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Get 2018 started with an updated multi-channel digital marketing strategy

Did you know that 15 years ago the average consumer used two touch-points when buying an item, while consumers today run through an average of almost six touch-points?

This means that reaching new customers has become significantly more complex. With new platforms and channels still emerging, consumers have more and more choices and are demanding greater attention from brands trying to reach them.

The concept of multi-channel digital marketing has gained popularity among digital marketers over the last few years as brands and agencies have realized that one-off campaigns targeting potential customers on only one channel at a time no longer cut it.

In this article, we will examine updated multi-channel digital marketing tools and effective strategies; but before we do, let’s clarify what multi-channel marketing actually means.

What is multi-channel digital marketing?

“Multi-channel marketing is the implementation of a single strategy across multiple channels or platforms, thus maximizing opportunities to interact with prospective customers,” according to digital marketing agency Emarsys.

While as marketers we try to best predict how and where our customers might interact with us, giving them a choice — a say in the matter — leads to higher conversions. This requires casting a wide net of orchestrated touch-points and repeating your brand message across various channels, but ultimately improves your chance to raise customer awareness and let the message sink in to actually have an effect.

Let’s take a look at a handful of channels that effectively support a multitude of touch points and provide your customers with choice in selecting their preferred channel.

Social media

The advantage of social media is that it can be utilized as both introductory (initial interest) as well as retargeting channel leading a new customer further down the sales funnel.

Eyeballs through content

Facebook is a fantastic method to fill the top of your funnel with visitors.  Whether you amplify content or gain people’s attention through Facebook live or other multimedia ads, it’s crucial to think about what your target customer might be interested in and then tailor content to their desires.

This doesn’t mean that you should advertise for your product right in the article or video, but rather cover topics that might interest potential customers and ultimately lead to your product page. At the top of the funnel, the goal is to create that first touchpoint which will enable you to start marketing to them through other channels, particularly email and remarketing.

Generating leads

Another helpful Facebook tool comes in handy at this stage of the sales funnel, especially if you run an ecommerce business — it’s called Dynamic Product Ads. These ads “automatically promote products to people who have expressed interest on your website, in your app or elsewhere on the internet,” according to Facebook.

You can even upload your product catalog to Facebook and after setting up the campaign, the social network will handle the rest (such as matching people with the right product).

Email

While social media is very effective as both introductory and retargeting channel, emails are most effective when retargeting potential customers.

Chances are that by the time someone has provided their e-mail address, you have some idea of what they are interested in and looking for, thanks to your “eyeballs through content” campaign as discussed above. So crafting effective e-mails addressing their potential pain points should be a little easier now.

Crucial to making e-mail marketing successful is to make sure its content aligns with your overall campaign message. A recent case study confirmed that “Coordinating messaging across channels resulted in reaching customers who were 22% more likely to purchase than those only reached by email.”

AdWords

You can craft AdWords campaigns to function at the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel.  At the top, you can create broad match modified campaigns focusing on identifying exactly what keywords people search for in your space.

As part of your exploratory campaigns, you can also look for lateral keywords of interest that can help you understand exactly what your audience is looking for.

At the middle of the funnel, you have people who are interested in the products or services you are offering so you serve them the most targeted ads.  Traditional AdWords campaigns tend to belong to this stage of the funnel.  At the bottom of the funnel, you can use AdWords remarketing to continue creating additional touchpoints after consumers have visited your site.

Smart marketers use AdWords Ad Extensions to include interactive and clickable information right on top of the ad, such as coupons, phone numbers, and text message extensions. Making these marketing tools available right inside the ad can cut down significantly on the number of steps in your sales funnel.

By clicking on the coupon, for example, customers could be enticed to walk right into a physical location to pick up the product they are getting a discount on. Clicking on the phone number or text extension, on the other hand, could connect them directly to customer service, who in turn can answer any remaining questions and, thus, increase purchase intent.

SMS/Text messaging

Speaking of text messages: retargeting potential customers is not restricted to e-mails and Google AdWords. Text messaging (SMS) is another way — and an increasingly popular one — to lead consumers further down the sales funnel.

Let’s say your Facebook or Twitter ad asked potential new customers to “opt-in,” which they did using their social media accounts. Most social networks now require mobile phone numbers when users first sign up. This information will be available to you as well if you are setting up ads through these social networks.

You now have the opportunity to text your lead and interact with them on a channel that has so far not been saturated by marketers. It also provides a much more intimate environment, which could help build trust.

You can easily set up text message campaigns with tools like Autopilot and TextMagic; and you should, too, because text message opens are as high as 99% among mobile users. Key is to let potential leads opt in voluntarily as opposed to being contacted via text out of the blue. Also, a good next step might be asking for permission to set up a phone call to continue the conversation.

Text messages can also be useful when sending out reminders for live events or webinars, which some of your new customers might have signed up for, but are about to miss because they forgot putting it in their calendars.

Putting it all together

As you can see, none of the marketing tools listed above are particularly effective in this day and age if you keep them isolated. Google AdWords can lead to customer service conversions; social media can lead to email and text message opt-ins; email in turn can be reinforced by text messages, which could lead back to customer service.

That’s why a consistent brand message as well as consistent quality of content, service, and customer experience across all channels is essential. Future customers should get a sense of familiarity at every turn of the sales funnel if you are to build a trustworthy relationship with them.

Coordinating this rather significant number of communication channels seems like a daunting and expensive task; but don’t worry, even with a low budget you can implement these multi-channel marketing strategies.

One final thought: all the marketing in the world is for naught if you do not measure and analyze key data. This includes customer profile characteristics (like demographics and psychographics) and customer behavior to narrow down your target audience.

In addition to this data, keeping track of conversion rates between the various platforms will help you measure success and create a continuously more effective multi-channel digital marketing strategy.

Facebook kills off news: Publishers panic, try to remember how to do SEO

By now you’ve no doubt heard the news that’s been shaking up the internet since late last week.

But in case you just came back online after a week-long internet blackout, here’s what’s happening: on Thursday 11th January, Facebook announced a major change to the way posts are ranked in News Feed.

In order to promote more “meaningful” interaction with friends and family, Facebook said that it would “prioritize posts from friends and family over public content … including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses”.

In general, brands have not tended to rely on Facebook for traffic since it dramatically reduced the organic reach of branded content a little over three years ago, forcing brands to pay for reach or go elsewhere for traffic. However, publishers have long been the exception to that rule, with Facebook acting as a huge – and vital – source of referral traffic to publishers’ websites.

