With more than 90% market share in Europe, Google is our favorite tool when it comes to searching the Internet. But do we really know how to use it? I will try to share with you some Google commands as well as some tips to optimize your use of the search engine.
1) How to find related websites with Google?
This command has an interest when you are looking for new sources for your strategic monitoring. It will allow you to find other sites and contents that are related to a site that you have chosen.
For example, students of our Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Strategy can be proud of that, in the eyes of Google, our management school is the most related one to EM Lyon and HEC Paris… we hope recruiters think the same!
2) How to find free-to-use images on Google?
Just make your search on Google image, then click on “Tools” and then on “Usage rights”.
3) How to depersonalize a Google request?
Google customizes its results page based on our browsing history and Google+ profile. To depersonalize the query, simply log out of Google+ and add “&pws=0” at the end of the url. This command is unofficial and to be sure that the results are depersonalized, I advise to use the private navigation (Ctrl + Shift + P on Firefox and Internet Explorer or Ctrl + Shift + N on Google Chrome). Geolocation will always be considered.
The interest of this command is mainly SEO oriented because it allows you to see the results of a query as if it were the first time you were searching for it. Therefore, it is easy to follow its real positions on different keywords.
4) How to get more accurate Google Search Results?
This command isolates all indexed pages from a site on Google. It also allows you to track the indexing of a specific page. It is only useful for SEO if used alone.
For example, our Digital Me Up blog has 544 pages indexed in Google..
..with 70 “author” pages.
However, it seems that the Googlebot does not crawl the site often enough. The article of Laurent Hélaine, published on the 27th January is still not indexed 3 days later. No organic traffic is therefore possible!
This command returns all the results indexed by Google that contain the search term in the content of the page. To search for an exact term, it must be surrounded by quotation marks (intext:”exact term” for example).
It will help you to find a presentation / thesis on a particular format on a given topic. You can specify different formats: PDF, DOC (for Word), XLS (for Excel), TXT (for text pages), PPT (for PowerPoint) etc.
Let’s imagine that you have a headache. You would like to know more about what you need to do but you don’t want to be distressed by what you could read on Doctissimo. With the “-” sign, you can exclude all terms that you don’t want to appear in the results page: “headache -doctissimo”.
The real interest is that you can combine all these commands to get more accurate Google results. Here is an example – I’m looking for pdf documents about innovation on the grenoble-em.com website.
There are a lot of other commands that can help you to better use Google. A few of them are listed on an official Google documentation but in my opinion, the most important and useful are in this article.
As a candidate for a job, or for business development, I sometimes use these commands to find the email address of a professional I want to be in touch with. I’m not going to say how; it would be too easy. Just a little practice and a rereading of this article and you will find the way yourself!
How the Foodtech can enhance the number of customers in your restaurant ?
Digital transformation of restaurant in France is one of the most important challenge of the Frenchtech. But Restaurants are reluctant to embrace such a strategy, and go by the customers new behaviors. Why ?
In 2015, 10 billions euros have been injected in food tech startups in the world and France has not been left behind. There is a huge focus by investors on the food tech leading by food delivery and companies like Deliveroo which raised 275 million euros few month ago for their European development.
In this fast paced environment, restaurants have now a bunch of tools to help them with their daily work but they must learn to know them and see the added value of those services.
1 – DIGITAL PRESENCE
Knowing that 8 over 10 people are looking online before going to a restaurant, and that half of them are doing it on mobile, it would be a shame not helping them finding you.
Ranking is everything : having a 5 stars notation on TripAdvisor could have a huge impact on your activity. It is really crucial to be present on SEO websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp and control the information given. Moreover, being registered on Google My Business could allow you to be present on Google Map and search for customer near your business.
