tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/seo Latest SEO content from Econsultancy 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68102 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 2016-07-27T14:02:00+01:00 Why there should be more plaudits for digital audits Chris Bishop <p>Those at the top of organisations don’t feel they have the strategic sweep to justify the time and effort required to commission them.</p> <p>Audits are viewed at times as a little “too tactical” or only done once every blue moon by agencies aiming to impress for your business, only to then collect dust on top of Econsultancy buyers guides print outs or even your old New Media Age magazines (<strong>Ed</strong>: We let this lie, but only to show we have a sense of humour).</p> <p>For the in-house Head of Ecommerce, requesting a digital audit might sound dangerously like a turkey voting for Christmas. </p> <h3>Are we selling audits wrongly?</h3> <p>Or is it the slightly cheesy marketing of website or marketing auditors themselves that is putting people off?</p> <p>All that tired ‘digital health check’ stuff might be the kind of foot in the door tactic that make brands feel suspicious of then giving access to their precious AdWords account, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67171-what-is-affiliate-marketing-why-do-you-need-it/">affiliate network</a> or analytics suite.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7503/healthcheck.jpeg" alt="health check" width="275" height="183"></p> <h3>How important are digital audits anyway?</h3> <p>In reality, though, digital audits are absolutely vital. And third party objective auditing ensures that you’re not marking your own home work or ignoring long term problems.</p> <p>Proper auditing, UX testing and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67473-seven-conversion-rate-optimization-trends-to-take-advantage-of-in-2016/">CRO analysis</a> means you can elongate the lifetime and effectiveness of your website and digital media activity, in a way that can be done on any budget.</p> <p>Your digital real estate is often an expensive investment - you’ve got to maintain it properly to get results.</p> <h3>Regular servicing is vital</h3> <p>Think of that shiny new website you’ve just spent months developing as a new car you’ve just acquired.</p> <p>To start off with, it’s the envy of everyone who sees it. After-sales support is pretty good and you can see years of trouble free motoring ahead of you. Before you know it, though, your warranty is up and you’re on your own.</p> <p>As the car ages, small problems become big problems. It performs less effectively. You’re paying for petrol, but it’s becoming less and less economical to run. There are so many things going wrong with it you don’t know where to start. Eventually the car's value is so diminished you might as well scrap it and buy a new one.</p> <p>It’s the same with websites and digital marketing campaigns. They can’t be left to look after themselves – and even the mechanic themselves might need some fine tuning or training themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/7504/service-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="car service" width="380"></p> <h3>What a digital audit can do for you </h3> <p>Audits can show you how to balance your budget more effectively through action and prioritisation. They can identify common issues like plateaus in activity and drop offs in acquisition; all the elements that reduce profitability. </p> <h3>The Lessons of the Audit</h3> <p>Constantly learn, constantly improve, constantly trade! A timely and constructive audit will help you:</p> <ul> <li>Keep up to date with the latest channel trends - Google changes, new publishers in affiliate, new platform or techniques for social. </li> <li>Use competitor analysis to keep your enemies close! It’s crucial to analyse and understand market share/spend and its consequences for your brand. </li> <li>Help you (re)define your goals.</li> <li>Confirm your objectives or KPIs so you can measure success.</li> <li>Understand new opportunities.</li> <li>Benchmark improvements or conversely measure areas of decline.</li> <li>Ensure corporate compliance – its best practice to have someone external “rubber stamp” your activity.</li> <li>Encourage serendipity – the uncovering of that nugget of information that transforms your understanding and makes the commercial difference.</li> </ul> <h3>Should you take the plunge?</h3> <p>Regular and skilled digital auditing is a detailed and never ending task.  It can transform the effectiveness of your digital advertising, website and budget.  </p> <p>Is it sexy? It’s showing your website a lot of love and attention. It’s optimizing and maximizing your marketing profitability and performance. Sounds pretty sexy to me.</p> <p><em>More on auditing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68031-answering-the-key-question-of-content-auditing-where-do-i-start/">Answering the key question of content auditing - where do I start?</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3008 2016-07-21T11:30:00+01:00 2016-07-21T11:30:00+01:00 Internet Statistics Compendium Econsultancy <p>Econsultancy’s <strong>Internet Statistics Compendium</strong> is a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media. </p> <p><strong>The compendium is available as 11 main reports (in addition to a B2B report) across the following topics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/advertising-media-statistics">Advertising</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/content-statistics">Content</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics">Customer Experience</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/web-analytics-statistics">Data and Analytics</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/demographics-technology-adoption">Demographics and Technology Adoption</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/reports/ecommerce-statistics">Ecommerce</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/email-ecrm-statistics">Email and eCRM</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-statistics">Mobile</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/search-marketing-statistics">Search</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/social-media-statistics">Social</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/strategy-and-operations-statistics">Strategy and Operations</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B</a></strong></li> </ul> <p>Updated monthly, each document is a comprehensive compilation of internet, statistics and online market research with data, facts, charts and figures.The reports have been collated from information available to the public, which we have aggregated together in one place to help you quickly find the internet statistics you need, to help make your pitch or internal report up to date.</p> <p>There are all sorts of internet statistics which you can slot into your next presentation, report or client pitch.