5 Ad Ranking Questions Everyone Has For Google

 5 Ad Ranking Questions Everyone Has For Google

Paid search. Google Ads. Ad Ranking. You have questions, and we’ve got answers.

Ad ranking is simple in nature, but finding ways to improve your ad rank is not. What moves, edits, or selections will improve your position, and which ones could potentially harm your ranking?

 

Here’s everything you need to know about ad ranking, why it matters, and how you can improve it fast.  

 

  1. What Is Ad Ranking? 

 

Google defines ad rank as “a value that’s used to determine your ad position (where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads) and whether your ads will show at all. 

 

If your ad shows up third, your ad rank for that given search is number three. This means that your position is the result of any given paid search auction against your competitors. 

 

  1. How Does Google Calculate Ad Ranking? 

 

Your bid amount, ad quality, and ad rank threshold get passed into Google’s system. The specific keyword search is then analyzed using machine learning to determine exactly what that user is most likely looking for in light of previous searches. 

 

This means that an ad for one of your keywords may show up in position #1 at the top of the page for one user’s search and in a different position for another’s. 

 

According to Google, these are the key factors contributing to your ad rank: 

 

  • Bid amount and ad rank thresholds: This refers to the minimum amount you need to bid to be in a specific position. For example, you can’t bid 20 cents and rank first for a term that costs $2.

 

  • Ad quality: This refers to both the relevance of your ad to a search as well as your Quality Score (i.e. relevancy of keywords within an ad group, ad copy, and landing page). 

 

  • The context of search: Depending on which device a user searches on, the time of day, and the keywords/terms used to make a search query, your ad may or may not be the most relevant. 

 

  • Ad extension impact: This means that you’ve enabled site-link extensions to internal pages on your website, call extensions, and location extensions within your ad. 

 

Again, ad rank is recalculated each time an ad is eligible for and competes in an auction, which means your position may change accordingly.

 

  1. Does the Highest Bidder Always Rank Higher? 

 

Because you’re bidding in an auction-style competition for keywords and search terms, people often assume that simply bidding higher is what lands the highest position.  

 

But that’s not necessarily true when it comes to ad rank. 

 

Paid search results function much like organic search results. Google want to provide searchers with highly relevant information that quickly solves their problem. 

 

If you have a high quality score and your keyword and ad copy are highly relevant, you can still achieve the best ad rank in an auction while bidding less than your competitors. 

 

  1. Can a Higher Quality Score Improve Ad Ranking? 

 

Yes! Your keyword quality score is one factor that determines ad rank for a specific auction, but your ad rank does not directly impact quality score as a result of that auction. 

 

This means that improving your quality score should be a top priority, and one way to do that is to utilize more specific ad groups. If you use generic or overly generalized ad groups, you run the risk of producing ads that underperform on expected click-through rates (CTRs). 

 

For instance, if a retailer sells several different types of shoes, they wouldn’t want to have “high heels” and “running shoes” in the same ad group. They’d want to write distinct ad copy for each of those products. 

 

They’ll also want people who search for “high heels” to land on a page of high heels and people who search for “running shoes” to land on a page featuring the running shoes they offer. 

 

Quality score is determined in part by your expected CTR, which takes into account your historical CTR trend. Because it’s common for ads at the top of the search engine results page to acquire a higher CTR, that can improve your quality score and directly impact your ad rank for future auctions. 

 

  1. How Do I Improve Ad Ranking? 

 

The simplest way to answer this question is by addressing the factors that Google lists (as addressed in question #2): 

 

  • Increase your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) bids and meet the ad thresholds ascribed to a keyword. While higher bidding isn’t the final word on ad rank, it naturally makes you more competitive in the auction. 

 

  • Improve your quality score by creating more specific ad groups, writing specific ad copy and providing highly relevant landing pages. 

 

  • Make sure your keywords and text ads are highly relevant to your intended audience and search query since ad rank is recalculated each time an ad is eligible for and competes in an auction. 

 

  • Enable and optimize ad extensions and use as many as are relevant. 

