tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/seo Latest SEO content from Econsultancy 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68815 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 2017-02-20T10:52:00+00:00 Becoming an influencer: Notes from a fledgling travel blogger Nikki Gilliland <p>I recently caught up with Marion (while she was on a jealousy-inducing trip to Guatemala) to find out how she has generated such a large following, how she works with brands, and her thoughts on travel influencers in general.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3939/Marion_Payet.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="534"></p> <p>Here’s what she said.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Could you start by explaining a bit about your blog and how you got into the industry?</h4> <p><em>Marion Payet:</em> I initially started my blog because of an interest in creating something more authentic than I was seeing elsewhere. </p> <p>I recognised that I could offer more than standard recommendations from huge companies like Lonely Planet. I mean, a brand like that might tell me to go to a specific market – but how will I know if it’ll provide me with anything unique or truly interesting? I’m more inclined to trust someone with a personal point of view rather than a book that’s been written for the masses. </p> <p>So, I aimed to build something based on the notion that if you like my lifestyle and the way that I am travelling, then you would like the recommendations I make too.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Did you start your blog with any knowledge of influencer marketing? </h4> <p><em>MP: </em>In terms of my own background, I started in the hospitality and travel industry in Florida, then I moved to London where I worked in retail – specifically ecommerce and digital marketing. </p> <p>This is how I knew I could offer something different from other travel websites, because I already knew many tricks of the trade. </p> <p>I had worked with influencers myself through affiliate channels, and had general knowledge of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">SEO</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a>, coding, etc. – so I knew I could use this to my advantage, especially compared to other bloggers I was seeing at the time.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are the main strategies you have used to build your audience?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> I obviously have the main website, but as I didn’t originally have much money to invest, I knew that in order to drive traffic to it I needed to use another organic channel like social media. </p> <p>So, I started <a href="https://www.instagram.com/hibiscusandnomada/">with Instagram</a>, spending days and days just being really active on it, engaging with the community and making friends with mutual interests. </p> <p>Over time my presence grew. From last June to now I have managed to reach 29,000 followers, and that’s just organically, from being super active and building my own community.</p> <p>Eventually, this audience has also found its way back to my website, so now we’re at about 1,500 visits per month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3941/HN_insta.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="420"></p> <h4> <em>E:</em> At what point did you start getting interest from brands?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> Quite recently. Before that, it was purely me reaching out to brands through email and social media, saying this is what I do if you are interested. </p> <p>Then, about a month ago, it seemed to flip – I started to get emails every day from brands and websites saying that they had found me. As soon as I reached about 25,000 followers on Instagram, it started to happen, and then I also got quite a bit of press coverage from online and print magazines. Combined, this seemed to really ignite interest.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Do you only work with a certain type of brand, and how do you decide who to work with?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> Absolutely, since the very beginning I’ve made a point of being picky. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers on Instagram being quite blatant, posting photos of a watch with a mountain in the background.</p> <p>I would never want to get paid to promote a brand that I don’t believe in, so I only work those that I think are a really good fit for me.</p> <p>For example, I am now working with a brand that offers travel insurance, because I have used it myself and I know that my audience will find it useful. If I am holding an expensive watch – why would a backpacker be interested in that? I’m not scared of saying no or explaining that it won’t be a good fit, either.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What would you say is the best way for a brand to approach an influencer?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> A brand can usually get my attention if it is a personalised message, so not just mentioning that they have seen my blog, but pointing out a specific article or photo that they liked. </p> <p>I get countless emails saying that someone wants to work with me, so I really need to feel that there is some kind of personal connection. I can also tell if it is an email they have sent to hundreds of other bloggers – I can read between the lines. </p> <p>Lastly, I have to feel like it’s not just about them, that it’s about both of us, and that all parties will be able benefit from the deal.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> How do you see influencer marketing evolving? Do you think it will reach saturation point?