Do you want to improve your Facebook ad performance? Looking to simplify your Facebook ad split testing? Facebook’s new split testing feature helps you identify which delivery settings, audiences, and ad placements give you the best results. In this article, you’ll discover how to set up split tests to improve the performance of your Facebook [...]
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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
When you hear the word “audit” do you start to sweat and search through shoe boxes for your old receipts? Stop worrying! We’re not talking about a tax audit, just an SEO audit. While it involves a lot of work, an SEO audit can never get you into trouble, and potentially save you from a world of hurt.
In this episode of our Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Mark and Eric explain why starting with just three essential elements of a good SEO audit can do wonders for your site’s ability to rank in search and draw traffic.
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15 Crucial Elements of an Informative SEO Audit
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Mark: Eric, in your guide to the 15 Crucial Elements of an Informative SEO Audit you gave us a complete plan for what should be covered in an audit. Now, for this video, could you share with us the three elements that you think are most critical?
Eric: I’d be glad to. Let’s start with discoverability.
Mark: What do you mean by discoverability in this case?
Eric: Discoverability here refers to making sure that the crawlers of search engines have the easiest possible time navigating through your site. Search engines can’t index what they can’t find or see.
Search engines can't index what they can't find or see.Click To Tweet
Mark: How do we make our sites fully discoverable by search engines?
You also need to pay attention to your site architecture, how your pages are organized, the way your content is connected in the hierarchies you set up for it, because these help search engines to better understand what your site is about.
Think of it like the paper filing system in an office. If I looked at your drawer labels, folder labels, and on down to the individual documents, and then I stepped back and thought about that whole structure, I’d probably have a pretty good idea of what your business is about.
Mark: Great. Now let’s move on to your second most essential element of an SEO audit.
Eric: That would be performing really basic health checks. These are things you should be looking at on a regular basis in order to catch any problems before they get too big or start damaging your business.
One of the things you should do is get your site validated with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools, and check each of these regularly for any error or warning messages they might have about your site. Keep an eye on your site’s index status in Google Search Console, as well. So, you see here, this graph tells you how many of your site’s pages are indexed by Google.
Watch for any large or sudden changes which may indicate a problem. And while you’re in Google Search Console, also check the Fetch as Google section, which will let you compare the version of a page as Google has it cached to your actual live version. This will show you whether Google’s able to read your pages accurately.
And then, one last easy regular check: do searches for your branded terms. You should be ranking easily for these, and if they aren’t showing up, it could mean you have a penalty.
Mark: Make sure search engines can discover and crawl your site, do regular health checks, and what’s your third SEO audit essential, Eric?
Eric: Do a thorough analysis of your keywords. Use the various keyword tools available. Check for things like ‘keyword cannibalization‘.
Mark: Keyword cannibalization? That sounds scary.
Eric: It is scary. It’s a situation where you have more than one page competing for ranking on the same keyword. Now that’s scary. Search Console will tell you what keywords you’re ranking for, and if you have some that you used to rank well for but they’ve dropped off, it may be an indication of trouble.
While you’re digging around in your keywords, you can also look for opportunities with “striking distance keywords,” those that rank currently from positions 5 to 20. With just a little bit of work, you may be able to move these up, and in that range, a raise of several positions can mean a significant increase in traffic and potential ROI.
Mark: Well, there you have it, folks, Eric Enge’s top three essential SEO audit tasks. Now, Eric’s SEO audit checklist gives you 12 more, and you really should be doing all of them to have the clearest possible picture of the SEO health of your site.
Eric: And don’t be afraid to get started. I mean, an SEO audit may seem intimidating, but it’s nowhere near as scary as a tax audit.
Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.
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Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week Facebook Releases Augmented Reality Camera Effects Platform: Facebook officially released the Camera Effects Platform at its annual F8 [...]
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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Link building has been frowned upon, in some ways, when it comes to SEO. However, it’s still a very important strategy and works great, when done correctly. Since you cannot just build a website, add some content and expect people to find it, link building and other SEO strategies have to be employed.
If you already have quality content designed for good on-page SEO, you just need to start building good links. Here’s a look at why you should use link building and how to go about using it.
What is Link Building?
An SEO term used to describe the process of having another website or blog link to your website or blog from inside the content is known as link building. This helps to earn you a better ranking on Google and other search engines.
They value quality links over quantity, so buying a link building package isn’t always a good idea. However, when you acquire trustworthy links from large, authority website, it can make a huge difference. Getting these types of links regularly, will help turn your own website into an authority site.
