Friday Catch Up: User Data Exchange not such a Covert operation anymore

Category: Friday Catch-up, SEO News

Hello fellow humans. We don’t want to alarm you but we must be prepared for next week. If you’re a 90’s kid I probably don’t even have to explain what is so special about next Friday. When we meet next, it will be Friday the 13th and Jason Voorhees will be on the prowl. So make sure you don’t go to any isolated cabins next week and are also not a teenage girl.

In this week’s article, companies finally catch a break with a safety net from hacking, a strange new revolution in user data exchange and some extremely nifty tricks and tips sure to help you if you’re a blogger. (Hint: Free Images!)

NEWS

Privacy Invasion at a Price: Handshake Capitalizes on User Data

It’s probably no surprise that in the dark dusty alleys of the internet, there are internet companies selling user data to others. Whether the information refers to specifics of internet behavior and digital activity of the target market or ‘insight’ in the form of complete data of a group of data, information regarding users is constantly being exchanged on the internet. Handshake takes that concept and puts power back into the client’s hand. Users will now have the option of selling their personal information to companies and earning approximately £1000- £2000 annually. Read more at TechCrunch.

HootSuite: Corporate Tweeting is now a Hoot! (Pardon the bad pun)

Social media faux pas is bizarrely common among corporate accounts. So common in fact that an app was created just for the prevention of these situations. This may either be a genuine mess-up on behalf of the company or hacking by a third party. In any case, these situations can be severely detrimental to the image of the company. HootSuite recently partnered with NexGate in order to provide social media security to corporate accounts. Users will be prompted regarding any changes in the account, giving them the chance to lock their accounts in case of any discrepancy. Fly on over to VentureBeat for more information.

Search within Twitter: Topsy is the new social media search engine

Twitters servers are chock full of tweets and associated data that have been uploaded to the site since its inception in 2006. Considering the number of tweets that are sent globally per day (400 Million), there is a lot of data to sift through. Topsy, the social search and analytics provider recently announced its new capability of searching through and locating any tweet made since the inception of the social media site. Read more about it at Search Engine Land.

TIPS & TRICKS

Virtual Tours: Explore the natural habitats of companies with Google’s 360◦ Business Photos

Google’s Business images are a great way of giving an inside look of your company to potential customers or clients. Search Engine Journal has listed some ways in which you can use this innovative new feature to add a fun element to your website. They recommend a little bending of the rules and adding the ‘shock’ element into your images. Although there are no people allowed in the images, you can add hidden people in the images or other anthropomorphic elements such as robots or maybe even aliens. Try adding a game or leaving clues for your customers to decipher.

Using Site Search Data for Merchandising

Search queries that users insert within your sites search mechanism provides valuable data. This means that your clients are telling you exactly what they want from you. In order to make sure that you make the most of it, there are some things that merchandisers need to do. Econsultancy suggests that you should never deliver null results. If a customer has made a spelling mistake or an invalid search, deliver any items that are similar to the query, so they can see what else you have in stock. Insert ribbon overlays on items that you want to stand out and create landing pages for groups of similar products. Read more.

Free Images!

If you’re a blogger then you already know the hassle when it comes to finding free images. Many have not still recovered from their amateur days when they found out that ‘Royalty Free’ does not mean ‘Free free’. Fret not dear Bloggers! Social Media Today has made a list of all the places where you can find absolutely free images. The list contains some famous names such as Flickr but also some hidden gems that we find impossible to live without. Stock Exchange is our particular favorite so make sure to check it out.

Personalized Search and SEO

When a user inserts a query into the Google search bar, they usually receive results based on the keywords that they’ve entered. What most users don’t realize is that these results are not generic but rather personalized for their preferences. In fact, this is often overlooked by advertisers as well who create content for a neutral audience. Google uses information relating to current browsing sessions, cookies and the time at which the query has been entered. Other factors and tricks can be read at Moz.

