After teasing us for many months, Google has finally confirmed Penguin is running again. But this time, as part of the core algorithm.

Importance: For all webmaster and SEO's.

Recommended Link: Google Webmaster Central Blog || SEO Guide

What is Penguin?

First announced way back in April 2012, the update was introduced as a way of tackling black-hat SEO techniques that were being used to artificially boost the rankings of a page. It particularly looked to target companies and agencies who were buying and obtaining links through link networks.

It impacted approximately 3.1% of search queries in English, and resulted in some high profile sites falling down the search engine results page (SERPs), some even dropping off completely.

In today's innovative economy, businesses need to embrace digital transformation to stay ahead.

According to new research from The Economist, Britain and America are the most innovative major economies. This is great news for the economy as a whole, but it means businesses within the economy can't afford to be complacent. With increased innovativeness comes increased competition for established businesses. Thus they need to embark on digital transformation programs if they haven't already. Staying still is not an option.

It is also interesting how China is 'punching about its weight' when it comes to innovation plotted against GDP per capita. This again should be a warning to major brands to expect stiff competition from China's emerging digital champions, who are using the lessons they've learnt appealing to price-conscious mobile consumers in their home market. Both East and West can learn from each other.

You may be focusing on the wrong metrics and missing the most important KPIs

As a digital marketing professional, you may have once expected that your job would involve a lot of creativity – you’d spend your days creating innovative advertisements, writing engaging copy, maybe even crafting catchy memes. And of course, you do work on these tasks, but unless your company has a committed marketing analytics professional on staff, you also likely spend much of your day surrounded by numbers, working hard to assess the effectiveness of your campaigns. All those numbers, taken together, are known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Unfortunately, sometimes the numbers piling up on your desk indicate that your marketing strategy isn’t working out as well as you’d hoped. That’s when it’s time to take your ad campaigns and KPIs back to the drawing board.

Here are a few analytics strategies you can try to kick start your…

How Trade Shows can thrive when combined with Digital Marketing

Trade shows were once the cornerstone of one’s calendar. Before the days of Google Hangouts, Skype and in fact e-mail, trade shows were a hub for industry professionals to network and for businesses to launch initiatives which they hoped would keep consumers and competitors talking for months to come. As Lima Curtis discussed in her article, what made trade shows so special is quickly being surpassed and made irrelevant in the digital age. Despite this trend, trade shows for pretty much every industry imaginable continue year on year and hundreds of thousands of people annually clear a space on their calendar to attend.

So when products and services can be launched in an instant online, fellow professionals can…

A B2B case study showing how to create relevant, personal emails on a global scale.

Email marketing has undergone a transformation lately. The giants of online retail have set a precedent for sending relevant, timely email communications with content tailored to each customer on an individual basis.

Now the rest of us must follow, meeting the high expectations to which online consumers have become accustomed.

No longer is it enough to ‘batch and blast’ a single message to a contact list and hope that some will find it exciting….we must learn what each individual customer finds interesting and send them content to meet their requirements.  Email personalisation is undoubtedly here to stay.

Improving personalisation as part of your email strategy however is not straightforward. It requires a significant increase in content production and an even greater amount of data.  Even for companies with simple business models and minimal product lines, the deployment of personalised email content can…

It was long thought that having the keyword in your domain name would help you in the SERPs. Is this actually the case?

Ahrefs have done some stellar research into the On-page ranking factors in 2016 and have found many interesting nuggets.

Back in 2012 Google rolled out an updated intended to bring an end to high ranking, low-quality Exact Match Domains (EMDs). Since then, the scurry to find high volume, keyword rich domains has somewhat diminished. But does have an EMD still impact the SERPs?

As evidenced in the data, there is a clear jump between position #1 and #2 which suggests that either the EMD update is no longer in effect, or something different is going on.

First of all, the…

Our interview with Jim Conning, the head of Data Services at Royal Mail

I spoke to Jim Conning, Managing Director of Data Services at Royal Mail about how marketers need to master the use of customer data to deliver the right message at the right time

Q. Personalised messaging based around customer’s life events is a great way to cut through the noise and reach customers in a way that is meaningful to them. Can you give some idea of what capabilities marketers need in place to be able to achieve this kind of messaging?

First and foremost, marketers need to understand the value of their customers’ life events, and what life events are relevant for your business and products. For example, moving home represents a…

Social media strategy and planning essentials -  Recommended dashboards and tools for creating social media marketing reports for different reporting periods

This is part 8 of my Smart Insights 12 part social media series. In the last part we looked at resource planning for social media; in this blog, I discuss what data you should capture and report to measure the impact of your social media marketing campaigns.

To frame the conversation, I’ll cover four different type of report:

Daily dashboard Weekly KPI report Monthly roll-up report Quarterly strategy review

Reporting scope and goals

It’s important to understand the context, and limitations, for reporting. The data you have access to depends upon your business resources and scale of social activity. For example, many small businesses don’t have subscriptions to social media monitoring tools like Audiense and Buzzsumo, so won’t be able to include data from these in their regular reports. Focus on what data you have available; you can…

Small business marketers need to sit up and pay attention to the latest mobile design options

Technology has revolutionized communication and changed the face of doing business in modern times. Computers, Tablets, and Smartphone which were initially used to surf the net, stream videos and chat online have become key business tools. Mobile is becoming ever more crucial now that it accounts for over half of all web traffic. But how does a small business use the latest mobile design to grow its business? The answer to this question is determined by two factors:

Increase in popularity of Social Media The development of more capable Smartphones

Facebook, the most popular social network worldwide has 1.71 billion monthly active users across the world, according to the latest statistics.

A reminder of the importance of paid search marketing contrasting the search network with the display network

This chart gives an update to historical data on conversion rates in AdWords from the AdWords management platform Wordstream. It's part of new benchmarking paid search marketing statistics by industry. If you're considering paid search it gives you an idea of the conversion rates you can expect when making the business case. Of course, a test will show you rates specific to your market, type of keywords (Brand, generic, product, long tail, etc) and your proposition, but this gives an indication. The full report also covers clickthrough rate and cost to help you build conversion rate funnel spreadsheet models.

About these AdWords benchmarks

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