Writing your iOS apps in Swift?

Writing your iOS apps in Swift?

After 4 years of development, Apple released the Swift programming language in 2014 to replace its 30+ year old counterpart, Objective-C. Since then, it has only gained in popularity while Objective-C’s has precipitously declined.

Image courtesy of TIOBE

Image courtesy of TIOBE

Initially sitting side-by-side with Objective-C, Swift is fast becoming the primary language for developing native iOS/OS apps. Its rapid promotion is primarily due to Apple open-sourcing the language in 2015.

Apple’s decision has resulted in another benefit: its scope of application is rapidly evolving. For example, IBM has been instrumental in developing Swift language for server-side programming.

Why is Swift gaining popularity?

The Swift language is cleaner, safer and faster.

It’s easier to read and write because of its no-fuss syntax. The cleaner syntax also translates into fewer coding errors. And unlike Objective-C, it can generate compiler errors as you code because of optional types.

All of the above creates a more accessible, learnable language. Consequently, adoption by current and future developers is all but guaranteed.

For a more detailed overview of Swift’s advantages over Objective-C, check out this article from clearview.

Why is a Swift SDK important?

An SDK written solely in Swift is cleaner, safer and faster.

Other ad networks use bridging headers that allow Swift code to sit on top of Objective-C. Necessary when it was first released, the additional code now adds unnecessary density to apps written in Swift.

That density creates a more cumbersome and less stable SDK. If you are using ad networks as part of your app’s monetization strategy, those issues will transfer to your app and compromise your user experience.

Adcash is the first network to create a Swift SDK

Adcash is cleaner, safer and faster than comparable networks.

We invest resources to improve our current infrastructure as we position ourselves for the road ahead. Swift’s increasing adoption at all levels and Apple’s release of Swift 3.0 are signals that should not be ignored.

We’re not. Are you?

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

6 easy tips to increase blog traffic now

6 easy tips to increase blog traffic now

Whether for personal or business interests, one thing is certain: blogs are in. Through WordPress properties alone, over 87 million posts are created every month. That’s a lot of competition…

…competition for your readers’ bloodshot, screen fatigued eyes. The question for you is, “How do I grab and maintain their attention when everyone is fighting for it?” Admittedly, it’s not an easy question to answer.

However, difficult doesn’t mean impossible. While there is a lot of information out there with tips, tricks, and hacks, 3 things trump them all:

keeping your head down, consistently working a plan, and revising when necessary

Yes, there are tips, tricks, and hacks that are effective and work quickly…BUT, their effect is temporary. You need effective and persistent. What can you do to acheive that? I’m glad you asked…all it takes is 6 tactics…

1. First things first: build out from popular content

Your readers come for one thing, content; specifically, your content. Are they not coming? I’m sorry to hear that because it means that you’re creating content for not…well not completely, practice does make better.

And if they’re not coming?  You won’t increase blog traffic. You’re not about that, you’re reading this.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that your content sucks; it might just mean that it’s not consistently registering. Thankfully, that is an easy fix and begins with auditing your content. Have you audited your content lately? Ever?

Look for posts that have highest visitor counts (new and returning), lowest bounce rates, and longest time on page. If you’ve been posting long enough, you at least should have a top one or two that foot the bill.

Tip: chances are that your older content will have higher numbers. Normalize by comparing timeframes.

When you find them, dig deeper. What’s the topic, length, and layout? Hint: the topic of the post is likely the primary factor. Now, you have a place to build from: use Google Trends to search for the posts’ keywords.

At this point, we don’t so much care about the keyword as we do related topics/queries. For instance, if I wanted to expand on our recent RTB post’s popularity, I could check for related trending queries:

I want to know what is trending because that’s a signal. Next, I might click programmatic because it’s a breaktout, and look at its top related queries:

Why switch from trending, or rising, to top? Because I want to see where my search traffic is beginning to go and then grab from near the top to secure the advantage as my readers begin to expand their searches.

