Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Arrow On Google Adwords? Have no fear . . . for now

If you've recently noticed a small, medium blue arrow at the top of Adwords ads it's a development related to Google Instant. While it is intended (we think) to offer a new way to navigate, it has the potential to take clicks away from organic rankings and divert them to Adwords ads.

When you get to a page with the distinctive blue arrow, use your down arrow key to move the arrow to another position, use your Enter key to make a selection. You'll probably be amused by this new feature.

We've noticed a hokey website or two trying a leading >> in their website's title tag but have never seen a quality website, including SEO companies or legitimate PPC management companies that use industry best practices, use this kind of gimmick.

No, you can't buy it, but if you have that top Adwords position you'll probably like the results. There is no guarantee on whether or not this will stick around or change. We would like you to leave comments below on your thoughts and experiences on this new feature.

Leave it to Google to push for new ways to improve the Adwords product . . . and create a challenge for SEO practitioners. For now, most SEO professionals are not too concerned.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Social Media For The Anti-Social

The past few weeks have seen a lot of Social Media activity by Anti-Social people and groups. From socialist Islamists in Egypt to socialist Unions in Wisconsin, Social Media is being used to organize riots, protests and civil disobediance. This brings up a question about a collision of two ideals -

Is the use of Social Media for the purposes of inciting and organizing civil unrest a matter of Free Speech or is it an act of Conspiracy that is prosecutable under federal or state laws? The Patriot Act allows for surveillance of certain communications for the purposes of detecting terrorists and acts of terrorism. Certainly the destruction of government property, acts of physical violence and criminal trespassing could qualify as acts of terrorism.

While the odds of prosecution for these criminal acts is unlikely (at this point) it is conceivable that it could happen. What are your thoughts on where this could go and how governments might monitor or leverage access to social media communications to control the populace?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mobile Marketing, Mobile Media and Mobile Advertising in 2011

Industry analysts are predicting a surge in mobile search marketing. Obviously this will be more prevalent in major markets however the growth of mobile marketing will expand into even remote and isolated geographical areas. Now is the time to begin planning (hopefully acting on) your mobile search strategy and tactics. Here are a few recommendations for consideration:

Act sooner rather than later to get the drop on your competition. If you don't want to handle it yourself, allocate funds to hire a mobile marketing company.

Mobile marketing is an incredible opportunity to put your business in front of potential customers when they are searching and ready to buy. Some of your options are mobile coupons, utilization of QR codes or SMS, and develop content that allows for fast location of key contact information for your business.

Mobile Apps can be developed for your business. A custom App will allow you to increase brand recognition and control your messaging to customers. If you have a business with repeat customers you are a top candidate for a Mobile App. Take advantage of the "retweet" approach wherein you utilize recently released content to feed your mobile campaign.

Mobile Devices are not all alike. You will need to become familiar with what works on different smart phones and mobile devices. Obviously you want to target iPhones, Androids and other top selling devices. Understand how your target audience uses mobile and market accordingly.

Mobile usage research is critical in order to acieve optimal, or even acceptable, results. Before embarking on a mobile marketing campaign, make certain that you have a decent understanding of best practices and how your customers use their mobile devices.

In summary, learn about mobile marketing, develop a plan, engage professionals to consult on, or execute, your mobile marketing plan. Then measure and adjust to leverage this growth channel for engaging more customers.