Time Becomes a Factor in Facebook’s Newest News Feed Update

Facebook-time-algorithmOnce again, Facebook has made another update to it’s News Feed algorithm. ​This algorithm is updated frequently by Facebook to help improve user experience and satisfy what kind of posts actually want to be seen in News Feeds.

To figure this out, Facebook asks thousands of people each day for feedback on their individual News Feeds and how it can be improved, known as the Feed Quality Program.

Not all social networks take as much time and effort as Facebook does to try and perfect the user experience, but a lot of benefits steam from a positive user experience. The more people who enjoy using Facebook, the more daily users will log in and interact.

More users (over 1 billion currently) give a more diverse demographic for businesses to target and connect with. Businesses are more likely to advertise with Facebook when the ROI makes sense and the right demographic is within reach. Users are more likely to interact with Pages and Facebook Ads when they’re presented with ads that relate to them.

Clearly, a good News Feed can come full circle and benefit all parties. ​

So, What Makes This Update Different?

Instead of focusing on how much interaction a post receives, Facebook wants to show more of what people want to see in articles. Some stories don’t need a like, or a user may not feel the need to comment, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in it. Scanning through headlines without reading a full news article is like scanning through a post without clicking Like or leaving a comment on Facebook. Therefore, Facebook needed to make some adjustments to avoid the algorithm from hiding posts people still wanted to see, but weren’t engaging with.

To provide a solution, time is now a ranking factor for Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. How much time a user spends reading and/or watching content that they’ve clicked on from within the News Feed will help dictate what people are engaging their “time” with most and want to still see in their News Feeds. Load time won’t be accounted for in the amount of time spent on a clicked post, Facebook will just analyze the actual time spent reading or watching the clicked content. Longer content will also be notated since the longer the content, the more time it takes to consume.
“We (Facebook) are adding another factor to News Feed ranking so that we will now predict how long you spend looking at an article in the Facebook mobile browser or an Instant Article after you have clicked through from News Feed. This update to ranking will take into account how likely you are to click on an article and then spend time reading it.”

How Does This Affect My Business?

There isn’t a direct affect to businesses with this News Feed update. Other than a possibility for increased referral traffic, most Pages won’t see a huge difference with this News Feed update unless they make direct content changes.

To help accommodate this update, businesses need to share content people want to see. Good, quality content is what we’ve been asking for for years now, but many businesses are still missing the mark. Test your Facebook audience by posting different types of content (video, blog post, image) at the same time of each day, so that timing doesn’t effect results, and see what kind of response you get organically.

Are people engaging with the image post, but the blog post is receiving a lot of click-throughs? Adjust the type of content you share on Facebook to what the audience responds best to and you’ll be more likely to make the algorithm cut.

When Does the Algorithm Go LIVE?

The News Feed update won’t impact every Facebook user immediately. The update will start to slowly hit News Feeds over the next few weeks.

Every update comes with commentary. Leave your thoughts in the comments below about Facebook’s latest update.

Rank Tracking; Is It Useful in Modern SEO?

Over the last few years there’s been a fair bit of contention around the value and uses of rank tracking in the modern world of SEO. I went into the trenches to see what others thought and how they were using these applications themselves. And while it might seem self-serving to write about it here on AuthorityLabs, that’s not how I roll. I don’t pander to the publication.

Here’s what I found…

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All About the Vanity

When it comes to rank tracking, it’s certainly evolved over the years. Many of us remember back when SEO companies used to boldly state on their websites, “We got our client over 200 top rankings!”. Which of course sounds awesome at first glance. The problem of course was that it was usually on uber long-tail keywords that brought little, if any traffic (and even fewer conversions).

On the other hand, we had clients that wanted, and ate up, monthly tracking reports. While that still exists today, often times it was still not really a great way to justify yourself in an ongoing basis. It’s not always how many top rankings we obtain, but which ones and how well they drove traffic and converted.

In other instances, we’d see clients chasing vanity terms, that weren’t always logical in terms of revenues and profits. As a consultant, I still see those to this day.

When to Track and What to Track

All of this begs the question; should be be using rank tracking in modern SEO? Obviously, given where I am writing, the answer is – YES. From my own experience, and talking to my peers across my many channels, here’s some of the ways that people are using them today;

Revenues & margins – straight away, one of the more important uses is to set out the terms that matter. Which ones are the most popular products? Which drive the greatest revenues? Which have the top margins? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourselves and then set up rank tracking for those. With AuthorityLabs, I also use the tagging system to annotate the differences so that I can watch what matters, generalized keywords that don’t pay the bills, are meaningless to me.

Competitors – one of the more popular uses these days is using rank tracking applications to monitor where we stand in comparison to our competitors. We are looking for changes in the landscape against the top common competitors. If we’re gaining ground; why? Are there SEO changes that we’ve made? Offline marketing? Changes in social strategy? Success does not mean that we don’t analyze.

If one of them has started to gain ground, but not others, then we also want to know why. Have they made changes to their site? To their content program? We’re looking to establish what they’ve done so that we can address our own potential needs for change.

Algorithmic changes – another reason, attached to the above, is that we’re also looking for changes across various query spaces. This often means that Google is doing something differently. You should always bear in mind that changes that Google makes, often have a different affect in different markets. Not all algorithm changes are created equal. By watching rankings across a market and set of query classifications, can often show hints as to what changes Google might be making in the space.

Low hanging fruit – another approach is to cross reference ranking data with SERP CTR data and look for under-performing terms that either have a poor SERP CTR, or are sitting on the outside looking in (below the fold). By making some slight changes to the TITLE or Meta-description elements, we can often increase both, with the least amount of work. Rank tracking in these instances, can be useful in establishing what’s working, and what isn’t. Google’s “Avg Ranking” data, really doesn’t cut it.

Universal opportunities – one area that’s often underutilized, is targeting the universal elements (images, news, video etc..). We’ve found that trying to grind from page 3 to above the fold on page one, is far more of a struggle than getting a universal into the space. While we’re working our way up, we’ve already dropped a page 1 (often above the fold) video universal, in no time at all. Some applications (such as Authority Labs) has the ability to track these, which can be invaluable to your strategy.

Informational over commercial – even if your site is in an ecommerce world, often times there is also going to be a content strategy in place as well. When tracking rankings, you should also be segmenting these. From the informational side of things, we can look at not only which content elements we rank for, but also the associated traffic it’s driving. This helps to better target content in the future.

It’s a Mobile World

Another area that is paramount these days is to get a grasp of the geo-locational and mobile landscapes. This is somewhere that a good rank tracking application can be golden. Some of the uses we look at include;

Side-by-side – when you enable mobile tracking with Authority Labs, you can see a side-by-side comparison of rankings for a term in the desktop vs. mobile environments. This can then be compared against mobile/desktop traffic data in analytics. This can help drive over-all strategy as well as watching to see what a given change you’ve made reacted in the SERP landscape. If your rank tracking application doesn’t do this? Hehe… time for a change maybe huh? It’s damned handy at-a-glance report.

Changes to mobile strategy – as with the above, we can look at changes we make to the site and what effects they’re having. If it’s a new responsive design, speed improvements or going tot AMP, tracking mobile rankings and analytics data, can help to show an actual cost benefit to what you’ve been doing. Which is always popular with the boss or C-level types.

The other obvious issue is going to be localized rankings. What ranks at the top in NYC, is often not what is ranking there in LA. That’s certainly another important aspect that a good rank tracking application can help with, when you’re serving and targeting multiple national geo-regions.

At the end of the day, I would add the geo/mobile considerations to the other points mentioned earlier, as it’s where Google wants to go, and where we want to be. That’s definitely another area that I have found (good) rank tracking applications to be invaluable.

A Case for Forensics

Another area that I do a lot of consulting in is the world of forensic SEO. Essentially that is when you are trying to figure out where traffic losses come from. It could be due to a penalty, but other times it’s actually caused by changes at Google.

Here’s a great example in the local world, where the rank tracking helped establish where losses came from:

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In the ‘Pre-losses’ section, the website in question was in a local pack at the top of the SERP, and also had positions 3-6 below that (domain crowding). When we look at the post-losses, we can see that Google completely changed how they were treating that space, as far as localization was concerned as well as core rankings. Instead of showing local results for the query, they switched to a more branded Audi SERP display. They also dropped the site well down in the standard rankings as well (due to changes in localization).

Obviously, this is going to give a fairly significant traffic loss. But without tracking data like this, it would normally be harder to identify what happened, and explain that to the client (ie; Google changes, not your fault lol). Try figuring that out by merely having analytic data… I think not.

And so, the question remains….

Is rank tracking useless in 2016?

Nope.

To be honest, it even goes beyond some of the ideas I’ve given you. What if there are small or even wholesale changes made to the site? Are you merely going to watch traffic levels and the very limited query data from Google to establish what worked and what didn’t? This is another great use for rank tracking applications. Just create a segmented report for those pages/terms and add to the mix with your other data sources.

In the modern world of personalization, I don’t find straight-up rank tracking and reporting to be nearly as valuable as it once was, but that doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bath water, right?

Ultimately, like any SEO tool, you need to establish your own needs. I don’t like most tools ‘out of the box‘ to be honest. We want to go beyond the obvious and look for ways that it can be truly valuable, not just another data source.

Please do hit the comments and let me know how you use rank tracking in your modern world of SEO…

SMS Marketing 101: How to Run a Successful Text Messaging Campaign

Think text message marketing isn’t right for your demographic? Think again! Over 80% of American adults text, which makes it the most common cell phone activity. Unlike social media networks with a range of age in demographics, adults and teenagers are both using text messaging as a communication method. With a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate, texting is an effective marketing strategy for businesses to try.

There’s plenty of ways to connect your business to a successful text messaging campaign. From adding fun emojis to shortening URL’s, SMS marketing has advanced over the years and become more available for small and large businesses to incorporate.

When deciding if a text message campaign is right for your business, ask yourself the following:

  • Why do you want to run a text messaging campaign?
  • How do you think a text messaging campaign can benefit your business?
  • Do you have enough phone numbers to text?
  • What action should subscribers take upon receiving a text?
  • How can the goal be measured?

Depending upon your answers to the above, here’s a few additional things to consider when thinking about running a text messaging campaign:

Choose the Right SMS Marketing Company to Work With

To create a text messaging campaign, you’ll want to work with a third party scheduling service to schedule text messages from a designated number. Each SMS marketing company has their own set of pros and cons that make them a fit for large or small businesses, so it’s important to do your research when searching for the perfect fit.

Here’s a few of the top text messaging providers out there to help with your next campaign:

  • SUMOTEXT. This company provides mobile messaging services to the USA, Canada, and over 200 countries through a developer-friendly API which is documented in the SUMOTEXT SMS API Guide. Although SUMOTEXT offers basic SMS services, they also offer Mobile Relationship Management Platform and tools to help manage the mobile marketing process.
  • Ez Texing. Ez Texting is great for businesses who are new to SMS marketing and want to give it a try. They have a free account which allows for upgrades depending upon the type of campaign and it’s needs. Another pro with Ez Texting is that developers can use their SMS API to integrate Ez’s mobile text marketing platform into existing systems.
  • Trumpia Trumpia offers it all from text messaging, to automation, custom APIs, and enterprise level accounts for larger businesses. This is a great option for companies who have a large amount of subscribers and need to send text messages quickly.

Ask For Permission Before Texting

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Don’t break the rules. Have customers sign up and subscribe to text message alerts before beginning a new text message campaign. Not only is it against the law to text new and existing customers without permission, but it’s very spammy and makes a business look bad. Have customers opt-in by texting a code to a specific number or signing up through a form on your website.

“Want to receive exclusive updates and specials? Text “SIGNUP” to 345345 to begin receiving text message alerts”

Along with asking permission, you’ll want to inform subscribers of how to opt-out. We’re hoping they won’t want to, but it’s best to inform subscribers how to opt out in the beginning instead of them scrambling to try to contact you and end up becoming an upset customer. Include how to opt-out in the intro text message, as well text and data rates.

“Thank you for signing up to receive the latest and greatest from Authority Labs. We’ll be sending you exclusive updates and promo codes 2 to 4 times a month. Standard data and text message rates do apply. To opt out at any time, please reply “STOP”.”

Define a Reasonable Goal

There’s several different goals a business can achieve with text message campaigns. These types of goals can be increasing event sign ups, promoting a new contest, and/or increasing overall exposure (such as foot traffic or website views). No matter what a business is trying to accomplish with a text message campaign, the goal needs to be measurable and definable.

Here’s a few different reasons why your business may want to start SMS messaging services:

  • Provide an easier checkout service for hotels and rentals.
  • Reservation alerts for restaurants to notify customers that their table is ready.
  • Airline and flight notifications and updates.
  • Radio broadcast updates.
  • New concert updates and sales.
  • An online order is ready for pickup or has just shipped.
  • A custom order is ready for pickup.
  • Redeem an exclusive special for only text message subscribers.
  • Flash sale notification to select customers.
  • Prescription is ready for pickup in-store.
  • And more…!

If the point of a text message is to encourage subscribers to take action online then the promo code in the text message campaign needs to be unique so it is easily tracked, as well as including a shortened URL.

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Create a Call to Action Anyone Can Understand

The most important part of writing a call to action is to create one that anyone and everyone can understand. Whether or not they’re pre-existing or current customers, any subscriber receiving the text message should understand what their next step is and what action to take. >

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StylesForLess, a young woman’s clothing store, sends out text messages to alert shoppers of an upcoming sale or a flash sale. Each text message will include details of the sale, such as “Buy One Get 1” or a “Today Only” type of sale.

The promo code and shortened URL is included so shoppers can click and begin shopping right away from their mobile device. Occasionally, to increase store traffic, StylesForLess will send out in-store only sales using text messages. This type of memo will spark conversations from to alert fellow customers and ultimately spread the word for you.

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Keep the Text Short & Sweet

Have you ever noticed how text messages are delivered to Androids differently than iPhones? A text message can be broken apart into multiple texts if it’s too long, sometimes beginning with the last part of the text. For this reason, and short attention span reasoning, it’s best to keep the text message short and sweet.

Most all text campaigns should include a promo code to enter online, the URL, a keyword, and/or a shortcode to text the keyword to. Simplify each of these three as much as possible so users can quickly react and enter the necessary codes to continue. Use text message slang, such as shortening words and using emojis to get the message across using less characters.

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Avoid Over Texting

Sending out too many texts is annoying and will cause you to lose followers. A good rule of thumb is to only text subscribers when you have something important to share. Subscribers are less likely to unsubscribe if you only text valuable information.

Is an event coming up or have venues changed? Launching a flash sale that you want subscribers to have a head start on? Is the subscription ready for pickup? These are all great reasons to send out a text to subscribers without bugging them too often.

If you’re still unsure how often or how little to text subscribers stick to a 2 to 4 times a month as a rule of thumb.

Text During Appropriate Hours

You wouldn’t want to receive an automated text message from a business at 11:30 at night, would you? Neither would your subscribers. Schedule text messages to send at appropriate times that make sense for both your business and demographic. If you’re a nightclub who has subscribers that signed up to be informed of event updates, then texting 2-3 hours before an event can be appropriate.

For the rest of the world, text during normal business hours and avoid texting too early in the morning. Not only will be subscribers not be able to digest the information early in the morning, but they’re most likely preparing for the day and don’t have time to fully comprehend or react to the message.

The point of a text message campaign is to inform and encourage subscribers to take an action, so schedule the message to send at an optimal time for the action to be taken.

Essential Mobile Marketing Tips For Small Businesses

Mobile marketing is here to stay. More and more people are using their mobile devices to access everything a desktop can. From text messages, to search results, online shopping, social media, and more, smartphones have almost all of the capabilities a computer does, giving companies another platform to market towards.

Since #Mobilegeddon, 68% of companies have integrated mobile into their overall marketing strategy. Most companies went the app route, creating an app for customers to engage with. Unfortunately, not every business can create an app, especially small businesses. For those businesses without apps, and those with, there are several other ways to engage people on mobile.

Integrate the mobile marketing tips below to help increase conversions, engagement, and results for your small business.

Frequently Check the Mobile Site Speed

​Whether you’re on a desktop or a mobile device, searching on a slow loading website is going to lose visitors and miss out on conversions. Google takes site speed for both desktop and mobile seriously, as it can affect the overall user experience. John Mueller explained in a Hangout how speed can also affect rankings, “We (Google) do say we have a small factor in there for pages that are really slow to load where we take that into account.

abandonment-rateImage Source: Radware

Check with Google’s PageSpeed Insights frequently to analyze load times for both desktop and mobile. If your PageSpeed Insights show room for improvement, try improving the mobile site speed with these tips:

  • Design a mobile-friendly website that is flawless. 57% of people say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. Whether you’re hiring a web developer or uploading a theme to WordPress, make sure the design responds and works well on all mobile devices. A website design can work flawlessly on an iPhone, but have glitches on Android.
  • Add a cache plugin to the website. A cache plugin can dramatically help improve the speed of a website. Add caching plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache to the WordPress website to help improve the load time on mobile.
  • Keep image sizes small. Not every image needs to be as large as the slider image. Reduce the size of each image file to help improve how fast the image loads on mobile by reducing the overall image size in GIF, PNG or JPEG file formats.

