Win today by developing the skills to deliver growth during inflation, with up to 50% off memberships in August!

Google puts A/B testing tools at everyone's fingertips by making it's Google Optimize product free

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but since it launched out of beta in March 2017, there's a free CRO package that gives you the ability to run A/B tests across your site. Almost half of smaller businesses don't currently utilize A/B testing, which will mean they're potentially losing vast sums compared to the revenue they could have been generating had they engaged in CRO.

[si_quick_block id="101832" title="How to do AB tests with Google Optimize" description="This Quick Win explores what AB testing is, and what process you should use to build a test. We will cover some ideas on what you could test, as well as working out where to focus your attention, hint, don’t just jump to say your homepage, you may want to test somewhere else that will give you a bigger impact."]

That's…

Smart Insights Alert: How will retargeting be affected by changes to iOS11 and macOS High Sierra Safari users? Google also updates Adwords in response to Apple’s ITP for Safari

Apple is making massive waves again, this time in the advertising industry (but not in a good way for digital marketers). Apple has introduced ITP - Intelligent Tracking Prevention - for those using their Safari browser, a new feature in their upcoming software update. Marketers are facing one more obstacle in their online advertising campaigns as this new feature will essentially prevent you from Retargeting your customers effectively. Safari, Apple's default browser, is used by 14.9% of internet users - a small proportion, but a proportion of a target audience that may no longer be accessible because of this ad blocking. Retargeting is a great way to persuade users to return to a site or convert into a paying customer, a major feature of marketing today. …

Review your digital skills to get tailored recommendations to improve your marketing skills and business results

We are constantly updating content, improving the quality of our site for members and bringing new guides and tools to help your marketing needs. We have recently updated our capability grader, which allows you to rate and score your company's digital marketing strategy and planning ability via the RACE framework. Today, we have also launched the companion Personalized Learning Plan which will assess your personal digital marketing skills. and is available to all members, from free to premium. This new feature is available to all Smart Insights members. Be one of the first to get your Personalized Learning Plan.

What is the purpose of the Personalized Learning Plan

Our new tool enables you to: Do a quick self-assessment of your skills across 25 key digital marketing activities marketing defined in…

Use our RACE framework to discover your ability to Plan, Reach, Act, Convert and Engage

Two years ago we launched our free interactive marketing benchmarking tool to help members rate their 'digital readiness' for digital marketing as a whole and for the key channels like Search, Social media and Email marketing. Well, it's proved popular since it helps members score where they are now and then gives recommendations of how to improve in the future - to take their skills or marketing results to the next level. So in our recent UX members refresh - we have made it more prominent and put all the benchmarking tools in place.  We also renamed it to 'capability grader'.

Introducing our upgraded, free interactive tool!

I'm also writing this post to let members know about a simplification to the most popular digital strategy grader which you may want to try - it's here (available if you're signed in): …

How and Why We Have Updated the UX in Our Members' Area

With over 150,000 active Basic, Individual and Business members accessing our resources through our members' area when they are signed in, we take the user experience (UX) of this area extremely seriously. Since we first launched the members' area in Smart Insights in November 2011 we have updated its look and feel several times through major changes to the features and tests to improve usability and conversion. The new UX, launched this week is one of the biggest changes in look-and-feel for two years. So, in this article, I wanted to detail what the changes are and why we made them. I won't explain how different types of resources can help businesses in different use-cases or scenarios, these are detailed in our Getting Started guide for members. Before I get to the 5 new features I'll also explain a little…

Twitter introduce rounded profile photos, live engagement updates and much more.

You may have noticed last week Twitter updated its look and redesigned some of its key features. Most of the changes are mainly aesthetic but have been applied to make Twitter look consistent across both IOS and the Andriod app. Twitter announced the redesign last week quoting: 'We're refreshing our product too and making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. We listened closely and kept what you love. And for the things you didn’t, we took a new approach to fix and make better.'

What's changed?

The most obvious feature that Twitter has changed is switching from square profile photos to rounded images. Although not everyone has taken too kindly to the new profile icons. Additionally, the update has changed the look of interaction buttons on tweets, for…

Instagram to Launch New 'Paid Partnership Tag' for sponsored content

Instagram are launching a new feature for influencers. This feature described as the 'paid partnership' tag is aiming to make it clear to consumers which posts are sponsored and which are not. Allowing influencers and brands to tag the partners who have paid to be featured in the posts in some way. The tag will clearly mark the image as paid and it will also do the same on stories. It has also been reported that influencers using the tag will be able to track insights allowing both parties view its metrics to track how the content is performing. The paid partnership tag is currently only been rolled out to a select few influencers, brands and businesses but we may see a wider roll-out in the coming months. This new feature is a great move on Instagrams behalf…

Google starts tracking credit card transactions to assess online ads effect on online and offline sales.

Every marketing manager has always sympathized with John Wanamaker's famous phrase "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." Digital marketing has helped alleviate some of the problems of attribution, by tracking of digital media. But unless someone is clicking through to purchase on your site or tracked by call they make via the site, it's very hard to attribute offline store sales to a particular online ad campaign. But this limitation is now reduced which is BIG news for multichannel retailers. Yesterday Google announced it is now tracking consumers card transactions both online and in-store. The ability to track in-store sales is a real breakthrough in attribution, as since 92% of all US retail sales still take place in-store. Without it marketers are limited to focusing all…

Facebook will penalize posts linking to web pages that deliver a poor experience by not surfacing them in the newsfeed.

Facebook started rolling out an update last week designed to prevent people from seeing posts that take them to low-quality website experiences. They've announced they will be penalizing the organic rankings of these posts so they appear far less in the newsfeed, and they will be stepping up the enforcement of rules on ads that prevent people paying to advertise spammy or malicious sites. Facebook announced they are doing this because their users are unhappy with being taken to sites which are just 'click-bait' designed to draw visitors in and then get them to click on an ad. In an official statement, Facebook reported that: We hear from our community that they’re disappointed when they click on a link that leads to a web page containing little substantive content and that is covered in disruptive,…

Google's similar audiences feature is now out of beta and available for Search Ads and Google Shopping Ads

Similar audiences is a nifty idea which lets you target your ads not just at the people you know are interested in your products or services, but also at people who share the same characteristics as those who've shown an interest. So how does it work? Similar audiences for display works by matching the interests of people who've visited your site to people with the same interests, but who haven't visited your site. In theory, these should be the people most interested in your products. But as of this week, the new matched audiences feature also works to match with people based on their search history. The easiest way to explain this is with an example. If you had an online store selling gardening tools, you could set up ads to target people interested…