Social media is also gaining a great importance in web presence for restaurants. The most adapted for restaurants are Facebook, obviously, and Instagram. That is why, having beautiful content is a key for trendy restaurant to attract clients. For instance, Shiso Burger, a new restaurant in Paris 1st arrondissement is an exemple with their 5k Facebook fans : www.facebook.com/shisoburgersm
Some startups could help you having a total control on your online presence. ZenChef offers you a huge gain of time with their all-in-one solution.
2 – BRING YOUR MEAL TO THEM
When you’re thinking about Foodtech, the first idea you have in mind is food-delivery. For restaurant, the current hyper competitive market of food delivering is a windfall.
The platform enable you to offert a extra service to your current client, and new coming client : delivering! This extra services handled by the platform cost between 20 to 30% of the revenus generated by the sales through this platform without any set up fees. It is a direct way to raise your number of clients even if your restaurant is full.
More that only gain new clients, it allows also to make you known over your borough. Customers who will come back to your restaurant if you offered them a good
3 – LET THEM BOOK A TABLE
In exchange of a discount on your price, some websites, the most famous exemple the Fork, could help you reach clients through their platform which have a huge number of visitors. “La Fourchette” succeeded in create a community of foodies helping customers finding a restaurant and book a table.
Some different type of startups are developing this idea. Companies like Fudo or BIM show to the application users the best restaurants around them and if they can find an open table. Nothing is more frustrating for a client than going on restaurant and do not find a free table to eat.
More than taking reservation on phone and loose time doing this, this new model can help you gaining time and clients at the same time.
4 – DON’T WASTE YOUR UNSOLD MEAL
Some companies have understood the problem of restaurant concerning the food made for the day but do not sell to their customer. Through different platform like Optimiam of To Good to Go they can offer you to sell your unsold meals at the end of the day to new customers.
It could give you a way to limit food wasting and find customers for product that hadn’t been sold during the day. This way, customers can try your food with a discount on it and give them the will to come an other day.
But things are moving fast, and a group of specialist of restauration are organized to talk about digitalisation of their market. Tiller, french leader of cash register on iPad, just launch « La Frégate » to give restaurateur real advice on their digital development.
More that only gain new clients, it allows also to make you known over your borough. Customers who will come back to your restaurant if you offered them a good
Google recently increased the number of queries with a Google Answer Box. This location is also called position 0 in SEO and it is displayed for 30% of queries versus only 20% two years ago. This is a zone with a specific display format that offers users an answer or a definition of the term that has been sought.
The Answer Box greatly improves the user experience since the number of clicks needed to access the information is reduced. Google is no longer positioning itself as a search engine but as a response engine and it could be a problem for digital companies. For example: because of that access to the website is no longer necessary to get the information, Wikipedia suffered a loss of traffic. However, this feature can be a very good opportunity in terms of branding and organic traffic.
It is important to know that the result displayed in position 0 is not necessarily from the website displayed at the 1st position of the search engine results page (it can happen). Therefore, how to optimize a content to appear in the Answer Box?
How to optimize your site for the featured snippet ?
There is no official recommendation from Google about that topic…
… but a few analyses show that there are some characteristics shared by all websites and pages appearing in position 0. For example: the page is part of the 5 first SEO results on the query; it contains less than 2000 words and the site has a lot of backlinks & referrer (>1000).
1. Find Google Answer Box opportunities
There are two ways to identifying opportunities to appear in featured snippets:
The first one is to imagine questions people can ask about your activity and optimize your page for the answer. There are tools like answerthepublic to find questions that people are asking about a topic.
The different formulations that trigger the Answer Box are:
- what is…?
- what does… mean?
- definition of…
The second way is to find queries that already display a snippet featured in the search results but it will be more difficult to rank as Google has already decided that a content is reliable to be used in the Answer Box.
2. Optimize and structure the content to answer the question
It is important to write a content that clearly answers the question in approximately 250-350 characters which seems to be appropriate to that kind of display format.
- Google is searching for content that you can read as a response. If you want to place a site as a featured snippet on the query “what does -myword- mean?”, you should include at the top of the page a sentence beginning with “-myword- means…”.
