Category: Analytics

Yext researches what American customers are looking for throughout the year

Yext, the Search Experience Cloud company, released new research about American consumer search behavior during the past year. The data, drawn from a sample of more than 400,000 business locations in the United States, revealed new insights about when consumers are searching for and clicking most on businesses across retail, healthcare, financial services, and food, throughout the year.

Among the key findings:

  • Consumers are only getting more active in search: Consumer actions in business listings — driving directions clicks, clicks to call businesses, and more — grew 17% over the past year.
  • Search — and searchers — are getting better: Consumer actions in search grew faster (17%) than search impressions of business listings (10%) over the year, suggesting that customers are finding what they want faster. Whether searchers are learning to use more specific queries or search engines are getting better at understanding those queries, customers are spending less time searching and more time engaging with businesses.
  • Reviews are on the rise: Consumers are leaving more reviews about businesses. Review count per business location grew 27% over the year. In fact, financial services review volume grew 91% per location, the fastest growth of any industry. Businesses are getting savvier about the importance of reviews as well, responding to reviews 47% more than the year prior.

“Some industries are naturally more popular with consumers during certain seasons, but the need for businesses in every category to be in control of their facts online stays important year-round,” said Zahid Zakaria, Senior Director of Insights and Analytics at Yext. “By ensuring their information is accurate across channels — from the search results on their own website to their listings on third-party platforms — businesses can be prepared to capture the wave of customers who are interested in transacting with them, no matter what month it is.”

Yext analyzed when American consumers clicked online listings for various types of businesses throughout the year. The study found:

January | Resolving to stay healthy: With New Year’s resolutions fresh on their minds, and cold and flu season underway, Americans start the year off with visits to the doctor. In January, healthcare organizations see a 17% jump in clicks to their online listings relative to the previous month.

February | Money on their minds: In February and March, tax season is well underway and searches show it. Searching consumers engage with financial services institutions up to 11% more than the annual average.

March | Open house: Starting in March, consumers looking to ring in the season of renewal with a new home turn to search to find real estate agencies. Listings see a 22% average increase in clicks from February to May, complementing studies indicating that spring is a popular season for house hunting and selling.

April | Telecom phones it in: By April, the wave of consumers picking up the latest high-profile smartphone upgrades from the fall has subsided. During this month, clicks to phone carrier and telecommunications provider listings in search drop 14% compared to the month before.

May | May flowers and horsepower: In May, consumers look to capitalize on Memorial Day sales and revamp their rides in time for summer with an average 18% increase in clicks to automotive service search listings relative to the annual average.

June – July | Fun in the sun: Recreation and entertainment listings online — including theaters, sports venues, nightlife, and more — see a surge of consumer interest during the summer months, reaching an average 35% increase in clicks in July relative to the annual average. Clicks to hotel listings also bump up to 20% above the annual average during this time due to summer travel.

August | Back to school: School is just around the corner in August, and parents and students are not just stocking up on clothes, school supplies, gadgets, and other necessities, but also getting their cars in shape for the morning drop-off line at school. Clicks to listings for stores spike to 18% higher than the annual average. Educational services, like tutors and libraries, see clicks to listings increase 18% as well. Clicks to automotive service listings reach 21% above the annual average.

September | Falling into a Habit: As Americans wrap up their vacations and return to their school and work routines, clicks to recreation and entertainment listings take a noticeable dip (18% below the annual average) in September, falling up to 25% below the annual average in November.

October | Hitting the books: With the school year taking off by October, families get serious about grades again and search for tutors and other educational services. Clicks to listings in the education category see a nearly 10% jump relative to September.

November | Pass the Leftovers: During the month of Thanksgiving, hungry consumers prefer to eat in, with clicks to restaurant listings dropping 13% below the annual average.

December | Home for the holidays: In December, revelers celebrate the holidays with their families and opt to bunk with them over paying for lodging. During this month, clicks to hotel listings in search fall to 26% below the annual average.

December & January | The season of giving — and buying: Americans shopping for holiday gifts in December drive clicks to retail listings 11% more than the annual average. After the holiday shopping season ends in January, those clicks plummet an average of nearly 25% from December as consumers take a break from spending and recoup their savings.

