If you can understand what search engines are looking for, you'll be able to ensure they identify your target topics and rank your copy for the most appropriate search terms

Entity salience is a technical topic with significant implications for the way that search engines understand content. When discussed in the context of SEO, it refers to the process by which Google makes use of machine learning to predict what a human reader will see as the most important things mentioned in a text. If those of us working in SEO and copywriting can understand what search engines are looking for, we will be better able to ensure they identify our target topics and rank our copy for the most appropriate search terms. [si_guide_block id="134895" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – SEO report template" description="This SEO report template created in PowerPoint gives you a simple structure to follow when conducting your own monthly…

Creating a solid seasonal SEO strategy is key to leveraging the peak buying period to its full potential.

Seasonality can make or break an online business. Failure to get your business ready for the holiday season may result in lost customers, bad reputation and loss in online visibility. Creating a solid seasonal SEO strategy is key to leveraging the peak buying period to its full potential. [si_guide_block id="35519" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Managing SEO playbook" description="With this SEO playbook, we have listed all the steps needed for a strategic review of your organic search marketing aimed at defining improvements to results."/] Here's how seasonality works in digital marketing and what you should do to optimize your site for the upcoming holiday season:

What is seasonality and why SEOs should care

Seasonality refers to regular and predictable trends recurring every calendar year. Different industries may be impacted by different seasonal trends but it is hard to…

The biggest delusion you can have about your venture is “My idea is completely new, I have no competitors”. If you truly have no competitors, you probably have no market either

Getting an edge over your competitors is important, and only possible when you truly and deeply understand the competition. Which brings us to one of the best ways of gaining new insights for your company: Market research! With the advent of sophisticated software and technology, marketers today have the ability to dig deep into the activities of their competitors and get some incredible new ideas about their audience. Because of these reasons and more, it is immensely important to conduct regular and thorough research into your compadres. [si_guide_block id="15270" title="Download our Premium Resource – Competitor benchmarking guide and template" description="Use our 7-step guide to benchmarking your business against your competitors and take the first step…

Conversational commerce can introduce personalization across the buyer journey, leading to better results

Only 22% of customers are happy with the level of personalization in digital retail. However, conversational commerce could offer true 1:1 personalization at every stage of the customer journey, and at scale. Picture this. You walk into your favourite brick-and-mortar store to find zero sales assistants. Instead, there’s a small box on the wall. Next to it, a pen and paper. The sign above reads “Please leave any questions here. We endeavour to get back to you within 24 hours”. Sounds ridiculous, right? [si_guide_block id="57383" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Website and e-commerce personalization guide" description="This guide is aimed at marketing managers involved with making the business case for personalization, looking to plan a personalization implementation or extend their use of personalization."/] But it’s the approach most brands have taken through digital channels for years. Email has been the go-to support…

Aligning your sales and marketing teams is one of the easiest ways to grow your business.

In most companies, marketing and sales teams don’t collaborate very efficiently. But that shouldn’t be the case. After all, they’re both trying to help the company grow, right? The only difference is that they try to achieve this goal in different ways. While your marketing team tries to raise awareness about your brand and generate leads, your sales team aims to close deals. [si_guide_block id="79857" title="Download our Business Resource – Sales and marketing integration guide" description="This guide will give you practical recommendations, based on real-world examples, showing how to get your sales and marketing teams working together more effectively."/] In the end, they’re essentially working towards the same thing. This is why getting them to work together can do wonders for your company’s growth. You’ll see: Lowered sales costs. More cost-efficient marketing. Shortened sales cycles. Increased conversions. Here’s how…

It’s not always easy to tell at a glance which social media platform will offer the most opportunities for your brand

The past decade’s explosion in social media marketing has made it more important than ever to know how to effectively deploy a limited paid social budget. With so many social media platforms around, many small- and medium-sized businesses are focusing on cultivating a strong presence on one platform. It’s a good way for a business to avoid spreading its social budget too thin - but it does require choosing the right platform. The truth is that it’s not always easy to tell at a glance which social media platform will offer the most opportunities for your brand. It takes some research, vision, data-crunching and possibly a little soul searching about what your business is here to accomplish. If that sounds like a tall order, don’t worry. We’ll help you break it…

While focus groups often reinforce assumptions, rapid testing is able to illustrate whether any assumptions about a product, audience, and go-to-market strategy are accurate.

It’s time to face the facts: focus groups aren’t cutting it anymore. These relics date back to 1937 when Princeton University researchers investigated what sort of messaging sent over radio airwaves would drum up the most support for the World War II effort. Focus groups might have been the most viable option at the time, but there’s no reason researchers should continue to spend $2.2 billion worldwide on the questionable insights offered by modern focus groups. Participants might provide a slew of opinions about a product, but that feedback doesn't predict whether people will actually buy it. With so many companies mistakenly placing trust in focus groups, it’s no wonder Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen reports that 95% of the 30,000 new products created…

Five ways to frame our thoughts and actions as leaders

As marketers, there will inevitably come a point in many of our careers when we’ll be asked to step up from operating as individuals focused on specific tasks (e.g. SEO specialists, digital analysts, web developers) to managers responsible for a group of specialists (e.g. digital marketing manager). Whether you make the move into management depends entirely on you and your personal drivers (and whether it’s right to promote people based on their technical skills is a debate for another day). But if you do decide to take the route into management, it's important to consider the implications. [si_guide_block id="117459" title="Download our Free Resource – Marketing careers and skills development workbook" description="Our guide shows you how to map out your personal short-term and long-term goals, become more productive in your day-to-day work, identify your key motivators, analyze your digital marketing…

10 ways to segment website visitors using Google Analytics

When I work on E-commerce projects to identify methods to increase conversion I always start with a structured analysis of current effectiveness of customer journeys using Google Analytics to help identify potential improvements to site page templates to test. Segments are powerful since they help you isolate and compare different traffic sources, so in the screengrab below we have selected organic traffic to just find out how these visitors behave, for example, which landing pages do they arrive on?

Note that to encourage usage of Advanced Segments, Google renamed them a couple of years ago to 'Segments' in order to make them less scary and encourage adoption amongst GA users who don't see themselves as advanced. A key part of this approach is to go beyond the headline conversion rate and review…

Advertisers are often tempted to use sensationalist mass communication to promote their brand, which isn't a good idea

It can seem like the news cycle these days is filled with sensationalism and attention-grabbing headlines, putting brands in a challenging and potentially compromising position. Brands invest in advertising to attract attention, get the word out, and raise awareness about their product. In today’s saturated digital media environment, this can be a challenge because consumers have so many demands on their attention. Brands, understandably, want to meet consumers where they are—or rather, where their attention is—and find ways to break through the noise. However, this impulse can lead to the siren song of sensationalism. [si_guide_block id="98899" title="Download our Individual Member Resource – Paid media and digital advertising playbook" description="This paid media planning guide will provide marketers with a structured approach to paid media planning to help exploit these opportunities while managing the risks."/] Whether through advertising…

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