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If you have a business with a physical location, like a local store, restaurant, or salon, you’ll want to set up Google My Business to improve your local reach on Google.

Google My Business is a great, free tool that helps you with local search and can put you on the map – literally.

This will feature your business in Google’s local search and on map results.

Be sure to use this guide so your Google My Business listing is optimized so you can get the most for your business on Google and third-party platforms.

Why You Need Google My Business for Your Local Business

There are a number of good reasons why you need Google My Business.

Having your location on GMB means your business will be on Google Maps, which 70 percent of people use to find directions for services and businesses.

Other stats about GMB:

  1. About 46% of all Google searches are done to find local businesses or information about them.
  2. About 97% of people search to find local businesses.
  3. Around 86% of people look up where a business is located on maps.
  4. Google My Business search results always show up on top of the search listings (above organic listings and below the paid as – see below).

These are excellent reasons to use Google My Business. Now, let’s show you how to set up your GMB account.

How to Set Up Google My Business

Let’s set up a hypothetical. You’re a small business owner with a local business. Let’s say it’s a local bakery called John Dough’s Bakery.

Here’s how you’d set up Google My Business for John Dough’s Bakery.

1. Sign up for Google My Business

To open your listing on Google My Business, go to this link: https://business.google.com/.

Once there, you will need to sign into your Google account.

If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll need to create one.

2. Enter Your Business Name

You can begin by typing in the name of your business. Google will automatically give you suggestions about the business you’re operating.

Click on your business if it appears. If not, continue with the name you provided.

3. Enter Your Physical Business Location

Once you’re here, enter the location of your business.

You can decide on this screen what kind of service you provide.

If you want your business to be located on Google Maps, you will enter your business address and then hit Next.

If you deliver a service to clients or customers and don’t want to put down your business address on maps then you can check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.”

This will arrange for you to appear in searches for your area, but your physical address will not show up.

Once done, hit Next.

4. Select Your Primary Business Category

This is where you can select a business category. For some business owners, deciding on a business category can be easy.

Here’s how to choose your business category for optimization:

  • First, you want to know what area of service you provide.
  • If you’re a bakery, then you would select “bakery” under the categories.
5. Add Phone Number and Website.

This is self-explanatory but just make sure you follow some hints below:

  • Make sure that your phone number is a local number with the appropriate area code of your location. Do not use 1-800 numbers. 
  • Add the page address for that specific location that has your company name, address and phone number. (This applies if you have a large website (ex. franchise) and you have multiple location pages on your website. 
6. Verifying your Location

Now that you added your store information, you will now need to verify this with Google. 

There are two options for you to do this:

  1. You can either verify your location with your address. Google will send you a postcard in the mail with a verification code you will enter as instructed on your profile to verify your account.
  2. The second option is Google will verify your location by phone.

Google will decide which option is best for you. In most instances, the verification code will be sent by postcard.

Google wants to verify and make sure your storefront is a physical store because the goal for GMB is to send people to your map listing.

If you don’t have an actual store location (let’s say you own an e-commerce store), you should not use Google My Business.

If you have a PO Box, you will also not be able to set up an account.

Make sure that you have a location to verify.

How to Optimize Google My Business

Now that we have shown you how to add your business on Google specifically on the Local map. Follow the steps below to fully optimize your listings so you can show up higher than your competitors.

To optimize your GMB listing, you want to go to Info and fill out the following information as accurately as you can.

  • Category
  • Service Areas
  • Hours / Special Hours
  • Website / Appointment URL
  • Services
  • Description
7. Add More Business Categories

You can select multiple categories for the services that you provide.

Remember, you only have one “main” category. Make sure you select the correct one.

Here’s a list for every category you can choose from Google My Business Categories.

Categories are an important feature to consider. You want to think about the service you provide, but also the search intent of your potential customer and client.

Doing a little competitive research doesn’t hurt. Find your competition and see what categories they use. You can do that by typing the competition’s name in Google, and their location.

The category name is under the reviews.

8. Specify Your Service Areas

You can let customers know where you provide deliveries or services. Select the areas by city, postal code etc. This is only needed if you deliver services.

9. Accurately at your Working Hours / Special Hours

Make sure you completely and accurately fill out your business hours.

Always update any changes. You don’t want customers to show up and find your office closed.

Not only is that bad service, but it’s also bad for business and reviews.

You can also add any special hours you want to the site.

Go to Info and select special hours and enter your information.

That way, if you’re closed on the 4th of July, you can let people know.

10: Add Your Website Appointment URL

Make sure you add your website URL. If you have multiple locations, you can set up multiple GMB’s for each location.

If this is the case, make sure you add your location-specific URL here.

  • Example: sitename.com/location

Do not enter your main site.

You can add your Appointment URL as well. People can click on a link to schedule an appointment.

11: Add All Your Business Services

You can add services that you provide and categories as well.

You want to enter all the data in your listing. Google will always pull up the best results, and if your page isn’t complete, you’re less likely to show up above a competitor.

You want to enter as much data related to your services as you can provide.

12. Optimize Your Business Descriptions

With your business description, you’re allowed up to 750 characters. Just remember that only the first 250 characters will show up.

Your business description should follow Google’s Guidelines, which you can find here: Guidelines .

Make sure you put all the important information in here. Don’t be misleading or inaccurate.

Write a brief summary of your services and what your company does, and incorporate your main keywords into it.

Hint: Keywords

If you don’t know your main keywords, start by assessing what services you provide. Type those services into Google and see what Google auto populates. These terms are terms people search for most on Google and will be the keywords.

Inversely, if you have SEMRush, Moz, or are well-versed in Google Keyword Planner, use those to do your keyword research.  

13. Add Multiple Relevant Business Photos

You can add photos to your Google My Business.

Important photos to add:

  • Logo
  • Cover photo
  • Photos of the office interior
  • Photos of the office exterior
  • Group photos of coworkers and events…etc.  

Make sure photos are good quality and formated as JPG or PNG.

How Do You Remove Photos By Customers?

Sometimes, customers or clients will post pictures that are not at all pleasing and it can be tricky to remove them.

Here’s an easy way to remove unwanted Google My Business pictures:

  • Go to the photos section
  • Click on “by customer”
  • Click on the image
  • Click on the flag icon
  • Follow the prompts and the reason you want to remove

It may take some time to remove the post because it has to be reviewed by Google. Check back in 5 to 10 businesses days.

14. Add Google My Bussiness Posts

Google My Business posts are a good way to put up offers or keep people informed about any specials, events, or services that you have to offer.

They’re similar to social media posts, but they can be utilized to make ads and offers.

These posts last about 7 days.

15. Solicit Reviews

Customer reviews are an essential part of your business listing.

More than 88% of people who shop online use reviews to make a decision. When it comes to Google Reviews, it’s important that you have positive reviews. You want to nurture those reviews.

When someone comments, you can respond.

How to Deal with Negative Reviews

Here are some helpful tips for how to respond to negative reviews:

  • Be polite
  • Don’t be defensive
  • Be apologetic

Don’t be defensive. We can’t stress this enough. You want to show that you care about your customers, even if they seem rude.

How to Get More Reviews

If you want to gain more reviews, you can create an email campaign to send to prospective clients. There are a number of great services out there that can help you utilize an email campaign.

Here’s a post about how to create exceptional email campaigns.

Asking for reviews can be tricky, but it can help grow your reputation and gain more traction on search engines.  

Deciphering Google My Business Insights

Insights will offer you a lot of great information you can use to determine if your local SEO strategy is working.

Customer Actions

Customer actions can help you see how many people visit your site through GMB.

Through this feature, you can see how many people request directions or decide to call you.

There’s valuable information you can mine.

This can help you determine if the landing page you used for GMB proved signals about your location, which is why having the address featured on your page is important.

Below you can find what search terms or queries people are using to find your business.

Other important information provided:

  • What time people call
  • Where people come from who are requesting directions
  • Map listings vs search listings, to see where people are from
  • Photo views

To understand how to mine this data to the best of your ability, you first need to analyze this data.

You can use search queries as keywords for your site.

This is an important piece of data to help you do keyword research and improve your site’s performance.

Conclusion: How to Optimize Google My Business to Grow Your Brand & Local SEO

When it comes to Google My Business, if you own a physical location that’s open to the public, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have a Google My Business account.

As I’ve demonstrated here, Google My Business will help you grow your presence on Google, manage your map listing, and potentially, your map ads.

If you have any questions about Google My Business, please ask them in the comment section below.

The post How to Optimize Google My Business to Grow Your Brand and Local SEO appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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Traditionally, the greatest achievement for a website was to rank #1 on search engines. This has changed since Google introduced Featured Snippets.

