Trending News Cards Are Now Available on the Google App
    “Trending News” Cards Are Now Available on the Google App

    The emergence of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have made it very easy for users to customize their newsfeeds and stay up to date on topics that interest them. Of course, Google is still one of the main news sources for most folks online due to the simplicity of making a search and finding dozens of results in seconds. Understanding that consuming news is a daily activity for most web users, Google has launched an interesting update within its mobile app aimed at throwing as much news and content at users as possible. According to a user on Reddit, Google is now displaying “Trending News” cards within the search results, which sit atop the “related stories” carousel as shown in the interactive GIF below.

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    5 Steps to App Store Optimization
    5 Steps to App Store Optimization

    With over 2 million apps available on Apple’s App Store, getting your app discovered and to stand out from the crowd can seem like daunting tasks. The majority of apps are discovered by using the search feature, but if people can’t find your app when they type in specific keywords, you’re going to have a hard time being discovered and downloaded.

    New App Discovery Methods
    Kissmetrics blog

    This is where App Store optimization, or ASO, come into play. If you’re already familiar with website SEO, you’ll notice some similarities when it comes to optimizing your app for the App Store. In this post we’ll be exploring not only why you should be investing in optimizing your app, but also five ways in which you can get started.

        1. One of the main factors in ASO is having your keyword in your title. Your keyword with the heaviest traffic should be placed in your apps title, regardless of its difficulty. Keyword research for the App Store should take a slightly different approach to traditional keyword research for website SEO, but is essentially the same.
          Utilizing tools such as Google’s keyword planner can be helpful, but the keywords may be too broad. There are plenty of App Store keyword analysis tools which look at which keywords your competitors are using. You can also look for keywords in their titles, throughout the text in their app description and in the text of their 5 star reviews. Looking at the actual reviews you can see what users of the app describe the app as, which is likely going to be what people would type in when they are looking for your app. Focus groups or asking people what they would search for to find your app can also give you an idea of which direction to go in.

          Be careful though, a character limit of approximately 25 characters is recommended otherwise your title gets cut off in the search results. If your title is cut off, people will be less likely to download as they cannot fully see what the app is or does. While you do need a well optimized title, you also need one that is memorable and will be visible to potential downloaders.

          Keyword in Title ASO
          Kissmetrics Blog
        2. Optimize your app’s page by using detailed screenshots that show the app in use as well as descriptive videos. This will not only give users who visit your page a better idea of what your app does and how to use it, but it will also boost rankings. The App Store limits you to 5 screenshots, so make the good! Using generic screens such as a login page or menus does not tell potential users much about the app and does not convey any idea of user experience.

     

        1. A well written description with your keyword(s) is just as important in ASO as content on a website is for website SEO. The first few lines are what users will see first, so this is where it is crucial to capture your audience. In three lines you need to convey what you app does, how it is different from  others on the market and why the user should want to install it. Next, you want to list the benefits of your app for the user, as well as any quotes from reviews to give your app credibility.

     

        1. If you have just launched your app, using other forms of online marketing, such as PPC and social media can help drive people to the App Store to download your app. If Apple sees that many people are downloading your app this can help give your app credibility. The more popular you are the more downloads you’ll get. As ASO takes time, this is where your additional marketing channels come into play. There is research to suggest that the App Store algorithms can detect spammy downloads, such as using bots to download your app, so as always it’s always much better to go down the legitimate route. If you get people who are interested in your app to download it and they use it regularly, you will also see engagement increase – which is not only great from a business point of view, but can also help improve your rankings.

     

      1. Once you have people downloading and using your app you can then start collecting reviews. Reviews can have an impact on rankings but more importantly, higher reviews mean more people to downloading your app. Regularly receiving high starred reviews serves as great endorsement that your app is worth downloading. To increase the number of reviews you can use tactics such as notifications within the app to leave a review after using the app for a specific period of time, or reached a certain number of screens. You can also offer easy ways to get help if the user encounters a problem, or email users who haven’t left a review and prompt them to leave one.

    There is great value in App Store Optimization. With a bit of optimization, fine tuning, and research your app could soon reach the top of the charts!

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    Google Announces Rollout of AMP in Mobile Search Results
    Google Announces Rollout of AMP in Mobile Search Results

    Earlier this year, Google introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to users around the world by including these mobile results as part of the “top stories” section. The benefit of AMP for content publishers, webmasters, and users alike is that these pages load significantly faster than traditional pages optimized for mobile devices. For those of you who are unsure of how to find AMP within mobile search results, all you need to do is look for the shiny lightning bolt icon that adorns these specific listings as shown below (and no, the lightning bolt icon does not represent the Tampa Bay Lightning nor the San Diego Chargers).

    Yes, I am Canadian and I like hockey. I fit the stereotype to a T.
    Yes, I am Canadian and I like hockey. I fit the stereotype to a T.

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    The Importance of a Mobile Marketing Strategy in 2016
    The Importance of a Mobile Marketing Strategy in 2016

    For those of you that follow my blog post and witty social media graphics (“witty” quite clearly being subjective), you’ll agree that I sound like a broken record when I state that businesses need to take marketing for mobile devices seriously.

    “Come on, Jon. Tell us something we don’t know!”.

    Ok. You know that mobile is important. I cannot stress it enough myself. Every digital marketing blog & their grandmothers will tell you that having an optimized presence on mobile devices is extremely important, especially now that it’s 2016 where more users are using search engines via mobile devices rather than desktops. Sounds pretty evident that most businesses have adopted a mobile-centric or mobile-first mentality, right?

    Wrong.

