Digital Marketing News: February 2014

Digital Marketing News: February 2014

As a digital marketing specialist, it is absolutely necessary for me to stay up-to-date with the latest industry news, updates, and consumer technology trends. In February, I found the following articles to be especially noteworthy or interesting.

Link Building

Link Building in 2014 is All About Your Brand & Reputation‘ is a great article discussing the impact Google search algorithm updates can have on businesses, especially small and medium sized businesses. The writer gives a detailed and easy to read description of past algorithm updates which directly targeted specific link building strategies. Quoting sources such as Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Webspam, this article explains why it’s important to include branding more than ever when developing a digital marketing strategy and link building campaigns. My favorite quote from the reading:

If you read the interview carefully, you’ll see that it’s a blueprint for content marketing. Basically, it lays out the components of how you can create great content on and off your site, promote it with strong social media presences, press releases, and other tactics to build a great brand online.

Keyword Research

Another article, ‘Keyword Research After The Keyword Tool, (Not Provided) & Hummingbird Apocalypse‘, describes the “Keyword Apocalypse” and how to move forward and understand the new era of keyword research. Because of the destruction of valuable keyword data and tools which were used to make data-driven and justifiable decisions, digital marketers now have to adjust to a new Google and a new tool set.

Google shifted to a new algorithm called Hummingbird in late August, 2013. I found trying to describe the updated algorithm to somebody who doesn’t work in the digital marketing industry to be fairly difficult. This article includes the easiest-to-understand description of Hummingbird I have read:

In fact, the only thing that Hummingbird changed was how the actual search query was processed. In short, Google rewrites your search query. [What’s a good place to get Chinese food?] might be rewritten as [chinese food canton ohio].

The author then goes into detail about the correlation between words and how that relates to your keyword research and content strategies. He introduces readers to new and existing tools that can help discover keyword phrases, search volumes, synonyms, and more. He does a great job of explaining how to perform thorough keyword research using techniques that will support your online presence and marketing initiatives moving forward.

Keyword research is still very important, but knowing your user is more important. If you pay attention to your users and listen to what they have to say, you’ll discover plenty of valuable information that can be used to develop great marketing strategies used to attract the customers you want.

Google AdWords

A third article titled ‘The Real Reason AdWords Isn’t Working For Many Small Businesses‘ is a good read because it describes some common misconceptions with Google AdWords. Evidently, the article is a response to a New York Times write-up which describes AdWords as not being practical for small business. The author uses the examples from the New York Times article to show the usual mistakes AdWords customers make and why they struggle to find success with AdWords. My favorite quotes are:

“Here’s where the biggest disconnect occurs for many people when it comes to PPC. It’s not about the cost per click – it’s about how much effort advertisers put in.”

“…dismissing paid search as a customer acquisition strategy would be crazy. Why? Because for many AdWords customers, the cost of the ads isn’t the issue.”

In the author’s opinion, the top three mistakes that cause an unsuccessful AdWords campaign as the following:
1) Infrequent Logins
2) Not Enough Activity
3) No Negative Keywords

I’ve witnessed great success with Google AdWords and believe it should be a part of any company’s digital marketing strategy. The information that can be gained from AdWords is almost invaluable. You can discover converting categories, sticky keywords, niche online communities, and more.