Tag Archive | "across"

Merkle: Search ad spending growth slowed again across Google, Bing & Yahoo in Q2 2018

Google CPC growth kept climbing, while Bing Ads and Yahoo Gemini saw a sharp drop in CPCs in Q2 2018.



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NY federal court decision threatens embedding and linking across the web

The judge’s decision disregards existing law and if upheld could expose bloggers and publishers to potential copyright lawsuits.

The post NY federal court decision threatens embedding and linking across the web appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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All Content is Not Created Equal: Comparing Results Across 15 Verticals

Posted by kerryjones

Are you holding your content marketing to unrealistic standards?

No matter how informative your infographic about tax law may be, it’s not going to attract the same amount of attention as a BuzzFeed Tasty video. You shouldn’t expect it to. In order to determine what successful content looks like for your brand, you first need to have realistic expectations for what content can achieve in your particular niche.

Our analysis of hundreds of Fractl content marketing campaigns looked at the factors which have worked for our content across all topics. Now we’ve dived a little deeper into this data to develop a better understanding of what to expect from content in different verticals.

What follows is based on data we’ve collected over the years while working with clients in these industries. Keep in mind these aren’t definitive industry benchmarks – your mileage may vary.

Content-by-Vertical-01 (1).jpg

First, we categorized our sample of over 340 Fractl client campaigns into one of 15 different verticals:

  • Health and Fitness
  • Travel
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Drugs and Alcohol
  • Politics, Safety, and Crime
  • Sex and Relationships
  • Business and Finance
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Sports
  • Automotive
  • Home and Garden
  • Pets
  • Fashion

We then looked at placements and social media shares for each project. We also analyzed content characteristics like visual asset type and formatting. A “placement” refers to any time a publisher wrote about the campaign. Regarding links, a placement could mean a dofollow, cocitation, nofollow, or text attribution.

Across the entire sample, an average campaign received 90 placements and just over 11,800 social shares. As expected, the results deviated greatly from the average when we looked at the average number of placements and social shares per vertical.

Content-by-Vertical-19.jpg

Some verticals, such as Health and Fitness, outperformed the average benchmarks by more than double, with 195 average placements and roughly 62,600 social shares. Not surprisingly, verticals with more niche audiences had lower numbers. For example, Automotive campaigns earned an average of 43 placements and 1,650 social shares.

What were the top-performing topics?

The average campaigns in Health and Fitness, Drugs and Alcohol, and Travel outperformed the average campaigns in other verticals. So what does it take to be successful in each of these three verticals?

Health and Fitness

Our Health and Fitness campaigns were nearly nine times more likely to include side-by-side images than the average vertical.

Many of these side-by-side image campaigns were centered around body image issues. For instance, we Photoshopped women in video games to have body types closer to that of the average American woman. We also used this tactic to highlight male body image issues and differences in beauty standards around the world.

Takeaway: Contrasting images immediately pass along a wealth of information that can be difficult to capture as effectively with standard data visualizations like charts or graphs. Additionally, they carry emotional power.

For instance, we created a morphing GIF of Miss America from 1922 to 2015. The difference between Miss America in 1922 and Miss America in 2015 is stark, and the GIF makes a powerful statement. Readers and publishers were also able to access information about the images that wouldn’t have come across in figures alone (such as the change in clothing styles and the relative lack of diverse contestants).

As part of the project, we also charted the decline in BMI for pageant winners. Depending on the project and available information, it may be helpful to provide some quantitative data to support the narrative told through images.

Interestingly, although Health and Fitness campaigns were 36.4 percent more likely to use social media data than the average vertical, each of the social media campaigns were in the bottom 68 percent of all Health and Fitness campaigns by social shares.

Drugs and Alcohol

Our Drugs and Alcohol campaigns were 2.2 times more likely to use curated data (65 percent versus 30 percent) and 1.4 times more likely to have interactive elements (26 percent versus 19 percent) than the average campaign.

Takeaway: When dealing with emotional and controversial topics like drugs and alcohol, you don’t necessarily need to collect new data to make an impact. Readers and publishers value visualizations that can help explain complex information in simple ways. An additional benefit: creating interactive experiences that allow your audience to explore data on their own and make their own conclusions.

