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Friday, December 11, 2015

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

World Surfing League ad sends chills down your spine

If you know your audience and have the right tools you can put together ads like this one that send chills down your spine and makes your hair stand up on your arms.

The Chaos Theory concept was created by award-winning creative agency Mistress and was directed by Dan DiFelice.
Read more at http://business.transworld.net/news/the-world-surfing-league-unveils-their-global-brand-campaign-you-cant-script-this/#ZUMwy2SG6Ws4cRfh.99

Monday, November 2, 2015

Best Times to Publish Content for Social Media Engagement

At AddThis, we’re constantly analyzing data from the 1.9B unique users we see per month across our network of over 15MM websites to learn how people are engaging with content. Last December, we published thebest times to post on social media during the winter holidays. That post, as well as a similar one we did earlier that year, proved so popular that we’re doing it again.
Knowing when your users are active on social networks is useful, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. We analyzed data in both the United States (US) and in the United Kingdom (UK) to search for peak social engagement times – when users were most likely to click and share content – on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. These findings are meant to help website owners get an idea of the best times to publish new content to maximize engagement on social media.

Social Media Engagement in the United States

In the US, most social networks see a spike in shares during the morning hours. Shares in this case don’t refer to shares on Facebook or retweets on Twitter – instead, these shares refer to content being shared to a specific social network from its original digital source through sharing tools (e.g. share to Facebook, share to Twitter). This trend is especially true for Twitter and LinkedIn, which are sites that tend to attract early birds. Shares to Facebook get started a bit later in the day, and shares to Pinterest happen mostly at night.
With shares occurring earlier in the day, clicks tend to happen a little later across all social networks, mostly in the late afternoon and into the evening. Twitter and LinkedIn get the most clicks in the afternoon, while Facebook and Pinterest drive traffic after 8:00pm.
Peak Times of Day for Shares and Clicks by Social Network
Use this information to get more of your content shared across social media and help drive clicks back to your website:
us-publish-times-final*All times listed above are in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Peak Times of Week to Post for Maximum Social Engagement
While each social network has peak times of day for shares and clicks, they also have certain days of the week during which engagement spikes. When you put all that data together, you get specific timeframes for which you should aim to post content for maximum shares and clicks.
US-peak-times-to-publish*All times listed above are in Eastern Standard Time (EST)
Users rest on the weekend, and so can you. Since demand for content isn’t as high on Saturdays and Sundays, save your best content to be published during the 9-5 workday between Monday and Thursday. Sharing and clicking activity tends to die down on Saturday and Sunday across all platforms…except on Pinterest. In fact, some of the highest click activity on content shared to Pinterest occurs on Sunday night from 9:00-10:00! Note that users aren’t as willing to share content on Sundays, but there is definitely a demand to see new pins.

Social Media Engagement in the United Kingdom

Unlike in the US, where clicking tends to happen much later than sharing, in the UK, sharing and clicking tend to happen within the same time period. This could be due to the fact that “Britons are slightly less digitally obsessed” or that social networks are blocked at many U.K. companies, resulting in less time spent on social networks overall, and less time spent during work hours. Much of the social activity in the UK occurs between 8:00-10:00pm GMT.
Peak Times of Day for Shares and Clicks by Social Network
The UK data is similar to the US when it comes to Twitter and LinkedIn (shares to these networks occur in the morning), as well as Pinterest (shares happen at night). The wild card here is Facebook. While users in the US tend to share to Facebook in the late morning and early afternoon, in the UK, that activity happens at night, from 8:00-10:00pm.
uk-publish-times-final*All times listed above are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Peak Times of Week to Post for Maximum Social Engagement
Like social media users in the US, those in the UK are spending less time engaging with social media during the weekends. However, the exception is Sunday nights for Pinterest users, when sharing content tends to spike on this platform.
UK-peak-times-to-publish*All times listed above are in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Use this data as a starting point to get to know your audience’s habits. You may find that – based on their gender, life stage or interests – they’re on a different schedule. With AddThis Social Sharing Tools, you can make it easy for visitors to share your content, as well as get in-depth analytics about how and when they’re engaging with your brand across different social networks. Get started!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

