Private Investigator Internet & Cybercrime Services 0

Rexxfield’s Private Investigator Internet & Cybercrime Services can drastically reduce litigation expenses. We do this by bypassing archaic evidence discovery procedures through the subpoena process, by using social and digital forensics to positively identify the individuals responsible for civil and criminal wrongdoing using Internet technologies. There been cases for which we have saved many tens […]
Source: Rexxfield

AMP-lify Your Digital Marketing in 2018 0

Posted by EricEnge

Should you AMP-lify your site in 2018?

This is a question on the mind of many publishers. To help answer it, this post is going to dive into case studies and examples showing results different companies had with AMP.

If you’re not familiar with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), it’s an open-source project aimed at allowing mobile website content to render nearly instantly. This initiative that has Google as a sponsor, but it is not a program owned by Google, and it’s also supported by Bing, Baidu, Twitter, Pinterest, and many other parties.


Some initial background

Since its inception in 2015, AMP has come a long way. When it first hit the scene, AMP was laser-focused on media sites. The reason those types of publishers wanted to participate in AMP was clear: It would make their mobile sites much faster, AND Google was offering a great deal of incremental exposure in Google Search through the “Top Stories news carousel.”

Basically, you can only get in the Top Stories carousel on a mobile device if your page is implemented in AMP, and that made AMP a big deal for news sites. But if you’re not a news site, what’s in it for you? Simple: providing a better user experience online can lead to more positive website metrics and revenue.

We know that fast-loading websites are better for the user. But what you may not be aware of is how speed can impact the bottom line. Google-sponsored research shows that AMP leads to an average of a 2X increase in time spent on page (details can be seen here). The data also shows e-commerce sites experience an average 20 percent increase in sales conversions compared to non-AMP web pages.

Stepping outside the world of AMP for a moment, data from Amazon, Walmart, and Yahoo show a compelling impact of page load time on metrics like traffic, conversion and sales:

You can see that for Amazon, a mere one-tenth of a second increase in page load time (so one-tenth of a second slower) would drive a $1.3 billion drop in sales. So, page speed can have a direct impact on revenue. That should count for something.

What do users say about AMP? 9to5Google.com recently conducted a poll where they asked users: “Are you more inclined to click on an AMP link than a regular one?” The majority of people (51.14 percent) said yes to that question. Here are the detailed results:

This poll suggests that even for non-news sites, there is a very compelling reason to do AMP for SEO. Not because it increases your rankings, per se, but because you may get more click-throughs (more traffic) from the organic search results. Getting more traffic from organic search, after all, is the goal of SEO. In addition, you’re likely to get more time on site and more conversions.


How the actual implementation of AMP impacts your results

Before adopting any new technology, you need understand what you’re getting into.

At Stone Temple Consulting, we performed a research study that included 10 different types of websites that adopted AMP to see what results they had and what challenges they ran into. (Go here to see more details from the study.)

Let’s get right to the results. One site, Thrillist, converted 90 percent of their web pages over a four-week period of time. They saw a 70 percent lift in organic search traffic to their site — 50 percent of that growth came from AMP.

One anonymous participant in the study, another large media publisher, converted 95 percent of their web pages to AMP, and once again the development effort as approximately four weeks long. They saw a 67 percent lift in organic search traffic on one of their sites, and a 30% lift on another site.

So, media sites do well, but we knew that would be the case. What about e-commerce sites? Consider the case of Myntra, a company that is the largest fashion retailer in India. Their implementation took about 11 days of effort.

This implementation covered all of their main landing pages from Google, covering between 85% and 90% of their organic search traffic. For their remaining pages (such as the individual product pages) they implemented a Progressive Web App, which helps those pages perform better as well. They saw a 40% reduction in bounce rate on their pages, as well as a lift in their overall e-commerce results. You can see detailed results here.

Then there is the case of Event Tickets Center. They implemented 99.9% of their pages in AMP, and opted to create an AMP-immersive experience. Page load times on their site dropped from five to six seconds to one second.

They saw improvements in user engagement metrics, with a drop in bounce rate of 10%, an increase in pages per session of 6%, and session duration of 13%. But, the stunning stat is that they report a whopping 100% increase in e-commerce conversions. You can see the full case study here.

But it’s not always the case that AMP adopters will see a huge lift in results. When that’s not the case, there’s likely one culprit: not taking the time to implement AMP thoroughly. A big key to AMP is not to simply use a plugin, set it, and forget it.

To get good results, you’ll need to invest the time to make the AMP version of your pages substantially similar (if not identical) to your normal responsive mobile pages, and with today’s AMP, for the majority of publishers, that is absolutely possible to do. In addition to this being critical to the performance of AMP pages, on November 16, 2017, Google announced that they will exclude pages from the AMP carousel if the content on your AMP page is not substantially similar to that of your mobile responsive page.

This typically means creating brand-new templates for the major landing pages of your site, or if you are using a plugin, using their custom styling options (most of them allow this). If you’re going to take on AMP, it’s imperative that you take the time to get this right.

From our research, you can see in the slide below the results from the 10 sites that adopted AMP. Eight of those sites are colored in green, and those are the sites that saw strong results from their AMP implementation.

Then there are two listed in yellow. Those are the sites that have not yet seen good results. In both of those cases, there were implementation problems. One of the sites (the Lead Gen site above) launched pages with a broken hamburger menu, and a UI that was not up to par with the responsive mobile pages, and their metrics are weak.

We’ve been working with them to fix that and their metrics are steadily improving. The first round of fixes brought the user engagement metrics much closer to that of the mobile responsive pages, but there is still more work to do.

The other site (the retail site in yellow above) launched AMP pages without their normal faceted navigation, and also without a main menu, saw really bad results, and pulled it back down. They’re working on a better AMP implementation now, and hope to relaunch soon.

So, when you think about implementing AMP, you have to go all the way with it and invest the time to do a complete job. That will make it harder, for sure, but that’s OK — you’ll be far better off in the end.


How we did it at Stone Temple (and what we found)

Here at Stone Temple Consulting, we experimented with AMP ourselves, using an AMP plugin versus a hand-coded AMP web page. I’ll share the results of that next.

Experiment No. 1: WordPress AMP plugin

Our site is on WordPress, and there are plugins that make the task of doing AMP easier if you have a WordPress site — however, that doesn’t mean install the plugin, turn it on, and you’re done.

Below you can see a comparison of the standard StoneTemple.com mobile page on the left contrasted with the default StoneTemple.com page that comes out of the AMP plugin that we used on the site called AMP by Automatic.

You’ll see that the look and feel is dramatically different between the two, but to be fair to the plugin, we did what I just said you shouldn’t do. We turned it on, did no customization, and thought we were done.

As a result, there’s no hamburger menu. The logo is gone. It turns out that by default, the link at the top (“Stone Temple”) goes to StoneTemple.com/amp, but there’s no page for that, so it returns a 404 error, and the list of problems goes on. As noted, we had not used the customization options available in the plugin, which can be used to rectify most (if not all) of these problems, and the pages can be customized to look a lot better. As part of an ongoing project, we’re working on that.

It’s a lot faster, yes… but is it a better user experience? Looking at the data, we can see the impact of this broken implementation of AMP. The metrics are not good.

Looking at the middle line highlighted in orange, you’ll see the standard mobile page metrics. On the top line, you’ll see the AMP page metrics — and they’re all worse: higher bounce rate, fewer pages per session, and lower average session time.

Looking back to the image of the two web pages, you can see why. We were offering an inferior user interface because we weren’t giving the user any opportunities to interact. Therefore, we got predictable results.

Experiment No. 2: Hand-coded AMP web page

One of the common myths about AMP is that an AMP page needs to be a stripped-down version of your site to succeed. To explore whether or not that was true, we took the time at Stone Temple Consulting to hand-code a version of one of our article pages for AMP. Here is a look at how that came out:

As you can see from the screenshots above, we created a version of the page that looked nearly identical to the original. We also added a bit of extra functionality with a toggle sidebar feature. With that, we felt we made something that had even better usability than the original page.

The result of these changes? The engagement metrics for the AMP pages on StoneTemple.com went up dramatically. For the record, here are our metrics including the handcrafted AMP pages:

As you can see, the metrics have improved dramatically. We still have more that we can do with the handcrafted page as well, and we believe we can get these metrics to be better than that of the standard mobile responsive page. At this point in time, total effort on the handcrafted page template was about 40 hours.

Note: We do believe that we can get engagement on the AMP by Automatic plugin version to go way up, too. One of the reasons we did the hand-coded version was to get hands-on experience with AMP coding. We’re working on a better custom implementation of the AMP by Automatic pages in parallel.


Bonus challenge: AMP analytics

Aside from the actual implementation of AMP, there is a second major issue to be concerned about if you want to be successful: the tracking. The default tracking in Google Analytics for AMP pages is broken, and you’ll need to patch it.

Just to explain what the issue is, let’s look at the following illustration:

The way AMP works (and one of the things that helps with speeding up your web pages) is that your content is served out of a cache on Google. When a user clicks on the AMP link in the search results, that page lives in Google’s cache (on Google.com). That’s the web page that gets sent to the user.

The problem occurs when a user is viewing your web page on Google’s cache, and then clicks on a link within that page (say, to the home page of your site). This action means they leave the Google.com page and get the next page delivered from your server (in the example above, I’m using the StoneTemple.com server.)

From a web analytics point of view, those are two different websites. The analytics for StoneTemple.com is going to view that person who clicked on the AMP page in the Google cache as a visitor from a third-party website, and not a visitor from search. In other words, the analytics for StoneTemple.com won’t record it as a continuation of the same session; it’ll be tracked as a new session.

You can (and should) set up analytics for your AMP pages (the ones running on Google.com), but those are normally going to run as a separate set of analytics. Nearly every action on your pages in the Google cache will result in the user leaving the Google cache, and that will be seen as leaving the site that the AMP analytics is tracking. The result is that in the analytics for your AMP pages running on Google.com:

  • Your pages per session will be about one
  • Bounce rate will be very high (greater than 90 percent)
  • Session times will be very short

Then, for the AMP analytics on your domain, your number of visitors will not reflect any of the people who arrive on an AMP page first, and will only include those who view a second page on the site (on your main domain). If you try fixing this by adding your AMP analytics visit count to your main site analytics count, you’ll be double counting people that click through from one to the other.

There is a fix for this, and it’s referred to as “session stitching.” This is a really important fix to implement, and Google has provided it by creating an API that allows you to share the client ID information from AMP analytics with your regular website analytics. As a result, the analytics can piece together that it’s a continuation of the same session.

For more, you can see how to implement the fix to remedy both basic and advanced metrics tracking in my article on session stitching here.


Wrapping up

AMP can offer some really powerful benefits — improved site speed, better user experience and more revenue — but only for those publishers that take the time to implement the AMP version of their AMP site thoroughly, and also address the tracking issue in analytics so they can see the true results.

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!


Source: Moz

Finding Comfort & Community 0

By Robert Slack

Robert Slack joined the Main Street Hub Team almost two years ago. As a Platform Specialist, Robert helps our local heroes establish a presence across several social media platforms and gain access to existing accounts in the business’ name.

This El Paso, Texas native developed a love for wrestling growing up, and after moving to Austin, he decided to try his hand at wrestling himself. Learn how he discovered community at a local wrestling academy, which is now one of his favorite local businesses!

There has been one constant in my life: wrestling. I remember Monday nights as a kid sitting by the TV with my family as we watched my favorites on WCW Monday Nitro. I saw the likes of Diamond Dallas Page, the people’s champion strut down the stage. Chris Jericho, making me laugh with his ridiculous haircuts, and even Hollywood Hulk Hogan boasting about what a cool bad guy he was.

After I found myself in Austin, Texas, I was having a bit of a tough time with work and life. My confidence was pretty much nonexistent. I needed something to get me out of that funk. Naturally, I returned to wrestling.

I found a local wrestling academy, America’s Academy of Professional Wrestling, which is operated by George De La Isla (known as Mr. Mexico in his heyday). I called George and was greeted by the most enthusiastic human being I’ve ever heard. He’s been in the business for nearly 50 years. He told me stories of wrestling Andre The Giant and teaming with Rowdy Roddy Piper in the 70s.


Me, dressed in full gimmick

I started my training feeling terrified. The gunshot-like sounds of people hitting the ring greet you every time you enter the academy. The full-sized wrestling ring is housed in a garage space and took up most of the room. I could hear coaches shouting encouragement as wrestlers did pushups in the ring.

After class, George sat us all down ringside. He talked to us about believing in ourselves. He emphasized how important it is to trust yourself and to be fearless. He said that believing in yourself and respecting others is what the business is all about. He was right — wrestling helped restore my confidence and helped me believe I could do something I never thought I could.

AAPW has been training wrestlers in the Austin area for over 35 years. Like many local businesses do, the academy successfully brings people from all walks of life together — in this case, to learn the art of professional wrestling. I’m grateful for the confidence I’ve found through wrestling and the community I’ve become a part of.

Learn more about our team’s love for local here!



Finding Comfort & Community was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


Source: Main Street Hub

Perry High School Suicides: Implications of Cyberbullying 0

Perry High School Suicides Students and parents at Perry Highschool say they want action after 3 students commit suicide since the beginning of the semester. The families of victims, including Kyliegh Crawford, who committed suicide in early November, said bullying is playing a large part in the tragedy. They say they want the school to make […]

The post Perry High School Suicides: Implications of Cyberbullying appeared first on Defamation Removal Law.


Source: Aaron Minc

How Close Are We to Search Engine Marketing Running Itself? 0

How Close Are We to Search Engine Marketing Running Itself? was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

We are well on our way with the fourth Industrial Revolution, and the internet is alive … almost.

artificial intelligence

All around the web are speculations regarding artificial intelligence (AI) and the future of our civilization. The idea that computers will take over the majority of jobs in the workplace today has become well accepted. Some careers will be destroyed, although many more will be born as a result.

From the great benefits to the potential risks to our species, some of our modern day economic titans have expressed their hopes and concerns. A few examples …

Warren Buffett stated that he believes AI will kill jobs but is ultimately good for society.

Elon Musk is attempting to morph nature and technology with his new idea for Neuralink, a company he is launching to merge man and machine.

And Mark Cuban thinks that the world’s first trillionaire will be as a result of AI.

So what? How does this affect your day to day, or even your future?

What if I said that this future applies to PPC search engine marketing? We’re talking about the wave of SEM automation and the not-far-off day when search engine marketing runs itself.

PPC’s History

To understand the trajectory of SEM automation, let’s take a brief look at PPC history. GoTo.com (launced in 1997) successfully pioneered the pay-for-placement search marketing business model, which at the time was strictly based on pay-per-click.

The more a company was willing to spend per click, the higher its ad would appear in the sponsored ads section of the search engine results page. So the companies with more money to invest were able to gain an advantage.

Goto.com Search Results in 2001

GoTo.com search engine results page screenshot in 2001.

Google home page in 2001

Google.com home page screenshot in 2001.

Then Google launched AdWords and improved the previous business model.

Google incorporated good user experience into the judgment of placements on the search results pages and rewarded advertisers with lower CPCs and better positions. Advertisers with better quality ads and bigger budgets had an advantage.

