Making a Case for Video First Facebook Strategy

Facebook ventured into video in 2014 and began placing more emphasis on the format last year when it started funding live video broadcasts from producing partners such and The New York Times and BuzzFeed. But all that appears to be just a tip of the main thing. In a conference call with industry analysts earlier this year, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zukerberg said “I see video as a megatrend that is why we are going to keep putting video first across our family of apps.”

What does this mean exactly?

For small and medium sized business looking to get ahead by taking advantage of the social media, developing videos is a must. The attention span of online browsers has reduced to just 8 seconds, which means that in order to capture one’s audience, marketers and businesses have to grab their attention immediately, and continue with engaging content to maintain their interest from beginning of the post till the end. But with the Facebook video first Strategy, slow loading times and videos of just the right duration are just the ingredients that can lead to business success.

If you had just 8 seconds to totally sum up the entirety of who you are and what you do, how would you say it? That been said, video content presents an opportunity and not an inconvenience. A well done video can produce a focused narrative that will deliver your message in a unique fashion that portrays your brand or business.

Creating video content for social media such as Facebook, gives a business or brand the advantage of direct targeting, detailed measurements and access to multiple formats display. This can help small and midsized businesses drive conversion, increase subscription and sales and gives them the added value of being able to react to current events and trends.

The potential is far reaching. Reach a wider audience, appeal to influencers and partner with other brands. Video content unlike traditional marketing means has the potential to cause an online ripple effect which can drastically expand your message’s reach.

Videos that pay

Facebook video first strategy will open up a whole new avenue for businesses to increase their earnings. From targeted video content that improves conversion rate to revenue sharing between Facebook and premium content producers.

Facebook CEO Mark Zukerberg explained “There is the type of content that people produce socially, there’s promotional content that businesses and celebrities and folks will produce, but there’s also a whole class of premium content that creators need to get paid a good amount to support the creation of, that is why Facebook is working to build up its video advertising business, so that it can share in revenue with those creators.”

Facebook’s video first strategy is really big news for businesses and brands, with more options to create and have their own branded videos, get a wider reach and ultimately increase revenue.

Ads in Mobile Apps: Not Just For Other Mobile Apps

 

Placing ads in mobile ads is proving an interesting and highly productive model to reach your targeted audience more quickly and effectively.  The good thing about this advertising technique is that your product doesn’t have to be an app too, although that’s also an option you can explore.

For example, think about the results placing an advert on luxury but affordable fashion accessories in a fashion or makeup app for women. As with many display options, this is a funnel model that lets you narrow down to your target audience; and you can set it up in your account. Here’s how it works:

First, you set up a “Display Network Only” Campaign. A screen will appear with options, select “no marketing objective,” and then click “ads in mobile apps” from the list that follows.

It’s always a smart thing to do to also select your preferred operating systems and devices. So depending on your audience analytics (it’s advised you do a testing), choose the most relevant option to you from the “Mobile” and “Devices” list from the drop down menu. Then you may also add other OS and device models in a hierarchical order to broaden your reach.

Next, select the app categories for your adgroup or adgroups. There are several of them, and they’re just as same as the list that appears in every mobile device store. They include ALL apps, business, entertainment, food & drink, finance, games (further categorized by game type), health and fitness, house & home, lifestyle, medical, musical & audio, navigation, news, photo & video, parenting, productivity, travel, utilities, and weather.

If, like in the example I cited earlier, I wanted to reach out to fashionistas, I’ll choose the most relevant categories and Google will give me an estimate of my weekly impressions. It’s a wide audience and I could choose to further narrow down my audience and using specifics by defining my target demographics, applying a remarketing list (such as a consumer match), and even detailing the amount of time that should elapse after a consumer has bought their mobile device.

The ad format options available for your in-app advertising are app/digital content ads, image ads, and text ads; and the size options include 300 x 250, 320 x 50, and 336 x 280 interstitial for mobile phones; and 468 x 60, 728 x 90, 300 x 250, and 336 x 280 interstitial for tablets.

Ads in mobile ads can be a very useful model for targeted ads as a product or services audience can be more easily and specifically reached where they commonly hang out online; where you can say hi and hopefully drive click traffics.

Google: How the use of Canonical tags can save you from SEO troubles


Sometimes, webmasters encounter basic SEO situations they need to clarify. In this case, it is about canonicalization. It can be tricky if it is not considered separately.

Recently, somebody by the Twitter handle @aasimmugal asked Google’s John Mueller an interesting question. He wanted to know if a link from http://abc.go.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=offer, would still be considered as a link from abc.com.

John answered by saying he should use the rel=canonical and other types of canonicalization if he was concerned about it. The he added later, that it was technically a separate URL, despite how Google might consider it.

Interestingly, the link points to ABC’s (the TV network) homepage, so it is true. After all, the source code on the linkin question has a canonical tag at the top that indicates the link really points to http://abc.go.com/. Therefore, the link is specifically for abc.go.com and not abc.com.

The subject of canonicalization can be confusing at times, so we will be discussing it a bit further.

What is a canonical tag?

A canonical tag, also referred to as “rel canonical”, is one way of instructing search engines to recognise a specific URL as a master copy of a page. It is used to prevent issues caused by “duplicate” or identical content that exist on multiple URLs. Simply put, the canonical tag point’s search engines to the version of a URL should show up on a SERP query.

Why is canonicalization important?

When it comes to the subject of duplicate content, SEO analysts understand how complicated it can be. Normally, when search engines crawl several URLs that appear to have identical content, it can lead to SEO issues. First, when search crawlers go through too many identical content, some of the original content may be missed.

Secondly, a significant amount of duplicate content can reduce the capacity of a website to rank well. Finally, even when the content ranks well, the search engine may present the wrong URL as the original one. Therefore, by using a rel canonical tag, you can indicate which URL has priority over others.

The thing with URLs

It is easy to wonder how or why anybody would duplicate a page. If you do not allow for this possibility, you wouldn’t bother about canonicalization and this could hurt your SEO. Search engines see pages differently from the way humans do. While we look at a homepage as a concept, search engines see every single URL as a separate page.

In the link given above, search engines might access the ABC TV network through the following ways:

  • http://www.abc.go.com
  • https://www.abc.go.com
  • http://abc.go.com
  • http://www.abc.com
  • http://abc.com

Incidentally, ABC has used the 301 redirect to point all abc.com searches to abc.go.com. It is therefore important to designate a ‘main’ page by using a canonical tag. It saves the site owner a lot of SEO hassle in future.

Google: URL Structure Not So Important For SEO

Several guides exist on the internet teaching you how to optimize your URL for Search Engine Optimization. These guides contain several tips about what to include, what not to include, what the search engine looks for, what kinds of domain and subdomains are best. Most times we dive into these guides and begin to do everything they say even before we ask ourselves the most important question: When Search Engine Optimization is the goal, does the URL structure really matter? Does your URL structure increase your overall traffic or affect your ranking significantly?

Recently, one of Google’s own, John Mueller put out on twitter that URL structure is “not so much important”. This was in reply to someone asking “How important is URL structure flat? This was a surprising answer especially with all the guides that exist targeting the use of URL structure as a Search Engine Optimization tool. A memorable quote from Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable is “The main thing is not how long or deep your URLs appear to be but how quickly GoogleBot can discover those URLs and who is linking to them.”

This may seem like news, but it’s not so surprising if you look at existing data. As far back as 2014, Search Metrics published some very intriguing data. Based on their analysis, having a keyword within a domain name and /or URL is no longer as important as it used to be in search engine rankings. Google had started placing more importance on other search factors.

Google’s nine major ranking factors as published by Link-Assistant contained not even a passing reference to URL structure as a major ranking factor. This gives you a good indication of just how much energy should go into making your URL SEO friendly. It is important to note that your URL acts as a UI for your visitors and certain tricks that make it more search friendly should not be totally ignored. However, the general consensus is that it is definitely smarter to focus more on other ranking factors, just like Google does.

Search Engine Optimization is an industry that is constantly changing. Currently, Google seems to be pushing for richer content, better quality of backlinks, a better mobile experience on websites, and a host of other technical factors such as the use of https encryption, anchor texts, and so on. It is definitely a good idea to optimize your URLs—by making use of the best practices guides floating around the internet, especially as it definitely won’t hurt your rankings.

However, focusing too much of your marketing efforts on URL structure to the detriment of other SEO factors can and will hurt. This is because factors such as content quality, backlinks, mobile usability, and so on will have a greater impact on your rankings than a bad URL structure.

3 Easy Landing Page Updates to Improve Quality Score

If PPC is central to your overall marketing plan, then quality score is a term you must be familiar with.  Actually, a lot of advertisers have heard about quality score and how important it is, except that they’re not so sure how to high rank with it.

For clarity on what quality score is, let’s review how Google explains it: “Quality Score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

Although not much detail was provided, it is safe to assume QS is mostly about driving traffic to your site landing pages. So, to improve QS, your focus should be on improving the feel, behaviour and content of your landing pages.

