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Google Algorithm Updates

Google’s Algorithm Update

Numerous industries from tech to recipes, health and finance, have been rocked by Google’s latest May 2020 Update which has rolled out in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Google announced the update on May 4 and called it the ” May 2020 Core Update”. The rollout of the algorithm will continue for up to two weeks from the release date when all changes will be live.

We are currently seeing search engine results continuing to churn days later. Many websites are noticing significant traffic losses.

Most updates settle relatively quickly with small modifications to results along the way. The May 2020 Algorithm updates appears a little different that those that came before it and it is becoming apparent that this update may be a big one.

Searchmetrics provides further reports from webmasters and SEOs on the ranking changes:

  • Health: “We lost in May 2018, we lost in August 2018 (Med). But this update is the worst update (for us) I ever saw in my years of SEO. We lost everything again. At this moment we got hit harder then 2018.” Sofie77 via WebmasterWorld Forum
  • Tech: “It’s getting rough…. – 40% Traffic compared with last week. Tech related website.” ChokenBako via WebmasterWorld Forum
  • Finance & Health: “Okay, now I am seeing crazy swings. Monitoring KWs in various verticals, and so far, the volatility appears massive. Some major national brands that were rank at the top for very competitive financial KWs dropped 10+ rankings. Seeing massive swings in health as well. This looks big so far.” HereWeGo123 via WebmasterWorld Forum
  • Dating: “Over 40% down so far for a relationship advice site.” Dantes100 via WebmasterWorld Forum

The changes are felt by many and the results apparently are fluctuating hour-to-hour and day by day. I haven’t witnessed an update as widespread as this one since Google’s first major algorithm update, Florida, in 2003.

Why Updates Cause Ranking Volatility

Due to the fact that it may take some time to roll out the changes to all the information centres worldwide, one of the reasons the search results ended up being unpredictable is: when your web browser displays a data source it might be receiving old information or the brand-new data.
Another reason to discuss the continuous changes is that there are multiple elements that are changing. Are people’s behaviour changing due to Covid? Is the web in general changing? of is Google changing something?

What commonly happens is an update present followed by a duration of relative calm that is then disrupted by more changes that in some cases reverses the losses. This updates has seen 16 days straight of ranking volatility, which hasn’t happened in recent years.

Google has different algorithms for every industry, and seeing changes across industries indicates a major update.

As I comprehend it this referred to as reversing incorrect positives. Incorrect positives are when relevant websites are inadvertently impacted by an update. After an update, the Google engineers will measure the feedback, review the search results page and modify it to ravel the false positives.

First Impressions

Many individuals I spoke with explained this update using words like “carnage” and mentioned how troublesome it was to do this to companies at such an alarming minute in time.

One Search marketer provided this impression: ” This appears to be among the most substantial updates in current memory. It’s prematurely for anything besides analysis, but I’ve seen sites in numerous verticals affected.
It’s not clear who the winners are yet …”.

Several individuals shared that while it is yet early, they are seeing changes throughout numerous industries, significantly in the health-related subjects.

Local Search Fluctuations.

There are many reports that reference fluctuations in local type search results page. One individual tweeted a graphic that reveals local search has been increasing since late April 2020.

Covid-19 Effect on Search Algorithm?

Some thinking that sounds plausible is that Covid-19 may have impacted some parts of Google’s algorithm that determines what it is that individuals want to see when they make a search question, especially covid related.

Without question, the pandemic affected search patterns.

Is it possible that Google added a change that makes Google’s algorithm more conscious about these changes? We actually don’t know.

Another aspect I’ve seen is that some are reporting that websites with stable brand names have actually gained increased rankings, while less top quality sites have actually lost.

Worldwide Update Rollout.

Google’s update appears to be impacting SERPs worldwide. Reports on WebmasterWorld indicate volatility from the United States to Europe to Australia all at once.

Japanese search engine marketer Kenichi Suzuki (@suzukik) told me that the update is being acutely felt in Japan.

This is what Kenichi said:
” We’re seeing a big change. … The May 2020 Core Update appears a normal core update.”.

Thin Content Losing?

Another point is that there are multiple reports of thin content losing positions. Because of their thin material or for other factors has actually not been determined, whether they are losing positions.

What Do Updates Target?

It’s crucial to understand that Google broad core updates do not generally target a particular industry. A change in the algorithm might have a strong result on an industry, however that does not imply the industry was specifically targeted.

Google has an established recent history of presenting broad core updates that impact factors like understanding user search intent and for comprehending what web pages have to do with and how those pages pertain to search questions.

A change to much better understanding search intent can impact how Google ranks medical-related sites are ranked.

If Google figures out that searchers want scientific responses for health inquiries then that’s going to negatively affect sites with so-called “natural” treatments.

If medical-related sites appear to be disproportionately impacted, that might be the impact of a modification in understanding search intent.
Link associated elements have likewise belonged to recent Google algorithm updates, like when Google decided to selectively use some no-follow links for ranking purposes.

What Do Algorithm Updates Reward?

Google does not actually reward websites for any specific quality. Google ranks sites for how appropriate they are to a search question.
Google likewise uses the link signal to determine the appeal of a website and what it is pertinent for.

Do Algorithm Updates Focus on Quality?

