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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Kadena brings free private blockchain service to Azure Marketplace

August 27, 2019 No Comments

The hype around blockchain seems to have cooled a bit, but companies like Kadena have been working on enterprise-grade solutions for some time, and continue to push the technology forward. Today, the startup announced that Kadena Scalable Permissioned Blockchain on Azure is available for free in the Azure Marketplace.

Kadena co-founder and CEO Will Martino says today’s announcement builds on the success of last year’s similar endeavor involving AWS. “Our private chain is designed for enterprise use. It’s designed for being high performance and for integrating with traditional back ends. And by bringing that chain to AWS marketplace, and now to Microsoft Azure, we are servicing almost all of the enterprise blockchain market that takes place in the cloud,” Martino told TechCrunch.

The free product enables companies to get comfortable with the technology and build a Proof of Concept (PoC) without making a significant investment in the tooling. The free tool provides 2000 transactions a second across 4 nodes. Once companies figure this out and want to scale, that’s when the company begins making money, but Martino recognizes that the technology is still immature and companies need to get comfortable with it, and that’s what the free versions on the cloud platforms like Azure are encouraging.

Martino says Kadena favors a hybrid approach to enterprise blockchain that combines public and private chains, and in his view, gives customers the best of both worlds. “You can run a smart contract on our public Chainweb protocol that will be launching on October 30th, and that smart contract can be linked to a cluster of private permission chain nodes that are running the other half of the application. This allows you to have all of the market access and openness and transparency and ownerlessness of a public network, while also having the control and the security that you find in a private network,” he said.

Martino and co-founder Stuart Popejoy both worked at JPMorgan on early blockchain projects, but left to start Kadena in 2016. The company has raised $ 14.9 million to date.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Frequency Capping in Digital Advertising

August 27, 2019 No Comments

This blog post will inform you on how to manage frequency capping in digital advertising across multiple popular platforms and its importance to your strategy. 

Read more at PPCHero.com
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How to Create a Filter to Tidy up Email Referrals

August 27, 2019 No Comments

Roll up Yahoo Mail, Hotmail referrals

If you send marketing emails without campaign tagging or an external company e-mail your sites links to its users that have Yahoo Mail or Hotmail, users will arrive at your site via one of the many Yahoo or Hotmail servers. So searching for mail.live.com in your referral report gives you hundreds of referrers which are actually one and the same referral link.

 

 

You tend to get referrals like above ( ”xy342w.mail.live.com”). You can roll these together so you can see hotmail referrals grouped together by making changes inside Google Analytics so that reports are clearer and easier to breakdown.

 

Login to Google Analytics; select your profile you wish to roll up this data. Select Admin > Profiles > Filters

 

 

The next step is to create a New Filter.

These Filter you need to create will be a custom filter that will look at campaign sources and replace/rename the string with something that rolls them up into an easy to view source.

Filter type: Custom Filter > Search and Replace

The filter field that will be searched will be the Campaign Source and in order to ensure that all possible variables of the email source are collected a regular expression will be needed.

Filter Field > Campaign Source

Search String > “A Regular Expression”

sn144w.snt113.mail.live.com will need the following regular expression

^.*mail\.live\.co.$

Replace String with the name you wish to roll it to. I have chosen livemail.

Select Save.

Example below.

Windows Hotmail/Livemail:

 

 

This is a guest post contributed by James Cornwall

About James Cornwall

As Digital Analyst at 4Ps Marketing, James is responsible for the recently launched analytics department. After studying Civil Engineering at CITY University, James has undertaken a career in ecommerce and digital marketing. He is Google Adwords and Analytics Certified, and in his spare time is a keen hockey player. Ask James a Question: Follow on Twitter – @jamesc_4ps LinkedIn – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/james-cornwall/

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How to pitch to top online publishers: 10 Exclusive survey insights

August 27, 2019 No Comments

How would you like to get your brand featured on major online websites like Buzzfeed, the Washington Post, or Bustle?

When you earn the attention of top-tier press, you reap the business benefits of large-scale brand exposure and the SEO benefits of high-authority backlinks. It’s a win-win.