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> I do think it will reach saturation point. You can tell this, not just from the amount of influencers, but the type and quality of content that they are promoting. You can usually tell that it’s not authentic, that they are staying in a hotel simply because they are being paid to – it doesn’t align with their identity or approach to travel in any way. </p> <p>This weekend I was in the south of Mexico, in a hostel that paid for my entire experience, and while the hostel is definitely a place I would stay at (and promote), my article will also include detailed information about the day-trip I went on and every single activity I did. It’s always better to promote a story rather than just a straightforward recommendation. </p> <p>I think authentic influencer marketing will evolve in this way, telling the story and entire experience of a place rather than just one aspect.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Finally, what’s the best place you’ve been or experience you’ve had thanks to your blog?</h4> <p><em>MP:</em> The best feedback I’ve had has been from my Iceland trip - I was there for a whole week over New Year. I didn’t even really plan anything, then I slowly realised that it was winter, there would only be four hours of daylight, we’d be freezing. </p> <p>Who goes to Iceland in winter? But we embraced it and ended up taking the most incredible photos. The feedback was amazing, with people commenting that they now want to visit during the winter time rather than summer, and asking questions about how we got there, how we travelled and so on. </p> <p>People don’t even think to go to a place like Iceland before they see photos and then they get obsessed with it. For us, this is so rewarding – it shows that you can truly inspire.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3940/Iceland.JPG" alt="" width="650" height="429"></p> <p><strong><em>For more on this topic, check out the following research from Econsultancy:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-rise-of-influencers/">The Rise of Influencers</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-voice-of-the-influencer/">The Voice of the Influencer</a></em></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68819 2017-02-17T11:03:14+00:00 2017-02-17T11:03:14+00:00 10 outstanding digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>On we go...</p> <h3>73% of retailers fear cybercrime will negatively impact them in 2017</h3> <p>According to <a href="https://www.mimecast.com/resources/white-papers/Dates/2017/2/email-security-risk-assessment" target="_blank">new research</a> from Mimecast, retailers are hyper-aware of cyber-crime, with 73% believing that an attack will negatively impact their business in the year ahead.</p> <p>65% also believe a malicious email is the most likely way they’ll be infected by ransomware, making retail the most fearful industry overall.</p> <p>This news comes on the back of Mimecast’s security risk report which – from analysis of 26m emails – found 3.5m pieces of spam and 6,681 dangerous files.</p> <h3>Lingerie more popular than chocolate this Valentine’s Day</h3> <p>Criteo has revealed the most-searched for items this Valentine’s Day. Coming in at number one was ‘earrings’, followed by ‘men’s watches’ and ‘engagement ring’.</p> <p>Interestingly, searches for lingerie increased a massive 366% in the lead up to the day itself, somewhat justifying many online retailer’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68767-how-retailers-are-targeting-mobile-shoppers-this-valentine-s-day/" target="_blank">heavy promotion</a> of the category.</p> <p>More traditional items were also in demand, with searches for perfume and diamonds up 141% and 130% respectively.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3973/valentines.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="433"></p> <h3>Millennials drive traffic to luxury online retailers</h3> <p>Ahead of London Fashion Week, Hitwise has revealed how a new generation of affluent millennials are increasingly seeking out luxury brands.</p> <p>According to data, 50% of website traffic to Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Gucci is driven by this demographic. Consequently, brands are expected to continue investing in digital efforts to engage with them.</p> <p>Overall, there has been a 45% increase in website traffic to luxury fashion retailers over the past three years.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3972/Luxury_Millennials.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="328"></p> <h3>66% of marketers struggle to understand their audience</h3> <p>In the wake of Brexit and the US Presidential election, two-thirds of digital marketers are now questioning whether they truly know their audience.</p> <p>This is according to a new survey from Greenlight, which also found that, as a result, 94% now intend to better understand what their customers are looking for.</p> <p>37% plan to target subsets of their audience to ensure their brand is tapping into the conversations that suit their business. Typically, 57% rely on customer surveys and 59% use online forms to collect insight.</p> <h3>18-24 year olds dominate Snapchat usage</h3> <p>Data from Verto has revealed that, despite 18-24 year olds accounting for just 35% of Snapchat's UK users, they account for 70% of the overall time spent on the platform.</p> <p>In contrast, while 40% of Snapchat's audience is aged over 35, this age group accounts for just 5% of usage time.</p> <p>Other data shows that the average user spends 4hrs 22mins on Snapchat a month - a figure down from 5hrs 30mins just six months ago. </p> <p>However, this is still much lower than Facebook, which has an average user time of 12hrs 43mins per month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3971/Verto.JPG" alt="" width="690" height="420"></p> <h3>Proflowers.com leads in Valentine’s Day paid search ad spend</h3> <p>Adgooroo has revealed that ahead of the holiday, Proflowers.com generated a 7.3% share of total clicks on Valentine’s Day-related keywords.</p> <p>This means the site beat out the likes of Hallmark, whose e-card website Hallmarkecards.com generated a 7.1% click share.