Every 2 weeks, the Impression team meets on the sofas to discuss things we’ve seen and done that have inspired us or driven success for our clients. It’s our chance to learn from our colleagues and our peers, and to discuss changes in our industry.
Here are a few of the things we discussed this week:
Facebook’s hidden ‘invite’ button
A couple of weeks ago, a client approached our paid search team to ask about a feature on Facebook that would allow them to invite previously engaged users to like their page.
We’ll be honest with you here; we’d never heard of it. Such functionality, whilst it would be quite cool, seemed beyond what Facebook would offer, especially as it continues to restrict organic reach for pages.
However, a quick Twitter search revealed a tweet from Larry Kim of Wordstream who had found such a feature on his own page.
According to Larry Kim’s post, you can invite people who have liked one of your posts by simply clicking on the link to see who liked it, and then using the ‘invite’ button to invite them to the page. Kim suggests that his success rate using this method has been as high as 25%.
You may not have this feature available on your own page, but it’s worth checking anyway.
The benefits of growing your social following are, strictly speaking, becoming more and more limited. The fact is that Facebook is continuing to reduce organic reach in favour of paid.
But don’t be disheartened. Growing your Facebook following, though not guaranteeing greater organic reach, does arm you with greater insight about your audience through the insights tab. There are members of the Impression team who also believe greater social traction influences search visibility, either directly or through traffic increases, so it’s well worth doing.
Check out Larry Kim’s other post on ways you can extend your organic reach for more tips.
Using official data in your outreach campaigns
Outreach remains one of the core skills of a good SEO. Links remain a core authority signal in Google’s algorithm and it’s essential to any SEO campaign that it include a focus on off page promotion.
Here at Impression, our in house SEO, content marketing and digital PR teams work closely together on the off page promotion side of things, for our own business and for our clients. It’s important to take a varied approach to building links in order to gain the most benefit.
One thing we’ve found really successful in the past is to sign up for alerts from official data sources. The Office for National Statistics, for example, has a great daily digest of new data releases. The data.gov.uk alerts are also very good, and there are plenty more industry specific alerts tools out there.
The benefit to these data sources is that they help you keep abreast of issues and updates in your industry. You can then use these in your link building efforts.
For example, one of our clients used official ONS data to create an infographic on the prevalence of Enterprise Investment Scheme applications across different regions of the UK. That infographic was cited by some highly authoritative sources that spoke to a small business audience – the same audience our client is targeting. It was a valuable link building campaign and also a great way to get the brand in from of the target consumer, all driven by official data.
We also use this data in our future plans. One simple way we’ve found of doing this for PR benefit recently has been to put data release dates into our calendar and to prepare comments from our clients pertaining to that data if it’s appropriate to them. We can then go out to journalists on the day of the release for some really good coverage.
The importance of trust in SEO and CRO
One of our favourite talks at Search Leeds was that from Tim Grice, who spoke about the quality team Google uses to sense check its own quality algorithms.
He suggested that Google has a physical team visiting websites to give their own assessment on how trustworthy and high quality the sites are.
We’ve always believed that trust signals are an essential part of CRO because they encourage people to enquire or buy. Adding things like logos (which we did recently in our own footer) and announcing things like awards (we’ve had a few of these recently too!) can really help to instil trust in your brand.
But Grice’s suggestion was that trust signals also have an SEO impact and that a website with a higher trust score can rank higher than one with a lower score (if all other factors are the same – obviously this is one of many, many ranking factors).
Pete’s been working on this with one of his clients, a seller of high ticket item home goods, and has found not just an uplift in conversion rates but also in rankings for specific products. As we continue to develop our CRO through partnerships with CRO tool providers, we’ll be looking in more detail at the effects of trust signals on conversion rates.
eBay implements AMP across its category pages
AMP (accelerated mobile pages) is a tool designed to improve the mobile user experience. It does this by allowing Google to retain a cached copy of a streamlined version of a page so that when it is requested on a mobile, it can be served more quickly.
Aaron has written about AMP extensively, having implemented it on our site and on various other websites, giving him an excellent understanding of its benefits and constraints. He suggested that AMP is only valuable for certain types of websites, particularly where page speed was a major issue or Google News was an important traffic source. This was a sentiment echoed by Dom at Distilled at Brighton SEO earlier this year, as shown in his flow chart, taken from his presentation that day:
Traditionally, AMP has been used by news led content providers, for whom the risk of content going out of date between Google caching it was minimal as news, but its nature, goes out of date.
We’re not yet sure how these results appear in the SERPs and whether they will appear as cards like news results already do. But eBay’s move toward AMP suggests there may be more reason than we first thought to get involved. Keep watching for more, or find out how to achieve mobile success without AMP.
The growing popularity of webinars
As a team, we use quite a few tools which help us to extract key data around website performance and SERPs visibility that inform the strategies we put in place.
As part of that, we’ve found ourselves attending more and more webinars, to learn more about the tools and the potential within them. We also attended a webinar based conference, Digital Olympus, earlier this year.
It got use thinking about the potential of webinars for our clients. We work with quite a few service providers who would benefit from being able to educate their customers more of the functionality of their products.
On further investigation, we came across a report from the Digital Marketing Depot on the growing popularity of webinars. Amongst other things, the report suggests that the average conversion rate for a webinar is around 40%, which is huge compared to most other channels.
There’s also the logistical benefit of webinars vs physical events, plus the video can be retained as an asset to be accessed on demand. It’s something we’ll be looking into for our clients and potentially ourselves – keep an eye out! If you’ve seen any great webinars recently, or have used webinars successfully for your business, let us know in the comments below.
We’re always up for hearing about new technologies, techniques and creative campaigns from our industry. If you’d like to submit your idea to be included in our next Showcase, let us know in the comments below.