Google Will Punish Websites That Utilize Popup Ads

Is there anything more frustrating than clicking a link on Google, Twitter or Facebook and being forced to close popup after popup just to view the small tidbit of information you were looking for? Most of the time, especially when it comes to mobile browsing, people are looking for small pieces of information (directions, hours, pricing, or an answer to a question), and they want answers quickly.

Sure, it only takes a second or two to find and click the “close” button, but in the highly competitive world of mobile Google search rankings, those few seconds could be enough to send users away from your site. Google has recognized the intrusiveness of popup ads and will be punishing mobile sites that utilize them by lowering their SERP ranking.

From Google’s Webmaster Central Blog: “Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

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Why Would Websites Ever Use Popup Ads In the First Place?

People get so frustrated and annoyed with popups that some are even willing to spend a fair amount of time and effor
t to install popup blockers, so why are websites still utilizing popup ads? Well according to Shopify.com, “They are annoying and rude and… they work. Really, really well.”

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Mobile Usage Continues to Increase as Google Intros Cross Device Targeting

Google recently released a research study reviewing consumers’ device-usage habits and trends, specifically focusing on the amount of consumers that browse the web and complete searches throughout the day. The study engrains the already accepted idea that mobile is the dominant platform and that a significant amount of consumers are mobile-only.

Device usage in an average day predictably leans towards mobile, with 80% of consumers using their smartphone and 67% using a computer on a daily basis. Roughly 57% of the consumers in the study alternated between devices and 21% were simultaneously using more than one device at a time. However, what shines through is the amount of mobile-only consumers: a weighty 27%. Furthermore, of those that conduct a search query, 39% are mobile-only versus 32% that search only on a PC.

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On average, consumers spend about 170 minutes per day on their mobile device, which compares to 120 minutes on PC and 75 minutes on tablets. These numbers reiterate the importance of having a strong mobile marketing strategy for nearly every business vertical. Contrary to expectation, smartphone usage is not always on-the-go. The most common locations where mobile devices are beings used are homes, work, stores, restaurants and bars.

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Best Practices For Mobile Ads

It’s no secret mobile searches are taking over web traffic. With mobile devices surging ahead of traditional computers in online traffic, the time to take action toward optimizing your mobile presence is now. Below are our best practices for optimizing your mobile presence to grow your business.

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Answer Consumer Questions Early With Ad Extensions

 

Mobile searches are typically structured in the form of a sentence. According to a consumer insights report by Hitwise, mobile searches normally contain words like “where,” “how,” “is,” “are,” or “near me.” People use their phones on the go, and when they search for something, they want to find answers fast.

Mobile-friendly site extensions in Google AdWords are great tools for connecting users with information quickly. Here’s a list of extensions you can use to make your content easy to navigate:

  • Sitelink Extensions:

    These nifty little links provide shortcuts for users to link directly to the sections of your website they are interested in. When using sitelinks, be sure to link to popular pages on your website such as the “Hours and Directions,” “Specials,” “Contact Us,” and “Products” pages. Sitelinks are easy to update, and they minimize work. You can even customize them for desktop and mobile, and specify the days and times you want them to show.

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The Evolved Consumer Path to Purchase

In today’s highly digitized world, things are done a little bit differently than Dad is used to. We’ve all heard it before: “Kids today are only friends with their phones,” and “When I was your age we talked to each other face toface.” Or the classic, “When we needed new shoes we went down to the corner store, bought a pair from the local shoe salesman, and gave him a nice firm handshake. That’s how business is supposed to be done.”

There’s no denying the nostalgic appeal of the “simpler time.” There is also no denying that our current society could use a little more old-fashioned, person-to-person interaction, but the fact of the matter is that times have changed and so have the ways that consumers behave.

Modern consumers don’t go down to the corner store and buy the first pair of shoes they see; they don’t leave their house until they already know exactly what it is they want and where to get it for the lowest price–if they even leave their house at all. The internet has opened up the door to a whole new method of consumerism. Shopping has become a casual activity done on the phone while the TV begs for equal attention, and making a purchase is now sealed with a click instead of a handshake.

