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Net Briefs - April 2015

Posted on 3.31.2015

GOOGLE INCREASES MOBILE’S IMPORTANCE

Google announced that “mobile-friendliness” will now be used a ranking signal. The update will go into effect on April 21 according to an early March ’15 announcement and will impact mobile searches in all languages worldwide. In addition, Google announced it is beginning to use information from indexed apps as a ranking factor for users who are logged-in and have the app installed; a change that will likely result in Google displaying content from indexed apps more prominently (and more often) in the SERPs.

The Power of Product Reviews

New data from PowerReviews reveals that 70 percent of mobile shoppers are more likely to purchase a product if the mobile site or app they’re purchasing from offers reviews. The data, which comes from the company’s “Power of Reviews” study, also shows that most consumers read between 1 and 10 reviews, and prefer information in an easy-to-read format. Surprisingly, the study found that 82 percent of consumers actually seek out negative reviews to validate the authenticity of the product’s overall reviews and trustworthiness of the website they are shopping.

Bing Makes Bidding Less Tricky

Knowing who your competitors are and how their impressions are faring compared to your own can be tricky, but Bing is looking to solve this problem with a new tool called Auction Insights. The solution will enable U.S. advertisers to better gauge their performance in comparison to advertisers that are competing against them in the same keyword auctions. While this tool will not reveal the actual amount that competitors are bidding or the exact keywords being used in their campaigns, it will provide advertisers with some useful competitive intelligence.

Consumers ARE Loyal

Brands are constantly searching for ways to increase consumer engagement and many are turning to loyalty programs to do so. According to data from COLLOQUY, U.S. consumer loyalty program memberships have reached historic levels, topping 3 billion for the first time. The data states that the average U.S. household belongs to 29 loyalty programs across various sectors of business, however, is only active in 12 of them. Interestingly, when compared to data from 2013, COLLOQUY found that restaurants saw the most growth in loyalty program members, growing 107 percent since 2013.

Don’t Be So Flashy

Google is finally killing off Flash with a recent announcement that it will start automatically converting all eligible Adobe Flash ads to HTML5. This update will help digital advertisers better target consumers leveraging devices or browsers that do not support Flash. According to Google, the update will impact Flash campaigns that are both new and old, and all eligible campaigns will be automatically converted to HTML5 when uploaded through AdWords, AdWords Editor and other third-party tools that work with its ad platform.

The Optimal Email Message

New Constant Contact research is shedding light on how different industries can optimize their email campaigns for better click-through rates (CTR). According to the data, email messages with three or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text tend to have the highest CTR. Business product and service companies may want to include even more images in their campaigns, however, as the data found that messages with the highest-click through rate in these verticals have between 13 and 16 images. Conversely, the data shows that businesses in the restaurant and salon categories hit peak CTR when email messages have 15 images, while office supply companies tend to have better performing campaigns when their messages are more concise, with just 15 lines of text.

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