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The AMP Agency SEO team is dedicated to learning more about consumer behavior via search query data. Right after Labor Day, we put out a report that predicted what the top trends of Fall 2022. That season is over and now it is time to see how we did. Let’s examine some of our predictions from our report. For our Fall 2022 report, we explored 8 consumer topic categories: Fashion & Beauty Home Decor Entertainment Food & Drink Back to School Halloween Thanksgiving Black Friday Each category had 5 topics where we gathered historical data and tried to make predictions for the Fall season. In this post, we are reviewing the search query volume for certain topics and comparing it to our predictions. We are providing charts updated with 3 months of data (September-November 2022) that was released by Google’s Keyword Planner after we published the report. Let’s see if our autumn predictions hit the mark. Fashion & Beauty Loafers Each season brings new weather-appropriate shoes that are in style. Loafers were a popular shoe in the 80s and now they have made a comeback as the “it” shoe this past Fall. Last Fall, we saw a pretty big spike in search volume compared to previous years but we predicted there was going to be more popularity around loafers this Fall and we were right. In July, when we made our predictions, the search volume for the keyword “loafers” was 165,000 versus 135,000 in July 2021. Seeing that search volume was already higher compared to last year's numbers, we believed we would see a new all-time high this Fall, and we did! This Fall “loafers” hit a new all-time high in search volume reaching 246,000 searches from October to November, a 22% increase in search volume compared to last Fall. Black French Tip Nails With Fall comes “spooky season” which means some fun, Halloween nail designs begin to appear on everybody’s Pinterest nail inspiration boards. If you’re not one for intricate spooky nail designs, black french tip nails are a great way to tap into the Halloween spirit in a more subtle way. So did more people search for black french tip nails this Fall? Last Fall, “black french tip nails” saw a decent increase in search volume with a peak in October 2021 at 49,500. By July 2022, we could see the search volume beginning to steadily increase to reach a new all-time high, with a 123% increase in search volume compared to July 2021. These numbers continued to climb with “black french tip nails” reaching a new peak in search volume in October 2022 at 60,500, surpassing last year's peak by 22%. In conclusion, more people searched for “black french tip nails” this Fall! Home Decor Pumpkin Pillow With each season comes cute, trendy home decor and this season in Fall, home decor brought the pumpkin pillow! Pumpkins are the true staple of Fall with pumpkin desserts, drinks, patches, decorations, and more. But did the pumpkin pillow reach a lot more homes this year? Since 2018, we have seen a steady increase in peaks each Fall. When we made our predictions in July, we were already seeing a 125% increase in search volume compared to last year which made us pretty confident in saying that the pumpkin pillow will be a trendy decor item this Fall, and we were correct. The keyword “pumpkin pillow” reached a new, all-time high at 33,100, which is an increase of 49% compared to last year's peak and an increase of 123% compared to the peak in 2020. So it looks like maybe the pumpkin pillow really did reach a lot of new homes this year! Ghost Mug Last year, the Target ghost mug took over the internet, mainly by TikTok, when a user posted the cute mug online and people went rushing over to their local Target to get one, selling it out in stores across the country. Talks of the ghost mug began again over the summer and we believed this would contribute to a new all-time high in search volume this Fall. And we nailed it! Search volume for the keyword “ghost mug” hit a new all-time high this Fall at 27,100 searches, surpassing last year's peak by 50%! During the summer of 2022, search volume for the “ghost mug” saw an 83% increase compared to the previous summer of 2020 so we knew the “ghost mug” was destined to reach a new large peak this Fall. Entertainment Salem, MA Salem, Massachusetts - The Witch City is a popular destination for tourists in the month of October. Everyone wants to visit the haunted houses, the museums, and see the history of the city that is synonymous with Halloween. After a couple years of stagnant growth in search volume & visitors (likely due to COVID), we predicted that crowds would be out in full force this Fall. Our prediction came true as crowds visiting Salem were at record highs in October, and the search volume showed that as well. Searches for “salem ma” saw over double the amount of searches the previous year, hitting the 1,000,000 mark for searches in the month of October 2022. Cider Mill Cider-based drinks have been gaining popularity over the past few years, so why not learn how it’s made and visit a Cider Mill? Searches for the keyword “cider mill” had already been steadily increasing over the past few years, which shows that consumers wanted different beverage tour experiences outside of visiting a winery or brewery. We dug into the volume more to see if this trend would continue in 2022. We had already seen search interest start to increase at the end of the summer, matching the highs of Fall 2021. Our prediction that visiting a Cider Mill would be a popular Fall activity came true as we saw search volume increase 83% over the previous October. Food & Drink Pumpkin Spice Is the populace tired of Pumpkin Spice and Pumpkin-flavored food and drink items yet? That was one question we wanted to answer. The data we had on-hand from Keyword Planner when we were researching topics for the Fall report was no, we are not sick of this flavor trend yet. The data was leading us to believe that 2022 was going to be a strong year for pumpkin spice. Leading into the Fall months, “pumpkin spice latte” was queried more times in August 2022 than any other month in history. So much for getting tired of this trend. The Pumpkin flavor search interest was a little higher in 2022 vs 2021, with more search queries in September than in previous years. McDonald’s When we chose McDonald’s as a topic for our Fall 2022 trends, we had a notion that tough economic times drives interest in fast food or inexpensive food options. What we saw in the Autumn months was a sustained surge in search queries for the brand name “McDonald’s” with a small drop in the month of November. Besides examining Google’s Keyword Planner data, which you can see in the chart, we started to look at Google Trends data more closely. Keyword Planner data only goes back 4 years so we wanted to know if we were seeing all-time highs for search interest in the brand. Google Trends data goes back to 2004, so it provides almost 20 years of data. Take a look at the ascension of search interest in the brand as reported by Google Trends: The peak of search volume for this Fast Food chain happened in October 2022. When you see a chart like this one, it’s easy to see that there is more driving search interest to McDonald’s than just economic factors (although it’s helping). Hats off to the McD’s brand managers’ efforts - it’s working. Back to School Bento Box Lunch Box The popularity of these Japanese single-portion lunch boxes saw a gradual increase over time and did in fact peak this past Fall. With over 2.4 billion Tiktok views on the hashtag #bentobox in 2022, these useful lunch boxes even became a popular trend! Parents and adults of all ages packed lunches quickly and effortlessly using bento boxes. Given the early Back to School preparation seen since July 2022, we already expected a high search volume for this query during the Fall. As we predicted, “bento box lunch box” saw an 11% increase in search volume compared to last Fall, reaching over 246,000 searches in September 2022. Twin XL Bedding As every Fall season approaches, people