We totally agree with Ryan Stewart -Stop selling SEO

Why I Stopped Selling SEO Services and You Should, Too

Local SEO | Advanced SEO | Basic SEO
This post was promoted from YouMoz. The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding an unlikely case of hypnosis) and may not reflect the views of Moz.
In my 28 years on this planet, I've come to accept two things as fact:
  1. The sun rises every morning.
  2. Marketers screw everything up.
Because of fact No. 2, I had to stop selling SEO.
Why? Here's an interaction I used to have five times a day.
*Phone rings*
Me: "This is Ryan Stewart with WEBRIS. How can I help you?"
Caller: "I'm looking for SEO for [domain.com]. I want to rank for [keyword terms x, y, and z]. Can you guys handle that?"
Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 11.42.47 AM
I'm over it. 
I'm tired of explaining to people SEO doesn't work that way anymore. And I need the rest of you to get on board with me, because we're driving ourselves out of business.
I mean, come on people. Look around. We need to stop trying to jam websites where they don't belong. The SERPs have changed.
Google shows search results based on what's best for the user. We can't just rank for whatever keywords we want.
Let's take a look at a few examples:

Example #1: Search "best headphones"

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.22.33 PM
What do you notice?
Not a single result on the first page is a product page.
Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.46.24 PM
They're all articles about different headphone types, their benefits, pricing, etc.
Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.22.57 PM
We're all Google users. We all know these are much better results to get than getting a single brand's product page. I want to shop around, compare products, and read reviews. Don't you?

Example #2: Search "restaurants in miami"

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.47.57 PM
What do you notice?
Not a single result on the first page is a restaurant's website.
As a matter of fact, the results above the fold are tied to review aggregators and Zagat ratings.
Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 7.58.26 PM
Underneath the fold, the results are filled with listicles, reviews, and articles.
Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 6.53.03 PM
I'd much rather read reviews about dozens of restaurants than be directed to a singular one.

Example #3: Search "buy a cheap tv"

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 10.36.21 AM

What do you notice?
Ahhhh, yes, I threw this one in for the comment trolls.
The top five results are product pages. However, they're all mega-brands. With the current algorithms, we'll never outrank a brand for keywords like that (without spamming the hell out of it).
What else do you notice?
Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 10.36.48 AM
Articles, not product pages, are ranking at the bottom of the first page.

Example #4: Google "plumbers in san francisco"

Screen Shot 2015-08-16 at 10.41.16 AM
What do you notice?
Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 7.42.26 PM
Not a single result on the first page is a website. There are only review aggregators: Yelp and Google+.

OK, so what's happening?

It's a combination of two things:

#1: Google's got a lot of data, and they're utilizing it

It's safe to say Google understands what users want by analyzing the massive amount of data it has. If we take off our SEO goggles, it's hard to disagree.
Personally, I love the power of choice. I'd rather pick from a list of companies with reviews and comparison data than one that only includes websites that make it to the top of organic listings.
In addition (as much as I hate to say it), I trust brands. I'd rather buy a TV from Best Buy than www.shop-cheap-tvs.com. Wouldn't you?

#2: We're moving into the "pay-to-play" era with Google

Not too long ago, Facebook moved into the "pay-to-play" era. Now Google's headed that way.
Google's main source of revenue is advertising, counting for almost 90% of Google's revenue in 2014. And one of their main earners, display, is falling fast.
Google's message is clear: If you want to sell directly through the Google platform, then you'll need to pay for it.
Let's go back to my last example, "plumbers in San Francisco." Look at what's happening above the fold with that query:
Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 7.04.45 PMThat's right, baby! Paid local listings.
If this test sticks, it's going to have massive implications on local search. If I were a betting man (and I am), I'm all in that this is the future of local search.

But is SEO dead?

SEO is absolutely not dead. As long as people use Google search, SEO will be alive.
However, let's recap. Money/buyer (i.e., purchase-intent) keywords are:
  1. Dominated by huge brands that 99% of the world can't outrank (without spamming)
  2. Returning less product pages and more articles and other forms of content
  3. Triggering the knowledge graph, review aggregators, and more user-focused results
What this means is it's time to seriously reevaluate the landscape. The days of ranking a products or services page first for these purchase-intent keywords are limited.
If we want to capture that traffic moving forward, there are three things we can do:

#1: Pay for it

This is very straight forward. I like to use paid search as a remarketing tactic. We capture traffic from all corners of the web, and then when those people are ready to buy (using those money keywords), we use highly targeted paid ads to snag their business.

