The Ultimate Analytics Referral Spam List

Google Analytics is the most used tracking tool in the world. It’s used on almost half of the top 1,000,000 websites (as currently ranked by Alexa).

As a Digital Marketer or webmaster, it can be incredibly frustrating to open your Google Analytics reports and see huge increases in traffic to your site only to have to put the champagne on ice after you’ve dug a little deeper.

Realising that a load of the new referral traffic you have been receiving has come from spambots and not, in fact, genuine sites linking to you is both heartbreaking and incredibly frustrating!

WHAT IS REFERRAL SPAM/ REFERRER SPAM/ GHOST REFERRALS?

Referral spam is the fake referral traffic that you get from ‘bots’ that crawl your website and perform a variety of repetitive tasks for a multitude of malicious reasons.

Not all bots out there are bad, take Google’s very own ‘Googlebot’ for example. Googlebot crawls the web to index websites and pages so they can accurately present them in their search engine results pages (SERPs).

block referral spam

Google’s Googlebot is good. It even has flowers.

However, you are going to want to stop the not-so-friendly bots from crawling your site and appearing in your Analytics data.

Not sure which ones I mean? Well I’ll come onto how you can spot the spammy sites that you need to block soon, but as a starter for 10, if you recognise any of these then I have bad news for you:

  • semalt.com
  • buttons-for-website.com
  • darodar.com

But do not fear, the majority of websites today are receiving referral spam on a regular basis and it’s a trend that has increased rapidly over the last couple of years. In fact, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, has admitted that Google know all about referral spam but have yet figured out a working solution!

WHY IS REFERRAL SPAM DANGEROUS?

The initial frustration you may have with referral spam is that it skews your, otherwise mostly reliable, Google Analytics data making any conclusions you take from the tracking software redundant.

Metrics based on sessions such as bounce rate and conversion rate will be hit and gleaning any valuable information becomes tricky. Although some of the less complex bots that crawl your site won’t affect your GA stats, they can still negatively impact on site performance.

WHY DO PEOPLE PROGRAM REFERRAL SPAMBOTS TO DO THESE THINGS!?

I know right. Where has the humanity gone? Well, there are a variety of reasons they do it, and here’s just a few:

  • Boosting traffic stats – Advertisers will pay more money to sites that have a large number of regular visitors. These crawler programs can falsely inflate these numbers.
  • Click fraud – when a person or program clicks a PPC ad with the sole attention of wasting the advertiser’s budget rather than purchasing the advertised product or service.
  • Harvesting emails – to then sell on to 3rd parties for bulk email campaigns.
  • Scraping web content – to repurpose or feign as their own content.
  • Spreading viruses – many of the sites that appear in your reports are loaded with malware and when you unwittingly visit them your device will get infected.
  • Lead generation – unbelievably, some companies do it for lead generation although why anyone would purchase from such an unethical business is beyond me!

 

HELP ME! HOW CAN I STOP REFERRAL SPAM?

Well, as I mentioned earlier, there is no definitive solution to referral spam but there are effective workarounds. Whilst Google themselves tell you to use the ‘Referral Exclusion List’ to block the spam, this is not the ideal technique; and here’s why:

Using the Referral Exclusion List to attempt to block spammy websites coming up as referrals in your Google Analytics reports is dangerous as it merely records the traffic as direct rather than excluding it completely.

What we and many other reputable sources recommend is using ‘custom filters’. Here’s how:

1. Head over to Google Analytics and sort your ‘Referral Traffic’ by ‘Bounce Rate’. It’s fairly safe to assume that any site that has 0% or 100% bounce rate, with at least 15-20 sessions, is spam.

2. If you’re unsure then check it against our ‘Ultimate Referral List’ at the bottom of this page.

3. Can’t find it in our list? consider searching the site in a search engine to see what other people are saying about it. Remember to be incredibly cautious when choosing whether or not to visit the site as we already know that a lot of these sites are harmful.

4. Now you have your final list, block them with ‘custom filters’

spam referral list

When you’ve selected the account you desire, click the ‘Admin’ tab

domains spam referral

Select ‘All Filters’

ghost referral spam list

Click the big red ‘+ Add Filter’ button

spam referrers list

Enter the spammy URL’s as you see them entered in this example, select ‘All Website Data’ from the ‘Available Views’ box and click ‘Save’.

Bear in mind that there’s a 255 character limit for each filter so you will only manage to get 10 or so spam domains in each one. Although it can be time-consuming to keep adding to your
filters, this currently the best fix and is definitely worth doing.

Enjoy.

