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By now, you have probably heard of Google’s most recent update. BERT, affecting 10% of U.S. English searches is one of the largest algorithm changes in a while.

So far, the analysis of BERT’s implications has entailed impact on natural search and strategy for organic search result optimizations.

But if BERT is an organic algorithm change, does it mean that only SEO should be considered?

Don’t forget to also think about what BERT means for your paid search approach.

It is true that nothing specifically changes for SEM. Ad formats, match types, keyword bidding options, and other settings are all staying the same.

Still, BERT will have SEM implications.

BERT’s Impact on SEM

As with SEO, BERT is not impacting SEM through new elements.

Instead, BERT makes it more important than ever before to adopt best practices for intent-based strategies.

Until now, Google would often ignore certain words in a query. However, these prepositions, adjectives or pronouns hold key intent signals. Thus, focusing on the most popular words in a query was misleading.

With BERT, Google realizes that all words need to be interpreted together, returning more targeted and better informed organic results.

Paid search results are thus finding themselves in a new landscape.

For example, a query for “cutting your own hair” will not merely feature tips on haircutting, but focus on those results with tips for someone cutting their own hair.

It will be now even more critical to tailor ad copy and landing pages to keywords. And for greatest success, auditing organic results for insights will need to be a key step in paid campaign creation.

Let’s consider these search results for the above-mentioned phrase.

Not only did BERT help find a video for people looking to cut their own hair, but further figured out that this is likely to be happening at home.

They are easily overlooked and will likely have lower engagement. This is all while they are actually for cutting one’s own hair.

Focusing on an Intent-Based PPC Strategy

If until now your paid search strategy has not been based on intent, BERT will make incorporating intent a priority.

However, a true intent-based approach will need to go beyond merely better ad text customization.

A full-fledged intent-based strategy will need to be supported by aligning campaigns, budgets, goals, and metrics with each of a user’s intent stages.

Due to budget and organizational constraints, it is not always possible to fund initiatives for all intent stages and that can be something to strive for.

In these cases, having an intent-based structure is a scalable starting point for future growth.

Leveraging automation is another approach. While automation in paid search is not new, this will assist in the growing intent-centric landscape.

Other than reviewing organic results for key search terms, search query reports also offer valuable insights.

Reviewing how long tail, non-product and non-brand queries match to keywords will indicate changes in how Google interprets context.

Having consistent and meaningful presence on non-branded keywords will be critical here. Without it, paid search campaigns will not sufficiently tap into user search activity and will not be able to act as a sufficiently strong barometer of changing user intent.

Looking into the Future of PPC

It is still relatively early since BERT rolled out and trends usually need a bit longer to materialize.

If the growth in and mapping to phrases longer than five words continues, there will be an opportunity to mine for new keywords and expand current ad groups.

However, if possible, it is best to create new ad groups for these newly identified terms.

As many of them are net new and indicative of signals that were not previously identified, existing paid search campaign structure may well not be a good fit for setting up these new terms.

Based on Google’s initial direction, BERT has a lot of potential to searchers through better context and richer user experience.

As the search landscape evolves to better align with user intent, I would invite you to see how BERT helps paid search practitioners to build efforts that better tap into user intent signals.

More Resources:

Image Credits

Screenshot taken by author, November 2023

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Will Your Cms Cause Paid Search Problems?

For many marketers involved in SEO, the three letter acronym CMS can sometimes be more like a four letter word.  Depending on the CMS and the implementation, there are some serious problems that can impact your SEO efforts.  From duplicate content to unfriendly redirects to lack of content optimization, the list can get quite long.  The irony is that CMS packages are supposed to make your life easier (and many do), but there are times they can negatively impact your SEO initiatives (and that’s an understatement).  There are many types of content management systems on the market.  Some are tailored for specific industries, others for running e-commerce shops, and then you have the major players which can run robust and high volume websites.  Some packages are more flexible to work with, while others have limits.

