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Dec. 20, 2011 | by Maya.Kamourieh Affiliate Marketing and the lemon squeezer

Affiliate Marketing has been around for over ten years ever since Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon.com, pondered the idea of having others advertise links on their sites to Amazon.com and receive a commission on sales for doing so. Well that’s how legend has it that the first affiliate programme on the internet launched. Since that time Affiliate Marketing has grown into a multi-million pound industry which forms an integral part of an advertisers marketing strategy.

As new affiliate models are created and existing models are developed, account managers continue to adapt to the different ways of managing a client’s brand. Affiliate Marketing has greatly advanced especially over the last six years where affiliates have grown from the “back bedroom” operations of the past to corporate businesses that have spent years developing and promoting websites enabling a larger reach. But just as Affiliates have grown so have internet shoppers who have all become a savvy bargain hunting nation looking for the lowest possible prices.

These “lemon squeezers” spend hours surfing the net for discount vouchers and other deals such as a two-for-one offer at a pizza restaurant, free delivery codes or limited-time discounts. Unfortunately there are also a hard core of internet users looking to exploit the many loopholes out there and Affiliate Marketing is no different. It’s easy to get stung if you don’t fully understand the world of Affiliate Marketing. You have probably already heard of things such as “brand bidding” and “cookie dropping” where individuals are looking to make easy money on your natural traffic but there are many other pitfalls which we have to be aware of in order for an affiliate programme to fully succeed.

With experience we can build up knowledge of the pitfalls that advertisers can suffer. One example of this is taking advantage of misspelt URLs. If you take a look at the WHOIS for a domain listed as wwwretailer.co.uk (missing the leading period) for example, there is a good chance you will find the domain is registered to an individual who more likely than not will use an affiliate link to re-direct the user to the retailer site. It’s very simple and can easily be missed if you don’t look out for it. Things like this are very preventable and you could save thousands by taking certain steps when launching an Affiliate Programme.
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Dec. 20, 2011 | by Georgie Wright Ambush Marketing and the Law in 2011 + 1

There is a certain sporting event coming up next year that I am sure you are all aware of. Its impact on the UK, and globally, will be huge as the world pauses to watch some of the greatest sporting performances, and achievements, of our time. We wait with baited breath, yet I’m hesitant to mention its name for fear of a smacked wrist!


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Dec. 14, 2011 | by Daniel.Fernandez 5 tips for students looking for a digital marketing placement

I thought it would be a good idea to write a post about my placement experience at iCrossing, and give some tips to those students that are about to finish the second year at University and are thinking about building a career in Marketing by gaining work experience before graduating.

Let’s crack on…

Who am I?

My name is Daniel Fernandez – a third year Marketing and Management Student at the University of Gloucestershire. I am currently doing my placement at iCrossing, based in the offices that the company has in Brighton.

Here is a picture of me..

Dani Fernandez

1 – Choose your specialism

Once you have decided to go on placement, the first thing to do is have a look at the opportunities that your degree and the different markets offer you. I chose Digital Marketing among other options such as Branding and International Marketing…

2 – Choose the right company
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Dec. 12, 2011 | by Daniel.Fernandez What do Twitter brand pages mean for marketers?

First Facebook was followed by LinkedIn and Google. Now its Twitter’s turn as they have announced new profiles for businesses. At the moment they are only available to a limited number of companies, but Twitter has said that it will be rolling out more broadly in the coming weeks together with important updates across the different platforms; PC and mobile versions.

As competitors did before, Twitter has partnered up with some of the biggest International companies in supporting the new version, such as  McDonalds , Coca-Cola, Bing, Dell, HeinekenHP and  Intel among others. Most of these already have official  brand pages on Twitter.

What’s different?

Design, Videos and Images

On Twitter’s official blog, the company describe a new and simplified version of the social network, which provides companies the ability to customise their profile with more of a branded look. As we can see in the below example from the Coca-Cola Twitter page.

Coca-cola

However, customisation is not the only new advantage for companies and followers. The new twitter also allows brands to show embedded multimedia; videos and images. This makes the new Twitter site more visually appealing for users and gives businesses the opportunity to spread content in different formats.

Space tweetSpace tweet

 

 

 

 

 

What are Embeddable Tweets?

