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Demystifying Google’s guide to clicks, impressions and position in Google Search Console

Here are the answers to the most common questions asked about managing metrics in the Performance reporting in GSC.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Google ordered to submit search index to state sponsorship in Russia

Google has a 45 percent search market share in Russia, second only to Yandex.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Exploring RollWorks for ABM and B2B Marketing

Rollworks is a display focused advertising platform specializing in ABM and B2B marketing.

Read more at PPCHero.com

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How to Use Asset Placement Customization in Facebook

Learn step-by-step how to optimize images and videos across the various placements available in the Facebook Ads Platform.

Read more at PPCHero.com

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Amazon Sponsored Products ads now support dynamic bidding, bid adjustments

Advertisers can opt-into automated bidding and tailor bids for the search ads by page placement.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 8 hours ago from feeds.searchengineland.com

Google Activity Cards: Inviting users to be better connected with their past search activity

The latest tweak to Google’s search results which lets us browse, save, and delete results from similar searches we’ve made before is the next step in the company’s journey toward making the SERPs even more intuitive, tailored, and useful.

Access to our respective search histories is not a new Google feature. Each of us can – if we have a Google account – simply click Settings > History, and from there browse, search for, or delete any past searches we want to.

The launch of Google’s new activity cards on January 9th appears to be building on the principle of giving the user more control.

So what functionality do they offer? And what are their implications for transparency, SEO and how we move around online?

What are Google activity cards?

For certain searches, we will begin seeing a small card marked “Your related activity” at the very top of the SERPs. We can expand this card to show results we have clicked on when making similar searches in the past.

The spiel from Google is that this is particularly useful for long running tasks:

“Whether it’s meal planning for a new food regimen, researching new stretching routines for post-gym recovery or picking up a new hobby. You might come back to Search to find information on the same topic, hoping to retrace your steps or discover new, related ideas.”

Bringing bookmarking/pinning functionality to search

There is more to activity cards than merely offering another set of results to peruse.

In a couple of clicks users can save searches to collections. This gives another layer of organization where users can view and scroll through a digital pinboard of relevant past searches they have made.

It is also just as simple to delete any unwanted results from the card too.

google activity card

More transparency?

We have known for a long time that certain search results appear because we have clicked through to that page in the past.

Activity cards make things more transparent, even for the most casual Google user.

It is now far more clear to visualize what in a set of SERPs is appearing there because of our own behavior rather than the strength/popularity of the content according to other users.

Implications for SEO and user journeys

It’s a little too early to see any definite implications these cards will have for search engine optimization and how much they will change our journeys as users.

Bear in mind that at this stage the cards are only appearing for selected searches. Specifically, the cards appear on so-called long running tasks where Google deems them relevant.

That said, for results that do include activity cards, those cards can be seen to occupy the most important part of the SERP. They appear right at the top of the page, even above sponsored listings.

This might frustrate digital marketers if we see sponsored and organic listings in the main SERP receive less traffic.

It also might make life a little more difficult for newer sites if Google’s users – for certain searches, at least – already have a well-clicked plethora of personally trusted domains.

Additionally, those who are skeptical about the risk of digital echo chambers may also view such personalized results as a problem rather than a solution.

Broadly a positive move

While it remains to be seen whether activity cards make any drastic changes to search and our habits, I think they are a positive move in terms of transparency and control for the user.

We found many key takeaways from the recent appearance of Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai at Congress in December.

One of the main ones, though, was realizing just how difficult a task Google has in assuring everyday search users that they can trust the search results.

Google spend a lot of energy helping users believe that the results they receive appear due to metrics such as whether content is fresh, popular, or has been visited by the user before – rather than by favoritism or bias on the part of the company itself.

These clearly-labelled activity cards might promote greater awareness of just why users receive the results that they do.

Similarly, there is also something to be said for introducing casual users to be more hands-on with taking ownership of their search activity.

Users still need to click through to Settings to view/delete searches from all their history. However, seeing how easy it is (just a couple of clicks) to browse and delete results in the activity card may promote other ways users can find things they’ve searched for in the past. It can also help users remove things they want to get rid of.

