“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
Sun Tzu quote, from the Art of War, more than 2000 years ago.
Kings & Queens of Content
Google's AuthorRank will rank search content based on the author's online clout
We’ve all heard the mantra, “Content is King”, but Google is now patenting a metric that may create Kings and Queens of Content. AuthorRank will rank content based on the author’s online reputation and influence. Reputation and influence being determined by the degree of interaction the writer’s past content has received. Think likes, tweets, comments on other social networks, and links. To take it another level deeper, each of these interactions will also be assessed to take into account the rank of the people making them. So it’s not only what you say, but also who hears you say it…and then chooses to interact. (I’m hearing terrible interpretations of “If a tree falls, but no one’s there to hear it…” jokes forming in my mind). Oh, and in a brilliant move to increase interaction with Google+, this all hinges on tying the content back to your Google+ profile.
So, will this work? I’m sure it will have massive implications on search, but I'm still personally torn about jumping on board. On the one hand, I feel a certain pressure to start worrying about my rank. I can see how this is a tremendous opportunity to solidify our business’ expert position, and also how it can benefit me personally. But, I already have a dormant Google+ account and between Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, this blog, Pinterest, Socialcam and Instagram I’m not overly excited about spending time managing it. So, for the short term, I’m aware and will be paying attention, but am not quite ready to commit to making the effort. How about you?
Grabbing Attention with Online Ads
People love to look at people. When you show faces, you grab attention. When you show most anything else, you lose attention.
EyeTrackShop is a crowd-sourcing research firm that employs people all around the world to look at advertising or store fronts or anything you like. These lookers around the globe use web-cams with technology that has been calibrated to their eyes and look at your ad for you in their spare time. The collaboration of all these views gives you a good feel for what is and what isn’t attracting attention in your ad or on your online page.
As well, they have shown that the best place for your ad in an online page is top left above the fold (print lingo for what’s showing on the screen before you scroll down).
I found these photos in an article by Zoe Fox, writing for Mashable. I then went to the EyeTrackShop website for more on the technology. You can sign up to have ads checked or you can licence the technology. I would worry that the viewers might eventually or even at the beginning, be biased, but I’d have to read more on EyeTrackShop’s due diligence before recommending it. They do control for a number of potential biases like time of day, gender and media outlet.
They have coined the term “realCPM” to take the guesswork out of ad placements. They translate what the ad company says you are getting into what you are really getting. Of course, this doesn't directly relate to successful selling, but it certainly is a good starting point. Banner ads do best, followed by left then right placements above the fold.
The report you receive shows the percent of people who saw the ad, how long they looked at it, how long it took for them to notice it and if they recall your brand later on.
Have a look at these sample test images. Faces!
Mobile Ads On The Rise
According to the statistics released by Canadian Marketing Association in their most recent report, advertising spending is forecasted to grow at an average of 3.7% a year between 2012 and 2016, compared to the 5.5% growth that occurred between 2002 and 2007, prior to the recession.
Here is an interesting chart showing the spending predictions split by media between 2012 and 2016.
Fusion has had success with mobile advertising as well. For example our recent contest campaign for St. Vital Centre (Your Life. Your Style). We were impressed by the above average figures for click through rates delivered within this campaign. One of the factors of this success was using mobile ads more extensively than in the past. Mostly using Google AdWords, we were able to connect with our customers on their mobile devices and tablets and the results showed that 45% of the campaign clicks were made on mobile devices. Oh, and by the way, did I tell you that the contest entries exceeded our goal by 25%? It could not get any better!
Designing for the future
What a challenge it is to stay ahead of the curve these days when it comes to designing for the web. New platforms and mobile devices appear on a regular basis and just when you’ve come up with a great solution, a better-faster-quicker-smarter way of doing it appears. It doesn’t take long before that website that you’ve designed a few years ago pales in comparison to what is currently out there.
When our friends at Visual Lizard introduced us to media queries a while back – it didn’t take long for us to see the big picture potential for our clients and got to work learning all about responsive web design. It’s a new way of thinking about designing websites and it usually starts with how the website is going to function on mobile devices before thinking about desktops. But it’s certainly not the answer for every website, and we need to work through the pros and cons of a responsive site vs. a separate mobile site for every client that approaches us with their website.
We do have a few responsive websites that we are currently working on – stay tuned as we launch these new websites that will look great regardless of where you are or how you are viewing them – now, and into the future.