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INTERNATIONAL: What Internet Marketing Tactics Were in Demand around the World in 2012?

Bruce Clay Australia, Bruce Clay Europe and Bruce Clay Japan, January 15, 2012

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Highlights:

  • In Japan, SEO demand focused on link pruning and reporting ROI.
  • In Europe, the multilingual continent created challenges for SEO.
  • In Australia, businesses were interested in search-engine safe strategies.

To uncover the state of global Internet marketing over the past year, we posed six questions to the Bruce Clay offices in Asia, Europe and Australia.

President of Bruce Clay Japan, Taku Amano, describes a growing demand for link pruning and measurable ROI. Skip to Japan's report.

Bruce Clay Europe's SEM manager Nicola Martino points to trends on the continent, and the challenge of multilanguage sites. Skip to Europe's report.

And Bruce Clay Australasia's Adam Dominik, senior analyst, reviews the year in their region, highlighted by tried-and-true SEO. Skip to Australasia's report.

Internet Marketing in Japan in 2012: More ROI, Less Spam

What were the buzz words of Internet marketing in 2012?

  • Smartphone, Tablet PC
  • Social Media CRM
  • O2O (Online to Offline)
  • Audience Targeting Ad (DSP)
  • LINE (a mobile messaging app)

In what concrete ways did SEO change in 2012?

Taku Amano
Taku Amano of Bruce Clay Japan

Tons of link penalties from Google. No more spam links, no more Black Hat SEO.

Clients are now aware of the great risk when they fully entrust SEO agencies with tactics and implementation (90 percent of all domestic agencies are link-building companies).

Many clients are shifting to do in-house SEO, such as building good content for their users and on-page optimization. They also shifted their budget to PPC, because they can expect its return and the returns are quick.

What proved the most effective SEO tactics of 2012? The most requested? The most popular?

  • Least imperfect
  • No more spam links
  • Many requests for Link Pruning Service and legitimate (by search engine guidelines) link building

What was the demand for content and content marketing in 2012 compared to 2011?

More focused on CRO, segmentation, A/B and multivariate testing and usability testing.

What was the demand for link building in 2012 compared to 2011?

Many requests for a link pruning service and legitimate link building.

How did budgets for Internet marketing shift in 2012? Were budgets larger or smaller overall? Was more or less invested in specific channels?

Budgets were larger overall. SEO budgets are a little smaller. There was a shift in budgets to other marketing channel such as PPC, from which they can expect quick return.

Internet Marketing in Europe in 2012: Caution and Reporting

Nicola Martino
Nicola Martino of Bruce Clay Europe

What were the buzz words of Internet marketing in 2012?

Google penalties: panda and penguin, site migrations, cloud hosting, multilanguage in websites, social strategy

In what concrete ways did SEO change in 2012?

SEO activities improved as internal standards with more changes in periodic monitoring and reporting. Ranking and traffic monitoring, but also social and brand management activities have increased during 2012. We noticed that Italian clients are lately considering multilingual access as a more important parameter within their sites. SEO strategies were distributed, then also to technical and content assessments to convert local websites to global ones.

What proved the most effective SEO tactics of 2012? The most requested? The most popular?

Inbound links assessment and monitoring became one of the most requested packages, together with penalty recovery or prevention checks. Social strategies are another requested service, but companies do not seem to be ready to invest into it in Italy and over Europe. We noticed a stronger interest in brand reputation management focused on Google results. Indeed most requested and popular package among our clients is the SEO audit on site or migrated/redesigned site.

What was the demand for content and content marketing in 2012 compared to 2011?

In general, we did not find a big difference in demand for content or content marketing compared to last year. Companies, even if they started understanding the importance of content included in their site, are not so much asking for content production. They still prefer using content already prepared for offline marketing.

What was the demand for link building in 2012 compared to 2011?

In 2012, we noticed much less demand for link building. Clients were much more interested in monitoring and cleaning their backlinks versus increasing them.

