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What are Connected TV Commercials and How Can They Help Your Business

With the constant development in technology, there ought to be a continuous evolution in the world of digital advertising as well. Marketers, as well as every SEO company in Kansas City should be on the lookout for the best traditional and digital marketing techniques to reach their very diverse audience.
 
With the “new normal” still in effect, a new way of advertising has risen in the form of connected TV commercials. This technique is now the current hype in the business and digital marketing world due to its convenience and advertising capabilities.
 
Granted, the tech behind connected TV has been with us for many years now, but it is not until later that many businesses discovered its power of advertising.
 
Get into the bandwagon and discover why your company needs CTVs (Connected TV Commercials) as a marketing tool. Here is everything you need to know about connected TV commercials and how they can help your business grow and thrive.

 

What is Connected TV?

Connected TV or CTV simply refers to a television that has the ability to connect to the internet to support video content streaming. This includes your flat-screen smart TVs, Apple TVs, Xbox, and Playstation. 
 
Now when CTV is in play, then the acronym OTT is just around the corner. OTT or Over-The-Top refers to the delivery of any content from the internet to the connected TV. 
 
There’s no need for users to subscribe to a traditional cable system or satellite provider when there’s OTT. Instead, users can easily stream and watch content via the internet, which is usually more affordable and often free.
 
Some examples of OTT content that you probably already encountered and even use includes movies and tv shows you stream from Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and Hulu. 
 
Another excellent example of OTT but in the form of a message application is WhatsApp. It utilizes the internet for users to send messages with one another instead of a mobile texting plan.

 

How Does It Work as an Advertising Tool?

So how does CTV and OTT technology have anything to do with advertising? Well, it kind of works the same way as with traditional TV commercials, where after a few minutes of watching a specific drama show, a bunch of commercials and advertisements will stream on your tv.
 
The same thing happens with connected TV advertising, but the stark difference is users watch this content via the internet. So connected TV advertising works the same way as watching Youtube content and having a sponsored advertisement pop up mid-watch, then getting back on your video after a few seconds. 

 

How Does it Differ from the Traditional TV Commercial?

Besides the delivery method, CTV commercials are much, much more effective than traditional TV commercials for many reasons. Here are just some of them.

 

1. Everybody Uses CTV Now

As of 2019, marketing studies revealed that 60% of households in the US own a CTV and enjoy content delivered by OTT services, like Netflix. The percentage of CTV owners is expected to reach 75 to 80% this year, which leaves only a few people viewing ads through paid TV cable, antenna, and satellite providers.
 
Additionally, Millennials are reported to be the biggest fans of CTV and OTT content, especially those made by Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. So if your primary target audience is Millennials, then it’s time for you to invest in an SEO company in Kansas City and try out CTV ads now!

 

2. CTV Ads are Targeted

Connected TV advertisements can target a specific audience, thus allowing your ads to be viewed by the right users and increasing your ROI.
 
For example, if your target is sports-related users, then you can pay for major sports networks, like ESPN, to run your ad during a live sporting event that they’re televising. This ensures that your ad will definitely reach its target audience, plus you will know how many viewers actually viewed the ad and let it run its course or skipped it. 
 
Additionally, CTV can target viewers the same way as websites and social media platforms do. You can target specific audiences by using the data of the OTT apps they use and the content they view.
 
Woman sitting in the dark eating popcorn wearing headphones with laptop in lap watching videos smiling
 

3. Users Don’t Mind CTV Advertisements

One of the best advantages of CTV ads compared to linear TV is that viewers don’t mind the video advertisements in their CTVs because they’re more invested in the content they’re watching. 
 
Studies revealed that a considerable percentage of people don’t mind sitting through a video ad to continue watching their show, no matter where the ads start rolling (pre-roll or mid-roll advertising).
 
Furthermore, studies found that many people feel that “these ads are a fair price in exchange for the free and low-cost content in CTVs.” 

 

4. Interactive and Various Ad Formats

Lastly, CTV advertisements have more interactive video ad formats than traditional tv commercials. For example, users have the option to skip it, not view, or click a link that would direct them to the business’s landing page if they liked what they saw in the ad. Some format examples of CTV ads include:

    • In-stream video advertisements refer to unskippable video ads that last for 15 to 30 seconds. It can play before or during a show or content.
    • Home screen placement ads pertain to a short video or image ad just sitting on your home screen and containing a call-to-action.
    • Interactive pre-roll ads are just like in-stream video ads, but this one rolls at the start of the content and has a clickable feature to redirect you to a specific landing page.

 

5. CTV Ads Have Real-Time Metrics

Lastly, CTVs commercials feature real-time performance tracking. Unlike its traditional counterpart, CTV ad metrics can actually tell you how much traction and engagement your ad gathered, not just how many times it was loaded. 
 
Moreover, it allows marketers to view user insights valuable to their future ad campaigns, such as user geography, demographic, and devices connection.

 

Conclusion

The bottom line is that connected TV commercials can play a massive role in the success of your brand awareness campaigns, user conversions, and growth of your business. 
 
Salt Rank is a trusted SEO company in Kansas City. If you’re ready to start discussing CTV commercials as a potential marketing strategy for your business, get in touch with us today! 

 

How to Effectively Optimize Your Video Content for SEO

Video SEO isn’t quite the same as website SEO. For example, you might be struggling to create videos. Making quality videos isn’t easy – they are difficult to produce, edit, plan out, and cost time and money to create. But when it’s all said and done, your video isn’t ranking up. What’s happening?

First of all, there is definitely a difference between normal SEO and video SEO. Video SEO changes quickly, so having an ongoing SEO services package covering video SEO would be a smart idea for any small business.

Let’s first define Video SEO and then talk about the changes that have occurred recently.

 

Video SEO Defined

Video SEO works similarly to regular SEO, but they aren’t exactly the same. With video SEO, you must optimize your video to get indexed and rank on search results pages for relevant keyword searches. Luckily there are plenty of strategies for optimization to give your videos the best chance of ranking higher.

 

Recent Video SEO Changes

Recently in the past few years, video marketing has exploded in popularity with small businesses. After DSLR cameras became more available in the late 2000s and YouTube became mainstream, it was much easier to get high-quality videos online.

Now everywhere you go online, you see videos. We all carry smartphones in our pockets that let us capture high-quality video anytime, anywhere. However, with the boom in popularity for online videos, ranking higher in search results has become more difficult.

Here are some optimization strategies that might be helpful for you.

 

1. Selecting a Video Hosting Platform

When selecting the best video hosting platform, think about your motivation behind ranking your videos. Is it to bring in new traffic and leads? Or does it have more to do with creating brand awareness and controlling a narrative?

If you care more about promoting brand awareness, then Vimeo and YouTube are excellent platforms to consider. The key thing to know about platforms like YouTube is that most of the traffic going to their videos stays on their site and not yours. That could potentially lead to your target audience jumping to your competitors. For example, after they click a suggested video that plays when yours finishes.

 

2. Create Transcripts for Your Videos

When you scroll through the Facebook feed, you will probably spot many videos that have captions. These captions allow you to view the video without disturbing anyone else (it can also be viewed by the hearing impaired). That text playing alongside the video is called a video transcript.

These transcripts will allow your video content to be accessed by more people, including search bots because these bots look for pages that have additional text.

 

3. Create an Engaging Thumbnail

Your video thumbnail is what a person sees after they search and find your video. So, it will play a major role in getting people to click on your video. Consider it like you would a book cover or a website’s homepage. It should be attractive, compelling, and relevant to the video’s content and title.

Pro tip: Videos with human thumbnails usually get more plays than those without.

Woman sitting at laptop with headphones on watching video
 

4. Put Thought Into Your Video Title and Description

Like with blog posts, titles and meta descriptions play a key part in getting your videos to rank higher. Therefore, you’ll want to take the time to craft a good title for your video along with a decent video description. Just like with meta descriptions, you also need to include keywords in your video description. You can get these keywords using the same methods: through keyword research, you’ll find the terms that people actually search for.

