Safety First: Social Media Sites for Kids
How young is too young for social networking? That’s a question my parents definitely didn’t need to ask themselves, but today’s parents are presented with frequently. Social networking sites often restrict users who are preteen, but that certainly doesn’t stop the incessant complaining from your moody adolescent about wanting an account.
There’s a market for social media sites for kids. Unfortunately, not many are available for all ages and most aren’t customized for parental monitoring. So what is a parent to do? Here’s a list of social sites and tips to keep kids safe online.
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New Year’s Link-a-Lutions: Quality Link Building in 2012
Behind every successful client campaign is a great link-building strategy. With that said, let me introduce myself.
My name is Amanda and I am new to Vertical Measures. In fact, this is my first blog post for VM! On my link building journey I have compiled a list of tips and strategies, mostly for myself that I wanted to share with Vertical Measures’ readers. Let 2012 bring us builder’s great link building, high rankings for competitive keywords, and a new year full of link love!
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Search vs. Display Advertising in 2012
It’s no surprise that advertisers have been spending more on pay per click campaigns over the last few years. The rise of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices has created more accessibility to consumers, and it has provided new platforms in which advertisers can be creative with their messaging. In general, the number of people using search engines to obtain information is at an all time high. As you could expect, 2012 is projected to be another huge year for PPC efforts.
Perhaps the most important question you should be asking yourself now is whether you should invest your digital advertising dollars into display or search advertising. Both have proved efficient in properly executed campaigns. What it comes down to should depend on how you want to snag the attention of your audience. Some advertisers may find it is most effective to use both search and display advertising simultaneously, while others may opt to try them independently.
Recent reports on industry trends point to search advertising as being the main contender in this realm of advertising. Paid search revenue increased from 15 to 18 percent between 2010 and 2011, and up to an astonishing 28 percent during the third quarter of 2011. Though these numbers are significant, agency professionals at Forrester Research say that display advertising is also on the grow, with numbers projected to triple by 2016, and search numbers only doubling in that time.
There are many deciding factors that you should keep in mind when deciding where to invest your dollars. For one, you should consider how an average consumer spends their time online. For most consumers, approximately 96 percent of their time spent online is devoted to browsing content related web sites, while the remaining four percent is time spent using search engines. This information definitely shows the exposure that display advertising can offer.
On the other hand, the Pew Internet Study shows that 92 percent of people use the Internet for access to search engines, while less than 80 percent use it to get their news or engage in social networking. In this respect, both display advertising and search advertising have value to offer.
The advertiser should be mindful of how an ad’s appearance can affect performance. The nature of display advertising provides the opportunity for a variety of visuals and animation, while search advertising is relatively static and comprised of only text and links. If you have a flashy advertising message that you want to broadcast, perhaps display advertising will work well for you. However, if you have a very specific target demographic that you are trying to reach with keywords or phrases, search might give you the better advantage.
There’s no denying that search advertising is at the top of its game. ComScore reported that Americans were responsible for 19.5 billion search queries in September of 2011. As more of these queries are sent into cyberspace everyday, search advertising gets the first chance at capturing the attention of the user, and this can happen in a highly targeted manner. In a lot of ways, search advertising is a means to an end and many times it supplies a consumer with exactly the things for which they are looking.
For now, there’s not really a clear “winner” in the battle between search and display advertising. Both are important pieces of any marketing campaign, and can be tailored to meet your needs. You may want to consider trying both approaches to see what resonates better with your audience.
Only time will tell whether display advertising will grow at the rapid pace it is expected to, but in the meantime it is becoming more specialized and can be a great addition to any campaign. Of course, search is highly reliable and has the data chops to back it up.
Get 2012 off to the right start by researching your options and finding the best way to utilize your search or display campaigns. If you’re feeling brave, try both. If nothing else, it will give you valuable insights about your target audience, and in time you might find that one of these options has the appeal your campaign needed all along.
How to Use Forum Link Building to Build Authority for Your Site
A popular debate in the world of SEO is over the quality and significance of forum link building. Many believe the practice involves a spammy, black hat approach that will eventually end in a penalization in Google rankings. However, when done correctly, using Forums as a method to drive authority to your site can be a very effective and cost friendly approach for any website.
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Mobile Marketing Tips for the New Year
As we approach the end of 2011, we should take the time to reflect on this year’s marketing strategies, and set our goals for the New Year. It is time to evaluate your successes and see how you can get a strong start in 2012. Many marketers reaped the benefits of investing in mobile advertising in 2011. You should take a tip from these folks and start planning your mobile campaigns now, if you haven’t already.
Studies show that search queries coming from mobile devices have increased 500% over the past two years. These numbers show a huge opportunity for acquiring new business and expanding your presence across a new channel. This number is growing, and industries across the board are seeing an increase in activity. Make the most of your mobile advertising by targeting your AdWords accounts with specific campaigns for different mobile devices. Accessibility will give you a huge advantage, and optimization is key when reaching people on their mobile devices. Make sure that your ads are leading people to sites that are formatted for devices like the Apple Iphone or the Microsoft TouchPad. Advertisers who have taken time to create these mobile-targeted campaigns have seen an average 11.5% increase in click-through-rates.
Research has also shown that users with smartphones are much more likely to make a purchase if they are able to read reviews on their phone while shopping. That instant access to consumer feedback can really help sell your product, so make sure to reserve a space for that on your site. You can use AdWords local extensions to provide local information for shoppers who are out and about. This can lead people to your storefront when you include pertinent information like your address, telephone number and directions, thus improving sales.
Another important thing to remember about mobile users is that they are very devoted to those devices. In fact, 65% of tablet users say that they use them for an hour or more everyday. I have personally seen multiple advertisers take advantage of this in 2011 by offering mobile-specific discounts and offers. Let them know that you appreciate them by providing unique sales opportunities. Review your AdWords analytics for mobile traffic information, and create tablet specific campaigns to reach this high volume of mobile users.
You might be surprised just how important a mobile site experience can be to some people. A 2010 study from Luth Research says that more than 50% of people are more likely to make a purchase on a mobile-friendly site. This makes sense because the easier to use the site, the easier to foster a transaction. However, did you realize that if a consumer has a bad experience on your site, they are much more likely to visit a competitors’ mobile site? It’s true; according to Gomez research about 40% of people said they would flee to a direct competitor’s site if they had a lousy experience on yours. It pays to optimize, and you can get some great tips for prepping your mobile site by visiting howtogomo.com
One last thing to remember is that it’s an advertiser’s world out there. You may find this surprising, but some recent articles suggest that in the next couple of years more kids will be able to use a smart phone than tie their own shoes! Now they aren’t saying that kids are developing at a slower rate; what they are saying is there are a number of mobile sites and games out there that are easy enough for a toddler to use. Advertisers can take advantage of this now by creating user-friendly sites for people of all ages. There is no denying that tablets and smart phones are the future so start investing in the little ones now for maximum payout later on.
2012 is just around the corner, and technology is always on the rise. Stay on top of the game by reaching people on their mobile devices. Be willing to adapt to the times and you will succeed, with the help of tips like these. May you have a very happy, prosperous New Year.