Tag Archive | "Right"

Voice search ascending: Three areas that require your attention right now

By next year, comScore expects that 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches. And of course, it won’t stop there. A decade from now, it’s not unreasonable to think that nine out of 10 searches will be via voice, and at that point, a lot about what we know about best practices in digital marketing will have shifted.

After all, in the world of voice search, simply getting onto the search engine results page becomes insufficient. What brands need is to find their way into what’s become known as the “zero position”—that singular best response generated by a voice assistant in regards to a natural language query.

Most marketers are watching the ascent of voice search with obvious interest, but few are sure exactly what they should be doing as this brave new world unfolds before their eyes. The good news is that there are very concrete steps that can be taken right now to better position brands for the voice-dominated future. If you focus on the following three fundamentals today, you’re going to be in strong shape tomorrow.

Optimize according to Schema

Schema represents a foundational means of ensuring your online content can be found and understood by web crawlers and properly ingested by the major search engines’ algorithms. This is true today, and it will be true tomorrow. Unfortunately, given the ever-increasing complexity of the marketing technology landscape these days, too many marketers have lost site of this important priority. To succeed—or even survive—in the world of voice search, the schema need to be a top digital marketing priority.

In the most basic sense, schema is an agreed-upon structure for how online content should be organized in order to best be understood by search engines. The major search players of the world have codified the best practices of engagement via Schema.org, a joint effort focused on creating and maintaining schemas for structuring online data. These days, optimizing web pages with schema is a critical first step to succeeding in organic search.

The beauty of Schema.org is that it’s supported by all of the major search engines, and these are precisely the companies that are currently writing the future of voice search. We can expect to see similar structures dictating voice search results as we do in the currently established schema. Thus, best practices for site optimization today will remain the best practices for the future. However, neglecting these best practices in a world where the zero position can make or break a brand will become all the more vital.

Focus on featured snippets

Google’s Featured Snippets aren’t new, but they’re far more important in the world of voice search than in traditional web SEO. Featured snippets are designed to help people answer questions quickly in a way that naturally aligns with how people search with their voices. In other words, it rewards content that presents information in an obvious Q&A format versus being optimized for keyword searches.

To improve your chances of reaching the zero position for a given query, structure your content for featured snippets. In a blog post, for example, this might mean asking a question in the opening paragraph and ensuring it is answered in that same paragraph in 50 words or fewer.

Sure, the blog post can go on to discuss the subject in much more detail. But what a voice search engine will care about is being able to answer a user’s question in a succinct, straightforward way. Give them the questions and answers they crave.

Get your profiles under control

In preparing your brand and its digital assets for a voice-driven world, don’t forget about your third-party digital profiles. Again, this is a best practice in the search world today, but it’s going to become even more necessary for survival in a future dominated by voice search. After all, when people search for information relevant to your business, there’s a good chance the first place the search engine turns won’t be your website.

It will be a third-party profile that succinctly describes your business and, in particular, the details of nearby locations. After all, voice assistants powered by companies like Google also have their own business listings for your locations—and they’re highly likely to turn to those first when providing information back to users.

If your business information is inaccurate or outdated in your third-party profiles, reaching the zero position in a voice search with that information could be more harmful to your brand than not being found at all. So as you think through your digital strategy for a voice-driven world, be sure to get back to basics. Structure your content correctly. Give vs the answers they want. And above all, make sure your information is updated and accurate anywhere the algorithms might find it.

Bart Bartolozzi is Director of Product Marketing at Synup, a location intelligence tool that helps businesses with their local marketing, discovery, and engagement.

The post Voice search ascending: Three areas that require your attention right now appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Update Your Focus to Work Hard on the Right Things

Last week, I affirmed that “hard work is luck.” However, what if you work hard and aren’t seeing any progress…

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Value Proposition: The right strategy beats a bigger budget

A small non-profit created a model with a value prop that coupled corporate employee engagement with community involvement resulting in 6 million+ meals for families in need.
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Walmart Planning Delivery Right Into Your Fridge

Walmart is looking at delivering groceries right into your fridge says Walmart Ecommerce President and CEO Mark Lore. And the step after that Lore says is delivery without even ordering, presumably using IoT technology to keep track of your refrigerator inventory.

Mark Lore, President & CEO of Walmart U.S. E-Commerce and Founder and CEO of Jet.com discussed the future of ecommerce on CNBC’s Mad Money:

Our Stores are Hybrid Warehouses

This is very exciting and this is one of the reasons why I was so excited to come to Walmart. There are 4,700 stores within 10 miles of 90 percent of the population, fresh and frozen and every one of these stores just about, and we’re doing pickup free pickup on groceries in 2,100 stores and started rolling out same-day delivery as well. We should have 40 percent of the population covered by the end of this year and 60 percent of the population covered by the end of next year.

Our stores are hybrid warehouses. But what’s really interesting is that we’re moving stuff in full truckload quantities. If you think about it, these stores that are doubling as warehouses are already profitable before the first pick. So we have a lot of like good turning inventory and the food is fresh.

Stores Are a Huge Advantage with Same-Day Delivery

We’re charging for delivery and customers are paying for it so that’s sort of a wash. We’re picking product in the stores that already have a really good sort of marginal profit because the stores are already profitable and our fixed overhead is covered.

I think this is a big advantage (over Amazon) and one of the reasons why I’m so excited to be at Walmart. Stores give Walmart a huge advantage in this sort of like Omni approach to retail.

Walmart Planning Delivery Right Into Your Fridge

Think about the next level from that, delivery right into the fridge. Basically a one-time code, they come in with the camera on their chest, you can watch it on your iPhone and see them come in and put it in your fridge and leave. This will build confidence and trust in these Walmart associates doing the delivery. Imagine going to work and coming home and there’s the stuff in your fridge already. That’s the next step.

Take it a step further, not even having to order it. How about just being able to keep you in stock on everything you need and just not even having to think about it.

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These 4 Copywriting Techniques Work Really Well … Right Up Until They Don’t

Search on Google and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of pages devoted to copywriting secrets, tips, tricks, and techniques. Go…

The post These 4 Copywriting Techniques Work Really Well … Right Up Until They Don’t appeared first on Copyblogger.


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5 Reasons Your Business Needs CRM Right Now!

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, which is why companies should have clear strategies regarding their customer relationship management (CRM).

One way to do this is by using CRM software. These programs gather all the data regarding your customers and prospective clients in one place. It can also assist you in going digital with your marketing plans and sales funnels, thereby saving your company some much-needed resources.

CRM can also boost productivity and efficiency, encourage employee cooperation, and improve customer satisfaction. However, there’s so much more that a CRM can do for your business.

5 Reasons Your Business Needs CRM

1. Develop a Solid Contact Information Hub

Tracking down information about a client or a prospect is challenging and time-confusing, especially if you have to look at multiple programs. Investing in a reliable CRM system will keep all the information you need in a centralized location.

More importantly, a CRM solution will keep individual files of every customer, and these can be added to every time a staff interacts with them. Employees can add data regarding phone calls made to the customer, emails sent, contracts signed, etc. Every team member can have access to this data and be able to update it so everyone is on the same page.

2. Ensures Reliable After Sales Support

Brands know how important it is to keep their customers. However, ensuring they remain happy is a job that extends beyond closing a deal.

Let’s say an irate customer made a complaint but your support team says the issue has been resolved. How will you know which side is right? This dilemma happens when there’s no clear documentation or steps on how to provide reliable after-sales support. You could lose customers and prospects because of this.

CRM can prevent this from happening as it allows you to track the status of clients and add support tickets. If the support team fails to resolve a complaint or misses a deadline, the software will send notice to the relevant manager. Action can then be taken before the problem escalates. It also ensures that everyone on the team is held accountable and provides you with a way to track an employee’s effectiveness.

3. Reduces Risks Created by Turnovers

Employee turnovers are inevitable in every company. Unfortunately, these situations do create risks for a brand. Let’s say a new sales representative takes over; the sudden change could result in dropped deals, prospective and existing customers not being contacted, and missed sales targets.

These risks can be reduced with CRM. In the event of a customer service or sales rep turnover, the system can shift accounts and leads to other sales personnel or support representatives in just minutes. The smooth transfer of responsibilities also means the odds of someone dropping the ball drastically goes down.

4. Reduces Carbon Footprint

The right CRM software will reduce your company’s carbon footprint since you’ll be doing away with paper. The software will assist you in managing your mail, projects, and other documents, and keep it on one platform that you can easily access. More importantly, all your company’s sensitive documents will be stored in the cloud or on a secure server. This ensures that crucial customer information won’t be lost, misplaced, or destroyed accidentally.

5. Assists You in Planning Ahead

Managers are only too aware of the hassle of a team member forgetting to follow-up a lead. This type of problem is resolved with a CRM tool. The software can help you plan any sales and marketing activities in advance or set-up tasks that you need to accomplish daily. The system will also remind you of pending tasks and the time frame for it.

Never underestimate what CRM can do for your business. With it, you can turn your company into a more efficient and profitable venture. It will also give you an advantage over your competitors in today’s multi-channel business environment.

