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Best of the retail marketing web – November 2015

Here is November's curated collection of marketing articles we'd like to share with you, because their content is relevant to the modern retail marketer.

Five simple tips to get your site in shape for Christmas

Ben Adam from our friends over at Leapfrogg wrote an interesting and actionable article this month. We love his points about giving page titles and meta descriptions the attention they deserve (and using schema.org to do that) and page load time. It's probably a part of Google Analytics that people don't look at as often as they should because it's really actionable and measurable.

page load time in Google Analytics

It's a busy time of year so we'll all be rushing about more. But our phones are never far away so Adam's point about mobile usability, is rightly mentioned. While it's important to get this right all year round, it's especially important for the window you have during the holiday season, as it might be your only chance to convert certain customers who'll be here today, gone tomorrow.

click here to read the article in full

How brands successfully engage consumers using social and instant messaging

targeted social campaign by Audi


This article highlighted the changing behaviours of consumers communication methods using insight taken from TNS’s Connected Life Survey.

The TNS Connected Life Survey suggested that from the 60,000 internet users surveyed from 50 markets, 55% of global internet users Instant Message every day, a point for all e-commerce and brick and mortar businesses to use to their advantage. The article revealed 5 principles to show what consumers expect from brands that engage with them: Humanise communications with consumers, Be Responsive, Be Relevant, Show Restraint and Be Targeted

We thought this was a good read as it not only provided the 5 clear principles but it also used some great examples to bring these principles to life.

click here to read the article

Content Marketing: What’s a Lede?

how to create a Lede - the Urbanbeardsman example

What is a Lede? It's not a type of beard in case you're wondering! As the article points out:

a lede is the first paragraph of a written work. Its purpose is to both inform and entice the reader — explaining or summarizing what the article is about and making that topic seem interesting.

It's the third most important part of web page/blog post after the title and feature image/thumbnail.

The article provides some great advice for marketers who are worried about why they are getting a high bounce rate. It highlights a journalistic approach (a hard lede approach) and soft lede approach which is more relevant to retail content marketing. Two great examples bring this life: one from the Urbanbeardsman (hence the beard shot above) and another from Mr. Porter. 

In short, writing ledes are about trying to do a better job at enticing readers. Perhaps the most telling insight from the article is the statement: Use the first paragraph to deliver on the promises you made in your headline. This in turn highlights the importance of great headline writing!

click here to read the article

Is your Google Analytics account full of spam?

ghosts in your Google Analytics data

This by Practicology outlines a personal bugbear of ours. The cleanliness of data for reporting purposes and how it impacts what has happened in reality.

In this case reality is the actual traffic that has come to your website from humans, which can be diluted by crawler traffic from 'bots' which automatically crawl your site making it look like you've seen an increase in web activity.

The articles gives a really actionable recommendation, which we have used ourselves by filtering traffic on a valid 'hostname'. The article also highlights the importance of creating views; one which is a raw unfiltered view of all traffic (spam and all) and a filtered view of traffic from us humans.

We've seen a lot of Google analytics accounts in our time and it's amazing how few are set up correctly, so it's worth investing some time in following the steps this article sets out. If you've got any questions about it, give us a shout!

click here to read the article

photo credit: Woolworth's decorations via photopin(license)