- Following the passage of landmark consumer privacy laws, Google announced its intention to phase out third-party cookies by 2022
- Businesses that rely on these cookies for granular consumer data are now forced to rethink their strategies for accurate audience targeting
- Some businesses are turning to publisher walled gardens, while others are leaning more into contextual advertising
- Coegi’s Sean Cotton explores the challenges and opportunities marketers face in the absence of third-party cookies, as well as viable alternatives they can use to keep audience targeting on point
Following the passage of landmark consumer privacy laws, Google officially announced its intention to phase out third-party cookies on Chrome browsers by next year. This is certainly a victory for the conscious consumer wary of selling data to advertisers, but it’s also one that might leave businesses scrambling when the cookie jar disappears. But these businesses should be more excited than alarmed. While the death of third-party cookies is an obstacle, it’s also an opportunity: As alternatives to third-party cookies emerge, advertisers might find themselves better-equipped audience targeting and acquirement methods.
Third-party cookies haven’t always been perfect right out of the oven, and their quality was largely dependent on factors such as the data provider’s methodologies, the latency and recency of that data, and any related acquisition costs. Although occasionally stale, these prebuilt audiences allowed advertisers to quickly scale their audiences. The forthcoming phaseout will put pressure on marketers to rethink their strategies for accurately targeting audiences.
What are the alternatives to third-party cookies?
Publisher walled gardens (in which publishers trade free content for first-party data) are a solid starting point for advertisers seeking alternatives to third-party cookies. These audiences won’t come cheap, but it will be possible to find publishers with audiences that strongly align with your own customer base. And because these sources of data are generally authenticated, they’re also an accurate source of modeling data to use as you construct your own user databases.
Many purchases these days begin with online research, so savvy marketers are also exploring contextual advertising as a third-party cookie alternative. Mapping out the sales funnel for your product or service will help you identify opportunities for targeted advertising as your audience performs research, but it’s important to be precise at the same time. Be sure to use negative search terms and semantic recognition to prevent your brand or product from appearing in potentially embarrassing or unsafe placements. (Just consider the word “shot,” which in this day and age could relate to anything from COVID-19 or health and wellness to debates surrounding the Second Amendment.)
There’s still time for a smooth transition away from your dependency on cookies, but you shouldn’t wait much longer to get started. As you explore new ways to get your message out to precise audiences, these strategies are a great place to start:
1. Lean on second-party data
Second-party data (such as the kind provided on publisher walled gardens) can offer accurate audience targeting for advertisers in a hurry to replace third-party cookies. This type of data can inform people- or account-based marketing strategies, helping you identify individuals in a specific industry or those with a certain relevant job title. Similarly, integrating second-party data with your broader digital marketing strategy can create use cases for lookalike modeling or provide a strong foundation for sequential messaging.
Because second-party data will come at a potentially high cost, however, try to partner with publishers and providers for the long term to keep rates as low as possible. As an added benefit, this will give you time to experiment and use various types of data in different ways.
2. Implement mobile ad ID (or MAID) targeting
MAID targeting is based on an anonymous identifier associated with a user’s mobile device operating system. MAIDs have always been the go-to for application targeting because they’re privacy-compliant and serve as a great way to segment audiences based on behaviors and interests. In fact, everyone expected MAIDs to grow as mobile and in-app usage has accelerated. In the U.S., for instance, mobile users spend just over an hour more on those devices than their computers each day, and they spend 87 percent of the time on their smartphones in-app. But the death of third-party cookies will certainly accelerate the usage of these audiences across channels even more.
One of the most powerful insights offered by MAIDs is the ability to track a user’s location data. If a device is frequenting an NFL stadium, for example, you can infer that the user is a football fan, which allows a host of other inferences to form. You can also enrich MAIDs with offline deterministic data, allowing you to construct a more complete picture of the user, their demographic information, and their relevant interests.
Note that recent changes to Apple’s iOS 14 platform might limit this type of targeting on the company’s devices. Besides this, it’s also important to verify the precision and accuracy of the provider giving you location data.
3. Build custom models and indexes
Algorithmic targeting or lookalike modeling caught a bad rap from advertisers who worried the modeled audiences would broaden targeting too far. But as the quality of your audience input increases, the quality of your modeling output increases as well. In other words, concerns are justified only if you’re modeling audiences after modeled data.
On the other hand, models can be an excellent source of additional insight if you’re using deterministic data. This information comes from all kinds of sources, including social media platforms, questionnaires and surveys, and e-commerce sites that have information on user purchase history. In short, it’s data you can trust — meaning it can inform the creation of accurate audience segments and models that capture real customer intent. With deterministic data at the helm, you can create your own models and indexes to aid in your targeting efforts.
First-party data from customers and active social media followers generally provides the best source for models. Be aware of outliers when it comes to audience insights, though; signals should be strong enough to imply the target audience’s actual behavior.
4. Use Unified ID solutions
The death of third-party cookies doesn’t mean the death of all your strategies, and you can expect to see a variety of sophisticated solutions emerge in the coming years that offer audience segmentation with increased control for advertisers and enhanced privacy protections for consumers. In fact, some companies are already working collaboratively to create Unified ID solutions that modernize audience targeting and measurement.
The solutions they’re creating aim to collect user information (such as email addresses) in exchange for free content. Those addresses will then be assigned encrypted IDs that are transmitted along the bid stream to advertisers. If publishers widely adopt unified identity products, they’ll provide an excellent alternative to an overreliance on walled gardens.
However, one of the biggest hurdles for a unified ID solution will be scalability: It will likely not be a solution that can stand on its own for some time.
The death of third-party cookies will absolutely shake up the advertising world, but that’s probably a good thing. Cookies were never designed to be the backbone of digital advertising, and their disappearance makes room for alternatives to third-party cookies that actually deliver a better experience for advertisers and the audiences they’re looking to target. As advertisers gain more granular control over who hears their messaging (and when) and customer data is ensconced behind modern encryption and privacy protection tools, it’s not hard to argue that everyone wins when we put away the cookie jar.
The post Everything you need to know about audience targeting without relying on third-party cookies appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
One specialist shares her top 5 tips for taking a PPC holiday without disaster striking.
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The game envisions a near future full of techno-dystopian surveillance, but it doesn’t have much to say about the people it affects.
Feed: All Latest
Here are simple actions that boost your Facebook campaign traffic without throwing tons of extra budget at the campaign or sacrificing efficiency.
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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.
Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it.
To help promote informed discussion, we're testing a new prompt on Android –– when you Retweet an article that you haven't opened on Twitter, we may ask if you'd like to open it first.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) June 10, 2020
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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