Google constantly aspires to not rank low-grade websites. What matters most is whether a web page pleases a user when they make any specific search query.

Due to the fact that it’s on a premium site, Google doesn’t rank a web page. Because it is pertinent, it ranks a web page.

Key Takeaways from 2020 Google Algorithm Update

It’s essential to wait until the search results page calm down before making any changes. Those who have seen ranking losses haven’t violated Google Webmaster Guidelines. The updates are intended to improve the overall quality of search results.

The best way to rank highliy is to “focus on delivering the best possible content” and confirming your website offers:

  1. original and valuable content. Meta titles and descriptions are appealing and match the content.
  2. Expertise. is your content trustworthy?
  3. Presentation and Production: does content look well researched?
  4. competitive comparison: does your site offer added value compared to other competitors?

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Internet + Humanity // What would it mean for humans to become data?

“I’m not comfortable with my body, so I want to get rid of it. This thing. All the arms and legs and every single bit of it. I don’t want to be flesh. I’m going to escape this thing and become digital. I want to live my life forever as information.”

Bethany, the Years and Years transhumanist character, demonstrates the conundrum posed by merging human and machine. The short video presented outlined Bethany’s desire to live eternally as information:

Two parents are worried. Their teenage daughter Bethany has been hiding behind a 3D animated emoji mask and has scheduled a talk with them. Trying to figure out what they’re up against, they sneak a peek at her internet searches. When they discover that she’s been searching for information about being trans, they’re relieved; they can handle a transgender child.

Except when it comes time for their talk, Bethany tells her parents she’s transhuman and that she wants to “live forever as information.” 

This set the scene for the night’s conversation with an incredible array of more than suitably qualified people to lead the discussions:

A strange new world

How do we address the issue of being more online than not? What happens when we blend our bodies with technology? And how and where are the ethicists who are ensuring we actually consider the impacts of our actions?

Is technology evil? We all know that technology is changing at a pace that is difficult to keep up with .. especially when we are trying to keep up with our busier and busier day-to-day lives.

Humans opened the Pandora’s box of merging technology and biology a long time ago, and we’re now speeding head-on into the consequences, despite not knowing what humanity will become.

Integrating bionics into humans holds out the prospect of fuller participation by people with previously untreatable conditions.

The belief that humans should use technology to escape suffering and to expand human abilities is now real. Benjamin Richards, the Executive Producer at Apothecary Films, shared an example of VR being used by paraplegics where they could see their limbs move which in turn created new neural pathways, to the extent that some patients regained bladder control and in some cases increased muscle strength to allow them to drive.

The use of technology to enhance life can also be seen in this video – grab your tissues and watch (your first assumptions will be challenged): (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPluc5BJNlE&feature=youtu.be

How do we regulate the speed of change to ensure policy and ethical issues are considered before it’s too late?

We need to remember that technology itself is neutral, but in the hands of humans, it can be the vehicle for destruction or for deliverance.  

Depending on who wields it and how, technology can be or do just about anything. That also means that those who wield it can be or do just about anything. 

So how do we ensure that we understand the consequences of new digital and tech developments? No one knows what it would mean for humans to become data or to exist forever in the cloud, but we do know that such an advancement would fundamentally change humanity. That’s neither inherently good nor inherently bad; change is constant and inevitable. 

We need to SLOW. THINGS. DOWN.

This was the sentiment across the panel. The ethicists need time to consider the consequences of new digital and tech developments. And if we continue to push and develop at the rates we have seen in recent years, we do not allow time for that consideration.

The panel noted that there is some relief knowing that companies like Apple are slowing down some of their release timelines on things like wearables. Despite having over 1000 engineers working on these products, the delay is, in fact, good as it allows policymakers and ethics-implementers time to catch up pre-law and regulate products before mass-adoption.

We also need to take the rose coloured glasses off and think about what happens when the tech goes wrong. How is it regulated? And how do companies adhere to ethics that haven’t yet been articulated?

On hope for the future

How do we ensure we create a future that is for the greater good rather than one that lines the pockets of the few (especially when we know companies like Google have removed their “do no evil” mantra)?

On this Fiona Kerr, Founder and CEO at The NeuroTech Institute, very eloquently suggested that perhaps we need to simply start with the human-centric questions. If we start with a positive question and look at how technology can assist us in finding the answer we will succeed.

If we start with “how can we make more money” or “how can we build a mass scaling product” … we are doomed to fail.

Dimity Dornan, Executive Director & Founder at Hear and Say / Bionics Queensland, reinforced the sentiment of technology for good when she said:

“If you are ever worried about whether tech is good or evil, you simply need to watch the face of a deaf child who (thanks to bionic implants) hears the sound of their parent’s voice for the first time.

We all have our own perceptions of technology and its place in the world, mine were somewhat sci-fi stereotypical. I think we all need to take the time to rethink the direction, drivers and impact of technology on how we think. We should be willing to look for new solutions and more nuanced consideration of how our future lives will be impacted so that we can help steer things in a positive direction.

……..

Thank you to Ben Johnston, CEO of Joseph Mark for both hosting and moderating the event.

Thank you to Lisa and her team at Bright Humans for creating the Night Nomad series.

Thank you to the panelists who are truly incredible in their respective fields.

