How IKEA aimed to solve life’s biggest problems with smart SEO

Having a great reputation for function and value isn’t a bad place for a superbrand to be in – but, as IKEA understands all too well, it can come with certain drawbacks. “It’s not good when brands connect only to your brain,” explains IKEA Marketing Project Leader Carin Jacobsson. “Because then people will only go for the best deal and if they find a better deal they’ll leave. It’s much better to connect to the heart – if you have a relationship with a company you love, you’ll never leave.”

To build this relationship with a youthful audience, IKEA turned to Search – because, as Jacobsson explains, “We know that our younger audience aren’t watching TV or reading newspapers as much as previous generations – they’re online, and they’re turning to Google to answer every question they have.” Some of those questions, it transpired, were about more than purely functional matters – and that was where IKEA and marketing agency Åkestam Holst found their inspiration for what would turn into a hit campaign. With Google’s help, they sourced the 200 most popular search terms relating to relationship problems – then renamed key IKEA products to reflect some of the most popular. A daybed became My Partner Snores, for instance, while a three-port USB charger was renamed He Doesn’t Text Me Back.“

The new concept aimed to prove the products’ genuine presence in life by giving them a deeper emotional meaning,” explains Kjell Månsson, senior account director. “The instant insight was that there are always two – or more – persons involved in a relationship problem – but most often only one person is sitting home Googling it. We decided to change relationship problems on Google into relationship solutions at IKEA.”

“We know that our younger audience aren’t watching TV or reading newspapers as much as previous generations – they’re online, and they’re turning to Google to answer every question they have.”– Carin Jacobsson, Marketing Project Leader at IKEA

Success was instant and impressive: IKEA Retail Therapy was seen by 1.7 million Swedes (out of a total population of 9.5 million) – but more importantly, the perception of IKEA’s products changed. The campaign eventually garnered a global media reach of 175 million, with 100,000 positive shares on social media – and it also increased sales of some of the items featured by more than 25%. “It actually did drive sales, but it was primarily a brand-building activity,” says Jacobsson. “It showed IKEA as an innovative company, not just in the way we think about online, but also with the products we offer – like smart lighting and so on, that people might not have been aware that we were offer.”

Going forward, IKEA plans to keep pushing the boundaries of Search – and using it in interesting and unexpected ways to connect with customers, perhaps by using the Home Hub to help with flatpack assembly or visual Search to aid home decoration. “We learned that, by combining data with creativity and understanding you can make results relevant to consumers while adding humour,” says Jacobsson. “It’s about using the environment in new ways – we’ve come to a time where companies need to earn the respect of consumers, and you can always do that by giving them a smile.”

Source: How IKEA aimed to solve life’s biggest problems with smart SEO

Credit reference agency Equifax fined £500,000 for security breach

Credit reference agency Equifax fined £500,000 for security breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued credit reference agency Equifax Ltd with a £500,000 fine for failing to protect the personal information of up to 15 million UK citizens during a cyber attack in 2017.

The incident, which happened between 13 May and 30 July 2017 in the US, affected 146 million customers globally.

The ICO investigation found that, although the information systems in the US were compromised, Equifax Ltd was responsible for the personal information of its UK customers. The UK arm of the company failed to take appropriate steps to ensure its American parent Equifax Inc, which was processing the data on its behalf, was protecting the information.

Source: Credit reference agency Equifax fined £500,000 for security breach

20 Places You Should Be Sharing Your Content

 20 Places You Should Be Sharing Your Content

Writing and publishing blog posts or articles on your own website isn’t good enough.

Your website is just one place people might discover your content.

Content is everywhere today. It’s insanely competitive.

Did you know more than 3 million blog posts are published daily?

If you’re going to gain any real traction, you need to look beyond publishing content on your website.

In addition to mainstream outlets like Medium, sharing your content on industry or niche platforms can also help it get seen by more people.

Think of sharing your content on other outlets like a megaphone: the more places you promote it, the wider the message will spread.

Ready to amplify your content and grow your website traffic and conversions?

Here are 20 places you should be sharing your content, from the mainstream to the niche.

1. Medium



20 Places You Should Be Sharing Your Content

Complete content promotion strategy for B2B

By Luca Tagliaferro

Why do you need content promotion?

In B2B content promotion has only one goal, one question to answer: where did another business discover your piece of content? Did a colleague send it to you? Did it pop up on a social media timeline? Whatever the place is you found that piece of content, it was an example of content promotion.

In 2016, it was reported that 47% of B2B buyers consume 3-5 pieces of content prior to engaging with a salesperson. This could mean that nearly half of your customers were consuming your content before your sales team even knew who they were. Content promotion will drive website traffic, improve engagement from audience members, prospects, and customers, and aid buyers in making purchase decisions with your business.

How do you improve your content promotion?