Within this blog, I am going to show to explain:

  • What is Google Featured Snippets
  • Why is it important
  • and How to Optimize your Content to show featured snippets
Google Featured Snippets Explained

Featured snippets gives you the chance to rank above the #1 organic search result, right below the paid ads.

As the name suggests, snippets contain a small part of the solution to search queries which attempt to answer the searcher without him/her necessarily leaving Google.

They present content in form of paragraphs when the query is on “what/why is,” tables when the query is “how much,” bulleted lists for “how to/does,” queries, and answer boxes for “meaning of.”

These are broken down into four types of snippets:

  • Tables
  • Lists
  • Paragraphs
  • Answer boxes

As a web developer or online marketer, you cannot afford to ignore the snippet feature as it is inarguably the leading traffic puller today.

Searchers who find satisfactory answers to their queries from your snippet are more likely to visit your site before any other SERP and to engage with your content.

According to a study by Hubspot:

posts that become featured snippets have a 10.5% increase in clicks.

Websites that rank among the top 10 SERP results have a real chance of being featured in the Google Snippets, although it appears the #1 search result rarely gets that chance. Perhaps Google considers it to be privileged enough with its top ranking.

The secret to being featured lies in attaining the 2nd to the 10th SEO rank.

In this post, we will look at what you should do in order to increase your site’s chances of being featured and improve your site’s SEO.

How Can You Optimize Your Web Content for Featured Snippets

1.  Use questions in your content

If your content’s heading and subheadings are questions that people ask often, then you stand a good chance of getting picked by Google as its featured snippet.

You can use Google to help you ask questions. Just start typing in question on Google and pay attention to the autofill feature, which will help you find common questions people ask.

You can also use this great resource: Answer the Public.

Just type in a query and it will generate common questions people ask on search engines for you.

2. Break your content into small, readable chunks

We have mentioned that there are four types of Featured Snippets: Tables, lists, paragraphs, and answer boxes.

All four types have one thing in common, and that is their ease to scan through.

Always organize your content in small and comprehensive paragraphs, break it up with readable bullets, and use tables where applicable.

If you have a lot of data to share, do away with paragraphs and instead display it as a table.

3. Use video

You cannot run away from visual content these days.

Google mostly answers tutorial questions e.g. “how to’s” by displaying tutorial videos as a Featured Snippet.

If you have a solution to a possible “how to” query, post a video of it.

4. Use long-tail keywords phrases

Long-tail keyword searches yield more Featured Snippets than short ones. See how we have cleverly used this strategy… instead of using a simple “Optimizing Featured Snippets” subheading, we have instead used a longer keyword phrase “How to Optimize for Featured Snippets.”

Just like with asking a question using Google as help, do the same for longtail keywords.

Do the same for your site.

5. Leverage high-quality backlinks

To rank well, you need to make sure you have good domain authority. The only way to build authority on your site is to acquire backlinks. Make sure that you have a good backlinking strategy that will help you garner good links.

Creating original content can help you gain more links, and posting on social media can help others find and share your content or stories, gaining more traffic and potential for acquiring backlinks.

Google will earmark authoritative websites that answer search queries from its users.

6. Answer Questions

How many probable search queries can one article contain?

Don’t leave out questions that you can easily answer just to avoid prolonging your article.

The more answers an article has, the more relevant Google deems it to be for its searchers, and the higher its chances of making it to the Featured Snippets.

Create rich content that helps guide the reader through a topic and answer questions that can help the user.

7. Use Factual Data

Don’t use unproven data because people will realize it and ignore your content.

When visitors hurriedly leave your site, it signals Google that your content isn’t helpful to them.

To convince the search engine otherwise, only use data that makes sense to readers.

Make sure you answer the question and answer it well.

Conclusion

So that’s how to optimize for featured snippets.

Trying to get featured snippets does not have to be a difficult process. You just have to make sure that you utilize the resources you have.

Have you acquired a feature snippet? Let me know in the comments!



The post Google Featured Snippets: How to Optimize and Why It is Important appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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Many business professionals don’t know how to track, analyze, and understand how their PR and content marketing efforts are helping them meet their business KPIs.

Here’s how you can use Google Analytics to measure the reach and success of your PR campaigns using Google Analytics’ Audience Interests reports and show how to measure the impact of press mentions on your website’s Direct and Referral traffic.

Audience Targeting: How To Determine If You’re Reaching A High-Value Target Audience

On every introductory call, I always ask my client: “Who are you trying to target?”

Some clients know exactly who they want to reach: “Decision makers including CEOs and CISOs, running medium-sized to enterprise-sized companies in the San-Francisco metro area.”

There are a few who have a general idea of who they’d like to target: “People interested in finance and/or tax-related news and publications.”

And there are others who have absolutely no clue.

This is why Google Analytics’ Audience Interest reports are so special. This data can help decide the types of content they should be creating, identify publications we should target for future press mentions, help us understand who is currently visiting our website, and how we can optimize paid advertising campaigns.

To access these reports:

  1. click the “Audience” tab, and
  2. select the “Interest” drop-down menu.

Let’s first look at Affinity Categories.

Affinity Categories are assigned to users based on their general interests, passions, and lifestyle based on their online behavior.

For instance, if I follow my favorite sports teams on social media, Google search the results for last night’s basketball game, and purchase tickets to next Saturday’s home game, then there’s a good chance Google Analytics may consider my Affinity Category as “Sports & Fitness/Sports Fan.”

Why would a company care that I’m a big sports fan?

By knowing what my long-standing interests and habits are, a company can launch Google Display ads on sports-related websites that I frequently visit, or secure a press mention in an article in a nationally-recognized sports magazine.

Simply put, businesses can use Affinity Categories to better understand what their audience’s interests and habits are to reach more customers at the top of their marketing/sales funnel, and make them aware of their brand or product.

Pro Tip: Add a secondary dimension to your Affinity Categories report to extract even more information about your audience. You can add information like age, gender, geo-location, traffic type, source/medium, and much more.

Let’s move on to In-Market Segments. In-Market Segments are users who are actively researching and considering purchasing a service and product in the specified category.

Let’s say I’m looking for a new job. I’ll update my LinkedIn profile, search for job openings on job boards, and read company reviews on Glassdoor.com. Based on this activity, Google will most likely classify me as someone in the market for “Employment”.

In-Market Segments are great for gauging if your top-and middle-of-funnel marketing campaigns are attracting the high-value audience you’re attempting to target. It’s even better for advertisers who are focused on reaching audiences who are more likely to complete a conversion and/or purchase for the lowest cost possible.

To see this in action, I’ll use a real-estate investment company as an example. I know that their highest-value target audience are accredited investors interested in real estate. Therefore, I can use the In-Market Segments report to see that several visitors are people looking to purchase a real estate product or service, and more specifically, purchase residential properties up for sale.

I can also use this information to specifically target other high-converting In-Market Segments, such as people interested in financial services, investment services, business services, and real estate in future Google ad campaigns.  

To better understand your website visitors and to help you find additional high-value audiences, use Google Analytics’ Audience Interest Reports to make more strategic decisions about who and where you should be focusing your PR, content marketing, and paid marketing efforts.

Correlating Press Mentions With Direct Traffic

What’s an effective way to determine if your press hits had any impact on your website traffic?

Since some press mentions may or may not include a backlink, I’ll show you how to use Google Analytics to correlate your PR campaigns with both Direct Traffic and Referral Traffic.

If your press article does contain an anchor link to your website, start by checking your Referral Traffic.

Referral Traffic is a segment of traffic that arrives at a website through a different source, like a link or another domain. To view your Referral traffic, first click on the “Acquisition” tab and then select the “All Traffic” drop-down menu option.

Next, select the “Channels” report to see an overview of traffic from all default channel groups, including Direct, Organic Search, Display, Referral, etc.

Then click “Referral,” which will generate a report of all the referral sources. 

Now, there are two ways to determine if any of these sources were press mentions.

The first method is to simply click on a source, and Google Analytics will show you “Referral Paths,” which are the URLs that referred traffic to your website.

Using one of my current clients in this example, I see that the top source of referral traffic is coming from passiveincomemd.com. When I click on that domain, Google Analytics displays the URLs that referred this traffic.

In this case, the article driving the most referral traffic is a roundup of the best real estate crowdfunding sites—which just so happens to be a press mention!

What’s even better is that I see how many people who visited the website from this article also converted at each stage of the sales funnel.

In the screenshot below, you can see that out of a total of 206 people who completed investments—the final stage of the sales funnel—after visiting from passiveincomemd.com, 196 of those people came from our earned media mention.

Keep in mind that this method only worked because the publisher included a backlink to our client’s website. Oftentimes, we run into several cases where publishers won’t include a backlink at all, especially in cases where an individual is quoted.

If that’s the case, try method two: adding annotations.

Annotations are sticky notes that you can add to your Google Analytics reports to keep track of any external or internal activities that might have influenced your web traffic.

For instance, if you see a sharp dip in traffic one day, you can make an annotation noting that your IT team took down the website for maintenance for a few hours.

To add annotations, start by clicking the down arrow under the line graph of your report.

Next, click “+ Create new annotation” and type in your note in the text box. Then select the date of the annotation. Finally, you can choose to make the annotation private or shared with anyone with access to your Google Analytics account.

When you click save, your annotation will automatically appear as a small speech bubble under your line graph. When you click on the speech bubble, you’ll be able to see if that event correlated with a spike or dip in traffic.

This especially comes in handy when analyzing Direct Traffic. Direct Traffic commonly refers to a segment of traffic from visitors manually typing in your website’s URL or clicking on a saved bookmark.

However, Google Analytics also includes traffic that has an unidentified source as Direct traffic, including mobile messaging apps, from offline documents like PDFs and Microsoft Word docs, missing or broken tracking codes, and several other factors.

Since we can’t tell exactly where visitors are coming from in the Direct Traffic report, Google Analytics does tell us the landing pages through which visitors entered our site.

In the example below, I see that a majority of the Direct traffic visiting my client’s site is going directly to the homepage.

The best way to find out if any of our earned media mentions is responsible for this Direct Traffic is by adding annotations.

Since I added annotations to the Referral Traffic report, I can also see those saved annotations in my Direct Traffic report—super convenient, right?

I can then click on the speech bubbles to see if any of our earned press coverage aligned with spikes in Direct Traffic. In this case, it looks like my biggest spike in Direct Traffic correlated with a quote we earned in a publication called REFI.

But remember, correlation does not equal causation. Therefore, I can’t assume that our REFI article was the only reason why we saw a huge spike in traffic on October 17. That’s why it’s incredibly important to make note of sudden fluctuations in Direct Traffic and any activities on other marketing channels.

Pro Tip: Google Analytics provides a relatively new feature called “Analytics Intelligence Anomaly Detection” that automatically scans your data for outliers for a given dimension value or metric. You can access these insights by opening the Insights cards in Google Analytics or entering a question in the search field, like “Any anomalies last week?”

Why Using Google Analytics to Improve PR Campaigns is the Way to Go

I initially wrote this article to address a specific problem our clients were experiencing, but after doing a bit of research, I found that analyzing the success of PR campaigns is an industry-wide problem.

According to PRWeek and Cision’s 2018 Global Comms Report, 77 percent of senior communications leaders said that there’s a lot of room for improvement when it comes to measuring and proving PR’s impact on business objectives, and 73 percent think “aligning metrics to revenue or vital business KPIs” is the most difficult challenge facing comms measurement.

It’s clear the communications industry has a long way to go, but gaining a basic understanding of how to use Google Analytics to measure the success of PR campaigns is a step in the right direction.

How are you measuring the success of your PR campaigns? Let me know in the comments below!

The post How to Use Google Analytics to Improve PR Campaigns appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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Digital marketing is about taking advantage of smart and innovative tools that were created to help give your business an edge when it comes to finding leads. The more you know about how many creative digital marketing tools there are out there just waiting to be utilized, the better off you’re going to be.

But make no mistake about it: don’t assume that successful digital marketing is all about new devices, apps and websites. Digital marketing is still about one thing above all else: your customers.

If you focus on the customer and understand what they want to see and learn from you, there are marketing tools that will enhance your efforts and help you expand your audience and maintain a base of loyal customers.

So here are 25 digital marketing tools that have been proven to help the marketers who start using them.

1. Sprout Social


If you’re using social media accounts to reach your audience, there’s one popular site called Sprout Social that offers social media management, advocacy and analytics software for businesses.

This site lets you communicate more effectively with customers on social channels, employing social media management tools that provide you with faster communication tools by allowing you to monitor, respond, and collaborate more quickly.

For example, Sprout Social will collect social mentions from different networks, putting them in one place, and making it easier for you to manage your responses when your account has been mentioned or when you receive follower comments. It also allows you to schedule your content across platforms and add analytics.

The Sprout Social plans include a 30-day free trial period.

Pros: It offers a free trial.

Cons: Reports can be lacking in depth.

2. Google Analytics

Google Analytics — I can not say enough about the importance of using Google Analytics. Numbers are the marketer’s dream. We use numbers to help us make a determination. So what sort of determinations does Google Analytics help with? Site traffic, landing pages, locations from where users use your site. These are all key factors in determining the health of your site and marketing strategy.

Where are people coming from? Is it Organic traffic from Google? Social traffic?

You can learn a lot about your site, as well as your audience. This is a vital tool to analyze how your website is performing, and not surprisingly, it’s among the most popular analytics platforms available today. 

Pros: If you want a better understanding of your users and what works (and doesn’t work) on your website, this is not only a great tool but impressively, a free one. Google Analytics is a freemium service, and money is charged for proprietary features and functions.

Cons: There’s a lot here so it can be overwhelming. Google offers a free course to help teach you how to use it. Check it out here.

3. SEMRush

Any business that posts blogs on their website wants to be sure that their blogs don’t just sit out there in cyberspace, but that people actually find them. SEMRush can help you get those results.

When it comes to SEO, you really need an all-in-one marketing tool to be able to not only do your keyword research but also help you track how your site is doing: whether that’s by tracking keyword positions, site analytics, or backlinks; SEMRush really is an all-in-one platform for SEO and your website’s visibility and analytics.

You can also use SEMRush to review organic search rankings for your keywords and see what competitors have done.

SEMRush has a monthly fee.

Pros: It really has a lot to offer.

Cons: It can take some time to learn the program

4. BuzzStream

Buzzstream is an effective tool for finding influencers and potential prospects. While browsing the web you can add new bloggers, websites, and social profiles to your database. You can conduct outreach that will look and feel personal.

BuzzStream is a great way of keeping track of your conversations because this service automatically saves your emails and tweets. You can set reminders so you can follow-up on each discussion, that way you won’t lose track of that conversation. This is the ideal way to prioritize your most important contacts.

This is a highly effective platform for doing research as well. Buzzstream offers different pricing plans for users.

Pros: You can try it for free. You can use the prospecting tool to find potential prospects. It’s great and easy-to-use.

Cons: Only searches for contact information which can be limiting.

5. ActiveCollab

ActiveCollab is a great, task management tool to help you organize your client work or your work in general. It’s a good platform to use to be able to make sure everyone is on the same page or same task.

You can comment right in the platform, and assign tasks for anyone on a given project. When it comes to marketing, tasks, and organization is a must. With team collaboration and time tracking, you can make sure everyone is on the same page.

Pros: This allows collaboration which is perfect for any working environment.

Cons: Even though it’s easy to use, the search functionality is really poor and unable to find the task you are looking for most times.

6. Facebook Business Manager & Facebook Insights

Facebook business manager is the perfect way to maximize the use of your Facebook business profile. You can run campaigns, check analytics, and truly utilize all that Facebook offers, whether it’s checking on an ad or previously boosted post or creating an ad from scratch; this tool is something you can really use in your social media arsenal.

With Facebook Insights, you can successfully track user interactions. Anyone who is an admin on your page can use this tool to see how followers are responding to your Facebook Page, then track the number of active users you have. This is an ideal way to better understand how your page is performing.

Facebook Insights lets you determine the best time of day to post or the best day of the week, and what kind of content has been the most popular.

Pros: Facebook Business Manager is free with a business account.

Cons: The interface is not intuitive; so it can be easy to get lost.

7. Hotjar

“Connect the Dots with One Powerful Solution” is the theme for Hotjar, which allows marketers to gain insights into how users are behaving on your website.

That includes heatmapping – heatmaps are a great way to understand what users want and care about, and what they do while they’re on your site – and recordings of user interactions with your site.

Through those recordings, you can observe the moments in the browsing process when users get frustrated and abandon their search and leave.

It also shows you the content that they spend the most time with. Hotjar also allows you to pose questions to users and get direct answers about how they’re interacting with your site.

Hotjar offers pricing plans for businesses of all sizes.

Pros: Hotjar gives you insights into how your site can be optimized in the future.

Cons: It’s a large site that can affect your load time.

8. LinkedIn Programmatic Ads


If you’re doing paid advertising, a good option is Programmatic advertising. It’s the use of software to automate your media purchase, so your ads get displayed automatically, based on data.

Programmatic media buying solutions let you cut down on the amount of time you spend searching for the right networks to advertise on. A good tool for this is LinkedIn Programmatic Ads, which can process a lot of data from your audience.

LinkedIn allows you to promote your company updates to targeted audiences on desktop, mobile, and tablet. This is a way to deliver your content directly to the most viewed professional news feeds. It’s also a way to deliver personalized messages that drive more conversions than email.

Pros: Your ads can easily be relevant to the people you’re targeting.

Cons: It can take some time to learn how to use.

9. AdRoll

Display Retargeting Tools are increasingly popular today, particularly retargeting ads that follow web users from one site to the next. Retargeting is an increasingly popular tool for drawing customers back to your site to make a purchase.

A good site to use for this is AdRoll, which provides you with access to more than 500 ad exchanges, including most of the major social media networks.

Pros: Marketers who have used AdRoll in the past have reported as much as a 265 percent lift in sales.

Cons: With AdRoll, you pay for ad space, and AdRoll retains a small percentage for serving your ad. Your total spend is the cost of buying ad space to deliver your ads.

10. Wyng

Organic Social Media Tools are popular, and for good reason. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly active users, Twitter has 320 million and Instagram more than 700 million.

Not surprisingly, marketers are looking for an edge to cut through all that online traffic, and as a result, social media management tools have become common ways to improve engagement.

One useful engagement marketing tool is Wyng, which helps transform the way brands can engage and convert mobile and social consumers.

Wyng has different pricing plans.

Pros: They have a built-in analytics dashboard that monitors how each campaign is performing, and they help boost engagement through hashtag campaigns, contests, referral programs and more.

Cons: Wyng has different pricing plans. However, it can be pricey. 

11. Google Search Console 

Google, Google, Google — they are THE search engine! What’s great is that they know it, and offer the tools you need to improve your site and get ranking on search. If you succeed; they succeed.

If you don’t utilize the tools that they offer, you are doing yourself a disservice. Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a great platform. You can utilize reports in order to help you measure your website’s performance and traffic.

With Search Console, you can add a sitemap which can help your site get crawled by Google Bots, as well as tell Google to recrawl a site or pages that you just reoptimized.

As Google says, this will “make your site shine in Google Search results.”

Pros: It’s free. 

Cons: It can be a bit confusing (particularly with the semi-new update) but it’s worth it once you get the hang of it.

12. Google Ads

To continue the long list of marketing tools that are made by Google, you have Google Ads (previously Google AdWords). Google Ads is a great way to promote your site, services, or page. With Google Ads, you can promote your brand and company, finding relevant users and increasing conversion rate. 

Pros: You can get a pretty good click-through rate if you do it right, reaching your intended audience.

Cons: Navigation and cost (for ads) can be quite wonky and pricey.

13. Optmyzr

Optmyzr is another great tool. This tool can help you maximize your Google Ads — or optimize them.

With this tool, you can pull a quality score. The higher the quality score, the lower the cost per click, which is, after all, what it’s all about.  The program states that it is fast and can help you better optimize your reports in no time, but that may not necessarily be the case. 

Pros: It has a quality score, which can make PPC management so much easier.

Cons: The location bidding tool could be a little more user-friendly.

14. Moz

Moz has so many options for SEO and website monitoring. You can monitor your site, check keywords, do keyword research, or check your site’s domain authority with this digital marketing tool.

The Moz Bar — which is an extension you can use on Google Chrome — is a great, easy-to-use tool that will tell you the optimization of your page. If you just optimized a page, use this tool to check to see how well you did out of a score of 1 to 100 (percentage). 

Pros: There are free tools, like the Moz Bar, which, as I already said, can help you check your domain authority and on-page optimization. I suggest downloading the Moz Bar extension.

Cons: The paid version, which can help you track your client campaigns, can get pricey pretty fast.

15. Ahrefs

Need to check on some keywords? Want to see the backlinks of a competitor? Want to know your website’s backlinks? Then look no further than Ahrefs. With Ahrefs, you get competitive analysis, keyword research, backlink research, content research, as well as rank tracking and website monitoring.

Easy to use and a great keyword research tool, there’s no reason why Ahrefs isn’t for you and there’s no reason why you aren’t using Ahrefs to help expand your digital marketing efforts

Pros: With a seven-day trial for $7, you can see just what Ahrefs can do and if it’s a good fit for you.

Cons: Like SEMRush, it will take some time to learn how to use efficiently.

16. Google Keyword Planner 

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This year, help your business grow with trusted and true eCommerce marketing tools for 2019.

E-commerce spending has exploded over the past five years. American consumers spent $454 billion on web retail purchases in 2017, marking the 60th consecutive quarter of significant growth. To put that number into perspective, the level of online spend is enough to match the output of the 27th largest GDP on the planet.  

Inversely, the number of e-commerce retailers has grown by 22 percent since 2016, creating a crowded vertical for many independent Ecom practitioners. That said, to successfully grow an e-commerce business, proper strategies are needed to monitor and scale your business.  

At Chatter Buzz, we’ve recently launched the F4 ECom Formula, a rapid growth system that we’ve employed for a select group of e-commerce clients. These clients have since experienced a rise in profits with as a decrease in ad spend.

This recent success allows us a chance to break down what we are doing to create such rapid change with e-commerce marketing and how we are able to create systems and track KPI measurement with a select set of tools that meet the news of our system.  

After our F4 ECom Formula trial run with e-commerce brands and start-ups at every level of the spectrum, the team at Chatter Buzz understands the top tools that will help drive traffic, track efficacy, and grow bottom line revenue, independent of market saturation.

In this article, you’ll discover:

  • The function of each tool
  • The in-market purpose for the digital instrument
  • Why we recommend these tools
E-Commerce Tool 1: Improvely

Price: starts at $29/month

Improvely.com is one of the most powerful conversion tracking tools on the market. When the lifeblood of your e-commerce organization depends on new revenue streams, having a full understanding of your paid media efforts to drive sales is vital.  

Best practice for e-commerce brands dictates that multiple traffic sources are used to drive site visits and conversions; this tool is your catch-all in terms of tracking marketing efforts.  

Improvely will conveniently report on:
  • Organic Traffic
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Paid Media

Tool’s Purpose:

  • Conversion tracking for all of your digital sales efforts.   
  • Highlights potential click-fraud and saves money by putting a stop to wasted spending.   
  • A guard dog to watch for growth blind spots.   

Why We Recommend It:

The tool will showcase where your conversions and revenue are generated so that you, the marketer, can spend more time scaling and less time on poorly converting traffic. Chatter Buzz Media strategists believe every successful marketing campaign begins with the ability to track and optimize.

Improvely gives you one of the best opportunities to successfully run multiple marketing campaigns and have an all-encompassing understanding of digital efficacy.  

E-Commerce Tool 2: Active Campaign Workflow

Price: starts at $17/month

Workflow automation is one of the most pressing issues the Chatter Buzz team comes up against when working with e-commerce brands.  From abandoned cart retargeting to purchase upsell planning, Active Campaign is effortless in its ability to make life easier for the Ecom business owner.  

When incorporated correctly, the tool will:
  • Bring customers back to your website to complete a transaction.  
  • Offer personalized marketing offers to customers.  
  • Help develop a cross-channel messaging strategy for your business.   

Tool’s Purpose:

  • Automate ecommerce sales and fulfillment process.     
  • Develop repeat sales and referral business pipelines.  
  • Serve as an aggregate for customer data that will help streamline the online sales process.     

Why We Recommend It:

Active Campaign is more than an email service provider/ CRM hybrid. It is a fully-functional customer database, that reacts to in-market trends and will alert you to options on how to capture the latest market demands. This tool, for the price level, is one of the most consistent e-commerce marketing helpmates in the market.

E-commerce Tool 3: Ahrefs

Price: starts at $99/month

Ahrefs is your go-to for understanding the digital marketing strategies of your competitors. The data this tool provides will give you a clear understanding of what products your audience is looking for and how to position your brand offering correctly for the e-commerce vertical.  

As you become comfortable with Ahrefs, you’ll be able to:
  • Review keyword search volume for your vertical’s best-converting searches.
  • Effectively and efficiently extract market data for implementation
  • Develop long-term planning based on research provided.    


Tool’s Purpose:

  • Explore competitive content
  • Research necessary keywords
  • Audit website SEO effectiveness

Why We Recommend It:

Ahrefs helps e-commerce businesses learn the “why” behind competitor’s rankings and what your brand needs to do to outrank them. The product collects a large amount of clickstream data, giving you access to the world’s largest keyword database.

That power alone is valuable as you have the ability to map out the process to scale your business at the tip of your fingers.  

E-commerce Tool 4: Google Search Ads

Your e-commerce organization depends on new revenue streams, having a full understanding of your paid media efforts to drive sales is vital.  

Best practice for e-commerce brands dictates that multiple traffic sources are used to drive site visits and conversions; Google Search Ads is your catch-all in terms of tracking marketing efforts.  

Google Ads offers:
  • Search ad traffic;
  • Display ad traffic;
  • Shopping ad traffic

Tool’s Purpose:

  • Drives targeted traffic to your business.
  • Increases calls to your location.
  • Drives people to your website.  

Why We Recommend It:

Google Ads for e-commerce helps brands attract targeted shoppers to their site with an offer. The targeting audience power, coupled with the keyword, intent-driven traffic, make the potential traffic to your offer very valuable as they are coming from a focused mindset to learn about a product in your vertical.  

Google Search ads convert at an 11 percent higher clip vs. social media traffic, as the potential buyer is in a mindset to learn, and/or purchase your product at the time of interaction.

E-commerce Tool 5: Sprout Social

Price: starts at $99/month

E-commerce brands live off of the social proof that social media provides. Social media is also a time-consuming task that requires manual effort, from ideation to implementation. Tools that save effort within the social media realm are in vogue and for good reason: time equals money when it comes to e-commerce.

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media scheduling tool that allows you to pre-set posts across multiple networks.  It provides an overview of your social media efforts and allows complete control of your creative implementation.  

Sprout Social Offers:
  • Content planning  and publishing;
  • Campaign and conversation management;
  • Measurement and optimization features  

Tool’s Purpose:

  • Helps drive strategic decision making;
  • Streamlines engagement across platforms;
  • Uncovers audience trends and offers actionable insights

Why We Recommend It:

Social media allows brands to form deep relationships with users and allows them to interact with people who love them. Sprout Social is the perfect tool to have 100 percent control of your social media effort’s scalability – which will ultimately lead to sales and profit.  

E-commerce Tool 6: Jungle Scout

Price: starts at $25/month

If you sell on Amazon, then you understand the competitive nature the site brings for the e-commerce vertical. With over 10 million individual sellers on the Amazon platform, the need to choose products that are popular and products that help you stand out as an Amazon e-commerce seller is important. Jungle Scout helps Amazon e-commerce sellers discover profitable areas where expansion is possible.  

Jungle Scout Offers:
  • Product search web app;
  • Chrome extension

Tool’s Purpose:

  • Helps you, the e-commerce guru, to boost revenue by targeting profitable products and niches for your business.
  • Allows ECom professionals to even the market with competitor data tracking, seeing who is running promotions, who may be low on inventory and how the overall sales landscape, by vertical, is shaping up for your e-commerce brand.
  • Offers data that helps you scale your business by identifying high-growth niches.  

Why We Recommend It:

Jungle Scout is your secret weapon to navigate the deep waters of the Amazon seller. The product helps you organize, track and extrapolate data that will help your business grow while staying in front of your competition. 

E-commerce Tool 7: Zapier

Price: starts free – forever

Too often, different tools used in everyday business do not connect or “talk” to each other.  If you sign-up a new potential customer to your newsletter via MailChimp, how do you get the individual into your CRM?  

Zapier gives you the freedom to connect a number of your web apps together, serving as a conduit for the various services needed to run an effective ecommerce business.  

Zapier Allows:
  • Link integration to your most-used web apps;
  • Automatic pass-through of information from one connected app to another;
  • A structured process for effective, everyday tasks.   

Tool’s Purpose:

  • Allows the opportunity to create easy automation for busy e-commerce brands.  
  • Zapier is a connector, allowing apps to work independently of the account owner, while you work on your business.

Why We Recommend It:

This tool is a dream automation software. Once your automation workflow is set, you’ll discover infinite possibilities for your business, which means elevated processes and better efficiency, which leads to focus on selling, not operations. In short, Zapier is one of the few tools an e-commerce brand can’t grow without.

Conclusion

These are the marketing tools for e-commerce brands, as recommended by the Chatter Buzz team, that help our clients achieve measurable results year-over-year.

Keep in mind, this is not a full list of the marketing tools we use for our clients; these are some of the most popular that help facilitates rapid growth and scalable insights.  

The post 7 eCommerce Marketing Tools Your Brand Needs for 2019 Growth appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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I’m sure you know by now that your customer acquisition cost (CAC) is the price you pay to convert a lead into a customer. And for most companies, that’s a pretty huge expense.

According to a 2017 CMO survey, businesses spend over 11% of their total company revenue on marketing.  

That’s quite a bit on its own, but here’s the thing: marketing is just one piece of your CAC. That means your customer acquisition spend is actually even higher. And that’s where a problem arises. You know CAC is important and that keeping your spend lower than the customer’s lifetime value (LTV) can make or break your growing business.

But surprisingly, you might not know how to actually calculate your CAC.

So that’s what I’ll help you with here today. This post walks you through:

  • What goes into calculating your custom acquisition cost?
  • How your CAC metric influences your business growth?
  • Each step of calculating your CAC (5 steps)
  • What is the 2018 cost per acquisition benchmark by marketing channel and industry (slide)

After reading this post, you’ll know exactly what you’re spending to bring on new clients and can make adjustments to improve your CAC to LTV ratio.

Ready to get started? Here we go.

First, determine what goes into your customer acquisition cost?

As I already mentioned above, marketing spend makes up only one part of your CAC.

The P&L sheet for a marketing team has a lot more included than just campaign costs.

And so, to get a full view of how much you spend to acquire new business, you should also include the following in your calculations:

  1. Cost of product
  2. Overhead costs for sales and marketing employees (includes taxes, unemployment, etc.) 
  3. Agency cost (ex. Chatter Buzz)
  4. Cost of conducting research
  5. Software Spend
  6. Advertising Spend
Second, determine how should your customer acquisition cost metric influence your business?

If calculated correctly (as I’ll show you in just a moment) your CAC should make your business more profitable.

How?

Here are 3 ways:

#1. By increasing the margin between acquisition cost and lifetime value.

Once you’ve calculated your CAC, that number will always live in direct comparison to your LTV.

And because higher lifetime value means more revenue for your business, your goal should be to expand the ratio in favor of LTV.

David Skok simplified the relationship between these two metrics over on For Entrepreneurs with a basic visual:

(image source)

You want your profits from each customer to far outweigh the cost of initially getting them on board.

#2. By uncovering how long it takes to see ROI from your marketing efforts.

In addition to finding ways to increase margins between CAC and LTV, you’ll be able to see how long it takes a new customer to be profitable for your business.

That’s important because – as Ben Murray shares over on the SaaSCFO blog – CAC has all the qualities of debt for your business.

“You have a balance or principal amount, the amount spent to acquire a new customer, and an interest component. In this case, the interest is the opportunity cost of monies tied up in CAC that could have been spent elsewhere (for example, new product).”

And so here’s where CAC continues to be helpful.

When compared with the LTV, your CAC metric tells you exactly how long it takes to repay that debt.

That way, you’ll know exactly when you can expect to see a return on investment for your marketing efforts.

#3. By enticing and delighting investors.

Investors love to see a high ratio between CAC and LTV. It’s a good indication of how well your business would scale with future investment.

Chart: CFI eCommerce financial modeling course.

If you’re a startup on the hunt for funding, demonstrating a strong CAC:LTV ratio can be a great way to get investors on board.

5 Steps On How to Calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost

Now that you know exactly how CAC impacts your business, let’s dive into how you can easily calculate your own spend.

Here’s the basic formula you’ll be working with (courtesy of Ometria):

If that gives you bad flashbacks to grade school algebra class, don’t worry: I’ll walk you through it step-by-step.

#1. Define the time period you want to measure.

Before you dive into the math, think first about what exactly you want to measure.

Are you interested in the CAC of a specific campaign you’ve ran in the last six months?

Or do you just want to know the cost of acquisition since the very beginning of your business?

As a rule, you should decide on this before gathering all the figures for the equation above. That way, you’re only looking at spend for that particular time period.

#2. Add up all of your sources of acquisition spend.

Most people stop at this step when calculating CAC.

They tally up the costs of their marketing campaigns, compare it relative to their allocated budget, and then file it away.

But as I mentioned before, there’s a lot more that goes into your CAC then just the cost of marketing.

In fact, the entire top line of the equation above makes up all the different variables you should include in your total spend.

That’s why you can’t forget to include the following:

(image source)

Now, most of those figures are fairly self-explanatory and won’t require much more than a previous invoice to calculate.

But many business owners get tripped up in considering employee wages in calculating CAC.

So to make things clear for you: if you’re calculating lifetime CAC (as we are in our example), just plug in the salaries (and cost of benefits) for any employees working directly on lead generation.

Namely, that’s just your sales and marketing teams.

But, if you’re focused on measuring a specific campaign, you’ll need to calculate how much time each employee spent working on that marketing effort and then divide that by their salaries.

#3. Determine how many customers you acquired.

This one is pretty simple: use reporting from your CRM to calculate how many leads converted to customers over the given time.

If you’re looking at lifetime CAC, this should be across all products and services you offer.

Of course, if you’re measuring particular campaigns, only include new customers brought on board as a result of that specific marketing effort.

#4. Take the total acquisition spend and divide it by the number of customers acquired.

Time to bust out those calculators.

Divide your costs by the total number of new clients and there you have it – your customer acquisition cost.

For example, let’s pretend that your company wants to establish the CAC for the last 6 months.

After breaking down your costs, you come up with the following list:

  • MCC = $25,000
  • W = $125,000
  • S = $20,000
  • PS = $5,000
  • O = $0

And you acquired 325 customers over that 6 month period.

Using the aforementioned formula, you can establish that your CAC for that campaign was $538.46.

#5. Compare your CAC to your LTV.

Congratulations! You’ve calculated your CAC.

But here’s the thing: knowing your customer acquisition cost is fairly meaningless if you’re not comparing it to the lifetime value.

[Note: The Kissmetrics blog has a great infographic on calculating LTV if you’re unsure how.]

You don’t need to be a CFO to know that if your CAC is higher than your LTV (or even equal), that’s a serious problem.

But what’s the right ratio?

You want to see a LTV three times higher than your CAC.  

(image source)

A higher ratio than 3x means you could actually be growing faster if you invested in the right channels.

Anything lower than 3x means you need to be exploring these options – provided by David Skok – for either growing your LTV or lowering your CAC:

As an extra bonus, I have also added in this post the 2018’s cost per lead and channel by industry so if you are wondering what your cost per lead should be via pay per click advertising like Google Ads, Facebook Ads and social media marketing then see below.

2018 Paid Advertising and Social Media Marketing Benchmarks per Industry

And That’s It…

Now you know exactly how to calculate your CAC so that you can immediately evaluate the relationship between your marketing spend and customer lifetime value.

The post How to Calculate Customer Acquisition Cost and Determine Benchmark by Industry appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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Keeping up with the latest digital marketing strategies isn’t easy. But if you don’t and your competitors are doing just that, you’ve got a problem.

That’s why you should join Chatter Buzz on Thursday, Oct. 25 as we sponsor an informative and free webinar on “The Search for Sales: Proven Digital Marketing Tactics for 2019.”

This educational and instructive live stream will start at 11 a.m.

The webinar will focus on new market funnel tactics, noted Joshua Jones, the director of web and digital strategy at Chatter Buzz, who will be the host of this webinar.

What’s the Focus of this Webinar?

The webinar will show participants the latest trends in digital marketing and best ways of staying ahead of your competitors. Jones will reveal the formula he used to help grow some of the nation’s largest organizations. He helped turn them into sales machines.

Jones will also offer step-by-step guidance on the psychology behind lead generation and the nurturing tactics needed to move inventory and increase revenue.

During this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Best practices for using digital marketing to convert traffic into buyers
  • A set of action items to implement into your digital marketing program for the new year
  • A proven method to boost sales funnel effectiveness in 2019 and beyond.

Why is Digital Marketing so Crucial Today?

The importance of having a digital marketing strategy today is crystal clear. More than ever before, technology has become an integral part of our lives. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets have changed the way we communicate and find information.

Today we know the vast majority of consumers are online. Businesses need an immediate way to reach them.

More traditional marketing techniques no longer reach people as effectively as digital marketing.

But it’s also important for businesses to understand what’s working today in the field of digital marketing, and what isn’t.

Attendees to this webinar will learn about which digital marketing trends are emerging as the most successful, and how to employ them to deliver results at your company.

Digital Marketers will definitely want to join in this webinar. It’s ideal for a small business owner as well. Have you ever wondered how a business gets listed on top of the Google search engines? Do you know that Local SEO and National SEO strategies are entirely different?

How Can You Reserve a Seat? Reserve your spot here. When:

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018, at 11 a.m. EDT

Who:

Joshua Jones

Director of Web and Digital Strategy at Chatter Buzz

Access:

The webinar will consist of a simultaneous audio conference and online presentation. Attendees will be able to ask questions following the presentation.

The post Chatter Buzz Will Host Digital Marketing Webinar on Tactics for 2019 appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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Google is retiring AdWords, so welcome to three new brands (the outcome of the impending major rebranding): Google Ads, Google Manager and Google Marketing Platform.

The AdWords and DoubleClick are set to cease to exist after 18 and 22 years, respectively, of existence. The search engine is embarking on a comprehensive undertaking to simplify its offerings that involves:

  • Renaming its flagship advertising brands;
  • Reorganizing them to best reflect their latest capabilities;
  • and along the line, the company is seeing trajectories for growth.

Besides rebranding, Google is introducing new solutions aimed at further simplifying its advertising brands. Three primary brands to be introduced are:

  • Google AdWords will be under the brand Google Ads;
  • Google Analytics 360 Suite and Double Click advertiser brands will be under;
  • Google Marketing Platform.

DoubleClick Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for publishers will be integrated into one platform, entitled Google Ad manager.

Nothing much will change inside the products; the shifts will mainly be title changes which,according to Sridhar Ramaswamy, the Company’s SVP of adverts, show where the company has been directing products for the last couple of years.

Talking at a press briefing, Ramaswamy further added that expectations of consumers using mobile phones are increasing, a development that has increased opportunities for the advertiser as well.

He further explained that since Google has bought and improved new ad formats, measurement solutions, and products to meet the increasing demand, the complexity and number of its offerings have increased in the past 20 years.

Consequently, it has become increasingly difficult for publishers, agencies, and advertisers to identify and choose the most suitable Google products for their specific needs.

The latest branding that groups the products into three categories simplifies work for marketers. The new solutions are intended to help markets attain their desired results a lot more easily.

Read on for detailed elaboration of the latest brands and tools announced Wednesday by senior employees of the company;

1. Google Ads

Launched in the year 2000 with just 350 advertisers, AdWords was designed to run text advertisements on desktop search.

Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and CEO, then informed the audience that AdWords provides the most advanced features available, technologically. As such, it enables promoters to quickly come up with a system that best suits its online marketing objectives and budget.

Eighteen years down the line, AdWords has transformed into a system that accepts many different ad styles (display, text, shopping, app install, and video) on search — Gmail, YouTube, Maps and several partner apps and sites.

Millions of promoters are spending billions on the system each year. It has expanded beyond its original title.

Google’s head of commerce and ads, Sridhar and Ramaswamy, revealed to Search Engine Land in an interview on Tuesday that:

“With Google Ads, instead of Google AdWords, the company is shifting the imperceptible default idea an advertiser gets on hearing the term ‘Google AdWords.’ He or she gets the notion the brand is all about words. Search. The impression is primarily a slight cognitive disagreement to the great things the product does in terms of the format and surfaces the ads can display.”

Consequently, Google Ads, in the company’s opinion, is a better representation of what the search engine advertising provides. So Google’s goal is to simplify and align the core message right from the time the advertiser hears the name.

Chances are you’re now wondering where the Traffic Radius will be once the latest AdWords interface is out. And how advertisers will be communicating with the platform in anticipation of this simplification.

Surprisingly, the simple AdWords Interface had nothing to do with re-branding and the focus on simplification. We were stunned to learn that it was purely coincidental. The user Interface overhaul was exclusively necessitated by technology difficulties that characterized the 8-year old framework.

Small businesses provide continually a substantial growth opportunity for the search engine. In an effort to further the essence of simplicity, Google introduced the Smart Campaigns ideal for small businesses which do not have the time or resources necessary to incorporate sophisticated digital advertising campaigns.

Smart Campaigns utilize machine learning, just like Universal App Campaigns and Smart Display Campaign. The creation, targeting and delivery of ads is mainly automated. Advertisers on Google Ads will have this form of the campaign as the default type.

2. Google Marketing Platform


Ideal for enterprise customers, this platform integrates Analytics 360 and Double Advertiser products into one umbrella that best helps users strategize, purchase, measure and maximize digital media purchases in one place.

Dan Taylor, the platforms’ managing director, observed that marketers’ desire to work across teams will help make this feature possible.

The motivation to combine DoubleClick with Analytics 360 under one platform originated from advertisers who opted to integrate the two on their own. Google noticed that the advertisers who successfully integrated their analytics into their media platforms showed better results.

Taylor further revealed that the company had integrated analytics with other creative buying and planning products; but with this platform that would be a lot easier. With the merger with Analytics 360, advertisers are able to analyze results, create and activate audiences without the necessity to maneuver multi-step processes between different products.

There will a new solution inside the Google Marketing Platform called Display and Video 360. Its role is to consolidate the search engine’s display ad products that include:

  • DBM (DoubleClick Bid management);
  • Media strategizing and reporting solution;
  • Rich media advert creator tool;
  • DoubleClick Campaign Manager;
  • Data management platform;
  • Double Click Studio;
  • and Google Audience Center 360.

The company’s enterprise-level search management system, called DoubleClick Search, is being re-branded to Search Ads 360.

Google Data Studio, Survey 360, Tag Manage and Optimize 360 will also be integrated into the Google Marketing Platform.

There is an Integration Center which explains the procedure of interconnecting the solutions and how they work together. Advertisers can quickly combine Display and Video 360 with Analytics 360, Analytics 360 with BigQuery and Google Ads with Analytics 360, in the Center.

Google often received criticism for appearing to prefer its own tools and integrations. Taylor stressed that the platform is designed to provide choice.

There are hundreds of integrations with third-party measurement solutions, Ad Exchanges among many other products.

Google Marketing Platform will be launched later this month.

Google Ad Manager

This brand unifies AdX (DoubleClick Ad exchange) and DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers). The process of combining DoubleClick for publishers and Double Click Ad Exchange has taken a whopping three years.

Google edged out Yahoo, AOL, and Microsoft to buy DoubleClick for $3.1 billion last yea. Then an ad-serving tool for desktop display adverts, the search engine launched it two years later for large publishers seeking to sell ad inventory in real-time.

Jonathan Bellack, the executive of product management in charge of publisher ad platforms, noted that advertisers’ desire to have addressable advertising compelled the company to come up with solutions that make the buying process programmatic.

The DoubleClick Ad Exchange includes programmatic, assured, and reserved buying.

Bellack added that the company opted to move from conventional limitations of SSPs and ad servers to introduce new programmatic solutions into a product the company calls Ad Manager. There is, therefore, a huge shift from the traditional programmatic platform to a new platform featuring Optimized Competition.

This addition helps advertisers maximize yields in different reservations, open auctions and private marketplaces.

Alongside this change, programmatic as well as ad network buyers who were previously referred to as AdX buyers will henceforth be called Authorized Buyers.

He further explained that Google Ad Manager is designed to help publishers cash in from all the sectors where customers are engaging, like live streaming, AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), connected televisions, mobile games among many other apps, and platforms that include Apple News and YouTube.

So What’s Next?


Advertisers should expect the re-branding and roll out of the solutions to start in mid-July and continue over next few months.

When asked where the changes will put the company in the near future and where opportunities might arise, Ramaswamy noted that for a company already dominating the digital ad market, he sees countless runway past YouTube, Gmail, apps, Google feed image search and many other areas.

He added that advertising is extremely nascent on YouTube and the company has a set of layouts even though it believes there’s so much the company can do in areas like Direct Response.

Ramaswamy added that the combination of four main areas — mobile search, app install ads, YouTube and Programmatic advertising — have gone way beyond their part in driving expansion for the search engine in the present mobile era.

Conclusion

The latest branding and tools are intended to relieve advertisers so that they can concentrate more on enhancing their outcomes and less on the product selection process; thus keeping the drive going on for the coming twenty (and above) years.

For more information on paid search, visit our archives and you will find a comprehensive PPC guide detailing everything from how to set up an account to how to automate and adjust bids.

The post What Google’s New AdWords/DoubleClick Brands Mean for Your Ads appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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Have you ever wondered how social media influencers can help you to grow your business?

In this information age, everybody is a businessperson. We don’t need to own a product or a service to start our own business.

The savviest business owners understand that people don’t buy products/services. Instead, they buy a brand name, convenience, solution or feel-good stuff.

Everyone on the internet wants to feel truly valued and special. If you can make them feel special with your offering, you’ve won the battle already. You don’t need to put any extra effort into marketing or selling the offers.

This is what the social media influencers do.

They can easily put your offer in that feel-good zone for readers. Today, more than 57% of the beauty and fashion companies hire influencers for their marketing strategies!

So if you’re still skeptical about how social media influencers can boost your business, here are 9 reasons why you should use their skills to target your customer’s psyche.

1. Target Fine-Tuned Demographics

The biggest problem with marketing strategies is effective targeting. Even professional digital marketers face difficulties in tuning their campaigns for an effective reach on the multiple social media platforms.

Creating filters on the platforms to reach the target demographic is tricky, since you can’t always rely on the data presented by the platform.

With social media influencers, you can completely avoid this problem. You can easily target the right audience with a simple short video and the relevant hashtags.

The social media share and search algorithms will automatically suggest your content to the followers of the influencer.

In case the post receives a decent amount of likes, it will automatically pop up on the search results of people who are not the direct followers of the influencer. The algorithms work flawlessly by taking the end customer’s like/dislike patterns into account.

So, if you keep liking posts on F1 and sports cars, you will most likely see similar posts instead of posts on lipsticks, vacations and makeup tutorials.

2. Subtle Ways for Promotional Marketing

Heavy promotional marketing often ruins your chances of growth on the internet. While you may see an initial surge of increased clicks and conversions, the effect will fade away very soon.

This is why most bloggers and digital marketing specialists focus on providing true value to the customers. They know how to balance the informational and promotional aspects of the content effectively.

The social media influencers have devised a way to create a perfect mix of this balance. Instead of asking their followers to go out and purchase a particular service/product, they showcase small video-clips or pictures which shows them actively using the service/product.

This triggers an emotional response in the minds of the followers of the social media influencer.

These followers aspire to be close to these influencers and often end up following their activities. They will eventually buy the product involuntarily.

“Perhaps the biggest benefit of social influencer marketing is its inherent property of not being pushy. Social influencer marketing is radically different from traditional marketing strategies. There’s no denying that advertisements are the most popular weapon for marketers using traditional strategies. However, consumers are tired and frustrated with these advertisements being displayed to them time and again.” — Shane Barker

3. Use Video/Graphical Posts to Capture Attention

The influencers have the best means of marketing available to them. They use the power of media-based content to showcase your product/service in the limelight.

Instead of using words, they show the world how your product benefits them in their day to day lives.

This kind of depiction is extremely powerful for companies that want to target the active users of social media platforms. The marketing strategy is ideal for anyone who is constantly using their smartphones to regularly check social media feeds.

You can leverage this attention of the target audience with the influencer.

4. Extremely Affordable Means of Marketing

Today, you can hire a social media influencer for very affordable prices. You don’t need to spend a large amount of money creating an ad for your product anymore. Instead of spending money on TV ads and billboards, you can spend a fraction of the money on hiring these influencers.

With TV ads and billboards, you have a hit or miss chance of appealing to the right audience. On the other hand, the social media influencer will help you reach the target audience in a more effective manner.

5. Target Multiple Social Media Platforms

Most influencers have active accounts on multiple social media platforms. The influencer with several million followers on Instagram will most likely have a dedicated YouTube channel or Facebook page as well.

Moreover, this influencer’s followers will also have fan pages for the influencer on those other platforms.

The post that the social media influencer shares can spread like wildfire. It can be adopted by the fan pages to increase your online reach even further.

Some of these fans are also active bloggers and influencers themselves. So the ripple effect that you get by hiring one influencer can last for several weeks throughout the entire social media network.

6. High ROI

The low capital investment is the main reason why you get an excellent ROI with all your marketing ventures involving social media influencers.

Other factors that boost the ROI include a targeted approach, high click to conversion ratio and the ripple effect. You can safely assume that an influencer with several thousand followers will directly influence other smaller influencers as well.

This way, you can target the psyche of a larger customer base.

7. Create an Online Brand Identity

You can choose one of three ways to establish a partnership with a prominent social media influencer. 

A. Run a Campaign

You can hire the influencer to run a long chain of posts correlated to each other. This type of partnership is ideal for businesses that have a huge line-up of linked products.

For example, if you’re selling a complete array of makeup products, the influencer can post separate images/video-clips for different items on the list.

B. Hire for a Post

You can also hire the influencer for a single post. This kind of partnership is ideal for businesses just getting started with a social media identity, and one that now wants to gauge the response of the market first.

C. Hire a Niche of Influencers

Larger companies often bring several social media influencers together for a single campaign. These companies ask several top influencers from a particular niche to sell their products.

This creates a hammer-down effect on the minds of the people who are following two or more of these influencers simultaneously.

8. Working from Remote Locations

The best part about working with social media influencers is that you don’t need to waste your time meeting them in the first place. You can establish the entire business deal over emails and phone calls.

This helps you save a ton of money that you can invest in other marketing campaigns.

Some influencers create their own content and posts without any kind of assistance. These practices can help you save a considerable amount of time as well as money.

You don’t need to cover their travel expenses or invest funds to help them get a post ready. The professional influencers have their own contacts in the industry to help them shoot a video-clip or click a picture to promote your product.

9. Create Meaningful Content for a Target Audience

It’s often said that the best marketers know the product through and through. On the other hand, the best salespeople know the audience in the same manner.

They also say the top salesperson can sell a comb to a bald man.

Just as you understand the benefits of your product/service, the social media influencer knows their target audience extremely well.

Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re trying to sell a new type of edible lipstick.

You know the lipstick is harmless, colorful, and stays intact for a long period. You can list the product’s features in the blink of an eye.

Now you need to know if prospective customers care about those features.

They do care about having a solution. So the social media influencer can create three short video clips to get the attention of the user.

In the first clip, the influencer may bite on the lipstick by mistake and show that it’s edible and harmless.

In the second clip, the influencer can showcase the various shades of lipstick by trying them on one by one.

In the final clip, the influencer can create a time-lapse video of a full day of activity to show the retention power of the lipstick.
See how that’s more effective than just listing what features the product has?

“The term ‘influencer marketing’ increased by 325% in Google searches over 2017. Making this the fastest-growing online acquisition method of the year. This trend is likely to continue in the future, as roughly two-thirds of marketing departments are looking to increase their budget for influencer marketing over the next year … Generally, their money is well spent. For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average of $7.65 in earned media value returned.” — Jelle Fastenau

Conclusion

The best time to hire a social media influencer is when the individual is still in a growing phase.

By extrapolating their growth prospects, you can easily calculate the amount of reach that they will have, including from 3 to 6 months down the road.

The post How Social Media Influencers Can Help You to Grow Your Business appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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If you work in SEO, chances are you’ve done some head-scratching in the past few weeks trying to figure out exactly what Google’s recent algorithm Core Update means for digital marketing professionals — and in particular for SEO professionals?

Let’s face it, that’s been THE question for most of August.

The jury is still out on what this change means for Google searches, because it seems like not many folks have experienced the same outcome, although medical and health-related sites seems to be have a rougher time than others.

Is there a reason for that? Yep. It all goes back to E-A-T.

But in the meantime, it’s going to take some more time to sort it out.

So, what exactly is a Core Update and what are the long-term implications for search rankings?

What Did Google Do On Aug. 1?

On Aug. 1, there was a big update in Google search results. Google started rolling out a broad core algorithm update for search results.

This isn’t all that unusual or unique. It’s known that Google makes frequent algorithm changes each year, designed to address particular faults.

Back in 2012, for example, we had Google Penguin, an update by Google designed to reward high-quality websites and diminish the search engine results page (SERP) presence of websites engaged in potential manipulative link schemes and keyword stuffing. Think of Penguin as a way to tackle the issue of SEO spam.

And this latest algorithm change? What’s important to know about it?

That’s a good question. And if you’ve ever wondered how to decipher Google’s ranking algorithm, you’re definitely not alone.

So let’s step back a bit, and review what Google did in November 2015 that still has a major impact today.

In that year, Google released a version of their Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, its search quality rater guidelines. The change was designed for the benefit of Google’s ranking evaluators.

But it also offered some clues about what Google wants when it comes to online searches to find pages that are considered high quality and authority — and how they could perform better according to Google’s algorithm.

One of the rankings that Google created was E-A-T, or Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. Essentially, Google is saying this is what high-quality pages should have and hinting that lower quality pages will be the ones that don’t.

The criteria for E-A-T was based on several standards, including:

  • What the Main Content is that a website provides to its users and visitors;
  • Whether a website has Expert and Authoritative Content;
  • Whether a site has a positive reputation for delivering quality content;
  • If there is Auxiliary information provided, such as Contact Us and About Us pages;
  • Whether there is Supplementary or extra content provided for the pleasure or enjoyment of the user;
  • If the website has solid Functionality, so its easy for users to quickly locate information;
  • If the website gets regularly maintained, edited and updated.

In other words, if you want to rank high, give us a reason to believe you’re an expert in the subject matter you’re offering to visitors.

We know Google has used the E-A-T criteria to determine a page’s quality level and reputation on the web. Is the information the site is providing useful to users? It is detailed? Can it be trusted as being an authority on the subject?

And in November 2015, Google also unveiled another acronym: YMYL – which meant that quality content, in essence, asks the user for either Your Money or Your Life.

Essentially what it means is that Google would be paying special attention to websites that people turn to for major, quality of life issues, and make determinations whether the content truly was authoritative, and could be trusted as such. These are pages that Google expects to be written by top quality experts – providing information, advice and counseling on matters that are financial, medical, or legal, for example.

Is someone searching the web looking for information about how to obtain a divorce or file for bankruptcy? Or do they need answers for coping with a specific health condition? Do they need advice on investment opportunities?

And when Google says it’s about Your Money or Your Life, they’re cautioning that a bad page can be potentially deadly if it gives users bad information. At the same time, the sites written by experts can be, well — potentially lifesaving, whether it comes to your finances, health and medical needs, or legal concerns.

That’s why Google’s guidelines often call for content that is:

  • Authoritative;
  • Expert;
  • High quality;
  • And trustworthy.

And that’s why the higher the quality of the content, the more likely it is to be a top-ranking page in Google searches.

So both E-A-T and YMYL make it perfectly clear that any website that wants to rank highly needs solid content — and professional writers to provide it.

What Did Google’s Core Update Do?

Google’s broad search algorithm update on Aug. 1 is still something of a mystery. And since it has impacted the search rankings for some websites, it’s proven to be problematic — particularly for those who haven’t been following the rules of E-A-T and YMYL.

If E-A-T is still Google best’s way to figure out who it can trust when sending a user to a website, there have already been reports that sites related to health, fitness, nutrition and wellness got a rude awakening from the change this month. Why? It could be that their content was determined to have a low E-A-T score which is ranking factor when Google evaluates pages.

Google has made it clear they care about the purpose of your page and if your main content truly helps users. Google is also concerned about how much content you have and your website’s reputation.

In other words, it needs you to take E-A-T very seriously.

In the long run, the Aug. 1 update may turn out to be one of the more significant updates for organic search.

So if your rankings dropped, what should you do?

Google has recommended that in response to this new algorithm, webmasters shouldn’t rush to make technical changes. A much better approach, Google noted, would be to find ways of providing better-quality content and improving the overall experiences for your visitors – the essence of the E-A-T formula.

And it’s not necessary to start getting nervous about what it means for SEO, since as well all know, there are constantly new changes happening in search.

And to repeat, Google makes a lot – often hundreds – of algorithm changes each year. Granted, a core update is a different animal, since this is a change to the main search algorithm itself. And this month, Google appears to have revised the order, weight, values and importance of many ranking factors.

It’s going to take some time to sort out how that affects your specific SEO efforts, and since the update has left quite a few SEO professionals looking for answers, Google responded with a statement:

“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year….”

If Google has changed the way it ranks everything, it could mean that if your site dropped and so did someone else’s — but there could be entirely different reasons for those results.

How do you recover? There’s likely no one answer for that. It depends on each website and what its E-A-T factor is.

It’s also not clear that the algorithm update was intended to, or resulted in, anyone being penalized for what they were doing. In fact, Google could be rewarding sites that had been undervalued for far too long.

So it’s best to go back to the basics. Continue to focus on quality content that provides value to your visitors and continue finding ways to improve your site, no matter how high your ranking already is.

Another bit of advice: continue to Establish Your Trust in as many ways as you can. Google wants to know if your website can be trusted. Be sure you have an About Us Page to let people know who you are and why your site is worth visiting.

Also, have a Contact Page to provide online support to your customers.

You can also establish editorial guidelines for your content and ensure you follow those rules.

What Google wants to know most: you’re real and authentic, and therefore Google should be ranking you high so people will discover you.

Conclusion

It’s going to take some time to fully determine the impact of Google’s core update, and it seems that in the short run, everyone’s website is going to be impacted in a different way.

With the focus on authenticity and expertise, there’s no question that medical and health care sites are likely to undergo the highest degree of scrutiny under the new Google algorithm.

So if your rankings have been impacted and Google is telling us there’s no quick “fix” to that, a better solution will be to put the focus on very high quality content.

That may be the best way to future-proof your site and ensure it performs better over time.

In conclusion: Be an expert. Be an authority on your content. Provide value.

The post Evaluating Google’s Core Update And What It Means for SEO Rankings appeared first on Digital Marketing and Advertising Agency.

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