 

5. Make the Rest of the Page Relevant

It’s not only about video optimization when it comes to getting placed in SERPs. It’s also about page optimization as well. That’s because if the page isn’t optimized for SEO, a search engine won’t even try to crawl it, to begin with.

While it can be difficult to rank your site organically, creating good content and following SEO fundamentals will help. And finally, ensure that your video is relevant to the website/page that it’s embedded on.

 

6. Make the Page Focus on the Video

Too often, a video is located beneath the fold, which makes people have to scroll down a lot before landing on the video. This obviously results in a low number of plays since people don’t want to spend that much time looking for a video. The search crawlers are also unlikely to try and index a video that’s hidden.

Therefore, the best way to make your video easier to crawl is to put it front and center on the page.

 

7. Don’t Embed a Video All Over the Place

Embedding a video on multiple different pages will force you to compete with yourself. Remember never to do this because it’s pointless and can hurt your efforts.

The short explanation is that if you’re trying to rank a page and video that are both relevant to each other, there’s no point in embedding the video elsewhere on your site. You’d basically be competing with yourself, which doesn’t make any sense.

 

SEO Isn’t the Only Way to Promote Videos

While SEO is definitely important, it’s not the end all be all way to promote your videos. It also isn’t 100% reliable. Google will always be making changes to its algorithms. As a result, video marketing constantly changes as well. And, of course, hoping that search bots will rank your videos higher isn’t a great strategy either.

 

Consider Paid Advertising

In short, SEO is difficult to control and always changing. That’s why paid advertising can complement SEO in getting more eyes and clicks on your videos.

Plenty of places online offer video advertising opportunities – Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few. There are also non-paid strategies that you can consider, such as having influencers promote your video content. If you ever decide to consolidate your video content into a YouTube channel, be sure to make an excellent YouTube channel trailer.

 

 

 

10 Tips To Boost Your Rank on Google Maps

A Google maps listing is essential for marketing your small business. It will help your business get seen by more people, differentiate itself from competitors, and bring new customers in through your door. And the best part is that it costs you nothing! However, you can only properly reap the benefits of Google maps if your listing is set up properly. Just because your business is listed doesn’t mean Google will automatically rank it.
 
Proximity is just one of several factors that Google Maps considers when creating rankings for listings. There are 10 things that you need to know to get your Google Maps listing to rank higher.

 

1. Claim Your Listing on Google Maps

After you’ve created your listing, which you can do by following a few simple steps, you must also claim it. What does this mean? In the process of creating the listing, you only provided a few details – location, name, category. But after you claim it, you’ll be able to provide much more information describing your business. The more info that your listing has, the more likely it’ll rank high. Besides, nothing else listed below will work if you don’t claim your listing first.
 
In order to claim your listing, you must already have a Google My Business account (it’s free!). With an account set up, you can just bring up your listing and then choose the appropriate option. Then, just follow the steps provided by Google. 
 
As this is helping with your Google ranking, this is SEO. You can always hire an SEO services provider to help you in getting things set up and running efficiently. 

 

2. Provide the Necessary Info in Your Listing

Once you’ve got a Google Maps listing along with a linked Google My Business (GMB) account, you are prepared to start optimizing for better ranking results. The first thing you should do to optimize is to include more information in your listing.
 
In your GMB account, check the “info” tab. You’ll see different things, including description, services, website, special hours/hours, attributes, products, phone number, service area (if it applies), category, and address. There are many ways to optimize these account sections to make your listing rank higher.

 

3. Get Some Reviews!

Keeping in mind that Google likes what consumers like, you shouldn’t be surprised that Google boosts the ranking of business listings that have great reviews. So what’s the best way to get more reviews?
 
When you add a new listing, it will become open to new reviews automatically.
 
However, that doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get reviews. You must be proactive and ask your customers to leave reviews. For even better ranking potential, you should also respond to these reviews. 

 

4. Provide a Local Number

Google doesn’t like toll-free numbers (877 and 800) since they’re often used for spamming. Get yourself a local phone number that has the same area code as your business’s location. That way, your listing will rank higher, and it will show users that your store is indeed located where you said it is.  

 

5. List Your Store Hours

A Google Maps listing can inform visitors if your store is closed, open, will close soon, or will open soon. This information also becomes more relevant during this pandemic, as businesses can put “temporarily closed,” which is also important for SEO purposes. It’s important because Google will know you are still active and thus trustworthy, which will help to boost your rank. Keeping this information updated can also reduce the amount of people trying to visit your store during the wrong times (which could provoke negative reviews that can hurt your Google Maps ranking). This is another reason why outsourcing your SEO services to an SEO expert team could help you as they will stay on top of these issues to help your business grow.
 
Person holding smartphone looking up directions on Google Maps

6. Use Your Address and Name Consistently

If Google Maps doesn’t trust your business, then it won’t get ranked. What does this mean? It means that you’ll have to prove your trustworthiness. One way that you can do that is to make the info describing your store across the internet consistent. For instance, you want to make sure that the name of your business in the GMB dashboard matches the actual name of your business, with no variation. This name should also be the same on your other accounts on the web – including Facebook, Yelp, and other social media accounts. The same must be true for your address information (e.g., use either “st” or “street” for every address listing).

 

7. Add a Description for Your Listing

A business description should give a big picture overview to help visitors get acquainted with you. It should also include unique attributes that can work to compel visitors. The tone should also align with your branding to foster a stronger connection. Ensure that you add keywords as well since this will also help with ranking higher for searches containing your store name, services, and products.

 

8. Categorize Your Store Properly

When it comes to ranking, your listed business category is actually really important. First, you must choose the primary category. This should be the category that represents the main product or service offered by your business. You should then select any other categories that apply as secondary categories.
 
Remember that you can’t use custom categories. However, if you start to type your main product or service in the box, you will notice other category options appear showing the different categories that you can choose from.

 

9. Include Photos in Your Listing

Google likes it when people include photos in their listings. Firstly because it shows that your listing is active and worthy of getting ranked higher in search. Secondly, because Google has become better at recognizing photos and then including them in local search results. And finally, the general rule is that Google likes what the people like. People like photos. And if your listing includes no photo at all, people will instead see a boring map image next to your business listing. Not good!

 

10. Use High-Quality Photos

Therefore, to boost your rank on Google Maps, you’ll want to use the highest quality and most compelling pictures at your disposal. They should really capture what the typical shopping experience is in your store. If possible, you should try to add one new picture every day.
 
If keeping up with your Google Maps and Google My Business account seems like too much, consider hiring an SEO services provider like Salt Rank. Our SEO team can help to build your GMB profile and keep it regularly updated. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

How to Use Google My Business Effectively

Google plays a significant role in the success of hundreds of online businesses and companies today. Gone are the days where large tarpaulins and newspaper ads influence your physical store’s sales and customers. Now, you need to establish visibility in the world wide web, specifically on Google, for your business to thrive.
 
Most online enterprises know that to gain targeted visibility, your company must:
 

  • Create social media campaigns.
  • Create and optimize their website.
  • Do SEO or search engine optimization techniques to rank high in search engine results pages.
  • Develop media relations.

 
These are just four of the many methods out there that you can use to broaden your virtual reach. But as the market becomes competitive, you also need to step up your game.
 
One way to do that is to create a Google business listing or a Business Profile by making a free Google My Business account. Yes, you heard that right. It’s free!
 
Here is everything you need to know about Google My Business and how you need it to optimize your Business Profile.

 

What are Google My Business and Google Business Profile?

To be clear, Google My Business and your Google Business Profile are two different things.
 
Your company’s Google Business Profile refers to your business listing on the website. It is the one that appears on Google’s search engine results page and Google Maps whenever an individual searches for your company.
 
ANYBODY can create a Business Profile; it could be the business owner, a random internet stranger, or an automated business listing generator. Google just needs the business’s name, location, category, and voila–a Business Profile is made.
 
Once a Business Profile is up (whether you know about it or not), consumers can then leave reviews and comments about the business, ask questions, answer queries, and even add photos. Further, it can include any information that Google pulls in from websites across the world wide web.
 
For business owners, having a Business Profile without their knowledge can be quite horrific. Anyone can put anything in there, even misleading information and answers. Prospective customers and loyal ones may search your business and see the unruly information and photos on Google. One look at it, and they may decide to look for another store that seems more legit and responsive.
 
