With Videos taking a center stage in the digital marketing activities & engaging with the customers, Periscope & Meerkat provide a great opportunity for marketers to engage with the customers. Some of the ways in which these can be used to connect with the customers include
1) Provide product/service demos. This would help customers understand & learn more about your product/service
2) Use these services to broadcase Industry trends, market inforrmation & other related news
3) Connect with a customer & broadcast it to your audience
4) Participate with other industry leading experts on your area & share comments
5) Provide info about your periscope/meerkat videos on other social media channels with hashtags & links
6) Grow your audience base by collecting the email ID's of the viewers & sharing the info about your future live acts.
7) Live streams are also available on the web now & can be braodcast to a larger audience
With the increase in mobile browsing & consumption of news articles/content incresing, facebook's Instant articles will play an important role in which we read news on the mobile. Facebook has announced a partnership with top publications like NYT, national geographic & others where Facebook will actively host entire articles on behalf of news organizations. Some of the top benefits of the instant articles include
1) Fast and Responsive
2) Interactive and Immersive
3) Simple and Scalable
4) Control and Customization
Google's mobile search will no longer display a website's URL. The algorithms have been updated to better reflect the names of the website, using the real world name of the site instead of the domain name, & URL structure of the sites in a breadcrumbs like format. As part of the changes, following items will be introduced.
1) The website name to be used instead of the domain name
2) The URL structure of the URL as breadcrumbs
These changes are rolling out gradually and affect only mobile results. The site name change is US-only for now and breadcrumbs are rolling out worldwide. The shift supports schema.org structured data to signal algorithms to display new search results. More information about the same is available at Google webmaster central
With an increase in global web traffic from mobile devices & also studies showing that mobile visitors are more likely to revisit mobile-friendly sites, mobile usability has now become an imp part of search results. Mobile usability report helps identify issuses affecting your pages. This can be used to fix errors & also their search performance & relevance. Most mobile browsers do not render Flash-based content. Also your pages should specify a viewport using the meta viewport tag
For the mobile friendly websites,
1) The viewing area should adjust to the device screen size
2) Content should flow in viewport
3) Scaling of the fonts
4) Buttons should be well placed & visible
5) Using mobile friendly tech for the mobile website
Six primary mobile usability errors are
1) Flash Usage
2) View Port Not configured
3) Fixed-width viewport
4) Content not sized to viewport
5) Small font size
6) Touch elements too close
Source : Google Webmaster Tools
Locale-adaptive pages change their content to reflect the user's language or perceived geographic location. Not all content variants of locale-adaptive pages may be indexed completely. Google has introduced new locale-aware crawl configurations for Googlebot for pages. Depending on how the content is served based on the request's language and perceived location.
1) Geo-distributed crawling - To use IP addresses that appear to be coming from outside the USA
2) language Dependent Crawling - Crawling based on the accept language HTTP header in the request
Users will not be required to alter their CMS or server setting. These new crawling configs are enabled automatically for pages which are local adaptive.
Source : Google Webmaster Central Blog
Modified by HarshavardhanPrabhakar
Google has released a penguin refresh called Penguin 3.0 affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US english search results. This algorithm looks at a backlink profile and may demote a site that may have a poor backlink profile. This is the 6th release of Penguin. Panda update looks at content & language and hence is rolled out by region & language. While the penguin update is about bad links & hence affects globally. Some of the highlisghts of the update are
1) This is a worldwide update which will impact all versions of Google
2) The rollout will continue for the next few weeks
3) It will impact less than 1% of queries in english but may impact other languages as well
4) This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration. This would push up their rankings in search & hence better traffic & visibility.
5) This would demote sites if they have spammy neighbourhoods.
If you have an android app for your business or services along with a website, Google now allows you to connect both the app & the website. This helps users searching on their smartphones & tablets to be directed to the respective app content. Once the users have installed the app, the users will be directed to the relevant part of the app. Many sites have already implemented this feature & Google has made it even more simpler to connect the website & app. These new features also help analyze the performance & find out the errors. The steps involved are
1) Add deep link support to your app
2) Connect your site and your app
With the normal crawling & indexing process, Google will discover app/site deep links & provide the deep links results in Search. A new feature has been added in Google Webmaster Tools to help find any issues during the app-site link. It will show you what type of errors have been detected for the app page-web page pairs & can be corrected to show correct links.
Competitive analysis for SEO is one of the important aspects. It helps understand how the competitors are doing with respect to ranking, keywords, website & others. This helps implement some new strategies for your website. Some of it can be done manually in Google by searching for their website. There are also some tools available which helps in this process. Earlier Alexa was one of the important tools. Now a variety of free & paid tools are there for the analysis. Some of these tools are 1) Alexa 2) Compete.com 3) Quantcast 4) Google Alerts & others.
These provide a wealth of information for the SEO purposes. This would help outrank your competitors website. The page authority and domain authority plays an important role in the competitive analysis. The page titles are very important for SEO purpose and these should be unique and should target keywords customers are looking for. Some tools provide top keywords for your competitor websites & these can be used for your websites.
Google Webmaster Central Blog has come out with a list of measures which can be used to make smartphone sites load faster. Today’s avreage mobile page takes more than 7 seconds to load. Google has announced new guidelines to help webmasters optimize their mobile pages for best rendering performance & also updated Pagespeed Insights tool. These guidelines focus on rendering above the fold content to users in one second or less while the rest of the page continues to load. The above-the-fold HTML, CSS, and JS is known as the critical rendering path.
Following are some of the best practices & guidelines which can be applied.
1) Server must render the response (< 200 ms)
2) Number of redirects should be minimized
3) Number of roundtrips to first render should be minimized
5) Reserve time for browser layout and rendering (200 ms)
If the Infinite scroll in websites is not implemented in search engine friendly way, crawlers find it difficult to crawl & index. Then the content will not surface in search results. Google Webmaster Central has a great article on how to implement the Infinite Scroll in a search engine friendly way.
1) The webpage or the CMS used should produce a paginated series to go along with the infinite scroll.
2) All the individual items are accessible. However, with the normal infinite scroll, crawler can’t discover individual items displayed after the initial page load.
3) Decide how much content to have in each page.
4) The content should be so divided that there is no overlap.
5) Each component page contains a full URL.
6) Use rel=next and rel=prev values in the section to configure pagination.
7) Implement replaceState/pushState on the infinite scroll page.
With the increase in mobile browsing & search, mobile websites should be built properly to drive more traffic from search & provide better customer experience. Some of the check list from Google webmaster central to improve mobile websites are
1) Optimize crawling, Indexing & search experience. Unblock resources that are robots.txt disallowed. Implement search engine best practices.
2) Optimize mobile persona workflows for your site.
3) Seperate mobile site & include CSS @media query.
4) Search integration with mobile apps. Build for mobile behaviour & also provide for social sharing.
5) Remove cumbersome extra windows from all mobile user-agents. Also remove features that require plugins or videos which may not be found in the users device.
6) High traffic, poor user experience mobile pages should be designed properly.
7) Tablet users be served with the desktop version or if available, the tablet version.
A new feature in Google Webmaster Tools helps find out security issuses related to your sites. This helps site owners find more about the security issuses on their site, pinpoint the problem with code snippets & also request for review. Under the Security issuses, you can find out more on if your site has been hacked with spam or malware. Type of hacking, sample URL's & the date of detection of the issue is shown. Malware code injection, error in template injection, SQL injection & other information is available.
Google's In-Depth articles search results help users learn about a broad topic. Google has recently introduced this new feature in its search rankings results. According to research,10% of people's daily search needs are for more in-depth content. These results are ranked algorithmically based on many parameters with high quality & in depth content. Google's webmaster guidelines also provide information on how to create compelling content. Search engines love fresh & updated content. This helps drive traffic to the pages.
