Category: Google Trends

03- Aug2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
374 Views

7 e-commerce SEO trends we’re seeing in 2016

Few types of online business can benefit from SEO more than e-commerce websites that allow for direct consumer transactions. Not only can you secure more web traffic (and a larger stream of revenue), you can also optimize specific product pages to funnel traffic to your most profitable or popular pages.

But SEO (and e-commerce in general) is always evolving. New technologies, new insights and new best practices emerge on a regular basis, and the best e-commerce webmasters are jumping on these changes to stay ahead of the competition.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of seven important SEO trends in the e-commerce industry you should be paying attention to:

1. Out-of-the-box SEO is better than ever

SEO technology is developing just as quickly as the search engines that have inspired them. What do I mean by “SEO technology”? I mean the third-party apps, widgets and tools webmasters can use to optimize their sites and improve results — with minimal manual input required.

In fact, some “out of the box” solutions have emerged in the template web design industry, enabling webmasters to ensure the on-site optimization of their sites in just a few steps upon launch. WordPress plugins have also been around for a while that handle a good amount of on-site SEO automatically, such as Yoast SEO.

These products and developments are tempting, and in fact useful, but currently, there’s no solution that can automatically perform every on-site function. You’ll still need to customize things like your title tags, navigation, rich snippets and so on, if you want to see the best possible results.

2. Long-form content is crucial

Until recently, product pages on e-commerce sites were places for short-form content: a title, a brief description, a handful of photos and a few customer reviews. However, user demand and search engine favoritism have shifted toward long-form content in almost every niche.

Longer-form content provides more detail, more long-tail and conversational phrases (which lend themselves to more relevant search queries) and more market differentiation from the increased competition that has arisen in recent years.

I strongly encourage you to develop more long-form content on your company blog, describing your products and offering insights on your company, provided your topics support that length without unnecessary fluff.

3. Sharability is key

Social media has been popular for many years, but it’s still somehow escalating in importance. In a recent survey I conducted of 357 online marketers, What Works in Online Marketing, 52 percent of respondents said they are currently seeing a positive ROI from social media marketing, while 65 percent believe it will become even more important over the course of the next five years. Most notably, 96 percent of respondents said they planned to increase their budgets or keep them the same over the next year.

More users are signing up for high-popularity standbys like Facebook, and newer, cutting-edge platforms like Instagram and SnapChat are shaping up to be major hits for younger generations.

One of the best ways to generate more visibility and more primary and secondary ranking signals (like inbound links and social signals, respectively) is to encourage more social sharing throughout the shopping and checkout process.

Have your users share your products. Have them share reviews. Have them share when they check out or when their products arrive. Keep your audience engaged with social opportunities throughout your site, and your visibility across search engines and social media channels will thrive.

4. Video content is outperforming pretty much every other kind of content

As mobile devices, WiFi availability and video sharing capabilities become more advanced and prominent, users are demanding more video content. Video content can show up as rich media in search results (if it’s hosted on YouTube) and has more potential for virality than any other type of content.

In fact, if you aren’t using video content on your product pages and in your company blog, you’re already behind the times. Video content is only going to become more popular, so get moving.

5. Mobile optimization is now absolutely critical

The basics of mobile optimization were already solidified by Google’s Mobilegeddon update, but merely meeting Google’s thresholds for mobile optimization is no longer enough to stand out in the search world.

Mobile optimization is about offering the best possible content and functionality experience to mobile users, who grow in numbers compared to desktop users by the day.

Mobile optimization is also starting to include app optimization, which Google is favoring heavily with developments like app streaming — and one day soon, e-commerce platforms may need to develop their own mobile apps just to survive in terms of visibility.

6. Voice search and digital assistants are gaining popularity and usage

Just a few years ago, digital assistants seemed like useless gimmicks that failed to recognize voices accurately and provided less-than-stellar results even when they did. Now, more people are relying on voice search, and every major tech company seems to have their own digital assistant capable of extraordinary feats, including Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Now.

Savvy e-commerce marketers are beginning to capitalize on this trend, offering more colloquial phrasing, more optimization for long-tail phrases and more “rich answers” that digital assistants can provide directly.

7. Local results are becoming more prominent

Local SEO has undergone a handful of overhauls in the past few years, and it’s likely that new technologies (like wearable tech) will increase the importance of local results even further.

E-commerce companies often don’t think about a local strategy, since they operate on a national level and therefore want to target a larger national audience. However, pursuing a local strategy in addition can help e-commerce companies differentiate themselves from the competition and target a smaller, possibly more relevant niche that their competitors are deliberately trying to avoid.

There may be a clustering effect as more e-commerce companies begin to realize the benefits here, which is good motivation to get involved as early as possible.

Final thoughts

Keep an eye on these seven trends to ensure that your campaign remains relevant and visible in the modern era. Depending on your goals and how heavy a role SEO plays in your overall business growth, the suggestions above should take a high priority in your marketing spend.

That being said, these certainly aren’t the only trends I anticipate developing for e-commerce, and it’s hard to predict exactly what’s around the corner — so keep your campaign flexible, and always be on the lookout for the next breakthrough development.

For those managing search engine optimization for e-commerce websites, contributor Jayson DeMers has some advice for what to focus on to stay ahead of the competition.

Source: 7 e-commerce SEO trends we’re seeing in 2016

11- Jul2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
357 Views

Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

Video used to be confined to a TV screen in the living room. If people wanted to watch the game, snuggle up with a romantic comedy, or see what was happening in the world, they picked up a remote and flipped through the channels.

Mobile has changed all of that, allowing viewers to tune in from virtually anywhere and at any time. According to a recent study, one in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.1

These new viewing habits have changed the nature of in-home viewing. Half of YouTube users who watch YouTube videos on their smartphones watch while at home.2 But just because people can watch on mobile doesn’t mean they’re only watching on mobile. In fact, the time people spend watching YouTube on a TV screen has more than doubled year over year.3

One in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.

Related Story

Evolution of TV: Reaching Audiences Across Screens

As TV content shifts to internet, audiences fragment, creating complexities for distributors, programmers, and advertisers.

To learn more about the role of online video in people’s lives today—and what that implies for brands—Google partnered with Flamingo and Ipsos Connect to conduct a survey and interview consumers about how they watch and where. We found that people use different screens for different reasons, including the type of content.

Whether people want to master a specific look or to see who won on last night’s awards show, those who watch beauty, fashion,4 entertainment, and pop culture5 YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones. “The day after the Oscars, I watched a ‘top moments from last night’ kind of video on my way to work,” says Jim in New York.

“I like watching beauty videos by bloggers on my phone when I’m putting on my own makeup,” says Veronica in Chicago. “It’s kind of like talking to a friend when I’m getting ready.”

 

Mobile Has Changed The Way We Watch | YouTube Advertisers

For travel6 and food7 videos, people primarily watch on their desktop or laptop. “I watched a video about Patagonia on my computer,” Kylie in New York says. “I was already on my computer going through some emails and stuff, and it came up on my inbox.”

People who watch beauty, fashion, entertainment, and pop culture YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones.

TV is still where people turn most often for news,8 sports,9 and comedy,10though. For some people that were interviewed, group viewing works best with a larger screen. “We cast a lot when we have people over, mostly just funny or entertaining YouTube videos,” says Paul in Chicago. “A big group of our friends will come over and we’ll each go round sharing our favorite videos on the TV screen.”

What this means for your brand

Related Story

How Online Video Influences Your Audience

Understanding how the rise of mobile video can help improve your brand metrics.

The consumer shift to mobile creates significant new opportunities for your brand to connect to your audience. Here are two ways you can plan for this world that’s driven by preferences and online video trends:

  • Follow the video: Your consumers are following their passions with online video, from their smartphones to their computers to their TVs. Ask yourself: Can people watch your videos on all devices? Are you thinking holistically about video on all screens?
  • Understand the context: Think about what’s happening in the moment when consumers are watching your ad. Where are they? What are they doing? What device are they on? Figure out what is likely to be their mindset in that moment, and choose the best ad format, length, and placement accordingly.

Watch this video to learn more about how to adapt your online video content to reach your consumer:

 

The Near Frontier of Mobile Video | YouTube Advertisers

 

Sources
1 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,397, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch online video, Feb. 2016.
2 YouTube Data, 2016.
3 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,091, among adults aged 18–54 who visit YouTube at least monthly, Feb. 2016.
4 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=580, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Beauty & Fashion content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
5 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=569, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Entertainment & Pop Culture content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
6 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,984, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Travel content, Feb. 2016.
7 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,171, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Food & Recipes content, Feb. 2016.
8 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,328, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch News content, Feb. 2016.
9 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,919, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Sports content, Feb. 2016.
10 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,298, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Comedy content, Feb. 2016.

