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2 Big Ecommerce Shifts for 2012

Even though businesses are still using marketing platforms like TV, radio, and print, the effects of ecommerce are growing bigger and better. The Internet can be accessed by anyone, from any part of the world and at any time. This makes ecommerce a more convenient and efficient option for marketing and product sales for retailers.

Just like fashion and technology, ecommerce also has trends that stem from the latter examples. The underlying trends for ecommerce look bright. Small businesses to large corporate brands are able to reach out to their audiences and facilitate their buying behaviors in highly effective ways.

Today, most people tend to visit social networking sites more than any other type of website. Due to this, most of the latest trends in ecommerce have shifted focus onto these sites. In addition, the devices in which we conduct online shopping have shifted from PC's and laptops to smartphones and other PDA's. This too has been an increase focus for ecommerce companies.

There are several social sites that can be used today for ecommerce efforts; however the main one that is rating high on the ecommerce trends for 2012 is Facebook. F-commerce the next ecommerce?

WTF is F-Commerce?

F-commerce is one of the ecommerce trends for 2012 that involves conducting business over the social network site Facebook. In fact, the trend is viewed to be one of the best in future based on the majority influence that the social site has.

In fact, today, there are millions of people on Facebook and many of these individuals are sharing opinions on products and brands. Apart from just the easy access to Facebook, businesses can take advantage of various tools such as Facebook coupons and now new features that facilitate actual product purchases.

M-Commerce = Money

The act of shopping through mobile devices is another trend that is significantly picking up among consumers. In fact, in the UK alone, it is said to increase by almost 53% in the next year at a spending rate of Euro 4.5 billion. mcommerce shoppers doing their thing

In case you are one of those businessmen out there who is looking for the perfect ecommerce strategy, then M-commerce is the ideal option that you need to take. This is because, in the near future, almost everyone will be using their mobile devices like smartphones to facilitate their shopping endeavors. The only real investment is finding a mobile apps developer to design a mobile-friendly ecommerce application that meets the interests of your sales objectives.

There are more ecommerce trends for 2012 that you may also need to consider depending on the type of business that you are involved in. However, the above mentioned are some of the best that will be able to give your business the exposure that you need.

Are you curious about any ecommerce trends? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Paid Search Ad Spend Jumps to 27% During the Thanksgiving/Black Friday Weekend

Following unfortunate reports that brick and mortar sales registered low performance during the Thanksgiving weekend, ecommerce emerged as the torch in cyber sales, thanks mostly due to mobile search.

Mercent, which powers a number of of the online campaigns for some of the greatest names in the industry (such as Brookstore and Office Deport) reported an astonishing 40% increase in online sales on Thanksgiving Day as compared to the same period in 2012. On the other hand, Black Friday sales registered a 35% increase, which was a record high.

Huge increases in retailer paid search engine spend were recorded. According to a new report released by Kenshoo, this Thanksgiving recorded a 27% increase on paid search campaigns as compared to the same Period last year. Black Friday and Thanksgiving registered 21% and 33% paid search spend respectively.

Aaron Goldman, the Kenshoo CMO said the two days had a dramatic effect on Kenshoo which saw an increase in the paid search ad spend and consequently an increase in the revenues from online sales which was a clear indication that the peak season is off to a good start. He opined that the trend is expected to continue.

This season, tablets and Smartphone had the lion’s share in terms of expenditure. Expenditure on computers dropped to 60.3 percent, a 24.1% drop from last year. On the other hand, the Smartphone budget rose up to 79.1% which accounted for 21.2% of the total spending on paid search. Tablets’ total paid search spend accounted for 18.5 per cent of the total search spend.

Goldman added that with the total paid search ad spend for phones and tablets accounting for close to 40% of the total paid search ad spend, it was a sign of a total revolution. He opined that the trend shows marketers have devised a strategy to win over shoppers wherever and whenever they went to.

In 2013, it is estimated that about 44.2% of all paid search clicks were attributed to mobile devices. Of these devices, 27 percent went to phones while 17.2% were attached to tablets. These figures indicate a rise in paid search clicks from the previous years, with 2012 recording 27.7% in the whole of November and a 14.5% in the entire holiday season of 2011.

