B2B Marketing News

Moz Online Marketing Survey and More SEO News

July 30, 2015 by

The SEO industry is always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news and best practices. Here’s a round-up of some of the most recent SEO updates and trends. Hope you enjoy!

1. Moz Releases 2015 Online Marketing Industry Survey

Earlier this week Moz released a survey of over 3,600 online marketers. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • 49% of respondents are in-house search marketers
  • 71% of in-house marketers have small teams of only 1-3 people
  • 36% of agency marketers reported working with more than 20 clients in the previous year
  • The top five agency services are: SEO, SEM, social media marketing, content creation and web development
  • 81% of agency respondents provide both SEO and SEM services to clients
  • 66% of agency content marketers rank “content for SEO purposes” as their top priority
  • 87% of respondents reported Google Webmaster Tools as their “top SEO tool,” followed by Google Keyword Planner (79%)
  • Google Alerts and Google Trends were reported as top content tools
  • Google Analytics was the most widely used analytics tool (91%)
  • Facebook, Twitter and Google+ were among the top three social networks used by marketers
  • The top five activities of online marketers were: analytics, keyword research, site audits, content creation and social media marketing
  • The top five services requested were: analytics, content creation, conversion rate optimization (CRO), brand strategy and social media marketing.

SEO news round up

 

(Image credit: Moz)

To read the full 2015 Online Marketing Industry Survey Report, click here.

2. Bing Organic Referral Drop Update

In last week’s SEO News Round-up, we reported a big decrease in Bing organic search referral traffic. It was hypothesized that the drop in referral traffic had something to do with an algorithmic update or Google analytics, leaving many webmasters with questions.

According to Search Engine Land, a Bing spokesperson said the decrease in organic referral traffic is due to Bing’s gradual move to encrypt their searches. Bing warns that a decrease in organic referral traffic  may increase over time as they migrate searchers over to HTTPS.

3. Google Updates Adwords Quality Score Reporting

On Monday, Google announced it is changing the way keyword quality score is reported. Don’t worry, the changes only affect the numbers you’ll see in AdWords, not the way quality score is calculated or the ad auction. Google explained this change will help them behind the scenes to improve reporting accuracy for keywords with traffic. Keywords will now default to a score of 6 and will update when impression accumulate within a day or so.

4. YouTube Arguably Second Largest Search Engine

More and more users are turning to YouTube for search purposes, making it the second largest search engine. For instance, “how-to” searches grew 70 percent year over year according to recent information released by Google. YouTube is proving that video content is more engaging and may even be more informative than a page of text. YouTube’s success can also be attributed to Google displaying primarily only  YouTube videos in its search results.

To expand marketing reach, it is very important to have a presence on YouTube to bring more traffic to your website. By ranking in YouTube’s search results, you also have a chance to rank in Google’s web and video search.

For a complete list of YouTube optimization best practices, click here.

Survive Your First Month in a PR & Marketing Agency

July 29, 2015 by

Knees weak, palms are sweaty. There’s vomit on his sweater already; mom’s spaghetti. He’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready…

Ok, so your first day probably isn’t as dramatic (and hopefully not as angry) as an Eminem song, but the song captures the anxiety-filled nature of that first-day experience. You just graduated. No way you’re prepared to dive in to account management. Are you lamenting the wasted time of your not-so-distant youth, wishing you had spent more hours on finals than Game of Thrones conspiracy theories? More time writing news releases than your Instagram bio? Relax. You’re going to make it. I did anyway. And with one month in the books, I’ve got five pro tips that will help you adapt and, if you’re committed, excel.

Step 1: Keep your Head Up

Too often people will tell you, “Keep your head down, and you’ll be fine.” These “swim with the current” sentiments have no place in the realm of PR and marketing. You’re young and have different life experiences than senior staff. My colleague, Rachel Barclay, has an excellent post about leveraging those experiences to  STOP and analyze the processes of the office. You have a brief window in which you still have an outsider’s perspective. Make the most of it by questioning (gracefully) certain processes, and, if you have any, offering suggestions for improvements.