 

Source: Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

11- Jul2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
403 Views

Redesigning the Remote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

Thanks to mobile, online video is always on-demand—people can watch virtually anywhere, anytime, and on any screen. That means more opportunities to reach consumers. New research from Flamingo and Ipsos Connect uncovers how new video consumption habits can help you meet your audience.

Video used to be confined to a TV screen in the living room. If people wanted to watch the game, snuggle up with a romantic comedy, or see what was happening in the world, they picked up a remote and flipped through the channels.

Mobile has changed all of that, allowing viewers to tune in from virtually anywhere and at any time. According to a recent study, one in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.1

These new viewing habits have changed the nature of in-home viewing. Half of YouTube users who watch YouTube videos on their smartphones watch while at home.2 But just because people can watch on mobile doesn’t mean they’re only watching on mobile. In fact, the time people spend watching YouTube on a TV screen has more than doubled year over year.3

One in three adults between ages 18 and 54 use their smartphone as their primary device for watching online video.

Related Story

Evolution of TV: Reaching Audiences Across Screens

As TV content shifts to internet, audiences fragment, creating complexities for distributors, programmers, and advertisers.

To learn more about the role of online video in people’s lives today—and what that implies for brands—Google partnered with Flamingo and Ipsos Connect to conduct a survey and interview consumers about how they watch and where. We found that people use different screens for different reasons, including the type of content.

Whether people want to master a specific look or to see who won on last night’s awards show, those who watch beauty, fashion,4 entertainment, and pop culture5 YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones. “The day after the Oscars, I watched a ‘top moments from last night’ kind of video on my way to work,” says Jim in New York.

“I like watching beauty videos by bloggers on my phone when I’m putting on my own makeup,” says Veronica in Chicago. “It’s kind of like talking to a friend when I’m getting ready.”

 

Mobile Has Changed The Way We Watch | YouTube Advertisers

 

For travel6 and food7 videos, people primarily watch on their desktop or laptop. “I watched a video about Patagonia on my computer,” Kylie in New York says. “I was already on my computer going through some emails and stuff, and it came up on my inbox.”

People who watch beauty, fashion, entertainment, and pop culture YouTube videos prefer to watch on their smartphones.

TV is still where people turn most often for news,8 sports,9 and comedy,10though. For some people that were interviewed, group viewing works best with a larger screen. “We cast a lot when we have people over, mostly just funny or entertaining YouTube videos,” says Paul in Chicago. “A big group of our friends will come over and we’ll each go round sharing our favorite videos on the TV screen.”

What this means for your brand

Related Story

How Online Video Influences Your Audience

Understanding how the rise of mobile video can help improve your brand metrics.

The consumer shift to mobile creates significant new opportunities for your brand to connect to your audience. Here are two ways you can plan for this world that’s driven by preferences and online video trends:

  • Follow the video: Your consumers are following their passions with online video, from their smartphones to their computers to their TVs. Ask yourself: Can people watch your videos on all devices? Are you thinking holistically about video on all screens?
  • Understand the context: Think about what’s happening in the moment when consumers are watching your ad. Where are they? What are they doing? What device are they on? Figure out what is likely to be their mindset in that moment, and choose the best ad format, length, and placement accordingly.

Watch this video to learn more about how to adapt your online video content to reach your consumer:

 

The Near Frontier of Mobile Video | YouTube Advertisers

 

Sources
1 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,397, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch online video, Feb. 2016.
2 YouTube Data, 2016.
3 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,091, among adults aged 18–54 who visit YouTube at least monthly, Feb. 2016.
4 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=580, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Beauty & Fashion content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
5 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=569, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Entertainment & Pop Culture content at least monthly on YouTube, Feb. 2016.
6 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,984, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Travel content, Feb. 2016.
7 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,171, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Food & Recipes content, Feb. 2016.
8 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,328, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch News content, Feb. 2016.
9 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=1,919, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Sports content, Feb. 2016.
10 Google/Ipsos Connect, “Cross-device Viewing Behavior Study,” U.S., n=2,298, among adults aged 18–54 who go online at least monthly and watch Comedy content, Feb. 2016.

ote: How Online Video Changes the Way Viewers Tune In – Think with Google

24- May2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
348 Views

Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted

Entrepreneur magazine contributor, Mike Templeman, shares his thoughts on the SEO snake oil being solicited by top agencies and advertisers alike.  SEO takes time and like Mike references, there is no “overnight” fix or silver bullet that can take you to the top.

