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Greenlight's Magazine: Spring Edition


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In the Spring Edition of the Greenlight magazine, we explore the new reality of link building, how to get the most from mobile advertising, the impact of Facebook's latest product 'Home' plus we …

In the Spring Edition of the Greenlight magazine, we explore the new reality of link building, how to get the most from mobile advertising, the impact of Facebook's latest product 'Home' plus we provide tips on how to achieve a fully integrated digital search strategy.

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  • 1. The Greenlight Sector ReportAdvertisementApply to
  • 2. ARTICLEContentsWhat will it take forbrands to embrace thenew reality of Search?Interflora’s recent run in with Google getsGreenlight’s SEO Director, Adam Bunn,questioning the ‘state of link building’.10The Impact of Facebook ‘Home’How can we get themost from mobileadvertising?IntegratedSearch &Digital Strategies328Article by Paul Byrne6feature articles4Magazine ContentsGet in touch to discuss your site’s specific performance | |  +44 (0)20 7253 70003 Overview4 Article - Exactly what willit take for brands toembrace the new realityof Search?by Adam Bunn6 Article - How can we getthe most from mobileadvertising?by Hannah Kimuyu8 Article - Integrated Search& Digital Strategiesby Paul Byrne10 Article - The impact ofFacebook ‘Home’by Sam Haseltine13 Back CoverSam Haseltine explor es the potential to be unloc ke by your brand with F acebook ‘Home’ .
  • 3. As I write this it’s been almost amonth since Interflora’s recoveryfrom the landmark Google penaltycaused almost certainly by a largenumber of paid advertorials andpotentially by a number of otherlink building techniques. Interflorahad suffered a milder penalty in2012 from which it had recovered,but then continued to link buildagainst Google’s guidelines thus in-curring a rarely seen level of wrathfrom the web spam team that sawthem lose rankings not only for allof their generic and long tail que-ries but also their brand – an almostunheard of level of severity for alink based penalty. It seems anopportune time to put down someof my thoughts on the “state of linkbuilding”, current and future.Linking without linkingAs social media becomes the defacto way of expressing appreciationfor a piece of content, naturallygiven links are becoming vanishinglyrare. Frankly, why would youbother when you can press a“share” or “like” button and be donewith it?Meanwhile there is a flight of SEO’sto the few remaining link building“techniques” that are collectivelydeemed “safe”, however misin-formed they may be.Various forms of semantic markupthat allow content to reference itssource without an explicit link mayalso prove important in the future.Google’s proprietary authorshipmarkup is widely hyped but is justone example of a burgeoning poolof schema and microformattingoptions for content providers.Make no mistake: search engineswill have to use these “non-link”link signals more in the future.After all, they are companies thathave historically leant on links asa signal, but are now faced with ashrinking pool of those links, a greaterand greater percentage of which aremanipulated (if you think about it forlong enough you almost start to feelsorry for them).Mixed messages from GoogleFor marketers, things are gettingconfused by Google’s apparent mixedmessages on various types of link,caused by their increasingly prominenttelevision advertising for the Chromebrowser and the connected “ecosys-tem” of Google services. In a classiccase of the left hand not talking to theright, paid advertorials, sponsoredposts and product reviews have allreceived apparent endorsements byGoogle on the one hand while variouspenalties, warnings and guidelines tella completely different story.“Google’s hypocrisy is boundto raise ire & confusion inequal measure.”Take product reviews. The basic ap-proach here is to identify a numberof bloggers in your industry with adesirable following and send them freeproducts to review. From there anglesvary, from the obviously unnatural “inreturn for me sending you this I expecta link to this page with this anchor text”to “here’s a product, do what you will”.The former line is explicitly named andshamed in Google’s webmaster guide-lines, and the shades of grey in themiddle have various degrees of risk. Ahighly trumped campaign by Interfloraresulted in many product review styleblog posts, many of which had linksto Interflora that might have beendeemed unnatural (note that nobodyexcept Google, including probablyInterflora themselves, knows exactlywhich links if any contributed to theirpenalty aside from the paid advertori-Feature ArticleExactly what will it takefor brands to embrace thenew reality of search?FEATURE ARTICLEInterflora’s recent run in withGoogle gets Greenlight’s SEODirector, Adam Bunn, questioningthe ‘state of link building’.The Greenlight Sector Report
  • 4. als that are about as open and shut acase as it’s possible to get).Meanwhile, the current GoogleChrome above the line campaignyou may have seen on TV recently( fea-tures the story of Cambridge Satch-els, a start up company that sendsproducts to fashion bloggers as partof its online marketing strategy. Inthe ad this results in YouTube videoreviews, but Google certainly runsthe risk of being seen to explicitlysanction sending products to blog-gers in return for promotion, includ-ing by extension links. In reality ofcourse, Chrome’s marketing teamjust aren’t talking to Matt Cutts andhis web spam team, proof of whichcame when a paid advertorial anda number of sponsored blog postsfor Chrome went live on the daythat Interflora was banned includingfollowable links to various Googlepages. At the time of writing, Googleseems to have removed the specificposts that were widely reported onbut others still remain, including itslinks (search for “this blog is part ofa series sponsored by Chromebooks”in quotes to unearth some). Thishypocrisy is bound to raise ire andconfusion in equal measure.5Get in touch to discuss your site’s specific performance | |  +44 (0)20 7253 7000In March Matt Cutts told us toexpect a “very large” Penguin updateat some point this year. Penguin isthe closest thing to an algorithmicversion of a member of the webspam team, dishing out ranking“filters” that feel like link penalties,thus far to a very small number ofsites (to date Penguin updates havetypically affected less than 0.5%of search results). It’s difficult tosay what constitutes “very large”but I think it is now quite obvious(despite Chrome’s best efforts) thatin general Google expects market-ers to be going cold turkey on link“building” and doing things properly.At the moment this has resulted ina lot of noise about content market-ing.Unfortunately I am not convincedthat many people really get whatthis means. I recently attended acontent strategy conference full ofpeople whose jobs revolved purelyaround content. The thing thatstruck me most clearly was thatthe concept of assigning value tocontent was seen as weirdly alien.In particular, in a session dedicatedexactly to this topic, the speakerhad to explain what ROI meant andfelt the need to speak to the del-egates like a room of primary schoolpupils. For someone coming from anonline marketing background it w asfaintly condescending and franklybizarre.I have written often in the Greenlightmagazine of the need to blend thevarious strands of on- and off-linemarketing into compelling campaignsand I’m more convinced than evernow that success will come frommashing creativity together with thescience of numbers driven market-ing – call it content marketing if youlike. Perhaps the Interflora case andthe threat of a looming super algo-rithm update will turn out to be thetipping point that convinces brandsto embrace the new reality we findourselves in.The 2013 Google SuperAlgorithm UpdateByAdam Bunn,Director of SEO,Greenlight
