83 Exceptional Social Media and Marketing Statistics for 2014

“Big data” is one of the trendiest buzzwordy terms in marketing/technology/business today.

So before it gets replaced by the next trendy buzzwordy term, here’s some marketing-related big data for you: 83 valuable facts, stats, and research findings covering strategy, social media, SEO, online advertising, email marketing, content, blogging, social networking, video and more.

B2B Content Marketing Trends

2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs

What do 40% of B2B buyers say about LinkedIn, that only 19% say about Twitter? Which “social” brands aren’t really social at all? What do only 48% of searches result in? What do 91% of B2B marketers do, but only 36% do well? (No, not that.) What do 73% of reporters say press releases should contain?

Find the answers to those questions and many, many more here in more than 80 social, content, search, and email marketing facts and statistics from the past few months.

4 Marketing Management and Measurement Stats

1. Just 35% of B2B marketing executives say they can calculate the ROI of their marketing spend most or all of the time. 42% say they can calculate ROI only some of the time, rarely or not at all. (B2B Marketing)

2. While two out of three U.S. CMOs say they feel pressure from the top to prove the value of marketing, just 51% of CEOs agree “that marketing’s financial value is clear to the business.” (MarketingCharts)

3. That’s likely because only 45% of CMOs are confident “that they know which metrics or business outcomes their key stakeholders care about.” (MarketingCharts)

4. “Data analytics are currently most commonly used by B2B marketing leaders to measure and report marketing’s performance (64%), as well as to justify (55%) and allocate (52%) the marketing budget. Analytics are least commonly used to fine-tune the marketing mix (14%).” (MarketingCharts)

4 B2B Marketing Stats

5. Consumerization of B2B marketing? 57% of B2B vendors say they are shifting their B2B commerce transactions from offline to online and self-service, and 44% agree “that B2B commerce is adopting B2C best practices in order to optimize the purchasing experience.” (MarketingCharts)

6. Online sales currently account for about 35% of total revenue for B2B vendors, though that’s higher (41%) among US companies. (MarketingCharts)

7. 40% of B2B buyers say LinkedIn is important when researching technologies and services to purchase; 19% say the same for Twitter. (Social Media Today)

8. B2B buyers today are 70%-90% of the way through their “buying journey” before they reach out to a vendor. (B2B Marketing)

6 Social Media Marketing Stats

9. Social media marketing budgets are projected to double in the next five years. (SocialTimes)

10. The top three social networks used by B2B marketers are LinkedIn (91%); Twitter (85%); and Facebook (81%). However, just 62% of marketers say that LinkedIn is effective, while 50% say the same for Twitter and only 30% of B2B marketers view Facebook as effective. (FlipCreator)

11. This one may surprise you: Google+ actually averages more visits per month than Facebook. Google+ receives 1.2 billion visits per month compared to Facebook’s 809 million. (iMedia Connection)

12. 83% of B2B marketers invest in social media to increase brand exposure; 69% to increase web traffic; and 65% to gain market insights. (Social Media Today)

13. Some brands perceived as social aren’t—at all. As of 2013, Apple had yet to claim a Twitter account, Facebook page, or any other type of social media presence. Ditto for Trader Joe’s. (iMedia Connection)

14. People spend, on average, 4X more time on Tumblr and Pinterest than they do on Twitter. (iMedia Connection)

7 SEO and Search Stats

15. Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78% of U.S. internet users researching products and services online. (B2B Marketing)

16. 54% of B2B buyers begin their buying process with informal research about business problems; nearly 80% of the time spent researching is done line. (B2B Marketing)

17. 33% of organic search clicks go to the first result. (SocialTimes)

18. The top 4 positions, generally those considered to be “above the fold”, receive 83% of first page organic clicks. (Brent Carnduff)

(However, as noted here previously, “a lower position isn’t always bad. If the searcher clicks the ‘back’ button because the top result didn’t meet expectations, then he or she is 5-8 times more likely to click on a lower result than on the initial search.”)

19. It’s also important to consider that only 48% of searches result in an organic click. The remaining 52% result in either a click on a paid ad, leaving the search engine results page without clicking on any listing, or starting a new search. (Brent Carnduff)

20. In addition, as search intent becomes more detailed or specific (long-tail search phrases), the click distribution across the first page organic listings begins to even out, as searchers look for the best match or answer to their query. (Brent Carnduff)

21. And furthermore, long-tail searches have higher overall organic click-through rates. 56% of searches for phrases of four words or more result in a click on an organic result, compared to just 30% for single-word search queries. (Brent Carnduff)

7 Online Advertising Stats

22. Of the three major types of online advertising (search, display, and social), search is viewed as the best channel for driving direct sales, cited by 40% of marketers (vs. 26% who use display to drive sales and 18% using social). However, just over a third of marketers view each channel as valuable for lead generation. (eMarketer)

