THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 19 DECEMBER 2016

It’s been a while, but we want to wish you a warm welcome back to our Monday Briefing! This week we are covering more Interesting Reads than News, but overall, we are here to start your week off fresh!

In the News section, we have the announcement by Facebook on updating its metrics on ad reach, streaming reactions and like-share counts.

In the Interesting reads section, we have: How you can improve the Checkout conversion rate, What can be learned about SEO in 2016, and an interesting debate on whether the AMP links are slowing down a website’s speed. 

Let’s dive right in!

News:

Facebook corrects more metrics affecting ad reach, streaming reactions, plus likes and share counts

Every company wants to make their platform more user-friendly and also help advertisers and publishers make the maximum use of their Facebook pages. Thus, last week Facebook launched three updates to its metrics which would help the enhancement of using the social media platform.

1. Ads Creation: Improvement to estimated reach methodology

To help advertisers reach their potential users better, Facebook has updated the ad creation with an estimated reach tool displaying overall potential reach and estimated daily reach for campaigns.

2. Live Video Metrics in Page Insights: Reallocating Streaming Reactions Counts on Posts

Live Video has been one of the major tools used by many users and publishers. Thus, Facebook wants it to be perfect. Facebook has updated the streaming reactions metric, which was misallocating previously. It used to register just one reaction per user, whereas now a user can register for more reactions. Thus, Facebook has fixed this issue, helping increase “reaction on post” metric by 500%.

3. Like, Share Buttons and Mobile Search Discrepancy

Facebook has observed that the likes and share counts in the Graph API appears differently from the counts when a URL is entered in the Facebook Search bar of the mobile app. Facebook is working on this and will be able to update this issue by end of the year to the publishers.

To read more about it, have a look here.

Interesting Reads:

Five Ways to Improve your Website’s Checkout Conversion Rate

If you have an e-commerce website, you know it’s important to keep track of pages where the customer visits or points where the customer leaves the website. Amongst the numerous metrics to be measured, one of the most important touch points is the ‘Checkout Conversion Rate’. The checkout page is where the website makes money, and the website is usually structured in a way that the checkout process of a particular product is made easy, where both the business and customer are benefitted. So, let’s look at five ways you can improve the website’s conversion rate:

  1. Experiment with free shipping– Free is a word which attracts any customer on earth, thus having free shipping makes it easier for the decision process. Also, according to a research, maximum dropouts have been due to the shipping and handling fees.
  2. Make the signup process less painful – The signup up process should be made for users, as they would want the process quick and easy. A guest checkout is recommended always.
  3. Clear calls to action – The call to action button must be simple, like proceed, go, back, and apply, for the user to understand the checkout process clearly.
  4. Remove all distractions at the checkout page – The checkout page must be made simple and the unnecessary aspects must be removed. These aspects will only confuse the user and not help the business make much money
  5. Ask for essential information only – When asking for the user to checkout or signup, only the essential information must be grabbed so that the user is confident they’re providing only the necessary details and their privacy isn’t compromised.

Would you like to know more on how to improve the checkout conversion rate metric? Have a read here.

What are some of the most learned components of SEO in 2016?

2016 is coming to an end, and the year has been pretty significant for the SEO experts. Search Engine Optimization being one of the important aspects in the online marketing world has been evolving over the years. 2016 was no different, as many changes and new aspects were introduced. Let us look what has been collectively learned about SEO this last year and the predictions for 2017, as from the experts at Search Engine Land. 

SEO has been a growing industry from year-to-year, despite many experts saying SEO is dead, but that is not completely true. SEO is difficult to achieve, and many of the agencies who know the real skills to make a website reach the top of search engines are taking advantage of it.

The changes in Google’s search algorithm have made great changes to results every time. Google usually makes 500 changes every year and this year there were four memorable updates which kept the search marketers busy. They were Penguin 4.0, Possum, Divided Index, and Mobile-friendly algorithm boost.

The rise of AI has also not gone unnoticed and though is not as prevalent at the moment, it is predicted to rise significantly in the coming year.

To know more about what happened in the SEO world, read here.

How Google many be slowing down AMP by not using direct links to publishers.

Ever since Google has launched AMP, the publishers have been taking undue advantage of it, to speed up the process of a user visiting their website. If you observe the AMP, the links do not appear on the Google Search Page. It just shows the navigation. When clicked on the page, and clicked on the URL, one will observed the URL to start with www.google.com/amp/(website url)/amp. So, you may wonder why the google.com in front?

Well, what Google does here is add the AMP pages to its cached server, and whenever a user searches for the term on the search console, Google shows pages from the cache server, because it claims that the pages would appear much faster than direct links. But is that really true? Find out here

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 28 NOVEMBER 2016

For everyone celebrating and partaking, we hope you had an excellent Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend! We have our SEOButler Cyber Monday sales, so make sure to capatilise on those before the day is out! 

Ole’ reliable, aka the Monday Briefing, is back to bring you some great news and interesting stories to ponder over throughout the week. In the news section, we have the new features rolled out by Google for omnichannel retailers, Facebook bringing in the real time ads for live videos, and Google updating Popular Times feature for real-time data.

In our interesting reads section, we have the Whiteboard Friday by Rand Fishkin concentrating on maximizing benefits and avoid problems from backlinks. Also, there is bonus article for local marketers focusing on the future of location search marketing.

News:

Google Rolls Out Two Omnichannel Metrics

Google has constantly been updating its tools to make it easier for the retailers and consumers. Last week, Google did the same with AdWords reporting tool. The company introduced two new metrics, distance and location reports, to help omnichannel vendors better understand their customers.

The distance metric shows the vendor how far away the customers are from the merchant’s shop. This metric will be very useful to the merchants for targeting ads in a particular area. This distance reporting metric is now available for search campaigns and Google is planning to launch it for vendor’s Google Shopping campaign soon.

Google also plans to add store visit performance metric to its location reports. This metric will help the retailers know from which area the ad clicks lead to a store visit. Want to know more about these metrics? Read here.

Facebook is Testing Real-time Ads for Live Videos

Video marketing is currently the hottest concept of marketing the companies are targeting. Facebook has been no different. Facebook had launched its Live Video feature for mobile devices last year and brought it to the desktop a couple of months ago. Now that the feature is being used by a lot of publishers and brands, Facebook is looking to constantly improve the customer experience and also help brands drive users to see when the video is going live.

Brands or publishers usually update their status to inform followers that there is going to be a live video at a particular time. For companies/brands who would like to draw attention from people all over the world, they often use sponsored advertisements. Facebook has allowed using sponsored ads either before the live video is going to broadcast or after the broadcast has ended.

So now, Facebook is looking to make things better for the publishers by testing real-time ads where the new ads will appear in the newsfeed while the video is being streamed live. Excited about this move by Facebook? Read more to know about it.

Google can Now Tell You How Busy a Place is Before You Arrive

Google had launched a small feature, called Popular Times a year back, showing the customers which is the best time to visit the nearby stores/restaurants at any given time of the week. While this feature can come handy in choosing the day when you want to go out, there is a flaw to it as well. It doesn’t show the data in real-time. The data is an average of the figures collected over a period of time.

Thus, last week, Google has made the important update to this feature – Real Time Statistics. This update is very useful for customers who would like to make reservations and hate to wait at a particular place before they arrive.

Apart from the real-time data, Google has also updated the department and service hours. At times, the departmental stores or restaurants have different working hours in the week. So, now you will come to know when exactly your favorite food joint going to open or when to hit the supermarket to buy your groceries. Know more about the update here.

Interesting Reads:

Backlinks from Client Sites, Sites You Own, Widgets, & Embedded Content: How to Maximise Benefits and Avoid Problems

Backlinking is something Google can penalise, if not done properly. Many of websites have been penalised before and the digital marketers who control the link infrastructure always have to be careful about not being under scrutiny by Google.

Last week on Whiteboard Friday, by Moz’s Rand Fishkin, he discussed how you can avoid penalties and maximise benefits from backlinks.

Let us consider a scenario, where you have wanted to link something from a client’s website, from a website you own, blog rolls, or embeds, what would you do to safely backlink to another website. There will be a series of questions you would ask yourself like: Should I add a link from every page to my homepage? Or should I link to a variety of my pages from various page on the other site? Rand Fishkin recommends certain solutions:

  • From a client’s website – You can create a page in your website mentioning a service used by the client’s website and backlink it.
  • From sites you own – You can provide links to other website by providing user value. Rand recommends not to have a particular strategy for this.

Interested to know more on how to optimise the backlinks for blog rolls and especially embeds (it can be dangerous)? Read here.

Location-Based marketing: Where is it today and where is headed?

Location based marketing has been a buzzword among digital marketers and app makers for the past few years. It is basically mobile based marketing alerting the device owner about an offer from a nearby business. This phenomenon has been on the rise and companies are actively looking to implement it, since almost 80% of the world is expected to use smartphones by 2017.

In this article, the author has discussed where the location-based marketing is at the moment and where is it headed to. Currently, there are many location based marketing technologies which the companies implement like WiFi, GPS, iBeacons and NFC.

According to the author, there are four areas which have progressed this year:

  • Sensors – Technologies, like beacons and NFC, have been adopted by the companies slowly and efforts continue to progress with them. Many smartphone companies have adapted to these technologies to push forward mobile payments and proximity communications.
  • Geo-fences – Technologies, like GPS and Wifi, have helped companies set triggers and collect data when customers enter them. These technologies have to pair with location services turned on or geo-tagged post on social media networks.
  • Context – Location based marketing works within the right context, which is basically to understand your customer behaviour, without which a product cannot be marketed.

Would you like to know the fourth area and also where the location-based marketing is heading to? Read more here.

 

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 21 NOVEMBER 2016

We are back this week with our favourite post of the week – THE MONDAY BRIEFING. In the news section, we are covering: Google coming out with a new look for AdWords Price Extensions, Facebook launching an analytical tool for Messenger bot makers, Google establishing a new policy for fake news websites, and Bing testing Dynamic Search Ads.

In the interesting reads section, we have articles based on customer reviews, traffic to websites, and outbound link penalty. Go on…get briefed!

News:

Google Unveils New Look for AdWords Price Extensions

Price Extension was a prominent feature rolled out by Google earlier this year for mobile text ads. This feature basically shows products and services underneath mobile text ads with corresponding prices for each.  Direct links are created for the products and services, so that the customer is redirected to the respective page after its being clicked.

When the feature was launched, the products and prices would be displayed as a list of rows. But last week, Google announced on Twitter that it is going to launch a new look for AdWords’ Price Extensions.

Before:

After:

In addition to this, Google also announced that the feature will support 10 additional languages – English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. To know more about the new look, read here. 

Facebook Has Created its Own Analytical Tool for Messenger Bots

Messenger bots were introduced by the social media giant earlier this year. Publishers and developers were able to build Messenger bots to reach out to people on mobile devices. These bots help connect with the customers and solve their problems.

Last week, Facebook announced that it has rolled out an analytics tool for bot makers, and this tool will help them understand how users interact while also improving the user experience.

The analytics tool is much needed, as the makers can come to know how many users do not want to receive a message from a bot. They can also break down that audience according to age, gender, job title, relationship status, household income, purchase behavior, etc. Facebook has also come up with an interesting metric that allows the makers to see the last message sent by the bot before the user opted out from receiving message from the same. This metric would help them improve the user experience with bot.

Interested to know more about the tool? Read it here.

Google Posts New Policy Against Fake News and ‘Misrepresentative’ Sites

Have you ever come across a news article which is very interesting to read only to later find out that the news was fake? Lately, Google has received backlash by users thanks to politically-charged, fake news that coerces users into believing it is fact. 

Thus, to solve this issue, Google has come up with a new policy for its AdSense publishers which states,

Users don’t want to be misled by the content they engage with online. For this reason, Google ads may not be placed on pages that misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about you, your content or the primary purpose of your web property.”

This move would curb money for fake news websites and will also stop misleading the public. Read more about it here.

Bing Ads Tests Dynamic Search Ads

Dynamic Search Ads is a concept PPC marketers would be aware of ever since Google introduced it in 2011. Whenever a user searches a keyword relevant to a product or service, an ad is dynamically generated which red-direct the user to the required landing page.

Bing, Google’s search competitor, is testing Dynamic Search Ads and is going to launch it soon. According to the company, it is ideal for two types of customers:

  • Those who have a lot of pages and are advertising a large number of products or services (and have a constantly changing inventory), which makes it difficult to manage search ads.
  • Those who aren’t familiar with search advertising but want to test it out.

Read more about it here.

Interesting Reads:

70% of Customers Will Leave a Review for a Business When Asked

Have you ever been asked to leave a review after purchasing a product? Or been redirected to the app store from your mobile app asking you to rate the app? We all have experienced these situations, ultimately an initiative that helps improve the reputation of a business.

 Just imagine, you have two similar functioning products (from different companies) and you don’t know which one to buy.  You usually look at the number of review stars and the kind of reviews the customers have left. It eases the process of purchasing a product. Online reviews are important because a positive review will have a great impact on the confidence of decision making of the buyer, among many other compelling points.

A survey was conducted by BrightLocal on how consumers search for local businesses, and the role that online reviews play in consumers’ research and decision-making process. There have been some interesting results which online marketers should make note of for their own campaigns. Learn more about this compelling study here.

The Battle for Traffic: Organic SEO Vs Social Media Marketing

SEO and SMM are two concepts which go hand-in-hand. Anyone in the digital marketing world would agree, SEO isn’t complete without SMM and vice versa.

In this article, the author is trying to understand how exactly SEO and SMM work together and if social signals affect website’s visibility on Google. From what the author has learnt for investigating a lot is:

  1. Social media signals don’t influence site rankings
  2. SEO isn’t effective without harnessing social media channels

The author has conducted a research on top 10 blogs from the digital marketing industry: 5 from SEO and 5 from SMM to highlight the idea, “When you share content on SMM channels, you’re not only getting engagement, but also bringing visitors to your site. “

Want to know what the author concluded from his research? Find out here.

How to Avoid an Outbound Link Penalty from Google

Search Engine Optimisation takes a long time for many businesses to achieve and is an ongoing process. While some businesses may rely on unconventional methodologies, others may use clearer and fundamental practices in their campaigns. Regardless, some businesses have high volumes of links and over-optimised anchor texts on their site, meaning it may be detected by Google. When Google finds this in a website, it sends a manual outbound link penalty, which looks something like this:

The author here recommends some ways to avoid this penalty:

  • The website should avoid linking to spam and low quality websites
  • Add ‘no-follow’ link to the user-generated content

Want to know more ways to avoid this penalty and also what to do if you are penalised? Read here to know about it.

 

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 14 NOVEMBER 2016

Welcome back to our weekly segment, ‘The Monday Briefing’. It’s been a busy week in the world of online marketing, so we’d better get to it!

Starting off with our customary News reporting, we will discuss the alluring business templates being tested by Facebook, a Snapchat look alike app launch called ‘Flash’ and amazing new tools by YouTube for the comments section.

And, in our Interesting Reads section, we have a telling story from Rand Fishkin where he discusses how startups can compete with the biggies, and another article that focuses on the voice-search product by Google, namely Google Home. Lastly, we have an interesting study by LSA on why the dollars used for local search marketing are being unused. Get reading!

News:

Facebook Testing Business Page Templates

Facebook Business Pages have been one of the major social media channels for businesses to keep the customers and potential leads engaged. As this is an important channel, Facebook is testing an interesting feature which will help businesses increase their engagement.

The social media network is planning to introduce Business Page Templates, which a business can customize according its domain. For now, the templates you can choose from are:
– Standard
– Professional Services
– Venues
– Gaming
– Politicians
– Restaurants and Cafes

To know how the Templates can be implemented to your business page, you can have a look here.

Facebook Launches ‘Flash’, a Snapchat Competitor for Emerging Markets

Ever since Snapchat rejected Facebook’s acquisition offer, the social network has been cloning Snapchat and its features to its various apps. Be it Instagram Stories, photo captures in WhatsApp, or introducing a standalone app Slingshot. While Slingshot was a failure and was shut down in 2015, Facebook is trying to re-introduce a Snapchat-clone app in the emerging markets.

The name of the app called ‘Flash’ which has photo and video sharing features like Snapchat. It has been developed specially for emerging markets with low data and poor Wifi connectivity. Brazil is the first country where the app is launched and will be launched in the other countries in coming weeks. The app is launched on Android OS with less than 25 MB in size.

Read more about the exciting app here.

New Tools to Shape Conversation in Your Comments Section

YouTube is one of the most used video social networks in the world and the team at Google is constantly making efforts to improve user experience. Last week, after some constant feedback from the users, YouTube released some comment features to make the conversations cleaner and better for the community.

The new features which have been rolled out are:

Pinned comments – Allows you to pin a particular comment on the top.

Creator hearts – You can love a comment by ‘heart’-ing it.

Creator usernames – The username will appear below the comment with a pop of color, along with verified symbol.

There is also an update to some of the existing tools which have been discussed in the article.

Interesting Reads:

How Can Small Players Compete with Big Players in SEO?

Most businesses are striving to be found on the first page of Google (at least they should be). But when you search for particular keywords, there are big websites which have been in the industry for quite some time and you start to wonder if you will ever be able to compete with them on SEO bases.

Rand Fishkin, in his Whiteboard Friday session, explains how small players can compete with the big ones in SEO. According to him the big players have advantages like:

  • Domain Authority
  • Quantity and diversity of the links that are coming to them
  • Trustworthiness
  • Financial resources that you may not have as a small website
  • Ability to invest, if and when something is a major priority

Now looking at these advantages, it’s not a panic alert for the small players. The newbies have advantages too. Let’s have a look at them:

  • Nimbleness
  • Creativity
  • Focus
  • Niche appeal
  • Authenticity

Knowing that the small businesses have their advantages as well, wouldn’t it be exciting to know how they can compete with the biggies? Learn more about it here.

How to Rank on Google Home

Google Home is a voice-assisted speaker, powered by Google Assistant. This hardware was launched by Google targeting the voice-only search market. When on a desktop, you search for a query and you get a lot of organic search results, plus the featured snippet.