The post Yext researches what American customers are looking for throughout the year appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Read More
admin November 25, 2019 0 Comments

Want to reduce your bounce rate, but what does that actually mean?

How many times have you quoted a metric plucked from Google Analytics without really knowing what it means? Fear not, you’re not alone.

For far too long now, marketers have had misconceptions over how to define one particular metric – bounce rate, either confusing it for exit rate or adding non-existent criteria. So, we’ve put together a quick-fire guide to help you become a bounce rate aficionado.

How is the bounce rate calculated in Google Analytics? 

The Google Analytics help guide is a good first stop when trying to get to the bottom of the topic. And with it, you only need to remember two key things:

1. A bounce in Google Analytics is a single-page session on a website

2. The bounce rate for a page is based only on sessions that start with that page

What does this mean in practice?

Here’s an example with three sessions:

Imagine there have been three user sessions on your website. During these sessions, the following pages were viewed in this order:

  • Session one: Page A > Page B > Page C > exit
  • Session two: Page B> Page A > Page C> exit
  • Session three: Page A> exit

Page A bounce rate = 50%
Page B bounce rate =0%
Page C bounce rate = 0%

Why? You might tend to think that Page A’s bounce rate is 33% because the page was viewed three times and the user only exited the website after viewing page A. It’s a typical misconception, but that logic is actually the definition of “exit rate”.

Similarly, you might be tempted to think that Page C’s bounce rate is 100%, as all the sessions that have included Page C as part of their journey have been immediately followed by an exit. However, only pages that start a session are included in these calculations.

Here’s an example with five sessions:

  • Page B > Page A > Page C> exit
  • Page B > exit
  • Page A > Page C> Page B > exit
  • Page C > exit
  • Page B > Page C > Page A > exit

Page C’s bounce rate is 100%. It has been visited four times, however, only one session started with it. It is, therefore, the only one counted by Google Analytics in its bounce rate calculations.

What is an exit in Google Analytics?

Simply put, an exit is when a user exits the website in one way or another.

This means that if one of the goals of your website is to get users to click through to a third-party retailer after visiting a product page, users will need to exit the website in order to be counted as a conversion.

In this particular case, you could theoretically have pages with both a 100% bounce rate and a 100% conversion rate at the same time. But is lowering the number of single-page sessions on your website really your objective?

If not, you might want to consider a different KPI for your business. For SEO marketers, it is often the “go-to” KPI when reporting on performance, but others – such as exit rate – might be a better fit depending on your website’s objectives.

How should we use bounce rate and exit rate for efficient reporting? 

1. Bounce rate at a website level

At a website level – the figure typically found on the Google Analytics dashboard – bounce rate only means the percentage of single-page sessions compared to overall sessions.

Due to its default settings, Google Analytics can be misleading as it will indicate a decreasing one with a green arrow, suggesting it is “good”, while any upturn is marked in red and perceived as “bad”. However, having a higher bounce rate can be a good thing – perhaps the user only needed to visit one page in order to find the information they needed. This entirely depends on the type of website you are reporting on and the content it serves (ecommerce, blogs, informational, and the others).

Changes in bounce rate at the website level should not be used to evaluate website performance, but rather to notify a change that requires further investigation.

2. Bounce rate at the page level

If it increases for a particular page, it is important to evaluate the type of page to understand if the change is positive or negative:

A non-exhaustive list of examples

  • Homepage: an increase in bounce rate is generally negative and means less users are willing to visit a website beyond its home page.
  • Content/article: an increase in bounce rate could mean that users have found the information they need. In this case, bounce rate alone cannot be used to determine a positive or negative change.
  • Product page: an increase in bounce rate on pages with ecommerce functionalities needs to be analyzed in conjunction with recent website template changes to ensure the user experience is not negatively impacting shopping experience.

3. Exit rate at the website level

At a website level, the exit rate does not provide very meaningful data because users will always have to exit a website from one of its pages at some point.

Google Analytics still provides this type of data under the behavior tab, but it is not recommended to use this information to report web performance.

Exit rate at the website level cannot be anything other than 100%. However, be aware that Google Analytics takes an average of the exit rates for all pages of the website to come up with a “website average”.

