The Changes in Search & Social in October

We all know that the search and social industry changes rapidly. There were many changes across the niches in October. You may have missed some of these changes, so here is a rundown of the items we feel could be important to you.


Google has confirmed RankBrain, which is what they call their machine-learning artificial intelligence system that’s used to help process search results. We have a collection of articles that will tell you everything you need to know:

A Google Warning for Webmasters

Google announced that they will take action on websites that intentionally or unintentionally place sneaky mobile redirects on their site in their blog post Detect and get rid of unwanted sneaky mobile redirects.

Google Penguin 4.0 Coming Soon

Get your sites ready. Search Engine Land reports that there will be a Penguin update in the next 2 months. SEL also reported in early October that Panda 4.2 was still rolling out.


Facebook Changes

Every business needs to pay attention to Facebook news because they are just getting more and more important for brands, large and small.

Instagram News

Twitter News

Twitter Releases Brand Management Feature For Advertisers

On Monday, October 26 Twitter announced their newest analytics tool, Brand Hub. With tweets about businesses being published each day, Twitter did a favor to their advertisers and designed a brand management tool. In doing so, they have also created an idea pool for business owners to generate new ideas for their company, while monitoring their brand.

What is Brand Hub?

Brand Hub is Twitter’s new conversation tracker. By connecting conversations about specific companies, marketers are able to track what advertising channels are saying about their brand. This type of information helps business owners develop new products, offer better services and correct branding mistakes. Brand Hub is designed to simplify the overall tracking process for marketers and allow a one stop place for brand management.


Who is Brand Hub Available to?

Like most new marketing releases, Brand Hub is currently only available to a select few. Twitter has released the tool exclusively to large brand advertisers and medium-sized businesses in English-speaking countries. Similar to what Pinterest did when they released Promoted Pins and Instagram when they released advertising spots, businesses can request accesss to join. To see if your brand is eligible, visit or log in to and choose Brand Hub. If Brand Hub isn’t appearing for your account, you’ll need to connect with your account team.

How Can Brand Hub Help Marketers?

A tool like this can help marketers enhance their efforts, while monitoring how their brand is discussed on Twitter.  Using TrueVoice™, a metric within Brand Hub, advertisers can track conversations in real time, instead of missing the ball on new branding opportunities. TrueVoice™ works by analyzing different Tweets about a brand and it’s competitors. Using that information, TrueVoice™ can identify what percentage of impressions are owned by the brand and which impressions they’re missing out on. Having the ability to track impressions, engagement, and mentions in real time separates your brand from the rest and gives you the ability to react immediately.

Twitter reached out to a few of their clients and asked how they would implement a tool like Brand Hub with their marketing efforts.

“I could see this information better informing our client’s content and media strategies, especially during key competitive periods — it provides agencies direct insight into competitive activity and brand conversations, which allows us to recommend real-time shifts in content and media strategies and ultimately, drive better results.”

Christine HickeyMedia Director, Performics

Not only does Brand Hub provide real time results about brand conversations, but also provides in-depth information about the audiences discussing the brand. As marketers and business owners, you’re going to want to know everything about the person tweeting about your brand.

Where do they live?

How old are they?

What do they do for a living?


How much do they make annually?

Using information from Twitter data and Twitter Official Partners, Brand Hub is able to provide the answer to each of these questions, while keeping individual user data private. This will help advertisers target their top brand influencers, as well as create a new demographic for future advertisements.


If you were given access to Brand Hub would you use it? Comment below with your take on Twitter’s new branding tool.


4 Tips to Increase Your Mobile Conversions

Not only does Google favor mobile-friendly websites, but people do, too. Everyone from the laying in bed browser to the Pinterest addicted online shopper is using their mobile device more than ever. That means the opportunity for conversions is at an all time high for responsive websites, especially since mobile shoppers are converting at a whopping 160% more often on mobile-friendly websites.

Unfortunately, not all businesses are seeing high percentages due to their slow, poorly designed websites. found that 43% of users won’t come back to slow mobile sites and 40% will choose to go to a competitors site instead. Don’t let your business lose out on mobile conversions to the competitor. Implement these four tricks to improve and increase your mobile conversions.

1. Design a Mobile-Friendly Landing Page

Mobile-friendly landing pages should be designed to enhance the mobile conversion process. Whatever goal has been designated for the landing page (contact form fill-ins, webinar signups, purchases, event registration, etc.), it needs to be easily achievable on mobile. That means simplifying the entire design process for mobile users.


Using a designer, coder, or premade template choose a landing page layout that emphasises your goal with call out buttons and simple contact forms. You’ll also want to decrease the amount of “about us” and filler information on the mobile version of the landing page so that the call to action is the focus. Keep the landing page tight and simple to achieve the most conversions.


Here’s a few different companies that specialize in mobile-friendly landing pages:

  • Unbounce. Ranging from $49 to $199 a month, Unbounce is a great choice because of it’s integration features with sales programs like Infusionsoft.
  • Instapage. Need to get a landing page up quick? Instapage has templates designed for your conversion goals, making the setup process quick and easy.
  • Leadpages. This is the landing page company tool junkies love. Several features and integration options come with Leadpages, making work on multiple projects a sinch.

2. Increase Loading Speed

Not only does load time affect rankings, but a slow loading mobile website affects conversion rates drastically. People have little patience browsing on desktop and even less patience browsing on mobile. Google recommends above the fold content on mobile to load within one second. While the rest of the mobile content is loading, users can at least interact with the top portion.

Because everyone has a different cell phone provider, and an even more unique data plan, your website is being accessed on mobile from 2G, 3G, and 4G network users. Obviously the higher network is the better performing, using a 4G network with only 50-100 ms versus a 200-300 ms roundtrip times for a 3G network. The most common network is 3G.

To accommodate various networks and enhance overall load speed on mobile, try these tips:

  • ​Limit the amount of redirects a site has. ​If possible, Google recommends not having any redirects, but if you must it’s best to only have a small amount. Each redirect can add multiple roundtrips and cost time, affecting the speed on slower 2G and 3G networks.
  • Avoid using render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content.
    Each time a page is rendered it has to be parsed. This means if there is anything Google has to download in order for a page to load properly, the load time will be increased. To avoid this, all JavaScript and CSS need to be inlined above the fold.
  • Optimize all images.High resolution images with large file sizes means increased load times. Reduce the size of each image, while maintaining resolution, using plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer, WP, and SEO Friendly Images. Make sure the image optimization plugin you choose is compatible with the theme of your website before installing.

3. Simplify The Payment Process

Shopping online is becoming easier and more popular for consumers. Mobile ecommerce sales are expected to reach as high as $77 billion by the end of the year according to a report by eMarketer. Let’s continue to increase mobile sales by simplifying the mobile shopping experience.

Spooktacuar ᐧ Super Sale ᐧ-2
  • Sell products using images. Try using different layouts on your mobile ecommerce page that feature all images. This is a more attractive layout for people to shop through their phone, while viewing inventory. Users can easily click on an image to read the full product description, as well as swipe through additional images and a one-click “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” button.
    • Install one-click buttons on purchase pages. Filling out each form with all of a user’s information, as well as credit card numbers, is tedious and takes too much time on mobile. Buttons allow for quick and easy purchases on the go. Create buttons that integrate with a payment system so users can automatically fill in their contact and billing information. IMG_3429
      • Provide a common billing solution. PayPal has over 169 million active accounts, meaning your customer most likely has a PayPal account and can easily login to automatically input their payment details. Using a popular payment system like PayPal or Masterpay is an easy solution for mobile users to make purchases through their phone. The user’s billing information will be automatically generated allowing for a quick on the go purchase.



4. Test Your Mobile Process

You’ve designed a beautiful landing page, made sure the speed is top notch, and enhanced the buying experience, but have you tested it? So often businesses find themselves digging their own grave simply because they didn’t test their process. Conversions aren’t happening because your button link is broken, or the landing page loads differently on Android devices.

Testing is the final step and the cherry on top, but you can’t just test on one device. Performance and user experience is drastically different from IOS to Android, making testing both devices imperative. Any business office is likely to have iPhone users and Android users. Have multiple people test both platforms and gauge what their experience was like.

Any hiccups in the process? Did the forms work? How fast did the page load?Do IOS users have a better experience than Android?-2

The answers to the above will help your team polish off the user experience, as well as decide who to target best. If IOS is offering a better experience than Android target your mobile ads for IOS users.

What ways are you increasing conversions on mobile? Comment below with your favorite mobile conversion optimization tips!

Tips For Making Your Facebook Page Stand Out During The Holidays

This is going to be a great year for businesses to increase their holiday sales online and on mobile. The National Retail Foundation is even predicting online sales to increase 6 to 8 percent, around $105 billion from last year. That’s an increase your business needs to be a part of and can reach using  Facebook marketing during the holidays.

We all know Facebook is mandatory for businesses all year long, but the holiday season creates an extra opportunity for businesses to really showcase what they have to offer. People are searching for gifts, new brands, and businesses their loved ones shop with in order to make new purchases. Make your brand stand out during the holidays and achieve real business goals with these Facebook marketing tips.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.51.30 PM

Design a Content Calendar For the Holidays

Most marketers use a content calendar to manage blog posts throughout the year. Just as helpful as they are for blogs, content calendars for social media help manage goals and engagement during the holidays. Before you can develop a social media content calendar specify what goals you want to accomplish with Facebook this season. Do you want to increase sales using Facebook? Is there a specific milestone that you need to surpass from previous years?

Once a direction is clear, then you can start developing posts. I recommend focusing on one month at a time for the holiday period. Finish up October with your Halloween and fall inspired posts and ads. Start November with Veterans Day promotions, leading up to celebrating Thanksgiving and ultimately Black Friday deals. Whether or not your business is in retail, you can still offer Black Friday type of deals for your services.

With so many holidays in such a short time, it’s easy to get wrapped up in just seasonal posting. Space out your holiday promotional posts on the content calendar with everyday posts, such as regularly scheduled blog posts, #MondayMotivation, etc. Not every single post from now until New Years needs to relate to the season.

Promote Holiday Offers Using Facebook Ads

More and more consumers are choosing businesses based on referrals from in-person and on social networks. When a friend “Likes” a new business page it can appear in their newsfeed, spreading awareness. Use Facebook advertising to increase this type of exposure and promote holiday offers.

Create Tracking Pixels. Whether you setup a pixel for cart purchases or contact form fill ins, you can ensure a full return on investment during the holidays with Facebook’s tracking pixel. Install a custom Facebook pixel into your website or landing page that will track customer action. The pixel is designed to work with your website and mobile apps to track key business goals like:
– Checkouts
– Registrations
– Leads
– Key Page Views
– Adds to Cart
– and more!
Facebook Tracking PixelFacebook

Build a New Audience. Think outside the box and create a brand new audience for holiday advertising on Facebook. Your regular 45-year old male who purchases home improvement tools online typically won’t be shopping for himself during the holidays. Instead, change up your demographic to target 35-50 year old females who are married and own a home. Create holiday ads to entice the gifter, instead of your normal customer.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.43.46 PM
Budget For Peak Ad Times. Organize your budget to show the most important ads at the most important time. For example, the Black Friday Facebook ads should go live at least a week before Black Friday with about 40% of the budget. As it gets closer to Black Friday, throw a majority of your budget, the other 60%, towards the ads to help make your Black Friday specials stand out when it matters most.

Run a Holiday Themed Contest

One way to really make your Facebook page appear during the holidays is by hosting a holiday contest or sweepstakes. Here’s a few of the most successful and easiest ways for fans to enter a contest on Facebook:

  1. Post a Photo. Encourage fans to share a specific type of holiday photo on your business page. This will increase engagement tremendously, as well as increase exposure to people outside of your fanbase. Choose a relevant theme such as,

    “Share a collage of your family’s funniest Thanksgiving moments on our Facebook page to be entered to win a…”

    Post examples from employees before and during the contest to inspire fans and give them an idea of what you’re expecting. You can also share entries as they’re posted to show how popular the contest is.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.48.58 PM