This has led many publishers to plan their strategy and output directly around Facebook (see: the much-derided media “pivot to video”, which was driven in large part by Facebook). But Facebook’s announcement of Thursday has put paid to all of that – or at least, put a big dent in the potential traffic that publishers can earn from its platform.

Deprived of referral traffic from Facebook, will publishers be turning en masse back to SEO to restore their fortunes? Let’s look at some of the broader industry shifts underpinning this change, and what it means for the importance of search for publishers.

Trading places: Google is back on top for referral traffic

The truth is that Facebook’s referral traffic to publishers has been in decline for some time now. According to data from digital analytics company Parse.ly, the percentage of external traffic that Facebook provides to publishers decreased from 40% to 26% between January 2017 and January 2018, while Google’s rose from 34% to 44% over the same period.

This means that in a direct reversal of 2015, when Facebook rocked the industry by overtaking Google as a source of referral traffic for publishers, Google is now back in the number one spot. And this all happened before Facebook’s News Feed announcement even took place.

Publishers have also been seeing more traffic from Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) than Facebook equivalent Instant Articles, another situation that reversed itself over the last year. According to Parse.ly, publisher traffic from AMP increased from 4.72% in January 2017 to 11.78% in November 2017, while Instant Articles declined from 10.31% of publisher traffic in January down to 8.54% in November.

When Facebook overtook Google for referral traffic back in 2015, this seemed to herald the dawn – or perhaps the zenith – of a new age of social sharing and publishing, in which social media was the new search.

At a Content Marketing Association Digital Breakfast in June 2016, veteran digital journalist Adam Tinworth remarked that social networks had taken over the search engine’s traditional role of “finding something to read” online. As a result, Google and other search engines moved into more of an “answer engine” role, moving away from search towards a single, definitive answer to users’ queries.

So with Google back on top for referral traffic, are we seeing a return to the status quo?

The Google-Facebook merry-go-round

In fact, Google and Facebook’s continual back-and-forth is the status quo. They have been chasing each other around in circles for years now, each taking it in turns to try their hand at the other’s specialist area.

Google experimented with social networking; Facebook became the go-to place to find content. Both launched lightning-fast takes on the mobile web – Accelerated Mobile Pages and Instant Articles – in 2015 with a global roll-out in 2016. Now, Facebook is returning to its “roots” of showing you what your family and friends are up to, while the latest updates to Google’s smart assistant indicate that Google is moving back into surfacing content.

Google and Facebook: Destined to chase each other in circles for eternity
(Image by monstreh, available via CC0)

In other words, this is just the most recent step in a dance that has been going on for more than 10 years. Facebook might have ceded some ground to Google in the realm of referral traffic to publishers, partly in a bid to rid itself of the fake news scandal that has dogged it since mid to late 2016.

However, the two continue to vie for dominance in countless other areas, such as artificial intelligence, smart home hubs, digital assistants, and advertising. Facebook continues to drive its investment in online video, encroaching on Google-owned YouTube’s territory, while Google recently announced a new foray into social publishing with Google Stamp.

At the height of the fake news controversy, Google and Facebook’s names frequently appeared side-by-side, with both companies accused of peddling false information to their users and perpetrating the “filter bubble” that allows fake news to thrive.

As a result, some have speculated that Google might now follow in Facebook’s footsteps and take steps to distance itself from publishers.

However, Google is already taking action – or at least appearing to take action – against fake news on its search engine by implementing ‘fact-checking’ labels, partnering with the International Fact-Checking Network to combat misinformation, and purging questionable overseas websites that mask their country of origin from Google News.

Unless there is another significant wave of backlash over fake news to force Google’s hand, it seems likely that Google will take the “win” over Facebook and avoid jeopardizing its relationship with publishers – particularly given its recent moves to become more publisher-friendly by supporting paywalled content.

Meanwhile, publishers need to work out how to reconfigure their online strategy with Facebook much less in the picture. Will we be seeing a newfound reliance on SEO and search marketing?

Publishers: time to learn from SEO

Publishers are about to find themselves in the very same position that brand marketers found themselves at the end of 2014, when Facebook announced that it was killing off organic reach for brand Pages. Just like publisher referral traffic now, brand Page reach had been in steady decline for some time, and the Facebook announcement only confirmed what many already suspected was coming.

At the time, brands were forced to abandon a marketing model that relied on free promotion from Facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of Likes, and instead pay for advertising or go elsewhere for their traffic. Sound familiar?

The situation with publishers is therefore nothing new, but is still a huge blow for media organizations who have developed a “social-first” strategy over the years and rely on Facebook as a primary source of traffic.

Following the news that Google had overtaken Facebook as a source of referral traffic, Adam Tinworth blogged: “Business models dependent on Facebook growth are dead in the water, unless you can afford to buy that growth.

“Publishers will need a renewed focus on SEO — especially those that have been social-first.”

Writing for The Drum, founder and managing director of 93digital, Alex Price, observed that Facebook was following Google in “placing its long-term bet on quality [content]”, singling out Facebook-driven publications like 9GAG, Unilad and The Lad Bible as most likely to suffer from the change.

“If I were them, I would be thinking hard about the teams of people I employ to churn out social media content and how sustainable that now is.”

He added that publishers would need to focus on retention and repeat visits to drive long-term value, and optimize the experience of their website, particularly on mobile, in order to build a sustainable source of revenue in the post-Facebook age.

Publish quality content, increase engagement, optimize for mobile… if you’re in SEO, this list will be starting to sound very familiar. It’s a mantra that the search industry has been repeating for years.

High-quality publishers are likely doing most of these things already, so their task will be to ramp up those efforts while diversifying their sources of traffic beyond Facebook. This will stand them in good stead on the search engine results page and beyond.

For lower-quality social publishers, things might not be so easy. After all, these publications evolved specifically to cater to a social sharing environment, which will soon no longer exist.

Much like the brand Pages of yore with hugely inflated Like counts, publishers will need to figure out how to deliver a message of real value to consumers, or risk disappearing altogether.

How to make sure your social media marketing is on track for 2018

A new year brings new challenges in social media marketing. Luckily, this is the best time of the year to review your social strategy.

2018 is officially here and this means that we need to plan our social media strategy for the year ahead. Every new year requires the necessary adjustments to ensure that we’re still using every social platform effectively.

If your social media marketing didn’t go as planned in 2017, this is the perfect opportunity to analyse what went wrong.