</p> <p><strong>Those looking for B2B-specific data should consult our <a title="B2B Internet Statistics Compendium" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/b2b-internet-statistics-compendium">B2B Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</strong></p> <p> <strong>Regions covered in each document (where available) are:</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Global</strong></li> <li><strong>UK</strong></li> <li><strong>North America</strong></li> <li><strong>Asia</strong></li> <li><strong>Australia and New Zealand</strong></li> <li><strong>Europe</strong></li> <li><strong>Latin America</strong></li> <li><strong>MENA</strong></li> </ul> <p>A sample of the Internet Statistics Compendium is available for free, with various statistics included and a full table of contents, to show you what you're missing.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68040 2016-07-19T13:40:00+01:00 2016-07-19T13:40:00+01:00 Five digital strategy tips for mono-brands that wholesale and sell direct to consumer Ben Potter <p>For many businesses, the wholesale route allows the brand to build awareness via retail partners, such as department stores, but at the expense of margin and the ability to form a direct relationship with the end customer.</p> <p>At some stage, the brand will decide the time is nigh to create a direct proposition. However, this presents a number of challenges in the digital marketing space that are often not understood or properly considered from the outset.</p> <p>Having worked with a number of mono-brands over the years, here are a few things we’ve observed and helped them overcome:</p> <h3>1. You must give people a compelling reason to buy direct</h3> <p>By the time a typical mono-brand goes direct, they are likely to have a number of well-known, trusted stockists selling their wares online (normally with much deeper pockets).</p> <p>This means that the mono-brand is, in effect, competing against themselves online, via those stockists. The customer is therefore presented with choice as to where they buy that brand.</p> <p>Last year, we <a href="http://www.leapfrogg.co.uk/froggblog/2015/07/insight-edit-consumers-favour-multi-brand-retailers-over-single-brands/" target="_blank">questioned our consumer panel</a> on this very topic - <strong>89% of respondents stated they favoured buying from multi-brand retailers over single-brand sites.</strong></p> <p>When pressed a little further, of those that preferred buying from single brand sites, 71% stated it was because the brand makes them feel more valued as a customer.</p> <p>Added value is therefore the key to driving conversion on the brand site - the promise that if a customer buys direct, they are buying into more than just the product itself.</p> <p>This is where the brand has an advantage. Getting to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67526-how-retail-marketers-can-ensure-they-deliver-the-right-customer-experience/" target="_blank">know the customer intimately</a>, what it is they value and then delivering on this is something that a multi-brand retailer, such as John Lewis, <strong>cannot replicate, at scale, for each and every brand they stock. </strong>Some get the specialist treatment but even then the breadth of content is fairly limited.</p> <p>For example, despite Levi’s being a ‘featured brand’ on the John Lewis website, content is limited to a brief overview of the brand, a few images and a men’s fit guide (strangely, in the women’s section with a link that didn’t work at the time of writing).</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7209/Capture.jpg" alt="John Lewis Levi's category page" width="526" height="489"></p> <p><br> Ultimately, as THE brand, you need to be able to answer (and act upon) one, fundamental question;</p> <p><strong><em>‘Why would someone buy from our site as opposed to an established multi-brand retailer?’</em> </strong></p> <p>If you can’t, then you need to go back to the drawing board.</p> <h3>2. Make it your mission to ‘own’ organic search results for brand terms</h3> <p>The remit of an ecommerce manager is to grow the direct channel, which of course yields a number of benefits compared to the wholesale model (control, acquiring data, building a relationship with the end customer and so on).</p> <p>Search will be a key part of the strategy. <strong>Occupying as much of the search ‘real estate’ for brand terms, as possible, should be the aim.</strong></p> <p>To what extent you can do so will ultimately depend on how many retailers stock your products and how sophisticated their natural search strategies are. The more stockists you have, the more competitive the search results are likely to be for brand terms.</p> <p>Utilising site links, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64778-what-is-schema-markup-and-why-should-you-be-using-it/">schema mark-up</a>, My Business pages, reviews, social media profiles and optimising rich-media assets, such as images and video, are just some of the means by which you can occupy a greater share of the search results for brand terms, at the expense of stockists, as highlighted by Sony below:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7211/Capture3.png" alt="Sony Google search result" width="532" height="597"></p> <p><br> Please note, there is often a balancing act between aggressively growing the direct channel and keeping stockists on side. Stealing share from stockists is inevitable so needs to be carefully managed.</p> <h3>3. You will almost certainly have to pay for brand PPC traffic</h3> <p>Assuming stockists are present in paid search and bidding on your brand name, you will have to do likewise. There are a million and one articles debating the pros and cons of bidding on your own brand terms so I won’t repeat those arguments.</p> <p>Instead, a slightly different take on the issue, born out of a recent client conversation. Despite the presence of some fairly small but aggressive stockists, the client in question was determined not to bid on their brand terms, due to two questionable assumptions.</p> <p>Firstly, they felt that searchers would, by default, seek out their organic listing. Some no doubt will.</p> <p>However, we demonstrated that other searchers were distracted by a compelling ad from one of their stockists and therefore didn’t even think about scrolling down to find the brands organic listing. Opportunity lost.</p> <p>Secondly, they assumed that if somebody searched for their brand, then that searcher would go onto purchase one of their products (whether direct or via a stockist). However, with some qualitative insight, this was proven not always to be the case.</p> <p>The presence of a multi-brand retailer meant that some were distracted by the greater choice on offer, going onto buy a different brand altogether. Again, opportunity lost.</p> <p><strong>By being present in the paid listings, ideally by being as aggressive as you can to own the number one position, you give yourself the greatest chance of getting the click.</strong></p> <p>This is especially important on mobile where it is common for only ads to appear ‘above the fold’.</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7210/capture2.png" alt="Search results on mobile" width="330" height="583"><br> </p> <p>Therefore, paid search is increasingly the only way in which you can guarantee a presence on the devices searchers are most likely to be using and where they are most likely to click. Don’t leave money on the table.