Tag Archives: CONTENT

Smart shopping season checklists: Mobile and desktop, content and SEO

Constantly changing consumer behaviors and the demand for more personalized, meaningful experiences have retailers facing huge challenges this year.

Competition in the SERPs is stiff, but winning the click is still no guarantee that the consumer is invested in your shopping experience.

More than half of retailers (source: Soasta.com) have a bounce rate greater than 40%, and just one second in increased page load time can have a 50% impact on your mobile bounce rate. Today’s consumer has zero patience for a poor online experience and will pull the trigger instantly if your brand can’t deliver.

The holidays provide plenty of opportunities to create more personalized content and provide smart content and intelligent experiences both in-store and online. How can you best get in position this holiday season to not only be found, but to engage and delight consumers all the way through, from search to checkout?

Below, I share some tips to help marketers in the coming weeks to get their SEO and content in shape for the holidays (and beyond).

Smart holiday shopping

The holiday shopping season provides a great opportunity for marketers to get smarter about the way they develop and promote content. As SEO and content marketing disciplines converge, the need for smart content has become mission critical. Smart content is discoverable, optimized from the point of creation, and ready to be activated across channels and devices, making it both profitable and measurable.

New research (disclosure – carried out by my company, BrightEdge) shows that ecommerce behavior changes dramatically on major shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On these days, conversion spikes. Interestingly, online conversion rates increase across desktop, tablet and mobile increase from Thanksgiving to Black Friday and into Cyber Monday. Going into the holiday season, it is good to know that:

  • On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, conversion is double what it normally is
  • Cyber Monday conversion is higher than Black Friday conversion by 10%
  • Desktop takes 67% of overall conversions during the holiday season, with desktop traffic converting at a significantly higher rate than mobile visits.

When it comes down to making that final decision, consumers still like to see what they’re buying, and all of the information surrounding it, on a larger screen.

It is important to note though that our data suggests an earlier holiday shopping season, too, and that consumers were making their big purchase on Thanksgiving and then using discounts to buy things they would have purchased already but with big discounts. Hence the higher conversion rates for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Read the full report (ungated) for more findings from our research.

As you get ready for the holiday shopping season, make sure that you:

  • Create content that meets your customers’ needs at various points in their journey
  • Develop SMART content and engage audiences with plenty of content about upcoming deals and specials, holiday wish list must-haves and similar content published on your website or blog
  • Ensure that your mobile configuration is correct
  • Add images, icons, buttons and specific (seasonal offerings) calls-to-action as part of the experience
  • Set up your mobile analytics so it reports key metrics separately from desktop data
  • Maintain rank for your high value keywords by creating helpful, consultative evergreen content
  • Double-check your SEO strategy to make sure your content is optimized for organic discovery. Start with these 5 aspects of technical SEO you can’t neglect
  • Ensure that optimize desktop, mobile and tablet strategies and connect them along the buyers journey – from discover and engagement through to final purchase.

Maximize your organic presence throughout the holiday season

Schema markup helps you structure your on-page data in a way that it can be better understood by search engines. As we all know, Google’s #1 goal is to provide searchers the best answers to their needs. Schema helps you show Google all of the ways in which your site content is the best answer for relevant queries.

Schema can help you win extra visibility in the SERPs, too, with expanded results and extra features like Google’s Quick Answers box. It can help you add compelling content like ratings and other rich information that convince searchers to convert to site visitors. At the very least, check these off your list in your pre-holidays marketing prep:

  • Optimize key pages for Quick Answers and mark up accordingly
  • Mark up events you’re hosting in-store and online for inclusion in the Google Events SERP feature
  • Use structured data markup to define business attributes including your NAP (name, address, phone), business type, hours, latitude and longitude, and more
  • Make sure your product pages are marked up so reviews show in the SERPs. This is critical, as 61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision, and 63% of shoppers are more likely to buy if there are product reviews (iPerceptions)
  • Put the most important ecommerce attributes to work for you. Add pricing and availability to your rich snippets, to help consumers make a decision quickly and avoid in-store or online store disappointment after the click
  • Check for common schema errors like typos or incorrect capitalization, and use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure you’ve implemented your markup correctly.

Supplement your SEO strategy and deliver a relevant holiday shopping experience

Your PPC and SEO budgets shouldn’t be pitted against one another during holiday season, each fighting it out for their share of the pie. Organic search drives 51 percent of all visits to B2B and B2C websites, and it is important to use PPC to support your SEO efforts; to fill in the gaps in organic coverage and further your conversion opportunities for specific time sensitive promotions.

Ad extensions can give your ads greater functionality and more visibility, while targeting options like dayparting and device targeting reduce waste and get you in front of your ideal audiences when it matters most. And remember, when it comes to site visits, desktop dominates on Cyber Monday, mobile on Black Friday, and tablets on Thanksgiving Day.

These insights can help you tailor your ads and bids to the most receptive audiences on each major shopping day this season. How else can you improve your PPC game in time for the holidays?

  • Accelerate conversions and sales with targeted campaigns aligned with your content strategy or featured products
  • Focus your organic search efforts on aligning with consumer intent, and use PPC to tap into queries that indicate imminent purchase behavior
  • Take advantage of the second holiday shopping rush by advertising post-holiday sales over the holiday week, when many people are off work and traveling
  • Use social PPC (Facebook and Twitter Ads) to get your ads in front of super granular, targeted audiences in the moments that matter most
  • Make best use of each of the Bing Ads and Google AdWords features available to you, including targeting options and various ad formats that can help you stand out in the SERPs
  • Deliver an optimal experience after the click by following through on the promise of ads with a seamless shopping experience.

Optimize for experience to improve conversion

Your number one priority in conversion optimization this holiday season has to be mapping your content to the customer journey, then aligning this to the days that matter most for revenue. It’s not all about Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday; Thanksgiving Day might actually be your best day for revenue generation.

Run through this checklist in the holidays lead-up to turn more of your lookers into buyers:

  • Test and analyze your shopping cart and checkout experience via a mobile device
  • Use your category pages to guide users, who are often undecided about the exact product they’ll purchase, towards your product pages and ultimately, a decision
  • Address user uncertainty on-page by answering frequently asked questions where it actually matters: on category and product pages. Consumers won’t go digging for information on shipping, return policies, etc.
  • Provide social proof by way of embedded reviews on product pages. Consumers want to see what types of experiences others are having with your brand and products before they’ll commit to purchase
  • Examine conversion rates by page speed, and optimize for a more efficient shopping experience. Load only your best converting image on page load and use interaction triggers to add other items as needed.

