No Noise Friday 06 June’14

The latest news about web marketing, SEO, PPC & Analytics. But only the stuff that matters from a New Zealand perspective. Less noise, more signal!

If your business has anything to do with the online world you know how much information is out there. It’s overwhelming and constantly changing.  Finding out what’s relevant to your business amongst all the noise is time consuming and can result in information overload.

At SureFire Search we want to help you by sifting through all the noise and highlighting what’s new and noteworthy in SEO, PPC and Web Analytics. But more importantly, answer the question – Why this might matter to YOU and YOUR business here in New Zealand.

Here’s what caught our attention this week…

  1. Google wants smartphone users to find what they’re looking for
  2. Take note – 60% of consumers use Mobile Exclusively to make purchase decisions
  3. Finally Facebook Ads releases reporting summaries
  4. Change your Brand Page to A Google+ Local Page
  5. Enhanced E-commerce boosts shopping analytics
  6. DuckDuckGo is integrated with Apple’s  iOS 8 and OS X
  7. Public announcement regarding fault in popular SEO plugin

1.Google wants smartphone users to find what they’re looking for

One of the most frustrating online experiences is when you use Google search on your mobile phone, find a result that appears to answer your query, click on it only to find that you end up on that mobile site’s home page.

You have no idea why you are there or where the information you wanted is. This leads to either having to search the mobile site to find it or bouncing back to the search engine to try again.

Frustrating. Irritating. Infuriating. Take your pick. Google acknowledges this experience and wants to solve this problem.

In the (US for English) search results, Google may tell the user if they detect that they will be redirected back to the home page of the website and not the requested page for which they clicked.

May open the sites homepage example

Why should you care?

Although this feature is currently only being implemented in the US it wont be long before it arrives in New Zealand. It highlights just how important Google views mobile and the customer experience it provides.

If you have a mobile website, it’s important that your website redirects are correctly in place.

“May open the site’s home page”; will most likely have a negative effect on your click through rate.

If you don’t have a mobile or responsive website its important that you address this. Mobile search continues to increase and Google gives more weight to websites that give their users the best mobile experience possible.

2.Take note – 60% of consumers use Mobile Exclusively to make purchasing decisions

The third annual Mobile Path to Purchase report that was released by xAd and Telemetrics reveals something interesting – up to 60% of consumers use mobile exclusively when making a purchasing decision in the categories of telecom, restaurants, auto and entertainment.

Up to 60%!

One reason for this could be due to the fact that 61% of the people within the study were satisfied with the content that they found on smartphones. (On tablets this rose to 68%)

Why should you care?

The report’s data shows that in the US during 2014 10.6 billion online visits were made on a smartphones, compared to 5.8 billion visits via PC.

The report also identifies the three main reasons why people were dissatisfied with their mobile experience. They were the following:

  • Not enough relevant information
  • The website is too slow
  • The screen is too small

You could argue that only 2/3 of those reasons are able to be controlled by webmaster. However, if you have a responsive or mobile website you at least give your business the best chance to be explored on a smaller screen. (Rather than having your desktop version crammed into the smaller screen of a smartphone and forcing users to use the pinch and expand to access your content.)

If you want to give your business a serious competitive advantage (even if it doesn’t fall into the aforementioned categories) make sure your website is mobile responsive, has relevant and engaging content, includes easy to find contact information and is as fast as possible.

3.Finally Facebook Ads releases reporting summaries

It’s funny how sometimes the most obvious feature can be overlooked. Facebook released new reporting functions nearly a year ago but left out a row which summarises the data rows.

Why should you care? 

If you have any experience with Facebook reports you know just how time consuming it was to summarise the data manually. This new feature will save you time when advertising with Facebook.

Below is an image of what this new summarising row looks like.

Facebook Summary Example

4. Change your Brand Page to a Google+ Local Page

Google has released a feature that allows a company to transfer their company’s local data (verification, reviews, map pin & location) from a verified Local Page to their already existing Brand Page.

What does this mean?

This feature allows you to essentially upgrade your Brand Page to a full Google+ Local Page. A full Local Page will give your business more exposure through Google Maps.

