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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.

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.

Mobile-Friendly as a Ranking Signal for Google

April 21, 2015 by

Google is rolling out an updated algorithm – that factors in “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal – on April 21 (that’s today!).

Clients are asking us a few questions.

  1. 1. What does this mean?

Google will be increasing the visibility of sites that are optimized for mobile.

  1. 2. What should we be doing?

If you don’t’ have a mobile optimized site, you should begin work to create one. Don’t freak out though. Google is not going to penalize your site because it is not mobile-friendly. Google may, however, rank another site that is mobile-friendly – when a user queries a term that is relevant to what you offer – over yours.

If you have a mobile optimized site, good news for you. Your site may now perform better than it was on the search engines because it may outrank those that are not mobile-friendly. Think more traffic!

We think the most important thing to point out is, your site should be optimized for mobile, regardless of Google’s algorithm update. A mobile optimized site will improve site performance and conversions rates. It will provide users – who are more than 60% likely to use a mobile device or tablet to perform research (comScore report) – a better experience. If you’re site is not optimized for mobile already, this should have been on your radar prior to Google’s announcement of the algorithm update. Don’t you want to improve site performance? But more importantly, don’t you want more conversions?

If mobile optimization is not a top priority for your company, here’s a push to make it one.

We’re constantly telling clients that first and foremost, do things on your site that will improve the user experience. Usually, those activities are beneficial for search as well. Google’s algorithm update is a great example of that case in point. Optimize your site for mobile – which will improve a user’s experience – and Google will reward you for it.


When Bad Pitches Happen to Good Journalists

April 7, 2015 by

Quick Tips for Delivering Value to Reporters

Imagine for a moment that a majority of the people you work closest with are completely dissatisfied with your contributions. Pretty awful thought, right? Unfortunately, that’s exactly what PR professionals are facing with journalists. According to PRNewser and Forbes, a whopping 68 percent or journalists are unhappy with the current state of PR pitches, a.k.a. our emails (and bad pitches).

Let’s take a cue from Olivia Pope and “handle” this pitching problem. PR pros can’t afford to waste opportunities to generate awareness and earn visibility for the brands and products they represent. The following are a few quick tips for delivering valuable pitches:

  • Do Your Research

While there isn’t a silver bullet for securing news coverage, the more tailored your pitch is, the more likely you’ll earn media interest. Fire up Google and research outlets and reporters that cover the topic you’re pitching. Then craft a personalized email that ties your story idea to their specific beat.

  • Tell a Compelling Story

Relevance is important, but keep in mind, just because a reporter covers technology doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll cover your product or company. In other words, give the reporter a compelling story to tell. A good rule of thumb: focus less on the actual product/company and more on the people it helps and the impact it makes.

  • Paint the Picture with Visuals

Take your story a step further, and show journalists why it’s newsworthy. Part of journalists’ dissatisfaction with PR pitches is the lack of visuals supplied. In fact, a recent survey from ISEBOX states that 80 percent of journalists feel frustrated in needing to spend more than 30 minutes collecting visual content for stories. Have a photo, infographic, or video that supplements your pitch? Share it!

To sum up, quality is always better than quantity when it comes to pitching. Before reaching out to a reporter make sure your pitch is valuable by ensuring it’s relevant, compelling, visual, and of course, brief.

How do you add value to your pitches? Share your tips with us.


Young pros must STOP

February 24, 2015 by

Since being a college sophomore, networking and seeking out advice from PR pros has come naturally to me. Today as a young professional, reaching out for suggestions and assistance from more seasoned industry leaders and resources is still something I’m comfortable with.

As a desire to learn more about and grow within the PR industry, I enjoy reading up on industry trends and professional development articles. A few days ago I read an article on PR Daily, a resource I’m learning from, about things young PR pros need to stop doing and thought it was on-point. After reading the 10 points the article outlines, two really hit home.

The article references that young professionals tend not to speak up and that they also accept existing processes. In not speaking up, you may be withholding the next brilliant client campaign that everyone loves. You would hurt your company and your client by not mentioning your idea.

By not accepting existing processes, you could have a more small-scale impact. If you have an idea that would improve your organization, why wouldn’t you vocalize it? It’s very possible others haven’t thought of executing a task the way you have.