- Use the search query in the title of the page: <title> What does -myword- mean? A definition of -myword-</ Title> for example. As in SEO in general, Google uses the title tag to know if the page will answer the question.
- Place the main keyword in your <H1> tag.
- Subtitles (<H2>) can be extracted and displayed in featured snippets. This is particularly the case when the request is about how to learn a process or for an answer that can be summarized in a list. If you are targeting this type of search, write your content with different <H2> subtitles <H2> that explicitly define each step.
- If you are targeting a “what is” question, write your answer in a </ p>.
3. Use semantic markup to appear as a reliable source
For example, you can use the rel = “author” tag in your code. Your content will be associated with your name and you may appear as a credible source if you are specialized and if you are writing often about the same subject. You can use Google search console to test your structured data.
As always, there are no secrets in SEO!
Everyone is fighting for the first place and the Google Answer Box still relatively new. This is an opportunity to place a website higher than the top – in the zero position! As usual with SEO, there is no good answer, you have to test and learn, and to write high quality contents that provide relevant answers.
Before diving into community’s creation, it is essential to understand what members can gain in joining such communities.
In traditional business models, access to information has allowed companies to hold the upper hand in their commercial transaction with their clients. However, communities have turned this market dynamics upside down by what John Hagel call “reverse market” (Net Gain, 1999). This entails members to gain information about different companies to find the best deal in terms of quality/price (e.g. Airbnb, yelp, Esty). By aggregating customers, information and transaction, communities are shifting surplus from vendor to customer.
Therefore, members’ interest in joining a community is not only relational but also transactional.
The biggest challenge in creating a community is to acquire a critical mass of members who will allow community to be self-perpetuated. As Carl Shapiro explained, the exponential growth of a community relies on the “network effect” (Business Insider, 2011):
“the value of a product to one user depends on how many other users there are”.
One efficient and proven way to reach critical mass of members and yield this network effect is to grow your community with the gardener touch of seeding, feeding, weeding (Net Gain, 1997)
Generating traffic: Seeding
No one is willing to take part in a community with no members. So how could you break through this chicken-egg dilemma?
In the early stage of community’s creation, Michael Silveman, CEO of Duo Consulting, recommends community managers to attract members by publishing interesting content. Indeed, content attractiveness can be very effective in forming a pull strategy as it:
- Sparkle interest with entertaining or educational content.
- Enhance the marketing effectiveness with SEO-friendly content. (to create a successful SEO strategy you can use: https://www.google.fr/trends/ , compete.com, www.alexa.com)
- Showcase an active community
- Display your brand identity
Nevertheless, content attractiveness is a good entry strategy, it should not be used to seed your community. Indeed, many community managers often mislead their community toward a social network based on content. For instance, Joseph Natalie, the vice president of “children with Diabetes” was proud to say: “we have 32,000 page of content based information “. However, according to the review of e-marketer (2010), only 5% of members describe this website as an online community.
Joseph Natalie has underestimated the human element of the community by seeding his community with content. Consequently, website’s visitor does not feel engaged to enter in direct communication with the community. Users remain in the “observing” stage of the engagement pyramid. Therefore, publishers should focus their effort to create conversational content that will engage users and spark their interest to discuss with others (Mark Sylver,2013)
Seeding a successful community would always start with finding people willing to discuss specific topic, not content. Hence, community managers have to set up forum and chat room around the 4 principles of interaction (Michael Silverman, 2012):
Interest: professional (learn about market trend, best practice e.g. Bloomberg Current) or personal, narrow interest (sport, music, travel)
Relationship: demographic community which aggregates people willing to discuss about a new experience appearing in their life (health issue, new parents…)
Fantasy: activity-based communities where users enter in an imaginary role-playing game (http://www.virtualregatta.com/)
Transaction: communities aggregating people that will exchange information and experience regarding a particular product. Airbnb and Etsy have shown the power and success of combining transactional communities with geolocation feature. When setting up this type of community, it is important to consider specific transaction models in different countries (James Barisic, 2016)
Engage members: feeding
By providing engaging and trustable environment, members would feel involved in reaching the “endorsing stage” of the engagement pyramid (see graph below).
