Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: May 8, 2013 9:20 am

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Google has made more small changes to its search results by removing the ‘more results near’ feature in the local search results. The feature gave the searcher the opportunity to view more results in the local area as well as natural and organic results. For example, if a user was to search for pizza in Chelmsford, the search results would display pizza outlets and sellers in Chelmsford as well as addresses, telephone numbers and maps. In addition when Google showed local listings in the organic and natural search results, Google would also display a link that the user could click to show ‘more results near…’ which would display results found directly in Google Maps and Google Local.

Yesterday, this feature had disappeared.

 

Jade Wang, Community Manager for Google + posted the following comment:

‘We have seen some questions about the small update to local search user interface on Google (removal of ‘More results near…’ link –

Thanks for your feedback about the small update to the local search user interface on Google. This is one of several updates we are working on to improve the local search experience, with the goal of more seamless exploration of places and more integration of local data. Stay tuned for more updates soon.’

The new change comes after several other recent amendments that Google has been reluctant to advertise including related searches filter, previews and cache. It seems as though the search engine giant is making some small regular tweaks to explore the best ways for consumers to find local searches as well as keep results as thorough and detailed as possible. In terms of search engine optimisation, the effect on results is still unknown – after just 24 hours it is hard to tell but if Google continues to make small and unannounced changes it will inevitably have an effect of search engine optimisation listings – detrimental or beneficial.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: April 29, 2013 1:46 pm

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Google has officially stopped instant previews from search results. The cancellation of the feature is said to be the result of low usage by searchers. Instant previews launched in November 2010 and were incorporated with AdWords Instant Preview and Sitelinks Instant Previews. Website owners could even see how their site looked and monitor instant previews through Webmaster Tool.

The original concept was to save time for users browsing the internet enabling them to take a quick sneak peak at a web page before clicking through and visiting the web site page. Such low usage by consumers clearly indicates that the feature was not needed or wanted or that it did not give a clear indication of the website in the preview box. It may have also been unclear to the user that the feature even existed and as a result low volumes clicked on it.

Almost two and a half years later Google has decided to drop the feature as a spokesperson explained, ‘As we’ve streamlined the results page, we’ve had to remove certain features, such as Instant Previews. Instant previews saw very low usage by our users, and we’ve decided to focus on streamlining the page to benefit more users.’

The announcement was met with some upset from Google users and the search engine giant has since introduced a drop down green arrow where a cached page can be viewed.

It is no surprise that Google has taken the decision to remove the feature if the amount of usage is low. It is also thought the preview feature did not fit the new approach Google is taking for its display of search results.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: April 23, 2013 2:30 pm

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New figures from Kenshoo have found that the price of cost per click on smartphone is less than on desktop. Smartphone cost per click were on average 46 percent cheaper priced at $0.30 than desktop which was $0.56. Figures also showed that the average cost per click for tablets was around 18 percent lower than desktop priced at $0.46.

 

The figures have come as a pleasant surprise for business that are looking to reach large audiences at a cut of the cost. Mobile internet browsing has experienced phenomenal success in the last few years with a huge surge in the amount of smartphone purchases and as a result a large increase in the amount of users on mobile search. It is for that reason that many businesses should take the opportunity to invest in pay per click whilst cost is still relatively low.

However unsurprisingly the report also showed that desktop holds the largest sector of search with 86.1 percent and 81.2 percent of clicks, a clear reason for the higher price.

In the UK, the trend also followed suit with desktop being most popular in terms of click at 72.3 percent and ad spend at 75.5 percent. However, the price difference between desktop and tablet cost per click was nonexistent costing on average £0.30 each and £0.20 for smartphone.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: March 22, 2013 4:21 pm

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The PPC landscape is continually changing as Google introduces new features and settings and advertisers become more experienced with getting the most out of pay per click campaigns. In light of this SEO Positive has noticed three important pay per click trends.

1.       Cross device browsing

Mobile traffic is ever increasing as more people purchase smartphones and tablets spending additional time browsing the internet on the go. However, figures also show that conversion rates are lower on smartphones and more effective on desktops and tablets. A study on Econsultancy showed that the average conversion rate on desktops and tablets was 3.7 % and just 1.9 % for mobile. Mobile is still important and therefore it is worth investing some time and effort in it to reach audiences, even if they do return via desktop or tablet to make the purchase. Smart AdWords users are investing in enhanced campaigns which show the amount of traffic from each platform which gives insight into consumer’s behaviour.

