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Showing posts from November 1, 2016
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At Amazon.com, Black Friday began today

Your calendar says it’s Tuesday, November 1st. Nevermind that. As far as Amazon.com is concerned, Black Friday starts today.Yep, the deals are already underway. The e-commerce giant has launched its 2016 Black Friday deals store at http://ift.tt/PJuLaB, promising new deals as often as every five minutes between now and December 22nd. Amazon has also curated hundreds of products into holiday gift guides that cover electronics, home, handcrafted items and more.Meanwhile, Amazon is offering its Prime members a number of bonuses this holiday season, including:30-minute early access to “thousands of Lightning Deals”an extra 20 percent discount on pre-order and new release video gamesexpanded voice shopping, plus “hundreds of exclusive deals” for voice shoppers via the Amazon device family (Echo, Dot, etc.)So what’s gonna happen when it’s really Black Friday — i.e., November 25th? Amazon is promising special Black Friday discounts that entire week, and then an entire of week of Cyber Monday…

Why all search ads seem the same (and what you can do about it)

Let’s face it: anyone with an AdWords login, bank account and keyboard can create ads for search. It can be a Wild West out there, which means that many ads ultimately fail. They fail because they don’t capture the attention of searchers, because they don’t include the best information, and frankly, because they look like every other ad out there.Your paid search ad strategy goes way beyond the 140 text characters allotted to you. It starts with that, sure, but the entire architecture of your ad from the text to the extensions should all support a strategic message about your brand, its products or services.So in this post, we’ll look at some of the steps you can take before you type that first word of text, so you can construct informative, eye-catching ads that truly support a company’s goals and stand out from the crowd.[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

via Marketing Land

When going HTTPS, don’t forget about local citations!

Migrating your site to HTTPS is all the rage these days. Google is on the record as saying that using “https” in your URLs can give a site a ranking boost.That said, going HTTPS has its share of SEO challenges. Here are but a few of the HTTPS horror stories we have witnessed over the past year:Sites go HTTPS and don’t redirect or canonicalize the HTTP URLs to their HTTPS versions.Sites go HTTPS without telling the SEO team, who freak out when they check into Google Search Console and see branded traffic has started to tank (Hint: check the HTTPS profile in Google Search Console that no one set up because you forgot to tell the SEO team).Sites go HTTPS without making the site truly secure. For example, if you are serving your CSS file from an HTTP URL, you will need to update the CSS URLs to HTTPS. If you don’t do this, your browser may start to show an insecure warning like this:Even worse, Google may start showing insecure site warnings next to your URLs in search results — a nice wa…

So you have the data. Now what?

The battle for the consumer’s share of mind and wallet gets more complex every day. And to win, companies are looking to transform their marketing in big ways, armed with a multitude of available data and modern toolsets. All too often, though, the vision is not supported with the technology, mindset and organizational design to fully engage in a people-based marketing strategy.Further, given the availability of new marketing channels (addressable TV, messaging apps and so on), we need to think beyond customary tactics. And this transformation starts with laying the right foundation; shifting your focus from channel to audience; and layering in the right technology.Laying the right foundationThe ultimate goals of increased revenue and earnings per share can only be achieved after the necessary groundwork has been laid. In short, you need to invest money to make money. That investment should be targeted in three main areas:collecting data;analyzing the data; andmaking the data accessib…

Latest Report Reveals Positive Growth in Sony’s Mobile Business

Sony’s mobile business hasn’t seen potential growth since the sudden embankment of affordable smartphones. They’ve been unable to keep up the pace and as a result, their share in the market has almost reached a point of extinction when compared with what they used to relish before. However, unlike the previous year where they faced a tragic loss of $172 million, the latest earning report reveal some positive spikes.Sony Mobile Communications sustained a profit of $37 million (3.7 billion JPY) in Q2 2016, up from $4 Million in Q1. The company’s restructuring cost it over $500 Million in 2015, however, thanks to the downsizing of lineups and pivot to lesser models harvesting higher margins, things seems to be have patched up at least for now.Selling about 3.5 Million handsets in the most recent quarter, their sales in total, were down by 40 percent year-on-year as Sony axed the majority of budget offerings. They also shifted focus on regions where outcomes were relatively better, theref…

IAB: Mobile made up nearly half of $32.7 billion record internet revenues in first half of 2016

Internet revenues surpassed another record high in the first half of 2016 to hit $32.7 billion, according to the IAB report conducted by PwC. That’s a 19 percent increase over $27.5 billion reported for the first half of 2015. Digital growth is outpacing other media when compared to Nielsen data, thanks to mobile.Mobile ad revenues jumped 89 percent year-over-year to $15.5 billion in the first half of 2016. Mobile represented 47 percent of all internet ad revenues, up from 30 percent a year ago. Mobile growth has consistently been in double digits since 2012, and has seen increases across all formats this year:Mobile search revenues increased 105 percent to 7.4 billionMoible video rose 178 percent to 1.6 billionMobile display banner ad revenue rose 62 percent to 6 billion. Search continued to account for 50 percent of all internet ad revenues across mobile and desktop. Search revenues reached $16.3 billion in the first half of the year across mobile and desktop, an increase of 19 perc…

Opinion: Google is biased toward reputation-damaging content

If you or your company have seen something that harms your reputation abruptly appear in Google’s search results, you may be wondering how and why something negative could appear so fast, and how it gained against longer-established materials. It’s pretty simple, though: Google’s algorithm likes it better. Let me explain.First of all, Google has worked very hard to interpret user intent when searches are conducted. It’s not easy to fathom what people may be seeking when they submit a keyword or a keyword phrase.When someone searches for “pizza,” for instance, Google may assume that most of the time people are seeking local pizza providers, so it provides Map Search results of local pizza restaurants, personalized to the locality of the searcher. But it also provides links to pages from nationwide pizza websites that deliver, as well as lists of top area pizza places, the Wikipedia article for pizza — and more.Since Google cannot always divine a specific intention when a user submits a…

Pinterest pulls ads from Instapaper’s site, makes premium service free

Pinterest is making its first major change to Instapaper since acquiring the read-it-later service in August 2016. But it’s not the one you may have expected from an ad-supported company.Instead of syndicating its own ads on Instapaper’s site and apps, Pinterest is pulling all ads from Instapaper. It’s not a massive change; Instapaper’s apps never featured ads and its site wasn’t overloaded with ads. But it’s a departure from other “tech platform buys media property” deals like Facebook-Instagram, Yahoo-Tumblr and Google-YouTube that led to an influx of the platform’s ads onto the properties.But advertising isn’t the only revenue stream Pinterest is eliminating from Instapaper. The company is also turning its $2.99-a-month subscription product, Instapaper Premium, into a free service. As a result, now anyone using Instapaper will be able to search for text within articles, listen to computer-voiced versions of saved articles, get unlimited use of Instapaper’s speed-reading and annotat…

Twitter will automate brands’ customer service DMs with welcome messages, quick replies

Welcome! Have you been paying attention to the battle between Twitter and Facebook Messenger to serve as marketers’ favorite social customer service channels? If no, click here and here. If yes, scroll down.To make messaging businesses through social networks feel less like navigating the DMV’s website, Facebook Messenger and Twitter have turned toward automated guides. In April Facebook Messenger introduced welcome messages that brands could use to tell people why they might want to privately message a brand and how; it also debuted chat bots that, in part, are meant to do for customer service what ATMs did for banking. Now it is Twitter’s turn.Twitter is starting to roll out its own ways for brands to automatically greet people who direct message (DM) them and handle at least part of the conversation through a series of preset messages, but only when people start those conversations in the most updated version of Twitter’s apps.Twitter’s welcome messages and quick replies aim to aut…

Is the FCC ruling on consumer data a sign of the coming Stone Age — or the Modern Age?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s decision late last week about the use of consumer data by Net providers may only be the first step toward a complete reinvention of how digital ads are targeted in the U.S.Just look at Europe to get a sense of where this may lead.Last Thursday, the FCC approved a new policy that requires Net providers like Comcast to obtain opt-in consent from their customers before they can use a customer’s behavioral data, or share it with third parties like ad platforms.Consumers have to opt-in to allow, say, their browsing history or app history to be shared, as well as their health or financial info, Social Security numbers, search data, SMS messaging, or the content of their emails. Excluded from this category of sensitive data are IP addresses and device identifiers.This doesn’t apply to the data collected by web sites or social networking platforms like Facebook, which fall under the supervision of the Federal Trade Commission.Consumer groups like …

Survey: Amazon tops SMB “trust index,” Yelp ranks at the bottom

Local business networking site Alignable is collecting net promoter score (NPS) data on a wide range of companies serving the small business market, from accounting to listings management to payments and web hosting. It regularly asks small business users and members of the site to rate providers of various services.Alignable then indexes all the scores in what it’s calling an SMB Trust Rating. It’s like the American Consumer Satisfaction Index for SMB service providers. The following screen offers an example of how the NPS solicitation is presented on the Alignable site.The public index exposes star ratings but Alignable actually maintains the NPS scores. Below is the company’s rankings of the top 10 most and least trusted brands, representing the opinions of “hundreds of thousands of business owners.”Alignable doesn’t verify that survey respondents are actual users of the services. However, the company argues that it gets a more complete and accurate picture of a company’s reputatio…

Instagram tests shopping outside of ads with 20 retailers in the U.S.

Instagram’s organic shopping flow tags products in retailers’ photos and links to their sites. Ever seen a brand post a photo of a shirt on Instagram and been like, “I want that. How can I get it?” But then realized in order to get it, you need to see if the brand put the shirt’s name in the caption, then switch out of Instagram to your phone’s browser, search for the retailer’s site, then search on the site for the product’s name to get to a page where you can buy it. It’s a hassle. But not for long.Next week Instagram will start testing a way for you to be able to see a product in a retailer’s photo and buy it from the brand’s site without leaving Instagram’s app. The test will be limited to 20 retailers — including JackThreads, Kate Spade, Macy’s and Warby Parker — and only people in the U.S. who use Instagram’s iOS app will be able to try it out.Instagram’s shopping feature is pretty basic and not entirely new to Instagram. The feature doesn’t work for videos, and people have been

How to get started with online reputation management

Online reputation is important for every business and social media has only escalated the need. But how can you filter the noise to maintain a positive reputation?As social media usage increases and people feel more comfortable expressing their opinions through all the platforms, online reputation management becomes even more crucial for every business trying to promote its services.It is estimated that consumers are 92% more likely to trust their peers over a brand when considering a new purchase, which means that online reputation may bring a customer closer to your business.Online reputation management is the process a business follows to analyse and monitor all its relevant mentions and reviews that take place on the web. It is helpful to keep track of the sentiment around your business, as this may offer useful insights on how to improve your digital strategy.For example, it may be useful to establish a positive online presence, as 86% of people hesitate to purchase a product fro…

The hierarchy of subscriber needs: Key success & failure metrics

Subscriber expectations have grown steadily over the years, driven higher by a wide range of factors, including the adoption of smartphones, the increase in targeting and the rise in omnichannel experiences.For email marketers to be successful, they must meet or exceed these expectations, which can be measured by a set of success metrics and a set of failure metrics.We’ve summarized these demands in the “Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs,” which I’ve outlined below:Respectful email experiencesRespectful experiences are the foundation of all email relationships. You want to have solid permission practices tailored to each of your email acquisition sources. You also want to set the appropriate expectations for how many emails the subscriber will receive and what content will be in those emails.The key success metric for respectful email experiences is high open rates.Functional email experiencesThe next level up is functional experiences, a goal that is particularly difficult in the complex…

5 Artificially Intelligent Smartphone Apps You Must Try

Every tech conglomerate is now talking about artificial intelligence for making the applications we use every day, smarter. AI enables algorithms to learn our habits, what we actually like, what we don’t, where we are at what time, basically, it attempts to bring human-level accuracy to the apps we’re accustomed to. While, the AI world is still in its infancy considering the immense potential, developers have already begun to realize machine learning’s potential and have been devising ways for improving functionality. Hence, in this article, we talk about five such smartphone applications you should take a look at.1. Recent NewsAs the name suggests, Recent News is a relatively smarter news aggregation app powered by artificially intelligent algorithms. The app will study your reading habits, how much you read daily, what you like or share, and through that, suggest articles that you will definitely consume. The Android app works flawlessly if you regularly start using it, at least for…

All you need to start your new online venture: 10 tools & 10 useful resources

Are you starting a new online business? It’s always overwhelming! Here’s your ultimate resource list to help.Maybe you have had an idea for a profitable venture for a while, but are only now diving in? Good news!There are quite a few excellent tools and resources out there to help you along the way. From the first steps to the last, these 20 links are must-clicks for the modern small business mogul.Online launch tools1. BustanameOne of the oldest tools I am still using as of today, Bustaname lets you check the domain availability on the fly. It’s great for the brand name inspiration! I believe I was using that tool to come up with my very first domain name seosmarty.com2. KnowemKnowem is the tool to check any time you are looking for the brand name for your business. It will show how many social media sites have your name registered. Don’t go with the name that’s not available on major social media networks!This will cause constant confusion and misunderstanding! Use the platform to l…