December 12, 2012
Advertisers can now generate an HTML5 version of a Flash image ad with the click of a button, right within the Image Ad upload flow in AdWords. Because HTML5 ads can appear on browsers and devices that are incompatible with Flash, running an HTML5 version of an image ad alongside the Flash version in AdWords extends reach across devices. In this initial release, these converted HTML5 ads will show only on iPads, though we hope to extend support to additional tablet and mobile devices in the coming months.
It’s nice for advertisers to have an option for animated ads in the post-Flash era, but maybe not so nice for website visitors.
December 5, 2012
2. Produce a Resource and Set Up Alerts
Similarly, you can put together a video, white paper, or infographic, set up Google Alerts on the topic, and start contacting people. Any time a question about the topic comes up online, this is an opportunity to answer their question with a link to your resource. This is a great option because the answer is completely on-topic.
If you use this tactic, be sure to be as helpful as possible. The resource itself should be tremendously helpful, of course, but if it doesn’t answer every aspect of the question, make sure you address those directly in your comments, emails, etc. Don’t make it feel like a sales pitch, offer a genuinely useful answer.
Great suggestion to reap even more benefit from content development efforts. Do yourself a favor and read the whole post.
November 29, 2012
Nearly every small business must figure out how to become, in the parlance of branding experts, “sticky” or “top of mind” when potential customers or clients need products or services. In the past, many of the traditional strategies to help make a brand sticky, such as TV or radio, were cost prohibitive and inefficient for small businesses. However, new less expensive yet more efficient strategies have emerged over that past decade to help even the smallest businesses make their brands sticky.
Perhaps one of the most promising branding strategies to come along during the last few years is “remarketing.”
Have you seen banner advertisements for the same advertiser, who you vaguely recognize, that seem to follow you as you browse different websites? If so, you are probably on a remarketing list.
At its most basic level, remarketing is the practice of tagging a website visitor and displaying advertisements associated with that website while that visitor browses other websites.
Advertisers use remarketing for a myriad of reasons; not the least of which is to increases brand exposure or induce “the one that got away” to come back and take action, whether that be ordering a product, contacting the business, etc.
Google, Facebook, and others provide platforms that enable remarketing. In particular, Google’s AdWords platform allows businesses that also use Google Analytics to easily and quickly create remarketing lists and ad campaigns. Because of the relatively low cost of display advertising, which is the term for traditional banner advertising, the cost of remarketing is generally low and thus the return on remarketing is generally quite high.
Currently, remarketing in the United States doesn’t require the permission of website visitors to opt in to remarketing lists; however, this could change through future privacy legislation passed by the U.S. Congress.
Unlike remarketing, email marketing requires a website visitor to opt in to communications from a business. Of course, there are many ways to convince a visitor to opt in to an email list, but perhaps one of the most sustainable is the promise of value. For some businesses, that may be a discount on products or services, for others that may be entertainment, or for others that may be expertise and knowledge.
Like remarketing, email marketing can help a business convert “the one that got away” or increase brand awareness, but it is also inherently more personal. Unlike remarketing, a business often knows the names of the recipients to whom it sends emails and can personalize email salutations as well as other aspects of the email.
Perhaps the most compelling attribute of email marketing is attention. Unlike remarketing advertisements, which are often distractions when a person is viewing a web page, a person’s express purpose when reading an email is, just that, to read email.
With great power comes great responsibility, however. Just because a business has an individual’s email address, doesn’t mean the business should flood that individual’s inbox with messages that are likely unwanted. Sometimes, less really is more. In order to become sticky, businesses should only send emails that will provide value or utility to recipients. This will help ensure that email recipients won’t unsubscribe and will remain interested in future email communications.
Social Media Marketing
While the hype associated with social media, thankfully, may be dying down, it still presents a viable method of communication with current and potential customers or clients. Similar to email marketing, the best way to convince people to follow a business is to provide value or utility. Unlike email marketing, the consumption of social media is generally less focused than reading emails because it is often filled with numerous short posts all vying for a person’s attention.
Although a single social media post may not command much of a person’s undivided attention, people don’t generally need to provide any personal information when choosing to follow a business via social media, which may be more appealing than providing the personal information often required to opt in to email marketing.
As with email marketing, if a business wants to become sticky it should take care to only post information that followers will find truly valuable or useful in order to keep followers interested.
While many strategies to make a brand sticky were once available only to businesses with deep pockets, even the smallest of businesses can now become sticky on a scale that fits them.
November 28, 2012
Although Google long since admitted to returning inaccurate PageRank for some websites. Further, Google has also stated that PageRank is one of many factors, at last count there were at least 100, used in determining the authority and relevance of a website for a particular search query. As such, it bears repeating that PageRank is still not a trustworthy indicator of a site’s authority.
For example, we manage sites where PageRank has gone up, but the volume of organic traffic from Google appears unaffected. We also manage sites, where PageRank has decreased but organic traffic from Google increases simultaneously or within a few days.
While PageRank may no longer be a trustworthy indicator of a site’s authority, various third-parties, e.g. SEOmoz and Majestic SEO, have attempted to formulate other indicators. Some of these third-party indicators attempt to determine the authority of a domain through various factors including the position of websites in search engine results pages (“SEPRP”), the citations to a website, the number of mentions in social media, the authority and links to a website, and others.
A word of caution, however, third-party indicators like SEOmoz’s Page Authority and Domain Authority are just that, third-party indicators and may range from very inaccurate to very accurate.
November 27, 2012
Ed Parsons, the Geospatial Technologist of Google, has indicated in a recent talk at Google PinPoint London 2012 that “about 1 in 3 of queries that people just type into a standard Google search bar are about places, they are about finding out information about locations. …this isn’t Google Maps just people normally looking at Google”.
In other words, Google users are looking for local retailers, local restaurants, local service providers, etc. 1/3 of the time. While some, maybe most, people still rely on word-of-mouth, that appears to be changing in light of the other historical data in the post.
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