- Posted on 10 May 2016
Friends of Search 2016: The State of Digital
With over 20 keynote speakers and a sold out event, the 2016 edition of Friends of Search was bigger than ever. The sociable foyer and the two halls at the industrial Kromhouthal in Amsterdam were packed with search professionals from all over the world.
Selling Content Marketing by adding expected value
More often than not, metrics are being sold as results. Not only in Content Marketing, but overall in Search. Many online marketers are thrilled with these metrics, but they don’t sell your ideas. Especially when you deal with managers or a board of directors. Wil Reynolds, Founder and Director of Digital Strategy at SEER Interactive, elaborates: “What doesn’t connect to revenue, doesn’t get funded.” Tools can help you to calculate the expected revenue of your campaigns.
Content is getting more personal
In the past, many brands created heaps of content to improve their SEO. Nowadays content is there to answer questions of your target group or to intensify your brand identity. This ‘always relevant’ content is called evergreen content. Lauren Pope from Brilliant Noise stresses the importance for brands being present during the entire customer journey. Preferably with multichannel content that connects with the needs and habits of your audience at the moment of their decision making process. That way, your brand connects to the customer online.
Stacey Macnaught from Techmark adds that, since 2011, Content Marketers use data to make strong content. This data can be: a survey (for own customers or executed by a research agency), owned data (for example review data or Web Analytics data) or the use of the freedom of information act of government institutions. Stories are more likely to be told, not just numbers and figures. Good data, a compelling story and a linkable asset are key to getting great coverage and links while still being creative. The compelling story usually comes with a human, relatable or humorous aspect.
Improving Quality Score
A remarkable story during Friends of Search came from Joris Verwater (Vergelijk.nl). We all want to keep our Quality Scores as high as possible, but Verwater told us something new. At Vergelijk.nl, a Dutch comparison website, they made three adjustments to raise their Quality Scores: firstly, they improved landing pages, next, they adjusted the account structure, and lastly, they deleted all keywords without any impressions. We thought that the last adjustment was especially interesting. This adjustment seemed to have the most effect for Vergelijk.nl. Keywords with a low Quality Score have a negative effect on the other keywords in the same ad groups. According to Google, keywords do not influence other keywords’ Quality Scores, but for Vergelijk.nl, this appeared to be the case.
We don’t go online, we live online
According to Karen Carbonez (Google), we are online 24/7: on our laptops, tablets, and smartphones. That’s exactly what’s interesting, as because of this we can see where people are at a given moment. When you have that knowledge, you can combine online and offline data. That is what Google’s new feature ‘Store Visits’ (beta) does: this feature uses store location, Wi-Fi signals, and location history. In this way, all data is available to measure if people who have seen a shop’s ad, are going to the physical store within a certain period as well.
A multi-screen, multi-channel world
Another useful feature of Google is Dynamic Search Advertising (DSA). In this multi-screen, multi-channel world we live in, it is a challenge to stay relevant. Therefore, it is important to respond to the demand in a relevant way. Through DSA you can create simpler and more transparent ads, targeted on a part of a URL, and therefore you can target people in a more specific way. That saves time and creates more efficient ads.
Combine social media with search engines
According to Larry Kim (Wordstream), it’s very interesting to combine your social media ads with search engine ads. Brendan Almach and Ciaran Murphy (Wolfgang Digital) also agree with this. They support targeting people who have reached a website via Facebook, through RLSA’s (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) on Google Search. RLSA’s create awareness with website visitors. Additionally, it increases interest with Facebook traffic. Almach and Murphy also argue that those who have bought a product before are more likely to take action through RLSA’s. Finally, it creates loyalty among returning visitors.
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