The finalist nominations for the 2016 Search Engine Landy Awards were formally announced yesterday, with no less than three Irish websites securing places among the prestigious competition’s grand finals.
The Landys, now in their second year of competition, are a worldwide search awards which recognise the very best digital search marketing campaigns from around the world over the course of the past year. With over 200 entries on the awards’ long list, the competition was of an exceptionally high standard this year. The fact that Irish websites could so much make the long list, let alone the final short list, speaks volumes in terms of Ireland’s ability to ‘punch above its weight class’ in terms of the world of digital marketing.
The Irish websites to receive Landy finalist nominations are as follows:
Littlewoods Ireland – Best Integration of Search into Cross-Channel Marketing
This award signifies a website which has worked wonders in terms of combining paid search with organic search (SEO) to produce tremendous results. In Littlewoods Ireland’s case, their success was underpinned by record levels of search-based traffic and conversions during the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas periods, cementing their position as Ireland’s largest e-commerce website.
McElhinneys.com – Best Overall SEM Initiative – Small Business
McElhinneys found themselves fighting for attention in a highly competitive market space alongside some really high profile competitors, so knew they’d have to be smarter than the competition if they were to succeed. Through innovative use of custom audiences, custom AdWords scripts and a highly focused keyword strategy, they have been able to thrive in the online markets of both Ireland and the UK.
Wolfgang Digital – Agency of the Year – SEM
While widely considered to be one of Ireland’s leading digital marketing agencies, it would be hard not to consider Dublin-based Wolfgang Digital to be plucky underdogs at this year’s Landys, given the scale of the event. The fast-growing Wolfgang are not without form when it comes to upsetting the apple cart though, having already won top prizes at the DMAs, Drum Search Awards and European Seach Awards in the past year.
The trio of Irish websites have been doing quite well in terms of this year’s search engine marketing awards season, with all of them representing at the Drum Search Awards which took place in June. Littlewoods Ireland were the big winners on that day, securing the highly coveted Grand Prix Award. Can the Irish sites pull another rabbit out of the hat?
The Search Engine Landy Awards take place in New York City on the 28th of September. The full list of finalists can be viewed here.
The Drum Search Awards, which seek to recognise the very best internet based businesses from both Ireland and the UK, take place later today (June 8th). These awards focus on the two main disciplines of search marketing, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and PPC (Pay Per Click), choosing from the year’s very best digital marketing campaigns.
As was the case in the European Search Awards, which took place in May, Irish entries are well represented at the Drum Search Awards. Among the big prizes handed out to Irish business on that night were “Best Use of Search for Retail” (Brown Thomas), Best Integration of Search and Social” (iClothing) and “Best Small PPC Agency” (Wolfgang Digital) as Ireland received four first placed trophies, the second most of any nation (bested only by the UK).
For the 2016 Drum Search Awards, Ireland finds itself looking to improve upon its European Search Awards haul, with no less than six award nominations in total. Many of the companies which represented Ireland at the European Search Awards find themselves on the Drum bill as well, including McElhinneys, iClothing and Littlewoods Ireland. This signifies that their European success was no fluke as their respective works and campaigns have been independently recognised by several respected judging bodies.
Irish internet based businesses have been nominated for the following Drum Search Awards:
- Best Integrated Strategy or Campaign: Littlewoods Ireland
- Best Use of Technology in a Search Campaign: Brown Thomas
- Most Innovative Search Campaign (SEO & PPC): McElhinneys
- Best Use of Technology in a Search Campaign: iClothing
- Best Use of Data in PPC: iClothing
- Performance Agency of the Year: Wolfgang Digital
While the competition at tonight’s awards is fierce, with many of the biggest companies and agencies in Europe in attendance, that was also the case at the European Search Awards back in May when several Irish companies emerged triumphant. It is hoped that the overall volume and quality of Irish submissions will prove to be the same recipe for success at tonight’s ceremony which kicks off at the Marriott Grosvenor Square Hotel in London.
The full list of Drum Search Award categories and nominees can be found here.
IIA Toolshed #1
Tooler’s Choice? Camtasia because of the range of functionality, ease of use, support and additional use for easy video editing.
And we’re off! We’re delighted to welcome you to the inaugural post from the IIA Toolshed!
What is IIA Toolshed? IIA Toolshed is a group of digital marketers & digital experts who know how difficult it is to keep up with the ever changing array of tools at our fingertips, to supposedly make doing business easier! To make things simpler, we’ve come together to test, evaluate and share the reviews of a broad selection of tools & technologies, to ultimately make the decision easier for you, when choosing what tools might best suit your business needs. At the IIA Toolshed, we come together every 6 weeks to evaluate a set of tools for a particular business objective, and we’ll publish our findings right here.
Who are we? The Toolers are:
- Maryrose Lyons, Brightspark Consulting
- Eoin Kennedy, eoinkennedy.ie
- Felicity McCarthy, Sparkdigital.ie
- Dermot Casey, NearFuture.io
- Greg Fry, Contentplan.co
- Ailbhe Lee, iia.ie
- Sasha Kinch, inm.ie
- Sebastian Boppert, Eventbrite
- Conor Murphy, AIB.ie
- David Cuddy, Realex
- Laurynas Binderis, Talentevo
- Eoin Young, Electric Ireland
TOPIC 1: Screencasting Tools First up to test were a range of screencasting tools! What is Screencasting, you ask?? Screencasting is a really neat process of recording what’s happening on your screen as you do it. You can include narration as part of the recording, to explain exactly what you’re doing on screen, all from your own computer or laptop. Screencasting software is often used for short “how-to” videos and online tutorials. It can be a really helpful way to show a customer how to do something technical, as if you’re by their side! Here’s what we found about the four tools we reviewed:
|Product Name||Screenflow||Camtasia||Screencast Maker||Jing|
|Website||Screenflow 5||Camtasia||Screencast Maker||Jing|
|What Is It?||Screen capture for Spielbergs||An easy-to-use screen recorder that acts as powerful video editor by recording your voice and on screen actions. It also allow the easy import of additional media and advanced editing functions.||A low cost easy to use screen capture tool for the Mac.||Entry level screencasting & screen capture tool|
|What’s It Like To Use?||Easy to use. Simple to install. Free product. It's got a lot of functionality that make it too advanced for the average Joe.||Intuitive and very flexible piece of software. Good tutorials. Trial download with only an email address required and full functionality for 30 days. Designed to have you up and running with projects very quickly. Lots of functionality and export options.||Screencast Maker allows you to record your entire screen or just part of it. It also allows to narrate audio and even allows you to include video from your webcam. Output in.mov.||Free, easy to download, you can record activity you carry out on your screen, to share with others, including recording narration for additional explanation. Output in swf format and png for images|
|Is There Anything I Should Know?||If you are an Apple app store maker and you want to make videos to sell your product, this is the tool for you.||Camtasia has restrictions but its core abilities of creating professional screencasts is more than enough. Navigation and editing were easy with good ‘undo’ and keyboard shortcuts meaning you don't to start from scratch with mistakes. Transitions, inserting text, adding pointer arrows and animation are simple with drag and drop. Editing and cutting out sections was fast and less fiddly than other software.|
Export as an MP4 was simple along with other sharing options for YouTube etc al.
As an MP4 it was simple to upload natively to other platforms and to insert on websites.
It took approximately 4 hours to go from first open to a reasonably polished looking screen cast.
|There is a free trial available at screencastmaker.com where you can create screencasts of 2 minutes or less, but €4.99 will get you the full version. Screencast Maker is great for start ups and SMEs on a shoe string budget.||Videos limited to 5 mins, output to swf makes videos hard to share on FB, YouTube etc. No editing capability.|
|Cost inc VAT||€93.24||€85.14 for a single license.||€4.99||FREE|
|Ease of Use||4||4||4||3|
|Video Time Limit||4||4||5||1|
|Element of Desktop||1||4||4||4|
What’s next from the IIA Toolshed? Well stay tuned, because every 6 weeks we’ll be reviewing another set of tools. Next up, we’re reviewing Social Media Publishing tools. Which ones? Well you’ll have to come back to find out… all will be revealed in early May!
Summary: Overall, it’s fair to say that Camtasia is the standard that most people expect, and around the table it was commonly agreed that it had the best feature set. Thereafter Screencastmaker is a good option for those who are a bit more cash-strapped, but keen to get going. The other tools are more likely to be used for those getting started, or for internal communications.
The IIA in partnership with Irish Times Training are delighted to launch a brand new Diploma course in e-Commerce Management.
This Course covers everything you need to know to run a successful ecommerce business. Click here for more information.
Module 1: Planning your e-Commerce Customer Proposition
Lecturer: Ronan O’Brien of Zatori – The Costume Shop
Module 2: Business Planning
Lecturer: Fionan Dunne of CFO Services
Module 3: Effective Website Design
Lecturer: Gareth Dunlop of Fathom
Module 4: Driving Customer Traffic – PPC, SEO, Affiliate Marketing and E-Mail Marketing, Deals Management
Lecturer: Ronan O’Brien of Zatori
Module 5: Transaction Management
Lecturer: Bob Curran of Buy4Now
Module 6: eCommerce Customer Services: CRM – Relationships and Returns
Lecturer: Bob Curran of Buy4Now
Module 7: eCommerce Customer Services: Deliveries and Deadlines
Lecturer: Rory O’Connor of Scurri.com
Module 8: International e-Commerce: Translations & Transactions
Lecturer: Mark Rodgers of Cipherion Translations
Module 9: Metrics / Analytics
Lecturer : David Murphy of Amplify
Module 10: Content – Images and Copy
Lecturer: Fiona Ashe of FlasheForward Communications
Module 11: Mobile Commerce
Lecturer: Sian Gray, Mobile Marketing specialist (Nokia)
FREE Module : Breakfast Briefing Managing Customer Information: Your Legal Obligations as an eCommerce Manager from Gary Davies, Assistant Data Protection Commissioner
If you’ve got customer information on file you will need to know in what form and for how long you can store it. You will also need to know for what you may use it. You will need to be fully aware of your obligations as a retailer vis a vis Trading Standards etc.. This module is painful but necessary!
In advance of his training course next week for the IIA, Des Martin of Local Search Marketing has written this blog post to impress upon us how important local search is for all businesses. If you think your business could benefit from learning more register now for Targeting Local Customers Online. This is a morning course taking place on March 30th and is keenly priced at €200 for non-members and €100 for members.
According to the Kelsey Group, ‘74 percent of internet users perform local searches’.
What is a local search? When you enter a location specific keyword you are performing a ‘local search’. For example searching for ‘dublin pizza’ above. Many of you will have noticed that these local searches now trigger a map in search engine results from Google (Map highlighted in red above. Click on the image for a larger version.).
Note: Search queries with ‘local intent’ also appear. i.e. restaurant, pizza, butcher – by themselves can trigger the map results to appear.
This map and results are generally placed at the top of the search results. More recently Google have begun to blend the local map listings with what were traditionally the organic results (free listings). This can be seen in searches like ‘accountant dublin’ below. The local ranking factors are playing a big part in these blended results (we have highlighted the map and local listing in red).
Google return local and mobile search results based on a different set of criteria to the traditional search results (SERPs). Effectively they use a different algorithm. Small and Local businesses can now compete for prime positions at the top of the search results without spending the large sums of money that were previously required. The key is to focus your efforts in the right areas by building up your company profile across the web. Local Search has been growing in importance for the last few years. It’s time to sit up and take notice.
Why have local searches become so important?
There are several reasons. One of the main reasons is the rise of the smart phone. There are now an estimated 1 million iPhone and Android devices in the Irish market. These people are no longer confined to their PC to perform internet searches. These people actively search for products and services daily while on the move. What’s more these people may be very close to your physical location.
When someone searches for a ‘cork restaurant’ on their smart phone, there is a very good chance that this person is close to the centre of Cork and is likely to have lunch/ dinner in the next hour or two. If your restaurant is in position on the search results, you have a decent chance of converting that searcher to a customer; if not you are ignoring a major segment of the Irish market.
What’s more, mobile searches last considerably less than their PC equivalent. So that person will make up their mind in a short space of time and may find many existing websites awkward to navigate on a mobile phone.
This is where the local listing (Google Places) comes into its own. See mobile screen shot:
Example of a local search conducted on an iphone above.
