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How to capture urgent leads with call-only ad extensions

Say more with your call-only ad copy! Columnist Allen Finn discusses how you can leverage callout extensions to earn more calls from prospects in a pinch.

The post How to capture urgent leads with call-only ad extensions appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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15 Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Win More Clients on Social

The majority of homebuyers go online for their search, but what makes social media and real estate marketing such a pair for agents? According to one study, 94% of millennials and 84% baby boomers used various sites to search for their future home.

To add to it, these homebuyers are definitely using social in their quest to find a new place. The problem our Q1 2017 Sprout Social Index found was that the real estate industry only responded to 11% of its incoming messages. What’s worse is the industry ranked No. 4 in the Top 10 Most Annoying Industries on Social Media in the Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index.

This points signs to an industry set on overly promoting and not enough time on engaging with potential customers. Luckily, there are some simple methods to use social as a driver for engagement and reliability.

Here are 15 ideas you can use to elevate your real estate social marketing efforts:

1. Make Social Sharing Mindlessly Easy

Think about how clients usually find you. It’s likely they start with a search engine and type in some phrase like “real estate agent [city].” If your website accurately depicts your information, you should be easy to locate and have shareable listings.

To make it easier for you and your potential client to share on social, make sure listings have responsive layouts, clear photography and simple share buttons.

The Boutique gives a great example of this in action. The listing not only includes a favorite icon for their clients, but also social network sharing buttons.


2. Add Reviews & Services

Referrals are the best kind of marketing for real estate agents. In your Facebook Page, enable both reviews and services. For ease of communication, make sure clients can book appointments with you or message for questions.

Bower Real Estate does an excellent job at providing information about its services, while leaving an area for client testimonials.


On your website, use client testimonials and information about your services. Do you provide free consultations and can they be booked online? Finding an agent is difficult enough. Make the process for connecting to your client as seamless as possible.

3. Create a Facebook Group & Participate in Local Groups

With the new feature to link Facebook Groups to a Facebook Page, you can offer even more personalized services to clients. Using Facebook Groups is a good way to navigate around the Facebook algorithm. Ideally, clients would be able to post in the Group and help each other through the selling or buying process.

Another option for Facebook Groups is using them as a networking opportunity.

Mid-America Association uses regional Groups to connect professionals in the area and to post helpful advice.


4. Use a Facebook Cover Video

Quickly grab a potential client’s attention with a Facebook video instead of a photo for your Facebook Page cover. A new feature for Facebook Pages, video covers automatically play when someone lands on your Page. It’ll instantly grab any visitor’s attention.

For bonus points, edit your call-to-action button to match the video. For example, if you talk about free consultations, make sure the button says, “Book Now.”

Live Urban Denver uses a video cover for their Page, which quickly tells any new visitor what the company is all about.

5. Go Live at a Property

Using Facebook Live for business lets you provide a behind-the-scenes, unedited look of a property. If you promote it before the listing goes up, it gives your followers a feeling of an inside scoop. These videos are excellent at engaging your audience and are often highly ranked in Facebook feeds.

Incorporating a Q&A like Zac McHardy did is a great way to get potential buyers into the door without even stepping foot on the property.

6. 360 Photo or Video

Facebook has new capabilities for posting 360-degree photos and videos. Wide-angle shots are beautiful, but they still don’t always work for getting a full impact of a room or view.

Using 360-degree videos or photos like below are a good way to change up your post types. Maybe there’s a balcony that has an excellent view or a wide open floor plan that would benefit from a 360-degree photo.

Leave no room for surprises with these great photo and video features.

7. Build a Messenger Chatbot

If you receive a lot of similar messages and questions that could be easily answered, perhaps a Facebook Messenger chatbot could work best for your organization.

You can use Sprout Social to program your bots to answer common questions like:

  • What are the closest listings by this zip code?
  • What are the features of this house?
  • Which listings are in my price range?
  • What do I need to do to prepare my house for sale?

Whatever questions you do decide on, make sure you’re still monitoring your messages and that there’s added value to the bot for your clients. See our chatbot builder in action here!

8. Incorporate Excellent Photography

Staging and photography can be vastly underrated. If you’re just starting out and can’t hire a photographer, it’s smart to buy a decent camera and take some classes online.

