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Holiday online sales forecast: “weak”

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Don’t worry, the Grinch hasn’t stolen Christmas.

But things are slowing down: According to Adobe, this year’s overall online holiday spending will grow a mere 2.5% – the lowest in seven years.

Why? Many reasons: Retailers have started discounting products early, thanks to bloated inventories, miscalculations, inflation, and so on.

Discounts came early this year: Plus, many brands have already started running discounts, with Amazon launching its Prime Early Access Event and other companies rolling out similar deals earlier and for longer.

All that early discounting is expected to weaken big sale days like Cyber Week.

And with customers likely to prioritize essential items, you may see fewer clicks and conversions during what’s historically been a lucrative season.

Why we care: All signs point to an unpredictable holiday season for e-commerce brands. If you see a dip in predicted profits, be assured you’re not the only one.


GOOGLE

YouTube introduce handles, plus two SEO updates

Isn’t it crazy how siblings can come from the same parents and be nothing alike?

Sort of like today’s three Google updates…

What’s your handle: YouTube is finally adding “handles,” following in the footsteps of Twitter, Instagram, and other channels.

YouTube handles or “@usernames” will allow all users to interact across Shorts, channel pages, video descriptions, inside the comment section, and more. Nice.

Who should write reviews: Google has added three examples of desired product review article writers:

  • An expert staff member or merchant that guides shoppers between products.
  • A blogger providing independent opinions on products.
  • An editorial staff member of a news or publishing website.

Sometimes, but not always: Also, Google’s Danny Sullivan confirmed that the product review update is indeed on a page-level basis.

… Unless you have a lot of product reviews, in which case it could be a site-wide evaluation.

Why we care: YouTube’s handles could be a game-changer if you’re using the platform. They should make it easier to promote your account and boost brand awareness in video descriptions, comments, and elsewhere.

And in case you haven’t noticed already, Google’s reviews update proves it favors legitimate, authoritative content above simple, low-quality review pages.

So keep it real out there!


SPONSORED BY NORTHBEAM

Never waste ad spend again: Find out exactly which channels, campaigns and creatives are actually driving revenue

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You wouldn’t make big budget decisions with your gut, right?

So stop relying on just intuition to tell you what ads and channels are working!

… Especially when the brightest minds in data science, marketing, and media buying have joined forces to give you total clarity on your customer journey and your ad spend.

Northbeam created a platform that shows you exactly what happens between your marketing investments and the revenue generated.

Northbeam’s algorithm tracks every channel, touchpoint, and conversion in the customer journey.

And its advanced machine learning models show you the specific metrics, campaigns, and goals that are actually driving performance.

Revenue is attributed to each channel, ad click, or view.

… Giving you a clear path to profitable growth.

The Ridge, PetMeds, Hexclad, and hundreds of e-commerce brands use Northbeam to understand and demonstrate the real impact of their ad spend every day.

Schedule your free demo now.

 


SEO

5 basic steps for rock solid SEO and higher rankings

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The ever-changing nature of SEO can feel complex and overwhelming.

But here’s the thing: if you want to lift your website rankings, just focus on the basics.

In this Twitter thread, Matt Gray outlines the fundamentals you should invest most of your energy into.

Let’s get basic…

1 – Increase your website speed: A slow website creates a bad user experience and high bounce rates, and it even makes crawling hard for bots.

Use plugins that can optimize your website, compress images, remove unnecessary large items, etc., to make it faster and more efficient.

2 – Identify keywords: Put all your keywords into a separate research sheet. Find a list of top competitor keywords using SEO tools, then find related and semantic keywords to produce your content around.

And keep in mind that sometimes even low search volume keywords can yield great results.

3 – Create unique SEO landing pages… also known as “money pages.” These are highly optimized pages for all the verticals your business can solve.

“SEO agency,” “ad creative agency,” “LinkedIn optimization”, etc.

4 – Outline and write great content: Find awesome topics on niche message boards, forums, Reddit, Quora, etc. Study competitors, too, then outline header structure and primary and secondary keywords.