The Current 128 Domain Strong Referral Spam List

traffic2money.com
floating-share-buttons.com
get-free-social-traffic.com
site4.free-floating-buttons.com
4webmasters.org
site10.free-floating-buttons.com
free-social-buttons.com
site3.free-floating-buttons.com
www.event-tracking.com
success-seo.com
seo-platform.com
site2.free-floating-buttons.com
chinese-amezon.com
hongfanji.com
site8.free-floating-buttons.com
site9.free-floating-buttons.com
video–production.com
www.Get-Free-Traffic-Now.com
buttons-for-website.com
qualitymarketzone.com
site5.free-floating-buttons.co
videos-for-your-business.com
how-to-earn-quick-money.com
forum.topic63020490.darodar.com
7makemoneyonline.com
acads.net
anal-acrobats.hol.es
anticrawler.org
best-seo-offer.com
best-seo-solution.com
bestwebsitesawards.comblackhatworth.com
brakehawk.com
buttons-for-your-website.com
buy-cheap-online.info
darodar.com
econom.co
event-tracking.com
forum20.smailik.org
forum69.info
free-share-buttons.com
googlsucks.com
guardlink.org
hulfingtonpost.com
humanorightswatch.org
ilovevitaly.com
iminent.com
kabbalah-red-bracelets.com
kambasoft.com
makemoneyonline.com
masterseek.com
o-o-6-o-o.com
ok.ru
pornhub-forum.ga
pornhub-forum.uni.me
priceg.com
ranksonic.info
ranksonic.org
rapidgator-porn.ga
savetubevideo.com
semalt.com
sexyteens.hol.es
simple-share-buttons.com
social-buttons.com
theguardlan.com
webmaster-traffic.com
youporn-forum.ga
youporn-forum.uni.me
ilovevitaly.co
myftpupload.com
iskalko.ru
ilovevitaly.ru
o-o-8-o-o.ru
o-o-6-o-o.ru
cenoval.ru
cenokos.ru
seoexperimenty.ru
gobongo.info
vodkoved.ru
adcash.com
websocial.me
cityadspix.com
luxup.ru
ykecwqlixx.ru
superiends.org
slftsdybbg.ru
edakgfvwql.ru
socialseet.ru
screentoolkit.com
blackhatworth.com
prlog.ru
bestwebsitesawards.com
forum.smailik.org
aliexpress.com
Get-Free-Traffic-Now.com
semalt.semalt.com
iloveitaly.ro
prodvigator.ua
resellerclub.com
adviceforum.info
europages.com.ru
lomb.co
lumb.co
54.186.60.77
srecorder.com
see-your-website-here.com
76brighton.co.uk
paparazzistudios.com.au
powitania.pl
sharebutton.net
tasteidea.com
descargar-musica-gratis.net
torontoplumbinggroup.com
100dollars-seo.com
semaltmedia.com
rankings-analytics.com
free-floating-buttons.com
rednise.com
erot.co
generalporn.org
trafficmonetize.org
trafficmonetizer.org
domination.ml
torture.ml
depositfiles-porn.ga
pornhubforum.yk
pops.foundation
justprofit.xyz
best-seo-software.xyz

Which Social Media Platforms Work Best for Different Businesses?

To be a thriving business in today’s world, you need to have a compelling presence on a variety of platforms.

Some social media sites may suit companies within certain business sectors more than others – and your audience may engage with and show interest in some profiles more than others. In this blog post we will take a look at a handful of image-based social media platforms to see how they are being used:

INSTAGRAM

This photo-sharing website allows companies to be creative with what they share and their content should be high quality, interesting and original imagery. Hashtags are vital when posting on Instagram. Users will then be able to find your posts in the billions of photos posted every day. Companies within the following sectors tend to be popular on this platform:

Restaurants

Instagram is a place where people can share everything that they get up to in their everyday lives, especially when it comes to what they eat. Users love seeing photos of food that they can try out the recipe for themselves or would just like to try. Restaurants can use this platform to share photos of their tasty looking meals. This type of business should also take advantage of the popular food hashtags such as #foodporn and #foodie. A good example of a restaurant that is using Instagram to best effect is Pizza Hut:

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Travel

The travel industry can use Instagram as a promotional tool to great effect. Airlines, cruise lines and holiday travel companies can share photos of destinations to entice users to book through them. British Airways and Airbnb are examples of travel companies that we think are using the social media platform to great advantage:

blog 3

PINTEREST

Pinterest is a social media platform that can be useful for various business industries to promote and sell services/products as well as keep up-to-date with the current trends in their area. For some types of businesses Pinterest may hold the most potential to engage and interest consumers. The platform is ideal for planning and ideas and therefore perfect for any businesses or users that are preparing, designing or organising anything. Here’s what businesses we have found work best on Pinterest:

Event Planners/Venues

Venues that can be hired for occasions such as weddings and those who plan events can effectively be promoted on Pinterest. Users can use this platform as a way of planning their own event and collecting their ideas. Venues or planners can create boards around photos of the venue or work done as well as boards regarding other related aspects. For instance wedding venues can provide inspiration for other areas of the big day such as dresses, food, ideas etc. This helps potential customers gain ideas for their own events and envision themselves at a venue.