Having an empty house with a sterile environment makes it more difficult for anyone to picture themselves living there. In fact, a survey found 83% of homebuyers want photos of the property to be available online. Photography makes a difference and the better the photos, the more attention-grabbing they will be on a highly visual network like Instagram.

Iglesias Realty Group is geared toward high-end clients, so their posts and photography reflect that sentiment.

9. Add Social-Specific Landing Pages

Online lead generation is a crucial skill for real estate marketers. And when it comes to generating real estate leads online, your landing pages could mean the difference between a new lead or missed opportunity. The National Association of Realtors discovered 72% of agents felt their total leads from the web were lacking.

The first thing you need to know is you should have multiple landing pages. All too often, real estate agents make the mistake of using a single landing page for all their lead generation efforts. However, there are several ways to generate leads, so you’ll likely need different landing pages for each.

For instance, you might create a gated piece of content such as “Top 10 Tips on Setting Your Home’s Price,” where people have to enter their email address to view it. But then on your homepage, you might include a lead generation form similar to what Blue Sky does for people to schedule a consultation.


Creating landing pages that convert is both an art and a science. It takes a lot of testing to get right. But here are a couple resources to help you out. In this helpful post, Instapage talks about the various ways to create real estate landing pages while Unbounce provides some easy templates for you to use.

real estate landing page templates

10. Set Up Twitter Keyword Searches

As part of your lead generation toolkit, set up keyword searches in Twitter to alert you when people are looking to buy or sell a home. You can narrow your searches down with zip code targeting.

The best way to handle Twitter keyword searches is to automate the alerting process. Set up the search and have a service like IFTTT notify you when a relevant Tweet comes up. You can also setup specific brand keywords in our Smart Inbox to see all the latest incoming posts from Twitter and other networks that contain your target keywords. This way you can be sure to never miss out on new lead opportunities due to overlooking a Tweet.

sprout social smart inbox

11. Sponsor a Local Event

One of the better ways of engaging your local community is by sponsoring events that you care about. This not only provides more interesting content for your followers, but it also demonstrates your interest in supporting important causes.

Live Urban Real Estate sponsored a lounge at a local music festival. Swag was given out and while the lounge itself isn’t exactly about real estate, you never know where you might find your next client.

12. Celebrate Milestones

People love to see themselves on a business’ social pages when the content is all about their celebration. Whether it’s a house closed or a new set of keys, potential clients will connect with them on an emotional level. In a way, it’s personalizing your pages which is way more interesting than only photos of house interiors.

13. Build Up Trust

As a real estate agent, you need to build trust with your clients. If you share blog posts, write articles, publish infographics and offer free information to help your clients, they’ll begin to trust your expertise. Offering free advice without pushing your services is an easy tactic for building trust.

Ines Hegedus-Garcia works in Miami and often posts about local events, real estate advice and other information where clients would take interest.

14. Stay Relevant After Closing

It’s not often you’ll have back-to-back repeat clients, but you always want to stay relevant in your posts. Did you know 70% of homebuyers completely forget who their agent was just a year after closing? Like the previous idea, you want to build up trust for you as an expert and stay connected.

This means sharing information on such things like renovations can keep your posts useful for past clients but also for current ones who are interested in the topic. Local news and events also fall into this category of posts.

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Posted by Pavla Mizzi – Ben Estates on Sunday, September 10, 2017

Additionally, this tactic can really help with your referrals when users mention you on social.

15. Experiment With Videos

There are so many video options for posts now. Instead of a standard walkthrough of the house, maybe hire some actors who look like your target clients. Consider creating helpful tutorial videos for your clients, too. Not enough money to hire a staging expert? Pair up with an expert for some how-to videos. It establishes your credibility, gives the staging expert a potential expert and helps your clients. All a win-win.

Joyce Rey Real Estate shared a video that featured a couple enjoying their neighborhood, coming home and taking a break. It highlights all of the main features of the house and helps potential clients picture themselves living there.


There are many ways to spark up your real estate social marketing efforts. To keep track of all of your efforts, we recommend using a social media management platform like Sprout Social to keep all your social media scheduling, engagement and analytics in one, manageable space.

sprout social smart inbox

For any new marketing idea, we recommend tracking your analytics before and after execution. Getting familiar with how your community engages with you will make it easier for you to figure out if a new marketing idea is for you or not.

