Nathan Safran

Nathan Safran is the CEO and founder of Blue Nile Research, a market research/thought leadership firm. Nathan helps firms of all sizes create industry leading research studies and thought leadership.

SEO

It’s Time For Marketers To Attend To The Branding Benefits Of Search

Google recently released a study that concluded, “Search Ads Lift Brand Awareness.” The study tested brand recall for searchers who had seen the target brand in paid search ads against a control group who had not been exposed to the brand. The study concluded that brand-exposed searchers had a 6.6% increase (80% lift) over the […]

SEO

Competitive Analysis: The Most Valuable SEO Tactic You Ignore [Data]

When it comes to getting ahead in search, experts agree that competitive analysis is critical. International search engine optimization (SEO) consultant Aleyda Solis observes: One of the most important activities for any SEO process is the initial competitive analysis. In a nod to how important she thinks it is, she created a sophisticated workflow to […]

SEO

4 Intangible Benefits Of Content You Shouldn’t Overlook

The benefits of the ever-increasing intersection of digital marketing and technology are clear: we can measure the impact of our online efforts like never before. But, along with tracking valuable content metrics like traffic, downloads and bounce rate, we should remember that content has intangible benefits that should be part of any ROI discussion. The […]

SEO

Why It’s Good To Compete With Google

If you talk to a room full of veteran digital marketers, a topic that eventually comes up is competition — specifically, the fact that our competition in search is often not immediately obvious. You can miss out on understanding your online competition for a few different reasons. For example, marketers sometimes erroneously assume that brick-and-mortar […]

Amazon

4 Revealing Facts About How Consumers Search And Buy Online

A recently released study by retail engagement firm Parago examined how consumers research and buy across several product categories. The research is chock full of insight about how people buy, with broad implications for digital marketers. I want to focus on one aspect of the research: insight into consumer behavior when the buyer is in […]

PPC

If Online Ad Targeting Works, Does More Targeting Work Better?

A former colleague at Forrester Research recently published a study that described his view of the future of online marketing. The study is available to Forrester clients only, but the crux of the argument is laid out in a blog post: Why Google – Not Facebook – Will Build The Database Of Affinity. The author, […]

Apple

The Bing Dilemma: What To Do With The Little Search Engine That Can’t

The challenge that Microsoft faces in the online search landscape could be a business school case study: how to capture market share from a competitor whose very brand (“Google”) has become synonymous with the act of searching online. Imagine that you are the person at Microsoft responsible for Bing’s success and are tasked with moving […]

Google

4 Recent Changes To SEO That Are Vital To Holiday Retail Strategy

It’s the holiday season again, and while certain sectors may be winding down for a relaxing month of festivities, online sellers are revving up their retail strategy. It’s a crucial, make-or-break time of year for retailers to excel in customer service, gift-wrapping services, and, of course, search. A lot has happened in digital marketing in […]

Google

Google Seeks Searcher Satisfaction: How Marketers Can Keep Up

In late September, Google announced it had been gradually rolling out Hummingbird, a completely new search algorithm. The algorithm emphasizes semantic search and focuses on understanding the meaning behind the user query rather than simply trying to match instances of words in its Web index. Take a look at Danny Sullivan’s great FAQ for more […]

SEO

The End Of One-Size-Fits-All SEO Reporting

If your organization is like most, the process of establishing KPIs to track natural search probably looks something like this: “Put together high-level KPIs such as X and Y, and run it by a few key stakeholders.” At first glance, that process likely seems to have worked pretty well — after all, few stakeholders make […]

Analytics & Conversion

“Big Data” Is Not “Big Data” Unless It Gives You Actionable Insight

Occasionally, marketers want something because the media attention around it demands it.  There was a time, not too long ago, when CMOs sent urgent, late-night emails to their teams asking about their “link-shortening strategy.” In some ways, “big data” technology falls into that category. Mainstream tech media and even traditional media outlets write about it […]

PPC

Content Creation & Organizational Empowerment Key To Search Success

The SEO industry has undergone significant changes in the last 12+ months. Search has gained greater legitimacy as a marketing channel as budget holders increase head count and invest in advanced technology. And, the SERPs themselves have undergone changes that have had many implications, including adjustments to the underlying algorithms that surface content. Here at […]

PPC

How to Counter Your Ignorant Boss’ Misconceptions About SEO

Any in-house SEO professional (or consultant) who has been in the industry for even a short time has likely had to dispel misconceptions and inaccuracies about SEO to a senior manager, budget holder or client.  These misconceptions can often be so embedded that they result in an underfunded, under-resourced and under “mind-shared” SEO program. To […]