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Crowd clapping at conference

SEO and Search Engine Forums & Conferences

Working in the SEO/SEM industry can be very rewarding. Many times a problem can be solved simply with a little online research, and posts on a few forums.

All too often, however, some people put too much stock in the posts they see, ultimately negatively impacting their SEO efforts.

In this article, I look at some of the positives and negatives of online SEM forums and attending SEM and SEO conferences.

As part of my daily routine, I visit a few of the search engine forums out there to see what people are talking about and what some have noticed.
Sometimes I come across real gems – stuff I can put away for later, or use with a client I’m currently stuck on.

But more often than not, the information you see is really misinformation in some cases. As such, one must be extremely careful in relying what is said on one forum.

A good example is when the Google Dance used to happen. It was at this time that webmasters would watch Google and begin to sweat when their rankings dropped one or many positions. Some webmasters literally didn’t sleep during the days of the dance.

And many times you would visit some of the popular forums and see all kinds of conjecture and speculation as to what Google was doing.

My favourite posts were “on my website this happened, so this HAS to be what Google is doing.” Yet all too often this poor soul was basing his ideas on the effects he witnessed on only one website.

And that is a flaw with these forums. It’s not that the forums themselves are flawed, it’s that in some cases people posting on them make bold statements about the current state of the engines with little or no evidence.

They base their “fact” on observations made on one or two websites over the course of one or two days.

Generally, these types of posts are quickly debunked as myth, but sometimes they do more damage than good. That’s because there are others out there who know even less and read these posts and take them as the truth when in fact they are mere speculation.

And it’s not just forums where this happens.

Many of the big forums now have events planned – conferences and the like – where you can now go hear those that post regularly also speak.
But it’s not the speaking engagements I have a problem with, it’s the speculation that happens before and after the presentations that worries me.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients come back from various conferences or Search Engine Strategy forums with their heads full of ideas on how to move forward, even though I know many of these “theories” to be false, or at least flawed.

You see, there’s lots of socializing that happens at these events.
You may be sitting down to their lovely boxed lunches and strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Before you know it you are sharing ideas, and the next thing you know he’s solved all your problems. Or at least you think he has.

But how well do you know the guy you’ve just been talking to? And how can you be sure that what he’s told you is correct?

This is what I’ve dealt with in the past and many times it’s the forums and conferences that can undo over 3 or 4 days what it has taken you to build over months and years – that is an appreciation from your clients that you do indeed know what you are talking about.

Here’s an example:
We once had a client from a major University. Things were sailing along quite nicely, changes were getting made and the site was beginning to rank quite well.

The client thought it would be a good idea to attend a webmaster conference. We recommended that she attend, but try not to place too much emphasis on what she had heard. This was because the conference she was attending wasn’t one of the “big” ones like WMW or SES, but more of a regional one put on by a local SEO company.

Yet she came back full of ideas on how to “help” me do my job better.
Things like turning off her URL rewriter because “search engines index dynamic content just fine.” and removing optimized meta tags because “search engines don’t use those things anyway” and halting all link building efforts because “building links can get you banned.”

Well, you can guess what happened next – the site stalled in the search engines and didn’t improve much after that. We pleaded with her to let us get back on track, but she was unwilling.

In the end, the client cancelled unhappy with the results, but would never allow us to do the job we were hired to do. All because she took what she had heard sometime during the conference as the truth to end all truths.

Now I’m not saying that what she was told at the conference was wrong. In fact, I’m inclined to believe that what she was told was mostly right. However somehow between attending the conference and coming back to work with us, she had determined that she somehow knew more than I did about SEO.

Chances are she likely distorted what she had heard. Instead of “search engines don’t use meta tags” she probably heard “most search engines don’t look at meta keyword tag.

And instead of “link building will harm your rankings” she probably really heard “improper link building can hurt your rankings.” I feel she misinterpreted or otherwise twisted what she had heard into something else.

So if you are site owner, please don’t assume everything you read/hear in the industry spaces is correct. If anything I’ve found that you must question everything. Even if it’s something that a well-known industry expert has said, you still owe it to yourself to question it. After all, if the “expert” is wrong, and you’ve based your online marketing decisions on what they’ve said, there’s only one person to blame – and it isn’t necessarily the expert.

Similarly, if you’ve read something in a forum, be sure to double and triple-check it against a few other reliable sources. For example, if you’ve read something at a forum, don’t be afraid to question the ability in the Searchenginewatch forums. Go a step further and question it in a few more places until you get a satisfactory answer.

Because while there is a whole lot of grey
in our industry in terms of what works and what doesn’t there are some hard and fast rules to SEO. Ones that will help and ones that will hurt when applied to your site.

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man lost in the desert

Without Search Engine Optimisation Your Website Could Be Lost

Building a great internet site is a wonderful achievement. But it could also be a complete waste of your time and money unless potential clients can find it. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one way to ensure your site is seen in the most crowded marketplace ever conceived.

SO WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO)?

To understand Search Engine Optimisation you must first consider how people actually look for – and eventually find – products and services on the web.

Research shows that more than 80 per cent of the world’s 290 million internet users (10 million of them in Australia) use search engines to find what they’re after.

There are many search engines available to consumers – the better known include Google and Yahoo! – but in general, they all work the same way. Typically a person will enter a keyword or phrase into the search engine and immediately receive a list of recommended web pages.