begin to search for dorm bed sheets and dimensions given the extra-long mattresses that require special bedding. College dorm shopping, along with Back to School preparation, began early this year. We began seeing an increase in search volume for Twin XL Bedding and Twin XL dimensions since June. As with many topics related to in-person school activities, this type of bedding saw a drop in 2020 but is now seeing a resurgence. Fall 2022 did not surpass the peak search volume in August 2021, however, it saw 48% more interest than in 2020 and an overall longer and more sustained interest throughout the Fall months. Halloween Halloween Squishmallow Squishmallows have been gaining huge popularity over the past few years - these stuffed animal pillow hybrids come in all shapes and sizes, offering limited edition seasonal varieties for avid Squishmallow collectors. For those looking to expand their “squish army” with adorably spooky characters, Halloween Squishmallows have started to be released each year and we have seen search results reflect a growing interest. In Fall 2022, we saw nearly identical interest as 2021, topping out each year at 201,000 searches in September. So although the squish army may not be expanding, it is maintaining steady ranks - we think Squishmallows are here to stay for a while. Peaky Blinders Costume British drama series Peaky Blinders went on to its sixth, and final, season in 2022, capturing the interest of American viewers and providing plenty of Halloween costume inspiration from characters dressed as 1900s-era gangsters in sharp suits, newsboy caps, and waistcoats. The sixth season generated big buzz on social media, so we predicted the Peaky Blinders Costume would have even more interest than previous years. As we predicted, Halloween 2022 did see an increase in searches for Peaky Blinders Costumes - 22% more than October 2021. While season six is the final installment of the series, a Peaky Blinders movie is slated to be released, leading us to believe we may continue seeing this turn of the century fashion in Halloweens ahead. Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Cocktails Over the past several years, we have seen significant interest in Thanksgiving cocktails, with inclusions of Fall flavors like cranberry, pumpkin, and apple cider. Although the peak of search interest was in 2020, we predicted 2022 would see a stronger “buzz” for these delectable drinks. This Thanksgiving there was a 22% increase in queries for Thanksgiving cocktails over last year. Although 2022 didn’t surpass 2020 numbers, it rose to meet them at about 165,000 searches each year, showing us it wasn’t just a quarantine phenomenon. We can’t wait to see what traditional Thanksgiving dinner concoctions pop up next year (gravy cocktail anyone?). Thanksgiving Charcuterie Board As charcuterie boards in general become trendier, we have seen all manner of spins on them. This last Thanksgiving we predicted Thanksgiving themed boards would be more popular than ever, after search interest tripled in volume between 2020 and 2021. Searches for Thanksgiving charcuterie boards reached an all-time high in 2022, with 20% more searches than in 2021 peaking at 110,000 searches. With a combination of people looking to add another element to the dinner table with a classic charcuterie board, and those looking for an expressly Thanksgiving themed spread, we hope Thanksgiving boards will maintain their popularity next year as well (we want to snack!). Black Friday Boots (Thursday Boots) Black Friday marks the (unofficial) start of the winter season, and there’s no better time to buy that new pair of boots you’ve been eyeing. Searches for Boots saw a decrease in volume during the 2020 season, but have since seen increased volume into 2021. With more and more activities being open post-pandemic, we predicted that this trend would continue into the Black Friday season of 2022. Search interest for Boots did see an increase based on October 2020 volume, however we didn’t see the interest reach the 2021 volume. Consumers were searching for individual boot brands such as Thursday Boots and Tecovas, as we saw both of those brands have increased search volume in October 2022. Electric Toothbrush In previous years, we have seen small spikes in search volume for “electric toothbrush” in the summer months. We’ve determined this is likely due to June being National Smile Month and Amazon Prime Day in July. We also saw search volume have a sharp increase in October & November of previous years - most notably in 2021. Based on these trends, we predicted that search interest for “electric toothbrush” would continue to increase in 2022. Unfortunately, our prediction here did not come true. It seems that unlike previous years, consumers saw deals on Prime Day that were too good to pass up and by Black Friday they had already made their purchase. Maybe next year the Black Friday deals on Electric Toothbrushes will be worth the wait. That concludes our look back at this seasonal trends report. We feel like we did pretty well. Some topics weren’t as popular as we expected them to be but most of them lived up to expectation. Secretly, we were hoping that the Pumpkin flavor thing was going to show some decrease, but the people have searched and the data doesn’t lie. We will examine our Top Trends For Winter 2022-2023 in a few months.
In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for December 2022. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+ (sometimes 100,000+). After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. The Final Report For 2022 When the calendar flips to the month of December, there’s a feeling of reflection that we, as writers of this blog series, feel we must express. Capturing the top 3 queries from Google’s Daily Trends reporting module is a manual effort and because this effort takes time, our minds need to be focused on these phrases. We can’t escape the pondering of why these keywords were queried in Google. At the end of the year, our thoughts drift to the wonder of what we learned. Have we learned anything from examining these top keywords? Looking back at the year, we observed behavior that’s similar to past years with little nuances that were unique to 2022. For instance, people really like searching about sports but this year, the World Cup captivated Google searchers. You’ll learn more about World Cup queries in this report. When famous people die, their name typically becomes a top query of the day. Predictably, queries related to Queen Elizabeth II’s death were on another level in terms of volume. Lastly, the biggest takeaway was the searches for medical conditions. If there was an announcement of a famous person having a condition, it drove people to search. For example, when the family of Bruce Willis stated he was stepping back from acting on March 30th, 2022 because of his aphasia diagnosis, it was queried over 10 million times. Last month, we had another query that fit this particular category, which we’ll examine later on in this post. Top Phrases of 2022 12th Month The top queries of December 2022 are as follows: Kirstie Alley - 12/5/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries tWitch - 12/14/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Argentina vs France - 12/17/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Sadly, the first two are associated with deaths. Kirstie Alley died on December 5th and the DJ Stephen "tWitch" Boss died on the 13th. The championship match for the World Cup occurred on the 17th and many people were engaged with the game on Google Search. December is for Holidays December is the month for holidays. Let’s see which ones were searched for the most. Pearl Harbor Day - 12/7/2022 - 500,000+ queries Merry Christmas - 12/24/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Boxing Day - 12/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries Happy New Year 2023 - 12/30/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Pearl Harbor Day has been gaining