Over the years, more improvements were introduced, giving advertisers more control over how their ads were displayed. This allowed for a more targeted approach that resulted in a lower CPA for them and better-targeted ads for their customers.

With more advertisers adding product after product to their advertising portfolios, managing thousands of campaigns, ad groups, keywords and bids became a real challenge for both agencies and business owners.

Smart Automation Ramps Up in SEM

With all of the bidding options offered by Google, it was difficult managing all of them efficiently.

So bid management tools were developed. As the industry grew, there were constantly new opportunities to improve an advertiser’s efficiency with their Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Since the opportunities were too many, machine learning bots were introduced to monitor, learn and run much of the bidding off of history, device, time of day, location, etc. We use the power of PPC automation tools to automate some of the common tedious and time-consuming tasks associated with data gathering and CPA optimization. Paid search campaigns are efficiently and automatically adjusted 48 times each day — far more than a human can manage alone.

Every day, the bots monitor and gather more information, allowing them to make better decisions. Each time a user conducts a search, it is a new opportunity for the bots to learn to become more efficient in maximizing profits and decrease an advertiser’s wasted spend.

robot

Each account becomes a custom bidding portfolio, assuming it has been set up correctly. Over time and with data, the bots learn, increasing either click-through percentage or conversions while lowering CPAs/CPLs, depending on the client’s needs.

In time, the automation portion of web marketing increases alongside AI. An effective, streamlined marketing experience, a better user experience, and more profits for the search engines are the results.

We see news about machine learning technologies in the online advertising space every day. Platforms are being built and leveraged in this space more and more.

Today’s Machine Learning Advances

So who is the real winner when every business gets to take advantage of machine learning? Everyone involved! Why?

Advertisers win because the bots optimize for their specific website and its audience, factoring in all traceable micro-moments in the process. There will always be competition for traffic and conversions, but since each site is slightly different, bots can optimize for that specific site and its audience.

If a site is winning conversions at a certain time of day with a certain set of keywords, the competitors can also win, either with a slightly different set of keywords or slightly different times of day. Where two advertisers go head to head on a specific set of keywords at a specific time of day, account structure usually wins, as better structured accounts usually have a higher Quality Score.

Search engines win because a better user experience means more clicks, which results in more exposure and more revenue.

What’s Next for PPC?

Why isn’t all of this automated yet? Ideally, I believe we need to be living in a digital world where a non-tech-savvy small business owner has access to an SEO-optimized website generated by a smart bot.

The only work for the business owner would be to fill out a questionnaire with business and industry information, in order to guide the bot in the right direction.

Data and analysis by artificial intelligence should allow for an effective site to build itself, customizing and building for user experience.

Once the site is built and ready, the social media bots can begin the buzz to introduce the brand to the public.

Meanwhile, based on industry information gathered about the business and its competitors, an effectively built SEM account emerges, applying years of learning and best practices to begin and improve performance, to hit and exceed the client’s goals.

The bots will do it all, with the small business owner having zero knowledge of how the industry works. All he or she knows is that it works well and provides a positive return on investment, which is enough reason to increase budgets and ultimately profits.

robotic hand

The best part is that digital marketing applies to just about all industries, growing businesses time and again, industry after industry. So when will SEM run itself? In many ways, the transition is happening now.

And what does a business need to do to take advantage of the benefits provided when robots fine-tune and manage SEM?

Although we are on our way, I think it will still be a long time before the industry is efficiently automated. Until then, the business opportunities need to be captured through a competent search marketing agency. Especially one that utilizes nearly two decades of experience in building and scaling performance-driven client campaigns through experience and data.

Success is assessed through efficient client account growth, achieved in time through intelligence and effort. After 20-plus years helping shape this industry, we have built the talent and environment to start your efficient paid digital campaigns or scale them to the next level.

Are you ready to increase your digital profits? Contact us today.


Source: Bruce Clay