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Showing posts from April 18, 2016
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10 ways link building has changed over the last 10 years

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a dynamic digital marketing discipline, and few SEO tactics have evolved as much (or as frequently) as link building.What was once a spam-laden nightmare of link pyramids, spun content, automated spam posts and other gimmicks has changed dramatically, and over the course of the past decade, link building has become more refined and quality-driven.Much of this evolution was spurred by search engines directly — Google, for one, played an enormous part in cleaning up the web with its Penguin algorithm updates.Combined with increasing user distaste for poorly placed links and a collective commitment from webmasters to give their users better experiences, we now exist in a world where link building is respectable, valuable and viable.Take a look at these 10 major ways link building has changed in just 10 years:1. Penalties are harsherLink schemes have always been bad, though they haven’t always been penalized. In recent years, however, Google has stepped…

[VIDEO] Marketing Land Live #9: Facebook F8 recap, marketing bots, Amazon SEO & more

Facebook dominated the marketing and tech news this week, thanks to all of the announcements coming out of the company’s annual F8 developers’ conference. And the big story overall was bots, and how brands will be able to use bots to market to consumers via Facebook Messenger — and how consumers can use bots to do business with brands they like.That was the main topic that we talked about Friday on the ninth episode of Marketing Land Live, our weekly video program. We also touched on recent studies that analyzed Facebook engagement patterns on Pages of all sizes, and how online merchants can rank better in Amazon.com’s search results.The show runs about 45 minutes and you can watch the replay below. Be sure to scroll below the video for this week’s Show Notes, with links to the stories we talked about.Note: Due to technical issues, we did this show via Google Hangout instead of on Blab.im. We also live-streamed it on Facebook Live. We recommend you skip the first three minutes of the …

5 tips for leading a strong PPC team

My primary responsibility at Hanapin Marketing is leading a team of account managers and production staff. Building and molding a strong paid search team is the most important and challenging aspect of my role as an associate director.Today, I’m going to share five tips that have helped me to build successful paid search teams — the kind that overdeliver against expectations and provide enormous value to clients and stakeholders.Tip #1: It’s not about you; it’s about the teamBeing an effective leader means understanding that it’s no longer about your individual contributions, but rather the performance of the team you lead. I lead a fairly large account that has from one to three people working on it at any given time. The greatest performance improvements have resulted from work done by my subordinates.Once my subordinates were trained, I gave them ownership of individual areas of the account. The team has the freedom to test new ideas and innovate without having to wait for direct s…

Twitter ads editor adds support for ad groups

Twitter ads editor, which was released last August, is improving functionality to support ad groups, making the tool more attractive for larger brands and agencies that need to segment their advertising messages to different types of users, messages and demographics. On Twitter’s blog, product marketing manager Andrea Hoffman acknowledges that this is a way to “reduce friction for advertisers building large-scale campaigns.”Ad groups in the Twitter bulk editor will allow campaigns to have multiple ad groups with different criteria for targeting and can accommodate different creative types. By doing this, advertisers can truly hone in on performance and results across the groups they’re testing within, enabling brands and agencies to gauge better performance metrics for better results.The Twitter Flight School course study has added a new curriculum to dive deeply into ad groups on the editor.

via Marketing Land

Why agencies and marketers need to think and act like data companies

The digital advertising industry is no stranger to keeping up with new advances, but many are struggling with today’s most important challenge — the necessity to leverage precision data to achieve a client’s business goals.The convergence of ad tech and martech is pervasive, and so, too, is the personalization of data. Now, we’re optimizing our marketing spend by person so that individuals see unique messages across ads, email and a brand’s own site.Having access to both client data and broader consumer information is essential for any marketer looking to build effective digital strategies, and this need is causing big changes in the agency/marketer relationship.Marketers demand precision, and agencies respondEvery day we see the power of data’s impact on the advertising industry like never before. We’re no longer living in a world where agencies are rewarded for creative alone.Marketers expect insights that leverage a plethora of information and real-time data to drive business goals…

A New Patch Brings Oculus Games to HTC Vive

HTC Vive has been garnering quite some attention after it was unveiled recently. Now a developer has created a software patch that would let Vive users play Oculus games. As of now the games that work is limited to two, namely Lucky’s Tale and Oculus Dreamdeck. It goes without saying that more games will be lined up for being ported.Now just like most of the other ported stuff it is quite possible that the patch is difficult to install without an advanced know how of how things work. A developer who goes by the name LibreVR has already put up the patch on the Github and this means anyone can download it and use. Additionally, ArsTechnica has reported positively that they were able to run Lucky’s Tale through the SteamVR.Now here comes the caveat, the ported game we are talking about can only be played through an Xbox controller and cannot be used with Vive’s motion controller. That being said, earlier Oculus users could get games accessible via the StreamVR but the vice versa was not …

