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How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

November 21, 2022 No Comments

How to use PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth

30-second summary:

  • With the right strategy, digital PR can help drive both brand awareness and organic performance
  • During an economic downturn, brand visibility is essential to maintain brand advocacy in the long-term
  • Brands that will come out on top are those that take a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, using data from other channels to inform their approach

Despite being tempted to pull back on spending during a recession, I believe that it is critical that brands stay visible to maintain brand advocacy — and Digital PR is a great, low-cost way to do so.

Future front-runner brands will be those that adopt a cross-channel approach to drive more ROI, utilizing data from other channels to inform their approach and ensure it resonates with target audiences.

With the current economic climate, brands and businesses are understandably scrutinizing every cent, and will likely make cuts to marketing budgets across the globe. 

Businesses need to be realistic about their growth trajectory over the next few months and ensure every marketing dollar they invest is accounted for. While this may naturally lead to greater investment in performance channels, such as paid media, this will result in increased cost per click (CPCs). A way to still stay measurable but reduce costs is to get creative and focus energy on earning attention rather than continuing to pay for every click and impression.

As a result, I would argue that digital PR is one of the most important tools in your marketing toolkit, as, with the right strategy, it can drive both brand awareness and organic performance.

You’re missing a trick if you’re just using Digital PR to drive links

Digital PR is used to build high authority, and relevant links to key category pages to drive search performance through organic growth. A targeted strategy that aligns closely with SEO objectives will enable you to track ROI if you have the right measurement tools in place. This activity feeds into lower funnel marketing activity as it helps to harvest demand, as increased rankings capture better traffic and conversions. 

However, if you’re only using it for this purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity further up the marketing funnel. 

Through securing brand-led, high-impact coverage on authoritative and influential publications, digital PR can also be used to drive search demand and upper-funnel brand awareness. This third-party validation is the perfect way to build salience, credibility, customer advocacy, and trust while simultaneously driving organic performance through high-quality links.

In order to achieve both brand and performance though, you need to be creating relevant and engaging content that your target audience wants to read and share. You shouldn’t be creating content ‘just for a link’ but taking into consideration wider business goals – and making sure you’re actually targeting press that your audience is reading.

In summary, digital PR shouldn’t just be an ‘intent-led’ marketing discipline to increase rankings. It’s a discipline that can both drive demand and awareness, whilst helping to capture intent-led traffic. 

Why brand visibility is even more important during a recession

Recessions are difficult and uncertain times, which is why it’s even more important to continue to build visibility and salience – as with tighter budgets, consumers are likely to become more selective and want to buy from brands that they trust that stay relevant to them.

We have seen in previous economic uncertainty brands that maintain their brand awareness and relevance, retain more market share, and are able to bounce back quicker. Mark Ritson’s marketing recession playbook provides further information and sources on this subject. 

In order to use digital PR to deliver true brand performance, you need to ensure you’re creating it based on as much cross-channel insight as possible.

Sharing cross-channel insight to deliver better ROI

While many marketers say they work ‘cross-channel,’ the reality is that many teams are still working in silos – especially across brand and performance teams.

To drive the best results, it is essential to break down silos and take data insights from each channel to develop one overarching strategy.

For example, to drive organic growth, while it’s critical to start with key SEO insight, search volumes, brand traffic, non-brand traffic, relevance, and the number of backlinks, you should be considering other channels to maximize performance. 

Another example would be that your PPC and paid search teams will have a lot of useful data that you can use to inform your organic strategy. Which are the keywords that are costing the most? You can tailor your efforts to improve organic rankings for these keywords, effectively allowing you to spend less on those terms. 

Your programmatic team will also have access to display placement reports which will provide insight into the publications and websites your in-market audience is visiting. This should then inform your target outreach list. From a paid social perspective, this team will have lots of useful information on what content performs the best providing valuable insight for your PR brainstorms.

Amplifying your Digital PR coverage further

You shouldn’t just be working with other channel teams to define your strategy, you need to work with them throughout the whole process, to amplify results. 

For instance, if you generate a truly fantastic piece of linking digital PR coverage, on a very credible publication. Whilst this will drive SEO performance and some brand awareness, in order to maximize the opportunity, and the valuable third-party validation, make it work even harder by amplifying through paid social.

Mini case study: Maryland cookies use PR to reach 5+ million people

Maryland came to us because they needed to align PR, programmatic, and paid social to drive mass awareness of their new Sugar-Free cookie and deliver an immediate surge in new customer sales. Through an integrated approach of PR, paid social, and programmatic, we reached 5.3 million people across all channels. View the case study here.

We have seen in past campaigns that by utilizing PR content as part of your social ads, not only can they actually perform better than the ad creative, but they can also help to prevent ad fatigue and provide you with additional assets (that you don’t need to pay anything extra for!). 

Immediate steps to help your 2023 marketing plan

In order to be successful, it’s important to create a framework that helps to pull all channels together. 

At Journey Further we use the ‘4Ds’ – Discover, Define, Develop, and Deliver. 


This phase involves asking all the channels to provide insight and data based on their recent campaigns and learnings to date. It is recommended to assign a client lead who can be tasked with pulling together a list of questions and a briefing document to ensure the discovery phase is as useful as possible. This will help identify where the biggest opportunities are across channels. 


Agree on the best objective and goals based on the insight provided by all channels. Create an overarching strategy that will deliver against them and drive maximum ROI. 


Set a clear roadmap, with roles and responsibilities outlined across each channel. Whilst in the case of an organic growth strategy, SEO and PR will take the leading role, it’s important other channels are clear on the ways they can amplify the activity at each stage, and what learnings they can also gather from the activity to improve their own results in-channel. 


Marketing activity is activated. If this is a digital PR campaign then influencer marketing and paid social tactics may be used for example, alongside outreach, to bolster the campaign and drive more buzz and engagement. 

Reporting on the right metrics

Another benefit of working cross-channel is that you will be able to report on many more metrics, giving a more holistic and accurate view of ROI. 

Creating a live, 24/7 reporting dashboard utilizing tools such as Data Studio will allow you and your team members to check in and monitor progress at all times. This will provide you with a continuous cycle of insight to allow you to continuously improve your marketing efforts and deliver one overarching strategy that enables you to remain visible while also driving performance.

Beth Nunnington is the VP of Digital PR and Content Marketing at Journey Further, leading Digital PR strategy for the world’s leading brands. Her work has been featured in The Drum, PR Moment, and Prolific North. Find Beth on Twitter @BethNunnington.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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The post How to use digital PR and cross-channel data to amplify organic growth appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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How To Use Statistics in Digital Marketing

November 11, 2022 No Comments

Marketing, traditional or digital, relies mostly on human psychology. As a marketer, you can follow a few fundamental customs that have worked for similar businesses in the past but can never be too sure about its success until it works. It’s especially true in the case of traditional marketing, where a lack of metrics is quite evident. 

However, with the rise of analytics, numbers have started to play a major role in the success of digital marketing approaches. For example, now that marketers know email marketing, on average they get a return of $ 36 for every $ 1 invested and they can spend a lot more resources on it. 

Statistics offer the much-needed support that marketing strategies need to precisely hit the target audience and their pain points. In this article, we’ll discuss the use of statistics in various digital marketing strategies. 

1. Use of Statistics in Content Marketing

Content marketing involves producing and distributing content in the form of videos, blogs, and social media posts to stimulate interest in the product or service. Although the objective is to generate sales, content marketing doesn’t explicitly promote the products to the audience. 

When you put your first set of content out, a huge engagement and conversion shouldn’t be expected. As you keep uploading content, you start to understand who your ideal audience is and what you can do to refine your approach with content marketing statistics. As a business owner wondering how to grow your business online, closely monitoring the marketing statistics with statistical data analysis methods can help you identify the trends early on, to make the best use of them.

A handy tool for tracking content is Google Analytics. It offers a wide range of metrics including:

  • Traffic, 
  • Bounce rate, 
  • Average session duration, and 
  • Demographics. 

If your content is indexed, you’ll start seeing numbers on these pages. If an underwhelming output is perceived, you need to tweak your approach to satisfy the needs of your intended audience. 

For example, suppose the session duration is lower than expected without it being a fault of the website. In that case, it tells a content marketer that the users aren’t taking the content as valuable and bouncing back sooner than intended. It empowers the marketer to work on it and try something that may work better—like a long-form blog post.  

Another use of statistics in content marketing is keyword research. Content is costly, and resources and money are wasted if you don’t put enough effort into researching the keywords that your content may rank on. The search volume, YoY change, and other attributes are factored in while researching for keywords. Depending on the industry and ranking, you can either go with short-tail keywords or longer ones. 

2. Use of Statistics in Paid Advertisements

It’s quite challenging to generate leads and gain customers without paid advertisements. Although content marketing strategies are great for long-term returns, they don’t work well to get quick returns as paid ads do. Social media platforms, search engines, and mobile apps are major sources of paid ads. 

Statistics and paid ads are linked together to a great extent. Although it may seem like you can get increasing returns by spending more on ads, it’s often not the case. Even if your ads are optimized, it takes in-depth data analytics to generate a satisfactory ROI. 

Irrespective of the platform, you need extensive insights to help you optimize your ads. But let’s keep the discussion limited to Google Ads for they are as effective and complex as you would need.

When starting with Google Ads for any business, different marketers take different approaches. But all of them rely on ad statistics. A common strategy is to start with the PPC model. In this model, the marketer takes the necessary keywords and produces ads that run on a pay-per-click billing system. This often results in great engagement and provides the marketer with insights about the ideal customers and demographics. You can tweak your ads depending on these information sets. 

Following the success of the PPC campaign, you can either go with the conversion or ROAS model. However, if your target is to generate leads or increase brand awareness, you may go a different way depending on your requirements and industry. 

3. Use of Statistics in Social Media Marketing

Social media has become an integral part of marketing campaigns for most B2B and B2C businesses. Although the average conversion rate from social media is quite limited, being free, they’re great for brand awareness campaigns. However, you may need to tweak your approach and content depending on the particular platform.

These constant “tweaks” that you need to implement in your social media marketing rely on statistics. Even though some platforms have more users than others, they may not be the best for your business and industry. 

For example, if you’re an HR SaaS provider, you may find better engagement on LinkedIn than on TikTok. On the other hand, if you’re selling cosmetics, Instagram may be the best place. Marketers should determine which platform deserves their time and resources through statistics.

Statistics is also used in social media marketing to determine the ideal customer profile. As social media users are diverse in terms of their interests and demographics, the harvested data from previous post engagements offer a great insight into who might be your best customer. You can build your sales funnel around their demographic, interests, and behavior to maximize the interactions & conversions. 

Social media is also great for understanding customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and feedback. The homogenous data from the platforms allows social media marketers to understand their prospects better and analyze what can be done to improve unfortunate situations.   

4. Use of Statistics in Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is not only about indexing a page and backlinking. It also revolves around: 

  • Mobile Optimization 
  • User experience
  • Internal links
  • Domain authority
  • URLs
  • Relevance
  • Keywords
  • And of course—content! 

As a marketer, it’s your responsibility to take care of these elements statistically before engaging in other marketing approaches. 

Google search console and Analytics are notably competent tools for this purpose. From providing data about search performances to letting you know about the responsiveness of your website, they make it easier for marketers to leverage statistics to their benefit. They also help you check the website speed and keywords. By following the recommendations provided by the tools, you can rank higher on SERPs. You also can use PageSpeed Insights to get in-depth statistics on the performance and user experience. 

5. Use of Statistics in Email Marketing

We already discussed how effective email marketing is in terms of ROI generation. But to get that sort of return, marketers fall back on statistics to a great extent. Moreover, as emails are heavily filtered and neglected by the majority of email clients and users, extensive statistical data analysis methods are essential for them to be nearly as effective. Let’s discuss a few of them: 

  • Clickthrough Rate

It’s the most common tracking mechanism for any email marketer. The clickthrough rate (CTR) is calculated by how many recipients have clicked on one or more links in the email. You can use the data to conduct A/B tests and tweak your future emails to engage more customers. 

  • Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is determined by the percentage of users who complete a specific action after clicking on a link. It could be purchasing a product or filling out a lead generation form. These stats are highly effective in informing marketers about their emails’ viability and conversion rate optimization. 

  • Bounce Rate

Different from the bounce rate mentioned earlier, the email bounce rate is the percentage of emails that couldn’t be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. It could be a technical issue or a typo, but you must consider removing the hard-bounced emails immediately. Failing to do so can influence your other metrics negatively. 

  • Forwarding Rate

The number of recipients that clicked on the “Share” or “Forward” button present in the box determines the forwarding rate. These tracking measures are mostly used for email newsletters and content. However, you may use it to lure newer inactive prospects into making a sale and reaching hitherto territories. 

  • Unsubscribe Rate

Although not a reliable stat, unsubscribe rates often allow you to understand how the recipients are reacting to your emails. If you’re getting a lot of unsubscribe requests, you may want to change your email marketing strategy before it does more damage. 


1. What is the role of statistics in digital marketing?

In marketing, statistics are used to identify market trends, measure and evaluate marketing programs, and assess their effectiveness. In order to be successful in a campaign, it’s important to identify the target market accurately as well as use effective marketing communication channels.

2. What is the best way to analyze data in digital marketing?

Here are some ways to analyze data:

  • Site Traffic
  • Engagement on social media
  • ROAS
  • C.T.R

3. How does digital data analysis work?

 The purpose of digital analytics is to provide you with a better understanding of what and how users are looking for products and services, and how to enhance your customer experience and strategies by analyzing digital quantitative and qualitative data from all the digital platforms.

4. What happens if I disregard statistics and work on intuition? 

If you fully devote yourself to your intuitions by ditching statistics, you may succeed a few times, but you won’t be able to provide results consistently. 

5. What are some effective tools to source marketing statistics? 

Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Ahrefs, PageSpeed Insights, Google Keyword Planner, etc. are great tools for generating data for marketing purposes. 

The Bottom Line

Hopefully, you’ve understood how digital marketers use statistics to their advantage. Possibly, if you have ever been involved in any digital marketing efforts, you’ve used statistics to refine your approaches. Statistics help digital marketers make informed decisions to maximize their strategies. 

The post How To Use Statistics in Digital Marketing first appeared on PPC Hero.

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From cookie, to beyond CRM and constant consent – why cookieless means a brighter future for digital experience

November 10, 2022 No Comments

The demise of the cookie as we know it may have been given yet another stay of execution by Google, but let there be no doubt: its end is coming. Yet, people are still underprepared: one recent study of 500 CMOs in the UK and US suggests that nearly 50 percent are not well prepared for the days when cookies become a thing of the past.

They are not alone. Repeated delays and a lack of concrete roadmaps for credible scalable long-term alternatives for identification, targeting, reporting and evolving marketing strategies are muddying the waters. However, there are steps which can and should be taken by businesses of all kinds to prepare for the day the cookie is finally removed from the jar. Parking the issue and sleeping on the job could prove more problematic in the long run, as the cookie has been one of the more foundational aspects of performance marketing and digital infrastructure as a whole. Preparing for its absence is a marathon, not a sprint.

It may not be sexy, but a full data compliance, first-party data and activation strategy needs to be a crucial first step. The problem with cookies is their ubiquity. We’ve all become very used to dealing with them; still, they are far from the be all and end all of recognising customers online and especially in these increasingly privacy-conscious days, they have significant limitations. Google’s own VP and GM of ads, Gerry Dischler, put it best: “Cookies and other third party identifiers which some are advocating for within the industry do not meet rising expectations that consumers have when it comes to privacy. They will not stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions. They simply cannot be trusted in the long term.”

Luckily, businesses have been gifted more breathing space to prepare for this coming paradigm shift both organisationally and technically in how brands and platforms garner consent, remain relevant and foster full-funnel, and long-term, relationships. Make no bones about it, the impact of cookie depreciation will be wide ranging. It will restrict the potential for remarketing, long a staple of online acquisition in an attempt to recapture the attention of those who may have looked at a product or site and slipped through the net. It will also limit resolution with walled gardens, which have become so influential. Brands often cannot envisage a future without liaison with Facebook or LinkedIn platforms to broaden the perspective on customers. Apple are already ahead having taken a product first stance on ad privacy opt-ins – given this path is now beaten, it looks set to be a well-trodden one. This may also trigger a complete overhaul of consent and re-evaluation of remarketing as a strategy, and many should be acting now to overhaul their first party data consent if they re-imagine their propositions in a new, cookie-free future.

The reappraisal of data doesn’t stop there – to fill perceived gaps in knowledge we are looking at a rise again in use of second party data sources and partnerships, and profiling to build a more complete view of the customer. As ad networks’ audiences diminish, the size, scale and accuracy of cross-device tracking will make it harder and less valuable to sequence creative. CRM approaches will become much more valuable as a result, evolving into Experience Relationship Management (ERM) and providing a much richer view of customer behaviour. This will fold CRM-to-ERM strategies much more closely back into digital planning, but also drive yet further focus on consent. This in turn will raise the bar for value exchanges with consumers – basic offerings will no longer suffice, and bolder service exchanges will be needed to match the needs of audiences who are well aware of the value of their time, attention and data. When you need to reaffirm consent frequently, you open regular doors to people jumping ship. The value to stay needs to be significant.

The relationship between brand and publisher will also change – no longer as simple as starting with ‘dropping a cookie’, the onus will be on brands to pass express and clear first party consent on to any intended publisher for enrichment. Data clean rooms and an owned-ID graph will become much more widespread to manage this process alongside dynamically maintained consent practice. We also expect to see further IP masking develop, again following the path beaten by Apple with Mail’s ability to mask tracking pixels, and to mask IP addresses from email senders. All of this combines to make brand trust in data handling and stewardship a fundamental given within the post-cookie world.

All of this may seem like a lot – effectively some of the longstanding fabric of digital marketing practice and internet infrastructure is being unpicked, without clarity on what will replace it. But brands and marketers can take action to prepare for what comes next. Embrace changes of adtech partners, who are also better prepared for the newly cookieless landscape. Rethink consent and the reciprocal value exchanges to consumers. Amplify current data collection, and find an ID resolution partner who suits your purposes. Start to build second party data partnerships, and ultimately, recognise that tough conversations are coming and necessary. The cookie-free future might seem uncertain, scary and unfamiliar, but it is worth remembering it’s roots and the often missed potential. Cookies have always been given credibility without question which for technologists has always been a frustration. The cookieless future should remove the limits they have long set on the market, and instead open up a new, broader and richer future for well-rounded and valuable digital experiences with audiences as a whole.

There are some key actions that we’ve been taking with our savvy clients over the past 12-24 months which turn what can seem like a daunting negative into a consumer focused positive:

  1. Assess your vendor list to see which partners you already have, and may not be utilising their data clean room functionality e.g. Microsoft, AppsFlyer, Snowflake, AWS and GCP. Don’t be scared off by putting your eggs into one basket – the whole purpose of the clean room is to be a safe platform agnostic home for all your 1st part data to broker its integration between your external marketing ecosystem partners

realtime monitoring of the marketing ecosystem

  1. Get your technology, product marketing, data and experience design teams talking seriously about evolving your data-value exchanges. Start evolving now, and accelerate if you’ve already started. Move beyond newsletter sign-ups, voucher-codes and re-engagement well after purchase. Build true unique reasons to sign-up and keep connected with your brand e.g. exclusive bundles, loyalty only you can do, sustainability and community programmes that amplify reasons to share data beyond the core products. This can include recycling schemes, pop-up experiences, and partner events.
  2. Don’t forget that the 3rd party cookie-sunset doesn’t shut the door on partner data sharing. Use your clean room (AKA. CDP, DMP 2.0) to broker meaningful and transparent relationships with trusted partners whose proposition is complimentary or can extend new value-adds to your customer base.
  3. .. don’t forget addressing the measurement challenges that the cookie-sunset is already causing. Rethink or reconsider Multi-touch Attribution. It has fallen short of delivering on its promises. Multi-touch Attribution is developing a reputation for failure. It’s NOT about deploying an off the shelf CDP/DMP or attribution modeling solution and hey-presto!

It’s ABOUT combining all available data to interpret and contextualise performance drivers, to demystify contributors and influence confident optimisation – we call this Full-funnel Attribution outputs of which include:

  • Marketing spend with attributed view lens (e.g. Attributed vs Last Click)
  • Channel contribution to drive trusted budget reallocation
  • Explore conversion paths to easily act on conversion blockers
  • Act on segment impact to optimise linear spend and invest in specific cohorts
  • Content effectiveness attributes value to pages and contribution to conversion
  • Project and campaign incrementality drill-downs to map performance attributed to specific initiatives run across teams
  • Unify measurement of search (Paid + Organic) to align strategies and begin to eliminate cannibalisation – starting to confidently prove incrementality


funnel attribution modelling without the cookie

Anthony Magee is the Director of data and experience technology at SYZYGY.

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The post From cookie, to beyond CRM and constant consent – why cookieless means a brighter future for digital experience appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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How to Back Up Your Digital Life

September 25, 2022 No Comments

Backups are boring, but they’ll save your bacon. Here’s how to make sure your data lives on, even when your PC doesn’t.
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Why First-Party Data is The Future of Digital Marketing

August 25, 2022 No Comments

It seems that the era of third-party cookies is becoming a thing of the past. 

Major browsers such as Firefox and Safari had already started to block third-party cookies on their browsers. But they’re not the only ones to do so.

On January 14, 2020, Google announced they would phase out third-party cookies in Chrome. They intended to do this “within two years,” which should have been in 2022.

However, Google pushed back their deadline twice – first, it was delayed until 2023, but recently, Google delayed the phase-out until “late 2024”.

first party data

Nonetheless, what is certain is that third-party cookies are phasing out. It’s only a matter of time until they are entirely gone. 

You may have heard of the cookieless future.

But what does this all mean for digital marketing? 

To a greater extent, what does this mean for digital marketers who have relied on third-party cookies for conversion tracking, reporting, and campaign optimization for around two decades?

In a nutshell, this means that as a digital marketer, you must learn how to harness the power of your own data – otherwise known as first-party data. 

first party data google ads process

In a “cookieless future,” you must learn to adapt the first-party approach to your marketing strategy before third-party cookies phase out.

If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what it all means, don’t worry- you’re far from alone!

What is First-Party Data?

First-party data is simply a type of data or information you collect from your own sources instead of someone else’s (i.e., Google).

first party data example

If you are working with a client, tap into their first-party data.

You can collect first-party data from various assets:

  • Website
  • App
  • Social media
  • Surveys
  • CRM

The more channels you use to engage with your customers or users, the more sources you’ll have for your first-party data.

What separates first-party data from outside sources – namely, second-party and third-party data – is better insight and consent.

Consent is part of the more significant movement towards privacy and transparency, evolving from consumer demand. 

After all, if a user subscribes to your newsletter or submits a contact form, they are giving consent to you using their data.

How Do You Collect First-Party Data? 

Collecting first-party data depends on the channels you use to engage with your customers. 

For example, if you have a website, you most likely have a set of first-party data within your analytics or CRM dashboard.

Website & CRM Data

  • Pageviews
  • Purchase history
  • Browser type
  • Location (city, country, etc.)
  • Demographics
  • Language
  • Referring websites
  • Email
  • Phone Number

Social Media Data

  • Post likes
  • Comments
  • Giveaways
  • Interests

Generally, it’s best to be intentional when gathering first-party data. 

first party data example

For example, if you are working on a marketing campaign, you may compile different data during the awareness and buying decision stages.

You may be interested in what catches the user’s attention in the awareness stage. 

But once the user is about to buy your product, you may want to know what led them to buy it.

Benefits of First-Party Data Over Third-Party Cookies 

First-party data offers some benefits compared to third-party data, especially now that the latter is slowly phasing out. 

first party data example

But even before the phasing out of third-party data, first-party data offers benefits that third-party data cannot provide:

  • First-hand information
  • Compliance with privacy laws
  • Less expensive
  • Signals trustworthiness

First-Hand Information 

Unlike second- and third-party data, first-party data is something that you obtain yourself. 

Hence, you have better control over it – i.e., which data you will collect and how you use it.

Also, first-party data offers better insight than second and third-party data since it comes directly from your customers. 

Compliance with Privacy Laws 

Generally, using first-party data is compliant with privacy laws because your users or customers provide their consent for their data by using your website or any channel you use to engage with them. 

Since they provided this consent, you are less likely to face data privacy complaints.

It would help if you were transparent about processing the data your users are providing.

Less Expensive 

First-party data is generally cheaper compared to third-party data. Sometimes, you can even get them for free.

However, first-party data takes more time to acquire than third-party data.

Nonetheless, given the quality of insight they provide, acquiring or gathering first-party data on your own is always worth your time, energy, and money.

Signals Trustworthiness 

Gathering and primarily using first-party data signals trustworthiness to customers. 

Customers will appreciate transparency in how you gather and use their information.

Introducing Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data is a term that was coined by Forrester in 2020. It refers to data that is collected directly from customers without the need for any third-party involvement. 

You can collect this data type through value exchanges like providing a more personalized experience or offering a discount.

Why Use Zero-Party Data

There are several benefits to using zero-party data. First and foremost, it allows you to collect data directly from your customers, giving you a more complete and accurate picture of who they are and what they want.

It can also help build deeper relationships with your customers, who willingly share information with you. This transparency can lead to more loyalty and engagement down the line.

What First-Party Data Means for Advertisers

First-party data has always been important for advertisers, but it has become even more critical in recent years. 

With new privacy policies and the ability to use customer match lists on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, advertisers have had to rely more heavily on first-party data.

First-party data has been a challenge for many advertisers, as first-party data can be difficult to obtain and often requires a lot of investment. 

However, the benefits of using first-party data are clear. Advertisers who use first-party data can create more targeted and effective campaigns, leading to better results.

If you’re an advertiser, you must invest in first-party data. Doing so will allow you to create more targeted and effective campaigns, ultimately leading to better results.

The Problem for Advertisers

One of the challenges of using first-party data is that it can be difficult to track conversions. When website visitors choose not to accept cookies on a website, it makes it even more challenging to track their activity.

Blocking cookies can make conversion tracking more challenging to measure and report on for advertisers. However, there are ways to get around this issue, and it is something that advertisers will need to continue to work on in the years ahead.

Embracing the “Cookieless Future”

Third-party cookies will be obsolete soon.

As the industry slowly shifts from third-party to first-party data, marketers must make the necessary changes and implement a first-party data approach for future marketing campaigns.

Then, you can learn to collect and utilize first-party data to maximize marketing efforts. 

Ultimately, the benefit of first-party data is for the user.

Since the data comes directly from your customers, you’ll have better insight into how your customers relate to your brand and vice-versa.

Still unsure about first-party data?

Don’t worry. We have until 2024 to figure it out.

The post Why First-Party Data is The Future of Digital Marketing first appeared on PPC Hero.

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Google Universal Search 2200 In a Digital Assistant

April 28, 2022 No Comments

On October 1, 2019, I wrote about a continuation patent update to Google’s Universal Search Results. It was the fourth time that particular patent had gotten updated. I wrote about it under the post name – Google’s New Universal Search Results. It makes sense to see what new changes have happened with a new continuation … Read more

The post Google Universal Search 2200 In a Digital Assistant appeared first on SEO by the Sea ⚓.

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How to safeguard your privacy while building your digital business

April 22, 2022 No Comments

How to safeguard your privacy while building your digital business

30-second summary:

  • The need to become a public persona in order to be a successful business owner is overrated
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to create an anonymous digital entity while using a majority of efficient marketing strategies
  • The problem arises when you already have your personal data published and want to delete it – it is neither easy nor possible (given all the variety of archiving tools that are publicly accessible these days)
  • So how do you keep your life private while owning a successful online business?
  • How do you navigate this conundrum as your private content may still become public at any moment?

The internet is both, a boon and a bane, depending on – how you use it, and how others use it to interact with you. A lot of new businesses and side hustles emerged post the pandemic, while brick and mortar businesses started digitizing themselves. This has raised well-being challenges around how business owners and senior executives can separate work from their personal pockets over the internet. How can they ensure their privacy and online safety are strong while building a digital business footprint?

Here are a few things you should know about safeguarding your online identity from the internet:

1. Making your site anonymous

Digitizing your business while remaining anonymous is difficult but doable. Here are all the steps you need to take to create an anonymous blog. In essence:

  • You need to come up with an online pseudonym (a moniker as we used to call it back in the days when we were using forums and never used our real names around the web)
  • Set up a new email address and create your new public social media profiles representing your business
  • In addition, you will need to pay for domain privacy protection to prevent your phone, email, and address from being tied to your domain. Domain privacy protection replaces personal information with proxy info in the public WHOIS directory.
  • Make sure you are using an SSL certificate (which you can do for free)

I know we have been talking about transparency and authenticity and building your personal brand too much, so creating a successful anonymous site without exposing yourself seems almost like an unpopular choice.

Well, I believe there’s still a place for anonymity in social media, and you can still succeed without the cost of compromising your personal details to the public. You just need to take careful steps when using all kinds of marketing tactics – like blogging and social media marketing – in order to keep your private life – well – private.

Of course, that means, not posting family pictures on Instagram, and not telling personal stories, but there is still a wealth of opportunities, from SEO to PPC ads. With more personal tactics, like blogger outreach, you will likely have to come up with an alternative identity as no one likes anonymous emails or emails coming from a business.

There’s one thing to note here: For both ecommerce and SaaS businesses creating an anonymous business entity is doable. Of course, some of your customers may be curious who is behind your brand but if you have working contact information, it is not a huge issue. It is, of course, more challenging for a freelancing business, as most freelance marketplaces require your real name in order to join.

Some may argue about the possibility of anonymity in the context of E-A-T but in reality, it isn’t common knowledge how exactly Google translates its E-A-T requirements into a ranking algorithm. So far, I’ve seen plenty of websites with no humanized ‘About’ pages ranking, and ranking high. Besides, you can tell the story of your business without telling the personal story of its founder. 

The need to become a public persona in order to be a successful business owner is overrated. It is still a matter of choice. Technical SEO and high-quality backlinks, as well as the quality of content and properly performed keyword research – remain the three pillars of solid organic visibility. A well-done ‘About’ page can exist without personal branding as long as it conveys your business’ proposition, origin story, and conveys values that will resonate with your target consumers/audience.

2. Delete your public content from third-party platforms

Chances are, you have been contributing to several third-party platforms using your real name. It is only natural because there are a few powerful social media players (like Facebook and Quora) that have real-name policies in place preventing users from maintaining anonymity.

If at some point you decide that you don’t want that content to come up in search when anyone is searching for your name, what are your choices?

The hard truth is that removing your own content that you added to a third-party site is a challenge. Some platforms don’t even have tools for mass-deleting content from the platform. In the case of Quora, you will probably need to delete your own account in order to get rid of your content.

In some cases, like Reddit and Tumblr, even deleting your own account won’t help as your content will remain there assigned to a removed entity.

In case you are curious, here’s a break-through of major third-party content-based networks and how you can wipe your content off them in an easier way:

Third-party content- driven platform Any Way to Mass-Delete Content? Will the content be gone once you delete your entire account?
Reddit No No
Quora No Yes
(except for questions which are mostly anonymous)
Instagram Yes
(You can also make your profile private)
Twitter No
(However, you can make them all private/protected)
Facebook No (But you can make them all private/hidden) Yes
Pinterest No Yes
(but NOT re-pins other people make from your pins)
Tumblr Yes
(Using the mass post editor)
Not all
(Your group blog contributions will be kept)
Yelp No Yes
(But not instantly)
YouTube Yes
(You can mass-delete your comments and mass-hide your videos)

In summary, deleting your content from the web will take some work, and in some cases, it will not happen instantly. But it is better than saving future hours trying to block and delete spam communications targeted toward you and your business.

You can, of course, change your username on most of these networks to hide your real name but mind that your previous name will be still visible through the Wayback Machine and similar archiving tools, should anyone take the time to research.

3. Make your remaining accounts private

If you think going off the grid is an extreme sport and want to maintain some sort of social media presence to stay in touch with friends and family, simply make your accounts private. But remember that your name and profile picture may still be public and findable through Google, even when a profile is set to private.

Here’s an example of a private account on Instagram which still makes your name, username, description, profile picture, and website public, even for a non-logged-in viewer:

Safeguard your personal identity over the social media while growing a digital business- making your account private still keeps some parts of your profile visible

Generally, when a social media account is set to private, neither logged-in nor unregistered people cannot access your content or your friend list.

The culture of spontaneous sharing is going too strong: People publish and share private information without much consideration or without meaning any harm.

And let’s not forget about an always possible data breach risk that can land your personal information in the possession of hackers. From the past incidents, it is quite clear a social media platform is unlikely to even let their users know about the breach (they may do that but months after it happened, months after your private data may have ended up in the wrong hands).

That being said, deleting your accounts is probably a better – still not a perfect – option.


The truth is, once we start opening up our lives to the digital world, that private content gets wings of its own. It becomes very difficult to bring it under control and can easily spread without you even being aware.

If this is something of a concern to you, take at least some steps now: When starting a new business or digitizing your current one, keep your anonymity options in mind and make an informed decision as to what you want your customers to know about your personal life.

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

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The post How to safeguard your privacy while building your digital business appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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A must-have web accessibility checklist for digital marketers

January 14, 2022 No Comments

A must-have web accessibility checklist for digital marketers

30-second summary:

  • Accessibility underpins stellar user experience and positive brand perception, the key factors that appeal to value-driven consumers
  • According to WebAIM, 98 percent of US-based websites aren’t accessible
  • Though not a sparkly aspect of digital marketing strategies, there are multiple layers to “why?” and “how?” brands must be accessible across the internet

Marketers develop and execute numerous strategies to broaden their business reach. But one critical factor that most marketers neglect is web accessibility. And this neglect leads to their business being closed off for a large majority of potential customers.

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility ensures that the internet is accessible, usable, and beneficial for everyone alike. It considers all possible disabilities to ensure marketing messages are delivered to every kind of audience and get the most value out of the website.

As important as it may seem right now, web accessibility is often the last thing marketers think of when building a website. And then, too, it is often brushed under the rug.

Despite the World Wide Web Consortium, commonly known as W3C developing dedicated web content accessibility guidelines to make the internet more accessible, digital inclusivity remains a rarity.

And this unfortunate reality acts not only as an accessibility barrier, but a growth barrier as well.

The value of web accessibility in modern marketing initiatives

Acknowledging and adopting web accessibility enhances the customer experience, opens new doors for your business, uplifts marketing outcomes, and boosts revenue in more ways than just one.

1. Extends your market reach

15 percent of the world’s population is disabled and belongs to a highly valuable market segment with strong spending powers.

With a digitally inclusive web presence, your business interacts with an increased volume of people who it would’ve missed otherwise. In this way, web accessibility brings a whole new community of prospects you can interact with, win as customers and boost your revenue.

2. SEO benefits

Search engines prefer to rank websites that are secure, accessible, and valuable to all kinds of users. Moreover, they perceive digitally inclusive websites as authentic sources of information and favor them in rankings.

As a result, enhancing web accessibility undeviatingly supplements your online marketing with an SEO boost, helping you get to the coveted top position in SERPs. It opens another channel for web traffic that connects you with your target audience.

3. Enhanced user experience

User experience is at the heart of your digital presence as it relates directly to conversions. The basic principle of UX optimization dictates that you research what your target audience wants and deliver it.

In the case of differently-abled audiences, it’s common sense that they would want you to deliver a website they can interact with and benefit from.

By optimizing your website’s accessibility, you boost its usability which is a core element of user experience.

If all other elements of UX are optimized, enhanced usability wins customer satisfaction and gives the prospect a final push towards conversion, contributing to your revenue.

4. Positive brand perception

Web accessibility enables your brand to appear as a strong advocate of digital inclusivity and works to build positive brand perception. Now isn’t that a critical outcome of modern marketing?

Today where people seek a business’s values before engaging with it, a concrete stance on digital inclusivity reflects your values of empathy, compassion, and equal opportunities for all. This builds your community of like-minded people who then contribute to your revenue.

Five-point checklist to get started with web accessibility

For maximum effect, web accessibility should be considered a priority rather than an afterthought and must be included in your digital and marketing strategy.

Following are a few ways through which you can uplift your digital inclusivity and leave a larger impact:

1. Multilingual SEO

Web accessibility not only aims at eliminating accessibility barriers for people with permanent, temporary, or situational disabilities. It also removes linguistic barriers, so people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds can have equal access.

Given that English is spoken by a meager 4.83 percent of the world’s population, multilingual SEO eliminates linguistic barriers and helps searchers from all linguistic backgrounds to benefit from the internet.

Here’s a guide I created on multilingual SEO to get you started.

2. Voice search

The introduction of smart assistants such as Alexa has pioneered a new era of voice search ubiquity and the consequent web accessibility.

As an excellent avenue to pursue for businesses looking to be more digitally inclusive, voice search unlocks your website’s chances of interaction with people who cannot search the conventional way.

Here are some best practices to optimize voice search SEO:

  • Use long tail keywords that are specific, descriptive, and natural for users’ language
  • Serve up content that gives direct answers
  • Optimize your ‘Google My Business’ account
  • Create voice search FAQ pages
  • Implement schema which is a code that you can add to your website that improves search visibility

For more depth, check out this voice search SEO guide for trends and best practices.

Example of schema that improves web accessibility
Example of schema that improves web accessibility

3. Alternate (Alt) text

Alt text helps visually impaired visitors understand what a web image depicts. Hence image optimization allows web visitors to absorb the information your website offers in its totality and ties back to enhanced user experience.

Tips for using alt text:

  • Keep it descriptive and keyword specific, this will show up in case your page loads slow or if there was an audio description needed
  • For ecommerce sites, make good use of structured data to give the search engine more specific details about your products’ color, type, size, and a lot more

If you need more details, here’s an evergreen image optimization guide.

4. Hierarchical organization or content using H tags

Hierarchical layout shapes your web content in an easy-to-read structure. A critical part of web accessibility (and SEO), a hierarchical organization can make your website usable and understandable for users with certain cognitive disabilities and people with short attention spans, boosting their satisfaction and your websites’ overall UX.

Check out this guide on optimizing meta tags.

5. Color contrast

Color contrast involves adjusting the color of foreground web elements (for instance, fonts) against the color of the background elements to ensure that the foreground elements, which bear value, stand out and are easily readable for people with visual impairment.

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility has identified a color contrast ratio that ensures that your website is visible and readable for people with color-related visual impairments.


Web accessibility is a necessity, but unfortunately, it doesn’t get the same limelight as other digital marketing avenues that promise increased reach, better perception, and higher revenue.

This reality can work in your favor if you capitalize on the lack of web accessibility and gain a competitive edge by adopting digital inclusivity.

There are numerous marketing benefits of web accessibility, most significant of which may be the development of positive brand perception in an era of value-driven shoppers.

Inclusive marketing initiatives are commendable. But they are only valuable when backed by conscious efforts of enhancing your business’s digital accessibility. So, endeavoring to actualize web accessibility strategies can help you become the pioneer of an internet era where digital inclusivity is a priority.

Atul Jindal is a web design and marketing specialist, having interests in doing websites/apps optimized for SEO with a core focus on conversion optimization. He creates web experiences that bring conversations and transform web traffic into paying customers or leads.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post A must-have web accessibility checklist for digital marketers appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Real-Time Bidding and How it is Transforming Digital Marketing

November 24, 2021 No Comments

Real-time bidding has allowed businesses to buy through ad exchanges and inventory. In this article, we’ll discuss how RTB is transforming digital marketing.

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Build a digital ops toolbox to streamline business processes with hyperautomation

July 14, 2021 No Comments

Reliance on a single technology as a lifeline is a futile battle now. When simple automation no longer does the trick, delivering end-to-end automation needs a combination of complementary technologies that can give a facelift to business processes: the digital operations toolbox.

According to a McKinsey survey, enterprises that have likely been successful with digital transformation efforts adopted sophisticated technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things or machine learning. Enterprises can achieve hyperautomation with the digital ops toolbox, the hub for your digital operations.

The hyperautomation market is burgeoning: Analysts predict that by 2025, it will reach around $ 860 billion.

The toolbox is a synchronous medley of intelligent business process management (iBPM), robotic process automation (RPA), process mining, low code, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and a rules engine. The technologies can be optimally combined to achieve the organization’s key performance indicator (KPI) through hyperautomation.

The hyperautomation market is burgeoning: Analysts predict that by 2025, it will reach around $ 860 billion. Let’s see why.

The purpose of a digital ops toolbox

The toolbox, the treasure chest of technologies it is, helps with three crucial aspects: process automation, orchestration and intelligence.

Process automation: A hyperautomation mindset introduces the world of “automating anything that can be,” whether that’s a process or a task. If something can be handled by bots or other technologies, it should be.

Orchestration: Hyperautomation, per se, adds an orchestration layer to simple automation. Technologies like intelligent business process management orchestrate the entire process.

Intelligence: Machines can automate repetitive tasks, but they lack the decision-making capabilities of humans. And, to achieve a perfect harmony where machines are made to “think and act,” or attain cognitive skills, we need AI. Combining AI, ML and natural language processing algorithms with analytics propels simple automation to become more cognitive. Instead of just following if-then rules, the technologies help gather insights from the data. The decision-making capabilities enable bots to make decisions.


Simple automation versus hyperautomation

Here’s a story of evolving from simple automation to hyperautomation with an example: an order-to-cash process.

Enterprise – TechCrunch

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