Following are some of the ways to notify Google about a in depth article
1) Using schema.org “article” markup
2) Providing Authorship markup,
3) rel=next and rel=prev for paginated articles
4) Provide information about your organization’s logo,
5) creating compelling in-depth content.
Well-researched Quality content & which is original is a must for higher rankings. The content should be non commercial & should not have any selling proposition. The content should be relevant. Images which can crawled should be included as part of the article.
Modified by HarshavardhanPrabhakar
Websites which target many countries have usually a dropdown in the home page to select language & country. Sometimes they are configured to point visitors to localized pages by redirects or through changing the content to the user’s language. rel-alternate-hreflang annotation is a new way supported by Both Google & Yandex to specify homepages. This would look like
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/” hreflang=”x-default” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/en-us” hreflang=”en-us” /> Targetted for US
The new x-default hreflang attribute value tells the Google algorithm that website.com is the default page & doesn’t target any country or language. This helps webmasters set x-default hreflang attribute value to suit particular requirements of the country based websites. This can be done through sitemaps or through HTML coding. More info about the same can be had at official Google Webmaster Central blog
Universal analytics is the evolution of Google analytics. With the increase in the internet browsing through mobile, tablet & other devices, it has become challenging to understand analytic data from multiple sources & use it effectively. Analytics helps understand the information & use it to increase revenue. Google’s universal analytics helps business address many such concerns easily. Universal analytics helps in performance of the mobile apps, how customers interact via an array of devices, online/offline data sync, & others. Mobile apps report helps in understanding how apps are doing, their crash report, which versions are working better & others.
Mobile app crashes metrics provides information on the app crashes in mobiles. This crash may be due to server overload, crashes happening in the mobile & others. The metrics helps provide better apps, higher monetization & proper use of resources. Crashes can be measured across various versions of the app. This helps in diagnising the problems associated with each version. Also the behavior of the app across iphone, blackberry, android & other platforms can be measured. In depth analysis at the device level like helps in making the app more useful.
Whether crash is happening at the server level or due to the mobile phone problem can also taken into consideration. Ads are also served through apps. This also needs to be monitored to find out if clicking the ads is causing crashes. Mobile internet data is growing rapidly & apps have become the way for the brands to keep in touch with the customers. Social media sites like twitter, facebook & others provide the customers to voice their opinion.
A regular auditing of the website is important as it helps in finding out the errors or mistakes which affect the search engine crawling & ranking. A site once launched would have duplicate issues, server problems, linking & others which raises a red flag for the search engine penalty. There are many free auditing tools available online which can be run regularly to uncover any issues related to sites & they can be corrected. The tools provide information on meta tags, alt tags, navigation, site map, header tags, linking errors & others. A regular auditing would help in fixing the errors & achieve higher rankings in search engines. The audit tools also check robots.txt file & social media profiles on facebook, twitter & others. Tools also have a scoring system based on which a score would be assigned to the website after auditing. The score can be improved over time with required changes to the site.
Google's new image search provides more display space for images and brings up a bigger version of the image. The earlier system required a lot of clicks and also go back & select an image. The new image search provides new ways to reach the image hosted site & there by increasing the click through rate. The domain name is also click-able now & there are 4 click-able targets to the source page.
Also meta data information about the image will be displayed underneath the image in search results. The new image search speeds up the user experience & also reduces the load on the website server.
With the rapid growth of social media, it is important for brands, products, services & others to have social media strategies in place. There are various types of content that can be used in social media like video, pics, audio, posts, stories & others. The selection of a particular type of content depends on the promotion, type of audience, type of brand & others. Sometimes the engagement will be more with video or may be with pics depending on the type of post. When posting in facebook, number of likes, shares & comments need to be taken into consideration. In youtube, number of comments, views, time duration video is viewed & other factors can be considered.
