Infographic Courtesy of: StoryBlaster.com
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Infographic Courtesy of: StoryBlaster.com
The post Like, Comment, Share: How Social Media Boosts Crowdfunding Success appeared first on SiteProNews.
With the incremental usage of smartphones and tablets, mobile app development is in a boomphase. Businesses are also joining this bandwagon to leverage the ability of mobility for customers and employees. It is a most popular channel for users because they can address their needs in real-time. If you check the analytics of a company having a website and a mobile app, you can see that the highest web traffic comes from smartphones.
According to App Annie, gross revenue of the mobile market will exceed $101 billion globally by 2020. It is double that of the 51$ billion for 2016.
The number speaks about the tremendous growth of the mobile market. Android leads the mobile app development market while iOS holds second position. Still, the iOS app development market, with 2 million apps are available in the App Store, is highly competitive and volatile to penetrate.
The highly used iOS devices are iPhones. With iPhone apps, companies can drive bigger business opportunities and generate more revenue. In this post, we are going to share the top reasons why you should consider iPhone app development first.
Whether businesses want to develop an iPhone app for customers or internal staff, data security will always be a concern. iOS is known for its high-level of data security. No matter what level of flexibility other mobile platforms offer, nothing is as important as data safety.
iOS provides businesses with robust iPhone apps that provide security against viruses, external threats, malware, hacking, breaches, phishing, and other internet-based vulnerabilities. Apple provides a highly secured layer against data encryption, data duplication, and threats for your app. Also, the operating system manages data privacy, user identity, and app data in the cloud for you.
Apple has its own human interface guidelines that all UI/UX designers have to follow in order to get approval from the App Store. By following the guidelines, businesses can have iPhone apps that offer enjoyable interfaces and pleasant experiences. Ignoring Apple’s guidelines ensures the rejection of your application from the App Store.
Focusing on UX/UX creation, businesses can engage new prospects and retain their existing customer base to boost their sales funnel. Working with experienced iOS app development companies in USA results in a complete cohesion between hardware and software and the creation of performance-driven iPhone apps.
Usually, Apple releases only one update of its existing operating system in a year. The company has a limited range of iOS devices compared to its competitor, Android. Moreover, Android apps have to be tested comprehensively for different versions to check that the app works well on all of them. On the other hand, developers need to meet the parameters of the prevalent iOS version. Less time is needed to test developed iPhone apps, thus speeding up product time to market.
While developing an Android app, a business needs to invest a lot of time to determine whether the app works effectively on the different versions of the platform or not. If you check the data, only 0.7% of Android users are using the latest OS version while the rest are using versions that are at least three years old.
As opposed to Android, almost 76% of iPhone users are using the latest iOS version. It’s clear that Apple has a more consolidated market than Android. With iPhone app development, businesses can reach out to a large user base. Another benefit of low fragmentation is scalability. It allows businesses to develop new features rapidly and launch them in the existing app.
To get your app registered in the App Store, you can hire iPhone app developers from iOS app development companies in the USA who develop the app as per Apple’s defined quality standards. It helps businesses to develop an outstanding app with a great user experience not only for devices but also for their own app ecosystem.
iPhone apps, developed by following the highest quality standards, help businesses enrich their brand identity. These quality parameters are something that makes Apple the prime choice of businesses for mobile app development, though it is more expensive than Android app development.
iOS development takes 28% less time than Android development, even if you have the same development parameters. Android apps need more time for testing on a wide range of devices, versions, and screen resolutions. Time saved is the most important benefit to business owners who choose iPhone apps as an integral part of their company.
iPhone users are more tech-savvy and are always open to innovations. This allows businesses to develop highly dynamic iPhone apps with high-end features that create disruption in the market. Provide your product or services to a good quality target audience in an innovative and superior manner through iPhone app development. Drive more productivity and profitability to your business through iPhone apps developed with a user-centered interface and better device environment.