———–>

Don’t get burned by a snake oil salesperson when it comes to your company’s SEO needs.Do you know what snake oil is? It’s a term used to describe any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. If you read this Wikipedia article on the topic, you’ll see that real oil from snakes used to be prescribed as a cure for everything from small cuts on up to arthritis and skin diseases.

And a recent study came out touting that companies will be spending $65 Billion on SEO this year.

Now, as the title to this article would imply, I believe that the SEO industry, and the digital marketing industry in general is full of snake oil salespeople. Individuals who knowingly are selling a product that either will not work for the buyer or that they know is of inferior quality.

Let me explain. I run a marketing agency. I have to hear dozens of horror stories every week about wasted budgets, sites damaged beyond repair, digital campaigns that produce zero results and everything else business owners and marketers are terrified of. These stories are the grownup versions of the campfire stories we told each other as children. Except now, they end in the loss of millions of dollars. Terrifying, I know.

Now, I mentioned that I run an agency, as such you’d think that we’d have a pretty good grasp on marketing. But you wouldn’t guess that if you looked at my spam folder. I receive hundreds, yes hundreds of unsolicited emails every day from marketers promising to take my brand to the #1 spot in Google (total lie). Or to bring me thousands of visitors in a matter of weeks (liar liar pants on fire). They tell me that my site is breaking numerous rules set forth by the search engines and if I don’t fix them my company will die a fiery death (oh really?).

Related: Here’s What Really Matters for SEO in 2016

These are the Exhibit A’s in the snake oil industry of digital marketing and SEO.

To see the Exhibit B’s you’ll need to reach out to an agency of your choice and ask to speak with their sales team. Odds are you’ll end up talking with someone that will guarantee that your wildest dreams will be fulfilled by focusing on SEO. Or maybe they’re a social media agency. If that’s the case, their silver bullet will undoubtedly be social media. Either way, they’ve got the tonic that will cure your website’s disease. And if you act now, you’ll be guaranteed results!

Look, as someone who has worked in SEO and every other digital medium for the last decade or so, I can tell you that there are no silver bullets and that nothing is guaranteed. I also know that SEO doesn’t work for some companies. Just like PPC isn’t for everyone, nor is social media. After all, billboards and commercials don’t work for every industry, so why would digital marketing be any different?

But let’s examine what makes a lot of SEO services snake oil and give you the information you’ll need to protect yourself.

Why is it snake oil?
Snake oil originated in the medical industry. It was used as a cure for ailments. It was easy for salespeople to pull the wool over they’re buyers’ eyes because back in the day, no one really knew what the heck was going on with their bodies. Medical information wasn’t as readily available. And since medical conditions are by nature quite scary, the sufferers were ready to believe anything that was thrown their way.

Well, guess what? The Internet is the new medical industry when it comes to snake oil. You see, the Internet is still not that old. It’s really only become prolific over the last 20 years or so. With that being the case, most people don’t understand the ins and outs of it. Yes, like a medical condition, they can tell when something is wrong. But they’re not really quite sure what the cause of the issue is. Enter the snake oil salespeople.

Whenever there are uninformed customers, there will always be predatory groups looking to take advantage of that situation. And with a 65 Billion dollar industry up for grabs, the streets are running wet with snake oil right now.

Related: 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Consultant

What I’ve seen.
While some snake oils can be rather harmless, when it comes to your digital marketing snake oil is anything but. For instance, I wrote an article a few years back about a large company that was removed from the Google search results due to their digital marketing activities. They had some sloppy marketing being done and it ended up making them disappear from the search results. Harmless, right? Wrong. You see, this company relied heavily on their search results for new leads to their call center. This call center was staffed by dozens of people. These people had families, mortgages, and relied on that income.

Well, when the phones just stop ringing one morning, it’s going to be very hard for a company to keep employing an entire sales floor. And while the company did their best to avoid the inevitable, they eventually had to face the facts and they ended up laying off the entire department.

So this one company that unfortunately trusted a snake oil salesperson, ended up having to lay off almost 50 people at a time when the economy wasn’t doing so well. I’m sure there was a lot of financial pain felt by these families.

