Fast Five in Search – Week 35, 2014

fast-five

 

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in search and social. Some new features have been announced and some old ones switched off, with backlash in tow.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Search Marketers Tear Into Google Over AdWords Exact Match Change by Matt McGee. Google have isolated the search marketing community this month, with their announcement that Exact Match keywords will be phased out of AdWords, forcing all advertisers to use close variants. I’ve blogged about this before, when Google first introduced close variants as the default option for match types, but at least then you could opt-out of close variants. Not anymore. I’m not happy and judging by the backlash on social media, neither is the rest of the search community.

2) Google at Work on Kid-Friendly Versions of Its Products by Chris Crum. While we’re talking about Google, some more positive news. The company is apparently working on a new system that would let parents set up accounts for kids under 13 and control how they use services and what information is collected about them.

3) Buying Stuff Within a Tweet is Reportedly Coming to Twitter via Stripe by Mike Butcher. It seems there are businesses that want to sell products from inside tweets. Twitter is reportedly planning to add *Buy Now* buttons within tweets that will make this a reality, by allowing users to enter payment information without leaving Twitter.

4) The Beginners Guide to Establishing Personality and Engagement on a Facebook Page by Jesse Aaron. I really like case studies for how to use social media effectively and this article on Social Fresh contains some goodies. In this post, Jesse Aaron shares 7 neat tactics to use on a business Facebook page to drive engagement and inject some personality into your brand.

and finally…

5) 30+ Advanced Google Search Functions You May Not Have Known About by Craig Smith. This Infographic caught my attention because I like to think I know a lot about Google Advanced Search and I wanted to see how many of the 30 functions I already use. Turns out I knew most of these already, but not *location:* and some of the short-code searches like < tracking number >, < flight number > and so on. Neat!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Share this post with others

Fast Five in Search – Week 34, 2014

fast-five

 

I travel around New Zealand regularly, giving in-person training workshops for the Institute of IT Professionals in various online marketing subjects. My most popular workshop by far has been Social Media for Business, likely because many businesses and organizations struggle to understand how best to integrate social into their existing marketing strategies.

During the workshop, I like to show attendees a range of case studies where businesses of all sizes have successfully used social media marketing to promote their products and services and grow their customer base. Some of the biggest success stories I share come from Facebook.

Today’s Fast Five features five of my favourite Facebook business success stories:

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Pigtails and Ponys – Remember the The Work Song Nanocluster episode of Big Bang Theory when the gang pitch in to help Penny with her hair clip crafting business *Penny Blossoms* and end up briefly turning it into a successful online business? Well, that’s what Pigtails and Ponys have done, but their success is ongoing. Founded in 2011, Pigtails and Ponys sold handmade headbands in local flea markets. The Indian hair accessories start-up then used Facebook Ads to grow what was once just a flea market booth into a thriving online business, with 70% of its customer base acquired on the platform.

2) Griffins Biscuits – This one is close to home for me. New Zealand based biscuit (cookie) manufacturer Griffins were surprised to find a Facebook page set up by a customer requesting that they re-instate a childhood favorite biscuit that hadn’t been produced for many years. Griffins implemented a Facebook survey to gauge reaction and re-introduced Choco-ade biscuits in response to demand. People bought over NZ $1.5 million worth in the first month, making it the number 1 selling product in the country.

3) Scoot Airlines – Singapore Airlines owned low-cost, long haul flight brand Scoot flies to 10 destinations around Asia Pacific. Scoot achieved impressive brand awareness and a 14x return-on-investment using Facebook to drive ticket sales for its Japan flight launch.

4) Michael Kors - Fashion retailer Michael Kors (of Project Runway fame) recently celebrated 5 million *likes* by launching a limited edition shoe – a zebra print sneaker, no less – for Facebook fans only. To buy the shoe in-store, fans had to quote the secret password. The launch drove a 16-point increase in awareness of Michael Kors sneakers and led to sellouts of some styles online and in stores.

and finally…

5) Visit Florida – Florida’s official tourism marketing corporation Visit Florida wanted to promote family travel to Florida during the Summer months. Through its *Sunshine Moments* sweepstakes campaign on Facebook, Visit Florida saw a 10-point increase in people’s likelihood to consider Florida as their next vacation destination, with 18,481 people submitting photos in the sweepstakes and 279 million Facebook Ad impressions during the campaign.

Are you achieving this type of success on Facebook? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.

Happy Facebooking!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn Search Engine Marketing but not sure where to start? Subscribe to all our courses for just USD99!

 

Share this post with others

Fast Five in Search – Week 33, 2014

fast-five

 

Today’s Fast Five is all about online education. Internet based training institutions and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become exceedingly popular in the past 10 years. Anyone with an Internet connection can now learn anything online, 24 hours a day. Today, we share five (six!) of the most popular online learning web sites. Here we go:

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Udemy – describes itself as the world’s online learning marketplace, where 3 million+ students are taking over 18,000 courses in everything from programming to yoga to photography. Each course is taught by an expert instructor, all available on-demand, so students can learn at their own pace, on their own time, and on any device.