Paid search rules for ROI on mobile: report

Lead generation and direct online sales represent the two most important objectives for mobile marketers and paid search is the key mobile channel for achieving these objectives.This is according to our new ClickZ Intelligence report on the State of Mobile Advertising 2016, produced in partnership with Search Optics and based on a global survey of more than 400 marketers and digital professionals.At least half of the respondents cited lead generation and direct online sales as their main aims when running mobile paid search (70%), social (50%) and display advertising (54%) campaigns.Paid search came out as the top mobile channel which marketers relied on to meet lead gen and sales objectives partly because paid search is easier to measure compared with other mobile ad formats.Paid social can be similarly easy to measure effectively. However consumers often have a lower purchase intent when using social media than when searching, so the objectives for this channel lean more towards bra…

Bids to buy Yahoo are due today, Verizon is the favorite — report

nevodka / Shutterstock.com Just like your taxes, bids for the potential acquisition of Yahoo are due today. Wireless carrier Verizon reportedly has the inside track and is facing less competition than anticipated because many high-profile suitors that earlier expressed interest have dropped out.At one time there numerous companies interested in bidding for some or all of Yahoo. But many have recently decided not to proceed out of concern, according to the Wall Street Journal, for the health of Yahoo’s core business. Those include Time, Google, Comcast, AT&T and IAC.Yet Yahoo remains a significant consumer brand and the third largest company on the internet by audience reach according to comScore.Verizon’s rationale for buying Yahoo is similar to its reasons for buying AOL last year for more than $4 billion. If successful it would combine the digital media assets into a consumer-advertiser powerhouse and help transform the Verizon business. Ownership of Yahoo and AOL would also set …

Social’s role in SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud)

For those of you unaware of the acronym, SMAC stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud. In my last post, I discussed the importance of SMAC in marketing today and why I think it’s the foundation for business success in 2016. Although together the four areas integrated are a powerful force, alone each has its own significant role to play.In the next couple of posts, I’ll discuss each area of SMAC and why they’re individually important to SMAC’s impact. Let’s take a look at Social first.Why social?You may be wondering why social was included in a list of just four areas that are important for marketing today. Social is one of the areas that most people think they have mastered and is easiest to execute on.Social is more than just having a presence on Facebook and Twitter. It’s about fostering relationships, building engagement, increasing brand awareness and, essentially, increasing sales.Social alone can be an extremely powerful tool to accomplish all of that. Let’s take a look a…

Report: EU antitrust charges against Google’s Android could come this week

For several months the European Commission has been hinting through its actions and various leaks that it will file a second antitrust complaint against Google, over the Android operating system. The main issue is the company’s OEM-Android contracts, which contain app pre-install requirements as a condition of access to Google Play.The Commission opened an investigation into Google’s practices and policies around Android almost exactly a year ago.Previously, Bloomberg reported that a Statement of Objections (antitrust charges) was about to be filed. Now the Financial Times (FT) says that it could come as early as this week: “Brussels has stepped up its efforts to finalise antitrust charges related to the Android mobile operating system, advancing a case which is set to sharply escalate the stand-off between the EU and Google.”Evidence of the potentially imminent nature of the charges is the fact that the Commission has “sent out requests for information from complainants with 24-hour …

How to optimize your content for each step of the buyer’s journey

If you’re an experienced marketer, then you probably understand the difference between “marketing” and “selling.” Far too often, business owners compartmentalize these two concepts.The objective of marketing is to make the selling process superfluous. The harsh reality is that you can’t force people to buy from you. No matter how you optimize your websites for conversions, there will always be prospects who aren’t interested in your products and services.So how do you convert an unwilling prospect into a long-term customer?I like to explain this by something called the “buyer’s journey.” If you want to understand the purchasing cycle, then you need to understand your ideal customer at a much deeper level. You must figure out their primary goals and frustrations and why they chose not to buy from you.In this article, I’m going to show you how to optimize your marketing sequence to accommodate every stage of the buyer’s journey.What is the buyer’s journey?The buyer’s journey is the proc…

10 big changes with search engines over my 20 years of covering them

Today is my 20th anniversary of covering search and search engines. To mark the occasion, I wanted to reflect on some of the big changes that I’ve seen over the past two decades of covering the space.1. The search revolutionChances are, the first resource you turn to if you have a question about something is a search engine, whether it be Google, Siri, Bing, Yelp, others or a combination of services.This simple act that you likely don’t think twice about was a highly revolutionary change to how people sought information. Before popular consumer-focused search engines emerged just over 20 years ago, people got answers the same way they had for hundreds and thousands of years: largely by asking other people.If you needed an answer, you turned to people like a teacher, a professional, a best friend or a librarian. Sure, there were also tools to use: libraries, library catalogs, Yellow Pages and professional databases like LexisNexis. But for most people, getting an answer to many questio…