Value of Top Quality Links
High quality links do a few things for your website. First, they give you a source of traffic. Second, they provide SEO benefits. Third, they help you create a new relationship. Google sees all of this as good and will give you more respect because of your links.
There was a time when the quantity of links trumped everything. Today, it’s all about quality and one high quality link can be far better than hundreds of low quality links. Getting high quality links has to be the goal instead of just getting any links.
A high quality link comes from a site relevant to what your site is about. For example, if you run a web hosting site, it would make sense for an internet security site to link to information found on your site. However, it makes less sense for a store selling cookware to link to your site.
The other part of high quality links is the authority aspect. It’s far better for someone with high traffic that is seen as an expert to link to your site than just some part-time blogger with very little traffic.
Link Building = Relationship Building
You don’t have to contact other websites to start building relationships with top notch sites. Instead, you can link to them and drive traffic their way. When this happens, the webmasters at the site you linked to will fine your site and will link to you, if you have good content.
It’s not hard to build these relationships, but it does take time and effort. You have to link to other websites and blogs regularly in order to get these relationships moving in the right direction.
The process of link building starts with finding influencers in your industry. Then, you want to start linking to those influencers when it makes sense. You can even use social media to help find these influencers.
Along with linking to influencers, you should start commenting on their blog posts and start the conversation. This helps to get you in front of them and the rest will happen naturally, over time.
High Quality Content Only
Letting links build naturally by creating relationships is a great way to gain better SEO. However, this strategy won’t work if you don’t put up high quality content on your blog and website. Make sure the content is relevant, helpful and easy to read.
With these tips, you can start using link building to find more traffic gain SEO benefits and build lasting relationships.
A new job site from the search and cloud giant Google has been launched. While no official announcement has been made by Google, the site is live and can be accessed online.
While some of the services created by Google have flourished, others have not. Google Spaces recently shut down because it wasn’t performing as expected. However, Google Hire has great potential as Google tries to compete with LinkedIn.
The site was developed by the Bepop team and will make it easier for companies to track and manage applications. It already has some job listings.
Read the full story here.
SUNNYVALE, CA – Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed a prototype of a media edge server, the M820, which features the company’s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces®, the face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April 19-21, and at the NAB show at the Las Vegas Convention Center April 24-27.
The M820 is a new media edge server equipped with Socionext’s multi-format codec MB86M30 and high- efficiency SC2A11A central processor. The M820 features Socionext’s hybrid codec technology, the optimal combination of high-speed data processing using dedicated hardware and flexible, software-based processing by a general-purpose CPU. It enables data processing such as video decoding and encoding, meta-data capturing through real-time analysis, and meta-data integration to the original video. The high value-added data generated by the M820 can be used for additional complex and sophisticated processes, including its use with artificial intelligence (AI) in the cloud.
As an example of solutions enabled by the M820 server, Socionext has demonstrated real-time data processing using the face recognition software “TeraFaces”, to detect positions of individual faces in a video, then identify if those individuals match the faces of those who were registered, and then integrate the generated information with the video data.
Socionext will showcase the solution at the upcoming Medtec Japan and the annual NAB show. With the M820, Socionext will continue to propose new solutions in various fields where data analysis and hybrid codec technology can be utilized.
TeraFaces is a face recognition software provided by Tera Probe, Inc. It detects feature points of people’s faces in the video (center of an eye, edge of lips, etc.), measures the distances between these feature points, then identify individuals by matching these data. Images of human faces vary daily due to hairstyles, facial expressions, growth, aging, orthography, shaping, sickness, injury and so on. Data correction for authenticating without being affected by these factors is a big challenge, in order for the technology to be used in practical use. TeraFaces has achieved the world-class face recognition rate, by solving the data correction issue. “TeraFace” is a registered trademark of Tera Probe, Inc., located in Japan, China and the United States.
About Socionext Inc.
Socionext is a new, innovative enterprise that designs, develops and delivers System-on-Chip products to customers worldwide. The company is focused on imaging, networking, computing and other dynamic technologies that drive today’s leading-edge applications. Socionext combines world-class expertise, experience, and an extensive IP portfolio to provide exceptional solutions and ensure a better quality of experience for customers. Founded in 2015, Socionext Inc. is headquartered in Yokohama, and has offices in Japan, Asia, United States and Europe to lead its product development and sales activities. For product information, visit the company’s website at http://socionextus.com, e-mail email@example.com or call 1-844-680-3453. For company news and updates, connect with us on Twitter (https://www.twitter.com/socionextus) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/socionextus)
INDIANAPOLIS – Bluelock, provider of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) for complex environments and sensitive data, is pleased to announce its rating as a leader in Forrester Research’s The Forrester WaveTM: Disaster-Recovery-As-A-Service Providers, Q2 2017 report.
The report evaluates DRaaS vendors against current offering, strategy and market presence criteria to identify leaders in the space, detailing how each vendor fulfills the selected criteria. Bluelock received the highest score possible in 10 of these criteria, including data security, implementation and support.
“We are not only honored to be recognized as a leader in the DRaaS space by Forrester, but also humbled by receiving the top score in the “core DRaaS offering” and “value proposition and vision” criteria, which we believe is representative of the breadth and scope of our approach,” said Bluelock CEO Christopher Clapp. “We go to great lengths to develop, maintain and execute strategies for some of the largest known DRaaS projects, many of which require complex hybrid configurations. Implementation and data security, two of the criteria in which we received a 5/5, can be the most difficult areas to ensure success, but our focus is paying off.”
According to the report, “Bluelock’s automated recovery includes machine startup, resource provisioning, success/failure assessment, hierarchy-based and a group-based recovery of systems based on their dependencies or RTO/RPO requirements…[Bluelock] has strong professional services to support friction-free onboarding, and runbook development. Bluelock deploys a host of security infrastructure like two factor authentication, a high-availability (HA) firewall, an intrusion detection system (IDS), automated and manual penetration testing.”
The Forrester report states, “I&O leaders are increasingly responsible for supporting their firms’ digital businesses and are often measured by the effectiveness of customer engagement. DRaaS promises to help I&O pros build a resilient technology infrastructure so they can deliver always-on services where downtimes are either imperceptible or last just a few seconds.”
This recognition follows Bluelock’s inclusion in several industry reports and leading outlet vendor lists, including Gartner’s 2016 Critical Capabilities Report for Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service and Magic Quadrant for Disaster Recovery as a Service, IDC Innovators: Cloud Services Enablement, 2016, InformationWeek’s 25 Cloud Vendors Worth Watching, and eWeek’s A Close Look at Leaders in Rapidly Growing DRaaS Market.
To download the full report: go.bluelock.com/2017-forrester-wave-draas.html
For more information about Bluelock’s disaster recovery services: www.bluelock.com
Bluelock provides continuity solutions including Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service and high availability hosting for complex environments and sensitive data to help companies mitigate risk with confidence. Bluelock is the provider enterprise organizations turn to for highly resilient cloud services because of its ability to support unique requirements. Its exclusive program, Bluelock Recovery Assurance™ gives clients complete confidence their disaster recovery solution will be uncompromisingly secure, expertly tailored, thoroughly supported and comprehensively tested. With datacenters in the U.S., Bluelock supports a wide range of compliance frameworks and is SOC 2 Type II audited.
San Jose, CA – Infomart Data Centers, a national wholesale data center provider, announces today that its Infomart Silicon Valley facility is purchasing 100% renewable power for all electricity consumption as of January 2017.
Many leading companies have made public commitments to procure 100% renewable energy by a specified year. A list of 100 of these influential firms can be found at RE100. According to the site, the private sector accounts for approximately half of the world’s electricity consumption. Switching this demand to renewables will accelerate the transformation of the global energy market and aid the transition to a low carbon economy.
Another purchasing coalition leadership example is Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) and its Future of Internet Power initiative, which has set forth standards and principles for sourcing renewable power for data centers with a goal of “an internet powered by 100% renewable energy.” Infomart Silicon Valley has met the challenge laid out by BSR in 2017, and has done so in a transparent and repeatable way for other companies to follow.
Across the U.S., the definition of renewable energy can change by state and jurisdiction. The California Energy Commission has published a benchmark Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS), which is one of the most ambitious in the country. California requires energy service providers to purchase 27% renewables by 2017, 33% by 2020, and 50% by 2030. By purchasing 100% renewable energy by today’s RPS standard, Infomart is decades ahead of California’s requirement.
“Since the company’s inception, Infomart has consistently been ahead of our competitors in demonstrating commitment to environmental responsibility,” states John Sheputis, President Infomart Data Centers. “Data centers use substantial amounts of energy and we believe it’s our moral duty to be both an efficient operator and to make responsible choices about energy procurement. Having a great PUE is not enough. Simply buying Renewable Energy Certificates from a distant source is not enough.”