I’ve mentioned SEO a few times already, but you probably noticed that the title of my post focused on SEM and not just SEO.  That’s because I’ve been running into more and more CMS-related SEM problems than I’d like to.  Some of the problems can be avoided if they are addressed up front, while others are more difficult to tackle.  My goal is to arm you with information that can help you avoid some of the headaches I’ve seen when running SEM campaigns while using a CMS to power a website.  And as many of you know, hell hath no fury like an SEM that can’t track his campaigns properly. 🙂  By the way, I am by no means saying that CMS packages in general are problematic for marketing departments.  I simply want to explain specific situations where content management systems can be a thorn in your SEM side.

But Isn’t SEM Straight Forward?

There are times when I’ve been brought in to help companies and clients vet and choose the right CMS packages.  Regardless of the size of the client, most of the focus has been on the potential SEO impact.  I think many people see paid search as something relatively easy to implement.  For example, choose your keywords, build campaigns, point them to your site, and you’re good to go.  That’s not necessarily the case.  Sure, the SEO implications of choosing the wrong package for your specific situation could be catastrophic, but when many SEM campaigns are heavily judged on ROI, you should be able to give yourself the best shot at success (and that means control).  That’s where some CMS packages can be a pain in the neck.

I’ve included four categories of problems that you could face when implementing your SEM campaigns while using a CMS.  I’ve also included some recommendations and workarounds later in the post.

Customizing Content and SEM Landing Pages

An Example of Customizing a Campaign Landing Page:

You might also want to tailor content areas on the landing page.  CMS packages use templates to render the layout of certain categories of pages.  If you didn’t have specific templates created for your marketing landing pages, then you might be extremely limited with what you can tailor.  For example, your product detail pages all might be driven from one template.  Depending on how detailed you were while setting up your CMS, you might not be able to add new elements so easily.  Or, you might have to cut down your requirements and only get some of those elements implemented.

Tracking Conversion

The problems I have encountered typically deal with micro versus macro-conversions.  For example, as long as your macro-conversions are triggered in a standard way (such as submitting a form), you probably won’t have problems tracking them in your CMS.  However, tracking micro-conversions in your CMS could be problematic.  I’ve provided a quick example below.

Destination URL’s

The CMS-related URL problems I have seen are more like little gremlins versus major issues.  But these little gremlins can still cause big problems.  In some CMS packages, URL’s are tied to fields for product name or SKU.  So, if the product name or SKU changes, the URL also changes.  I’m sure many SEO’s reading this post just had adrenaline shoot through their veins since they understand how big of a problem this can be SEO-wise.  But, this can also be an equally big problem for SEM. If one of your destination URL’s changes but nobody tells you, then you’ll be driving traffic to a 404.  That’s right, you’ll still be spending money, but with absolutely no chance of converting visitors.  That’s until you (or Google) realizes what’s going on, which depending on the size of the account, could be hours or could be days.  Think about it, you could have hundreds of ad groups running in a larger account.  If even five of your destination URL’s change, you could potentially lose thousands of dollars per day (depending on the size your budget).

Landing Page Optimization

I mentioned earlier that SEM landing pages were critically important.  Once you map out your campaign landing pages, you might choose to utilize A/B split testing or multivariate testing to increase conversion.  Unfortunately, you might run into some problems while implementing testing with your CMS.  In order to implement testing, you will need to add code to your landing pages and conversion pages in your test.  You also might need to tag “sections” of your page if you want to test multiple versions of each element and their impact on conversion.  To understand what’s working and what’s not, you also might need to tag micro-conversions as your success metrics (as mentioned earlier in my post).  Unfortunately, if you don’t have the ability to add the necessary code or tag certain actions as conversion, you might have a hard time effectively optimizing your landing pages.  It’s important to speak with your CMS vendor to ensure this can be accomplished BEFORE you launch your campaigns.

Will Your CMS Enable You To Add Code For Testing?

Recommendations and Workarounds

I have provided some recommendations below that can help you while choosing the right CMS package for your site, as well how to manage certain situations if you already have a CMS in place.

