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Five Fabulous Mobile Email Marketing Strategy For Aspiring Marketers (Infographic)

Nowadays, emails are being opened on mobile devices, not PC.

Most people generally bring their smartphone or tablet within reach at all times, so it stands to reason we’d prefer checking them for emails rather than log onto a desktop. This presents online marketers with a great opportunity for increasing open rates and ultimately boosting the success of their campaigns. Especially given that research found that just 34% of companies just have the ‘basics for mobile optimisation in place’. If you’re not optimising your campaigns for mobile devices, then you could be seriously falling behind the others.

With that in mind, here is the infographic containing five top tips which should help you optimise your email campaigns for mobile devices:

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Infographic credit: Salesforce.

12 Excellent Tips To Create A Mobile Friendly Website

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Though smartphones and tablets have been around for less than 10 years, mobile Internet access has already caught up with desktop access. More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.

Google has been talking of this trend for a while now, and recently made changes to their search algorithm, to boosts the rank of mobile friendly websites in search results and penalise sites that are not mobile friendly. Commonly called “Mobilegeddon”, many sites saw their rankings drop significantly on mobile after these changes, and countless others are scrambling to make their sites mobile friendly. Yet, we continue to have websites that just don’t work well on Mobile. Even new websites.

SEO isn’t just the domain of Internet marketers. Website design and its implementation has an impact on search engine results.

As designers and developers, we need to take a step back and evaluate our work. The websites we create can’t just look pretty. They need to serve the needs of the user and generate revenues for our clients. Don’t leave the “mobile-friendly” test to the end of your design. Incorporate it into the design and development.

To help you out, here’s a shortlist of the top questions you should ask to better understand how mobile-friendly your site is.

1. Does it display well on different devices?

Mobile devices come in many sizes and forms. Smart devices span the range from smart phones with 3″ screens to tablets with 7″ screens and beyond. Firstly check whether your website displays correctly across all devices. A few tools you can use for this are:

  • DesignModo’s Responsive Test
  • Responsive Test by ZooExtension
  • Responsive Design Test by StudioPress

In the past, sites have used separate URLs for the mobile version of the site or served different content on mobile vs. desktop access. Given the wide range of screen sizes, using a responsive layout for your site is probably the best option today.

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2. How easily can mobile users complete common tasks?

The screen space on a mobile device is smaller than a desktop. Touch is the primary mode of input. Entering data into forms is painful at best when you’re trying to tap it out on a virtual keyboard with small keys. That makes the user interaction different than on a desktop.

Make it easier for users to interact with your site on a smartphone. Simple things like using a font size that is legible on small screens, or making it possible for them to call you with a single click, go a long way towards improving user experience.

3. Is your Call to Action central and prominent?

The main goals of any website is typically to increase user engagement and revenue. This requires clear and actionable CTAs placed strategically on your website. The CTA designed to be strategically positioned at the top-right of your home page may get re-positioned to screen 3 when viewed on a mobile device. Or worse, it may not resize correctly and have the crucial input fields disappearing below the fold. Double check your CTA’s position, layout and appearance on mobile devices.

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4. Do you have deep multi-level menus?

Until recently, having menus three and even four levels deep was common practice, a way of showing how much you have to offer. Sadly, many websites today still have this. Not everyone appreciates the simplicity and elegance of having clean, uncluttered navigation. But on a mobile device, this isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. Mobile sites typically have the menu condensed to an icon at top of the screen that expands when tapped. Users are unlikely to have the patience for multiple taps, or to scroll through a long list of options. Keep the menus short and sweet for mobile devices.

5. How easy is it to return to your home page?

When a user has traversed levels deep into your page hierarchy or blog posts or products, how easy it’s for users to find their way back to the home page? In this Google study, participants expected to return to the home page when they clicked on the site logo and became frustrated when it didn’t work. Sure, they could also tap to open the menu, and then tap on “Home”, but why not make it easier for users? Why use two taps instead of one? The simple act of linking your logo to the home page can save frustration, taps and also free up one space in your menu.

6. Is it easy to search on your site?

Make it easy for mobile users to find what they’re looking for and quickly. Implement ‘smart-search’ features like auto-correction and auto-complete. Adding specific filters, especially for e-commerce sites, helps users find relevant products faster.

7. Are your forms suitable for virtual keyboards?

Few people like filling in forms on small, virtual keyboards. Make forms for mobile devices as simple as possible. Help the user by filling in default fields and having auto-complete available. For each kind of field, use the easiest, most suitable input method. For example, with dates, use a pop up calendar where the user can tap on a date, rather than having them type it out in DD/MM/YYYY format.