</p> <p>There was heavy competition in the greetings cards category, too, with Tinyprints.com generating a 3.4% click share, edging out American Greetings and Blue Mountain, which both saw a share of 2.5%.</p> <h3>26% of marketers feel unprepared for GDPR</h3> <p>New research from the <a href="https://dma.org.uk/article/the-gdpr-and-you-chapter-two" target="_blank">DMA</a> suggests that one in four businesses are still unprepared for the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with just over half reporting that they feel prepared, and 5% believing it’s not their responsibility to do anything about it.</p> <p>It’s not all bad news, however, as awareness of the GDPR <em>has</em> risen from 53% to 66% since June, while marketers’ personal feelings of readiness increased from 49% to 71%. </p> <p>Despite this, there is still a clear need for urgency, with many marketers not believing their businesses will be compliant before the new rules come into place.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3969/DMA.JPG" alt="" width="500" height="295"></p> <h3>Almost 6m UK households have no savings </h3> <p>A five-year study from Experian has found that people in their 20s and 30s are far less well off than the previous generation, with nearly 1m households having received a loan or financial gift from other family members. </p> <p>Experian found that almost 6m households in Britain have no savings, with 423,000 Britons relying on unauthorised overdrafts or payday loans to make ends meet.</p> <p>Lastly, the report also highlights how over 35m people in Britain may be paying more than they should for inappropriate financial products and utility plans, with most <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68789-how-smart-switching-energy-apps-are-tapping-into-customer-need/" target="_blank">failing to switch</a> to a better deal.</p> <h3>66% of marketers no longer use mobile apps in campaigns</h3> <p>The State of Digital Commerce report by Episerver has revealed that two-thirds of marketing professionals are no longer using mobile apps in their marketing campaigns, choosing a responsive mobile presence instead.</p> <p>The report also states that 32% of top retailers do not provide a mobile application across either iPhone or Android devices, and eight out of 10 top UK retailers have adopted a responsive ecommerce site.</p> <p>The shift is said to be due to the surge in mobile search as well as the introduction of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68490-google-s-accelerated-mobile-pages-12-pros-and-cons/">Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3970/Episerver.JPG" alt="" width="482" height="206"></p> <h3>Changing attitudes to brand loyalty</h3> <p>The new Accenture Strategy report has highlighted how consumers’ allegiances towards brands are frequently changing. </p> <p>In a survey of the attitudes of 25,426 consumers, Accenture found that 54% of US consumers have switched a provider in the past year, while 18% report that their own expectations about brand loyalty have changed.</p> <p>Alongside personalisation, greater loyalty could be driven by an experiential approach – with 44% saying they are loyal to a brand that encourages the design or co-creation of products or services.</p> <p>Lastly, 42% of US respondents are also loyal to brands that their family and friends do business with, while 37% are loyal to brands that actively support shared causes, such as charities or public campaigns.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68806 2017-02-15T10:36:00+00:00 2017-02-15T10:36:00+00:00 A day in the life of... a Chief Media Officer Ben Davis <p>Remember, if you're looking for a role yourself, why not have a look at the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy jobs board</a>.</p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job.</h4> <p><em>Alistair Dent:</em> I’m the Chief Media Officer at iCrossing, I run the department that handles digital media planning and buying, across channels including PPC, SEO, display, social and more.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>I report to our UK CEO, Mark Iremonger and work alongside other C-suite members, including the CFO and head of operations.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>I firmly believe that a Chief Media Officer needs to be a media expert. Whilst leading a large department requires management and leadership expertise, leading by credibility is the easiest way to get all stakeholders (boss, team, peers, suppliers and clients) bought into why our way of working is different and better.</p> <p>In an industry where anybody has access to amazing tools and technology, our people and expertise need to be the differentiator.</p> <p><em>Alistair Dent</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/3889/alistair_-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="alistair dent" width="350"></p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Tell us about a typical working day…</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>Today I:</p> <ul> <li>attended a quarterly review with a large, high-street retail client to discuss what we did differently that led to such a good Christmas, as well as how we can replicate it through the year. This was preceded by a breakfast briefing from my team who delivered the work.</li> <li>delivered a lunch-and-learn session at a travel client to teach their team about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67745-15-examples-of-artificial-intelligence-in-marketing/">artificial intelligence</a>: how it works, what machine learning really is, and how we can use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67894-what-are-chatbots-and-why-should-marketers-care/">chatbots</a> to help our customers.</li> <li>reviewed the outcomes from several second round interviews so that we could hire some amazing new team members.</li> <li>had a strategy session about what new services we might offer to our clients.</li> <li>planned a panel appearance at a supplier event.</li> <li>attended an industry dinner to discuss the latest news and ensure that iCrossing continues to be at the heart of our fast-moving sector.