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These Bolivian Skaters Linked With Samsung to Change the Culture’s Perception of Women

For many Hispanic and Latinx communities, embracing culture is not only a way to reconnect with their ethnicity, but a part of their identity. However, like in any culture, there are aspects that are still rooted in gender inequality, misogyny, and machismo.

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https://www.adweek.com/creativity/these-bolivian-skaters-linked-with-samsung-to-change-the-cultures-perception-of-women/




Maximizing efficiency for ecommerce paid campaigns

Maximizing efficiency for ecommerce paid campaigns

30-second summary:

  • SEOs must improve the efficiency of ecommerce shopping ad campaigns to meet consumer expectations of a hassle-free online experience
  • Brands need to invest time, gather experience, and implement various new strategies to maximize their performance as the digital space is growing and evolving at a rapid pace
  • Setting up something like a Google Shopping Campaign may not be an uphill task; however, you need to implement smart strategies to make it more effective
  • The valuable tactics mentioned in this post will help you boost your ecommerce sales and get you started on the right track

We are witnessing a significant increase in digital ad spending across the globe. The pandemic has resulted in consumer behavior changes that have led to a new era of ecommerce. The majority of people around the world have increased their reliance on online shopping and brands have been investing more money and attention in direct-to-consumer activity.

According to a report by Oberlo, digital advertising spend in 2022 grew by 15.6 percent from 2021. The report further states that digital ad growth shows no signs of stopping and the growth is expected to continue for the next few years.

If you are running a business that sells products, you should absolutely embrace ecommerce to drive its growth. However, while neglecting ecommerce is not an option, there are numerous other brands online that could be fierce competition for your products, so it is important for you to enhance your strategy to remain both relevant and visible.

Important things to consider before starting a campaign

Ensure that your website is SEO-friendly (search engine optimized) and has a user-friendly design. A well-structured ecommerce website can help you achieve the kind of results you are looking for.

It is extremely crucial to create an ad that resonates with your potential customers. You should create a detailed customer persona with the following steps.

  • Decide who your target audience is. Are you targeting young men who like outdoor activities? Middle-aged mothers? Adults with aging parents?
  • Once you determine your target audience, you should understand what they are looking for. Analyze their requirements and try to find out their interests. What hobbies or goals might your target audience have? What interferes with their ability to do these things?
  • Turn these obstacles – these pain points – into your guidestones and try to address the problems that they pose.

How to maximize efficiency for your ecommerce paid campaigns

If you are looking to establish sustainable positive brand awareness online and improve your revenues from online sources, it’s critical to fine-tuning your online strategy.

Here is a list of key tactics that you must employ in order to achieve optimum results. While we will be specifically speaking about Google ads, many of these tactics are broadly applicable across any paid advertising service you use.

Optimize the product data feed

  • The data in your Google Product Feed determines your campaign performance, which seriously impacts your ROI. Therefore, optimization is key.
  • Make sure that the title is simple so that your audience can understand everything they need to know about your product just by reading it. Such titles can also help you gain maximum visibility on search engines like Google.
  • Instead of the Google Product Feed, if you prefer using a spreadsheet, make sure that you include all possible information about the product such as color, size, material, the age range of potential customers, and so on.
  • Select the right product categories and subcategories and align them with the appropriate product types. Failing to do this can seriously hurt your sales.
  • A quality Product Feed Management tool helps you track your performance, which is crucial, as you can make the necessary adjustments to your ad campaigns based on your performance.

Fine-tune your campaign by using negative keywords

  • Nothing is perfect in this world, and that includes the Google Shopping system as well.  Even though Google Shopping listings are a boon for marketers, imperfect keyword targeting is a big issue as search results can sometimes display your products with irrelevant search keywords. For instance, if you sell running shoes, but not other running accessories, you don’t want your ads coming up for shoppers who won’t purchase. 
  • If you’re showing up for these keywords that won’t generate buys, your ad campaigns could experience high spending but terrible conversion ratios, low click-through rates, and low ROIs and ROAS.
  • Implementing a negative keywords strategy in your Google Shopping ad campaigns can prevent your ads from showing up when certain search phrases are used. This in turn can boost the campaigns’ ROAS and ROI.
  • Using negative keywords in your ad campaigns can prevent unwanted clicks, thereby helping you save money by improving the click rate of your advertisement.

Highlight your sales, discounts, and special offers

  • Every customer loves a great offer as they are getting an opportunity to save while purchasing something.
  • If you want to move your products quickly, showcasing discounts and special offers is a great way to achieve that. While running special offers and deals, you need to specifically mention that, and if you really want to stand out in the field, you should run ads regarding these offers and deals.

Use Single Product Ad Groups

  • Single Product Ad Groups (SPAGs) enable marketers to set bids for each product individually. An SPAG allows you to pause individual products that aren’t giving you the expected results. SPAGs also give you the option to create negative keywords for specific products.
  • An SPAG allows you to identify your best-selling products and least-selling products, which will help you to group them into performing and non-performing categories accordingly.
  • An SPAG is a very useful tool, as it allows you to make modifications at the product level and create keywords for your product and control the bids at the market level.

Try Google Showcase Ads

  • Google Showcase Ads feature product images and prices directly on the results page. These ads expand when clicked and display a custom description of the product and a catalog of related products. These ads allow you to group together related products and present them together to introduce your brand or business.
  • Google Showcase Ads can improve your sales performance and efficiency of your paid campaigns as they allow you to highlight your products using high-quality digital images. You will be able to see them at the top of the SERP (search engine results page), above the paid search ads.

