Google: Ready to Penalize Non-Mobile-Friendly Sites?

Google logo

Perhaps you’ve done a complete site upgrade or have at least taken steps to make your site more mobile-friendly; maybe you’re still on the fence. This period of indecision may be coming to an end with the testing of Google’s latest mobile-friendly search icon.
Google’s Big Test
On September 30, Google began testing new mobile-friendly icons. When a user performed a search on a mobile device, a small green mobile-friendly icon would appear on sites that were mobile-friendly. This allowed users to proceed knowing they would be able to view the content they were interested in.
Then, on October 13, the search giant changed their methodology by displaying non-mobile-friendly icons – gray cell phones with lines through them indicating non-usage. Same idea, different methods – this time, the network was punishing those sites that were not friendly rather than rewarding those that were.
October 14, there was yet another change in methodology. This time, sites that appeared in search results on mobile devices that were deemed mobile-friendly were accompanied by the words “Mobile-friendly” in gray.
The jury is still out on what Google is looking for and what the search company will decide to do with the information that is gathered from mobile users and how the icons being tested affect search results, but, one thing is certain: soon, whether a site is mobile friendly or not will be very easy to determine. Sites that are not mobile friendly may end up being displayed lower in search results, though this is just speculation at this point.
What does this mean for your website? Are you prepared to stay on top if a major change takes place as a result of the testing that is underway?
Why Mobile-Friendliness Matters Anyway
As a brand, you might be fairly pleased with your site right now. You’re bringing in the revenue you’d expect, your conversion rate is high and your traffic levels seem to stay steady or increase on a regular basis – why change the system?
As evidenced by Google’s latest system experiments, what’s worked in the past might not be enough to stay competitive going forward.
Not convinced? Consider the following statistics related to mobile device usage.
  • Mobile devices have been a driving factor in an increase in time spent online. In fact, since 2010, the time the average individual spends online has doubled.
  • 91% of adults in the United States own a phone; 61% of those phones are smart phones.
  • In 2012, marketers spent $4.4 billion on mobile advertising in the United States alone. By 2013, that number doubled to $8.5 million. By 2017, the figure is expected to fall around $31.1 billion. Search and PPC advertising accounts for nearly half of this budget.
  • 25% of adults in the United States only use a mobile device to access the Internet. PCs have become tools of the past.
  • Organic search results matter now more than ever before. In fact, one-third of all search clicks go to the top organic result; this means that the mobile icons Google is testing could play a larger role than you’d imagine going forward.
Put simply, mobile device usage has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the decade. With enhanced smart devices, online usage among owners of these devices has also changed. To reach your target demographic while standing out in search results, you must optimize your site today.

Steps for Mobile Optimization
Ready to jump in, or at least to start the mobile optimization process? Below are a few tactics and tips for getting started.
1. Keep it Simple
Look through your website. Determine what is “essential” information and what would could be considered “fluff.” If it’s essential, keep it. If it’s not, get rid of it. It’s that simple.
Today’s mobile users are looking for information that gets them where they want to go. They’re looking for short blocks of text that provide relevant, useful information. They want to know how to contact you and how to connect on social media. They want products to be easy to find. To allow for this ease of use, your site should be about the basics. Long gone are the days of 10 page navigation bars and detailed, 3,000 word blog posts. Keep it simple.
2. Consider a Mobile-Layout
You might be attached to your current layout. This doesn’t mean that it’s right for mobile users. In fact, traditional and newer layouts that look fantastic on PCs and larger screens could be cumbersome for mobile devices.
If you don’t want to change your entire site, at least consider creating a mobile version or app that can be easily accessed by mobile users. These sites contain simplified layouts with modified options – leave out the heavy photo pages and drive focus to where you want it: contact pages, order pages, search pages and account logins. Leave your blog posts and intricate designs for your standard page.
3. Maintain Your Brand
Remember, just because you have two versions of your site doesn’t mean you have two brands. Make an effort to ensure your mobile site matches your standard site.
Carry over elements like:
  • Color schemes,
  • Word-choice,
  • Logos and any other elements that make up your brand.
4. Use a Redirect Page
Mobile redirects are designed to help your site identify users that are accessing it with mobile devices. Once a user is determined to be using a mobile device, an option is displayed that directs him or her to the mobile version of the site. This simple step ensures Google picks up your site as “mobile friendly” and helps direct traffic to the site that’s best for them.
5. Allow Them to Go Back
Sometimes, regardless of whether a mobile device is being used or not, a user might want to visit your full site. This is especially true if not all information on the full site is available on the mobile site. Make this an option by creating a link at the bottom of the screen to visit the full site. You can then be sure you won’t lose visitors due to a lack of available information or features.
While Google’s direction for the future as far as mobile icons is unknown, it’s apparent that a change is coming. You can be ready and can maximize your site’s potential by implementing the tactics listed above. Act now for best results.

