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Showing posts from March 3, 2017

Five most interesting search marketing news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.This week, we follow up on the launch of Google’s new ad label to ask how it will impact marketers, and look at attempts by Google’s tech incubator Jigsaw to clean up language on the internet. Plus, a new study has revealed that 63% of top-ranking websites use keywords in their URL, and Bing has a new function that allows you to filter restaurants by Pokéstop.How will Google’s new ‘Ad’ label impact marketers?In last week’s round-up we reported that after some testing, Google has officially rolled out a new look for its ad labels on the SERP. But the question on everyone’s lips is: how will this affect marketing campaigns?Clark Boyd took a detailed look at the possible implications of the chance for Search Engine Watch this week, including considering why Google has chosen to change the look of the ad labels, the impact it will have on paid search CTR, and the possible effec…

How to create a competitive content insights report step-by-step

If you’re like most marketers, you’re focused on your content marketing efforts, but you’re probably also curious about what your competition is doing. Where do they excel? How you do rank? What do you need to do to outpace them? Are there opportunities you might be missing out on?It’s normal to wonder how you rank; now it’s time to find out and act.A competitive content insights report can be an exhaustive report, or it can be more high-level. Some agencies offer a very thorough competitor content report. It’s incredibly useful for clients and helps drive their overall digital content strategies for months or even a year to come.It can take numerous people with varied backgrounds and skill sets more than 100 hours to complete this type of competitor review. While all could benefit from the information gained, not all companies have big enough budgets to invest in something of this nature.I believe this is critical information for your content marketing strategy, so I’ve pared the pro…

Locksmiths try again to sue Google over fake local listings

Here’s a familiar story: a group of locksmiths has filed a new class action lawsuit against Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. They claim the search engines (Google in particular) are deliberately “flooding” organic results with “scam  locksmith listings” known to be false.They argue the fake or otherwise fraudulent listings force legitimate locksmiths to buy ads to gain access to customers who would otherwise see them via organic search results. The case is in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C.These are some of the alleged facts from the complaint:Defendants knowingly and deliberately flood organic search results displayed in response to queries such as “locksmith” (and related terms) with scam locksmith listings they know: do not exist at all, or at least not at the locations indicated, 2) operate for the purpose of defrauding the consumer public, 3) are not licensed in jurisdictions mandating locksmith licensing, 4) are unregistered to do business in jurisdictions (such as DC) re…

Why mobile marketers need to start measuring ROI right now

Photo by LendingMemo and used here via the Creative Commons license. When apps exploded into our lives almost a decade ago, and mobile marketing was in its infancy, the install was the KPI and marketers were measured by the scale of new users they delivered. However, now over 4 million apps are available, and retention rates are suffering. In today’s freemium-driven app economy, most apps make their money from in-app purchases and advertising, and without continuous engagement, monetization has become difficult.As important as installs are, marketers are waking up to the fact that a download is merely a stage in the funnel, and it cannot guarantee a healthy revenue stream on its own. If users download apps, but then stop using or uninstall them, marketers get nothing.It’s the bottom line that counts, so marketers need to start measuring the ROI of their mobile activities. So how is it that 67 percent aren’t measuring the ROI of their mobile activities?AOL’s chief mobile officer, Mark C…

Whitelists vs. blacklists for programmatic media

Is your strategy whitelist, blacklist or no-list? Unfortunately, programmatic display can be quite complex regardless of which DSP (demand-side platform) you use to execute your buys.For many years, media buyers and ad operations teams used blacklists when accessing programmatic display inventory. If an undesirable site showed up in reporting, it would be blacklisted for the future of the campaign.However, a proliferation of fake news — and sites with a negative reputation — is having a profound impact on how on brands advertise, even as readers flock to reach the “news” on the sites. If brands are sensitive to the fake news issue, those sites or articles need to be excluded.In paid search (thought of by many as the first programmatic form of media — even in the early days with the level of control over syndication was fairly blunt and was more of a whitelist method. You’d choose whether or not to include syndication partners (all at the same time) or not.In the current medi…

Google’s sunsets its AdSense plugin for WordPress

Google AdSense has sunset its WordPress plugin this month. Publishers can no longer install it on their sites. As of April 5, 2017, those currently using it will not be able to make ad format updates through the plugin.Google said on the support page for the plugin,“After reviewing the AdSense Plugin for WordPress, we’ve decided that going forward we can better support WordPress publishers through new innovative features like our automatic ad formats and other upcoming initiatives.”Publishers currently using the plugin should look out for an email with “more information and advice,” says Google.As of May 3, 2017, there will no longer be support or access to the plugin.

via Marketing Land

Facebook Messenger adds option for chat bots to avoid chatting

Conversations with Facebook Messenger bots soon may start to feel less like texting with a friend and more like tapping through a food-ordering app’s restaurant menu.On Thursday Messenger added an option for bot makers to prevent people from sending normal messages to their bots by replacing the in-app keyboard with a persistent menu, making the interaction more akin to a traditional — albeit barebones — mobile app or site. The Facebook-owned messaging app added other features, like customizable share messages that deep-link to the bot, a “Share in Messenger” button for in-app web pages and the ability for bots to send message attachments. You can read about those additional announcements here, but let’s talk about the main news.First, here’s a video that Messenger posted to its blog for developers demonstrating the new keyboard-free menu:
As you can see, the new, optional menu replaces the usual exchange over a series of text messages between bot and user with a series of taps on menu…

Marketing Day: 2017 email benchmark report, Denny’s wins Twitter & Instagram Story ads

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Marketers are sending fewer emails & getting better open rates [SendGrid]
Mar 2, 2017 by Amy Gesenhues
SendGrid says email marketers are sending an average of 8.1 emails per month this year, down from 2016’s 9.8 sends per-month.The Future is Now: Ramp up your Google Shopping ROI
Mar 2, 2017 by Digital Marketing Depot
Product Listing Ads (PLAs) – whether desktop or mobile – have taken the majority of retailers’ budgets and are driving search advertising growth. But mastering Google Shopping campaigns requires more than just a basic understanding of bid management and product feeds.Using AMP? A known bug is probably screwing up your Google Analytics
Mar 2, 2017 by Danny Sullivan
Issue can cause visitors to be overcounted, single sessions to be divided into separate ones, and more.Better collaboration is the best martech investment you can ma…

2017 Email Benchmark Report: Marketers are sending fewer emails & getting better open rates

According to Sendgrid’s 2017 Email Benchmark report, the average email send rate has dropped from 9.8 sends per month in 2016 to 8.1 in 2017.While send rates overall were down, open rates increased from 27.3 percent in 2016 to 30.6 percent this year. The click-rate remained nearly the same – with a slight drop from 2.8 percent in 2016 to 2.5 percent in 2017.The report analyzed more than 50 billion emails from 100,000 senders spread out over 25 different industries.According to Sendgrid’s data, eight of the 25 industries were desktop dominant when it came to how their audiences were consuming email in 2016. This year, only two industries – insurance and government – remained desktop dominant, highlighting the growth of mobile email consumption.While mobile consumption was up for most of the industries, Sendgrid found the health and fitness industry had the highest mobile consumption at 74 percent.The report also revealed the technology industry saw one of the largest increases in open…

The Future is Now: Ramp up your Google Shopping ROI

Product Listing Ads (PLAs) – whether desktop or mobile – have taken the majority of retailers’ budgets and are driving search advertising growth. But mastering Google Shopping campaigns requires more than just a basic understanding of bid management and product feeds. You need to engage shoppers with a richer, more intuitive search experience.What worked in the past doesn’t work anymore. Join us in a forward-looking discussion of new Google Shopping strategies and tactics that will help you capture new customers, improve your brand relevance, and maximize your approach to online retail.Register today for ““The Future is Now: Ramp up your Google Shopping ROI”” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by Crealytics.

via Marketing Land

Study: How valuable is it to have keywords in your domain URL?

There have been a number of debates over the years about the SEO value of having keywords in your domain URL.In a 2009 Google Webmaster video, Google’s then-head of web spam Matt Cutts confirmed that from a pure ranking standpoint, “it does help a little bit to have keywords in the URL”.More recently, Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller stated in a Google Webmaster Central office hours hangout that keywords in URLs are a “really small ranking factor”. But small can still make a difference in the grand scheme of things, and there are also compelling reasons from a usability standpoint to include keywords where they are relevant.A new study by, whose findings were shared exclusively with Search Engine Watch, set out to investigate the relationship between the top ranked websites in various industries and the inclusion of keywords in their URLs.It found that nearly two thirds of top-ranking websites use keywords in their URLs – but this can vary significantly from …

Using AMP? A known bug is probably screwing up your Google Analytics

If you are using the Google-backed Accelerated Mobile Pages, there appears to be an excellent change that those AMP pages are not being tracked correctly if you use Google Analytics.Christian Oliveira, a technical SEO consultant, posted a long, technical explanation of the issues AMP is giving with proper tracking in Google Analytics. Malte Ubi, Google’s technical lead for the AMP project, confirmed there are issues that have no easy solution, in tweets today.In summary, Oliveira found that:A unique visitor potentially can be founded as up to four different people, when accessing AMP pages.When a visitor navigates from an AMP page to a regular page in a site, that causes a new session to be generated, even though technically it was the same session.Bounce rate will appear higher than normal when AMP pages are involved, because since new sessions are generated as described above, it appears as if visitors are leaving quickly when they are not.zPageviews per session will appear lower, w…

Better collaboration is the best martech investment you can make

Think about the dozens of channels that you have to manage for any given marketing campaign. Web, email, in-product messaging, social, press releases, media placements, display advertising, paid search and so on. And you have to think about personas. And funnel stages. Oh, and maybe localization.And that’s just to produce the content. Then you have to publish it, track it and analyze it. And Sales has to know how to use it. And Product needs to tell you who to target, and what you can say. And so on.Over the past 20 years, marketing technology has advanced. We can reach more people, and we can reach more of the right people. We can understand our audiences better. We can provide incredibly valuable data to guide product development. And, using marketing technology, we can do all these things in a way that’s scalable, reliable and automatic.But while our technology has advanced, the practice of marketing hasn’t kept up. Because digital marketing lets us talk to so many different audien…

The value of search across the modern consumer decision journey

As disruptive technologies reshape the digital marketing landscape, advertisers are scrambling to stay relevant and top of mind with consumers. In this shifting landscape, paid search continues to evolve outside of the traditional search format as an omnipresent influencer throughout the entire consumer decision journey.For years, search marketers have obsessed over bottom-of-the-funnel activity for its seemingly higher CTRs and conversion rates, in part fueled by last-click attribution. I’ve certainly been guilty of obsessing about conversions and bottom-of-the-funnel tactics, because they would win me incremental search budget in the future.But most marketers today agree that it is essential for a brand to appear at all stages of the funnel — and thanks to some new findings from the Bing Ads research team, we now have even more visibility and hard data to show how paid search is driving brand affinity and recall across the decision journey.[Read the full article on Search Engine Lan…