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Taking a PPC holiday: how to take a break from your ads without disaster

November 16, 2020 No Comments

One specialist shares her top 5 tips for taking a PPC holiday without disaster striking.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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‘Watch Dogs: Legion’ Tackles Surveillance Without Humanity

October 29, 2020 No Comments

The game envisions a near future full of techno-dystopian surveillance, but it doesn’t have much to say about the people it affects.
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How To Increase Facebook Traffic Without Sacrificing Revenue

July 25, 2020 No Comments

Here are simple actions that boost your Facebook campaign traffic without throwing tons of extra budget at the campaign or sacrificing efficiency.

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Twitter tests a feature that calls you out for RTing without reading the article

June 11, 2020 No Comments

A new Twitter test feature aiming to “promote informed discussion” will nudge users to read before they retweet. The company describes the test as a step to help people be more aware of what they’re sharing in a broader effort to inspire “healthier conversations” on the platform.

The experimental new prompt doesn’t stop a user from resharing a link before clicking to read it, instead just suggesting that they might want to and letting them click through. The limited test feature will only appear for some U.S.-based Android users for now.

Twitter and other social networks are regularly deluged with divisive conspiracy theories and other misleading claims, but misinformation isn’t the only thing driving users apart. Polarization is a baked-in feature in the way social platforms work, where sharing content that confirms existing biases is never more than a single click away. With the test feature, Twitter is tinkering with how to slow that process down by urging users to pause and reflect.

In May, Twitter began testing a prompt that warns users they’re about to tweet a potentially harmful reply, based on the platform’s algorithms recognizing content that looks like stuff often reported as harmful. Facebook tried out a similar test feature last year and reported that its results showed promise.

The idea is that giving users a chance to make different choices rather than forcing them to do so could help reshape some of the unproductive or actively harmful strains of behavior. In the case of the new Twitter test feature, that means nudging them to slow down and read the content of the link they’re about to share. What happens when those links are chock-full of harmful claims or conspiracies remains to be seen, but urging people to slow down on social networks rather than instinctively smashing the retweet button certainly doesn’t sound like a bad thing.


Social – TechCrunch


Maximizing local SEO: Five tactics to enhance visibility without breaking the bank

May 20, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • With Google frequently changing its search engine algorithm in recent times in a bid to reduce the organic reach of most businesses so they can invest more in Ads, what are the options left for your small business in this period?
  • According to GoGulf, 46% of all Google searches are of people searching for local information, and 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps.
  • If Local SEO is that effective, what is it, and why should your business rely on it?
  • In this article, I will examine basic things that still work like adding your business to online directories, building backlinks, developing local content targeted at your local audience, incorporating titles and meta description tags, and the use of targeted keywords.

SEO changes all the time. That’s why you need to update your SEO strategies regularly to remain visible. 

According to this article, 72% of consumers visit a store within 5 miles after doing a local search. This shows how powerful local SEO can be. If you can make your business visible such that your business appears in the search results when a potential customer searches for a product and service, there is a 72% chance they’ll drop by your business.

But what is local SEO? Local SEO involves the optimization of your online presence in order to improve your chances of being discovered by people who make local searches. Think of it as your traditional SEO, but with the inclusion of geography in it. In other words, it’s you trying to attract more business from local searches.

In this article, you’ll learn five local SEO tactics that will help you skyrocket your visibility without breaking the bank. 

1. Be strategic about your title and meta description tags

When you search for something on Google’s search engine, you’ll see millions of results competing for your attention. The only way you can tell if the search result has what you’re looking for is the title and the description you see immediately after the title.

Many business owners take the title of their blog posts and meta descriptions for granted. You need to start seeing the title and the description as a way you can “sell” your page to a potential visitor of your page. 

A useful tool that will help you optimize your title and description is Yoast SEO. It’ll be able to test how good your title and description are. 

Deliberately include the location of your business in your blog post titles. For example, let’s assume you sell wine and your potential client is looking for the best New York wine, you’d be doing yourself a great service by including the words “New York” in the title and the description.

Local SEO example New York wine

Source: Google Search

2. Optimize your Google My Business account

You know how you’ll search for a pizza place on your phone and Google will show you a list of pizza places near you? That’s made possible by using Google My Business. Google My Business (GMB) is a tool used to manage your online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps.

You’ll find it shocking that 56% of local businesses haven’t claimed their Google My Business listings. So don’t sleep on this tip.

If you haven’t claimed your GMB listing then make sure you do so. But don’t just claim your GMB listing and forget all about it. Optimize your GMB by filling in your Google My Business Profile, choosing the relevant category, and including images. This will not only help your potential customer find you, but it will also give them some information about your business and thus influence their decision to stop by your business.

3. Create local content

According to GoGulf, 46% of all Google searches are of people searching for local information. So how do you harness that attention so as to get your target audience to know about your business?

Creating local content that will be of interest to your target audience makes you the local authority for your industry. By local content, I mean the creation of content that is targeted to your local audience. This will require you to be strategic with keywords.

So as a florist, instead of creating content on the best flowers to give your wife, think of the best flowers your customer can give their wife in Florida. That way you’re specifically addressing those in Florida and those who come across your article see you as the go-to florist in Florida. 

4. Get inbound links to raise the domain authority

As beneficial as it is to create local content for your own website, Moz revealed that link signals are an important local search ranking factor that will help enhance your visibility as shown in the diagram below. 

Link signals include inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, and linking domain quantity. All this helps to raise the domain authority as this helps increase your local search rankings.  

To improve your link signals you should also guest post local content on other websites as well. Create valuable local resources that your target audience will love.

As you guest post and refer people to the blog on your business website, you’re acquiring inbound links to raise your domain authority. Those will help you with your SEO and increase your chances of being visible on Google when the people within your geographical location search for things related to your business. 

5. Add your business to online directories

Why stop at just adding your business on only one directory when there are so many directories out there. Adding your business to as many online directories (especially local ones) as you can possibly find will increase your chances of being found online. It will be time-consuming but it’s worth it. 

Online business directories like Binge Places for Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, and Trip Advisor will make you more visible to those who need your services locally. And to add to that, getting listed on these sites will make you earn backlinks from them which will help build your domain authority and increase your ranking on Google’s Search Engine Result Pages (SERP), therefore increasing your organic reach.

What you need to take note of is that the information on your business on other directories is the same as that on your GMB. This consistency will help with your rankings. 

Ready to maximize local SEO?

Over time Google has tweaked its search engine algorithm to reduce the organic reach of businesses so as to direct their attention to investing in ads. As a small business that has limited resources, investing in ads may seem like a long shot.

If Google’s reducing your ability to organically reach your target audience, then what’s the next available option for you? Local SEO can give you the needed exposure to your target audience organically and at little or no cost.

The good news is that applying the steps above will put you ahead of other local businesses scrambling for their customers’ attention on the most coveted first page of Google search.

Now that you’ve got the tips how did you would you say you’ve fared with your local SEO?

The post Maximizing local SEO: Five tactics to enhance visibility without breaking the bank appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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This ultrasonic gripper could let robots hold things without touching them

January 23, 2020 No Comments

If robots are to help out in places like hospitals and phone repair shops, they’re going to need a light touch. And what’s lighter than not touching at all? Researchers have created a gripper that uses ultrasonics to suspend an object in midair, potentially making it suitable for the most delicate tasks.

It’s done with an array of tiny speakers that emit sound at very carefully controlled frequencies and volumes. These produce a sort of standing pressure wave that can hold an object up or, if the pressure is coming from multiple directions, hold it in place or move it around.

This kind of “acoustic levitation,” as it’s called, is not exactly new — we see it being used as a trick here and there, but so far there have been no obvious practical applications. Marcel Schuck and his team at ETH Zürich, however, show that a portable such device could easily find a place in processes where tiny objects must be very lightly held.

A small electric component, or a tiny oiled gear or bearing for a watch or micro-robot, for instance, would ideally be held without physical contact, since that contact could impart static or dirt to it. So even when robotic grippers are up to the task, they must be kept clean or isolated. Acoustic manipulation, however, would have significantly less possibility of contamination.

Another, more sinister-looking prototype.

The problem is that it isn’t obvious exactly which combination of frequencies and amplitudes are necessary to suspend a given object in the air. So a large part of this work was developing software that can easily be configured to work with a new object, or programmed to move it in a specific way — rotating, flipping or otherwise moving it at the user’s behest.