23. Landing page optimization is viewed as the most important tactic for optimizing the performance of paid search advertising, while targeting by segment is most important in optimizing display ad performance. (eMarketer)

24. 8% of Internet users account for 85% of online display ad clicks. (iMedia Connection)

25. In 2013, Internet advertising expenditures surpassed newspaper ad spending for the first time. Internet ads now account for 21% of all advertising dollars, second only to television at 40%. (Ad Age)

26. Of the 100 largest global advertisers, 41 are headquartered in the U.S., 36 in Europe, and 23 in Asia. Consumer electronics and technology is the fastest-growing ad category among the Global 100. (Ad Age)

27. The average click-through rate (CTR) for online display ads is 0.11% (roughly one click per one thousand views). CTRs aer highest in Malasia (0.30%) and Singapore (0.19%), and lowest in Australia and the U.K. (both at 0.07%). (Smart Insights)

28. Among different display ad formats, large rectangle ads (336 x 280 pixels) generate the highest CTRs on average at 0.21-0.33%, while full banners (468 x 6) generate the lowest at 0.04%. (Smart Insights)

3 Email Marketing Stats

29. Mobile matters. A lot. In 2013, 62% of emails were opened on a mobile device (48% on smartphones and 14% on tablets). (Heidi Cohen)

30. Adding social sharing buttons to email messages an increase click-through rates by more than 150%. (SocialTimes)

31. 48% of consumers say email is their preferred form of communication with brands. (iMedia Connection)

14 Content Marketing Facts and Stats

32. Though more than 90% of marketers now use content marketing, just 42% of B2B marketers and 34% of B2C marketers believe they are effective at this. (e-Strategy Trends)

33. Still, more than 70% of both B2B and B2C marketers plan to produce more content in 2014 than they did in 2013, and six out of ten plan to increase their content marketing budgets. (e-Strategy Trends)

34. 78% of CMOs believe custom content is the future of marketing. It’s not clear what the other 22% are thinking. (SocialTimes)

35. Customer testimonials are the most effective form of content marketing. (SocialTimes)

36. The top challenge for content marketers is “lack of time,’ according to 57% of B2C and 69% of B2B marketers (multiple responses permitted). (e-Strategy Trends)

37. When forced to choose only one “top challenge” in content marketing, 30% of marketers said “not enough time”; 11% said “producing enough content”; and another 11% said it was “producing engaging content.” (@Robert_Rose on SlideShare)

38. Content creation is taking an increasing share of marketing budgets. Nearly half of marketers devote at least 10% of their total budgets to content development. One in five spend 25% or more. (eMarketer)

39. The two most popular formats for marketing content are articles (including internal and guest blog posts), used by 76% of marketers, and video, used by 60%. (eMarketer)

40. 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing. But just 36% say they are effective at it. (FlipCreator)

41. The most effective B2B content marketers 1) have a documented strategy; 2) use more than a dozen different tactics; 3) use an average of seven different social media platforms; and 4) devote nearly 40% of their budgets to content marketing, as shown below. (FlipCreator)

B2B Content Marketing Statistics 2014

Image Credit: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs

42. The top three content marketing tactics used by B2B marketers are social media other than blogs (87%); articles on their own websites (83%); and e-newsletters (80%). (FlipCreator)

43. B2B marketers rate in-person events and case studies as the most effective content marketing tactics (see full list below). (FlipCreator)

2014 Top B2B Content Marketing Tactics

Image Credit: 2014 B2B Content Marketing Trends–North America: Content Marketing Institute / MarketingProfs

44. The top three organizational goals for B2B content marketing are brand awareness (82% of companies); lead generation (74%); and customer acquisition (73%). The top three metrics used to measure success are website traffic (63%); sales lead quality (54%); and social media sharing (50%). (FlipCreator)

45. 60% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. (iMedia Connection)

9 Social Networking Demographics Figures and Statistics

46. Pinterest is from Venus, Google+ is from Mars. Two-thirds of Google+ users are male. 69% of Pinterest users are female. (Digital Buzz Blog)

47. Women are more social than men. (Shocking, I know.) One-half (49.0%) of U.S. adult women visit social media sites at least a few times per day, versus one-third (34.0%) of men. (New Media and Marketing)

48. About three-quarters of all Internet users are members of at least one social network. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

49. Grandma and grandpa are crashing teenagers’ social media party. The fastest-growing age cohort on Twitter is 55-to-64 year-olds, up 79% since 2012. And the 45-54 age bracket is the fastest-growing group on both Facebook and Google+. (Fast Company)

50. But social media use is still much more common among the young. 89% of Internet users aged 18-29 are active on social networks, versus 43% of those 65 and older. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

51. Millennials, aka Gen Y, will account for 27% of the total U.S. population in 2014 (vs. 26% Baby Boomers), and 25% of the labor force (vs. 38% Boomers). (AllTwitter)