</li> </ul> <h4> <em>E:</em> What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em>AD:</em> I love people. Whoever they are, the chance to geek out about digital marketing and learn about somebody’s unique situation is super enjoyable, so I relish the time I spend with my clients and my team.</p> <p>The most difficult portion is undoubtedly balancing time. I feel bad whenever I have to move a scheduled meeting because my days have been shifted around.</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h4> <p><em>AD:</em> Obviously my purpose is to improve the performance of our business, which is measured through metrics relating to new business wins, revenue growth, client upsells, staff turnover, etc.</p> <p>But where it gets more interesting is in the fuzzier metrics: do our team love working here? Are we doing cutting edge work? How many of my team have I made famous for their expertise?</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>I need to be very structured in my day or the volume becomes overwhelming and things get lost. I live my life by my Outlook calendar, I connect it to OneNote for task lists, and I use these on my phone as much or more than on my laptop.</p> <p>The real secret to being able to handle this much volume: having a team I can trust and delegate to. I can’t go to every meeting that would be beneficial. I can’t follow up with every vendor or every email.</p> <p>By empowering my team to make decisions that they know I’ll back them up on, I can trust that these are being handled just as well (or better) than I’d be able to handle them myself.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>I got into digital by accident: I worked as a management consultant in the City but I was travelling too much. I had built up some skills as a developer and looked for London-based roles building Excel and VBA tools.</p> <p>I started at a young specialist agency of nine people, and left six years later when the agency was 100 people. Since then I’ve moved around the industry in leadership roles at performance agencies, and expect to continue to work across all digital channels to do the coolest media campaigns I can for innovation-friendly brands.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>Nobody is doing it as well as it can be done, because the scope of “good” changes so frequently and varies between sectors and brands.</p> <p>For me doing digital well means talking to customers where they want, rather than forcing them into the channels that are most efficient or effective for the brand.</p> <p>A seamless (and sequential) experience across all channels and devices is hard to achieve vs. the performance metrics it can deliver, but the long term payoff of being an early adopter is that you’ll never miss the chance to ride the unicorn.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in digital?</h4> <p><em>AD: </em>Don’t be afraid to build and then believe in your own expertise. It’s tough to become a master of an area, but if you can describe the complexities of a channel to your clients so that they can understand it then you’ll always be a valuable advisor.</p> <p>Work somewhere you get the time and support to learn and develop your mastery.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68799 2017-02-10T14:11:00+00:00 2017-02-10T14:11:00+00:00 10 epic digital marketing stats from this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Now, let’s get straight to it.</p> <h3>Technology is holding back half of UK retailers</h3> <p>Retailers are still struggling to harness the power of new technology, according to the latest research from eCommera and Coleman Parkes.</p> <p>In a study of 200 UK retailers with revenue of over £100m, 46% of respondents said their tech stack is inhibiting growth. Consequently, 64% plan to increase investment in 2017.</p> <p>When it comes down to the reasons why, retailers cited website stability, customer experience and analytics as the three areas that require greater focus. This proves that - while retailers might have invested in the latest tech – many are unable to implement it correctly.</p> <h3>Pepsi Super Bowl ad generates most media conversation</h3> <p>4C has revealed the Super Bowl moments that ignited social media, with both Lady Gaga and Pepsi overshadowing the game itself.</p> <p>There were over 37m engagements around the event in total, including conversation about teams, players, and performers.</p> <p>Tom Brady earned 2.5m engagements, while Lady Gaga gained 5.5m engagements for her impressive performance. Meanwhile, Pepsi was the most talked about brand ad, garnering 708,089 engagements.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3826/Pepsi.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="234"></p> <h3>UK searches for mini-breaks up a fifth year on year</h3> <p>The Spring Travel Insights report from Bing Ads has revealed the travel destinations Brits are currently searching for.</p> <p>With a spike driven by Valentine’s Day and the approaching spring bank holiday, searches for mini or short breaks are up nearly a fifth year on year. Spa breaks are similarly popular, making up 23% of searches.</p> <p>Mobile is also a key driver, with 31% of mini-break search volume coming from a smartphone or tablet.</p> <h3>More consumers search eBay for iPads than roses for Valentine’s Day</h3> <p>In more Valentine’s Day news, eBay has revealed that Valentine’s gifts are increasingly moving from the practical to the experiential, as shoppers search for more unusual and imaginative gift ideas.</p> <p>This time last year, searches in eBay’s Travel &amp; Holidays category surged by 55%, while interest in its Art category rose by 60%. Further to this, interest in event tickets and books rose by 57% and 39% respectively.</p> <p>Even traditional gifts like roses have been eclipsed by practical items like the iPad, which saw a 31% spike in search interest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3830/ebay.