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The Advanced Guide to Facebook Watch

The Advanced Guide to Facebook Watch

In 2017, Facebook launched its answer to the burgeoning streaming video market: Facebook Watch. Through Watch, users could view both scripted and live video from professional networks, brands, influencers, and everyday people.

Facebook released Watch to a limited group of users, and for that first year, it flew pretty much under the radar. In 2018, they launched it globally, and the service took off like a rocket.

By 2019, Watch had 270 million monthly users, and by 2020, that number had shot up to over 1.25 billion, according to Facebook.

I covered Facebook Watch in a previous post when it initially launched. Since then, they have expanded their content offerings (even getting into the music space!) and added a ton of features for brands and marketers.

In this post, I’ll dive deep into how to use Facebook Watch for marketing, now that the platform has matured.

Content on Facebook Watch

Facebook is still experimenting with different content types by adding, subtracting, and tweaking to find the right balance for their platform. In 2019, Facebook’s head of global creative strategy Rick Van Veen told Variety,

We’re still figuring it out and learning. When you start a new platform, you’re going to have to throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what works and what doesn’t.

Scripted Content

Facebook’s scripted content can be found under the Show tab. This section is where they’ve entered the ring with the likes of Netflix, Apple+, and Hulu. Here, users can find everything from comedies to critically acclaimed dramas to reality and talk shows.

“Red Table Talk,” for example, is a popular show starring Jada Pinkett Smith, where she brings on guests to discuss sensitive topics such as divorce and gender identity. Meanwhile, Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame stars in “Return the Favor,” which won a Daytime Emmy.

However, they’ve recently scaled back on their scripted content, canceling some of their popular shows in favor of live and sourced content from brands and users.

Live Content

Facebook Live predates Watch by a year. When Watch launched, however, Live was bundled in with the rest of the video content.

Types of videos on Live range from U.S. Senate committee hearings to live author readings and skiers showing off their tricks.

Small businesses have also rushed to Live, creating events and classes to increase revenue.

Music Videos

In August 2020, Facebook launched its new music discovery platform, Facebook Music. Here, users can explore videos by genre, trending topics, artist, and even mood. Currently, the app is only available in the U.S., India, and Thailand, but it’s already garnered a lot of attention.

For instance, Katy Perry debuted her music video “Smile,” the title track of her fifth album, on Facebook Watch.

How Facebook Watch Works

When you create a video on Facebook Watch, whether it’s a live event or a scripted show, you upload it to Facebook using their Creator Studio.

The Creator Studio is the hub for all of your business content for Facebook. From here, you can bulk upload videos, crosspost to different pages, schedule posts, consolidate engagement, and monetize. You can also use their in-depth analytics tools to monitor your content.

On the videos you upload, Facebook places mid-roll ads. Forty-five percent of the revenue from those ads goes to Facebook, while the remaining 55 percent goes to you.

Helpful Hint: Facebook prioritizes longer videos (3+ minutes) and content that engages the audience and sparks conversation. They’re looking for content creators who respond to user comments and pin the best comments to the top of the feed.

How Your Business Can Benefit from Using Advanced Facebook Watch Features

In France, according to Facebook, national broadcaster M6 began creating videos for Watch. Their one-minute video views more than doubled in nine months and they acquired 6 million new follows organically.

Here in the U.S., says Facebook, Buzzfeed has increased their revenue by creating videos over three minutes across their Tasty, Goodful, Nifty, BringMe, Cocoa Butter, and Pero Like pages.

“We moved quickly and increased our payout from total in-stream ads by 20% compared to the previous half,” Maycie Timpone, Executive Director, Video & Publishing at BuzzFeed, told Facebook.

Facebook Watch has become a powerful tool in marketers’ pockets. Let’s take a look at a few ways Watch helps you increase revenue and attract new followers.

Hyper-Personalized Content

Facebook is all about personalized content, and Facebook Watch lets you upload videos right to your target audience. Your videos will also appear in specific categories, such as “Shows Friends Are Following.”

Facebook will also categorize your videos by genre, topic, and even mood.

Recently, Facebook introduced Topics to mobile users. Topics allows users to further customize their video feed by choosing categories that interest them.

Show Pages

Show pages allow users to interact with show creators and fans. They can leave comments, ask questions, or even engage in interactive video content. Just like any other Facebook page, they can like, follow, and share pages with friends.

Real-Time Engagement

This feature is particularly helpful with live video. Viewers can react to, share, and comment on a video in real-time.

Real-time engagement is a great opportunity to get initial feedback on your video and engage with your audience by asking and answering questions and becoming part of the conversation.

Facebook Watch Parties

Facebook’s number one goal is to bring people together. It’s why they added groups a few years back, to allow people with similar interests to find each other.

With Facebook Watch Parties, viewers can bring a group of friends together to watch videos and chat about them in real-time.

Video creators can make content tailored to watch parties to boost engagement.

Playlists

Playlists allow video creators to group videos and post them to their pages. Videos play consecutively to boost views.

Marketers can use playlists for video series or to group videos by topic.

Optimizing Your Facebook Watch Videos

You may be creating killer content for YouTube already, but optimizing Facebook Watch videos is a little different. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Facebook video content:

First, Make Sure It’s Original

Pulling content over from YouTube or even your website won’t work for many reasons. First, the aspect ratio may be wrong (more on that next). Second, original content exclusive to Facebook will keep people coming back, allowing you to take advantage of Facebook’s monetization tools.

Pay Attention to Aspect Ratio

Facebook gives video creators specific aspect ratios for all pages on both Facebook and Instagram.

You’ll want to follow those guidelines, but in general, make sure your video is shot for mobile. The vast majority of Facebook users access it via mobile, and more than half of ad revenue comes from mobile-first video ads.

Add Captions

Eighty-five percent of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. So, adding captions to all of your video content will naturally boost engagement.

