Author: heather@icmaonline.org

Sanoma Digital Finland Press Release

Flat hunting, dating, job hunting, purchases… Many of life’s most important decisions have gone digital

Sanoma will host ICMA’s international conference on classified media in Helsinki 21–24 May.

The Internet Classified Media Association ICMA will organize its spring conference this year in Helsinki. As the largest media player in Finland, Sanoma is hosting the event, which theme is Monetizing digital: show me the money.

Digitalisation and change in the consumer behavior has shifted  the classified ads to the web. Continue reading Sanoma Digital Finland Press Release

Keyword Research Tools and Tips for Classified Sites

Back in September 2012 Martin Hayman with SiteVisibility ran a webinar for ICMA about the challenges faced by classified sites.  The feedback from the presentation was good but at the same time, there was also quite a bit of feedback asking for a follow up session that was a bit more hands on.

So Martin followed this up with a completely practical session on keyword research and wanted to share the key tips and tools with you all in this post.

Keyword research is an essential part of driving a campaign forward. Martin see’s it time and time again where people want to rank for a keyword that will either drive irrelevant traffic to their site, or even no traffic at all.

Most of the tools he spoke about in the webinar are used for gathering a large number of keyword ideas and we can then check these to see if they have any value.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool
https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
Google’s very popular keyword research tool.  A favorite for keyword research.

Übersuggest
http://ubersuggest.org/
This is a great keyword suggestion tool based on Google Suggest.  Übersuggest refer to their tool as Google Suggest on steroids!

YouTube Keyword Tool
https://www.youtube.com/keyword_tool
Even if you’re not researching for video, the YouTube Keyword Tool is great for gathering more keyword ideas.

mergewords
http://mergewords.com/
This is a great tool, particularly for classified sites.  Great for combining sets of keywords and can save stacks of time on writing repetitive combinations.

Google Correlate
http://www.google.com/trends/correlate/
This tool finds search patterns that correspond with trends.  Great for finding alternatives to keyword ideas to add to your growing list.

Soolve
http://www.soovle.com/
Gather keyword ideas not just from Google but also from other top online sources such as Wikipedia, Amazon etc.

Quora and Yahoo Answers
http://www.quora.com/
http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/
Doing keyword research for content ideas?  See what real people are asking and talking about and write content around those questions.  You can even then go back and provide a great answer, linking to your new useful content.

When using these tools, there are a few key tips to bear in mind when gathering keyword ideas and checking these keywords:

  • Is the keyword relevant and is it going to drive relevant traffic to your site?
  • When you use Google’s Keyword Tool, always use ‘Exact Match’.
  • Limit the keywords you put into Google’s Keyword Tool to about 10-20 so that you get a better variation of additional suggestions from Google.
  • For terms that have high search volume and look like they have great, relevant potential, check page one of Google for that term. Who is ranking already? Is the competition really strong?
  • Check your current rankings. You don’t want to ruin the chances of a term you already rank for or that is already driving you traffic. And if you’re currently on page 2 or 3, it could be a great opportunity for a quick win.

There are a number of great tools out there that can assist with keyword research. Whatever tools you use, just make sure keyword research is a high priority. This research will have a direct impact in how you optimise your onsite elements as well as give you a variation of terms to track and therefore a greater visibility of how your campaign is going.

2013 ICMA Classified Media Innovation Award

Junk Mail Publishing winner of the
2013 ICMA Classified Media Innovation Award

The ICMA Classified Media Innovation Award is a joint collaboration between the ICMA and Helsinki-based consulting and portfolio development company, Vaibmu Ltd. The award was created to identify true innovations and innovation champions within the classified advertising industry worldwide and encourage ICMA members to support innovation and creativity in their organizations. Award submissions came from around the world, including the USA, United Kingdom, Turkey, Finland, Singapore and Canada.

Applications were judged in the categories of novelty, creativity, sustainability, and results by the ICMA Board of Directors. Due to the high quality of the applications received, 8 applicants were short-listed and four awards presented on April 20, 2013 at the ICMA Marketplace Innovations Conference in Cologne, Germany.

junkmail

Winners

Junk Mail Publishing from South Africa was the 2013 Classified Media Innovation Award winner for their JunkMail xchange (JMx) classifieds app.  The JMx classifieds app is hosted with Mxit, Africa’s biggest social network. During 2011, Junk Mail formed a content sharing partnership with Mxit’s then internally run classifieds. After understanding the potential of the Mxit instant message platform in a classifieds context, Junk Mail entered negotiations with Mxit to take control of the Mxit classifieds portal. JMx launched in October 2012 as the completely rebuilt, more sophisticated classifieds portal. It works simply: download free app; post or buy free and get responses via instant message.

JMx is integrated into the Junk Mail platform. Ads exchanged freely across BOTH platforms. Results so far are very encouraging: 7 million have added the app and 3.5 million have used JMx in the past 3 months. 30 000 new ads per week and 140,000 Instant Message responses per week. UB’s have grown 300% (4M), new ads up 40%, response per ad improved threefold, all growth is on mobile, mobile vs web now 50/50 as a result.