4. Exit rate at the page level (or set of pages)

This is where the exit rate really shines. If you have an ideal user journey for your website, the exit rate can help you identify changes in user behavior. From there, you can tweak web page templates to bring users from one point to the other – using multiple pages and monitoring where users exit – and therefore finish their journey.

Now that you’ve mastered the difference between bounce rate and exit rate and how to use them effectively in your reporting, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Log into Google Analytics and start to delve into what these stats really mean for the website.

The post Want to reduce your bounce rate, but what does that actually mean? appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Read More
admin November 8, 2019 0 Comments

How to create an SEO strategy for website redesign and migration

A new guide, Best Practices for Website Redesign & Migration, outlines detailed best practices for implementing search engine optimization (SEO) for a website redesign. 

It includes a list of comprehensive tips aimed at educating website owners about common redesign obstacles, website structure as it relates to SEO, preserving domain and URL equity, keyword research, and more.

This post summarizes some key SEO migration elements listed in the guide, with an emphasis on helping organizations avoid costly errors related to a website redesign and domain or platform migration.

Content produced in collaboration with Investis Digital.

Common SEO obstacles in website redesign and migration

A proliferation of web design platforms and tools have made it easier than ever for businesses to complete a website redesign in record time. 

However, many of these platforms aren’t fully compatible with older computers, slower connection speeds, and present obstacles for search engine spiders.

planning a website redesign for searchable content for search engines and SEO

 

The Investis Digital SEO guide lists twelve of the most common obstacles and includes tips for avoiding them. Here are a few examples:

Dynamic URLs that don’t include keywords

Dynamic URLs rely on variable parameters provided by the web server and are not easily indexed by search engines since they change based on user query input. A dynamic URL typically includes character strings versus keywords. Investis Digital recommends that dynamic URLs be rewritten to include relevant keywords.

Non-permanent redirects

Investis Digital recommends avoiding all redirects that aren’t permanent. That is, only permanent 301 server-side redirects should be incorporated into your website update. That means avoiding 302, JavaScript, and meta refresh redirects.

Page content

Since text is the backbone of how search engines determine keyword relevancy, the Investis Digital guide recommends that some relevant content be included on all pages. Ideally, at least one short paragraph of unique text should be present on each page. If this isn’t possible, then tier-one and tier-two pages should incorporate text-based, keyword-rich headers.

Three of the twelve obstacles listed in the Investis Digital SEO guide

 

Six key elements of an SEO-focused redesign

The Investis Digital guide lays out a comprehensive list of elements that companies should incorporate into their redesign strategy, from website structure to keyword research, and from to meta information to internal site linking. The guide acts as a blueprint for businesses so they can minimize the impact of the redesign on organic search engine rankings and traffic. Here is a brief summary of each element:

1. Website structure

Folder structure, web page file names, and keyword-rich content all play a role in an optimal website structure. “The decisions you make about the naming conventions of your folders and files, and the way in which you point to specific pages of your website, can have a huge impact on overall traffic and sales,” writes Investis Digital.

2. Keyword research

Keyword research should be the starting point of your website redesign so that you can incorporate relevant, high-volume keywords throughout the entire site structure. Investis Digital reviews important keyword guidelines such as how many different terms to target and what keyword research tools to use when gathering information.

3. Meta information

Meta information—also referred to as metadata—is the information that appears in search engine results pages for organic listings. SEO meta information includes a variety of tags such as <title> and <meta-description>. The guide provides checklists to help businesses fully optimize each of these important tags.

4. Body content

Body content is important for good search engine rankings as well as overall website usability. The Investis Digital guidelines cover the specifics of creating high quality, SEO-friendly content attributes that will contribute to search ranking such as keyword choice, frequency, placement, spacing, and titles.

5. Internal site linking

Internal links are an important element of good SEO design as they determine how search engines perceive relevancy for specific keywords. Investis Digital covers the best practices for internal link creation such as using descriptive text-based links in the main navigation, limiting the number of links on a page, and more.

6. URL equity

URL equity is “the sum of several important values tied to URL structure.” Dynamic versus static URLs, as noted above, play a role in URL equity as do a URL’s external links to the website, age of the domain, and more.

