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A Smorgasbord of Social Media: The Pinterest Buy Button is Here!

Welcome back to another Smorgasbord of Social Media, your weekly roundup of all things social. There are some exciting new changes to the social media landscape, so keep reading for the latest.



The Pinterest Buy Button Is Here!

Three hundred million buyable pins will roll out in the coming weeks with the long-awaited Pinterest Buy Button, which launched on Tuesday. Currently only on iOS devices in the U.S., the Buy Button feature includes the product’s price in blue, along with a blue ‘Buy it’ button next to the familiar red ‘Pin it’ button.

“Shop” and “Shop our picks” now appear in the iOS Pinterest App’s main menu. “Shop” will feature the latest buyable Pins and “shop our picks” will list products chosen by Pinterest.


Items can be purchased with Apple Pay or a credit card within the Pinterest App. Pinterest updated their privacy policy to be able to save credit card information not only for convenient future purchases, but also to log a purchase history in order to serve more relevant ads.

Pinterest made the big announcement on their blog with this adorable video.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 8.23.33 AM



Uploading a Photo to Facebook Now Looks a Lot like Snapchat

With swipe-able filters and options to add text or stickers, the new Facebook photo upload feels very familiar.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has attempted to mimic Snapchat since they failed to acquire the app in 2013. Ever heard of Slingshot? Slingshot was Facebook’s answer to Snapchat, released last year. Like Snapchat, Slingshot is an app that allows users to send temporary photo and video messages.


This probably isn’t Facebook’s last attempt to copy Snapchat, especially considering their acquisition of WhatsApp. Only time will tell.



Facebook Looking At More Activity On Videos

image4Facebook has expanded their usual like, comment, and share metrics to include things like enabling audio, making the video full screen, and enabling high definition to determine which videos a user sees in their News Feed.

This update comes after Facebook surveyed its users and learned that they may enjoy content that they don’t necessarily like, comment on, or share.



Facebook Testing Lead Ads

In an attempt to help businesses gather data easily and keep users on their site, Facebook is testing a leads ad unit that auto populates contact information, such as email, that users have provided to the social network. Facebook is testing various versions of this ad unit, prompting users to sign up for newsletters, price estimates, and other business information.

Although previously provided contact information auto-populates within the ad, users can edit their contact information and view the company’s privacy policy before submitting their information to the business by tapping ‘Submit’.

Facebook is currently testing the ad with a small group of businesses.


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5 Marketing Copy Pitfalls To Avoid

I understand you, marketers. You want to be engaging, exciting, hopefully funny, and make your content go viral by sheer force of your own awesomeness. But the content that gets popular is the content that isn’t forced. Push too hard and you’ll end up coming across like a salesman rather than a brand advocate, or worse, you’ll just sound goofy and out of touch.

steve buscemi fellow kids

(Don’t Be This Guy.)


So here are five pitfalls marketing copy tends to fall into. Avoid at all costs!


Please don’t do this. Using all caps sounds like you’re screaming at your audience. Put the e-megaphone down and try communicating like a normal person. Don’t abuse punctuation, either. Avoid multiple exclamation marks and overly liberal use of the ellipsis. Trailing off all the time… just makes you sound… I don’t know… sort of indecisive. Also, don’t RANDOMLY CAPITALIZE! words that you want to EMPHASIZE in your TEXT. Again, it just kind of looks like you’re yelling. Italicize if you need emphasis. Coming across as too excited can sound pushy, or like all you care about is the sale instead of your audience’s actual wants and needs, and few things are more of a turn off than having a sales pitch blasted in your face at full volume. Respect your audience and address them like they want to hear from you, not like you have to shout at them to be heard.


2. Not Excited Enough…

The opposite problem can be just as bad. Come across as staid, boring, and out of touch, and no one is going to care about your marketing efforts. If your writing voice is paper dry and about as fun as reading the back of a soup can, why is anyone going to waste their precious time on your content?


(Don’t Be This Guy Either.)

Especially in an age of much more limited attention spans, you have less time than ever to try and capture your audience. Studies say that many users will spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage, and some say that digital attention spans have shrunk to be as little as 8 seconds! Start out by being as exciting as dry, stale old toast and you’ve already lost a sizable chunk of your audience. Try to at least sound vaguely interested in your own topic. Reciting a list of facts in the driest, most professorial manner possible won’t win you any points – or any eyeballs on your webpages. If you sound excited about your campaign, you might be able to make other people feel excited too! But again, don’t overdo it. See point 1. The idea is to strike a balance between engagingly exciting and usefully factual. If you need a fun way to convey a boring list of facts or statistics, consider the ever-popular infographic.


3. Tpyo-Riddled Or Grammar Wrong

Even worse than being boring is being just plain sloppy. Proof your copy for errors. Make sure you’re employing at least a sixth grade level of spelling and syntax. Let too many errors slip into your copy, and you’ll look incredibly unprofessional. Most of all, you’ll look like you don’t care. And if you don’t care, why should your potential audiences? You don’t need to call in the Grammar Police to assist on your every initiative, but at least make a good faith effort at proper writing.

