Tag Archives: mobile marketing

Did You Catch That?: Answers You Should About Mobile SEO

To keep our guides the best they can be, we go to those working at the coalface of search marketing to get their contributions so they are relevant and up-to-date.

One of our contributors is Alex Moss, director at FireCask. Alex contributed to the mobile SEO section of the guide, so we asked him to share his knowledge following Joe Friedlein’s thoughts on on-page optimisation. His thoughts are below…

You’ve written about mobile SEO for our latest best practice guide. What do you see as the main trend which marketers should be paying attention to?

A lot of sites I see do use responsive design which is great. One thing that people don’t do on a technical level is consider content that should be loaded dependent on the device viewing that page.

There are plenty of redundant content blocks I see on mobile versions of a site that are great for the desktop experience but not so useful for mobile.

Understand what content needs to be served and only serve what is needed.

As mobile becomes more significant, do you think the quality of the user experience on mobile will factor into how pages are ranked or displayed in the SERPs? Can companies do anything to rank higher on mobile?

Just keep on optimising as you would for desktop, don’t obsess.

Obsession usually causes paranoia which leads to over optimisation.

Q: What do you think are the most serious issues your customers encounter when they interact with your brand via a mobile device? 

Source: Reducing Customer Struggle Report

Does Hummingbird and natural language search fundamentally change how SEOs should plan their campaigns for mobile?

Yes. Connect more with current events and local. People who use a mobile are higher quality visits but need to know the answer to their search even faster than they would if searching for the same term on a desktop.

Utilising rich snippets (which again is usually part of your general SEO strategy) with local and time-based structured data tells Google that you want to share more information beyond the standard title and META description.

As always, your site and landing pages within your site need to be informative enough to provide an answer to the query being asked. The basic principles are still there.

What do you think Google’s next move could be when it comes to mobile search?

More integration with Maps, Google+ and other related Google apps. I also think it will start to use more collected data from your history to form more contextual results based on your search habits.

What’s one piece of advice you would give for those looking to get the most out of mobile search?

Ranking is one thing, but the landing page is more important. Check in analytics how your mobile visitors behave in comparison to your desktop visitors. Check page loading times by using segmentation to separate the type of visitor.

Is there a higher bounce rate or lower engagement or conversion rate? If so then there’s something that needs to be optimised.

There’s always something to optimise 🙂


Real Talk: No Engaging In Social Media? Fine. But Own Your Brand, Set Expectations

There was an interesting conversation that happened on Twitter between a comedian and (what turned out to be) an impostor pretending to be a major brand (Pace Salsa).

The short of it is the impostor manning the fake Pace Salsa Twitter account went about favoriting a bunch of statuses not very complementary of Pace.

Campbell Soup Co, the owner of Pace responded (eventually) to let us know it was not real. At least, after a bunch of speculation by blogs and users about what was going on. This was the correct response. And whether you want to say they were “late” or purposefully enjoying some free PR we can’t know.

Although the whole thing was fairly benign and not damaging to their brand in my opinion, it could easily have been worse.

But this never had to happen at all for Pace (or your brand). It is understandable that Campbell Soup Co has decided Pace as a brand does not have resources to participate in every social channel (such as Twitter) at this time. We can argue that’s a silly move and of course they should nurture their fans there, but that’s their decision / mistake to make. However, this could have been a non-starter. Here’s the official Pace Twitter Account:

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.11.32 AM

Of course, we don’t know it’s official because Pace doesn’t write this in their bio. Heck, they don’t even bother linking back to the PaceFoods.com homepage. They just respond to a bunch of people (and spam their own followers by adding a . before the response) asking people “where is your salsa made?”

It’s clear why an internet troll had such an easy time pretending to be this brand: the brand didn’t look like they were involved in social at all, so it was easy to pretend to be them. So easy, a spammer (even with an underscore in their name) could pretend to be the brand. And why not, they looked more official than the above.

Naturally I was curious about Pace’s other digital assets at this point so I went over to their website and saw (in December!) they sadly still have their summer promotion up:

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.16.49 AM

I was sad to see this as growing up I have fond memories of enjoying Pace Salsa with Tacos and chips. At the least I want to see that the people behind the brand care about delighting their users. But even if they do care, the messages they send with their above marketing say they don’t. We tweeted to Campbell Soup Co, and they kindly responded and let me know they’ll get to work on this which is great. At least the larger company is listening and doing a good job here.

The point of today’s post is one I’m surprised still needs to be made: set expectations with your channels and look official, even if you aren’t planning on engaging right now. Of course, you should participate, but if for whatever reason you can’t at the very least set some expectation (for example: this is the official Twitter account for Pace, we’re not updating right now but visit our site for the latest) and protect your brand in that channel.

And with your own site and static content: look, I get it if you can’t update all the time. But if you’re going to do that, be evergreen so you don’t create an experience that leaves users scratching their heads.

What’s sad is Pace is definitely not alone here. And while we expected these types of mistakes in 2004, there aren’t really excuses anymore. We need to push our favorite brands to do better so they continue to exist.

Winning!: 3 Things To Consider for a Badass Mobile PPC Campaign

For PPC campaigns this year, one of the key challenges will be ensuring that the opportunity for increased sales via mobile traffic is efficiently and profitably taken.

Before we focus specifically on PPC traffic, there have been some really interesting statistics published recently to help put into context just how important mobile traffic will be this year:

  • 61% of shoppers used a smartphone before a shopping trip, spending more on average than those who didn’t.
  • In 2013, the percentage of in-store sales where mobile phones were used as part of the shopping journey in the UK stood at 6.8%. This equates to £18bn of sales, a figure 45% up on 2012.
  • For John Lewis, sales from click-and-collect jumped 60% compared with 2012.
  • In the grocery market, as much as 15% of UK sales, worth £900m, is thought to have been booked online between 20 and 23 December.
  • Rising consumer confidence coupled with the convenience of purchasing on a hand-held device has contributed to 50% of year-to-year mobile commerce growth in 2013 over 2012.
  • 40% of all PLA (product listing advert) clicks will occur on smartphones by the close of 2014.

As expected, the trend of visits continues in an upwardly motion, but importantly, the role of mobile traffic in the path to purchase is becoming more important (be it by influencing decisions, or as is happening more and more, the purchase itself).

So, to quickly set the scene for optimising your mobile PPC, here’s a…

…brief introduction to AdWords Enhanced Campaigns 

In mid-2013, Google completed the migration to Enhanced Campaigns, a format designed to allow you to better integrate your cross-device strategies.

Previous to this, many PPC experts had segmented their campaigns based on the device (one for desktop, one for tablet, one for mobile). Although this was the preferred method, it’s perhaps sub-optimal, requiring up-keeping three times as many campaigns.

Enhanced campaigns introduced a number of ‘mobile-specific’ features – most notably, the ‘bid multiplier’. What did this mean? Rather than having set a separate amount, your mobile bids would just be a factor of your overall bid (for example, a bid of -100% would turn off mobile activity).

Initial reactions were that this was a less flexible solution, but I’ve found some features to be highly useful for improving the mobile side of AdWords campaigns.

Three important strategies for improving your mobile AdWords results

To make the most of what is clearly now a huge opportunity, what strategies should you be including as part of your PPC campaign in 2014?

Below I outline three areas for consideration as part of your overall PPC strategy:

Use insightful reporting

At a very basic level, you should be clear about the split of traffic/cost/revenue between different device types.

How much traffic is coming from mobile and how does its behaviour compare to desktop and tablet?

To get more insight, we need to start considering the role of mobile in the user journey.

There are plenty of figures around which help to understand why we expect to see a lower conversion rate from mobile visitors: along with reservations about purchasing (#fact#) on a mobile device, the role of mobile visits can be slightly different, giving a need for understanding the value of these visits in the path to conversion.

For single-device paths, we can get good visibility of the touch-points, for example, using the Model Comparison Tool or Multi-Channel Funnels features of Google Analytics:

For cross-device paths, it becomes a lot more difficult for cookie-based tracking to provide this kind of detail. What we do have for AdWords campaigns are Estimated Conversions.

In Google’s own words:

Cross-device conversions start as a click on a search ad on Google.com on one device and end as a conversion on another device (or in a different web browser on the same device).

For example, say someone shops for ‘blue jeans’ on her mobile phone while waiting for the morning train. She clicks on a mobile ad for ABC Blue Jeans.  hen she gets to her office, she goes directly to the ABC website to make a purchase.

This is an example of a cross-device conversion. We calculate cross-device conversions using a sample of data from users who signed into multiple devices.

The last part in bold is important to understand: the ‘estimation’ of your conversion is achieved by aggregating data from a sample set of signed-in Google users.

By analysing data across thousands of advertisers. Google estimates incremental conversions can be somewhere between 2% and 12% depending on vertical.

In AdWords, this report would look something like this:

Taking the full picture into account allows you to make better decisions about your bidding strategies, and when you can see the full value, it enables you to make a better case for pushing for greater mobile presence.

Tailoring your campaigns for mobile

Given we have good awareness of differences in user behaviour depending on the current device in use, we should cater to this by ensuring the advertising is tailored specifically to mobile users.

