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B2B Content for SEO – What Do Google & your Prospects REALLY Want?

Are you wondering why your content doesn’t get shared, liked, or passed along?
Why it doesn’t rank anywhere in Google?

Are your prospects not finding it?
Or are they finding it but feel less-than-enthusiastic about digesting it?

The answers to these questions are often unequivocally negative, a scenario which is not uncommon in the B2B industry. B2B content takes some in-depth strategy and research to “hit the nail on the head,” and even then, the testing and tweaking never stops.

But, hopefully by the time you are done reading this article, you will have some “aha” moments and the application of these strategies will bring you a positive boost in your content marketing efforts.

Let’s dive right in…

According to a recent CMO Council and NetLine survey, 60% of B2B decision-makers said that online content had a moderate effect on their purchase decisions while 27% said online content had a major impact.

Even more eye-opening, 58% of respondents said online content was integral in helping them find new solutions to their problems.


So, we know that content is an integral component of B2B marketing, but how can you create, target, and distribute it effectively?

First, you want prospects to find your content.

While many traffic-increasing strategies exist, SEO is still one to pursue. I’m not referring to manipulating the search engines by driving low-quality links. I am referring to optimizing your content so Google knows exactly who you want to see it, and then creating content valuable enough to share.

Note: “Valuable content” may look different for each industry. Find out what your prospects really want and give it to them. We will touch on this later.

What type of content does Google really want?

I could answer this question with “high quality content” and end the article there, but we all know that would be a total cop out.

Yes, valuable content is what Google is after, but this doesn’t encompass publishing hordes of grammatically correct, well-researched articles just to satisfy Google’s love of content. Anyone can publish this type of mediocre media.

If you are reading this post, you are most likely in the business of pleasing your audience and possess a desire to focus on quality over quantity. If this is you, read on…

We know that Google wants your visitors happy. If your visitors are happy with your content after finding it in the search engine, they will come back to Google again for their search queries.

They will also share, mention and read more of your content, all of which are signals used in Google’s algorithm. So, essentially, making your visitors happy makes Google happy.

How do you make your visitors happy?

To answer that question, let’s dive deeper into what your prospects are actually looking for as it relates to content.

A CMO Council/Netline survey revealed that 47% of participants said depth of information was the most important attribute of the content they desired, followed by ease of use and readability.


Let’s touch on this in more detail:

Depth of information (In-depth Content)

Depth of information refers to more than publishing one stellar piece of content. It nods to a strategy of supplying your prospects with exactly what they need, exactly when they want it.

Seek to create content that allows you to develop a relationship with your prospects. One single whitepaper won’t get the job done. You may need several pieces of content targeted to several different customers depending on their demographic information and where they are in the buying cycle. By targeting your content to match your prospect’s needs, even during the lifecycle of their decision to work with you, your content will do most of the heavy lifting.

Let’s look at “In-depth content” from where Google sits…

It’s no surprise that the search engine just released an “In-Depth Articles” feature to its search result pages. Google is currently rolling out this feature in stages, but we are seeing glimpses of it in some short tail keyword searches.

A search for “Marketing” reveals these results on the bottom of page one of Google:


Google wants to give searchers the opportunity to access more in-depth, quality content.

According to the search engine, up to 10% of users desire more in-depth information on a topic rather than just a quick answer. So in Google’s quest to please users, it designed this new section in the search results pages to highlight the web’s “In-depth articles” of a related search query.

How do you optimize your article to appear in this “In-depth” section?

The results are ranked via the algorithm and based on several factors, along with Google’s webmaster guidelines.

  • Use markup for articles (headline, crawlable image, description, datePublished and articleBody)
  • Google Authorship (you can learn more about this here)
  • Proper markup for paginated articles – If you have a series of articles linked together, add markup to your links so Google sees these articles as one in-depth article instead of separate pieces. Use rel=next and rel=prev (click here for more information)
  • Optimize your business logo with organization markup and specify to Google which image to use as your logo (the logo is shown below the in-depth article result in Google) or link to your website from your company Google+ page.