Google recently announced some key changes to their QS algorithms to offer website owners a better understanding of how to rank high on the metrics, and then act on the new insights with ease.

Why is that so important? The truth is that except your site and contents rank well on Google, you won’t achieve much success with your organic traffic flow, customer conversion and brand awareness goals.

Optimise for keywords: Include them in the titles and in the article in the right density

The first and most important factor in your SEO and quality score objective is to make sure you use the right keywords and in just the right density.  But what keywords should you rank for? You may need to do some SEO experiments to be specific about them and make sure you track updates, so you can keep improving on them.

Your relevant keywords must be properly distributed in your contents. Make sure to include it the headings, in the first one or two paragraphs and a few more times in articles. But be careful to avoid keyword stuffing. Ensure you’re writing for humans, not computers; so, include your keywords in a natural way.

Improve your site speed

Experienced internet marketers know how important the load time of website is to customer traffic and conversion. No one will hang around forever waiting for a website to load; which is why improving your site speed must always be a priority. Don’t forget too that when determining QS, AdWords always reviews the load time of the landing pages; and a slow website is a big fail.

Ensure easy navigation

It’s not enough to drive traffic to your site; you need to also ensure they can easily find what they’re looking for on your landing pages without having to spend too much time and energy groping around. Just like slow load time, if website users sense a landing page does not have easy navigation, they will bail in a blink of an eye and go somewhere else for the information they’re seeking.

Three Ways the New Gmail Upgrade Will Boost Your Marketing Campaign

Gmail is a free email service operated and owned by search giant Google. They currently boast a subscriber base of over 1 billion users, which translates to one in seven people in the world using Gmail.

Gmail Sponsored Promotions (GSP) offers businesses the opportunity to market their product to a large user base.

GSP is sometimes referred to as an impression-based medium. This means that users are exposed to your ad without asking what your content is. Bear in mind this is not a search, you are requesting the user to make an unconscious action of clicking a link they naturally wouldn’t.

For advertisers pursuing leads with a conversion goal of free models or trails, GSP is effective in driving these ‘free’ conversions without hassle.

What is GSP?

GSP is a google service that was launched without fan fare in 2013 with google soft selling ads rather than a full promotion. GSP are advertisements that appear on Gmail user accounts. It is displayed in the inbox, right above the email. The Ads are cleverly designed to look like an email and it expands to a full Ad once clicked.

How does Gmail Ads Work?

Google moved GSP into a standard AdWords toolbox.  The name changed from GSP to simply ‘Gmail Ads’.  The new Gmail Ad appears in the personal Gmail inboxes under the ‘promotions’ tab.

The Gmail Ad is ‘pushed’ to an inbox even when the user did not search for the advertised content. Google secretly crawls Gmail user accounts and compiles information essential with advertisers. Advertisers can select their audiences based on interests, likes and behaviour. They are charged per click when there is an interaction with the ad. This model for online marketing campaigns benefits leads based ads rather than direct sales. Naturally, online users respond best to the ‘freemium’ model or free trial. Users are more likely to click on Ads offering free membership or content. Google Ads impresses with the capacity to deliver leads from those unwilling users.

Three ways to boost your marketing with Gmail upgrades

  1. Targeting is a fantastic substitute to remarketing. Businesses can target recent interest generated by the user and this will enhance your ability to target users more likely to interact with your ad.
  2. Research conducted by Emery Barnes reveals that 87% of online marketers utilise Gmail Ads, 25% of the emails were opened regularly and 30% more masked with emoji. To engage users, advertisers are encouraged to use emojis as this will lead to more conversion for the ad.
  3. Gmail Ads has a metric function that allows you to analyse and monitor your campaign. This way you can review your AdWords strategy to match current trends popular among users.

Gmail Ads is a desirable method of advertising that has earned the admiration of consumers and marketers globally.  Forever changing how advertising and digital marketing will be conducted.

How to Prove Your Facebook Ads Are Working

Wouldn’t it be grand to have a way to defend Facebook Ads using the numbers most people are interested in, rather than mere qualitative analysis? This method is a straight forward one, but requires that you have your Google Analytics and Facebook accounts linked. It helps to have an organised GA account too. Ensure you have Excel and enough Google Analytics and Facebook data to work with.

Step one

Head to Google Analytics, go to “Conversions”, “Top Conversion Paths”, and then “Source/Medium Path”. Select “advanced” and adjust your filter so it includes Source/Medium Path with Facebook. What this does is to leave you only with conversion paths that include “facebook” or whatever it’s named. Once you’re certain you have all the conversion paths needed set to download, select “Export”, for conversions, use “All”, one or more path links, “All” for Type, and 30 days (or whatever you wish) for your Lookback Window before you export in csv format.

Step two

Open the file in Excel, copy the single-path data and paste it somewhere else, before you remove it from the raw data. Have a column inserted between “Conversions” and “Source/Medium Path”, naming it “Facebook Path Detail.” Have columns A to D filtered such that Source/Medium Path is filtered with “Begins with: “facebook” and use the same title for column B’s displayed empty rows.

Next, adjust the Source/Medium Path’s filter to “Begins with: facebook” AND “Ends with: facebook”. Name all of column B’s displayed empty rows with “Begins/Ends with Facebook.” There should be an overwrite in some rows. Then, set the Source/Medium Path filer to “Ends with: facebook / cpc” and name the empty column B cells “Ends with Facebook.” Make sure there are no overwrites.

Finally, clear the last two filters and selecting only the blanks let the Source/Medium Path have another filter. Let all empty cells left be named “Contains Facebook” before you clear the filters and check to make sure column B has no empty cells.

Step three

Select everything in columns D to B, select Insert and then Pivot Table. Hit “Ok”, put the table in a new sheet, set your pivot fields such that your data will appear in a compressed view, and head back to your sheet.

Step four

Copy the table and have the values pasted in a different sheet, with the name “Paid Facebook – Attribution (Multi-Path)” added. Next to the attribution data, paste the single-path data you cut out earlier and name it “Paid Facebook – Single Path Conversions.” Once you’re sure the date ranges have been added, have the rest formatted however you like. This will give you a qualitative understanding of your paid Facebook efforts which anyone can understand.

Google Announces Major Changes to Ad Rotation Settings

Google recently announced some major changes to ad rotation settings in AdWords that will take place starting from the 15th of September. These changes will bring an end to the long-standing debate among advertisers about the best way to test different ads in each ad group. While all paid search advertisers can certainly agree that ad testing is important, should they let them rotate blindly, make changes after a 90-day period, or optimise them to increase clicks and enjoy more conversions? It seems the answer doesn’t matter anymore because now, the changes simplify the matter by trimming the AdWords ad rotations settings for a simpler solution.

The Major Changes to Ad Rotation Settings

Google AdWords will support only two rotation settings where you can either choose to optimise or rotate indefinitely. The first option to optimise (prefer best performing ads), will employ Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads with the potential to do better than the other ads in the ad group. Choosing ‘do not optimise (rotate ads indefinitely) allows your ads to rotate continuously without putting priority on better performing ads to a user’s search.

The existing settings ‘optimise for conversions’ and ‘rotate evenly’ will be abandoned and where the options to ‘Optimise for clicks’, ‘Optimise for conversions’ and ‘Rotate evenly are being used by campaigns, there will be automatic change to the new ‘Optimise’ setting.

Regardless of how campaigns set their ad rotation settings for their smart bidding strategies like Enhanced CPC, target CPA or target ROAS, their ad rotation will automatically be set to ‘Optimise’ as a result of Google’s new decision. In addition, advertisers can easily control their new ad rotation settings at the campaign level and at the ad group level as well.

The Impact of the Changes on Advertisers

Besides the major effect being forcing search marketers to stay on top of their testing schedules if they aren’t already, the announced changes to AdWords rotation will affect many advertisers using the usual ad rotation and bidding strategies.

This means if your campaigns currently make use of either the ‘Rotate evenly’ or ‘Optimise for conversions ad rotation setting’ you will notice the new changes in your account sometime in late September. Campaigns employing smart bidding strategies such as target CPA, enhanced CPC or target ROAS bidding strategies are not left out either.

Although some advertisers would naturally not be inclined to trust Google to optimise their ad rotation, you can reasonably expect to see positive performance n CTR and CPA from making the change.

Preparing for Changes in Ad Rotation Settings

There’s nothing to be done in advance since the transition will automatically occur in late September. Still, it is advisable to pay close attention to your accounts in order to see how they respond to said changes.

Advertisers presently making use of the ‘Rotate evenly’ option should work to finish up current ad tests and possibly migrate to an optimise setting before the ad rotation change takes place to get the most out of ad tests in the future. A smart bidding strategy is a better option for advertisers currently using the ‘Optimise for conversions’ setting in order to optimise their bids in real time auctions.

On a final note, if you are dissatisfied with the proposed changes to be made to your account, you can always choose the ‘Do Not Optimise’ ad rotation so that your ads are rotated evenly into each search auction.

AdWords Announces Upcoming Changes to Enhanced CPC Bidding

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In the middle of May, Google announced that AdWords will start rolling out changes to enhanced CPC bidding (eCPC) beginning in early June. Advertisers logging into the AdWords interface would likely have seen the notification indicating these changes.

Background of eCPC bidding

AdWords presents advertisers with various bidding strategies to use to achieve their aims. While advertisers can decide to bid for a target CPA, bid for a target location on the SERP, pay for display ads, or pay for video views, majority of advertisers choose to depend on cost-per-click CPC bidding.

Advertisers’ accounts easily grow in complexity and size, and with this growth, it becomes difficult to manage a rapidly growing load of audiences, demographics, keywords, and bid adjustments in campaigns. It is for this reason that Google introduced eCPC in 2010, rolling out a major change in the way cost-per-click (CPC) bidding works. By introducing eCPC bidding, they were able to take some load off the shoulders of advertisers.

The change allowed Google to dynamically adjust advertisers’ bids within a range of 30% if the AdWords algorithm believed a click was likely to lead to a conversion. Since it was introduced, eCPC bidding was used for new campaigns as the default bidding strategy, which in turn gave Google more control over bids.

What do the new changes mean?

Adwords eCPC Update
This is the official word from Google on the eCPC update.

Before the new changes, the eCPC automatic bidding strategy would increase an advertiser’s keywords bids by up to 30% if the AdWords algorithm noticed a click which may be more likely to convert. When automatically adjusting bids, the algorithm would take into account the time of day, users’ location, device, and browser, and before those, any manual bid adjustment.

With the new adjustments to eCPC, Google will be removing the 30% cap, aiming to help advertisers to gain more conversions. The new changes will not adjust bids based on device, and advertisers who have no conversion stats and those with strict CPC KPIs need to watch out.

While it is possible that advertisers will pay more than their maximum CPC for one click in eCPC bidding, Google says it will try to keep average CPC under maximum CPC bids. With the 30% cap removed, Google may become forceful in making automatic bid adjustments.

Also, Google may adjust advertisers’ bids for different demographics, similar audiences, and remarketing audiences. Regarding bids for different locations, if Google’s AdWords algorithms find local markets with higher conversion rates, your bids for that location will automatically be adjusted.

For advertisers using eCPC with excellent results, it is recommended to test for some time and see how the new changes affect conversion rate, average CPC, and impression share.

A Comprehensive Checklist for Your SEO Audit

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An SEO audit is important for any website seeking to increase traffic. Thorough website audits are helpful for planning future strategies relating to keywords and creating more effective content. If you are planning an SEO audit for your website, you need to follow our comprehensive checklist to ensure nothing is left out during the process.

What Should an SEO Audit Cover?

Attention should be given to five main areas in order to complete a successful SEO audit.

Technical Analysis

For your website to be listed, it needs to be able to be identified and indexed by search engines. When checking SEO, focus on the following:

  • Analysis of how duplicate content is being identified.
  • Sitemap validation using XML sitemaps which make available information for search engines such as last updates, page hierarchy and public pages to be crawled.
  • Assessment of site speed and studying the load time, which is critical.
  • Analysis of backlinks i.e. the links leading into your site. Links coming in from poor quality sites or unrelated sites where your niche is concerned can harm your SEO.

Review Page Design

This includes evaluating ease of use, CTAs, overall design, and inter-page connection for a seamless flow on the website. This component is important in an SEO audit because it makes search engines able to make sense of your content. It also increases your chances of getting found by visitors.

Usability Audit

This involves measuring how easy your users find it to make use of your site, and to navigate to the information they seek. Incorporate the following into your usability checks on your website:

Relevant internal linking –internal links on from one page to another on your site is a great idea for reducing bounce rate and maintain the interest of visitors. During an SEO audit, make sure your pages are not overly saturated with links, and that the links present are not optimized over the top, which is unadvisable in SEO practice.

Easy navigation – the goal is for visitors to be able to find what they are looking for. There is no right or wrong way to present a site structure as long as the important features and information are easy to locate.

Semantic mark-up – with semantic mark-up, search engines are better able to index your site more accurately, creating rich snippets which users make use of to locate information that interests them.

Analyse Site Content

SEO requires organised and well-written content. Industry or brand-specific content that is focused on providing value to site users attracts more users and higher rankings. During SEO audit, assessment of content should be based on consistency and value.

On-Page Audit

On-page SEO factors to consider include title tags, Meta descriptions, and headers and sub-headers. Ignoring these could make you miss out on the opportunities a comprehensive SEO audit offers.