Tag Archive | "Strategy"

Luxury marketing search strategy, Part 3: Integrated marketing communication

In the first two articles of my luxury search marketing series, we discussed the consumer mindset, what motivates and drives shoppers to purchase, and then the strategies and tactics that can be used to reach those shoppers and maximize results.

Now, I’m going to tie everything together. In the third and final article of the series, we’ll discuss the importance of an integrated marketing communication (IMC) campaign in the luxury goods industry and why it’s a must if you want to survive in today’s ultra-competitive and highly fragmented search landscape.

What is integrated marketing and why do luxury brands need it?

Today’s consumers are bombarded with messaging from many different marketing channels. Integrated Marketing cuts through the clutter by delivering a unified and seamless brand experience for consumers across channels. Integrated Marketing delivers a seamless experience with one clear message that is relevant to consumers no matter what channel they are using.

In the second article of my series, we discussed how the luxury consumer craves an experience. Luxury shoppers search online to find the luxury items they want, discover new experiences, and to engage with their favorite brands wherever, and to make their purchase whenever they want1. Therefore, creating seamless experiences along the customer journey is especially critical for luxury brands.

Understanding the consumer decision journey is crucial

The consumer journey is no longer a linear path-to-purchase. It has evolved into a complicated and dynamic process during which consumers interact with many different touchpoints along the way. Reaching consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions should be our goal as marketers. McKinsey’s Consumer Decision Journey applies touchpoints for these different opportunities to influence consumers.

The consumer decision journey is a circular decision-making process with four phases:

  1. Initial consideration
  2. Active evaluation – information gathering, shopping
  3. Closure – the moment of purchase
  4. Post-purchase – ongoing exposure to the brand

For search marketers to leverage the consumer decision journey, you need to find ways to get your brand into the consumer’s initial consideration set. We can do this through SEO and integration with other marketing channels.

Integrated marketing and SEO

Search marketers strive to maximize brands’ and companies’ visibility through top search engine rankings. This visibility is key to making it into the consumer’s initial consideration set. I’ll share some integrated marketing strategies that will help improve your SEO and overall business results.

1. Integrate organic and paid search marketing

Numerous studies2 have illustrated how SEO impacts the number of clicks that paid ads receive. Google has shown that when a site has strong organic results, the site is likely to see an increase their click-through-rate for paid search ads on the same search results page. Other studies have shown that the reverse is true – paid search can improve the results of organic search campaigns.

Putting it into practice

Align organic and paid messaging: You want unified messaging, not conflicting messaging. All messaging should be aligned and customer-centric. One way to achieve this is to include top-performing paid ad copy into your organic meta descriptions. For example, one of my paid search counterparts at our agency identified that the term “award-winning” performed the best in their ad copy. We have incorporated it into our meta descriptions to improve organic click-through-rates and to present a unified message to the searcher. This maximizes SEO performance while delivering a seamless experience for the luxury customer.

Improve pages with low-quality scores: Identify the pages where you have a low-quality score and work to increase it. Higher costs-per-click can be reduced by improving landing page experiences and page load times. Identify paid keywords that need organic support. Improving organic content for these keywords can help to drive your paid search campaigns and improve your campaign’s efficiency.

2. Capitalize on events

Leveraging event marketing3 is another way to reach potential customers and build brand awareness. You can leverage specific event types based on your industry to build brand awareness, and as an additional benefit, drive direct and referral traffic. Recurring seasonal events, fashion shows, and international fairs are likely to have strong search volume. These types of events present a great opportunity to increase your brand’s visibility during key moments throughout the year among a highly engaged audience.

The luxury watch brand, TUDOR, created a dedicated page on its website for Baselworld, an international watch and jewelry industry event. This dedicated page is optimized for “New TUDOR Watches – Baselworld 2017” and the content speaks to the new models of watches that would be debuted at the show. This type of page offers another avenue to generate organic visibility and traffic to the website.

Putting it into practice

Create a dedicated event page: You can create a page on your website that’s dedicated to a specific event type. For example, brand.com/eventtype-2019. This page can be used for PR and shared on social networks to help build search authority and brand awareness. Make sure that the brand message you share is consistent across all customer touchpoints.

3. Utilize visual social networks

Don’t limit your SEO to just Google. Visual and social networks4 like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube present a significant opportunity for brands to generate awareness and visibility. Pictures and videos are powerful mediums capable of evoking the aspirational emotions associated with luxury purchases. Don’t forget, one of the primary reasons people buy luxury goods is to display status. Brands should be taking advantage of this by publishing content that helps luxury consumers fill this need.

CHANEL frequently creates this type of content. The “Inside CHANEL” campaign is a great example of how you can leverage images and videos. “Inside CHANEL” gives people an exclusive look into the brand’s history and it does this by sharing the brand’s story through pictures and videos. In addition to the “Inside CHANEL” website, the campaign’s videos are hosted on YouTube making it easy to share them among your social networks.

Putting it into practice

Create visual, aspirational content for social networks: Think about the type of content that people will want to share to impress their friends and peers. When creating this content like pictures or videos remember that it should evoke the types of emotions that make people want to share it.

Content creation tips

  • Define your target audience and ensure that they are searching on the channel where you want to publish your content – Are they females and/or making the buying decisions? If so, Pinterest can be a good fit.
  • Ensure this content has an exclusivity aspect to it. Ensure that people feel like they have access to something special. It should be original and unique.
  • Make the content easily sharable across your social networks. The last thing you’ll want is to have a great piece of content that’s difficult for people to share.
  • Ensure that the messaging is seamless across channels. Remember, the hallmark of an integrated marketing campaign is messaging that is consistent across channels.
  • Ensure your content is optimized using descriptive image alt text. Make sure you are using the right image format and file size that is optimal for the channel. Each social channel has different tips to maximize visibility within their platform. Make sure you consult their guidelines.

Recap

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this luxury marketing search strategy series. To wrap things up, let’s summarize some of the key points for successful SEO and search marketing in the luxury industry.

The first article discussed the reasons why we buy luxury goods—because of how they make us feel and because we crave an experience along with the exclusivity. Let’s not forget about the role of dopamine in the process, which is where the anticipation of the reward comes in.

The second article covered the SEO importance of creating emotionally fulfilling content and keyword intent research. We also discussed why you need to invest in your meta description to make it more enticing. It’s important to win the click and entice consumers to learn more about your brand, and ultimately, convert.

Finally, the third article covered the role of integrated marketing for luxury brands and the benefits of a consistent brand theme/message across all customer touchpoints. Aligning your paid and organic search efforts, capitalizing on events, and creating visual, aspirational content that can be shared across social networks is a must.

Final thoughts

As marketers, our goal should be to support the organization’s vision, mission, and values, and work hard to improve the company’s bottom line, regardless of the channel. It’s a collaborative effort between multiple marketing channels. It’s all too easy to default to a siloed approach, so we constantly push ourselves to think outside the box and develop inventive solutions for the challenges facing our customers. That’s where our real value as SEOs will shine through.

References

  1. The Meaning of Search Engine Optimization for Luxury, LuxeDigital – https://luxe.digital/digital-luxury-speakeasy/search-engine-optimisation-seo/
  2. How Organic SEO and PPC Impact Each Other, Brightedge –https://www.brightedge.com/content/how-organic-seo-and-ppc-impact-each-other
  3. Why Luxury Brands Should Capitalise on Events, Luxury Society – https://www.luxurysociety.com/en/articles/2018/03/seo-strategy-why-should-luxury-brands-capitalize-events/
  4. 10 Marketing Strategies for Luxury Brands that Deliver Results, VentureHarbour – https://www.ventureharbour.com/luxury-brand-digital-marketing/

Jennifer Kenyon is a Director of Organic Search at Catalyst (part of GroupM). She can be found on Twitter @JennKCatalyst

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The line between subdomain leasing and alternative revenue strategy

How search engines handle subdomain leasing may carry implications for all businesses.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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How to optimize your video marketing strategy on YouTube

You need to up your YouTube optimization game when you’ve got awesome video content but poor traffic.

In case you haven’t heard, video marketing has been experiencing a near-meteoric rise over the last few years. Online video has now overtaken television as the preferred medium for watching videos, while around five billion videos are watched on YouTube each day.

It’s important to note that simply having great content isn’t enough. To make sure your videos are seen by more people and easy to discover, you have to optimize them.

This is where SEO comes in. The good news is that YouTube is already the second biggest search engine in the world, which means you can be sure that your audience will find you if you do the right things.

In this article, we’re going to give you some of our tried and tested tips on how to optimize your video marketing strategy on YouTube.

Title your video with keywords

Your title is essentially what makes people want to click your video. It has to be brief, direct, compelling and it has to let your viewers know exactly what the video is all about.

For example: “How To Create Affirmations” as seen in the video below.

YouTube SEO - Add keywords in title

To fully optimize your video so that both your audience and the YouTube SEO algorithm knows what it’s all about, you need to add keywords.

