The Weekly Shop (2nd – 6th June)

In The Weekly Shop this week…20 things retailers should know about their customers, the increasing importance of m-commerce to online retailers, how eBay lost 80% of its organic traffic and how to effectively link build in 2014.

20 things a retailer really should know about their customers

Last week, we featured an article from our commercial director, Ben, emphasising the importance of customer data and insight to shaping a retail marketing strategy. To support this article, we’ve reviewed the results of a survey that we ran at the recent SheerB2B ecommerce conference which has revealed some interesting findings. Head over to Ben’s post on the Econsultancy blog to find out more.

More than a third of online retail now via smartphones and tablets

The latest results from the MRG Capgemini Quarterly Benchmarking report has shown that more than a third of all online sales are now made on a mobile device as m-commerce continues to increase its share of the UK e-retail market. These results once again highlight the increasing importance of m-commerce to online retailers in the UK.

eBay Just Lost 80% of its Organic Rankings: Here’s Why

Panda 4.0 annoucement

A few weeks ago Google rolled out Panda 4.0 – an update which is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Ebay is one company who has suffered a massive loss in organic traffic and rankings due to this update, and this article from Social Media Today explores the reasons why.

Backlinks = Rankings, Rankings = Traffic – Deal With It

Our last article this week comes from Search Engine Watch who have explored how link building still is one of the best ways to boost organic rankings, which was recently confirmed by Googe’s Matt Cutts. However, there’s a big difference between link building and link spamming and the kind of links that matter are the ones that are editorially given and this article explores some of the most effective techniques for building links in 2014.

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

The Weekly Shop (19th – 23rd May)

It’s Friday so that means a new edition of our Weekly Shop! This week, we look at insights from Social Media London, ugly websites, Google’s release of the Panda 4.0 algorithm and insights from Econsultancy’s new Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report.

Real-time Twitter marketing & personalisation – top takeaways from #smlondon

This week, Alice Reeves, our senior social media and content consultant attended Social Media London’s May event, which was focused on how brands can make the most of ‘real-time’ Twitter marketing and personalise their social channels to boost engagement. You can read her key takeaways from the conference here.

What if Your Ugly Website is Holding Back Your Marketing Efforts? – Whiteboard Friday

Last week, in Moz’s weekly Whiteboard Friday series they discussed the subject of ugly websites and whether they can actually hold you back from the kinds of levels of engagement and progress that you could be making.

Google Begins Rolling Out Panda 4.0 Now

This week Google’s Matt Cutts announced on Twitter that they have released version 4.0 of the Google Panda algorithm which is designed to prevent sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. It sounds like this update will be a gentler Panda Algorithm and lay the groundwork for future changes in that direction.

Five key insights from our Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report

This next article from Econsultancy highlights five of the key insights from their Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report which contains a comprehensive analysis of the UK search marketing environment. The report, covering search engine optimisation (SEO or natural search), paid search (PPC), social media marketing and display advertising, is based on an online survey of more than 700 client-side digital marketers and agencies and reveals some interesting insights.

Thanks for reading. See you next week!

The Weekly Shop (12th – 16th May)

In the Weekly Shop this week, five things our clients learnt just by asking, a new retail concept – the Inspiration Corridor, how ecommerce sites can boost profits and Google’s new Panda patent.

Five things you can learn about customers just by asking

We start this week with an article from Leapfrogg’s commercial director, Ben Potter, who has written about the importance of customer insight for the Econsultancy blog. To illustrate his point, Ben has shared five very simple insights that we have gathered from surveys we have created and run for our clients.

Inspiration Corridor

Inspiration Corridor is new retail concept developed by the France-based shopping centre Klepierre and creative agency DigitasLBI Paris. It utilises facial recognition technology, profiling algorithms and purchase history in order to give consumers personalised style advice consisting of items that can be found inside the building.

Inspiration Corridor by DigitasLBi Paris & Klepierre from DigitasLBi Paris on Vimeo.

Five ways ecommerce sites can boost profits

Profit margins determine whether businesses sink or swim and this is especially true in the hypercompetitive ecommerce industry. This article from Econsultancy looks at the price related issues that retailers must address and provides five tips on how ecommerce sites can start to boost their profits.

Dot luxury domain names going on general release

This week saw new top-level domain name .luxury go on general sale, which provides a dedicated digital platform for all things luxury, giving brands the opportunity to further define their status online. Around 500 brands from Bvlgari to Versace, signed up for their own .luxury top-level domain name during a 60-day period where only trademarked brands could register.

In pictures: Waitrose showcases new technologies in Swindon store

Last week, we featured an article about the new Waitrose store in Swindon and how they are using omnichannel in a strategy aimed at setting itself apart. This week, Essential Retail visited the new store to check out their new technologies which includes digital signage, in-store tablets and geo-location mobile systems.

The Panda Patent: Brand Mentions Are the Future of Link Building

There has long been speculation about how Google measures “brand authority” and last month Google filed a new patent, which some say could be the Panda patent which may have gone some way to answering that question. If the recently filed patent is any clue, Google is now working on major algorithmic changes to measure authority outside of followed links. This post from Moz explores the new patent and other supporting evidence in an attempt to understand what the opportunity may be for digital marketers in the future.

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Search Marketing Agency

Next up is a useful article from Search Engine Watch for anyone working with, or considering working with a search marketing agency, as it provides advice on how to create a happy, profitable, and pleasant agency/client relationship to get the best results.

10 Google Chrome Extensions guaranteed to improve your life

To finish up, our senior natural search consultant Ben Adam, has helpfully rounded-up his 10 Google Chrome Extensions which he guarantees will improve your life!

 

A round-up of Brighton SEO

At the end of last month I attended the best Brighton SEO yet. From the opening keynote to the afternoon’s content-focused talks in the Corn Exchange, the day was packed with actionable takeaways. However, the five talks that really stood out for me were:

  • How I Earned Loads of Links by Ignoring SEO – Malcolm Coles
  • The Habits That Land You Links – Stacey Cavanagh
  • How journalistic principles will shape the digital marketing of tomorrow – Julia Ogden
  • Using Content for Direct Response – Matt Evans
  • The Content Marketing Blueprint for Boring Industries – Mike Essex

Below, you’ll find my summaries (largely taken from my frantically scrawled notes) of the key points from each talk plus links to slide decks where available.

How I Earned Loads of Links by Ignoring SEO – Malcolm Coles

The conference kicked off with a keynote from Malcolm Coles, General Manager at The Daily Mirror and founder of UsVsTh3m. Malcolm spoke about how UsVsTh3m’s goal has always been to gain the biggest share of their traffic through social rather than search. They’ve achieved this through creating topical, highly shareable content in the form of games and quizzes, such as:

  • The ‘Where’s Damascus?’ Game – thousands of people played the game online and failed miserably, including people from the Houses of Parliament, which resulted in news coverage.
  • How Much Are You Hated By The Daily Mail? – though impossible to get to the end of unless you’re Michael Gove, this short piece of interactive content attracted over a million players, multiple pieces of online coverage with hugely authoritative links and caused UsVsTh3m to rank 3rd for the search term ‘Daily Mail’ for months.

Malcolm also spoke about how The Daily Mirror now sees more mobile traffic than desktop. Therefore, you must ensure that any content you outreach to publications (e.g. infographics) needs to look good on mobile. Your outreach email will probably be read in mobile too. What’s more, infographics sent as huge JPEGs won’t look good on mobile – these should be created in HTML and should be responsive. When UsVsTh3m launched their ‘Northometer’ quiz, 85% of plays came from mobile. In fact, the entire UsVsTh3m site is designed for mobile – Malcolm even went as far as to say that they “don’t really care” how it looks on desktop.

The most important takeaway of Malcolm’s talk was about content headlines. The best-performing headlines are interesting (you want to read them) and mysterious (they don’t give too much away) – these are the headlines that get you clicks AND shares.

Essentially, online content can be divided down into four categories: 

  • Gets clicked AND shared (what goes viral)
  • Gets clicked NOT shared (tends to be content that includes swearing – after all, “your Mum is on Facebook”)
  • Gets shared NOT clicked (rubbish headlines, but good content)
  • Doesn’t get shared OR clicked (most online content) 

You want your content to fall into the top category and sites like Buzzfeed work extremely hard to get this right – it’s standard for them to A/B test up to 25 different headlines for each piece of content.

Three more key points from Malcolm’s talk were:

  • If you’re creating content that’s getting shared, the most important thing is that it’s visual – this means people writing about it are forced to link to it because it’s not something that they can describe with the same level of impact
  • The reason quizzes work so well when it comes to generating content that gets shared is because people want to share content that’s self-affirming – i.e. it reinforces the way that people perceive themselves and/or want to be perceived by others
  • Use Facebook Ads to deliver niche content to the right people – when people in a niche start talking about something, it’s likely to get picked up by relevant publications

The Habits That Land You Links – Stacey Cavanagh

Next up was Stacey Cavanagh, Head of Search at Tecmark, talking about getting into the habits that land you links. Stacey spoke about the importance of allowing time to be creative, championing the 6-3-5 method which enables six people to generate 108 ideas in 30 minutes. Next, you should use NUF testing (New, Useful, Feasible) to work out which ideas are worth following up – score each idea out of ten for each of these things and prioritise the highest scoring ideas.

Additional takeaways from Stacey’s talk were:

  • Use a tool such as fivesecondtest.com to A/B test the effectiveness of your tweets
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of having a Flickr page with high quality, original images – ensure all images have a Creative Commons attribution license and include direction as to how to attribute
  • Have regular image reclamation sessions – imageraider.com helps to find sites using your images, then you can request attribution and a link
  • Create stories from surveys – this is a great tactic for getting news links, even if you just write a story about it (you don’t need a fancy infographic to get quality links)
  • Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of offline content – e.g. doing something “real” that results in coverage; links are a by-product of coverage
  • Old-fashioned communications are disruptive – when it comes to outreaching to your contacts, doing something like sending a hand-written letter will get you more attention than an email

How journalistic principles will shape the digital marketing of tomorrow Julia Ogden 

Julia was a journalist before she went on to work at Zazzle. Her talk was about how she’s used the skills she learnt while working in local media to inform her digital marketing tactics. Key points were:

  • Most people don’t read more than 250 words of a piece of content so make sure all the important information is at the top – the introduction to any piece of content needs to hook the reader and make them want to read on
  • The internet is crying out for high quality, well-written content – in essence, this is all that “SEO content” is
  • Content marketers should take advantage of the citizen journalism approach and crowd-source content from brand advocates and social influencers
  • Google rewards a website/business which has a range of followed links, no follow links and even just online mentions – Google recently released a patent to reward content that just mentions a brand or associated keywords, but has no links
  • When you’re creating content, always think about what’s new or different – why should people care about what you have to say?

 Using Content for Direct Response Matt Evans

It was Matt’s first time speaking at Brighton SEO and I thought his talk was one of the most useful from the day. Matt spoke at length about selling through content and provided some really great takeaways.

In essence, we’ve stopped stuffing Google with keywords and started stuffing it with content – but what so many online marketers overlook is that the sales funnel is content.

Matt outlined that there are four stages of the sales funnel that your consumers go through:

  • Unaware – content at this stage should catch peoples’ attention
  • Know the situation – content at this stage should inform people of the situation
  • Product awareness – content at this stage should inform people about the product
  • Purchase intent – content at this stage should push people to sale

Too often, content created “for SEO” overlooks this and completely misses the sales process:

  • Your content should inform your audience – because an informed audience is more likely to purchase
  • Get your content in the right place at the right time – tailor your content to what your audience want / need to see at each stage of the buying journey 
  • Re-market to your content, not just your products – use your content to move your potential customers down the funnel until they’re ready to purchase
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of post-purchase campaigns – it costs 5 x more to acquire a new customer than to sell again to an existing customer
  • Stop thinking about links first – create content with a real purpose

The Content Marketing Blueprint for Boring Industries – Mike Essex

Mike Essex from Koozai spoke about how we’re so obsessed with “great content” that we often totally overlook that fact that “boring content” is actually the best opportunity in content marketing. Great content might achieve awareness, but boring content is what sells.

Opportunities to create boring content include:

  • Your ‘About’ section
  • Technical specifications
  • Press releases (these are still important and great for targeting niche audiences, which can be critically important)
  • Company location pages

Ways that you can achieve stand-out “boring content” are:

  • Repackage boring content in a visually interesting way  – e.g. highly visual technical specification pages
  • Distil your product information down into simple-to-follow comparisons – sometimes you have to focus on what stops people buying and create content to address this
  • Think about customer aftercare – for example, other sites were ranking for Vax user guides so Vax invested in creating their own
  • Have great product pages – Aviva are a great example of a company which uses its product pages to give them a competitive edge

Above all, remember that on-site content such as this MUST convert – that should always be your end goal!

 

 

 

The Weekly Shop (5th – 9th May)

Hello and welcome to Leapfrogg’s Weekly Shop. In this edition, we talk about Twitter and Amazon’s new partnership, how to build and measure gains in customer loyalty, PPC misconceptions and 7 SEO truths that you really can’t ignore.

How Amazon is using Twitter to sell through social media

This week, Amazon and Twitter unveiled a new partnership that allows customers to buy from the retailer via the use of the #AmazonBasket hashtag on Twitter. It certainly marks an interesting step forward in social commerce but is it anything more than a gimmick? Econsultancy explores its usefulness here.

How Waitrose is using omnichannel in a strategy aimed at setting itself apart

Waitrose is a great example of a retailer using omnichannel to set itself apart. Internet Retailing visited Waitrose’s just-opened Swindon branch to see how the supermarket is bringing digital and the store together to create new ways of shopping.

Customer Loyalty Restarts with Every Experience

Allegiance to your brand begins again with every experience, from word-of-mouth mentions to social status updates that are passed around and shared. This next article explores the actionable steps that you can take to systematically build and measure gains in loyalty.

10 Reasons to Hire a PPC Management Expert

PPC advertising has the potential to deliver targeted traffic, but it takes technical know-how to do it properly. This article from Search Engine Watch explores reasons why it will cost you less to hire an expert than it will to launch a campaign on your own.

4 Social PPC Misconceptions

While we’re on the topic of PPC, Social PPC has been around for several years, and is becoming mainstream in the PPC world. Because social PPC is still relatively new, there are many mistaken beliefs about it which this article from Search Engine Land aims to clear up.

7 SEO Truths Every Business Leader Must Understand

Lastly, here’s a useful article from Search Engine Land, which provides seven SEO truths every business leader in 2014 and beyond must understand.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (28th April – 2nd May)

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Shop. This week we take a look at how Instagram blows other social networks away for engagement, the future of Google+, luxury brands and their online presences and how social media impacts SEO.

Instagram ‘blows other social networks away’ for engagement, delivering 58 times more interactions than Facebook, says Forrester

According to a new report from Forrester, Instagram is the stand-out social network when it comes to delivering engagement. The study was based on three million user interactions with over 2,500 brands and found that while Facebook and Twitter may dominate in terms of user base, people on the networks are less inclined to like, comment or share posts. More over on The Drum.

What does the future hold for the Google+?

Earlier in the week, the man who created Google+, Vic Gundotra, announced he was leaving Google after eight years. Justifiably, this has sparked plenty of speculation about the future of the social platform. Our senior social media and content consultant, Alice, has rounded-up some of the past week’s discussions around developments at Google+ along with our thoughts on what the future may hold for the platform.

High street set to drive 89% of sales by 2020 as shopping evolves: study

O2’s The Future of Retail report predicts that the role of the high street is set for a sea change as shopping evolves still further into a leisure activity. Analysis has calculated that a high street presence will influence retail sales worth as much as £338.5bn a year by 2020. Without stores, online sales would fall by as much as £52bn.

Where are luxury brands going wrong online?

The next two articles from Econsultancy explore luxury brands and their online presences. In this first post, Graham Charlton, looks at what makes a website luxurious, and where some luxury brands are going wrong with examples from the likes of Chanel, Dolce and Gabbana, Manolo Blahnik and Bang & Olufsen.

Five great ecommerce sites from luxury brands

Following on from the above, this second article takes a look at the elements that give sites a luxury feel using some examples of brands that are doing this well by successfully blending style and user experiences.

7 Legitimate Ways That Social Media Impacts SEO

In search news this week, this article from Clickz looks at how social media and SEO overlap and how social can contribute to the overall success of websites in several ways with seven specific examples.

5 New SEO Mantras to Replace Old, Inefficient Thinking

There’s no doubt that SEO has changed and evolved and definitely for the better. This last article from Search Engine Watch provides five new mantras to replace old and inefficient ways of thinking that have permeated across the search industry.

The Weekly Shop (7th – 11th April)

Welcome to a new edition of The Weekly Shop. This week, we take a look at customer lifetime value, the importance of post-purchase interactions, an example of brands using Google’s Shoppable Hangouts, and the rumours that Google could be about to block paid search keyword data.

Just 42% of companies are able to measure customer lifetime value

Econsultancy’s new Building Loyalty and Driving Revenue in the Digital Age report looks at how customer lifetime value (CLV) is a crucial concept for companies looking to improve retention rate, but one which companies find hard to measure. Econsultancy surveyed almost 900 agency and company respondents, and found that, though the vast majority agreed that CLV was an important concept, just 42% said they were able to measure it. Head over to Econsultancy for more on the findings.

The sale doesn’t end at checkout: survey shows the importance of post-purchase interactions

A new survey has shown that 86% of consumers said it was important to them that they have a positive experience after making a purchase, highlighting the importance of post-purchase interactions. This article highlights some of the findings from the study and how you can make improvements to your post-purchase communications to encourage repeat customers.

Asos and Nike team up for first shoppable Google Hangout

Last week, we featured a new concept from Google, Shoppable Hangouts, and recently ASOS and Nike have teamed up for the first shoppable video web chat to celebrate 27 years of Nike’s Air max trainer. On the day of the hangout, users could shop while they watched, and make purchases directly from the promotion.

Mobile is now the main driver of global ad spend growth: stats

Forecasts suggest that mobile advertising will continue to grow by an average of 50% a year between 2013 and 2016, thanks to the widening penetration of smartphones and tablets. These figures come from ZenithOptimedia’s latest advertising expenditure forecast, which reveal that overall global advertising spend will rise from 3.9% in 2013 to 5.5% in 2014, with further growth expected to increase to 6.1% in 2016. More over on Econsultancy.

10 Surprising Facts About “Keyword (Not Provided)” For Paid Search

The big news in digital marketing this week was the rumour that Google could be about to block paid search keyword data. Last year, Google did this with organic search data which was a major setback to publishers, who began to losing data about the keywords used to reach their sites. This article from Search Engine Land aims to clarify fact from fiction and provides 10 things you need to know about the Keyword (Not-Provided) for paid search issue.

‘No-Links Ranking’ – The Battle for Better Organic SERPs

In light of all the changes from Google, this last article from Search Engine Watch explores the possibility that links may no longer be a ranking factor in the future. Yandex, the biggest search engine in Russia, has just recently announced that they will be no longer using links as a ranking factor and this article looks at how this change might actually have an international impact and indicate the way in which search is heading.

Thanks for reading!

The Weekly Shop (31st – 4th April)

Welcome to a new edition of Leapfrogg’s Weekly Shop. This week, we take a look at Shoppable Hangouts, channel integration, Google Authorship, insight into how consumers buy online and some exciting news from Leapfrogg!

Browse & Buy in a Google+ Shoppable Hangout Without G+ Account

Google has announced an exciting feature for Google + Hangout users – Shoppable Hangouts. A Shoppable Hangout works much like a normal Hangout, but as the title suggests, users will have the chance to shop and interact with a business’ products. Since Shoppable Hangouts are currently in Beta stage, only a limited number of brands have taken part including Diane Von Furstenberg, ASOS and Nike who have reported increased website traffic, brand recognition and engagement. Read more.

Shoppable Hangouts with Diane Von Furstenberg.

Almost two thirds of retailers now operate four or more customer touch points: new survey

Results of a new survey of retailers have shown that channel integration is proving increasingly difficult as more and more retailers turn multi-channel. The study found that just 34% of the retailers polled felt their current customer touch points were well integrated, compared to 48% two years earlier, revealing that existing technology systems are the key barrier to a coherent and innovative multi-channel customer experience.

Four Revealing Facts About How Consumers Search And Buy Online

A recently released study by retail engagement firm Parago examined how consumers research and buy across several product categories. The research is full of insight about how people buy and this article from Search Engine Land looks at one aspect of the research: insight into consumer behaviour when the buyer is in purchase mode. This research produces several insights for digital marketers which can help serve the growing shift to online ecommerce.

Google Authorship and SEO

Google Authorship is a way for content authors to connect their Google profiles to their online content to establish original ownership, and the benefits for the author can be immense. Google authorship could be one of the most significant SEO factors to help improve rankings since Hummingbird and this article from Clickz explores what it is, what it can do and how you can start to take advantage of it.

Leapfrogg wins at the European Search Awards!

We had some very exciting news last Friday, when we found out we had won a European Search AwardBen and Alice headed over to Reykjavik for the rather swanky awards ceremony and took home the award for ‘Best use of PR in a Search Campaign’ for our ‘Bride of the Year’ campaign for Wedding Rings Direct. We were absolutely thrilled!

Thanks for reading!

Cult Beauty and Tom Dixon appoint Leapfrogg as digital marketing partner

2014 is already shaping up to be a great one here at Leapfrogg, as we’ve just won two fantastic new clients in the form of Cult Beauty and Tom Dixon.

Cult Beauty is a luxury beauty retailer, stocking some of the world’s best beauty products. We’re delighted to announce that they have selected Leapfrogg to help support them across their natural and paid search strategy.

Rather than selling full beauty lines, Cult Beauty acts as a beauty curator, using a panel of 48 industry experts to handpick a selection of the most sought-after products on the beauty market. In 2011, the brand has received investment from the founders of luxury fashion etailer, Net-a-Porter and has won numerous awards, including the Sunday Times’ Styles Editor’s Choice award for Best Beauty Website 2010.

Work kicked off with the Cult Beauty team this week and we’re really looking forward to helping establish Cult Beauty as the go-to destination for premium beauty products.

Over in the homeware sector, we’re proud to announce that the iconic British Design company Tom Dixon have appointed Leapfrogg to support them on an optimisation and migration project for their new website  due to launch later this year.

Renowned industrial designer Tom Dixon set up his own brand in 2002, after an illustrious career in the design industry which saw him work as Creative Director for Habitat and Artek and receive an OBE for services to British Design.  Using highly technical manufacturing processes, the company specialises in lighting and furniture and is famous for its innovative contemporary design and construction. To date, their products are sold in over 60 countries worldwide.

We look forward to supporting these great brands during 2014 and beyond.

The Weekly Shop (17th – 21st March)

In the Weekly Shop this week…the four types of customer insight retailers should have, simplifying channel attribution, Facebook’s new video adverts and more!

Customer insight – what you should know and why

Our first article this week comes from Leapfrogg’s MD, Rosie Freshwater, who has revealed the four different types of insight that we believe all retailers should have about their customers. When combined together, this insight gives a true picture of who your customers are, the shopping experience they desire and how much they are likely to spend.

Introducing The Periodic Table of Content Marketing

Here’s a clever visualisation from Chris Lake from Econsultancy. He’s created a periodic table of content marketing, which is a rather useful referral tool when thinking about content campaigns.

Channel attribution doesn’t have to be a complicated issue

Channel attribution is often seen as being overly complicated, but this article aims to simplify the process and show that it can actually be quite straightforward. A useful read if you’re thinking about the affiliate arena and using attribution tools or a specialist company.

Facebook Says Video Ads to Hit News Feed ‘Over the Next Few Months’

In Facebook news this week, the social network has just announced that they are going to be rolling out video adverts in users’ news feeds over the next couple of months. These 15-second ads will auto-play within the news feed, but will be soundless unless you click on them and will be measured in a similar way to how advertisers buy and measure ads on TV.

International SEO Tips – What Are the Game Changing Factors?

Moving onto the topic of SEO, if you’re thinking about the internationalisation of your website, then this article outlines some international SEO best practice tips and describes what they are, and how they work.

So…You Think SEO Has Changed?

To finish off this week, here’s an article from Clickz which quite rightly aims to debunk the theory that ‘SEO is dead.’ Head over to Search Engine Land for more.

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