Bing Ads Solution for Conversion Tracking With Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention

Apple made a change to its Intelligent Tracking Prevention which essentially allows marketers to track users via third party cookies for only 24 hours from the time of their visit to an advertiser’s website using Safari browser. After the expiration of 24 hours, these cookies are only good for supporting logins to an app or page. At the end of a month, the cookies are completely purged.

What this meant for advertisers?

For advertisers, Apple’s ITP means that unless a visitor converts within 24 hours of visiting their website (like clicking on an ad for instance), the conversion tracking is lost. As a result of this, advertisers will lose a means of keeping track of ad conversion. This new feature can adversely affect Bing ads reporting, which is why Microsoft is encouraging advertisers to take advantage of the update to Bing’s conversion tracking.

Bing’s solution

Bing announced its solution, a new Google analytics cookie that would help maintain conversion tracking in Safari. Some advertisers may have seen a notification in their Bing ad account requesting that they enable auto-tagging of Click ID which will allow for conversion tracking. Enabling this checkbox will automatically use Microsoft Click ID to tag destination URLs. This can be set under URL options in the shared library section under account level in your Bing ads account.

Bing ads make use of a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag to control conversion tracking. When this tag is placed on advertisers sites, it records what users do on these sites, from when they click on an ad including any other action they take. What Bing is doing is creating a workaround in line with Apple’s guidance on working round ad attribution which allows for server side storage for features of ad impressions.

When advertisers enable auto-tagging for MSCLIKID or Microsoft Click ID, the following process takes place:

  • The Bing ads’ UET tag will place a cookie called _uetmsclkid on the advertiser’s website to record the unique click ID that brought the visitor to the website after he or she clicked on an ad.
  • Bing ads can now connect the conversion from any user back to the ads that assisted in the conversion via the click ID.
  • It will then set up a session ID cookie that will assist in improving the accuracy of the conversion tracking. (This feature is set to happen by default and has nothing to do with auto tagging)

For most advertisers who already have auto tagging enabled for some other purpose, this solution is already working. But for others, it will start working as soon as they enable auto tagging. It is also enabled at default when new conversion goals are created. However, this fix doesn’t address how retargeting works after 24 hours, it currently only works for tracking conversion attribution.

Fact Checking Google’s Reintroduction to Featured Snippets

Sometimes, on search results page, you will find a short description at the top of the result. This short description is known as Google featured snippet. Snippets help searchers decide if a particular result is relevant to the search they are making.

Google featured snippets have gone through several evolutions over the years and will continue to do so, as it significantly affects search engine optimisation for websites all over. This helpful ‘zero position’ search result was reintroduced by Danny Sullivan in his very first blog post as Google’s new public liaison for search. He gave a lot of insight into how the feature has been developed and the improvements it provides to users.

Here are a few facts about the Google’s Reintroduced Featured Snippets

Featured snippet useful for mobile and voice search

In today’s digital society, a large percentage of search queries are done on mobile devices. Featured snippets make it possible for search users to get relevant answers fast. When you make a query using your Smartphone’s Google assistant, you will typically get a featured snippet reply and source quote.

A lot of improvement went into this section as Google included update to the Search Quality Rater Guidelines that provides more information on websites so as to avoid featuring misleading information and unsupported theories. These guidelines updates will ensure that the results that appear in Google featured snippets are authentic and trustworthy.

Video snippets introduced

Google featured snippets are not just for written content. Google recently introduced featured video snippets which features suggested videos that match a particular search query. Users now have the option of seeing a video that answers the questions they are asking rather reading the plain old boring texts. For example, a suggested video clip for “how to braid hair” will come in handy for users searching for information on how to braid hair. This visual demonstration will definitely be more useful than a regular step by step demonstration.

Multiple featured snippets

Another new improvement to Google’s featured snippets is the introduction of multiple featured snippets. This allows users to select location based featured snippets or results answering the same question but from a different perspective. Showing up more than one snippet per search can be helpful when users want to get answers on the same query but in different ways, they can then choose the answer that best fits what they want without having to leave the search results page.

What Google featured snippets mean for brands

Google is working seriously hard to provide a better search engine experience for users, and the featured snippets are just one of the methods to make this happen. As this feature becomes more prominent in Google SERP, the conventional single results system may become ineffective. Brands need to revisit their SEO strategies in order to create content that allow for featured snippets. This is not just useful in providing relevant results to users; it also helps in pushing traffic to the publishers and brands.

Top Technical SEO Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has become the basis for which many websites are updated today. This is because before a prospective customer buys a particular product or gets a service, they tend to search on Google to find information about it. As a web operator, you wouldn’t want to spend hours or days producing massive content for your site, only for it not to rank high or not be found at all by internet users.

In the course of optimising your web page, is it possible that you have made some errors with or without knowing and it has caused more harm than good to your SEO? Are there ways one can prevent them and not get penalised by search engines like Google? To help answer your questions, here are the top technical SEO mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Not using Analytics properly

When you create the best content and the design of your page allows for responsiveness, readability and provides relevant information, traffic will definitely grow on the site. However, the influx of internet users on your page isn’t all you should focus on. You need to make use of analytics to know what converts. In fact, you get more converts whilwni the traffic is lower because the prospects are carefully going through your content and navigating with smoothly. Therefore, use the analytics of your site or any other relevant metrics in measuring the success of your digital marketing campaign. It helps you to strategize better.

When you don’t use ALT-Tags for images

In a research, it was stated that the likelihood of a person reading a particular post or article is increased by an 80% when the visuals are colourful. These days, the use of images to boost user experience has become important in improving SEO. It makes your site more aesthetically pleasing and keeps the reader engaged. Therefore, when uploading images on your page, use alternative text tags to make it easy for users to find the information they seek. An image with no link should have these ALT tags so that web crawlers and internet users can access any information they seek about the image. The tags also make your site rank high in search engine results, boosts SEO and makes it for people to access the website in general.

Getting the right links

Getting links to your page from other sites is really a good way of making you an authority. However, Google and other search engines focus more on how relevant, less spam-looking and trustworthy the contents are. It’s wrong for you to buy a link, as you can get severely penalised. Also note that it’s better to have your site naturally linked within content than it lying beneath or beside a site. But there are ways to avoid all these. Build links via social media. Ensure that your content can be shared on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest. This generates leads, drives traffic to your site and further boosts your online presence.

Broken links that lead to a 404 error can also be a problem. Just endeavour to audit your website and keep it up to date.

Work Habits & Resources for the Stressed-Out PPC Manager

PPC management is no joke. It can get extremely stressful and put your head in a spin. The stress can even go as far as affecting your work, especially your organisation as a PPC manager. You can choose to take a break and relax, but then work only continues to pile up, and let’s face it, some accounts need real-time management.

As a PPC manager, you’re not superhuman but are expected to pull off superhuman tasks and beat superhuman deadlines even on your random bad days. This need calls for more than your PPC analytic tools, your prowess at identifying killer keywords, making bids, and facilitating ad campaigns. You’re human and there’s a need to manage your time efficiently, organise your personal work process, and stick to a schedule if you’re going to successfully pull off those superhuman stunts.

Here are some guidelines, work habits and resources that can help you beat those steep odds and reduce the stress you incure on you as a PPC manager.

  1. Keep a strict schedule and stick to it

Always setup a schedule for the day’s work with detail on what to do and how to do it. You can go at it the smart way with apps that can remind you of your next job and everything you’re about to do. Great resources for this include todoist and Wunderlist. With these tools you can happily free you’re up memory and focus on your tasks and when it’s time for your next job, you get notified. You can also assign, track, and set new jobs and tasks for your team using apps like wunderlist.

  1. Take lots of notes

Remember, you’re human. You can get forgetful at times, and that’s okay. But where it’ll be unforgivable, is where that forgetfulness costs you an account. That being said, it’s vital to keep notes of accounts details, strategies, client budget, client location, campaign particulars, and so much more.

Sure the human brain is a giant storage unit, but accessing somethings at certain times can be difficult. So using notes is ideal. If you’re not the old school type that would like to scribble with ink and sheet, then there are amazing tools such as Microsoft OneNote and EverNote that you can use.

  1. Nudge yourself by setting marks and challenges

We humans are a competitive lot and you can use that trait to your advantage. While you work on tasks, you can tell yourself that you’re beating a mark, setting a record, or you can simply promise yourself a bar of chocolate (or a favourite something) if you beat a deadline. This way, you can speed things up. There are also apps for this effect. They include Write or Die, an app that makes horrid noises when you stop to write; and Habitica, an app that rewards you with a new pixellated sword for every task you complete from your to-do list.

  1. Work within a friendly environment

Your environment can cause disruptions in your work flow. So keep things organised and optimum as much as you can. If there are elements that can draw away your attention, take them away and those that can help you concentrate, include them.

Conclusion

Your work habits go a long way in saving you time and saving you from stress. The PPC business doesn’t need to suck up your entire you-time and stress you out at while at it. Go at things the right way, work efficiently, and nothing will stop work from getting more fun.

These Two New Bing Updates Will Make Your Work Easier

With a constant inflow of demand for services, getting an easy way out can be a lifesaver. I am sure you also want to find an easy yet effective way to getting results. Earlier this month, Bing introduced few updates on its blog post that enhances their SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for slicker and more fun entertainment search. However, two additional updates were also launched for easier workflow.

Let’s jump into these workflow updates, shall we?

Bing Ads Overview Tab

If you are an online marketer making decisions all day on campaign ads or an on-the-go marketer going through search campaigns at intervals, taking a step backward to see a big pictorial view of the performance of your account can be handy. Imagine having this handy tool and being able to tweak and customise the tab to display solely the campaign elements that interest you.

This Overview tab is found on the main campaign page. According to Haily De La Cruz, a Program Manager at Microsoft and Bing Ads, the overview tab gives you a “bird’s eye view of performance”. This implies that you get a wholesome, high-level and detailed view of your account performance. Cool right?

The layout and design interface is completely user-friendly, giving users the ability to remove, resise or hide any tile from the three-dotted icon at the top right-hand corner. A simple drag and drop will do the trick. It also features user’s ability to apply metrics and campaign filtering to the overview page.

This means that instead of going in and out of workspace or search results, you now have everything on one page hence saving you the precious time of looking for a page or result because you know exactly where to find it.

Connecting Accounts with Bing’s Multi-Linking

Whether managing multiple accounts in Bing Ads as an advertiser or assisting a wealth of clients as an agency, Elizabeth Johnson (a Programme Manager on Bing Ads Platform) says that the Multi-linking update makes linking and managing accounts easier and more efficient. She further explained that in Bing Ads multi-account capabilities, Multi-linking is in its first phase, hence other updates will be released for better and optimal results.

Multi-Linking Will Let You:

  1. Take Over-Billing anytime: customers linked to any account don’t have to pause their accounts anymore before taking the responsibility of over-billing.
  2. Link Accounts to Any Customer: the ‘becomes an agency’ button is now irrelevant. This means you can simply link any client to an account hence saving time and energy.
  3. Control Amount of Customers Linked to Your Account: you can both link and unlink up to five managing accounts from yours.

As amazing as this sounds there are other ways in which you can take advantage of this feature:

  • Transition clients between Agencies
  • Reports run across managed accounts
  • One customer shell billing information management.

Brix Saxman, a production specialist at PPCHero informs us that Multi-linking doesn’t permit account unlinking by originating account from the entity.

Although Multi-linking is in its first phase, more than enough new features have been introduced to get you started on easy ads workflow and with the announcements being released earlier this month, hopefully, we should be up and running with these updates released in few weeks or days.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Testing Your AMP Pages

The AMP Project is an open-source initiative from Google; currently live in 12 countries with a goal to create online Ads and websites that are beautiful, consistently fast and high performing across PC, mobile and distribution platforms.

Mobile users spend long periods on their phone and they won’t waste time navigating a page that loads slowly or isn’t mobile friendly. Google’s AMP taps into technical components of the open-source to promote ease of use for online readers and page loading speed.

The program isn’t meant for every page but for article publishers who want their readers to view their content quickly. Every article is viewed with a stripped-down HTML standard page that limits features like JavaScript, a core program for web forms.

This guide provides different testing options for your AMP page

  • Test your AMP setup

After setting up your AMP URL, it’s important you check that its working well or Google won’t show them in search results.  Visit this link and enter your URL. Run tests and watch for the outcome. If it shows a green banner with “Valid AMP page”, your page is eligible for AMP search features in Google search results.

  • Developer Console

This option is for those using Google Chrome browser ONLY.

  • Open AMP page in your chrome browser and append “#development=1” with the URL

For example,http://carolineskitchen.com/tasty-kung-pao-chicken/amp/#development=1

  • Next, check for validation errors in the Chrome Development Tools console tab. Errors will be displayedin HTML format or it will show “AMP validation successful”.
  • AMP validator

Go to AMP project validator page and past your AMP URL, click validate and the tool will flag all errors in HTML format. Alternatively, download the AMP validator extension for Chrome and the plugin runs a through check on each page of your site for AMP validation. When the checks are complete, the tool turns green for pass and red for fail.

  • Submit essential AMP URLs for indexing

Once you’ve validated the page, use the submit to Google button if you’re using Google search Console. Another method is to log in to your Google search console account and submit the URL directly through Google search results. Some errors you might have missed in the development phase will come out when Google spiders crawl and index your site.

  • Troubleshoot errors in Google Search Console

The console offers an ideal platform to manage your AMP pages in one place. Simply log in to your account-search appearance-accelerated mobile pages. You will be able to see the number of Accelerated Mobiles Pages that have critical issues or those that have been indexed. If there are any errors, you can troubleshoot them using the previous step

Conclusion

Once you’ve completed these steps, run your standard mobile and AMP pages with WebPageTest to compare results. The AMP page will load almost twice as fast as the standard mobile page. In the near future, speed will become a mobile ranking factor so take advantage now before your mobile traffic suffers.

How to Use Facebook Page Insights like an Expert

Knowing the profile of your target audience as a business owner is crucial to the success of your online marketing activities. Facebook insights are a powerful tool for marketers who want to track and analyze user interaction on their Facebook Fan Page.

With Facebook Insights, you’ll know the best day of the week to post, the best time of the day and the type of content popular with your target audience. The tool is constantly updated to show patterns and developments as they form so you must constantly check them to stay in the loop.

Here a step by guide to help you use Facebook Page Insights like a pro.

How to access Facebook Insight

Once you’ve reached 30 followers on your Facebook page, you can access your analytics. Go to your business page, on the top left corner, you’ll see the icon “insights”, click it to view information such as page views, post engagement, reach, actions on page, number of friends of fans and total number of likes.

Features of Facebook Insights you should use

The first thing you’ll see when you open Facebook Insights analytics tool is the Overview dashboard. There are many areas of interest on the left side such as posts, promotions, people, events, messages and likes among others.

  • Promotions

You can boost post that are performing well to get more exposure for them and pick a budget for your boost, choose your target audience and set the length of time for the boost to run.

  • Likes

On the likes section, you see important data about your fans such as location, age group and location. If you have more female fans situated in a particular town, you can create ads and content according to those specific demographics. It also helps you build personas for your target audience, which is essential for highly converting landing pages.

  • Videos

The Facebook Video Analytics shows your total video views and lists them in order of top views and videos people watched for 10 secs or more.

  • Reach

Your content isn’t successful if it’s not reaching your fans. This section helps you identify how much of your content reaches your fans if people are sharing your page or talking about your page.

  • Page Views

This is where you know the number of people visiting your page and the areas they viewed such as posts, photos, the about area or another part of your page. It helps you determine the success of your SEO and digital marketing strategies. Data from this page should guide your boosted posts and the target audience you choose.

Conclusion

Facebook Insights helps you understand your Facebook Page unique metrics for a better online marketing campaign. You can use it to maximize promotion for your next event, pick the best time to post when it will be most viewed by your target audience and learn how to make your content better for your fans.

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.