The Weekly Shop (16th – 20th December)

Welcome to the last Weekly Shop of the year. In this last edition, we take a look at why ecommerce retailers are still failing provide information on Christmas delivery dates, which country spends the most online and some insight into SEO in 2014 and why link building is not enough anymore.

Ecommerce and Christmas delivery: some retailers still don’t get it

For anyone doing some last minute online Christmas shopping, one of the biggest questions will be ‘can this retailer deliver in time for Christmas?’ This information is essential to manage customer expectations and improve retention through clear messaging and delivering on promises. In this article, Graham Charlton from Econsultancy looks at how ecommerce sites are failing to inform customers about delivery dates at Christmas time and he also sheds some light on best practice approaches.

Key Christmas trends to keep in mind this season: stats

With higher-then-usual retail activity, Christmas is always an interesting time for digital trends and statistics. Using their vast pool of research and data, Econsultancy have helpfully put together some of the key Christmas trends which are worth bearing in mind in the lead up to the 25th and beyond.

The UK spends more online per head than the rest of the world: stats

OFCOM’s 2013 International Communications Market Report has found that the average person in the UK spends £1,175 online, making us the biggest online spenders in the world. According to the OFCOM report, the UK also has a higher level of trust in online retailers than the rest of the globe. More stats over on Econsultancy.

Silver surfers show their online confidence: research

Following on from the above, we’re clearly becoming more confident with the idea of online shopping and new research has shown that Senior Citizens have also embraced the digital shopping revolution.

From Old School to New School: SEO in Transition

This article from Search Engine Watch looks at some of the transitions that have taken place in the world of SEO by comparing the way SEO was practiced a few years ago to how it should be approached today.

Link building vs. content strategy: why link building alone is not enough anymore

In light of the above, our last link is a post from our Senior Social Media and Content Consultant, Alice, about why link building alone is not enough anymore. Her post really sums up our approach to link building and Alice has put together an infographic to illustrate the key aspects of a holistic natural search strategy.

And that’s it for this week. We’ll be taking a short break over Christmas, but we will be back on the 10th of January to fill you in on all digital marketing and retail news for the New Year.

Until then, Merry Christmas!


Link building vs. content strategy: why link building alone is not enough anymore

Here at Leapfrogg, we’ve always followed the mantra ‘users first, search engine second,’ when it comes to natural search. In other words, whatever we do to improve the visibility of your website should also benefit the user. You can read more about our customer-driven approach in one of Ben’s guest posts for Econsultancy, found here.

It used to be the case for many others that by simply building lots of links to your site – no matter where those links came from – you’d be able to “game” the search engines into thinking that your website was worthy of a high position in the search engine results page (SERP). Targeting specific keywords with links to specific pages would see your Google rankings steadily climb for those terms. Unfortunately (and quite rightly) it’s not that easy anymore. Your website has to genuinely add value to your readers if you want it to be noticed.

Since Google released its first Panda update back in 2011 with the aim of filtering out low quality content from search results, increasing emphasis has been placed on building a content-rich, well-structured website as a starting point for any natural search strategy. Following the latest Hummingbird update, which very much places users’ needs at the centre of search, Google is going to notice faster than ever before if your site doesn’t cut it when it comes to content.

Links are still important, there’s no denying that. Links count as editorial votes of confidence, but whereas this used to work in a silo Google is getting better at catching you out if you’re building links to a less-than-brilliant site. We’ve put together the accompanying graphic to illustrate the key aspects of a holistic natural search strategy. It’s not about gaming Google, it’s about creating a site that’s worthy of its position in the SERPs and making sure that the right people know about it.

Link Building vs Content Strategy Diagram

Click to enlarge

Make your website awesome

Your website shouldn’t just be the place where people can buy your products; it should be an indispensable information resource for your customers. User-focused content that sits on your site such as how to guides, a comprehensive FAQ section, customer competitions, white papers, surveys, videos, news stories, images, infographics and an active company blog – provided it’s all properly structured – will significantly increase the size of your site and give you a wealth of content that people will naturally want to link to.

