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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.

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