8. No pinch-zoom. Other than product images.

The ability to pinch and zoom used to be popular when touch screens were first introduced. Not any more. Today’s mobile users are savvy, and want instant access. They should not have to pinch and zoom your page for basic information. Make the font large enough to be readable on a small screen.

The reverse holds true for product images. Users want to able to zoom in and see the product at a more granular level. You’ll need to balance for image quality versus image size.

9. Is your entire site crawlable?

Google recognizes three different configurations for mobile devices:

  • Responsive Designs where the layout adapts to the screen size.
  • Dynamic Serving where web servers send out different HTML depending on the device’s UserAgentString.
  • Separate URLs that serve different code to each device, on different URLs

Irrespective of which method you’re using, if Googlebot can’t crawl your site properly, it will impact your search results. Make sure the Googlebot can see your site like an average user. Keep your CSS, JavaScript and images crawlable. You can check your robots.txt with this tool.

10. Does all your content play on mobile devices?

Certain types of content, especially videos, may not be playable on all mobile devices. For example, Flash doesn’t work on many mobile devices. This also applies to unsupported video formats. If your content can’t play, it can be quite frustrating for mobile users and defeats the purpose. Instead, it may be a better idea to stick to HTML5 tags for all audio and video content.

11. Have you cross checked your redirects and cross links?

If you maintain separate URLs for mobile versus desktop, then anytime users access your desktop page from a mobile device, you’ll need to set up a redirect to the appropriate mobile page. Don’t redirect all desktop access to the mobile home page. That’s not what the user expects or wants. The same holds for mobile to desktop, make sure to link to the appropriate page. Don’t link them all back to the desktop homepage.

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12. How do you handle complex tasks and sensitive information?

Many mobile users are not comfortable with performing complex tasks or those that require sensitive information to be inputted on mobile devices. Desktops are still perceived to be more secure than mobile devices. One good work around is to provide a ‘click-to-call’ button to make it easier for users to complete the transaction. Another way is let the user carry over the interaction to another device. For example users browsing a job search site may appreciate the option of emailing a list of suitable jobs to themselves, so that they can apply later, perhaps from a desktop.

How To Connect With Your Consumers Via Mobile (Infographic)

Recent study revealed that 87% of smartphone owners use search engine at least once a day. Moreover, 72% of mobile consumers want to visit a mobile-friendly website.

Consumers are using mobile to look for and research businesses, consume content, and make purchasing decisions. However, are mobile consumers finding you? Is your website converting them into leads? Are you creating interest for your business in real time?

Take a look at the infographic below and see how you can reach mobile consumers in the right places, at the right time and with the right information.

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Four Steps To A Successful Mobile SEO Guide

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Are you a small business owner who crafts your own digital marketing grappling with Google’s April 21st mobile-friendly update?

In today’s post, The Website Marketing Group will guide you for dealing with the aftermath of Google’s April 21st update. Although you have updated and boosted your mobile traffic, search engine optimisation process is never complete.

Last year traffic on mobile devices exceeded traffic on desktop, reflecting an evolution of search behavior. If creating a good user experience for your mobile visitors wasn’t enough incentive, Google has made mobile-friendliness mandatory: get mobile-friendly or your rankings will suffer consequences on the SERPs. To evaluate your own site’s mobile-friendliness, use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool — plug in your URL and the tool grades the page’s mobile-friendliness based on the ease of tapping links and buttons, the readability of fonts, the size of content and the presence of any content that may be blocked from a mobile browser.

Once your site itself is mobile-friendly, it is recommended taking necessary steps to optimise how your listings appear on a mobile SERP. Plus, you will need to look at the available reports to see how all the changes are impacting your traffic. This mobile-friendly SEO guide covers:

  1. Creating a mobile baseline report in Google Webmaster Tools.
  2. Determining how your site was impacted by the algorithm update.
  3. The effect of the mobile-friendly label versus other SERP annotations.
  4. How to edit the new mobile breadcrumb URLs.

1. Create a Mobile Baseline Report

A mobile baseline report tells you the traffic you get from Google mobile searchers so you can compare this data to your traffic after the update. To create a mobile baseline report, you’ll need to access Google Webmaster Tools. Once inside, choose your site and drop down to Search Traffic > Search Queries. From there, click Filters and change Search to Mobile from Web.

