Visual Images: Snapchat catching Instagram

I attended the Internet Retailer Conference in Chicago on June 9-11 and it was very interesting to see that the focus has shifted to “images” and “photos”. This visual content is now clearly driving content engagement and there were excellent case studies how The North Face and Z Gallerie are integrating user generated photos and video to help convert e-commerce sales.

Firstly, the below screenshot of a presentation shows that almost half (46.8%) of all Snapchat users are 18 to 24 years of age. SO, the big news is that Snapchat has more almost 30% of users aged 25 to 34 years of age. Not so young are they. I know this as Snapchat is highly addictive for parents because it’s fun and fast to take a selfie or video and use those way cool geo codes to show where you are.


Secondly, Snapchat users are more likely across lots of genres of content to post videos as opposed to just take photos. As we know from YouTube, video is a killer application.


Overall, Internet Retailer in Chicago in 2016 was about images, photos and video on social networks and how all retailers are supplementing product images with user generated content photos and videos.

The Last Emotion Technique to Reduce Exit Page Traffic

While all digital marketers focus on driving traffic to their websites and apps, content marketers pine over sticky content and engagement metrics, the retention of visitors from exit pages is relatively overlooked. Customer success managers use tools to evaluate when subscribers will churn and give them some TLC yet the simple metric of reducing exit page traffic is the first step for all digital properties to stop the exodus of unsatisfied users.

A good 404 error page design and or unsubscribe page is important as it’s often the last emotion your exiting users feel. A great example is down in Mountain View when I did think well of them as I unsubscribed from their daily email this morning. My after thoughts were positive of them as they did provide a lasting emotional outreach during the exit process. While all website and app visitors wont be sticky, ensuring a positive parting emotion online is a key branding requirement.


Webinar: Optimizing A Silicon Valley Unicorn Company Website

On 19th of April, Marc Phillips, Director of SearchForecast overviewed the working methodology of how was optimized in a webinar. ZScaler is a unicorn technology company based in Silicon Valley having raised over $150M at a $1+ billion valuation. In 2012/2013, SearchForecast were engaged by ZScaler for 18 months to provide search engine optimization and content updates.

The original recording was corrupted on platform. The below webinar recorded was recorded today.

Watch the Webinar on Youtube

Webinar : Killer Customer Acquisition from Silicon Valley

On 23rd March, Marc Phillips, Director of SearchForecast and partner of Arafura Ventures in Palo Alto gave unique insights into:
1. Proven customer acquisition techniques used by the hottest VC funded start ups.
2. Case Studies from real clients and portfolio companies.
3. Practical tips & case studies for eDM, SEO, Paid Media & Social.
4. Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) Reporting to show VCs.
5. Tips on allocating budgets to paid, organic, social and content platforms.
6. How to calculate Lifetime Value vs Customer Acquisition Costs.
7. Latest software start ups use for customer acquisition.

Watch the Webinar on Youtube

PageRank: Gone but not forgotten

SearchForecast’s methodology has built on many principles explained at and the original patents filed by Larry Page (where the PageRank name originated from).

This month’s announcement that the PageRank will be removed from Google Toolbars is yet another way for Google to masquerade their proprietary search algorithm. For those of us with experience in how it really works across hundreds of client sites, we don’t necessarily need to see it. In the past 3-4 years, we have noticed that the PageRank score has changed less often while content optimization is still very much achievable.

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Why TV Attribution & Mobile Search is the Future?

The recent Superbowl on 7 February 2016 yielded some interesting television advertisements yet it was the fact taht 85% of searches for brands or related keywords made by viewers were done on their mobile phone Vs 15% from desktop.

Makes perfect sense. With 200 million iPhone sales in 2015, more than ever America is watching TV with their phone if not in their hand, by their side!

Adometry is a Google product that helps measure the causality between television advertising and search queries. For brands advertising on TV, this allows them to see the impact of their creative and messaging both during and post television spot buy times.


What is more interesting is that Google can then correlate these search queries to website visits to not only a brand site which advertised on television but their competitors sites as well.

As we blend offline and online advertising with time series analysis, the insights from Adometry will help clients save money by more efficient buying and more responsive creative. We’re not convinced clients want Google instructing them on creative yet the results of Adometry will give advertisers insights they have never had before. Think Google Analytics for TV!



3 to 1 for The Optimists

Our team at SearchForecast have spent hours each day over the past 20 years crunching quantitative data, looking for trend lines, inflection points or identifying patterns to uncover risk. Yet at a recent trip to the local stationary store in Menlo Park in the hub of Silicon Valley, the shop assistant said that 3 people buy the yellow smiley face ‘Emergency Affirmation’ for every one blue ‘Fail’ button.

Therein lies the underlying trend line in the world of seemingly endless bad news, optimists are 3x the pessimists.


How PPC Bounce rates can kill content optimization

It doesn’t happen often and it’s unfortunate yet high bounce rates on Pay Per Click advertising can impact on content optimization. That is, web pages optimized for keywords can be negatively impacted in organic search engine results listings if there is HIGH bounce rates from pay per click advertising.

We have experienced this on several websites in 2015. It occurs when bounce rates on Google Adwords is 95% and above. To prevent SEO and content optimization efforts being adversely affected by high bounce rates on landing pages used in Adwords, follow these best practices:

1. Do not use the home page of the website as the landing page for Google Adwords

2.  Ensure Page Speed is above 80/100 for the entire website

3. Avoid excessive code errors in HTML

Comic Speech Bubble

Are Content Recommendations Engines part of SEO?

The rush of keyword based content on page (in body copy, page headings, footer links) in the past 10 years led to Google’s Penguin/Panda algorithm updates. Content marketers have embraced long form content genres and now we move to Content Recommendations Engines like Taboola, Outbrain, Zergnet, etc. You’ve seen these native advertising units ( a 2 column by 3 rows of text links with strange, intriguing and very clickable images). They are on most large publisher websites below the roll. So as Google Cost Per Click rises and clients demand greater content reach and distribution, the use of Content Recommendations Engines is a big challenge for clients… fortunately, we know the folks at these CREs.

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