52. 56% of millennials won’t accept jobs from firms that prohibit the use of social media in the office, and more than eight in ten say that user generated content on company websites at least somewhat influences what they buy. (AllTwitter)

53. The collective spending power of millennials will surpass that of Baby Boomers by 2018, and millennials will comprise 75% of the global labor force by 2025. (AllTwitter)

54. Millennials are, in general, not loyal to employers (91% expect to stay in a job for less than three years) but are loyal to brands (95% want brands to court them actively).(AllTwitter)

7 Business Blogging Stats and Facts

55. 76% of B2B companies maintain blogs. (FlipCreator)

56. 52% of marketers say their company blog is an important channel for content marketing. (eMarketer)

57. B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads than those that don’t. (SocialTimes)

58. 62% of B2B marketers rate blogging as an effective content marketing tactic. However, 79% of best-in-class marketers rank blogs as the most effective tactic, while just 29% of their least effective peers concur. (FlipCreator)

59. 57% of U.S. online adults read blogs. And of that group, two-thirds “say a brand mention or promotion within context of the blog influences their purchasing decisions.” (New Media and Marketing)

60. Among U.S. adults aged 18-34, four-fiths say bloggers “can be very or somewhat influential in shaping product or service purchasing decisions. (New Media and Marketing)

61. Though 62% of marketers blog or plan to blog in 2013, only 9% of US marketing companies employ a full-time blogger. (Fast Company)

3 Facebook Marketing Stats

62. Facebook now has nearly 1.2 billion total users. (Digital Buzz Blog)

63. 23% of Facebook users check their account more than five times per day. (Digital Buzz Blog)

64. 47% of marketers say Facebook is overrated as a marketing platform. (iMedia Connection)

3 LinkedIn Marketing Stats

65. 45% of B2B marketers have gained a customer through LinkedIn. (Social Media Today)

66. LinkedIn is adding, on average, two members per second. However – LinkedIn has a lower percentage of active users than Pinterest, Google+ (?), Twitter or Facebook, which means “you’re probably not going to have as good a response with participatory content on LinkedIn, like contests or polls, as you might on Facebook or Twitter…(though) passive content like blog posts or slide decks might be just right for your LinkedIn audience.” (Fast Company)

67. Only 20% of LinkedIn users are under the age of 30. (iMedia Connection)

3 Twitter Marketing Stats

68. B2B marketers who use Twitter generate, on average, twice as many leads as those who don’t. (Social Media Today)

69. 71% of tweets are ignored. Only 23% generate a reply. (iMedia Connection)

70. Advertising on Twitter costs nearly six times as much as Facebook ads on a CPM basis; however, the CTR for Twitter ads is 8-24 times higher. (Smart Insights)

3 Google+ Marketing Stats

71. Google+ has more than one billion total users, though only about a third (359 million) are active. (eConsultancy)

72. Users spend an average of three minutes per month on Google+. (iMedia Connection)

73. 70% of brands have a presence on Google+. (WordPress Hosting SEO)

6 Visual Content (Image and Video) Marketing Stats

74. Nearly two-thirds of people are visual learners, and visual data is processed much faster by the brain than is text. (SocialTimes)

75. Adding videos to landing pages can increase conversions by nearly 90%. (SocialTimes)

76. YouTube reaches more U.S. adults aged 18-34 than any cable network. (Fast Company)

77. More than three-quarters (77%) of brand posts shared on Facebook are photos. (iMedia Connection)

78. 73% of reporters say that press releases should contain images. (SocialTimes)

79. There are five million new businesses started each year. One out of 500 get funded and achieve a successful exit. (@Robert_Rose on SlideShare)

3 Marketing Career-Related Stats

80. 79% of B2B marketing executives report noticable skills gaps in the teams they manage. The top areas for skills gaps are in data analysis, customer insight, and digital marketing techniques. (B2B Marketing)

81. Social media experts are in demand. Job postings on LinkedIn for social media positions have grown 1,300% since 2010. (The Strategy Web)

82. Looking for a job in social media? The top five cities for job openings with “social media” in the title are:

  • • New York
  • • Los Angeles
  • • San Francisco
  • • London
  • • Chicago

(The Strategy Web)

(That social media job had better pay well though. NY, SF and LA are all among the top 10 most expensive US cities to live in and London is the 15th-most expensive city globally.)

And One Final Statistic that Simply Cannot be Categorized

83. Food is the top category on Pinterest; 57% of users discuss food-related content. Garlic Cheesy Bread is the most repinned Pinterest Pin. (Digital Buzz Blog)

Post to Twitter

24 Exceptional Email Marketing Tips, Techniques and Tactics

Email marketing is like the car my teenagers drive (and you thought there were no original analogies left!)—it’s been around for 20 years and there’s nothing flashy about it, but it’s reliable, effective, and there’s at least a 50-50 chance it will continue to do it’s job for quite some time to come.