Before diving into content promotion best practices, it’s important to understand the relationship between organic content promotion and paid content promotion.

According to the Content Marketing Institute in the US 66% of B2B companies opt for Search Engine Marketing paid advertising to promote their content, while 52% prefer Promoted Posts on Social Media.


Organic content promotion is designed to increase the visibility of your content and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns without spending money on ad space, boosted content, or promoted content.

Some of the most effective organic content promotion channels are: search engine optimization, email marketing, social media, live promotions, like events or webinars, influencer networks, and, let’s not forget, the good old fashioned word of mouth.

A benefit of doing organic promotion is increased brand authority across various platforms. Because the amount of content you can promote is not limited by a budget, you are able to use multiple platforms to promote quality content and increase awareness about your business and brand.

In contrast, paid content promotion allows you to show your content to a highly specific audience. In most cases, you’re able to customize the target audience pool as well as the message, but you will have to spend money in order for anyone to see your content.

The most common channels for paid promotion are search engine ads that are placed on platforms, such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, and paid social media campaigns on platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

A benefit of paid promotion is the ability to develop and deliver highly-targeted content to consumers who will find the content most relevant. A challenge when doing paid promotion is securing enough budget in order to achieve your desired results. To overcome this challenge, it’s best to experiment with a small budget to discover the best ways to achieve your desired outcome.

The most efficient way for organic and paid content promotion to work together is promote well-performing content. Content that performs well will have above average engagement with it, such as likes, shares, retweets, and link clicks, which drive traffic to your website. Platforms like Facebook make this easy for you to understand, as they’ll tell you when you have a high-performing post and recommend that you increase its reach with ad spend.

As a result, you’ll be more effective at increasing the reach of your content, attracting new audience members and prospects, and helping leads make better decisions about your business.

The content promotion calendar

Now that you understand the powerful relationship between organic and paid content promotion, let’s discuss the best practices that will help you excel at content promotion

Let’s get started with the first best practice: use a content promotion calendar. A content promotion calendar will help you keep track of various types of communications scheduled to go out and the dates and times for when they will be published. However, it is not a one-size-fits-all, which is why it’s important to create a promotion plan that will include details about your target audiences, internal and external communication channels, and the content that will be distributed across these channels. The content promotion calendar ties all of these details together to create a game plan for how and when communications will be released.

Audience segmentation

Once you have a calendar that details your promotional efforts, you can use segmentation to create a specific audience to receive your content.

Segmentation is used to divide large audiences or target markets into smaller segments based on specific criteria. It’s a helpful step that makes it easier for you to target the right people for your business and avoid showing ads or serving content to people who are ultimately not a good fit. When you use segmentation, you should always keep your buyer persona in mind and create segments that align with the interests, demographics, and geographical location of your ideal customer.

Your ability to segment your audience will vary by the promotion channel you use. Often, content marketers use segmentation for email marketing campaigns, social media campaigns, and paid campaigns.

Segmentation in email is typically done using lists with specific criteria of contacts in a company’s database. Keep in mind, the criteria in your list is based off pre-existing information you’ve collected from your contacts; this could be through analytics or questions you’ve asked them, like on a form.

By using segmentation, you’re not only creating a custom audience for your content, but it will make it easy for you to create a customized message for audience members across all channels. Which brings us to the next best practice: create a custom message for each channel.

Developing your custom message

When developing your message, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. The first is the tone of your message.

Tone is defined as the general attitude of your message. When deciding the tone, think about the feeling you want your message to carry. It should be closely aligned with the tone of your content, but they’re not always the same thing. You may want your message to inspire your audience, encourage them, educate them, or maybe just make them laugh.

Another thing to consider when developing your message is, how will you clearly communicate the value of the content you’re promoting?

A way to check if you are communicating the true value of your offer is to define two to three benefits someone would gain from your piece of content and try using at least one of them in the message you’ll use to promote it. You’ll also want to customize your message to match the distribution channel, as each channel has a unique audience that expects content to be delivered in a specific way.

Experimentation is a great way to learn how to best deliver your content to your audience and is something you should be doing on a consistent basis. There is no magic recipe for how to promote a piece of content. Instead, you’ll need to try new ingredients by testing new content promotion tactics.

After you’ve run a successful promotion campaign, it will be time for you to analyze the results of your efforts, which is the next best practice.

Analyzing the results

To start, you’ll want to analyze the performance of your promotions’ channels. Is there one or two that exceeded expectations? Or maybe there’s one channel that significantly underperformed?

Once you’ve identified these trends, you’ll want to explore each channel individually and assess how each message impacted the overall performance of the channels. Was there a particular message that resonated well with your audience, or one that missed the mark completely?

Next, you’ll need to identify next steps that you can take based off the new insights you’ve gathered from your campaigns. Is there a channel that you should lean into further or a tone that works best with your audience? If so, you’ll want to incorporate these takeaways in future campaigns.