search query popularity over the past two years. We were not surprised to see the query make the daily top 3 last year since it was the 80 year anniversary of the attack. This year, the query volume for the phrase wasn’t as high as it was in 2021 but it was still enough to make our collection. The new holiday query for this year was Boxing Day. In our 4 year records, we never saw this holiday make the list. 2022 changed that. Let’s look at all the available data for this term. The highest peak occurred in 2019 but slid a bit in 2020. Since then, search interest has been on the rise. Will we see a larger peak for this day after Christmas celebration in the USA in 2023? We will have to see! Medical Condition Queries As it was stated in the look back at 2022, medical conditions of famous people drive search queries. Stiff person syndrome - 12/8/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries When Celine Dion revealed she was postponing her tour because she had Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), the need to know more was satisfied with Google Search. It’s important to know that when it comes to health information, Google is still the place to research. Popular Movies & Shows December 2022 had a few entertainment options that were worth noting: White Lotus - 12/11/2022 - 500,000+ queries Black Adam - 12/16/2022 - 200,000+ queries Emily in Paris - 12/21/2022 - 200,000+ queries Glass Onion - 12/23/2022 - 500,000+ queries The season 2 finale of the HBO TV show, “The White Lotus” aired on December 11th and people wanted to know more. The Black Adam film was available for streaming on the 16th. The third season of “Emily in Paris” became available on the 21st and on the 23rd, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery was released on Netflix. In addition to these queries, Amazon announced that it secured the rights to the intellectual property of the Warhammer 40,000 game. Warhammer - 12/16/2022 - 100,000+ queries Henry Cavill is set to star and serve as an executive producer in future shows and films. Special Elections and Other News The final election of the 2022 midterms was held on the 6th of December. Georgia Senate Race - 12/6/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Brittney Griner was released from Russian custody on the 8th after being detained for months. Brittney Griner - 12/8/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Sorry if you were traveling last month on Southwest Airlines, but you probably know better than most that their canceled flights were a hot topic. Southwest Airlines - 12/26/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries The former pope passed away on the 31st, almost 10 years after resigning from the papacy in 2013. Pope Benedict - 12/31/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Greta Owned Twitter and Search We’re not sure if you follow the trends on Twitter. We don’t follow them as closely as we do for Google. Last month, Greta Thunberg traded barbs with the former professional kickboxer Andrew Tate. The viral exchange eventually led to Tate’s arrest in Romania. Greta Thunberg - 12/27/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Greta Thunberg - 12/28/2022 - 500,000+ queries Greta Thunberg - 12/29/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries For three days straight, Greta not only owned Andrew Tate but also Google Search. NFL As usual, sports-related queries made up most of our collection from last month. We broke up the list into 3 sections; NFL, NBA, and World Cup. Here is the timeline for teams in December 2022: Packers - 12/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Detroit Lions - 12/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Rams - 12/7/2022 - 500,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 12/11/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Buccaneers - 12/11/2022 - 500,000+ queries Patriots - 12/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries 49ers - 12/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Seahawks - 12/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries NFL - 12/17/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Patriots - 12/18/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Jacksonville Jaguars - 12/18/2022 - 500,000+ queries Jets - 12/22/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 12/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Green Bay Packers - 12/24/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Raiders - 12/24/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Chargers - 12/26/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 12/28/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Were people searching because their team won or lost in dramatic fashion? The answer is both. Here’s a list of NFL player names that made the list: Deion Sanders - 12/2/2022 - 500,000+ queries Jimmy Garoppolo - 12/4/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Kyler Murray - 12/12/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Russell Wilson - 12/25/2022 - 500,000+ queries J.J. Watt - 12/25/2022 - 200,000+ queries J.J. Watt - 12/27/2022 - 500,000+ queries Derek Carr - 12/28/2022 - 500,000+ queries An ex-player took another job (Sanders), a few players got hurt (Garoppolo, Murray), a couple of players didn’t play well (Wilson, Carr), and one player is retiring (Watt). NBA When it comes to American professional sports, the NBA is the second most popular in search interest (next to the NFL). Did your favorite team/player make the list? Celtics - 12/10/2022 - 200,000+ queries Warriors - 12/14/2022 - 200,000+ queries Knicks - 12/20/2022 - 100,000+ queries Nets - 12/21/2022 - 200,000+ queries Luka Doncic - 12/27/2022 - 500,000+ queries The lone player name (Doncic) scored 60 points on the 27th. World Cup Finally, the World Cup was still the most popular subject this month as it was in November 2022. Take a look at this timeline! Can you follow the teams through the matches? Cameroon vs Brazil - 12/1/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries South Korea vs Portugal - 12/1/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Costa Rica vs Germany - 12/1/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Netherlands vs USA - 12/2/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Argentina vs Australia - 12/2/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries England vs Senegal - 12/3/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries France vs Poland - 12/3/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries England vs Senegal - 12/3/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Portugal vs Switzerland - 12/5/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Brazil vs South Korea - 12/5/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Croatia vs Brazil - 12/8/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Netherlands vs Argentina - 12/9/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Morocco vs Portugal - 12/9/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries England vs France - 12/9/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries France vs Morocco - 12/10/2022 - 200,000+ queries Argentina vs Croatia - 12/12/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries France vs Morocco - 12/13/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Francia vs Marruecos - 12/13/2022 - 200,000+ queries Messi - 12/13/2022 - 200,000+ queries Argentina vs France - 12/14/2022 - 500,000+ queries Croatia vs Morocco - 12/17/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries The championship query is listed in the first section of this report and it received over 10 million queries on the 17th. Interesting to note that the Spanish version of the France vs Morocco query also made the top 3 of the Daily Trends on the 13th. After the past two months, we have a better understanding of the USA’s interest in the World Cup and the diversity of the audience with a Spanish query making the report. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.
Social media is, as 2022 has proved, an ever-changing landscape. Based on trends, consumer insights and cultural shifts, a lot can change very quickly. While social media can be a moving target, and there will be much more to track in the months to come, these are our new year predictions for social media in 2023. Let’s see which ones we’ll still be talking about in December… Twitter & Emerging Platforms It wouldn’t be a 2023 social media forecast if we didn’t start off by mentioning 2022’s Twitter madness. One of the biggest takeaways from the Twitter exodus are the various emerging platforms that have come to life. Mastodon Social, Twitter’s “alternative” has been around for 6+ years which uses servers and allows users to follow topics and other users, similar to Twitter and Reddit. Hive Social is an emerging platform that focuses on the “simplicity” of social media, it's a mix of MySpace (music on your page anyone?!) Instagram (chronological photo posts) and Twitter, ultimately allowing you to express yourself without the pressure associated with social media. Tumblr has made a big comeback with some users jumping from Twitter to the “microblogging” network.We’ve also seen a reemergence of personal newsletters and blogs/websites. Short Form Video Maintains Power Though we can’t say if Vine will make a comeback, we know that TikTok is not going anywhere. It’s no coincidence that Instagram has leaned heavily into Reels and short form video content in 2022. US adults spend on average 38 minutes watching video on social networks per day in 2022. There's a few reasons why short form video content has such a grasp on audiences: The versatility (have you seen those clips that stop you in central park and ask what you’re wearing?) Viral audio options (fun opportunities to remix or duet with trending sounds) Gen-Z’s shortened attention span (Gen Z is most likely demographic to skip content—including ads—that doesn’t interest or entertain them) Auto play lowers the barrier of entry for engagement, and makes grabbing the attention of your audience easier. Shoppable Social Closely related to short-form video is social shopping, which will boom in 2023 with almost half of the US population expected to order something they saw on social media in the new year. There are major opportunities in the new year for advertising to get creative and gain the attention of Gen-Z (the generation most likely to shop on social). We’ve seen social media platforms rise to the occasion with Facebook Shop, Facebook Messenger for customer service and purchasing, TikTok adding more shoppable solutions with new ad units, shopping tab to profiles, and exploring live shopping. Instagram building out their Shop Tab, and the seamless integration of card and shipping information. User reviews and hauls are also leading the movement of social shopping. Live shopping is going to become increasingly popular in 2023, with brands working directly with influencers and creators to produce live unboxings and hauls. A brands’ best bet to strengthen e-commerce on social? Build trust among consumers, focus on customer service and accessibility. What items, if anything, have you purchased on social media in the past year? User-Facing Content Between the BeReal boom and shoppable social, consumers want products and experiences that are authentic and relatable now more than ever. The era of user-generated content (UGC) is here: Reviews, unboxings, tutorials and product reviews posted on social media have placed consumers in the influencer role. Influencers and content creators know and work towards this strategy, but brands are able to go a step further with these genuine experiences and reviews by real consumers. Mixed Media Experiences Content that combines online with real life experiences, which we’ve seen more frequently this year, will really gain momentum in 2023. Mixed media blends two different mediums and in 2022 we’ve seen a lot of interesting mixed media experiences, including: Pinterest launching Shuffles an invite-only collage-making app Burberry partnering with Minecraft to promote a special collection and in-game adventure #BookTok TikTok’s very own book club Concerts in the Metaverse According to Instagram’s 2023 Trend Report mixed media will rule content creation. The next generation expects their favorite influencers to branch into new forms of media. For example, over 40% of Gen Z followers want to hear podcasts from their favorite social media creators in 2023. Search Going Social In 2022, it was revealed that younger users are “often turning to apps like Instagram and TikTok instead of Google Search or Maps for discovery purposes.”(TechCrunch) 40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google. Information is shown in a more visually-appealing way on TikTok discovery video versus a plain-old Google search. TikTok videos tend to be quick, human and visually immersive - all factors that urge us to try something new. In 2023 we’re going to see this trend increase as users can find recommendations, local businesses, and store information and hours all through social media. TikTok just began to allow ads to appear in search.There is a lot of opportunity for TikTok and Meta to venture into search advertising and take advantage of these existing behaviors. Here we go! 2023 is already off and running. What are you most looking forward to seeing on social media in 2023?
Taking a closer look at marketing’s favorite buzzword “Disruption”. “Zeitgeist”. “Thumb-Stopping”. We all have buzzwords that we wish we could tune out. Mine is “authentic” - a word that I’ve described as the corporate equivalent of “moist”. Yet it’s a difficult one to avoid. It seems that every organization, publication, and thought leader can’t get enough of the adjective. Businesses and brands are regularly tasked with the impossible mission of looking, sounding, or just being authentic. And with the new year comes new projects and briefs to chase this intangible goal. Here’s the problem: brands are corporate entities, not people, and have no business trying to be authentic. In fact, most attempts to crack the elusive code of authenticity and “be relatable” often hurt more than help (see: the endless stream of cringey TikToks from tone-deaf brands). I know what you’re thinking. “But look at the legacy of the Dove Real Beauty campaign! The rise of BeReal! Whatever DuoLingo is doing on TikTok!” There is a method to the madness, but it requires a closer look at larger trends. Chasing an “authentic” human face Ever notice how the term “sellout” doesn’t get thrown around the same way it used to? That’s because the term has shifted from a pejorative to an ideal: 86% of young Americans want to be influencers, a role that comes not only with clout and followers but brand deals and sponsorships. Being chosen as a guest at a corporate event or becoming a brand ambassador has become the ultimate status symbol. Practically, the choice makes sense for both parties. Influencers can monetize their content, while brands gain a human face, an attentive audience, and relatable examples of how their products can be used. Aside from speaking through influencers, many brands now use their community managers and other employees as human faces for consumers to connect to. A scroll through TikTok shows many branded accounts not speaking about their products or participating in trends, but bemoaning restraints from their legal teams or their constant need to post content. Again, these are people who act as stand-ins for a business. But what if businesses were simply transparent about what they were? In an age where every brand is trying to appear authentic by using internet speak and filming their mascots doing dances, the most radical thing might be to honestly share what your brand stands for or is up to on a day-to-day basis. It’s okay to not be authentic If you’re reading this, I assume you’re one of Beyoncé’s 278 million Instagram followers, but just in case I can briefly describe her profile. Her grid is populated with stylized glamor shots, usually featuring only herself in designer outfits on sets, in mansions, and on yachts. Her photos rarely have captions and she follows no one. This behavior is a far cry from the mundane “authentic” mirror selfies and pleasant vacation photos posted by our friends. Yet it makes complete sense because Beyoncé is a multimillionaire and the most awarded singer in Grammy history. Just as Beyoncé’s over-the-top social posts fit with her personal brand and lifestyle, so too can brands craft a presence that tells a story about who they truly are, all while being honest, distinct, and engaging. Instead of “being authentic”, why not try… Being transparent Give people a look behind the curtain about how things work or the decisions your team is making. Better yet, give them a say in the decision-making process. Being helpful Answer questions or clean up confusion around your products, or teach your audience something genuinely useful to their day-to-day lives. Being understanding Understand the tensions in your audience’s lives and how you can solve them. Keep a pulse on what’s relevant and valuable to them.