Finding the right keywords for your video is pretty easy. Begin by typing a title you have in mind, for example, “How to design a logo” – into the search bar, before taking advantage of the auto-complete feature. Basically, YouTube suggests results that are the most popular search queries based on your keyword. Use the keywords that the search bar brings up and incorporate them into your title – without overloading the title.

YouTube SEO - YouTube's keyword suggestions

Nail the description

While it’s totally okay to add keywords to your description, Backlinko actually did some research on this and found that there is no correlation between keyword-rich descriptions and the rankings for that particular term.

This is interesting stuff, but you still need to optimize your description for SEO purposes regardless. Add your main keywords to your description and try to get them in as early and as much as reasonably possible.

Because YouTube caps your text at 1,000 characters, you don’t want to be too wordy. Remember, folks are here to watch videos and not read a story. Keep your description concise, clear and compelling enough so that it encourages users to press play.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that only the first three lines are displayed before someone has to click “see more” to see the rest of the text. As such, it’s good practice to get your key info into the first two to three lines, such as links to your product pages, landing page, your “subscribe” link, or even your CTA.

This is what Brave Wilderness do all the time:

YouTube SEO - Adding video descriptions

Optimize your tags

Tags help to make your video more discoverable to people. With tags, you’re informing your viewers what your video is about, and you’re also giving stronger clues to YouTube. Essentially, tags help YouTube understand both the context and content of a video so that it becomes associated with similar videos. This increases your reach.

To that end, take your time picking the right tags. While you might think it’s a good idea to choose popular tags that will land you more views, you might get reported for spam if you keep picking irrelevant tags. And once you’ve been reported for spam a few times, Google will probably penalize you.

Keep your tags relevant, use keywords and find as many as you can that work, keeping in mind that these keywords will pull in the right audience.

Add your keyword to your video file

When we upload our videos to YouTube, it’s very easy to overlook the name of the video file itself. Usually, a video file has an impersonal name, such as mov002.avi. That doesn’t even give us the slightest clue as to what the video is about!

To help the YouTube algorithm out a little, rename your video file to your main keyword.

For example:

how_to_survive_a_hurriance.mp4

Remember that YouTube’s algorithm can’t take a peek inside your video to find out what it’s all about. An optimized video file gives it a bigger clue and will help you to rank better.

Choose a category

Picking a category for your video sounds simple enough, but unless you take the time to do this properly you might end up picking a category that just doesn’t help you rank at all.

There are a few factors you need to bear in mind when choosing a category:

Who’s creating the best content in this category and what does it look like?

Do the audiences for popular channels in this category match yours?

What is the general format, length and overall production value of the best videos in this category?

For example, if you choose a category that’s related to your niche, but which is filled with content that’s got different production values to yours, you’ll lose out. Find a category that really suits your style, content, and audience, and do some thorough research before settling on one.

Add an eye-catching thumbnail

Bland thumbnails that literally discourage us from watching a video will kill your SEO efforts. It’s the same if a thumbnail appears to be unrelated to the content.

A killer thumbnail needs to be so eye-catching that a user can’t do anything else but click the video.

The best videos have customized thumbnails.

If you take a look at a selection of Brave Wilderness’ thumbnails below, you can see that each one has been customized. They’ve added their logo to the top right of each thumbnail, and they’ve added funky speech bubbles and colorful graphics to jazz their thumbnails up.

YouTube SEO - Adding thumbnails

If you think this type of thing is beyond you, there are plenty of tools to help you out. Design Wizard, for example, helps you to redesign – and crucially resize – your images, while Pik Wizard is stuffed with lots of professional images that will ensure your thumbnails stand out.

Conclusion

All in all, YouTube SEO isn’t rocket science and there’s no need to let it take away from your enjoyment of making videos. As long as you produce great video content and follow our guidelines in this article, there’s every chance that your video marketing campaign will start working its magic for you.

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How to Use Keywords in Your Blogging Strategy

Posted by KameronJenkins

Even though blogging has been around for a while, it looks a lot different today than it did in the early 2000s. In those days, people read your blog because they followed it (anyone else have a few old .blogspot blogs floating around out there?) or subscribed to your RSS feed.

Online behavior has changed since then. While some people might stumble onto a blog they like and subscribe to its email list for updates, many people discover blog content through search engines. With more people searching than ever before, it’s a great time for bloggers to explore using keyword research in their content strategy.

This post was written for those that may be new to blogging, as well as those who have been blogging for some time but are just now starting to explore keyword research.

Ready? It’s time to dive into the beginner’s guide to keyword research for bloggers!

