Welcome to the first official issue of LeapGo POV (Point of View). Please leave your comments and questions below!
With businesses devoting an increasing percentage of their marketing budget to the Internet, there are some important trends to look out for in 2012. The most important items for the this year are:
• Measuring online brand influence
• Growth of U.S. mobile paid search
• Increasing focus on regular, fresh content
• Online reputation management
Measuring your brand’s online influence
An increasing number of businesses have invested in Internet and social media marketing, yet many have no idea whether their online activity is producing any return on investment (ROI). Thankfullly, there are a number of tools that can help you measure online brand influence including Klout, Google Analytics, PeerIndex and CrowdBooster.
CrowdBooster is another Twitter analytics application that provides information on your social clout in the form of easy-to-read graphs. The tracking service allows you to view the size of your follower base and who among your followers has the most impact in increasing your own influence.
Klout allows you to analyze your social clout on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn social media platforms. This is one of the more comprehensive measurement tools and it provides information on Reach, Amplification and Network. The analytics site measures more than 35 variables to gauge your social influence.
PeerIndex is a UK-based analytics service similar to Klout in that it measures your scores from different social networking platforms. Each user receives subscores in Authority, Activity and Audience. Like Klout, PeerIndex also gives each user an overall score on their social influence.
Google Analytics is probably the most widely used analytics tool for measuring website performance. Analytics allows you to track every relevant variable of site usage so that you can fully analyze what is happening on your website.
All of these online measurement services allow you to see what is working on your websites and in their social media campaigns. They can then use this data to develop strategies that will increase marketing ROI.
Growth of US mobile paid search in 2012
A new study released by Efficient Frontier (EFF) and Macquarie Capital suggests that US mobile paid search in 2012 could garner 22 percent of total search revenues by the end of the year.
Even a less optimistic assessment by these firms projects that mobile search will account for about 16 percent of the total paid search market. The research service Emarketer forecasts that total US paid search advertisements will top $17 billion in 2012.
The growth in the mobile paid search market mirrors the overall growth in mobile Internet usage, but statistics show that despite higher CPCs and CTRs for mobile search, the ROI is less than that for desktop search advertising.
The lower conversion rate for mobile search may hinder further growth in this sector until online marketers can develop an approach that produces higher success rates. One item noticed from the EFF study is that mobile queries are shorter on average than desktop queries. In the future, voice search may encourage the use of longer strings in mobile search queries.
More focus on regularly adding fresh content
The Google search algorithm is the most important factor in achieving positive search engine optimization (SEO) results. One key development for the Google algorithm in 2012 is the focus on “fresher” search results.
The new algorithm “tweak” will change results for about 35 percent of all searches according to a recent Google announcement.
With the implementation of the new “caffeine infrastructure” last year, Google is now able to index pages faster and provide even more updated search results. The new capabilities will change search results for a significant percentage of queries involving frequently updating or recurring topics, recent events and hot topics.
Google has always included freshness in its search algorithm, but the new update reportedly will give even more emphasis on up-to-date content. The faster infrastructure will give Google added ability to judge freshness more accurately and there are measures in place to prevent spamming techniques.
Instead of simply rewarding pages for freshness that could include results from spamming methods like simply reloading old content, Google is also analyzing quality and topicality in determining overall “freshness.”
Online reputation management
Maintaining a good reputation for businesses has always been important and this is no different online than in the “real world.” The ability of angry customers or former employees to damage one’s reputation online is greater than ever with the growth of micro-blogging platforms.
Online reputation management (ORM) platforms can help companies monitor the web so that they can quickly respond to possible threats. The key here is to displace negative search results with superior page optimization, and by simply knowing when possible dangers to the company’s reputation appear on the web.
Tools like Google Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, RSS feed subscriptions to search results, and tag services like tagfetch.com and tagbulb can help you stay abreast of the current web buzz.
Another way to handle bad PR is, of course, to address the root causes. Is there any merit to the online complaints made against your company? If so, what remedies are available to correct the situation? Be open to discuss the issue on social media platforms and on your own website and blogs. It’s refreshing to see a company face their issues/weaknesses/problems face on with a genuine goal of improving. Don’t try to hide from mistakes or blunders, own up to them and address them openly.
So now that you know our opinion, we’d love to hear yours! What do you think’s ahead for internet marketing in 2012? Please comment below: