Industry Blogs

Why Mobile Is Now the Undisputed Traffic Champion – Here’s Why #175

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

There can be only one world champion chess player, and there can be only one champion source for web traffic. In this episode of the popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Stone Temple’s Eric Enge reveals findings from the latest edition of his annual examination of desktop vs mobile traffic.  Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why Resources Mobile vs Desktop Usage in 2018 SimilarWeb See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Mark: Eric, earlier this year you released your second study of web traffic originating from both mobile and desktop. Now, before we get to some of the results of that study, tell us what you studied.   Eric: Well, sure Mark. I used U.S. traffic stats from SimilarWeb to dig deep to find out how much traffic was coming from mobile versus desktop. But I also looked to see if there are any differences in how that traffic behaved and performed.   Mark: And what was your overall conclusion for this year?   Eric: Well, we see a continuing shift towards mobile, which is not surprising, but what was surprising is how swiftly mobile is actually accelerating.   Mark: Interesting. So where does it stand as of your study published in May of 2018?   Eric: Mobile share of U.S. Web traffic rose from 57% to 63% over the prior year. I expect based on that trend that it’s likely to reach two thirds of all traffic by the end of this year. Mobile's share of web traffic continues to rise year over year. Click To Tweet  Mark: Whoa, but what I think sets your study apart from other examinations of the growth of mobile are the insights you share based on how the traffic from the two different sources compares in terms of behavior on site. So share what you learned about time on site, for example.   Eric: Sure. Mobile has finally pulled up almost even with desktop in terms of total time people spend on a desktop versus a mobile site. But when it comes to average time per each visit over the past year, mobile went up while desktop remained virtually static, but the average mobile time on site actually grew pretty noticeably. However, as you can see, desktop still has the advantage in terms of total time per visit, and that means desktop traffic is still providing a lot of value that mobile can’t do quite as well. But the gap between the two will continue to go down over time, albeit slowly.  Mark: Okay, but what about bounce rate?   Eric: Well, mobile still has a higher bounce rate than desktop, but mobile improved in this category year over year by a significant amount as well.   Mark: What do you think that means?   Eric: I’d guess that either the mobile experience is improving overall, which may be the case since many more sites are investing in improving their mobile friendliness, or users are just getting more comfortable with browsing sites on mobile. Or it could be a combination of both of those factors.   Mark: Thanks Eric. And there are a lot more insights from Eric about how mobile performs versus desktop and you’ll find them in his complete study write-up on our site. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Does Your Conversion Rate Affect Google Ads Quality Score?