Here’s a wedding venue and wedding planner that we think are using Pinterest well:

https://www.pinterest.com/almonrybarn/

blog 4

https://www.pinterest.com/heatonhouse/

blog 5

Fashion

Fashion is a sector that receives a large amount of engagement in the form of likes and repins. Photos are pinned based on fashion-related topics such as outfit inspiration. The online fashion retailer ASOS is one business that is using Pinterest to its full potential. With their 412.8k followers and only 42 boards, their approach to this platform and ultimately promoting their products are extremely successful.

blog

Interior Design

Interior design is something that requires planning. Therefore, Pinterest is the perfect microsite to be on for any interior design business. As well as post inspiration for homes, businesses in this sector can convey the newest trends available and how their products/services can recreate this look. It also allows interior designers to create an online portfolio for their work and target potential customers.

UK homewares brand Dunelm have managed to take advantage of the many users on Pinterest interested in interior design. They have individual themes for each board with their products and inspiring photos pinned to each. Each board is very simple but effective.

https://www.pinterest.com/dunelmuk/

blog 2

TUMBLR

Tumblr is a platform where branding can really be promoted to full effect. A company can promote their brand through not only their Tumblr posts but also their page design. One company that has a consistent and visually-effective brand image on Tumblr is Coca-Cola:

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Companies should try to fit in and appeal to the Tumblr community when having a presence on this social media site. It is important to use hashtags on Tumblr so that your posted content can be found. Users on Tumblr also like to share images in GIF format which, when done well, can also work for companies. Coca-Cola, Nike Women and Disney use these effectively to create eye-catching and interesting profiles.

Company sectors that seem to perform best on this platform in terms of gaining the most interest and engagement include:

Fashion

Users on Tumblr use it as a way of gaining inspiration for what to wear. Retailers Topshop and Adidas are two brands that are using the social media site well. Brands are able to use social media as way of displaying their products to their audience almost as if it were a shop window.

topshopPageBreak-1 (1)

With the young and individual audience on Tumblr there are not necessarily any particular rules or types of things that a business should be posting to gain interest. Therefore this is a social media platform that allows for creativity and more risks to be taken. Humour is one thing that seems to go a long way on Tumblr. This and posts providing some real inspiration seem to work best.

If your business is in one of the sectors mentioned within this list, it is essential to be present on the social media platform most relevant in order to compete and take advantage of having your target audience in one place. If not, your company should still have these profiles but it may just be a slighter different or smaller user base that you are targeting.

If you would like to help with getting your business noticed on social media, get in touch with us today.

Google Choose The Top 30 UK Digital Agencies

We interview Robert Craven about his work with Google, and can reveal the full list of the 30 best digital agencies in the UK.

The 30 agencies come in all shapes and sizes and from across all areas of Great Britain. Common features of the agencies selected include a commitment to invest in staff development, and a positioning at the cutting edge of Google products. Robert was able to reveal more detail:

“Google selected the top 30 using factors such as; current high performance in their field, and having demonstrated the most potential to develop to the next stage of their growth. – Robert Craven.”

As part of the program, we schedule calls with Robert where he asks probing questions and gets to the root of the challenges that we currently face.

At the end of our phone call we turned the questioning on its head and took the opportunity to ask Robert a few questions of our own. His answers are eye-opening!

We interview Robert Craven about his work with Google, and can reveal the full list of the 30 best digital agencies in the UK.

The 30 agencies come in all shapes and sizes and from across all areas of Great Britain. Common features of the agencies selected include a commitment to invest in staff development, and a positioning at the cutting edge of Google products. Robert was able to reveal more detail:

Google selected the top 30 using factors such as; current high performance in their field, and having demonstrated the most potential to develop to the next stage of their growth. – Robert Craven.

As part of the program, we schedule calls with Robert where he asks probing questions and gets to the root of the challenges that we currently face.

At the end of our phone call we turned the questioning on its head and took the opportunity to ask Robert a few questions of our own. His answers are eye-opening!

 

An Interview with Robert Craven

Hello Robert, now it’s time for us to ask you some questions.
Fire away.

Firstly, can you tell me about your work with Google?
My current work with Google is to lead a program designed specifically to help 30 high potential digital agencies transition to the next stage in their growth. The program is a bit like a market stall where the agencies can come and take from it to match their individual needs. I then individually engage with those business to help springboard them to the next level.