The post Google Activity Cards: Inviting users to be better connected with their past search activity appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Reblogged 9 hours ago from searchenginewatch.com

The 30 Tips You Need to Know to Succeed with Email

You know what’s complicated? Astrophysics. The plot of Inception. Folding a fitted sheet.

You know what shouldn’t be complicated? Email.

That’s why I created Everyday Email, a free course that strips out all of the jargon and confusing, mumbo jumbo surrounding email marketing — and makes it simple and fun!

Every day for 30 days, you’ll receive one, easy-to-follow, “snackable” tip about email from me. (Lucky you!) You can read your daily tip as you drink your coffee, stand in line at the store, go between boring meetings, or watch a commercial break. Each tip takes about a minute to read, but they’re humorous and they’re written in language that everyone can understand.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the Everyday Email tips that’ll hit your inbox when you sign up:

Tip #3: How to get people to open your emails. (That is, besides your mom, sister, and best friend.)

Tip #13: How to put your email strategy on autopilot so you have more time to do other important things. (Like watch Bird Box.)

Tip #29: How to send content you know your subscribers want. (So they don’t fly off your list faster than a toupee in a hurricane!)

Everyday Email is the most fun way to learn email marketing.

And the best part: By the end of the 30-day course, you’ll know exactly how to grow your email list, write compelling emails, and turn subscribers into paying customers. You’ll be excited — not overwhelmed — to launch your own email strategy on day 31. (However, you’ll want to get the tissues ready. You’re going to miss seeing me pop up in your inbox every day.)

Are you ready to get started? Sign up for the free Everyday Email course, and receive your very first tip in your inbox today!

The post The 30 Tips You Need to Know to Succeed with Email appeared first on Email Marketing Tips.

Reblogged 9 hours ago from blog.aweber.com

18 Core Company Values That Will Shape Your Culture & Inspire Your Employees

Consider one of American Express’s company values — “Customer Commitment”. Ideally, if you’ve had a positive experience with one of American Express’s customer service reps, you’ve seen this value displayed first-hand.

Alternatively, take a look at one of Google’s values — “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”

Any Google search will show you they stand by their purpose to serve the user. Undoubtedly, you find most answers to your common questions on page one of Google, and more recently, it’s likely separated in its own featured snippet, as well.

Having core company values can help you ensure each of your employees, from top leadership to entry-level, are working towards the same common goal, and share a bigger purpose.

Purpose is undeniably critical for employee satisfaction. In fact, an Imperative survey of LinkedIn members found 73% of purpose-oriented members are satisfied in their jobs, compared to 64% who are not purpose-oriented.

Plus, purpose doesn’t just improve employee satisfaction — it also increases your bottom line. The same Imperative survey found 58% of companies with a clearly articulated and understood purpose experienced growth of +10%, compared to just 42% of companies that don’t prioritize purpose.

Ultimately, core values are critical if you want to create a long-lasting, successful, and motivating place to work.

Whether you work for a new company in need of core-value inspiration, or an older company in need of a value revamp, you’re in luck — here, we’ve cultivated a list of some of the best company values. Additionally, we’ll examine how some companies truly honor their values.

Examples of Companies with Inspiring Core Values

1. American Express

  • Customer Commitment: We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our customers’ lives.
  • Quality: We provide outstanding products and unsurpassed service that, together, deliver premium value to our customers.
  • Integrity: We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions.
  • Teamwork: We work together, across boundaries, to meet the needs of our customers and to help our Company win.
  • Respect for People: We value our people, encourage their development and reward their performance.
  • Good Citizenship: We are good citizens in the communities in which we live and work.
  • A Will to Win: We exhibit a strong will to win in the marketplace and in every aspect of our business.
  • Personal Accountability: We are personally accountable for delivering on our commitments.

American Express doesn’t just hit the bare minimum when it comes to polite, helpful customer service — they go above-and-beyond to solve for their customers, even when there’s no protocol in place.