The holiday shopping season provides great opportunities to create more personalized content and provide intelligent experiences both at the store and online.

To maximize performance, marketers need to focus on understanding and creating smart content and shopping experiences to attract, engage and convert customers at the right time and on the right device.

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5 steps to making your content smarter

The convergence of SEO and content has been a driving force in marketing for the past few years.

A recent survey conducted by my company, BrightEdge, found that 97% of marketers view these two areas as converged disciplines.

Given that 51 percent of the traffic arriving on your website is likely from organic search, I believe that the growing understanding of the integration between these two formerly separate silos is an essential transition.

Despite this rise in understanding, however, a prominent problem remains: many marketers still struggle to get their content consumed by their target audience. BrightEdge found that a full 71 percent of marketers report that less than half of their content has been used by their target audience.

This problem not only causes tremendous frustration for brands, it also results in countless wasted work hours as well as unnecessary spending. It is time for marketers to take a more intelligent, smart approach to content marketing.

Smart content is:

  1. Discoverable: Easily found
  2. Optimized: From point of creation
  3. Profitable: Measurable

To improve content performance, brands need to stop producing content for content’s sake and instead produce smart content: content that is better suited to what users want to read, and is prepared for the SERP so those targeted users can find and engage with the material.

Smart content improves the effectiveness and ROI of the material produced by making itself more discoverable and consumable.

The data marketers gather from search can provide invaluable information about what target audiences search for and what they want to read. Through looking at this data, marketers can identify trends as well as consistently popular topics that their target audience will want to engage with in posts and articles. Data provides key insights on consumer intent and the topics marketers need to produce content that serves this audience.

When content is optimized for SEO before it goes live on the web, it will be prepared for searchers and rank higher on the SERP from the moment of publication.

This improves its overall performance and therefore the worth provided for the brand. During the content creation process, data provides insights into the customer discovery process and what different types of content are most likely to be consumed.

Smart content in context

Smart content is about taking the financial investment that companies make in their content development and channeling it towards a more effective and data-driven strategy. It is different to the content that brands already produce, because it builds off of brands’ improved awareness of customer intent signals and how site visitors interact with the content that organizations produce.

Over the past few years, the technology and capabilities involved in marketing have increased tremendously. Even on the SERP itself, we can see an impressive improvement in the ability to understand the types of content that users likely want to see, from videos to Quick Answers to images.

The better brands can similarly interpret these intent signals, the easier it becomes to produce the content that will rank highly and drive the ROI that marketers want to see.

Smart content allows marketers to publish material that is ready for the search engines right from the moment it hits the web, and propelling more traffic, engagement, and profitability. Marketers who learn how to integrate this strategy into their content creation process will have an improved understanding of what the customer wants to read, integrating their efforts across all facets of marketing.

The content will also be optimized from the moment of its creation, and therefore, the content will perform. Brands will be able to engage their readers across devices and channels, driving revenue and building the organizations.

5 steps to making your content smarter

5 steps to smarter content

1. Understand who

Make sure you know exactly who you will target with your content. Smart content revolves around creating precisely the right content for the right audience at the right time.

To tap into the immense wealth found in the consumer and market data that will allow you to accomplish this goal, you must first know exactly whom you want to target so that you can identify and develop the topics and ideas that will interest them.

2. Know what

Know what they want to read. Once you have identified your target audience, you next need to accurately gauge what they want to read. Look at what the search data tells you about topics of interest and rising trends.

3. Bake in optimization

Develop SEO-enabled content from creation that is ready to deliver across all devices.

With SEO and content converged into a single portion of the digital marketing process, all content produced should be optimized right from production so that no content needs to be re-optimized later, empowering it to rank as highly as possible from the first time it is crawled. This will increase the effectiveness and impact of the material created.

4. Measure

Measure everything about your content, aligning KPIs with your business goals and see how customers interact with your material. Data and measurement remains a key capability for successful smart content creation. Know the goal you want to accomplish with your content, such as visitor rates, rankings, or conversions, and define KPIs that will allow you to measure impact.

5. Adapt and repeat

Focus on the content that drives performance, adjusting strategies to better align with your predetermined goals as the metrics are measured. Smart content means improving effectiveness and efficiency.

Content and topics that consistently do not drive value should be reduced in the content plan while the content that does perform well is rewarded with expansion. Use the metrics to better understand how your individual customers react to the content and use those insights to drive content strategies.

Following these five steps will help you produce the right amount of content that delivers the right results.

How indie publishers can monetize in the shadow of Facebook and Google

With multinational technological companies Google and Facebook conquering the field of online advertising revenue, many smaller companies and indie publishers are left wondering where they’ll end up in the digital world – if they’ll end up anywhere at all.

According to data recently released by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, digital advertising revenue in the U.S. increased by 20% in the past year. This puts the American digital ad revenue at a record of $72.5 billion.

Unfortunately for smaller companies, the vast majority of online advertising revenue is coming from tech giants Google and Facebook.

The duopoly of the digital advertising industry

Because the specific ad-only revenues of Facebook and Google aren’t disclosed, the exact calculations of revenue aren’t available. However, Jason Kint of Digital Content Next, a publishing industry trade group, reported in June 2016 that Google and Facebook accounted for a grand total of 89% of the digital ad growth.

Additional calculations made by Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser indicate that the percentage of digital ad growth consumed by Google and Facebook may very well be closer to 99%.

In either case, Google and Facebook together are proving to be a concern for the U.S. digital ad market. With Google and Facebook out of the picture of beneficial growth, Wieser said, “the average growth rate for every other company in the sector was close to 0.”

“The big point is that if Google and Facebook are the primary interfaces to buyers, over the long-run they own the relationships and the related data. Every partner they work with is subservient.”

The digital advertising industry controls much of what Internet users see online, which is what helped spur what’s been called the fake news crisis. Both Facebook and Google were allegedly used by a propaganda group called Internet Research Agency based in St. Petersburg to place various fake news articles around Facebook news feeds and above YouTube channel videos.

The power these two tech giants have is reflected in the fact that many marketing agencies are still reluctant to pull their advertising from Facebook and Google despite questions of brand safety, credibility, and ad placement.