</p> <h3>4. Getting the price right is more important than ever</h3> <p>We worked with a brand where you could consistently purchase many of their products from a well-known high street retailer for 30% less than the price on the brand site. But we were tasked with significantly growing direct revenue. Errr…</p> <p>Consumers are savvier than ever. <strong>With the prominence of Google Shopping listings, price information is thrust upon eager searchers without them even having to click.</strong></p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7212/Capture4.png" alt="Nike Internationalist shopping results" width="481" height="231"><br> <br>Whilst some consumers will of course buy from the brand site and be loyal in doing so again in the future, others won’t give two hoots where they purchase. In fact, if I can buy your product at the same time as all the other stuff on my John Lewis ‘wish list’, all the better.</p> <p>Whilst you cannot dictate the prices your stockists choose to sell at, you need to be aware of their pricing strategy and be agile enough to react should you choose to, particularly during sale periods.</p> <p>It was put to me by a brand in the past that “our stockists can have those ‘sale only’ customers”. Fair enough but I’d always prefer to acquire any customer direct, sale only or not, and nurture the relationship.</p> <p>This brings to light an interesting point regarding loyalty. It should not be measured only in monetary terms. We have discovered that some of our clients’ most loyal customers are not necessarily those that spend the most money.</p> <p>Perhaps these customers can only afford to shop with the brand once or twice a year. However, they are the ones that shout the most about their purchase, something that is often not measured or harnessed.</p> <p>You therefore need to look beyond financial data and models, such as <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64481-finding-your-best-customers-with-the-rfm-matrix/" target="_blank">RFM</a> when it comes to understanding loyalty.</p> <h3>5. Make sure your direct and wholesale teams are talking to one another</h3> <p>I spoke to a premium menswear brand last year looking to grow their direct channel. ‘Super!’ I thought, we can help. However, as we dug a little deeper, we soon realised it was going to be a huge challenge.</p> <p>We discovered that the wholesale team had some pretty aggressive targets of their own, meaning they were selling into an ever-increasing number of retailers. Worse still, many of these retailers were at the lower end of the market, damaging brand perception.</p> <p>The direct team also had some rather juicy numbers to hit for the next financial year. But nobody internally had joined the dots, namely that the direct team would find themselves gradually hamstrung by increased competition in search as stockists optimised their sites and bid on brand terms.</p> <p>This highlights how <strong>the wholesale and direct strategy have to be working in unison.</strong></p> <p>Growing both channels simultaneously is possible but requires careful planning, great communication and an understanding of how the two will play out online, especially in search. </p><p><strong>Have you worked with or for a mono-brand? What challenges did you experience? Please feel free to share below.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68031 2016-07-19T12:14:01+01:00 2016-07-19T12:14:01+01:00 Answering the key question of content auditing: Where do I start? Michael Hewitt <h3>Existing content</h3> <p>When it comes to investment in content marketing, it isn’t a huge surprise that much of it goes on producing new content, new material and new campaigns.</p> <p>Plenty of marketers will talk at length about how much content they are producing, how packed their <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64587-eight-free-content-calendar-templates-to-help-plan-your-output/">editorial calendars </a>are and how they are preparing to launch their “next big campaign”, but what about the content that they already have?</p> <p>Content marketers are focused so heavily on producing new content that meets the evolving needs of both their audiences and the expectations of search engines, that they are neglecting to ensure that their existing content does likewise. </p> <h3>A daunting prospect</h3> <p>The phrase “content audit” conjures up many feelings, and few of them positive. </p> <p>For many, it is a laborious process that involves hours upon hours, days upon days or even weeks upon weeks of manual review, fiddling around in analytics, and identifying gaps in coverage. It’s not, for many, the most enthralling responsibility in the job description.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6721/content-audit.jpg" alt="" width="400" height="300"></p> <p>Even if you do manage to conduct a thorough audit, it can often be difficult to force through changes on key brand pages due to the influence of various stakeholders, compliance issues and various other obstacles.</p> <p>Many also find the results and impact of a content audit difficult to measure, and so decide to focus their efforts elsewhere.</p> <p>But content auditing is something that needs to be a prominent and regular part of not only your content marketing strategy, but your wider digital marketing strategy.</p> <p>Just think about how many search algorithm updates that there may have been, how many new devices have been launched and how many new media platforms have emerged since you last reviewed your content – that could be quite a sobering realisation. </p> <h3>The case for a content audit</h3> <p>The ultimate purpose of any content audit is to understand how your content is performing, how it is delivering for your customers and what value it is providing. </p> <p>There are plenty of both tangible and intangible measurements for successful content, but this doesn’t necessarily confirm that content is useful, relevant or could be considered ‘quality’ by most reasonable measures.</p> <p>You could, for instance, use social shares as a measurement of quality content but, in doing so, it’s likely that you’ll reach conclusions that, whilst they may drive engagement, don’t necessarily drive a commercial return. Providing content that your audiences will engage with is undoubtedly a starting point but, and I hate to break this to you, human beings may not always be the best judges of quality.</p> <p>What your content audit is ultimately about is ensuring that every piece of content on your site is making some form of contribution to improving conversion rates, search visibility, user experience, and relevance.</p> <p>Get it right and you could even start stealing that prized <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66672-semantic-search-the-future-of-search-marketing">Google Knowledge Graph</a> real estate. </p> <h3>The manual approach</h3> <p>If you’re in a position where you are managing a relatively small site with a handful of pages, then manual content auditing might not be such a hardship.