The importance of creating an SEO redesign strategy

A key pain point with any redesign is the loss of organic search traffic that occurs when established domain equity is lost. The Investis Digital guide provides information to help companies avoid the negative effect a large-scale redesign can have on search visibility and website traffic.

Example of a successful client domain migration. Source—Investis Digital

 

With a strong emphasis on maintaining URL equity, a sample workflow to help with planning, and a list of expected obstacles, businesses can use this guide to create a comprehensive SEO strategy for their website redesign or platform migration.

For more tips on how to create an SEO strategy for website redesign and migration, check out the full guide, “Best Practices for Website Redesign & Migration.”

The post How to create an SEO strategy for website redesign and migration appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Read More
admin November 5, 2019 0 Comments

Search transformation projects: Q&A with SAP’s Siddharth Taparia

At The Transformation of Search Summit next month, we’ll be hearing from a panel on “Embarking on Search Transformation Projects.” One of those panelists will be Siddharth Taparia, SVP and Head of Strategic Transformation and Partner Marketing at SAP.

Siddharth has grown his career in marketing at various companies, including spending the past 11 years at SAP.

siddharth taparia, head of marketing transformation at SAP

For many search marketers, embarking on search transformation projects can seem daunting and unclear. Siddharth’s expertise lies in leading marketing transformation efforts, and he’ll share insights on what’s he’s learned along the way.

Tell us a bit about your role at SAP?

I serve as head of SAP Global Partner Ecosystem and SME Marketing. In this role, I oversee SAP’s entire global partner ecosystem – with nearly 20,000 partners – including companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Deloitte. We also market to the invaluable small and midsize space. My team is responsible for providing excellent support and resources for existing partners and helping to grow the network with new partners.

What are your key priorities over the next twelve months?

My key priorities over the next 12 months will include supporting SAP revenue and growth aspirations through innovative partner marketing, communications, and enablement. We will continue to be laser-focused on creating great partner experiences, extending the company’s reach to more customers, and driving SAP brand value.

What is your biggest challenge in achieving those?

Our biggest challenge is to make sure that we stay focused and look at the big picture. We are a large team within a large, global company. The path to success comprises many components that must come together in a cohesive manner.

What’s your advice to others who may be facing similar challenges?

As with many areas in life, communication and collaboration is key. Everyone on the team needs to be on the same page when it comes to understanding the plan, the strategy, and the goals. More importantly, the communication has to be a two-way street. It is vital to establish a culture in which people feel comfortable asking questions and providing feedback.

What’s an interesting trend you’re seeing in the market right now?

It is interesting to see the growth of AI and how it is becoming more and more sophisticated. AI is providing unprecedented personalization, which makes for memorable customer experiences. When it comes to search specifically, AI is helping to make it easier to find the information you need faster and with more accuracy than ever before.

How do you expect it will change in the next 6-12 months?

The rate at which AI is evolving is truly astronomical. By its very nature, AI gets better with time. With more data and new algorithms over the next several months, accuracy will continue to improve and forecasting and anticipating customer needs will become even more precise.

Tell us a bit about your session at the Search Summit?

I am excited to be a part of the panel discussion, “Embarking on a Search Transformation Project.” It is crucial for companies to not only incorporate search into their overall martech strategy; they must continue to evolve their search strategy to include new search technology. Search needs to be a core part of every marketing strategy and tactics.

What are you looking forward to most at the Summit?

I enjoyed being a part of the Summit as the keynote speaker last year, and I am looking forward to sharing ideas around the fascinating topic of search. Search is such an important topic to all industries, and the Summit will provide an excellent opportunity to learn about the latest developments within this field.

What’s one of your favorite search technologies and why?

I have been following the development of voice search for quite some time now. It is my favorite search technology because it has come so far in such a short amount of time. Additionally, it’s an engaging, convenient, and fun way to obtain information!

What’s something you do every day that helps you be more successful or productive?

I am a voracious reader. Every time I take a break from a meeting or a call I try to read something new or interesting that expands my horizons. I also love to learn new things — so whenever I am in a meeting I often have a lot of questions.


Thanks Siddharth for the insights, and looking forward to learning more at the event.

Hope to see you all there!

The post Search transformation projects: Q&A with SAP’s Siddharth Taparia appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Read More
admin October 14, 2019 0 Comments