Bing introduces AI search results

Artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly hot topic for search with Bing introducing their own AI search tools for users at an event earlier this week not only for the search engine but Cortana and Microsoft Office as well.

 

This AI shift focuses on three main categories of tools including intelligent answers, intelligent image search and conversational search.

 

Intelligent answers offers an extended version of snippets with varied responses and results for search queries. Rather than presenting single responses, Bing is providing users with a fuller understanding of their search query through source comparison.

 

Image search has been on the rise with platforms such as Pinterest getting involved and now Bing has thrown their hat into the ring with their intelligent image search. Similar to what Pinterest provides users, Bing can now search through images, targeting buildings and items for visual search with fashion and furniture capable of presenting ‘shoppable’ results for online retailers.

 

Finally their final AI update is the conversational search function, which can assist users in narrowing down their queries for more specific results. This is done by presenting potential narrowed search terms for the original query suggesting improved search terms for greater result accuracy.

 

While Google is still the current search powerhouse, Bing’s AI features have the potential to provide strong competition for not just the search engine but the Google assistant as well.

Narrow down on your target audience using Bing Ads

Paid search ads can sometimes feel like a stab in the dark, yes you can choose the content and time of day but how do you know you’re targeting the people you need?

 

Well now you can make those search ads a bit more precise with Bing Ads. These new features are the In-Market Audiences (which is currently only available in the US) and Custom Audiences.

 

In-Marketed Audiences allows advertisers to access curated lists of individuals that have purchase intent for a product or service.

 

“Say you’re a travel site looking to target searchers who are ready to book a summer vacation. Bing Ads looks for people who are clicking on ads related to hotels and flights, searching for relevant vacation terms, or checking out hotel reviews, for example, and predicts whether these users are ready to buy.  Users identified as likely to purchase are included in the Travel & Tourism/Accommodations In-Market Audience, which you can associate to your ads.  Since you know these people are more likely to book a vacation, you could increase your bid, for example, to help you capture this valuable audience.”

 

Bing has made it all too easy for advertisers giving an opportunity to increase target audience awareness and conversions. Whilst there are only 14 In-Market audiences available there are more coming in the following months as this new feature is developed further.

 

Custom Audiences is the other new feature that Bing has launched globally which uses advertiser’s own customer data to generate a remarketing list. Some audiences that are available include: purchase history, tenure, renewal period, time since last purchase and customer referrals.

 

Although these new targeting tools are still in the pilot phase advertisers should be hoping they stay because it is bound to make reaching your target audience so much easier.

5 steps to a killer SEO strategy

Getting started on SEO can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you have never done it before. There is a whole new world of technical terms, guidelines, penalties and thousands of online resources.

 

To make it easier for SEO newbies we have broken down a short 5-step strategy to help you get started! Keep reading for some handy tips and a great way to build your foundation.

 

 

Step 1: Prioritise!

 

Sometimes when starting SEO you want to do everything at once; avoid doing this, especially if you have site with an extensive number of pages. Start small and focus on a select amount of pages that you wish to promote and optimise.

 

This way you won’t bite off more than you can chew and still see results.

 

A good rule of thumb is to select pages that are the most popular or unique to your business in order to distinguish yourself.

 

 

 

 

Step 2: Know the competition

 

You can’t beat the competition without knowing their strengths and weaknesses. So once you have established what pages you want to optimise, analyse your competitor’s tactics – particularly focus on their on-page and off-page factors.

 

On-page factors to look out for include: keywords, titles, images, content structure and length, meta descriptions.

 

Keywords in particular are an important factor to consider as the correct number and placement of keywords has a significant impact on your overall ranking.

 

Off-page factors that are important to analyse are the number of backlinks that lead to the targeted page and what type of backlinks they are.

 

 

 

 

Step 3: Compare strategies

 

Now that you have looked at your competitor and analysed their strategies, it is time to make comparisons. What aspects are they surpassing you in? And how are they doing it?

 

This stage is piecing together the information you have gained from your analysis. From this point you can mix and match tactics from your own strategy and other strategies that best suits your business.