Create a good post-purchase experience

  • Considering the fierce competition from other brands and competitors online, it is very important to encourage repeat purchases, as they are often much less expensive than converting first-time shoppers.
  • A strong check-out experience and post-purchase considerations will help build strong customer loyalty which will make second and third purchases more likely.
  • Use customer data wisely once it is acquired. This will improve your customer retention rate. You can group your customers based on how much they have purchased and how many times they have purchased. You can then provide exclusive discounts and offers to your loyal customers accordingly.

Important points to remember while creating an ecommerce website

Here are a few key points that you must consider while creating an ecommerce website.

  • Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Many users use mobile devices for online searches, in fact, most online searches are executed on mobile devices. Making your site mobile user-friendly ensures that customers will be able to navigate your site on their mobile devices seamlessly.
  • Different users prefer different payment methods. Therefore, it is important to offer multiple payment options, as customers may cancel the purchase if they don’t find their preferred payment option on your ecommerce website. For instance, you could offer a normal credit card payment option, as well as PayPal or Google Pay.
  • Keep the sales process simple. Even customers who are not computer or mobile-savvy should be able to complete their purchase without trouble. A simple and straightforward experience can give your customers an effortless and seamless experience while purchasing.

Final thoughts

It is important for every brand to put the time in to ensure that they stand out and speak to their audience. Try to identify the ways in which you can keep your audience engaged as it can help in driving greater data capture and increase brand loyalty.

The strategies mentioned in this post can help you improve the efficiency of your ad campaigns, and implementing them correctly will pay off handsomely in the long run.


Andy Beohar is VP of SevenAtoms, a Google and HubSpot certified agency in San Francisco. Andy develops and manages ROI-positive inbound and paid marketing campaigns for B2B & Tech companies. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Maximizing efficiency for ecommerce paid campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2022/09/07/maximizing-efficiency-for-ecommerce-paid-campaigns/




Bringing a Passionate PC-First Audience to Mobile

Riot Games has thrived off a player-focused mentality with its flagship global sensation League of Legends. During its 10th anniversary in 2019, the developer announced several new game genres, including its first foray into the mobile gaming space. 

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/riot-games-league-of-legends-wild-rift-bringing-pc-audience-to-mobile/




Is your business optimized for Google Discover? This guide is for you!

30-second summary:

  • Would you turn down an opportunity to acquire new customers without breaking the bank?
  • Google Discover currently supports 800M users in exploration and is a great way to attract new audiences
  • Joe Dawson covers the “why” and “how” in this comprehensive Google Discover optimization guide

Even though spending on SEO plays such a major role in the online business sphere, most web admins spend their lives attempting to crack Google’s organic page ranking algorithms. As SEOs may or may not lose sleep over the latest updates, Google Discovery is surely a dreamy-eyed way to win more audiences.

What is Google Discover?

Discover is the brainchild that replaced Google Feed in 2018 and helps around  800M monthly active users with content exploration. Discover aims to push hand-selected news and articles directly to user feeds without the need for searching. Google builds a profile of users and supplies them with content considered relevant to individual interests.

Nothing is anonymous online, and we all leave digital trails of our fundamental interests. Just as your website offers opportunities to glean first-party data, so does Google. With the average person estimated to make at least three to four searches per day, that’s plenty of information to harvest.

Google Discover - a quick look

Source: Google Search Central

Google plays their cards close to their chest about how they build consumer profiles. Experts believe that the following are factored into the creation of these blueprints:

  • Search history unique to Google
  • Browser history of websites visited
  • Activity on any installed apps
  • Location, assuming this information has not been barred in settings

That’s certainly enough material to understand what a user may be interested in. Much like social media targeted advertising, Google knows what your audience wants to see and will do all it can to meet such desires through Discovery. It’s your responsibility to optimize your Discovery presence and ensure that your content is chosen to be pushed.

Why optimize Google Discover?

Discover attracts a loyal, returning audience to your website. It allows users to follow a particular brand or business, ensuring their content will always appear on their smartphone. Naturally, you need to earn this loyalty. The usual caveats apply here. Work to attract your target audience by speaking their language, delivering content that shows your brand can be relied upon.

Deliver content that shows people can rely on your brand - Google Discover optimization guide

Source: Marketing Charts

Perhaps more pertinently, Discover knows what users want to hear about – and delivers this in spades. Imagine that a user’s five most visited websites are for their local NFL team, a health food store in their town, a website specializing in tips for joggers, a website that sells running shoes, and a food blog packed with recipes. This suggests that the user in question enjoys sports and fitness. This individual’s Google Discovery feed will reflect this lifestyle.

Somebody with more sedentary hobbies may receive articles on the latest comings and goings on Netflix or technology and gadget news. If you optimize your content for Discover, it could be your website and articles that are pushed onto a smartphone. As Discover has an enviable CTR, this is not an opportunity to pass up.

How to optimize your website for Google Discover

Now that we’ve established that Discover fast-track site traffic, and by extension, conversions – how do you achieve this optimization? This fifteen-point checklist covers hints and tips to enhance your success rate.

1. Comply with Google’s policies

First thing’s first. Do not forget that Discover is a Google property, which means abiding by the search engine’s usual rules and regulations. In essence, that means continuing to follow organic SEO and page ranking practices.

As much as keeping on top of Google’s regular algorithm updates can sometimes feel like a full-time job, it remains necessary. To optimize the potential of Discover, your website must maintain standard white hat SEO protocols. If your dedication to improving page ranking and quality score slips, your content is less likely to be selected by Discover.