Pics can also be posted in pintarest, instagram, flickr & others for visual marketing. Many top brands have successfully utilized visual marketing to connect with the customers. While tweeting, it is important to carefully analyze the tweet. Many brands have gotten into trouble with their twitter feed & later had to apologize for advert tweet. Analytical vendors are providing social media analytics & this further helps in proper targeting of the content.
With the rapid growth of social media, it is becoming important for companies to manage their social media aspects. People are constantly talking about brands, products, services & others on social media sites. This gives a rich amount of information to companies to mine & analyze. Some have centers only in their HQ & while some others have across the globe. This also helps them to improve their service offering. Facebook, twitter, youtube, linkedin, yelp & others are some of the important sites where there is constant flow of information. Many companies are setting up social media command centers to monitor the conversation. This helps them to get information & also provide responses to social media questions. Teams consist of marketing, communication, product managers & others. Some companies are integrating these centers with their existing database & CRM systems to get more information.
With the emergence of social media, it is playing a key role in marketing activities. Social media sites like twitter, Facebook tumblr, YouTube LinkedIn & others are growing rapidly. Now facebook has more than 1 billion members. This has made the companies to use social data for market research activities. People share their purchase experience through social media sites. Data can also be obtained from Customer Rep chat, ratings, polls, surveys, voting, review sites & others.
Consumer ratings are used by people before deciding about the product. All this data helps market research lower costs, fasten the decision making process & others.Many analytic service providers have started including social media data in reports & this can also be used for research purposes. Top brands are mentioned by users regularly in conversation & this helps them uncover many insights. Social media listening is playing an important role in research. With the use of smartphones, more people are using social media & this helps tapping into data related to localization.
Integrating Social Media with Search Optimization helps drive traffic, increase visibility & also drives Regs. Integrating fconnect to the site helps making the site more visible on facebook. Links shared in Social Media websites can act as a top source of backlinks & drives traffic.Several Analytic tools are available to measure the social media effectiveness. Search Analytics & Social Media Analytics can be combined to get better metrics. Top social media sites include twitter, facebook, youtube, flickr, pinterest, google+ & others. When uploading videos to youtube, make sure to include keywords in title, tags & others. Include links in facebook posts back to the site. Embedding Twitter, facebook & other social media icons to the web pages & blogs.
With the increasing usage of twitter, it has become important to measure the metrics & track twitter. Social media is playing an important role in online brand visibility. Social media strategies should be put in place along with marketing activities. Some of the important parameters to be considered are
1) Number of times brand is mentioned in twitter
2) Number of tweets & retweets
3) People following your brand & who they connect with
4) Pictures on brands shared by the user
5) Time of the day during which tweets reach a peak
6) Conversations surrounding the brand
7) Trending topics
With the explosion of mobile apps, measurement of app metrics & taking actions based on the data is very important. Thousands of apps are available on apple app store, google play & others. Analytic packages provide a variety of information on apps & thus helps in taking actions. This helps mobile app developers and marketers right from discovery to download & engagement. Some of the important metrics are
1) Number of new users who download the app daily & also the old users & referral sources which drive traffic to apps.
2) The version of apps is also important as it helps know the popularity of which version is doing good.
3) Engagement metrics - Like how frequently the app is used, the actions users take once they start using the app.
4) Purchasing through apps - If any goods or products are sold through apps, shows the revenue & also other data associated with it.
Mobile app analytics can be used along with the overall web analytics to develop the digital marketing stratgies of the brand. This helps companies to develop better customer understanding & also help increase their ROI.
URL shorteners which had humble beginnings a few years ago, have now become mainstream with many companies entering the fray & providing a host of functions like analytics, customized URL's & others. They help trim lengthy addresses, track the traffic & what users do once they get there. Some of the URl shorteners include bit.ly, goo.gl & others. Many top brands & services also use their own names in the shortened URL. They allow users to customize and update their shortened links to be public and private. Some of the other data available through them include referrers, browsers, platforms & others along with the time period with high clicks. URL shorteners have also become problematic when scammers use them to hide bad links. Many analytical vendors have also started including URL shorteners in metrics reporting.