Not sure what constitutes good writing? Need a syntax assist? There are tons of free resources out there that are ready to help. The Purdue Online Writing Lab is exactly what it says on the tin: a fully-fledged writing lab that’s completely free to access. So now you have no excuses when it comes to writing like you managed to pass English class.


4. Trying Too Hard To Be “Hip” Like The “Cool Kids”

See Steve Buscemi at the top of the article? Try too hard to come across as “rad” and “far out cool” will make you seem like that guy, an ancient fogey trying to fit in with a bunch of actually cool young people. Examples of trying too hard include using slang you really shouldn’t be using in marketing copy (please stay away from Urban Dictionary) or sprinkling your text with dated lingo. Like, you wouldn’t, like, call something totally gnarly, right? There are plenty of ways to be fresh and fun without falling into the trap of trying to sound like a millennial and failing. No points are awarded for attempts at coolness.

you tried star

(You Could Get A Nice Gold Star For Effort, Though.)


5. Writing For The Wrong Audience

Your audience needs to be at the forefront of your mind when it comes to anything in marketing, and this includes drafting copy. Consider: the tone I’m employing as I write this blog post is very intentional! Casual, relaxed, engaged, and slightly humorous (as you can plainly see, I’m very funny) is a good fit for this type of post. This researcher hasn’t started writing under the presumption of completing a detailed scientific research paper, nor have i like, uh, started typing like i woukld if i were on instant messenger. lol.

Make sure you pitch your tone and style of writing to the audience you’re aiming for. To do that, you have to understand what audience you’re reaching out to! You should already know, but if you don’t, take the time to do a little research. Browse publications and articles you think your audience would be reading, and imagine pitching your copy in that same tone and style. (But don’t plagiarize! We’re emulating tone here, not copying ideas word-for-word.)

Skirt past these typical pitfalls and your polished, audience-focused, well-written marketing copy will be well on the way to success, as well as actually cool. Because as we all know, you can’t be cool unless you’re not trying to be cool.

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Event Tracking For Universal Analytics

Event tracking is one of the most powerful features in Google Analytics. It enables you to better understand how users are interacting with your website and use that data to improve the conversion percentage for many of your target KPIs. I wrote an article last year about setting up event tracking for Marketo Landing Pages that’s got some useful info about concepts like naming conventions, so check it out if you’re unfamiliar. With the update to the analytics.js library though, Google has changed the syntax of the event tracking code, so I thought it was a good time to revisit the topic and go through how to set up event tracking for Universal Analytics.


What Can You Track With Event Tracking?

With event tracking you can track user engagement on a number of elements on your site, including:

  • Button Clicks
  • Video Plays
  • Downloads
  • Form Completions
  • Flash Elements
  • Embedded AJAX Elements
  • Load Times
  • & More!

One of the best things about the new Universal Analytics library is that it’s more flexible, so you can customize your implementations much more easily.


Dissecting The New Code

The new event tracking syntax for Universal Analytics is very similar to the code that worked for ga.js, except the “_trackEvent” method has been replaced with “send” command.

Old Code:

onclick="_gaq.push('_trackEvent', Category', 'Action', 'Label' Value);"

New Code:

onclick="ga('send','event','Category', 'Action', 'Label' Value);"

For event tracking to work with Universal Analytics, you must pass the “ga” function the “send” command with the “event” hit type. The other values in the code are exactly the same as before and the data shows up identically in the Event Tracking Report in Google Analytics. (To view this report go to Behavior > Events > Top Events.)


Naming Convention Thought Process

Every event contains four main values that are used to describe the individual interaction taking place. Here is the general example that Google provides for these values and some naming conventions they suggest for them:

Value Type Required Description/Naming Convention
Category String Yes Typically the object that was interacted with (e.g. button)
Action String Yes The type of interaction (e.g. click)
Label String No Useful for categorizing events (e.g. nav buttons)
Value Number No Values must be non-negative. Useful to pass counts (e.g. 4 times)

The approach below is one that I find more beneficial for most types of events though. It’s easier to drill down into the data in Analytics, and allows you to gain a better understanding how events are performing across your entire site. Note my edits in the “Description” column:

Value Type Required Description/Naming Convention
Category String Yes The broadest way to categorize your event (e.g. “Newsletter Signup”)
Action String Yes Where the event took place on the page (e.g. “Top Navigation” or “Footer Link” or “Sidebar”)
Label String No The url where the event took place (custom JavaScript required)
Value Number No Values must be non-negative. Useful to pass counts (e.g. same as Google’s example)


Let’s take a look at each value individually and then go through a working example of how I would set up event tracking for a newsletter signup form:


1. Event Category

event category

The image above shows some sample Category naming conventions that were set up for an urgent care facility.