What are keywords?

Keywords are the words someone types (or speaks!) into a search engine.

People use search engines for all sorts of things — things like looking up movie times, seeing what the day’s weather will be like, or getting their local pizza place’s number. Every search is a quest for information, and the goal of search engines like Google is to supply the searcher with a satisfying answer as quickly as possible.

What does this mean for you as a blogger? It means that if you want to write for these searchers, you’ll need to know the questions they’re asking (keywords) and deliver the answer in your blog posts.

How will keywords change my blog strategy?

Blog posts developed on the basis of keyword research are different from other types of blog posts in that they focus on answering an existing question.

Contrast this with something like a blog post about a personal experience, or a post introducing a completely new idea — in both these scenarios, because your content doesn’t answer an existing question, it likely won’t get much traffic from search engines like Google, simply because no one is searching for it.

Does that mean you can only write to answer existing questions? Not at all! Even topics with no search demand could get great engagement and traffic on other channels like Facebook or Twitter, but if you want long-term free traffic, the best place to get it is from Google, and the best way to get Google to send you that traffic is to build your blogs on the foundation of keyword research.

Where do I find keywords?

A keyword research tool like Moz Keyword Explorer will do the trick!

This tool allows you to find new keyword ideas two main ways: by typing in a word or a phrase and getting back related keywords (the “Explore by Keyword” feature):

Gif of someone searching fried tofu recipe by keyword in Keyword Explorer

…or by typing in a page/website and getting back keywords that page or website ranks for (the “Explore by Site” feature):

Gif of someone searching moz.com by root domain in Keyword Explorer

Another great feature is the filter for “are questions” — this allows you to see only keywords that are formatted as questions. Since answering your audience’s questions is such a key component of optimizing your content for search, this is a great tool to give you insight into what your audience wants to know.

What keywords do I pick?

Just because you found a keyword in a keyword research tool doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it in your blogging strategy. Once you have a list of keywords, it’s a good idea to whittle it down. Here’s how.

Choose keywords that match your audience

Knowing your audience is a prerequisite for keyword research because it helps you filter out keywords that, although technically related to your topic, are a mismatch for your audience.

If you haven’t done so yet, document an ideal audience for your blog. For example, if you run a fitness blog, you could write down something as simple as “fitness enthusiasts.” You could also go a bit deeper and create audience personas, full profiles of your ideal audience that include things like age, demographics, and interests.

The deeper your understanding of your ideal audience, the easier it will be to detect which keywords out of the bunch they would have searched for.

Evaluate each keyword’s difficulty score

You may also want to whittle down your keyword list to leave only those with an appropriate Difficulty Score, which Keyword Explorer will assign to every keyword. That score is determined by the strength of the pages that are currently ranking on page 1 for that keyword.

If you’re just getting started blogging and you have a fairly low Domain Authority (which you can check by downloading the MozBar plugin or using the free version of Moz Link Explorer), you may want to start with keywords that have a Difficulty Score in the 20-30 range, or even lower. For more on how to use Difficulty Score in your keyword research, check out this write-up from Rand Fishkin.

Look at each keyword’s search volume

Search volume gives you an estimate of how many people are searching for that keyword every month. It’s great to choose keywords that lots of people are searching for, but remember that quantity doesn’t always equal quality. You may opt for a lower-volume keyword because it’s much more relevant to your audience and your goals.

How do I use the keywords on my page?

When Google’s algorithm was less mature than it is today, it was easy to get your page to rank at the top of search results for certain phrases by repeating that keyword many times on the page.

Over the years though, Google has gotten better at ranking pages that answer the query, rather than just repeat it on the page. This is important to keep in mind because it’s tempting to think that all you have to do with your keyword list is add those words to your pages. To perform well in search engines though, you have to provide an answer to those queries that’s better than anything else out there.

Here are some tips for using keywords to guide your blog content:

  • Keywords are the input. You’re creating the output. Instead of asking yourself “How can I include this keyword on my page?” ask yourself, “How can I answer this question?”
  • You don’t have to have a separate page for every keyword you want to rank for. If you’re writing a blog post about “choosing the best running shoes,” for example, it makes perfect sense to answer multiple questions related to that topic within the same post, such as “road vs. trail running shoes” and “running shoe features.”
  • Check out the pages that are currently ranking for your target keyword and think about how you can create a page better than that.

Where do I go from here?

The best thing to do next is to dive in and try it for yourself! As with most things, keyword research gets easier once you start to apply it.