</p> <p>Starting with your URL and keywords, you can start to build a picture of where your brand ranks for these key terms, which pages consistently rank for those key terms, and how your competitors perform. </p> <p>It is then down to you to make a human assessment of each of these pages, and you can look at multiple factors to judge <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66971-a-content-manager-s-practical-guide-to-doing-just-enough-seo/">how well optimised your pages are for search</a>, and how they contribute to the user journey. These factors could include URL optimisation, title tags, meta description, ‘H-tag’ optimisation and hierarchy, keyword coverage and word count.</p> <p>You can then add layers of insight from Google Analytics, social monitoring tools and start to understand how these pages contribute to the customer search journey.</p> <p>Are there pages that are haemorrhaging traffic through unusually high exit rates? If so, this page might not adequately serve the customer search query. </p> <p>With only this very top-level and basic approach to content, you can already start to understand just how much time that you're going to have to spend with your head in an Excel spreadsheet, and why many marketers are reluctant to run a manual content audit at any sort of scale.</p> <h3>A scientific approach</h3> <p>But content auditing doesn’t have to be such a daunting prospect, and it is possible to take a more scientific, algorithmic approach to content auditing.</p> <p>At Stickyeyes we use SCOT (<a href="http://www.stickyeyes.com/content-optimisation-tool/">Stickyeyes Content Optimisation Tool</a>), to look at content in the same way that a search engine may look at it, and identify key areas of success and areas for improvement. In short, addressing that critical first hurdle – where to start.</p> <p>The factors we consider include technical elements, such as keyword coverage, meta data and the use of header tags, as well as engagement factors for which there is evidence of a correlation with higher search rankings – factors such as bounce rate, time on page, social engagement and brand awareness for example.</p> <p>For those with sizable websites, this kind of process can be invaluable in understanding just where to focus effort and resource. Here is just one example of a typical output for a printing brand that we ran through the tool. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6722/graph1.jpg" alt="" width="668" height="276"></p> <p>What we can see clearly is that whilst the brand in this example does have some strong content optimisation scores, in excess of 85%, there are a number of revenue-driving keywords for which the domain scores poorly – notably “cheap leaflet printing”, “cheap flyers”, and “cheap flyer printing”.</p> <p>Evidently, this brand has struggled to provide content for search terms with a “cheap” prefix and this therefore provides some direction for their content review.</p> <p>Of course, it may be that the brand sees itself as a quality brand and therefore may not want to specifically target search terms such as “cheap” and “low cost”, but the level of insight provided allows the brand to make that decision.</p> <h3>Identifying the quick wins</h3> <p>Of course, any content appraisal and audit needs to have a degree of human intervention, but what this algorithmic approach does is allow us to automate large parts of the process and using this insight, content managers can start to make some key decisions and prioritise their actions. </p> <p>There are, in this example, a number of pages that score highly and, with a few minor tweaks, can potentially drive further value. These are what we would classify as “quick wins”. </p> <p>Of course, it isn’t simply enough to throw a few keyword-heavy paragraphs into the page in the hope that Google will deem that to be more relevant, but we can now start considering how we can enhance the user experience for these pages and these terms.</p> <p>It may be that we create specific content for these terms, we may change the site structure to make our existing pages more prominent, or we may actually decide to remove certain pages to focus traffic on more valuable pages.</p> <p>What we are essentially trying to do is enhance the user journey rather than hinder it; and there are different ways to do that depending on the circumstances. </p> <p>This process makes it easier to run audits on a more regular basis, allowing you to monitor the success of any changes that you do make, understand the contribution that your new content is making and identify the next key actions for your optimisation strategy. If something appears to be having an adverse effect, this can be identified and rectified very quickly. </p> <h3>The impact on search</h3> <p>We have been using this approach for a number of brands and what we have found is that as we continually work on improving our content scores within SCOT, we have experienced increased visibility within organic search. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6723/graph2.jpg" alt="" width="814" height="336"></p> <p>Of course, what we can’t do is isolate the impact of these content amendments from the various other elements of activity that may have been undertaken to improve search performance, but there is evidence of a strong correlation between the quality of on-page content and search rankings. </p> <p>And it is important to stress that whilst we may be looking to introduce an algorithmic approach to content auditing, this shouldn’t be mistaken as an algorithmic approach towards content creation.</p> <p>What we are trying to do here is to ensure that our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67605-why-content-marketing-isn-t-seo-and-why-seo-isn-t-just-content/">content strategies plug key gaps</a> in what our audiences are looking for, but this shouldn’t turn content creation and optimisation into little more than a box ticking exercise. </p> <p>What matters above all else is that your brand is still providing value to the end user and delivering the best possible experience. Adding a layer of technical competence helps to deliver that user experience, but is also valued by search engines as they look to deliver the most relevant results. </p> <p><a href="http://www.stickyeyes.com/content-optimisation-tool%20">Try the latest version</a> of SCOT for free.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/934 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 2016-06-21T14:00:00+01:00 Digital Marketing Template Files Econsultancy <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Digital Marketing Template Files</strong></p> <p><strong>Authors:</strong></p> <ul> <li>James Gurd, Owner and Lead Consultant, <a title="Digital Juggler" href="http://digitaljuggler.com/">Digital Juggler</a> </li> <li>Ben Matthews, Director, <a title="Montfort" href="http://montfort.io/">Montfort</a> </li> <li>Ger Ashby, Head of Creative Services, <a title="Dotmailer" href="https://www.dotmailer.com/">Dotmailer</a> </li> <li><a title="Starcom Mediavest Group" href="http://smvgroup.com/">Starcom Mediavest Group</a></li> </ul> <p><strong>Files available:</strong> 10 file bundles, 50+ individual template files<br></p> <p><strong>File titles:</strong> See sample document for full breakdown of section and file information.</p> <h3>About these files</h3> <p>Need help with an area of digital marketing and don't know where to start? This pack of downloadable files contains best practice templates that you can use in your digital marketing activities. Feel free to adapt them to suit your needs.