Here are a few brands who are succeeding at keeping it real on social media and creating solid, human connections in the process.
In a major update to Google+, Google has removed all local business info from Google+. Is it the end-of-the line for Google+ Local or just another reformat?
The post Google Kills Off Google+ Local but is Still Committed to Local Search by @bright_local appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
From Search Engine Land:
- Foursquare CEO Crowley: “We Do Location Better Than Anybody Else”
Dec 7, 2015 by Greg Sterling
Foursquare has come a long way from its early days as a social “check-in” app. Along the way, the company repositioned its app as a Yelp competitor; now the company is substantially focused on “place insights” and “location intelligence” for enterprises. Earlier this year, Foursquare introduced its advertising platform, “Pinpoint.” Foursquare works directly with advertisers […]
- What Every Marketer Should Know About Social Audience Engagement
Dec 7, 2015 by Digital Marketing Depot
Using psychographics and social behavior data, marketers can now go beyond demographic targeting to create completely custom audiences. We can understand what consumers love, what they want, and even what they are going to do next. On Tuesday, December 15, join Bob Ciccone and Chris Leet of Netbase in this webcast to learn about an […]
- DataHero Adds Support For Google AdWords Reporting
Dec 7, 2015 by Ginny Marvin
AdWords is the latest marketing service supported by the reporting and analysis platform, joining Google Analytics, Salesforce, HubSpot and others.
- Don’t Procrastinate — SMX West Rates Increase Next Week
Dec 7, 2015 by Search Engine Land
You can register for SMX West any time and get the latest SEO and SEM tactics. But why wait? Register now and save $300. Join us for the most comprehensive search engine marketing conference anywhere. You get three days of tactics, hacks and strategies that will improve SEM and SEO performance. Customize the experience by choosing […]
- Now Get A Second Line Of Structured Snippets In Adwords Text Ads
Dec 7, 2015 by Ginny Marvin
Google may show two lines of structured snippets when eligible.
- Site Redesign & Migration Tips To Avoid SEO & UX Disasters
Dec 7, 2015 by Modestos Siotos
Planning to overhaul your website? Check out contributor Modestos Siotos’ tips to help you minimize the potential negative impact of a site relaunch.
- How To Get Google Review Links After The G+ Update
Dec 7, 2015 by Greg Gifford
The recent update separating Google Business pages from Google + has left old review links broken, but columnist Greg Gifford shares how you can generate new ones.
- Stop Using Desktop Conversions For Mobile Search: 6 Strategies To Help Drive Mobile Calls
Dec 7, 2015 by Wesley Young
Using strategies and metrics such as PPC and CTR that are meant to drive clicks instead of calls can hurt your ad performance. Columnist Wesley Young takes a look at targeted strategies that optimize ads to drive mobile phone calls.
- Google Place Actions Rich Snippet Markup Documentation Posted & Then Removed From Developer Portal
Dec 7, 2015 by Barry Schwartz
Google’s book an appointment, place an order or make a reservation rich snippet markup was available on Friday but then removed over the weekend.
- Google Android App Update Aimed At Musician, Actor, TV Show & Movie Searches
Dec 7, 2015 by Amy Gesenhues
Google says latest refresh makes it easier to find info on things like song lyrics, movie casts, TV show recommendations and showtimes.
- Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes On Shopping Cart Abandonment
Dec 4, 2015 by Digital Marketing Depot
Most online retailers experience a high rate of cart abandonment and are searching for effective strategies to bring shoppers back without annoying them. For this paper from Bronto Software, more than 1,000 online shoppers were surveyed about their awareness of shopping cart technology, expectations for marketing when they abandon a cart and more. This report: Explains […]
Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:
- Smartphone Data: Android Regains Share, But Apple Maps Wins The iPhone
- ZigZag: The New Consumer Journey Zeitgeist
- Twitter Is Now Displaying Fuller Versions Of Photos In Your Web Feed
- Black Friday & Cyber Monday Email Marketing Results: Mobile Open Rates Exceed 60%
- 5 Things New Advertisers Need To Know About Google AdWords Campaign Settings
- SEO So Simple A Child Can Do It: In 5 Easy Steps
- Data & Analytics In 2016: Superstar Industry Experts Weigh In
- MarTech Today: Next MarTech Wave, Site Search & Google Local One Box
- Unlocking The Hidden Value Of Dynamic Number Insertion
- Twitter Releases 2015 Year In Review With Top Trends, Topics, Moments & More
- Shareaholic: Twitter Sharing Drops 11% After Twitter Kills Share Counts
- New Report From Fetch: TV Ads Boost App Installs
Search News From Around The Web:
- In search of a European Google, The Guardian
Local & Maps
- Google Local Spam – An A for Effort, a Z for a Zillion & an F for Google, Mike Blumenthal
- The Google Earth API gets a temporary reprieve, Google Earth Blog
- SEO Drops All Disavowed Links & Google Traffic Soars, Search Engine Roundtable
- Search Engine Censys Knows the Internet’s Dirty Little Security Secrets, MIT Technology Review
- Answer: A polymath’s adventure, SearchReSearch
- Bing Testing Larger News Story Thumbnails in Search Results, thesempost.com
- How to Classify Images with TensorFlow, Official Google Research Blog
- How Machine Learning Impacts the Google Search Ranking Algo, thesempost.com
- SEO Split-Testing: How to A/B Test Changes for Google, Moz
- Using PageRank for internal link optimisation, State of Digital
SEM / Paid Search
- Using PPC Strategy Roadmaps, PPC Hero
The post SearchCap: Google AdWords Snippets, Google Place Rich Snippets & Google Entertainment Results appeared first on Search Engine Land.
This week’s SEJ Wrap-Up is about surprising SEO tips you didn’t know, as well as getting your new website indexed by Google.
Foursquare has come a long way from its early days as a social “check-in” app. Along the way, the company repositioned its app as a Yelp competitor; now the company is substantially focused on “place insights” and “location intelligence” for enterprises.
Earlier this year, Foursquare introduced its advertising platform, “Pinpoint.” Foursquare works directly with advertisers and makes media buys through exchanges (on both the desktop and mobile) and then measures offline actions (e.g., store visits) after ad exposures. This model is radically different from selling ads to local restaurants and bars — even check-in ads to brands — which is where the company began.
Foursquare is also making money off location-data licensing. This is not just business listings data but audience data based on real world store visitations and movements. It’s selling that data to hedge funds, commercial real-estate interests, banks and others.
For example, banks can use the data to determine business credit-worthiness based on foot traffic patterns. The company used the same type of location analytics to correctly predict the success of the iPhone 6s launch. Revenue and sales prediction capabilities like this have piqued the interest of investors.
I spoke with Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley last week about the company’s evolution. There are a range of mobile marketing providers and platforms now using location data and location history for ad targeting and location analytics. I asked him what differentiated what Foursquare was doing from the myriad other companies doing similar things.
The outspoken Crowley said that Foursquare’s data is much more accurate than its competitors’ because the company has first-party data from 50+ million global users, whereas most of the location data many of Foursquare’s mobile marketing “location intelligence” platform competitors rely on comes from ad calls, which are often inaccurate.
“We do this better than anybody else,” says Crowley.
Crowley argues, “Everyone is drafting off someone else’s data,” except Foursquare. In fact, Foursquare isn’t the only location targeting platform with first-party data (YP and UberMedia have first-party location data, for example), but it has a larger dataset than others.
Foursquare has developed a “couple thousand” audience segments that marketers can use to target ads via the exchanges, says Crowley. As mentioned, Foursquare also provides location/offline attribution on those ads — even if they’re shown on PCs. However the company disregards and discards “about 80 percent of the location data” it sees from exchanges because of inaccuracy and poor quality.
Crowley asserts that many mobile marketing companies are unable to disambiguate business locations in malls or areas of high population density (e.g., urban centers). “We’ve spent years figuring out where people are; and we can do this quickly at a high degree of precision and speed.”
The post Foursquare CEO Crowley: “We Do Location Better Than Anybody Else” appeared first on Search Engine Land.
SEO audit is something simple that can cause a large problem. Here are seven SEO audit tips you can do in case your original audit is inconclusive.
The post 7 Simple But Overlooked SEO Audit Tips by @joeybalestrino appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Most online retailers experience a high rate of cart abandonment and are searching for effective strategies to bring those shoppers back without annoying them.
For this paper from Bronto Software, over 1,000 online shoppers were surveyed about their awareness of shopping cart technology, expectations for marketing when they abandon a cart, and more. This report:
- Explains why consumers are abandoning more frequently and how this could be an opportunity for marketers
- Analyzes what the consumers want to happen when they abandon a cart and what will annoy them
- Examines key components of the shopping cart and email strategies
Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download your copy and learn more.
