Thursday, 3 September 2020

Aiming for the Top-Spot On Search Engines? Time for a Rethink

If your business is involved in SEO, chances are you share the same goal as everyone else. That being, to climb right to the top of the rankings to the number-one position.

It’s no secret that the higher the ranking, the more likely you are to win the lion’s share of traffic. With three-quarters of web users now refusing to look beyond the first page, this really is the place to be. 

But what if we were to tell you that fighting tooth and nail for the top-spot isn’t always the best way to go? What could be more important than doing whatever it takes to claw all the way to that prestigious number-one spot?

Particularly if this is the main goal of your SEO strategy, it could be time for a rethink…and here’s why:

It Might Be Impossible

First and foremost, actually getting yourself to the number-one position could be impossible. There’s every chance that whatever your niche and specialist area, you’ll always be outperformed by a bigger rival. If their SEO spend is literally 100X yours, you can’t expect all the strategy in the world to give you the upper hand. You could throw every penny you have at your SERP performance, but it might not be enough. Painful as it may be, it’s sometimes necessary to accept the top-spot for certain key words is completely out of reach.

SEO is Unpredictable

A strategic SEO campaign should be all about solid performance and measurable improvements. The SEO landscape is just too unpredictable to have such a stubborn and specific goal in mind. You spend more than you can afford boosting your SEO strategy, you finally hit the top-spot and you’re happy. Only then to watch Google alter its algorithm and drop back to your prior fifth position. If you can reach a strong position and hold onto it, you’re golden.

Position Zero is Better

The interesting thing about position-zero is that not only is it better, it’s also more achievable. Check out a few position-zero pages and you’ll see how comparatively few come from the biggest brands and businesses out there. If you can offer something that perfectly answers the question being asked, you’ve every chance of hitting this prestigious beyond-top-spot. Lists, top-tens, detailed snippets – all great for attracting Google’s attention. If planning on campaigning for the top-spot, try campaigning for position-zero instead.

Hedge Your Bets

Last up, campaigning to hit the top-spot for one particular search term means investing heavily in this one term. In the meantime, search terms and keywords of enormous value could be denied your time, effort and attention. You may dominate the rankings with this key term of interest, but what about the rest? What if you end up on page two or three for a bunch of other major keywords and search terms? Rather than attempting to rule the roost with just one or two terms, think about hedging your bets with a more widespread approach to your SEO strategy.

Friday, 24 July 2020

B2B Marketing Statistics you Need to Know

With more online businesses than ever before competing in the B2B space, gaining a competitive edge is the ultimate challenge. On the plus side, recent studies have illustrated exactly what’s needed to stand out from the crowd.

Specifically, a series of statistics from Forrester, Google, Digital Commerce 360, Growth Point, HubSpot and Bizible have brought some interesting findings to light. Anyone looking to succeed in the B2B space would be wise to take note of the following:

Nine out of 10 B2B customers begin with a search

Firstly, evidence suggests that around 90% of customers in the B2B space use search engines when sourcing products and services. This in turn suggesting that SEO strategies should be given the highest possible priority by those looking to get ahead.

B2B customers make multiple searches before going ahead

Specifically, the average B2B customer carries out a full 12 searches, before making their final decision and engaging with one specific website. Those in the B2B space almost always going the extra mile to compare options and find the best deal.

Multiple brands are considered before each purchase

Again, approximately 90% of B2B customers research up to seven different online businesses, before going ahead and making a purchase. Along with being found in the first place therefore, this highlights the importance of delivering the highest-value user experience possible. While at the same time, differentiating yourself from your competitors.

B2B customers research offline purchases online

Even when B2B customers plan offline purchases, around 75% conduct the vast majority of their research online. Providing as much information as possible to highlight the value of your offer being the key to closing the sale.

Telephone is the preferred communication channel

Incredibly, more than 90% of all customer interactions in the B2B space take place via telephone. That according to Salseforce, highlighting the importance of high-quality telephone service provision at all times. This differs from the B2C space, where live-chat is fast becoming the preferred communication channel among modern consumers.

Callers convert more quickly than web leads

Furthering the relevance of the points above, Forrester reports that B2B calls result in 30% faster conversions than standard web leads. This suggests that an investment in B2B telephone marketing could drive a faster profit than some traditional web marketing channels.

Direct calls are highly influential

Last up, telephone calls in the United States alone are expected to influence consumer spending worth more than $1 trillion this year. Some demographics may have switched to more modern communication channels, but direct calls are still where it’s at in the B2B space.

Just a handful of interesting statistics to highlight of what’s going on in the B2B space right now. Particularly in an era of such heavy competition, taking into account statistics like these could be instrumental in gaining a competitive edge.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Study Highlights Gen Z’s Retail Preferences and Expectations

Just for the record, Generation Z applies to anyone born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s…in case you wondered!

While much of the world continues to focus on Millennials, a recent study carried out by Marketing Dive highlighted the expectations and preferences of Generation Z. At least, in terms of retailers and brands in general, from whom it seems they expect quite a lot! 

This is a generation that’s made it clear on countless occasions that they prefer experiences to products. There are all about engagement and the overall experience, rather than simply buying whatever’s cheapest or most readily available. In terms of online shopping, they show huge preference to product recommendations and reviews, mobile optimised websites, free shipping, simplified returns processes and access to coupon codes. All the kinds of things retailers should be taking note of, if looking to attract, engage and retain Gen Z audiences.

One of the most interesting findings of the study is the apparent revelation that Gen Z doesn’t hate mass-marketing to the same extent as other generations. Just as long as the ads in question are of relevance and provide value, almost 50% of Gen Z consumers appreciate the informative nature of the ads in question. So it’s hardly surprising that around 44% expect the ads they encountered to be relevant, or pay them no mind whatsoever.

In particular, they show greatest preference to ads in reference to products or services they either purchased or browsed previously, which may provide them with some kind of reminder or discount code to incentivise their conversion. Once again, food for thought for anyone working in digital marketing.

Another interesting finding clearly illustrates the fact that the High Street is by no means dead and buried. Quite the contrary, as a huge 80% of Gen Z consumers stated that they genuinely enjoy the opportunity to shop in physical stores when time permits. Nevertheless, 75% tend to do most of their shopping online, due to simple accessibility and convenience. Despite the fact that 65% stated that they prefer to physically examine and inspect products before buying them, they still make most of their purchases online.

When Gen Z consumers decide to hit the High Street, almost 70% use their mobile devices to research products and services, before going ahead and purchasing them from the respective store. As for motivating factors on the High Street, Gen Z shoppers were found to respond particularly strongly to creative displays, unique merchandise, attractive store design and the ability to try out products and services before making purchases.

Back with online retail, almost 40% of this enormous and lucrative demographic believe it’s often difficult to find what they need on the web. In addition, around 35% stated that they are still somewhat uncomfortable buying products online. They’ve become accustomed to online retail in general, though don’t necessarily trust online retailers and will typically compare the products of at least a handful of sites, before making any final purchase decisions.

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Popular Blog Ideas for Your New Business Venture

It’s no secret that blogging has the potential to be an incredibly lucrative business venture. All over the world, bloggers in growing numbers are asking and receiving huge sums of cash as influencers, having earned extensive and dedicated audiences.

Technically speaking, most people could achieve at least some kind of success with their own personal blog. After all, we’re all experts at something…right?

The secret to coming up with a great idea for a new blog lies in two things. The first of which being to focus on something you know and are passionate about, the second being to focus on a subject of interest to other people.

A difficult balancing act to pull off?

Perhaps not, as there are more diverse and wide-reaching subjects of interest to the masses these days than ever before. So if you’re looking to start a blog business venture and need a little inspiration, here’s quick rundown of just a few of the most popular web topics you might like to consider:

1. Self-improvement. 
 Any advice and guidance you could offer those looking to improve themselves, both in professional and private capacities alike.

2. Health & Fitness for Busy People. 
Why not base your blog on the kinds of simple, effective and workable health and fitness strategies that suit those with very little time on their hands?

3. Languages. 
 If you speak a foreign language even to a relatively modest extent, you could start a blog to help those interested in picking up the basics.

4. Budget Travel. 
Everybody loves travelling and the vast majority of travellers prefer to do so for the lowest price possible. Why not share all those budget travel tips and tricks you’ve come up with over the years?

5. Dining Out. 
 If you’re the type that likes to eat out on a regular basis, why restrict your comments and recommendations to other sites like TripAdvisor? There’s nothing to stop you starting your own site/blog that could become the next big thing.

