The Week in Search & Social for Aug. 25by Anvil on August 25, 2011Adwords
Another double-dose of search engine & social media news, as we had a number of folks out of the office last, with the biggest news probably being (1) changes to Facebook privacy policies and (2) a significant change to how Google displays organic sitelinks.
- Latest Display Benchmarks Now Available – Among the takeaways:
- Use of rich media ad formats have doubled, from 9% in 2009 to 18% in 2011.
- Response and engagement rates have been holding steady since 2009, with overall click-through rate at around 0.09%.
- Larger ad sizes tend to generate greater response. The half-page ad unit (300×600) had the highest CTR, interaction rate and expansion rates.
- Google Learn – Business and/or site owners just getting their feet wet may find Google Learn interesting — a new site offering an overview off all the many ways Google can help you get off the ground.
- Facebook Lets Advertisers Do Topic Targeting – Likely in line with their recent automatic grouping of posts, Facebook is now letting advertisers combine overlapping precise interests for easier targeting.
- Facebook’s New Zip Code Targeting Doubles CTR – Facebook API tool provider Blinq Media reports that the new zip code targeting feature for Facebook Ads have nearly double the click-through-rate than city-targeted ads, and a higher frequency per use cap.
- Yahoo Traffic Data in Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing Webmaster Tools will now be showing integrated data from Yahoo within certain areas and reports. Major changes are that impressions and clicks will increase based on combined data and CTR may change accordingly.
- How to Optimize for Google Expanded Sitelinks – Check out this quick tip to ensure your new expanded sitelinks effectively represent your brand.
- Google Launches Related Tool – Through a Chrome plugin or Toolbar feature, Google Related will show you other sites related to what you’re currently viewing. Related send URL and other info back to Google to generate the suggested sites, and includes +1 functionality.
- Organic sitelinks have expanded – First position organic sitelinks now take up significantly more real estate on the universal results page, and include part of the meta description of the page.
- The latest update to Google Social Search: Public Google+ Posts – SERPs now including public Google+ posts. If you’re signed into your Google Account, your search results may start including posts shared publicly by people you’re connected to on Google+.
- IAB Opposes Top Level Domains – The Internet Advertising Board has called for ICANN to stop its development of top-level domains (.hotel, .pepsi, etc), citing it’s high cost and opportunity for squatters.
- Tracking Internal Site Campaigns in GA: NEVER use utm tracking for internal campaigns (banners on the homepage) because it will mess up your external traffic sources. Instead, add parameters to your links dedicated for internal campaigns and set these up as the site search parameter.
- Multi-Channel funnels launch in GA: Found under the “My Conversions” tab in the new GA interface, provides reports on top conversion paths, assisted conversions, time lag & path length.
- Twitter Referral Traffic Change – All URLs greater than 20 characters posted on Twitter or any Twitter client will be wrapped in the t.co domain.
- 5 Things You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Privacy Settings (taking place Aug 25)
- Tag people you don’t know & pages you don’t “like”
- Control who tags you & who tags your post
- Determine who sees your posts at the time you post it
- More choices when you “de-tag”
- See what your profile looks like to others
- Google Begins Verifying Google+ Accounts – Google has started adding small verification badges to certain Google+ accounts. Verification right now is focused on:
- Public figures
- People who have been “added to a large number of circles”
- Foursquare Launches Tip Lists – Users and brands are now able to bundle together sets of tips about places in themed lists, creating trusted and unique guides for their niche.
- 4 Ways Non-Profits Can Use Google+ – Even before organization can have official pages, Google+ can still be useful for non-profit personnel including using Huddle to communicate with volunteers.
- 9 Reasons Your Blog Isn’t Bringing You Clients – #3: You’re writing for your peers and not for your clients.
- Up For A Game Of Klout? – Klout is a game. Nothing more. Nothing less. Playing Klout requires no real skill, it is easy to play. It’s also easy to “win.”
Local Search Engine Optimization
- Boost Ad Buries A-Business Listing: Not According to Google – If you are running AdWords Express ads they could replace your top organic ranking position.
- Places Blackhat Playground – Reported To Be Closed – Users flagging competition locations as “closed” in Google Places when they actually aren’t.
- Shop Your Favorite Catalogs with Google Catalogs – Google Catalogs (iPad app) allows users to shop, search, browse, save products, interact with products. Interested merchants, fill out this form.
- Mobile Has Fundamentally Changed Holiday Shopping – It is predicted that 70% of smartphone users will use their phones for holiday shopping this year (research, instore, shopping on the go, etc.).
- LinkedIn Audiences Highly Engaged – Data showing how often LinkedIn users return to LinkedIn and participate in groups. Over 60% return to LinkedIn multiple times per week, and over 30% every day. 81% say they belong to groups, and 52% of those participate in regular group discussions.
- How B2B SEO Fits Into Lead Management Optimization – Excellent article outlining how the impact of SEO is directly proportional to the success of a company’s lead nurturing campaigns. Moreover, SEO can help nurture prospects along by ensuring that when they search for company whitepapers and/or presentations, they’re easily found in the search engines.
- B2B Tactics: Maximizing Marketing Efforts in a Tough Economy – Great overview of the best rated tactics for B2B marketers to generate leads, based on data from MarketingSherpa’s B2B Marketing Benchmark Report. SEO, webinars and PPC are some of the top stated tactics.
- 8 Questions to Answer When Developing a Formal B2B SEO Approach – Most B2B companies (over 65%) either have no formal SEO process in place or a very informal one. This article outlines what questions must be answered to put a formal plan in place that increases the chances of success. Ensuring top-level support and understanding by other department heads is key.
- Subdomains vs Directories – Different Options in organizing your website and creating URL’s that can pay dividends for your SEO.
- Adobe Muse – Adobe has released a new product beta in hopes to eliminate coding for users in website development.
- Millennial Media Releases 50th SMART Report – Highlights:
- Mobile ad revenue is expected to increase from 3.3 billion in 2011 to over 20 billion in 2015
- 19% of advertisers are targeting mobile by demographics, 20% by local market
- 52% of mobile campaigns drive traffic to the site, 25% to a custom landing page, and 23% to an application download.
- Who is suing who in the mobile patent wars [INFOGRAPHIC] – Fun infographic seeing who is suing who over the latest mobile technology.
- Recent QR Code Survey – comScore published their recent QR code user suvery, which revealed some interesting insights: only 6.2% of all mobile users have scanned a code, about half of those were on a magazine or newspaper, and 58% said they scanned them at home.
- 14 million Americans scanned QR codes in June 2011 – The most likely demographic groups to scan QR codes: men, age 25-35, income over 100k.
- Will Google’s Acquisition of Motorola Mobility be Good for Android? – It made all the headlines this week, but will Google’s purchase of Motorola Mobility benefit the Android OS in the long-term?