If all of the top 30 agencies could improve in one dimension, what would it be?
I’ve got a short answer and long answer.

The short answer is put up their prices. The reason that I say this is because it means you can create better quality work and it will allow you to work with people who truly value what you are doing. You can deliver a concierge service rather than a commodity product. It also separates you from the masses. There are thousands of reasons to put up prices. All the agencies on the programme are probably undercharging for their work.

The long answer is that you’re asking the wrong question! It’s the wrong question because there are three dimensions for all agencies to improve on.

Ok then, if all of the top 30 agencies could improve in three dimensions, what would they be?
1) Where the heck is my business going? Also known as strategy.
2) How on earth are we going to sell this stuff? Also known as marketing.
3) Why can’t we get on together better? Also known as teams and people. If you talk to a “normal” agency that simply plods along, they wake up every morning, open up their inbox, and work from that. They won’t have a marketing strategy; they simply take any work that comes in.

So how did Google select the top 30 agencies to work with in 2016?
They were selected from an original pool of Google Partners. Google selected the top 30 using factors such as; current high performance in their field, and having demonstrated the most potential to develop to the next stage of their growth. If you want more detail you’ll have to ask someone at Google, because I didn’t select you!

Good to know! Final question; you’re helping us to form a 3-year plan. What does your 3-year plan look like?
Very ambitious. We are switching from a ‘best kept secret’ model to a ‘high value adding’ program. This is based on a 2 year scaling strategy. We’ll be using the same systems, programmes and tools across the organisation, to deliver the same level of results.

It’s been a pleasure Robert, thanks for your time.
Likewise.

THE TOP 30 UK DIGITAL MARKETING COMPANIES

Below you can find the complete list of the top 30 digital agencies in the UK as chosen by Google. Take a look at what they do below and make sure to follow these market leaders on Twitter!

ACADEMIUM

@AcademiumUK
London

“Intelligent Education Marketing Solutions”

ACCURACAST

@AccuraCast
London

“London-based digital marketing agency. 12 Years of SEO, PPC, Display Advertising, Social Media & Mobile Marketing expertise.”

ANICCA

@aniccadigital
Leicester

“Anicca are a leading  agency based in Leicester, UK. Specialists in search, social and paid. “

 

CLICKOO UK

@ClickooUk
Manchester

“Hello! We are a multilingual & award-winning PPC experts. We create, manage and fine tune your Search & Social Media PPC campaigns so you get the most out of them”

 

CLIMBING TREES

@climbingtrees10
Essex

“We’re an online marketing company and Google Partner that help our clients be excellent. We mostly tweet industry news and other things we find interesting.”

 

THE FOUNTAIN TEAM

@FountainTeam
London & Norwich

“Fountain is a  digital agency that offers effective online lead generation through Evidence-Based Marketing”

 

HALLAM INTERNET

@HallamInternet
Nottingham

“Digital Marketing Agency offering SEO, social media marketing, PPC and more. Follow us for digital marketing tips and advice, or call us on 0115 948 0123.”

 

INFOTEX

@infotexuk
Suffolk, London & Yorkshire

“WebDesign And Marketing Company. We Specialise In Providing ,, & To A Variety Of Clients Locally & Worldwide”

 

KOOZAI

@Koozai
London & Southampton

“Koozai Ltd are a leading UK Digital Marketing Agency based in London and Southampton. Specialists in SEO, PPC, Social Media and Reputation Management.”

 

LEXISCLICK

@LexisClick
Bournemouth

“Full service  agency – Strategy and services to help your brand shine and grow through inbound customers”

 

LIBERTY MARKETING

@LibertyOnlineUK
Cardiff

“Vibrant Welsh digital marketing agency offering search engine optimisation (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), copywriting & social media marketing.”

 

FARKY RAFIQ

@farkyrafiq
Salisbury

“Digital Marketing Director”

 

LONELY ROBOT WEB DEV

@lonelyrobotweb
Hertfordshire

“Specialists in   and great looking, converting business websites! Please get in touch for a free quote.”

 

MAJOR MARKETING

@aGoogleGuru
Cornwall, Devon & Somerset

“Google Partner & Online Advertising Agency for SME’s. Focused on Digital Marketing for the best results. 

 

NAVIGATE DIGITAL

@navigatedigital
United Kingdom & Australia

“An independent digital media agency specialising in Affiliate Marketing, Media Planning & Buying, Paid Search & Social Media. IPA accredited.”

 

PERFECT STORM MEDIA

@PerfStomMedia
London

“Pay-per-Sale Search Engine Marketing innovators with a world-class Adwords management system”

 

POP CREATIVE LTD

@popcreative
Oswestry

“Pop Creative is a friendly Design Agency based in Shropshire specialising in Digital Media, Web Design, Web Management, SEO & Printing.”

