers should strive towards as a way to foster engagement, useful should be the end-goal: giving people content they need to solve their problems, when they need it, and in the specific format they want.
Christmas shopping can be a painful experience, particularly when you find yourself in a busy shopping centre on a Saturday afternoon facing huge crowds and massive queues.
So it probably comes as no surprise to hear that levels of satisfaction with online shopping improve slightly during the festive season, while the opposite is true for the in-store experience.
A survey by eDigitalResearch found that a quarter (25%) of shoppers feel that online shopping experiences improve at Christmas, while 42% of respondents stated that their overall in-store experience deteriorated at this time of year.
Improved satisfaction is mainly down to the lack of queues (53%), but price (51%) and the range of products available online (51%) are also seen as key benefits of ecommerce.
Companies that sell their services based on a subscription model have a difficult task on their hands when it comes to designing a simple but persuasive pricing page.
It’s something we’ve tinkered with a great deal here at Econsultancy as the only way to find the most effective balance is by testing different elements and combinations.
To see if there are any best practices or common design elements when creating subscription pages, I visited the sites of four different SaaS (software as a service) vendors.
For many SaaS companies, it’s actually impossible to find out a pricing model without getting in contact with them first.
Topshop is the top UK retailer for tablet user experience, according to the latest research by QUISMA, in which 10 top UK retailers were compared in terms of their tablet sites.
Topshop, Adidas and Nike provide the easiest to use websites for tablet users, whereas Zara and H&M performed poorly when it came to helping consumers navigate their sites.
Shall we blindly take QUISMA's word for it? Nah. Where's the fun in that?
Let’s have a look at some of the individual sites ourselves to see if we agree...
Over the last four months, Google has been ramping up its publicity of a more aggressive target for mobile site performance: sub one second page load times.
Enforcement of this aspiration comes from Google's usual source: algorithmic rewards for sites achieving this goal. You just need to look at how industry commentary has exploded around site speed issues over the last couple of years to see the impact this strategy has had.
I fully expect to see this industry focus switch to mobile-specific commentary through 2014.
Let's take a look at the evidence, and the SEO opportunity...
Consumers’ digital experiences, including banking, are becoming more and more visual. Within the retail banking sector much is still to be done.
Most importantly banks should not judge Personal Finance Management (PFM) tools as isolated investments: rather a piece of the puzzle to build a great overall digital customer experience.
In this article I will talk about how PFM has developed within retail banking (from a customer perspective) over the years, how we see things evolving and what banks can learn from new players.
A key element for loyalty programs, especially in industries like retail and restaurants, is product purchase frequency. Frequently purchased products enable members to earn more reward currency and keep the product and the program top of mind.
Does that mean that products without a high rate of purchase frequency can't implement a successful loyalty program?
They actually can, it just requires a little creative thinking and a different approach.