The post Why We Don’t Buy: Consumer Attitudes On Shopping Cart Abandonment appeared first on Search Engine Land.
As it turns out, I’m not the only SEO professional in the family. At 14, my daughter Chloe started creating a passive income stream, enviable to most teenagers, of up to $1,100 per month. She did it with only a few ingredients: a WordPress blog, a Google AdSense account and some basic SEO knowledge.
Like many young teenagers at the time (which was about 10 years ago), she was obsessed with the Nickelodeon-owned “virtual pet” website Neopets.com. So, like any enterprising young internet entrepreneur, she started a fan site, at NeopetsFanatic.com, and monetized it.
She researched profitable keyword niches like game cheats, avatars, neopoints and so on. Then she developed content around those niches. After that, she started building buzz and links, leveraging the angle that here’s a kid doing SEO. It doesn’t take very many bloggers picking up on that before you get traction in the Google results.
Pretty soon, she was getting enough visitors to make consistent money with Google AdSense. However, she wouldn’t have seen such great returns on her time spent (which after the initial site build amounted to a handful of blog posts per year) if she hadn’t made the front page for her primary keyword target, “neopets cheats.”
I gave her some training and coaching, but she did all the work. And she was willing to put herself out there as a public figure — speaking to the media, speaking on stage at numerous conferences, at 16 years old. Thanks to the speaking gigs and resulting press coverage, her blog ranked on the first half of page 1 in Google for “neopets.” Boom!
A decade later, my daughter continues to milk this early success, even with Neopets being a fad that’s well past its prime. She does SEO consulting for clients (Yes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and continues to get in the limelight whenever possible. A couple of weeks ago, she was a guest on Jeremy Schoemaker’s podcast, the Shoemoney Show — another opportunity to demonstrate her entrepreneurial prowess.
The moral of the story: if a child can do it, so can you!
Though your mileage may vary, Chloe’s results are replicable with the right knowledge and the right strategies. Here are five tips to make SEO child’s play.
1. Look For Bankable Keyword Opportunities
Fueled by her passion for the topic of Neopets, she used a basic keyword tool (Nowadays there are many great options for these, with much more sophistication — SEMRush, for instance) to see how she could best reach people with her same interest in Neopets.
She discovered that “neopets cheats” was hugely popular, showing up near the top of the Google Suggest autocomplete suggestions list for “neopets.” She set the bar a little lower because of the competition level for that keyword, initially going after “neopet cheats” and getting traction on that keyword pretty quickly.
With that success, she was able to garner attention from bloggers, and with that additional PageRank, she set her sights higher for “neopets cheats.” Google Suggest guided her entire site structure, in fact. All the categories of her blog were based in large part on the popular Neopets-related keywords.
Any online marketer can do the same, and it needn’t be for a fan site or standalone blog. Exploring keyword niches related to a passion or hobby of yours can reveal new opportunities for you to add new sections or categories to your existing site to reach new audiences that may have interest in that topic.
In fact, just today I was having a conversation about applying this very strategy with an artist who has a passion for elephants and stopping poachers. He committed to moving ahead with this strategy and will be incorporating an elephants section into his art website.
Another tip: Track the keywords your site already ranks for. Are there a few for which you rank 11, 12 or 13? These could be an incredibly easy opportunity to get on the front page, which is where the views are, by beefing up the quality and depth of the content focused around these keywords.
2. See What Content Is Out There, And Figure Out How You Can Improve Upon It
The queries people search for are your insight into their intentions and interests.
Do you find that there are several blogs in your niche, but their coverage is kind of spotty? Flesh out some ideas that provide needed depth on the topic and add massive value. Want to become the go-to blog for winter wilderness survival? Create a comprehensive eBook for edible plants, bring on survival experts, offer resources on starting a fire in a snowy landscape and where to buy the best flint — there are so many ways you could make this niche your own.
Take note especially if searchers are searching for specific items using your internal site search. Are your visitors using terminology/vocabulary that you don’t? If you’re using certain words, but your visitors are using alternative synonyms, you have a disconnect. Or perhaps they are searching for problems, but you are only chasing after the solution-related keywords. Better finesse your content.
For example, if folks are searching on the problem of “treating frostbite,” and your content is about the solutions of “hand warmers” and “sterile dressing,” then you have some writing to do.
3. Make Sure Your Site Is Palatable To Robots
For visitors to flock to your blog, they need to be able to find it first. And although the content should first and foremost be written for the audience, it also needs to be written for the search engines.
Yes, the bots, spiders, crawlers, whatever you want to call them, cannot be neglected. Here are a few tips to make sure the bots “get” what you’re offering:
- Keep your navigation simple. Make sure there aren’t any pages that are incredibly difficult to get to from your home page.
- Keep URLs as short as you can. The folder organization within the URL should make sense, too.
- Bots don’t read the text when it is part of an image. Make sure the text is overlaid on top of the image instead. If that text isn’t in the HTML source as text, it’s likely not going to count.
- Don’t hide text and require site users to hover over something or click a tab to display the text. If you do this, you risk Google discounting this text, at least partially. Whether it’s product specs or customer reviews, display that great search engine fodder by default.
- Check that your pages are being crawled often. If there is a strange lag, or if the crawling stops, this is a strong indicator something is awry and Google is having trouble accessing your content.
4. Focus On Getting Links Rather Than Likes
Although social signals are nice to have, links are where it’s at. To acquire links, your content must be linkworthy, as in high-quality, engaging and remarkable. That’s a given. You also need to find a good home for that content. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
- Keep it on your domain. Although microsites can make sense for certain brand awareness campaigns or events, aim to build up the link authority of your primary site by hosting the linkworthy content there.
- Be brandable. A linkworthy domain is memorable, easy to type and not confusing when spoken aloud. If it is a clumsy, awkward or otherwise horrible domain, consider changing it. You can buy aftermarket domains for as little as a few hundred dollars. I bought ScienceOfSEO.com for $500, for instance. You can start your search for aftermarket domains at BuyDomains.com and HugeDomains.com; enter your keywords into their site search and start shopping. Examples of brand and domain “makeovers”: Alpha & Omega Financial Services (AOFSUSA.com) became Living Wealth (LivingWealth.com), American Response Inc. (ARI2000.com) became SkyCover (SkyCover.com), and iFitnessMind (iFitnessMind.com) became Orion’s Method (OrionsMethod.com). The first two were the fruits of my re-branding efforts; the latter was my fiancee’s.
- Tone down the sales pitch. The launching pad of your linkworthy content will most likely be your blog. Your blog should never be a shill for your company — full of shameless plugs, photos of your booth at trade shows and ads for your products/services filling the sidebar. Your blog should be at an arm’s length from your online store or corporate site in terms of its look and feel. If your viral article would repel a Reddit user because of the commercial feel to the page, you’re doing it wrong. Companies who “get it” include Valore Books with their blog, and REI with their blog. You can’t go wrong with a magazine-type feel, in my opinion.
5. Build Your Credibility Over Time With Authority Marketing
Building authority goes beyond links. The links and the content are great building blocks, but don’t stop there. Aim to become a thought leader in your field.
Conferences related to your niche are a great way to get your presence known among the other niche experts and influencers. If you can market yourself effectively enough to get a speaking gig, that will give you a huge boost in your visibility as an expert. There are plenty of Calls for Speakers posted on the web by industry conferences. Start applying. My daughter at 16 could do it; so can you.
If you don’t have any significant speaking experience, and you’re starting from zero, it’ll be easier to break into the speaking world if you first go local. Meetups (meetup.com) are still going strong, and they present a great opportunity to do some local-scale networking. Once you have a feel for the group, propose a topic that you have enough knowledge on to present yourself.
After meeting other experts or sharing your content with them, talk about how you can collaborate with each other on podcasts, collaborative articles, Google Hangout webinars and other projects. This could lead to their subscriber base getting interested in what you have to offer, as well.
Consider launching your own podcast show. Being a podcast host not only conveys thought leadership status, it also gives you a great excuse to reach out to major influencers and start a dialogue because you can invite them onto your show as a guest. Be sure to ask your fans, followers and listeners to post reviews on iTunes, as that’s an important part of the iTunes ranking algorithm.
By finding a valuable niche, building your content and credibility, and then using SEO to get that content seen, you can easily make money in a way that can scale. It’s child’s play! Well not really, it’s a lot of hard work. But if you are willing to put in the “hard yards,” even if you’re not technical, you can achieve great results and dominate in Google.
Some on-page SEO element may seem unimportant, but even as simple as image alt-tags can actually hurt your business.
The post How Alt Tags can Hurt Your Business, Especially When Under the Legal Magnifying Glass by @5le appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Learn about sources to track your external links; as well as some ways to squeeze more value from these newly found links.
The post How to Find and Leverage the Freshest Links by @billsebald appeared first on Search Engine Journal.