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A Round Up of What’s Been Happening in the Digital Marketing World in April

Search in the News

Search has been very much in the news this month, with the King of Search Engine Land – Danny Sullivan (he’s the founding editor of the leading daily search engine publication “Search Engine Land“, it’s not actually a real country), writing a fascinating post reflecting on his 20 years in search. You’d think after 20 years you’d have found what you were looking for, Danny.

Google Now and Then

Google Now and Then

BBC Radio 4 also aired a documentary on The Force of Google with their technology expert, Rory Cellan-Jones exploring Google’s uniquely powerful role at the centre of our information society, with this accompanying feature in their magazine.

Gambling on Google

Meanwhile on Search Engine Watch (Search Engine Land’s deadly rival), Chris Lake, helped by data from competitive data experts SEMRush, analysed the most expensive keywords in the UK with, perhaps not surprisingly, gambling dominating the top spots, followed by Finance, Tech, B2B and Legal. The most expensive keyword “play live blackjack” will set you back a cool £148.51, with 25 keywords in the survey costing over £100 a click. Just goes to show how easy all that PPC stuff is and why you should invest in good Paid Search management.

Would you bet £150 per click?

Would you bet £150 per click?

Trust Takes Time

Over on the Inbound Marketing and SEO Software site Moz there was a great article on the time it takes for link building to influence rankings. It’s possibly one of the most asked questions of SEO’s (apart from the old “why don’t I rank Number 1?” one) and draws on some nice research together with some interesting and very practical points and advice.

Hacks and Snitches

In its annual report on tackling Webspam in 2015, the Google Webmaster Central Blog revealed that it had seen a 180% increase in sites being hacked last year. They also revealed that they sent more than 4.3 million messages to webmasters to notify them of manual actions taken, offering help on identifying the issues. In addition, Google stated that ‘More than 400,000 spam reports were submitted by users around the world’ from which they acted on 65% of them and considered 80% of those that they acted upon to be spam. That’s 208,000 spam websites that they found from this route, by my reckoning.

Spam Free Diet

Enjoy a Spam Free Diet

Can You Spot a Paid Ad?

The Ofcom Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report was published, which, amongst many things, highlighted that 51% of UK users can’t spot a Paid Listing, i.e., they were unable to identify which listings on the page were paid or sponsored and which were organic. It also highlighted the trust that Google has with people, with 18% of searchers believing that if a site is listed in a Google Search page, it must be accurate and unbiased.

The report also revealed that the proportion of internet users who shopped online on a weekly basis rose to 30% from 25% in 2014 and, of these, 37% preferred online shopping via a laptop and 18% on PC (55% combined), with less a quarter (24%) preferring a smartphone. By contrast 57% of social media is consumed (if that’s the right word) on a smartphone.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

When Microsoft unveiled its Q1 earnings, it announced that its Search Engine, called Bing(for those of you who unfamiliar with the term, its existence or purpose) now has 31.1% of the US PC search market, 17.3% of the UK market, and 11% of worldwide PC searches. Urmmmm….?

Whilst in two other surveys, from Gartner and IDC, it was estimated that PC shipments in Q1 2016 were down around 10% year-on-year (that’s 6m less units than in the first three months of 2015).

Obviously, the above two items are unrelated and their appearance, so close together on this page, is entirely coincidental.

Meanwhile, Twitter announced disappointing Q1 results and revealed an increase in focus on video.

However, overall UK spending on Digital Advertising grew 16.4% in 2015 to over £8.6bn, the biggest growth in seven years, according to a report from the IAB. Mobile accounted for 78% of digital ad spend growth, increasing 60.3% year-on-year to £2.63bn, to account for 30.5% of all digital advertising. Video Advertising spend overall grew by 50.7% to £711m with Video spend on mobile increasing by 98% to £353m.

The Growth of Digital AdSpend

The Growth of Digital AdSpend

And in a separate analysis of 56 case studies across eight countries, Google demonstrated that advertising on YouTube delivered a higher ROI than TV in 77% of cases, thus underlining why video advertising is growing so fast and why Twitter needs a piece of the action.

Upwardly Mobile

Following on from the reports on declining PC sales, the, catchily titled, IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index for Q1 2016 results revealed a growth in sales of Smartphones of 101%, whilst tablets increased by just 6%.

And continuing the trend from last year, the majority of visits to the top 25 UK online retailers in Q1 2016 came via mobile with 2 million visits, compared to desktop with 1.6m.

Reinforcing the growing importance of video and, especially, video on mobile, Google produced research revealing that 40% of smartphone video viewers visited the store or band website with 28% making a purchase.

How Online Video Influences Your Audience

How Online Video Influences Your Audience

Out of the Closet

Research released by Kantar Media company AdGooroo named John Lewis as the 2015 Biggest Spending UK Paid Search Advertiser for the Home Decor Category (cue Drum Roll), whilst Amazon was biggest by clicks. Fitted Wardrobes came out as the biggest keyword term, whilst blinds had the highest cost per click.

Keywords Coming out of the Closet

Keywords Coming out of the Closet

Email is Still Best, Even If the Subject Lines are a Bit Dull, Unlike This, Very Cleverly Crafted, Title….

Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census highlighted that Email provides greatest ROI of any digital marketing channel, whilst another post announced that According to 32,198 emails, most retailers use boring subject lines.

Email is still best ROI

Email is still best ROI

And Finally

Zelst is now Google Partner Certified across all areas, i.e., in April we added Display Advertising and Mobile, to our staple of Search, Shopping and Analytics. We’re also all Certified BingAds Professionals, just in case.

And in, undoubtedly, the highlight of April 2016, the new Zelst website launched on the 4th of the month with an immediate, and massive, 175% year on year increase in visits.

Have you squeezed us yet?

Have you discovered how juicy the new Zelst site is yet?

That’s it for now Kids, what this space next month for round-up of what’s going on in the digital world in May!