However, in terms of revenue, computers are still ahead of the pack though the gap is fast reducing. The revenue share from computers recorded a fall from 90.4% in 2012 to 73.2% in 2013. The revenue share from mobile devices recorded a 176% increase this year with tablets registering a 22.4% while phones registered 4.4%. The revenues attributed to phones are still on the lower side as compared to tablets since most people prefer to shop from the comfort of their couches with their tablets.

According to Mercent, Google shopping recorded a faster growth rate than Amazon.com during Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This growth is as a result of Google’s effort to provide its shoppers with more engaging tools for shopping. Amazon and Google registered 26% and 70% growth respectively on Thanksgiving. Similar outcomes were posted during Black Friday.

To learn more about this news regarding the Black Friday weekend of online sales, visit Search Engine Land where they have more insights and upcoming news regarding cyber Monday.

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Did Penguin 3.0 Hurt or Help Your SEO Efforts? Weighing-in Google's Last Algo Update

Google Penguin 3Every time Google releases news about an update to its search algorithm, SEO's and webmasters (especially those who rely on ecommerce and other search marketing ventures) panic.

There is good reason to panic considering what these updates have done to good-ranking websites in the past; those who get affected loathe the updates but as we all know, Google is only trying to promote healthy competition by doing justice to black hat practitioners and subsequently, providing web surfers with quality info.

Maybe it is a conditional response that SEO's and webmasters should hold on to their hearts when an update starts rolling out but there is good reason why they should hail Penguin 3.0 which was launched on October 17 this year.

The Slow Roll of Penguin 3.0

If you are probably wondering how a Google update can possibly be of benefit to website owners, lets first review some facts about it. With regards to dates, it was launched on October 17th and since it is worldwide, spokesmen from Google said that it would continue rolling out for weeks. Pertinent to technicalities, it has been made clear that new signals were not added which makes Penguin 3.0 'just a refresh’ as they are putting it. This implies that it will not have new effects and is very much like the last roll out of penguin.

As is expected of it, the update will denote sites which have a bad link profile. However, its main intent was to help those which were denoted by previous penguin updates recover if the owners have fixed their link profiles. It is also important to note that a site will be denoted if it presently has a bad link profile irrespective of whether it was okay when the previous Penguin update was rolled out.

Tidy-up Your SEO Practice

If you have been busy cleaning up webspam signals and over-SEO-optimization (which were pinpointed and penalized by rollouts which came before Penguin 3.0,) your site is more apt to recover. This is why people should not panic because they are very few if any who dared run their link building enterprise artificially by buying the links after Penguin showed up.

Although some sites will still be caught out, this time is not about penalizing but helping those who have been affected before to a full recovery. As said before, it is worldwide and will carry on slowly which means that people who have webspam signals can take care of the problem by flight if their sites have not yet been denoted.

If your site has already been hit due to overly-aggressive SEO, you can recover very fast if only take the right steps. First, start by carrying out an analysis which lets you know the source of your toxic links. For analysis, you can use a free tool like Google Webmaster’s tool.

After a comprehensive SEO site audit, you will move on to the removal stage. The best way to remove negative link is embarking on a manual method where you contact website owners who have linked back to you by writing them emails. Alternatively, you can use the Disavow Tool and then contact Google with a reconsideration request.

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Google AdWords Launches Dynamic Structured Snippets

The Google AdWords team is introducing dynamic structured snippets which can give your PPC ads a new facelift. These automated extensions will display information that reflects the content found on the landing page of an ad.

Adwords

In essence, AdWords is further delving into structured snippets which were introduced in September 2014 by lacing ads with an additional line of text. This is designed to show more specifics about the content carried on your site. Ultimately, your customers can see more specific information to make a decision on whether your site contains the information they are looking for. Not only can this help your ads' click-through rates, but also bring more qualified traffic to your landing pages.

Enhancing Ad Real Estate & Relevancy

As of now, dynamic structured snippets have been designed to work with retail, hotel as well as flight searches. A typical ad may look like this: 

Dynamic Structured Snippets Adwords PPC Ad

According to Google, this move will be good for your business by helping potential customers learn and discover more about your products or services without you having to change anything. This is because the additional information that goes with your ad will be pulled automatically after an analysis of your site’s content. You will also earn more PPC revenue as a result of your ads becoming more industry-specific and structured,

How to Manage Dynamic Structured Snippets

If you don’t have a problem with dynamic structured snippets, your Adwords will automatically start carrying the additional line of text/information. However, if you are not a fan, fill this form to notify Google of the same. You will still fill the same form in case you have a change of heart along the way.