6. Recipes. 
The key to success if looking to share recipes lies in offering something different. Or at least, something with a very specific focus. Meals for under £3, dishes that exclude certain ingredients, cooking for fussy kids in less than 15 minutes and so on.

7. How-to Hacks. 
 Simple guides and tutorials covering everyday tasks and projects are spectacularly popular these days. So why not share your own unique and innovative ways of getting things done with other people?

8. Relationships.
 Likewise, millions of people from all over the world turn to the web every day for advice and guidance on various relationship issues. Whether serious, light hearted or downright hysterical, surely you’ve plenty of words of wisdom to share!

9. Music.
 Share your thoughts, reviews, recommendations and so on to those with similar tastes in music to your own. Or perhaps go one step further and base your blog around playing musical instruments, production, editing and so on.

10. Sports.
Last but not least, if you can bring your own unique voice, tone and style to a dedicated sports blog, you could be golden. Which technically should be relatively easy – just as long as you focus on a sport or activity of any kind you are genuinely passionate about!


Monday, 10 February 2020

A Roundup of Some Key Digital Marketing Statistics

It’s been awhile since we shared a roundup of digital marketing statistics. So, what better time than right now to do just that?

During an interesting couple of weeks, we’ve learned a lot about influencers, mobile apps and automation. The most important and surprising statistics we’ve come across being as follows:

Influencers Are Not Trusted by 96% of People

Slowly but surely, we could be seeing the demise of the influencers as we’ve come to know them. According to the results of a recent study carried out by YouGov and Grey London, just 4% of Brits said that they trust the information and advice of influencers. 17% of social media users reported encountering inaccurate or misleading content online, while 48% said they don’t trust the accuracy or honesty of celebrities’ profiles. There’s still plenty of trust for reviews and recommendations from friends and family – third-party influencers being an entirely different story.

Over a Million Knowledge-Based Jobs at Risk

Forrester’s 2020 Predictions report has painted a somewhat gloomy picture of the future of knowledge-based jobs. Specifically, they believe that more than a million knowledge-based human roles will be replaced by an automated hardware and software next year alone. The report also suggested that quality assurance roles in customer contact centres could be cut by as much as 40%, replaced again by automated hardware and software.

Print is Now the Third Biggest Ad Channel

It’s been a long time coming, but social media has finally overtaken print to become the third biggest ad channel. That’s according to Zenith’s latest ‘Advertising Expenditure Forecasts’ report, which predicts a further 20% social media spend this year to hit a whopping $84 billion. By contrast, total print ad spending is expected to decrease by 6% to $69 billion.

Gen Z Loves Snapchat, Wish and Twitch

Unsurprisingly, it’s now estimated that 98% of Gen Z now carries a smartphone. In addition, they also spend an average of 3.7 hours each month on the four biggest non-gaming apps listed above. Though what’s interesting is that they’re spending less time with each of these apps per session, but visiting them on a regular basis. On average, Gen Z members clock up 150 combined user sessions with these apps each month – that’s around 55% more than their older counterparts.

Satisfied Christmas Shoppers Are Surprisingly Loyal

Impress a Christmas shopper this year and they’re statistically more likely to convert when they visit your store next year. That’s according to a report published by Monetate, which found that satisfied Christmas shoppers who return to your store are twice as likely to convert as those visiting you for the first time. A statistic that underlines the importance of prioritising the satisfaction of every Christmas customer, rather than treating them as disposable ‘one-off’ shoppers.

Negativity Driving Social Media App Deletions

Last but not least, approximately one in every five young people has deleted a social media app due to negativity. The potential negative impact of social media is apparently been acknowledged and acted upon by more younger users than ever before. According to Mediacom, 18% of younger people have deleted one or more social media apps from the devices over the past year, while 13% said they have consciously reduced the amount of time they spend on social media apps.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

The Four Biggest Ecommerce Changes You Can Expect In 2020

Every year brings its own unique shifts and changes to the online retail landscape. 2019 looks to be no exception to the rule, with a handful of ecommerce trends set to dominate the months ahead.