Sheputis went on to discuss why price is no longer a barrier to buying renewable. “Over the last few years, renewable power pricing has become competitive with higher carbon energy sources,” he comments. “Using Direct Access to buy a 100% renewable mix 24×7 costs 6% more than the higher-carbon alternative. We could have saved money, but this was clearly the more responsible choice.”
Infomart’s renewable energy initiative isn’t the first in its ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility. Infomart Portland set the renewable power precedent for the Infomart data center portfolio in 2015, when the property used Direct Access rights to source power from the nation’s largest producer of hydroelectric power, the Bonneville Power Administration. In addition, Infomart Silicon Valley recently converted to using non-potable, or “gray water,” for 100% of the mechanical infrastructure and irrigation surrounding the facility, earning Infomart the 2016 Recycled Water Customer of the Year award. The LEED Gold Silicon Valley facility is also the only wholesale data center in California to provide Direct Access power pricing with metered power solutions. All Infomart properties are designed to maximize energy efficiency and maintain industry-leading PUE metrics.
To learn more about Infomart and its Silicon Valley data center, visit www.infomartdatacenters.com/locations/silicon-valley.
About Infomart Data Centers
Founded in 2006, Infomart Data Centers (formerly Fortune Data Centers) is an award-winning industry leader in building, owning and operating highly efficient, cost-effective wholesale data centers. Each of its national facilities meet or exceed the highest industry standards for data centers in all operational categories of availability, security, connectivity and physical resilience.
LOS ANGELES, CA & LONDON, UK – Unitas Global, the leading enterprise hybrid cloud solution provider, and Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, the leading operating system for container, cloud, scale out, and hyperscale computing, announce they will provide a new fully-managed and hosted OpenStack private cloud to enterprise clients around the world.
This partnership, developed in response to growing enterprise demand to consume open source infrastructure, OpenStack and Kubernetes without the need to build in-house development or operations capabilities, will enable enterprise organizations to focus on strategic Digital Transformation initiatives rather than day-to-day infrastructure management.
This partnership, along with Unitas Global’s large ecosystem of system integrators and partners, will enable customers to choose an end-to-end infrastructure solution to design, build, and integrate custom private cloud infrastructure based on OpenStack. It can then be delivered as a fully-managed solution anywhere in the world allowing organizations to easily consume the private cloud resources they need without building and operating the cloud itself.
Private cloud solutions provide predictable performance, security and the ability to customize the underlying infrastructure. This new joint offering combines Canonical’s powerful automated deployment software and infrastructure operations with Unitas Global’s infrastructure and guest-level managed services in data centers globally.
“Canonical and Unitas Global combine automated, customizable OpenStack software alongside fully-managed private cloud infrastructure, providing enterprise clients with a simplified approach to cloud integration throughout their business environment,” explains Grant Kirkwood, CTO and Founder, Unitas Global. “We are very excited to partner with Canonical to bring this much-needed solution to market, enabling enhanced growth and success for our clients around the world.”
“By partnering with Unitas Global, we are able to deliver a flexible and affordable solution for enterprise cloud integration utilizing cutting-edge software built on fully-managed infrastructure,” comments Arturo Suarez, BootStack Product Manager, Canonical. “At Canonical, it is our mission to drive technological innovation throughout the enterprise marketplace by making flexible, open source software available for simplified consumption wherever needed, and we are looking forward to working side-by-side with Unitas Global to deliver upon this promise.”
To learn more about Unitas Global, visit www.unitasglobal.com.
For more information about Canonical BootStack, visit https://www.ubuntu.com/cloud/openstack/managed-cloud.
About Unitas Global
Unitas Global is a leading provider of enterprise hybrid cloud solutions. The Unitas Enterprise Private Cloud (EPC) solution provides clients with custom, highly secure and dedicated cloud-based IT environments that are easy-to-consume, fully managed and backed by an end-to-end SLA, guaranteeing application uptime. By offloading day-to-day infrastructure operations to Unitas Global, our clients are able to refocus and optimize their internal IT resources toward their business-centric initiatives. Unitas is headquartered in Los Angeles, with clients and locations spanning the globe. For more information, please visit www.unitasglobal.com.
Canonical is the company behind Ubuntu, the leading OS for container, cloud, scale-out and hyperscale computing. 65% of large-scale OpenStack deployments are on Ubuntu, using both KVM and the pure-container LXD hypervisor for the world’s fastest private clouds. Canonical provides enterprise support and services for commercial users of Ubuntu. Canonical leads the development of Juju, the model-driven operations system, and MAAS (Metal-as-a-Service), which creates a physical server cloud and IPAM for amazing data centre operational efficiency. Canonical is a privately held company.
