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B2B Inbound Marketing: Top Tactics, Goals, and Challenges

Only 27% of B2B leaders say their inbound marketing efforts are very successful in helping to achieve important objectives, according to a recent report from NetProspex and Ascend2. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

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Why Your Blog Is Not Adding Business Value, and What You Can Do About It

Although blogging is an effective marketing, branding, and sales channel, businesses don’t make effective and efficient use of it. In fact, most corporate blogs add little real business value. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

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Facebook users prefer pets and photographers to banks and tech

There are marketers who swear that Facebook is the key to staying in touch with customers and others who think Facebook is a waste of time. Believe it or not, both are right. As you’ll see from this new infographic by Cool Tabs, it all depends on who and where you are.

Cool Tabs makes apps and widgets that you can put on your Facebook pages to increase engagement and attract new followers. They also offer a performance check-up service and it’s that data that led to these results.

Most Engaging Categories

It’s nice to have followers but it’s better when your followers actually engage with your posts. In Facebook terms, that could mean anything from leaving a thumbs up or comment to sharing a post with their own followers.

Cool Tabs found that people were more engaged with pet posts than any other category. Fictional characters came in a close second. Then we drop quite a bit before getting to “just for fun” and small business posts. Photographer posts round out the top five.

Photographers were also the big winner for overall reach. With an average viral reach of 49.82% and an organic reach of 20.40% – shutterbugs are the kings of the Facebook branded Page kingdom.

Sporting Events had the best organic reach and record labels had the highest viral reach.

On the other end of the scale are banks and financial institutions with organic reach of only 4.5% and 2.28% for viral reach. Software pages had the worst organic reach and electronics pages had the worst viral reach with only 1.65%. With numbers like that, electronics companies would be better off on Google+.

Negative Nellies

Engagement on a Facebook post is great. . . except when it’s not. If your Facebook page is full of negative comments then you might be based in Australia – the country with the highest percentage of negative Facebook feedback. Or, it could be that you run a reference page. By category, reference pages get more negative feedback than any other.

How Fans Impact Reach

This chart shows the average viral and organic reach a page can expect based on the number of followers / fans.

Cool tabs fansOn small pages, the viral reach is much longer than the organic reach and for the most part, organic grows and viral slips as the fan count rises. This means, Pages with fewer followers have to work extra hard to post content that is likely to be shared and shared often if they want to grow.

If you take only one thing away from this post, take this: it’s clear that cute puppy photographs are the key to Facebook success.

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Are You a Full Time Blogger with Small to Medium Traffic? Let’s Chat

One of the biggest misconceptions that many bloggers have is that you need MASSIVE traffic to become a full time blogger.

We often hear how many hundreds of thousands or even millions of visitors this or that blog has but the reality is that I’ve met many bloggers over the years who don’t have massive traffic – yet who are still making a healthy income from their blogging.

The problem is that these bloggers don’t always have the platform to tell their stories and so the myth that you need massive traffic goes on without being busted.

This year I want to smash that myth and want to tell the stories of smaller to medium sized bloggers who are making a living from their blogs.

Are you a Full Time Blogger-If you’re a full time (or close to full time) blogger and would consider yourself to be in the small to medium category – I’ve love to hear a little about you and your blog and have set up a form to help gather your stories.

I can’t guarantee to tell everyone’s story (I’ve already had 80 responses) but I would love to hear it.

I’m looking for as many models of making money blogging as I can find. So whether you’re doing it through some kind of advertising or sponsorship or by selling an eProduct or membership or even if you’re using a blog to sell your services or to promote a brick and mortar business – I’d love to hear from you.

Note: I’m particularly looking for blogs that are NOT about making money online. While that’s a legit niche I got a load of those in previous submissions. I’d much prefer to hear from blogs who blog about fashion, travel, food, business, health, fitness, parenting, life… not making money. Sorry if that excludes you but looking for other niches right now.

Here’s the form for you to submit your details


PS: a few people have asked what I would classify ‘small to medium traffic’ as. While I’m open to your interpretation on that the examples that I’ve got so far that interest me the most are from people who have traffic from as little as 600 visitors a month (really, there are a couple of great examples) up to 20,000 to 30,000 per month (or 1000 or so per day).

Having said that – I’m open to hearing all kinds of stories!

Originally at: Blog Tips at ProBlogger

Are You a Full Time Blogger with Small to Medium Traffic? Let’s Chat

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A Brief Guide to Fixing Your Old, Neglected, and Broken Content

One of the first steps to creating adaptive content is becoming aware of the content you already have. This is why we encourage you to audit your site.

But before you dive into a full-blown comprehensive content audit, it might be possible to make your job a little easier by first dealing with all of the expired content.

What exactly is expired content?

It’s those old sales pages, obsolete product pages, and other outdated content. The pages you’ve forgotten about in your archives that desperately need some attention.

You’ll know where some of this content is off the top of your head. To properly attend to other pages, you may just have to walk through your archives.

Now, this might take an afternoon or longer, but as Sonia said in her article on content audits, there are a number of benefits to knowing what’s in your archives.

Why should you fix old, broken content?

There are a number of good reasons why you shouldn’t ignore old, broken, and neglected sections of your website.

Here are three benefits of attending to expired content:

  1. Keeps your site light. True, the more pages on your site, the wider your reach in search engine traffic. But search engine bots will also require more bandwidth to crawl your site. As Stephanie Chang writes, “You don’t want to risk wasting your crawl allowance having bots crawl pages that are thin in unique content and value.”
  2. Keeps your site fresh. Expired and old information communicates to search engines (and your audience) that your site is stale.
  3. Enhances the user experience. A well-groomed site enhances a user’s experience because he won’t stumble across inaccurate information or waste time reading two blog posts when one would suffice.

What exactly should you do with this content? You have four options for fixing each piece:

  1. Leave it alone. If it’s still accurate and necessary information, then you might find good reasons to leave it alone. Did it earn a lot of inbound links? Continues to drive traffic? Then it might be worth keeping. However, the big disadvantage with this option is that traffic to stale content often bounces — and bounces hard — which ruins the user experience. I would suggest you leave expired content alone if it can’t be fixed with one of the options below. But more than likely you can find a way to improve it.
  2. Redirect it (301). This is the most sophisticated option, but it has to be done right. Do not redirect to your home page. Google hates it, and it drives visitors nuts. The goal with redirects is to point the expired page to another page that is as close as possible in style, intent, and category. You want to match the original user intent as much as possible with the new page. A redirect preserves any link juice, too. This process, however, can be labor intensive.
  3. Delete it (404). This is the lazy man’s way to deal with expired content — and it’s a horrible idea. It wastes any incoming links, irritates the search engines, and upsets users (even if you do have a hip 404 page). Remember, 404 pages are appropriate for people who mistype a URL. They are not a way to deal with expired content.
  4. Improve it. This is hands down the hardest approach, but also the best. Look at a page and ask yourself, “How can I make this page better?” You might need to update a page if the information on the page is no longer accurate, or consolidate it with another page if you see an overlap in content between two pieces. Perhaps you need to update an outdated event or obsolete product page, instead of deleting them.

Now that we’ve explored why we should fix old, broken, and neglected content, and how to fix it, let’s look at what you should do with 10 specific types of content.

1. Past events

Imagine you held an event last year. It was your first live event, but you knew that you would hold the event again the following year. Instead of putting a year or date in the URL, just use the name of the event.


Not this:

So when it comes time for next year’s event, all you have to do is update the page.

Rework the content with a new introduction, list of speakers, and venue description. This allows the popularity of the URL to grow as the popularity of the event grows.

This also allows that one URL to grow in age and authority, never losing traffic along the way.

And don’t just delete the information from your last event. Take last year’s event information and create a new page. Then on the original URL, create an archive of past events, so people can go back and look at content from prior events.

Of course if it’s a one-time event, then you’ll want to redirect it. For example, say you promote a monthly seminar. After that event is over, evaluate the content and keywords people use to find that page, and then redirect it to a post that matches your message.

Or simply update the page with an announcement stating the event is over, and include a link to the replay.

2. Obsolete products

For one reason or another, products sometimes become obsolete. They exhaust their life cycles, better products come along and replace them, or they become part of larger products. This is equally true for discontinued services.

What should you do with these pages?

It depends.

If you have a near-identical product you can redirect traffic to — that will satisfy user intent — then you can redirect it. But in most circumstances, you’ll want to update the old page and explain what happened to the old product.

3. Product or company name changes

Sometimes companies change a product’s name. If that’s the case, update the old page like you would with an expired product. This holds true if a company changes their name, too.

The principle with expired content is to explain to people what is going on.

If they click on a link thinking they are going to a particular page and it simply redirects without explanation, then you distort and confuse their experience.

It’s better to match expectations and deliver the page they want to visit — even if they have to click on another link to get to their desired destination. Users want to be in control.

4. Sales that have ended

Every so often, we run flash sales or offer massive discounts over at StudioPress. For each sale, we create a unique page.

When the sale is over, we redirect the page to the corresponding, standard StudioPress landing page.

5. Expired job or house listings

In both cases, the best approach is simply to update the page, explain the house has been sold or the job has been filled — and then provide the option to search for similar jobs or houses.

If that sounds ridiculous to you, then redirect them to the closest category match. You want to give visitors an opportunity to continue to search on your site for different options.

6. Closed membership site registration

Some online producers, like James Chartrand and Jeff Goins, create limited-capacity training courses. They only allow a certain number of members in, and when they hit their ceiling, they close registration.

In this case, you would simply indicate on that landing page that membership is closed.

But that’s not all. You’ll also want to add a sign-up form, so people can enter their email addresses and get on a wait list to learn when registration re-opens.


7. Out-of-stock or seasonal products

The method above works equally well for temporarily out-of-stock physical products (think coffee mugs or books) or seasonal products, like swimsuits or thermal onesies.

And no, I don’t wear thermal onesies. Often.

8. Repetitive content

Let’s be honest: If you blog long enough, you start to repeat yourself. That’s okay, as long as you approach the topic from a new angle. This is because you will always have new readers, and even the more seasoned, sophisticated readers need to be reminded of the basics.

But over time that content may look so familiar that it provides no real value. In other words, it may not be duplicated, but it’s derivative.

Let’s say you run a blog about the horrors of tanning booths.

During your audit, you discover three articles that tackle the same topic three different ways. One of the posts is getting a heavy stream of traffic, but the other two are dried up. Can you merge those three into one article and cut the fluff?

Keep in mind, you’ll want to keep the most popular post alive and redirect the other two to it.

9. Outdated reviews

If you review a product or service, and that product or service is no longer available (or changed beyond recognition), you might want to consider keeping it and updating the content. Let me explain.

From an archive standpoint, you will probably have people down the road looking for information about the product. If you keep yours alive and well-groomed, it might turn into one of the only authoritative pieces out there — thus you might garner some links from stories by journalists on big media sites, as well as strong traffic.

And it’s always wise to update reviews on the fly.

For example, I have a review of my failed month on Medium on Copybot. Shortly after I published the post, I was contacted by one of Medium’s designers who asked for clarification so he could fix some of the problems I mentioned.

Within hours the changes were made, and I had to update my review.

Staying on top of content like this is time-consuming, but worth it. You look like you are paying attention and not lazy.

10. Old guest post landing pages

A smart practice to get in the habit of is creating a landing page devoted to the traffic you will receive from a guest post you write on another site.

For example, say I write an article for Problogger. In my byline I would not send readers to a generic landing page asking them to download a book. I would create a special landing page with them in mind — with detailed copy that says something like, “Hey Problogger readers, thanks for coming over to my site.” And so on.

Over time, though, I may have 30 of these separate landing pages. In this case, it would be wise to use the same landing page for every guest post I write for Problogger, but update it with new information each time.

Some sites you write for might shut down, so any landing pages devoted to traffic coming from these sites could probably be deleted without any damage. However, I wouldn’t take the chance; simply redirect them to other relevant landing pages.

Your turn …

I could probably pinpoint a few more examples of expired pages, but I think you get the picture. If you don’t have good reasons to leave a piece of expired content alone, then remove, improve, or redirect any information you need to fix.

Within a short period of time, you’ll have a lean, well-groomed website — one that people adore and search engines love. And, of course, less content to audit when you sit down to check that off your list.

How often do you review your site’s expired content?

What are your tips for cleaning up your old work?

Let’s go over to LinkedIn and continue the discussion!

Image source: Pawel Kadysz via Unsplash.

About the author

Demian Farnworth

Demian Farnworth is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter. Follow him on Twitter or Google+.

The post A Brief Guide to Fixing Your Old, Neglected, and Broken Content appeared first on Copyblogger.

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Yes, Google Is Testing Green Star Reviews In The Search Results

Google says expect more experiments with the colors of the stars in the search results over the next few months. The green starts some of you are seeing is indeed a test.

The post Yes, Google Is Testing Green Star Reviews In The Search Results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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SearchCap: Yahoo Search Share, Google Red Slow Icons & Green Stars

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

The post SearchCap: Yahoo Search Share, Google Red Slow Icons & Green Stars appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Social Media in Higher Education: Strategies to Make You Best in Class

social media in higher education

A recent study by Uversity and Zinch found that 73 percent of high school students believe colleges and universities should have their own social media presence. In fact, nearly two-thirds of those students said they’ve used social media to research more about higher education.

Of course, prospective students are just one segment of a university’s massive audience. What about current students, alumni, faculty, staff, donors, and other community advocates who want to interact with your school on social?

Anyone can set up a social media profile. But to effectively reach and continuously engage your core constituents, you will need to think strategically. Here are a few things to consider when putting your plan together.

Decide Which Social Profiles to Create

There are no hard-and-fast rules as to which university functions should have their own social media pages, but here are some common ones we’ve discovered:

  • Student clubs and organizations
  • Student services, such as housing and dining
  • Student newspapers
  • College programs
  • Libraries and buildings
  • Residence halls
  • Alumni groups
  • Emergency notifications
  • Athletics
  • Even accounts for the mascot!

Certainly, there are many pages you could create — so start by deciding what pages you should create. Here are some things to consider when making that decision.

Does the Constituent Group Have an Audience?

This is of the utmost importance. It’s smart to create specific social profiles to reach key audiences, but at what point do these efforts become duplicative? It doesn’t look good to have a plethora of pages with almost no followers or interactions.

What Distinguishes Your College or University?

Schools, alumni groups, and athletic teams probably warrant their own social profiles, especially if they are key to your overall public perception. Consider what your college or university is known for — its overall market positioning and key brand assets — and settle in accordingly. For example, the University of Alabama’s football team Twitter account has 164,000 more followers than the University of Alabama’s main Twitter channel (not to mention that the team’s account is verified while the university’s is not).


How Big is Your College or University?

A smaller private college probably only needs a few social media profiles. Things grow a bit more unwieldy with larger universities, which tend to have social profiles for every asset you can imagine. Bevo, the longhorn steer at the University of Texas, for example, has lassoed in 16K+ followers on Twitter alone.

Does the Group Want Social?

Ask the person who might be in charge of the page if there is an audience for social. Sure, you may not understand why the school’s housing and dining team needs to be on Facebook, but the discussion shouldn’t end there. Western Illinois University certainly saw a need.

// <![CDATA[
(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = "//"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));
// ]]>

Put Social Rules in Place

Rules and guidelines are paramount to your social media strategy. Of course, every university is unique, but here are some rules to consider:

  • Make sure authors know they’re responsible for their content.
  • Emphasize that confidential information should not be shared.
  • Maintain the privacy of your followers.
  • Add value — don’t just post to post.
  • Maintain the university’s voice.

Brand blunders occur frequently on social, even in education. Protect your university at every level. The University of Michigan has a great list of guidelines for social media in education to give you some suggestions for creating your own. Meanwhile, Sprout Social offers a Drafts feature that allows you to put an approval process in place to mitigate mistakes.

Find a Way to Manage All Your Pages

Depending on how many pages you create, keeping track of them all can get hectic. Here are a few ideas to help.

Assign a Point Person to Each Page

This is a a more decentralized approach to social media management. Find one or two people who understand and can be responsible for a certain social media profile. Of course, depending on resources and knowledge of social media in general, this may not be an option.

Use a Social Media Management Tool

This is typically the best way to manage your social presence. Sprout is built to scale with your social media strategy and support flexible account structures — allowing you to connect multiple profiles, collaborate across teams, engage with your followers, publish and schedule content, and analyze results all in one central place. This makes it easier for specialized social media managers to respond to all of your inquiries and/or assign them to the proper department. To see an example of this in practice, check out how Marquette University uses Sprout.

Interact with Your Audience

Once you have all of your pages and people in place, you’ll want to sharpen your social voice. You might be weird like Denny’s or clever like Oreo — just be you. Then, get active in responding to inbound messages and engaging with people mentioning your college or university (try monitoring social networks for brand keywords). Just get out there and let your presence be known.

What to Do Next?

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to start thinking of more advanced social media strategies. That’s when the magic happens. Download the guide below to craft an actionable strategy that will help you build your following and drive applications.

Free Guide

4 Steps for Using Social to Recruit College Students

For Higher Education Marketing and Admissions Professionals

The post Social Media in Higher Education: Strategies to Make You Best in Class appeared first on Sprout Social.

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Improve Your Ad Strategy with Facebook Relevance Score

Facebook has long used a sophisticated algorithm to determine the reach of posts in its main feed. Delivering the right content to the right people at the right time is crucial.

But what is the best way to do this?

With content from friends, Pages, and advertisers flooding News Feeds, the social network relies on what it calls “relevance” as one of many factors to determine not only what posts members engage with but also what ads they see.

Now, Facebook is specifically honing in on the efficacy of News Feed ads for businesses. With Facebook relevance score, advertisers get a more transparent view on the back end of how their ads are performing, allowing them to make tweaks to campaigns and extend their company’s ROI. It’s a win for everyone: the more relevant the ad, the higher the engagement.

“Taking relevance into account helps ensure that people see ads that matter to them, leading to a better experience for people and businesses alike,” Facebook wrote on its blog.

To that end, here’s everything you need to know about Facebook’s advertising relevance score — and how to leverage it across your broader marketing strategy.

Getting Started with Relevance Scores for Ads on Facebook

The Facebook relevance score for ads is available globally and can be viewed in any of the social network’s ads reporting tools or through its ads API. Of course, to see the relevance score of your ads, you must already be a Facebook advertiser. If you need help getting started with Facebook advertising, check out this guide.

With your ads up and running, you can begin tracking your relevance score — a particularly good data point to be aware of. Why? Because shifts in your score will help you identify trends and think more strategically. It may even save you money.

Where to Find Your Facebook Ads Relevance Score

  1. Go to your Ads Manager.
  2. Click Reports on the left menu.
  3. Select Customize Columns.
  4. Check Relevance Score. For more information, check Positive Feedback and Negative Feedback.
  5. Click Apply.
  6. On your Reports page, click Level and select Ad.

The relevance score column will display a number between 1 and 10, while positive and negative feedback will be shown as a rating of low, medium, or high.

Don’t see a relevance score? That’s because your ad needs at least 500 impressions before the data will appear.


Facebook Relevance Score


How Facebook Relevance Score is Calculated

Your relevance score is a metric in ads reporting that provides an estimate of how relevant an ad is to its target audience. A score of 10 is considered the most relevant; a score of 1 is the least. When your ad’s score is high, it’s more likely to be shown to your audience.

Facebook calculates this score based on the positive and negative feedback it expects your ad to receive from its intended audience.

The more positive interactions expected, the higher your ad’s relevance score will be. If Facebook expects more people to hide or report your ad, your relevance score will be lower. A low initial score doesn’t mean you’re locked in forever; the score will update as people interact with and provide feedback on the ad.

Positive Feedback That May Yield a Higher Facebook Relevance Score

  • App installs
  • App engagement
  • Clicks
  • Conversions
  • Event responses
  • Likes
  • Offer claims
  • Shares
  • Video views

Keep in mind that ads with guaranteed delivery, such as those bought through reach and frequency, aren’t impacted by relevance score. According to Facebook, the score has a smaller impact on cost and delivery in brand awareness campaigns since those ads are optimized for reaching people rather than driving a specific action.

Why Facebook Relevance Matters

Used strategically, your relevance score can help you in a few key ways: it lowers the cost to reach an audience; it allows you to test ad creative options before running a full campaign; and it provides insights to optimize campaigns already in progress. Here’s what all of that means.

1. Lower Cost of Reaching People

Simply put, the higher a Facebook ad’s relevance score, the less it will cost to be delivered. This is because Facebook’s ad delivery system is designed to show the right content to the right people, and a high relevancy score is viewed as a positive signal.

Relevance, however, isn’t the only factor considered by the delivery system. Bid also plays a role. For example, if two ads are aimed at the same audience, there’s no guarantee that the ad with an excellent relevance score and low bid will beat the ad with a good relevance score and high bid.

The key takeaway here is that, overall, having a strong relevance score will help you see more efficient delivery through Facebook’s system.

2. Test Ad Creative Options Before a Campaign

This is something we always recommend doing to optimize your ads, and relevance scores add another layer of success measurement. You can test different combinations of images and copy with different audiences, and learn which combinations offer the highest relevance scores.

3. Optimize Existing Campaigns

Monitor your ads’ relevance scores while campaigns are running to identify fluctuations. Watch for patterns in your existing ads that might lend insights into what works: which of your ads have the highest score and what do they have in common? If a score starts to dip, you may need to refine the creative or targeting.

Facebook warns that relevance score shouldn’t be the primary indicator of an ad’s performance. The most important factor for success on Facebook is bidding based on the business goal you hope to meet with an ad.

Let’s say that you want to run a campaign that drives online sales. The desired outcome is more important than your relevance score. If you have an average score but a solid bid, and your ad is meeting your goals, you probably don’t need to change anything.

Simply put, having a good relevance score isn’t the be-all and end-all of your performance. If anything, consider tweaking the ad to see how you can get lower cost of delivery by improving the score, or monitor your score, along with the sales you’re driving, to learn when it’s time to update your campaign.

How to Improve Your Relevance Score for Facebook Ads

Want to maximize your impact? Here’s what to do to get that score up.

1. Know Your Target Audience

To be relevant, you need to develop a clearly defined audience segmentation strategy. That means getting specific. Trying to reach men and women, ages 18-25, in the U.S. is too broad. Narrow your audience with a few considerations in mind:

  • City
  • State/province
  • Age
  • Interests
  • Behaviors

Custom Audiences can help.


Behold: targeting done well. It’s clear that Zipcar is speaking to a younger audience that enjoys the perks of city living (though that often comes at the expense of owning a car).

2. Develop Compelling Creative

Think about how your ad’s message and execution will resonate with your audience. Images and multimedia are more noticeable than text, so focus on improving that first. Also, show the benefit of your product, not just the product itself.

For example, instead of using a screenshot of your food delivery app, show off the meals that customers can order using it.

grubhub-facebook-ad copy

Well played, GrubHub.

 3. Keep It Simple

Your message should match the audience you’re targeting. Need to reach two different groups? Don’t cram that all into one space. Create two separate ads with customized messaging that gets right to the point.

Take the Next Step with Facebook Relevance Insights

Facebook’s relevance score may have cross-channel implications. It’s up to you to determine, but if you’re advertising on other social networks (or even offline) and you’re trying to reach the same target group, take insights gleamed from your tests and consider applying them to those campaigns.

The Facebook relevance score may give you insights, for instance, into messaging that is twice as relevant to a specific audience. Use that number to inform your broader segmentation strategy across all of your advertising channels. Your team’s decisions moving forward will be more data-driven rather than opinion-based, and your brand will be more relevant than ever.

The post Improve Your Ad Strategy with Facebook Relevance Score appeared first on Sprout Social.

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Google Testing A Red Slow Label In The Search Results For Slower Sites

Is your site unusually slow? Google is testing a red slow label in the search results that will warn searchers before they click over to your web site.

The post Google Testing A Red Slow Label In The Search Results For Slower Sites appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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