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Google, SEO

Google Webmaster Trends Team Wants To Visit Your Office

Gary Illyes from Google announced on Google+ that the Google Webmaster Trends Analyst team is looking to observe you and your company, while you work.
Gary said Google is looking to sit with companies, agencies, and website owners at their office and watch them as they work on “managing their sites’ content and infrastructure.” This includes observing everyone from “developers, designers, content creators, SEOs, and decision makers,” both large sites and really small sites. The only catch: your business needs to be in Europe or North Africa; this is not for other regions.
During the process, Google will “take notes and ask questions” about your specific tasks and objectives.
Google said it is doing this with the goal of creating an “internal report” that it will use for “improving” its “communication, support, and web-search related products like Webmaster Tools.”
Gary added that in exchange, Google will let you can ask them “anything” and they will try to answer you “within reason.” So, don’t expect that your Penguin worries will vanish if you get Google to visit your office. But its team may point out specific issues, if found.
If you want to participate, fill out this form and hope Google selects you.
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How-to-Optimize-your-URL-Structure-for-Search, Optimize-URLs-for-SEO, SEO, SEO-Tips-for-URL-Optimization

Top 10 Most Important SEO Tips for URL Optimization

For some, a URL is just a unique finger print that holds the unique location of a web page on the internet. To an SEO expert, it holds much more information than a web page’s location. It provides informative signals that help search engines understand the content of a page, it’s purpose, and it’s target market. 
Like all signals, some can be weak, some can be strong, and some signals can even be missing. Below are the 10 most important signals that major search engines detect from URLs when determining the page’s content, who the target market is, and how high to rank the page in the search results.
how to optimize url for seo

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Free-Social-Media-Analytics-Tools, Free-Social-Media-Monitoring-Tools, Free-Social-Media-Tool, free-social-media-tools, Social-Media

Free Social Media Tools

1. Social Mention

2014 09 25 16 16 14 Real Time Search Social Mention 760x232 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Social Mention 9/25/14
When it comes to social media tools, it doesn’t’ get any easier than Social Mention. It’s similar to Google Alerts, however, Social Mention only monitors social media properties like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and some 80 other social media sites. You can also receive daily email alerts and there’s also a third party API.
What’s really interesting about Social Mention relies on four-metrics to help calculate this tool. These include:

  • Strength – The likelihood of your brand being discussed on social media.
  • Sentiment – The ratio of positive mentions over the negative mentions.
  • Passion – The likelihood of individuals continuing to mention your brand.
  • Reach – Measures influence by dividing the number of unique authors who have referenced your brand by the total number of mentions.

2. IceRocket

2014 09 25 16 19 17 Meltwater IceRocket 760x192 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Ice Rocket 9/25/14
Here’s another free tool to help monitor specific keywords. When the real-time search engine launched in 2004, it was used mainly by bloggers to keep track of mentions of their blog. Over the years, IceRocket has expanded to include social networks like Facebook and Twitter. You can now track mentions of all three together or separately.
One of the coolest features IceRocket has to offer is a trend report. All you have to do is enter the terms you want to see mentioned and you’ll get a graph illustrating how many posts a day the term appears as well as the total amount of blog posts over a 30 day period.

3. Addictomatic
2014 09 25 16 20 31 Addictomatic  Inhale the Web 760x371 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Addictomatic 9/25/14
Addictomatic is another straightforward tool that can be used to monitor your brand’s reputation and influence. It’s basically a discovery platform that searches Google, Bing, Twitter, WordPress, YouTube, and Flickr to find the most recent blog posts, news, images, or videos based on keywords.
Because Addictomatic is customizable, it’s quit easy to get addicted to this tool. While you may think that this isn’t’ all that different than Google, Addictomatic breaks the search results into headers, as opposed to being lumped all together.

