Industry Buzz

AWS Project Resilience – Up to $2K in AWS Credits to Support DR Preparation

Amazon Web Services Blog -

We want to help state and local governments, community organizations, and educational institutions to better prepare for natural and man-made disasters that could affect their ability to run their mission-critical IT systems. Today we are launching AWS Project Resilience. This new element of our existing Disaster Response program offers up to $2,000 in AWS credits to organizations of the types that I listed above. The program is open to new and existing customers, with distinct benefits for each: New Customers – Eligible new customers can submit a request for up to $2,000 in AWS Project Resilience credits that can be used to offset costs incurred by storing critical datasets in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Existing Customers – Eligible existing customers can submit a request for up to $2,000 in AWS Project Resilience credits to offset the costs incurred by engaging CloudEndure and AWS Disaster Response experts to do a deep dive on an existing business continuity architecture. Earlier this month I sat down with my colleague Ana Visneski to learn more about disaster preparedness, disaster recovery, and AWS Project Resilience. Here’s our video: To learn more and to apply to the program, visit the AWS Project Resilience page! — Jeff;  

OpsCenter – A New Feature to Streamline IT Operations

Amazon Web Services Blog -

The AWS teams are always listening to customers and trying to understand how they can improve services to make customers more productive. A new feature in AWS Systems Manager called OpsCenter exemplifies this approach by enabling customers to aggregate issues, events and alerts, across services. So customers can go to one place to view, investigate, and remediate issues reducing the need to navigate across multiple different AWS services. Issues, events and alerts appear as operations items (OpsItems) in this new console and provide contextual information, historical guidance, and quick solution steps. The feature aims to improve the mean time to resolution, making engineers more productive by ensuring key investigation data is available in one place. Engineers working on an OpsItem get access to information such as: Event, resource and account details Past OpsItems with similar characteristics Related AWS Config changes and relationships AWS CloudTrail logs Amazon CloudWatch alarms AWS CloudFormation Stack information Other quick-links to access logs and metrics List of runbooks and recommended runbooks Additional information passed to OpsCenter through AWS services This information helps engineers to investigate and remediate operational issues faster. Engineers can use OpsCenter to view and address problems using the Systems Manager console or via the Systems Manager OpsCenter APIs. I’ll spend the rest of this blog exploring the capabilities of this new feature. To get started, I open the Systems Manager Console, make sure that I am in the region of interest, and click OpsCenter inside the Operations Management menu which is on the far left of the screen. After arriving at the OpsCenter screen for the first time and clicking on “Getting Started” I am prompted with a configure sources screen. This screen sets up the systems with some example CloudWatch rules that will create OpsItems when specific rules trigger. For example, one of the CloudWatch rules will alert if an AutoScaling EC2 instance is stopped or terminated. On this screen, you need to configure and add the ARN of an IAM role that has permission to create OpsItems. This security role is used by the CloudWatch rules to create the OpsItems. You can, of course, create your OpsItems through the API or by creating custom CloudWatch rules. Now the system has set me up some CloudWatch rules I thought I would test it out by triggering an alert. In the EC2 console, I will intentionally deregister (delete) the Amazon Machine Image that is associated with my AutoScaling Group. I will then increase the Desired Capacity of my AutoScaling group from 2 to 4. The AutoScaling group will later try to create new instances; however, it will fail because I have deleted the AMI. As I expected this triggered the CloudWatch rule to create an OpsItem in OpsCenter console. There is now one item open in the OpsItem status summary dashboard. I click on this to get more detail on the open OpsItems. This gives me a list of all the open OpsItems, and I can see that I have one with the title “Auto Scaling EC2 instance launch failed” which has been created by CloudWatch rules because I deleted the AMI associated with the AutoScaling group. Clicking on that OpsItems takes me to more detail of the OpsItem. I can from this overview screen start to explore the item. Looking around this screen, I can find out more information about this OpsItem and see it is collecting data from numerous services and presenting it in one place. Further down the screen I can see other Similar OpsItems and can explore them. In a real situation, this might give me contextual information as to how similar problems were solved in the past, ensuring that operations teams learn from their previous collective experience. I can also manually add a relationship between OpsItems if they are connected. Importantly the Operational data section gives me information about the cause. The status message is particularly useful since it’s calling out the issue: that the AMI does not exist. On the related resources details screen, I can find out more information about this OpsItem. For example, I can see tag information about the resources alongside relevant CloudWatch alarms. I can explore details from AWS config as well as drill into CloudTrail logs. I can even see if the resources are associated with any CloudFormation stacks. Earlier on, I created a CloudWatch alarm that will alert when the number of instances on my AutoScaling group falls below the desired instance threshold (4 Instances). As you can see, I don’t need to go into the CloudWatch console to view this, I can see right from this screen that I have an Alarm State for Booking App Instance Count Low. The Runbooks section is fascinating; what it is offering me is automated ways in which I can resolve this issue. There are several built-in Runbooks; however, I have a custom one which, luckily enough, automates the fix for this exact problem. It will create a new AMI based upon one of the healthy instances in my AutoScaling Group and then update the config to use that new AMI when it creates instances. To run this automation, I select the runbook and press execute. It asks me to provide some parameters for the automation job. I paste the AutoScaling Group Name (BookingsAppASG) as the only required parameter and press Execute. After a minute or so a green success signifier appears in the Latest Status column of the runbook and I am now able to view the logs and even save the output to operation data on the OpsItem so that other engineers can clearly see what I have done.   Back in the OpsCenter OpsItem related resource details screen, I can now see that my CloudWatch alarm is green and in an OK state, signifying that my AutoScalling group currently has four instances running and I am safe to resolve the OpsItem. This service is available now, and you can start using it today in all public AWS regions so why not open up the console and start exploring all the ways that you can save you and your team valuable time.

The July 2019 code is sweet as can “bee”

Name.com Blog -

If you’ll excuse the terrible pun in the headline, we’ll get right to it: We’re back with another code for July that will help you save on any .com or .net renewals that are coming up this month. Use the code HONEY now through July 31, 2019 to renew your .com domains for $10.99 and […] The post The July 2019 code is sweet as can “bee” appeared first on Name.com Blog.

Rackspace Expands Application Modernization Expertise, India Footprint

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

The average organization manages more than 300 applications. According to Gartner, application management consumes more than a third of most organizations’ IT budget. Application modernization can serve as the backbone of companies’ digital transformation efforts, boosting efficiency, agility, scalability and interoperability. But most organizations simply don’t have the in-house resources to properly create and execute a […] The post Rackspace Expands Application Modernization Expertise, India Footprint appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

5 Questions for VP of Strategy and Operations, Americas Tracy-Ann Palmer

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

5 Questions for VP of Strategy and Operations, Americas Tracy-Ann Palmer Tracy-Ann Palmer is a connector and pioneer. Whether it’s people or ideas, if she sees connections and new paths that need to be ventured down, she says it’s in her DNA to make them happen. That’s how she ended up launching and leading both […] The post 5 Questions for VP of Strategy and Operations, Americas Tracy-Ann Palmer appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

Drupal vs. Joomla: Choosing a CMS for Your Site

Nexcess Blog -

Joomla and Drupal are two competing Content Management Systems (CMS) that help site owners to build and manage their content.  Both are well-established with large and committed communities, but the guiding philosophy of each is unique. For Joomla, ease of use combines with added functionality to create a platform for beginners and intermediates. For Drupal,… Continue reading →

Google's robots.txt parser is now open source

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

For 25 years, the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) was only a de-facto standard. This had frustrating implications sometimes. On one hand, for webmasters, it meant uncertainty in corner cases, like when their text editor included BOM characters in their robots.txt files. On the other hand, for crawler and tool developers, it also brought uncertainty; for example, how should they deal with robots.txt files that are hundreds of megabytes large?Today, we announced that we're spearheading the effort to make the REP an internet standard. While this is an important step, it means extra work for developers who parse robots.txt files.We're here to help: we open sourced the C++ library that our production systems use for parsing and matching rules in robots.txt files. This library has been around for 20 years and it contains pieces of code that were written in the 90's. Since then, the library evolved; we learned a lot about how webmasters write robots.txt files and corner cases that we had to cover for, and added what we learned over the years also to the internet draft when it made sense.We also included a testing tool in the open source package to help you test a few rules. Once built, the usage is very straightforward:robots_main <robots.txt content> <user_agent> <url>If you want to check out the library, head over to our GitHub repository for the robots.txt parser. We'd love to see what you can build using it! If you built something using the library, drop us a comment on Twitter, and if you have comments or questions about the library, find us on GitHub.Posted by Edu Pereda, Lode Vandevenne, and Gary, Search Open Sourcing team

Is Domain Hosting a Thing? How It Really Works

InMotion Hosting Blog -

If you want to build a website, you need domain hosting, right? Well, no. Not exactly. ‘Domain hosting’ isn’t actually a thing. What it is, however, is a combination of the two things you DO need to start a website: a domain name and web hosting. Before you move forward in the process, it’s important to understand what each one is and how they differ. In this quick guide, we’re going to go over web hosting, domain names, and why you need them both. Continue reading Is Domain Hosting a Thing? How It Really Works at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

The Month in WordPress: June 2019

WordPress.org News -

June has certainly been a busy month in the WordPress community — aside from holding the largest WordPress event ever, the project has hit a number of significant milestones and published some big announcements this past month. A Wrap for WordCamp Europe 2019 WordCamp Europe 2019 took place on June 20-22. It was the largest WordPress event ever, with 3,260 tickets sold and 2,734 attendees. The attendees came from 97 different countries and 1,722 of them had never attended WordCamp Europe before. The event featured 60 speakers who delivered talks and workshops on a variety of topics over two conference days, most notably Matt Mullenweg’s keynote that included an update on the current status of WordPress Core development, along with a lively Q&A session. The full session from the live stream is available to watch online. For its eighth year, WordCamp Europe will take place in Porto, Portugal. The 2020 edition of the event will be held on June 4-6. If you would like to get involved with WordCamp Europe next year, fill out the organizer application form.  Proposal for XML Sitemaps in WordPress Core A proposal this month suggested bringing XML sitemap generation into WordPress Core. This is a feature that has traditionally been handled by plugins, which has resulted in many different implementations across different sites. It also means that many sites do not have XML sitemaps, which can be a problem because they are hugely important to having your site correctly indexed by search engines. The proposal details how core sitemaps would be structured and how the team would build them, as well as what aspects of WordPress would not be considered appropriate information to be included. Want to get involved in building this feature? Comment on the proposal, follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Translation Milestone for the Spanish Community The WordPress community of Spain has worked hard to make the es_ES locale the first in the world to fully localize all of WordPress Core along with all Meta projects, apps, and the top 200 plugins. This is made possible by having the largest translation team out of any locale, consisting of 2,951 individual contributors. Want to get involved in translating WordPress into our locale? Find your locale on the translation platform, follow the Polyglots team blog, and join the #polyglots channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. WordPress 5.2.2 Maintenance Release On June 18, v5.2.2 of WordPress was released as a maintenance release, fixing 13 bugs and improving the Site Health feature that was first published in v5.2. If your site has not already been automatically updated to this version, you can download the update or manually check for updates in your WordPress dashboard. Thanks to JB Audras, Justin Ahinon, and Mary Baum for co-leading this release, as well as the 30 other individuals who contributed to it. Want to get involved in building WordPress Core? Follow the Core team blog, and join the #core channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Full End to End Tests for WordPress Core On June 27, e2e (end to end) testing was introduced to WordPress and included in the continuous integration pipeline. E2e testing, which has been successfully used by Gutenberg, is used to simulate real user scenarios and validate process flows. Currently, the setup requires Docker to run, and a number of e2e test utilities are already available in the  @wordpress/e2e-test-utils package, in the Gutenberg repository.  Want to use this feature? The more tests that are added, the more stable future releases will be! Follow the the Core team blog, and join the #core-js channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Feature Packages from the Theme Review Team Following a proposal for theme feature repositories, an update to the features package was announced. Two new packages have been created that require code review and testing. The first is an Autoload Package, a foundational package for theme developers who are not currently using Composer (although Composer is recommended instead of this package). The second is a Customizer Section Button Package that allows theme authors to create a link/button to any URL. There are other proposed ideas for packages that require feedback and additional discussion. Want to add your suggestions and thoughts? Join the conversation on the Theme Review team blog and join the #themereview channel in the Making WordPress Slack group. Further Reading: Development continues on the Gutenberg project, with the latest release including layouts for the Columns block, Snackbar notices, markup improvements, and accessibility upgrades.The Community team published the results of their work at the WordCamp Europe contributor day.The Polyglots team has put together a proposal for a new way to handle PTE requests.This year’s recipient of the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship for WordCamp US is Carol Gann.The Amurrio WordPress community hosted their first “mega meetup” – this is a great event format that bridges the gap between regular meetup event and WordCamp. Have a story that we should include in the next “Month in WordPress” post? Please submit it here.

Formalizing the Robots Exclusion Protocol Specification

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

For 25 years, the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP) has been one of the most basic and critical components of the web. It allows website owners to exclude automated clients, for example web crawlers, from accessing their sites - either partially or completely.In 1994, Martijn Koster (a webmaster himself) created the initial standard after crawlers were overwhelming his site. With more input from other webmasters, the REP was born, and it was adopted by search engines to help website owners manage their server resources easier.However, the REP was never turned into an official Internet standard, which means that developers have interpreted the protocol somewhat differently over the years. And since its inception, the REP hasn't been updated to cover today's corner cases. This is a challenging problem for website owners because the ambiguous de-facto standard made it difficult to write the rules correctly.We wanted to help website owners and developers create amazing experiences on the internet instead of worrying about how to control crawlers. Together with the original author of the protocol, webmasters, and other search engines, we've documented how the REP is used on the modern web, and submitted it to the IETF.The proposed REP draft reflects over 20 years of real world experience of relying on robots.txt rules, used both by Googlebot and other major crawlers, as well as about half a billion websites that rely on REP. These fine grained controls give the publisher the power to decide what they'd like to be crawled on their site and potentially shown to interested users. It doesn't change the rules created in 1994, but rather defines essentially all undefined scenarios for robots.txt parsing and matching, and extends it for the modern web. Notably:Any URI based transfer protocol can use robots.txt. For example, it's not limited to HTTP anymore and can be used for FTP or CoAP as well. Developers must parse at least the first 500 kibibytes of a robots.txt. Defining a maximum file size ensures that connections are not open for too long, alleviating unnecessary strain on servers. A new maximum caching time of 24 hours or cache directive value if available, gives website owners the flexibility to update their robots.txt whenever they want, and crawlers aren't overloading websites with robots.txt requests. For example, in the case of HTTP, Cache-Control headers could be used for determining caching time. The specification now provisions that when a previously accessible robots.txt file becomes inaccessible due to server failures, known disallowed pages are not crawled for a reasonably long period of time. Additionally, we've updated the augmented Backus–Naur form in the internet draft to better define the syntax of robots.txt, which is critical for developers to parse the lines.RFC stands for Request for Comments, and we mean it: we uploaded the draft to IETF to get feedback from developers who care about the basic building blocks of the internet. As we work to give web creators the controls they need to tell us how much information they want to make available to Googlebot, and by extension, eligible to appear in Search, we have to make sure we get this right.If you'd like to drop us a comment, ask us questions, or just say hi, you can find us on Twitter and in our Webmaster Community, both offline and online.Posted by Henner Zeller, Lizzi Harvey, and Gary

5 Overlooked Facebook Audiences to Improve Your Ad Results

Social Media Examiner -

Are you looking for new audiences to target with your Facebook ad campaigns? Wondering how to best reach new prospects with your ads? In this article, you’ll learn how to create five valuable Facebook audiences in Ads Manager. Why Target Multiple Facebook Audiences? The effectiveness your Facebook ad campaigns are depends on which audience you’re […] The post 5 Overlooked Facebook Audiences to Improve Your Ad Results appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

FindMyHost Releases July 2019 Editors’ Choice Awards

My Host News -

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Web Hosting Directory and Review site www.FindMyHost.com released the July 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 FindMyHost.com.  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 XLHost.com   Visit XLHost.com  View Report Card Business Hosting GlowHost.com   Visit GlowHost.com  View Report Card European Hosting KnownSRV.com   Visit KnownSRV.com  View Report Card VPS VPSFX.com   Visit VPSFX.com  View Report Card Secure Hosting RivalHost   Visit RivalHost.com  View Report Card Cloud Hosting ProVistaTech.com   Visit ProVistaTech.com  View Report Card Hybrid Servers KVCHosting.net   Visit KVCHosting.net  View Report Card Budget Hosting ServerGenie.com   Visit ServerGenie.com  View Report Card Enterprise Hosting ServerWala   Visit ServerWala.org  View Report Card Shared Hosting MightWeb.net   Visit MightWeb.net  View Report Card Virtual Servers ioZOOM.com   Visit ioZOOM.com  View Report Card SSD Hosting ToggleBox.com   Visit ToggleBox.com  View Report Card Cloud Servers BudgetVM.com   Visit BudgetVM.com  View Report Card Managed Hosting ZipServers.com   Visit ZipServers.com  View Report Card cPanel Hosting QualityHostOnline   Visit QualityHostOnline  View Report Card Website Monitoring UptimeSpy.com   Visit UptimeSpy.com  View Report Card Reseller Hosting HomepageUniverse.com   Visit HomepageUniverse  View Report Card Blog Hosting Innovative Hosting   Visit InnovativeHosting  View Report Card About FindMyHost FindMyHost, Inc. is an online magazine that provides editor reviews, consumer hosting news, interviews discussion forums and more. FindMyHost.com was established in January 2001 to protect web host consumers and web developers from making the wrong choice when choosing a web host. FindMyHost.com 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 www.FindMyHost.com.

How to Build Your Business With Open Source E-commerce

Pickaweb Blog -

We receive dozens of requests here at www.opsway.com from entrepreneurs all over the world every month. All of them want to found a new ecommerce business or to improve an existing one. We have probably seen hundreds of launches, failures and successes by now. The reasons for success are different – a fluke or combination The post How to Build Your Business With Open Source E-commerce appeared first on Pickaweb.

Here’s Why Content Is More King than Ever – Here’s Why #218

Stone Temple Consulting Blog -

You’ve heard that content is king, but today, content is more important than ever. Here’s why. Content is king. It’s still king and it hasn’t really changed. And today, I’m going to show you three case studies that will show you that content is more king than it’s ever been.  Note: Our future videos will start publishing on Perficient Digital channel, please subscribe to Perficient Digital channel Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why, 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 Content is king. It’s still king and it hasn’t really changed. And today, I’m going to show you three case studies that will show you that content is more king than it’s ever been. I’m going to start though by talking a little bit about Google’s algorithm updates over the past 14-16 months. I’m currently showing a chart for you that shows all the major updates that were called “core algorithm updates” by Google. It turns out that these updates all had a certain number of things in common. There seemed to be a pretty big focus on user intent and better understanding of user intent. They were looking to lower the rankings of poorer quality content and raise the rankings of higher quality content. But another element of it that I felt really emerged is a much bigger emphasis on the depth and breadth of your content. So, with that in mind, I want to jump into the case studies and show you some data. Here’s the first case study. This is in the addiction marketplace. The first chart shows the publishing volume of one particular vendor in that marketplace. You can see that there are wild fluctuations, but at times we’re talking about hundreds of actual new pieces of content being published every month, some months as high as 700. So, that’s the first data point. Second data point: Let’s look at the rate at which this site was adding links, that you see in this chart here.  The linked volume begins to grow rapidly around the same time as the content volume started growing. And now for our third chart. This is the SEO visibility from Searchmetrics. You see that that begins to accelerate rapidly in May of 2017. So, it’s very interesting to see the correlation between the rapid content growth, the rapid linked growth, and how it drove massive changes in traffic to this particular site. Now let’s look at case study two. This one’s in the career space. And again, I’m going start with a chart on the publishing volume for this particular company. The volume was actually moderately heavy in 2017, running about 45ish pieces of content a month. That’s pretty significant—one and a half pieces a day on average. But in January of 2018, this scaled into many hundreds of pieces of content per month. So, now let’s look at the “rate of links added” chart for this particular company. Here you see that the links did not really scale until you got into around March and April of 2018, when it has a really sharp spike. Now, what that sharp spike is actually showing us is: it turns out that that was due to a redirect of another domain to this particular domain, and so a lot of links transferred very instantaneously, if you will. Let’s look at the traffic chart for this particular company. The traffic actually scaled very rapidly after the links took off in May of 2018. What I like about this case study is that it shows us that the content publishing at a volume where the links aren’t really growing isn’t going to do much for you. You need to create lots of great content. It’s a key part of the picture, but if you don’t promote it effectively, you’re not going to get the right results. Let’s look at case study number three. This one is a consumer retail sales site. Let’s start with the publishing volume chart. This site has been adding content at a heavy volume for a very sustained period of time—it’s consistently in the thousands per month. Now let’s look at the rate of links added for this chart. This doesn’t have as sharp a spike as the second example I showed, or even as dramatic growth as the first example. Yet you do see that links are being added steadily over time built on top of a very strong base. Now let’s look at the traffic for this one. This is actually the SEO visibility chart again from Searchmetrics. In this particular case, the SEO visibility started at a very high level, but you get continuous steady growth over time, as supported by the strength of their publishing program and the rates at which they’re adding links. I have two more charts for you before we wrap up. This chart is data from a company called serpIQ that shows the correlation between ranking in Google and length of content. You’ll see from this chart there’s a clear bias for Google to rank longer form content. Now, before we go off and say that every page should have tons of content on it, it’s very dependent on the context. There are plenty of pages where you don’t need a long-form article. I’m not saying every piece of content or every page on your site needs to have a mass of text on it. That’s not the point. But from the point of view of informational content, it’s very clear that longer form is better And then another chart. This one’s from HubSpot. This data shows that longer form content actually earns more links. Now you can see how I’m making the connection here and drawing all the pieces together. One last chart. This one’s a bonus chart from a Perficient Digital study that we published on links as a ranking factor. In this chart, you can see that Google ranks content with more links higher based on a normalized link score that we created. Look at the three pieces: longer form content ranks higher, longer form content gets more links, site with more links rank higher. These three things are all tied very, very closely together. The reason why content is king is that you’re not going to get the links if you don’t have the right content to earn them. So, content is indeed more king than ever. Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. 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

How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps – No Steps Skipped!

InMotion Hosting Blog -

You know about them, you’ve read them, you want to do one – but you don’t know how to start a blog. Fear not! Follow our 5 quick and easy steps and you can get started today! Step 1: What do you want your blog to be called? Before you start getting creative on the keyboard, you need a name. You can go the simple route of using just your own name, or you can get a little more custom and use a unique name. Continue reading How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps – No Steps Skipped! at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

TikTok Self-Serve Ads Platform to Launch

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 TikTok’s upcoming ads platform with Rachel Pedersen. We also talk about Twitter’s new desktop redesign with Dan […] The post TikTok Self-Serve Ads Platform to Launch appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

5 Case Studies of Successful Retargeting Ad Campaigns

Grow Traffic Blog -

If you’ve looked into PPC advertising any time over the past few years, you’ve probably seen mention of retargeting or remarketing, especially with Facebook and Google ads. You’ll see fantastic headlines like “250% increase in ROI!” and “More than double your conversion rate!” and other pie-in-the-sky promises. But are those promises really just dreams, or is this kind of benefit achievable from retargeting? All About Retargeting and Remarketing Retargeting and remarketing are very similar terms, and I have to admit I’m guilty of using them basically interchangeably. I’m not alone, either; even Google uses them interchangeably in their discussions in their ads system. If you’re going to be a pedant or if you care about historic, specific definitions, there’s a difference between retargeting and remarketing. Retargeting is focused on display advertising; reaching people through PPC advertising when those people have already taken some form of engagement with your brand. Meanwhile, remarketing is focused on email; reaching people via email when those people have engaged with your brand in some way. Remarketing involves messages like Amazon constantly sending you emails about products you clicked on but didn’t buy, or any web store that sends you a message about “items are still in your cart.” Both types of “Re:”-ing operate in a similar way using similar concepts. The “Re”, after all, means to repeat something. You are building a list of people who have engaged with your brand in some way, typically by clicking existing broad-target advertising, visiting your website through social channels, or otherwise visiting one of your properties. You are then using that list to market directly to those users, a repetition of marketing. Since those users have already visited your site, they have expressed interest in your brand. They are, by definition, already a more engaged audience than people who ignore your ads and don’t visit your site. This makes them a better target for future advertising. Now, of course, some of those people saw your site and decided there’s some factor that prevents them from buying. Maybe they don’t like your brand, maybe the price is too high, maybe you don’t offer what they hoped you did. That’s why a retargeting audience will never have a 100% conversion rate. Some people – we marketers in particular – also tend to click ads just to study landing pages with no intention of ever making a purchase. Others, though, will be more than willing to make a purchase. Many people who click ads are doing so because they’re interested, but are not in a position to buy. Maybe they need approval from a manager to make a purchase. Maybe they need to talk with their family. Maybe they need to wait until the next payday, or just check their budget. Maybe they just don’t want to make a purchase via their mobile device and would rather wait until they’re on a home computer. You never know. Through retargeting, you can remind those people of the purchase they were planning to make, and can catch them at a time they’re more likely to buy. Retargeting is often thought of in the context of Facebook ads and Google ads, but I’ve included case studies that showcase retargeting in other contexts as well. Instead of just targeting people through Facebook and Google search results, some companies have found retargeting success with ads in apps and ads through other advertising networks. There are plenty of other case studies out there as well; I’ve tried to choose a diverse selection rather than a broadly representative selection. If you want to read a bunch more case studies beyond the ones I’ve highlighted below, you have a lot of options. Here are a few other directories you can read: ConversionXL’s List of 7 Retargeting Case Studies KlientBoost’s Guide to 35 Different Retargeting Strategies with Case Studies for Each Bannerflow’s List of 11 Retargeting Ideas Our List of 15 Examples of Effective Retargeting The concept is sound, the core idea is solid. The question is, does it really work in practice? Everyone who writes about marketing says it does, but of course most of us are selling something. So instead of just assuring you it works, I’ve compiled a handful of case studies you can use to judge for yourself. Case Study #1: Watchfinder This case study focuses on the brand Watchfinder, which sells luxury pre-owned watches. Given their narrow audience and specific situation for purchasing, they discovered that fewer than 1% of their visitors made a purchase on their first visit. This is a great situation for retargeting to reach and remind those customers to step in and make a purchase on that watch they’ve been eyeballing. This case study focuses on Google Ads, using Google Analytics to gather data about their visitors to produce retargeting lists. They used this data to create 20 distinct lists of customers, based on their location, language, depth in the sales funnel, ISP, and other factors. Each of these 20 lists made up a distinct group of users in a specific situation. Watchfinder (and their agency Periscopix) was able to create specific targeted ads focusing on these lists based on their context. In addition to driving return visits to their website, they emphasizes stopping into the company’s then-new boutique outlet in London, for those geographically local. So what were the results? After six months of running these remarketing campaigns, with optimizations along the way, Watchfinder calculated a few benefits. The average order size on the site was 13% higher. CPAs were 34% lower. Return on investment was 1,300%. This case study is from 2014, though, so you have to wonder; are these kinds of results still possible? Case Study #2: Myfix Cycles Myfix Cycles is a bicycle retailer located in Toronto. They had been using Google AdWords to little effect, barely breaking even with the ads they were running. Rather than focus on purely Google retargeting, they decided to combine their efforts – via their agency, Webrunner Media Group – with Facebook advertising. This case study is from 2017. Facebook allows any company to install a tracking code called the Facebook Pixel on their website. This tracks visits and user data about the people who visit, even if those people have never seen the Facebook account for the business. Google ads brought people to their website, where the Facebook Pixel would track them. They could then run Facebook ads targeting users with specific criteria. Myfix chose three groups of people to target with these retargeting advertisements. The first group was people who had recently visited the website at all, within the previous 14 days. The second group was a subset of that group, people who had added a product to their cart within the past 14 days. The third group was a slightly different audience, people who had made any purchase from Myfix within the previous 180 days. The results? Myfix earned somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 for every $1 spent on these ads. That’s one hell of an increase over barely breaking even with ad spend, eh? Of course, the numbers are relatively small; only $3,000 in revenue from a shop that sells products averaging $300 in price, so it’s a relatively small case study. Still, you can’t argue with those kinds of numbers even at a small budget level. Case Study #3: Jesus Film Project This is another 2017 case study, this one from the Overthink Group on behalf of the Jesus Film Project. JFP is a Christian discipleship group looking to expand their email mailing list. While the mention of email might make you think this is remarketing rather than retargeting, this is actually using Facebook Ads in order to perform the retargeting to grow email. This is a bit of an interesting case study, because it admits that while retargeting is a powerful strategy, it’s not guaranteed to be the best strategy among many. For these Facebook ads, Overthink created five different custom audiences on Facebook. Among these, only one was retargeted. They were: A lookalike audience based on the existing mailing list. An audience of people who engaged with the page. An interest-based audience. The audience of “people who already like the page.” A retargeting audience. Among these, all of them received leads, as these were lead generation ads rather than ads with a purchase as the goal. The interesting part is that, while the retargeting list did successfully pull in new leads, those were the most expensive leads from the five audiences. Six cents per lead more than the second most expensive, and 22 cents per lead more than the cheapest. Overall, they pulled in 12,000 more email subscribers as of the time of the case study, though their ads were still ongoing then. Case Study #4: Manscaped “Manscaping” is a term used to promote male grooming, and Manscaped is a company producing specially designed and gendered grooming products with a whole list of buzzwords to promote them, like Active pH control. I’m not here to judge the product, though, just the results. This case study was performed by the agency Perfect Audience in 2018. In this case, rather than experimenting with retargeting to see what happens, Manscaped was looking to maintain very specific Return on Ad Spend goals. Their retargeting focused on both website and mobile in-app advertising. In the past, they had troubles reaching their ROAS goals with mobile apps, so they turned to Perfect Audience. Perfect Audience employed a customized lookback window, specific targeting for different mobile operating systems, and negative factors for audience exclusions. Additionally, they used dayparting to focus on the most effective parts of the day. Overall, this allowed them to achieve their ROAS goal of 3.5x return on investment. As they succeeded, they were able to allocate more and more money to their ads budget and maintain their goals, achieving 137% growth month over month. Case Study #5: Ouibus This case study published on Medium by the agency Adikteev focuses on the company Ouibus. Ouibus is one of the largest bus service providers in Europe, with a large audience centering around France but covering all of Europe. They also maintain a travel app, which faces many challenges in the global travel industry as detailed in the article. In this case, the company started out with a variety of static ads with a range of different creatives, mostly showcasing deals and event targeting. They included other ads with videos and rich media to make them more robust and allow them to target specific segments of their audience. In a particularly interesting experiment, they played with scratch card advertising, which is inherently engaging to the people who are most interested in the service already. From there, they used retargeting audiences and flash sales to further maximize the engagement of the people they reached. The case study primarily covers the benefits of their ad campaign in general, but it does highlight the specific benefits of retargeting over their purchases as a whole. Retargeting added on average about 10% more purchases month to month. Your Experiences I’m not the only one that can find case studies online, but what I’d like to do is hear from you. Many of you have used retargeting in your ad campaigns, and I’m curious how it turned out for you. Leave me your data in the comments if you’re willing to share, and maybe showcase your retargeting successes with the rest of the readers. Maybe your data can help convince someone to take the plunge with retargeting! The post 5 Case Studies of Successful Retargeting Ad Campaigns appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Third Time’s a Charm (A brief history of a gay marriage)

CloudFlare Blog -

Happy Pride from Proudflare, Cloudflare’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group. We wanted to share some stories from our members this month which highlight both the struggles behind the LGBTQIA+ rights movement and its successes. This first story is from Lesley. The moment that crystalised the memory of that day…crystal blue afternoon, bright-coloured autumn leaves, borrowed tables, crockery and cutlery, flowers arranged by a cousin, cake baked by a neighbour, music mixed by a friend... our priest/rabbi a close gay friend with neither  yarmulke nor collar. The venue, a backyard kitty-corner at the home my wife grew up in. Love and good wishes in abundance from a community that supports us and our union. And in the middle of all that, my wife… turning to me and smiling, grass stains on the bottom of her long cream wedding dress after abandoning her heels and dancing barefoot in the grass. As usual, a microphone in hand, bringing life and laughter to all with her charismatic quips. Our first marriage was as legal as marrying two donkeys, with all the attached rightsThis was the fall of 2002 and same-sex marriage was legal in 0 of the 50 United States. Our first marriage in Oct 2002 in Walnut Creek, CAIt was a tough time economically. We had a front row seat to the historic internet boom and bust. My company filed chapter 11 bankruptcy and my customer’s customers were going out of business. I did not anticipate getting a job anytime soon. So after a lot of silver-tongued persuading, I convinced my wife to quit her job, rent out our home, buy a RV. We grabbed our two Australian shepherds and toured the US for a nine-month honeymoon. Forty-five states and 36,000 miles later, we still had some funds left over and I wanted to show Robin my other home, so we travelled to South Africa for 6 weeks. Just before we got on our flight back to the US, we heard news from our family that Gavin Newsom, the then mayor of San Francisco was going to declare same-sex marriage legal and begin issuing marriage licenses in San Francisco. The trip back to the Bay Area took 42 hours door-to-door and had a nine-hour time change. We got home, dropped off our bags and the very next morning, completely jet-lagged, went back into the city to stand in line to get our marriage license.Our second marriage was a much smaller and more intimate affairHeld in an alcove in the beautiful San Francisco City Hall rotunda with its exquisite architectural design and a view of the grand staircase. It was attended by Robin’s parents and a couple of our close friends that could take the time at such short notice. Knowing that the time window was closing, we grabbed the opportunity to have our marriage recognised legally along with dozens of other jubilant gay couples. Alas, a short time later, we received an annulment in the mail. We received that, along with an apology and a request that we donate the licensing fees to the city. We were disappointed, but felt our love was strong enough to carry us through and who needed a piece of paper anyway, right?!? Our attitude changed significantly when we had our son. We had been trying for a while and what finally worked for us was to take my egg along with a sperm bank donation, and impregnate Robin. To this day, my mom says I’m the best delegator she knows. I delegated childbirth. I also delegated all my rights as Joey’s mother. Absent a marriage, in California, the birth mother has all the rights and responsibilities. Robin had been in a relationship before me where she had planned and had a child with another woman. When they split up, Robin had no rights to see or have access to the child. She also had no obligation to support the child in any way, financial or other.We wanted to make sure Joey never faced that predicament and without the option for marriage, took the next available avenue. I adopted Joey. Even though he is genetically my child, we had to go through a lengthy and costly procedure to adopt him. We had child protective services inspect our home and come for numerous visits to ensure I would be a “suitable” parent for my child. Eventually, I was granted adoption approval and we went to family court in Martinez where I came before a judge and officially adopted Joey as my son. In the early summer of 2008, the California Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in California. We were the second state to make it legal after Massachusetts. The court found that barring same-sex couples from marriage violated California State’s Constitution.  Queue marriage number three… In the period between the declaration and Prop 8 passing, Robin and I joined 18,000 gay couples that tied the knot.At this point, we were pros at getting married and went with casual jeans and white cotton shirts, which was easier for everyone including our son who attended our wedding. This was the first marriage where our legal rights and responsibilities actually stuck. These rights were only valid in California however, so on any travel outside of our beautiful state our union would be considered illegitimate. From a tax perspective, it was a real adventure with every advisor having a different take on the way we should file our taxes. Federally our marriage was not recognized, but in California it was. This lead to a lot of confusion and added expenses every April.Little did we know the backlash that our happy/gay marriages would cause. The religious, conservative right came back at us with Prop 8 for daring to expect equality.From our perspective, there was no other way to view this than vengeful and born out of malice for gays. Why would these people care that we wanted to live together and have the protections of marriage? I saw this as a group of people wanting to impose their religion and view of what a marriage should be on us. We were on vacation in Hawaii when the election results were announced, sweet with Barack Obama being elected and so, so very bitter with Prop 8 passing. Prop 8 provoked a lot of soul-searching for me. I was very angry and had a general distrust of people that I had never felt before. I would be in the supermarket line and wonder who there may or may not have voted against my marriage. It was deeply personal and hurtful. We had Mormon friends, who are for the most part wonderful and whose company we enjoyed. Knowing the extreme measures their community went to to ensure Prop 8 passed, cut me deeply.  Catholics and conservatives who are both family and friends, went out of their way to harm me and my family and to make our lives more difficult because they believed we were sinners and not worthy of equality in the eyes of the law. Fortunately, our marriage was grandfathered in, so our rights in California were preserved. The one ray of light was watching our allies stand up and come to our defense. In my life, I’ve pretty much always been part of the privileged class. I’m a white woman with a degree who grew up in an affluent home. I had never personally experienced discrimination or felt part of a marginalized minority. To have allies that stepped up and argued on our behalf brought tears to my eyes. We would not have the rights we have today without those allies. This was a significant lesson for me to learn. I will always stand up for the disenfranchised and make my voice heard to defend those who cannot defend themselves as others have done for me and my family. I know how much it means.Life went on, and the fight went on, gathering momentum as more states legalized same sex marriage initially through court action and then through popular vote.June 26, 2015 was a triumphant dayWe celebrated a landmark victory for gay rights as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right and DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) was repealed. Finally, our marriage was recognised in every state in the Union. We still consider our first wedding as the day we got married. We wrote our own vows and they have traveled with us from home to home framed with pride on the wall in our bedroom.In October this year, Robin and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. We’ve been together 19 years in total and it’s been quite a ride. I promised Robin I’d marry her seven times, we still have a way to go!On vacation, May 2019 in Bora Bora

Third Time’s a Charm (A brief history of a gay marriage)

CloudFlare Blog -

Happy Pride from Proudflare, Cloudflare’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group. We wanted to share some stories from our members this month which highlight both the struggles behind the LGBTQIA+ rights movement and its successes. This first story is from Lesley. The moment that crystalised the memory of that day…crystal blue afternoon, bright-coloured autumn leaves, borrowed tables, crockery and cutlery, flowers arranged by a cousin, cake baked by a neighbour, music mixed by a friend... our priest/rabbi a close gay friend with neither  yarmulke nor collar. The venue, a backyard kitty-corner at the home my wife grew up in. Love and good wishes in abundance from a community that supports us and our union. And in the middle of all that, my wife… turning to me and smiling, grass stains on the bottom of her long cream wedding dress after abandoning her heels and dancing barefoot in the grass. As usual, a microphone in hand, bringing life and laughter to all with her charismatic quips. Our first marriage was as legal as marrying two donkeys, with all the attached rightsThis was the fall of 2002 and same-sex marriage was legal in 0 of the 50 United States. Our first marriage in Oct 2002 in Walnut Creek, CAIt was a tough time economically. We had a front row seat to the historic internet boom and bust. My company filed chapter 11 bankruptcy and my customer’s customers were going out of business. I did not anticipate getting a job anytime soon. So after a lot of silver-tongued persuading, I convinced my wife to quit her job, rent out our home, buy a RV. We grabbed our two Australian shepherds and toured the US for a nine-month honeymoon. Forty-five states and 36,000 miles later, we still had some funds left over and I wanted to show Robin my other home, so we travelled to South Africa for 6 weeks. Just before we got on our flight back to the US, we heard news from our family that Gavin Newsom, the then mayor of San Francisco was going to declare same-sex marriage legal and begin issuing marriage licenses in San Francisco. The trip back to the Bay Area took 42 hours door-to-door and had a nine-hour time change. We got home, dropped off our bags and the very next morning, completely jet-lagged, went back into the city to stand in line to get our marriage license.Our second marriage was a much smaller and more intimate affairHeld in an alcove in the beautiful San Francisco City Hall rotunda with its exquisite architectural design and a view of the grand staircase. It was attended by Robin’s parents and a couple of our close friends that could take the time at such short notice. Knowing that the time window was closing, we grabbed the opportunity to have our marriage recognised legally along with dozens of other jubilant gay couples. Alas, a short time later, we received an annulment in the mail. We received that, along with an apology and a request that we donate the licensing fees to the city. We were disappointed, but felt our love was strong enough to carry us through and who needed a piece of paper anyway, right?!? Our attitude changed significantly when we had our son. We had been trying for a while and what finally worked for us was to take my egg along with a sperm bank donation, and impregnate Robin. To this day, my mom says I’m the best delegator she knows. I delegated childbirth. I also delegated all my rights as Joey’s mother. Absent a marriage, in California, the birth mother has all the rights and responsibilities. Robin had been in a relationship before me where she had planned and had a child with another woman. When they split up, Robin had no rights to see or have access to the child. She also had no obligation to support the child in any way, financial or other.We wanted to make sure Joey never faced that predicament and without the option for marriage, took the next available avenue. I adopted Joey. Even though he is genetically my child, we had to go through a lengthy and costly procedure to adopt him. We had child protective services inspect our home and come for numerous visits to ensure I would be a “suitable” parent for my child. Eventually, I was granted adoption approval and we went to family court in Martinez where I came before a judge and officially adopted Joey as my son. In the early summer of 2008, the California Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in California. We were the second state to make it legal after Massachusetts. The court found that barring same-sex couples from marriage violated California State’s Constitution.  Queue marriage number three… In the period between the declaration and Prop 8 passing, Robin and I joined 18,000 gay couples that tied the knot.At this point, we were pros at getting married and went with casual jeans and white cotton shirts, which was easier for everyone including our son who attended our wedding. This was the first marriage where our legal rights and responsibilities actually stuck. These rights were only valid in California however, so on any travel outside of our beautiful state our union would be considered illegitimate. From a tax perspective, it was a real adventure with every advisor having a different take on the way we should file our taxes. Federally our marriage was not recognized, but in California it was. This lead to a lot of confusion and added expenses every April.Little did we know the backlash that our happy/gay marriages would cause. The religious, conservative right came back at us with Prop 8 for daring to expect equality.From our perspective, there was no other way to view this than vengeful and born out of malice for gays. Why would these people care that we wanted to live together and have the protections of marriage? I saw this as a group of people wanting to impose their religion and view of what a marriage should be on us. We were on vacation in Hawaii when the election results were announced, sweet with Barack Obama being elected and so, so very bitter with Prop 8 passing. Prop 8 provoked a lot of soul-searching for me. I was very angry and had a general distrust of people that I had never felt before. I would be in the supermarket line and wonder who there may or may not have voted against my marriage. It was deeply personal and hurtful. We had Mormon friends, who are for the most part wonderful and whose company we enjoyed. Knowing the extreme measures their community went to to ensure Prop 8 passed, cut me deeply.  Catholics and conservatives who are both family and friends, went out of their way to harm me and my family and to make our lives more difficult because they believed we were sinners and not worthy of equality in the eyes of the law. Fortunately, our marriage was grandfathered in, so our rights in California were preserved. The one ray of light was watching our allies stand up and come to our defense. In my life, I’ve pretty much always been part of the privileged class. I’m a white woman with a degree who grew up in an affluent home. I had never personally experienced discrimination or felt part of a marginalized minority. To have allies that stepped up and argued on our behalf brought tears to my eyes. We would not have the rights we have today without those allies. This was a significant lesson for me to learn. I will always stand up for the disenfranchised and make my voice heard to defend those who cannot defend themselves as others have done for me and my family. I know how much it means.Life went on, and the fight went on, gathering momentum as more states legalized same sex marriage initially through court action and then through popular vote.June 26, 2015 was a triumphant dayWe celebrated a landmark victory for gay rights as the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right and DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) was repealed. Finally, our marriage was recognised in every state in the Union. We still consider our first wedding as the day we got married. We wrote our own vows and they have traveled with us from home to home framed with pride on the wall in our bedroom.In October this year, Robin and I will celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. We’ve been together 19 years in total and it’s been quite a ride. I promised Robin I’d marry her seven times, we still have a way to go!On vacation, May 2019 in Bora Bora

The best domain tools in the industry? Yeah, we think so too.

Name.com Blog -

2013 was a good year.  Twitter held their IPO, Apple debuted the new iPhone 5S, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl (The Editor disagrees that this is a good thing), Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge was born, and Name.com launched the brand new Domain Management tools. Six years ago these domain tools […] The post The best domain tools in the industry? Yeah, we think so too. appeared first on Name.com Blog.

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