There are a few options for doing this in AdWords:

Mobile-optimised ads:

Selecting that an advert’s device preference is ‘Mobile’ means that this specific advert will be shown to mobile users. This is useful for ensuring your proposition appeals to the mobile user.

Examples of tailoring ads could be:

  • Calls-to-action which appeal to mobile users (e.g. ‘Mobile friendly site’).
  • Specific offers which appeal specifically to mobile users.
  • Using shorter, more direct ad copy if ‘click-to-call’ buttons are truncating your text:

Mobile-only sitelinks:

It can be well worth creating differing strategies for your mobile and for desktop/tablet sitelinks.  Considerations for mobile sitelinks are:

there are only two shown, ensure that your two key sitelinks are given priority on mobile searches

deep-linking to sites of the section specifically to help mobile users quickly navigate the site (e.g. highlighting the ‘Best sellers’ or ‘New Range’ pages could help ‘fast-forward’ the user journey)

Be pro-active about improving landing page performance

As the lower mobile-site conversion can be a barrier which is limiting your exposure (by making competitive bid prices unprofitable), review the landing pages and find areas of opportunity.

But this is a PPC article, not a conversion optimisation piece? Something I’ve learned through the years of handling PPC campaigns is that, by the nature of the beast (i.e. repeatedly firing traffic at a site and measuring its value), you develop a really valuable, granular view of how well a page is performing, which helps identify issues and areas for improvement.

When conversion is hindering your PPC performance, raise awareness of the issues and, when possible, suggest solutions. A good PPC account manager cares deeply about post-click activity.


Hopefully you’ve picked up some useful thoughts on how to go about improving your mobile PPC presence and results over the next year.

Do you have any favoured strategies for succeeding with mobile PPC campaigns? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Are They Actually Opening That?: 5 Critical Steps Used by the Pros for Successful SMS Campaigns

There is a huge market for businesses using SMS messaging as part of their marketing campaigns. There are several benefits to incorporating it into the current marketing schedule and a bulk SMS campaign can give you positive results whilst being easy to implement.

How do these campaigns work and what benefits will they bring to your business?

Know your market

One of the first things you need to know is the market that you are trying to reach. You should establish this before you even start thinking about what information your messages will contain. The people you are trying to reach will determine what you actually put into the messages, so do your homework and figure out what it is that your customers want.

The benefit of doing this is that you won’t end up sending targeted messages to customers who aren’t interested in what you have to say. You may find that – through your research – you end up with several different lists of customers who have varying interests, known as ‘segmentation’. You can then create separate campaigns for these lists, ensuring that everyone receives communication that is tailored to their individual preferences. By doing this, you may lower the chances of customers choosing to opt-out or unsubscribe, because they will be happy with the messages they are receiving.


It goes without saying that if you want to incorporate bulk SMS messaging into your marketing campaigns, you should outsource it to a company like Text Local, which specialises in this area. With their help, you will be able to send out the messages at optimal, set times which will best suit your intended recipients. This is ideal if you have a global campaign and want to reach people in different countries.

Similarly, these sorts of companies will take the hassle out of your campaign, leaving you free to decide what you want the messages to say rather than worrying about how you’re going to get the details into a system that will automatically send the bulk SMS.

Financial considerations

Marketing campaigns can cost a lot of money, particularly if you already have a large number of customers on your database. When it comes to getting in contact with them, there are a number of ways you can do this and some of them can work out to be considerably more expensive than others.

Marketing material that needs to be printed out and sent through the post is incredibly costly and time-consuming. There is also a risk that it won’t be received by the customers. However, with a bulk SMS campaign, you won’t have the additional expenses of paper, postage or printing. This could potentially save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

These financial savings can duly be passed on to your customers. As an example, National Express offered SMS tickets instead of having to have printed ones, saving the company around $8,500 over the course of the year. Customers are likely to have been pleased with this option because they won’t have needed to print out the ticket at home, which is often something many companies insist on when sending e-tickets.

Success rates

A lot of marketing material can just be classified as junk and recipients never read it. However, with SMS messages, the levels of open rates are considered to be very high. People tend to check their text messages, whereas they may simply delete or filter emails. Paper marketing like leaflets and posters are often thrown straight into the bin without a second glance.

With all of this in mind, SMS messages may prove to be the most effective way to get your message across to your customers and ensure that they actually read and take it on board. If you offer a discount or special offer in the message, you may also find that the message is forwarded onto other people and you might actually increase your subscribers this way.

Keep it quick

Once you have sorted out what your messages are going to say, the people they are going to be sent to and how the campaign is going to be actioned, you can really start to understand and reap the benefits of it. A bulk SMS campaign allows you to get your message across at rapid speeds.