Following Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and adhering to the above recommendations will help Google find your in-depth content and hopefully feature it in the search results.

Helpful Tip: The articles featured in the In-depth articles section of the search results seem to have several similar characteristics. They all have at least 2,000 words of copy and include many headings, distinct, separate sections, and plenty of descriptive images.

The Type of Content

Not all B2B content is created equal. Simply slapping up any old content will not get the job done.

“BtoB buyers and influencers are turned off by self-serving, irrelevant, over-hyped and overly technical content. They’re migrating to peer-based communities and new sources of trusted, relevant and credible content and conversation. Meanwhile, BtoB vendor web sites are inadequate and hard to navigate. These sites lack the depth, objectivity and strategic context that buyers are seeking to inform and lead them through complex evaluation and purchasing processes.”


According to the survey, 67% of participants preferred professional reports/whitepapers over other forms of content. Content delivered via professional organizations carries with it more influence than vendor blogs, websites, social channels and reports. Why? Vendors have been too preoccupied with ROI and churning out subpar content due to unrealistic expectations of reeling in new business.

Your business prospects know the “game” and understand that content is highly valuable and needed to effectively market a brand, and they expect a certain level of quality and expertise. Businesses are savvy; they know when they are being marketed to; they see through the fluff. They want the good stuff; depth of topic, expert resources, and reputable, trusted communication.

Here are the main reasons why customers dislike B2B content:


The survey featured this quote which I thought was poignant enough to re-post:

“As marketers, we have to be very careful that we’re not simply trying to bring new clients in the door by billboarding content with an expectation that it will result in genuine engagement,” says Jamie Mendez, director of channel marketing responsible for IBM’s global partnering infrastructure, PartnerWorld. “As an example, when I’m trying to understand something, I want to engage with an expert. I don’t want someone sending me a series of billboards.”

Mobile Accessibility

Finally, content accessibility is also key to pleasing both Google and your prospects.

The survey showed that while desktop computers topped the list for B2B content accessibility (68%), 41% of participants reported they utilize their smartphones to access content while 30% use tablets.

Mobile accessibility has transformed from a luxury to a necessity for businesses that want to remain competitive. And, as I discussed in my last article, The Successful Marketer’s Mobile Optimization Checklist, Google is now using mobile signals to rank websites.


Your content is a vital component of your internet marketing business foundation. Research, target and build it to last. Rinse and repeat.

What types of content do you publish? 

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A Plethora of PPC News 8/15/13

My apologies for failing to post last week; I was celebrating my first anniversary with my lovely wife in beautiful Chicago. I had an amazing time but I think I need a new belt after dining at the Windy City’s most delicious eateries!

This was a bit of a slow week in the pay-per-click management field but there are still some fun news items to go over.


  • ComScoreThe new ComScore numbers are out for July and, just in case you were wondering, Google is still king of the castle. Google sites still make up over two thirds of US searches at a 67.0% share, up 0.3% from June. The Bing/Yahoo co-op comes in second with a combined 29.2% of the market. The remaining 3.8% is rounded out by Ask, AOL, and a bunch of other remnants from the 1990s that you probably didn’t know were still in business.
  • So how is Google maintaining such dominance in the space? Perhaps it’s because they never stop innovating. Recently, Google began rolling out more of their “Google Now” features into the search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s a little bit complicated but Google is trying to harness what it knows about you–you’ll have to be logged in to your Google account–along with what it knows about everything else in order to answer your simple questions more immediately and accurately. Think Siri, only less annoying and flat-out better.
  • Speaking of algorithm changes, Facebook has decided to do away with EdgeRank. There will still be a governing algorithm that shows Facebook users both posts from friends and ads from companies, however, it will be a little bit more transparent and a little bit more boringly named. Goodbye EdgeRank, hello News Feed Algorithm. There are a lot of details that I encourage you to read about but the main takeaway is that brands will be rewarded for customer engagement. It’s not just about getting likes; you’ll need people to comment, ask questions, respond, and interact in order to get your posts and ads in front of your audience.
  • Now that you’ve learned so much about Google and Facebook, you’re probably excited to start working there, right? Well, don’t get your hopes up. Finding employment at Google and Facebook remains incredibly difficult and competitive. Google was ranked the 8th toughest job to get and Facebook came in at 22nd. So, if you’re looking for a position at one of these search giants, start studying up now. By the time they have an opening for you, you can probably take the Hyperloop to work!