Kalaydo, from Germany was the 2013 Show me the Money Award winner for their Premium Account Real Estate Deals. In 2012, Kalaydo introduced a premium account with a subscription fee. The new product provides a number of advanced features helping premium users to increase sales and to make searching for ads at once more relaxed and more effective. Both buyers and sellers can opt for what is called “trusted user status” which is granted after a detailed security check by Kalaydo and appears in all listings or requests. The user verification is an important confidence-building measure which benefits all website users.

Since the introduction in June last year, several thousand users have signed for a premium account. A/B tests showed that listings of premium users are achieving more than 30% clicks and buyer requests as compared to basic users. Kalaydo was the first general classified platform to introduce a premium account which has become an important and sustainable source of revenue in addition to the upsells. With the new product Kalaydo has been able to strengthen its customer loyalty and confidence on the website.

Oikotie Jobs, Finland, was the 2013 Quick Implementation Award winner for launch of matching relevant jobs with first class editorial.  Finland’s biggest news site and job board Iltasanomat.fi and Oikotie Jobs launched together in October 2012 a new news section Worklife with unique, work related articles written in an entertaining way. In this section relevant Oikotie Job ads are shown next to every article and a complete listing of all of Oikotie’s job ads with full search and sorting options is found. This brings interesting content and job possibilities to Iltasanomat readers and more suitable candidates to employers.

The new section has found an immediate audience with 350,000 – 700,000 weekly reads on section’s articles and 15-25% more weekly visitors and good quality candidates into Oikotie Job ads. 97% of the users are new and complement the Oikotie visitor profile and areal coverage on the Finnish employment market. The co-operation has been widely approved by Oikotie’s customers and gives a differentiating edge as well as new pricing options in relation to competitors.

Oikotie Real Estate, Finland was the 2013 Technology Award winner for their Select an Agent Lead Service.  Select an Agent is a sales lead service provided to the real estate portal’s listing customers. A real estate seller fills a simple web form and the lead is passed to active agents in the region. At most, 5 agents can redeem the contact information. Payable credits are used to redeem contact information. Sales leads are passed to agents who have previously been actively listing properties in the region – sellers can expect that contacting agents have proper knowledge of the area.

The service was launched for piloting in June 2012 and commercially in November. Hundreds of sales leads are passed to agents monthly. Lead redemption rates are extremely high, as in over 92% of the cases all 5 possible contact slots are redeemed. Sellers are happy with an easy way of finding possible agents with proper knowledge of their area. As the sales lead delivery is based on the listing activity at the Oikotie real estate portal, the service engages with active listing customers.

About ICMA

The International Classified Media Association (ICMA) is the global leading community of leading players in the Classified Media Industry.  ICMA’s community has recognized the need to act together to build the capabilities and support its members to respond effectively to the many challenges facing our Industry. We are dedicated to promoting excellence, co-operation, networking, market leadership, innovation and information-exchange at every level amongst our international membership.  ICMA counts more than 64 members from 31 countries. Our publishers encompass high-quality classified ad publications and websites worldwide.

About Vaibmu Ltd

Vaibmu is a management consulting and advisory company. They work with companies worldwide on strategy crafting and opportunity development. Their R&D projects offer a hands-on approach to innovation.

Vaibmu works with growth seeking companies from across the globe. Their diverse customer base hails mainly from media and publishing as well as industry and institutional investors.

Is Your Password Strong?

With the recent high profile Twitter account takeovers, Evernote hack and others now may be a good time to change your account passwords. Strong passwords play an important role in protecting your accounts. Now some of you might be saying “I have a strong password” so let us take a look at some passwords that may be strong.

The following passwords were submitted by the members of the ICMA:

Password 1: 89Blu3C@r
crack time: 6 days

Password 2: Accounting1
crack time: Instant

Password 3: the #10 saloon is closed
crack time: Centuries

Password 4: Tr@cking12
crack time: 5 minutes

Password 5: Th1$isR3pres3ntative%
crack time: 7 Days

Password 6: Charlie123F!
crack time: Instant

Password 7: T@by_1223
crack time: 26 days

These were all tested using Dropbox’s zxcvbn tester (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/209/zxcvbn/test/index.html). For more information on how this works and the impetus behind it follow this link (https://tech.dropbox.com/2012/04/zxcvbn-realistic-password-strength-estimation/).

Some tips for a more secure password:

1. More than 8 character
2. Include letters, numbers and special characters
3. Use more than one password for all of your accounts
4. Use a password checker:
a. zxcbn from DropBox(https://dl.dropbox.com/u/209/zxcvbn/test/index.html)

You now have a more secure password and are having trouble remembering it. I know I have a tough time remembering all of my passwords. So I have taken to using a password safe. My password safe of choice is KeePass (http://keepass.info/). It is a nice cross-platform program where you only have to remember a single password. If you are looking for a browser plugin try LastPass (https://lastpass.com). Have more suggestions let me know!

AJ Lemke, ICMA FLN Sub Committee, Web Developer, Digital Community Holdings