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Best Sites with Free Images for Blogs (High Quality and Without Login)

Posted by on Dec 11, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Best Sites with Free Images for Blogs (High Quality and Without Login)

Free Images for Blogs

If you are looking for free images to use in your blogs that are copyright free, then this post is for you. We did our research and found the best high-quality sites with free stock photos you can use in your blog posts.

In this post, you’ll also learn how free stock photo websites work, how to use Google image search to find images you can use without attribution and how to properly optimize your images for best SEO results.

What you should know about Free Stock Photos Websites

When you search Google for “Free Images” or “Free Stock Photos”, you’ll get hundreds of websites offering free images available for immediate download.

Once you start visiting these sites, you’ll notice that most of the free images are the same on all sites!

This is happening because most of the ‘free sites’ are using APIs of large paid sites (like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock, DepositPhotos, etc) to display both free and paid images in their results. Their ultimate goal is to redirect users to the premium websites and get a commission every time a new user is registered for a paid plan.

While there is nothing wrong with that, if you want to download images for free (that are licensed under creative commons public domain or CCO), you should be careful not to click on a premium image that requires payment.

All the sites listed below clearly identify which images are 100% free and which are paid, and this minimizes the risk of clicking on an image that is not free. I suggest you bookmark this page and revisit it when searching for visual content to use in your articles or pages.

Best Sites that Offer Free Images for Blogs

These are the top sites to download high-quality royalty-free stock photos for your next blog post.

  1. Pixabay
  2. Unsplash
  3. Free Images
  4. Pexels
  5. Canva
  6. PicJumbo
  7. Reshot
  8. Foodiesfeed
  9. Foca
  10. ISO Republic

1. Pixabay

pixabay
Download Free Images on Pixabay

Pixabay has one of the best collections of free images and videos you can use on your blogs, social posts or even for commercial purposes without permission.

You can search and download any image without having to log in or create an account.

Images are available in 4 sizes: 4000×2667, 1920×1280, 1280×853, 640×426.

Get Free Images

2. Unsplash

unsplash
Download Free Stock Photos on Unsplash

Another resource for high-resolution photos is Unsplash. Their license states that all photos can be used for free (for personal or commercial use), without asking permission or providing credit to the photographer.

Downloading an image does not require to login or create an account but images come in only one dimension (as displayed on their website).

Get Free Images

3. Free Images

freeimages

As expected, all images downloaded from freeimages.com are free to use for editorial and commercial use.

The difference between this site and unsplash or pixabay is that in case you use an image in a blog post or other editorial content, you need to include credit attribution as described here.

It does not require a link back to the site but a mention of the artist’s name either in the photo or in the credits section.

Get Free Images

4. Pexels

pexels
Get Free Stock Photos from Pexels

One of the free stock photography websites that I use regularly is Pexels. I found that they have a very nice collection of images suitable for digital marketing topics.

A great feature of Pexels that is not found on other sites is the ability to resize the image to a custom size before downloading.

Also, you can download images without creating an account and they are free to use without attribution.

Get Free Images

5. Canva

canva
Download Copyright Free Images from Canva

Canva is an online graphic design tool. I use Canva regularly to create graphics and other types of visual content for my blog posts.

Besides the graphic design features, Canva has a beautiful collection of copyright-free images that you can download and use in your content.

Their image search functionality is much better than the other websites and you can filter the results to show only images that are 100% free.

PRO TIP: Canva is fetching free images from a number of websites so if you want to find out all free images about a topic or keyword, you can use canva and get all the results without having to visit each site separately.

Get Free Images

6. PicJumbo

PicJumbo
PicJumbo

Picjumbo is a free stock photo site since 2013. All images are free to use without requiring attribution.

New images are added on a daily basis and you get them in your email by subscribing to their newsletter.

All images are available in high definition but there is no option to resize or download the images in different formats.

Get Free Images

7. Reshot

Reshot
Reshot

Reshot’s slogan is “Uniquely free photos. Handpicked, non-stocky images” and while this is true, their search functionality is not so efficient.

They have some nice and unique images on the site but to find them you may have to use a combination of keywords in your search.

Get Free Images

8. Foodiesfeed

Foodies Feed
Foodies Feed

If you are looking for free images for your food or nutrition blog, then this is the website to visit first.

Foodiesfeed has beautiful high-quality images of various foods, which can be downloaded instantly from the site without login.

All images are licensed using the Creative Commons Zero (CCO) license which means you can use it in any way you want without attribution.

Get Free Images

9. Foca

Foca Stock
Foca Stock

The nice thing about FOCA is the clutter-free interface. You can easily use the site without having to browse through ads or annoying popups.

In addition, they have search filters to narrow down your results based on orientation, color, and type of visual content.

Get Free Images

10. ISO Republic

ISO Republic
ISO Republic

Their motto is “Thousands of Free High-Resolution CC0 Photos and Videos” and it’s true.

ISO republic has a nice collection of royalty-free images and videos and they also have a blog with nice photography tips.

Get Free Images

Another way to find free images without visiting individual sites is to use Google Image Search.

When you search for images on Google, by default it displays both copyrighted and copyrighted-free images. If you want to find free photos to use for personal or commercial use without providing credit, then you need to use the ‘usage rights’ filter.

Here is how it works.

Go to Google Images and search for an image

Click TOOLS and select LABELED FOR REUSE under the USAGE RIGHTS.

Find Copyright Free Images on Google
Find Copyright Free Images on Google

What you see now it’s images that can be used without violating any copyright rights.

Find Free Images on Google

Best Practices for using images in your blog posts

I’ve mentioned many times that images are good for blogs. They make content easier to read and they help in improving the visual appearance of a page.

In addition to that, you need to have at least one image within your content because:

It’s good for SEO – Several studies revealed that pages that rank in the top position of Google have at least one image within the post content.

You need images for social media purposes – If you want to share your content on social media, you need to have at least one image so that it looks good on the different networks.

The negative aspect of having a lot of images in your content is that they slow down a page, especially on mobile devices.

Follow the best practices below to eliminate the negative effects of using images in your content.

Image Best Practices

Resize the image to the large size you will use

When you download a high-resolution image the actual size (width and height) is usually more than the biggest size you’ll need.  So, before uploading to your site, use a tool (like Pixelmator or Photoshop) to resize it to the max size you need and export it for the web. This will dramatically reduce the file size (in MB) for the image.

If you are using WordPress make sure that responsive images are enabled

This is a feature of WordPress where it automatically resizes and serves the right size image depending on the device and screen resolutions. It is enabled by default on WordPress but double check in case your theme has responsive images disabled.

Compress image file size

Besides resizing the images to the right size, you can also use tools like imageoptim or imagecompressor to compress images. These tools can reduce the file size of an image considerably without affecting the quality.

Consider hiding images on mobile

On mobile devices, every byte matters so consider hiding images that are not important for the content (like background images). This will make your mobile pages smaller in size and faster to load.

Use LazyLoading

Lazy Loading is a feature that instructs the browser not to fetch an image until it is needed. This helps a lot in making pages load faster. Google has a plugin for that as well. I’m using wp-rocket and has this feature built-in.

Optimize your images for SEO

Image SEO is the practice of making your images available to search engines in a way they can understand.

The most important SEO element for images is the ALT TEXT so make sure that you provide for a meaningful alt text for each and every image you use in your content.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that some of the images are common to a number of sites, free stock photography sites are useful for designers, developers, digital marketers, and bloggers.

Use them as the starting point of finding the perfect photos for your blog posts. In many cases, you can find what you want for free. If you want to access paid images, I suggest you go with a service like Canva that offers millions of images and a graphic design tool at an affordable price.

The post Best Sites with Free Images for Blogs (High Quality and Without Login) appeared first on reliablesoft.net.

How to create PPC reports people will actually read

Posted by on Dec 10, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to create PPC reports people will actually read

I used to have a love/hate relationship with reporting. 

I loved it because data was the sweet nectar we all need to achieve better growth. Reporting allowed us to collect it, ready to take action. Plus, there was something oddly satisfying about seeing what you had physically achieved.

On the flip side, I hated reporting because it took so much time and effort.  In fact, statistically, reporting is actually the second biggest time sink for PPC managers. This isn’t surprising. (If you’re curious, keyword research was in first place. We’ve already covered how you’re wasting your time on keyword research here).

After pouring so much time into reporting, those reports were ignored. Clients didn’t care or understand. So what was the point?

But then I discovered a better way and started making reports that people actually wanted to read in a fraction of the time. You can do the same and stop hating your reporting by doing one simple thing. 

Stop overcomplicating it. 

Yeah, a groundbreaking statement there. If you read our work on easier PPC management, you’ll see that this is a common theme. 

But don’t worry, I’m not going to give you some inspirational yet impractical quote and leave you to go on your way. This isn’t that type of article. 

A data happy wonderland

Over complication of reporting comes down to two key areas: 

  1. The data you’re using in the reports. 
  2. How you are creating your reports. 

We’re about to get into the first one. 

Some reports look like Willy Wonka and the data factory. There are metrics everywhere you look! Which isn’t all that helpful. 

Make your reports simpler by selecting the data that matters. But that is easier said than done. You need to show the full picture of what’s going on, however not every campaign can be judged by the same metrics. 

So what do you do? 

Who is reading this? 

Take a step back. Who is this report going to? 

Putting yourself in the shoes of who is reading the reports will help narrow down the actual metrics that you need to use. If it’s going to a small business owner who just wants to know if the campaigns are worth it, make sure you show them the conversions and ROAS. 