For instance, Raymond Joabar, the Executive Vice President at American Express, recently told this story in a Forbes interview: “One time, a hotel café manager [an Amex merchant] alerted my team that he had accidentally sold a display cake with harmful chemicals and needed to find the customers before they ate it. Obviously, there’s no procedure for that, but our team took ownership of the problem. They gathered all the information they could from the record of charge, identified 21 Card Members who used their cards at the café during that time frame, reviewed the accounts to find the right match, and then called the Card Member in time before they served the cake at an anniversary party.”

“The important point here,” Joabar noted, “other than that everybody ended up safe and sound — is that there isn’t a script for every situation, so we empower our care professionals to do what’s right for the customer. And we recognize what they do with this empowerment as well. We give awards to employees who go above and beyond to help customers and we share their stories across the company.”

This anecdote exemplifies American Express employees’ commitment to their customers even when it’s not easy, and demonstrates the company’s dedication to living by its values.

2. Google

  • Focus on the user and all else will follow.
  • It’s best to do one thing really, really well.
  • Fast is better than slow.
  • Democracy on the web works.
  • You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.
  • You can make money without doing evil.
  • There’s always more information out there.
  • The need for information crosses all borders.
  • You can be serious without a suit.
  • Great just isn’t good enough.

On Google’s philosophy page, they don’t just list their core values — they also provide examples.

For instance, consider their value, “You can make money without doing evil.” While many companies likely tout the benefits of integrity, Google references strategic efforts its made to avoid “evil” business, including — “We don’t allow ads to be displayed on our results pages unless they are relevant where they are shown … We don’t accept pop–up advertising, which interferes with your ability to see the content you’ve requested … [and] Advertising on Google is always clearly identified as a ‘Sponsored Link,’ so it does not compromise the integrity of our search results.”

Ultimately, a core value doesn’t have much power if your company can’t list intentional, calculated decisions it’s made to put values ahead of profit.

3. Coca Cola

  • Leadership: The courage to shape a better future.
  • Collaboration: Leverage collective genius.
  • Integrity: Be real.
  • Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me.
  • Passion: Committed in heart and mind.
  • Diversity: As inclusive as our brands.
  • Quality: What we do, we do well.

Coca Cola demonstrates its diversity core value with its public Global Diversity Missionpage, which lists the company’s diversity-related efforts, such as, “[collecting employee] feedback through formal surveys and informally through their participation in our business resource groups, various diversity education programs and our Resolution Resources Program, where associates can work to resolve issues they face in our Company.”

Additionally, Coca Cola’s Global Diversity Mission page exemplifies their commitment to accountability, as well — they’ve publicly included pie charts with statistics regarding their global employee gender and race ratios. By acknowledging both their efforts and their shortcomings, Coca Cola is able to show their desire to live up to their values, while taking responsibility for any mis-match between their ideals and reality.

4.Whole Foods

  • We Satisfy And Delight Our Customers — Our customers are the lifeblood of our business and our most important stakeholder. We strive to meet or exceed their expectations on every shopping experience.
  • We Promote Team Member Growth And Happiness — Our success is dependent upon the collective energy, intelligence, and contributions of all of our Team Members.
  • We Care About Our Communities And The Environment — We serve and support a local experience. The unique character of each store is a direct reflection of a community’s people, culture, and cuisine.
  • We Practice Win-Win Partnerships With Our Suppliers — We view our trade partners as allies in serving our stakeholders. We treat them with respect, fairness and integrity – expecting the same in return.

Underneath each of its values on its core value page, Whole Foods provides a link, such as, “Learn more about how we care about our communities and the environment.”

Ultimately, their page demonstrates their ability to walk the walk. For instance, to exemplify their commitment to local communities, Whole Foods created a Local Producer Loan Program, in which they provide up to $25 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans.

Additionally, Whole Foods provides a list of environmentally-friendly efforts they’ve practiced since 1980, including “Printing and packaging using recycled paper and water- or vegetable-based, composting to decrease landfill waste, and no single-use plastic bags at checkout since 2008”.

If you’ve ever been to a Whole Foods, you know they’re serious about their efforts to reduce waste and help the local community. In fact, its part of the reason so many customers are brand loyalists — because they support those efforts, too.

Ultimately, good core values can help an audience identify with, and stay loyal to, your brand, rather than flipping between you and competitors. To ensure long-term success andlong-term employee retention, it’s critical you create — and live by — certain non-negotiable company values.

download free guide to company culture

Reblogged 11 hours ago from blog.hubspot.com

Forms Aren't Dead: The State of Email Lead Capture in 2019

Email lead capture is the process marketers use to collect information from their website visitors. Typically, this is done through a traditional web form, although you can also capture leads through popups, chatbots, live chat, quizzes, surveys, and more.

Despite the process being fairly straightforward, our strategies often fluctuate in how we accomplish lead capture. Similarly, the results we achieve can vary quite a bit, too.

Unfortunately, the diversity of lead capture strategies, tools, and results can make it difficult to know precisely which process you should follow with your own marketing team — which is why we decided to conduct a survey.

We wanted to see, in 2019, what tools marketers are using for lead capture, what strategies they are using to optimize their efforts, and what kind of results and conversion rates people are seeing.

To ensure you’re able to optimize your lead capture strategy in 2019, keep reading.

Survey Methodology and Respondent Data

Any survey you conduct is limited by the sample you can reach. In our case, we received 173 valid survey responses. We filtered for marketers working full-time on lead capture and lead generation. Here are some quick statistics about our sample.

A large percentage of our respondents work at small businesses, with roughly 33% reporting less than 50 employees, although the distribution evens out among the other responses:

Additionally, a good chunk of our respondents (24%) work in advertising and marketing, but the rest is fairly diverse and split evenly between other industries.

Everyone in our sample works full-time and said they were “very” or at least “somewhat” involved in lead generation and lead capture efforts at their companies.

As with any research you conduct, there are some limitations with our dataset, as well. We’ll cover sample limitation and quirks later in this article.

Key Lead Capture Statistics and Findings

Here’s a quick overview of the most interesting statistics we learned about lead capture in 2019:

  • Forms aren’t dead. 74% of marketers are using web forms for lead generation, and 49.7% of marketers say that web forms are their highest converting lead generation tool.
  • Chatbots still have low adoption, but still, 17% of marketers are using chatbots today. However, only 6.5% say its their highest converting lead capture tool.
  • The average length of a web form in 2019 is about 5 form fields. Because contexts vary so wildly, this is neither good nor bad, though we have seen in consistent studies that fewer form fields usually result in higher conversion rates.
  • Conversion rates are highly variable and contextual. Reported conversion rates varied consistently across reported categories, but the mean conversion rate from our study is 21.5% (*read more below about the limitations with our reported conversion rates).
  • Data-driven marketers are outpacing everyone. Running A/B tests, using form analytics, and running user tests are all correlated with higher form conversion rates and satisfaction with lead generation efforts.
  • Multi-step forms convert 86% higher. Only 40% of marketers use them, but those that do report 17% higher satisfaction rates with their lead generation efforts, and their self reported conversion rates are 86% higher.
  • Only half of marketers use “lead magnets” to capture email addresses. Marketers who use lead magnets, or downloadable resources after a website visitor shares their email address, report marginally higher satisfaction rates and conversion rates than those who do not use lead magnets.
  • Ebooks are the most popular lead magnet, with 27.7% of marketers using them. However, 24.9% are using webinars and almost as many (21.3%) are using free tools to get email addresses.
  • The average Ebook length is between 5k and 10k words. Barely anyone writes an Ebook that is larger than 10,000 words, and the most common length is between 5,000 and 10,000 words.
  • Marketers overemphasize on total lead volume and not enough on lead quality. It’s reported that only 56.4% of marketers have a lead qualification strategy, and only 39.5% are using any sort of predictive lead scoring. It appears we overemphasize on volume on leads without considering the quality of each lead.

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s explore a few of these statistics more in-depth.

Takeaway #1: Forms aren’t dead.

Online forms are the most commonly used type of lead capture tool, with 74% of respondents reporting they use them.

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 3.42.49 PM

Half of our respondents reported forms gave them the highest conversion rates, making online forms the highest-converting lead capture tool for marketers.

Takeaway #2: Chatbots still have comparatively low adoption.

Many marketers report using more than one type of lead capture tool, but roughly 40% report only using one tool. And, while 37% of respondents use live chat, only 17% use a chatbot.

Additionally, only 7% of respondents said chatbots were their highest converting tool. By comparison, around 13% reported live chat or quizzes/surveys being the most effective tool.

It would appear from this data that, despite hype and trends, the old school web form is still alive and well for marketers.

Takeaway #3: The average length of a web form in 2019 is about 5 form fields.

Forms are popular and pretty well loved in 2019, but what does the average form look like?

For starters, we found that marketers use, on average, 4.92 form fields on their forms (with five being the most popular answer). The number of form fields mostly resembles a normal distribution that centers around five, although there is a small spike of marketers who use more than 10 form fields.

Takeaway #4: Conversion rates are highly variable and contextual.

Average conversion rates are pretty varied, with a pretty stable distribution of reported conversion rates. Very few people report conversion rates in the 51-100% bucket.

This is one piece of data we need to take with a grain of salt, as with any self-reported KPI or metric. We don’t know exactly how our respondents define a conversion, how they measure conversion rates, or what their offers are, so we lack a lot of context.

Still, when we couple our conversion rate data with our data on self-reported satisfaction rates, we start to see interesting patterns.

First, take a look at our aggregated satisfaction rates:

Screen Shot 2019-01-14 at 3.46.47 PM

Very few people (8%) are dissatisfied with their lead generation efforts, but only 12% report being very satisfied.

It also gets interesting when you examine these answers in conjunction with others. For instance, we found that those who are most satisfied with their lead generation efforts are those who use chatbots and report chatbots as their top converting lead capture tool.

Takeaway #5: Data-driven marketers are outpacing everyone.

Generally speaking, marketers who use methods to improve the customer experience, and specifically those who are using data to drive experiences, are outperforming those who don’t.

For instance, marketers who run A/B tests on their forms tend to be more satisfied than those who don’t, and they also report roughly 10% higher conversion rates than those who don’t run A/B tests.

Following the trend, those who use form analytics report 15% higher satisfaction with their lead generation efforts and 19% higher conversion rates.

But what about user testing? A user test is a type of usability test in which you have users run through your website and attempt a task, and analyze their ability to do so.

Most people are running between one and five per year, but a full 36% never run user tests on their forms.

Again, we found that people who run user tests are more satisfied with their lead generation programs than those who don’t, and that the satisfaction rating increases as the number of user tests rises.

This is a big area of opportunity. Combined with a form analytics tool like Formisimo, you can learn a lot about user behavior from occasionally running user tests. To learn more about form optimization in general, check out this CXL Institute course.

Takeaway #6: Multi-step forms convert 86% higher.

Only 39% of marketers report using multi-step forms. Those who do, however, report 17% higher satisfaction rates with their lead generation efforts, and their self reported conversion rates are 86% higher (16.05% for those who don’t use multi-step, and 29.76% for those who do).

A small majority of marketers report using lead magnets in their campaigns, but 40% report not using them at all.

Takeaway #7: Only half of marketers use “lead magnets” to capture email addresses.

A lead magnet is simply something of value you give in exchange for a visitor’s contact information.

We found that a small majority of marketers use lead magnets to capture emails, but a full 40% don’t use them (and roughly 10% don’t know if they are or aren’t).

Creating a relevant and valuable lead magnet is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates on lead capture forms. If you’re not doing this, it might be time to consider trying it out.

Takeaway #8: Ebooks are the most popular lead magnet.

If you’re wondering what type of lead magnets people generally use, Ebooks lead the way — but webinars, checklists, and free tools are close behind.

Other answers included “Qualifying email lists”, “Rewards”, “Customized vehicle brochure”, and “Property information”, meaning it’s largely made up of industry-specific offers that are related to the product or service in question.

Takeaway #9: The average Ebook length is between 5k and 10k words.

