Entries from May 2014 ↓

Interesting Digital Marketing Stats.

I don’t know about you, but I find digital marketing stats fascinating. They give a bird’s eye view on what’s happening in the digital arena, which can often prove enlightening offering inspiration to try new strategies in your own marketing.

This little round up come courtesy of a recent article I read in Econsultancy:

Tablets encourage older generations to go online

  • The number of people aged 65 and over accessing the internet has risen by more than a quarter in the past year, according to the latest Ofcom Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014.
  • The proportion of people aged over 65 that are accessing the internet reached 42% in 2013, a 9% rise from 33% in 2012.
  • One major reason for this is an increase in the use of tablet computers by older people aged 65-74. In just one year, the number of older people using tablets has increased from 5% in 2012 to 17% in 2013.
  • These findings come from a survey of 2,674 adults aged 16+.

Uncluttered sites aid ad recall

  • An eye-tracking study by Adblock Plus has found that ads on clean, uncluttered sites are far more likely to be effective.
  • Similarly, static ads are much easier to understand and far more positively received than flashy animated ones.
  • Participants spent 30% more time looking at ads on the ‘clean’ test sites, and were able to recall ads on these straightforward sites 64% of the time, a 36% improvement compared to the cluttered sites.

Twitter use varies for SMEs vs. big business

  • A survey of just over 100 marketers by SocialBro found that 57% of respondents are spending at least 50% more on Twitter marketing compared with two years ago, with 15% of respondents stating that their spending has tripled.
  • While the majority of SMEs (up to 200 employees) rated brand building as their key reason for using Twitter with lead generation in second place, bigger companies with 500+ employees were much more likely to list acquiring new customers as a top priority along with building relationships with influencers.

UK adspend predicted to hit £20bn by 2015

  • According to the latest quarterly Expenditure Report from the Advertising Association and Warc, UK adspend reached £17.88bn in 2013, up 3.9% year-on-year. It is predicted to rise by 5.5% in 2014 and by a further 6.5% in 2015.
  • Mobile adspend is predicted to continue to grow rapidly after increasing by 95.2% to just over £1bn in 2013 (within total internet adspend of £6.3bn) and is expected to rise by 73% in 2014 and by 45.5% in 2015.

4G drives higher mobile shopping?

  • More than two thirds (68%) of 4G users feel that faster access to the internet encourages them to make more purchases from their smartphone, according to a survey by eDigitalResearch and IMRG.
  • Similarly, more than half (54%) of 4G users surveyed have shopped online from their mobile compared to just under a third (32%) of non-4G smartphone owners.
  • And 70% of 4G users have browsed retail websites from their mobile, compared to under half (48%) of non-4G users who have done the same.
  • However it’s important to note that there is no evidence of a causality between 4G access and higher use of m-commerce.

Facebook comes top for mobile referrals

  • Data from Quantcast shows that Facebook accounts for a quarter (24%) of mobile referrals to top news and entertainment publishers.
  • In contrast Twitter accounts for 7% and Pinterest just 2%.
  • Quantcast looked at referral traffic for the top 250 publishers over the past year.

Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

Should You Be Using Google+?


In my last post I talked about the potential end of the road for Google+ following the recent resignation of Vic Gundotra.

What does that mean for your business?

If you are a forward-thinker and have invested time, money and resources into a social media marketing strategy, where do the rumours leave you?

Well that rather depends on how you regard the platform.

Is it an SEO tool?

Google+ has never been (and is unlikely to become) an SEO sure thing.

Certainly, the public content and links offer potential SEO benefits, but they should by no means be the sum total of your SEO efforts.

One of the main benefits is Authorship that places your Avatar beside your content in the search results, which potentially offer a visibility benefit over the other search results, but that’s pretty much it.

It’s at the core of my social media marketing strategy

Having a business or personal presence on Google+ isn’t going to lead to fame, fortune and a shed load of business.

If you have gathered some connections and used the circles feature to organise them into like-minded groups and customer segments, then your Google+ account will be beneficial. You can send relevant content by email to specific circles, which can prove beneficial.

And, of course, there’s also Google Hangouts, images and post tagging that all help you build your profile.

Content marketing amplifier

One of the great things about Google+ is the ability to add blog length posts as well as just sharing links and images.

As with all other social media platforms, the more you share the more you’ll get back. If you just amplify other peoples’ posts, you won’t be listened to.

So, does it have a future as part of your marketing strategy?

As with every other decision you make, evaluate its impact according to your current needs.

Is it effective?

Are your customers and those who influence them active on it?

Can you create value for those audiences to support your business objectives?

Above all, keep an eye on what’s happening. If there’s a chance it could be shelves ask yourself if there is any point in investing time and resources into it.

And, if you were hoping for significant SEO value boost in the near future, forget it, it’s not going to happen.


Author: Sally Ormond – UK Copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd

Is It The End of The Road For Google+?

I’ve spent ages trying to get to grips with Google+

Yes, it’s yet another social media platform to get your head around, but considering it’s from Google it’s got to be good for business, right?

You can imagine my horror after reading a recent report in Techcrunch announcing that Google is planning to move 1000-1200 employees from its three-year-old social network to other divisions (its thriving Android mobile platform) just a week after the news about Vic Gundotra’s resignation, one of the chief architects of the Google+ project.

Techcrunch writes:

What we’re hearing from multiple sources is that Google+ will no longer be considered a product, but a platform – essentially ending its competition with other social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Google has apparently been reshuffling the teams that used to form the core of Google+, a group numbering between 1,000 and 1,200 employees. … As part of these staff changes, the Google Hangouts team will be moving to the Android team, and it’s likely that the photos team will follow. Basically, talent will be shifting away from the Google+ kingdom and towards Android as a platform, we’re hearing.

