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10 questions to ask when selecting marketing automation software

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By Digital Marketing Depot

You’ve decided to implement a marketing automation platform…great! This white paper from Sharp Spring details 10 things your agency should seriously consider before signing on the dotted line.

Learn about 10 key questions to ask vendors, such as:

  • Do they require long-term contracts or upfront fees?
  • Are there limits on or extra charges for customer support?
  • Is their solution highly rated by customers?
  • Is the platform feature-rich and are new features added regularly?

Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Top 10 Considerations When Selecting a Marketing Automation Platform.”

The post 10 questions to ask when selecting marketing automation software appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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SearchCap: Google Posts live, Google purges medical records & search pics

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By Barry Schwartz

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

From Search Engine Land:

  • Google Posts now live for all Google My Business users
    Jun 22, 2017 by Barry Schwartz

    After much anticipation, Google Posts is finally available to all small businesses. The content will appear in both Google search and maps results.

  • Google now removing medical records from its search results
    Jun 23, 2017 by Barry Schwartz

    Google’s content removal policy has been updated to include medical records. This goes on a very short list of content that Google will remove from search.

  • SMX Advanced session: Mobile-First For The Advanced SEO
    Jun 23, 2017 by Greg Gifford

    How can websites prepare for the mobile-first index? Columnist Greg Gifford recaps a session from SMX Advanced dealing with the impending rollout of Google’s new index, which prioritizes mobile content over desktop.

  • Search in Pics: Google bathtub table, Bing lunchbox & YouTube stairs
    Jun 23, 2017 by Barry Schwartz

    In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. Google bathtub table: Source: Instagram YouTube stair case with a strong message: Source: Instagram Google padded […]

  • Save the Date: SMX East is back in NYC Oct 24-26
    Jun 22, 2017 by Search Engine Land

    Mark your calendars for SMX East: October 24-26! Don’t miss your only chance this year to attend the largest search marketing conference on the East Coast. An agenda obsessed with SEO & SEM! SMX is the only conference series dedicated to search marketing. There are tactic-rich keynotes, sessions and clinics programmed just for you, whether you’re […]

Recent Headlines From Marketing Land, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Internet Marketing:

Search News From Around The Web:

Link Building

Searching

SEO

SEM / Paid Search

Search Marketing

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Google now removing medical records from its search results

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By Barry Schwartz

Google is now purging private medical information from their search results. Bloomberg reported the change in Google’s removal policies, which adds a single line that reads:

Confidential, personal medical records of private people

Google did not give much information to Bloomberg about the change, only telling Bloomberg that they have “confirmed the changes do not affect search advertising.” Google declined to comment further on why they are making this change now.

Google lists very few examples of information they will remove content from their index, including:

  • national identification numbers like US Social Security Number, Argentine Single Tax Identification Number, Brazil Cadastro de pessoas Físicas, Korea Resident Registration Number, China Resident Identity Card and more.
  • bank account numbers.
  • credit card numbers.
  • images of signatures.
  • nude or sexually explicit images that were uploaded or shared without your consent.
  • confidential, personal medical records of private people.

Here is a screen shot of the removal page:

The post Google now removing medical records from its search results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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SMX Advanced session: Mobile-First For The Advanced SEO

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By Greg Gifford

SMX Advanced was amazing this year, and when they asked me to write up a session, I immediately asked to cover the mobile-first session. Sure, we’ve been talking about being “mobile-first” for years, but with Google’s impending Mobile-First Index (yes, I capitalized that on purpose), I knew this session would be full of awesome info.

Mobile-first audit framework

Leslie To kicked off the session with an in-depth walk-through of a mobile site audit. While there are site elements that matter to users regardless of screen size, To covered the important points that are vital to a successful mobile site. From using HTML5 for videos and rich media to proper navigation menus, she shared a “do” and “don’t” list for each individual element.

There’s a huge difference between having a responsive site and using your responsive site correctly. To pointed out that designers and developers need to allow content and media to scale to fill the screen size of any device, and that it’s important to consider how your site looks on both landscape and portrait device orientations.

Usability isn’t just about your content and scaling, so she also talked about how mobile-friendliness also includes mobile usability. She talked about the correct way to size tap targets, using common gestures, and the importance of coding your site to use the correct contextual keyboard.

To finished up with an explanation of how to audit the different configurations of mobile sites. Whether you’re dealing with a separate mobile URL, a dynamically served mobile site or a responsive site, she showed what to check to ensure each configuration was implemented correctly.

Check out the slides from Leslie To’s presentation:

Mobile sites: How did we get here?

Patrick Stox took the stage next, and he had the audience rolling almost immediately. His presentation covered the history of the telephone, from its invention to today’s smartphone, and how it led us to our current “mobile-first mindset.” Stox was hilarious and informative, stopping in the middle of his brief history of the phone to say that he’d always wanted to present to a room full of people looking at their phones.

After quickly running through the history of the phone, he pointed out that more people in the world have mobile phones than have toilets, and that 68 percent of smartphone users say they check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up the morning. The average consumer checks his or her smartphone 46 times a day — and that’s why it’s important to be mobile-friendly.

With more than 50 percent of web traffic happening on mobile devices and around 60 percent of searches being conducted on mobile, it’s absolutely vital to have a great mobile site, said Stox.

Fifty-three percent of people will leave a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load, so it’s critical that your mobile site loads quickly. Stox then made the case that Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool doesn’t accurately measure load speed; it only checks that mobile site best practices are followed.

To demonstrate, he showed a test he ran on the Washington Post mobile site, which took just over 40 seconds to load. Yet, when you run it through the Mobile-Friendly Test Tool, it passes with flying colors!

Stox then pointed out that most mobile sites out there have fewer links in, fewer links out and less content than their corresponding desktop sites — so we all have a lot of work to do to prepare for the impending Mobile-First Index.

Check out the slides from Patrick Stox’s presentation:

Don’t freak out about the Mobile-First Index

Gary Illyes closed out the session with info on the Mobile-First Index straight from Google’s not-directly-answering-any-questions mouth. He explained that right now, if you’ve got mobile content that isn’t on the desktop site, it won’t show up in Google’s index. After the impending Mobile-First Index rolls out, the opposite will be true — if there’s desktop content that isn’t on your mobile site, it won’t show up in Google’s index.

He told everyone not to freak out, and that there was no set timeline for the rollout of the Mobile-First Index. No clear date was given, but he said the launch was probably many quarters away, and definitely in 2018 at the earliest. Google wants to clearly communicate with publishers before rolling out the update, because they want to be sure that sites are ready for it.

Google understands that there’s much less real estate on a mobile device, so it’s perfectly OK to cut back on unnecessary content (the emphasis is mine). Illyes said that if you want to rank for a term or certain content, it will have to be present on your mobile site.

As part of the discussion about missing content on mobile sites, Illyes pointed out that many images that do really well in Google image searches aren’t present on the corresponding mobile sites, and that will be a problem once the update occurs. He also said that in many cases, rel=canonical markup isn’t even present on mobile sites.

Illyes also pointed out that “mobile-first” literally means “mobile first,” so if there are sites that have no mobile content, the index will fall back and include desktop content. That only holds true for sites with no mobile content, though — once you roll out a mobile site, that’s the only content that gets indexed.

Google knows that the link graph is “completely messed up” on the mobile web, so they’re trying to figure out how to make links work in the Mobile-First Index.

Finally, Illyes pointed out that while the current algorithm devalues content that’s hidden behind “read more” links or accordion tabs, Google understands the constraints of screen real estate on mobile devices. Once the Mobile-First Index is released, content that’s hidden in this manner will still carry its full value.

You can’t check out the slides from Gary Illyes’s presentation, because they were confidential. So instead, here’s one of his fish photos:

Gary's underwater eel shot (since he can't share his slides)

The post SMX Advanced session: Mobile-First For The Advanced SEO appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Search in Pics: Google bathtub table, Bing lunchbox & YouTube stairs

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By Barry Schwartz

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.

