Tag Archives: SEO

Apple Devices Dominate Mobile Online Shopping

The holiday season came a little early for Apple this year, but it’s not as if the company didn’t already know what it was getting. New statistics released this week from retail analysis firm RichRelevance indicate that iPads and iPhones are the top mobile devices that consumers use to make retail purchases.

By just how much, you ask? According to RichRelevance, 92 percent of all “online non-desktop sales” came from an iOS-friendly device during December. Better still (for retailers), those using their iPhones, iPads, and other iOS devices to shop online spent more, on average, than those shopping via other mobile platforms like Android: $123 for iOS devices versus $101 for Android devices. Even though desktop-based sales crushed mobile-based purchases in volume, the average order value of these purchases only reached $87.

“The numbers across our retailing partners sites demonstrate just how powerful the iOS platform is enabling mobile web shopping and, while still below 5 percent in total conversion, mobile traffic’s doubling in eight months is a trend we only see accelerating,” said David Selinger, RichRelevance CEO, in a statement.

In total, mobile device-based shopping hit around 3 percent of all online sales analyzed by RichRelevance—more than 3.4 billion sales in total, stretched across the months of April to mid-December. Translated out to raw dollars, mobile-based sales jumped from 1.87 percent of all U.S. online retail spending in April to 3.74 percent in December.

As mentioned, this news should come as little surprise to Apple, as the company has already seen snapshots of iOS mobile shopping dominance. Take, for example, Black Friday: According to IBM, the iPhone and iPad ranked first and second for consumer shopping on mobile devices on Black Friday itself (5.4 percent and 4.8 percent, with Android-based devices taking up third at 4.1 percent). That totals just over 10 percent of the mobile shopping market for Apple’s flagship products.

IBM also indicated that the specific Black Friday conversion rates for the iPad—a comparison of online visits versus purchases made—were double those of the mobile device category as a whole (4.6 percent to 2.8 percent.)

Even though Android enjoys a healthy lead in overall global market share for smartphones versus the iPhone—no doubt a result of Android’s ability to exist on multiple devices versus the single iOS smartphone product line—it seems that iOS users continue to carry the day for mobile shopping.

Apple’s Siri Could Destroy Local SEO

It’s worth taking the time to learn more about the iPhone 4S’s digital ambassador Siri , as it could represent the future direction of local search engine optimization.

On the surface, Siri — the voice recognition app that allows iPhone users to control their cell phones verbally — seems like a cool party trick, sending text messages from your spoken instructions, checking the weather and setting up calendar reminders. But does this added functionality really mean the end of traditional local SEO as some experts are predicting?

In some ways, yes. The real impact of Siri isn’t just that she acts like a personal assistant. The potentially huge ramifications for local SEO come from the depth of information Siri is able to access and the range of actions she can perform.

For example, Siri can call you a cab after a night on the town by automatically processing information about local cab companies in response to the query, “Call me a cab.” Automating the search process means you never look up “cab companies in your area” in the search engines, avoiding the traditional search engine results pages and pay-per-click advertisements entirely, therefore limiting their importance and influence.


Little is known about how exactly Siri collects and processes information, although it’s reasonable to assume that the program is drawing on well-cultivated public data sources, including Google Places, Yelp and similar sites. If Siri is eventually able to pull information from third party apps — as many predict she will be — she could effectively eliminate traffic to some traditional websites. As an example, automatically checking people in to Facebook places eliminates the need to visit those places’ websites.

 And when you take into consideration that the iPhone 4S has become the company’s best-selling iPhone in just a few short weeks, due in large part to the innovative Siri technology, localbusiness owners should take note of this trend and invest time in optimizing their sites for mobile discovery.

Here’s what you need to do to make your business website as accessible as possible to Siri and related voice recognition tools:

Optimize your website for mobile. This isn’t new advice, as the rules for mobile SEO — and the idea of local SEO in general — have been around for years. But as some sources estimate that 30 percent of all searches could include a local component by 2015, it’s more important than ever to make local SEO a priority for your business.



In addition to thinking about how consumers access your website while on the go, consider whether or not Siri can access important information about your business as well. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Add a mobile site template. Having users land on a mobile version of your website willmake them much happier, and it isn’t difficult to do, as mobile-ready themes already exist for publishing platforms including WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
  • Enhance your local SEO. Prominently feature your physical address, local phone number and operating hours on the home page of your site for maximum local SEO benefits.
  • Remove data obstructions. Yes, Flash graphics and Javascript are already “no-no’s” when it comes to mobile optimization, but also consider how easily Siri can access the information on your site. Burying pertinent information in PDFs and sub-pages could put your site at a disadvantage.

