Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Airlines Having a Bad Week on Social Media

Most of us have been occupied watching the FIFA World Cup including their 1.9 million Twitter followers. With a following that large, they are likely looking to Social Media to keep them up to date. This is where Delta Airlines made a huge mistake.

When a large event such as World Cup is taking place most see this event as an opportunity to spark conversation, but the last thing you want is to spark a fire with the wrong comment. Delta Airlines Twitter account made that mistake following the United States win over Ghana. As part of a congratulations tweet, Delta posted a two part photo with a "2" over the Statue of Liberty and a "1" over a Giraffe. The photos were supposed to represent the two teams (the US and Ghana) and the final score, 2-1. 

The problem with this tweet, which Delta Airlines immediately found out, is that giraffes aren't native to Ghana. As the post hit the news feed, Delta began to feel the anger pouring in from FIFA fans. With tweets such as:

"For a company that specializes in travel, you'd think @Delta would know a little more about geography," 

"Delta puts giraffe in Ghana, the first Twitter screw-up for a brand during the '14 World Cup."

Delta made a statement in regards to the tweet and a public apology that was published June 17th. 

Later that day, their fellow airline United received a tweet from Rory McIlory questioning where his golf clubs where when he arrived in Dublin for the Irish Open.

Hey @united landed in Dublin yesterday morning from Newark and still no golf clubs... Sort of need them this week... Can someone help!?

McIlory’s 1.92 Million Twitter followers decided to engage in the tweet, with over 3,200 favorites and 3,700 retweets. The tweet was the source of 27 articles including Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, ESPN, and the PGA with negative headlines such as “Club Dread: Rory McIlroy takes out anger on United Airlines” and “United Airlines loses Rory McIlroy’s golf clubs”.

United eventually responded to McIlroy and the clubs were delivered to the tournament. Rory sent an appreciation tweet to United “Re-@United with my clubs!”.

While most believe the Social Media can be used to create relationships with your potential clients, this was two major airlines down fall in a 24 hour period. Double check all post being created for your company because people remember mishaps more often than success, so here is a check list:
  • Make sure all tweets are approved by your client before publishing.
  • Stay neutral. Even if you are a political party, you do not need to express that about your business. Doing so could cause a decrease in your reach for customers.
  • Be informative. The key to this is making sure your information is correct. Learn from Delta J
  • And lastly, even if you have minimal followers, be careful what you say on any social media. Someone is always listening!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Understanding SEO Content

This material is very useful for any individual looking to learn and understand SEO concepts more efficiently. We are going to breakdown SEO concepts starting with the three main building blocks: Relevance, Importance, and Popularity.

Relevance is the most crucial and basic question in SEO; is the content you are covering relevant to what the consumer is looking for. Here are 6 ways of determining your content’s relevance:

You will start with the title tag. The title should be the clear indicator of the relevance it has to what the user is looking for. Next you will need a semantic analysis of the content. Analyze the general relevance of the words and phrases being used in your content. Always use anchor text in your content. Anchor text is a link you click on that acts as a label which directs you to what you would expect to find once you get to that page (in example the phrase “moving company” would have a link to the All My Sons Moving and Storage website). Look at the topics of third party web pages containing links to the page. Ensure that your pages about moving to Denver link back to your page discussing child friendly neighborhoods in Denver. That is exactly the result you are working for. The topic matter of the site where your page resides should match. Your SEO efforts should all be focused on providing the most relevant information on your page and overall website. So on your child friendly neighborhoods in Denver shouldn't be a page on a website about focused on growing tomatoes. Analyze how users respond to content in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Look at your metrics to understand if there is a problem with your landing page; if you are seeing patterns such as a high bounce rate (when someone clicks on your site and then hits the back button to go back to the SERPs page) that is a problem that sound be addressed quickly. Your page should be relevant to the search query being performed, if your bounce rate is high, that means the page the user is being sent to, is not the information they are looking for.

Search engines use a system ranked by importance to determine where a page should be placed in a particular search query. Page importance is defined by a combination of things, with inbound links and content being the heaviest hitters. Although many believe that social is a major contributor of page importance, it is believed in the SEO community that inbound links are more valuable in the eyes of any search engine. The Impact of Importance is a direct correlation between the content offered on your page and websites wanting to link to this content because they believe it is important.

