Fast Five in Search – Week 52, 2014

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Well, it’s hard to believe 2014 is nearly done and dusted. It’s even harder to believe that I managed to publish a new Fast Five post every single week of the year!

Sometimes blogging comes easy and sometimes life gets in the way, but I’m proud to have made it through the whole year without a missed post. Thanks for keeping me company along the way and I hope you found the series enlightening.

Given the emphasis on shopping during the festive season, my final Fast Five for 2014 feature articles and blog posts about e-commerce and online shopping trends this year.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Special Report: Will People Ever Buy Through Social Media? by Martin Beck via Marketing Land. This post looks at how social channels are starting to monetize using methods other than sponsorship and advertising. While Twitter and Facebook are testing Buy Now buttons in-feed, Pinterest and Instagram are showing unexpected potential as motivating direct purchases as well.

2) Amazon’s 2014 Holiday Sees Mobile Shopping Approach 60% Of Total Volume by Darrell Etherington via TechCrunch. In their annual holiday sales performance review, online etailer Amazon revealed that 60 percent of their shopper activity came from mobile platforms, including dedicated apps and mobile websites. That’s a staggering figure and something that should make any etailer rethink their mobile marketing strategy, pronto.

3) Why People Buy Things Online by Eric Siu via HubSpot. You’re going to want to bookmark this one, trust me. I love fresh Internet statistics and this post is a collated collection of statistics gleaned from the latest reports undertaken about our online purchasing trends. For example, did you know that free shipping is the second highest factor influencing purchasing decisions on Internet retailer sites behind product quality?

4) Is Social Media Very Good for E-commerce Conversions? by Chris Crum via WebProNews. Another post looking at the monetary value of social media marketing and how it contributes to online conversions. This article concludes that social media marketing efforts only account for about 1.2% of total site conversions on average.

and finally…

5) E-commerce: Metrics That Matter by Kristin Wilston via SiteProNews. A brief post that serves as a reminder that if you run a e-commerce site, you need to track consumer behavior on your site. Kristin provides some examples of the most important metrics you should be tracking to help understand your customers and guide them towards conversion.

That’s it for 2014 folks and this will be my final Fast Five post for the time being. Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve and I’ll catch you all in 2015/.

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Fast Five in Search – Week 51, 2014

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So it’s nearly Xmas and 2014 is drawing to a close. Most of you will already be on vacation, which means you have more time to read longer articles and editorials rather than just skim the blog post headlines like you usually do, right?  With that in mind, this week’s Fast Five consists of 5 in-depth articles and recent blog posts that are a bit meatier than the usual pieces I link to. Enjoy!

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) 26 Ways Brand Succeed With Social Media Marketing by Debbie Hemley via Social Media Examiner. A nice round up of how some well known brands are leveraging social media to spawn higher levels of engagement. Take note and see if you can replicate some of these ideas into your own social strategy for 2015.

2) Technology, Self-Promotion and the Death of Public Relations by Shane Paul Neil via Technorati. Having completed my undergraduate degree with a major in Public Relations, this article – joyfully declaring PR to be dead – leapt out at me. Has technology killed off traditional corporate Public Relations and sent spin doctors to the unemployment queue? Best read it to find out.

3) Smarter Education: The Rise of Big Data in the Classroom by Lindsay Rothfeld via Mashable. If technology has killed Public Relations, it has injected new life into education. This written piece (and accompanying video) looks at the role technology plays in the modern-day classroom and how it is contributing to lower school drop-out rates in the U.S.

4) A Brand New World in Which Men Ruled by Jodi Kantor via New York Times. Keeping with the theme of technology and the impact it has had on education is this fascinating editorial delving into Stanford University’s pioneering class of 1994. The class churned out a very large number of (mostly male) tech graduates who each established or contributed to dot com success stories, including Netscape, Yahoo, WhatsApp, Google, PayPal and Facebook.

and finally…

5) Brands That Have Been Naughty and Nice on Social Media (Infographic) by HootSuite via Marketing Land. Well I couldn’t avoid Xmas forever! Here’s a fun Infographic from the clever team at HootSuite that ranks some of the big brands as naughty or nice, depending on their brand sentiment and popularity on social media during 2014. I won’t give too much away, but it looks like Santa won’t be visiting General Motors or US Airways this year. Oh dear.

Have a joyful, safe and memorable Xmas dear readers. I’ll catch you next week for the final Fast Five for 2014. santa-sack

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Fast Five in Search – Week 46, 2014

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Social media seems to be dominating my newsfeeds more so than search marketing this week. Both Facebook and Twitter have released some interesting usage data, while content marketing trends seem to be favoring social media over traditional search when it comes to online conversions. Accordingly, this week’s Fast Five reflects the trend.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Facebook says Government data requests up 24 percent by Josh Wolford of WebProNews. This month, Facebook released something they call a transparency report, which provides info on how many data and content removal requests it receives, as well as national security requests initiated through FISA. According to the report, US Government requests for data increased by 24 percent in the first half of 2014.