“The entire advertising world is very anxious,” said Mike Paul, an independent expert, to NBC News. “But few will admit publicly that the negative news is affecting Facebook because it is the 800-pound gorilla globally for ad and media buyers.”

Regardless of the high rates of success in digital ad revenue, Facebook CFO David Wehner has warned that the company’s own ad revenue growth will slow in the second half of this year. This is because, Wehner says, Facebook will eventually run out of places to set digital advertisements in its online feed.

However, any significant decrease in online advertising revenue is unlikely.

Facebook has been investing recently in video content for both Facebook and Instagram. The company has also been working to increase revenue based on its messaging apps, which are currently the most popular messaging platforms internationally with WhatsApp hosting up to 1 billion users every day and Facebook Messenger hosting 1.2 billion users every month.

What’s more is that Facebook’s ad spots have been increasing in price despite the lack of ad placement options. “As Facebook’s ad inventory becomes more constrained,” said Jan Dawson, a principal analyst at Jackdaw Research, “the price of ad slots on Facebook is going up.”

How publishers can survive in the war for online advertising revenue

With Google and Facebook essentially swallowing the vast majority, if not all, of digital ad revenue growth, publishers have to look elsewhere to earn revenue. Fortunately, publishers have a great place to monetize: Organic traffic.

The secret is well known at this point. Many businesses have experienced substantial growth using organic promotion and search engine optimization. Those who wade into this strategy start by creating very high-quality content and onsite optimization. They soon learn that promotion needs major attention. One specific technical aspect of SEO, backlinking, requires extra special effort.  

Getting good backlinks is where many companies hit a brick wall in the SEO process. This is especially true after the Penguin updates of 2013, when many websites saw large drops in rankings as Google “cleaned house” and penalized sites with poor backlink profiles.

The fear of Google’s SEO updates may be valid, and caution is wise, but Google assured us in 2016 that link-devaluing will now be done in “real-time,” guaranteeing that Google won’t build and then destroy a business.

The solution to the “backlinking problem”

The key to growing organic traffic and surviving SEO updates is to promote your website in the most natural way possible. But what does that really mean? Google is notoriously vague on this and issues statements of “intent” in their Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, your primary intent needs to be providing valuable and informative content to your audience, not manipulating the search engine results.

This means that the quality — and often the quantity — of backlinks are important signals to Google. Google relies on trust. Betraying that trust by taking shortcuts on quality  makes your website appear spammy and unhelpful.

To improve your SEO ranking by earning backlinks, consider Google’s official backlink guidelines. Opt out of tactics like using irrelevant keywords, writing scraped or unoriginal content, and using crafty redirects. Instead, consider making your web page user-friendly with high-quality content and don’t try to trick your users.

Build relationships with high-authority websites that will naturally reference each other when publishing. Position your brand as a go-to resource that people want to share with others. If you do outsource link building, be sure you know what they are doing and they meet your standards.

Conclusion

With Google and Facebook consuming nearly all digital ad revenue in 2016, the pressure being placed on indie publishers to find ways to survive in the digital marketing world is cumbersome. And the idea of using organic strategies to promote a business website in the shadow of Google’s success may seem daunting.

But if indie publishers promote their websites using high-quality strategies as well as by following Google’s guidelines, they will have little fear that Google will bring the hammer down.

Digital ad revenue may not be as high for indie publishers as it is for Google and Facebook, but the chance of survival in the digital world for these publishers isn’t completely lost as long as they heed Google’s guidelines.

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Duplicate content FAQ: What is it, and how should you deal with it?

There are a few questions that have been confusing the SEO industry for many years. No matter how many times Google representatives try to clear the confusion, some myths persist.

One such question is the widely discussed issue of duplicate content. What is it, are you being penalized for it, and how can you avoid it?

Let’s try to clear up some of the confusion by answering some frequently-asked (or frequently-wondered) questions about duplicate content.

How can you diagnose a duplicate content penalty?

It’s funny how some of the readers of this article are rolling their eyes right now reading the first subheading. But let’s deal with this myth first thing.

There is no duplicate content penalty. None of Google’s representatives has ever confirmed the existence of such a penalty; there were no algorithmic updates called “duplicate content”; and there can never be such a penalty because in the overwhelming number of cases, duplicate content is a natural thing with no evil intent behind that. We know that, and Google knows that.

Still, lots of SEO experts keep “diagnosing” a duplicate content “penalty” when they analyze every other website.

Duplicate content is often mentioned in conjunction with updates like Panda and Fred, but it is used to identify bigger issues, i.e. thin or spammy (“spun”, auto-generated, etc.) and stolen (scraped) content.

Unless you have the latter issue, a few instances of duplicate content throughout your site cannot cause an isolated penalty.

Google keeps urging website owners to focus on high-quality expert content, which is your safest bet when it comes to avoiding having your pages flagged as a result of thin content.

You do want to handle your article republishing strategy carefully, because you don’t want to confuse Google when it comes to finding the actual source of the content. You don’t want to have your site pages filtered when you republish your article on an authoritative blog. But if it does happen, chances are, it will not reflect on how Google treats your overall site.

In short, duplicate content is a filter, not a penalty, meaning that Google has to choose one of the URLs with non-original content and filter out the rest.

So should I just stop worrying about internal duplicate content then?

In short, no. It’s like you don’t want to ignore a recurring headache: it’s not that a headache is a disease on its own, but it may be a symptom of a more serious condition, so you want to clear those out or treat them if there are any.

Duplicate content may signal some structural issues within your site, preventing Google from understanding what they should rank and what matters most on your site. And generally, while Google is getting much better at understanding how to handle different instances of the same content within your site, you still don’t want to ever confuse Google.

Internal duplicate content may signal a lack of original content on your site too, which is another problem you’ll need to deal with.

Google wants original content in their SERPs for obvious reasons: They don’t want their users to land on the same content over and over again. That’s a bad user experience. So Google will have to figure out which non-unique pages they want to show to their users and which ones to hide.

That’s where a problem can occur: The more pages on your site have original content, the more Google positions they may be able to appear at throughout different search queries.

If you want to know whether your site has any internal duplicate content issues, try using tools like SE Ranking, which crawls your website and analyzes whether there are any URLs with duplicate content Google may be confused about:

How does Google choose which non-original URLs to rank and which to filter out?

You’d think Google would want to choose the more authoritative post (based on various signals including backlinks), and they probably do.