A huge part of growing your blog effectively is developing a content strategy. There’s a fantastic free video course from HubSpot that walks you through developing your own content strategy, including how to use Moz Keyword Explorer for your keyword research. If you’re a visual learner like me, you should find it helpful!

Take the free course!

The most important thing to remember is that offering the right content tells you what your audience wants to know. As a blogger, this insight is invaluable! Write to answer their questions, and they’ll be more likely to find your content in search engines. 


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Cultivate Your Independence with Smart Strategy and Thoughtful Action

It’s Independence Day in the U.S.! Wherever you live, this week we invite you to take thoughtful action that promotes…

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Create a Marketing Strategy That’s Not Annoying, Says Bombora VP

“It’s really about customer experience,” says Nirosha Methananda, VP of Marketing at Bombora. “I think that is something fundamental to marketing. I feel like we have gone down this path of almost over automating and having to constantly pounce on people without necessarily being conscious and mindful of what their experience is on the other end. From my experience, it’s leading to me switching off and ignoring messages. I’m sure I’m not the only one. That’s basically why I’m passionate about creating a marketing strategy that’s not annoying.”

Nirosha Methananda, Vice President of Marketing at Bombora, discusses the challenges of marketing without annoying your potential customers by bombarding them with marketing messages in an interview with Logan Lyles on the B2B Growth Podcast:

Marketing Is Really About the Customer Experience

As a B2B marketer, I get marketed to a lot. It’s something that I have increasingly noticed and I’m probably not the only one. That’s just becoming part of the experience in terms of being inundated with different messaging and different calls and this, that, and the other. Use this, do this, buy this, whatever it is. It’s really not a great experience. It doesn’t necessarily provide value. Marketers are so busy as it is, and I know that is applicable across the board with everyone we are marketing to. Being able to cut through the noise and having an understanding of all these different things is very challenging. 

Having on top of it being inundated with this constant flow of messaging like meet me, meet me, meet me, is not very helpful. That’s one of the things that I’m passionate about. It’s really about customer experience. I think that is something fundamental to marketing. I feel like we have gone down this path of almost over automating and having to constantly pounce on people without necessarily being conscious and mindful of what their experience is on the other end. From my experience, it’s leading to me switching off and ignoring messages. I’m sure I’m not the only one. 

Create a Marketing Strategy That’s Not Annoying

It also leads to this annoyance and irritation which leads to distrust of brands and that’s not great for this industry. From a customer perspective those bad experiences, unfortunately, more than good experiences, they stay with you for longer and you remember that. Another thing that we don’t necessarily think of is that it’s wasteful. It’s wasteful of time and it’s wasteful of money especially for marketing and sales where money is a precious resource. It’s not something to be wasted. That’s basically why I’m passionate about creating a marketing strategy that’s not annoying.

As an example, our Intent Event was our first flagship event that we did last year. It was a closed event so we did have limited numbers and we were limited as to what we could do with promotion. What we did was try to have mindfulness around what we were sending out and ensuring that it was helpful. Making sure that the recipients, the people that we invited, were given all the relevant information, but there was brevity in the communication as well as encouraging them to participate without forcing them to be there. 

There was certainly some urgency around some of our communication but it wasn’t you need to attend this and this is why you must attend this. It was more about being a bit more subtle in presenting them the idea and the concept of what it was, why it would help them, and exactly the information that they needed. What that meant was not sending out multiple emails, being very controlled around it, really thinking about what the experience was before the event, to during the event, to after the event. We were really focused on the customer and making sure that all of the content and communication was educational and helpful.

Create a Marketing Strategy That’s Not Annoying, Says Bombora VP Nirosha Methananda

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Craft a Deliciously Effective Content Marketing Strategy with a Farm-to-Table Approach

If you’re in the mood for a special dinner and you have a farm-to-table restaurant in your city, it might…

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Technology and Innovation Powering Levi Strauss Growth Strategy, Says CEO

Levi Strauss began trading on the New York Stock Exchange this morning under the ticker symbol ‘LEVI.’ By mid-afternoon, the stock was at $ 22.66, substantially higher than the price offered to institutional investors. It’s clear that investors believe that Levi’s can leverage technology and innovation to successfully compete online and in brick and mortar stores.


Levi Strauss Soars in NYSE Debut

Charles Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss, discusses how technology and innovation are driving increased sales and market share in an interview with CNBC coinciding with their IPO:

We Are Denim and We’re the Market Leader Globally

We are denim and we’re the market leader globally. A lot of people as we were doing the (IPO) roadshow said aren’t you guys just riding the denim wave? We’re creating the denim wave. We’ve been driving the category with innovation across our men’s business and our women’s business. We’ve expanded to other categories. Last year we finished with 14 percent growth coming off of 8 percent growth the prior year. The business is really humming right now.