 

When looking to increase the rankings of your ad, do you head straight to your bid adjustments? If you do, first consider whether you’ve exhausted all other options to create ads that prioritize relevance and user search queries. Only then should you consider using a higher bid to reach the top positions for your keywords. 

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

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4 Rules for Creating Lead Generation Forms

4 Rules for Creating Lead Generation Forms

A [FREE PRESS RELEASE TEMPLATE] made its way into the company email. The source was reputable. The content was intriguing (who knows how to write a professional press release anyway?). And the word “free” made it worth the extra click. 

 

All we had to do was provide a little information: 

 

✔ Name

✔ Last Name

✔ Email

✔ Work Phone

✔ Company

✔ Company Website URL

✔ Company Size

✔ Company Yearly Income

✔ Job Title

✔ What is your greatest challenge professionally? 

 

Unlike applying for a home mortgage loan, this amount of personal information isn’t going to yield big rewards. 

 

The reward was a simple template, and this was absurd. 

 

Leads are valuable because they’re the people who have indicated organic interest in your content and your business by giving you their information. But leads don’t grow on trees, and mistakes like this are costing brands potentially thousands of customers. 

 

So here are four essentials for making lead gen forms work for you as best as they can:

 

  • Keep it short and sweet

  • Write a compelling CTA

  • Allow opt-in and opt-out

  • Focus on privacy

 

Keep it Short, Simple and Easy

 

Every field you add to a form cuts the number of leads by 25%. And according to the 2012 MarketingSherpa Lead Generation Benchmark Report, email is the most important form field across different industry sectors. 

 

“Qualified” leads simply mean “more likely to buy.” It does not mean “endured tedious data extraction.” Typically, contact information like email and phone number are essential but demographic questions can be reserved for the future in a process called “progressive profiling.” 

 

Although there’s no defined set of form fields that yields the greatest number of conversions, you’ll see results the moment you start to request only the necessary information using fewer form fields. 

 

Make each field simple by offering checkboxes, drop-downs, or simple answers to lessen the work. Who wants to answer open-ended questions for strangers? If you must include them, keep them optional. 

 

Write a Compelling CTA 

 

Words have the ability to add incentive. Your submission button can remind prospects what they’ll get for the information they choose to share.

 

Ensure that you’ve incorporated a strong CTA, or call-to-action, that compels people to make that final submission. 

 

Examples like “Start Class Now,” “Get your free ebook now,” or “Create Account & Get Started” have been proven to increase conversions compared to their simpler but more vague counterparts such as, “Download,” “Submit,” and “Create My Account.” 

 

Include Opt-in Options to Avoid Complaints

 

Although email is the most important field across industry sectors, it’s also your biggest obstacle. Users fear spam, and so they should. 

 

Giving leads the ability to opt-in (or out) of receiving email from the organization accomplishes a few things:

 

  • It reduces the number of spam complaints against your business, thereby reducing any possibility for future messages to be marked as spam. 

 

  • It increases your leads’ sense of privacy, which means that you’re more likely to receive primary emails as opposed to separate spam collection email accounts intended to trap and ignore your follow-ups. 

 

  • It creates “clean” email lists with fewer unsubscribes and abuse complaints. 

 

Include Your Privacy Policy to Remove Doubts

 

Shopify’s simple, trustworthy privacy statement says all it needs to on their lead generation form: “No charge. Unsubscribe anytime.” 

 

Do you include privacy statements in your lead gen form and CTA? 

 

Prospects are becoming smarter and know that most privacy statements don’t live up to what they promise, but including a link to your Terms and Conditions is the most basic version of offering transparency. 

 

You need to convince people to give you their personal information through a sign-up form, which means you need to offer what visitors can expect after submitting the form, how their information will not be sold or given to any outside party, and a clear way to remove themselves from your list at any time. 

 

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

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How to Write a Great Product Description

How to Write a Great Product Description

How much do product descriptions actually impact the success of a product? 

 

One e-commerce study found that 20% of purchase failures are potentially a result of vague, unclear or missing product information. 

 

But aren’t professional photography and a clear title enough to sell? 

 

Every web-browsing human reads product descriptions every day, and good product copy is your opportunity to convince the customer to click “add to cart” or to answer questions before they even arise. 