Thanks for checking in and my apologies for the delay. Come back next week for more PPC news!

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A Smattering of SEO News: 8/12/13

Another week, another batch of SEO news. Welcome, friends, to our look at the biggest and best SEO news bits from the last week! Last week brought us a good deal of Google and Facebook news, so let’s dive in!

Google News:google-g-logo-2012

  • Cutts: Have Bad Links? Don’t Worry About It, Disavow Them! – In a recent video, Google’s Matt Cutts said that even if you have contacted a site admin and asked them to remove spammy links, and those links haven’t been removed, still disavowing those links is the right thing to do and you likely have nothing further to worry about. One can even disavow links at the domain level and have all of those links ignored.
  • Google Fights Spam in Forty Languages, Primarily English – In another video with Matt Cutts, he stated that the two portions of the web spam team – engineers and manual web spam teams – strive to internationalize their web spam algorithms in forty languages, but since not every engineer can speak some languages, more work goes into fighting English spam though the work done on the English side of things gets worked into fighting spam internationally.
  • Google Adds “In-Depth” Articles to SERPs – Google is rolling out “in depth” articles for broad search terms (such as “population” or “earth”) from what look to be higher quality sources such as The Guardian or Forbes. This new block seems to appear at the bottom of the search results pages and typically lists three articles that appear to be picked at random. These won’t show up for more detailed or focused searches.

Facebook News:facebook

  • Facebook Alters News Feed Algorithm to Focus on Older, Yet Active Stories in News Feed – Facebook announced that it’s updating its EdgeRank algorithm with a “story bumping” feature which allows users to see what the most popular posts in their feed are, even if they’re older. These organic results are based on the likes and comments a post receives, and will allow Facebook to better respond to popular or real-time events.
  • Facebook Gets More Eyes During the Day than Television – According to a new study by Nielsen, they found that during the day, over 50% of respondents between eighteen and forty-four are viewing Facebook; meanwhile television is only around 20%. Facebook viewership drops as the respondents’ age increased, however, down to 30% for respondents sixty-five and older (which still seems like a lot). In primetime, however, television beats out Facebook for respondents older than twenty-four.
  • Bar Posts Photo of Nonpaying Customer on Facebook, Leads to Customer’s Arrest – In Reno, Nevada, a serial “dine and dash” customer had his photo taken by an employee of Brewers Cabinet before leaving with a $100 tab unpaid. The photo was posted on Facebook, which ultimately led to the culprit’s arrest. While many supported this action, many question the violation of this person’s privacy regardless of the illegal act he supposedly committed.

Other News:netfliximage

  • Research Paper Argues Search Engines Have Little to Do with Online Piracy – In a paper published by Computer & Communications Industry Association from author Matt Schruers, he argues that notable copyright infringement sites such as the Pirate Bay and others receive very little search traffic and that, rather than blaming search engines, lawful content providers and owners should instead focus on their own SEO efforts so lawful content is easier to find. The author noted that, in Norway for example, the introduction of Spotify and Netflix resulted in an 80% drop in music piracy and a 50% drop in video piracy and that if customers have easy access to lawful content, they’ll chose that over unlawful content.

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Client Infographic: ZeroLag

Do you often use Adobe Illustrator CS6? Then you know how tedious it can be to work without shortcuts. Luckily for you we have an amazing Infographic from ZeroLag that is the quintessential cheat sheet for Illustrator. These keystrokes are going to have you whipping up beautiful documents in no time!


