Trending February 2024 # Google’s New Ad Insights Feature & 7 Tips For Competitive Ad Research # Suggested March 2024 # Top 11 Popular

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For paid search, this has historically been especially time-consuming.

It has been necessary to use third-party tools – like Semrush, SpyFu, or Google’s Ad Preview tool, which all tend to rely on sample data and often do not yield comprehensive examples.

Well, with Google’s latest features, those days are over.

It’s time to get excited about doing competitive ad text research directly within Google Ads.

Where To Find The New Google Ads Research Feature

Just follow these three steps:

Hover over the hamburger icon next to a paid search ad.

Especially when in a hurry or needing to override the algorithmic ad display customization for your profile, ad format filtering is an excellent way to get just the results you need.

7 Steps To Analyze Paid Search Ad Copy

Whether you’re looking at text-only or non-text copy, follow these steps to create a systematic analysis approach.

This will help you organize insights, detect trends more easily, and create a structure that lends itself to iterative analysis over time.

1. Call To Action

Arguably the most important part of the ad, the call to action (CTA) is what will drive the user to convert.

Take note of any incentives or offers, urgency messaging (e.g., today, now, limited time), the location, and possible repetition of the CTA within the ad.

Sophisticated ad copy should mention the CTA more than once. The first mention may include urgency messaging, with other mentions elaborating to include incentives.

If the product or service is not sold online, as a best practice, the CTA  should include the means to buy it, which typically involves calling or visiting a physical store.

2. Product Or Service Name

This is especially key when the product or service is new, technical in nature, has a colloquial equivalent that is sufficiently different from the official brand name, or if the business encompasses multiple aspects.

For example, a printer manufacturer may find it valuable to analyze shortened product names that do not include the full technical specifications.

Similarly, many travel service businesses have lengthy names to reflect all their services, but it is not always necessary to include them in full (e.g., Melia Caribe Beach All-Inclusive Resort Punta Cana).

3. Product Or Service Features

Take note of what those are and what qualifying descriptions or visualizations are used.

4. Benefits

While features help describe the use case for a product or service, it is the benefits that will convince a user to engage.

Take note of what solution-oriented language or imagery is leveraged, if any sources are cited to back up claims, and if the described benefits are short- and/or long-term.

Sometimes, multiple levels of benefits may need mentioning, when the consumer is not the ultimate (or only) beneficiary.

For situations akin to gifting, purchasing insurance, education, or caregiver services, marketers often forget that one should address the needs of both the purchaser (e.g., the person buying a gift, who may be cost-conscious) and the recipient (e.g., who might be more concerned with a flexible return policy).

5. Branding

Brand inclusion is another key element to test.

Consider everything from spelling to the presence of trademark symbols, placement in headlines and/or body of the text, logo size, when your brand is mentioned within the ad, and where opportunities exist to include your brand name.

However, be sure not to rely on just the URL.

Alas, that URL is too often lost in the clutter of the other ad elements.

6. Tone

This last element is perhaps the hardest to pin down.

A more informative, casual tone would suggest targeting a user earlier in their online research journey.

By contrast, an ad that has more direct language is likely aimed at a user in a transactional frame of mind.

7. Length

Ads that convey the most compelling story or engage users in the most proactive ways often have the highest likelihood of success.

On the flip side, just because an ad has the option to include a lot of text or include a video of a certain length, it is not always the best-performing approach. Oftentimes, less is more.

Conclusion

The tendency is often to mirror what others are doing. However, that can lead to all players having similar messaging. This only makes it harder for users to differentiate the available options.

While it is worth borrowing ideas from your competitors, resist the urge to copy a perceived market leader. Rather, gather insights from multiple players and then systematically test specific elements.

Standing apart from others will often yield the best results.

Systematically tracking the tested elements will position you well to develop a test results calendar.

Unfortunately, in the long run, there is rarely a single best-performing ad. With the ever-shifting competitive landscape, one has to constantly iterate.

If you detect a trend reversal, you will be already armed with past research on what has worked well before in these circumstances,  ready to anticipate your competitor’s moves, and prepared to respond.

More resources: 

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5 Takeaways From Google’s Page Speed Insights

The evidence conclusively shows that a site with optimized website speed will equal more revenue

It is no secret that with the increased prevalence of mobile platforms and web apps specifically designed for usability on the fly, people increasingly expect a fast user experience.

The Undeniable Case for Optimal Website Speed

Plenty of big companies and extensive research projects confirm how much consumers value a fast site.

For instance, big names like Firefox, Netflix, and even the Obama Campaign found that optimizing web speed results in higher conversion rates and better sales.

A study by Brian Dean for Backlink recently found optimal website speed to be one of the most significant factors in determining a high Google ranking position.

Roxanna Elliot of Performance Metrics reports that 9.6% of visitors will bounce when a page takes only two seconds to load, while a whopping 32.3% of visitors will bounce after 7 seconds.

This reflects similar behavior to a recent Google report: that 53% of mobile site visitors will leave a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

The evidence conclusively shows that a site with optimized website speed will equal more revenue. And yet, despite the universal consensus, average site speed for mobile is laborious beyond belief.

The average page load time on mobile is 22 seconds.

That is a whopping 19 seconds slower than the recommended speed time – three seconds or less – and describes a digital ecosystem full of laboriously slow websites.

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This oversight ultimately falls on the shoulders of the CMO, who can no longer ignore the signs. With the maturation of mobile search and IoT connecting more and more devices, it is clear that consumers want a fast, frictionless browsing experience at all times – both today and in future.

What is the PageSpeed Insights Tool?

Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is part of Google’s family of free PageSpeed tools designed to help optimize website performance.

The tool will generate a number of performance metrics, including a personalized Optimization Score and a list of prioritized suggestions to help improve a webpage’s running speed – for mobile and desktop – making it a very handy additional resource for studying and optimizing your digital presence.

The only problem is if you are not a professional developer, the rules can be difficult to interpret.

This article is designed to help you understand some crucial takeaways about page speed that will help you demystify the triggers of a slow loading site. Then, we will go on to outline some accessible strategies to tackle those flags so you can communicate more clearly with the design and dev teams – the folks that execute on strategy and manage the site on the day-to-day.

Here are some of the big takeaways to remember when using Google PageSpeed Insight tool.

Takeaway 1. Design your site to be responsive

Google wants all sites to be responsive design because they have shown to provide a better user experience. In fact, there are very few cases in which a responsive site design is not the right choice. However, it is harder to set up and manage than other design approaches, and thus, is anything but a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ kind of project.

The Trigger = “Improve Server Response Time”

The first trigger Google warns you about is your site’ server response time. The server response time is basically the time that it takes Google to load the HTML code from your server.

This recommendation will trigger when the server response time is higher than 200 ms, which means it is a very common issue.

The Fix

When this trigger appears you need to first find out what exactly is causing the problem, then you can go on to tailor a targeted solution strategy.

In order to further narrow in on the issue(s), you could try using an online tool like Pingdom, which might help you pinpoint what exactly is causing the site to load slowly.

Once you have identified the issue(s) you can choose the appropriate steps to remedy the problem.

Keep in mind that sometimes, tackling slow loading speeds requires a comprehensive approach.

Some broad suggestions for improving content loading speed include:

Upgrade to higher quality web hosting and hardware

Improve the web server configuration

Consolidate any external code

The Trigger: “Leverage Browser Caching”

Another trigger for slow load times is browser caching issues. Caching allows a browser to remember the things that have already loaded so the browser does not have to cycle through the server more than necessary.

Improper caching cause slow loading speeds and potential delays, and will also use up more of the user’s data.

PageSpeed Insights will trigger this warning either when there are no caching mechanisms in place at all, or if they are only set to apply for short time periods.

The Fix:

Each resource should specify an explicit caching policy. This means answering these questions:

Can a resource be cached?

If so, for how long?

Who can use it?

How will the policy be revalidated once it expires?

Google recommends that the minimum cache time is set to one week, but it can be set to up to a year for static resources.

The Trigger: “Avoid Landing Page Redirects”

Landing page redirects are another common roadblock to running a response site. At best, redirects trigger and unnecessary HTTP request cycle. At worst, they trigger multiple roundabouts to perform DNS lookup, TCP handshake and TLS negotiation as well.

The point is that excessive redirects will often cause delays and slower loading speeds, and this will negatively affect your user’s experience.

Meanwhile, minimal use of redirects will improve your page’s performance.

The Fix:

The easiest way to fix this issue is to avoid redirects altogether.

That said, there are instances where this is simply not possible. If this is the case, be sure to choose the right redirect to suit your needs.

For example, 301 redirects are permanent and are best suited to instances when there is no need to delete old content. Meanwhile, 302 redirects are temporary and should be used in instances where content needs to be occasionally updated or modified.

Takeaway 2. Take the time to properly optimize your images

Images account for a large proportion of a page’s total size.

By taking the time to properly optimize images, you reduce the client’s data load, while improving the content download speed.

Optimization processes reduce image size without producing a notable reduction in quality.

The Trigger: “Optimize Images”

The PageSpeed Insights tool will trigger this warning when it detects an image that can be optimized. By way of an example, here are the image recommendations for the Climbing Trees site:

The Fix:

Image optimization requires you to take into account a myriad of factors and variables, and for non-programmers, the process can admittedly seem a bit intimidating.

To ensure that you are using responsive images, you can implement Photoshop’s “save for web” function across your organization. This will save images in web formats with optimal compression.

Web based image compressors, like SmushIt, just to name one popular tool, can help to further compress an image.

If this doesn’t do the trick, Google provides more information on more comprehensive optimization techniques.

Takeaway 3. Pay attention to the quality of the code.

If code is well-written, a page is much more likely to load faster. Conversely, outdated, incorrect, or simply sloppy code can cause latency issues and gobble up unnecessary data.

Some Speed Insight Rules are designed to identify issues in the code that are affecting site performance and loading speeds.

Regardless, don’t worry if your code isn’t fully up to snuff. There is usually no need to start from square one. Rather, a few handy optimization tricks will usually be all you need to tackle the issues related to messy or excessive code.

The Trigger: “Optimize CSS Delivery”

This trigger will appear when Speed Insights detects external CSS scripts that delay page rendering.

While CSS is necessary to create a visually appealing site, external style sheets require the browser to cycle back and forth to the server and slow down the site.

The fix:

There are two ways to reduce the amount of CSS code your site uses:

Minimize the amount of CSS code your site needs to look attractive.

Use inline formatting whenever possible.

To further reduce the file size of CSS, minify and compress your code as suggested below.

The Trigger: “Remove Render-Blocking JavaScript” The fix:

Unfortunately, this is not always possible because sometimes certain scripts need to exist above-the-fold. If this is the case, you can always try to write any critical scripts into inline code and defer all the other non-critical scripts.

Takeaway 4. When it comes to high-quality website design and function, less is more

Another crucial element of an agile site is simple and clean design. The fact is that sometimes even if a site is properly coded, it might still be using unnecessary data and file space.

After you have optimized the functioning of the site in general and cleaned up your code, Speed Insight Tools will help you flag ways to minimize the space that your files are using to help you improve the user experience.

Trigger: “Minify Resources”

The first caution of note here is to remove excessive code. It is not uncommon for a page to include multiple commands to perform the same task. When this is the case, redundant code will cause a page to load slowly.

This trigger will flag when any of the resource code (HTML, CSS, or JavaScript files) could be reduced in size through the processes of minification.

The Fix:

For non-developers, this issue is most easily tackled with the help of a minification tool:

HTML Minifier for HTML

CSSNano for CSS

UglifyJS for Javascript

Trigger: “Enable Compression”

Another common oversight in file sorting is compression – or lack of compression, to be specific. There is really no good reason not to compress your code. HTML and CSS files can be compressed to take up to 90% less file space and this translates to faster loading times.

This trigger will flag when compressible files are uncompressed.

The Fix: Use Gzip to compress you code into .zip files.

This process of using Gzip can seem a bit intimidating for non-developers. If you are interested in learning more, detailed instructions on how to use Gzip can be found here.

Takeaway 5. Prioritize your content

Essentially, the more congested your above-the-fold content, the more round trips will be required between the server and the user in order to load the page. This will increase both your page loading speed and your latency.

Latency increases will be especially noticeable for mobile phone users.

For example, an ongoing study by the SEO Power Suite team has found a 0.97% correlation between a pages optimization score and how high it is ranked in mobile SERPs. This means that a fast site with low latency is much more likely to have a high SEO ranking on mobile devices.

As mobile devices become increasingly popular, it is especially important to manage latency issues effectively.

The Trigger: “Prioritize Visible Content”

You want the actual content of your home page to load the fastest of all – and yet it is often the page loaded up with the most multi-media material. The “prioritize visible content” warning will appear when your above-the-fold content exceeds the initial compression window of 14.6 kb.

The Fix:

First, reduce your data size by following the above suggestions.

Then, structure your HTML code to load the more important above-the-fold content first and cut down on unnecessary material.

Optimal Website Speed Requires A Holistic Approach

As any experienced marketer knows, website optimization requires a holistic approach to every piece of the puzzle that makes up the site. They should also know that web speed optimization is an ongoing project. Putting six months of focus on page speed is not enough to keep up with the rate of change in consumer behaviour and web development best-practices.

This is where the PageSpeed Tool can help. Use the above rules as a guideline and starting point to familiarizing yourself with the tool and start setting clear goals as to how you plan to use it to inform your long-term content marketing strategy.

Google’s New Cloud Connect Targets Microsoft Office

documents online.

available, but did confirm the service will be free.

Office interface with the added collaborative features that Docs offers.

Office.

current Google group product manager, Shan Sinha, said in a blog post.

Those interested in signing up for to test Cloud Connect can find the sign-up page here.

Connect will be available free to everyone, including consumers.”

productivity applications market long dominated by Microsoft.

service of

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New Related Search Feature For Adsense Is Introduced

As the nature of user experiences change throughout the years, so has Google’s product offerings.

Google announced its newest feature for AdSense, Related Search for Content.

If you’re one of the two million people who use AdSense, read more about this new monetization opportunity.

What Is Related Search For Content?

Related Search for Content is a new feature available in Google AdSense.

It serves as a contextual navigation area that shows users search terms related to the content they’re viewing on a website.

Benefits Of Related Search For Content

There are multiple benefits for enabling this feature for your website or app, including:

Increased site engagement

Incremental revenue

Better user experience

The first benefit is that it increases user engagement on your site, including:

Website traffic

Pageviews

Ad impressions

User Privacy Preservation

Get Started With Related Search For Content

If you’re looking to add this feature to your website or app, make sure to contact your account manager to activate. There are additional requirements you need to meet, including complying with the Custom Search Ads policies and AdSense For Search (AFS) policies.

If you don’t have a dedicated search unit for your content pages, you will need to create one. A thorough guide can be located here, but the basic steps include:

Create a custom search style in your AdSense account

Decide where to place the search unit on your content page(s)

Copy and paste the AdSense code to your site

Publish any changes to your website

Related Search For Content Reporting

Reporting for this new feature is available. You’ll receive funnel reporting for a related search unit in your AdSense account.

Summary

The new Related Search For Content feature is something to consider whether you’re new to monetizing your website content, or are already using AdSense. With the additional benefits of more engagement and incremental revenue, you can feel confident about growing your content with user experience in mind.

Source: Google

Featured Image: Casimiro PT/Shutterstock

Photoshop’s New Super Resolution Feature Makes Images Bigger, Not Blurrier

Upscaling a digital photo typically destroys its image quality. You lose detail and sharpness while adding ugly objects called artifacts to the file that make the whole picture look crunchy and unappealing. For years, however, companies like Adobe have been working on algorithms to try to bring the CSI “enhance” feature out of the world of TV fiction and into its image-editing software. The latest version of Photoshop makes a big leap in that direction with a feature called Super Resolution.

How to try Super Resolution

The new feature is called Super Resolution and, if you have a current Creative Cloud subscription that includes Photoshop, you should have access to it right now. 

To find it, open a photo in the Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) interface. If you open a raw photo taken from a digital camera, Photoshop should automatically open the file in ACR without any extra steps. If you’re trying to open another kind of file, like a JPEG or PNG, you can go through Adobe Bridge and open in Camera Raw. 

With Super Resolution on

Without Super Resolution

What happens to the photos?

Adobe is relying on its AI platform called Sensei to crunch the data needed to enhance your photos. The feature aims to double both the horizontal and vertical lines of resolution in the image, which results in quadruple the number of pixels.

In the example above, I ran the process on a raw file from my old Canon 6D full-frame DSLR, which I got soon after it came out in 2012. It has a respectable 20.2-megapixel resolution, which clocks in around 5,472 x 3,648. After the enhancement, however, Photoshop spit out a 79.8-megapixel file with a total resolution measuring 10,944 x 7,296.

When you’re looking at the photos zoomed out, you can see a difference, particularly in areas with a lot of detail (typically referred to as “high frequency” areas). The lines in the fencing clearly become more defined and the whole thing appears generally sharper. These improvements likely stem from a related feature called Raw Details, which lives in the same dialog box as Super Resolution. Raw Details increase sharpness around the edges of objects to make them appear more crisp.

https://youtu.be/-uNdijku7iY/

When you zoom in to the pixel level, it’s obvious that there is some image degradation that comes from the upscaling, but it also looks decidedly less pixelated and maintains more of the detail than if you had simply zoomed in or changed the size with the image size tool. It’s easier to read very small text and make out the look on the dog’s face, for example. 

Why would you want to use it?