When you look at your Top Events Report in Google Analytics, the Category is the first item that appears. You can then drill down further into each Category and view the Action and Label values. Because it’s the very first thing you see in the report, it makes sense to name Categories something that broadly describes each event you’re tracking. If you’re tracking signups to a newsletter as a KPI, for example, name the Category “Newsletter Signup”. This way, you can quickly get to the data you’re looking for.

Conversely, if you name it something generic like “Button” or “Download”, it’s not going to be obvious what event you’re even looking at when sifting through your data.


2. Event Action

event action

Sample Event Action naming conventions.

When you click into a Category, the report then shows you all of your Event Action data. At this point, many people choose to follow Google’s example and name the Action after the physical action taken, like a “click”. This approach, however, doesn’t tell you much about the actual event that’s taking place or how the user is interacting with your site.

Since the same event can, and usually does, occur in multiple places on the same URL, I like to use the Action to document where on the page it’s taking place. If you’re tracking newsletter signups, for example, you’ll often have the signup form in your sidebar, footer, pop-up modal, and even your main navigation header. If you name all of these events the same thing, you’ll never know which ones are driving the most signups and which ones are under performing. If you don’t have that info, how can you optimize your page layout or CTAs to increase performance? By naming them all something different, you can track conversions accurately and make informed decisions.

One exception to this that I use from time to time is if I have an event that I’d like to split test. In this case it’s sometimes beneficial to name the Action after the specific call to action I’m using. This is a great way to see which variant is performing well, and which channels are driving the most conversions.


3. Event Label

event labelAn example of the Event Label value passing URL information to Google Analytics.

After you click into one of your Actions, you land in the Event Label report. For this value, I like to pass the URL where the event takes place. It stands to reason that the same event on your homepage will have a different conversion percentage than on a category page or blog post. So rather than look at an event across your entire domain, it makes sense to be able to see how they convert at a page level.

To accomplish this, you could hand write each URL into your tracking code, but implementing that across a big site one page at a time would be cumbersome and time consuming. Since most sites nowadays are built on a template, you can use the JavaScript Window Location object as a workaround.


Working Example

<a class="button" onclick="ga('send','event','E-Newsletter Sign Up','Sidebar', window.location.href);" href="/newsletter-sign-up-form">Sign Up Now</a>

In this example, we’re tracking clicks on the <a> tag that points to the newsletter signup page. The Category is ‘E-Newsletter Sign Up,’ the Action is ‘Sidebar,’ and the Label passes the URL to Analytics with the Window Location object.


Verifying The Event In Real-Time Analytics

Once you set up Event Tracking on your site, you can then verify it in the Real-Time Analytics report. Just click on the event and see if it shows up. If not, chances are there is a typo in your code or you have curly quotes from copy/pasting from Word or Outlook.

realtime analytics event trackingTesting your events in Real-Time Analytics


Tying Event Tracking To Google Analytics Goals

Perhaps the best thing about Event Tracking is that you can tie it to Google Analytics Goals. This means that you can use events as conversion metrics in the Channel Reporting View and track conversions and conversion percentages for all of your events, across every channel medium.

To set it up, go to:

  • Admin > Goals > New Goal
  • Under Goal Settings choose “Custom”
  • Next, under Description, name your event and choose the goal type “Event”
  • Finally, make sure the Category, Action, and Label exactly match the naming convention of the event you’re tracking.

To track every instance of the event, just fill out the Category value. If you want to track every instance of newsletter signups that take place in your sidebar (like our example), fill out the Category and Action values. And lastly, to track a specific event in a certain location on a particular URL, fill out the Category, Action, and Label values.

goal event category

This goal will report on all E-Newsletter Signups across the entire site.



I hope this shed some light on how to set up event tracking for Universal Analytics. If you have any questions or issues when setting up your own, please feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

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SMX Advanced – International Summit Highlights Part II

This post is a continuation of SMX Advanced: International Search Summit highlights. Make sure you read Part I to learn more about SMX Advanced!

The Global Search Engines: Ranking Factors by Andy Atkins-Krüger – Webcertain

Andy identified the various differences in ranking factors of the 3 major global search engines (Google, Baidu, and Yandex).

Summary/Major Takeaways:

Baidu – “It’s like Google 2009, but with different rules due to heavy censorship of the Chinese government.”

image 2

  • Sites hosted in China with an ICP (Internet Content Publishing) license automatically rank higher.
  • You can obtain an ICP License through the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology – good luck with that!
  • Use Simplified Chinese characters for all content and meta tags on your site, otherwise your site will not be indexed.
  • HTML Coding: Use either UTF-8 or GB2312.
  • Hire a native Chinese speaker – Did you know there are over 290 spoken dialects in China??!!! Because of this, and the fact that there can be multiple meanings for the same word, it’s essential that you work with a native Chinese speaker for all your content translation/localization needs.
  • Baidu prefers sites hosted in China – sites hosted outside of China can experience slow load times.
  • ccTLDs (country code told level domain or domains with or .cn ) are given preference in search results.
  • Domains with keywords rank higher.
  • The Baiduspider is similar to the Google Spider in that it follows links from one site to the other, and follows links that are submitted manually. However, does not recognize JavaScript or Flash – stick to basic HTML.
  • Baiduspider does not support meta robots “noindex”, but does respect wildcards in robots.txt. Baidu now supports canonical tags (rel-canonical).
  • Baidu uses the page title, meta description, meta keywords, heading tags, and alt tags as major ranking factors.
  • Baidu also places a lot of emphasis on quantity of links versus quality – although it is recommended to focus on getting links from highly authoritative sites since Baidu is moving in that direction.
  • Baidu is very strict about website downtimes, hidden spam/keyword stuffed text, and duplicate content.


“Yandex SEO is similar to Google SEO but with a few tweaks…”

  • Yandex was designed to deal with the complexities of the Russian language (remember those cases and scripts?), so it is more effective than Google in dealing with Russian search queries.image 3
  • Yandex is geographically sensitive and can provide local search results for over 1,400 cities. This also means that SERPs (search engine results pages) will vary for different regions.
  • Yandex puts specific emphasis on internal linking and technical website health.
  • User experience and site usability affect website rankings.
  • Keep doing the same things you’ve done in Google US: make sure that there are no broken links, that all pages work, and 404 errors are configured correctly.
  • Yandex supports: robots.txt, meta robots “noindex”, and rel-canonical tags.
  • Yandex is slower to index than Google and less likely to keep pages indexed for a long time.


The Global Search Engines – Google by Gary Illyes – Google

Gary went into detail on the use of hreflang, to ensure that Google displays the right language and country content to the right users.

Summary/Major Takeaway:

If you’re not familiar with language annotations, please refer to:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.52.44 AM


The most common problems the GWT (Google Webmaster Tools) team encounters with language annotations are missing return tags and invalid country codes.

  • Missing Return Tags: If page A links to page B, page B must link back to page A. If this is not the case for all pages, then those annotations may be ignored.
  • Invalid Country Codes: Make sure that all language codes you use identify the language (in ISO 639-1 format) and optionally the region (in ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 format) of an alternate URL: it’s possible to just specify the language but it’s not valid to specify just the region – i.e. hreflang = “es” for Spanish default version is OK, but hreflang = ”mx” for Mexico is not OK.

Gary mentioned that the location of the user and the language of the search query are two of the biggest factors that influence SERPs. He also confirmed that it’s natural to obtain links from other countries back to your site even if you have a ccTLD as long as the content is in the same language.

When asked if using ccTLDs is better for international SEO, Gary said that using a country code top level domain is the biggest indicator to Google that the site is catered towards that specific user.

This is an issue that has been up for debate within the international SEO community for quite some time. Recently, Moz published an article on a study that looked to answer this question. Do ccTLDs rank better in country search engines than a subdomain or subdirectory structure on a generic domain? I’ll let you be the judge!

Interestingly, Gary pointed out that was a good example of a country specific site structure. He particularly liked that lets you choose what country version you’d like to navigate to without being automatically redirected via country IP detection.

image 4

However, in “the latest advanced technical SEO” session at SMX Advanced on the previous day, Maile Ohye (Senior Developer Programs Engineer – Google Inc.) stated that it still made sense to redirect users to specific versions of your site based on the country IP since Google servers are being built around the world.


The Global Search Engines – Yandex by Melissa McDonald – Yandex

Melissa shared insights into the Russian market and Yandex. 

Summary/Major Takeaway:

This presentation was mostly geared towards SEMs.

  • Russia – largest Internet audience in Europe with only 54% penetration (lots of potential for growth).
  • Serves content in English, transliterated content, and Russian.
  • 62% of Russian businesses are increasing their digital advertising efforts.
  • Metrica is a free web analytics tool that is available in English (the Yandex version of Google Analytics).
  • Mobile is growing – Internet Users: 83M, Broadband Households: 22.9M, Mobile Users: 104.2M.

In order to advertise on Yandex, you have to adhere to the Russian Federation Advertising Law.

image 5


The Global Search Engines – Baidu by Sarah Holtzman – Baidu International

Sarah explored the challenges and potential for growth within the Chinese market on Baidu.

Summary/Major Takeaway:

This presentation was also geared more towards paid search managers than SEOs.

  • The top 3 reasons for Chinese online shoppers to purchase overseas are competitive prices, product quality, and the scarcity of products.
  • 55% of Chinese Internet users have made a purchase online via mobile compared to only 19% in the US.
  • China already has the largest online population in the world at 640 million users – that’s only 46% of their population.
  • All companies must be approved before they can advertise on Baidu because of the Chinese government’s censorship of the Internet. This results in a disclaimer on ads that are shown to Chinese users so that they can be confident that they are purchasing from a trustworthy website. Basically encouraging the Chinese audience to click on the ad versus the organic result.
  • If you have a transaction page – consider local payment options (UnionPay/AliPay).

image 6


Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought that The International Search Summit was very insightful. I would love to see more discussion and case studies around SEO for Baidu and Yandex as well as multilingual/multinational off-site SEO and content marketing.


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Smorgasbord of Social Media – Exciting Redesigns

Welcome to another Smorgasbord of Social Media! We’ve got some great updates for you this week, so keep reading!



Ads Manager And Power Editor

Facebook’s Ad Manager and Power Editor are (finally) receiving some major updates. In the coming months, Facebook will be rolling out a more streamlined user interface that brings performance data front and center and allows marketers to see performance in the same place where they create and edit ads. To make things even better, Facebook will be introducing a bulk editing tool that allows users to create and edit multiple ads at one time. The update will also bring us some advanced search functions (including a “search by objective” option) and the ability to save a report and have it be automatically sent at specified time intervals. It may be a while before we actually see these updates in place, so check back for more information as we get it.

image 1



New App Update

The Instagram iOS app update that was released this week introduced some exciting new search functions. Users are now able to search for Places in addition to the People and Tags search functions already in place. Wondering what photos have been geotagged with Nike HQ’s location? Now you can search it and take a peak at what it’s like and what people are doing there. The Explore page has also seen some improvements with curated Explore collections showing you users to follow and Instagram Places to scroll through.

image2image 2.5



















Product Pages And Curated Collections

Twitter is introducing Product Pages that host a product’s basic information, images, relevant tweets, and the option to buy the item. Along with these, Twitter is allowing a limited group of curators to create Collections that are essentially a Twitter timeline of related Product Pages. Currently, Collections can only be made by a small group of users and brands, including HBO’s Game of Thrones and Target, but will be made available to everyone in the coming months.


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SMX Advanced 2015 – International Search Summit Highlights

As an extension of SMX Advanced, marketers had the opportunity to attend a one-day workshop and take a deep dive into SEO, paid search, and local or international search.

Here are the highlights from the International Search Summit programmed by the international search agency WebCertain Group LTD.


Introduction and Global Search Engine Headlines by Andy Atkins-Krüger – Webcertain

In this first presentation of the day, Andy gave us an overview of the latest developments and trends in the major global search engines. 

Summary/Major Takeaways:

If you’ve been living under a rock, you might not know that Google has the most market share in all countries with the exception of Russia (Yandex), China (Baidu), and South Korea (Naver).

Japan uses Yahoo Japan as their primary search engine, but this uses the Google algorithm on the backend. I’m not even going to get started on Bing…


Yandex is Russia’s most popular search engine with 60% market share and plans to expand into Turkey. Baidu leads China’s search engine market share with 58% of users. Other top search engines in China include Haosou and Sogou. Baidu recently launched in Brazil and will focus on mobile searches in Indonesia. I suspect a BRIC/MINT trend going on here (keep reading)…


International Opportunities by Gemma Birch – WebCertain                                       

Gemma identified some of the biggest and fastest growing global markets.

Summary/Major Takeaways:

First the BRICs and now the MINTs! Do you know what BRIC means? If you’ve ever taken an Economics class, this may be a familiar phrase. BRIC is an acronym that refers to four of the world’s emerging dominant economies: Brazil, Russia, India, and China – originally coined by Jim O’Neill from Goldman Sachs in 2001.

In China, there are over 640 million Internet users – a number which only represents 46% of the population! This presents an exciting opportunity for investors, businesses, and marketers alike.

image 2


The MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) are the next countries predicted to become economic powerhouses. Nigeria, for example, is about to undergo a GDP re-basing and may end up becoming the biggest economy in Africa. Renaissance Capital estimates that Nigeria’s economy was worth $405 billion in 2013, compared to $355 billion for South Africa.

image 3


So what does this mean for digital marketers? Well for starters, if your digital marketing strategy doesn’t incorporate the BRIC or MINT countries, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity. However, just because you enter these markets does not mean you will suddenly experience a major influx of conversions or sales.

Although Internet usage and financial stability are growing, attitudes towards purchasing online are still awhile away from being similar to the online habits of users in the United States.

For example, I did a quick analysis of mobile purchases via smartphone and found that about 30% of smartphone owners in Brazil purchase via mobile while in the USA, we see that number closer to 46%.

image 4


Managing Global Digital Marketing: Find Your Flavor by Jennifer Bolton – Dato 

Jennifer walked us through approaches to developing and scaling global marketing efforts with different mixes of corporate/regional team structures and external vendors with various brand maturities.

Summary/Major Takeaways:

Regardless of your brand size, it’s essential that you communicate and collaborate with your internal teams to define ownership of projects before expanding into new markets. For example, your brand may want to handle the web design and development while working with a 3rd party on content translation and localization.

If you’re new to international SEO, a good place to start would be expanding to countries that have users with a high proficiency of the English language, such as Denmark or Sweden.

Jennifer recommended the Customer Journey to Online Purchase tool to gain some insights on how the “customer journey” varies from country to country.

I also recommend the use of the Google Consumer Barometer and Mobile Planet tool for user behavior and market research when expanding into new markets. I’ve used these tools successfully in multi-lingual and multi-national SEO campaigns.


Challenges of Social Media in Global Markets by Jeremiah Andrick – Logitech

Jeremiah discussed some of the major challenges in creating effective and scalable social campaigns. He addressed some the key differences between western and eastern approaches to social media.

Summary/Major Takeaways:

If you think managing an international digital campaign simply means translating your strategy into another language, you’re dead wrong. Social media helps bridge the gap between your brand and consumers, but this means nothing if you don’t understand your audience.

As an international SEO marketer, I totally agree that I have to adjust my process when targeting a different audience. Understanding your audience’s culture, norms, traditions, and taboos is critical from the initial keyword research process to identifying what type of content will resonate with your audience.

Jeremiah offered 3 solutions to avoid disaster:

  1. Your customers like your brand are unique – avoid the one size fits all approach.
  2. Consider your ability to speak directly to the customer – i.e. Facebook is the primary social network in Latin America whereas Weibo dominates in China.

image 5

  1. Context: A translation-only approach rarely accounts for the calendar issues or social issues related to event-driven marketing. For example, New Year’s is bigger in some Asian countries than Christmas.


International Keyword Research Uncovered by Ben Lefebvre – Webcertain

Ben discussed some of the factors every marketer should consider when conducting international keyword research – from search engines to user behavior and language differences.

Summary/Major takeaways:

Transliteration, misspellings, accent droppings, character replacements, compound nouns, cases, and scripts?! This session was jam packed with all sorts of considerations every marketer needs to make when conducting international keyword research.

image 6

  • Direct translation does not work because it doesn’t take into account cultural significance and local dialects. Even within the same language, I’ve seen keyword search phrases fluctuate between countries because of the differences in local slang. For example, in Central America, it’s very common to hear the term “refrigeradoras” for “refrigerator”, whereas in the Caribbean, a more commonly used phrase is “neveras.”
  • Go as local as you can to find the real opportunities – some keyword phrases might be more popular in specific regions of a country.
  • Expect different search patterns from one market to another – some users will search very generically and others will search more long-tail phrases.


Transliteration – Take into consideration that a transliterated phrase may have greater search volume than the literal translation. Adjust your keyword and content strategy (and URL structures) accordingly!


Examples (Country, Keyword, Search Volume)



intel = 3,800

英特尔 = 1,500



intel = 15,000

インテル= 51,000



intel = 5,400

אינטל = 4,400


Misspellings and Accent Droppings – In some cases, accent droppings are more popular.


Examples (Country, Keyword, Search Volume)



España = 165,000

Espana = 9,900



España = 12,100

Espana = 22,200


Character Replacements and Compound Nouns – In some cases, you may want to keep the original characters.



Glück = 27,100

Glueck = 590



snowman = 18,100

snow man = 1,600


Cases and Scripts – There are some languages, such as Russian, that have 6 different ways you can say the same word in just one tense. A past, present, and future tense of a word can have up to 18 combinations! Yandex gives you the same search volume for these 18 combinations.


RUSSIA (Yandex)

кошка = 3,677,180

кошки = 3,677,180

кошке = 3,677,180

кошку = 3,677,180

кошкой = 3,677,180


RUSSIA (Google)

кошка = 27,100

кошки = 49,500

кошке = 30

кошку = 260

кошкой = 20



Ben used Google Keyword Planner, Yandex Keyword Statistics, and Baidu Keyword Tool Editor to gather data on search volume by country.


I also like to use BrightEdge, SEMRush, and Google Trends for international keyword research.


If you have any questions or comments be sure to Wpromote or Mariel know!

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A Smattering of SEO News – Yay News!

Hey folks, welcome to another Smattering! It’s been an interesting week in the SEO news arena, especially with word that news sites got a nice boost after Google’s most recent little algo update. I’d love to say I had something to do with that, given my focus on news and all that, but I doubt I can take any credit for it. ;) With that said, let’s dive into the news pool, shall we?!

Google News

  • Report: News Sites May Have Benefited Most From Recent Algorithm Update – The folks at Searchmetrics have been studying the results of many sites since Google’s most recent – and still unnamed – update, and found some interesting results. Basically, the sites that saw the largest uptick in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) visibility were primarily news-focused sites., for example, saw a 30% visibility increase, a 45% increase and a 26% increase, for example. Maybe now the phrase should be, “Frequently Updated Content is King.”


  • Google’s John Mueller Reveals Two Ongoing Google Search Bugs – In two different forums on two different topics, Google’s John Mueller admitted that two Google search tools are having issues. The first is relating to their Structured Data Testing Tool, which apparently is having a hard time parsing open graph data, while the second relates to the Search Console’s Fetch and Render feature, which is misreporting certain pages as blocked. Mueller said Google is working to fix both of these issues.
  • Google Sees Flash Game Sites Being Lower Quality Sites – Google’s John Mueller (that guy is everywhere this week) this week talked a bit about Flash game sites in a Webmaster World forum thread, saying that most sites that offer Flash-based games do little to differentiate themselves from other sites that offer the same games besides maybe placing ads in different places. He goes onto say that, if one wants to enter that space, one should strive to really differentiate themselves from the competition as best they can.
  • Google Testing Another Mobile Version Of Their Search Engine – Reports are coming in that Google is testing yet one more version of their mobile site, this one offering more white space, a larger search box and a large, blue navigation menu. This is just one of many of these tests Google has done to their mobile site in recent months, so it’ll likely change again soon.


Other News

  • duckduckgoDuckDuckGo Reaches 10 Million Searches A Day – Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is celebrating a new milestone for their relatively young search engine, as they’ve now passed 10 million searches a day. Apparently they’ve seen around 600% growth just in the last two years, thanks to growing privacy concerns. That’s pretty impressive, honestly.
  • Instagram Makes Searching More Comprehensive With Place Search – Instagram has upgraded its popular app with a new feature they’re calling Place Search, which now allows you to search for photos by specific places, people, and tags. This will hopefully make it much easier for users to find photos based on much more granular search filters, as it sounds like it was fairly difficult to find specific photos before this update.


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A Smorgasbord of Social Media – Pinteresting Facebook Moments and Twitter Messages

Life’s too short to not be in the social loop. Here’s the latest in A Smorgasbord of Social Media news:



Get The Photos You Didn’t Take

We can finally stop making friends or random strangers take one group photo on 17 different devices. Facebook recently launched Moments, a standalone app that will be available in the next few days. This will allow users to privately share their photos from a specific event with anyone and everyone that attended. By using Face Recognition Software linked with Facebook, Moments will create event-based albums that allow users to quickly upload photos to the app. From there, other friends that attended the event can see, save and post any photos in the album directly from the app. Just take a single photo and enjoy the Moment.




Say Goodbye To The 140 Characters Limit

Well, sort of. Twitter recently announced they plan on eliminating their 140-character limit on direct messages. We will no longer have to split our DM into 17 separate messages when we reach out to a friend or follower on the network.



Block Multiple Accounts With A Single Tap

Say goodbye to spammy accounts or anyone you don’t enjoy interacting with on Twitter. Twitter has taken another step towards ending harassment on the social media network. They have recently allowed users to export lists of users they have blocked and share them with friends who can quickly import the file and block the entire list in a single step.



Autoplay Videos To Help Or Hurt Marketers?

Ad performance is about to skyrocket but the ad cost may quickly follow. Twitter has implemented an autoplay video feature, mimicking Facebook’s. During testing, Twitter saw ad performance increase seven fold. Ads will now be charged per view as opposed to per click. A view is classified as a 3 second playtime while 100% of the video is in the frame.




Blue Means BUY!

We’ve heard for months that Pinterest will be rolling out Buyable Pins and in just a few weeks, we’ll finally be able to stop pinning and start buying. The initial launch will allow users utilizing a desktop or any iOS device to buy certain pins that have a blue ‘Buy’ button on the pin’s top right corner. Adroid users will have to wait a little while longer to test out the new feature.



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Chronicle Books – Little Things [Infographic]

Great things come in little packages. The little things are what make life special; they can be as simple as decorating your notes with doodles, dusting off your mind,  or saying a compliment to a stranger that might make their day. Chronicle Books has come out with two great infographics highlighting the power of doodling and the importance of kindness in our lives. Doodling isn’t just mindless dribble, it actually engages the mind in many ways perfect for keeping you focused and giving you a creative edge. Being kind to others isn’t just a one way street; studies show that being nice and giving actually improves your own happiness and health!


Whether you draw a little something or give a little kindness, get some more ideas to renew and uplift your life here. If you need things to draw, exactly 642 things, or want a reminder what happiness really is, try some of Chronicle Books’ fun new infographics!

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Best Apps for New Parents

Back in July 2013, when lots of Wpromoters were getting married, I wrote a blog post about the future of weddings and highlighted some of the best digital tools to help navigate nuptials. Well it’s almost two years later, and times have changed…now we’re onto babies!


Yes, the Wpromote family is growing in more ways than one, with the pitter-patter of tiny feet trotting alongside a stampede of fantastic new employees. As a new mummy myself (not in the embalmed Egyptian sense you understand – I’m English), I’ve been investigating, and making use of, lots of apps for new parents. Here are my recommendations as tested by me and my little peanut, Hadley!


Keeping Track

Newborns need to feed at least every 2-3 hours. No, that isn’t a typo. They eat 8-12 times per 24 hours at a minimum. This brings with it a number of challenges – lack of sleep being an obvious one, but also keeping track of it all. In my sleep-deprived blur, I couldn’t tell what day of the week it was, let alone accurately remember when my bundle of joy started her most recent meal.

nursing app image


I used the American Baby Nursing App to log each time Hadley ate and for how long. It’s available for free on both Apple and Android devices (or there’s a premium version for about $5). I particularly liked the little timer buttons to start and stop on each side, plus you can keep note of bottle-feeds as well.

And that’s not all. This app offers a wide range of built-in functionality, making it a great tool for monitoring most elements of your baby’s life, such as:

  • Keeping track of your child’s measurements like weight, height, and head size
  • Timers for pumping sessions and a record of the volume you pumped
  • Charting dirty diapers (I know this sounds bizarre, but this is a good way to ensure that your little one is healthy and getting enough food without constantly weighing them)
  • Timing sleeping sessions – useful for when you are trying for a more regular sleep schedule

Plus there are more sections for recording bath time, doctor’s visits, giving medication and vaccinations, and introducing solids.

One Word Of Caution – I am a data-driven person and can get a little obsessed with facts and figures. If that sounds familiar, I would recommend using this app to get started, but then scaling back a bit once you’re in the swing of things. Being a new parent is an anxious time and sometimes, going with the flow can be far more conducive to a happy home than stressing over every tiny fluctuation.


Wonder Weeks

There are some days with your newborn when you think you’ve finally cracked it! She is napping well, eating like a champ and giving you lots of smiles. Without fail, as soon as you get this comfortable feeling, everything changes. Babies go through growth spurts and developmental leaps that make them go a bit crazy. For example, at the time of writing, my little nugget is currently experiencing her third leap and has lost the ability to fall asleep. Fun times!

wonder weeks image


The Wonder Weeks book identifies and explains the common and predictable developmental changes that every baby experiences and charts the typical behavior parents can expect. It gives signs to look out for and advice for parents to help baby make the most of their newfound skills. You don’t have to buy the book to get the idea though. There is a Wonder Weeks app, which gives a quick snapshot of each “leap” where you plug in you baby’s due date and get a custom calendar to show the “stormy” periods.

Don’t get me wrong, you still have to endure the disruption in your baby’s temperament of course, but this app is a helpful way of reassuring you that you aren’t going mad, that this is all totally normal and, most importantly, that you’ll get to the sunny bit soon!

Get the app in the Android or iTunes store for $1.99.


Baby Sparks

When babies are first born, they have days and nights backwards. Frustrating as that is, it makes sense, as in the womb they are most active at night when mama is resting, and tend to snooze during the day, when her movement rocks them to sleep. After a few weeks though, newborns catch on and start to gradually become more alert during the daytime. That means two things: 1) you get more sleep at night – woo hoo! – and 2) you have to find activities to do with them when they are awake.

baby sparks image


It can be tricky to entertain a baby all day every day. As a parent, you’ll want to have a variety of activities to help them develop and explore their senses, but it can get really repetitive after a while if you don’t mix it up a bit.

Enter the Baby Sparks app, available for Apple devices. You get a taster for free, but can unlock all 350+ activities for $7.99 (which covers 0-12 months) or there are 6-month programs for $4.99. Each day has a list of activities for you to do with your baby, plus videos showing you how to do them. The app charts your progress and there is also information on how each activity contributes to your child’s development. I use it more as a resource to dip in to rather than following it religiously, and I definitely put time aside for Hadley’s other favorite hobbies, which include babbling to her octopus, vigorously wiggling and grinning at her daddy.


For The Grandparents

Hadley is the first grandchild for my extremely excitable parents. They cannot get enough updates, videos and photos, and are visibly disappointed if they call me for a video chat when she is having a nap. Rather than sending endless emails to your friends and family, or posting your whole life to Facebook, apps like TinyBeans (free on Android and Apple) help you record your baby’s moments and milestones and share them privately. TinyBeans can email your loved ones for you each time you add an update and you can even transform your collection into a photobook for the Christmas present every grandparent wants!



There are obviously many more apps and websites that new parents use, particularly those that log your progress and have chat forums like What To Expect and Baby Center. I did find these helpful when I was pregnant, and it was fun to see their updates on what size fruit my baby was at any given stage.

what to expect pic


Since Hadley arrived, I do dip into these apps from time to time, but sometimes the discussions just serve to make you feel even more overwhelmed. It’s hard to read some of the blatant bragging that goes on, especially if you’re struggling with helping your baby sleep or put on weight. There is also the real risk of too much information being a bad thing here. Just read a few posts and you’ll find ten more things to worry about!




While all these apps are helpful in their own way, moderation is the key. Seriously, you don’t want to be stuck to your screen all the time. Put the phone down and enjoy staring at your little munchkin. I mean just look at that little face!!!!!


hadley pic