If you had a successful year with your social strategy last year, then you can still explore new ideas and achieve further success in 2018.

We’ve created a checklist to help you review your social media marketing and keep on top of the latest trends.

1. Analyze audience

Are you reaching the right audience? A closer look at Audience Insights on each platform can help you understand if you need to expand or narrow down your reach.

2. Analyze the platforms that you’re using

Use your insights from the past year to assess the effectiveness of each platform in reaching your goals. You don’t have to be active on every social network if it isn’t working for you – now is a good time to assess if you want to dial it back on certain platforms, or even stop using them altogether.

3. Measure your existing ROI

What’s your current social media ROI? Is it where you need it to be? Analyse your return on investment and get ready to set your expectations for 2018.

4. Review KPIs

Do your KPIs fit your goals for 2018? Now is a good time to update your KPIs if you want to change your social media marketing and strategy. Use your last year as a benchmark and aim for more ambitious, yet still realistic, targets.

5. Organize your new social calendar

It’s the right time to plan ahead and update your social calendar with the upcoming campaigns. Save time during the year by keeping an overview of what’s coming up.

6. Review the frequency of your social posting

Are you creating enough content? Do you create too much? Explore whether you need to focus on quality rather than quantity.

For example, Twitter may need more content than Facebook or Instagram, but you should still test whether your posts lead to the desired level of engagement. If not, reducing their frequency might lead to more people interacting with the posts you do make.

7. Mix up your content

Are you creating different content types? Maybe you can make 2018 the year that you invest in video, or experiment with GIFs in your brand marketing. Mixing up your content types can liven up your social presence, as well as taking advantage of the trend towards more visual content on the web.

It doesn’t have to create more work for you – some smart repurposing of your existing content can convert it into different formats without much additional effort.

8. Align social media with UX

If you’re using social media as a means of funneling people onto your website, whether through paid social media or organically, remember that the user experience of the destination is just as important as crafting the right campaign messaging.

If you want to bring new people to your landing pages, you need to make it as easy as possible for them to navigate and proceed to the next steps.

9. Optimize your social content for SEO

Social media may not be an official ranking factor for SEO, but it can still contribute to your authority. Build your social presence, aim for engagement and add genuine value to your content.

10. Involve social media in your marketing funnel

As social reporting becomes more advanced, it’s easier to analyse whether social media brings you any conversions. Add to your new year’s resolutions to improve your ROI and improve the number of conversions that come from social media. A closer look at the leads’ journey will help analyse how social media contribute to your marketing goals.

11. Align social media with your business goals

Is your social presence reflecting your goals? If your marketing strategy is focusing this year more on engagement rather than awareness, how can you use social media to reach this goal?

Also, if your business needs to improve sales, how can you use social media to make it the first point of contact for potential leads? If you start aligning your social media marketing with your business goals, you can reduce the likelihood of wasting your time with your social posts.

The major social media trends of 2018

If we had to predict the biggest trends in social media for 2018, we’d focus on these:

The (continuing) rise of Instagram Stories

Instagram has seen great growth in 2017, and all the latest features indicate that it’s gearing towards an even more successful year. As it’s already one of the most popular platforms for users, brands are flocking there to make the most of its engagement.

Appealing visual content will be crucial, especially after Instagram’s decision to get rid of the chronological news feed. This means that brands need to try harder to show up in users’ newsfeeds.

The biggest bet of the year for Instagram is Stories and their impressive growth over the past year. There have been more than 300 million daily active Stories users and many brands have already experimenting with campaign promotion through Stories.

What makes this feature even more interesting now is the fact that Instagram has recently introduced “Highlights”, which allows users to retain their Stories for more than 24 hours. For marketers, this means that if you feel that a particular story could be used for a longer period, whether it’s for engagement, product promotion, or a live coverage, then you can highlight it to showcase it on your profile.

As Stories were designed as an ephemeral feature, it will be interesting to see if their popularity remains now that is no longer the case. However, for brands, Highlights provide a great opportunity to benefit from this engaging feature over a longer period of time.

Video marketing

Video content has been used quite extensively on social platforms during 2017. As more tools show up to simplify the creation of video content, 2018 is a great year to be investing in video.

The best videos combine eye-catching visuals and an engaging narrative to grab the user’s attention and keep it for a longer period than text and even images can achieve. However, just because you’ve produced a video doesn’t necessarily mean you can achieve this.

It’s important to keep in mind that most successful videos are:

    • Short
    • Use captions
    • Capture the audience’s attention from the first seconds
    • Tell a story to keep the audience interested

Moreover, it might be a good idea to experiment with videos of different lengths to test what works better for each platform. Different social audiences respond to different types of content, and you don’t have to post the same video on every single network.

How about creating a full-length video and splitting it accordingly for every social platform?

Augmented reality as part of social media

During 2017, we’ve seen the rise of Augmented Reality in social media, with Snapchat and Instagram investing in filters and fun yet engaging features. Snapchat is already monetizing its AR Lenses by making them available to brands, and Instagram is sure to quickly follow suit.

Moreover, we predict that 2018 will be the year that it becomes much easier to create AR content. Facebook has already introduced AR Studio, and Snapchat has launched their own Lens Studio, in a bid to facilitate the creation of AR content on their platforms.

Both are aiming to make AR content accessible to a wider audience, increasing the opportunities for engaging content. As with Pokemon Go, more brands are ready to explore how AR can improve their digital strategy and we’re expecting more successful use cases during 2018.

Chatbots for customer service

Facebook’s chatbots have also seen growth in 2017, with more than 100,000 monthly active bots now in use across the site.

Despite some initial concerns by marketers as to whether a bot can be used as part of a social strategy, more brands have quickly realised that a successful bot can improve customer service. Whether it be to provide information, answer questions, or allow customers to more easily place an order, there are several ways to involve a bot in your digital strategy.

However, while bots can save you time and be helpful, it’s equally important to maintain a human element in your interactions. Many brands have seen success with a hybrid strategy of letting bots deal with straightforward queries, and passing the interaction on to a human agent if it requires more intricate handling.

Overview

All in all, social media marketing in 2018 is a much more complicated beast, a far cry from the days when we would count Likes as an indication of success.

From social video to ephemeral content, augmented reality to intelligent chatbots, the components of social media marketing are unlike any other marketing channel, and as such they require a thorough knowledge of the overarching trends and how to apply them, an understanding of the different platforms, specific goals and dedicated tracking of the important metrics.

