No Noise Friday 08 August’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. An example of reputation management gone wrong
  2. What’s happening to Google Plus?
  3. Get more for your money with mobile advertising
  4. Facebook testing auto-play adverts
  5. Light-side of the net: Apparently Facebook being down is an emergency

1.An example of reputation management gone wrong

A recent study revealed that as many as 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. With that in mind,  its understandable companies want to manage their reputations online because too many negative reviews can be harmful to business.

A company in New York decided that rather than provide exceptional service to avoid getting bad reviews they would be proactive and include a rather strange policy on their website.

The policy – bad reviews are punishable with $500 fines.

Here’s part of the policy.

“If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event. If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.”

The worst part is that when the offending hotel Union Street Guest House was called out, they tried to lie their way out of it. A now deleted Facebook comment stated; “The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced.”

However, past guests presented emails from the hotel trying to enforce the policy.

Why should you care?

Reviews are very important. They are continually highlighted by Google in search results and are a local ranking factor. In New Zealand you should be doing everything you can to get past customers to leave authentic reviews on your Google My Business Page, Facebook Page and other prominent local directories like Yelp and Finda. If you provide a great service they will be positive and result in more enquiries from prospective customers.

This story shows that with the internet there really is no where to hide from bad reviews. If your business does receive a poor review which can happen from time to time – address it.

2.What’s happening to Google Plus?

Bloomberg sources are reporting the Google is planning to turn Google Plus’s photo features into its own product. Google is trying to attract new users by making its best features available to people who have no interest in joining Google Plus.

This has already occurred with Google Hangouts. You now no longer need a Google + profile to use this extremely useful tool. All you need is a Google account.

Why should you care?

It seems that Google is still trying to figure out just what to do with Google Plus. After years of trying to push people to sign up for the service to access Google tools; the company is now back tracking slightly.

If you sign up for Google My Business (you should) your business will be given a Google Plus page. This page is useful to interact with customers on and have them place reviews.

However, from a personal standpoint it would seem that to use many of Google’s useful tools; having a Google Plus account is no longer needed.

3.Get more for your money with mobile advertising

Advertisement retargeting is a powerful tool. It works because the best time to market to someone is when your company is top of their mind.

But is the return on retargeting worth the investment?

AdRoll studied 800 million impressions from advertisers running Facebook retargeting campaigns on desktop and mobile. The results of that study can be found here.

What the study reveals is that you get more for your money with mobile.

The following is taken from their results; “The CPM cost of News Feed ad impressions on mobile is 57% lower than News Feed impressions on desktop, and generate a 10% higher CTR. This results in a 61% lower CPC for ads in the News Feed on mobile compared to the News Feed on desktop.”

Why should you care?

There is a lower cost and higher click through rates on mobile. The reason for the lower cost could be the fact that there isn’t a lot of demand yet for mobile advertising. The higher click through rate could be because adverts on desktop aren’t as prominent as they are on mobile – meaning you are less likely to to click on an advert on desktop.

What should be noted is that there is less demand for mobile advertising. This means that it’s a less crowded market and you get more for your advertising dollar. It could be worth investigating whether mobile advertising is a viable option for your business.

4. Facebook testing auto-play adverts

Facebook has begun testing autoplay ads in New Feeds. With autoplay ads Facebook are hoping to attract the big money that large brands usually spend on TV ads to Facebook.

Autoplay adverts were a recent omission from the training that Facebook was giving to smaller businesses recently in the US. This omission wasn’t by accident.

Facebook’s director of small business Dan Levy stated that video ads (especially autoplay ads) are not quite ready for small businesses yet.

Facebook is preparing users for the adverts by experimentally showing autoplay adverts in News Feeds. They are gathering data on who watches the adverts and for how long.

Why should you care?

Unfortunately right now autoplay adverts aren’t available to most businesses. But Facebook is working on making them available at some point in the future when they have finished with the first wave of autoplay adverts.

SureFire will keep an eye on this and let you know when this option becomes available.

5. Light-side of the net: Apparently Facebook being down is an emergency

Last Friday Facebook had a brief outage which affected their users in the Los Angeles area.

When users from this area tried to visit Facebook they were greeted with this:

 Facebook something went wrong example

Now, Facebook being down would be considered an inconvenience to most people. However, there are those out there who thought that Facebook being down was an “emergency”.

This forced  Sgt. Brink to tweet this:

Facebook being down isnt a law enforcement issue

And to top it off:

Facebook is down

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

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About the Author SureFire

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

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