2. Create a Google My Business account

Here’s another quick and simple hack to help produce tangible results. Google always wants to provide users with the finest and most relevant connections. If you’re using Discover for ecommerce, the big G will consider a GMB account as a seal of quality. You’re likelier to be selected by Discover if you have an active profile – especially one that boasts organic, positive reviews.

3. Ensure mobile compatibility

When investigating different web design possibilities, highly prioritize mobile compatibility. This sounds like a no-brainer as Discovery is a mobile-centric tool, but you may be surprised at how many fall at this hurdle. Use Google’s Mobile Usability Report to check how your site is doing.

If you build your website through WordPress, consider taking advantage of the Web Stories plug-in. This is made for use on Google – after all, Web Stories even have their own segment on the search engine’s home page – and will often pique the curiosity of Discovery.

4. Feature larger images to create compelling UX and boost CTRs

You can even feature your card images in a large format by using the robots meta tag max-image-preview setting. This is a great way to gain more screen space and win audience attention that will drive CTR. According to Google, this increased a food blog’s CTR by 79 percent and drove a weekly magazine’s clicks by 332 percent across six months.

Google Discover optimization guide - use large images to drive CTR
Google Discover optimization guide – use large images to drive CTR

Source: Google Search Central

5. Find a unique niche and demonstrate your knowledge

Like when bidding for a plum PPC spot, popular keywords can create an extremely competitive environment in Discovery. Unless you’re among the major players in your industry, you risk being muscled out by more prominent names. For example, if you’re writing about sports, ESPN is always likelier to be selected to discuss the playoffs and significant incidents in a game.

That doesn’t mean that Discover is pointless, you’ll just need to think outside the box. Come up with a topic that could be less commonplace within your niches, such as a particular player, team, or set of stats. Discuss these at length, appealing to the regulations of the E-A-T algorithm, and the results will come.

6. Consider your target audience

Discover is designed to match the ideal content with the perfect audience. That needs to be considered when creating blog posts and similar copy. Take the time to build a picture of your target audience and use analytics to ensure you are appealing to them.

Based on the results, you may need to adjust your approach. For example, emotive language may attract one type of reader but deter users likelier to convert. Equally, you may find that you need to use less prose and more images to draw users you really want.

7. Master your headlines carefully

Over 14 percent of all Google text searches include a question. Embrace this in your headlines. If you pose a question, you’re likelier to be selected by Discovery and attract an audience’s attention.

All the same, never lose sight of Google’s quest for relevance. That means not trying to pull a bait and switch. A blog headlined “how to hire an app developer” needs to discuss the trials and tribulations of this very process. An article that says, “don’t bother – here is a DIY mobile app design guide to save money,” will not be embraced by Discovery.

8. Ensure your content is of the highest quality

We’ve just established that Google Discover has limited patience for clickbait, but you may be able to slip some of this material through the net.

You’ll quickly lose their trust and struggle to attract followers. The same applies to content that has not gone through a quality check process and is littered with typos and errors. Quality matters, so do not try to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes. Another way to create compelling, relevant content for your audience is by checking your Google search traffic and keyword research. This will help you distinguish and craft top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content for key segments of the search journey and align it with the sales funnel.

9. Keep your finger on the pulse

News and current events are the bread and butter of Google Discover. On paper, Google will always look to deliver the latest and greatest news articles to users. Criticism has been leveled at Discover, claiming that it has been top-of-the-funnel (TOFU), but it still pays to remain relevant when attempting to appeal to algorithms.

Anecdotal evidence claims that Discover ranks some search terms that SEO does not, opening new opportunities. That does not mean that you should throw together a hot take on the latest Twitter controversy and wait for the clicks to roll in. If that flies in the face of your brand values, you’ll suffer in the longer term. Just avoid shying away from existing talking points that would add value to your audiences. Also, don’t hop on this bandwagon unless you have something valuable to say as a brand.

10. Encourage users to ‘heart’ you

If you have a captive audience outside of Discover, encourage them to follow you on this platform. Discover offers a heart icon that matches the purpose of a Facebook like, which is a direct way to show appreciation for the material.

If somebody follows an article from your site in their areas of interest, it will be noted on their Google profile. They are then likely to receive more content on the same subject from your brand – as are other, unrelated users that Google considers to have similar interests.

11. Increase your brand awareness

As an extension of the point above, users are prone to discover – and follow – your Discover profile if they are aware of your brand. Use your marketing campaigns to raise your Google Discover profile, steering people toward following you on here.

12. Regularly create and post new content

Discover is often looking for the newest insights and articles to share with users. As a result, a freshly published blog is much likelier to be selected than something penned weeks, months, or years previously – assuming it meets the quality standards we previously mentioned. Evergreen content occasionally gets picked up, but not as often.

Just be aware that articles selected by Discover tend to have a shorter shelf life than something penned with organic SEO in mind. You can still look to appeal to both markets. Discover can be just as helpful for an inbound marketing strategy. Just do not expect your blog to remain on the platform longer than three or four days.

13. Include images and videos in your content

Regardless of whether a picture is truly worth a thousand words, there is no denying that Discover looks to curate variety in its content. Websites that included images and video in their blog posts saw a much greater uptake in selection by Discover than those that relied on pure prose.

Quality matters just as much as quantity here. A quick video shot on your smartphone and shoehorned into your content will not cut the mustard. Discover looks for crisp, high-definition image quality in moving and static pictures alike, so always opt for the greatest resolution you can that retains mobile friendliness.