A working prototype is complete, but Schuck plans to poll various industries to see whether and how such a device could be useful to them. Watchmaking is of course important in Switzerland, and the parts are both small and sensitive to touch. “Toothed gearwheels, for example, are first coated with lubricant, and then the thickness of this lubricant layer is measured. Even the faintest touch could damage the thin film of lubricant,” he points out in the ETHZ news release.

How would a watchmaker use such a robotic arm? How would a designer of microscopic robots, or a biochemist? The potential is clear, but not necessarily obvious. Fortunately, he has a bit of fellowship cash to spend on the question and hopes to spin it off as a startup next year if his early inquiries bear fruit.

Gadgets – TechCrunch


Ten ways to pump out a stream of great content without burning out

July 9, 2019 No Comments

There’s always more content to write. 

Sometimes that can be encouraging, even exhilarating. You’ve got plenty of space for all your ideas, and countless opportunities to engage with potential customers and to build a stronger relationship with existing ones.

But producing a constant stream of content can be exhausting.

You’ll find yourself running out of ideas and running out of steam. And at that point, it can be really difficult to keep creating high-quality content on a regular basis.

Even if you’re in a position to hire someone to help, you’ll still need to have a fair amount of involvement in content production – supplying ideas and outlines, at the very least.

So how can you keep up with all the content you need to produce? Before we dig into some specific tips, let’s take a look at how much you actually need to create.

How frequently should you post on your blog and your social media accounts?

There are no rules here different blogs do different things, often within the same industry. In the content marketing world, for instance:

  • Smart Blogger posts (very in-depth) pieces once a week
  • Copyblogger publishes three or four posts a week
  • Content Marketing Institute posts one piece each weekday

As a rough guideline, you’ll probably want to aim for at least one weekly post, one daily Facebook and/or Instagram post, and three or more posts a day on fast-moving networks like Twitter. (According to Louise Myers, the “general consensus” is that anything from three to 30 Tweets per day is fine.

So how do you keep up with this level of content, week after week?

How to create great content without burning out

Here are nine ways to keep up your content production without getting to the point of feeling so burned out that you simply give up.

You can use these as a step by step process, or you can pick and choose ideas that’ll make your existing process go more smoothly.

1. Decide how often you’ll post content

While there’s no “right” answer to how often to post content, there’s definitely a “wrong” one. Posting content whenever you feel like it, at wildly varying frequencies.

It’s best – for you and for your audience – to have a consistent posting schedule, both on your blog and on social networks. That might mean, for instance, two blog posts each week, one Facebook post each day (more may be counter-productive), and five Twitter posts each day.

While you might vary your schedule a little, having a clear idea of what to aim for makes it much more likely that you’ll write and publish regular posts.

2. Come up with a suitable pattern for your content

With social media, in particular, it’s helpful to “pattern” your content. This is also a useful practice for blog posts, especially if you post twice a week or more on your blog.

Rather than starting with a blank page when it comes to generating ideas, you can have a pre-set “pattern” for the content you’re going to create.

For instance, if you’re writing five Twitter posts each day, you might decide to have:

  • Two posts linking to other people’s great content
  • One post linking to your most recent piece of content
  • One post linking to a piece of content from your archive
  • One post that asks a question or prompts a discussion

3. Brainstorm lots of ideas

Simply coming up with ideas for content can take a lot of time. Instead of sitting down and staring at a blank page, try “batching” the idea generation process: set aside time once every week or two to come up with a whole list of ideas.

Some great ways to find content ideas include:

  • Common search terms within your industry: this is part of keyword research and as well as being a useful SEO tool, it’s great for idea-generation.
  • Questions that you frequently get asked by potential customers.
  • Problems that you faced when you were starting out in your industry.
  • Other people’s content – could you create something that tackles a topic in more depth, or from a different angle?
  • Your own content: can you go back to an old blog post and update it, or take some social media posts and weave them into a piece for your blog?
  • Asking influencers for their contributions – this might be in the form of a quote or two from one person, or a “round-up” post with quotes from lots of different experts.

4. Outline longer pieces of content

With short posts on Twitter and Facebook, you probably don’t need an outline – just a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

For blog posts, though, you’ll find it’s much faster to write when you’ve got a solid outline in place, especially if you’re producing long-form content. Again, it’s often a good idea to “batch produce” your outlines, by picking four or so ideas and outlining all those posts at once.

That way, when it’s time to write those posts, a lot of the hard work is already done. Plus, if you outline several posts in a single session, you’ll find it much easier to create links between them.

5. Write several short pieces of content at once

Instead of opening up HootSuite (or your favorite social media management tool or app) every single time you want to send a tweet or create a post, write lots of posts ahead of time.

You might want to queue up a week’s worth of posts all at once. Buffer is a great tool for this, allowing you to schedule posts to go out at any time you want – making it easier to reach potential clients in other timezones or those on unusual schedules.

6. Set aside focused time for longer pieces

Creating content requires a lot of focus – it’s not something you can easily do while you’re fielding phone calls or responding to emails every few minutes.

Block out periods of time (ideally two hours long) in advance, where you can shut your office door, ignore your email, and let calls go to voicemail.

6. Set aside focused time for longer pieces

While you may have no choice but to self-edit your content, if it’s possible, get an editor involved. This might be someone already on your team, or a freelancer external to your company.

A good editor will go far beyond correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical slips. They’ll help to ensure your content is well structured, that it flows smoothly, and that it’s as engaging as possible.

8. Have an assistant format and upload your content

If you’re uploading all your own posts on your blog and social media, you’ll be spending time finding images, selecting categories, adding hashtags, including links, and so on.

While these tasks are an important part of the content creation process, they don’t need to be done by you. Delegate as much of the repetitive work as possible to an assistant so that you can free up more time to write or design the content itself.

9. Get ahead and take time off

If content creation is starting to feel like a treadmill that you can’t get off, then you’re probably heading for burnout. Plan your schedule so you can get ahead, perhaps by creating an extra piece or two of content each week.

That way, you can take a week off from content creation occasionally (plus, you’ll also be covered for any unexpected events, like a particularly busy period, or illness).

10. Repurpose your existing content

There may well be excellent blog posts in your archive that rarely get read, and your social media posts will almost certainly only gather fleeting attention.

Instead of always coming up with fresh ideas and creating new pieces from scratch, how about reusing some of your existing content? That might be as simple as writing an updated version of a blog post, and republishing it – or it could involve something more involved like turning a series of tweets into a blog post, or turning a post into an infographic.

Valuable, high-quality content is great for your business, your potential and existing customers, and your SEO. By trying some or all of the tips above, you can keep up the flow of content, without burning out.

If you have a tip for creating lots of great content, consistently, feel free to share it with us in the comments below.

Joe Williams is the founder of Tribe SEO. He can be found on Twitter at @joetheseo.

The post Ten ways to pump out a stream of great content without burning out appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Why Online Marketing Without Call Tracking Is A Bad Idea

March 8, 2019 No Comments

When I ask prospects or clients if they are tracking phone calls from their website, they often tell me they are not, never thought of it or “I guess we could look at our records from the phone company”. To make things worse, nowadays trying to make sense of attribution and storytelling to the client on performance has become an analytical nightmare. In this post, I will discuss the many benefits of Call Tracking and why it matters so much for both advertisers and agencies.

Let’s be clear, Call Tracking may not be beneficial for every business. In fact, some may not want to receive phone calls simply because they solely want to rely on online forms or digital transactions. But…. Here’s the problem. For those businesses that do rely on phone calls for their business’s success, it’s imperative that they know where the calls are coming from. This is not only a dilemma for the business, but also the agency or marketing director handling the marketing and advertising dollars.

Benefits of Call Tracking

For many years, I have managed everything from PPC, SEO, Email, Landing Pages, Social, etc…. In fact, even though they had extensive Google Analytics and platform pixels installed, tracking phone calls from the website was always the biggest obstacle because I could not verify that metric. With the addition of call tracking “into the mix”, it allows me as a marketer to identify which Ad platforms, campaigns and keywords generate phone calls. In addition, I can then correlate the Caller Id’s in the reporting to justify a valuable lead from a junk lead.

Learn more about Call Rail

While there are many call tracking companies available online, I have found that Call Rail provides the best features, easiest integration and frankly top-notch customer service around. Here are just some of the features of Call Rail:

Visitor & Keyword-Level Tracking

CallRail’s call tracking can reveal which keywords, campaigns, and landing pages are effectively driving phone conversions. See your visitor’s journey through your website before, during, and after the call.