17 ways to improve your site search results pages

As site search users can be have a greater intent to purchase than the average, it pays to provide the best possible experience for these users. In this post I’ll look at the presentation of site search results, and what retailers can do to ensure that users’ searches are successful.Filtered navigationAn absolute must. Unless people have searched for a very specific product with a unique model number, or perhaps for a catalogue code, searches will result in a number of matching products.For example, this search for a ‘red shirt’ on House of Fraser returns 810 possible matches. That’s a lot to go through.However, the addition of product filtering options allows shoppers to refine the results by price, brand, reviews, and so on.This should help the customer to find a more manageable number of results that match what they’re looking for.Leave the search term there and let people edit itMany sites delete the search term once you get to the results page, or show it in such a way that you c…

MarTech Today: New Advrtas ad tech, SEO tech stack & targeting data

Here’s our recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:New Advrtas ad platform offers “first fully interactive 360-degree rich media ad” with VR mode
Apr 14, 2016 by Barry Levine
Its creator, Outlyer Technologies, says it works on any browser without a special player, and in any IAB ad format.Liberty Mutual gets millions of views for parallel stories in a 360-degree video ad on Facebook
Apr 15, 2016 by Barry Levine
This is the first multi-narrative advertising use of spherical video, according to the insurance company.HTTP to HTTPS: An SEO’s guide to securing a website
Apr 15, 2016 by Patrick Stox
Despite the numerous benefits of switching to HTTPS, many SEOs and website owners have not done so. For those feeling intimidated by the prospect of switching to HTTPS, columnist Patrick Stox breaks down the process.How I use my marketing technology stack (SEO edition)
Apr 15, 2016 by Michael Shearer
What d…

Amazon now offering monthly Prime memberships

Instead of shelling out a $99 annual subscription fee, users now have the option of getting the benefits of the Prime loyalty program — free and faster shipping and streaming among them — for $10.99 a month.The Wall Street Journal first reported that Amazon says subscribers will be able to turn the subscriptions on and off on if desired. That move is likely to be drive ups subscriptions during the Q4 holiday shopping season.Prime has been a boon for the e-commerce giant. Prime customers spend more and more often on Amazon than non-Prime members because it makes buying on Amazon so convenient. Last year’s Prime Day drove hundreds of thousands of new Prime memberships as consumers looked to scoop up exclusive one-day deals. Amazon said that that momentum carried through the holidays.A recent study from Piper Jaffray indicated that over 50 percent of US households are Prime members. The data also showed that the higher the household income, the more likely a household has a Prime subscri…

Ask and you shall receive: The Humanization of Search

In a world where we’re almost always connected to technology and devices, we have instant access to information wherever we are — causing a transformation to the search experience.Whether people realize it or not, search is embedded in their daily activities; it’s on their mobile devices, cloud-connected game consoles and increasingly, on smart devices throughout their homes. This transformation is changing how we interact with search as it becomes an intelligence platform powering devices and technology — making it more human.As search becomes more ubiquitous, people expect an experience that goes beyond search and understands them in a more personal, intimate way. And search is evolving to do just that.Our changing relationship with searchAs consumers interact with technology in new, deeper ways, like through personal assistants, search is quickly adapting. Voice-powered search is a big reason why.Unlike keyword-based searches, voice search lets us express ourselves naturally, using…

How to optimize your Google My Business listing: expert tips

A Google My Business profile is an essential for local SEO. It’s free and will enable you to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services. Even broad queries with large volumes are now showing local results which is something small business owners can capitalise upon.We’ve been asking SEO experts for their advice on setting up and optimising GMB listings..The experts are:Greg Gifford, Director of Search and Social at DealerOn.Kevin Gibbons, MD at Digital Marketing agency Blueglass, and a contributor to SEW.Max Holloway, Senior Search Manager at Pi Datametrics.Raj Nijjer, VP Community at Yext.How important is Google My Business for local SEO? Greg Gifford:GMB is incredibly important, but it’s going to lose prominence now that they’re removing all location information from the GMB listings.There’ll now simply be a social interface (on a social network that no one is using). But – the GMB dashboard still feeds the info to Maps and the Knowledge Box for…

First Impressions: Oppo F1 Plus – Adding Muscle to the Selfie Expert

We had been pretty impressed with the Oppo F1, which the company had called the Selfie Expert. And it does seem to have spawned a few sequels. We first had the T20 World Cup edition of the device, which was similar to the original but had the tournament logo engraved on its back. And now we have its bigger cousin, the rather appropriately named Oppo F1 Plus in the market.First things first – don’t get intimidated by the ‘plus’ moniker, for while the F1 Plus is a larger and much better specced device than the F1, it still manages to stay relatively compact. Yes, it sports a 5.5-inch display as compared to the 5.0-inch one on the F1, but at 151.8 mm in length, it is well below the 158.1 mm long iPhone 6S Plus and exactly equal to another compact customer, the OnePlus 2. It is also surprisingly thin at a mere 6.6 mm, well below that of the 7.3 mm F1, and while it is wider than the F1 (74.3 mm to 71 mm), its weight of 145 grammes is definitely on the lower side for a device with a 5.5 inc…