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jxKmQGxspc8?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Contents</h3> <p>In this release we have 10 template bundles containing over 50 individual template files for digital marketing projects.</p> <p><strong>Download separate file bundles below:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Affiliate Marketing</li> <li>Content Marketing</li> <li>Display Advertising *to be published soon*</li> <li>Ecommerce Projects</li> <li>Email Marketing</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: PPC</li> <li>Search Engine Marketing: SEO</li> <li>Social Media and Online PR</li> <li>Usability and User Experience</li> <li>Web Analytics</li> </ul> <p><strong>The template files bundle also includes a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/small-business-online-resource-manager/">Small Business Online Resource Manager</a> that </strong><strong>can help you effectively manage and own your online assets.</strong></p> <p><strong>There's a free guide which you can download to find out more about exactly what is included.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67940 2016-06-10T14:39:00+01:00 2016-06-10T14:39:00+01:00 10 grin-inducing digital marketing stats we've seen this week Ben Davis <p>For more stats, as ever, we urge you (all together now), 'check out Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/">Internet Statistics Compedium</a>'.</p> <h3>US app downloads down 20% YoY</h3> <p>May 2015 saw downloads for the top 15 app publishers drop an average of 20% in the US.</p> <p>Globally, these 15 apps are faring better, with an average growth in downloads of 3%.</p> <p>The research from Nomura and <a href="http://www.recode.net/2016/6/8/11883518/app-boom-over-snapchat-uber">reported by Recode</a> shows the extent to which Snapchat and Uber are exceptions to the rule of negative or minimal growth (see chart below).</p> <p>Both more than doubled their downloads last month, year-on-year.</p> <p>Globally, the mobile phone market is still growing, so the app market is as well. But not by much.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5949/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.03.47.png" alt="app downloads" width="615" height="438"></p> <h3>Time in app also stuttering</h3> <p>The bad news for apps doesn't stop there. People are spending less time in their social media apps overall.</p> <p><a href="https://www.similarweb.com/blog/social-media-usage">SimilarWeb</a> looked at Android apps, comparing Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. Across the four major social platforms of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, time in app for Android users has decreased.</p> <p>The chart below shows this phenomenon for the Facebook app, likely influenced by spending more time in Messenger.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5958/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.42.11.png" alt="app time down" width="500"></p> <h3>The mobile display advertising landscape</h3> <p>IHS and Facebook produced <a href="https://scontent-lhr3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/t39.2365-6/12427056_897682517015706_590297266_n.pdf">some research</a> on this back in March, but I've only just come across the results.</p> <p>The charts are compelling, so I've reproduced two of my favourites here.</p> <p>The first shows Facebook's domination of mobile display advertising (44%) and the second shows how much of overall display is on mobile (76%).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5952/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.27.19.png" alt="global mobile advertising" width="615"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5953/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.27.04.png" alt="mobile advertising globally" width="615"></p> <h3>Vote Leave beating Stronger In for website visits</h3> <p>VoteLeaveTakecontrol.org has seen 373,000 visits to its website in the past 28 days from the UK, compared to 185,000 visiting Strongerin.co.uk.</p> <p>The information comes from more research by SimilarWeb.</p> <h3>EU referendum top searches</h3> <p>Sticking with the UK's lengthy referendum debate, Hitwise has studied the online behaviour of 3m Britons, across the four weeks ending May 28, 2016.</p> <p>The results show top keywords included in searches for relevant referendum terms.</p> <p><em>Top keywords included in searches for ‘EU Referendum’ and ‘Brexit’</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5943/brexit_1.png" alt="keywords for brexit searchers" width="271" height="228"></p> <p><em>Top keywords included in searches for ‘EU Leave’ and ‘EU Stay’</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5944/brexit_2.png" alt="eu referendum searches" width="233" height="225"></p> <h3>Football brands</h3> <p>Brand Finance delivers <a href="http://brandirectory.com/league_tables/table/football-50-2016">an annual study</a> that calculates the brand value of the world's top soccer clubs.</p> <p>You can check out the top 10 below. Other headlines as follows:</p> <ul> <li>Leicester’s brand value is up 132%, making it the fastest growing football club brand.</li> <li>Manchester United remains the most valuable football brand, worth £1.17bn, despite failing to qualify for the Champions League.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5957/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.38.30.png" alt="football brands" width="615"></p> <h3>Keep social honest </h3> <p>A growing number of people cannot distinguish between marketing and non-commercial content.</p> <p>That worrying finding comes from the CIM's intriguingly titled study '<a href="http://www.cim.co.uk/more/keep-social-honest/">Keep Social Honest</a>'.</p> <p>3,000 social media users were surveyed and had the following to say (some of these stats seem like they'd be difficult to prove):</p> <ul> <li>A quarter (25%) have seen a brand fake an online review (compared to 17% in 2014).</li> <li>21% have seen a brand pay or incentivise customers to share positive comments on social media without making this clear to other users (up from 14% in 2014).</li> <li>16% have seen brands pay someone to promote a product or service without disclosing the payment (also up from 14% in 2014).</li> </ul> <p>More stats from the study can be seen in the infographic below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5960/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.51.07.png" alt="keep social honest" width="615" height="586"></p> <h3>SEO in financial services</h3> <p>40% of the top five rankings in Google's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">organic search</a> results for financial services are aggregators, according to new <a href="https://www.equimedia.co.uk/work/whitepapers/seo-financial-services">research</a> by Equimedia.</p> <p>Over 3,000 keywords were analysed across the main financial services markets.</p> <p>Across most categories, aggregator sites such as MoneySuperMarket occupy the top two positions in organic search. </p> <p>Consumer advice services are second in prominence, as shown in the table below.