So if you’re tired of the monotonous mousing around, check out this Infographic in it’s entirety and get illustrating!

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A Smattering of SEO News: 8/5/13

Hello my friends, and happy Monday! This installment of A Smattering of SEO News has some juicy new tidbits from Google, as well as some interesting Microsoft/Bing related news. Let’s take a look at which SEO news pieces grabbed headlines for the week ending August 13th…

Google News:

  • Google Updates its Link Schemes Document with Potentially Hurtful Linking Schemes – Google Recently updated its link scheme document to focus on a few new guidelines examples to avoid when trying to build links. These include large scale guest posts – such as writing a lot of low-quality paid blog posts with links in them – advetorials and optimized anchor text links in press releases. If Google determines that these forms of content are made more for building links than for users, it might take action. Both Search Engine Watch (linked above) and Search Engine Land have excellent coverage of this for more information.
  • Google Suggests Nofollow Links for Links in Press Releases – In a Google Hangout discussing the recent changes in Google’s Link Scheme document, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said that while direct links in press releases are “somewhat okay,” he said to be safe, those links should use Nofollow attributes so they don’t pass value along to the destination website. This is an interesting recommendation given that Matt Cutts said earlier this year that press release links don’t pass value (which was later debunked through experimentation).
  • Cutts: Websites Using Specific Country-Specific TLDs Should Have Country-Specific Content – In a recent video, Google’s Matt Cutts said that if content on a country-specific top level domain (TLD) isn’t specific or relevant toExpandable-Sitelinks that country, it’s doing a “disservice” to that particular domain, encouraging that a site using that domain should have content relevant to the country the domain is registered to.
  • Google Testing Expandable Sitelinks – Some SEOs have noticed that Google has been experimenting with expandable sitelinks in the SERPs, allowing for a wide range of sitelinks while saving space on the SERPs. It will be interesting to see how these links will be chosen if implemented.

Bing/Microsoft News:

  • Bing Adds Child-Porn Warnings to Related Queries in UK – Bing’s UK site has now implemented pop-up warnings to searchers whose queries could be considered related to child abuse or child pornography. This is likely in result to the Prime Minister attacking both Google and Bing on not doing enough to curb child pornography in the country. Google has repeatedly rejected the idea of warnings.
  • Microsoft Sends Google 26,000 Takedown Requests Per Day – Since July 2011, Microsoft has reportedly sent Google 13,843,300 requests for URLs to be removed from its index for copyright infringement. This averages out to 26,620 requests a day. Since 2011, the amount of requests have been steadily increasing, from 50,000 per week at the start of the report in 2011 to over 200,000 a week this year.

Other News:

  • Facebook Launches Own Mobile Games Publishing Platform – Facebook recently launched Facebook Mobile Games Publishing, which is a “pilot program to help small and medium-sized developers take their mobile games global.” This will likely help more mobile games get noticed by a larger audience, and help Facebook bring in more highly-desired mobile ad revenue.
  • Pinterest Adds Discount Notifications – Pinterest announced a new feature where, if you’ve pinned an item with a price associated with it, and that price drops, it will email you a notification. This seems like a natural extension of the service, and why retailers such as Amazon haven’t added this, I have no idea.
  • Safari to Once Again Pass Referral Data in iOS – Reversing a decision from late last year, the upcoming version of Safari in iOS 7 will once again send Google referral data through support of the “meta referrer” tag. While this doesn’t do a thing to solve the “not provided” issue, this will allow us to see whether users came from Google itself, rather than as a direct source as it is now.
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A Plethora of PPC News 8/1/13

Another Thursday, another healthy dose of news in the world of PPC management. This week is a good one, with some interesting new developments from the big names in paid search. Check it out!


