Google Hummingbird and the Keyword…..what you need to know …..

You have probably heard it already…but Google announced at it’s 15th anniversary ( what an amazing 15 years for them ) that it had a new algorithm impacting more than 90 percent of all searches worldwide ( another amazing statistic when you think about it ! )   Google calls is “Hummingbird” …and they have labeled it to be perhaps the “largest change to the algorithm since 2001 !

Many of our “Marketing brothers and sisters” became very nervous with the announcement……….but the new Hummingbird had been up and running for more than a MONTH when it was announced…..and NO ONE even noticed!  ( sounds good and bad in some ways doesn’t it ? )

Hummingbird allows the Google search engine to do its job even BETTER…thru an improvement in “semantic search” …… as conversational search becomes the norm….Hummingbird will actually add understanding to the intent and contextual meaning of terms used…….so many pages not previously found …will suddenly be found.

Google’s algorithm will continue to be a complex mix that weighs the relevance of a page …..so if you have been progressing all along with SEO….you are fine. SEO will require a better understanding of your audience….beyond keywords.  It will still be about measuring the content…not just the keyword.  Now we can measure the value that the pages are generating for you and what types of content are generating you the greatest ROI…isn’t that really what it is all about?  After all …even if you have great “content” but it is not driving traffic to your site or creating “engagement”….it is really not doing a good job for you.

With a clear understanding of the performance of each page you can better direct your focus and resources going forward.  Contact your SMI SEO Sales professional and schedule a time to discuss this further….and make your SEO much more profitable.

We will certainly revisit this further in the near future…but for now…I will say only that I wish each and every one of you only the “Happiest of Holidays” the “Merriest of Christmases” and a safe, healthy and prosperous New Year….wishing you all the very best in 2014 and beyond.

Euby

From Bricks to Clicks…and back to Bricks! Ecommerce matures to physical stores…

Greetings from a soggy Saturday in Fort Lauderdale !

Something very interesting is happening the the “On-Line” stores recently and the trend is rapidly growing….

The On-Line retailers obviously to the brick and mortar stores to the web……and now the “web” is bringing them

back to physical retail operations!  Who Knew?   I just finished reading about this new trend in AdAge Digital!  A very interesting trend in the e-commerce industry…..and one that has been greatly “un-reported”!

When Warby Parker founder Niel B. wrote the business plan for  what is now one of the hottest e-commerce companies,  there was not any mention of physical stores.  But just two days into their launch in 2010 they were added….yes…48 hours into the business launch !  They were buried with requests for their popular “in home try-on” program.  Suddenly they realized that they needed some central location for many people to see, fell and touch their products…and yes…try them on….and shipping each single item to and from was proving overwhelming.  Solon they added “Pop up” stores, mobile truck stores and then yes…physicial brick and mortar locations.  The showrooms have proven tremendously successful.

This is no longer an unusual story anymore….Gap owned Piperlime …Bonobo’s Gide Shops have both added showrooms…and never intended to do so…..they are doing it because it is simply a “better customer experience” …. and most recently in a real surprise…the daily deal company “Living Social” has opened their first store with more planned in the future!

What they have all figured out is that the customer prefers  ( their first purchase specifically ) in a hands on, feel and touch ( or try-on ) enviroment…then they are more comfortable with the “re-orders” on-line.

Go figure…Customers PREFER a physical experience !  As Euby has evangelized for years….Sales is a RELATIONSHIP business…and being there in person is a much greater relationship experience than digital!   E-Commerce can complement the experience but it cannot replace it!

So the brick and mortar companies can complement their efforts with their on-line offers….and now we know of course that the “On Line Retailers” can complement their e-commerce business with a physical store.   From Bricks to Clicks and now back to Bricks !

Interesting how things work out …isn’t it?

Till next time…..     Euby

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from Euby….and a few final notes for 2012

It is hard to believe that 2012 is almost at an end…it has certainly been a challenging year for our industry and our country.  We continue to stagger economically and far too many people are our of work….but the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook really brought the close of 2012 to and even more difficult end…. one that typed words cannot possibly describe. But…we all know…there is a tomorrow ( now that December 22 nd is here and we are still here also ! ) and we will rebound and hopefully emerge stronger and smarter for the experience it has given us.  There is always a lot to look forward to ….and 2013 offers an entire new year of opportunities….