In the era of m-commerce, lots of online shopping apps are available in the App Store. When it comes to money, user financial information is crucial. iPhone apps developed by top iOS app development companies in USA ensure secure in-app purchases and app-based transactions. Apps can provide quick and secure money transfers from the customer’s or company’s registered bank account.
iOS devices are very popular in developed countries such as the US, UK, Australia, etc. If you are targeting these regions, iOS helps you to expand your business with the guaranteed success of your app.
Using a reliable iPhone app development company, you can build enterprise scale applications that meet your custom business requirements. Such a company can develop and deliver apps with higher flexibility and scalability. Allowing for advanced integration, iPhone apps help businesses stay relevant amid growing competition.
This post has hopefully given you enough reasons for considering iOS over Android. Considering iPhone development a priority, businesses can get an app that is developed using industry best practices. Reach out to a sophisticated user base and address their requirements in a satisfactory manner with a well-designed iPhone app that also allows you to access user behavior data and use that information to deliver better products or services to a targeted audience.
By outsourcing your project to a reliable iPhone app development company, you can have a high performing and secure iPhone app that helps you in achieving your organizational goals.
Rinku Rajput digital marketing specialist at Credencys Solution Inc. Agile software development company in USA. I help to promote services and increase ROI for my organization.
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YouTube is not just a social media platform. It’s a powerful search engine for video content. Here’s how to make the most of its SEO potential.
There are more than 1.9 billion users who use YouTube every month. People are spending over a billion hours watching videos every day on YouTube. This means that there is a big opportunity for brands, publishers and video creators to expand their reach.
Search optimization is not just for your site’s content. YouTube can have its own best practices around SEO and it’s good to keep up with the most important ones that can improve your ranking.
How can you improve your SEO on YouTube? We’ve organized our advanced YouTube SEO tactics into three key areas:
It’s not enough to create the right content if you don’t get new viewers to actually watch it. Keywords can actually help you understand how to link your video with the best words to describe it.
They can make it easier for viewers to discover your content and they also help search engines match the content with the search queries and their relevance.
A video keyword research can help you discover new content opportunities while you can also improve your SEO.
A quick way to find popular keywords for the content you have in mind is to start searching on YouTube’s search bar. The auto-complete feature will highlight the most popular keywords around your topic. You can also perform a similar search in Google to come up with more suggestions for the best keywords.
If you’re serious about keyword research and need to find new ideas, you can use additional online tools that will provide with a list of keywords to consider.
When it comes to picking the best keywords, you don’t need to aim for the most obvious choice. You can start with the keywords that are low in competition and aim to rank for them.
Moreover, it’s good to keep in mind that YouTube is transcribing all your videos. If you want to establish your focus keywords you can include them in your actual video by mentioning throughout your talking. This way you’re helping YouTube understand the contextual relevance of your content along with your keywords.
There are many ways to improve the optimization of your content and here are some key tips to keep in mind:
Your description should facilitate the search for relevant content. A long description helps you provide additional context to your video. It can also serve as an introduction to what you’re going to talk about. As with blog posts, a longer description can grant you the space to expand your thoughts. Start treating your videos as the starting point and add further details about them in the description. If your viewers are genuinely interested in your videos then they will actually search for additional details in your description.
More videos are adding timestamps in their description. This is a great way to improve user experience and engagement. You are helping your viewers to find exactly what they are looking for, which increases the chances of keeping them coming back.
3. Title and keywords
Keywords are now clickable in titles. This means that you are increasing the chances of boosting your SEO by being more creative with your titles. Be careful not to create content just for search engines though, always start by creating content that your viewers would enjoy.
If you want to tap into local SEO then it’s a good idea to include your location in your video’s copy. If you want to create videos that are targeting local viewers then it’s a great starting point for your SEO strategy.
5. Video transcripts
Video transcripts make your videos more accessible. They also make it easier for search engines to understand what the video is about. Think of the transcript as the process that makes the crawling of your content easier. There are many online options to create your video transcripts so it shouldn’t be a complicated process to add them to your videos.