Vet CMS Vendors and Packages

If Needed, Take It Outside the CMS

If you are already using a CMS and cannot implement landing pages or effectively track your SEM efforts, then you might want to build static pages that can reside outside of your CMS.  Then you can have more flexibility in developing custom landing pages, tracking what you need, adding code where you need to, etc.  Yes, this defeats the purpose of a CMS, but you will only be doing this for your SEM campaigns.  I’ve had several clients go down this path with success.

Hacks Are Sometimes Needed…

If you are already tied to a CMS and cannot do what you need SEM-wise (and you cannot build pages outside the CMS), then you might have to use some hacks to get what you want.  For those of you not familiar, a hack is simply a way to get a system to do something that it wasn’t meant to do out of the box.  For example, you might be able to use on-site search to get the right products and content on your landing page.  You might be able to hide the navigation via a CSS hack or use product-based URL’s for tracking purposes.  Hacks work, but they typically aren’t pretty.  I would use them as a last resort.

Testing Is Critically Important

Summary and Takeaways

I hope this post introduced some potential CMS-related problems that could inhibit the success of your paid search campaigns.  In a perfect world, you would address these concerns before choosing a package.  That said, the reality is that many companies have already implemented a CMS package and need to make the most of it.  Content management systems can be extremely powerful for your business, but just make sure the one you choose can track your paid search marketing campaigns effectively.

Glenn Gabe is an online marketing consultant at G-Squared Interactive and focuses heavily on SEO, SEM, Social Media Marketing, Viral Marketing and Web Analytics. You can read more of Glenn’s posts on his blog, The Internet Marketing Driver and you can follow him on Twitter to keep up with his latest projects, news, and updates.

12 Easy Signs You Need To Rethink Your Paid Search Strategy

Running paid search campaigns, but wondering if you have the right strategy in place?

Here are a dozen signs to look out for that may indicate the need to rethink your current approach.

1. You’re Constantly Underspending Your Budget

You have a budget of $5,000 per month to spend, but on a consistent basis, you aren’t coming anywhere close to that.

I’m not talking about a one-month seasonal aberration. There could be multiple reasons you’re underspending, including:

Your keyword list is too narrow.

Your targeting radius is too small.

There simply isn’t enough search demand. Remember that search doesn’t help you build demand; it simply helps you respond to it. In that case, you need awareness campaigns to feed your search campaigns.

2. You’re Down to Buying Branded Terms Only Because You Don’t See Conversions From Any Other Source

Your paid search campaign is so limited. You or your agency has culled your keyword list down to just branded terms because everything else just seems like a waste of money.

You don’t fully understand the user intent on non-branded queries. What is “the why” behind that search and do you know how to answer that “why”?

You’re expecting the same result from branded and non-branded terms (see #4 below for more info).

You might be sending every paid search ad to the home page of your website (see #9 for more)

You might have fundamental issues with how the account is set up. Perhaps you have everything set to broad match or your list of keyword negatives is incomplete.

There are other possibilities but start with looking at these basics.

And on the flip side to this extreme…

3. You Refuse to Buy Branded Terms Because You ‘Already Rank for That Organically’ … ‘So Why Waste Our Money?’

This tired argument is bound to come up when you have a new executive who is new to the world of search.

Some of the easiest answers to this question include:

Nothing stops your competitor from bidding on your brand. You can stop them from using your trademarked name in the body of an ad, but they can still bid and offer up an alternative.

Would you rather have more control over the search results page or less? You pick.

You have a greater ability to provide options to that searcher in the form of extensions, specific landing page destinations, (tracked) contact info, etc.

4. You’re Expecting the Same Type of Conversion Results From All Keywords

If you have this expectation, you’re set up to fail from the beginning. It just doesn’t work this way.

The stage of the buying cycle plays a very heavy role in which keyword gets search on. For example, let’s look at “virtual meetings”:

For this first query, the searcher has been directed to “research some ‘virtual meeting’ options”. The first query made is the most obvious one for someone with no experience in a particular platform would make. The results (note the options and Zoom’s ad):

Later in the buying cycle, that same searcher queries “Zoom Meetings” after having done the research online, in addition to receiving a recommendation from a colleague. Note how this search result is designed for someone who has a clear intent of checking out the Zoom platform. In addition to offering direct conversion links, it provides a reassuring third-party validation from a Gartner study:

It can certainly be a factor, but not the only factor. Remember this is an auction. At auctions, the price is determined by what a bidder is willing to pay.

Logically, if someone is willing to pay a higher price, that bidder deems the cost to be worth it.

I’m not saying you should automatically be willing to pay what you feel is an outrageous price, but you owe it to yourself to dig deeper and ask a few questions:

Would the cost of this keyword be worth it if I know it’s being shown to the right audience qualified to buy?

Is the cost of this phrase high because it’s a highly competitive, but valuable term?

Is the cost of this phrase high because my competitors have deep pockets and a strong brand name to support the ad?

If you’re looking at the cost of acquiring a new customer (which, you should always be – see #12), does the math work if my conversion rate is good enough?

Are you guiding that searcher along a logical path in terms of the messaging in the ad copy, details in the landing page, and compelling calls to action?

6. You’re Only Measuring the Success of Your Campaign on an overall Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)

I understand why you would do this. It’s a simple trap to fall into:

ROAS may be the most simple calculation you can make when reporting on results – “what did I spend versus what did I make”.

At a glance, it would seem to tell the whole story in one simple equation (especially in an ecommerce campaign).

Here’s why using only ROAS for a success measurement is a bad idea:

You’re probably only counting the initial first purchase and not factoring in the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer. Do that calculation and you may find it completely worth it to have a negative ROAS on a new customer given what you’ll make long term.

It’s easy to get a positive ROAS on branded terms. Anyone can do that. A ROAS report will tell you to put more focus on those branded terms at the bottom of the funnel. You’ll eventually find you maintain a positive ROI on a shrinking funnel.

Sometimes the immediate conversion isn’t the point of an ad. Remember the example covered in #4 (queries of “virtual meetings” in the research stage and “zoom meetings” when the searcher is close to making a decision)? Sometimes your success metric is getting a searcher added to your remarketing list so you can nurture them towards ultimately choosing you. Far too many PPC campaigns fail because those who set them up don’t understand this distinction.

7. You’re Spending Your Entire Paid Media Budget on Text-Based PPC Ads – You See It as Your Only Paid Media Channel

Stop! Just Stop!

Don’t get me wrong. I love PPC. I’ve made a good living doing it, but if you’re relying on it as your only paid channel to drive revenue, you’re in trouble.

Remember that statement back in #1 about search being great for responding to demand but unable to help you build it?

That’s all you really need to know if you ever start thinking it’s a good idea to make PPC as your only paid media channel. It’s not!

Answer: Nothing. You need additional context to both of those metrics otherwise there is nothing actionable with that data.

9. You’re Sending Every Single Paid Search Ad to the Home Page

It’s fine to send some traffic to the home page if it’s relevant to the searcher. Otherwise, don’t do it.

In your ad copy, you’re making a promise to that searcher. Whatever it is your ad copy promises (specific info, third-party validation, discount, how-to, case study, etc.), your landing page needs to deliver. That’s asking a lot of a website’s home page.

In the Zoom meetings example above, the headline links to the home page (which, again, is fine if that page is relevant to the ad), but look at the four extensions below it.

They all point to relevant landing pages that keep the promise they make to the searcher:

10. You Aren’t Using Any Ad Extensions

Here’s how that Zoom ad above would look without the extensions:

The ad seen in #9 looks like it would generally be an effective one. Without the ad extensions, it becomes a lot less compelling, doesn’t it?

There’s a lot that goes into properly using extensions. For more info, check out Everything You Need to Know About Ad Extensions from SEJ’s PPC guide.

11. You Haven’t Touched Your Ad Creative in at Least a Year

For the record, I’m in favor of “what works”, not “what’s new.” It’s important to always keep that perspective.

As Responsive Search Ads become more widely adopted, the old ways of “one static creative” will be less and less of a standard practice.

However, Responsive Search Ads still require inputs. The combinations of outputs that result from a machine learning system assembling the best mix of headlines and copy are only as good as the inputs.

How we optimize ad creatives has dramatically evolved in recent years beyond simple A/B testing, but you still need to have the type of mindset where you’re always looking to find the best recipe for success.

That means challenging your biases and assumptions to take a chance that you can improve your campaign performance.

For more insights into Responsive Search Ads, check out SEJ’s post covering the original announcement.

12. You Don’t Know What You Should Be Paying for a Conversion

Calculating the Cost Per Conversion is a simple equation an average second grader could do: Total campaign spend divided by the total conversions tracked (back to the campaign in some form).

The hard part occurs away from the Ad Platform interface – calculating what you should be willing to pay for the conversion.

This is where the PPC manager will need help from stakeholders. Some of the things that need to be taken into account are:

Definition of the Conversion (example – is it a purchase or free trial?)

Customer Lifetime Value

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)

Finance calculations like overhead, contribution margin, etc. (this part is important – if Finance doesn’t support your numbers, you’ll probably get nowhere)

Retention rates

Other potential internal considerations

The point is, understand what you SHOULD be willing to pay for a conversion within your market and you’ll have an easier time setting up your paid search campaign for success!

Starting With This

There’s more to running a successful paid search program than just the 12 items listed here, but this is a good place to start re-examining your strategy and will ultimately set you on a better path.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, June 2023

What Are The Implications Of Sustainable Growth On Financial Performance?

What is Sustainable Growth?

The sustainable growth of a company is the growth that it achieves without having to finance its projects externally. In other words, the sustainable growth rate is the maximum rate of growth a company can achieve with its own funds.

For example, a company may use retained earnings for furthering its expansion or increasing output. Such growth would not need external support. Such growth in finance is known as sustainable growth.

The Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) of a company shows how well it manages its day-to-day activities, such as paying the bills and getting paid for its goods and services in time. Sustainable growth rate is a long-term rate, and it helps one to understand the stage a company is in. Accounts payable is an important factor in the case of sustainable growth as it has to be managed effectively so that cash flows can run smoothly.

$$mathrm{Sustainable:Growth:Rate (SGR):=: Retention:Ratio:times:Return:on:Equity}$$

The measurement of SGR assumes that a company manages and maintains a target capital structure of equity and debt. Managing a static dividend payout and accelerating sales as much as possible are also needed for maintaining a higher SGR.

Implications of Sustainable Growth on Companies

The companies wanting to maintain sustainable growth should have realistic assumptions and try to sustain the growth within limits.

Some of the key implications of sustainable growth on companies are as follows −

Self-Financed Companies

In the case of sustainable growth, the companies do not need additional equity or debt. So, it is completely self-financed. In such a case, the companies may find using the finances more flexibly. Moreover, as its own funds are used in such growth, the management of a company can be more experimental with the finances it uses for the growth of the company.

Products with Higher Margin of Profit

For the companies that need to maintain a rate of growth more than the sustainable growth rate, they must focus on products with a high margin of profit. Moreover, the companies would also need to maximize their sales efforts in order to manage a rate of growth above sustainable growth rate. Inventory management is another aspect of sustainable growth because the companies need to match and sustain the inventory levels to achieve a positive sustainable growth rate.

Sales Saturation Point

Although having a high SGR is a sign of a powerful company, it is unlikely for a company to have a high SGR for a long-term period. With higher revenues, the companies reach a sales saturation point. In such a case, the companies may need to produce other products that cannot have highprofit margins. Lower profit margins may decrease profitability and need additional financing as debt and equity.

As most of the new product inclusion requires higher levels of external funding, the companies fail to manage a high SGR. Therefore, it is more of a cycle of high SGR and loss of the power of SGR in the case of most of the companies.

Supersede Availability of Funds

In some cases, a company’s growth may supersede the availability of funds within the possession of a company. In such cases, the company must devise a financial strategy that can best leverage finance in the form of debt or equity from external sources. In such cases, the company may issue equity, reduce dividend payout, increase financial leverage via debt, or maximize profit margins by maximizing revenue generation efficiency.

