Industry Buzz

Webmaster Conference: an event made for you

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Over the years we attended hundreds of conferences, we spoke to thousands of webmasters, and recorded hundreds of hours of videos to help web creators find information about how to perform better in Google Search results. Now we'd like to go further: help those who aren't able to travel internationally and access the same information. Today we're officially announcing the Webmaster Conference, a series of local events around the world. These events are primarily located where it's difficult to access search conferences or information about Google Search, or where there's a specific need for a Search event. For example, if we identify that a region has problems with hacked sites, we may organize an event focusing on that specific topic. We want web creators to have equal opportunity in Google Search regardless of their language, financial status, gender, location, or any other attribute. The conferences are always free and easily accessible in the region where they're organized, and, based on feedback from the local communities and analyses, they're tailored for the audience that signed up for the events. That means it doesn't matter how much you already know about Google Search; the event you attend will have takeaways tailored to you. The talks will be in the local language, in case of international speakers through interpreters, and we'll do our best to also offer sign language interpretation if requested. Webmaster Conference OkinawaThe structure of the event varies from region to region. For example, in Okinawa, Japan, we had a wonderful half-day event with novice and advanced web creators where we focused on how to perform better in Google Images. At Webmaster Conference India and Indonesia, that might change and we may focus more on how to create faster websites. We will also host web communities in Europe and North America later this year, so keep an eye out for the announcements! We will continue attending external events as usual; we are doing these events to complement the existing ones. If you want to learn more about our upcoming events, visit the Webmaster Conference site which we'll update monthly, and follow our blogs and @googlewmc on Twitter! Posted by Takeaki Kanaya and Gary

Amazon Personalize is Now Generally Available

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Today, we’re happy to announce that Amazon Personalize is available to all AWS customers. Announced in preview at AWS re:Invent 2018, Amazon Personalize is a fully-managed service that allows you to create private, customized personalization recommendations for your applications, with little to no machine learning experience required. Whether it is a timely video recommendation inside an application or a personalized notification email delivered just at the right moment, personalized experiences, based on your data, deliver more relevant experiences for customers often with much higher business returns. The task of developing an efficient recommender system is quite challenging: building, optimizing, and deploying real-time personalization requires specialized expertise in analytics, applied machine learning, software engineering, and systems operations. Few organizations have the knowledge, skills, and experience to overcome these challenges, and simple rule-based systems become brittle and costly to maintain as new products and promotions are introduced, or customer behavior changes. For over 20 years, Amazon.com has perfected machine learning models that provide personalized buying experiences from product discovery to checkout. With Amazon Personalize, we are bringing developers that same capability to build custom models without having to deal with the complexity of infrastructure and machine learning that typically accompanies these types of solutions. With Amazon Personalize, you provide the unique signals in your activity data (page views, signups, purchases, and so forth) along with optional customer demographic information (age, location, etc.). You then provide the inventory of the items you want to recommend, such as articles, products, videos, or music as an example. Then, entirely under the covers, Amazon Personalize will process and examine the data, identify what is meaningful, select the right algorithms, and train and optimize a personalization model that is customized for your data, and accessible via an API. All data analyzed by Amazon Personalize is kept private and secure and only used for your customized recommendations. The resulting models are yours and yours alone. With a single API call, you can make recommendations for your users and personalize the customer experience, driving more engagement, higher conversion, and increased performance on marketing campaigns. Domino’s Pizza, for instance, is using Amazon Personalize to deliver customized communications such as promotional deals through their digital properties. Sony Interactive Entertainment uses Personalize with Amazon SageMaker to automate and accelerate their machine learning development and drive more effective personalization at scale. Personalize is like having your own Amazon.com machine learning personalization team at your beck and call, 24 hours a day. Introducing Amazon Personalize Amazon Personalize can make recommendations based on your historical data stored in Amazon S3, or on streaming data sent in real-time by your applications, or on both. This gives customers a lot of flexibility to build recommendation solutions. For instance, you could build an initial recommender based on historical data, and retrain it periodically when you’ve accumulated enough live events. Alternatively, if you have no historical data to start from, you could ingest events for a while, and then build your recommender. Having covered historical data in my previous blog post, I will focus on ingesting live events this time. The high-level process looks like this: Create a dataset group in order to store events sent by your application. Create an interaction dataset and define its schema (no data is needed at this point). Create an event tracker in order to send events to Amazon Personalize. Start sending events to Amazon Personalize. Select a recommendation recipe, or let Amazon Personalize pick one for you thanks to AutoML. Create a solution, i.e. train the recipe on your dataset. Create a campaign and start recommending items. Creating a dataset group Let’s say we’d like to capture a click stream of movie recommendations. Using the the first time setup wizard, we create a dataset group to store these events. Here, let’s assume we don’t have any historical data to start with: all events are generated by the click stream, and are ingested using the event ingestion SDK. Creating a dataset group just requires a name. Then, we have to create the interaction dataset, which shows how users are interacting with items (liking, clicking, etc.). Of course, we need to define a schema describing the data: here, we’ll simply use the default schema provided by Amazon Personalize. Optionally, we could now define an import job, in order to add historical data to the data set: as mentioned above, we’ll skip this step as all data will come from the stream. Configuring the event tracker The next step is to create the event tracker that will allow us to send streaming events to the dataset group. After a minute or so, our tracker is ready. Please take note of the tracking id: we’ll need it to send events. Creating the dataset When Amazon Personalize creates an event tracker, it automatically creates a new dataset in the dataset group associated with the event tracker. This dataset has a well-defined schema storing the following information: user_id and session_id: these values are defined by your application. tracking_id: the event tracker id. timestamp, item_id, event_type, event_value: these values describe the event itself and must be passed by your application. Real-time events can be sent to this dataset in two different ways: Server-side, via the AWS SDK: please note ingestion can happen from any source, whether your code is hosted inside of AWS (e.g. in Amazon EC2 or AWS Lambda) or outside. With the AWS Amplify JavaScript library. Let’s look at both options. Sending real-time events with the AWS SDK This is a very easy process: we can simply use the PutEvents API to send either a single event, or a list of up to 10 events. Of course, we could use any of the AWS SDKs: since my favourite language is Python, this is how we can send events using the boto3 SDK. import boto3 personalize_events = boto3.client('personalize-events') personalize_events.put_events( trackingId = <TRACKING_ID>, userId = <USER_ID>, sessionId = <SESSION_ID>, eventList = [ { "eventId": "event1", "sentAt": 1549959198, "eventType": "rating", "properties": """{\"itemId\": \"123\", \"eventValue\": \"4\"}""" }, { "eventId": "event2", "sentAt": 1549959205, "eventType": "rating", "properties": """{\"itemId\": \"456\", \"eventValue\": \"2\"}""" } ] ) In our application, we rated movie 123 as a 4, and movie 456 as a 2. Using the appropriate tracking identifier, we sent two Events to our event tracker: eventId: an application-specific identifier. sentAt: a timestamp, matching the timestamp property defined in the schema. This value seconds since the Unix Epoch (1 January 1970 00:00:00.000 UTC), and is independent of any particular time zone. eventType: the event type, matching the event_type property defined in the schema, properties: the item id and event value, matching the item_id and event_value properties defined in the schema. Here’s a similar code snippet in Java. List<Event> eventList = new ArrayList<>(); eventList.add(new Event().withProperties(properties).withType(eventType)); PutEventsRequest request = new PutEventsRequest() .withTrackingId(<TRACKING_ID>) .withUserId(<USER_ID>) .withSessionId(<SESSION_ID>) .withEventList(eventList); client.putEvents(request) You get the idea! Sending real-time events with AWS Amplify AWS Amplify is a JavaScript library that makes it easy to create, configure, and implement scalable mobile and web apps powered by AWS. It’s integrated with the event tracking service in Amazon Personalize. A couple of setup steps are required before we can send events. For the sake of brevity, please refer to these detailed instructions in the Amazon Personalize documentation: Create an identity pool in Amazon Cognito, in order to authenticate users. Configure the Amazon Personalize plug-in with the pool id and tracker id. Once this is taken care of, we can send events to Amazon Personalize. We can still use any text string for event types, but please note that a couple of special types are available: Identify lets you send the userId for a particular user to Amazon Personalize. The userId then becomes an optional parameter in subsequent calls. MediaAutoTrack automatically calculates the play, pause and resume position for media events, and Amazon Personalize uses the position as event value. Here is how to send some sample events with AWS Amplify: Analytics.record({ eventType: "Identify", properties: { "userId": "<USER_ID>" } }, "AmazonPersonalize"); Analytics.record({ eventType: "<EVENT_TYPE>", properties: { "itemId": "<ITEM_ID>", "eventValue": "<EVENT_VALUE>" } }, "AmazonPersonalize"); Analytics.record({ eventType: "MediaAutoTrack", properties: { "itemId": "<ITEM_ID>", "domElementId": "MEDIA DOM ELEMENT ID" } }, "AmazonPersonalize"); As you can see, this is pretty simple as well. Creating a recommendation solution Now that we know how to ingest events, let’s define how our recommendation solution will be trained. We first need to select a recipe, which is much more than an algorithm: it also includes predefined feature transformations, initial parameters for the algorithm as well as automatic model tuning. Thus, recipes remove the need to have expertise in personalization. Amazon Personalize comes with several recipes suitable for different use cases. Still, if you’re new to machine learning, you may wonder which one of these recipes best fits your use case. No worry: as mentioned earlier, Amazon Personalize supports AutoML, a new technique that automatically searches for the most optimal recipe, so let’s enable it. While we’re at it, let’s also ask Amazon Personalize to automatically tune recipe parameters. All of this is very straightforward in the AWS console: as you’ll probably want to automate from now on, let’s use the AWS CLI instead. $ aws personalize create-solution \ --name jsimon-movieclick-solution \ --perform-auto-ml --perform-hpo \ --dataset-group-arn $DATASET_GROUP_ARN Now we’re ready to train the solution. No servers to worry about, training takes places on fully-managed infrastructure. $ aws personalize create-solution-version \   --solution-arn $SOLUTION_ARN Once training is complete, we can use the solution version to create a recommendation campaign. Deploying a recommendation campaign Still no servers to worry about! In fact, campaigns scale automatically according to incoming traffic: we simply need to define the minimum number of transactions per second (TPS) that we want to support. This number is used to size the initial fleet for hosting the model. It also impacts how much you will be charged for recommendations ($0.20 per TPS-hour). Here, I’m setting that parameter to 10, which means that I will initially be charged $2 per hour. If traffic exceeds 10 TPS, Personalize will scale up, increasing my bill according to the new TPS setting. Once traffic drops, Personalize will scale down, but it won’t go below my minimum TPS setting. $ aws personalize create-campaign \ --name jsimon-movieclick-campaign \ --min-provisioned-tps 10 \ --solution-version-arn $SOLUTION_VERSION_ARN Should you later need to update the campaign with a new solution version, you can simply use the UpdateCampaign API and pass the ARN of the new solution version. Once the campaign has been deployed, we can quickly test that it’s able to recommend new movies. Recommending new items in real-time I don’t think this could be simpler: just pass the id of the user and receive recommendations. $ aws personalize-rec get-recommendations \ --campaign-arn $CAMPAIGN_ARN \ --user-id 123 --query "itemList[*].itemId" ["1210", "260", "2571", "110", "296", "1193", ...] At this point, we’re ready to integrate our recommendation model in your application. For example, a web application would have to implement the following steps to display a list of recommended movies: Use the GetRecommendations API in our favorite language to invoke the campaign and receive movie recommendation for a given user, Read movie metadata from a backend (say, image URL, title, genre, release date, etc.), Generate HTML code to be rendered in the user’s browser. Amazon Personalize in action Actually, my colleague Jake Wells has built a web application recommending books. Using an open dataset containing over 19 million book reviews, Jake first used a notebook hosted on Amazon SageMaker to clean and prepare the data. Then, he trained a recommendation model with Amazon Personalize, and wrote a simple web application demonstrating the recommendation process. This is a really cool project, which would definitely be worthy of its own blog post! Available now! Whether you work with historical data or event streams, a few simple API calls are all it takes to train and deploy recommendation models. Zero machine learning experience is required, so please visit aws.amazon.com/personalize, give it a try and let us know what you think. Amazon Personalize is available in the following regions: US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Singapore), and EU (Ireland) The service is also part of the AWS free tier. For the first two months after sign-up, you will be offered: 1. Data processing and storage: up to 20 GB per month 2. Training: up to 100 training hours per month 3. Prediction: up to 50 TPS-hours of real-time recommendations per month We’re looking forward to your feedback! — Julien;

