Will your website disappear on April 21, 2015?

Chances are, it’ll probably still be there.  But according to Google, if it doesn’t display properly on mobile devices – they might pull it from search results, giving preference to those sites that do, effectively making it invisible to searchers.

responsive-design-seo

I’ve had lots of questions from my clients about this, and most with recent work are just fine.  If you’re not sure, there’s a link to a free tool to find out if your site is mobile friendly a little further down in the article.

googlewebmastertools

So why is being mobile friendly so important to Google?  The fact is, mobile browsing is set to overtake desktop browsing this year.  I won’t bore you with all the mobile statistics – you’ve likely heard this all before.  Or maybe your favorite Yellow Directory representative has been bugging you all of last year trying to push a mobile website.  (Which will likely be extinct soon).  Suffice it to say that the popularity of smart phones and tablets has expanded to the point that most online searches, web browsing, and maybe even Netflix watching is done on the small screen.

Google is – and always has been – all about the user experience.  It makes sense that if you’re searching on a mobile device, you want content in your search results that you can easily read or watch.  Old designs are hard to read on small screens.

So, how do you know if your website displays properly?  Google’s got a tool you can use to find out.

mobile-test

Another quick way to find out is to just resize your browser window on your desktop to the size of a phone display.  If it reads and looks fine in the resized window, chances are it’s okay.  But do the Google test anyway.  There are lots of factors in mobile design to consider when thinking about usability.

So, what can you do if your website isn’t mobile-friendly?  Depending on the architecture of your website it could be as easy as installing a software add-on, but for most – a website redesign is probably the cure.

Fortunately, you know a guy.  :)

 

Surprising Pixlr #FAIL

As many of my clients know, I’ve recommended Pixlr as a great online image editor.  It’s free – and a fair replacement for Photoshop (which I really love).

I’ve noticed that Pixlr’s online editor has been acting strangely as of late – slow to load, failing to load, and now sporting the “AutoDesk” label.  “Uh-Oh, I said… here we go…”

And of course – I fire up Pixlr this morning only to find a good deal of my editing space is consumed by a ginormous advertisement for Google Drive.  Ugh.  No way to get rid of it.  And I already own Google Drive.  :(

pixlr-autodeskRefreshed the page – and now I’m suddenly a candidate to meet Asian Girls.  (Nothing against Asian Girls, they’re quite lovely – but I’m spoken for).  So, thank you AutoDesk.  You’ve ruined what was a perfectly good tool, just like Microsoft did to Skype.

pixlr-doneI took the only appropriate action, and recommend my followers do the same.  I’ve had good luck with Canva, so maybe that’s the new tool in my future…  I only wish it supported layers.

 

More Complaints About Yelp Advertising Practices

yelpreport

http://6abc.com/archive/9528445/

This isn’t the first we’ve heard about Yelp allegedly targeting small businesses – sadly, it’s not likely to be the last.  The BBB currently gives them A+ status – even with 1400+ complaints!

So, the claim is that you’re penalized if you don’t advertise.

But – what if you DO advertise?

Here’s an example of a complaint and Yelp’s reply:

Dear *******,

Thank you for writing. We are glad to have this opportunity to address your concerns.

You expressed concern with the results of your Yelp advertising program. You signed up for 500 ad impressions plus video hosting for the price of $315 per month, with a 12-month commitment period. During the 8 months that ads have been running for Inspiring Hands Therapeutic Massage, 1/3 of the traffic received has come as a result of clicks on the ads that you paid for. Additionally, when you were using the Call to Action feature, which provided a link for customers to click to make an appointment, 19 clicks were received. You can view a monthly breakdown of your User Views and Customer Leads on the landing page of your Business Account.

All in all, the ad program is doing precisely what it was intended to do. It has increased your exposure with a relevant audience and provided you with opportunities to convert traffic into customers (the CTA feature being one of these tools).

If you would like to cancel your program, please send a written cancellation notice to your account manager before the 15th of the month. If you choose to cancel before the end of your commitment period, an early termination fee of $930 will be assessed. 

Regards,
*****
Yelp, Inc. – See more at: http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-services/yelpcom-in-san-francisco-ca-193927/complaints#sthash.RQiuShox.dpuf

 

So let’s do the math –

8 months X $315 = $2,520

$2,520 / 19 clicks = $132.63 per click.  And then there’s the $930 “Early Termination Fee”.  That sure would have bought a lot of other kinds of advertising.

Darned if you do – Darned if you don’t.  :(

The good news is – Yelp isn’t the only way to get honest reviews that help your business.  Need advice?  Just ask.

Google Analytics Summit – Marketers Want More Data

Google Analytics

As a marketer (and we all are) more information is better.  Google's event will have folks from all over the country getting together to plan how to get more – and better – information from our shopping habits.

As they have for years, Google Analytics Certified Partners, Premium customers and developers will once again join us in the Bay Area for our annual summit this week. We are constantly working to improve our products based on feedback from our most dedicated users and this event lets us hear directly from our community. We wanted to share an overview of some of the tools and features we’ll discuss at the 2014 summit so that even if you aren’t able to attend, you can about hear what’s next. Enhanced Ecommerce  – Google Analytics Ecommerce data traditionally focused on details about the purchase – transaction details, product details, and others. But, marketers today want to understand the entire customer journey.

Credits: Google Analytics Summit 2014: What’s Next And On The Horizon For Analytics

Do you watch your analytics?  Do you think Google collects too much information already, or should they track more?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!
 

Dan Wilson, it’s all your fault.

gmail offline

So, I’ve been working through an email issue with a friend – the long and short of it is he’s having problems connecting his email accounts to his email software (it’s likely operator error, but hey – we’ve all been there, right?)

So now – My email  (google email) is down.  After I just finished bragging that I’ve NEVER EVER had an issue with Google mail.  Now I look like a dufus.  Thanks Google.  :(

But I’m still blaming Dan.  He must have given me his email germs.  Oh, if you’re in the market for a really nice PVC fence – Dan’s the man.  Just don’t email – he won’t get it right away.  Better call 256-422-3830 or visit http://fencefabav.com

UPDATE:  Looks like it’s not Dan’s fault after all.  I mean he’s good – but he’s not that good.  :)  http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/24/gmail-goes-down-across-the-world/

Google Authorship Purposely Limited

You know those cool author pictures you sometimes see in Google’s search results?  They may be slowly going away, in a move Google’s Matt Cutts says will increase the quality of search results.  Authorship – Googles way to attribute something you write online to your profile, has been found to increase the likelihood of getting clicks in search results pages, and that’s why you’ll often see multiple pictures on the first page for a popular search term – everybody wants the click.

authorship rich snippet

 

At this time, the SEO geeks haven’t determined exactly why people are getting cut, but it’s suspected that quality and authority of the website plays an important role.   We’ll keep our eye on this.  In the meantime, learn more at:

http://www.virante.org/blog/2013/12/19/authorshippocalypse-google-authorship-penguin-finally-appeared/

Measuring ROI for Attorney Marketing

I’m sure that as a business owner you sometimes wonder if your marketing is working.   There are lots of articles you can read on the subject – just Google the following term:

Measuring Attorney Marketing ROI

So, if you browse a bit you’ll find plenty of articles that show you how to tell if your marketing folks are doing a good job.  A good measure of success is how often you get leads – you know, how often your phone rings or you receive a web inquiry.

Here’s another fun way that I know my client’s marketing is working – after I rank a client in the search engines for a very competitive term, I start getting phone calls like this from my competitors wanting to “borrow” my client’s popularity… Continue reading Measuring ROI for Attorney Marketing