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5951/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.22.04.png" alt="financial seo" width="615"></p> <p>To understand the value of the rankings, Equimedia calculated a score for each site based on search volume and using a click bias weighting to account for higher ranking getting better clickthrough.</p> <p>The results of this scoring are shown below (for the current account and mortgages category) - as you can see, moneysavingexpert.com tops both of these tables.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5950/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_11.22.49.png" alt="financial seo" width="615"></p> <h3>Effectiveness of media spend</h3> <p>Display advertising doesn't come off too well, looking at the chart below taken from the Econsultancy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/media-budgets-index/">Media Budgets Index</a>, in association with Datalicious.</p> <p>TV and point-of-sale are out in front as the most effective channels as regards return on media spend.</p> <p>These results are caveated with the fact that 34% of respondents said they did not use attribution to track the value of marketing channels.</p> <p>A further 22% said they didn't know if they attributed success or that it wasn't relevant.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5453/Screen_Shot_2016-05-31_at_08.26.52.png" alt="effectiveness of channels" width="615" height="608"></p> <h3>Most popular iOS apps</h3> <p>A last piece of app news, from <a href="http://blog.appannie.com/wwdc-most-used-ios-apps-april-2016/%20">research</a> by App Annie.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger, Amazon and Snapchat top the charts of quickest growing iOS apps in the US.</p> <p>With Snapchat's number of daily active users recently overtaking Twitter's, the platform seems well poised.</p> <p>Facebook Messenger, too, is set to grow further, especially on Android, where Facebook has recently removed Messenger from within the main Facebook app, to encourage users to switch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5948/Screen_Shot_2016-06-10_at_10.54.26.png" alt="app usage" width="450"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/818 2016-06-07T12:21:36+01:00 2016-06-07T12:21:36+01:00 SEO: Trends, Data and Best Practice <p>Exclusive to our Enterprise and Small Business subscribers, Econsultancy's Trends Webinar for November looks at the latest trends, data and best practice within SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This insight comes from Econsultancy's own latest research along with collated third-party data and statistics.</p> <p>This session will be hosted by Sean Donnelly, Senior Research Analyst at Econsultancy.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/2951 2016-05-11T09:51:31+01:00 2016-05-11T09:51:31+01:00 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing - Singapore <p><strong style="color: #000000;">Learn the Best Practices of SEO Marketing From UK's Top Digital Marketing Research &amp; Training Company!</strong></p> <p>This intensive 2-day course enables you to plan and build an organic search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The right SEO strategy brings the right kind of visitors to your website, boosts online conversions and helps you stand out in the fiercely competitive online space. The course also gives you the latest updates on the increasingly tricky nature of SEO as search engine continuously innovates and online competition heats up.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67804 2016-05-04T12:07:51+01:00 2016-05-04T12:07:51+01:00 Capturing Micro-Moments & Answer Boxes for content success Richard Marriott <p>Now I’m not a massive fan of buzzwords but like it or not these ‘micro-moments’ should be forming a critical part of your <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-technical-seo-on-page-optimization-and-landing-page-optimization/">on-page content strategy</a> for 2016 to ensure you are always supporting your customers throughout every stage of the buying cycle. </p> <p>Firstly, lets start with the basics, what is a micro-moment?</p> <h3>Micro-moments</h3> <p>In a nutshell, mobile has significantly changed the customer journey by allowing us to be ‘always on’.</p> <p>The traditional journey is now different and broken down into lots of real-time, intent-driven search queries.</p> <p>Google breaks them down into the following 'Moments':</p> <ul> <li>Is it worth it</li> <li>Show me how</li> <li>Time for a new one </li> <li>Didn’t plan for this</li> <li>One step at a time</li> <li>Ready for a change</li> <li>New day new me</li> <li>I wanna talk to a human</li> </ul> <p>There is also a lot of emphasis on: </p> <ul> <li> <strong>Be there:</strong> ensuring you are visible.</li> <li> <strong>Be useful:</strong> deliver relevance in their micro-moment of need.</li> <li> <strong>Be quick:</strong> mobile UX, site speed and page structure.</li> </ul> <p>This graphic from the Think With Google site sums it up nicely:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4529/micro-moments-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="433"></p> <p>Think about your most recent purchase and how you can fit this into the context of the list above; how you searched, where you searched and what the outcome was. </p> <p>So where do you start with capturing these micro-moments? This might seem daunting but break it down logically and it's pretty straight-forward:</p> <ul> <li>Understanding audience</li> <li>Persona creation</li> <li>Mapping moments to personas and keyword research</li> <li>Competitor analysis</li> <li>Content structure</li> </ul> <p>During the rest of this post we are going to focus on the ‘be there’, ‘be useful’ and ‘be quick’ sections of the micro-moment.</p> <p>While I can’t cover all aspects of the ‘be quick’ recommendation such as site speed, we can consider the way content is structured for mobile to ensure it's easily navigable and consumable (which kind of falls into the useful bit too). </p> <h3><strong>Understanding audience</strong></h3> <p>We start by putting a huge focus on audience insights and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66976-are-your-audience-personas-really-helping-to-inform-your-content-strategy/">content personas</a>. </p> <p>After all, if you don’t understand your customer and their needs how can you execute <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-content-strategy/">a successful content strategy</a> to support them throughout the purchase funnel and ultimately increase conversions.</p> <p>Once we have defined these personas we can then begin to think about their individual needs in the buying cycle and look to capture this traffic with content.  </p> <p>Here are a few simple examples on where to gather insight from:</p> <h4><strong>1. Internal data</strong></h4> <p>Clearly the most valuable place you can begin is with your own customer data.  </p> <p>If you are lucky enough to have mosaic data or have done focus group research in the past then use it!</p> <p>If not, then as a minimum export sales/conversion data and segment into persona-related data where possible (depending on the data you have).