 

So yeah, educating customers on a product’s value can lead to more sales, lower refund rates and lead to increases in customer trust. 

 

What Makes a Product Description Bad? 

 

When a product is simple, say a plain white t-shirt, the text you use is less important than the image quality, modeling, size, availability, color range, and price. 

While you have to say something about your product, fancy language is less important unless you have a selling point for a particular targeted audience (i.e. organic cotton). 

When a product is not self-explanatory or immediately recognizable from its photography, it’s essential to include descriptions that:

 

  • Clearly explain what the product does or its intended use

  • Explain why it’s better than traditional products or the competition

  • Include all relevant information

 

Essentially, if you read a product description and still have questions about it, then it didn’t do its job.  

But there are a few defined ways to write well and make sure that your customers are getting the details they need.

  1. Know Your Target Audience

 

The first step to writing product descriptions that sell is to define your target audience. 

 

This begins with understanding your buyer persona, and the characteristics of your potential customers. 

Take this example of a moisturizer from Pura D’or

While Argan Oil has been popular among women for some time, particularly as a hair treatment, it’s also something that might be new to some people. 

If you’ve never used cold pressed oil in your hair or on your skin, would you know how to use it properly? 

The company goes on to successfully describe what the product is best used for, including usage tips and specific benefits to using it on different parts of the body. 

The buyer persona here is probably, “A woman who is searching for high quality moisturizing skin and hair products who may or may not know that this product exists and how to use it.” 

 

The reverse situation also exists in which large, international brands have already established what their products are, what they look like and what they can do. Apple, for example, often takes a minimal approach to product descriptions with a technical focus, and it works for them.  

 

  1. Use Features to Motivate Prospective Customers

 

If you know your target audience’s motivations and concerns, you can customize a list of features and benefits in your product description. 

Check out this product description for an electric toothbrush from Oral-B:

This not only describes the basic features–a two-minute timer, five-day battery life, #1 dentist-recommended brand–but it also includes the key selling point: “Removes up to 100% more plaque than a manual toothbrush.” 

You’re not just getting an electric toothbrush. You’re getting a “clinically superior clean” recommended by professional dentists. 

You’re not just getting a toothbrush. You’re getting a “dentist-inspired round brush head.” 

With 500 modes and features, the product appeals to a buyer looking for a product that can guarantee and offer more than just basic cleaning. 

 

  1. Bullet Points Make It Easy to Scan

 

People love to skim, and a product description that includes bullet points provides a clear way to display the most relevant information. 

Amazon actually adds bullet points to their block text, and hides the technical details of many products in another section. 

Consider this example of their product page for Uidoks Dash Cam:

  • It’s not actually skimmable text, but the bullet points make you read each point as a separate idea. 

 

Checkmarks or bullet points, they trick the mind into reading information in smaller chunks, and that’s good for sales. 

 

  1. Write with Search Engines in Mind

 

According to Amazon-affiliated selling experts, there is some evidence that placing keywords in product descriptions, particularly in bullet points, increase search rankings. 

 

In fact, Shopify suggests adding keywords to four main places:

 

  • Page titles

  • Meta descriptions

  • ALT tags

  • The body content on a page (i.e. product descriptions)

 

Ideally, the same keywords should be seen throughout all of these sources, but if listing keywords feels like your jamming a square peg in a round hole, try taking a more creative approach to incorporating those essential descriptors. 

Conclusion

Mastering your product descriptions requires creativity and testing. Don’t be afraid to test product descriptions in order to improve both formatting and copy. 

 

Ultimately, you want to craft a product description that gives your shoppers the information they need. 

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

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What is Duplicate Content and How Does It Affect SEO?

What is Duplicate Content and How Does It Affect SEO?

Even very successful websites get stymied by duplicate content. Think of it this way: Every time you create three or four versions of one of your pages, you’re competing against yourself three or four times before the page even enters the competitive market of search engine results pages. 

 

People often have misperceptions about duplicate content and its effect on SEO, backlinks, and traffic, but we’re here to provide answers. 

 

Whether your site consists of large numbers of templated pages or you’re just beginning the initial phases of web development, read on to avoid mistakes that could cost you valuable organic traffic. 

