Monthly Archives: February 2023

Uber and Lyft Are More Likely to Fire Drivers of Color, Report Says

February 28, 2023 No Comments

After passenger complaints, non-white drivers are suspended or deactivated more often than their white counterparts, according to new research.
Feed: All Latest

‘Cocaine Bear’ Is a Buzz Kill

February 25, 2023 No Comments

The movie seems destined for internet infamy but doesn’t live up to the promise of its viral trailer.
Feed: All Latest

Batteries Are Ukraine’s Secret Weapon Against Russia

February 23, 2023 No Comments

With Russia regularly knocking out Ukraine’s power grid, the country has turned to high-capacity batteries to keep it connected to the world—and itself.
Feed: All Latest

Five video optimization tips to help boost your landing page conversions

February 23, 2023 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • According to various studies, videos help engage your page visitors as well as get them to remember your value proposition better and help them make purchase decisions
  • When creating marketing videos to add to your landing page, keep them shorter than 2 minutes and position them prominently on the page
  • Make sure to add convincing CTAs within your video to drive action
  • While videos can boost on-page engagements, they can slow down your page (which may hurt its rankings), so make sure to lazy-load your videos and keep an eye on your Core Web Vitals
  • Optimize your video page to increase its chances to rank in Google and generate traffic and product awareness

Video marketing has been on the rise for over a decade now. Consumers are getting more and more used to watching video content wherever they go, be it on Facebook or on a product page.

Which may make one think:

Isn’t video content expected by now?

Shouldn’t we produce a video every chance we get?

However, the real question is: Will videos be a conversion ignitor or a conversion killer?

Let’s find out!

First, some tempting stats…

There are plenty of case studies and reports claiming that using a video on a landing page is a great idea for boosting conversions:

  • How-to videos is the most popular type of videos. According to Google itself, it is the most popular format of the video, even more popular than music or gaming.
  • Viewers tend to remember 95% of a message after watching a video, and only 10% after reading it. Moreover, videos are capable of boosting conversions by 10-20% (Studies vary here, so numbers can even be much higher).
  • Consumers tend to watch a video about a product rather than to read about it. Forbes Insights found that 83% of people prefer watching video to reading text.
  • In an older Animoto survey, nearly all the respondents (96% of them) found videos helpful when making purchasing decisions online.

Now, some important technical stats…

1. The longer a video, the lower its engagement

You have about 10 seconds to grab the attention of viewers with a video marketing clip. According to Facebook, people who watch the first three seconds of a video will watch for at least ten more seconds, so there’s a pretty tight window here.

Once your video manages to grab a viewer’s attention, they will likely engage for two more minutes. After two minutes the engagement is sharply declining. Obviously, the more interesting a video is, the more people will watch but since we are talking about the engagement with a landing page, it is not about narrative videos that are able to hold viewers’ attention for 30 minutes or more.

That being said:

  • Make sure your video’s first 10 seconds will grab attention
  • Then make it no longer than two minutes to ensure your page visitors will perform a desired action on the page, instead of feeling bored or vice versa too engaged with your video.


2. In-video CTAs work!

Lots of landing page videos I’ve seen are missing in-video CTAs which is unfortunate because a video on a landing page is a very essential part of most buying journeys. In fact, a call-to-action within a video may drive as much as 380% more clicks to a landing page.

The whole purpose of a video on a landing page is to drive conversions, so create a video that leads into the sales funnel and gives detailed instructions on what to do next.

In-video CTAs can be in the form of verbal messages (i.e. the narrator encourages users to follow certain steps) and graphic end screens (an end screen with a call-to-action).

Don’t forget that your video may also be a traffic driver (i.e. people from Youtube clicking a link in the description to get to your landing page) as well as the discovery channel (people watch that video elsewhere and become aware of your product).

So make sure those CTAs can be followed directly without visiting your site, for example, where possible provide a phone number to call right away. On a similar note, make sure that desired action can be performed any time without direct involvement of your team. Set up smart AI-powered communication technology that can engage your leads during off-hours, like IVR or chatbots.

3. Video placement matters

Video placement is never something to take lightly. There’s no single tactic here, because no product or page is the same. A/B test different layouts and then experiment more.

From an SEO perspective, Google recommends using a video prominently on a page for it to index it and potentially generate video rich snippets.

Prominent videos can boost engagement by 50%. Additionally, repeating a video in the product image carousel and then lower on the page can improve performance of a page.


If your site runs on WordPress, there are a few themes that have video landing pages already coded up. I have found a few great ones on this list, so check it out when you have a moment.

4. Videos can slow down your page

Embedding any third-party content, including videos, will slow down the page, and lower your Core Web Vitals score. This can, in turn, hurt your page rankings because Core Web Vitals are official ranking signals. As an examples, here are scores before I embed a video:


And here’s the same page but with a video embedded:


Depending on your content management system, there may be different solutions to make this step easier. Here’s the workaround for WordPress (which will also help speed up your whole site, not just that specific landing page), and here’s a tutorial for Shopify. Wix claims to handle video lazy-loading for you. Check with your current CMS if you are using an alternative one.

5. Videos rank!

Wherever you are hosting your video (Youtube, Wistia, or else), don’t forget the basics: Use your keywords in the most prominent places (title, description, file name, etc.). Remember: Videos rank incredibly well and they can actually drive more people to your site and build awareness, not just help boost conversions.

Video page optimization is not much different from any content optimization process: You need relevant and useful content surrounding your video. You can also check out my Youtube optimization checklist to get your videos to rank higher:


So, should you start pumping out videos?

Videos can be very expensive and time consuming to produce. Which makes creating them difficult to justify if you’re a conversion focused organization.

What it really comes down to is your list of conversion hypotheses. Every growth team and conversion optimization team should have a running list of hypotheses to test. Each hypothesis should be ranked (at the very least) by:

  • Test ease (or difficulty).
  • Test cost. Consider developer-hours, video production costs, designer costs.
  • Potential reward. How much do you expect this particular hypothesis to move the needle and why?

By creating a list that ranks your hypotheses, you can make better judgment calls as to what tests to run immediately and what tests you should put on the back burner.

You may have significant data (qualitative and/or quantitative) that suggests creating videos will produce a large return on investment. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid – get your director’s hat on and start pumping out video!

Side note: The system you create for your hypothesis list will most likely require continual improvement and tweaking to get it right. The important thing is to start one now if you haven’t. As you run tests, you’ll figure out what other metrics or ranking factors help you make better decisions for choosing what tests to run. Just be sure to iteratively improve your system according to your new findings.

Do you feel up to it?

Using videos to increase conversions is yet another risk vs. reward calculation. The upside can be huge, so don’t shy away from this conversion boosting technique.

Ann Smarty is the Founder of Viral Content Bee, Brand and Community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She can be found on Twitter @seosmarty.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Five video optimization tips to help boost your landing page conversions appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

Meta Verified Shows a Company Running Out of Ideas

February 22, 2023 No Comments

Mark Zuckerberg has a new subscription service for Instagram and Facebook. That blue check mark looks awfully familiar.
Feed: All Latest

25 Best Presidents’ Day Deals (2023)

February 18, 2023 No Comments

It’s George Washington’s birthday, and he wants you to have a robot vacuum. These deals are perfect for gearing up for spring.
Feed: All Latest

Insights to empower 2023 ecommerce strategies

February 16, 2023 No Comments

Insights to empower 2023 ecommerce strategies

30-second summary:

  • Retailers should use a data-driven approach to develop their marketing strategies to succeed in today’s volatile economy
  • Current tumultuous economic conditions are disrupting the retail landscape by forcing store closures and forecasting bankruptcies
  • Marketing intelligence for pricing, advertising, and promotions is critical in gaining an edge against competitors
  • Managing director at GrowByData, Prasanna Dhungel, shares ecommerce strategy tips for 2023 to attract, convert and retain customers

The economy in 2020 was in a volatile state, primarily due to the pandemic. In November 2020, despite rising Covid cases, retailers were providing SALE offers on 13% of ads and special promotions on only 7% of ads. On the other hand, consumer spending growth was recorded at 9%.

Fast-forward to 2021 – The economy was recovering from COVID that was evident in consumer spending growth of 13.5%. With a slightly eased supply chain and better economic conditions, November holidays in 2021 saw 14% growth in special offers, which had grown twice as much compared to 2020. Furthermore, SALE offers were seen on 12% of ads which was slightly lower than the previous year.

However, in 2022, the Russia-Ukraine war coupled with unfathomable COVID rise in manufacturing nation like China impacted the economic indicators once again. With rising inflation, consumer spending had fallen drastically to mere growth rate of 6%-8%. For this year’s November Holiday, 60% of consumers mentioned discounts and promotions playing a huge role in their purchasing decisions.

Surprisingly, during November 2022, there was a drop with only 8% focused on special promotion ads.  However, SALE offer was in a rise visible in 15% of ads.

sales vs special promotions - ecommerce strategies

A similar trend was seen in average pricing in Google Shopping ads that is, turbulent economy was reflecting in lower average price in 2020 and 2022 compared to 2021 – when the economy was flourishing.

Average Pricing - ecommerce strategies

Heading into a deeper recession in 2023 

As we enter 2023, we expect to continue heading into a recession.

According to a monthly survey conducted by Bloomberg, the likelihood of a US recession in 2023 jumped to a whopping  70% – as a series of Federal Reserve interest hikes drove fears of a stagnant economy. To make matters worse, a rise in US unemployment throughout the year has also been predicted to cause more pain in the labor market.

On the contrary, to remain competitive in the market, gross margin in retail is expected to go down. In this paradigm, pressure will rise on spending like advertising.  Consumers will start scouting for cheaper products causing retailers and advertisers to provide low-priced products to win market share. Therefore, the road ahead for retailers is going to be bumpy.  Per UBS analyst report, 50,000 store closures in the US is expected over the next 5 years. News of mega-stores like Bed Bath & Beyond potentially going to bankruptcy has emerged.

Based on our 2020 and 2022 economic analysis, retailers most likely will have unsold inventories to clear during the 2023 November Holidays. That said, consumers will see more SALE ads over special promotions, alongside noticing a drop in average pricing in shopping ads.

Tips for 2023 ecommerce strategies

Consumer spending, which has been decreasing in the last 3 years, will most likely fall in 2023 as well. Discounts, Promotions, and cheaper prices are the only ways to attract customers to stretch their wallets.

Despite the bleak outlook, retailers utilizing marketing intelligence for their pricing, advertising, and promotions will most likely survive and gain an edge in 2023. Here are a few tips for retailers and advertisers to succeed in 2023 –

1. Optimize ecommerce trustworthiness factors to boost conversion

Trust plays an integral role in converting business. To ensure a high conversion rate, it is imperative to build a customer’s trust in your eCommerce ecosystem. It is fair to say that online shoppers are often reluctant to make a purchase due to uncertainty on an unfamiliar channel or brand or product. For an eCommerce business, gaining trust is crucial as customers are unable to physically see the product. Businesses must focus on optimizing trustworthiness as it will have tremendous impact in the conversion. That being said, trust is a psychological state that can be easily influenced.

Here are the ways to optimize your ecommerce trustworthiness.

  1. Showcase customer reviews and ratings, use trust badges and seals, offer secure payment options, display contact information prominently, maintain a strong presence on social media – all these attributes gain trust from your customers. Additionally, have good shipping & return policies, and enhance your website’s user experience. This will reassure your company’s transparency and guarantee customer satisfaction. All these should lead to increased customer loyalty and sales. For instance, Google rewards the “trusted store” badge to stores offering fast shipping, good return policies, a high-quality website, and good ratings – all the factors that signify a good customer experience.
  2. Shopping ad extensions is another great way to improve the trustworthiness and effectiveness of your shopping ads. Ad extensions allows you to provide additional information about your product/business in your ad, which will help increase the credibility of your ad and the likelihood of users clicking on it. For example, you can use the “product review & ratings” extension to display the average rating your business has received from customers. This can help potential customers feel more secure during their purchase journey.
  3. Offer competitive shipping and return policies to add a layer of trust and credibility for your brand. Customers generally prefer to shop with brands that offer free shipping or expedited shipping options. A hassle-free return policy will not only help build trust with customers but also create a good brand image since you have taken that extra step to ensure the customer’s satisfaction. For example: if you offer a 10-day return policy while your competitor is offering a 3-day return, customers are more likely to choose your product vs your competition. Additionally, having a local presence in the market is also a plus point. Customers will know you exist in their market. Offer 24/7 customer helpline and chat for your customers to get feel like they can contact you easily.
  4. If you are a brand, you should have a MAP policy in the US and Canada. Having a MAP and channel policy helps ensure your brand’s product’s price and channel consistency across the digital shelves.  You must clearly communicate your MAP policy to your retailers & partners and provide them with the necessary guidelines for selling your products. Setting up a MAP policy and ensuring its enforcement helps brand maintain their value and ultimately improves trust and credibility amongst resellers and ultimately shoppers.

2. Optimize ROAS by lowering advertising cost

Here are six ways to achieve this –

  1. Pursue Holistic Search Strategy to mobilize budget across SEO and SEM to dominate Google SERP. In 2022, our top Auto retailer client increased 20% revenue by redirecting ad spending from keywords where they were doing well in Organic.
  2. Improve your keyword quality score to boost impressions and CTR with lower CPC. We have noticed retailers not utilizing special offers during this adverse time. We humbly disagree with this strategy as it is imperative to offer discounts through special offers over dropping prices. This simple tactic can improve your ad quality and reduce your CPC.
  3. Optimize your product experience by focusing on product title, price, quality, color, description, promotions, reviews, etc. This will not only increase your chance of conversion but also help improve your keyword quality score.
  4. Ensure affiliate compliance to reduce revenue churn and better partner with your loyal affiliates.
  5. Monitor violations in your brand term that are inflating your CPC.
  6. Enforce MAP Compliance to avoid pricing wars reducing your margins and brand value.

3. Dynamic pricing optimization to maximize margin

To be on top of the game, retailers must have insights into current market pricing to ensure optimum pricing to beat competitors. The approach taken for dynamic pricing strategies to penetrate while maximizing margin from the market will be critical for growth.

4. Strategic promotional planning to attract consumers

Consumers will always be gazing for promotions. In this adverse economic situation, a strategic promotion plan will help optimize advertising and conversions.


As the pandemic-riddled period comes to an end, innovation becomes a key factor for survival in the volatile market of today. Furthermore, with a shift in the retail landscape consumer expectations and demands will be a leading force in 2023.

Retailers and advertisers must remain flexible, adaptive, and affordable to get an edge against competitors to maximize their market share. They should use a unified marketing intelligence solution that showcases them versus competition in the eyes of the shoppers on the digital shelves. We recommend retailers use a data-driven approach to developing their marketing strategies to improve their chances of success in 2023.

Prasanna Dhungel co-founded and runs GrowByData, which powers performance marketing for leading brands such as Crocs and top agencies like Merkle. GrowByData offers marketing intelligence for search, marketplace, and product management to win new revenue, boost marketing performance and manage brand compliance.

Prasanna also advises executives, board & investors on data strategy, growth, and product. He has advised leading firms such as Melinda & Bill Gates Foundation, Athena Health, and Apellis Pharma.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Insights to empower 2023 ecommerce strategies appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

What Chatbot Bloopers Reveal About the Future of AI

February 16, 2023 No Comments

Microsoft’s new chatbot for Bing has displayed some strange behavior, proving that AI is more fallible than tech companies let on.
Feed: All Latest

Seven huge, yet common SEO mistakes to avoid in 2023

February 15, 2023 No Comments

SEO friendly

30-second summary:

  • SEO has become a key area of practice for online businesses to gain visibility. If it’s done wrong, however, it can stagnate or even sabotage your online visibility
  • From filling an entire page up with nothing but images to creating tons of bad keywords or spending too much time on meta keywords
  • Here is a list of the most common SEO mistakes to avoid and be future-ready

It is easy to make mistakes when doing SEO for a website. I’ve even caught myself making stupid mistakes here and there. That being said, it’s important for webmasters to know what some of the bad things to do are when it comes to SEO.

Sites with no mistakes stand a better chance against the big guys. Sites that have many backlinks, but have some problems in the markup can quickly climb in the search results when the SEO boo-boos are fixed. Luckily for webmasters, most of these mistakes are extremely easy to fix and can be completely fixed within minutes.

For those with search engines regularly crawling their sites, the changes can be made search engine-side almost instantly. Those with slightly lower crawl rates will naturally have to wait longer, but the changes will have their benefits in time. I want to add also that this article will be reflecting the changes in SEO in recent years as meta keywords, for example, are definitely not as important as they once were.

Here are the most common SEO mistakes and how to solve them:

SEO mistake #1: Nothing to read

The problem:

You have either filled an entire page up with nothing but images OR you are using development methods that aren’t crawler friendly, for example a site that uses nothing but flash. The search engine has no text (or anything) to read.

You may have a well-written and keyword rich article that may be beautifully displayed in flash or images, but the search engines may not be able to read it. Therefore, you won’t rank very well for your keyword rich article.

The solution:

According to Google’s official webmaster guidelines,

Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the ALT attribute to include a few words of descriptive text“.

Also, I would recommend you to always go for more plain text on your website. And just because it is called plain text doesn’t mean it has to look plain. There are some very beautifully designed sites that are easily readable by search engines. You don’t have to sacrifice beauty so that the search engines can crawl your site.

SEO mistake #2: Nondescript URLs

The problem:

You might have a great webpage on your website with a keyword rich description on let’s say strawberry cheesecake. You go in depth on your article about how wonderful and deliciously moist your cheesecake recipe is. Your URL, however just says www.somesortofsite.com/node61. Search engines place importance not only on the URL, which should describe your site in some way, but also on the slug which, in this case, I’ve called node61.

The solution:

Get a URL that describes your site. If you have a website on affiliate marketing, for instance, try to get something like https://affiliatemarketing.com. If you write an article about affiliate marketing tips, insights or whatever else, make sure the slug represents that somehow so that the URL will be something like that one of this article about affiliate marketing programs. There are many ways to do this depending on the content management system you use. You can configure WordPress to automatically give you a descriptive slug based on the title of your article or you can also input your own slug.

SEO mistake #3: Meta keywords obsession

The problem:

You are spending too much time researching and finding the BEST keywords to use in your meta tags.

The solution:

Don’t spend too much time doing this.

According to Neil Patel, the co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar:

Meta keywords are no longer relevant in today’s SEO. Google may decide to change the rules in the future, but for now, you don’t have to waste your time on it“.

If you’re a WordPress user, there’s no need to add more tags that you think are relevant to your content,” he added.

While there are still many webmasters who still think the opposite, they are definitely not as important as they were in the past. they were so important in the past, that I even still have an article on nothing but meta keywords! Now, however, meta keywords mean much less than they did in the past. I must confess that I DO still input information into those cute little metadata fields, but I do not spend nearly as much time on that as I used to. You shouldn’t either. Get some quick tags and a nice little description in there and call it a day. Basically just set it and forget it.

SEO mistake #4: Missing alt tags

The problem:

No “alt tags” on your images.

The solution:

Add alt tags to each of your images. By doing this, you’re giving search engines information about what’s in the photo. You don’t have to describe the entire picture, but at least put something descriptive there!

According to Google:

… If you must use images for textual content, consider using the ALT attribute to include a few words of descriptive text

Everyone likes to know what’s in a photo, even if they can’t see it. Many people do not have the time to input alt tags for every single little icon or part of the design. It isn’t really necessary to have alt tags on ALL images, just the important ones. The alt tag argument is becoming more and more controversial, but it doesn’t hurt to add them and personally, I’ve noticed a difference since adding them.

SEO mistake #5: Using HTML instead of CSS

The problem:

Everything on your site is HTML. You love HTML and can’t get enough of it.

The solution:

If your site design is in HTML, you’re committing a cardinal development sin. What year is this – 1997? Site design should be written in CSS. Why is this a problem? Search engines can have difficulty differentiating what is design and what is content if your site is written strictly in HTML.

Another difficulty faced by those whose sites aren’t in CSS is painstaking process of making changes to a layout.

SEO mistake #6: No backlinks

The problem:

Your site has no back links.

The solution:

A site’s on-page SEO really helps, but off-page SEO is what’s going to bring it to the top. Websites need back links and quality back links.

According to Patel:

When deciding how to rank your website, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search engines look at how many links lead to your site (and the quality of those links)“.

The more high-quality, trustworthy, and authoritative sites linking to you, the higher your blog posts and sales pages will appear on search result pages,” he added.

In fact, one of the most important part of SEO is back links. It’s important to also put your keywords in your backlinks. It’s important for backlinks to be natural… or at least appear natural, so webmasters must take care in not creating too many backlinks right away.

Too many backlinks in a short span of time looks fishy and sites have been penalized for this. Take it slow. Add a new backlink here and there. Taking it slow allows you a lot of space to dabble a little – to see what works and what doesn’t without a major investment of time or money.

SEO mistake #7: Bad keywords

The problem:

You’ve picked a great keyword, but you have 50,387 back links and still don’t rank for the keyword.

The solution:

You’ve picked some bad keywords. If you’ve already got a ton of backlinks and you wish to stay in your niche, you’ll probably bring a lot more traffic in with “ahem” slightly less competitive keywords.

Every niche has those extremely competitive keywords, but those with a little creativity and research, you can come up with some good keywords – ones that people search for often, but is something for which your website can rank.

Jacob McMillen is a copywriter, marketing blogger, and inbound marketing consultant. He can be found on Twitter @jmcmillen89 and LinkedIn as Jacob McMillen.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Seven huge, yet common SEO mistakes to avoid in 2023 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch

The Wild Logistics of Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show

February 13, 2023 No Comments

The singer gave much of her halftime show performance atop seven suspended platforms. It was all in the name of protecting the grass.
Feed: All Latest