I logged in to our Google AdWords account one day to find that my keywords were no longer where I expected them to be. Apparently, some of our pay-per-click (PPC) ad accounts had magically been migrated over to the shiny new AdWords interface that has been rolling out over this past year. Frustrated, I found myself looking for the hidden exit door that would transport me back to the safety and comfort of the old, familiar interface with which I’d become intimately acquainted over the years.
I actually had to pause for a moment and talk myself down. Is change really so bad? Might I (gasp!) actually like the new platform? Find value in its new functionality? Experience improved efficiency? Learn something new? Or maybe even remind myself of the value in adapting to change in life in general?
This new look and feel is taking some getting used to. And I admit that there have been a handful of times when I have jumped back over to the old interface to check off a quick hit on my list of to-dos in the name of efficiency or to complete a task not yet available in the new interface. But by and large, despite the ability to revert back, I’m trying hard to push through the uncomfortableness that comes with change and just roll with it, recognizing that change can very well be a good thing.
So, if you’re feeling a bit curious about what’s on the other side, don’t be afraid to click that little “Try the New AdWords” button at the bottom of your screen. You might just find that you like it (and you can still find your way back if you don’t – at least for now).
Should social media be a space for branding/thought leadership or a function of your sales team?
We work with clients on this issue often and the short answer is that social media, when done correctly, should do both. On one side, organizations shouldn’t (or can’t afford to) blindly pass on an opportunity to generate sales or action through a channel where opportunity exists.
Or using it to build trust and credibility?On the other hand, social media isn’t simply “another sales channel.”
On the other hand, social media isn’t simply “another sales channel.”
We (and many others) have made the comparison often: social media should be treated like a cocktail party or networking event. If you walked up to everyone you met at an event, told them what you do, why they should work with you, hand them a business card and walk away, you wouldn’t be making a great impression on anyone. The better approach is to engage with those you’re talking with and actually build rapport and credibility.
Onefold Denver restaurant owner, Mark Nery, is a regular critic of his online critics (Photo: Instagram)
Consider your audience’s response.
That’s a cardinal rule for consumer brands when developing digital content. But does the same now go for consumers aiming to critique these brands online?
In an age in which critics have become brands unto themselves, that notion is certainly an interesting one. And one of my favorite Denver restaurants provides a captivating case study.
If you’re a brunch junkie, you’ve done yourself a disservice if you haven’t been to Onefold in Denver, a quaint spot that artfully weaves comfort foods of the Asian, French and Mexican persuasions. That is to say, there’s always a line out the door and it’s highly likely you’ll be dining amidst a sea of chambray and skinny jeans.
“Five years ago, you could do SEO in your sleep. Now, you have to actually be awake.” – Bruce Clay
Mobile-first index, AMP, PWAs, featured snippets, chatbots, voice search, virtual assistants… The world of SEO is changing – and changing fast. There were 1,623 Google algorithm changes in the past year alone. That’s an average of four to five updates per day.
I had a blast learning about some of these current and upcoming changes while attending the SMX Advanced conference in Seattle this week. Three days of back-to-back sessions – chock full of nothing but search, search, search. I even joked on day two that there was some hidden meaning in the fact that several of us had to search long and hard to find not only a place to sit to eat our hot lunches, but also to find silverware with which to eat them.
By the end of day three I walked away better equipped to serve GroundFloor Media’s and CenterTable’s clients and excited to for what’s to come. This conference packed quite a punch for those who work (or play) in the search marketing world – and certainly left me wanting more. But like all good things, SMX had to come to an end (until the next one anyway). Here are a few of the many takeaways from the conference:
Top Ranking Factors and Algorithm Updates
Top ranking factors in 2017 include more content, more images and faster speeds – and, obviously, mobile/responsiveness.
The more content you have, the better your chances of ranking well. Recommended page length varies by topic, ranging from 800-2,700 words per page. The most tolerated paragraph length for a user is two to three sentences.
Focus on getting one really good backlink rather than 10 mediocre ones. And buying links on large article sites (think Forbes) are a waste of resources from an SEO perspective.
Speed is crucial: 53 percent of people will bounce out of a webpage if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
You don’t necessarily need to have a high authority website or use schema to get a featured snippet. And if you’re in position six, it can be easier to get to position zero than position one.
Mobile is Huge
60 percent of searches are conducted on mobile devices and 50 percent of website traffic comes from users on mobile devices. This trend is rapidly growing.
The Mobile-First Index is coming – although likely not until sometime in 2018. We need to be preparing now and responsive design is the preferred approach, otherwise you’ve got lots of work to do to get ready for the switch.
People research spontaneously on mobile so it’s a huge lost opportunity if you’re not there when they need you. However, people typically don’t complete their research or buy/convert on mobile. Desktop still matters!
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) seem to be preferred over AMP. But you can apply AMP coding standards to your website to increase its speed.
The Latest in Local Search
Citations (which are online references to your business’s name, address and phone number) are the ante to play in the local SEO game. Once you’re in the game, they don’t make a big difference.
Although proximity is a huge factor in local search, it is not the only factor. You have to have at least decent onsite SEO in place to even make the cut to appear in the local pack. Once you make that cut, Google will then order listings by proximity.
Schema markup is essential for SEO success in local businesses and eCommerce sites for that matter.
Lastly, these quotes I overheard throughout the week really put SEO into perspective for us:
SEO is not something you do. It’s what happens when you have done everything else right.
Make your website so good that Google feels embarrassed if they’re NOT showing it in search results.
Building a website without SEO is like building a house without the wiring.
Over optimization is like putting on too much makeup. At some point, you don’t like it.
Buyer behaviorists have for a long time relied on the traditional consumer journey funnel to describe how a potential customer starts with a set of brands and through a set of methodical steps, reduces the number of brands down to a small number to make a purchase. The following funnel visually indicates the typical consumer journey: Read more after the jump…
Capitalizing on in-person opportunities as well as digital opportunities brings us Back to the Future.
Last week we hosted our sixth South by Southwest Interactive “Denver Download” – a chance for our clients and partners who attended the SXSWi conference in March to share the knowledge they gained with other clients, partners and colleagues back here in Denver. This year’s panel consisted of Comcast’s Cindy Parsons (who hosted one of the festival’s on-site social media lounges), Sukle’s Dan Schultz, Children Hospital Colorado’s Elizabeth Whitehead and yours truly. Below is a recap of common themes that were discussed during the event – all relevant concepts to look to as evolving trends in digital marketing in 2017.
Knowing your audience (and segmenting your messaging and marketing plan accordingly) is more important than ever.
Gone are the days of distributing one message to as many people as possible through digital channels. With so many social media and digital marketing platforms, combined with the fact that it’s not “solely Millennials” using Instagram or “only older people” using Facebook, it’s more important than ever to create specific audience personas and speak directly to each one of them with tailored content and messaging. Read more after the jump…
You may have been using website pixels and email lists to create custom audiences for Facebook advertising for a while now but did you know that you can drastically increase your match rate by using multiple identifiers beyond just their email address?
Gather up your customer data and see how robust of a Facebook audience you can create and then use them as an advertising group who is familiar, and likely to engage with, your messages.
Description and formatting guidelines
We accept up to 3 separate email address columns in US and international formats.
Phone numbers must include a country code to be used for matching. For example, a 1 must precede a phone number in the United States. We accept up to 3 phone numbers as separate columns, with or without punctuation.
Important: Always include the country code as part of your customer’s phone numbers, even if all of your data is from the same country.
+44 844 412 4653
We accept first name and first name initial, with or without accents. Initials can be provided with or without a period.
We accept full last names with or without accents.
We accept full city names as they normally appear.
We accept full names of US and international states and provinces, as well as the abbreviated versions of US states.
Country must be provided as an ISO two-letter country code.
Important: Always include your customers’ countries in their own column in your file, even if all of your data is from the same country. Because we match on a global scale, this simple step helps us match as many people as possible from your customer list.
Date of Birth
We support 18 different date formats to accommodate a range of month, day and year combinations, with or without punctuation.
Year of Birth
We accept year of birth as a 4- digit number, YYYY.
We accept age as a numerical value.
We accept US and international zip and postal codes. US zip codes may include a 4-digit extension as long as they are separated by a hyphen. The extention is not required and will not further improve match rate.
We accept an initial to indicate gender.
Mobile Advertiser ID
We support 2 types of mobile advertiser IDs: Android’s Advertising ID (AAID), which Google provides as part of Android advertising, and Apple’s Advertising Identifier (IDFA), which Apple provides as part of iOS in its ads framework.
Facebook App User ID
An ID corresponding to someone who uses an app that can be retrieved through the Facebook SDK. We support numerical user IDs associated with your facebook application.
The fourth day of South by: When sleep deprivation and too many creative thoughts in your head from the previous three days starts to cloud everything. But the sun came out today and we had an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are our top takeaways from Monday at SXSW 2017:
I attended a wide variety of sessions today, the first being “Blending Leadership: Online and Offline,” where presenter Reshan Richards reviewed six pillars of leadership traits from his book. From a professional development standpoint, the main takeaway for me was, “Once you’ve become more efficient and find yourself with an extra 30 minutes or hour in your day, be intentional about how you fill that time. Don’t cram it with busy work. Rather, spend it on something you’d hoped to do from an aspirational standpoint.”
The buzz and anxiety of the first sessions at South by Southwest (SXSW) are palpable. And its easy to see some of the broader themes of SXSW 2017 rise to the surface: leadership in times of adversity, using the technologies we have at our fingertips to solve everyday problems and the rise of chatbots were some of the front runners. Here are our highlights from Friday at SXSW: Read more after the jump…
Welcome to the data visualization dating game! Hi, I’m Adrienne and I’m new around here. I like engaging social media posts, long creative sessions and most especially thoughtful incorporation of data before and after campaigns. My ideal date doesn’t just take a dip in the data pool, he jumps off the high dive and into the deep end. After his swim, he keeps only the necessary, glistening, shining drops of important, actionable data points.
As my major data crush Avinash Kaushik would say, getting drunk on data and providing “data pukes” is totally unnecessary, not to mention classless and a total turn off. What he means by that is having data is great, but dumping a bucket of it onto a page doesn’t answer the two most important questions data exists to answer – “So what”? And, “So that?” Why is this graph important to your business and what is it telling you to DO!?