A closer look at the latest trends now will save you time spent trying to decide where to focus your efforts further down the line. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pivot and readjust your priorities at a later stage. Take advantage of the start of the year to get ready for another successful year in your social media marketing efforts.

Killer demand gen strategy, Part 3: Facebook advertising

If you’ve been keeping up with this series, you’ve got your audience defined and designed creative to match. You’ve constructed smart Google Display Network campaigns to get those users pouring into your funnel.

Now let’s talk some of the most powerful targeting capabilities of all.

In addition to advertising on the GDN, Facebook is a platform you must use to reach your target personas. Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities are among the most effective you can access.

You can target interests, behaviors and a variety of demographic information to get in front of your ideal audience.

Explore Facebook’s targeting options

Think about the personas you have created and begin choosing the audience targeting available within Facebook that will help engage those users. For example, let’s say you’re selling luxury home décor. One of your personas is female, between the ages of 30-40, likes home décor, and is affluent. You would then pick targeting as relevant as possible to get in front of these users.

One example would be:

Additionally, you can layer further information onto your personas – for example, some of them might like celebrity gossip. Leverage Facebook’s audience narrowing and layer it on to test how it impacts performance. See below:

In addition to leveraging Facebook’s native audience targeting capabilities, consider leveraging 3rd-party data audiences from companies like Axciom or Datalogix.

These companies can provide you with rich data that can be highly relevant to your personas – and help you develop new ones.

Take advantage of Lookalikes

Lookalike targeting is another great way to identify the right types of audiences and leverage Facebook’s thousands of data points to get in front of them.

First, look at your customer list and identify different ways you can segment those customers into groups of identifiable characteristics. For example, you can segment out your highest-LTV audiences, different categories (e.g. furniture categories, high-AOV purchasers, etc.).

Then upload these customer lists into Facebook, which will leverage its algorithm to serve your ads to audiences that mimic your seed lists in characteristics, behaviors, and traits.

A reminder: use tailored creative to these audiences. If you’re serving ads to lookalike audiences of your high-AOV purchasers, show creative with more high-end products to match their purchase behavior.

Another great way to get in front of relevant users is to leverage lookalikes as a base audience and then add in persona layers. For example, you may think about having an LAL of 5% and layering on celebrity gossip as a narrowing layer.

This makes your base audience similar in characteristics and traits to your customers, and it allows you to refine the audience to more closely match some of the personas you have built out.

Additionally, when creating your audiences, keep an eye on size. You will almost always want to leverage Facebook’s oCPM (Optimized CPM) tool, which requires an audience size of at least 400K to reach people, collect conversion data, and optimize towards users who are likely to convert.

As you know, a lead gen marketer’s work is only beginning when the leads are captured; there’s a long and winding road from lead to conversion, which will require a whole new series to address. But the above strategies should ensure that you’re working from a healthy foundation of leads.

How to get started with Twitter advertising

Twitter can be an effective platform to advertise your business. Here’s how to create the perfect ad for your campaign objectives.

Twitter counts a total number of 328 million monthly active users, with more than 500 million tweets sent each day. This brings out a great opportunity for brands to take advantage of the platform to promote their presence.

Twitter may not be the first option for many brands when setting up a paid social strategy, but it can still be a highly effective addition.

Over the past few years, Twitter has expanded its promotion types in order to encourage more brands to promote their business through its platform. The different promotion types and varying campaign objectives have engendered an increased interest in Twitter ads.

According to eMarketer, 41% of people on Twitter purchased products following exposure to an ad in the preceding 30 days.

This brings out a great opportunity for brands to explore the best ways to test Twitter advertising. The first step is to understand the different types of promotion, the campaign objectives, but also the target audience.

Deciding on the type of promotion

Twitter offers three different types of promotion:

Promoted tweets

Promoted tweets look like ordinary tweets, appearing directly in users’ feeds, with the difference being that they are labelled as “Promoted” and don’t need to come from an account that the user follows. They are displayed to the most relevant audience, and Twitter uses various signals to decide the relevance of each promoted tweet.

This allows brands to reach the best audience, while users are still exposed to tweets they might find interesting. As with regular tweets, they can be liked, retweeted and replied to.

They can be used to:

  • increase awareness of a product or an event
  • build engagement for a campaign
  • drive traffic to a brand’s site
  • promote sales and giveaways

Promoted accounts

Promoted accounts can help a brand boost its number of followers, reaching a new audience that can be interested in its content.

According to a study from 2016, 85% of people find promoted accounts useful in helping them discover new businesses on Twitter.

This type of promotion allows brands to show up in non-followers’ feed, which brings a great opportunity for increased awareness and new leads. A growing number of Twitter followers can create an engaged community, making it easier to promote a campaign.

The difference between promoted accounts and promoted tweets is that the first one focuses on the brand’s profile rather than its content. This means that it’s useful for targeting an audience that is either familiar with, or is interested in exploring, your particular profile.

Promoted accounts can be used to:

  • increase brand awareness
  • build follower count
  • drive leads
  • build paid traffic after users follow a brand

Promoted accounts show up in user’s feed in the suggestions of who to follow, but also in the search results.

Promoted trends

Promoted trends show up at the top of “Trending Topics”, and can be used by brands that want to promote a particular hashtag. They also show up in users’ feeds and once clicked, they lead to a combination of promoted tweets and organic results.

They are currently unavailable for self-serve advertisers and the cost is significantly higher, but they can also lead to great results in terms of improved awareness and engagement, especially for big brands trying to maximize their potential audience.

Deciding on a campaign objective

Twitter Ads are organised depending on the campaign objective that each brand sets. This way it’s easier to focus on specific results that are based on the KPIs that should be reached.

Twitter’s available campaign objectives focus on:

Awareness

An awareness campaign helps your message reach as many people as possible. The cost is based on the number of impressions your tweets collect, but it can also lead to increased likes, retweets and mentions. This type of campaign is useful when launching a new product, when promoting a sale, or even when trying to establish a new social presence.

Followers

If your brand is still new to Twitter, then a campaign to gain followers may be the first step to build the right audience. It focuses on the number of new followers a profile gains, helping a brand accelerate its growth. It’s usually wise to provide people with a good reason to follow your profile, whether it’s a special offer or a discount.

Promoted video views

Video content tends to be more engaging across social media, but a boost can still be useful. Twitter allows you to enhance the reach of your GIFs, Vines, or videos, charging by the number of final views. This way videos reach a more targeted audience, increasing the chances of engagement. As with all video ads, it’s important to create appealing content that grabs the audience’s attention to keep on watching.