 

 

 

 

Step 4: Test the new analysis on your selected pages

 

This is the stage where you begin implementing the tactics that you have chosen. Once you have established these behavioural factors on the targeted pages, ensure that you are simultaneously using an analysis tool.

 

Analysis is another key aspect to this stage as it allows you to identify what works and what doesn’t. Features to focus on CTR, user experience and conversions. The former two criterions hold particular significance as they are identified by Google to have major ranking factors.

 

This is because Google perceives a high CTR to be equivalent to high relevancy; therefore these sites are awarded higher rankings.

 

User experience is similarly important as the longer that a user uses your site, the higher the perceived relevancy. A simple factor that you can use to measure this behaviour is the bounce back rate.

 

 

 

Step 5: Establish your strategy

 

If you have not recognised any distinguishable positive changes, simply adjust your behavioural factors. Don’t be disheartened by trial and error, keep trying and you will eventually find what works for you.

 

Once you have deduced the successful formula, implement this throughout the site.

 

 

 

It is important to remember that SEO is an ongoing process; there are continually new updates, features and guidelines that are introduced. Often because of the continually changing industry, it is most time savvy to employ a professional SEO agency such as SEO Premier to ensure that your site stays updated and relevant.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

What to expect when you’re not expecting: SEO Edition 2017

Top SEO predictions of 2017

Whether you love it or hate it, SEO is one of those things that will keep changing – for some it keeps life interesting and for others it’s a struggle to stay ahead. There are constant updates, developments and new trends.

 

Of course there are the usuals, user experience, mobile use and updates but in an attempt to get ahead for the New Year, we’re going to run you through a few of 2017 SEO predictions that are a bit outside the box.

 

  1. SEO is far from being over…

 

Okay, so this one isn’t the mind blowing or head scratching prediction you expected but it’s an important one to start with. Over the past few years, there are always sceptics who declare that the industry is dwindling and every year it is nowhere close to happening. This is because every year that passes, technology and the digital world become more important and more complex.

 

We’ve covered a few statistics last year that highlighted the growth of e-commerce and the significance this holds for businesses and their SEO rankings. This is just one trend of many that requires professional and specialised SEO to get the best and most competitive results possible.

 

 

  1. A Google crackdown is on the way

 

Because of the rise of the SEO and digital-sphere, there are more and more people utilising SEO, whether it is self-taught or through an agency. Sometimes, users intentionally or not use techniques that incur penalties.

 

From the looks of things, the crackdown has only begun. There is no doubt that Google will be enforcing more stringent criteria to ensure the quality of content on the search engine.

 

The best way to avoid the wrath of Google is to invest in an ethical and experienced SEO agency such as SEO Premier to ensure that all industry guidelines are being adhered to and that your site avoids potentially long-term setbacks from penalties.

 

  1. Algorithims

 

We’ve already seen changes to the Google algorithms in the past year from the wonderful Penguin update to Panda becoming a core rank algorithm. The next year shouldn’t be any different with more developments to come. This is especially true considering the growth of SEO and the digital sphere, meaning there will be more aspects to improve and refine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge 71% intend to increase digital spend

 

New year, new you, new budget. Not only is the New Year a chance to start that new hobby or lose that 2kg but it is also an opportunity to reboot and re-evaluate your business. Whether it’s a new workspace or investing in endeavours that will benefit your business both long and short term, it’s the perfect opportunity to start fresh. And this is exactly what people intend to do. A recent survey has indicated that 71% of individuals wish to increase their digital spend, while only 14% wish to spend less and 15% intend to maintain their current expenditure.

 

Because the digital sphere is so broad, it can sometimes be difficult to choose which branches of the industry to specifically invest in. Some of our top picks for the biggest digital activities to invest in for 2017 include:

 

  1. Social Media Marketing

 

Social media is one of those platforms that continue to grow, change and develop as they become more and more popular.

 

Each social media network are developing their own twist on ephemeral content, live video and of course the traditional images and posts have not been forgotten either.

 

It is no longer enough to have a social media account but to actively engage and make use of this medium, so it’s definitely worth the investment this year.

 

  1. SEO

 

SEO is one of digital tools that you will need regardless of annual trends because until search engines are rivalled by another source, your rankings have a large impact on your business.

