Getting Started with Google Adwords for your Website

April 5th, 2016 by Trevor Robinson

You’ve heard about Google Adwords or Pay Per Click campaigns to bring people to your website, but you don’t know what’s involved, or how to get started. This blog post will help you take your first steps to enticing additional visitors to your website, and inspiring those visitors to take action (buy, browse or enquire).

Before we get into that, a quick summary of Google Adword… Google’s paid text ads can appear at the top, in amongst, or at the bottom of, the regular (referred to as ‘organic’ in the web developer world) search results. The text ads have a set format specified by Google. You can recognise the ads by a small orange image that says ‘Ad’ – well, that’s for the moment, Google changes ad positions and styles from time to time. Your ads can also appear in the ‘Display Network’ – websites of organisations or individuals who have decided to try earn some extra revenue by being paid by Google to display your ads. The feature embedded into 3rd party websites to show Google ads is called ‘Google Adsense’.

GoogleAd

You can also setup image ads, which can encourage more people to notice and click through. Google more recently has implemented an initiative called ‘Re-marketing’ whereby Google tracks who is visiting the websites of advertisers, and then show that advertisers’ ads to those same people when they visit other sites containing Google Adsense. In a way the ad “follows” the person. This strategy is clearly very effective in getting a person to return and buy the product or service being advertised, however, it can be disconcerting / annoying for some. You need to specifically set up Google Re-marketing if you want your ads to follow people around.

GoogleRemarketingAdsinGumtree

The Google Shopping Feed is another tool for inserting your products into search engine results.

GoogleShoppingFeed

Whenever a person clicks on your ad, they are taken to a page of your website that you specify, and in doing so, are causing you to owe Google a small fee for that click. The fee amount depends on numerous factors, but will usually be around the same amount for a specific ad – when you setup the ad, Google will tell you the likely cost per click. When you setup your ads, you will also set a daily budget for click costs per day, and Google will not exceed that cost.

That’s the summary… now, back to getting started!

Step #1 – your objectives

Knowing what your objectives are is essential for achieving them!

Your objectives for your Google Ads are likely to be phrased in one of the following formats:

  • Attract 50 new visitors looking for product/service XYZ per month, in order to receive 25 enquiries and convert 10 into new customers
    OR
  • Attract 500 new visitors requiring service XYZ, in order to add 400 people to our email database
    OR
  • Attract 1000 people wanting to purchase XYZ product, in order to sell 250 products

It can be tempting for business owners to think that they want unlimited new visitors to their website… why put a number on it!? However, in reality, unless your product or service is 100% delivered in a hands-off manner, there will be a limit to the number you can sell in any given month based on your current stock / staffing / processes etc.

Step #2 – writing your ads

Your ads will potentially appear in amongst ads of your competitors and/or in amongst other search engine results, so it is important that your ad stands out or grabs the attention of the searcher, to be more likely to be clicked.

Before writing ads for our clients, we always look at the ads of competitors, and ensure that we take a different approach.

The set format for ads means that there are very few words for you to play with, so writing a succinct but attention-grabbing ad, which appropriately represents your organisation and the destination page, can be tricky!

Step #3 – tailoring the destination page

Your ad needs to deliver – when the searcher clicks on the ad, it MUST take the person to a relevant page of your website that meets the expectation set by the ad. If it doesn’t, the searcher will disappear in an instant (but you’ve paid for that visit), and your reputation will suffer a tiny bit of damage because you have just wasted that person’s time.

The destination page – also called the ‘landing page’ – will likely need some adjustment to ensure that the searcher knows in an instant that they are in the right place. Repeating that text of your add in the first heading and paragraph of the landing page is one way to achieve this.

The landing page should also include a relevant ‘call to action’ related to the ad. Depending on your objectives, your call to action could be ‘sign up for our newsletter’ or it could be ‘buy now’… Calls to action are often brightly designed images hyperlinked to another page of your site, or text hyperlinks.

Because of the need to tailor the destination page to ensure that the ad, for which you have paid, delivers the highest return on investment, often you are better off creating a specific landing page for every ad you run.