14. Interact on social media

Discover loves social engagement. As with organic SEO, Discover is likely to select and push content that attracts comments and shares on social media. This creates a chicken and egg scenario. Will your content go viral on social media because it was picked up by Discover, or did Discover push the content because it was gaining social media traction?

In truth, the order of events matters little. Discover can sit neatly alongside the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube to bolster awareness of your content and amass an army of new followers. As always, this creates a snowball effect – the more followers you gain, the more strangers will have your content pushed to their appliances.

15. Track your analytics – and improve where necessary

Finally, as with your SEO performance, you should always keep an eye on your Google Discover traffic analytics. You’ll find this in your Search Console. Do not be alarmed if your Discover traffic looks low. It takes a couple of days for these visits to hit the report so things may change in time.

Discover may not be essential if you are still attracting attention through other means. But no website should ever turn down an opportunity to boost website traffic! So if your numbers are tracking lower than anticipated, revisit points one through fourteen and implement what you can to improve performance.


Joe Dawson is Director of strategic growth agency Creative.onl, based in the UK. He can be found on Twitter @jdwn.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

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The post Is your business optimized for Google Discover? This guide is for you! appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2022/02/17/is-your-business-optimized-for-google-discover-this-guide-is-for-you/




Why Ryan Reynolds’ Mint Mobile Flipped an Old Ad Upside-Down for Super Bowl Sunday

Mint Mobile is making its return to Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, but you might need to tune in a bit early to catch the Ryan Reynolds-owned brand’s ad.

https://www.adweek.com/creativity/why-ryan-reynolds-mint-mobile-flipped-an-old-ad-upside-down-for-super-bowl-sunday/




Winter Olympians Express Their Passions Beyond Sports in Samsung’s Sleek Ad

While Olympians regularly endorse everything from sneakers to credit cards, Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter places a blackout period immediately before and during the games when competing athletes can’t appear in ads. Samsung is getting around that restriction ahead of the Winter Olympics in Beijing with a spot from Leo Burnett that casts actors as athletes.

https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/winter-olympians-express-their-passions-beyond-sports-in-samsungs-sleek-ad/




A must-have web accessibility checklist for digital marketers

A must-have web accessibility checklist for digital marketers

30-second summary:

  • Accessibility underpins stellar user experience and positive brand perception, the key factors that appeal to value-driven consumers
  • According to WebAIM, 98 percent of US-based websites aren’t accessible
  • Though not a sparkly aspect of digital marketing strategies, there are multiple layers to “why?” and “how?” brands must be accessible across the internet

Marketers develop and execute numerous strategies to broaden their business reach. But one critical factor that most marketers neglect is web accessibility. And this neglect leads to their business being closed off for a large majority of potential customers.

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility ensures that the internet is accessible, usable, and beneficial for everyone alike. It considers all possible disabilities to ensure marketing messages are delivered to every kind of audience and get the most value out of the website.

As important as it may seem right now, web accessibility is often the last thing marketers think of when building a website. And then, too, it is often brushed under the rug.

Despite the World Wide Web Consortium, commonly known as W3C developing dedicated web content accessibility guidelines to make the internet more accessible, digital inclusivity remains a rarity.

And this unfortunate reality acts not only as an accessibility barrier, but a growth barrier as well.

The value of web accessibility in modern marketing initiatives

Acknowledging and adopting web accessibility enhances the customer experience, opens new doors for your business, uplifts marketing outcomes, and boosts revenue in more ways than just one.

1. Extends your market reach

15 percent of the world’s population is disabled and belongs to a highly valuable market segment with strong spending powers.

With a digitally inclusive web presence, your business interacts with an increased volume of people who it would’ve missed otherwise. In this way, web accessibility brings a whole new community of prospects you can interact with, win as customers and boost your revenue.

2. SEO benefits

Search engines prefer to rank websites that are secure, accessible, and valuable to all kinds of users. Moreover, they perceive digitally inclusive websites as authentic sources of information and favor them in rankings.

As a result, enhancing web accessibility undeviatingly supplements your online marketing with an SEO boost, helping you get to the coveted top position in SERPs. It opens another channel for web traffic that connects you with your target audience.

3. Enhanced user experience

User experience is at the heart of your digital presence as it relates directly to conversions. The basic principle of UX optimization dictates that you research what your target audience wants and deliver it.

In the case of differently-abled audiences, it’s common sense that they would want you to deliver a website they can interact with and benefit from.

By optimizing your website’s accessibility, you boost its usability which is a core element of user experience.

If all other elements of UX are optimized, enhanced usability wins customer satisfaction and gives the prospect a final push towards conversion, contributing to your revenue.

4. Positive brand perception

Web accessibility enables your brand to appear as a strong advocate of digital inclusivity and works to build positive brand perception. Now isn’t that a critical outcome of modern marketing?

Today where people seek a business’s values before engaging with it, a concrete stance on digital inclusivity reflects your values of empathy, compassion, and equal opportunities for all. This builds your community of like-minded people who then contribute to your revenue.

Five-point checklist to get started with web accessibility

For maximum effect, web accessibility should be considered a priority rather than an afterthought and must be included in your digital and marketing strategy.

Following are a few ways through which you can uplift your digital inclusivity and leave a larger impact:

1. Multilingual SEO

Web accessibility not only aims at eliminating accessibility barriers for people with permanent, temporary, or situational disabilities. It also removes linguistic barriers, so people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds can have equal access.

