30 telling trends about voice search. 7 steps to take 0

Posted on December 08, 2019 by Rob Petersen
voice search

Voice search

Voice search is speech recognition technology that allows users to perform searches using voice rather than typing. Often interactive, these searches involve rounds of interactions that allow the software to clarify the user request.

Top 6 voice search devices

Voice search is growing at a significant pace. More and more businesses are optimizing for voice search.

Here are 30 telling trends on voice search. And 7 steps to take.

30 telling trends

  1. 94% of all smart speakers in use are from Google and Amazon.
  2. 93% of consumers are satisfied with their voice assistants.
  3. 82% of Amazon Echo smart speaker owners subscribe to Amazon Prime.
  4. 76% of smart speaker users perform local voice searches at least weekly. 46% of users perform voice searches to look for information on local businesses on a daily basis.
  5. 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
  6. 65% of people who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home can’t imagine going back to the days before they had a smart speaker.
  7. 65% of 25-49-year-olds speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once per day.
  8. 61% of 25-64-year-olds say they’ll use their voice devices more in the future.
  9. 58% of consumers use voice search to find local business information. 
  10. 55% of households are expected to own smart speaker devices by 2022.
  11. 52% of people keep their voice-activated speakers in their living rooms. 25% keep them in their bedrooms, while 22% keep them in their kitchens. 
  12. 52% of smart speaker owners are interested in receiving info about deals, sales, and promotions from brands.
  13. 51% of those who shop via voice use it to research products. 22% of those consumers make purchases directly through voice and 17% have used it to reorder items.
  14. 51% of consumers use voice search to research restaurants.
  15. 50% of all online searches will be voice searches by 2020.
  16. Up to 43% of voice-enabled device owners use their device to shop.
  17. 41% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say it feels like talking to a friend or another person.
  18. 34% of people who do not own a voice assistant are interested in purchasing one.
  19. 30% of web browsing will be screenless by 2020.
  20. Callers convert 30% faster than web leads.
  21. 28% of consumers go on to call the business their voice searched for. This is the most common action following a voice search.
  22. Caller retention rate is 28% higher than the web lead retention rate.
  23. Phone calls convert to 10-15x more revenue than web leads.
  24. 25% of searches conducted on Windows 10 taskbar are voice search.
  25. Nearly 20% of all voice search queries are triggered by a set of 25 keywords. These consist mainly of question words like “how” or “what” and adjectives like “best” or “easy.”
  26. Grocery shopping accounted for 20% of voice shopping in 2017. This compared to clothes shopping, which accounted for just 8%..
  27. 12% of smart speaker owners make purchases by voice monthly. This equals nearly 5.5 million US adults.
  28. 3. 5% of consumers use voice shopping, but that number could reach 50% by 2022.
  29. Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text-related searches
  30. There will be an estimated 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020.

7 voice search steps to take

  1. Optimize content for long-tail keywords and queries likely to be spoken aloud.
  2. Use natural, conversational language for search terms. If you are a local business, consider adding “near me” at the end of your search term.
  3. Adhere to SEO best practices to ensure you rank high. Remember the same SEO principles still apply.
  4. Pay attention to mobile. Mobile easily beats other devices when it comes to voice search queries because most verbal questions are being asked on mobile. 
  5. Make sure your site loading time is quick. 40% of mobile users abandon sites that take over 3 seconds to load. And they are probably not coming back.
  6. Mine calls to your business for the questions consumers ask before buying. Add them to your website to improve SEO and CRO, maybe add an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section.
  7. Leverage Google My Business Listings. Google My Business listing is a way to let Google know that your business is located at a particular place. When someone asks Google to display similar businesses in that area, your business could rank for that query.

Do these 30 facts and 7 steps help explain voice search to you and what to do about it?

Mega menus for SEO and UX. 7 advantages and disadvantages 0

Posted on November 24, 2019 by Rob Petersen
mega menus

Mega menus

Mega menus are drop-down interfaces triggered by the user hovering over a link or defined area. This dropdown usually shows all options in one main, mega-panel and oftentimes groups related topics into categories.

Mega menus make it possible to show viewers everything available in a specific category and can include images. This makes it easier and faster for an interested visitor to get where they want to go, improving User Experience (UX).

Google algorithms are designed to get to know your website and serve the most relevant content. So, mega menus can also benefit Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

But they are not right for every business. Groupings should be done according to business goals. And implementation requires development skills. Here are 7 advantages and disadvantages of mega menus.

