Article Archive by April Nelson

February 17 2010

Saving Lives? There’s an App for that…if you are an iPhone user

by April Nelson

At $3.99 to download, I would be hard pressed to pay for an application that provides me with (enhanced) CPR instruction.  While I can certainly see the value in having access to potential life-saving information there is 1 key factor (outside of limited discretionary income) stopping me from making the purchase….I use a Blackberry.  Where is the love for Blackberry users?  After all, we Blackberry users still account for over 40% of the Smartphone platform market share, according to comScore

The iphone application (Pocket First Aid & CPR) that proclaimed to have saved Dan Wolley’s life and helped pull him through the earthquake in Haiti got a lot of play in the weeks following.  There have been tons of articles – retweets, blog posts, etc all creating enormous buzz for the iTunes app store and American Red Cross.  This online conversation helped move the application to its own all-time high #49 on apple’s Top 50 Paid Applications List.  This is clear evidence that word of mouth / viral / social media marketing works well and can show quick results.  However, it is not the end-all answer for getting more visibility for your iphone application.  According to a recent article, “that bump may be short-lasted; as of Jan. 27, it has fallen back to No. 76, and sales seem to be on their way back down.”  Unless there are plans to capitalize on the buzz created around this app, we can expect to see its popularity decline, along with the overall drop in web search query volume relative to the earthquake in Haiti.  Google Insights for search illustrates this point below in charting the Worldwide search query popularity for the phrase “Haiti iphone”.

While the iphone and Android Smartphone provide allow developers to use more bells and whistles, the adoption of these devices is still taking hold.   If you have application development on your radar for 2010, be sure your plans include existing customers and visitors to your website.  Many of your existing / potential customers may be limited by service providers in their area, added expense of upgrading a device, ongoing monthly expense, etc.  To see which devices your customers and prospects have been using to access your website, tap into Google Analytics Mobile Reports.  Refer to Emily McNair’s post, titled Mobile App Considerations, for other key items to think about in developing mobile applications.

February 15 2010

Who’s Killing Who in Online Search?

by April Nelson

Ever since Google established itself as the Big Dog in online search with 35% of the market share in 2001, whenever there has been a new search engine or search technology brewing there has been an expectation (by someone somewhere) that it will be a “Google Killer”. 

Here are a few of the more buzzworthy Google-killers from the last few years:

In 2010, expect to see even more “killers” in the online world.  Its no longer about who is going to try to overtake Google in search market share…there have been tons of attempts, but nothing has taken hold up to this point. 

Now we are seeing more “killers” in the social media space.  But history has taught us not to attack Google where they dominate — search.  Social Channels play nice with Google when it comes to search.  While many social platforms have developed their own search engine — they still rely on the big  3; make that 2 engines to power the results.  However, there is opportunity to attack Google in other places that can be damaging, like email / Gmail.  Have you heard about Facebook’s webmail that is in development? 

But Google is always ready to pull something from their arsenal – and it is not Microsoft, Facebook, or even Twitter that seems to be on the radar — despite the rollout of Google Buzz, called a Twitter-killer by some.  Rather, we are seeing Google penetrate and gain momentum in other areas like mobile with the Nexus phone (iPhone killer) and Chrome OS Tablet (iPad killer).  This crossover into retail mobile should help Google continue to dominate in the online world. 

Even more interesting to watch will be Google’s foray into broadband with their 1-gigabit-per-second broadband networks.

November 25 2009

Google’s Ad Sitelinks in Action

by April Nelson

Google’s Ad Sitelinks can help boost your campaign’s performance!  Sonya Wood’s blog post last Friday talked about the beta program Google AdWords has rolled out, called Ad Sitelinks.  With initial tests running on a handful of our clients’ campaigns, early numbers are showing promising results.

The most significant impact in AdWords stats has been on click through rate and conversion rate.  The chart below taken from the Account Snapshot section of AdWords compares November 9 — November 15 when Ad Sitelinks was in place, to the prior date range when additional links were not being used.  While the click through rate (CTR) for this client’s entire campaign portfolio dipped slightly, the campaign utilizing Sitelinks in the ad copy showed an increase over 66%.

AdWords Stats
Figure A.  All Online Campaigns

Another notable metric that has been impacted is the conversion rate.  Please note the company being featured in this post is an ecommerce website that has historically seen increasing conversion rates throughout the month of November and December.  This is evidenced by Figure A above where we see a 68% lift in conversion rate for the portfolio of campaigns under this account.  This increase was significantly higher for our test campaign utilizing Ad Sitelinks — a stellar 80% lift!

Ad Sitelinks Campaign
Figure B.  Ad Sitelinks Campaign

Beyond AdWords, we have seen additional positive impact in site usage through Google Analytics.  By providing multiple entry points to the website we have been able to drastically decrease the bounce rate for this campaign — by 49%!  Based on the strong preliminary results yielded by implementing Sitelinks on a single campaign, we have since implemented the option on a number of campaigns within this client’s account.  If your AdWords account has been white listed for this beta opportunity, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of it.

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