Given that English is spoken by a meager 4.83 percent of the world’s population, multilingual SEO eliminates linguistic barriers and helps searchers from all linguistic backgrounds to benefit from the internet.

Here’s a guide I created on multilingual SEO to get you started.

2. Voice search

The introduction of smart assistants such as Alexa has pioneered a new era of voice search ubiquity and the consequent web accessibility.

As an excellent avenue to pursue for businesses looking to be more digitally inclusive, voice search unlocks your website’s chances of interaction with people who cannot search the conventional way.

Here are some best practices to optimize voice search SEO:

  • Use long tail keywords that are specific, descriptive, and natural for users’ language
  • Serve up content that gives direct answers
  • Optimize your ‘Google My Business’ account
  • Create voice search FAQ pages
  • Implement schema which is a code that you can add to your website that improves search visibility

For more depth, check out this voice search SEO guide for trends and best practices.

Example of schema that improves web accessibility
Example of schema that improves web accessibility

3. Alternate (Alt) text

Alt text helps visually impaired visitors understand what a web image depicts. Hence image optimization allows web visitors to absorb the information your website offers in its totality and ties back to enhanced user experience.

Tips for using alt text:

  • Keep it descriptive and keyword specific, this will show up in case your page loads slow or if there was an audio description needed
  • For ecommerce sites, make good use of structured data to give the search engine more specific details about your products’ color, type, size, and a lot more

If you need more details, here’s an evergreen image optimization guide.

4. Hierarchical organization or content using H tags

Hierarchical layout shapes your web content in an easy-to-read structure. A critical part of web accessibility (and SEO), a hierarchical organization can make your website usable and understandable for users with certain cognitive disabilities and people with short attention spans, boosting their satisfaction and your websites’ overall UX.

Check out this guide on optimizing meta tags.

5. Color contrast

Color contrast involves adjusting the color of foreground web elements (for instance, fonts) against the color of the background elements to ensure that the foreground elements, which bear value, stand out and are easily readable for people with visual impairment.

The Bureau of Internet Accessibility has identified a color contrast ratio that ensures that your website is visible and readable for people with color-related visual impairments.

Conclusion

Web accessibility is a necessity, but unfortunately, it doesn’t get the same limelight as other digital marketing avenues that promise increased reach, better perception, and higher revenue.

This reality can work in your favor if you capitalize on the lack of web accessibility and gain a competitive edge by adopting digital inclusivity.

There are numerous marketing benefits of web accessibility, most significant of which may be the development of positive brand perception in an era of value-driven shoppers.

Inclusive marketing initiatives are commendable. But they are only valuable when backed by conscious efforts of enhancing your business’s digital accessibility. So, endeavoring to actualize web accessibility strategies can help you become the pioneer of an internet era where digital inclusivity is a priority.


Atul Jindal is a web design and marketing specialist, having interests in doing websites/apps optimized for SEO with a core focus on conversion optimization. He creates web experiences that bring conversations and transform web traffic into paying customers or leads.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post A must-have web accessibility checklist for digital marketers appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2022/01/13/a-must-have-web-accessibility-checklist-for-digital-marketers/




Why is Zynga worth a whopping $12.7 billion? (Hint: It’s not FarmVille)

The company that publishes <em>Grand Theft Auto</em> now owns all of these goofballs, too…”><figcaption class=
Enlarge / The company that publishes Grand Theft Auto now owns all of these goofballs, too…

Major console game publisher Take-Two has acquired social and mobile gaming giant Zynga for a whopping $12.7 billion in cash and stock, making the deal the largest acquisition of a single gaming company in history.

That might seem like a ludicrous price if your familiarity with Zynga is limited to FarmVille, CityVille, and other Zynga games that came to dominate the “social gaming” fad of the early 2010s (and led to the creation of some excellent books, if I do say so myself). But while the original FarmVille merely limped along until 2010, Zynga has successfully transitioned into a casual mobile gaming powerhouse by spending billions of dollars on acquisitions like Gram Games (1010) and Small Giant Games (Empire & Puzzles) in 2018, as well as Peak Games (Toon Blast) and Rollic (Go Knots 3D) in 2020. Last year, the company even dipped into PC games with the acquisition of Torchlight studio Echtra Games.

With those companies gathered under the Zynga umbrella, the company now attracts over 168 million monthly users and made $706 million in revenue in the latest reporting quarter.

Still, Zynga’s mostly casual fare might seem like an odd match for a big-budget console game maker like Take-Two. But the acquisition gives Take-Two a simple way to get its massive and well-known console franchises—including Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, Civilization, Borderlands, BioShock, Kerbal Space Program, and the 2K Sports games—in front of a huge audience of mobile players.

“Take-Two has an extensive catalog of commercially and critically successful console and PC titles with engaged and loyal communities of players, and there is a meaningful opportunity to create mobile games and new cross-platform experiences for many of these properties,” the company wrote in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Zynga’s nearly 3,000 employees include highly talented mobile developers, paving the way for Take-Two to accelerate this strategic initiative and introduce its iconic intellectual properties across the fastest-growing platform in the industry.”