Website clicks or conversions

Achieving conversions via social media is a universal challenge. A Twitter ad campaign that focuses on website clicks or conversions is useful in the promotion of a guide, a special offer, or product purchase. The cost depends on the number of clicks, while a conversion campaign can provide an overview of the actual conversions, rather than simply the number of clicks.

It is also possible to include a website card with this type of campaign, displaying a preview of your site along with the tweet to make the call-to-action clearer.

Tweet engagements

A tweet engagements campaign aims to promote your tweets to a relevant audience. The goal is to start a conversation by placing the best content in front of your target audience. As Twitter points out, increased engagement brings more chances of brand lift and offline sales.

App installs or re-engagements

App install campaigns aim to help your brand promote a new application. The focus is on mobile users and the charge considers the number of app clicks or installs. This type of campaign targets the audience that is more likely to install or engage with your app, and maximizes the chances of driving traffic and interest to the application.

Twitter’s various targeting capabilities make campaigns more efficient, while the measurement involves conversion reporting to analyse the impact of the campaign towards conversion.

Deciding on the most relevant targeting

One of the most interesting features in Twitter Ads is the targeting options they offer. Twitter Ads become more effective by reaching the most relevant audience for each occasion.

Twitter’s targeting capabilities include:

  • Language: Narrow down the audience to a particular language
  • Gender: Target a specific genre
  • Interest: Find the perfect audience through the interests that match your brand’s products
  • Follower: Target the followers of relevant accounts to increase the chances of finding an engaged audience
  • Device: Focus on particular devices to increase the chances of an effective campaign
  • Behavior: Reach the audience that matches your brand’s expectations regarding their shopping and spending habits
  • Tailored Audiences: Upload your CRM lists and find specific people on Twitter
  • Keyword: Target people who used a particular keyword in their recent tweets

  • Geography: Focus on specific geographic areas depending on the needs of each campaign
  • TV: As Twitter improves its relationship with TV networks, this targeting allows brand to engage with TV fans around specific shows, spanning from the network to the genre of the show
  • Event: A campaign can revolve around a specific event and thus, the promotion is aiming at a specific audience. The relevance is high, which may require a larger budget to beat the competition, while also increasing the chances of finding the perfect audience

What we can learn from the various targeting options is that every campaign has different goals and thus, a different audience. It’s useful to experiment with all the targeting suggestions as much as possible to understand how each option can help your brand’s plans.

Setting a budget

Setting a budget for your campaign can depend on what your goals are. In general, the budget and the bidding options are adjusted through each individual campaign.

Twitter allows you to set a daily budget, along with a total budget for the campaign as a whole, to make sure that you don’t go over-budget by accident.

Bidding can be automatic, or it can include a maximum bid. This may reflect each company’s budget, but also the competition on each campaign and the targeted audience. Thus, the budget may be different from one campaign to another, especially when reaching a new audience.

Overview

Twitter is powerful in starting a conversation, influencing people over purchasing decisions, or simply setting up new trending topics. All of these can be valuable for brands trying to increase their reach, engage with their followers, drive traffic to their site, or promote a new offer.

Twitter ads are highly useful provided that they are used to target the most relevant audience in a way that they will genuinely connect with.

As with organic social media, different types of content can be more successful, with creative and authentic messaging giving you the best chance of success.

The various different targeting option can help brands to custom-build the perfect audience for each campaign. It may take some time to know how each type of targeting can help your campaign, but the testing with a smaller budget at first can ensure a message is sent to the most relevant audience.

Not every campaign will necessarily be successful at first, but Twitter’s focus on offering best practice tips and new advertising features will ensure that your effort and patience pays off.

A search marketer’s guide to using paid social media

The battle between those who specialize in certain marketing practices is prevalent throughout the industry. Individuals, departments and indeed agencies are all involved.

After all, they are often competing for the same budget, beating their chests and promoting their own channel as the most valuable. It is understandable. We all need to make a living.

But in reality they should all be working together to deliver economies of scale. Fully integrated campaigns can deliver far better results than the sum of its component parts.

SEO and social media would at first appear to be very different practices, especially when taking into account paid social advertising. However, there are significant SEO benefits to be gained from utilizing social media advertising as both an outreach platform and also as an analytics platform. Let’s jump straight into it.

We are assuming a certain level of knowledge when it comes social media advertising. For those not ‘in the know’, you can be pretty darn specific in regards to your demographics when advertising on major platforms such as Facebook.

Make the most of your content

For years now content has been one of the major focal points of SEO campaigns, giving birth to potentially the most irritating and overused saying in SEO: “Content is King”! Jayson Demers noted back in 2015 that SEO is now synonymous with content marketing and that as a result SEO teams are investing heavily in content creation.

Let’s assume you are doing all the right things. You have a solid grasp of your buyer personas and inbound funnels. You have thoroughly researched content opportunities within your specific market, using this research to help influence your strategy. You’re also ensuring that your on-site optimization for each article is top notch so that you attract that ever growing portion of traffic from long tail keywords.

This is great, genuinely it is. Although are you missing a trick by not integrating additional marketing channels into your content strategy? Email is awesome at disseminating content to both prospective and current clients, but what of social media advertising?

To paint an industry with an awfully large brush, content creation is sometimes too heavily focused on gaining traffic directly from search engines due to the user intent associated with those actively searching, and the fact that often this is what the client is basing payment of their invoice on!

However, taking a quick step back, if this content is aligned to your conversion funnel then surely getting in front of as many eyes as possible (via other channels) should therefore still have a significant benefit. SEO teams can utilize social media advertising platforms to push this content to users that fall within their buyer persona profiles which should ultimately produce conversions (it may require a few more touch points, but you get the point).

Of course the advertising spend would have to be included in your cost per acquisition calculations but hopefully the following points show how you can use social media advertising to make your investment into content pay a higher rate of dividends.

Keep them coming back

Inbound marketing often works best through multiple touch points during the buyer’s journey. If your traffic is converting to customers directly from a single piece of content then that’s awesome, good for you! For the rest of the world that aren’t unicorns we need to keep our readers coming back in order to help them find their way down our own sales funnels.

Re-targeting the traffic to your website via social media with awesome content is one such tactic to keep your traffic returning. Use retargeting tools on social media to maintain your touch points with users, building brand authority and trust.

Some friendly persuasion

Sometimes people just need a little nudge. Ultimately you don’t want people clicking on your retargeting posts, consuming your content and then leaving time and time again. That can be a costly ego boost. Eventually you want them to convert!

Assess how your content strategy aligns with your sales funnel. Do you have set pieces of content that lead on from one another which will help you become more specific with your retargeting? Does this pathway eventually lead to a conversion?

Your conversions may not be in monetary form. They may involve the user providing some additional contact information in order to download a brochure or them signing up to a free trial. Whatever that conversion looks like, don’t be afraid to ask the question. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. When the time is right, your social retargeting campaigns should include conversion related posts that relate to said individual’s status in your sales funnel.

We all love a good link

We covered the benefits that social media provide for a link building campaign in a recent article, so jump over there for a deeper look.

Suffice to say that again, if you are investing heavily in content, then why not use social media to spread the net even wider and potentially earn links? Paul Shapiro had an interesting tactic for Marketing Land of targeting employees at specific publishing companies as a link building tactic!

Gain analytics insights!

When it comes to analytics tools for SEO, data from the website and SEO specific platforms steal the limelight. The likes of Google Analytics, Search Console and those offered by Moz, SEMrush and Majestic may be the first ones off the tongue but we should also be using analytics gained from other channels in our decisions. You guessed it, social media advertising can be particularly useful in this respect.

In fact, you don’t even need to be using social advertising to get these insights but the specific demographic targeting within social advertising should help provide a higher level of actionable data.

Understanding how to drive clicks

In much the same way as Google Adwords, via Facebook Insights or other social media analytics tools, you can view your click-through rate per post. Whilst this is also influenced by other factors such as time of post, engagement or demographic targeting, you can also draw insights into what content is proving most popular with your audience.

  • Is the subject matter performing or does the content strategy need to be revisited?
  • Are titles really attention grabbing or lack the ability to drive enthusiasm?

This type of data can be used to influence your content strategy, even if it is as simple as creating article titles that increase click through rates.

Just starting out?

Some content pieces can be spectacularly well researched and written but receive far less traffic than expected. There are additional factors that will dictate the ability of your website’s content to rank in search engines including the overall authority of your website, the link profile of that article or load speed.

More often than not a lack of traffic will mean that the analytics associated with that content piece becomes less reliable, subsequently preventing you from really fine tuning your content strategy.

Social media advertising can be incredibly valuable in driving ‘pay per play’ traffic to your content and therefore allowing you to capture that all important data. It doesn’t need to be specific to your content either. Conversion rate optimization is an important part of any digital marketing campaign so you can also capitalize on social traffic to help identify opportunities within your website’s user flow.

So there you have it. Yet another reason to make sure that your social media and SEO teams are working together.

Of course, you don’t need to try to implement of the above points at once – in fact we would advise taking them one step at a time. The most important point? Move away from marketing channels operating within their own silo.

Integrate your marketing, share data, use content across multiple channels and collaborate to increase your results across the board!

What are the SEO benefits of social media?

How does using social media benefit your efforts with SEO?

Back in 2008, Search Engine Watch published the article ‘Social Media and SEO – Friends with Benefits‘, and I’d highly recommend reading it back now for a stark reminder of how far the digital world has progressed in the last nine years.

Some of the key statistics and points featured in the article (although contemporary at the time) may seem somewhat archaic in 2017:

  • Facebook having 140 million active users (when they are now over 2 billion)
  • LinkedIn having 30 million users (less than 10% of their current user base)
  • Popularity of now defunct social platforms like Digg (which sold for just $500,000 back in 2012)
  • MySpace being mentioned in the same breath as Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit and Twitter (ha!)
  • Use of ‘SEO friendly’ anchor text when linking from social profiles (ahem… ‘money keywords’)

Nobody could have guessed what social media would become in such a short amount of time. Nearly a decade later and Facebook is nothing short of a social media superpower, Instagram has grown from zero to over 700 million users in the space of just seven years, MySpace has fallen out of popularity into the depths of dated pop-culture references, and using ‘SEO friendly’ anchor text is a very dangerous game to play in light of Google’s almighty Penguin updates.

It’s safe to say that everything is very different now, and as the social media landscape changes so too does its relationship with search engines and SEO practices. But what exactly is this relationship in 2017?

Social media and SEO: It’s complicated

In the past, Google have made contradictory statements regarding the role of social media in their ranking algorithm. On the one hand, they have stated that social media pages are indexed in the same manner as other web pages, and that social links therefore count as links.

But on the other, they have stated that social metrics do not constitute direct ranking factors. Over at Microsoft, the guys behind Bing have said that they too consider the authority of social media profiles (e.g. Twitter profile metrics) and mentions across numerous social platforms in their search engine.

As per usual, Google keeps their cards close to their chest. Research from the likes of Neil Patel show what Matt Cutts referred to in 2014 as a correlation but not necessarily a causation.

All very confusing indeed.

Can we 100% say that social metrics have a direct impact on search engine rankings? Probably not. However, if we look at the potential of social media’s influence on search engine rankings the story is different.

My personal opinion is that we should not be worried about whether links from social media platforms are valued in the same way as a link from a high quality and highly relevant website. Instead we should look at the benefits of utilizing social media to help boost ranking signals that we know search engines care about.

We should also bear in mind the impact of social media on the landscape of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Focusing on any one particular ‘SEO metric’ is as old school as MySpace. SEO has evolved into far more than just keywords and links. Great SEO acts as a core function to any holistic, integrated digital marketing campaign.

We should consign the days of marketing departments operating independently to the history books and focus on the often significant benefits of integrated campaigns. Having said that, there are a few SEO metric-specific boosters that social media can provide.

Link earning

The holy grail of any link-building campaign. Link earning has the power to gain multiple links from a single piece of content compared with the individual links gained from more one at a time traditional guest posting tactics.

It is link-building on steroids, but unless your website’s content has a large amount of visitors or subscribers your link earning potential is significantly reduced.

Enter stage left: social media.

The great thing about social media in 2017? Almost everyone you know will have a profile, most likely with hundreds of connections. This provides a platform through which promotion of content can not only be distributed instantly to hundreds of people, but the more people engage and interact with your content, the more people outside of your direct network see your content.

Viral. How I hate that word. It sets often unrealistic expectations. Viral to me means millions of views, akin to the hard to grasp concept of Gangnam Style’s frankly insane popularity and near 3 billion views on Youtube.

It’s great if your content does go viral, but you don’t need millions of views and tens of thousands of shares on social for social media to have an impact on search rankings. Quality over quantity, my dear.