 

PUSH GROUP MARKETING

@PushGroup
London

“The PPC Agency That Keeps You Ahead Focused on targeted traffic that converts to sales/leads.”

 

RECEPTIONAL

@Receptional
Bedfordshire & London

“UK based Digital Marketing Consultancy experts in SEO, PPC, Social Media, Link Building & Content. Super nice Tweeters.”

 

RED EFFECT MARKETING

@RedEffectLtd
Bristol, London & Monmouth

“A Paid Search & SEO agency – Genuine expertise with a friendly face! We’re also a Google Partner.”

 

RETURN ON DIGITAL

@returnondigital
Manchester & London

“We’re an award winning digital marketing agency. At Return on Digital, return isn’t just an end goal, it’s an all-consuming passion. 

 

SAGITTARIUS

@SagittariusMktg
Ashford & London

“Award winning digital agency providing solutions to UK and International based clients to develop, promote and champion their brands!”

 

SEO TRAFFIC LAB

@seotrafficlab
Gainsborough

“Lincolnshire based digital marketing agency, experts in &. Talking , and the future of .”

 

SOAP MEDIA

@soapmedia
Manchester & Preston

“Award-winning digital marketing agency combining commercial thinking with technical brilliance in web design & dev, search marketing, and lead generation.”

 

SOCIAL RESPONSE

@Social_Response
Bristol

“We are the full package when it comes to. Follow for tweets on & news. Based on Lower Park Row.”

 

TANDEM DIGITAL

@tandem_digital
Edinburgh

“Edinburgh-based digital marketing agency. Marketing nous meets digital geekery. Channel agnostic, we bend digital to client objectives.”

 

TICTOC

@tictocdigital
Glasgow & London

“We spend our days creating digital strategies, websites, microsites, mobile apps, digital marketing strategies & learning all there is to know about the web!”

 

XANTHOS DIGITAL

@XanthosDigital
Cambridgeshire

“Stay ahead of competitors with our Digital Updates and Resources. We are a Digital Marketing and Web Design Agency specialising in Ecommerce Site Development.”

 

XELSION

@XelsionMedia
London

“A real-time bidding media services & technology company.”

The Quick Guide To Merging Multiple Facebook Pages

Company Facebook pages are a great way to boost your brand awareness and interact with customers on a personal level. Ensuring that your brand is well represented on this social media platform should be a focus and users need to be given a reason to follow your brand. When doing this you may be managing multiple Facebook pages. However, this can be time consuming and difficult to do so.

Google’s Top 3 Ranking Factors

We have long wondered “how does google rank search results!?” and now we know! Google have kept pretty quiet about how they rank websites and SEO website … Moz even runs a Search Engine Ranking Factors survey with their latest being from 2015.

What Factors Affect Organic Facebook Reach?

As I’m sure most people are all too aware of, achieving organic Facebook reach for your business is now harder than ever. There are many rumours surrounding… the subject, but are they all true?

How we increased Shoe Zone’s AdWords ROI by 196% in just one month

Today, we’ll show you step-by-step how Limelight Digital helped Shoe Zone plc to achieve the best AdWords returns in its history.

Online shoe retail is a highly competitive space. Large shoe retailers bid against each other to appear at the top of Google’s popular searches for specific phrases. Direct competitors for Shoe Zone’s search phrases include; Asda, Debenhams, Next, Schuh, Monsoon and many more. Each company has to carefully manage their advertising spend to ensure it provides a strong ROI.

This is a common situation for many of our clients at Limelight Digital We use all our experience and knowledge (as accredited Google Partners) to find the best solution.

In this case study, we’ll show you EXACTLY how we achieved an increased ROI by 196%, step-by-step.

So, how did Limelight Digital almost double Shoe Zone’s AdWords ROI in November 2015?

In June 2015, Shoe Zone’s AdWords were converting at 2 x ROI, essentially this means that for every £1 of Google advertising cost, Shoe Zone made £2 in additional revenue.

Shoe Zone calculated that to achieve financial targets it required a 3 x ROI.  In this competitive space, that level of increase is not an easy challenge.

Using our expertise, in November we tripled the 2 x ROI they were typically achieving, increasing it to a 6 x ROI. The client was, of course, thrilled.

And here’s how we did it….

Step 1 – Identify the best placement for adverts

From June to October we optimised adverts in the highly competitive bidding at the top of search results. We saw month on month small gains by doing this.

However, the huge stepped change (196% in one month) occurred in November, so what did we do?