20+ domains on sale for June 2019

Name.com Blog -

Our Monthly Domain Sale for June 2019 begins today, bringing you 10 days of amazing domain deals. Use the code JUNESALE19 now through June 19 at 11:59 p.m. MDT to register these domains at a major discount. This promo code cannot be applied to renewals or registration of Premium Domains. $1.49 domains .live $1.99 domains .agency, […] The post 20+ domains on sale for June 2019 appeared first on Name.com Blog.

Magento 1 End of Life: What You Need to Know

Nexcess Blog -

If you’re running Magento 1 (M1), you’ve probably heard by now that it will be sunsetting in 2020. And while Magento 1.x will still be accessible and useable by merchants and devs alike, it will no longer receive official support from either Magento or Adobe. This change will affect a number of merchants across the… Continue reading →

Website Backups: The Most Powerful Tool in Web Security

InMotion Hosting Blog -

It’s a Friday morning and you’ve had a peaceful quiet time after getting up, and it’s time to head to work. You jump in your car and start the commute to your office. On the way in, you stop at the coffee shop and pick up your usual. As you pull out of the coffee shop parking lot, you feel a thump, thump, thump on the front driver side wheel. You quickly pull over, and see that you have a flat tire. Continue reading Website Backups: The Most Powerful Tool in Web Security at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

How to Make Product Videos That Are Guaranteed to Sell

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Make Product Videos That Are Guaranteed to Sell appeared first on HostGator Blog. Video is an effective marketing tool to sell your brand’s products. By 2022, online videos will drive more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. It’s imperative for your small business to explore how video can attract and maintain your audience’s attention. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. To grow your website traffic, you must give consumers informative, entertaining video content. Start getting more customers to your site today. Below are five video formats to help sell your products. 1. Product Videos Product videos help consumers better understand your product line. Research shows that viewers are 64-85% more likely to buy a product after watching a product video. A product video is a marketing ad. So, you want to develop a straightforward video that doesn’t confuse your audience. It should include the logo of your small business and align with the brand’s overall mission. You also don’t want to bore people once they press play. Aim to capture their attention with a compelling story. In a few seconds, your content should intrigue people to continue watching the video. Apple takes a modern approach to their product videos. They combine simple camera angles with the latest hip-hop music to tell their story. Stay away from scare tactics in your product video. Rather than focusing on the negatives, give consumers a sneak peek into how they would feel once they make the purchase. Moreover, make sure to include calls to action in your product videos. What’s the next step you want the viewer to take? It’s not always a link to the sales page. You might guide them to an email offer or another video. 2. Demo Videos Demo videos are essential sales tools. These videos should provide clear instructions for your audience to understand. If done well, they will help you secure more sales. When creating your demo video, think about the value of your product and how it solves the consumer’s problem. Your goal is to show them how your product makes their lives better. “Demo videos aren’t generally considered top-of-funnel content so you can go a bit longer on length, but don’t bite off more than your viewers can chew. Keep your demo videos to the point, walk viewers through one action, and do it succinctly,” says Jon Spenceley, former content and social media manager at Vidyard. The demo video below gives the viewer step-by-step instructions. Each statement follows an action by the person demonstrating the product. They also don’t rush to the next step—giving the viewer enough time to process what’s happening. Your on-air talent for these videos must bring his or her infectious personality. You want the video to exude enthusiasm. Record someone who can deliver happiness and trustworthiness with a big smile. 3. Testimonial Videos Testimonial videos build the trust factor with your consumers. It’s an opportunity for them to hear honest feedback from actual customers. This type of video works well when hesitant buyers need an extra push. They already recognize the problem and need. The testimonial video influences them to visit the checkout page and click purchase. When asking customers to appear on testimonial videos, it’s important that you respect their time by mapping out what you want to achieve. Prepare specific questions to ask them. Avoid asking anything that triggers a vague response. You want questions to trigger thoughtful answers. A simple format is to set up the situation, state the problem, and elaborate on the solution. Omada Health’s testimonial video starts with the customer explaining how their company outshines the competition. Then, the video continues by highlighting other major benefits. Record your testimonial video in a comfortable setting. Scout all available options in your office space; you may even decide to shoot outside in a park. You also don’t want customers to memorize lines. It will seem disingenuous to your audience. Follow these tips for collecting great customer testimonials. 4. Company Culture Videos Company culture matters. Consumers no longer buy from brands just because they have something they need. Potential customers also want to know more about your brand’s culture. A company culture video helps tell your small business story and sets expectations for your audience. Consider it a matchmaking tool to connect you to buyers with shared values. It represents how you want the public to perceive you. The company culture video should help increase trust amongst your audience. Let actual employees talk about what makes your brand unique. This technique will establish a personal connection with viewers. “Corporate culture videos need to showcase real employees, as opposed to just the c-level and hardcore brand advocates. When we see a smile that’s a little too big, we question the credibility of the content,” states Phil Strazzulla, founder at NextWave Hire. In the company culture below, Annie’s Homegrown showcases what makes their brand special. Employees express why they love the company and how the company supports its customers and staff. Company culture videos also can attract new hires to your small business. So, it’s an effective promotional tool for your company’s growth. 5. Thank You Videos A simple thank you means a lot. By producing a thank you video, you open doors to connecting with your audience with no-strings attached. Give your thank you video a clear objective. What do you want to say? Why are you thankful? Who will receive the video message? In your video, let consumers know the impact they have had on your business. You can highlight the number of products sold or how their support led to a huge charitable donation. Thank you videos work well during the holidays. It shows customers that you value their business, and you’re committed to selling high-quality products. Experiment with different settings to capture your on-camera gratitude. Maybe you’ll stand in front of your office building. Or you might decide to click record on your laptop. iZotope’s thank you video is a genuine without any marketing jargon. It’s unscripted and explains why the company loves their customers so much. Thank you videos are meant to illustrate authenticity. No one likes a contrived thank you message. Instead, you want to create a heartfelt video that shows your appreciation. Produce More Videos Video offers your small business an opportunity connect with consumers. From demos to testimonials, you can highlight every aspect of your brand. Once you produce your videos, it’s time to share them with the world. Make sure to embed your videos on your website, and promote them via social media. To host videos on your website, you’ll need quality web hosting behind you. For maximum site performance, try HostGator’s dedicated server hosting. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