Step 2: Ask Questions. And then Ask Questions about your Questions.

If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want to contribute from day one. The truth: you can’t, not meaningfully anyway…and no one expects you to. What you are expected to do is learn, and that comes through questioning EVERYTHING. Ask your coworkers about acronyms, industry language, billing processes, best methods, etc. Set realistic expectations for yourself. If you have a great idea, share it. But don’t try and force something you have no expertise in and are not expected to have expertise in. This is how awesomely useless things like the walking sleeping bag were created.

5 Tips to Survive Your First Month in a PR & Marketing Agency

Step 3: Work a Little Overtime

Whether you’re getting paid for it or not, work past the hours of the workday and do some solo research. Sponge up any information you can. Sooner rather than later, you’re going to be tasked with a project requiring intimate knowledge of a client. Unless you’ve dug in, you’re going to feel completely unprepared. So in your spare time, consume any and all client related content that you can. Set up Google Alerts, read recent coverage, inhale whitepapers, watch YouTube videos and listen to podcasts. It’s an information industry. Don’t dip your toes; dive in.

Step 4: Develop Thick Skin

I was fortunate to have been long familiar with the editorial process, but if you’re not…buckle up. You will have your work shredded on a regular basis. And that’s ok. Sure, not even the most seasoned writer enjoys seeing her writing torn to bits. But you have to understand that the editor is not editing to assail your confidence, but to create a better product for the client. Learn to view the experience as a chance to improve your technique and thus better serve the account.

Step 5: Be Yourself

My hope is that you work in an office where you feel you can do this. If you don’t feel that way, work somewhere else. It’s that simple. Consider yourself a gregarious person? Don’t walk around the office mum and mopey. Introverted to the max? Don’t feel pressured to devote thirty minutes to water cooler chat. The nuance lies in being capable at self-monitoring. It’s one thing to know when to tone it down and another to try and be someone you’re not. One is an essential life skill; one is a path to frustration and exhaustion.

Starting any new job can be scary. Diving into the fast-paced agency world can be terrifying. But don’t let it be. A good friend recently reminded me to never forget, they hired you. By that simple act, they are investing in your success and believe you can contribute. Embrace that knowledge and enter with confidence. Above all, focus on offering yourself as a student, but a student who is true to himself/herself. Ask questions, challenge processes, but always, always be yourself. Do those things, and chances are you’ll live to see that first paycheck.

Mixology Monday – Tequila Sunrise

July 27, 2015 by

To welcome the Summer, our team enjoyed refreshing and fruity tequila sunrises for #MixologyMonday. This cocktail is named for its appearance with gradients of color that create a sunrise effect.

Barketi - tequila sunrise

The modern drink originated from California in the early 1970s, so it’s no surprise this is the very state where I enjoyed my first tequila sunrise.

With just three key ingredients, this is a simple cocktail anyone can make. Check out the full recipe below.

Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces orange juice
  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine
  • Orange slice for garnish

mixology monday - tequila sunrise    tequila sunrise ingredients

Directions:
  1. Pour the tequila and the orange juice into a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Stir.
  3. Slowly pour the grenadine around the inside edge of the glass, it will sink and slowly rise to mix with the other ingredients naturally. You can also use a spoon to guide the grenadine as it sinks to the bottom.
  4. Garnish with the orange slice and cherry.

We hope you enjoyed this cocktail recipe as much as we did. If there’s a recipe for our next barketi that you’d recommend, leave us a comment below.

Google Panda Refresh and More SEO News

July 23, 2015 by

SEO News Round-Up

The SEO industry is always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news and best practices. Here’s a round-up of some of the most recent SEO updates and trends. Hope you enjoy!

1. Google Panda Refresh is Here

After months of waiting, Google announced a Panda refresh has taken place. You probably won’t notice any immediate changes as Google is rolling out the update at an incredibly slow pace. Google said the update has only affected two to three percent of websites so far, so it could take months before you see an algorithmic impact on your site.

The new update means that sites who suffered or were penalized from the last Panda update have the potential to rise up in Google’s search results again. If you were hurt from the last Panda refresh, expect to see a gradual change in organic rankings over the next few months.

2. How Does Google Handle the New Top Level Domains?

After a lot of questions and misconceptions about how Google handles the new top level domains, Google’s John Mueller published a blog post to clear the air.

For those who don’t know, a Top Level Domain (TLD) is the most general part of a domain name in an internet address and always comes after the last dot in a URL (.com, .org, etc.). Search marketing practitioners often believe that Google prefers some TLDs over others. John Mueller squashed those beliefs when he stated there are no TLDs that Google finds more important than others–they are all treated equally when it comes to rankings.

Google said new TLDs like .BRAND and .how will be treated the same way as old TLDs like .com and .org. Mueller said the new TLDs won’t influence the way they crawl, index or rank URLs.

Don’t go running to a new TLD just yet. Moving you website to a new domain can have big impacts on your SEO efforts. Domain changes take time to adjust to, so it’s best to stick with a domain that will benefit you for the long-run.

For more info, check out Mueller’s blog post.

3. Bing Search Traffic Decline

Notice a big decrease in Bing organic search traffic? You’re not alone. Webmasters everywhere are wondering if this could be due to an algorithmic update. Turns out it might have to do with Google Analytics. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land analyzed dozens of websites in Google Analytics and noticed the same pattern—about 20 percent declines in Bing organic search traffic across the board. On the flip side, he also saw about a 200 percent increase in referral traffic.

Sounds fishy. Both Google and Microsoft are investigating the issue.

4. Google Maps Rolls Out Location History Timeline

Ever wish you had a way of remembering the restaurant you went to at the beach last summer? Well, if you used Google Maps to get there, you’re in luck! Google announced they are producing a new feature in Google Maps that lets desktop and mobile users see a timeline of where they’ve traveled in a given period. Google hopes its users find this feature beneficial for remembering and viewing the places they’ve been in a given day, month or year.

For more information, read Google’s blog post.

5. Most Googled Products On The Planet

Kidneys, Nose Jobs and Cows… Oh my! Ever wonder what people are searching for the most around the world? Check out this cool map showing what different countries are filling in the phrase “cost of ____” with.

Why Outlines Make Me a Better Writer

July 16, 2015 by

Believe it or not: Outlines improve writing

For the past few weeks, Arketi has been all about the importance of outline development. It may seem elementary, but I know that I often jump straight into writing without taking enough time to look at the bigger picture of the work, whether it’s a blog post, press release or other marketing piece.

I’m not sure whether I have an aversion to outlining because I was forced to do it in middle school, or because it feels like it takes extra time, but I’ve found that it actually saves time in the long run. I can get my outline approved to make sure I’m on the right track before I start writing. After some research on outlining and some reminiscing on my time in the sixth grade, I’ve put together some tips for crafting a useful outline. 

Do the write thing - Outlines improve writing

What’s the Point?

Decide on the main topics that you want to cover. Then, figure out which points are most important, and position those closer to the top. Make sure your topics are in a logical order.

Next, expand upon your main topics by creating sub-points. The middle school rules for outlining demand several sub-topics with numerous bullets below. They also require letters, numbers and Roman numerals, which I find confusing and pointless. Use indentation and bullets under your main points to organize your thoughts and guide your writing.

Do the Write Thing.

Once your outline is complete and on target, it’s time to actually write. Start a new document, but keep the outline in front of you while you work.

If you find yourself straying from the outline a little bit or adding and deleting ideas, this is normal. If you decide to reorganize the whole piece, edit your outline first.

Outline Again.

Once you’re done writing, outline the work again. Compare this outline to the one that you originally created. If they’re different, that’s fine, but try to figure out why they differ and whether the new structure does a better job of accomplishing your point.

If you find it difficult to outline what you’ve written, this may be a bad sign. See if you can reorganize the work to better match the original architecture of your outline, or if need be make a new outline and rearrange the writing. My outline for this blog post follows.

 

Introduction

  • Importance of outlining
    • Save time
    • Decide on the bigger picture

Order your Main Points

  • Most important at top
    • Logical order
  • Create Sub-Points
    • Expand upon your main ideas
    • Roman numerals, etc. are unnecessary

Write

  • Follow the structure of your outline
    • Start with a fresh document
  • Don’t be afraid to add ideas
    • Make a new outline if you wander too much

Retro-outline

  • Finish writing, then re-outline
    • Compare to the first outline
  • Edit if it does not make sense
    • If structure is hard to see, writing may be hard to understand

 

I hope you found these tips and my outline example helpful. If you have other thoughts on how outlines can help improve writing projects, leave us a comment below.

SES Atlanta Re-cap

July 14, 2015 by

Last week, a few of us at Arketi had the opportunity to attend SES Atlanta, an industry-leading search marketing conference held in various cities across the world. The focus of the conference was education about search marketing best practices and trends, but also served as an outlet for attendees to network and share knowledge and experience.

The search world is always changing, so it’s important to pick the brains of industry leaders as they share ideas and tactics that have helped them stay ahead of the curve. With that in mind, here’s a re-cap of the key messages we took away from the conference.

ses atlanta

Understand Searcher Interest and Intent

Keynote speaker Bill Hunt, best-selling author and president of Back Azimuth Consulting, emphasized the importance of examining the intent of search queries as it provides insight into consumers’ interest and needs. Specifically, one of the best things search marketers can do is to integrate search strategies in all areas of organizations—from IT to finance. He also explained how to best use data to advance your agenda and how to understand the economic value of search marketing.

How to Show ROI in SEO

Ivey Evans, Digital Strategy and Analytics Manager at Aflac, led a session on SEO ROI analytics. She emphasized the importance of establishing KPIs and setting a benchmark to compare performance over time. The KPIs she recommends tracking are traffic, engagement and conversion, while keeping in mind that the definition of engagement and conversion will vary across organizations.

For example, Aflac defines engagement as “the percentage of people who stay or the site three or more minutes, view three or more pages or complete a site interaction.” Defining conversions can be difficult, especially in B2B organizations where it’s hard to find value of your leads, so sync with your team and define what a conversion means to you.

Its important to keep in mind that there is no real x+y=z formula for SEO. Investing in SEO is like investing in the stock market and a long time strategy and a lot of patience is needed.

Mobile SEO Best Practices

There’s no question that searchers have gone mobile. In May, Google announced that smartphone searches officially overtook desktop searches. In light of this and the recent Mobilegeddon Brian Ussery, a leading SEO Consultant, shared insights on how to adapt to a mobile-friendly world. Here are a few best practices he shared:

  • Create a mobile friendly website design (responsive, dynamic, material, m. mobile site, etc.)
  • Keep mobile website menus short and sweet
  • Make it easy for your users to get to the homepage
  • Place your calls to action front and center
  • Limit promotions
  • Autopopulate forms, credit card information, etc.
  • Create a site search function

Content Creation for Linkbuilding

The last session of the day was a panel of social media and content creation managers who shared insights on how to leverage compelling content to drive more links. The panelists stressed the importance of focusing on creating content that makes sense for the sites you’re reaching out to. With this in mind, organizations should create content that is not only specific to their audience but also specific to the channel in which the audience is interacting with them.

The panelists also recommend using tools like Google Trends to determine what consumers might be interested in seeing or hearing about.

We hope you find this recap helpful, even if you weren’t able to attend. However, if you were also at SES Atlanta, let us know what your key takeaways were in the comments section below!

Google’s Cross-Device Benchmark and More Search News

July 9, 2015 by

Search News Roundup

The search world is always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news and best practices. Here’s a round-up of some of the most recent SEO and PPC updates and trends. Hope you enjoy!

 

1. Google’s Cross-Device Benchmarks

New research from Google proves that users often switch devices before converting. Therefore, if you aren’t tracking cross-device conversions in Adwords, you’re letting valuable insight into how your advertising dollars are performing pass you by.

But what are cross-device conversions? According to Google they are estimates based on aggregated, anonymized data from a sample set of users that have previously signed-in to Google services. If you want to dig deeper, Googler Matt Lawson can help: What Google’s New Cross-Device Benchmarks Actually Mean For Advertisers.Search News Roundup - Google’s Cross-Device Benchmarks

2. Bing Got You Down?

If you’ve noticed a drop in your Bing rankings recently it’s most likely because your site has moved from HTTP to HTTPS using an extension of TLS called SNI. As more sites migrate to HTTPS to receive Google’s promised rankings boost, Bing has failed to keep up. Why? Bing can’t crawl sites with this specific implementation of site security, but can only manually whitelist them.

For more information, check out this article on Search Engine Land: Drop In Bing? Moving To HTTPS (SNI) Would Have Caused It.

3. Google Panda Refresh Still Coming Soon

At the beginning of June, Google’s Gary Illyes announced that the new Panda refresh would be released in two to four weeks. By doing some simple math, it’s easy to figure out that a month has come and gone and there’s still no refresh in sight. However, late last week in a German Google Hangout, Google’s John (Johannes) Mueller said that we can expect to see the Panda refresh “in a few weeks.”

4. Bing Mapping Upgrade

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its Bing Maps update will include new search layers and enhanced content. More specifically, the company’s placed an emphasis on context, exploration and planning, bringing the service closer to Google Maps functionality than ever before. In fact, users will now be able to create layers of search results around a specific point or area thereby planning out an entire trip in one map.

However, while this will prove useful for those planning their next big vacation or night out on the town, experts expect it will be less so for those simply seeking business listing or directions from A to B.

What Content Do Business Executives Look For?

July 1, 2015 by

Developing content for business executives

In the world of content marketing, content reigns king. However, a recent survey from The Economist and marketing research firm Peppercomm reveals that there is a massive disconnect between the content that business executives seek and the content that marketers provide.

No one likes a blatant sales pitch–especially business executives. So why do marketers continue to develop and push out content that focuses on their products or services instead of content that prospects are looking looking?

Developing content for business executives

A recent Media Post article examined findings from a survey report titled, “Missing the Mark: Global Content Survey of Brand Marketers and their B2B Audiences.” From this piece, the following findings stood out to us the most:

  • 75% of global business leaders surveyed report that they turn to content to research complex business ideas within their industries. Executives find the most value in content that helps them better understand the general views and practices of their peers.
  • Content that presents two sides of complicated industry issues and content that confirms or sheds new light on business strategies are considered to have value.
  • Conversely, 71% of executives have a strong distaste for content that reads like a sales pitch. Unfortunately, most marketers produce content in order to sell. 93% of marketers surveyed reported that they connect their content directly to a product or service.
  • By evaluating the success of content marketing strictly by leads, brands end up creating the exact type of sales-centric content that business leaders dislike. Many of these brands simply have no better alternative, as a third of global marketers report that they simply do not know (or do not have access to) the proper KPIs to accurately measure and assess their content marketing campaigns.
  • Traditional digital content mediums,  still resonate best with global business leaders, says the report. 85% of those surveyed prefer text-based articles, while only 5% polled find video to be useful for helping to make business decisions. 78% of executives surveyed prefer to browse content on their laptop or desktop computers, with only 7% reporting a preference for smartphone consumption.

The global survey included 500 global business executives to find out what they look for from content providers and 500 global brand marketers to determine their expectations of “content.”

Our Take?

The majority of content we develop as BtoB marketers should be thought leadership pieces targeting the top levels of the sales funnel. In fact, content that positions an organization as a thought leader is stronger than most sales collateral.

For examples of thought leadership pieces that shed new light on complicated industry issues and other content for business executives, check out our Arketi Insights!

You can also check our webinars, videos, and white papers for a wide range of topics on best practices in digital PR, BtoB marketing budgets, buyer-centric marketing and mobile marketing for B2B.

Post-Mobilegeddon and More SEO News

June 25, 2015 by

SEO News Round-Up

The SEO industry is always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news and best practices. Here’s a round-up of some of the most recent SEO updates and trends. Hope you enjoy!