We identified Google’s Shopping campaigns as a more appropriate placement, with the following benefits:

  • Lower cost per click
  • An image of the shoes appears in search results
  • A higher conversion rate to buy (once visitors land on the website)

Here’s an example of how Google’s Shopping adverts appear:

Step 2 – Optimise keywords for campaigns

Google Shopping campaigns work quite differently from normal AdWords campaigns. Normally, we define the keywords to target and write our own titles and descriptions for the adverts. However, Google Shopping automatically selects product titles and descriptions directly from the website. In theory, this should make it easier to set up.

However, to maximise ROI, product titles and descriptions must be re-written to appear in search results and increase website conversion.

To achieve this we worked closely with Shoe Zone to edit custom labels to create helpful descriptions which are in line with how their target audience search and buy.

Here’s an example of the finished advert – all content is provided from the product titles and description information, hosted on the Shoe Zone website.

Step 3 – Targeting a specific audience

Shoe Zone has over 10,000 SKU’s on its website, we are able to target specific shoe types to maximise ROI. To achieve this, we replicated the website structure into the product feed so we can filter what we are targeting down to individual product types.

Filters include:

  • gender
  • types of shoes
  • season
  • limited stock/ plenty of stock
  • in sale/ not in sale
  • increase conversion rate

We can also filter out certain SKU’s. For example, if the product is flagged as ‘limited distribution’. This ensures Shoe Zone does not waste marketing spend on SKU’s that are unavailable.

Conclusion

By optimising Google Shopping campaigns we were able to almost double Shoe Zone’s ROI in just one month.

This case study requires the following health warning:

Not all e-commerce websites respond to Google Shopping in the same way, but with our skill and experience, you will see improvements.

We’ve been in the digital marketing industry for long enough to know that all businesses are unique and need bespoke solutions.

Unlike most agencies, Limelight Digital spends time to continually optimising AdWords accounts to achieve business objectives. As accredited Google Partners we learn about new Google products before the majority of other agencies and have a superb team of qualified Google professionals on hand to work closely with you through every step of the campaign.

If you are interested in taking your PPC account to the next level, call the team on 01509 631 136 or email [email protected] and let’s chat about your ambitions and how we can help.

7 Digital Marketing Trends You Need To Know For 2020

2020 is here, not only is it a new year but it’s also a new decade. In the 2010s, marketing made huge strides with the introduction of Facebook Ads, Instagram’s IGTV, new techniques of SEO and much more. 

With a new decade means new technologies and trends. We delve into the marketing trends you need to know for 2020.

Customer Experience

We’re already seeing shifts in beliefs about what marketing actually is, so we’re expecting 2020 to be the year of the customer. It’s now not all about convincing people to buy from your company but prioritising fantastic customer service that keeps customers coming back. By building a positive business culture and providing great customer service the marketing side almost takes care of itself.

With the introduction of chatbots, providing customer service has never been easier. Modern-day websites are adding the chatbot feature to allow customers to get an instant response which is usually quicker than email. This is increasingly popular with Millenials as they prefer digital conversation over having a live conversation as it’s almost instant. 

Providing excellent customer service is a great way to get the word out about your company without it even costing you a penny. 

Visual Content

Research has shown that people prefer visual content to plain text. Just look at the growth of image and video-focused platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and YouTube. Images already account for 19% of searches on Google and 62% of millennials have already stated they are more interested in visual search than anything else. 

Creating exciting and enticing images, infographics, animation and video will not only help your brand stand out but will also help you build links as other websites are now more willing to host images over the written word. 

(We bet you’ll remember this infographic)

Voice Search

With the introduction of smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Voice Searches are on the rise. It is predicted that at the end of 2021 there will be more than 1.6 billion people using voice searches on a regular basis. 

It might be time to consider implementing a voice search for your upcoming marketing strategy.

Interactive Content

Want your audience to engage in your product, website or social ad? Interactive Content could be the key to this. It helps to form a conversation in which you don’t have to actively participate. 

Creating interactive content doesn’t have to be difficult, it could be as simple as offering free, instant quotes allowing the user to fill in a form to go to the next stage and then they will receive a quote via email. 

The online digital media company, Buzzfeed seems to dominate the online world with internet quizzes which can be silly or controversial but this always creates a conversation with users. In fact, one quiz once got over 22 million views. 

It’s human nature to interact with something so why not use this to your advantage?

Smart Bidding in Google Ads

Smart Bidding is a set of automated bid strategies in Google Ads that use machine learning to maximise conversions. Google looks at historical search behaviour and contextual data to predict the likelihood of conversion and then increases your bids when a conversion appears more likely. 

Google’s Smart bidding strategies allow your campaigns to utilize the data it collects over time so your ads appear in front of customers that have shown more intent. If a particular keyword converts well, it will be prioritised. If users in a certain Geographical location are converting well, that location will be prioritized. If users convert better at a particular time of day or day of the month, this will affect the bidding. And so on..