One good example of these principles is our “Pathways to Addiction” campaign, in which we created interactive platforms for exploring data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, including information about the sequence in which people have tried different substances.

This format allowed readers to explore a controversial topic on their own and draw independent conclusions.

Pro Tip: Whether you choose to use curated data or collect your own data, it is imperative to be impartial in your presentation and open in your methodology when working on campaigns around sensitive or controversial topics. You don’t need to stay away from controversial topics, but you do need to take precautions for your agency and your client.

Travel

Our Travel campaigns were 28.6 percent more likely to use social media data and 30.5 percent more likely to use rankings and comparisons than a campaign in the average vertical.

Takeaway: Travel is an inherently social behavior. For many people, travel isn’t complete until they’ve captured the perfect photo – or five. Travel content that acknowledges this social aspect can be really powerful. Rankings, which also feature heavily in travel content, are strong geographic egobait for readers and publishers and play up the social aspect of the Travel vertical.

Stratos Jet Charters’ Talking Tourists, which combined social media data with rankings, is a great example. For this campaign, we gathered over 37,000 tweets to determine which places were the most and least friendly to tourists.

Talking Tourists was successful (96 placements and over 56,000 social shares) because it used content types with proven success in the travel vertical (social media data, rankings, and maps) to explore a topic that isn’t often explored quantitatively.

How to achieve content marketing success in every vertical

The three industries listed above are ripe for highly successful content, but does that mean less popular verticals should go in with low expectations?

Even with topics that are more difficult to attract the attention of readers and publishers, it is still possible for your content to perform well beyond other content in the vertical. This is particularly true when campaigns align with trending stories or tell a completely unique story.

However, not every piece of content can hit it out of the park. Rand estimates that it will take five to ten attempts to create a piece of successful content. Even then, the average high-performing Science content will not receive the same amount of attention as the average Health and Fitness content.

So how can you maximize the chances for success? Here’s what we’ve observed about our top-performing campaigns in the following verticals:

  • Automotive: If you want to create automotive content that appeals to a wider audience, consider using data from social media. Four of our top seven campaigns (by placements) in this vertical featured data from social networks.
  • Business and Finance: When it comes to money, people want to know how they stack up. Our top Business and Finance campaigns (by social shares) relied on comparisons or rankings. If you’re looking for social shares, this is the way to go.
  • Drugs and Alcohol: Finding interesting correlations or stories in existing datasets can prove popular in this vertical – the majority of top campaigns used curated data.
  • Education: Our top Education campaigns featured social media data and interactive features.
  • Entertainment: Timely content that connects with a passionate fan base is a recipe for success.
  • Fashion: Successful fashion campaigns focused on solving problems for the audience.
  • Health and Fitness: Side-by-side images that show a strong contrast perform extremely well in this vertical.
  • Home and Garden: To attract attention from readers and publishers in this niche, make your content timely or pop culture-related.
  • Pets: The highest-performing campaign in this vertical appealed to readers and publishers because it focused on the social aspects of pet ownership. We also included a geographic egobait component by highlighting distinct regional differences in popular dog breeds.
  • Politics, Safety, and Crime: Our top-performing campaign (by social shares) in Politics, Safety, and Crime used social media data to explore a trending topic.
  • Science: In this vertical, relating complex topics to pop culture figures, like superheroes, can boost your content’s social appeal. Creating interactive platforms to explore complicated data can also help your audience connect with your campaign.
  • Sex and Relationships: Talking about sex and relationships feels a little scandalous, which piques interest. Two of our top three campaigns in this vertical, both by placements and by social shares, used social media data to measure conversation around these topics.
  • Sports: This vertical naturally lends itself well to regional egobait. Although only two of our Sports campaigns included maps, these were the most shared of all our sports campaigns.

Browse through the flipbook below to see examples of top-performing campaigns in each vertical.

Try a mixed-vertical strategy

For many of our clients at Fractl, we create content both within and outside of the client’s vertical to maximize reach. Our work with Movoto, a real estate research site, illustrates how one company’s content marketing can span multiple verticals while still remaining highly relevant to the company’s core business.

When developing a content marketing strategy, it is helpful to look at the average placement and social share rate for various verticals. Let’s say a brand that sells decor for log cabins wants to focus 60 percent of its energy on creating highly targeted, niche-specific projects and 40 percent on content designed to raise general awareness about its brand.

Three out of every five campaigns produced for this client should be geared toward publishers who write about log cabins and readers who are on the verge of purchasing log cabin decor. This type of content might include targeted blog posts, industry-specific research, and product comparisons that would appeal to folks at the bottom of the sales funnel.

For the other two campaigns, it’s important to look at adjacent verticals before determining how to move forward. For this particular client, primarily creating Travel content (which yields high average social shares and placements) may be the best course of action.

In addition to the data I’ve shared here, I encourage you to analyze your own content performance data by vertical to set realistic expectations. Vertical-specific metrics can also help identify opportunities to create cross-vertical content for greater traction.

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Woman completes solar-powered bike ride across US




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Last week 34-year-old Marissa Muller completed a solo, cross country bicycle ride in 80 days. Her custom bike was powered in part by solar energy, and the impetus for her trip was to show Americans the possibilities of solar power. NewsHour’s Saskia de Melker has the story.

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Quick & Easy Guide to Tracking Across Multiple Domains & Subdomains in Google Analytics

Posted by Tom.Capper

Out of the box, Google Analytics handles being deployed across multiple domains or subdomains extremely poorly. This is easily the most common critical problem in Google Analytics, despite its being relatively easy to fix.

Depending on your situation, one or more of a few simple steps may be appropriate. Look for the entry in the left-hand column below that best describes your situation, and make sure you’ve taken the steps listed on the right:

Situation Implementation Check-list
Single subdomain
  • Standard Google Analytics
Multiple subdomains or domains, which are treated as separate sites
Multiple subdomains on a single domain which are treated as a single site
Multiple domains with one or more subdomains that are treated as a single site

As a word of warning, several steps in this document differ according to the tracking code in use, and in these cases I suggest options for each tracking code type. If you’re unsure of your current implementation:

  • ga.js / doubeclick.js: Your source code will contain several “_gaq.push” commands
  • analytics.js tracking code: Your source code will contain “ga(‘create’” and “ga(‘send’” commands
  • Google Tag Manager: You have an analytics tag in your Google Tag Manager account (which I will assume is set to “Universal Analytics”)

If you have updated your Google Analytics interface to Universal Analytics but you’re still using the old code, you should follow the recommendations for the old (ga.js / doubleclick.js) tracking code here.

Using separate tracking IDs

Tracking IDs are the unique codes that you’re given when you create a Google Analytics property, and look something like “UA-123456-1″. Any page with that tracking ID, regardless of the site it’s on, will send data to that property.

While it is possible to use the same tracking ID across multiple domains or subdomains and then view them each in isolation using filtered views, the only advantage of doing so is having access to one aggregated view. For the data in this aggregated view to be meaningful, it will need to ignore self-referrals, and this is configured at the property level, meaning that all views will ignore self-referrals, thus leaving the (sub)domain-specific views with a load of “direct” traffic that actually came from sister sites.

This means that you end up choosing between incorrect data in your aggregate view and incorrect data in your specific view. If you do want to be able to have meaningful data in both specific and aggregate views, you could consider having one tracking ID that’s used across all sites and additional tracking IDs for each individual site. For details on implementation, check Google’s guidelines
here (and also here if you use Google Tag Manager).

Ignoring self-referrals

A “self-referral” is when one of the sources of traffic to your own site is your own site. They make it very difficult to work out what channels are being effective in driving conversions, because they leave you with missing data for some sessions.

Self referrals don’t just screw up your attribution data. They also trigger new sessions, thus ruining your key metrics and making it extremely hard to track the routes individuals take through your site. Fortunately, they’re really easy to deal with.

If you have the old ga.js (or doubleclick.js) tracking code, simply add your domains as ignored referrers in your tracking code:

If you need to ignore multiple domains using ga.js or doubleclick.js tracking code, add multiple lines like this one. In either case, make sure that they come between the “setAccount” and “trackPageview” lines.