This post 15 Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Win More Clients on Social originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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Reach vs Impressions: Know the Difference Between Your Engagement Terms

Is your business working toward better brand awareness? Are you doing everything possible to grow and influence your audience on social media? If so, it’s critical to know the difference between reach vs impressions.

Marketers commonly encounter these two terms, but not everyone knows and understands what makes each metric so important. Many understand the importance of social media engagement. However, when it comes to strategy, it’s all about accurately measuring your metrics and finding areas to increase efforts.

Various social media terms are often misinterpreted and some are even thought to mean the same thing. While it’s very easy to group terms like reach and impressions together, they do have their own definitions. Before you accurately measure these metrics, let’s learn a crash course on reach vs. impressions.

What’s the Difference Between Reach vs. Impressions?

Reach is the total number of people who see your content. Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not.

Think of reach as the number of unique people who see your content. In a perfect world, every one of your followers would see every piece of content you posted.

Unfortunately, that’s not how things work on social, and not all of your followers will see every single post you publish. For instance, Groupon has 17 million followers, but their organic content doesn’t come close to getting that number of engagements because only a fraction of their audience sees it.

However, an impression means that content was delivered to someone’s feed. A viewer doesn’t have to engage with the post in order for it to count as an impression. Also, one person could have multiple impressions for a single piece of content.

facebook share example

For example, a Facebook post could show up in the News Feed from the original publisher and appear again when a friend shares the publisher’s post. If you saw both forms of activity in your feed, that counts as two impressions for the same post.

Digging Deeper Into Reach & Impressions

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between reach and impressions, but there’s still an underlying difference in terms of engagement. Similar to our first example, let’s say you have 100 followers on Twitter and you published one Tweet. If every one of your followers sees that Tweet, you have a reach of 100 users–along with 100 impressions.

To continue, say tomorrow you publish two Tweets to the same 100 followers. Your reach is still 100 users because your follower count didn’t change. However, now you have 200 impressions. Why? Because every single one of your 100 followers saw both Tweets you published.

That’s why you may notice the number of impressions for a Tweet may sometimes be significantly larger than your follower count.

tweet impressions example

It’s a bit of a challenging concept, but absolutely important to know when tracking the success of a social media campaign. If you recall nothing else about reach and impressions, remember this: Reach is the number of people who may have seen your content, while impressions are the total number of times your content was displayed to people.

Learning More About Engagement Metrics

If you’re looking to better understand how to improve your reach and impressions, it’s important to learn about other related engagement metrics. For example, there are different kinds of reach and impression metrics on each social network—Facebook to be specific.

Other platforms may include reach and impressions in their social media analytics, but they’re pretty standard. Facebook shows reach and impressions broken down by post type and other categories, which is necessary to understand when looking to improve.

Facebook Reach vs. Impressions

On Facebook, reach falls into three different categories:

  1. Organic: This represents the number of unique people who saw your content—for free—in the News Feed.
  2. Paid: This is the number of unique people who saw your paid content, such as a Facebook Ad.
  3. Viral: This is the number of unique people who saw your post or Page mentioned in a story published by a friend. These stories include actions such as Liking, sharing or commenting.

There are a number of factors that play into your Facebook reach. Depending on the type of reach you want to grow, you might follow different strategies. To learn more about Facebook reach, read our earlier article How to Easily Increase Your Facebook Reach.

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Just like reach, Facebook impressions are also broken down into three categories, which are viewable in Sprout’s Facebook Pages report:

  1. Organic: The number of times your content was displayed—for free—in News Feed or on your Page.
  2. Paid: The number of times your paid content—such as a Facebook Ad—was displayed.
  3. Viral: The number of times content associated with your Page was displayed in a story published by a friend. These stories include Liking, sharing or commenting.
facebook impressions report

Facebook Ad Reach vs Impressions

Having the same categoric breakdowns certainly doesn’t keep reach and impressions separate. But remember our first example we discussed. If five Facebook fans each saw your post twice, the result would be 10 impressions (the number of times displayed multiplied by the number of unique people who saw it) and a reach of five (the unique people who saw it).

Facebook Ads Reach vs Impressions

But if you’re using Facebook Ads, there are two additional types of impressions to track: served and viewed.

When a Facebook Ad is served, it means the publisher told the system to deliver an ad. As long as the system registers delivery of that ad, it’s counted as a success—a served impression. This is a little sneaky because it’s counting a success regardless of whether or not an ad is seen.

Served impressions include ads that no one sees because they appear below the fold or because the person left the page before it could finish rendering. It’s inaccurate and leaves a big gap between the number of ads served and the number seen.

However, viewed impressions count from the moment the ad enters the screen of a desktop browser or mobile app. If it doesn’t enter the screen, it doesn’t count.

Twitter Reach vs. Impressions

The native Twitter app doesn’t measure your reach, but it does track impressions. Twitter defines impressions as anytime a Twitter user sees your Tweet.

Think of an impression as a Tweet that shows up on someone’s monitor or mobile screen. But the number of impressions you see inside the Twitter app only counts the number of times your Tweets show up in a user’s feed or search results.

While Twitter doesn’t provide data on reach, there is a workaround. Luckily, with Sprout Social’s Sent Messages Report, you get more insights into your social media reach.

sent messages report instagram

Reach, Impressions & Your Marketing Strategy

With better clarity on reach vs. impressions, it’s important to also look beyond the definitions and see what they mean for your marketing strategy.

Know Your Target Audience

As reach increases, it naturally leads to increased awareness. For businesses, it’s important to extend your reach to as many consumers as possible. But even if you’re reaching 10,000 people, it won’t mean a thing if only 1,000 of them have interest in your brand.

Sent messages lose effect and no value is gained when they’re ignored. Design messages and your content strategy with your target audience in mind.

Also keep an eye on the content that’s being shared, retweeted, liked or replied to. By tracking these engagements, it’ll help you find potential users to target, thus extending your reach.

Monitor & Analyze Engagement Metrics Regularly

Impressions measure your ability to get your content in front of your intended audience. When your impressions rise, it’s likely due to your content surfacing more frequently into users’ feeds.

Increase in Twitter Impressions

This usually means your posts are optimized for whichever social network you’re using. If you do not see the impressions you hoped for, first look at how you share your content. Is it optimized for the platform you’re using?

Another tip to consider when trying to increase impressions is to focus on growing the number of actively engaged fans in your community for that platform. Place more emphasis on publishing shareable content. As your community begins sharing your posts with their networks, your impressions (and reach) will increase.

The only way you’ll know if your efforts work is to regularly monitor and analyze these metrics. Continually make improvements and experiment with changes and Facebook retargeting efforts. Once you think you have your audience where you want, it’s smart to use social media monitoring tools to tag messages for specific departments on your social team.

monitoring feature sprout

This will help you avoid the back and forth between networks to easily streamline your social media through an all-in-one Smart Inbox. Tracking important metrics is tricky, but not with the right tools.

Request your free Sprout Social Demo today to see our tools in action for your business!

Looking at the Bigger Picture

Learning the difference between reach vs. impressions is sometimes a little convoluted, but it’s not impossible to understand. Once you distinguish the two metrics, you begin working toward the most important one of all: social media engagement.

A common goal behind every social media campaign is increased engagement. If your content isn’t getting likes, replies or shares, something is wrong—either on the creation or targeting end.

Awareness comes before engagement, and reach and impressions drive people to take action. You can’t have one without the other, and you can’t improve one without also tweaking the others. So when you’re thinking about how to increase engagement, do so while also considering how reach and impressions play into it.

This post Reach vs Impressions: Know the Difference Between Your Engagement Terms originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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#SproutChat Recap: Integrating PR & Social Media

Before social media was a critical aspect of marketing strategy, PR teams often ruled the direction of new campaigns and product launches and how they held influence over consumer masses. Now when it comes to integrated marketing plans, there are a variety of ways that PR and social media can work together to get messaging across a wide audience.

In this week’s #SproutChat, we were joined by Sprout All Star Elite, Marek Cornett to talk about best practices for integrating your PR and social strategies. We covered different ways that traditional PR and social media are different and how they can sync up to deliver the most influence.

PR & Social Media Messages Differ

The main point of difference between PR and social media comes down to the way messaging is delivered. With PR, you’re often reaching out on a 1:1 basis. With social media, brands and organizations have a cast a much wider net and can tweak messaging accordingly.

Social Moves PR Forward

PR processes have sped up dramatically with the evolution of social media. From outreach to pitching stories and response times, social has allowed for news and messaging to spread more quickly and effectively.

Use Social Media to Amplify PR Efforts

Social media now allows for brands to make connections with news outlets on a more regular basis. Once an announcement has crossed the wire, you can sync up and spread the word on your social platforms. Similarly, if a social campaign launch is newsworthy PR can come into play to make a media announcement.

Create Integrated Marketing Plans

PR and Social Media Managers should work in tandem when it comes to a news announcement to make sure that messaging is consistent across all channels. Creating an integrated plan ensures that there are no missed opportunities for further engagement with your audience.

Social & PR Build Influencer Programs

Utilize social media’s listening and monitoring capabilities to identify influencers and start engaging with them. After establishing relationships with these influencers you’ve discovered via social, start crafting a PR campaign. Social influence can help with the heavy lifting and amplify the campaign later on as well.

Be sure to join #SproutChat next week to chat with Sprout All Star, Dave Macdonald, Founder of SocialXpresso, to learn about gaining actionable insights from social analytics. Until then, be sure to join our Facebook community to connect with others in the social media and digital marketing industry.

This post #SproutChat Recap: Integrating PR & Social Media originally appeared on Sprout Social.

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SearchCap: Target partners with Google, Capture leads with calls & 50M Local Guides

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

The post SearchCap: Target partners with Google, Capture leads with calls & 50M Local Guides appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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Seven SEO trends to watch in 2018

As we reach the fourth quarter of 2017, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead and what to expect from SEO in 2018.

There are number of search industry trends that we’ve seen the very beginnings of this year and last, which will come into greater prominence in 2018.

Here are seven you should be keeping an eye on in order to stay ahead of the curve.

Voice search and digital assistants 

Voice search technology presents a big opportunity for changing the way we communicate and process information. The rise of digital assistants has presented a growing market that can change the way search queries are performed. According to Google, 1 out of 5 searches already come from voice queries.

This changes the search market and we’re expecting to see an even bigger shift towards voice search in 2018. When it comes to setting up an SEO strategy, the rise of voice search brings out the need to focus on more long-tail search keywords and a natural language that matches the user’s conversational tone.

As accuracy improves in digital assistants, there will be more people using voice search from their mobile devices, seeking for quick and relevant answers. It becomes important to research the voice user intent will provide more accurate results, helping the algorithms provide the best answer.

Moreover, voice search is expected to grow even more with its integration in smart home hubs, helping companies access new data, while users enjoy a seamless experience through everyday devices. As digital assistants go beyond smartphone devices, there is a great opportunity both for SEO and content, taking advantage of a growing market that connects the brand with a user in a unique but still relevant and useful way.

Link building

Link building is not expected to disappear in 2018, but it will be more important than ever to create a strategy that seeks out quality links. There’s no need to aim for new links if they don’t add value and help you build an authority in your target niche.

This doesn’t always mean that the best backlinks come from the most popular sites, but it’s still crucial to seek coverage from sites that are relevant to your industry. Referral traffic can still contribute to your site’s organic search rankings, while it is also useful to start thinking of link building as a long-term process.

A successful SEO strategy in 2018 will move towards relationship building, helping a brand develop powerful contacts and links that will be beneficial in a longer term.

A challenge for 2018 will be dealing with guest blogs and how to involve them as an integral part of a link building strategy without hurting a brand’s reputation. Back in May Google warned publishers who rely too much on guest posting for link building that there will be a closer look at guest blogs in an attempt to control spammy and questionable links.

This brings out the need for a more diversified link building strategy, aiming for a complete backlink profile, rather than single links that can bring successful results.

User experience 

User experience for SEO will become even more important in 2018. Google has made it clear that the focus is on the user and this should make more sites deliver a smooth UX for their visitors.

A good user experience increases the chances of people engaging with the pages that they visit. This helps search engines discover which pages are more useful for people, favoring them over others.

The first step is to monitor a site’s speed, its readability and its navigation structure to examine how these can be improved through the right changes. A closer look at your visitors’ browsing habits can offer helpful insights. For example, if the visits coming directly from search last just 30 seconds, then this probably means that the content or the user experience is hurting your site’s conversions.

Moreover, as more people consume content from their mobile devices, there is a growing need to provide an excellent user experience across all devices.

As SEO heads towards more relevant and personalized experiences, UX will be key to maintaining search traffic by creating an engaged audience. It’s not enough anymore to see a rise in search traffic if it’s not converting or bringing the desired engagement to create a loyal audience.

Featured snippets and Quick Answers 

The popularity of featured snippets has increased the competition among companies trying to appear in “position 0” in the SERP. Gaining a featured snippet in search requires catering to a specific combination of factors, which has opened up SEO beyond the traditional race to the top of Google.

According to Stone Temple Consulting, almost 30% of the test Google search queries show Featured Snippets. This brings out the need for a strategy on how to optimize a site’s content to meet Google’s standards for Featured Snippets.

Lists, tables and graphs tend to be popular, while it’s also useful to create content in a Q&A format, making it easier for Google to extract the right content to show up as a featured snippet.

An interesting angle to focus on during the next year is the optimization of featured snippets for voice search. The combination of two growing trends in the search market can create a great opportunity for more companies to show up at the top of the SERPs. This will involve considering the changes in the search queries, focusing more on longer keywords and natural language.

A similar way to reach the top of the SERPs is to create content that serves as a Quick Answer. Google’s Answer Box is an enhanced type of featured snippet that aims to answer a question in a more appealing way.

It usually follows a “how” or “what” structure and is Google’s attempt to use search intent to organize the search results in a more useful way. It has been observed that the results that show up in an Answer Box can see a CTR of 32.3%.

This will bring out the need for more companies to learn more about search intent and how they can optimize their content to show up in an Answer Box. Thus, a carefully crafted Answer Box strategy can increase both a site’s authority, but also a brand’s conversion.

Mobile-first index

2018 is more than likely to be the year that brands realize the potential of putting mobile first, rather than catering to mobile as an afterthought. This is particularly true if Google decides to make 2018 the year it finally deploys its mobile-first index.

But even if it doesn’t, brands and businesses need to put mobile first anyway: a recent study by BrightEdge found that, 57% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. More than this, there is a significant difference between the way that keywords rank on mobile and the way they rank on desktop – so mobile-first content is needed in order to have the best chance of being visible in mobile search.

As mobile searches are all about context, brands should provide the best possible results for every question, while local SEO is going to become even more popular. Mobile users will seek for more content while they are on the go, which means that brands will face a big opportunity of marketing their business at a local context.

Mobile optimization for local users, along with the rise of voice search, can provide an excellent way to create a successful SEO strategy in 2018 by facilitating the search experience through personalized and relevant answers.

Site speed is critical for search engines and your page’s performance at the SERPs and Accelerated Mobile Pages can make a page load up to four times faster than a standard mobile page. According to Chartbeat, AMP load in a second and they also see a 35% improvement in engagement time.

Google’s focus on AMP has made more publishers consider their use, currently counting more than 2 billion Accelerated Mobile Pages.

The demand is expected to grow in 2018, helping companies improve their engagement and the overall user experience through fast and responsive mobile pages. Brands that want to keep up with the changes in mobile search has to keep up with the trend and experiment whether they need AMP or any other fixes to improve their site speed.

The rise of visual search

Visual search is an exciting area and the combination of technological innovation and user experience can take searching to the next level.

As the internet becomes more visually-focused, there is a great opportunity to explore the power of visual search. Major tech companies including Bing, Pinterest and Google have already invested in developing powerful visual search engines in a bid to capitalize on this new trend.

An SEO strategy in 2018 needs to consider the way we consume visual content and how search engines now go beyond text to explore the changing habits of search. Rich visuals now become more engaging and the use of neuroscience and innovation bring out an interesting and competitive market.

As the competition increases, more companies seem to acknowledge the potential of a successful visual search, while brands need to focus even more on optimizing their visual content for SEO purposes.

AI and machine learning

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are already changing the way that search results are ranked. Machine learning can also facilitate the way searches take place, helping users find contextualized results.

This will lead to a more personalized experience, while the rise of voice search and digital assistants can offer the ideal ground to develop artificial intelligence and reward successful SEO strategies that keep up with the trends.

Google’s RankBrain, or else Google’s deep learning algorithm, is also expected to affect the search landscape. Catering to RankBrain often seems like an intimidating prospect to SEOs, and the term “Artificial Intelligence Optimization” has been bandied about a fair amount.

But as Dan Taylor explained in a comprehensive look at RankBrain and SEO, there is no set way to optimize for RankBrain, although certain search practices are now more relevant than ever.

We can expect more changes to come in 2018 where AI and machine learning are concerned, and Google’s determination to develop in this area indicate that there are many more innovations on the horizon.

Improving SEO in 2018

As it seems, 2018 will be an interesting year for SEO. Traditional SEO techniques are still effective, but a number of trends are in the works that could significantly alter the practice of optimizing for search.

What is useful to understand while we proceed towards is 2018 is that SEO is already changing, and the ranking in the first organic spot is not the ultimate goal anymore. As search engines evolve, there are multiple opportunities to increase your search traffic without necessarily focusing on organic SERPs.

The rise of featured snippets, PPC, voice search and local SEO can often yield better results than an organic ranking. That’s why it’s useful to keep up with the latest trends and discover how your brand can maintain a successful SEO strategy for the year ahead by blending established and growing trends.

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YouTube Stats, Facts, and Figures for 2017 [Infographic]

YouTube has been around for 12+ years, and it’s hard to imagine an Internet without its ubiquitous video player. Check out today’s infographic to see how YouTube has grown, which videos are the most popular, what viewers search for, and more. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

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The Right Words at the Right Time in the Right Place: Three Platforms to Publish Your Content On

Articles are a fundamental tool in your content marketing toolbox. Here are three places your articles can find a home, each of which serves a different purpose and offers unique benefits for your content strategy. Read the full article at MarketingProfs

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Yes, Competitors Can Edit Your Listing on Google My Business

Posted by JoyHawkins

I decided to write this article in response to a recent article that was published over at CBSDFW. The article was one of many stories about how spammers update legitimate information on Google as a way to send more leads somewhere else. This might shock some readers, but it was old news to me since spam of this nature on Google Maps has been a problem for almost a decade.

What sparked my interest in this article was Google’s response. Google stated:

Merchants who manage their business listing info through Google My Business (which is free to use), are notified via email when edits are suggested. Spammers and others with negative intent are a problem for consumers, businesses, and technology companies that provide local business information. We use automated systems to detect for spam and fraud, but we tend not to share details behind our processes so as not to tip off spammers or others with bad intent.

Someone might read that and feel safe, believing that they have nothing to worry about. However, some of us who have been in this space for a long time know that there are several incorrect and misleading statements in that paragraph. I’m going to point them out below.

“Merchants are notified by email”

  1. Google just started notifying users by email last month. Their statement makes it sound like this has been going on for ages. Before September 2017, there were no emails going to people about edits made to their listings.
  2. Not everyone gets an email about edits that have been made. To test this, I had several people submit an update to a listing I own to change the phone number. When the edit went live, the Google account that was the primary owner on the listing got an email; the Google account that was a manager on the listing did not.

Similarly, I am a manager on over 50 listings and 7 of them currently show as having updates in the Google My Business dashboard. I haven’t received a single email since they launched this feature a month ago.

“Notified […] when edits are suggested”

Merchants are not notified when edits are “suggested.” Any time I’ve ever heard of an email notification in the last month, it went out after the edit was already live.

Here’s a recent case on the Google My Business forum. This business owner got an email when his name was updated because the edit was already live. He currently has a pending edit on his listing to change the hours of operation. Clearly this guy is on top of things, so why hasn’t he denied it? Because he wouldn’t even know about it since it’s pending.

The edit isn’t live yet, so he’s not receiving a notification — either by email or inside the Google My Business dashboard.

Edits show up in the Google My Business dashboard as “Updates from Google.” Many people think that if they don’t “accept” these edits in the Google My Business dashboard, the edits won’t go live. The reality is that by “accepting” them, you’re just confirming something that’s already live on Google. If you “don’t accept,” you actually need to edit the listing to revert it back (there is no “deny” button).

Here’s another current example of a listing I manage inside Google My Business. The dashboard doesn’t show any updates to the website field, yet there’s a pending edit that I can see on the Google Maps app. A user has suggested that the proper website is a different page on the website than what I currently have. The only way to see all types of pending edits is via Check the Facts on Google Maps. No business owner I’ve ever spoken to has any clue what this is, so I think it’s safe to say they wouldn’t be checking there.

Here’s how I would edit that original response from Google to make it more factually correct:

Merchants who manage their business listing info through Google My Business (which is free to use) are notified when edits made by others are published on Google. Sometimes they are notified by email and the updates are also shown inside the Google My Business dashboard. Google allows users (other than the business owner) to make edits to listings on Google, but the edits are reviewed by either automated systems or, in some cases, actual human beings. Although the system isn’t perfect, Google is continually making efforts to keep the map free from spam and malicious editing.

Do you manage listings that have been edited by competitors? What’s your experience been? Share your story in the comments below!

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Do iPhone Users Spend More Online Than Android Users?

Posted by MartyMeany

Apple has just launched their latest flagship phones to market and later this year they’ll release their uber-flagship: the iPhone X. The iPhone X is the most expensive iPhone yet, at a cool $999. With so many other smartphones on the market offering similar functionality, it begs the question: Do iPhone users simply spend more money than everyone else?

At Wolfgang Digital, we love a bit of data, so we’ve trawled through a massive dataset of 31 million iPhone and Android sessions to finally answer this question. Of course, we’ve got some actionable nuggets of digital marketing strategy at the end, too!

Why am I asking this question?

Way back when, before joining the online marketing world, I sold mobile phones. I couldn’t get my head around why people bought iPhones. They’re more expensive than their Android counterparts, which usually offer the same, if not increased, functionality (though you could argue the latter is subjective).

When I moved into the e-commerce department of the same phone retailer, my team would regularly grab a coffee and share little nuggets of interesting e-commerce trends we’d found. My personal favorite was a tale about Apple users spending more than desktop users. The story I read talked about how a hotel raised prices for people booking while using an Apple device. Even with the increased prices, conversion rates didn’t budge as the hotel raked in extra cash.

I’ve always said this story was anecdotal because I simply never saw the data to back it up. Still, it fascinated me.

Finding an answer

Fast forward a few years and I’m sitting in Wolfgang Digital behind the huge dataset that powered our 2017 E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study. It occurred to me that this data could answer some of the great online questions I’d heard over the years. What better place to start than that tale of Apple users spending more money online than others?

The online world has changed a little since I first asked myself this question, so let’s take a fresh 2017 approach.

Do iPhone users spend more than Android users?

When this hypothesis first appeared, people were comparing Mac desktop users and PC desktop users, but the game has changed since then. To give the hypothesis a fresh 2017 look, we’re going to ask whether iPhone users spend more than Android users. Looking through the 31 million sessions on both iOS and Android operating systems, then filtering the data by mobile, it didn’t take long to find the the answer to this question that had followed me around for years. The results were astonishing:

On average, Android users spend $11.54 per transaction. iPhone users, on the other hand, spend a whopping $32.94 per transaction. That means iPhone users will spend almost three times as much as Android users when visiting an e-commerce site.

Slightly smug that I’ve finally answered my question, how do we turn this from being an interesting nugget of information to an actionable insight?

What does this mean for digital marketers?

As soon as you read about iPhone users spending three times more than Android users, I’m sure you started thinking about targeting users specifically based on their operating system. If iOS users are spending more money than their Android counterparts, doesn’t it make sense to shift your spend and targeting towards iOS users?

You’re right. In both Facebook and AdWords, you can use this information to your advantage.

Targeting operating systems within Facebook

Of the “big two” ad platforms, Facebook offers the most direct form of operating system targeting. When creating your ads, Facebook’s Ad Manager will give you the option to target “All Mobile Devices,” “iOS Devices Only,” or “Android Devices Only.” These options mean you can target those high average order value-generating iPhone users.

Targeting operating systems within AdWords

AdWords will allow you to target operating systems for both Display Campaigns and Video Campaigns. When it comes to Search, you can’t target a specific operating system. You can, however, create an OS-based audience using Google Analytics. Once this audience is built, you can remarket to an iOS audience with “iPhone”-oriented ad texts. Speaking at Wolfgang Essentials this year, Wil Reynolds showed clips of people talking through their decision to click in SERPs. It’s incredible to see people skipping over year-old content before clicking an article that mentions “iPhone.” Why? Because that user has an iPhone. That’s the power of relevancy.

You’ll also be able to optimize and personalize your bids in Search, safe in the knowledge that iPhone users are more likely to spend big than Android users.

There you have it. Don’t let those mad stories you hear pass you by. You might just learn something!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 5 days ago from