Encourage People to “Check-In” on Mobile

Check-ins help make a business look popular, and active. The more people that check-in, the more activity a listing receives on websites like Facebook, Yelp, and Foursquare. Check-ins can also increase reviews. Make checking into your small business simple for mobile users by providing clickable buttons on the website to “Check-In” with and that automatically link to check-in websites.

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Rethink Your Social Media Strategy

When designing the social media content calendar, add in a few on-the-go engagement opportunities. Think as a mobile user and publish posts that relate to people who are quickly scanning their social media newsfeeds using a mobile device. Pinterest is a great example of how to rethink social media to fit the mobile mind.

Pinterest is the most used social media network on mobile devices and 64% of its referred traffic comes from either smartphones or tablet devices. Relate to the mobile user experience by providing pin links that actually link to a mobile-friendly website, loads quickly, and is easy to digest on a cell phone. The pinned image and description should relate to the link to provide the user with a fluid experience from pin to website. Pins that link to irrelevant websites are upsetting, a waste of time, especially on mobile, and make a business profile look bad.

Advertise Mobile Ads on Social Media

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all offer options to advertise on mobile devices. Each social network has mobile-device focused ads that can target by device.

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When advertising to mobile users on social media, geotargeting can play a huge role in increasing conversions. Depending upon the locality of the business, define the target audience to a 5-mile radius of the storefront to reach people closest to you.

If you want to increase engagement as a whole or have an objective that doesn’t rely on targeting by proximity, then expand the mobile audience to a larger radius and include multiple areas for maximum exposure.

Create Mobile Ads Using Adwords

Mobile pay-per-click is a great way to target mobile users searching for something your business may have and is growing in popularity. By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all US digital ad spending. Though it holds the majority of ad spending, mobile advertising is different than desktop ads.

Google’s mobile ads appear differently than desktop, so you need to make sure the ad makes sense for mobile and offers a seamless conversion process. For example, a mobile Adwords ad will have less space than a desktop ad, so the point needs to be clear and concise. The display URL should link to a mobile-friendly landing page and the checkout process should be thought-out for mobile ease.

There are several different types of mobile device ads you can setup using Google Adwords:

On devices that can make calls, such as smart phones, create Call-Only ads with Adwords. These ads have proven their effectiveness for small businesses by allowing searchers to click-to-call directly from an ad. Having a searcher call the business directly from an ad can increase sales, foot traffic, and conversions.

Start a Text Message Campaign

Have a flash sale or running a new contest? SMS marketing, or text message alerts, can notify an audience in a more personal matter on their phone of a flash sale or contest. Inbetween texts from Mom and Hubby can be your business’ text inviting the customer to access the Flash Sale an hour before everyone else.

There are several different companies that assist with SMS marketing, such as Sumo Text, Ez Texting, and Trumpia. Using an SMS marketing company, setup automatic text message alerts that send out customized texts to subscribers.

People can become a subscriber by texting a unique code or code of words to a unique number. For example, the text message campaign can instruct customers to text “Popcorn” to 123456 to be automatically entered to win and sign up for text message alerts. Similar to unsubscribing from emails, subscribers can easily opt-out of future text message alerts if they no longer wish to receive them.

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Update The Google My Business Listing

Have you recently moved? Is the wrong phone number appearing on search results? Fix and submit changes to the business information like the address, phone number, hours, and more by updating your Google My Business Listing. This will ensure the correct business information appears in search results on Maps, Google+ and YouTube, making connecting with your business through a mobile device one step easier.

Design a Mobile-Friendly Checkout Process

Average smartphone conversion rates are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates. Don’t miss out on potential conversions because the mobile checkout process is more complicated than it needs to be. With 4 out of 5 consumers making purchases on mobile devices, you’ll want to design a checkout process that compliments both desktop and mobile devices and is quick and easy to complete. Do so by integrating the following:

  • Make account signs up optional. Don’t make it mandatory for customers to make a new account before purchasing. Allow customers to checkout with a “Guest” option or to make a new account. This will help speed up the process and avoid losing a potential customer due to too many steps.
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  • Keep forms limited to only necessary fields. The customer’s middle name doesn’t provide much value to a business, so remove it. If a field isn’t required, delete it to create the smallest form fill out possible and increase the checkout time speed.
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  • Have more than one payment option. Adding a payment option like PayPal, that automatically fills in the customer’s details, is not only a safer way for customers to purchase on mobile, but a more convenient method to pay.

Create Mobile-Friendly Emails

Do you use your phone to read emails? You’re not alone. 79% of people surveyed use their smartphone for reading email, which is an even higher percentage than those who used it for making calls. That means your email campaigns need to be designed with a mobile-friendly layout and compliment both desktop and mobile devices.

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Phone numbers and links should all be clickable and lead to an action outside of the original email, such as clicking a button to be directed to a mobile responsive landing page. For phone numbers, that action means a subscriber can click-to-call from the email and respond to whatever the subject was. Links should also be clickable in a mobile email and direct to a mobile-friendly landing page or page on the business website.

Have you seen mobile impact your marketing results? Comment below with your thoughts on mobile marketing!

2016 Digital Marketing Conferences You Can’t Miss

Looking for digital marketing events to fill your calendar with? Below are some of the greatest, latest, and longest lasting digital marketing conferences in America. If you don’t have at least a few of these on your calendar for the rest of 2016, you’ll want to add them. Afterall, conferences aren’t just full of learning opportunities, expert tips, and after-parties. Conferences are a great way for digital marketers to build new relationships, meet fellow cyber enthusiasts, and get out from under our desks.

Start preparing those email pleas to your boss and get ready to get your conference on with the following digital marketing conferences.

APRIL

Social Media Marketing World
Social media gurus from around the globe come to sunny San Diego to talk, listen, and tweet everything social at this conference. Brands like Google, Walmart, BMW, IBM, Campbell Soup Company, HP, and the San Diego Chargers share their social media marketing experiences with over 3,000 attendees. Mari Smith, Guy Kawasaki, Jay Baer, and Kim Garst are just a few of the many social media geniuses at SMM World you’ll have the pleasure to see and learn from.

Where: San Diego, CA

When: April 17 to 19

What: Social Media

Pricing: $1497

Conversion World
At a low price of $400 and available over the internet, Conversion World makes it easy for anyone to access and interact with some of the best conversion rate optimization specialists in the industry. Get ready to start increasing your conversions with the knowledge gained from Conversion World.

Where: Online

When: April 18 to 20

What: Conversions and Lead Gen

Pricing: $400

MAY

SearchLove Boston
SearchLove is a 2-day SEO conference that will leave you feeling inspired like never before. Hosted by Distilled, the SEO conference is held in Boston, London and San Diego each year. Next up on the calendar is Boston’s SearchLove conference in May, followed by London in October.
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Where: Boston, MA

When: May 3 to 4

What: Search Engine Optimization

Pricing: $1,099 to $1,399

Content Marketing Conference
This year, Content Marketing Conference in Las Vegas will have over 30 sessions focused on new tactics, tips, and expert hacks for improving content marketing. Only 300 attendees are allowed to attend the three-day conference which provides a much more intimate atmosphere than most Vegas conferences.

Where: Las Vegas, NV

When: May 17 to 19

What: Content Marketing

Pricing: $1,497 to $1,647

Conversion Conference
For those who focus on website optimization and conversions, the Conversion Conference will provide you with a 360-degree view of conversion rate optimization techniques. Data junkies will rejoice with the amount of knowledge provided by conversion experts like Tim Ash and Mona Patel.
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Where: Las Vegas, NV

When: May 17 to 19

What: Conversions and Lead Gen

Pricing: $997 to $1,197

JUNE

State of Search
This SEO-focused conference combines all aspects of digital marketing, but gives a Texas-sized emphasis on search engine optimization from the pros. SEO geniuses like Rand Fishkin, Duane Forrester, Gary Illyes, and Mig Reyes will be keynoting the two-day conference. With a much more relaxed atmosphere than most conferences, State of Search offers a unique environment in the heart of downtown Dallas with plenty of food trucks and networking opportunities.