But it’s increasingly difficult to win the attention of the online press. Any day of the week, you have tweets from Chrissy Teigen and the contentious presidential election dominating the media coverage and driving the online social discussion.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that there is an ideal time to pitch a writer or the best way to write a press release or an email for optimal success. The problem with a lot of digital PR advice you read online is that it’s purely situational and can vary from person to person.

That’s why my team decided to end the back and forth once and for all. In a new publisher survey, we asked 500+ online writers and editors from sites like the New York Times, CNN, Cosmopolitan, and Mashable how they want to be pitched, what types of content they prefer to cover, and what PR professionals should include (and exclude) in their outreach emails in order to gain their trust and earn a coveted space on their website.

Here are 10 major data-backed insights that you can use to optimize your outreach strategy.

The top three reasons why journalists decline your pitch

The top three reasons journalists decline your pitch is because it’s irrelevant, boring, or too self-promotional.

A crucial reason why a writer rejected your email pitch is that it’s irrelevant. That’s right, 88% of writers have rejected a pitch for it being unrelated to their beat.

Note: Password: exclusive – a password will be taken down to facilitate the exclusive for SEW.

Almost 64% of writers have rejected a pitch because it was simply too boring. If you fail to explain why the content you’re pitching is exciting or newsworthy, how can you expect an online editor to envision the story?

Another 62% of online journalists have rejected a pitched because it’s too self-promotional. Online editors seek to inform and entertain their audiences. A tired pitch about some new thing that’s happening at your company or some funny thing your CEO tweeted is not going to capture the attention of the masses and drive traffic – and editors know that.

Over 42% of writers reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day

Over 42% of writers reported receiving 11 to 100 pitches a day and almost five percent receive 100+ email pitches per day.

To a certain extent, online writers and editors rely on PR pitches to provide them with content to fill their editorial calendar. But can you imagine receiving 100 pitches a day? It’s no wonder that journalists take to Twitter so often to vent about the latest #PRFail that recently arrived in their inbox. With all of that inbox clutter, who wouldn’t be frustrated with a lazily written, irrelevant pitch?

Time = money. You’re wasting both when you reach out to a writer about content that’s relevant to them or their beat.

Only 22% of digital writers open every single email addressed to them

Only one out of every five people you send emails to will open every pitch addressed to them. And most people, about three in four, open an email based on the subject line alone. This places a lot of pressure on your subject line writing, which is why it’s one of the most important elements of your outreach email strategy.

Read all about how to perfect your subject lines for PR outreach in a previous post for SEMrush.

Most writers (58%) prefer to receive a pitch between 100 and 200 words

Keep it short and sweet. Given the sheer volume of pitches they receive daily, writers are too busy to sift through a complicated pitch to decipher what it’s about. If they open your email, you have about half a minute to capture their attention before they move on to the next pitch.

Here are some tips to keep the word count of your email down.

  • Include only the most relevant, interesting, and newsworthy details of your content
  • Use bullet points to list disparate details
  • Link to the full content from your email (that is, don’t attach additional info to the email)

Some content topics are more competitive than others

Our survey found that writers who cover popular topics, such as women’s interest, home and lifestyle, and entertainment receive double the number of pitches than writers covering personal finance and business.

How can you change your content marketing strategy in light of these stats? Create content on the sphere of two verticals. For example, a piece of content that explores inter-office dating can be covered by writers who cover two different beats – dating and career/business.

By creating content that naturally appeals to more than one audience, you double your potential for exposure right out of the gate.

Staff editors are pitched more than staff writers or freelance contributors

According to our data, it’s safe to say staff editors have more inbox congestion than staff writers or freelancers. However, that doesn’t mean that you should remove them from your outreach list. When it comes to who to pitch, the best answer is still unclear. Despite the data suggesting you have a better chance with freelancers and staff writers, the bottom line is that they oftentimes still have to pitch the editor their story. By writing directly to the editor, they make the decision right then and there on whether to assign the story.

There are pros and cons to pitching all people in all three of these roles, but it’s good to keep their different roles and responsibilities in mind when actively pitching a content campaign.

The best time to send pitches are 5 am to 12 pm on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

After years of practicing PR for clients across all topic verticals, it’s long been a suspicion of mine that pitches sent on a Friday tend to fall on deaf ears and require a follow up to really be seen. If you felt the same way, then you’re experience is about to be validated.

Our survey of 500+ journalists found that the best days to send email pitches are at the beginning of the workweek: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And the best time? Survey says early morning is better, between 5 am to 12 pm.

Journalists prefer zero or one follow up emails an average of three to seven days after you’ve sent your initial pitch

Speaking of follow up emails, should you even send them at all? While 20% of writers believe that you should never send a follow-up email, the majority of writers (60%) consider one follow-up email to be the most acceptable.

When should you follow up? Data shows that most writers prefer that you follow-up three to seven days after you send the first email pitch.

Heed Phil’s warning. It may be surprising to you that some people send follow-ups to journalists who’ve already declined their pitch.

The thing is, many PR pros are still using unsophisticated mass outreach tools that are too automated. If you’re in doubt about your tool, it’s better to use a spreadsheet and focus on “one-on-one” email outreach. Automate effectively, responsibly, and at your own risk.

If you provide good content, journalists will want you to keep in touch

We asked 500+ journalists and online writers how they want to keep in touch with a PR pro after working with them on a story. They told us that the best way to stay in contact is via email (77%) and by continuing sending the journalist relevant content (57%).

Journalists were quick to note that they do not want phone calls or to meet in person but were more open to chatting on Twitter and LinkedIn occasionally.

Over 53% of writers say they don’t subscribe to press release sources

Is the press release “dead?” While it is still a strategy that marketers and brands employ, its usefulness is slowly declining in favor of direct, targeted “One-on-one” outreach.

Around 20% of writers admitted that they never write a story based on a press release, while about 29% of writers we surveyed say they use press releases for their stories more than 10 times a year.

Conclusion

Offering compelling, newsworthy, data-driven content is the key to earning top tier press mentions. 10x content paired with strategic one-on-one digital PR is the winning combination to earn attention and authority for your brand.

When it comes to earning press on top tier online websites like the NYTimes, CNN, Forbes, the Atlantic, and more, it’s not impossible, but it is increasingly harder with countless pieces of content being created every day. Capturing and keeping a journalist’s attention is a competitive game. Keep these stats in mind to give your content the upper hand in a crowded inbox.

Domenica is a Brand Relationship Manager at Fractl. She can be found on Twitter @atdomenica.

The post How to pitch to top online publishers: 10 Exclusive survey insights appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Yelp Is Overhauling Its App to Emphasize Personalization

August 27, 2019 No Comments

Users can customize the app to reflect their stated preferences and lifestyles.
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The *Jeopardy!* Master is Making a Better Trivia Game

August 25, 2019 No Comments

Ken Jennings is teaming up with the creator of *Magic* to launch *Half-Truth*, a game that will “make you feel smart when you play.”
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Augmented Search Queries Using Knowledge Graph Information

August 24, 2019 No Comments

What are Augmented Search Queries?

Last year, I wrote a post called Quality Scores for Queries: Structured Data, Synthetic Queries and Augmentation Queries, which told us that Google may look at query logs and structured data (table data and schema data) related to a site to create augmentation queries, and evaluate information about searches for those comparing them to original queries for pages from that site, and if the results of the augmentation queries do well in evaluations compared to the original query results, searchers may see search results that are a combination of results from the original queries and the augmentation queries.

Around the time that patent was granted to Google another patent that talks about augmented search queries was also granted to Google, and is worth talking about at the same time with the patent I wrote about last year. It takes the concept of adding results from augmented search queries together with original search results, but it has a different way of coming up with augmented search queries, This newer patent that I am writing about starts off by telling us what the patent is about:

This disclosure relates generally to providing search results in response to a search query containing an entity reference. Search engines receive search queries containing a reference to a person, such as a person’s name. Results to these queries are often times not sufficiently organized, not comprehensive enough, or otherwise not presented in a useful way.

Augmentation from the first patent means possibly providing additional information in search results based upon additional query information from query logs or structured data from a site. Under this new patent, augmentation comes from recognizing that an entity exists in a query, and providing some additional information in search results based upon that entity.

This patent is interesting to me because it takes an older type of search – where a query returns pages in response to the keywords typed into a search box, with a newer type of search, where an entity is identified in a query, and knowledge information about that entity is reviewed to create possible augmentation queries that could be combined with the results of the original query.

The process behind this patent can be described in this way:

In some implementations, a system receives a search query containing an entity reference, such as a person’s name, that corresponds to one or more distinct entities. The system provides a set of results, where each result is associated with at least one of the distinct entities. The system uses the set of results to identify attributes of the entity and uses the identified attributes to generate additional, augmented search queries associated with the entity. The system updates the set of results based on one or more of these augmented search queries.

A summary of that process can be described as:

  1. Receiving a search query associated with an entity reference, wherein the entity reference corresponds to one or more distinct entities.
  2. Providing a set of results for the search query where the set of results distinguishes between distinct entities.
  3. Identifying one or more attributes of at least one entity of the one or more distinct entities based at least in part on the set of results.
  4. Generating one or more additional search queries based on the search query, the at least one entity, and the one or more attributes.
  5. Receiving an input selecting at least one of the one or more additional search queries and providing an updated set of results based on the selected one or more additional search queries, where the updated set of results comprises at least one result not in the set of results.

The step of generating one or more additional search queries means ranking the identified one or more attributes and generating one or more additional search queries based on the search query, the at least one entity, the one or more attributes, and the ranking.

That ranking can be based on the frequency of occurrence.
The ranking can also be based on a location of each of the one or more attributes with respect to at least one entity in the set of results.

augmented search queries - Planet of the apes example

This process can identify two different entities in a query. For instance, there were two versions of the Movie, the Planet of the Apes. One was released in 1968, and the other was released in 2001. They had different actors in them, and the second was considered a reboot of the first.

When results are generated in instances where there may be more than one entity involved, the search queries provided may distinguish between the distinct entities. They may identify one or more attributes of at least one entity of the one or more distinct entities based at least in part on the set of results. Augmented search queries may be generated for “one or more additional search queries based on the search query, the at least one entity, and the one or more attributes.”

This patent can be found at:

Providing search results using augmented search queries
Inventors: Emily Moxley and Sean Liu
Assignee: Google LLC
US Patent: 10,055,462
Granted: August 21, 2018
Filed: March 15, 2013

Abstract

Methods and systems are provided for updating a set of results. In some implementations, a search query associated with an entity reference is received. The entity reference corresponds to one or more distinct entities. A set of results for the search query is provided, and the set of results distinguishes between distinct entities. One or more attributes for at least one entity of the one or more distinct entities are identified based at least in part on the set of results. One or more additional search queries are identified based on the search query, the at least one entity, and the one or more attributes. An input selecting at least one of the additional search queries is received. An updated set of results is provided based on the selected additional search queries. The updated set of results comprises at least one result not in the set of results.

Some Additional Information About How Augmented Search Queries are Found and Used

A couple of quick definitions from the patent:

Entity Reference – refers to an identifier that corresponds to one or more distinct entities.

Entity – refers to a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well defined, and distinguishable.

This patent is all about augmenting a set of query results by providing more information about entities that may appear in a query:

An entity reference may correspond to more than one distinct entity. An entity reference may be a person’s name, and corresponding entities may include distinct people who share the referenced name.

This process is broader than queries involving people. We are given a list in the patent that it includes, and it covers, “a person, place, item, idea, topic, abstract concept, concrete element, other suitable thing, or any combination thereof.”

And when an entity reference appears in a query, it may cover a number of entities, for example, a query that refers to John Adams could be referring to:

  • John Adams the Second President
  • John Quincy Adams the Sixth President
  • John Adams the artist

Entity attributesIn addition to having an entity in an entity reference in a query, we may see a mention of an attribute for that entity, which is “any feature or characteristic associated with an entity that the system may identify based on the set of results.” For the John Adams entity reference, we may also see attributes included in search results, such as [second president], [Abigail Adams], and [Alien and Sedition Acts].

entity selection box

It sounds like an entity selection box could be shown that allows a searcher to identify which entity they might like to see results about, so when there is an entity in a query such as John Adams, and there are at least three different John Adams that could be included in augmented search results, there may be clickable hyperlinks for entities for a searcher to select or deselect which entity they might be interested in seeing more about.

Augmented Search Queries with Entities Process Takeaways

When an original query includes and entity reference in it, Google may allow searchers to identify which entity they are interested in, and possibly attributes associated with that entity. This really brings the knowledge graph to search, using it to augment queries in such a manner. A flowchart from the patent illustrates this process in a way that was worth including in this post:

augmented search queries flowchart

The patent provides a very detailed example of how a search that includes entity information about a royal wedding in England might be surfaced using this augmented search query approach. That may not be a query that I might perform, but I could imagine some that I would like to try out. I could envision some queries involving sports and movies and business. If you own a business, and it is not in Google’s knowledge graph you may end up missing out on being included in results from augmented search queries.


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How Pivotal got bailed out by fellow Dell family member, VMware

August 24, 2019 No Comments

When Dell acquired EMC in 2016 for $ 67 billion, it created a complicated consortium of interconnected organizations. Some, like VMware and Pivotal, operate as completely separate companies. They have their own boards of directors, can acquire companies and are publicly traded on the stock market. Yet they work closely within Dell, partnering where it makes sense. When Pivotal’s stock price plunged recently, VMware saved the day when it bought the faltering company for $ 2.7 billion yesterday.

Pivotal went public last year, and sometimes struggled, but in June the wheels started to come off after a poor quarterly earnings report. The company had what MarketWatch aptly called “a train wreck of a quarter.”

How bad was it? So bad that its stock price was down 42% the day after it reported its earnings. While the quarter itself wasn’t so bad, with revenue up year over year, the guidance was another story. The company cut its 2020 revenue guidance by $ 40-$ 50 million and the guidance it gave for the upcoming 2Q 19 was also considerably lower than consensus Wall Street estimates.

The stock price plunged from a high of $ 21.44 on May 30th to a low of $ 8.30 on August 14th. The company’s market cap plunged in that same time period falling from $ 5.828 billion on May 30th to $ 2.257 billion on August 14th. That’s when VMware admitted it was thinking about buying the struggling company.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


How to View the Visitor Flow of Specific Pages in Google Analytics

August 24, 2019 No Comments

Open Visitor Flow Report Under “Audience” menu open in “Standard Reports”. See below.  This view will give you the visitor flow for the complete site.

Left click on the page that you want the visitor flow for and select “Explore traffic through here” from the menu.

Now you have the visitor flow for that page (see below)

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Five great tools to improve PPC ads

August 24, 2019 No Comments

Every digital marketer wants to reach the top position on the search engine results. However, if you’ve recently launched a new website or your niche is saturated, starting with paid search ads sounds like a good idea.

Strategically created PPC campaigns can drive leads, sales or sign-ups to your websites. You know what? In fact, businesses earn an average of $ 8 for every dollar they spend on Google Ads.

Optimizing PPC campaigns is not easy, but it’s very powerful if you do it properly. Just like SEO, it is essential to conduct extensive keyword research, optimize ad copy, and design high-converting landing pages.

Fortunately, there are a lot of effective PPC tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ PPC strategies, figure out tricks in their campaigns, and improve your PPC campaigns.

If you are ready to take an evolutionary leap in your PPC advertising, take a look at my list of five amazing tools to save you time, give you crucial insights, and raise money for your business.

Five tools to improve PPC ads

1. WordStream Advisor: Streamline your PPC campaigns at scale

WordStream offers a pretty neat tool that is targeted to small and medium-sized business owners who want to manage their PPC campaigns across advertising platforms properly. The tool can integrate with different PPC channels like Google Ads, Facebook, Bing, and Instagram.

One of the best features is the 20-Minute Work Week, a workflow that includes 9 items to help you improve the overall PPC process. It will analyze everything: get suggestions for ad budget and ad changes, identify valuable and negative keywords, split up ad groups, and create reports around conversion and call data. You can read more about it here.

wordstream tool ppc

The true worth of WordStream is the fact that they adapt and integrate all of the changes and upgrades when it comes to Google and its algorithm updates. So, you don’t need to constantly check them.

Cost: Free trial for 7 days, paid plans start at $ 299/month for 3-month plans.

2. SE Ranking: Comprehensive keyword and competitor analysis

SE Ranking PPC research tool focuses on keyword research, competitor analysis, and advertising campaign planning. When researching competitors on SE Ranking, you can enter your domain to find a list of websites that compete with you in paid search.

You can also find which keywords they are using, which ads drive the most traffic, how they rank in search engines, and how their ads look like in paid search. The tool shows competitor’s data like search volume, CPC, KEI, traffic cost, and a number of clicks.

Going to the “Adverts history” section, you can get visual graphs of the previous stats by time period, which displays position, monthly budget, and keywords. Having this information allows you to see all competitors’ keywords they have bid on in the past and figure out whether you should take a similar bidding strategy.

se ranking tool to improve ppc ads

You can easily export all the necessary information into an Excel file that you can share with your team. You can check it out in action here.

Cost: Paid plans start around $ 39 per month. SE Ranking provides a 14-day free trial and demo account.

3. Finteza: Conduct an impactful PPC analysis

Finteza is an advanced advertising analytics tool that shows you the exact percentage of high-quality and low-quality traffic coming to your website. The tool includes collection, processing, and instant data mapping through real-time charts and reports to give the most important information whenever you need it.

Finteza provides plenty of options to create, configure and target marketing campaigns for any website and instantly pull out detailed reports and statistics on clicks, impressions, and conversions of your ads.

finteza tool for ppc ads

You can also set up different conversion goals, and even use the retargeting option to display your optimized ads to the users who have performed a certain action on your website. The tool offers integrations with multiple CMS systems.

One of its biggest advantages is to track end-to-end user interaction. It means that the software provides data of all advertising platforms from which you purchase traffic and enables you to adapt them to individual conversions.

You can get the full list of Finteza’s features here.

Cost: The software offers a 30-day trial, and pricing starts at $ 4/month.

4. Unbounce: Build dedicated landing pages

Effective landing pages are crucial for the overall PPC process. At the very least, your ad will get them there, but conversions happen on landing pages. Creating a solid one with tools like Unbounce intended to simplify the whole process.

The tool includes a wide range of awesome features like A/B testing, dynamic text replacement, AMP landing pages, and real-time data dashboard. You can quickly change the text on your custom landing page to match what users are searching for, and split test them without touching a single line of code.

Unbounce offers over 100 high-converting templates for every type of landing page you need (sales pages, ebooks, events, products, webinar, etc.). It works with tons of in-app integrations and thousands more through Zapier.

Cost: Pricing starts at $ 79 per month, but you can try out a 14-day free trial.

5. Bannersnack: Display ad image creation and inspiration

The main purpose of advertising is to make people curious about your products. If you design banner ads that have interactive content, people are far more likely to click on them. One of the best solutions to do that is Bannersnack.

The tool is designed for advertising specialists to save their time and efforts on designing banners of different sizes. You can create both animated and static banners from scratch or select one of its high-quality templates created by professional designers and optimized by marketers.

bannersnack tool to improve ppc ads

One of its most convenient features is the ability to create the entire banner set on one toolbar within minutes. The banner maker is compatible with all major ad networks, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and social networks. One of the recent features is the option to create AMPHTML ads.

Cost: Freemium; paid plans start from $ 7 per month.

Wrap up

Using the right PPC tools, you can find out your competitors’ best performing keywords, ad copy information, and much more. They help you save a lot of time and efforts as you know what marketing strategies your competitors are using to get maximum results and reach.

What PPC tools do you use and love? Share your views in the comments below.

Irina Weber is Brand Manager at SE Ranking. She can be found on Twitter @irinaweber048.

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