Chart of the day: Marketers are finding the difficulty of external/internal linking  and web page load speed outstrips the effectiveness

In the November 2016 Search Engine Optimization Survey from Ascend2, they found that 57% of the 256 respondents understood that relevant content creation was the most effective tactics to boost their SEO traffic but at the same time it was also the most difficult. I'd suggest that this is mostly due it being time-consuming for marketers to create great content but also the competition to make it unique is high when it seems like everyone is doing inbound marketing.

Interestingly, the two tactics that were marked are more difficult than effective were external linking and web page load speed. Generating links to your site is hard and requires dedication from everyone in the…

Mobile is radically re-shaping the travel industry

The future of the travel industry is in customers’ hands — at their fingertips, to be exact. With a few apps, some swipes and clicks, and one-on-one conversations with big brands through social media, an entire travel experience will be planned and confirmed by the customer alone.

That’s a complete transformation from how it used to be. Not too long ago, if someone got the itch to visit an exotic location — or his grandmother in another state/country — he would pick up the phone and dial a travel agent. The expert on the other end of the line would then go to work conducting research and collecting brochures.

Fast-forward 10 years, and most travel agencies have closed shop,…

Updated report shows the why, what and how of selecting social listening tools

‘Listen first!’ is the first step in almost all advice on creating a social media strategy. To listen effectively you need to choose the right tool. There’s certainly no shortage of choice. Back in 2009 (and updated since) Smart Insights created a comparison of 36 of the best-known online reputation monitoring tools including free and paid tools. Since then, there has been an explosion of new tools on the market, making the selection process now even more bewildering. Our free tools guides has a select number of services.

How digital innovation is engaging audiences and improving customer experience in the airline / aviation sector

This is the first in a new series looking at digital innovation and transformation in different B2B sectors aimed to inspire business-to-business marketers, this post from regular B2B marketing commentator René Power looks at how digital technologies are being deployed within the blossoming air travel and aviation sector to enhance customer experiences at every stage of the process.

As you read, think about what ideas you might take forward into your own sector?

Air travel is a growing sector

There continues to be an explosion in air travel, which makes it a very lucrative industry to be in. Air travel numbers themselves are mind-boggling. Published forecasts predict the total number of people flying on U.S. airlines will increase by 0.8 percent from 2013 levels to 745.5 million in 2014 and grow to 1.15 billion in 2034.

But it's not just the U.S. The International Air Transport…

Chart of the Day:  Black Friday and Cyber Monday Cart Abandonment Rates Jump to 68%

Cart Abandonment is the scourge of e-commerce retailers everywhere, and this year it seems to be on the increase, particularly where there are promotions. New data emerging from the two busiest ecommerce days of 2016 (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) shows extremely high cart abandonment rates across the board. These are particularly high on mobile devices, where 78% of carts are abandoned.

E-commerce retailers should be asking themselves, are 4 out of 5 people abandoning their carts because they're having second thoughts about purchasing, or is it because the checkout pages aren't properly optimized for mobile? If a customer has to use fiddly forms that are hard to complete on a Smartphone they are far more likely to abandon their cart.

It's not all bad news though. Although the cart abandonment rates are huge, many of these customers can be nudged…

Lessons from TUI’s digitally integrated concept store

Omnichannel is now the de-facto retail strategy for major travel brands or is at least often the desired goal. TUI explored the concept of going ‘beyond Omni-channel’. ‘Beyond-Omni-channel’ to me sounded a lot like ‘Post-digital’, a term that is often misleading. Post-digital is about digital being pervasive and everything being digital, rather than having moved beyond digital. It makes good points regarding the breaking down of silos between departments, but the term ‘post-digital’ doesn’t convey this clearly.

How an Omnichannel travel-booking approaches reinforces the strength of individual channels

An interesting point regarding the effectiveness of TUI’s travel agency service made was that the distribution channels were in no way mutually exclusive, and in fact were self-reinforcing. A survey conducted by TUI discovered that 30% of their customers started their customer journey through a different medium to the way they eventually paid for the holiday.

One-third of their sales…

Marketing Automation offers the key to effectively nurturing leads through the customer's journey

According to a research published by Smart Insights in 2016, 47% of businesses don't have a digital marketing strategy. The findings show that businesses have a big challenge structuring their digital marketing strategy and knowing where to start.

So, how about we start by laying down some of the groundwork that you need to lay down in order to create and implement aworld-class digital marketing strategy.

The strategy includes 4 key stages of the Smart Insights RACE framework - plus the initial Plan stage. Just in case you're not familiar with RACE, the stages are as follows:

1.    Plan:

This stage involves creating the overall strategy with SMART goals and measurable KPIs to run your digital marketing strategy.

2.    Reach:

Most customer’s journey’s begin through doing personal research instead of simply talking to a sales person. This means that providing content to feed this…

Examples of companies successfully using events to generate high-quality leads

Whether you’re organising events or attending them, face-to-face marketing can be one of the most powerful lead gen tools in your arsenal. Pair this up with a killer data capture campaign and you’ve got a recipe for success. We asked four companies to share their lead generation tips so you can follow their success.


According to Demand Metric, content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing – but costs 62% less. An industry report, for example, is a particularly cost-effective way to capture leads and get eyes on your brand.

Salesforce recruitment specialists Mason Frank International did just that at Dreamforce 2016, when the company unveiled its latest salary survey.

“From a lead-gen standpoint we wanted to engage…

Chart of the Day: New experiment on outbound links shows their impact

A lot of discussion of SEO is around the right type of backlinks, links into a site, and rightly so given their continued importance to ranking. But what about links out from a site, do they have an impact? These are discussed less often, but can have an impact as the chart from this experiment by Reboot Online shows.

The experiment involved purchasing 10 new domains which mentioned the niche term "Phylandocic". Each article mentioned 2 authoritative, related websites. On 5 of the websites, mentions are in plain text whilst on the other 5 sites, they are hyperlinked. The domains were all registered at the same time to remove any domain age influence. All domains contained 10 random but pronounceable characters and all domains were confirmed as having 0 search volume produced in Google. All sites were co-hosted to minimise any…

The key trends that business-to-business marketers need to act on in 2017

Since we're fast-approaching 2017, it's a natural time for all marketers to review the marketing tactics they've used this year and assess their approaches against other businesses in the sector. For marketers involved in the B2B sector, there are some particularly pressing issues which, if they can be addressed will help 'feed the funnel' and develop more quality leads.

A good starting point for reviewing the trends that will make an impact next year is to think through innovation across all the main digital marketing channels. In our article on marketing trends for 2017, we asked marketers to assess the techniques which would give them the biggest uplift on business in 2017. The results show that the top rated techniques which should get focus next year are closely aligned with B2B sector, which has for the past couple of…

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