7 advantages

  1. MORE TRANSACTIONS: As the image above shows, mega menus have the greatest use among e-commerce retailers. That’s because they provide a broad snapshot of what’s available with itemized detail to quickly take the visitor to their area of interest
  2. MORE LEADS: If you are a B2B business, you can improve lead generation and SEO by listing articles in your mega menu. This can be a highly effective way to take viewers to key information and actions.
  3. GROUP LARGE AMOUNT OF CONTENT: Mega menus assist with SEO rankings by way of grouping subpages and keywords, creating silos. Silo architecture, by definition, isolates groups of pages that are all relevant to the same keyword. It gives your site an extra layer of organization. 
  4. IMAGES CAN BE ADDED: They are a good way to introduce images in navigation. This can show as well as tell what the menu item is about. And this can increase click-throughs and conversions.
  5. MOUSEOVER VS. CLICK: The interface works upon mouseover. They usually span several columns and are a good way to streamline content and images.
  6. MORE EFFECTIVE THAN LARGE DROP-DOWN MENUS: Jakob Nielsen and Angie Li did a study showing that for large navigation menus. Mega menus enhanced UX compared to drop-down menus. This is because a drop-down menu with lots of content will require the user to scroll down or sometimes scroll down and then back up again. This takes longer, puts more strain on short-term memory, and can be confusing.
  7. UPDATABLE: For a news site, content aggregator or business that frequently announces new offerings, mega menus can and should be updated regularly. This type of dynamic function can have advantages for SEO and UX.

7 disadvantages

  1. NOT MOBILE-FRIENDLY: Mega menus are not practical for mobile display. If a company has even a modest percentage of mobile site traffic, it will need to devise a separate navigational structure for mobile display, which creates all sorts of design and development challenges.
  2. TOO MANY LINKS: As mega menus work through mouseover with links, they end up putting lots of links at the top of the page. Google itself says in its Webmaster Guidelines that webmasters should “Keep the links on a given page to a reasonable number.” Google’s official Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF) recommends that webmasters should avoid “creating complex webs of navigation links.
  3. DON’T LINK TO A MEGA PAGE: Do not ever include a link within your mega menus (or anywhere, for that matter) to a page that just lists everything on a single page, like a mammoth sitemap page. That flattens out your site hierarchy and removes your ability to “spotlight” or prioritize.
  4. SLOW PAGE LOADING SPEED: A massive collection of links in the navigation will slow load times and rendering. Maybe, not as much as a large image or video, but this is a factor to consider.
  5. DUPLICATE CONTENT: The implementation of mega menus can result is a huge markup to the site navigation. Content from other pages is often transferred through the coding causing duplicate content. Google discredits duplicate content for SEO. For UX, it makes it harder for search engines to send viewers to the most relevant page. Google’s official definition of duplicate content: “Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.”
  6. OVERKILL FOR SITES WITH LIMITED CONTENT: If your site doesn’t have a lot of content, they are going to be overkill. This would include sites with a limited number of pages, blogs with a singular focus and websites that provide tools and calculators.
  7. SCREEN SIZE AND READABILITY: While the advantage of grouping large amounts of content can be an advantage, it can be a disadvantage if items on the menu are too small to read.

The takeaway is mega menus, whether advantages or disadvantages, should be evaluated based on business goals. And the resources available to properly, implement, update and measure their impact and improvement.

Does this help you understand mega menus and the appropriateness of your business?

30 data science facts for dummies explain this discipline 0

Posted on November 09, 2019 by Rob Petersen
data science facts

Data Science Facts

Data science facts show more and more companies are hiring data science practitioners. That’s because data science is a proven disciple for business growth. Data science extracts meaningful insights from data. Data scientists require domain expertise, programming skills, and a knowledge of mathematics and statistics.

75% of companies using data science say it directly contributes to a 10% increase in sales.  While some say it leads to job elimination replacing human functions with robots, 83% of firms with data science employees say it has lead to the creation of new jobs within their companies.

Today, it is a thriving area for business, corporate, competitive and job growth. But one that also raises ethical considerations as to what is being collected and how it is used.

To demystify it, here are 30 data science facts for dummies to explain this discipline.

Data Sources

Data scientists divide data into three major groups: Structured (organized), semi-structured (organized but not standardized) and unstructured (not organized). Regardless of the grouping, the data used has to be made understandable to computers. So human understanding can work with computer processing. Here is where the data comes from.