In spite of all the abuse of the medium that’s been perpetrated over the years either maliciously (in the case of spammers) or simply as a result of ineptitude by well-meaning but ill-informed marketers, consumers and business decision makers alike continue to be willing to exchange their email addresses for the promise of valuable information on a regular basis. But both groups have become more sophisticated; more wary of subscribing in the first place, and quicker to unsubscribe if they don’t perceive value in a sender’s communications.

That means email marketers need to be more thoughtful and creative in terms of attracting subscribers, crafting email subject lines that will lead to opens and click-throughs, designing messages that are distinctive yet clear on any device, and most importantly, creating content that both provides value to the recipient and achieves organizational goals.

How can you make sure your emails avoid the spam filter and actually reach their intended recipients? What are the most effective techniques for building an opt-in email list? How can you minimize unsubscribes? What’s the best day and time to send emails? How can you craft killer subject lines that maximize open rates?

Find the answers to these questions and more here in two dozen of the best email marketing guides from the past year.

General Email Marketing Tips & Techniques

The Ultimate List of Email SPAM Trigger Words by HubSpot

Karen RubinThe key to maximizing your email open rates is to write great subject lines, but before recipients will even see your subject lines, your messages have to get by spam filters. Karen Rubin lists nearly 400 words and phrases to avoid in subject lines in order to improve deliverability, such as “order status,” “home based,” “lowest price,” “free offer” and, of course, “Viagra.”

Email Marketing: Avoid the pitfalls of a direct-mail mindset by MarketingSherpa

Adam T. SuttonAdam T. Sutton advises marketers not to treat email like direct mail, for example by avoiding segmentation: “In direct mail, segmentation is used to keep costs down…When email came along, direct mail marketers saw a bonanza. An email cost less than a penny to send. Companies stopped seeing the point in segmentation.” That’s the kind of thinking that produces spam.

10 Unsubscribe Page Best Practices by Betterment

Jason AmunwaWriting that “Catching your precious subscriber with one foot out the door isn’t the same as permanently bidding them arriverderci. Handled correctly, your unsubscribe page can actually snatch a loyal subscriber from the jaws of…whatever the opposite of that is,” Jason Amunwa lists 10 techniques to win back unsubscribers, among them giving your readers options (such as changing message frequency), letting them know you’re a person, and not using one-click unsubscribe.

Why you should measure email ROI by iMedia Connection

Mitch LapidesMitch Lapides explains why measuring email ROI (and not just metrics like open rates) is important, how to measure it, and the four main categories of factors that can affect ROI, such as list hygiene: “a high number of inactive users—subscribers who have stopped opening your emails but haven’t unsubscribed—can hurt your email deliverability. Between 0.5 percent and 2 percent of a typical email list becomes inactive each month. And it’s not unusual to find between 30 percent and 60 percent of an email list inactive, especially if an organization hasn’t removed inactive subscribers or run a re-engagement campaign in a few years.”

Answers to Your Top 11 Questions About Email Marketing by HubSpot

Allyson GalleAllyson Galle answers the top questions posed following a popular email webinar, such as: should emails come from the company or from an individual name (answer: it depends, test); how long should subject lines be; what constitutes a decent click-through rate; and what’s the best day and time to send emails?

7 Steps to a High-Converting Email Marketing Campaign by The Daily Egg

Sherice JacobSherice Jacob provides an “‘email marketing campaign checklist’ of how to not only launch a profitable mailing list, but keep subscribers hungry for more,” from creating your signup form and determining the optimal placement for it on your website to personalizing email subject lines and continually testing.

12 Things About Effective Email Marketing Your Boss Expects You to Know by Polaris B

Shelley PringleShelley Pringle shares a dozen best practices for effective email marketing, from having a clear goal for each message (“Every marketing email you send should include a call-to-action. If there’s no link in the email, you won’t be able to track or measure your campaign, including the open rate, and more importantly, the click-through rate”) and segmenting your list to focusing on benefits and keeping your messages brief.

How to Combine Email and Social

Email and Social: A Killer Combo by ClickZ

Robin NeifieldRobin Neifield offers a dozen tips to help “integrate email and each of the major social properties,” such as, on Facebook, “Definitely use your status updates to tease upcoming emails—especially if you have an offer or promo. Provide a link so users can sign up for email if they are not already on the list.”

An inside look into the convergence of email and social by iMedia Connection

Wikus EngelbrechtWikus Engelbrecht offers “insights and practical tips on how to integrate and manage your cross-channel voice and leverage (email, social and mobile) in unison to get better results.” For example, create integrated messages: start by crafting “a short and sharp (email) subject line, at 50 characters or less; which should clearly state what your readers can expect from your email, what’s in it for them or what you want them to do as a result…By taking that message to the 120 character frame in Twitter, you can create more interest and clarify your call-to-action. Add a #hashtag and use a shortened URL to save on character count. A Facebook post gives you the opportunity to entice fans even more by expanding your message to 150 characters. Remove the #hashtag you used in Twitter and add a compelling graphic.”

