A review of key features in LinkedIn

Although B2B marketers tend to focus more on reaching and interacting with their audiences on LinkedIn, this infographic reminds us that there are opportunities on Facebook too. The infographic from Marketing Mojo explains some of the basics when it comes to weighing up options for advertising across LinkedIn vs Facebook. For more advanced users, refer to our social media hub for LinkedIn and Facebook features. …

Exclusive excerpts from Chad White's new book

You don't have to be...ahem...nearing 50 to struggle to keep up with all the changes in digital marketing. (In fact, life becomes a lot more relaxed once you accept you can't.) It's why guidelines, frameworks and similar play an important role in ensuring your marketing is based on solid foundations. For email marketers, Chad White provides those foundations in the 120 best practices contained within the 2nd edition of his "Email Marketing Rules" book. The new edition also has additional chapters explaining the interactions and synergies between these best practices. Obviously some of those rules cover basics like "Don't buy email lists", but Chad kindly allowed me to pull out other rules that many marketers neglect in the rush to write the next subject line.

1. "Focus on maximizing the value of a subscriber, not on maximizing the results of…

Facebook plans to filter out "promotional posts" in the News Feed from businesses and brands from January 2015

Importance: [rating=5] Recommended Link: Facebook announcement: Facebook's overly promotional page posts in News Feed Getting your brand status updates to reach your fans is becoming more of a challenge as Dan Bosomworth recently noted in this post on techniques to increase organic reach in Facebook. This new change which Facebook say is due to research where their Fans told them that were looking for more personalised posts in their News Feed from friends and 'those they cared about', with less promotional content. Their alert says: 'What we discovered is that a lot of the content people see as too promotional is posts from Pages they like, rather than ads', according to Facebook. Of course the cynics amongst you will think this might have something to do…

What should a client-side marketer look for when evaluating an agency SEO proposal?

One of the key decisions many companies must make in regards to search engine optimisation (SEO) is the decision on whether to create and build a team in-house or to work with an external agency or consultant(s). There are pros and cons to both approaches and many businesses often choose to go with a combination of the two: create a team in-house and work with external advisors to support best practice and on-going guidance. If a decision is made to work with an SEO agency there are number of steps to be taken, including the selection of a range of agencies and later the management of a pitch process which are covered in other articles and guides from Smart Insights included in the Agency Toolkit. However, first businesses need to tender for SEO and review proposals from a range of agencies.…

A reminder of the latest thinking on copywriting for SEO and conversion

If you're not an SEO specialist, but are involved with writing or reviewing website copy, it can be tricky keeping up with the latest approaches to writing for SEO. We can't all afford SEO agencies or in-house experts! If this describes you, this infographic from ContentVerve could be a useful reminder. It gives a good summary of the latest thinking if  you are simply looking to become familiar with the current top level SEO tactics, without it getting too techie. Remember though, as the introduction to the infographic says, write for humans first, SEO second, keep it natural! …

An example analysis of Groupon's traffic showing a signficant proportion of direct traffic could be SEO-related

Gaining organic traffic from SEO is a significant inbound marketing investment for many businesses, so making the business case and demonstrating returns from SEO is important. The typical approach for this is naturally to use Google Analytics to report on the organic traffic segment. Since Google Analytics can no longer reliably provide SEO keyword data due to the growth in keywords marked 'not provided' we have written about how to use Google Webmaster Tools keyword data to determine keywords. We're alerting readers to this example, since it shows that you should make colleagues (or clients) aware that significant additional SEO traffic may be hidden as a referrer.

Case shows that 60% of direct traffic is actually organic search

This research summary of Groupon visitor referrers  from Conductor summarises the importance of SEO to Groupon based on their standard analytics. They comment: 'Groupon recently…

Recommended design patterns and best practices for online retail Product category pages

This is the second in the series of posts from me in which I hope to give you ideas to consider for testing improvements to page elements on retail and other ecommerce sites following emerging best practices. In my first post, we covered best practices for ecommerce homepage designs. If you work in an ecommerce team at a retailer, or are involved in design for your client’s accounts, then I hope these templates and tips will help generate ideas for testing page enhancements.

Key Ecommerce category page wireframe requirements

In retail, 'product category page' is the general term referring to pages listing the range of individual products. But you may know Category pages as Hub, Department or Division pages. Then there will often be sub-category pages too depending on the information architecture for the catalogue. The key core elements of…

Inbound marketing success requires digital channel integration

As referenced in the book, Inbound Marketing and SEO, Inbound Marketing is defined as an organisation gaining the privilege to deliver anticipated, personal and timely content to people who actually want to receive the content. It’s a concept the polar opposite of customers being blasted email shots, their email addresses being sold off to 3rd parties without permission, money off coupons and direct mail shots where an organisation hopes enough customers would interact with the promotion to make it stick. A number of digital communications channels are being utilised to adapt an Inbound approach with the aim to customise the delivery of content to a well-defined, targeted customer group such as Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media, working together as one joined up digital strategy, delivering the same message adapted for the chosen digital channel optimised to attract the…

New Research - The SimpleUsability Online  Experience Index for the top 5 Mobile Phone Companies

This post summarises new research from SimpleUsability who reviewed the quality of customer experience delivered by 5 leading mobile networks / telecoms retailers: Three, EE, O2, Virgin and Vodafone. This builds on previous research covering online appliance experience and clothing retail experience.

Key findings from the research of telecommunications websites

Good brand positioning and OVPs, 'though navigation could be improved. Lengthy checkout processes, with a mix of poor and good information support. Good product selection filters. Most websites had a search function, though presentation could be improved. Persuasion, Emotion and Trust (PET) techniques were low - Proof and Trust shown by only two companies.

Methodology for researching the ecommerce websites

To score each site’s overall experience rating, a panel of expert UX professionals assessed the site in the context of a core user journey of browsing a new mobile phone.. The examiners rated…

7 things marketers need to know about the impact of Google’s latest change on SEO

Importance: [rating=5] Recommended link: Google announcement - Helping users find mobile-friendly pages 1. Google will now give more prominence to mobile sites in the search results (SERPs). More prominence will occur thanks to a ‘mobile-friendly’ label: 2. This label will only appear in mobile search results. Which is what we would expect. 3. The change has been rolled out. We didn’t see this yesterday, but it is now visible, e.g. for a brand search for this site: 4. This isn’t a ranking factor change. Google has previously stated that mobile sites with errors may lose ranking, but this announcement just relates to the label. However, we can expect that this change will increase clickthrough rates on sites that have this label and decrease…

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