How to Build a Google Data Studio Dashboard

Social Media Examiner -

Looking for a faster way to visualize and make sense of your marketing metrics? Have you heard of Google Data Studio? In this article, you’ll learn how to build a reusable report in Google Data Studio. Why Use Google Data Studio to Simplify Marketing Measurement Analysis When you’re a small business with a limited marketing […] The post How to Build a Google Data Studio Dashboard appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

How to Buy Advertising to Promote Your eBay Listings

Grow Traffic Blog -

There are two ways you can buy advertising to promote eBay listings. One is to buy a promoted listing on eBay itself. The other is to buy third party advertising to point to your listing, in some form or another. However, there’s a little more to it than that. Paying for Promoted eBay Listings The first and the simplest option is to just pay for a promoted spot in the eBay search results. Whenever you search for a product, you’ll see a handful of promoted listings, all of which someone is paying eBay to put near the top of the list. You have to scroll down to see the organic listings. “Paying for an auction listing? What if my item doesn’t sell? Then I’m out money when I’m just trying to make money!” This is a valid complaint, and eBay understands the situation. That’s why their promoted listings only charge you when your item sells. Unlike traditional advertising, when you’re bidding on promoted listings, you’re choosing a percentage – called the Ad Rate – of your item’s sale price that you’re willing to spend. This means that the higher the price your item sells for, the more you pay for the ads that got it to sell. You aren’t setting a bid cap or a specific amount of money to pay to promote your item. In order to help you decide how much you should be willing to spend, eBay maintains a list of Trending Ad Rates. The trending Ad Rate is the average percentage people are bidding to promote their listings, within various categories. For example, as of the time of this writing, Antiques are trending at 10.49%, books are trending at 2.97%, and computer items are trending at 6.2%. These are figures within the USA; there are different figures for different geographic regions. You can see all of the current trending ad rates on this page. It’s generally a good idea to adjust your Ad Rate on a weekly basis to better fit the trends. If the trend is going up, you should adjust upwards to compete. If the trends are going down, you can adjust downwards to avoid over-spending. Of course, you need to calculate how much you can afford to take off the top. For people selling random household products they’re trying to get rid of, any profit is better than keeping the item, so it doesn’t matter. For a business trying to sell through eBay, you need to calculate your profit margins and determine how much you can cut into them. Are promoted listings a good choice for your products? That depends on what kinds of products you’re trying to sell. You can use promoted listings for just about any category, but there are some restrictions. Auctions, unfortunately, do not qualify. You also have to be a subscriber to eBay Stores, or you need to be a seller with either Top Rated or Above Standard feedback status. If your status drops too much, you’ll lose access to the system. Generally, eBay recommends using promoted listings for new product lines and new listing ideas, seasonal items you want to sell as quickly as possible, old product lines you’re trying to clear out, and products that are already selling well but which you can sell more of more quickly. Conversely, items that have a poor sales history aren’t going to benefit as much from promoted listings, and rare items, collectibles, and unique items aren’t great targets due to the smaller audience. It’s also worth noting that eBay’s promotion auction is not simply “whoever bids the most gets the top spot.” In fact, they consider elements like the relevance and the quality of the listing to the search, how well the item is selling in general when the ad rate is set, and some other factors. So in general, you should use promoted listings when: You have an item that has a high conversion rate but generally low traffic. You have a new item you want to establish a baseline level of traffic and sales history for. You have a best seller that you want to sell more of, even if you sacrifice some profit to do it. You have a seasonal product you want to get sold as quickly as possible. You have overstock of a product you want to liquidate. You have stock left over of an item you no longer want to sell, and you want to liquidate. Promoted listings are just normal eBay listings, so you don’t need to do anything special to create ads. All you need to do is choose which products to promote and what ad rate you want to set. There’s an art to choosing the right ad rate, which involves knowing your profit margins and knowing what percentages are good to sell. You’ll gain a feel for it after you promote for a while. What’s truly important, however, is the quality of the listing itself. Thankfully, I know exactly where you can visit to learn about optimizing eBay product listings. Paying to Advertising Listings Directly Unfortunately, paying for ads through platforms like Google Ads, pointing those ads directly at eBay listings or eBay stores, is notoriously ineffective. You can find thousands of people online talking about paying to promote their listings and getting nothing out of it. Unlike promoted listings, paying for PPC ads to point to eBay can waste a lot of money. You don’t have a “pay only when it sells” clause to protect you, and you can often end up paying far more than the value of the product in clicks that don’t convert. Google doesn’t really like people linking directly to eBay stores, so they don’t promote those ads quite as much, and it really doesn’t work out for anyone involved. On the other hand, eBay and Google had a deal with each other. Products listed on eBay will be funneled into Google’s marketplace, and Google can plug them into Google Shopping. You can use a Google Merchant Center account to promote your listings through that system instead of using Google Ads. Now, there’s nothing wrong with paying Google Ads to promote eBay listings. It’s not against the terms of service for either site. It’s just not the most effective solution. The trouble is, you’re paying to send people to eBay, and everyone knows eBay as a site where it’s easy to find the cheapest version of a product. People can click through your ads to your product, and then go to buy that same product from another seller instead of you. You also don’t get any benefit for referral traffic to products other than your own, like you might with something like an Amazon Affiliate link. There’s nothing really unique about advertising an eBay listing through Google Ads compared to advertising any other site. You still need to pay attention to the usual factors, like ad relevance, keyword selection, budgets, and click-through rates. Don’t be afraid that I just linked to dummies.com, either; their guide is actually really good. An Alternative Strategy The best alternate strategy for dedicated eBay sellers is to create your own website. Creating a website gives you a larger degree of trust than a typical no-name eBay seller, and that trust allows you to leverage additional marketing channels. You can run a Facebook business Page for your website, even though all of your products are just eBay store listings. You can go as light or as hard into a marketing website as you want. I’ve seen people be perfectly successful on eBay with a microsite that is little more than an About page, a few testimonials, and links to product pages. I’ve also seen brands build up their entire business around their sites, using eBay as a convenient storefront up until they’ve stabilized enough to transition to their own store on a Shopify plan. These people have blogs and everything. The benefit of using your own site is that you can set up landing pages for individual products, and then you can direct advertising from Google Ads and other ad networks to those landing pages. Of course, managing your own site is a lot of work and a lot of additional expense. You need to pay for hosting and a domain, you need to set up a back-end framework – even if it’s just WordPress – and you need to maintain it with enough content that it doesn’t stagnate. Plus, paying for ads is an additional expense, as I’ve already mentioned. On the other hand, having a more total level of control over your web presence and your branding puts you ahead of most of the competition on eBay. One potential roadblock you may run into is that eBay’s links policy prohibits you from linking to your website within your eBay listings. Unless a user already knows your brand and that you have a website, they might not find you. You get the on-site benefits of the user seeing other products in your storefront or in your listings, but you can’t send them off-site for other benefits. You can get around this by including items with your URL on them in the products you ship. Thank you notes included in your packages, URLs on labels and on invoices, and URLs in your email communications are all good ideas. Utilizing Social Media With social media, you get both organic and paid means of promotion at your fingertips. For Facebook, you can set up a business Page for your business, and link directly to your eBay store and your individual eBay listings. You can also link to pages and posts on your website. You won’t necessarily have the best exposure doing this, since Facebook tends to demote overly promotional content, but if you get into content marketing, Facebook becomes an excellent channel. Facebook ads can point directly at eBay listings, so long as they’re relevant and aren’t dynamic URLs. You shouldn’t have any issues with multi-stock products, but you’ll have a hard time advertising single products for sale; if someone buys it, your ad will still be running, so you may pay for clicks to an invalid listing. This can hurt both your bottom line and your ad relevance score. Twitter can be used in a variety of different ways. You can post links to your listings and treat it basically as an RSS feed for when you add new products or items, or when items are back in stock. You can link to pages and content on your own site. You can pay for Twitter advertising, either to your website or to your eBay store. You can even just focus your time on becoming a Twitter joke account and whenever a tweet goes viral, do the “here’s my soundcloud” thing but for eBay listings. Pinterest can be a good site for eBay listings because of it’s highly visual nature. Instagram is similar, but since Instagram doesn’t allow links in their image captions, I wouldn’t recommend it. In general, social media becomes the top of your sales funnel, pointing people deeper in to your website, landing pages, or storefront. From there, you can point people specifically to products they’re interested in, and use paid advertising to reach them in other locations. A broad top leads to a greater stream at the bottom. The post How to Buy Advertising to Promote Your eBay Listings appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