A new feature from Twitter allows content authors to add tweets to their websites, simply by copying and pasting a simple line of code.  That enables visitors to follow, reply, re-tweet or favourite a tweet with a single click and without leaving the page.

Twitter Buttons
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Dec. 09, 2011 | by Georgie Wright Google Schemer – ‘The Beginning of Everything worth Doing’

The latest from Google is an event-focused website called Schemer.com that encourages users to share information about places and events to go to. Gathering recommendations from people, businesses and celebrities the site will provide a source of information for where to go and what to do in cities around the globe.

A quick chat with some of my colleagues in Natural Search today provided some interesting insights.

“This could be really interesting if Google eventually integrates the recommendations into local search results. I imagine that event recommendations scores will be based on how many people have rated the event, or if a trusted user has rated an event.  The site is still in beta, but I hope it really works as it’s a great way to share events socially.”
(Chris Suarez, Director of Natural Search)

“This feels very much like Google’s looking for a piece of the Groupon/LivingSocial markeplace, although it doesn’t state that there will be discount similar to Groupon and LivingSocial. Another review I have read online is that is sound similar to Foursquare, such as its tips and to-do lists. Google could be at risk of confusing the market with ‘another’ social network, however it is tied into Google+ so this could be another approach to drive activity in this social network. They will need to offer some incentive to get people to use it, as consumers/users seem to expect this now-a-days from new social networks”                      (Doug Platts, Head of Natural Search)

Currently in beta stage, operating by invitation only, we’re still to see the true scope of the site but it’s definitely one to keep an eye on over the next few months. For more information check out schemer.com or check out the Brand Republic article and video!

Dec. 08, 2011 | by Liz Ayers Google Flight Search Rolling out to the main SERPs

Further developments of the Google Flight Search product have been announced, Google Flight Search results are being promoted to the main web SERPs. Still currently only available for domestic flights within the US, if you type in a search query such as “flights from {US departure location} to {US arrival location}” the results are expected to display airlines, their routes, arrival and departure times and the price. This side by side placement for flights make it easy to compare process from within the SERPs, there is likely to be the quick link straight through to book the flight on the airlines website. I say “expected” and “likely” because I have yet to be able to replicate this in the result myself but Google announced it to be rolling out from the beginning of the week. This development shows no sign of greater inclusion of meta search sites or OTAs, whose lack of presence allegedly has been enforced onto Google by request of the airlines in exchange of their willingness to provide data for this feature. This undoubtedly has led to discussions around freedom of choice and we wait to see how Google reacts to this and incorporates OTAs and meta search sites further into these flight SERPs.

Google flight search

What this means
Any sites which appear on the first page for flight related queries are going to find their share of the real estate changing. Looking at the screen grab I have taken from the relevant post on Google’s Search Blog you can clearly see that the #1 natural listing will no longer be visible above the fold, with both Sponsored Ads and the new Flight Search product claiming the top spots. Of course like anything there are winners and losers, Airlines will benefit here and can claim increased real estate, but others will lose. When looking at visibility reports bear in mind that top positions are no longer expected to receive as high CTRs as before. Airlines are to expect increased traffic and conversions, however OTAs and meta search sites can expect a decrease in traffic.

Dec. 07, 2011 | by Liz Ayers New markup for international search campaigns

On Monday Google announced its support of a new mark-up for multilingual content. This tag can be used if you are serving up the same content in the same language to different international markets as well as for translated content. The tag should be really useful for sites which find that the wrong version of their site is out ranking the preferred market URLs. It is common that US sites with a strong back link profile outrank their international versions of the site in the international SERPs. When implemented on each URL of the site, this tag should help to combat this.

In the tag you can specify the language, in this instance German.

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”de” href=”http://www.example.com/de/” />

or the language and the region, in this instance German in Switzerland.

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”de-CH” href=”http://www.example.com/de-ch/” />

Providing these signals to the search engines will enable them to have greater understanding of the intent of the content and serve the most appropriate URL in the search results. This will make the SERPs more relevant for users and increase traffic and conversion to many international search campaigns.

Summary

If your site targets people in more than one geographical location I would recommend this tag be implemented site wide.