Email Marketing Benchmarks, Facts and Statistics

Is Email Dead? Nope [INFOGRAPHIC] by eStrategy After Hours

David EricksonA great infographic to share with the “email is dead / social media is the future” crowd. Among the facts David Erickson shares here: three times as many people have email accounts as are on Facebook, and compared to Twitter the ratio is ten to one. There are 60 million Facebook posts each day—but 188 billion email messages sent. Email volume continues to grow, and more than half of marketers still say that email is popular in business.

Marketer Concern: Email Hit By Problems, Inbox Rates Drop by MediaPost

Gavin O-MalleyGavin O’Malley reports that less than four out of five marketing emails actually make it to the recipient’s inbox, and the rate is trending downward. He also explains why more messages are ending up in spam folders and what marketers can do to improve their deliverability rates.

Email Campaign Volumes Surge, Open Rates Stronger by MarketingProfs

Research from Epsilon shows that average email open rates increased in the past year,  while typical click-through rates fell slightly (from 5.5% to 5.2%). Among other findings: messages from banks and general retailers garner the highest average open rates (34%-36%), while emails from consumer publishers and apparel retailers are most likely to be ignored. By type, service-related emails have the highest open rate (46%) while editorial emails average 33% and marketing messages just 20%.

Infographic: Email open rates by time of day by MarketingSherpa

David KirkpatrickDavid Kirkpatrick shares an infographic that breaks down common patterns in email open and click-through rates to try to identify the best time to send emails. Among the findings: emails are most likely to be opened between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. and again between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Also, nearly a quarter of all commercial emails are opened within one hour after sending. After 24 hours, the open rate is near zero.

B2B Email Marketing Best-Practices and Trends by MarketingProfs

According to a study by Pardot, only 30% of B2B marketers use email as a primary lead generation tactic; most consider email to be a more valuable tool for lead nurturing. The majority of B2B marketers (65%) spend less than 25% of their budgets on email. Tuesday is generally viewed as the best day for sending B2B emails, and Friday the worst. And there’s more.

Email List Building Tips

25 Clever Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List by HubSpot

Andrew PitreConstantly adding new names to your subscriber list is crucial, because as Andrew Pitre reports, “your email marketing database degrades by about 25% every year. Your contacts’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another, they opt-out of your email communication, or they abandon that old AOL address they only use to fill out forms on websites.” He then offers more than two dozen tips to help keep your list growing, from QR codes and online contests to ebooks and videos.

5 Ways to Generate More Email Sign Ups by Duct Tape Marketing

John JantschJohn Jantsch steps through five tactics by building an email list, such as feature with content: “Many WordPress theme frameworks today (Genesis and Thesis) allow for what are being called ‘feature boxes.’ These feature boxes make it easy to place a sign up box at, say, the end of each blog post or top of your blog home page. Placing your email offer where people are reading and enjoy your content improves uptake.”

Email Tips for Lead Nurturing

6 Lead Nurturing Emails Every Business Should Send by HubSpot

Corey EridonCorey Eridon advises that “If you’re interested in starting or improving upon your existing lead nurturing campaigns, make sure you incorporate these 6 types of emails into your lead nurturing mix to help move your leads swiftly through the sales funnel,” including emails that are personal, that educate, and that help recipients improve some aspect of their lives.

7 Critical Things Every Lead Nurturing Email Needs to Communicate by HubSpot

Sarah GoligerNoting that “The idea behind lead nurturing is to provide your leads with valuable content that targets their needs and goals in order to guide them through your buying cycle until they are sales-ready,” Sarah Goliger serves up seven tips for more effective nurturing emails, from communicating to your prospects based on information you already know about them to putting the emphasis on helping your prospects—not yourself.

Email Design Tips

It’s Not You, It’s Outlook – The Complete Guide for Email Marketers by VerticalResponse Marketing Blog

Noting that Outlook has numerous problems rendering HTML emails properly–“If you’re an email marketer… you’ve probably encountered some form of Outlook error. Your email looks pristine on your shiny iPhone, Android device, or web-based email client, but suddenly blows up when you open it up in Outlook”–this post details HTML elements that Outlook does not support, and provides recommendations for work-arounds.

Creating Emails That Pop: Basics of Design & Layout by Litmus

Lauren SmithLauren Smith reviews the basics of email design: color, typography, layout, and device-awareness. That last consideration is easy to overlook, but “rather than focusing on creating emails that look great in one particular environment, emails should be optimized for all inboxes,” particularly since only 3% of recipients will typically bother trying to read your email on more than one device.