So whether you’re running an online business or are simply a spectator on the sidelines, here are the four biggest ecommerce shifts you can expect to see this year: 

Social Selling
First up, the key to success on the world’s leading social platforms has always been to avoid the hard-sell at all costs. And it still is, but this doesn’t mean that selling on social media isn’t an incredibly effective strategy for the savvy business. It’s the classic case of selling without selling - finding ways to promote your products, your services and your brand without resorting to the hard-sell. Images and videos showing your products in use, influencer recommendations, exclusive deals and discounts - there’s a lot you could be doing to promote your products subtly yet effectively on social media.

Multi-Channel Selling

It’s also worth remembering that today’s consumer doesn’t make purchases exclusively through one online channel. A recent survey has found that around 90% of consumers still shop offline, 45% use branded online stores, more than 75% have made purchases on Amazon and around 35% use eBay. This means that irrespective of the demographic you’re reaching out to, it simply makes sense to sell your products and/or services through a wide variety of channels. If you’re still selling your wares exclusively through your own website, it’s time to think about getting your eBay and Amazon stores up and running as quickly as possible.

Smarter Payment Processing

The simplicity and seamlessness of the payment process can be the ultimate deal-breaker for today’s consumer. They’ve made it right through to the final payment process, but it’s still spectacularly easy to lose them at this late stage. In fact, research suggests that of the 70% of shoppers who abandon their carts before making a purchase, the majority cite issues or inconveniences regarding the payment process. In this instance, ‘smarter’ payment processes means simplified, streamlined and accelerated payment processes. A checkout process with as few mandatory fields to fill in as possible and a variety of payment options to choose from.

Custom Packaging

Last but not least, consumers are placing heavier emphasis on the appeal of product packaging than ever before. Along with the elimination of unnecessary packaging and the exclusive use of recyclable/recycled materials, custom packaging is also making its mark. To such an extent that almost 70% of shoppers admit being impressed and engaged by brands that take their packaging seriously. If you lack resources to come up with your own custom packaging in-house, there are plenty of third-party specialists who can help.

Friday, 1 November 2019

What’s the Difference Between SEO and SEM?

Unfortunate as it may be, most of the 2 billion or so websites up and running right now attract little to no traffic. Shocking at first, but less so when considering that just a couple of major search engines direct around 95% of the web’s collective traffic.

So it’s really no surprise that competition for the top spots with Google and the like is ferocious. Climbing the rankings means implementing an effective marketing strategy, which brings two distinct options into the spotlight:

1. Search engine optimisation (SEO)

2. Search engine marketing (SEM)

Often confused as one and the same, SEO and SEM are in fact quite different. But if you’re serious about appearing prominently in the rankings, you’ll need to bring both into your digital strategy. 


In a nutshell, SEO refers to the activities and initiatives implemented to boost a website’s appeal in the eyes of the major search engines. By contrast, SEM refers to paid search advertising programmes, which most commonly manifest in the form of PPC advertising (pay-per-click).

Why is SEO important?

Taking a look at SEO first, search engine optimisation affects the extent to which visitors will find and visit your website organically. In this instance, ‘organic’ means you didn’t use any form of paid marketing, advertising or promotional materials of any kind to attract them. Instead, they found you ‘organically’ because you’re clearly the best match for their needs.

SEO is important because it is an ongoing strategy that boosts not only traffic volumes, but also brand recognition, authority in your niche and the potential to drive better conversion rates. Organic listings in the search page results attract exponentially more attention and interest than their paid counterparts, making SEO a must for small and large businesses alike.

What is SEM?

At the opposite side of the spectrum, search engine marketing is all about paying to have your ads positioned prominently at the top of the rankings. Rather than attempting to appeal to the major search engines by improving and optimising your website, you instead pay them to showcase your message in accordance with your chosen keywords and search terms.

SEM differs from search engine optimisation in that it has the capacity to deliver an immediate influx of traffic. The moment your ads go live, they begin directing traffic to your landing pages accordingly. This can therefore be ideal for generating an initial burst of interest in a new website, advertising a temporary promotion or introducing a new product.

On the downside, the benefits of PPC advertising are usually limited to the period during which the campaign is operational.

The Best of Both…

Essentially, therefore, you’re looking at a free and organic search strategy geared towards long-term benefits, alongside a paid initiative that can deliver near-immediate results. A strategic combination of both clearly represents the ideal approach for any business out to improve their exposure.