How did budgets for Internet marketing shift in 2012? Were budgets larger or smaller overall? Was more or less invested in specific channels?

There is a shift from offline to online digital advertising, but European companies that are not used to investing in online digital are very cautious with it. It seems that investments were also shifted to improve infrastructure/hosting solutions. PPC is still an area where bigger clients tend to invest a lot, but it seems they are more and more considering moving budgets to SEO.

Internet Marketing in Australasia in 2012: True-Blue White Hat SEO

What were the buzz words of internet marketing in 2012?

  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
  • Calls to Action (CTA)
  • Non-Brand SEO Traffic
  • Targeted Traffic
  • Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
  • Reputation Management
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Multivariate Testing
  • User Engagement
  • User Engaging Content

As you can tell from the above, Internet marketing in 2012 is all about driving targeted traffic from search engines, creating and optimising content that converts visitor traffic into sales, and performing tests to ensure the highest conversion rates are achieved to deliver the highest return on investment.

In what concrete ways did SEO change in 2012?

Adam Dominik
Adam Dominik of Bruce Clay Australasia

There has definitely been less emphasis placed on link building, more focus has been placed into the safe haven of content marketing and creating additional content for websites. However, link-building has not disappeared entirely; linking strategies designed to entice natural links are now becoming the norm when it comes to sustainable link-building.

Google’s Panda changed the way website content is created. Unlike the Google Penguin algorithm update, which gives the impression that link-building is best avoided because it can be dangerous and serious repercussions can apply, Panda has the opposite effect and has actually changed the way content is created and produced online. Content is now created focusing purely on visitors without much thought for search engines. Huge importance is now placed on user-engagement, which can be closely analysed using metrics such as bounce rates and time spent on site.

What proved the most effective SEO tactics of 2012? The most requested? The most popular?

Extensive keyword research still proves to be a very effective SEO tactic. While keyword research does not specifically optimise a website, it is used as a roadmap or guide to a content strategy and delivers the pathway to an optimised information architecture (IA).

The most requested and the most popular SEO tactics of 2012 would have to be on-page SEO and content strategies. Getting the keywords right and placed within the critical areas in the Meta data and throughout the content is key. Recommending unique content on pages that use boiler plate text or enhancing pages with thin content were also common recommendations throughout 2012. On-page SEO is just as important now as it was years ago.

What was the demand for content marketing in 2012 compared to 2011?

Since the introduction of the Google Panda, content creation and content marketing has stepped up to a whole new level. Panda has actually encouraged everyone from large enterprises to webmasters of small business websites to focus more on creating user-engaging content as opposed to creating content for search engines, as sometimes happened in pre-Panda times. This has had a positive impact in terms of decreasing bounce rates, increasing time spent on site and increasing Google’s reputation for delivering quality results.

The demand for content marketing has certainly increased in 2012, with a strong focus on delivering quality user-engaging content.

What was the demand for link building in 2012 compared to 2011?

Given all the announcements in 2012 by Google (Matt Cutts in particular) on new and updated algorithms targeting user-generated links and links built for the sole purpose of gaming the system, it is not surprising to see the demand for link building decrease in 2012 compared to 2011.

These algorithmic updates have placed a spotlight on the backlink profiles of websites, and now more than ever before, it is important to maintain a healthy, natural backlink profile. Google’s new disavow tool has made maintaining a natural backlink profile easier and simpler. As Google’s algorithms get smarter, or more targeted towards unnatural looking links, link pruning (removal of unnatural or spammy links) will increase in popularity.

How did budgets for internet marketing shift in 2012? Were budgets larger or smaller overall? Was more or less invested in specific channels?

Internet marketing budgets have certainly grown, however not at an exponential rate. Budgets have not increased in specific channels; It's more along the lines of additional hours being allocated on SEO recommendations for new parts of a website not previously optimised, or developing or enhancing internal processes to ensure SEO is a consideration in the development process, rather than as an afterthought.

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