Tag Archive | "target"

Target Lets You Pay With New ‘Wallet’ Mobile Payment System

It appears that Target is still not keen on accepting Apple Pay as a mode of payment in its onsite stores. In a recent post, America’s second-largest retailer announced that it had rolled out Wallet, its own mobile payment system that is now active as a feature for Target’s iOS and Android apps.

The arrival of the Wallet feature has actually been long anticipated by customers. Talks about Target launching its own mobile payment have been around since 2015, but the company waited till January 2017 to confirm its plans.

With the introduction of Wallet, Target customers will now have the option of seamlessly checking out their in-store purchases with the use of their smartphones. They’ll also be able to update points and use discounts with Cartwheel digital coupons.

Reportedly, the Wallet feature found in the Target app is similar to other in-store payment options like Wal-Mart Pay. However, Wal-Mart Pay uses QR code for scanning items, Target’s system is barcode-based.

For it to work though, it seems that shoppers will need a REDcard—a Target-branded debit or credit card packed with special offers. Target, however, wants more customers to shop with Wallet and is already working out a way to get them to use the feature even if they don’t own a REDcard.

The main incentive for using Wallet is that checking out for in-store purchases would be faster. This is achieved because customers can now check out for payment as well as apply Cartwheel deals with a single scan of the in-app barcode.

It should be noted that while Target does not accept payments using Apple Pay for in-store purchases, items bought from Target’s online store can still be paid using Apple’s payment platform.

[Featured Image by Target]

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Which of My Competitor’s Keywords Should (& Shouldn’t ) I Target? – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

You don’t want to try to rank for every one of your competitors’ keywords. Like most things with SEO, it’s important to be strategic and intentional with your decisions. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand shares his recommended process for understanding your funnel, identifying the right competitors to track, and prioritizing which of their keywords you ought to target.

Which of my competitor's keyword should I target?

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. So this week we’re chatting about your competitors’ keywords and which of those competitive keywords you might want to actually target versus not.

Many folks use tools, like SEMrush and Ahrefs and KeywordSpy and Spyfu and Moz’s Keyword Explorer, which now has this feature too, where they look at: What are the keywords that my competitors rank for, that I may be interested in? This is actually a pretty smart way to do keyword research. Not the only way, but a smart way to do it. But the challenge comes in when you start looking at your competitors’ keywords and then realizing actually which of these should I go after and in what priority order. In the world of competitive keywords, there’s actually a little bit of a difference between classic keyword research.

So here I’ve plugged in Hammer and Heels, which is a small, online furniture store that has some cool designer furniture, and Dania Furniture, which is a competitor of theirs — they’re local in the Seattle area, but carry sort of modern, Scandinavian furniture — and IndustrialHome.com, similar space. So all three of these in a similar space, and you can see sort of keywords that return that several of these, one or more of these rank for. I put together difficulty, volume, and organic click-through rate, which are some of the metrics that you’ll find. You’ll find these metrics actually in most of the tools that I just mentioned.

Process:

So when I’m looking at this list, which ones do I want to actually go after and not, and how do I choose? Well, this is the process I would recommend.

I. Try and make sure you first understand your keyword to conversion funnel.

So if you’ve got a classic sort of funnel, you have people buying down here — this is a purchase — and you have people who search for particular keywords up here, and if you understand which people you lose and which people actually make it through the buying process, that’s going to be very helpful in knowing which of these terms and phrases and which types of these terms and phrases to actually go after, because in general, when you’re prioritizing competitive keywords, you probably don’t want to be going after these keywords that send traffic but don’t turn into conversions, unless that’s actually your goal. If your goal is raw traffic only, maybe because you serve advertising or other things, or because you know that you can capture a lot of folks very well through retargeting, for example maybe Hammer and Heels says, “Hey, the biggest traffic funnel we can get because we know, with our retargeting campaigns, even if a keyword brings us someone who doesn’t convert, we can convert them later very successfully,” fine. Go ahead.

II. Choose competitors that tend to target the same audience(s).

So the people you plug in here should tend to be competitors that tend to target the same audiences. Otherwise, your relevance and your conversion get really hard. For example, I could have used West Elm, which does generally modern furniture as well, but they’re very, very broad. They target just about everyone. I could have done Ethan Allen, which is sort of a very classic, old-school furniture maker. Probably a really different audience than these three websites. I could have done IKEA, which is sort of a low market brand for everybody. Again, not kind of the match. So when you are targeting conversion heavy, assuming that these folks were going after mostly conversion focused or retargeting focused rather than raw traffic, my suggestion would be strongly to go after sites with the same audience as you.

If you’re having trouble figuring out who those people are, one suggestion is to check out a tool called SimilarWeb. It’s expensive, but very powerful. You can plug in a domain and see what other domains people are likely to visit in that same space and what has audience overlap.

III. The keyword selection process should follow some of these rules:

A. Are easiest first.

So I would go after the ones that tend to be, that I think are going to be most likely for me to be able to rank for easiest. Why do I recommend that? Because it’s tough in SEO with a lot of campaigns to get budget and buy-in unless you can show progress early. So any time you can choose the easiest ones first, you’re going to be more successful. That’s low difficulty, high odds of success, high odds that you actually have the team needed to make the content necessary to rank. I wouldn’t go after competitive brands here.

B. Are similar to keywords you target that convert well now.

So if you understand this funnel well, you can use your AdWords campaign particularly well for this. So you look at your paid keywords and which ones send you highly converting traffic, boom. If you see that lighting is really successful for our furniture brand, “Oh, well look, glass globe chandelier, that’s got some nice volume. Let’s go after that because lighting already works for us.”

Of course, you want ones that fit your existing site structure. So if you say, “Oh, we’re going to have to make a blog for this, oh we need a news section, oh we need a different type of UI or UX experience before we can successfully target the content for this keyword,” I’d push that down a little further.

C. High volume, low difficulty, high organic click-through rate, or SERP features you can reach.

So basically, when you look at difficulty, that’s telling you how hard is it for me to rank for this potential keyword. If I look in here and I see some 50 and 60s, but I actually see a good number in the 30s and 40s, I would think that glass globe chandelier, S-shaped couch, industrial home furniture, these are pretty approachable. That’s impressive stuff.

Volume, I want as high as I can get, but oftentimes high volume leads to very high difficulty.
Organic click-through rate percentage, this is essentially saying what percent of people click on the 10 blue link style, organic search results. Classic SEO will help get me there. However, if you see low numbers, like a 55% for this type of chair, you might take a look at those search results and see that a lot of images are taking up the other organic click-through, and you might say, “Hey, let’s go after image SEO as well.” So it’s not just organic click-through rate. You can also target SERP features.

D. Are brands you carry/serve, generally not competitor’s brand names.

Then last, but not least, I would urge you to go after brands when you carry and serve them, but not when you don’t. So if this Ekornes chair is something that your furniture store, that Hammers and Heels actually carries, great. But if it’s something that’s exclusive to Dania, I wouldn’t go after it. I would generally not go after competitors’ brand names or branded product names with an exception, and I actually used this site to highlight this. Industrial Home Furniture is both a branded term, because it’s the name of this website — Industrial Home Furniture is their brand — and it’s also a generic. So in those cases, I would tell you, yes, it probably makes sense to go after a category like that.

If you follow these rules, you can generally use competitive intel on keywords to build up a really nice portfolio of targetable, high potential keywords that can bring you some serious SEO returns.

Look forward to your comments and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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SearchCap: Target partners with Google, Capture leads with calls & 50M Local Guides

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Target partners with Google, Capture leads with calls & 50M Local Guides appeared first on Search Engine Land.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Google, Target Form Alliance to Take on Amazon

A war among titans is silently brewing in the online retail arena. Recently, Google announced a partnership with Target, a move that could signal the start of Google’s challenge to eCommerce giant Amazon on its own turf.

Amazon is a serious threat not only to traditional retailers such as Target but to the search engine king Google as well. While Google might be the leader among search engines, many people are heading to Amazon first when looking for a particular product online. According to a Kenshoo survey, Google maintains a relatively small edge over Amazon when it comes product searches.

Which of these online sites are you likely to use to help you find product ideas and information before making a purchase? Facebook - 27%, Retail Websites - 36%, eBay - 38%, Amazon - 72%, Google - 85%

Image via Search Engine Land

In an effort to widen its lead on product searches, Google has set in motion plans to keep Amazon at bay. It has steadily formed alliances with a number of retailers, to collectively put up a stand against a common enemy.

Google announced on Thursday that it will be expanding its year-old delivery deal with Target. Previously available only in New York City and California, the two companies agreed to provide coverage nationwide, according to The Verge.  Shoppers can now order products carried by Target through Google Home smart speaker.

Of course, the arrangement between Google and Target is seen as a direct challenge to Amazon’s service that allows customers to easily order what they want from the online retailer using voice commands through Echo. Though it may be difficult for Google to fend off Amazon in the segment, the company hopes that by partnering with a host of well-known brick-and-mortar stores, people might start seeing Google Home as an alternative to Echo when it comes to voice-activated shopping. And with the growing number of stores joining the alliance, the breadth and variety of products available via the service might be able to compete with Amazon’s dazzling array of options.

Aside from Target, Google already has a similar partnership with Walmart.  In August, the company gained access “hundreds of thousands of items” being sold by the Walmart, Adweek reported. Google also managed to secure agreements with other big retailers such as Home Depot.

What is interesting to note is that the Google and Target deal will likely employ either augmented or virtual reality to lure customers into the service according to a Recode. The speculation is based on the press release given by Mike McNamara Target’s digital chief.

“Target and Google teams are working on … building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” McNamara previously announced. Of course, the details are yet to be revealed but it will be interesting to see just how the search giant utilizes an emerging technology like augmented reality to further its business objective.

[Featured Image by Mike Mozart/Flickr]

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How to Target Multiple Keywords with One Page – Next Level

Posted by BrianChilds

Welcome to our newest installment of our educational Next Level series! In our last episode, Jo Cameron taught you how to whip up intelligent SEO reports for your clients to deliver impressive, actionable insights. Today, our friendly neighborhood Training Program Manager, Brian Childs, is here to show you an easy workflow for targeting multiple keywords with a single page. Read on and level up!


For those who have taken any of the Moz Training Bootcamps, you’ll know that we approach keyword research with the goal of identifying concepts rather than individual keywords. A common term for this in SEO is “niche keywords.” I think of a “niche” as a set of related words or concepts that are essentially variants of the same query.

Example:

Let’s pretend my broad subject is: Why are cats jerks?

Some niche topics within this subject are:

  • Why does my cat keep knocking things off the counter?
  • Why does my cat destroy my furniture?
  • Why did I agree to get this cat?

I can then find variants of these niche topics using Keyword Explorer or another tool, looking for the keywords with the best qualities (Difficulty, Search Volume, Opportunity, etc).

By organizing your keyword research in this way, it conceptually aligns with the search logic of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update.

Once we have niche topics identified for our subject, we then we dive into specific keyword variants to find opportunities where we can rank. This process is covered in-depth during the Keyword Research Bootcamp class.

Should I optimize my page for multiple keywords?

The answer for most sites is a resounding yes.

If you develop a strategy of optimizing your pages for only one keyword, this can lead to a couple of issues. For example, if a content writer feels restricted to one keyword for a page they might develop very thin content that doesn’t discuss the broader concept in much useful detail. In turn, the marketing manager may end up spreading valuable information across multiple pages, which reduces the potential authority of each page. Your site architecture may then become larger than necessary, making the search engine less likely to distinguish your unique value and deliver it into a SERP.

As recent studies have shown, a single high-ranking page can show up in dozens — if not hundreds — of SERPs. A good practice is to identify relevant search queries related to a given topic and then use those queries as your H2 headings.

So how do you find niche keyword topics? This is the process I use that relies on a relatively new SERP feature: the “People also ask” boxes.

How to find niche keywords

Step 1: Enter a relevant question into your search engine

Question-format search queries are great because they often generate featured snippets. Featured snippets are the little boxes that show up at the top of search results, usually displaying one- to two-sentence answers or a list. Recently, when featured snippets are displayed, there is commonly another box nearby showing “People also ask” This second box allows you to peer into the logic of the search algorithm. It shows you what the search engine “thinks” are closely related topics.

Step 2: Select the most relevant “People also ask” query

Take a look at those initial “People also ask” suggestions. They are often different variants of your query, representing slightly different search intent. Choose the one that most aligns with the search intent of your target user. What happens? A new set of three “People also ask” suggestions will populate at the bottom of the list that are associated with the first option you chose. This is why I refer to these as choose-your-own-adventure boxes. With each selection, you dive deeper into the topic as defined by the search engine.

Step 3: Find suggestions with low-value featured snippets

Every “People also ask” suggestion is a featured snippet. As you dig deeper into the topic by selecting one “People also ask” after another, keep an eye out for featured snippets that are not particularly helpful. This is the search engine attempting to generate a simple answer to a question and not quite hitting the mark. These present an opportunity. Keep track of the ones you think could be improved. In the following example, we see the Featured Snippet being generated by an article that doesn’t fully answer the question for an average user.

Step 4: Compile a list of “People also ask” questions

Once you’ve explored deep into the algorithm’s contextually related results using the “People also ask” box, make a list of all the questions you found highly related to your desired topic. I usually just pile these into an Excel sheet as I find them.