  2. Enter Through a Tab. Using third parties like Woobox, you can create a sweepstakes entry form on the Facebook page. This is a great way to collect other information, aside from engagement. Make “Liking” the page and including the name, email, and phone number part of the entry to obtain the most information from your new holiday leads.
  3. Pose a Question. A contest can be as simple as answering a question about the holidays and choosing a winner. Choose a question that fits with your industry and a specific season/holiday. The answer does not necessarily have to be the “best” answer, but perhaps the most engaged or unique. For ultimate fairness, have someone who isn’t working directly on the contest and monitoring engagement to pick a winner once the contest is done.

Whichever type of contest you decide to run during the holidays, make sure it’s relevant and offers a prize that makes sense for your business and fans.

Post Coupons and Holiday Offers

Wondering if sharing a coupon on Facebook will be effective? Mainstreethost claimed that in 2014, 67% of consumers said they would be likely to share a digital coupon on Facebook during the holidays.

Increase exposure – CHECK
Increase branding – CHECK

The types of offers you share on Facebook should be exclusive to your Facebook fans. Yes, you can share the normally scheduled holiday offers, but also create offers just for your Facebook fans. It’s a great way to thank them for being fans and following the brand, as well as gives fans a reason to keep following you on Facebook.

The first, and free way to share coupons on Facebook is by posting an image of the coupon with a caption describing the deal as an “Offer” post. Customers can either use a promo code from the image to enter online, click on the offer, or print the coupon to use in stores. This will also help track if a sale came from Facebook by using an exclusive promo code and coupon design.
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.55.03 PM

The second way to promote holiday offers on Facebook is through Facebook ads. When creating a new ad on Facebook choose the “Get people to claim an offer” option. Choosing the offer you want to promote, target a specific demographic that could use this offer for gifting and place a budget. As with all Facebook ads you must test, test, and test again. Keep an eye on the engagement and adjust as needed.

Add a Little Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Last but not least, don’t bah humbug all over your business page. Throw a few snowflakes here and there to adapt to the holiday season. Take advantage of fall, Thanksgiving, winter, Christmas, and all of the fun holiday themes by updating your Facebook page, cover photo, and posts with holiday flair. Incorporating the season will give your page an extra excuse to share new products, as well as ones that pair perfectly with the holidays.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 8.44.36 PM

​Google Grants Adwords Users Wishes with Customer Match

Google has always been focused on user experience, removing the bad and creating the good. Their newest announcement and feature is no different. In order to better improve the user experience, as well as the advertising experience for businesses, Google has created Customer Match. Announced during Advertising Week at Times Center Stage, Google’s Customer Match is essentially a way to upload your email lists to target pre-existing customers based on their behavior.

We all know Google knows everything, really everything. This is even more true if you have ever advertised with Google. Their advertising connects you based on what customers are doing, where they are, what they’re looking at, and what kind of device they’re using to look online. To help avoid being spammy, Google’s Customer Match makes connections with existing customers and lookalikes based on relevancy to consumer intent and context.

In their blog post announcement on Sunday, Google claimed 70% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, and relevance of a brand’s message influences their perception of a brand. That’s a reassuring percentage for marketers who believe branding can be everything for a business. To further branding tactics with customer success, Customer Match is able to connect your business with it’s customers based on their exact behaviors.

“With Customer Match, your brand is right there, with the right message, at the moment your customer is most receptive. Only Google can help you do this to delight your most loyal customers in the moments that truly matter.”  
– Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce

What Can Customer Match Do For My Business?

Create a better connection! Customer Match serves a main purpose of reaching your best customers at the right time on Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube in a secure and “privacy-safe” way. You accomplish this by following these steps:

  • Sign into Adwords. Access your Adwords account to begin uploading email addresses for Customer Match.
  • Upload a list of email addresses to the Adwords account. Visit your “Shared Library” on Adwords to access Audiences. You’ll then click on “+Remarketing list” and select the custom option. This will allow you to upload your list and name it. Google is accepting .csv format file types 17MB and under. Think strategically when choosing what list to upload. Try different lists that include email addresses for hot leads, recent buyers, or a list of your most loyal customers. Google is able to match the email addresses you upload to accounts logged in on Google using a secure and “privacy-safe” way, of course.
  • Build campaigns and ads specific to the email lists. One of Google’s requirements for Customer Match is that the campaign reaches 1,000 or more active visitors. The type of campaign and ad you create should be based on the type of email list you uploaded. While some campaigns can be more broad, other types of ads will be directed specifically to a smaller portion of your audience for the most success. Keep track of how often your list is refreshed so it’s consisting of your most recent and most important contacts to reach.
  • Create Similar Audiences on YouTube and Gmail. Reach new customers on YouTube and Gmail using Google’s Similar Audience feature. Like Facebook’s Lookalike Audience advertising feature, Google can create an audience that has the same characteristics or behavior patterns as the customers you’re already targeting. Luckily, you won’t have to manually create the Similar Audience list. Google will automatically generate this audience based on your Customer Match email list.This will be especially helpful to YouTube marketers. Remarket potential customers on YouTube by connecting your YouTube and Adwords account. Then, you can reach people who have watched, engaged, or viewed any of your videos or subscribed to the channel.

Customer Match will be available to advertisers over the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye out and frequently check your Adwords account to see when it’s available to you.

8 Ways To Increase Traffic From Instagram

Instagram has over 300 million monthly active users. That’s 300 million people you can direct to your website. Some may argue that the demographic just isn’t right for their business, and consists mainly of younger people, primarily females. It’s actually quite the opposite. Men make up 51% of Instagram’s audience and 26% of online US adults use Instagram. Most companies can find a portion, if not most, of their demographic on Instagram and generate quality traffic from the social network.

Unlike other social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram can be a bit more difficult to encourage a follower to leave the social network and visit a website. Advertising is always an option, but can still be a stretch since the feature is relevantly new.

If you’re struggling to direct Instagram followers to your website, try these 8 tips below to help increase traffic, as well as have a stronger brand presence on Instagram.

1. Promote Instagram On Your Website

There are many ways you can incorporate Instagram on a website. One of the most common ways is by adding an Instagram feed to the homepage or side panel of a site. Another option is by making an entire page dedicated to Instagram. Pigment, a local gift and decor shop in San Diego, has taken this idea a step further and created a “Shop Insta” page. Followers can purchase their favorite products featured on Instagram. Each time a photo is posted on Instagram Pigment uploads the same photo, adds a caption, and links to the purchase pages for each item featured in the image.IMG_3175
This is incredibly helpful for customers and followers who see products they love on Instagram, but are unsure of where to find each of them on the website. Create a page on your website that showcases all of the Instagram photos and links to each of the product pages featured in each Instagram photo. Doing this will encourage followers to not only leave Instagram and visit your website, but also easily make purchases online.

2. Include a Link on Instagram

Underneath the biography section of Instagram is a perfect place to include a link to a website or landing page, especially since it’s the only place you can include an active link on Instagram. Posts, comments, and captions can include links, but they are unfortunately not clickable. Followers have to either write down the URL or memorize it and open a web browser on their phone to visit the URL. Too many steps.

Thankfully, Instagram provides one space for an active link. Underneath the 150 character biography section is where a URL, which can be changed numerous times, is included. I recommend making whichever URL you want to include trackable. You can make it trackable by using tools like that not only shorten the URL, but can be customized so it is easy to remember, as well as tracks clicks.