When Google+ launched a couple of years ago many people created Brand Pages for their business, rather than Local Business or Place Pages. Then people realised that Google had automatically created a Google+ Local page for their business which led to  massive confusion. Aside from the confusion, a bigger problem for many businesses is that they’ve invested time marketing their Google+ Brand Page and attracted followers for these pages, rather than their Google+ Local page. (We said it was confusing!)

This new update allows you to take the features of a verified Google+ local page and transplant them onto your Brand Page. (note: this is not merging the two pages it is simply giving your Brand Page the same functionality of a Google+ Local page)

Why should you care?

If you created a Non Local Page or Brand Page that has followers you can now turn that into a Verified Local Page (provided you have verified the Local Page that Google created for you). Your Brand Page will now have the functionality of a verified Google+ Local Page. This will make it easier for you to interact with your customers though Google+, show Brand Page data on Google Maps (such as reviews) and help you rank in local search.

The image below shows what happens.

Brand Page to Google Local Page Example

5. Enhanced E-commerce boosts shopping analytics

Google has recently announced that have launched (in beta) Enhanced Ecommerce for Google Analytics. They are calling it a complete make over of their ecommerce analytics. Enhanced Ecommerce is designed to provide the user better data and insight as to what is happening on their website.

This “better data” will help web masters gain insight into pre-purchase shopping behaviour and product performance. This upgrade is an acknowledgement from Google that online retail is rising quickly and retailers require more sophisticated tools to understand what is happening.

“Enhanced Ecommerce will help us to overcome many challenges. As an example, I’m looking at a report that indicates a 74.4% checkout abandonment rate. That insight is shockingly simple: over 7 out of 10 people that add something to the cart and start to checkout don’t complete it! This is the kind of data that can drive change more readily than, say, simple conversion rates for e-commerce orders.”
– Caleb Whitmore, CEO of Analytics Pros

The Enhanced Ecommerce is built onto Universal Analytics.

Why should you care?

When Enhanced Ecommerce comes out of beta mode it will provide the following:

  • Deeper insights: See where shoppers drop out of the shopping funnel. See what products are viewed the most. Understand what products have the highest drop offs.
  • Optimise your website: Create product landing pages to see what products have the most engagement. See how internal promotions effect sales.
  • Close the loop: The refund support that GA provides means that you will be able to see the whole shopping life cycle.

With retailers reporting that the average onsite conversion is around 2.7% these insights will give you a competitive advantage and the tools to increase conversion rate.

6. DuckDuckGo is integrated with Apple’s  iOS 8 and OS X  

At Apple’s development conference it was quietly announced that DuckDuckGo will be included in all of Apple’s operating systems going forward. It will be a built in option for the Safari Browser on Mac.

What is DuckDuckGo?

Duck Duck Go Example


For those of you who have not heard of DuckDuckGo it’s known as the “anti-Google search engine”. Its major point of difference is that it doesn’t track it’s users over multiple searches.

It’s a minor search engine when compared to the Goliath that is Google. It attracts around 5 million daily searches while Google attracts around 5.9 billion.

It’s an interesting development for Apple  to include such a minor search engine within their operating system. DuckDuckGo is a small company only recently hiring their 10th employee.

This inclusion could be because DuckDuckGo has gained some traction in the USA because of the NSA scandel and concerns about how their search data is being used……or maybe its trying to distance itself from Google as Android is taking more and more market share from Apple.

Apple obviously sees potential in aligning itself with the little private search engine

Why should you care?

It’s important that you know about other relevant search engines that exist. If you are concerned about privacy and want to use a search engine that doesn’t track your movements consider using DuckDuckGo.

Right now the number of people using this search engine in New Zealand is negligible so the amount of traffic it’s likely to deliver to your website will be minuscule compared to Google.

7. Public announcement regarding fault in popular SEO plugin

This doesn’t really affect our clients because most of them don’t use WordPress. However, we thought we should comment on it in case you know anyone who uses WordPress and this plugin.

The Web security firm Sucuri found a couple of flaws inside the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin. These flaws potentially give attackers access to your WordPress admin panel.

If you do use this plugin or know anyone who does and with over 1.5 million websites using this plugin chances are that you do – it is advised that you upgrade it urgently to correct these security flaws.

OK, that’s what we think. We’re keen to hear your thoughts on any of the above.


Last week’s web marketing news

About the Author SureFire

These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.

follow me on: