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Warner Brothers have hit the rename button on their mouthful of a title for the new Harley Quinn film, citing “search expansion for ticket sites” as their motivation.

It’s not often you have a post-release change to anything as large as a feature film, especially for the purposes of SEO.

Without critiquing the movie itself, let’s just get stuck into exactly how critical your title structure is to give your content the best chance of success.

Supervillains Need SEO, Too

The original title is 69 characters and 11 words long including parentheses:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

The new title is just 28 characters and 5 words long:

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey

Harley Quinn’s namesake has now been given pride of place, with Birds of Prey taking a back seat, and the rambling 40 character Australian Psychic Expo word vomit is gone.

 

Why is the title important? Anyone, regardless of their enthusiasm for comic book movies will be able to tell you that this is the Harley Quinn movie. In general, Google show a maximum of 60 characters in Search titles, so by positioning her extremely valuable name 55 characters into the title, listings will exclude her name from appearing at all:


Then there was this headline from Forbes which had a healthy dose of irony:

Forbes Harley Quinn Listing

Whereas the truncated title fits perfectly with 30 characters to spare for the website’s name itself, benefiting local Cinemas and review sites alike, all battling for ticket sales and impressions.

The fact of the matter is, Birds of Prey simply doesn’t hold the same level of brand recognition as Harley Quinn does. It isn’t The Avengers, or X-Men (which suffered a similar blunder with Dark Phoenix). Current trends show that it’s only been as recently as this week that Birds of Prey’s search popularity has started to eclipse that of Harley Quinn’s:

If we compare the original title to the truncated title, the latter is 20 times as popular and trending upward as of writing this:

Even adding ‘Harley Quinn Movie’ to the mix illustrates the link between Harley Quinn and the brand’s success:

Objectively speaking, if this were any other service or product that you were searching for and you were presented with search results that didn’t contain the thing that you actually searched for, you’d probably just keep scrolling. You wouldn’t look for plumbers in your area and click a listing that began with 60 characters describing the van they turn up to a job in.

Admittedly, when I first read the original title for Birds of Prey my mind immediately defaulted to a Troy McClure film of undisclosed popularity:

 

Oddly enough, ‘The Contrabulous Fabtraption of Professor Horatio Hufnagel’ just squeezes in to the 60 character limit, making it slightly more SEO friendly than what I’m writing this article about.

Metatags Aren’t Just For Metahumans

Warner Brothers have been under fire in previous years for strong-arming directors into pre-release title changes, so this could simply just be a change of tact to afford Cathy Yan proper creative control over her film despite the unusually eccentric title raising numerous eyebrows.

Corporate Bean-Counters stepped in to action this unprecedented title change fairly swiftly, speaking volumes about the power of SEO and appropriately structuring your titles to make sure it is seen by as many eyes as possible.

Much like a feature film, your content is a money-making exercise. Business doesn’t run on love alone, you are always investing your time into creating content designed to position you as an expert in your field.

This isn’t saying you can’t be creative with your titles, you just have to be creative in the scope of the platform you’re publishing on. All content delivery methods come with a set of parameters that you must adhere to, which aren’t limited to just movie titles. For example, if you are creating content for TikTok, you wouldn’t use still images. If you are trying to launch a new car model in Portugal, you’d name it the Kauai instead of the Kona. If you were creating a billboard ad for the side of a highway, you wouldn’t use an entire paragraph of text (or would you).

Lyft Billboard

With that said, it’s time for you to start structuring your page titles effectively, they are your ad’s headline in organic search results.

  • Keep them under 60 characters long
  • Use your most important elements at the start
  • Answer a question preemptively (chances are you’re writing the article to answer something anyway)
  • Promote yourself shamelessly

The key takeaway from this scenario is that if the first title you pick doesn’t hit the mark, that’s ok! If Warner Brothers’ can change a movie title, then you can change your blog post’s title (feature image, excerpt or content for that matter) at any time. That in itself is the beauty of creating content for the digital world, you’re only limited by your attachment to what you create.

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Blog
Ah, Monopoly. Parker Brothers’ accurate prediction of the current Sydney housing market, and perhaps the leading cause of animosity between family members during power outages.

It’s McDonalds Monopoly time, possibly the most obvious example of gamification, where the dynamic duo dangle the veritable deep-fried carrot in front of millions of Australians who are battle-hardened against most marketing efforts of the fast food juggernaught.

Gamification McDonalds Monopoly
Game On

Gamification, simply put – is a marketing campaign masquerading as a game, which serves to bridge the engagement gap between business and customer to improve the likelihood of conversion. This method is proven to increase engagement, loyalty, the consumer experience and above all – move product.

How is gamification profitable? McDonalds simply restrict the quantity of specific pieces of the Monopoly real estate tokens, naturally mitigating any risk associated with too many winners. After all – the game isn’t designed to get you into that brand new Suzuki Vitara, the game is designed to make the business money.

Maccas adds another gamification layer to their marketing in their flashy, yet UX challenged phone app. This provides a modern, yet equally frustrating electronic version on the classic board game, while doubling as a facility to claim and collect your tokens.

But if winning a major prize is statistically improbable, what’s the point? Enter the consolation prize, designed almost entirely to claw you back into the restaurant: ‘Instant Win’ prizes like chips or a small soft drink. When you go to redeem these are they REALLY all you’re going to get? No, you’re likely going to order an entire meal, plus the free fries – because you want those additional tickets. On top of that, Chance Card tokens are also provided as another layer of gamification, unlocking mini-games in the app to win yet more tokens or prizes. Gameception.


Can I Play?

If you haven’t already disappeared to make the hunger-fuelled pilgrimage to the Golden Arches, how can you leverage gamification for your business?

Lets explore the three main tenets of Gamification: building Motivation, Ability & Triggers. Motivation is the dangling carrot enticing the player to play, while Ability enables the player to play by means of providing the playing field (which includes actual prizes), and Triggers get the player off the bench and into the game when they are made to feel the most empowered.


Motivation: 

Benefit to You: Breaks down barrier between customer and business, adds another person to the funnel.
Benefit to Player: Instills a feeling of easily-achieved win, promise of dopamine kick and tangible ‘prize’.


Ability: 

Benefit to You: Nothing intrinsically, this is essentially entirely a liability in terms of costs associated with prizes and marketing.
Benefit to Player: Available prizes that people instinctively perceive as goals, while being offered the pathway to achieve that goal by you.


Trigger:

Benefit to You: Customer’s illusion of choice, forced to take action by purchasing product in order to begin the game.
Benefit to Player: Starts the game which they have already imagined winning (for a small fee, this holds the most risk for player).


As you can see, this is a zero-sum game when appropriately managed. Where the motivation step benefits both parties, the ability step benefits the player and the trigger benefits the business. Once you’ve quantified your Ability in terms of the value of your marketing investment (prizes, assets & activation), and the Trigger’s value to you (products purchased, emails collected), it’s game on.

Gamification McDonalds Monopoly

Get Your Head In The Game

Obviously a partnership with an international entertainment company is out of the reach of most businesses, so here’s a few good examples of gamification that you could modify to suit your own purposes:


Facebook – Top Fans


Consistently engage with a page’s posts and you’ll have a shiny badge next to your name to show your loyalty to the business when commenting on their posts. This benefits Facebook by ensuring users stay active, benefits the business by increasing post engagement rates and reach, and benefits the user by rewarding them with bragging rights in the form of a tiny badge.


Google Maps – Local Guides Program


Regularly write quality reviews for businesses you visit to increase your profile’s level, earning badges along the way and ascend quicker by writing more comprehensive reviews, or by posting photos and videos. This benefits Google by increasing the value of it’s Maps listings to the end user by bolstering the quantity of submissions while prioritising quality content. Most importantly though, it benefits the business by means of social proofing, boosting perceived trust in the business and promoting it’s good deeds (and punishing bad customer service). Also benefits the reviewer’s profile by positioning them as an authority in their area, and sometimes, winning tangible prizes like socks.


Linkedin – Profile Completion Awards

Linkedin Gamification
Microsoft want you to complete your Linkedin profile a lot further than your name and a photo, and do so by awarding you a self-esteem boosting award to say you’re using the platform effectively. This little feature benefits Linkedin by improving the average profile completion rate, ensuring they stay competitive in a Facebook-controlled ecosystem and above all, increasing the amount of increasingly-valuable user data available to them. This also benefits businesses advertising on the platform by giving a strong insight into who the humans in their sphere (both employees and clients) are, and what makes them tick. Your willingly-surrendered data isn’t simply cast into the aether, it does benefit you by building your personal brand, and ensuring you stay competitive (ie: employable and relevant) in your own field.


Asana – Task Completion Narwhal


Asana is a project management tool which rewards habitual task-completers with a cheerful flying narwhal that flies across the screen every so-often when tasks are marked as complete. This simple animation benefits Asana by catering to younger professionals with this fun imagery, benefits the business using the platform by incentivising task completion, and benefits the user by offering a monotony-busting, unexpected surprise for doing something as simple as ticking a box.


eCommerce – Spin-To-Win


This appears most notably on Wish, where you’re given an opportunity to spin a wheel to win the chance to unlock an extra discount on a number of products dependent on the result of your spin. On other eCommerce websites, this is often a variable ($/%) discount on advertised products which is awarded in the same manner. This Wheel of Fortune benefits the merchant by potentially moving the price-conscious consumer closer to conversion with a small chance-based discount, and benefits the user by appealing to their FOMO, and saving them a small amount on an item they desire. Bonus round: Add a data capture element to this by asking for an email address to unlock the spin. 

Ace Ventura Monopoly Guy

Interested in learning more about gamification and how it can improve your conversion rates? Get in touch, I’d love to talk about how this strategy can put a fun spin on your next campaign.
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Blog

You’ve been hearing Google preaching about the mobile experience for some time now. “Make sure your website is mobile friendly!” they say, and while being just ‘friends’ has its benefits, you really need a stronger connection than that.