Dynamic Number Insertion

Dynamic Number Insertion will automatically show the right tracking number to each visitor. Get up and running quickly by adding a single snippet of JavaScript code to your website or using our WordPress plugin.

Campaign-Level Call Tracking

Create trackable phone numbers to use in all of your online and offline marketing campaigns, including paid search, digital advertising, direct mail, television, radio, and print ads. Find out which ads are effective.

Multi-Channel Call Attribution

See the full story on your PPC, organic, social, remarketing, and other campaigns. Understand how they influence your customer’s journey. Multi-channel call attribution goes beyond first- and last-click metrics.

Form Submissions

Capture leads from forms instantly, and let CallRail alert you by phone, text message, or email. View detailed information about where your form completions are coming from and call customers back immediately.


PPC Marketing Agency | Search Marketing Firm | Adwords Certified Consultant


You can’t have an outstanding team without an outstanding culture

September 30, 2018 No Comments

There’s a reason why our team thinks we are a great place to work and no, its not because we have a ping pong table set up. See more about Hanapin’s latest certification + we’ll let you in on a little secret!

Read more at PPCHero.com
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Microsoft caps off a fine fiscal year seemingly without any major missteps in its last quarter

July 21, 2018 No Comments

Microsoft is capping off a rather impressive year without any major missteps in its final report for its performance in its 2018 fiscal year, posting a quarter that seems to have been largely non-offensive to Wall Street.

In the past year, Microsoft’s stock has gone up more than 40 percent. In the past two years, it’s nearly doubled. All of this came after something around a decade of that price not really doing anything as Microsoft initially missed major trends like the shift to mobile and the cloud. But since then, new CEO Satya Nadella has turned that around and increased the company’s focused on both, and Azure is now one of the company’s biggest highlights. Microsoft is now an $ 800 billion company, which, while still considerably behind Apple, Amazon and Google, is a considerable high considering the past decade.

In addition, Microsoft passed $ 100 billion in revenue for a fiscal year. So, as you might expect, the stock didn’t really do anything, given that nothing seemed to be too wrong with what was going on. For a company that’s at around $ 800 billion, that it’s not doing anything bad at this point is likely a good thing. That Microsoft is even in the discussion of being one of the companies chasing a $ 1 trillion market cap is likely something we wouldn’t have been talking about just three or four years ago.

The company said it generated $ 30.1 billion in revenue, up 17 percent year-over-year, and adjusted earnings of $ 1.13 per share. Analysts were looking for earnings of $ 1.08 per share on revenue of $ 29.23 billion.

So, under Nadella, this is more or less a tale of two Microsofts — one squarely pointed at a future of productivity software with an affinity toward cloud and mobile tools (though Windows is obviously still a part of this), and one that was centered around the home PC. Here are a couple of highlights from the report:

  • LinkedIn: Microsoft said revenue for LinkedIn increased 37 percent, with LinkedIn sessions growth of 41 percent. Microsoft’s professional network was also listed in a bucket of other segments that it attributed to increased operating expenditures, which also included cloud engineering, and commercial sales capacity. It was also bucketed into a 12 percent increase in research and development with cloud engineering, as well as a bump in sales and marketing expenses. This all seems pretty normal for a network Microsoft hopes to continue to grow.
  • Azure: Microsoft’s cloud platform continued to drive its server products and cloud services revenue, which increased 26 percent. The company said Azure’s revenue was up 89 percent “due to growth from consumed and SaaS revenue.” Once again, Microsoft didn’t break out specifics on its Azure products, though it seems pretty clear that this is one of their primary growth drivers.
  • Office 365: Office 365 saw commercial revenue growth of 38 percent, and consumer subscribers increased to 31.4 million. Alongside LinkedIn, Microsoft seems to be assembling a substantial number of subscription SaaS products that offset a shift in its model away from personal computing and into a more cloud-oriented company.
  • GitHub: Nada here in the report. Microsoft earlier this year said it acquired it for a very large sum of money (in stock), but it isn’t talking about it. But bucket it alongside Office 365 and LinkedIn as part of that increasingly large stable of productivity tools for businesses, as GitHub is one of the most widely adopted developer tools available.


Enterprise – TechCrunch