On December 28, I arrived in Israel to attend Next Case, our last conference of 2015. The very same day, I visited the organizer’s office at Angora Media, where within seconds I was challenged to a Mortal Kombat match. Israel is different from other countries in many ways, and its vibrant tech community is no exception. Fluffy slippers, oxboards, Xbox and quotes from famous thought leaders on the walls are all part of the Angora Media culture.
“At one point, we decided to change the way we work and have fun. It resulted in a 24 percent increase in productivity. Plus, we get five CVs a day because working here is awesome,” says Pavel, the company and the editor of Ask Pavel - the biggest SEO/SEM blog in Israel.
This is one of Pavel’s success stories of 2015, and each year he invites Israeli marketers to share their own case studies.
“Focus on intent-driven queries instead of targeting top-level keywords.”
David Kutcher described how his company created a search engine marketing strategy for a bulk metal retailing company, which doubled its new customer acquisition and significantly increased its conversion rate.
“Social was a complete waste of time for them. Who talks about bulk metal on social? So they really became an SEO-type project,” says David. Their tactic was using optimization intent-driven queries instead of aiming for popular keywords.
“Every time people typed in, for example, the shape of a piece of metal they wanted to purchase, we saw that it was an intent-driven search query. Then we used it in the title tags and meta descriptions, and optimized the individual landing pages for different metals and shapes.”
Though initially David skipped top-level queries, over time the website began to rank higher for these queries as well, as Google took into account that a lot of people were visiting the website and not bouncing back. David also says that they didn’t use any SEO tools for this campaign, just Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools.
Here you can read more about this case study.
“Try to look for something that is site-wide.”
Ofer Langer’s marketing success story involved fixing a major issue that a client had on his website. “Instead of Google crawling the name of the brand, it crawled the main expression that our client was trying to promote. Let’s take BBC for example: the name of the brand is BBC, and the expression is “news.” However, instead of seeing page titles like “about-BBC” we saw “about-news.”
Ofer says that it took him and his team about a month to explore the whole website and eliminate all possible options. They tried to look for something “site-wide”– for example, a footer, breadcrumbs or a title and alt text of the company logo.
Finally, they figured out that, due to the very old CMS their client was using, Google had problems crawling the site and gave too much power to breadcrumbs. “We changed the expression in the breadcrumbs to the name of the brand, and a month later, we saw that all the traffic started to come back and the site went back to its previous positions.”
“Writing posts is not only for SEO.”
This marketing success story from Klear.com is about inbound marketing and publishing posts on a regular basis.
“Every Wednesday, we published a post about anything digital: a hashtag analysis, a Twitter chat analysis, etc. We tried to provide in-depth industry analysis but still make it interesting. For example, we analyzed fashion brands, automotive companies, etc,” says Yuval Maoz, Digital Marketer at Klear.
The results were truly impressive – the company generated 10 times more traffic and the strategy also helped with converting traffic to demos. Moreover, it also helped with existing customer retention. “They look at our blog posts and see what they can do with their dashboard using our data.”
“Get Facebook Pixel on your website as soon as possible!”
The best marketing case described by Aaron Zakowski was about understanding Facebook and using its features. “If you are thinking of getting started with Facebook soon, get the pixel on your website as soon as possible. If you’re getting traffic and conversions from other sources (organic or not), they will still be gathered by Facebook Pixel,” explains Aaron. Facebook Pixel helps you gather all the important data about your users. You’ll then be able to use it to optimize website conversions when launching campaigns.
“Lookalike Audiences are one of the best secret features that Facebook offers! They allow Facebook to create a new audience based on your existing audience. For example, you can upload a customer or newsletter email list, and Facebook will locate as many matches as it can in order to create a Custom Audience for you based on emails that are in its system. You can then focus your marketing efforts on those people, ” says Aaron.
“Mix everything for overall marketing success.”
My best advice from this past year that I have shared on Blab was to integrate social media into everything you do. We had a Blab with social media experts about social media tips. Afterwards, we created a blog post using quotes from those experts and published it. We also reused content we gathered from social media, and it was actually one of the most successful blog posts of the month.
At Next Case I was talking about our most successful marketing activity on social media – weekly Twitter chats. We increased our Twitter engagement by over 400% and also built a strong community around the brand.
Moreover, Twitter chat is a very efficient way to establish contact with industry experts, because it is really easy for them to join. All they have to do is pick the date and the topic, and I send them the questions. They prepare the answers and simply show up at the time of the chat. Online events can work on other platforms, all you have to do is to define where your audience is.
“We improved our load speed and our bounce rate went from 44 percent down to eight percent.”
Ziv Raviv from Booster Monster shared a success story related to website speed optimization: “The website that we were managing had a 44 percent bounce rate from organic traffic, and so we did website optimization for speed. It is a WordPress website, and we improved its load speed from 4.3 seconds to 1 second. After a couple of months, we checked their metrics again, and their bounce rate for organic traffic went from 44 percent down to eight percent.”
“Metadata continues to be important, just in a different way.”
Casey Overcash objects to those who say that metadata will become less important in 2016 and shares her experience using metadata as a tagline.
“I used to spend less time targeting meta descriptions to personas, but this year, I started really focusing on tagline strategy from meta descriptions,” says Casey.
She started using meta descriptions to explain exactly what is on each page and adding calls to action. According to Casey, it’s had a real effect on click-through rates.
“Honestly, all I’ve been doing is spending more time integrating keywords into meta descriptions, and I’ve noticed that organic traffic has gone up for all my sites!”
“By sharing [the] company’s knowledge, we were able to achieve our goal.”
Tony Dimmock has shared a success story when his company helped a client who was struggling with leads and revenue from their online activities.
“We were working with a company that had 80 percent less traffic than they have now. We helped them with social, guest blog posts, additional technical writing and offline events, and then took the experience from those events online. Their turnover was £500,000 from the web generated leads. The company barely made £100,000 last year. A lot of companies want to keep all their information to themselves, and our job is to get it all out. By sharing that company’s knowledge, we were able to achieve our goal.”
“Search engines want to provide the best content.”
Yasha Harari shared an effective case of onsite optimization by Fiverr.
“Fiverr did a lot of onsite SEO work this year, and experienced a 450 percent growth in search traffic. We improved our load speed, fixed our canonicals, revised our keywords and eliminated more than 3 million links. Don't be afraid to eliminate links. One quality link will work better than many redundant links; Google sees them and they’re not good for your rankings. Remember: quality content is everything. Search engines want to provide the best content; once people land on a useful page, they will stay, share and engage, and this will lend strong, unshakable authority to your site.”
“Build lookalike audiences based on specific types of engagement.”
While working out a way to cut Oribi's cost per lead using Facebook Ads, Avishai Sam Bitton came up with some simple, useful habits that any marketer can adopt.
“Here’s what we’ve learned:” he says:
- Looking at user engagement scenarios and building our lookalike audiences based on specific types of engagement performed better than traditional lookalikes.
- Using names of influencers, blogs, companies and products as interests is a good way to target more niche groups.
- When we didn't schedule ads at specific hours of the day (i.e., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), we reached more people at lower costs.
- Not limiting campaigns to certain age ranges or to one specific gender improved our cost per conversion.
We strongly believe that these tips can be applied successfully by a majority of Facebook advertisers.”
"Come up with a good story, search for the right occasion and share it with great content.”
Efrat Fenigson presented a case study where she showed how piggybacking on a mainstream event (e.g., the 2014 World Cup in Brazil) caught the media’s interest. The buzz created on 25 media magazines helped generate awareness and thought leadership. During the campaign, the created content (newsletters, reports, white papers, webinars and more) had generated 550+ leads and five new deals.
Efrat’s tips from the end of her presentation:
- Operate your product/service for free to create a good story.
- Find a mainstream event in the right context and piggyback on it.
- The media will present you as an expert if your content is good and original, and if you’re quoted by a reliable source.
- Use data and numbers in your press releases/blog posts and provide a list of insights or lessons learned.
NextCase 2015 gathered together 1,200 marketers, compared to 850 in 2014. The conference had two simultaneous tracks: one for marketing executives and business owners and one for advanced online marketers. In addition, there was a “The Digital Clinic” session where a panel of experts analyzed selected websites in real time, and we were happy to see that SEMrush was one of the tools being used by the panelists.
I loved everything about the event – the real-life experience the experts shared, SEMrush’s being mentioned during speeches and website analysis, and the huge interest towards SEMrush from the audience when they stopped by our stand.
“There's nothing like real case studies to share knowledge, and that's what NextCase was all about. As the host of the day, I had the unique privilege of engaging the audience and the presenters all day and was impressed by the community’s level of know-how and spirit. In the end, that's what makes a conference great – knowledge, fun and a sense of community.”
There were many more 2015 marketing success stories, but I unfortunately missed them because of my lack of understanding Hebrew. For anyone who does speak Hebrew, Next Case is an event you should definitely attend. I truly enjoyed engaging with Israel’s best marketers and look forward to hearing about more case studies at the upcoming Next Case 2016 event in December.
So what’s your marketing success story for 2015? Please share it in the comments!