— blending the mix

April, 2012 Monthly archive

Advertisers are spending a lot more money on Facebook, and naturally they want to know more about how their paid campaigns are performing. So Facebook is doing something about it.

The company’s product manager for Pages Insights David Baser said that over the next couple weeks Facebook will roll out more granular metrics intended to provide a more detailed view at what sort of actions resulted from specific Facebook ads.

Per Baser, the actions brands will be able to measured “could be anything [such as] liking, commenting or sharing a page post, claiming an offer, or, instead of just installing an app, actually using an app or doing things within an app.”

Previously advertisers had only been able to measure page links or app installs. The new measurement system will be available for all Facebook ads but is designed for ads that direct on-site actions, said Baser.

On top of the new metrics Facebook is opening up the attribution window so that advertisers can trace an action like a comment back to an ad served up to 28 days prior. Given the industry-wide challenge with online ad attribution, and the general disdain for last-click attribution, the broader window could help Facebook cut into search budget allocations.

Additionally the broader suite of analytics will result in expanded ad optimization capabilities through Facebook’s Ads API, according to Baser. On top of optimizing for page likes or app installs, advertisers should be able to boost metrics such as offer claims, Facebook’s “People Talking About” metric, app use and “even potentially sales within an app,” Baser said.

Facebook’s ad business has been tainted to a degree by brands looking to engineer how many likes or fans they accumulate. But Baser said he hopes the new analytics offering will incentivize advertisers to optimize Faecbook campaigns toward improved user engagement rather than simply accruing clicks. That goal aligns with Facebook’s ongoing push towards ads functioning more as interaction instigators than promotional tools, as most prominently demonstrated during the company’s marketer conference in February.

Awesome new metrics coming. Rock on.

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The latest news from the around the web:

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SEO ToolsThe ongoing SEO responsibility of attaining and retaining a productive organic search engine presence requires patience, tenacity, and a focus on every detail that might have an impact. Moderated by Thom Craver (@thomcraver), Web and Database Specialist, Saunders College (RIT), The Tools of the Trade for SEO panel at SES New York 2012 pulled together more than 40 tools in this whirlwind session.

Your Comprehensive List of SEO Tools

Michael King (@iPullRank), SEO Manager, Publicis Modem, came up first with his presentation, “Tools for Pulling Rank – Nearly Every Tool You’ll Ever Need – EVER”. King’s presentation provided the comprehensive list of tools for the advanced and aspiring SEO professional to investigate.

Here is a short list of most (certainly not all) of those tools covered:

Some of the tools above were proprietary or built upon functionality inherent to the understanding and administration of available resources. King’s perspective: “the ability to code gives you super powers.”

Fortunately for conference attendees and Search Engine Watch readers (and writers), King was kind enough to provide his presentation on Slideshare. What was King’s most important tool for SEO? His brain. More on that connectivity a bit later in the session.

What About SEO Tools in Asia?

There actually is a relatively non-Bing, non-Google world online. In Asian markets, Baidu commands as much as 80 percent of the market and only in Japan has Google teamed up to provide a search engine presence.

T.R. Harrington (@netchina), Chief Operating Officer, Darwin Marketing, took the session down a different path overseas but started with a quick poll.

How do you find SEO tools: webinar, reviews, peer recommendations, or by performing a search? The majority of SES New York attendees used peer recommendations or performed searches. According to a SkyRocket survey, 77 perent used peer recommendations to find these types of tools. Bottom line: recommendation.

For keyword research, Baidu Insights is an excellent option with free user demographics. The only drawback? Lack of English UI. Harrington noted that for certain brand-based keywords, search results look much more like a branded microsite. Baidu also puts a significant amount of paid search ads in the left-hand side.

For monitoring, Advanced Web Ranking for works well for Baidu. There is also SERP Update Monitoring for Yandex (Russia): Update Analyzer. In China there was also “Super Manager” for ranking monitoring (unfortunately uncertain about the link reference on this one).

Finally, for link research Harrington liked SEOmoz Open Site Explorer for international link research as well as Yandex Webmaster Tools, and Chinese “Master Ghost” Link Monitoring.

Bing Webmaster Tools In-Depth: Innovation Worth Reviewing by SEOs

Duane Forrester (@duaneforrester), Senior Program Manager, Bing Webmaster Tools, was next and took the audience through some of the key changes and functionality that (hopefully) will bring site owners back (or to) Bing.

Highlights and key points from Forrester’s presentation:

  • Keyword Research: Bing Webmaster Tools is launching an organic keyword research tool with up to six months of historical data available. SEOs will no longer be limited to the last 30 days of data from “other tools”. More importantly, this is ideal for long tail keyword research, since the data is based completely off of organic information and not paid data.
  • Markup Validator Tool: When inputting a URL into this tool, site owners not only see the markup on the page but are informed of issues with their code as well as error messages for invalid markup.
  • XML Sitemaps: Forrester recommended adding an XML sitemap for relevancy as well as RSS feed information. A 1 percent error rate acceptable in a sitemap but higher percentages will cause Bing to question validity. RSS is best for notifying Bing of the most up to date content on the site.
  • Crawl Management: This function alerts webmasters as to how Bingbot crawls the website and controls how often and how hard Bing crawls site. This is good for organizing and prioritizing times to crawl website against traffic patterns and times of importance.

Why markup? Forrester stressed that rich search engine results and higher click-through rates (CTR) are becoming even more critical for most businesses and as changes roll out in Bing search. CTR is a measure of satisfaction and retained presence. Not the only factor, but a factor worth monitoring and seeking to improve.

Bing Webmaster Tools shows traffic Bing sent to the site as well as the impressions in search results your site appeared for. Forrester highlighted a ratio webmasters should pay attention to (in the dashboard). The closer the ratio gets to one, the more positive impact the site is having in Bing search engine results when it appears.

While site owners may not see measurable impact in low digit numbers, sites with higher ratios trimming down should see much more significant results.

Finally, Tools are Tools – Use Your Head Too

Todd Friesen (@oilman) wrapped up the session with an important and fundamental summation: “use your head.” There are lots of tools out there (recollecting Web Position Gold, InfoSeek, etc.) but it comes down to absorbing all of the data collected and finding meaningful action.

Organize, compare, trend, store, analyze, and connect.

The one tool Friesen indicated that he uses every day is the web developer toolbar for Firefox or Chrome. Tools gather data but what will make your SEO program successful is what you end up doing with that data.

Not enough tools? Here are 78 Resources For Every Internet Marketer’s Toolkit.

SES Toronto 2012 is June 11-13. Register before May 11 and save up to $300!

Always good to know :-)

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Interesting perspectives about creative approach from an advertising “old schooler”.

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