1. Post-Mobilegeddon: What Happened?
Google’s mobile-friendly update, coined by many as “mobilegeddon,” has been quite the topic of conversation amongst digital marketers. Since the announcement of a mobile update, SEOs have worked hard to get their sites up to par as the impending doom of the mobile update loomed over their heads. The mobile-friendly update finally took place and after taking some time to adjust to it, the update was not as dramatic (or surprising) as imagined to be.

Some key findings are:
• Non-mobile friendly URLs are showing up less in the first three pages of Google’s search results
• Sites with user experience scores of 80 and higher are deemed “mobile friendly”
• Brand name searches were not significantly impacted – even brand sites not optimized for mobile

2. Google Trends Update
Based on Google’s more than 100-billion searches completed every month, Google Trends implemented its biggest update since 2012. The new update allows searchers to track the topics most people are searching for and where in the world interest is highest. If you are wondering what was trending yesterday or two years ago, you can now select any time range from the date picker to determine trends. Google also announced it is combining YouTube and Google News data with search data to determine which topics are gaining the most attention.
Google has also redesigned its homepage to be more “story centric,” focusing on currently ranking topics.

3. How Google Uses Clicks in Search Results
Google’s Gary Illyes explained how Google uses clicks for rankings at SMX Advanced last month. He cleared things up by stating that Google uses clicks made in search results for evaluation and experimentation—not for ranking. Google believes clicks are too easily manipulated and thus cannot be considered for ranking purposes. If clicks went into ranking, companies could simply hire people or robots to click on links in search results, making it appear your site is better than your competitors. This was Google’s official statement, but many SEOs believe it is still open for debate and testing.

Google Panda Update Coming Soon and More SEO News

June 18, 2015 by

SEO News Round-Up

The SEO industry is always changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest news and best practices. Here’s a round-up of some of the most recent SEO updates and trends. Hope you enjoy!

Google Panda Update SEO News

1. Google Panda Update Coming Soon Earlier this month, Google’s Gary Illyes announced the new Panda update will be released in the coming weeks. Illyes said the update will be more of a “data refresh” rather than an algorithmic change. What does this mean? It’s hard to tell now, but Illyes speculates some sites suffering from this algorithm may see a recovery in the future.

2. Domain Authority Decline Did you recently notice a decline in your Domain Authority? Don’t worry, so did we. Early last week, Moz released their latest Mozscape Index leaving many perplexed as to why their Domain Authority dropped drastically. This update includes even fewer URLs, root domains, subdomains and total links than the previous Index from May 5. The good news is that Domain Authority is a relative metric and is most valuable when examined against a group of similar sites. We would suggest looking to see if your competitors’ Domain Authorities dropped as well, and if they did, you don’t have much to worry about and should continue monitoring and optimizing your site as usual. It’s always a bummer to see your Domain Authority drop when you’ve been working to gain quality links, but remember it can take 2-3 indexes before Moz recognizes the new links, so don’t give up just yet.

3. Google “Near Me” Searches Double According to Google, search queries containing phrases like “nearby” or “near me” have doubled in the past year with 80 percent of searches coming from mobile devices. In response, Google has launched a new Nearby Business mobile ad product tool that features buttons to get directions or to click to call a business. A click to buy button will also start appearing on select search ads soon.

4. Google TV Attribution Last year, Google released Adometry TV Attribution, which measures the online impact of offline channels such as television and radio. Recently, Google announced that search query information is now being integrated with Rentrak airings data to help marketers better understand the important searches their broadcast investments generate.  Broadcast media doesn’t only drive people directly to websites—it drives them to search.  According to Google, “TV attribution allows companies to analyze minute-to-minute aggregated Google Search query data against spot-related keywords to detect and attribute search ‘micro-conversions’ to specific TV airings.” With this data, brands can better assess their broadcast investments, keyword performance and ad creative.   Check back over the next few weeks for more SEO news and the latest updates from key players in the world of search.