Are You Ready for the Google Update?

Is your Website Mobile Friendly?

Most if not all of us know that Google is launching their new mobile compatible ranking algorithm on April 21st. What does that mean for you?

If your website is not mobile responsive, it will lose credibility and ranking on Google until you have updated your site. That may not mean much if most of your customers and clients are not finding you on mobile devices. Keep in mind, mobile searches approximately account for 50 percent of search traffic, regardless of company type, and it is expected to steadily increase. Your traffic might not come from mobile now, but eventually it will. Also, why put yourself in a position to lose search traffic? Staying on the first page of Google, regardless of what device is used to find you, is pretty important from a competitive standpoint.

The Google update only cares if your website is mobile friendly; not HOW mobile friendly it is. Although the April 21st date is the start of the new algorithm, it could take several days to a week to internationally complete the update.

How do you know if your website is mobile friendly?

There are a few ways to test to see if your site is already mobile friendly or if it is time to call Conveyance Marketing Group to create a mobile responsive website for you.

First, Google has a website where you can test if your site is ready for the April 21 update.

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/

Type in your URL and let Google scan your site to determine if you get the thumbs up or thumbs down. If you get the thumbs down, take a screen shot and send it our way to review the Google findings.

mobile responsive website

Another way is to Google your website. Go to www.google.com on your mobile device and type in the name of your company and search. In the description clip, in gray lettering, should be the words “Mobile Friendly.”  If they are not there than Google does not view your site as mobile friendly OR if you have recently updated your site, then Google has not crawled it since the update.

Marketing firms that can create responsive template

What is the next step?

If you don’t pass the Google test for mobile compatibility, or you are unsure of what all this means for your business, we are here to decipher the latest algorithm change from Google. This is not the first and it certainly will not be the last Google has changed its algorithm to help its customers get the best from their search queries.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

The Only Three Lines that Matter in Email Marketing

Although email marketing is not as sexy or hip as social media is to get your message across to your audience, if this marketing tool is not in your tool box you have eliminated a critical component to overall marketing strategy. With open rates of less than 20 percent for most e-newsletters or announcements, some would say it is not worth the time to develop content, images and a catchy theme, but the team at Conveyance disagrees. Instead of concentrating heavily on riveting content, there are only three lines that matter in increasing your open rate. After all, an unread email is an extinct email.

Did you know that 65 percent of all emails are first opened on a mobile device, according to the US Consumer Device Preference Report? Are you optimizing your email blasts to be seen and hopefully opened on a mobile device? If not, this could be why you have been marked as spam and worse, sent to the trash folder without a second thought.

Most if not all mobile devices show the first three lines of an email by default. Go ahead; check your phone. You will see the subject line, the first line of content and the from line. These three lines will make or break your email but are usually the ones given the least amount of thought.

Statistics from Retention Science show that for your subject line, there should be between six to 10 words. With this limited space, you have to edit yourself like you would on Twitter. The subject line should contain Prevalent Words. Incorporate current movies, songs, events or books into the subject line to increase your open rate. Make sure you use expressive words to instantly connect with your audience. Make sure they know the benefit to opening this email. Finally, make it personal. Use fun punctuation, slang terms, and always use their recipient’s first name.

Last but certainly not least, send your email from a person. Not a company. Or a brand. People want to connect with a person not support@yourcompany.com. The experts at Retention Science sate that 35 percent of people open emails based on the subject line only. Take the time to give these three lines careful thought to ensure your audience actually can get to the riveting content contained inside or you have just wasted your time and theirs.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Mobile Site Marketing: Small Screen, Big Impact

Believe it or not, mobile web design is only about four years old; in those four years, mobile has evolved dramatically and become a critical component of the marketing mix.

Mobile is not just for big brands, it is also important for small businesses to create a strategy for how their website functions in the mobile space.

As a small-business marketing agency, we want to see our clients benefit from the same tools and technologies of their larger competitors. Below we have outlined our top three tips on how to make your small business mobile site convey your message accurately and effectively.

1. Define Your Business Objectives

Unlike your website, there is limited space when you move to a mobile device so it is very important to define a couple of top priorities to convey to smart phone users.

Example: Cartridge World
Primary business objective: Saving money on ink and toner cartridges

The leading message conveyed on the Cartridge World website and mobile site is the same: Save Money on Ink and Toner Cartridges. On the corporate website there is more real estate to convey that message and offer interaction points to allow the visitor to experience the savings for themselves.

On the mobile site, you don’t see the complex navigation and other callouts, but the primary business objective is perfectly conveyed. Visitors are not bombarded with too many messages, they are offered one message: Save 30-40% on Ink and Toner Cartridges; and offered two large touch-targets: Find a Store, Calculate Savings. It can’t get much more efficient than that: where you can buy, how much you’ll save.

2. Create a Simple and Unique Mobile Canvas

Don’t make things too complex on mobile unshackle yourself from your web design past. When working with mobile design you are facing two major barriers: screen size and slower network speeds. Mobile design calls for a simplified approach to design, layout, and navigation.

Example: Acumen
Primary business objective: To change the way the world tackles poverty

Marketing Strategy
With less screen real estate at your disposal, you need to choose the placement of elements wisely. A single-column structure with collapsible navigation tends to work best. The single column allows the site to easily scale between different device resolutions and portrait vs. landscape mode. The collapsible navigation takes the single-column design a step further and allows your visitors to access the content they are most interested in.

Acumen uses simple yet strong visual elements to convey their message. The name, tagline and image are the only elements on the mobile landing page. The menu opens to a simplified version of the website’s navigation scheme. This design keeps the file size and load times down. They did a wonderful job of simplifying the message.

3. Provide a Lighting-fast, Exceptional User Experience

Users expect a faster experience on mobile than on a desktop. Mobile offers so many more capabilities to create that immediate, custom-tailored user experiences, such as multi-touch and location detection.

Example: Yahoo!
Primary business objective: connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world’s knowledge

Via their mobile site, Yahoo does a great job at connecting their visitors to their passions, communities and world news. The single column, three-tab collapsible navigation allows Yahoo to deliver a large amount of information quickly in a digestible format.

They have mastered the one-thumb navigation scheme their users can get to the information they want to read in about eight seconds and with a maximum of three taps and a swipe.

The Yahoo business model is based upon membership, but wisely they postpone signup and let people actually jump in and start using their service.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

It’s Cyber Monday … Let’s Talk Shopping Engines

Trying to sell your business’s products online? Search Engine Watch profiled the 10 best shopping engines that will allow your business to expand its reach and get your products to consumers.

Here are their picks in best comparison shopping engines, based on traffic, revenue, conversion rate, return on spend, average cost-per-click (CPC), quality of merchant tools, and merchant response ratings.

1. Google Product Search Google Product Search, which is transitioning to become Google Shopping, is a free CSE which generates the most traffic and conversions. Merchants can manually upload feeds or use an FTP to upload in bulk. Google is consistently the best performing CSE.

2. Nextag (CPC) Comparison shopping site lets shoppers search products, event tickets, real estate, book travel plans, find sales and more. Nextag’s CPC pricing model allows merchants to optimize where their products appear on comparison pages. Supports bulk uploads. Nextag is the best performing paid comparison shopping engine.

3. Pricegrabber (CPC) Paid deal site features coupons and weekly specials. Shoppers can compare product price, reviews and merchant ratings before making a purchase. Users can search in English or Spanish, with product searches tailored for retailers in Brazil and Mexico. Merchants using Pricegrabber also have the added advantage of sending their product listings to Yahoo Shopping. Allows bulk data feed upload through an FTP.

4. Shopping.com (CPC) Paid comparison shopping engine aggregates product listings based on price and merchant attributes. EBay owned Shopping helps consumers make quick, informed purchasing decisions with its product reviews and ratings. Allows bulk uploads via an FTP.

5. Amazon Product Ads (CPC) Unlike the Amazon Marketplace, Amazon Product Ads allow merchants to link customers to their website externally. This is a good option for retailers that don’t wish to list on the Amazon Marketplace, or those who are already listing there.

6. Shopzilla (CPC) Price comparison shopping site helps connect shoppers with unique retailers, sales, and customer feedback to help them make important buying decisions. Shopzilla connects shoppers with over 100 million products across its partner sites such as Bizrate. Allows bulk product feed uploads through an FTP.

7. Pronto (CPC) Shopping site which provides shopping results for customers looking for low prices and top performing merchants. Allows whole feed processing through an FTP.

8. Become.com (CPC) A Shopping partner, Become provides research information to help shoppers find the right product, review product details, reviews, articles, and other relevant shopping information. Accepts bulk feed transfer with an FTP. No initial fee.

9. Bing (Free) Free price comparison engine compiles product data, price, and reviews for user searches. You need to establish a Microsoft Advertising adCenter account to use Bing Shopping, but you won’t be charged for any clicks from Bing.

10. TheFind (Free) Shopping search engine displays product information, coupons, and local searches for merchant listings. No feed submission. Instead merchants can give TheFind bot access to their product pages for crawling. Listing and setup are free.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Facebook Sponsored Stories: New Ads, New Benefits

Yesterday I met with an old friend who owns his own small business. His target is primarily high school and college students and for years he has done his best to stay up on the latest trends and social media sites to get in front of his market.

He is a heavy, heavy Facebook advertiser. That makes sense. After all, Facebook is highly-targetable and it’s no mystery that high school students are on the social network at all hours of the day. After years of acclimating himself to the rules and guidelines of Facebook advertising, my friend became a master learning various aspects about the EdgeRank algorithm to maximize visibility and get the most bang for his buck.

Over time, smart phone usage began to rise, and high school and college students were spending much more time on mobile, and much less time in front of a computer screen. Facebook also realized the shift. Their response? Sponsored Stories.

If you truly pay attention to your Facebook newsfeed, you will notice a flood of content that technically should not be there. In fact, if you scroll down your feed right now, I can almost guarantee that you will see at least 3 pieces of content with the word sponsored shyly placed along the right side.

This is Facebook’s new advertising platform. So how does it work?

Think of a story as an action you or your friends take liking a page, commenting on a photo, liking a photo, etc. A Facebook business page owner will take that action and broadcast it to your friends who do not Like your business’ page through a Sponsored Story ad. This is why you see information from pages you never liked or even heard of, because your friend’s like that page.

I think it’s genius.

Why Do Sponsored Stories Work?

I am more likely to consider looking into a company because one of my friends vouched for it. It’s essentially taking word-of-mouth advertising into the digital realm. It appears that your friend told you about this product, so maybe you check it out. That’s the genius of it. It’s a conversation without the conversation.

What’s the Catch?

Of course there’s a catch. It’s Facebook. Traditionally, ads appeared on the right side of Facebook. These traditional ads now cost much more money than they used to per click. But guess which ad is cheaper? Sponsored Stories. All of the user’s interactions on Facebook take place in the newsfeed, for the most part. They click anything and everything that comes through. By charging businesses less per click, it becomes appealing, however, these ads get a million more clicks than ads on the right hand side.

Most importantly, the newsfeed is the home page for mobile users. The steady stream of content is now home to sponsored story ads. People can see them, click them and interact from any smart device.

This presents a problem, though. Everyone clicks everything on Facebook, so how does this help? After they Like your page, it’s your job as a page owner to educate your new audience. They don’t know your brand, know your product, and have never truly received word-of-mouth from their friends. This is why having a social media marketing team on hand is so key.

At Fulcrum, we offer social media marketing for our clients to drive engagement and educate consumers about your brand. This is where the value is, but this can often take time, creativity, and plenty of patience.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

New Premium Facebook Ads Available

In what was probably the most overhyped IPO of all time, Facebook stock continues totumble after opening up to big numbers. Many shareholders and analysts point to problems in Facebook’s advertising department, which is also the main revenue stream of the company raking in $3.15 billion in 2011 (Mashable).

Facebook has now offered small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to access those elusive premium ad spots that were once reserved for brands spending in excess of $125k a quarter in hopes to increase its revenue and grow their share prices.

So what ads are now available?

Home Page Ads these are featured on the right side of a person’s newsfeed and were once sold only through Facebook’s sales reps. They are now available to the general public in the self-service advertising platform.

Mobile Sponsored Stories once reserved for big brands (seeing a trend here?) these ads are also available without the purchase of premium ad packages. Monetizing through mobile devices is one area that Facebook admitted complications. They are hoping to resolve that by offering these ad services to the masses as they say.

Social Media Marketing

Navigating your way through the back end of Facebook’s new ad offerings can be a complex and delicate process. The targeting options, demographics, keywords, ad text and graphics, type of ads, etc. This is why Conveyance Marketing Group offers social media marketing services.

Creating and managing ad campaigns that are effective takes years of expertise as well as time and dedication.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

Is Your Company Mobile Ready?

New Social Media Marketing Opportunities in Mobile

Earlier this week at WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference), Apple announced the latest version of its iPhone, iPad, and iPod operating system, iOS 6. With Apple constantly rolling out new features and updates, the newest releases of its iOS platforms typically bring major overhauls and game-changing innovation, and are definitely worth a few minutes of your time to review – especially if you’re in the business of mobile and social media marketing.

At the conference, it was announced that the new iOS would feature deep Facebook integration throughout the new platform. When iOS 5 was released, Apple made a similar announcement regarding integration with Twitter.

Social Media Marketing in iOS 6: Facebook Integration

While Twitter is praised for its simplicity and ease-of-use, Facebook’s myriad of products-within-products will see much more visibility throughout Apple devices. Soon you will see Facebook in apps such as calendar, contacts, and even Apple’s own App Store.

Facebook events and even friend’s birthdays will populate the calendar of your Apple device. From your photo app, you will be able to upload photos directly to Facebook, similar to Twitter’s iOS integration. Even iTunes will have some sort of Facebook presence (remember Apple’s social network – Ping – me either).

This presents an incredible opportunity for social media marketers and brands. The use of mobile devices has skyrocketed and only brands that are ready for the next wave of mobile traffic will reap the benefits.

Is Your Company Mobile Ready?

Before iOS 6 lands this fall, get your team together to discuss a mobile and social media strategy. This is a new conversation for brands but a necessary one. Mobile devices are completely shifting marketing strategies, and if your company isn’t mobile ready, I guarantee your competitor is. If leads aren’t look at you, they are looking at someone else.

 

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.

“Put your Money Where Your Eyes Is”

Yes, I know my headline has a grammatical error … but when it comes to digital media tactics, rather than putting your money where your mouth is, you want to to go where the eyes are.

According to the ANA’s (Association of National Advertisers) 2012 Digital and Social Media Survey, use of social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and mobile marketing has steadied over the past year, but the use of viral online video (i.e. YouTube) is growing steadily.

The survey

  • Viral online video (i.e. YouTube) had the sharpest increase of all media platforms: 80% using the channel in 2012, compared with 64% just one year earlier.
  • Social media use (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) has remained nearly flat, up slightly to 90% in 2012, from 89% in 2011.
  • Mobile marketing use is also holding steady, now at 74%, compared with 75% in 2011.

Conveyance Marketing Group is a marketing and web development company with a passion for delivering strategic, sustainable and affordable marketing and web solutions to start-ups and small businesses. Our service offerings include video, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), inbound marketing, graphic design, logo design, advertising and web design. Our creativity is limitless, let us help accelerate the growth of your company! Contact us today for more information on how we can help you.