This is a guest post by Marcy Criner who has been selling her horse art for $500+ a pop. That’s a lot of money to pony up!
Here’s Marcy and her horse Aspen:
Marcy started painting pictures of horses and wanted to see if she could take that skill from a side hobby to a legitimate business (you can see … Continue Reading
The post How To Sell Art Online & Make Money: A Case Study with Horse Art appeared first on Kopywriting Kourse.
Marin Software interviewed top digital marketing managers around the world to discover the trends, opportunities, and challenges they face in 2017. Download the report to learn the current state of the industry, plus expert tips and recommendations for success.
Marketers’ top priorities for 2017.
The ROI potential of different mobile strategies.
The main reasons marketers miss out on revenue opportunities.
How marketers can increase advertising performance by ~70%.
The hottest technologies industry leaders are looking to invest in next.
Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “The State of Digital Advertising 2017.”
The post The State of Digital Advertising 2017 appeared first on Search Engine Land.
It’s well-established that ratings and reviews are widely consulted and have a significant impact on consumer purchase decisions. A new study from TurnTo affirms this and provides some additional color and nuance for the discussion.
Called “Hearing the Voice of the Consumer” and conducted by Ipsos, the study involved 1,070 US consumers who had bought something online in the past 12 months. User-generated content (UGC) is defined here to include ratings, reviews, photos, videos, social posts and Q&A participation. The most common forms were reviews and ratings, however, with 71 percent and 69 percent of survey respondents saying they’ve submitted those types of UGC.
Online ratings and reviews are a form of word of mouth, which is the most trusted source consumers consult before buying. Indeed, 90 percent of survey respondents said UGC had at least some influence over their online purchases. Roughly 53 percent rated it “extremely influential” or “very influential,” a higher percentage than for any other category. After UGC, search engines had the greatest influence over purchases.
UGC helps increase consumer confidence to buy online. “Increases my purchasing confidence” was cited as the greatest influence of UGC. Close behind was “improves customer feedback.” But survey respondents also said that UGC helped create “more authentic shopping experiences” and was more interesting than content generated by brands themselves.
In one of the more interesting findings, consumers said they were inclined to spend more on a product with UGC vs. a comparable lower-priced product without. This directly argues that consumers will buy more and at higher price levels if products are wrapped in UGC.
A subset of consumers generate most of the UGC, though it is consumed by the larger online audience. In this case, 32 percent of survey participants said they had not contributed any UGC — because there was “no incentive to contribute.”
Yelp in particular has a very public policy against incentivized reviews. Others prohibit explicitly paying for reviews but often allow those that are incentivized through contests or sweepstakes.
The second most commonly cited reason for not submitting UGC was that it was “too time-consuming.” Survey respondents likely had reviews in mind in that response.
A separate survey from GetFiveStars found that since 2014, “the willingness of consumers to leave reviews has dramatically increased … across all age groups.”
Another surprise from the TurnTo survey was the degree to which UGC was still largely coming from the PC, which showed a substantial lead compared with mobile devices. The gap between PCs and mobile devices was less pronounced for photos and social.
Each of these responses, and many others that I don’t address here, are discussed in more detail and broken out by gender and age in the report.
TurnTo sells a platform that helps retailers and brands generate UGC. Despite this, I believe the primary conclusion of the study — that ratings, reviews and other UGC are more influential than advertising — is valid. That argues for greater investment in the customer experience.
The post Reviews & other UGC more influential for consumers than search engines & ads [Study] appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.
From Search Engine Land:
Pinterest’s Lens update adds a Snapchat-style look and a fashion sense
Jun 21, 2017 by Tim Peterson
Pinterest is making its image-scanning visual search tool easier to use and more useful for outfit ideas.
How SEO can create budget efficiencies in paid search campaigns
Jun 21, 2017 by Thomas Stern
Columnist Thomas Stern provides data showing that when used together, SEO and PPC can better achieve desired marketing outcomes such as more qualified traffic and budgetary efficiency.
Summer solstice 2017 Google doodle marks the longest day of the year
Jun 21, 2017 by Amy Gesenhues
To celebrate today’s summer solstice, Google has brought back the animated mouse featured in its spring solstice doodle in March.
Reviews & other UGC more influential for consumers than search engines & ads [Study]
Jun 21, 2017 by Greg Sterling
After ratings and reviews, search engines had the greatest influence on buying behavior.
Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:
What link builders really want you to know
Snapchat’s Snap Map plots Stories by location but not ads (yet)
Advanced testing: What 4,000 A/B tests can teach you
The new marketing mandate: Learn fast
Report: 14 marketing automation vendors profiled — updated for 2017
Everyone says they offer AI. Here’s how to assess those claims.