Step 5: Analyze your list of words using a keyword research tool

With a nice list of keywords that you know are generating featured snippets, plug the words into Keyword Explorer or your preferred keyword research tool. Now just apply your normal assessment criteria for a keyword (usually a combination of search volume and competitiveness).

Step 6: Apply the keywords to your page title and heading tags

Once you’ve narrowed the list to a set of keywords you’d like to target on the page, have your content team go to work generating relevant, valuable answers to the questions. Place your target keywords as the heading tags (H2, H3) and a concise, valuable description immediately following those headings.

Measure niche keywords in your campaign

While your content writers are generating the content, you can update your Moz Pro campaign and begin baselining your rank position for the keywords you’re using in the heading tags. Add the keywords to your campaign and then label them appropriately. I recommend using a label associated with the niche topic.

For example, let’s pretend I have a business that helps people find lost pets. One common niche topic relates to people trying to find the phone numbers of kennels. Within that topic area, there will be dozens of variants. Let’s pretend that I write a useful article about how to quickly find the phone numbers of nearby animal shelters and kennels.

In this case, I would label all of the keywords I target in that article with something like “kennel phone numbers” in my Moz Pro campaign rankings tool.

Then, once the post is written, I can report on the average search visibility of all the search terms I used, simply by selecting the label “kennel phone numbers.” If the article is successful, I should see the rank positions moving up on average, showing that I’m ranking for multiple keywords.

Want to learn more SEO shortcuts?

If you found this kind of article helpful, consider signing up for the How to Bring SEO In-House seminar. The class covers things like how to set up your team for success, tips for doing research quickly, and how to report on SEO to your customers.

See upcoming classes here


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Google Algorithms Now Target Offensive, Upsetting, Inaccurate & Hateful Results

Yesterday, Google released a new quality raters guidelines PDF document that was specifically updated to tell the quality raters how to spot and flag offensive, upsetting, inaccurate and hateful web pages in the search results…


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​How to Create Images That Attract & Convince Your Target Niche

Posted by nikkielizabethdemere

FJPY1Rw.png

Any old picture might be worth a thousand words. But your target niche doesn’t need or want a thousand words. Your ideal audience needs the right words, paired with the right images, to tell a story that uniquely appeals to their deepest desires.

Studies show that people understand images faster than words, remember them longer, and if there’s a discrepancy between what we see and what we hear, our brains will choose to believe what they see. Our brains prioritize visual information over any other kind, which makes images the fast-track to connection all marketers are looking for.

So don’t just slap some text on a stock photo and call it good. You can do better. Much better. And I’ll show you how.

Understand the symbolic underpinnings

This homepage from Seer Interactive does a lot right. The copy below this central image is golden: “We’re Seer. We pride ourselves on outcaring the competition.” Outcaring? That’s genius!

But, I would argue, pairing this image with these words, “It’s not just marketing, it’s personal,” is less than genius. There’s nothing personal about this picture. Sure, there are people in it, but chatting with a group of coworkers doesn’t say “personal” to me. It says corporate.

NNqDoNV.pngWhat if they paired those words with this free image by Greg Rakozy from Unsplash?

SOgjVjt.pngThere’s something about this image that isn’t just personal; it’s intimate. Two people connecting in the dark, surrounded by snowflakes that almost look like white noise. Could this be a metaphor for reaching out through the noise of the Internet to make a personal connection? To get someone to fall in love (with your brand) even?

Many philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, and psychologists have pointed out that humans are uniquely symbolic creatures.
– Clay Routledge Ph.D., The Power of Symbolism, Psychology Today

A truly powerful image speaks to us on a symbolic level, feeding us information by intuition and association. Humans are associative creatures. We naturally derive deep, multifaceted meanings from visual cues, an idea brought into prominence by both Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

The magic behind an effective symbol is its ability to deliver messages to both our conscious minds and subconscious awareness. When choosing the right image for marketing copy — whether an ad or the “hero” section of your website — consider not just what you want to tell people, but what you want them to feel.

A symbol must possess at one and the same time a double or a multiple significance … Thus all symbols possess both a ‘face’ and a ‘hidden’ value, and it is one of the great achievements of psychology to have shown how the ‘hidden’ value is generally, from the point of view of function, the more important. …Behind this face value lies a mass of undifferentiated feelings and impulses, which do not rise into consciousness, which we could not adequately put into words even if we wanted to… and which, though they go unattended to, powerfully influence our behavior.
– F.C. Bartlett, ‘The social functions of symbols,’ Astralasian Journal of Psychology and Philosophy

And, of course, as you’re looking through images, consider this:

What type of images and experiences will resonate with your target audience’s deepest desires?

This, of course, requires you to have built out a robust buyer persona that includes not just their demographic information with a catchy name but also their extracurricular passions: the driving forces that get them out of bed and into the office each day.

As with conversion copywriting, the key to success is identifying motivations and using them to create a visual representation of your niche’s most desired outcomes.

Set the stage for an experience, not just a product

In keeping with the theme of images that deliver the desired outcome, the most effective online ads do this in a way that invites the viewer to experience that outcome. Instead of featuring simply a product, for example, these ads set the stage for the experience that buying the product just might enable you to have.

ModCloth is a master of this. Doesn’t this image make you want to take a nap in a nice, cozy cabin? You can get that experience (or something like it) if you buy their $ 200 hammock.

5036Odd.pngUnless you live in the deep woods of the Appalachian mountains, your home will never look like this. But some of us wish ours did, and we’re clearly the target audience. This picture speaks to our deepest need to get away from everyone and everything for some much-needed rest and recuperation.

When choosing images, it’s just as important to consider symbolism as it is to consider the target viewers. What experience will resonate with them most? What images will sell their desired experiences?

ModCloth’s recent “road trip” slider doesn’t say anything about the clothes they’re trying to sell, for example. But it does speak to a sense of adventure and the power of female friendships, both of which are defining characteristics of their target niche of millennial women with a delightfully quirky fashion sense.

cWEVdqk.pngYou don’t have to be a clothing company to capitalize on this idea or even a B2C company. Check out how these B2B companies use images to make their words not just read, but felt.

LU9kd3l.pngDon’t you feel like you’re Superman out for a midnight joyride? All the world at your fingertips? Yeah, that’s the point. What they’re selling, essentially, is omniscience via data. All the benefits of DC Comics-like superpowers, minus the kryptonite.

19LrmR9.pngYou might not catch it at first glance, but look at how cozy these people are. They’re wearing knit sweaters (not suits) while cradling warm cappuccinos in their hands — clearly, this sales meeting is going well. No pressure tactics here. Quite the opposite.

C8OQkJi.pngFor this example from Blitz Marketing, you’ll have to visit their website, because this isn’t a static image — it’s a video montage designed to get you PUMPED! Energy practically radiates off the screen (which, we are left to infer, is the feeling you’d get all the time if you worked with this creative marketing agency).

EUzMn5d.png

Piston, another ad agency, takes a more subtle approach, which I love. Instead of having your standard stock photo of “man in a suit,” they did a custom photo shoot and added quirky elements, like a pink candy ring. I find this image particularly powerful because it effectively sets up an expectation (man in a suit), then adds a completely unexpected element (candy ring), which is conveniently located behind the word CREATIVE. This illustrates just how creative this agency is while remaining utterly professional.

Numbers are compelling. Numbers with visual aids? Unstoppable.

Let’s say your buyer persona isn’t driven by emotion. Show this persona a grid of city lights from 2,000 feet up, and he or she won’t feel like Superman. They’ll be wondering what this has to do with the ROI they can expect.

Someone get this persona some numbers already.

When conversion depends heavily on gaining credibility, pictures can be very compelling. In fact, one study out of the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand showed that simply having an image makes the text alongside that image more believable, even if the image had nothing at all to do with the text.

When people evaluate claims, they often rely on what comedian Stephen Colbert calls ‘truthiness,’ or subjective feelings of truth.
Nonprobative photographs (or words) inflate truthiness, by E.J. Newman, M. Garry, D.M. Bernstein, J. Kantner, D.S. Lindsay

Essentially, any image is better than nothing. But the right image? It’s worth even more. In a similar study by the Psychology departments at both Colorado State University and the University of California, researchers experimented with brain images.

Brain images are believed to have a particularly persuasive influence on the public perception of research on cognition. Three experiments are reported showing that presenting brain images with articles summarizing cognitive neuroscience research resulted in higher ratings of scientific reasoning for arguments made in those articles, as compared to articles accompanied by bar graphs, a topographical map of brain activation, or no image.
Seeing is believing: The effect of brain images on judgments of scientific reasoning by David P. McCabe and Alan D. Castel

However, what if we traded in this either/or philosophy (either picture or no picture, either picture or bar graph) for a philosophy that uses the best of all resources?

Having the right image, supported by the right words, and given credibility by real numbers (as statistics or in graphs/charts) is the most effective possible combination.

