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How Digital Video Advertising Will Dominate The Next Decade

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How Digital Video Advertising Will Dominate The Next Decade


Incorporating video into your marketing strategy is now table stakes – in fact, 86% of businesses were using videos for marketing in 2021.

If you’re not using this format to engage customers, your competitors almost certainly are.

There’s a super simple reason video advertising so popular – it just works.

A recent consumer survey shows that 84% have been compelled to buy a product or service after watching a video. The same study found that consumers are more than twice as likely to share video as other types of content, too.

Video advertising can help improve your brand’s online visibility in search results, social media, and around the web.

Are you making good use of the opportunity?

Video & The Contemporary Web

It isn’t your imagination: Browsing the web today is basically like watching an endless set of videos looped together on end.

On all different types of websites – from social platforms, to news organizations, to company pages – digital strategists are employing an astounding amount of video content for their voracious audience to consume at will.

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Whether it’s in the form of educational content, reports, entertainment, or ads, organizations have caught on to the fact that high-quality video has the ability to engage users on a deep and substantial level.

The modern web is now driven by video in a way that didn’t seem possible even 15 years ago, thanks largely to the ubiquity of personal mobile devices and omnipresent, reliable high-speed internet connections.

We’ve certainly come a long way from the latter half of the 2000s when the only place to watch videos on the web was some niche site called YouTube.

All you have to do to understand how important video is as a driver of online content in the current era is read the reports detailing how many outlets are shifting vast resources to video production.

Among these are some sites with massive traffic figures, including:

  • Buzzfeed.
  • Various Time, Inc. properties.
  • Conde Nast.
  • The New York Times Co.

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Snapchat continues to be one of the fastest-growing social media entities largely on the basis of its video stories, and Instagram has had success by introducing a similar feature on its platform.

According to YouTube, users watched over 1 billion hours of video on the site every day.

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Whether you open up your laptop, unlock your phone, or fire up your smart TV, there is no escaping video content, so you might as well embrace it.

The Boom In Digital Video Advertising

And that’s where digital video advertising comes into play.

Companies have realized that the reconditioning of consumers to embrace and even expect video at every turn can have many advantages.

Video has become such a natural part of the web browsing experience that advertisers can use it to quickly engage with their audience as if it was content they had sought out specifically.

Well-designed logos and high-quality banner ads can be very effective in spurring interest, but video ads offer organizations an opportunity to connect on a deeper level right from the outset, by establishing a relationship, inviting the audience into the fold, and visually educating them in an effort to curate the buying journey.

This has all led to a glut in digital video advertising spending recently.

Companies from across the spectrum are pouring more resources into engaging users with unique video ad content.

Digital video advertising is a strategy that can work for any type of company: B2B or B2C, enterprise or SMB, high-tech or analog products.

Using Micro Video Ads To Spur Engagement

One trend that’s picking up steam is companies employing short, micro-videos in order to grab a viewer’s attention quickly and leave a big impression.

These are generally only about 10 seconds (or less) in length, and they have mounted an interesting challenge against the long-standing 30-second video format that has been used since television commercials first became a common practice.

The philosophy behind them is driven by the fact that modern digital marketing isn’t often just a single interaction that leads immediately to a purchase; it’s a curated journey that entails a variety of different stages and techniques.

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You don’t have to say everything about your product or service in your video ad. You just have to say something interesting enough that it will get the lead viewers to delve more deeply into your ecosystem through your content marketing, email capture, or another tool.

Micro-videos have proven especially useful in engaging Millennial buyers, whose attention spans have been shaped by the internet for most of their lives.

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Using micro-videos doesn’t mean, however, that you have to neglect the traditional 30-second video. You should craft your digital video advertising strategy by mixing and matching different length pieces.

Also, keep in mind that micro-videos should be able to connect with the viewer without the aid of sound.

Many people browse on silent mode, and by the time they think about turning the volume on your micro-video will likely have ended.

Social Media & Video Ads: A Match Made In Heaven

It almost seems like kismet for marketers that social media use patterns and video advertising collided with each other on the way to online dominance because they are an outlet and form that really are made for one another.

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Facebook users have become accustomed to their feeds being filled with autoplaying videos from various sources.

Instagram and Snapchat users think nothing about spending minutes at a time habitually scrolling through live video stories.

Meanwhile, companies can tailor video ads for these settings that remarkably resemble content from users’ followers.

When your audience is expecting video content from someone they follow, it increases the chances that they’ll engage quickly and then stay for the entire ad.