How to Write Awesomely Effective Email Subject Lines

14 Email Subject Line Hacks by ClickZ
***** 5 STARS

Brian MasseyNoting that “If our email is to be read, our subject lines must save our recipients from mindless autonomy,” Brian Massey lists 14 helpful “hacks” for creating compelling subject lines, such as shock and awe (example: “Media Measurement: Science, Art or a Load of Crap”), make up words (“The Making of Twittamentary”), and metaphors and similes (“Snackable Content: Working in a Bite-Sized Future”).

The Subject Line Strategy That Gets 541% More Response by AWeber Communications

Amanda GagnonAmanda Gagnon reports on an extensive test conducted to determine which type of email subject lines (clear or creative) perform better in terms of comments, tweets, Facebook Likes, traffic and subscriptions. And the winner is…

Use web analytics to choose email subject lines by WhatCounts

Christopher PennChristopher S. Penn provides step-by-step instructions one how to use Google Analytics data to identify high-volume, high CTR search queries you can test as email subject lines “to see if your audience is as interested in your emails as they are in what’s bringing them to your website.” Note that you’ll need to have your Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools accounts linked in order for this to work.

How to Write the Perfect Subject Line [Infographic] by Litmus

Justine JordanAlthough she acknowledges that “there’s really no such thing as the perfect subject line—or, if there is, it must be hiding with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster,” Justine Jordan nevertheless takes a shot at that process with this helpful infographic. Among the tips: ask questions; keep subject lines short (40 characters or less if possible); focus on being relevant, specific and timely; and always be testing.

Post to Twitter

25 of the Best Web Presence Optimization Guides of 2012

The past year has seen a steady flow of thoughtful articles and blog posts dealing with topics like the changing world of SEO, the convergence of search and social, the growing importance of PR in website rankings, the critical role content marketing plays in online visibility, the need to coordinate the efforts of various types on digital marketing experts…in short,  about web presence optimization (WPO)–even if most of the authors don’t actually use that term. Best WPO Guides and Tips of 2012

WPO is the overarching term and concept that these writers are searching for to describe the significant and undeniable changes that have taken place in the search landscape over the past 12-18 months. Backlinks still matter—but the quality of those links matters more than the quantity (indeed, sites can even be penalized for having too many spammy, low-quality backlinks pointing to them). PR, social media, and the production of fresh, high-quality content are vital for maximizing search engine visibility. Online advertising doesn’t directly affect organic search, but it is a vital component of online visibility and can support social and content marketing efforts.

Whether they use the WPO term or not, the authors here deal with a range of compelling questions related to optimizing visibility on the web today, such as: what is “influencer marketing” and why does it matter? How is the role of social media evolving in online visibility? How are agencies and brands successfully integrating owned, earned and paid media efforts? How can you best manage a team of digital marketing professionals to coordinate and optimize overall efforts?

You’ll find the answers to those questions and many more here in more than two dozen of the best WPO guides, tips,  tactics and strategies of the past year.

Influencer Marketing – What it is, and Why YOU Need to be Doing it by The Daily SEO Blog Eric Enge

Eric Enge notes that while quality content is a vital component to maximizing online visibility, “superior content is not enough. Unless the world gets to know about it your superior content will get you nowhere. You have to have a way to get the word out. This is where ‘Influencer Marketing’ comes into play. By definition, influencers reach a lot of people (often more than you do), and they have the ability to influence people’s opinions.” He then explains, in richly illustrated detail,  how to identify the influencers in your market and persuade them to amplify your content.

The Real Relationship between Social Media and SEO by SocialMouths Brad Shorr

Writing that “Everybody knows social media and SEO are connected, but how?…Unfortunately, it’s hard to sort things out because the social-SEO relationship is becoming more intertwined (some would say, muddled) all the time,” (well, that’s why a sound WPO strategy is required, but anyway…) Brad Shorr first distinguishes between rankings (which are what your website gets) and overall display visibility (which includes ads, third party content about you,  news, etc. and is much more important) then lists 10 action steps to focus “on social media activities that have SEO impact.”

Why the future of marketing relies on social by iMedia Connection Curtis_Hougland

Curtis Hougland reports that “The average shopper in 2011 used an incredible 10.4 sources of information to make a decision. Simply, there is no epicenter to your marketing any more — not the advertising, not the website, not the store, not the social channel.” He then explains how this insight requires a change in behavior in terms of how marketing teams approach brand, awareness, structure and channels. (It’s also a driving factor behind the WPO framework.)

Brand Choreography Through Integrated Marketing Communications by Blue Focus Marketing Mark Burgess

Observing that “the subject of Integrated Marketing Communications is hotter than ever It’s a source of competitive advantage. However, both planning and executing remain a challenge,” Mark Burgess outlines a strategy for what he terms “brand choreography,” essentially communicating a consistent brand message across multiple media channels. He concludes that “Marketers must explore new methods to leverage all elements of the communication mix—advertising, sales promotion, PR, direct marketing, search, Web, and social media—into a single, cohesive, holistic approach.” Which is WPO.