  • This week, Google launched a brand new ad unit, specifically tailored for responsive sites. Responsive design is all the rage–even we’re doing it!–but getting ad units to fit within a site that can change shapes and sizes isn’t an easy task. Luckily for us, if there’s a way to put an advertisement on a website, Google is going to find it! There are still some kinks being worked out but it’s likely that Google won’t wait long to make any fixes that help them keep that revenue rolling in.
  • Facebook has always been about trying to bring the Internet inside the box that is Facebook. They don’t want you to go wandering around the Internet for content; they want you to go wandering around Facebook for content. That’s how they make money! This week, though, Facebook introduced embedded posts, which will allow you to put Facebook content on websites outside of Facebook the same way that you can embed a YouTube video in your blog. This won’t make Facebook more money directly, but it will remind you that fun stuff is going on over at and may entice you to go back there where all of their ads are.
  • This next link isn’t so much news as just a really good article about how to get more out of your Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Author Dan Morrison spells out six great strategies for an area of the PPC universe that often gets neglected: the merchant feed. It’s important to monitor your ROI, change your bids, and optimize your settings but it’s also important that the merchant feed is set up for success. Read the article and then get cracking on fixing that feed!
  • Google is great not only because it helps you find the things you’re looking for but also because it comes with a bunch of cool Easter egg features that are incredibly useful. For example, a Redditor recently discovered and posted that you can easily turn Google into a handy timer whenever you want! So, the next time you’re googling a recipe for dinner, look no further for keeping track of how long to keep that potato in the oven!

Thank you for your time! I hope we all learned something this week. Check in again next week for more pay-per-click news!


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A Smattering of SEO News: 7/30/13

Hello friends, and welcome to another installment of A Smattering of SEO News covering the week ending 7/26/13. A good deal of interesting news hit our desks last week, so let’s get to it!

Google News:

  • Latest Panda Update Released – According to sources, Google launched a new Panda update recently, and webmasters are seeing a wide range of results. While many sites have dropped, such as non-authoritative and informational sites, authoritative sites and sites using Google+ have apparently seen gains.


  • Google Possibly Reverses Position on Duplicate Content – For years, search engines have told us that duplicate content can be a serious problem. Well now, in a recent video from Matt Cutts, Google apparently has no problem with duplicate content as long as it isn’t spammy or keyword stuffed. SEO professionals are offering mixed reaction to this news, as one would expect.
  • In Gmail, Ads Appearing as Emails – Some people are finding that advertisements are now appearing mixed in with their normal emails within Gmail. These ads are appearing in the new “Promotions” tab as part of Gmail’s recent update. Google says this is to “create a better overall experience” by placing ads not at the top of the page, but in a more “appropriate” place. I’ve not seen this yet myself, but I’m not sure I want it.
  • Study: Google Makes Up Twenty-Five Percent of All Internet Traffic – According to a recently published study by Deepfield, they have found that twenty-five percent of all Internet traffic now involves Google, up from six percent in 2010. They also found that more than sixty percent of Internet end devices exchange traffic with Google over the course of a normal day.
  • Study: Google+ Only Gets Two Percent of Social Shares – In a recent study by Gigya, a social media measurement company, they found that Facebook still gets the lion share of social shares with fifty percent of sharing happening through their network. Twitter is at twenty-four percent, while Pinterest is at sixteen percent. Google+ at two percent, is at the tail end of the pack, having less social shares than LinkedIn at three percent.
  • Google Will Pay $8.5 Million to Settle Privacy Case – MediaPost is reporting that Google has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought on by several nonprofit organizations who claimed the search engine was disclosing personal information with third parties.

Other News:

  • Search Engines Slump in Customer Satisfaction Survey In a recent report released by ForeSee Results, they found that customer satisfaction for every search engine dropped between 2012 and 2013, Google and Bing seeing the biggest drops, down to seventy-seven (Google’s lowest score ever) and seventy-six percent respectfully. The report explained the drop was because “advertising is diminishing the customer experience, especially among search engines.”
  • Fortune 500 Companies More Active on Twitter than Facebook – In a recent study by The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research, they found that seventy-seven percent of Fortune 500 companies were using Twitter, while seventy percent were using Facebook. These numbers are up from 2012 as well. The study also found that sixty-nine percent of companies use YouTube, thirty-five percent use Google+ and thirty-four percent use their own blogs.
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The Successful Marketer’s Mobile Website Optimization Checklist

Do you have a mobile website? If so, you are one step ahead of the game.

However, creating a mobile site is only one part of a successful mobile optimization strategy.

Mobile usage has been steadily increasing since its inception, with about 20% of web traffic currently hailing from a mobile audience. Smartphone and tablet sales are rising yearly and “portable” internet access is no longer a fad, but a reality for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

Is your mobile site optimized? If not, you are missing out on potential sales and possibly Google rankings.

Google’s Opinion of Mobile Website Optimization

Google recently announced it would incorporate mobile-friendly signals into its algorithm. Here is what the search engine said on its blog:

“To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users”.

If you are concerned about rankings and you want to learn how to optimize your mobile website for the user and for Google, here is a handy checklist to get you started.

1. Page Speed

Web Speed

If your website visitor has to wait more than five seconds for your site to load, your mobile website is too slow. Slow page speed is one of the “mistakes” Google mentions when it assesses your mobile website experience.

To understand this concept wholly, consider the mindset of your mobile visitors. Where are they when they are searching the web?

Mobile devices are what their name suggests “mobile.” Mobility refers to “on the go” which is where your mobile visitors will most likely be when navigating the web. This suggests they will be away from their desktop computers and as a result, they will expect results FAST. If they don’t get what they want in the time they want it, they will find it somewhere else and become frustrated during the process.

How to you improve your site speed and keep your visitors on your site?

  • Use Google Analytics to find the pages your mobile traffic visits the most and optimize those pages first.
  • Prioritize optimization of pages mobile visitors would most likely visit “on the go.” For example, a real estate website might prioritize a listings page for mobile visitors to access while they are passing by a “For Sale” sign.
  • Large images slow down load times. Compress images to speed things up.
  • Enhance readability by breaking up large chunks of content

2. Visibility

Is there excessive pinching, zooming, and scrolling when you view your mobile site? Are your buttons too small causing users to click the “wrong” ones?

If so, your site may not be optimized fully. Keep the important information “front and center” and avoid using bulky images and complex design elements that would distract the mobile user. Consider colors and buttons that allow your mobile audience to access what they want quickly without the need to work their fingers.

3. Redirects

When you use separate URLs to serve up your desktop and mobile clients, you must implement mobile redirects to offer the user the best version of your site based on the mobile device they are using. Without redirects in place, you will not only frustrate your visitors but you may be at risk of duplicate content. By redirecting and modifying your user agent settings for mobile bots, Google will know to disregard your mobile website and as a result, the search engine will not see it as a duplicate.

It’s not enough to simply redirect users to your mobile site, however. According to Google, faulty redirects are also a problem since they contribute to a poor user experience.

When your desktop page redirects to an irrelevant web page on your mobile site, it is known as a faulty redirect. For example, you may stumble upon a website’s internal page on your tablet, only to be redirected to the mobile site’s homepage once you click on the search result.

Here is an example of how this works (the red arrows signify faulty redirects)


Your mobile audience already has to face slower network speeds, so by redirecting them to the home page where they will have to search further to find the internal page they desire on the mobile site, you may lose their interest and send them away.

According to Google, if your mobile site doesn’t contain an equivalent page to your desktop site, serve up your desktop version first before implementing a faulty redirect.

Tip: On your mobile site, give users the option to access the desktop version. Make this link prominent on all pages as some users prefer the desktop version, particularly if they are frequent visitors who are accustomed to the desktop layout.

4. Optimize Conversions

When optimizing your mobile site for conversions, think about what information your mobile users would need to access. For example, Geico would prioritize accident and breakdown content on their mobile site since mobile users are most likely in need of this emergency information.