Engagement keeps gaining ground when it comes to YouTube SEO. It’s not enough to count the number of views if your viewers are not engaging with your content. User behavior helps search engines understand whether your content is useful or interesting for your viewers to rank it accordingly.
Thus, it’s important to pay attention to these metrics:
A good tip to understand YouTube SEO is to learn from the best by looking at the current most popular videos. You can also search for topics that are relevant to your channel to spot how your competitors are optimizing their titles, their keywords, and how thumbnails and descriptions can make it easier to click on one video over another.
Have any queries or tips to add to these? Share them in the comments.
The post Top advanced YouTube SEO tips to boost your video performance appeared first on Search Engine Watch.
Blogging is as powerful as ever and is still a very effective method for boosting the SEO quality of your website. When you use a variety of SEO tactics, you will not only drive more traffic to your blog but also your website as a whole.
We all know how important SEO is to any marketer. When you have an optimized blog, then your website is likely to be more visible to internet users. These people will find your website by entering a keyword, and the best way to get their attention is to get the right keywords in the right place.
The thing is that Google keeps making numerous updates to its ranking algorithm and marketers can understandably feel confused by that. That is why this article can help you make your way through the confusing details. While you won’t learn about all the different strategies you can use, you will learn about some of the most powerful strategies that you can use to get more traffic to your blog and consequently your website as a whole. Here are three tactics you could apply to your blogging to build links for your website.
Guest posting is all about contacting blog owners and asking to contribute articles to their site. With guest blogging, you get to put more of your content out there so that the active readers of other blogs can read them. This is a great way to capture the attention of a foreign audience that is similar to yours. It lets them know you exist and, by linking back to your own blog, you can invite the more curious ones who want to learn more. This has always been a powerful link building method, and it remains to be so. You also don’t have to do it alone. You can always use the help of a guest post service to help you find the right guest posting opportunities.
This is something a lot of bloggers get wrong. Optimizing the SEO on your blog is about more than just stuffing in as many keywords as you can. In fact, putting in a whole bunch of keywords in your articles is bad for your SEO. Keyword stuffing is frowned upon by most search engines.
Keyword stuffing is also bad for readers. They want an article that answers their questions and offers value to them. To force keywords is to make your articles seem rather unnatural.
To make your articles count, look for a few long tail keywords that are intimately connected to the questions your users are likely to ask on search engines and then tailor the blog content in that general direction. The results will be much better.
Most people use search engines and read blogs from their mobile phones. If you do not optimize your blog for these mobile users, then you’re alienating a significant section of your users. Also, Google will give priority to mobile responsive sites when it displays its search results.
Infographic Courtesy of: VizionOnline.co.uk
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Do you remember the days when you had to go to the library to look for information? Or ask a friend or relative?
While both these options still exist, they are widely surpassed by internet searches. Sure, you may still call your mom to get her mouth-watering cookie recipe or get a friend’s recommendation for a hip burger bar.
But when you need to know something now or when your needs aren’t dictated by nostalgia, you simply search for it online.
Which brings us to some of the two most relevant (but sadly often overlooked) questions in the SEO game:
Let’s answer them one at a time.
When you plan your next piece of content, what dictates its optimization?
I was surprised to learn that most of my agency’s customers placed too much importance on keyword search volume. They wanted to rank for high-volume keywords so they can get more traffic to their websites.
In a way, it’s understandable.
But this doesn’t make it profitable.
What most marketers and business usually overlook is user intent.
A 2006 study by the University of Hong Kong found that you can segment search intent into two primary goals: general information about the topic in the keyword and more specific information.
This tells us a lot about the scope of the user. For example, someone searching for SEO typically needs to understand the basics of the term. On the other hand, if someone searches for on-page SEO tools, we can assume that they have already covered the basics of SEO, perhaps even that they are experts in the field looking for tools for their next project.
However, there are nuances to this. As Google’s own Paul Haahr explained it: if someone is looking for a store (like Walmart), they are most likely looking for the nearest one to them, not for the company’s headquarters.
This type of reasoning is clearly present in the Google Search Quality Rating Guidelines. Part three (Needs Met Guidelines) explains how Google ranks websites depending on whether the results matched the user’s query.
Simply put: don’t try to fool the algorithms. If your main keyword is SEO, your content should define the term, then move to a more in-depth analysis. If your main keyword is on-page SEO tools, your content should either be a list of those tools or a landing page for such a tool.
But there’s more to user intent than this.
I like to say that content writers should write for users, not search engines. If users like your content (see above), search engines will, too.
You should write in a way that meets customers’ current needs. Yes, the buyer journey is important. And nowhere is it better reflected than in the queries they make online. The Do-Know-Go segmentation makes it clear:
Do: these are your typical transactional queries. The user wants to do something: buy a new car/concert tickets or hire a contractor to remodel the kitchen.
Know: these are informational queries. The user wants to learn something, like in my SEO example above. Another great example is best coffee shop in London.
Go: these are navigation queries. The user wants to go to a specific place online. Ever typed Facebook in the search bar instead of writing facebook.com in your browser? This is the perfect example of a navigation query. They are also used when you can’t remember the exact website of the company you are looking for.
Depending on the type of query they make, users will be shown different special results.
It is, after all, Google’s mission to organize the internet and provide relevant results. And users can see this from the first result, special or otherwise.
First off, it means that you should know exactly which users you are targeting and where in their buyer journey they are.
For example, optimizing for how to remodel your kitchen can be tricky. It’s OK for buyers in the first stages of their journey. You can write a piece that ultimately tells them they’re better off hiring you. But keep in mind that this is a clearly informational query. So you may end up with readers that are set on DIY-ing it.
If you are a contractor and you want to cater to people in the first stages of the buying cycle, better keywords would be top kitchen trends of 2019 or cost of kitchen remodeling.
For other stages of the buying cycle, you should optimize locally and make sure to add a variable. Here’s how: Tampa luxury kitchen remodeling contractor, Edinburgh cheap kitchen remodel.
Now for the second question: how do you make sure it’s your content that gets clicked on?
Well, the first step is ranking high enough to be noticed.
The second one is having a great headline. Keep in mind that there is more to great headlines than buzzwords and superlatives. To begin with, your headline should be a brief summary of what your customer can expect to find once they click on it.
Take a look at my query below:
It is exactly what I mentioned above: introductory guides and definitions of SEO.
Again, you should never try to trick the algorithms. If your headline says “Beginner’s Guide to SEO” that’s exactly what users should find once they click it.
Why not try to fool the bots?
Because as soon as people discover they have been tricked, they will revert back to the SERP looking for another website that meets their needs, as the Google guidelines clearly state.
More importantly, because this type of traffic is irrelevant, you won’t be able to sell anything or gain new followers this way. And, after all, this is what SEO is about, not meaningless traffic.
Should you optimize only for converting traffic, like in the contractor example above?
You should, instead, have a well-rounded content strategy that guides the user through all the stages of the buyer journey.
Why should you waste time sharing your expertise, you ask?
Well, first of all because the user who got to your website through an informational query may be so impressed with that expertise that they remember to buy from you once their journey is closer to the end. Great content gets you followers and newsletter subscribers. In other words, leads ready to be nurtured and turned into buyers.
Secondly, because intent changes over time. What was once an informational query can turn into a transactional one. Search engines adapt to the user’s history. They know what your potential buyer has already read and what they resonated with. They also know (much faster than you!) when the user is ready to move to the next stage of the buying cycle even if their queries are ambiguous.
Make sure that your content strategy is user-centric. The rankings will follow.
If you’re looking for SEO content that ranks and converts, my team of writers and marketers is just a click away. Check out our services and let’s talk about your user-centric content strategy!
Adriana Tica is an expert marketer and copywriter, with 10 years in the field, most of which were spent marketing tech companies. She is the CEO of Idunn, a digital marketing agency that helps clients all over the world with copywriting, social media marketing and marketing strategy. Follow her blog here: http://idunn.pro/blog.
The post How Users Search – The Basics of SEO and What Intent Means for Your Strategy appeared first on SiteProNews.
Over the years, social media platforms have become the force for progress in the marketing world. Initially created for completely different purposes, these platforms have become a place where businesses can easily market their products.
Social media marketing is definitely here to stay, and here’s why:
Marketing on social media is also a quick way for your message to get viral. And, with many effective tools for business, marketing on social media has become more effortless.
Right now, social media marketing is on the rise. But what does the future hold? What skills will be crucial for a social media marketer to have? What trends will define the scope of social media marketing in the future?
Let’s take a look.
The landscape of social media marketing is changing every day, and it’s not an exaggeration. With every update, businesses are introduced to new possibilities, new tools are being created to boost creativity and make social media marketing even more powerful.
The perception of the perfect content for social media is changing as well. Right now, users prefer seeing a storytelling format. 92% of consumers want brands to make more ads that feel like a story. This prompted Instagram and Facebook to come up with the format of Stories.
Current data shows that stories will remain a preferred type of content both by social media users and businesses:
The reason why users love the format of Stories is that it depicts on-the-spot events rather than preliminary planned and edited content. More reasons why users like this type of content include:
Users love in-the-moment, raw content. It makes the product and the brand seem more authentic. Thus, it is expected that this format will shape the content that will dominate social media in the future.
Influencer marketing was introduced to us by social media. And, over the past several years, it has exploded. Reportedly, Google searches for influencer marketing grew 1500% over the last 3 years.
Social media users adore influencers, even naming them more trustworthy than celebrities. It is reported that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger, and here’s why:
Collaborating with a social media influencer brings a ton of benefits to brands. For instance, a collaboration between Scramble Brand Official and YouTube influencers Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita helped the company sell their limited edition rashguards within several hours. And, due to the increased demand, the company did a restock and sold out within a few days.
Many famous brands, like Daniel Wellington, also often collaborate with influencers, getting immense profits and new customers. Thus, this trend is likely here to stay and impact the purchasing decisions of social media users.
AI is shaping the future of many industries in the business world, and social media marketing is no exception. With features, introduced by AI, creating personalized experiences and running a successful social media campaign has become easier.
In the future, social media marketing is expected to see the further development of the following AI-powered features:
It is expected that the influence of AI on social media marketing will become even stronger in the future. Many other features, connected to personalization and anticipation tools, are also expected to be developed in order to improve the whole experience.
Now, let’s talk about key skills that will shape the hiring decisions of social media marketers in the future. With social media developing and changing so fast, SMM professionals are expected to adapt to the changing environment.
Here’s what different HR professionals say about the key SMM skills that will impact hiring decisions in the future.
Jeff Bullas, a marketing specialist and a famous influencer, as listed by Forbes, calls a future social media marketer a “ninja geek”, saying that he/she will have to tackle many things at once and stay updated 24/7. Thus, the key skills that will help to handle this flow of data and information are strategy planning, community management, and content optimization.
Professionals at Robert Half, a global human resource consulting firm, agree with Jeff Bullas, adding that essential skills will also include:
Thus, being highly adaptable and always updated are key skills that companies will be looking for in a social media marketer. However, basic skills like communication and planning will play no small part in other key skills needed for social media marketing in the future.
Social media marketing is definitely here to stay as developers invest more and more effort in its development. In the future, it is expected to remain one of the key marketing strategies. The key stipulation is to always remain updated. So, keep up with these trends and key skills that will shape the future of social media marketing to make sure that your campaigns perform successfully.
