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Five steps to generate tons of backlinks using infographics

December 8, 2019 No Comments

Your website needs backlinks the same way plants need water. Getting sufficient backlinks consistently will allow you to flourish your website, while the lack of backlinks will slowly make it wither. 

Backlinks are still one of the most important factors that Google uses to determine website rankings. When tons of other websites link to you, Google’s algorithm will see that as a sign that you provide valuable and relevant content.

When talking about generating tons of backlinks, there’s no other tool quite as effective as infographics. 

Why infographics are so effective?

1. Humans are visual creatures

We are naturally visual learners, as we’re attracted more to visuals than text. As a result, infographics have a much higher chance of attracting readers than articles. Indeed, a study found that infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text-only content. 

2. Easy to digest

Still connected to the previous point, people understand a text 323% better if it’s accompanied by an illustration. This applies to infographics too, which is the combination of beautiful visuals and short-written copy. Thanks to the simple and easy to read format, people can read and understand infographics faster and better. 

3. Highly shareable

Thanks to its bite-sized nature, infographics are extremely shareable because they can fit on almost any platformㅡ websites, emails, social media platforms, and even on printed advertising material such as brochures and pamphlets. Thanks to this trait, infographics are three times more likely to be shared than any other kind of content.   

Five steps to backlink generation using infographics

Now that you know what makes infographics so effective, let’s learn how to use it properly to attract tons of backlinks to grow your website. Here’s the step by step process of using infographics for link building:

1. Content creation

The first step is to obviously create the infographic. Not just an infographic, but a valuable and useful one. For starters, don’t waste your money on creating fancy and expensive infographics. Using free and affordable infographic tools and platforms are fine, as long as you can provide valuable content. 

The more valuable your infographic content is, the more likely people are going to link back. Here are a few tips on creating content that’s valuable:

  • Content that attracts the most backlinks is usually the one that contains data statistics because every marketer needs them to back up their arguments. Conduct your own research, study, or survey and then present the findings via infographic.
  • If you don’t have the time or resources to conduct your own research, you can always make a compilation of data statistics from various sources and present them as one.
  • Creating an ultimate guide about a certain topic also attracts backlinks, because when writers don’t have enough space to explain about something, they can refer to your content for a deeper take on the subject. 

2. Infographic publication and submission

After creating the infographic, publish it on your site and infographic directory sites like Pinterest or Infographic Journal. When posting on your own site, remember that page speed is an actual ranking factor. So, make sure to optimize your page speed with these free tools. 

Moreover, submitting your work on infographic directories will give you free backlinks with relatively minimum effort, though some sites will charge you a certain amount of money to publish your infographic. Here’s the complete list of infographic sharing websites compiled by SEOblog, containing over 150 sites. 

3. Potential websites search

Besides infographic directories, you also have to aim to get your infographic published on other websites that have a similar niche to you. How? Well, you need to reach out to them. First, you need to search for the websites to reach out to. We recommend you to use tools like Ahrefs to compile tons of websites in an instant. 

It’s simple to use, just sign up, go to the “content explorer” section, type in your keyword, and then the tool will give you every web page on the internet that contains that particular keyword. For instance, if your infographic is about summer vacation, the result of the content explorer will show over 30 thousand web pages with that keyword:

Next, export those web page data and move it to Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet to manage and curate it in an easier manner.

4. Email addresses collection

After curating the websites to see which fits to publish your infographic and which doesn’t, the next step is to collect the email addresses of people working on those websites. It could be a writer, content manager, editor or any person that’s responsible for the content of that website. 

Using tools like FindThatLead can help you collect the email because the tool has the ability to find email addresses based only on domain name and social media link (LinkedIn and Twitter only). It also allows users to verify an address to see whether it’s valid or not.

5. Email outreach campaign

With all the verified email addresses, now it’s time to do email outreach to promote your infographic. There are two ways to do it, the first one is by using automated email tools like Mailshake and the second one is by manually sending the emails one by one.

Each of the methods has its own benefits and weaknesses. Sending emails manually takes a longer time, but you’ll be able to personalize the email more. On the other hand, using automated email tools will allow you to send tons of emails in a short time, but the content of the email will be the same and generic.