Google bathtub table:

Source: Instagram

YouTube stair case with a strong message:


Source: Instagram

Google padded room:


Source: Instagram

Bing lunchbox:


Source: Twitter

The post Search in Pics: Google bathtub table, Bing lunchbox & YouTube stairs appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Creating Influencer-Targeted Content to Earn Links + Coverage – Whiteboard Friday

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By randfish

Posted by randfish

Most SEO campaigns need three kinds of links to be successful; targeting your content to influencers can get you 2/3 of the way there. In this Whiteboard Friday, Rand covers the tactics that will help your content get seen and shared by those with a wide and relevant audience.

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about how to create content that is specifically influencer-targeted in order to earn the links and attention and amplification that you often need.

Most SEO campaigns need 3 types of links:

So it’s the case that most SEO campaigns, as they’re trying to earn the rankings that they’re seeking, are trying to do a few things. You’re trying to grow your overall Domain Authority. You’re trying to get some specific keyword terms and phrases ranking on your site for those terms and phrases.

So you need kind of three kinds of links. This is most campaigns.

1. Links from broad, high-Domain Authority sites that are pointing — you kind of don’t care — anywhere on your site, the home page, internal pages, to your blog, to your news section. It’s totally fine. So a common one that we use here would be like the New York Times. I want the New York Times to link to me so that I have the authority and influence of a link from that domain and, hopefully, lots of domains like them, very high-Domain Authority domains.

2. Links to specific high-value keyword-targeted pages, hopefully, hopefully with specific anchor text, and that’s going to help me boost those individual URLs’ rankings. So I want this page over here to link to me and say “hairdryers,” to my page that is keyword targeted for the word “hairdryers.” Fingers crossed.

3. Links to my domain from other sites, in my sector or niche, that provide some of that topical authority and influence to help tell Google and the other search engines that this is what my site is about, that I belong in this sphere of influence, that I’m semantically and topically related to words and phrases like this. So I want appliancegal.com to link to my site if I’m trying to rank in the world of hairdryers and other kinds of appliances.

So of these, for one and three, we won’t talk about two today, but for one and three, much of the time the people that you’re trying to target are what we call in the industry influencers, and these influencers are going to be lots of people. I’ve illustrated them all here — mostly looking sideways at each other, not exactly sure why that is — but bloggers, and journalists, and authors, and conference organizers, and content marketers, and event speakers, and researchers, and editors, and podcasters, and influencers of a wide, wide variety. We could fill up the whole board with the types of people who are in the influencer world or have that title specifically, but they tend to share a few things in common. They are trying to produce content of one kind or another. They’re not dissimilar from us. They’re trying to produce things on the web, and when they do, they need certain elements to help fill in the gap. When they’re looking for those gap-filling elements, that is your opportunity to earn these kinds of links.

Content tactics

So a few tactics for that. First off, one of the most powerful ones, and we’ve talked about this a little bit here on Whiteboard Friday, but probably not in depth, is…

A. Statistics and data. The reason that this is such a powerful tool is because when you create data, especially if it’s either uniquely gathered by you, unique because you have it, because you can collect it and no one else can, or unique because you’ve put it together from many disparate sources, you’re the editorial curator of that data and statistics, everyone like this needs those types of statistics and data to support or challenge their arguments or their assertions or their coverage of the industry, whatever it is.

  • Why this works: This works well because this fills that gap. This gives them the relevant stats that they’re looking for. Because numbers are easy to use and easy to cite, and you can say, “Feel free to link to this. You’re welcome to copy this graph. You’re welcome to embed this chart.” All those kinds of things. That can make it even easier, but much of the time, just by having these statistics, you can do it.
  • The key is that you have to be visible at the time that these people are looking for them, and that means usually ranking for very hard to discover, through at least normal keyword research, long-tail types of terms that use words like “stats,” “data,” “charts,” “graphs,” and kind of these question formats like when, how much, how many, number of, etc.

It’s tough because you will not see many of those in your keyword research, because there’s a relatively few number of these people searching in any given month for this type of gap-filling data, so you have to intuit often what you should title those things. Put yourself in these people’s shoes and start Googling around for “What would I need if I had to write some industry coverage around this?” Then you’ll come up with these types of things, and you can try modifying your keyword research queries or doing some Google Suggest stuff with these words and phrases.

B. Visual content. Visual content is exceptionally valuable in this case because, again, it fills a gap that many of these folks have. When you are a content marketer, or when you’re a speaker at an event, or when you’re an author or a blogger, you need visual content that will help catch the eye, that will break up the writing that you’ve done, and it’s often much easier to get someone else’s visual content and simply cite your source and link to it than it is to create visual content of your own. These people often don’t have the resources to create their own visual content.

  • Why this works: So, for everyone who’s doing posts, and articles, and slide decks, and even videos, they say, “Why not let someone else do the work,” and you can be that someone else and fill these gaps.
  • Key: To do this well, you’re going to want to appear in a bunch of visual content search mediums that these folks are going to use. Those are places like…
    • Google Images most obviously, but also
    • Pinterest
    • SlideShare, meaning take your visuals, put them up in some sort of slide format, give some context to them and upload them to SlideShare. The nice thing about SlideShare, SlideShare actually reproduces each individual slide as a visual, and then Google Images can search those, and so you’ll often see SlideShare’s results inside Google Images. So this can be a great end around for that.
    • Instagram search, many folks are using that especially if you’re doing photos. You can see I’ve illustrated my own hair drying technique right here. This is clearly Rand. Look at me. I’ve got more hair than I know what to do with.
    • Flickr, still being used by many searchers, particularly because it has a Creative Commons search license, and that should bring up using a Creative Commons commercial use license that requires attribution with a link is your best bet for all of these platforms. It will mean you can get on lots of other Creative Commons visual and photography search engines, which can expose you to more of these types of people as they’re doing their searches.

C. Contrarian/counter-opinions. The last one I’ll cover here is contrarian or counter-opinions to the prevailing wisdom. So you might have an opinion like, “In the next three years, hairdryers will be completely obsolete because of X.”

  • Why it works: This works well because modern journalism has this idea and modern content, in fact, has this idea that they are supposed to create conflict and that they should cover both sides of an issue. In many industry specific sorts of fields, it’s often the case that that is a gap that goes unfilled. By being that sort of challenger to conventional wisdom or conventional thinking, you can fill that gap.
  • The key here is you want to either rank in Google search engine for some of those mid or long tail research type queries. These can be competitive, and so this is challenging, but presenting contrarian opinions is often great link bait. This is kind of a good way to earn links of all kinds in here.
  • Second, I would also urge you to do a little bit of comment marketing and some social media platforms, because what you want to start is to build a brand where you are known for having this contrarian opinion on this conventional topic in your space so that people point all these influencers to you when they’re asked about it. You’re trying to build up this branding of, “Well, I don’t agree with the conventional wisdom around hairdryers.” Hairdryers might be a tough topic for that one, but certainly these other two can work real well.

So using these tactics, I hope that you can go reach out and fill some gaps for these influencers and, as a result, earning two of the three exact kind of links that you need in order to rank well in the search results.

And we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Google Posts now live for all Google My Business users

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By Barry Schwartz

Google announced on the Google My Business blog that they are now rolling out Google Posts to all Google My Business customers. A couple weeks ago, Google moved Google Posts into Google My Business and that is where you can access it now.

Go to your Google My Business account and click on “Posts” on the left hand side menu when you are in your Google business listing. You can also access it by clicking here.

You should see a screen that looks like this:

After you click add post, you are given several options for your post. You can upload an image, write text up to 300 words, add an event title and start and end time. Add buttons to learn more, reserve, sign up, buy or get an offer. Here is a screen shot of that interface:

Google says this give businesses the ability to:

  • Share daily specials or current promotions that encourage new and existing customers to take advantage of your offers.
  • Promote events and tell customers about upcoming happenings at your location.
  • Showcase your top products and highlight new arrivals.
  • Choose one of the available options to connect with your customers directly from your Google listing: give them a one-click path to make a reservation, sign up for a newsletter, learn more about latest offers, or even buy a specific product from your website.

Here are how Google Posts come up in search:

For more details check out this help document.

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