All of the factors mentioned above can thus increase the SGR of a company.


It is notable that high sustainable growth rates are not only a sign of a financially strong company, but it is also hard to maintain a high SGR for a long period. Although too low SGRs are a sign of bad health, too high SGRs can also mean that the company is going to lose the momentum of growth in the near future.

3 Ways Search Music On Snapchat: Step

We can never predict when we’d stumble upon captivating music of mysterious origin. If we come across good music but fail to identify it, the regret and disappointment could haunt us for days. That is why we usually keep a music discovery app in our arsenal. 

Similarly, the need to look up a certain song may also unexpectedly pop up during our creative ventures, especially if you are a creator who gives much weight to every element in your creations like the music used. That is a good reason to know all the ways to search and find music on Snapchat. Ride along as we explore all the ways to search for music on Snapchat. 

How to search music on Snapchat in 3 ways

Music is a fundamental element in any creative pursuit, but more than that, it is something people just appreciate for no reason other than sheer love for the art. Good music penetrates the barriers of location, language, and genres to reach the right ears.

What if such songs suddenly reach you, but you just weren’t quick enough to record a snippet to discover it later? I have been there, and I still find it an astringent experience. But, you don’t have to go through the bitter experience to emerge wiser, because we have found a great tool to identify songs even while on the go.

One effective tool to discover a song playing in your background is the Shazam feature on Snapchat. The only prerequisite to using this feature is a smart device with an active internet connection and the Snapchat app installed on it. 

Related: If You Remove Someone On Snapchat, Will They Know?

Method #1: How to search music on Snapchat using Shazam

Launch Snapchat on your device.

Tap the camera icon at the bottom of the page.

Long press any empty on the camera screen. A popup shows up indicating the ongoing “Scanning…” action.

Once the Shazam algorithm identifies the song, a Snapchat pop-up comes with the Shazam results. Here, you will see the title and artist of the song; hit the play button to listen to the song or tap Song Info to go to the Shazam page.

If you tap Song Info, you will land on the song’s page on Shazam in a browser popup window.

Related: How to Hide Snapchat Friends: 6 Ways Explained!

Method #2: How to scan music on Snapchat 

Launch Snapchat on your device.

Tap the camera icon at the bottom of the page.

Tap any area on the screen that is empty, and you will see a new overlay of tools with “Scan” amongst it. Tap “Scan”.

The scanner in a minimized pop-up immediately gets to work. Tap the popup bar to expand it.

From the options, select Discover a song.

The Shazam starts generating audio fingerprints of the sounds in your surroundings for identifying the music playing around you.

The Shazam results with show up in a pop-up if it manages to discover any music. Here, you will see the title and artist of the song; hit the play button to listen to the song or tap Song info to go to the Shazam page.

The only thing to remember about using Shazam (not just on Snapchat) is the audio density and purity. For instance, if you are in a crowded room with too much noise or many songs overlapping each other, then Shazam may fail to identify the song, or might even give you a wrong result because of the songs infusing with each other in the live air. 

In other words, the clarity of the audio feed is of top priority if you wish to discover a track. But, that is good news, because even when you use Shazam on Snapchat with your earphones plugged in, all you have to do is bring one of the earpieces close to the microphone to give an audio feed to Shazam.

Related: How to see if someone is active on Snapchat

Method #3: How to search songs on Snapchat Sounds

Snapchat Sounds feature was launched with much fanfare, and it continues to be a well-acknowledged addition made to the Snapchat creation tools. One of the components of Shazam Sounds is its search tool which allows you to look up a song by track name, artist, or theme.

Since Snapchat is not a music-streaming app, its library is particularly created to offer creators snippets of certain genres of music for video creation like ambient music, or birthday song, along with a string of popular songs by the hottest artists. Its library is extensive enough to meet the requirements of creators to indulge their editing and video-making skills. Let’s take a look at how the Sound feature can be used to search for songs on Snapchat.

Launch Snapchat on your device.

Go to the create page.

Tap the sound icon on the create page.

It opens the Snapchat music library, where you can browse through to select a track listed in it. There is a search box available at the top of the page if you wish to look up a song by title, artist, or theme.

You will see a list of songs associated with the terms in your query. For instance, if you enter an artist’s name, all their songs in the Snapchat library will be listed in the result.

If you want to listen to the preview, just tap the play button against the song. 

Tap the track tile to immediately use it for filming. You will be redirected to the Snapchat camera. Use the soundwave bar to forward or adjust the beginning of the sound.

To remove the sound, just tap the Sound sticker.

In the Sound popup, tap Remove sound.

Can you scan music on Snapchat?

Yes, you can scan music on Snapchat. “Scan” is available as a dedicated button in the create page but it is hidden from view initially. All you have to do is tap any area empty on the camera screen to make the option reveal itself.

In the bottom panel, you will find the Scan button. When you tap Scan, it immediately pricks its digital ears to listen to your surroundings and identify the music playing there, although it can do even more than that, like solving a math equation on the spot. Snapchat Scan is powered by Shazam, hence there is very little chance of a song returning unidentified as long it has a lucid version available on its database of over 11 million songs.

Alternatively, you can trigger Shazam on Snapchat by long-pressing on an empty area in the camera screen (in the app) as well, as we discussed in the section above. Once the song gets identified, Snapchat provides details about the artist and title along with its Shazam link.

Where to find the Shazam song discoveries on Snapchat?

Isn’t it just as important to have access to the Shazam history as much as discovering it? Snapchat’s developers have input have implemented the Shazam scan function on the app with a thorough understanding and anticipation of user requirements. Apart from discovering a piece of music playing in your background, you can also view all the songs you have discovered yet on Snapchat using Shazam under the Shazam tab in the app settings.

Launch Snapchat.

Tap the profile icon on the top left of the page to go to your profile.

Hit the gear icon on the top right corner of your profile page to open the settings.

From the options listed, selected Shazam.

You will find the songs you have discovered using Shazam on Snapchat listed under Recent Tags, with the latest one at the very top.

There are even additional options to send the songs to others or even edit the list itself. To remove a song from the Snapchat Shazam history, just long-press the track title and select Delete from the options.

To share the song with someone, long press a track tile and hit Send To.

Select any connections from the list, add a text message if you want to, and hit the white button (with a blue arrow inside) on the bottom right. 

The track you share this way appears as a screenshot of the Shazam track page to the receiver, as shown in the image below.


Understanding “Digital Brand Awareness And Recall” Based On Primary Traffic Drivers

Direct traffic is a great indicator of brand strength – marketers should consider its use as a KPI

How a brand drives its traffic in the online arena is one of the most important things for any digital marketer to know. These traffic drivers can be divided broadly into these 7 segments





Organic Search

Paid Search

Display Ads

Each has its own implication on a brand’s online presence however for the scope of this article we will focus on Direct Traffic vs. Various Search metrics.

Direct Traffic is when a consumer directly types in the name of a brand’s website in the address bar.

Search Traffic is when a consumer is looking for information about a brand and its services/products via a search engine or directly inputting the name of the brand or its product/service, in a search engine.

Before we begin it is worth mentioning that a lot of the recall value of a brand cannot be connected with the direct traffic metric as a lot of people usually search for a brand name via search engines as well. For example, even if one is fully aware of what Yelp is or offers, people will still search for it via Search engines rather than directly visiting the website. This is primarily because they may want precise results of restaurants without having to go through the hassle of searching once they are on Yelp (in this case). This kind of a situation is excluded from the scope of this article as this defines consumer behaviour towards a brand which is a whole new topic all together. A strong brand which is not able to drive traffic to its website via its own brand name is a problem worth mentioning however it is a moot discussion in this case as this article considers direct traffic to be a very good indicator of brand recall and awareness. This aritlce will show that Direct traffic is the ultimate metric for defining brand strength, awareness or recall in the online realm when it comes to traffic share analysis.

Let’s move on to the fun stuff and compare well known brands to see their traffic share and to define their brand strength, awareness or recall.

Online Shopping Sector – USA

Ebay has the strongest graph when it comes to direct traffic, closely followed by Amazon. Overstock’s organic search traffic is the most and direct traffic the least as compared to its competitors. This is indicative of a developing brand in the sector. This is further confirmed by Overstock leading the display ad traffic segment and closely following Walmart in paid search traffic segment. Visual aid is always a good support structure for developing brand recall. (Remember the traffic driven to these websites on a daily basis is in the millions therefore we have a significant sample size). A strong brand here should correlate with direct traffic values. The consumer is likely flock to either one of Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Best Buy or Overstock for all their online shopping needs.

Key Takeaway:

Ideally during the journey of a brand from inception to maturity, the graph will shift from high paid search traffic, to organic traffic and subsequently to high direct traffic. The high direct traffic goal hasn’t been achieved by many brands because of the simple fact that consumer behaviour online dictates that most people usually “Google” things even if they already know about them. Google acts as a grocery store or hyper mart of sorts that stocks all brands and when people come to visit asking for various items, it suggests the best ones. In the online realm if one is to buy a shirt they would also go through a range of shops in a mall or in a particular shopping arena only to decide on the best fit, style, comfort etc. However if one were loyal to a brand then its strength would show simply because they would put the brand at the top of their consideration set during discovery or purchase. This consideration set can be figured out based on organic search and direct traffic metrics. If a brand has high organic search and direct traffic metrics rather than referrals, social, mail or paid search metrics then it can be considered a strong brand in terms of awareness and recall both.

However it can be established that some brands have transcended these metrics and established themselves as leaders in direct traffic share and these are the truly valuable brands in the online realm, these are the truly developed brands and these are the brands that have become verbs.

Note: We are excluding Google itself from our analysis since that would be highly imprudent for obvious reasons. All hail Google!

Strong Brands – Global

Direct traffic share is towering significantly above the rest of the traffic drivers. All the brands above are operating at above 50% direct traffic share. Yahoo and Facebook are in close competition at around 61%. This shows the recall value and also awareness that these brands hold in the minds of their consumers. (Again please note that traffic values are in the millions per day therefore highly significant numbers).

Health News – UK

The health news sector is also dominated by organic search traffic just as the online shopping sector was in the US. In this case it is even more so as most medical knowledge related information is always “searched for” as per prevailing consumer behaviour in today’s day and age. Even though WebMD is a strong brand, there aren’t significant sections of the population that are directly reaching it in order to make it a strong brand online.

Defining Benchmarks

Therefore it is best to define metrics of how much direct traffic is considered strong brand awareness and recall. From the online shopping and health news graphs it can be seen that neither one of the strongest brands in the sector reach anywhere near the 50% value, in-fact most of them are operating under 40% . It remains to be seen how these graphs will play out over the next couple of years- whether they’ll go up or down is pure conjecture at this point in time. However, at current values when these brands have spent a significant amount of time and money and crossed the “paid search” stage of their online brand presence, it can be safely said that anyone in the health news & Online Shopping sector should consider 40% direct traffic as a benchmark of branding success in their own geography of operation.

It is also safe to say that neither the health news sites nor the online shopping websites will ever cross the 50% limit of equilibrium between direct and organic traffic purely due to consumer behaviour in the sector.

So far we have only analysed the developed brands, now let’s take examples of developed and developing brands both at the same time.

Telecommunications Sector UK – Developed

Let’s try and understand which of the telecommunications providers in the UK have a better brand awareness/recall in the online realm, using the method described above.

Online Men’s Grooming Sector – US & UK


The idea of the article was to establish traffic share analysis as a method to differentiate a developed brand from a developing one, by looking at direct traffic and organic traffic metrics as compare to the rest. It is safe to say that this has been established by analysing the many industries above. It is imperative that digital marketers keep this in mind when describing brand journeys for their brands in the online realm.

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