Data Science Analysis and Benefits

Data gathering and analysis from various channels help companies learn the paths that bring the best outcomes and value and rule out the need to take high stakes risk. Here are the numbers that support the process.

Data Science Jobs

Data scientists produce machine-learning algorithms to numbers, text, images, video, and audio to produce artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning systems that perform tasks ordinarily requiring human intelligence. Programming and coding experience is a plus. But a data scientist that also demonstrate critical thinking abilities and strong presentation skills is a major find. The facts show data scientists are in demand.

Do these facts explain data science and its benefits to you? Do you need help applying data science to your company?

6 straightforward steps to calculate Customer Lifetime Value 0

Posted on October 26, 2019 by Rob Petersen
calculate customer lifetime value

Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

Calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and you have one of the most important metrics to measure for any growing company. It shows how long it takes to recoup the investment to acquire a new customer, the value of a customer relationship and provides a prediction of future profitability and revenue for forecasting.

Here are Customer Lifetime Values for some companies you know.

  • AMAZON PRIME: $1,340
  • AMAZON KINDLE: $1,233
  • AMAZON: $790
  • NETFLIX: $291
  • STARBUCKS: $14,099

How to figure it out for your company? Take these 6 straightforward steps to calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Step #1: Start with Annual Customer Value

Start by dividing your company’s total revenue over a specific time period (usually one year) by the number of purchases over the course of that same time period. You can also segment your customer base by best, good and bad customers. So you have Annual Customer Value by segment should you want to reward the best customers with a loyalty program.

Step #2: Identify the Life Span of the customer

What is the Life Span for your customers? For example, Starbucks is 20 years. As a result of this Life Span, Starbucks’ Customer Lifetime Value is high. Life Span is the average time the customers used in Step #1 stay with you. With Annual Customer Value and Life Span, you’ve established your foundation for Customer Lifetime Value. Now, it’s time to start sharpening the number.

Step #3: Apply Customer Retention Rates

To calculate Customer Retention Rate, you need to know three things.

  1. Number of customers at the end of a period (E)
  2. Number of new customers acquired during that period (N)
  3. Number of customers at the start of that period (S)

We are interested in the number of customers remaining at the end of the period without counting the number of new customers acquired. Remaining customers can be calculated by subtracting N from E. To calculate the percentage, we divide that number by the total number of customers at the start and multiply by 100.

Customer Retention Rate = ((E-N)/S)*100

As an example, the Customer Retention Rate for Amazon Prime year over year is 90%.

This formula also takes into account businesses that have churn or cannibalization influencing retention rates.

Step #4: Determine Gross Margin per customer to calculate Customer Lifetime Value

This is how much profit each customer provides during their lifespan. Gross Margin is determined by total revenue minus the direct costs of producing the goods as well as investments into services for customer acquisition.

Step #5: Know the rate of discount

The Rate Of Discount = The interest rate used for calculating the present value of future cash flow. This number is usually between 8% and 15%. This value assumes prices aren’t going to increase in the immediate future. You can always look at high/low scenarios. However, a safe value to apply if you are unsure is 10%

Step #6: Calculate Customer Lifetime Value

Now, you’re ready to go. Annual Customer Value X Life Span X Retention Rate X % of Gross Margin X Rate of Discount = Customer Lifetime. Because you know the steps to get there, you know how much your customers are worth, their value in the future and your company’s ability to grow. That’s why it’s one of the metrics that matter for any business.

These steps follow the formula used by Neil Patel. Thanks, Neil for helping us better understand Customer Lifetime Value.

Do these steps help you with CLV for your company?

10 video marketing case studies prove ROI for brands 0

Posted on October 11, 2019 by Rob Petersen
Video marketing case studies

Video Marketing Case Studies

Video marketing case studies show the value of video online for brands. And offer proof that, even if you run a great advertising campaign, what good is it until it delivers the desired return.

Whether it is a boost in sales, an increase in leads or penetration into a new target segment.

Here are 10 video marketing case studies that prove ROI for brands

ABREVA: Found most sufferers get their first cold sore as teenagers.  Knowing that Gen Z and millennials are watching less TV than in the past, Abreva decided to lean into YouTube. Abreva created 119 different ads to customize the text based on a variety of interests. Viewers were then served up a relevant ad based on what they were watching. They saw a 41% lift in overall ad recall and a 342% lift in search interest among its target audience.

