Sunday night’s Grammy Awards crept into web conversation on Monday morning, dominating search and social trends just as the Super Bowl did one week ago.
Based on data from Google trends, “grammys 2012” was among the most frequently searched terms throughout Monday, with the awards show accounting for nine of the 10 most popular search terms overall.
As is the case with most other major events, content marketing campaigns that leveraged this topic likely saw increased interest from their readers. Moreover, social media marketing likely benefited from the Grammys as well, with the event trending late Sunday and into Monday morning. Pop star Adele was one of the most frequently discussed topics.
Trending topics can be easily integrated into some campaigns to help businesses appeal to their prospects also interested in these events. Valentine’s Day, which was Tuesday, was one of these such topics.
Brafton reported on Thursday that 62 percent of searches for restaurants on Valentine’s Day came from smartphones, highlighting the need for an SEO strategy that includes terms likely to boost mobile search standing. This demonstrates a 359 percent increase in mobile search compared to the previous Tuesday, February 7, according to Google.
Targeting mobile users with SEO-driven content marketing campaigns may be the key to boosting conversions for businesses. Brafton noted that mobile search generates a far greater click-through rate than mobile displays ads. Businesses considering the use of mobile marketing can benefit from the launch of new media marketing campaigns, rather than a potentially expensive ad campaign aimed at smartphone users. Mobile advertising company xAD recently released a report that found mobile search links have a 7 percent CTR, compared to 0.6 percent of mobile display ads.
Essentially, prospects searching from their handsets are likely driven by a need or desire for a certain product or service, where as many users view mobile display ads as intrusive. Creating content that drives a business into a strong position on mobile SERPs will help a company appeal to these prospects more than an intrusive display ad, according to xAD.
Aside from the greater potential for ROI, businesses may want to consider mobile SEO due to its blossoming popularity. Brafton reported on Monday that web traffic from devices running iOS is now greater than that from laptops and desktops running Mac OS. Chitika found that 8.2 percent of all web traffic in the U.S. comes from iPhones or iPads, compared to 5.7 percent generated by desktops and laptops from Apple.
As the smartphone and tablet markets continue their growth, businesses must account for these users and present website content they can access without losing any capability. Otherwise, content marketing campaigns may not provide maximum ROI.
Brafton reported on Friday that smartphones account for 44 percent of all mobile phones currently used by Americans, whereas tablets are owned by approximately 23 percent of web users in the U.S.
A report eMarketer predicted that both of these markets are primed for rapid growth in the next two years. By 2014, 133 million Americans will own a smartphone and use it for both personal and professional tasks. Moreover, 89.5 million Americans will have purchased tablets by this time.
Shifting new media marketing campaigns to ensure all content is optimized for their use will likely help companies boost lead generation and web conversion.
However, simply maintaining a web presence tailored for the mobile web is not enough. Engaging content is still the key to success on the web. Brafton reported on Tuesday that websites’ bounce rates can be improve by retargeting content to ensure that it engages an audience more effectively.
Bounce rates for content websites average 40 percent to 60 percent, according to research from GetElastic. Moreover, landing page content struggles to hold readers’ attention as well, with bounce rates between 70 percent and 90 percent. Cutting these numbers is essential for businesses to succeed with their web marketing campaigns and effective content is the best path there.
For specific verticals, the value of good content means different things. A new feature from Google has placed an especially high premium on content for health websites. The company announced a new feature that will place links to especially valuable content above normal results on SERPs. As users search for symptoms, such as “abdominal pain on my right side,” possible ailments will appear on the SERP.
Brafton reported on Monday that this feature is not fully rolled out. Moreover, it’s unclear how exactly these links will be ranked at this time. Still, a content strategy that focuses on providing valuable information to readers will likely help companies gain the trust needed to boost their search standing.
Brafton reported on Wednesday that DuckDuckGo’s popularity has continued to grow in the early months of 2012. Through Twitter, the company reported that it surpassed 1 million searches on its website for the first time on Tuesday.
Similarly, Stealth is a new search engine that promises to allow users to search without archiving any information. Brafton reported on Thursday that the company believes Google’s strategies may be illegal, and provides users with a detailed list of “Reasons to Switch” on its website. Even with all of this concern over Google, the company still dominates search.
Among the concerns many have is the use of Google+ data as part of search rankings. While Google+ has still struggled to generate the type of activity its opponents do, the company has generated more than 100 million users. Brafton reported on Wednesday that 62 percent of these Google+ account-holders are men. Website-Monitoring.com found that many of these users are either students or software engineers. As such its unclear how strong Google+ has performed, since both of those audiences are among the first flocking to new technologies or web platforms.
One social network whose success is quite clear is LinkedIn, which Brafton reported now has more than 150 million users. The popularity of the platform for those seeking to advance their careers has exploded. However, as part of its quarterly earnings report, LinkedIn also said that its solutions for social media marketing have become a major source of revenue for the company.
With the Super Bowl, the Grammys and Valentine’s Day all impacting search and social substantially this month, another trending topic will likely generate similar buzz next week. President’s Day may result in more Americans turning to the web to find more information on Commanders in Chief. Moreover, search activity and social mentions for such information will be interesting to watch.