Data on the performance of the dynamic structured snippets can be accessed from the Ad Extensions tab: simply click on Automated extensions report found under the “View” menu. All your other eligible ads will display performance data as before through the existing performance reports.

Like other Ad Extensions, Google will not charge you for the dynamic structure snippets, but the only for the cost per click of an ad.

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Everything SEO's Need to Know About Google's Mobile-friendly Algorithm Update

The Official Google Webmaster Central Blog has officially announced a new update to its mobile search algorithm for April 21st.

According to SEO experts from all around the world, the new mobile search algo update will not only provide favorable rankings for mobile-friendly website, but will also have an even greater impact than the Panda and Penguin updates.

Google Mobile Algo Update

According to Google's new mobile initiative, called by many "mobilegeddon", it has two new features that promise to help users to find more mobile content sites:

1 - More mobile sites will be seen in search results
2 - More application content will be seen in the search results.

The first change happens on April 21st. "We will expand the use of mobile-friendly features such as ranking signals. This change will affect searches on mobile devices in all languages and countries, significantly impacting the search results," Google said.

A Motion Toward Mobile

In practice, sites adapted to mobile appear better positioned in searches carried out in these gadgets.According to a survey conducted by Conversion consultancy, one in five visitors to online stores is using mobile phones and tablets.

It is estimated that the ecommerce industry will make at least $3 billion dollars just on purchases made by mobile devices this year. Only in 2014, 10% of online sales were made from them, and there's been an increase of over 200% over the last year.

"Both the consumer behavior changes, which is increasingly using smartphones to connect to the Internet, consult products and make purchases, as the importance of search engines to generate traffic to websites. It is essential that companies make a mobile-friendly website that works well in mobile phones," concludes the CEO at Conversion, a specialist in ecommerce SEO.

Adapt or Die

Before these facts signal that it's mandatory for companies around the world to adjust their marketing efforts. These are not any just trends anymore, but factual signs that show that SEO and search marketers will need to create mobile friendly sites. Since there are so many abundant tools nowadays that make it easier for creating mobile friendly websites such as PHP 5+, HTML 5.0, CSS 3.0 and many other software, programming languages, and applications.

It is incredibly easier for webmasters to create mechanisms that make their employee companies able to use in order to auto create mobile versions for their websites.This shift in methods has resulted from the fact that content consumers across the globe are changing their methods to reach information. They are not only accessing information through the standard PC and notebook hardware, but are now also found in cross-platforms such as mobile, tablets, iPads, TVs and many others.

Many applications, software and intelligent hardware integration have made it possible for users to access information at any time, whenever they want, through any platform they are using.This created both an opportunity as well as a challenge.

Companies that are new to the market can target to capitalize into the mobile optimization and content marketing efforts. They do this to appear better ranked for terms that are shown in mobiles. As for the established companies, they now have the challenge to update all their websites, which at times can become a very daunting task if they have millions of pages in their websites.

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5 Vital SEO Tips to Mitigate Google's Doorway Page Update

This year has started hot with many Google updates. But one that probably went by unnoticed by many was the doorway update.

Doorway Page SEO

This doorway update seeks to devalue SEO tactics that use doorway pages to drive search engine traffic to any given website. This is similar to the practice that has been going on for a while with EMD (exact match domains) where there would be a single page for a specific keyword, and then all that clicking traffic would be connected to a website somewhere else.

Although the EMD updates already came a long way ago, Google's new doorway update seeks to finally cut off the head of the beast, from such similar SEO tactics.

So to avoid getting dinged for having sketchy doorway pages, here are a few steps that can be taken:

1. Do not leave empty pages as content doorways.

The reason for this is that these content pages are totally screaming doorway page to Google's crawling bots. They usually have no content, are SEO optimized on the headers and the meta description with the keyword, have some ads, and then have a small navigation that points to your main target site.

This is being devalued, and any well-ranked pages that meet the criteria will lose their rankings. Besides the possibility that Google may also penalize the website that receives such links as a whole, forcing them to probably disavow them using Google's link disavow tool.