 

Social Media Marketing goes Mobile

With the smartphone revolution it’s no surprise that mobile marketing has gained such momentum n recent years. Social Media Examiner outlines the ways in which you can make the most of your Social Media Marketing plan for mobile. They suggest that marketers should give more importance to SMS marketing which has an 84% response rate within one hour. Food queries have a staggering 90% conversion rate. Optimizing Facebook pages for mobile phones has contributed to the high number.

Tracking Social Shares: A complex Science

Social shares are a kind of organic link building and can be very important for companies. Some shares however can be more important than others. Steve Rayson challenges the theory that social shares are only successful based on the factors of content quality and compelling titles. He carried out various case studies using Topsy and focusing on influencers using various social media sites. Read more on what he found over at Social Media today.

The Cure for Online Payments: The Constant Headache faced by Merchandisers

Merchandisers operating online often face the problem of providing enough or appropriate payment options to its online customers. In fact, there have been many abandoned virtual carts on websites simply because they weren’t able to provide ample and convenient payment options to their customers. The rule of thumb is to provide multiple payment options so the customer can choose whichever is most convenient for him. Guest Checkouts features, asking for limited information and reassurance of privacy and security are other factors that merchandisers must stress on. Read more at KissMetrics.

How Far can a Pretty Face Go? Google’s Authorship Feature

Google’s Authorship feature allows online news and information websites to link the authorship of their articles to the official pages of their authors on Google+. This means that users can view the image of the author along with the title in the Google search results causing the article to stand out. This feature is expected to increase the click rate of the links in search results. Econsultancy however found that SO far, the results found for articles using the authorship feature were still neutral.

Snapchatting for Brands: Genius or a Disaster?

Snapchat is notorious for the kind of content that its users share on the image sharing site. Some brands however have jumped into the midst of these infamous images and have actually found away to make it work. With 5 million active users and 200 million pictures, it is no wonder that brands have started considering it as a marketing platform even if their content doesn’t last more than 10 seconds. Some companies such as Acura, MTV UL and Taco bell have been suing Snapchat successfully so far. Read more at Search Engine Journal.

Creating Beautiful Contact Forms

Contact forms are one of the most important parts of a website for the site owner. It allows them to gather relevant and important information from their target audience and forecast accordingly. Most users however dislike filling out lengthy forms which ask for their personal information. This is why the way in which the contact form is presented becomes crucial to site owners. Specky Boy has gathered a list of stunning contact forms that user can just not ignore. Head over to the site and view the gallery for inspiration.

INFOGRAPHICS

Do Images Increase User Engagement for Tweets?

Econsultancy recently held something of a poll on its twitter page regarding the increase in user engagement and clickability if the post contained an image. This was based on the results of Facebook posts which indicate that user engagement for posts with images increases by 120%. Econsultancy however didn’t beat around the bush and directly asked its followers about what they would prefer. While most respondents said that they would prefer an image tweet as compared to a pure text one. Another factor that compelled users to click on the image is whether they were able to see a preview or received adequate information regarding the image within the tweet if no preview was provided.

G+ versus Facebook?

G+ being so old and having failed so spectacularly in its initial stages, you must be wondering why this belated comparison is being made. That’s just the question that Social Media Today answered within their great looking infographic which assessed each aspect ranging from purpose and demographic to brand usage. The results showed that Facebook was used to for personal relationships with friends and family whereas Google+ was used to find intellectual matches and those with common interests. Although the number of users was still drastically unmatched, Facebook having 665 million and G+ nearly 350 million, it seems Google + has been able to carve out a niche for itself anyway. Read more at SocialMediaToday.

MCommerce Holiday Sales Expected to Rise

The mobile revolution has caused US retailers to focus more of their commerce on mobile marketing. Mcommerce is sales have been rapidly on the rise for a long time and are expected to surge in the holiday season. Annual sales comparative to that of last year’s are expected to grow by 15%. The holiday season in November and December is expected to see an increase to $61.8 billion. This was an increase from last year’s $53.7 billion. Read more at Emarketer.