Google have announced that all new domains will default to mobile-first indexing as of 1st July 2019. This isn’t unexpected, and is a logical step considering that mobile devices account for over 2/3 of internet traffic.

Google announced plans for mobile-first indexing in 2016, but for a lot of people, 2019 may be the first time they’ve heard of it. Mobile-first indexing is Google’s way of saying they are solely prioritising the mobile experience of a website when assigning organic search rankings, meaning how well your website performs on mobile is now the deciding factor of how well you can rank in organic search results.

“But I already own my domain!” you say. While this announcement specifically mentions new domains, an earlier Google announcement in December 2018 revealed that more than half of websites crawled are already subject to mobile-first indexing.

Look At His Little Socks

Urge to open an eCommerce site for dog socks rising… (Source: Tumblr/hypedogs)

But Why Is Mobile-First Indexing Important?

Access your Google Analytics dashboard and view your traffic sources. There’s a good chance you’re looking at a large slice of pie that illustrates you’re receiving a LOT of traffic from organic search results.

Let’s say you sold customised socks for dogs online. You receive 80,000 visitors per month, 40% of that traffic came from organic search (32,000 visitors), a 2% conversion rate and an average order value of $20.

1,600 visitors bought socks, with $32,000 in revenue.

What if half of that organic search traffic disappeared overnight?

Now only 1,280 visitors bought socks, netting $25,600 in revenue.

You just lost $6,400.

Don’t Panic

By not prioritising mobile-first indexing via improving your website’s mobile experience you run the risk of your hard-earned rankings slipping into the abyss of search results beyond page 1, resulting in valuable organic traffic being lost to competitors.

An eCommerce example was used above, however the same logic can be applied to lead generation websites (especially small business) or informational websites that generate advertising revenue. Leads have a quantifiable dollar value once you’ve determined their weight, but Display advertising is generally paid for by impressions (views), and if you’ve lost a sizeable number of eyeballs viewing because of fingers not clicking, your hip pocket will feel the pinch next.

Google PageSpeed Insights Mobile First Indexing

Ouch. Room for improvement?

So What Can I Do?

This is an important strategy to consider immediately, take the time to create a measured and rational strategy to accommodate mobile-first indexing to preserve (or improve) your organic search rankings.

Try these easy tests first:

  • Check your site’s Page Speed Index here, is the mobile score green? What are the most problematic areas?
  • Or, view your site on your mobile device, is it legible? Do certain items take up too much space on screen? Do you have intrusive popups?

If you’re not seeing promising results using these tools, or if you need a hand navigating the jargon, get in touch with us here at RGC Media & Mktng to discuss the best way for you to navigate 2019.

Feature Image: Talladega Nights (2006) 

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Client News

Diversified property group CFMG Capital has completed the acquisition of three parcels of land across Queensland and Victoria that will collectively yield almost 200 lots.

The sites are located at Rochedale and Park Ridge, both of which lie in the Brisbane to Gold Coast growth corridor, and in the Melbourne suburb of Wollert, 26km north of the CBD.

The 4.94-hectare Park Ridge site, which is bordered by Koplick and East Beaumont roads west of the Logan CBD and has already received Development Approval (DA), will feature 89 lots with an average size of 373sqm.

CFMG Capital will develop a further 15 lots with an average size of 439sqm at Gardener Rd, Rochedale, after acquiring 1.33ha of land 17km south-east of the Brisbane CBD in a deal worth $3.375 million.

The company has also lodged a Development Application for 83 lots at Epping Rd, Wollert, a lifestyle suburb popular with older couples and independents.

To be known as Acacia Village, the project will feature average lot sizes of 326sqm and follows CFMG Capitals’s purchase of the 5.86-hecatre site for $6.8 million.

The trio of acquisitions will take CFMG Capitals’s development pipeline to more than 1,000 lots across 10 different projects in Queensland and Victoria.

CFMG Capital General Manager Andrew Thomson said the three sites ticked all the boxes when it came to meeting the demands of both investors and owner-occupiers.

“It can be a challenge finding quality land close to metropolitan centres so these acquisitions are a huge boost for property buyers in both the South-East Queensland and Melbourne markets,” he said.

“As well as being able to create a home to suit their own preferences, all the sites are close to the infrastructure and services that make Brisbane, Logan and Melbourne so attractive.

“The team at CFMG Capital takes great care to identify prime land for our projects and there is no doubt these three investments fit the bill, particularly given the demand for quality affordable projects in strong growth corridors continues to rise.”

Lot prices at the Wollert site will start from $199,000, while the Park Ridge lots will range from $209,000 to $239,000.

Prices at the Rochedale site, with its exclusive release of only 15 lots, will start from $420,000.

The new acquisitions add to a CFMG Capital portfolio that includes Lomandra Park at Bridgeman Downs, Elevate at Ormeau Hills, Creeks Edge and Oakland Pocket at Morayfield, Middleton Park at Logan Reserve and Solander at Park Ridge.

CFMG Capital operates two core divisions; a residential communities development business with a pipeline of more than 1,000 lots and residential funds management business which has raised more than $90 million in third party equity.

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