The Friday Catch-Up: Find out who Google’s biggest competitor is and learn legal ways to gather intel on your competition!

1Welcome to the 99th edition of The Friday Catch-up! We are closing in towards an anniversary and like always, we will keep you updated with the latest trends in SEO, boosting conversion rates, and establishing yourself on the web!

In this week’s edition, we let you in on the some goodies Google has launched for its Tag Manager users and how the company is managing to keep its ground with its biggest competitor (you will be surprised to know who it is!). You will also gain valuable insight into the world of SEO, how you can keep up with the changes, by upgrading content, and using keywords like never before, to boost conversion rates off the charts!

Do you use Google’s Voice Search feature? You will be surprised to find out how many people use it and what for, in the infographics section. Holiday season is also closing in; knowing social media trends for these holidays is therefore a must. Enjoy!

News

How Do You Like The Facebook Ads?

Have you seen those ads on your news feed? These ads keep showing up on the sides, relating to things you might have looked up before- well, Facebook is planning to buff up their advertising, opening their Audience Network to third party developers and publishers.

There are a whopping 1.5 million advertisers on Facebook, and more than a billion users-Facebook needs to leverage these amounts numbers to position the Audience Network as a mobile monetization tool. However, you shouldn’t worry much- you wouldn’t really be bombarded with random ads which you barely glance on. Instead, the product has been modified to display ads to only those users who might be interested in a particular product or service. Read more at eCommerce Times.

Google’s Treat For Marketing And IT Teams-Empowering Tag Management

Google recently posted a blog, two days back, introducing new modifications in the Google Tag Manager, which are supposed to ease the pain for IT and marketing teams. The much-anticipated alterations include new APIs that help marketers customize Google Tag Manager according to their specific needs. Moreover, the interface has been revamped, making it more intuitive, streamlining the procedures for launching and editing tags.

With the fresh interface and new APIs, Google also plans to expand coverage for 3rd party tags, which means that Google Tag Manager will now include more 3rd party templates in the tag creation flow. To be precise, it has been made simpler, convenient, and diverse with the addition of new options. Read more at Google Analytics Blogspot.

Google Tag Manager Users Excited To Have A Go At The New Tools!2

Google’s recent additions to the Tag Manager have definitely created a buzz among marketers and IT managers around the globe. Many marketers, like the head of marketing at Insure and Go, Simon Everett, said that the new tools and modifications allow companies to design and test strategies more efficiently compared to the earlier version.

Users will now be able to see a number of different third-party templates in the tag creation process. Third-party providers like AdRoll, Marin, Visual DNA, and many more, will be regularly posting templates, starting in a few weeks time. Moreover, with the intuitive interface, non-technical users can also have a go at the Tag Manager, as now it is structured similarly to Adwords, and Google Analytics. Read more at Marketing Land.

You Will Be Surprised To Know Who Google’s Biggest Competitor Is!

If you had to guess who Google’s biggest competitor is, you would probably say Microsoft because of Bing or most probably Yahoo, right? But the case is slightly different- actually, it’s the opposite. If you had to purchase a nice laptop, or say, a good lawnmower, where would you look it up?

Surprised? Yes, according to Google’s executive chairperson, Eric Schmidt, Google’s biggest competitor is- (Drum Roll!)- you guessed it- Amazon! Amazon is Google’s biggest search competitor, and it really makes sense when you realize that if you are looking for something to buy you are more likely to end up searching on Amazon.

Amazon is also catching up in the cloud industry, which is largely Google’s domain. In fact, whether its delivery, searching, or shopping, both the rivals are encroaching on each other’s domains on some level! Read more at Seround Table.

The SEO Specialist Releases Local Searching Factors For 2014

David Mihm, the Inbound SEO specialist at Moz, recently published the local searching factors for 2014. The factors are actually summed up after having a questionnaire filled out by various search experts. Here is a brief insight into what could help you stay on top of your customer searches!

Compared to before, user behavioral signals on websites now appear to play an important role as a local searching factor. Moreover, proximity to searchers has also been noticeably cranked up, even on the desktop. If you think that all you need is localized organic ranking, then you might now need to consider the fact how consistency of unlinked citations on authoritative sources is going to affect your rankings!