If you own a local establishment, keep directions, locations and click-to-call numbers easily accessible. Use store locaters with quick zip code search functionality. If you offer daily discounts, feature them on your mobile site so users thinking about visiting your location will have an additional incentive. Don’t forget to also optimize your website for local keywords!

5. Get Social!

People love to share their locations and special finds with their social audience while they are “on the go.” Give your mobile audience every chance to share your content, location and offers easily. Make them accessible and visible and if you are a local establishment, offer incentives for check-ins.

6.  Shared Functionality

Imagine a woman “favorited” a pair of shoes on your desktop site and saved it to her account. Later that night she went out with her friends at dinner and wanted to show them the dress she favorited on her tablet to ask them their opinion. If your mobile site doesn’t house the same functionality, you will lose that user experience and possibly the sale.

For a website like Love Culture, these functionalities may include their lookbooks and most importantly, the “fitting room,” a place where users can share their looks with friends and family.


It can be difficult to figure out which desktop functions to forgo when creating a mobile experience because users may visit your desktop and mobile site interchangeably throughout the day. But, this doesn’t mean you should neglect the mobile experience. Serving up your desktop site to a mobile customer can contribute to a poor user experience as well. 

So, what do you do?

Think about the features you advertise that adds to the overall user experience. Functions like favorites, wish lists, shares and product details would be items you want to keep to create a seamless experience from desktop to mobile site.  Try to keep both sites as consistent as possible without slowing down the mobile site and diminishing the mobile experience.

Have you checked off all of your mobile optimization to-dos? How many items have you completed? 

Don’t hesitate! Checking off these items will not only increase your conversions but it will enlarge your industry popularity and help you outperform the websites that aren’t taking advantage of the power of mobile optimization.

Good luck!

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A Plethora of PPC News: 7/25/13

Happy Thursday, everyone! Who’s in the mood for some exciting news from the world of PPC management? I’ll just assume that everyone is raising their hands right now, so let’s get to it! Below are some of the most interesting developments in the field of online advertising in the past week. Enjoy!


  • The biggest story of the week is one of the first positive pieces of news for Facebook’s ad team in a long while. Over the last quarter, Facebook’s mobile ad revenue has jumped by almost double. This made Zuck and the Facebook crew both very happy and a lot of money on Wall Street. Many consider mobile to be the battleground of the future and with Facebook making such a strong showing in the last 90 days, Google might be shaking in its boots!
  • Speaking of Wall Street, Google posted modest profit increases this past quarter but the real story was about the price of ads. AdWords search ad prices are down 6% from last year. Although this may have advertisers smiling–who doesn’t want to pay less for the same click?–it very likely has the Google brass frustrated. With the launch of enhanced campaigns, it will be very interesting to see what the third quarter looks like in October.
  • But it’s not all doom and gloom for Google, they always seem to have an ace up their sleeve. In this case, that ace has been the Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Google’s “Shopping” product used to be free and when it moved to a paid model, many were up in arms. That din has quieted, though, and now Google’s PLAs are the dominant force in the comparison shopping engine (CSE) arena. With the buying season right around the corner in the form of back-to-school and the holiday shopping, this new foothold is likely to be a lucrative one for the search giant.
  • Finally, I’d be remiss to mention the words “Google” and “lucrative” without talking about billionaire playboy Eric Schmidt. Although the former CEO is no longer running Google, he’s still enjoying the fruits of its success. His new $15MM New York apartment is proof positive of that! The looming gossip will be about why he bothered to make the place soundproof. Perhaps it’s so that his frequent romps with New York’s loveliest ladies will go undisturbed or perhaps it’s so that he avoids hearing complaints about Google’s worsening customer satisfaction!

Thanks for reading, folks! I’ll be back next week for the latest news in search engine marketing.