Whatever your method of choice is, remember these tips to increase your email engagement and open rate:

  • Optimize it for mobile, because 46% of people open their email from mobile devices. 
  • Keep your subject line short, because shorter subject lines get much higher open rates
  • Include an emoji in your subject line if you can, because it helps you to stand out from other emails on the recipients’ inbox.
  • Personalize the email beyond just including the recipients’ names on the subject line, although it still helps to increase clickthrough rate.
  • Include a clear CTA at the end of the email, so that the audience knows what to do next.

One important thing to remember is that no one wants to publish your work for free, so you have to be prepared to give them something in return that benefits both of you. One of the widely used and most effective ways is to offer them a guest post. This way, the recipients get free content for their blogs and you gain a valuable backlink.

Conclusion

Backlinks are one of the deciding factors to determine whether you can rank first on the SERP or not. To gain backlinks only by creating valuable infographics is not enough, you also need to promote it. Manual email outreach is the way to go if you don’t want to spend a penny in generating backlinks. All you have to do is to look for potential websites, collect their email addresses, write interesting email copy and offer, and then send them one by one. If you’re still not sure how to make a proper infographic, these infographic templates could certainly help. 

Brian is a content writer of Milkwhale. He likes to write about infographic and video marketing, as well as other topics in the field of business and marketing.  

The post Five steps to generate tons of backlinks using infographics appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Reddit links UK-US trade talk leak to Russian influence campaign

December 8, 2019 No Comments

Reddit has linked account activity involving the leak and amplification of sensitive UK-US trade talks on its platform during the ongoing UK election campaign to a suspected Russian political influence operation.

Or, to put it more plainly, the social network suspects that Russian operatives are behind the leak of sensitive trade data — likely with the intention of impacting the UK’s General Election campaign.

The country goes to the polls next week, on December 12.

The UK has been politically deadlocked since mid 2016 over how to implement the result of the referendum to leave the European Union . The minority Conservative government has struggled to negotiate a brexit deal that parliament backs. Another hung parliament or minority government would likely result in continued uncertainty.

In a post discussing the “Suspected campaign from Russia”, Reddit writes:

We were recently made aware of a post on Reddit that included leaked documents from the UK. We investigated this account and the accounts connected to it, and today we believe this was part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia.

Earlier this year Facebook discovered a Russian campaign on its platform, which was further analyzed by the Atlantic Council and dubbed “Secondary Infektion.” Suspect accounts on Reddit were recently reported to us, along with indicators from law enforcement, and we were able to confirm that they did indeed show a pattern of coordination. We were then able to use these accounts to identify additional suspect accounts that were part of the campaign on Reddit. This group provides us with important attribution for the recent posting of the leaked UK documents, as well as insights into how adversaries are adapting their tactics.

Reddit says that an account, called gregoratior, originally posted the leaked trade talks document. Later a second account, ostermaxnn, reposted it. The platform also found a “pocket of accounts” that worked together to manipulate votes on the original post in an attempt to amplify it. Though fairly fruitlessly, as it turned out; the leak gained little attention on Reddit, per the company.

As a result of the investigation Reddit says it has banned 1 subreddit and 61 accounts — under policies against vote manipulation and misuse of its platform.

The story doesn’t end there, though, because whoever was behind the trade talk leak appears to have resorted to additional tactics to draw attention to it — including emailing campaign groups and political activists directly.

This activity did bear fruit this month when the opposition Labour party got hold of the leak and made it into a major campaign issue, claiming the 451-page document shows the Conservative party, led by Boris Johnson, is plotting to sell off the country’s free-at-the-point-of-use National Health Service (NHS) to US private health insurance firms and drug companies.

Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, showed a heavily redacted version of the document during a TV leaders debate earlier this month, later calling a press conference to reveal a fully un-redacted version of the data — arguing the document proves the NHS is in grave danger if the Conservatives are re-elected.

Johnson has denied Labour’s accusation that the NHS will be carved up as the price of a Trump trade deal. But the leaked document itself is genuine.

It details preliminary meetings between UK and US trade negotiators, which took place between July 2017 and July 2019, in which discussion of the NHS does take place, in addition to other issues such as food standards.

Although the document does not confirm what position the UK might seek to adopt in any future trade talks with the US.

The source of the heavily redacted version of the document appears to be a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by campaigning organisation, Global Justice Now — which told Vice it made an FOI request to the UK’s Department for International Trade around 18 months ago.

The group said it was subsequently emailed a fully unredacted version of the document by an unknown source which also appears to have sent the data directly to the Labour party. So while the influence operation looks to have originated on Reddit, the agents behind it seem to have resorted to more direct means of data dissemination in order for the leak to gain the required attention to become an election-influencing issue.

Experts in online influence operations had already suggested similarities between the trade talks leak and an earlier Russian operation, dubbed Secondary Infektion, which involved the leak of fake documents on multiple online platforms. Facebook identified and took down that operation in May.

In a report analysing the most recent leak, social network mapping and analysis firm Graphika says the key question is how the trade document came to be disseminated online a few weeks before the election.

“The mysterious [Reddit] user seemingly originated the leak of a diplomatic document by posting it around online, just six weeks before the UK elections. This raises the question of how the user got hold of the document in the first place,” it writes. “This is the single most pressing question that arises from this report.”

Graphika’s analysis concludes that the manner of leaking and amplifying the trade talks data “closely resembles” the known Russian information operation, Secondary Infektion.

“The similarities to Secondary Infektion are not enough to provide conclusive attribution but are too close to be simply a coincidence. They could indicate a return of the actors behind Secondary Infektion or a sophisticated attempt by unknown actors to mimic it,” it adds.

Internet-enabled Russian influence operations that feature hacking and strategically timed data dumps of confidential/sensitive information, as well as the seeding and amplification of political disinformation which is intended to polarize, confuse and/or disengage voters, have become a regular feature of Western elections in recent years.

The most high profile example of Russian election interference remains the 2016 hack of documents and emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democratic National Committee — which went on to be confirmed by US investigators as an operation by Russia’s GRU intelligence agency.

In 2017 emails were also leaked from French president Emmanuel Macron’s campaign shortly before his election — although with apparently minimal impact in that case. (Attribution is also less clear-cut.)

Russian activity targeting UK elections and referendums remains a matter of intense interest and investigation — and had been raised publicly as a concern by former prime minister, Theresa May, in 2017.

Although her government failed to act on recommendations to strengthen UK election and data laws to respond to the risks posed by Internet-enabled interference. She also did nothing to investigate questions over the extent of foreign interference in the 2016 brexit referendum.

May was finally unseated by the ongoing political turmoil around brexit this summer, when Johnson took over as prime minister. But he has also turned a wilfully blind eye to the risks around foreign election interference — while fully availing himself of data-fuelled digital campaign methods whose ethics have been questioned by multiple UK oversight bodies.

A report into Russian interference in UK politics which was compiled by the UK’s intelligence and security parliamentary committee — and had been due to be published ahead of the general election — was also personally blocked from publication by the prime minister.

Voters won’t now get to see that information until after the election. Or, well, barring another strategic leak…

Update: Corbyn has now responded to Reddit linking the trade talks leak with Russia — but has declined to specify how Labour obtained the document, per the Guardian.

Asked to respond to whether the Labour party had benefited from Russian election interference he said: “This is such nonsense. This is such an advanced state of rather belated conspiracy theories by the prime minister. When we released the documents, at no stage did the prime minister or anybody deny that those documents were real, deny the arguments that we put forward.

“And if there has been no discussion with the US about access to our health markets, if all of that is wrong, how come after a week they still haven’t said that? The issues are that those documents show exactly what the British government is doing in discussions with Donald Trump’s administration in the US and also why the prime minister has refused to release the report on Russian interference in British politics, which he’s been sitting on for a very long time.”


Social – TechCrunch


What Your Klout Score Really Means

December 8, 2019 No Comments

Your Klout score is gaining in importance: A high one might bring perks, but a low one could dash your career dreams.
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Canva introduces video editing, has big plans for 2020

December 7, 2019 No Comments

Canva, the design company with nearly $ 250 million in funding, has today announced a variety of new features, including a video editing tool.

The company has also announced Canva Apps, which allows developers and customers alike to build on top of Canva. Thus far, Dropbox, Google Drive, PhotoMosh and Instagram are already in the Canva Apps suite, with a total of 30 apps available at launch.

The video editing tool allows for easy editing with no previous experience required, and also offers video templates, access to a stock content library with videos, music, etc. and easy-to-use animation tools.

Meanwhile, Canva is taking the approach of winning customers when they’re young, with the launch of Canva for Education. It’s a totally free product that has launched in beta with Australian schools, integrating with GSuite and Google Classroom to allow students to build out projects, and teachers to mark them up and review them.

Canva has also announced the launch of Canva for Desktop.

As design becomes more important to the way every organization functions and operates, one of the only barriers to the growth of the category is the pace at which new designers can emerge and enter the workforce.

Canva has positioned itself as the non-designer’s design tool, making it easy to create something beautiful with little to no design experience. The launch of the video editing tool and Canva for Education strengthen that stance, not only creating more users for the platform itself but fostering an environment for the maturation of new designers to join the ecosystem as a whole.

Alongside the announcement, Canva CEO Melanie Perkins has announced that Canva will join the 1% pledge, dedicating 1% of equity, profit, time and resources to making the world a better place.

Here’s what she had to say about it, in a prepared statement:

Companies have a huge role to play in helping to shape the world we live in and we feel like the 1% Pledge is an incredible program which will help us to use our company’s time, resources, product and equity to do just that. We believe the old adage ‘do no evil’ is no longer enough today and hope to live up to our value to ‘Be a Force for Good’.

Interestingly, Canva’s position at the top of the design funnel hasn’t slowed growth. Indeed, Canva recently launched Canva for Enterprise to let all the folks in the organization outside of the design department step up to bat and create their own decks, presentations, materials, etc., all within the parameter’s of the design system and brand aesthetic.

A billion designs have been created on Canva in 2019, with 2 billion designs created since the launch of the platform.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Improving personalization with machine learning

December 7, 2019 No Comments

One thing that is usually uppermost in your mind as a marketer is how to ensure that you not only survive the competition but also become one of the market leaders.

And in order to become a market leader you are expected to work seriously on personalization but doing this at scale because you must focus on the global market, must require automation and that is where machine learning comes in.

You must create a digital presence that will help in better customer engagement, raise brand awareness, and reinforce business objectives. It’s expected that you must have been working on your web content and building out your CRM capabilities, you must also have it behind your mind that there is the absolute need to have various efforts underway to automate key marketing activities.

With the global market as your target, getting personal maybe a little difficult task to achieve but you can enhance this with a personalization engine. Your ultimate aim will be to target the content you deliver to your customers and prospects based on what you know about them and what you believe they might need.

Personalization or customization

Before embarking on machine learning integration, it’s essential that you refrain from mixing up personalization with customization. While personalization is carried out for the customer’s benefit, customization, on the other hand, is initiated by the customer in an effort to drill down to the desired content.

In the research by PWC titled ‘Financial Services Technology 2020 and Beyond: Embracing disruption’ it was observed that customer intelligence will be the most important predictor of revenue growth and profitability. Personalization is the amazing outcome of your customer intelligence that will ensure you’re able to control over-messaging customers with blanket promotions, this will also translate into a huge reduction in media buys.

Personalization is a critical mission your startup cannot afford to toy with in order to embark on effective marketing. Once you are able to personalize the journey of your potential customers you are on to increased customer engagement and long-term loyalty.

You can take a cue from the way Netflix does movie recommendations, music suggestions from Spotify and special promotions on Amazon to really comprehend the effect personalized content is having and that it is not only becoming the norm but a consumer expectation. All these big tech companies are able to accomplish this onerous task by integrating machine learning, which is quickly turning out to becoming an essential and must-have tool in content personalization.

Interestingly, there are quite a number of personalization engine vendors. Evergage, Monetate, Certona, and Dynamic Yield, are some of the vendors out there in the market that offer this service. Gartner’s “Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines” 2019 report shows that personalization engine adoption is up 28% since 2016.

You must locate the essential points in your customer journey that are optimal for adding a personal touch. Context has always been the source of the differences between customers that usually trigger a need for specific content.

As personalization is predictive, machine learning has started playing a central role.

The following are three ways you can utilize machine learning to improve personalization.

1. Making use of secured demographic data

The basis of demographic data is to have access to your customers’ distinctive behaviors and preferences and this you can effect with machine learning. While it may be easy for you to lay your hands on this information, there is a cliche to it.

Your competitors, especially those who have access to large search engines can use these search engines to find out highly personal information about your customers, such as medical issues, employment status, financial information, political beliefs, and other private details. This data, of course, will be collected, stored, and linked to your data profile.

The only way to effectively “opt-out” of this, is to keep your data safe and out of the hands of data collectors. Cybercriminals also know that this information is a gold mine and are eager to lay their hands on it.

A comprehensive demographic data can often reveal an entire socioeconomic profile for customers — their distance from retail locations, average income, average age, ethnic ratios, youth or college student populations and sometimes even married versus single statistics.

While your competitors will make use of this data to train and improve their predictive model as well as simplifying the ultimate personalization data crunch just the same way you will, cybercriminals will use the information to launch attacks at your customers or even cripple your business.

It’s true that as a new startup founder, you may be considering the financial implications of having to secure your data but this will go a long way to save you from very bad experiences. Where you don’t have the funds for a paid VPN, nothing stops you from subscribing to the services of a free VPN.

What you end up achieving is the ability to mask your I.P. address and encrypt all traffic which will help with geo-blocks and contribute to your secured demographic data and ultimate online privacy.

2. Who makes up your social media audience?

Cross-channel personalization is a very beneficial source of information because a customer’s social media channel of choice is an avenue to discovering how friendly the customer is to mobile contact. It’s also a channel to accumulating demographic data for the mere fact that different age and social groups prefer different social media platforms.

For instance, Gen Z is known to have a preference for Instagram and Snapchat, while Gen X and millennials cling more to Facebook.

3. Catching in on your consumer’s online behaviors

Besides demographic data and who belongs to your social media audience, another source of information that enables your workable insight into the individual consumer in personalization is applying machine learning for a comprehensive knowledge of your consumer’s online behavior. The navigation path of your potential consumer can reveal a great deal about the person.

You will have very useful insight into your consumer’s preferences, the amount of time a consumer spends browsing pages on your site is a revealing clue to the degree of priority and a source of valuable data. While you may not be able to garner all this valuable information manually, machine learning can easily make sense of this somehow “erratic” behavior.

Machine learning is able to articulate the repeated site visits and come up with an in-depth and knowledgeable profile of the customer and what they care for.

It’s very important for you to know that in order for you to succeed in integrating machine learning into your effort at improving personalization, you must endeavor to personalize content across all channels. This will ensure that your customers feel personally engaged in real-time and wherever they are.

Product pages on your startup websites should be full of zest and tailored to each individual’s preferences. Deploy predictive advertising on the consumer’s social media platform of choice.

You just don’t stop at your efforts on your website, exploit the opportunity email offers as a dependable personalized content repository, the reason is that it’s easier to come up with optimized content in an email than it is to spiritedly work such wonders on a webpage. However, the integration of machine learning as an application of AI affords you the opportunity of improved personalization at scale.

John Ejiofor is the founder and editor in chief at Nature Torch. He can be found on Twitter @John02Ejiofor.

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Scammers peddling Islamophobic clickbait is business as usual at Facebook

December 6, 2019 No Comments

A network of scammers used a ring of established right-wing Facebook pages to stoke Islamophobia and make a quick buck in the process, a new report from the Guardian reveals. But it’s less a vast international conspiracy and more simply that Facebook is unable to police its platform to prevent even the most elementary scams — with serious consequences.

The Guardian’s multi-part report depicts the events like a scheme of grand proportions executed for the express purpose of harassing Representatives Ilhan Omar (D-MI), Rashida Tlaib (D-MN) and other prominent Muslims. But the facts it uncovered point towards this being a run-of-the-mill money-making operation that used tawdry, hateful clickbait and evaded Facebook’s apparently negligible protections against this kind of thing.

The scam basically went like this: an administrator of a popular right-wing Facebook page would get a message from a person claiming to share their values that asked if they could be made an editor. Once granted access, this person would publish clickbait stories — frequently targeting Muslims, and often Rep. Omar, since they reliably led to high engagement. The stories appeared on a handful of ad-saturated websites that were presumably owned by the scammers.

That appears to be the extent of the vast conspiracy, or at least its operations — duping credulous conservatives into clicking through to an ad farm.

Its human cost, however, whether incidental or deliberate, is something else entirely. Rep. Omar is already the target of many coordinated attacks, some from self-proclaimed patriots within this country; just last month, an Islamophobic Trump supporter pleaded guilty in federal court to making death threats against her.

Social media is asymmetric warfare in that a single person can be the focal point for the firepower — figurative but often with the threat of literal — of thousands or millions. That a Member of Congress can be the target of such continuous abuse makes one question the utility of the platform on which that abuse is enabled.

In a searing statement offered to the Guardian, Rep. Omar took Facebook to task:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Facebook’s complacency is a threat to our democracy. It has become clear that they do not take seriously the degree to which they provide a platform for white nationalist hate and dangerous misinformation in this country and around the world. And there is a clear reason for this: they profit off it. I believe their inaction is a grave threat to people’s lives, to our democracy and to democracy around the world.

Despite the scale of its effect on Rep. Omar and other targets, it’s possible and even likely that this entire thing was carried out by a handful of people. The operation was based in Israel, the report repeatedly mentions, but it isn’t a room of state-sponsored hackers feverishly tapping their keyboards — the guy they tracked down is a jewelry retailer and amateur SEO hustler living in a suburb of Tel Aviv who answered the door in sweatpants and nonchalantly denied all involvement.

The funny thing is that, in a way, this does amount to a vast international conspiracy. On one hand, it’s a guy in sweatpants worming his way into some trashy Facebook pages and mass-posting links to his bunk news sites. But on the other, it’s a coordinated effort to promote Islamophobic, right-wing content that produced millions of interactions and doubtless further fanned the flames of hatred.

Why not both? After all, they represent different ways that Facebook fails as a platform to protect its users. “We don’t allow people to misrepresent themselves on Facebook,” the company wrote in a statement to the Guardian. Obviously, that isn’t true. Or rather, perhaps it’s true in the way that running at the pool isn’t allowed. People just do it anyway, because the lifeguards and Facebook don’t do their job.


Social – TechCrunch


Larry, Sergey, and the Mixed Legacy of Google-Turned-Alphabet

December 6, 2019 No Comments

With Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepping back (again\!), Google CEO Sundar Pichai is now in charge of Alphabet—and its dysfunction.
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The finite era of “actionable insights”

December 4, 2019 No Comments

For years, “actionable insights” have been the Holy Grail for data analytics companies. Actionable insights, the thinking goes, are the end product of data collection, aggregation, analysis, and judgment. They enable a decision-maker to modify behavior and achieve desired outcomes.

The process begins with data collection, which can take many forms. There’s a big difference between collecting data and aggregating it in a meaningful way that can provide a picture of reality. That’s the “insights” part of the puzzle. First, you need high-quality data, then you need the technological prowess to clean and organize it.

With high-quality data that’s been cleaned and organized, the next step is to provide context. This is the realm of companies like Tableau, which provide tools that translate machine-friendly data points into human-friendly visualizations that strive to depict an objective picture of current conditions.

But whereas a snapshot of current conditions may, in fact, yield new and meaningful insights (for example, if I look ‘sales numbers’ across an organization I can see which channels are over- or under-performing), human judgment has always been paramount in choosing a particular action. A perfect picture of static conditions doesn’t by itself offer any suggestions as to how to achieve particular outcomes. We still rely on management to tweak sales incentives or redistribute resources.

Or at least we did, up until recently. Machine learning is now shifting the balance of institutional decision-making. Advances in processing and algorithmic self-improvement mean that computers can now anticipate future outcomes and take steps to maximize particular ones. Intelligent systems can now see the world in shades of gray and evaluate likelihoods from multitudes of variables far beyond human comprehension.

That’s the world we currently live in, and the evidence is all around us. Machine learning algorithms have swayed elections by stoking targeted outrage. Our clothes, food, and consumer products are designed according to data-driven analytics. Every design feature in your favorite app is being constantly optimized according to how computers anticipate your future behavior. It’s why YouTube is actually pretty good at showing you videos that keep you engaged.

The day is coming when we will no longer require “actionable insights,” because the action will have already been taken. Nobody at YouTube is looking at your viewing history to determine what to recommend next. Computers do that. The value of the stock market is now largely driven by automated trading algorithms, and as a consequence, there are fewer stock analysts than there used to be. Not only can computers process information far better than humans, but they’ve also demonstrated better financial judgment.

The day will soon arrive when “actionable insights” will seem like a quaint notion from a simpler time. Computers will be smart enough to act on insights by themselves. In doing so, they may, in fact, diminish the need for human oversight.

Until then, however, human enterprise is still structured around hierarchies of decision-making and judgment. The CEO of a company still needs to delegate day-to-day responsibilities to human actors whose knowledge and judgment have proven sound.

And so, for now, we still need actionable insights. Data analytics companies will continue to build better mousetraps, until the day when there are no longer mice.

Gil Rachlin, SVP of Products and Partnerships at Synup.

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8 Common Reasons Your Google Ads Are Being Disapproved

December 4, 2019 No Comments

Google is not only tightening up existing policies but also rolling out new policies that affect multiple industries. Here are common reasons for ad disapprovals, steps to fix them, and what to do if your disapproval reason doesn’t fall in the common category.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Six key content performance aspects that Google Analytics can’t measure

December 4, 2019 No Comments

Google Analytics (GA) is one of the most popular traffic analytics tools for websites, but it can have serious drawbacks for anyone looking to measure content performance.

The problem is systemic: Analytics was built to track traffic for ecommerce and content sites, with the structure of its reports built around pageviews. It can provide some sophisticated data around those views – what kinds of audience members are behind them, how they might have arrived, what they did next, and other such questions – but today’s content marketers need the ability to measure and understand much more than that.

How do people interact with your content when they’re viewing an individual landing page? How do they feel about your brand after having been exposed to it on other media channels? Where are they running into conversion roadblocks? What are the content assets across touchpoints that people are consuming most on their paths to conversion? What assets are most compelling to your most qualified individual leads?

GA can hint at some of the answers to these types of questions, but to truly understand these aspects of your content marketing performance, you’ll need to turn elsewhere.

Here are a few of the biggest ways that Google Analytics can’t measure your content performance properly, along with some tips for overcoming these shortcomings.

1. On-page behavior

Google Analytics only tracks page views and movement within your site. Unless you manually add layers of event tracking, it can’t reveal what people do within specific pages. You’ll never know if visitors get two lines into your content and then get distracted by an interesting link.

This is the value of heatmaps, which are remarkably effective at showing user behavior. They map out which areas of the page get the most view time and the most clicks, and where the mouse rests.

A heatmap shows areas that get the most attention in red, shading to blue for those that get the least. It reveals whether the visitor engaged and interacted with the page, or left it open and unread for hours. With a heatmap, you can discover the most popular parts of your pages, the navigation links people click on most, and whether key elements below the fold are going unseen.

To get started experimenting with heatmaps, you can try using Hotjar, Lucky Orange or CrazyEgg.

2. Brand sentiment lift

Google Analytics is limited to tracking page views on your own website. It can’t tell you anything about the impact of your content on earned or shared media channels, where you don’t have the ability to install its tracking pixel. And even if you could use it track content views on all channels, you still wouldn’t know much about the impact that the content has on brand sentiment, or your share of voice in the general market.

Instead, use a social listening tool to track what people think about your brand. Social listening tools track social media shares, comments, reactions and mentions. This information has many key use cases, one of which is gaining a holistic view of brand sentiment.

The better platforms track far more than the number of brand mentions on social media, using semantic text analysis to reveal the emotions behind the posts and comparing these signals to those of your competitors. Merge these trends with your timeline of content marketing achievements, and correlations will start to emerge.

To get started experimenting with social listening for brand sentiment tracking, you can try using Awario, Mention or Talkwalker.

3. Friction points on forms

If a visitor tries to complete an online form and gives up in frustration, Google Analytics will never let you know. The best it can do is to show you how much time all visitors spent on the page. (Even this information can be extremely misleading since GA measures page view durations starting from the moment given page loads to the moment the next internal page loads. If your visitor stays for 10 minutes, reads your article from top to bottom, shares it, and then closes the tab without browsing any further within your site, GA will register ‘zero’ time on page.)

When it comes to lead capture forms, contact forms, and sales checkout forms, it can be hard to tell how many fields you’re best off including. The fewer fields your forms have, the lesser friction people will have opting in, which makes for more conversions.

On the other hand, the more fields you include, the more data you’ll have to work with when people do complete and submit forms, which is useful for identifying personas when executing segmented nurture sequences. You’ll also learn more about your audience, and you’ll be in the best possible position for determining the relevance of your leads. And there’s something to be said for asking a lot of your audience, as it helps to filter out people who are “just curious” about your lead magnet and will never actually do business with you.

To really understand the extent to which form fields are serving as roadblocks on the path to conversion, turn to your form builder tool’s analytics. The better platforms will reveal partial submissions, and how far a user gets through a form before abandoning it, so you can see if any single field is too long or question too confusing.

To get started experimenting with form conversion optimization, I recommend Formstack, Formismo or Jotform.

4. The identity of every visitor

One of GA’s biggest weaknesses is its inability to give context to visitor behavior. It can’t show you much about the identity of your visitors – at best, you can segment data about your entire pool of visitors according to their physical locations, devices, referrers, rough demographics and points of entry to your site.

What’s more, Google Analytics only uses a sample of your visitors, so that even if you tinker with your report settings to reveal the IP addresses of individual sessions, you can’t rely on this information as a comprehensive source of individual user insights.

Instead of GA, use audience intelligence tools that provide information about the interests, behavior, personal data (in a GDPR-compliant manner, of course.) and historic activity of every user, so that you can gain a deeper understanding of your visitors. This allows you to fine-tune your content to appeal to your audience, and it also reveals opportunities for account-based marketing.

To get started with audience intelligence, try Albacross, LinkedIn Website Demographics or Visitor Queue.

5. Funnel analytics

It is possible to use Google Analytics to track users through your funnel and measure its effectiveness. However, setting this all up can be highly complicated. You have to build a confusing series of filters and a dedicated URL structure that allows GA to correlate content pages with each stage of the funnel.

It’s much better to use a single tool that follows users through your funnel. Pick one that logs abandonment points and the cumulative impact of your various key funnel touchpoints. You’ll also need a good way to track the activity of returning visitors, which is another weak point for GA, thanks to uncertainty about cookies, lack of reliability when tracking visitors across devices, and the aforementioned notorious data sampling issue.

And if you integrate a funnel analytics tool with your CRM, logging each lead’s engagement activity on your website, you’ll be in great shape to set up a smart lead scoring system for identifying sales-readiness levels.

To get started with funnel analytics, check out Kissmetrics, Woopra or Yandex Metrica.

6. Off-site interactions

Google Analytics only measures interactions with the content on your own site. It’s not something you can use to measure the impact of content on shared, paid or earned media. So that guest post you recently published on someone else’s blog, or your LinkedIn Publisher articles, for example, will be blind spots for you.

GA can show you information about some of the visits you acquired via clickthroughs from these media presences, but that’s about it.

You’ll get better results from a multi-channel dashboard tool that pulls together user analytics from all channels, including email marketing, advertising tools, and social media. This type of solution can’t show you how people found your content on these properties, nor where they went next if they didn’t end up on your website, but it will help you consolidate all your metrics into one centralized dashboard for a more holistic analysis.

What’s more, if you combine data relating to engagement on all touchpoints into one timeline, you’ll start to see correlations between spikes on certain channels and website conversions, which can point you in the right direction for further drill-downs

To get started with multi-channel dashboards, try Klipfolio, Databox or Geckoboard.

Google Analytics isn’t a magic button

Google Analytics is hugely popular, but it can’t do everything, especially if you’re concerned about content performance. Fortunately, there are other tools that fill the gaps GA leaves behind, giving you a much clearer understanding of your content marketing success.

The post Six key content performance aspects that Google Analytics can’t measure appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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