In anticipation for what 2023 will bring, AMP has already moved into building next year’s communication and influencer strategies for our clients. Anticipating trends in the market is the key to pleasing our clients and appealing to their audiences and, most importantly, helping marketers position their brands as leaders within the space. The AMP PR & Influencer Team predicts a shift in influencer marketing and public relations next year: PR must think beyond the media pitch, and one-off influencer marketing activations aren’t as valuable as longer-term partnerships. Traditional pitching isn't enough anymore. According to Pew Research, newsroom employment in the U.S. has fallen 26% since 2008, even as the demand for online content has grown exponentially. As a result, media outlets have fewer full-time writers to satisfy demand, leading us to switch to the following pitching tactics: Editorial content drives trust: Contributed content, bylines, and op-eds are a healthy part of any PR mix. Due in part to reporter burnout, we have seen an increase in the demand for contributed articles, which presents our clients with additional opportunities to share their expertise. Contributed articles offer insight and first-person perspective on relevant topics and are a great way to position a brand as a thought leader in the industry. Data and analytics take center stage: Media relations is about building genuine relationships and reaching the point where a reporter knows they can turn to your client as a resource. We have seen success in sharing data-driven stories to establish our clients as credible sources for future stories within the trade, lifestyle, and business media. Tap into the power of podcasts: Podcasts are more popular than ever. Statista found that 62% of U.S. consumers listened to audio podcasts this year alone. This nontraditional form of media is an excellent addition to our client’s thought leadership strategy, not just because they are popular. Podcasts are a great way to get our clients more comfortable in interviews while reaching a concentrated and highly interested audience. Long-term Influencer partnerships are beneficial for brands AND influencers. Long-term influencer programs are essential for brands looking to fully realize the value of influencer marketing. We have seen that long-term partnerships can be mutually beneficial for both parties and more impactful than working with partners through one-off activations in the following ways: Building audience trust: By working with partners on multiple campaign activations, brands can drive stronger audience interest and engagement. When partners share multiple posts in partnership with a brand they love, their audience can begin to build stronger, authentic connections compared to one-off sponsored posts. Additionally, repeat exposure is a great driver of brand recognition and consideration. Better collaboration: Through extended partnerships, influencers are able to gain a better understanding of brand voice and build that into their content in authentic ways (with less edits required). Extended relationships also allow brands and their partners to better understand each other’s ways of working which can make the creative flow and content review process even more streamlined. Better collaboration can also lead to more exciting, innovative ideas from influencers as they build more honest and open relationships with brand partners. Stronger Performance Metrics: Extended partnerships can help you better analyze and learn what content themes resonate with influencers’ audiences to drive content recommendations for future activations. Also, by working with partners across multiple campaigns you can create performance benchmarks rooted in data, which can help to optimize for future campaigns. When both parties are equipped with more actionable data, you’ll be impressed to see how your partners continue to elevate their content. Cost Efficiencies: When working with influencers over a longer time period, you can bundle influencer content packages and rates, which provide cost efficiencies from a fee and contracting standpoint. Many influencers charge a flat ‘per post’ or campaign fee, but when bringing partners on to a longer activation there can be more room to negotiate and come to a mutually beneficial place for both parties. When considering how to capitalize on these trends moving into 2023, it's important to remember that a strong strategy always backs successful marketing. The best brands have a strategic plan crafted by professionals with a pulse on the industry and experience weaving creativity with proven results to drive success.
In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for November 2022. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+ (sometimes 100,000+). After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. Long Story Short Elections and World Cup - that’s it. If you wanted us to boil down the full list of Google Search queries that happened in November 2022, we’d tell you those two topics were the top ones. Of course, there is more to our search behavior than just voting and soccer. If it were that easy, the AMP Agency SEO team could keep these reports down to a few lines each month. But no, life is not easy and we do have 90 keywords to sift through. The Powerball lottery was popular again this month until somebody won. There were tech layoffs and wild weather to learn more about. There were shows and movies to watch and Black Friday Deals to research. Lastly, there were other sports to follow besides soccer although at times, it didn’t seem like it. Let’s examine the month that was with the search keywords as reported by Google Trends. 10 Million Queries of These Phrases In total, there were seven keywords that were queried over ten million times in a 24 hour period last month. Most of them fit into other categories so we’ll discuss them later on in the article. Here are the three phrases that sit outside our groupings: Takeoff - 11/1/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Aaron Carter - 11/5/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Veterans Day - 11/10/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Sadly, the first two were triggered by celebrity deaths. The AMP team doesn’t typically report on these types of phrases but their query numbers met the tool’s reporting maximum. Google changed their logo on Veterans Day, which led to a large number of queries for the holiday. Powerball Fever Continues As it was in October 2022, the Powerball lottery was a popular subject last month. Powerball - 11/1/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Powerball - 11/2/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Powerball - 11/7/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries That is, until somebody won. Then, people didn’t care as much. When the jackpot is high, so is the search interest. Midterm Elections With Google’s help, the topic of the midterm elections was very popular in the first couple of weeks in November 2022. How do i vote - 11/3/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Where to vote - 11/7/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Election results - 11/8/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Where to vote - 11/8/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Georgia election results - 11/8/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries The natural language questions that you see in the bullet points above were driven by Google Doodles that presented people with results on how and where they could vote. Big Tech Keywords Early in the month, the keywords queried about big tech companies didn’t have a happy intent. Twitter layoffs - 11/4/2022 - 200,000+ queries Meta Layoffs - 11/9/2022 - 200,000+ queries Both Twitter and Meta had layoffs that were newsworthy and led to people searching for information. On a more positive note, Spotify released its annual Wrapped presentation to its users. Spotify Wrapped 2022 - 11/30/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries According to Wikipedia, Wrapped is a viral marketing campaign and it has garnered a lot of publicity for the brand. The AMP team wondered if the popularity for this feature was increasing or decreasing: The peak interest occurred in 2020. SInce then, the popularity has waned a bit although the search interest in 2022 was higher than 2021. Hurricanes and Snowfall Wild weather calls for search to get the most up-to-date and accurate information. Here are the keywords that people queried Google last month that were weather-related. Hurricane tracker - 11/6/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Hurricane watch - 11/7/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Buffalo Weather - 11/16/2022 - 200,000+ queries Lake effect snow warning - 11/16/2022 - 200,000+ queries As the hurricane season of 2022 came to a close, there was one more hurricane to track. Named Nicole, the storm made landfall on November 9th. The Buffalo, NY area was hit by a storm where they were measuring snow totals in feet and not inches. News outlets reported 80 inches of snow dropped from the sky. Are You Not Entertained? Beyond live sports, there are other things to watch. Here’s a rundown of the most popular shows and movies. CMA Awards 2022 - 11/9/2022 - 500,000+ queries Alan Jackson - 11/9/2022 - 200,000+ queries Black Panther 2 - 11/10/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Yellowstone Season 5 - 11/13/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Spirited - 11/18/2022 - 100,000+ queries The Country Music Association Awards aired on the 9th and Alan Jackson won a lifetime achievement award. The sequel to Black Panther was released on November 11th and the first episode from the fifth season of Yellowstone aired on the 13th. Lastly, the Will Farrell and Ryan Reynolds Apple TV film was available to stream on the 18th. Also, we’re not sure if you’ve heard, but Taylor Swift broke Ticketmaster: Ticketmaster - 11/14/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries We’re not sure if they will be fixed any time soon. Thinking About The Time, The Moon, and The Economy We had to turn the clocks back an hour and people wanted to know more. Daylight Savings - 11/5/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries It would be nice to have one time and stick with it. The Artemis rocket finally launched and it happened a day before a lunar eclipse. Artemis launch - 11/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Lunar eclipse - 11/6/2022 - 500,000+ queries The topic of the Artemis has been popular since late August 2022 and there won’t be another total lunar eclipse until March 14, 2025. The economy is on people’s minds and it’s evident in both of these keywords. Fed rate hike - 11/2/2022 - 200,000+ queries Black Friday Deals - 11/24/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries The rise in interest rates has driven people to search so much that we have reported this phrase in our July and September 2022 reports as well. Black Friday deals are an annual top queried topic but it was interesting to see that other retailers did not make the daily top 3 this year. Is there a lower interest in holiday shopping this year because of the economy? The Other Non-World Cup Sports Topics Major League Baseball’s World Series captured search interest this year. The two teams that participated both grabbed a daily top 3 most search keyword spot early in November 2022. Phillies - 11/1/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Astros - 11/5/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries People were also interested in the National Football League last month. Eagles - 11/3/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Panthers - 11/10/2022 - 500,000+ queries Cowboys - 11/13/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Seahawks - 11/13/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Packers - 11/17/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries NFL - 11/24/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Eagles - 11/27/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Gridiron football tends to be the most queried sport in November, but this year, we have the World Cup. World Cup Dominance Without comment, outside of the fact that almost a third of all of the keywords we captured for this article were related to the World Cup, here is the list of all the phrases, the dates that they were reported,and their query volume. Qatar - 11/18/2022 - 500,000+ queries Qatar vs Ecuador - 11/19/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries England vs Iran - 11/19/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Senegal vs Netherlands - 11/19/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries USA vs Wales - 11/20/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries World Cup - 11/20/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Argentina vs Saudi Arabia - 11/21/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries England vs Iran - 11/21/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries France vs Australia - 11/21/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Mexico vs Poland - 11/22/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Spain vs Costa Rica - 11/22/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Germany vs Japan - 11/22/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries England vs USA - 11/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Brazil vs Serbia - 11/23/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Uruguay vs South Korea - 11/23/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Portugal vs. Ghana - 11/24/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Argentina vs Mexico - 11/25/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries England vs USA - 11/25/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Portugal vs Uruguay - 11/26/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Spain vs Germany - 11/26/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Brazil vs Switzerland - 11/27/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries South Korea vs Ghana - 11/27/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Iran vs USA - 11/28/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Mexico vs Saudi Arabia - 11/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Ecuador vs Senegal - 11/28/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Saudi Arabia vs Mexico - 11/29/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Japan vs Spain - 11/29/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries Poland vs Argentina - 11/29/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Japan vs Spain - 11/30/2022 - 5,000,000+ queries It certainly has become a popular topic in search. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.
AMP Agency has published yet another report as a part of their Search Intelligence service. This report is available for download and provides consumer and audience insights to help inform your marketing and business decisions for the Winter season. AMP Agency’s SEO Coordinator Josie Witaschek focused on the Beauty and Fashion categories for the report and was excited to share the findings. “As we have for the other Trends reports we have produced this year, I used TikTok as a starting point for many of the topics I researched. The use of this platform as a search engine is growing across the consumer base and our team has found it useful in our research.” The Top Trends of Winter 2022-2023 report has insights on 24 topics across 8 different categories including Travel and Activities, along with the aforementioned Beauty and Fashion. The data presented in the report is pulled straight from Google’s Keyword Planner (US only) and is paired with our analysis of why we think the topic will increase in popularity this Winter. Download our 2022-2023 Winter Trends report and learn more about our seasonable predictions for this coming season.
In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for October 2022. Every day, we capture the top three keyword phrases in terms of search volume as reported by Google Trends (US Only). Each term has an estimated query volume attached to it, which we also record. The number scale tops out at 10,000,000+ with a lower limit of 200,000+ (sometimes 100,000+). After the conclusion of the month, we look at the phrases we collected along with their volumes to get an understanding of what drove queries for the month. Harvesting Search Queries in October 2022 Autumn 2022 is in full effect across the USA last month and we followed along, recording the top queried keyword phrases each day. Looking at our collection, we see interest in Halloween entertainment options, dreams of big lottery wins, and concerns about tech companies. With the MLB playoffs, College and Pro Football games, and the NBA season starting up again, we collected a large number of keyword phrases related to sports. Lastly, the two events that best captured the moment in time that was October 2022: McDonalds introduced Happy Meals for adults and a gamer revealed his face. People showed their quest for knowledge of both these things via Google search and the AMP Agency team was there to witness it. The Day of The Dead Doodle We almost got through the whole month without seeing a keyword phrase queried more than 10 million times within a day. On the last day of October, Google changed its logo and we got our top phrase of the month by query volume: Day of the Dead - 10/31/2022 - 10,000,000+ queries Clicks on the logo sent people to the results page for “Day of the Dead” as a celebration of a holiday widely observed in Mexico. October 2022 Entertainment Options Thursday the 13th was the day to learn more about the films and TV shows that were made for frights. Halloween Ends - 10/13/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries The Watcher - 10/13/2022 - 500,000+ queries Michael Myers is back for another installment of the Halloween movie series and home ownership is made scarier when letters arrive in the mail in the Netflix show, The Watcher. Yes, even scarier than the utility bills. Swifties were excited about a new album and Heidi Klum dressed as a worm. Taylor Swift - 10/20/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Heidi Klum - 10/31/2022 - 500,000+ queries Taylor Swift’s Midnights album was released on the 21st and Heidi Klum hosted her first Halloween party since 2019 and was dressed extremely realistically as a human-sized worm. It’s another great sign that things are getting back to a post-pandemic reality. Powerball Fever In October, they kept drawing numbers and they kept finding no winners. With no winners, the jackpot kept getting larger and so did the search interest. Powerball - 10/25/2022 - 500,000+ queries Powerball - 10/27/2022 - 500,000+ queries Powerball - 10/29/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries There’s definitely a correlation to the size of the jackpot and the number of queries. When there is a chance to win a billion dollars (or close to it, after taxes), “Powerball” makes the daily top 3 in Google Trends. Two Big Reveals The gaming YouTuber Dream decided to reveal his face after years of concealing it and McDonalds released a Happy Meal made for adults that feature collectables from the streetwear brand, Cactus Plant Flea Market: Dream face - 10/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Cactus Plant Flea Market - 10/3/2022 - 1,000,00+ queries Dream’s face reveal was a big deal. According to People.com, the video where he showed his face for the first time on YouTube generated over 21.9 million views and 2.5 million likes in less than a day. Happy Meals for Adults launched with figurines designed in collaboration with CPFM and clearly people were excited to learn more about them. Politics Here and Across The Pond In the US, debates between candidates running for Senate seats drove people to search. Warnock, Walker debate - 10/14/2022 - 200,000+ queries Fetterman - 10/25/2022 - 500,000+ queries We safely predict we’ll see more query volume for keyword phrases related to the midterm elections next month. Stay tuned. Search interest in UK politics continued in October with the appointment of a new Prime Minister. U.K. Prime Minister - 10/19/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Rishi Sunak - 10/23/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries After Liz Truss stepped down from the post, Rishi Sunak officially became the incumbent Prime Minister on October 25th, 2022. October 2022 Tech News There were three notable queries related to tech companies from our collection last month: Amazon Prime Day - 10/10/2022 - 200,000+ queries Meta stock - 10/26/2022 - 500,000+ queries Elon Musk - 10/26/2022 - 500,000+ queries There was another Amazon Prime Day in October 2022 although the search interest related to this one wasn’t as large as the one that occurred during the summer: Maybe one Prime Day per year is enough? The other two tech-related keyword phrases were a bit more gloomy as Meta released its third quarter earnings on the 26th, which caused the stock of Facebook’s parent company to fall sharply. On the same day, Elon Musk finalized his purchase of Twitter. What will the future hold for either of these properties? Whatever happens, people will be searching for answers. The Collegiate Gridiron Roundup Sports-related queries took up the majority of our collection from October 2022. Here are the top college football keyword phrases: Georgia football - 10/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Alabama football - 10/8/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Tennessee football - 10/8/2022 - 200,000+ queries Texas Longhorns football - 10/8/2022 - 200,000+ queries Alabama football - 10/15/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Clemson football - 10/22/2022 - 500,000+ queries Since these keyword phrases were all queried on Saturdays, the intent behind them is most definitely game related. Just The Top NFL Queries If Saturdays are for college football, then Sundays are for the NFL. And Mondays. And Thursdays. Dallas Cowboys - 10/2/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Chiefs - 10/2/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Vikings - 10/2/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries 49ers - 10/3/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Tom Brady - 10/4/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Broncos - 10/6/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Packers - 10/9/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Bengals - 10/9/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Bears - 10/13/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Cowboys - 10/16/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Broncos - 10/17/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Christian McCaffrey - 10/20/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Saints - 10/20/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Dallas Cowboys - 10/23/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Steelers - 10/23/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Patriots - 10/24/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 10/27/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Tom Brady - 10/27/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Buffalo Bills - 10/30/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Eagles - 10/30/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Vikings - 10/30/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries There were more NFL related queries collected last month but we’re only publishing the phrases that were queried more than a million times during a 24 hour period. This list is long enough! Major League Baseball Is Still Interesting The MLB playoff got a lot of attention from what was reported in Google Trends Aaron Judge - 10/4/2022 - 500,000+ queries Mets - 10/7/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Phillies - 10/7/2022 - 500,000+ queries Astros - 10/11/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Dodgers - 10/11/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Phillies - 10/14/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Yankees - 10/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Yankees - 10/16/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Phillies - 10/18/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Padres vs Phillies - 10/21/2022 - 500,000+ queries World Series - 10/28/2022 - 2,000,000+ queries Astros - 10/31/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries The eventual winner of the World Series will be revealed in our next report - no spoilers! A New NBA Season The 2022-23 season kicked off in October. Before the games started, Draymond Green made headlines for getting into a fight with one of his teammates: Draymond Green - 10/5/2022 - 500,000+ queries Draymond Green - 10/7/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries The rest of the NBA-related queries had more to do with games than individual players. NBA - 10/18/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Lakers - 10/18/2022 - 500,000+ queries Suns - 10/19/2022 - 200,000+ queries Lakers - 10/21/2022 - 500,000+ queries The volume of NBA queries will pick up in March 2023 and will continue increasing in interest until the Finals in June. Is European Soccer’s Popularity Apparent To You? Finally, Keywords related to European football matches continue to appear in the top 3 of Google’s daily trends. Here’s the full list of phrases. Man City vs Man United - 10/1/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Man City vs Copenhagen - 10/5/2022 - 200,000+ queries Chelsea vs Milan - 10/5/2022 - 200,000+ queries Arsenal vs Liverpool - 10/9/2022 - 500,000+ queries Barcelona vs Inter - 10/12/2022 - 500,000+ queries Rangers vs Liverpool - 10/12/2022 - 200,000+ queries Real Madrid vs Barcelona - 10/15/2022 - 1,000,000+ queries Manchester United - 10/19/2022 - 200,000+ queries Chelsea vs Man United - 10/22/2022 - 500,000+ queries The popularity of this non-American sport is quite apparent in search trends. The team at AMP Agency wonders when there will be more domestic coverage of these games. Perhaps soon is likely the answer. Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, we utilize search trends data for all of our clients and we invite you to learn more about our SEO services.
One of our mantras here at AMP is “Question Everything” - we’re practiced at examining our deeply held assumptions and asking - is there a better way? Still, in 2019, even with a relatively flexible work environment, we assumed that “work” meant the 9-5 in-office grind. We never stopped to ask ourselves… “why? And is this really the best model?” Then 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and out of necessity we realized there could be a different way to work. Sometimes it takes this level of disruption to jolt us out of our most deeply held assumptions. But the jolt was effective. As other companies assumed a “return to normal” and continuously planned and pushed back office re-opening dates, AMP exited our four national office location leases. Instead of rushing back to “normal” we wanted to ask ourselves: was the old normal actually working for us anyway? And - what could a better way look like? For us it was a design question, and the brief was to redesign the way we work. Like any design question, there were a wealth of exciting possibilities and major challenges to overcome. And we needed to start with the humans at the center. What did our clients need from us, and what did our employees need to deliver their best work to them? The answer was not the status quo. Our people told us loud and clear that they did not want to head back into the office full time. Our employees, our clients, and loads of new research were telling us the benefits of the flexibility of remote work (No commuting! Better work/life integration! Higher productivity!). And as our pandemic-induced remote state chugged along, we also discovered some more surprising insights: Virtual environments can make collaboration better Before 2020, workers were wasting an average of 9 minutes per meeting just setting up tech - that’s 30% of a half hour meeting, wasted. 40% of workers were wasting up to 30 minutes just searching for an open conference room. Conference calls with a mix of remote and in-person attendees left the people dialing in outside of the office at a disadvantage. At AMP, we were facing these types of pain points all the time, collaborating across four offices with clients all over the country. In this model, the tools meant to help us communicate like we were in person were actually making us feel farther away. But something interesting happened when suddenly everyone was remote. Conference calls died out in favor of video, and these remote meetings acted as a great equalizer. We could all clearly see each other’s faces, no matter where we were zooming in from. Disembodied voices we’d been working across offices with for years became - perhaps paradoxically - more tangible humans. We met their kids, their pets, their roommates. Clients who we previously talked to on the phone and saw in person every few months became regular face-to-face virtual collaborators. This new type of collaboration unlocked huge benefits. Employees felt more connected to their coworkers in other locations, and the work was thriving. Our client satisfaction metrics went up year over year. We took on global clients and expanded our teams outside of the US. Our business saw growth amidst a period of economic uncertainty. We saw that elements of remote work would be good for our people, our clients, and our business. Virtual environments have higher intensity Our creativity and collaboration had been unlocked, but we also found the zoom fatigue was real. In the pre-pandemic days, we assumed burnout was directly related to long hours. But a look at our employee’s time-tracking told us that may no longer be the case - even employees not working overtime were feeling the fatigue. It turns out that without those built-in breaks chatting while troubleshooting tech and making coffee in the office kitchen, people’s days working remotely aren’t just more productive, they’re more intensive. With all remote all the time, a 40 hour workweek can start to feel like 50. If the future of work had remote elements, our new model would need mechanisms in place to prevent burnout. Career and life phase inform employee needs When the pandemic abated and parents were better able to get reliable school and childcare, AMP parents often preferred remote work. They could have breakfast with their kids without fear of missing the commuter rail. They could pop out to pick up a sick kid without sacrificing hours of their work day. Many, in the middle of their careers, had already built the skills and confidence that could transfer to a new environment. They were thriving in the remote workplace. But employees at the beginning of their careers were disoriented. They were missing out on the mentorship and guidance you get from observing and interacting with more seasoned co-workers day-to-day, not to mention the camaraderie that comes from early office friendships. We discovered that people were living in a multitude of personal situations that demanded different work environments in order to thrive. We needed a model that could provide options for multiple ways of working depending on what employees needed to grow and do their best work. Our Innovative Approach to Work: AMP Anywhere With these insights, we set out to design a new model based on radical flexibility. We concepted and pressure tested multiple models. And here’s what we’ve launched: a working model we call AMP Anywhere with three core tenets: You can work from anywhere, including from home or in an office – whatever works best for you. Compensation does not depend on or change based on where you live. Even if you’re not near an office location, you’ll have opportunities to collaborate in person on an ongoing basis. Two years after we exited our office leases, our workforce spans across 30+ markets internationally, and we’re reopening smaller flexible spaces in places with high employee concentration - Boston and New York. This month we rolled out extensive guidelines for communication norms, travel policies, and collaboration opportunities built for a positive, equitable employee experience no matter how you work best, including deep-work focused “Flex Fridays” and events for AMPers to connect in-person with their co-workers across the globe. Up next: Prototype. Test. Iterate. We’re not done. We believe this is what the future of work looks like. But we also know that there will be a whole new set of assumptions we develop that we’ll need to break down. Unlike our old working model, the future of work is not static. It’s pliable. It’s evolving. As AMPers, we have a commitment to Question Everything. That means a commitment to continually innovate and improve around the ways we work to make our lives and work truly sing. Welcome to the future of work. This is our first prototype. – Greer Pearce, SVP, Brand & Innovation
What is Google’s new update? Google has rolled a new change in the way they present their search results on mobile devices for brand keyword queries. The engine is now prioritizing the site name for brand name queries of a company instead of the contents of the home page’s title tag. For example, before this change, a query of the company name, “rover”, would show the contents of home page’s title tag in Google’s mobile search results: With this change, a query of “rover” on mobile now presents a result with the site name in search results along with the favicon and URL: Currently, site names are available for mobile Google Search results in English, French, Japanese, and German, with more languages to follow in the coming months. Why is Google using only site names? Google strives to make it easier for users to find the specific website that is associated with the brand name they are searching for. By using only site names in search results, Google believes it becomes a lot easier to find the specific brand being searched. These types of keywords are seen as being navigational in nature; that is, a keyword that has the intent of getting a person to the brand’s home page. This update does not affect results for non-branded or expanded branded keyword queries. Keeping the company Rover as our example, If one were to search “dog walking” or “rover dog walking”, the title tag’s content will appear as the link text for the home page: How Can You Optimize Your Home Page? Because of this change, AMP Agency recommends brands to add their desired website name using structured data on their site’s home page so it appears properly in Google mobile search results. Specifically, we recommend the use of WebSite schema markup on the home page as depicted in the example below: This implementation allows Google to recognize the “name” property as the site name of the website and provide accurate results on result pages. The use of structured data is also beneficial for websites with alternate names, like acronyms and shortened names. The Website schema markup allows for these variations to be added to the home page as well. How can Google understand your site name? Beyond Website schema markup, Google Search does use a number of other sources to determine the site name for a search result including on-page, off-page, and meta data information. With the addition of schema markup, brands should ensure the headings (H1, H2, etc.), Title Tag, and Open Graph Protocol meta data (og:site_name) are optimized for the same site name. Keeping up with Google changes are just a part of our SEO Services. Contact us for more information about how we can best position your site for search.