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Hero Conf London 2019 Speaker Recap: Sarah Barker

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SEO and PPC can and should work together was the premise of Sarah Barker’s keynote speech at Hero Conf London this year and she made a great argument for her case. I had the opportunity to attend Hero Conf in London this year and while attending I heard this great presentation and thought I would summarize a few of the key takeaways for you all out there.

To set the stage, Sarah discusses how PPC and SEO have different goals and metrics but end up targeting the same user and have the same overarching success metrics of brand growth and efficiency. So it makes sense the two should work together toward the overall success. Which is when she moves into the meat of the presentation with how to do just that.

Working Together with One Search

It seems a simple solution but working together is the key to success. Having meetings and reports where the SEO and PPC teams can knowledge share to break out of the silos and blend the data, aptly named “One Search” by Sarah.

One Search encompasses your Audience, Keywords, Content, and UX data to find the right users at the right time and reshapes how you think about each section. Starting with audiences, you want to look beyond the demographic data to their values. By understanding your users’ values, you can really understand your audience and set yourself up with a strong foundation for building out the next section, your keywords.

As it stands in PPC, we look at existing keywords, website content, and the keyword planner to begin our keyword research. Sarah recommends starting with your audience, not your website, by using a classic SEO strategy of simply Googling it. When you Google something, you get recommendations for the next word in the search. Borrowing Sarah’s example, if you work in credit cards, put “credit card” in the Google search bar and see what auto-fills to gather broader keywords you can target.

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Hero Conf London Google Example

Likely your SEO team has already done some of this work in the past. This is where the collaboration comes into play as you can build out a PPC keyword list in conjunction with your SEO team to find the best keywords to use. There also needs to be equilibrium so you are not showing up in the number 1 spot on SEO and also paying for the number 1 spot with search when there is no competition. Sarah recommended pausing keywords where you rank organically in the one position and there are no other search or shopping results displaying. If there is competition or you are not in rank one, then PPC is a must. When your channels work in this level of harmony, results tend to improve over time.

Once you have your keywords in place, you want to next make sure the content makes sense so users can find what they are looking for. Sarah recommends content for PPC be around high search volume keywords (or expected high traction keywords) and for the keywords with high volume but lacking content, don’t be afraid to make new content creation to meet consumer needs. The more relevant the page, the better performance that can be expected and reported.  Further, you can again collaborate with your SEO team beyond content building with messaging testing, such as using SEO features like page titles as PPC headlines to gather additional data that benefits both teams.

Finally, when you have built out the audience, keywords, and content it is important the pages make a user want to convert. This again requires collaboration with the CRO team. The SEO crew can again be helpful here as they work with, or might be, the developers behind the pages. You can ask the SEO team to bridge the gap to the developers to help create the right landing pages to bring the entire experience together.

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This keynote was very insightful to me as a full-on PPC account manager. I have already begun taking steps to get in touch with the SEO teams of my clients to start this collaboration with positive results. I highly recommend you giving it a shot as well. Thanks to Sarah Barker for sharing these insights with us at Hero Conf! If you found her information useful, give her a shout on Twitter.

PPChero.com

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12 Tools and Resources for Software Developers in Insurance

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12 Tools and Resources for Software Developers in Insurance


If a developer designs a system for Big Data analysis or creates programs for processing and analyzing application data for mobile gadgets, in any case he cannot do without analytics tools and services. Big Data is understood as the basis of the business of insurance companies that depend on information, that is, probabilities, statistical data, customer information, and so on.

Today, for programmers whose responsibilities include insurance software development, many useful tools have been created that are suitable for their needs and corresponding to their skills.