If you have even tens or hundreds of people engage with your post and content via a platform such as LinkedIn you can bet that the quality of those engagements is pretty high. If done correctly, those views of your content on social media will result in other content creators citing your content in their articles. Your content has just earned links, which has a direct impact on search rankings.

Front of mind: Co-citation and co-occurrence

As a brief follow-on to link earning, your dissemination of content via social will provide touch points with your brand across multiple platforms. To use another word that falls into my dislike category, your brand remains ‘front of mind’.

In turn, this can lead to mentions across the web in what is likely to be highly relevant content, therefore increasing your co-citation and co-occurrence metrics.

Brand authority and CTR

Social can be utilised to build not only awareness but also brand authority. Sure people are more wary about fake information and news on social media compared with a few years ago but that does not mean that engaging in a well thought out, high quality social media campaign will not develop your brand in the eyes of the public.

Guess what? When they go to search for a product they may even search directly for your brand name or associated search terms which are directly related to your brand. Failing that, if your brand name is the one result that they know within the search results, it can increase your click-through rates from search.

Social media in search results

Social media profiles are delivered within the SERPs, along with tweets due to Twitter’s provision for Google to access their “firehose” of real-time tweets. As a result, your social media presence does have an impact on your SERP presence.

Admittedly, the majority of social links within the SERPs appear for branded search terms, but this should not be discounted. If we are in fact looking at marketing as a more holistic practice in the digital age, then we have to ensure that your branded search terms result in high click-through rates from search.

Ever been freaked out by a company or individual’s lack of social presence? This can be especially poignant for newer businesses or non-household names. In today’s society where follower numbers, likes and shares have a real impact on authority, the fact that social media results appear in branded searches should not be underestimated, not only in click-through rates from SERPs but also future conversions.

Will social metrics ever be a direct ranking factor?

From our research, it is clear that there are some pretty large problems associated with search engines using social metrics as a direct ranking factor. These include limited access for robots to crawl the platforms and therefore understand social authority, and the prevalence of fake profiles or ‘bought likes’ which are likely to be viewed in the same light as paid links.

In short, there is currently too much provision for manipulation of these metrics for search engines to bank on them. Will this change in the future?

Considering that Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies in the world, vying for the attention of us all, we don’t see them joining hands, opening their doors and singing Kumbaya around a campfire together any time soon.

Social media has its own benefits

Whether or not Google or Bing count social metrics as direct ranking factors is somewhat of a moot point. Social media and SEO should be working together, sharing content or utilizing engagement metrics as data for future content creation.

Lest we forget, businesses can benefit from revenue generated directly from social media regardless of its influence on search rankings. Social media campaigns should be focused primarily on generating their own success, with SEO considerations as a secondary (but still important) consideration.

Pinterest moves into paid search: What you need to know

Pinterest has announced its long-awaited move into the self-serve paid search space, after a period of trial campaigns with select partners. With innovative visual search technology and an ambition to corner the ‘discovery’ phase of search, this could prove an enticing complement to AdWords for many brands.

So, how does Pinterest PPC work, how does it differ from other paid search options, and how can advertisers get started?

Pinterest Ads Manager is now open to all businesses who have opened an account and uploaded at least one Pin. In what is a fiercely competitive space, Pinterest is hoping that its offering can both provide something new and still deliver on the core performance metrics marketers have come to expect from Google AdWords.

This announcement comes at the end of a lengthy campaign to get the product right, with early partners including eBay, Target, and bid management platform Kenshoo. The newly released self-serve paid search platform provides the same experience these early partners have enjoyed, without the need to go through Pinterest or a third party to get started. The Ads Manager allows brands to create and optimize their promoted Pins and will also track and report on campaign performance.

Pinterest has been clear in its desire to monetize the discovery phase of search, when a user does not yet have a defined product in mind but is open to suggestions. The uniquely visual nature of this social network makes it ripe for this approach, but it brings with a host of accompanying challenges.

As a result, Pinterest has invested heavily in image recognition and object detection technologies, culminating in the launch of the impressive Pinterest Lens visual search tool.

Feedback on their advertising offering has been positive so far, but this will be put to a much more rigorous test now that advertisers can launch and optimize their own campaigns through the Ads Manager.

Why should advertisers take notice of Pinterest PPC?

Although some will be keen to trial Pinterest paid search in the hope of gaining the early adopter’s advantage, others may require some convincing before they view this social network as a genuine platform for selling their products. Nonetheless, Facebook faced the same resistance and ultimately, the numbers will do the talking.

For now, Pinterest is understandably touting some statistics to try and get advertisers excited. We covered many of these benefits in our visual guide to Pinterest advertising, but some of the key points are:

  • 97% of Pinterest searches are non-branded
  • There are now over 200 million Pinterest users (up from 150 million in 2016)
  • More than 2 billion searches take place on Pinterest each month
  • 75% of all Pins saved by users come from businesses

In an era of ad blockers and decreasing consumer trust in brands, Pinterest aims to offer a native feel to its promoted Pins. Through highly targeted ads that fit both aesthetically and conceptually alongside organic posts, brands can potentially attract much higher engagement rates.

Pinterest_Ads_2

In fact, the official announcement of self-serve Pinterest ads promises more sophisticated targeting than the competition, both in terms of its keyword options and the granularity of its audience data.

Moreover, it is not a significant enough departure from AdWords to require a completely new set of skills to get the most out of Pinterest PPC campaigns. That may entice some advertisers to trial the platform, which will give Pinterest the opportunity to prove its worth.

Some ideas borrowed from AdWords

The tech giants are not shy about borrowing each other’s ideas, and it would be fair to say that Google’s own image search interface has become more Pinterest-esque this year.

It is therefore not surprising that Pinterest’s move into PPC advertising involves some familiar concepts from AdWords. Google has mastered the art and science of delivering a great search experience and making a lot of money from the data, so AdWords is an obvious reference point for a new entry to the PPC market.

For example, the keyword targeting options are broad match, phrase match, and exact match. Advertisers can define their list of negative keywords that they do not want to be shown against, and can download a search query report to see how they have performed on a keyword level. This approach has served Google very well, so perhaps we should not expect a smaller player to waste resources by trying to improve on it.

It is also possible to move a keyword-based account structure from other PPC platforms directly into Pinterest Ads Manager, although the social network does not advise this due to the different nature of user search behavior on the platform.