Enhance your digital presence. It’s no longer enough to simply set up profiles on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day. Instead, establish a profile on any of the following directories and review sites and encourage customers to rate your business there for maximum exposure.

• Foursquare
• Savings.com
• Retailmenot
• Judy’s Book
• Citysearch
• Superpages
• Yellow Pages

To determine which of these options are the best fit for your business, do a quick search to see which business sites in your geographic area and industry are ranking well in Google and create profiles on whichever of the following sites they’re using.

Implement microdata. If you’re savvy in the ways of SEO or have an IT manager who is you’ll want to consider adding “schema tags” to your website. Schema tags allow your site to incorporate relevant microdata — local business, address, telephone and open hours, for example — that could help Siri and the search engines process important information about your site more quickly.

While Siri on her own doesn’t necessarily spell the end of local SEO it’s worth taking note of the popularity this mobile data management system has gained in a relatively short period of time. As Siri evolves and other operating systems adopt similar technology, the businesses that benefit most will be those that best understand how their customers interact in a mobile environment and optimize their sites to engage them.

 

40% of Tablet /Smartphone Owners Use Them While Watching TV Almost 20% searched for product information, coupons or deals while watching TV

American consumers are increasingly connected and our recent survey shows they are increasingly multitasking when it comes to multimedia.

Roughly 40 percent of tablet and smartphone owners in the U.S. used their devices daily while watching TV, while only 14 percent of eReader owners said they watched TV while using their device every day.

And what are smartphone and tablet owners doing while watching TV? Checking email. Email was the top activity for both men and women during television programming and commercial breaks. In addition, women reported engaging in social networking more than men, while men checked sports scores more often.

q2_2011-simultaneous-usage-cm11-3943

Advertisers should take note that while viewers may be splitting attention between two (or three!) screens, 19 percent of smartphone and tablet owners searched for product information and 13 percent searched for coupons or deals while the television was on.

Google to Marketers: Get Better at Mobile search growth rates rivaling those on desktop

Google, which recently shared some big numbers from its mobile advertising business, has some advice for marketers hoping to join in its success: make your mobile presence presentable, now.

“Businesses need to be ready for mobile as soon as they can, particularly this holiday season,” said Surojit Chatterjee, Google’s lead product manager for mobile search ads. “You need to have a mobile site irrespective of whether you think people will actually make purchases from it. How good your site looks on mobile determines how people think about your business.”

Even though mobile advertising is still in early days, he said, mobile search volume is growing at a rapid clip. Over the past two years, Google has seen mobile search queriesgrow fivefold—a growth rate he compared to the early days ofdesktop search.

According to research firm Forrester, while 13 percent of the U.S. population searched with a mobile device in 2010 (90 percent with Google), mobile searchers will account for 28 percent of the U.S. population by 2015.

Early experiences now can have lasting consequences, Chatterjee said. Citing analysis from Gomez, another research firm, he said that 60 percent of users indicated they would be unlikely to return to a mobile site if they had trouble accessing it once and 40 percent said they would actually visit a competitor’s site. Beyond that, 63 percent said they would be less likely to buy from the same company through other channels (online or in the store).

“Users are looking at the mobile site to make conclusions about the business as a whole,” Chatterjee said.

Given the increasing number of smartphone users, he said as the holidays approach it will be ever more likely that consumers will try to reach marketers on the go.

This holiday season, Google expects that 44 percent of total searches for last minute gifts and store locator terms will be from mobile devices.

While Google has a clear lead in search now (on mobile and desktop), some industry watchers have wondered whether the search giant can maintain its top position as more consumers transition to mobile devices.

Its earnings report earlier this month, however, gave Wall Street a reason to have some confidence in CEO Larry Page’s belief that mobile search could be as big for Google (if not bigger) than desktop search.

In a rare move, the company broke out revenue from mobile advertising and said it was on track to bank more than $2.5 billion in that category in the coming year, and grew twofold in the last year.

Chatterjee said its success comes from building specifically for the new medium and catering to user behavior on the platform. For example, leveraging research that users tend to act more quickly after a mobile search, Google recently launched new ad formats that let users download apps from a mobile ad or reach a specific destination with a mobile app they already have on their phone.

A user searching for a pair of boots from her mobile phone, for example, can now go directly from an ad to a shopping app on her phone, so that she can more easily complete a purchase.

Other mobile features capitalize on the interest in local information—according to Google, 40 percent of mobile searches on Google are related to location. Two years ago, the company released a click-to-call feature that lets smartphone users call a business directly from an ad. This month, Google announced that proximity to a business would be a factor in mobile search ads ranking.

“We are building specifically for the medium,” Chatterjee said. “We are really, as an industry, speaking to the mobile user and taking into the account the signals we have on mobile phones, the constraints on mobile phones and the user behavior trends on mobile phones.”