But what they also do is choose the shorter URL when they find two more pages with identical URLs:

Duplicate content FAQ: What is it, and how should you deal with it?

How about international websites? Can translated content pose a duplicate content issue?

This question was addressed by Matt Cutts back in 2011. In short, translated content doesn’t pose any duplicate content issues even if it’s translated very closely to the original.

There’s one word of warning though: Don’t publish automated translation using tools like Google Translate because Google is very good at identifying those. If you do so, you run into risk of having your content labeled as spammy.

Use real translators whom you can find using platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and Preply. You can find high-quality translators and native speakers there on a low budget.

Duplicate content FAQ: What is it, and how should you deal with it?

Look for native speakers in your target language who can also understand your base language

You are also advised to use the hreflang attribute to point Google to the actual language you are using on a regional version of your website.

How about different versions of the website across different localized domains?

This can be tricky, because it’s not easy to come up with completely different content when putting up two different websites with the same products for the US and the UK, for example. But you still don’t want Google to choose.

Two workarounds:

  • Focus on local traditions, jargon, history, etc. whenever possible
  • Choose the country you want to focus on from within Search Console for all localized domains except .com.

There’s another old video from Matt Cutts which explains this issue and the solution:

Are there any other duplicate-content-related questions you’d like to be covered? Please comment below!

How to write blog headlines that drive search traffic

Content marketing is a highly viable digital marketing strategy, designed to attract and drive traffic to your website or specific landing pages.

But you could be the best writer and still not attract qualified readers (or worse, any at all). The importance of an effective, attractive headline cannot be overstated.

Think of your audiences as hunters and gatherers. They’re constantly scanning and searching online for what they need. And most of the time they don’t find it.

A good headline that catches their attention and entices them to click through to read the rest solves their problem – and creates coveted lead generation opportunities for you.

Make headline writing (and perfection) a key component of your content marketing strategy. Follow these simple rules and you’ll appeal to audiences as well as search engines.

1. Use keywords

But just one. Including keywords in your headlines is important, as major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing will place more emphasis on the versus the content itself. It might be tempting to create a witty headline, but save it for print.

If it doesn’t contain any context about the blog’s main message, there’s a good chance it will get buried in your website – and certainly won’t be found by a search engine.

2. Appeal to emotions

According to Copyblogger, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest (sad, but true).

You have one chance to get your reader to click; using power words will help. The Headline Analyzer tool from CoSchedule recommends using a balance of common, uncommon, emotional and power words to captivate your audience. Phrases like “what happens when” and “you need to” compel readers to discover the benefit of the article.

Which brings us to…

3. Be clear – and avoid clickbait

You’re working so hard to build trust with your audience – through everything you do. Don’t ruin it with a misleading headline just to get people to read a piece of content.

Consider the headline of this article. It is direct and to the point, letting you know exactly what you’ll learn from reading the piece. Headlines that let readers know they will find a solution to their problems, learn how to do something or receive an answer to their question provide a known benefit.

A confusing or unclear headline, on the other hand, could result in a prospective reader exiting your page and moving onto the next search result because they didn’t find the information they were looking for, also known as a “bounce.” While Google may not use bounce rate as a ranking factor, it means that the user won’t be discovering any of the other great content that’s on your site, let alone converting or doing anything else there.

4. Know your audience

What type of information is your target audience likely to be searching for? The best headlines are ones your audience will find value in because they’re focused on their wants and needs.

There are formulas to help with this: (definition + guide to + action + keyword + promise). An example headline made using this guide could be: “A free guide to designing successful infographics for B2B companies“.

5. Think in numbers

A list is often more compelling, because readers then have a clearer idea of what to expect. For example, “3 ways to attract more customers” or “5 healthy foods you should be eating for breakfast” lets readers know exactly what to expect from the article and delivers a benefit in a compelling manner. They also signal to readers whether they’re about to read a lengthy or brief article.

According to research by Outbrain, odd numbers attract on average a 20% higher click rate than even numbers, as the asymmetry makes them more likely to grab the reader’s attention.

6. Use words that captivate

In addition to strong keywords, using positive adjectives can also increase engagement. Try using words like “free,” “easy,” and “new” which generate more audience engagement. (Who doesn’t love free, easy and new information?)

Another best practice is to use phrases that suggest urgency, specificity and exclusivity, because readers want to get the “scoop” on information before anyone else.

7. Keep it short and sweet

Lastly, keeping the headline short enables your target audience to read the headline quickly, improving its chances of getting noticed before others. Email subject lines have their own specific guidelines too, but keep email in mind when crafting article headlines. If you’re sharing your blog posts via email newsletter, recipients will only see the first half of a sentence in the preview text.

The world of blogging is competitive, but search rankings make it easier for readers to find your content – and the answers they’re looking for.

Of course, the list above isn’t the holy grail of headline writing; there are additional strategies you might try in order to increase the effectiveness of your headlines, and in turn, improve your click-through rate and overall ROI. But you need to start somewhere.

Incorporate these practices into your regular blogging strategy, and you’ll start seeing more mileage from your content.

Still doing guest blogging? Keep these 4 tips in mind

A lot of people still rely on guest blogging as an ongoing part of their link-building strategy.

If you think about it, getting links through guest blogging is much easier than getting links through some other channel.

So it’s no wonder that a lot of bloggers and SEO experts still favor this method. The main question is, are these guest post links still safe and viable?

The answer is yes.

It is still possible to build our link portfolio by contributing on authoritative websites. However, there are certain rules that we need to follow in order to avoid any issues with Google.

Guest blogging 101

One of the beautiful things about guest blogging is that it gives us the opportunity to score some great links from high-tier websites.

To be honest, we probably couldn’t have gotten those links with any other method. This is why guest blogging is always worth bearing in mind as a link-building strategy.

But, we need to be very selective when choosing the websites we guest post for.

Although guest blogging can be carried out on a large scale, you should probably avoid it. This method is optimal in small dosages while cooperating with the biggest domains.

Google trusts authoritative domains. If they notice that your links are coming only from reputable sources, they will not impose a penalty. However…

1) Careful not to overdo it!

The biggest problem with guest blogging is that people tend to overdo it.

Your articles should be coming from various sources, with different anchors. If your only source of inbound links is from guest articles, Google will notice this pattern and you will soon get into trouble.