To read more and view graphs from the original report, read more at Seround Table.

The Battle Between Google And Amazon Just Got Real!3

Google Shopping Express is now Google Express and the recent measures show that Eric Schmidt’s (Google’s Executive Chairperson) speech, in which he called Amazon ‘Google’s biggest search rival’, has made Google go all out offensive and defensive at the same time.

Google Express is now available in more states; it has buffed up its geographical reach, and here’s the most interesting part-Google Express’s same-day delivery pricing and membership undercuts Amazon Prime’s same-day delivery pricing. What’s even better is that, to encourage memberships, Google Express is offering three months free.

There are different benefits that Google would gain with product search, consumer data, and merchant ROI, but there is a flip side to the story. Read more at Marketing Land.

Facebook’s New ‘Safety Check’ Feature Keeps You Connected In Times Of Disasters

Out of lessons it learned from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Facebook started to work on the ‘Safety Check’ feature back in 2011. Facebook’s Japanese engineers came up with the idea of taking the first step towards creating a feature that improves post-disaster communication.

In a blog post from Facebook, the company said that in times of disaster, people turn to Facebook to check on their loved ones, and proper communication is the most important tool for people in affected areas. If you are a frequent user of the ‘Nearby’ feature, or you have, your location services enabled- if a disaster hits, the feature will alert your friends and family to let them know you are okay, at the same time, it will allow you to keep a check on others in the affected region. Read more at Venture Beat.

Useful Posts worth Reading and Bookmarking

Gathering Intelligence On Your Competitors Made Easy4

Keeping a check on your competition is not just necessary to understand your industry better- you need all that intelligence to earn more and boost revenues. Added to that, when you know what your competitor is doing, you will be able to differentiate yourself too, which is what marketing is all about, right?

Apart from Googling up your competition to get an idea about their search engine optimization efforts and rankings, you also need to keep a check on their social media pages. Another way, to gather valuable intel on your competitors is by walking in to their online store, disguised as a customer. That’s right, time to switch the flip on your spy mode. Visit your competitor’s e-commerce website, complete a purchase, keep track of the user experience, and come up with ways you can offer better. Read more at Practical eCommerce.

5Keywords And Conversion Rates Are Brothers From Two Different Mothers

If you want to boost your blog’s conversion rates by as much as 87%, then you are in for a treat. You might have been beating about the traditional data-driven approach, where you made your best guesses (even researched) for the keywords your customer would use and then you came up with call-to-actions (CTAs) which would help you convert more. However, times have changed, and you should also change your conversion strategies.

Today, if you are looking to boost up your conversion rates, you need to revamp the strategies you used earlier with keywords. You need to optimize the post-CTA experience on the landing page, and you might even need to create offers for keywords, you don’t already have relevant offers for. Read more at HubSpot.

Comparison-Shopping Is Your Enemy And You Know It

Every business owner understands how comparison-shopping decreases revenues, narrows margins, and significantly lowers the sales figures. So is there any way to decrease the chances of you becoming the next target of comparison-shopping by your customers?

Luckily, there are approaches you can practice to make sure that you tackle comparison-shopping effectively. First, you need to position yourself in your customer’s mind- if you already tried that, think about repositioning. Publish articles, spend money to boost SEO, retarget visitors based on their behavior, and if you haven’t tried it, consider using other approaches like SMS, newsletters and voicemail.

If you feel that the product descriptions are not complete and need to be revised, or if your website lacks pictures- take care of such matters as soon as you can- your customers need proof, and they are better off going to other websites if you don’t have enough of it. Read more at KISS Metrics!

Make These Mistakes To Ruin Your 2014 Holiday Email Marketing Campaigns!

Email marketing is an amazing tool that (contrary to popular belief) still works wonders for most businesses. Especially in the holiday seasons, email marketing campaigns, serve as a great promotional tool to online sellers, helping them pick, pack, sell, and deliver more than the usual days. However, all of those extra orders need to be taken care of, effectively, and that means more customer questions, more emails, and a lot more calls.

If all this seems too much, then why not impair your entire campaign in the best possible way? Why not ruin it with style? Work on writing bad subject lines, don’t proofread your emails, and more is better, so keep bombarding your customers with your ill-structured emails. Learn more about ways you can send your holiday email marketing campaign down the drain at Practical eCommerce.