ADIDAS: Had always used a “phased block planning” approach to product launches — one campaign split into multiple, time-separated phases, all targeted at the same audience. The phases typically focused on awareness, education, and driving action. In need of a better way to launch its Nemeziz soccer shoe, the Adidas marketing team turned to YouTube’s video ad sequencing tool to move its target audience along a planned sequence of ads in a shorter amount of time — just a few days, for some people. Adidas saw a 33% lift in awareness, a 20% lift in ad recall, and a 317% lift in product interest.

CHILI’S: Decided to run a digital campaign to raise awareness of its 3 for $10 deal. The plan was to capture people’s attention using a made-for-digital 15-second creative spot that highlighted one of the meals from the promotion. They also saw a good opportunity to get people to sign up for My Chili’s Rewards, the brand’s loyalty program. The campaign ended up generating over 7,800 form leads, a valuable addition for a campaign focused on brand consideration.

COMCAST: Xfinity Mobile, a new type of wireless plan with millions of Wi-Fi hot spots designed to help consumers save money on data. They had a seemingly simple idea: give potential customers sticker shock by showing them how much their data actually costs them. For example, if someone was about to watch a five-minute sports clip, they might have been shown a sports-themed ad beforehand showing that the video they were about to watch would cost them $1.31 with their current cellular service provider. The brand experienced a 113% lift in brand interest, 3X increase in search, and has gained thousands of new customers since the campaign launched. The campaign won the YouTube Works Grand Prix and Best Media Work awards and Cannes Lions awards.

DORITOS: Told a funny, elaborate story for Doritos Blaze that built over time through a series of six-second bumper ads on YouTube with customization options. For example, someone who watched the introductory 15-second ad was later served up a six-second ad that naturally followed from the first one and reinforced the message. Someone who had chosen to skip the longer ad was instead served a six-second ad that reintroduced the product. The campaign led to a 19.3% lift in favorability, helping Blaze become the top-selling new single SKU launch for Doritos in the past five years.

HERSHEY’S: Had ahead of the launch of its limited-edition Hot Cocoa Kisses. While food brands often turn to TV to recruit celebrity chefs like Martha Stewart, Hershey’s headed online for inspiration. They featured top YouTube bakers like Rosanna PansinoThe Icing Artist, and Honeysuckle — generated a 22% lift in purchase intent. Together with a paid ad strategy, the campaign was key to driving more than $9 million in retail sales.

LIQUID PLUMBER: Noticed the rise of influencers performing grossly intriguing and humorous experiments. They created a video series that asked “Will It Clog?” Staying true to the formula, the videos featured down-and-dirty depictions of extreme clogs, while also evoking a sense of relief when the clog was cleared. The brand successfully increased both awareness and favorability by 38% and 40%, respectively.

LVMH: The French luxury goods company behind brands like Louis Vuitton and Givenchy, saw that people weren’t just looking for inspiration; they also wanted help deciding what to buy. This insight led the company to put in place a two-pronged approach to its video marketing. First, during Paris Fashion Week, the brand partnered with top YouTube creator Emma Chamberlain and supermodel Karlie Kloss to document their experiences exclusively on YouTube. The video generated over 1 million views. The second part of the approach makes it easier for video viewers to become customers. Louis Vuitton doubled down with an always-on YouTube TrueView for Action campaign — video ads with clickable elements that allow viewers to make purchases. The campaign has driven an 11X return on ad spend.

NEUTROGENA: Wanted to measure the incremental sales lift of a recent online video campaign for its makeup remover wipes.  it tapped into events like the World Cup, when people typically paint their faces to show support for their national team, or holidays like Halloween, when people use makeup as part of their costumes.  The brand built 21 different pre-roll ads, each layered with a message tailored to a specific audience and context, followed by the same closing line across all versions of the video. The videos outperformed CPG benchmarks by as much as 4X and drove close to a 14% lift in sales. The vast majority of the incremental sales (73%) came from buyers new to the brand.

UNITED: Had one big goal: “We want to inspire people to travel,” said Kajal Narasimha, Managing Director, Personalization & Engagement at United. For this campaign, United wanted to drive greater conversions by testing more personalized and engaging media. To achieve that, the team created a 15-second video featuring people on vacation in breathtaking places — sandy beaches, bustling markets, Alpine wonderlands — rewinding back to the one-step they all took to get there. Booking a flight. The strategy was a success. In just one month, 52% of conversions attributed to YouTube were click-through conversions directly from the ad, showing the effectiveness of this format in driving immediate website visits. 

Thanks to the team at Google for providing these video marketing case studies. Do they prove the ROI of video marketing to you? Could your brand be the next video marketing case study?

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