4. SumAll
2014 09 25 16 21 45 All in one social media ecommerce analytics   SumAll 760x266 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of SumAll 9/25/14
Unlike most other social media tools, SumAll is designed specifically with small business owners in mind. How so? It not only gives you the ability to measure and monitor social media heavyweights like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it also connects you to other services like Google Analytics and PayPal. In all, SumAll’s free plan can connect you with 42 different services.
Instead of managing all of those different accounts, you can keep up-to-date with all of your most vital platforms in one convenient spot. You can also choose to get daily updates via email.

2014 09 25 16 23 25 Put the internet to work for you. IFTTT 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of IFTTT 9/25/14
I’ll just let the company describe what IFTTT is all about:
“IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement: if this then that.”
IFTTT allows you to make personalized “Recipes” by taking a “Trigger” (the “this” part). An example is getting tagged in a photo on Facebook. The “that” part is then the Action taken afterwards. So, after being tagged on Facebook, then “create a status message on Facebook”. Because IFTTT works with 132 channels that include social media networks and businesses like eBay and Best Buy, it’s incredibly easy to stay connected with both the online and offline world.

6. Google Analytics
2014 09 25 16 27 29 Features %E2%80%93 Google Analytics 760x244 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Features – Google Analytics 9/25/14
If you have a website, then you are probably already utilizing the vast resources Google Analytics has to offer. For example, you have access to the profiles of your customers or visitors to help you understand how they found what site, what devices they use, and what they like or don’t like it. It’s probably one of the most important tools for marketers.
Did you also know that you can use Google Analytics to evaluate your social sources? Through this tool you can discover how frequently social sharing leads to conversions, referrals, and traffic to your site.

7. Facebook Insights
2014 09 25 16 31 11 Search   Facebook Help Center   Facebook 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Facebook Page Insights 9/25/14
If you’re marketing on Facebook, then you may not have been thrilled earlier this year when Facebook announced some changes to how updates are displayed. Not only do you have to be concerned about the competition, you also have to worry if advertising on Facebook is worth the investment. However, if you are marketing on Facebook, then you should be using Facebook Insights.
One of the most beneficial features of this tool is that it can help you understand the behavior of your customers. For example, you can create a schedule based on the time or day or day of the week that your customers are most active on Facebook. Other informative features include being able to track likes, post reach, and engagement metrics. And, you can even keep tabs on your competitors Facebook activity.

2014 09 25 16 32 51 TweetDeck 760x365 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of TweetDeck 9/25/14
Chances are you’ve at least heard of TweetDeck. And there’s good reason for that. – it is arguably one of the best Twitter tool available. Some outstanding features include scheduling tweets, customized searches, and even alerts to keep you up-to-date with the latest happenings. You can also track hashtags, events, topics, and view the social profiles of Twitter and Facebook users.
If you’re a fan of Hootsuite, than you’d probably like to know that TweetDeck is a very similar tool. While it may not have the features that Hootsuite Pro offers, there’s a lot to get out of with this free tool.

9. Rapportive
2014 09 25 16 34 33 Rapportive 760x272 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Rapportive 9/25/14
Rapportive is possibly one of the most interesting social media tools that I’ve come across. In a nutshell, it allows you to view social profiles in your Gmail inbox. While primarily used for LinkedIn, you have access to the location, job title, and images. You can also view their latest tweets or Facebook statuses as well.
This tool allows you to grow your network by searching the web for people with similar interests or careers without having to search the web yourself. This email add-on is compatible with MailChimp, Bantam Live, BatchBook, BookingBug, Brightpearl, and CrunchBase too.

10. Swayy
2014 09 25 16 35 48 Swayy Better Content to Share on Social Media 760x281 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Swayy 9/25/14
Sometimes it’s a challenge to come up with content that isn’t just relevant to your business, but also something your audience will enjoy. After all, you’re a busy person, and you don’t always have time to see what’s trending on social media, let alone create your own amazing content. That’s why Swayy is such a stellar tool to utilize.
Swayy suggests content, whether it’s a video, article, or infographic, that you should share with you audience. You’re even given the proper handles and hashtags to share this content. And, there’s an analytics feature so that you can see what kind of content is resonating with your audience. If you have one dashboard, this awesome tool is free. If you have more than one, you’ll have to check out their pricing features.