Social media platforms like Instagram are also great for incorporating user-generated content (more on that later) to erase the barriers between buyer and brand.

You can also dig deeply into Facebook’s demographic data to improve your targeting and personalization abilities and drive more consistent conversions.

If the real power of digital video advertising lies at the intersection of engagement and personalization, then various social media outlets are a natural fit for optimizing it.

Video Advertising Tips & Resources

Looking to enter the world of video advertising or level up your game for the year ahead?

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Seek out opportunities to be culturally relevant by tapping into current events and trending topics. Check out these keyword and topic research tips for crafting video in the wake of COVID-19, for example.

If current events doesn’t feel right for your brand, consider nostalgia marketing. It’s a powerful tactic for inducing an emotional response that helps viewers feel an instant connection to your brand.

Check out this analysis of U.K. retailer John Lewis’s and other video ad campaigns to see how it’s done.

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Don’t let your budget make video ads seems out of reach. There are all kinds of tools available to help you create visually stunning, compelling videos even on a tight budget. The YouTube Video Builder is just one example.

And if you’re looking for more expert advice to improve your videos and boost ROI, don’t miss these 8 tips for better video ad performance, from Pauline Jakober.

What Else Will Dominate The Next Decade?

If video advertising is the trend that is dominating the landscape today, that must mean that there are other offshoots poised to make a splash in the near future.

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What represents the next wave?

  • User-generated content: This isn’t necessarily new to the ad world, but companies are getting more creative about finding ways to create ad content that looks like something other than an ad, thereby increasing the effectiveness and prevalence of user-generated content. It works because it gives you something that you don’t have: a real buyer’s experience and perspective, and it allows you to meld that with the marketing voice of your brand.
  • Virtual reality: This allows you to immerse the audience in a world of your own creation and gives you the opportunity to shape their experience in the virtual world with astounding depth and complexity.
  • Augmented reality: This may not be exactly the same as video advertising, but they share similar DNA, and augmented reality marketing excels at using targeted data to deliver an intensely personalized experience.

We’re already starting to see some of the impacts of these strategies, but wide-scale deployment of tactics such as user-generated content, virtual reality, and augmented reality is still to come.

Conclusion

Digital video advertising spend was estimated to have topped $55 billion in the U.S. alone in 2021, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

In fact, experts predict it will exceed $78.5 billion by the end of 2023.

If video advertising is not yet a part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to act. Video is the preferred method for consumers to receive all kinds of information and messaging – and if you’re not there, your products and services can’t even be considered.

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Why Does Google Not Recognize My Competitor’s Links As Manipulated?

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Why Does Google Not Recognize My Competitor's Links As Manipulated?


This week’s Ask An SEO question comes from Arvin from Vancouver, Canada, who wrote:

“One of our competitors has gotten tons of backlinks from unrelated posts including forums like that of apache.org (and many other .edu sites, too). Even after updates like Penguin, why are they considered relevant backlinks by Google?”

Let me begin by saying, Arvin, that we are a sports-loving family.

I currently have four kids on seven teams.

I love the lessons that sports teach my kids.

And one of the big lessons I work to instill in my kids is never to blame the referees for a loss.

I’ve never seen any sporting event where, if one of the teams did something better, the referee’s call would never factor into the outcome.

This lesson translates well to SEO.

If you know how to play the SEO game, what your competitor – or even Google and Bing – does should never be your main concern.

Focusing on your competitor’s SEO instead of improving your own is a frustrating waste of time.

But, as an SEO, it is important to understand the factors that are affecting the rankings of each keyword.

Like Anyone Could Ever Know

Unless you work at Google, you can never be certain about why one site is ranking over another.

We can speculate.

We can run sophisticated mathematical models to try to understand the algorithm.

But the bottom line is we can’t ever know for sure.

In fact, I’m not even sure the folks that work at Google could unequivocally tell you why one site ranks over another.

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The algorithm is so complex that no one person could ever decipher it completely.

How Do You Know The Links Are Relevant?

There is no way to know if the links that your competitor has built are being counted by Google.

Google knows a lot more than our tools tell us it knows.

None of the many backlink analysis tools available on the market today can tell you if Google is counting a link or isn’t.

These tools use data gleaned from their own analysis to determine if a link is relevant or if it is toxic.

Your competitor could be spinning their wheels and wasting a ton of money buying links that do absolutely nothing for their SEO.

Meanwhile, one piece of content or simple link from a strategic site could be boosting the site’s rankings.