So, yes, snake oil SEO can be extremely dangerous in today’s digital economy.

How do business owners avoid getting burned?
This is probably the most important part of this article. As I mentioned earlier, the reason these groups are able to prey on consumers is because of the lack of information. To this end, you need to gird yourself with knowledge. Do research on the topic you’ll be discussing with your potential agency partners. Have talking points and specific questions that you’d like answered. By doing this, you’ll be able to avoid the bottom-of-the-barrel snake oil salespeople that can’t even face mild scrutiny.

Related: The Top 4 Reasons SEO Is Dead

Once you’ve weeded those ones out, you’ll want to really do your research on the agencies that have made the first cut. Check the background of the founders, look for third party reviews. Ask them for case studies, testimonials, and references. Do not look at a slick sales deck and assume that because they can put together a decent PowerPoint that they can provide you with proper marketing services. I’ve seen hundreds of dreams crushed on the expectations set by a nice sales presentation. Any group you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with should be cut after this.

Now that you’ve made it to your third round of choices, you’ll want to watch what they produce for you very closely. Don’t accept an agency that does not give you full visibility into what they’re doing. I can’t tell you how often I see shoddy work being done, and the business owner would have been able to identify that work as being shoddy, but because they weren’t aware it was being done, they had no way of stopping it.

Because of this you’ll want to make sure that the group you’re working with is willing to show you everything they’re doing and will actually take the time to explain and train you on what they’re doing. After all, an informed client is the best kind of client.

And if you follow these steps, you’ll be assured that you’ve probably weeded out all of the snake oil salespeople and you’ll be working with a reputable agency. Now, this doesn’t guarantee that you will get great results. As I mentioned above, sometimes SEO isn’t a solution for all industries and sometimes marketing campaigns don’t result in massive successes. But those are the chances you should be willing to take. If you know you’re working with the right group that does things the right way, then you’re in it together. And the engagement should feel like a partnership, rather then a vendor relationship.

So, as you’re out there trying to spend your marketing dollars wisely, watch for those shady characters that are touting the magical properties of their services. Odds are, there’s a lot of snake oil in their pitch.

Source: Companies Will Spend $65 Billion on SEO in 2016, Much of it Will Be Wasted

16- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
534 Views

Guardian Owl D I G I T A L (@guardian_owl) • Instagram photos and videos

[G o o d] Morning #digital friends! Not sure where we’d be without ☕️????.#didyouknow Neurofuse, one of the most popular nootropic formulations out there, was originally developed by Harvard students looking to gain an academic edge but not interested in the risks associated with prescription products. They built a safe and effective formula and recently released it publicly. Read the full article —>http://nextshark.com/9-reasons-elite-entrepreneurs-are-using-study-pills-to-crush-work-1/ #google #instadaily#instapic #instagood #guardianowldigital #louisville #coffee #coffeeaddicts#me #love #energy #awake #business #women #girlboss #marketing#professional #life #goodmorning #googlepartners #louisvilledigital #tech #technology #entrepreneur #seo #sem

[G o o d] Morning #digital friends! Not sure where we'd be without ☕️?. #didyouknow Neurofuse, one of the most popular nootropic formulations out there, was originally developed by Harvard students looking to gain an academic edge but not interested in the risks associated with prescription products. They built a safe and effective formula and recently released it publicly. Read the full article —>http://nextshark.com/9-reasons-elite-entrepreneurs-are-using-study-pills-to-crush-work-1/ #google #instadaily #instapic #instagood #guardianowldigital #louisville #coffee #coffeeaddicts #me #love #energy #awake #business #women #girlboss #marketing #professional #life #goodmorning #googlepartners #louisvilledigital #tech #technology #entrepreneur #seo #sem #keurig

A photo posted by Guardian Owl D I G I T A L (@guardian_owl) on

09- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
423 Views

Super Bowl Ads drove 7.5 incremental searches for Advertisers

Google stated that 82% of TV ad-driven searches during the Super Bowl occurred on mobile devices. This year, the ads drove 7.5 million incremental searches during the game which was a 40 percent higher lift than last year.

The winning Super Bowl Ad of 2016? Audi, “Commander” won the top spot.  Four of the top five ads driving lift in brand search were from automotive manufacturers: Audi, Acura, Honda and Kia.