I believe this is sustainable for the long term. Maybe not double digits forever. But we’ve got clear runway for growth across the categories that we’re competing in. We’re building share in our core categories and expanding to new categories. Last fiscal year, when we finished the year our growth was really broad-based. If you looked at it in the categories where we competed we grew every single category. If you looked at it by geography we grew every single geography. If you look at it by channel we grew across wholesale, including US wholesale, which is a little bit of a melting iceberg right now. We grew in our own brick-and-mortar and ecommerce. It was very broad-based growth last year and we’re confident we can continue that.

We Have Built a Very Big Platform for Big Data

First of all, to be successful it does come down to strong brands. Consumers at the end of the day love an emotional attachment with their brand. We’ve recreated that that love for Levi’s. We have built a very big platform for big data. In fact just a couple of weeks ago we announced that we’ve hired a head of advanced analytics and machine learning who will sit on the executive team and report directly to me. We are mining the data that we do collect and really turning it into revenue.

Our strategies are working and one of the key strategic choices that we made seven years ago, shortly after I joined, was to become a leading world-class omnichannel retailer and it is working. The mix has shifted to omnichannel. When I joined the company it was about 20 percent of our business. Today, it’s almost a third. It is faster growing than our wholesale business and we’re continuing to invest in it. Most of our capital investment is going into retail and ecommerce and knitting that seamless consumer experience together.

Implemented New Instance of SAP and Investing in RFID

It (IPO funds) is going to go into continued investment in building out our omnichannel. So both brick-and-mortar retail as well as our ecommerce business and then knitting it together with technology. For example, we’re implementing a new instance of SAP and investing in RFID (radio frequency identification). We’ve implemented RFID across our business in the US and UK and that’s actually really turning into money. Every one of the products in our store is tagged with RFID.

I’ve actually had this experience happen to me myself in our new Times Square store. There was an item I wanted to buy and they didn’t have it in my size. A stylist came over and scanned the tag and she could see that my size was available in the back room. Just two minutes later I was in the dressing room trying it on. A year ago before our RFID that would have been a lost sale. That just wouldn’t have happened. It gives us instant clear visibility to the inventory in our store, both in front of house as well as back of house.

Levi’s Driving Market Share Through Product Innovation

Back in 2013 and 2014, the headlines were the death of denim. It was all about athletic tights and Lululemon tights. It became a throwdown moment for us as a company. We have an innovation center a couple of blocks from our office. We brought our suppliers, the mills that make denim for us, into that innovation center. We understood what women were really telling us by wearing tights. That used to be a denim occasion. They wanted soft stretchy comfortable material that made them look great and gave them confidence. That was what was driving that conversion. So we innovated around soft stretchy comfortable denim which we can now do. We developed proprietary four-way stretch so that women don’t get baggy knees, which is their biggest dissatisfier.

We relaunched our business in the middle of 2015 and we’ve grown 14 quarters in a row and in the last eight quarters at double-digit rates. It has been a huge part of our growth. We were under $ 800 million just on women’s bottoms about three years ago. We’re over a billion dollars today. We are number one globally with a nine percent market share, but we’re not number one in a number of markets including right here in the US. So I really do believe we can continue to grow at an accelerated rate on our women’s business. There are lots of what I like to call share donors out there for us to build share while we’re building the category.

We haven’t seen any (backlash to being an American brand). This brand stands for everything good about America. Freedom, democracy, and allowing people to express themselves. Authentic self-expression is what the Levi’s brand is all about. We’ve not seen any backlash. None. We think there are lots of opportunities still for us. I am not worried at all about denim. We are denim and we’ll continue to drive this category through great innovation and marketing that connects with consumers and sends them into our stores.

Technology and Innovation Powering Levi Strauss Growth Strategy

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10 Things Your Content Marketing Strategy Must Include

With last year’s sale of our StudioPress division, I found myself with something I hadn’t seen in a long time…

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The One-Hour Guide to SEO, Part 1: SEO Strategy – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Can you learn SEO in an hour? Surprisingly, the answer is yes, at least when it comes to the fundamentals! 