2. Make your doorway SEO pages easily findable.

One reciprocal thing a website does to its other pages is that it links to them. So if you have a link from a page that you want Google to think it's part of your website, then you must link back to it from your main page.

This because one-way links nowadays look fishier than ever. To mitigate this Google bot suspicion and to keep your page's rank, you have to link from your home page to it.

3. Keep time sensitive content fresh.

Pages which depend on user-generated content, staff-generated content similar to reviews, blogs, galleries and others, which signal the freshness of a page in order for it to rank well, need to be fresh all the time.

Don't leave it for chance. If you can, try to create content for a mid to long term time frame such as a few months. Then you can simply program it (especially in Wordpress) so that it is published automatically. Then you won't have to worry about this page getting hit by this type of SEO factor.

4. Don't reuse duplicate content.

Content is king, and duplicate content is a sin. If having duplicate content on a website before was already a big problem, much more now with this new update. Seek to establish your doorway or EMD pages with unique fresh relevant content that will signal to Google's search that users aren't bouncing from it, and also that they are clicking through to other pages on your site. Most especially if you use Google Analytics to monitor your site's traffic.

5. Avoid common multipage websites if possible.

It's OK to have a page or two and make them part of your site's navigation as if they were your website. But if you extrapolate on this and let's say, you have like 30 pages, and all these pages are in the top navigation, this is going to be a real red flag.

If you have a site such as this, try to break that site up into a few smaller sites, this way it won't seem too obvious what your intent really is. Also, create some internal links by creating some content for the site itself, this way the site will have more authority in its niche.

These are some pointers that we hope will help you hone your SEO strategies. These will allow you to stay tuned to the latest Google updates, and will also enable you to grow your Traverse City SEO potential.

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Bing to Soon Roll-out a Mobile-friendly Search Algo Update

Bing Mobile SearchBing will be following in Google’s footsteps and updating their search ranking algorithm to benefit mobile friendly websites and persuade others to optimize their content to be viewed by mobile users. Unlike Google, however, Bing is making a conscious effort towards helping webmasters understand what is going to happen and improve their content, thus not announcing a definite date for the launch of the algorithm.

What should happen with the new algorithm is that websites which are recognized as mobile friendly by Bing will show a specific label, which Bing has already been testing and getting great feedback from, and rank higher in search engine results because of that. Although the new algorithm by Bing sounds a lot like the one from Google, the team behind the search engine wants to give webmasters a chance to assimilate the news and improve their websites taking their guidelines into account, so they are probably not releasing the new update anytime in the nearest future.

What to Expect With Bings Mobile Algo Update

As for the algorithm itself, Bing says websites will still be primarily ranked by how relevant to the search query they are, whether they are optimized for mobile devices or not, which means that a mobile friendly website might still be outranked by another whose content is more relevant to the query. The key to the success of the algorithm will thus be in balancing both aspects to create the best search results possible for mobile users.

So far, Bing is being incredibly cautious not to create a media frenzy like the one that resulted from Google’s algorithm, so they are revealing very few details about their own, including the impact they expect it to have on mobile search queries. They do say, however, that the date of the algorithm launch will be revealed ahead of time, so there will be no surprises, unless maybe a good one: Bing’s algorithm will operate in real time, so if a website becomes mobile friendly, it will benefit from the new label as soon as the new version is indexed into the search engine.

New Tools for Bing Webmasters

In addition to the new algorithm, Bing will also be launching a new tool for webmasters in the summer, which is supposed to tell them whether their websites are mobile friendly or not and how to change their situation. These tools will help webmasters go beyond just mobile optimization by looking at data and metrics that influence their web presence optimization strategy.

Meanwhile, it is a good idea to look at the criteria Bing uses to determine whether a website is mobile friendly or not, which are how easy buttons and navigation are to access with a finger, how easy it is to read the information on mobile devices without zooming in, need to scroll to the sides, which is not to be expected on mobile devices, ability to load fully on mobiles and finally not having files blocked from Bing, as that will prevent them from acquiring information to determine your website’s ranking.

Bing promises this will be no 'Mobilegeddon,' but whether that is true is still to be seen. To learn more, visit Bing Webaster Blog for the latest news.

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