Industry Blogs

Facebook Groups: New Features for Businesses

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to do more with Facebook Groups? Wondering how to use the newest Facebook Groups features? To explore what’s new with Facebook Groups and how the changes benefit marketers, I interview Bella Vasta. Bella is a Facebook Groups expert, author of The Four Types of Dogs Every Business Needs, and host of the […] The post Facebook Groups: New Features for Businesses appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Mobile vs Desktop Traffic in 2019

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

Latest update April 4, 2019 — This is the latest edition of our study on the state of the mobile web. This update demonstrates the growth of the mobile web last year (2018) versus the desktop. I’ll also compare the latest data to usage levels in 2016 and 2017. The stats in this and our prior studies were pulled from SimilarWeb and reflect U.S. traffic across the web. Where is the Mobile vs. Desktop Story Heading? In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices. Mobile devices made up 42% of total time spent online. Mobile Bounce Rate came in at 50%. The details are in the charts below. For reference, here are our prior years’ studies: Mobile vs. Desktop 2017 (published 2018) Mobile vs. Desktop 2016 (published 2017) Changes to Our Data Collection Methodology for 2018 During 2018, SimilarWeb made some shifts in their data sources. For that reason, the charts below show the 2018 data separated from the 2016 and 2017 data. The new sources in 2018 have slightly lower mobile usage, but this does not reflect an actual drop in mobile usage—just a change in the data sources used. Nonetheless, SimilarWeb has one of the largest data samples on the web, and was picked by Rand Fishkin as the best tool for getting data on web traffic. For that reason, we will continue to use SimilarWeb as the data source for this study on an annual basis. Aggregated Stats: Desktop vs. Mobile The most common stat that people talk about is the percentage of their visits that comes from mobile devices. Here is a look at the percentage of visits sites get from mobile vs. desktop for 2016, 2017, and 2018: The data continues to show that for most sites, the majority of their traffic comes from mobile devices. This is a critical fact of life for all business and media web sites. It’s also interesting to consider total time on site. Here is what we see across the three years: Bear in mind, that’s the percentage of total aggregated time across all visits for mobile, compared with that of desktop. The total time users spend on sites when using desktop devices is still larger than the total time for mobile. This suggests that the time per visit must be longer, as we see here: Next, let’s take a look at bounce rate. Here is what we saw for 2016, 2017, and 2018: With the new data sources from SimilarWeb, the mobile bounce rate is back up a bit, but still higher than it was in 2016. As I said in last year’s study, I believe that mobile site experiences are improving, and users are getting more comfortable with it. However, desktop still has the lead over mobile as it relates to bounce rate, and that’s not likely to change. For one thing, the use cases for people on mobile devices often involve the need to look something up quickly while they are on the go. Let’s now take a look at the total page views between desktop and mobile devices: Because of the new data sources from SimilarWeb, we see a drop in the percentage of total page views from mobile devices vs desktop, but this number is still higher than it was in 2016. To wrap this section up, let’s also take a look at page views per visitor: The page views per visitor remain significantly higher on desktop than mobile. This is consistent with the differences in time on site and bounce rate data shown above. Stats by Industry Category As we did in the last two years’ studies, we also broke the data down by industry category, to determine which industries are the most mobile-centric. The variance between categories remains significant: In 2016, the adult industry was the leader, with 73% of the visits coming from mobile devices. In spite of that, it was the biggest gainer this year, jumping up to 86% of all traffic coming from mobile. The other fascinating thing is that the finance category and arts & entertainment categories are the only industries that still see more traffic on desktop, by narrow 52% to 48% and 51% to 49% margins, respectively. By next year, these should also get most of their traffic from mobile. Next up, let’s look at time on site by industry category: Here we see that every industry has a longer time on site for desktop over mobile, except for books and literature. The latter is probably due to people reading on mobile devices such as tablets. Let’s look at bounce rate next: The desktop bounce rate is lower than the mobile bounce rate in every single industry, though the margin is quite small for these two categories: Recreation and Hobbies Books and Literature. Last, but not least, let’s look at page views per visitor: Page views per visitor remained higher in every industry for desktop than mobile. Four Takeaway Recommendations How can we use this data to inform our digital marketing strategy? Here are four of my top observations and ideas: Mobile Experiences are Continuing to Improve: Mobile user interfaces are improving, and users are getting more accustomed to them. Being mobile friendly is important in all industries—it’s the largest source of traffic in nearly all of them. This means designing your mobile site before you design the desktop site. Instead of coding your desktop site and then writing style sheets to shrink it into a smartphone form factor, design your mobile site first. Then you can figure out how to leverage the larger screen real estate available on a desktop platform as a second step. Important note: I’m not saying this because desktop is dead; it’s not. It’s still very important, but it’s far easier to take a mobile UI to the desktop than take a desktop one to a smartphone. Desktop Remains Very Important: Other industry data still suggests that more conversions continue to happen on desktop in most industries, so continuing to pay a lot of attention to your desktop site makes a great deal of sense. And, if you’re in an industry where 75% or more of your conversions come from desktop, you may even want to offer users on mobile devices the option to provide contact information, save shopping carts, or implement other functionality that allows them to defer the actual completion of a conversion to a later time (perhaps on a desktop). The rationale is that users may not want to deal with complicated forms on a mobile device, and/or may not want to enter their credit card there. Following up with them later lets them come back on a desktop device and convert at a more convenient time. If you’re open to this idea, I’d urge you to test it thoroughly first, to see which gets better results for you. Compare Your Site’s Behavior to Industry Norms: If the average percentage of mobile visitors in your industry is 60%, and your site is at 35%, that may indicate a problem like a very slow mobile site. See how you compare to industry norms; if there is a large delta with your site, take the time to understand why. Pay Attention to Site Speed: Consider implementing AMP. Here is our study on AMP, which thoroughly explains how effective AMP is in accelerating site speed, as well as our detailed guide to implementing AMP. AMP is not the only way to speed up your site, of course, but it’s an open source standardized way to do it, so it deserves consideration. Wonder why page speed is so important? See our Page Speed Guide.  