5 Ways To Improve Your Branding

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Whether you’re a small business owner or hobbyist, enhancing your online profile goes a long way to improve your reputation and brand. There are a lot of things involved in branding, especially within different industries. There are different web design, marketing and communication strategies depending on your target audience and customers. Here are five ways to enhance your branding. Cheap Quality Hosting Upgrade as needed. Don’t waste money that could be better spent elsewhere. Continue reading 5 Ways To Improve Your Branding at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

Newsletter Copy: Is Your Online Content Protected?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Do you generate content as part of your business? It’s likely that you do, even if you don’t realize it. ‘Content’ is anything that you create and publish online: newsletters, blogs, graphics, podcasts, social media posts, videos, and much more. Legally, that material belongs to you. Historically, however, intellectual property has been very difficult to protect – and that was BEFORE the advent of the internet. Today, it’s nearly impossible. Any would-be thief can easily scan the web, look for material they like, and copy it. Continue reading Newsletter Copy: Is Your Online Content Protected? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

LinkedIn Updates Ad Features and Mozilla Blocks Ad Tracking

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Social Media Marketing Talk Show, a news show for marketers who want to stay on the leading edge of social media. On this week’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show, we explore enhanced LinkedIn Advertising features and analytics, why web browsers are blocking third-party tracking, and more. Our special […] The post LinkedIn Updates Ad Features and Mozilla Blocks Ad Tracking appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