To take the PR Daily article a step further, I thought some of the points could translate to how Arketi operates. From my time here, I’ve learned all employees are encouraged to be comfortable and start doing. Arketians very much believe that it’s important to go outside of your comfort zone and take challenges by the horns. When you’re challenging yourself, everyone can win.

I recommend young professionals just start doing. If you’re going outside of your comfort zone, you are learning new things and growing. Don’t worry about making mistakes, a mistake can become your biggest learning opportunity. Of the mistakes I’ve made, each has taught me something about myself or a situation that I have since done differently.

So, young pros, how do you feel about the 10 things article? Do you think anything is missing?

For the more seasoned professionals, what things do you see young pros doing that they need to stop immediately?

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Weekly B2B Round-Up for Dec. 16, 2013

December 20, 2013 by

Here are the top  business-to-business PR and marketing articles from this week. Hope you enjoy!

New H&K Research Shows Companies Can Earn Public Trust by Better Communicating Efforts to Address Climate Change—Lack of Communications Prevents Many From Getting Credit
Daily Dog
Research conducted by Research+Data Insights for Hill+Knowlton Strategies and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) shows that Americans see climate change as one of the most pressing issues facing the country. However, only 35 percent of Americans believe companies are doing more today than 10 years ago to address climate change.

Content Marketing – Powerful for Local Businesses
Custom Content Council
Our search world has changed. Results pulled in from Google, Bing and Yahoo are now all content-related, so it’s the job of search engines to provide users with results that give them the information they’re looking for. The better the results returned to the user, the more users will use them. But relative content isn’t just to boost search engine preferences. Did you know that content still reigns supreme when it comes to businesses building relationships with people?

The Future of Social Media: 60 Experts Share Their 2014 Predictions
Business 2 Community
Social media has been undergoing some major changes this past year. Twitter filed for IPO, Facebook launched video ads, and Snapchat threatens to change the landscape as the next big thing in social media. As more companies begin to leverage social media for personalized, real-time marketing initiatives, it’s imperative to stay ahead of the curve and identify future trends in this space. We asked experts to share their predictions on the future of social media and the ways in which it will impact businesses.

5 PR lessons from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’
PR Daily
This evening, millions of Americans will turn on their televisions to watch Frank Capra’s holiday masterpiece, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Although never intended to be a Christmas movie, it has become a holiday mainstay ever since it started appearing on TV in the 1970s. I never miss it, and this year, I realized the 1946 film starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed offers some wonderful, yet inadvertent, lessons for those in the public relations industry (or for most industries). Here are a few of the lessons…


The top 10 social media wins of 2013
Social media saw both major changes and massive growth in 2013. Vine was introduced to the world, Twitter went public, and Instagram and Pinterest began to incorporate ads. A lot has happened and a lot more can be expected in 2014. The competition was close, but here are the top 10 wins of 2013 in the ever-changing social media landscape.

Learning a lesson from venture capital
PR Week
Venture capital is going through a marketing renaissance that other financial asset classes could benefit from. As Walter Frick noted in his Harvard Business Review article this week, VC firms produce outsized returns relative to the investments they make and create more jobs per dollar along with each one.

This Just in from Washington: Marketing May Be Illegal
Silly marketers. All day long I listen to them tell how they will, through the wonders of modern data science, get the right message to the right customer at the right time. Their marketing automation and CRM systems will tell them exactly what return to expect on what investment. Their business plans will be sewn tightly with binary code and their worlds will be ensconced in a bright bow, like the neatly wrapped packages they will present to their perfect families at precisely the right hour on Christmas Day. The scientific fact almost all tend to forget is that there are flesh-and-blood people on the receiving ends of their methodical, data-driven appeals and that people are irrational and unpredictable. Some of these people are United States Senators, and they proved their humanity all too plainly yesterday at a hearing of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology investigating data brokers.

2014 Social Media Tricks, Tools & Trends
Search Engine Watch
When it comes to covering the news, getting the visual word out, and capturing the ROI moment, social media proved itself as an influencer in paid, earned, owned, and even traditional media. NBC’s “Today” show joined the social love club with a rebranding and reinventing this year unveiling the #orangeroom. Headed by celebrity host @CarsonDaily, the #orangeroom is a social newsroom within a traditional newsroom, it’s not only part of the physical set of the NBC morning talk show pimped out with everything from sliding high definition monitors with visual social slices of news, but it also increases the reach, power, and influence.