ST. LOUIS – Connectria Hosting, a global cloud services provider and founder of the No Jerks Allowed® movement, today announced the launch of TRIA for Microsoft Azure: the complete managed service for Microsoft Azure.
In concert with TRIA for Amazon Web Services released in 2016, TRIA for Microsoft Azure gives Connectria and its customers a powerful set of tools and services to speed successful cloud deployments worldwide across the two largest cloud providers.
Microsoft Azure has become one of the largest cloud providers worldwide, contributing to $14 billion in annual revenues and 93% year over year growth from 2015 to 2016. While cloud usage is growing rapidly worldwide, organizations are finding it challenging to implement and manage their cloud deployments. TRIA for Microsoft Azure solves these challenges.
TRIA for Microsoft Azure is a comprehensive suite of services that helps organizations get the most out of their Azure environments. TRIA in Latin means “three,” and TRIA for Microsoft Azure solves the three biggest challenges customers face when running systems in Azure: Performance Management; Data Security; and Cost Optimization.
To meet these needs, TRIA for Microsoft Azure includes 24/7 Azure Performance Monitoring and Support, called NOCTRIA; 24/7 Azure Security Monitoring and Compliance, called SOCTRIA; and Azure Cost Optimization, called OPTRIA.
NOCTRIA’s 24/7 monitoring services are delivered by Connectria’s Network Operations Center (NOC) to make sure your Azure environment is always up and running at peak performance.
SOCTRIA’s 24/7 security services are delivered by Connectria’s Security Operations Center (SOC) to ensure your applications and data are always protected.
OPTRIA’s cost optimization services are delivered by our Azure team of experts who monitor usage and costs on a monthly basis to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Azure environment at the lowest cost.
“As a Microsoft Gold Cloud Partner, Connectria has been supporting Microsoft customers for nearly 20 years, including Azure for the last 3 years as it became widely used,” noted Rich Waidmann, Connectria President and CEO. “The introduction of TRIA for Microsoft Azure redefines and complements our services, while providing robust security and cost optimization that are required for cloud deployments. Anyone who is contemplating a move to Azure or has moved to Azure should consider TRIA for Microsoft Azure.”
About Connectria Hosting
Since 1996, Connectria has provided award-winning cloud hosting, remote monitoring and cloud security for more than 1,000 customers in over 30 countries worldwide. At the core of Connectria is our No Jerks Allowed® company philosophy. As The Jerk Free Company®, we’ve established a unique culture where every employee goes “the extra mile” to take care of our customers. Being The Jerk Free Company® extends beyond our people too. We make it easy to do business with us through flexible terms, scalable solutions and straight-forward pricing to serve the technology needs of large and small organizations alike.
Is your local business on Facebook? Wondering how to market your business more effectively? To explore how to use Facebook in creative ways, I interview Anissa Holmes. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners [...]
This post Facebook for Local Business: Creative Ways to Grow first appeared on .
- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Oracle recently announced they have reached an agreement to acquire Werker, which is a continuous integration and delivery platform. The goal of the acquisition is to be able to better target developers and give them the ability to do more.
Oracle wants to be able to compete with Oracle Cloud and they are building a top PaaS and IaaS platform to do so. They understand to become a leading cloud company, they need great tooling. Adding Werkers gives them better tooling and allows for a better opportunity to compete in the cloud market.
Read the full story here.
Looking for the best tools for social media marketing?
Wondering if your social media marketing efforts are paying off? Want to better understand what’s working? A social media audit will help you analyze the impact of your social media tactics. In this article, you’ll discover how to perform an audit of your social media channels. What Is a Social Media Audit? When you conduct [...]
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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
Have you Googled yourself lately? What comes up? Are there embarrassing pictures, stories you don’t want people to see or something else that nobody wants found?
If you’re active online, there’s a good chance information can easily be found just by Googling your name. This isn’t the best thing when you’re searching for a job. Your potential employers may Google you and find out all kinds of things you don’t want them to know.
There are ways to defend against this with good reputation management. Make sure you take care of all of the things on the following checklist before you start hunting for a job. If you don’t, it could be the reason you don’t get called in for an interview.
Check and Change your Social Media Settings
When it comes to your social media, you don’t have to be super public. You can change all of your settings to private and should before you start hunting for a job. There’s no reason to allow a potential employers to find something that gives off the wrong impression of you.
