Rob Weatherhead

About Rob Weatherhead

Rob Weatherhead is head of agency at Fast Web Media.

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Don’t be fooled, voice is still the future of commerce. Just not yet

12 months ago voice search was the future. Then it wasn’t. Then it was again. Now it appears it’s all hype. I’m struggling to keep up!

The latest “voice is over-hyped” claim came in the form of underwhelming stats about the number of commerce-related queries that are being performed on a voice-enabled device. A rather dismal 2% of people who own Amazon Alexa devices have used them to make a voice purchase, according to Amazon’s own data.

Meeting search intent: A model for measuring success

Whether it’s due to the impact of GDPR or a consequence of the move towards a voice-activated Internet, the word on the lips of leading digital marketers right now is intent. 

What’s a user’s intent? How do you identify that intent? How do you match intent with your digital activity and show the user that your business can help?

multi platform

What does the multi platform revolution mean to you?

The internet used to be intrinsically linked to a physical device. The PC at work, the laptop in the lounge, but this is no longer the case.  

In my house alone I have seven separate devices I could use to connect to the internet in one way or another, be it the mobile in my pocket, the tablet while I watch TV, or via my games console.  

I may be interacting with your brand on all of these platforms, and I expect a positive experience.

I am not alone in this. Mobile devices now account for 8.49% of global website visits and iPad sales now exceed 55M worldwide, 5M in the UK. 

People no longer consume your content in a single way on a single device, so you need to understand how your customers are engaging with you and what that means for your marketing efforts.  

How do people interact with your company on the various platforms available and what do they expect from you? 

Mobile marketing: evolution not revolution

Everybody, especially commentators and journalists, loves to talk about defining moments. That is the reason there has been so many column inches dedicated to predicting, or dismissing “the year of the mobile”.

Everyone can see the potential for mobile devices to change the way we consume and engage digitally and they are all hoping for, and expecting, a single event that marks the beginning of mass mobile adoption from a marketing stand point.  

The reality however, is this event is never going to occur. The year of the mobile will probably never happen as there is no single event which is going to change the way we use and consume information and advertising on mobile devices. 

What will happen is a natural evolution of mobile devices, platforms, and user attitudes that will evolve mobile internet into a channel with mass usage allowing for marketers to engage with customers more.

Seven departments you should involve in search marketing (but probably don’t)

Search engine marketers tend to work in isolation. The SEO and PPC function sits in various departments depending on the company. Sometimes it’s marketing, sometimes IT and other times web design or maybe e-commerce.

Most of the time though, integration with other business functions is minimal and work goes on without consideration for other business activities.

But search engine marketing should be something which is at the heart of a businesses operating online. Every part of your business should be aware of your search engine marketing strategy and how what they do, influences it.

An effective search engine marketing programme involves most areas of your business; here are seven business functions which should be involved in your search marketing.

Mobile search offers opportunities for SMEs

Our recent research has unearthed some interesting trends within the mobile search marketplace. When reviewing data for Q2 we were confident that the PPC traffic through mobile on Google would surpass Bing PPC traffic and in Q3 we saw that materialise.

Google PPC traffic is now at around 4% of total PPC traffic, almost double that from Bing. Not the kind of stats that Microsoft will want to see ahead of the search alliance in the UK with Yahoo next year.

This makes mobile search something anybody involved in search engine marketing should be considering. And with much of the search volumes from mobile devices coming from localised queries SMEs should be looking to maximise this opportunity and lead the way in a world traditionally dominated by large budgets.

Google needs to decide how it is going to crack the SME market

Google currently has numerous initiatives aimed at reaching the UK small business owner but many of these conflict with each other and none appear to be achieving much traction.  

With at least four projects all aimed at achieving the same goal would Google not be better off picking one strategy and sticking with it?

Demand side platforms bring display into the hands of search marketers

There is a lot of buzz in the digital world at present around the rise of demand side platforms and real time bidding being the future for display advertising and particularly network buying.  

With all the data, technology, and bidding involved, paid search marketers could find themselves best placed to take advantage of the rising popularity.

Google changes its trademark policy (again!)

Google has announced changes to the way in which it deals with trademarks and Google AdWords at a press conference this morning.

In a move which brings the UK in line with its US policy, advertisers will now be able to include trademarked words and phrases in their Google ads without the trademark owners permission.