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Do the Right Thing for Your Business … and Your Audience

This week was all about doing the right thing — being cool, kind, ethical, and respectful. Not in spite of your business goals, but to support them. Because it turns out, most people would actually rather do business with someone who isn’t a complete tool. On Monday, Stefanie Flaxman talked about content authenticity — what
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Authentic Blogging: Stop Trying To Make The Right Impression And Start Being Yourself

Have you ever written a blog post and read it back only to find it sounds nothing like your style or voice? A lot of new bloggers create a frame in their mind about how they think they need to present themselves to the world. This is especially true when starting…

The post Authentic Blogging: Stop Trying To Make The Right Impression And Start Being Yourself appeared first on Yaro.blog.

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Amazon Now Delivers Right to Your Car Trunk, Covers Select US Cities

On Tuesday, Amazon launched another option for package delivery, not to your doorstep, but right to your car trunk. The latest feature is an iteration of its Amazon Key service that lets delivery drivers place parcels inside your home.  

Similar to its in-home service, in-car delivery works by giving Amazon access to your vehicle via the Key app. Delivery people can now unlock your parked car and put the package in the trunk. With a few taps, the car can be locked again.

This delivery service is less intrusive than the in-home option that received numerous complaints when it was introduced in November of last year. Shoppers feared that the service would let intruders into their homes, and others felt it was an infringement of their privacy. However, unlike deliveries made inside your home, in-car deliveries since the service doesn’t require the installation of a camera and compatible smart lock. Customers will only get updates once the item is delivered and alerts when the car is unlocked and relocked through the Key app.

Users might be wary of granting short, unrestricted access to their cars, but Amazon assures that the entire process is secure. There are several layers of verification, including an encrypted authentication process, before the car is unlocked. And to prevent unauthorized access, couriers are allowed to unlock vehicles only once for every delivery.

On the day of delivery, customers get a four-hour window of time in which to receive their package. They have to park their cars within the two-block radius of the delivery address. In-car deliveries can only be made to stationary vehicles in open, street-level public spaces to locate them easily. Satellite signals are weaker in multi-level or underground parking garages and couriers can’t enter restricted gated spaces.  

Few cars support door openings through an app or connected car services plan. For now, in-car delivery is limited to Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac with active OnStar subscription, and Volvo with active On Call accounts. All vehicle models must 2015 or newer. But Amazon assured its members that the service will be expanded to include more car makes and models.

In-car delivery is available for millions of items on the eCommerce platform. However, there are certain restrictions to this option, such as big boxes that won’t fit inside the trunk and high-value items that require a signature. And if your car gets damaged during delivery, Amazon will take care of it.  

Amazon is currently delivering to 37 US cities but intends to cover more areas in the near future. According to Peter Larsen, Amazon’s delivery technology vice president, the Key service is “working as designed” and recorded fewer redeliveries of packages. Innovations like these, although controversial, are Amazon’s response to rising incidents of package theft as online shopping becomes increasingly popular.  

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eBay’s New AR Feature Makes Finding the Right Shipping Box a Lot Easier

eBay has now made it easier for sellers to ship their items by using augmented reality to pick the right USPS box, the company announced in a Monday press release.

Using Google’s ARCore platform on Android, eBay leverages motion tracking and environmental recognition to help sellers superimpose virtual shipping boxes of various sizes over a physical product.

Aside from accurate sizing, the new AR feature will help sellers quickly compute for actual shipping costs, as well as save time from having to test boxes at the post office.

The new feature can be found in the “Selling” part of your eBay account. To try it, tap on “Will it Fit?” option on your smartphone. You’ll then have to place your item on a flat, non-reflective surface, say a wooden tabletop, for the AR to work.

Next, tap on your item to place the virtual box over it, then aim the smartphone camera around it to map the surrounding area. You can move around the box and look from all angles to see if the product sticks out while adding room for padding. Once you’ve picked the box, you’re now ready to ship out the item.  

Sellers on eBay ship billions of items annually, so any innovation that simplifies the shipping process will likely be well-received.

“By coupling Google’s ARCore platform with premiere AR technology built at eBay, we are continuing to make the selling experience more seamless,” James Meeks, eBay mobile head, pointed out. “This technology is just one example of the types of innovation we’re working on to transform eBay. It demonstrates our continual innovation on behalf our sellers to help them save time and remove barriers.”

However, the AR feature of the updated eBay app is currently only available on a few Android ARCore-compatible devices in the US. There are plans to eventually extend the feature to iOS devices, but no timetable has been set yet.

[Featured image via eBay]

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