In this stage, your objective will be to motivate members to reach the “contributing” stage and post their own content.
Sean Moffitt (2015) describes 3 ways to feed and motivate communities in order to crowd source information’s creation:
Extrinsic motivation refers to recognition and reputation. Leader board has shown persistent success in motivating users to contribute in the content creation (Forbes, 2012).
Explicit motivation is an effective but expensive way to engage members by offering discount, perks and gift card (Michael Silverman, 2012)
Feeding your community with tailored content, extrinsic and explicit motivation will allow communities to crowd-sourcing their content’s creation.
Retain traffic: Weeding
Crowd-sourcing content’s creation enables communities to aggregate a huge amount of information. However, communities’ organiser would need to weed and categorise all this information to sustain the quality of the content over time. Therefore, communities have to set up strict and clear policies and investing in an efficient moderation system (Business insider, 2010) in order to keep a high standard information and interaction.
If successfully seeded, fed and weeded, your community will enjoy the economic return of a self-perpetuated organisation by creating the content attractiveness loop (Forbes, 2015)
Crowd sourcing, “the next 100-billion-dollar company”
No one can deny the power of content loop expressed above. Companies that will successfully nurture this loop by seeding, feeding and weeding, will be rewarded by unrivalled customers’ loyalty and compelling economic return. According to Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of GOOGLE from 2001 to 2011, the next 100-billion-dollars companies will be a website or community, which will be able to crowd source knowledge in order to have the most accurate information in a particular field.
So, start to seed, feed and weed your community today and hopefully you will be the next big player in your sector.
Funder of Windbuddy
Clark Quinn (2009) Leanlets “seed, feed & weed” http://blog.learnlets.com/2009/09/seed-feed-weed/
Forbes (2015) 11 Tips For Growing An Active And Engaged Online Community
Forbes (2010) The New Power of Consumers to Influence Brandshttp://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmainwaring/2011/09/07/the-new-power-of-consumers-to-influence-brands/#3b78a076a29e
Grassroot Solution (2011) The Engagement Pyramid Building Meaningful Relationships From The Ground Up! http://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/events-training/annual-conference-handouts/Engagement_Pyramid.pdf
Hagel, J and Armstrong, A. (1997) Net Gain. Boston Havard Business School Press
Hagel, J. (2010) Washington post John Haggel 3 : Cultivating open innovation: Seeding, feeding and weeding
Jenna McWillians (2009) five tips for seeding and feeding your educational community http://remediatingassessment.blogspot.co.uk/2009/07/five-tips-for-seeding-and-feeding-your.html
Mark Sylvester (2013) 20 Tips To Make Your Online Community More Engaging http://intronetworks.com/20-tips-to-make-your-online-community-more-engaging/
Member revolution (2014) The Member engagement Pyramid: How to grow your online community https://www.memberevolution.com/member-engagement-pyramid-how-grow-your-online-community
Michael Wilson (2009) Best Practices for Building Successful Online Communities
Michael Silvermen (2012) capturing community: how to build, manage and market your online community
Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, (2011) business insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/network-effects-2011-5?IR=T
Sean Moffitt (2014) wikibrands
Who is concerned by growth hacking?
The growth hacking discipline is mainly applied to start-ups, but marketers and social media experts may also use this technique in large organisations. I just want to clarify that growth hacking techniques are not magical, it is as effective as fuel on a fire already burning, you cannot rely only on communication to grow a start-up. That is why only start-ups with a solid product market fit should apply it.
What is a growth hacker?
Basically, growth hacking is used in start-ups to focus the strategy on growth. A growth hacker should be stuck on one main goal, which is generally acquiring new users at the launch. But a growth hacker working in a big company that is already well established is generally working on retention and loyalty.