11. Qzzr
2014 09 25 16 37 13 Get Your Quiz On Qzzr 760x300 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of Qzzr 9/25/14
Looking for a simple and creative way to create shareable content on social media that will also drive traffic to your site? Give quizzes a try. Social Media Explorer covered this topic earlier this year, saying quizzes provide information about your site and provide an opportunity to connect with your audience.
Qzzr helps you create various quizzes for your social media platforms. You can create a BuzzFeed-like quiz or one that gives an actual grade. There is also a wide range of topics to choose from so you don’t have to worry about finding a topic in your niche.

2014 09 25 16 38 45   create and share visual ideas online 760x323 12 Free Social Media Tools

Screenshot of 9/25/14
Infographics are a proven way to boost your credibility and increase site traffic. That is a great assist, but it can cost a pretty penny – which is no good when you’re on a tight budget. Thankfully, there are free tools that make it simple to create a solid infographic.
Since it’s launch in 2012, has helped over 300,000 users create thousands of infographics. All you have to do is select one of the free templates and start plugging in your data. No wonder so many students and bloggers have been enjoying this free tool.

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Branding, Digital-Marketing-Information

How Influencer Marketing Impacts Your Business Branding in a Positive Way?

The voice of customers has always been a powerful concept of digital marketing and in the current scenario, social media sites act as a giant and a huge megaphone for transmitting that voice. In fact, social media platforms have fundamentally modified the balance between brands and customers as it facilitates peer commendations to play a vital role in buying decisions of the purchasers.  A recent study has shown that the marketing that is inspired by creating influence over the target audience generates twice sales than the paid advertisements, and the customers achieved through these influencing techniques have a greater retention rate as well.

Due to the increasing popularity of commendations through the social media platforms, a new term, called as “Influencer Marketing” has become a hot topic of discussion and implementation among the digital marketers. However, before proceeding with how it has positively impacted the overall growth of an online business, it is important to understand this term.
Influencer marketing is a latest term used in digital marketing, which recognizes and targets the audiences with influences over the potential buyers.”
Gone are the days when business branding was completely depended on celebrities and famous bloggers, but the evolution of the influencer marketing has completely revolutionized the concept of revenue generation.
Only high quality content is not enough to get your business noticed by your target audience, and hence, you must find a way to put your words out and this is where, the influencer marketing comes into existence. It involves developing a relationship with influential people that can help in establishing your business identity among your well-established competitors.

How Influencer Impacts Your Business?

Until now, we have discussed what is influencer marketing, but now it is equally essential to identify the key ways an influencer can have a positive impact on your business.
  • They can write an article or a blog post for your business and its services
  • They can share information related to your business in their social media accounts
  • They can permit or ask you to write guest posts for their websites or they may use a perfect blend of all these three steps to bring fruitful results through your online existence.

Moreover, an influencer always has a larger range of potential audiences that yours, which is essential for endorsing your products or services to a wider spectrum of consumers. The trust factor also defines a clear difference between you and your influencer.
For example, if you have a Twitter account with 100 followers and you shared a piece of content on your account, there are chances that 20,000 people see what you have shared, which might result in 20 additional shares and 10 links. When the same content is shared by an influencer having thousands of followers, those 20,000 people will be much more responsive towards this shared piece of content because of their trust on the influencer and this will further result in the creation of 50 additional shares and 50 links as well.
The trust factor of an Influencer is shown as follows:

As shown in the above figure, there is an immense advantage because the search engines also actively measure author’s authority and give priority to  the vote of the influencer.

Who Employs Influencer Marketing?

It is a proven fact that any business can benefit from developing a conversion around its products and services. Small businesses might employ inexpensive online strategies for connecting with their influencers. For example, a new restaurant could motivate or encourage its customers to write reviews online while a landscaping company can establish a helpful blog for its website. Influence is always created equally powerful both on local and national levels.