Last is popularity. Popularity in SEO is very different than importance in search queries. Popularity is a very powerful factor for trending topics such as breaking news, social topics and trending hashtags. As with relevance, a search engine can try ranking certain articles in particular order based on the click patterns by users. Many factors can influence the popularity of something. We see a great example of Facebook stories that have 100K+ shares of a photo that has created an emotional reaction of the viewer such as a dog being rescued or a soldier coming home. Images and videos are strong ways to tell stories and create popularity on social networks.

Although relevance, importance and popularity are the foundation of SEO other important SEO concepts include segmentation, diversity, quality, and trust.

Segmentation is an interesting concept in SEO because you are changing the search results based on what is known about the user. Localization is the most common form of segmenting users on search engines. You can segment a user through personalization; when someone have been to a page before so the search engine shows them higher in the results because they believe the user is looking for that page again.  Google+ connections can also alter search engine rankings by ranking a related search query to something you previously +1. Time of day and time of year can influence your results.

If the user does not find interest in the first or second results, they’re most likely not going to find interest in the third if it is of the same relevance. Therefore you need to diversify your search queries so your webpage can stand out.

As we all know, search engines have algorithms to measure the quality of a page. Your website’s quality could demote the rankings in search queries.  Make sure your page is useful, accurate and informative. When optimizing go through the 6 steps of relevance to ensure you are creating relevant pages that will promote a good website experience to the user. Double check spelling and grammar perform publishing content.

It is very important that you are not violating any search engine guidelines or your page cold be demoted. Gaining your audience trust is crucial to your business. Read the Google Webmaster Guidelines to guarantee you understand what is considered valid practices. Get a second opinion; have others review your site and ask for feedback. This is also a way to developing a relationship with others in the SEO industry. Hint… Hint… your Tandem team! :) 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

All Product Listing Ads Campaign Are Switching to Google Shopping

Most businesses who have E-Commerce run product listing ads, better known as PLAs. Google introduced PLAs in July 2012 then released its Local PLA listing option in October 2013. In April of 2014, Google showed us Google Shopping, the new and updated version of PLAs. 

PLAs are the ads that you see on the side of your Google search with a picture, price and store. 

As most of us know PLAs run on a .CSV feed that is taken from your E-Commerce store and uploaded into the Google Merchant Center. This data feed shows ads based on the information in the spreadsheet downloaded from your online store. Google will then display your products from your inventory when search queries are performed. 

In April, Google upgraded the PLA campaign to a Shopping campaign. Although the interface is a little different, the management of the system and the features that are now incorporated are great. With Google Shopping you now have the ability to bid higher or lower on items in your store. For instance, you sell jewelry and you know that this Brand A is your top seller you may want to bid higher for Brand A and not so competitively on Brand B and Brand C. But, if Brand C has one item that is your second best seller you can make bid adjustments to just that one item but nothing else in Brand C. So you can see that there are much more options available with this new Shopping update.

But unlike most of the campaign updates that Google offers, the Google Shopping update is a little trickier, so let’s start with a timeline. 

 Today (June 18) kicks off the label change for the Shopping Campaigns. Your inventory file from your datafeed communicate with the Google Merchant Center to create your Product Ads. Today you will no longer see the Adwords_Labels column because it is being replaced with Custom Label #. 

July 9th you will no longer have the option of a PLA campaign, everything will transition into the Google Shopping Campaign option. So the option to create a PLA campaign will be disabled and removed. 

By July 12th you have (hopefully) made yourself more acquainted with the Shopping Campaigns and will be pausing your PLA campaign today. Today should be your last day running a PLA and first day implementing these new settings and new campaign :) 

12 days in your Shopping Campaign should be starting to run great on July 24th! Depending on the goals, priorities, and budget of your campaign it is advised that you use the same campaign settings in your new Shopping campaign. If you haven't dug too far into your campaign, this is the perfect time to do an extensive analysis on your products and expand your campaign for optimization and increase exposure AND conversions!

So your main focus for July is to test your new Shopping campaign; learn the structure and the new features the update has given you. By planning everything on a weekly or bi-weekly basis by the time PLAs are completely disabled (in August 2014) your campaigns will be optimized and ready to surpass your previous PLAs performance! :) 

If you need assistance during your switch or would like to learn more about your E-Commerce options, include your data feed, Google Merchant Center upload, etc. our team at Tandem Interactive would love to help! Contact Joe at JLaratro@Tandem-Interactive.com or call 954-281-9995! We would love to help guide you through the process. 

Tip: Don't run Shopping campaigns with PLAs. The new Shopping campaign are replacing PLAs; keep them live while you are creating your Shopping campaigns and pause them when you are ready to switch over. Read more Google Shopping transition tips here

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Focus on Quality: Moving From Old SEO to New SEO

Most of us are familiar with the Google Panda update in 2011 and the rise of the Penguin in 2012. The innovation behind the release of these two updates from Google was to lower the ranking of “low-quality sites” and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results.  In a Pre-Panda and Pre-Penguin world, marketers were using “Old SEO” tactics for their websites.

Old SEO was to build an experience for search engines to create rankings. The entire focus of Old SEO was strictly based on how the search engines viewed the website. After the updates, marketers had to change their SEO foundation to the “New SEO” practices that are recognized by Google. This new style of SEO is to building an insightful and useful experience for the user based on high-quality content.

Now, 3 years after the initial update we are still seeing some that are struggling with the transition from old to new. Your main focus on your site should be to avoid unoriginal, syndicated or ‘thin content’. Google Webmaster provides a set of guidelines and best practices approved by Google and other search engines. It is important to be familiar with these guidelines. Although Google does not give an exact definition on what ‘thin content’ really is, it is important to understand how our site should behave and the user experience search engines expect from us.

Assess your site for thin content. Again, because there is no clear explanation of “thin content” it isn’t as obvious as knowing you copied some content from another site. You need to take a very close look at what your content objectives are, what is its purpose, and how will your users benefit from or engage with your content.

A basic outline for thin content is any content on a site that has low value to you and the user. Look at any content that is obstructing of goal funnels, misinforming others, impeding crawl budgets, inflated internal link counts, and ultimately causing ‘noise’ to the search engine.

There are a few tools that can help you control content thinness; Screaming Frog, Google Analytics and Open Site Explorer. Screaming Frog is a tool that scrapes your website’s URLs. Once you run a search you can export this list to get an in-depth view of your sites content. Sort your URLs by word count; if your blogs content posts are all under 200 words, this is thin content. Consider revising your post with new content or stats to plump them up a bit.

Google Analytics is a free tool that website owner should be using. Analytics can give you an entire breakdown of a user’s experience on your website. Examine your metrics for high bounce rates and page exits/drop offs. If you see a high exit rate on a page, investigate the information on that URL. The unexpected drop off could be cause by thin content. Google Analytics can also conduct a URL scrape and site review by page via filtering pages by folder, Content Grouping, or Content Drilldown. This breakdown can help you understand the thinness on a folder aspect rather than a page aspect. Look over the goals and success of the page visits. If you see that there are pages that do not benefit the user or the objective of your site, then there’s no need for it.

Open Site Explorer entails you to review the backlinks for your domain. Similar to Google Webmaster Tools, Open Site Explorer allows you to view your top linked pages. By viewing these pages you can gain an understanding for what content on your site is actually receiving links. You may discover that whatever links you do have are to the homepage and high level pages, that don’t really have any link authority. If you export this list you should also examine pages associated with tweets, Facebook shares and likes, also Google+ +1’s. Again this will be useful to understand what is engaging your audience.

What do you finally do with thin content? Once you have all the pages and folders of thin content from your site, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Delete or Redirect? If the content has no value anymore, then do not let it impede on the users any longer. It may have been relevant at one point, but if those stats are out dated, throw it out! Quality over Quantity, always! If you see that the content only has minor issues, freshen her up.  
  • Add to Archives? If you believe that the material still holds value to the user, then you may want to keep it. Add the content to archives. Remember to exclude these pages so it is not in the search crawler view.
  • Content Distraction? If the pages hold some value but is under performing minimize the linking to this page. By reducing internal linking the page so isn’t in the common route of search crawling and won’t divert the user.

If you feel your site is inefficient, try using one of these tools to dig into the opportunities for change in your site’s pages. By altering your Old SEO techniques to the New SEO approach, you will have a deeper understand of search engines algorithm for ranking. This new preeminent knowledge will help you develop quality content and establish a strong standard of content quality for your site. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Kenshoo Helps Top Ad Agencies with Intent-Driven Audiences

For those of you unfamiliar with Kenshoo, it is a cloud based marketing software. Kenshoo was developed for E-Commerce in 2006. The founders inovation for Kenshoo was to maintain a massive database of campaigns, keywords and ads to deliver in seconds. Most SEM management tools available during the birth of Kenshoo required the user to download an entire account before they could create filters and changes. 

For over 8 years Kenshoo has been optimizing search, social, and local campaigns for SEM. On Wednesday, June 4, Kenshoo announced its release of its newest feature Intent Driven Audiences (IDA). This new technology has created a bridge that will integrate paid search ads through Facebook audiences.  The custom audiences are created through users that have clicked on specific search ads and are then targeted to receive ads across Facebook's platform, including mobile. 

So far, Kenshoo's IDA results have been promising showing up to an 110% ROI, 66% lower CPC and 30% lower CPA. The development began in January 2013 through a multi-month test with an unnamed national retailer. The campaigns also showed that the Facebook ads had a positive impact on paid search performance lifting conversion rates by over 19% and revenue by 22%. 

Kenshoo's CMO, Aaron Goldman, spoke about the release and reassured marketers that this tool "may take budgets from display and other channels, but not search because it's always going to be your strongest ROI". So Kenshoo still in support of search budgets but says that the IDA's introduction can make campaigns more valuable and help to convert consumers on Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as Facebook. 

Overall, this could be a great tool for any business that is looking to fill the gap between their search and social efforts. Keep in mind as Mr. Goldman said, this new feature in Kenshoo should not take away from your Search budgets, but you should look at this budget as an assistance for conversions and revenue lift. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What is Content Marketing?

Content Marketing, as defined by Wikipedia and explained by Martin Shervington, is any marketing format that involved the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.  We break down that question in this post about using content marketing on Google+ and how it can help anyone achieve the opportunity to create and build their own global network.

This 6 step guide can help you get started with sharing your content through “Authorship” (which connects your profile to the web) and about the process of Content Marketing in different cycles. 

  • Listen - Learn the ability to listen to what applies to you and your content.
  • Deciding on Themes and Topics - Using the listening process, you can decide what content will relate to your business. This process will also help you stay up on relevant themes and topics whether it be seasonal content, new trends, etc.
  • Create Content - Once you have decided on your theme and/or topic, you need to create your content. You content can be created in any format (text, images, videos, infographics, hangouts on-air or PDF’s); your focus is not on the format but on your audience. 
  •  Promote Content - Now that you have created your content, you then need to promote it.  Creating content but not sharing it is like opening a business but not telling anyone; let people know your content exists instead of letting it sit. You can share content via your Google+ profile or Plus page as well as other social platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Pinterest, etc). 
  • Measure and Evaluate - How do you measure your content marketing strategy’s performance? Some great focus points are:
a.       Key Metrics (such as the number of visits)
b.      Social shares or Google+ Circle shares and/or follows
c.       Sign up to your newsletter
d.      Enquires related to the content
e.      Sales conversions

Google Analytics is a great tool to directly measure engagement on a post; such as the amount of times people have “clicked on a link”.
  • Re-Purpose - Give that same old dress some glitter! Don’t make the mistake of believing that just because your content is old it is not relevant, especially if it is great content. Google offers some great tools to allow re-purposing. Mr. Shervington gives a personal example of using old content from an on-air hangout into a ‘New’ video. Do key word research for your content objective in search, edit and/or add intros/outros to complete video and edit the video to target key words. Re-upload your video as private and add content into a blog post that only link holders can view. Lastly, share your link to a post on Google+. When ready, release it publicly as “New” video. You can also use the audio to create a podcast and add it to iTunes. This is a perfect example of “Re-Purposing” your same great content.  
There are plenty of ideas shared around the internet that give more tips on how to use Content Marketing to create more traffic to your website. The end result of our efforts is for Google + to become the platform that allows you to reach and build a relationship with people who matter. For tips on Content Marketing and more, keep up with the Tandem Blog! Until next time, Christina.