If you’re using analytics.js tracking code, it’s even easier:

Navigate to Admin -> Tracking Info -> Referral Exclusion list, and you can add any referrers you want to ignore. Note that although this feature can appear in your Google Analytics user interface even if you’re using the old ga.js tracking code, it will only work with analytics.js.

Prepend hostname to request URIs

A “hostname” is the name that Google Analytics gives to the subdomain that a pageview originated from. Request URIs are the names you see in reports when you set a dimension like “landing page”, “page” or “previous page path”.

Any view that includes data from multiple domains or subdomains runs the risk of aggregating data from multiple pages and considering them the same page. For example, if your site includes “blog.example.com/index.html” and “example.com/index.html”, these will be merged in reports under “/index.html”, and you’ll never have any idea how effective or otherwise your blog and homepage are.

You can overcome this using an advanced filter:

In the example, this means that we’d see “www.example.com/index.html” as a page in reports, rather than just “/index.html”, and metrics that rely on telling the difference between the pages will report their real levels.

Ga.js / doubleclick.js only: Set domain name

For users of the new analytics.js tracking code or a Universal Analytics tag in Google Tag Manager, this step is unnecessary: Unless configured to do otherwise, the cookie is now automatically stored at the highest level possible so as to avoid being subdomain-specific. However, when using the old tracking code, Google Analytics needs a cookie location to be set in the tracking code so that it doesn’t lose it when moving between subdomains.

All this means in practice is a simple additional line in your tracking code, between the “_setAccount” and “_trackPageview” lines:

This should always be set to your domain without any subdomain – e.g. moz.com, distilled.net – not
www.moz.com or www.distilled.net.

Cross-domain linking

By default, Google Analytics looks for a cookie on the same domain as the page. If it doesn’t find one, it assumes that a new visit has just begun, and starts a new session. When moving between domains, the cookie cannot be transferred, so information about the session must be passed by “decorating” links with tracking information.

Don’t panic; this recently got dozens of times easier with the advent of the
autoLink plugin for analytics.js. If your site spans multiple domains and you’re not already using Google’s latest analytics tracking code, this feature should justify the upgrade on its own.

If you can’t upgrade for any reason, I won’t cover the necessary steps for the old ga.js tracking code in this post, but you can find Google’s documentation
here.

If you’re using on-page analytics.js tracking code, you can implement the autoLink plugin by making some modifications to your tracking code:

  1. Tells analytics.js to check whether the linker parameter exists in the URL and is less than 2 minutes old
  2. Loads the autoLink plugin
  3. The autoLink command is passed domains and two parameters. The first sets whether the linking parameters are in the anchor (rather than the query) portion of the URL, and the second enables form decoration (as well as link decoration).

In Google Tag Manager, it’s easier still, and just requires two additional options in your Universal Analytics tag:

In conclusion

Setting up analytics to properly handle multiple domains or subdomains isn’t difficult, and not bothering will invalidate your data. If you have any questions or tips, please share them in the comments below.

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Email Marketing: Groupon’s segmentation strategies across 115 million subscribers

Groupon is one of the biggest email marketing success stories you’ll ever hear. The daily deal company launched in November 2008 and was dubbed the fastest growing company ever, last year by Forbes. Much of this growth is powered by targeted email messaging.

Today, Groupon sends about 5 billion emails each month, according to John Becvar, Sr. Director of Relationship Marketing at Groupon. I was lucky enough to hear Becvar comment on the company’s growth and email strategy during a panel session at ExactTarget’s Connections 2011 last week.
Marketingsherpa Blog

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Marketing Metrics: Aligning ROI goals across the enterprise

Every evidence-based marketer knows the importance of metrics. But, as the saying goes, “what gets measured gets done.” So if you’ve optimized your marketing department to meet and exceed your targets, you may feel like you’re on the right track. But back up a minute. Do you have the right targets to begin with? Do your ROI goals really correlate with the success of your enterprise? Optimization Summit keynote speaker gives you some ideas for nailing down the right numbers for success in your organization.
Marketingsherpa Blog

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