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Daily Search Forum Recap: December 29, 2021

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Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.


This month, the month of December, may have been the most volatile month in Google search algorithm update history. Google also had some sort of search algorithmic jolt yesterday. Google Search Console showed an announcement banner the other night, it was a bug, but if you missed it, we have screenshots and videos. Google Ads is testing excluding placements in smart shopping. And what were some of the most counterintuitive SEO recommendations you tried out?

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Semrush: December The Most Volatile Month For Google Search Of 2021

    According to recent Semrush data, this month, the month of December, was the most volatile month of the year and probably Google history. Here is a chart Mordy Oberstein of Semrush shared showing how December soared amongst the rest of the months in 2021.
  • December 27 & 28 Google Search Ranking Algorithm Jolt?

    Around December 27th and 28th we may have a Google search ranking algorithm jolt or quick tremor. I highly doubt Google pushed out something over the holidays, this last week of December. But it might just be some weird change that jolted the search results (like that even happens as I am describing).
  • Google Search Console Announcements Bar Test

    Google Search Console had this new bar at the top of the Search Console interface with announcements. It showed three types of announcements; informational, minor issue and major issue announcements. These showed up in blue, yellow and red respectively.

  • Google Ads Exclude Placements Coming To Smart Shopping Campaigns?

    Google seems to be testing a feature to exclude unwanted placements in Smart Shopping Campaigns within Google Ads. ADworld Experience posted this on Twitter but it is not clear if it works or if this was some sort of slip up from Google.
  • Counterintuitive SEO Recommendations Thread

    A couple of months ago, Aleyda Solis posted a thread on Twitter (I was waiting for a slow week to post it here) asking “what’s the most counterintuitive SEO recommendation/implementation you’ve done that actually made sense in the context you were working and paid off as you expected?”

  • Doogler Crate & Bed At Google

    Here is a photo from a few years back of a Doogler, Google dog, getting ready to move offices in the Google Seattle office. You can see the dog crate and bed (I think it is called that) all ready to

Other Great Search Threads:

Search Engine Land Stories:

Other Great Search Stories:

Analytics

Industry & Business

Links & Content Marketing

Local & Maps

Mobile & Voice

SEO

PPC

Other Search

Feedback:


Have feedback on this daily recap; let me know on Twitter @rustybrick or @seroundtable, you can follow us on Facebook and make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or just contact us the old fashion way.





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Comparison, Core Benefits, & Features

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Prestashop vs Shopify 2021: Comparison, Core Benefits, & Features


If you’re preparing to launch an online store and have questions about what kind of eCommerce platform to pick, read on. Here in this article I compare two totally different stages -a hosted and non-hosted one – PrestaShop versus Shopify.

Did You Know!!

According to the development stat, in 2020, the world anticipates approximately 2B online customers. Furthermore, before the end of 2040, 90-95% of the shopping is expected to be done digitally through eCommerce sites and mobile applications.

Both eCommerce platforms have their qualities and shortcomings and can turn into the perfect business solution. I will assist you with picking the most ideal choice for you to begin your eCommerce business experience or possibly switch the current platform of your eCommerce.  

Let’s make a side-by-side comparison to help you settle on these two other options.

What is Prestashop and Shopify?

PrestaShop is an open-source eCommerce platform that empowers you to develop anything from a little online shop to a full-on shopping cart solution. With a huge add-on market and an extraordinary set of in-buit features, PrestaShop offers a scalable solution to eCommerce merchants.

Whereas Shopify is an extensive SaaS and a market’s leading online store builder. It gives clients perhaps the most extensive eCommerce toolkits of all its rivals. Moreover, you can upload a limitless number of items or products to it.

PrestaShop vs Shopify: Key Data

PrestaShop is a freemium self-hosted open-source platform, established in 2007. As of now, it is being used by over 300,000 shops around the world. This solution doesn’t need a particular web-provider and gives its users the opportunity to pick providers themselves.

It’s renowned for being completely customizable, i.e., you can alter the store as per your individual inclinations. It’s an ideal alternative for those business people who are wanting to set up a small or medium online business.

On the other hand, Shopify is a Canadian hosted platform established in 2004. It powers over one million stores and is viewed as one of the fastest-growing platforms across the globe.

This platform is celebrated for its straightforwardness and fine-featured themes. Because of its flexibility, Shopify is an ideal shopping cart for any online store.

Here’s how PrestaShop and Shopify are shown on Google Trends:

Shopify vs PrestaShop: Feature by Feature

1. User Friendly

Shopify

Shopify offers the easiest and most clear interface that you will discover. You don’t have to know anything about coding or programming, simply click and you will have your shop prepared in no time with an excellent and professional theme.

This lets you save a lot of time and money. Making this one reason may individuals choose to begin with Shopify.

PrestaShop

PrestaShop is somewhat more complex than Shopify, it will expect customers to know a little bit of coding. This might actually make this platform trickier to a few.

However, the information that you need to work with PrestaShop isn’t too advanced in class and the knowledge you need is generally in the forums.

Winner: Shopify

2. Pricing

Shopify

With Shopify, you will have 3 choices. They are Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify which range from $29 to $299. Also, Shopify offers two other packages which are Shopify Lite and Plus. You can hire shopify developers for further development of your website.

To manage your business, you really need to pick an appropriate package depending upon how huge your store is. Similar to other platforms, Shopify also provides a free 2-week trial to try things when you register a new account.

You could save money by enrolling for the yearly plan if you have a long-term sight of your business future. Moreover, one can save 10% by signing up for an annual subscription, and 20% by choosing a two-year contract.

PrestaShop

Whereas, Prestashop is an entirely distinctive thing compared to Shopify since Prestashop is an open-source cart. It is totally free to download and install, yet at the same time need to pay for a hosting provider or SSL Certificate.

Therefore, dealers should consider the entirety of the necessary costs prior to opening a store. Prestashop users will get an extraordinary deal with Prestashop official hosting partners – 1 and 1 as well as A2 hosting.

You will pay from $4 to $14 every month when you work with a Prestashop hosting partner.

Since PrestaShop is an open-source solution, every modification you make requires code participation. This means that you are more than likely to hire an agency or developer. You can consult a prestashop development company in India to get a helping hand in your store-set up.

Winner: PrestaShop

3. SEO

PrestaShop

PrestaShop lets you work better with the SEO placement of your website. If your site is well configured, PrestaShop stores usually give better results on Google’s search rankings.

Shopify

Shopify has been improving the SEO of its stores in recent years and is doing well with it. There are many apps that will also help you in SEO of your page. Shopify has servers in the USA, so if you are based in Europe, your website will be slightly slower which will affect SEO rankings.

Winner: PrestaShop

4. Performance

It is important to monitor eCommerce websites to see how the device works under a particular load. Loading time is about how fast product pages are loaded and identify potential performance bottlenecks.

With fast loading time, you can definitely give your customers a pleasant and enjoyable experience on your eCommerce website.

We can easily see that Shopify is a clear winner of this battle. Within just 1.3 seconds for loading time, Shopify is definitely a potential candidate.

On the other hand, Prestashop can lag behind with 4.6 seconds, which is 3.5 times longer than Shopify.

Winner: Shopify

5. Ease of Use

PrestaShop

Setting up a PrestaShop online store can take time and patience. The reason for this is that the back-end (part of the system you see, not your customers) is more technical to get hold of than the hosted platform.

Having said this, once you get started, PrestaShop provides a demo video with advice that walks you through the first phase of the store set-up.

Shopify

Shopify makes set-up very easy. The interface is intuitive and takes little time to use. The drag and drop functionality to customize your store as you want does not require any technical capability.

Being a hosted platform means that onus is on Shopify to offer all the tools you need to develop a store from scratch and then run it.

You must note that once you sign up, Shopify presents you with a default store that you can make changes to immediately.

Winner: Shopify

PrestaShop vs. Shopify: Which One to Choose?

If you want to start a business without technical skills, Shopify would be an ideal option. With unlimited products and advanced eCommerce functionalities, Shopify is definitely a suitable option for you to see your business. This platform is easy to use and can actively control the price.

On the other hand, if you have a small to medium store size and just want a platform that can provide you with customization and the ability to sell without a hitch, then do it on Prestashop.

In addition, the platform is outstanding in terms of thousands of add-on modules and ready-made themes. You can get started for free, setup is easy, and you don’t have to worry about any maintenance.

Wrapping Up

There is no objective winner, it is apparent that each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Both are amazing platforms to use and create your online store.

Have you not decided yet? Then you must consult a top eCommerce website development company in India, they will surely help you in selecting the right platform that works best for your business.

Good Luck!!



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How To Setup Discovery Ads (And Create One, Too!)

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How To Setup Discovery Ads (And Create One, Too!)


 

In our previous Google Discovery ads post, we talked about what it is and the benefits to users and businesses. Today, we’ll walk you through on how to setup your Discovery ads.

To refresh your knowledge, Discover Ads are highly visual, personalized, mobile-optimized ads. Google’s machine learning answers a user’s question before it appears in its search bar, instead of depending on what the user searches for.

You can find Discover Ads in Google Discover, Gmail Social and Promotions tab, and Youtube mobile home feed.

Unlike Display Ads, Discovery Ads lets you reach up to 3 billion people across Google’s Discover, Youtube, and Gmail tabs. As an advertiser or business owner, your goal is to get discovered.

Besides, your campaigns must help drive action from highly engaged audiences. Thus, you must help users become familiar with and trust your brand.

 

Discovery Ads in YouTube, Discover App, and Gmail Promotions Tab

Photo: Discover Ads in Youtube’s mobile home feed, Google Discover feed, and Gmail Promotion tab. From Google Support.

You can create Discover ads campaigns as single static image OR multiple-carousel images.

Businesses can make the most of carousel image ads because it has better engagement. Carousel ads let you showcase your products or relevant content from your website.

Now we know what Discovery Ads are and their many benefits, here are some notes to take as you create your campaigns:

  • Discovery campaigns are high-visual engaging, so gather all the following creative assets including:
  1. Your headlines and logos
  2. High-quality, high-resolution images that create intrigue or interest with minimal texts. You may also include a brand or lifestyle theme to build brand trust.
  3. Your description must have an effective copy for your audience to take action. In Discover ads, you are not allowed to add any CTA (call to action) elements except texts provided by Google.
  • You can repurpose your high-performing ads and images to save time and make the most of Google’s feeds.
  • Google’s Discovery campaigns are automated, which means you can’t control:
  1. Manual bid strategies
  2. Ad rotation
  3. Delivery method
  4. Frequency capping
  5. Device targeting
  6. Contextual targeting
  7. Placement targeting

This campaign type has automated settings for targeting and bidding. With this in mind, you can focus on optimizing your campaigns’ performance instead.

  • Set your daily budget high enough to cover at least 10 times your target CPA bid.
  • In your Google Ad account, enable sitewide tagging and conversion tracking.
  • Discover Ads are mobile-optimized so make sure to use high-quality images and content.

How to Setup Discovery Ads Campaign:

Step 1: Go to ads.google.com and sign in to your account.
Step 2: Click ‘Campaigns’ tab on the left of Google Ads’ menu.
Step 3: Click the ‘+’ button and select new campaign.
Step 4: Choose your marketing objective. Your options are “Sales”, “Leads”, “Web Traffic”, “Product or Brand Consideration”, or “Local Store Visits and Promotions”. You can also create your own campaign without guidance if you prefer.
Step 5: When you’re asked to select your campaign type, pick “Discovery”.
Step 6: Choose your geographic and language targeting for your campaign.
Step 7: Choose your targeting audiences with the following audience information: custom intent, your data, and in-marketing audiences.
Step 8: Set up your bidding strategy and your average daily budget. Google takes the heavy lifting out of running your campaigns with automated bidding. Automated Bidding takes the guesswork out of setting bids to meet your campaign goals.
Step 9: Save and continue.

Now that you’ve set up your Discover Ad campaign, you can create your ads next.

How to Create Discovery Campaigns:

This is where you put in all your creative assets in place. You can either set up a single image ad, or multiple carousel display ads. If you want to make the most of your campaigns, you might want to run a test on both ad groups.

Discovery Ads Carousel

Photo: An example of a multiple image carousel Discovery ad in Google

Step 1: Login to your Google Ads account and proceed along your Discovery campaign.
Step 2: On the left page menu, click on “Ads and Extension”.
Step 3: Click on the blue “+” icon then pick “Discovery ad” for your single-image ad, or “Discovery carousel ad” for your multiple-image ad.
Step 4: Make sure you populate every Google property and check ad preview before you click Save.

When you click “Ads and Extensions” from the left panel and enter all the variable information, keep the following in mind:

  1. You must insert at least 5 headlines, 40 characters each
  2. You can have at least 5 descriptions, 90 characters each
  3. You can only place one of each Business Name, a CTA text, and final URL
  4. You must have at least one square image, a square logo, and one landscape image with a maximum image size of 5MB.

To learn more about Discover ad asset specifications, visit Google Ads help.

The Most Crucial Step in Setting Up Discover Ads

Wait.

As soon as you have setup your discovery ads campaign and assets together, give it room for “Learning”. If your campaign status shows “Learning”, avoid making any adjustments. Discovery campaigns perform better over time.

Just be sure that your campaign runs with enough budget for two weeks. Google states it’s advisable to choose an average daily budget at least 10 times the value of your target CPA (cost per action) bid. Wait at least 40 conversions before making any adjustments to your campaign.

Key Takeaway

As Google continues to develop and improve to serve helpful, personalized content to its users, it’s also important for brands to keep abreast of their marketing campaigns as well. Google Discovery takes the heavy lifting out of running and monitoring your campaigns. Plus, it’s easier to set up discovery campaign. It’s best you take the opportunity to create better and effective search ads for your audience.



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Rethinking Upsells & The Psychology of Opt-Ins vs. Opt-Outs

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Rethinking Upsells & The Psychology of Opt-Ins vs. Opt-Outs


Opt-in or opt-out?

Do sales increase if you present customers with a list of upsells to choose from?

If you make customers opt-out or deselect items, will you decrease buyer satisfaction?

Marketers will often tell you to always use opt-ins because opt-outs just upset customers.

But that isn’t always the case.

Psychology research suggests there’s a lot more nuance to these decisions. And the difference could be huge for customer loyalty, the customer lifecycle, and your bottom line.

Presenting Upsells To Buyers

While there are plenty of variations, ecommerce generally uses one of two methods:

Opt-In (Choosing Strategy):

Customers can choose what they’d like to buy from a list of upsells.

Screenshots from Amazon.ca, Domino’s, and UberEats, November 2021

Opt-Out (Rejection Strategy):

Customers must remove or reject unwanted items from their cart before purchasing.

Opt-Out (Rejection Strategy) Shopping Cart Upsell ExamplesScreenshots from Amazon.ca, iRobot, and Domino’s, November 2021

On the surface, these two tactics don’t seem all that different or complex, but research suggests the thought processes behind them are.

For example:

Question 1.

You’re building a petting zoo for your favorite hypothetical 5-year-old daughter to play in. Which animal baby will you put in it first?
a) Lambs
b) Kids (The baby goat kind.)
c) Chicks

Question 2.

You’re building a petting zoo for your favorite hypothetical 5-year-old daughter. Which one are you picking?
a) Poisonous Cobra snake
b) Black widow spiders
c) Piranhas

Question 3.

Your hypothetical daughter wants to turn the petting zoo into a Halloween zoo. Which animal are you replacing the cute animal with?
a) Poisonous Cobra snake
b) Black widow spiders
c) Piranhas

If the research holds (and I structured the questions right), you’ll likely find the first and third questions easier, faster, and a little more satisfying to answer than the second question.

Why?

The second question asks you to choose(+) a negative(-) option. There’s a mismatch.

In more dry language, researchers found that users (on a general population basis) make decisions faster and have less indecision when choosing (a positive action) desirable options (positive items) in a positive situation.

In a negative situation, we prefer to reject (a negative action) undesirable things (negative items).