Most social media sites have a security section within the settings. This is the place to check and make sure it’s set to private before you move forward. It’s also helpful to know that some background and profile pictures may still be public. In some cases, you cannot hide these, so be aware of what they are and make sure they show you off in a professional way.
Avoid any Controversial Posts
If you make comments or posts on your social media that cause controversy, you could be rubbing someone the wrong way without knowing it. A potential employer may not agree with your political stance or something else about you. While they cannot fire you for this, they can decide to not interview you because of a post they found on Facebook.
Be aware of what your posting and don’t put anything controversial up for a while. Make sure you get the job before you go back to normal posting.
Change your Social Media Name
Nothing says you have to link your social media to your real name. You can change it to a pen name so that it’s not findable when Googling your real name. You can also use this tactic to have a separate personal account or professional account.
Get Things Removed
Maybe someone sad something about you or posted a story on you and it’s not exactly flattering. You can contact them and ask nicely if they will remove it from their website. It could even be a picture you posted or a comment you put up a while back. Either way, just ask to have it removed.
Check Your Own Website/Blog
If you have a blog out there or a website, make sure you don’t have anything on it you wouldn’t want found. Sometimes, your full name associated with the wrong website can be the problem. Make sure if it’s not something you want potential employers to find, you remove your name from it.
Get an Expert Involved
When it’s a big enough job that you need true reputation management, hire an expert. Some companies know how to push bad things to the bottom, remove them and put the best at the top when you’re Googled. Hiring an expert may be the right step if you really need to make sure your reputation is squeaky clean online.
There are plenty of things out there about all of us. You want to make sure when your name is put into Google, only good things show up.
Melbourne IT, an Australian domain registrar and hosting company, suffered from a 90 minute DDoS attack recently. It was a huge interruption for customers and subsidiaries TPP Wholesale and Netregistry. The attack had an impact on many international and national customers.
The DDoS attack affected cPanel and cloud web hosting and kept customers from being able to access their administration portal. It happened on Thursday and DDoS mitigation services were made standard operating procedure shortly after.
Read the full story here.
Do you advertise on Instagram? Did you know you can run Instagram ads in Instagram Stories? Instagram Stories ads appear between stories on Instagram and take up the full screen, creating a more immersive viewing experience. In this article, you’ll discover how to create ads in Instagram Stories. What Are Instagram Stories Ads? In January, [...]
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- Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle
At our Next10x: Mastering Mobile Digital Marketing conference in Boston this past April, the heads of SEO for three of the best known brands in the world explained the unique challenges and opportunities for enterprise-level SEO as the world goes increasingly mobile.
In this post I’ll share with you some of those challenges and opportunities, and how Hilton Worldwide, The Home Depot, and Comcast are meeting them.
Let’s meet our enterprise SEOs!
Melissa Walner – Director, Global SEO, Hilton Worldwide: Melissa is a strategic digital marketing professional with over 15 years of experience and accomplishments with industry-leading companies. As Head of SEO for Hilton Worldwide since 2012, Melissa and her team are responsible for developing and driving the global organic search strategy for Hilton’s 12 brands and 4,300+ hotels in 94 countries. Melissa’s illustrious career also spans stellar results at well-known retail brands like JCPenney and Fossil.
Erin Everhart – Senior Manager, Media Strategy & Mobile, The Home Depot: Erin Everhart is an experienced digital strategist, marketing planner and content developer. At The Home Depot she oversees cross-channel marketing strategy for one of the three business lines. Previously, she ran the digital marketing department at a web development agency supporting mid-sized business and Fortune 500 companies. She speaks regularly on digital strategy, content development and channel marketing at conferences nationwide.
Sean Kainec – Director of SEO, Comcast: Sean Kainec is a career digital- and technology-focused marketer who was recently tapped to lead Comcast’s surging SEO practice. He manages the strategic vision, implementation and measurement tasked to grow SEO into one of Comcast’s largest channels. Sean also partners with Comcast’s other entities to ensure a unified vision of SEO is spread throughout the greater organization. Sean joined Comcast in May 2016 after leading The Home Depot’s SEO team for 3.5 years.
Mobile Trends That Impact Big Brands
Mobile catching up fast
Melissa Walner: Most bookings in the travel industry still occur on desktop, but mobile is definitely growing in terms of what people are using to book travel during the entire travel customer journey process.