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="479"></p> <h3>One in ten marketers admit their emails are irrelevant</h3> <p>New <a href="https://dma.org.uk/article/marketer-email-tracker-2017-launch" target="_blank">research from the DMA</a> highlights how vital emails are to marketing strategies, with 95% of marketers agreeing that they are ‘important’ or ‘very important’.</p> <p>Despite this, only 9% say that all their emails are relevant to customers, and 38% say that ‘some’ are relevant at best.</p> <p>For marketers, ‘lack of strategy’ remains the biggest concern, followed by ‘lack of data’ and ‘data silos’. It’s not all bad news, however, as last year’s biggest concern of ‘limited internal resources’ has dropped out of the top three.</p> <p>With over half of consumers having considered deleting their email account, it is up to marketers to strive to provide greater relevance and value.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3827/DMA.JPG" alt="" width="711" height="342"></p> <h3>AI marketing spend predicted to hit $2bn by 2020</h3> <p>A new report from Qubit and IDC predicts that marketing spend on artificial intelligence technology will grow by 54% from $360m in 2016 to $2bn by 2020.</p> <p>A large factor in this prediction is the belief that traditional tools like A/B testing and predictive analytics are flat lining. Similarly, the suggestion that marketers are struggling with the sheer volume and variety of consumer data, leading to inaccuracies and errors.</p> <p>Consequently, while marketers are still failing to grasp AI effectively, marketing spend looks set to boom.</p> <h3>Quality more important than price for grocery shoppers</h3> <p>New research from Shoppercentric has highlighted the changing expectations of grocery shoppers, as high quality produce overtakes competitive pricing in terms of importance.</p> <p>Now, 54% of consumers say quality produce is the most critical factor, while 49% cite price.</p> <p>Other changing behaviour includes how often consumers shop, with the ‘little and often’ trend increasing 5% since 2016. Lastly, the rise of mobile continues, with 27% of shoppers using their smartphone to shop in the past month – a rise of 3% from last year. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3828/Shoppercentric.JPG" alt="" width="599" height="233"></p> <h3>5.5bn people predicted to be using mobile phones by 2021</h3> <p>According to a new report from Cisco, more people will be using mobile phones in 2021 than bank accounts and landlines.</p> <p>Due to strong growth in mobile users, smartphones and IoT connections - combined with network speed improvements and mobile video consumption - mobile data traffic is predicted to grow sevenfold.</p> <p>Cisco also forecasts that there will be 12bn mobile-connected devices by 2021 – a figure up from 8bn in 2016. Lastly, the total number of smartphones is expected to account for more than half of all devices and connections in the world.</p> <h3>46% of consumers influenced by social video</h3> <p>In a survey over 5,500 consumers, the Science of Social Video has found that people spend an average of six hours a week watching video content on social media networks.</p> <p>67% of respondents said that this figure had increased over the course of the past year, while 60% said that it’s likely to continue to rise.</p> <p>The survey also highlights how social video can impact purchasing decisions, with 46% saying they had made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, while 32% had considered doing so.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3829/Social_minutes.JPG" alt="" width="582" height="332"></p> <p><em>(Minutes of social video consumers watch per day)</em></p> <h3>Omni-channel sales restricted by security concerns</h3> <p>A new survey from Aspect has found that security concerns about social media could be preventing sales.</p> <p>69% of consumers have security concerns over payment or personal details, while 60% have concerns over social media channels being at risk of phishing attempts or fraudulent profiles.</p> <p>While social media channels are still widely used for research purposes, purchases are generally carried out elsewhere, with a majority of consumers being unwilling to pay via communication channels like Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram.</p> <p>On the other hand, consumers are increasingly confident in paying via mobile applications, with 75% saying they are happy to do so.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68738 2017-01-26T10:16:42+00:00 2017-01-26T10:16:42+00:00 What is technical SEO? And why is it important? Ben Davis <p>Although technical SEO is not as time consuming as ongoing optimisation such as link building, get it wrong and you can scupper the search performance of your website fairly quickly (indexing issues occur upstream of quality scoring).</p> <p>In <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">Econsultancy's newly updated SEO Best Practice Guide</a>, the analogy of a train is used - no matter what the carriages look like (on-page content), if the engine (technical SEO) doesn't work properly, nobody will ride the train. </p> <p>The most appropriate time to consider technical SEO is during a website's construction. If this doesn't happen, lengthy and involved technical SEO audits may be needed to identify and fix problems, with possible periods of uncertainty as changes are made.</p> <p>However, technical SEO is not just about site build; updates by search engines and changes in your own business direction or customer behaviour may necessitate change, too.</p> <h3>So, let's get down to brass tacks, what <em>actually</em> is technical SEO?</h3> <p>Technical SEO considerations when creating and maintaining a website include the following.</p> <h3>Future-proofing the site architecture</h3> <p>As the website grows over time, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64474-ecommerce-information-architecture-the-devil-in-the-detail">architecture</a> has to be able to cope. Ideally, pages should not be buried too deeply (more than four levels down) within the site, which means planning a 'horizontal' site. This allows search engines to regularly crawl, cache and index pages.