To write great content you need to understand your audience, write concise fluff-free sentences… or hire awesome writers from reliable groups and job boards.

5 – Build links: The strength and authority of your website relies on relevant backlinks that lead back to it. Learn about guest posting, broken link building, and linkable assets.

Matt also suggests finding communities where your audience hangs out and promoting your high-value content there.

You’ve got the basics! Do these right and climbing up the SERP won’t seem so steep.

Of course, don’t forget to keep track of your rankings and improve where possible. You’re never quite “done” with SEO. Content maintenance is half of the battle!


SPONSORED BY SALESFORCE

6 proven B2B marketing campaigns that got happy customers and big revenues

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If you’re in need of fresh ideas for your next winning strategy, these success stories from real companies will help.

Salesforce gathered six in-depth studies of successful B2B marketing campaigns across different industries.

They’re packed with tips for your own campaigns as well as takeaways on how you can apply their tactics to your own unique strategy.

Find the stories for free here.

 


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

How “idea dropshipping” can help you test new concepts—and save hundreds of hours

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So you’ve come up with a new idea, and you’ve been hard at work in the lab.

You’re enduring long nights and fast food dinners to build the perfect product so you can launch it into the world…

… But what if you could skip all that?

In our latest report for Stacked Marketer Pro, we cover the concept of “idea dropshipping.”

Because here’s the thing: you can often gauge customers’ interest in an idea without doing much work on the backend.

Here are a few examples:

  • The CarsDirect facade. Bill Gross founded CarsDirect in 1998. Back then, a website for buying used cars was a hot new idea, but Bill had a problem. He didn’t have inventory. So he faked one. When a customer placed an order for a car, Bill went to the retailer, bought the car himself, and sent it to the customer.
  • The IBM “speech-to-text” feature. Back in the ‘90s, IBM wanted to test a speech-to-text product. So they recruited a few users, gave them microphones, and showed their words appearing on screen. Here’s the plot twist… IBM had actually hired human typists to transcribe what the users were saying.
  • The Dropbox demo. The earliest demo video of Dropbox showcased the product and drove tens of thousands of signups. Only thing was, the video was likely faked. It didn’t show actual, up-to-date product functionality. But it did its job, which proved to Dropbox founder Drew Houston that people wanted his product.

The common thread? All of these examples involve “faking” the front-end portion of a product’s functionality to gauge interest. Your biggest risk is creating a product that nobody wants. This system lets you test ideas safely.

How you can apply this to e-commerce: When you’ve got a new product idea, don’t build it. Instead, create a pre-order or an out-of-stock product listing to gauge interest.

Then build the product once you know people want it.

Time and sanity… saved.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

ENTREPRENEURS: What does it take to be a profitable content creator? Subscribe to The Tilt newsletter to learn what keeps content entrepreneurs going, how they build successful content businesses, and how quickly they hit key business milestones. Get your free download here!*

PRIVACY: Shoo, banners! Brave, a browser noted for its privacy protection features, will soon allow users to prevent cookie consent banners on the websites they visit. Is this a sign of things to come?

APPLE: If you’re optimizing your app to appear in the App Store organically and also paying for ads, pay attention to the keywords you’re bidding for. They can influence how you rank… and not always in a good way.

META: It’s a Gen Z world, and Gen Z loves being part of a community. Mark Cuban believes that’s why they still use Facebook Groups. A useful insight if that’s your target demographic…

*This is a sponsored post


BRAIN TEASER

What is the end of everything?

You can find the answer here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

You’re using the weather app wrong

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Here’s a hot take (pun intended)…

You know how 75 degree days can sometimes feel completely different?

It’s not the temperature, and it’s not relative humidity.

It’s all about the dew point.

Yep, the dew point can help you predict how sweaty your armpits will be that day. The higher the dew point, the sweatier you’ll be.

According to meteorologists, it’s a reliable indicator for how things will feel outside.

Now’s a good time to show off your new knowledge in front of your friends. And maybe grab an extra shirt, too…

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