With this edition of Whiteboard Friday, we’re kicking off something special: a six-part series of roughly ten-minute-long videos designed to deliver core SEO concepts efficiently and effectively. It’s our hope that this will serve as a helpful resource for a wide range of people:

  • Beginner SEOs looking to get acquainted with the field concisely & comprehensively
  • Clients, bosses, and stakeholders who would benefit from an enhanced understanding of your work
  • New team members who need quick and easy onboarding
  • Colleagues with SEO-adjacent roles, such as web developers and software engineers

Today we’ll be covering Part 1: SEO Strategy with the man who wrote the original guide on SEO, our friend Rand. Settle in, and stay tuned next Friday for our second video covering keyword research!

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to a special edition of the Whiteboard Friday series. I’m Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz, and I’m here with you today because I’m going to deliver a one-hour guide to SEO, front and back, so that you can learn in just an hour the fundamentals of the practice and be smarter at choosing a great SEO firm to work with, hiring SEO people. 

A handy SEO resource for your clients, team, and colleagues

If you are already in SEO, you might pick up some tips and tactics that you didn’t otherwise know or hadn’t previously considered. I want to ask those of you who are sort of intermediate level and advanced level SEOs — and I know there are many of you who have historically watched me on Whiteboard Friday and I really appreciate that — to give this video a chance even though it is at the beginner level, because my hope is that it will be valuable to you to send to your clients, your potential customers, people who join your team and work with you, developers or software engineers or web devs who you are working with and whose help you need but you want them to understand the fundamentals of SEO.

If those are the people that you’re talking to, excellent. This series is for you. We’re going to begin with SEO strategy. That is our first part. Then we’ll get into things like keyword research and technical SEO and link building and all of that good stuff as well. 

The essentials: What is SEO, and what does it do?

So first off, SEO is search engine optimization. It is essentially the practice of influencing or being able to control some of the results that Google shows when someone types in or speaks a query to their system.

I say Google. You can influence other search engines, like Bing and DuckDuckGo and Yahoo and Seznam if you’re in the Czech Republic or Baidu. But we are primarily focused on Google because Google has more than a 90% market share in the United States and, in fact, in North America and South America, in most of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East with a few exceptions.

Start with business goals

So SEO is a tactic. It’s a way to control things. It is not a business goal. No one forms a new company or sits down with their division and says, “Okay, we need to rank for all of these keywords.” Instead what you should be saying, what hopefully is happening in your teams is, “We have these business goals.”

Example: “Grow our online soccer jersey sales to a web-savvy, custom heavy audience.”

Let’s say we’re an online e-commerce shop and we sell customized soccer jerseys, well, football for those of you outside of the United States. So we want to grow our online soccer jersey sales. Great, that is a true business goal. We’re trying to build a bigger audience. We want to sell more of these jerseys. In order to do that, we have marketing goals that we want to achieve, things like we want to build brand awareness.

Next, marketing goals

Build brand awareness

We want more people to know who we are, to have heard of our particular brand, because people who have heard of us are going to be more likely to buy from us. The first time you hear about someone, very unlikely to buy. The seventh time you’ve heard about someone, much more likely to buy from them. So that is a good marketing goal, and SEO can help with that. We’ll talk about that in a sec.

Grow top-of-funnel traffic

You might want to grow top-of-funnel traffic. We want more people coming to the site overall so that we can do a better job of figuring out who is the right audience for us and converting some of those people, retargeting some of those people, capturing emails from some of those people, all those good things. 

Attract ready-to-buy fans

We want to attract ready-to-buy fans, people who are chomping at the bit to buy our soccer jerseys, customize them and get them shipped.

SEO, as a strategy, is essentially a set of tactics, things that you will do in the SEO world to rank for different keywords in the search engines or control and influence what already ranks in there so that you can achieve your marketing goals so that you can achieve your business goals.

Don’t get this backwards. Don’t start from a place of SEO. Especially if you are an SEO specialist or a practitioner or you’re joining a consulting firm, you should always have an excellent idea of what these are and why the SEO tactics that you are undertaking fit into them. If you don’t, you should be asking those questions before you begin any SEO work.

Otherwise you’re going to accomplish things and do things that don’t have the impact or don’t tie directly to the impact that the business owners care about, and that’s going to mean probably you won’t get picked up for another contract or you won’t accomplish the goals that mean you’re valuable to the team or you do things that people don’t necessarily need and want in the business and therefore you are seen as a less valuable part of it.

Finally, move into SEO strategy

But if you’re accomplishing things that can clearly tie to these, the opposite. People will really value what you do. 

Rank for low-demand, high-conversion keywords

So SEO can do things like rank for low demand, things that don’t have a lot of searches per month but they are high conversion likely keywords, keywords like “I am looking for a customized Seattle Sounders soccer jersey that’s in the away colors.” Well, there’s not a lot of search demand for that exact phrase. But if you’re searching for it, you’re very likely to convert. 