Lastly, I can address one of the queries directly or use it as a starting point for conceptualizing a related topic. For example, I could expand on what is programmatic by creating a post on the four main methods of programmatic advertising.

The work you do here goes hand-in-hand with SEO because you’re trying increase blog traffic through attracting readers with similar interests as yours…and the way to do that? Writing about what interests them most.

2. Be responsive now, prepare for your AMP: Mobile matters

The majority of web searches are now made via phone and Think with Google has been talking a lot about mobile. Meanwhile, 75% of smartphone time is spent in apps and only a few of them at that…not good for Google.

Google wants you navigating the online world within their properties: enter AMP and Android Instant Apps. These two projects comprise Google’s latest traffic grab to retake some of the ground lost to apps.

The former, Accelerated Mobile Pages, is aimed at creating mobile pages that load up to four times faster. Major outfits like the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, have taken part — that alone should mean something.

Oh yeah, THIS definitely means something. Google is giving priority to pages that include AMP code during mobile searches. The tide is quickly turning. Your blog better be mobile-responsive but you need to look further afield.

Start the implementation process for AMP code. After all, it’s the first movers that experience the greatest benefit in this world. If you’re using a WordPress theme, chances are that you already have responsive pages…

…so there’s no excuse, look into AMP NOW.

3. Stay in touch with your readers: Capture emails

Your readers will be the least expensive and most powerful promoters of your blog. Are you asking them to stay in touch? Remember, your readers are busy and their eyeballs are tired.

They shouldn’t have to remember to visit your site. Give them the opportunity to subscribe to your mailing list, tell them what to expect and stick to your promise.

Yes, it’ll help you maintain the readers you’ve grabbed, but it also provides a few traffic building benefits:

  1. You encourage them to spend more time on your site. The more time your readers spend on your site, the greater authority Google gives it and with that you’ve earned a bump in SERP ranking.
  1. When you incorporate share buttons within the email, you give your readers the opportunity to share the email with their network. The network theory of six degrees of separation theory is real…use it.
  1. You open the door for a dialogue between you and your most dedicated readers. Specifically, you won’t have to rely only on your analytics to infer what they like; you can go directly to the source.

Kissmetrics provides a great article on strategies to capture emails. For us, we use content offers, sidebars and a pop up triggered at the bottom of the article.

4. It might be an online world, but it’s still a community: Engage

If you aren’t using social media to engage your readers, you are far, very far behind. Hopefully, you’ve already created social media accounts connected to your blog or business property.

The next steps are simple: identification, activity, automation and group building*. Whether you’re starting out and haven’t created your accounts or have established accounts, identification starts with channel analysis.

Is this channel where your readers are active? Do different types of content, such as written posts or infographics, resonate with different channels? Every platform provides analytics software to help you.

Additionally, if you’re using Google Analytics, use their Campaign URL Builder to create custom tags that you can easily identify when reviewing your analytics. Doing this will help you see which channels truly equal visits.

The competition for feed space is just as hot as it is for readers: you have to maintain a good pace of activity. If it makes sense and you can sustain it, try to post once a day to each channel. Just don’t force it.

To help you maintain a good pace, use automation tools; we use Hootsuite. But beware: you may miss out on some platform features, such as targeting. Yes, post targeting isn’t just for paid posts.

Use your off- and on-platform analytics tools to build out reader profiles that you can target across platforms. For instance, you can use Facebook’s Audience Insights to identify complementary interests:

We were able to increase our Facebook followers by over 2,000% using the tools and strategies above.

*If it’s relevant and you have the resources, create and moderate a private group. These groups encourage engagement within and without the community: remember…six degrees, six degrees, six…

5. Increase your profile and increase blog traffic: network

Building your blog’s profile and yours as a writer or thought-leader is like adding a small amount of potent fertilizer to your blog. While everyone is talking about link building (this is important), you need to do more.

An efficient way to do more is by joining HARO, or Help A Report Out. This website acts as a source for sources. For example, reporters can submit a query when they need a quote and sources can submit their answers.

Often, you will be asked to include a social media link or some piece of referral information that will be included in the peice they write. You’ll receive three source requests a day that are timed to news cycles: morning, midday and evening.

You can also specify which areas you are interested in answering questions about…I use it myself and have experienced good results. Nonetheless, your main effort should be directed toward building relationships with other thought-leaders.

Rule of thumb: read their stuff and build the relationship before you propose anything; persistent traffic is a long game…remember? You can use services such as BuzzSumo to help find them, but they aren’t necessary.

6. Get a quick bump in traffic: Paid promotion

Whether it be through search ads, paid social or an ad network, paid promotion isn’t as out of reach as you might initially believe. Use one, two, or all three in concert; the key is to assess each channel before you commit.

Set a test budget, implement your ads, and analyze your the results. Once your test budget and period finish, then commit. Search ads are great for keyword targeting, but can get expensive for highly competitive terms.

Use Google Trends and the AdWords Keyword Planner to find keyword adjectives that your readers may also search and consider their long-tail variants:

Be bold, Google’s algorithms are becoming semantically smarter and also focus on intent.

Ad networks operate similarly, just make sure they possess relevant traffic and the necessary targeting tools. Regardless of your choice, understand that this will likely only create a temporary bump.

To make the most of it, have your email capture tools in place. You will maximize your return on investment by grabbing some of those readers you acquire through your paid promotion.

Start now and increase your blog traffic today

There’s great news: if you implement the 6 tips now, you’ll increase your blog traffic today. But wait! There’s even more: you can use those same ad networks to monetize your traffic if your blog is the monetization source.

After all, you deserve to receive compensation for your time and effort even if you’re creating content for pleasure. However, always bear in mind that your readers come to your blog for one reason…to consume your content.

Regardless of your blog’s purpose, the key to what has been covered is that you will build a persistent reader base, one that will supplement your efforts by generating additional readership and/or leads automatically. Start now.


Be heard! What tips and tricks do you use to increase your traffic?

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

With a background in psychology, sales and marketing, Kyle harnesses his experience to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

What is RTB and why it is important

What is RTB and why it is important

Programmatic advertising has averaged 71% year over year growth from 2012 to ‘16 and is expected to grow another 31% in 2017. Real-time bidding, or RTB technologies, have been the primary vehicle for programmatic’s growth.

So, why is programmatic important? You have probably used programmatic methods to buy or sell traffic, directly or indirectly…

…and RTB? It is the primary programmatic method employed and will likely continue to be so in the near future.

This leads us to our first point: programmatic advertising is not synonymous with RTB. Instead, programmatic is the process of using software and algorithms to trade data-rich media while RTB is one method of execution.

What is RTB? Your no-nonsense overview

RTB is the trading of traffic on a per-impression basis in a second-price auction format via ad exchanges. A second-price auction format is where the highest and clearing bid are different.

Therefore, although the highest bidder wins, the second highest bid plus one cent is paid. The rationale for this format is that it prevents the highest bidder from overpaying for the impression.

There are multiple ad exchanges and publishers offer their traffic from one exchange to another until it is sold; this is called a waterfall. The position of each exchange in the waterfall depends on its expected return.

The process is mediated by supply- and demand-side platforms (SSP/DSPs) that represent publishers and advertisers, respectively. From request to an ad being served, the process happens within milliseconds:

The publisher benefits from RTB because no impression is left unsold. In fact, RTB has mostly been used to sell remnant traffic, which is leftover traffic from direct deals. However, it’s increasingly used to sell premium traffic.

Meanwhile, the advertiser benefits from the massive amount of inexpensive, data-rich traffic made available by these exchanges. Benefits aside, real-time bidding has not been without controversy.

RTB: a work in progress

The primary issue with programmatic RTB is its lack of transparency. Often described as a black box, advertisers are concerned about price manipulation and ad placement.