Adriana is a professional writer and an editor at Studicus.com. She also has a Master’s degree in Marketing, having worked several years for major companies in the U.S. Adriana’s articles bring valuable insights to the readers, supported by credible resources and thorough research.
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Link building is the lifeblood of your ongoing SEO strategy. The benefits are straightforward – high-quality backlinks will help you build authority, widen your reach, boost brand awareness, and even drive referral traffic. Finding the most impactful tactics for link building success, however, is not as crystal-clear as the benefits – and the process itself is continuous, dedicated work.
From competitive link analysis to third-party outreach, there are many factors to continuously tweak and improve in your link building strategy. Most importantly, generating highly valuable backlinks relies on producing high-quality, valuable content. But that’s not going to be enough because your success depends heavily on strategically promoting that content.
And what’s the first platform you think of when you hear “strategically promoting content”? That’s right, social media.
That’s why aligning your content and social media strategies with your link building efforts is a vital approach to a smart SEO strategy. In this article, we’ll give you some useful tactics, tips, and insights to help you integrate all your efforts strategically and harness the power of social media for more successful link building.
Content and link building efforts need to be aligned from the very beginning.
In other words, before you actually start producing content, you’ll structure your content strategy in regards to your SEO campaign. That’s how you’ll be able to create content around strategic topics and keyword lists, making it highly relevant to your target audience and able to satisfy searcher intent.
This type of approach sets you up for success because you will be producing content that your key targets will value and want to share with others. This includes your wider audience as well as bloggers, industry influencers, and any third-party website worthy of guest posting.
That’s why you want to do plenty of research and keep your finger on the industry pulse to come up with link-worthy topic ideas and write content that truly provides value.
Some worthy tactics include sharing:
It’s important to gain an understanding of your audience, what you can offer them that will meet their needs/expectations, and which type of content they’re most receptive to. With this understanding, you’ll be able to produce valuable content crafted for a specific audience, and that’s really what bloggers and third-party websites want from you.
Craft content around the unique ideas promoted by influential people within your industry. These could be certain experts or key industry influencers – the point is that you will be referencing their authority and sharing their insights.
An interview with an industry influencer is clearly a big boost to your content strategy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that. You can feature influencer insights in roundups or by referencing their ideas and quotes in your articles. Get creative – and don’t hesitate to use social media to ask your audience what type of content they would like next from you.
This type of content is highly valuable and interesting to readers, who are eager to learn from someone that’s well-established as a trusty person within the given industry. Basically, you’re borrowing their influence. Consequently, another thing you’re borrowing with influencer-centered content is their audience, and that’s where social media comes in.
By reaching out to these people either for collaboration or just to let them know you’ve featured them in your content (which can be done directly or through social media mentions), you’ll encourage them to share your content with their audiences – which are highly targeted and valuable for you. So this is not only valuable and highly shareable content, but it also taps into social media power.
Start with your link building targets. You can also use FollowerWonk, which will pick out for you the credible profiles that are relevant to the given topic. This handy tool will sort them by social authority and the number of followers to find great opportunities.
Statistics show that infographics are one of the most often shared types of content – which really comes as no surprise, given their rising popularity over the recent years. Visuals are more digestible than textual content, we learn faster with them, and thus they’re bound for more shares and links.
Now, creating infographics would certainly be a phenomenal boost to your link building strategy, but don’t overlook the basics either. Make sure to include compelling as well as useful visuals in your content – everything from featured infographics to charts, graphs, screenshots, and inviting or even humorous (depending on the context) images that pique the reader’s interest.
Lastly, get visual when promoting your content via social media, especially Twitter. Research has shown that tweets with images get 150% more retweets than those without.
Social media marketing runs on this motto.
Now, social shares may not be a ranking factor, but they are most definitely beneficial to your link building efforts. It’s simple – the more your content is shared, the more people will see it, visit your site, and hopefully stay on it for a while and convert into subscribers.
