SEO Biz Updated RSS Feed http://feed.informer.com/digests/MLEFXEUEU1/feeder SEO Biz Updated RSS Feed Respective post owners and feed distributors Thu, 21 Sep 2017 18:07:00 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Google Fully Moves Multiple Reports Over to the New Search Console by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10903459 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:ce7dc75d-4cd3-8199-48e2-72d3a05789fc Thu, 13 Dec 2018 23:10:43 +0000 <p>Google confirmed that multiple reports in the classic Search Console have been fully moved over to the new version.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-fully-moves-multiple-reports-over-to-the-new-search-console/283065/">Google Fully Moves Multiple Reports Over to the New Search Console by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10903459.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Google Transfers Ownership of Duck.com to DuckDuckGo by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10903013 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:aab7b6c6-67b1-06bf-c2e3-ef6b8c7f6eda Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:51:35 +0000 <p>Google has given up ownership of the domain Duck.com and transferred it to rival search engine DuckDuckGo.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-transfers-ownership-of-duck-com-to-duckduckgo/283023/">Google Transfers Ownership of Duck.com to DuckDuckGo by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10903013.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Should Google Offer Algo Update Reports? by @martinibuster http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10902740 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:1bf8afbb-f92c-aa41-436a-5d77a12c4916 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 18:57:45 +0000 <p>Should Google communicate better about Algorithm Updates?</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-algorithm-update-reports/282829/">Should Google Offer Algo Update Reports? by @martinibuster</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10902740.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Google Reveals its Top Searches of the Year for 2018 by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10902505 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:bfcb18e9-bb6b-addf-0b86-76e707f51408 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 17:29:39 +0000 <p>Google has released its annual list of top searches around the world, including overall searches and searches in various categories.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-top-searches-2018/282995/">Google Reveals its Top Searches of the Year for 2018 by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10902505.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Facebook expands Ad Breaks to 14 more countries, launches Watch globally on desktop https://marketingland.com/facebook-expands-ad-breaks-to-14-more-countries-launches-watch-globally-on-desktop-253616 Marketing Land urn:uuid:be9cad89-a286-836b-0334-3014313e5151 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 16:00:49 +0000 <p>Says more than 75 million daily Watch visitors spend, on average, more than 20 minutes on the video platform.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-expands-ad-breaks-to-14-more-countries-launches-watch-globally-on-desktop-253616">Facebook expands Ad Breaks to 14 more countries, launches Watch globally on desktop</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-253647" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Facebook-Watch--800x450.png" alt="" width="800" height="450" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Facebook-Watch--800x450.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Facebook-Watch--600x338.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Facebook-Watch--768x432.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>Facebook announced Thursday it is rolling out Ad Breaks to 14 more markets, bringing the total number of countries with access to the 15-second in-stream ads to 40. It is also launching Watch globally on desktop and Facebook Lite.</p> <p>The company shared a long list of Watch announcements &#8212; from the original programs it is renewing in 2019 to stats that show more than 75 million daily Watch visitors spend an average of 20 minutes on the video platform.</p> <h2>Why you should care</h2> <p>The expansion of Facebook&#8217;s video Ad Breaks &#8212; and by extension the global roll-out of Watch &#8212; signals the company is putting more of its efforts on video and hoping <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-missteps-highlight-what-happens-when-you-cant-trust-platform-metrics-253183">advertisers</a> will follow suit.</p> <p>With the global roll-out of Watch on desktop and Facebook Lite, video advertisers running international campaigns on Facebook will have access to larger audiences as users will be able to access the video platform beyond their mobile app. According to Facebook, more than 75 million daily visitors spend, on average, 20 minutes on Watch.</p> <p>“We’re seeing that people are regularly coming back to catch up on the videos they care about and watching for longer periods of time,” said Facebook’s head of video Fidji Simo.</p> <p>Facebook first began testing video Ad Breaks as early as <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-opens-mid-roll-ads-live-broadcasters-starts-non-live-test-207499">February, 2017</a>, but only recently expanded the ad unit to more advertisers. In August, Facebook opened up <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-opens-up-video-ad-opportunities-to-more-creators-as-it-takes-watch-global-247149">Ad Breaks to Pages</a> with 10,000 followers that have generated more than 30,000 one-minute video views during the past two months. At the time, the video ad units were still reserved to only five countries: the U.S., the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. A month later, the 15-second in-stream video ad unit were rolled out to <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-extends-video-ad-breaks-to-21-more-countries-248761">21 more countries</a> across Europe, Central and South America and Asia in September.</p> <p>On Thursday, Facebook extended the list of countries with Ad Breaks to include:</p> <ul> <li>Bangladesh</li> <li>Hong Kong</li> <li>India</li> <li>Indonesia</li> <li>Italy</li> <li>Jordan</li> <li>Malaysia</li> <li>Philippines</li> <li>Saudi Arabia</li> <li>Singapore</li> <li>South Africa</li> <li>South Korea</li> <li>Taiwan</li> <li>UAE</li> </ul> <h2>More on Facebook Watch</h2> <ul> <li>Facebook is testing a new darker background for videos viewed on Watch via a mobile device.</li> <li>The company has renewed four original programs for a second season on Watch: Five Points, Huda Boss, Sorry for Your Loss and Sacred Lies.</li> <li>Facebook says it will continue to introduce new ways for publishers and creators to make make money on the platform in 2019, with plans to launch Ad Breaks in even more countries. It also says it will begin testing new Ad Break placements, such as livestreams from its gaming community.</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-expands-ad-breaks-to-14-more-countries-launches-watch-globally-on-desktop-253616">Facebook expands Ad Breaks to 14 more countries, launches Watch globally on desktop</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> YouTube sunsetting call-to-action overlays in favor of new ad extension https://marketingland.com/youtube-sunsetting-call-to-action-overlays-in-favor-of-new-ad-extension-253626 Marketing Land urn:uuid:0b74cab3-8851-ece8-8ef2-05d9757a8e83 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:12:05 +0000 <p>The call-to-action ad extension will be available for TrueView in-stream ads to start. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-sunsetting-call-to-action-overlays-in-favor-of-new-ad-extension-253626">YouTube sunsetting call-to-action overlays in favor of new ad extension</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>Starting in January, YouTube will phase out the call-to-action overlays that have been around since <a href="https://searchengineland.com/youtube-to-launch-call-to-action-overlay-ads-21759">2009</a>. In its place will come a new ad extension.</p> <p><strong>What&#8217;s the difference? </strong>Not much, except that ad extensions can be applied to new and existing ads, while the overlays are created as part of an ad. Just like the overlays, the call-to-action extensions are aimed at getting viewers to click through to the advertiser&#8217;s website to take further action. The button can be customized with an appropriate call-to-action, such as &#8220;Book Now,&#8221; &#8220;Get a quote&#8221; or &#8220;Sign up.&#8221; Below is an example of what the extension can look like in a TrueView in-stream ad.</p> <div id="attachment_253675" style="width: 521px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="size-large wp-image-253675" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/youtube-call-to-action-ad-extension-511x600.jpg" alt="" width="511" height="600" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/youtube-call-to-action-ad-extension-511x600.jpg 511w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/youtube-call-to-action-ad-extension-340x400.jpg 340w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/youtube-call-to-action-ad-extension.jpg 555w" sizes="(max-width: 511px) 100vw, 511px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">A call-to-action extension displayed on a TrueView in-stream ad. Image: Google.</p></div> <p><strong>What campaign and ad types will be affected? </strong>This change will apply to campaigns with branding objectives. The new ad extension will be available first for TrueView in-stream ads and eventually to bumper ads and TrueView video discover ads.</p> <p><strong>Why would you use this ad extension?</strong> Why wouldn&#8217;t an advertiser just choose to use the relatively new <a href="https://marketingland.com/grammarly-tops-youtubes-trueview-for-action-2018-leaderboard-253263">TrueView for action</a> ad format instead of the call-to-action ad extension? Designed for performance campaigns with conversion or click objectives, TrueView for action ads have calls-to-action built in. TrueView for action ads are only available in the in-stream format and when using the Leads or Website traffic campaign goals and they use automated bidding and targeting.</p> <p>If you want more bidding control, or your primary campaign objective of product or brand consideration or brand awareness and reach, the new ad extension will be something you can test showing with your ads.</p> <p><strong>Why you should care.</strong> This change is a relatively minor one. However, if you are currently using and finding success with call-to-action overlays, or felt limited by having to build them into the ads themselves, be ready for the switch and availability of the new call-to-action ad extension at some point next month.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-sunsetting-call-to-action-overlays-in-favor-of-new-ad-extension-253626">YouTube sunsetting call-to-action overlays in favor of new ad extension</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Agenda alert: Adobe is keynoting at MarTech! https://marketingland.com/agenda-alert-adobe-is-keynoting-at-martech-253676 Marketing Land urn:uuid:b747860f-80df-d462-08f3-ad9f82a152d3 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 15:08:55 +0000 <p>We’re excited to announce a newly-confirmed keynote speaker! Join us for a candid keynote conversation to learn first-hand insights about how Adobe leverages marketing technology to accomplish their business goals. The complete agenda will be posted soon &#8211; stay tuned! Connect with Ann and your martech tribe April 3-5, 2019 in San Jose. Get all [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/agenda-alert-adobe-is-keynoting-at-martech-253676">Agenda alert: Adobe is keynoting at MarTech!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>We’re excited to announce a newly-confirmed keynote speaker!</p> <a href="https://martechconf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/unnamed-1.png"><img class="size-full wp-image-8568 aligncenter" src="https://martechconf.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/unnamed-1.png" alt="" width="600" height="247" /></a> <p>Join us for a candid keynote conversation to learn first-hand insights about how Adobe leverages marketing technology to accomplish their business goals. The complete agenda will be posted soon &#8211; stay tuned!</p> <p>Connect with Ann and your martech tribe April 3-5, 2019 in <a href="https://martechconf.com/west/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=mt+west+2019&amp;utm_content=keynote">San Jose</a>. Get all keynotes, sessions, networking, and amenities with an All Access pass. <a href="https://martechconf.com/west/rates/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=mt+west+2019&amp;utm_content=keynote">Register now</a> to save $450 off on-site rates!</p> <p>See you in San Jose!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/agenda-alert-adobe-is-keynoting-at-martech-253676">Agenda alert: Adobe is keynoting at MarTech!</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> 10 Advanced SEO Tips & Techniques You Need to Know by @ab80 http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10902093 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:dd69b99d-be40-a5f0-25f9-09018689840c Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:45:31 +0000 <p>Ready to go beyond the SEO basics? Here are 10 advanced SEO techniques you must know.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/advanced-seo-tips-techniques/281245/">10 Advanced SEO Tips &#038; Techniques You Need to Know by @ab80</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10902093.gif" height="1" width="1"/> A Bing Ads Script for Maintaining Monthly Account Budgets http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10901947 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:29a66eea-c4b7-e33e-9b32-505e31215410 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:45:11 +0000 <p>This free Bing Ads script can help keep your managed accounts under a maximum monthly budget.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/bing-ads-script-monthly-account-budgets/282675/">A Bing Ads Script for Maintaining Monthly Account Budgets</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10901947.gif" height="1" width="1"/> How effective acquisition strategies can drive growth https://marketingland.com/how-effective-acquisition-strategies-can-drive-growth-253548 Marketing Land urn:uuid:c9ead3d8-6968-9678-2ebe-5a64308d84ea Thu, 13 Dec 2018 13:00:12 +0000 <p>A strategy anchored by a focus on verticals, market leadership and technology offers a pathway for companies in the performance marketing industry to grow their businesses and unlock value for partners.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/how-effective-acquisition-strategies-can-drive-growth-253548">How effective acquisition strategies can drive growth</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>For companies in the marketing industry, expanding your footprint is the name of the game. To penetrate new markets and broaden your reach with relevant customers, marketing executives must plot growth strategies for establishing their companies as leaders in the sector with the skills and technologies critical to success.</p> <p>Along with an organic expansion plan, a well-planned acquisition strategy can offer a promising roadmap to success. Acquisitions can diversify revenue streams, broaden a company’s capabilities and propel a business to dominance in critical sectors.</p> <p>Salesforce’s recent<a href="https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3742414,00.html" rel="noopener"> announcement</a> that it would acquire the marketing analytics company Datorama for $800 million brought renewed attention to martech industry acquisitions – but such blockbuster deals aren’t the only way to leverage the immense benefits of an acquisition. Acquisition strategies can have many objectives ranging from merging market leaders to attaining new technologies at a lower cost. No matter a company’s motivation, the key to success is establishing a<a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/the-six-types-of-successful-acquisitions" rel="noopener"> well-defined, value creation</a> acquisition plan. A company should acquire another company only when they know they can do one of the followings things: improve the target company’s performance, reduce operating costs or improve margins of a newly acquired company, increase production of new capital or invest in winners early to help them develop their businesses with the parent company’s capabilities.</p> <p>My company has seen its acquisitions accelerate in recent months, offering an illustrative case study. In the past two years, Webpals Group’s parent company has announced $27.2 million in acquisitions, including the purchase of InvestorJunkie.com, MoneyUnder30.com, Greedyrates.ca and DoughRoller.net, among others.</p> <p>These deals reflect a three-pronged strategy for driving growth and extending our reach. A strategy anchored by a focus on verticals, market leadership and technology offers a pathway for companies in the performance marketing industry to grow their businesses and unlock value for partners.</p> <h2>Finding your verticals</h2> <p>Achieving excellence across diverse sectors and platforms is essential to thriving in the performance marketing ecosystem. Acquisitions should either strengthen your company’s position within an existing vertical or provide a viable pathway to market leadership in another vertical.</p> <p>Initial interest in a single industry is fine as your company gets off the ground, but it is imperative to not remain myopic after you have strong footing in an initial industry. By looking to other, tangential verticals and investigating the nuances within those new verticals, you can complement your existing work, making your work products stronger and more profitable.</p> <h2>Look for mature markets</h2> <p>Acquisitions of dominant companies and assets in target markets can help your company establish a foothold in new strategic markets. Which markets should you target? Look for mature markets with high-value customer bases, as well as emerging markets with high-growth potential. Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region represent particularly promising markets and positioning your company for leadership in such areas will often require investments in local branches.</p> <h2>Technology acquisition<b><br /> </b></h2> <p>Before pursuing an acquisition, it’s crucial to determine whether a second company boasts a unique technology that will serve additional business units within your organization, better serve your customers  and propel revenue growth.</p> <p>If another company features superior technology, acquiring it can prove a much more time- and cost-effective solution than investing significant time and resources in developing your own superior solution.</p> <p>Companies that have developed unique, innovative, and user-friendly products – whether they’re personal finance tools, software, or gaming – can bring essential value-add to your operations. As<a href="https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/the-six-types-of-successful-acquisitions" rel="noopener"> McKinsey notes</a>, acquisitions of such companies can help speed the delivery of their products to the market, giving them the boost they need to make an even bigger splash within their respective sectors. With more product sales come a wealth of customer data – a gold mine for marketers.</p> <p>The three prongs of our strategy – verticals, markets and technology – provide an indispensable framework for marketers to evaluate their position within their sectors. Armed with these insights, they can develop fruitful strategies for growth and foster successful partner relationships. For many marketing executives, analyzing your company’s position through this prism will lead to the pursuit of new acquisitions. Whether you’re Salesforce or a scrappy startup, deals stemming from such a meticulously planned strategic process can propel your company to new heights of success.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/how-effective-acquisition-strategies-can-drive-growth-253548">How effective acquisition strategies can drive growth</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> International SEO Considerations with Aledya Solis [PODCAST] http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10901763 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:f903264a-fe9e-8774-1743-2d658c5eb8cd Thu, 13 Dec 2018 12:45:07 +0000 <p>Learn how you should approach international SEO and the top considerations when internationalizing your website.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/international-seo-considerations-with-aledya-solis-podcast/282461/">International SEO Considerations with Aledya Solis [PODCAST]</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10901763.gif" height="1" width="1"/> How to Reduce Your Facebook Ad Spend With Smart Targeting https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-smart-targeting/ Social Media Examiner urn:uuid:9b5ae51c-35c4-b868-c24b-f79909ac4472 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:05:33 +0000 <img width="1200" height="630" src="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interest-targeting-research-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-1200.png" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="display: block; margin-bottom: 5px; clear:both;max-width: 100%;" srcset="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interest-targeting-research-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-1200.png 1200w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interest-targeting-research-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-1200-150x79.png 150w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interest-targeting-research-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-1200-300x158.png 300w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interest-targeting-research-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-1200-768x403.png 768w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/interest-targeting-research-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-1200-1024x538.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /><p>Want to lower your Facebook ad costs? Looking to improve your Facebook ad targeting? In this article, you&#8217;ll discover three ways to build highly targeted Facebook audiences based on niche interests. How Researching Audiences Improves Ad Conversions Facebook is one of the biggest drivers of consumer spending/purchases online. In fact, the power of Facebook for eCommerce [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-reduce-facebook-ad-spend-smart-targeting/">How to Reduce Your Facebook Ad Spend With Smart Targeting</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com">Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner</a>.</p> Email Marketing Nightmares: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 13 https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/email-marketing-nightmares-the-journey-season-2-episode-13-2/ Social Media Examiner urn:uuid:8d7f72ad-60d3-562c-b5c2-002d90cc69f4 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 11:03:47 +0000 <img width="1200" height="630" src="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200.png" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="display: block; margin-bottom: 5px; clear:both;max-width: 100%;" srcset="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200.png 1200w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-150x79.png 150w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-300x158.png 300w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-1024x538.png 1024w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-495x260.png 495w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-770x404.png 770w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-450x236.png 450w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-920x483.png 920w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/social-media-examiner-the-journey-1200-600x315.png 600w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /><p>Are your email marketing messages working as well they used to? Then watch the Journey, Social Media Examiner&#8217;s episodic video documentary that shows you what really happens inside a growing business. Watch The Journey This episode of the Journey explores what happened when the Social Media Examiner team was faced with a dilemma. Delete 150,000 [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/email-marketing-nightmares-the-journey-season-2-episode-13-2/">Email Marketing Nightmares: The Journey: Season 2, Episode 13</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com">Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner</a>.</p> Official AMP for WordPress Plugin Updated, Allows Sites to be Built Entirely With AMP by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10900211 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:3cdded7c-73a1-a323-f746-398eb7eb34b8 Thu, 13 Dec 2018 00:13:48 +0000 <p>The official AMP for WordPress plugin has received a major update, including the ability to build websites solely with AMP.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/official-amp-for-wordpress-plugin-updated-allows-sites-to-be-built-entirely-with-amp/282815/">Official AMP for WordPress Plugin Updated, Allows Sites to be Built Entirely With AMP by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10900211.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Bing releases Clarity, an open-source UX analytics tool https://marketingland.com/bing-releases-clarity-an-open-source-ux-analytics-tool-253614 Marketing Land urn:uuid:bdf17f80-c604-6ba3-0567-7e1569869678 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:44:27 +0000 <p>The open source tool lets webmasters 'replay' users' interactions such as mouse movements, touch gestures and click events.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/bing-releases-clarity-an-open-source-ux-analytics-tool-253614">Bing releases Clarity, an open-source UX analytics tool</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-253667" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/clarity-user-experience-analytics-800x495.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="495" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/clarity-user-experience-analytics-800x495.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/clarity-user-experience-analytics-600x371.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/clarity-user-experience-analytics-768x475.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" />Bing <a href="https://blogs.bing.com/webmaster/november-2018/Introducing-Clarity-a-web-analytics-product">announced</a> Wednesday the beta release of a new analytics product that lets webmasters see how users interact on their websites. With Clarity, site owners can replay user sessions and use the behavioral insights to optimize their sites for better conversion, engagement and retention.</p> <p>The free, open-source tool collects users&#8217; mouse movements, touch gestures and click events.</p> <h2>Why you should care</h2> <p>A bad user experience can quickly cost you a lead or sale, and it may be an indicator of a bigger problem with your website. There are many user experience analytics tools already available to help webmasters and marketers identify website pain points for users. Clarity could be a complement to those tools or be a good place to start for sites not currently using one.</p> <p>By watching user session replays, you can see how users interact with a web page, including mouse movements, touch gestures and click events.</p> <p>Food blog Cook with Manali was an early tester . In using Clarity, the site owner discovered that users weren&#8217;t making it through introductory text to the recipes. Based on that finding, she added a &#8220;Jump to recipe&#8221; button to give users a faster path to the recipe content.</p> <h2>More about the news</h2> <ul> <li>Clarity works on any HTML webpage (desktop or mobile) with the addition of a small piece of JavaScript to the website.</li> <li>The tool is available to site owners through their Microsoft Accounts. Since it is still in beta, once you create a project in Clarity, it will be added to the wait list. Once the project is approved, you&#8217;ll be given the code to add to your site for the program to start gathering data.</li> <li>It&#8217;s currently compatible with the most common top level domains such as .com, .edu, .au, .uk, and working on increasing compatibility with others.</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/bing-releases-clarity-an-open-source-ux-analytics-tool-253614">Bing releases Clarity, an open-source UX analytics tool</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Jivox adds visual journey maps, site content to its resume https://marketingland.com/jivox-adds-visual-journey-maps-site-content-to-its-resume-253651 Marketing Land urn:uuid:aa46980f-7eff-dd9c-b219-909d374f9112 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:30:30 +0000 <p>Marketers can use the tools to coordinate site and email messages around ad campaigns.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/jivox-adds-visual-journey-maps-site-content-to-its-resume-253651">Jivox adds visual journey maps, site content to its resume</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>On Wednesday, personalized digital ad platform Jivox launched two tools to help drive customer journeys with customized ads and use that customized content on web sites and in emails.</p> <p><strong>Customer Journey Optimization, Channel Connector.</strong> One new tool, Customer Journey Optimization, is Jivox’ first entry into tracking customer journeys, although it previously had access to the underlying data from site visits, email responses and engagement with its ads.</p> <p>This tool shows a customer’s journey to a sale from the starting point of a prospecting ad, such as a video ad, social media ad or display ad. Jivox’ platform generates the customized content for the ad, while demand side platforms handle the bidding, delivery and return of engagement data, like clicks.</p> <p>In journey highlighted in yellow in the Jivox visualization below, 18,680 users who viewed the video ad but didn’t engage with it were then shown a variation of the ad on social media. Of the 18,576 who viewed the ad on social, 2851 converted.</p> <img class="alignnone wp-image-253663 size-large" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Jivox-746x600.png" alt="" width="746" height="600" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Jivox-746x600.png 746w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Jivox-497x400.png 497w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Jivox-768x618.png 768w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Jivox.png 1100w" sizes="(max-width: 746px) 100vw, 746px" /> <p>The other new tool, called Channel Connector, lets Jivox’ personalized content for ads be employed on web sites, in addition to the previously available use in emails.</p> <p><strong>Why you should care.</strong> When marketers can visualize customer journeys showing which paths drive the best outcomes, they can optimize content and personalization. Jivox coordinates content across ads, email and websites in the most effective combinations of media channels.</p> <p><i>This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, <a href="https://martechtoday.com?utm_src=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=mlxpost">click here.</a></i></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/jivox-adds-visual-journey-maps-site-content-to-its-resume-253651">Jivox adds visual journey maps, site content to its resume</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> HubSpot: We’re now focusing on being a platform vendor https://marketingland.com/hubspot-were-now-focusing-on-being-a-platform-vendor-253606 Marketing Land urn:uuid:474f55a2-67fb-2981-313f-3621b6fff841 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:15:54 +0000 <p>Following announcements of an expanded AWS partnership and a new venture fund, the company says it is re-orienting itself around providing a CX ecosystem for SMBs.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/hubspot-were-now-focusing-on-being-a-platform-vendor-253606">HubSpot: We’re now focusing on being a platform vendor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <div id="attachment_253659" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption alignnone"><img class="size-large wp-image-253659" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/HubSpot-Connect-Ecosystem-V3--800x450.jpg" alt="From the HubSpot web site" width="800" height="450" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/HubSpot-Connect-Ecosystem-V3--800x450.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/HubSpot-Connect-Ecosystem-V3--600x338.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/HubSpot-Connect-Ecosystem-V3--768x432.jpg 768w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/HubSpot-Connect-Ecosystem-V3-.jpg 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">From the HubSpot web site</p></div> <p>HubSpot is moving its focus from product suite to platform.</p> <p>That was the word from CEO Brian Halligan, in <a href="https://twitter.com/bhalligan">a tweet Tuesday</a> that referenced two new announcements.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">HubSpot announced a big partnership with Amazon Web Services and a $30million venture fund today, moving us from an application vendor to a platform vendor.</p> <p>— Brian Halligan (@bhalligan) <a href="https://twitter.com/bhalligan/status/1072528159302660097?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 11, 2018</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p><strong>AWS partnership, HubSpot Ventures.</strong> The AWS announcement expands HubSpot’s current partnership into a three-year commitment that provides more benefits for vendors belonging to <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/integrations/overview">HubSpot’s current Connect ecosystem</a> of integrated applications as well as for those in its Startups program.</p> <p>For instance, companies in Startups will now receive memberships and credits in the AWS Activate program that provides infrastructure resources for startups. AWS will also co-invest in building an ecosystem for HubSpot partners, and partners will receive AWS credits.</p> <p>Additionally, HubSpot announced the launch of a $30 million fund, HubSpot Ventures, to invest in companies that support its ecosystem.</p> <p><strong>Shifting to a platform focus.</strong> HubSpot VP of Platform Ecosystem Scott Brinker (and program chair of our MarTech conferences) told me that these announcements and Halligan’s tweet do not represent a major departure for the Cambridge, MA-based company.</p> <p>HubSpot has been working with AWS, Brinker noted, and has individually invested in several companies. And the Company’s Connect ecosystem and other efforts have been growing a community of integrated vendors.</p> <p>But now, he said, the focus is shifting from the company’s product suite to acting as a platform for the growing population of applications that support interactions with HubSpot and each other.</p> <p><strong>Focused on customer experience.</strong> When it was founded in 2005, Brinker said, HubSpot focused on its inbound marketing products, followed by the addition of sales-oriented features and a customer relationship management system. Then, the products became an interconnected suite, opened up to outside vendors via APIs.</p> <p>Throughout that time, he said, “the heart of the business was our own products.” Now, “it’s focusing on being a platform ecosystem,” with developer support and the ability to orchestrate the capabilities of outside vendors through HubSpot.</p> <p><strong>Why you should care.</strong> Brinker readily acknowledged there are <a href="https://martechtoday.com/for-many-marketers-platform-integration-is-a-must-have-for-new-tools-228193">many platform-based ecosystems</a> out there these days, pointing to Salesforce, Spotify and Slack. Aside from the centrality of the HubSpot suite of tools, he said, the difference here is an emphasis on startups and smaller businesses. The HubSpot platform will be focused on providing “customer experience for SMB.”</p> <p><i>This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, <a href="https://martechtoday.com?utm_src=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=mlxpost">click here.</a></i></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/hubspot-were-now-focusing-on-being-a-platform-vendor-253606">HubSpot: We’re now focusing on being a platform vendor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> 5 Mind-Blowingly Dumb Things We Heard at the Google Hearing by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10899694 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:e549e38d-8c78-a556-d068-5183a7ee6149 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:57:28 +0000 <p>Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, which left marketers collectively shaking their heads.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/5-mind-blowingly-dumb-things-we-heard-at-the-google-hearing/282797/">5 Mind-Blowingly Dumb Things We Heard at the Google Hearing by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10899694.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Marketing Day: Groupon voted YouTube’s top bumper ad, SMX West preview, IAB’s in-app ad viewability https://marketingland.com/marketing-day-groupon-voted-youtubes-top-bumper-ad-smx-west-preview-iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-253636 Marketing Land urn:uuid:b9b04481-42da-c832-c095-80e9610a11d1 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:05:02 +0000 <p>Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/marketing-day-groupon-voted-youtubes-top-bumper-ad-smx-west-preview-iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-253636">Marketing Day: Groupon voted YouTube&#8217;s top bumper ad, SMX West preview, IAB&#8217;s in-app ad viewability</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-149669" src="http://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2015/10/marketing-day-header-v2-mday-800x450.png" alt="" width="800" height="450" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2015/10/marketing-day-header-v2-mday-800x450.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2015/10/marketing-day-header-v2-mday-600x338.png 600w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>Here&#8217;s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on <a href="http://marketingland.com/">Marketing Land</a> and other places across the web.</p> <h2>From Marketing Land:</h2> <ul> <li><strong><a title="Groupon voted top YouTube’s 6-second bumper ad of the year" href="https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486">Groupon voted top YouTube’s 6-second bumper ad of the year</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Amy Gesenhues<!-- end byline --><br /> The ad featuring actress Tiffany Haddish shows how brands can hook viewers in just six seconds.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Data orchestration – learn how it works and why it can help you do more with your data" href="https://marketingland.com/data-orchestration-learn-how-it-works-and-why-it-can-help-you-do-more-with-your-data-253602">Data orchestration – learn how it works and why it can help you do more with your data</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Digital Marketing Depot<!-- end byline --><br /> The modern digital landscape is a complicated one. Whether it’s the issue of how to manage massive amounts of data, an increased focus on consumer privacy, or the general shift in customer preferences towards personalization, keeping up with the evolution of the digital space is a challenge for small businesses and Fortune 1000 companies alike.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Here’s your exclusive insider look of SMX West" href="https://marketingland.com/heres-your-exclusive-insider-look-of-smx-west-253488">Here’s your exclusive insider look of SMX West</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Chris Sherman<!-- end byline --><br /> TL;DR: Here’s my epic 3,000-word preview of all the sessions, speakers and networking you’ll experience at SMX West. Read a little or read it all. Then register by 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 22 and save big with Early Bird rates. Search Engine Land’s SMX® West, the go-to event for search marketers, returns to San Jose January 30-31.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long" href="https://marketingland.com/why-some-marketers-say-cyber-week-is-just-too-long-253219">Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Robin Kurzer<!-- end byline --><br /> Here’s how email marketers can sidestep the perils of a too-long holiday promotional period.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="IAB’s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices" href="https://marketingland.com/iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-and-measurement-sdk-hits-2-billion-devices-253509">IAB’s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Robin Kurzer<!-- end byline --><br /> The OM SDK has achieved adoption by 17 companies.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification" href="https://marketingland.com/why-content-marketers-dont-want-instant-gratification-253496">Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Henry Bruce<!-- end byline --><br /> When marketers set realistic expectations, they’re in a better spot to succeed long term.<!--end ml posts--></li> </ul> <h2>Recent Headlines From <a href="https://martechtoday.com/">MarTech Today</a>, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:</h2> <ul> <li><strong><a title="How to compete in an omni-channel world" href="https://martechtoday.com/how-to-compete-in-an-omni-channel-world-228618">How to compete in an omni-channel world</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Digital Marketing Depot<!-- end byline --><br /> Life isn’t fair for consumer brands. Your customer experience (CX) — from your web, mobile, brick and morta, email, SMS, and social communications — gets compared to companies with a lot more resources than you may have. And these comparisons can feel unfair.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="HubSpot: We’re now focusing on being a platform vendor" href="https://martechtoday.com/hubspot-were-now-focusing-on-being-a-platform-vendor-228601">HubSpot: We’re now focusing on being a platform vendor</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 12, 2018 by Barry Levine<!-- end byline --><br /> Following announcements of an expanded AWS partnership and a new venture fund, the company says it is re-orienting itself around providing a CX ecosystem for SMBs.<!--end ml posts--></li> </ul> <h2>Online Marketing News From Around The Web:</h2> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/last-minute-holiday-shopping-trends/">Dashing to the stores: Last-minute holiday trends to watch</a>, Think with Google</li> <li><a href="https://multichannelmerchant.com/blog/natural-language-generation-improves-personalization-and-drives-sales/">How Natural Language Generation Improves Personalization and Drives Sales</a>, Multichannel Merchant</li> <li><a href="https://blog.marketo.com/2018/12/how-to-spot-when-advertising-is-led-by-a-quadropoly.html">How to Spot When Advertising Is Led by a Quadropoly</a>, Marketo</li> <li><a href="https://company-enterprise.myshopify.com/blogs/blog/online-sales-tax-a-guide-to-economic-nexus-ecommerce">Online Sales Tax: A Guide to Economic Nexus &amp; Ecommerce</a>, Shopify</li> <li><a href="https://digiday.com/media/snapchat-loyalty-retention-metrics/">Snapchat publishers prize loyalty and retention metrics over simple views</a>, Digiday</li> <li><a href="https://www.mobilemarketer.com/news/study-unconventional-holiday-themes-boost-email-open-rates-year-round/544033/">Study: Unconventional holiday themes boost email open rates year-round</a>, Mobile Marketer</li> <li><a href="https://adexchanger.com/data-driven-thinking/the-real-impact-of-data-breaches/">The Real Impact Of Data Breaches</a>, AdExchanger</li> <li><a href="https://www.practicalecommerce.com/to-analyze-data-first-form-an-objective">To Analyze Data, First Form an Objective</a>, Practical Ecommerce</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/marketing-day-groupon-voted-youtubes-top-bumper-ad-smx-west-preview-iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-253636">Marketing Day: Groupon voted YouTube&#8217;s top bumper ad, SMX West preview, IAB&#8217;s in-app ad viewability</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Groupon voted top YouTube’s 6-second bumper ad of the year https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486 Marketing Land urn:uuid:302532bc-f39d-c768-dc16-5e9996e5b9e0 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:07:50 +0000 <p>The ad featuring actress Tiffany Haddish shows how brands can hook viewers in just six seconds.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486">Groupon voted top YouTube&#8217;s 6-second bumper ad of the year</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <div class="fit-embeded"><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DcgQTMqSgUc?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <p>A six-second Groupon spot featuring actress Tiffany Haddish was voted the best YouTube bumper ad of 2018.</p> <p>YouTube, in partnership with the Webby Awards, has released its full list of the <a href="https://adoftheyear.withyoutube.com/">top ads for 2018</a> spanning across seven different categories. The six nominees in the top bumper video ad category also included ads from Sargento Cheese, Pringles, Frigidaire, Colgate and Gorilla Tape.</p> <h2>Why you should care</h2> <p><a href="https://marketingland.com/video-advertisings-bright-future-and-what-you-should-be-doing-now-250228">Video advertising</a> continues to grow and the video marketing landscape is becoming more crowded across all platforms. Knowing which ads are most appealing to audiences offers a valuable point of insight for marketers &#8212; especially when considering video ads like YouTube&#8217;s bumper ads that run only six-seconds in length, a short amount of time to grab anyone&#8217;s attention.</p> <p>Groupon’s spot with Haddish was an extension of a campaign the brand kicked off during the <a href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-says-amazon-alexa-bud-light-groupon-won-super-bowl-ad-game-233964">Super Bowl</a>.</p> <p>First introduced in <a href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-six-second-video-bumper-ads-174617">2016</a>, YouTube&#8217;s bumper ads are designed to be add-ons to skippable TrueView ad campaigns. They are sold through the Google Ads platform on a CPM basis and are aimed at branding, though many performance advertisers have also embraced the format. Users <a href="https://marketingland.com/how-marketers-cope-in-an-increasingly-skippable-advertising-environment-248290">can&#8217;t skip</a> the short videos and they are particularly well-suited to mobile.</p> <p>Telling a story that can make an impression on a viewer is no easy feat. The winning Groupon bumper ad and bumpers from the other top finalist can offer inspiration. See them all under the #TheYouTubeAd That Has Six Appeal category <a href="https://adoftheyear.withyoutube.com/">here</a>.</p> <h2>More on YouTube Ads of 2018</h2> <ul> <li>Winners from all seven categories included well-known brands, from McDonald&#8217;s and Nintendo to Gatorade and Bonobos.</li> <li>YouTube announced the <a href="https://adoftheyear.withyoutube.com/">list</a> of nominees on Nov. 27. Voting for the winners in each ad category was open to the public.</li> <li>In a separate effort, Grammarly came out on top for the best TrueView for Action ad. For more on that, check out our coverage <a href="https://marketingland.com/grammarly-tops-youtubes-trueview-for-action-2018-leaderboard-253263">here</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486">Groupon voted top YouTube&#8217;s 6-second bumper ad of the year</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Groupon voted top YouTube 6-second bumper ad of the year https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486 Marketing Land urn:uuid:1ee04d51-ec6c-c931-367d-54963778d8aa Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:07:50 +0000 <p>The ad featuring actress Tiffany Haddish shows how brands can hook viewers in just six seconds.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486">Groupon voted top YouTube 6-second bumper ad of the year</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <div class="fit-embeded"><iframe width="500" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/DcgQTMqSgUc?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe></div> <p>A six-second Groupon spot featuring actress Tiffany Haddish was voted the best YouTube bumper ad of 2018.</p> <p>YouTube, in partnership with the Webby Awards, has released its full list of the <a href="https://adoftheyear.withyoutube.com/">top ads for 2018</a> spanning across seven different categories. The six nominees in the top bumper video ad category also included ads from Sargento Cheese, Pringles, Frigidaire, Colgate and Gorilla Tape.</p> <h2>Why you should care</h2> <p><a href="https://marketingland.com/video-advertisings-bright-future-and-what-you-should-be-doing-now-250228">Video advertising</a> continues to grow and the video marketing landscape is becoming more crowded across all platforms. Knowing which ads are most appealing to audiences offers a valuable point of insight for marketers &#8212; especially when considering video ads like YouTube&#8217;s bumper ads that run only six-seconds in length, a short amount of time to grab anyone&#8217;s attention.</p> <p>Groupon’s spot with Haddish was an extension of a campaign the brand kicked off during the <a href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-says-amazon-alexa-bud-light-groupon-won-super-bowl-ad-game-233964">Super Bowl</a>.</p> <p>First introduced in <a href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-six-second-video-bumper-ads-174617">2016</a>, YouTube&#8217;s bumper ads are designed to be add-ons to skippable TrueView ad campaigns. They are sold through the Google Ads platform on a CPM basis and are aimed at branding, though many performance advertisers have also embraced the format. Users <a href="https://marketingland.com/how-marketers-cope-in-an-increasingly-skippable-advertising-environment-248290">can&#8217;t skip</a> the short videos and they are particularly well-suited to mobile.</p> <p>Telling a story that can make an impression on a viewer is no easy feat. The winning Groupon bumper ad and bumpers from the other top finalist can offer inspiration. See them all under the #TheYouTubeAd That Has Six Appeal category <a href="https://adoftheyear.withyoutube.com/">here</a>.</p> <h2>More on YouTube Ads of 2018</h2> <ul> <li>Winners from all seven categories included well-known brands, from McDonald&#8217;s and Nintendo to Gatorade and Bonobos.</li> <li>YouTube announced the <a href="https://adoftheyear.withyoutube.com/">list</a> of nominees on Nov. 27. Voting for the winners in each ad category was open to the public.</li> <li>In a separate effort, Grammarly came out on top for the best TrueView for Action ad. For more on that, check out our coverage <a href="https://marketingland.com/grammarly-tops-youtubes-trueview-for-action-2018-leaderboard-253263">here</a>.</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/groupon-voted-top-youtubes-6-second-bumper-ad-of-the-year-253486">Groupon voted top YouTube 6-second bumper ad of the year</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Facebook Search Ads are Now Available to Select Businesses in North America by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10898882 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:00a39cc5-0c9c-c2f9-a319-d1c672642903 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:44:09 +0000 <p>Facebook is now testing ads in search results, which are available to businesses in the automotive, retail, and e-commerce industries.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-search-ads-are-now-available-to-select-businesses-in-north-america/282765/">Facebook Search Ads are Now Available to Select Businesses in North America by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10898882.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Data orchestration – learn how it works and why it can help you do more with your data https://marketingland.com/data-orchestration-learn-how-it-works-and-why-it-can-help-you-do-more-with-your-data-253602 Marketing Land urn:uuid:3487e651-5eb4-7084-38d5-a71772789f53 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:41:56 +0000 <p>The modern digital landscape is a complicated one. Whether it’s the issue of how to manage massive amounts of data, an increased focus on consumer privacy, or the general shift in customer preferences towards personalization, keeping up with the evolution of the digital space is a challenge for small businesses and Fortune 1000 companies alike. [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/data-orchestration-learn-how-it-works-and-why-it-can-help-you-do-more-with-your-data-253602">Data orchestration &#8211; learn how it works and why it can help you do more with your data</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://downloads.digitalmarketingdepot.com/LNE_1811_DataOrches_landingpage.html?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=newspost"><img src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2017/04/people-digital-content-data-ss-1920-800x450.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-213469" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2017/04/people-digital-content-data-ss-1920-800x450.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2017/04/people-digital-content-data-ss-1920-600x338.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2017/04/people-digital-content-data-ss-1920-768x432.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /></a>The modern digital landscape is a complicated one. Whether it’s the issue of how to manage massive amounts of data, an increased focus on consumer privacy, or the general shift in customer preferences towards personalization, keeping up with the evolution of the digital space is a challenge for small businesses and Fortune 1000 companies alike.</p> <p>With about 2.5 exabytes of data produced per person each day and the expected annual world data total to rise to <a href="https://www.emc.com/leadership/digital-universe/2014iview/executive-summary.htm">44 zettabytes (44 trillion gigabytes) by 2020</a>, an urgent question is emerging: How can companies leverage data effectively to drive more personalized marketing experiences?</p> <p>Read this white paper from Lineate to learn how your business can leverage data orchestration to overcome internal data silos, connect disparate consumer touchpoints, and leverage data to create more personalized customer experiences that drive results. Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download <a href="https://downloads.digitalmarketingdepot.com/LNE_1811_DataOrches_landingpage.html?utm_source=ml&#038;utm_medium=newspost" rel="nofollow">&#8220;The Ultimate B2C Guide To Data Orchestration.&#8221;</a></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/data-orchestration-learn-how-it-works-and-why-it-can-help-you-do-more-with-your-data-253602">Data orchestration &#8211; learn how it works and why it can help you do more with your data</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Here’s your exclusive insider look of SMX West https://marketingland.com/heres-your-exclusive-insider-look-of-smx-west-253488 Marketing Land urn:uuid:b9d72ec2-00a5-23c6-f66e-61949a4a4581 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:07:37 +0000 <p>TL;DR: Here&#8217;s my epic 3,000-word preview of all the sessions, speakers and networking you’ll experience at SMX West. Read a little or read it all. Then register by 11:59pm Saturday, December 22 and save big with Early Bird rates. Search Engine Land&#8217;s SMX® West, the go-to event for search marketers, returns to San Jose January 30-31. [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/heres-your-exclusive-insider-look-of-smx-west-253488">Here’s your exclusive insider look of SMX West</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p><em><strong><img class="size-large wp-image-309365 alignnone" src="https://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2018/12/smxwest-day2-50-800x450.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450" /></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>TL;DR:</strong> Here&#8217;s my epic 3,000-word preview of all the sessions, speakers and networking you’ll experience at SMX West. Read a little or read it all. Then <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/rates/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">register by 11:59pm Saturday, December 22</a></em><em> and save big with Early Bird rates.</em></p> <p>Search Engine Land&#8217;s <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">SMX® West</a>, the go-to event for search marketers, returns to San Jose January 30-31. The agenda, packing more than 50 world-class <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/speakers/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">speakers</a>, teaches you actionable search marketing tactics you can implement immediately to drive more awareness, traffic and conversions. If you work in SEO, SEM, content marketing, social media or any other customer-facing activity, you can’t afford to miss it!</p> <p>SMX West features three tracks of expert-led <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/agenda-at-a-glance/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">sessions</a> that cover:</p> <ul> <li>Search marketing topics including search advertising (PPC/SEM), SEO, technical SEO, analytics and more.</li> <li>Proven actionable tactics you can use immediately to improve your campaigns.</li> <li>All experience levels, from beginner to advanced.</li> </ul> <p><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/rates/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">Register by Saturday, December 22</a> to secure your pass and take advantage of Early Bird rates!</p> <h3>Compelling keynote speakers</h3> <p>SMX West kicks off with a keynote from Google&#8217;s Search &amp; Assistant team, <em>Age Of Assistance</em>. The talk will take you on a roller coaster ride from where we are today to what the future holds, including how future tech that is already here is having a significant impact on marketing campaigns.</p> <p>In addition, Microsoft will present a forward-looking discussion on the recent developments at Bing on both the SEO and SEM fronts. In <em>The Quest For Intelligent Search</em>, you’ll get an update on how Bing is creating more intelligent search answers and a preview of technical initiatives such as crawling, indexing and AMP. You&#8217;ll also hear about innovative new advertising tools from Microsoft that emphasize easy integration and automation.</p> <h3>Dive Right In: SEO &amp; SEM Sessions &#8211; Wednesday, January 30</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/1.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-8728 alignright" src="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/1.jpg" alt="" width="302" height="201" /></a>The brave new world of SEO</strong><br /> Gone are the days when SEO was about tweaking on-page elements or building links. There&#8217;s much more to effective SEO today, especially given the advent of machine learning and massive algorithmic shifts. We’ve got you covered with <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/seo-sessions/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">SEO sessions</a> that ensure optimal organic rankings.</p> <ul> <li>We kick off with <em>Machine vs. Man: What Really Matters For SEO Success</em>, a wide-ranging discussion of the critical factors that matter today. You&#8217;ll learn about ranking factors, on-and-off page signals that search engines use to determine relevance, what search quality raters consider and much more.</li> <li>Google says that more searches are conducted on mobile devices today than on desktop, so it’s now using the mobile version of the web as its primary search engine index. Even if you don&#8217;t have a mobile site, you need to be aware of the factors Google considers important. Your SEO efforts must begin with understanding the difference between mobile first indexing and mobile friendly SEO. Though linked at the hip, they are not the same. In <em>Mobile First Indexing &amp; Mobile Friendly SEO</em>, you&#8217;ll learn the differences between these two concepts, as well as how to construct a mobile friendly site for search engines that delivers exceptional user experiences for your human visitors.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The clinic is open!</strong><br /> Bring your burning questions to a panel of experts ready with answers and advice! The 100% Q&amp;A <em>SEO Site Clinic</em> is your chance to speak directly and openly with the SMX experts you know and trust. There are no presentations. No PowerPoints. Raise your hand, take the mic, and ask your questions. Our panelists will take turns sharing their opinions and advice. Attend the SEO site clinic for…</p> <ul> <li>Insights from knowledgeable speakers.</li> <li>Live audits of your website, content and campaigns.</li> <li>Custom recommendations of tools and platforms.</li> <li>Specific pointers and advice.</li> </ul> <p><strong>The latest in technical SEO</strong><br /> Over the years, Google has become better at crawling, understanding and indexing dynamic websites. But there are still situations where GoogleBot can’t index content within JavaScript, leading to poor rankings. Google recently released an SEO workaround, called dynamic rendering, that supports modern sites with JavaScript and sites that have a strong social media presence.</p> <ul> <li><em>Google&#8217;s New Dynamic Rendering Workaround: A Must For JavaScript-Heavy Sites</em> dives into the promise and reality of dynamic rendering. You&#8217;ll learn how to implement this new process of switching between client-side rendering and pre-rendered content.</li> <li>A site redesign is often seen as a golden opportunity to address known problems. However, radical strategic shifts can be risky; it&#8217;s hard to predict how users and search engines will react to them. You&#8217;ll leave<em> Everything You Need To Know To Execute A Successful Site Migration</em> with a comprehensive strategy for executing an error-free site migration that delivers all the benefits you expect with none of the headaches. Our experts will share hands-on advice and learnings from dozens of successful migrations.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Actionable &amp; measurable SEM tactics<br /> </strong>We also have <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/sem-sessions/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">SEM sessions</a> that address everything from &#8220;pure&#8221; pay-per-click strategies and tactics to specific insights on integrating search ads into other marketing channels. Check out what&#8217;s in store:</p> <ul> <li>In the past year, Google expanded the headlines and descriptions in standard text ads. More real estate, but do they deliver better results? Or just create complexity? <em>Text Ad Reboot: How To Evaluate &amp; Manage Your Current Options</em> delivers best practices for evaluating the effectiveness and managing the choices text ads offer. Are three headlines more effective than two? Are two descriptions better than one? Our experts will answer these and more of your burning questions.</li> <li>Just when you thought you had built the perfect campaign structure to silo inbound SEM traffic by match-type to meet your ROAS goals with perfectly tuned bids and ads, everything changed. Updates to Google Ads and Bing Ads matching rules have upended many time-tested and reliable account structures. In <em>Starting Fresh With Match Types &amp; Account Structures</em>, you&#8217;ll get expert insights on the effectiveness of traditional account structures, how and when to consider a complete rebuild and what new hybrid account structures you should be considering to keep your campaigns competitive in the new world of SEM.</li> <li>Creating successful ads used to be as simple as writing a great headline and two lines of text. Now with so many extensions, device adaptations, dynamic text, and other components, creating ads can seem more like an engineering challenge than a creative one. In <em>Ad Testing In A Multi-Format World</em>, you&#8217;ll get a deep dive into constructing, conducting and evaluating ad tests when you blend ad formats in groups. You&#8217;ll walk away with new approaches, best practices and the know-how to use timeless testing techniques to drive campaign success.</li> <li>Audience targeting allows you to be precise in choosing who sees your ads and the bids for each group. In <em>Getting Tactical With Google &amp; Bing Audiences</em>, you&#8217;ll learn to use advanced audience targeting to identify prospects and customers and maximize the ROI of your campaigns.</li> <li>In today&#8217;s on-demand world, sales and marketing don’t follow the traditional funnel of guiding a customer from awareness to purchase. Rather, success means understanding that your prospects follow their own path and your campaigns need to accompany them. <em>Aligning Your Marketing With Your Customer&#8217;s Journey</em> explores how to get in step with your customer (and your team) as they follow their own paths from interest to engagement and conversion.</li> </ul> <h3>Yes, Virginia, There&#8217;s Another Whole Day: Thursday, January 31</h3> <p><strong><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2.jpg"><img class="wp-image-8727 alignright" src="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a>The art &amp; science of SEO</strong><br /> We get it. It is a challenge to keep up with constant algorithm changes, the inexorable shift to mobile and tablet devices and an ever-increasing number of competitive websites appearing every day. Not to worry! Here&#8217;s a look at the <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/seo-sessions/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">SEO sessions</a> that will prepare you for whatever comes:</p> <ul> <li>Have you ever encountered a hairy SEO problem where all of your hard-won, proven experience just doesn’t seem to help? You won’t want to miss <em>Solving Complex SEO Problems When Standard Fixes Don’t Apply</em>. Our seasoned speakers will share the metrics that indicate significant SEO problems.</li> <li>Enterprise SEOs face unique challenges &#8212; from working on multiple sites in multiple countries on multiple content management systems to managing a wide array of stakeholder interests &#8212; all the while protecting the integrity of the brand. In <em>Enterprise SEOs, Unite!</em>, our panel of big brand SEOs will deliver a much-needed sanity check along with the latest tactical and technical issues that are relevant to large website implementations.</li> <li>Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana are a new frontier for gaining visibility for your content on Internet Of Things devices. Learn emerging SEO techniques for these devices in <em>Optimizing Content For Voice Search &amp; Virtual Assistants</em>. This session will explore how to optimize your content and user experience for a future in which half or more of all queries will be spoken.</li> <li>With recent improvements in camera phones and search engine image feature detection capabilities, users are increasingly turning to visual search for finding products, planning travel and other activities. Optimizing for visual search can drive more traffic and significantly enhance user experience and conversion rates. <em>Maximizing Visual Search Potential</em> explores the important techniques to fully leverage visual search.</li> <li>Local search requires different approaches for organic optimization, paid search and social media marketing efforts. With <em>Leveraging The New Realities Of Local Search</em>, you&#8217;ll get street-savvy tips from marketers who work on the ground daily. They&#8217;ll offer case studies highlighting successes &#8212; as well as failures and hard-won lessons learned &#8212; from working in a constantly changing landscape where both true competitors and local search providers like Yelp and Google can derail even the most carefully implemented local search campaign.</li> </ul> <p><strong>More SEM strategies and tactics for you performance marketers<br /> </strong>Take a look at what <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/sem-sessions/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">SEM sessions</a> are in store for Thursday, January 31:</p> <ul> <li>From branding to content marketing to performance marketing, companies are finding success with Facebook and YouTube ads. In <em>Driving Sales with Advanced Facebook &amp; YouTube Tactics</em>, you’ll learn about audience development and targeting, creative options, measurement and reporting. The actionable information shared will help you generate qualified leads and conversions from Facebook and YouTube.</li> <li>If you sell online, taking advantage of Amazon&#8217;s merchant services is a no-brainer. But did you know that Amazon is now the third largest online ad platform? Attend <em>Leveraging Amazon Ads &amp; Other Product Marketplace Opportunities</em> for tactics and best practices to leverage Sponsored Products, Sponsored Brands, Product Display Ads as well as Amazon&#8217;s other advertising offerings. You&#8217;ll also gain an understanding of the broader e-commerce marketplace landscape and where our expert speakers see future opportunities.</li> <li>It&#8217;s not enough to be brilliant with your own SEM efforts. You also need to know what your competitors are up to. That means identifying their keywords, landing page and quality score strategies and campaign management practices. In short, you need to know everything they&#8217;re doing to enhance their visibility and diminish yours. Attend <em>Competitive Analysis: Inside Out &amp; Outside In</em> to discover how easy it is to apply the time-tested techniques of competitive intelligence to your SEM campaigns to sharpen your marketing edge.</li> <li>When it comes to feedback and opinions on your ad campaigns, there&#8217;s no shortage of advice from a multitude of sources. Sadly, all too often these recommendations contradict one another. The<em> Who You Gonna Trust? SEM Expert Roundtable</em> discussion will give you a candid look at what&#8217;s working, what&#8217;s not and how to evaluate your options.<br /> attendees</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Solutions Track</strong></h3> <p><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/3.jpg"><img class="wp-image-8726 alignright" src="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/3.jpg" alt="" width="298" height="224" /></a>All of the <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/agenda-at-a-glance/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">20+ SEO and SEM sessions</a> I’ve described above are editorial sessions. People are speaking on them because we feel they have great information to offer. No one bought their way onto a panel. But we also recognize that our many <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/exhibitors/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">sponsors</a> also have great information to share. That’s why we provide a platform for you to hear from them.</p> <div style="margin-top: 10px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.3em;">The Solutions Track features sessions led by our sponsoring companies. These companies know they are competing with our editorial sessions for your attention, so they’re highly motivated to deliver great information and value. Check out the Solutions track for full-length presentations from brands including Adthena, Botify, Bruce Clay Inc., Instapage, Purelinq, Stone Temple, Quora, and Uberall.</div> <h3>Still want more? Attend a full-day workshop for immersive search marketing training</h3> <p><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/4.jpg"><img class=" wp-image-8725 alignright" src="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/4.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="200" /></a>The SMX West agenda offers a ton of valuable learning opportunities &#8212; but that just isn’t enough for some attendees. That’s why we offer a full day of post-conference training designed to take your search marketing to the next level.</p> <div style="margin-top: 10px; font-family: Arial; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.3em;"><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/workshops/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">Workshops</a>, held Friday, February 1, offer a deep level of hands-on, immersive training that you won’t find anywhere else.</div> <p>Our <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/boot-camp/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">Search Marketing Boot Camp</a> is perfect for beginners looking to get a foothold on the basics. Fundamental sessions include:</p> <ul> <li>Keyword Research &amp; Copywriting For Search Success</li> <li>Link Building Fundamentals</li> <li>Paid Search Fundamentals</li> <li>Search Engine Friendly Web Design</li> </ul> <p>The Search Marketing Boot Camp is available for just $549 if you <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/rates?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">register by December 22</a> &#8212; if you want to brush up on SEO and SEM basics, now’s the time to take the leap. In addition to the workshop sessions, you’ll get access to breakfast, lunch, refreshment breaks and a Certificate of Completion if you attend each individual boot camp session. <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/rates?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">Upgrade to an All Access pass</a> if you want to unlock the complete SMX experience, including all sessions, keynotes, clinics, networking, and amenities.</p> <p>Looking for some more intermediate or advanced training? Choose from one of <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/workshops?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">four in-depth workshops</a>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/seotoolset-training/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">Bruce Clay Advanced SEO Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/advanced-adwords-training/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">bgTheory Advanced AdWords Training</a></li> <li><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/in-house-seo-exchange/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">In-House SEO Exchange</a></li> <li><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/advanced-technical-seo/?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics &amp; Techniques</a></li> </ul> <p>These workshops also include breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks. Bundle your workshop with an All Access pass for maximum value! You’ll save up to $600 off on-site rates if you <a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/smx/west/rates?utm_source=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=smx+west+2019&amp;utm_content=eb+preview">register by December 22</a>.</p> <h3>Networking with like-minded peers</h3> <p><a href="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/5.jpg"><img class="wp-image-8724 alignright" src="https://marketinglandevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/5.jpg" alt="" width="300" height="201" /></a>SMX West brings together the most accomplished search marketers in the world, and we provide plenty of social networking activities for you to connect with them:</p> <ul> <li>Our <em>SMX Facebook Group</em> will allow you to connect with other attendees and speakers before, during and after the conference.</li> <li>All Access pass holders get more out of lunch than just hot, delicious meals. We invite you to sign up for one of our <em>Birds of a Feather lunch tables</em> for topic-driven discussion about specific areas of search. These tables provide a rich opportunity to continue the conversation with others who share your interests. We’ll post a schedule and topic list several weeks prior to the conference and you can reserve your spot online.</li> <li>Th<em>e Networking Reception</em> will be held the evening of Wednesday, January 30. It’s the perfect opportunity to mingle with peers and speakers while enjoying cocktails and snacks.</li> <li>We’re also hosting two community meetups Wednesday, January 30:<em> Enterprise SEO for In-Housers</em> and <em>Technical SEO for Developers</em>. These meetups offer you the opportunity to connect with like-minded marketers on the issues that matter most to you. Stay tuned for more details!</li> </ul> <h3><strong>Don’t take our word for it&#8230;</strong></h3> <p>Yo Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long https://marketingland.com/why-some-marketers-say-cyber-week-is-just-too-long-253219 Marketing Land urn:uuid:d5f05feb-2b2b-ce2c-ccee-2b8b56ef4e50 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 18:07:20 +0000 <p>Here's how email marketers can sidestep the perils of a too-long holiday promotional period.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/why-some-marketers-say-cyber-week-is-just-too-long-253219">Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>As Black Friday and Cyber Monday have begun to merge into a <a href="https://success.zaius.com/bfcm-ecommerce-report-2018?utm_source=zaius&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=Marketing%20Email">single blockbuster weekend</a> to kick off the holiday shopping season, many enthusiastic marketers are pushing <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/talkingtech/2018/11/27/black-friday-and-cyber-monday-gone-but-holiday-shopping-sales-continue/2118711002/">sales and promotions well past the weekend</a>. But are we ready for a &#8220;Cyber Week?&#8221; Maybe not.</p> <h2>Longer doesn&#8217;t necessarily mean better</h2> <p>Gurjit Sandhu, marketing manager at Yes Marketing, said that its <a href="https://www.yesmarketing.com/resources/whitepaper/2018-holiday-marketing-guide">research</a> showed that an extension of the sales holidays doesn&#8217;t carry the same element of urgency as a limited sale, citing stats that show that while emails sent out the Tuesday after Cyber Monday generated a 16.2 percent open rate, they only yielded a 2.7 percent conversion rate.</p> <p>&#8220;While many retailers attempt to build on the momentum of these shopping events by extending sales into Tuesday and beyond, our research has demonstrated that the extension of these sales often leads to indecision and inaction for consumers as the sense of urgency to act diminishes,&#8221; Sandhu said.</p> <p>Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights said that while merchants kept their discounts alive after Cyber Monday, they didn&#8217;t see corresponding sales growth past Tuesday.</p> <p>&#8220;The Tuesday after (11/27) brought in $2.97 billion and grew considerably at 29.6 percent year-over-year, so there was some spillover from Cyber Monday as retailers maintained their discounts, but the remaining days had below-average growth,&#8221; Schreiner said.</p> <h2>Some attribute the Cyber Week trend to mobile</h2> <p>Karly Cyr, senior marketing manager at digital experience plaform Mobify, attributes the trend to the <a href="https://marketingland.com/from-black-friday-to-cyber-monday-consumers-spend-more-than-4-billion-on-mobile-252483">increase in mobile use for holiday shopping</a>, saying &#8220;customers have access to the store 24/7 through their phone and what&#8217;s new here is they’re willing to actually buy on [them] when the experience is fast and convenient. As more and more retailers deliver experiences that meet these expectations, consumers are becoming more comfortable not only shopping, but actually buying on their phones. Retailers now have to market to this customer specifically.&#8221;</p> <p>Cyr noted the example of e-commerce retailer Payless, which is marketing &#8220;24 days of deals.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;Black Friday this year began well before the actual day and retailers can see how shoppers are viewing pages as they look at products and plan what to buy prior to the holiday. With good response comes the need to extend this revenue generator. So Cyber Monday has extended to Cyber Week. This began with some marketers last year, but the trend has been more noticeable this season with lots of flash sales, extended offers, and other enticements to keep the shopper, and the mobile shopper, in particular, shopping,&#8221; Cyr said.</p> <h2>Shoppers will shop as long as they have offers</h2> <p>Adam Proehl, partner and co-founder of digital marketing agency NordicClick, said that its retail and consumer product clients have &#8220;continually found as long as they have compelling offers that stand out, they can email their customers more often (than they otherwise could most of the year) while maintaining (or even increasing) performance and minimizing list fatigue.&#8221;</p> <p>Proehl says that brands that suffer from &#8216;urgency dilution&#8217; may have other problems.</p> <p>&#8220;They’ve probably already trained their customers to expect a big sale once a month, never have anything unique to offer, or simply haven’t figured out how to position their message properly to stand out in a season where everyone else is vying for that same customer’s attention,&#8221; Proehl said.</p> <h2>How retailers can make the most of the season</h2> <p>Sandhu said the longer shopping season leaves shoppers exhausted and without the &#8220;urgency and scarcity that drives them to purchase. To combat this slump, retailers should draw on specific subject lines with attention-grabbing CTAs (calls to action), as well as run tests prior to actual campaign deployments in order to determine which tone and emotion resonate best with consumers. To avoid the risk of overexposure, retailers should think twice before they extend their sales into Tuesday and beyond.” Sandhu said.</p> <p>Mark Gally, CEO of B2C CRM Zaius said, &#8220;As Black Friday/Cyber Monday merge to become a 4-day weekend of holiday shopping, marketers have to make the most of every engagement and interaction. To do this, marketers have to be careful not to inundate the inbox with too many promotions. Instead, marketers should personalize all of their content according to where the buyer is in the customer lifecycle, what products they&#8217;ve browsed, and more. By using customer data effectively, marketers can make more out of fewer messages, drive higher conversion rates, and rely less on discounts during this competitive weekend.&#8221;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/why-some-marketers-say-cyber-week-is-just-too-long-253219">Why some marketers say Cyber Week is just too long</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Google to Roll Out New Call-to-Action Extension for Video Ads by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10898374 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:652bdcb7-0812-f1f3-b639-1c0a8015e9da Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:35:40 +0000 <p>Google Ads is sunsetting the YouTube call-to-action overlay in January 2019 and introducing a new CTA extension in its place.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-to-roll-out-new-call-to-action-extension-for-video-ads/282743/">Google to Roll Out New Call-to-Action Extension for Video Ads by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10898374.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Top 36 SEO Insights of the Year from Google’s John Mueller by @sam_marsden http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10898209 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:255de056-ec14-3ecc-a59a-016ad973f188 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:45:03 +0000 <p>Here are some important SEO insights from Google's John Mueller on mobile-first, content, crawling, indexing, JavaScript, linking, and more!</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-seo-insights-google-john-mueller/278829/">Top 36 SEO Insights of the Year from Google&#8217;s John Mueller by @sam_marsden</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10898209.gif" height="1" width="1"/> 4 Common Goals of PPC Landing Pages for B2B Lead Gen Campaigns by @adamproehl http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10898168 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:e55e41fc-2851-056d-60bc-94c1bd53a488 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:45:18 +0000 <p>This post reviews four common goals of PPC landing pages for B2B lead generation campaigns.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ppc-landing-pages-goals-b2b-lead-generation/282049/">4 Common Goals of PPC Landing Pages for B2B Lead Gen Campaigns by @adamproehl</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10898168.gif" height="1" width="1"/> IAB’s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices https://marketingland.com/iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-and-measurement-sdk-hits-2-billion-devices-253509 Marketing Land urn:uuid:c974a99d-2da9-1cc8-1c58-9b96cfd7644f Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:24:35 +0000 <p>17 companies across the U.S., Europe and Asia are already certified.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-and-measurement-sdk-hits-2-billion-devices-253509">IAB&#8217;s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>Out just over a year, the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab&#8217;s third-party in-app ad viewability and measurement tool is gaining significant steam. IAB will announce Wednesday that its Open Measurement software development kit (<a href="https://iabtechlab.com/standards/open-measurement-sdk/">SDK</a>) has been certified by 17 companies across the U.S., Europe and Asia, and it&#8217;s enabled on 2 billion devices across the world.</p> <p>The IAB Tech Lab initially <a href="https://martechtoday.com/iab-tech-lab-issues-first-software-universal-sdk-viewability-205402">released</a> the SDK in Oct. 2017 as its first software product. It simplified an early process that involved multiple SDKs and systems.</p> <p>The most recent version of the SDK delivers a variety of data, including if the ad was viewed, how long it was viewed, impressions served, general invalid traffic detection, percentage in view and video events such as the start, stop, resume, pause of videos and <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/q/quartile.asp">quartile</a> progression.</p> <h2>Why it matters</h2> <p>Prior to the creation of the OM SDK, app publishers that wanted to enable measurement through multiple vendors had to install SDKs from four to five companies &#8212; an inefficient process that restricted advertiser&#8217;s ability to measure in-app viewability at scale.</p> <p>&#8220;A single SDK like OM SDK makes this process much more efficient and transparent and increases the reach many times over,&#8221; said Dennis Buchheim, senior vice president and general manager of IAB Tech Lab. &#8220;<span style="color: #000000;">Also, a single SDK helps implement industry agreed-upon standards across different partners and provides much higher consistency of data.&#8221;</span></p> <p>The wide adoption of this standard bodes well for marketers who are looking for assurance with their mobile app ad buys.</p> <p>&#8220;With in-app advertising viewability and verification simplified and made more consistent, brands can confidently and more easily buy mobile app inventory,&#8221; Buchheim said.</p> <p>Paul Longhenry, SVP of strategy, corporate and business development at monetization platform Tapjoy, said 75 percent of its inventory is OM-enabled &#8220;and measurement is no longer the inhibitor it once was.&#8221;</p> <h2>More about the news</h2> <ul> <li>The U.S. companies that are <a href="https://iabtechlab.com/compliance-programs/compliant-companies">currently certified</a> to use the OM SDK are Flipboard, Gameloft, InMobi, Pandora, intowow, inmarket, Tapjoy, GetDabbl and Google. The list also includes companies in Europe, India, China and Korea.</li> <li>The Media Rating Council is on board.  &#8220;The MRC has reviewed the IAB Tech Lab certification process and finds it has sufficiently stringent rigor for onboarding OM SDK data from an integrator,” said George W. Ivie, the agency&#8217;s executive director and CEO.</li> <li>The IAB Tech Lab reports that it will continue supporting the adoption of the OM SDK and will work to enable <a href="https://martechtoday.com/iab-tech-lab-releases-final-version-of-vast-4-1-that-incorporates-unprecedented-level-of-feedback-227528">VAST</a> and other ad formats to use OM SDK in programmatic channels.</li> </ul> <p><i>This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, <a href="https://martechtoday.com?utm_src=ml&amp;utm_medium=textlink&amp;utm_campaign=mlxpost">click here.</a></i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/iabs-in-app-ad-viewability-and-measurement-sdk-hits-2-billion-devices-253509">IAB&#8217;s in-app ad viewability and measurement SDK hits 2 billion devices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification https://marketingland.com/why-content-marketers-dont-want-instant-gratification-253496 Marketing Land urn:uuid:8e35f258-0e82-450a-ef23-1d332a4d5c8d Wed, 12 Dec 2018 13:10:51 +0000 <p>When marketers set realistic expectations, they’re in a better spot to succeed long term. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/why-content-marketers-dont-want-instant-gratification-253496">Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>When marketers invest in content, they have to face a difficult truth. No content program is going to drive substantial results in 30 days. Maybe not 45 or 60 either. They may have to wait 90 days or more before their content strategy starts to move the business.</p> <p>That may go against our need for instant gratification, but when marketers set realistic expectations, they’re in a better spot to succeed long term. Writing a single blog post and asking your team to “make it go viral” is like planting a seed one morning before heading to work and demanding it become an aloe plant by the time you get home. Speed just isn’t a big part of the equation.</p> <p>Anyone who tells you otherwise hasn’t admitted to cutting corners at every turn. Of course, you can adjust a lot of variables to help the process along, but you can never press fast forward on building a trusting relationship with your audience. Consumers make very logical decisions when spending their time online. We may not always agree with those decisions, but people don’t spend much time engaging with content they don’t like.</p> <p>In my experience, too many executives still want to see results from their content on an unrealistic timetable. Marketers tend to want every strategy distilled into three quick steps. Unfortunately, the search for a quick fix leaves many vulnerable to misinformation. I’m talking about the industry leaders who’ll dole out the “why” and “what” of content while mysteriously never delivering on the “how.”</p> <p>But there <i>is </i>good news — none of that time you spend waiting will be wasted. There’s just so much to determine before your team starts creating: brand voice, target audience, goals, values, etc. After you’ve nailed down the details of your strategy, you begin creating content by focusing on metrics and messaging that encourage brand familiarity and engagement. Only after several months of nailing those concepts can you delve into conversion, lead generation, brand advocacy and more.</p> <p>A content marketer’s mix of determination and patience also pays off SEO dividends as well. When you launch a digital publication, you’re not starting with domain authority, and search algorithms don’t tend to play nice with rookie mistakes. Search engines want to see you’ve constructed a healthy foundation of content for readers, and that’s what sends your work to the top of the SERP.</p> <p>The truth is, you don’t want your early content to go viral only to have everyone walk away because you don’t have anything else to show them. They’ll chalk your viral success up to a lark, which is hard to recover from. Your brand is providing a new service by creating content that helps customers make sense of a topic or industry. You have to build trust over time so that those relationships can become meaningful. In other words, you want to be The Allman Brothers, not a one-hit wonder.</p> <p>So I’m sorry to say that success won’t happen overnight. But for marketers like myself, the real beauty of content is that a good strategy pays off every time. When you deliver something beneficial to your target audience, and you make a habit of doing so over time, you leave second place in the dust. Your competitors will be miles behind.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/why-content-marketers-dont-want-instant-gratification-253496">Why content marketers don’t want instant gratification</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> 5 Ways to Optimize PPC Advertising to Improve the Customer Experience by @cchaitanya http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10898028 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:15f28e31-523d-f953-41c8-d3d508723a49 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 12:45:12 +0000 <p>Focus on these five key areas to develop a relevant, sustainable, and scalable advertising strategy that prioritizes customer experience.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/optimize-digital-advertising-improve-customer-experience/282375/">5 Ways to Optimize PPC Advertising to Improve the Customer Experience by @cchaitanya</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10898028.gif" height="1" width="1"/> 6 Ways to Use IGTV for Business https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-ways-use-igtv-business/ Social Media Examiner urn:uuid:803bb1bf-8360-a185-9793-4c1579773fd2 Wed, 12 Dec 2018 11:00:10 +0000 <img width="1200" height="630" src="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/use-igtv-for-business-1200.png" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="display: block; margin-bottom: 5px; clear:both;max-width: 100%;" srcset="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/use-igtv-for-business-1200.png 1200w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/use-igtv-for-business-1200-150x79.png 150w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/use-igtv-for-business-1200-300x158.png 300w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/use-igtv-for-business-1200-768x403.png 768w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/use-igtv-for-business-1200-1024x538.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /><p>Wondering how to add IGTV content to your marketing mix? Looking for creative ideas for your Instagram TV videos? In this article, you&#8217;ll find six ways to use IGTV to grow your brand&#8217;s visibility with a new Instagram audience. #1: Reach a New Audience With Previously Published Video Content IGTV provides the perfect opportunity to [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/6-ways-use-igtv-business/">6 Ways to Use IGTV for Business</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com">Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner</a>.</p> Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019 http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/10897257 Moz Blog urn:uuid:6e1012b9-e681-367f-f879-486faa20a74c Wed, 12 Dec 2018 00:01:00 +0000 <p>Posted by <a href=\"https://moz.com/community/users/13017\">MiriamEllis</a></p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c1054092b0df5.46092895.png"> </p><p class="caption"><em>64% of 1,411 surveyed local business marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. Via</em> <em>Moz <a href="https://moz.com/products/local/state-of-local-seo" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'SOLR text top']);">State of Local SEO Industry Report</a></em> </p><p>...but please don’t come away with the wrong storyline from this statistic. </p><p>As local brands and their marketers watch Google play Trojan horse, shifting from top benefactor to top competitor by replacing former “free” publicity with paid packs, Local Service Ads, zero-click SERPs, and related structures, it’s no surprise to see forum members asking, “Do I even need a website anymore?” </p><p>Our answer to this question is,“Yes, you’ve never needed a website more than you will in 2019.” In this post, we’ll examine: </p><ul> <li>Why it looks like local businesses don’t need websites</li> <li>Statistical proofs of why local businesses need websites now more than ever</li> <li>The current status of local business websites and most-needed improvements</li> </ul><h2>How Google stopped bearing so many gifts</h2><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c1054096c00e6.05461698.jpg"> </p><p>Within recent memory, a Google query with local intent brought up a big pack of ten nearby businesses, with each entry taking the user directly to these brands’ websites for all of their next steps. A modest amount of marketing effort was rewarded with a shower of Google gifts in the form of rankings, traffic, and conversions. </p><p>Then these generous SERPs shrank to seven spots, and then three, with the mobile sea change thrown into the bargain and consisting of layers and layers of Google-owned interfaces instead of direct-to-website links. In 2018, when we rustle through the wrapping paper, the presents we find from Google look cheaper, smaller, and less magnificent. </p><p>Consider these five key developments: </p><h3>1) Zero-click mobile SERPs</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c105409a5a764.32126533.jpg"> </p><p>This slide from a recent presentation by Rand Fishkin encapsulates<a href="https://sparktoro.com/blog/new-data-how-googles-organic-paid-ctrs-have-changed-2015-2018/" target="_blank">his findings regarding the growth of no-click SERPs</a> between 2016–2018. Mobile users have experienced a 20% increase in delivery of search engine results that don’t require them to go any deeper than Google’s own interface. </p><h3>2) The encroachment of paid ads into local packs</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c105409de52b4.52390122.png"> </p><p>When Dr. Peter J. Myers surveyed 11,000 SERPs in 2018, he found that <a href="https://moz.com/blog/35-percent-of-local-keywords-have-local-pack-ads" target="_blank">35% of competitive local packs feature ads</a>. </p><h3>3) Google becoming a lead gen agency</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540a3ab2e9.30437897.png"> </p><p>At last count, Google’s Local Service Ads program via which they interposition themselves as the paid lead gen agent between businesses and consumers has taken over <a href="http://tomwaddington.com/current-google-local-services-ads-markets-verticals/" target="_blank">23 business categories in 77 US cities</a>. </p><h3>4) Even your branded SERPs don’t belong to you</h3><p>When a user specifically searches for your brand and your Google Knowledge Panel pops up, you can likely cope with the long-standing “People Also Search For” set of competitors at the bottom of it. But that’s not the same as Google allowing <a href="https://www.sterlingsky.ca/attention-smbs-groupon-targeting-existing-customers-via-google/" target="_blank">Groupon to advertise at the top of your KP</a>, or putting lead gen from <a href="http://www.thesempost.com/google-adds-grubhub-ads-local-knowledge-panel/" target="_blank">Doordash and GrubHub</a> front and center to nickel and dime you on your own customers’ orders. </p><h3>5) Google is being called the new “homepage” for local businesses</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540a78bf73.16261762.png"> </p><p>As highlighted at the beginning of this post, 64% of marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. This concept, <a href="https://streetfightmag.com/2017/03/06/why-google-is-becoming-the-new-homepage-for-smbs/" target="_blank">coined by Mike Blumenthal</a>, signifies that a user looking at a Google Knowledge Panel can get basic business info, make a phone call, get directions, book something, ask a question, take a virtual tour, read microblog posts, see hours of operation, thumb through photos, see busy times, read and leave reviews. Without ever having to click through to a brand’s domain, the user may be fully satisfied. </p><blockquote><em>“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” <br>- Epicurus</em> </blockquote><p>There are many more examples we could gather, but they can all be summed up in one way: None of Google’s most recent local initiatives are about driving customers to brands’ own websites. Local SERPs have shrunk and have been re-engineered to keep users within Google’s platforms to generate maximum revenue for Google and their partners. </p><p>You may be as philosophical as Epicurus about this and say that Google has every right to be as profitable as they can with their own product, even if they don’t really <em>need to</em> siphon more revenue off local businesses. But if Google’s recent trajectory causes your brand or agency to conclude that websites have become obsolete in this heavily controlled environment, please keep reading. </p><h2>Your website is your bedrock</h2><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540ab11ed5.69214394.png"> </p><p class="caption"><em>“65% of 1,411 surveyed marketers observe strong correlation between organic and local rank.” - <em>Via</em> <em>Moz <a href="https://moz.com/products/local/state-of-local-seo" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'SOLR text bottom']);">State of Local SEO Industry Report</a></em></em> </p><p>What this means is that businesses which rank highly organically are very likely to have high associated local pack rankings. In the following screenshot, if you take away the directory-type platforms, you will see how the brand websites ranking on page 1 for “deli athens ga” are also the two businesses that have made it into Google’s local pack: </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540af24d21.21581327.jpg"> </p><h3>How often do the top 3 Google local pack results also have a 1st page organic rankings?</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540b3b0473.27852737.png"> </p><p>In a small study, we looked at 15 head keywords across 7 US cities and towns. This yielded 315 possible entries in Google’s local pack. Of that 315, 235 of the businesses ranking in the local packs also had page 1 organic rankings. <em>That’s a </em><em>75%</em><em> correlation between organic website rankings and local pack presence.</em> </p><p>*It’s worth noting that where local and organic results did not correlate, it was sometimes due the presence of spam GMB listings, or to mystery SERPs that did not make sense at first glance — perhaps as a result of Google testing, in some cases. </p><p>Additionally, many local businesses are not making it to the first page of Google anymore in some categories because the organic SERPs are inundated with best-of lists and directories. Often, local business websites were pushed down to the second page of the organic results. In other words, if spam, “best-ofs,” and mysteries were removed, the local-organic correlation would likely be much higher than 75%. </p><p>Further, one recent study found that even when Google’s Local Service Ads are present, <a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-services-ads-click-study/" target="_blank">43.9% of clicks went to the organic SERPs</a>. Obviously, if you can make it to the top of the organic SERPs, this puts you in very good CTR shape from a purely organic standpoint. </p><h3>Your takeaway from this</h3><p>The local businesses you market may not be able to stave off the onslaught of Google’s zero-click SERPs, paid SERPs, and lead gen features, but where “free” local 3-packs still exist, y<em>our very best bet for being included in them is to have the strongest possible website</em>. Moreover, organic SERPs remain a substantial source of clicks. </p><p>Far from it being the case that websites have become obsolete, they are the firmest bedrock for maintaining free local SERP visibility amidst an increasing scarcity of opportunities. </p><p>This calls for an industry-wide doubling down on organic metrics that matter most. </p><h2>Bridging the local-organic gap</h2><blockquote><em>“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” <br>- Aristotle</em> </blockquote><p>A 2017 CNBC survey found that <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/tech-help-wanted-about-half-of-small-businesses-dont-have-a-website.html" target="_blank">45% of small businesses have no website</a>, and, while most large enterprises have websites, many local businesses qualify as “small.” </p><p>Moreover, a recent audit of 9,392 Google My Business listings found that <a href="https://www.billhartzer.com/local-search/research-reveals-sad-state-google-business-listings/" target="_blank">27% have no website link</a>. </p><p>When asked which one task 1,411 marketers want clients to devote more resources to, it’s no coincidence that 66% listed a website-oriented asset. This includes local content development, on-site optimization, local link building, technical analysis of rankings/traffic/conversions, and website design as shown in the following Moz survey graphic: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540b6fc707.17567442.png"> </p><p>In an environment in which websites are table stakes for competitive local pack rankings, virtually all local businesses not only need one, but they need it to be as strong as possible so that it achieves maximum organic rankings. </p><h2>What makes a website strong?</h2><p>The <a href="https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo" target="_blank">Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO</a> offers incredibly detailed guidelines for creating the best possible website. While we recommend that everyone marketing a local business read through this in-depth guide, we can sum up its contents here by stating that strong websites combine: </p><ul> <li>Technical basics</li> <li>Excellent usability</li> <li>On-site optimization</li> <li>Relevant content publication</li> <li>Publicity</li> </ul><p>For our present purpose, let’s take a special look at those last three elements. </p><h3>On-site optimization and relevant content publication</h3><p>There was a time when on-site SEO and content development were treated almost independently of one another. And while local businesses will need a make a little extra effort to put their basic contact information in prominent places on their websites (such as the footer and Contact Us page), publication and optimization should be viewed as a single topic. A modern strategy takes all of the following into account: </p><ul> <li>Keyword and real-world research tell a local business what consumers want</li> <li>These consumer desires are then reflected in what the business publishes on its website, including its homepage, location landing pages, about page, blog and other components</li> <li>Full reflection of consumer desires includes ensuring that human language (discovered via keyword and real-world research) is implemented in all elements of each page, including its tags, headings, descriptions, text, and in some cases, markup</li> </ul><p>What we’re describing here isn’t a set of disconnected efforts. It’s a single effort that’s integral to researching, writing, and publishing the website. Far from stuffing keywords into a tag or a page’s content, focus has shifted to building topical authority in the eyes of search engines like Google by building an authoritative resource for a particular consumer demographic. The more closely a business is able to reflect customers’ needs (including the language of their needs), in every possible component of its website, the more relevant it becomes. </p><p>A hypothetical example of this would be a large medical clinic in Dallas. Last year, their phone staff was inundated with basic questions about flu shots, like where and when to get them, what they cost, would they cause side effects, what about side effects on people with pre-existing health conditions, etc. This year, the medical center’s marketing team took a look at <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'KWE text']);">Moz Keyword Explorer</a> and saw that there’s an enormous volume of questions surrounding flu shots: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540ba9c8f0.44020867.png"> </p><p>This tiny segment of the findings of the free keyword research tool, <a href="https://answerthepublic.com/" target="_blank">Answer the Public</a>, further illustrates how many questions people have about flu shots: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540beb8564.54792441.png"> </p><p>The medical clinic need not compete nationally for these topics, but at a local level, a page on the website can answer nearly every question a nearby patient could have about this subject. The page, created properly, will reflect human language in its tags, headings, descriptions, text, and markup. It will tell all patients where to come and when to come for this procedure. It has the potential to cut down on time-consuming phone calls.<br> </p><p>And, finally, it will build topical authority in the eyes of Google to strengthen the clinic’s chances of ranking well organically… which can then translate to improved local rankings. </p><p>It’s important to note that keyword research tools typically do not reflect location very accurately, so research is typically done at a national level, and then adjusted to reflect regional or local language differences and geographic terms, after the fact. In other words, a keyword tool may not accurately reflect exactly how many local consumers in Dallas are asking “Where do I get a flu shot?”, but keyword and real-world research signals that this <em>type</em> of question is definitely being asked. The local business website can reflect this question while also adding in the necessary geographic terms. </p><h2>Local link building must be brought to the fore of publicity efforts</h2><p>Moz’s industry survey found that <em>more than one-third of respondents had no local link building strategy in place</em>. Meanwhile, link building was listed as one of the top three tasks to which marketers want their clients to devote more resources. There’s clearly a disconnect going on here. Given the fundamental role links play in building Domain Authority, organic rankings, and subsequent local rankings, building strong websites means bridging this gap. </p><p>First, it might help to examine old prejudices that could cause local business marketers and their clients to feel dubious about link building. These most likely stem from link spam which has gotten so out of hand in the general world of SEO that Google has had to penalize it and filter it to the best of their ability. </p><p>Not long ago, many digital-only businesses were having a heyday with paid links, link farms, reciprocal links, abusive link anchor text and the like. An online company might accrue thousands of links from completely irrelevant sources, all in hopes of escalating rank. Clearly, these practices aren’t ones an ethical business can feel good about investing in, but they do serve as an interesting object lesson, <em>especially when a local marketer can point out to a client, that best local links are typically going to result from real-world relationship-building</em>. </p><p>Local businesses are truly special because they serve a distinct, physical community made up of their own neighbors. The more involved a local business is in its own community, the more naturally link opportunities arise from things like local: </p><ul> <li>Sponsorships</li> <li>Event participation and hosting</li> <li>Online news</li> <li>Blogs</li> <li>Business associations</li> <li>B2B cross-promotions</li> </ul><p>There are so many ways a local business can build genuine topical and domain authority in a given community by dint of the relationships it develops with neighbors. </p><p>An excellent way to get started on this effort is to look at high-ranking local businesses in the same or similar business categories to discover what work they’ve put in to achieve a supportive backlink profile. Moz Link Intersect is an <a href="https://moz.com/blog/linked-unstructured-citations" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'Unstructured Citations article']);">extremely actionable resource for this</a>, enabling a business to input its top competitors to find who is linking to them. </p><p>In the following example, a small B&B in Albuquerque looks up two luxurious Tribal resorts in its city: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540c48ae95.00223933.png"> </p><p>Link Intersect then lists out a blueprint of opportunities, showing which links one or both competitors have earned. Drilling down, the B&B finds that Marriott.com is linking to both Tribal resorts on an Albuquerque things-to-do page: </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540c80b5d9.64462104.png"> </p><p>The small B&B can then try to earn a spot on that same page, because it hosts lavish tea parties as a thing-to-do. Outreach could depend on the B&B owner knowing someone who works at the local Marriott personally. It could include meeting with them in person, or on the phone, or even via email. If this outreach succeeds, an excellent, relevant link will have been earned to boost organic rank, underpinning local rank. </p><p>Then, repeat the process. Aristotle might well have been speaking of link building when he said we are what we repeatedly do and that excellence is a habit. Good marketers can teach customers to have excellent habits in recognizing a good link opportunity when they see it. </p><h3>Taken altogether</h3><p>Without a website, a local business lacks the brand-controlled publishing and link-earning platform that so strongly influences organic rankings. In the absence of this, the chances of ranking well in competitive local packs will be significantly less. Taken altogether, the case is clear for local businesses investing substantially in their websites. </p><h2>Acting now is actually a strategy for the future</h2><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540cbbf3d7.63445688.jpg"> </p><blockquote><em>“There is nothing permanent except change.” <br>- Heraclitus</em> </blockquote><p>You’ve now determined that strong websites are fundamental to local rankings in competitive markets. You’ve absorbed numerous reasons to encourage local businesses you market to prioritize care of their domains. But there’s one more thing you’ll need to be able to convey, and that’s a sense of urgency. </p><p><strong>Right now, every single customer you can still earn from a free local pack listing is immensely valuable for the future. </strong> </p><p>This isn’t a customer you’ve had to pay Google for, as you very well might six months, a year, or five years from now. Yes, you’ve had to invest plenty in developing the strong website that contributed to the high local ranking, but you haven’t paid a penny directly to Google for this particular lead. Soon, you may be having to fork over commissions to Google for a large portion of your new customers, so acting now is like insurance against future spend. </p><p>For this to work out properly, local businesses must take the leads Google is sending them right now for free,<em> and convert them into long-term, loyal customers, with an ultimate value of multiple future transactions without Google as a the middle man.</em> And if these freely won customers can be inspired to act as word-of-mouth advocates for your brand, you will have done something substantial to develop a stream of non-Google-dependent revenue. </p><p>This offer may well expire as time goes by. When it comes to the capricious local SERPs, marketers resemble the Greek philosophers who knew that change is the only constant. The Trojan horse has rolled into every US city, and it’s a gift with a questionable shelf life. We can’t predict if or when free packs might become obsolete, but we share your concerns about the way the wind is blowing. </ <p>Posted by <a href=\"https://moz.com/community/users/13017\">MiriamEllis</a></p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c1054092b0df5.46092895.png"> </p><p class="caption"><em>64% of 1,411 surveyed local business marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. Via</em> <em>Moz <a href="https://moz.com/products/local/state-of-local-seo" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'SOLR text top']);">State of Local SEO Industry Report</a></em> </p><p>...but please don’t come away with the wrong storyline from this statistic. </p><p>As local brands and their marketers watch Google play Trojan horse, shifting from top benefactor to top competitor by replacing former “free” publicity with paid packs, Local Service Ads, zero-click SERPs, and related structures, it’s no surprise to see forum members asking, “Do I even need a website anymore?” </p><p>Our answer to this question is,“Yes, you’ve never needed a website more than you will in 2019.” In this post, we’ll examine: </p><ul> <li>Why it looks like local businesses don’t need websites</li> <li>Statistical proofs of why local businesses need websites now more than ever</li> <li>The current status of local business websites and most-needed improvements</li> </ul><h2>How Google stopped bearing so many gifts</h2><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c1054096c00e6.05461698.jpg"> </p><p>Within recent memory, a Google query with local intent brought up a big pack of ten nearby businesses, with each entry taking the user directly to these brands’ websites for all of their next steps. A modest amount of marketing effort was rewarded with a shower of Google gifts in the form of rankings, traffic, and conversions. </p><p>Then these generous SERPs shrank to seven spots, and then three, with the mobile sea change thrown into the bargain and consisting of layers and layers of Google-owned interfaces instead of direct-to-website links. In 2018, when we rustle through the wrapping paper, the presents we find from Google look cheaper, smaller, and less magnificent. </p><p>Consider these five key developments: </p><h3>1) Zero-click mobile SERPs</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c105409a5a764.32126533.jpg"> </p><p>This slide from a recent presentation by Rand Fishkin encapsulates<a href="https://sparktoro.com/blog/new-data-how-googles-organic-paid-ctrs-have-changed-2015-2018/" target="_blank">his findings regarding the growth of no-click SERPs</a> between 2016–2018. Mobile users have experienced a 20% increase in delivery of search engine results that don’t require them to go any deeper than Google’s own interface. </p><h3>2) The encroachment of paid ads into local packs</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c105409de52b4.52390122.png"> </p><p>When Dr. Peter J. Myers surveyed 11,000 SERPs in 2018, he found that <a href="https://moz.com/blog/35-percent-of-local-keywords-have-local-pack-ads" target="_blank">35% of competitive local packs feature ads</a>. </p><h3>3) Google becoming a lead gen agency</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540a3ab2e9.30437897.png"> </p><p>At last count, Google’s Local Service Ads program via which they interposition themselves as the paid lead gen agent between businesses and consumers has taken over <a href="http://tomwaddington.com/current-google-local-services-ads-markets-verticals/" target="_blank">23 business categories in 77 US cities</a>. </p><h3>4) Even your branded SERPs don’t belong to you</h3><p>When a user specifically searches for your brand and your Google Knowledge Panel pops up, you can likely cope with the long-standing “People Also Search For” set of competitors at the bottom of it. But that’s not the same as Google allowing <a href="https://www.sterlingsky.ca/attention-smbs-groupon-targeting-existing-customers-via-google/" target="_blank">Groupon to advertise at the top of your KP</a>, or putting lead gen from <a href="http://www.thesempost.com/google-adds-grubhub-ads-local-knowledge-panel/" target="_blank">Doordash and GrubHub</a> front and center to nickel and dime you on your own customers’ orders. </p><h3>5) Google is being called the new “homepage” for local businesses</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540a78bf73.16261762.png"> </p><p>As highlighted at the beginning of this post, 64% of marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. This concept, <a href="https://streetfightmag.com/2017/03/06/why-google-is-becoming-the-new-homepage-for-smbs/" target="_blank">coined by Mike Blumenthal</a>, signifies that a user looking at a Google Knowledge Panel can get basic business info, make a phone call, get directions, book something, ask a question, take a virtual tour, read microblog posts, see hours of operation, thumb through photos, see busy times, read and leave reviews. Without ever having to click through to a brand’s domain, the user may be fully satisfied. </p><blockquote><em>“Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is too little.” <br>- Epicurus</em> </blockquote><p>There are many more examples we could gather, but they can all be summed up in one way: None of Google’s most recent local initiatives are about driving customers to brands’ own websites. Local SERPs have shrunk and have been re-engineered to keep users within Google’s platforms to generate maximum revenue for Google and their partners. </p><p>You may be as philosophical as Epicurus about this and say that Google has every right to be as profitable as they can with their own product, even if they don’t really <em>need to</em> siphon more revenue off local businesses. But if Google’s recent trajectory causes your brand or agency to conclude that websites have become obsolete in this heavily controlled environment, please keep reading. </p><h2>Your website is your bedrock</h2><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540ab11ed5.69214394.png"> </p><p class="caption"><em>“65% of 1,411 surveyed marketers observe strong correlation between organic and local rank.” - <em>Via</em> <em>Moz <a href="https://moz.com/products/local/state-of-local-seo" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'SOLR text bottom']);">State of Local SEO Industry Report</a></em></em> </p><p>What this means is that businesses which rank highly organically are very likely to have high associated local pack rankings. In the following screenshot, if you take away the directory-type platforms, you will see how the brand websites ranking on page 1 for “deli athens ga” are also the two businesses that have made it into Google’s local pack: </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540af24d21.21581327.jpg"> </p><h3>How often do the top 3 Google local pack results also have a 1st page organic rankings?</h3><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540b3b0473.27852737.png"> </p><p>In a small study, we looked at 15 head keywords across 7 US cities and towns. This yielded 315 possible entries in Google’s local pack. Of that 315, 235 of the businesses ranking in the local packs also had page 1 organic rankings. <em>That’s a </em><em>75%</em><em> correlation between organic website rankings and local pack presence.</em> </p><p>*It’s worth noting that where local and organic results did not correlate, it was sometimes due the presence of spam GMB listings, or to mystery SERPs that did not make sense at first glance — perhaps as a result of Google testing, in some cases. </p><p>Additionally, many local businesses are not making it to the first page of Google anymore in some categories because the organic SERPs are inundated with best-of lists and directories. Often, local business websites were pushed down to the second page of the organic results. In other words, if spam, “best-ofs,” and mysteries were removed, the local-organic correlation would likely be much higher than 75%. </p><p>Further, one recent study found that even when Google’s Local Service Ads are present, <a href="https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-services-ads-click-study/" target="_blank">43.9% of clicks went to the organic SERPs</a>. Obviously, if you can make it to the top of the organic SERPs, this puts you in very good CTR shape from a purely organic standpoint. </p><h3>Your takeaway from this</h3><p>The local businesses you market may not be able to stave off the onslaught of Google’s zero-click SERPs, paid SERPs, and lead gen features, but where “free” local 3-packs still exist, y<em>our very best bet for being included in them is to have the strongest possible website</em>. Moreover, organic SERPs remain a substantial source of clicks. </p><p>Far from it being the case that websites have become obsolete, they are the firmest bedrock for maintaining free local SERP visibility amidst an increasing scarcity of opportunities. </p><p>This calls for an industry-wide doubling down on organic metrics that matter most. </p><h2>Bridging the local-organic gap</h2><blockquote><em>“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” <br>- Aristotle</em> </blockquote><p>A 2017 CNBC survey found that <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/14/tech-help-wanted-about-half-of-small-businesses-dont-have-a-website.html" target="_blank">45% of small businesses have no website</a>, and, while most large enterprises have websites, many local businesses qualify as “small.” </p><p>Moreover, a recent audit of 9,392 Google My Business listings found that <a href="https://www.billhartzer.com/local-search/research-reveals-sad-state-google-business-listings/" target="_blank">27% have no website link</a>. </p><p>When asked which one task 1,411 marketers want clients to devote more resources to, it’s no coincidence that 66% listed a website-oriented asset. This includes local content development, on-site optimization, local link building, technical analysis of rankings/traffic/conversions, and website design as shown in the following Moz survey graphic: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540b6fc707.17567442.png"> </p><p>In an environment in which websites are table stakes for competitive local pack rankings, virtually all local businesses not only need one, but they need it to be as strong as possible so that it achieves maximum organic rankings. </p><h2>What makes a website strong?</h2><p>The <a href="https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo" target="_blank">Moz Beginner’s Guide to SEO</a> offers incredibly detailed guidelines for creating the best possible website. While we recommend that everyone marketing a local business read through this in-depth guide, we can sum up its contents here by stating that strong websites combine: </p><ul> <li>Technical basics</li> <li>Excellent usability</li> <li>On-site optimization</li> <li>Relevant content publication</li> <li>Publicity</li> </ul><p>For our present purpose, let’s take a special look at those last three elements. </p><h3>On-site optimization and relevant content publication</h3><p>There was a time when on-site SEO and content development were treated almost independently of one another. And while local businesses will need a make a little extra effort to put their basic contact information in prominent places on their websites (such as the footer and Contact Us page), publication and optimization should be viewed as a single topic. A modern strategy takes all of the following into account: </p><ul> <li>Keyword and real-world research tell a local business what consumers want</li> <li>These consumer desires are then reflected in what the business publishes on its website, including its homepage, location landing pages, about page, blog and other components</li> <li>Full reflection of consumer desires includes ensuring that human language (discovered via keyword and real-world research) is implemented in all elements of each page, including its tags, headings, descriptions, text, and in some cases, markup</li> </ul><p>What we’re describing here isn’t a set of disconnected efforts. It’s a single effort that’s integral to researching, writing, and publishing the website. Far from stuffing keywords into a tag or a page’s content, focus has shifted to building topical authority in the eyes of search engines like Google by building an authoritative resource for a particular consumer demographic. The more closely a business is able to reflect customers’ needs (including the language of their needs), in every possible component of its website, the more relevant it becomes. </p><p>A hypothetical example of this would be a large medical clinic in Dallas. Last year, their phone staff was inundated with basic questions about flu shots, like where and when to get them, what they cost, would they cause side effects, what about side effects on people with pre-existing health conditions, etc. This year, the medical center’s marketing team took a look at <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'KWE text']);">Moz Keyword Explorer</a> and saw that there’s an enormous volume of questions surrounding flu shots: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540ba9c8f0.44020867.png"> </p><p>This tiny segment of the findings of the free keyword research tool, <a href="https://answerthepublic.com/" target="_blank">Answer the Public</a>, further illustrates how many questions people have about flu shots: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540beb8564.54792441.png"> </p><p>The medical clinic need not compete nationally for these topics, but at a local level, a page on the website can answer nearly every question a nearby patient could have about this subject. The page, created properly, will reflect human language in its tags, headings, descriptions, text, and markup. It will tell all patients where to come and when to come for this procedure. It has the potential to cut down on time-consuming phone calls.<br> </p><p>And, finally, it will build topical authority in the eyes of Google to strengthen the clinic’s chances of ranking well organically… which can then translate to improved local rankings. </p><p>It’s important to note that keyword research tools typically do not reflect location very accurately, so research is typically done at a national level, and then adjusted to reflect regional or local language differences and geographic terms, after the fact. In other words, a keyword tool may not accurately reflect exactly how many local consumers in Dallas are asking “Where do I get a flu shot?”, but keyword and real-world research signals that this <em>type</em> of question is definitely being asked. The local business website can reflect this question while also adding in the necessary geographic terms. </p><h2>Local link building must be brought to the fore of publicity efforts</h2><p>Moz’s industry survey found that <em>more than one-third of respondents had no local link building strategy in place</em>. Meanwhile, link building was listed as one of the top three tasks to which marketers want their clients to devote more resources. There’s clearly a disconnect going on here. Given the fundamental role links play in building Domain Authority, organic rankings, and subsequent local rankings, building strong websites means bridging this gap. </p><p>First, it might help to examine old prejudices that could cause local business marketers and their clients to feel dubious about link building. These most likely stem from link spam which has gotten so out of hand in the general world of SEO that Google has had to penalize it and filter it to the best of their ability. </p><p>Not long ago, many digital-only businesses were having a heyday with paid links, link farms, reciprocal links, abusive link anchor text and the like. An online company might accrue thousands of links from completely irrelevant sources, all in hopes of escalating rank. Clearly, these practices aren’t ones an ethical business can feel good about investing in, but they do serve as an interesting object lesson, <em>especially when a local marketer can point out to a client, that best local links are typically going to result from real-world relationship-building</em>. </p><p>Local businesses are truly special because they serve a distinct, physical community made up of their own neighbors. The more involved a local business is in its own community, the more naturally link opportunities arise from things like local: </p><ul> <li>Sponsorships</li> <li>Event participation and hosting</li> <li>Online news</li> <li>Blogs</li> <li>Business associations</li> <li>B2B cross-promotions</li> </ul><p>There are so many ways a local business can build genuine topical and domain authority in a given community by dint of the relationships it develops with neighbors. </p><p>An excellent way to get started on this effort is to look at high-ranking local businesses in the same or similar business categories to discover what work they’ve put in to achieve a supportive backlink profile. Moz Link Intersect is an <a href="https://moz.com/blog/linked-unstructured-citations" target="_blank" onclick="_gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'blog', 'Why Local Businesses Will Need Websites More than Ever in 2019', 'Unstructured Citations article']);">extremely actionable resource for this</a>, enabling a business to input its top competitors to find who is linking to them. </p><p>In the following example, a small B&B in Albuquerque looks up two luxurious Tribal resorts in its city: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540c48ae95.00223933.png"> </p><p>Link Intersect then lists out a blueprint of opportunities, showing which links one or both competitors have earned. Drilling down, the B&B finds that Marriott.com is linking to both Tribal resorts on an Albuquerque things-to-do page: </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540c80b5d9.64462104.png"> </p><p>The small B&B can then try to earn a spot on that same page, because it hosts lavish tea parties as a thing-to-do. Outreach could depend on the B&B owner knowing someone who works at the local Marriott personally. It could include meeting with them in person, or on the phone, or even via email. If this outreach succeeds, an excellent, relevant link will have been earned to boost organic rank, underpinning local rank. </p><p>Then, repeat the process. Aristotle might well have been speaking of link building when he said we are what we repeatedly do and that excellence is a habit. Good marketers can teach customers to have excellent habits in recognizing a good link opportunity when they see it. </p><h3>Taken altogether</h3><p>Without a website, a local business lacks the brand-controlled publishing and link-earning platform that so strongly influences organic rankings. In the absence of this, the chances of ranking well in competitive local packs will be significantly less. Taken altogether, the case is clear for local businesses investing substantially in their websites. </p><h2>Acting now is actually a strategy for the future</h2><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/local-businesses-need-websites/5c10540cbbf3d7.63445688.jpg"> </p><blockquote><em>“There is nothing permanent except change.” <br>- Heraclitus</em> </blockquote><p>You’ve now determined that strong websites are fundamental to local rankings in competitive markets. You’ve absorbed numerous reasons to encourage local businesses you market to prioritize care of their domains. But there’s one more thing you’ll need to be able to convey, and that’s a sense of urgency. </p><p><strong>Right now, every single customer you can still earn from a free local pack listing is immensely valuable for the future. </strong> </p><p>This isn’t a customer you’ve had to pay Google for, as you very well might six months, a year, or five years from now. Yes, you’ve had to invest plenty in developing the strong website that contributed to the high local ranking, but you haven’t paid a penny directly to Google for this particular lead. Soon, you may be having to fork over commissions to Google for a large portion of your new customers, so acting now is like insurance against future spend. </p><p>For this to work out properly, local businesses must take the leads Google is sending them right now for free,<em> and convert them into long-term, loyal customers, with an ultimate value of multiple future transactions without Google as a the middle man.</em> And if these freely won customers can be inspired to act as word-of-mouth advocates for your brand, you will have done something substantial to develop a stream of non-Google-dependent revenue. </p><p>This offer may well expire as time goes by. When it comes to the capricious local SERPs, marketers resemble the Greek philosophers who knew that change is the only constant. The Trojan horse has rolled into every US city, and it’s a gift with a questionable shelf life. We can’t predict if or when free packs might become obsolete, but we share your concerns about the way the wind is blowing. </ Marketing Day: Facebook’s ad tests, Alexa’s email feature, Hulu’s OTT ad marketplace https://marketingland.com/marketing-day-facebooks-ad-tests-alexas-email-feature-hulus-ott-ad-marketplace-253480 Marketing Land urn:uuid:8382a462-a586-ee80-72af-95faa97d21a0 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 21:00:28 +0000 <p>Here's our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/marketing-day-facebooks-ad-tests-alexas-email-feature-hulus-ott-ad-marketplace-253480">Marketing Day: Facebook&#8217;s ad tests, Alexa&#8217;s email feature, Hulu&#8217;s OTT ad marketplace</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-149669" src="http://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2015/10/marketing-day-header-v2-mday-800x450.png" alt="" width="800" height="450" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2015/10/marketing-day-header-v2-mday-800x450.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2015/10/marketing-day-header-v2-mday-600x338.png 600w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>Here&#8217;s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on <a href="http://marketingland.com/">Marketing Land</a> and other places across the web.</p> <h2>From Marketing Land:</h2> <ul> <li><strong><a title="Facebook starts testing ads in search results" href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-starts-testing-ads-in-search-results-253435">Facebook starts testing ads in search results</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 11, 2018 by Amy Gesenhues<!-- end byline --><br /> The test inventory will be available in Facebook and Marketplace search results.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="What email marketers should know about Alexa’s latest feature" href="https://marketingland.com/what-email-marketers-should-know-about-alexas-latest-feature-253436">What email marketers should know about Alexa’s latest feature</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 11, 2018 by Greg Sterling<!-- end byline --><br /> If millions of people start listening to Alexa read their email, email marketers will have to adapt to avoid deletion.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Hulu launches new private marketplace for its OTT ad inventory" href="https://marketingland.com/hulu-launches-new-private-marketplace-for-its-ott-ad-inventory-253434">Hulu launches new private marketplace for its OTT ad inventory</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 11, 2018 by Ginny Marvin<!-- end byline --><br /> The new programmatic marketplace will launch at the start of the new year.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Product pages are the new packaging: Think beyond lower prices to win online" href="https://marketingland.com/product-pages-are-the-new-packaging-think-beyond-lower-prices-to-win-online-253429">Product pages are the new packaging: Think beyond lower prices to win online</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 11, 2018 by Andrew Waber<!-- end byline --><br /> Capture customers with product titles that address nuanced needs and wants rather than sacrificing margins to win sales.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="Marketers say Time Well Spent movement isn’t influencing social media plans" href="https://marketingland.com/time-well-spent-movement-isnt-influencing-social-media-plans-say-marketers-253358">Marketers say Time Well Spent movement isn’t influencing social media plans</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 11, 2018 by Amy Gesenhues<!-- end byline --><br /> Marketing Land polled marketers about whether or not the Time Well Spent movement plays into their social media plans. Here’s what we learned.<!--end ml posts--></li> <li><strong><a title="How to vaccinate your data from potential exposure" href="https://marketingland.com/how-to-vaccinate-your-data-from-potential-exposure-253378">How to vaccinate your data from potential exposure</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 11, 2018 by Adam Corey<!-- end byline --><br /> Brands should take preventative measures to protect their businesses from costly mistakes and survive in a highly competitive industry.<!--end ml posts--></li> </ul> <h2>Recent Headlines From <a href="https://martechtoday.com/">MarTech Today</a>, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:</h2> <ul> <li><strong><a title="LivePerson’s Maven bot platform puts conversational AI in customer agents’ hands" href="https://martechtoday.com/livepersons-maven-bot-platform-puts-conversational-ai-in-customer-agents-hands-228543">LivePerson’s Maven bot platform puts conversational AI in customer agents’ hands</a></strong><br /> <!