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Showing posts from March 17, 2016
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6 strategies to build links for your small business website in 2016

Link building remains the cornerstone of most search engine optimization efforts. According to Moz’s “2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors Study,” links have the strongest association with higher search rankings of all the (known) attributes used by Google in its core ranking algorithm.But one of the most common issues for small businesses is the struggle to build quality links. Lacking unfamiliarity with current SEO best practices, many small firms still fall for the infamous black hat tactics to get links.That is a mistake.You see, search engines will continue to crack down on link exchanges, paid anchor placements and other shady approaches to building links.Therefore, it is best to avoid these “old school” methods and focus on relevant, authoritative links that drive real traffic. Here are six ways to build such links for your small business website in 2016:1. Partner with niche-specific influencersNiche-specific influencers have connections with readers that bypass the “industry at…

What performance marketers need to know about Google Knowledge Graph

Last week artificial intelligence achieved another victory over humankind.Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo program won 4-1 against Lee Sedol, one of the best Go players in the world, in a milestone that experts thought was a decade away.Of course, AI is about much more than winning board games. Google’s RankBrain AI powers its Knowledge Graph search results, bringing context and semantics to the traditional keyword-based search.And with last month’s appointment of John Giannandrea, AI expert and Knowledge Graph founder, as Google’s new head of search, this is clearly an area Google is interested in.For performance marketers, this needs to be paid attention to. Not only is Knowledge Graph an important tool that needs to be understood and utilised, but the AI powering it needs to be communicated with to ensure that it receives accurate information.What is Knowledge Graph?Say that you type into Google the name of a famous person, a tourist destination, a business, or any one of a whole host of …

How advertisers should respond to fewer ads showing on Google

nito / Shutterstock.com After a quiet start to the year with few notable changes in AdWords, the last month has seen a lot of interesting things happening, most notably the change to the layout of ads on the search results pages.I’ve shared my initial thoughts about this change on my company blog; but now that it’s been live for a few weeks, I wanted to weigh in with ways to optimize accounts that are impacted, including using bid to position rules and Quality Score optimization.What changed to ads on GoogleThe week of February 19, Google began removing right-hand side (RHS) ads, reserving that space instead for product listing ads (PLAs) and the Knowledge Panel. This change reduced the maximum number of text ads on the page from 11 to seven.A change as significant as this one caused some angst amongst advertisers, but the impact seems neutral to positive, according to several pieces of research: iProspect noted that RHS ads had a terrible click-through rate (CTR) anyway; Merkle|RKG an…

Tumblr looks to repair ad biz with blogless ads, sales team’s return

Alexander Supertramp / Shutterstock.com Tumblr was supposed to speed up Marissa Mayer’s turnaround of Yahoo when the portal announced it would acquire the social network for $1.1 billion in May 2013, 10 months after the former Google exec took over as Yahoo’s CEO. Of course Tumblr was also supposed to generate $100 million in revenue last year. Neither outcome has materialized. Even with more than 500 million people checking out Tumblr each month, Tumblr failed to reach its 2015 revenue goal. And Yahoo is in a tailspin with its board seeking a soft landing, likely in the hands of another company like Verizon. Things appear to have turned so sour that Yahoo’s sales teams are meeting with agencies not to sell them ads but simply the idea that everything’s okay at the company in order to avoid more examples of brands cancelling six-figure ad buys because of lost confidence in the portal’s business, according to one person familiar with the matter. A Yahoo spokesperson did not respond to …

How to use Reddit search to discover winning content ideas

If you’re anything like me then Reddit is a fantastic place to hang out, particularly when you’ve got a little time to spare.The depth and breadth of user-driven content on Reddit is incredible. If you’ve written it off as a repository of cat pictures then it might be worth re-evaluating (I’m allergic to cats, and most cat pictures).It’s weird but a lot of people seem to be a bit scared of Reddit. Perhaps they have been bitten by a community that is very sensitive to intentions. If Redditors feel like they’re being marketed to, or trolled, or duped, then it’s normally game over.Reddit can be a source of insane levels of traffic (I’ve submitted content that has generated more than a million views within 24 hours), but it’s also a great place to find ideas, and to see what works.If you’re new to Reddit then here’s a quick walkthrough of some of the techniques you can use to mine the gold.1. Install RESThere is a fantastic extension called the Reddit Enhancement Suite, which allows you t…

