Proceed with caution: Tuesday’s Daily Brief
Plus, four tools to check for title changes in the SERPs.
MarTech’s daily brief features daily insights, news, tips, and essential bits of wisdom for today’s digital marketing leader. If you would like to read this before the rest of the internet does, sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox daily.
Good morning, Marketers, and proceed with caution.
Many reminders already this week, not only that we have not reached the finishing line with COVID-19, but also that the pandemic is far from the only problem on the planet. This means it’s risky out there, especially if your job is to create inspiring messages to engage your customers. Because the traditional inspiring messages really might not work.
With the EU Council advising its 27 member nations not to accept travelers from the U.S. on anything but essential business, hurricane season in full flood, and the virus pummeling a popular holiday destination like Florida, marketers in the travel sector will need to be especially careful to concentrate on providing actionable information rather than just deals.
That’s an obvious example, but it is just that — an example. Across the board, marketers should be putting what customers care about first. This is not a time to be putting your brand’s interests first. Listen carefully and practice empathy. If you do that, the revenue will be there at the end of the day.
Writing customer stories improves team collaboration
The story approach has been long used by agile software teams, and you may be familiar with the term “user stories.” User stories were created to get rid of heavy documentation and to spur a conversation with the team.
While user stories were meant for software developers to see how people used their systems, it’s a technique that works well for marketers too — with a few minor tweaks. “Instead of ‘users’ of a system, we want to think about what our customers want, so I like to call them ‘customer stories,’” writes agile marketing coach Stacey Ackerman.
In her latest article, Stacey gives detailed, actionable advice on the practice of customer story writing, arguing for its superiority as a planning tool over listing tasks to be accomplished, and showing how it helps teams improve their collaboration skills.
Zendesk acquires Cleverly.ai
Customer service and sales software company Zendesk has acquired AI-powered support solution Cleverly.ai.
The acquisition boosts Zendesk’s agent and admin productivity tools, adding to such offerings as Zendesk macro suggestions (based on ticket context in order to increase agency efficiency), as well as Answer Bot (a chatbot that can answer routine questions or escalate to a live agent) and Content Cues (which identifies content to be refreshed based on customer service cases).
Why we care. Conversation volume has gone up more than 20 percent year-over-year, according to Zendesk’s updated survey. With supply chain problems and ongoing uncertainty about how the pandemic will resolve, the volume of contacts from customers is likely to continue to climb.
And to remain competitive in most industries, marketers will have to plan to meet these inquiries at scale and to have a good data infrastructure to support all the conversations with real-time insights into customer behavior.
Four tools to check for title changes in the SERPs
On August 24, Google confirmed that it changed how it creates titles for search result listings. Unfortunately, title change information isn’t available in Google Search Console or Google Analytics. So, SEOs have turned to third-party tools to see whether their titles are being changed. Below is a list of tools you can use to check for title changes and instructions on how to do so.
- Ahrefs: Viewing title changes in Ahrefs is a manual process. You can check for changes via historical SERPs in Site Explorer > Organic Keywords 2.0. Simply toggle the date field to view the SERPs for that particular day.
- Rank Ranger: The SEO Monitor tool in Rank Ranger charts rankings over time. Below the chart is a list of all the changes to the page title and description in Google Search. This means if you or Google make any changes to your title or description, it’ll be displayed here with the date that the change occurred.
- Semrush: Like Ahrefs, Semrush also offers a manual process to check for title changes. For keywords you’ve been tracking in the Position Tracking tool, click on the SERP icon next to the keyword. That will pull the search results page for the date selected in the report. If you suspect a title was changed, you can confirm this by changing the date in the report and repeating this process to compare titles.
- SISTRIX: In the left-hand navigation, under SERPs > SERP-Snippets, select “Show title changes.” There, in the “Title” column, you can view title changes. The red text indicates words that have been dropped from the title and the green text indicates words that have been added.
Quote of the day
“We spend most of our waking hours preparing for work, at work or recovering from work, and yet it’s not personal, it’s just business?” Don Hornsby, social media specialist.