Initially launched in 2011, Google+ has served both as a social network in an attempt to take on Facebook and Twitter and an identity service for Google to track users across services like YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps. The report suggests that Google are now backing away from this original strategy.

Google was quick to deny the report, with an issue stating: “Today’s news has no impact on our Google+ strategy—we have an incredibly talented team that will continue to build great user experiences across Google+, Hangouts, and Photos.”

Have your say

I’m interested to hear your thoughts about this, especially whether you’ve found Google+ useful.

Many people have found it confusing and at times clunky. How about you? Are you a Google+ fan?


Author – Sally Ormond, Briar Copywriting Ltd

A Sure-fire Way to Make Your Business Stand Out

Have you noticed a dip in your social life since Facebook came to town? accessible customer service

Once upon a time, if you wanted to catch up with friends to find out what they’d been up to, you’d arrange to meet up for coffee, lunch or a drink after work. You’d be on the phone regularly, chatting about the latest gossip.

Today, there’s been a shift in this type if socialising. Now, you can keep fairly well informed about what’s going on by checking your Facebook timeline. All your friends’ latest news is there so you know what’s going on, who’s been where and what they’ve been up to.

You’ve probably found there’s less need to be on the phone or going for a coffee because anything you would have spoken about has already been read.

What’s that got to do with making your business stand out?

Well, the rise of social media has lessened the need for face-to-face contact and good old-fashioned conversation.

How many websites have you seen recently that only allow contact my email or contact form? Some even just have a list of FAQs and only once you’ve trawled those (and their forums) are you given the option to email your question.

Why email? Why not offer a phone number so you can talk to a real person?

If you want to make your business stand out, make it accessible.

Yes, we want to talk to you

I get so frustrated by the number of companies that hide behind their website that I no longer use those that don’t publish a phone number (wherever possible).

Why don’t you want your customers to be able to get in touch with you?

What have you got to hide?

It’s not enough just to say “complete our contact form” or “send us an email” – I’ve tried that and, on numerous occasions, my email or contact request has fallen on deaf ears and I’ve never heard back from anyone.

If you want to be seen as being different, welcome your customers with open arms. Proudly display your email, phone number and postal address to let it be known that you are there to help them.

Forget flashy websites, customer service is where it’s at

A slick, flashy website may look the bee’s knees, but if there’s no substance behind it you won’t have customers knocking down your door.

Even if you have Twitter and Facebook, some customers are still going to want to talk to you.

Good old-fashioned customer service will always be a winner. It doesn’t matter how well manned your social channels are, every now and then customers will want to speak to a real person.

So, if you want a sure-fire way to make your business stand out make sure you are open for business by showing your:

  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Postal address

Don’t hide them away and make your customers jump through hoops to try and find them, make sure they’re all clearly listed on your contact page.

Author: Sally Ormond, UK Copywriter at Briar Copywriting Ltd.

SEO: The Difference Between Black Hat and White Hat

You’ve probably read umpteen articles that bang on about black and white hat search engine optimisation techniques.

Understand them?

Do you know what’s good and what’s not?

There is a lot of confusing material out there so here’s a quick run down of what’s good (i.e. white hat) and what’s bad (i.e. black hat) in the world of SEO.

Let’s start with the bad stuff.

Black Hat

Black hat is all the stuff that Google hates that if used will generate a heft penalty.

1. Bad content

This encompasses anything that’s written for the search engines and keyword stuffed or automatically generated content that is meaningless drivel produced by various software programmes. Don’t use either.

2. Links

Never buy, sell, exchange or dabble in automated link building activities. Links should always be earned through creating high quality content.

3. Hidden links and text

Text hidden behind images, white text on a white background, tiny fonts and hidden links (i.e. linking a hyphen rather than a word) will lead you into trouble.

4. Scraping

This is republishing articles from other sites without permission and pretending they’re your own.

5. Redirects

In the past people would create text-heavy web pages that were crammed with keyword-stuffed content written for the search engines. When clicked on, they redirected the user elsewhere.

White Hat

White hat is all about optimising your website for your audience. These activities are aimed at improving user experience and not manipulating the search results.

1. Content

It must be relevant, useful and written naturally. Plus, it produced regularly so there’s always something fresh on your website (e.g. by adding a blog).

2. Links (internal)

These are links to other content within your website. They are designed to enhance your reader’s experience by taking them to other relevant information within your website.

Only use a couple or so within your content so you don’t bombard your reader and make sure you use relevant anchor text.

3. Link earning

Every website that links to yours is like a vote. The more votes you get, the higher you rank. But these links must be natural and earned.

4. Navigation

At the top of your website (or down one side) will be your navigation helping your readers find their way around your website. These should incorporate your keywords.

5. Tags and titles

META descriptions and keywords are no longer important, but your title tags are. The tag you use should accurately describe your page whilst using your keywords (but without stuffing).

6. META description

Yes, I know I said this was no longer important and from an SEO point of view their not. But they come into their own for the user when your website is listed in the search results. It is this description that will help the user make a decision about which website to look at.

7. Images

The search engines can’t read images, but they can read the Alt tag that goes with them. Make sure your tags are meaningful and relevant.

8. Anchor text

This is the word or phrase you use to link out to another page of your website. It should utilise your keywords, but naturally, built within a phrase.

To make sure you don’t go wrong simply make sure that everything you do is for your reader and not the search engines.