But you can’t just churn out post after post about yourself and what you’re doing. Nobody will be listening. Social media is about establishing authority, participating in a community, and building relationships. No matter the size of your enterprise, you need to approach social media as a valuable community member. Be a part of the ecosystem by engaging your audience, sharing helpful content, staying active, facilitating conversations, sharing others’ posts (with credit, of course), etc.
Then, when you actually do post something promotional, such as your latest guest post, and tell people “hey, check it out and give it a like or a share” – you’ll have a loyal and engaged audience to take you up on your offer.
The previous point sums up to one vital tip: build social relationships before building links. The people you especially want to focus on are the ones you hope to collaborate with. Get acquainted with them on social, follow and share their work, and make yourself known to them. Facilitate conversation by mentioning them in your posts and engage with them by replying to their tweets.
This will open the doors to collaboration and make them more trusting of you so that when you send them a pitch email, you won’t be a complete unknown. If you’re cultivating a genuine and interactive social media presence, they’ll have seen how collaborating with you is beneficial to them even before you send out your pitch.
Ultimately, by properly aligning your efforts across these fields, you’ll give momentum to your entire digital marketing strategy. And remember – it’s all a continuous effort. None of it is set-and-forget. Focus on building relationships with industry influencers and providing value to your audience, and the tactics you do employ will have a lot more gravity.
Natasha is a web designer, lady of a keyboard and one hell of a growth-hack geek. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs and share her knowledge about IT, business growth strategies and digital marketing trends. To see what she is up to next, check out her Twitter Dashboard.
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When you incorporate machine learning techniques to speed up SEO recovery, the results can be amazing.
This is the third and last installment from our series on using Python to speed SEO traffic recovery. In part one, I explained how our unique approach, that we call “winners vs losers” helps us quickly narrow down the pages losing traffic to find the main reason for the drop. In part two, we improved on our initial approach to manually group pages using regular expressions, which is very useful when you have sites with thousands or millions of pages, which is typically the case with ecommerce sites. In part three, we will learn something really exciting. We will learn to automatically group pages using machine learning.
As mentioned before, you can find the code used in part one, two and three in this Google Colab notebook.
Let’s get started.
When we grouped pages manually in part two, we benefited from the fact the URLs groups had clear patterns (collections, products, and the others) but it is often the case where there are no patterns in the URL. For example, Yahoo Stores’ sites use a flat URL structure with no directory paths. Our manual approach wouldn’t work in this case.
Fortunately, it is possible to group pages by their contents because most page templates have different content structures. They serve different user needs, so that needs to be the case.
How can we organize pages by their content? We can use DOM element selectors for this. We will specifically use XPaths.
For example, I can use the presence of a big product image to know the page is a product detail page. I can grab the product image address in the document (its XPath) by right-clicking on it in Chrome and choosing “Inspect,” then right-clicking to copy the XPath.
We can identify other page groups by finding page elements that are unique to them. However, note that while this would allow us to group Yahoo Store-type sites, it would still be a manual process to create the groups.
In order to group pages automatically, we need to use a statistical approach. In other words, we need to find patterns in the data that we can use to cluster similar pages together because they share similar statistics. This is a perfect problem for machine learning algorithms.
BloomReach, a digital experience platform vendor, shared their machine learning solution to this problem. To summarize it, they first manually selected cleaned features from the HTML tags like class IDs, CSS style sheet names, and the others. Then, they automatically grouped pages based on the presence and variability of these features. In their tests, they achieved around 90% accuracy, which is pretty good.
When you give problems like this to scientists and engineers with no domain expertise, they will generally come up with complicated, bottom-up solutions. The scientist will say, “Here is the data I have, let me try different computer science ideas I know until I find a good solution.”
One of the reasons I advocate practitioners learn programming is that you can start solving problems using your domain expertise and find shortcuts like the one I will share next.
For most ecommerce sites, most page templates include images (and input elements), and those generally change in quantity and size.