Google Home is a single-result search device. Thus, it would make sense if Google Home picked up the featured snippet to answer the voice-related query.

The team at Moz tested this feature on their Google Home device and found varied results for different kinds of featured snippets, indicating how one can rank on Google Home. But many questions arise from this. What’s next? How useful is the voice search result? Find out more here.

Why is Free Money (That Can Be Used for Local Search Marketing) Being Left on the Table?

Local Search Association (LSA) recently released a white paper and according to the report, there has been a lot of unused “co-op” dollars ranging from $14 billion to $35 billion which is almost 39-50% of the total amount. As this is a huge amount, the industry is worried about the unclaimed co-op dollars.

So what is co-op? According to the paper, “Co-op advertising refers to an agreement between a manufacturer and a retailer to share advertising costs in order to create brand name awareness with local consumers”.         

So what this really means is, for example, a local tire dealer advertises a print ad highlighting Good Year tires, he will receive a credit from the brand on supply of tires from the manufacturer or direct/some reimbursement for the ad cost if the ad is approved. Thus, there is agreement between the retailer and manufacturer where the dollars would be beneficial to the local tire dealer but the value would be relevant for the agencies which support the brands.

Want to know more about co-op dollars and how the money is being unused? Read here.

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 31 OCTOBER 2016

Happy Halloween! We hope everyone had a fun weekend full of excellent candy, fun parties, and relaxation. We are back this week with some exciting news and articles in the Digital Marketing World. In the news section, we have covered the following: Facebook News Feed update, language introduction to WordPress Admin, and Google Tag Manager supporting AMP.

In the Interesting Reads section, we have covered an interesting study investigating how location data and other factors are important for a customers buying decision and how can you connect audience insights to your SEO strategy. Sounds interesting? Go ahead and have a look below.

News:

Facebook Now Re-ranks News Feed in Real Time on the Client Side

Facebook has been making endless changes to its News Feed algorithm for the past few years, and last week was no different. Facebook has announced another change to improve its News Feed for everyone, regardless of device or network connection. Thus, Facebook has updated the client architecture to efficiently show people stories in News Feed.

In the earlier versions, the News Feed occurred on the server side, but now keeping the goals in mind, Facebook has redesigned the whole architecture of News Feeds to let stories be re-ranked on the client side after being sent to the server. This architecture will show the stories which have been optimised for the connection at real time. So stories which are not able to load the media, like photos, videos, link previews, in accordance to the connection will be pushed down the News Feed. This is a much-needed update for emerging markets where they see incomplete stories and gray boxes.

To know more details about the new architecture, read here.

WordPress 4.7 to Introduce User-Specific Language Setting for the Admin

It’s a known fact that WordPress has been a favorite Content Management Platform for most people to create a website or blog.

Thus, when an important update is introduced, the users are happy to see it. In the latest update, WordPress would provide the users a privilege to choose a language of choice in the admin side. Earlier, when a user had to change a language in the admin, a plugin had to be installed. But now, it’s much easier.

One has to navigate to the Profile section and choose the language preferred. This setting will not change the language in the front end though. Thus, this feature will be the most useful when multiple users control one website and would want to have a language of preference while working on the admin. See the detailed usage of the feature here.

Google Tag Manager Now Supports AMP

AMP has been in the news for weeks now. Every week we get to hear that AMP supports one amongst the numerous Google Products. This week, Google announced the launch of support for Accelerated Mobile Pages in Google Tag Manager. Viewing the success and increasing loading rate of a website using AMP, users can now use Google Tag Manager to install the tags on AMP sites.

As a website owner, one would want to know as much information on their website and so Google has built-in tags which would help the user to collect additional values to improve the website. It’s easy to implement the tags on AMP. Want to know how to do it? Read it here.

Interesting Reads:

How Location Data Influences Customer Buying Decisions

The customer buying process is a very cumbersome one and it’s difficult to know what leads to a purchase decision. There can be a lot of factors which can affect the decision: price, location, reviews, reliability, etc. In this article, it is discussed how location data plays an important role in customer buying decision.

According to a report, one in three consumers considers location as an important factor to purchase a product. Thus, it is recommended to register at all business citations and make sure that the store shows up when search for nearby + business. It is also suggested to add click-to-call feature for easier transaction.

Looking deeper on the customer buying process, the report shows that the customers consider two types of information when they look for business online to purchase a product:

Basic price, location (these two factors play an important role in the customer purchase decision. Once the customers are satisfied, they look for secondary information)

Secondary ratings, reviews and special offers. (These factors help the businesses lure the customers purchase the products at better prices and also gain confidence on the value of it.)

Consumers looking for a particular industry will have a varied preference of information to look upon. Want to know more on how the consumer decides to buy a product based on the industry Read here.

Connect Audience Insights to your SEO Strategy

A business will want to know as much of their audience data to form different marketing strategies. Many businesses use data from their website, plus the data from third-party apps (Audience enrichment strategy, etc). But most of them fail to leverage that data to improve other digital marketing channels. In one of the channels, the author found that there is a gap in connecting search engine search intent to users identified employing an audience enrichment strategy.

Thus, how can the dots between SEO data and audience data be connected? The author has given some useful insights on the topic and you can have a look here.

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 17 OCTOBER 2016

Ready to start off your week with some sizzling news and controversies from the online marketing world? Want to know what changes has Google and Facebook have brought to their search engine & news feed? What are you waiting for then, grab a hot coffee, sit back, and enjoy last week’s round up:

News:

A Faster Mobile Web: WordPress.com Updates for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

AMP has been in the news for months now and most of the websites have been taking undue advantage of it. WordPress.com is no different. After announcing that WordPress.com user’s sites will automatically support AMP, to follow the announcement there was an update last week.

This update would provide better grip over the site’s look and feel on all AMP pages. One can turn the feature on/off by navigating to Settings in the My Sites section. You can know more about this and install the plugin here.

Facebook Tests Ads in Groups, Potentially Easing Ad Load Issue

As we all know, Facebook has been generating quite a lot of revenue by advertisements displayed by the publishers on the news feed. One of the places Facebook doesn’t display is in Facebook Groups. Thus, Facebook has recently been witnessed testing the display of ads on Groups in Australia, Canada, Ireland, and New Zealand.

The ads would be targeted to the group members based on the member’s interests and personal demographics, like age and place. But it seems that Facebook is likely to max out the ads to organic posts, as the advertisers are flooding the news feed with ads and the social network has to do something about it. Will the placement of ads in Facebook groups make a difference? Find out what the experts say here.

Google is Looking How to Measure Brand Awareness for Searches

Google is the king of the search world, and brands obviously love get to the top of the search result in order to be found easily. Once users find a brand ranking on top for a particular keyword, the said brand enjoys the incoming traffic to the website and is happy that people know about it; a formula we all know too well. Recognising this, brand awareness is easier once SEO and other techniques are implemented properly.

Unfortunately, Google has yet to provide a feature to measure brand awareness. But, according to an interview with a Google executive, there may be a possibility ahead for this tool. Don’t believe us? Read it yourself.

Interesting Reads:

Discovering micro-moments may feel like searching for needles in a haystack. Check out these 9 data points that will help you find them!

Getting the customer’s attention to products and services has become tougher than ever before. With such a vast range of platforms for products and services to be purchased, the toughest part is that each path to a purchase point is different compared to the other. So, it’s difficult for the marketers to identify how and what the customer thinks while purchasing.

This is where micro-moments come in.

According to Google, every marketer should know a certain four micro moments. In this particular article, they cover certain instances that will allow marketers to capitalise on suggestions that will assist them in their marketing strategies and increase their ROI. Giving a very detailed account, there are nine tips in this article, and we have provided the first five in a more condensed version:

  1. Provide useful information to help users make informed decision.
  2. Irrelevant content will make the customers leave the website immediately.
  3. The website page’s load time has to be minimum.
  4. The checkout and payment process has to be very quick.
  5. The product recommendations/reviews are vital.

Want to know the remaining 4 tips? Read the full article here.

As Facebook turns fickle, publishers focus again on search.

Publishers as always have been making every effort to drive traffic to their website. Be it through Google’s search engine, Facebook’s news feed or any other means, they are leaving no stone unturned.

But if they consider Facebook, they are very much aware of the history it has had to change its news feed algorithm quite frequently, and this is not something publishers are always a fan of. Thus, some of the publishers have diversified their traffic from numerous sources, because if Facebook makes changes to their algorithm, the publishers don’t have to suffer much.

While over the years publishers have been taking undue advantage of the traffic from Facebook, it’s been highly unreliable over the past year and the brands have witnessed significant shifts to their traffic. As we all know, Facebook had prioritized friend’s posts over the publisher’s post, and this has hurt them badly.

As publishers seen complaining about Facebook’s changes, Google launched AMP which helped to make the articles load faster. So, was it successful at winning over publisher’s interests’ Find out here.

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 10 OCTOBER 2016

Ready to get a head start on a productive week? Well, grab your coffee and start off your Monday right by catching up on everything noteworthy that happened last week in the world of online marketing. Here’s what we are paying attention to right now:

Top Story: Facebook On Verge of Launching New Custom Audience Feature

As if it weren’t already, it just became even more important to start producing high quality content to promote your brand. We all know what great lengths content creators go to trying to get valuable eyes on their creations, but it can be a real challenge to tap into your target audience. However, Facebook is on the verge of releasing what could be a revolutionary step to making it much easier for brands to reach their potential clients.

The feature targets an audience for as many as 30 days, allowing advertisers to create brand new audiences based on individuals who share a relevant URL or URL group really, anything from your website on Facebook. Because they have shared things on your website before, you now not only know that they are interested in what you have to offer, but that they are also willing to tell others about it. This makes them your most valuable audience, and they are exactly who Facebook is helping you target.

In order to take full advantage of what Facebook is about to unveil, then you should make sure you have plenty of content and engagement for your company, even if you are a small business. If your audience doesn’t have anything engaging or valuable to share, then you won’t benefit much.

However, if your content plan involves frequently creating amazing content that your audience can share, then your business has a nice pick-me-up in store, compliments of Facebook.

The feature isn’t yet available for use, but make sure to get prepared for when it is.

The Rise of AMP Content

Google has recently been expanding the reach of AMPs, or Accelerated Mobile pages, across their mobile search results. As a result, AMP traffic is steadily increasing and expected to continue to do so as developments go forward.

AMPs first began showing up in search results back in February 2016, but mostly have been found in the results “Top Stories” category. However, these links are not expanding throughout the standard results. Soon enough, Google will always be prioritizing a web link’s AMP version over the standard one.

Google has reiterated several times that AMP is not yet a ranking factor, but there’s no reason to think AMP content isn’t getting special treatment. It has been noted that Google is building up the user experience to showcase AMPs in search results before standard links. Not only that, but Google has also dropped hints that general load time will become a ranking factor, which of course gives AMPs a significant advantage. Because of the faster loading time, users themselves may begin to favor AMP pages if they recognize the AMP icon. This, over time, would have major impacts on search performance.

What does this mean for your business? Well, it means that AMP-enabled publishers are soon likely going to have a substantial advantage over their non-AMP counterparts. Whether this is a result of Google’s algorithm, user preference, or some combination of the two, it seems important to note that AMP links are expected to soon be the preferred option.

Want to know more about the future of AMP links? Get informed.

Advanced Verification Process Arriving for Google My Business

Google is working to prevent spam for local results by testing a new process called advanced verification. It involves the use of third-party companies to verify the business.

The process is in its initial testing phase in San Diego for plumbers and locksmiths. These two niches tend to see more spam than others in local results and Google Maps.

The third-party company conducting the advanced verification is called Pinkerton, a security risk management company skilled in verifying companies and their employees. The plumbers and locksmiths subject to the process will have until November 10 to provide a response to Google and will find out whether or not they passed the verification within two weeks. Any company that does not respond, or fails to pass the verification, will have their listing removed from Google.

The purpose of this verification is simply to verify that these businesses actually exist. If this first step is successful, we can expect Google to expand it to other niches and locations other than San Diego plumbers and locksmiths. In time, many businesses might expect to be impacted by this process.

Read up on what this might mean for your business!

Interesting Reads

Where are your best users hiding?

Anyone familiar with online marketing should understand how important it is to know your target audience, but this, of course, can be quite challenging. You might think that you know plenty about their buying habits and what appeals to them and what doesn’t, but upon closer inspection, you might be surprised at the questions you can’t answer.

You should be well familiar with the audience visiting your website from the research and data mining you do to keep up to date with their interests and patterns. Fortunately, there are a lot of tactics out there making it easy to quantitatively know your best customers buying habits.

You can find out the gender, age, device, location and more of each of your website’s visitors with Google Analytics. By looking at the demographics of your best customers, the ones who buy your product, possibly even a lot of it and often, and uncover what is driving your users to buy from your company. With the use of Google Analytics, filters to ensure the data is accurate, and by setting up goals in Google Analytics, you will be amazed at how much you can pinpoint your most valued audience. Doing this will make sure you are working with the right sets of data.

Did we get your attention? Learn more about putting this strategy into practice.

Use Facebook Live to Increase Your Email List

Your email list is an essential and valuable medium through which marketers can reach their audience. Having a large email list that is filled with members of the target audience and valuable potential customers can lead to big returns for a company. The hard part, however, is growing that list in the first place. Fortunately, you can use Facebook Live to help you do that.

The first step, of course, is creating valuable, insightful content that your readers would want to share with their like minded friends. Then you want to bring traffic to that content which you can do by sharing the link during a Facebook Live video.

Start off your Facebook Live by talking about something useful to your audience such as answering questions live, addressing a topic, or teaching your viewers something they will find useful. Afterwards, you can share the URL to your content, which is especially useful if the URL leads to a freebie for your viewers (always a good way to bring in traffic).

Like this idea? Learn more about the strategy and how it has worked for the pros.

How to Make Your Domain Structure Strategic

Businesses looking to attract online attention and lure them into a brick-and-mortar location are presented with a unique challenge. When users look for an online company, they typically are not looking to do their shopping in a physical location. However, evidence supports that the best way to get business visits is by creating a user-focused experience online featuring location landing pages for each location.

Not only does this improve the user experience, but it also allows brands to tap into valuable resources for real estate on results pages. This results in better rankings for online directories that focus heavily on location, such as Insider Pages and Yelp.

What many brands do is allow location owners to create a unique website domain rather than a subpage under the brand’s primary domain. This is a decentralized strategy and presents the challenge of having to manage each domain separately. On the other hand, having sub directories of local landing pages can make it much easier to rank for popular SEO terms, particularly if you have multiple physical locations.

To learn more about using your domain structure to benefit your business, click here.

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 03 OCTOBER 2016

It’s time to begin a new work week, and as usual, PBNButler is ready to start your Monday off right! Allow us to catch you up on anything you might have missed last week, and keep you in the know about what’s interesting in the world of online marketing today. To begin, here’s what we found newsworthy last week:

Top Story:The Long-Awaited Penguin 4.0 Has Arrived

For those who don’t know or who are in need of a quick refresher, Penguin 3.0 was released in 2014 and its purpose is to scour the web for inorganic links that exist for the sole purpose of improving search rankings. Prior to Penguin, these links would have been devalued, and search rankings could not improve until they were replaced. Post-Penguin, however, these links had a toxic effect, requiring a link audit and the removal of spammy links. Typically, there was little hope for recovery without a Penguin refresh, which often meant a long wait.

Fortunately, this was an issue that should improve with the upcoming release of Penguin 4.0. The program will now update in real-time without the need to be refreshed, making it much easier for affected pages to see improvement after being given the necessary attention. That’s not the only way that Penguin 4.0 is being fairer to websites; it is also now only penalizing specific pages for spam, rather than the entire domain.

Fascinated? You should be. Read the full story to learn more.

Facebook at Work to Launch Soon

The time might be coming where it’s not only acceptable, but actually encouraged to spend time on Facebook while at work. With Facebook at Work scheduled to launch next month and over 400 beta testers having already experienced the system, other popular collaboration networks (like Skype and Slack) are going to have their work cut out for them when it comes to competing with Facebook’s latest revelation.

Facebook at Work has not announced what its price tag will be, but it is clear that the service will be priced on a per-user basis. As many users will already have a login to the website and be familiar with its interface, this makes it a very attractive option to employers. In just a few short months, the beginning of the average work day might mean logging onto Facebook to see what you’ve missed since you last left the office.

Of course, logging onto Facebook at the start of the work day might not feel all that out of the ordinary for some employees, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on this development to see what it does for business productivity. 

Want to know more? Check it out here.

Google’s Announces New Innovations in Analytics Solutions

On Wednesday, Google had a lot of news to share regarding analytics solutions. Babak Pahlavan, Google’s senior director of product management for analytics solutions and measurement, announced a number of new things in store, available for both the paid and free versions of Google’s analytics suite.

The highlights:

  • Back in March, Google introduced the Analytics 360 Suite, followed by Data Studio, a beta version of its new reporting solution. Now, say hello to Optimize 360, the free version. Still in its beta stage, this tool directly integrates with Google Analytics, and users can request an invitation to beta test right away.
  • As mentioned, Data Studio 360 was released several months ago. Previously only available to the US, the tool is now available worldwide.
  • That’s not all that’s changing in Data Studio, either beginning next month, it will also feature new report templates. These will make it simple to build and share reports, featuring sources from a variety of places such as Google Sheets, AdWords, Google Analytics, and more.
  • Soon, both the free and paid Google Analytics users will have access to the new metric, session quality score. This feature is programmed to foresee the likelihood that a visitor will purchase something from your app or website, making it possible for marketers to identify high-value visitors and target them specifically.
  • An additional 20 integrations with data sources have been brought to tag manager, allowing marketers to choose their tag template from the ever-increasing integrations. These will start to become available to users over the next few weeks.

Like what you’re reading? Learn more.

Interesting Reads

Interest Targeting: Focus on Key Audience Members

Today, there are several helpful tools and platforms to help marketers tap into their target audience and communicate with them directly. However, what if you could narrow that focus even further, based on your target audience’s specific interests.

Steve Olenski writes about the benefits of focusing on audience members with specific interests. These interests can be based on, for example, their Facebook or Pinterest activity. Using this interest targeting results in more traffic overall, and especially better engagement with posts. Used properly, this technique can improve brand awareness and help businesses to generate content that is more likely to be shared.

Interest piqued? Find out more.

Linkable Content: How its Built

We all know how important content and links are. However, in order to get those precious links, you need to first have linkable content. But what makes content linkable?

If you want people to link to your content, you need to give them a reason to. This requires a thorough understanding of why people link on the internet in the first place. Content gets linked to and shared if it is unique, compelling, helpful, or insightful it also doesn’t hurt if the publisher, website, or brand has a good reputation.

When it comes down to it, the success of content has a lot to do with the following:

  • Original research and data
  • Expert quotes and opinions
  • Collaboration
  • Unique videos and imagery

There’s so much more to learn on this subject as well, so make sure to keep it in mind next time you’re planning your content strategy!

Make Your Competitor’s Broken Pages Work for You

You probably know how important backlinks are to the success of any digital marketing strategy, and if you’ve ever spent time searching for the ideal backlink, then you probably know that it often takes ages. However, this strategy just might make your life a whole lot easier using your competitors’ 404 pages to your advantage.

The first step is to create a spreadsheet with your competitors names, their rankings, and the date you searched them. Then, using Screaming Frog SEO Spider, a free tool, you can find all of your competitors’ 404 pages.

From this, you can select the pages you believe you are capable of rewriting and run them through another free tool, Moz’s Open Site Explorer, to find if the page has any relevant backlinks.

Once you have tracked down the 404 pages and their backlinks, you can take this opportunity to create quality content that is relevant to the brand you are looking to earn your link from. Once you have done so, it’s time to reach out to the company.

Let them know you’ve recently posted content regarding the same subject as their broken link, remind that linking to your article would provide their users with a better experience, and watch the magic happen! The most important step here is to ensure you have created high quality, relevant content that your competition would feel compelled to link to.

Sound useful? Check out the full step-by-step guide on this technique.

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 26 SEPTEMBER 2016

It’s Monday! We hope you’ve woken up as excited as we always are for the first day of the work week. We’ve got a lot to cover from the previous weeks’ news along with loads of informative material we think you’ll benefit from knowing. Let’s dive right into the news!

Top Story – Possum Update

On the 1st of September we saw the launch of Google’s local algorithm update, Possum (not to be confused with the Penguin update that we will address in a separate post later this week).It was massive to say the least. According to evidence, the update has influenced rankings in the 3-pack and Local Finder (Google Maps/local results) with the main objective being to differentiate local search results and stop spam from ranking. Experts are claiming that this is the most significant local update since Pigeon in 2014.

The Nitty Gritty:

  • Local businesses outside of the realm of the limits of a city are witnessing a large spike in their ranking. An issue that marketers have been agitated about for a while, this update seems to have adjusted this for many businesses that were suffering from the pitfalls of being just outside the perimeter of the city.
  • Google is filtering businesses when the address matches another listing in the same category (ie same kind of business). This is not a penalty, but works more like an organic filter, selecting the best and most applicable listing while filtering other ones that are too alike.
  • It is essential that the searcher location settings are set to the correct city when you are tracking ranking. Otherwise, you may not be seeing accurate results.
  • Search results are going to vary much more for small fluctuations for the keywords that are searched.
  • Before the update, if a website was filtered out organically by Google, it usually translated to a negative. Now, businesses are seeing higher rankings for competitive terms which link to pages that are organically filtered. This means that the local and organic filter are operating much more freely than previously.

Want more? Read here.

Google: Non-News AMP Links Brought to Mobile Search Results

Last week, Google has shifted support for non-news AMP sites from the preview site to the normal search results page. When they originally launched the AMP project, it was to make mobile websites load more quickly, but two months ago they began toying with branching this out for sites that weren’t catered to news.

Rudy Galfi, Google’s head product manager for AMP projects claims that users that have experienced the quick load time of AMP pages are more likely to click on them again. Further, he emphasised that Google isn’t utilising AMP support as a criterion for mobile ranking, but with the trend of users clicking AMP links compared to alternatives, it gives publishers an incentive to use the new format.

Look for labels from Google on sites with AMP versions, with sites like Flip Kart, 1-800-Flowers, and the Food Network using the new format (yes, before Google even began using non-news AMP in search results). While this was a surprise for some, Google’s index has AMP results from over 700,000 domains. Oh, and Microsoft’s Bing is also including AMP results in its mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Still craving more? You know what to do.

Interesting Reads

Learn SEO for AMP Pages

With the recent buzz about AMP pages (just read the entry above) many are interested in learning more about implementing AMP on their own sites. Richard Baxter educates users about some basics when it comes to using AMP pages. Using eBay’s implementation of AMP landing pages, he claims that there’s is an ideal scenario because it allows you to configure on the surface of the infrastructure, getting away with the smallest amount of implementation needed while avoiding a ton of development. Of course, he claims that this may not be ideal for all large companies, but it does take away the need to create an ‘add to basket’ function, along with many features that would be found in a travel or retail site.

He goes on to demonstrate a basic level AMP implementation, with the minimum required implementation that will make a basic HTML page AMP valid while not having to include AMP JS features. According to him, it is quite easy. He details it with comprehensive screen shots to walk you through the process.

Tickled your interests? Click.

Moz. Pete Wailes. Progressive Web Apps. Websites & SEO.

As you have probably guessed, Moz’s Pete Wailes has published an intriguing article discussing progressive web apps and what they are going to mean for websites and SEO. Discussing Google’s invention of PWAs, these are components that utilise modern web capabilities to deliver an app-like user experience. Since PWAs are basically a mobile website that becomes an app, it had Wailes and colleagues questioning whether brands need apps, websites, or a PWA. Going through the positives and specifics of PWAs, Wailes discusses the bones of the operation with service workers and application shell architecture, concluding that PWAs are just websites that are structured in a smarter way with extras for loading things, posing the question why would someone want one.

Answering his own question, he quickly determines that most people don’t need a PWA. But after claiming this, goes into a lengthy and helpful synopsis of how PWAs work, what service workers can do, SEO implications, and further developments surrounding PWAs and their impact on the market. If this is a subject you’re unsure about for your brand or wanting to learn more about the specifics, this is the perfect article.

Be ready to get educated.

Vectors and SEO: GloVe

Relevancy and SEO have meshed together to create the perfect pairing for Google to analyse the meaning of words and phrases to the relative query searched. A new model called Charrnn, from Andrej Karpathy, would create content based on what it gathers from training documents. It wouldn’t just repeat it, but would create new, readable content by using a neural network to learn the character that was coming next. But what about a system that predicts words instead of characters?

Discovering a system that uses GloVe embeddings, this is when words are turned into numbers so that the plot coordinates imparted semantic relationships between the words. Standing for global vectors for word representation, these are built from massive content masses and it looks at co-occurrence stats of words to determine relationships. To work with this, you must know Python and Word2Vec along with having a sizable server that can handle in-memory storage of over six billion words. This article goes on to discuss why GloVe vectors are important by covering various components like similarity, add/subtract vectors, visualisation, relationships, and more. A complicated but worthy read, we wonder what this will mean for content in the future

THE MONDAY BRIEFING – 19 SEPTEMBER 2016

Wondering what’s new in the world of online advertising? Your reliable source for digital marketing news has done the hard part for you and gathered last week’s top stories and interesting reads from all corners of the industry!

Wondering about the new ways to make sales with Facebook Messenger? Want to know the latest about the AdWords Shopping Tab, or Google’s Universal App Campaign? Read on to catch up on everything you may have missed this week!

Here are the news stories that caught our eye:

  • Facebook Messenger Adds Buy Button, Native Payments and Links Bots to Facebook Ads
  • Google Quietly Launches AdWords Shopping Tab Results in Ten Countries
  • Google Updates Universal App Campaign Targeting, Touts 3 Billion App Installs from Ads

At PBNButler, no one understands better than we do how important it is to use your SEO strategies effectively. Some other experts in the industry have shared some exciting new tactics this week that we found noteworthy.

Here are the reads we found interesting this week:

  • What Are Buyer Keywords and How Do You Find Them
  • Local SEO for State-Level Search Terms

Here’s all the info you need to start your week off right and up-to-date!

News

Facebook Messenger Adds Buy Button, Native Payments and Links Bots to Facebook Ads

Facebook messenger has now added a button that allows users to purchase items directly from a company’s Messenger bot, without even needing to leave the application to do so. This provides companies with a whole new level of efficiency when it comes to selling items through Facebook.

Before this new addition, users would have been directed from Messenger to a separate web page. From there, the user could enter their payment information and make a purchase. Now, however, Facebook has added an automatic plug in for payment information, allowing users to make purchases without ever leaving Facebook.

That’s not all Facebook has done to help Messenger bots increase sales. Companies are now able to link their Facebook ads directly to the Messenger bot, choose how products are displayed through a thumbnail or custom web page. They are able to personalise the in-app web pages using their user ID, enabling the bot to recall items that member has previously purchased.

Read more at: Marketing Land

Google Quietly Launches AdWords Shopping Tab Results in Ten Countries

Google has recently launched the AdWords Shopping tab in ten additional countries. The countries included in this new feature are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Turkey

These countries did previously have access to the tab already, but the search results only revealed sellers in other active countries, such as the US, Australia, UK, France, Germany, and more. The ten additional countries that have been added now are able to see localised results from their own country

Read more at: The SEM Post

Google Updates Universal App Campaign Targeting, Touts 3 Billion App Installs from Ads

Google is unrolling a new Universal App Campaign to help advertisers reach higher value customers across all of their platforms, including Gmail, YouTube, Play Store ,apps and, of course, search.

The goal is to help advertisers reach out to the customers that matter to them most. How do they do this? By allowing advertisers to define the type of activity taking place within the app they would like to capitalise on, and setting a cost-per-install target. Google then uses its advanced algorithms to reach out to users that are most likely to download the apps in question.

Google has announced that it has aided in over 3 billion app installations as a result of their ads, a dramatic increase from the 2 million they announced in May. This huge jump shows just how effective Google’s new strategy is in facilitating app downloads.

Read more at: Marketing Land

Interesting Reads

What Are Buyer Keywords and How Do You Find Them?

Buyer keywords are the terms that your customers are using when they search for your business in Google. A buyer searching these keywords signifies that they are actively looking for a business to provide them with a product or service. It’s obvious why it would be beneficial to know what these keywords are and try to rank for them, but how can you figure out what they are.

To help companies find these keywords, Amazon offers a Competitor Keyword Matrix with a Buyer Keyword Filter that is able to reveal keywords linked to high intent from buyers. Finding out what these keywords are and focusing on them in your digital marketing strategies will likely have a significant impact on your sales.

Read more at: Alexa

Local SEO for State-Level Search Terms

When it comes to local SEO, most of us think of results across a single city, and perhaps some of its neighbouring cities as well. However, here is some advice for those who have set their sights state-wide.

A state-level search term includes the name of the state or province in it, rather than the name of a city. Many do this because it is certainly easier than trying to rank search terms for several different cities all at once, or because it’s a nice addition to city-level search terms. Some advice for ranking these state-level terms is as follows:

#1. Specialise in a niche, if possible: If the service you offer is specialised, it is often easier to rank. This is often even more essential when you are one of the only companies in your industry that thought to target the state rather than only the city.

#2. Target smaller states: The tactic of targeting state-level keywords is more effective if you are in a smaller state, such as New Jersey or Massachusetts. You won’t have nearly as much luck somewhere like Colorado.

#3. Rack up relevant links: Scour the internet for all of the good links that relate to your niche. You probably know by now how big of a difference this could make, and it’s even more important when trying to rank a keyword for your state.

#4. Don’t forget about reviews: Reviews, especially Google reviews, seem to have a more significant impact when it comes to ranking state-level keywords. Get these good reviews for your business any way you can to help you rank.

Find more of these strategies at: Local Visibility System