2.       Mobile and Enhanced Campaigns   

As described above, enhanced and mobile devices are Google’s new tool for businesses. Cheaper than desktop and tablet cost per click, Google are encouraging business to invest time and effort into mobile, claiming that this is the year of the mobile. Mobile campaigns also have less competition that desktop which in turn should mean a higher chance of reaching customers.

3.       Google Shopping  

Since their launch in the last 2 years, Product Listing Ads have made a major impact on many ecommerce clients with most drawing significant proportion of sales from them. After its changes were implemented and all listings were free, many businesses have had to rethink of ways to draw customers in. This has produced higher quality natural listings and higher paid pay per click campaigns. In short, the change demonstrates that webmasters should not rely on one aspect of advertising alone.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: March 7, 2013 10:12 am

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Since its launch in 2000, AdWords has made a big impression and proven to be one of the most effective advertising tools on the internet. Google’s revenue for 2012 from AdWords alone was $42.5 billion American dollars, an indication of how popular the device is. The short text based adverts consisting of one headline of 25 characters and two additional text lines of 35 characters each are said to reach at least 81 percent of users on search results. Findings like this prove just how important PPC is and how significant it is to get it right. In light of this a new software has been launched which allows PPC to be determined by the weather.

The new WeatherFIT is a cloud based software program that controls your adverts so that they are displayed depending on the weather. The unique platform delivers AdWords adverts based on real time localised climate conditions. The program allows users to set up various campaigns based on various weather conditions. For instance if it is raining in Liverpool, you could have your campaign running for an umbrella company, however, if it is sunny in London your campaign would not run in the Capital. The software is programmed so that adverts will only show if they meet the weather criteria you have set.

Furthermore weather sensitivity analysis by the Met Office allows you to see first- hand the impact of weather on your sales in the past. It is possible to use this knowledge on a real time basis for your PPC strategy giving you the highest amount of potential customers at any relevant time and as a result makes your campaign as cost effective as possible.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 30, 2013 10:09 am

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Last week Twitter released its very own video sharing app named Vine. The new concept allows Twitters 500 million plus users to share six second long videos across the micro blogging site.  Although owned and linked directly to Twitter it is not yet possible to Vine straight from Twitter, currently users must use the dedicated Vine app to upload videos to their account. The app is also only available on iOS operating systems such as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Vice President of product, Michael Sippey explained the app in a recent blog post, ‘Vine is a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.’

So if the app is owned and promoted by one of, if not, the largest social network site the impact of the app is expected to be large. The app also encourages everyone to be back on Twitter and begin connecting and sharing content again. Good news for Twitter – bad news for Facebook!

The app is also a new viable alternative to Instagram. Six second videos can be informative, fun or even just thought provoking and are an innovative and fresh way of creating content. Instagram simply shows an image – Vine allows video and sound and is therefore a great way to show a brands personality, creativity and style.

The app has however been met with some raised eyebrows and a few red faces after failing to filter and remove porn clips from its site. Even more embarrassing was the porn video that appeared in the Editor’s pick – blamed on human error and quickly deleted after many complaints.

Nevertheless Vine, with or without controversy was always going to cause a stir and we believe will continue to, especially in the content marketing world.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 22, 2013 11:44 am

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Last week saw the launch of the new Graph Search from Facebook – a function that allows users to socially search for common interests such as restaurants, music and movies. Although currently it doesn’t seem to rival Google (although Zuckerberg admitted it is work in progress) it does still raise some concerns for businesses and marketers.

Hailed as a ‘game changer’ by digital agency Revolution Digital and a ‘huge deal’ by SiteVisibility it is set to shake up social media. For example if you are looking for a Curryhouse in Chelmsford liked by people in Chelmsford, then Facebook Graph Search can help. Or if you met somebody at a party named Hannah, who attended Westminster University and is a friend of your Friend Stacey, then you can use Facebook Graph Search to track her down.

To put it simply – it allows you to search on a more detailed, in-depth scale – something that is alarming both users on a personal and business level.

Up until now Facebook has allowed marketers information that most common users of the social media platform have no idea exists. As Graph Search launches more and more information will be freely available to all, including typical users and skilled marketers which will result in some rethinking the amount of information they share with Facebook. This is of course something that the site and marketers do not want to occur.

Obviously there have been various calls of Facebook dying out over the last decade, of which none have been fully correct. Today there are over 1 billion active users on the site, a figure that regularly increases.

Only time will tell of the effect that Facebook Graph Search will have on both searching – and the amount of information that users will share with the social networking site.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 17, 2013 4:14 pm

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It seems as though we are a nation of keen tablet and mobile users, even on Christmas day!