 

Use SEO to increase traffic to your site, not only for brand awareness but also to increase e-commerce. It’s important to note that SEO is best invested outside your business, in an experience agency to avoid penalties that can incur from lack of knowledge and understanding of the process.

 

  1. Content Marketing

 

Content material is an excellent way to showcase your knowledge and expertise within your industry. It also provides the opportunity to boost your online presence, which as you would know is a critical aspect of owning a business within this technological age.

 

Content includes anything from the content on your website, well-written blogs, lifestyle posts graphics and even guides. It’s easy to assume that because you have the knowledge needed for your content, that you are able to do this yourself, however, this is not always the case.

 

Using an agency such as SEO Premier to professionally write your content for you ensures that your content marketing is superbly written in a manner that is both engaging and easy to understand.

 

Content is only valuable if it can be consumed by the traffic on your site.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

E-commerce abandonment issues and your 2017 resolutions with Bing

E-commerce stats that help explain your abandonment issues…

 

Cart abandonment, we’ve all been there – as a shopper we have done the abandoning. Whether it’s the guilty pleasure of adding items you know you won’t buy to the cart, seeing the total amount and backing out or being turned off by obnoxious shipping revealed upon checkout.

 

Do we ever stop to think about the ecommerce retailers that feel the sharp sting of our abandonment? No, we don’t.

 

As a retailer, understanding cart abandonment trends can go a long way in easing the deep, emotional pain of an empty cart. Reading and recognising trends isn’t the only solution though. Developing strategies to combat cart abandonment is key to decreasing its rates.

 

 

  1. Tuesday Doomsday…

 

It turns out that Tuesday has the highest rates of cart abandonment in the whole week whilst there is no surprise that Saturday between 8pm and 9pm have the lowest rates of cart abandonment.

 

Test out free shipping or a storewide discount specifically for Tuesdays to coax customers into clicking that ‘checkout’ button.

 

  1. It’s not me, it’s you…

 

Customers all have different reasons for abandoning their carts – addressing these issues can not only lead to a decrease in cart abandonment but could also lead to an improved consumer-retailer relationship.

 

The highest reported reason that customers abandon their carts at 28% is unexpected shipping costs. Advertising shipping costs clearly or even ensuring that shipping information is accessible reduces this trend as consumers are ultimately turned off by spending more than expected.

 

Creating an account is a time consuming process that is a huge turn off for customers; 23% to be exact. The large appeal of online shopping is the ease and convenience – having to create an online account before a purchase defeats this.

 

  1. Is your sector at risk?

 

Different sectors that offer e-commerce have varying rates of cart abandonment, perhaps due to the nature of the purchases in each sector. Travel has the highest rate of cart abandonment with 80.4%. This can be attributed to hidden tariffs and the additional costs that flight bookings can incur.

 

The close second highest sector at risk is the financial sector with 79.3% abandoning their carts. Financial services purchases are often time consuming, with an arduous application process that can lead to abandonment as consumers lose interest.

 

 

Tackle your cart abandonment issues and maybe your Tuesday won’t be so lonely…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bing helps you stick to your New Year’s resolution

 

New Year’s resolutions very rarely stick, on December 31st you are vowing to go to the gym and eat healthy. Instead it’s January 2nd and you’re convincing yourself that you deserve a cheat day and that your body needs rest.

 

Recent years have seen a rise in importance placed on health and fitness, whether it’s increased research or simply an awareness of adverse affects of poor health. Search engine Bing is honing on this growing trend by including health and fitness specific updates within the search results.

 

This development is aimed to improve user experience and make it easier to locate health information.

 

Are you new to working out? Search ‘exercise’ on Bing and a carousel of at-home or gym workouts appears in the results. These exercises can be filtered based on difficulty, target area and equipment, basically a free workout guide that can be changed at any time.

 

This function also extends to those that are food conscious. Not only can you search specific recipes or dietary requirement recipes but you can also manage your calorie intake. Bing provides an automatic result when the calorie count of a specific amount of a particular food is searched.

 

So if you’re sitting on the couch, unsure of where to start with your new healthy 2017 resolution, jump onto Bing and plan a workout.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Katreena Pevec

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