Internet users are impatient, which means they seldom scan through more than a page or two of search results, and generally only access sites listed at the top of the page. If you want to be seen, your site must not only appear on a list of search results, it must rank towards the very top.

Open a search engine and type in a word or phrase someone searching for your company might use – if you fail to appear in a prominent position, chances are your site has not been search engine optimised. Without optimisation, your site is about as effective as an advertisement floating in the middle of the ocean.

HOW DO SEARCH ENGINES RANK INTERNET SITES?

Search engines regularly dispatch ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ (aka bots) to collect information on websites. Using an algorithm – a set of complex formulas or rules – the search engine evaluates each website’s relevance and then ranks it accordingly.

These algorithms are unique to each search engine, they are highly secret and they change all the time. But in general, they all obey a basic set of rules. That means it is possible to improve your chances of a better ranking by ensuring your website has the most appropriate content, and that the content is structured in a search-engine-friendly way – this process is known as Search Engine Optimisation.

Search Engine Optimisation is not an exact science. It requires trial and error, and there is never a guarantee of success. But without Search Engine Optimisation your website is almost guaranteed of not being seen.

Of course there are other ways of reaching potential clients. You could, for example, spend money to advertise on a search engine, and only have your advertisement appear when people search for particular keywords. That is valid way to increase your chances of reaching customers. But studies have shown people using the internet tend to trust and visit the free listings more than paid listings.

HOW DO YOU GET STARTED ON SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION?

First, you need to find out if your site is actually being indexed by a search engine.

Open a search engine and type your company name in the search box. If you appear in the results it means that spiders or robots have located your site. They will place the site into a memory bank and visit it from time to time to update their information.

If your site is not listed you could consider submitting your site to search engines. This will not guarantee that they will list you, but it won’t hurt to try. A word of advice – do not submit your site multiple times as this will only annoy the search engine people, and you need to be on their good side.

Some search engines will not accept submissions – they prefer to find your site themselves. And some simply draw their information from other search engines (a disclaimer should alert you to this practice), which makes it pointless submitting your site to them.

Once you are confident your site is being indexed, you need to identify keywords – these are the terms a potential visitor might enter into a search engine when looking for your product, service or company.

Finding the right keywords is a pivotal component of Search Engine Optimisation. There are applications that allow you to test each word by showing how popular it is and how often it is used – the result might surprise you.

A good way to find keywords is to visit a competitor’s website.

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digital marketing components

Digital Marketing – Push + Pull Promotions

Utilizing online distributions methods to promote products is known as digital marketing. This approach is both time-saving and cost-effective. Digital marketing is done through items such as cell phones, SMS, MMS, instant messaging, websites, emails, banner advertisement and digital billboards.

Digital marketing involves some of the techniques of direct marketing and Internet marketing. In digital marketing, traditional methods of promotions are executed digitally. It involves marketing in two forms, pull and push.

Pull digital marketing requires the user to pull or extract the content directly. The customer has to approach the promotional matter and see the matter by himself. Examples are websites, forums and weblogs. All these require clicking on a URL in order to view the content. The content that is being displayed doesn’t have to follow any guidelines. An effort is required to only display the content on the website or forum and there is no additional cost of sending the information to the customer, but the customer has to make the extra effort of reaching to the content. The customer doesn’t have to opt-in for such kind of promotion and one message is being viewed by all and it cannot be personalized. The customers who see the content cannot be traced, although the click-through rate can be considered which give details about the number of clicks the message received. This is be done by enabling the click though tracking during the campaign, which records the information.

Push digital marketing technologies requires the effort of both the marketer and the customer. The marketer has to push or send the content to the customer and the customer has to make the effort of receiving it. This is a very effective kind of marketing and the investments surely earn a big return as it creates brand recognition. SMS, MMS, emails, RSS podcasting are examples of push digital marketing. Since the content is sent to individuals, it can be personalized according to the intended recipient. Whether the message has been opened and viewed by the customer or deleted it can be tracked and reported. Information related to the customer such as name, geographical location could be traced. But when sending this king of message, certain criteria should be met as the SMS and emails sent are monitored. If the marketer doesn’t follow the rules and regulations properly, there is a possibility of messages getting rejected and blocked, before they reach the targeted audience and the message is considered to be spam. Bigger consequences involve marketers getting blacklisted temporarily or even permanently. The number would be blocked and they won’t be able to send any messages at all. Messages sent to the RSS feeders require a mechanism with an application to reach when sent by an email marketing system.

Both forms of digital marketing should be used in consonance to achieve positive results. A smart marketer sends out emails along with SMS and uses multiple channels to market his products. The type of messages being sent should also be different from one another. They should not only be text but animations, audios and videos. There is a possibility of using pull and push message technologies in conjunction like the email sent to a potential customer can have a URL or a banner ad, which on clicking downloads information. If there is an enormous group of people to be reached via email, Email service providers can be hired who sends loads of emails to the customers on behalf of the marketer and they take measures so that the messages are not considered as spam.

Although much of the marketing is opt-in, federal laws, such as CAN-SPAM Act, have been passed to protect the customers from unscrupulous marketers who would go to any extent to promote their products or hackers or spammers who have a bad intent i.e. like harming the computer or installing adware, spyware on people’s computers.

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Proximity Marketing Flowchart

Proximity Marketing

Target the power of bluetooth and wifi technology to take a variety of marketing messages to consumers who are both nearby and looking to make a purchase.

Here’s a look at some of the key benefits/opportunities beacons have to offer:

  • Location targeting: Beacons let you target users with messages based on their specific location.
  • Mapping: The ability to “see” where consumers go in-store and attribute actions to these journeys – e.g. gauge how many buy a product after seeing promotional signs.
  • Frequency: Measure how often people visit the same locations, how long they spend there and how these relate to sales.
  • In-store messaging: Send promotional offers to people as they look through your store or business location.
  • Guide users: With full beacon systems, you can guide people through entire shopping centres, stadiums, airports and entire cities.
  • Gamification: Brands are using beacons to create treasure hunts and gamify the consumer process.
  • Cross-selling: Target shoppers with related products, special offers and other purchases as they queue up to pay.
  • Loyalty: Send loyalty rewards to people as they complete purchases.
  • Customer recalls: Send promotions and other messages to people who leave without buying anything to entice them back into the store.

Location-based marketing vs proximity marketing

Businesses, especially retail and real estate, have been focussing immensely on location for the last decade. This is because reaching out to customers without being sure of the location is just digital marketing, which is not very effective for local businesses. However, marketers and business owners now realize that the targeting needs to be more specific than just GPS and geofencing. This is where proximity marketing steps in. Let’s understand in detail about their differences and when each one of them is useful.

Location-based marketing

Location-based marketing in simple terms means communicating with potential customers within a range. Let’s say, a coffee shop runs a campaign to introduce a new almond flavoured Cappuccino on their menu. Setting a location based marketing campaign would mean that all potential customers in the range of, let’s say 1 kilometer, are notified about the new coffee. This might also include reaching out to a user in the nearby ice-cream store.

This is done by calculating the latitude and longitude of the smartphone using GPS or cell tower triangulation method. It is hence defined as the kind of marketing that uses mobile to target customers in a particular geographical area.

Geofence is a virtual boundary which can range from over 50,000 meters to anything else. Ideally, for interactions above 80-100 meters, business owners must consider geofencing.

Proximity marketing

Proximity marketing however, is a more granular form of location marketing. For the same example discussed above, the coffee shop owner could decide to have a more targeted approach and reach out to customers passing his coffee shop, lets say in the range of 300 meters. This approach is more personalized and contextually relevant.

Proximity marketing is about reaching out to customers based on the accurate position and not a virtual geofence. This makes the communication more contextual and personalised.

Proximity marketing is recommended for highly targeted zones – within 100m of distance. Proximity marketing use-cases involve interaction with customers about a particular product, brand on a shelf, or any other similar application.

Understanding Proximity Marketing

Let’s consider an example of a retail store.

  1. Beacons are deployed at the storefront or in aisles with ongoing offers.
  2. These BLE beacons transmit signals in its range. BLE signals are a combination of numbers and characters.
  3. The signals are detected by any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, in the transmitting range.
  4. The smartphone then sends the ID number attached to the signal to the cloud server.
  5. The server checks the action assigned to that ID number and responds accordingly. It could be a notification about a discount, or a product launch, a feedback form or just a greeting!
  6. These notifications will then drive customers to a relevant form, a webpage or a markdown card (a Beaconstac card creative which works as a substitute for a website).

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Programmatic Advertising

Driving your advertising performance through artificial intelligence.

We remove the silos to allow media buying across all channels to occur seamlessly and through one strategic lens, with programmatic and direct buying converged into a single function, and media performance measured and optimized holistically. 

Automated bidding on advertising inventory in real-time, for the opportunity to show an ad to a specific customer, in a specific context.

When anyone clicks on a web page that has advertising space that is configured for programmatic advertising, the publisher of the page puts up an ad impression for auction in an ad marketplace. The ad marketplace then runs an auction among advertisers interested in displaying an ad to that specific customer that just click on the page. There may be many advertisers competing in this auction, and whichever one ultimately is willing to bid the most wins the auction and then their ad is displayed to the customer when the page loads.

Many small businesses aim to optimise their advertising and marketing expenses. Posting an advertisement to a broad audience is ultimately inefficient, as the target market of any business is a small subset of the broader population. Likewise, posting physical flyers around a university campus or other public area does not ensure that the target market will see the advertisement.

One solution is using an advertisement platform that allows for the specification of the target market.

Facebook, as an example, prompts advertisers to specify the demographic information, hobbies, and interests of the users who the advertisement will be displayed to. A small business producing specialty hiking equipment may choose to advertise to individuals in rural areas that are known for hiking locations. Such a business may designate hiking as one of the interests, and search for a younger demographic that has not already developed loyalties to certain outdoors brands. This scenario illustrates how crucial narrowing one’s target is in maximising the efficiency of advertising. Still, there are only so many active users on Facebook, and that number is subject to further decrease as other social media platforms become more prevalent.

There is, of course, a better solution to targeted advertising that can reach users who do not frequently use social media platforms where targeted ad spaces are offered. Programmatic advertising is an even more efficient means of responding to this challenge.

One form of programmatic advertising is real-time bidding, enabling advertisers to purchase relevant ad space within a few seconds.

Whenever an individual clicks a website with ad space that allows for programmatic advertisement, a bid for that ad space occurs on the ad marketplace. Thus, advertisers can autonomously out-bid their competitors to show advertisements to users who fall within their target audience.

Another form of programmatic advertising is programmatic direct. This form is slightly more manual than real-time bidding, as advertisers can hand-pick where their ads will appear.

They also know exactly what they will be paying, whereas the price advertisers who opt for the real-time bidding option will pay depends on the existing competition for the ad space, the customer, and the financial capabilities of the specific companies that are bidding for space.

The most obvious benefit of programmatic direct is that brands preserve their image by ensuring their advertisements are only displayed on websites aligned with their core values, beliefs, and essential purpose.

For instance, a brand that is selling electric vaporisers may not want to appear on a website hosted by a company that sells cigarettes, as electric vaporizer companies could be the primary competition for cigarette brands.

Another advantage is that a brand may see an increase in its revenue by having positive associations with a cause that many are passionate about.

Protecting the environment is one social issue that most agree on. Some brands have even seen success based on their environmental responsibility and goal to minimise all individuals’ carbon footprints alone. Tesla, a company that manufactures electric cars and solar panels, recently released an impact report that detailed both its overall carbon dioxide emissions and the carbon emissions that were saved as a result of the use of its electric cars.

Many brands have started to use recyclable and reusable packaging to appeal to environmentally conscious customers and to reduce their environmental impact. Plastic is a huge stressor on the environment that many companies insist on using, as it is durable and inexpensive when compared to its alternatives. Thus, a brand that boasts its environmental responsibility may want to use programmatic direct to appear on pages about the record carbon dioxide levels, or about various ocean cleanup efforts.

Aside from preserving a brand’s image and boosting their revenue by supporting popular causes, brands can also ensure their ads appear on pages that reflect their core values. This ties into the relevancy of the host website.

If a company’s core values are the promotion of health and peace of mind to the general public, that brand may prefer to appear on yoga and meditation websites that include similar messages in their “About” pages.

There are many advantages of programmatic advertising over the manual selection of advertisement space to purchase.

First, programs are not limited by the same physical needs that humans are, such as sleep, free time, and illness.

Another advantage is that businesses can spend less time on the process of finding relevant ad space and more time on the appearance and message of the ad itself. Graphic design is a time-consuming process; however, a graphic that is eye-catching and meaningful may be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful advertising campaign.

Another benefit is that businesses may be able to reduce the size of their marketing departments. Of course, humans still create advertisements and select the websites to advertise on if programmatic direct is chosen.

However, employers can save on the salaries and benefits of the employees who would have had to scrounge the Internet for websites with available advertisement space.

In the future, programmatic advertising may be used to sell television spots; it has applications in many industries that cannot be ignored.

Overall, both real-time bidding and programmatic direct are methods of programmatic advertising that will increase the efficiency of a business and maximise the number of potential customers a business can reach within the business’ designated advertising budget.

Real-time bidding is a completely automated method of bidding for and purchasing ad space, while programmatic direct allows advertisers to select the websites on which their ads will appear. Both forms of advertising allow businesses to target a specific user, instead of aiming to appeal to a general audience in the hopes that the target market will be represented in that audience.

For programmatic direct, businesses can choose to be associated with causes that are meaningful to them and their customers, while avoiding causes they do not support.

Though programmatic advertising may seem futuristic, it is relevant technology that small and large businesses should take full advantage of.

Programmatic advertising puts businesses in direct contact with individuals who could become loyal customers and facilitate the growth of the business through another powerful method of advertising: word of mouth.

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5 Tips to Creating an Instagram SEO Strategy That Works

Is your Instagram SEO strategy up to par? You can leverage the social media service to boost your rankings in search. Learn how here.

There’s no denying the value of Instagram for building a brand and connections. This little darling of a social media platform exploded in popularity. Instagram is now one of the preferred social media platforms of just about everyone.

There are more than a billion IG users worldwide.

Let that sink in.

You’ll want Instagram SEO to help your profile stand out.

This article shares some of the easiest ways to add SEO to your IG. So, follow along and prepare yourself to reach more people and build a stronger brand.

1. Optimise the Profile with a Keyword or Two

There are a couple of profile areas you could include organic keywords:

  • Username
  • Profile name
  • About info

Your profile gets indexed on the Web (not photos). Like any site, Google and the other search engines rely on keywords to understand the page. So, try injecting a relevant keyword into these areas as you see fit.

2. Find and Use Great Hashtags

Hashtags are the informative and navigational elements of Instagram. These describe the photo or help it connect with a trend or topic. Hashtags are essentially meta tags which you control to boost SEO.

Try this:

  1. Check competitors and note which hashtags they use
  2. Post your media and include one or two relevant hashtags
  3. Figure out which provide the biggest interaction
  4. Make a new list of the best hashtags for your efforts

This little process cuts down on hashtag spam. And, boosts what works on the platform. The result is an active community that’ll build up your brand image.

All of this leads to…

3. Leverage Your Brand Image and Connection

A big part of SEO is building backlinks to improve your reach and authority. Instagram SEO is no different. The more your image spreads, the better chances you’ll appear in search results.

Extend your reach by trying these:

  • Including your IG profile link in the byline when guest posting
  • Using embedded IG images from your profile in blog posts
  • Having webmasters link to your IG when they mention you

This gets your name out there while building backlinks to the profile!

4. Deliver Good, Quality Content to Followers

People follow your IG for its content and discussions. Deliver a great experience with remarkable images and you’ll have done half the work. 

Good content:

  • Gets people talking, sharing, and linking
  • Connecting and building up your brand
  • Wanting to work with you outside of IG

You are, in essence, becoming an influencer within your space. This can lead to coverage and connections that help grow your organic reach. With this extended reach comes a greater impact on your SEO because you’re everywhere.

And to think… it all starts with taking high-quality photos.

5. Keep Doing What You’re Doing Well

Dig into your IG analytics from the settings and learn about your best posts. Then, create more of that content as you already know it’s a hit.

You can do extra things once you have the list of top posts, too, like:

  • Adding them back into profile overview
  • Advertising with the most eye-catching ones
  • Reusing them on your site and in its content

Leverage what’s working. This creates a consistent experience for newcomers that translates into a broader reach!

Let’s Go Beyond Instagram SEO

A touch of Instagram SEO grows your reach through this popular platform. But it’s not the only important place you’ll want to get found online.

Visibility is everything, and you’ll want a strategy that works. Let’s work together and find an SEO strategy to grow your business. Then, amplify your impact through paid ads and incredible Web experiences.

Ready to explore what’s possible? Click here and let’s talk.

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7 Ways That Programmatic Platforms Are Changing Advertising

Looking for a new way to advertise your business?

Thinking about using programmatic platforms?

While you may or may not have heard about it before, programmatic advertising is the way of the future. Programmatic platforms are changing the advertising landscape. They’re also changing the way that advertisers get their message out into the world.

Advertisers need to understand the many benefits of programmatic ads if they want to stay competitive. Unfortunately, if you’re unfamiliar with programmatic ads, it can be hard to understand exactly what they’re all about.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Below we’ll tell you about 7 big ways that programmatic advertising is changing the advertising industry.

1. Advertisers Are Embracing Automation

One of the top features of programmatic advertising is that it offers an automated way to buy advertising. Real-time bidding (RTB) functions as a large majority of this automation and allows for the automatic auctioning and buying of ad space.

Automated algorithms work to offer an ad to a user at the right time. It will be shown when they’ll be most likely to react to it in a positive way and when it will be most relevant to them. Advertisers can set requirements for placements and for their audience. Users can be targeted in a variety of ways including the device they use, personal interests, and their location.

With programmatic advertising, ad campaigns can be strategically managed and maintained. Ads will be shown only in the right places at the right times. This is in direct opposition to the traditional advertising approach of reaching as many people as possible every time.

2. Real-time Insights Are Influencing Business Decisions

Programmatic ads also offer advertisers the ability to see real-time insights and user data. Not only are bids managed in real time, but advertisers will always have full visibility into what is going on with their campaigns.

User data can be gathered and segmented automatically based on devices used, channels, and demographics. This extensive data can help predict possible pitfalls with a campaign, stopping it from continuing if necessary. It can also help advertisers find patterns that will allow businesses to make better decisions with future campaigns.

3. Ads Are Becoming More Personalized

With programmatic advertising, there’s never been better personalization and targeting available. Better targeting features and automation are helping advertisers to reach the exact people they need to reach at the right time. This allows businesses to more easily target people who are likely to take action, buy a product, or convert.

It’s important for a business to know who their target audience is when creating an advertising campaign. Advertisers can target users based on location, demographics, search terms, and other data. Because of this, advertisers who have a very specific customer base will be able to reach them more easily than ever before.

4. Advertisers Are Gaining More Control

Programmatic ads also offer more control for advertisers. With the increased amount of transparency, advertisers will have more control over the entire process. While much of the process will be automated, businesses will have more control over the type of people they reach and their goals.

Programmatic advertising campaigns are more transparent. They allow advertisers to see what types of customers are seeing their ads, what sites are being reached, and exactly what they’re paying. They’ll be able to tweak things to exactly the way they want them and will never be kept in the dark about how their ads are performing.

5. More Cross-Platform Advertising

Programmatic ads are also encouraging more cross-platform advertising. Programmatic ads appearing on all types of devices from smartphones to computers to TV. The rise of programmatic advertising is helping advertisers to pursue an omnichannel approach and ads are being optimized for each platform.

These days, people access the web from many platforms and devices. Programmatic ads can be used to help automatically determine where an ad fits best and where it will be most effective. This will help ensure that advertisers are always putting their message across on the right platform. They won’t have to simply hope they made the best choice for their ad location.

6. Advertisers Are Increasing Their Reach

Programmatic advertising can also help advertisers to have a wider reach. They’ll be able to discover new audiences through the use of advanced targeting and real-time bidding.

Programmatic advertising works to get an ad in front of the best possible person across many platforms and devices. It allows you to move beyond a few select advertising spots to get an ad to its best possible placement. With advanced targeting features and the use of “look-alike audiences”, it can be even easier to find the right type of person to show an ad to.

With programmatic advertising tools, advertisers will have a wider reach than ever before. They’ll ensure that they’re reaching the people who will respond the most positively to their message.

7. Increased Advertising Efficiency

Due to the many benefits of programmatic ads, advertising campaigns are becoming more efficient and effective than ever before. With improved targeting features, real-time bidding, and insights, programmatic advertising is helping businesses reach their ideal audience. This is being done in an automated way and with the fewest steps possible.

Many advertisers want the best bang for their buck and don’t want to rely on guesswork or a mass advertising approach. In this case, programmatic ads improve the process and make a much more useful choice for businesses.

Making the Switch to Programmatic Platforms

The advertising industry is always going through changes. However, programmatic advertising may end up being one of the most impactful of all. If you want to experience more success with your advertising campaigns, it may be time for you to get on board with programmatic platforms.

Need help with your advertising strategy? Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

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SEO vs PPC: What’s the Difference?

SEO vs PPC: What’s the Difference?

Are you confused about the difference between SEO vs PPC? Check out this guide to learn about the differences.

Did you know that Google handles over 3.5 billion searches per day?

It is most probable that you landed on this site through a google search or a series of them. Imagine how many people are doing so at this very moment worldwide.

The number is so big thus it is brave wanting Google to notice your company.

If you are on this site, then it means that you are interested in marketing your business through search engines.

There are two ways to go about it, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC). Read on to understand critical aspects when determining SEO vs. PPC.

Why a search engine

The world we live in today is pretty much run by the internet. Therefore, for your business to be relevant in the digital marketing world, it must have an online presence.

Create a website and advertise your products through it. This way, you will attract customers that would have otherwise remained inaccessible.
SEO vs. PPC.

You have probably encountered Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click in the online marketing world. You may think of the two are similar due to their functions but they happen to be very different tools.

They mainly differ in where listings appear on the search results page and how traffic is acquired.

Within The Locality

If you are a business owner, high chances are that you want to target local customers. Well, At least for now. To do this you need to optimize the local search.

How you go about it is different for SEO vs. PPC. Use location keywords to increase your chances of being among the localities that pop up is a consumer is searching for similar products.

Make sure that important information like business name and address is the same in all platforms.

Site Traffic

There are two major types of site traffic. 

Organic Traffic

Every time that you type into Google search bar, there are links that pop up. These, are known as organic results. They come up due to the similarity of content.

Now, traffic that comes from users finding your link among these results is the organic traffic. The probability of someone following on your link is pretty low if it does not appear among the first three. Therefore, you must be patient if you decide to pick SEO. Search Engine Optimization falls under this category.

Despite, the time factor it happens to be the most valuable traffic source and most sought after by buyers. Maybe if you are patient enough, you will be able to get more traffic at a cheaper cost per head.

Instant Traffic

As the name suggests, pay per click is chargeable.

However, it is instant. All you have to do is run advertisements on google and your site will appear among the first in Google Search results.

This major difference between SEO and PPC prompts you to now have much is time worth to you.

How much is the extra time saving your company?

Pros of Using SEO

Several ways in which you can improve your website using SEO. They include blogging and on page optimization. 

Organic traffic is not really free as it costs time and effort. Which implies capital, but other than that, there are no charges. It’s definitely more cost effective. 

Below are the advantages of using SEO. 

Credible Image

Most users tend to ignore ads and look for organic results. This will have a positive impact on your brand as you will have a credible image.

Awareness

The more time it takes for an organic site to gain a following, the longer it is to an internet user. If you have quality content, then there is nothing to worry about.
With time, keywords leading to your website will begin to pop up.

Your services might stick with the customers as opposed to sites that appear out of nowhere

Return on Investment (ROI)

This type of traffic has proven to have better returns on investments as opposed to the paid alternative. What PPC has to offer?

Now let’s look at some advantages of having a paid traffic plan.

Top position on Page

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, position on a page is crucial. Being on top of the page guarantees that most users click on your site.

Advertisements

With PPC ads, you have more space to market your brand. Make sure to add important information like location, pricing, and call outs.

Planned Finances

If you are considering paying for your advertisements, then it is wise to know figure out how much you are willing to spend daily on marketing.

To what level is business dependent on this? And can your online customer cater for this expense and more? Are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself beforehand?

Speed

How agile is your business? Any small business owner trying to stand out in the online marketing world understands that speed is a currency.

PPC gives you an economic advantage over your competitors. How so? You can be the first to market a certain product and benefit from the sales before your competitors catch up.

What Not To Do

Now you have understood the differences between SEO and PPC and what impact they have on your enterprise.

Let’s look at some crucial don’ts. Read keenly as they might make all the difference.

SEO

Avoid over-stuffing your page with keywords. Filling your pages with keywords won’t make it pop faster. Besides, the search engine is interested in quality content

Don’t use negative keywords. Avoid having duplicated texts in your website. Search engines are looking for content that will help the users. Having the same data twice will only weaken your game

PPC

Pick targeted keywords over generic ones. Monitor your ads to make sure that that they are actually getting conversations.

Avoid using negative keywords. If you do so, you will end up talking about what you are not selling instead of advertising your products.

Make the Best Choices in Digital Marketing

Advertising your business online and going the extra mile of improving its visibility to the user is bold and objective. At the end of the day, all you want is to grow your business and boost sales.

Be sure to take time and decide what best works for you, SEO vs. PPC.

For more information on beneficial online tools, check out this page.

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