While my 6D is old, its resolution isn’t that paltry. Something like Super Resolution can really come in handy when you’re working with much older DSLRs. My first serious digital camera, for instance, was a Canon 10D, which promised a whopping 6 megapixels way back in 2003. With just 6 megapixels of resolution, that’s not even enough pixels to natively fill a 4K screen, which requires more than 8 megapixels. Once we go up to 8K, it will take more than 33 megapixels to fill up a screen without upscaling. 

In addition to older and lower-end cameras, this is also handy even if you just want to crop deeply into your own photos. For instance, I’ve cropped hard into this image taken with the 45-megapixel Canon R5, which drastically reduced its overall resolution. The enhance function, however, brought back some of that detail I would have otherwise lost. 

It’s not magic

If you’re hoping to rescue that cherished image that only existed on Friendster back in 2005, but it only measures 800 x 600 pixels, don’t expect Super Resolution to work a miracle and let you blow it up to poster size. Also, the more image data it has to work with, the better job it will do on the upscaling. So, a raw file from a relatively recent DSLR or mirrorless camera will stand up much better than a lowly JPEG or PNG that you pulled down off the web. 

Adobe also isn’t the only game in town when it comes to AI upscaling. Topaz Labs has been doing a great job with its algorithmic enlarging for some time now. That software can increase an image’s size by up to 600 percent under the right circumstances. 

At the end of the day, however, Adobe is still the massive gorilla in the photo-editing space and having this tech baked into its flagship photo editor is a big deal. As with any Sensei-based software, Adobe plans to refine the algorithms over time, which should make Super Resolution work even better down the line as an incentive for people to keep those Creative Cloud subscriptions active.

Fitbit Interview: We Talk Managing Stress With The New Body Response Feature

Fitbit interview: Stress, Body Response, and the Fitbit Sense 2

Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Q: So, what’s going on with stress? Is it slowly killing us all? Why is it such a hot topic at the moment?

It is typically associated with that feeling of worry or what we normally associate with the stress of normal life, like those negative pressures and demands of normal life. What we’re working on and helping people track is that physical response that we have to everyday life demands. And so, what I actually think is happening, is that there’s more awareness [of stress]. People are talking more about stress in the fact that we all experience it. And while there’s still a stigma of it being negative, it can also be positive if you think about preparing for a presentation, for example. You know, that small burst of stress can actually motivate you, or help you meet a deadline. And I think there’s more openness to talk about stress and how it impacts our everyday life. And it’s very personal. What causes me stress or how does my body react? It’s probably different than other people, and might be different for you. The tools that we’re building are designed to help us both, regardless of what our stressors are or how our bodies react to them.

Q: The feature we’re talking about is Body Response. How does it work?

The Sense 2 is powered by an on-device electrodermal activity sensor (EDA) and is continuously tracking. So we actually call it cEDA because it’s on all day and gives you all-day stress management. This type of sensor is typically used more in scientific research. So we’re really excited to have been able to bring it to the Sense 2 and are also thinking about possibilities for the future that we could provide our users.

I wish there were, but it really is so personal. As I mentioned, for me, I really identified the trends within my body. I noticed that I was getting these notifications when I was working late at night, and I wasn’t aware that that was impacting my health. So it really is very personal. The stressors that you may encounter, how your body reacts, and how you build resilience, are really going to empower you to manage those stressors. We can’t provide that magic bullet for everyone, but we really tried to provide options for people to understand what might be best for them.

So, if you’re one of those people that really likes and enjoys a breathing exercise and having that mindful moment, we have breathing exercises. But if you’re someone like me, I actually like to get out and be active, and that’s what works best for me. For people like me, we have anything from yoga to mindful walking to a variety of other workouts that you could do. And again, the beauty is that you can reflect on the device or in the mobile app and view that moment to see what’s actually working best for you so that you can reduce problems later on.

Q: Body Response is exclusive to the Sense 2 at the moment. Will it come to other, less expensive trackers?

I can’t share much about our roadmap. I can say that we’re always looking to bring innovation to more of our users. In the meantime, for other devices like the Fitbit Charge 5, we do have the spot-check EDA scanner. Although it doesn’t provide continuous tracking like the Sense 2, it does provide an opportunity to reflect while you’re doing a mindfulness session and get that response information about how your body’s doing at that moment. Many of our devices also have the stress management score, which is more of a summary of how your physical stress is throughout the day. We also have a variety of different mindfulness content available within the Fitbit Premium subscription.

You can watch the full Fitbit interview above or on the Authority Media YouTube channel.

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