SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Article | April 15, 2021
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has come a long way, with continued developments, advancements and algorithm tweaks giving business owners, brand agencies and marketing gurus more than just a digital headache.
But traditionally, SEO has been a numbers game, with ranking positions the all-important deciding factor. However, with the purpose of the activity to reflect and cater to user behaviours, can SEO really be simplified to numerical values?
In this piece, Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius, a proprietary software solutions provider for digital marketing and ecommerce, takes a look at how far SEO has come and how more recent advancements in intelligence are helping it towards its ultimate goal.
For any business operating online, SEO is an essential element of the digital marketing mix. Forming the foundation of website designs and content output, SEO helps businesses build an online presence by increasing the chances of web pages and products appearing in visible positions on search engine results pages.
Over the years, the activity has advanced significantly. Of course, it has come a long way since the early days of cramming as many keywords as possible into text, or using spam websites to backlink to yours in an attempt to gain authority.
And while many of these activities are now frowned upon, and can in fact, negatively impact SEO rather than help it, the motivations are the same. For instance, using keywords in website copy or product descriptions is still key in ensuring they rank for the right search terms. Similarly, backlinks remain the golden ticket for website authority, albeit from genuine and trustworthy sources.
The difference is that today, SEO is much more intuitive. Best practice is all about optimising content for logical human behaviour and user experience. For example, keywords that are integrated into copy in a much more natural way are likely to gain more SEO points than a page which uses the old cramming approach.
The reason for this shift is all down to advancements in intelligence, which are enabling search engines to assess and score content in more sophisticated ways than previously possible. Ultimately, today’s ranking assessments understand pages and content in ways that are similar to human usage and interactions.
For example, Google’s roll out of featured snippets has shown significant insight into how the search engine is being used, and in turn, how businesses must adapt their content in order to reach the top-ranking positions.
Emphasis on Q&A style results in position zero of results pages is clear evidence for users turning to the platform for question queries, for which they want quick and straightforward answers. And with these featured snippet boxes taking up significant space on the top of the results page, pushing other organic results further down, it is essential for businesses to include such content into their optimisation strategies.
Additionally, there is a strong case for the use of PPC ads in order to ensure higher visibility on pages that are becoming much harder to rank on organically. This is also true for product searches, as the search engine prioritises shopping results when a user’s query is interpreted as an intent to purchase. Therefore, shopping ads are a great way to ensure your products are visible among competitors in the most prominent position on the page.
Evidently, intelligence in SEO is enabling it to reflect user behaviours and intentions more accurately. And while this is a positive change from a consumer perspective, as results are only becoming more relevant, convenient and useful, for businesses, the playing field is more complex than ever.
So, with ranking criteria constantly being adapted and advanced by search engines, there are ways for businesses to leverage their own intelligence in order to improve SEO activity.
For instance, the backbone of any effective SEO strategy is data and insight. For many, collecting this information requires a trial and error approach, whereby businesses implement tactics and learn from what is and isn’t working.
But as search engines become more complex and intelligent, it can be difficult to get things right, or to really be able to assess activity without waiting months in some cases. Therefore, businesses should use their own data and insights to inform any decisions or activity. This can be a key way to ensure you focus on the right channels, customers and keywords.
For instance, using lead intelligence gathered and analysed by a sophisticated management system that takes into consideration all sales channels, including owned and third-party marketplaces, can provide valuable information on which channels your customers are using most frequently and what products or services are most popular.
This information can then go on to inform the channels you should focus your SEO efforts on, and which products or services will provide the best ROI.
In SEO, the numbers will always be important, as ranking positions will always determine the success of any efforts. However, intelligence should be given just as much attention, as it is only with the latter that efforts can be streamlined for more effective results.
Article | April 15, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all sorts of businesses around the globe, from temporary or open-ended shutdowns to operations only under extreme health precautions. Everything might seem to be uncertain, and yes, business conditions will continue to be volatile for quite a while. However, there is one thing you can be sure about: marketing and public relations. You need them now more than ever before. During even the most trying times, prioritizing the right communication tactics rather than completely withdrawing into your shell helps keep your business visible to customers and desired target markets. Trust us, with the market downturn and skepticism everywhere, your businesses’ saving grace is public relations and smart marketing.
Article | April 15, 2021
In this article, Nate Burke, CEO of Diginius, an expert provider of digital marketing solutions for ecommerce and online businesses, explores how brands can boost affinity through customisation and personalisation tactics in the digital age.