So, how can you solve this nightmare? By creating a Google My Business account. A Google My Business account will give you access to your Google Business Profile. You can customize, enhance, and optimize it to boost its visibility and effectiveness.
 
As with traditional SEO, your listing should include specific keywords and phrases so Google can pick those up and feature your business on the SERP’s first page, preferably at the top. 
 
Google search showing Google profile on listing

4 Ways to Optimize Your Business Profile Using Google My Business

Now that you can access everything in your Business Profile using Google My Business, it’s now time to optimize it to convert more customers and boost your ranking. Here are four smart ways on how you can do that.

 

 1. Complete Your Business Profile

Consumers search for a specific business or shop because they want to know more about it. So, do them and your business a favor by meticulously filling all and every section of your Business Profile.
 
This includes your store’s basic information like its name, address, contact details, website, and operation hours. Some sections need more time to complete, like your products, services, and pricing, while others need to be updated on an ongoing basis like posts, reviews, and questions.
 
A complete Business Profile allows you to rank higher in local Google search results. Further, it lets customers know more about your business. It will serve as a basis for them to choose your store over hundreds of others because they saw the 5-star rating other consumers left on your Profile.

 

 2. Perform SEO

Besides websites and pages, Google also ranks Business Profiles. Use the right keywords and phrases to fill your business info, and Google will place you within its top 3 results once users search for a targeted keyword.
 
Here are some smart tips on how you can perform local SEO for your Business Profile effectively:
 

  • Make targeted information. All information you put in your Business Profile is important–your “from the business” description, answers to user queries, review responses, updates, and posts. So, make it worthwhile by incorporating relevant keywords (that you want to rank for) into these sections.
  • Provide quality information. Complete your Business Profile and make sure to provide quality information on all of them. Keep everything up-to-date and accurate. Tell Google that your business is active by frequently publishing posts and recent photos through Google My Business.
  • Build trust. You can build trust by rendering excellent services and encouraging your customers to leave an honest review.


 

 3. Get Reviews and Respond to Questions

Customer reviews highly impact the choice of other consumers. A business listing with 4-star ratings and great reviews will likely get picked rather than those without reviews.
 
Google also knows this; that’s why they also consider customer reviews and ratings in ranking Business Profiles. 
 
So, start encouraging your consumers to leave a review and solid rating. You can do that by:
 

  • Simply asking them to. Research suggests that 62% of customers will leave an honest review when asked. So don’t hesitate to do so through email, text, or in-person conversation.
  • Make it convenient by sending the review link to them or posting it on your social media accounts and website. You can also generate a QR code and post it in your physical store.
  • Respond to reviews, even to the negative ones, so customers will see how transparent you are as a company. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to include relevant keywords in your responses.
  • While you’re at it, make time to answer user questions and queries. Bring them the information they want because, more likely than not, it’s one of their deciding factors in choosing a store.

 

 4. Review Key Insights

Lastly, do not forget to check the Insights sections in your Google My Business dashboard. It provides you with the analytics part of your Business Profile. There, you can view customer actions (e.g., the number of users who visited your website or clicked for directions) and local SEO performance.
 
Further, you can see what keywords or queries were typed by users to find your business listing. Also, you can view how your photos and profile are faring against other competition.

 

What to Look for in an SEO Provider

SEO Is Essential for Your Business

Around 90% of people only go through the first page of Google search results. What does this mean? It means if you can find an SEO company that knows what they’re doing, they have the potential to help your business reach new heights.
 

How to Find the Right SEO Company

Finding the best SEO company can be more complicated than it appears at first glance. The first page of Google is full of companies that claim to be the “best SEO company in x location.” 
 
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a company that lives up to its promises and without breaking Google’s rules with bad SEO (which would ultimately hurt your business). 
 
So here’s how you can find the right SEO firm for your business:
 

  • Rather than relying on Google to make your pick, talk with your friends and business partners to find the best SEO firm. 
  • After you’ve narrowed down your choices, evaluate whether you’ve set clear goals.
  • Next, create KPIs  (key performance indicators) to measure those goals.