B4UFLY App from FAA will Help Drone Flyers Steer Away from No Fly Zones

If you are a drone hobbyist you should be familiar with the new do’s and don’ts from the FAA regulations. The Federal authorities have cordoned off certain areas with high security requirements also including the aircraft bases and the Airport perimeters. It is quite likely that a Drone hobbyist might be oblivious to the cordoned off area and try to fly his drone, mind you this can have very serious implications on not just security of the nation but also the safety of the larger aircraft’s.In a bid to make things better for the drone hobbyists, FAA has now unveiled an app called B4UFLY, which will let you plan your drone flight path beforehand. If you need to fly nearby to an airport or an airbase it is required to notify the authorities. B4UFLY has a map based interface which tells you about the restricted areas and the radius within which you cannot fly. Moreover, it also shows you real-time flight information much like FlightRadar 24 but only duller and less intuitive.  The app is…

How to build an in-house marketing team for conversion optimization

As a conversion optimization consultant, my purpose is to help in-house marketers understand and apply the principles of conversion optimization to their professional endeavors.Today’s in-house marketer has a huge job in the digital world.To quote my favorite conversion optimization expert, “[D]igital marketing today has an ocean’s breadth, so it’s impossible for a single human being to be a ‘master’ of digital marketing.”Yeah, okay, that comes from a piece I wrote awhile back called “7 Skills That Every In-House Marketer Should Possess.” In it, I wrote that the in-house marketer’s role differs according to the needs of the organization but, in general, a digital marketer must have skills in:social media;analytics;SEO;PPC;conversion optimization;A/B testing; and
landing page optimization.Today, we see all of these as facets of conversion optimization, which, for the e-commerce marketer, is the job at hand, day in and day out.Additionally, in many cases, the lone in-house marketer is se…

Six essential steps to present data persuasively

“The graphic method has considerable superiority for the exposition of statistical facts over the tabular. A heavy bank of figures is grievously wearisome to the eye, and the popular mind is as incapable of drawing any useful lessons from it as of extracting sunbeams from cucumbers.”-Arthur Briggs Farquhar and Henry Farquhar from Economic and Industrial DelusionsIn a previous column, I shared that data visualization is your secret weapon for storytelling and persuasion. I wanted to follow that up with actionable tips for how you can be more successful with your own efforts sharing data with your team.I’ve been in countless meetings over my career where clients or colleagues presented data to me …painfully. When I say painfully, it wasn’t because they didn’t work hard on a campaign or project and have amazing insights to share. But the actual presentation/delivery of insights and actions could have been far more effective. And very worth the effort.Presenting data persuasively is a ‘la…

Now entering … the age of cognitive marketing

Digital marketers, accustomed to using software that helps them think about marketing, are now transitioning to a time when software will do much of the thinking.It’s called cognitive marketing, and research firm IDC expects that half of all companies will use this emerging generation of computer intelligence for their marketing and sales efforts by 2020.IDC Research Manager Gerry Murray (who is speaking at our MarTech conference next week) predicts that, just a year from now, the current group of several dozen applications employing cognitive computing will become “hundreds.”Such applications, he told me, utilize “processes akin to the human brain, [by] taking signals and drawing conclusions.”The converging drivers — massive computing power, massive amounts of data, and a booming population of connected devices and sensors — are of course instrumental in delivering this new kind of marketing. Equally important is the ability to deliver cloud-based services, as most marketing services…

