Archive for the ‘what this means’ tag
As you probably know smartphones and other mobile devices are revolutionizing the way we work, interact with other people and consume information. Just to give you an idea, this semester the number of mobile Internet users surpassed the number of Desktop Internet users in India.
What this means is that we all need to taking the mobile aspect into consideration, whether you are an individual blogger or a manager of a large corporation.
Thinking about that I decided to run a little poll. The goal is to understand what kind of mobile traffic our readers are seeing on their websites (you can discover this on Google Analytics, on the “Devices” section if I am not wrong).
If you want to expand your answer, including your niche, whether or not you have a mobile version of your site and so on feel free to drop a comment.
I’ll publish the results next week.
Original Post: Poll: What Percentage of Your Visitors Are Mobile?
Posted by Justin_Vanning
There's been a lot of buzz around Facebook's Promoted Post feature over the past few months. I've read several blog posts (the HasOffers post was great) who have tried testing the effectiveness of Promoted Posts vs Facebook's Sponsored Story ads, and thought it would be interesting to do a similar test here at SEOmoz. Before I jump in to the results of my test, I'll give a quick overview on Promoted Posts for those who aren't familiar.
What's the Difference Between a Promoted Post and a Sponsored Story?
Facebook rolled out their Promoted Post feature at the end of May, allowing Brand Page owners to pay to push content to a broader audience than normal. What some people don't know is that when you publish content on your Facebook Brand Page, only a small percentage of your fans are seeing that content appear in their news feeds.
Facebook uses its complex EdgeRank algorithm to determine which content each user sees in their news feed. Facebook estimates that only 16% of a company's fans will see every post they generate in their news feed. Some companies will obviously have a much higher percentage of engaged fans than others, but it shows that simply publishing content on your Brand Page won't get it seen by 100% of your audience.
So, this is where Promoted Posts come in handy. You now can dedicate up to $100 to "promote" a recent post on your Facebook Brand Page. Facebook says, "Your promoted posts will be seen by a larger percentage of the people who like your page than would normally see it. It will also be seen by a larger percentage of the friends of people who interact with your post." What this means is that Facebook will distribute your content to a much broader segment of your fan base instead of just the fans who are already engaged with your brand. Sounds interesting, right?
Now, let's quickly discuss another tool for distributing your content on Facebook to a broad audience. Facebook's Sponsored Story is created within the Facebook Ad Platform and functions just like a Facebook Ad. You can set this up the same way as you set up Facebook Ads and select your targeting from the large list of available targeting and interest category options that Facebook provides. You'll create an ad image, write your ad copy, link to your content, assign a budget, set your bid, and then activate it. The main difference is that Sponsored Stories look like Facebook ads so they only appear in the right side of the Facebook Page where all the other ads are, and they will mainly target people who aren't fans of your Brand Page.
The Test: Promoted Post vs Sponsored Story
Show me the results, baby! We decided to use a recent update to our Beginner's Guide to SEO as the content piece that we would Promote and run in our Sponsored Story. For the Promoted Post, we created a simple post on our Brand Page linking to the Beginner's Guide and dedicated $100 to it. This Post had a reach of 26,275. It generated 198 actions, 1,311 clicks and had a CTR of 4.99%. The CPC was $.076.
For the Sponsored Story, we targeted 266,580 people who live in the US, Canada, UK, or Australia and like SEO related topics and websites. The actual reach of the campaign was 44,247 with a frequency of 6.2. This Sponsored Story generated 16 actions, 162 clicks, had a CTR of 0.366% and a CPC of $1.44.
As you can see from our test results, the Promoted Post generated far more engagement than the Sponsored Story, had a higher CTR, and had a significantly lower CPC!
The only area that the Sponsored Story out-performed the Promoted Post was in campaign reach. This makes sense since we were targeting a large group of SEO professionals and enthusiasts through Facebook Ads' interest targeting. At the end of the day, our Promoted Post to our fans who had not engaged with us in a significant amount of time generated a huge amount of interest in our content and drove a majority of the actions and clicks on our post.
To conclude, the combination of a Promoted Post and a Sponsored Story helped us to achieve metrics on our post that we have never seen before on our Brand Page.
This was our most viewed post ever (more than 5x's the previous record and was also the most liked and most shared)! While this didn't necessarily generate revenue for us, it was great to see how the Promoted Post and Sponsored Story can work together to achieve massive reach and engagement. The next step will be to see how the Promoted Post and Sponsored Story tools perform when driving a promotional offer or direct CTA type of content.
In the end, the main thing this test taught us was that it's important for every advertiser and brand to test things on their own. Just because one company sees a certain set of results doesn't mean that your company will see the same. Every brand, fan base, target audience, and customer base is different and will react differently so what it boils down to in my opinion is test, test, and test again.
I hope this analysis was helpful, and I'd love to hear from any of you who've run similar tests or messed around with the Promoted Post and Sponsored Story to see what types of results you've experienced.
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As expected, Mozilla has launched Firefox 14, and the major feature release is that “Google searches now utilize HTTPS.”
What this means is that you should expect an increase in the number of search queries in your analytics data showing the always fun [not provided] response.
What this means is that you should expect an increase in the number of search queries in your analytics data showing the always fun [not provided] response.
Like I said before, what this means for SEOs and webmasters, as well as marketers, is that the “Not Provided” in your analytics “keyword” reports will just increase. Right now, I am at about 30% of all my keyword data says “not provided.” I wouldn’t be surprised if that jumps to 40 or 50% once this is rolled out.
Danny Sullivan gets into some of the loopholes with this.
But do expect your not provided keywords to spike up as users upgrade to the latest version of Firefox.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.
Remarkably, many people don't bother to tell me who they are! Why? Because these folks haven’t developed an effective "about" or bio page.
Often when people visit you for the first time, we want to know about you, so it is important to provide background.
How to make a blog "about" page
If you are taking the time to create content, you need to have a great About or Biography page that might include such things as your photo, a bit about who you are (with a focus on your passions), maybe a short biography, perhaps a few affiliations, and anything else you deem important for people to know. You might even do a a short video introduction. Here's my bio page.
Make it easy for people to contact you
You never know who might want to reach you. Sure, you'll likely get a few unwanted messages. But you may get invited to speak at a conference or a request be interviewed by a journalist. So you should include contact information such as an email address.
If you are worried about your email being available on the public web you can cleverly mask it. For example, I sometimes list mine as david (at) DavidMeermanScott (dot) com. Humans know what this means but machines do not.
Avoid the About page template that ships with your blog platform.
The worst About pages tend to be ones where people use the template. Try to avoid this because these frequently force you into categories of information that may not make sense for you like "gender" and "hobbies." Instead, make a page on your blog and create an original About listing.
What this means? It’s getting easier than ever to get your questions answered or customer service issues resolved. It also points to the blurring lines between work apps and personal ones. And without question, it shows how our work and personal lives criss cross more than ever.
Customers get the same experience that comes with sending messages on Facebook. As with any private message, only the recipient and the sender see the information passed between the two.
Here is how it looks for customers:
Customer agents using Zendesk see this when messages come in:
In December, Zendesk launched its original Facebook integration that makes it possible for wall conversations to turn into Zendesk tickets. Inversely, a customer service agent may respond by sending a message that appears on Facebook as a wall post.
Get ready for more of these new services. A few years ago, Salesforce.com first started using Facebook as a way for its clients to communicate with customers. In the next 12 to 18 months, we can expect a wave of acquisitions as the concept of customer experience management begins to mature. SAP and Oracle will go head to head. Both recently acquired SaaS providers. Oracle acquired RightNow, which also had one of the earliest Facebook integrations and SAP acquired Success Factors.
The Zendesk service is a smart one. It means its clients can communicate with customers im a place that’s fast and convenient. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than running a call center.
I work in a building with a rather large parking deck. Seven floors, if you include the roof, yet all is not as it seems. Unlike many such structures, getting to the top doesn’t require seven rounded upward turns — ours could best be described as a double-helix. (Efficiency in our DNA.) What this means is that your trip up (or down) doesn’t go past every single vehicle: you only see half. The twin spirals do connect at top and bottom where one can cross over to the other side, but few do.
The spaces are not assigned, so the early birds get the better spots in the middle floors where you’ll find the covered walkway into the building. You would think that the people who park near you are just like you, and you’d probably be right. There’s just one little detail: the people who come through the odd floors are entering from one street, and the even people come from another. So how would you ever know?
Arrival and Path
You have a blog, or even website for your company, and at first it seemed like a lot of fun keeping a tally of the number of visitors. After a while, you may have seen spikes in traffic or behavior — or maybe even that rare event where traffic didn’t necessarily spike but engagement (comments) did. If all you’re concerned about is the number of cars in the deck, you’re not going to get an accurate picture. So let’s try to characterize the people who park in the deck, and how that relates.
- Those who come in through Avenue A
- Those who come in through Avenue B
- Those who come in at 6
- Those who come in at 6:30
- Those who come in at 7
- Those who come in at 7:30
- Those who come in at 8
- Those who drive cars
- Those who drive trucks
- Those three guys who ride motorcycles
Not to mention those who carpool, or those who park elsewhere and walk into the building, or those who park in the executive deck …
Sorting and Learning
You could make some big mistakes in assuming things about your coworkers based on the small sample you see parking around you every day. Many small businesses make assumption errors, often because they don’t know how to start sorting their visitors. Here are some important metrics to look at:
- Traffic source
- Search engine? (if so, which terms?)
- Social network? (if so, which one?)
- Organic find, or part of your promotion?
- Time on site?
- Bounce? (Did they hit one page and fly away?)
- Return visitors?
- Home page or deep link?
Often, an exercise like this one can be made easier by examining something analogous
So I throw this challenge to you:
1) What other community areas get naturally “Balkanized” unintentionally?
2) What other “slices” of your customer base do you find useful, and how did you learn about that?
An interesting experiment gets its official launch this weekend when Monmouthpedia formally kicks off today.
The Welsh town of Monmouth is the focus of this Wikipedia project that aims to create physical connections between places throughout the town, and events in its history, with respective content on Wikipedia.
According to the description on Wikipedia:
[...] The project aims to cover every single notable place, person, artefact, plant, animal and other things in Monmouth in as many languages as possible, but with a special focus on Welsh. This is a different scale of wiki-project. The project is jointly funded by Monmouthshire County Council and Wikimedia UK. Monmouthshire County Council intend to install free town wide Wi-Fi for the project.
What this means in practice is that when you visit Monmouth – a town with a rich history as this Monmouthpedia infographic illustrates – you’ll encounter visual clues everywhere that let you know that detailed information about the thing on which the clue is attached is available on Wikipedia.
The ways in which the clues will be displayed are many:
- Larger ceramic or metal plaques for places exposed to the elements for articles specific to Monmouth.
- Smaller plastic, ceramic or metal plaques for labelling objects non specific to Monmouth, e.g. for use in the Flora and Fauna guide.
- Labels for use inside buildings, e.g. for objects in museums.
- Glass stickers in the windows of shops to give information on their professions.
- In addition there will be information posters, signs, notice boards and leaflets to help people contribute and stay informed.
And the visual clues themselves? QR codes.
If you have a smartphone and a QR code-scanning app (for Android smartphones, a good one is Barcode Scanner), you just scan the code and the relevant Wikipedia page will open on your device. As free wifi-fi will blanket Monmouth, no worries about connectivity costs.
What’s especially clever is that the page you get on your mobile device can be in any one of about 25 languages. Here’s how that works:
When a user scans a QRpedia QR code on their mobile device, the device decodes the QR code into a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) using the domain name “qrwp.org” and whose path (final part) is the title of a Wikipedia article, and sends a request for the article specified in the URL to the QRpedia web server. It also transmits the language setting of the device.
The QRpedia server then uses Wikipedia’s API to determine whether there is a version of the specified Wikipedia article in the language used by the device, and if so, returns it in a mobile-friendly format. If there is no version of the article available in the preferred language, then the QRpedia server offers a choice of the available languages, or a Google translation.
In this way, one QRcode can deliver the same article in many languages, even when the museum is unable to make its own translations. QRpedia also records usage statistics.
That’s what I call imagination.
If you’re interested in how this grand experiment will develop – Monmouthpedia has been dubbed “The world’s first Wikipedia town” – keep an eye on the website and the blog. You can also connect on Twitter: @MonmouthpediA. Follow the hashtag #MonmouthpediA.
- A little imagination is key to success with QR codes
- Three things to make QR codes worthwhile
- More experiments with QR codes
Episode #305 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.
Now, with the ubiquity of smartphones and mobile connectedness, it has never been easier to share with the world our each and every move (look no further than Facebook‘s one billion dollar acquisition of Instagram). And we’re publishing our lives. All of the time – in text, images, audio and video – for the world to see. In fact, it’s happening more and more with each and every passing day. Why are we doing all of this self-tracking? It’s a topic that has fascinated Nora Young for a long while. The founding host and producer of CBC‘s Definitely Not The Opera and the current host of Spark (a radio show and podcast about the intersection of technology and culture – and it’s one of my personal favorites) spent this past year digging deeper into self-tracking and what this means about our society and who we are. The culmination of her work is the recently published book, The Virtual Self – How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest on Spark on multiple occasions, so it was a lot of fun to turn the tables and interview Nora. Enjoy the conversation…
You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast #305.
This post will be useful for people who monetize their website through affiliate marketing or adsense. It will also be of interest to anyone who wishes to learn more about how Google rank websites in search.
Let’s start with a basic fact – Google want their search results to be helpful and pleasing to users. They want the people who use the Google search engine to be satisfied with their experience. What this means is that if Google receive a large enough number of complaints from users, they will certainly take action.
For example, if users of Google search complain that pages load too slowly, you can be sure that Google will make site speed a part of their algorithm (in fact, it already is). If enough users complained about pop-ups on pages, you can bet your bottom dollar that Google would factor that into their algorithm as well. In short, Google want their users to be happy.
Now let’s consider a very important issue for webmasters (particularly for affiliates and adsense marketers), namely what appears “above the fold” on a webpage. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, “above the fold” simply refers to what you see on a page as soon as you land on it. It refers specifically to what you see before you scroll down the page. Why is this so important?
Think about it like this. As an affiliate or adsense marketer, you may be inclined to make money as fast as you can. As soon as a visitor lands on your page, you probably want them to click on your ads or affiliate links. After all, that’s how you make money. As a result, it’s pretty tempting to fill the top of your page with lots of ads and affiliate links with big calls to action, e.g. “Click Here To Buy…”
Let’s suppose you do this. Let’s suppose that “above the fold” on your page there are lots of ads and affiliate links and not much else. Now when people visit your site, they will see all those ads and, you hope, click on some of them as well. And then bingo, you make money.
It sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, there’s a problem. Many search-users have complained to Google about having to scroll down the page to find the actual ”content.” These users are not happy with pages that are full of ads above the fold.
Let’s take an example. Suppose your page is supposed to answer the query: “How to cure arthritis.” Suppose, moreover, that the person who has typed that in is looking for a useful article on that topic. Now suppose that she (let’s assume the user is a woman) lands on your page and immediately sees five or six ads “above the fold” for various arthritis cures.
Sure, those ads are relevant in the sense that they’re about arthritis. But she was looking for content, not ads. In order to get the content, she has to scroll down your page, past all of your ads, in order to read the article you’ve written about curing arthritis. This is precisely what many users (and therefore Google) don’t like. If your page is laid out like this, the chances are that you won’t rank very highly.
How do you avoid this problem? The good news is that you don’t have to remove ads (or affiliate links) completely. Google are more than happy for you to monetize your online content. But you must also take into account the user experience. When users type in their search query, what do they want to see? More often than not, it’s not dozens of ads.
Of course, it depends on the keywords. If someone types in “how to cure arthritis,” the chances are that they’re looking for some sort of article on that subject. On the other hand, if someone Googles the phrase buy cheap ipad 2, they’re probably looking for a list of cheap places from which to buy the product. And in that case, it would be far more appropriate to show them a few ads or affiliate links. So think about the keywords you’re targeting. Are they well-suited to ads? Or do they really require “content.”
Similarly, consider what sort of “user experience” would be best for your visitors. If they’re primarily looking for content, then you need to have (mostly) content above the fold. If they’re looking to buy something, then by all means consider putting an ad or two at the top of the page. Google have said that they won’t penalize sites who put ads above-the-fold to “a normal degree” (their phrase). Just don’t overdo it. Too many ads at the top of your page is a sure-fire way to lose your high search rankings.
To read more about this issue, check out the post on googlewebmastercentral. It’s straight from the horse’s mouth and will give you a good idea of what Google are looking for. If you’re an affiliate or adsense marketer and tend to load your page with links or ads, then this is definitely something you should look at right now.
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