Marketing Research Chart: Does your organization have an inbound strategy? by MarketingSherpa Kaci Bower

Kaci Bower reports on MarketingSherpa research showing that “while three quarters of organizations think integration of SEO and social is essential,” less than half of marketers are integrating these tactics (much less content optimization, PR and SEM). But they should be: “the integration of these complementary tactics improves conversion rates. Our research showed a 59% improvement in conversion rates from organic search traffic for marketers who integrated social media and SEO, over those who did not.”

SEM + SEO [PRESENTATION] by e-Strategy Trends David Erickson

David Erickson shares a presentation from Performics detailing “the cumulative and powerful effect of combining search engine advertising and search engine optimization.” Among the findings presented: “Paid search ads increase clicks to your site, even if you have the #1 organic listing on the search results page,” and a unified web presence strategy will ultimately drive more traffic to a web site than doing organic or paid search alone—or, for that matter, with PR, social or industry marketing.

How to integrate your paid, owned, and earned media by iMedia Connection

Rebecca LiebNoting that while “agencies recognize the importance of integrating these three media channels for marketing effectiveness…agency revenue models, particularly media agency models, are potentially threatened by integrating paid, owned, and earned media,” the awesome Rebecca Lieb explains how to get it done, including ensuring that the agency understands the importance of (WPO) metrics.

Search in A World Of Converged Media by MediaPost Search Insider Ryan DeShazer

Expanding a bit on Rebecca’s post (above), the brilliant Ryan DeShazer recommends that digital marketers take on the role of “orchestrators” of “all facets of digital and traditional marketing” (or in other words, web presence optimization), and that they use thought leadership as a marketing communications hub.

Search Critical in Brand-Building Strategies by eMarketer

“Search is where the audience can be found,” according to research from eMarketer, noting that 85% of U.S. internet users used search engines either daily or fairly often. Furthermore, “Brands need search—and not just paid ads and higher organic rankings—to help them achieve their overall marketing goals…(but) since search does not stand on its own, all brands should continually develop a broad range of destinations and content that take advantage of the keywords, key phrases and language the target audience uses.” In other words, WPO.

Why social media agencies are a farce by iMedia Connection
***** 5 STARS

David WatermanWriting that “When I first saw social media agencies starting to pop up all over the place, I started to wonder if there were ever fax marketing agencies. Was there a rush of ambitious entrepreneurs setting up shop to offer fax marketing services when fax machines were brand spankin’ new just because they knew how to use one?,” David Waterman brilliantly drives home the point that social media needs to be integrated into overall online marketing efforts.

Though he doesn’t use the term WPO specifically, he does offer this succinct analysis in support of the WPO model: “For example, you can take any part of his statement, swap the order, and still be left with a valid statement:

– SEO is part social media, audience development, part advertising, and part PR.
– PR is part SEO, part audience development, part advertising, and part social media.
– Audience development is part SEO, part social media, part advertising, and part PR.
– Advertising is part SEO, part audience development, part social media, and part PR.”

Top Inbound Marketing Activities For SEO [CHART] by e-Strategy Trends

David Erickson (again) presents some interesting data on how SEO pros handle inbound marketing. Of the top 10 activities, only a few are “traditional SEO” tasks; the others are focused on social media, analytics, competitive analysis, and content development. As the lines between different specialties continue to blur, silos will have to be eliminated in favor of coordinated efforts.

The Search Power of Brand  by SEO Book Peter Da Vanzo

Contending that “Having a clear identity (brand) makes you memorable. People will remember your site name. People will search for your site name. And when enough people do that, then there is little chance Google can ever drop you below number #1 for brand searches. If you get it right, Google will even rank you against relevant related keywords you aren’t targeting,” Peter Da Vanzo argues that building a strong brand online is as important for SEO (and web presence more broadly) as traditional generic keyword optimization techniques. He concludes that “SEO, and wider marketing and brand strategy, will all meld together,” which is a pretty good description of WPO strategy.

Why PR Should Not Own SEO (Nor Social Media or Content Marketing) by Social Marketing Forum J-P DeClerck

Observing that “Since Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, social interaction and relevant content have become more important for search engine optimization (SEO) than ever before. Social media, content marketing and search (SEO and SEA) must be integrated,” the insightful J-P De Clerck concludes that “No channel or tactic should be isolated and no department should own a tactic.” Indeed! The different disciplines need to be unified under a comprehensive approach to web presence.

Investing in SEO: Marketers Do More SEO than They Think by iMedia Connection Krista LaRiviere

Krista LaRiviere, CEO of web presence optimization software vendor gShift Labs, offers some excellent guidance on creating a content marketing strategy that incorporates content development, SEO, social media, PR, video, email marketing and paid search in an integrated fashion. She also shares some slightly misleading numbers, claiming that “94% of searchers click through on organic search results, and that the top three positions in Google earn 61% of the clicks” while just 6% of clicks are on paid search results (ads). While this is true for the universe of all search results, for commercial searches (that is, those searches where a user is looking for information about a product or service in support of a buying decision), clicks on paid results are significantly higher.