A Think With Google Travel Industry Report revealed that 90% of travel searches still happen on desktop, but on weekends mobile actually overtakes desktop. Fun fact: the number one site accessed while planning travel was Google Maps.
Personas non grata?
Sean Keinec: We always hear that we should be creating customer personas. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t create them, but I always like to go back to intent. With personas, you typically have to limit yourself to five to seven. But when you’re a brand like Comcast that brings internet into millions of people’s homes, as well as television, home security services, and we’re about to get into the cell phone space as well, we have to think bigger and broader than that.
At that level, five to seven personas doesn’t work. We have to actually dig down to the level of intent. Things like: I want to explore, I want to go somewhere, I want to learn. How do we stream that into the internet or television to meet some of those kinds of needs?
In a mobile first world, customer intent may be more important than personas. Click To Tweet
Sean Keinec – Comcast
We have to get down to what is your purchase consideration or why would you choose us as a service provider versus somebody else? What type of services is someone looking for? The hardcore gamer that wants speeds that are out of this world, that most of us couldn’t even comprehend, is very different from the soccer mom who just has a couple of kids that want to stream their favorite TV shows.
Then we have the business side of it as well. We service not only residential customers, but also businesses. How do we create content that speaks in their language? On mobile it’s not only going to be written form content, but also it’s videos, infographics, as well as social media. What we’re trying to do now is build out what we’re calling our content repository, which broadens that experience, attempting to become the thought leader, as well as the vehicle for our customers to learn about the services they have at their hands they might not even know that they could use.
Death of the funnel
Erin Everhart: There are no longer any linear paths to purchase because of mobile phones. People can and do jump onto mobile at almost any part of their research and purchasing process. There really isn’t any traditional funnel anymore, although I still have to use that when presenting to some other departments in my company. They still understand sales in terms of the funnel. So I explain it that way, but I’m always educating them toward the much more complex way people make buying decisions today.
Fear of change
Erin Everhart – Home Depot
Erin: Also, human nature isn’t evolving nearly as fast as technology is. We marketers tend to get way out in front of the consumer in terms of what technology can do versus what real people are ready to accept.
Take Amazon Go, for example. Amazon is experimenting with brick and mortar stores that replaced cashiers and checkout lines with cameras and sensors, so people can just pick up stuff and leave, without ever scanning an item or interacting with another human. They’ve ended up delaying the launch, in part because there’s reports from many consumers saying, “This is really creepy. We’re not ready for that yet.”
So, we’re in this really kind of teeter-tottering phase where we have to balance what consumers are ready to have with what we can actually implement within our own enterprise.
Google not the only game anymore
Erin: In 2011, 24% of people started a product search on Google. By 2015, that was down to 8%. Where are those people going? A lot of them are on Pinterest browsing for ideas, they’re on Facebook asking friends for recommendations, or Nextdoor asking their neighbors. These are all social networks, and in some regards, they’re replacing search engines as our go-to place for product and service information. And of course, social networks are inherently mobile.
Social networks are replacing search engines as our go-to sources for product information.Click To Tweet
How consumers use their mobile phones
Erin: One way consumers are using mobile more is for price comparison. Retailers sell a lot of the same product. Consumers want to find the best price of that product from the best retailer. Often their phone is the most convenient place to do a quick comparison.
If someone is in a store and they see a product, or even if they see an ad somewhere, they are going to go to their mobile phones to get more information about that product. They are using it to check customer reviews because everybody needs social validation that they are getting the right product for them, right? They’re also using it for couponing, because not only do they want to find the best product, they want to get the best deal on that product.
Then lastly, they’re using it to look for stores. As an enterprise with brick and mortar locations, this is the most interesting thing to me because I don’t think we spend nearly enough time optimizing our mobile marketing to help people find our stores.
Unique Challenges for Mobile at the Enterprise Level
Enterprise is an aircraft carrier
Melissa Walner – Hilton
Melissa Walner: Quick and nimble are not words that I would use to describe working for a large enterprise. Hilton is not a technology company, and our website is over 22 years old. In fact, Hilton was actually the first hotel branch to have a website, launched in 1995. Much of our website is still operating off of the same platforms that were built back then, so we’re way overdue for an upgrade, which we’re working on.
At the enterprise level you’re moving an aircraft carrier, not a speed boat. So you have to be slow, you have to be patient, and you have to understand that steady progress towards your goals, even if it seems painfully slow, is a good thing. When you can’t move some big things right away because of organizational hindrances, look for some smaller fish to fry; they can often still yield big results.