Grand Theft Auto Online could quickly pay for the Zynga acquisition on its own…” src=”https://rassegna.lbit-solution.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/why-is-zynga-worth-a-whopping-12-7-billion-hint-its-not-farmville.jpg” width=”640″ height=”360″ srcset=”https://rassegna.lbit-solution.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/why-is-zynga-worth-a-whopping-12-7-billion-hint-its-not-farmville-1.jpg 2x”>
Enlarge / A mobile version of the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto Online could quickly pay for the Zynga acquisition on its own…

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick expanded on this synergy on a Monday morning conference call discussing the acquisition. “Perhaps most importantly, we have the ability together, from both a development and a publishing point of view, to optimize the creation of new titles based on Take-Two’s core intellectual property,” he said. “We believe we have the best collection of console and PC intellectual property in the interactive entertainment business, and it’s basically nearly entirely un-exploited from mobile and free-to-play around the world. Zynga’s best-in-class studios can help us develop that property.”

Get mobile or die trying

That helps explain why Take-Two thinks Zynga is a good fit. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the company is worth today’s record valuation.

The price Take-Two is paying today represents a significant 64 percent premium over Zynga’s closing stock price on Friday, showing just how eager the publisher is to get a chunk of the mobile gaming market. Today’s $12.7 billion valuation outpaces the $10 billion paid for Clash of Clans maker Supercell in 2016 and the $7.5 billion Microsoft paid for Bethesda Softworks in 2020.

Is Zynga’s collection of popular mobile titles really worth more than Doom, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, and all of Bethesda’s other games combined? It could be—if it helps Take-Two seize even a small portion of the mobile game market, which was estimated to be worth $100 billion in 2020.

For players who grew up in an age when game consoles and especially PC games dominated the space, it can be hard to fathom just how quickly mobile games have taken over the worldwide market. A lot of that is due to blazing growth in Asia, where high-end gaming PCs have long been seen as unaffordable for a large part of the population and game consoles have historically been heavily restricted in many countries. As such, free-to-play games that run on billions of smartphones already in Asian consumers’ pockets now represent the vast majority of gaming revenue.

Given the size of that market, spending billions of dollars to get an instant foothold in the mobile games market seems perfectly natural. For evidence of just how important that foothold can be, look no further than Activision Blizzard. The major console and PC game publisher spent a then-unheard-of $5.9 billion for Candy Crush maker King Games back in 2015. That purchase looks prescient in retrospect, as King now represents a third of the company’s total revenues of over $2 billion a quarter.

Call of Duty: Mobile brought in an estimated $1 billion in revenue in 2021, showing how valuable the market can be for big-name console franchises.” src=”https://rassegna.lbit-solution.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/why-is-zynga-worth-a-whopping-12-7-billion-hint-its-not-farmville-1.png” width=”640″ height=”360″ srcset=”https://rassegna.lbit-solution.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/why-is-zynga-worth-a-whopping-12-7-billion-hint-its-not-farmville-2.png 2x”>
Enlarge / Call of Duty: Mobile brought in an estimated $1 billion in revenue in 2021, showing how valuable the market can be for big-name console franchises.

Activision tried to leverage that acquisition with a King-made mobile version of Call of Duty, which began development in 2017. But the project fell apart, and Activision went to Tencent-owned TiMi Studios to develop Call of Duty: Mobile. That port is set to bring in over $1 billion in 2021, highlighting the potential value of bringing top-shelf console franchises to the massive worldwide mobile market.

In other words, today’s acquisition is only hard to understand if you still think of mobile games as the limited little cousin of PC and console gaming. In recent years, that relationship has flipped. Even giants of gaming’s old world are desperate for an easy way to leverage their franchises in the mobile market.

https://arstechnica.com/?p=1824871




The not-so-SEO checklist for 2022

30-second summary:

  • With several Google algorithm updates in 2021 its easy to fall into a dangerous trap of misconceptions
  • One factor that still remains constant is the value Google places on great content
  • Core Web Vitals aren’t the end-all of ranking factors but a tiebreaker
  • Read this before you create your SEO strategy for 2022!

The year 2021 was a relatively busy one for Google and SEOs across the world. The search engine behemoth is improving itself all the time, but in this past year, we saw a number of pretty significant updates that gave digital marketers cause for paying attention. From rewarding more detailed product reviews to nullifying link spam, Google keeps thinking of ways to improve the user experience on its platform.

Speaking of user experience: the biggest talking point of the year was June’s Page Experience update, which took place over a few months and notably included the Core Web Vitals.

After that happened, tens of thousands of words were published around the web instructing people on how to modify their websites to meet the new standards.

Mobile-friendliness became even more important than before. Some more inexperienced SEOs out there might have started looking to the Core Web Vitals as the new be-all ranking factor for web pages.

With all this new information on our hands since last year, it’s possible that some misconceptions have sprung up around what is good and bad for SEO in 2022.

In this post, I want to bring up and then dispel some of the myths surrounding Google’s bigger and more mainstream 2021 updates.

So, here it is – the not-so-SEO checklist for your 2022. Here are three of the things you shouldn’t do.

1. Don’t prioritize Core Web Vitals (CWV) above quality content

It’s no secret that Google’s Core Web Vitals are among the elements you’ll want to optimize your website for in 2022 if you haven’t done so already.

As a quick reminder, the Core Web Vitals are at the crossroads between SEO and web dev, and they are the measurements of your website’s largest contentful paint, first input display, and cumulative layout shift.

Those are the parts of your website that load first and allow users to start interacting with the site in the first few milliseconds. Logic tells us that the slower your load times are, the worse your site’s user experience will be.

The not so SEO checklist and Core Web Vitals - debunking myths

First of all, this isn’t exactly new information. We all know about page speed and how it affects SEO. We also know how vital it is that your Core Web Vitals perform well on mobile, which is where around 60 percent of Google searches come from.