The new features announced last week include an autotargeting option, which will automatically place ads for relevant keywords, even if they are not within the brand’s keyword target list. Imagine AdWords’ Dynamic Search Ads on Pinterest and you’ve pretty much got the gist of it. Autotargeting is driven by the Taste Graph, which contains over 100 billion Pins and employs machine learning technologies to identify patterns and trends, which in turn help improve the accuracy of search results.

Pinterest will be hoping its proprietary features and the unique nature of its database will suffice to differentiate it from Google’s advertising behemoth.

What will make Pinterest paid search successful?

Pinterest is in an enviable position, in some senses. The paid search market is mature enough now to provide plentiful data on consumers and the competition. By hiring two senior engineers from the Google image search team, as Pinterest did last year, they have also been able to tap into some of the most extensive knowledge the industry has to offer.

In addition, Pinterest can approach the market with a challenger mindset. Google and Facebook can almost be viewed as victims of their own success, with advertisers craving new options for their digital budgets.

Simply mimicking these two giants would reap little reward, so Pinterest is sticking to its inherent USPs. As a social network, it functions rather differently to Facebook and, as a search engine, it is distinct from Google. The combination of a new slant on the saturated social network space and the technology to capitalize on such a vast quantity of search data could be a winning one.

Pinterest_Ads_3

Pinterest Lens sits at the heart of this strategy. The visual search technology turns a user’s smartphone into a discovery tool, identifying objects and serving related search results. In our recent comparison of the best visual search technologies out there right now, Pinterest emerged the clear winner.

Conversely, Pinterest is late to the party, and the onus will be on them to prove that the platform can deliver a positive return on ad spend. Creating a self-serve product with similarities to AdWords may ease the transition for new users, but it also sets their expectations at a high level. AdWords, after all, remains unsurpassed as a means of generating online revenue.

Pinterest ads require a blend of creativity and analytical nous, which will demand collaboration between paid search and social media teams to make the most of the opportunity. People use this platform differently; advertisers need to tailor both their creative assets and their targeting strategies to reflect this.

There is a fine line to be trod here, of course, and there are few guarantees of success.

However, if Pinterest can deliver on the twin promises of creating a new, sophisticated form of PPC advertising and delivering great results against essential metrics like cost-per-acquisition, it could allow advertisers to capitalize on a previously untapped stage of the search purchase journey.

It will be fascinating to see the early results now that the self-serve platform is open to all marketers.

Geolocation of Tweets Affects the Rankings in Local Google

At the end of last year Danny Sullivan wrote an article for Search Engine Land titled “What Social Signals do Google & Bing Really Count?” which featured an interview between representatives from both search engines. The article confirmed that Google and Bing use Twitter and (possibly to a lesser extent) Facebook as another signal to determine where a site is able to rank in the regular search results.

While a lot of SEOs had begun to suspect that tweeted links were influencing rankings, it was really good to see it actually confirmed.

What Google & Bing didn’t mention, though, was how strongly they were using these social signals as a ranking factor. Google has claimed for years now that there are over 200 ranking factors, so it’s hard to say whether their use of Twitter is a majorly influential factor (like links) or whether it’s just one of many neglible factors.

Google also failed to mention how long the Twitter effect would last – I think quite a few people may expect it to be a very time-sensitive thing, particularly around breaking news. The assumption is that, when Google uses tweets to boost a page for a search term, the ‘Twitter effect’ will eventually stop being such a strong ranking factor after enough time (or when the tweets stop) and then the regular SEO factors (links, on-page keywords, etc) start to take over. This wasn’t confirmed or suggested, it’s just what I would have expected.

A final point that wasn’t mentioned is whether or not Google differentiates between tweets from specific countries – so whether tweets from UK users to a specific page helps boost that page in Google.co.uk, or whether it also helps in US results in Google.com.

These two points – tweet locations and how long the Twitter effect lasts for – is something that I wanted to look into because of a post I wrote a while ago on Raven Tools. I wrote it very shortly after Sugarrae published hers, and I noticed something interesting about the two posts – my post very quickly started to rank very well for the term “Raven Tools” in Google.co.uk, out-ranking Rae’s even though I linked to her post from mine, and despite the fact that Sugarrae’s post, by all the regular SEO metrics like number of links and domain authority, greatly deserved to outrank my post. My post ranked so well on Google.co.uk that the only domain that outranked it was Raventools.com itself. This wasn’t true in Google.com though, the US results showed the results that you’d normally expect, with Sugarrae outranking me and with my site towards the bottom of page 1. I should also point out, my site isn’t geo-targetted to any location in particular.

Is there a time limit to the Twitter effect?

At the time I assumed it was some kind of query-deserves-freshness effect, and that eventually my site would drop down the search results. That would fit with my original idea that Google’s use of Twitter is to spot breaking news and promote tweeted articles when the topic was hot, but then dropped those articles in favour of the most linked to over time, when the topic wasn’t being tweeted about as much.

It’s been over 5 months since my Raven post, and it’s still only outranked by Raventools.com in the UK.

This would imply that, in this case at least, the Twitter effect may not be time-based, and tweets from months ago may still help your page to rank well.

Does Google use tweet locations?

I wanted to look into why my post was ranking well in the UK results, but not anywhere else. It’s a .com, hosted in the US and it isn’t geo-targetted to any country, Google shouldn’t consider it a UK specific site.

Using Backtweets I grabbed a load of the data around who tweeted my post and compared it with who tweeted Sugarrae’s. An important point to remember is that Google is likely treating some tweets diffently to others, depending on how authoritative they think a Twitter user is.

While Sugarrae had more tweets to her article than I had mine (she had 23 to my 13), the majority of my tweets were from people who had their location set to somewhere in the UK (9 of the 13), while Sugarrae had the vast majority of her tweets from the US (17 of her 23), and she only had 2 UK tweets.

This would suggest that Google is using the location of tweets to determine which search engine the page gets a boost in. The theory is, if a page becomes incredibly popular amongst UK tweeters – it may only be relevant to people in the UK, and so it only gets a boost in Google.co.uk. This is an observation for just this one specific example – it’s not a cold, hard scientific fact – but if anyone was planning on testing how tweeted links can affect rankings, I’d suggest looking into how long the effect lasts for, and whether the location of the Twitter user plays a part.

And you can download the sheet here, if you’re so inclined.

Flickr image from view-askew.

Thanks to SEO Scientist Neyne for the title advice.

Geolocation of Tweets Affects the Rankings in Local Google is a post from: Shark SEO. Have you played The Search Game?