Call-To-Action-Button-Examples

Step #4 – setting up your ads

Once you have your ads written, and landing pages ready to go, you need to setup your ads inside the Google Adwords tool: https://www.google.com.au/adwords/ You need to have a Google Account to login and start configuring your ads. You also need to attach a credit card to your Google Adwords Account in order to start your ads running.

The Google Adwords tool can be a little confusing at first, because there are so many settings and options for your ads. So, if you are going to do this step yourself, you are wise to work your way through some Google Tutorials on how it is done.

Some important settings to look out for when setting up your ads:

  • Keywords – you associate each ad with a set of keywords, and these keywords are the main factor in the cost per click charged by Google for your ad. Google provides a tool for helping you choose appropriate keywords. The most cost effective keywords are those with low competitor activity (few others bidding for that word / phrase) yet a high number of monthly searches.
  • Exact or broad match – the Adwords tool defaults your keywords to ‘broad’ match, meaning that if any of the words in your keyword or phrase appear in any part of the search term entered by the searcher, or synonyms of your keywords, then your ad can be displayed. For example, if the key phrase you are bidding for is ‘ladies hats’ and the searcher types in ‘baseball hats’ in Google, then your ad may appear if you specified broad match. Google defaults to broad match because it is trying to give your ad the most exposure possible, and relies on your ad being written well enough so that only your target market will click on it. However, you run the risk of people mistakenly clicking on your ad, and costing you money.
  • Negative keywords – these allow you to stop Google from presenting your ad if a particular word (the negative keyword) is included in the searched for words. For example, if you sell top end perfume and bid on the search term ‘perfume’ with a negative keyword of ‘cheap’, then if a searcher types in ‘cheap perfume’ your ad will not be displayed. Use of negative keywords is an obvious way to ensure that only the right target audience sees your ad.
  • Time of day – you can specify which days of the week, and the time of the day, that your ad should be displayed. If it is very unlikely that your target audience are looking for your services at 2:00 AM in the morning, then displaying your ad at that time would be a waste and attract people from the wrong country.
  • Location – you can also specify where the searcher can be located, either by city, region or country.
  • Budget – you can specify not only your daily budget but also how quickly you spend that e.g. spread over a month, or spent as quickly as possible. If your ads are not displayed or clicked on, then your budget won’t be spent.

There are many other settings for your ads; reading Google’s tutorials about these will go a long way to helping you work out the best setting for your ads.

Step #5 – managing your ads

In order for your ads to start displaying in Google search engine results you must have a valid credit card attached to your account, and your ads must be approved by Google. The approval process can take several hours, and is necessary after every change to the text of your ads.

It is important to check on your ads on a regular basis with regard to the following:

  • Ensure they are still running!
  • Ad Impressions – if your ad is never being shown, then it will never be clicked on. You may need to adjust your bid, keywords, or ad copy to improve impressions.
  • Ad Position – you need to check that your ads are being placed high enough in the ads to actually be likely to be seen and clicked. This will depend on advertiser competition, and the amount you are willing to pay per click for your ad.
  • Click through rate (CTR) – some ads will attract searchers more than others – these will have higher CTRs, and are likely the ads you will want to spend more money on, and perhaps pause the others – but only if they are also delivering against your objectives.
  • Actual cost per click – if the average click cost is very close to your maximum bid, you may be missing out on potential clicks and therefore should try increasing your budget. If your daily budget, because the average cost per click is so high, won’t deliver enough potential customers to meet your objectives, then you need to consider increasing your budget or choosing different keywords that attract a lower cost per click.
  • Keywords – over time, the terms being used by searchers to find your ads may evolve, so you may need to adjust the keywords associated with each ad. You may also find that people are clicking on your ad
  • Display Network – if you allow your ads to appear within the display network, you should check that your ads are showing in appropriate sites. It’s time consuming to check each website in which your ad has appeared and then adjust, but you can prevent your ad from appearing again in particular websites.

Managing your ads is a little involved, and not managing them well can either cost you serious dollars or mean that you are missing out of potential customers and not meeting your advertising objectives.

We understand that setting up and managing Google Adwords can seem daunting, so if you need any assistance we’re happy to help.

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Is it time to fix my website?

January 24th, 2016 by Heather Maloney

Is it time to fix your websiteThe start of the year affords most business owners a little more space to consider our organisations from a more macro perspective. For many businesses, their “shopfront” is their website. Making sure that your shopfront is presenting your organisation appropriately, and delivering the best results, are macro questions businesses owners should ask on a regular basis.

A key objective for many websites is lead generation, and therefore another important question is “Am I receiving enough inbound leads, of the right type of people, through my website?”

The right type of person is important. If the leads arising from your website are predominantly from people who need a different product or service, or are looking for a cheaper alternative, or who are too large or small for your organisation to effectively support, then there’s a problem.

The enough will depend on the size and resources within your organisation. Most organisations have a limit to the number of inbound enquiries they can handle well at any point in time.

If the answer is “no”, you aren’t receiving enough qualified enquiry (or sales) from your website, then you will have one of the following problems:

  1. Not easily found. Your website isn’t being found in the search engines, on the right search terms. Or looking at this another way, the right people aren’t searching using the terms for which your site is optimised.
  2. Stopping at the door. When people find your website, its appearance or the user experience is turning people away. For example, they can’t quickly find what they are looking for, or trying to view your website on a phone is difficult.
  3. Failure to engage. When the visitor reads through your content or uses the functionality you provide, they aren’t engaged, their curiosity isn’t aroused sufficiently or their questions aren’t answered, so they move on rather than submitting an enquiry.

If you have invested heavily in your website (e.g. financially, including your own time, or emotionally), it can be painful to admit that it has any of the above problems, or know which one/s. Looking at the data about your website performance will help you hypothesize what may be wrong.

Bounce Rate
Your website bounce rate is a measure provided through Google Analytics which shows the percentage of people who look at one page of your site, and leave your website without clicking anywhere else. This measure can be an indicator of the engagement problem, a user experience problem, or that the visitors who are arriving are the wrong type of people.

Pathways & Exit Pages
Google Analytics will also show you the most common pathways through your website. When a person arrives on page x they then usually go to page y, and page z and then leave. This may help you to identify the pages that need to be re-written so that you aren’t losing visitors because of poor content, or because you aren’t making it easy for them to take the next step at the right point in their likely pathway.
Alternatively, you may find that visitors are mostly going down a path in your content that isn’t the optimal path for the information they require, and therefore the information architecture or calls to action need adjusting.

Device Usage
Google Analytics data will show you the percentage of your website visitors who are using a mobile device. This will help you determine whether it is time to invest in a mobile responsive website. Having a mobile responsive website will also help with your search engine ranking. As of the 21st April last year, Google made it clear that for people searching while using a mobile device, that it would give preference in the search results to websites that are responsive.

Search Terms and Search Engine Ranks
Your Google Analytics data will also give you a guide to what search terms are delivering visitors to your website.
A check on where you are ranking for search terms you are targeting will help you know whether you are likely to be found. You should be aiming for as close to the top of the first page of results as possible, but definitely in the first 3 pages.

Google Keyword Tool
The Google Keyword Tool will help you determine what search terms are most being used to search for your type of product or service, and how competitive those search terms are – useful if you are considering using Pay Per Click advertising to bring visitors immediately to your website when your organic ranks aren’t good enough.

Competitor Research
Assessing the websites of your competitors against a set of pre-determined criteria can help you to identify where your website might be less engaging.

As long as you have Google Analytics setup against your website, easily available data can be a great source of information about what may be causing a lack of inbound enquiry from your website. The following techniques will help you go deeper into the analysis of the problem.

Market Research
Asking a statistically significant number of people in your target market a set of well-crafted questions can help you to identify how your target market are perceiving your website, and what might turn them away.

You need to be able to answer the question: “Will my target audience find the answers to the questions they are likely to ask?” and “Will my target audience find solutions to their common problems?”