2) Khan Academy – is unique because they are a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better. They do this by providing a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere, completely free of charge.

3) Lynda.com – All memberships to Lynda include unlimited access to their online library of over 2,800 video courses. Lynda offers a variety of instructional courses for all levels, including technical skills, creative techniques and business strategies. Courses can be watched from your computer, tablet, or mobile device and you can create and save playlists of courses and even share them with friends.

4) iTunes U – So you thought iTunes was just to buy music and apps? Think again. iTunes U offers educational courses and provides a customized learning experience for both teacher and student. Teachers can create and manage their course and students can experience assignments, materials, and study notes all from the iTunes U app on iPad.

and finally…

5) MIT Open Courseware – MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. MIT OCW is open and available to the world and is constantly updated to reflect the MIT curriculum. The idea behind MIT OCW is for educators to improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective, students to find additional resources to help them succeed and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change and cancer eradication.

BONUS! Search Engine College – No list of online education resources would be complete without mentioning our own ;-). Search Engine College offers online self-study and certification courses in SEO, Pay Per Click Advertising (Google AdWords / Bing Ads), Web Site Copywriting, Web Site Usability, Link Building and a range of other online marketing subjects. We have students in 65 countries worldwide, with courses available via any device, 24/7.

Happy studying!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Share this post with others

Fast Five in Search – Week 32, 2014

fast-five

 

Move over Google! This week, we’re all about Bing. Let’s get straight to the good stuff.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Bing Looks Abroad by TechCrunch. According to internal sources, apparently Bing is “embarking on the most ambitious geographic and product expansion in its history”. TechCrunch has the lowdown on what this could mean.

2) How Does Bing Choose the Title for My Web Page? by Bing Blogs. Apparently, Bing doesn’t always choose the content of your title tag to display in the SERPs. Who knew? In this post, they explain why.

3) 3 New Bing Ads Geotargeting Features Now Available by Search Engine Watch. Bing Ads recently announced updates to its geotargeting that include more visibility, control, and improved radius targeting for advertisers. This post from Search Engine Watch explains the changes.

4) Filtering Low Quality Links in Bing SERP by Bing Blogs. In this post, Bing reveals how they control the quality of their search results and the methods of spam detection they employ to keep things positive.

and finally…

5) At Five Years Old, Bing Has Come Far, Yet Has More to Grow by Search Engine Land. With Bing turning five this week, Search Engine Land looks at some of their reasons to celebrate, including market share increase and growth of the search platform across Microsoft’s range of products.

Happy reading!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Share this post with others

Fast Five in Search – Week 31, 2014

fast-five

 

We’re all about Google in this week’s Fast Five. No Bing, no Yahoo, just Google. Let’s get straight to it.

Here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1) Promoting Modern Websites for Modern Devices in Google Search Results by Google Webmaster Central Blog. Google has introduced a new feature into the search results this month. When Google algorithms detect pages that may not work on a searcher’s device Google will now indicate this to searchers within the search results pages.

2) New Study: Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness by Inside AdWords Blog. It has been suggested for some years now that when consumers see AdWords ads appearing alongside organic search results for the same company in the Google search results pages, they have higher brand recall than consumers who just see organic search results. A new study run by Google and Ipsos MediaCT has proven this, revealing that search ads lift top-of-mind awareness by an average of 6.6 percentage points.

3) Segmenting Brand and Generic Paid Search Traffic in Google Analytics by Google Analytics Blog. Last month, Google Analytics introduced a new feature which automatically identifies brand-aware paid search clicks. That is, Analytics can now identify query terms which demonstrated visitors who had previous awareness of your brand. This means that you can now split your “paid search” channel into two separate channels: “brand paid search” and “generic paid search”. This can be done both for Multi-Channel Funnels (for attribution purposes) and for the main Google Analytics channel grouping.

4) Searching For the Right Balance by Google Official Blog. The “right to be forgotten” ruling against Google in May from the European Court of Justice is causing increasingly large ripples across the search industry and even spilling into the media at large. In this very enlightening post, Google’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, David Drummond, explains the massive challenge Google faces in figuring out what information they must now deliberately omit from search results. He also discusses openly why Google disagrees with the ruling, calling it very vague and subjective. Drummond reveals that Google has already received over 70,000 take-down requests since the ruling, most of which have arrived with little or no context.

and finally…

5) Mirror Your Android Phone to the TV With Chromecast by Google Android Official Blog. As of this month, Nexus and Android device owners can mirror their Android phones and tablets to their TVs using Chromecast, so they can see their favorite apps, photos or anything else, exactly as they see it on their mobile device, but on the big screen.

Happy Googling!

*Image courtesy of Threadless.

——————————————————————–

Need to learn SEO but not sure where to start? Download your Free SEO Lesson. No catch!

 

Share this post with others