Instead, you should choose your battles carefully. You need to diversify your link profile.

If you already decide to do some guest posting, make sure it counts. Otherwise you’ll waste all that time you spent building up relationships and writing your posts – with only a Google penalty to show for it.

2) Focus on quality

This is where most people go wrong.

Google assesses the articles from which you are getting links. If the article is of high quality, your link will also be regarded as a quality one.

This makes sense, right? After all, why would anyone bother creating a great piece only to place crappy links throughout?

So when you put together a guest post, make sure it’s a good one.

After creating their own article, people try to promote it by writing guest posts. These guest posts will usually be of much lower quality and they will have the same regurgitated content which you published on your own blog.

By doing this, not only are you getting a devalued link, but you are also endangering your original piece. Google will flag up the regurgitated versions of your article as possible duplicate content. And because there are any number of similar, low-quality pieces out there online, it may conclude that your article is low-quality as well.

Everything you create has to be unique and to provide value to the reader. When you write a guest post, ask yourself: would I link to this piece?

If the answer is yes, you are in the clear.

3) Add images, links and formatting

As I mentioned, each guest post you make needs to be distinctive. Even if you are employing this strategy on a larger scale, at least make sure that everything you create is a separate entity.

One of the best ways to differentiate articles is by using varied formatting.

Blogs always have use different fonts and that is something you have no control over. But you have the ability to break up paragraphs and add things like bullet points, subheadings, block quotes and more. These increase the readability of your piece, and also make it easier for search engines to crawl it and interpret the content.

Another way to improve the look and layout of your text is to add images and other media.

Do not be shy and don’t wait for the website editor to insert them for you. Instead, be proactive and use your own images. Add a couple of them if necessary. If they make sense and the text looks better because of it, the editor will be more inclined to ask you for additional guest posts.

You can even go the extra mile and write titles and alt text to optimize the images for SEO – the editor will thank you, as it will save them the effort, and it will improve the overall SEO value of your piece.

Lastly, we come to links.

Now, editors usually allow one link in your bio, or one link within the article. Most of them do not like it when an author writes a piece with a lots of links pointing to different websites.

However, if the editor allows it, make sure to add some highly relevant links that will make the article even more authoritative.

4) Vary your anchor text

You are trying to rank for a certain keyword. In an attempt to rank, you try to spam the same anchor text over and over.

This strategy is pretty much obsolete. Instead, just as with everything else that we’ve mentioned so far, make sure to diversify things.

Anchor text should vary.

When people place links with purely editorial value, without trying to cynically rank for a specific keyword, they will rarely link with the exact same phrase every time. This is highly unnatural behavior and can get you in trouble.

Instead, make sure to use different phrases. Place links in different sentences, with different anchors. Focus on writing naturally and place your link accordingly.

Conclusion

Guest blogging is NOT dead. As far as we know, there is no Google system or algorithm that will penalize the creation of such articles.

Nevertheless, it is better to be conservative. Like always, it comes down to whether your link profile looks natural. There should be no indication that you are purposely trying to push a keyword (even if you are).

People usually think about guest blogging in terms of links. However, you should observe it from a different perspective. By using this strategy, not only should you get links, you should also get some good exposure.

Your articles should promote your skills well as your blog.

By placing emphasis on this, you will be able to accomplish much more with guest posts and as a result, links will start coming from various sources without you forcing them.

How often do you guest post? Have you ever had problems due to it? Share it in the comment section below!

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6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

It seems like a small selection of tools just keeps traveling from article to article these days.

Opening a freshly-published article on a popular blog, I feel like I’ve already read it, because I know all the listed tools.

To celebrate “undercover” tools in the marketing industry, I picked six tools I use which I seldom or never see mentioned in other people’s articles. I think they totally deserve to be in the spotlight because they are as good as (or in most cases even better than) more discussed alternatives.

1. Cloudup to store your drafts and images

I hate to think that anyone reading this isn’t using cloud storage for work. It makes your life so much easier, allowing you to access your work from anywhere in the world as well as giving you tools to easily share your content with other team members, like editors and designers.

There’s no denying that Google is the Internet master for a reason, and their Drive service is hard for anyone to beat. But plenty of people choose not to entrust Google with their private docs for privacy reasons. Even if that’s not you, it’s never smart to put all your eggs in one basket. If your business 100% relies on Google, it’s time to change your business model.

Cloudup is a great alternative to both Dropbox and Google Drive giving you 200 GB (or up to 1000 items) of free storage which makes the service one of the largest free file sharing and storage options.

You can upload and share files, create docs and spreadsheets, use a huge number of tools and extensions, communicate with your team, and more. And it is all free up to 200 GB. You can find more alternatives here.

2. Drip to power your email marketing

It is no secret that I am not a big fan of MailChimp. I find their system overly bulky and difficult to use, while their policies are so unclear you can violate them by accident.

Drip is a nice alternative to better-known email marketing systems, giving you a lot of nice features for a comparatively low price.

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

It has a powerful content automation feature that lets you reach your reader at exactly the time they are likely to take an action.

3. Cyfe to publish and schedule social media updates

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

Cyfe is one of those tools you can use for anything under the sun. It’s like a Swiss knife that has a widget for anything, including:

  • invoicing (through FreshBooks and others),
  • performance monitoring (through Pingdom to monitor Uptime),
  • content analytics (through Google Analytics, Alexa and many others),
  • social media analytics (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, you name it!)

Additionally you can create and add custom widgets or embed anything using iFrame (for example, I embed my spreadsheets).

Their recent update has added social media publishing into the mix allowing you to schedule your social media updates right from your business monitoring dashboard. I was really excited by the move because now I don’t to have to pay for an extra social media management solution!

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

4. Topvisor for content optimization and competitor research

Do you have an up to date content inventory? Probably not, because creating one is a time consuming and exhausting process and tools out on the market are expensive, clunky and rarely give you an accurate inventory to work from.

Topvisor was made to solve that problem. It is a fully customizable and extensive search engine optimization solution. They have monthly plans starting at just $29. I love their page change tracking tools that allow me to monitor my competitors and what they do to rank their content higher in search engines:

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

It’s incredibly affordable compared to similar tools and it will keep you or your team accountable for on-page SEO of every content asset that gets published on behalf of your brand.

It also integrates with Google Analytics to give you a more flexible content analytics dashboard.

