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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank 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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Simple Banner Ad Advice

Banner ads. They won’t go away will they? I can hear publishers speaking of ‘banner burn-out’ in 1997. By accident, we became a huge producer of banner ads in 1995 as over 1,000 websites ran these early web 1.0 banner ads to our online surveys. Here is attached a good cheat sheet for simple banner ad advice.


Voice Search Glitch for Voice Optimization

At SearchForecast, we’re instructing clients to think seriously about how to include voice search optimization into their user experience. The first step is to think about what “around me” and “near me” search queries users are making when on mobile phones. Putting these search queries into meta tags, building pages with keyword links referencing them and creating mobile friendly user experiences will collectively help websites appear higher in Google when people search for ‘product A around me’ or ‘locations near me’.

Yet when we see that Siri on iPhones are not working as per the screen shot attached sent to us by a client today, that doesn’t help the voice optimization search world.


Start Up Growth 2x in Silicon Valley

Building a business in Silicon Valley is exciting. SearchForecast knows the start up company go to market as we are part of the acceleration of many VC backed companies which have doubled since 2009 to 2014 according to the leading venture capital firm Andressen Horowitz’s recent presentation.

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