TOP-12 tools for programmers of insurance companies

Every developer who works on coding for insurance products will need the following 12 “helpers”:

  1. BitDeli. It is a startup that has been operating since November 2021. With its help, programmers are able to analyze various data using a variety of metrics through Python scripts. An important plus of it is that the scripts can be of different levels of complexity, which will depend on the needs of the developers. They can even be self-taught. Suitable for analytics. The solution is easy to use.
  2. Continuity. It is a platform that was created with the aim of pulling businesses to the same level as the companies of its creators – Yahoo and Facebook. The guys created a data structure to implement a new level of abstraction over complex connections in HBase and Hadoop. The main advantage of the platform is the facilitation of Big Data development processes for programs that are designed to work with external and internal audiences.
  3. Flurry. This application is in the “store” format, which is intended for the creation of mobile programs, as well as for the analysis of their data. This allows the application to be improved.
  4. Google Prediction API. Suitable for developers who have the necessary knowledge to work with the Prediction API. This interface will provide a wide range of diagrams and topics, and will also allow the application to give correct answers.
  5. Infochimps. We are talking about a platform, despite the fact that the brand today is trying to become a company and become even more successful. As for the platform for the programmer, he gets the Wukong framework, which has a key task – to interact with Hadoop and its data, while using Ruby scripts.
  6. Keen IO. In 2012, this tool was recognized as the best and most effective in its category, and it is used in analytics by mobile application developers. Its plus lies in its ease of use. You need to apply just one line, which is inserted into the source code to be able to track all the necessary information from the programs.
  7. Kontagent. A tool for processing huge amounts of information.
  8. Mortar Data. It is a cloud service that has managed to replace MapReduce with a combination of Python and Pig. It differs in simplicity and clarity in operation.
  9. Placed Analytics. A tool that provides programmers with ready-made products. With its help, it is possible to obtain complete information about the use of the application by customers: where, when and how long it lasted. The data is especially useful for app owners and advertisers.
  10. Precog. It is an interactive environment for developing insurance analytics products based on Quirrel, an open query language.
  11. Spring for Apache Hadoop. A tool that greatly simplifies the creation of programs that use Hadoop, and also provides integration with other Spring applications.
  12. StatsMix. It is a tool with which developers can collect and analyze data received from programs using only the languages they have learned.
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Take a look at the Fireart site for more interesting and useful information. The main thing to remember is that analytics not only assesses the quality of traffic, looks for ways to increase conversion and reduces the cost of attracting customers, but also determines the most effective advertising channels, compiles portraits of visitors and their behavior patterns on sites, identifies site shortcomings up to technical errors.



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From Creation to Stellar ROI

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From Creation to Stellar ROI


Reaching the right customers with your Google Ads campaigns is critical to increase conversions. While it’s possible that scattershot advertisements could catch the interest of Internet users, it’s far more likely that this general ad approach will result in a disconnect between dollars spent and sales made.

To help ensure your ads are reaching the people in the right place, it’s worth leveraging a function in the Google Display Network (GDN) known as affinity audiences. Using these audiences helps pinpoint customer segments that may be more likely to purchase your products, in turn driving more effective and efficient ad spend.

But what exactly is an affinity audience? How do they work, how can you create your own — and what can you expect once you dial in the ideal customer segment? Let’s find out.

What are Affinity Audiences?

Affinity audiences are used by the Google Display Network to deliver your ads to relevant locations online. Given that Google’s network reaches more than 90 percent of Internet users worldwide, it’s well worth the time and effort to understand and apply these audiences at scale.

But what is an affinity audience?

Let’s break the term down into its component parts. Audience is easy — it’s the group of people that will see your ad. Affinity, meanwhile, is defined as “a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests.” The result? An affinity audience is a group of potential customers that share similar interests or qualities (similar to a buyer persona).

Using affinity audiences allows your brand to better align ad campaigns to buyers who are interested in what you have to sell. For example, if you’re in the coffee-making business but also have a focus on reducing plastic waste, your affinity audience might contain both people who love coffee and those who love the environment. Groups with both of these qualities are far more likely to buy your product than either group individually.

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Affinity Targeting

Affinity targeting, meanwhile, is the process of identifying the ideal affinities that align with your product or service. Consider the coffee example above. While targeting buyers who love coffee helps improve your brand placement, it also puts you in direct competition with a host of other brands all producing similar products. Additional affinity modifiers that narrow your focus — such as sustainable growth processes, fair labor practices, or environmental priorities — can help set your brand apart.

Do note that it is possible to get too specific with your audience targeting. For example, if your coffee brand targets audiences that prefer beans from a specific region that are collected, packed, and shipped in a specific way, you may end up with a handful of very loyal customers but almost no broader appeal. As a result, targeting needs to narrow the focus without preventing you from reaching the greater public.

What are Custom Audiences?

GDN and the Google Ads platform contain a host of pre-built Google affinity audiences — also called segments — that you can use to focus your marketing and advertisements. These include everything from pet lovers to do-it-yourselfers, TV comedy fans and users with an interest in news and politics.

prebuilt affinity audiences in google ads

But they can’t cover everything. You may have a product or service that doesn’t dovetail with existing segments — here, custom affinity audiences can help.

Understanding Custom Affinity Audiences

Custom affinity audiences are those you create yourself in your Google Ads platform to align with the interests of your target customer base. While Google will suggest different potential segment tags depending on what you input, it’s worth taking the time to do some market research before diving into the custom affinity process. This lets you pinpoint the audience preferences that align best with your brand.

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You can create custom affinity audiences related to four criteria: Interests, URLs, places, or applications. In general, places and applications are the least useful of the bunch. Here’s why. In our coffee example above, there aren’t a lot of coffee-related applications that would set your audience apart. And while geography has some impact on buying behavior, it’s usually not enough to justify an entire segment.

Interests and URLs, meanwhile, can help you dig down and identify potential affinity options that may be shared by your target market at large.

How to Create Affinity Audiences

Ready to create your own affinity audience? Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Google Ads account.
  2. Select “Tools and Settings”, then “Audience manager.”
  3. Select “Custom Segments.”
  4. Enter segment name and interests.
  5. Save your new segment.

Let’s tackle each step in more detail.

1. Log Into Your Google Ads Account

how to use custom affinity audiences: log in to google ads

First, log into your Google Ads account. Here, you can see any active campaigns along with the associated affinity audiences.

2. Select “Tools and Settings”, then “Audience Manager”

how to use custom affinity audiences: access audience manager

Next, head to “tools and settings” in the upper-right-hand corner and then find “Audience manager” in the drop-down menu.

3. Select “Custom Segments”

how to use custom affinity audiences: custom segments

Now you’ll see a list of any data segments you’re currently using to target prospective buyers. To create an audience or segment, click on “Custom Segments” and then the blue “+” icon.

4. Enter Segment Name and Interests

how to use custom affinity audiences: segment name

Now, give your segment a name and add a few potential interests. For example, if you enter “coffee”, Google will return interests or purchase intention ideas such as “coffees to make with an espresso machine”, “how to make coffee with coffee beans” and “coffee makers that make different coffees.”

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5. Save Your New Segment

Finally, save your new segment with use for ad campaigns. You can create as many segments as you like until you’ve covered all relevant market bases.

The Impact of Effective Affinity Audiences

Ideally, affinity audiences lead to a definitive result: Increased ROI.

Here’s why: When your ads are shown to audiences that are interested in what you’re selling, they’re more likely to click through and purchase your products. As a result, the money you spend on advertising is directly offset by the conversions driven by these ads, in turn creating positive ROI. More generic campaigns, meanwhile, may still increase overall sales but not enough to balance out the spend required to reach larger audiences.

The right audience makes all the difference. Targeted, customized affinity audiences help you reach the people that want to buy your products, in turn boosting conversions and making your overall ad spend more cost-effective. Custom affinity audiences further narrow your market targeting, increasing the likelihood of revenue and reducing the gap between what you spend on ads and what you get in return.

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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers

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The HubSpot Blog's 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers


In our recent Marketing Trends survey, we learned that social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.

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