For years, “actionable insights” have been the Holy Grail for data analytics companies. Actionable insights, the thinking goes, are the end product of data collection, aggregation, analysis, and judgment. They enable a decision-maker to modify behavior and achieve desired outcomes.
The process begins with data collection, which can take many forms. There’s a big difference between collecting data and aggregating it in a meaningful way that can provide a picture of reality. That’s the “insights” part of the puzzle. First, you need high-quality data, then you need the technological prowess to clean and organize it.
With high-quality data that’s been cleaned and organized, the next step is to provide context. This is the realm of companies like Tableau, which provide tools that translate machine-friendly data points into human-friendly visualizations that strive to depict an objective picture of current conditions.
But whereas a snapshot of current conditions may, in fact, yield new and meaningful insights (for example, if I look ‘sales numbers’ across an organization I can see which channels are over- or under-performing), human judgment has always been paramount in choosing a particular action. A perfect picture of static conditions doesn’t by itself offer any suggestions as to how to achieve particular outcomes. We still rely on management to tweak sales incentives or redistribute resources.
Or at least we did, up until recently. Machine learning is now shifting the balance of institutional decision-making. Advances in processing and algorithmic self-improvement mean that computers can now anticipate future outcomes and take steps to maximize particular ones. Intelligent systems can now see the world in shades of gray and evaluate likelihoods from multitudes of variables far beyond human comprehension.
That’s the world we currently live in, and the evidence is all around us. Machine learning algorithms have swayed elections by stoking targeted outrage. Our clothes, food, and consumer products are designed according to data-driven analytics. Every design feature in your favorite app is being constantly optimized according to how computers anticipate your future behavior. It’s why YouTube is actually pretty good at showing you videos that keep you engaged.
The day is coming when we will no longer require “actionable insights,” because the action will have already been taken. Nobody at YouTube is looking at your viewing history to determine what to recommend next. Computers do that. The value of the stock market is now largely driven by automated trading algorithms, and as a consequence, there are fewer stock analysts than there used to be. Not only can computers process information far better than humans, but they’ve also demonstrated better financial judgment.
The day will soon arrive when “actionable insights” will seem like a quaint notion from a simpler time. Computers will be smart enough to act on insights by themselves. In doing so, they may, in fact, diminish the need for human oversight.
Until then, however, human enterprise is still structured around hierarchies of decision-making and judgment. The CEO of a company still needs to delegate day-to-day responsibilities to human actors whose knowledge and judgment have proven sound.
And so, for now, we still need actionable insights. Data analytics companies will continue to build better mousetraps, until the day when there are no longer mice.
Gil Rachlin, SVP of Products and Partnerships at Synup.
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Lead generation via SEO is one of the best ways to improve the overall conversion rate of your website. There are several go-to SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, and Google Keyword Planner that most marketers use for keyword research, competitor tracking, and SERP movements. However, this is only one side of the equation.
Once people’s organic searches have pointed them to your web pages, what’s the best way to ensure they take the next step and opt into your email list?
Let’s take a look at the top five SEO lead generation tools and how you can use them to convert more of your site’s visitors in 2020 and ahead.
1. Hello Bar
With Hello Bar, you can convert your existing visitors into customers. You can design custom messages for your visitors and display them just at the right time.
Hello Bar sits at the top of your site, and it can be used to display irresistible offers to your visitors. You can even collect email addresses from your visitors to increase your subscriber database. Here is an example of Hello Bar in action:
Besides, you can use Hello Bar to create pop-ups that collect the name and email id of your visitors.
Pop-ups help to drive 1375% more subscribers.
An example of a Hello Bar pop-up is provided below:
You can easily customize your headline, CTA and the overall design of the bar and the pop-up. The platform automatically chooses the best color combination for the CTAs so you don’t need to spend hours testing that.
With Hello Bar, you can customize your message targeting by:
- Sending holiday-related messages to visitors during the holidays.
- Customize your pop-up for the mobile audience as the screen size is less.
- Customize your message based on the location of your customer.
- Display the pop-up during the exit-intent, just when the visitors are planning to leave your website.
Webinars are one of the best ways to generate leads.
Webinars offer a dual advantage. Firstly, you can generate leads right when you run a webinar, and secondly, you can repurpose your webinar into a blog post.
Generate leads directly via webinars
With ClickMeeting, you can run custom webinars to share product demos, conduct training sessions or run online courses. You can customize your webinar with a few clicks, and run them without worrying about the type of device and operating system. You can even stream your webinar live to Facebook or YouTube, allowing you to acquire even more leads.
