October 23

The Weekly Briefing: Befriending Your Buyer and the Reviewers Review

SEO Copywriter Hannah Scherrer gave us tips for improving content marketing strategy by establishing buyer personas …

Content marketing has unofficially become the newest buzzword in the digital marketing world – Google has made it into something quite valuable (think the Panda algorithm). While everyone frantically writes more and more content, it seems that the content becomes more about “me” (the SEO/writer) and less about “you” (the searcher/reader). An article from the Revenue Builder Blog said, “great marketing builds rapport, trust and respect … it results in your customers feeling like they personally identify with your business and/or brand.” Improving the quality and effectiveness of your content starts with developing buyer personas. A lot of different criteria can be considered to create a buyer persona, and it doesn’t at standard demographic segments. Think about what kinds of apps your ideal customer uses, modes of transportation, times (actual time of day as well as scenarios) they are searching, and what their hobbies might be. At the end of the day, you should be able to describe your ideal customer as if he or she were a close friend. You will not only be a more effective marketer, but you will also inspire stronger brand loyalty.

SEM Specialist Tory Vang talked about how Amazon has cleaned up customer reviews with a lawsuit …

Amazon recently accused more than 1,000 people of fabricating product and service reviews in exchange for payment. While fake reviews are not a new tactic for improving product visibility, the severe action Amazon is taking has been considered to be one of the most “aggressive” responses from an e-commerce company in our history. Amazon isn’t the only e-commerce business to clean up reviews – Yelp and TripAdvisor both have their own “reviewing reviews” team. The biggest issue with fake reviews is that reviews have been – and continue to be – major influences in the purchasing process.  According to Forrester Research, 45% of customers consult product reviews when making online purchases, and according to Nielson, almost 70% of shoppers trust the reviews they read online.  With numbers like these, it is important for e-commerce businesses to take the appropriate action, before it becomes a situation of a few people ruining it for everyone else.

SEM Specialist Chip Fox gave us an update from the latest discussions at SMX East …

Search Engine Land published a summary of “The Latest in Advanced Technical SEO” panel at the SMX East Conference. Presenters included Christine Smith from IBM and Ian Lurie of Portent, Inc. Smith discussed how thousands of IBM’s website pages had been de-indexed, despite URLs being resolved correctly, redirects working property, and Robots.txt wasn’t blocking any crawlers. The issue came down to the sitemap – only 10% of the URLs had been indexed. After regenerating the sitemaps, the number of indexed URLs jumped to over 60% of the sitemap. As with most problem solving, you need to go back to the basics, which includes consistent site maintenance. Smith also suggested that if your site is down, make sure you deliver a 503 response instead of a 200 or 301 response, to prevent your page from being crawled at just the wrong moment.