#2: Create valuable content

If we go back to my first example, best headphones, the results are dominated by content that compares ratings and pricing for various headphones.
No one shares, engages, or links to products and services pages. The fact is, no one except for us cares.
Instead of trying to jam those pages with links, create a piece of content that delivers what Google (and users) want. By creating value with your content, you open it up to earning social media shares and powerful links from relevant sites.
If you want to compete against the big dogs for organic search real estate, content is your best option.

#3: Optimize your website for the web

It's SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not GO (Google Optimization).
Yelp is a search engine. Facebook is a search engine. Twitter is a search engine. Amazon is a search engine. Quora is a search engine. Pinterest is a search engine. YouTube is a search engine. See where I'm going?
Each of these platforms offers unique benefits to the user. In a lot of cases, people looking for things on these platforms are likely to bypass Google altogether.
For example, l just moved into a loft in downtown Miami. I loathe shopping of any sort, so I allowed my girlfriend to manage the process for me. She ended up purchasing all of the furniture from Etsy (an e-commerce platform I knew very little about).
I asked her how she arrived there. This is what she told me:
  • Pinterest - She used Pinterest search to find inspiration on how to decorate. Using keywords like "loft decorations," she narrowed it down to the specific pieces of furniture she liked.
  • Amazon - She then went to Amazon and searched with keywords that were based on the furniture she liked on Pinterest. She was looking for rustic furniture. Amazon didn't have a great selection of that type.
  • Ebay - So she moved to Ebay, knowing that she could find cheap, secondhand (i.e., rustic) furniture there. She found that most things were a little "too used," so she moved on.
  • Etsy - Finally, she landed on Etsy, knowing they specialize in unique handmade items. She purchased all the furniture from there (and simultaneously broke my bank account).
Now, I realize she could've used Google to search for all these things. She chose not to, though, because she felt it was an extra step she didn't have to take. 
She chose to use those specific websites/platforms/search engines because each one was built to handle exactly what she was looking for.

Applying this to your website

The long-winded point I'm trying to make is this:
It's no longer just about optimizing your website for Google. It's about optimizing your presence across the web.
By understanding who our target audience is and where they spend their time, we can attack those platforms and build an organic presence.
  • If you're an attorney, you need to be on sites like Avvo, Lawyer.com and Find Law because they dominate the SERPS
  • If you're a local business, Yelp and Thumbtack are crushing it right now
  • If you have an e-commerce store, get your product on as many platforms where your customers are as possible (including Pinterest)
  • If you sell large-ticket B2B services, SlideShare and LinkedIn are gold mines for connecting with C-suite executives looking for information
The list goes on and on...

Bringing it all home

This is why I stopped selling SEO. I'm begging you to follow suit.
We need to educate non-marketers that times have changed. We can't just "rank and bank" for whatever we want anymore. 
We don't want to wait around until it's too late. This isn't a phase. This is the way it's going to be going forward, and we all need to get on board with it.
As Google gets more intelligent, we need to get more intelligent about how we approach marketing. That doesn't mean looking for ways to beat the search engine algorithms. Instead, we must learn to use them to our advantage.
About ryanwashere — I've been working in digital marketing for almost a decade, specializing in web analytics, SEO and inbound marketing strategy. I currently own and operate Webris, a Miami based search and web analytics agency. Connect with me on TwitterGoogle+LinkedIn or Instagram.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

13 mind-blowing statistics on user experience

1) Infinite scrolling can decline your bounce rate. Time.com’s bounce rate down 15 percentage points since adopting continuous scroll
2) In 10 years, a $10,000 investment in design centric companies would have yielded returns 228% greater than the same investment in the S&P.
3) ESPN.com revenues jumped 35% after truly listening to their community and incorporating suggestions into their homepage redesign
4) Choosing a specific blue over some other hues amounted to anadditional $80 million in annual revenue for Bing
5) For every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return is $44.25
6) 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience
7) Slow-loading websites cost retailers £1.73bn in lost sales each year
8) Judgments on web site credibility are 75% based on a website’s overallaesthetics
9) First impressions are 94% design-related
10) 85% of adults think that a company’s mobile website should be as good or better than their desktop website
11) 70% (of the 200 small business websites evaluated) don’t display clear calls-to-action for anything on their home pages, such as specials, e-mail newsletters, how-to guides, demos, and interactive tools
12) 90% of people use multiple screens sequentially
13) You are 64 times more likely to climb Mount Everest than clicking on a banner ad
Note: This article was originally written for Cameron & Wilding