The recent Youtube debacle, where big brand ads were placed next to extremist videos, exemplifies what is at stake when there is little to no transparency. But, advertisers are not completely devoid of fault.

There is consensus within the industry that advertisers have been prioritizing quantity over quality. Because of this, brands, advertisers and media buyers have been willing to operate in the dark.

Publishers are not free from risk either: many use Google’s ad server, which gives priority to their ad exchange. Additionally, real-time demand isn’t taken into account because waterfall ranking is based on estimated return.

Thus, the publisher isn’t guaranteed the highest price for an impression. Nonetheless, there is demand for greater transparency from both parties and versions, e.g. private RTB marketplaces, are gaining popularity, which will increase accessibility.

So, why is RTB important?

As mentioned above, RTB is the primary programmatic method employed and will continue to be so…at least in the near future. Why? It is by far the most accessible method for publishers of all sizes.

Other methods, such as programmatic direct and header bidding, require a scale and resources that present smaller publishers with impossibly high barriers to entry. Likewise, accessibility has improved for advertisers.

Specifically, they have greater access to impressions and at lower prices due to the sheer amount of supply and lower cost of acquisition. However, RTB is also important for a larger reason.

Programmatic RTB has changed the expectations of how media will be primarily traded in the future, be it through RTB or other methods. This not only applies to digital media, but non-digital as well.

Consequently, this calls every party to learn a new language and way of thinking to ensure that they are getting what they expect. After all programmatic, in all its forms, is already happening: are you doing what’s necessary in this brave new world?


Whether you are or aren’t, it never hurts to do more research, check out Adcash RTB below!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

How to do SEO sustainably

How to do SEO sustainably

When you read Fred, Penguin, Possum, Panda, what comes to mind? If you own or administer a website, it should be SEO: these are the euphemistic names (thank you Moz) of only a few Google algorithm updates over the last couple of years.

And that algorithm is key to your SEO triumphs and fails. Although these updates typically pose greater volatility to black-hat SEOs, it is important for everyone to understand what they are signaling.

Ultimately, all search engine algorithms are aimed at two goals; provide results that match user intent and prevent SERP gaming. Base your SEO strategies on these and they will be sustainable.

The foundation of SEO: Intent

User intent; many think that it is synonymous with the query a user is making through a search engine. But, there is a deeper picture at play; the search query merely signals intent.

For example, a siren signals an emergency and the type of emergency it is signaling depends on context, as well as the nature of the sound it is making.

Thus, begin with intent when considering what short- and long-tail searches you want to rank for…consider the why of the search. At its most basic, user intent is either transactional or informational.

User intent and the buyer’s journey

User intent is also dynamic; it changes according to the stage of the buyer’s journey. How you address each point along that path will depend on what you are offering.

To begin, plot the path-to-purchase and identify the intent of the user at each point. Next, formulate likely queries that the user will make and the content that is most likely to satisfy them.

Creating a visual aid, such as the diagram below from PPG Web Solutions, or a spreadsheet will help you organize the process. Be sure to include an intent column; in the diagram below, I would place it after the Buyer’s Journey.

Why content? It is the most accessible form of SEO and content gives users a reason to visit and spend time. Besides, gone are the days of building content-light sites and hitting the high positions in Bing, Yahoo, and Google SERPs.

Your SEO well: Content

Content is popular now because it works, not only for lead generation and nurturing, but for SEO. Word Count is being touted as SEO hack for content; we now interrupt this blog post for a Public Service Announcement.

Please stop looking for #hacks, they’re the refined sugar of the SEO world. Click To TweetThe issue with hacks is that people don’t scrutinize them to determine why they work. Granted, there is a correlation between length and SERP position:

Image from SEL

But, correlation doesn’t equate to causality; if it did, you could write a keyword stuffed series of unrelated sentences and rank. As with intent, the question is why does content with this word count rank?