Google takes its Core Web Vitals so seriously as ranking factors that you can now find a CWV report in Google Search Console and get CWV metrics in PageSpeed Insights results (mobile-only until February of 2022, when the metrics roll out for desktop).

Given that, why am I calling it a misconception that Core Web Vitals should be at the top of your SEO-optimization checklist for 2022?

It’s because Google itself has explicitly stated that having a top-shelf page experience does not trump publishing killer content. Content is still king in SEO. Being useful and answering user questions is one of the most crucial ranking factors.

So, it’s a misconception that Google will not rank you well unless your Core Web Vitals are all in solid, healthy places.

However, having it all is the ideal situation. If you have great web content and optimized Core Web Vitals, you’ll probably perform better in organic search than would a page without strong Core Web Vitals.

In 2022, therefore, work on your Core Web Vitals for sure, but develop a detailed content marketing plan first.

2. Don’t assume your affiliate product-review site is in trouble

Another misconception that might have followed from a 2021 Google update is that affiliate sites, specifically product-review sites, were in some hot water after the Product Reviews update from April.

Google meant for the update to prioritize in-depth and useful product reviews over reviews that are spammy and light on details. In other words, just as in organic search, higher-quality content is going to win here.

If there was ever a point when someone actually made money by running a shady, low-quality affiliate site that featured nonsense product reviews that were then essentially spammed out to thousands of people, Google’s April 2021 product reviews update started to kill that.

The search engine now prioritizes long-form, detailed reviews, the kind that generates trust from users. Those are the types of affiliate content that stand to benefit from Google’s update, while the spammy sites will continue to vanish from top rankings.

Therefore, we can forget about the misconception that good, honest, hard-working affiliate product reviewers would somehow be hurt by the update.

As long as you are presenting something relevant and legitimately useful to users, you may have even seen your rankings rise since the April of 2021.

3. Don’t assume Google will rewrite all your titles

The last misconception I want to address here is the idea that you don’t need to put effort into your pages’ title tags because Google is going to rewrite them all anyway following its August of 2021 title tag-rewrite initiative.

First, some explanation. Back in August, many of you know that SEOs across the industry started noticing their page titles being rewritten, as in, not as they had originally created them.

Google soon owned up to rewriting page titles, but only those it believed were truly sub-par for user experience. In Google’s view, those junky title tags included ones that were stuffed with keywords, overly long, boilerplate across a given website, or just plain missing.

But SEOs still noticed that seemingly SEO-optimized title tags were still being rewritten, and the new titles didn’t always come directly from the original title. Sometimes, as Google has been doing since 2012, the search engine would use semantics to rewrite a title to be more descriptive or just simply better.

In other cases, Google’s new titles came from H1 text, body text, or backlink anchor text.

Google saw these efforts and still does, as one great way to improve user experience during the search.

Many SEOs, however, did not see it that way, especially given that Google’s rewrites were sometimes responsible for drops in traffic.

To put it mildly, there was uproar in the SEO community over the change, so much so that Google explained itself a second time just a month later, in September 2021.

In that blog post, Google said that it uses marketers’ own title tags 87 percent of the time (up from just 80 percent in August). The other 13 percent would be rewrites done to improve:

  • too-short titles,
  • outdated titles,
  • boilerplate titles,
  • and inaccurate titles.

And now to bring things back to the crux of this: it is a misconception that you’re wasting your time writing title tags after August of 2021.

Google does not actually want to rewrite your title tags. It clearly stated this in its September blog post.

What Google wants is for you to write high-quality page titles on your own, ones that are descriptive, truthful, and useful. Give users what they need, and Google will leave your titles alone.

However, throw a bunch of keywords in there, or use boilerplate titles all over your site, and you can expect Google to do some cleaning up on your behalf. The trouble is, you may not personally like the results.

Title tags matter in SEO, big time. Don’t think that your efforts are futile just because of the 2021 change. Focus on creating title tags that matter for users, and you should be just fine.

Going forward

The three misconceptions I have covered here can be dangerous to fall into in 2022.

Now, are Core Web Vitals, quality affiliate links, and title tags important to Google? You can bet they are. But SEOs also just have to be smart when approaching these matters. Everything Google Search Central does has the user in mind.

Optimize for Core Web Vitals, but still, put quality content creation first.

Run your affiliate marketing site, but ensure the reviews are useful.

And write amazing SEO title tags so that Google won’t want to rewrite them.

Following these guidelines can only help you in the year to come.


Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2022/01/04/the-not-so-seo-checklist-for-2022/




Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO

30-second summary:

  • Holiday season shopping is on and your ecommerce store whether a local shop or an international ecommerce brand needs visibility for sales
  • How do you jump right in front of your potential customers and drive sales in a highly competitive space?
  • SEO pioneer, former Pepperjam founder, and serial entrepreneur, Kris Jones shares a practical ecommerce SEO guide

There is perhaps no type of business that is more primed for SEO than ecommerce companies. Think about it: where a local law firm can put up a billboard or buy ad space in a regional newspaper in addition to doing SEO, ecommerce businesses essentially have one resource available to them, the internet.

That’s where they do 100 percent of their business, and it’s where they’re going to reach the customers they want. So, ecommerce companies should spend a lot of time getting their SEO just right. One crucial way of doing that is to optimize your site to appear in Google’s various SERP features.

There are so many ways you can tell users about your business just from the SERP even before they get onto your website. And the information you present could mean all the difference between capturing your ideal traffic and losing it to competition.

Therefore, to market yourself in the best light to all potential customers searching for your products, you have to optimize your website specifically for the SERP features that drive conversions.