A recent study has revealed that 46% of Christmas Day traffic was on tablets and mobile phones. The results seem to back up a theory that Christmas day e-commerce is increasing each year as a result of the ever increasing popularity of digital gifts like smartphones and tablets for Christmas.

Findings also showed that traffic via mobile on the 25th of December actually exceeded that of an average shopping day in December apart from that of December the 1st. Retailers saw 44% more traffic from tablets and 25% more traffic from smartphones on Christmas day. Findings are even more interesting when Christmas Eve and Christmas day is compared, showing a 40% increase in tablet traffic and a 14% increase in smartphone usage on Christmas day.

2012 was undoubtedly the year of the tablet take over – with the launch of various devices such as the Kindle Fire, the iPad mini and the Google Nexus. The increase in site traffic is undoubtedly due to them being purchased as gifts but may also be due to a change in retailer’s tactics. Many began their sales on Christmas day slashing large amounts of money off items that were full priced less than 24 hours earlier.

This also raises interest about PPC advertising and the best times to begin and end your campaign. Cost per click on tablets has risen by 90% for tablet and 65% on mobile – an indication of the huge popularity of the devices and audience an advert has the potential to reach. Throughout the year tablet and mobile click through rates are always significantly higher than desktop and as predicted followed trend at Christmas with a huge spike in numbers.

Such research leaves marketers, SEO experts and researchers with the necessity to widen and develop adverts and websites in a mobile and tablet friendly way. It seems that more and more of us are relying on mobile internet access as a way to shop – even on the most unusual days.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: January 8, 2013 4:25 pm

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Televisions and mobile phones have become an integral part of everybody’s lives. We spend hours each day making calls, interacting online, sending text messages and browsing the web all on our mobiles. The other screen we spend a lot of time looking at is that of the television. Whether it is unwinding after work, embracing sport or catching up with the latest popular programs, the television makes up a large proportion of the UK’s popular culture.

So what happens when the two collide? The merging of social media and television is a phenomenon that has occurred over the last few years. Until recently the use of hashtags and trending was not commonly connected with television programs, yet now it is a regular, mundane feature. Television programs even create and visibly display them throughout the show encouraging the use and discussion of the show on social media sites like Twitter.

This type of ‘social TV’ also exists on Facebook where it is possible to view opinions and remarks about shows that are commonly watched such as the likes of X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and Big Brother. This means that if the user logs on at a certain time whilst the program is on television it is highly likely that they will see many related posts. Sean W. Bohan Co-Founder of Decahedralist Strategic Consulting explained, ‘The user doesn’t call this social TV – they call it their normal behavior  Apps that create more enhanced experiences like syncing to the audio from the TV, timed with the show, encouraging interaction etc…will create new opportunities for sponsorship and revenue. ‘

Mike Knowlton, from Murmur added, ‘I expect to see a continued growth in ‘Second Screen Viewing’, we’ll see a new move to better integration social activity into TV content.’

So what does this mean for TV in the future? Many feel a large emphasis will be placed on the encouragement of social interaction and creating a buzz about a television program through the use of social media platforms.

Overall, the move towards social media and the acceptance of it in everyday life displays how it is a platform that will not be going away.

Posted by: Hannah

Posted on: October 25, 2012 1:27 pm

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Most people scan read websites for specific words, phrases and pictures that indicate what they are looking for. The majority of people do not read every single word of web content and this should be kept in mind when writing a blog. Reading from a screen which is brightly light and is full of bulky text is difficult, and studies have shown that reading from a computer screen is harder than traditional formats and therefore has a reading rate of 25% slower. Only 16% of people read web content word for word and the average person understands 60% of this.

In order to see if your blog site is scannable and easily read you should ask a person who is unfamiliar with your blog. Asking them to read in the same style that they usually would should highlight any areas that are difficult to read or hard to understand. If they fully understand and can explain the article then your blog post is scannable.

If any problems or misunderstandings occur there are some simple steps to follow in order to improve your blog post. These techniques include:

  • Writing appropriate text as lists. Bullets points, numbers and symbols can indicate important areas of copy and display it in an easy to read, concise format.
  • Formatting the text and space in your blog post is also a way to ensure the copy is comprehendible for your readers.
  • Clear headings and use of sub headings helps break text into sections and emphasize areas of importance.
  • Using images and infographics is a fun and unique way to show facts and details creatively.

 

Sticking to these simple tips is imperative in keeping your readers on your blog and encouraging them to make regular visits to check for new content and blog posts.

 

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