It seems like as soon as I wrap my head around Google's latest algorithm update, there's another release that changes the game.
While SEO experts should live in the weeds of these updates to understand the nuances in how Google ranks content, marketers should recognize a few high level SEO trends that drive successful content marketing initiatives.
1. SEO used to be an exercise in optimizing content for spiders. Today, SEO is about optimizing content for the user.
This is an important distinction that should drive every piece of content produced, from how you choose the topic to the words you use to express the idea. Search engines think like people, but for some reason most brands don't speak like people. This is causing a disconnect between the brand and the consumer on every level - in relating to them obviously, but also in just being discoverable. No one searches in corporate speak.
So, how do you do this? Research.
A combination of both keyword research and social listening will show you what words and phrases consumers use. Once the content is written and optimized appropriately for search, the language used in social media should reflect the language used in the content.
The same keywords... Read more
Around the middle of March we started analyzing our traffic with regards to the NCAA 2013 championship. To do that, we chose the top thirteen teams at the time (Gonzaga, Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan, Georgetown, Nashville, Kansas, Louisville, Duke, Miami, St. Mary’s, Kennesaw State and La Salle) and built custom categories for identifying them. DG-Peer39’s system currently crunches about fifty billion requests per day. Each request represents a web page which is about to be delivered to an internet user, which is sent to DG-Peer39 for analysis.
We enabled the system to identify web pages referencing each of the teams specifically in the context of basketball. These pages were automatically analyzed on a deep semantic level across three dimensions: safety, quality and topic. These massive amounts of analyzed traffic also provide us with a unique opportunity to glean insights and intelligence on current internet trends at large.
The graph below shows the request volume we received for each of the teams, as a fraction of the total number of March-Madness requests. The percentages are the relative share of each team in the total requests.
To further analyze this data, we sampled several tens of thousands of random webpages referencing Michigan and Louisville, the... Read more
Now that we know targeting is all about understanding how one behaves, versus who they are (see my previous post), the term ‘personalization’ should take on a whole new meaning. If your marketing approach is smart enough to define and monitor individual customer behaviors, then the delivery of personalized offers should follow suit.
THE MYTH: Segmentation equals personalization.
Does everyone who falls into a certain behavioral profile have the same needs and wants at any given time? Most likely not.
Although the availability of dynamic customer data is helping mobile marketers shift their focus from demographical profiles to behavioral ones, there’s still an all too common practice that stands in the way of true personalization.
You probably know it well. It’s segmentation.
You track and analyze how different customer behaviors impact desired actions. You define behavioral profiles, i.e. high spenders, moderate users, balance hoarders, etc. You identify segments of customers based on these profiles. You send offers to each segment.
That’s personalization, right? Well, not exactly.
What about the behaviors that someone displays before they become a ‘moderate user’? Or the predicted behaviors that may alter this classification? What about the customer’s current context? Or their motivations for action after receiving an initial offer? What about... Read more