All You Need to Know About Hypervisors

Reseller Club Blog -

Sitting at the core of virtualization is a well-known but little-discussed technology called the Hypervisor. The hypervisor is a layer of software which enables single hardware to host multiple, isolated virtual machines. It also helps with the management of those virtual machines. But before we talk about how the hypervisor works, the types of hypervisors and the benefits of this technology, let’s put some basic definitions in place. We’ll start with a technology that is tied very closely to hypervisors – virtualization. What is virtualization?   Virtualization is the creation of a “virtual” form of a resource, such as a server, a desktop, an operating system, storage space, network or files. With virtualization, traditional computing is transformed, as these resources become scalable as per a client or organisation’s needs. Virtualization has been around for decades and is now split into three distinct types – Operating System (OS) virtualization, hardware virtualization and server virtualization. Virtualization is used to consolidate workloads, systems and multiple operating environments on one single physical system. Essentially the underlying hardware is partitioned, and each partition runs as a separate, isolated Virtual Machine – which has its own Operating System. Now, this is where the hypervisor comes in. What is a hypervisor? The function of partitioning, or more specifically, abstracting and isolating these different OS and applications from the underlying computer hardware is what the hypervisor does. Therefore, it wouldn’t be incorrect to say that virtualization is enabled by the functions of the hypervisor. What this means is that the underlying hardware (which is known as the host machine) can independently operate and run one or more virtual machines (known as guest machines). The hypervisor also helps manage these independent Virtual Machines by distributing hardware resources such as memory allotment, CPU usage network bandwidth and more amongst them. It does this by creating pools of abstracted hardware resources, which it then allocates to Virtual Machines. It also can stop and start virtual machines, when requested by the user. Another key component of hypervisors is ensuring that all the Virtual Machines stay isolated from others – so when a problem occurs in one Virtual Machine, the others remain unaffected. Finally, the hypervisor also handles the communication amongst Virtual Machines over virtual networks – enabling VMs to connect with one another. How does a hypervisor work? To understand how hypervisors work, it’s important to understand – what are the types of hypervisors? How do they work? What is the difference? There are 2 types of Hypervisors. They’re also referred to as Native or Bare Metal Hypervisors (Type 1) and Hosted Hypervisors (Type 2). Type 1 Hypervisors: Type 1 hypervisors run on the host machine’s hardware directly, without the intervention of an underlying Operating System. This means that the hypervisor has direct hardware access without contending with the Operating System and drivers. Type 1 is widely acknowledged as the best-performing and most efficient hypervisors for enterprise computing. The ability to directly assign resources makes these hypervisors more scalable, but the advantages go further than that: Optimisation of Physical Resources: Organisations often burn funds quickly by buying separate servers for different applications – an endeavour that is time-consuming and takes up data centre space. With Type 1 hypervisors, IT can utilize server hardware, which frees up data centre costs and real estate and cuts down on energy usage. Greater Resource Allocation: Most Type 1 hypervisors give admins the opportunity to manually set resource allocation, based on the application’s priority. Many Type 1 hypervisors also automate resource allocation as required, allowing resource management to be a dynamic and customised option.   The best-known examples of Type 1 hypervisors are VMware’s ESXi and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Type 2 Hypervisors Typically, these hypervisors are built on top of the Operating System. Because of its reliance on the host machine’s underlying Operating System (in direct contrast to Type 1), it is referred to as “hosted hypervisor”. The hypervisor runs as an application within the Operating System, which then runs directly on the host computer. Type 2 hypervisors do support multiple guest machines but are not allowed to directly access the host hardware and its resources. The pre-existing Operating System manages the calls to the CPU for memory, network resources and storage. All of this can create a certain amount of latency. However, this is only the case for more complex and high-performance scenarios. Type 2 hypervisors are still popular home and test labs.  Furthermore, Type 2 hypervisors come with their own set of benefits, like: Type 2 Hypervisors are much easier to set up and to manage as you already have an Operating System to work with. It does not require a dedicated admin. It is compatible with a wide range of hardware. Examples of type-2 hypervisors include Oracle Solaris Zones, Oracle VM Server for x86, Oracle VM Virtual Box, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion and more.   KVM KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) a popular and unique hypervisor – seeing as it has characteristics of both Type 1 and Type 2 hypervisors. This open sourced virtualization technology is built into Linux, and more specifically turns Linux into a hypervisor. To be clear, KVM is a part of the Linux code, which means it benefits from every Linux innovation or advancement, features and fixes without additional engineering. KVM converts Linux into a Type-1 (native/bare-metal) hypervisor. It is a secure option, that gives you plenty of storage, hardware support, memory management, live migration of your VM (without any service interruption), scalability, scheduling and resource control, low latency and greater prioritization of apps. KVM also creates more secure and better isolated Virtual Machines, while ensuring that they continue to run at peak performance. Excited to use all of these features? Well, when you sign up for a Linux VPS Hosting plan with us, KVM will automatically become a part of the packages you create. Check out our array web hosting packages, here. .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; } The post All You Need to Know About Hypervisors appeared first on ResellerClub Blog.

Can Increasing Your Google Ad Budget Lower Conversions?

Grow Traffic Blog -

When you’re running Google ads, you want to make the most of your budget. Every dollar needs to perform, either giving you information you can use to make other dollars perform better, or bringing you in a defined, positive return on your investment. This leads to the common adjustment of increasing bids when your budget increases, which in turn may have an astonishing effect on your ads. I’ve seen it a few times, and it’s not an unheard-of situation: a higher budget leads to lower conversions. Why does this happen, and what can you do to prevent it? Google’s Recommendations Part of the root cause of this issue is Google’s recommendations for ad success. Google is biased, of course. They want people to spend as much money as possible, so they can make as much money as possible. Google is smart, though. They know that if they just cranked up prices and left you with middling results, you would stop using their service. They strive for quality in their ad program so that no one walks away dissatisfied. One customer paying $10 a month for a year is worth more than another customer paying $50 once and leaving forever. Basically, Google has something called Recommendations. Recommendations are pieces of advice that good generates for you, based on the performance and situation of your account, and their wealth of historical data from other users in their ads system. Trust me, they’ve seen it all a thousand times. They can pick out your specific situation, identify potential improvements, and recommend actions for you to take that will lead to those improvements. Recommendations are not provided by an account manager or in any personalized manner. Rather, they are generated algorithmically based on your account performance and site-wide Google trends. Recommendations are taken from a list, which you can read here. Here are some examples, if you don’t want to click through: Add responsive search ads: Show more relevant ads to potential customers by creating responsive search ads. Create new versions of your ads: Try new versions of your ads and let the best ones show. Bid more efficiently with Enhanced CPC: Automatically optimize your bids at auction time for searches more likely to lead to conversions. Change your device bid adjustments: Optimize your spend on specific devices and increase your return on investment. Set audience bid adjustments: Optimize your audience bid adjustments based on how well they are converting. Add negative keywords: Reduce wasted spend by not showing on searches that are irrelevant to your business. Remove conflicting negative keywords: People didn’t see your ads because of conflicting negative keywords. Remove them so your ads can show. Add keywords to each ad group: Get your ads running by adding keywords to each ad group. Fix your audience source with no activity: Make sure you aren’t missing users on remarketing lists used by your campaigns. Fix the audience source so that users are added to your lists correctly. All of the above are taken straight from Google. They’re just a small selection of the dozens of recommendations Google provides, contextually, to accounts in their system. Some of these amount to “take advantage of advanced features in the ads system.” Some of them are “avoid conflicts that break ad visibility.” Still others work out to “spend more money in our system.” Since so many of their recommendations end up increasing your conversions, giving you more search visibility, or dropping your cost per conversion, it makes sense to follow them. Google isn’t going to steer you wrong if they can help it, because a disgruntled user is a user tying up their support system or a user that leaves their program entirely. How Increasing Budget Decreases Conversions Now, I’m not going to tell you that increasing your budget will always decrease conversions. In fact, it’s a pretty narrow set of circumstances that cause the problem. I can think of two reasons why it might happen, so I’ll detail them below. The first cause is when you simply run out of available traffic. This is by far the more common of the two causes, and it relates entirely to your chosen keywords. If your ads have a high quality score, you have a reasonable bid, and you have a budget sufficient to get plenty of conversions, increasing your budget will not increase your conversions. Imagine you have a keyword with a monthly search volume of 800. That’s roughly 800 queries per month for that keyword. Maybe 5% of them will click through and convert, so you have about 40 conversions available. At a price of $2 per conversion, that’s a monthly budget of $80. If you bump your budget up to $160, you’re doubling it. Your cost per conversion, if anything, goes up a bit as you have more money to spare and can be more flexible. However, there are still only 40 conversions available in that month, because there are only 800 people searching for your keyword. It doesn’t matter if you have a million dollars to throw into your ads; if your keywords simply have no more available search volume, you cannot get more conversions out of them. The second cause is when the math doesn’t work out in your favor, dividing up bids within your budget with a higher cost per click. Let’s say you have a budget of $10, and your ads are hitting an audience that has a cost per click ranging from $2 to $3. You set your bid cap to $2, ensuring that every conversion you get costs $2 or less. With a budget of $10, you get five conversions. Now you have a higher budget so you increase your bid to $3. Your $3 captures a new selection of your audience, those who are harder to reach and thus cost more. However, you can only fit three conversions in your $10. This is a gross simplification, of course. You wouldn’t keep your budget cap at $10 with a higher available budget. Still, the idea is that your conversions aren’t increasing to keep up with the increase in budget. You double your budget and you expect double the conversions, but because your cost per conversion goes up – since you’re willing and able to pay more – your number of conversions goes down. Basically, this is just a negative confluence of factors that can occur when you increase bids and budgets based on Google’s recommendations without actually playing with the numbers in the right way. You generally need to figure out what point you should cap your bids, despite what Google may want you to do. Other Things to Check If you’re having this issue – the lack of increased conversions, that is – there are a few other things you can check that might be causing it other than the two main causes I detailed above. The first is to check to see if you happen to have daily budget caps, ad set caps, or other budget restrictions in place. Google will always abide by the smallest budget cap to avoid springing unnecessary or unexpected charges on their customers. If you set your overall monthly budget to $1,000 but your daily budget is still $10, you’re only going to spend $300 per month. Make sure all of your budget numbers are chosen in a way that uses them appropriately, or make sure you’re choosing one of Google’s automatic allocation strategies. Another check you can perform requires a little manual finesse. Is position #1 in the search results actually the best position for your business? Sometimes it is, of course. The top of the line is the most visible and tends to get the most clicks. However, it’s also somewhat more expensive than #2 or #3. A higher position might get you a higher click through rate, but if your conversion rate doesn’t support it, it’s not going to do well for your budget. You may be paying too much for your position. One of the most common occurrences I encounter is a business striving to spend all of their budget to reach position #1, when it doesn’t have a tangible benefit to outweigh the increased costs and competition. Letting your ads “languish” at #2 or #3 will still get you a reasonable amount of conversions, without over-spending on advertising to get there. Another issue you can check on is if you have any keywords that are draining your budget without bringing in conversions. It’s easy for an ad with 80 broad match keywords to have one or two performing terribly, and you might never know until you look at your keyword-level analytics. You generally want to make sure that your keywords all meet a minimum level of performance. Any dramatically underperforming keywords should be removed or added to a negative keyword list. Other Considerations for Google Ad Conversions Ads grow stale, they grow old, they can wither and die. Increasing your budget isn’t going to revitalize them, it’s just going to show a stale ad to more people who aren’t interested. You need to change up your ads, and that means split testing. Incomplete split tests are a common problem with ads testing. I give an example in the article linked. Essentially, if you test different variations of different variables, only to come up with a result that points at a new confluence that you didn’t test, you don’t actually know if that confluence is better. It’s easy to catch all of the options when you’re testing one or two variables, but the more you add, the more you need to test, and that grows exponential very quickly. It’s why tests should be limited, and it’s why you need a proper budget to get the proper kind of data. Conversions are also susceptible to concerns outside of the ad ecosystem. I’ve talked to a few marketers in the past who have issues they dig deep trying to figure out, only to step back and realize their conversions dropped because they sell school supplies and school is out for the summer, or some other seasonal shift. When temporal concerns aren’t at issue, there’s also the possibility that some public perception has shifted. Maybe a competitor has hit the field and is trashing your business in their marketing. Maybe one of your customer service reps made a bad decision and their response has gone viral. Maybe you sell something that the public is slowly moving away from, and there’s not much you can do to claw back those sales. Another thing you should consider is ad keyword groups. All too many people throw all their keywords into one soup and hope it all works out on the other side, but that leads to a lot of ads with copy that doesn’t quite line up with the query, ads that don’t quite work. That means your conversions are going to be harder to come by, which in turn means their cost goes up. A higher budget will get you more high cost conversions, but you’re wasting a lot of opportunity. The fact is, the ads ecosystem has a thousand different factors at play, which is why so many of Google’s recommendations point at automatic adjustments they can perform algorithmically to get you the best results for the given money and copy you feed into the system. Any adjustments you make need to keep this in mind. The post Can Increasing Your Google Ad Budget Lower Conversions? appeared first on Growtraffic Blog.

Shared Hosting, Shared Cloud, and Shared WordPress Hosting – What’s the Difference?

InMotion Hosting Blog -

Many website hosting companies offer options featuring shared physical servers and shared cloud servers, and even shared WordPress hosting. The question is: what are the differences between them? The three main shared hosting plans are traditional shared, shared cloud, and WordPress shared. While all three have “shared” in the package name, they are each very unique. Let’s weigh the pros and cons and see which types of websites benefit. Shared Hosting Plans The base of any shared hosting plan is going to be the same: shared. Continue reading Shared Hosting, Shared Cloud, and Shared WordPress Hosting – What’s the Difference? at The Official InMotion Hosting Blog.

7 Tips to Choose a Website Design That Converts Customers

HostGator Blog -

The post 7 Tips to Choose a Website Design That Converts Customers appeared first on HostGator Blog. Your website design has a lot of work to do. It should look professional, make it easy for visitors to find what they need, and show visitors why you’re the person to do business with. But the most important thing a good design does is help to close the deal. How can your website’s design help convert visitors into customers? Here are 7 must-know tips to get you started. 1. Start with SSL SSL certificates aren’t part of your website’s design, but I’m including them here because your site’s SSL status is often the first thing visitors notice. It can be the element that determines whether they stay or flee. When you have an SSL certificate for your site, your domain name starts with https instead of http. And the green padlock symbol will show up next to your URL in visitor’s browser bars. People trust the padlock. SSL is important for three reasons: Most browsers flag sites without SSL as “not secure”. Sometimes that warning scares visitors off. SSL matters for SEO. Google has used SSL status as a ranking signal since 2014, and in a search-result ranking tie between one site with https and one with http, https wins. SSL encrypts the data your customers enter on your website. That stops hackers and data thieves from stealing personal and payment information. This protects your customers and your business reputation. Did you know? All HostGator plans come with a free SSL certificate. 2. Mobile Formatting Matters Your website must display beautifully on a mobile screen. Mobile-first design is the cornerstone of modern websites because so many of us spend so much time browsing on our phones. You can find mobile friendly templates for WordPress websites or you can hire a designer with a strong portfolio of mobile-first designs. 3. Make a Great First Impression With Your Product Pages This doesn’t mean you have to throw all your company information on every product page, but it’s important to remember that any of your product pages maybe the first impression a visitor has of your website. Let’s say you sell gear and supplies for exotic birds. You may have a fantastic home page, but maybe visitors are arriving at your site through searches for cuttlebones or parakeet playgrounds or parrot perches—and they go right to those product pages from their search results. Each of those pages needs to include your company name, a brief summary of your shipping and returns policies, pricing, and a navigation menu that lets them quickly explore the rest of your website without having to hunt around. 4. Invite Visitors to Linger with Category Landing Pages We’ve blogged before about the importance of structuring your product categories so they’re easy for search engines and human beings to navigate. And each category page is prime real estate for product photos, keywords, and informative content that can help your customers decide what to buy. Back to our exotic bird website example. Let’s say your product categories are food, treats, grooming, health, habitats, and toys. Your habitat category page should include photos of your most popular cages, perches, and playscapes, along with descriptive text that includes the keywords people use to find your products. This is the ideal place for a guide explaining how to choose the right enclosure or a checklist of must-have elements in a bird enclosure. All this content, if it’s tagged and written properly, can help boost your SEO and show customers that you’re a resource for information as well as products. 5. Make Your Calls-to-Action Count Every page on your site should include a call to action (CTA). A CTA is a short statement telling your visitors what you’d like them to do next. For example, on your exotic bird habitat category landing page, your CTA is “find your bird’s new roost now.” On product pages, the CTA is “add to cart.” You can also have a secondary CTA for people who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge—”add to wish list” or “save for later.” On the cart page, the CTA is “checkout.” At every step of the way, your CTA gives customers a little nudge to take the next step toward conversion. That’s sales psychology 101. It’s also super important in an age where most of us have a bunch of browser tabs and apps open at once and our attention is highly fragmented. 6. Create a Low-Friction Checkout Experience So, you have a parrot parent visiting your site, reading your content, choosing a new enclosure, adding it to their cart, and hitting the checkout button. This next part of the website must be designed properly to keep that customer from abandoning their cart. Between 70 and 85% of all e-commerce carts get ditched before customers complete their purchases. Part of the reason is bad checkout design that makes customers work too hard to give stores their money. Design your checkout so it requires as little effort from your customers as possible, while remaining secure and protecting you from potential fraud. Let your customers auto-fill their name and address information. Don’t make them create an account to check out. Let them use an online payment service like Square or PayPal so they don’t have to fish around for a credit card. Design it right, and your customers are more likely to convert.   7. Consider Outsourcing Your Website Design to Experts There are plenty of resources for designing your own website, especially if you’re using WordPress, because there are so many templates you can buy or use for free. If you’re not confident in your design skills or would rather focus on other aspects of your business, you can hire a design service with experience building mobile-friendly websites. Ready to get started? Sign up for professional website design services from HostGator and outsource that process today. Find the post on the HostGator Blog

Open Cloud Academy Schools Local Girl Scout Troops in Cybersecurity Basics

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Johnny Carrera holds a black Tesla coil wand over an upside-down pie pan. “Now we’re going to talk about networking,” he tells the group of Junior Girl Scouts who stand in a ring around him. Their green vests are crowded with badges. “And how information goes from your computer out into the world.” He presses […] The post Open Cloud Academy Schools Local Girl Scout Troops in Cybersecurity Basics appeared first on The Official Rackspace Blog.

How to Use Quora for Marketing

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to learn more about Quora? Wondering how Quora can enhance your marketing efforts? To explore how to use Quora for marketing, I interview JD Prater. JD is Quora’s full-time evangelist, a speaker, and host of the Grow with Quora podcast. JD shares what Quora can do for your business. You’ll also find […] The post How to Use Quora for Marketing appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Hiring Is Down yet Challenges Aren’t Evenly Distributed Across Industries: June U.S. LinkedIn Workforce Report 2019

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Gross hiring was down 0.9% year-over-year in May. But looking at the industry level, hiring continues to grow in the software & IT services (+6.7% Y/Y) and corporate services industries (+7.6% Y/Y). At the same time, export-producing goods industries, like agriculture and manufacturing, are facing rapid declines in hiring: manufacturing is down 5.6% year-over-year and is at its weakest since January 2018, while agriculture is down 6.7% year-over-year and is at its weakest since November 2017. .

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