Saturday, February 17, 2018

Weekend Favs February 17

Weekend Favs February 17 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Dribbble – Dribbble is where designers get inspired and hired.
  • Storyline – There’s no way to create Amazon Alexa skills unless you’re a good engineer. Storyline makes it easy with a visual drag-n-drop interface.
  • EngageBay – A simple, integrated, affordable, all-in-one marketing platform for small businesses.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape



from Duct Tape Marketing https://www.ducttapemarketing.com/dribbble-storyline-engagebay/
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Friday, February 16, 2018

New AdWords Remarketing Features in WordStream Advisor Are Here!

Hi there, my name is Rachael. As part of the Product Marketing team of two here at WordStream, I am happy to share my first post to this blog with you! Sharing ways we are enhancing your online advertising experience is what I’m here for, so in the future you can expect to read more product updates like this from me. Now onto the latest and greatest in product news...

Our customers rely on our software to manage all their online advertising campaigns, while providing them with a seamless and streamlined workflow to put time back in their day and save them money along the way.

To add to the cross-platform capabilities Advisor already supports, search (for AdWords and Bing) and social (Facebook and Instagram), we are happy to announce NEW capabilities to support remarketing with AdWords.

With the power of remarketing in AdWords, WordStream Advisor users can now stay connected with their target audience, beyond direct website interaction and emails. Plus, remarketing ads have much higher engagement (both click-through rates and conversion rates) than typical display ads – bonus!

So how exactly does WordStream help? Let’s break that down…

WordStream Supported Display Campaign Types

The intuitive workflow of the Advisor platform enables you to easily create and manage AdWords remarketing campaigns with a simple step-by-step process to cut out the clutter and target the audiences you want to reach. Now in Advisor, you can create Display campaigns with existing remarketing lists to target website visitors, customer email lists, and “similar to” lists.

wordstream advisor remarketing

By creating display remarketing campaigns, you are able to show enticing visual ads to your recent website visitors or customer lists even as they browse other parts of the web, thus gaining brand exposure, raising trust, and becoming more recognizable to your target audience.

And if that doesn’t get you excited to jump on the display remarketing wagon, these types of campaigns can dramatically increase your conversion rates and ROI, since past site visitors who are already familiar with your brand are much more likely to become customers or complete other valuable actions on your site.

Smart Ads for Responsive Display Ad Creation

Building creative assets for use on the Google Display Network is complicated, time-consuming and – if you opt to hire someone – expensive! But now, you can become your own creative manager without opening a design application or hiring out.

By combining machine-learning with your website and Facebook business pages, Advisor’s Smart Ads suite automatically turns your existing images into agency-caliber creative to produce appealing and attractive responsive display ads.

wordstream smart ads for display ad creation

With the functionality to pre-populate and auto-crop images from your website or Facebook Business page, you no longer need to create specific ads for all display sizes. All your existing creative is at your fingertips to pick and choose from to create ads you can be proud of.

Centralized Place for your Targeting Efforts

With cross-platform capabilities, Advisor allows you to manage all your advertising campaigns in one place for quick access and a comprehensive view of your online advertising efforts.

This means that you can edit your AdWords remarketing targeting and exclusion lists on one page, and within two clicks, change the age range for a Facebook remarketing campaign. Or, you can see where all your spend is going per platform and adjust your budget between AdWords, Facebook and Bing, to get the most out of your advertising dollars.

wordstream remarketing cross platform capabilities

Between the Performance Dashboard which offers an overall view of your spend, conversions, CPA, clicks, and CPC per platform, and the customizable, auto-generated Cross-Platform Success Reports, you are sure not to miss a metric or key insight for all of your accounts.

Getting Started with the New Remarketing Features

WordStream customers: Make sure you’ve added the AdWords remarketing pixel to your website so that visitors can get added to your AdWords remarketing audiences through browser cookies, then simply log-in to Advisor to get started!

While in the “Manage” section, you can access the “Campaigns” Tab to create and manage new Display Campaigns, or review your current targeting efforts in the new “Targeting” tab.

new wordstream remarketing features

Not using Advisor yet? Start a free trial and take these AdWords remarketing features for a test drive.

More to Come

Check back often as we will continue to enhance our AdWords remarketing and Display Network capabilities in the coming months. In the meantime…

Whether you are trying to decide if display remarketing is right for you or looking for a single software solution to help you manage all your online advertising needs, the WordStream experts are here to help. We LIKE giving demos! Contact us here to set one up.

Do you have product ideas and feedback? Send them to ProductFeedback@wordstream.com!



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/02/16/remarketing-features
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Thursday, February 15, 2018

5 Simple But Effective Visual Marketing Tools

There are so many visual marketing tools out there that it is turning what used to be a rather arduous task into a simple process anyone can do in half the time. No one has a single excuse for why they aren’t implementing visuals of all kinds into they social media and website content. It is just so easy these days, and it takes hardly any effort at all.

But not all tools are made the same, and some processes such as making videos are still very labor intensive. What I wanted to focus on here are those applications that don’t require much work, yet provide fun results.

Here are five simple but effective visual marketing tools for image specific formats.


1. Quotes Cover

Quotes Cover

Quotes Cover is an interesting tool. You are making simple visual representations of famous or personal quotes. You can add photos to the background, change the color, select a font and customize the size. It is available for different styles like Timeline covers, status image uploads, and even print like posters.

All you have to do is either select one of the quotes they have in their large database or put in your own custom one. Then follow the steps to make everything look just the way you want it. Finally, download the image for free and use it for whatever you like. People love text quotes, especially on sites like Pinterest, so this is a great one for sharable visuals.

Marketing idea: Viral marketing with quotes


2. Loupe

Loupe

Loupe lets you create a card or collage using any photos you select. They will be shaped into a picture of your choice, such as a tulip or heart made up of all the images you have chosen to include. They have some pretty creative options, like a woman jumping in the air, or a cupid and heart.

The more photos you use, the more complex the shape can be. You can also make a card using your mouth to write the message. Feeling a little playful? Try their Where’s Waldo style photo hunt game. It is more addictive than you might expect.

More: Creating Photo Collages


3. Social Media Image Re-sizer

Social Media Image Re-sizer

Social Media Image Re-sizer allows you to customize your own creative Timeline cover for Facebook. This is great for making personalized headers for your official brand page.

You will be able to really stand out, no matter what you end up choosing to go with. Just drag and drop, that is all there is to it.


4. PicMonkey

PicMonkey

PicMonkey lets you make a simple collage using your own images, sample images or pictures you find online. Arrange them using their pre-made templates, add colors, edit and add text, put in tags and more. Then save, download and share them with others through social networks.

This one is so easy to use, and the end results actually look pretty good. You could make up a series of these in minutes and have them on hand to share when you need a bit of eye candy to boost your content.


5. Piktochart

Piktochart

Infographics are really being used a lot these days, and that isn’t a shock given how much they offer by way of both visuals and information. You can create your own, as well as presentations, interactive charts and videos using Piktochart.

Check out the ones already published to the site by the community for inspiration, and make something really dynamic and attractive, even if you have no graphic design skills to speak of.

Marketing idea: How to promote infographics


Conclusion

Further reading:


Visual marketing isn’t just the way of the future, it is what is being used today. Users online expect to be dazzled, or at least to have more than straight text.

You can give them what they want while engaging on a more meaningful level using the simple tools above. It takes less time than doing it all manually, and it is all free.

Have some tools to add to the list? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to include a link!

The post 5 Simple But Effective Visual Marketing Tools appeared first on Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog.



from Internet Marketing Ninjas Blog https://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/blog/content/5-simple-effective-visual-marketing-tools/
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How Will Chrome’s New Ad Blocker Impact Your Ads?

The short version: it won’t!

On February 15th, Google is set to launch a more robust ad filter for Chrome. Its goal is simple: to scrub the web of interstitial riff raff and other invasive advertising experiences. Now, advertisers have stared down the barrel of the almighty ad blocker before (and most lived to tell the tale), but this is the first ad blocker baked directly into the most popular browser on the planet.

chrome is the most popular browser in the world 

Per Statista

It would appear that the primary purpose of this fright-inducing new feature is to combat and eradicate poor mobile browsing experiences. This aligns with other recent Google innovations, like, say, the AMP Stories we talked about earlier in the week and the so-called Speed Update.

Here’s what the new Chrome ad filter is actually going to do (and how it’s going to do it).

Why is Google Releasing an Ad Filter for Chrome?

Per Google, “While most advertising on the web is respectful of user experience, over the years we've increasingly heard from our users that some advertising can be particularly intrusive.” While third-party tools have been banging this drum for a minute now, Google’s finally decided to work its own solution directly into its browser. Google’s blog post on the new ad filter update goes on to state that, more often than not, the problems stem from issues with ad delivery on third-party sites, not the advertisements (and by extension, the advertisers) themselves.

the coalition for better ads 

Google’s shiny new ad blocker is a product of some extensive research conducted by the Coalition for Better Ads (an altruistic watchdog group that combats heinous browsing experiences), specifically, a survey that polled 40,000 internet users and inquired as to which advertisements they felt most impeded their ability to do everything from online shopping to to inhaling spicy takes.

As you can imagine, the Coalition’s research revealed that distracting flash-animated banner ads, autoplaying video pop-ups, and those absolutely dreadful full-page monstrosities that make browsing completely impossible are some of the greatest offenders. That being said, there are plenty of other culprits that the filter will work to root out.

 bad desktop ad experience 

How Will Chrome’s Ad Blocker Work?

This is a bit over my head, but here’s my understanding of it...

Chrome’s ad blocker is all about pattern matching. There isn’t a little dude in a bunker checking out pages in search of awful browsing experiences. Instead, the filter cross-references websites against a list of sites known to fail the Better Ad Standards.

 google chrome ad filter

A site’s inclusion on the list is determined by an evaluation process. Sample pages are reviewed and, depending on the number of violations uncovered, the site is assigned a status: Pass, Warning, or Fail.

If a site’s on the list, the filter digs into images and JavaScript on the page a searcher has navigated to in an attempt to detect “ad-related URL patterns.” If there’s a match, Chrome hits the ads on said page with a big stiff arm to the chin and sends the searcher on her merry way, free to browse obstruction-free.

For those browsing on a desktop, ad block notifications will look as they currently do on Chrome; if you’re using an Android device, you’ll see a message bar at the bottom of your browser that looks something like this:

 chrome ad blocker mobile display

Let’s take a closer look at the types of ads that Google has deemed problematic.

Ad Blocker: Desktop Edition

In keeping with the general theme of mobile centricity (from mobile-first rankings to page speed updates designed to improve site experience on hand-held devices), it makes complete sense that Chrome’s new ad blocker doesn’t do much to kill bad ads on desktop.

 desktop ad formats blocked by chrome's ad filter

That being said, the Coalition for Better Ads has identified the following desktop ad experiences as problematic:

  • Pop-Up Ads
  • Auto-Playing Video with Sound
  • Prestitial Ads with Countdown
  • Large Sticky Ads

If you’ve ever had the unfortunate luck to come across one of these suckers, you know how annoying they are. I’m particularly stoked that large, sticky ads have been deemed too disruptive to exist; you can click out of a pop-up, but without an ad blocker there’s no way to escape a big stupid bar that follows you as you read.

Thanks, Google!

Ad Blocker: Mobile Edition

And now for the piece de resistance...

 mobile ad formats blocked by chrome ad filter

As you can see in the diagram above, Google’s focus on cleaning up the mobile browsing experience is glaring. The ad formats that the Coalition for Better Ads and Google deem bothersome enough to block on mobile devices moving forward are as follows:

  • Pop-Up Ads
  • Prestitial Ads
  • Ad Density Higher than 30%
  • Flashing Animated Ads
  • Auto-Playing Video Ads with Sound
  • Postitial Ads with Countdown
  • Full-Screen Scrollover Ads
  • Large Sticky Ads

Outside of preroll/midroll video ads, inoffensive banner creative, native ads, advertorials, and, of course, search ads, sites that host ads will now be pretty restricted in their ability to serve up valuable on-screen real estate to paying customers.

Will Chrome’s Ad Blocker Impact Your Paid Search & Social Advertising?

…Nah!

Chrome’s ad blocker will not interrupt your paid search advertising in the slightest (unless Google’s willing to call a handful of ads on a mobile SERP 30% saturation. Somehow, I don’t see that happening). If you’re prospecting or remarketing on the Display Network, it’s possible that your ads will be blocked due to issues with your placements; a site serving too many ads via AdSense could very well be penalized, but you won’t be forced to pay for their indiscretion.

This is due to the fact that Google has not made its own network exempt from the pattern-scanning that underpins Chrome’s ad blocker. It’s also worth noting that, at this time, there’s no way for you to view a potential ad placement's pass/warning/fail status and use that information to exclude non-compliant sites.

Now, if you use AdSense to generate revenue on your site by hosting Display ads, you’re going to want to ensure that you don’t have banners all over the screen (particularly on mobile devices).

In terms of other ads you might be running on your website (those you sell privately or are affiliated with another programmatic network), you can use the new and improved Google Search Console to view your site’s Ad Experience Report. If you’ve got beef, you can hit Google with a request for a re-review. Provided you remedy what Chrome has deemed non-compliant, you should be fine to run ads moving forward.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/02/15/chrome-ad-blocker
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4 SEO Survival Tips for the Voice Search Revolution

Voice search isn’t a fad, and if you haven’t yet incorporated it into your 2018 SEO strategy, then you need to. Now.

optimizing for voice search seo

In 2017, there were 33 million voice search devices in circulation, with 40% of adults using them every day. In fact, Google’s voice search tool received 35 times more search queries in 2016 compared to when it launched in 2008.

Now with Siri, Google Assistant and Cortana, any smartphone user can physically ask their phone a question. This has also extended to the home, with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home cropping up in houses across the world.

ComScore has predicted that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be via voice; and 30% of searches will take place without a screen.

So, what does this mean for SEO? Here, we’ll take a look at four ways you can optimise your website to help you rank highly for voice searches.

1. Aim for Featured Snippets

voice search seo featured snippets

Google Home and Google Assistant currently read out featured snippets when they answer voice search queries, so it makes sense that you aim for the elusive “position zero”.

Whilst there is no definitive answer as to how you gain that top spot, plenty of research has been undertaken to figure out how. The below works pretty well as a set of guidelines, and is worth bearing in mind when writing your content:

  • Answer Specific Questions: Use Answer the Public to find common questions on your chosen subject, and use that as a basis to create your copy. Include the question as an H2, and answer it in the body text directly below.
  • Answer Questions Concisely: You don’t want to use a load of jargon that people won’t understand. Google wants to feature the best answer, so make sure yours is clear and easily digestible. Answers in the form of lists have fared particularly well in featured snippets.
  • Write Engaging and Interesting Copy: 99.58% of featured snippets come from a page that ranks in the top 10. It goes without saying you should already be ensuring your page is well-optimised: your content should be engaging, your meta data optimised, and your internal and external link building game strong.

Remember: voice search queries will be more conversational than written queries. Make sure this is reflected in your tone of voice, to help you climb the rankings.

2. Perfect Your Local SEO

39% of voice search users are looking for business information; so it’s never been a more important time to optimise your local SEO.

local seo for voice search

Ensure your Google My Business Page is up to date, with the correct address, contact details and opening hours listed.

After all, if a user is asking “where’s my nearest hairdresser”, you want to ensure you’re in the top position (provided of course, you’re actually a hairdresser!).

Similarly, if a user is asking what time your store shuts, you want to make sure the correct information is provided, otherwise they’ll be misinformed, and you could miss out on a sale.

Other ways to optimize for local searches include building your online reviews and using structured data markup (Schema).

3. Improve Your Site Speed

page speed for voice search seo

Voice search is almost exclusively used on mobile, and it goes without saying that your website should be mobile-optimised. If it’s not, then users will simply bounce back, which will harm your rankings. A page that takes five seconds to load is 90% more likely to suffer from bounce backs, compared to a page that loads in just one second.

Google found that bounce rates on mobile are 9.56% higher than on desktops. Mobile users – and especially those using voice search – are likely to be on-the-go, and won’t have time to hang about.

Not sure if your mobile website is up to scratch? Try out Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see if it’s deemed acceptable.

From there, you can check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights, which will provide you with advice on how to make your mobile site faster.

4. Get Inside the Minds of Searchers

Google has mentioned that it’s looking at including voice search data in Search Console, with the idea being that these searches will be separated from keyboard queries, much like desktop and mobile search data is currently separated.

The issue with this – and why it hasn’t been implemented sooner – is because voice searches are naturally longer tail search queries, due to the conversational nature of speaking out loud. Therefore, the volume of each specific query is likely to be so low that Search Console automatically excludes them.

There hasn’t been a specific announcement or deadline set for this, but it’s certainly one to watch out for. Once launched, you’ll be able to see which voice search queries are driving traffic to your pages, enabling you to optimise your site and climb the rankings further.

voice search trends data

Via KCPB

In 2018, you really can’t afford to discount the power of voice search. The market is set to be worth $601 million by 2019; and if you don’t start to optimise your website now, you’ll be missing out on a lot of traffic in the long term.

Looking for more advanced tips? Check out WordStream’s in-depth guide to optimizing for voice search.

About the author

Elle Pollicott is an Owned Media Executive at digital marketing agency Hallam Internet. She graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSc(Hons) in Management & Marketing of Fashion Textiles in July 2014. Elle has over three years’ experience in digital marketing, having worked in a range of industries including fashion, travel and finance.



from Wordstream Blog Feed http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2018/02/15/voice-search-seo
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