But the true SEO-based lead capture power of webinars is to be found in evergreen topics that will continue to attract relevant audience members over time.
On-demand webinars are one of the fastest and easiest ways to expand your lead base.
Repurpose your webinar
Repurposing your webinar into a lengthy blog post, consisting of more than 2000 words, helps it to rank for new search queries. When your site achieves higher rankings for new keywords, it automatically maximizes your organic traffic, leading to more conversions.
Here are some great ways to repurpose webinars to generate leads:
- You can divide your webinar recordings into short videos of three to five minutes each and post the video on channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Add a compelling call to action, and people who watch the video are likely to reach out.
- Turn the entire webinar into a blog post and promote it on your social networks for added visibility. Try to present the blog post in a series of steps. This helps your site to get ranked as a featured snippet.
- Turn your webinar Q&A into a support resource page. FAQ pages offer an excellent opportunity to rank as a featured snippet. When people find answers to questions related to your business niche, they will be all the more likely to connect with your business.
- Create a transcript of your webinar and include long-tail (especially question keywords) in it.
It is difficult to succeed in your lead generation efforts in 2020 without videos.
VideoBoost is an app that lets you create trendy videos easily. It has an impressive collection of ready to use video templates and marketing copy. You can easily brand it and start generating leads for your business.
Next time when you are planning to optimize your website for the festive occasion, head over to VideoBoost and create a video for your audience using video templates for Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
vCita offers a dynamic widget that you can add to your site to convert your visitors into leads or customers.
With vCita’s lead generation widget, you can capture leads from all the pages on your website with a floating CTA that follows the users from page to page.
The tool also lets your audience to book appointments without leaving the site. All the contact details of the visitors get stored in a built-in CRM that can be used later to trigger follow-up nurture messages via email or SMS.
The best place to start with this kind of strategy might be to identify the pages on your site with the most traffic from high-intent organic search terms rates and add the vCita widget to them. I am sure you’ll be able to notice the difference in the number of conversions happening on your site.
OptinMonster is the most powerful conversion optimization tool in the world. It easily integrates with all the major email marketing and CRM platforms.
One of the tricks that OptinMonster uses to generate leads is via content upgrades. With the help of content upgrade, you offer users bonus content for performing an action on your site. This action can be – joining your email list or filling out a form.
SnackNation was able to generate 1200 new leads each month by using OptinMonster for content upgrades.
With features like MonsterLinks, you can convert any image or link into a two-step opt-in process. It works on the Zeigarnik effect which states that people are more likely to complete a task if they start it.
SEO is all about generating relevant, and quality leads for a business. Moreover, your SEO strategy should also focus on converting the acquired leads. Both lead generation and CRO forms an integral part of a comprehensive SEO strategy.
Start making the most with the power of the above five SEO tools to generate quality leads in 2020 and ahead. Happy marketing!
The post Top five SEO tools to generate more leads in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Video Ad Sequencing (VAS) is a recent addition to the Google Ads video campaign types that allows advertisers to, “…tell your product or brand story by showing people a series of videos in the order that you define.” But it is really a lot more.
Video Ad Sequencing can be used to take your target audience on a video journey based upon, to a limited extent, their behavior. By telling a story VAS lets you drive deeper awareness, engagement, and consideration.
Examples of Video Sequencing usage
Let’s say you want to let people know about “Five key elements of your product” and why it makes you better than the competition. With VAS, you can effectively ensure that potential customers see each video, in a set sequence.
We used VAS with one of our clients which had one long-form video that was just too long to capture the short attention span of users on YouTube. So, instead, we split the ad into five short vignettes, each with a quick intro and value-prop within the first five seconds (which is the non-skippable length of a video ad) to ensure our message got out before a user could skip the full 30-second video. We then set up a VAS campaign that would show these ads, in sequence, so that users would see the full story and all of the value that the product could offer.
What’s great about VAS is that you can go beyond a flat sequence and actually vary the content a user sees, depending on how they interact with each video in the sequence. For example, let’s say a user skips your first ad, rather than having them continue through your sequence, you can say, show them an alternate video outside of your sequence. If they skip that too, then you drop them entirely out of the sequence.
Another potential usage of Video Ad Sequencing
Another potential usage of Video Ad Sequencing is rewarding users for watching your content or calling out when they skip your videos. You can show videos to users that skipped your prior videos in sequence, meaning you can show them alternate content such as alternate value propositions, drop them out of the sequence, or even directly address with the audience that they skipped your prior video but you still really think your product is right for them. Alternatively, if a user views your first video, you can put them into a sequence with longer-form content for the second video, effectively creating exclusive content that only those viewers get to see.
