Putting Google Maps to Work for Your Business

December 4th, 2013 by Sandi Goldstein

BLOG-googlemapsUsing Google Maps on a mobile device has become an integral part of most of our daily lives. Over one billion people use Google Maps every month. Now, with proper PPC management, local business owners have the opportunity to take advantage of this incredible pool of potential customers to drive business to their brick-and-mortar store. Now, if a Google Maps user performs a search, ads for nearby businesses of that type will appear at the bottom of the screen. These results include a title, ad text, and a link for directions to your store.

Google Maps Ads Image 1

When a user taps the ad or swipes upward, they will see additional information about your business, such as business hours, a link to your website if available, and options to Call, Save Location, or Share Location. Standard Cost-Per-Click charges apply.  An additional CPC charge will also apply if a user clicks to call your business. However, Saving or Sharing the Location or getting directions to your business will not incur any additional charges.

Once your ads are set up, a new feature in your Google AdWords account allows you to see data for these types of clicks. Called “Get Location Details,” you can see the number of clicks, or times someone swiped or tapped the ad, impressions, Click-Through-Rate, Average CPC, Cost and Average Position. In order to view this data, click on the Campaigns tab in your AdWords account, then choose the drop-down menu in the Segment tab and select Click Type. You can also view the number of “free clicks” (action to Save Location, Share Location or Get Directions) in the Dimensions tab by selecting Free Clicks.

In order for your ad to be eligible to be shown, you must have Location Extensions enabled in your AdWords account. To add a Location Extension, click the Ad Extensions tab in your campaign.  You can either select an address from an existing Google Places account if you have one, or manually enter your business address or addresses.

You must also be opted in to advertise with Google Search Partners in your campaign network settings. To do so, go to the Settings tab of your campaign, and click Edit next to the Networks setting. Make sure the box next to Include Search Partners is checked.

Ads for Google Maps are just another powerful tool at your disposal. Why not take advantage of the opportunity to turn Google Maps users into new customers?


Mobile Websites in an Ecom World

February 1st, 2012 by Nikki Kuhlman

Mobile MarketingComScore Inc. published a study called “Mobile Shopping Goes Mainstream” and the data is incredibly compelling. If you do not have a true, mobile-friendly website, you need to put that high on your to-do list for 2012. I wrote a separate blog about the importance of mobile websites for business-to-business companies, but this blog will concentrate on true ecommerce sites.

When I say “true, mobile-friendly website,” I don’t mean your regular website viewed on a smartphone, but actually optimized for the mobile user experience. Two-thirds of smartphone users performed shopping functions (including purchases, product comparisons, coupon searches, taking product pictures or retail location searches) in the month of September. (Another interesting statistic from this study is that 56% of people were in their home when purchasing, when they most likely had access to a desktop or laptop computer.)

Here’s why having a mobile optimized site so important (these statistics are from the 2011 Harris Interactive Mobile Transactions Survey, released in March of 2011): 63 percent of all online adults said that if they encountered a problem conducting a mobile transaction, they would be less likely to purchase from that company by any other purchase means. That means, if a potential customer’s mobile experience doesn’t work, you have lost them, not just for now but the future too. And four out of five of those that have had a problem will share it with others, either via in-person conversations or via a blog, Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Talk about viral marketing gone bad.

And from Compuware “What Users Want From Mobile”, 50% of users won’t return to a site where they’ve had difficulty and 40% have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. So not only is a bad mobile experience hurting a company now and in the future, but it’s actually beneficial to their competitors!

Mobile websites matter and that only will increase in the future. If you don’t have one, get one and sooner, rather than later. You can go to Google’s website www.howtogomo.com to see how your site stacks up, view best practices and some really compelling case studies.

Is Your Mobile Site Ready?

January 11th, 2012 by Nikki Kuhlman

Is your site mobile ready?ComScore Inc released a study on US mobile retail usage, and the results only underscore what I’ve been telling my clients in the last few months – Mobile Matters.

You can see the full report here, on the comScore Inc’s website.

Google Analytics and the Device segment in Google AdWords reports on mobile traffic to a website, and that number is increasing for all my clients, no matter the type.  Also to note, in most cases, the bounce rate is significantly higher than desktop devices and the conversion rate is lower, which are not the statistics anyone wants.

You might be thinking that I’m only talking about BtoC or ecommerce sites, but that’s not the case. More and more business people are doing initial research on companies from their smartphones – maybe while sitting in a meeting or while at the airport.

When they get to your site, what’s their experience like? In a February 2011 Harris Interactive Mobile Transactions Survey, 4 out 5 users experienced a problem on a mobile website, and 85% of users expect the mobile experience to be better or equal to using a laptop or desktop experience.  How does your site stack up?

– Is your site easy to read or is the text so small that the user has to pinch, expand and scroll?
– Is the search function easy to access?
– Is your phone number clearly shown?
– Does your site load quickly (less than 5 seconds)?
– Do you have flash content on your home page that doesn’t work on certain mobile devices?

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to a mobile experience. What’s the call to action on your website (making a purchase, filling out a lead form, calling your company, downloading a PDF)? How does that translate on a mobile device – can it even be done? I’m seeing significantly lower conversion rates for my clients on mobile devices, most likely meaning that the visitor couldn’t complete the action. Experience also has larger ramifications for a company: based on research from the Harris Interactive Study, 63% of online adults surveyed said that if they experienced an issue on a mobile website, they would be less likely to buy from that same company, even through a different purchase channel. And these statistics, from Compuware “What Users Want From Mobile” are even more staggering:

– 57% of users would not recommend a business with a bad mobile site
– 40% of users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience

Ouch. That’s bad news for a whole lot of companies out there. From a PPC standpoint, I actually stopped advertising to mobile devices on Google AdWords and MSN adCenter for some of my clients not seeing productive results due to their mobile user experience. Can you make your mobile results shine above your competition?

Google offers a pretty good tool to test how your site looks and operates on mobile devices.  They also offer mobile site best practices, as well as case studies on other companies, including some pretty impressive before/after shots.

Make 2012 the year of your mobile friendly site. Your customers and bottom line will thank you.