</p> <p>As a really top-level example, this could be age, gender, location and category of product purchased from. Google Analytics demographics will also help with further insight.</p> <h4><strong>2. Social data</strong></h4> <p>When it comes to audience understanding, where better to look next than at your (or your competitor's) social data. </p> <p>In my personal opinion Facebook Audience Insights data accessed through the Ads Manager is brilliant for audience understanding, and best of all it's free.</p> <p>The tool is supposed to help with your Facebook Ad targeting, however this data can also be used for persona creation and developing content that resonates with your audience.</p> <p><strong>3. YouGov audience profiler (free tool)</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://yougov.co.uk/profileslite#/" target="_blank">YouGov Profiles</a> tool is great to get more insight on your audience.</p> <p>Simply type in your brand, a larger competitor or pastime and it returns lots of rich data on your specific audience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4592/Screen_Shot_2016-05-04_at_11.03.31.png" alt="" width="800" height="450"></p> <h3><strong>Persona formulation</strong></h3> <p>Each brand will be different when thinking about the number of personas you are going to have, and it also depends on the amount of time and resource you have available.</p> <p>Firstly you need to be realistic with what you can achieve and service properly, and also think about whether you need a persona set per product category or whether you can use the same set across the business. </p> <p>Too many personas will potentially dilute what you are trying to achieve, and only having one will lead to the content being too narrow and not appealing enough to the larger audiences.</p> <p>Broadly speaking we normally look to use between three and five personas per category/business. </p> <p>Below is an example on how to formulate these personas along with a <a href="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/persona-template/?utm_source=Econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=Earned&amp;utm_campaign=Micro-Moments-Post" target="_blank">handy link to the template</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4530/persona-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="371"></p> <h3><strong>Competitor analysis</strong></h3> <p>There are several methods available for SEO competitor analysis.</p> <p>In my opinion <a href="https://www.semrush.com/" target="_blank">SEM Rush</a> is a pretty efficient way of checking not only what your competitors are ranking for, but also any Answer Boxes they currently own.</p> <p>By searching for said competitor/site then selecting 'organic search positions', you can see the terms your competitor ranks for. This can be exported and filtered until your heart's content! </p> <p>The next level is to look at which Google Answer Boxes are they capturing. To see this simply filter by SERP feature, then featured snippet:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4531/sem-rush-msm-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="280"></p> <p>Then sense-check against the terms in the SERP:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4545/serp-answer-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="439"> </p> <p>As you can see, these Answer Boxes are appearing at the top of the organic results and capturing a lot of real estate in the SERP, so it's great for awareness and capturing traffic at the top of the funnel.</p> <p>Google doesn’t automatically scrape the first result either. We’ve seen Answer Boxes being won by terms ranking within the top five.</p> <p>We’ve also seen great success with some of our clients utilising these, and with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67569-google-kills-right-hand-ppc-ads-how-should-marketers-respond/">no ads down the side of the SERP</a> there are some people speculating that this will allow extra space for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62241-google-s-knowledge-graph-one-step-closer-to-the-semantic-web/">the Knowledge Graph</a>.</p> <h3><strong>Mapping moments to personas (be there/be useful)</strong></h3> <p>Once the personas have been created we then need to understand their individual needs and how to ensure you have the right content for them at every stage of the purchase funnel.</p> <p>So let's start that process. Choose one of your personas and think of queries that fall into each of the 'moments' listed at the top of this post.</p> <p>Now in terms of keyword research around these, I’m not going to teach anyone to suck eggs as I’m sure most will know your keyword sets and there is already enough information on this available elsewhere.</p> <p>However, to capture these micro-moments, keyword formulation should be considered in a slightly different way to really start to understand where the opportunity is, how the consumer will want to consume the content and ultimately how to structure that content to meet their needs.</p> <p>Start by using <a href="https://adwords.google.co.uk/KeywordPlanner">Google's Keyword Planner</a> to look at search volumes.  </p> <p>To give you some inspiration on what longer-tail terms your audience might be searching for, a couple of handy tools I’ve come across are <a href="http://answerthepublic.com/">Answer The Public</a> and <a href="http://lsigraph.com/">LSI Graph</a>.</p> <p>These deliver the what, when, how, why and sematic phrases for your head terms, and both churn out cool suggestions like this:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4533/answer-the-people-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="470"></p> <p>And this:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4534/lsi-graph-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="342"></p> <p>These terms should be considered when formulating functional content on product/category pages and also when creating blog strategies to capture this additional opportunity.</p> <p>So, not all of these suggestions will be relevant to your customers, but when you collectively understand and map them out and tie them back to your content personas, it will help inform your content strategy. </p> <p>To help you map this out, I have created an example template for you to <a href="https://www.zazzlemedia.co.uk/mapping-moments-personas-template/" target="_blank">download here</a>:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4536/mm-template-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="175"></p> <h3><strong>Content and page structure: ‘Be Quick’ / ‘Be Useful’</strong></h3> <p>Content structure is a key reason for why Google displays Answer Boxes from sites that have well-designed pages that answer the question quickly and efficiently. </p> <p>Think back to the intro with the change in search now being based around hundreds of real time, intent-driven search queries.</p> <p>It’s also critical that you take a mobile-first view on these pages so users can easily navigate to the part of content that answers their question, rather than having to infinitely scroll (we know how much it annoys us all!).</p> <p>Below is an example of how to structure content well:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4544/mas-breakdown-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="247"></p> <p>Rather than have multiple pages for multiple micro-moments, I’d recommend creating pages that answer multiple queries/micro-moments around a similar topic or theme.