Facebook recently announced that it will begin placing Product Ads on its users’ news feeds that will allow brands to display multiple items within a single advertisement. Many are calling the Facebook launch a direct effort to take hold of the enormous retail advertising market that Google currently has a stronghold on. Google’s Shopping Ads is a business unit that is estimated to take in $8 billion a year.
With Facebook’s new Product Ads launch, they attempt to deliver a better return on investment for online retailers than Google can offer. The wealth of customer data that Facebook has will allow the company to target their customers better than Google can. Facebook also has a more established mobile product that can effectively target consumers across devices. This is important since mobile transactions are likely to account for as much as half of all digital commerce transactions by 2017.
With Product Ads, businesses populate their advertisements on Facebook by uploading their product catalogs. They can either create their own campaigns, or let Facebook automatically choose which products are most relevant to certain users. Facebook can target people who have visited a company’s website or target people based on factors like location or special interests. This will save time and money for advertisers who will no longer have to create specific campaigns for specific audiences.
The proliferation of social commerce cannot be denied. Shopify stats show that product research and discovery that took place on social channels propelled e-commerce orders to increase by over 200% in 2014. Facebook dominates the social commerce landscape, with over 90% of advertisers planning on spending part of their social marketing budget on the site.
It’s not clear if Facebook’s Product Ads will lead to a tremendous return on investment. Most consumers want to compare products across multiple stores, and they will leave the Facebook application to do so. The Product Ads launch does nothing special to keep shoppers on the Facebook app. Consumers will likely only use Facebook for impulsive shopping purchases, so the Product Ads launch may have the most appeal for retailers who sell impulse-buy products. Businesses will need to test the waters by dedicating a small portion of their advertising budgets to Facebook’s Product Ads and determine ROI vs. other channels in comparative testing but by ensuring they have an attribution model that can track back sales up to 90 days from the impression or click of an ad.
With Google’s latest algorithm updates, it is becoming essential for businesses to have mobile websites. This is something that is necessary if you want to be able to reach as large an audience as possible. More and more people are using mobile devices to access information. Google has responded to this situation by making it easier for search engine users to locate web pages that are mobile friendly.
Google has recently announced that, starting April 21, 2015, it will be making mobile-friendliness a more important ranking signal. This will apply to mobile searches globally and in all languages.
This means that website owners who are seeking to maintain a good ranking will have to make sure their site is optimized for mobile devices. Google provides a Mobile-Friendly Test to make it easy to test this. The search engine also provides Mobile Usability Reports, which can be found under Webmaster Tools in Google Analytics.
Another major shift on April 21 has to do with Google implementing app indexing. This means that information from indexed apps will become increasingly prominent in search results. This reflects the fast growing popularity of mobile apps. Webmasters who create apps for their users should therefore learn as much as possible about app indexing. This will make information about apps available to search engine users.
What does this mean for your business? If you already have a mobile friendly or responsive site you may move up in the rankings. If you do not have a mobile site you may be in trouble. For example, a dealership that may currently rank well for a keyword phrase like “used cars toronto” may find their traffic plummeting as they drop from the first and second page search results and are replaced by competitors who have a mobile site. April 21 is still 6 weeks away so there is still time to connect with your developer and fast track getting a mobile version of your site up and running.
Out of the study of keyword searches comes the practice known as search engine optimization (SEO), in which the individual who is responsible for setting up a website knowingly includes the appropriate keywords in the text in the hopes that it will rank more highly in the search results list. This is an especially useful tool for business sites, whose ability to make money is, after all, dependent on people visiting the site and buying things therefrom. The rest of this article will be confined to mobile SEO and, more specifically still, to the reasons why you, as a businessperson and an owner of a website, should optimize your mobile SEO.
Reason #1: So many people surf with smartphones.
The smartphone has become so popular as a means of surfing the web – indeed, they may surpass PCs in that role in terms of number of surfers as early as this year! Similarly, statistics gathered by the computer and Internet blog Econsultancy reveal that about 40 percent of all views of videos on YouTube are done via smartphone. Consequently, the SEO strategy for any web business that is “worth its salt” should include a system of mobile SEO optimization.
Reason #2: Optimization of SEO for mobile phones is rewarded by Google.
Yes, it is true: Google has actually devised a system of rewards for sites that employ responsive web design (RWD), which is a way of designing sites so that they can easily be viewed on both desktops and smartphones without the need for resizing or other adjustments. RWD, it should be mentioned, is valuable not only because it saves all that trouble, but also because it can improve the standing of the site with regard to mobile SEO. Conversely, Google also penalizes certain types of behavior by reducing a site’s SEO rankings. Such behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- the mobile landing page being too slow
- having links on a smartphone site that direct to a desktop site
- including videos that are hard to play on mobile devices
Reason #3: There tend to be fewer characters (an average of fifteen) in mobile searches.
When people are making a web search on a smartphone they use fewer characters, on average, than they do when searching on a PC. Consequently, mobile SEO requires considerably less work than PC SEO as it requires less typing. This is the best reason of all so far why mobile SEO optimization is so important.
Reason #4: It can increase the number of visitors considerably.
SEO optimization for mobile phones can result in considerably more visitors to your site than you would from PC users alone. It is estimated that this increase may be as much as sixteen percent. In companies that operate in certain industries, the figure may be even higher, sometimes up to 29.9 percent.
Reason #5: Mobile surfers have different habits.
Just as web surfers using mobile devices use fewer characters, so too the types of searches they make are in many ways quite different. They are more likely, for instance, to make searches that are more closely related to information about a company itself – its history, the type of company it is, the products and services it has to offer, driving directions, the menu (if it is a restaurant, of course) and so on. Mobile SEO optimization can therefore be used to draw in more customers and make more sales than would otherwise be possible.
Reason #6 – USING Flash WILL HURT YOU
Sites that run Flash assets are generally not supported by smartphones and will now be penalized in the search results lists by Google.
Note: The following is a preview of my post on the Big Daddy Kreativ Blog
Paid parental leave for men – it’s a concept that blows some people away. Daddy gets to stay home with the baby for months while the job waits for him to return. It is a blessed concept that we are lucky to have here in Canada: After an initial 17 week Maternity leave, 35 weeks of paid parental benefits are available between both parents as long as they paid into EI during their employment.
I know that, if I lived in most other countries, including the US, I wouldn’t have parental leave. I would look back on my life and regret not getting more baby time. Thankfully though, I will view my life with two daughters under the age of 2 as having been a great balance of work and family. I regularly work long hours, so my commitment to my family was that I would take parental leave with each child. As I tell everyone who asks me about why I took parental leave, “No one really looks back on their life wishing that they had spent more time working, but a lot of people do wish that they had spent more time with their family” ….. to read the rest of this post please visit – http://www.bigdaddykreativ.ca/reflections-on-parental-leave/
Posted in Toronto
The last time I visited Vegas (in 2009) I had a chance to see “KA” and immediately fell in love with what the Cirque has to offer. This time I had the opportunity to see “O” while in town for the PubCon digital marketing conference. Presented on a spectacular custom stage built in the Bellagio in Las Vegas, “O” was one of the most fantastic and beautiful performances I’ve ever seen. After reading almost 100% positive reviews of this show, I was excited to see this famous Cirque production for myself, and I was not disappointed. The inspiring acrobatics of the Cirque de Soleil were featured in tandem with a uniquely innovative and equally dazzling moving water stage that produced realistic wild waves during the artistic performance. Watching any Cirque de Soleil performance is like reading a love letter to performance art, and “O” added the element of being a beautiful reminder that all living things are dependent on water.
Before I even got into the uniquely designed theater in the Bellagio, I was diverted with the rest of the audience through the Richard MacDonald art gallery, a sculpture gallery that makes up the entryway to the “O” theater, full of MacDonald’s beautiful bronze sculptures of Cirque performers and acrobats. I had never heard of Richard MacDonald before, and none of the reviews I read mentioned the gallery, so I wasn’t expecting to see his amazing bronze statues leaping, dancing, and hanging in space. Inspired by poses from Cirque de Soleil aerialists, acrobats, and clowns alike, some of MacDonald’s pieces seem to defy gravity; his aerialists and acrobats look truly weightless, and the poses look reading to burst into life at a moment’s notice. Though it was an unexpected surprise, the gallery turned out to be a perfect introduction to the show, and somehow managed to get me even more excited to see “O”, one of the best performances in Vegas.
The title of the aquatic extravaganza “O” is a play on the French word “eau” pronounced the same way, meaning water. Even when the 1.5 million gallon pool that makes up the stage is not in use, which is almost never, the actors and performers always seem to illustrate the fluidity and freedom of water. Complete with wave effects, special lighting and underwater breathing systems for performers, the water stage is a really impressive feat of engineering and design. The show’s amazing synchronized swimming, underwater acrobatics and other acts were all given a beautiful and original soundtrack by the Cirque’s incredible live music acts, but the musicians were all tucked up and above the stage behind protective barriers, which turned out to be a good thing once water started flying.
I was sitting further back in the house so I didn’t get wet, but it looked like the first couple rows got a pretty good splashing to go with their evening’s entertainment. Even without a light soaking, “O” left me awed at what the human body can do, and what a dramatic and beautiful part life giving water can play in all that.