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This hasn’t made physical stores obsolete; consumers still value the process of trying on the dress they’ve been looking at, test driving the car they’re interested in, and asking questions of the salesperson. But the sales process has changed dramatically, and understanding this change while also taking advantage of it is the key to a successful business in today’s society.

Phil Frost of PracticalEcommerce.com had this to say about the changes we’ve seen: “For more than a century, the conventional wisdom in marketing was that customer buying decisions followed a linear, top-down progression known as the funnel…Today, however, the marketing funnel is nearly obsolete. The new customer path to purchase is much more winding and sophisticated, and smart companies have begun to adapt to the new approach.”

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So if the traditional marketing funnel (i.e. Awareness + Interest + Desire = Action) is dead, then how do companies reach consumers and compel them to buy their products? The answer isn’t so straightforward.

Brand Awareness is No Longer Enough

Awareness will always be the first step. Getting your name out there and running advertisements that make your brand appeal to consumers will get the ball rolling, but it isn’t always enough. In a world where attention spans are shorter than ever before and product options are abundantly accessible, remarketing your brand is one of the most essential actions a business can take to gain customers. Even then, once people are aware of your product and have the desire to buy your product, they may still move into an exploratory phase.

According to AdWeek.com, “Eighty-one percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase…. On average, a consumer will visit three stores before making their purchase.” Consumers look for similar products on various websites, searching out better prices and sales. They then explore those websites’ inventories, undoubtedly become interested in other products, and the cycle of research continues. Chances are, however, the first time a customer visits your website, they won’t make a purchase. Instead, they will browse around before heading back to the mindlessness that is Facebook or Twitter.

Recapturing their interest is huge here, so make sure you’re tracking website clicks to your website and maintaining remarketing lists to remind users of the product that initially grabbed their intention. Most likely, after browsing the web for a few hours or days, they will be more willing to buy. Tracking your best-performing ads, offering sales on featured products, and improving on original product offers will do wonders for your business.

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Stephen Frost of Forbes.com suggests that rather than thinking of a consumer’s path to purchase as the traditional “marketing funnel,” we should consider a company’s engagement with individual customers as a “customer life cycle.” This is perfectly aligned with the digital marketing landscape and consumer behavior. Even after making a purchase, your customers must continue to feel engaged–offering new ads, products, and sales will do this, while also building customer loyalty and brand awareness.

Convenience will take you far in the digital market place, but building brand loyalty–similar to what companies like BMW, Starbucks, Nike, and Apple have done–takes consistent customer engagement throughout a consumer’s life cycle, from the initial ad-click to well beyond their first purchase.

 

Sources:

Forbes.com

AdWeek.com

PracticalEcommerce.com

Pokémon Go and Your Business

All the kids are doing it! If you haven’t downloaded Pokémon Go yourself, then you must have at least heard of it. Even if you have been boycotting social media for the last few weeks, you can’t escape the droves of kids, teens and fully grown adults on their phones walking the streets in search of the most powerful Pokémon.

If you somehow are not familiar with the newest fad taking over popular culture in 2016, then let us explain. On July 6th Nintendo released an augmented reality game called Pokémon Go that allows users to use their phone to search for and find virtual Pokémon in the real world. Their stock skyrocketed as, according to the Wall Street Journal, the business earned a reported $9.3 billion in the first week alone.

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The Evolving Marketing Space

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4 Reasons Why SEO is Frankenstein’s Monster of the Marketing World

If Mary Shelley were to write her classic novel in 2016, she needn’t look further for inspiration than at the historical role of SEO within the digital marketing landscape and within google analytics reports. In 2010, stuffing keywords onto a page, buying backlinks, and using a copy-paste optimization strategy was sufficient enough to improve page rankings. Nowadays, optimizing for the Web involves so much more, and practicing any of the above tactics is committing SEO-suicide; you’d be labeled a spam-lover in the Matt Cutts-less industry, and ain’t no one want to be seen as such. SEO is process that has become a big part of marketing for any business online, finding the right SEO Company to help with driving traffic to a business, which some would argue is pretty much fundemental to it’s development and whether or not it flourishes or fails. There is also much more help and advice available to digital marketers now too, with companies such as SEO Newcastle providing marketing services to help out your company with things like Google rankings.