Very few marketers create Ebooks with greater than 10,000 words, and most fall within the area of 5,000-10,000 words long.

Takeaway #10: Marketers overemphasize on total lead volume and not enough on lead quality.

Collecting a lead is a small part of the overall process. It’s important, of course, but you also need to worry about where you’re storing the data, and how you’re qualifying and nurturing leads.

Most marketers use more than one tool to store their leads — something that definitely jives with my personal experience.

Because we’re often using a myriad of tools for our marketing efforts, we need to store leads in many places and integrate many systems together to build a coherent system.

Specifically, we found that the most common tool for lead storage is a CRM, with 57% of marketers reporting using one. 48.8% report using an email marketing tool for storage, and 43.6% report using spreadsheets.

Of course, capturing leads is just one step of the process. What we do with them matters as well, as the end goal isn’t just to store them in a CRM or an email tool, but to turn them into customers. Part of this approach is qualifying leads and reacting appropriately based on their quality.

Do marketers normally have a strategy for lead qualification? It appears that, yes, this is the norm, with 56.4% of marketers saying they do have a documented lead qualification process. However, that leaves 34.9% with no documented process.

This is important because, as you would logically suppose, those who have a documented lead qualification process report 21.4% higher satisfaction ratings with their lead generation efforts.

While 39.5% of marketers are using predictive lead scoring in their marketing strategy, roughly half of marketers (48.8%) are not (and 11.6% don’t know if they are or not).

Limitations and Quirks With Our Data

As with any collection of data, you need to question its quality thoroughly. Especially with surveys and self-reported data, the nature of the questions can affect the output of answers. In our case, we can draw a lot of valid insights about lead generation and marketing in 2019, but we need to be careful about generalizing some of it.

The big question we need to consider is the “average conversion rate” of lead capture forms.

Naturally, this depends on how you calculate conversion rates, where your web form is, what your offer is, etc. For instance, the conversion rate of an offer for a free tool that is only seen by targeted paid traffic and only has an email address field is entirely different than a pop-up form that everyone on an ecommerce site sees.

Ultimately, conversion rates are wildly contextual.

How people calculate conversion rates is also different. Do you calculate by those who see your form, those who count as a page view (despite not scrolling to the form), or those who start filling out the form but never finish?

None of this is straightforward, so it can be tough to generalize findings about this metric.

As evidence for this quirkiness, look at this chart:

Our respondents seem to get better and better conversion rates the more form fields they use. While this is possible, it’s incredibly unlikely, at least when all other variables are controlled for. Almost all historical research has shown that increasing the number of form fields has an inverse effect on conversion rates (although not all studies have shown that).

That’s not to say the data is inherently untrustworthy. Just take any “average conversion rate” data with a grain of salt!

Additionally, we believe our sample is quite representative, as it had been filtered to include only those who work full-time on lead generation and lead capture efforts. But a greater sample would have been desirable. There is a lot of nuance — in industries, company size, etc. — that we couldn’t dive into because our sample size was only 173.

Looking to the Future

The process of capturing email leads is a huge part of inbound marketing. Parts of it change over time, such as the lead capture tools we use and the specific tactics around lead magnets, form optimization, and lead scoring and storage.

However, much remains the same, such as the core ideas of crafting relevant offers and building a lead capture tool with as little friction as possible.

It appears from this survey that less has changed than one would expect. Despite new “conversational” tools like live chat and chatbots, most people still use forms, and most people still entice visitors with Ebooks and webinars.

To no one’s surprise, those who run A/B tests, conduct user tests, and use form analytics, are more successful than those who don’t.

It will be interesting to see how things change in the next few years, as inbound marketing channels become more crowded and lead capture tools get “smarter” and more interactive.

Will we still be writing 7,500 word Ebooks in exchange for five form fields’ worth of information?

That’s where we stand today. Where will we be next year?

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Reblogged 11 hours ago from blog.hubspot.com

SearchCap: Google Gmail ads, DuckDuckGp Apple Maps & Amazon ads

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Reblogged 12 hours ago from feeds.searchengineland.com