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Tag: Improve

Time is Ltd. uses data from Slack and other cloud software to help companies improve productivity

March 12, 2019 No Comments

Time is Ltd., a Prague-based startup offering “productivity software analytics” to help companies gain insights from employees’ use of Slack, Office 365, G Suite and other enterprise software, has raised €3 million in funding.

Leading the round is Mike Chalfen — who previously co-founded London venture capital firm Mosaic Ventures but has since decided to operate as a solo investor — with participation from Accel. The investment will be used by Time is Ltd. to continue building the platform for large enterprises that want to better understand the patterns of behaviour hidden inside the various cloud software they run on.

“Time is Ltd. was founded… to help large corporations and companies get a view into insights and productivity of teams,” co-founder and CEO Jan Rezab tells me. “Visualising insights around calendars, time, and communication will help companies to understand real data behind their productivity”.

Powered by machine learning, the productivity software analytics platform plugs into the cloud software tools that enterprises typically use to collaborate across various departments. It then analyses various metadata pulled from these software tools, such as who is communicating with who and time spent on Slack, or which teams are meeting, where and for how long as per various calendars. The idea is to enable managers to gain a better understanding of where productivity is lost or could be improved and to tie changes in these patterns to business goals.

Rezab cites the example of a large company undergoing “agile” transformation. “If you want to steer a massive company of 5,000 plus people, you really should understand the impact of your actions a bit more much earlier, not after the fact,” he says. “One of the hypothesis of an agile transformation is, for example, that managers really get involved a bit less and things work a bit more streamlined. You see from our data that this is or is not happening, and you can take corrective action”.

Or it could be something as simple as a large company with multiple offices that is conducting too many meetings. Time is Ltd. is able to show how the number of meetings held is increasing and what departments or teams is instigating them. “You can also show the inter-departmental video meeting efficiency, and if the people, for example, often need to travel to these meetings, how long does that takes vs. digital meetings — so you can generally help and recommend the company take specific actions,” explains Rezab.

Sales is another area that could benefit from productivity analytics, with Time is Ltd. revealing that most sales teams actually spend the majority of their meeting time inside the company not outside as you would think. “The structure of these internal meetings varies; planning for these events or just on-boarding and education,” says the Time is Ltd. CEO. “You can, so to speak, follow the time from revenue to different teams… and then see over time how it changes, and how it impacts sales productivity”.

Meanwhile, investor Mike Chalfen describes the young startup as a new breed of data-driven services that use “significant but under-utilised datasets”. “Productivity is one of the largest software markets globally, but lacks deep enterprise analytics to drive intelligent operational management for large businesses,” he says in a statement.

That’s not to say Time is Ltd. isn’t without competition, which includes Microsoft itself. “Our biggest competitor is Microsoft Workplace Analytics,” says Rezab. “However, Microsoft does not integrate other than MS products. Our advantage is that we are a productivity platform to integrate all of the cloud tools. Starting with Slack, SAP Success Factors, Zoom, and countless others”.


Enterprise – TechCrunch


Utilizing Site Search Data to Improve Your Awareness Campaigns

December 24, 2018 No Comments

Explore a few ways to utilize site search data in Google Analytics to give you new strategies to test in your awareness campaigns in Google Ads.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


How to increase page speed to improve SEO results

December 8, 2018 No Comments

Page speed has been a part of Google’s search ranking algorithms for quite some time, but it’s been entirely focused on desktop searches until recently when Google began using page speed as a ranking factor for mobile searches as well.

Have you checked your page speed scores lately?

How do your speeds match up against your competition?

If your pages are loading slower than competitors, there’s a chance you’re taking a hit in the SERPs. While relevance of a page carries much more weight than page speed, it’s still important to ensure your pages are loading fast for users and search engines.

Here are 5 ways to increase page speed and improve SEO results.

Compress images

Large image files can have a significant negative impact on page speed performance. Images often represent the largest portion of bytes when downloading a page. This is why optimizing images generally returns the biggest improvement in speed performance. Compressing your images using an image compression tool will reduce their file size leading to faster loading pages for both users and search engines, which in turn will have a positive impact on your organic search rankings.

Leverage browser caching

Web browsers cache quite a bit of information, including images, JavaScript files and stylesheets. The benefit is that when visitors revisit your site, the browser doesn’t have to reload the whole page. If your server does not include caching headers or if resources are only cached for a short period of time, then pages on your site will load slower because browsers must reload all of this information.

Google recommends setting a minimum cache time of one week (and preferably up to one year) for static assets, or assets that change infrequently. So, make sure you work with your web developer to ensure caching is setup for optimal page speed performance.

Decrease server response time

There are numerous potential factors that may slow down the response of your server: slow database queries, slow routing, frameworks, libraries, slow application logic, or insufficient memory. All these factors should be taken into consideration when trying to improve your server’s response time.

The most favorable server response time is under 200ms. SEO marketers should work with their website  hosting provider to reduce server response time and increase page speed performance.

Enable Gzip compression

Your pages will load slower if your site has compressible resources that are served without Gzip compression. Gzip, a software application for file compression, should be utilized to reduce the size of files on your site such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript (but not images).

You will need to determine which type of server your site runs on before enabling Gzip compression as each server requires a unique configuration, for example:

Again, your hosting provider can help you enable Gzip compression accordingly. You’d be surprised how much faster your pages load by having Gzip implemented.

Avoid multiple landing page redirects

Having more than one redirect from a given URL to the final landing page can slow page load time. Redirects prompt an additional HTTP request-response which can delay page rendering. SEO Marketers should minimize the number of redirects to improve page speed. Check your redirects and make sure you don’t have redundant redirects that could be slowing load time.

Conclusion

SEO marketers must be analyzing and improving page speed. A great place to start is compressing images, utilizing caching, reducing server response time, enabling file compression, and removing multiple/redundant redirects.

I urge marketers to periodically use Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool to check your load time and compare your website to competitors’ sites. The tool also provides specific, recommended optimizations to increase your site’s page speed performance.

As Google continues to favor fast-loading websites it’s crucial that SEO Experts take necessary steps to ensure your site’s pages are meeting (and beating) Google’s expectations. Today, improving page speed is an essential aspect of any successful SEO Program.

The post How to increase page speed to improve SEO results appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Stoop aims to improve your news diet with an easy way to find and read newsletters

November 17, 2018 No Comments

Stoop is looking to provide readers with what CEO Tim Raybould described as “a healthier information diet.”

To do that, it’s launched an iOS and Android app where you can browse through different newsletters based on category, and when you find one you like, it will direct you to the standard subscription page. If you provide your Stoop email address, you’ll then be able to read all your favorite newsletters in the app.

“The easiest way to describe it is: It’s like a podcast app but for newsletters,” Raybould said. “It’s a big directory of newsletters, and then there’s the side where you can consume them.”

Why newsletters? Well, he argued that they’re one of the key ways for publishers to develop a direct relationship with their audience. Podcasts are another, but he said newsletters are “an order of magnitude more important” because you can convey more information with the written word and there are lower production costs.

That direct relationship is obviously an important one for publishers, particularly as Facebook’s shifting priorities have made it clear that they need to “establish the right relationship [with] readers, as opposed to renting someone else’s audience.” But Raybould said it’s better for readers too, because you’ll spend your time on journalism that’s designed to provide value, not just attract clicks: “You will find you use the newsfeed less and consume more of your content directly from the source.”

“Most content [currently] is distributed through a third party, and that software is choosing what to surface next — not based on the quality of the content, but based on what’s going to keep people scrolling,” he added. “Trusting an algorithm with what you’re going to read next is like trusting a nutritionist who’s incentivized based on how many chips you eat.”

Stoop Discover

So Raybould is a fan of newsletters, but he said the current system is pretty cumbersome. There’s no one place where you can find new newsletters to read, and you may also hesitate to subscribe to another one because it “crowds out your personal inbox.” So Stoop is designed to reduce the friction, making it easy to subscribe to and read as many newsletters as your heart desires.

Raybould said the team has already curated a directory of around 650 newsletters (including TechCrunch’s own Daily Crunch) and the list continues to grow. Additional features include a “shuffle” option to discover new newsletters, plus the ability to share a newsletter with other Stoop users, or to forward it to your personal address.

The Stoop app is free, with Raybould hoping to eventually add a premium plan for features like full newsletter archives. He’s also hoping to collaborate with publishers — initially, most publishers will probably treat Stoop readers as just another set of subscribers, but Raybould said the company could provide access to additional analytics and also make signing up easier with the app’s instant subscribe option.

And the company’s ambitions go beyond newsletters. Raybould said Stoop is the first consumer product from a team with a larger mission to help publishers — they’re also working on OpenBundle, a bundled subscription initiative with a planned launch in 2019 or 2020.

“The overarching thing that is the same is the OpenBundle thesis and the Stoop thesis,” he said. “Getting publishers back in the role of delivering content directly to the audience is the antidote to the newsfeed.”

Mobile – TechCrunch


Congressional bill would improve startup valuations

September 18, 2018 No Comments

Late last week, Congress moved one step closer to passing the American Innovation Act of 2018, a bill that would make accounting and tax changes that would likely increase the valuation of startups in an acquisition.

The House Ways and Means committee approved a bill containing text that would improve the treatment of Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for startups. While many startup founders would probably rather watch paint dry (or build their companies) than dive into complex tax code changes, the provisions in the bill could greatly improve the ability of startups to invest in growth activity, and could drive meaningfully positive impacts to valuations, acquisition prices, capital markets participation and venture returns.

First, though, what are NOLs? Each year, if a company loses money, it can claim the losses as a deduction off of its future taxes. Traditionally, the U.S. tax code has allowed companies to cumulatively track and carry forward NOLs to offset taxable income in future years, reducing the amount of cash required to pay taxes. These NOLs are essentially a cash-like asset, and they can be exchanged in the event that a company is acquired.

However, a long-standing IRS provision, Section 382, which was originally implemented to prevent companies with large tax appetites from acquiring those with large operating losses exclusively to reduce taxes, limits the use of NOL carry-forwards in instances of ownership change. 

Currently, in cases of an ownership change, specified as a more than 50 percent change in the ownership of shareholders who own at least 5 percent of a company’s stock, the amount of taxable income for the “post-change” company that can be offset by existing NOLs cannot exceed the value of the “pre-change” company, multiplied by the long-term tax exempt rate set by the IRS.

(Yes, this is why you hire a tax attorney.)

The net-net is that this provision has been particularly challenging for startups, which often trigger this limiting condition, given they frequently operate in the red through growth stages and often see frequent, sizable changes in their ownership structure due to fundraising, public offerings and acquisitions.

The House bill would alleviate this complication by protecting these tax offsets and creating an exception to the section 382 provision for startups, allowing the application of NOLs and R&D tax credits realized in the first three years of operations regardless of ownership change limitations.

These changes have a number of benefits for startups. It would provide increased flexibility around early-stage financing activities and remove potential issues that could arise with capital markets activity. Additionally, with startups more easily maintaining tax offsets to reduce their cash taxes, startups would have larger cash balances to invest in growth efforts.

The protection of the NOL from ownership change limitations could also have serious impacts to company valuations and the attractiveness of startups as acquisition candidates. With acquirers better able to utilize existing tax offsets, startups should benefit from higher purchase prices from the inclusion of NOL balances in valuations, helping founder and VC returns.

The bill passed through committee through a voice vote with no objections and is now expected to be voted on by the rest of the House later this month before advancing to the Senate. The bill has 23 co-sponsors, all Republican.


Startups – TechCrunch


14 essential WordPress plugins to improve SEO

April 14, 2018 No Comments

SEO is often a long and convoluted process which takes time, dedication and expertise.

Therefore, anything that can simplify or speed up aspects of a campaign are welcome additions: cue plugins! If your website is hosted on a WordPress CMS, then you are fortunate enough to have access to a plethora of handy plugins.

But with over 54,000 plugins to choose from, selecting the most appropriate and effective plugins for your SEO needs can seem a bit overwhelming. Luckily for you, in this article we have picked out the 14 WordPress plugins which we believe are essential for improving SEO.

From general all-rounder SEO plugins to those engineered for more specific tasks, our recommendations will cover a range of SEO needs.

1. Yoast SEO

We’ll start with the all-rounder SEO plugins and arguably the most well known of the lot. Yoast SEO is an exceedingly popular plugin for fulfilling SEO needs, and is suitable for total newbies and seasoned pros alike.

Yoast is easy to use and intuitive, making it possible for anyone to work with. Its traffic light system provides detailed guidelines, which is perfect for those who are new to SEO.

Its only main downside is that sometimes the plugin does not analyze the entire page – if, for example, part of the content for a particular page sits elsewhere within the CMS. Not an issue in itself but can cause clients to have a temporary meltdown when they see a sea of red alerts.

Nevertheless, with its powerful content analysis abilities, Yoast is my personal recommendation for an all-rounder SEO plugin.

2. All in One SEO Pack

A popular alternative to Yoast, the All in One SEO Pack plugin was actually created prior to Yoast, and therefore built up a dedicated fanbase in the initial years. It provides much the same tools and features as Yoast, but the general consensus is that All in One SEO Pack is slightly less user-friendly than its main rival.

Ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Many people are a fan of the traffic light system deployed by Yoast, as it provides a whole host of handy, actionable tips for you to implement.

Alternatively those red, orange and green lights may drive you up the wall, in which case you may want to consider the All in One SEO Pack, or even our third suggestion…

3. The SEO Framework

The SEO Framework is an alternative to Yoast and All in One SEO Pack. It provides an automated and fast SEO solution, plus it is unbranded, meaning a clean interface. Many users find it less bloated than Yoast, therefore arguably more efficient for the user.

This particular plugin is not quite as accessible as Yoast, but it is by no means difficult to use. Accordingly, it may pay to have at least a basis of SEO knowledge for this plugin.

In short, stick to Yoast if you’re a complete beginner, but if you’re confident with the basics, The SEO Framework is a viable alternative.

4. Redirection

Setting up redirects for broken links or deleted pages is key in maintaining a solid user experience.

Redirection is a useful plugin that allows you to handle all kinds of redirects from one easily accessible place. Quickly create new redirects, manage your current redirects and tidy up any loose ends.

5. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

Page speed is probably one of the biggest headaches when optimizing a website and image size is the most common reason for slow loading times. However, if you have a website that is extremely image-heavy, then the thought of manually compressing each image is probably enough to make you want to quit your job.

Well, don’t do that. Because a plugin called Smush exists and aside from being the best-named plugin on this list, it’s also incredibly useful. Smush Image Compression and Optimization compresses all images on your site at the touch of a button.

You also have the option to resize them while you’re at it. It’s perfect for increasing that pesky page speed with minimal effort.

6. W3 Total Cache

Continuing the theme of page speed, W3 Total Cache reduces load time, increases download speed and improves conversion rates. As a result, it helps to improve the overall performance and speed of your site.

With the stamp of approval from numerous high profile websites and industry leaders, what more do you need to know? It’s a no-brainer.

7. WP-Optimize

Another tool for helping you with a website spring clean. WP-Optimize cleans up your WordPress database, making space and improving its overall efficiency. A more efficient database means a better performing and faster site.

8. Google XML Sitemaps

An XML sitemap helps the search engines to crawl your site. Anything that makes life easier for the search engines is generally worth doing. The Google XML Sitemaps plugin allows you to create a sitemap quickly and easily, without the need for using a third-party tool.

Don’t forget to submit your XML sitemap to Google Search Console. We also recommend trying Google XML Sitemaps for Video and Images.

9. Broken Link Checker

It’s in the name – the Broken Link Checker identifies any broken links on your website.

Broken links can undermine your overall link structure and provide a frustrating user experience. This plugin allows you to uncover any broken links and take the necessary steps to fix them.

10. All In One WP Security & Firewall

Search engines take site security very seriously. The worst kind of user experience would be one which ends in a virus or other form of malware. If your site gets hacked, then it could have a highly detrimental effect on your rankings.

The aim of the All In One WP Security & Firewall is to prevent this happening and keep your website as safe as Fort Knox. On a related note, make sure you invest in an SSL certificate while you’re at it.

11. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)

Search engines take into consideration how quickly users leave your website. It’s therefore worth spending time trying to lower your overall bounce rate. As part of this, you should ensure clear call-to-actions and provide somewhere for users to naturally go once they are finished with a particular page or post.

For blog content, related posts are perfect for retaining users. Ideally, this functionality would be integrated into the design of your blog.

However, if not, then the Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) is a handy alternative and uses an algorithm to determine the most effective related posts. Great for user retention and lowering that bounce rate.

12. All In One Schema.Org Rich Snippets

Schema markup can bring some serious SEO points your way. Although there is no evidence that the markup itself is a ranking factor, just the appeal of having a more enticing appearance in the SERPs through rich snippets should be enough.

It is normally best to implement schema manually, without the use of a plugin. However, the All in One Schema.Org Rich Snippets plugin can help bridge the gap in the meantime until you get around to it.

I know it’s one of those tasks that gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list, but there’s no time like the present!

13. Akismet

Akismet is the most popular plugin to deal with spam comments and is useful in preventing those weird and wonderful comments. From an SEO perspective, it stops potentially harmful links appearing in the comments on your site.

Too many of these links could associate you with bad neighborhoods, as although the links are in the comments, they are still coming from your website. They are therefore best avoided at all costs.

14. AMP for WP

With the news of Google’s mobile-first index and the knowledge that over half of website traffic is via mobile, you need to implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP for short) if you haven’t already. The AMP project is an open-source initiative that provides an easy way to generate web pages which will load quickly and smoothly on mobile.

The AMP for WP plugin automatically adds Accelerated Mobile Pages functionality to your site, therefore making it faster for mobile users. It’ll save you a lot of hassle.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of plugins to improve SEO, but these are our personal recommendations. It’s important to remember not to go overboard with plugins. Avoid cutting corners by choosing to use a plugin over achieving better results manually.

Nevertheless, installing and activating a selection of carefully chosen plugins can make the SEO process more accessible, fast and effective.

Search Engine Watch


5 YouTube optimization tips to improve your video rankings

March 3, 2018 No Comments

Just how big is YouTube these days? According to a really cool infographic that was released earlier in 2017, there are some pretty incredible statistics:

  • YouTube is available and used in 88 countries around the world
  • It is the second largest social media platform with over 1.5 billion monthly users, second only to Facebook (2 billion) and more than twice the number of Instagram (700 million)
  • 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • Mobile viewing makes up half of the site’s streaming.

In other words, YouTube is HUGE. Not only has it been steadily growing since its initial launch in 2005, it has become the single biggest and most important video service on the web. While there are others that have come in is wake, none have reached the same level of popularity.

With that it mind, it is no wonder that so many people are looking to boost the effectiveness of their content on the platform. However, with so much use comes other struggles, like being seen in the crowd. If 720,000 hours are uploaded a day, you have to do everything possible to stand out and be noticed.

Here are five optimization tips for your YouTube channel and videos that will help you to start doing better in search, get recommended, and gain more traction.

Find the sweet spot with your video title length

There are several things to consider when coming up with the video title:

  • How engaging and catchy it is for the eye
  • How many important keywords you use within your title (those keywords are going to help you rank that video in both YouTube and Google search)
  • Which part of the title is immediately visible when people search YouTube or see your video thumbnail in YouTube-generated related videos.

Youtube suggested

Taking all of the above in the account, the sweet spot for your video title is going to be around 100 characters. That is enough to give a unique, descriptive title while still showing in search without a cut off.

Make sure that title not only describes what is happening in the video and contains key phrases you have already researched, but it is also attention grabbing enough that people will want to click on it.

When crafting a video title, consider including the following:

  • Include the important names and entities (your interviewee, event name, branded hashtag, featured brand name, etc.)
  • Location (especially if you are targeting a specific locale)
  • Your important keyword you’d like the video to show up for.

To distinguish that important keyword, use keyword clustering technique that allows you to see core phrases behind obscure keyword variations. My own trick is to use Serpstat’s clustering feature that allows you to group keywords by how many identical URLs rank in Google for each specific query:

Clustering

You can read more on how Serpstat clustering feature works in this guide.

You may also to match each keyword group to appropriate keyword intent to make sure your future video content will cover the immediate need and prompt engagement.

Make your descriptions longer

Video and channel descriptions are another valuable resource for drawing traffic to all of your content. YouTube allows up to 5,000 characters, which is between 500 and 700 words.

The rule of thumb is obvious: The more original content you have below your video, the easier for search engines it is to understand what your video is about and what search queries to rank it for.

Not every description needs to be that long, but aiming for around 2,000 characters for videos and 3,000 for channels is a good place because it gives you the space necessary to optimize your keyword use and give some context to viewers. More is fine, but make sure you aren’t filling it with a lot of pointless fluff.

Make the first 150 characters of a description count

Of the words you write, the first 150 characters are the most important. That is because YouTube cuts it off with a (More) tag after the point, so the viewer has to specifically opt in to reading the rest. Not all of them are going to do that.

You should make sure those first characters tell the viewer what they really need to know in order to connect with what they are reading. From there you can focus more on keywords and the rest of the description, as it will still count the same towards searches.

It is also a great place to link out to other channels, your website, etc. Make sure your call to action (CTA) is in the first words, such as liking, subscribing, learning more, etc.

Have a good, high-resolution thumbnail

Thumbnails are pretty standard for monetized video channels at this point. You have probably noticed that they follow a certain pattern: silly face, bright colors, something odd in the background, over the top. Sure, it seems annoying. But they follow the formula because the formula works.

Now, you don’t have to do the same thing. You just want to make sure that you have an eye catching, visually stimulating thumbnail in the recommended 1280 x 720 size. There are a few generators out there to help you make one, but my thumbnail maker of choice right now is Adobe Spark.

Adobe Spark

Keep in mind that you want a standard format across all of your thumbnails. For instance, if you do your face on one then you should do them on all. If you use some kind of animation or logo, use that.

You want to be immediately recognizable to anyone who follows your channel right from the suggested videos sidebar, or the search results. If you have old videos, go back and upload thumbnails to each one to start getting some better click results.

Furthermore, make sure your thumbnails are readable: Viewers should be able to easily see what it is about at a glance when seeing it in the right-hand column of the suggested videos or on a small mobile device.

Utilize playlists – I mean it!

Playlists are incredibly helpful. First of all, they help you group together certain videos right on your channel. So let’s say you did a series on how to increase your YouTube views and it was split into ten videos. You would create a playlist on your channel titled “Super YouTube Tips” so that people could find them all in one place. But that has an additional benefit.

Search leans towards introducing playlists right at the top of the results page. It also allows people to specifically search for playlists. That is great because it can introduce viewers to multiple videos instead of one and many will choose to pop on a playlist and watch straight through everything there.

If you do a creative series with a continued plot you will find this is a huge help and makes it a million times easier to sort it out, even if YouTube screws with the order on your channel (an issue more than one content creator has had in the past, take it from me).

To sum that up, YouTube playlists help you:

  • Increase your chances to rank your video content for a wider variety of phrases (which is also helpful for brand-focused results)
  • Improve engagement rate with your videos by giving your audience collections of videos so that they can sit back and watch endlessly. And we know that engagement is the crucial ranking factor when it comes to YouTube rankings.

To illustrate the point, here’s a quick example of how we were able to grab two spots for our show name with the playlist:

Playlist ranking

Bonus tip: Feature your videos on your site

Finally, an obvious but often missed tactic is to increase your YouTube channel performance by prominently displaying your videos on your site. It’s simple: the more people watch your videos (especially if they watch more of each of your videos), the more exposure YouTube offers to your content through suggesting your videos as related.

One of the most effective ways to generate more views for your channel is to promote your videos outside of YouTube, i.e. use your blog and social media channels. There’s a variety of WordPress themes that aim at doing exactly that: promote your YouTube channel prominently on-site.

Furthermore, promote your videos on social media as much as it makes sense for your audience to build additional exposure, links, and re-shares.

Do you have any tips for optimizing YouTube? Let us know in the comments!

Search Engine Watch


Twitter Seeks Health Metrics To Help It Improve Its Platform

March 2, 2018 No Comments

The social network is asking experts to help it learn to be a less toxic place online.
Feed: All Latest


Improve Your Facebook Ads With Creative Hub and Split Testing

December 10, 2017 No Comments

With the updates to Creative Hub and the Split Test feature, one can now institute a basic ad creation and testing process directly within Facebook.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


How a Customer Data Platform can improve AdWords performance

November 21, 2017 No Comments

According to Hochman Consultants (2017), the average cost of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is increasing – with the average cost-per-click in 2016 being nearly double that of 2013.

When you consider the fact that Google processes over 2.3 million searches per minute (Business Insider, 2016), this is hardly surprising.

But what can marketers do to ensure that they can attract customers on this increasingly competitive channel, while avoiding these burgeoning costs?

In my previous two articles, I looked at how to stop Google AdWords campaigns from failing by using a Customer Data Platform (CDP) to gain a holistic overview of customer behavior, and how data-driven attribution with a CDP can supercharge your paid search.

In this article, I’ll outline five ways that a Customer Data Platform can improve your AdWords performance and ROI by keeping costs down and attracting new business.

Content produced in partnership with Fospha.

1. Data accuracy

Many businesses continue to struggle with optimizing their keyword bids. The simple reason for this is the fact that, regardless of how modern and advanced your bid management platform is, inputting inaccurate data can hinder success – and be costly to your business.

A Customer Data Platform gathers, integrates and centralizes customer data from various sources to give marketers more control of, and visibility over, their data. This data-driven approach stitches together the customer journey, and uses attribution to accurately assign credit to various marketing channels based on their importance in the path to conversion.

Without this true view of their data, businesses are missing the accurate value of their different channels. They also risk making poor decisions about which marketing channels are beneficial, and which are not, which might result in budget being taken away from a channel which has a huge role in the path to conversion.

With more accurate data, Customer Data Platforms are able to highlight the true value of keywords – allowing your business to pinpoint high and low performing keywords and campaigns, and optimize their spend on paid search.

For instance, with a more accurate data source, Fospha were able to help a client identify that 50% of their keywords weren’t contributing to any conversions. Check out the full case study here.

2. Optimize

Manual bid management can be a laborious task, but with the help of a bid management platform to automate the process, this becomes a quick, effortless and efficient process. The next step lies in super-charging the capabilities of this platform. And the answer lies in an accurate data source.

Combining the power of the Customer Data Platform to discover high and low performing keywords across all channels through this data, with the automation of a bid management platform, enables spend on poorly performing keywords to be quickly reallocated – resulting in an improvement in ROI.

3. Real-time access

Unlike most other Customer Data Platforms, Fospha facilitates real-time interactions for bidding, helping reduce and eliminate the amount of wasted clicks on incorrect audiences. A Customer Data Platform integrates seamlessly with bid management platforms like Kenshoo and Marin to support these real-time interactions, such as bidding on ad clicks.

Real-time access through a Customer Data Platform also enables marketers to automate their bid management through advanced machine learning.

4. Personalization

Marketers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of moving away from keyword-based marketing, and towards audience-based marketing. However, they can go one step further – making a move towards people-based marketing.

This is no less of a necessity with your bidding strategies. Understanding your audience is crucial, and by utilizing a data-driven attribution model, a Customer Data Platform provides you with a granular understanding of a single customer. From here, you are able to use your data to optimize your targeting and increase conversions by offering more relevant content to your customers.

In addition to this, keyword performance is largely dependent on types of devices used. It is important to boost keywords that do better on mobile and to suppress those that do not. Marin found that by adjusting bids for mobile, their clients enjoyed 10% higher CTR and 2.5% lower CPC than those that failed to do so.

A Customer Data Platform is able to detect these optimized conditions and adjust your bid management strategy accordingly.

5. Bidding strategies

Defining your bidding strategy can drastically improve the performance of your paid search campaigns. However, in order to reach a truly optimized level, different keywords, audiences and goals will require different bidding strategies.

A Customer Data Platform gives you a granular view of all your marketing channels to ensure the strategy deployed is custom to each specific need.

 

Content produced in partnership with Fospha. Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch