Thursday, October 3, 2019

Are some search engines & directories on the business of "wasting your time"? Unless you pay them....


If you are actively working on SEO/SEM initiatives to promote your business and improve your online marketing strategy, you are already aware there are many directories and sites that are constantly popping up with multiple lists of businesses. The great majority of them end up not becoming a successful business directory, however they still may gather your company information and publish it without your permission. On many occasions they may list wrong contact information and negative reviews about your business and there is not much you can do about it.

Some of them may allow you to update the information if you pay, but others are not even reachable. If you have been in business for a while you also know there are many unethical people and businesses that cause more harm than good. Sometimes unfair or unfortunate events occur which affect your company in a negative way, but it’s just part of the “business life”.

What seems to be not very rational is to see some successful or bigger companies who seem to be misleading or inconsiderate with users and small businesses. After talking to hundreds of businesses we find that companies such as Yelp, Yahoo, Yext and other very prominent search engine and online directories are on the business of “wasting your time”! Many local companies and small businesses think these companies will help your business by adding your information on local directories and business listings, but when you are done you are not better off.

They make you go through a tedious process (for most people and business owners) and, after wasting your time and energy, more often than not they will not update changes to your business listings, nor let you verify your business listing… unless you pay them... of course!

Many people are hesitant to invest on listing directory services such as Yext because of the enormous price tag they entail. Still, some might be tempted to pay the price when they find that claiming their listing for free will not yield the expected changes. If you are one of those, keep in mind that once you enter a contract with Yext, you can’t back down as easily as many would like. If you ever leave their service, they will revert your listings back to what they were before the contract started. This means that if you want to keep the listings that Yext has created and updated for you, you need to keep on paying them indefinitely.

This photo shows a sample of a message you get after completing the free verification process on Yext. They tell you the process takes 2 weeks, but don’t hold your breath unless you can hold it indefinitely.



This is especially a big concern for small businesses with limited resources and limited marketing budget to promote and optimize their online exposure.

All reasonable people understand businesses have to make money, and we don’t disagree with search engine and directories charging money.  Most people will not have a problem with that. The problem lies with the companies that promise something and do not deliver the goods. For most business owners, the worst part is the aggravation and the waste time.

On the other hand, you can find other search engines and directories that will not list or update your business information unless you pay them.  But they don’t beat around the bush, they just tell you like it is and if you don’t like it you can move on. It is a refreshing approach to see when businesses are ethical and considerate of other businesses.

What are the best search engines and directories to advertise my business?

The top search engine is Google, followed by Yahoo, Bing and others. Depending on your business and type of industry, you will find several important local business directories where your business should be listed.  For example, if you are on the health care industry you may not care about Cars.com, TripAdvisor, Dining.com or other no so relevant directories. However, it would be important to be listed on Helathgrades.com, Vitals.com, Webmd.com and other related medical directories. If you are an attorney you probably want to consider Avvo, but not so much if you are an electrician.

If you would like to get details about the best directories where you can promote your business, contact the SEO/SEM professionals at Xperience Marketing Solutions, and they will send you detailed information and suggestions to help improve your online marketing communication and search engine optimization.

How important is to claim and optimize my local business listings?
Whether you live in Port Saint Lucie, Martin County, Miami, Tampa, Florida, California, USA or other country around the world, if you are in business and have a website, you should be paying attention to local business directories and applicable search engines where your business may be listed by other people or where you can add information about your company so people can find you.
To learn more about online marketing and the importance of claiming and optimizing local business listings, follow our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram feeds, and we will let you know when other valuable articles are posted.



Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Google Latest Algorithm Update – September 24th 2019


How will it affect your business and website ranking?
Google has released on Sept. 24th  a significant broad core algorithm update! Google is constantly making updates, but every so often they make significant updates that result in broad changes to Google's search algorithms and systems. This is one of several important updates Google performs each year. This update is called "the September 2019 Core Update". Your search engine exposure may change as a result of this update. During the past months and year, Google has made changes to its search engine to help people find high-quality websites in Google’s search results. The “Panda” algorithm change has improved rankings for a large number of websites with quality content, so if your website has great content you shouldn't have a big concern about SEO. However, for the sites that may have been affected by Panda, Google has provided information and guidance on how to improve your website to improve your organic ranking.
Is this core update similar to the Panda and Penguin Algorithm changes by Google?
Google's advice for publishers is focused on delivering the best possible user experience on websites instead of focusing on what they think are Google’s current ranking algorithms or possible indications. Many bloggers, marketing professionals and publications have been fixated on some core updates, such as the Panda algorithm change. However, the Panda update was just one update as many of the over 450 search improvements Google is expected to roll out in the next 12 months. In fact, since Google launched the Panda change, they have rolled out over a dozen additional modifications to Google's ranking algorithms. Many companies and marketing professionals have incorrectly assumed that changes in their rankings were related to Panda. Search Engines are complicated and constantly evolving. Google's programmer work is an art and science, so rather than focusing on specific algorithmic changes, we encourage all businesses to focus on delivering the best possible experience for their website users. Stay in touch for additional details about the latest core update.
There are several useful tools that monitor Google’s activity. If you notice suspicious traffic fluctuations on your website, you can check it using one of the many available tools to see if it correlates to any new Google updates.
What can my business do to deal with Google core updates?
The best way to deal with the new core algorithm update is to focus on quality SEO practices, stay informed about the latest updates and continue taking preventive action. If you need help with your SEO/SEM, please contact a local digital marketing agency that has a team of SEO Experts.
There are several useful tools that monitor Google’s activity. If you notice suspicious traffic fluctuations on your website, you can check it using one of the many available tools to see if it correlates to any new Google updates.
Are the messages Google is sending with regard to detected new “Mobile Usability issues” related to the new update?
If you use Google Search Console to manage your SEO, you’ve probably had received some emails about  New Mobile Usability Issues detected on your site. The email will inform you that your website has a certain number of issues that Google has detected.
The following are some of the most common issues:
  • Text too small
  • Content is wider than the screen
  • View port not set
  • Clickable elements too close together
  • Submitted URL not found (404)
For additional details about these errors, please visit Google support page. You can also run mobile test using the Mobile friendly google search tool.
It is important to note that many of these suggestions are often erratic. Google’s crawler is not always 100% accurate on their assessment, and we can find in many forums a lot of people who are extremely frustrated when trying to located errors on their website which don’t seem to exist.
We’ve also seen how the errors come and go for no specific reason. However, if you have errors and you are getting a notification by Google, it is better to address them and try to fix everything possible to make sure your website ranking is not affected in a negative way.
If you don’t know how to make these changes, make sure to contact your website developer, website company or digital marketing agency that has an experienced web developers team.

Friday, March 29, 2019

What counts as a video view?



The major social networks don't agree on how to count video views; here's a rundown of the sometimes slippery metric.

Here’s the rundown on how the major players count video views:

Google/YouTube: The skippable TrueView ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network count a video view when someone engaged with an ad or watches 30 seconds of a video ad, or the duration of the ad if it is shorter than 30 seconds.

Facebook and Instagram: Facebook and it’s family of apps count a video view for both in-stream and Stories ads at 3 seconds. However, advertisers can buy video ads on either a CPM basis or ThuruPlay basis. When buying on a CPM basis, an impression is counted when one pixel of the video ad comes into view. With ThruPlay, advertisers are charged when a video ad plays to 97 percent completion or up to 15 seconds, whichever comes sooner.

LinkedIn: For LinkedIn’s sponsored content, video views are counted when 50 percent of the ad is in-view for 1 second on desktop and 300 milliseconds (one-third of a second) on mobile.

Pinterest: Pinterest adopted the MRC standard of 50 percent of the ad in-view for 2 continuous seconds or more.

Reddit: Reddit defines a video view as 2 continuous seconds at 50 percent view ability, per the MRC standard. A full video view is counted after a video ad shows for 3 continuous seconds at 100 percent view ability. Advertisers can bid on a cost-per-view (CPV) or CPM basis.

Snapchat: Snap Ads’ view criteria is 2 seconds for a video view. The platform’s video ads run full-screen with the sound on.

Twitter: Twitter adopted the MRC standard and counts a video ad view when 50 percent of the ad is in view for 2 seconds or more, or when a user engages with a video ad by clicking to expand or un-muting it.

References
Gesenhues, A. (2019, March 29). What counts as a video view? A refresher on how social platforms calculate video ad views. Retrieved from Marketing Land: https://marketingland.com/whats-a-video-view-on-facebook-only-3-seconds-vs-30-at-youtube-128311

Friday, January 25, 2019

Facebook adds new reporting for Click-to-WhatsApp ads




Ad campaign objectives now include traffic, conversions (for website), and post engagement.

Why marketers should care

Facebook’s Click-to-WhatsApp ads offers marketers and advertisers a way to start a conversation with consumers on its encrypted messaging app. The ads can be purchased through Facebook’s Ad Manager platform and display in a user’s Facebook News Feed. Now, in addition to messages, Click-to-WhatsApp ad campaign objectives include traffic, conversions (for website), and post engagement.

Facebook has been aiming to monetize its encrypted messaging app for some time now. In Jan. 2018, the company first launched a business app and business profiles for marketers using the WhatsApp messaging app.  Facebook’s Click-to-WhatsApp ads began rolling out in August of last year, launching a pre-filled WhatsApp chat that allowed users to message a business via the app. (Advertisers running Click-to-WhatsApp ads receive metric reports in their Facebook Ads Manager dashboard tracking how many conversations were started via the ads.)

Expanding its ad offerings to WhatsApp is a logical next step for Facebook as its News Feed ad inventory continues to become more saturated. With these latest features, marketers will be able to attach specific ad objectives to the Clicks-to-WhatsApp ad campaigns — further integrating a Facebook-to-WhatsApp engagement strategy.

ReferencesAmy, G. (2019, January 03). Facebook adds new reporting for Click-to-WhatsApp ads. Retrieved from Marketing Land: https://marketingland.com/facebook-adds-new-reporting-for-click-to-whatsapp-ads-254750







Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

The use of mobile devices is increasing steadily every day. The cell phones of yesteryear that were used to receive and make calls are being replaced with a dizzying array of intelligent devices that offer the user hundreds of functions design to smooth and facilitate the tasks of everyday life. There is a device that appeals to every kind of user, and they are widely available. Furthermore, the technology that makes them so user friendly shows no sign of slowing down, and it can be expected that they will only be more intuitive and useful in the future. Knowing this information, it’s no surprise that the number of users who are expected to use their device to make online purchases will jump 26% by 2017. This opens up a whole new segment of the population as potential customers for your brand, the people who prefer to browse the web from their mobile device(s).

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Even if you already have a well-established website, optimizing the site for mobile access requires adhering to some parameters that many business owners do not take into account, thereby hurting their company. Users are repelled by sites that are not well suited to mobile platforms and have lackluster performance, loading issues, reduced navigation speed and other issues. The design of the mobile site needs to be taken into account before losing revenue and potential customers due to negative experiences when visitors access to your site from a mobile device.

An important factor that needs to be kept in mind when planning the mobile site is the discrepancy between the screen sizes of traditional computers and the newer mobile devices. These range from smaller smart phones with 3.5 inch screens to 9.5 inch tablet screens.Because of this, you have to make sure that you:

Check your site to make sure it loads and performs well in the most common mobile devices of different screen sizes. 

Adapt all content so that the maximum size of the mobile website does not exceed 20 kilobytes.

Optimize your content for faster loading time; the easiest way to do this is by reducing the number of images on your mobile site. Visitors will appreciate fast loading times.

W3C Mobile: This tool allows you to evaluate the level of Validation of the mobile version of your website. The aim of this application is to show you if your web site is user friendly, just enter the address of your website and once the analysis is performed the tool will indicate via icons and colors the state of your website for different mobile devices.

These are just a few tips and strategies to keep in mind when making your current site more mobile user friendly. Depending on the nature of your company, a well optimized mobile site will play a big part in attracting more customers and generating more revenue. It will also give you an edge over your competitors. In today’s technological era, most businesses could greatly benefit from an optimized mobile site.

Is your website design ready for mobile devices?
If you need to “mobilize” you website, you should work with a professional mobile web design agency such as “Xperience Marketing Solutions”, an award winning agency servicing companies in USA, Europe and Latin America for the past 15 years. Currently with local marketing agents in The Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches and all South Florida.

https://xperiencemarketingsolutions.com/

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

New Tools to Manage Your Time on Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram are both introducing new tools connected to the company’s recent commitment to the time well spent movement. Announced that both apps will soon be rolling out an activity dashboard where users can track the amount of time they spend on both Facebook and Instagram, along with two additional features to help monitor app usage. Facebook says it wants the time people spend on its apps to be intentional, positive and inspiring.

“It’s our responsibility to talk openly about how time online impacts people — and we take that responsibility seriously. These new tools are an important first step, and we are committed to continuing our work to foster safe, kind and supportive communities for everyone,” writes Facebook’s director of research, David Ginsberg, and Instagram’s product management director, Ameet Ranadive.

Both the Facebook and Instagram activity dashboards are located on the user’s settings page. For Instagram, the feature is labeled “Your Activity,” and on Facebook, it’s “Your Time On Facebook.” Clicking on either of these listings from the settings page will display a dashboard tracking the amount of time spent on the individual app by day. Clicking on the bars within the chart will show the total time spent that day. An option to set a daily reminder to close the app is located beneath the dashboard. There is also a link to “Notification Settings” feature where users can mute push notifications for the apps.


References
Gesenhues, A. (2018, August 1). Facebook & Instagram introduce new user tools to track time spent on the apps. Retrieved from Marketing Land: https://marketingland.com/facebook-instagram-introduce-new-user-tools-to-track-time-spent-on-the-apps-245247


Friday, July 6, 2018

Google Changed The Way It Works


From Google:

“Today, we’ve updated the way we label country services on the mobile web, the Google app for iOS, and desktop Search and Maps. Now the choice of country service will no longer be indicated by domain. Instead, by default, you’ll be served the country service that corresponds to your location. So if you live in Australia, you’ll automatically receive the country service for Australia, but when you travel to New Zealand, your results will switch automatically to the country service for New Zealand. Upon return to Australia, you will seamlessly revert back to the Australian country service.”




At the time, it seemed this update was more of a minor change, when trying to check international results. Instead of going to the version of Google for a particular country, the results were now based on your location or the location in your Google settings.

Google stated:
“This update will help ensure that you get the most relevant results based on your location.”

This seemingly minor change actually had a huge impact for websites operating in multiple markets.


References

Stox, P. (2018, June 20). Google changed the way it works, and no one really noticed. Retrieved from Marketing Land: https://marketingland.com/google-changed-the-way-it-works-and-no-one-really-noticed-242738