How to Use Social Proof in Your Marketing

Social Media Examiner -

Looking for ways to boost your credibility using social media? Wondering how to capitalize on positive company mentions? In this article, you’ll discover how to incorporate social proof into your social media marketing. Why Include Social Proof in Your Social Media Marketing? The term social proof was coined by prominent psychologist and author Robert Cialdini. […] The post How to Use Social Proof in Your Marketing appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Get More Leads From a Live Event Using Social Media

Social Media Examiner -

Do you attend live events? Wondering how to maximize your prospecting efforts at events? In this article, you’ll find a strategic plan for identifying and connecting with prospects via social media before, during, and after an event. Why Social Media Matters for Live Event Prospecting Events, expos, and tradeshows were the pinnacle of prospect outreach […] The post How to Get More Leads From a Live Event Using Social Media appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Create Facebook Reach Ads

Social Media Examiner -

Want the right people to see your Facebook ads more often? Have you considered using the Reach objective? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Facebook’s Reach objective to target hyper-responsive custom audiences with your Facebook advertising. Why Use the Facebook Campaign Reach Objective? The first step in creating any Facebook ad campaign is […] The post How to Create Facebook Reach Ads appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Why These 3 Elements Are Critical for Content Marketing Success – Here’s Why #209

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What are the most essential elements necessary for a successful content marketing campaign? In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge reveals how to win at content marketing. 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 See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Mark: Eric, what are the key elements of successful content marketing?  Eric: That’s a big question and obviously it depends on the exact goals of the campaign and stuff like that, but all campaigns have some common elements to them.   Mark: What are those common elements?   Eric: Still a great question.   The first one is actually user value. You have to be adding value to the user. That can mean many different things, but in all cases you have to be adding value to the users and creating a sense of connection with your brand.   The second one is differentiation. What makes your content unique and is it something that many other people have written about already? You want to be doing something unique, and then figure out what you can do to bring a new angle.   Also, think about the depth and breadth of your content.  Mark: What do you mean by that term depth and breadth?   Eric: The basic idea is to provide unusually deep coverage of a topic area. For example, your competition might have five articles on a topic. What if you did the extra research and wrote 10? How about 20? That could be a great value to users. Would the result be the best resource on that topic in the entire market? That’s not necessarily a bad place to be.   Mark: Okay. Before we go, do you have anything else you want to add about making a campaign successful?   Eric: Sure.   First of all, don’t overlook the promotion side of things. Once you create the amazing content you do need to tell the world about it. You need to plan your promotional campaign even before you start creating content. One of the things that might happen is in looking at the places where you’re thinking about promoting, you might get more good ideas for what to write because now you kind of know what’s going on in their brains and you can design your content to fit something that’s eminently promotable.   Then figure out how to contact the people that have written about the related topics that you researched in putting together your content plan and figure out how to pitch them in a way that might cause them to reference your stuff.   Really incredibly important that your pitches be customized to every single individual. No mass mailings, please. And then follow-up with an effective outreach campaign to get the word out there.   Mark: Thanks, Eric.   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

Twitter Adds Subtitles to Native Video

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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 Twitter video subtitle updates and API changes with special guest Dan Knowlton. Watch the Social Media Marketing […] The post Twitter Adds Subtitles to Native Video appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Create Video Ad Funnels That Work

Social Media Examiner -

Thinking about creating more video ads? Wondering how to produce more effective social media video ads? To explore how to create video ad funnels that work, I interview video ads expert Travis Chambers. His company, Chamber Media, specializes in creating scalable social video ads for clients such as Turkish Airlines, NordicTrack, and Yahoo. Travis explains […] The post How to Create Video Ad Funnels That Work appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How Effective Are Mobile Push Notification Advertisements?

Grow Traffic Blog -

You’ve probably seen the statistic a few times over the last few years. An increasing number of people online are using mobile devices rather than desktop devices to access the web. That number surpassed 50% back in 2016 for the first time, and you can bet it’s going to keep rising. After all, there are a ton of conveniences inherent in a mobile platform, despite its limitations. This means reaching your mobile users in a way they understand, a method native to their platform, is more essential than ever. That’s why one of the newest ad formats, push notification advertising, is on the rise. The question is, are they worthwhile ads, or are they a waste of time? All About Push Notifications Push notifications are a style of notification for phones that started life on the Blackberry. Back then, they were primarily used to notify a user when an email was coming in, so they could respond in a timely fashion. This was unprecedented convenience for the business traveler on the go. These days, push notifications are inherent in pretty much every app on every mobile device. Blackberry may be more or less dead, but this part of their legacy lives on in both iOS and Android devices. A push notification is, simply put, a notification an app pushes to the front of the screen. If your phone is locked, push notifications often appear on the lock screen, though not always. Phone users can choose whether or not to display information like that on their lock screen, as a privacy feature. If you’re in an app, a push notification generally appears as a drop-down window from the top of the screen. You can interact with it there, which may allow you to take brief actions – such as answering or cancelling a call – or will take you into the relevant app. If you don’t interact with the push notification immediately, it typically turns into an icon related to the app that sent it and hovers in the top infobar on your phone until you swipe down to engage with it or clear it. Part of the power of push notifications is that the app that sends them does not have to be open, it just has to be installed on the device. It’s not like browser-based advertising, where the user is immune if they don’t have their browser opened. Push notifications only require the app to exist on the device to operate. Push notifications today are used for a wide variety of different purposes. For example: Email apps can send you a push notification when a new important email arrives. Games can send a push notification to let you know about a new update. Calendars can send push notifications to alert you to upcoming events or meetings. News apps can send you push notifications for breaking local news. Weather apps can send push notifications with weather advisories. Bank apps can send you alerts, such as when a deposit is made or when an overdraft occurs. Airline apps can show you a push notification for flight delays or cancellations. Pretty much any purpose an app can have, a push notification can be used to get your attention. That’s their primary power, after all; capturing a few seconds of attention, pretty much regardless of what you’re doing at the time. Very few apps will so totally control a phone that they prevent push notifications from appearing. Games may be interrupted, full screen videos will still show it, and other apps don’t take that level of control over the display. In fact, the only way to prevent push notifications is a system-wide or system-based setting. In Android, for example, you can control each app’s ability to send push notifications from the system settings, though many apps also have the option in their own settings menus as well. Why Push Notification Advertising is Great Push notification advertising has a few unique benefits over other forms of advertising, so I’d like to go over some of them in case you’re not convinced First up, push notifications are generally enabled by default. Any user who is using an app usually has to manually disable push notifications if they don’t want to see them. Very few people block all push notifications, simply because they are often so useful to have. Secondly and perhaps most importantly, push notifications are opt-in already. Your audience is pre-qualified, in that the only people who receive push notifications are people who already have an app installed willingly. You aren’t foisting some advertising on someone who doesn’t want to see it. It’s almost more like mailing list marketing with an opt-in pre-screening your audience. Not all push notifications come from apps. Or, well, that’s not technically accurate. Marketing push notifications come from an app, but the app is the browser used on the phone. Browser-based push notifications come from websites when a user opts into receiving them. Even then, it’s still an opt-in for marketing messages, not an unwanted advertisement in a platform they didn’t want to see it in. Push notifications can also work on desktop platforms, though they’re a bit different in that format. Web push notifications are limited to browser-based opt-ins, and don’t work if the user’s browser is closed. They’re also harder to get people to use than on mobile, simply because it’s an unfamiliar and explicitly marketing channel that many people don’t want to enable. I generally consider push notifications to be a solely mobile format, though many people use them to good effect with desktop users as well. I consider that additional audience a bonus. With mobile ads, you also don’t need to content with ad blockers quite so much. Blocking ads on a mobile device is a much larger hassle than it is on desktop platforms due to the sandboxed nature of apps in a mobile environment. This, coupled with the opt-in nature of push notifications, means audience sizes tend to be larger. There are also some unique features for push notifications hitting the market. Some businesses are using geofencing; essentially creating a zone surrounding one of their retail locations, and triggering push notification advertising only to people within that zone. Another one of the best features for push notification marketing is that they’re almost 100% bot-free. Bots aren’t using the kinds of apps or user behaviors that would even allow them to receive push notifications. Many bots that use mobile user agents are on desktops spoofing it anyway. It means a huge majority if not all of your traffic is real users. The Drawbacks of Push Notification Advertising There are, of course, several potential drawbacks to using push notifications for advertising. First of all, push notification ads do not work on iOS devices, at all. This is a policy from Apple. App notifications can be used for non-marketing purposes, but using them for marketing is verboten. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. Push notification advertising happens through apps on iOS, though Apple users often report those apps and/or leave negative feedback. Consequently, iOS is not generally an option for push ad targeting on reputable platforms. Secondly, if you send too many marketing messages or otherwise abuse push notification advertising, chances are very good that your users are going to mute notifications for whatever app is sending them. Push notifications are also very short. Longer notifications get cut off, and you can’t just open a notification the way you can a text message. If you don’t hook a user with your first 10 words or so, you don’t have much more space to do it. Push notification ads also typically lead to a landing page, so your landing page needs to be very well formatted for mobile and it needs to be a natural progression from notification to landing page. How Well Do Push Ads Work? Rumor throughout the marketing world right now is that push notification advertising is the Next Big Thing. It’s relatively new, it’s relatively untouched, and thus it has relatively high click rates. The precise performance of your push ads depends on a lot of factors. The mobile ad network you choose is a big part of it; you need your ads to be showing up through useful, high quality channels, otherwise user trust will be low. Your bid is also important, as it is with any kind of paid marketing. This is where you’re likely to see the biggest change over the next couple years. Right now, depending on other factors, you can get around 1,000 clicks for a mere $5. That is, however, just clicks. Push notification ads are almost always pay per click, so it’s up to you whether you can leverage those clicks into conversions. You need to be able to get at least enough conversions to make back the money you spent on the clicks, and that requires a high quality landing page and a compelling offer. Push notifications generally have a high open rate, though in part that’s due to their short and trivial-to-access nature. Many people are used to checking their notifications regularly, and when a few of those end up being ads, well, they still check them. Of course, the best kind of push notification marketing comes when you have your own app. Amazon can advertising sales all day long to people who have the Amazon app installed, and those users will thank them for it. Your business might not be able to develop your own app, though, so you will have to rely on notifications through other channels. Push notification ads are a very new frontier as far as advertising is concerned, so there will likely be a lot of developments in the space over the coming years. Expect the big names to get in on it, and expect a lot of innovations still to come. Likewise, expect a growing amount of competition, increasing bids, and decreasing click rates as people grow wise to the strategy. How to Succeed with Mobile Push Ads Mobile push notification advertising is, as I said, relatively new. The tips I give you are based on limited experience, and may change as the state of the industry changes. Still, many of them are just good tips for advertising in any channel. First, keep your messaging short. Push notifications don’t do well when they’re truncated unless you’re explicitly using the truncation as a form of clickbait, and that’s likely not going to work too well. Under 10 words is ideal for your notification in general. Next, make use of symbols. Emojis are part of the native language of the mobile web, so don’t be afraid to use a few of them, so long as they’re relevant and aren’t getting in the way of your message. Crucially, don’t send too many notifications. Sending more than about 3-5 notifications in a week is going to cause as much as 50% of your audience to mute notifications to avoid the advertising. It’s better to only send maybe 1-2 per week, if that. I prefer to limit them to special occasions; send a couple for a weekend sale, but don’t send a bunch leading up to the weekend. Don’t be afraid to experiment. At the end of the day, there are no hard and fast rules for push advertising yet, as it’s still a developing format. You can get in on it now and be one of the trend setters, and pave the way with your own experiments. The post How Effective Are Mobile Push Notification Advertisements? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Google at 20: A Shift from Text to Images

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When Google celebrated its 20th birthday in 2018, the tech giant took the opportunity to introduce several important updates and transitions to how it performs its most essential functions. The company announced that users could expect a fundamental shift “from text to a more visual way of finding information.” If you’ve been keeping tabs on Google’s updates and changes, this announcement didn’t come as a surprise. Google has been working to improve and expand its image search capabilities, adding new features like visual search engine results pages (SERPs) and Google products that focus on images. Here are a few ways Google is prioritizing images. Algorithm Updates. Some of Google’s newest algorithm updates emphasize images in search results. Google has also updated the Google Image algorithm recently– the new updated Google Images algorithm will prioritize pages that display searchable images more prominently and higher up on the page. Google will also prioritize images that come from authoritative websites. At a January 2019 Google NYC meetup, John Mueller also said that image search will be a “bigger topic” this year. Thumbnail images. Over the last year, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the number of thumbnail images featured on SERPs, especially on mobile devices. With more than 50 percent of Google searches now coming from mobile devices, the company is betting that adding a visual element will make it easier for users to find the information they need more quickly.   Image-based searches. Imagine seeing the perfect pair of shoes in a movie or magazine page but having no way to translate that into a fruitful Google search. Searching for “blue high heels” won’t help, but what if you could just snap a photo and use the image itself? With new developments in AI, products like Google Lens may be able to help you figure out exactly where to buy the shoes (or couch, or car) of your dreams. Google’s image-focused shift is aimed at increasing user accessibility and creating new ways to present content. Until now, search has been fundamentally text based; shifting to a more visual way of providing information opens the door to helping users who have language processing issues or other problems with reading text. The company is hoping to meet users where they are, inviting them to learn more about topics that are relevant to them. An image-focused way of finding information is one important component of forming that invitation. For their part, content creators who want to benefit from Google’s visual initiatives will need to anchor their pages with unique, highly-relevant images. Companies that want to achieve and maintain high visibility on Google will benefit by devoting more attention to the images they use in online content. The use (and usefulness) of images might change between businesses, so it can be useful to think about how to use images in your specific vertical. Some of those use cases might not be intuitive. Clear graphs and charts, product images, graphics, and more, can help illustrate concepts and values. One of the best ways to appreciate this visual shift is to see it in action. Sites like Waypoint, Slate, and Bon Appetit all have very different audiences, but they are all incorporating fresh new ways to use visual features. Waypoint, owned by VICE, is a site devoted to gaming culture. Waypoint has some really cool examples of beautiful, brand consistent imagery, that’s also unique to the site and eye-catching to human users. Slate uses interesting photo editing techniques to create eye catching and unique visual experiences. Bon Appetit has a very specific strong food photo aesthetic that reflects well in recipe mobile SERP results. This evolution from words to images offers exciting opportunities for businesses to create compelling web pages that utilize both images and text. Creative images that connect clearly with the text on a page will make that page more interesting, but they can also help boost search result rankings and visibility.

3 Analytics Tools That Help Measure Your Marketing Results

Social Media Examiner -

Need better ways to analyze your social activities? Looking for tools to prove your marketing efforts are working? In this article, you’ll find three tools to analyze and report on your social media marketing efforts. #1: Evaluate Keyword Mentions and Sentiment Awario is a social media monitoring and analytics tool that finds mentions of your […] The post 3 Analytics Tools That Help Measure Your Marketing Results appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Create Instagram Stories People Love to Watch

Social Media Examiner -

Want more views for your Instagram stories? Looking for tips to create stronger Instagram Stories content? In this article, you’ll find six ways to enhance your Instagram stories for better audience engagement. Why Instagram Stories Engagement Tactics Matter If you look through Instagram Stories content from brands, you’ll find that most story content just isn’t […] The post How to Create Instagram Stories People Love to Watch appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

FindMyHost Releases April 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards

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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Web Hosting Directory and Review site released the April Editor’s Choice Awards for 2019 today. Web Hosting companies strive to provide their customers with the very best service and support. We want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the hosts per category who have excelled in their field. The FindMyHost Editors’ Choice Awards are chosen based on Editor and Consumer Reviews. Customers who wish to submit positive reviews for the current or past Web Host are free to do so by visiting the customer review section of  By doing so, you nominate your web host for next months Editor’s Choice awards. We would like to congratulate all the web hosts who participated and in particular the following who received top honors in their field: Dedicated Servers   Visit  View Report Card Business Hosting   Visit HomepageUniverse  View Report Card European Hosting   Visit  View Report Card VPS   Visit  View Report Card Secure Hosting RivalHost   Visit  View Report Card Cloud Hosting   Visit  View Report Card Hybrid Servers   Visit  View Report Card Budget Hosting Innovative Hosting   Visit InnovativeHosting  View Report Card Enterprise Hosting ServerWala   Visit  View Report Card Shared Hosting QualityHostOnline   Visit QualityHostOnline  View Report Card Virtual Servers   Visit  View Report Card SSD Hosting   Visit  View Report Card Cloud Servers   Visit  View Report Card Managed Hosting   Visit  View Report Card cPanel Hosting   Visit  View Report Card Website Monitoring   Visit  View Report Card About FindMyHost FindMyHost, Inc. is an online magazine that provides editor reviews, consumer hosting news, interviews discussion forums and more. was established in January 2001 to protect web host consumers and web developers from making the wrong choice when choosing a web host. showcases a selection of web hosting companies who have undergone their approved host program testing and provides reviews from customers. FindMyHost’s extensive website can be found at

How to Lower Your Facebook Ad Costs: 4 Tips

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Worried you’re paying too much for Facebook ads? Wondering how to lower your Facebook advertising costs? In this article, you’ll discover four tips to help you spend less on Facebook ads. How Does Facebook Charge for Ads? When you set up a Facebook campaign, you have two choices of how you’re charged: impressions or link […] The post How to Lower Your Facebook Ad Costs: 4 Tips appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Why Your SEO Should Include a User Needs Analysis – Here’s Why #208

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

In 2018 Google seemed to be rewarding sites with depth and breadth of content more than ever. Does your site measure up? In this episode of the award-winning Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Eric Enge explains why a user needs analysis can reveal content gaps that are hurting your SEO and show you how to perform such an analysis for your 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 Resources Why the Chrome User Experience Report Can Help You Retain More Users Why Google Is Hungry for Comprehensive Content See all of our Here’s Why Videos | Subscribe to our YouTube Channel Transcript Mark: Eric, what is a user needs analysis? Eric: Great question, Mark. So, the basic idea when the user needs analysis is to try to assess in detail what users are looking for on a site like yours. So, what are their real needs.  This goes much deeper than researching the top keywords that people search on. The concept instead is to focus on developing a very broad and deep content experience on your site that meets a wide range of user needs. Mark: Eric, I’ve heard you say in the past that much of this has to do with the Google algorithm updates in 2018. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? Eric: Sure, happy to. First of all, Google did many very important updates in 2018, beginning all the way back in March and throughout the year. One of the big areas they focused on was better understanding user intent. So, I have a classic example where looking at a digital camera search result in February versus what it looks like in October, we had a shift that had two digital camera review sites versus two e-tail sites, and by the end of the year was just four e-tail sites, massive change in the overall intent. So, that’s one of the things that Google did. But they also changed a lot, in my opinion, on how they’re evaluating the breadth and depth of content. I saw many sites that saw huge upticks in traffic. And these were sites that were publishing a really significant volume of quality content. And then we saw some sites take a major beating. And these were sites that in our opinion lost because of the quality of their content. Mark: Can you expand on the rationale behind this analysis? Eric: Sure. Imagine that you have 100 users come to your site after entering a keyword at Google. Let’s for example say the keyword is “Digital Cameras.” If you asked them all to provide the top five to ten things they’re looking for, some might mention storage, others might discuss zoom capabilities, some might have a specific brand in mind. Yet others may be more concerned with reviews or learning about photography even. Chances are that no two people will provide the exact same list. And if you summed up all the different choices people make, I bet you’re going to get about 500 different choices. Mark: Probably. Eric: The right idea from a planning point of view is to produce content that addresses a large array of those needs. Mark: How do you perform the analysis that you’re talking about? Eric: There are many good data sources to tap into. First, model the personas of your target audience. Get a sense for who they are and how they think. So, a small business owner versus somebody in a large corporation in a marketing department versus consumer: they all have very different mindsets. Understand what your customer base is like. Then talk to your product designers; figure out what was in their brain when they were making their decisions. Next talk to your customer service people and find out what the most common user questions are. Also, just to get old fashioned about it from an SEO perspective, go to Google, type the phrase in, and look at Google Suggest and the People Also Ask results and see what you see there. Oh, and by the way, if you could do the survey I suggested at the beginning, do it. Mark: What do you do with this analysis once you have it? Eric: You’re going to use it to inform your content plan. You want to build out a map for your content, an editorial calendar that covers as large an array of all the identified needs as possible. Get related content created by true subject matter experts and make it really easy for people to find on your site. And of course, like in all good content marketing, make sure the world knows about it. 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

Checkout on Instagram and Sponsored Stories Polling Stickers

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’s new in-app checkout and polling in sponsored stories with our special guest, Rebekah Radice. Watch the […] The post Checkout on Instagram and Sponsored Stories Polling Stickers appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Is Facebook Organic Marketing Dead?

Social Media Examiner -

Have recent changes to Facebook impacted your marketing? Wondering what you should and shouldn’t be doing with your organic Facebook marketing? To explore Facebook organic marketing, I interview Mari Smith. Mari is a consultant for Facebook and the leading expert on Facebook marketing. She’s also author of The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a […] The post Is Facebook Organic Marketing Dead? appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

SimilarWeb vs Alexa: Which Traffic Estimator is More Precise?

Grow Traffic Blog -

Traffic Estimators are pretty useful sites for a certain demographic. Not everyone has need of one, but they come in handy when you’re a marketer looking to say, figure out how much traffic your competitors are getting. You can estimate their traffic and compare it to your own to get a decent idea of how well their marketing strategies are working. Of course, all of this relies on the traffic estimator working well enough to provide you accurate information. There are a lot of different estimators out there, but the two biggest options are Alexa and SimilarWeb. I’ll be comparing them both. Testing Traffic Estimates No traffic estimator will be perfect. The only way to see an accurate traffic number for any site is to have analytics code running on that site. You can see your own traffic within Google Analytics – kind of – but you can’t see the traffic on another website without having internal access to their data. So why do I say “kind of” when talking about Google Analytics? The fact is, Google often applies statistical sampling to their reports, in certain circumstances. If you’re just checking traffic numbers, it should be accurate, but be aware that there’s always that chance. If you want to check how accurate a traffic estimator is, you need to run it on your own site. Basically, here’s the process: Choose a time frame. Determine how much traffic your site received in that time frame, via an Analytics app like Google Analytics or Raven Tools. Check Alexa, SimilarWeb, or another traffic estimator to see what they estimate your site traffic to be. Compare the data several times over the course of several months as your traffic changes, particularly if a spike happens due to a viral post or marketing push, and check how the estimators account for it. This may or may not cost you money, depending on the traffic estimator you’re using. In fact, accounting for price is pretty important, so I’ll discuss that later. Data Sources Both Alexa and SimilarWeb are large, enterprise-grade companies offering a huge wealth of information. It stands to reason that they both have sizable indexes and data sources to use. But what are those data sources? SimilarWeb has an entire page dedicated to their data. They combine four groups of data for their analytics. They have panel data from partner apps that send them analytics information. They have ISP data with a similar story: ISPs send them anonymized user behavior data for analysis. They have public data sources they scrape on a monthly basis. And they have data they measure directly from sites that use their other services. Essentially, hundreds of millions of user devices globally are running at least one app or service that gives data to SimilarWeb, and they are able to analyze that data in broad terms to estimate how users behave. Alexa is, meanwhile, an Amazon company. They, too, have a page for their data sources, though it’s less of a landing page and more of a help center article. They maintain data from a huge number of apps and other data sources, and they apply statistical sampling to a lot of it. Alexa only considers domains, and don’t pay attention to subdomains or specific pages, so you’re only able to estimate traffic for domains as a whole. They also tend to focus on large sites, so smaller sites are more likely to be inaccurate. Alexa’s main claim to fame is their global web rankings, which again tend to apply more accurately to large scale websites and get fuzzy with smaller sites. As such, Alexa Rank isn’t really that important. If you’re big enough for ranking to be accurate, you’re too big for it to matter, if that makes any sense. Pricing Pricing is pretty important when you’re considering any sort of analysis or data suite, so it should come as no surprise that I’m going to look into it. On the other hand, basic traffic estimates aren’t usually anything more than the hook they used to get you to buy other features. Does this hold true of these two services? SimilarWeb has two plans: free and enterprise. The Free plan is very basic. It lets you get five results per metric you search, and it gives you one month of mobile app data and up to three months of web traffic data. For most sites, this is three months of data. Sites that have apps to access their content, like YouTube or Facebook, would give you inaccurate information after one month, but it’s also not that useful for most small-scale sites. Many sites don’t have app-related data sources anyway. The Enterprise plan has unlimited results, over two years of app data, three years of web traffic data, and a lot of deep segmentation for that data. Popular pages, keyword analysis, engagement, desktop and mobile splits, and so on are all available. As for the pricing, they don’t list it publicly anymore. I’ve seen quotes ranking from $200 per month to much, much higher. Alexa has a lot of services that aren’t relevant to our traffic estimation discussion. If all you want is traffic analysis tools, you need to get their website traffic analysis plan, which is a flat $80 per month with a one-week free trial.  It gives you monthly unique visitors, site overview metrics, site comparisons of up to ten sites at a time, historic trends for three years, and a bunch of other data. If you want additional tools, like site audits, keyword research, and other stuff on this list, you’ll need either the $150 per month plan or the $300 per month plan, depending on how many sites and users you want to access it. Note that you can get very, very basic metrics using the Alexa SiteInfo tool, but most of the data is hidden; it’s a teaser for the paid plans, not a real tool. They also estimate their data pretty heavily, so how accurate it is may vary. Be Aware! The Alexa graphs they show you are not traffic numbers. They look like they’re upside down, but they also show small sites starting at 1 million, which is very, very much not what you’re getting traffic-wise. The fact is, those are charts of the Alexa Ranking, not traffic. Traffic is only one part of the Alexa Rank, so don’t confuse the two. Data Accuracy This is where things get tricky. Every traffic estimator out there is going to be using some variety of data sources, and none of them are going to be completely accurate short of Google Analytics or similar on-site analysis code that can track individual viewers. Even then, you may get viewers that block scripts and thus aren’t recorded. SimilarWeb seems to be one of the most well-regarded traffic estimators on the market. Several tests I’ve seen – like this one and this one – indicate that SimilarWeb is fairly accurate, at least in terms of trends. Since they sample data from a variety of sources and apply assumptions to it, they have to consider biases and data sources. For example, most tools seem to underestimate sites that have a lot of traffic from narrow, long-tail sources. Given the modern trend of long-tail keyword targeting, this means tools need to broaden their informational base or they will be increasingly inaccurate. Among them, SimilarWeb seems to be the most accurate. SimilarWeb also tends to overestimate data. For most sites tested – and I’d guess for your site as well – they would give a number between 1 and 20 percent higher than the actual numbers you’ll see in Google analytics. That said, their estimations are consistent; if your site is trending upwards, so are their traffic estimates, at about the same rate. That said, when SimilarWeb gets something wrong, they get it very wrong. ScreamingFrog’s test had SimilarWeb overestimating one site by a whopping 128%, more than double the actual traffic the site got. Imagine running it on your competition and seeing that! As far as Alexa is concerned, well, they’re in the toilet. First of all, many tests don’t even cover them, because to get traffic numbers, you need to pay. Those that do tend to trash them. Rand Fishkin was complaining about the inaccuracies of Alexa all the way back in 2012, where not only are their numbers off, but sometimes their trends as well. Adjustments for overestimation lead to a site dropping when it’s not, and it just becomes a mess. Rand followed up on this in 2015, with similar issues. Neil Patel followed up on this with his own confirmation that Alexa, while potentially useful for showing some trends and other information, is not useful for traffic. Appropriate Comparisons Any time you’re using a tool for competitive intelligence, you need to understand that the tool is not working in objective reality. Any and all tools will be necessarily limited in the amount of data they can index and analyze. Much of this data is from data sources that are shared between different tools. This means a service either needs its own data sources or some other unique selling point to stand out from the competition. What this means is you need to compare apples to apples. If you’re looking at traffic numbers for a competitor on SimilarWeb, those numbers are almost guaranteed to be higher than what they actually are. If you compare a competitor’s SimilarWeb numbers to your own Google Analytics numbers, you’re going to feel like you’re being left behind, every time. Instead, what you need to do is run the same SimilarWeb check against your own site. Benchmark yourself before you start benchmarking others, right? My Choice So which of the two tools would I choose? Personally, I’m going to go with SimilarWeb. It has too many benefits to ignore. First of all, SimilarWeb is more accurate in every test I’ve seen that involves both of the tools, and is more accurate than most other tools I’ve seen it compared to. The fact that you can get some data for free just for signing up is a very potent sell, so I’m not going to complain. Alexa costing money to even see traffic numbers, especially when those traffic numbers are so often just so wrong, rubs me the wrong way. The fact that Alexa Rank has been misused for decades by people who have no idea what they’re talking about – and by many who should know better – just continues to rub it in. On top of that, it’s an Amazon company, and Amazon doesn’t need the financial help. They could provide basic analytics for free, but instead they charge for inaccurate data. Now, all of this only really matters once you’ve built your site up to a decent position in the first place. If you have fewer than several thousand monthly visitors, the data is going to be irrelevant no matter what site you’re using. Your competition is either going to have too little data to estimate properly or they’re going to be bigger than you such that you’re not really competition. Grow more first. Go with SimilarWeb. Use their free account to benchmark yourself, and then check a couple of your top competitors. If you feel like you want more data, more benchmarking, or better results, pay for an account, but it’s not really necessary. There are better ways to get competitive analysis anyway. The post SimilarWeb vs Alexa: Which Traffic Estimator is More Precise? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

SEO is Dead, Long Live SEO: Understanding the Hows and Whys of Google’s Visual Evolution

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

In its 20 years as a company, Google has revolutionized the way we find information. The search engine giant is in the midst of rolling out even more changes – it’s moving from answers to journeys, shifting away from queries, and, now, the shift to visual searching. Strings to Things to Concepts One easy way to understand Google’s search technology evolution is through three main ideas: strings, things, and concepts. As we move into the concepts phase of internet search, it’s helpful for us to review the steps that came first. 1. Strings When Google began, it was all about keywords. Those were the “strings”—the words (and sets of words) that helped Google provide users with the most relevant, high-quality information. We can’t overstate how revolutionary keyword technology was, but keyword-based search placed most of the responsibility on the user to find the right information. If you didn’t enter the right keywords, you wouldn’t see the search results you wanted to see. 2. Things After a while, Google’s algorithms got smarter. With the launch of the Knowledge Graph in 2012, Google began to understand what people meant when they used fuzzy search criteria, and began to steer them toward the stronger searchable terms and relevant information. Put simply, it was a progression from basic keywords to semantically related keywords and ideas. The Knowledge Graph enabled Google to aggregate millions of search queries to understand what users were actually interested in when they used certain search terms. This 2012 blog post laid out Google’s hopes for the future: “We’ve always believed that the perfect search engine should understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want. And we can now sometimes help answer your next question before you’ve asked it, because the facts we show are informed by what other people have searched for.” 3. Concepts In 2018, Google announced it would be focusing not just on words, but also on images and other visual content. With this shift, Google hopes to move from answering users’ questions to being their personal assistant. Instead of just responding to your searches, Google will pick up where you leave off, taking users on an information journey. One of the biggest changes since 2012 is that more than half of all Google searches are coming from mobile devices. The visual shift we’re seeing specifically targets those mobile users. In 2018 we also saw Google’s understanding of content and query intent reach a whole new level. Good Content vs. Great Content We know now that Google is moving in a more visual direction, focusing on the mobile experience and integrating images, videos, and other visual content. But what does this mean for SEO? The good news is that the fundamentals remain the same: High-quality content Relevancy Authoritative perspective Answering users’ questions useful Google’s algorithms will only continue to sharpen their accuracy in finding the best, most relevant visual content. This is still about finding content that addresses user needs the best. This visual shift means that SEO experts will need to help content creators create and maintain relevancy. It will also be critical that content creators put out fresh content on a regular basis, as the algorithms will prefer sites that are frequently updated with highly query relevant text and visual information. Google’s understanding of content appears to be exponential in nature, not linear. In other words, their algorithmic abilities tend to leap rather than crawl, and the next few years will see dramatic improvements in those abilities. This advanced understanding means good quality content won’t cut it anymore. Rather, sites that want to perform well in search rankings will need truly outstanding content written by experts. In some industries, this expert-level content is already necessary. Next Steps for SEO As Google paves the way for a drastically different search experience, here are a few concrete steps SEOs can take to stay relevant in search. 1. Understand the basics This means having a thorough understanding of how to create high quality and relevant titles, H1 tags, and body content. For visual content, context is key. Stock photos likely will not cut it anymore; you’ll need images that are highly related to your specific content and unique on the web. 2. Consider the user’s journey Create Content that includes visuals that are optimized for search. Include captions for your visual content that show how those images are a core component of your content. This will help your images/photos perform better in image searches and help users find the information they want quickly and easily. 3. Build visually For higher visibility and accessibility, optimize your product images for Google Lens. Don’t rely on a user’s ability to type in specific search terms to find your product online. Google Lens shows users relevant images automatically, especially ones with direct links back to product pages. Google is also building its own AMP stories—AI-constructed visual experiences that immerse the user in text, video, and photos. With highly optimized visuals and text, Google may pull your authoritative content into one of these stories. Differentiating between good and truly world class content used to be a person’s job. Now it’s the purview of intelligent and powerful algorithms. As we move into the future of search, SEO experts need to stay rooted in the basics of high-quality content, all while remembering that “content” is much more than just words on a page.

How to Use Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports: Standard vs. Enhanced

Social Media Examiner -

Do you sell products or services online? Wondering how Google Analytics can reveal useful details that impact your revenue? In this article, you’ll discover how to use Standard and Enhanced Ecommerce reports in Google Analytics. What Are Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports? In Google Analytics, Ecommerce reports help you learn more about the revenue displayed on […] The post How to Use Google Analytics Ecommerce Reports: Standard vs. Enhanced appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.


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