Aug 05

China Watch Blog has learnt that “Keyword research – identifying the potential words and phrase combinations consumers could potentially type into the search box when they go online to find products and services” is vital to the success of digital marketing campaigns.

However, a white paper “Where to begin – the discovery phase”, published by Hydra, a provider of Software-as-a-Service marketing technology, says digital marketing teams (internal of third party), simply do not have the resources to conduct it thoroughly.

Moreover, monitoring and keeping up to date with terms as they change is almost a mission impossible. And how true!

“Keyword research makes the difference between the vendor’s goods and services being immediately visible to the searcher or their being swallowed up and lost in the myriad of returned search results,” says Ruth Zohrer, solutions consultant at Hydra.

“Ultimately, the lack of thorough keyword research can prove costly as it leads to vendors failing to maximise on the online opportunity both in terms of directing potential sales leads/traffic to their site and garnering revenues from the online channel.”

In April, Hydra undertook a survey* of over 300 UK-based digital marketers and focussed on how digital marketing teams currently operate, based on collaboration, use of technologies and competitor analysis.

Asked how current they feel their teams are at handling new keyword trends, less than half (42%), of digital marketers indicated they feel they are ‘on trend’ when it comes to keyword trends.

However, one of the greatest contrasts highlighted by the survey involved new words or expressions being used in the market. Asked whether they know which are worth spending time and money on, over half (55%) of respondents said ‘no’.

With the uncertainty surrounding return on investment (ROI) from keywords reaching their target audience and handling new keyword trends, it is unsurprising that over 70% of respondents to Hydra’s survey specified that if they had more time to spend, they would review the keywords or phrases in their campaigns much more regularly.

According to Hydra’s white paper, any new Natural Search* project should begin with a discovery phase with the first challenge being to uncover what potential customers will use when they go online to find the products or services the vendor is promoting on their site i.e. Keyword research.

Next is keyword-page mapping, a valuable exercise which allows the vendor to understand how its site and the target keywords relate and highlights any gaps that may need to be addressed for optimum performance in search engines for a specific term.

Once the effort that each keyword will demand is known, they can be prioritised based on the size of the opportunity they offer. In essence, does the potential reward warrant the spend in that keyword.

“Completing the discovery phase thoroughly, however, is an onerous process for which most Natural Search specialists today employ multiple technology solutions to help speed up certain steps,” says Zohrer. “As such, even when the discovery phase is undertaken by the same person, the process and its outcome may vary significantly. At Hydra, we have considered this problem quite carefully and developed an intelligent solution to fill this gap through Hydra’s One platform WordBank.”

Zohrer concludes: “The discovery phase is essential in ensuring campaign goals are met within budget and within a reasonable timeframe and in preventing costly mistakes like targeting the wrong keywords or overlooking your own site’s limitations.”

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Aug 05

China Watch Blog has learnt that the European Union will extend anti-dumping duties on bicycles imported from China, and impose trade barriers on Chinese ceramic tiles.

The People’s Daily reported that according to a document obtained by Xinhua, the EU is set to introduce a five-year import duties of up to 69.7 percent on Chinese bathroom, kitchen and paving tiles, which will take effect starting from mid-September.

Meanwhile, EU will extend anti-dumping duties of 48.5 percent on Chinese bicycles and bicycle parts till 2016.

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Aug 05

China Watch Blog has learnt that a report from the country’s think tanks estimates that half of China’s city dwellers will be part of the middle class by 2023.

Based on data from 2000 to 2009, researchers calculated that 37 percent of city dwellers were part of the middle class in 2010. And that percentage is expected to surpass 45 percent in 2019 and exceed 52 percent in 2025, according to Zhang Lifeng, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as quoted in an article by China Daily.

The annual report on the urban development of China, or Blue Book of Cities in China, was released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Wednesday. It defines the middle class by the amount of money a person spends on food as a percentage of total spending.

In order to build a moderately prosperous society, Song Yingchang, a colleague of Zhang at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences’ institute for urban and environment studies and the chief writer of the report, suggests that the country’s goal should be to have a graph of the country’s incomes look like an olive – with a broad middle and tapering ends.

Yours truly believes the report that the Chinese middle class will become larger and stronger, in fact, in ways people cannot imagine.

People from rural areas with dreams to the cities, work hard for a few years, save money and go back to their home towns and then start shops and even small factories to produce goods demanded by foreign customers. This has been going on, and the trend will be multiplied as time goes on, and the rich will become richer while the poor will become poorer.

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