Being a growth hacker requires versatility. A growth hacker should have a technical understanding, a user experience approach, and communication skills. He is at the crossroads between the marketing team, the engineers, the data analysis team and the product team (including customer support).
A growth hacker should also be familiar with methodology. Indeed, in order to be efficient, a growth hacker needs to have processes and works on automation. The growth must be scalable, because you will need to master many things at the same time, you cannot afford to waste your time on repeated tasks.
What does he do to reach his goal?
How to explain success stories like Dropbox, Twitter, Uber…? What were the role of the growth hacking team?
Let’s take the example of Dropbox which set up an effective referral program to earn new customers (500mo given per referral). Their strategy was smart because they offer the opportunity to get a decent storage for free. People just had to invite their friends to get more storage and they also were willing to. Thereby, the company reaches its main growth objective which is to acquire new users (see Fig.1).
Fig. 1, Dropbox users’ growth from 2009 to 2016
Bring a growth hacking culture
Having a growth hacking spirit encourages the culture of impatience. A growth hacker should build strong relationships with every department since his role requires diverse skills and thereby, a high level of coordination. And he needs also to get support from the board to create a start-up spirit and successfully lead to a high level of commitment. People should be more willing to challenge themselves, and more excited to reach their goals. The management style must be democratic and need to be influenced by clear objectives (that is the most important part in my opinion).
Define the core objective
A growth hacker must define a clear objective, identify the right metric(s) to focus on, and implement necessary (and possible) means to achieve the goal. Taking the example of Dropbox, it shows also that a growth hacker need to be creative, and he needs to go off the beaten tracks to differentiate himself from its competitors.
Define the area of focus
Growth hackers should focus on the most profitable customers, or in other words, those who are most likely to be converted. They must target effectively to have higher return on investment. That is why they try to reach the early adopters.
Of course, it requires an upstream analysis to be able to target them. Growth hackers are very data oriented, it helps them to make better decisions. They have to analyse data to get insights from their potential customers, but they also rely on their intuition as all humans do. The key is to not being stuck to his intuition and readjust as quick as possible if something went wrong.
They could collect data with specific tricks, which could be:
- In early stage by identifying hashtags on Twitter, making a market survey or setting up a landing page and social media accounts to get a prelist of customers…
- In advanced stage, to analyse all the data that they collected through their CRM, through Google Analytics, and user experience tracking tools…
Once, they collected and analysed these data, they will be able to experiment a strategy to reach their customers.
Experiment and iterate
Growth hackers need to get concrete results fast, and also feedbacks to be able to adjust their implementation strategy. They operate in an agile environment, there is no formula for a perfect growth hacking strategy, that is why growth hackers make many experiments before finding the most effective solution (that might be challenged in the future).
As already discussed in the previous section, analytical tools and rational analysis are very much appreciated. Therefore, before choosing to implement a strategy, they use the A/B Testing technique. It helps them making a better choice, because they test 2 different strategies and analyse the results in order to pick up the most effective one. Namely, the one which meets the more criteria. For instance, for a web login page, the indicators to choose an interface could be having a higher conversion rate, a lower bounce rate… The A/B testing technique could be applied in many other situations. In any case, it will end with more step back, in order to make the right decision.
A growth hacker in few words
A growth hacker is working upstream on 3 main axes:
- Setting goals and Key Performance Indicators
- Finding levers to sustain growth (social media, PR, and even street event)
- Exploring data (from their current customers, and/or from their potential customers)
He is working to set up a growth machine which is:
In order to reach the objective, in his daily job, he is:
As a conclusion, I would say that explaining what is the job of a growth hacker is not that simple. Especially because this job is very business oriented because it depends on the company’ structure, on the versatility of the team, on the business objective, on the maturity of the company and even on the budget of the department. I would say that is the natural transition from marketer to growth hacker due to the large number of start-ups blooming in these past few years.