    Hans Moleman
    This is what it feels like to not have a mobile-friendly site in 2016

    Unfortunately, yours truly comes across a number of sites and emails on a daily basis that completely miss the mark when it comes to being optimized for mobile. Luckily, times are changing and companies around the world are beginning to wake up and realize the potential of having their conversion funnels optimized for users on the go. What’s even better is that digital advertising platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are making it easier and easier to reach lucrative niches, which should be incentive enough to adopt a mobile marketing strategy. Now, let’s revisit why mobile is important and the pitfalls of being myopic when it comes to website design. (more…)

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    Pokémon Go - A Local Marketing App for the Ages
    Pokémon Go: A Local Marketing App for the Ages

    Gotta catch ’em all, right? That’s the mentality millions around the world have adopted over the past two weeks as the latest mobile gaming fad, Pokémon Go, has invaded homes, streets, pop culture, and more. Sick of hearing about the Pokémon hype? I’ve got bad news for you – you’re not going to enjoy this post. However, if you’re looking for innovative local marketing tactics to attract more street traffic, then you may have to hop on the Pokémon train.

    Pokémon Go - Credit to Giphy
    Haters gonna hate.

    Pokémon Go Background & Launch

    For those of you unfamiliar with the mobile application, it is a “free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game” developed by Niantic, an American software development company based out of San Francisco, California. Yes, “free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game” is quite a mouthful, but it accurately summarizes the game for the uninitiated. Niantic developed the game with The Pokémon Company, which is owned by three parent companies: Creatures Inc, Game Freak Inc, and the well-known gaming/software developer, Nintendo.

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    Apple's Bringing Search Ads to the App Store
    Apple’s Bringing Search Ads to the App Store

    Anxious to get your new mobile app downloaded by users across the world? Need to add fuel to your current mobile marketing campaigns? Well, if you’re targeting iOS devices, you’re in luck: Apple has announced that it will be bringing search ads to the App Store this fall.

    Brace Yourself: Search Ads Are Coming to the App Store
    Don’t let the meme fool you: I’m sure Sean Bean is as excited about this update as I am.

    This update was a long time coming. With the evolution of the digital landscape in recent years, the advertising space for mobile applications has increased at a rapid rate. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have opened up their advertising platforms to give mobile developers the opportunity to market their apps to specific target audiences. Of course, it’s not surprising it took this long for Apple to enter the game: the company would rather be an innovator than a follower within any field, but it was time for them to bring marketing capabilities beyond simple app store optimization (ASO) for developers and agencies alike.

    That said, let’s take a quick look at some of the preliminary features that will be available for advertisers. (more…)

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    Understanding Google Algorithm Updates for SEO
    Understanding How Google Algorithm Updates Affect Your SEO Campaigns

    Panda. Penguin. Hummingbird. Pigeon. What do these names of animals have to do with search engine optimization?

    To the inexperienced marketing professional, it may sometimes sound like Google runs a zoo. However, these names refer to algorithm updates the search engine giant has rolled out over the past five years. These updates are developed in a constant effort to increase the relevancy of search queries you make to the results they list in SERPs (also known as “Search Engine Results Pages”). These changes to Google’s ranking algorithm and core engine also came about as a way to penalize what we in the industry call “black-hat” techniques. Back in the day, it was easy for webmasters and marketing gurus to circumvent Google’s guidelines, cheat the system, and achieve rankings quickly. However, search engine optimization has evolved quite a bit since then, with Google penalizing questionable tactics and relying more on relevancy, content, and trust factors to rank websites accordingly.

    While Google regularly releases updates to its algorithm, there have been a few significant changes that all digital marketing professionals should fully comprehend before embarking on organic search and content marketing campaigns.

    *Note: this post was updated January 5th, 2018 to reflect new algorithm updates:
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    The Impact of Mobilegeddon and Other SEO News You Should Know

    Mobilegeddon-and-Other-SEO-News-You-Should-Know

    Mobilegeddon: The Algorithm Update Felt ‘Round the World

    Mobile, mobile mobile. That’s all everyone in the SEO industry has been talking about for the past week as Google finally launched its algorithm update that takes mobile usability into account in SERPs (search engine results pages). Websites that are currently mobile-friendly may notice a modest increase in organic traffic and search rankings, whereas websites that have a considerable amount of mobile usability issues will realize the severe repercussions of not planning ahead.

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    Is Google Ready to Launch a New Mobile Ranking Algorithm?

    Is your website not mobile-friendly? In the words of Morbo from Futurama, you may be doomed.

    doomed.gif

    Doooooooooooomed!

    Melodramatic hooks aside, it looks like Google is finally ready to make mobile usability a significant ranking factor after introducing mobile-friendly labels on organic listings on smartphone and tablet devices two months ago. Webmasters all over web have been receiving usability reports from Google the past couple of weeks, indicating what needs to be done to optimize websites for mobile search. These reports contain the following information:

    • Number of pages that have critical mobile usability errors.
    • Google’s guidelines on how to implement a mobile friendly website and mistakes to avoid.
    • Resources for websites that are built with a CMS such as WordPress, Magento, or Joomla.

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    Google Adds Mobile-Friendly Labels to Mobile Search Results
    Google Adds Mobile-Friendly Labels to Mobile Search Results

    Dislike visiting websites that are not mobile responsive? Neither does Google, which is why the latest major SEO update posted to the Google Webmaster Central blog was met with universal praise from digital marketers, webmasters, and internet users alike. While the typical Google update causes consternation among webmasters, this latest update reflects the growing mobile trend within the internet marketing industry. Additionally, the core of Search Engine Optimization is about enhancing the user experience by giving targeted users the right content based on specific queries. The overall user experience will be improved with the ability to weed out websites that are not responsive before clicking-through to any pages.

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