In recap of some past blogs…I wanted to tell you that QR Codes ….despite their predicted demise…have enjoyed continued skyrocketing numbers in scans each quarter of 2012.  The latest reported numbers show continued growth with over 5 million scans per month on average…and I am sure November and December will be off the charts with all the holiday shopping.  The largest QR Campaign so far in 2012 resulted in over 2 million scans!  Wow..what a number !  Compare that with the largest of 2011 at 30,000 and you can see the incredible growth.

Even the USPS is getting on the Tech bandwagon…chedk out their new website…and the technology they are embracing now….there are a lot of new tech items, as well as many new types of direct mail options that are business and consumer friendly… they are really catching on after years of lagging behind…..they even accept PayPal for on-line shipping payment options!  What will they think of next????

If the USPS can turn the corner and start ramping up….there has to be hope for the US Economy….it will rebound…we just do not know when….but we will be there ready to run!  Until next year….Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Prosperous New Year!

All the best in 2013 !

Euby

10 Email Success Keys…..

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone!   Since we are all away from the office for a  LONG weekend…we are all probably ( as I have been all morning ) using this time to catch up on old emails and clear out my inbox.

We are all using Email more and more…and as a result we can easily become complacent and fail to use the proper care with our correspondence, which leads to ineffectiveness and inefficiencies….so in an attempt to make myself more aware as well as share some pertinent information with the Euby blog readers…here are a few “keys” that I recently picked up from an excellent read at the airport.

1)  Be “Can-Spam” Compliant …( didn’t know this term till I read this )  Never be deceptive with your subject line, and include a full signature line with address and phone, and include OPT OUT instructions.

2)  Make the Email content as personal as possible!   The more “personal it looks” the more it appears to be from a trusted source…and as such, open rates are greatly improved.

3)  Use a dedicated domain.  Do not use your “company domain” for your emails…use a special marketing domain for all marketing campaigns.   This prevents any complaints from affecting your primary domain.

4)  response Options…. GIve the recipient the option to reply to you, or go to a website, or pick up the phone and call.  The more response options…the more responses you will receive.

5)  Tracking Tradeoffs… Recognize that the more you track the things like open rates, pages visited, click thru rates etc., the more likely your email will be seen as unsolicited and the less likely it is that it reaches your intended target.

6)  Check you Emails “spam score”…. go to http//ww.thecassiopeia.com/portal/spamtest.html  there are many others out there …and using as many as possible is advised.

7)  Avoid Spam Catches… there are millions of these and you can unknowingly include them in your email content.  The general rule of thumb is “don’t sound like a cheese commercial” and do NOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS…or use words like free and discount frequently.

8)  Follow up immediately….. You must follow-up all responses immediatley…a real person would do so…. so your program must also.

9)  DIversify and Customize…you a large variety of content and subject lines.  This will make your emails look much less “spammy” as they hit corporate servers

10)  Timing of Delivery…. Be conscientious of the times, dates, days of the week, and frequency with which the emails are delivered. Tuesday thru Thursday are your best delivery days for B2B emails!  Emails going out in the middle of the night have a high spam recognition factor so avoid that if at all possible.

I hope these help….there were sure a few “eye openers” for me.

Have a great Long Labor Day weekend !  I am off to Monteray CA for the entire week…so until next weekend….Have a wonderful weekend with the family and be safe !     The Traveling Euby.

USPS now offers PayPal as a payment option!

A good Saturday morning to all !

The USPS continues to surprise us with new creativity that we are not accustomed to seeing….. the latest……  The USPS has added “PayPal” as a payment option for their very popular “Click and Ship On LIne label generating service” !

The USPS spokesperson Kelly Sigmon, VP of Channel access,  said that “Our Customers have told us that would like more payment options when shipping online, and that is why we are excited to announce we are now  accepting PayPal”!

If the USPS continues to listen to their customers and offer these continued enhancements, along with a continued belt tightening and consolidation of services, they might become a viable, profitable organization again in the future.  Recently, Euby has been impressed with their moves….and I honestly would not have thought I would ever be typing that statement!

Who knows where they go from here….but hopefully they will continue to innovate and “re-invent” themselves!

Till next time….. Euby