Why?

Less indecision and interruption in the decision-making flow increases decision confidence.

Positive options or items require a choosing strategy while negative options require a rejection strategy.Chart/Angie Nikoleychuk

Why Action-Option Mismatch Matters

In the second question, there was a mismatch between the action and the item or result that threw you off guard. You were choosing(+) a negative(-) option in a relatively positive situation(+).

Just like your website.

And the effects can be long-lasting.

Research finds we’re usually more deliberate and careful when rejecting items. We pay more attention to our biases and attempt to be consistent.

It’s also important to note that when we reject a choice, we focus on the negative aspects of a product, service, brand, or individual rather than positive details that we would otherwise focus on when using a choosing strategy.

We also tend to engage in a bit of lying to ourselves. After we make a decision, we can reaffirm our choice and build our confidence in our decision by focusing on the negative traits.

“I’m delighted I didn’t choose the car that I originally wanted. The one I chose may not have all the features I wanted, but it’s much more affordable. It was a better choice.”

(In fun terms, this cognitive habit is sometimes referred to as our brains “synthesizing happiness.”)

Getting More Upsells

When we’re more satisfied with a purchase, we tend to be more loyal to that brand.

We’re more likely to buy again from the company, and we’re less likely to complain. (I know you know this but keep it in mind.)

Some research has argued that a pleasurable decision-making process, combined with achieving a goal (purchase), is independent of the consequences of a decision (the experience process).

So, even if a product ends up not being that great, it was still a positive experience. The user is more likely to return for other purchases.

If this is confusing, think of the buying process this way:

  1. Information gathering and discovery process: Top portion of the sales funnel.
  2. Shopping process: Includes browsing and information collecting.
  3. Decision process: Assessing, rejecting, or choosing an item or service.
  4. Buying process: From the shopping cart to the order confirmation.
  5. Experience process: Receiving and using the product or service itself.

The more congruency between these steps, the better the last step is, and the more likely your customer will return.

This concept has a considerable impact on ecommerce. Consider comparative websites, for example.

The Psychology Behind Gift-Giving Decisions

Research finds our decision-making preference may change when we’re selecting an item for someone else.

For example, we get more creative, rely on fewer biases, focus more on quality, and are more desirability-oriented when buying for others.

At the very least, we want to minimize the possibility of negative outcomes.

So, it makes sense that, when we’re buying for ourselves, we prefer rejection strategies (opt-out). We’re arming ourselves with information we need to feel better about our choices. We’re avoiding an undesirable outcome.

But when we buy for others, we prefer choosing strategies (opt-in).

Why? We focus on the positive attributes, the value we’re giving the other person, and reaping the most benefit from the situation.

In other words, we want to do good and look good.

What Does This Mean For Websites?

As mentioned earlier, this aspect of decision-making can be a big help when offering competitor comparisons.

Your site is hopefully a pleasant experience. Will you offer positive options to choose from or reject negatives? Opt-in to upsells or opt-out?

If you’re a retailer mainly offering holiday gifts, it may be more effective to present items or upsells consumers can add to their cart. However, if your customers mainly buy for themselves, you may want to test and opt-out or “remove” approach.

While these are general theories and they may not work for every audience, there is certainly enough research to justify a test.

They may even answer why you’re struggling to increase your Average Basket Size (ABS) or finding it difficult to convert when offering upsells.

More resources:


Featured Image: VectorMine/Shutterstock.com

Related And Referenced Research:

Higgins, E. T. (2000). Making a good decision: Value from fit. American Psychologist, 55(11), 1217–1230.

Heller, D., Levin, I. P., & Goransson, M. (2002). Selection of strategies for narrowing choice options: Antecedents and consequences. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 89(2), 1194–1213.

Lu, J., Chen, Y., & Fang, Q. (2022). Promoting decision satisfaction: The effect of the decision target and strategy on process satisfaction. Journal of Business Research, 139, 1231–1239.

Higgins, E. T. (2002). How Self-Regulation Creates Distinct Values: The Case of Promotion and Prevention Decision Making. Journal of Consumer Psychology 12(3), 177–191.





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