Amazon’s new Prime Wardrobe program is another swing at traditional retailers
Stackla adds a Co-Pilot to recommend which user content should be published
D’oh! Three common content promotion mistakes
With brand safety in mind, YouTube steps up efforts to ‘fight online terror’
Google’s job listings search is now open to all job search sites & developers
Tobii Pro now invisibly tracks users’ eyes in VR
Markerly offers white-labeled influencer network
Search News From Around The Web:
Google downtown village plan gets its first OK from San Jose City Council, Mercury News
Hearsay and Moz Rank SEO Winners in Wealth Management, globenewswire.com
Local & Maps
Moz Local Report: Who’s Winning Wealth Management?, Moz
Video Deep Dive: Consumer willingness to leave reviews, Local University
10 Highly Effective B2B Link Building Tactics, WordStream
How to Explain Quirky Search Results, martinibuster.com
SearchResearch Challenge (6/21/17): Seeing things?, SearchReSearch
Bad Boy’s SEO: Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You?, SEM Rush
Google Content Stitching Or Quilting Is Not Near Duplicate Content, Search Engine Roundtable
How To Get Your Featured Snippet, Search Engine People
Semantic Search and SEO: Everything You Need to Know, Stone Temple
SEM / Paid Search
The Ultimate Guide to Improving Your Quality Score for PPC, Ignite Visibility
Unlocking the power of search for CMOs – my Cannes Conversation, Bing Ads Blog
The post SearchCap: Pinterst Lens, SEO budgets & reviews user behavior appeared first on Search Engine Land.
It’s officially summer, and to mark the summer solstice occasion, Google is offering another scene from the animated mouse featured in its spring solstice animated doodle.
Since getting her spring cleaning done back in March, the star of Google’s solstice doodle series is taking it easy today — enjoying her book and fan and taking in the sunshine.
The doodle leads to a search for “summer solstice 2017” and includes the usual sharing icon.
“As the longest day of the year, solstice marks the official start of the summer season,” writes Google on the Google Doodle Blog, “If you live north of the equator, today you’ll enjoy the most amount of sunlight in a single day that you’ll have all year.”
The doodle is currently being displayed on most of Google’s international home pages in the Northern Hemisphere.
Countries located in the Southern Hemisphere will see a different version from the doodle series on their Google home pages today, marking the winter solstice happening below the equator:
Right now, the winter solstice doodle for the Southern Hemisphere is only showing for a handful of South American countries, including Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina.
The post Summer solstice 2017 Google doodle marks the longest day of the year appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Pinterest wants to do for visual search what Google has done for text search. But to do that, Pinterest needs to make searching by taking a picture as easy as typing on a keyboard. So the search-slash-social platform continues to tweak its three-month-old in-app visual search tool, Lens.
Pinterest’s latest updates to Lens, announced on Wednesday, make the image-scanning feature easier to handle and handier for fashion.
For starters, Pinterest is updating the look of Lens. Of course that means it’s becoming more Snapchatty. When people open Lens by tapping the camera icon on the search page in Pinterest’s app, they will be shown a full-screen viewfinder a la Snapchat’s main screen. And like Snapchat’s camera screen, Lens’s new screen sports a capture button at the bottom for people to snap a photo for the visual search tool to scan.
More important than Lens’s familiar new look is its familiar new functionality. The new capture button gives people more control over the shots they take for Lens to process.
Previously, since tapping on Lens’s in-app viewfinder captured the image to scan, people were unable to zoom in or out when taking a photo with Lens or focus their cameras before taking the photo. That made it more frustrating for people to capture the right shot to scan and more likely that Lens would scan the wrong thing, too many things or couldn’t recognize a thing. To make sure Lens zeroed in on the correct object, a person would have to physically move to close-up on that object. To make sure Lens took in an entire scene, a person would have to step back. And to make sure Lens could make out an object or scene, a person would have to wait for Lens to autofocus, making it more difficult to discreetly scan a passerby’s shoes or bags before they walk out of view. As a result, people may have been better off taking a picture with their phone’s native camera app and later having Lens scan it from their camera roll.
With the Snapchat-style interface and capture button that people can tap when they’re ready to take a photo, people can pinch on Lens’ viewfinder to zoom in or out and tap it to focus before taking the photo. Those new controls appear intended to make it more likely that people will think to use Lens in the moment and less likely to think of it as a hassle to use.