There are always low-hanging fruit opportunities around that you can very quickly and easily act upon. Oftentimes, those turn out to be the thing that nudges you ahead of your competitors. In a big enterprise like Hilton, something that would improve conversions by even a fraction of a percent can generate revenue in hundreds of thousands for us.
Erin: People have been talking MoLoSo (Mobile|Local|Social) for years, but most enterprise are only just getting around to implementing, that’s how slowly things move in big companies.
In enterprise SEO, big moves slowly, so look for low-hanging fruit to work on also. Click To Tweet
Location, location, location
Melissa: Multi-location businesses like hotels often face a unique challenge on mobile: their locations often house other businesses too. This can cause confusion in local search. Make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are correct in Google My Business and across all directories. But this works best when the other businesses in the location also have their information listed correctly. So seek to build good relations with them so you can secure their cooperation.
Erin: Did you know 42% of consumers expect a brand to respond to them within 60 minutes of an inquiry. We live in a ‘what have you done’ for me lately?’ economy. So mobile-first isn’t just a web design or SEO strategy, it’s a vital customer-retention strategy. For that reason and many others, mobile strategy can’t be a duplication of your desktop strategy. Mobile is not just another screen to show content on.
Mobile strategy can't duplicate desktop. Mobile isn't just another screen to show your content.Click To Tweet
We’re all obsessed with marketing to Millennials, but they are making 20% less than Baby Boomers were when they were their age. So does it make sense when we’re thinking about mobile marketing to think about it as a generational thing and so focus all our energies on Millennials? Instead, maybe we should be asking how we can better market to Baby Boomers, who are on their mobile phones, and who have the spending power to purchase with us.
We also have to dispel this little myth that Baby Boomers don’t know how to use mobile phones. A 2015 comScore study revealed that people 55 and over are multi-platform. They’re using both their mobile phone and their desktop. 7% of them are using only their mobile phone, and that’s going to continue to grow.
Gaining Mobile Competitive Advantage
How may we serve you?
Melissa: From the Think With Google Travel Trends report we learned that 70% of searches for very specific hotel amenities occur on mobile devices. That really surprised us. Amenities for a hotel are extremely important because that oftentimes can be, besides location, the deciding factor on whether somebody books with your hotel or a different your competitors.
So one of the things my team looked at was how we could take advantage of those searches. We asked our properties what amenities people most ask for, and we also researched using keyword tools. One that we found was surprising: parking near an airport or cruise terminal.
Turns out it’s a not-so-best-kept secret among seasoned travelers that it can be cheaper to leave your car parked at a nearby hotel and shuttle over to the airport or cruise terminal than to park at the airport. So Hilton now builds special packages around those services, including lots of content pages around “park-and-fly” and “park-and-cruise.” That’s brought us a lot more high-converting traffic from mobile searches.
Sean: Our surveys show that the vast majority of Comcast customers, when they have a problem or can’t figure out how to do something, don’t want to talk to a person. They just want the information they can use to fix their problem or use the service they’re trying to use. So for us, mobile first and digital first means making sure we have created content that addresses all those possible needs, and ensuring that it can be easily found and understood, especially on a mobile device.
Melissa: One of our big successes has been the Hilton Honors App for smartphones. It adds lots of cool features to the mobile experience, such as incorporating Google Maps inside view to choose a particular room with a great view. You can also order food or amenities to be in your room when you arrive. Our latest innovation that has attracted a lot of media attention is the ability to open your room with the app, currently available in over 1000 of our hotels.
Working on that project also provided an opportunity for the SEO team to work with the app team, doing keyword research to help them with app store optimization. Any opportunity where you can get teams from across the marketing disciplines working together on something inside a big company is a real win, because it opens the door to more partnerships in the future.
Both Swift and Fermi are satellite sent into space by NASA to gather data about black hole energy and explosions. They were supposed to be in space for a few years, but have survived for over a decade now.
While having the satellites in space is excellent for researchers, the outdated computer operating systems raise concerns for Jeanette Hanna-Ruiz, the Cybersecurity Chief of NASA. She believes it’s just a matter of time before someone will hack into something in space.
Read the full story here.
Thinking of advertising on Snapchat? Wondering if others are finding Snapchat ads effective? In this article, you’ll discover new research that sheds light on whether advertising on Snapchat is worthwhile for businesses. #1: Lack of Hard Analytic and Audience Data Makes Advertisers Wary Advertisers must be able to serve highly targeted ads to audiences to accomplish their goals. [...]
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