Tag Archives: SEM

Mobile Web is No Longer Optional

It’s essential that every company has a gas station or a roadside have a gas station on the mobile web superhighway. Consumers are leaning hard on smartphones for critical information about brands during the buying process. You might be skeptical, or dragging your heels about making an investment in mobile, which may mean a responsive web design for your site or a mobile-only web presence. But you can’t wait.

  • 91% use the mobile web for inspiration during the middle of a task
  • 82% consult their smartphones while shopping
  • 66% use mobile to learn more about something they saw in a TV commercial
  • 55% have switched from a brand they intended to buy, because of information on search.

Mobile Web Marketing Basics

Smartphone trickery knows no bounds. Geo-fencing, for example, allows restaurants to alert hungry customers within a certain radius of the eatery about the soup of the day.  Fortunately, you can be effective without getting fancy. Scoot the Geo-fence, and get started with these basic steps:

  1. Your site must work on mobile devices. Many sites today are built on mobile responsive or compatible platforms. If you have an older site that doesn’t render well on mobile, build a new one. Gulp. We understand. But take a moment to calculate the value of the business you could be losing because you’re AWOL on their phones.
  2. Make sure that your site looks sharp on mobile and that it’s easy to operate.  Start with an analytical tool like Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test,”  and test the mobile site’s usability by watching actual humans perform tasks on it.
  3. Create mobile-only search engine marketing (SEM) that’s sensitive to where and what your customers are using their phones. Buying needs change as the buying experience unfolds. For example, imagine this typical string of information needs about dog house.  what do dogs desire in a dog house? What brands incorporate the features I just learned about?  Which dog houses get the best reviews from pooches? What stores sell those brands? Help me compare prices. What is the closest store to my home? How do I get there?
  4. Have your site optimized for mobile. Speed up pokey page download times. Test design for use by chubby fingers. And tailor search copy to localize your business.

Stake your claim on the mobile web by making your site mobile responsive.




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Click and Talk Search Ads on Google

9A new feature Googled up for mobile phone users allows them to click on a phone number in a search ad and dial it automatically. Yeeeeeha! You can leave one hand on the wheel and order double pepperoni! But wait, this innovation might be cool for your business, too. It’s easy to setup by plugging a phone number into your Google Adwords Account Google Adwords account by plugging in a phone number. Click and Dial is also sensitive to geography, so the user always gets the number for the nearest location. Clicks on phone numbers are billed at the same rate as clicks on phoneless search ads. Our advice? Jump on it!

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Dr. SEM: Sucking Up to Search Engines vs. Paying For It

8Sucking up to search engines, aka search engine optimization, is widely considered the best strategy for driving clicks from search. Most users, especially savvier ones, just put more stock in it. Depending on what shape your site is in, driving search rankings to page one of search results can be a long-term and expensive undertaking. But you need short-term results now, now, now! Your best option is probably a carefully crafted Adwords campaign, or a similar channel on other search engines. You’ll still pay, but if your campaign is optimized properly you should realize an acceptable ROI. The answer is different for every industry. The best solution is blended. A properly optimized site will not only rank higher in search, but it will lower the cost of search campaigns by increasing the relevance of your landing pages.

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Dr. SEM: How healthy are your keywords?

6_sqKeywords are the words or phrases that visitors use to find your site via search. Most web analytics programs track keywords and how many visitors each drive to your site.

Here’s what you can learn. Say that you’re in the candy business and your top keywords are “jaw breakers,” “salt water taffy,” and “Carbolicious Carmel Corn.” Great, you sell those products. But what if 30% of your company’s income derives from selling “candy gift baskets,” and that term ranks at the bottom of your keyword list? This is an example of an opportunity missed, and a website that’s out-of-step with its core business. To get the rest of the picture use Google’s keyword tool to find out the frequency of search on key terms. This will help you determine if your business is jiving with reality. For example, if  “mimeograph” machine is one of your top keywords, but it’s very low in popularity as a search term…uhhh…you may want to consider a new core business. Keywords can speak volumes about the state of your site and business, so dig in soon!

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Dr. SEM: Cures for Sick Search Campaigns

Is your search engine marketing a financial black hole that rarely coughs up a lead. Try a dose of medicine from Dr. SEM.

  • Eliminate keywords that generate clicks but not conversions.
  • You are tracking conversions, right? If not, have your developer insert it on key pages.
  • Make your ad keywords more specific. Try “Italian food Charolotte” instead of “Italian food.”
  • Use the keyword or phrase in the ad, so it is highlighted in the search results.
  • Find new keywords. Ask customers how they would search for your company. Look at your competitor’s code and reverse-engineer their keyword strategies.
  • Use Google’s keyword tool to generate new keyword ideas and generate traffic.
  • Check the bounce rate on your landing page. If it’s high, the page isn’t matching the expectations set by the ad. Change the landing page, or recast the ad.
  • Use geo-targeting to narrow the area in which your ads show. They’ll get higher positions, and you’ll stop getting carryout orders from Norway.
  • Evaluate your cost-per-sale and ROI. Maybe, just maybe, you should spend more.
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