2) How many college students tweet daily? New and updated Twitter stats by Craig Smith of Digital Marketing Ramblings. Twitter revealed their latest usage data late last month, as well as their third quarter 2014 financial results. In this post, Craig links to the report and shares some of the more notable highlights from the released figures.

3) Though people trust other consumers most, brands still have a role to play by Katy Keim of Marketing Land. In this intriguing article, Katy looks at the tug-of-war going on between traditional brand-driven marketing campaigns and consumer trust-driven social marketing campaigns when it comes to purchasing decisions. Online reputation and consumer trust are proving to have more influence over brands than ever before.

4) Search vs. social: How to drive website traffic with evergreen content by Skip Besthoff of SiteProNews. Another tug-of-war going on in digital marketing is the competition for traffic between search marketing and social marketing. This post looks at why webmasters can’t afford to ignore either when planning their content marketing strategies.

and finally…

5) 9 Real life conversion rate optimization tests to try yourself by Ginny Sosky of HubSpot. Just for fun, we’ll end this week’s Fast Five with some conversion rate tests that seem to buck the trend. The one that surprised me was the Call to Action form placed way below the fold resulting in over 300 percent conversion increase!  Looks like I’ve been designing my landing pages wrong all this time 😉

Happy reading!

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Fast Five in Search – Week 43, 2014

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The year is fast coming to an end and it seems like the big online brands are all rushing to launch products or services before 2014 wraps up. So today we have a mixed bag of brand announcements, as well as some interesting trends in mobile advertising.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Google Penguin 3.0: Worldwide Rollout Still in Process, Impacting 1% of English Queries by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land. Google is in the process of rolling out their latest iteration of the Penguin algorithm update. In this post, Barry looks at what’s been tweaked, when it rolled out and who has been affected so far.

2) Mobile Ad Revenues Soar as Search and Directories Flatten Out by Emily Alford of Search Engine Watch. In 2014, mobile revenues increased by a whopping 76 percent from $3 billion to $5.3 billion from the $3 billion reported at half-year 2013. $2.7 billion came from mobile search, while $2.5 billion came from mobile display. Emily looks at reasons for the incredible performance and areas of overlap with other advertising revenue.

3) Facebook Launches “Pseudonymous” App Rooms That Lets You Create Forums About Any Topic by Josh Constine of TechCrunch. Facebook has launched a new mobile app that has everyone talking. Called *Rooms*, the app lets you set up a mobile-only discussion space about any topic.

4) Mobile Search Ranking Study: Rank Number One or Not Rank at All by Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Land. A new study from seoClarity finds that if you do not rank in the number one position in the mobile search results, the click-through rate drops off significantly, so much so, that ranking number barely matters.

and finally…

5) Universal Event Tracking: A New and Improved Way to Track Your Sites’ Activities in Bing Ads by Nishant Gupta of Bing Ads. Bing Ads has introduced Universal Event Tracking (UET) to advertisers worldwide. UET allows advertisers to define and track performance and conversion goals important for their business. This is the official launch announcement from Bing Ads.

Happy reading!

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Fast Five in Search – Week 39, 2014

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So it’s already Fast Five time again. This week is pretty much all about mobile marketing, with a sprinkling of Google and Facebook into the mix.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) More People Accessing Internet Via Mobile Devices by SiteProNews. Experts had predicted a massive upswing in mobile Internet usage with the birth of the iPhone and iPad, but the rate of growth has taken everyone by surprise.

2) How Responsive Web Design Works by HubSpot. And while we’re on the subject of mobile devices, this cute Infographic published by HubSpot is a handy reference about responsive design and why you need it. If this doesn’t convince you to switch your site to a responsive design template, nothing will.

3) Everything Happening Right Now on the Internet by Digital Marketing Ramblings. Regardless of the misleading title, this graphic is quite an eye-opener. It’s actually a snapshot of the Internet in real time, showing you how quickly data is generated and accounts created on some of the web’s most popular sites including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon.

4) Facebook Working on Private Sharing App by Mashable. With their privacy protocols consistently in the news for all the wrong reasons, Facebook is reportedly working on a new app designed to encourage private content sharing. Apparently, the app will provide users with a grid-style interface from which to share private moments with friends and family.

and finally…

5) Google+ Is No Longer a Requirement for Creating a Google Account by Marketing Land. Google’s unpopular decision in 2012 to make a Google Plus account a mandatory part of the Google account creation process appears to have come back to bite them. In response to demand, Google has dropped the requirement and now made Google+ account creation an optional choice when signing up for Gmail and other Google products.

Happy reading!

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