Simple answer: meat, it has meat for bots and humans to sink their teeth into. That’s good news because if you can provide around the same amount of substance in a leaner piece, you don’t have to worry about word count.

SEO currency: time

Google wants to offer relevant results to user queries, but they can only infer relevance. They use metrics to accomplish this and one important metric is time on site.

The rationale goes that the more active time spent on a site, as measured by Session Time, Time on Page, and Session Depth, the more closely they must have hit their mark…and you will be rewarded with a higher ranking.

This is where tagging, page layout and internal linking strategies come into play. For example, we include internal links on our site pages that point to relevant content and vice versa: just make sure it makes sense.

Can you spare a link? Link building and SEO

Everyone’s talking about link building because this is an authority ranking factor. It is similar to the belief that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, i.e. quality sites associate with other quality sites.

While a good theory, it hasn’t always been the case. There are many black-hat link building techniques that worked very well to artificially inflate page rankings. But with Fred, the latest algorithm update, their days are numbered.

Aside from creating content that others want to link back to, start building relationships with relevant content producers. The keyword is build: read their work, provide sincere feedback to build rapport and DO NOT ask for a link when you first reach out.

I cannot tell you how many people have requested a link without reading our content. It is lazy at best…rant over. An easy way to find contacts is through paid tools such as Followerwonk and Buzzsumo; or, if you are the do-it-yourself type, try a web scraper.

Let’s get a little technical: Schema markup

You can do something right now that most publishers are not bothering with: implement schema markup on your site. You may have heard about it in terms of rich snippets that provide more information within individual search results.

But it’s more. As Kissmetrics puts it, “Schema tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.” For instance, Top Gun can refer to a naval aviation school and a movie. Schema markup provides search engines the context they need to accurately place it…

Example from IMBD Page Inspection

…and it’s not that hard to implement. You can do it manually via HTML Microdata, JSON-LD or one of hundreds of plug-ins available. Note: it can be somewhat difficult to implement with certain WordPress themes.

Sustainability is in: Shift your SEO focus to the long-term

If you have read this far, congratulations: I have not provided hacks or step-by-step tactics on how to improve your SEO. That is not what you need because hacks and tactics have a shelf-life; they become irrelevant.

For example, it is only a matter of time before everyone is using Schema markup and any edge you gained from it will disappear. Besides, it is not really a hack and something that search engines actually support.

No, what you need is a mindset that will help you build sustainable SEO, one of curiousity, focused on providing value, and strategic. Build out your buyer’s journey, plot each stage, identify intent, formulate queries, develop content and build links. See you down the road.


Sound off, let the community members know your SEO tips and tricks!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

A beginner’s guide to CPM, CPC and CPA campaign options

A beginner’s guide to CPM, CPC and CPA campaign options

CPM, CPC, CPA…on and on, and so on. If ad tech is anything, it is an alphabet soup of epic proportions. The concepts behind the campaign acronyms are simple, but integrating them into your ad strategy isn’t.

 

However, to succeed in maximizing the return on investment of your ad spend, you must know how to use these campaign options in an integrated fashion. After all, each has its strengths and weaknesses.

 

The acronyms represent a common language of exchange for you and the publisher/s displaying your campaigns. Collectively known as payout options, they determine when you pay the publisher.

A journey through the ad tech alphabet

The first and oldest payout option is CPM, also known as Cost Per Mille. What is Mille? It is Latin for 1,000; therefore, you pay per 1,000 impressions.

 

Its primary drawback? That it is impression-based.

 

It is all but impossible to attribute performance to a specific campaign; even the most sophisticated attribution models are educated guesses. That said, it is the least expensive option because of its imprecision. Advertisers often use CPM campaigns to increase and maintain brand awareness.

 

What if you want more actionable campaigns?

 

The CPC, or Cost Per Click, option is the first iteration of what are known as performance-based models. Performance models provide advertisers with greater budget oversight and attribution.