Summary and conclusion

Let’s do a quick recap of all the best practices:

  • create a content promotion calendar to help you organize your promotion plan.
  • Use segmentation to create a specific audience for your content.
  • Customize your message for each channel.
  • Always be sure to experiment with new ways and promote your content and optimize for the best results.
  • Lastly, analyze your campaign results.

lucaThanks to Luca Tagliaferro for sharing his advice and opinions in this post. Luca Tagliaferro has over 6 years’ experience in digital marketing, formally qualified with MA in digital Marketing from a UK leading University and currently working for a UK publishing company heading the new media department.

Latest Google Algorithm Update

Penguin 4.0 Rollout Complete: Are You at Risk?

Google is engaged in a constant, uphill battle against those who try to game the SERPs for profit, distorting search results with spammy tactics and questionable link acquisition. In 2012, the first Penguin update was implemented to deal with sites that were using unnatural links to boost their search engine ranks.
As a result of the original Penguin, several websites were penalized, which ultimately removed them from visibility in the SERPs. It took some sites quite a bit of time to recover, and sites that made legitimate attempts to restore their rank in the search results were forced to wait for the next update of the algorithm. Now, everything has changed with Penguin 4.0.

“Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time. Now Penguin is real-time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page,” wrote Gary Illyes on the Google Webmaster blog.

The Big Changes with Penguin 4.0

Like virtually every algorithm update from Google, multiple changes often occur. In the case of Penguin 4.0, there are some significant changes to the Penguin algorithm overall. These include:

1. Addition to Google’s Core

There are plenty of secondary algorithms used by Google, but its “Core”, as Google calls it, is the primary group of dozens of algorithms used to evaluate your site. These algorithms analyze a variety aspects of your site’s design and content then weigh them against a user’s search query to determine your rank.

Google is now moving Penguin into this group of core algorithms, which will make it a more significant deciding factor when it comes to search rank.

2. Constant Updates

As Gary Illyes mentioned, Penguin 4.0 is going to update in real-time, rather than updating only periodically. The constant refreshing means that sites won’t have to wait as long to restore their rank if they catch and eliminate a bad link to comply with Penguin.

3. Decrease in Domain Penalties

Previously, if you built a spammy link on a site that pointed back to one of your landing pages, and that link was flagged as an unnatural one, your entire domain was likely to be flagged. This resulted in a site-wide penalty that would kick your entire domain down in the search results.
With the new Penguin update, a full domain penalty is far less likely to occur. Instead, you’re more likely to see penalties on individual pages that receive spammy links.

What the Update Means for Marketers – Are You at Risk?

Updates like Penguin’s latest one have a greater chance of impacting more websites, specifically because they involve the evaluation of links coming into your site and the authority and quality of the domains they come from.

While you have some control over the links you’re directly building, you have far less control over the sources of links, since Google’s position on a domain could change at any time – and now much faster after Penguin’s inclusion as a core algorithm.

Here are some takeaways to keep in mind:

Quick Lift, Quicker Penalties

If you were recently penalized for link building, you can rectify the damage much more quickly than before. That means you’ll see lift and restoration to previous search rank faster than ever before when you quickly disavow or deal with bad links.
On the other side of it, those penalties will come swiftly – faster than ever before. I’d like to think you’re building links naturally and sticking to white-hat, completely legit practices. If you’re edging into gray hat SEO and acquiring links through loopholes, understand that you’re putting your site and your most important landing pages at risk. If these get flagged, you’ll face a swift penalty from the algorithm.

A Fairer Algorithm

Nowadays, there is a big emphasis on content marketing, as businesses, influencers, and marketers rely heavily on guest blogging to build natural links and grow referral traffic. Marketers who produce really awesome content are going to see significant rewards from their efforts.

Granularity in Fixes

Since Penguin 4.0 is doing away with domain-level penalties, and instead targeting the offending link destinations (landing pages), you now have the opportunity to fix issues on a granular level. This is a good opportunity for marketers to learn from their mistakes without losing a tremendous volume of organic search traffic.

Better Evaluation

I expect this update will force marketers to spend a little more time evaluating where their links are coming from, especially when they’re actively building organic links. While the impact may be less significant, it will now happen faster and you should aim to protect your search rank at all times.

Ultimately, the smartest approach is focusing on building your brand rather than building links. Creating great content will generate links naturally, especially if you’re guest blogging and creating the kind of quality, 10x content that people want to share.

Aim to tell your story, and rely on your metrics to determine what content your audience is most interested in seeing. Build on that, promote it, distribute it properly, and continue to repurpose your best content. If you’re not actively trying to build links, you’ll never really be at risk of crossing the line with the algorithm because your links will come from natural acquisition.

This article was originally written by By  on Nov 4, 2016 for Site Pro News