3. Take Advantage of Hashtags

Hashtags play a vital role on Instagram. They let users see relevant photos, ideas, and captions they wouldn’t have discovered before. This can ultimately drive traffic to a website from new followers gained using hashtags, as well as increase brand exposure. Beware: It is easy to get a little carried away with hashtags. Here’s a few tips for practicing proper hashtag etiquette on Instagram:

  • Don’t include 25+ hashtags in each post.
    Yes, hashtags are a great way for a brand to be discovered, but only when used wisely. A caption shouldn’t stretch two image heights when scrolling just because it’s full of hashtags. Around 5-7 hashtags is acceptable per post.
  • Include relevant hashtags.
    It’s very irritating for Instagram users who are searching for hashtags like #tree and come across a photo of a laptop in the hashtag feed. Because the laptop photo tagged #tree in their caption, it’s now on the #tree feed. Use hashtags minimally and wisely, choosing only ones that relate to the actual image and not just people you’re trying to reach.
  • Check the Trending Tags section on Instagram to see which hashtags are trending.
    Follow along and see if you have a photo that relates to one of the trending tags so you can join in on the feed. This is another great way to keep track of the “Daily Holidays”.. like #NationalPizzaDay while incorporating your brand. Just make sure you’re following Etiquette Rule B when doing so and contribute a relevant photo to the trending hashtag feed.
  • Get creative and try new hashtags.
    Zone in on one area of your photo and emphasize hashtags that fit that specific topic to avoid using the same hashtags over and over again. For example, if the photo is of Friday’s free office lunch include hashtags like #FreeFridayLunch #LunchAttheOffice #ThanksBoss #WeLoveOurEmployees #TGIFL.

4. Use High Quality Images

Candid shots are great and engaging, but pixelated images are unattractive and make a brand look bad. Impressive photos with captivating calls to action are what makes Instagram users follow new people and leave Instagram to visit a website – wanting more. Display your best products, make a brand personal, and add contrast to make a photo stand out on Instagram.

Another way to post great photos on Instagram is by including images that relate directly to your demographic. If you have a trendy bunch of customers and trendy inventory of products, feature such products in images with filters, borders, and photo editing tools that your customers are using on their own photos. If you’re unsure how customers are styling their photos follow hashtags that relate to your products and check your followers public profiles. Follow along, making yours even better.

The background of an image is another important factor for posting quality Instagram images. Some of the best Instagram users have carefully crafted a background for their photos. Whether their displaying a perfect homemade candy bar for Halloween or a high fashion purse, photographers and designers are making backgrounds a priority and using them as a tool to highlight a product. Engagement increases tremendously, as does traffic from Instagram when multiple products are featured in front of well thought out backgrounds.



5. Share Event Details

Have an event or sale coming up? Post a photo about in on Instagram! Not only will this create engagement and excitement over the event, but it will also encourage users to visit your website for more information. As questions about the event/sale begin to multiply on a post, stay engaged and respond to each comment. A response is a great time to tell a follower the answer to their question is on the URL in the bio section.

6. Show Only a Tiny Bit of Skin

Instagram is a wonderful place to tease your followers. I type this wholeheartedly, and with dignity. There’s several ways to show just a preview of what’s to come, new products, a promo code that’s coming up, and more. This is where you want to work with your design team and get really creative. Let’s use @thesnobjournal as an example.
This post features a gorgeous Nikhil Thampi dress. The lighting is perfect, the background compliments the dress and the hues are on point. Well done designers! What makes this post even better is that it’s about a new blog that will soon be posted on the website. There’s now over 5,493 people who are excited about this new blog post and over 150 who commented sharing their anticipation to see more.

Once the blog post is finally live, The Snob Journal can post another photo from the photoshoot letting users know they can now visit the website to read the whole post. Which brings us to the next tip.

7. Share Photos From the Blog

Every blog post should have at least one photo. Use that photo, if not multiple photos, and share it on Instagram telling followers the newest post has been published. Add typography over the photos to include a call to action or snippet about the post. This gives followers a bit more information about what the newest post is about, plus they can relate to it once they land on the blog page and see the same image.

8. Promote Contest Details on Instagram

Hosting a contest online? Share an image that represents the contest, include a detailed description with entry details, and create a specific contest hashtag to share across social media. When sharing contest details on Instagram update the URL in your profile with the contest landing page so people know where they can participate, plus visit your website. This makes entering, visiting the website, and getting new followers easier.

Take the contest a step further and make Instagram one of the steps by including a “Like our Instagram page” as one of the steps. This creates a pattern from Instagram users to the website, as well as from the website to Instagram.

How do you drive traffic to your website from Instagram? Share your favorite steps in the comments below!