5. Salesmate to organize and verify your leads

If you are using (or plan on using) any sales management platform to organize your leads, give Salesmate a try. It’s very affordable and incredibly reach in features. Easily integrating into any imaginable content marketing tool, Salesmate offers all kinds of features aimed at improving your sales process.

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

Set up sales pipelines and watch your leads go from step to step to easily analyze where the process can be improved or which sales magnets your site needs.

6. EpicBeat to monitor trends

EpicBeat isn’t just a trend monitoring tool. It is a dashboard that empowers your marketing with those trends. It takes what is hot and gives you a blueprint for incorporating it into your campaigns and promotional efforts.

6 lesser known tools to power your content marketing

It also had hot topics that you can go through, which is one of my favorite ways to find content ideas when I am running dry. Simple, effective and easy to use, it is one of my favorites on this list.

Bonus: Scoop.it content marketing resources

There are a few very popular content marketing resources out there everyone tends to recommend. However I think Scoop.it content marketing center is the best out there, yet you won’t see it mentioned too often.

Scoop.it has built a major hub for resources related to content, providing a ton of tools for you to enjoy for free. In the analytics category they have two ebooks and three extensive posts explaining various facets of improving your SEO strategy when it directly coincides with your content publications.

That includes maximizing your ROI, finding leads, looking at the “right” KPI’s and more. On top of these resources you can also sign up for their dashboard, which is also about generating and converting more through content marketing. They have one for individuals, marketers and enterprises, with the first level being free.

One more bonus: more alternatives!

To celebrate people offering to spotlight less discussed alternatives, here are a few more roundups which inspired this article:

Do you have some tools you think deserve to be on this list? Let us know in the comments.

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The collision between PR, content, and SEO: How to make it work for you

The full power of the digital marketplace was realized less than a decade ago. Suddenly, customers had seemingly limitless access to engage with brands –– to voice their criticisms and critiques, or to become super fans.

The importance of a website presence, blogging, social media posts and the other aspects of building an online brand seemed to sound the death toll for traditional communications and marketing strategies, like public relations.

However, we are nearing the second decade of the 21st century, and public relations continues to prove itself as an essential element of marketing communications. Like other aspects of marketing, it’s a discipline that has morphed and evolved to fit into the changing digital ecosystem, in which the value of appearing at the top of the search engine results page is arguably equitable with yesteryear’s goal of a front page headline.

Brands attuned to these changes and the importance of integrated, hybrid marketing will find that public relations, SEO and content marketing now heavily influence each other. Putting this trio to work in the right way can help build strong brands that drive traffic, customers and revenue.

The digital brand trifecta

A consistent theme throughout the ages, branding – the practice of crafting measured messaging around a product to guide public perception – has always been a pillar for marketing communications.

Simply put, a strong and positive brand image drives customer awareness, recognition and action. The most effective brands, while simple at the surface, conjure complex responses; consider that 90 percent of purchase decisions are made subconsciously.

Evoking the right perception of a brand can make an enormous difference in conversions and revenue – this is where public relations plays a role by subtly inserting brand messaging into external sources that consumers today are more likely to consume and engage with than pushed advertising.

The expansion of the digital world and rise of the separate disciplines SEO and content marketing as a means of reaching consumers through targeted content has resulted in the consolidation of the roles of SEO and content.

The role of public relations has emerged from this phenomenon quite naturally; while content marketing and SEO traditionally focus on on-site content, public relations is the impetus for third party content that drives brand messaging and digital traffic.

Customers today hold brands to high standards: 60 percent of millennials say they expect to have a consistent experience with organizations across the various platforms. Customers expect to be able to interact with brands whenever they want and wherever they want. To meet these needs, organizations themselves need to understand how to integrate their various disciplines to create a uniform voice.

How content marketing, SEO, and public relations overlap

At its core, public relations is essentially about creating excellent professional content that appeals to quality publications, while positioning the brand at the top of readers’ consideration sets.

These goals intertwine tightly with those of content marketing. It is estimated that we now produce more data in two days than has existed for the entirety of the human experience up until 2003, and 39 percent of B2B brands plan on increasing content budget in the next year. The online world has become saturated with content.

However, where we excel in quantity, we lack in quality. Today, consumers demand material that addresses them and their needs while also offering guidance and help. In other words, those in content marketing need to pay equally close attention to the value they are offering and how it satisfies the needs of consumer intent.

SEOs role in companies has always been to boost the rankings of the content the brand produces to get the brand site and name in front of people performing searches on the search engines. By optimizing material for particularly relevant queries, SEOs can help draw the appropriate audience back to the website where leads can be nurtured and converted.

When used correctly, public relations can be a helpful asset in accomplishing these SEO goals. Many popular media outlets, for example, rank highly on the SERP thanks to a strong domain authority.

Brands that find smart ways to insert themselves into these sites –– often via a combination of news coverage and contributed articles –– have the opportunity to establish their presence for particular keywords that may struggle to rank from their own site. This provides an opportunity for brand recognition and to create a brand impression from a place of authority.

Knowledge is the key to the digital brand trifecta of employing public relations, content marketing and SEO to work together and build the brand’s reputation online. Below are steps teams can take to begin to bring these elements into successful harmony.

Aligning SEO, content development and public relations

1. Develop common target personas

Personas remain the key to any successful marketing campaign. They also serve as the cornerstone for successful collaboration between teams.

Generally, public relations professionals will have a general idea of what they want to promote and to whom, while SEO and content marketing professionals may have their own ideas about who they want to target.

Joining the research and considerations that went into developing the target personas on both sides can strengthen them for the brand and ensures that everyone understands the target for particular campaigns.

2. Obliterate working siloes

To achieve maximum success with public relations, you should develop common campaigns that will use principles from both SEO and PR. Combine the resources that each team utilizes to see how they might benefit each other.

For example, the material produced by the public relations team should be appropriately optimized by the SEO team and reviewed by the content team to ensure a consistent voice and to ensure that it ranks for the keywords the organization wants to target.

The public relations team can also work with the SEO and content teams to secure contributed columns and backlinks from reputable publications. Remember that content marketing is not just about producing content, it also needs to incorporate distribution. Coordinating with public relations can ensure that this piece is not overlooked.

3. Collaborate on content

Although SEO, content marketing and public relations teams will have different central goals, they should run their campaigns using a common base. Keywords that the SEO team targets, for example can also be incorporated into press releases to boost brand recognition.