</p> <p>Critically the page starts with a relevant H1 tag followed by some above-the-fold succinct content which answers the user's query within a couple of sentences.</p> <p>Then, if you have multiple questions or areas to cover in the page then create these in a bulleted list with anchor tags that link to the relevant part further down the page.</p> <p>These ‘sub-sections’ should be titled with an H2 with the detail being displayed clearly using tables and lists to make it easy to consume.</p> <h3><strong>Conclusion</strong></h3> <p>Getting the audience part right is the first big hurdle, but once you have your personas nailed down, do your competitor analysis to see if anyone is really owning this at the moment and see if you can take any inspiration.</p> <p>Then use keyword research and some of the query tools I've mentioned to really define micro-moments and pinch points that your customers might be struggling with and map those to the personas to help prioritise content.</p> <p>Once you’ve made it that far create and structure your content while always considering:</p> <ul> <li>Be there.</li> <li>Be useful.</li> <li>Be quick.</li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67789 2016-04-28T10:08:17+01:00 2016-04-28T10:08:17+01:00 Five companies using branded top-level domains (TLDs) & why Ben Davis <h3>Background to new gTLDs</h3> <p>The background to new TLDs makes fairly heavy reading. Most of the problems have surrounded new generic TLDs (gTLDs), for example Amazon's application for '.book'.</p> <p>These new gTLDs were introduced in 2012 and 2013, and you can read all the heavy detail about the bid process on <a href="https://icannwiki.com/New_gTLD_Program">ICANN's Wiki</a> (ICANN is the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a private not-for-profit).</p> <p>Incidentally, the most bids were put in by Google (101), Amazon (79) and Microsoft (11), but non-tech giants like L'Oreal were also in the mix.</p> <h4><strong>Brand protection</strong></h4> <p>Some of the controversy around new gTLDs has involved concern from brands that want to protect their name from appearing in the URL of new domains, particularly unflattering ones.</p> <p>Would brands feel pressured to buy 'brandname.word', to stop others from taking them?</p> <p>Believe it or not, one of these controversial new domains is .sucks, which is charging a premium for brands to snap up their own brand.sucks.</p> <p>You can read the full background on that interesting gTLD in <a href="http://marketingland.com/controversial-sucks-domain-almost-here-121505">a detailed Search Marketing Land article</a>.</p> <p>Or go to its website and view <a href="https://www.registry.sucks/">the most bizarre video on the internet</a> with Ralph Nader.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4403/Screen_Shot_2016-04-28_at_09.42.26.png" alt=".sucks" width="450"></p> <h4><strong>Is the fuss dying down?</strong></h4> <p>According to World Trademark Review it appears that, despite this controversy, brands have not changed their domain enforcement strategies.</p> <p><a href="http://www.worldtrademarkreview.com/Blog/detail.aspx?g=7259ed76-544c-49fa-b7d5-4ba0d075c51a">Its study</a> published in April 2016 showed that 60.5% of companies haven't changed policy in light of new gTLDs.</p> <p>The question is, does that mean brands are unprepared? That's a debate for another post.</p> <p>Let's look at some brand TLDs, a slightly different kettle of fish.</p> <h3>Brand TLDs </h3> <p>Brand TLDs seem more straightforward and represent <a href="https://icannwiki.com/Brand_TLD">34% of new TLDs</a> applied for. Companies can't snap up brand TLDs just to sell them on.</p> <p>There was initial uncertainty about search performance but Google has since confirmed that there's no reason to fear brand TLDs, though they don't offer inherent <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/search-engine-marketing-seo-digital-marketing-template-files">SEO</a> advantage.</p> <h4>1. BMW</h4> <p>BMW celebrated its centenary by looking forward to the next 100 years on this website at next100.bmw.</p> <p>Here, the advantage is pretty much solely one of brand image, but brand TLDs do allow companies to create lots of second-level domains for campaigns and products.</p> <p>To some extent, this makes marketing easier. Think finance.bmw, etc. - shorter and more memorable URLs.</p> <p>Consumers can often be confused by TLDs (do I need .com or .co.uk?), so this brand TLD may also offer assurance to the customer.</p> <p><a href="http://www.next100.bmw/en/index.html"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4393/Screen_Shot_2016-04-28_at_08.26.06.png" alt="bmw next 100" width="615" height="320"></a> </p> <h4>2. Barclays</h4> <p>In May 2015, <a href="http://www.newsroom.barclays.com/r/3162/uk_banking_first__barclays_launches_unique_branded_domain">Barclays announced</a> TLDs of .barclays and .barclaycard.</p> <p>Online banking isn't carried on this new brand TLD, but it's easy to see how security could be one advantage of using .barclays.</p> <p><a href="https://www.home.barclays/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4395/Screen_Shot_2016-04-28_at_08.26.47.png" alt="barclays tld" width="615" height="288"></a> </p> <h4>3. Sky</h4> <p>Sky is a good example of a business creating shorter, memorable URLs by using a brand TLD.</p> <p>For example, q.sky currently redirects to <a href="http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/sky-q/overview/">http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/sky-q/overview/</a>.</p> <p>Whether this will just be for marketing purposes, like custom URLs, or will eventually be used as the main domain remains to be seen.</p> <p>Other companies are using brand TLD redirects, too. Bing redirects search.bing to bing.com.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4397/Screen_Shot_2016-04-28_at_08.29.58.png" alt=".sky" width="615" height="320"> </p> <h4>4. CERN</h4> <p>CERN is another example of a new TLD being used for branding purposes, but also presumably to offer simple flexibility when it comes to creating second-level domains in future.</p> <p><a href="http://home.cern/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4398/Screen_Shot_2016-04-28_at_08.31.09.png" alt=".cern" width="615" height="319"></a></p> <h4>5. Google</h4> <p>Our final example is a bit of a meta one.</p> <p>Google has registry.google, where it promotes access to new gTLDs that it has successfully applied for.</p> <p>Other registars can partner with Google here, to sell these domains.</p> <p>Look down the list and you can immediately see things of interest to many brands, whether or not they have their own brand TLD already.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4396/Screen_Shot_2016-04-28_at_08.31.26.png" alt=".google" width="615" height="320"> </p> <p>For more advantages of using a branded TLD, read: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66191-brand-tlds-five-potential-benefits/">Brand TLDs: five potential benefits</a>.</p> <p><em>Know more about TLDs than me? - why not leave a comment below.</em></p>