Late in the week, searches were focused on the 11-11-11 date and the various holidays celebrated around the world on November 11. Despite all the anticipation of the palindromic date, the day passed just as any other. However, in the internet marketing world, the week as a whole may be one of the most important of the year as Google announced Google+ Pages for businesses on Monday, which could change the company and internet marketing forever.
Google’s vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra took to the company’s official blog to announce the availability of Google+ Pages an offering for businesses and other organizations anxious to leverage the platform for social media marketing.
Brafton reported that Pepsi, the Dallas Cowboys and other notable organizations were among those included in the company’s roll out.
Like other social media marketing tools, Google+ allows businesses to share content with their followers and engage with them directly. Some of the most basic features, however, may allow businesses more engagement opportunities with their customers
For example, Circles let Pages administrators sort followers into groups, and Ripples lets them track content sharing. While Google+ has myriad upside for the consumer hoping to stay in touch with family and friends, the prospect segmentation it offers could mean businesses can tailor their social campaigns more effectively.
There are some bugs for Google to work out – accounts can only have one administrator at the moment and people who use Google Apps for work or school can’t integrate their personal accounts with their Apps account- but the launch of Pages is a major step for Google. Christian Oestlien shared insights for using Google+ Pages at this week’s ad:tech New York conference. (Brafton has provided ad:tech event coverage, sharing experts’ take on everything from Google+ updates to email marketing tips.)
For marketers, more social media marketing options could be a massive boon to content marketing campaigns. Brafton reported on Thursday that social sharing greatly improves the likelihood that content will be shared and viewed by as many people as possible. PR Newswire and Crowd Factory conducted a study that shows every social share drives an average of two clicks to the publishing website. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are the three most popular social networks for content sharing, according to report, with Twitter driving the most engagement.
Additionally, the week’s headlines make clear that developing a schedule to ensure frequent updates is a tactic businesses must use to ensure both content and social media marketing campaigns are carried out effectively.
In terms of the life of a link shared socially, 75 percent of all sharing typically takes place in the first 24 hours and the two minutes immediately following a share is prime time for sharing, AddThis found.
While AddThis’ figures are based solely on clicks of its own social sharing buttons, a separate report from Crowd Science showed that people are more likely to Like specific pieces of social content than brand pages. Facebook users enjoy interacting with their friends and don’t seem to mind as much when clicking Like on one of their status updates or shared links. However, Facebook users are highly selective when it comes to Liking brand pages, as they do not like to receive too much marketing material.
On that note, Brafton reported that young adults are those most likely to Like brand pages
Addressing negative feedback from prospects via social media marketing campaigns will help businesses build strong fans and increase the overall enjoyment users receive from their pages. If this is done successfully, links will improve and high quality sites will see strong gains in terms of SERP standing.
More advice on SEO came from Google’s Matt Cutts earlier during a keynote speech with Amit Singhal at PubCon Las Vegas Wednesday morning, Cutts reiterated his stance on businesses improving SEO. While some think there are tricks they can use to game the system, the key to a good SEO campaign are simple – build a high quality website.
In general, web marketing campaigns should be built around the overall quality of site content and performance. Everything from page design to content focus should be tailored to provide the visitor with the best overall experience, Cutts said.
If it takes users a long time to find content or if they see different information than they expected, these things will negatively impact SERP standing.
In the final few months of the year, B2C companies are likely to boost SEO campaigns. Brafton reported that searchers are being more aggressive in their use of search marketing this holiday season. According to Experian, email marketing campaigns are a strong method for generating consumer interest. During Peak Week, the seven days prior to Black Friday, email volume increased 26 percent over last year, and Experian expects growth again.
According to Expansys, 56 percent of their customers, a largely tech-savvy audience, named a tablet as the device they want most for the holidays. Based on Experian’s figures, increased email volume will only be boosted by increased tablet ownership. Moreover, Brafton reported on Wednesday that ecommerce spending grew 13 percent in the third quarter of 2011, and this figure will likely continue to rise with the holidays coming around. Aggressive email marketing and SEO campaigns can help businesses leverage this increased interest and confidence in ecommerce spending.
While Google’s product releases and Cutts comments from PubCon and ad:tech were the biggest news this week, SES Chicago kicks off on November 14 and runs through Thursday. The search marketing trade show will almost certainly result in major headlines for the industry.