Real-Time Marketing 101: It All Starts With The Trends
Social Media Today
Imagine you are a marketer in 1951. Harry S. Truman is president and Milton Berle is the most famous person on T.V., raking in 80% of all television viewers every night of the week. It’s the dawn of modern mass marketing.What if you were the first marketer to figure out how to use T.V. to sell stuff? You’d probably be in pretty high demand. The potential to sell your products would be effectively limitless.

Weekly B2B Round-Up for Dec. 9, 2013

December 13, 2013 by

Here are the top  business-to-business PR and marketing articles from this week. Hope you enjoy!

Photos, Videos and Infographics: Three Emails Reveal How to Sweeten PR Pitches with Images
Daily Dog
Photos are worth a thousand words—and a great one just might win you 1000 words worth of coverage. The reason: Journalists and bloggers are now not only tasked with covering multiple beats, but most also must track down images for posts or articles (where did all the photo editors go?). While most blogs may plug-and-play images, MSM typically won’t (see below for an example that serves as a refreshing exception to the rule)—but they typically do say that a photo or video helps sweeten the pitch.

B2B Tech Buyers and Content Marketing: Which Assets Are Most Influential, and When?
Marketing Charts
Eccolo Media has released its latest “B2B Technology Content Survey Report” based on 503 respondents responsible for influencing or making technology buying decisions in the 6 months prior to the survey. The study covers a host of content marketing topics – including which collateral types are most frequently consumed and considered most influential – as well as the stages of the sales cycle in which they are perceived to be most persuasive.

Infographic: Email and Mobile Top Small Businesses’ 2014 Wish Lists
With Christmas and New Year’s closing in, many small business professionals are planning to toss out old ways of marketing and embrace the new. So which marketing objectives are at the top of small and medium-sized businesses’ (SMBs) 2014 wish lists? According to the “j2 Global Forecast Survey,” 28.16% of small business professionals say increasing their online presence, such as setting up a website or online store, is a top 2014 marketing priority

Content Marketing 2.0: How To Cut Through The Clutter When Everyone’s A Media Producer
Since the mid-2000s, we’ve been hearing that content marketing – drawing customers to you through the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and more – is the secret to cutting through the oppressively noisy media landscape. Instead of paying for television ads that will only be ignored, you can develop useful ‘evergreen’ content that will earn the attention and gratitude of your customers. That was a winning recipe a few years ago, when content marketing (also known as inbound marketing) was still an anomaly. But is it still as effective now that it’s gaining in popularity, and more and more companies are launching their own efforts?

Why ‘Time Spent’ Is One of Marketing’s Favorite Metrics
Time is money. Time is the enemy. Time is on your side. We talk a lot about time, but the one thing we definitively know about time is there’s never enough. For a marketer, that means you’re going to have to work hard to get a minute or two from a consumer. You need to earn it, so if your site can garner a high time spent, pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Mapping the next frontier in brand storytelling

Mapping the Next Frontier in Brand Storytelling
Content Marketing Institute
What happens when we are all artists, all storytellers, all flooding the ever-expanding array of digital and traditional channels with our brand content and calls to action? Does content marketing — which promised to level the marketing playing field — regress into the inevitable battle of budgets?

Top 10 Social Media Predictions for 2014 (Based on 2013 Moments)
Social Media Today
2013 social media followed a lot of buzz-worthy events – the world got a new pope, a new royal baby, and a new controversial pop star to talk about incessantly. (I think I’ve said “Miley Cyrus” more than my own name lately.) But how we used social media in 2013 is even more impressive than the topics we focused on. These 2014 social media predictions are based on moments when analytics, ads, and content creation drastically changed in the past year.

12 most worthwhile rules for creating incredible content
We all take in massive amounts of content on a daily basis. Even if you’re not a technology junkie and believe in putting away your smartphone during movies and meals, you can’t avoid it. Companies with something to promote produce most of that content. I’m sure you’ve noticed that some of this content is helpful, entertaining, enlightening and thought-provoking. But some of it is downright awful.