Improving Your Ecommerce Website Usability To Boost Traffic

Businesses spend millions of dollars on different tools and features which help them add value to their ecommerce websites by enhancing usability. Is it so important? Is it worth the millions of dollars spent? The answer is hands-down, a resounding yes! By now, you might have an idea that there are three basic laws for an e-commerce website:

  • It should be persuasive
  • It should be able to connect with customers in an emotional level
  • It should be trustworthy

However, the top three won’t be possible if it takes hours to look around your website, only to see weird rendering visuals, painstakingly long checkouts, and limited payment procedures that make the entire session seem senseless. This is why you should focus on the looks, accessibility, and consistency, of your ecommerce website along with different other factors. To get your hands on the 15 best practices to boost usability of your ecommerce website, read more at Information Week.

Busting E-Marketing Myths That Might Be Holding You Back6

With so many new technologies and marketing platforms now available to businesses, you might have, at times, steered clear of creating an email marketing campaign, presuming that it is a dead strategy. You might be shocked to know that over 87 billion consumer emails are sent and received every day around the world- and experts predict that this number will keep on increasing.

If you already have an email marketing campaign, you might be working hard to create short, catchy subject line, so that get you the most clickthroughs. But do you know that there is more to a subject line than just making it seem catchy? More importantly, are you aware that not everyone who signed up for your newsletter is interested in receiving mail from you? To learn more about email marketing myths, and bust them open, read more at DM News!

Boost Conversions By A Ridiculously Huge 529% In Mere 45-Minutes7

To answer your first question-yes, it is possible! You can actually implement a few simple steps to boost your conversion rates by as much as 529% in a small amount of time, and you will want to kick yourself hard for not trying it sooner.

The entire technique revolves around upgrading your content, making it more relevant, interesting, and NOT overwhelming it with keywords that barely seem to fit in. You would also need access to Google Analytics to identify which posts brought in the most amount of traffic in the first place. Next, you need to have a content resource, actually a KILLER content resource, that will do most of the work.

To learn more about completing this simple yet outrageously beneficial strategy, read more at Back Linko!

Are You Too, Going With The Herd Into Mobile Responsive Designs?

8Almost every marketer today might have, at some point stressed upon how important it is to go mobile, or create a mobile responsive design, and you might have heard us saying the same too! However, the case might be different as Anna Korolekh, a marketing manager, explains.

Mobile technology is helping companies win customers and attract more by leaps and bounds, but if you look at the statistics, they translate into something else. Almost 72.47% users still prefer to keep it traditional, with a good old laptop or desktop when surfing around websites, and the numbers are surprisingly low for Android and Windows based technologies. Moreover, the share of audience for large ecommerce brands is mostly made up of traditional device users.

Between all these mind boggling stats, and companies pouring millions into going mobile-what should you do? Learn more at Search Engine Journal.

Infographics and Video

Do You Use Google Voice Search?9

A new infographic launched by Google shows that people are really into using Google Voice Search feature, and that too for a number of daily tasks. The infographic gives a clear insight into the world of Google Voice Search users, characterized in terms of ‘teens’ and ‘adults’. Not so surprisingly, a larger number of teens want to get their hands off the keyboard, and this is prominent by the 55% teenage Google Voice Search users compared to 41% among adults. The infographic also includes valuable information like why is Google Voice Search mostly used, when it is used, and what is it used for. View the complete infographic at Seround Table.

What’s Happening On Social Media Platforms In This Year’s Holidays?

10Have you bought yourself a nice Halloween costume yet? You might probably be still deciding. However, as holiday season is closing in, marketers around the world are busy designing and planning to implement holiday marketing strategies. The Holiday Social Marketing Trends 2014 infographic shows that there will be an 8% increase in holiday spending this year, pushing the amount to a whopping $650 million. What are marketers doing? They will be spending almost 92% of their social media marketing budget on Facebook, whereas 73%of marketers believe that the social media to go with this year would be Instagram!

To gain valuable insight into the Holiday Social Marketing Trends this year, view the complete infographic at HubSpot.

Until next Friday!

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The Friday Catch-Up: Find out who Google’s biggest competitor is and learn legal ways to gather intel on your competition!

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