Earn traffic from high-demand, low-competition, less commerce-focused keywords

You could try and earn traffic from high-demand, low competition keywords that are less focused directly on e-commerce. So it could be things like “Seattle Sounders news” or “Seattle Sounders stats” or a comparison of “Portland Timbers versus Seattle Sounders.” These are two soccer or football clubs in the Pacific Northwest. 

Build content that attracts links and influencer engagement

Or you might be trying to do things like building content that attracts links and influencer engagement so that in the future you can rank for more competitive keywords. We’ll talk about that in a sec. SEO can do some amazing things, but there are also things that it cannot do.

What SEO can do:

If you put things in here, if you as an SEO pitch to your marketing team or your business owners that SEO can do things that it can’t, you’re going to be in trouble. So when we compose an SEO strategy, a set of tactics that tries to accomplish marketing goals that tie to business goals, SEO can do things like:

  • Attract searchers that are seeking your content.
  • Control how your brand is seen in search results when someone searches for your particular name. 
  • Nudge searchers toward queries by influencing what gets suggested in the auto suggest or by suggesting related searches or people also ask boxes. 

Anything that shows up in the search results, nearly anything can be influenced by what we as SEOs can do.

What SEO cannot do:

Grow or create search demand on its own

But SEO cannot grow or create search demand by itself. So if someone says, “Hey, I want us to get more traffic for this specific keyword,” if you’re already ranking number one and you have some videos showing in the results and you’re also in the image results and you’ve got maybe a secondary page that links off to you from the results, you might say, “Hey, there’s just not more demand,” and SEO by itself can’t create that additional demand.

Build brand (by itself)

SEO also can’t build brand, at least not by itself. It can certainly be a helpful part of that structure. But if someone says, “Hey, I want us to be better known among this audience,”you can say, “Well, SEO can help a little, but it can’t build a brand on its own, and it certainly can’t build brand perception on its own.” People are going to go and visit your website. They’re going to go and experience, have an interaction with what you’ve created on the web. That is going to be far more of a brand builder, a brand indicator than just what appears in the search results. So SEO can’t do that alone. 

Directly convert customers

It also can’t directly convert customers. A lot of the time what we find is that someone will do a great job of ranking, but when you actually reach the website, when visitors reach the website, they are unsatisfied by the search, which by the way is one of the reasons why this one-hour guide is going to include a section on searcher satisfaction.

When Google sees over time that searchers are unsatisfied by a result, they will push that result down in the rankings and find someone who does a great job of satisfying searchers, and they will rank them instead. So the website has to do this. It is part of SEO. It’s certainly part of the equation, but SEO can’t influence it or control it on its own.

WORK OVERNIGHT!

Finally, last but not least, SEO cannot work overnight. It just won’t happen. SEO is a long-term investment. It is very different from paid search ads, PPC, also called SEM sometimes, buying from Google ads or from Bing ads and appearing in the sponsored results. That is a tactic where you can pour money in and optimize and get results out in 24 hours. SEO is more like a 24-month long process. 

The SEO Growth Path

I’ve tried to show that here. The fundamental concept is when you have a new website, you need to earn these things — links and engagement and historical performance in the rankings.

As you earn those things, other people are linking to you from around the web, people are talking about you, people are engaging with your pages and your brand, people start searching for your brand specifically, people are clicking you more in the search results and then having good experiences on your website, as all those great things happen, you will grow your historical engagement and links and ranking factors, all these things that we sort of put into the bucket of the authority and influence of a website.

3–6 months: Begin to rank for things in the long tail of search demand

As that grows, you will be able to first, over time, this might be three to six months down here, you might be able to rank for a few keywords in the long tail of search demand. 

6–9 months: Begin to rank for more and more competitive keywords

After six to nine months, if you’re very good at this, you may be able to rank for more and more competitive keywords.

12–18 months: Compete for tougher keywords

As you truly grow a brand that is well-known and well thought of on the internet and by search engines, 12 to 18 months in, maybe longer, you may be able to compete for tougher and tougher keywords. When I started the Moz website, back in the early days of Google, it took me years, literally two or three years before I was ranking for anything in Google, anything in the search engines, and that is because I had to first earn that brand equity, that trust, that relationship with the search engines, those links and that engagement.

Today this is more true than ever because Google is so good at estimating these things. All right. I look forward to hearing all about the amazing strategies and structures that you’ve got probably in the comments down below. I’m sure it will be a great thread. We’ll move on to the second part of our one-hour guide next time — keyword research. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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