Concentrate On Your Competitor’s Strengths

When you look at the “bad” things your competitors are doing, you may miss a tactic that could put you over the top for that keyword you just can’t get to rank.

Instead of looking at all the things you think they are getting away with, look at what they are doing that is legitimate that you aren’t doing.

Frequently, when a prospect comes to me screaming about the travesty of an “inferior” company is ranking above them, the real reason for the ranking usually has nothing to do with the perceived injustice.

But usually when we find the real reason – or at least what I think is the real reason – we uncover a technique that this prospect should double down on.

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It could be that your competitor has more robust content around a specific subject.

It could be that your competitor is utilizing technical SEO techniques better than you are.

It could be a thousand things.

Bottom line – when doing competitive analysis, concentrate on discovering things your competitors are doing better than you are.

Look for techniques you can modify for your own use rather than concentrating on how your client is cheating.

Especially if you don’t plan to cheat yourself.

And I recommend you don’t.

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Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!

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5 Key On-Page Optimizations For Local SEO

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5 Key On-Page Optimizations For Local SEO


When most people think of local SEO, they tend to default to their Google Business Profile, local citations, and backlinks.

When trying to capture those “near me” results, these are definitely beneficial.

However on-page optimization also plays a significant factor in the signals that are sent to the search engines to influence your local rankings.

On-page SEO helps you rank higher in organic results and in MapPack results, as well.

Here are five on-page optimization tips to help boost your local visibility in search.

1. Make Sure Your NAP Is Consistent

NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone Number.

These three simple pieces of information can make or break your local SEO strategy.

Make sure you have these bits of information displayed prominently on your site. A footer is a great place to house your NAP since it will appear on every page.

Linking it to your Google Map is even better.

You can also display your NAP on service area pages and on your contact page in the body.

Consistency matters. It’s important that this key business information is the same anywhere potential customers find you online – and anywhere Google may be using it for comparison to ensure its accuracy.

This helps crawlers and bots to connect the dots between your Google Business Profile, website, and other local citations through the web.

Don’t get lost in minute details such as abbreviations over spelling out street names. It doesn’t really matter as long as you choose one and stick with it.

2. Spruce Up Your On-page Content

Your site content is an opportunity to show both your customers and the search engines that you are the authority in your area for the service you provide.

Include specific details such as landmarks and street names, in addition to the services you provide in this area. Make it clear why the customer would need your service in that specific area.

The more you sound like you belong there, the better the user experience for your customer.

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Think as your customer thinks.

If you were looking for your service near you, what terms would you use?

Would you include your local metro, city, or even neighborhood?

The answers to these questions will help you determine the type of content you need and which keywords to include in this content.

These keywords will help you target both combination searches [dentist in Chicago] and GPS-based searches [dentist] while sitting in Chicago.

This is where the “near me” searches come into play.

Google matches the location of the user (using IP or geolocation) with sites that service the area near the user to provide these search results.

You can optimize these keywords on overall service pages or on targeted pages created specifically for the service and the targeted service area.

Using the dentist example, let’s say you offer teeth whitening services throughout the Chicago and Southern Wisconsin areas.

In addition to your main teeth whitening page, you may have individual pages for teeth whitening in Chicago, Evanston, Milwaukee, and Racine.

Each of those pages should be hyper-targeted and optimized for that specific location.

Don’t be shy here; this may be the landing page for many of those location-based searches.

Really tell your customer why they should trust you enough to click on either the next page or your CTA.

Don’t forget to do your research.

Customers who live in an area will know the common jargon and things that are native to the area.

If you come in with half-baked information, they won’t trust that you are authentic and truly care about their local area.

3. Optimize Header Tags

We know that header tags are important when it comes to SEO.

If you haven’t explored this subject yet, be sure to check out this resource on best practices in using header tags.

By creating local-based service pages, you have just created additional real estate to create highly targeted header tags including local-based keywords + your services.

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Having great header tags gives both the visitors to your site and the crawlers a basic idea of the overall structure of the page and what to expect as they read through the content.

Be careful not to just stuff keywords into the header tags as this will be unnatural to both your visitors and the crawlers.

Keep it relevant.

4. Internal Linking

Use the power of internal linking throughout the site to educate both your customer and the search engines that you are available to serve customers in that local area.

As you are adding city names to your on-page content, you can use them as an anchor link to the service area pages.

You can also get a bit creative and create widgets, lists, and blocks that house multiple links to your service areas on top-level pages for a bit of SEO boosts.

This could be in the form of a “metro areas we service” block that includes the name of the metro, an image of the area, and a short excerpt.

The text would then link to the location page.

Screenshot of AFSRepair.com by author, January 2022.

5. Local Business Schema

Schema markup can help give the search engines a better understanding of your site.

The local business schema type includes important and relevant information such as addresses, reviews, hours of operation, social media accounts, service area geo-shapes, and departments in your code that may not necessarily live in your on-page content.

This tells the bots and crawlers all about who you are, what you do, where you do it, and why others trust you without cramming it all on a page.

This also gives you a bit more control of the information you are putting out there instead of relying on the search engines to figure out different resources around the internet.

How Will I Know If This Is Working?

Once you have everything optimized and ready to go, you will want to know if this is really having an impact on your local SEO strategy.

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There are many tools out there however we will take a quick look at a few.

Local Search Results Tools

There is nothing like looking at the SERPs directly unless you can look at the SERPs in a simulated environment that mimics the local area that you are targeting.

That is exactly what you can do with local search result tools like Local Falcon, Merkle, and BrightLocal.

With these tools, you even have the option to view Google Maps, select options such as desktop and mobile, and get as granular as the zip code level.

Local falcon GIF showing GMB resultsScreenshot from Local Falcon, January 2022

Geo-Grid Local Ranking Tools

Geo-grid local ranking tools like Local Falcon and Local Viking are a bit more visual and monitor the map results within a selected area.

These tools are great because you can actually schedule periodic scans that will capture a snapshot of your results and keep a history of how well your site has performed locally on the maps throughout time.

Since these scans are also keyword-based, it’s also an effective way to monitor optimizations within your content and title tags.

Google Business Profile Analytics

There’s nothing like getting information directly from the horse’s mouth.

When making optimizations, if successful, you should see a boost in your Google Business Profile metrics, whether those are click-throughs to your site, calls, or requests for driving directions.

As your visibility increases, you should naturally see an increase in traffic.

Remember when optimizing for on-page local SEO, keep it simple and relevant to your business.

Once customers see that you are providing what they are looking for in the location that they desire, the rest is natural.

It is your job to make sure that you are providing them with the right information.

Even with the rapid changes within the local SEO space, a solid on-page strategy is a winner for both you and your customers.

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Google’s Core Web Vitals Badge Likely Won’t Happen

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Google's Core Web Vitals Badge Likely Won't Happen


Google says there are no plans for a Core Web Vitals badge in search results after proposing the idea when the metrics were first introduced.

This is stated by Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller during the Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout recorded on January 21.

A question was submitted asking for an update on the Core Web Vitals badge and whether it’s something that will be rolled out in the future.

It was never 100% confirmed there would be a Core Web Vitals badge in SERPs, but it was an idea Google mentioned on numerous occasions.

Now it sounds like Google won’t be following through on its idea.

Read Mueller’s full response in the section below.

No Plans For A Core Web Vitals Badge In Search Results

Mueller says he can’t promise a CWV badge will never happen, but chances aren’t good.

Since the badge hasn’t rolled out yet, and the idea was first proposed over a year ago, the feeling is that it won’t happen.

“I can’t promise on what will happen in the future, unfortunately. And since we haven’t done this badge so far, and it’s been like over a year, my feeling is probably it will not happen.

I don’t know for certain, and it might be that somewhere a team at Google is making this badge happen and will get upset when I say it, but at least so far I haven’t seen anything happening with regards to a badge like this.

And my feeling is, if we wanted to show a badge in the search results for Core Web Vitals or Page Experience, then probably we would have done that already.”

Muller brings up the fact that Core Web Vitals and Page Experience are always evolving.

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The Core Web Vitals metrics, as they are defined today, may include different measurements in the future. It depends what users care about.

“That said, everything around Core Web Vitals and Page Experience is constantly being worked on. And we’re trying to find ways to improve those metrics to include other aspects that might be critical for websites or for users that they care about.

So I wouldn’t be surprised if any of this changes. And it might be that, at some point, we have metrics that are really useful for users, and which make sense to show more to users, and maybe at that point we’ll have something more visible the search results, or within Chrome, or I don’t know. It’s really hard to say there.”

My interpretation of Mueller’s response is that a Core Web Vitals badge in search results isn’t an ideal solution, considering the criteria for earning the badge may change from one year to another.

If the Core Web Vitals were a set of metrics that would remain the same from year to year then a badge might make more sense, but that’s not the case.

Hear Mueller’s response in the video below:


 Featured Image: Screenshot from YouTube.com/GoogleSearchCentral, January 2022. 





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