Statistics have also proven to be compelling. In Blinded with science: Trivial graphs and formulas increase ad persuasiveness and belief in product efficacy, the study out of Cornell University reveals that just the appearance of being scientific increases an ad’s persuasiveness. What does that “appearance” require?

Graphs. Simple, unadorned graphs.

And, those graphs were even more effective at persuading people who had “a greater belief in science” (e.g., your logical buyer persona).

Put the right words together with the right image, then overlay with a supportive set of numbers, and you can convince even the most logical persona that you have the solutions they seek.

Caveat: When the name of the game is building credibility, don’t undermine yourself with shoddy data and lazy analysis. One of your smart customers will, without fail, call you out on it.

Graphs and charts don’t have to be fancy or complicated to be convincing. Check out these two graphs from the Kissmetrics article Most of Your A/B Test Results are Illusory and That’s Okay by Will Kurt.

CpsQKZK.pngF0eQFmR.pngDo you even need to read the rest of the article to get the point? (Though you will want to read the article to find out exactly what that scientist is doing so right.) This is highly effective data storytelling that shows you, at a glance, the central point the author is trying to make.

CubeYou, a social data mining company that turns raw numbers into actionable insights, does great data storytelling by combining stats and images. Not only do these visuals deliver demographic information, they put a face on the target at the same time, effectively appealing to both logical and more intuitive personas in one fell swoop.

VwJsu9Q.pngAnd for even more powerful images, look at the data visualizations Big Mountain Data put together of the #WhyIStayed domestic violence hashtag. Talk about telling an impactful story.

IFaDNBQ.pngThen there are infographics that include data visualization, images, and analysis. I love this one from CyberPRMusic.com.

qelQyNp.pngIt’s all about telling their story

Uninspired visuals are everywhere. Seriously, they’re easy to find. In researching this article, I could find 20 bad images for every one good one I’ve included here.

Herein lies an opportunity to stand out.

Maybe the intersection of words, images, and numbers isn’t well understood in online marketing. Maybe having free stock photos at our fingertips has made us lazy in their use. Maybe there aren’t enough English majors touting the benefits of effective symbolism.

Whatever the reason, you now have the chance to go beyond telling your target niche about your product or service’s features and benefits. You have the ability to set your brand apart by showing them just how great life can be. Free tools such as Visage make it possible.

iHrJ3ka.png

But first, you have to care enough to make compelling images a priority.

What are your thoughts on using stunning visuals as needle-movers for your brand?

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Discovering Which Sites Your Target Audience Visits – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

[Estimated read time: 8 minutes]

Identifying your target market is only one-fifth of the battle. If you want to win the proverbial war, you have to know your audience inside and out. Discovering the sites they visit and using that knowledge to your advantage is key, but the best practices to do so can feel unclear. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand outlines a five-step process to more effectively reach and market to your target community.

Discovering Which Sites Your Target Audience Visits Whiteboard

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about finding sites that your audience visits so that you can better market to them.

Now, this is an awesome tactic to use for link building. It’s great for advertising. It’s great for reaching your community wherever they may go on the Web, but it’s not always obvious how to go about this, and that’s exactly what I want to talk you through.

Step 1 – Identify people who are part of our target audience.

So whoever it is that we are trying to reach, that we’re trying to sell to, that we’re trying to market to, these are people that we know perform certain kinds of searches, they visit places on the Web, they download and install apps. Whatever it is that they’re doing in the digital world, we want to uncover those things, and to do so we need to start with a sample set, a small but substantive sample set of say 5 to 10 people who really match our audience’s attributes. Then essentially we’re just going to clone them. We’re going to replicate those folks.

So assuming we start here with a little group, I’ve got my six fellows over here. I’m going to take out one of them and I’m going to essentially look at the attributes and characteristics of this person who’s in my audience.

This is Mortimer. He’s a freelance writer for the example that we’ll be using this Whiteboard Friday. I’m going to assume that I’m creating a product for writers specifically. I know that Mortimer is a contributor to several different publications.

Now that I know his name and a little bit about him and what he does, title, maybe the company where he works, etc., I can look at: What are the social networks that Mortimer uses? I’m going to do a search essentially just in Google, and I’m going to look for: Where are all the places that Mortimer has profiles on the Web? From where does he share content? If he’s using Twitter, by the way, this is super easy with Followerwonk, because I can go to the Followerwonk Analyze page and I can actually tap right in to see all of the content, well, the list of domains that Morty shares from most often. That’s pretty cool. If he’s not using Twitter, it’s fine. We can do this manually, and we can just start to look at: All right, where is he sharing content from? What’s he talking about, etc.? Where does he already have a profile? What networks is he using?