Grow Traffic Blog -

We all know that Google just freakin’ loves secrecy. Sometimes it seems like they revel in it. Corporate secrets are one thing, but they obfuscate so many elements of their tools and processes that sometimes it can be difficult to find a shred of reasoning behind seemingly arbitrary decisions. Of course, it doesn’t help that sometimes Google makes legitimately arbitrary decisions, often against the grain of common wisdom, but that’s neither here nor there. AdWords, soon to be known entirely as Google Ads, has a lot of different components that go into its calculations. One of those components is your quality score. Quality score is, for many people, something of a mystery. Before we dig too deep, I’d like to give a cursory – and unsatisfactory – answer to the question posed in the title. Does your conversion rate affect your quality score? According to an ancient post on the Google blog, no. You’d think I could end the post here, but as many of you know, nothing ever stays the same in web marketing. That post was made in December of 2008, nearly 10 years ago. This was three years before Panda, four before Penguin. This was back when I Kissed a Girl was in the top 15 on the Billboard top charts. The world was a very different place. So what I’m going to do with the rest of this article is dig into as much relevant, modern information I can, to see if I can’t determine whether or not that answer is still the same. What do you think? Feel free to make your predictions now in the comments, and then let me know if you were right or not. First-Hand Information Let’s start by seeing what Google says directly about quality score. A lot of this will be old hat for those of you who have studied this before, but it might be new to some of you, and hey, there’s no reason not to start at the basics. “Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” – Quality Score: Definition. You can check your Quality Score, which will be a number between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best. You can find it in the Status column for your individual keywords within your Google Ads dashboard. According to Google, the individual components of quality score are: Expected Clickthrough Rate, Ad Relevance, Landing Page Experience. Also according to Google, the more relevant your ads are to your keywords, the more relevant the landing pages are to the ads and to the keywords, and the more relevant your keywords are to the user intent for their query, the better a chance you’ll have at having a high quality score. Quality score is an individual metric, meaning it’s one measurement for each keyword for each ad in your ad account. If you run one really bad ad, it can drag down your quality score on average, which will hurt all of your nicely optimized, well-performing ads, but it’s easy to see which bad ad is dragging you down and crop it quickly. In a way, this can discourage experimentation, but not really. It’s actually pretty hard for one single ad, or even a handful of bad ads, to hurt your quality score. As long as you recognize that those ads are poor and turn them off ASAP, you can maintain your higher score without too much trouble. Quality score is not a key performance indicator. It’s more like a single warning light in your car’s dashboard. When it drops, you can expect there’s something going wrong with your ads, but it won’t tell you much more than that. For any more detailed information, you need to look under the hood yourself. This isn’t helped by the delay in updating quality scores. Components of Quality Score Google flat-out tells us that quality score is composed of three elements. None of those elements are conversion rate, so hey, there’s our answer, right? Well, you know, that could be true. Or conversion rate could be an element that goes into the calculation of one of the three components. Let’s look into them and see what we can figure out. The first component is the expected clickthrough rate of your ads. This is an estimation Google makes based off a lot of past data, such as similar ads you have run or that other people have run, ads you run that are similar for other keywords, and the historical performance of users running keyword searches for that query. There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, this is an estimated clickthrough rate, not a measured clickthrough rate. Once an ad has been running for a while, though, Google can use the past performance of that specific ad to estimate its performance moving forward. Estimating performance is simply a way for Google to assign a quality score to an ad that has never gone live. Secondly, as with anything, Google can be a little off the mark sometimes. You never know how the whims of the teeming masses will take some ad you run. Maybe some clever turn of phrase will attract a lot of attention that an otherwise similar ad wouldn’t. Quality score will adjust once that performance has been measured, but it’s unpredictable initially. The second component is your ad relevance. This can be approached from two angles. It’s the relevance of your ad to your keyword, but it’s also the relevance of your keyword to your ad. What do I mean? Well, on the one hand, your ad needs to be relevant to the keyword. If you pick a keyword like “red running shoes”, Google and its users would expect ads that talk about running shoes that come in colors that include red, and that the landing page at the other end of the ad has something to do with running shoes that, among other qualities, include a red option. From the reverse perspective, if you want to advertise red running shoes, you should probably choose “red running shoes” as a keyword. Choosing a more generic keyword, like “running shoes”, can mean that your ad isn’t quite as relevant. There’s some give and take here. That said, since quality score is a per-keyword metric, the keyword choice should inform the ad copy, not the other way around. After all, how often do you develop an ad before looking for relevant keywords? Most of the time, you’ll be doing keyword research first. The third component is the landing page experience. To keep with the running shoes example, a landing page with red running shoes front and center will be the most highly relevant page. One with just running shoes that you can customize, like an Amazon color picker, can work just as well. One with a whole bunch of different types of shoes probably isn’t as useful. There’s more than just relevance that goes into the landing page experience, though. It’s the experience. If a user lands on the page and a script breaks and they can’t scroll properly, that’s a poor experience, even if it’s a page about red running shoes. If the page doesn’t work for mobile devices – or is just “mobile-friendly” without having responsive design – you’ll be hit with demerits even if the page is otherwise perfectly fine. Obviously, a page about a completely different subject, a bland homepage, or a page that serves malware is going to get the lowest scores possible. Where Conversion Rate Fits So all of that is a good way of dancing around the importance of conversion rate. So let me just answer the question again: No, Google does not use conversion rate as part of your quality score calculation. Shocking, right? You’d expect Google to use every bit of data they can. There are two reasons for this. The first is that, again, quality score is not meant to be a key performance indication, the way conversion rates act. If they used conversion rate as a metric, it would be a tangible benefit to have a better conversion rate. More conversions would mean a higher score, and people would then start to rely on the score as a measurement of conversion rate, missing the point entirely. The other reason is that conversion rate is easier to game than you might expect. Imagine two identical ads for red running shoes. They have the same ad copy, the same destination URL, and the same keywords. The only difference is, with split-testing software, you change up the conversion target. For one of the ads, your conversion is the sale of a pair of shoes. You can expect a fairly low conversion rate, as a lot of the people browsing your site and clicking the ad aren’t in an immediate purchase mindset. They might be doing research, accumulating options, or otherwise looking into your offers. For the other ad, your conversion is simply clicking a link to view a detailed product description. This one is a lot easier to get, right? You can expect many of your visitors to expand a description, whether or not they’re interested in buying shoes. In some cases you can even set a very low or artificial conversion flag, such as closing a pop-over or lightbox. If Google used conversion rate as part of their calculation, it would be easy to game it to give you a high score, thus making the score meaningless. At the same time, different kinds of ads have different intents, and thus different kinds of conversions. Informational queries with a conversion of joining a mailing list are a lot easier to get than purchase queries for high value items. Keyword volume, keyword relevance, user intent; a lot of different factors go into what makes a good conversion rate. Thus, a good conversion rate for one ad might be a bad conversion rate for another, even if they target similar keywords. There’s no easy way to normalize this difference to make one quality score metric that applies equally well to all advertisers. This is, in essence, the problem with using conversion rates in any such calculation meant to apply to everyone. Google has carefully chosen indicators that are roughly level for all advertisers, regardless of keyword or of landing page intent. Does Conversion Rate Matter? As far as quality score goes, conversion rate doesn’t matter. However, you obviously want to keep track of your conversion rates, because better conversion rates are better for your brand. A good conversion rate means a lot of things. It means you’ve found a good keyword for your landing page, it means you have good ad copy, it means you’re targeting the right audience. If you change elements of your ad and get a better conversion rate, those changed elements might also be elements that affect quality score. Changed copy or a changed landing page experience can affect ad relevance and user clickthrough rates, meaning it changes quality score. So in a way, quality score can be improved by improving your conversion rates. It’s not as simple as improving conversions to boost the score, since low-value changes or changes to what a conversion IS don’t have the same effect. It’s an indirect improvement, though, and simply goes to show how everything in web advertising is interconnected. The post Does Your Conversion Rate Affect Google Ads Quality Score? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

LinkedIn Rolls Out New Posting Tools

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore new LinkedIn posting tools, new Instagram features being tested, new Facebook Ad Manager app creative tools, and [...] The post LinkedIn Rolls Out New Posting Tools appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Instagram Stories Strategy: How to Make Stories That Benefit Your Business

Social Media Examiner -

Want to attract more leads with Instagram? Curious how a story arc on Instagram Stories can help? To explore how to use Instagram Stories for business, I interview Tyler J. McCall. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy [...] The post Instagram Stories Strategy: How to Make Stories That Benefit Your Business appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers

Social Media Examiner -

[Last Updated June 27, 2018] If you’re new to Facebook ads or want to add something new to your current Facebook advertising plan, this page is for you. Here you’ll find articles and resources to help beginner, intermediate, and advanced marketers use Facebook ads to promote a business, products, and services. Set Up a Facebook [...] The post Facebook Ads: A Facebook Advertising Guide for Marketers appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Repurpose Your Video Content Across Many Platforms

Social Media Examiner -

Is video a part of your marketing mix? Looking for tools to help you get more mileage out of each video you create? In this article, you’ll discover how to repurpose one video into content that can populate your blog, podcast, and multiple social channels. Repurposing Helps You Deliver Quality Content Consistently You may have [...] The post How to Repurpose Your Video Content Across Many Platforms appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Hostens to roll out a Major OpenVZ Update

My Host News -

Vilnius, Lithuania – OpenVZ 6 version is about to reach its “end of life”. It means that after this date, OpenVZ 6 version of virtualization will no longer be developed and supported. Further use of this version is likely cause a lot of issues. However, there’re a few possible solutions. One of them may be to change this type of virtualization entirely to any other commonly used type: Xen, LXC, Hyper-V and etc. However, this would require a lot of changes within our system infrastructure as well. Therefore, web hosting company Hostens has decided that the best possible option would be to upgrade the current OpenVZ 6 version to a newer one – OpenVZ 7. These changes wouldn’t require changing everything from the basics. It’s going to keep most of the current things as they are now. Current OpenVZ 6 Kernel Current OpenVZ 6 uses the latest stable version of kernel for virtualization – 2.6.32. It has its advantages – this version offers stable, secure and quality performance of the containers. At the same time, it has many limitations regarding new software that usually requires a higher kernel version. Right now, Docker, ServerPilot and other software cannot be used on our Standard VPS, but the situation is about to change. New OpenVZ 7 Kernel Benefits The new OpenVZ 7 version will be using a new kernel version – 3.10+. It allows deploying Docker, ServerPilot and other similar software on a Standard VPS that was previously unavailable. Another great feature is that a new file system will be used as well. It will allow generating backup snapshots of the virtual machines instead of a simpler files backup that is used now. The new file system will no longer have Inode limit either. Resources usage isolation will help to balance the overall performance of the nodes by allocating guaranteed resources. It will also prevent OpenVZ 7 containers from affecting each other more. OpenVZ 7 provides more system monitoring and managing tools that allow smoother operations without noticeable effect on a running VPS. Future of Our OpenVZ Hosting Upgrading to the new OpenVZ 7 not only allows web hosting providers to resolve the current OpenVZ 6 “end of life” situation and present customers with a solution. It will also improve the Standard VPS and Storage VPS products on the whole.

TurnKey Internet, Inc Receives SSAE 18 SOC 1 & SOC 2 Certification and HIPAA Compliance with HITRUST CSF Certification

My Host News -

LATHAM, N.Y. – Leading Data Center and Cloud Hosting Solutions provider TurnKey Internet, Inc. announced today that their flagship Data Center in New York’s Tech Valley has received SSAE 18 SOC 1 & SOC 2 with HITRUST CSF certification. After a thorough audit, TurnKey Internet was deemed compliant with the regulations required to attain certification. The examination was conducted by SOC audit specialists The Moore Group CPA, LLC. SSAE 18, previously known as SSAE 16 or SAS 70, contains the rules for a CPA firm conducting an attestation of a service organization’s internal controls and issuing a System and Organization Controls (SOC) report. The SOC certification audit investigates several core areas: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. It verifies that TurnKey Internet’s Data Center is of the utmost security, integrity, and reliability. It confirms that TurnKey Internet has procedures and safety precautions of the highest certification standard in place to ensure the security of the facility and its clients’ data within. In addition to the SSAE 18 SOC 1 & SOC 2 certifications, TurnKey also earned HITRUST CSF certification. This certification demonstrates TurnKey’s compliance with U.S. federal and state government HIPAA regulations, standards and frameworks, regarding the security and protection of electronic personal healthcare information. This achievement places TurnKey Internet in an elite group of organizations worldwide that have earned HITRUST CSF certification and maintain a HIPAA compliant data center. “Attaining the SSAE 18 SOC 1 & SOC 2 with HITRUST CSF certification was a significant goal and milestone for us,” remarked Adam Wills, President and CEO of TurnKey Internet. “We pride ourselves on our unparalleled reliability, security, quality of service, and—most importantly—customer satisfaction. This certification not only proves that we are excelling in those areas, but also assures our new and existing clients that they are receiving the best possible service and data protection available.” For more information about TurnKey Internet’s Albany Data Center, or to speak with a Cloud Hosting Solutions expert, visit https://www.turnkeyinternet.net/datacenters/new-york/albany/ About TurnKey Internet Founded in 1999, TurnKey Internet, Inc. is a full-service Cloud Hosting Solutions provider with Data Centers in New York and California specializing in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to clients in more than 150 countries. Services offered in both East Coast and West Coast, USA – include Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Dedicated & Bare Metal Servers, Backup & Disaster Recovery, Online Storage, Web Hosting, Managed Hosting, Hybrid Solutions and Enterprise Colocation. Headquartered in New York’s Tech Valley Region, TurnKey Internet’s Flagship company owned Datacenter is SSAE 18 SOC 1 & SOC 2 certified, as well as HIPAA compliant with HITRUST CSF certification. The facility is powered exclusively by on-site Solar and Hydroelectric sources to provide a 100% renewable energy footprint and in 2013 was designated as the 39th ENERGY STAR® Certified Data Center in the United States.

Cirrus Data Services Entering Data Center Market in Salt Lake City

My Host News -

SALT LAKE CITY – Cirrus Data Services believes the Salt Lake City region can support hyperscale and wholesale data center colocation offerings and this week publicly announced the View 78 data center campus in Midvale; a suburb of Salt Lake City. The first phase includes a 32MW wholesale and hyperscale data center colocation offering; subsequent plans include the development and operations up to 160MW of data center capacity on the site. “We are excited to announce the launch of Cirrus Data Services and that we are entering the data center colocation market,” said Gardner Company CEO, Christian Gardner. “The Salt Lake City data center market is growing; major firms and organizations are coming to Utah because of the many advantages this State has to offer.” James Jeffries, President of Cirrus Data Services, stated, “Our new data center campus located in the View 78 development in Midvale is designed for both hyperscale and wholesale tenants including cloud service providers, enterprise companies, and other large-scale tenants. Our product is intended to be scalable and provide an adaptable solution to meet the needs of sophisticated tenants in this sector.” Cirrus Data Services View 78 Data Center is designed to meet current demands. CirrusDS is developing a campus of purpose-built data center facilities; offering Tier III and Tier II topographies. The first phase will include over 224,000 square feet of data center space with a technology load capacity of 32MW. The first phase will also include approximately 18,000 square feet of office space including technical burn-in and storage areas. The facility’s flexible power distribution and cooling design enable both low-density and high-density racks. The facility will be the first data center campus for Cirrus Data Services; the expansion plans for this site includes up to 160MW of capacity with over 1,120,000 square feet of data center infrastructure. Additional expansion plans include a second large scale campus in Salt Lake City. CirrusDS has assembled a strong team for the development, building and operations of the View 78 Data Center. The team has been actively working together to bring the CirrusDS vision to fruition. In conjunction with Gardner Company’s development arm the team includes Arch|Nexus, Spectrum Engineers, and Revealey Engineering. FirstDigital is providing initial fiber, network connectivity, and telecommunications services. The campus will include additional fiber vendors to meet tenant requirements. Doug Thimm, lead architect with Arch|Nexus, said, “This is an exciting project. The design team is mobilized and ready to execute our design effort.” He continued by saying, “This data center is designed to meet the demands of today’s evolving requirements.” The team is working closely with the local utilities and are on track to meet the power needs and overall delivery schedule. Road and utility infrastructure for the View 78 development are currently under construction. Award of the construction contract for the data center is scheduled to occur in July. Andrew Lewis said, “We here at JLL are extremely excited to be a part of bringing this cutting-edge project to market. The vision that Cirrus Data Services has for this site will absolutely raise the bar for data centers.” The region is an established colocation data center market. Utah has favorable tax incentives along with low operational costs when compared to other States; Utah has some of the lowest power costs in the country. Aligned Energy recently announced the retrofit of a former semiconductor chip fabrication facility in West Jordan servicing the wholesale market. Other existing multi-tenant data center offerings in the Salt Lake City market include DataBank, which operates three facilities in the region, and Flexential, which has seven data centers in the Salt Lake City area. In addition, other major firms have facilities in this region including the recent announcement from Facebook that they are building a campus in Eagle Mountain. Cirrus Data Services is now leasing data center capacity. For more information please visit http://www.CirrusDS.com.

Equinix Collaboration with Amazon Web Services Expands in Latin America

My Host News -

REDWOOD CITY, CA – Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data center company, today announced an expanded collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer private connectivity to AWS Direct Connect at Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in the São Paulo and Miami metros. This expansion, along with AWS Direct Connect’s existing deployment at Equinix in Rio de Janeiro, builds upon the collaboration between Equinix and AWS in Latin America, helping customers more easily connect their IT infrastructure directly to AWS’s cloud services. Equinix customers in the São Paulo and Miami metros can directly access AWS Direct Connect via cross connect, which is also available in Equinix data centers in 22 other markets globally. Connecting directly to a private cloud onramp via an edge node is the most effective means to ensure performance, reliability and optimal cost efficiency. Effective immediately, customers can also connect to AWS Direct Connect via Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric™ (ECX Fabric™), which provides simple, on-demand interconnection to AWS Direct Connect. With ECX Fabric, Equinix customers can discover and dynamically connect to any other customer across any Equinix location globally through an easy-to-use portal and a single connection to the Equinix platform. Equinix has more AWS Direct Connect onramps than any other data center provider. With the addition of São Paulo and Miami, AWS Direct Connect is available to customers in Equinix IBX data centers across 24 strategic markets including Amsterdam, Chicago, Dallas, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Manchester, Munich, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Warsaw and Washington, D.C. The ability to directly connect to cloud service providers, such as AWS, is becoming increasingly important for enterprise CIOs in the Latin American region as digital transformation fuels the need for virtualized, on-demand, provider-based services. Within the São Paulo metro, the Equinix IBX data centers serve as a main financial, corporate and mercantile hub for enterprises in Brazil and throughout South America. Currently, customers in the São Paulo metro and Rio de Janeiro metro are able to connect to AWS Direct Connect via cross connect, while São Paulo customers will now be able to connect to AWS Direct Connect via cross connect and via ECX Fabric. Equinix IBX data centers within the Miami metro, including the NAP of the Americas (“NOTA”) (MI1) facility, serve as major communications gateways for companies in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Southeastern U.S. The Equinix Miami ecosystem provides customers with direct connectivity to a variety of network and cloud service providers, CDNs and enterprises. ECX Fabric directly, securely and dynamically connects distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems on Platform Equinix® via global, software-defined interconnection. Available across 30+ locations, ECX Fabric is designed for scalability, agility and connectivity over a self-service portal or API. Through a single port, customers can discover and reach anyone at Equinix on demand, locally or across metros. To support real-time or mission-critical workloads, Equinix customers can use ECX Fabric to easily connect to an AWS Direct Connect location in the same metro where the customer’s infrastructure is located. For other workloads like data backup, Equinix customers can use ECX Fabric to easily connect to an AWS Direct Connect location in a different metro from where the customer’s infrastructure is located. Direct and private connectivity to strategic cloud service providers like AWS is essential as digital transformation fuels higher demand for localized digital services at the edge. According to the Global Interconnection Index, a market study published recently by Equinix, the capacity for private data exchange between enterprises and cloud providers is forecast to grow six times faster than public internet traffic between 2017 and 2020. About Equinix Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) connects the world’s leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most-interconnected data centers. In 52 markets worldwide, Equinix is where companies come together to realize new opportunities and accelerate their business, IT and cloud strategies. www.equinix.com.

How to Use Instagram Live Video Chat for Business

Social Media Examiner -

Want to use Instagram to provide personalized customer service? Wondering how live video chat can help? In this article, you’ll learn how to use Instagram’s live video chat feature to enhance your business relationships. Why Use Instagram Live Video Chat for Business? As customers turn to video to get answers about products or services, Instagram [...] The post How to Use Instagram Live Video Chat for Business appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Advertise in Facebook Marketplace: What Marketers Need to Know

Social Media Examiner -

Have you heard of Facebook’s Marketplace ad placement? Want to know how to place your Facebook ad campaigns in Marketplace? In this article, you’ll learn how to advertise your products and services in Facebook Marketplace. Why Consider Facebook Marketplace for Ad Placement? Marketplace is Facebook’s equivalent to eBay and Craigslist. The major advantage it has [...] The post How to Advertise in Facebook Marketplace: What Marketers Need to Know appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

How to Get Cheap Clicks By Running YouTube Ads

Grow Traffic Blog -

Running ads on YouTube gives you an entirely new – and entirely massive – source of traffic. Where you send that traffic is up to you. YouTube ads can send visitors to your website landing page, to a mobile app download, to a product page, or even to another YouTube channel. How can you get the most out of YouTube ads? Let’s start at the basics and build our way up. Types of YouTube Ads There are three types of ad you can see on YouTube, and consequently, three types of ad you can run. First up, you have TrueView ads. TrueView ads are the standard type of ad on YouTube, if you can even give them a description of the sort. They’re videos you produce yourself. You can choose to make them unskippable, in which case you are limited to 15-20 seconds in length. If you allow them to be skipped, they can range from 12 seconds to 6 minutes long. TrueView ads come in two forms: video discover and in-stream. Video discovery ads are the typical display ad style. They show up in the search results, in the video sidebar, and can be a recommended ad video. In-stream ads are the typical pre-video commercial style ads. They can appear on YouTube directly, or on any video in the Google Display Network. The second form of ads are Preroll ads, which are video ads that can play before, in the middle of, or after a video on YouTube. There’s some overlap between these and the in-stream TrueView ads, for sure. Preroll ads can appear in the middle of any video over ten minutes long. Preroll ads can only be set as unskippable, and they only list 15-20 seconds. They’re subject to a typical PPC auction style. The third type of ad is the Bumper ad. Bumper ads play before a YouTube video and are limited to 6 seconds long. They’re too short to really dig into any significant content, but can work well for brief awareness campaigns. Interlude: The Costs of Advertising Before we get too much further, we should discuss the costs of advertising on YouTube. All YouTube ads are PPC ads, where you end up paying when the user clicks on the ad or follows your call to action. In the case of some TrueView ads, you pay if the user watches a significant portion of the ad rather than skipping it as soon as possible, as well. Ads on YouTube will generally run you around 10-30 cents per click. I’ve seen similar cited figures on several sites, though I haven’t done too much YouTube advertising on my own recently. You can also expect around $1 per 1,000 views for CPM ads, though CPC is generally better for YouTube. Certain types of ads also have minimum buy-ins, or minimum daily budgets, as it were. TrueView in-stream ads require at least $20 in budget, while other types might require $10. You can even buy a “channel sponsorship” and dominate the advertising on a specific channel for a $1,000 minimum, depending on the channel. Now, this is the pure cost of running ads on YouTube. You have to remember, though, there are other costs associated with video advertising. You probably know what it is, but if you haven’t thought about it, I’ll remind you: it’s the video. When you’re running video-based ads on a video-based platform, you need to invest in your video. A short, compelling ad video will require proper production. You might need to buy software to edit videos, or pay for the services of a video editor. You’ll need the appropriate resources to capture your video, be it a screen capture program, a CG rendering engine, or a decent digital camera. You also need to have the time or money to create your script, refine and edit it, and get it produced. Hiring actors can add more to the costs. Obviously, one video can last for a long time with ads, but remember that ad campaigns grow stale. You can’t produce one video and expect it to last forever. Ad campaigns have a turnover anywhere from one to six months, and a lot depends on your niche and competition. You don’t want to be the stale one in a crowd of fresh new content. Setting Up Your Ads Once you’re ready to start your campaign, by which I mean you have produced your video, you need to get things working. You need to upload your video to YouTube – unlisted is fine – and then make your way over to AdWords. Within AdWords, you need to create a new campaign. Choose the video type and ad type, and name your campaign. Set your ad type: do you want it to aim for views/awareness/conversions, mobile app installs, or product shopping? Shopping, for the record, goes through the Google Merchant Center, not just any form of storefront. If you’re not using that particular Google system, you won’t be able to use that type of campaign. Set your budget. Since you want to keep your costs low – that’s why you’re reading an article with “cheap clicks” in the title – you want to set it relatively low. I recommend using standard delivery, since Accelerated delivery is going to dump your whole budget in a matter of a few hours in the morning, and isn’t ideal for most forms of advertising. You’ll be asked to choose or exclude specific geographic locations from your ad campaign. If you want the absolute cheapest clicks possible, you can target somewhere like India, where you’ll get clicks as low as a penny each. Of course, that traffic is largely valueless to you. I recommend targeting as narrow a geographic location as you can, and excluding all of the countries outside of your service area. If a person outside of a given area can’t convert, don’t show them the ad. The next set of relevant targeting options is device and platform targeting. Let’s say you’re advertising an iOS app. You should eliminate desktop devices from the running, and focus on the mobile market. More specifically, you also want to eliminate Android and Windows platforms, to focus solely on iOS, both through phones and tablets, which are separate sections in the AdWords system. Again, the narrower your targeting options, the lower your costs will be. It’s very rare that you drill down to a very narrow audience that is nevertheless still very expensive. It can be worthwhile to add further restrictions, such as time of day, to encourage your ads to run during specific hours where you’ve found your highest converting audience to act. When you set a narrow time band for your ads, you can dump more money in a shorter amount of time with little or no repercussions. Most of the rest of the settings in AdWords will be typical of any kind of web advertising, so you can just plug in the same sorts of targeting data you use for display ads or search ads. Finally, you need to link your AdWords and YouTube accounts. Without linking the two accounts, you won’t be able to use your video as your ad. You can’t just pick some random video to use as an ad, after all. Linking your accounts ensures that you have control over both and is a security measure as well. Making YouTube Ads Cheaper If you’re searching for cheaper clicks through YouTube ads, you need to optimize those ads. The higher your click rates, the better your targeting, and the better your conversion rates, the cheaper your ads will be. First up, you need to track everything. The more data you have on hand, the more aggressively you can tweak your ads. When you know something is underperforming, you can kill it off and replace it with something else. I highly recommend segmenting your budget and your ads into as many different ads as you can maintain. Each individual ad can be a test of some aspect of your campaign, be it targeting, video editing, length, placement, or budget bids. The more tests you have running, the more aspects you can tweak to see what works. Every so often – depending on how long it takes with your budget to get relevant data – collapse the worst performing ads, expand your budget in the best performing ads, and start new tests. Video ads are video, so of course your video needs to be properly compelling. You only have less than 30 seconds for most ad types to make your point. Do some serious study of television commercials and other video ads, and figure out what makes people want to click on your ads specifically. Remember that you actually only have five or so seconds to capture attention! After that point, the user is free to skip the ad in most cases, so you need to make sure you’re keeping them around as much as possible. In addition to that, your video needs to be high quality in both visual and auditory fields. Take your video with a high resolution camera or by rendering in high definition. Make sure to upload your ad at 1080p – 4K is not necessary yet – so it can be properly downscaled as necessary. Make sure your audio is crisp and clear, professionally recorded, and free of noise. Nothing kills an ad faster than poor audio. Make sure you have a compelling call to action as well. You want people to click on your ad, which means you want to keep their attention and give them a reason to click. You can’t simply tell them to “click here, now, do it do it do it!!!” and expect them to listen to you. The only brand that might work for is Old Spice, frankly. It can be useful to use YouTube ads to drive traffic to an intermediary, as well. YouTube ads can direct users to another video on YouTube. This second, longer video gives you more time for information, more flexibility for a call to action, and can gain you secondary benefits like ad revenue, subscribers, and engagement. I figure it’s worth testing this out, though it won’t work for everyone. I also highly recommend adding a captions file to your ad video when you upload it. Closed captions are important for any video media these days, and while it won’t hurt you in terms of budget or pricing, having captions available helps you gain conversions more easily. You can also make use of remarketing. For one thing, when you have an older campaign and are looking to start a new one, you can export your remarketing list from the old one and use it as a target audience for the new one. This will show your ads preferentially to the people who already engaged with the older campaign. You can also use negative remarketing. If you want to expand your audience beyond the same group of people, set your remarketing list as a negative list. This forces the campaign to only show your ad to any given user once, making your budget reach to as many people as possible. It’s not always the best option, but it’s an option to try if you want to shake things up. Both options are in the “shared library” section of the AdWords campaign, under video remarketing. As you grow more and more practiced with your video ads, you’ll be able to decrease costs by starting from a more optimized position. Eventually, you’ll reach a sort of peak of value per dollar, at which point it’s generally time to find a new campaign. The post How to Get Cheap Clicks By Running YouTube Ads appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Why Social Media Marketers Need to Grow Up – Here’s Why #174

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

In recent months things got tougher for social media marketers. In an effort to crack down on rampant fraud, fake accounts, and fake news, social networks have restricted or eliminated many actions that marketers used to exploit. In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Stone Temple’s Mark Traphagen claims these changes are a good thing, because they will finally force social media marketers to grow up and have to act like REAL marketers, not hackers or tricksters. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why Resources Social Media Marketing in 2018: Time to Grow Up or Get Out See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Eric: Mark, what’s going on in social media marketing?   Mark: What isn’t going on. I mean, I’ve been following social media for as long as there’s been social media and I’ve never seen so much disruption at the same time, especially for marketers.   Eric: So, can you give some examples?   Mark: Well, sure. The biggest and most obvious is everything happening with Facebook. As recently as a year ago, who would’ve expected we’d see the unstoppable behemoth reeling as much as it is now. Of course, there were all of the privacy scandals, the users finding out their data had been used by outsiders who had no permission to have it or use it, all the revelations about how foreign powers may have used Facebook to try to disrupt our elections. On top of that, starting earlier this year, Facebook began more severely restricting the organic reach of most pages, and soon after that removed many popular ad targeting options.   Eric: And that’s just Facebook.   Mark: Right. Facebook’s many woes weren’t the only blows to social marketers. Twitter outlawed the practice of bulk posting to multiple accounts, a major BuzzSumo study showed that social sharing per post is down by half since 2015 and evidence is strong that more online users are turning to so-called “dark social,” engaging with their friends in ways that are difficult to impossible for marketers to see, such as private messaging networks. Now, there’s a lot more bad news but I’ll stop there before it gets too depressing.   Eric: Thanks. So is it time to just get out of social media marketing?   Mark: Well, that almost certainly has been the response of some to all of this. I’ve already seen marketers saying “social media marketing is dead.”   Eric: That sounds familiar.   Mark: I know what you’re thinking. In fact, in my Marketing Land column earlier this year, I compared what’s happening in social now to what SEO has been going through for years.   Eric: Right, I mean it used to be fairly easy to do effective SEO with tricks, and hacks, and even outright deceptions. But then Google cracked down, put smarter algorithms in place and the easy road all but disappeared.    Mark: And so it goes now with social media. Social platforms are finally being forced to close down loopholes of wide-open features that made them and their users vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation. That means that many of the growth hacks and standard practice automations and tricks social marketers were relying upon no longer work.   Eric: And now, it’s time for them to grow up.   Mark: Or get out.   Eric: Yah, harsh.   Mark: Well, maybe but that is the reality. I don’t think social media marketing is dead, but to succeed in the current situation, social marketers have to mature into real marketers. That is, they need to understand the fundamentals of marketing that apply no matter the medium, and learn how to do them in social.   Eric: So, what are some specific things marketers should be doing then to be more grown up on social media?   Mark: One would be to come up with better top of the funnel strategies. It’s become harder to reach a specific audience with organic reach on most social platforms, and even with paid ads on Facebook, so you have to think more creatively and intelligently about how to attract and keep an audience in the first place. The content you post has to do a better job of grabbing a user’s attention and providing them with something of value, and/or attracting them to come to your site or look at your offer. Marketers will also have to get better at things social does more effectively than any other marketing channel, engaging an audience and providing personalized value and service. Those are the things that social marketers have always given lip-service to, but now, it’s more critical to actually do them.   Eric: So, do you have more ideas to share?   Mark: Well, I have a lot more, but I’m going to refer our viewers to our Marketing Land column. There you’ll learn more about what’s disrupting social media, get more of my thoughts on how to grow up into a real, effective social media marketer.  Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published. Subscribe to Here’s Why See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Instagram Adds Question Stickers to Stories

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore Instagram adding a questions sticker for Stories, Facebook ads updates, and other breaking social media marketing news [...] The post Instagram Adds Question Stickers to Stories appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

Facebook Ads for Webinar Funnels: How to Maximize Your Results

Social Media Examiner -

Want a scalable way to share your webinar? Looking for tips on building trust with a cold audience? To explore how to build a Facebook ads funnel for an evergreen webinar, I interview Andrew Hubbard. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s [...] The post Facebook Ads for Webinar Funnels: How to Maximize Your Results appeared first on Social Media Examiner.

HostBill announces new integrations with Plesk

My Host News -

Rzeszow, Poland – HostBill, a popular billing and automation software for web hosting industry has recently launched a set of tools integrated with Plesk: Plesk Key Administrator module to resell Plesk licenses and two new extensions to their Plesk module: Plesk DNS Helper and Plesk Service Plan Sync tool. Plesk Key Administrator Plesk Key Administrator module for HostBill allows to resell Plesk Software licenses (such as Plesk, Virtuozzo and more) and add-ons. With HostBill the licenses are created, provisioned and terminated automatically, making the reselling process completely hassle-free. The users can also set automatic renewal that could significantly improve the license management process. The end-clients can display the license details, change license IP, check license keys, activation and content in HostBill’s user-friendly client area. The admin panel on the other hand gives full control over the billing information and account lifecycle. The admin can also choose which client area functions end-customers will have access to. Plesk DNS Helper Plesk DNS Helper is and extension to the Plesk module and was created to help connect Plesk installations with one of the HostBill-supported DNS services: Power DNS, Power DNS Slave Zones, OnApp DNS, cPanel DNS or any other DNS that HostBill supports. As Plesk handles DNS really well, but it’s more suited for single-install deployments, HostBill created the extension for users who want to deploy multiple Plesk instances and manage single DNS server (master) rather than multiple ones. The extension also helps to hook up PowerDNS to store slave zones, while the Plesk would keep master zone records. With the Plesk DNS Helper extension installed in HostBill, any time new DNS zone is created / updated / deleted in Plesk, the extension notifies HostBill about it and HostBill then “decides” what to do next. It can push this zone to real master nameserver, notify secondary nameserver to create/update slave zone and after exporting such zone, HostBill can assign it to the related customer As a result slave DNS (any supported by HostBill) will be notified automatically about new zones in Plesk or Plesk DNS will not be used to handle DNS queries, but as a source of data for actual DNS server that handles requests. With this approach you can benefit from flexible & automated DNS templates built into Plesk on any central DNS server you wish to use with it. Plesk Service Plan Sync tool Plesk Service Plan Sync tool was developed to help manage service plans and addons changes across unlimited Plesk installations with ease. This extension is a real problem-solver especially for hosting companies that use more than one Plesk installation. This automated tool will help to keep multiple service plans and addons in sync between different installations. The tool allows to create multiple configurations (for separate Windows/Linux Plesk installations or different installations for different purposes) that consist of Plesk servers. In each configuration you can select source server, that will serve as a source of actual plans & addons configuration. Other Plesk servers within configuration will have plans updated, and missing plans created according to the source plan with a single click of a button. The Plesk Service Plan Sync tool will track what plans/addons/plan settings are missing or different compared to the source server and show those differences. You can then run a synchronization process and as a result all plans and addons missing will be added to target server and plansand addons with matching names but conflicting configurations will have their configurations updated to match those in source Plesk. Moreover, if you’re syncing Plesk with minor configuration/version/extensions differences you can setup overrides that will be prevented from overwritting when creating/updating plans and addons on this server, as well as when comparing it with target server. Plesk Service Plan Sync Tool can be of use to you if you want to update your plans in bulk, add new plan to all your installations or add new Plesk installation. About HostBill HostBill is a powerful and flexible, all-in-one automation, billing, client management and support platform for online businesses. HostBill handles all aspects of running a successful online business, from client acquisition, through invoicing and payment collection, automated service provisioning and management, to customer service and support. Extensive range of advanced features, multitude of modules and apps and integration with various various control panels, domain registrars, payment gateways, order pages, client panels and more, make it the most comprehensive solution on the market for Hosting, Cloud/IaaS/VPS Solutions Providers, Domain name and SSL Resellers around the globe to automate and manage their online businesses.

Equinix and Omantel Enter Agreement to Build New Equinix Data Center in Oman

My Host News -

REDWOOD CITY, CA and MUSCAT, Oman – Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX), the global interconnection and data center company, and Oman Telecommunications Company (Omantel, a MSM listed company: OTEL), announced the companies have entered into a joint venture to deliver data center and interconnection services to customers in the Middle East through the development of a new network-dense data center that will be located in Barka, near Muscat, the capital of Oman. This joint venture will establish the first world-class, carrier-neutral hub in Oman where carriers, content providers and cloud providers colocate critical IT infrastructure. Oman is strategically positioned between Asia, Africa and Europe, and the new Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center will create a regional interconnection hub with ultra-low latencies between global business markets. Based on demand and requirements, customers in the GCC and wider MENA region can also leverage other Equinix data centers in the region for dual access to content providers, allowing carriers, content providers and cloud providers to further build resilience into their IT and network infrastructure. The new IBX data center in Oman will benefit from connectivity to strategic cable landing stations (CLS) and subsea cable systems that terminate directly inside the facility. It will also benefit from the investments by Omantel in multiple strategic subsea cable systems throughout the region and world. This subsea cable connectivity will provide customers with significant cost savings and an increase in performance and security. Under the terms of the agreement, Equinix and Omantel will both fund equity contributions in an amount of US$10 million for the joint venture representing a 50% shareholding each, and additional funds will be raised through debt financing assumed by the joint venture company. The shareholders’ agreement was signed on June 20, 2018, and the joint venture company was established on June 26, 2018. Equinix will operate the new IBX data center, which will include 18,600 square feet of colocation space and approximately 750 cabinets at full build. The first phase of the three-phase build will include 250 cabinets and is expected to be completed and open for business by Q2 2019. According to the recently published document Worldwide Datacenter Installation Census and Construction Forecast, 2018–2022, IDC observes a clear trend of movement of internal data centers to service provider data centers. With more than 200 data centers worldwide, Platform Equinix™ enables customers to easily interconnect with one another in business ecosystems for maximum collaboration across digital supply chains in 52 markets globally. Additionally, 30 Equinix metros are close enough to the shorelines to support the CLS model. Omantel is a global communications provider with cable landings and connectivity to more than 120 cities globally. It has investments in 20 subsea cable systems and leverages six diverse landing stations in Oman and one in France. Additionally, Omantel is an investor in AAE-1 consortium, one of the largest, newest high-capacity connections between Asia, Africa and Europe. Omantel has also invested in multiple regional and international cables including Europe India Gateway (EIG), Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG), Gulf to Africa (G2A), and Silk Route Gateway-1 (SRG-1), among others. As a result, Omantel will be able to offer a redundant and unique latency of 160ms between Frankfurt and Singapore, two of the world’s main capacity hubs accessible directly from within the new IBX data center in Oman. About Equinix Equinix, Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) connects the world’s leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most-interconnected data centers. In 52 markets across five continents, Equinix is where companies come together to realize new opportunities and accelerate their business, IT and cloud strategies. About Omantel Omantel Wholesale is the international and domestic wholesale arm of Oman Telecommunications Company S.A.O.G. (Omantel), the first and leading integrated telecommunications service provider in Oman. Founded in 1970, Omantel is a joint-stock company listed in Muscat Securities Market and is 51% owned by Oman Investment Fund (OIF), a wholly owned investment arm of the Omani government. The company has laid the groundwork for telecommunications and technological advancement in the country and it continues to invest heavily within its own borders and abroad. As a result, Omantel has acquired a controlling stake in Kuwaiti Mobile Telecommunications Company (Zain Group) last year, making it the second largest shareholder in the company. Omantel Wholesale capitalizes on ultra-low latency networks to enable innovation and digital transformation globally, utilizing Oman’s geographic advantage at the absolute nexus of the east, west, north, and south to enable its customers and partners to deliver their services with the best possible end-user experience.

Infomart Data Centers Announces Sustainability Initiatives at Its Ashburn Facility

My Host News -

ASHBURN, VA – Infomart Data Centers, a national wholesale carrier-neutral data center provider, today announced progress on its sustainability initiatives. Now owned by Infomart, the former Dulles Technology Center in Loudoun County, Virginia, is the first purpose-built data center in the region. Demonstrating its commitment to environmental responsibility, Infomart has recycled in excess of 1.8 million pounds of steel, aluminum, copper, batteries and other materials in retrofitting the facility, and made donations with the proceeds to charities supporting the Northern Virginia population. “A key business challenge is how to align Infomart’s sustainability strategy with that of our clients, and we have achieved this by recycling, reusing and repurposing whenever possible,” explained Dan Ephraim, Vice President of Sales, Infomart Data Centers. “Our core objective is to think beyond the traditional construct of sustainability and identify new ways to responsibly extend the life of the property. Clients can feel confident that our commitment to sustainability is well-aligned with their corporate objectives.” A resilient and fortified facility, Phase 1 of Infomart Ashburn’s development pipeline consists of three 2MW – 3MW, 10,000-square-foot data center suites, with the facility capacity totaling 18 MW. Infomart Ashburn features true 2N+1 IT critical power redundancy, allowing for concurrent maintenance without interruption, while leveraging the regional climate for maximum efficiency. Infomart will deliver real-time PUE metrics as well as mechanical and electrical infrastructure data through a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) portal that will provide its clients maximum control and performance transparency. “Infomart Data Centers demonstrates exemplary environmental responsibility to the Loudoun community through its sustainability initiatives,” stated Buddy Rizer, Executive Director, Loudoun Economic Development. “Infomart is setting the standard with its material recycling initiatives, commitment to energy efficiency and its contributions to charities supporting the local community. I salute them for being an involved and engaged member of the local community.” The carrier-neutral Infomart Ashburn facility also features industry-leading physical security layers that demanding enterprise, cloud, and federal agencies require when selecting a partner to house their critical applications. To learn more about Infomart Ashburn, visit www.infomartdatacenters.com/locations/Ashburn/. About Infomart Data Centers Founded in 2006, Infomart Data Centers is an award-winning industry leader in building, owning and operating highly efficient, cost-effective wholesale data centers. Each of its national facilities meet or exceed the highest industry standards in all operational categories of availability, security, connectivity and physical resilience. Recognized for its consistent excellence, Infomart Data Centers is dedicated to maintaining its reputation of reliability and best-in-class management while offering flexible solutions to meet the needs of its clients. Since the company’s inception, Infomart has demonstrated its commitment to environmental responsibility in designing and building energy-efficient and sustainable data centers for performance-driven organizations. Infomart Data Centers offers highly connected wholesale and colocation facilities in three Tier I markets throughout the United States, including San Jose, Calif.; Hillsboro, Ore.; and Ashburn, Va.

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