Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Rumor sad that Facebook will go Into Mobile Ads by End of March 2012.

Facebook plans its first push into mobile advertising by the end of March, giving the company a fresh source of revenue ahead of a possible initial public offering, two people with knowledge of the matter said. An idea being considered is putting Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ads, which feature friends’ interactions with brands, within the mobile News Feed, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The News Feed lets users view status updates, photos and other content.

Facebook, which boasts more than 800 million users, is increasing its focus on mobile technology, aiming to take advantage of the shift to smartphones and tablets. The company expects its next 1 billion users to come mainly from mobile devices, rather than desktop computers. More than 350 million users already access Facebook through their mobile devices, according to the site. Read more:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Go Mobile

Mobile is delivering on its promise at the moment. The technology is in place and people are engaging in droves, on smartphones in particular. but many businesses still hasen't started walking the mobile road yet. Most have not yet meaningfully engaged with mobile consumers and adapted their strategies to capitalize on the mobile opportunity. But, not too late. Here are some steps that businesses should take today to build the foundation of their mobile marketing and commerce strategy.

Thinking Local
Mobile searches have more ‘intent’; but what does that mean? It’s a way of saying that when people are looking for information on a mobile device they intend to act on it fast. Mobile users search for information because they want to take action. After looking up a local business on their smart phone, 61% of users have called the business and 59% have visited. Because of this, location is exceptionally relevant to mobile users, and should be especially important to marketers. If people intend to act fast on the information they find on mobile, they’re more likely to take action somewhere near their locations. So,as a business, to try to reach a mobile consumer, understanding geo-targeted advertising campaigns and products is critical.

You need a mobile specific site
That giv's your conumers a great mobile experience when they visit your site on their mobile phone. And what’s a mobile specific site? It’s a website that’s been designed specifically for a smartphone, and it prioritizes what’s important for a user on the go, it features elements that are easy to see and interact with.
A mobile optimized site isn’t a desktop optimized site. In fact, it may be just the opposite: websites that look great on the desktop may be illegible, or require endless zooming-in, or may not work at all on mobile. The mobile web is not a smaller, portable version of the desktop web. When designing a mobile site, think as a customer. Make site navigation easier, put key action-items front and center, and build for the on.the.go user. Think about the mobile behavior of your customers and design for it.

Be more ‘Personal’
200 million videos are viewed every day on Mobile YouTube, an increase of over 3x from last year.65 million minutes (over 125 years!) of Angry Birds games are played every day on mobile. We’re glued to our mobile devices, and engaged like we’ve never been before. There’s an opportunity to connect with consumers in ways that are both special, and only possible, because they’re on mobile.

Track your mobile site
The web looks and feels different on a mobile device and people engage with it differently, at different moments of the day, and often with different objectives. Google sees a 50% spike in usage on weekends for Google Maps for mobile and in general, mobile engagement increases in the evenings and on weekends, when people are away from their desks, or on the go. So, mobile is distinct from desktop; your mobile site tracking should be distinct as well. When you separate your desktop and mobile website data, you’ll better understand the users visiting your site, what phones they have, and what actions they are taking. You can then use this data to optimize your website and improve it, along with your campaigns.

We’re in the earliest chapters of mobile’s history. Change is in the air and hopefully will be for a long time. Just remember, before 2007, the iPhone didn’t yet exist, and neither did Android handsets, or any app marketplaces. The rate of change in mobile over the last five years is astounding and you need to have a fast development cycle to stay ahead of that change. The tactics and strategies that work today may be very different from what works months, or even weeks from now.

Marketing in Google+

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Convert to mobile websites

If you convert a traditional website into a mobile version, it’s important to make sure a number of things happen:

Auto-Detect Mobile Phones. Mobile-friendly websites automatically detect that users are on a mobile device and then display the appropriate version of the site.

Clear Calls to Action. The most important features of the site should be the at the top of the page and should include clear calls to actions.

Avoid Mobile-Unfriendly Elements. The design should avoid mobile-unfriendly elements such as Flash, large images, video, and complex layouts.

Fluidity. Design with a fluid layout that will gracefully adapt to a range of typical mobile screen resolutions.

Touch Interface. Touch screens don’t have hover states — it’s all about fingers tapping, so don’t build a site that requires users to move their mouse over menus or other elements. Also, make sure links and other clickable elements are big enough to tap with a fingertip.

Scrolling. Limit scrolling to one direction — the site should only scroll vertically. Having to manage a page that scrolls horizontally and vertically is difficult to navigate.

One Window. Avoid pop-ups and new windows. A user’s entire experience should take place in a single window.

Use Alt Tags. Sometimes images won’t load, either because of issues with the mobile browser or because a user’s connection is too slow. Always include descriptive alt tags for images, in case they don’t appear.