Next thing I’m going to do is I’m going to use data that I already know about keyword research. So I take my keyword research, which I’ve already performed, that I know this group of people is searching for in general. I can be a little bit broader than I normally would be around very sales or conversion-focused types of keyword research. I can essentially say, “What do I know these people look for when they’re looking to further their careers or their writing or their work in my area?” It doesn’t have to be conversion-focused. It can be very broad.

Step 2 – Collect search results.

So I can essentially collect those search results, and then I want to find the domains that are ranking well consistently numerous times for numerous different keywords.

So I might use words like “podcast for writers,” and then I’m also going to grab the related searches like “best literary podcast,” “good podcast for writers” — the “I Should Be Writing podcast” is actually a related search here — or “podcast books.”

Then I’m going to take those searches, line them up here as my keywords right here in the columns, and then for my rows, well, these are the domains that I found ranking consistently for these. It was MakeUseOf.com, TheWriteLife, and WritingExcuses.com. These all ranked somewhere for some of these queries, so I’m going to make a list like that.

This can actually be done pretty easily with tools. You could use your Moz exports if you’re using Moz’s ranking tools. You could use the same thing just to export all your ranking URLs from Searchmetrics or from GetSTAT if you’re using STAT, or you could use SEMrush. Whatever ranking software you’re using you can get an export. You can even do this manually. It just takes a little more time.

Step 3 – Broaden the lists.

Next up, I’m going to use some tools and some search queries to broaden these lists. So if I find that a lot of people and a lot of writers do visit Goodreads.com for obvious reasons, I can then plug that into SEMrush. From SEMrush, I can see all the keywords that they rank for and the domains that most often also rank for those keywords.

I can use SimilarWeb to essentially see similar websites. People also visit these sites. That’s inside SimilarWeb Pro. I can use Google.

What I want to do is add queries like “verse,” “verses,” “alternatives,” “sites like,” “similar sites” onto the end of Goodreads or whatever the domains are that come from my lists over here. Then I will get a bunch more domains that I can plug in.

Step 4 – Survey your target audience.

The last thing I want to do to broaden this list just one more time, and to validate and verify that I’ve captured all the right stuff, is I might try and send out a survey to my target audience. So if I’m connected to these 6 people and hopefully 10 to 20 more at least like them, and I’m actually going to survey them and say — I really like using Typeform, I’ve used it a few times. If you follow me on Twitter, I’ve been sending some Typeform surveys lately. Looks great on mobile. I get high completion rates. So I love that software.

I might ask them, “What are your three favorite websites for freelance writing resources?” And then boom, one, two, three. Submit. Sweet.

Now, what would be even greater here is if I captured an email address because then I can reach out to those folks and say, “Hey, here are the most popular websites.” Or I put up a blog post that shows what they are. Now I can go and reach out to the websites that most frequently appeared here and say, “Hey, guess what? You showed up most often in my survey, and I wrote about it.” Great for networking and building a relationship and furthering a relationship.

Step 5 – Identify sites that have marketing opportunities to reach your audience.

The last step is actually the work that goes into identifying the marketing opportunity. So I know all these sites. I’ve got a huge list that I’ve now expanded and expanded again. Now I can go and look for things like an ad opportunity. On Goodreads they have an advertising platform that I can specifically use.

I can look for community discussion or commenting features. BookLikes has a system where I can set up a profile and then start commenting and contributing to their forum and their Q&A.

Bookish has a cast of characters.

This is on their About page. I can find the people behind the site, and then I can connect with them. If they all have Twitter accounts, I can follow them on Twitter. I can connect with them via LinkedIn. I could pitch them on email if I have something specific that I’d like to contribute to this site or if I’m not seeing an advertising opportunity or something else.

LitReactor had a great place where I could actually create an account and then start submitting my content just like YouMoz does for Moz.com. So those guest submission opportunities.

Basically I’m looking for anything like this, types of opportunities where I can get involved in these sites and be visible to their audiences so that I can start creating a relationship with those audiences and then hopefully earn their interest, earn their attention, earn their trust, and have them go check out whatever it is that I’m doing on my own website.

All right everyone. I look forward to your suggestions and ideas, as well as any cool tools or processes you use, and we’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Friday Round-up: Flickr gets anti-social while Target gets appy!

Let’s wrap up the week with a few short stories that have been sitting in my bookmark file.