Public Shows Less Trust in Corporate America This Year
Marketing Charts
Americans are less likely to perceive large industries as “generally honest and trustworthy” this year, according to a new survey from Harris Interactive. The survey asked respondents which of 19 industries they think are generally honest and trustworthy, such that they would normally believe a statement by a company in that industry. Perceptions of honesty fell in 18 of the 19 industries, with tobacco the only one staying steady from last year – but with just 3% of adults finding the industry trustworthy.

Weekly B2B Round-Up for Dec. 2, 2013

December 6, 2013 by

Here are the top  business-to-business PR and marketing articles from this week. Hope you enjoy!

Marketing to Women a Wise Move by Small Businesses Because Women Hold the Purse Strings, New Research From The Link Agency Finds—Women Are the Major Decision Makers on Most Purchases
Daily Dog
Do you want to sell your products to a population with money and the power to make decisions? Market to women—and use social media if they have kids under 18. According to The Link Agency, that’s the word from several recent studies showing women, especially Moms, are connected and their purchasing power is huge and not going away.

Viral Is Not the Game Point in Complex B2B Sales
Social Media Today
I received an email asking me what I thought of the Van Damme Volvo video that went viral to the tune of 57M views and counting for Volvo Trucks. Volvo created the video to showcase its new precision steering feature on the big rigs. It’s a really good piece. But all anyone can talk about is the number of views and the parodies being made in imitation. What do I think about it?

20 of the Most Important SEO Blogs Online
Business 2 Community
Nowadays every person with a computer, an Internet connection, and an opinion has a blog, declaring themselves an authority on whatever topic or segment of an industry strikes them. What authority on that subject do they really have? Some actually do, but most do not. For the ones that have genuine authority and knowledge, which ones are the best to read? When it comes to SEO blogs, here are 20 of the most important search engine optimization (SEO) blogs available online that you should be reading.

14 ways to reach the media
There! You’ve written that pitch and uploaded that YouTube video about your new gizmo. Now, how to get the attention of the press? Should you tweet reporters? Track them down on LinkedIn? Send an email? Pick up the phone? For those who are having trouble figuring out how to get the attention of overworked reporters, a panel of journalists praised Twitter as an unobtrusive way to reach out.

Big Biz on Small Business Saturday
Small, locally owned businesses rang registers to the tune of nearly $6 billion on Small Business Saturday. Consumers who knew that the day after Black Friday was Small Business Saturday spent an estimated $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, a nearly 4% increase over last year, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express.

Managing Moving Parts: How to Collaborate in the Modern Workplace
Daily Dog
Effective collaboration can lead to increased productivity and improved professional relationships, not to mention better overall results. With 96 percent of executives citing a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures, collaboration should certainly be a priority for most professionals (Source: SalesforceRypple).

Content Marketing Minds: Empowering the Ultimate Content Creation Team
Social Media Today
Maybe you call them ambassadors, fans, or evangelists.  Call them what you will, but understand when people support your brand it means money. More advocates, more sales. And nothing scales quite like word of mouth. Even if you get just a small percentage to plug your products, the ripple effect can be immeasurable.

Holiday parties: What employees really think
With the holiday season kicking off, so is the deluge of stories, articles, and blog posts about the perils of the annual workplace holiday party. I think these kind of events were always difficult to deal with, but they have become even more so in the age of social media—when everything seems to end up on Facebook-and in an era of heightened sensitivities and rampant lawsuits.

BtoB Marketer SAP Not Just Playing Around With Sports Marketing

October 23, 2013 by

The recent news about the SAP, Madison Square Garden marketing agreement should not totally take the BtoB marketing world by surprise, but just 15 years ago who would have thought SAP would partner with the New York Knicks, New York Rangers and Madison Square Garden? While golf, tennis and sailing has long been the mainstay of BtoB sports marketing it’s clear savvy marketers are pushing into more mainstream athletics, arts and entertainment.

Keep an eye open for what’s next. The Atlanta Falcons have a new stadium set to open in time for the 2017 NFL season. Maybe we are in store for Fiserv Field,  SAI Global Stadium , Peak 10 Park, Azalea Arena, Jabian Joint  or Recall Dome.

Have a read for yourself.

SAP, Madison Square Garden form marketing and technology partnership 

New York—SAP and Madison Square Garden announced a marketing and technology partnership, under which SAP becomes a signature partner in MSG’s sports, entertainment and media properties in New York…

Read the full article at BtoB Magazine Online.