 

What is duplicate content? 

 

Strictly speaking, duplicate content refers to similar or exactly duplicated content that’s available on multiple locations on or off your site.

 

From a broader perspective, duplicate content refers to content that offers little value to visitors or pages that contain little body content. 

 

A ratio of more than 3 duplicate content pages for every normal page is considered excessive and likely weighing down your SEO performance.  

 

Why is duplicate content bad for SEO? 

 

Duplicate content presents several issues primarily for search engines and site owners:

 

  1. Search engines don’t know which versions to include or exclude from their indices, which means that it’s difficult for them to rank search queries in results. This also creates issues when consolidating the link metrics (anchor text, link equity, authority, trust) to one page or separate pages. 

 

  1. For site owners, search engines will be forced to show just one version as the best result, which dilutes the visibility of each duplicate. Link equity can also be diluted when other sites have to choose between duplicates as well. 

 

Does duplicate content receive a Google penalty?

 

Google tried to squash myths surrounding duplicate content when Susan Moska posted on the Google Webmaster blog in 2008

 

Let’s put this to bed once and for all, folks: There’s no such thing as a “duplicate content penalty.” At least, not in the way most people mean when they say that. 

 

You can help your fellow webmasters by not perpetuating the myth of duplicate content penalties!

 

However, when duplicate content is a result of intentionally copying someone else’s website, Google has something to say:

 

Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results. 

 

Ultimately, Google will be forced to choose one version of the content to show in search results. 

 

How duplicate content happens and how to fix it

 

Duplicate content can originate from technical issues like incorrectly setting up the web server or website. But they can also derive from the content being copied and published in other places. 

 

  • URL variations, such as click tracking and some analytics code, can cause duplicate content issues 

  • HTTP vs. HTTPS versions can create duplicate content

  • WWW vs. non-WWW pages can create duplicates of each of those pages

  • Scraped content, particularly identical manufacturer’s descriptions for products on e-commerce websites can be identical in multiple locations. 

  • Index pages such as index.html or index.php may make your homepage accessible via multiple URLs

 

You can essentially fix all duplicate content issues by verifying which of the duplicates is the intended version. 

 

Whenever content on a site can be found at multiple URLs, it should be canonicalized for search engines. 

 

Here are three main ways to do this:

 

Set up a 301 redirect

 

A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another. 

 

These redirects also link various URLs under one umbrella so search engines rank all of the addresses based on the domain authority from inbound links. 

 

These types of redirects associate common web conventions (http:// or www) with one URL to maximize domain authority.

 

Use the rel=canonical attribute

 

The rel=”canonical” attribute is part of the HTML head of a web page and should be added to the HTML head of each duplicate version of a page. 

 

Its purpose is to tell search engines that a specific page should be treated as though it were a copy of a specified URL, and all of the links, content metrics, and ranking power should be credited to the one specified URL. 

 

Set the preferred domain of your site

 

The Google Search Console allows you to set the preferred domain of your site and to clarify whether Google should crawl a number of URL parameters differently (this is also called parameter handling). 

 

The only limitation in using Google Search Console is that any rules or changes may not affect Bing or any other search engine’s crawlers. 

 

Check out more about duplicate content

 

Learn more about duplicate content by checking out these resources:

Want more insights? Contact our digital marketing experts at RLC Media to start growing your online business today.

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Rest During Working Hours

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

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We speak to Ace & Tate Creative Fund Board

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

0

Rest During Working Hours

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

0

We speak to Ace & Tate Creative Fund Board

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

0

Rest During Working Hours

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me, that it might be the mirror of my soul, as my soul is the mirror of the infinite God!

O my friend — but it is too much for my strength — I sink under the weight of the splendor of these visions! A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapor around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image, and the breath of that universal love which bears and sustains us, as it floats around us in an eternity of bliss; and then, my friend, when darkness overspreads my eyes, and heaven and earth seem to dwell in my soul and absorb its power, like the form of a beloved mistress, then I often think with longing, Oh, would I could describe these conceptions, could impress upon paper all that is living so full and warm within me.

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