Content Optimization Beyond Search [INFOGRAPHIC] by eStrategy Trends

David Erickson (yet again) presents a fascinating infographic on, as the title implies, the importance of optimizing content beyond search. While search is still vital, web users are increasing discovering content througn social networks and social sharing (and search engines are increasingly considering social signals in rankings), meaning that – content needs to be compelling and optimized (and promoted) in channels beyond search.

SEO, Social and Content Marketing in Top Demand by eMarketer

Research from eMarketer shows that nearly a quarter of marketers spend time on content marketing, social media and SEO on a daily basis, and that “over two-thirds of online marketers worldwide generated short-form content assets such as blog posts, social media updates, articles and guides—all of which are used in SEO, social media and content marketing.” We’d add that combining these tactics is even more effective when done by a team focusing on coordinated WPO objectives.

Five Ways to Maximize your Digital Marketing Team by Digital Marketing Suite

Jani Rayner offers tips to “get the best from digital teams,” such as encouraging “the Display, Social and Search teams to work closely together – you will be surprised (or perhaps not) how often this doesn’t happen,” and scheduling regular monthly report[http://wpoinc.com/wpo-metrics-dashboard/business-wpo-metrics-pricing/].

5 Killer SEO Insights from Analyzing a Billion Dollars in AdWords Spend by The Daily DEO Blog
***** 5 STARS Larry Kim

WordStream founder and CTO Larry Kim, slumming on an SEOmoz blog, presents five key insights gained from analyzing an enormous quantity of SEM data, including the average cost of keyword clicks by industry (in the b2b technology realm where we dwell, it ranges from $1.11 to $1.67), to the phenomenal growth in paid search clicks (driven by Google utilizing more screen real estate for these) to demonstrating how the Google display network is effective and complementary to organic SEO efforts. As with WPO, it all works together.

Go Alexa Pro and improve your SEO by WordPress Hosting SEO

Berrie PelserBerrie Pelser showcases an infographic from Michelle Shaeffer detailing how she took her blog to a top 100K rank on Alexa using social media, guest blogging, article marketing, news releases…in other words (without quite using the words), through web presence optimization.

Search Marketing: Time To Re-engineer by MediaPost Marketing Daily

Contending that “Long the afterthought of the digital marketing tool kit, ‘search’ is emerging as a nexus between consumer behavior and real-time data. In fact…search must be viewed as a strategic imperative in today’s convergent marketplace…But in order for search to be truly effective, the way we approach it must evolve,” Sargi Mann outlines three key areas that must be addressed and warns against slipping into “turf wars” of disconnected areas of expertise.

6 Small Business Marketing Trends for 2013 by Masterful Marketing

Debra MurphyThe insightful Debra Murphy outlines six key trends that will affect small business online visibility in 2013, including content marketing, mobile support, and most importantly, “Web presence optimization is the future…(it) helps you consistently increase the digital footprint for your business. Expanding your presence onto the proper social media sites creates more visibility for your brand, enables you to network with people online in addition to offline, and attracts your ideal client through useful information and tools that help them solve a specific problem.”

SEO – Content | Confusion | Clarity by Search Engine Watch Andy Betts

Andy Betts writes that SEO professionals are no longer just tactical implementers, or strategic thinkers, or content marketers, but all of those plus being “holistic and integrated digital marketer(s).” He details the changes forced by Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, comments on the convergence of paid/earned/owned media, and muses about the importance of content production and distribution in this excellent post.

It’s Still the Wild West for Digital Marketers. Get Excited. by BuzzStream Blog Dan Tynski

Dan Tynski discuss recent changes to the search markeing landscape and concludes that “If you consider yourself an just an SEO, it is probably time to shift your perspective. Ranking well in Google has become much much more than it was in years past where typical SEO tactics alone could lead you or your clients to success. This new era requires that you become a digital content and online PR expert.” Or perhaps a maestro of web presence optimization, coordinating the efforts of all of the different experts involved in online presence (PR, SEO, content development, social media, PPC) to maximize total online visibility for a company or brand.

Seven Principles to Building an Online Reputation by Spin Sucks

Gini DietrichPR expert and author Gini Dietrich shares a presentation and guidance on building an online reputation. Among her key principles: create engaging and valuable content; build a community (“you don’t have a community until people begin talking to one another without the help of the blog’s author”); and comment on other content (her example proves that you never know where this may lead).

Breakdown Of A Person’s Google Results by The Backup List

Though WPO and online reputation management are commonly thought and written about in terms of companies and brands, the same principles apply to an individual’s online presence. Here, Mark Hayes shares an infographic detailing “how people look in Google,” from key points to know (such as that one billion individual names are searched on Google each day, but only half of people own the top result for their own name) to how to make your individual online presence more positive.

Post to Twitter