Here are the stories we found most interesting in February, 2015. As always, picking the crème of the crop is a tough row to hoe. The information highway is getting wider and faster as we speak.
Let’s take a look at February 2015, to see what we can discover. Be sure to scroll to the bottom, #10 is a HUGE update from Google.
1. VIDEO MARKETING: A TREND WORTH CONSIDERING IN 2015
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]Social Media Marketing [/highlight]
Key Point: There is much more to video marketing than YouTube, and there are more uses for short videos in marketing than you may think. Social Media Examiner published a treatment of the topic by Donna Moritz (@SociallySorted) that includes content ideas and a list of recommended tools – leading off with Instagram’s built-in video builider. Have you been considering using video to help establish your brand? Here’s the link to get the juices flowing: Short Video and Social Media Marketing
2. TWITTER AND GOOGLE ARE GOING REAL TIME (AGAIN)
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]Social SEO[/highlight] | [highlight type=”dark”]Marketing[/highlight]
Key Point: Bloomberg Business says Twitter will feed Google’s search engine results page (SERP) with real-time tweets in the very near future. You may remember this isn’t the first time such a deal was brokered. The prior arrangement unraveled in 2011. With Google once again gaining access to the Twitter Firehose, expect to see more SEO emphasis focused on Twitter. As with any other medium, you can’t go wrong with providing valuable content and seeking to get it in front of the correct #audience. Read all about it here: Twitter Google Deal
3. CALL-ONLY CAMPAIGNS HELP YOU REACH POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS
Key Point: On February 20, Google introduced a new way to get your business name, product or service, and phone number in the face of mobile searchers: call-only campaigns are now an option on your PPC dashboard. A major point to consider is that these ads will serve only on mobile devices that can make phone calls. Make sure to tailor your ad copy to match the campaign and get ready for the phone to ring, says Google. Here’s where to find out more: Call-Only Campaigns
4. DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE WITH CLOSE VARIANT, SAYS RKG
Key Point: Andy Taylor (@PronouncedAhndy), a senior research analyst at Merkle | RKG, says PPC managers should “stay vigilant” to observe the effect of close variant matching (CVM) on client accounts. “Especially,” says Andy, “if Google ever moves to broaden its definition of ‘close variant.’” You may remember that Google began mandating CVM to all phrase and exact match keywords in September of 2014. Taylor says his company hasn’t found it necessary to apply negative keywords more intensely than when the change occurred, yet that doesn’t mean Google won’t begin allowing more CVMs over time. Check it out here: The CVM Controversy
5. LINKS: ARE THEY GOOD OR ARE THEY BAD?
Topics:[highlight type=”dark”]SEO[/highlight] | [highlight type=”dark”]Link Building[/highlight]
Key Point: Are website owners really running scared of Google’s Penguin monster? Marcela De Vivo says that’s the case. High anxiety over what may be coming down the line next is keeping many SEO specialists from nuturing backlinks to help boost search engine results page (SERP) performance. De Vivo’s solution is to perform “preemptive backlink audits.” In other words, don’t let Google tell you what’s wrong with your link profile – dig into it and shine it up voluntarily. It would be difficult to argue against sound advice like that, although reading Google’s collective mind can prove to be a difficult task. Find out how to perform a self-analysis right here: SEO Preemptive Tactics
6. FISHKIN’S SEO STRATEGY AUDIT
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]SEO Strategy[/highlight]
Key Point: Rand Fishkin (@randfish) says it’s not only important for an SEO practitioner to pose questions – but to pose the right questions. There are five things, says Rand, you don’t want to leave out when compiling your SEO strategy. The universal tendency for marketers is to confuse tactics and strategy at just about every turn. Fishkin keeps the focus on genuine root considerations like, “What is our process for turning visitors from search into customers?” Discover the other four essential considerations in this Moz.com Whiteboard Friday presentation.
7. WHAT’S A GOOD EMAIL OPEN RATE & CLICK-THROUGH RATE?
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]Email Marketing[/highlight]
Key Point: If you’ve not heard the question (dozens of times), you’ve not been studying the fineries of email marketing: “What should my open and click-through rates be?” Ginny Sosek (@gsosk) dives headlong into the fray – AND tackles “How many email campaigns should you send each month?” along the way. Sosek doesn’t deliver the predictable “It depends” responses here. She throws out hard numbers and backs them up with research. Good work, Ginny. It’s far from a run-of-the-mill treatment of the topic. Read it right here: Email Marketing Benchmarks
8. GOOGLE ANALYTICS – A GUIDE FOR MARKETERS
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]Google Analytics[/highlight]
Key Point: It’s one powerful tool for understanding your visitors and their actions. From creating customer personas, to running social media split tests, or collecting data to help with marketing decisions – this Social Media Examiner article is a compilation of resources that focus on how to get the most from Google Analytics. Staffer Lisa D. Jenkins (@LisaDJenkins) created a valuable guide to the sometimes overwhelming tool in her “Complete Guide to the Essentials.”
9. HTTP/2 IS READY FOR DEPLOYMENT
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]Information Technology[/highlight]
Key Point: Hypertext Transfer Protocol – it’s the language your browser understands, and the task force assigned the job of rolling out the new edition says their work is complete. Primary advantages to HTTP/2 include faster browser response rates and the ability to push content without the client’s request. Google Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Explorer browsers will rise to the occasion and implement HTTP/2 technology. Peter Bright (@drpizza) tells you all about it in this Technology Lab article: HTTP/2 is Coming Soon
10. Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly? It Must Be Now.
Topic:[highlight type=”dark”]Mobile Marketing[/highlight]
Key Point: Our guess is that most of you are reading this blog post on a mobile device. Starting April 21st, Google will start favoring websites that are mobile-friendly. This change will effect ALL mobile searches globally. What that means is that mobile users will find it easier to get higher quality and more relevant websites that are optimized for their devices. Learn more about this HUGE announcement here: Finding more mobile-friendly search results
* BONUS *
Facebook published an update recently announcing that there are now more than 2 million advertisers on their platform. That is not a typo, 2 MILLION! View their thank you video here.[line]
That wraps up our News You Can Use report for February 2015. If you see something we missed, that should have been mentioned, let us know. Your feedback is important to us.
Moreover, be a Stukent field reporter by keeping up with the news daily and sending us links to the stories you nominate for next month’s report. We’re listening!
Be a Stukent field observer: When you find a news tip, send it in. Let’s help one another stay current. The internet won’t slow down for us … we have to keep up!