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10 Secrets to Save Money Shopping Online: Taking Advantage of Marketing Strategies

With 74% of the population using the Internet, online shopping continues to grow and online marketers continue to enhance the psychological factors that influence people to click “purchase” without them even realizing.  By 2016, Americans are expected to spend a staggering $327 billon on Internet stores and 58% of the U.S. population will have contributed.  People are shopping online for the ease, speed, and to SAVE MONEY.

As a result, companies have been focusing on increasing their online footprints with the help of online marketers such as Wpromote.  Online marketers are constantly gathering data to gain a better understanding of search behaviors and the psychological factors that increase the likelihood of a purchase.  Factors range from the keywords customers are searching, mind-sets that match keywords being searched, results being chosen, actions being taken on landing pages to the color and shape of the purchase button.

They are the cats and you as the customer are the mouse.  But, what happens when the mouse wants the cat to find him.  Why would the mouse ever ask for a death wish?  For the same top reason people shop online, to SAVE MONEY.

Last year, 70% of holiday shoppers said they purchased on the web rather than stores because promotions online are better than in-store.  Companies want you to purchase from their websites and do offer special online discounts, promotions, flash sales but not to everyone.  By being the mouse looking for the cat, you can increase your likelihood of being exposed to those special offers.

Google Shopping Online

10 ways to be the brave mouse, get targeted, and SAVE MONEY:

1. Be a brand evangelist.  Interact with your favorite companies through social media and joining online communities.  For example, by being proactive on a company’s Facebook page you could increase your exposure to their Facebook ads, retargeting through Facebook Exchange, Facebook offers, and promoted posts.  You can also find discount codes through Twitter.  Join communities to find deals.  Esquire has a section dedicated to daily deals.

2. Take advantage of pay per click campaigns.  Companies are spending money in Google to drive traffic to their sites.  Marketers know a special offer announced in the ad copy could lead to higher conversions.  Use discount words in your Google searches.  If a company is on top of their PPC campaign, they should be showing different ads for different search queries.  For example, someone searching for “discounted blue jeans” versus “blue jeans,” has a better chance of finding special discounted offers.

3. Keep an eye out for coupon extensions.  Companies are now adding coupon extensions to their PPC ads.  Take advantage of these.

4. Search on different days and at different times.  Some companies will lower prices to account for a drop in sales due to day of the week or time of the day.  For instance, I have found Wednesdays to be the best days to purchase plane tickets.

5. Fill your shopping cart and leave.  Shopping cart abandonment is a sweet spot for marketers. By adding products to your shopping cart and leaving you are telling them what you want to buy.  If the company is running a remarketing campaign, there is a good chance they will follow you with ads for the products you abandoned and try to get you back by offering a discount.

6. Tweak your search queries in the search engine.  Aside from searching with discount keywords, try searching for the “brand name + promo code.”  There are websites dedicated to providing promo codes.  Search for flash sales, click on a couple of the links.  You will soon notice flash sale ads following you around the Internet.   Try searches as easy as “company name” + coupons.

7. Subscribe to company newsletters.  Don’t worry you can always unsubscribe after you get your deal.  Companies understand they need to incentivize people to give up their email addresses and grow their email marketing campaigns.  Look for offers and promotions next to the submit button.  If there is not a check box for them, chances are you will receive an email with something like “Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.  Here’s 10% off your next purchase.”

8. Take advantage of the little guys.  There are tons of companies out there with discount pricing who just do not have the marketing budget to compete for general searches.  As a result, these companies focus on long-tailed and very specific keywords.  Try longer search queries and specific product SKUs.  Instead of searching for “Samsung plasma tv” search for “Samsung PN43E450 43″ 720p Plasma TV on sale.”

9. Smart Shopping.  It is believed that some sites such as Hotwire will actually show you higher pricing if you revisit their site and run the same search.  Save money to spend on your trip by deleting your cookies before running a search for the second time.

10. You Already Know.  Take advantage of holiday shopping, using cash back programs, last minute booking sites, and deal sites.