How do you do it? Here are four of the most vital Google SERP features for which you should be optimizing your ecommerce business’ SEO.

1. Rich cards

Back in 2016, Google introduced a new mobile SERP feature called rich cards. By using structured data, SEOs could make a business’s results “richer,” that is, more visually appealing, clickable, and therefore more likely to generate an organic click.

If you search for a certain type of product, results marked up with the proper language tell Google to show the product along with an image that can help users know if they want to explore more. Users simply swipe to see more items.

Now, why am I recommending a SERP feature from 2016?

It’s because in the first quarter of 2021, mobile traffic accounted for almost 55 percent of online traffic worldwide, and that number is only going to increase. Basically, mobile search results are even more relevant today than they were in 2016.

With that in mind, how can you optimize your ecommerce products for rich cards?

You need to use the JSON-LD method of marking up your products. You can then test your work with the various free rich results tools on offer from Google.

2. Google Images results

Somewhat related to rich cards is the need for ecommerce businesses to optimize their content for Google Images results. Relevant images will appear at the top of a SERP, before any organic results.

A good product description does indeed go a long way, but don’t forget to think simply, as well: if customers can see clear, high-quality images of your products, that will help your credibility along, and hence drive conversions.

How do optimize for Google Images results? Well, Google doesn’t read images like it reads text, so it’s all going to come down to how you prepare your images on the back end.

First of all, ensure your images are originally yours. You don’t stand much of a chance trying to rank for stock photos.

Next, give your photos descriptive file names that tie into the pages where they will be placed. In the case of ecommerce, since you’ll probably have a series of photos for each product, give the image files titles that reflect the product, with words separated by hyphens.

Here’s an example: unisex-sneakers-blue-brandname-yoursitename

And don’t forget to provide descriptive alt text to each image in case it can’t load and be seen.

Finally, be sure you’re not uploading huge image files that will weigh down a website. Compress them down as small as you can to give your site enough breathing room while still ensuring the images show what you need them to show. Check out this comprehensive guide on image optimization.

3. Rich snippets

Wait a minute, you might say, why are you talking about both rich cards and rich snippets?

With ecommerce products, rich cards will stop you at the images. You can choose to go a step further for appropriate products by optimizing for rich snippets.

Rich snippets add in extra details about your products. These get placed inside your search results, under the meta title, and above the meta description.

To get rich snippets on your product results, you’ll use structured data just like you did for rich cards. You can choose which information to enter based on what specifically can grab your potential customer’s attention and satisfy their search query.

For ecommerce companies, it makes the most sense to optimize your rich-snippet products for prices, in-stock status, sales, different brands, customer reviews, and star ratings.

Think about each of these features. Doesn’t it make sense that a customer searching for this type of product would want to see this information from your online store?

Rich snippets are one great way of reaching users with extra information without the need for the users actually to click on your result. You’re taking the most concentrated bits of data about your product offerings and jumping right out onto the SERPs at the user.

Sure, you can choose not to do this for your products. But if your competitors are, who do you think stands the better chance of getting a click and making a sale?

Rich snippets are just good ecommerce SEO, plain and simple.

4. Sitelinks

Finally, you should attempt to optimize your site for SERP sitelinks.

I say “attempt” to optimize because this isn’t a SERP feature you can just click on and off, like alt text or structured data.

So we’re all on the same page here, sitelinks are the clickable buttons below your result’s metadata on a SERP. They typically offer opportunities for users to navigate directly to sections of your website.

In the case of ecommerce, the most logical sitelinks you would want to get listed in your result would be for your most popular product categories.

But again, I’m saying “would want” because sitelinks are chosen by Google’s algorithm. That doesn’t mean you can’t influence which sitelinks Google places there. Which pages Google links in your results is based primarily on your site’s navigation.

As SEOs, we always recommend having a direct and easy-to-navigate website structure. It helps the user experience, supports navigation, and prompts Google to crawl your pages.

Other things that help Google crawl your site include keyword-optimized content, smart internal linking, and simple, intuitive menus.

It is through these elements that you stand your best chance of defining what your SERP sitelinks will be. When you tell Google which pages are most important to you and your customers, the search engine will respond in kind by generating helpful sitelinks.

This is yet another example of having your SEO jump right to the SERP at users without them having to do anything.

And when you’re in the competitive ecommerce space, that really matters.

Go forth and optimize

Businesses always have it tough when going up against the competition. Whether you’re a local shop or an international ecommerce brand, there’s always someone else trying to beat you at your own game.

While SEO can never make anyone do anything, we put ourselves on the best possible footing when we take the above steps to optimize our websites for the SERP features.

If you’re not doing these things already, you’ll want to get started as soon as you can! And then sit back and watch what happens.


Kris Jones is the founder and former CEO of digital marketing and affiliate network Pepperjam, which he sold to eBay Enterprises in 2009. Most recently Kris founded SEO services and software company LSEO.com and has previously invested in numerous successful technology companies. Kris is an experienced public speaker and is the author of one of the best-selling SEO books of all time called, ‘Search-Engine Optimization – Your Visual Blueprint to Effective Internet Marketing’, which has sold nearly 100,000 copies.

Subscribe to the Search Engine Watch newsletter for insights on SEO, the search landscape, search marketing, digital marketing, leadership, podcasts, and more.

Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The post Four Google SERP features for ecommerce SEO appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

https://www.searchenginewatch.com/2021/11/18/four-google-serp-features-for-ecommerce-seo/