Things you must know
The settings allow for you to dictate what content a user sees after they see an ad (impression) without watching, viewed an ad (watch the full video if shorter than 30-seconds or at least 30-seconds if the video is longer), or skipped an ad.
What you end up with is a flow like this
If you are looking to try out video ad sequencing keep this in mind – you are limited to target CPM or Maximum CPV bidding and you cannot target by content.
This means no specific placements, topics, or keywords (you can exclude them though). You can really only target them by demographics and target audiences. YouTube does not currently allow custom affinity or custom intent audiences so you are stuck with life events or In-Market Audiences. Google recommends testing sequencing alongside brand lift studies, which basically means: “This campaign can spend a lot if you let it.”
Available bid strategies
- Target CPM (Recommended by Google)
- With Target CPM, we optimize bids to show your entire sequence campaign to your audience, which can help you get a higher sequence completion rate.
- Maximum CPV
Ad formats include the following
- Skippable in-stream ads
- Non-skippable in-stream ads
- Bumper ads
- A combination of the above
The bid strategy you select also dictates the ad formats you can use
Bidding type Available formats
Target CPM (tCPM) Skippable in-stream ads
Non-skippable in-stream ads
A combination of the above
Maximum CPV (CPV) Skippable in-stream ads
I would also strongly recommend mapping out your sequence before-hand. Every step of a sequence is set as a new ad group in the campaign, so it can get big and messy quite quickly.
It’s also good to know how you want to deal with the different interactions at different steps in the sequence. Just because a user skips one video, doesn’t mean they won’t watch another and get back into sequence. But similarly, if a user skips your video(s), do you really want to keep showing them ads in the sequence they care nothing about? Maybe at that point, you show them a totally unrelated tried-and-true video and then drop them out of the sequence.
My testing with Video Ad Sequencing so far has been limited, but I am very excited about the opportunity to keep working with several of our larger clients on sequencing. It is a really powerful tool that Google has shown can grow brand awareness and consideration.
Next, I’ll have a guide for setting up your first video ad sequence should you still need help.
The post An introduction to Google Ads Video Ad Sequencing (VAS) appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
While ecommerce businesses are in the midst of the Q4 craziness and rising CPCs of the holiday season, B2B clients are planning for their business to pick up at the start of 2020.
In this post, I’ll walk through a few things to consider and refresh before Q1 gets here.
1. Study the competitive landscape
One of the most valuable sources of knowledge from Google campaigns is the ‘Auction Insights’ report, which provides info on when competitors have come into and out of the auction during the year. It’s also valuable to look at competitors that might be newer in the space and have recently entered the auction. With this information, you can dive into new keyword research by using tools like SEMrush and SpyFu. I also recommend studying creative, offers, and copy that your competitors are using across their ads helping to inform potential creative and development and testing for the start of the year.
2. Reevaluate budgets for 2020
As the start of the year approaches, look to set budgets based on historical performance and anticipated seasonality. In order to have a strong plan in place, you should look beyond monthly breakdowns.
Some questions to consider
- Did you expand into new channels late into the year?
- Do you need to invest in more budget into certain channels?
- Are our remarketing campaigns fully funded across channels?
- Are you planning on investing budget into new channels?
- How much of the budget will you set aside for testing?
Answering these questions will help ensure you budget appropriately for both historically efficient channels and promising new channels that can get you some early-adoption benefits.
3. Refresh and rethink audiences
It’s important to review the audiences that you have been targeting over the past few months. Along with identifying new audiences to add and poor-performing audiences to pause, consider re-engaging qualified leads that went dark, bolstering account-based marketing efforts, and testing new lookalike audiences.
4. Map out new creative and content
Creative and content are some of the most crucial aspects of campaign development. While you are preparing for Q1, make sure to do an audit of your current and planned creative and content. Are you thinking about the full funnel? Users who haven’t engaged with the brand before are typically looking to download a piece of content that they find valuable. It could be a whitepaper, case study, infographic, or something else that could engage them.
As users progress down the funnel, they will be more willing to give their information to request a demo or get contacted by your company. It’s important to understand where a user is in the funnel and offer them content that aligns with that step. Make sure you’re analyzing content from 2019 and identifying your successes. Which can be spun forward, made into a series, or meaningfully refreshed? Give yourself a leg up by producing content you know to be effective.
Looking at historical performance will help you understand your successes and failures in 2019 and incorporate those into the 2020 planning. Creative, testing, competitive insights, and new audiences will be key efforts in driving growth and performance in the new year, so lay the groundwork now to get ahead of steam going into January.
The post Four initiatives B2Bs must tackle now to win in 2020 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Yext, the Search Experience Cloud company, released new research about American consumer search behavior during the past year. The data, drawn from a sample of more than 400,000 business locations in the United States, revealed new insights about when consumers are searching for and clicking most on businesses across retail, healthcare, financial services, and food, throughout the year.
Among the key findings:
- Consumers are only getting more active in search: Consumer actions in business listings — driving directions clicks, clicks to call businesses, and more — grew 17% over the past year.
- Search — and searchers — are getting better: Consumer actions in search grew faster (17%) than search impressions of business listings (10%) over the year, suggesting that customers are finding what they want faster. Whether searchers are learning to use more specific queries or search engines are getting better at understanding those queries, customers are spending less time searching and more time engaging with businesses.
- Reviews are on the rise: Consumers are leaving more reviews about businesses. Review count per business location grew 27% over the year. In fact, financial services review volume grew 91% per location, the fastest growth of any industry. Businesses are getting savvier about the importance of reviews as well, responding to reviews 47% more than the year prior.
“Some industries are naturally more popular with consumers during certain seasons, but the need for businesses in every category to be in control of their facts online stays important year-round,” said Zahid Zakaria, Senior Director of Insights and Analytics at Yext. “By ensuring their information is accurate across channels — from the search results on their own website to their listings on third-party platforms — businesses can be prepared to capture the wave of customers who are interested in transacting with them, no matter what month it is.”
Yext analyzed when American consumers clicked online listings for various types of businesses throughout the year. The study found:
January | Resolving to stay healthy: With New Year’s resolutions fresh on their minds, and cold and flu season underway, Americans start the year off with visits to the doctor. In January, healthcare organizations see a 17% jump in clicks to their online listings relative to the previous month.
February | Money on their minds: In February and March, tax season is well underway and searches show it. Searching consumers engage with financial services institutions up to 11% more than the annual average.
March | Open house: Starting in March, consumers looking to ring in the season of renewal with a new home turn to search to find real estate agencies. Listings see a 22% average increase in clicks from February to May, complementing studies indicating that spring is a popular season for house hunting and selling.
April | Telecom phones it in: By April, the wave of consumers picking up the latest high-profile smartphone upgrades from the fall has subsided. During this month, clicks to phone carrier and telecommunications provider listings in search drop 14% compared to the month before.
May | May flowers and horsepower: In May, consumers look to capitalize on Memorial Day sales and revamp their rides in time for summer with an average 18% increase in clicks to automotive service search listings relative to the annual average.
June – July | Fun in the sun: Recreation and entertainment listings online — including theaters, sports venues, nightlife, and more — see a surge of consumer interest during the summer months, reaching an average 35% increase in clicks in July relative to the annual average. Clicks to hotel listings also bump up to 20% above the annual average during this time due to summer travel.
August | Back to school: School is just around the corner in August, and parents and students are not just stocking up on clothes, school supplies, gadgets, and other necessities, but also getting their cars in shape for the morning drop-off line at school. Clicks to listings for stores spike to 18% higher than the annual average. Educational services, like tutors and libraries, see clicks to listings increase 18% as well. Clicks to automotive service listings reach 21% above the annual average.
September | Falling into a Habit: As Americans wrap up their vacations and return to their school and work routines, clicks to recreation and entertainment listings take a noticeable dip (18% below the annual average) in September, falling up to 25% below the annual average in November.
October | Hitting the books: With the school year taking off by October, families get serious about grades again and search for tutors and other educational services. Clicks to listings in the education category see a nearly 10% jump relative to September.
November | Pass the Leftovers: During the month of Thanksgiving, hungry consumers prefer to eat in, with clicks to restaurant listings dropping 13% below the annual average.
December | Home for the holidays: In December, revelers celebrate the holidays with their families and opt to bunk with them over paying for lodging. During this month, clicks to hotel listings in search fall to 26% below the annual average.
December & January | The season of giving — and buying: Americans shopping for holiday gifts in December drive clicks to retail listings 11% more than the annual average. After the holiday shopping season ends in January, those clicks plummet an average of nearly 25% from December as consumers take a break from spending and recoup their savings.
The post Yext researches what American customers are looking for throughout the year appeared first on Search Engine Watch.