Simple Navigation. Simplify your navigation. Typically, a site’s traditional navigation is too complex for a mobile site.

Clean Code. Most desktop web browsers allow a lot of leeway when rendering HTML and will usually display a site correctly, even if the code has flaws. Mobile browsers usually have less room for error, so there is an added value to having clean, simple code.

Label Forms. Some modern websites embed form labels inside the form field. On mobile, it’s much more difficult to keep track of the fields, and users often make use of “next/previous” buttons built into they keyboard. Without clear labels alongside the form fields, it might be impossible to know what information is supposed to be in which field.

Escape Hatch. Sometimes users just need to use your normal site. If possible, always have a link back to the original, unoptimized site.

It all comes down to leveraging design and technology to keep things simple, clean, fast to load and easy to digest on the go.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Local Now Accounts for 40 Percent of Mobile Searches, according to Google, “Distance” Now an AdWords Ranking Variable.

Google announced new mobile ad-units along with some interesting new stats in regards to mobile search.
According to the company, 40% of all mobile searches coming to Google are local in nature at this point, which continues to trend upward.  As such, the search giant also announced that “physical location,” or the proximity of a local business to a user’s location will become a targeting variable when serving ads to mobile users.

The new AdWords ranking variable that takes into account a user’s location is good news for local businesses and retailers as it aims to drive more relevant foot traffic at lower costs.  Local businesses will need to use Location Extensions to take advantage of the new location targeting, and the smartphone user will need to be opted-in to share their location for location proximaty to kick in.

Custom Search Ads for apps: will appear when users search within apps for content. Search ads now can be integrated into apps, which wasn’t available previously.

Click to Download ads: will direct users to download areas in Android Market or iTunes app store.

Mobile App Extensions: these ads can direct people to specific apps or pages within apps already on their phones.

Circulars (not limited to mobile): these are more graphically rich ads that contain product images, pricing and deals/offers. Google says, “When someone clicks on a search or display ad (on desktop, mobile or tablet devices), they may see these engaging ads which contain photos of relevant products and special offers.”

Here’s Google’s example: “If someone searches for sneakers on a mobile device, they might see an ad that takes them directly into a cool shopping app they’ve installed on their phone.” It’s not clear what happens if the app isn’t on the user’s phone already.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Marketing on smartphones

Before smartphones arrived, much of mobile advertising was limited to small text links on WAP sites, opt-in mobile messaging, or ad banners too small for the mobile user to read and much less be impressed by. Standardization was difficult or impossible becauce of the many different devices, and mobile advertising was subject to a scale problem much worse than the one experienced by web advertising in its early days. Not only because ad units couldn't be effectively standardized, but also because the technology used by each carrier was different -- further compounded by the notion that two handsets might have the same carrier, but might also have a completely different set of capabilities and enabling technologies fueling how they worked. On top of this, many people looked to their mobile phones primarily as interpersonal communication devices, not as content consumption devices.
So it's no wonder the mobile web wasn't the huge game-changer we thought it might be.

Smartphones arrived. Apple has half the market. I've had my iPhone 3G for several months now and still love it, even though it can't handle email as well as my BlackBerry did. With Apple holding 50 percent share in the smartphone market, we might see a scalable solution coming our way. The problem is that mass marketers won't likely understand that people still see phones largely as an interpersonal communication device, less so as a content consumption device.

Many iPhone apps are free. I do occasionally check the weather, the stock market, and use the Safari web browser to access content. More often, though, I'm using Twitterific to tweet from the road, using Facebook's mobile app to approve friend requests and upload mobile photos, or making use of location-based services like Loopt.

Many mass marketers would like to think that mobile devices will simply replace desktops and notebooks for web browsing, but that's not what is going to happen. If we are going to figure out a way to use smartphones as a marketing channel, we can't think it's just web advertising on a small screen. While it is true that mobile web browsing is on the rise, and that the iPhone can surf the web more elegantly than any mobile device that came before it, the truth of the matter is that mobile applications are increasingly being used to enable interpersonal communications rather than to provide brand platforms in the vein of mass media.

There's always room for mobile apps that provide content, but the ones that will scale quickly and will integrate more closely into the lives of people who download them will be the ones that provide utility and community, not straight content. So, if you're looking to make smartphones a viable channel for your brand, you need to branch out beyond content distribution and into mobile utility and community.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Go Mobile With your Marketing

Mobile advertising is growing fast. With the gradual introduction of sophisticated new technologies, marketers are beginning to track results and manage mobile metrics in ways similar to those used online. Opportunities abound for creating new channels of profitability when based on measurability and accountability.
Understanding the unique potential and the proven power of the mobile platform - as well as its limitations, can improve performance and allow mobile advertising to become a significant layer in the marketing mix.

What You Need to Know
There are a number of issues that should be considered once the decision has been made to begin advertising via mobile, in order to increase the success in mobile marketing. Here are a few things that result-based marketers should do when planning a mobile campaign.

There Is A Vast New Markets
There are global markets where mobile phones are commonplace and often used instead of landlines and where the amount of traffic is vast and rapidly growing. Marketers should take advantage of the reach and potential of these relatively untapped and unsaturated markets. Advertising costs are often significantly lower than in other parts of the world and, at the moment, there is considerably less competition.

The Process Should Be Short
Less time and less hassle translate into more conversions. This is especially true in the mobile realm, where campaign success depends on keeping the advertising process as short as possible. Unlike stationary PC users, mobile device users are constantly on the go. They can be exposed to an ad anywhere, at any time, in an endless variety of situations and occasions. Not less important, mobile screens are considerably smaller than PC screens.
Given these limitations, in order to successfully attract the user’s attention, messages (both on the creative and the landing pages) need to be short, precise and effective. The call-for-action should be instantly understood, delivered from a single landing page, and should employ a simple registration form. The form should include a minimum number of required fields that can be quickly and easily completed without the need for lengthy responses or multiple clicks

Multiple Landing Pages
The process should be optimized, from impression to conversion, in order to reach the campaign’s goals. The use of multiple landing pages for each product is critical for the success of the campaign, as is the use and testing of a variety of different banners. Multiple landing pages enable a quick determination of what works best, what turns users into buyers, and delivers the best results for the advertiser.

Text Links
Text Links are ideal for mobile advertising. They deliver excellent conversion rates for result-based advertisers, usually cost less than banners, can bring a higher CTR (Click-Through Rate), and often account for the majority of a campaign’s traffic.

Use Advanced Technologies
Result-based advertisers can benefit from the intelligent use of the latest campaign tracking and management technologies, which can make all the difference for mobile campaign success. Conversion Tracking enables a view of the entire process as well as ongoing measurement and optimization, thus allowing for continuous improvement of campaign results. By focusing on the total process, from impression through conversion.
Unified Reporting Capabilities consolidate campaign data from all relevant networks into a single, unified report. This facilitates the simple detection of campaign variations, strategy, and effectiveness including the relative performance of specific landing pages and network/landing page matches. Innovative new tools that enable the tracking of a campaign’s progress without requiring the advertiser to check each mobile ad network separately are critical for the success of mobile campaigns.

Extend Campaigns to the Widest Range of Devices
Marketers should match their campaigns and technology to the widest possible range of mobile devices including both feature phones, smart phones and tablets, in order to maximize effectiveness and expose the campaign to as much traffic as possible. When planning campaigns, it is particularly important to take into account the rapid growth in smart phone traffic

Campaign Partners (Publishers and Ad Networks) Keep Them Updated
Marketers should keep traffic sources continuously updated. Publishers and Ad Networks should be kept informed about the advertiser’s selected operators, and about the agreements signed with them. This avoids running campaigns via unsuitable operators and on ineffective traffic, and prevents running wasted campaigns.
Mobile Advertising has become an exceptional opportunity for result-based advertisers to increase their revenue sources as well as their reach. New marketing channels can be created and new markets can be tapped. Cutting-edge technologies can be utilized to develop smart, fully optimized campaigns that maximize conversion potential and deliver rapid ROI.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Optimizing For Google Places Page

As increasing number of searches have local intent behind them, Google is showing Places listings in many more SERPs. This presents an opportunity to either gain a spot on the first page for many businesses or to gain more space on the first page for companies already ranking on the first page.

Five things that hav impact on rankings in Google Places.
As with traditional SEO, having your keywords in the right places is important for ranking while stuffing keywords in the wrong places will make you look like a spammer.
Avoid placing your keywords in the business name (unless the keyword is part of your business name) and the business categories. Both of these will bring the wrath of Google upon you and end up with your Places page removed. Do make an effort to strategically use your keywords in your description. Don't keyword stuff, but word your description carefully and use your primary keyword phrases.

Service Area
Specifying a service area is a great idea for many businesses that come to you such as tutors, maids, and handymen. If you are unfamiliar with the service area option, it is simply being able to set an area that your business serves rather than specifying an address for your company; it will show up on the map as a circle rather than a pinpoint. The problem is that we have seen a decrease in rankings when businesses have selected to display a service area rather than their business location. So, for now, stay away from the service area feature.

There are several fields to fill out when creating or editing and some of them may not seem like they are really necessary. Google wants to give users the best experience possible; in most circumstances the user will have a better experience if there is more information present on the Places page. This means not only filling out the required text fields but also the optional ones:
• Website
• Email address
• Description
• Categories
You should make sure the hours are accurate, that you have filled out additional details, as well as uploading photos and videos of your business. While these may seem auxiliary, they all count towards profile completeness and should be submitted. When filling out your profile, be as thorough as possible, doing much more than the minimum required.

Encouraging Reviews
Reviews are one of the best ways to increase your local search rankings but good reviews can be difficult to come by as it seems the only folks motivated to write up a review feel they have been treated unfairly.
You might try some of the following:

• Send a message to your Facebook fans or email list and ask them to leave a review at your Google Place page
• If you send out follow up, or reminder, post cards incorporate a call to action to review your business
• Put a call to action (and link) asking for a review on your web site
• Display a sign by your cash register or hand them a flier with their receipt asking for a review
Make sure to make the process as easy as possible, provide a link to your Places page and give detailed instructions on what they need to do leave a review.

My place Page

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Facebook marketing and mobile users

Smartphones provide a window through which internet marketers can reach consumers even when they aren't sitting at their desktops. According to a new report from ExactTarget, social media content is an especially powerful way to reach these on-the-go consumers, with many checking Facebook at least once daily through their devices.

The study shows that 50 percent of consumers log into Facebook through their smartphones at least once per day. Nearly one in five users (17 percent) say they check Facebook “constantly throughout the day” while 18 percent log into the social site via smartphones “several times per day.”

Moreover, consumers who check Facebook through their smartphones seem to be open to brand engagement via the social site. ExactTarget reports that 27 percent of respondents users have Liked a business through their smartphones.
Plus, mobile Facebook users tend to be members of the lucrative 18- to 34-year-old demographic.

Both men and women check Facebook frequently – approximately two-thirds of smartphone-owning men and women age 34 and under use their smartphones to check Facebook at least once per day, notes the report.

Tapping consumers through mobile Facebook efforts can even lead to sales. More than one-third of respondents (35 percent) said they have received messages through the social network that have encouraged them to make a purchase.

Friday, March 18, 2011

AdMob adds Windows Phone 7 support

WebOS, iOS, and Android, now AdMob is going for the Windows Phone 7 users. The Admob company, owned by Google, launched a beta SDK for Microsoft’s latest mobile OS, allowing developers to make some cash out of their free apps.
The SDK allows developers to control where the ads appear, and what types of ads are shown in the apps. Both text and banner ads are supported with a variety of post click actions including opening a webpage and linking directly to the App Marketplace.
AdMob have taken steps to customize the ad experience for the look and feel of Windows Phone 7 and make it easy for users to return to their app after engaging with the ad. AdMob updated its existing iOS and Android SDKs to include enhanced HTML5 support for more engaging ad units. Moreover, full screen interstitial formats are now supported on iOS and Android-based tablets.
[Via: Google Mobile Ads Blog]

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your Mobile Search Strategy

Mobile usage is growing and because location is often at the heart of mobile search queries, mobile is important to businesses that rely on local search. So the question is, what are you going to do about it? Recent investigating on mobile search is showing the following:

Mobile visits from search to your site are growing fast. On average, each site we looked at, experienced a 500% growth in mobile visits from search over the past year. We are still talking small numbers – the biggest site we tracked only got 50 mobile visits in one week last, but in general, these are 50 very local visitors most likely very interested in finding the particular business in question.

But Mobile visitors will view fewer pages than web visitors. And that make sense. Who wants to click around when they are on the phone?

While page views per visit is not always the best number to rely on – maybe the person just wants to find your address or phone number – it still can be a proxy for how engaging your site is. Perhaps you might want to consider designing a version of your site specifically for mobile users that reduces the amount of clicking necessary to get to a desired result.

Mobile visitors spend a lot less time on your site. This may not be true for all sites

Mobile search behavior can be different than web search. While this fact entirely dependent upon the type of business. It’s important to understand how a mobile device would change the way a person might search for your services v. a normal Web query.

What to do:

If you are thinking about a mobile search strategy for your business and not sure where to start, the best thing you can do is to figure out how mobile visitors are using your site.
If you are a Google Analytics user, the best thing to do is to set up an Advanced Segment that filters reports by visitors who are classified as Mobile, and here’s what to do:

1. Click on the “Advanced Segments” link on the lower left hand side of the Google Analytics navigation
2. Click on “Create a new custom segment” at the top of the page
3. Under the “Dimensions” section click on “Visitors”
4. Drag the green “Mobile” rectangle into the “dimension or metrics” box. Make sure the “Condition” equals “Matches Exactly” and the “Value” equals “Yes”
5. Name the segment “Mobile”, test and save
6. Now you can view any report in Google Analytics with only mobile user data simply by choosing “Mobile” from the Advanced Segment menu at the top of the page.
7. You can also create similar reports for different phones and browsers if you want to really drill down.

Creating a mobile strategy and building a mobile version of your site sounds like a lot of work and is going to be expensive. In fact this may be the case, although you can do it easy, you only need find where the help is. There are any number of services ready to do it for you.