If it’s going to a marketing manager who is intent on building brand awareness, show them the impressions and clicks. 

In addition, explain things to them. Tell them what these metrics mean and why they’re important – in terms that they will understand. Rather than giving people a sheet of numbers, give them value, information and context. 

This will help ensure that your reports aren’t just read, but that they’re used. 

The exact content you need will depend on who they’re going out to. These are people you will know better than us. 

If you’re not sure – ask them. Find out the most important aspect they check and what reports are actually useful for them. There’s no point building reports for the sake of them. If they want something particular, build that and move on. 

Ah. That’s much simpler. 

Step back from the vanity metrics

Vanity metrics are those that serve no purpose other than to boost your ego and make things look good. But they don’t actually deliver any actionable value and should not be included in your reports. 

They are a colossal waste of time. 

Metrics like time on site are a great example of this. If users are spending more time on your landing page, this metric might be included in your report for a boost. But this doesn’t actually show anything. Whether someone spends 2 seconds or 4 hours on your landing page doesn’t matter – the only thing that does is taking action. 

Most of this is about context though. 

If you’re trying to increase sales of a new product you’ve launched, you shouldn’t be looking at ad impressions. It delivers nothing valuable other than an odd “neat!” exclamation. 

So what if 5,000 people have seen the ad? Tell me how many people have bought the product. 

That’s what matters. And this is what your reports should be made from. 

Right, that’s data covered. Now let’s talk about how you’re actually building these reports. 

Let go of the Excel sheet reports 

There’s a time and a place for Excel. And I think as long as PPC lives, there will be a use for it. 

I never want to make another Excel report again. Time-consuming isn’t even the word. It’s fiddly. It’s ugly and it’s practically unreadable to anyone that isn’t an Excel wizard themselves. 

But we don’t live in the dark ages anymore. There are plenty of programs and tools that you can use that are far quicker and easier on the eyes. They also might make it more accurate too, as according to Adverity, 90% of all spreadsheets contain errors. 

In fact, a quick Google search has brought up dozens of options, including Sisense, Reporting Ninja, Agency Analytics and Swydo. And of course, our own platform, Adzooma. In my completely unbiased opinion, ours is obviously the best. 

The point is, it’s easy to find a tool that will work for you. Once you do, build templates. These will be the key to your success. 

Note how I used the plural here for templates. Like there’s no “one-size-fits-all” campaign, there’s not going to be one for your reports. Create templates that are for specific purposes or people so you can roll them out exactly when you need them with minimal effort. 

Get visual

By nature, we are visual creatures. That’s just who we are. It’s an instinct to seek out images – I’ll even bet that your eyes went to the images on this page before you read these words right?

Showing your data in a visual way is every marketer’s dream and increases the chances of your reports being read. A harsh but true fact there. 

But there’s a difference between useful visual representations of data – and useless time-consuming gimmicks that really don’t work. 

It has to fit the data and make it easy to understand. You know what this doesn’t apply to? Pie charts. There are almost no PPC metrics that fit nicely into a pie chart. And yet, so many people insist on using them for everything. 

I’m hoping the below image will highlight this well… 

All joking aside, picking the right graphs is a very important thing to consider. In an ideal world, every report could look fantastically engaging with professionally designed infographics. But that’s a lot of time and budget for something that isn’t needed. 

You need to simplify it. Which means simple, yet visual, ways of showing the data. Generally, line graphs are some of the best options, particularly if you’re showing changes over time. 

This is because you can easily see with your eyes what’s happening and follow a visual story of it moving through time. 

Simple. Easy to understand. Efficient. Don’t underestimate how simple graphs can uncomplicate your reporting. 

Get the AI to do it for you

Surprise, it’s another case of AI (Artificial Intelligence) saving the day. This is a recurring theme and will carry on until every business realizes that AI is an absolute necessity. 

Anyway, back to the point. 

AI is a time-saving miracle for reporting. Let me show you by guiding you through own reporting tool inside Adzooma

Here’s how it works. 

  1. You go to the reporting tab in the top corner.
  2. Click the ‘Create report’ button. 
  3. Add what elements you want, including text, images and even your own logo. 
  4. With the data, select the exact metrics you want, in the format you need. Whether it’s a table or a line graph, the data will auto-populate from your account, saving you the job of having to find it yourself. 
  5. Want to add a new page or change the layout? Just hit the buttons above. 
  6. And you’re done. 

Save and export them as needed. 

One of the best features? Once you’re done – your report will be saved as a template. 

So when you’re ready for a new one you just have to click it. That’s it. It will automatically update itself with the new data, ready for you to send off. That’s your reporting, done in seconds. Ready to stop overcomplicating your reporting? Try our powerful AI tools for free.

The post How to create PPC reports people will actually read appeared first on Search Engine Land.

How to Write Product Descriptions That Convert

Posted by on Dec 6, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on How to Write Product Descriptions That Convert

Looking for actionable information about how to write effective product descriptions?

You’ve come to the right place.

In this 4,000+ word product description guide, we’ll take a look at:

What Is A Product Description?

A product description is the most important, high-touch marketing copy that helps your website visitors understand whether a product is for them and will influence the outcome of their purchasing decision. This is the perfect opportunity for you to showcase who the product is for and who it isn’t by not only presenting features but also the benefits, in such a way that it will compel your ideal customers to make a purchase.

Sadly, product descriptions are often overlooked and kept very simple or stuffed with generic blocks of text that just describe a product and not only harm your reputation but also affect your website’s ability to rank for a particular keyword.

The great thing is you can do something about it.

While we can’t promise that this guide will help you write the perfect product description for your eCommerce website every single time or your clients’ eCommerce websites, it certainly the best place to start. The truth is that you’ll only learn by actually putting everything in this guide into practice – so make sure all your reading doesn’t go to waste.

The Step-by-Step Process of Writing A Great Product Description

Before we dive into some examples, let’s take a look at what we’ve learned by taking a look at some of the most successful eCommerce stores in the world.

1. Put Yourself in Your Ideal Buyer’s Position

If you would be on the fence, what would you want from a product description?

The best advice that anyone will be able to give you without knowing your situation or saying “it depends”, is to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself the following what would I want to know if I’ve never heard of [BRAND] and [PRODUCT]?

2. Focus on Benefits Not Features

Describing your product to your website visitors as if they’re already 100% sold and just want to know more about your product will not result in an effective product description.

Most, if not all, won’t be certain that they need your product once they land on a sales page so you need to make use of the product description as an opportunity to showcase why people need your products, by presenting benefits, not features.

Features:

  • Noise Removal
  • Chatbot integration
  • Built-in pockets

Benefits:

  • Speak without the noise – be heard by call participants. Remove all background noise.
  • Automatically responds to your customers’ questions (and actually sounds like a real human)
  • Safely stores your phone, keys, and credit cards while you run

Notice the difference? Not only does talking about the benefits of a product make it easier for potential customers to see the value, but it’s also far less generic and boring than just listing everything that’s included with your product. Although being fully transparent about what’s included should always be a priority, so sacrificing that is not an option.

3. Use Social Proof to Your Advantage

If you were about to purchase a product, wouldn’t know that you’re in the good company put you at ease?

Never fake social proof. 

Not only is this highly unethical, but it’s also extremely unprofessional. If you don’t have people happily using your products, don’t mislead people into purchasing them by making it look like you do.

If people haven’t given you direct feedback in the form of testimonials there are still alternative ways to improve the credibility of your product pages. One of which is the popular “as seen on” or “already with us” section that is common on a lot of websites.

You’ve seen it before, almost every website has it.

Knowing you’re in good hands makes you comfortable.

rank-math-homepage-social-proof

The use of social proof on the Rank Math homepage

No surprises here, the lemlist homepage also has it.

lemlist-homepage-social-proof

The use of social proof on the Lemlist homepage

And so do thousands of other successful, highly-converting websites.

kali-forms-social-proof

The use of social proof on the Kali Forms pricing page.

contentking-social-proof

And one final example of social proof on the ContentKing pricing page.

Another slightly different approach is case studies. No, I’m not talking about the kind of SEO case studies you’ll find here on Gotch SEO. To support and add to your product descriptions being able to showcase how you’ve been able to help current customers, just like Servebolt does is another great, and perhaps even more effective, way of incorporating social proof on your website.

servebolt-mythemeshop-case-study

As for how this ties into product descriptions, I would personally recommend writing a small outtake that includes all of the most important information for each case study. This will allow you to link to the full case study for those who want to learn a lot more about exactly what you did and how it was helpful.

4. Make Your Product Description Easy-to-Follow

Don’t make it hard for your customers to find what really matters to them and make it easier for them to see what you really want them to.

While the content of your product description is important, on its own, it can’t make a huge impact if your page layout makes information hard to read and hard to find.

Poor product pages that likely can’t be considered helpful will have blocks of text, no images and information that hasn’t been arranged in any logical way. Of course, ensuring that your product description’s content is fairly good, but ensuring that it’s structured and organized well is equally important.

5. Leverage Product Data To Acquire Rich Snippets

amazon-review-rich-snippet

As we’ll look at later on in this post. Amazon makes use of structured data –often referred to as Schema markup – to display additional information in search. This can be extremely effective in some cases because it helps your website stand out among the others – increasing the chances that a searcher will click on your result.

rank-math-schema-markup

The Rank Math WordPress SEO plugin is the perfect way to do this. The good news is that whether you’re using their full suite of SEO tools for your WordPress websites or not, you can still leverage their WooCommerce SEO functionality in combination with any other SEO plugin.

If your eCommerce website uses WooCommerce, which is a highly flexible platform for creating complex stores and have installed Rank Math, just head to your product page.

woocommerce-product-page

And then click edit on the specific product that you’d like to edit and scroll down to the meta box and click Rich Snippet. This will then let you enable the Product Rich Snippet to show searchers additional information without them clicking through to your website.

woocommerce-seo-product-snippet-rank-math

Disclosure: I do work with Rank Math but am an avid user of their plugin – and recommended their tools – long before doing anything together.

6. Use Language That Sells: Power Words Not Keywords

While keyword stuffing used to work well on Google back in 2011, (thankfully) those days are over. Google has gotten a lot better at understanding what users actually want (search intent) and catching out people who are trying to game the system.

Here’s what you should focus on instead.

dollar-shave-club-copy-example

Nope, it’s not time to go and shave. This is a screenshot of one of the examples that we’re going to be taking a look at later. They use power words to evoke emotions and develop a connection between their potential customers and their product.

This is the time to let your product shine, don’t just paint the picture by telling a descriptive story, use powerful, convincing and specific words so your customers will understand exactly how good your product is.

7. Use Great Product Images

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t easy to do for physical products especially if you’re on a budget. The good news is that if you’re selling digital products and courses, producing aesthetic and appealing images isn’t actually that difficult. There are so many pieces of photo editing software to choose from and the key is keeping designs simple.

Physical products, on the other hand, are a completely different story. The example of Dollar Shave Club that we’re going to look at later on is a great example.

You want your images to be true to life and realistic but you also want them to look good enough to be on your website. 

product-images-example

How difficult producing images like this really depends on what the product actually is. In any case, images should:

  • Be visually appealing (in terms of color and angle)
  • Be realistic (set reasonable expectations)
  • Be high-resolution – this not only looks more professional but also makes it easier for potential customers to zoom in and see minor details before purchasing
  • Capture the important aspects of your product (effectively portray sizes)

One creative example of this for a clothing brand would be to have the model try all various sizes of a t-shirt or hoodie so that the customers can see how the fit varies as this will help them make a better choice for themselves.

  • Bonus: Templates To Help You Write Better Product Descriptions

Obviously, I must preface the examples below with the fact that they’ve been written for a very general and non-specific course and follow the templates almost exactly. The truth is that you shouldn’t need a template to follow word-for-word, but these are great guidelines when you have no idea where to start and what to include.

Template #1: The “Ideal You” Template

Have you ___________________________? (struggle)

Learn to _______________ (key takeaway to overcome struggle)

without _______________ (pain and/or challenge).

(Product name) ______________

is ______________ (product benefits).

Example:

Have you struggled to grow your SEO agency? Learn how to turn complicated processes into easy, repeatable tasks that you can outsource and scale. Make agency life enjoyable.

Template #2: The “Perfect For” Template

Perfect for ___________________________ (ideal situation),

these _______________ (product name)

can be/will _______________ (tell a quick story).

(Product name) ______________

are ______________ (top features)

to _______________ (product benefits).

No more _____________________ (pain and/or challenge).

Example:

Perfect for stressed-out agency owners, these SOPs will make processes repetitive and easy to outsource. Our in-depth SEO training was built for people just like you with the potential to scale their agency beyond just themselves.

No more selling yourself short or just charging an hourly rate for your expertise.

Template 3: The “I’ve Been In Your Shoes” Template

I created _________________ (your product)

when I was ________________ (describe yourself before you created a solution)

and ______________________ (pain or frustration).

I wanted _____________________ (best case scenario).

That’s why I created _____________________ (product name)

with ___________________ (top features).

Now I _______________________ (product solution)

Example:

I created this in-depth SEO training course for people in the position I was two years ago. Not knowing what to outsource and where to begin. I wanted the ability to take days off without knowing that I’d be falling behind on client work. That’s why I created this set of SOPs to streamline and take the guesswork out of growing your agency. Now you never have to worry about creating your own SOPs for VAs and employees to follow and keeping everyone up-to-date anymore!

Product Description Examples

1. AppSumo

appsumo-product-description-example

AppSumo – originally founded back in March of 2010 by Noah Kagan – is a deals marketplace for digital products and online services. They are extremely well-known for offering lifetime deals on SaaS products or subscription products that you would typically have to pay for every month.

As you might’ve seen if you follow Nathan Gotch on Twitter (@nathangotch) which I highly recommend you do, you’ll know he isn’t a fan of fake scarcity and urgency.

 

The truth is, however, that AppSumo’s model doesn’t rely on fake scarcity because once a deal disappears, it really is gone unless the company decides that they’d like to resurface the deal for a second time. As you’d expect, this use of scarcity is effective. Just like Snapchat, where messages and images are ephemeral the concept just psychologically encourages action and faster purchases.

Urgency and scarcity are now widely used across marketing campaigns to increase engagement and boost conversions simply because it works. I personally (and I’m sure Nathan himself would agree) don’t like the general concept of overusing it and would carefully consider doing something with a client or on my own site that uses scarcity.

That being said, AppSumo is a different case, their business model of negotiating exclusive deals is successful and their website is also a great place to look for inspiration when writing your own product descriptions.

For the purposes of this breakdown, we’ll be taking a look at Krisp – a noise-canceling application that aims to make calling easier and more productive by removing background noise.

appsumo-krisp-example-product-description

In case this is the first time you’ve stumbled across AppSumo – their deal pages are always very conversational. They make use of creative headlines and tell stories that help customers understand when and why you’d need the product.

AppSumo’s Product Description Model:

  1. Set the scene, introduce (or re-introduce) the problem.
  2. Enter [PRODUCT NAME]

Sounds simple enough to replicate, right? Yes, but don’t forget that you still need to give customers all the information that they’re looking for.

So, as you scroll down, the page transitions into an easier-to-digest section that breaks down exactly what you get. This is the section that most people skip to and read.

appsumo-overview-skim-reading-section

And towards the end of the page it again reminds people what they’ll get when they purchase the product and how it helps them as well as diving deeper with a demo video and screenshots showcasing the interface.

2. Apple

apple-homepage

Apple obviously speaks for itself and needs no introduction.

They can also truly be considered a gold standard when it comes to eCommerce websites. Though keep in mind, Apple’s market share and authority in the industry also means that they don’t really need to go through a lot of the effort that your business and eCommerce website will need when it comes to building trust with potential buyers.

Just keep this in mind as we analyze the way that Apple’s product descriptions work – I really don’t want to say the infamous “it depends”, but I suppose it really does when it comes to looking at situations like Apple’s MacBook Pro line-up. Most people already know that they want to purchase the computer once they make it to the product page so it simply becomes a matter of comparing the different models and specifications with their respective prices to make a decision based on the buyer’s specific requirements.

This also contributes to the logic of having a reverse product description, where instead of being taken to a landing page, a user will see the information that is most important to them – also one of the easier decisions to make – the size of the computer you’d like to buy.

macbook-product-page-example

And only then further down on the page are you able to start comparing the base model that you’d like to purchase as is or then customize even further before buying.

product-page-customization-options

This makes sense for Apple, but in most cases won’t for you. Why? Well, easy:

  • Apple doesn’t need to convince you that their products are very well built. Everybody already knows this.
  • Apple doesn’t need to reassure people that their site is secure and people can enter their financial information.
  • Apple also doesn’t need social proof to encourage people to purchase their products.

 

3. Dollar Shave Club

dollar-shave-club-homepage

Dollar Shave Club is an American company based in Venice, California that sells razors and a sorted array of personal grooming products.

Simply put, they’ve got everything you need to look, feel and smell your best.

They’ve not only managed to build an incredibly successful business but also a website that now generates over 450,000 monthly visitors from search per month – with their brand keywords having search volumes that are far past the half a million mark.

ahrefs-dsc-search-volume

I’m sure you get it by now – enough with the introduction already, right?

The product pages and their respective descriptions on the Dollar Shave Club eCommerce website also serve as a great example of how to present a large amount of information in a way that is not only easily digestible but is also laid out in a way that is easy-to-remember and read quickly. All while still making the product interesting and not confusing or making information hard to find for website visitors so they stay on the page instead of bouncing elsewhere to find the information they’re looking for.

dollar-shave-club-website-personalization

So, without further ado – let’s break them down.

dsc-product-page-breakdown

  • Images Galore

The images on the Dollar Shave Club do a great job of showcasing their products in an extremely visually appealing way. As I mentioned earlier in the article, this isn’t easy to do if you are on a budget, however for some products you may be able to avoid the need to produce “real” images and can stick to using mockups as long as they are true to life and portray your product in an appropriate way.

product-description-page-important-elements

  • Just give me the price already

Don’t try to hide any crucial information (such as your product’s price) from people. Show this in an area that is above the fold or give them an easy way to jump further down on a page to the section that shows the breakdown of the price.

Price is inevitably going to be one of the main factors in someone’s decision to buy or not to buy your product so removing it or representing it in a way that makes it difficult for the user and results in bad user experience.

  • Evoke Emotion and Convey Quality with Power Words

Most SEOs writing product descriptions for eCommerce websites aren’t marketers or copywriters which often results in copy that doesn’t do your product justice. Here, I’m referring to the section in the image above labelled with the #3.

Butter up for an effortlessly gentle, delightfully smooth shave. 

Now, be honest with yourself – how does this to compare to:

Buy Our Shave Butter Now For A Better Shaving Experience

While the second one certainly isn’t the worst we’ve seen on the internet, it doesn’t actually describe your product, evoke emotion and help paint a picture in the potential customer’s mind.

*This is not an endorsement of Dollar Shave Club, I have not used their products and do not currently work with them so I cannot comment on the quality. However, given that they have formed a large part of this post, that might change soon 😉

  • Don’t just shove reasons people should get your product in their face – make them want it.

Here, I’m referring to the section in the image above labelled with the #4. Just underneath the introduction to the product that rolls of the tongue and develops an initial connection/interest with the product – people not only see what the product does on its own.

They see what the product can do for them as well as why and how.

Example #1: Helps reduce the occurrence of ingrown hairs

While this isn’t a particularly glamorous thing to talk about in this post, ingrown hairs are an apparent problem. The inclusion of this short bullet point perfectly portrays how the product can benefit people.

Example #2: Helps to fight razor bumps by providing a smoother shave

As for example #1, use your product description as an opportunity to present your product as a solution to your customers’ problem(s).

4. Amazon

amazon-dyson-product-page-example

What is Amazon? If only that question were easy to answer.

Amazon Inc. is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with, Apple (which we looked at earlier), Facebook and Google. They have multiple business models spanning across eCommerce, cloud computing, digital streaming, artificial intelligence and more.

amazon-serp-preview

There are a few things we notice solely from looking at this search result – mainly the fact that they use the review snippet to enhance their search results.

This has been proven to result in higher click-through rates, simply because it is more visually appealing and stands out from regular/standard search results. Since this is something really easy to configure for your product pages, I highly recommend trying it out using a plugin like Rank Math (the option I recommend) or another plugin dedicated to solely adding structured data like WP Schema which is another popular option.

In describing their product, Amazon also takes this opportunity to showcase other similar products. This can be really useful if you have a number of similar products but each may only be suitable for specific use cases or have certain extra benefits.

amazon-product-page-comparisons

It can also be one of your best opportunities to upsell people to a more expensive product or even order bump them to other products and extra add-ons that they may be interested in.

Aside from all of the profit-driven decisions, there are also other reasons to do this though which makes the entire experience more enjoyable for your customers. Seeing the product that someone is about to purchase compared to another similar product not only gives them the opportunity to make alternative choices but it also helps them reaffirm their decision.

Are you really leading them to make the best decision possible?

For the sake of your own product descriptions, this doesn’t only need to be in the form of a comparison to other similar products or that you offer, it may also be a great opportunity to show people how you stack up against your competitors. After all, for most companies and their products, the decision won’t always come down to choosing from one of their products. More often than not, people will be taking your competition into consideration so use this opportunity (since you already have the attention) to close the deal.

When doing these comparisons there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Do not hate on your competitors, give them the praise they deserve for the features that their product does have
  • Don’t lie – I sure know a few examples of people who flat-out use this as an opportunity to mislead people which they know aren’t going to do their research anyway.
  • Don’t go into so much detail that you lose people’s attention.

Although this is no easy feat, the key is to strike the right balance of SEO and UX. This means you shouldn’t making compromises that sacrifice the user’s experience.

5. Chain Reaction Cycles

chain-reaction-cycle-homepage

For our next example, we’ll be taking a look at Chain Reaction Cycles – an online retailer of cycling goods based in Northern Ireland.

The reason I chose this site is because it is a little bit of a different industry because the products they’re selling are just so different and certain information needs to be presented before cycling enthusiasts or professionals could even consider purchasing from them.

crc-product-description-example

While their website’s design is by no means the most modern out there, they do a great job of presenting technical information in a way that everything is still easy to find.

product-description-important-elements-chain-reaction-cycle

In the second, smaller box (above) labelled with the number two, you’ll see another easy way of incorporating social proof. While displaying reviews on your own site and adding logos in an “as seen on” section is also popular, it’s also easy to fake. Using the Trustpilot review badge makes their exceptional reputation even clearer to customers.

product-description-tabbed-section

Beyond this they also make it easy for customers to jump to other information to answer any questions and doubt they may have before purchasing the product right away.

While, the option to get in touch with support to ask questions should always remain in place, making useful information as easy as possible to access to remove as much friction as possible from the buying experience

Summary: Is Writing Effective Product Descriptions Difficult?

If you’ve been in the SEO industry long enough, you’ll agree that most SEO questions can be answered by really thinking through what it is that the user actually wants.

That’s exactly why this guide has been written to not only help you write better product descriptions for search engines, but also for potential customers. If you’re about to launch an eCommerce store and feel overwhelmed with the amount of small yet important things you need to remember and keep track of, you should read this eCommerce SEO checklist from ContentKing next.

What tips & advice would you share with someone looking to write more effective product descriptions?

Tweet @alexjpanagis or leave a comment below to join the conversation!!

New Google Search Console report checks site speed

Posted by on Dec 5, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on New Google Search Console report checks site speed

Google is rapidly expanding the capabilities of Search Console — its must-have tool for site owners/managers. Not too long ago it was a couple of new structured data reports and today we’re talking about an enhancement report dedicated to site speed. It’s important to have a fast site and Google’s new tool helps you monitor it and improve it. Here’s is a quick guide to its capabilities.

What is the Speed report in Google Search Console?

The new Speed report gives you an idea of how fast or slow your pages load over any given time. It gives you insights that were almost impossible to get up until now. Running page speed analysis on your complete site is not something the average user can do. Testing a couple of pages in PageSpeed Insights, fine, but 1,000 pages? The new Speed report in Google Search Console gives you an idea of how your site loads. It puts all pages in buckets conveniently labeled slow, moderate and fast. 

The new Speed report overview in Search Console (desktop view)

As you know, site speed has been a hot topic for quite a while. Google even declared it a ranking factor. The search engine is rolling out all sorts of initiatives to help visualize site speed and prioritize improvements, like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse. Sometimes, they do it quietly, but other times it’s a little bit over the top. Case in point: Chromes new “speed badge of shame”. It is one of the indicators in the Chrome browser that helps users understand why a site may be loading slower. In reality, this is more a not so subtle jab at site owners to do something about their slow sites.

Chrome’s upcoming slow site badge

This focus on site speed is understandable. Site speed is user experience and users expect fast. But in regards to all those pretty numbers and colors, it’s hard to know what to look for. But as our own SEO expert Jono Alderson loves to say: “Don’t optimize for scores — just make it faster.” Scores say a lot, but all that matters is the perception of speed by users. How quickly can you make your page feel ready?

What does the Speed report do?

The Speed report looks at the pages on your site, checks their loading speed in the Chrome User Experience report and puts these into buckets. There are mobile and desktop specific checks and these might differ. Due to hardware and network differences, it is harder to get a good score on mobile than it is on desktop. You’ll notice, though, that the same URLs are often troublesome both on mobile as well as desktop. They might load slightly faster due to changes in test setting, but they are a point of interest nonetheless.

Two specific reports help you analyze the different sources

While not the end-all tool for measuring site speed, the Speed report is a valuable addition to Search Console. It helps you find problematic URLs which you can check in PageSpeed Insights to get a deeper understanding — plus ways of fixing it. This way, you can keep an eye on all speed-related things, spot trends, make improvements and keep track of the results of those changes. 

Where does it get its metrics?

The cool thing about the Speed report is that it uses data from the Chrome UX Report. The Chrome UX Report is a public data set of real user experience data collected from millions of opted-in users and websites. This way, loads of data are collected — like connection type, type of device and much more — from real situations and used to give a better understanding of performance in the real world. This data is put to good use in several speed-oriented Google tools, like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse.

What should I look for?

When looking at site speed tools it is easy to focus on the wrong stuff. Many tools check site speed in particular circumstances, like a set location at one point in time. There’s not enough context to make a decision based on this data. That’s why our advice in this has always been for you to look at a multitude of site speed tools. Combined these will give you a better handle on the problem.

The Search Console Speed report has been built around two metrics: First Contentful Paint and First Input Delay. Here’s what these metrics mean:

  • FCP (first contentful paint): The first contentful paint happens when the first element of a requested page appears on the screen. This gives users the confirmation that the page is actually loading.
  • FID (first input delay): The first input delay is the time between the first interaction of a user with an element on the requested page and the reaction of the browser to that input. How quickly your page reacts to input is of utmost importance for it to appear fast and responsive.

The results lead to slow, moderate or fast pages. According to Google, the speed of a URL is the lowest speed assigned to it. So if a page has a slow FCP, but a moderate FID it is considered slow. If it has a fast FCP and a moderate FID, it is considered moderate.

These insights give you a good idea of how your pages are performing. As said before, you probably need to run a couple of more tests to get the full picture.

Further analysis on a per-URL basis in PageSpeed Insights

URL grouping

Instead of showing a gazillion URLs and the corresponding results, Google uses aggregate scores and URL groups to make the results slightly less intimidating. For any issue, you’ll see a number of URLs getting the same score or issue. So it might be that from a specific URL, 70 other URLs suffer from the same performance issues. That makes it easier to uncover issues on a grander scale because all these pages probably have the same problems. Of course, you can do a deep-dive and check individual pages by clicking on the URL list and picking a URL to analyze using PageSpeed Insights.

Grouping URLs with similar perfomance issues makes the report easier to digest

Aggregate scores

The same goes for scoring. Grouping makes it easier to digest the results. The Speed report in Search Console focuses mainly on FCP and FID, as mentioned above. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on PageSpeed Insights as well, as this has a multitude of other metrics, graphics of the loading process and suggestions to improve the results.

In the Speed report, the FCP and FID are calculated from all the visits to those particular pages. 

  • Aggregate FCP: The aggregate first content paint is the time it takes for 75% of the visits to a URL in the report to reach FCP.
  • Aggregate FID: The aggregate first interactive delay is the time it takes for 95% of the visits to that URL to respond to interactions on that page. 

The calculation of these scores continues to fluctuate due to outside influences. That’s why you might see the trend line go up and down.

The aggregate FCP is the point when 75% of visits to that URL get FCP

Fixing issues and validating fixes

The Speed report allows you to monitor your site for speed-related issues. It helps you find problems and prioritize their resolution. Once you or your developer have run through all the suggestions and improvements you can validate the fix. Google will then monitor the pages for 28 days to see if the issue is fixed for these URLs. 

Site speed resources

This post is not about telling you how to fix your site speed issues, but rather guiding you through the new Speed report that might give you the insights you need. To get practical, you can start here:

Last but not least, an incredible source of information: Jono’s slide deck on site speed from a talk at SMXL Milan.

The post New Google Search Console report checks site speed appeared first on Yoast.

An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans

Posted by on Nov 28, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans

Everyone talks about algorithm updates, but Google does a
whole lot more than adjust algorithms.

Some of the moves they are making are really going to impact
your marketing efforts.

So, what are these non-algorithm changes?

Well before I get into them, keep in mind that you aren’t
going to like some of them, and that’s ok. Instead, I want you to focus your
energy on how you can leverage these changes before your competition.

Let’s get started…

Change #1: Google executives are big on “ambient
computing”

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of ambient computing,
here’s a quick definition:

Ambient computing is a term that encompasses many different concepts. At its core, it is the combination of hardware, software, user experience, and machine/human interaction and learning, all of these things becoming the idea of using a computer or internet-enabled device, without necessarily consciously using it.

In other words, Google wants you to use them 24/7 no matter
where you are or what you are doing. They are doing this by integrating
products everywhere.

Whether it is Nest, Android devices, Chromebooks, smartwatches, Google Home, or anything else they can drum up.

Because their mission is to spread the usage of all Google
related products, it will eventually open up new ways for you to drive traffic
and monetize.

An obvious example is to create apps on mobile devices that
work on Android phones. Uber, Netflix, and Candy Crush are all examples of apps
that work on Android devices.

You already know about apps, but I bet you don’t have one.

To give you an idea of how well you can do with a mobile
app, there are roughly 2 million mobile
apps
, and there are over 13
billion mobile devices
.

Of course, a lot of those devices are old or in landfills. But still, there aren’t that many apps for how many mobile devices that exist. Especially when you consider that there are over 1,518,207,414 websites.

In other words, there are 759 times more websites than
apps, so consider creating one. 😉

If you don’t know how you can always use services like Build Fire.

And in addition to apps, you’ll need to start looking at generating traffic through all voice devices. Phones, watches, and even the smart home assistants that Google is creating leverage voice search.

Using tools like Jetson.ai
will help you create a voice version of your website so you can collect sales
and leads.

If you don’t think voice search is that important, 50% of searches are now voice-based.

Again, just like an app, I bet you don’t a voice search version of your website.

Question is, are you going to create one first or is your competition?

Change #2: Future generations are more likely to be
hooked on Google devices

Do you have a Chromebook? Chances are you
don’t.

But if you have kids, or nieces or nephews, ask them if they
have ever used a Chromebook.

Chromebooks are not only affordable, but they are taking
over the world, at least when it comes to millennials and generation z.

Just look at the percentages
of schools that use Chromebooks
.

In some countries like the United States, 60% of the schools
use Chromebooks.

That’s a ridiculously high percentage.

Apple has also been trying to penetrate classrooms, but they
haven’t been having the same success as Google.

All this means is that kids are going to grow up using
Google devices and fall into their ecosystem.

Sure, social sites like Instagram, Tiktok, or whatever else is new will always be popular, but the chances are these young kids will get to those sites using a Google device.

Even though Google isn’t as sexy as it once was, you shouldn’t
take it for granted. It’s not going anywhere, and future generations will
continue to leverage them. Just don’t drop your eye on Google and you’ll be
fine.

Change #3: Expect Google to buy someone big in the
ecommerce space

When you think of ecommerce, what name comes to mind?

I bet you are thinking of Amazon.

We all use Amazon and, of course, every major tech company wants a slice of the ecommerce market.

Even when I’m using a search engine to find something to
buy, I usually click on an Amazon listing because we all love their Prime
shipping feature.

Google’s been trying to take a piece of that market for years. From shopping actions to Google Shopping nothing has really been too effective.

As consumers, we are just trained to go to Amazon to buy stuff.

And if you aren’t going to Amazon, you are probably going to Walmart or one of their online stores that they own all around the world.

To make matters worse, Walmart has removed all of its products from Google Shopping.

Google hasn’t made any big ecommerce or commerce purchases in general but you can expect that to change.

They may decide to buy a grocery delivery company like Instacart, but knowing them, I believe they will stick with the software, just like most things that they are doing.

Expect them to go after Amazon by helping people create
their own ecommerce site. Whether it is through a Shopify
acquisition or Bigcommerce or any other
platform out there, they want to own the ecommerce market.

It’s going to be too tough to go head-on with Amazon, and that’s I think they will take a different route and go after a platform like Shopify.

If you are selling products online you should, of course, be on Amazon, but don’t rely on them. Make sure you have your own website and look to see what platform play Google makes as you may eventually want to consider moving over to whatever they buy.

Change #4: Google will dominate the hardware industry

And no, I don’t mean they are going to create something
better than an iPad or an iPhone.

Apple, at its core, is a hardware company and they are clearly the winner when it comes to producing amazing devices that we use. But there is a big issue with Apple devices and even Samsung devices.

They are expensive.

If you want to buy a brand new iPhone, expect to drop $699 for the lowest model.

Google, on the other hand, does have high-end devices, but they also try and produce affordable devices. They also let other manufacturers use their operating system for their phones.

Their goal isn’t to make the most money per phone. Their goal is to get everyone in the world using their hardware.

Why?

Because that means they are collecting more data and that allows them to generate the most amount of money from advertising because all of these devices drive people to their search engine that is filled with ads.

It’s a pretty smart move.

I highly recommend that you watch this…

They aren’t just using this strategy with their phones, they
are trying to make all of their products affordable. That way people all over
the world can afford them.

Because if you live in places like Brazil or India, Apple
devices are too expensive, which leads people to choose a Google device.

Less than 5% of the world lives in the United States… the money is in the global markets.

If you are debating which platform to build on, consider Google, even if it isn’t the sexiest due to sheer volume. Android’s market share is roughly 87% because of its affordable hardware and partnerships.

Change #5: Expect Google Ads to go offline

Right now you mainly see ads on their search engine.

Yes, you will also find ads on some of their other properties like Maps, but expect them to be everywhere.

For the first time, the 2019 digital ad spend overtook traditional ad dollars in the United States.

But still, ad dollars offline is more than a hundred billion-dollar industry, and that’s just in the United States.

Over the next few years, I bet you’ll see Google dip into offline advertising.

Just think of it this way. Google owns Waymo, a self-driving Uber type of service that is growing fast in popularity.

They have data from the Google devices in your home and the watch on your wrist and they know where you going through Waymo… essentially, they have more data on you than anyone else.

Heck, they are even starting to offer checking
accounts
.

With all of that data, who better to serve you offline ads?
They’ll be able to target people better and make them more relevant.

This will also increase the value (cost) of offline ads as
well as online ads in the long run.

Change #6: Search results won’t look the same in the
future

You are probably going to hate this change the most, but it
will also make their search engine more usable.

They are testing a lot of different ad types.

For example, as a business, you can collect leads through Google.

And eventually, you’ll just be able to book a hotel room right on their search engine without going to the hotel’s website.

The same will happen with mortgages, auto insurance, and many more industries.

This doesn’t mean that SEO will be dead or no one will go to
your site from search engines, it just means you will have to adapt.

For example, you can create educational-based content, rank highly, and when people land on your website, you can convert them through sales funnels.

You can also use tools like Hello
Bar
to create sliders and popups to drive visitors to your money pages.

Conclusion

The future isn’t going to look the same. Companies like
Tesla aren’t the only ones who are innovating, most big companies are.

Don’t expect Google to just stay the same and not adapt just
like every other tech company is trying to do.

It’s the only way to stay ahead and win.

As marketers and entrepreneurs, Google won’t be the only one
disrupting how you are growing your sales and traffic. But instead of getting
upset or complaining, accept it.

Be productive with your time and focus on adapting. Because
when you are adapting while your competition is complaining, you’ll win.

What other changes do you see Google making in the
future?

The post An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans appeared first on Neil Patel.

Did Local Review Spammers Just Get Self-Served?

Posted by on Nov 28, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Did Local Review Spammers Just Get Self-Served?

{
“@context”: “https://schema.org”,
“@type”: “WebPage”,
“headline”: “Expert Local SEO Consultants for 13+ Years | Local SEO Guide”,
“about”: [
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “SEO”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Consultants”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consultant”}
],
“mentions”: [
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “StartUps”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startup_company”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “eCommerce”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-commerce”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “InsiderPages”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insider_Pages”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Branding”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brand”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Google”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Showtime Networks”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Showtime_Networks”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “NBC”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBC”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “CitySearch”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citysearch”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Betteridge’s Law of Headlines”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge’s_law_of_headlines”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “expertise”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expertise”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Audits”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audit”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Domain”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_name”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “GMB”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_My_Business”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Management”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIT_Sloan_School_of_Management”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Process”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_process”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Ranking”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PageRank”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Tools”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tool”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Spammers”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamming”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “website”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Website”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “Internet”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet”},
{“@type”: “Thing”,”name”: “clients”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumer”},
{“@type”: “Organization”,”name”: “Law”,”sameAs”: “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_University_Law_School”}
] }

See Betteridge’s Law of Headlines for the answer. For those looking to procrastinate, feel free to read on.

Yesterday’s Google announcement about it’s new “algorithmic updates” review mark-up caused a fair amount of Local SEO Twittering and Slacking.

My interpretation of this is “we’ve had enough of businesses publishing 5-star reviews of themselves on their sites and displaying rating stars in the SERPs for them.”

That’s all well and good. Abuse of structured mark-up has been a hot mess for years and the implementation guidelines are often so fuzzy they feel like missives from Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

Of course brands that pay 3rd parties to monitor and aggregate legitimate reviews may likely wonder why they lobbied hard for that budget. Of course there are plenty of non-schema reasons to add reviews to your site, but let’s face it, those orange stars in the SERPs were the big selling point. Kind of like GMB messaging was before Google shut that down…

I bet it will be fun for everyone explaining why CTR suddenly tanked for brand queries.

If Google can clean this up, and that’s a big “if,” then this feels like a good move. But as we often see with Google’s algorithmic fixes, closing one loophole tends to open up ten others. Some potential new loopholes:

1. Create separate entities (e.g. Local SEO Guide, Inc. & Local SEO Guide, LLC) and add marked-up reviews of the new entity to your site.

2. Create separate domains for reviews of your business (e.g. LocalSEOGuideReviews.com) and mark up those reviews.

3. Build a directory of local businesses that you have no relationship with, include your business, publish a ton of reviews (real and/or fake), and mark them up. Maybe call it “Yelp” or something.

The post Did Local Review Spammers Just Get Self-Served? appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address

Posted by on Nov 27, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on The Practical Guide to Finding Anyone’s Email Address

Posted by David_Farkas

In link building, few things are more frustrating than finding the perfect link opportunity but being completely unable to find a contact email address.

It’s probably happened to you — if you’re trying to build links or do any sort of outreach, it almost always entails sending out a fairly significant amount of emails. There are plenty of good articles out there about building relationships within the context of link building, but it’s hard to build relationships when you can’t even find a contact email address.

So, for today, I want to focus on how you can become better at finding those important email addresses.

Link builders spend a lot of time just trying to find contact info, and it’s often a frustrating process, just because sussing out email addresses can indeed be quite difficult. The site you’re targeting might not even have a contact page in the first place. Or, if the site does have a contact page, it might only display a generic email address. And, sometimes, the site may list too many email addresses. There are eight different people with similar-sounding job titles — should you reach out to the PR person, the marketing director, or the webmaster? It’s not clear.

Whatever the case may be, finding the right email address is absolutely imperative to any successful outreach campaign. In our industry, the numbers around outreach and replies aren’t great. Frankly, it’s shocking to hear the industry standard — only 8.5% of outreach emails receive a response.

I can’t help but wonder how many mistakes are made along the way to such a low response rate.

While there are certainly instances where there is simply no clear and obvious contact method, that should be the exception — not the rule! An experienced link builder understands that finding relevant contact information is essential to their success.

That’s why I’ve put together a quick list of tips and tools that will help you to find the email addresses and contact information you need when you’re building links.

And, if you follow my advice, here is a glimpse of the results you could expect:

Screenshot of high open and reply rates on an email

We don’t track clicks, in case you were wondering 😉

ALWAYS start by looking around!

First, let’s start with my golden rule: Before you fire up any tool, you should always manually look for the correct contact email yourself.

Based on my experience, tools and automation are a last resort. If you rely solely upon tools and automated solutions, you’ll end up with many more misfired emails than if you were to go the manual route. There’s a simple reason for this: the email address listed on your target website may, surprisingly, belong to the right person you should contact!

Now, if you are using a tool, they may generate dozens of email addresses, and you’ll never end up actually emailing the correct individual. Another reason I advocate manually looking for emails is because many email finding tools are limited and can only find email addresses that are associated with a domain name. So, if there is a webmaster that happens to have a @gmail.com email address, the email finding tool will not find it.

It’s also important to only reach out to people you strongly believe will have an interest in your email in order to stay GDPR compliant.

So, always start your manual search by looking around the site. Usually, there will be a link to the contact page in the header, footer, or sidebar. If there’s not a page explicitly named “contact,” or if the contact page only has generic email addresses, that’s when I would recommend jumping to an “About Us” page, should there be one. 

You always want to find a personal email, not a generic one or a contact form. Outreach is more effective when you can address a specific individual, not whoever who is checking [email protected] that day.

If you encounter too many emails and aren’t sure who the best person to contact is, I suggest sending an email to your best hunch that goes something like this:

And who knows, you may even get a reply like this:

Screenshot of a reply telling you to contact someone else

If you weren’t able to locate an email address at this point, I’d move on to the next section.

Ask search engines for help

Perhaps the contact page you were looking for was well-hidden; maybe they don’t want to be contacted that much or they’re in desperate need of a new UX person.

You can turn to search engines for help.

My go-to search engine lately is Startpage. Dubbed as the world’s most private search engine, they display Google SERPs in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you just stepped into Times Square. They also have a cool option to browse the search results anonymously with “Anonymous View.”

For our purposes, I would use the site: search operator just like this:

If there is in fact a contact page or email somewhere on their website that you were not able to find, any competent search engine will find it for you. If the above site query doesn’t return any results, then I’d start expanding my search to other corners of the web.

Use the search bar and type:

If you’re looking for the email of a specific person, type their name before or after the quotation marks.

With this query you can find non-domain email addresses:

If that person’s email address is publicly available somewhere, you will likely be able to find it within the search results.

Email-finding tools

There are many, many excellent email finding tools to choose from. The first one I want to talk about is Hunter.

Hunter has a Chrome extension that’s really easy to use. After you’ve downloaded the extension, there’s not much more that needs to be done.

Go to the site which you are thinking about sending an email to, click on the extension in the top right corner of your screen, and Hunter, well, hunts.

It returns every email address it can find associated with that domain. And also allows you to filter the results based on categories.

Did I say “email address?” I meant to say email address, name, job title, etc. Essentially, it’s a one-click fix to get everything you need to send outreach.

Because I use Hunter regularly (and for good reason, as you can see), it’s the one I’m most familiar with. You can also use Hunter’s online app to look up emails in bulk.

The major downside of working in bulk is coming up with an effective formula to sift through all the emails. Hunter may generate dozens of emails for one site, leaving you to essentially guess which email address is best for outreach. And if you’re relying on guess-work, chances are pretty high you’re leaving perfectly good prospects on the table.

There are several other email finding tools to pick from and I would be remiss to not mention them. Here are 5 alternative email-finding tools:

Even though I personally try not to be too dependent on tools, the fact of the matter is that they provide the easiest, most convenient route in many cases.

The guessing game

I know there’s no word in the digital marketing world that produces more shudders than “guessing.” However, there are times when guessing is easier.

Let’s be real: there aren’t too many different ways that companies both large and small format their email addresses. It’s usually going to be something like:

If you’ve ever worked for a living, you know most of the variations. But, in case you need some help, there’s a tool for that.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you just pick any one of these random addresses, send your email, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. Far from it. There are actually tools that you can use that will indicate when you’ve selected the right one.

Sales Navigator is such a tool. Sales Navigator is a Gmail extension that is easy to use. Simply enter the name of the person you’re looking for, and it will return all of the possible standard variations that they may use for their email address. Then, you can actually test the address from your Gmail account. When you type in the address into the proper line, a sidebar will appear on your screen. If there no is no information in that sidebar, you have the wrong address. If, however, you get a return that looks like this:

Congratulations! You’ve found the right email address.

Obviously, this method only works if you know the name of the person you want to email, but just don’t have their email address. Still, in those scenarios, Sales Navigator works like a charm.

Trust, but verify

There’s nothing more annoying than when you think you’ve finally struck gold, but the gold turned out to be pyrite. Getting an email that bounces back because it wasn’t the correct address is frustrating. And even worse, if it happens too often, your email can end up on email blacklists and destroy your email deliverability.

There are ways to verify, however. At my company, we use Neverbounce. It’s effective and incredibly easy to use. With Neverbounce, you can enter in either individual email addresses or bulk lists, and voila!

It will let you know if that email address is currently Valid, Invalid, or Unknown. It’s that easy. Here are some other email verifiers:

Subscribe to their newsletter

Here’s one final out-of-the-box approach. This approach works more often with sites where one person clearly does most, if not all, of the work. A site where someone’s name is the domain name, for example.

If you come across a site like davidfarkas.com and you see a newsletter that can be subscribed to, hit that subscribe button. Once that’s done, you can simply reply to one iteration of the newsletter.

This method has an added benefit. An effective way of building links is building relationships, just like I said in the opening. When you can demonstrate that you’re already subscribing to a webmaster’s newsletter, you’ll be currying favor with that webmaster.

Conclusion

When you send a link building outreach email, you want to make sure it’s going to a real person and, even more importantly, ending up in the right hands. Sending an email to an incorrect contact periodically may seem like a negligible waste of time, but when you send emails at the volume a link builder should, the waste adds up very quickly. In fact, enough waste can kill everything else that you’re trying to accomplish.

It’s well worth your time to make sure you’re getting it right by putting in the effort to finding the right email address. Be a picky link builder. Don’t just choose the first email that comes your way and never rely solely on tools. If you email the wrong person, it will look to them like that you didn’t care enough to spend time on their site, and in return, they will ignore you and your pitch.

With the tips outlined above, you’ll avoid these issues and be on your way to more successful outreach.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

I Need Your Help With Ubersuggest

Posted by on Nov 21, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on I Need Your Help With Ubersuggest

It’s been more than a year since I launched the “new”
Ubersuggest.

And over the last 12 months, I have made a lot of progress.

Just as a quick recap: Ubersuggest went from a basic keyword research tool to now containing backlink data, rank tracking, content ideas, site audit reports, and many more features.

If you haven’t played with Ubersuggest in the past few months, give it a try. Type in a URL or a keyword and click around.

The reason I am asking you to give it a try is that I need your help to determine what I should develop next so I can help you improve your traffic and rankings even more.

But before we get into that, let me first tell you what I am releasing in the next few months.

Upcoming features

So, let’s break it down by section as I am making a lot of
small changes that should not only improve the data, but also the usability of
the product.

Funny enough, there will be changes to every section of the
tool.

Keyword research

Over the next month, the keyword overview is going to change in which I will start to tell you demographic data. You’ll see what percentage of the searches are done by males or females as well as the average age range of a searcher.

You’ll also see what portion of the clicks for any given keyword go to SEO results, ads, or result in no clicks.

I am also going to break searches down by mobile versus
desktop.

More accurate data

Another big change that is happening, and this one won’t be
visual, is all of the data will become much more accurate.

From traffic estimations for a domain, to even keywords,
you’ll start seeing a more accurate database.

For example, when I look at all of the keywords
neilpatel.com ranks for, a lot of them are junk keywords that don’t drive much
traffic.

Sure, the report still provides value as a lot of the keywords are good and can provide good SEO insights, but with more accurate data it should make your job easier.

New backlinking data

Another feature that I am excited about is the new backlink charts.

I’m adding historical link data over time as well as a
snapshot of daily new and lost links.

In addition to that, you’ll start seeing more data on anchor text or link distribution.

Alerts

A huge problem with Ubersuggest is that you have to continually come back to get value. In the next month or so, you will start seeing email alerts that will tell you what’s happening with your site and what you should fix.

The overall purpose is for you to not have to come to
Ubersuggest to figure out what you need to fix.

Usability fixes

The biggest problem with Ubersuggest is people don’t know
what to do with the data or how to improve their rankings.

This will be fixed in the upcoming months.

From an education center and demos to tutorials and more, we are creating a guided path so you can see better gains in your search traffic.

Alright, so now that you know what I am working on, I now need your help to figure out what I should do next.

Where do you want me to take Ubersuggest?

I have a few options for you, but I am not sure what you
want me to do with the tool.

Sure, I know you want more free features and I will do that,
but what’s going to provide you with the biggest gains?

Here are some options…

  1. Automated SEO – would you like me to focus my efforts on automating your SEO? All you would have to do is add a javascript to your site like Google Analytics and it would automate 40 to 50% of your SEO tasks. It would even adjust your code for you automatically no matter what CMS you use. Again, it would ONLY automate 50% or so of your tasks, I can’t automate all 100%… yet.
  2. Ad management – do you want an easy to use ad management system? From Facebook and Google to even smaller sites like Quora, there are tons of ad opportunities. I could create an easy to use system that helps you find all of the ad opportunities and optimize/manage them for you in an automated way.
  3. Free email marketing – I know there are tools like Mailchimp that are great, but what if I made it so you can send an unlimited amount of emails to an unlimited number of contacts for free?
  4. Chrome extension – what if I took extensions out there from tools like Moz, Ahrefs, Keywords Everywhere, and SEMrush and combined the best features and made it free?
  5. Or do you have any better ideas? I am open to anything.

Conclusion

I can take Ubersuggest in many different directions. There isn’t really a right or wrong approach and, wherever I take it, I will make sure that the product is still really easy to use.

The question is, what do you want me to focus on first?

That’s all that matters in the grand scheme of things because I am building this for you.

So, if you can, leave a comment below letting me know where you want me to take Ubersuggest. It can be one of the options above, or if you have a better idea, I am open to that as well.

The post I Need Your Help With Ubersuggest appeared first on Neil Patel.

My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors

Posted by on Nov 16, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors

Writing a blog post is easy.

If you don’t write often, you may feel otherwise, but just follow this
and you’ll be good to go when it comes to writing. Or, you can just watch the
video below.

But still, you write a blog post and then what do you do?

Well, I’ll tell you this… most people forget the “marketing” in content marketing. Most people write content but don’t do a great job of promoting it.

Here’s the thing: I figured out the perfect formula to promoting content.

Best of all, it’s not complex. Heck, it doesn’t even take 30 minutes. It’s so easy that I broke it down into 6 steps.

And just to give you an idea before we dive into the formula, it’s so effective here is the traffic to my latest blog post.

35,492 visits in a week isn’t too shabby. The post didn’t do exceptionally well and it didn’t tank. It was just an average post.

Now you probably won’t see the same results as me as I’ve
been doing this for a long time, but your results will be much better than what
you are currently getting. Hence, I used the number of 3,549 in the title as
you should be able to drive 1/10th of what I am generating.

So, let’s dive right into the formula.

Step #1: Optimize your headline

8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 people will click through on your headline to read the rest of your article.

No matter how well written your content is, promoting it won’t
be effective if no one likes your headline.

Now I know what you are thinking… I’ve already published my
article, is it too late to change my headline?

Nope, you can always change your headline, just try not
to change the URL of the article once it is already published.
And if you decide
to change the URL, use a
301 redirect
.

There’s a really simple way to come up with headlines that work. Heck, it doesn’t even take more than a minute or two.

Just head over to Ubersuggest and type in the main keyword or phrase your article is about.

You’ll see a report that looks something like this:

Now I want you to click on “Content Ideas” in the left-hand navigation.

You should now see a report that looks like this:

This report shows you all of the blog posts around the web
that contain your keyword or phrase within their title. And it breaks it down
by social shares, backlinks, and search traffic.

You can use this to see what is working in your space.

Ideally, you want to look for headlines that have thousands of social shares (or hundreds if you aren’t in a popular industry), at least 10 backlinks, and more than 100 estimated visits. Just like the example below.

Making your headlines similar to ones that meet those 3 criteria
will increase your odds of getting more traffic.

Step #2: Add 3 internal links

The easiest way to get your new content more love is to
build links.

Yes, links are hard to build, but internal links are not…
plus they are still effective.

I rank for competitive terms like “digital marketing”…

A lot of it has to do with internal links. I link to my main
digital marketing page within my sidebar and within my content.

Every time you publish a new blog post, I want you to go into your older content that is relevant to your newly published blog post and add a link to it. Do this to 3 of your older blog posts.

This helps with indexing and it also helps your new
content rank higher on Google.

Step 3: Share your content on the social web carefully

The problem with social media marketing is that people think they can just share their content on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn and it will automatically do well.

Sadly, it won’t because billions of URLs have been shared
already.

In other words, we just tend to ignore most of the links
people share.

But there is a simple way to stand out and get thousands of visitors from the social web, just like I get.

So, what’s my secret?

Well, I will give you a hint. Just look at one of my most
recent posts on LinkedIn:

And here is one from Facebook:

Do you notice a pattern?

I’m evoking curiosity. In other words, I am piquing your
interest and if you want to know the “solution” you have to click through to my
site.

With the LinkedIn post, I tell you that marketing is going
to change next year. I also make a point to say how it is going to change in a
way that nobody is talking about.

I do this because we all can assume marketing will change. But
by saying it is in a way nobody is talking about, it evokes curiosity. And if
you want to know how it will change you have no choice but to click through
over to my site to read the rest.

With my Facebook post, I also evoke curiosity. I talk about a Google algorithm update, but I hint that I have an answer to leveraging Google’s latest algorithm update. And if you want to know what it is, you have to click through over to my site.

Whenever you post on the social web, evoke curiosity if you want people to head over to your site.

The easiest way to do this is that every time you share one of your articles on the social web, add a few sentences above the link that helps pique peoples’ interest.

Step #4: Message everyone you link out to

It’s common to link out to other sites within your blog
posts.

Heck, sometimes I even link out to my competition.

If you don’t ever link out to other sites, you are making a
big mistake. It helps with authority and trust.

If you are using stats and data within your article, you
want to cite your sources. This brings credibility to you and it helps brand
yourself as an expert which can help with Google’s medic
update
.

Now, when you link out to a site, go and search their email
address. You can typically find their email address on their website.

Or if you can’t find their email address, look for a contact
page on their site, you’ll typically see a form that you can fill out.

Whether you find an email address or contact form, I want
you to message each and every single site you link out to with a message that
goes like this:

Hi [insert their first name],

I just wanted to say, I love your content. Especially your article on [insert the name of the article you linked out to].

I linked to it from my latest blog post [insert URL of your blog post]. It would make my day if you checked it out and even shared it on your favorite social network if you enjoyed it.

Cheers,

[insert your name]

When I send out these emails, I am getting 50 to 60% of the people to respond and share my content. But of course, my blog is popular, so for me, it isn’t too hard. But it hasn’t always been that way, and I’ve been leveraging this tactic for ages.

On the flip side, I also use this tactic on a few of my
blogs that are in other niches and don’t use my name (no one knows I own them)
and I am seeing success rates around 20%.

Just make sure you don’t use this tactic to ask for a link back.
Your success rate will be slim.

Step #5: Send an email blast

These last two tactics produce a large portion of my
results, and you shouldn’t take them for granted, no matter how basic they may
seem.

If you already haven’t, start collecting emails from your
site. You can use free tools like Hello Bar
to create popups or sliders.

Hello Bar will plug into whatever email provider you are
currently using.

Once you are up and running, every time you release a new
blog post, send out an email blast.

Here’s an example of one of my email blasts.

It’s so effective it generated 13,544 clicks.

I’ve found that you can drive good traffic from emails as
long as you do the following:

  1. Scrub your list – if someone doesn’t open your emails over the last 30 or 60 days, remove them from your list. It helps keep your emails in people’s inboxes.
  2. Send text-based emails – if you look at the email I sent, I keep it simple. No images, nothing fancy, just text and a link back to my site. It’s that simple.
  3. Evoke curiosity – just like how I explained with the social media posts, your emails won’t do well unless you evoke curiosity.

As you write more content you will get more traffic, which will cause your email list to grow. That will also cause you to get more traffic. 🙂

Step #6: Send a push notification

I don’t know why so few sites are leverage push notifications. It’s so effective I believe I will get more traffic from push notifications in 2020 than I will from email marketing.

To give you an idea, when I analyze my competitors in the
marketing arena, only 3 out of 19 use push notifications.

In other industries, the percentage is far worse, which means there is more opportunity for you.

Here’s how push notifications work….

Someone comes to your site and through their browser, they get a message if they want to subscribe to your site.

A portion of your visitors will click “allow”. With NeilPatel.com, roughly 5.4% of visitors are currently clicking “allow”.

You can send push notifications and get subscribers using a
free tool like Subscribers.com.

And then when you write a new blog post, you log into Subscribers.com and click on the “Create Notification” button. From there you will see a screen where you can enter the title and description of your latest post.

As you can see from the image above, you’ll notice that I use an “icon” image, a “large” image, and I show “custom buttons.”

Using those 3 elements is the key to getting the most
traffic from push notifications. Here are some of my stats from using
Subscribers.

I’m getting roughly 6,000 visits from every push notification
I send. That’s not too bad.

And if you are curious about what a push notification looks like, here’s what people get when I send it out.

What’s cool about push notification is no matter what
website someone is on, they will see a message similar to the one above, which
will bring people back to your site.

No dealing with spam filters or messages not going through. Plus, if someone isn’t online when you send a push notification, the next time they use their web browser they will see your message.

Conclusion

Promoting your content doesn’t have to be hard.

You don’t need “advanced” tactics or anything that is out of
the box. The basics work well, and I have been using the above formula for
years… literally.

Now, I know there are other things you can do to promote your content, but let’s be realistic: we are all strapped for time. And I’ve found the ones I’ve mentioned above to produce the biggest bang for the buck.

So, what other simple ways do you promote your content?

The post My 6-Step Content Marketing Formula That Drives 3,549 Visitors appeared first on Neil Patel.

Microsoft Advertising talks intelligence, UI updates, audience solutions in SMX keynote

Posted by on Nov 14, 2019 in SEO Articles | Comments Off on Microsoft Advertising talks intelligence, UI updates, audience solutions in SMX keynote

NEW YORK – As brands look to compete in today’s market, identifying ways to connect with audiences is critical – especially since growth relies so heavily on the marketer’s ability to find better ways to meet the needs of customers, said Christi Olson, head of evangelism at Microsoft Advertising and Bing, during a keynote session at SMX West on Wednesday.

“Consumers want brands to help them, anticipating their needs and making their buying experience frictionless,” said Olson. “Our [Microsoft’s] goal is to help retailers become more competitive and deliver more engaging customer experiences that unlock new revenue and fuel future growth,” she added.

Customer journeys are also getting more complex and less linear, which means it’s more imperative than ever for advertisers to understand the advanced technologies and innovations that drive meaningful brand engagement.

Delivering value with AI

According to Olson, Microsoft is leaning heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning to create better experiences for customers. One example is the Seeing AI app, which has helped over a million people with vision impairments read a menu in a restaurant or count out money when making a purchase. Another example includes the integration of AI into Microsoft Dynamics 365 products to help our customers manage information and tackle common business challenges. Moreover, AI can now help service teams quickly identify and resolve equipment issues remotely, or empower HR teams to land top candidates. 

(See Also: Get the just-released Periodic Tables of PPC)

“Creating better experiences for your customers, people you engage with is not about handing off your advertising to machines. At a time of advancing automation, creativity remains the essential differentiator of greater value than at any other point in human history,” Olson said.

To help organizations adopt AI-driven capabilities quickly and easily, Microsoft aims to integrate intelligence with the products and services that consumers already use daily. Olson said that Microsoft will be launching a new class of purpose-built Dynamics 365 AI solutions aimed at delivering out-of-the-box insights from unified data. That data can then be infused with advanced intelligence to support integrated team actions across sales, customer service, and marketing.

Personalization at scale

In our connected world, a user’s device is the key stepping stone to understanding the consumer, Olson said. Devices provide context, which helps marketers better understand what matters to a consumer in a particular location and at a particular time. The right message at the right moment is the next level in customer service and can turn intent into action.

Context also allows retailers to better than ever anticipate what a customer might need based on when, where and how they arrive at their site and help them decide how to respond to them. Consumers are always on the hunt for product information, deals, local availability and local discounts online. Retailers who don’t make efforts to supply the right, personalized information at the right time will lose out.

“As we think about this enormous opportunity, we at Microsoft see four key areas of opportunity for retail,” Olson explained. These include:

Know your customer. Deliver unforgettable customer experiences that make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Empower your employees. Provide your team with the tools that enable extraordinary customer service.

Deliver intelligent supply chain. Improve agility to reduce costs and drive customer satisfaction.

Reimagine your business. Stand out in today’s competitive retail environment by reinventing your business model, starting with the customers and working backward.

Uniting the Internet and the Intranet

One of the biggest challenges facing organization is the difficulty of finding and accessing company information through company intranets. Earlier this month, Microsoft introduced the new Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Bing for business.

Olson said Microsoft’s ambition is for Bing and Edge to deliver the best search and browser experiences for businesses and consumers alike. With enhanced capabilities like deep intranet integration, improved people search, and features that support business resources, Microsoft aims to make employee productivity more efficient and impactful.

Olson said Microsoft will be introducing even more features for the consumer audience in spring 2020.

Microsoft’s redesigned UI

In October, Microsoft Advertising unveiled the platform’s interface refresh, designed to better align with the update Google Ads rolled out in full a year ago.

The redesigned UI, explained Olson, enables advertisers to manage campaigns more easily with the following improvements:

Improved usability and navigation. The new online navigation includes more intuitive features for greater integration with Google Ads, saving advertisers more time when it comes to campaign management. Advertisers can use the new global menu to switch accounts, quickly access tools and settings like ad preview, shared library, conversion tracking, Google Import, and more.

Better organization of features. The new vertical page menu includes Ads & Extensions, Audiences, Experiments, and other features to deliver more streamlined access for advertisers. As advertisers navigate campaigns, page menus will adapt to only display the pages and data that are applicable to each campaign.

Modern look and feel. The new online experience is now more up to date and consistent with other Microsoft products.

Intelligent audience solutions

Currently, Microsoft Advertising offers intelligent audience solutions designed to help advertisers reach a target audience with a personalized ad experience at the right time.

These solutions include AI-driven targeting capabilities such as location, device, in-market audiences, Google Import, campaign-level associations, and more. Microsoft is currently piloting LinkedIn Profile Targeting, product audiences, similar audiences, and customer matches.

Eventually, Olson said, Microsoft plans to roll out customer combinations with “or” and “and” logic.

Amping up for new retail solutions

“For retailers to power great experiences on their website, search is critical,” Olson said.

With Intelligent Search, Microsoft aims to bring advertisers closer to understanding shopper intent with scale, intelligence, and AI. To do this, Olson pointed to Bing’s index that retailers can embed on their sites to grow visibility. Bing technology allows marketers to understand consumer behavior and trends while leveraging the power of machine learning and AI to help automatically optimize to boost conversion rates, Olson said.

As part of Microsoft’s vision to further unlock search for retailers, Intelligent Search will deliver personalized product recommendations through deep learning algorithms. Experimentation and custom rankings will help businesses achieve goals and drive up consumer satisfaction. Additionally, advertisers will have an improved ability to analyze transactional, behavioral, and demographic data from the sites.

Microsoft PromoteIQ, a vendor marketing solution that enables retailers to generate high-margin advertising revenue with their own advertising experiences, will become fully integrated with the Microsoft advertising platform. Currently in private preview, the PromoteIQ Network will allow retailers to scale commerce advertising revenue using an expanded integration with the Microsoft Advertising platform and sales teams, providing access to new channels to help retailers maximize monetization.

The age of digital marketing is
behind us, and our new reality—though it may at times seem daunting—is
marketing in the digital age. One in which marketers simply cannot find success
talking at
customers through single, traditional channels. Instead, brands must engage
with them on new and meaningful levels, wherever they are.

As Olson stated during her session, Microsoft is setting out “to help reimagine how [advertisers] serve customers and grow your business, deliver more engaging customer experiences that unlock new revenue and fuel future growth.”

The post Microsoft Advertising talks intelligence, UI updates, audience solutions in SMX keynote appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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