Smart Display

Smart Display campaigns are available on the Google Display network. You upload your Display Banners, assign a landing page and then Google takes over the targeting. A negative to these campaigns can be that there isn’t much visualisation on what targeting is working and what’s not. But, from our experience, they work really well!

Smart Shopping

Smart shopping campaigns allow advertisers to run product listing adverts across multiple platforms such as: Search, Display, Youtube & Gmail. Smart shopping campaigns take into account key user interests, demographics, users who have already visited the website to optimise & retarget products to those who are most interested/likely to purchase. This campaign type is fully automated using smart bidding & works cross-platform to gain the best possible ROI for e-commerce.

Smart Campaigns 

Another new campaign type that has been made available in recent months is the Smart Campaigns. These campaigns utilise call extensions and map listings to help drive footfall to your Google my Business locations. 

Personalisation

In the old days when Blockbuster still existed, the guy behind the counter would know your name as you visited so often on a Saturday night. In the digital age personalisation is a powerful tool where a company knows what you are planning on buying before you’ve even thought about it. Changing a merge tag through emails is an easy way to add personalisation.

For example: sending an email through Mailchimp with the merge tag *|FNAME|* will automatically change the name in the email to the one that is listed in the mailing list. Thus making the recipient feel like the email was sent one by one by the company they have subscribed to.

Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, Emails, and Rewards and Incentives are a great way to make the user feel like the whole digital world is personalised for them. Making the user feel like you’re talking to them personally is a great marketing technique and has been around for decades. 

VR and AR Marketing

AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) are quickly becoming more common within marketing, allowing brands to change standard marketing into a completely interactive experience. 

Many people have the assumption that VR is strictly for video gamers and something that requires a heavy investment in technology to enjoy the virtual experience. However, this isn’t the case as now most people have their own little VR device in their pocket. VR marketing allows companies to bridge the gap between experience and action helping to promote products as a digital experience in place of a physical one. 

Inviting your customer along for the journey will really help to engage your customers as they will be invested in the product alongside the company. 

AR is now an emerging trend in marketing and sales strategies. It allows customers to have a unique experience within the convenience of tapping into their mobile devices. By using AR, businesses will eventually be able to upgrade the experience they offer customers leading to business opportunities and brand awareness. 

Brands can use AR to allow customers to try their products before they buy them. A good example of this is Glasses Direct Virtual Try-On. This allows customers the opportunity to try on a style of glasses before they buy the product. The website scans the users face creating virtual reality and then they can choose the glasses. 

AR is not a new technology but has come on since the launch of Pokemon GO! with more people willing to interact with augmented and virtual reality. 

So there you have it, our top picks of digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2020. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below.

Influencer Marketing Case Study – Lumity

How we helped Beauty & Skincare brand, Lumity connect with their audience and drive sales by utilising Influencer Marketing

Objectives

  • Improve Brand Awareness
  • Increase Website Traffic
  • Drive Website Sales

 

In early 2019, Lumity came to Limelight with the task of growing their online presence and increasing direct sales through the website.

We required a super-tailored approach to the campaigns that we were to run to ensure a strong ROI as the competitiveness of the industry meant a blanket approach would ultimately lead to wasted spend.

Our focus was to get Flagship Product, the popular Anti-Ageing Supplements, in front of Lumity’s target audience of wealthy, older females by understanding where they were found online and which influencers were most trusted and respected in this niche.

As a new beauty brand entering an incredibly competitive and developed industry, Lumity understood that as opposed to other forms of Marketing, Digital offered them a realistic and affordable way of challenging established brands and reaching hyper-targeted audiences.

Even within Online Marketing, typical promotion such as features on national publication websites would require a huge budget and is usually a reserve for only the biggest, established brands.

Rather than try and compete in this manner which was financially unviable, we had to find a medium-ground of respected Influencers and Bloggers with large, very specific audiences that would lead to sales at a reasonable cost.

Whether we targeted Influencers with popular blogs, huge Social Media followings, interesting YouTube channels or helpful podcasts, the bottom line was always relevance and return on investment.

Since we started connecting with these Influencers and even bringing onboard respected figures in the industry as ‘Brand Ambassadors’ we’ve not only helped Lumity increase sales but we’ve also helped increase referral traffic to the website and improved overall brand awareness.

Take a look at just a select few of the great Influencer Coverage we have got for Lumity so far:

Blogger Reviews

Social Coverage

Video Reviews

 

The Results

Since we started to gather Blogger/Video Reviews and Social Coverage in Summer/Autumn 2019, there has been a noticeable increase in website traffic, transaction revenue and the website has even begun to start ranking well for priority keywords in Search Engines such as Google.

  • Social shares from the Influencers mentioning Lumity have reached a combined audience of over 37k targeted followers
  • Website traffic has improved YoY for 4 out of the 5 previous months since we started Influencer Marketing
  • Transaction Revenue was up 9% YoY as of December 2019

We continue to work with Lumity and plan to implement an even more ambitious Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2020 and beyond as they look to grow further, especially by marketing their Anti Ageing Supplements in the US market.

For more information on how we can help you with Influencer Marketing or any other form of Digital Marketing please get in touch, or whilst you’re here, why not read more of our Case Studies

How TikTok is Changing Marketing Strategies

With over 1.5 billion users, TikTok is fast becoming one of the giant social media networks chasing the heels of Twitter, Facebook and main rivals Instagram and Snapchat.

Brands are now aware of the presence of TikTok and are starting to factor them into upcoming marketing campaigns but what is TikTok and how can it benefit businesses.

What is TikTok

TikTok has come after the sad demise of Vine. Vine was a platform based on short videos and TikTok is no different. Videos can be up to 15 seconds long, but users can connect multiple clips together to create a 60-second video or use videos recorded outside of the app to upload a longer video. 

There is also a live-streaming option (like Facebook and Instagram) and a range of filters and tools to help improve your video presentation. Originally starting its journey as Musical.ly it rebranded in 2018 to TikTok but still kept the same concept of incorporating music into videos. As TikTok has grown so has the number of videos and the different trends. Creating videos with music is now not the only genre of video you can find on the app as viral challenges, such as the #BottleCapChallenge, are what keeps bringing people back to the app.

Brands and Marketers: How to make TikTok tick for you

TikTok isn’t going anywhere soon so brands and marketers are working on how to utilise the popular app to reach out to a wider audience. Below are the benefits of TikTok.

Reach a Younger Audience

The majority of TikTok’s users are part of the Gen Z generation with 60% of the app’s monthly users are 16-24-year-olds. TikTok is considered a great platform to reach the younger generation as they move away from traditional sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Popular music acts such as BTS and Ariana Grande have unlocked the potential of this new platform and are using it as a new way to talk to their target audience whilst still getting exposure.

@bts_official_bighit🕴HAPPY🕴HALLOWEEN🕴#Halloween #할로윈#BTS #JIN #진 #SUGA #슈가 #RM #알엠♬ 오리지널 사운드 – BTS

Brands have realised that they can use the free platform for free brand awareness. Elf Cosmetics use the platform to promote products as well as fun content to their 9.3k followers, whereas UK based gym clothing brand GymShark use the platform to promote workouts, challenges and fun content involving their staff whilst still staying on brand. It’s important when it comes to the younger audience that you make quick content that is easy to digest as we now live in a fast pace world. 

@gymsharkSliding into your crushes dm’s like 🤗 demibagby #goforgold #gymshark #gymshark66 #beconfident #foryou♬ No Idea – Don Toliver

Marketing But Not As We Know It

In the past marketing has always been about getting links and exposure but TikTok changes the way we look at this as it’s not about building links, it’s just about brand awareness and fun content.

Profiles don’t even contain standard links so brands are unable to link off to their website so they have to hope that the content is fun and enjoyable so that the user will naturally head off to their website. 

However, it was announced in November that TikTok is testing a new feature which will allow users to add a shoppable URL to their bios or videos, allowing users to buy products without leaving the app. This will change the way TikTok currently works with brands and enable free links. 

Influencers

Influencers are nothing new in the marketing world and it would only be a matter of time before certain stars of TikTok would arise from the platform. Some of the biggest influencers on the platform at the moment are Loren Gray, Baby Ariel and Jacob Sartorius. The influencers are all under 30 which makes them more appealing to TikTok’s target audience.

@lorengraysometimes u just gotta transition into a onesie 🙈 justdancegameus #justdancemoves #justdance2020 #ad♬ original sound – lorengray

However, brands haven’t really grasped how to promote through the influencers as, without a link to a product/website, there is no real benefit for brands at this moment in time. 

Not so serious

The important thing to remember about TikTok is that it is not a serious platform. All the videos on there are fun and short. Although music remains the heart of TikTok, it has quickly become a place for edgy, alternative comedy – similar to its predecessor, Vine. Humour is a powerful weapon when it comes to connecting to potential customers on an emotional level. TikTok is essentially a fun and culturally relative app, perfect for those who don’t want to take themselves too seriously. 

Even though TikTok is still considered new in comparison to its rivals, it continues to grow in popularity. The important thing to note is that if you are aiming to reach a younger audience then TikTok should definitely be considered in your next marketing strategy.