If there are words that the domain struggles to rank for, creating press releases for well-regarded publications can help capture these rankings.

Reputable publications speaking about important research or releases that your brand has can lend greater credibility to these announcements, making it easier for your on-site announcements to gain traction and engagement.

The collision between PR, content, and SEO: How to make it work for you

4. Measure your progress and success

As with any marketing effort, brands need to measure every step of their collaboration between these three key teams. Look at KPIs that let you see how well customers engaged with material, the amount of traffic and leads being driven from press releases and how having a strong PR campaign impacts the engagement and conversion metrics across other aspects of the marketing strategy.

Look at the numbers before and after the efforts have been used, as well as the impact across different buyer personas and stages of the buyer’s journey. The greater the insight and understanding you have, the easier it will be to identify strengths and weaknesses of the campaign.

In sum, public relations is far from dead. Its value has grown to become one of three essential digital marketing elements. The marketing efforts that brands must use to build their organization’s name and shape the reputation of their brand online continue to remain of critical importance.

The difference now, however, lies in the means of this self-promotion. Public relations now has the strongest impact when it finds a strategic home with SEO and content marketing. The closer you can align these different departments, the easier it will be to see how public relations can be helpful in boosting your brand.

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5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Content marketing has become the secret weapon in a successful marketing strategy, with brands using different types of content to add value and grab their audience’s attention.

It has become more important than ever to market with intent, using content and SEO to raise awareness, engage and convert.

Conversion, in particular, is one of the biggest challenges for content marketing, but according to Curata, 74% of companies believe that their content marketing strategy helps them increase the quality and quantity of their leads.

The rise of IoT and our constant connectivity to the online world through smartphones, wearables and social media have brought a wealth of new data. This serves as a great opportunity for marketers to understand what a modern consumer wants and how to include these findings in a content marketing strategy.

Content marketing cannot be successful without data, as marketers risk guessing, rather than actually knowing, the habits of their target audience.

A data-driven content marketing strategy can be more efficient, helping marketers save time and money by focusing on the right content that will bring them closer to their goals.

Here are five ways that data can improve a content marketing strategy.

Understanding your target audience

One of the main reasons to invest in a data-driven content marketing strategy is to gain the best possible understanding of the target audience.

A solid content marketing strategy can bring the audience closer to the brand. This can only happen through a framework that takes into consideration the audience’s habits, preferences, and needs.

An analysis of the available data can help marketers draft more relevant personas, which helps in tailoring content to the target audience.

Data can provide useful answers to questions such as:

  • the customers’ reaction to the existing content
  • their favorite types of content
  • their preferred methods of communications
  • the channels they are using
  • their browsing habits

This should be the start of an effective content marketing strategy, setting up the groundwork for a data-driven approach that relies on insights, rather than assumptions about the target audience.

Content discovery

The process of coming up with content ideas can be challenging, especially in small teams. A closer look at the available data can help marketers create content that fits their goals.

Data can be part of the content discovery process in the following ways:

Keyword research

Keyword research is not only useful in SEO, but it can also offer useful content suggestions, tailored to the target audience and their search habits. For example, keyword analysis can help marketers come up with new content ideas, going beyond the most popular terms and targeting topics that can still be successful, without being predictable.

Content performance

An analysis of the existing content’s performance can offer useful insights, from the most popular posts to the audience’s browsing habits. This data can help marketers create more effective content, adjusting if needed the length of it, the formatting, the visual assets, or even the user experience if there seems to be a high bounce rate.

Competitor analysis

Another useful aspect that can help in the process of content discovery is to monitor what your competitors are writing about. It might be a good idea to monitor your competitors’ most popular topics, the types of content they are using, the ideas they are expanding into, or even the creative aspect of their content marketing strategy. This can give you a good indication of their most successful aspects, while you can also explore the areas that you could cover.

Monitoring latest trends

It’s extremely useful to monitor the latest trends that are relevant in your content’s context. A closer look at Google Trends, Facebook, and Twitter’s trending topics, or even the latest headlines can help you get inspired on new content topics. Moreover, an analysis of the latest trends, the audience’s response, and their metrics in terms of virality can offer a useful perspective on the content that people prefer to share.

Content delivery

It’s essential for marketers to deliver content to their audience via their preferred format and channels. This requires an analysis of several key areas:

  • length of content
  • type of content (blog, video, image, presentation, podcast, etc)
  • formatting
  • desktop vs mobile
  • relevance
  • value
  • quantity over quality

There are many questions that need to be answered when drafting a content marketing strategy, but luckily the use of data can provide the answers to all these questions.

A closer look at Google Analytics or other similar platforms can offer useful insights.

These increase the chances for the content to become part of the customer journey, by helping prospects move along the funnel, from awareness to an actual purchase.

Moreover, another interesting trend is the rise of real-time data that can help marketers become more responsive to their content. Social networks are usually the most useful platforms to serve real-time content during an event or an important announcement. In that case, data can offer the right direction for the content, from the sentiment to the actual performance of the campaign.

Analyzing distribution

An effective content marketing strategy needs to equally focus on the creation and the distribution of the content.

A focus on data can help marketers decide on the channels they should use for the promotion of their content. This depends on the target audience and campaign goals, and data can tell whether the focus should be on:

  • earned media (PR, mentions)
  • paid media (social and search advertising)
  • owned media (site, blog, social content)
  • shared media (referrals, word of mouth, influencers)

Content distribution becomes more challenging with the abundance of the available channels and the new opportunities for promotion. Not all of them are effective though for every type of content. That’s how data can become extremely useful to analyse the existing results, but also how the new content can explore new paths for promotion.

5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Image: Smart Insights

Measuring success

According to CMI’s report, the most popular tool that marketers use for content marketing is their analytics platform (79%). This indicates the need to measure the content’s performance while justifying the KPI of their content marketing strategy.

The focus on analytics tools doesn’t necessarily mean that all marketers are still able to tell whether their content marketing strategy is successful. In fact, according to Curata, only 30% of leading marketers are confident enough that their content marketing has an impact at the bottom of the sales funnel.

As more data become available, marketers can take advantage of all the insights to understand their content’s performance and how it brings them closer to KPIs.

5 tips to create a data-driven content marketing strategy

Image: Beth Kanter

The most useful metrics to track your content performance include:

  • blog visits
  • time on page
  • bounce rate
  • number of comments
  • number of shares
  • number of mentions
  • inbound links
  • press coverage
  • number of generated leads
  • number of conversions

The need to pay attention to these when measuring a content marketing strategy brings out the importance for modern marketers to blend their creative with their analytical side. As we gain the capacity to collect and analyze increasing quantities of data, marketing is becoming increasingly analytical – but creativity is still crucial, and is what sets humans apart from bots in the marketing industry.

Overview

Many marketers are eager to dive into data in order to create a successful content marketing strategy. The more data we process, the better the insights we can glean about our target audience.

A data-driven content marketing strategy starts with an analysis of the existing data, but it’s also important to proceed with actionable steps.

The most effective marketing strategies translate data into their customers’ needs, creating successful content that speaks to their needs, but also your company’s goals.

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What is Google Stamp and what will it mean for marketers?

Google is set to launch a competitor to Snapchat Discover, known as Google Stamp. This new product will bring with it a host of opportunities for publishers and advertisers alike, but it brings with it some challenges too.

What do marketers need to know about this new service, and how successful will it be?

Early in August, news leaked via the Wall Street Journal that Google has been preparing a direct rival to one of Snapchat’s most popular and profitable features, Discover. This new product will be integrated with Google’s core services, and will be known as Google Stamp.

The name Stamp is a portmanteau created by uniting the abbreviation ‘St’ from the word ‘stories’ and the acronym AMP, from the Google-led Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative.  That quite succinctly sums up the purpose of Stamp: it will be a publishing platform that allow brands to tell stories in a new fashion, optimized for mobile.

It seems that after a reported bid of $30 billion dollars to buy Snapchat was rejected in 2016, Google has decided instead to mimic some of the functionality that has made Snapchat such a hit with younger audiences. This will be a further blow to Snap, after Facebook copied so many of their features to launch Instagram Stories last year – followed by additional imitators in Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Although a firm launch date is still unknown, there has been plenty of noise around this latest Google product.

So, what do we know about Google Stamp so far?

The core platform is expected to function in a very similar manner to Snapchat Discover. Users will be able to swipe between different pieces of content and there will be a healthy mix of video, images, and text to keep readers engaged.

What is Google Stamp and what will it mean for marketers?

Of course, the Google ecosystem is very different to the social networks it will be competing with in this space. Users come to Google to make a search, with a topic or product in mind. That is a different mindset altogether to that of a user browsing a social network, a fact that Google is painfully aware of and it is a gap they have tried to bridge many times.

Google has made a play to take some of the ‘discovery phase’ market recently, through its new homepage experience and the use of visual search technology in Google Lens.

This is seen as a significant growth opportunity in the industry. If tech companies can start suggesting relevant products to consumers before the consumer even knows what they want, they can open up a range of new revenue streams.

What is Google Stamp and what will it mean for marketers?

Source: Pinterest

Advances in machine learning technologies and predictive analytics mean that this is now possible, and there is an ongoing battle between Google, Pinterest, Amazon, and many others to claim this fertile ground.

All of these technological developments open up novel ways of communicating with audiences, particularly when it comes to storytelling. This has never truly been Google’s home turf, however, and it will need to give significant backing to Stamp if it is to convince users to change their long-held behaviors.

It is therefore anticipated that Stamp articles will feature just below the search bar within the Google interface. Giving Stamp this level of prominence will bring publishers’ stories to the attention of billions of daily users.

If we factor in the full suite of software and hardware that Google owns, it is easy to see the scale that Stamp could have. All of this is integrated through Google’s sophisticated DoubleClick technology solutions, so there is reason to believe that Google could finally start to crack the content syndication market.

Who will be able to publish Stamp stories?

Some large publishers, including Time Inc. and CNN, have been approached as potential launch partners for Stamp. However, it will be interesting to see how quickly this is opened up to the next tier of content creators.

The exclusivity of Snapchat Discover in its early days was cited as a reason for a damaging exodus to Instagram from a range of content creators. Publishers wanted to get involved and had a message to communicate, but Snapchat was slow to open up access to the platform.

The relationship between large publishers and the AMP project has at times been fractious, with the main bone of contention being that these pages are hard to monetize. Advertising revenues are as important to publishers as they are to Google, of course, so this is a course that all involved would like to see corrected.

Stamp gives us clear insight into how Google would like to do this. In essence, Stamp allows for a much more customer-centric form of adverting than we have traditionally seen from the search giant. By inserting native ads within content, Google would be making a significant shift from its AdWords marketing model.

From a business perspective, all of this ties in with the recent updates to Google’s AdSense products. The investment in improving AdSense will see display ads appear in much more relevant contexts and they will be less disruptive to the user experience. Once more, we see customer-centricity come to the fore.

What is Google Stamp and what will it mean for marketers?

What will Google Stamp mean for advertisers?

Advertising via Google Stamp will mean engaging with and understanding a new form of storytelling. Advertisers should therefore no longer see this just as a traditional media buy, as there will need to be close collaboration between content creators and content promoters to ensure that ads are contextual.

Of course, this will be similar to launching a campaign on Instagram or Snapchat, but it will be interesting to see where responsibility for Google Stamp media buys sits, purely by dint of this being Google rather than a social network. The same teams who handle AdWords campaigns would need to integrate new skillsets to make the most of this opportunity.

The ability to think creatively and forge connections with consumers continues to grow in importance, rather than interrupting their experiences. Combined with the targeting technologies and data at Google’s disposal, this will be a potent mix for those that are equipped to take advantage. Advertisers expect good returns from Google campaigns and will still get them, but they will need to approach campaigns differently.

Some unanswered questions

Of course, much is still unknown about Google Stamp. We know it will be very similar to Snapchat Discover and we suspect it will be given a prime position just below the Google search bar. However, the following questions remain unanswered for the moment:

  • How frequently will Google Stamp be featured in search results?
  • Will Stamp be a fixed feature of Google’s new homepage experience?
  • Which types of queries will trigger Stamp results?
  • What options will be open to advertisers? Will Google introduce innovative new formats to maximize Stamp’s potential?
  • How will Google rank Stamp posts?
  • Will publishers create different content for Stamp, or just re-use Instagram or Snapchat assets?
  • Will users migrate over to Google to use what seems likely to be a very similar product to Snapchat Discover?

We expect all of these questions to be answered in due course, although Google is still reticent on a firm release date for this ambitious venture.