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Study: Q1 Google Display Network placements

One of the best ways to fill the early part of the online marketing funnel is to advertise on Google’s network of partner sites, the Google Display Network (GDN). Essentially, these are websites that are either showing AdSense ads or websites that show ads from DoubleClick (some of the GDN inventory is actually “remnant” inventory that no one made specific placement buys for on DoubleClick).SEMCopilot, our AdWords management software for PPC account managers, collected data throughout Q1 from both beta testers and paying customers’ AdWords accounts; here is some analysis of their GDN placements.How our data is organizedTo make analysis of placements quick, SEMCopilot’s “Placement Insights” feature automatically sorts placements into 40+ categories. Google has its own categories you can use for exclusion purposes; we assume that most customers are already blocking porn or adult sites and so on. The purpose of our categories is to gain insights into where ads are running, for brand prot…

How to optimize for voice search

The way people search for information online is changing. Increasingly, people are using voice search on their smartphones, tablets or voice assistants (like the Amazon Echo or Google Home devices) to search for information on the internet. Siri is your best friend if you’re using an Apple device, Google voice search is popular on Android devices and Microsoft’s Cortana is useful on your PC and smartphone using their app:According to Hitwise, nearly 60 percent of searches are now performed on a mobile device. With more and more people using mobile devices to search, people often find it’s easier to use their voice to search instead of typing on tiny screens.This means SEO professionals need to start thinking about content and SEO differently.Searching by voice is a hot topic among forward-thinking SEO professionals. At SMX West 2017 last month, Benu Aggarwal had a popular session on the subject, “Optimizing Content for Voice Search and Virtual Assistants.” During that session, she gav…

How martech is working to solve the consumer identity crisis

To digital marketers, a consumer’s real identity is like gold.That’s because a real identity is definitive, can be used to tell if someone pays bills on time and can be linked across many data layers that define what kind of customer a person is and what interests him/her.But digital identities are not held in some virtual Fort Knox, and they are more vulnerable these days than ever. In fact, digital identity is facing a variety of crises — as well as testing out potential fixes.One encroaching crisis goes by the initials GDPR.It stands for General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union’s new standards for consumers’ rights over their personal data, and it will go into effect next year. It sets up a variety of ways in which customers must grant permission for brands to use their data, and how brands must manage it.The regulation pertains to customers from EU countries when they are in those countries — and when they are in non-EU countries. This means that major brands — and m…

Don’t miss SMX Advanced this year. Register now & save $400!

The 10th edition of SMX Advanced, promises once again to deliver fast-paced, Q&A-packed sessions that don’t stop to cover the basics. Less than40% of tickets are left and are going fast. Reserve your seat now before prices increase Saturday, May 13.Search continues to evolve rapidly and SMX Advanced sessions put you at the bleeding edge of the conversation.For SEOs, you’ll be the first to see the Periodic Table of Ranking Factors: 2017 edition, pepper Google’s go-to SEO expert Gary Illyes with your toughest questions about Fred and get the low-down on Project Owl and what authority means for site ranking.The agenda’s just exciting for SEMs. Attend the keynotes from Google and Bing, get the latest on Apple search ads and learn to protect your brand in this era of fake news. Also, you can attend full days of sessions with Bing and Google.Who’s speaking?This year’s speaker lineup is one of the strongest we’ve ever assembled, with experts from Pinterest, CBS Interactive, Adobe, Google…

Google AdSense now allows 300×250 ads above the fold on mobile

With a policy update announced Tuesday, AdSense publishers can now include 300×250 ad units above the fold on their mobile websites.In a blog post announcing the change, John Brown, head of publisher policy communications at Google, explained:After careful review, we’ve determined that when 300×250 ads are implemented above the fold in a user-friendly way, the ads do not annoy, distract, or result in ad performance issues.Publishers that feature the ad unit above the fold on mobile are warned to still have site content clearly show in view to avoid accidental ad clicks.Google’s own research shows that a 300×250 ad unit placed just below the fold has a viewability rate of roughly 50 percent. Overall, this ad size had the lowest viewability rate (41 percent) of any standard ad size Google measured. Allowing this popular ad unit to appear above the fold on mobile obviously has the effect of increasing viewability rates — to around roughly 70 percent per the study. That means higher RPM p…

User-generated content: What your brand can learn from Spotify

A. Aleksandravicius / Shutterstock.com You’ve decided to make user-generated content (UGC) a priority for your brand. But now you’re struggling to get your UGC campaign off the ground, and you’re starting to think that UGC is the unicorn of the B2B marketing world — an imaginary beast that is more myth than reality.Maybe the problem is that you’re approaching UGC all wrong. Before you give up, sneak a peek at the way Spotify has achieved success with UGC and consider how you might incorporate some of its lessons into your brand’s marketing strategy.How Spotify turns UGC into marketing successUser-generated content is a top priority for more than a third of marketers this year. Yes Lifecycle Marketing (my employer) research shows that while 38 percent of brands currently use UGC in their marketing strategies, another 38 percent are interested in adding it to the mix this calendar year.But despite the renewed emphasis on user-generated content, Spotify is one of the only brands that has …

Should Google be more transparent with its updates?

It might seem hard to recall now, but there was a time when Google would regularly announce updates to its ranking algorithms, confirming what they were and how they would affect websites.During these halcyon days, information about Google ranking updates was generally delivered via Google engineer and head of Google’s Webspam Team Matt Cutts, who was to many marketers the public face of Google.As someone who was involved in helping to write the search algorithms himself, Matt Cutts was an authoritative voice about Google updates, and could be depended on to provide announcements about major algorithm changes.Since Cutts’ departure from Google, however, things have become a lot more murky. Other Google spokespeople such as Gary Illyes and John Mueller have been less forthcoming in confirming the details of algorithm updates, and the way that Google makes updates has become less clearly defined, with regular tweaks being made to the core algorithm instead of being deployed as one big u…

About.com changes name to Dotdash to complete year-long rebrand

In Morse code, About.com’s new name, Dotdash, translates to the letter “A.” A year after About.com started spinning off topic-specific standalone sites — and six years after Google’s search algorithm almost knocked its lights out — the 20-year-old digital media company is trading in its name for a new one: Dotdash.The “dot” is supposed to pay homage to the red dot in About.com’s logo. And the dash is “punctuation for what comes next,” said Neil Vogel, who took over About.com as CEO in April 2013. Fortuitously, after the company’s creative director came up with the “Dotdash” name, the team realized the dot-dash combination in Morse code translates to the letter “A.”The name-change caps the latest stage of About.com’s turnaround since digital tech-and-media conglomerate IAC bought it from The New York Times Company in August 2012. At the time, About.com had been laid out by Google’s “Panda” search algorithm change that targeted so-called “content farms,” or sites that published a lot of …

Twitter debuts slate of a dozen live shows, 24/7 channels at NewFronts event

If Facebook is the YouTube of live video online, Twitter seems to have its eye on becoming the Hulu.At its inaugural NewFronts presentation on Monday, Twitter debuted a slate of new live programs, including a pair of 24/7 live channels and several daily news shows. The programming builds on Twitter’s initial live slate from last year that spanned syndicated news broadcasts, live sports simulcasts and its first original live shows. The lineup could help to wash over Twitter’s failed bid to renew its NFL live deal and to buoy Twitter’s struggling advertising business. Video has become the company’s “single largest revenue-generating ad format,” according to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report, though the format’s rise has coincided with an overall ad revenue decline at Twitter.Advertisers can buy pre- and mid-roll ads against the new shows and channels through Twitter’s Amplify program. Pre-roll ads longer than six seconds will be skippable, but mid-roll ads will not, accordi…

Buyer’s Guide: Content marketing tools

Managing the volume of marketing content that needs to be created, distributed, analyzed, and managed has become complicated, time consuming and costly for many marketing organizations. Automating these processes – or partnering with a content marketing vendor that provides content creation services – can provide numerous benefits.This buyer’s guide analyzes the current market for content marketing tools, including the types of vendors serving the market and the capabilities available. If you are considering licensing a content marketing tool, this guide will help you decide whether or not you need to. It provides recommended steps for choosing a content marketing tool and contains profiles of 24 content marketing vendors.Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Content Marketing Tools: A Marketer’s Guide.”

via Marketing Land

Time’s up! MarTech is here and it’s your last chance to attend

In just one week, the world’s largest independent marketing technology conference designed for senior-level marketers and marketing technology professionals happens at MarTech in San Francisco, May 9-11. The show is programmed with one specific goal: to illuminate successful real-world practices at the intersection of marketing, technology, and management — no matter which software products or analyst frameworks are employed.MarTech features:70+ presentations. See the agenda.100 expert speakersA robust Expo Hall with more than 100 exhibitorsMultiple networking eventsYou’ll leave inspired with real-life lessons, strategies and ideas to bring back and implement in your organization immediately.Don’t miss this opportunity to join more than 2,500 martech professionals from the world’s’ top brands:Two ways to attend: All Access Pass or Expo+ PassGet the complete MarTech experience with an All Access pass for just $1,795, a $100 savings off on-site rates. In addition to the sessions, keynot…

Marketing Day: Paid search trends, the future of local discovery & more

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:Paid search trends from Merkle’s Q1 report
May 1, 2017 by Ginny Marvin
Shopping ads are becoming more important for retailers, the new text ad format isn’t driving CTR increases, and more findings.Google’s Chrome will add new ‘Not secure’ warnings later this year
May 1, 2017 by Barry Schwartz
Have a search box or form on your website that runs over HTTP? You might want to switch your pages over to HTTPS by October.The future of local discovery
May 1, 2017 by Brian Smith
Columnist Brian Smith discusses some of the recent developments and technology that will impact local search, both in the short term and the long term.Keyword tiering: A systematic way to juggle your AdWords priorities
May 1, 2017 by Jacob Baadsgaard
Columnist Jacob Baadsgaard explains how assigning paid search keywords into different tiers based on performance allows search ma…

Paid search trends from Merkle’s Q1 report

Merkle’s Digital Marketing Report for Q1 points to strong growth from Google and the continued strength of PLAs (Google Product Listing Ads). Expanded text ads have yet to yield promises of CTR gold. Bing and Yahoo’s lack of mobile market share is hampering growth. Here’s a look at some of the key trends from the report. (Keep in mind the data reflects spending from Merkle’s own client base, which skews large retailer.)AdWords Q1 year-over-year growth outpaced that of Q4Spending on Google AdWords increased 21 percent year over year in Q1 2017, up from 19 percent in Q4 2016. Click volume increased 20 percent over the previous year. CPCs ticked up 1 percent.Merkle credits the addition of a fourth mobile text ad, PLAs in image search, Google Maps ads and the return of separate device bids as key contributors to growth over the past year.Tablet bids fall, mobile bids improve relative to desktopTablet bids have steadily declined relative to desktop since Google enabled advertisers to bid s…

Google’s Chrome will add new ‘Not secure’ warnings later this year

Google has announced new efforts within Chrome to encourage webmasters and site owners to move their sites to HTTPS. Later this year, Google’s Chrome browser will show a warning message on pages that have search boxes or forms to fill out.Google said, “[in] October 2017, Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”Here is the timeline for this Chrome launch:Here is a GIF of how it will function:Chrome recently added that pages with logins are required to be over HTTPS and even sent out webmaster warnings about the change.Ultimately, Google wants to mark any web page over HTTP as insecure — but that will take them some time to accomplish.

via Marketing Land