-- byline -->Dec 10, 2018 by Barry Levine<!-- end byline --><br /> Maven can make recommendations for chatbots — from LivePerson or other platforms — to take over conversations, based on customer intent in a live text chat.<!--end ml posts--></li> </ul> <h2>Online Marketing News From Around The Web:</h2> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.retaildive.com/news/amazon-third-party-sellers-safety-charge-violation/544098/">Amazon to charge third-party sellers for safety violations</a>, Retail Dive</li> <li><a href="https://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/establishing-ai-ethics-in-marketing/">Establishing AI Ethics in Marketing</a>, CMS Wire</li> <li><a href="https://newsroom.fb.com/news/2018/12/facebook-communityboost-littlerock/">Facebook Community Boost is Live in Little Rock</a>, Facebook Newsroom</li> <li><a href="https://developers.facebook.com/blog/post/2018/12/10/verification-for-individual-developers/">Facebook Launches Verification for Individual Developers</a>, Facebook for Developers</li> <li><a href="https://blog.marketo.com/2018/12/how-to-improve-your-social-media-channels.html">How to Improve Your Social Media Channels</a>, Marketo</li> <li><a href="https://adexchanger.com/data-driven-thinking/incrementality-why-pay-for-whats-already-yours/">Incrementality: Why Pay For What&#8217;s Already Yours?</a>, AdExchanger</li> <li><a href="https://www.recode.net/2018/12/11/18134984/live-google-ceo-congress-hearing-china-testimony-house-judiciary-committee-censored-search">Live: Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies to Congress</a>, Recode</li> <li><a href="https://newsroom.pinterest.com/en-gb/post/pinterest-100-the-top-trends-for-2019">Pinterest 100: The top trends for 2019</a>, Pinterest Newsroom</li> <li><a href="https://www.getelastic.com/the-top-3-mistakes-companies-make-in-implementing-b2b-ecommerce">The Top 3 Mistakes Companies Make in Implementing B2B Ecommerce</a>, Get Elastic</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/marketing-day-facebooks-ad-tests-alexas-email-feature-hulus-ott-ad-marketplace-253480">Marketing Day: Facebook&#8217;s ad tests, Alexa&#8217;s email feature, Hulu&#8217;s OTT ad marketplace</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Facebook starts testing ads in search results https://marketingland.com/facebook-starts-testing-ads-in-search-results-253435 Marketing Land urn:uuid:fa496c58-f1da-d4e4-138c-3586e0b5624d Tue, 11 Dec 2018 18:05:24 +0000 <p>The test inventory will be available in Facebook and Marketplace search results. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-starts-testing-ads-in-search-results-253435">Facebook starts testing ads in search results</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>Facebook announced Tuesday that it is testing ads in its search results. The test will run in the platform&#8217;s primary search results as well as in Marketplace search results.</p> <h2>Why you should care</h2> <p>Search is one of the few untapped inventory sources remaining on the social platform, which has seen many advertisers <a href="https://marketingland.com/as-advertisers-pull-back-on-facebook-instagrams-ad-spend-growth-rate-is-booming-246265">directing more budget to Instagram</a> this year. The initial ad test in search results is limited to select automotive and retail advertisers, but if the company sees a promising response, it will open up search results ad inventory more broadly.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re running a small test to place ads in Facebook search results, and we&#8217;ll be evaluating whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it,&#8221; said Facebook product manager Zoheb Hajiyani.</p> <p>Advertisers participating in the test can select &#8220;Search Results&#8221; as an additional placement option that will apply to both primary search and Marketplace search inventory. With the current group of beta-advertisers, ads may appear in search results for terms related to auto or retail topics. Advertisers cannot select specific keywords or phrases to target.</p> <h2>More on Facebook&#8217;s search result ad test</h2> <ul> <li>The test is available for static image and carousel ads. It does not support video ads at this time.</li> <li>Ads placed in search results during this beta run will only appear in the U.S. and Canada. If they ads get a larger roll-out, Facebook may open the ads to more countries.</li> <li>The ads include the clearly labeled &#8220;Sponsored&#8221; tag and transparency controls for users such as the &#8220;Why Am I Seeing This&#8221; option.</li> </ul> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-starts-testing-ads-in-search-results-253435">Facebook starts testing ads in search results</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> What email marketers should know about Alexa’s latest feature https://marketingland.com/what-email-marketers-should-know-about-alexas-latest-feature-253436 Marketing Land urn:uuid:a4ba12d8-d571-4054-4832-f28464d4cabc Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:23:00 +0000 <p>If millions of people start listening to Alexa read their email, email marketers will have to adapt to avoid deletion. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/what-email-marketers-should-know-about-alexas-latest-feature-253436">What email marketers should know about Alexa&#8217;s latest feature</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-242686" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/06/amazon-echo-alexa-hardware2-ss-1920-800x450.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/06/amazon-echo-alexa-hardware2-ss-1920-800x450.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/06/amazon-echo-alexa-hardware2-ss-1920-600x338.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/06/amazon-echo-alexa-hardware2-ss-1920-768x432.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>Ever wanted to check your email on an Alexa device? Now you can.</p> <p>On Monday, Amazon announced some new Alexa capabilities. Chief among them was the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/10/how-to-check-your-email-with-amazon-alexa.html">ability to read and delete email</a>. The company also is enabling location-based reminders and routines (tied to the smartphone Alexa app) and other incremental local search improvements. However the email capabilities are the most compelling of the announcements.</p> <p><b>Works with Gmail and Outlook.</b> In order to access email on Alexa, users need to add their email accounts under &#8220;settings&#8221; in the Alexa app. The &#8220;calendar&#8221; setting will update to &#8220;email + calendar.&#8221; It currently works with Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail and Live.com. You have to choose the account and sign in with your password.</p> <p>Once accounts are linked, you&#8217;re supposed to be able to &#8220;read, compose, send and permanently delete&#8221; email. However the compose function wasn&#8217;t working. When I asked Alexa to &#8220;compose&#8221; or &#8220;send a new email,&#8221; it responded &#8220;I&#8217;m not quite sure how to help you with that.&#8221;</p> <p>It worked well, however, when I asked it to read email.</p> <p>Alexa will read the sender and subject line. Then it asks whether you want to &#8220;read, reply, delete, archive or next.&#8221; If you ask Alexa to read the email, it will read you the full text of the email. On an Echo Show, with a screen, it will also show you the subject line and sender but it doesn&#8217;t show the full email text or images.</p> <p>I found it was a quick way to get through and delete unwanted emails. You can also reply easily. Alexa will read back your reply and ask if you want to send. There&#8217;s also an option to include a signature that says &#8220;sent via Alexa.&#8221;</p> <p><strong>Why you should care.</strong> Email marketers should pay attention to this update. Reading email is another useful feature for Alexa devices that will provide more utility for owners. If this should gain widespread adoption it would put more pressure on marketer&#8217;s email subject lines and copy. Most users won&#8217;t see any text or images (though Show users will see a sender name and subject line) and will have more limited information to determine whether to save or delete.</p> <p>Marketers will have a more constrained audio canvas to grab attention and avoid deletion. The key will be to prevent deletion for later consumption on a desktop computer or smartphone. And now that Amazon has done this, expect Google Home to match the feature fairly soon.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/what-email-marketers-should-know-about-alexas-latest-feature-253436">What email marketers should know about Alexa&#8217;s latest feature</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Hulu launches new private marketplace for its OTT ad inventory https://marketingland.com/hulu-launches-new-private-marketplace-for-its-ott-ad-inventory-253434 Marketing Land urn:uuid:18569436-cbad-8a34-a158-c37b055747a9 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:09:46 +0000 <p>The new programmatic marketplace will launch at the start of the new year.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/hulu-launches-new-private-marketplace-for-its-ott-ad-inventory-253434">Hulu launches new private marketplace for its OTT ad inventory</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>Hulu is opening up its sought-after video inventory to programmatic buyers with a new private marketplace that will launch Jan. 1.</p> <p><strong>How will inventory be bought and sold?</strong> Hulu is partnering with video management platform Telaria, which has an ad server designed for programmatic and direct-sold video and connected TV and over-the-top (<a href="https://martechtoday.com/marketing-landscape-ott-programming-matter-184073">OTT</a>) inventory. Hulu is approaching a few demand-side platforms (DSPs) for the initial launch.</p> <p>Hulu said programmatic buys will be on a level playing field with direct and upfront buys, with all brands treated equally regardless of how they transact. Brand frequency caps and category separations will be available.</p> <p><strong>What inventory will be available?</strong> Inventory for standard commercial breaks of 30-second spots will be available through the PMP, which will only include Hulu-owned ad inventory. Opportunities such as product placements and program sponsorships will continue to be direct-sold.</p> <p>There will be spend minimums and pricing floors, but Hulu declined to provide more details.</p> <p><strong>Why you should care.</strong> Increasingly, digital marketers have been <a href="https://marketingland.com/80-percent-us-display-ad-spend-programmatic-212780">embracing PMPs</a> and the ability to activate digital audiences in <a href="https://martechtoday.com/addressable-tv-state-cross-device-ad-buying-203737">OTT inventory</a>. Hulu&#8217;s new PMP has more bells and whistles than the one it launched <a href="https://marketingland.com/hulu-opens-up-to-programmatic-with-facebooks-liverail-and-oracle-dmp-140115">in 2015</a>, which functioned more as a tool for sales teams to automate their deals.</p> <p>By offering its inventory through PMP deals, Hulu can offer advertisers the flexibility &#8212; and potentially more audience targeting capabilities &#8212; of programmatic with the inventory guarantees they can get when buying direct through a sales rep. It may add appeal to digitally-focused buyers who are already accustomed to buying programmatically.</p> <p>Hulu&#8217;s subscriber base of more than 20 million trails that of Netflix&#8217;s 58 million US subscribers, but it is growing. CEO Randy Freer <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/hulu-ceo-randy-freer-accelerating-subscriber-growth-at-the-company-2018-12">said</a> Hulu will add more subscribers in the second-half of 2018 than it did in the first half of the year, suggesting it will have 23 million subscribers by year-end.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/hulu-launches-new-private-marketplace-for-its-ott-ad-inventory-253434">Hulu launches new private marketplace for its OTT ad inventory</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> Product pages are the new packaging: Think beyond lower prices to win online https://marketingland.com/product-pages-are-the-new-packaging-think-beyond-lower-prices-to-win-online-253429 Marketing Land urn:uuid:99de947e-ced3-b433-5416-d62a4dbd6bf4 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 15:05:02 +0000 <p>Capture customers with product titles that address nuanced needs and wants rather than sacrificing margins to win sales.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/product-pages-are-the-new-packaging-think-beyond-lower-prices-to-win-online-253429">Product pages are the new packaging: Think beyond lower prices to win online</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>When consumers actually walk into a store, there are a host of high-level expectations that have shifted over time but remain largely in place. Salespeople will be around to help in case of questions, products will be organized to make browsing relatively simple, etc. Contrast that with the expectations of an online shopping experience. Endless arrays of products and searchability to fully customize a list of products to choose from.</p> <p>The idea that consumer preferences and behavior would string seamlessly between these online and offline environments is a fallacy, yet it’s an opinion held by a sizable share of marketers within traditionally brick-and-mortar heavy brands.</p> <p>To be fair, most marketers recognize the difference in behavior for more considered purchases – say buying a TV in-store versus online. However, this dissimilarity in behavior is true even in grocery.</p> <p>After studying the performance of more than 5,000 similarly priced coffee products on Amazon, what’s crystal clear is that even in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), what drives a customer to buy is more often based upon product-page factors like more imagery, enhanced content and customer reviews – rather than price.</p> <p>To this point, product page titles are the new packaging. You don’t catch consumers’ eyes with bold colors or prime shelf placement; you capture them with titles that address nuanced needs and wants.</p> <p>Coffee products on Amazon that are in the top 10 by sales rank have average title lengths that are 28 percent longer than poor-selling (bottom 10 percent) products in the same category. At a qualitative level, many of these top-selling products add in meaningful language to differentiate themselves, while also making it easier for consumers with specific tastes to find them. Some examples: fair-trade, compatible with Keurig k-cup, vegan certified, whole30 approved, etc. This type of language is much rarer amongst poorer-selling products.</p> <p>These coffee brands are putting this type of language in their titles and product copy because, alongside major descriptors like flavoring and roast type, it’s how consumers are whittling down the myriad options available to them to get to a more tailored list of products based on their needs and wants.</p> <p>Brands should be taking this approach regardless of product category. Rather than off-putting keyword stuffing or indecipherable model numbers, marketers should ask themselves “What are the value-laden product features or terms customers are actually searching for?” This could apply to anything from “<a href="https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&amp;geo=US&amp;q=fingerprint%20resistant%20refrigerator" rel="noopener">fingerprint resistant</a>” refrigerators, to “<a href="https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_11?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&amp;field-keywords=shatterproof+christmas+ornaments&amp;sprefix=shatterproo%2Cgarden%2C130&amp;crid=2CF1OCH7ZMR81" rel="noopener">shatterproof</a>” Christmas decorations.</p> <p>It is worth noting that Amazon generates some product titles themselves, within certain, specific categories, based on existing product content. This makes it all the more important to have customer-oriented keywords in product descriptions and bullets.</p> <h2>Don’t compete on price</h2> <p>By specifically looking only at coffee products that were priced at $50 and under, over 5,000 products in total, what’s amazingly clear is that more robust product content and reviews, rather than price, are what separates products that sell well versus ones that do not.</p> <p>There was no meaningful difference in average price between top 10 percent selling products and the bottom 10 percent, but there were notable, significant differences in review count, description length, image count and the presence of A+ Content. This jibes with <a href="https://marketingland.com/4-ways-brands-can-win-the-digital-shelf-in-2018-236906" rel="noopener">earlier survey data</a> asking customers what has gotten them to pay a premium for a particular product online.</p> <img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-253430" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/graph-coffee-amazon-attributes-800x80.png" alt="" width="800" height="80" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/graph-coffee-amazon-attributes-800x80.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/graph-coffee-amazon-attributes-600x60.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/graph-coffee-amazon-attributes-768x76.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>Certainly, at high-level consumers respond to price, but the data makes it clear that in an environment as expansive and customizable as a search page on Amazon, items win sales much more often based on consumers seeing higher review counts more descriptive imagery, and enhanced content. Marketers should see this as a golden opportunity – by focusing on improving the product page itself. You don’t need to further sacrifice margins online to win sales even in markets previously much more price sensitive, like FMCG.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/product-pages-are-the-new-packaging-think-beyond-lower-prices-to-win-online-253429">Product pages are the new packaging: Think beyond lower prices to win online</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> 10 Important 2019 SEO Trends You Need to Know by @MrDannyGoodwin http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10894838 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:f9fc584a-5f08-87ad-b1bb-2cdb6bf94d35 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 14:45:19 +0000 <p>Here are 10 major trends you need to know in 2019, according to 47 of today's top SEO professionals.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/seo-trends/281053/">10 Important 2019 SEO Trends You Need to Know by @MrDannyGoodwin</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10894838.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Marketers say Time Well Spent movement isn’t influencing social media plans https://marketingland.com/time-well-spent-movement-isnt-influencing-social-media-plans-say-marketers-253358 Marketing Land urn:uuid:5af9e0fe-bcf5-0629-f12f-c63294be5305 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 13:30:07 +0000 <p>Marketing Land polled marketers about whether or not the Time Well Spent movement plays into their social media plans. Here's what we learned. </p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/time-well-spent-movement-isnt-influencing-social-media-plans-say-marketers-253358">Marketers say Time Well Spent movement isn&#8217;t influencing social media plans</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p><img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-253406" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Poll-Results-Time-Well-Spent-800x534.png" alt="" width="800" height="534" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Poll-Results-Time-Well-Spent.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Poll-Results-Time-Well-Spent-600x400.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/Poll-Results-Time-Well-Spent-768x513.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><br /> Social media apps and mobile device operating systems introduced a number of features this year to help people be more mindful of their digital usage. The initiatives are part of the <a href="https://marketingland.com/former-tech-executives-found-initiative-push-back-technology-233790">Time Well Spent movement</a>, a concept introduced by former Google design ethicist Tristan Harris whose <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C74amJRp730">Ted Talk</a> &#8220;A handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day&#8221; has been watched nearly 400,000 times.</p> <p>Features like Facebook and Instagram&#8217;s <a href="https://marketingland.com/facebook-instagram-introduce-new-user-tools-to-track-time-spent-on-the-apps-245247">user activity dashboards</a> and YouTube&#8217;s reminders to &#8220;<a href="https://marketingland.com/youtube-app-time-well-spent-break-reminder-244823">take a break</a>&#8221; are responses to the movement&#8217;s focus on digital wellbeing. The question remains whether or not Time Well Spent efforts will reduce the amount of time users spend on their phones and social media and what that might mean for social media campaigns, in particular.</p> <p>We wanted to know how, or if, marketers are thinking about these efforts and if they&#8217;ve impacted their social marketing plans, so we <a href="https://marketingland.com/take-our-poll-is-the-time-well-spent-movement-influencing-social-media-marketing-plans-252959">took a poll</a> of 55 marketers to find out.</p> <h2>Time Well Spent isn&#8217;t affecting most social media plans</h2> <p>Overall, most marketers said they aren&#8217;t all that concerned with efforts to keep user activity in check. According to our poll, 42% of marketers said the movement has had no impact on their social media plans. Another 16% hadn&#8217;t even heard of the Time Well Spent movement before.</p> <p>Just over one-in-five (23%) said the movement had not impacted social strategy but was on their radar.</p> <p>Just 18% said the Time Well Spent movement had influenced their social media strategy.</p> <h2>What social media insiders have to say about Time Well Spent</h2> <p>John Petty, the head of social strategy for Wieden + Kennedy, said his agency has not seen any evidence the movement is lessening activity on social apps or mobile devices.</p> <p>&#8220;From the platform side, I&#8217;m sure reports will surface supporting Time Well Spent, but thus far, we haven&#8217;t seen too much of a shift in engagement &#8212; not drastic enough for us to attribute to this effort,&#8221; said Petty, &#8220;I will say, our platform partners do a really good job of keeping us up to speed on their best practices and aiding in the application of those practices.&#8221;</p> <p>On an anecdotal level, Modern Impact founder and CEO Michael Priem wonders if companies like Apple and Google are being altruistic by launching digital well being features, or responding to pressure.</p> <p>&#8220;It seems like an olive branch to users &#8212; and parents of screen-addicted kids &#8212; to provide these new features. After all, we’ve already bought the phone, right? Can you really tell us that Apple and Google want to limit App purchases and usage?&#8221; asked Prieum.</p> <p>Echoing Petty&#8217;s findings, Priem says he doesn&#8217;t believe the Time Well Spent movement will result in a drastic change in user behavior.</p> <h2>Prioritizing user behavior over platform rules</h2> <p>Petty said that, while the Time Well Spent initiative is on his agency&#8217;s radar, they prioritize human behavior over tech. Instead he offered up a scenario that would flip digital wellbeing initiatives 180-degrees.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m almost certain there exists an audience somewhere who will feel compelled to gamify this feature and use it as a scorecard, and among the group, whomever has accumulated the most time spent wins. Could you imagine?&#8221; asked Petty, &#8220;In that case, it&#8217;s a different world &#8212; a group of teens circling up at the lunch table or by a row of lockers checking each others&#8217; scorecards is social behavior, and emerging from that huddle as &#8216;the victor&#8217; grants an immense amount of social currency.&#8221;</p> <p>The head of social strategy said it would be problematic for his agency to prioritize a platform&#8217;s digital well being efforts over user behavior. &#8220;If we&#8217;re partnering with a brand whose audience is that group of teens, we&#8217;d be irresponsible to design strategies that strip audiences of their social currency. Our content and experiences will forever be primarily tailored to our audience and their behavior. The platform rules come second.&#8221;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/time-well-spent-movement-isnt-influencing-social-media-plans-say-marketers-253358">Marketers say Time Well Spent movement isn&#8217;t influencing social media plans</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> How to vaccinate your data from potential exposure https://marketingland.com/how-to-vaccinate-your-data-from-potential-exposure-253378 Marketing Land urn:uuid:f6817a1e-d8bc-d4d4-2d69-0137d09acc39 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 13:00:38 +0000 <p>Brands should take preventative measures to protect their businesses from costly mistakes and survive in a highly competitive industry.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/how-to-vaccinate-your-data-from-potential-exposure-253378">How to vaccinate your data from potential exposure</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <p>Just as our bodies need a balanced diet, exercise and regular check-ups to stay in optimum condition, data needs routine maintenance, too. Yet, more than <a href="https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3701117" rel="noopener">50 percent</a> of companies aren’t taking the health of their data seriously, thereby running the risk of breaching data regulations and disrespecting consumers’ data privacy.</p> <p>Given the changing data landscape – such as the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the <a href="https://martechtoday.com/california-lawmakers-approve-highly-contested-new-data-privacy-rules-staving-off-a-november-ballot-initaitve-217799" rel="noopener">Consumer Privacy Act</a> – it is critical that companies implement strong data governance. Healthy data not only paves the way for technological advancements in fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) but will also lead to more robust customer relationships.</p> <p>To retain the favor of increasingly privacy-conscious audiences, and stay ahead of competitors, businesses should explore how they can vaccinate data stores from a potential threat.</p> <p>So, what are the key data pitfalls marketers should look out for and — perhaps more importantly — and can they improve security practices to avoid them?</p> <p>Step into the clinic, the data doctor will see you now.</p> <h2>Symptom 1: Insufficient data knowledge</h2> <p>In an increasingly complex industry where brands habitually use multiple vendors to manage vast volumes of data, it is becoming harder for marketers to maintain a firm grasp of all the information they have access to and that can create unintended issues from a privacy standpoint.</p> <p>It is imperative that businesses disclose — with full transparency — how what and why they intend to collect and store consumer data, as well as requesting explicit consent to do so. Therefore, it is possible that without a robust understanding of what third-party data vendors are collecting and storing, marketers may inadvertently breach data privacy regulations. Similarly, without appropriate measures in place to close doors to data stores, there is a risk that data may be exposed unwittingly.</p> <p><b>Prescription: </b>Develop a comprehensive on-boarding process for new vendors to include the signing of a contractual data protection agreement and creation – or update – of a data flow diagram to include vendors. On-boarding should also cover updating privacy notifications and contracts to include a thorough list of all data collection points. Furthermore, customers must be given the opportunity to explicitly opt-in to data sharing.</p> <h2>Symptom 2: Asymptomatic data leaks</h2> <p>Data leaks that have the potential to go unnoticed could be the most volatile type of breach; as marketing professionals can remain unaware, there is a problem until it’s too late.</p> <p>Typically, they occur when companies overlook the core aspects of technology housekeeping such as leaving implementations enabled after a campaign or vendor relationship has ended. The consequence of doing so is that, unbeknown to the organization, data remains in a state of free-flow and can mean inadvertent disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).</p> <p>Various implementations – such as connectors between applications – can be deployed for a range of purposes – from facilitating interaction between websites to integrating third-party content and enabling third-party data collection. But the simple oversight of leaving implementations enabled may allow third parties to continue collecting data without permission. This would mean vendors are sharing data with other parties that are not named in the brand’s GDPR-compliant privacy notice. Inevitably this equates to not only the original brand contravening data privacy legislation but also puts the third-party in contravention by proxy.</p> <p><b>Prescription: </b>Build a strong campaign and vendor off-boarding process in which disabling implementations is a predominant feature, and raise company-wide awareness of the potential repercussions of failing to do so. If possible, marketers should implement a process or platform in which tags and integrations are managed centrally and automatically disabled after a set date. This would act as a sure-fire way to ensure data is not being shared with third parties without the consumer’s consent.</p> <h2>Symptom 3: Unauthorized data access</h2> <p>Individual applications — such as a CRM, email system or marketing automation system — can give employees direct access to PII, including the ability to integrate other systems or download the data to their own devices. While this may be essential for some roles, it might not be for others. And GDPR states that data access should be relevant. Granting staff sight of data that is irrelevant to their role cannot be justified.</p> <p>There is also the possibility that those in receipt of unlimited access may inadvertently open up channels for third parties to take advantage of consumer data without their consent. Similarly, if data is downloaded to personal devices, brands may be unable to ensure the information is sufficiently protected by network encryption, a secure password or cybersecurity software. If the personal device was to be stolen or misplaced, reams of valuable data might wind up in the wrong hands. Plus, there is the chance unscrupulous employees could leak vital data for personal gain.</p> <p><b>Prescription: </b>Access to data should be granted to employees on an as-needed basis, not by default. Businesses should draw up strict internal data policies and staff contracts to notify employees of the data they have permission to access in their specific roles, as well as the consequences of accessing information they are unauthorized to see and use; there is software available to assist with privacy and consent management, and help make this a simple process. Equally, organizations should take steps to ensure that business insurance covers a data breach in the event that the leak happens as a result of the loss or theft of a personal mobile device.  To minimize the risk, companies could implement a policy that prohibits staff from loading data onto personal devices, alongside details of the consequences of contravening the policy.</p> <p>In the same way, we vaccinate ourselves against infection, brands should take preventative measures to protect their businesses from costly mistakes, as well as ensuring they survive and thrive in a highly competitive industry. The changing legal landscape is sure to cut the wheat from the chaff when it comes to championing data privacy, so it’s best to be prepared. Besides, prevention is always better than cure.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/how-to-vaccinate-your-data-from-potential-exposure-253378">How to vaccinate your data from potential exposure</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> 4 Key GDN Settings to Check for Smarter Ad Spend by @GrpTwentySeven http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10894592 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:4d900605-6ccd-f25d-e512-0d468af50ae2 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:45:14 +0000 <p>Keep a close eye on these key settings to keep your Google Display Network ad spend in check.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-display-network-settings-maximize-ad-spend/280617/">4 Key GDN Settings to Check for Smarter Ad Spend by @GrpTwentySeven</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10894592.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Human vs machine intelligence: how to win when ‘duplicate’ content is unique https://marketingland.com/human-vs-machine-intelligence-how-to-win-when-duplicate-content-is-unique-252961 Marketing Land urn:uuid:4368459e-016a-f711-a905-b350bb675edb Tue, 11 Dec 2018 12:30:09 +0000 <p>As impressive as machine learning and algorithm-based intelligence can be, they often lack something that comes naturally to humans: common sense. It&#8217;s common knowledge that putting the same content on multiple pages produces duplicate content. But what if you create pages about similar things, with differences that matter? Algorithms flag them as duplicates, though humans [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/human-vs-machine-intelligence-how-to-win-when-duplicate-content-is-unique-252961">Human vs machine intelligence: how to win when &#8216;duplicate&#8217; content is unique</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-253088 size-large" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/illu-article-dup-content-1920x1080-new-800x450.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="450" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/illu-article-dup-content-1920x1080-new-800x450.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/illu-article-dup-content-1920x1080-new-600x338.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/illu-article-dup-content-1920x1080-new-768x432.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>As impressive as machine learning and algorithm-based intelligence can be, they often lack something that comes naturally to humans: common sense.</p> <p>It&#8217;s common knowledge that putting the same content on multiple pages produces duplicate content. But what if you create pages about similar things, with differences that matter? Algorithms flag them as duplicates, though humans have no problem telling pages like these apart:</p> <ul> <li>E-commerce: similar products with multiple variants or critical differences</li> <li>Travel: hotel branches, destination packages with similar content</li> <li>Classifieds: exhaustive listings for identical items</li> <li>Business: pages for local branches offering the same services in different regions</li> </ul> <p>How does this happen? How can you spot issues? What can do you about it?</p> <h2>The danger of duplicate content</h2> <p>Duplicate content interferes with your ability to make your site visible to search users through:</p> <ul> <li>Loss of ranking for unique pages that unintentionally compete for the same keywords</li> <li>Inability to rank pages in a cluster because Google chose one page as a canonical</li> <li>Loss of site authority for large quantities of thin content</li> </ul> <h2>How machines identify duplicate content</h2> <p>Google uses algorithms to determine whether two pages or parts of pages are duplicate content, which Google defines as content that is &#8220;<a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66359?hl=en" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">appreciably similar</a>&#8220;.</p> <p>Google’s similarity detection is based on their patented Simhash algorithm, which analyzes blocks of content on a web page. It then calculates a unique identifier for each block, and composes a hash, or &#8220;fingerprint&#8221;, for each page.</p> <p>Because the number of webpages is colossal, scalability is key. Currently, Simhash is the only feasible method for finding duplicate content at scale.</p> <p>Simhash fingerprints are:</p> <ul> <li>Inexpensive to calculate. They are established in a single crawl of the page.</li> <li>Easy to compare, thanks to their fixed length.</li> <li>Able to find <a href="https://www.oncrawl.com/detect-near-duplicates/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">near-duplicates</a>. They equate minor changes on a page with minor changes in the hash, unlike many other algorithms.</li> </ul> <p>This last means that the difference between any two fingerprints can be measured algorithmically and expressed as a percentage. To reduce the cost of evaluating every single pair of pages, Google employs techniques such as:</p> <ul> <li>Clustering: by grouping sets of sufficiently similar pages together, only fingerprints within a cluster need to be compared, since everything else is already classified as different.</li> <li>Estimations: for exceptionally large clusters, an average similarity is applied after a certain number of fingerprint pairs are calculated.</li> </ul> <div id="attachment_252966" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252966 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_01.png" alt="" width="800" height="421" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_01.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_01-600x316.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_01-768x404.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Comparing page fingerprints. Source: Near-duplicate document detection for web crawling (Google patent)</p></div> <p>Finally, Google uses a weighted similarity rate that excludes certain blocks of identical content (boilerplate: header, navigation, sidebars, footer; disclaimers…). It takes into account the subject of the page using n-gram analysis to determine which words on the page occur most frequently, and – in the context of the site – are most important.</p> <h2>Analyzing duplicate content with Simhash</h2> <p>We&#8217;ll be looking at a map of content clusters flagged as similar using Simhash. This chart from OnCrawl overlays an analysis of your <a href="https://www.oncrawl.com/oncrawl-seo-thoughts/spot-near-duplicates-improve-seo/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">duplicate content strategy</a> on clusters of duplicate content.</p> <p>OnCrawl&#8217;s content analysis also includes similarity ratios, content clusters, and n-gram analysis. OnCrawl is also working on an experimental heatmap indicating similarity per content block that can be overlaid on a webpage.</p> <div id="attachment_252967" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252967 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_02.png" alt="" width="800" height="400" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_02.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_02-600x300.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_02-768x384.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Mapping a website by content similarity. Each block represents a cluster of similar content. Colors indicate the coherence of the canonicalization strategy for each cluster. Source: OnCrawl.</p></div> <h2>Validating clusters with canonicals</h2> <p>Using canonical URLs to indicate the main page in a group of similar pages is a way of intentionally clustering pages. Ideally, the clusters created by canonicals and those established by Simhash should be identical.</p> <div id="attachment_252968" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252968 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_03.png" alt="" width="800" height="391" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_03.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_03-600x293.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_03-768x375.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Canonical clusters matching similarity clusters (in green). Highlighted: 6 pages that are 100% similar. Your canonical policy and Google&#8217;s Simhash analysis treat them in the same way.</p></div> <p>When this isn&#8217;t the case, it&#8217;s often because there is no canonical policy in place on your website:</p> <div id="attachment_252969" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252969 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_04.png" alt="" width="800" height="390" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_04.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_04-600x293.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_04-768x374.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">No canonical declarations: clusters of hundreds of pages each, with an average similarity rate of 99-100%. Google may impose canonical URLs. You have no control over which pages will rank and which won&#8217;t.</p></div> <p>Or because there are conflicts between your canonical strategy and the methods Google uses to group similar content:</p> <div id="attachment_252970" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252970 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_05.png" alt="" width="800" height="386" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_05.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_05-600x290.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_05-768x371.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Problems with canonicals: large clusters with over 80% similarity and multiple canonical URLs per cluster. Google will either impose its own canonical URLs, or index duplicate pages you wanted to keep out of the index.</p></div> <p>Your site&#8217;s clusters don&#8217;t look like the ones above. You&#8217;ve already followed best practices for duplicate content. URLs that contain the same content &#8212; such as printable/mobile versions, or alternate URLs generated by a CMS &#8212; declare the correct canonical URL.</p> <div id="attachment_252971" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252971 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_oncrawl_06.png" alt="" width="800" height="386" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_oncrawl_06.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_oncrawl_06-600x290.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_oncrawl_06-768x371.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Mapping similarity clusters after canonicalization.</p></div> <p>Filter out the duplicate content that is correctly handled by your canonical strategy. The remaining non-canonicalized URLs are pages you want to rank.</p> <div id="attachment_252972" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252972 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_07.png" alt="" width="800" height="386" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_07.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_07-600x290.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_07-768x371.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">The previous mapping, after removing validated (green) clusters and clusters with less than 80% similarity. Most of the remaining 46 clusters only have 2 pages.</p></div> <p>URLs that still appear in clusters based on Simhash and semantic analysis are URLs you and Google disagree on.</p> <h2>Solving duplicate content problems for unique content</h2> <p>There&#8217;s no satisfying trick to correct a machine&#8217;s view of unique pages that appear to be duplicates: we can&#8217;t change how Google identifies duplicate content. However, there are still solutions to align your perception of unique content and Google&#8217;s… while still ranking for the keywords you need.</p> <p>Here are five strategies to adapt to your site.</p> <h3>Resolve edge cases</h3> <p>Start by looking at the edge cases: clusters with very low or very high similarity rates.</p> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-252973 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_08.png" alt="" width="800" height="386" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_08.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_08-600x290.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_08-768x371.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <ul> <li>Under 20% similarity: similar, but not too similar. You can signal Google to treat them as different pages by linking between the pages in the cluster, using distinct anchor text for each page.</li> </ul> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-252974 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_09.png" alt="" width="800" height="391" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_09.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_09-600x293.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_09-768x375.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <ul> <li>Maximum similarity: find the underlying issue. You will need to either enrich the content to differentiate the pages or merge the pages into one.</li> </ul> <h3>Reduce the number of facets</h3> <p>If your duplicate pages are related to facets, you may have an indexing issue. Maintain the facets that already rank, and limit the number of facets you allow Google to index.</p> <div id="attachment_252975" style="width: 810px" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img class="wp-image-252975 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_10.png" alt="" width="800" height="429" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_10.png 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_10-600x322.png 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_10-768x412.png 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /><p class="wp-caption-text">Cluster composed of identical pages based on sortable facets. Source: OnCrawl.</p></div> <h3>Make pages (more) unique</h3> <p>Remember: minor differences in content create minor differences in Simhash fingerprints. You need to make significant changes to the content on the page rather than small adjustments.</p> <p>Enrich page content:</p> <ul> <li>Add text content to the pages. <ul> <li>Add different descriptions of images.</li> <li>Include full customer reviews (If the reviews apply to multiple pages, merge the pages!).</li> <li>Add additional information.</li> <li>Add related information.</li> </ul> </li> <li>Use different images.</li> <li>Test using very different anchor text for links to the different pages.</li> <li>Reduce the amount of source code in common between the similar pages.</li> <li>Improve semantic density on the pages. <ul> <li>Increase the vocabulary related to the subject and reduce the filler.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-252976" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_11.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="466" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_11.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_11-600x350.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_11-768x447.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <h3>Create ranking reference pages</h3> <p>If enriching your pages isn&#8217;t possible or appropriate, consider creating a single reference page that ranks in place of all the &#8220;duplicate&#8221; pages. This strategy uses the same principle as content hubs to promote a main page for multiple keywords. It&#8217;s particularly useful when you have multiple versions of a product that you need to maintain as separate pages.</p> <p>This strategy can be used to create pages targeting a need or a seasonal opportunity. It can improve families of pages by providing stronger semantics and rankings.</p> <p>It can also benefit classifieds websites, job offer sites, and other sites with many, often-similar listings. Reference pages should group listings by a single characteristic; location (city) is often used successfully.</p> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-252978 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_13.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="402" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_13.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_13-600x302.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_13-768x386.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>What to do:</p> <ol> <li>Create a reference page that brings together the semantic content of all of the &#8220;duplicate&#8221; product pages. It should promote all of the keywords you want to use and link to all of the &#8220;duplicate&#8221; pages.</li> <li>Set the canonical URL for each &#8220;duplicate&#8221; page to the reference page, and the reference page&#8217;s canonical URL as itself.</li> <li>Link between the &#8220;duplicate&#8221; pages.</li> <li>Optimize site navigation to promote the reference page.</li> </ol> <p>Strengthened by links from the &#8220;duplicate&#8221; pages, canonical declarations, and combined content, reference pages are easy to rank.</p> <h3>Combine your pages</h3> <p>You keep trying to enrich pages with the same content? You can&#8217;t explain why you want to keep them all? It may be time to combine them.</p> <img class="aligncenter wp-image-252977 size-full" src="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_12.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="395" srcset="https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_12.jpg 800w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_12-600x296.jpg 600w, https://marketingland.com/wp-content/ml-loads/2018/12/SEL_OnCrawl_12-768x379.jpg 768w" sizes="(max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px" /> <p>If you decide to combine your pages into one:</p> <ul> <li>Keep the URL that performs the best.</li> <li>Redirect (301) pages that you&#8217;re getting rid of to the one you&#8217;re keeping.</li> <li>Add content from the pages you&#8217;re getting rid of to the page you&#8217;re keeping and optimize it to rank for all of the cluster&#8217;s keywords.</li> </ul> <h2>The future of duplicate content</h2> <p>Google&#8217;s ability to understand the content of a page is constantly evolving. With the increasingly precise ability to identify boilerplate and to differentiate between intent on web pages, unique content identified as a duplicate should eventually become a thing of the past.</p> <p>Until then, understanding why your content looks like duplicates to Google, and adapting it to convince Google otherwise, are the keys to successful SEO for similar pages.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com/human-vs-machine-intelligence-how-to-win-when-duplicate-content-is-unique-252961">Human vs machine intelligence: how to win when &#8216;duplicate&#8217; content is unique</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://marketingland.com">Marketing Land</a>.</p> How to Better Manage Social Media Teams: 3 Useful Tools https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-manage-social-media-teams-3-useful-tools/ Social Media Examiner urn:uuid:8bd2299c-f924-3f1c-93b2-f779f7e3485c Tue, 11 Dec 2018 11:00:16 +0000 <img width="1200" height="630" src="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tools-manage-social-teams-1200.png" class="webfeedsFeaturedVisual wp-post-image" alt="" style="display: block; margin-bottom: 5px; clear:both;max-width: 100%;" srcset="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tools-manage-social-teams-1200.png 1200w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tools-manage-social-teams-1200-150x79.png 150w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tools-manage-social-teams-1200-300x158.png 300w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tools-manage-social-teams-1200-768x403.png 768w, https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/tools-manage-social-teams-1200-1024x538.png 1024w" sizes="(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px" /><p>Looking for tools to improve your marketing team&#8217;s social media workflow? Wondering which tool will best fit your needs? In this article, you&#8217;ll find three social media management tools with valuable features for marketing teams. #1: Review Your Team&#8217;s Social Media Posts Before They Publish With Statusbrew Once you&#8217;ve registered and added your team members [&#8230;]</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-manage-social-media-teams-3-useful-tools/">How to Better Manage Social Media Teams: 3 Useful Tools</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com">Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner</a>.</p> Vulnerability Reported in All in One SEO Pack by @martinibuster http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10894197 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:fd3f90c2-24f8-7b3a-2f09-71a195f11474 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 09:18:54 +0000 <p>WPScan Vulnerability Database reports that the All in One SEO Pack plugin has a cross-site scripting vulnerability.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/all-in-one-seo-pack-vulnerability/282463/">Vulnerability Reported in All in One SEO Pack by @martinibuster</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10894197.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Search Engine Reputation Management: How to Handle It with SE Ranking by @SERanking http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10893716 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:e8153e6d-74bf-97b6-89fb-68cd59382d0c Tue, 11 Dec 2018 06:00:23 +0000 <p>Here's a tool that can help you manage and maintain your reputation in search engines.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/search-engine-reputation-management-se-ranking/280511/">Search Engine Reputation Management: How to Handle It with SE Ranking by @SERanking</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10893716.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Google My Business Adds New Permissions to ‘Communications Manager’ Role by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10893363 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:145e95fa-7950-8bc9-9d5f-4269ff5a32c5 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 02:47:48 +0000 <p>Google My Business has upgraded the 'communications manager' role to 'site manager,' which adds several new permissions.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-my-business-adds-new-permissions-to-communications-manager-role/282429/">Google My Business Adds New Permissions to &#8216;Communications Manager&#8217; Role by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10893363.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Google Brings Google Lens Visual Search to its iOS App by @MattGSouthern http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/13962/10893088 Search Engine Journal urn:uuid:9ce38deb-adef-f83f-2b8a-e84ac3bf1448 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:53:50 +0000 <p>Google Lens, a tool allowing users to search for information in photos, is now available in the flagship iOS app.</p><p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-brings-google-lens-visual-search-to-its-ios-app/282411/">Google Brings Google Lens Visual Search to its iOS App by @MattGSouthern</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.searchenginejournal.com">Search Engine Journal</a>.</p><img src="http://feedpress.me/13962/10893088.gif" height="1" width="1"/> Evolving Keyword Research to Match Your Buyer&rsquo;s Journey http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/10894079 Moz Blog urn:uuid:cc2ffd77-bfc1-58e4-93a5-4f4b8cdda17b Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:06:00 +0000 <p>Posted by <a href=\"https://moz.com/community/users/4315463\">matthew_jkay</a></p><p>Keyword research has been around as long as the SEO industry has. Search engines built a system that revolves around users entering a term or query into a text entry field, hitting return, and receiving a list of relevant results. As the online search market expanded, one clear leader emerged — Google — and with it they brought AdWords (now Google Ads), an advertising platform that allowed organizations to appear on search results pages for keywords that organically they might not. </p><p>Within Google Ads came a tool that enabled businesses to look at how many searches there were per month for almost any query. Google Keyword Planner became the de facto tool for keyword research in the industry, and with good reason: it was Google’s data. Not only that, Google gave us the ability to gather further insights due to other metrics Keyword Planner provided: competition and suggested bid. Whilst these keywords were Google Ads-oriented metrics, they gave the SEO industry an indication of how competitive a keyword was. </p><p>The reason is obvious. If a keyword or phrase has higher competition (i.e. more advertisers bidding to appear for that term) it’s likely to be more competitive from an organic perspective. Similarly, a term that has a higher suggested bid means it’s more likely to be a competitive term. SEOs dined on this data for years, but when the industry started digging a bit more into the data, we soon realized that while useful, it <a href="https://moz.com/blog/unreliable-google-adwords-keyword-volume" target="_blank">was not always wholly accurate</a>. Moz, SEMrush, and other tools all started to develop alternative volume and competitive metrics using <a href="https://moz.com/blog/clickstream-data-revolution" target="_blank">Clickstream data</a> to give marketers more insights. </p><p>Now industry professionals have several software tools and data outlets to conduct their keyword research. These software companies will only improve in the accuracy of their data outputs. Google’s data is unlikely to significantly change; their goal is to sell ad space, not make life easy for SEOs. In fact, they've made life harder by <a href="https://searchengineland.com/google-officially-throttling-keyword-planner-data-low-spending-adwords-accounts-255795" target="_blank">using volume ranges for Google Ads accounts with low activity</a>. SEO tools have investors and customers to appease and must continually improve their products to reduce churn and grow their customer base. This makes things rosy for content-led SEO, right? </p><p>Well, not really. </p><p><strong>The problem with historical keyword research is twofold:</strong> </p><p>1. SEOs spend too much time thinking about the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (more on that later). </p><p>2. SEOs spend too much time thinking about keywords, rather than categories or topics. </p><p>The industry, to its credit, is doing a lot to tackle issue number two. “Topics over keywords” is something that is <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">not new</a> as I’ll briefly come to later. <a href="https://www.jimmydaly.com/hub-and-spoke/" target="_blank">Frameworks for topic-based SEO</a> have started to appear over the last few years. This is a step in the right direction. Organizing site content into categories, adding appropriate internal linking, and understanding that one piece of content can rank for several variations of a phrase is becoming far more commonplace. </p><p>What is less well known (but starting to gain traction) is point one. But in order to understand this further, we should dive into what the buyer’s journey actually is. </p><h2>What is the buyer’s journey?</h2><p class="full-width">The buyer’s or customer’s journey is not new. If you open marketing text books from years gone by, get a college degree in marketing, or even just go on general marketing blogs you’ll see it crop up. There are lots of variations of this journey, but they all say a similar thing. No matter what product or service is bought, <em>everyone goes through this journey</em>. This could be online or offline — the main difference is that depending on the product, person, or situation, the amount of time this journey takes will vary — but every buyer goes through it. But what is it, exactly? For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on three stages: <strong>awareness, consideration,</strong> & decision. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8ca8bb278.58975283.png"> </p><h3>Awareness</h3><p>The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is similar to problem discovery, where a potential customer realizes that they have a problem (or an opportunity) but they may not have figured out exactly what that is yet. </p><p>Search terms at this stage are often question-based — users are researching around a particular area. </p><h3>Consideration</h3><p>The consideration stage is where a potential consumer has defined what their problem or opportunity is and has begun to look for potential solutions to help solve the issue they face. </p><h3>Decision</h3><p>The decision stage is where most organizations focus their attention. Normally consumers are ready to buy at this stage and are often doing product or vendor comparisons, looking at reviews, and searching for pricing information. </p><p>To illustrate this process, let’s take two examples: buying an ice cream and buying a holiday. </p><p>Being low-value, the former is not a particularly considered purchase, but this journey still takes place. The latter is more considered. It can often take several weeks or months for a consumer to decide on what destination they want to visit, let alone a hotel or excursions. But how does this affect keyword research, and the content which we as marketers should provide? </p><p>At each stage, a buyer will have a different thought process. It’s key to note that not every buyer of the same product will have the same thought process but you can see how we can start to formulate a process. </p><h3>The Buyer’s Journey - Holiday Purchase</h3><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cb46c956.37740628.png"> </p><p>The above table illustrates the sort of queries or terms that consumers <em>might</em> use at different stages of their journey. The problem is that most organizations focus all of their efforts on the decision end of the spectrum. This is entirely the right approach to take at the start because you’re targeting consumers who are interested in your product or service then and there. However, in an increasingly competitive online space you should try and find ways to diversify and bring people into your marketing funnel (which in most cases is your website) at different stages. </p><p>I agree with the argument that creating content for people earlier in the journey will likely mean lower conversion rates from visitor to customer, but my counter to this would be that you're also potentially missing out on people who will become customers. Further possibilities to at least get these people into your funnel include offering content downloads (gated content) to capture user’s information, or remarketing activity via Facebook, Google Ads, or other retargeting platforms. </p><h2>Moving from keywords to topics</h2><p>I’m not going to bang this drum too loudly. I think many in of the SEO community have signed up to the approach that topics are more important than keywords. There are quite a few resources on this listed online, but what forced it home for me was <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">Cyrus Shepard’s Moz article</a> in 2014. Much, if not all, of that post still holds true today. </p><p>What I will cover is an adoption of <a href="https://research.hubspot.com/topic-clusters-seo" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Topic Cluster model</a>. For those unaccustomed to their model, HubSpot’s approach formalizes and labels what many search marketers have been doing for a while now. The basic premise is instead of having your site fragmented with lots of content across multiple sections, all hyperlinking to each other, you create one <em>really</em> in-depth content piece that covers a topic area broadly (and covers shorter-tail keywords with high search volume), and then supplement this page with content targeting the long-tail, such as blog posts, FAQs, or opinion pieces. HubSpot calls this "pillar" and "cluster" content respectively. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cbb48233.73472670.png"> </p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://research.hubspot.com/charts/topic-clusters" target="_blank">Source: Matt Barby / HubSpot</a> </p><p>The process then involves taking these cluster pages and linking back to the pillar page using keyword-rich anchor text. There’s nothing particularly new about this approach aside from formalizing it a bit more. Instead of having your site’s content structured in such a way that it's fragmented and interlinking between lots of different pages and topics, you keep the internal linking within its topic, or content cluster. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGxyw9DSa8" target="_blank">This video</a> explains this methodology further. While we accept this model may not fit every situation, and nor is it completely perfect, it’s a great way of understanding how search engines are now interpreting content. </p><p>At <a href="https://www.aira.net/" target="_blank">Aira</a>, we’ve taken this approach and tried to evolve it a bit further, tying these topics into the stages of the buyer’s journey while utilizing several data points to make sure our outputs are based off as much data as we can get our hands on. Furthermore, because pillar pages tend to target shorter-tail keywords with high search volume, they're often either awareness- or consideration-stage content, and thus not applicable for decision stage. We term our key decision pages “target pages,” as this should be a primary focus of any activity we conduct. </p><p>We’ll also look at the semantic relativity of the keywords reviewed, so that we have a “parent” keyword that we’re targeting a page to rank for, and then children of that keyword or phrase that the page may also rank for, due to its similarity to the parent. Every keyword is categorized according to its stage in the buyer’s journey and whether it's appropriate for a pillar, target, or cluster page. We also add two further classifications to our keywords: track & monitor and ignore. Definitions for these five keyword types are listed below: </p><h3>Pillar page</h3><p>A pillar page covers all aspects of a topic on a single page, with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page. A keyword tagged with pillar page will be the primary topic and the focus of a page on the website. Pillar pages should be awareness- or consideration-stage content. </p><p>A great pillar page example I often refer to is <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/facebook-marketing" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Facebook marketing guide</a> or <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/insect-bites-in-the-uk-identify-what-has-bitten-you-with-this-ultimate-guide" target="_blank">Mosi-guard’s insect bites guide</a> <em>(disclaimer: probably don’t click through if you don’t like close-up shots of insects!).</em> </p><h3>Cluster page</h3><p>A cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. This type of page is normally associated with a blog article but could be another type of content, like an FAQ page. </p><p>Good examples within the Facebook marketing topic listed above are HubSpot’s posts: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/snapchat-vs-facebook-stories" target="_blank">How Do Facebook Stories Stack Up to Snapchat?</a></li> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide">How to Use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide</a></li> </ul><p>For Mosi-guard, they’re not utilizing internal links within the copy of the other blogs, but the "older posts" section at the bottom of the blog is referencing this guide: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/the-malaria-map-and-your-guide-to-travelling-safely" target="_blank">The malaria map and your guide to traveling safe</a></li> </ul><h3>Target page</h3><p>Normally a keyword or phrase linked to a product or service page, e.g. nike trainers or seo services. Target pages are decision-stage content pieces. </p><p>HubSpot’s target content is their <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/social-inbox" target="_blank">social media software page</a>, with one of Mosi-guard’s target pages being their <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/insect-repellent/mosi-guard-spray" target="_blank">natural spray product</a>. </p><h3>Track & monitor</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that is not the main focus of a page, but could still rank due to its similarity to the target page keyword. A good example of this might be seo services as the target page keyword, but this page could also rank for seo agency, seo company, etc. </p><h3>Ignore</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that has been reviewed but is not recommended to be optimized for, possibly due to a lack of search volume, it’s too competitive, it won’t be profitable, etc. </p><p>Once the keyword research is complete, we then map our keywords to existing website pages. This gives us a list of mapped keywords and a list of unmapped keywords, which in turn creates a content gap analysis that often leads to a content plan that could last for three, six, or twelve-plus months. </p><h2>Putting it into practice</h2><p>I’m a firm believer in giving an example of how this would work in practice, so I’m going to walk through one with screenshots. I’ll also provide a template of our keyword research document for you to take away. </p><h3>1. Harvesting keywords</h3><p>The first step in the process is similar, if not identical, to every other keyword research project. You start off with a batch of keywords from the client or other stakeholders that the site wants to rank for. Most of the industry call this a seed keyword list. That keyword list is normally a minimum of 15–20 keywords, but can often be more if you’re dealing with an e-commerce website with multiple product lines. </p><p>This list is often based off nothing more than opinion: “What do we think our potential customers will search for?” It’s a good starting point, but you need the rest of the process to follow on to make sure you’re optimizing based off data, not opinion. </p><h3>2. Expanding the list</h3><p>Once you’ve got that keyword list, it’s time to start utilizing some of the tools you have at your disposal. There are lots, of course! We tend to use a combination of <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz Keyword Explorer,</a> <a href="https://answerthepublic.com/" target="_blank">Answer the Public</a>, <a href="https://keywordseverywhere.com/" target="_blank">Keywords Everywhere</a>, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, ranking tools, and <a href="https://www.semrush.com/" target="_blank">SEMrush</a>. </p><p>The idea of this list is to start thinking about keywords that the organization may not have considered before. Your expanded list will include obvious synonyms from your list. Take the example below: </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Seed Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Expanded Keywords </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> </td> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> <p>ski chalet rental </p> <p>ski chalet hire </p> <p>ski chalet [location name] </p> <p>etc </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>There are other examples that should be considered. A client I worked with in the past once gave a seed keyword of “biomass boilers.” But after keyword research was conducted, a more colloquial term for “biomass boilers” in the UK is “wood burners.” This is an important distinction and should be picked up as early in the process as possible. Keyword research tools are not infallible, so if budget and resource allows, you may wish to consult current and potential customers about which terms they might use to find the products or services being offered. </p><h3>3. Filtering out irrelevant keywords</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keyword list, it’s time to start filtering out irrelevant keywords. This is pretty labor-intensive and involves sorting through rows of data. We tend to use <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz’s Keyword Explorer</a>, filter by relevancy, and work our way down. As we go, we’ll add keywords to lists within the platform and start to try and sort things by topic. Topics are <em>fairly</em> subjective, and often you’ll get overlap between them. We’ll group similar keywords and phrases together in a topic based off the semantic relativity of those phrases. For example: </p><table class="table-basic"><thead><tr><th><p>Topic </p></th><th><p>Keywords<br> </p></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td><p>ski chalet </p></td><td><p>ski chalet </p><p>ski chalet rental </p><p>ski chalet hire </p><p>ski chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>catered chalet </p></td><td><p>catered chalet </p><p>luxury catered chalet </p><p>catered chalet rental </p><p>catered chalet hire </p><p>catered chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>ski accommodation </p></td><td><p>ski accommodation </p><p>cheap ski accommodation </p><p>budget ski accommodation </p><p>ski accomodation [location name] </p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Many of the above keywords are decision-based keywords — particularly those with rental or hire in them. They're showing buying intent. We’ll then try to put ourselves in the mind of the buyer and come up with keywords towards the start of the buyer’s journey. </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Topic </p> </th> <th> <p>Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Buyer’s stage </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> <p>best ski resorts </p> <p>ski resorts europe </p> <p>ski resorts usa </p> <p>ski resorts canada </p> <p>top ski resorts </p> <p>cheap ski resorts </p> <p>luxury ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>skiing </p> </td> <td> <p>skiing </p> <p>skiing guide </p> <p>skiing beginner’s guide </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>family holidays </p> </td> <td> <p>family holidays </p> <p>family winter holidays </p> <p>family trips </p> </td> <td> <p>Awareness </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>This helps us cater to customers that might not be in the frame of mind to purchase just yet — they're just doing research. It means we cast the net wider. Conversion rates for these keywords are unlikely to be high (at least, for purchases or enquiries) but if utilized as part of a wider marketing strategy, we should look to capture some form of information, primarily an email address, so we can send people relevant information via email or remarketing ads later down the line. </p><h3>4. Pulling in data</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keywords out, Keyword Explorer’s handy list function enables your to break things down into separate topics. You can then export that data into a CSV and start combining it with other data sources. If you have SEMrush API access, <a href="https://opensourceseo.org/semrush-api-library-google-sheets-google-scripts/" target="_blank">Dave Sottimano’s API Library</a> is a great time saver; otherwise, you may want to consider uploading the keywords into the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension and manually exporting the data and combining everything together. You should then have a spreadsheet that looks something like this: </p><p class="full-width"> <img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc2d9642.65555528.png"> </p><p>You could then add in additional data sources. There’s no reason you couldn’t combine the above with volumes and competition metrics from other SEO tools. Consider including existing keyword ranking information or Google Ads data in this process. Keywords that convert well on PPC should do the same organically and should therefore be considered. Wil Reynolds talks about <a href="https://learninbound.com/videos/wil-reynolds-2017/" target="_blank">this particular tactic</a> a lot. </p><h3>5. Aligning phrases to the buyer’s journey</h3><p>The next stage of the process is to start categorizing the keywords into the stage of the buyer’s journey. Something we’ve found at Aira is that keywords don’t always fit into a predefined stage. Someone looking for “marketing services” could be doing research about what marketing services are, but they could also be looking for a provider. You may get keywords that could be either awareness/consideration or consideration/decision. Use your judgement, and remember this is subjective. Once complete, you should end up with some data that looks similar to this: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc97a7e9.95275221.png"> </p><p>This categorization is important, as it starts to frame what type of content is most appropriate for that keyword or phrase. </p><p>The next stage of this process is to start noticing patterns in keyphrases and where they get mapped to in the buyer’s journey. Often you’ll see keywords like “ <p>Posted by <a href=\"https://moz.com/community/users/4315463\">matthew_jkay</a></p><p>Keyword research has been around as long as the SEO industry has. Search engines built a system that revolves around users entering a term or query into a text entry field, hitting return, and receiving a list of relevant results. As the online search market expanded, one clear leader emerged — Google — and with it they brought AdWords (now Google Ads), an advertising platform that allowed organizations to appear on search results pages for keywords that organically they might not. </p><p>Within Google Ads came a tool that enabled businesses to look at how many searches there were per month for almost any query. Google Keyword Planner became the de facto tool for keyword research in the industry, and with good reason: it was Google’s data. Not only that, Google gave us the ability to gather further insights due to other metrics Keyword Planner provided: competition and suggested bid. Whilst these keywords were Google Ads-oriented metrics, they gave the SEO industry an indication of how competitive a keyword was. </p><p>The reason is obvious. If a keyword or phrase has higher competition (i.e. more advertisers bidding to appear for that term) it’s likely to be more competitive from an organic perspective. Similarly, a term that has a higher suggested bid means it’s more likely to be a competitive term. SEOs dined on this data for years, but when the industry started digging a bit more into the data, we soon realized that while useful, it <a href="https://moz.com/blog/unreliable-google-adwords-keyword-volume" target="_blank">was not always wholly accurate</a>. Moz, SEMrush, and other tools all started to develop alternative volume and competitive metrics using <a href="https://moz.com/blog/clickstream-data-revolution" target="_blank">Clickstream data</a> to give marketers more insights. </p><p>Now industry professionals have several software tools and data outlets to conduct their keyword research. These software companies will only improve in the accuracy of their data outputs. Google’s data is unlikely to significantly change; their goal is to sell ad space, not make life easy for SEOs. In fact, they've made life harder by <a href="https://searchengineland.com/google-officially-throttling-keyword-planner-data-low-spending-adwords-accounts-255795" target="_blank">using volume ranges for Google Ads accounts with low activity</a>. SEO tools have investors and customers to appease and must continually improve their products to reduce churn and grow their customer base. This makes things rosy for content-led SEO, right? </p><p>Well, not really. </p><p><strong>The problem with historical keyword research is twofold:</strong> </p><p>1. SEOs spend too much time thinking about the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (more on that later). </p><p>2. SEOs spend too much time thinking about keywords, rather than categories or topics. </p><p>The industry, to its credit, is doing a lot to tackle issue number two. “Topics over keywords” is something that is <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">not new</a> as I’ll briefly come to later. <a href="https://www.jimmydaly.com/hub-and-spoke/" target="_blank">Frameworks for topic-based SEO</a> have started to appear over the last few years. This is a step in the right direction. Organizing site content into categories, adding appropriate internal linking, and understanding that one piece of content can rank for several variations of a phrase is becoming far more commonplace. </p><p>What is less well known (but starting to gain traction) is point one. But in order to understand this further, we should dive into what the buyer’s journey actually is. </p><h2>What is the buyer’s journey?</h2><p class="full-width">The buyer’s or customer’s journey is not new. If you open marketing text books from years gone by, get a college degree in marketing, or even just go on general marketing blogs you’ll see it crop up. There are lots of variations of this journey, but they all say a similar thing. No matter what product or service is bought, <em>everyone goes through this journey</em>. This could be online or offline — the main difference is that depending on the product, person, or situation, the amount of time this journey takes will vary — but every buyer goes through it. But what is it, exactly? For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on three stages: <strong>awareness, consideration,</strong> & decision. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8ca8bb278.58975283.png"> </p><h3>Awareness</h3><p>The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is similar to problem discovery, where a potential customer realizes that they have a problem (or an opportunity) but they may not have figured out exactly what that is yet. </p><p>Search terms at this stage are often question-based — users are researching around a particular area. </p><h3>Consideration</h3><p>The consideration stage is where a potential consumer has defined what their problem or opportunity is and has begun to look for potential solutions to help solve the issue they face. </p><h3>Decision</h3><p>The decision stage is where most organizations focus their attention. Normally consumers are ready to buy at this stage and are often doing product or vendor comparisons, looking at reviews, and searching for pricing information. </p><p>To illustrate this process, let’s take two examples: buying an ice cream and buying a holiday. </p><p>Being low-value, the former is not a particularly considered purchase, but this journey still takes place. The latter is more considered. It can often take several weeks or months for a consumer to decide on what destination they want to visit, let alone a hotel or excursions. But how does this affect keyword research, and the content which we as marketers should provide? </p><p>At each stage, a buyer will have a different thought process. It’s key to note that not every buyer of the same product will have the same thought process but you can see how we can start to formulate a process. </p><h3>The Buyer’s Journey - Holiday Purchase</h3><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cb46c956.37740628.png"> </p><p>The above table illustrates the sort of queries or terms that consumers <em>might</em> use at different stages of their journey. The problem is that most organizations focus all of their efforts on the decision end of the spectrum. This is entirely the right approach to take at the start because you’re targeting consumers who are interested in your product or service then and there. However, in an increasingly competitive online space you should try and find ways to diversify and bring people into your marketing funnel (which in most cases is your website) at different stages. </p><p>I agree with the argument that creating content for people earlier in the journey will likely mean lower conversion rates from visitor to customer, but my counter to this would be that you're also potentially missing out on people who will become customers. Further possibilities to at least get these people into your funnel include offering content downloads (gated content) to capture user’s information, or remarketing activity via Facebook, Google Ads, or other retargeting platforms. </p><h2>Moving from keywords to topics</h2><p>I’m not going to bang this drum too loudly. I think many in of the SEO community have signed up to the approach that topics are more important than keywords. There are quite a few resources on this listed online, but what forced it home for me was <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">Cyrus Shepard’s Moz article</a> in 2014. Much, if not all, of that post still holds true today. </p><p>What I will cover is an adoption of <a href="https://research.hubspot.com/topic-clusters-seo" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Topic Cluster model</a>. For those unaccustomed to their model, HubSpot’s approach formalizes and labels what many search marketers have been doing for a while now. The basic premise is instead of having your site fragmented with lots of content across multiple sections, all hyperlinking to each other, you create one <em>really</em> in-depth content piece that covers a topic area broadly (and covers shorter-tail keywords with high search volume), and then supplement this page with content targeting the long-tail, such as blog posts, FAQs, or opinion pieces. HubSpot calls this "pillar" and "cluster" content respectively. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cbb48233.73472670.png"> </p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://research.hubspot.com/charts/topic-clusters" target="_blank">Source: Matt Barby / HubSpot</a> </p><p>The process then involves taking these cluster pages and linking back to the pillar page using keyword-rich anchor text. There’s nothing particularly new about this approach aside from formalizing it a bit more. Instead of having your site’s content structured in such a way that it's fragmented and interlinking between lots of different pages and topics, you keep the internal linking within its topic, or content cluster. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGxyw9DSa8" target="_blank">This video</a> explains this methodology further. While we accept this model may not fit every situation, and nor is it completely perfect, it’s a great way of understanding how search engines are now interpreting content. </p><p>At <a href="https://www.aira.net/" target="_blank">Aira</a>, we’ve taken this approach and tried to evolve it a bit further, tying these topics into the stages of the buyer’s journey while utilizing several data points to make sure our outputs are based off as much data as we can get our hands on. Furthermore, because pillar pages tend to target shorter-tail keywords with high search volume, they're often either awareness- or consideration-stage content, and thus not applicable for decision stage. We term our key decision pages “target pages,” as this should be a primary focus of any activity we conduct. </p><p>We’ll also look at the semantic relativity of the keywords reviewed, so that we have a “parent” keyword that we’re targeting a page to rank for, and then children of that keyword or phrase that the page may also rank for, due to its similarity to the parent. Every keyword is categorized according to its stage in the buyer’s journey and whether it's appropriate for a pillar, target, or cluster page. We also add two further classifications to our keywords: track & monitor and ignore. Definitions for these five keyword types are listed below: </p><h3>Pillar page</h3><p>A pillar page covers all aspects of a topic on a single page, with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page. A keyword tagged with pillar page will be the primary topic and the focus of a page on the website. Pillar pages should be awareness- or consideration-stage content. </p><p>A great pillar page example I often refer to is <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/facebook-marketing" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Facebook marketing guide</a> or <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/insect-bites-in-the-uk-identify-what-has-bitten-you-with-this-ultimate-guide" target="_blank">Mosi-guard’s insect bites guide</a> <em>(disclaimer: probably don’t click through if you don’t like close-up shots of insects!).</em> </p><h3>Cluster page</h3><p>A cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. This type of page is normally associated with a blog article but could be another type of content, like an FAQ page. </p><p>Good examples within the Facebook marketing topic listed above are HubSpot’s posts: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/snapchat-vs-facebook-stories" target="_blank">How Do Facebook Stories Stack Up to Snapchat?</a></li> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide">How to Use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide</a></li> </ul><p>For Mosi-guard, they’re not utilizing internal links within the copy of the other blogs, but the "older posts" section at the bottom of the blog is referencing this guide: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/the-malaria-map-and-your-guide-to-travelling-safely" target="_blank">The malaria map and your guide to traveling safe</a></li> </ul><h3>Target page</h3><p>Normally a keyword or phrase linked to a product or service page, e.g. nike trainers or seo services. Target pages are decision-stage content pieces. </p><p>HubSpot’s target content is their <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/social-inbox" target="_blank">social media software page</a>, with one of Mosi-guard’s target pages being their <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/insect-repellent/mosi-guard-spray" target="_blank">natural spray product</a>. </p><h3>Track & monitor</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that is not the main focus of a page, but could still rank due to its similarity to the target page keyword. A good example of this might be seo services as the target page keyword, but this page could also rank for seo agency, seo company, etc. </p><h3>Ignore</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that has been reviewed but is not recommended to be optimized for, possibly due to a lack of search volume, it’s too competitive, it won’t be profitable, etc. </p><p>Once the keyword research is complete, we then map our keywords to existing website pages. This gives us a list of mapped keywords and a list of unmapped keywords, which in turn creates a content gap analysis that often leads to a content plan that could last for three, six, or twelve-plus months. </p><h2>Putting it into practice</h2><p>I’m a firm believer in giving an example of how this would work in practice, so I’m going to walk through one with screenshots. I’ll also provide a template of our keyword research document for you to take away. </p><h3>1. Harvesting keywords</h3><p>The first step in the process is similar, if not identical, to every other keyword research project. You start off with a batch of keywords from the client or other stakeholders that the site wants to rank for. Most of the industry call this a seed keyword list. That keyword list is normally a minimum of 15–20 keywords, but can often be more if you’re dealing with an e-commerce website with multiple product lines. </p><p>This list is often based off nothing more than opinion: “What do we think our potential customers will search for?” It’s a good starting point, but you need the rest of the process to follow on to make sure you’re optimizing based off data, not opinion. </p><h3>2. Expanding the list</h3><p>Once you’ve got that keyword list, it’s time to start utilizing some of the tools you have at your disposal. There are lots, of course! We tend to use a combination of <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz Keyword Explorer,</a> <a href="https://answerthepublic.com/" target="_blank">Answer the Public</a>, <a href="https://keywordseverywhere.com/" target="_blank">Keywords Everywhere</a>, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, ranking tools, and <a href="https://www.semrush.com/" target="_blank">SEMrush</a>. </p><p>The idea of this list is to start thinking about keywords that the organization may not have considered before. Your expanded list will include obvious synonyms from your list. Take the example below: </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Seed Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Expanded Keywords </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> </td> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> <p>ski chalet rental </p> <p>ski chalet hire </p> <p>ski chalet [location name] </p> <p>etc </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>There are other examples that should be considered. A client I worked with in the past once gave a seed keyword of “biomass boilers.” But after keyword research was conducted, a more colloquial term for “biomass boilers” in the UK is “wood burners.” This is an important distinction and should be picked up as early in the process as possible. Keyword research tools are not infallible, so if budget and resource allows, you may wish to consult current and potential customers about which terms they might use to find the products or services being offered. </p><h3>3. Filtering out irrelevant keywords</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keyword list, it’s time to start filtering out irrelevant keywords. This is pretty labor-intensive and involves sorting through rows of data. We tend to use <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz’s Keyword Explorer</a>, filter by relevancy, and work our way down. As we go, we’ll add keywords to lists within the platform and start to try and sort things by topic. Topics are <em>fairly</em> subjective, and often you’ll get overlap between them. We’ll group similar keywords and phrases together in a topic based off the semantic relativity of those phrases. For example: </p><table class="table-basic"><thead><tr><th><p>Topic </p></th><th><p>Keywords<br> </p></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td><p>ski chalet </p></td><td><p>ski chalet </p><p>ski chalet rental </p><p>ski chalet hire </p><p>ski chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>catered chalet </p></td><td><p>catered chalet </p><p>luxury catered chalet </p><p>catered chalet rental </p><p>catered chalet hire </p><p>catered chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>ski accommodation </p></td><td><p>ski accommodation </p><p>cheap ski accommodation </p><p>budget ski accommodation </p><p>ski accomodation [location name] </p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Many of the above keywords are decision-based keywords — particularly those with rental or hire in them. They're showing buying intent. We’ll then try to put ourselves in the mind of the buyer and come up with keywords towards the start of the buyer’s journey. </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Topic </p> </th> <th> <p>Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Buyer’s stage </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> <p>best ski resorts </p> <p>ski resorts europe </p> <p>ski resorts usa </p> <p>ski resorts canada </p> <p>top ski resorts </p> <p>cheap ski resorts </p> <p>luxury ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>skiing </p> </td> <td> <p>skiing </p> <p>skiing guide </p> <p>skiing beginner’s guide </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>family holidays </p> </td> <td> <p>family holidays </p> <p>family winter holidays </p> <p>family trips </p> </td> <td> <p>Awareness </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>This helps us cater to customers that might not be in the frame of mind to purchase just yet — they're just doing research. It means we cast the net wider. Conversion rates for these keywords are unlikely to be high (at least, for purchases or enquiries) but if utilized as part of a wider marketing strategy, we should look to capture some form of information, primarily an email address, so we can send people relevant information via email or remarketing ads later down the line. </p><h3>4. Pulling in data</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keywords out, Keyword Explorer’s handy list function enables your to break things down into separate topics. You can then export that data into a CSV and start combining it with other data sources. If you have SEMrush API access, <a href="https://opensourceseo.org/semrush-api-library-google-sheets-google-scripts/" target="_blank">Dave Sottimano’s API Library</a> is a great time saver; otherwise, you may want to consider uploading the keywords into the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension and manually exporting the data and combining everything together. You should then have a spreadsheet that looks something like this: </p><p class="full-width"> <img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc2d9642.65555528.png"> </p><p>You could then add in additional data sources. There’s no reason you couldn’t combine the above with volumes and competition metrics from other SEO tools. Consider including existing keyword ranking information or Google Ads data in this process. Keywords that convert well on PPC should do the same organically and should therefore be considered. Wil Reynolds talks about <a href="https://learninbound.com/videos/wil-reynolds-2017/" target="_blank">this particular tactic</a> a lot. </p><h3>5. Aligning phrases to the buyer’s journey</h3><p>The next stage of the process is to start categorizing the keywords into the stage of the buyer’s journey. Something we’ve found at Aira is that keywords don’t always fit into a predefined stage. Someone looking for “marketing services” could be doing research about what marketing services are, but they could also be looking for a provider. You may get keywords that could be either awareness/consideration or consideration/decision. Use your judgement, and remember this is subjective. Once complete, you should end up with some data that looks similar to this: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc97a7e9.95275221.png"> </p><p>This categorization is important, as it starts to frame what type of content is most appropriate for that keyword or phrase. </p><p>The next stage of this process is to start noticing patterns in keyphrases and where they get mapped to in the buyer’s journey. Often you’ll see keywords like “ Evolving Keyword Research to Match Your Buyer's Journey http://tracking.feedpress.it/link/9375/10894079 Moz Blog urn:uuid:b2ebe722-773b-e371-3c3b-3f03a1afd201 Tue, 11 Dec 2018 00:06:00 +0000 <p>Posted by <a href=\"https://moz.com/community/users/4315463\">matthew_jkay</a></p><p>Keyword research has been around as long as the SEO industry has. Search engines built a system that revolves around users entering a term or query into a text entry field, hitting return, and receiving a list of relevant results. As the online search market expanded, one clear leader emerged — Google — and with it they brought AdWords (now Google Ads), an advertising platform that allowed organizations to appear on search results pages for keywords that organically they might not. </p><p>Within Google Ads came a tool that enabled businesses to look at how many searches there were per month for almost any query. Google Keyword Planner became the de facto tool for keyword research in the industry, and with good reason: it was Google’s data. Not only that, Google gave us the ability to gather further insights due to other metrics Keyword Planner provided: competition and suggested bid. Whilst these keywords were Google Ads-oriented metrics, they gave the SEO industry an indication of how competitive a keyword was. </p><p>The reason is obvious. If a keyword or phrase has higher competition (i.e. more advertisers bidding to appear for that term) it’s likely to be more competitive from an organic perspective. Similarly, a term that has a higher suggested bid means it’s more likely to be a competitive term. SEOs dined on this data for years, but when the industry started digging a bit more into the data, we soon realized that while useful, it <a href="https://moz.com/blog/unreliable-google-adwords-keyword-volume" target="_blank">was not always wholly accurate</a>. Moz, SEMrush, and other tools all started to develop alternative volume and competitive metrics using <a href="https://moz.com/blog/clickstream-data-revolution" target="_blank">Clickstream data</a> to give marketers more insights. </p><p>Now industry professionals have several software tools and data outlets to conduct their keyword research. These software companies will only improve in the accuracy of their data outputs. Google’s data is unlikely to significantly change; their goal is to sell ad space, not make life easy for SEOs. In fact, they've made life harder by <a href="https://searchengineland.com/google-officially-throttling-keyword-planner-data-low-spending-adwords-accounts-255795" target="_blank">using volume ranges for Google Ads accounts with low activity</a>. SEO tools have investors and customers to appease and must continually improve their products to reduce churn and grow their customer base. This makes things rosy for content-led SEO, right? </p><p>Well, not really. </p><p><strong>The problem with historical keyword research is twofold:</strong> </p><p>1. SEOs spend too much time thinking about the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (more on that later). </p><p>2. SEOs spend too much time thinking about keywords, rather than categories or topics. </p><p>The industry, to its credit, is doing a lot to tackle issue number two. “Topics over keywords” is something that is <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">not new</a> as I’ll briefly come to later. <a href="https://www.jimmydaly.com/hub-and-spoke/" target="_blank">Frameworks for topic-based SEO</a> have started to appear over the last few years. This is a step in the right direction. Organizing site content into categories, adding appropriate internal linking, and understanding that one piece of content can rank for several variations of a phrase is becoming far more commonplace. </p><p>What is less well known (but starting to gain traction) is point one. But in order to understand this further, we should dive into what the buyer’s journey actually is. </p><h2>What is the buyer’s journey?</h2><p class="full-width">The buyer’s or customer’s journey is not new. If you open marketing text books from years gone by, get a college degree in marketing, or even just go on general marketing blogs you’ll see it crop up. There are lots of variations of this journey, but they all say a similar thing. No matter what product or service is bought, <em>everyone goes through this journey</em>. This could be online or offline — the main difference is that depending on the product, person, or situation, the amount of time this journey takes will vary — but every buyer goes through it. But what is it, exactly? For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on three stages: <strong>awareness, consideration,</strong> & decision. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8ca8bb278.58975283.png"> </p><h3>Awareness</h3><p>The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is similar to problem discovery, where a potential customer realizes that they have a problem (or an opportunity) but they may not have figured out exactly what that is yet. </p><p>Search terms at this stage are often question-based — users are researching around a particular area. </p><h3>Consideration</h3><p>The consideration stage is where a potential consumer has defined what their problem or opportunity is and has begun to look for potential solutions to help solve the issue they face. </p><h3>Decision</h3><p>The decision stage is where most organizations focus their attention. Normally consumers are ready to buy at this stage and are often doing product or vendor comparisons, looking at reviews, and searching for pricing information. </p><p>To illustrate this process, let’s take two examples: buying an ice cream and buying a holiday. </p><p>Being low-value, the former is not a particularly considered purchase, but this journey still takes place. The latter is more considered. It can often take several weeks or months for a consumer to decide on what destination they want to visit, let alone a hotel or excursions. But how does this affect keyword research, and the content which we as marketers should provide? </p><p>At each stage, a buyer will have a different thought process. It’s key to note that not every buyer of the same product will have the same thought process but you can see how we can start to formulate a process. </p><h3>The Buyer’s Journey - Holiday Purchase</h3><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cb46c956.37740628.png"> </p><p>The above table illustrates the sort of queries or terms that consumers <em>might</em> use at different stages of their journey. The problem is that most organizations focus all of their efforts on the decision end of the spectrum. This is entirely the right approach to take at the start because you’re targeting consumers who are interested in your product or service then and there. However, in an increasingly competitive online space you should try and find ways to diversify and bring people into your marketing funnel (which in most cases is your website) at different stages. </p><p>I agree with the argument that creating content for people earlier in the journey will likely mean lower conversion rates from visitor to customer, but my counter to this would be that you're also potentially missing out on people who will become customers. Further possibilities to at least get these people into your funnel include offering content downloads (gated content) to capture user’s information, or remarketing activity via Facebook, Google Ads, or other retargeting platforms. </p><h2>Moving from keywords to topics</h2><p>I’m not going to bang this drum too loudly. I think many in of the SEO community have signed up to the approach that topics are more important than keywords. There are quite a few resources on this listed online, but what forced it home for me was <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">Cyrus Shepard’s Moz article</a> in 2014. Much, if not all, of that post still holds true today. </p><p>What I will cover is an adoption of <a href="https://research.hubspot.com/topic-clusters-seo" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Topic Cluster model</a>. For those unaccustomed to their model, HubSpot’s approach formalizes and labels what many search marketers have been doing for a while now. The basic premise is instead of having your site fragmented with lots of content across multiple sections, all hyperlinking to each other, you create one <em>really</em> in-depth content piece that covers a topic area broadly (and covers shorter-tail keywords with high search volume), and then supplement this page with content targeting the long-tail, such as blog posts, FAQs, or opinion pieces. HubSpot calls this "pillar" and "cluster" content respectively. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cbb48233.73472670.png"> </p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://research.hubspot.com/charts/topic-clusters" target="_blank">Source: Matt Barby / HubSpot</a> </p><p>The process then involves taking these cluster pages and linking back to the pillar page using keyword-rich anchor text. There’s nothing particularly new about this approach aside from formalizing it a bit more. Instead of having your site’s content structured in such a way that it's fragmented and interlinking between lots of different pages and topics, you keep the internal linking within its topic, or content cluster. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGxyw9DSa8" target="_blank">This video</a> explains this methodology further. While we accept this model may not fit every situation, and nor is it completely perfect, it’s a great way of understanding how search engines are now interpreting content. </p><p>At <a href="https://www.aira.net/" target="_blank">Aira</a>, we’ve taken this approach and tried to evolve it a bit further, tying these topics into the stages of the buyer’s journey while utilizing several data points to make sure our outputs are based off as much data as we can get our hands on. Furthermore, because pillar pages tend to target shorter-tail keywords with high search volume, they're often either awareness- or consideration-stage content, and thus not applicable for decision stage. We term our key decision pages “target pages,” as this should be a primary focus of any activity we conduct. </p><p>We’ll also look at the semantic relativity of the keywords reviewed, so that we have a “parent” keyword that we’re targeting a page to rank for, and then children of that keyword or phrase that the page may also rank for, due to its similarity to the parent. Every keyword is categorized according to its stage in the buyer’s journey and whether it's appropriate for a pillar, target, or cluster page. We also add two further classifications to our keywords: track & monitor and ignore. Definitions for these five keyword types are listed below: </p><h3>Pillar page</h3><p>A pillar page covers all aspects of a topic on a single page, with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page. A keyword tagged with pillar page will be the primary topic and the focus of a page on the website. Pillar pages should be awareness- or consideration-stage content. </p><p>A great pillar page example I often refer to is <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/facebook-marketing" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Facebook marketing guide</a> or <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/insect-bites-in-the-uk-identify-what-has-bitten-you-with-this-ultimate-guide" target="_blank">Mosi-guard’s insect bites guide</a> <em>(disclaimer: probably don’t click through if you don’t like close-up shots of insects!).</em> </p><h3>Cluster page</h3><p>A cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. This type of page is normally associated with a blog article but could be another type of content, like an FAQ page. </p><p>Good examples within the Facebook marketing topic listed above are HubSpot’s posts: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/snapchat-vs-facebook-stories" target="_blank">How Do Facebook Stories Stack Up to Snapchat?</a></li> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide">How to Use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide</a></li> </ul><p>For Mosi-guard, they’re not utilizing internal links within the copy of the other blogs, but the "older posts" section at the bottom of the blog is referencing this guide: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/the-malaria-map-and-your-guide-to-travelling-safely" target="_blank">The malaria map and your guide to traveling safe</a></li> </ul><h3>Target page</h3><p>Normally a keyword or phrase linked to a product or service page, e.g. nike trainers or seo services. Target pages are decision-stage content pieces. </p><p>HubSpot’s target content is their <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/social-inbox" target="_blank">social media software page</a>, with one of Mosi-guard’s target pages being their <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/insect-repellent/mosi-guard-spray" target="_blank">natural spray product</a>. </p><h3>Track & monitor</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that is not the main focus of a page, but could still rank due to its similarity to the target page keyword. A good example of this might be seo services as the target page keyword, but this page could also rank for seo agency, seo company, etc. </p><h3>Ignore</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that has been reviewed but is not recommended to be optimized for, possibly due to a lack of search volume, it’s too competitive, it won’t be profitable, etc. </p><p>Once the keyword research is complete, we then map our keywords to existing website pages. This gives us a list of mapped keywords and a list of unmapped keywords, which in turn creates a content gap analysis that often leads to a content plan that could last for three, six, or twelve-plus months. </p><h2>Putting it into practice</h2><p>I’m a firm believer in giving an example of how this would work in practice, so I’m going to walk through one with screenshots. I’ll also provide a template of our keyword research document for you to take away. </p><h3>1. Harvesting keywords</h3><p>The first step in the process is similar, if not identical, to every other keyword research project. You start off with a batch of keywords from the client or other stakeholders that the site wants to rank for. Most of the industry call this a seed keyword list. That keyword list is normally a minimum of 15–20 keywords, but can often be more if you’re dealing with an e-commerce website with multiple product lines. </p><p>This list is often based off nothing more than opinion: “What do we think our potential customers will search for?” It’s a good starting point, but you need the rest of the process to follow on to make sure you’re optimizing based off data, not opinion. </p><h3>2. Expanding the list</h3><p>Once you’ve got that keyword list, it’s time to start utilizing some of the tools you have at your disposal. There are lots, of course! We tend to use a combination of <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz Keyword Explorer,</a> <a href="https://answerthepublic.com/" target="_blank">Answer the Public</a>, <a href="https://keywordseverywhere.com/" target="_blank">Keywords Everywhere</a>, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, ranking tools, and <a href="https://www.semrush.com/" target="_blank">SEMrush</a>. </p><p>The idea of this list is to start thinking about keywords that the organization may not have considered before. Your expanded list will include obvious synonyms from your list. Take the example below: </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Seed Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Expanded Keywords </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> </td> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> <p>ski chalet rental </p> <p>ski chalet hire </p> <p>ski chalet [location name] </p> <p>etc </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>There are other examples that should be considered. A client I worked with in the past once gave a seed keyword of “biomass boilers.” But after keyword research was conducted, a more colloquial term for “biomass boilers” in the UK is “wood burners.” This is an important distinction and should be picked up as early in the process as possible. Keyword research tools are not infallible, so if budget and resource allows, you may wish to consult current and potential customers about which terms they might use to find the products or services being offered. </p><h3>3. Filtering out irrelevant keywords</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keyword list, it’s time to start filtering out irrelevant keywords. This is pretty labor-intensive and involves sorting through rows of data. We tend to use <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz’s Keyword Explorer</a>, filter by relevancy, and work our way down. As we go, we’ll add keywords to lists within the platform and start to try and sort things by topic. Topics are <em>fairly</em> subjective, and often you’ll get overlap between them. We’ll group similar keywords and phrases together in a topic based off the semantic relativity of those phrases. For example: </p><table class="table-basic"><thead><tr><th><p>Topic </p></th><th><p>Keywords<br> </p></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td><p>ski chalet </p></td><td><p>ski chalet </p><p>ski chalet rental </p><p>ski chalet hire </p><p>ski chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>catered chalet </p></td><td><p>catered chalet </p><p>luxury catered chalet </p><p>catered chalet rental </p><p>catered chalet hire </p><p>catered chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>ski accommodation </p></td><td><p>ski accommodation </p><p>cheap ski accommodation </p><p>budget ski accommodation </p><p>ski accomodation [location name] </p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Many of the above keywords are decision-based keywords — particularly those with rental or hire in them. They're showing buying intent. We’ll then try to put ourselves in the mind of the buyer and come up with keywords towards the start of the buyer’s journey. </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Topic </p> </th> <th> <p>Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Buyer’s stage </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> <p>best ski resorts </p> <p>ski resorts europe </p> <p>ski resorts usa </p> <p>ski resorts canada </p> <p>top ski resorts </p> <p>cheap ski resorts </p> <p>luxury ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>skiing </p> </td> <td> <p>skiing </p> <p>skiing guide </p> <p>skiing beginner’s guide </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>family holidays </p> </td> <td> <p>family holidays </p> <p>family winter holidays </p> <p>family trips </p> </td> <td> <p>Awareness </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>This helps us cater to customers that might not be in the frame of mind to purchase just yet — they're just doing research. It means we cast the net wider. Conversion rates for these keywords are unlikely to be high (at least, for purchases or enquiries) but if utilized as part of a wider marketing strategy, we should look to capture some form of information, primarily an email address, so we can send people relevant information via email or remarketing ads later down the line. </p><h3>4. Pulling in data</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keywords out, Keyword Explorer’s handy list function enables your to break things down into separate topics. You can then export that data into a CSV and start combining it with other data sources. If you have SEMrush API access, <a href="https://opensourceseo.org/semrush-api-library-google-sheets-google-scripts/" target="_blank">Dave Sottimano’s API Library</a> is a great time saver; otherwise, you may want to consider uploading the keywords into the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension and manually exporting the data and combining everything together. You should then have a spreadsheet that looks something like this: </p><p class="full-width"> <img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc2d9642.65555528.png"> </p><p>You could then add in additional data sources. There’s no reason you couldn’t combine the above with volumes and competition metrics from other SEO tools. Consider including existing keyword ranking information or Google Ads data in this process. Keywords that convert well on PPC should do the same organically and should therefore be considered. Wil Reynolds talks about <a href="https://learninbound.com/videos/wil-reynolds-2017/" target="_blank">this particular tactic</a> a lot. </p><h3>5. Aligning phrases to the buyer’s journey</h3><p>The next stage of the process is to start categorizing the keywords into the stage of the buyer’s journey. Something we’ve found at Aira is that keywords don’t always fit into a predefined stage. Someone looking for “marketing services” could be doing research about what marketing services are, but they could also be looking for a provider. You may get keywords that could be either awareness/consideration or consideration/decision. Use your judgement, and remember this is subjective. Once complete, you should end up with some data that looks similar to this: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc97a7e9.95275221.png"> </p><p>This categorization is important, as it starts to frame what type of content is most appropriate for that keyword or phrase. </p><p>The next stage of this process is to start noticing patterns in keyphrases and where they get mapped to in the buyer’s journey. Often you’ll see keywords like “ <p>Posted by <a href=\"https://moz.com/community/users/4315463\">matthew_jkay</a></p><p>Keyword research has been around as long as the SEO industry has. Search engines built a system that revolves around users entering a term or query into a text entry field, hitting return, and receiving a list of relevant results. As the online search market expanded, one clear leader emerged — Google — and with it they brought AdWords (now Google Ads), an advertising platform that allowed organizations to appear on search results pages for keywords that organically they might not. </p><p>Within Google Ads came a tool that enabled businesses to look at how many searches there were per month for almost any query. Google Keyword Planner became the de facto tool for keyword research in the industry, and with good reason: it was Google’s data. Not only that, Google gave us the ability to gather further insights due to other metrics Keyword Planner provided: competition and suggested bid. Whilst these keywords were Google Ads-oriented metrics, they gave the SEO industry an indication of how competitive a keyword was. </p><p>The reason is obvious. If a keyword or phrase has higher competition (i.e. more advertisers bidding to appear for that term) it’s likely to be more competitive from an organic perspective. Similarly, a term that has a higher suggested bid means it’s more likely to be a competitive term. SEOs dined on this data for years, but when the industry started digging a bit more into the data, we soon realized that while useful, it <a href="https://moz.com/blog/unreliable-google-adwords-keyword-volume" target="_blank">was not always wholly accurate</a>. Moz, SEMrush, and other tools all started to develop alternative volume and competitive metrics using <a href="https://moz.com/blog/clickstream-data-revolution" target="_blank">Clickstream data</a> to give marketers more insights. </p><p>Now industry professionals have several software tools and data outlets to conduct their keyword research. These software companies will only improve in the accuracy of their data outputs. Google’s data is unlikely to significantly change; their goal is to sell ad space, not make life easy for SEOs. In fact, they've made life harder by <a href="https://searchengineland.com/google-officially-throttling-keyword-planner-data-low-spending-adwords-accounts-255795" target="_blank">using volume ranges for Google Ads accounts with low activity</a>. SEO tools have investors and customers to appease and must continually improve their products to reduce churn and grow their customer base. This makes things rosy for content-led SEO, right? </p><p>Well, not really. </p><p><strong>The problem with historical keyword research is twofold:</strong> </p><p>1. SEOs spend too much time thinking about the decision stage of the buyer’s journey (more on that later). </p><p>2. SEOs spend too much time thinking about keywords, rather than categories or topics. </p><p>The industry, to its credit, is doing a lot to tackle issue number two. “Topics over keywords” is something that is <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">not new</a> as I’ll briefly come to later. <a href="https://www.jimmydaly.com/hub-and-spoke/" target="_blank">Frameworks for topic-based SEO</a> have started to appear over the last few years. This is a step in the right direction. Organizing site content into categories, adding appropriate internal linking, and understanding that one piece of content can rank for several variations of a phrase is becoming far more commonplace. </p><p>What is less well known (but starting to gain traction) is point one. But in order to understand this further, we should dive into what the buyer’s journey actually is. </p><h2>What is the buyer’s journey?</h2><p class="full-width">The buyer’s or customer’s journey is not new. If you open marketing text books from years gone by, get a college degree in marketing, or even just go on general marketing blogs you’ll see it crop up. There are lots of variations of this journey, but they all say a similar thing. No matter what product or service is bought, <em>everyone goes through this journey</em>. This could be online or offline — the main difference is that depending on the product, person, or situation, the amount of time this journey takes will vary — but every buyer goes through it. But what is it, exactly? For the purpose of this article, we’ll focus on three stages: <strong>awareness, consideration,</strong> & decision. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8ca8bb278.58975283.png"> </p><h3>Awareness</h3><p>The awareness stage of the buyer’s journey is similar to problem discovery, where a potential customer realizes that they have a problem (or an opportunity) but they may not have figured out exactly what that is yet. </p><p>Search terms at this stage are often question-based — users are researching around a particular area. </p><h3>Consideration</h3><p>The consideration stage is where a potential consumer has defined what their problem or opportunity is and has begun to look for potential solutions to help solve the issue they face. </p><h3>Decision</h3><p>The decision stage is where most organizations focus their attention. Normally consumers are ready to buy at this stage and are often doing product or vendor comparisons, looking at reviews, and searching for pricing information. </p><p>To illustrate this process, let’s take two examples: buying an ice cream and buying a holiday. </p><p>Being low-value, the former is not a particularly considered purchase, but this journey still takes place. The latter is more considered. It can often take several weeks or months for a consumer to decide on what destination they want to visit, let alone a hotel or excursions. But how does this affect keyword research, and the content which we as marketers should provide? </p><p>At each stage, a buyer will have a different thought process. It’s key to note that not every buyer of the same product will have the same thought process but you can see how we can start to formulate a process. </p><h3>The Buyer’s Journey - Holiday Purchase</h3><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cb46c956.37740628.png"> </p><p>The above table illustrates the sort of queries or terms that consumers <em>might</em> use at different stages of their journey. The problem is that most organizations focus all of their efforts on the decision end of the spectrum. This is entirely the right approach to take at the start because you’re targeting consumers who are interested in your product or service then and there. However, in an increasingly competitive online space you should try and find ways to diversify and bring people into your marketing funnel (which in most cases is your website) at different stages. </p><p>I agree with the argument that creating content for people earlier in the journey will likely mean lower conversion rates from visitor to customer, but my counter to this would be that you're also potentially missing out on people who will become customers. Further possibilities to at least get these people into your funnel include offering content downloads (gated content) to capture user’s information, or remarketing activity via Facebook, Google Ads, or other retargeting platforms. </p><h2>Moving from keywords to topics</h2><p>I’m not going to bang this drum too loudly. I think many in of the SEO community have signed up to the approach that topics are more important than keywords. There are quite a few resources on this listed online, but what forced it home for me was <a href="https://moz.com/blog/on-page-topic-seo" target="_blank">Cyrus Shepard’s Moz article</a> in 2014. Much, if not all, of that post still holds true today. </p><p>What I will cover is an adoption of <a href="https://research.hubspot.com/topic-clusters-seo" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Topic Cluster model</a>. For those unaccustomed to their model, HubSpot’s approach formalizes and labels what many search marketers have been doing for a while now. The basic premise is instead of having your site fragmented with lots of content across multiple sections, all hyperlinking to each other, you create one <em>really</em> in-depth content piece that covers a topic area broadly (and covers shorter-tail keywords with high search volume), and then supplement this page with content targeting the long-tail, such as blog posts, FAQs, or opinion pieces. HubSpot calls this "pillar" and "cluster" content respectively. </p><p class="full-width"><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cbb48233.73472670.png"> </p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://research.hubspot.com/charts/topic-clusters" target="_blank">Source: Matt Barby / HubSpot</a> </p><p>The process then involves taking these cluster pages and linking back to the pillar page using keyword-rich anchor text. There’s nothing particularly new about this approach aside from formalizing it a bit more. Instead of having your site’s content structured in such a way that it's fragmented and interlinking between lots of different pages and topics, you keep the internal linking within its topic, or content cluster. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOGxyw9DSa8" target="_blank">This video</a> explains this methodology further. While we accept this model may not fit every situation, and nor is it completely perfect, it’s a great way of understanding how search engines are now interpreting content. </p><p>At <a href="https://www.aira.net/" target="_blank">Aira</a>, we’ve taken this approach and tried to evolve it a bit further, tying these topics into the stages of the buyer’s journey while utilizing several data points to make sure our outputs are based off as much data as we can get our hands on. Furthermore, because pillar pages tend to target shorter-tail keywords with high search volume, they're often either awareness- or consideration-stage content, and thus not applicable for decision stage. We term our key decision pages “target pages,” as this should be a primary focus of any activity we conduct. </p><p>We’ll also look at the semantic relativity of the keywords reviewed, so that we have a “parent” keyword that we’re targeting a page to rank for, and then children of that keyword or phrase that the page may also rank for, due to its similarity to the parent. Every keyword is categorized according to its stage in the buyer’s journey and whether it's appropriate for a pillar, target, or cluster page. We also add two further classifications to our keywords: track & monitor and ignore. Definitions for these five keyword types are listed below: </p><h3>Pillar page</h3><p>A pillar page covers all aspects of a topic on a single page, with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page. A keyword tagged with pillar page will be the primary topic and the focus of a page on the website. Pillar pages should be awareness- or consideration-stage content. </p><p>A great pillar page example I often refer to is <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/facebook-marketing" target="_blank">HubSpot’s Facebook marketing guide</a> or <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/insect-bites-in-the-uk-identify-what-has-bitten-you-with-this-ultimate-guide" target="_blank">Mosi-guard’s insect bites guide</a> <em>(disclaimer: probably don’t click through if you don’t like close-up shots of insects!).</em> </p><h3>Cluster page</h3><p>A cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. This type of page is normally associated with a blog article but could be another type of content, like an FAQ page. </p><p>Good examples within the Facebook marketing topic listed above are HubSpot’s posts: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/snapchat-vs-facebook-stories" target="_blank">How Do Facebook Stories Stack Up to Snapchat?</a></li> <li><a href="https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/facebook-live-guide">How to Use Facebook Live: The Ultimate Guide</a></li> </ul><p>For Mosi-guard, they’re not utilizing internal links within the copy of the other blogs, but the "older posts" section at the bottom of the blog is referencing this guide: </p><ul> <li><a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/articles/the-malaria-map-and-your-guide-to-travelling-safely" target="_blank">The malaria map and your guide to traveling safe</a></li> </ul><h3>Target page</h3><p>Normally a keyword or phrase linked to a product or service page, e.g. nike trainers or seo services. Target pages are decision-stage content pieces. </p><p>HubSpot’s target content is their <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/products/marketing/social-inbox" target="_blank">social media software page</a>, with one of Mosi-guard’s target pages being their <a href="https://www.mosi-guard.com/insect-repellent/mosi-guard-spray" target="_blank">natural spray product</a>. </p><h3>Track & monitor</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that is not the main focus of a page, but could still rank due to its similarity to the target page keyword. A good example of this might be seo services as the target page keyword, but this page could also rank for seo agency, seo company, etc. </p><h3>Ignore</h3><p>A keyword or phrase that has been reviewed but is not recommended to be optimized for, possibly due to a lack of search volume, it’s too competitive, it won’t be profitable, etc. </p><p>Once the keyword research is complete, we then map our keywords to existing website pages. This gives us a list of mapped keywords and a list of unmapped keywords, which in turn creates a content gap analysis that often leads to a content plan that could last for three, six, or twelve-plus months. </p><h2>Putting it into practice</h2><p>I’m a firm believer in giving an example of how this would work in practice, so I’m going to walk through one with screenshots. I’ll also provide a template of our keyword research document for you to take away. </p><h3>1. Harvesting keywords</h3><p>The first step in the process is similar, if not identical, to every other keyword research project. You start off with a batch of keywords from the client or other stakeholders that the site wants to rank for. Most of the industry call this a seed keyword list. That keyword list is normally a minimum of 15–20 keywords, but can often be more if you’re dealing with an e-commerce website with multiple product lines. </p><p>This list is often based off nothing more than opinion: “What do we think our potential customers will search for?” It’s a good starting point, but you need the rest of the process to follow on to make sure you’re optimizing based off data, not opinion. </p><h3>2. Expanding the list</h3><p>Once you’ve got that keyword list, it’s time to start utilizing some of the tools you have at your disposal. There are lots, of course! We tend to use a combination of <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz Keyword Explorer,</a> <a href="https://answerthepublic.com/" target="_blank">Answer the Public</a>, <a href="https://keywordseverywhere.com/" target="_blank">Keywords Everywhere</a>, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Ads, ranking tools, and <a href="https://www.semrush.com/" target="_blank">SEMrush</a>. </p><p>The idea of this list is to start thinking about keywords that the organization may not have considered before. Your expanded list will include obvious synonyms from your list. Take the example below: </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Seed Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Expanded Keywords </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> </td> <td> <p>ski chalet </p> <p>ski chalet rental </p> <p>ski chalet hire </p> <p>ski chalet [location name] </p> <p>etc </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>There are other examples that should be considered. A client I worked with in the past once gave a seed keyword of “biomass boilers.” But after keyword research was conducted, a more colloquial term for “biomass boilers” in the UK is “wood burners.” This is an important distinction and should be picked up as early in the process as possible. Keyword research tools are not infallible, so if budget and resource allows, you may wish to consult current and potential customers about which terms they might use to find the products or services being offered. </p><h3>3. Filtering out irrelevant keywords</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keyword list, it’s time to start filtering out irrelevant keywords. This is pretty labor-intensive and involves sorting through rows of data. We tend to use <a href="https://moz.com/explorer" target="_blank">Moz’s Keyword Explorer</a>, filter by relevancy, and work our way down. As we go, we’ll add keywords to lists within the platform and start to try and sort things by topic. Topics are <em>fairly</em> subjective, and often you’ll get overlap between them. We’ll group similar keywords and phrases together in a topic based off the semantic relativity of those phrases. For example: </p><table class="table-basic"><thead><tr><th><p>Topic </p></th><th><p>Keywords<br> </p></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td><p>ski chalet </p></td><td><p>ski chalet </p><p>ski chalet rental </p><p>ski chalet hire </p><p>ski chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>catered chalet </p></td><td><p>catered chalet </p><p>luxury catered chalet </p><p>catered chalet rental </p><p>catered chalet hire </p><p>catered chalet [location name] </p></td></tr><tr><td><p>ski accommodation </p></td><td><p>ski accommodation </p><p>cheap ski accommodation </p><p>budget ski accommodation </p><p>ski accomodation [location name] </p></td></tr></tbody></table><p>Many of the above keywords are decision-based keywords — particularly those with rental or hire in them. They're showing buying intent. We’ll then try to put ourselves in the mind of the buyer and come up with keywords towards the start of the buyer’s journey. </p><table class="table-basic"> <thead> <tr> <th> <p>Topic </p> </th> <th> <p>Keywords </p> </th> <th> <p>Buyer’s stage </p> </th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>ski resorts </p> <p>best ski resorts </p> <p>ski resorts europe </p> <p>ski resorts usa </p> <p>ski resorts canada </p> <p>top ski resorts </p> <p>cheap ski resorts </p> <p>luxury ski resorts </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>skiing </p> </td> <td> <p>skiing </p> <p>skiing guide </p> <p>skiing beginner’s guide </p> </td> <td> <p>Consideration </p> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <p>family holidays </p> </td> <td> <p>family holidays </p> <p>family winter holidays </p> <p>family trips </p> </td> <td> <p>Awareness </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table><p>This helps us cater to customers that might not be in the frame of mind to purchase just yet — they're just doing research. It means we cast the net wider. Conversion rates for these keywords are unlikely to be high (at least, for purchases or enquiries) but if utilized as part of a wider marketing strategy, we should look to capture some form of information, primarily an email address, so we can send people relevant information via email or remarketing ads later down the line. </p><h3>4. Pulling in data</h3><p>Once you’ve expanded the seed keywords out, Keyword Explorer’s handy list function enables your to break things down into separate topics. You can then export that data into a CSV and start combining it with other data sources. If you have SEMrush API access, <a href="https://opensourceseo.org/semrush-api-library-google-sheets-google-scripts/" target="_blank">Dave Sottimano’s API Library</a> is a great time saver; otherwise, you may want to consider uploading the keywords into the Keywords Everywhere Chrome extension and manually exporting the data and combining everything together. You should then have a spreadsheet that looks something like this: </p><p class="full-width"> <img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc2d9642.65555528.png"> </p><p>You could then add in additional data sources. There’s no reason you couldn’t combine the above with volumes and competition metrics from other SEO tools. Consider including existing keyword ranking information or Google Ads data in this process. Keywords that convert well on PPC should do the same organically and should therefore be considered. Wil Reynolds talks about <a href="https://learninbound.com/videos/wil-reynolds-2017/" target="_blank">this particular tactic</a> a lot. </p><h3>5. Aligning phrases to the buyer’s journey</h3><p>The next stage of the process is to start categorizing the keywords into the stage of the buyer’s journey. Something we’ve found at Aira is that keywords don’t always fit into a predefined stage. Someone looking for “marketing services” could be doing research about what marketing services are, but they could also be looking for a provider. You may get keywords that could be either awareness/consideration or consideration/decision. Use your judgement, and remember this is subjective. Once complete, you should end up with some data that looks similar to this: </p><p><img src="http://d2v4zi8pl64nxt.cloudfront.net/keyword-research-to-match-buyers-journey/5c0ee8cc97a7e9.95275221.png"> </p><p>This categorization is important, as it starts to frame what type of content is most appropriate for that keyword or phrase. </p><p>The next stage of this process is to start noticing patterns in keyphrases and where they get mapped to in the buyer’s journey. Often you’ll see keywords like “