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Announcing the Keyword Research Certification: Create a Personalized Keyword Strategy

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Announcing the Keyword Research Certification: Create a Personalized Keyword Strategy

The heart of your SEO. The foundation for building ideas and thoughts in your industry. The vital link between you and your audience.

What are we talking about? Keywords, of course!

Keyword research is a fundamental aspect of any SEO strategy, so it’s important to know why you should do it, and how you should go about it. The power of keyword research lies in better understanding your target market and how they are searching for your content, services, or products. Too many people bypass this crucial planning step because keyword research takes time, and why spend the time when you already know what you want to rank for?

The answer is that what you want to rank for and what your audience actually wants are often two completely different things. Focusing on your audience and using keyword data to your advantage will make for much more successful campaigns than if you were to focus on the typical desirable keywords.

With that, we are so excited to announce the launch of our brand-new Keyword Research Certification from Moz Academy. It joins our four other Certifications in our course catalog: SEO Essentials Certification, Technical SEO Certification, Local SEO Certification and SEO Competitive Analysis Certification.

We are also thrilled to offer 50% off this Certification for the first 100 purchases. Simply use the promo code: keyword50 while the offer is still valid.

Let’s get started!

With this engaging, on-demand instructor-led course, you can learn at your own pace, participate in tasks and take quizzes along the way, as well as complete a final exam, earning you a certificate and LinkedIn badge as proof of your achievement.

Why take this course?

Contrary to popular belief, keyword research is not a one-off task. You should dive into keyword research every time you create new content, or refresh existing content. By regularly assessing the ways in which people search – and by identifying specific and ever-changing ways that people search for content within your niche – you can continue to create content your audience will enjoy and share. Combined with other solid SEO processes, keyword research helps you to produce a repeatable content process that consistently earns traffic over time.

Example course slide answering the question "How often should you do keyword research?"

What’s included in the Keyword Research Certification?

The Keyword Research Certification is a five-part series focused on keyword research, strategy and analysis. Complete with over four hours of video lessons, tasks, and activities, you’ll be able to test your understanding and apply important concepts throughout. At the end of the series, you’ll take a final exam and receive your certificate and LinkedIn badge.

The certification is organized into five sections:

1. Explore the Fundamentals of Keyword Research

    The first course of the series lays the groundwork for the rest of the certification curriculum, beginning with a discussion of why keyword research matters and what it looks like.

    By the end of this course, you will be able to:

    • Define keyword research, and describe its importance in reaching your target audience

    • List the types of keywords, and describe how they shape your keyword strategy

    • Explain past Google algorithm updates

    • Dispel SEO myths, and anticipate future trends in keyword research

    • Select an SEO keyword ranking tool best suited to your needs and goals

    • Track and measure your keyword success

    An illustrated timeline of Google's most significant core algorithm updates.

    2. Get to Know Your Customer

    Now that we’ve established the purpose of keyword research and how it fits into your larger SEO strategy, it’s time to dig in: who are your competitors?

      By the end of this course, you will be able to:

      • Actively listen to your audience, and apply these conversations to your keyword planning

      • Align your strategy with how Google perceives entities and your industry

      • List the types of search intent, and match your content to audience intent

      • Format your content for SERP features relevant to your industry

      • Evaluate keywords using Moz Pro and other tools

      • Discover hot topics in your industry, and analyze the type of content Google finds valuable

      An example course slide illustrating the four types of search intent: informational, investigational, transactional, navigational.

      3. Create a Keyword Strategy

      In this course, you will learn how you fit into the sales funnel and establish a process for conducting keyword research.

      By the end of this course, you will be able to:

      • Describe the stages of the sales funnel and how they relate to SEO

      • Create a keyword model based on the sales funnel and semantic search

      • Establish a process for keyword research

      • Analyze your website’s current rankings and identify your strengths

      • Develop scalable keyword lists and keyword clusters

      • Identify target keywords to create new – and improve existing – content

      • Create an SEO tracking system, and assess a brand’s Search Visibility across keyword clusters

      • Map your keyword strategy to your website’s most valuable pages

      An illustration of the sales funnel.

      4. Track Your Success & Next Steps

      In this section of the Certification, you will learn how you can track your keyword success and know how to customize a strategy to suit your needs.

      By the end of this course, you will be able to:

      • Identify questions your audience is asking

      • Employ a variety of tools to discover how people are talking about your brand

      • Adjust your SEO strategy according to local, international, and B2B best practices

      • Uncover new content ideas, and use keyword tools to acquaint yourself with an unfamiliar topic

      • Increase your visibility by discovering featured snippet opportunities for your brand

      • Evaluate your competitors’ success, and refine your blueprint based on your findings

      • Support your keyword strategy with healthy technical SEO and link building practices

      Illustration detailing healthy keyword research and link building strategies in bubbles pointing to an example web page.

      5. Final Exam

      Once you’ve completed your training, you will have the opportunity to take an exam to earn your certificate and LinkedIn badge to display your accomplishment to professional peers, employers, and potential clients.

      Don’t forget, the first 100 purchases can avail of 50% off this Certification by using the promo code: keyword50 – get yours now!

      Keyword Research Certification FAQs

      How do I get certified?

      The Keyword Research Certification is available now on Moz Academy. Simply access the series from the course catalog, register, and get started! Once you’ve completed the series and passed the final exam, you’ll receive an official certificate and a badge for your LinkedIn profile.

      How long will the series take to complete?

      The certification series includes approximately four hours of instructor-led curriculum, in addition to activities to test your understanding and the final exam. With all of that in mind, you can expect your time commitment to be about six-seven hours in total.

      How long is the Keyword Research Certification valid? Do my credentials expire?

      You will have access to the training materials for one year after purchase. Your Keyword Research Certification credentials, however, will not expire.

      I don’t have a Moz Pro subscription – is the Keyword Research Certification still relevant for me?

      Yes! We do use Moz Pro, in addition to various other tools, to apply certain concepts throughout the certification series. That being said, having a Moz Pro subscription is not a requirement, and you’ll learn how to apply the concepts regardless of which tools you use. The concepts and activities throughout the certification are generally tool-agnostic.

      Take the course!

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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