Share your content with the world

Now that you’ve built an amazing site, it’s time to shout about it. Ensure that you are regularly sharing links to your on-site content via your social media channels – Google will notice when links to your site are being shared on social platforms and these positive social signals generally correlate with the authority of your site and your natural search visibility.

Encourage the world to share your content

It’s not just about YOU sharing your content though; it’s about getting others to share it. Use your social media channels to reach out to influencers including industry publications, potential and existing brand advocates, bloggers, influencers and – most importantly – customers by initiating conversations and volunteering links to your content. Also, ensure that every page of content on your site has sharing buttons, making it possible for others to promote your content with one click.

Nurture your brand advocates

Social media is undoubtedly the most effective way of building your army of online brand advocates. If you deliver a great experience via your social channels as well as having an amazing product or service, you’ll find that you’ll reap the rewards in the form of online recommendations which goes towards maintaining that all-important social buzz and engagement around your brand.

Get the links you deserve

By having a well-structured website with fantastic content, you will likely find that sites will link to you naturally as a result of discovering you via social media or natural search. Most of the time, however, securing links needs a lot more work. Do something that’s newsworthy, come up with a killer content collaboration idea, host an event for fans or influencers or launch an exciting competition and actively reach out to the people you want to links from – whether that’s news sites, industry publications or bloggers.

Get on Google+

Unsurprisingly, Google really wants you to use its own social media platform. Having a Google+ page for your business will help to enhance your presence in natural search. Firstly, by tagging your site up with rel=publisher, your Google+ page and latest Google+ post will appear in search results for relevant queries. Secondly, tagging individual content pages on your site (e.g. guest blog posts from industry influencers) with rel=author promotes the transparency and integrity of the content, helping users scan and read content by people they want to read more from. It also helps pages stand out in the SERPs by having the author’s image next to the listing which can help improve CTRs to your site. Additionally, blog owners should contribute to others’ blogs as an author which adds more weight to your brand and improves individual identity.

In summary…

Securing links should still be an integral part of your natural search strategy. We’ve known for a while that buying hundreds of links from low-quality sites won’t work, but now the quality of YOUR site is of primary importance. Even if you’re regularly gaining links from blogs and other online publications, Google will be looking at a whole host of other factors including your on-site content, how your site is structured, how many times links to your content have been shared on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. and whether or not you’re making use of Google+ as a social brand hub.

By getting all of these elements right, you’ll drastically increase the chances of your content being seen by the right people: your potential customers. What’s more, as is always the end goal, this should ultimately have a positive impact on your bottom line.

Alice Reeves on Google+

The Weekly Shop (9th – 13th December)

In The Weekly Shop this week, we have a white paper around customer experiences at Christmas, some tips on how you can build loyalty during a long purchase cycle, how retailers can leverage unique identifiers and structured data and an article from the Froggblog around the recent updates to Google’s Analytics and Webmaster tools.

Providing exceptional customer experiences at Christmas time

First up is a white paper from eDigitalResearch which examines how consumers rate their current contact with brands during the festive period and what they feel should be done to better their experiences at Christmas as a whole. The white paper yielded some interesting findings and is well worth a read. 

How marketers can build loyalty during a long purchase cycle

A key element for a majority of loyalty programs is product purchase frequency which enables members to earn more reward currency and keep the products and program on the forefront top of mind. But what happens when you have products without this high rate of purchase frequency? This article from Econsultancy looks at how implement a successful loyalty program with a little creative thinking and a different approach.

How Online Retailers Can Leverage Unique Identifiers & Structured Data

This article from Search Engine Land looks at how what we have learned to date about entity search, semantic search and the semantic web and how it can be applied to ecommerce. The article contains some useful tips on how online retailers can leverage unique identifiers and structured data for ecommerce.

Latest Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools updates in a nutshell

Our last article is from our Senior Natural Search Consultant, Ben. There has been a plethora of updates in recent weeks and months to Google’s Analytics and Webmaster Tools and in his article Ben takes a closer look at the three key recent updates not to be missed if you want to maximise your online marketing campaigns. More over on the Froggblog.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (2nd – 6th December)

In The Weekly Shop this week…we look at the launch of the first railway station parcel collection point, a new nation of ‘smart shoppers’, how understanding the traits of online shoppers can drive conversions and 10 tips for planning your New Year sales customer journey.

Network Rail launches the first railway station parcel collection point that’s open to all retailers and carriers

Following on from the news last week that Asda are launching click and collect services at six London Underground car parks, Network Rail is following suit and will be trialling ecommerce parcel shops at unused space at mainline stations. The first collection point opened on Tuesday at Milton Keynes Central with more sites to follow at UK railway stations throughout 2014.

Smart shoppers combine high tech with high street to beat Christmas rush – saving a seven mile walk

New research from O2 has revealed that we are turning into a nation of ‘smart shoppers’, using technology to shop on our own terms this Christmas. The research has found that the average Brit visits 21 retail websites each week on their hunt for presents, notching up a staggering 425 minutes online – the equivalent of walking over 7 miles to browse the same range of products. The research also highlights the growing trend for consumers to blend offline and online services to meet their needs. More over on Internet Retailing.

Understanding the traits of online shoppers to drive conversions

Now onto another study which has identified that just over 1% of an ecommerce site’s users contribute 40% of its revenue. By analysing 950m page views from more than 123m website visits, the research found that whilst this 1.06% of total visitors generates four tenths of a site’s income, there are a further 20% of site visitors who will visit regularly, but never make a purchase. With this research in mind, this article from Econsultancy looks at the traits of these very different consumers and how can you use this information to convince them to shop more, not less.

10 tips for planning your New Year sales customer journey

Here’s a timely article from our Managing Director, Rosie Freshwater, on planning for your New Year sales customer journey. In her blog, Rosie provides us with her top 10 tips to using the busy sales period to increase retention, loyalty and revenue by placing the customer at the heart of the buying experience.

SEO Changed Forever In 2013. How To Adjust And Thrive In 2014

It’s clear that the changes we’ve seen in search throughout 2013 have been aimed at creating a better experience for the searcher. In this article from Search Engine Land, Jim Lui looks back at the key innovations search has seen in 2013 and how you can stay ahead of the game as a SEO Marketer in 2014 by putting the user first.

Three key steps towards a customer focused digital transformation

Last but not least, some food for thought from Econsultancy. This article looks at how brands must digitally transform to meet the evolving needs and expectations of their customers. With 2014 being a time to make new resolutions, Glen Hartman looks at the three main areas businesses should focus on to start their journey to achieving a successful customer-centric transformation to reap the resulting benefits long after we ring in the New Year. A recommended read.

That’s it for this week. Happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (25th – 29th November)

In The Weekly Shop this week…we look at how to covert one-time seasonal customers into repeat customers, omnichannel customer service expectations and how your PPC campaigns can benefit your SEO efforts and much, much more.

Retailers consider London Underground’s click and collect potential

This week, Asda announced that it has partnered with Transport of London to create a unique click and collect service that allows commuters to order their grocery shopping before noon and then pick up at six underground station car parks after 4pm. This is a really interesting initiative from Asda who are looking to expand into areas not currently served by their physical stores.

‘Game changer’ Appear Here nets £1m funding

Appear Here, the online marketplace for short-term retail space, netted £1m this week in funding from investors who believe the company could be a potential ‘game-changer.’  We’ve had our eye on this start-up since its inception and are looking forward to seeing how they use this investment.

17 SEO Best Practices That Could Double Your E-Commerce Sales

Next up is a useful article from SEO Strategist Trond Lyngbø, who provides us with 17 SEO best practices tips that could double your e-commerce sales. There is some really useful advice here which is well worth a read.