  • 5. It took mobile advertising almostthree years (‘…2009/10/11 willbe the year of mobile’) to makea serious impression until we hit2011 when we saw mobile trafficrepresent almost 38% of onlinetraffic for retail, and on average18% for other sectors. Mobileadvertising is cheaper, with costper clicks still coming in at halfthe price of desktop and is morecost effective, delivering almosttwice the average basket valueand double the conversion rate.This is also illustrated in our mostrecent Sector Reports where wenow report the different trends inmobile versus desktop growth; theevidence clearly shows the num-ber of mobile searches is catchingup with desktop queries. So what’sthe problem, why are most adver-tisers still only dipping their toesinto mobile advertising?12 to 18 months ago site experi-ence was definitely an issue, withmany advertisers not even bother-ing to develop a mobile friendlysite, never mind considering thevarious different device sizes.However with responsive websitedesign, advertisers don’t need toworry about whether it’s worthinvesting in a separate mobilefriendly site. Even Google statesthat responsive web design is itsrecommended mobile configura-tion, and even goes so far as torefer to responsive web designas the industry best practice. Toexplain why, responsive designsites have one URL and the sameHTML, regardless of device,which makes it easier and moreefficient for Google to crawl, de-mand, and organise content.Google prefers responsive webdesign because content that liveson one website and one URL isFeature ArticleMOBILEADVERTISINGWhy haven’t we fullyembraced it yet?by Hannah KimuyuWith just two months until launch, Greenlight’s Director of Paid Media HannahKimuyu explores the benefits that Enhanced Campaigns will offer for mobile.The Greenlight Sector Report
  • 6. 7Get in touch to discuss your site’s specific performance | |  +44 (0)20 7253 7000much easier for users to share,interact with and link to, thancontent that lives on a separatemobile site.So that’s the site taken care of,however does size really matterbecause let’s not forget mobileadvertising isn’t just about the typ-ical mobile handset, we also haveto consider tablet devices into thismix as well. A recent study byYuMe revealed “…that consumermedia consumption on mobile de-vices is influenced by environmentand context, not just screen size”.The study revealed that consumersare increasingly screen agnosticwhen it comes to consuming con-tent. By device, 38% of respon-dents accessed entertainmentcontent on their smartphone; 34%on their laptop, and 28% on theirtablets. The study proceeded toadvise advertisers to throw awaytheir “…screen-by-screen mediaplanning rule books” and to focuson a multi-screen strategy.This advice is also echoed byGoogle, who has gone as far asoverhauling its whole advertis-ing channel (the first time sinceits inception), putting mobile firstand announcing the ‘re-launch’ ofits Enhanced Campaigns in June2013.Enhanced Campaigns is allabout ‘…making ads simplerin the contextual world welive in today, yet providing theright reporting and platformto work with’.[Kesh Patel, Strategic Partnershiplead for Google’s local channelsales division]For mobile specifically the threereal benefits include -1. Ad Placement Focusing yourbudget on the context that mat-ters, including time of day, proxim-ity, and type of device.2. Ad Copy Refocusing your bid-ding strategy and messaging toreflect the different contextualsituations, allowing the adver-tiser to be more consistent andautomated.3. Reporting Being able to measurethe joint impact of where an adshows up and what it says e.g. mea-suring app downloads, offers, andclick-to-call etc. (Also Google’s firstattempt at joining the dots betweendifferent devices).However the developments ofEnhanced Campaigns also bring afew challenges, mainly the forcedinclusion and impending higher costper clicks. The higher cost per clickswill of course be a real issue to thoseadvertisers who have enjoyed thecheap, cost effective world of mobileadvertising to date. With brandcost per clicks on the rise and theincrease in CPC’s from free shoppingbecoming a paid format, some mayfind it all a bit overwhelming to takein.That said mobile advertising is hereto stay and with Google laying outa more sophisticated approach totargeting the user, increased CPC’saside, mobile advertising is anavenue we at Greenlight are Hannah Kimuyu, Director ofPaid Media, GreenlightSo with two monthsto go before EnhancedCampaigns are fullylaunched, let’s all embracemobile advertising once &for all.Given the trend so far itcan only get better!
  • 7. A fully Integrated digital searchstrategy is a difficult thing toachieve but is a must for alldigital marketers in a com-petitive multi-channel andmulti-device marketplace.The search space has continued toevolve at a rapid pace over the lasttwo to three years with the paidand organic spaces constantlyblurring. This can be clearly seenwith the likes of Google Shop-ping becoming part of the paidspace and aspects such as mega/enhanced sitelinks appearing inPaid Search ads. The addition ofGoogle Plus and so many search-ers now being signed into Googlehas also fundamentally changedthe Google SERPs. These recentchanges along with the introduc-tion of universal search, a numberof years ago, has highlighted theneed for truly integrated searchstrategies.Marketers need to start using thelarge amounts of data they haveat hand, to see where there iscrossover between their organicterms and their paid presence.Clear testing plans need to bedeveloped, incorporating metricssuch as traffic, rank, position,conversion data and the volumearound keywords. A huge amountof advertisers’ budgets are poten-Feature ArticleThe Greenlight Sector Report
  • 8. 9Get in touch to discuss your site’s specific performance | |  +44 (0)20 7253 7000tially wasted on keywords they donot need to bid on.However an Integrated Searchbased strategy is not simply aboutwhether you should bid for certainkeywords or not, it needs to bebroader than that and pull in areassuch as PR, Social Media andcontent creation. When plan-ning an Integrated campaign, youshould ask: what are our plans forvideo content, blogger outreach,alignment with above the linemarketing plans etc? And how canthese elements affect our searchpresence?This should then lead you to con-sider how to step away from con-sidering just search and constructnot just an Integrated Searchstrategy but the elements involvedin developing an Integrated digitalstrategy. This can lead to answer-ing harder questions, rather thanwhether you should be bidding oncertain keywords or not.A truly integrated strategy movesaway from looking at keywordsand asks what the business’s goalsare and how they can be achievedin the digital sphere. It suggeststhat to be fully integrated, a com-pany’s marketing team needs tobe wholly aligned. Having siloedindividual specialists manag-ing PPC and SEO separately (allfighting for different budget anddifferent channel targets) is notthe most efficient or integratedway to manage your strategy.This siloed approach needs tochange and needs to be drivenfrom the top, businesses need tobecome ‘Digital First’ companies.C-level employees need to realisethat to deliver an integratedstrategy, all departments need tobe aligned to work towards thebusiness’s goals.This may require a numberof changes• How does reporting change ifthe basis for that reporting is lastclick?• How will integration fundamen-tally affect the business’s fore-casts?• How will attribution affect thecompanies channel/ marketingplan?• How to remunerate our agencyif we are no longer looking at asingle channel?• How will this affect contracts,targets and business planningmoving forward?Over the past few months wehave worked with one of ourfinancial clients to integratetheir strategy, makingseveral changes:• Contract was reviewed so it nolonger focused on a single channel• Targets were changed to becometarget focused• All forecasting changed to suitone integrated model• Billing changed to be based ontime rather than percentage ofmedia spendThe above changes can be a dif-ficult one for clients to stomach asit can go to the heart of how theirbusiness might be run, how thebusiness has reported its perfor-mance in the past, even as granu-lar as someone’s job specification.Whatever your view, integrationis a necessary change requiredin today’s digital world. To reallyembrace it, a business needs to beambitious and courageous.Businesses must be able torecognise the changes that needto be made and have the vision tosee the benefits a truly integratedstrategy and company can Paul Byrne,DiGITALAccount Director,Greenlight.
  • 9. Greenlight’s Sam Haseltineanalyses the impact thatFacebook’s new product willhave for brands .Despite Mark Zuckerberg describ-ing his company as a “mobile firstsocial network”, up until now Face-book’s mobile offering has beenlargely fragmented and unreliable;a main Facebook application, withseparate apps to improve featuressuch as messaging, managingbrand pages, photographing andeven poking. Although Zuckerberghas regularly assured consumersthat “it’s not the right strategy build a phone”, anticipationhad built prior to its most recentsummoning of press to its Cuper-tino base, around what its latestmobile release would involve. Theyannounced Facebook ‘Home’.‘Home’ is not a standalone ap-plication, rather it’s a launcher forAndroid which adds a completeintegration layer on top of theAndroid OS. Users will witness acomplete overhaul of their phone’sUI (user interface) and Facebook ispromising three standout features:Cover Feed, Chat Heads and AppLauncher to place people, ratherthan applications, at the centre ofits mobile experience.Although its intention is to placepeople at the forefront of mobiledevices rather than applications, itappears that with ‘Home’, Face-book is placing additional empha-sis on quality of relationships andcontent (not too dissimilar to theway Google rolled out Panda andPenguin updates to add additionalweight to the quality of a link backFeature ArticleThe Impact of Facebook ‘Home’What couldFacebook’s newproduct mean foryour brand?The Greenlight Sector Report
  • 10. 11Get in touch to discuss your site’s specific performance | |  +44 (0)20 7253 70002. Focus on building a better relationshipwith your customersBy investing in the relationship with thepeople who use your Facebook page, you’llbe building a foundation of trust that willbring your fans to a place where they’remore receptive to your content; a placeyou’ll need to be in if you don’t want yourfans to grow tired of seeing your content ontheir phone ‘Home’ screen.3. Promoted ContentHow Facebook intends to use Home forpromoted content is yet to be announced,although Adam Mosseri, Facebook ProductDirector, says “We’re designing a lot of reallyhigh-quality ad units for Cover Feed.” At thisstage I would anticipate it to involve the op-portunity for brands to pay a premium rate,above that for promoted posts, to reach theirexisting fan base through Home. Unless thishappens, we can confidently say that Homewill become nothing more than opt-in your site when organisingSERPs). Facebook’s mechanismfor doing so is fronted by adynamic home and lock screen(Cover Feed), populated byimagery and content from usersfriends and the pages they haveliked. Without the quality of thiscontent being to a high standard,users of the Android launchermay quickly be turned off. Unlesstheir network is populated exclu-sively by professional photogra-phers, it’s highly likely their homescreens will become inundatedwith pixelated images of theirfriends’ babies and food.Equally, users of ‘Home’ may findthemselves scrutinising the qual-ity of relationships they maintainwithin Facebook (between friendsand brands). Once the relation-ships become the focal pointof a device you use as often asyour phone, it may soon becomeapparent that there are manyconnections that just don’t war-rant the exposure ‘Home’ couldgive them.What could Homemean for brands?Zuckerberg has already expressed hisintention to use Home as an opportunityfor brands to purchase premium advertis-ing real estate. The potential for thisassumes the success of Home and uptakeby Android users. However, what impactdoes it have for brands?1. Focus on quality contentYour brand’s latest update could find itselffront and centre, in the palm of your cus-tomers hands when they glance at yourphone. With this in mind, the quality (res-olution, visual appeal, lighting etc) needsto be better than it’s ever been if you’re tostand out and grab your customers atten-tion. On the contrary, if the quality is poor,you will not only be losing an opportunitybut also may find yourself losing fans andengagement levels dropping.What other opportunitiescould Home introduce?Inadvertently it’s possible thatFacebook has heralded in a newdawn of opportunity for brands.And it doesn’t involve Facebook‘Home’.Currently the Android ‘launcher’marketplace is relatively small;instead consumers opting to trustand use the built in UI. With thisin mind and, again, assuming thesuccess of ‘Home’, it could raiseawareness and drive adoption ofthe launcher marketplace. Withmore consumers realising thepotential of a Launcher, this couldopen the door for brands to takea leaf out of Facebook’s book andbuild their own. I know, for one,that if a brand, company, band orsports team were to build an appthat afforded me the opportunity tohave a mobile experience centredon them, I’d be keen to take itup, especially if it was West HamUnited F.C.Facebook ‘Home’ is new, andthere’s more to it than just theCover Feed. Chat Heads, forexample, allows messaging to takeplace in an overlay on top of otherapplications so you never haveto stop what you’re doing to chat.Equally, the Cover Feed can beturned off. However, once you takethat away and reduce the launcherto just Chat Heads and AppLauncher (which is just a menu),what’s really left for users to getexcited about?Regardless of whether Facebook‘Home’ is popular, brands shouldstill be improving the quality oftheir content and investing in fanrelationships. By getting this right,companies’ Facebook pages andcontent will become a far richerexperience for users. And if Homeproves popular, they’ll be in agreat place to leverage what itpotentially has to Sam Haseltine, Social MediaStrategist, Greenlight
  • 11. www.greenlightdigital.comLevel 14, The Broadgate Tower,Primrose Street, London, EC2A 2EW.NATURAL SEARCH PAID MEDIA SOCIAL MEDIA WEB DEV TRAINING TECHNOLOGY