So, how has SEO changed to become such an unbalanced amalgamation of both love and discontent to digital marketers such as yourself?” Thanks for the question, reader. I’ll tell you how—with a handy, user-friendly list.

Allez cuisine!Allez Cuisine - SEO Style

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Google+ Update: How It Impacts Reviews & What You Can Do About It

With the new Google+ update, having a Google+ account is no longer a requirement for leaving local reviews on Google+ business pages. Users can now leave reviews while on the search results page using their name and Gmail or non-Gmail based account.

Here is how it works. When you search for a business on Google, their Google+ listing will show up on the right sidebar. If you scroll down to the review section, simply click on the “Write a review” tab to leave a review. See below:

Google+ Update

You will then be prompted to log into your Google account.

how to leave a review on Google plus

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Google News: Click-to-Call Phone Numbers in Organic Mobile SERPs

From algorithm updates to under-the-radar features, Google is constantly working behind the scenes to provide internet marketers with the next best thing. This week, they’ve certainly adhered to their cutting-edge reputation, as we were introduced to their newest testing campaign: click-to-call phone numbers in organic mobile search results.

Click-to-Call Meets SEO

That’s right! Click-to-call is no longer just for paid ads, folks. With this new feature, phone numbers are being placed directly within mobile search results, right below page descriptions. Leave it to Google to make getting in touch easier than ever!

California-based internet marketing agency, SEO Inc., has noticed the change impact one of their own clients, stating, “As you can see, our client’s phone number occupies its own box. It’s not an extension of the Contact Us page, nor is it showing up as part of the meta description. It’s a click-to-call number with only one function: getting the user in touch with a business”

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Why Did My Website Traffic Decline?

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Do you see traffic declines from organic or paid search in Google Analytics? Opportunity Max is here to give you insights on what to look for if you start seeing traffic declines. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as picking up the phone and asking Google why your traffic or rankings have decreased. It could be a simple finding, or it could take a lot of research and time to find out what the cause is.

  1. Evaluate Google Search Landscape Changes

We’ve been seeing quite a few landscape changes within the last few years, and these high-impact changes to the search engine result pages can have an effect visibility and traffic.

Google’s most recent update will now show four paid search ads for particular search queries, which will push organic results further “below the fold.” This landscape change has also done away with ads on the right-hand side of search results. We will have more to come on this update and the effect it has had.

Not so long ago, Google started showing three paid ads for mobile search, which effectively eliminated organic results from showing “above the fold” on mobile devices. For some brands, a decline in mobile traffic occurred.

Last year, Google also made a change to how many local search results it displayed. Google now shows three businesses, compared to the previous seven business lights. Find out more on The Google Snack Pack update today.

The changes made to Google’s search landscape can have an enormous impact on traffic and where your business is showing up on the first page.

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Swipe Right, It’s a Match: 9 Hottest Tinder Ad Campaigns

Whether you’re spending this Valentine’s Day alone with take-out and the latest romantic comedy, or you’re wining and dining your sweetheart with every holiday cliché you can get your hands on, chances are, you’ve heard of Tinder. And, with an estimated 50 million active users, you’ve probably done a little swiping yourself!

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Dating in the Tinder World

Many people who have heard of the service often asks how does tinder work? For those of you who aren’t familiar with the hyperlocal platform, Tinder works by matching eligible (and, let’s face it, not-so-eligible) bachelors and bachelorettes who share a mutual attraction. In a nutshell, the app works its magic by sending alerts when another user joins the site who falls within your desired location, age range, and gender. If you like the looks of that person, swipe right across their profile. If you’re not interested, swipe left and you’ll never see them as a potential match again. If both parties swipe right, it’s a match! The two of you can now chat privately via Tinder’s messaging platform. From there, the rest is up to you.

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