How to Convert One-Time Customers Into Repeat or Lifetime Customer

Getting the most out of your seasonal high tide can be an exciting ride, but don’t neglect what lies ahead: the inevitable slow season. This article from Search Engine Watch looks at how you can capitalise on the conversations started by peak seasonal traffic to convert one-time customers into repeat customers over the Christmas period.

Omnichannel customer service [stats and infographics]

A new study of 7,000 people across seven countries has revealed the customer service expectations of consumers in the UK and beyond. The data reveals insight around the preferred customer communication channels and what good customer experience can do for a brand. Head over to Econsultancy for the stats and an infographic.

This Is Why We Love To Invest In Marketing Before Customer Experience

While we’re on the topic of customer experience, here’s a great article that takes a step back from short term tactics and traditional marketing techniques and looks at how investing long-term in customer experience is the best way to grow your business. Hear, hear!

Using Paid Search To Aid Your SEO

Now onto some Search news. PPC has a much more immediate and measurable results than SEO, and as a result, we can use paid search as testing environment for SEO strategies. This article from Marketing Land provides some really useful tips on how you can use your PPC campaigns to directly benefit your SEO efforts using some tried and tested examples.

SEO in 2014: How to Prepare for Google’s 2014 Algorithm Updates

It has been an incredibly eventful year in terms of updates from Google, and this last article looks at how we can start preparing for Google’s 2014 Algorithm updates by looking back on what we have learnt this year.

Until next week, happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (11th – 15th November)

In The Weekly Shop this week…we have some Christmas ecommerce tips, a study into customer service expectations on Twitter and the ten most common mistakes of blogger outreach.

Seven out of ten would spend more online this Christmas if websites were ‘better’

A study by PEER 1 Hosting has found that seven out of ten online shoppers in the UK will be put off spending online this Christmas because of the quality of the websites they are browsing. They questioned over 1,000 British adults and found that nearly 70% would do more of their seasonal spending on the Internet if websites were better.

20+ Christmas ecommerce tips from the experts

Following on from the above, it’s probably too late to be making any substantial changes to your website before Christmas, but there is still time to make a few tweaks for improvement. Our friends over at Econsultancy have put together the views on the best Christmas strategies from a number of ecommerce and UX experts. Topics include last minute changes that could aid conversions, the importance of mobile, and how retailers can sell right up to Christmas. Our commercial director also put together a similar post with his top tips for Christmas for the Froggblog last week. Read it here.

72% of customers expect complaints on Twitter to be answered in one hour

Nowadays, disgruntled customers are more likely to flock to Twitter to voice their queries and complaints rather than write letters or make expensive calls, which if not dealt with correctly can easily spiral out of control. A new study from Lithium has found that 53% of customers who ask a brand a question on Twitter expect a response within the hour. If a customer makes a complaint then that figure goes up to 72%. They also found that 38% of people feel more negatively towards a brand if they don’t get a response within that time frame. Definitely something to bare in mind with the busy Christmas season just around the corner.

The 10 most common mistakes of blogger outreach

The practice of blogging or influencer ‘engagement’ is one of the most widely-used tactics in marketing these days, yet as relatively new industry, people are still getting to grips with it. This article from Henry Ellis at Econsultancy hits the nail on the head with his round-up of examples of painful blogger engagement.

So that’s it for this week! Remember that we will soon be sending out The Weekly Shop every week by email. If you’d like to receive it then please do pop your email in the footer below.

The Weekly Shop (28th Oct – 1st Nov)

Unbelievably, it’s Friday again (where did the week go and how is it November already?) which means it’s time for The Weekly Shop! This week, we take a look at a new coalition which aims to take 200 high streets online, an infographic about what shoppers want from retailers this festive season, some updates from Matt Cutts and an article from Ben for Econsultancy examining the percentage of spend PPC payment model.

