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  3 Ways to Connect With Your Audience

Jim Yu

The digital world has its pros and cons. On one hand, marketers can interact with consumers en masse at any time from any location, with the hope of cultivating brand loyalty and boosting the bottom line. On the other hand, the deluge of information can be overwhelming and downright irritating for consumers -- Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr alone produce 715,856 pieces of content per minute, according to Domo. Breaking through the noise and establishing a brand voice worth listening to requires a content approach that centers on relevancy, thoughtfulness and integrity. CONTINUE READING

 
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The 2015 B2B CMO Challenge: Measuring Content Performance
 
Jim Yu | November 18, 2014
If this is the year of content marketing, then we're fast approaching the year of content performance. Columnist Jim Yu discusses how CMOs can prepare. As we head into the new year, there’s no doubt that CMOs “get” just how important content is to their business, but many are still challenged with how to measure and report on its performance across the board. Let’s take a close look at where we’re at now in terms of content as an initiative and where we need to be in 2015 to elevate our marketing to content performance.
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Easy Wins for Your Website
 
Scott Julewitz | November 13, 2014
When developing a keyword strategy for a website it’s easy to look at basic keyword research (search volume, competition and trends) and stop there. Unfortunately, when you just look at these basic factors, a lot of opportunity is missed. One great insight that is often overlooked is current site rankings. I’m not referring to traditional ranking tools where you input your keywords and it tells you where you rank. I am referring to more advanced tools such as Data Cube, which is a part of BrightEdge. In Data Cube all you need to do is input a URL and it will return every keyword the site ranks for, including search volume and the specific landing page. After you have your export you should also layer in competition from the Google keyword planner tool. This is a great way to uncover low hanging fruit you may be ranking on and didn’t even know.
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7 Marketing Technologies Every Company Must Use
 
Louis Gudema | November 03, 2014
With over 1,000 companies trying to sell some type of marketing technology in over 40 categories, it’s not surprising that the most common word that marketers use to describe themselves is “overwhelmed.” Indeed, according to my research into 351 mid-market B2B companies, except for companies in software, the adoption rate of marketing technology is very low: companies in other industries are using a median of just 2 out of 9 major marketing technology programs that I identified. This is a wasted opportunity. Many marketers have reported rapid and significant ROI from adopting these tools; but first, they had to convince higher-ups to make the up-front investment. So, in the interest of helping clear that path, I am suggesting a Marketing Technology Starter Kit: the seven programs that every company’s marketing team should have access to, at a minimum, to grow leads, opportunities, and revenue.
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Hey enterprise software startups: Ignore the mobile web at your peril
 
Jim Yu | October 31, 2014
The mobile web plays a critical role in how users find your company, learn about your products and decide whether to become paying customers. It’s no secret that today’s enterprise software entrepreneurs must start out mobile, before later dealing with the desktop. And while it’s always preferable to access a product via a company-specific app, that doesn’t mean entrepreneurs should ignore the mobile web. The mobile web may account for just 14% of consumers’ time spent on mobile devices, but that time is mostly consumed by pointed, purposeful searches for specific information. One-third of organic web searches now originate from mobile devices, and that number will soon pass 50%, according to several studies.
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The Holidays Are Here: Get Fourth Quarter Content Ready
 
Jim Yu | October 28, 2014
By now -- thanks to Starbucks' widely favorited Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Christmas decorations already on sale -- the holidays are clearly upon us. As families buy gifts, finalize travel arrangements and plan festivities, one thing is for sure: there's never a better time than the holidays to be a marketer. Take it from Netflix, Target and more, whose marketing efforts fueled millions of dollars in profits: the holidays are a goldmine for engaging audiences, forging new connections and driving revenue. In 2012, almost 130 million consumers shopped online to take advantage of Cyber Monday's deals and steals. In 2013 alone, 49 percent of holiday marketing campaigns were created and launched before Halloween -- and in 2012, 20 percent of marketing budgets was attributed to these holiday campaigns, proving that companies are willing to spend big to see traction during this important time of year.
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OTAs dominate search for travel deals
 
HotelMarketing Staff | October 24, 2014
When it comes to offering consumer savings opportunities, travel sites like Expedia and Tripadvisor have mastered the right content, whereas airlines and hotels haven’t performed as well historically in this category, according to new data by BrightEdge. In fact, nine of the top ten players are OTAs - only Hilton made it into the list. We’re at the outset of Q4, which means that the holidays are fast approaching. Travel deals, accommodations and hospitality are always in high demand this time of year, as consumers lock down holiday travel plans and make reservations. Whether you’re a travel agency, an airline or a hotel, your company needs to be prepared to capture market share in this highly competitive season. It’s not enough to create content for content’s sake; in such an oversaturated market, marketers won’t be able to move the needle without understanding where the demand lies — and what they can do to take full advantage.
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The View From the Valley
 
The Atlantic Staff | October 23, 2014
Are we in a tech bubble? Is Snowden a hero? And what’s the hottest status symbol? In The Atlantic’s first Silicon Valley Insiders Poll, a panel of 50 executives, innovators, and thinkers answer these questions and more.
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Travel Industry News: Brand Content Must Go Niche to Beat Out Competition
 
Jonathan Crowl | October 23, 2014
As the holiday season approaches, online travel agencies (OTAs) are under enormous pressure to maximize reach and conversions among a massive online consumer base. Travel industry news, meanwhile, is inundated with tips and emerging trends to maximize performance—but not all of this advice is worth taking. With content, as with most digital strategy, the best approach is to follow the numbers. According to the BrightEdge Industry SERP Report, a key differentiator for those businesses will be figuring out how to use content to respond directly to consumer demands. BrightEdge says critical guidance in content decisions can be found through the BrightEdge Data Cube Time Machine. The company has developed this predictive technology to offer guidance relevant to Q4 2014, which will help to identify the best areas for travel brands to focus on when making a push for holiday sales.
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Content Marketing Is Getting More Personalized and Helpful
 
Nicole Fallon | October 14, 2014
everal years ago, "content is king" became the battle cry of marketers everywhere. Content marketing has come a long way since then, shifting from the occasional on-the-side blog post and social media update to a central tenet of any brand's marketing playbook. "Content is an integral part of marketing strategies all around," said Matthew Grant, director of content strategy for digital creative and marketing staffing firm Aquent. "[It is becoming] more and more difficult to distinguish content marketing from any other kind of marketing." With the lines between marketing strategies continually blurring, what does the future of content marketing hold? Experts weighed in on the five biggest upcoming trends for this critical marketing strategy.
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What Do Structured Snippets Mean To Your Page-Level Content Strategy?
 
Jim Yu | October 07, 2014
In early September, Google was up to something, and some spotted what looked like Knowledge Graph-driven facts being pulled into a web page’s search results listing. Fast-forward to September 22, and it was official: structured snippets were now a part of Google Search. But what are they? No, these snippets are not derived from structured markup on the page, nor does it seem that the facts showing in these snippets are pulled via a database in a Knowledge Graph-y type of way.