Articles written in May, 2011

May 26 2011

No More Pretending – The Display Url is in the Ad Headline


It’s possible that some searchers have had to do a double-take with some of the ads they’ve seen on Google recently. It’s not a glitch. Google is testing out the display url in the headline of paid placement ads. For many searchers and companies alike, this is a welcomed breathe of fresh air.

In an article in Search Engine Land, Google wants to “clarify to users where their click-through will take them.”  A lot of searchers glance at ad copy, but don’t take the time to check out the display url right beneath the paid placement ad copy.  Due to this oversight, many searchers have made the mistake of clicking on the wrong paid placement ad.  They think they are going to one particular site and end up on the wrong website.  Some searchers have the patience to go back and figure out where they went wrong, while others may abandon their search or start a new search altogether. By showing the display url in the headline, Google is shedding a lot more light on where the final destination of an ad will lead a searcher. Some predict that this will result in better clickthrough rates for many businesses, especially since this gives searchers a better clue of where they will be landing.

For many companies this is a plus, because other businesses won’t be able to disguise themselves as another site. This is especially important for companies’ branded terms. For years businesses have been putting “official site” and the trademark symbol “®” in their ads to shine a beacon of light to searchers and help them steer clear of imitations.  As Google continues to roll out ads for advertisers that show the display url in the headline, the murky waters of paid placement ad confusion should become more pristine and sparking. It’s a lot harder for imitators to pretend they are the official site when the display url in their headline glaringly, states that they aren’t the true site.  Take a look at the example below. The url of “” in the headline labels the ad as belonging to

No More Pretending- The Display Url is in the Ad Headline

Morevisibility.  Even if a competitor tried to be crafty and say, “We will give your ads “more visibility” in the search world.” A searcher would be able to tell from the display url in the headline that Morevisibility wasn’t running the ad.

Display url’s in the headline give legitimate businesses an edge over crafty competitors and sneaky imitators. As Google continues to roll out this new change, it should prove itself to be a win-win situation for searchers and for companies who are the original provider of products and/or services.

May 25 2011

Mobile Marketing Strategies


The growth of mobile internet usage is without precedent right now.  More people are using their smartphones to access the internet and engage with downloaded applications than ever before.  Thanks to the advancement of mobile devices, smartphones and tablets specifically, marketers have completely new channels in which to develop their promotional strategies.  In today’s business climate, there’s a great opportunity for marketers to take advantage of this shift in user behavior, as more people conduct business and use their mobile devices for personal use.

I recently read an excellent whitepaper on Permission and Privacy within the mobile marketing space and thought it was worth noting the 6 C’s as outlined in the whitepaper:

  • Choice. The consumer must “opt-in” to a mobile marketing program.  Consumers have a right to privacy and marketers must therefore gain approval from consumers before content is sent, and include clear directions on how to unsubscribe from communication should it become unwanted. This ensures consumer pull rather than consumer push.
  • Control. Consumers should have control of when and how they receive marketing messaging on the mobile phone and must be allowed to easily terminate or “opt-out” of an unwanted program.
  • Customization. Any data supplied by the consumer must be used to personalize content (eg: restricting communications to those categories specifically requested by the consumer), making content as relevant and useful to the consumer as possible.
  • Consideration. The consumer must receive or be offered something of perceived value in return for receiving the communication (product and service enhancements, requested information, entry into competitions, discounts etc.)
  • Constraint. The marketer must effectively manage and limit mobile messaging programs to a reasonable number of programs.
  • Confidentiality. Marketers should commit to refrain from sharing consumer information with non-affiliated third-parties.

These 6 C’s, or guidelines, offer thoughts on Best Practices of how to effectively manage a mobile marketing strategy.  Unfortunately, in the land of “spam” too many unscrupulous marketers, and I use the term marketers loosely, choose the easy path of ignoring these important steps looking to simply play the percentages.  Typically, spammers ignore all measure of ethics and simply cast as wide a net as possible ignoring Best Practices.  No matter how irrelevant the marketing message may be, given the sheer volume of spam that is sent, spammers believe if they can get even .05% to convert, the “spam” campaign is profitable.  But for real businesses, who want to protect their reputation and brand, these 6 C’s should be referenced whenever new mobile campaigns are considered.  Customers will take notice of the extra effort and in the long run it will increase your reputation and the effectiveness of your mobile marketing strategies.


May 20 2011

Don’t forget About the Holidays When it Comes to Your Pay Per Click Campaigns!


It is a well known fact that the holidays are prime time for online retailers. A good holiday season can be the difference between what turns a company from being in the red to being in the green. The biggest, most obvious, and anticipated holiday is Christmas, which typically yields the highest traffic and sales; especially for an ecommerce website.

Unfortunately, a common mistake many online retailers continue to make is not capitalizing on the many other holidays that can also drive increased, qualified visitors and (ultimately) sales.  It is important to remember that consumers are always looking for a deal and chances are… your competition is probably doing a good job of enticing them with holiday offers. As a friendly reminder, below are the holidays/seasons by month that should not be forgotten and can be taken advantage of in your pay per click initiatives. Some are religious holidays, others are simply the start of a new season, or perhaps a holiday you would never have even thought about, much less utilized to drive traffic to your website.  Be creative with your ad copy, keywords and incentives; you just might be pleasantly surprised with the results!

January: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day

February: Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, Lincoln’s Birthday, Valentine’s Day, Washington’s Birthday

March: Ash Wednesday, St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Begins

April: April Fool’s Day, Passover, Good Friday, Easter

May: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day

June: Flag Day, Father’s Day, Summer begins

July: Independence Day

September: Labor Day, Autumn begins, Rosh Hashanah

October: Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, Halloween,

November: All Saint’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving

December: Hanukkah, Winter begins, Christmas, Kwanzaa

I highly recommended that you start planning your marketing calendar a few months before each holiday to ensure that you will be all set with whichever promotion you choose to offer, as well as have plenty of inventory available. Happy Holidays!

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