Online advertising becoming as important as spot TV

According to Q3 2011 research from media buying solutions provider STRATA, clients are becoming just as focused on digital media as they are on spot TV. US ad agencies reported 34% of clients were thinking most about online advertising in Q3, compared with 24% the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the number of clients whose primary focus was on spot TV dropped from 41% to an almost-even 35%.

The online marketing tactics in use by the agencies surveyed did not change much, with online display, search and social media coming out on top, their usage rates stable from quarter to quarter. On social media, similarly, priorities remained the same, with Facebook, YouTube and Twitter the clear leaders, though LinkedIn, in fourth position, gained ground.

The number of agencies purchasing mobile advertising for their clients also stayed relatively stable, at 23%, but the types of ads they were creating began to change. In Q3, display advertising took an even larger lead over SMS. More than half of agencies said they are now creating more mobile display ads for their clients than other mobile formats, compared to just 16% of agencies that are still mostly creating SMS ads.

The mobile devices being targeted by those ads were changing, too. Agencies cut their interest in BlackBerry by half between Q2 and Q3, according to STRATA. Still, Android-targeted efforts lagged behind iOS-focused ones.

eMarketer forecasts display will take 33% of mobile ad dollars in 2012, pushing it ahead of SMS and even with mobile search spending. It also estimates that the iPhone will lose its spot as the No. 1 smartphone in America by the end of this year, when Android’s share will far surpass it.

TV, online to remain strong in 2012 slowdown

MagnaGlobal has released its updated 2011 US Media Owners Advertising Revenue Forecast, which remains unchanged at 1.6% growth, including the impact of political and Olympics (P&O) advertising. Magna still expects media suppliers to generate $173.5 billion of ad revenues in 2011. However, due to persistent weakness in the US economy, the 2012 growth forecast has been revised down from 4.8% to 2.9%–including P&O.  A slowdown in real personal consumption expenditures, manufacturing activity, and ongoing problems in the labor and housing markets all contribute to the revised outlook.

Excluding direct marketing components, the revenue growth of core media categories is estimated at 2.9% in 2011 and 4.3% in 2012.

For the Local Mass Media category (local Radio, local TV, local Newspapers and Outdoor media), declines are expected through the second half of 2011 and into 2012. They now expect this segment to decline -1.1% in 2011 and -0.4% in 2012, driven primarily by weakness in Newspapers (-5.5%), while Radio will be flat (-0.4%), and Outdoor should grow 4.2% in 2011 and 4.5% in 2012.

TV will be the fastest growing medium after Online in 2012, with ad revenues increasing 7.1% compared with Online’s 11.6%. Magna believes the 2012 Elections and the Summer Olympics will generate incremental revenue of $3.1 billion for television: $2.5 billion in political advertising (the highest spending ever, mostly on local broadcast television) and $633 million around the London Olympics (up 5.5% compared with Beijing 2008, and primarily fuelling National Broadcast TV revenues).

Under the current expectations of a slow-but-positive economic recovery in 2012, media suppliers’ advertising revenues will continue to recover from the severe recession of 2008-2009. MagnaGlobal expects revenues to reach $178.5 billion in 2012, which is still significantly less than the pre-recession level of 2007 ($206.1 billion).

Direct Media is exhibiting an increasing discrepancy between traditional activities (Directories and Direct Mail) and digital (Internet Yellow Pages, Paid Search, Lead Generation). Traditional direct media remains significant ($26.2 billion in 2011), but it is increasingly challenged by digital alternatives. Digital direct media, on the other hand, continues to outperform. Paid Search growth has accelerated this year to 21.7%, and is expected to maintain double-digit growth in 2012 (13.0%). Recent algorithm improvements have helped accelerate cost-per-click trends and have led brands to rely more heavily on search engine marketing and search engine optimization. So, for 2011, they now expect $31.1 billion in total online ad spend, up 19.5% vs. 2010.

Changing demographics of tablet and eReader owners

Demographics changing on tablet and eReader owners

In the U.S., as recently as last Summer, tablet and eReader owners tended to be male and on the younger side. Not anymore. In less than a year, 25-34 Men make up only 18% of these owners; while 30% are 55+. As well, according to Nielsen’s latest quarterly survey of mobile connected device owners, back in Q3 2010, 62% of tablet owners were under the age of 34 and only 10% were over the age of 55. By Q2 of this year, only 46% of tablet owners were under the age of 34 and the percentage of those over 55 had increased to 19%.

Looking at the data by gender underlines key changes in the eReader category. 61% of all eReader owners are now female, compared to a mere 46% in Q3 2010. Smartphone owners are now evenly split between male and female and tablets remain primarily male.

ereader and tablet demographics

women-connected-devices