All posts by Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

Six key findings from the Global Reviews UK Home Insurance Providers Digital Marketing Effectiveness Study Q3 2014:

In Q4 2014, Global Reviews conducted a Digital Sales Effectiveness (DSE) study amongst twelve leading UK home insurance brands including Admiral, Aviva, AXA, Barclays, Churchill, Direct Line, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, LV=, More Th>n, Nationwide and Tesco Bank. The aim of this study, which is part of Global Reviews’ ongoing programme of research, was to find out how consumers are choosing particular home insurance providers online, to understand and measure their digital journeys, and the key influencers in their buying decision. By capturing digital marketing and sales journey insights, underpinned by scientific framework using competitor and customer data for the sector, this research unravels some interesting facts for this insurance industry to answer many of the 'Why Questions'. Over 280 ‘in market’ consumers looking for home insurance in the next 90 days were studied as part…

How to optimise your online images for search engines

There's an old phrase that says, 'a picture is worth a thousand words'. This may be true for the rest of world but not for Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines. When their bots crawl an image, for example my picture, they actually can't see the image and  but they only see the context of the image from its filename and the Alt Text. Google also pick up the context from any captions and links to the page containing the image so it's important to make web editors aware of these factors too. The potential commercial importance of getting image optimisation right is shown by this example where images are shown 'above the fold' and typically get good clickthrough rates. This example shows how, for some queries, Google will trigger a "OneBox" featuring…

How mobile marketing can be used to support customer service

A lot of attention is given to the way mobile devices have changed the way we communicate at work and how marketers can target consumers.  But the big secret of mobile communications in today’s organisation is the impact on customer service. Most contact centre systems and processes are still designed around the need to handle high volumes of customer calls via the landline. But the new mobile customer behaves very differently. The mobile device, with the new features it brings and ‘always on’ connectivity, affords huge power to the customer. More often than not mobile customers are looking for speed and convenience, whatever channel they choose, whether online self-service or a conversation with an agent. It’s no coincidence that the companies that have innovated most in this space are those whose mantra has always been about serving the…

How JD Sports outdoors brands Blacks and Millets integrated personalisation into their experience

With average online conversion rates still languishing below 5 percent for retailers, the use of personalised merchandising techniques to boost conversion is a popular investment for many retail sites. This case study of two outdoor retailers who are now owned by JD Sports shows the type of benefits that are possible with different forms of personalised recommendations and how they can be used on different page types: “Compared to average site conversion rate, conversion rates were increased by 332% on Millets.co.uk and 277% Blacks.co.uk where a visitor selected a personalised product recommendation. The proportion of site revenue from product recommendations is significant, accounting for nearly one fifth of all sales (19.0% at Millets 16.9% at Blacks)”. These examples and results relate to improvements during 2014. Before this project, the sites were already using default recommendations from the commerce management platform on…

Applying common sense when optimising your content for SEO and readers

Myths of good and bad practices in online marketing tend to be shared and reshared and can become self-perpetuating, so it can be confusing for newcomers to online marketing to understand what will work and what wont. Given the importance of SEO and the many ranking factors, it's not surprising that many myths have developed. I hear many of these SEO myths daily, so in this post, I hope to separate some of the facts from the fiction, specifically related to copywriting for SEO, highlighting the most common myths we are still seeing and how to avoid them.

1. Insisting on 'keyword density'

Believe it or not, I still receive requests from clients for a specific percentage of keyword density in their copy. I always strongly advise against it [Editor's note - not a surprise, we were asked about the Recommended keyword density for SEO in our…

Big Data’s Impact on Email Marketers

If you aren’t talking about the opportunities for content marketing in 2015, you are probably talking about the opportunities for ‘Big Data’.  Next to content marketing, big data is a hot trend in marketing right now. Everyone is talking about how they can take advantage of all the data they have on hand; how to slice it, dice it and serve it up with a actionable meaning.

Missed opportunities that changes everything

Currently, only 25% of businesses are putting their own data into action. This indicates a significant amount of missed opportunities, the likes of which can be extremely valuable once companies discover how to use data in order to drive more engagement, greater reach and growing their business. Emarketer.com reported that when KPMG asked CFOs and CIOs about the impact of big data on business strategy, more than half stated that it was changing everything. That’s a…

Understanding the Irish online: the E-Commerce Marketer's secret weapon

Irish online habits have changed a lot in a very short amount of time. In some respects the Irish demographic is very representative of typical EU online behaviour but in others it is quite distinct. This particular profile of Irish internet users should give companies and marketers some clear ideas of the approaches to take when selling in the Irish market online. One of the most significant statistics in regards to the internet in Ireland is the penetration of broadband services across the country. According to Eurostat, 81% of Irish homes had broadband access in 2014. That is well above the EU average and means that more than 3 million people in Ireland are online. Irish Internet users also spend more time on the internet than the EU average.…

Practical 'non techy' steps to optimise your email campaigns for mobile

With the increase in consuming content of the move and email marketing being as popular as ever, it's not even a question to ask if we need to optimise our email campaigns for mobile. Salesforce in Canada have produced a useful infographic, listing 18 ways to help steer your email marketing to ensure your email is well received on mobile and tips include how to ensure your images don't pop out horizontally!. …

Let's find out what the experts think...

Last year here at Cicada, we worked with a number of new clients who had nice-looking websites produced by designers they know and trust. As we worked with these customers on the 'discovery process' at the start of the projects,  the same issue arose time and time again... While our clients thought their websites looked good, they couldn’t understand why they just weren’t doing well enough at getting visitors and converting them into leads. We had a good idea why this was, but to bring more oomph to our argument, we spoke to four experts in effective site design to find out their views on the differences between a brochure website that looks great, into one that delivers enquiries for your business. Our four interviewees are from different professional backgrounds within the digital industry, and we were intrigued…

The essentials of writing excellent content

Are you beginning to wonder about how effective content writing is? Maybe you’ve written some outstanding pieces that received only a lukewarm response. All those long hours of research on problem solving for your niche, then writing, editing and polishing posts for a handful of shares. It’s a bit worrisome, isn’t it? That’s because there’s a popular misconception about writing great content. The actual writing of the content is only half of the formula for success. You can write absolutely brilliant posts that are on topic, providing top-notch solutions for your audience - but if you don’t have a strategy for how to consistently produce and market it, it’s not going to do you much good. So, today we’re going to focus on the entire picture, not just one segment of it. Let’s start with some of the primary elements of writing excellent content for small businesses, then cover…
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