All posts by Dave Chaffey

Dave is editor of many of the 7 Step to Success guides on Smart Insights. He is a bestselling author, consultant and speaker who enjoys sharing tips, tools and techniques on all things digital, but especially those most influential in driving awareness, leads and sales. That's SEO, PPC, Social Media, Email Marketing, Site Design and Analytics! You can connect with Dave through any of these social networks to receive his latest insights or to ask a question: LinkedIn - Google+ - Twitter - Facebook. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

Our alerts and advice on the "must-know" developments in digital marketing

In August our two most significant alerts were about changes to the Facebook and Google algorithm - check these out in the sections on search and social media marketing below. Now we’re into September we’re into the final build-up to our Digital Impact conference which is in central London on the 17th September. We’re looking forward to meeting members at the event where we'll show how to make a bigger impact with your digital marketing with in-depth case studies and workshops covering all the digital marketing techniques we cover in our monthly updates, that’s Digital Transformation, SEO, AdWords, Content, Social and Email marketing plus improving desktop and mobile experiences using CRO and analytics.

Strategy and planning

What influences purchase of your product or service? - Our new infographic showing how your marketing communications should match your customer’s…

The top 10 free sources for UK, European, US, Asian and Global digital marketing statistics

Online marketers love statistics about digital marketing. They allow us to review customer adoption of the latest digital platforms, make business cases for investment in marketing and allow us to benchmark our performance against competitors. For Expert members, we compile a regularly updated set of usage statistics to use in presentations. Recommended Guide: Online usage statistics compilation Our "one stop" download includes the latest stats to include in presentations to make the case for digital investment. Download our Online marketing statistics compilation.   If you're compiling your own stats, which are the best, most reliable free and paid sources? Everyone has their favourites, but I thought it would be useful to…

Just head to when signed-in

Importance: [rating=4] Recommended link: Twitter Analytics Previously Twitter's analytics service has been limited to advertisers, but that changed this week with an announcement via Twitter:

Absolutely thrilled to open up access to to EVERYONE. Check it out, and let us know what you think!

— Ian Chan (@chanian) August 27, 2014

How to access Twitter analytics?

Just as it says in the title to this article, if you're already signed into Twitter in your browser, if you go to There is no registration process, but a little bizarrely, you just have to access the dashboard URL and you should then see updates. Until then you will just see a blank dashboard: For more information on what you can see in Twitter's analytics see this post from Twitter introducing the Twitter Analytics dashboard. Enjoy! This is…

Google’s use of “rel=author” markup to stop but Google+ posts to continue featuring in search results

Importance: [rating=4] Recommended link: Google announcement of end of Authorship

Summary of the change

John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools announced in a personal Google+ post on 28th August that Google will now stop showing authorship results in Google Search, and will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup. From a Google user point of view this means you will no longer see author images in pictures like this one from a briefing written by Chris Soames in 2012: In fact, you may have noticed from around a month ago that Google removed the author images. In this new announcement they are taking the next step and removing the author information too. We’re also alerting you to this since more significantly from an SEO point of view Google has said that they are no…

“Close variant” keyword matching to become default by end September can increase clicks by 7% on average

Importance: [rating=4] (If you’re not already using this feature) Recommended link: AdWords official announcement

Context for the change to match types

The Match types advertisers use in AdWords are important since they control whether relevant ads are displayed to searchers based on the keywords they type. This in turn affects the clickthrough rates, Quality Score and the ROI you get on your campaigns. Here’s a reminder of the main match types from iProspect:

What is the change?

In their announcement, Google explain that starting in late September, they’re applying close variant keyword matching to all exact and phrase match keywords. Previously it was possible to opt-out of these. Close keyword variations include Close variations include misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor…

Our new mobile responsive home page and customer journeys

22nd August update: New library search and other updates It's nearly a couple of months now since we redesigned the site to update our design style and to make the site fully mobile responsive on smartphone and tablet. In this note I just wanted to let members know about another round of updates. Since the original relaunch we have updated our blog page template to be responsive too, so you can access our updates "on the go" more easily. Thanks if you left a comment with support - it's been nice to get a lot of positive comments! We did have a few support queries about mangled layouts with the previous updates - this can happen when the previous design stylesheet is in your cache if you have accessed a page before. A simple refresh of the browser should sort this, you may need to do this for the the new…

5 reasons why migrating all site pages may be a bad idea

Importance: [rating=1] (Signal currently affects only 1% of queries) Recommended link: Google Webmaster Blog announcement You will know that Google uses hundreds of ranking signals to return the most relevant results for a search, plus many filters to remove spammy or duplicate results too. But it’s rare for Google to announce what these are or to disclose new signals. So, the recent announcement from the Google Webmaster Blog that use of a HTTPS (HTTP Secure) will be used as a positive ranking signal prompted many, particular retailers who will already use HTTP Secure in checkout, to take notice. Google’s precise words were: “Over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections…

A new, free report on digital media and technology use [@SmartInsights statistics alert]

Value: [rating=5] For students, researchers and marketers who need to convince others of the importance of digital media Recommended link: Ofcom 2014 digital communications statistics report If you need hard facts and charts for reports and presentations to convince others of the growing importance of digital communications and technologies in influencing the purchase decision today, the Ofcom Communications report is one of the most comprehensive sources available. That’s why we feature it at number 1 in our Top 10 Free Digital Marketing Statistics sources listing. It’s published each August for the UK and includes an international digital media statistics benchmark in its December edition. The latest update for the UK has just been published and in this post I have selected from the 61(! ) charts available to ask what I think are some of the of the most important questions about…

Going beyond opens and clicks to evaluate and improve subscriber engagement with your email programmes

How engaging are your emails? It’s likely that you review open and clickthrough rates for individual  email campaigns and newsletters, but can you measure and prove how engaging your email marketing is on a long-term basis across multiple emails starting with the first welcome email. Dan Hare showed in his recent post that it's challenging - he presented data which shows between 50-90% of subscribers may never open or click in a 6 month period. In this article I’ll show some more advanced techniques we recommend to assess subscriber engagement which go beyond the basic email metrics of delivery, open and clickthrough rates.

6 KPIs to Review Email Marketing Engagement

By using these more sophisticated measures to review your emails you will be able to zero in on which aspects of your…

Using a digital plan to support digital transformation

Where do you start if you want to develop an digital marketing strategy? Well, I don't think it needs to be a huge report, a strategy can best be summarised in two or three sides of A4 in a table linking digital marketing strategies to SMART objectives. Yet despite this it seems that many organisations still don't have a plan.

Do you have a digital marketing strategy?

2014 update: Previously, in 2012 and 2013, we ran an informal poll to see how widely used formal digital marketing strategies are. Results from the start of 2012 were quite shocking... with around two-thirds to three quarters not have a digital marketing plan. It seems that many are doing digital marketing without a prioritised plan of activities to integrate online marketing... When we did the research for our free Managing Digital Marketing report published in 2014 we were interested…

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Digital Impact 2014

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