Include a CTA

When you upload a video, Facebook allows you to add a CTA at the end. Whether it’s an invitation to watch more videos, check out a product, or simply like your page, adding a CTA can increase engagement and even boost conversions.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Uses and Features of Facebook Watch

Recently, Facebook has added a bunch of cool new features that marketers can take advantage of. Let’s take a look at them.

ThruPlay

ThruPlay is a default setting and one you should keep on. With ThruPlay, if your video is shorter than 15 seconds, it will post it to users who are more likely to watch the whole thing. If it’s longer than that, it will deliver it to users who generally watch videos longer than 15 seconds all the way through.

Paid Online Events

Paid online events are a function of live video and have become an essential tool for businesses. Brands can create, host, and promote an event all in one place. They can also set a price and collect payment easily.

Helpful Hint: Facebook normally collects a fee for a paid online event. At least until August 2021, however, they have waived their fees.

Fan Subscriptions

Creating the ability for fans to subscribe to your video page boosts engagement. It also allows you to foster customer loyalty through exclusive offers and content for subscribers.

According to Facebook, it also allows you to predict revenue monthly.

Stars

Another feature is Stars, a tool that allows fans to support your work. Users can purchase stars to send to you. For every star a fan sends to you, Facebook gives you 1 cent.

(Think “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and the hearts he had to earn on his videos.)

The more you engage with users, the more likely they are to send you stars.

Facebook is still rolling out this program to a limited number of users, but you can sign up to show your interest.

A/B Testing Tools

On the back end, Organic Video Post Testing allows video creators to test between two and four variations of a video at a time. Videos are distributed to your target audience, but they’re not posted to your page. The video with the most engagement after a period of time is then posted to your page automatically.

In-Stream Ads

According to Variety, Facebook takes in 22 percent of U.S. digital ad spend. Before Watch, ads that appeared in newsfeeds and the right rail kind of got lost in the mix, right?

However, as pointed out previously, ads that would usually get lost in Facebook feeds get a lot more attention when they appear in the middle of a video.

Mining Audience Data from Your Facebook Watch Viewers

When it comes to analytics, Facebook Creator Studio is a veritable treasure trove. Here are some of the cooler stats you can mine from your dashboard:

Views

There are so many different ways you can parse these metrics. For example, if you want to see the number of minutes viewed, you don’t have to settle for a lump sum. You can break it down by minutes viewed on your page, in shared posts, and crossposts.

You can also see how many views were over three seconds long or how many people viewed the whole video, depending on what comes first.

You can also filter by auto-played vs. click-played and paid vs. organic.

All of the views are measured over a 28-day period.

Audience Engagement and Retention

To get a quick overview of your posts, you can look at the number of reactions, comments, and shares for videos with at least 100 views.

You can also go way beyond that. You can see audience demographics, and you can filter by fans and non-fans to know who you’re truly reaching.

If a video is performing well, you can choose to boost it right from your dashboard.

To dig even deeper into each video, Facebook shows your viewer retention through the entire length of the video. Line graphs like this one show you exactly where viewers dropped off in your video so you can make adjustments.

What’s really neat: when you hover over the line graph, each point of the line displays your video’s corresponding frame.

Finally, you can measure each post against other posts to assess which types of videos and content are working well (or not) for you.

Negative Feedback

Just as important as the positive metrics are the negative ones. Facebook can show you negative comments, as well as how many times people hid your video from their feed or reported it as inappropriate.

Click-Throughs

Finally, Facebook can differentiate between clicks to play your video, clicks on links embedded in your video description, and clicks on your CTA.

Increasing User Engagement Via Facebook Watch (and Why This Matters!)

We’ve talked about all the levers you can pull with Facebook Watch, but how do you use them to increase user engagement? Here’s how to use all their cool features to do just that:

Take Advantage of Real-Time Commenting

Comments give context to all those reactions and shares, but you probably knew that. Of course, you can use them to improve your content by creating more of what gets positive comments and less of what doesn’t.

More importantly, you should be responding to comments, not only on your videos but also on your pages. Show your fans that you’re paying attention, and they will be engaged followers.

Spark Conversations

Instead of simply reacting to conversations already happening, create and direct the discourse yourself. Invite fans to comment on specific elements of your videos, share their tips, or ask questions.

If you’re a part of the Star program, this is a great way to encourage people to send some your way.

Use the Subscription Function

Subscriptions are a great way to create that velvet rope effect. Create an exclusive space for fans to get updates on content before anyone else. Offer content and giveaways for subscribers.

Make them feel special, and they’ll keep coming back for more.

Put That Mined Data to Good Use

As you’ve seen, Facebook gives you a wealth of analytics about your videos, right down to the minute viewers stopped watching your videos.

Use that information to compare and tweak content, experiment with longer or shorter videos, or introduce and keep track of new content.

Don’t Neglect the A/B Testing Functionality

While it is time-consuming to create more than one video, A/B testing multiple versions of videos will only increase your engagement, and you can’t deny how easy Facebook makes it.

Since they don’t post anything to your page until the end of the testing period (which they do automatically), you really have nothing to lose.

Conclusion

Facebook Watch has had explosive growth and attracted the attention of brands, celebrities, small businesses, and influencers. The sheer number of viewers and the amount of ad revenue on the table makes creating original content for Facebook a no-brainer.

The real trick is pulling the right levers to create engaging videos that get reactions, shares, and comments. If you can get subscriptions, even better.

Dive into your Creative Studio to look at all the advanced tools Facebook offers.

How will you use Facebook Watch to build your audience and boost your revenue?

The post The Advanced Guide to Facebook Watch appeared first on Neil Patel.

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Live Blogging the 2020 Election with Scalable Google Trends

Live Blogging the 2020 Election with Scalable Google Trends

7:15 pm PDT update

Well, things are moving right along in this election. I’m going to try to keep these short and sweet to avoid devolving into political commentary lol.