 
Choosing a firm that knows how to effectively communicate regarding your KPIs is crucial for a long-lasting and effective partnership.
 
The most important thing though is don’t mistake SEO for a buzzword. SEO is a process that can make or break your brand. So it’s essential to find the right SEO company. Let’s go into more detail about how to do that below:

 

 1. SEO Is Not Easy

SEO is difficult, which means it’s often misunderstood. This misunderstanding can lead to less knowledgeable people talking about it in abstract terms – as if it’s magic. If anyone claims that they have a unique insight into Google’s algorithms, or if they heavily emphasize the mystique surrounding SEO, then they are probably not honest actors. 
 
Good SEO practices require the following three things:
 

  • In-depth knowledge of how the search engines function
  • Attention to detail
  • A willingness to adapt and make constant changes. This is necessary because Google’s algorithms shift on a near-weekly basis.

 
Also, taking shortcuts such as cloaking, purchasing links, and stuffing in keywords will result in search engines demoting your site. These techniques are known as Black Hat SEO and they violate the search engine’s rules. When Google’s bots learn that someone is utilizing these methods, they lower the website in the search rankings, decreasing the amount of organic traffic the website receives.

 

 2. Layout Clear Goals and Choose a Firm That Can Help You Accomplish Them

First things first, don’t hire an SEO firm if your only goal is “increasing organic traffic.” Organic traffic can come in many different forms, so increasing it doesn’t automatically mean your revenue will increase. Ranking for unrelated search terms won’t do your business much good, either.
 
To avoid any unintended results, you and your team should plan out exactly what you’re looking to achieve with SEO. Here are some common goals: 
 

  • Do you want to boost your product sales by ranking for specific keywords? 
  • Or are you trying to reduce your website’s bounce rate and increase conversions? 
  • If it’s about increasing ad revenue, then would you prefer to have a wider audience or a more tight-knit community that spends more time (on average) on your website? 
  • Or perhaps you want to build your own social media following, create sponsored content, or engage in other activities that go beyond just SEO.

 
Regardless of which SEO firm you choose, be sure that you know what you’re looking for and the services you’ll need in order to succeed.
 
Woman sitting down on smartphone

 3. Find an SEO Firm That Aligns With Your Goals

After you’ve laid out your objectives and limited your choices to just a few firms, you’re almost there. You must ensure that the company you work with can clearly map out your progress along the way. In other words, what is your definitive end goal for ranking for those particular keywords?
 
Before settling on an SEO firm, it’s essential that you and the company are both on the same page with your KPIs. These metrics can be applied to nearly any part of your business. They can also refer to different aspects of SEO. For instance, a business with the latest product will have different goals than an older business with a more established customer base.

 

 4. Prioritize the Right KPIs

Speaking of KPIs, they can go much further than is necessary. Basically, it’s easy to get lost in all that data if you don’t narrow down your focus. And you don’t want to waste time and resources tracking the wrong KPIs. Therefore, it’s essential that the SEO firm understands the most valuable metrics for your business and condenses the data into easily digestible information. 
 
Here are some KPIs that are important for most businesses:
 

  • Page loading times
  • Website cleanliness (Google Bot crawling)
  • Ranking of different keywords
  • Conversion rates
  • Organic traffic

 

 5. Ensure That Your SEO Firm Is a Good Communicator

While you should have access to the same tools that they use to measure KPIs – Google Analytics, SEMRush, Google Search Console, etc., you still probably won’t have the time to analyze all available data. That is why you should work with an SEO specialist team you can trust and easily communicate with.
 
There is more to KPIs than that. Basically, there is an abundance of data that’s easily available to you, so it’s easy to get lost in it and waste time tracking the wrong KPIs. What this means is that it’s essential for your SEO firm to understand what metrics are most important for your business. That way, they can present that information to you in a way that’s easy to digest.
 
Remember that SEO is a long-term process, which means you could be working with this firm for many years. Even if you intend for the partnership to be a short or temporary thing, meeting your organic website traffic goals will still take patience, time, and a good working relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

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