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2. Determine How Your Site was Impacted

Google Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes said that it would take a full week for the algorithm update to reach its full effect, and as of today it’s been a week. It’s time to dive into the data and see where you have settled. While clicks are always the end goal of any SEO equation, you’re going to want to turn your attention to the impressions in this particular case. Fluctuation in impressions tend to indicate change in search engine rankings.

Be mindful, however, that site owners and digital marketers are testing searches and SERPs heavily right now, and data from the past week (and weeks to come) can very well reflect false inflation. It’s important, then, to keep monitoring the data closely in the weeks to come.

3. Mobile-Friendly Label vs. Other SERP Annotations

Just because your site is mobile-friendly, doesn’t mean you’ll get the mobile-friendly status as well. If you have implemented schema markup that shows, for example, a video thumbnail, a jump-to-app link or how many product listings you offer, that markup will be shown rather than your mobile-friendliness label — even if your site is, in fact, mobile friendly.

If you’re wondering which SERP annotation is most important to have, Bruce Clay, Inc. SEO Manager Robert Ramirez explained that the critical aim is standing out.

“Whichever SERP annotation stands out is the one you should focus on,” Ramirez said. “If you’re in an e-commerce environment where a lot of product options is important, then the number of results on a page could be high value. A video thumbnail may really stand out, and so may ‘jump to app.’ It all depends on the business, the SERP and the competition.”

If you don’t have any other schema markup at play, the mobile-friendly annotation is a great thing to have. If your competitors don’t have the mobile-friendly label and you do, it will differentiate you from the pack. Furthermore, as searchers adapt to the new label, they’ll naturally start to click through to SERP entries with mobile-friendly labels.

4. The New Structure of Mobile URLs

Another change that came about in the weeks leading up to mobile madness was how Google displays result URLs in mobile SERPs. Rather than showing the actual URLs, mobile SERPs now display the structure of the page location in a breadrumb-like format. The best part about this new look is that you have control over how your breadcrumb URL displays. Take a look at the following example:

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Examples of Structured URLs WITHOUT Schema

If you haven’t used schema to dictate your site name, Google will use your domain. The mobile SERP pictured below shows examples of three publications who have not yet used schema markup to designate their site names. The result is a lengthy URL that doesn’t capitalise on the new structure that aims to neaten and better present URLs.

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If you want to control the breadcrumbs, it is recommended to use schema markup. Not only will your URL structure look neater in this new format, you’ll save on valuable SERP real estate by ridding yourself of the clunky www. and .com, thus allowing more high-signal information about the result to display in the breadcrumbs.

5 Mobile Usage Statistics You Need To Know (Infographic)

Mobile marketing is a new area in the online world. This fact often hinders people from it.

Are you hesitate whether you should invest your budget in a mobile marketing strategy? Let the data and trends below lead the way for more conversions.

Some important facts:

  • In 2015, nearly 73 percent of mobile users will access the internet at least once per month.
  • 64 percent of users access social media sites through their mobile devices.
  • In 2014, nearly 70 percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue came from mobile use.

Read more mobile marketing stats in the infographic below to help you create the appropriate digital marketing strategy for your business.

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Five Biggest Mobile Marketing Mistakes (Infographic)

 

It’s a undeniable fact that mobile marketing is essential to any digital marketing strategy.

In 2015, smartphone conversion rates have gone up by 64%, compared to desktop conversion rates. More and more people are using their mobile devices to make purchases, catch up on news and otherwise stay connected with the world. However, as important as it is to have a mobile marketing strategy, it is even more important to avoid the most common mobile marketing mistakes. Effective mobile marketing can significantly boost a small business’ online presence. Bad mobile marketing can, however, ruin it.

In this infographic, you will learn five most common mobile marketing mistakes, and what you can do about them. With quick and easy fixes for the most common mistakes available, there is no reason your mobile marketing strategy should stay behind the fierce competition.

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Latest Holiday Shopping Research Shows Why Online Shopping Never Sleeps

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The holiday shopping season will be your best chance to bring your best effort. With various tools and supporting devices at your fingertips, you need to be able to hunt for deals in stolen moments as many as possible.

In fact, one third of all shopping searches on Google happen between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. Nowadays, shopping doesn’t stop once the mall closes. Online shopping has became more common these days, especially with the rising popularity of mobile commerce.

Black Friday becomes a month-long event

Buyers are starting their research early, and retailers are stretching Black Friday promotions across November, changing the focus from just one day to a month-long event. More than half of consumers surveyed said they’ll start their research before Thanksgiving, with 26% of shoppers starting before Halloween.

Shoppers are also spending more time consulting more sources before making a decision. In 2010, shoppers used at least five sources of information before making a purchase. Now that has more than doubled, with shoppers consulting at least 12 sources last year. This means that October through November has become a crucial period for retailers to reach shoppers online, being present with offers, information, tutorials and content.

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Online shopping is the new window shopping

Shoppers are going online for inspiration at all points of their day, not just to research specific products but to see what their friends and favorite influencers are wearing. Sites such as YouTube and Pinterest have become the new window displays, and a new generation of fashion influencers, for instance, are influencing shopping decisions.

Shopping-related content on YouTube, from unboxing videos to product reviews, is becoming an important part of the holiday research process and is trending up year over year. Haul videos spike during key shopping events and hit their peak during Black Friday weekend. Videos with “haul” in the title have been watched more than 1.1B times on YouTube, and views are up 1.7x this year compared to last year.

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Moreover, shoppers aren’t just using YouTube for research ahead of time; they’re also looking up videos while making decisions in stores. One in four shoppers say they’ve used YouTube to search for a video related to a product they’re considering while in a store.

Your phone is the ultimate shopping assistant

One of the biggest tools for shopping throughout the day is your mobile devices. Latest research found that 75% of smartphone shoppers plan to use their phones in-store this holiday season. Shoppers used to come to the store with little knowledge, and the sales associate would educate them on products. Now shoppers are coming into stores teeming with information, and are turning to their phone as a personal shopping assistant. One in three shoppers use their smartphone to find info instead of asking store employees.

When retailers understand mobile behavior in stores, they can meet shoppers online with helpful information. 46% of shoppers who use their phone in a store still end up making a purchase, an 11-point increase from 2011. Consumers are coming into stores more purposeful and informed than before, and savvy retailers are turning this into an opportunity.

7 Common Mistakes When Creating Content For Mobile Users

mobile pitfallsThere is a basic underlying principle in mobile computing. First and foremost, we have to be clear in our understanding that mobile is a different platform. Although it is supposed to display the same value of information as the regular desktop, the mobile phone is a very different equipment compared to regular PC. It’s not just the small display.

Several factors key in making the mobile device an entirely different animal. The way mobile phones are used, the time of the day they are most likely to be used, and most important, the type of information accessed through it, all these are differing factors that directly and indirectly affect each other.

When making a mobile version of a website, most companies fall into the regular pitfalls can be easily avoided once we understand the basic underlying principle. This principle is the fact that mobile is a different platform. Once we understand this truth, then we can avoid the pitfalls.

Here are the seven most common.

1. Landing page – for desktops
This mistake is very basic and yet a lot of websites out there do this over and over. Basic truth: mobile display screen is small. You created a responsive website but you forgot to include an optimised landing page. How basic is that mistake? Who would want to scroll sideways, on a mobile?

2. Unreadable and tiny fonts and links
Again, the basic truth. Mobile screen is small. There is a huge limit for the user in terms of visual space. Add the fact that the user is most likely not using a pointer mouse but rather, his or her own forefinger in browsing the web. Mobile content creators should be wary of these limitations. Make the text and links bigger and easy to read.

3. Menus that sticks
Since the mobile display is already small, more spaces should be reserved for content. That is the reason why menus are hidden and only display when users access them. Users want to see the content and if the menu is blocking the view, users would most likely leave the site. Make sure the menus are out of the way, or can be easily closed by the user.

4. Popup Windows
Popup windows are already irritating on a desktop. In mobile, they are infuriating. Take note that users’ patience are already thin on a desktop. In mobile, that short patience becomes even more shorter. If you have to do popups, if there’s no way around it, at least minimize it.

5. Missing content and features
What’s available for the desktop should be available for mobile too. Users find it frustrating if they cannot access certain sections of a site when using a mobile device. Especially if that section or app is available when viewed through a fancy desktop. And users know this and they become frustrated. They see it as discrimination.

6. Non-accomodating messages
There’s nothing more infuriating for a user than seeing a message in a site that says: “Please use a 1080 x 736 desktop for maximum viewing experience.” You can almost hear them answer,”Yes, I’d do that except that I’m on subway and using my mobile phone.” It’s already clear that the mobile device is not going away. Forcing users to use a desktop is tantamount to turning them away.

7. Slow Pages
Mobile users are most likely browsing with 3G connection. Add that to the fact that the mobile device’s OS is not as fast and sturdy as a PC. In lieu of this, pleas make sure that all the mobile content are optimised for mobile display. For what use is the information if it cannot be accessed?

In sum, all these pitfalls can be easily avoided. Given the right understanding of what users want displayed on their mobile devices gives us the upper-hand. It is now up to us if we want to convert users or turn them away.

Tips to Improve Your Website in 2015

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Now that the holiday is over and a fresh new year looms ahead, consider it a great time to give your company’s site a facelift. If you want to improve your site’s performance, now is the time to attack this challenge head on.

1. Improve the Design

Minimalism is the way to go based on current design trends. Gone are the days of animated gif and scrolling texts that do nothing but eat bandwidth and distract the user from the main content. Flat designs are replacing the old habits. This means eliminating the gradients and the shadows and replacing them with bright minimal color for better user experience. This also help pages load faster and conserve bandwidth.

2. Mobile Responsiveness

The Internet is no longer monopolized by desktop pc users. To assume that most users still use fancy desktops every time they view websites is a very unproductive assumption. A great number of users are now using their smart phones to surf the Internet. These users demand content that is viewable in their small screens. To neglect mobile responsiveness is to turn away a huge number of potential customers. To adapt with the mobile revolution, make sure that your website is responsive.

3. Improve Your Layout

Imagine a homepage brimming with information overload, information that is otherwise presented in an overwhelming manner to create “relevance” or at least a projection of it. What is the usual users’ reaction? The user’s usual initial reaction to a busy homepage is to leave. The user’s brain and patience can only take so much information. Overloading the user with content will just force the user’s brain to shut down and refuse any more information being offered. Add the fact that the user is most likely using a smartphone with a small screen, the content overload is just too much to take. Consider placing your content in a manner that enhances user experience rather than overwhelms them. Consider placement of white spaces to give the user breathing rooms. This is particularly useful for mobile users.

4. Social Media

Most companies nowadays use the social media to engage users and build brand recognition and credibility. The purpose of engaging in social media is to get people to visit your site. This they do when you engage them enough in the platform where they feel most comfortable, which is social media. If your company has no presence in social media, then it is losing potential customers simply because the customers are on social media while your company is not. Having a website is not enough. An effective social media presence is what drive the users to visit the site.

5. Content Is King

In this age of SEO, page rankings and link exchanges, nothing delivers more traffic and conversion than true and relevant content. The key to website performance is the delivery of fresh and unique contents that would make your users voluntarily share them to other users. The promise of a high-quality content would make the users return to your site repeatedly. This is what gives a site better page ranking and hence, higher conversion rates.

Social Media Business In Mobile World

Mobile Marketing

2015 is literally the year of mobile.

Statistics show that 90% of middle-aged Australians own a cell phone and 58% of them are smartphones. When people aren’t texting or checking email, they’re surfing the Internet or checking their social networks, even while they’re in the shower. If you already know how important it is to make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices, but don’t forget to do the same for your social content too.

Why should you optimise your social content for mobile?

Because that’s where your customers are. Recent researches show that:

  • Australians spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching TV.
  • Social media is the top Internet activity.
  • A whopping 60 percent of social media activities happen on a mobile device.

As you build your brand, it’s crucial to remember that a lot of people will see your messages on a phone or tablet. In fact, it may be the only way some see it as more folks ditch laptops and PCs for iPads and smartphones. Sounds great, but how do you do it? Easy. As long as you keep the following tips in mind, optimising your social media content for mobile is easy and won’t add a lot of extra time to your already busy workday.

1. Ramble On

There used to be a “philosophy” that said brands should keep their messages short and sweet to accommodate the smaller screens of a mobile device. It turns out, though, that people like to read long form content on tablets and smartphones. So go ahead and link to long blog posts and other lengthy content right on your social channels. Timely, relevant, in-depth writing will help push you to the top of the thought leader pack in your industry.

2. Visualise it

If you can feature your message in a picture, infographic, or other cool visual, do it. Closely cropped images, videos, and scrollable charts all make terrific, eye-catching content that looks super on a smaller screen. Additional points: visual content is always a winner on social media.

3. Move Along

The combination of social media and mobile devices means you’re right in your customers’ pocket or purse at all times. You move along with them wherever they go. Use that to your advantage by coming up with ways to engage your fans and followers on social media when you know they’re doing something in particular. For instance, if you make camping gear, encourage customers to take a picture of their campsite to share on Instagram