For more information take a look at the original post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog

Dec. 02, 2011 | by Modestos Siotos Pinterest: The Latest Social Media Hype

It was less than a month ago when my colleague and fellow marketeer Dani Fernandez pinged me an email with the awkward title ‘Pinterest’ , which at first seemed like a misspell rather than something that actually pinned my interest! The content of the email was just a link pointing to Wil Reynolds’ blog , where this post was discussing the potential SEO value of Pinterest – a social pinboard where people could share and tag content in a visually aesthetic way.

As expected from most professionals within the digital media industry, “new”, “revolutionary” and “innovative” social media services emerge on a weekly basis, so separating the wheat from the chaff is neccessary, although quite difficult. The main reason for that difficulty is that regardless of what an individual’s opinion is with regards to a new online service, what really matters is the reaction of the online community, which very often is contrary to many experts’ opinions.

Nevertheless, during the next few weeks the terms ‘Pinterest’ and ‘pin it’ were standing out more than anything else meaning that the relatively new service is gaining momentum quite rapidly.  An obvious question would be whether there is any real need for another social media service, given that with Facebook, and Twitter have alredy been established and Google continuously trying to increase its Google+ market share by slowly and steadily incorporating it into the search giant’s organic listings.

What Is Pinterest?

It is a pinboard site that allows users to discover new things which have been cherry-picked (or pinned) by others and grouped together into collections (boards). In other words, users can browse other users’ collections and get inspiration and ideas. In plain web jargon it can be said that it is another bookmarking service with some very distinct characteristics that make it unique.

People are going to Pinterest to get inspiration for the most important life projects, which correlate to the most important purchasing events in their life.

pinterest cup cakes

According to Ben Silberman, co-founder of Pinterest:

“People are planning their vacation, they are redecorating their home, they are planning their wardrobe…They are going to Pinterest to get inspiration for the most important life projects, which correlate to the most important purchasing events in their life.”

According to Douglas MacMillan from Bloomberg Businessweek, Pinterest, has become the favorite website of moms, do-it-yourselfers, home cooks, brides-to-be and others with an estimated 70% of its users being women.


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Nov. 21, 2011 | by Modestos Siotos Alternative Tools After Yahoo Site Explorer Shut Down

One of the most popular SEO tools when it comes to discovering competitors backlink data will cease to exist later today. Since its launch in 2005, Yahoo Site Explorer – one of the first tools to report on backlinks, became very popular within the SEO community. Part of its success was the fact that its data came from a major search engine, with the added benefit of being free and quite reliable. A survey conducted and published in 2010 by SEO Moz, argues that Site Explorer had a much better correlation to rankings compared to Google’s (toolbar) PageRank. 

Why Is Yahoo Site Explorer Closing Down?
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Nov. 15, 2011 | by farah.alkhalisi Five ways the internet has changed the automotive media

At one of the UK’s first stand-alone automotive websites at the turn of the Millennium, we experimented with video content, audio clips and live online broadcasting – and enjoyed the freedom of this new platform.  Without a magazine to ‘protect’, we could write what we liked, when we liked, and not spoil a scoop. Our forums and discussion boards were effectively social media before the term was coined, and we watched as the magazines and newspapers – and their advertisers – similarly learned to respond to and interact with their readership. And this relationship is ever-evolving: here are a few more ways in which the internet is continuing to change the automotive media.

1. Living deadlines. Once, a writer would go on a car launch or to a motor show, come home and write to a deadline somewhere near press day. Then came the rush to be the first to publish online, then live-blogging from the scene, then Twitter. News writers break stories via Twitter; road testers race to share their first impressions of an exciting new car. This can serve as a teaser for a full-length story to follow, or to publish a link to that story.

2. Blurring of boundaries. Thing is, everyone’s at it; how do you differentiate the impacts of the pro writer and the enthusiastic amateur blogger? Whose opinion is worth having, and who should brands care about? Don’t dismiss the reader’s ability to distinguish between an informed comment and the blatherings of an aspirant Jeremy Clarkson, for a start. Journalists may sneer at the bloggers, but many, if not trained writers, have their own specialisms and insight into the industry – and their own following, often people who wouldn’t otherwise dream of reading a car magazine. In the ‘green car’ sector, for example, several of the better-known websites and blogs (such as Next Green Car and Green Car Guide) are effective editorial adverts for eco-consultancies.
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