First observation, people are really focusing on “battleground” states and North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin are all in focus. Also people are focusing on the Senate and who will have control of that after the election is over (see below.)

Also, a civil unrest query has popped into the top rising queries as the election starts to shake out. Since it’s looking at current civil unrest it seems people just want to check in and make sure everything is still going “smoothly.”

Will be back in a bit as I’m kind curious how this develops, though made need some whiskey and a cheeseburger. In which case I will see you tomorrow.

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6:28 pm PDT update

Just wanted to see how quickly the data was changing and boy is it fast!!!! Don’t know how people keep up with this without robots. Anyway, in the national data Texas election results have started to come online as strongly as Ohio. While Florida may Florida, it seems like national attention has turned towards this two battleground states.

Looking at individual rising queries New Zealand based Predictit has been showing strong all day. Everyone wants predictions it seems! I just want to watch the data come in. Also, like I mentioned before, people are brand devoted to Fox News. Lastly, Arizona has already started showing up in individual queries, so I would expect to start surging as it’s early results start to come online (given how recent polling has been there.)

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6:03 pm PDT update

 

Running 3 separate instance of our scalable trends load balancer right now.

I believe this is called putting the pedal to the metal @hecklerponics?

Vroom vroom. pic.twitter.com/LfKEou6oMH

— Dan Leibson (@DanLeibson) November 4, 2020

Famous last words!!! So I vroomed this into a bunch of errors, but am back in businesses now as our team built a robust system and now I know to scale our instances before doing that

Alright, so first let’s talk about state level data! This is the first time I’m going to report on the state election query set I ran through trends. Though suffice it to say that people care a lot about swing states as you can see by their disproportionate representation to population like Virginia, Georgia and Vermont even being in the same ballpark as Florida when it comes to population

Also it seriously feels like deja vu with Florida

Now let’s talk about the national data set. This stuff is starting to look really cool! Nationally, the things that are seeing off the charts, turn it up to 11 growth are all local. First up, Ohio. It’s showing up big in terms of both the count and growth of it’s terms as illustrated below:

But also, we are seeing two Texas counties showing up as queries that are skyrocketing (gonna run out of hyperbole to discuss query growth soon.). I have never heard of Bexar or Tarrant county in Texas before but Heckler assures me they exist! They are seeing an increase, per Google Trends, of almost 500,000% growth at the query level. Bonkers.

Also, Broward county Florida, famous as the problem of every national election in recent memory, is also showing up in query data

A couple of last general observations:

The growth of top rising queries is several times bigger than it was even this morning. Basically, A LOT OF PEOPLE are searching right now.

Fox News has some crazy “loyalty”

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4:03 pm PDT update

Alright well it’s after work on the east coast and things are starting to pop in the data. Let’s start with general trends with a nice word cloud

Local issues are starting to pop in the national election data set. Here I have drawn attention to prop 22, a proposition here in California over the regulation of gig economy workers as well as governors races. However, the big dominating theme is Trump’s rally tonight, but more on that later.

This is also the first time I have looked a set of ~1k state election specific terms. Nothing much to report on that data set yet except that there is a lot of searching for historical electoral maps that got surfaced here (screenshot below). I guess people are trying to game this out at home?

And in term of just the top rising queries in the data set, well that is all coming up YUGE for Trump. Also, I think it’s kinda funny that Lil’ Pump has finally surfaced in this trends data so late in the day. Curious how this will progress as the night goes on, but my guess is Trump will work hard to drive search demand. We shall see!

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1:17 pm PDT update

Alright party people, back after some delay as I wanted to give the data some time to change as user behavior and the events on the group have changed. And I’m glad I did because the data is radically different then it was previously. A quick reminder that before Biden vs. Trump was big in the rising ngrams (see previous update below.) Well know that trend has shifted to the Vice Presidential Candidates and Kamala Harris is cleaning up (go CA)

Also, if you back out into the top level word cloud you can see how different things have changed between

Now

This morning

So I expect things to continue to get super interesting as we head into this evening. Speaking of interesting, lots of Trump queries are highly searched queries, including “fox news trump” which could be in relation to his Fox & Friends this morning or a navigation query to Fox’s Trump related coverage.

Not feeling good that 538 continues to insinuate itself into the American election psyche. Oh also, the fly is back

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10:29 am PDT update

Alright, well I have some news! First of all as we get later in the day I’m going to start segmenting out a seed keyword list of state and congressional election results so we can track what is going on with those as well.

Speaking of the data, you heard it hear first: Biden’s numbers are better then next to Trump’s. There are more Biden name related queries that are being searched at a greater rate of increase than Trump.

Also, queries around political violence continue to show up, but since these aren’t breaking through in terms of individual queries trending my guess is that is a self-perpetuating fear where people are doom searching.

Lastly, just look at these rising queries. First of all the Drudge and Real Clear are the two top trending news sources in this data set is very troubling. Second, who cares about either Barron Trump or Kim Kardashian just like in general but especially today. Lastly, “when will the next presidential election be” is a top 15 trending query. If only we planned these things at a regular clip!

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8:17 am PDT update

Alright, things are really starting to get popping now. The midwest has come fully online and we can see people searching for their states specific results starting to bubble up in the trends data (Hi Michigan and Kentucky!)

Are some of the top queries showing the state specific results

And here is the rising in the ngrams (e.g. full topic areas)

I would expect to see state specific results start to dominate as the day goes on. Though of course that could be overtaken by whatever narrative is happening around the election itself as well.

Speaking of, violence has finally broken through to be able to be visualized in a top ngram (bottom right) as well as civil war (top left). American’s are keeping it spicy this am!

For anyone wanting to play around at home, feel free to check our GDS report here

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7:18 am pdt update

This is probably going to be the least interesting update of the day. There isn’t enough movement in the midwest yet for that to really crack into trends. The trending ngrams are relatively the same. Most interesting pieces are Florida has officially entered the chat

and that election riots is trending downward (thankfully)

With the next update things should start to get interesting as the west coast is going to start coming online. I’m also going to release a version of the GDS dashboard for people to play with that will have our 2 test data pulls from yesterday and the first two data pulls of this am.

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6:14 pdt update

Well, now that the east coast has started to full come online the main rising ngrams are dominated by the polls. No real surprise there as a morning baseline check-in for what is sure to be a wild day makes a tone of sense.

Also, individual rising queries have seen some drop off of net worth and age related questions as individual polling queries start to dominate. No idea what the Trump Train Song 2020 is ¯_(ツ)_/¯.

6:40am PDT update

There are some pretty good deep cuts in the top 50 rising queries in the data set. I think the middle class question is really interesting as it’s generally a deeper level of question then I would expect today. And of course we are seeing our first hint of people searching about civil unrest.



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5:17am  PST update

Just ran the tool to capture 8am EST trends data. So far early searcher trends are looking to catch the latest poll numbers, which is unsurprising. Though I do think it curious how focused they are on candidates ages and net worth. As this beginning to develop I expect this data to be rather…interesting.

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Wow, it’s November 3rd 2020! That means election day in the US, and what an election. I’m going to eschew politics except to say GO VOTE. We have the day of at LSG, but I figured this would be a great time to deploy a new tool and to do so i’m going to live blog and tweet the election.

Specifically we hooked up Google Trends to our data analysis stack, built an elastic load balancer to be able to scale jobs with cost and now it’s just party time. And when I say party time I mean we can pass thousands of keywords into Google Trends, get them back hourly, process the keywords as NGRAMs to better understand what they are about.

Okay, first start here with these two fantastic articles by Ruth Everett:

An Introduction to Using Google Trends with Python

Visualizing Python and Google Trends

Okay, now that you have read those articles let me just show you around. First we started with a manually curated seed keyword list, then ran it through a Google scraper of ours to pull related searches. We took that list and ran it through Google Trends and pulled back the top and rising terms as well as their scores. We then ran that through the NLTK ngram library to be able to get categories/topics/themes. Then we data warehouse and dumped it into GDS. Screens below:


This is a view of the ngrams of rising queries from our seed list visualized in Google Data Studio

Ngrams of top queries in Google Data Studio

As you can see themes and topics!

Also, we have the ability to drill down to see the terms that make up the ngrams

This screenshot below is a drill down into “results 2020”

Cool right?

Anyway, I’m going to be updating this every hour and sharing any cool info on this liveblog and on twitter. Also for those wondering, the data set contains ~3,000 keywords.

 

 

The post Live Blogging the 2020 Election with Scalable Google Trends appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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3 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website into a Mobile App

3 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website into a Mobile App

Mobile app development is an expensive and time-consuming process ranging between $37,000 and $500,000, and requiring up to 5,000 hours of work.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

And you don’t have to be a highly skilled developer to turn your WordPress website into a native Android or iOS application.

In fact, there are plugins you can use to make this process fast, reliable and affordable.

Read on to find out why you should consider this option and exactly how to do it using one of the three nifty plugins (including the one with a free test).

Why Turn Your WordPress Website into an App?

Whether you run a simple news site, a blog, an e-commerce store or a complex membership-based platform, an app could open a valuable new channel to engage your audiences and increase loyalty.

Let’s go through the most important advantages of having a native application based on your WordPress website.

1. Increasing Revenues with In-App Advertising and Subscription Options

Even if you are already satisfied with the results your website brings you in terms of ad or sales revenue, having a mobile app directly connected to your brand could double or triple your revenue.

Besides having an opportunity to attract more traffic and, therefore, more sales, you can also implement specific advertising solutions within an app so that ad blockers cannot prevent you from monetizing your work.

Apart from the in-app advertising, you can also set up the in-app purchase support to sell access to premium content, monthly or annually memberships and other forms of subscription-based solutions.

2. Attracting More Users and Potential Customers through App Store and Google Play

Having a native mobile application can help you attract much more users than you would normally do with a website only.

First of all, you can acquire new users through app installations on App Store and Google Play.

Second, an app could help you to provide better user experience to everyone interested in your products or services, as it loads a lot faster than the website.

Third, having push notifications enabled could help you retain users and bring more qualified, returning visits to your app.

And last but not least, an application can help you keep users engaged with your app content for a longer time. It means decreased bounce rates and increased dwell times for your app pages.

3. Reducing Costs for the App Development, Maintenance and Updates

Building a custom Android and iOS app, as we already mentioned, could cost thousands and thousands of dollars, depending on the app type, platform, content managements system (CMS), content itself, app features, third-party integrations, and more.

Development phases such as planning, designing, coding, testing, revising, and finalizing the app could take up seven months, sometimes even more.

Besides that, the maintenance and application updates usually require more budget.

On the other hand, by converting your WordPress website into a mobile app using a plugin could provide you with a highly functioning custom native app within hours, even minutes.

Another advantage of this conversion is that plugin developers usually do the maintenance part for you, and it’s included in the price.

4. Faster Loading Time for an Improved User Experience

Mobile apps make your content load much faster by storing most of the data locally.

When we know that 51.53% of users prefer browsing the internet via a mobile device, it goes without saying that boosting up your page loading speed can improve the overall experience users have while interacting with your business online.

A mobile app is also much more convenient to use. Instead of typing in your URL in the browser and searching for your brand online, users can simply come to you by clicking on your app icon on their smartphone home screen.

How to Turn WordPress Website into an Android or iOS App?

Converting your WordPress website into a native mobile app doesn’t require an enormous technical knowledge nor do you have to be a tech-savvy ninja, but there are several prerequisites to this task.

Before using a plugin to turn the site into an app:

Your WordPress website needs to be responsive, meaning it needs to adopt every page element automatically to the size of a screen your users are visiting from. You could use a responsive WordPress theme or make your custom-built website responsive.
You need to download the plugin you want to use and make sure that it works properly with your website. Look for the plugins which are regularly updated, and make sure it is compatible with the WordPress version you are using.
If you notice that the plugin slows down your website, consider deleting some other plugins that you use. This is especially important if you already have more than five plugins running along with your website.
Prepare your brand logo in a form of an image that you can easily upload to the plugin. That image is going to be on your mobile app icon, so make sure it is consistent with your brand style.

Once you launch the new plugin, simply follow the steps within it to complete the process of converting your website into an app.  Make sure not to skip any steps before publishing your app.

Some of the plugins will let you take a preview before publishing it on the App Store and Google Play, some will have a free test included, while others may require you to publish the app yourself using the specific API key provided.

So, are you ready to learn all about the best WordPress plugins for turning your website into an app?

Let’s begin.

Top 3 Plugins to Use to Turn Your WordPress Website into an App (FREE test included)

Plugin #1: MobiLoud


Overview: MobiLoud is a WordPress plugin and an all-in-one solution for everyone who wants to convert a website into a native app for Android and iOS mobile devices without a hassle.

MobiLoud is a paid service based on the done-for-you principles, meaning that you don’t have to do anything on your own. You’ll have the team of app developers helping you every step of the way.

Besides the licence, it provides everything you need to create, customize, publish, maintain and regularly update your app. You’ll get everything done by the team of specialists and you’ll have a premium support along the way.

Once you download the plugin from the WordPress.org and become a paying customer of the MobiLoud, you’ll get the full support.

Pros:

Hassle-free experience, no technical knowledge required
A complete service, including a mobile app customization, submission and support
Comes with a different solution for news sites and e-commerce sites
High level of integration with WordPress and third-party plugins
Designed specifically for sites with high traffic
Offers fully branded app with your brand name, logo and style
Supports mobile app advertising, analytics and membership solutions
Helps you monetize and grow traffic directly from the app
Advanced, unlimited push notifications
Automated content updates synchronized with your website
You can request a demo to find out if it fits your needs

Cons:

You need to become a paying customer of MobiLoud to use the plugin
A subscription-based service, no one-time payment possibility

Price:

Startup Plan: $150/month or $1,440/year
Growth Plan: $250/month or $2,400/year
Custom Plan: from $500/month or from $400/month billed annually

Stats from the WordPress.org:

Active installations: 1,000+
WordPress version: 3.5 or higher
Tested up to WordPress version: 5
Rating: 4.3/5

Plugin #2: WPMobile.App

Overview: WPMobile.APP (previously WPApp.Ninja) is a WordPress plugin that offers a lifetime licence to build a native mobile app from your website at affordable price.

This plugin will allow you to create an app that looks exactly like your website but with additional functionalities such as push notifications, real-time statistics, automated content updates and more.

It is a great solution for everyone who wants a fully customized app that has the name, logo, and style adjusted to your brand.

It requires minimum Android 4.1 and iOS 8 version, so your app will be compatible with a vast majority of smartphones and tablets in the market.

If you are not sure whether this plugin might work for you, you can test the preview for free, without any limitations.

You can learn more on the WPMobile.APP website or download the plugin directly from the WordPress.org site.

Pros:

No technical knowledge required
Automated app building process completed in 20 minutes
Full customer support
White-labelled theme, so your app can be fully branded
100% adapted to all screen sizes
Automated content updates directly connected to your website
All the app content is cashed on user’s mobile device, so everything is accessible offline as well
Unlimited push notifications
Users can share your app pages with one click
Real-time statistics accessible directly from your WordPress dashboard
Free test to preview the app before publishing it
One-time payment

Cons:

There is no option for in-app purchase solutions
There are no in-app advertising options either

Price:

Life-time licence: 79€ for an Android app; 79€ for an iOS app; 149€ for both Android and iOS

Stats from the WordPress.org:

Active installations: 5,000+
WordPress version: 3.7.0 or higher
Tested up to WordPress version: 5.4.2
PHP Version: 5.3.0 or higher
Languages available: English and French
Rating: 4.6/5

Plugin #3: AppPresser

Overview: AppPresser is a powerful Android and iOS app builder for your WordPress website that gives you a lot of control over your app.

Please note that this plugin isn’t an app creator itself. AppPresser plugin helps you connect your mobile app with your website, but before you download the plugin, you need to use the AppPresser platform to build an app.

The good news is that you don’t need experience in the app development to use the AppPresser framework. It is an easy-to-use platform that provides you with just the right tools for putting your business into an app and submitting it to the App Store and Google Play.

You can create an app from every WordPress website, including WooCommerce, BuddyPress, LearnDash, non-profit, membership-based and other sites.

Once you have your app up and running, the AppPresser plugin will help you integrate it seamlessly with your WordPress site.

Pros:

No previous app development skill required
User-friendly, easy-to-use app builder
Fully customized app design
Integrates with all types of WordPress websites
Enables in-app purchases (depending on the payment plan)
The plugin provides a base code to easily integrate your WordPress site with your app
The plugin gives you the opportunity to add featured image URLs from the app using the modified WordPress API key

Cons:

You can use the plugin only after you purchase an AppPresser plan and create an app using the platform
Although the app builder doesn’t require technical knowledge, use of the plugin does

Price:

Standard Plan: $79/month or $59/month billed annually

Professional Plan: $99/month or $79/month billed annually

Advanced Plan: $149/month or $129/month billed annually

Stats from the WordPress.org:

Active installations: 3,000+
WordPress version: 4.7.0 or higher
Tested up to WordPress version: 5.6
Rating: 3.6/5

The Bottom Line

Having a responsive website for your business might no longer be enough to fulfill your audience expectations.

When more and more users are browsing the web on their smartphones and tablets, you might want to consider creating a native Android or iOS application for your business as well.

It can help you speed up the page loading time and help your users interact with your brand without an effort.

If you run your website on WordPress, yet you feel intimidated by the cost and time it may take a professional team of developers to build your app, using WordPress plugins to turn your website into an app might be the perfect solution for you.

Using plugins is an easy and affordable way to create fully customized, completely branded and highly functional apps for your brand.

It means that you could submit your application to the App Store and Google Play within hours (sometimes even minutes) and start attracting new users, increasing your business revenue and providing bespoke experience to your users.

The post 3 Plugins to Turn Your WordPress Website into a Mobile App appeared first on WP Fix It.

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Welcome United Search

Welcome United Search

Dan Leibson has been a strong advocate inside LSG and on SEO Twitter for the under-represented in the SEO community. At times his advocacy has been a bit too strong for some leading to several “WTF is up with Dan?” DMs to me.

Well you know WTF is up with Dan? He has spent the past few months working with an incredible group of SEOs creating UnitedSearch, a first of its kind speaker accelerator focused on helping promote new voices in the digital marketing industry.

“By offering mentoring advice from people with real world, practical, SEO experience, we give students the skills they need to be able to deliver an amazing presentation on any stage and the network they need to land gigs.

All at no cost to the student.”

I am so proud to have one of our team playing a part in this. And I couldn’t be happier to give them what I hope is their first link.

You should do the same.

The post Welcome United Search appeared first on Local SEO Guide.

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Social media techniques to integrate into your digital PR strategy

Social media techniques to integrate into your digital PR strategy

30-second summary:

Social media can provide a personable avenue for starting a connection.
Keeping connections on social media and emails consistent allows for a solid flow through the construction of a relationship.
Compliments and details are valuable if used in the correct context in conjunction with a relevant pitch.
Media Relations Lead Nicole Franco shares personalization tips and tricks on sending both professional and personalized media pitches.

Marketers who strive to build backlinks and brand awareness often engage in digital PR. 

But creating amazing content and then pitching that content to writers is not an easy earned media strategy. The outreach alone can cause many marketers to struggle and eventually give up on the tactic.

However, although easier said than done, appealing to the writer away from a regular pitch email can set any market apart from the wave of emails a journalist receives daily

Read on to discover several ways to not only compose an exceptional media relations email but also how-to create organic, personalized relationships with writers by utilizing social media.

Technique #1: Complimenting via Instagram

One natural way to start a relationship with an editor or journalist is to start the connection via Instagram. 

First, add them and maybe like their most recent post. Read the situation, maybe leave a witty comment or compliment on a relevant post relating to the content of a potential pitch. 

After a minor connection has been made, send them a message or email regarding their Instagram post while mentioning your content and ideas for a collaboration. 

Below is an example of a potential way to reach out to an editor. Keep in mind the content you are pitching and if it’s a serious topic. Editors covering lifestyle topics would be keener on receiving these kinds of requests. 

1. Instagram DM

Pitch email

Keeping in mind the kind of journalist you are reaching out to is important. In the example above, the writer had posted about Disney and had consistently covered witty travel content. 

Analyzing their coverage and writing style can provide valuable insight into how to properly reach out. Also, noting something that happens in everyday life or mentioning some seasonal holiday plans are great examples of how to personalize a pitch. In the example above, I chose to connect about Halloween costumes via Instagram. 

Technique #2: Asking for contact info via Twitter

Similar to Instagram, a great way to connect with journalists is by starting a conversation on Twitter. Instead of liking a photo or leaving a compliment, try retweeting or liking a relatable post. 

Twitter DMs are also a great way to ask a publisher for their preferred form of contact. Many publishers have open DMs and are willing to accept a news tip right in their Twitter inbox!

Twitter DM

Pitch email

Pitch Response

One of the most important things to note when reaching out on social media is making sure the content you’re pitching is relevant. This connection worked because the marketer did their research and took the writer’s beat into consideration and referenced a recent article they had covered in the pitch email.

If your content is not relevant or doesn’t align with the writer’s coverage, don’t expect a response. 

Technique #3: Get acquainted on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is considered by some to be the most formal way to go. But in order to send a message via LinkedIn, you must be connected to the person, making this a longer connection process. 

When reaching out on LinkedIn, it’s important to note that witty or informal comments might not be taken well on this platform. Keep in mind LinkedIn is used in regards to making professional connections, so keep a PR message short, concise, and professional. 

LinkedIn DMs


In both examples, the message was to mention their beat and simply ask for an email to best contact them at.  Although it seems simple, the writer will expect your email in their inbox and most likely remember your name. Additionally, as mentioned above, personalize your subject line so the writer knows exactly which email is yours. I’ve provided an example below. 

Pitch Email

Aside from just asking for an email, try and connect with them by starting a conversation about the college they went to or an experience they had. Any fellow Gator is always welcome in my inbox!

Technique #4: Reference social to get relatable

Although we are reaching out to journalists in hopes of creating a professional relationship, appealing to their personal likes can go a long way. One way to do so is by reading their bios on their social media or personal website. Some might be writing a book or might express something they really enjoy. 

Do those things relate to you as well? If so, let them know! Yes, the human on the other side of the email loves coffee or dogs just as much as you; who knew?

Pitch email

Pitch response

Some say people love dogs more than humans, and this pitch is no exception. Here I decided to take a leap and mention the journalists’ pup in their email. I included a picture of their own pup, mentioned their dog in my email subject line, and shared similar experiences. 

Although this may not always be successful, in this case, it was because of the marketer’s research and analysis. Again, always do your research. Most journalists already mention how they would like to be pitched in places like Muckrack, their personal website, and just by reading their articles (example included below). Marketers can get a feel about how to personalize an email.

Final tips and tricks for your digital PR strategy

Some things to remember when starting a connection on social media: always do the research, don’t be too invasive and keep it simple. None of us need an elaborate summary of what we tweeted in the summer of 2016. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant.

Consequently, all journalists are different. Although some prefer basic intros, using some sort of external connection can increase a marketer’s chance of building a long-lasting connection. 

Whether it’s referencing dog pictures from Twitter or referencing a line from a recent article they wrote, paying attention to those minor details may be the difference between an email ignored and a new digital PR connection. 

So when in doubt, turn to social. Happy pitching!

Nicole Franco is a Media Relations Lead at Fractl. She’s an extrovert with a passion for building connections with entrepreneurs and working with aspiring businesses to tell their stories. Aside from loving content development; traveling, volunteering, and seeking adventure is what she lives for.

The post Social media techniques to integrate into your digital PR strategy appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Local SEO for Nonprofit Organizations: 5 Tactics to Try Today

Local SEO for Nonprofit Organizations: 5 Tactics to Try Today

Posted by kellyjcoop

Many marketing channels are interruptive by nature, meant to divert attention away from a task, be it reading and replying to emails, perusing articles online, browsing social feeds, listening to the radio, watching TV — the list goes on. SEO is one of the only marketing channels (the only?) that serves to first deliver something, instead of asking before delivering. At its core, SEO is used to deliver helpful content to people actively searching for it. And, it can (and should!) be used to reach target audiences at the local and national level.

According to Google, searches for local places without the use of “near me” have grown 150% over the last two years — showing that, when people search, they’re increasingly expecting local results. This creates a powerful opportunity for those organizations primed to take advantage of it. Through the “search and deliver” dynamic of SEO, nonprofit marketers have the opportunity to reach local audiences that indicate their interest and engagement through their search behaviors. Nonprofit marketers can leverage this to engage supporters, drive donations, and share their nonprofit’s mission with the world.

So, how do you make the most of local SEO? Read on for local SEO tactics you can try today.

Before we dive in, it’s important to first understand what primary factors impact your nonprofit organization’s local search engine rankings. This can be distilled into four primary areas: relevance, distance, trust, and prominence.

Relevance: How well your website matches the search term a user searches for. If Google determines your business is an educational charity, then your website has a higher likelihood to rank for the term “education charity” in comparison to another business Google determines is a health nonprofit.

Distance: The proximity of your business to the searcher. As Google learns more about you and your whereabouts via the ever present homing beacon in your pocket — your smartphone — distance has become a top (if not the top) ranking factor. Essentially, the search engine result page (SERP) for “health nonprofit” in Portland, Oregon will be completely different from the result in Seattle, Washington. Heck, the SERP in the Portland ZIP code of 97219 will be different than the Portland ZIP code of 97209.



Trust: How trustworthy Google thinks your business is, based on its reputation. This could be determined by your review quantity and ratings, or the number of high-authority websites that link to your website. Quantity and quality of reviews, quality and quantity of linking domains, domain age, and quality of website content are a few ways that Google can determine trustworthiness.

Prominence: How often your business appears across the web. Examples could be a mention of your nonprofit online (by a local news outlet, for example) or a business listing on directory sites like Great Nonprofits or Charity Navigator.

Some of these are easier to impact than others — you can’t change the distance of your business to the searcher — so let’s dive in to five local SEO tactics you can implement today.

1. Create or claim a Google My Business page — it’s free!

Google accounts for 88% of all online searches, so making the most of Google is critical in developing a strong online presence for your nonprofit. Google has also reported that 46% of online searches have local intent, so doing what you can to amplify your nonprofit’s local search presence can have a big impact on your business.

Are you convinced? I hope so. Creating and/or claiming a Google My Business (GMB) page is a great first step in leveraging Google — and it’s completely free. When you create a GMB page, your nonprofit is listed in Google Maps, your odds of getting listed in Google’s local 3-pack improve, and you’re more likely to improve your overall local search rankings, thereby ensuring that more people searching for your nonprofit (or nonprofits like yours) find you.

By creating a Google My Business(GMB) page, you tackle all four ranking factors outlined above, so if you can only do one of the tactics outlined in this blog post, do this one.

If you already have GMB pages claimed and completed for all your business locations, high-five! Go ahead and skip to #2.

Before you start claiming GMB pages, the first thing you’ll want to do is collect and organize accurate location data, or “NAP” (name, address, phone number), for all of your nonprofit locations. A few things to keep in mind when it comes to NAP:

Always use your real-world business name. The name you list here should match the sign on your door, your marketing collateral, etc. Always use your real-world address. Don’t include information in the address line to describe the location; stick to your mailing address.Use a local phone number whenever possible vs. a call center helpline.

Bonus tip: Depending on how many locations you have, keeping track of location data can get unwieldy fast. If you have more than a few locations, I highly recommend you (or someone in your organization) create and manage a single source, like a spreadsheet, that has all your business’s location data centralized and organized in one place.

After you organize your location data, you’ll want to go through and claim and/or update the Google My Business pages for all your locations. Here are step-by step instructions from Google. Things to keep in mind when completing your GMB listing:

Include a primary business category to describe what your business does to Google and to the people searching. If multiple categories describe your business, choose the category that most closely matches your ranking goals as your primary category. Then, you can add up to 9 additional categories for a total of 10. For help selecting categories, check out our blog post on How to Choose a Google My Business Category.Select attributes for your business. There are a variety of attributes available for you to share more about your business, such as accessibility attributes, whether your nonprofit identifies as Black-owned or women-led, LGTBQ+ friendly, etc. The list of available attributes is pretty extensive, but select only those that are applicable, relevant, and accurate. Write a thoughtful business description. You have 750 characters to describe what your nonprofit does and what makes it unique. Include keywords in the business description. Focus on 1-2 high-value keywords that are relevant to your nonprofit, and avoid keyword stuffing (the unnecessary repetition of keywords throughout on-page SEO elements). Add photos! According to Google, businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for directions and 35% more click-through to websites. When selecting photos, choose authentic, high-quality photos that showcase your nonprofit.Select a profile photo to note your preferred photo choice for search results. This isn’t foolproof — there is no guarantee that your profile photo will appear first — but it does indicate to Google which photo you prefer.
2. Claim your local business listings

The places you can create a business listing online are growing exponentially, from social networking sites to specialized, vertical-specific directory sites that allow people to research, compare, and share reviews of businesses, products and services. These online destinations present marketers with local citation opportunities — opportunities to get your nonprofit in front of more people.

In the past, amassing a large quantity of citations was a favored tactic when increasing local search rankings. Now, as factors impacting local search rankings evolve, the verdict is out on whether local citation quantity remains so important. Claiming and managing your online business listings may help your nonprofit rank higher for local search queries and it will help more people discover your nonprofit online. You will reach a larger audience by creating complete, accurate, and engaging experiences everywhere your target audience searches.

Not sure how you show up? You can use Moz’s free Check Presence tool to see how your nonprofit appears across the web.

3. Develop an online review strategy

Reputation is a valuable asset for any business, and that’s especially true for nonprofit organizations, where donations are given and sponsorships extended based on the organization’s reputation for doing good.

As more people turn to digital to find, research, and evaluate charities that align with the causes they care about, your online reputation becomes increasingly important. Online reviews are a facet of your nonprofit’s overall brand reputation, and should be managed accordingly.

In addition to the brand benefits, an active review strategy has the added value of increasing your nonprofit’s online visibility. Review quantity, recency, and quality are factors that help Google determine how trustworthy your website is, which is one of the ranking factors we covered earlier. Google has said high-quality, positive reviews can improve your business visibility. A few things to keep in mind when it comes to reviews:

Make it easy for people to leave reviews. You can create and share a short url for customers to share reviews of your nonprofit. Solicit honest reviews. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! According to a 2019 study, 76% of people who were asked to leave a review do so. Don’t solicit reviews in bulk — This is against Google’s policies. Google does not provide a definition of what they mean by “bulk”, but typically this refers to sending many requests at one time via an automated platform vs. a one-on-one request.Don’t pay for reviews. This practice is also against Google’s policies. Respond to reviews, even negative ones. When you reply to a review, it shows that you value the feedback, plus, conversion rates (clicks to call, clicks to directions, etc.) increase when companies engage with and reply to reviews. Don’t be deterred by negative reviews. 90% of people are open to changing negative reviews if the issue is addressed. Again, sometimes all you have to do is ask.
4. Choose the right keywords to target

Keyword research, or choosing the “right” keywords to target, is a foundational aspect of SEO because it provides a roadmap you can use to optimize existing content, and produce new content in the hopes of ranking higher in SERPs. It requires an understanding of your target audience and how they’re searching for content online. The end-goal is to determine:

The specific terms your audience is using to search online. The number of searches for a specific keyword over a given time period, or search volume.What your target audience is expecting to find when they search for that term, or the searcher’s intent.

When targeting keywords, you want to focus on high-volume, high-intent keywords that are relevant to your nonprofit and that you could realistically rank for. This only begins to scratch the surface — keyword research is a BIG topic! — so if you’re ready to dive in to keyword research, I highly recommend that you check out The Keyword Research Master Guide.

Then, once you’ve identified your target keywords, remember to pick terms that best describe your nonprofit and include them in the business descriptions of your Google My Business and other local business listings.

5. Conduct on-page optimization

On-page optimization is the process of optimizing specific pages on a website for the keywords you want to rank for. This includes on-page SEO ranking factors like the content on the page itself, or the source code such as page title and meta description. Through on-page seo, you help Google accurately determine what your business is and what it does, and how relevant your website is to what people search for.

For example, if you have the term “global education” in a page URL, in the page title, description, and in the content of the page, Google is more likely to determine that the page is about global education and, your page will be more likely to rank for that term.

A few tips to keep in mind when it comes to on-page SEO:

Develop E-A-T content. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Google uses this framework to determine high-quality content, and high-quality correlates with higher search engine rankings. There are a variety of E-A-T tactics you can leverage — for a run-down I suggest you watch E-A-T and the Quality Raters’ Guidelines — but in the end, it adds up to demonstrating your business’s expertise and legitimacy to Google. Intentional keyword usage. It’s still important to include a target keyword in the title tag, description, headers, and through the content of the page, while avoiding keyword stuffing. Page titles and descriptions aren’t just for rankings. Crafting a compelling page title and description can lead to better SERP click-through rates — more people clicking on your website from the search engine result page. You’ll want to pair an attention-grabbing headline with a description that is specific, relevant, and (most importantly) helpful. Don’t forget about page load speed. Page speed is a search engine ranking factor and refers to how quickly your page loads for a user. You can use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your web pages stack up.Avoid keyword cannibalization. Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on your website are all competing for the same keyword. You put yourself in the position where you’re competing with yourself for rankings! Not only is this inefficient, it can have negative impacts, such as making it difficult for Google to identify the “best” or most relevant page on your website for your target keyword, diluting backlinks, or decreasing page authority.
Conclusion

These are just some tips of many, many potential ways you can leverage SEO to help grow your nonprofit organization. It may seem daunting at first, but investing in SEO is well worth it. And, it’s okay if you need help along the way!

If you’re at the stage where you’re currently evaluating a partner or tool for your SEO needs, ask the following:

Does the partner meet your value standards? Do they support programs for social good?Do they have special pricing for nonprofit organizations? For example, Moz offers discounted rates on Moz Pro and has a limited-time discount on Moz Local, available now through Dec 31, 2020.Will the partner make your life easier?

There’s no time like the present: dive in to SEO now to reach more people with your message, improve conversion rates, find more sponsors, volunteers, and donors, and connect with more people who need you most.

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!

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