2013 has seen plenty of changes to paid search, mainly driven by Google. For a brand in a competitive market like insurance, little tweaks here and there matter.
Changes include the addition of Google's own comparison products to the SERPs, meaning less visibility for organic results, enhanced campaigns, and changes to the style of PPC ads.
I've been asking Heledd Jones, head of search marketing at Confused.com (and an Econsultancy guest blogger), about the challenges presented by these changes, and her thoughts on how PPC will evolve in the next year.
Topshop is the top UK retailer for tablet user experience, according to the latest research by QUISMA, in which 10 top UK retailers were compared in terms of their tablet sites.
Topshop, Adidas and Nike provide the easiest to use websites for tablet users, whereas Zara and H&M performed poorly when it came to helping consumers navigate their sites.
Shall we blindly take QUISMA's word for it? Nah. Where's the fun in that?
Let’s have a look at some of the individual sites ourselves to see if we agree...
Over the last four months, Google has been ramping up its publicity of a more aggressive target for mobile site performance: sub one second page load times.
Enforcement of this aspiration comes from Google's usual source: algorithmic rewards for sites achieving this goal. You just need to look at how industry commentary has exploded around site speed issues over the last couple of years to see the impact this strategy has had.
I fully expect to see this industry focus switch to mobile-specific commentary through 2014.
Let's take a look at the evidence, and the SEO opportunity...
Consumers’ digital experiences, including banking, are becoming more and more visual. Within the retail banking sector much is still to be done.
Most importantly banks should not judge Personal Finance Management (PFM) tools as isolated investments: rather a piece of the puzzle to build a great overall digital customer experience.
In this article I will talk about how PFM has developed within retail banking (from a customer perspective) over the years, how we see things evolving and what banks can learn from new players.
A paid search algorithm update by Google has led to an improvement in the performance of PPC adverts that include an ad extension.
But overall the new AdWords Ad Rank update actually caused a slight decline in ad performance.
The update, which was announced back in October, altered the way that Google determines the order of paid search ads by adding in a third variable alongside the maximum bid and quality score.
This new variable is the expected impact of ad extensions and formats, and it has apparently had a notable impact on PPC results. So in effect, the use of ad extensions and formats can now influence ad position in the SERP.
The elements that are considered when determining the potential impact of extensions and ad formats include relevance, click-through rates, and the prominence of extensions and results on the SERP.
The results of the study are summarised below, but firstly here's a run through of the ad extensions that Google takes into account.
Creating a successful app is an incredibly difficult task, whichever platform you are using.
For every super-viral Candy Crush there’s a thousand zero download zombie apps littering the floor of the app store.
So what makes a great app? I recently took to Twitter (via an app naturally) to find out what busy digital people loved about apps...
What was the year? 2009? 2010? QR codes were 'the next big thing'. They had such great promise. Turn any print advertisement, packaging or promotional experience into a digital touchpoint.
Richer engagement. Richer analytics. But they never delivered. (Some people perpetually say 'next year' is the year for mass adoption).
But there is one technology that comes pre-installed on 100% of handsets and which can exceed both the engagement and analytics that QR codes promised.
It isn't always easy to find what you want in the app store, or to browse for apps that might not be in the charts.
With this problem in mind, Magvault brings together digital publications, to be perused on a digital newsstand.
I chatted to Neil Morgan, Founder of MagVault, to find out more about the service.
Since 2009, the British Museum has educated youngsters in Bloomsbury via its Samsung Digital Discovery Centre (SDDC). It’s free, and is the most extensive on-site digital learning programme of any UK museum.
I went along to the British Museum last week to see the launch of a new image recognition and augmented reality (AR) app, A Gift for Athena, helping kids to engage with the museum’s Parthenon gallery.
The app, built by Gamar, is simple in premise and use, but also a lot of fun, showing that augmented reality can succeed when applied in the right manner.
In this post I’ll discuss why the app works, and what’s needed to succeed with AR.
Back in October we spoke with Nokia at the Festival of Marketing. The topic up for discussion was referral sales marketing and how it gives brands a new way of taking part in eccommerce without selling direct to consumers.
In this article I put forward the case for referral sales and why it could take over from brand ecommerce.