But people can still have Lens scan photos from their phones’ camera rolls. In fact it’s easier to do that now. Instead of tapping a button to pull up the saved photos, those photos will automatically appear as a swipeable carousel at the bottom of the screen when opening Lens (assuming a person has given Pinterest’s app permission to access their phone’s camera roll).
Pinterest is also updating the types of results that Lens will present to people.
In keeping with Pinterest’s ambition to show people results they can act on, instead of gawk at, people scanning clothes with Lens will be shown outfit ideas in addition to similar-looking items. According to Pinterest, people have told the company that they want Lens to give them “ideas for how to wear items they already own,” according to a company blog post. The outfit recommendations follow a similar move Pinterest made last month so that people could scan food items with Lens and find recipes in addition to photos of similar-looking food items.
Finally, Pinterest is giving people a way to turn Lens’s results into their own search queries. The company is extending its Instant Ideas feature — through which a person taps a circle atop a pin to spawn a list of similar pins — to Lens. As a result, a person may use Lens to scan a jacket they own, see a list of outfit ideas, find one particular idea that almost hits the mark and tap it to refine the search.
The post Pinterest’s Lens update adds a Snapchat-style look and a fashion sense appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Trust has always been important from a marketing perspective.
But in my opinion, it’s never been more important than it is today.
That’s because so many consumers have an underlying cynicism about brands and companies.
And why wouldn’t they be skeptical?
Marketing communications account for 70% of today’s spam complaints.
Just think of all the scam artists, false advertisements and deceptive advertising techniques people so frequently encounter.
Not to sound pessimistic, but modern consumers have a good reason to be suspicious.
As a marketer, you have to put your audience at ease.
And social media is a great way to do that.
Facebook in particular is ideal for creating trust.
You can even use it to turn casual fans into die-hard brand advocates.
In fact, Facebook has been instrumental in helping me expand my following.
As of right now, I have nearly 1 million followers on my Neil Patel page, and it’s growing every day.
In this post, I’d like to cover 18 essentials mandatory for boosting the trustworthiness of your Facebook page.
These tactics have worked for me and countless other brands, and they can work for you too.
1. Verify your page
Just like on Twitter, Facebook has a feature where you can add a verification badge as long as you’re a public figure, media company or brand.
It’s a simple way to prove it’s actually you and not a fake account.
Here are the steps involved in getting your Facebook page verified:
Check out this guide from Facebook for more information on the process.
2. Use your core branding elements
In order to build a solid brand, you need to have identifiable branding elements like a formal logo, recognizable color scheme, style, etc.
Facebook gives you an excellent opportunity to reinforce your brand, which helps with trust building.
Include a profile picture and a background picture that incorporate your core branding elements.
Take TechCrunch for example:
They use their signature green and white color scheme along with their logo.
3. Beef up your About page
The About page of your website is important.
In fact, “52% of people” want to see it on your website’s homepage.
It only makes sense to create a robust Facebook About page.
Here’s a good example from Chris Guillebeau:
Notice how he succinctly fills visitors in on his key info?
4. Include contact info
According to the same study from KoMarketing I referenced above, including contact information on your website is even more important than having an About page.
They found 64% of people want to see your contact information after arriving on your homepage.
Of course, you’ll want to include this on your Facebook page as well.
Include as much info as you can.
Ideally, also include a phone number because this tends to be a significant trust factor.
Here’s what I have for my contact info:
5. Link to your website
Any time you can create a link pointing to your website, you should do it.
This is just another opportunity for referral traffic.
It can also add to the trust users can feel from your Facebook page.
6. Post personal pictures
Even if you’re a massive, big-name brand, you still want to create a genuine connection with your audience.
You want to come across as being transparent and authentic.
One thing I love about Facebook is that it enables you to combine business with pleasure.
I know it’s helped me increase my credibility by allowing me to show a bit of my own personality.
If you’ve ever scrolled through my pictures, you’ll see stuff like this:
That’s my mom and me.
That’s my nephew and me having an epic intergalactic battle.
You want to be professional, but don’t be shy to share some personal information on your Facebook profile to help you gain trust and to be more likable.
7. Include behind-the-scenes content
Another way to forge a connection with your audience is to let them see what’s bubbling beneath the surface.
Give them a glimpse of what your team culture is like by including some behind-the-scenes content.
Here’s a great example from HubSpot:
8. Feature influencers
I’m sure you know by now just how powerful leveraging key influencers can be.
Associating your brand with an influencer in your industry is almost guaranteed to elevate your trustworthiness.
The bigger the influencer, the bigger the impact.
One of the best in the business at doing this is Tim Ferriss.
Scroll through his Facebook photos, and you’ll see him with countless celebrities and influencers.
Here he is with the founders of Shopify:
And here he is with author and tidying master Marie Kondo.
I know this isn’t viable for everyone, especially if you’re a new or small brand.
But it can have a profound impact on how much your audience will trust you if you can pull this off.
9. Post media coverage
Again, this won’t be realistic for everyone.
And I know this is easier said than done.
But including any type of media coverage you’ve received can increase your trustworthiness significantly.
Here’s a quick snippet of me on Viceland as an example:
10. Add videos
We all know video marketing is blowing up.
Just look at the massive rise of mobile video over the last few years:
Why wouldn’t you want to get in on the action?
I’ve found that adding video to my Facebook page has helped me increase engagement while establishing myself as a trusted voice in the digital marketing realm.
I make it a point to include videos toward the top of my page.
By clicking on the “Videos” section of the sidebar or on “See All,” visitors can check out my full archive of videos.
If you haven’t experimented with videos yet, I strongly recommend giving them a go.
11. Take advantage of Facebook Live
But why stop there?
Facebook and several other social platforms now allow you to create live streams.
You should be interested because “Facebook Live Stream search popularity has risen over 330% since Facebook Live’s rollout.”
Engagement is off the charts, and I can’t think of a much better way to quickly boost your trustworthiness.
Just think about it.
People can watch your videos in real time and get to know you intimately, and you can instantly respond to their questions and comments.
Darren Rowse of ProBlogger takes full advantage of this new trend with great success:
You can check out his archive of videos for ideas and inspiration.
12. Inform rather than sell
The beautiful thing about inbound marketing, and content marketing in particular, is that it gives brands a way to advertise without overt selling.
Rather than blasting your demographic with mind-numbing marketing messages, content marketing allows you to educate, inform and entertain them.
This way they’re learning about your brand and getting real value in an unobtrusive way.
My Facebook policy is to inform my audience—not to sell to them.
This has been a huge contributor to my success, and I recommend you take the same approach.
13. Stick to your central theme
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “Jack of all trades, master of none.”
This is what you want to avoid with your Facebook page.
In order to establish trust, you need to focus on your core competencies and not try to be everything to everyone.
Let’s go back to Darren Rowse.
His name is synonymous with one thing: blogging.
Not home renovation or gardening or crocheting.
It’s just blogging.
This is what has allowed him to be one of the top experts on the topic.
Be sure you’re doing the same and sticking with a central theme.
14. Follow a consistent posting schedule
According to an article from CoSchedule that analyzed research from 10 different studies, one post per day is the recommended posting frequency on Facebook.
Unlike on other platforms, like Twitter or Pinterest, where posting several times a day is acceptable and even encouraged, one post a day tends to work best on Facebook.
I do at times post more often as do many other brands, but this research tells us one important thing.
You need to get in the habit of consistently posting or at least curating fresh content.
15. Respond to comments
You know if you’re getting a lot of engagement, you’re winning on Facebook.
But to keep the momentum going and keep people interested, you need to respond as much as you possibly can.
That’s what I try to do.
I know it can be time consuming, but this is a must for building real trust with your followers.
16. Ask for input
Looking for ideas on which features to include in your new product?
Or wondering what topics to cover on your blog?
Just ask your Facebook followers for their input.
This is a great way to perform market research, crank up engagement and make your audience feel valued.
Here are a couple of specific examples from Mavrck:
You can get more ideas in this post.
17. Publish an occasional poll
Polls are another awesome way to engage your audience.
It’s a quick and easy way for them to give their opinions, feeling included.
Visit this page from Facebook to learn how to publish polls.
18. Have fun
One last thing.
Social media is meant to be fun.
It’s not meant to be overly formal or rigid.
So another key factor in trust-boosting is to have fun with it and let your personality shine through.
Letting your hair down, so to speak, can help you get the trust you’re seeking.
When you get right down to it, trust equals revenue.
Gaining trust is like knocking down the initial domino, which leads to a host of other benefits like engagement, a big following, leads, conversions and ultimately sales.
And the way I see it, Facebook is one of the best platforms pound-for-pound for creating trust.
You just need to understand which elements to leverage and put in the work to give your audience what they’re looking for.
What makes you trust a brand on Facebook?
Oftentimes I’m asked, “Why should I invest in paid media when I already rank in position one for many organic search results?” Well, to answer that simply, investing simultaneously in PPC and SEO can and will result in an incremental rise in your brand’s bottom line. And we have the data to prove it.
The main synergy between the two lies in monitoring two factors: advertising spend and rankings. Whether your goal is to lower cost per click (CPC) or increase total traffic, SERP (search engine results page) position can inform how we manage paid search ads. At our agency (ZOG Digital), our teams work without silos and integrate performance data regularly. In analyzing a few accounts further as a sample set, we began to identify a correlation larger than previously understood between ad CTR (click-through rate), organic CTR and cost per click for the keywords.
To verify the connection between organic and paid search, we tracked high-traffic keywords and their positions across both channels. While both have the innate ability to show success in their own right, our data shows how each positively influences the other.
SEO and paid search need to work together
Optimal online marketing campaigns all come down to the key performance indicators. Once an SEO campaign begins, it can take time to set in and see results. Paid search’s core strength is that it allows for short-term performance with better visibility on specific queries. What binds them together is visibility on a SERP — with the right tools, marketers can influence position against competing results.
It’s no secret that SEO is more sustainable long-term, but it can take a long time before results are realized. A PPC (pay-per-click) tactic can help to offset limited SEO results at the early stages of an SEO campaign; it also informs keyword and content strategies for organic keyword targeting and content development.
With well-informed and properly implemented optimizations, organic positions will rise. Once they move up through page one, we’ve identified numerous ways in which PPC costs reduce naturally and how they can be strategically managed.
Improve CTR and decrease CPC
At ZOG Digital, we see a clear performance increase when brands employ both PPC and SEO. For example, after evaluating our book of business, we found that accounts implementing both PPC and SEO strategies saw a higher click-through rate for both organic and paid search efforts — as well as lower cost per click in paid search. Specifically, we organized the data by keywords — we have keywords with active search ads, keywords with search optimizations (organic rankings) and keywords with both active tactics.
For non-branded keywords that have both a paid and organic presence, we saw a CTR of 8.93 percent for paid search and 5.10 percent for organic search, across all positions. When we isolate the tactics, paid search CTR is 8.08 percent, while organic search sits at 4.48 percent. By just looking at those numbers, we can see that keywords with a presence on both paid and organic results yield a combined incremental CTR.
Also shown in the graph is cost per click (CPC), where paid search alone sits at an average CPC of $2.06, whereas the CPC for keywords with an organic presence sits at $1.18.
In analyzing this drop in CPC, we found that nearly all paid keywords with an organic presence had a higher Quality Score than paid keywords without an organic presence. This could occur as a result of higher CTRs from greater SERP exposure and/or richer content. It could also result from keyword relevance gained from landing pages optimized for organic search. Regardless of why PPC quality score is higher for overlapping keywords, the justification exists to apply a keyword strategy that incorporates both paid and organic tactics.
An incremental increase in CTR and reduced CPCs can certainly be beneficial, but as search marketing practitioners, the natural tendency is to do something with this data and improve performance even further. We’ve found that one of the most effective paid+organic optimizations comes from adjusting bids and ad positions based on organic visibility. This isn’t an optimization practice that can be applied to all overlapping keywords, but with some data filtering and testing, CPC costs can be reduced further.
Our team tests and analyzes ad positions against multiple organic positions on the first page; these tests have proven that competitive keywords with costly CPCs can often be efficiently targeted by reducing bids and dropping ad position when a client is ranking in the top few organic positions. This is not a blanket strategy, and keywords need to be tested, but we’ve found the best approach is focused on a balance between incrementality (clicks) and cost (CPCs).
Monitor SERP competitors closely
But it’s not enough to just monitor and synchronize your work for an account. You have to track your competitors, too. Without direct access to their analytics or ad platforms, you’ll never have a clear picture of what they’re doing, but you can estimate by manually monitoring the SERP with specific insight reports, and by using third-party tools.
Within AdWords, you can access the auction insights report. This report allows you to evaluate domains that are currently bidding on specific keywords. It provides a snapshot of your competitive landscape.
You can also use the Domain vs. Domain tool within SEMrush to analyze competitors’ search engine presence and backlinks. If you need to use this tool to get more granular, you can map out a SERP footprint to have an analysis on more specific competitors.
You’ll be able to identify relevant keywords and terms that you should consider bidding on, but it’s up to you to take that information, evaluate your own internal data and strategize on how to allocate budget.
When used together, SEO and PPC move from two channels into one to help achieve clear outcomes: more qualified traffic and budgetary efficiency. As with any search marketing initiative, regular testing is required, but the results will exceed the effort, and the insights gained will help marketers consider search opportunities in new ways.
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