New coalition aims to take 200 UK high streets online

In retail news this week, a new coalition launched with the aim of taking 200 UK high streets online. The coalition, which had its formal launch at Westminster yesterday, is launching an ecommerce network built on the foundations of the MyHigh.St project in order to give independent high street retailers across the UK an online shop window. Read more over on Internet Retailing.

Infographic: What Holiday Shoppers Want From Retailers In 2013

There’s no escaping that Christmas is now just around the corner, are you ready? Here’s a preview of what holiday shoppers are looking for from retailers following a survey of over 3,000 online shoppers in the U.S last month. Take a look at the stats and an infographic of the results over on Marketing Land.

Matt Cutts on SEO, PageRank, Spam & the Future of Google Search at Pubcon Las Vegas

Now on to developments in the world of search. Interesting, Matt Cutts was the keynote speaker at Pubcon in Las Vegas last week. Cutts talked extensively about the changes Google has been making recently and offered a few juicy insights into their future developments. More over on Search Engine Watch.

Don’t believe the hype: Google+ does not mean great SEO

Whilst speaking at Pubcon, Cutts also revealed that social signals like Likes, retweets and +1s will have no short-term impact on search performance and won’t help you rank better. Following on from this, this article from Econsultancy looks at the evidence that Google+ does not mean great SEO.

Successful Social Marketing is So Much More Than Social Media

While we’re on the topic of social media, this article from Clickz looks at how social media has evolved into much more than just a channel or tactic and how it should be an ever-present strategy in all aspects of your marketing.

PPC agency payment models: percentage of spend

And to finish us off, here’s an article from our commercial director Ben which is the first in his series of posts for Econsultancy which will dissect three of the most common PPC payment models. In his first post Ben looks at the most commonly used model in the industry – percentage of spend.

So, that’s it for this week. Happy reading!

Five (Apprentice contestant-free) Christmas tips

This time last year, I sat on a panel at the ECMOD conference. The theme? Tips for a successful Christmas.

The whole affair was somewhat surreal in that a former Apprentice contestant was pulled in at the last minute to sit on the panel. I am assuming that the good people at ECMOD saw him wondering around and thought “Hey, he was on The Apprentice, he’ll have something useful to share.”

For his sake I won’t mention him by name. However, to say he missed the point of the panel would be an understatement of gigantic proportions. Interspersed between the quick-fire tips from those panellists that had understood the brief, was a series of grandiose ramblings containing just about every cheesy business cliché you are ever likely to hear. Christmas tips they were not.

Slipping away quietly and slightly embarrassed by the whole affair, I had completely forgotten that my well-intentioned tips were left sitting on my iPad. As Christmas is almost upon us, a time when many retailers generate as much as 50% of their annual revenue, I thought I should put the ghost to rest and publish the tips on the Froggblog. No cheesy business speak, I promise.

So, here goes…

1) Paid search

Competition – and therefore click costs, are very likely to increase over the festive period for most retailers. If you are not careful, your cost-per-acquisition will do the same.

Very few retailers have an unlimited media budget. Therefore, making it work harder and smarter over the festive period is critical to driving a positive ROI. With this in mind:

  • Pick your battles – focus on categories and products where you have an advantage over the competition. For example, if you offer the lowest price, free delivery, free returns or a discount on the next order. Ensure these messages are prominent in advert copy.
  • In turn, ensure budgets are allocated to the highest performing products and keywords to avoid wasting budget. This means watching campaign performance like a hawk. The world of retail moves fast. At Christmas it’s even faster. There is no place for setting up a campaign in October and simply leaving it to run.
  • Be prepared to boost your bids whilst demand and competition is at its highest (whilst ensuring that the click cost and cost per acquisition remain within acceptable boundaries).
  • Consider the longer term value of a new customer in your bidding strategy. This allows you to work out how much you are prepared to spend to acquire a new customer. Reflect this in your bidding strategy (more on this below).

2) Look beyond the first sale

Consider the following scenario. I am looking for a particular beauty product that my wife has subtly dropped a hint she would like for Christmas. I do my research and make a purchase through a site I have never bought from before (and am unlikely ever to again).

From the retailer’s point of view they have got the initial sale (win!) but sending me their catalogue or signing me up to their newsletter is a complete waste of time. I’m just not their target audience. In short, people like me, making one-time gifting purchases, offer very little long term value to the retailer.

Therefore, the retailer, making an educated guess that I am purchasing a gift, should be looking at ways they can ‘get to Mrs Potter’ (for want of a better phrase).

At the checkout, you could ask if the item being purchased is a gift. You could ask who it is for. You could ask if the gift recipient would like to receive special offers and promotions in the future (after Christmas of course – you don’t want them to spoil the surprise!)

Alternatively, you could insert a card in the packaging with a promo code to be used in the New Year.

In short, consider how you can build a longer-term relationship with the customer even if that person isn’t the one who actually made the purchase.

3) Offer free returns, even if this is only a temporary change of policy

Research carried out last year by found that 60% of UK consumers will not even consider making a purchase unless free returns are offered.

A free returns policy at Christmas is even more important to allay any fears that a gift recipient may not like a present or it may not fit, for example.

Whatever you decide to do where returns are concerned, ensure that the policy is prominent on the website and in ad messaging to counter any potential barriers to conversion.4

4) Deliver on your promises

When it comes to delivery for example, most people don’t mind waiting a few days for an item to arrive, as long as it drops through the letterbox when promised by the retailer.

However, when this fails to happen, especially in the week leading up to the big day, customer dissatisfaction will be amplified ten fold. It’s a pretty stressful time of year for many. The last thing someone needs is a mad dash to the shops on Christmas Eve to hunt down a gift they had assumed would arrive days ago.

This is just one example of where you must ensure (as far as is humanly possible) that you can fulfil those promises you shout so proudly about in ad messaging and web copy. Failing to do so means a disgruntled customer who will a) probably not buy from you again and b) moan. Not just to their mates down the pub but across their social media channels, amplifying your failures to hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

5) Review success and failures in January

Finally, ensure you make time to review what worked and what didn’t immediately after Christmas (well, you can at least let the Christmas pudding settle in your belly, but you know what I mean).

Start preparing for next Christmas whilst things are fresh in your mind.

Hurrah! Tips shared without an Apprentice contestant in sight.

Have a very prosperous Christmas one and all.

Image courtesy of

The Weekly Shop (21st – 25th October 2013)

In the Weekly Shop this week we take a closer look at Google’s move towards a more semantic and user-centric approach to SEO. We also look at search data which has highlighted a fast change in the way we shop and some evidence that suggests that Google has started to enforce smartphone penalties. Plus, some more results from the study we featured last week which highlights what promotions shoppers are more likely to respond to.

6 Major Google Changes Reveal the Future of SEO

The last couple of Weekly Shops have been full of developments from Google and it can’t be denied that these changes are all part of their longer term strategy to move people away from tactical SEO behaviour and towards a more strategic approach. This article takes a few steps back and looks at the bigger picture of what impact these changes will have on SEO.

Searcher Personas: A Case for User-Centric SEO

Following on from the above, this article from Search Engine Watch explores how we can put the user-centric concept into practice across your SEO using searcher personas.

The New SEO — It’s About People, Intent, & Meaning

To finish up on the SEO side of things, here’s another nice article from Search Engine Land looking at the psychology of Google to make sense of the rapid shifts in the SEO landscape that we’ve seen recently.

Six Visual Solutions To Complex Digital Marketing/Analytics Challenges

Here are some nice visuals from content marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik that our search team stumbled upon earlier in the week. The six venn diagrams in this article re-frame a unique facet of the digital opportunity/challenge, and shares how to optimally take advantage of the opportunity/challenge. There is some really good stuff in here laid out in a very digestible way.

Google’s Starting To Enforce Smartphone Penalties: The Evidence

As if we needed any more convincing about the importance of mobile within your digital strategy, we’ve now seen the first evidence that Google has started adjusting search rankings appearing on smartphones based on how well the site in question handled the mobile user experience. More over on Search Marketing Land.

Search data illustrates fast change in the way we shop

And now for some retail news. This article from Internet Retailing look at figures from a study by Google and the British Retail Consortium which has shown that the way UK shoppers look for the items they want to buy is developing fast. In particular the report has shown strong growth for searches on tablets and smartphones and in search volumes from overseas customers looking for British retailers.

Report: Online Shoppers More Likely To Respond To Free Shipping Offers Than Price Discounts

Here are some more findings from the report from Retention Science that we featured last week. According to the study online shoppers are twice as likely to respond to free shipping offers than price discounts. We can completely back this up and have had the same results with a number of our clients – definitely something to bear in mind when preparing promotions for the festive season.

That’s it for this week, happy reading!

The Weekly Shop (14th – 18th October)

In The Weekly Shop this week, four reports that have yielded some interesting stats about the retail sector, data you might have in your secret stash that can be used to improve segmentation and targeting and some interesting articles about ‘Not Provided’ data and the future of SEO in 2014 and beyond.

Getting to know the 1% who generate up to 40% of retail website turnover

Kicking us off this week is the first of four reports around the retail sector. New research from Qubit suggests that just over 1% of a retail website’s users could be responsible for as much as 40% of its revenues. They identified four main categories of website users which is useful for retailers when thinking about where to invest their marketing budget as often tiny segments could be driving a massive percentage of your revenue.

Report: Online Shoppers More Likely To Respond To Free Shipping Offers Than Price Discounts

Next up is a study from Retention Science which exposed that online shoppers are twice as likely to respond to free delivery offers than price discounts. Interestingly, the study also found that emails sent during the afternoons and on Tuesdays and Fridays had the highest conversion rate. Some useful stuff here!

Just 20% of companies have a well-developed customer experience strategy

New research from Econsultancy and CACI has found that based on a global survey of 900 companies 58% have an embryonic customer experience strategy and many organisations are struggling in the key areas needed for an integrated customer experience. We’ve always believed that the customer must be at the heart of your digital and wider retail strategy and have been doing some really interesting work in this area which we look forward to sharing shortly!

Smartphone owners now visit shops less often

This last study highlights how mobile is fast proving itself to be integral in any multichannel strategy. Smartphone owning shoppers are making less frequent visits to stores while at the same time becoming more likely to purchase via mobile and tablet.

Uncovering Your Secret Stash of Marketing Data to Improve Segmentation & Targeting

Here’s an interesting article from Clickz about the data you may have stored away that you could be using for improved segmentation and targeting. You may well be sitting on gold mine of data!

Google Keyword ‘(Not Provided)’: How to Move Forward

This is the first of a couple of interesting SEO articles we’ve stumbled upon this week which reflect on Google’s recent switch to secure search. This article from Clickz looks at how the changes have made performance reporting less accurate and how you can dive into a new approach to SEO reporting using the metrics still available in conjunction with some new KPIs. While these new metrics aren’t as accurate as keyword level data, they do provide a solid alternative to understanding SEO performance.

Not Provided’ World Just the Beginning of a Marketer’s Challenge

An article that looks beyond Google’s shift to ‘Not Provided’ data and how this may just be the first in a series of seismic shifts in search marketing as the ‘web cookie’ days also appear to be numbered.

Eating My (Key)Words: Changing The Way We Think About SEO

Jenny Halasz’s shares her thoughts on the future of SEO over on Search Engine land, which in her opinion is a future not based on keywords, but rather on how those “keywords” form a relationship to an entity, a concept, or a target. Another interesting read.

3 SEO Success Factors for 2014

To finish us off this week, an article that looks at three factors we need to consider for successful SEO as online marketers in 2014.

Happy reading!