Breaking Stories and Top Articles for August, 2014

Too busy to keep up with the rapidly-changing world of internet marketing? At StuKent, we feel your pain. If “time is money,” then this column is a windfall. We pay for a service that helps us keep up with the news, alerts us to developments, and compiles the information. So we figure … why not share that with you … FREE. If you want to return the favor, just share the link to this article with others.

1.    Twitter Analytics Takes a Giant Step Forward

twitter iconNow, you can get a wider range of in-depth data from the Twitter dashboard – the change was announced last month, but rolled out only to select clients. On August 27, improved Twitter analytics became available to everyone. Find out more from these articles: Richer Twitter Analytics | Twitter Analytics Now for Everyone | Twitter Announces Dashboard Refresh

Key Points:

  • Your Twitter Analytics dashboard login page is at https://analytics.twitter.com/
  •  Reach is shown for Twitter.com, as well as for the Twitter app on Android and iOS
  • Use data export to keep your own record of changes over time

Action Steps: Go log in and explore. If you have been thinking Twitter is only a 140-character way to link-spam the online universe, think again. This platform is more powerful than ever before.


2.    Marketing’s Takeover of the Internet

Its roots are in education and research, but the web is now dominated by marketing – so much so that some worry whether or not we can still “save the internet” from the clutches of big business. This article focuses on Matt Wheeler (@MattWheelr), CEO of Driftrock. It highlights the incredible power of data-driven searches and techniques YOU can use to gain more success at internet marketing: We’re All Marketers

Key Points:

  • Internet marketing is a complex discipline. Those who want to excel will approach it as a science.
  • Smart marketers know they can segment and target markets with incredible accuracy.
  • Just about everything you now see online is somehow tied to marketing. Observe and learn.

Action Steps: Check out Driftrock’s suggestions on how to get the most from social media campaigns. Those and three tips for entrepreneurs close out the article.


3.    Google Pulls Authorship From Search Results

For three quick years, it was all the rage: Jump the right hoops and your profile photo would appear along with links to your work in search results. Many predicted it would propel writers to the top of the heap for SEO – that companies would hire talent based on authorship rankings (and many did). Now, it’s gone. Like other Google projects, authorship was swept away like a fly at a picnic. This is, arguably, the biggest story of the month. Here are links to some of the best coverage: What Does it Mean? | Authorship is Dead, but Author Rank is Not! | Were Your Authorship Efforts All for Nothing? | Google’s John Mueller Speaks Out

Key Points:

  • Google says authorship did not affect traffic to sites.
  • Google stresses that schema.org still supports structured markup.
  • Be careful about putting your “eggs all in one basket.” Internet marketing strategy can take a sidewinder overnight. It is crucial to stay up with developments.

Action Steps:

Check this video of the Marketing Answer Show with Eric Enge, Mark Traphagen, and David Amerland. Should you remove rel=author from the sites you manage? Dig in and find out.


4.    HTTPS as a Search Engine Ranking Signal

Google wants a safer internet – so much so that the search engine giant is spreading the word that the security of your site may be a factor in how it ranks on the SERP (search engine results page). Here are some of the best places we found to read up on the story: Google’s Webmaster Central | More About PR Than Search | HTTPS Gives You a Ranking Benefit

Key Points:

  • The rollout of this strategy has just begun. It is not yet (and may never be) a crucial ranking signal.
  • There is no downside to making your site more secure with HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure).
  • Google watchers know the giant can change gears and directions in an instant. Be careful about becoming “one of the herd,” and running off wildly in whichever direction Google suggests.

Action Steps:

You don’t need to become an information security guru , but it is good to know the basics of how internet security works. Consider taking a class or reading up on the topic.


5.    Will Amazon Ads Soon be Challenging Google’s AdWords?

amazon-product-adsHave you ever wondered why you sometimes see Google ads on Amazon’s website? Amazon has been wondering the same thing. With its huge database of customers, cranking up a full-fledged advertising service makes plenty of sense for Amazon – and it may soon be taking a bite out of Google’s action. Read about it here: Amazon Prepares to Challenge Google | Amazon Developing Own Advertising Software | Amazon to Challenge Google in Online Ads

 

Key Points:

  • PPC may be the big dog, but there are more options for advertising. Don’t limit your knowledge.
  • AdWords is BIG business. Amazon’s profit on merchandise sales is slim.
  • Google won’t lie down and roll over for Amazon. Watch for strategic moves from AdWords.

Action Steps: Study the major advertising providers, other than AdWords. Note how the intended audience can be a huge factor in whether the platform works for a particular product or service. Can moving some of your spend to another platform benefit you and your clients?


6.    AdWords to Make Wider Use of Close Variant Matching

When you misspell a word, Google still finds what you were looking for … right? Until now, AdWords provided closer variant matching as an OPTION for advertisers. Beginning in September, though, all exact and phrase match keywords will automatically correct for close variants. Here’s the scoop: Inside AdWords Announcement | Close Variant Matching to Become Universal

Key Points:

  • Google says those who use close keyword variations realize a 7% improvement in the CTR (click-through rate)
  • One company sure to benefit from the change is … Google (more placements and more clicks).
  • You can work around the change by setting your best keywords off separately and adjusting the bid. AdWords is an ever-changing environment. To be a pro there, you must be vigilant.

Action Steps:

If you are managing AdWords accounts, keep a close watch as the change rolls out to see whether your metrics are being affected. Be ready to adjust, if needed.


7.    Email Marketing is Better Than Social Media Marketing

Kimanzi Constable (@KimanziC) says social media marketing is often ineffective. Email marketing, says the “former bread guy turned author,” beats social media hands down. Find out what he is talking about by reading this article: 5 Reasons Why Social Media Marketing is Overrated

Key Points:

  • Services that sell social media followers render profile popularity almost without merit. Five bucks will buy you 1,000 new “friends.”
  • Fake followers may seem impressive to others, but they are worthless. You aren’t being followed by potential clients or customers, but by robots and empty accounts.
  • Unless you own the platform, you don’t own the traffic.

Action Steps:

This is another area where following the herd can lead one astray. Check your own metrics to compare the results from your email marketing and social media marketing efforts. Which is working best for you? Why?


8.    A New Way to Measure Call Conversions

Google announced a tool that can help you determine the effectiveness of Google ads in generating calls to your business that arise from those who arrived at your website via AdWords and clicked to call from there. This will plug the metrics gap and provide better information on the effectiveness of your ad spend. Find out how it works by reading these articles: Introducing Website Call Conversions | Learn More About Call Conversions | Track Ad Clicks

Key Points:

  • The new capability measures calls from your website that originated from a search ad.
  • You will be able to determine which ad and keyword triggered the call. That will give you a better grip on where conversions are coming from.
  • Google will supply the phone number, but you can customize it.

Action Steps:

Check your conversion metrics. How are you defining a conversion? How can this addition to AdWords help you to better understand your customers and the effectiveness of your ads?

That’s All, Folks!

Those are our internet marketing news highlights for August, 2014. If you’ve found this recap to be of value, share the link to this article with others who would be interested. Be a StuKent field observer: When you see a news tip, send it in. Let’s help one another stay current and encourage one another to become better students of the work. The net won’t slow down for us … we have to keep up!

 

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Trevor Erikson

Vice President, Stukent, Inc. at Stukent, Inc.
I'm from Idaho, best place ever. Currently working the pavement on our ed-tech startup - Stukent, Inc. Follow me through my social media channels to see what keeps me busy.

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