Where: Dallas, TX

When: June 1

What: Search Engine Marketing

Pricing: $300+

SMX Advanced
This SEO conference has the word “Advanced” in it’s title for a reason. SMX Advanced is for the expert level search engine marketers who crave an even deeper understanding of SEO tactics. Each session is jam packed full of knowledge and designed for fluent speaking SEO’s.
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Where: Seattle, WA

When: June 21 to 22

What: Digital Marketing

Pricing: $99 to $1,795

AUGUST

BlogHer
With speakers like Sarah Michelle Gellar, BlogHer is a conference designed to empower and inspire women content creators. Whether you’re a social media star or an Instagram famous blogger, BlogHer welcomes content driven women to attend, network, and inspire change within the industry.
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Where: Los Angeles, CA

When: August 4 to 6

What: Content Marketing

Pricing: $99 to $999

SEPTEMBER

Content Marketing World
Eighty content driven sessions will be presented at Content Marketing World 2016 by brands like Microsoft, Zillow, Marriott, and more. Last year, the content conference had over 3,500 attendees from 55 different countries and is expecting an even bigger turnout this year. Mark your calendars for sessions like “Content Repurposing on Steroids”, “Editorial Calendar – How to Manage Content Effectively in a Complex Organization”, and more.

Where: Cleveland, OH

When: September 6 to 9

What: Content Marketing

Pricing: $1,730 to $2,495

MozCon

MozCon is digital marketing’s fun conference. The three day conference is full of color, lots of education, and some of the best after parties, also known as “networking events”. Each night there is a different MozCon-themed event designed to bring digital marketers together in a fun and exciting environment.

Where: Seattle, WA

When: September 12 to 14

What: Digital Marketing

Pricing: $800 to $1,499.00

OCTOBER

Pubcon Las Vegas
This is a 4-day digital marketing conference and awards ceremony at the end of the Las Vegas strip, need we say more? In their 16th year, Pubcon will once again bring people from all realms of digital marketing together to learn, connect, and inspire new ideas for the cyber world. Pubcon was named a Forbes must-attend conference and an Inc. top conference for growing your business.
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Where: Las Vegas, NV

When: October 10 to 13

What: Digital Marketing

Pricing: $25 to $4499

DMA 2016
DMA is one of the very few digital marketing conferences where you will see John Legend listed as a speaker. &THEN knows how to through a conference and fills DMA with plenty of impactful seminars, workshops, and networking opportunities to help make thousands of connections within the industry.

Where: Los Angeles, CA

When: October 16 to 18

What: Digital Marketing

Pricing: $1,195 to $2,295

Adobe MAX
Designers, we see you! There’s a little bit of designer in each and every digital marketer, but for those who live and breathe design, Adobe MAX is the conference for you. Get your creative juices flowing with a week full of sessions, labs, speakers, and plenty of inspirational events.

Where: San Diego, CA

When: October 31 to November 4

What: Design

Pricing: $1,095 to $1,595

NOVEMBER

MobCon
With as big as mobile is and how much it has impacted digital marketing, it only makes sense to gather the top mobile experts together for a 2-day conference to share updates, stats, and findings with one another. Executives, developers, mobile strategists, business leaders and marketing professionals meet at MobCon to learn and share ideas about the mobile health industry and how mobile technology impacts individuals, careers, and industries. MobCon takes place five times a year, each in a different location from Minneapolis to Europe.

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Where: Minneapolis, MA

When: November 2 to 4

What: Mobile Marketing

Pricing: $595 to $695

Inbound 2016
Four days and five keynotes are dedicated to anything and everything inbound. Last year Inbound received 14,000 attendees and expects an even larger crowd this year at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. Inbound offers education and training classes during the conference, as well as the valuable education received by each inbound marketing speaker.

Where: Boston, MA

When: November 8 to 11

What: Inbound Marketing

Pricing: $299 to $1,599

Did we miss your favorite conference? Comment below with your must-attend digital marketing conferences.

30 Digital Marketing Statistics That Will Impact Your Decisions

Sometimes all it takes is a thoughtful statistic to persuade a client into finally updating their website, or deciding on the right content marketing strategy. Each year digital marketing continues to evolve with popularity and along with popularity comes endless updates, reviews, and additional spending. All of this and more is constantly studied to improve digital marketing efficiency for businesses and consumers. Stats help keep us all in line, and allow us to see how efficiencies can be made.

Take a look below and educate yourself and your team on these 30 digital marketing stats that every marketer should be aware of.