</p> <p>Categorisation is a big part of site architecture in ecommerce, dividing a catalogue of products into categories and assigning URLs. Products may need to live in several categories, which brings further considerations such as canonicalization (see below).</p> <p>Other decisions to be made include: </p> <ul> <li>the appropriate use of subdomains</li> <li>the formatting of URLs</li> <li>using the correct parameters for dynamic content (such as product filters)</li> <li>the submission of sitemaps (including mobile and video) </li> <li>applying a 'robots' meta tag and using the robots.txt file (to give instructions to search crawlers, such as 'do not index')</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/5372/slide4-blog-full.jpg" alt="site architecture" width="615" height="461"></p> <h3>Canonicalization</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67811-how-canonical-tags-helped-waterstones-solve-a-product-ranking-nightmare/">Canonicalization</a> is the process of choosing a preferred URL when there are several choices for an individual page. Canonicalization issues often occur with the homepage (for example, if many different international URLs point to the homepage, or more simply if www.example.com and http://example.com do so).</p> <p>Tags and redirects are used to solve these issues so that search engines do not understand such URLs to be evidence of duplicated content.</p> <h3>Pagination</h3> <p>Pagination, often used for ecommerce categories when displaying lots of products, can create crawler issues, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61802-how-to-avoid-duplicate-content-issues-in-ecommerce/">duplicate content</a> (similar to canonicalization) or simply 'diluting' the relevancy of your content by spreading it further.</p> <p>Again, using the correct meta tags is the key to ranking effectively for paginated content.</p> <h3>Website cannibalisation</h3> <p>Namely, ensuring this doesn't happen (similar content competing in search and leading to lower positions overall) by understanding what content you want to rank highest and determining the correct structure for internal linking, subdomains and international sites to enable this.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic see our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65433-why-internal-links-and-hub-pages-are-a-major-factor-in-seo-success/">article about World Cup rankings and The Daily Mail's architecture</a>.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9903/world_cup_mail.png" alt="cannibalization" width="615"></p> <h3>Redirection</h3> <p>Redirection is used to ensure users are served the most appropriate content for them, which could be contextualised for their location, language or device.</p> <h3>Speed optimisation</h3> <p>Site speed can be optimised in a variety of ways including content delivery networks, caching solutions, minifying code, asynchronous loading or using Google's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68490-google-s-accelerated-mobile-pages-12-pros-and-cons/">Accelerated Mobile Pages</a> (AMP) HTML, which does all of these things and more.</p> <h3>HTML markup</h3> <p>HTML can be enhanced to give specific specific information to web crawlers. This <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64778-what-is-schema-markup-and-why-should-you-be-using-it/">markup</a> is needed to have content formatted at its best.</p> <p>Examples include:</p> <ul> <li>Open Graph - telling Facebook how your content should appear</li> <li>Twitter Cards</li> <li>language tags</li> <li>title, description and header tags</li> <li>structured data markup e.g. to show rich snippets in search</li> </ul> <h3>Don't forget to download our SEO Best Practice Guide!</h3> <p>That should give you some idea of what technical SEO entails. For lots more, including detailed how-to instructions, see Econsultancy's new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">SEO Best Practice Guide</a>, which also includes a range of other sections such as on-page optimisation, link building, measurement and more.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:WebinarEvent/850 2017-01-25T04:10:56+00:00 2017-01-25T04:10:56+00:00 SEO: Trends, Data and Best Practice <p>Econsultancy's Trends Webinar for February looks at the latest trends, data and best practice within SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This insight comes from Econsultancy's latest research along with collated third-party data and statistics.</p> <p>This session will be hosted by<strong> Jeff</strong> <strong>Rajeck, Research Analyst, APAC at Econsultancy </strong>and co-hosted by <strong>Sandeep Yadla, Senior SEO Manager (APAC) at JLL</strong>. There will be a 15 minute Q&amp;A session after the presentation.</p> <p><strong>FAQ:</strong></p> <p><strong>I'm not an Econsultancy subscriber, can I join?</strong></p> <p>Ans: You sure can. The sessions are complimentary for existing customers and new friends.</p> <p><strong>Will the session be recorded?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Yes! We record all of our webinars, and we'll send out a link to the recording the following week.</p> <p><strong>What if I register but can't make it?</strong></p> <p>Ans: It's all good. We'll send a follow-up with key takeaways and a link to the recording.</p> <p><strong>Can I ask questions?</strong></p> <p>Ans: Absolutely! This session is for you. Bring your questions and participate during Q&amp;A.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68730 2017-01-24T11:22:00+00:00 2017-01-24T11:22:00+00:00 A day in the life of... an SEO account manager Ben Davis <p>Before you spend a day in Aaron's life, check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy jobs board</a> if you're currently in the market for a change.</p> <p>And to learn more on this topic, download Econsultancy’s brand new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">SEO Best Practice Guide</a> or check out our range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">Search Marketing training courses</a>.</p> <h3>Please describe your job: What do you do?</h3> <p>I am an SEO Account Manager at an integrated agency. I lead up SEO campaigns for great brands and help to improve their online visibility, rankings and overall site health.  </p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>As an Account Manager, I report to the Director of Digital, preparing reports, sharing insight into new advances and developments within SEO and also assisting in creating pitches for potential new clients.</p> <p>Currently I manage two executives who support me on the day-to-day running of my accounts.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3318/Aaron_Barefoot_2.jpg" alt="aaron barefoot" width="500"></p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>Organisation is key for SEO and so there are several things we do in order to stay on top of what is going on. Alongside weekly team meetings, we create roadmaps for each client that plan out the next six months of activity so we can always look at our overall objectives and ensure that we’re staying on track to achieve these.</p> <p>Understanding data and finding solutions to problems will also get you a long way. It helps to see patterns in the results you are achieving which provide learnings for future campaigns to ensure we are always improving and staying ahead of the game.</p> <p>This usually requires help from software as well as manually looking at things such as source code. With SEO, two days are rarely the same and as a result, being a quick learner is very helpful.   </p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day… </h3> <p>Preparing and monitoring your workload is a big part of my job. A typical day will involve working across multiple accounts and clients, working on anything from site audits to keyword research and reporting our findings.</p> <p>Most days are fun and allow you to be creative as you have the freedom to generate ideas for websites, blogs or interactive installations and look at new and exciting ways to drive real results for your clients.</p> <p>The majority of concepts are data-driven and our ideas stem from there. An example of this is <a href="http://viera.panasonic.co.uk/4ktv/">the micro-site we made for Panasonic’s 4K television campaign</a>: this went on to become one of the highest ranking pages for “4K TV” and further helped solidify them as a brand around this term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3321/hdtv.jpg" alt="panasonic" width="615" height="359"> </p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>I love the creative side allowed in the role, from producing cool microsites to researching new content pieces for great and exciting brands.</p> <p>It’s fun, always changing and lets you step back from the data to look at elements such as design and creativity. What sucks? Losing rankings to a competitor! </p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h3> <p>Goals usually revolve around rankings and the ROI associated with those. For example, for a key retail client we placed strong generics on the first page which resulted in a 21% year on year lift in organic traffic.</p> <p>Typically we measure impressions, clicks and sessions driven to key categories or products.   </p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <p>My favourite tool would be either SEMrush or ahrefs – both give great insights and provide thorough detail around the keywords that each individual client has an opportunity to rank for.</p> <p>In particular, the ahrefs new keyword explorer tool is fantastic and lets us really gain an understanding into how people behave when they are searching for certain products.</p> <p>The tools gives a breakdown of how often people click a result, how likely they are to search for that result again and other useful information that allows us to make much smarter and well-informed decisions for our campaigns. </p> <h3>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here? </h3> <p>I started off as a copywriter for SME websites and slowly started to learn about SEO. Before Spot Digital integrated with Threepipe I was working as an SEO exec however, since joining my role has diversified and given me great exposure to other channels, in particular <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/paid-search-marketing-ppc-best-practice-guide/">PPC</a> and PR.</p> <p>It’s also allowed me to work for some fantastic household-name brands.</p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well? </h3> <p>I think <a href="https://econsultancy.com/search/?only=BlogPost&amp;q=lush">Lush</a> do some great work online. They create a lot of unique content and really have an ethos and message which is unique for an ecommerce site.</p> <p>Vice are also doing digital well. They share fantastic video content and show a real understanding of who their target consumer is.</p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</h3> <p>A lot of it comes down to interest, there are a million outlets and great websites that talk about digital and it’s important to constantly stay informed. For me, Twitter is a great resource for news and updates.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68728 2017-01-24T10:09:00+00:00 2017-01-24T10:09:00+00:00 How fashion retailers can use search trend data to inform marketing & product strategy Nikki Gilliland <p>Search terms that combine both evergreen and seasonal keywords are the easiest to predict, with terms like ‘swimwear’ and ‘coats’ guaranteed to peak at a certain time each and every year. </p> <p>On the other hand, reactive trends - while harder to forecast – are also helpful.</p> <p>Using theory <a href="https://www.pi-datametrics.com/resources/market-performance-reports/search-trend-data/" target="_blank">from PI Datametrics</a>, here’s a look at how fashion brands can capitalise on both types of search data. (Note: this can be adapted to brands in any industry, but I'm using fashion as an example here.)