Flickr gets anti-social

If you use Facebook or Google to login to your Flickr account, get ready to memorize another password. At the end of this month, Fickr will require all users to log in using nothing but a Yahoo account. You remember. . . that free email address you signed up for years ago to catch all your spam?

Here’s what I got when I tried to sign in via Facebook:

Yahoo account reminderIf you don’t have an account, you’ll be prompted to start one. What are the chances that I remember my password. . . or my security answers . . . and now they want my cell phone number for verification, too. Geez, it’s my online photo gallery not my bank account!

There are plenty of stats showing that more people are using social logins because they’re easy. Guess Yahoo doesn’t believe or doesn’t care. Removing social logins might be good for branding but it’s going to annoy a lot of current customers.

Target gets appy!

In order to appeal to a younger, hipper, more mobile audience, Target is rolling out an ad campaign devoted to their digital options. One thing they’re pushing is the ability to order online then pick up the order at the store. This is a hot service for moms, especially if they have curbside pick-up. Another fun idea they’re testing is a map in the mobile app that shows you where in the store you can find what’s on your list. I have a huge Target near me and this would be ideal. Seriously, I feel like I need  golf cart just to do my shopping, the place is so huge.

Bottom line – it’s about using technology to make shopping more convenient. That’s a smart move if they want to pull in the millennials.

The Secret Service wants to understand sarcasm

My favorite social media story of the week comes from CBS News. The Secret Service posted an online work order for software that can detect sarcasm in social media postings. Sounds silly, but the biggest downside to written communication, especially short social media posts, is the inability to hear inflection. “Yeah, right” means two different things depending on which word you emphasis.

To be fair, the whole sarcasm things is just a small part of a large program designed to sift through enormous amounts of social media data in a short amount of time. Such a program could be a lifesaver during a natural disaster or other times of crisis. Due to the real time, fast-moving nature of the feed, Twitter is the first place people turn to when events start to unfold. Unfortunately, people also use the network to post false information and jokes about a serious subject.  Just imagine how much more accurate the data would be if the computer could tell the difference between a joke and a serious statement.

 

 

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

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David Petraeus Target of Protests at CUNY

The last time we heard from David Petraeus, he was resigning as director of the CIA due to his affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. Since then, we haven’t heard much commotion from the scapegoat of US military actions in the Middle East. On September 11 (Funny how these things just happen, isn’t it?), however, a ruckus was raised outside the City University of New York (CUNY). What was the cause of said ruckus, you ask? Petraeus is currently serving as a visiting professor at CUNY, something which the Ad-Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY finds quite upsetting.

Petraeus is currently teaching a once-per-week course at CUNY entitled “Are We On the Threshold of the North American Decade?”, a class which is focused on America’s public policy and how it affects our leadership role in the international economy. Why he is qualified to teach a course concerning American foreign relations and its impact on the economy is anyone’s guess. However, that is not the reasons students and professors are so upset. S. Sandor John, an assistant professor of Latin American History at CUNY, states that “A great many CUNY students’ families come from countries directly targeted by the death squads, military coups, drones, spying and mass bombing organized by the likes of Petraeus … and the U.S. military as a whole.” John is responsible for creating the Ad-Hoc group which heckled Petraeus as he left class Monday.

This protest is not the result of impressionable college students being brainwashed by a popular professor, though. Eric Moreno, a linguistics major at CUNY, believes that “this will be a recurring thing.” Not only will the students continue to protest Petraeus’s teaching position, but Moreno also stated that “There are other students that are willing to go the extra step and wait for him after class and just make his time here in New York a living hell basically.”

It’s a safe assumption to say that Petraeus is not the most popular person in America at the moment. He was the general in charge of the troop surge originally ordered by Bush in 2007 in Iraq, and he was also the main proponent and then executioner of the more recent troop surge in Afghanistan. And just one week ago, Petraeus also voiced support for President Obama’s plan for a limited military strike against Syria, stating that such action is necessary to ensure that Syria ceases their use of chemical weapons and to also show North Korea and Iran that the US will use force if necessary.

Even if one believes Petraeus is the anti-Christ for his past actions, one has to wonder why the student reaction to his presence on campus is so nasty and vehement. Isn’t college supposed to be a bastion of critical thinking and discourse? Shouldn’t these students be taking this opportunity to ask Petraeus to defend his previous actions and to try to understand the minds behind our military in Washington? The reaction of the students at CUNY shows how far away from the ideals of the university our students have gone and reflect poorly upon our future generation of leaders.

What do you think? Are the student protests an appropriate response to Petraeus’s appearance on campus? Answer in the Comments Section below.

Image via Wikimedia Commons


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