I decided to test the quantity and size of images, and the number of input elements as my features set. We were able to achieve 97.5% accuracy in our tests. This is a much simpler and effective approach for this specific problem. All of this is possible because I didn’t start with the data I could access, but with a simpler domain-level observation.
I am not trying to say my approach is superior, as they have tested theirs in millions of pages and I’ve only tested this on a few thousand. My point is that as a practitioner you should learn this stuff so you can contribute your own expertise and creativity.
Now let’s get to the fun part and get to code some machine learning code in Python!
We need training data to build a model. This training data needs to come pre-labeled with “correct” answers so that the model can learn from the correct answers and make its own predictions on unseen data.
In our case, as discussed above, we’ll use our intuition that most product pages have one or more large images on the page, and most category type pages have many smaller images on the page.
What’s more, product pages typically have more form elements than category pages (for filling in quantity, color, and more).
Unfortunately, crawling a web page for this data requires knowledge of web browser automation, and image manipulation, which are outside the scope of this post. Feel free to study this GitHub gist we put together to learn more.
Here we load the raw data already collected.
Each row of the form_counts data frame above corresponds to a single URL and provides a count of both form elements, and input elements contained on that page.
Meanwhile, in the img_counts data frame, each row corresponds to a single image from a particular page. Each image has an associated file size, height, and width. Pages are more than likely to have multiple images on each page, and so there are many rows corresponding to each URL.
It is often the case that HTML documents don’t include explicit image dimensions. We are using a little trick to compensate for this. We are capturing the size of the image files, which would be proportional to the multiplication of the width and the length of the images.
We want our image counts and image file sizes to be treated as categorical features, not numerical ones. When a numerical feature, say new visitors, increases it generally implies improvement, but we don’t want bigger images to imply improvement. A common technique to do this is called one-hot encoding.
Most site pages can have an arbitrary number of images. We are going to further process our dataset by bucketing images into 50 groups. This technique is called “binning”.
Here is what our processed data set looks like.
As we already have correct labels from our manual regex approach, we can use them to create the correct labels to feed the model.
We also need to split our dataset randomly into a training set and a test set. This allows us to train the machine learning model on one set of data, and test it on another set that it’s never seen before. We do this to prevent our model from simply “memorizing” the training data and doing terribly on new, unseen data. You can check it out at the link given below:
Finally, the good stuff!
All the steps above, the data collection and preparation, are generally the hardest part to code. The machine learning code is generally quite simple.
We’re using the well-known Scikitlearn python library to train a number of popular models using a bunch of standard hyperparameters (settings for fine-tuning a model). Scikitlearn will run through all of them to find the best one, we simply need to feed in the X variables (our feature engineering parameters above) and the Y variables (the correct labels) to each model, and perform the .fit() function and voila!
After running the grid search, we find our winning model to be the Linear SVM (0.974) and Logistic regression (0.968) coming at a close second. Even with such high accuracy, a machine learning model will make mistakes. If it doesn’t make any mistakes, then there is definitely something wrong with the code.
In order to understand where the model performs best and worst, we will use another useful machine learning tool, the confusion matrix.
When looking at a confusion matrix, focus on the diagonal squares. The counts there are correct predictions and the counts outside are failures. In the confusion matrix above we can quickly see that the model does really well-labeling products, but terribly labeling pages that are not product or categories. Intuitively, we can assume that such pages would not have consistent image usage.
Here is the code to put together the confusion matrix:
Finally, here is the code to plot the model evaluation:
You might be thinking that this is a lot of work to just tell page groups, and you are right!
Mirko Obkircher commented in my article for part two that there is a much simpler approach, which is to have your client set up a Google Analytics data layer with the page group type. Very smart recommendation, Mirko!
I am using this example for illustration purposes. What if the issue requires a deeper exploratory investigation? If you already started the analysis using Python, your creativity and knowledge are the only limits.
Got any tips or queries? Share it in the comments.
Hamlet Batista is the CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers. He can be found on Twitter @hamletbatista.
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