Conversion Rate Optimisation
If you have setup conversion tracking on obvious places within your website such as hyperlinks and form submission buttons, you will be able to calculate the conversion rate for visitors being presented with that content. Conversion tracking can be achieved using various tools – Google Tag Manager being one of them.

If you are advertising your website through Google Adwords, click through rate is an important indicator of engagement with your ads.

If the traffic to your website is sufficient, programmatically delivering alternative content to a page, and testing the conversion rate of the alternative text, will provide you with sound data on which alternative is the more optimal for producing engagement. For example, if your analysis suggests that the content is an issue because the text isn’t speaking directly to the target audience you may decide to craft 2 or more alternative headlines, introductory paragraphs and calls to action, and then test these against one another for the most beneficial version.

There’s lots involved in making a website great. “Fixing it” may require a full design refresh and re-build into a mobile responsive website with richer functionality, or it may be as simple as re-writing the content to be more concise, helpful and engaging and/or adding more obvious calls to action.

If you would like to discuss the performance of your website, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Exploring the Introduction of 3D Touch for iPhone 6S

November 22nd, 2015 by Hubert Yap

The release of iOS 9 on 16th September, 2015 introduced two significant new features on iOS devices: Multitasking on iPad, and 3D Touch on iPhone. This blog post will explain what 3D Touch means for users, and how it can be incorporated into mobile apps to improve the user experience.
3D Touch for iPhones

At the time of writing, 3D Touch is only available for two device models: iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Unfortunately the iPad Pro, which was released on November 2015, does not support this feature.

3D Touch introduces three new ways to interact with compatible iPhone apps:

  • Home Screen Quick Actions
  • Peek and Pop
  • Force Properties

Home Screen Quick Actions gives the user a kind of shortcut to up to four of the app’s key functions from the app icon on their home screen. Think of it like an additional navigation on the user’s home screen that allows them to navigate quickly to a specific screen or feature inside the app. This is a great time-saver for users, allowing them super quick access to their favourite function within your app.

The Home Screen Quick Actions can be a simple static set of shortcuts, or it can be a dynamic list of actions, or a combination of both. The static shortcut will always appear on top of the dynamically generated shortcut. They can contain up to two lines of text and an optional icon. The user can activate this feature by pressing the app’s icon on the home screen until they feel a small vibration which will then open the list of shortcuts (this is instead of the simple press to open the app, which of course is still available).

Peek and Pop allows the user to quickly preview content, such as a web page, from a link in their browser. This feature activates when pressing a user interface component (e.g. a link). If the link has any previewable content, its surrounding will be blurred to let the user know they can preview the content of that link. As the user keeps pressing with additional pressure, they will feel a small vibration, then a preview window (“Peek” window) will appear, displaying the content that will be shown if the user presses the link in the usual manner.

Whilst seeing the ‘peek’ view, the user has 3 options:

  1. Release the link. By releasing the pressed link, the “Peek” window will disappear, returning the user to the previous screen.
  2. Keep pressing. The user will feel another vibration and this is will “Pop” the window and take the user to the next screen as if they have clicked the link.
  3. Slide the screen up. This action shows additional buttons that the user can click to trigger a related action. For example, if they were pressing a website link, there will be an option to open the link, copy the link, or add it to a reading list.

The peek and pop feature is very useful when the user is not sure what will happen if they click a link, or when they are not sure if the link contains the information they require. For example, your application might present a collection of PDF files, listed by name. “Peek and Pop” allows the user to “Peek” on each file and release or “Pop” it instead of needing to click on each file and go back to the previous screen to click another file, until they find the file they are seeking. Again, it’s all about speed and convenience for the user.

Finally, Force Properties allows the app to detect the force applied to a certain UI component and triggers the app to react on the force event. For example, a piano app can now play a piano sound louder if the user presses the piano key harder; a drawing app can draw wider lines when the user strokes with greater pressure. Force Properties adds to pre-existing gestures such as tapping, tap-and-holding, swiping, and pinching, to allow intuitive behaviour upon additional pressure being applied to the screen.

3D touch opens up possibilities not previously available inside Apple apps. Whilst Force Properties usefulness depends on the interactivity of the app itself, we expect that most applications can enhance their user experience with the Home Screen Quick Actions, and Peek and Pop capability.

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Gamification of your online store

October 28th, 2015 by Heather Maloney

gamificationAll of you who attended the Melbourne Business Network event yesterday morning with me, and heard James Tuckerman speak about “5 disruptive trends and tactics that will reinvent how business is done in 2016″, will undoubtedly have been considering how you can implement gamification.

Gamification is “the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts” (source).

But first, if you are interested in some recent statistics on the impact of gamification, here’s an article I found which is a quick read: Gamification in 2015: Top Statistics and Facts. Here’s some more facts and figures.

Here’s a quick brainstorm on how to implement gamification into the online shopping experience (without culling the ridiculous … yes, aliens may get a mention).

Let’s get the obvious out the way first:

  • For first time customers (you can work that out based on their email address) after successful payment immediately reward them with a ‘first time customer’ badge, and give them something as a reward – that might be an additional extra product thrown into their first delivery, a discount off their next purchase, reward points …

By the way, before I go on … congratulations on choosing to read this blog, and getting past the first few paragraphs! Click here to get your reward. Seriously now, click!

Now where were we … okay, back to the perhaps less obvious ideas (and you wouldn’t necessarily do all of these things simultaneously):

  1. After the customer adds an item into their shopping cart, congratulate them with a badge and explain that they are x steps closer to owning their new item. Sounds, visuals and a feeling of game play are important aspects of gamification; so don’t make it too boring.
  2. As the customer works their way through the checkout, make it into a game … giving them fun visuals showing that they are progressing through the purchasing of their prize.
  3. For returning customers, give them a different reward compared to first timers … perhaps accrue points towards their free / goal purchase. To make this feel like a game, perhaps avoid a “frequent flier points” style point system, and lean more towards collecting cute ‘widgets’ to achieve a goal number of ‘widgets’.
  4. For customers who click through from your purchase confirmation email, to track the progress of their order or shipping, show them another badge – the excited shopper award perhaps! Make this sometimes anxious stage of the wait fun for your customer, and ease their mind that their parcel is on the way.
  5. For customers who click through to view your terms and conditions or payment security page, show them another badge – the careful shopper award perhaps. Again, this helps you to turn this more serious matter into something more light hearted and friendly.

Alright … there’s the brainstorm. You’ve probably thought of a few more, so please add to the above list via the comments!

Or tell us if you have noticed gamification popping up in business websites, like the DropBox example 1 and example 2?

NB: There is a real life prize for the first comment added to this blog post. You will receive your surprise gift in the mail.

 

 

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Split Testing Your way to Optimal Web Page Content

September 15th, 2015 by Trevor Robinson

What is Split Testing?

Split testing, also referred to as A/B testing or multivariate testing, is a method of delivering multiple versions of a web page in order to gather data about the efficacy of particular content (images, text, forms or video). Incoming traffic is distributed between the original (control) version and different variations without the user knowing that they are actually part of an experiment.

A/B testing involves testing two variations of a web page against each other to distinguish which version of the web page is the most effective.

Multivariate testing involves comparing multiple variations of a web page in order to distinguish which combination of variations is the most effective.

A/B testing is excellent if you are after quick insights regarding isolated page elements, and is best for websites with lower traffic volume. Multivariate testing tends to be a more intricate process. Given the multiple variations and possible combinations, multivariate testing requires more testing time and is better suited to high-traffic websites, in order to yield statistically significant results.

Why Split Test?

Perhaps your website is ranking really well in the major search engines, or maybe your search engine marketing and social media marketing efforts are generating traffic through to your landing pages, but that traffic that you have worked so hard for isn’t turning into conversions (clicks, enquiries, sales, signup…).

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is all about making the most out of your website visits, gathering data about your visitors’ interaction with your website to ascertain how your conversion rate can be improved. Split testing is an important part of CRO.

What can be tested?

Any element that can be moved on your web page can be included in your split tests, however before testing, like any good science experiment we start with an hypothesis formulated after analysing the behaviour of your current traffic perhaps using heat map analysis.

The most important on-page elements on a web page are likely to be:

  • Call-to-action buttons / text / links
  • Introductory headline
  • Web page graphics
  • Text content such as sales copy and product descriptions

How is it implemented?

Once an hypothesis has been agreed, the alternate content needs to be written or designed, and programmatically added to the target web page using special script that will deliver alternate versions of the content to different visitors. A returning visitor will always see the same content, as long as they are using the same PC & browser.

After a statistically significant set of test results have been gathered, the outcome of the test can then be analysed and if conclusive, the winning content can be permanently applied to your web page, for all visitors.

CRO-graph

Running a simple split test on the position of a call-to-action, or the text used in your main headline can make a big difference to your bottom line. Repeating the process and testing another change, and another change, will ultimately lead to optimal content for the desired visitor action.

Split Testing is a tool used by the most savvy websites, and is now available to Contact Point clients – please get in touch if you have a web page that isn’t delivering the conversions you are seeking!

 

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Enhance your website with animated graphics

September 2nd, 2015 by Tamar Smart

In my early years as a Graphic Designer, I worked a lot with incorporating animation onto a website via Adobe Flash. This was all the rage back then – mostly for use within large banner images/dynamic elements. Over the years, Flash became outdated and impractical, especially with the introduction of Apple devices and their lack of support for all Flash animation files.

Finally animation on websites is making a comeback, but in a slightly different form. Animated graphic files can be created as a Gif image, using HTML5, or a video animation embedded into a website. These formats are supported across a wide range of devices too, which is great news.

Animated graphics can really bring life to an otherwise plain website. They can be eye catching, entertaining, informative or tell a story.

One particular favourite style of animated graphics, is called “whiteboard animation”. This style looks exactly as it sounds – a series of images and text are “drawn” onto a whiteboard, and wiped off or moved around on the whiteboard. This type of animation really works when there is information to explain or a story to tell – it feels natural and makes sense to a viewer. The reason for this is because, when we want to explain something to someone, we often write or draw rough sketches on paper.

As I was browsing the internet today, I noticed that Google had created an animation in whiteboard style. Google has just created a new logo, and used the animation to tell the story of how it was created (in basic dot points). The animation works really well – it’s eye catching, a little bit fun and it makes sense.

New_Google_Logo

In case you missed it, here is a link to view Google’s animation explaining their new logo:
https://g.co/doodle/xfnz5b

At Contact Point, we have recently created video animations for our clients to help engage with their audience, and welcome the opportunity to create an animation for your website also.

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Review of my Samsung Smart Watch, 2 months on

July 30th, 2015 by Heather Maloney

Two months on, I’m very happy to keep wearing my smart watch – a Samsung Gear which connects to my Samsung 5 smart phone – albeit quite chunky on my skinny wrist, and taking up another power point for charging approximately every 3 days. It’s also important to appreciate that you need to have your smart phone nearby – about 15 – 20 metres, so the distance between my board room and my desk works perfectly well.

Samsung Gear 2

The Gear 2 is by no means the latest Samsung smart watch available – I chose that, nearly obsolete, model because it has a smaller face size than the new ones, a larger face will just look silly on my wrist. Perhaps the larger faces will eventually becoming thinner making it more palatable… we’ll see.

During the last 2 months, it’s been quite the talking point. Here’s my list of benefits of having a smart watch:

  • phone call screening – when I am not my desk I often don’t have my phone with me, and when I’m walking somewhere, handbag over shoulder, getting my phone out of my handbag can take several all-important seconds when you’re trying to get to a call. In these situations, I can simply lift the watch up and it automatically activates the screen so that I can see who is calling.
  • phone call answering when I can’t get to the phone – it’s as simple as swiping on the green answer button to take the call. The caller is of course on speaker at that point, but it can be better than missing an important call. Switching back to normal phone mode is easily done once I get back to my phone.
  • time :) I am happy to report that I can tell the time very easily using the watch – as you lift your wrist, the watch screen automatically turns on. You can choose a clock face from a variety of options, and also choose the background colour to match your clothes. However, it being an orange watch, I don’t tend to choose colours very often.
  • pedometer – I have just recently taken up exercise again (to deal with the winter pounds) so I started up the pedometer on my watch, and the watch automatically sent through the number of steps to my Samsung Health app on the phone, and automatically resets everyday so I can see whether I have been active enough on any given day, and of course do something about it!

Some things I don’t like:

  • email notifications – having your watch beside your bed going off at all hours of the night because another email came through was never going to be good, so that was left on all of about 5 minutes. The number of notifications I would have on the watch during the day as well would drive me mad, so I don’t use the phone to view emails.
  • running out of battery in the middle of the day – you end up with a useless piece of technology strapped to your wrist, and don’t know the time!
  • heart rate monitor – not that I’m too concerned about this, but I don’t find the heart rate monitor very successful on the phone; probably something to do with not having it strapped tightly enough to my wrist.

There are lots of other things I can do using the watch, including checking social media updates and the like. Practically every notification you can get on your phone you can also get on the watch. However, I don’t really need more notifications of that nature.

I’m still considering a feature/app to have our app development team build, in order to help me benefit more the device.

Of course the Apple iWatch has come out in the last couple of months. Here is an interesting review of the iWatch.

I look forward to hearing from others wearing a Samsung Smart Watch, or an Apple iWatch for that matter. How do you benefit from your smart watch?

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Integrating your shopping cart with the Google Shopping API

July 29th, 2015 by Harry Liu

The use of Google shopping is becoming more popular in Australia. The norm used to be that you would use the main Google search box, or more recently just type your search terms into the address bar and press enter, to find and compare products. Using this method, the search results is usually a list of websites, requiring you to view many sites to find the best purchase, or if you trusted them, you could use a comparison site to find you the best deal. Now we can use Google Shopping – https://www.google.com.au/shopping – to search items from a collection of ecommerce websites.
google-shopping-example

A search in Google Shopping returns an easy to navigate set of products (images, names, ratings, price) with multiple searching options, a powerful filter to narrow down the set of recommendations, and a Shortlist feature to help you select the product to purchase. Clicking on a product allows you to see more details, including any reviews, and then click through to purchase the product from the original vendor. However Google will only list products that have been submitted by an eCommerce website – Google doesn’t go out and gather product information to populate Google Shopping, as it does with the regular search engine results.

The simplest way to submit your products to the Google Shopping engine is to use the API (application programming interface) supplied by Google. We have recently implemented an automated product feed into Google Shopping for Miami Stainless, so now you can find their stainless steel products through Google Shopping e.g. search on ‘balustrade wire’.

On average it will take around 4 – 5 hours for us to implement automated integration of a Contact Point Shopping Cart website’s product information with the Google Shopping engine. You may elect to only send to Google products that aren’t on sale, or perhaps, certain categories of product – these sorts of rules can be programmed into the automated product feed from your online store.

Why not make the most of this opportunity in Google to place your products in front of more customers?

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Mobile-friendly algorithm update: More Than Paws

June 29th, 2015 by Trevor Robinson

It’s been 2 months since Google rolled out its mobile-friendly algorithm which was set to enhance rankings for mobile-friendly / responsive web pages in mobile search results, so now is a good time to measure the impact of Google’s latest algorithmic update by reviewing one of our clients’ websites.

In order to obtain an accurate gauge between desktop and mobile search results, we needed to select a website without a mobile-friendly website version or responsive design.

More Than Paws is an e-commerce website specialising in clothing, accessories and costumers mainly for our canine friends, as well as other household pets. The More Than Paws team have been thinking about adopting a responsive website since there was first talk of the mobile-friendly algorithm update.

More Than PawsIn order to review the impact of the change, we selected 4 search terms that the More Than Paws website had been ranking well on in the months leading up to the Google algorithm change. The following search engine ranks are for Australian only results in Google, for both mobile and desktop devices – we performed these searches manually, without being signed into any Google Account in order to get the most accurate results.

Dog Bandanas
Desktop: #5
Mobile: #5

Dog Clothes
Desktop: #12
Mobile: #12

Dog Costumes
Desktop: #6
Mobile: #8

Dog Hoodies
Desktop: #3
Mobile: #5

The above results show a small impact on our client website’s Google ranks, with the search terms: ‘Dog Costumes’ and ‘Dog Hoodies’ both showing a 2 position rank deficit compared to the desktop.

We also reviewed the number of impressions for the More Than Paws website via desktop compared to mobile devices, pre and post the algorithm change.

Impressions from March 25 to April 21 (mobile-friendly algorithm introduction)
Impressions pre algorithm change

From the 23rd of March up until the advent of the mobile-friendly algoithm, the More Than Paws website received 5,752 impressions via desktop and 3,530 via a mobile device, which equates to a 47.87% difference.

Impressions from April 21 to June 22.
Impressions after algorithm change

Since the introduction of the update, up until the 22nd June, the More Than Paws website received 20,488 impressions via desktop and 11,931 via a mobile device, which equates to a 52.79% difference, or reduction of 4.92% of impressions between mobile and desktop devices.

It should be noted that most of the websites ranking well for similar search terms do not yet have mobile friendly / responsive websites. We expect that the difference pre and post the algorithm change would be more significant where well ranking competitors have mobile responsive websites. We also expect to see the difference between the ranks to become more significant over time, as Google adjusts the algorithm to achieve its aims in this area.

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Reach Mobile Melbournians billboard

June 27th, 2015 by Heather Maloney

After passing the billboard on the Westgate freeway several times, I just had to know what the advertising was all about. I mean … a Google search box containing the search phrase “reach mobile Melbournians” had to be somehow relevant to the endeavours of Contact Point!

So I grabbed my mobile phone (hubby was driving so that presented no problem) and typed in the search term “reach mobile melbournians” only to find a collection of random unrelated search results for page after page. Very frustrating! I am fairly of-fey with searching, having been involved in search engine optimisation since it began, so I continued on regardless to find what the billboard was all about. I refined my search to ‘reach mobile Melbournians billboard’ and was fortunate enough to get to the right place. The answer? A big new digital billboard coming into Melbourne City. So the ‘mobile’ in those search terms referred to people on their feet (rather than on a mobile device), and the Melbournians was actually people visiting the heart of the city of Melbourne.

Actually, to be completely honest, this was the second I had searched for this search term – the first time, after passing the sign at a pretty good speed, I searched for ‘reach mobile Melburnians’ because I thought that was how it was spelled.

Today I was glad to have my curiosity satisfied, however it struck me that the effort I was prepared to put in so that I could find the answer to the burning question raised by the billboard surely wouldn’t be the norm, and therefore the cost of that billboard wasn’t capitalised on with a complementary search engine marketing campaign.

If Contact Point had been engaged to assist the promoter we would have recommended the following:

  1. Write an article or two like this, explaining the meaning of the billboard advertising, and publishing the blog a day before or on the day that the billboard ad appeared.
  2. Ensure that the blog was well optimised for the search engines.
  3. Include a custom, short URL in the billboard to help the curious find it.
  4. Use social media simultaneously on the launch day or just before, to talk about the billboard, pointing to the explanatory webpage, and using useful hash tags to help searchers find it (eg multiple spellings of words if necessary)
  5. Once the billboard was actually out in the public, take a video of it and post that on the company YouTube account, including appropriate hash tags and including a URL that points back to the landing page on the website.

There’s more you could do if you have budget, but all of the above could be done for very little cost and effort, making it much easier for me to solve my burning question. That’s my two cents worth!

We love helping businesses to grow using technology, so if you are planning to reach mobile Melbournians or Melburnians for that matter, especially through search engines or through the use of mobile apps or a mobile responsive website, feel free to get in touch.

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