The new performance creative: Where emotion, data and technology converge

Creative over the years has ranged from being driven by pure emotion to being driven by pure data. Both are equally important, and the convergence of the two is what is steering today’s most effective creative. As for tomorrow’s best creative, one of the biggest shifts we are seeing now is how technology is impacting the output.Successful brands and agencies of the future will be able to connect creative with emotion, data and technology to connect, engage and make a meaningful and emotional connection.This post will examine the role that each of the three plays in performance/acquisition-focused marketing.To convert, you must first connectLet’s first examine the role of emotion with creative and how it plays an important role in getting a customer to convert. I’m a firm believer that some of the best creative comes from the heart and not always from data.One of my favorite examples of a brand that understands how to design to create an emotional connection is Nike. Most of Nike’s cre…

MarTech Today: Reactions to Google’s new Analytics Suite, Instagram’s feeds go algorithmic & HTTPS sites

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:The votes are in — for what Google’s new Analytics 360 Suite really means
Mar 16, 2016 by Barry Levine
We tallied up responses from a variety of practitioners and observers about how the tech giant’s new platform of products could impact marketers.Feed your obsession with the latest social media marketing strategies at SocialPro
Mar 16, 2016 by Marketing Land
Traditional signals such as Facebook page likes and clicks don’t equate to the best customer engagement strategy. With Facebook’s News Feed algorithm frequently morphing, it’s now relying more on user feedback and surveys to impact story distribution. Unlock the mystery of this black box and other trending topics by attending Marketing Land’s SocialPro.What your teacher didn’t tell you about optimizing site speed
Mar 16, 2016 by Brian Harnish
Site speed impacts your search engine ranks…

It’s Mobilegeddon hot in here: Google strengthens its mobile-friendly ranking signal

If you have a mobile-friendly website, stand down. This news is not for you.If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, my goodness what the hell are you doing!?? Have you not had enough warnings already? Stop reading this right now and go get a responsive website immediately you maniac!So for anyone else reading this news – probably one person: my boss, the editor-in-chief of ClickZ (hi Graham!) – here’s a quick update to one of the biggest changes in the way Google ranks your website made in the last few years.According to an announcement yesterday, from the beginning of May 2016, Google will increases the effectiveness of its ‘mobile friendly’ ranking signal.As you will no doubt be aware, mobile-friendliness has been a ranking factor since April 2015. Ah remember when we would bandy around the word ‘mobilegeddon’ as if it didn’t make us look like paranoid crazies hidden in a nuclear bunker? Those were the days.Many SEO experts however noticed that this SERP apocalypse (‘serpocalyp…

CyanogenMod Rollsout 13.0 Snapshot Builds Based on Android Marshmallow

Cyanogen OS has found its favorite with Android power users and lately the Cyanogen builds are also finding their ways into new Smartphones, thus introducing the average Joe to the cranked up Android based OS. Cyanogen has been mostly prompt when it comes to updates but this time around the Android Marshmallow took some time. The company has finally announced that CM 13.0 will come laced with Android 6.0.1.Now while you might think that the update doesn’t matter since anyways the Cyanogen is a Custom ROM, you are wrong, as some of the features like Doze are exclusive to the Marshmallow. As of now Cyanogen was mostly offering nightly builds and 13 would be the first snapshot release. Nightly builds are meant for someone who won’t be affected if the phone malfunctions (Like my Nexus 5x running Android N!) and for the stable versions one usually needs to wait a while.The changelog for the CM 13 will bring in a slew of new features alongside tweaks for the older ones. Settings will now al…

Uber’s All New Family Profile Feature Will Now Let You Pay for your Families Commute

Uber is one of the first taxi hailing service that literally revolutionized our daily commute. With the sharp rise in traffic and sluggish vehicular moments it is not easy for the people to commute. Adding to the woes is that fact that commuters usually get stuck in traffic at the fag end of the day, just after getting done with the entire days’ work. I have been using Uber a lot lately and with the addition of new services like UberPool the commute is not only economical but also greener.Uber has just announced that it will be adding a family profile for the users in Atlanta, Dallas and Phoenix which will allow you to add up to 10 riders safely and also share the payment method. This had always been a pain point for me as i had to logout every time i wanted to book Uber for my parents and there was a point wherein my Uber account was suspended for the same. Now with the family profile people would be able to not only hail Uber for their family and friends but also pay for their ride …