On the other hand, bigger companies can adopt comprehensive online tactics for implementing influencer marketing across different platforms. They could easily set up their lavish partnerships with celebrities to help in positioning their products and services. For example, a famous energy drink company might endorse a snowboarders or offer free drinks at competitions to create an influence of its products over the younger generations.

How an Effective Influencer Marketing Plan is Created and Executed?

The first step is to determine the goals for an effective influencer marketing campaign. However, the goals of influencer marketing are inclined more towards creating buzz and spreading awareness of your brand among the target audience than increasing sales. It is important for the companies to set their goals before searching and contacting the influencers. This is the very first essential of digital media marketing process.

Once you have established your goals, you can start recognizing the influencers of your business domains by researching target markets and demographics. Simple searches over Facebook and Google can also reveal the true influencers of your business domain. The goal is to develop an organic relationship with your influencers, which is not entirely dependent on selling and endorsing.
The following diagram displays which type of relationship developing methods are most personal and hence, carries the most value.

Once the company is ready to contact the influencers, they will communicate via social media or some other informal ways. Besides, marketers should reevaluate and revisits the goals every month for tracking the failure or success of the influencer program. If an already existing influencer program is not giving the desired outcomes, the companies must reach new influencers through different ways.

Effective Strategies for Influencer Marketing

Recognize the Most Pertinent Influencers – Digital tools like Appinions and  SocMetrics make it simple for companies to examine the social media background for recognizing the most influential profiles depending on category, geography, or other demographic data.

Develop a Relationship with Influencers – Strive to build a relationship with an influencer prior to soliciting them to sponsor for a company or product. An easy message on Twitter or Facebook can help grovel to a probable new influencer for the company.
Discover Your Influencers Preferences – Distribute advertising material and content to the influencers in a layout that is more expedient for them whether that be audio, video, print or some other layout.
Stick with the Regulations – While developing relationship with the influencers as devising influencer marketing program, it is essential to abide by the regulations to achieve maximum benefit through this technique.
Make it Simple to Access the Content – A content is more likely to be shared by the influencers with their followers if it is simple for them to incorporate into their Facebook posts, blogs,  and other major content sharing portals. The online tools such as SocialChorus make it uncomplicated for  the companies to allocate content to the influencers for sharing.
Don’t Ignore Small Social Networking Sites – There is a common tendency between majority of social media marketers to think only of Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and YouTube when it comes to social media sites. But surprisingly, Instagram has 30 million users and it is continuously growing in numbers and hence, minor social media sites can also have a positive influence in the overall revenue through your online business.

Tips for the Digital Marketers for Effectively Implementing Influencer Marketing Tactics

  • When searching for influencers to endorse your products and services, go beyond the demographic search for discovering the interests and passion of your potential influencers.
  • Engage your influencers with the content of their interest as this will not only add value to them, but to also their audience, which yields better outcomes for your brand.
  • Influencer marketing is not necessarily based on reaching good number of potential buyers but it is about creating a connection with your audience.
  • Instead of serving your influencers as a marketing platform for your brand, put more time and efforts in developing a long term relationship with them to achieve better results.

Overall, learning to work with people with different dynamics over the Internet is a complex task, but developing relationships with influential people will always bring fruitful results to your business. An effective influencer marketing technique involves proper evaluation and development of relationship with the influencers because then only, we can accomplish the set goals of our business with perfection.


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Facebook Closes WhatsApp Acquisition – Facebook is now the legal owner of WhatsApp

Facebook is now the legal owner of WhatsApp, following a filing made with the SEC today. This is the final step in a process begun when Facebook announced its intent to acquire the messaging company in February of this year. The Facebook deal passed its final regulatory hurdle when it received EU approval to go ahead with the acquisition of WhatsApp last week.
In the filing, the company details the awarding of 177,760,669 shares of Facebook’s Class A common stock and $4.59 billion to WhatsApp stakeholders, plus 45,941,775 in restricted stock to WhatsApp employees to complete the deal. Koum will join Facebook’s board, and will also match Zuckerberg’s annual base salary of $1, without eligibility for the company’s bonus plan, though he does get a signing bonus of 24,853,468 restricted stock units as incentive for joining. Per the filing, Koum is joining Facebook with no fixed term of employment as part of the arrangement, but all indicators are that he wants to stick around to continue to build WhatsApp as a separate brand under the growing Facebook umbrella.
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