How to build a long-term, search-first marketing strategy
“There are roughly three and a half billion Google searches made every day,” said Craig Dunham, CEO of enterprise SEO platform Deepcrawl, at our recent MarTech conference. “According to research from Moz, 84% of people use Google at least three times a day, and about half of all product searches start with Google. The way that consumers are engaging with brands is changing, and it’s doing so rapidly.”
He added, “Consumers begin their journey with the tool that many of us use hundreds of times a day. Thus, the connection to revenue becomes clear — it starts with search.”
The concept of digital transformation has been around for years, but it’s taken a whole new form in the wake of recent societal shifts. New technologies and the 2020 pandemic have led to a “greater focus on the need to drive optimal digital experiences for our customers,” says Dunham.
A brand’s website is often the first, and most lasting, impression customers will have of your organization. Here are some strategic actions he recommends marketers take to ensure their online properties are optimized for the search-first age.
Read more: How to build a long-term, search-first marketing strategy
How to earn customer trust with inclusive marketing
“Every day we are learning more and more about the importance of representation in products and experiences,” said Kelli Kemery, lead market researcher at Microsoft, in her presentation at SMX Next. “Inclusive marketing helps your brand connect authentically with customers to drive, love, loyalty, and trust.”
While many companies once saw inclusivity as an optional addition to their marketing campaigns, it’s become clear that customers want it in the center of brand interactions. And for good reason – embracing inclusive marketing practices helps brands reach those they’ve left out.
“Inclusive marketing invites underrepresented and marginalized people to experience and connect authentically with your brand,” Kemery said. “It elevates diverse voices and stories, questions assumptions and biases, and avoids stereotypes.”
Inclusion is a “modern marketing imperative,” she says, and brands that fail to embrace inclusive marketing will find themselves left behind as these trends continue. Here are four actions Kemery recommends marketers take to instill inclusive practices within their campaigns.
Drive purchase intent with inclusive advertising
Kemery pointed to some testing she did to determine if inclusive advertising increased buying intent. Through this research, her team discovered how much intent is directly driven by inclusive elements.
Create an inclusive keyword strategy
Inclusivity should apply to the keywords brands use as well. These are the terms audiences — marginalized groups in particular — are using to find brands they trust.
Develop an inclusive image strategy
“Authentic representation in advertising is important. The images that you choose matter,” Kemery said. “In our research, we found out that there is a strong tie between trust, love and loyalty. Once trust is established as a baseline, a brand can begin to build love and loyalty.
“To do this, the brand must go the extra mile to make someone feel understood through inclusion, and that means authentic imagery,” she added.
Practice inclusive audience targeting
“Through the customer research that you conduct to better understand your customers’ values and investigate inclusive keyword strategies, the goal is to uncover audiences that you may have overlooked,” said Kemery. “It is imperative to understand audience insights from any of the platforms that you utilize.”
“You can use these insights to find ways to authentically market to unique audiences who index higher for attributes such as valuing contributing to the community, and individuals who often look for brands that engage in their communities as well,” she added.
Read more: How to earn customer trust with inclusive marketing
Google Business Profiles sets waiting period for new owners and managers
Google updated its Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, to help documents to say that when you add a new owner or manager to a business profile, those new users may have to wait seven days prior to being able to manage all the features of the profile.
New limits. These new limits are documented over here but I found them via Ben Fisher’s blog, where it says.
When a new owner or manager is added to an existing Business Profile, they must wait for 7 days before they can manage all the features of the profile. During this 7 day period, the new owner or manager gets an error if they try any of the following:
- Delete or undelete a profile.
- Remove other owners or managers from a profile.
- Transfer primary ownership of a profile to themselves or a third user.
- An existing owner or manager tries to transfer primary ownership of the profile to a new owner or manager still in their first 7 days.
If the new owner or manager deletes their account within the first 7 days, they’re removed from the profile. If they undelete their account, they must be added to the profile again.
Read more: Google Business Profiles sets waiting period for new owners and managers
E-commerce sales jumped this holiday season as search marketers weathered Google updates
U.S. consumers spent $204.5 billion on e-commerce purchases during the holiday season, according to data from Adobe. This represented an 8.6% increase in online spending year-over-year.
The numbers show that e-commerce spenders spread out their shopping more over the months of November and December. For instance, in the weeks before Nov 24, spending was up a whopping 19.2% YoY, while in the period between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday – the so-called “Cyber Week”), spending was down 1.4% from the previous year. Sales were up again in the weeks after Nov 30, growing 5.6% YoY.
Undeterred by supply chain challenges. Disruptions to the supply chain created difficulties for shoppers even though they spent at record volume.
Online shoppers saw over 6 billion out-of-stock messages during the 2021 holidays, according to the Adobe study. This was 253% higher than 2019, in pre-pandemic times. It was also 10% higher than last year.
Read more: E-commerce sales jumped this holiday season as search marketers weathered Google updates