 

With CPC campaigns, advertisers pay for a click and even attribute a conversion to said click. The issue? You can’t control for multiple clicks from the same user and attribution is difficult if the conversion doesn’t immediately follow a click.

 

Enter the CPA payout models, or Cost Per Action, of which there are many. Whether it be registration, installation, sale or other action, advertisers do not pay unless a user performs the action.

 

These payout options result in a more equal exchange between publisher and advertiser because the publisher must be more strategic when placing the ad space. Otherwise, he or she will waste an impression.

The CPA option is stronger…but possesses drawbacks as well

With CPM, publishers can place ad space below the fold and therefore only visible through scrolling: the publisher can potentially get paid for an impression that was technically served, but never seen.

 

While the standard is moving toward in-screen CPMs, the most surefire way to ensure that you’re getting what you expect is to opt for CPA payout options. The same goes for accidental clicks from CPC campaigns.

 

CPA campaigns are protected because a user not only has to click an ad, but perform a specific action. Consequently, it is to the publisher’s benefit to provide visible ad space to qualified traffic.

 

But it isn’t without its drawbacks and CPA campaigns should be used in concert with the other: they run the risk of not providing the same level of traffic as the others due to the level of commitment they require from the publisher.

Hey, it’s your funnel but it all flows one way

The payout types you use and when you use them will depend on a number of factors: not the least is the part of your funnel you’re targeting. However complex your conversion path, the aim is the same; take multiple leads in and convert as many as you can:

campaign options

Spread the word, but precisely: start with CPM

For the top funnel, the most cost efficient payout option is CPM. Think of CPM campaigns as windshield campaigns; you pay a kid to run stick flyers underneath the windshield wipers of cars.

 

But, CPM campaigns are better because digital ad serving platforms allow you to tell the kid which vehicle to target. Just bear in mind that the more specific you are, the less traffic you will have.

 

Instead of targeting 2015 BMWs parked in a specific lot, target late model luxury vehicles parked in store lots within a specified area. Remember: it’s not just about payout type, but how you target.

Test and optimize your sales path: use CPC

Once you’re happy with your brand awareness and able to correlate a rise in website visits with your CPM campaigns, it’s time to address the middle of the funnel by implementing CPC campaigns.

 

These campaigns are great for deepening user engagement because you are only paying for clicks, the implication being that users who click are curious and interested in what you are offering.

 

Tip: effectively structure your click path and you will reap the most from CPC campaigns. Specifically, your ad should redirect to a landing page that either converts or sends them elsewhere.

 

Track each stage and identify where bottlenecks are within your path to purchase: CPC campaigns are not only a good way to target for conversions, they’re also a good way to test your campaigns.

Pay for your outcome: use CPA campaigns

Once tested and optimized, use CPA campaigns to target the bottom funnel because you are asking users to perform a specific action: they must be ready to convert or you just wasted everyone’s time.

 

Remember: you can use multiple CPA options to drive specific outcomes. For example, if you provide a service that has a longer path to purchase, you might not want to ask for the sale immediately.

 

Instead, start with a registration, such as for a newsletter registration. Don’t get caught up with making an immediate sale, today’s buyers will likely make many micro conversions before they convert.

The tighter the weave, the stronger your ad strategy

Plotting your funnel stages and tying your payout options accordingly will give you the greatest budget efficiency and effect. The above is merely an example of how to arrange your payout options.

 

Real funnels are more dynamic and never straight forward. Therefore, you may combine payout options at specific funnel stages or substitute one for another. The only way to know what works best is to test.

 

Nonetheless, you need to weave all payout options into your ad strategy and weave them tightly. Follow the ABCs and you will lead your customers along the path to purchase and convert.


Sound off, let the community members know how you use campaign options!

Kyle Buzzell

Kyle Buzzell

Content Manager

Psychology, sales and now marketing…Kyle uses his background and love of writing to create informative, engaging content for Adcash.

Pin It on Pinterest