Content Marketing

Content-Marketing

1. Content marketing budgets have increased for B2C companies with 32% of total marketing budgets going towards content. (source)

2. Social media has become the most popular content marketing tactic reported by 90% of B2C businesses.The next most used content marketing tactics are illustrations and photos (87%), eNewsletters (83%), videos (82%) and website articles (81%). (source)

3. LinkedIn is used by 94% of B2B marketers as part of their content marketing strategy. Don’t worry, B2B marketers are using other social media networks as part of their content marketing strategy, as well: Twitter (87%), Facebook (84%), YouTube (74%) and Google+ (62%). (source)

4. A whopping 88% of B2B marketers include content marketing as part of their marketing strategy, but a contradicting 32% of them actually have a documented content marketing strategy. (source)

5. Video has become the highest performing content marketing tool. Two-thirds of marketers and agency executives believe that original digital video will become as important as original TV programming within the next three years.​ (source)

6. 82% of marketers who blog daily acquired a customer using their blog, as opposed to 57% of marketers who blog monthly. (source).

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

​7. Google is responsible for ​89.3% of all internet searches​. (source)

​8. More than half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase, and 78% of mobile searches for local business information result in a purchase. (source)

​9. Businesses that blog​ regularly have 97% more inbound links than companies who don’t blog​. Inbound links can highly impact the success of SEO strategies. (source)

10. Search results account for ​300% ​more traffic sent to websites than social media does. (source)

11. The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words. The higher up you go on the search listings page, the more content each web page has. (source)

​12. A fifth of small-to-midsized businesses purchased a type of Google advertising product in 2015, with 83% of those using AdWords. Here’s how the spending with Google actually broke out (source):

  • 48% spent their budget on Google Display Ads;
  • 27%, Google+ pages;
  • 22% spent part of their budget on remarketing;
  • 20% used YouTube ads;
  • 20%, Google Display Network;
  • 13%, click to call;
  • 12%, contextual targeting; and
  • 8%, mobile and sitelinks

Local Search Marketing

local-business

​13. A clearly designed and educational website gives a local business 36% more credibility over websites lacking clarity. (source)

14. 88% of consumers research online reviews before make a local purchase. (source)

15. A business address and location is the most important information researched by local searchers. (source)

16. 89% of participants admitted to searching for a local business on their smartphone once a week or more with 58% searching at least daily. (source)

17. Large brands are using national assets for local messaging: 86% use corporate websites for local marketing, 72% use email, and 49% rely on corporate social media feed. Fewer national brands rely on local websites (33%) or locally-focused social media feed (27%). (source).

18. Half of all mobile searches are conducted in hopes of finding local results, and 61% of those searches result in a purchase. (source)

Social Media

social-media-strategy

19. Don’t doubt the powers of LinkedIn. The two biggest reasons professionals access content on LinkedIn is to “keep up with industry news” and “discover new ideas within the industry,” at 78% and 73%. (source)

20. Each day a million new active mobile social users are added. That’s 12 new social media users added each second (source)

21. Do you ever Tweet a complaint to a business on Twitter? You’re not alone. 78 percent of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect an actual response from the business within an hour. (source)

22. Mobile devices are used for accessing social media by 1.925 billion users. (source)

23. The highest level of engagement for social media is on Thursday, Friday, and the weekend. (source)

24. Shoppers referred by Pinterest are 10% more likely to make a purchase than visitors who arrive from other social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. They’ll also spend 10% more on average. (source)

Social Media Advertising

social-media-advertising

25. In 2015, social media networks earned an estimated $8.3 billion from advertising. (source)

26. Promoted Tweets have shown average engagement rates of 1 to 3 percent, which is much higher than traditional banner ads. (source)

27. Many small businesses don’t realize that Facebook has been slowly increasing their ad prices. In fact, in 2014 Facebook increased their ad prices by 247%. (source)

28. Thinking of advertising on Snapchat? Snapchat’s new Sponsored Selfie Filters, which can cost up to $700,000 per day, are expected to reach 16 million viewers daily. (source)

29. This year Instagram will bring in $595 million in mobile ad revenues worldwide, and $2.81 billion by 2017. (source)

30. Facebook’s desktop ads have 8.1x higher click-through rates and mobile ads have 9.1x higher click-through rates than normal web ads. (source)

Have stats ever influenced a decision you’ve made? Comment below with your most memorable digital marketing stats.