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As we enter the Spring of 2016, comScore has released their most recent report on the Search Engine market for the US. Data from March illustrates that Google is still the dominate player in Search with a 67.5% market share in the US market. To put this into perspective, there were 19.4 billion core searches done in March 2016 (up from 17 billion in February), Google was responsible for nearly 12 billion of those. I'm often asked why the focus on Google and not other search engines such as Bing or Yahoo? While the reason is that in North America Google has been the dominant leader in Search over the past decade.
Google Sites led the U.S. explicit core search market in March with 67.5 percent market share, followed by Microsoft Sites with 18.6 percent (up 0.2 percentage points) and Yahoo Sites with 10.1 percent. Ask Network accounted for 2.5 percent of explicit core searches (up 0.1 percentage points), followed by AOL, Inc. with 1.3 percent.
19.4 billion explicit core searches were conducted in March, with Google Sites ranking first with 13.1 billion (up 9 percent). Microsoft Sites ranked second with 3.6 billion searches (up 10 percent), followed by Yahoo Sites with 2 billion (up 8 percent).
In March, 68.9 percent of searches carried organic search results from Google, while 27.1 percent of searches were powered by Bing (up 0.1 percentage points).
Google is still the dominant player when it comes to Search. However with their announcement in October 2015 that RankBrain is a core piece of their ranking algorithm and with recent search results being poor depending on your query, will Google lose market share? Unlikely, but as people continue to become search savvy and continue to look for information in a mobile, conversational manner, will Google be able to keep up?
I'm baaaaaaack! It has been quite some time since I posted on Marketing Jive. A lot of things have happened since my last post. I left a digital marketing company that I had worked for over a dozen of years, I formed my own consulting company working with digital agencies and site owners to help make the world of organic search results a better place and I have reduced the amount of stress in my life greatly. It has been an eventful year to say the least.
I am resurrected Marketing Jive where I will be focusing on sharing great information about organic search, but focusing on what I am really passionate about and that is website audits and content strategy. I am hoping to increase the frequency of posts (time permitting) and if any of you would like to contribute to Marketing Jive please feel free to reach out to me.
I will be using Marketing Jive as portal for my company Jody Nimetz Co. So you will be seeing some changes on the blog over the upcoming weeks (including a slight redesign). Thanks for checking us out.
If you have been conducting any type
of digital marketing over the past few years, the one item that you should have
become very intimate with is your content and more importantly, the need to
produce high quality content.
The fact of the matter is that content is the lifeblood of your website.
It’s the message from your content that helps educate users about your brand,
your products and services and most importantly, how you can solve their
problems. Content marketing is not something that is new to marketers; I
mean advertisers have been doing this for years. What is new is the
digital marketplace and how the ability of people to consume content has
changed. In the digital age, we have access to copious amounts of data
and content like never before.
The good folks over at
b2bmarketinginsider.com produced a great list of some content stats that you might find interesting. Here
is but a sample:
27,000,000 pieces of content are shared each day. - AOL / Nielsen
60% of the buyer journey is complete before prospects reach out to
vendors. - The Corporate Executive Board (CEB)
Emotional marketing messages are twice as effective as promotional ones
78% of CMOs think content is the future of marketing. - Demand Metric
The average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8
seconds. –Statistic Brain
The number of web searches on the term “Content Marketing” is up 400%
since January 2011. – Google Trends
Another study found the three biggest challenges for content marketing
to be limited budgets (27%), limited staff (25%), and generating new content
(21%). - iMediaConnection
So content marketing is not going away; in fact, it’s growing.
Looking at what some of the main challenges are for content marketers, I
thought that a post about different options to enhance the content on your Web
properties might be of value. Some of these options can be used
regardless of the type of web site that you deploy while other options are more
specific for a certain type of site like an ecommerce site or sites within
specific industries. Nevertheless, these options can help you enhance
your content so it’s more engaging to your desired audience. Why
55? I happen to like the number 55 and I bet the number caught your
attention over say 50 or 10.
Ways to Enhance Your Web Content In 2015
These options are in random order and are in no way sorted by priority.
Start a blog – in 2015 if you don’t
have a blog, you are missing a great opportunity to quickly populate
content on your site. The difficulty in producing a blog is in the
resources required to maintain and contribute to it. However, blogs
can be well received by your audience and can be a great mechanism for
building quality links to your site.
existing content with additional content – perhaps you have some older
pages that have not been updated in a while. Consider adding some
fresh content to revive some of your stale content.
Add new images
updating the images on your pages. Be smarter with the images that
you use as part of your content.
video – posts
with video tend to get as much as three times as more inbound links than
stats – people
love statistics. If you can add some statistical insight about your
industry, brand or products, users will easily consume this content and
will be more inclined to share it.
content – provide
answers to frequently asked questions about your brand, your
product/service offerings or about your industry. This content is
highly informative and is often shared by users. Keep in mind that
your FAQ strategy could consist of a multi-page build out where you have
specific landing pages for each question that this asked.
brand story – build
trust by communicating the story of your brand. Also known as “brand storytelling”. you can build loyalty by developing
the story of your own brand.
customer’s stories – share both the good and the bad. An amped up
testimonial can go a long way in building credibility and trust.
industry news – share
your opinion on current news from within your industry.
product descriptions – forget about those vendor / supplier generated product
descriptions. There is way more value in writing your own unique product
descriptions. This option can add freshness and uniqueness to your
Videos – video
content can be very engaging; how to videos even more so.
Tutorials – similar
to above but in more of a series.
News Releases – do
you see where I’m going with this? Video content is highly
industry gurus – interview
well known resources from your industry to get their thoughts on industry
topics or breaking news from your field.
infographic – based on some share worthy data.
previous article – revisit some of the “legacy” articles on your
site and update them with current data.
Produce a news
release on a new or updated product offering – share company news
around a new product launch or upcoming product design.
specific to product/service usage or around upcoming industry events
of the latest industry trends – share your thoughts / opinions on
Blog Post: Pre
prior leading up to a company or industry event preface the event and
describe what will be taking place.
During Event – post your experience at the event and support with social media
Post Event – a
summary of the conference or event.
Category Content – let say that your site is an eComm that sells outdoors
clothing. You could enhance your content for various category level
pages by adding commentary on the latest fashion trends specific to these
add more in-depth information on the product details. This is
especially great for ensuring your content that may have been scraped by
other sites is unique and fresh.
Create a Top
Ten List –
top ten reasons why… Users love this type of content, especially if it
helps them find the answers to what they were looking for. Top Ten
reasons why you should develop a content marketing strategy.
and I mean true user generated content where a client or customers shares
their story of using your product/service or shares their experience with
comparison charts or tables are very useful. Whether you sell
insurance or sell automobiles, presenting comparison data is often what
the user is looking for to help make their purchase decision.
Many site owners worry about comparing competitor information;
well you don’t necessarily have to do that. You can compare your own
product offerings. Keep in mind that it can be challenging when
crafting words to make your brand or product seem more superior to other
products on the market.
forum – to
let users to communicate with one another in an environment that you can
somewhat control. Be prepared to share the good and the bad.
educational content – on how to use your product or service or on
how to get the most benefit out of engaging with your brand.
Specific Content – have more than one location? Consider building out content
for each location. Not only will this help with local search
optimization efforts but you can bolster the authority for the given
topics that you are trying to gain visibility for.
this type of content is easy to produce and can be very engaging.
Checklists can be of great value to your site visitors. Let’s say for
example that you have a travel site. There are a number of
checklists that you could produce including “Things to do on the way to
the airport” or “10 items to pack when planning for a vacation”.
“Ask the Expert” section on your site – think of this as a more detailed
version of your FAQ content. One of the frequently asked questions
can become a topical page unto itself. Your resident expert can
provide a detailed reply to a common issue or question that your audience
share whitepapers on research that you have completed. This type of
content can be great for lead gen and generate a lot of repeat traffic to
your site. Mediative has used this approach to add some great research content to our site. While the
majority of this content will be in PDF format, you will want to create an
HTML landing page to convey some of the key findings.
image gallery – a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, not always but
having an image gallery makes a lot of sense if you sell a product that
users need to study visually before purchasing (think of an automobile,
camera, cell phone, article of clothing etc). Add your images to an
image sitemap and submit to Google to help you get better visibility in
Google’s image search by allowing the Engines to more readily access your
monthly Webcast –
you could use Google+ and create regular Hangouts. Here you can conduct a
conversation with your audience. You could discuss new product
features or discuss upcoming events. You could even use this to
reply to FAQs. Once your Hangout On Air is over, it’s easy to keep
the conversation going. The recording will be publicly available on
Google+ and on your YouTube channel ready to be shared.
Take some of
your offline marketing material and turn it into online content – if your offline
messaging is different than what you are doing online, you might want to
transfer this into some good old HTML.
online newsletter – sure you use them for email campaigns but what about
utilizing this content on your actual website.
latest efforts or company awards – just do not be too obnoxious with this.
Sharing your accolades can help build trust with site visitors, especially
if they are first time visitors to your site.
Environmental Content – have a page (or series of pages) about all
of the charitable events that your organization supports. Discuss
how your digital footprint is better for the environment and how your
organization is working on eco-friendly initiatives.
About Us section – this is a great opportunity to promote your brand and to describe
the history of your organization. Don’t waste this opportunity.
“team” content –
most organizations have a page or pages that feature their executive or
management team. Why not be creative with this and have each team
member submit their top 5 favorite websites, their top 10 songs or top 5
books? This can be highly engaging content. Prior to becoming
a part of Mediative, we used to share everyone’s Top 10 Songs lists while
we were still Enquiro. Clients thought that this was great and always
commented on this. Not only could they put a face to their agency
but they learned a little about the people they were working with.
Produce a list
of top content pieces – whether it is a list of your top 10 blog posts for 2015 or
your top 10 articles on <insert topic here>, people will have an
opportunity to re-engage with this content. The net impact could be
additional social engagement (Shares, Likes, Retweets), more feed
subscribers or more repeat visitors.
people identify with people so why not share some insight into people at
your organization? The one issue here is that should these people
leave your organization, this content may have to come down.
YouTube Channel –
many organizations throw all of their video content on their YouTube
channel. Well that is great for your YouTube traffic but it may not
translate into traffic to your actual web property. Why not feature
some of your video content on your own website? Add it to a key
landing page or maybe to an older article. Video can help re-engage
Knowledge Center – where you can add articles, white papers,
checklists, and any other resources that your users find to be of
value. This type of content can provide fresh and timely content for
your audience and can be a great way to enhance topical themes on your
search results pages – while most of the time search results provide a dynamic
page or URL, there are CMS systems that can produce a “static” appearing
URL for search results pages. This is a prime opportunity to enhance
the content on these search results pages. So rather than just
showing the current inventory based on that search query, why not add some
copy to the top of the search results page to reassure the user that you
have what they are looking for. Let’s say that you sell automobiles
or parts. Your site is most likely structured with a
category-sub-category structure. When a user searchers for “John
Deere tractor parts”, the search results page could be populated with some
commentary stating that your site “… features a great selection of John
Deere tractor parts from axles and headlights to tires and hitches…”
Something that can be a little generic but gives the user an idea that you
have inventory of the item(s) that they are looking for. All of a
sudden instead of a plain old listings page you know have some copy that
helps build trust and engagement with the visitor.
in addition to your regular articles, why not deploy articles that are
longer than your typical articles to present a greater level of
information for your audience? Google has begun to show in-depth
articles within their search results. While based on algorithmic
search, there are measures that you can take to help your articles appear
in the in-depth article results. For example, be sure to leverage
schema article markup and authorship markup. Use proper pagination
and use organization markup to specify your logo. More information
can be found here.
people love “how-to” information so no matter what your product or service
is, there is always an opportunity to instruct people on how to use it.
historical data – compare the past to the present. This can be great to
remind users of some of the great improvements that your brand has seen
over the years.
Seasonal Articles – each and every month there are numerous “awareness”
campaigns. For example, in March it is National Nutrition Month and
Sleep Awareness Month. If you are in a related industry, you could
feature a post each year to discuss some of the latest stats or
initiatives that are going on specific to that type of awareness.
Here is a list of some health related awareness
“Customer of the Month” page – almost a bit like a “glorified”
testimonial, consider sharing positive stories about your “customer of the
recent industry article – have a different opinion on the latest
industry developments? Why not share your thoughts via a blog post
Build out your
Features/Benefits Content – provide additional feature and benefit
information for your users.
portions of PDF Content in HTML – if your site features a lot of PDF material,
you may want to consider re-purposing this content and placing it into
static HTML pages for your users. This will also help with the
search engines in the crawling, indexing, and ranking of this content.
industry “State of the Union” post/article –
discuss the current state of the industry and what or how your brand is
looking to remain competitive as an industry leader. Of course you
do not want to share any “trade secrets” but you can communicate your
brand’s position with regards to latest developments in the industry and
how your organization is dealing with these events.
So now you have 55 content ideas that
you can incorporate into your content strategy. What’s next? Well,
you have to revisit your content strategy of course. What makes sense for
you and what doesn’t? In addition, it never hurts to reference things to
keep in mind when writing content for the Web. We are in an
information-driven world and as a result, it is not about whether you need to
“do” content marketing; it’s more of a “what’s next with content
marketing” and how do we provide the right content to our audience?
Your content strategy means that you need to understand your audience;
you need to be the go-to resource for your audience and you need to provide
some element of uniqueness. Producing new content that provides
value to your audience will help you build those relationships and help you
position your brand as a leader in the digital space.
been fortunate to work with some tremendous clients. Clients that are marketing
savvy and engaged. It’s part of what makes my job so enjoyable. I've had
people ask about how to leverage testimonials and what their
approach should be for incorporating it into their content. It’s great to see
folks out there looking to improve their content and potential engagement with
their audience. And I happen to be a big fan of testimonial content.
portions of this post are an opinion piece from yours truly. IMO every single
page on your website has the potential to be an intersection or point of
contact for your audience. In fact every piece of content that you produce,
whether it is a web page, a video, a tweet has the opportunity to be an
intersection point with your audience. So it becomes somewhat obvious in the
value of having testimonials dispersed through your web properties. Having your
customers share their success stories can go a long way in building brand
trust. Yes, I know that you cannot please everybody all of the time and I know
that you are bound to have some negative feedback about your brand or service
offering. It is going to happen; it just means that you are human.
are the original form of user generated content. That is they are the oldest
form of users providing feedback about a given product, service or brand.
Remember the old Faberge Organic Shampoo commercials where they’ll tell two
friends and they’ll tell two friends?
of mouth can still be the best form of advertising. Testimonials, in digital
form, can act as good old fashioned word of mouth advertising. In fact, what
better way is there to build brand trust? They say that good marketing is about
psychology. It is about understanding your audience and being able to address
their needs. The perception of your business may not be what you think it is.
Consumers may have a different opinion about your brand, your products and the
level of service that you provide. Let’s look at an example. When it
comes to trusted brands, how many of you think of Kentucky Fried Chicken? My
guess is none of you. However did you know that KFCwas
recently namedthe “Most Trusted Quick-Service
Restaurant Brand in India? It’s true, The Brand Trust Report 2015 study, which
is one of the most in-depth studies conducted about brand trust around the
world, named KFC as the top “fast food” brand in India. The report is a result
of “13,000 hours of research with sociologists, communication experts and
behavioral scientists. Issued annually the 2015 study assessed 19,000 brands
from which the top 1,000 were selected for the report.” Who knew that KFC was
one of the most trusted brands in a country that is predicted to become the
largest consumer market in the world by 2030? There is no question that trust
in your brand is important… a good testimonial will help you build brand trust.
10 Ways to Leverage Testimonials on Your Website
you ever stopped and thought about just how many forms of testimonial options
are available out there? There are a number of different ways to include
testimonials on your website and in your marketing materials. Here are some of
the common methods for leveraging testimonials on your webs properties:
testimonial landing page –
or series of pages featuring client testimonials. This is the traditional
approach that you see on many websites. There is still some value in this
especially if you do a great job in promoting and communicating your
Customer Reviews– there are a variety of options for
presenting reviews on your web properties. This form of User-Generated
Content (UGC) must be managed carefully so that it is not faked or
contains hyper negative reviews that can be damaging to your brand.
Amazon is a great example of being one of the leaders in leveraging
reviews on their web properties and Apps. Reviews are quite easy to
integrate into your content. Common software options include:
Studies / Client Success Stories –
depending on the nature of your business, case studies can be a powerful
sales tool that can increase engagement with your brand.
Testimonials – another form of
testimonial that can be promoted on your social platforms (including
YouTube) in addition to being featured on your website is the video
testimonial. Videos testimonials can be great especially if they go viral
or become shared through social channels like Facebook. SalesForce is an
example that comes to mind of a brand that includes video testimonials on
Snippets – aka customer quotes which
are simply documented cases of customer feedback that you are allowed to
share on your web properties, are another form of testimonial. These
snippets may have come from surveys, call center feedback, tradeshow
feedback or simple feedback that you have solicited from your clients
directly. It is important that you get permission where necessary,
especially if you will be incorporating their full name.
Photos – displaying images of your customers using
your product or service can also build trust with your audience and can be
easily promoted through your social channels.
Feeds – you can share customer feedback via a feed
from your blog comments or from your latest tweets. This can be a simple
plugin or widget that can display this form of testimonial on your
website. Of course you have to be prepared to share the good and the bad
so this option may need to be monitored regularly.4
Ways to Embed your Twitter Feed.
Reviews on third party sites –
ask your customers to review you on third party sites such as Google+ or
Yelp. You can link to this material or even feature some of this
commentary within your own testimonials on your website.
Comments – allow blog comments on
your posts and be sure to reply to both the good and the bad. Eliminate
spam comments and focus on the positive to help build trust with your
Forums – this is a format of testimonials that we advise
to proceed with caution. Hosting a forum can be a great avenue for
soliciting customer feedback on your brand and service offering. However,
you cannot please everybody all of the time. So you will need to moderate.
Due to this level of resourcing, forums are not a viable option for all
you can see there is a wide array of testimonial formats that you can
incorporate on your web properties. Of course you will want to use your
discretion of where, when and how often to display testimonials.
closing, testimonials are one of the most cost friendly and easiest ways to
promote your business and your brand. Ensure that you have a means of compiling
and taking inventory of your testimonials. Use different types of testimonial
content throughout your website. Experiment with video, case studies and
twitter feeds to see which content users most engage with and contribute to.
Chances are you have had a content strategy for quite some time, but have you
included testimonial content as part of your content marketing efforts? If not,
there is no better time to start.