</p> <h3>Long-term strategy from seasonal evergreen search trends</h3> <p>The below chart outlines search trend data for the term ‘swimwear’.</p> <p>Although it has high organic value all year-round, it also peaks at the same time every year.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3256/PIPR.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="340"></p> <p>PI Datametrics suggest using the following strategy to capitalise on this.</p> <h4>Plan</h4> <p>The planning stage, which in this case would be January, involves getting ready for peak purchases, as well as ensuring all-year round interest will be met.</p> <p>During this time, it’s wise for retailers to stock up on swimwear to capitalise on off-season sales. Meanwhile, it’s also worthwhile conducting link-building activities and optimising a year-round landing page in preparation.</p> <h4>Influence</h4> <p>This stage involves taking advantage of consumer research during popular holiday periods like Christmas, when consumers are researching and planning their summer holiday. In turn, this data can also be used to build a cookie-pool, which can lead to effective re-targeting at a later date.</p> <h4>Peak </h4> <p>Drawing on the aforementioned Plan and Influence stages, retailers should also use the peak purchasing period around June and July to re-target lost customers, rather than build engagement.</p> <h4>Repeat</h4> <p>Finally, marketers should ensure that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65455-why-you-need-an-evergreen-content-strategy/">evergreen content</a> is optimised, and clear stock in time for next year’s seasonal cycle.</p> <h3>Reactive strategy for peak search trends </h3> <p>Google UK data shows that searches for the ‘off-shoulder look’ grew 261% between December 2015 and May 2016.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/3257/Reactive.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="537"></p> <p>In instances like this, it is useful to implement a reactive search strategy, as outlined below.</p> <h4>React</h4> <p>When it comes to new fashion trends, peaks in search can happen very quickly. As a result, success often comes from reacting at the right time.</p> <p>ASOS capitalised on 'off-the-shoulder' by creating and optimising a landing page for the trend term as quickly as possible. Similarly, it's helpful to utilise marketing channels other than organic search to capture interest. </p> <h4>Perform</h4> <p>Once it is clear that a keyword is growing in popularity, optimising content organically could prove to be more cost efficient and improve visibility. </p> <h4>Review</h4> <p>Once the peak has died down, retailers should reassess the value of continuing this campaign. Other tactics during this final stage include adjusting stock accordingly, or linking the landing page to a different or more popular trend.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Whether it is based on evergreen, seasonal or one-off trends - search trend data can provide retailers with the ability to create a well-defined strategy.</p> <p>From replenishing stock levels to creating multi-channel content, if used and interpreted correctly, it can help fashion brands meet customer demand and increase sales.</p> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, download Econsultancy’s brand new <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide/">SEO Best Practice Guide</a> or check out our range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">Search Marketing training courses</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4381 2017-01-23T12:05:31+00:00 2017-01-23T12:05:31+00:00 SEO Best Practice: International SEO <p>This report is part of Econsultancy's renowned <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide"><strong>SEO Best Practice Guide</strong></a> and has been created with the help and frontline insight of globally-esteemed SEO practitioners, in order to give you the edge in your natural search marketing activity.</p> <p>Built on the foundations of our previous, highly-renowned report, this document will help you understand search marketing like never before.</p> <p>The <strong>SEO Best Practice Guide</strong> is invaluable for anybody working in digital marketing, looking to appoint an SEO agency or simply trying to secure better search engine rankings.</p> <p>In this section, we look at some of the most important areas you will need to consider when conducting online promotion of your website in other markets; including considerations for setting up your website and devising and running an international SEO campaign. We also discuss some of the different tactics that search engines, other than Google, respond to so that you can have a successful launch in a new market.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4380 2017-01-23T12:05:29+00:00 2017-01-23T12:05:29+00:00 SEO Best Practice: Social and Online PR - The Influence on Search <p>This report is part of Econsultancy's renowned <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/seo-best-practice-guide"><strong>SEO Best Practice Guide</strong></a> and has been created with the help and frontline insight of globally-esteemed SEO practitioners, in order to give you the edge in your natural search marketing activity.</p> <p>Built on the foundations of our previous, highly-renowned report, this document will help you understand search marketing like never before.</p> <p>The <strong>SEO Best Practice Guide</strong> is invaluable for anybody working in digital marketing, looking to appoint an SEO agency or simply trying to secure better search engine rankings.</p> <p>In this section, we explore the ways in which SEO practitioners have had to significantly change how they work and now use tactics which might previously have fallen outside their remit. We also consider how the objectives of a social or online PR campaign might differ if the primary outcome is SEO success as well as the practicalities of cross-discipline working.</p>