You don’t have to wait for the post to arrive or for emails to get through spam filters; your SMS message will be sent straight to the recipient, saving you a considerable amount of time. This makes SMS marketing campaigns, quick and efficient, with a high success rate. No wonder they’re such a popular choice for companies all round the world.

They Want To Get Di-gi-tal, Di-gi-tal: 2/3 Of Emails Now Opened on Mobile Devices

If there were any doubts before, the time to dispatch them is now.

Consumers the world over are using their mobile devices to check and respond to email in numbers previously unimaginable. Today, nearly two-thirds (65%) of marketing emails are opened on mobile devices.

Citing the latest industry data showcasing the muscle of mobile in email marketing, Matt Southern of Search Engine Journal says a mobile marketing strategy “is not just something that’s nice to have, it’s a necessity.”

“If your business regularly sends out emails they need to be optimized for mobile,” he asserts. “But even more important than that, if you link back to your site in the email you better be linking back to mobile friendly pages so you’re not turning away customers.”

The rate of mobile email opens is expected to climb further in the coming years on the back of smartphone shipment momentum across the global landscape.

Just today, the latest research from Strategy Analytics‘ Wireless Smartphone Strategies service revealed that global smartphone shipments grew 41 percent last year to reach a record 990 million units in 2013.

Another One?: How to Keep Up With the Ever Changing Mobile Marketing Strategies

Although Google is branching out into, well, everything, they proved in 2013 that they haven’t forgotten where they started; their revolutionary, game changing search engine.

How did they prove it? When they released their new search algorithm, Hummingbird. Then they went a step further and bought DNNResearch, Wavii and Bahavio to augment it. All told, it amount to moves that are going to change the way the average person experiences everything on their mobile device.

With their new initiatives and technology in place, Google is going to turn mobile devices into mobile sensors that help consumers (and companies) make the most of real-time mapping and GPS location-based marketing. Additionally, Google will be able to more accurately send consumers information that they want about services, products and businesses.

If you’re a digital marketer, these changes mean mobile customers must be at the forefront of your thinking. Radical changes don’t have to be made just yet, but the four points below should definitely be in the back of your mind.

1. The User is now center stage. If you thought understanding your customer base was important before, with Google’s new efforts, that importance has reached critical levels. SEO is still going to be relatively important. But, whereas in the past, the question was: “where do I rank?” the new question should definitely be: “do I have the answer to my customer’s question?”

2. Your website better be mobile friendly. Simply put, if you are still thinking that people are searching the web using laptops and PCs, you’re already three or four years behind the times. Smartphone traffic has grown by incredible leaps in the last few years and if your website isn’t extremely mobile friendly (loading extremely quickly, with an easy, user-friendly interface and clean design as well as big buttons and super clear calls to action), you’re going to be waving goodbye to a lot of customers.

3. Video, video, video. It’s predicted that by 2016 mobile video will account for over 70% of total mobile data traffic. If you haven’t yet gotten to know the mobile video creation app Vine (the one that home improvement giant Lowe’s is already using) you’d better download it now and learn how to use it ASAP. Video marketing is going to be king and of those who don’t jump on it are going to look like court jesters.

4. Don’t forget the basics. Smartphone users searching for products and services are usually ready to purchasenow. Indeed, nearly 60% will purchase something within an hour of searching and over 80% will do so within 24 hours. If you don’t have your hours of operation, telephone number and physical address readily available on your website and mobile website, as well as keeping your reviews on sites like Yelp! looking good, consumers are going to either walk away or ignore you completely.

Hit Or Miss: Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media

Timing is crucial to spreading your message to the widest possible audience.

This infographic shows when the best times are to post on FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+, and Pinterest.

A Brief Word on Timing

It’s important to note that these sorts of analysis’ are usually based on a very large dataset. They analyze hundreds, maybe even hundreds of thousands of pieces of data to come up with the average.

So when you read the following infographic, just know that your audience may be different. For instance, if you’re trying to reach stay-at-home moms in the U.S., these numbers may work just fine. But if you’re going after the business professional CEO type, some times may not work as well since they are likely to be busy during work hours.

Also, this infographic doesn’t make reference to a particular time zone, but I would assume it to be in Eastern Standard Time.

Know your audience. Try these peak times out and see if they work. Then try adjusting slightly to see what difference it makes. You might also just observe when key influencers in your target audience post the most and try sending out your messages around those times.

All that said, here’s what this particular study found on the Best and Worst Times to Post on Social Media via our Pinterest “Mobile Marketing”  Board :

Best times to post on social media - mobile marketing
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