The mobile searcher is presented with Google Places page information. With the Place page you get information relevant for decision making, this being: map location, directions, click to call phone number. All of this is available in Google without ever having to enter the business website. This is hugely beneficial for mobile searchers. With one further click they can see reviews, street view images of the location and often additional images supplied by the business owner as demonstrated in the screenshots below:
Any Irish business in the retail/ hospitality trade needs to feature prominently for local searches that relate to their products and services. If you don’t feature, you are losing customers.
People searching for local business online are further along in the purchase cycle, the cost of converting each consumer is lower and the return on investment is higher. Targeting these searchers produces real results for local and multi-store retailers.
This is where Local Search becomes an essential part of your online strategy
- Google Places listings are the tip of the Local Search Iceberg. They demonstrate what you can achieve by targeting local search results with Google Places. One million smart phone searchers in Ireland alone.
- Local Optimisation. Local Search can also be applied to onpage optimisation for websites, including designing website alternatives for mobile searchers. Google presents different results for mobile searchers. They rank these results partially based on how well the page will render on the type of phone that submitted the query. For more detail on mobile SEO, here is a great article by Cindy Krum < . This means having a mobile version of your website increasingly important.
- Local pay per click. Targeting local keywords reduces the level of competition and the bid price paid for local keywords in PPC programs like Adwords. Local keywords are more targeted and result in a higher click through rate which will in turn help with your Adwords quality score.
- Local Social Media. Lots going on in this space at present. Facebook recently launched their check in service Facebook Places in Ireland. Facebook Deals is due to follow hot on the heels of Places. This will allow business owners to target local consumers with ‘deal’ based offerings. This promises to be a great promotional tool for local business.
In addition business owners can reward and attract local consumers using existing social media like ‘FourSquare’ and local focused blogging.
- Group Buying websites like citydeal.ie (Groupon) have exploded in the past few months. Increasingly local consumers are finding out about ‘local deals’ through these websites. Local Business owners need to adopt a group buying strategy to maximize their return when running group deal promotions. Pay attention to building a relationship with the consumer and gain repeat business rather than be left one time consumer and ultimately a loss.
Begin your local search campaign today:
A local search campaign uses an integrated strategy involving
- Google places listings,
- pay per click advertising,
- search engine optimisation
- and social media
to convert local leads into new customers. An additional area that is fast becoming important for local business is Group Buying websites. These can be a great promotional tool, but you need to factor in the total cost and how to maximize the return on investment.
About the Author:
Des Martin is the director of Local Search Marketing who specialise in local search strategy. Their client list includes sole traders, SMEs, franchises and multi location retailers. Des will be presenting a series of training courses run by the IIA in the coming months.
While I was on leave* the IIA Online Marketing Working Group produced a series of guides to Online Marketing and they are well worth a look for the both the new business owner and the seasoned marketer. The guides are easy to read and to the point and I, for one, have a little refresher course planned.
Here’s a listing of what’s on offer from the Online Marketing Working Group:
- Content is Still King
This article provides you with the fundamental guidelines for writing for the web, enabling you to take control of your company’s online content and communicate your brand more effectively.
- Digital Marketing Strategy & Planning
A framework to help align and structure your digital marketing strategy and planning.
- Tips for eNewsletter Content
A guide to creating and writing great email newsletters.
- Tips for Video Content
How to create compelling & successful videos as part of your digital marketing strategy.
- Web Content Inverted Pyramid
Guidelines for writing for the web.
Check them out now in the Resources section of the IIA website. These resources are member only: if you would like to join and get immediate access to these resources please do!
If you find however that you are the type of learner who needs instruction an upcoming IIA event might be just the ticket for you. On 3 December the IIA in association with Irish Times Training are running Twitter and Facebook for Business. This day long seminar will help you learn how to build the visibility, reputation and profits of your business online using Facebook and Twitter. This seminar takes an in-depth look at case studies of Irish and global businesses using Facebook and Twitter effectively to enhance customer service, attract more business and boost bottom line profits. This seminar is being delivered by Krishna De who regularly shares Facebook tips on her blog.
*By the way I am full time again since Monday so don’t be a stranger!