How many of us remember walking into a holiday gift shop when younger (and before a global pandemic put a stop to the H word), and eagerly searching for a fridge magnet, mug or pencil inscribed with our name?
Personalisation is a tactic brands and businesses have been using for years to hook us into their offerings. The idea is, as consumers, we forge stronger attachments to products that appear to have been created for or tailored to us, personally. For businesses, encouraging these deep connections with customers results in loyalty and greater lifetime value.
In theory, the formula is simple. But in reality, success requires so much more than printing a name on an everyday household object. Instead, brands must allocate large amounts of resources to really understanding their customers, and then develop offerings that suit.
Fortunately, the internet provides a more efficient and effective way to personalise offerings on a mass level. And as a result, we’ve seen the rise of businesses, including Moonpig, Getting Personal and Funky Pigeon, which offer customers a service to personalise common gift items, in order to create something with greater meaning and significance for a loved one.
However, in this day and age, customers have, what seems like, an unlimited choice of options when it comes to personalised products - think those mentioned above, as well as etsy, Not on the Highstreet and the numerous photo printing and engraving services offered by the likes of Boots, Asda, H.Samuel, Next and so many others. Therefore, for personalisation to really be a differentiating factor for your brand, tailoring must go far beyond the surface level of a product.
Everything from the brand experience, content and functionality of the final product or service needs to be designed and developed with each individual end user in mind.
But again, the internet offers its hand in this sense too. Essentially, businesses with digital offerings also have data and insight at their fingertips, which can help them to better understand who their customers are and what it is they want. With this information, brands can begin to personalise the way in which they communicate, interact with and cater to their customers in order to evoke a greater feeling of connectivity.
For example, personalised digital marketing tactics, such as including first name fields in email campaigns, have proven to generate greater click through rates than those without. Clearly, tailoring this small part of an email by ensuring such information is collected and stored in your address database can have a significant impact on the success of your activity, soon outweighing any additional work or effort required to implement the change.
Similarly, pay per click advertising (PPC) can benefit from personalisation, particularly if ads are targeted using users' individual preferences and characteristics. While PPC management can be a time-consuming task alone, and personalisation only adding to the load, there is a strong case for the use of a software solution that can help you collect and analyse data, and then automate activity accordingly. As well as saving time, the marketing tactic also becomes much more efficient, by lessening the budget being wasted on ineffective leads. With ads more likely to be shown to users with a greater chance of clicking, as their data suggests a strong interest in your offering, there is opportunity to improve click to conversion rates, too.
Again, this all sounds good in theory, but a data-centric approach presents further challenges in terms of knowing what information to collect, and then interpreting it in a way that is accurate and useful to the business. For instance, businesses operating across various sales channels may face difficulty collecting data that is representative of its multiple customer segments. Its online customers are likely to be different to its in-store ones, and so an offering that is personalised to the latter, is not guaranteed to feel equally as customised to the former. Or vice versa.
This is another area in which technology can help. Platforms, such as VTEX, offer businesses a way to collect and centralise data across all channels. With all this information in one place, it is possible to draw meaningful and accurate insights to inform personalisation decisions.
However, personalisation, in its fundamental form, is all about being human and emotive in your approach. It comes down to understanding the intrinsic values of your customers, and placing these at the centre of your offering to develop meaningful connections. Data and technology, therefore, can only help so much. Alongside this, there needs to be human input, which can come from your experience and expertise of your market and consumers.
For example, in more recent years, we’ve seen brands give more thought to mass marketing opportunities on special days and events, such as Father’s Day. While data and technology can help you create a personalised email to promote gift ideas for an event which the majority will be celebrating, a human approach will tell you that many of your customers may prefer not to see messages associated with the occasion. As a result, we see pre-campaign eshots that give warning and opportunity to opt out of communications associated with the event.
By combining both technology and human instinct in this way, offerings become that much more personal and effective at boosting brand affinity. And that is where there is a real sweet spot when it comes to differentiating your personalised offer from the next, especially as the ecommerce market becomes ever more saturated with competitors.
Article | April 15, 2021
Voice Search is a speech recognition technology that is on the verge of becoming a household gadget globally, or one must say, it has already become entirely. Voice Search is a 20th Century concept which has improved in its capacity with the evolution of technology in the first decade of the 21st Century.