Why has Google revamped Adwords for Mobile and Tablets?

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Lots has been made of the recent revamp of Google’s Adwords network to improve targeting smartphone and tablet users.

The majority of coverage has focused on the need to simplify the process of targeting mobile users in the face of increasing mobile web traffic (the number of daily Google searches from mobile devices will surpass searches from PCs and laptops by next year – according to a Guardian report). With this increase, businesses are only going to want to target more mobile users and so it goes that they’ll need a simplified Adwords tool to do just that.

But it’s also worth considering another reason why a search engine like Google might change its model this way: the increasing threat of cheaper mobile ads.

To date, businesses run mobile only ad campaigns because they have huge reach but for much cheaper cost per click fees than campaigns targeting desktop users.

Massive mobile web growth means that businesses are only going to divert more of their ad budgets from desktop to mobile ads, which means cheaper ads for all, but much less revenues for a search engine like Google.

So, in the face of dropping ad revenues, how should a search engine react? Perhaps move to a new model where the two types of platforms are less distinct and charge one price for both mobile and desktop ad campaigns?

Bing / Yahoo now has a huge opportunity. Can we expect to see marketing campaigns from them that draw attention to the ability to still run mobile only / cheaper ad campaigns on their platforms?

Will we see a massive migration of brands that live and die by specifically targeting mobile users to Bing / Yahoo?

How often does Google crawl my blog?

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I recently amended an old blog post from 2008 called on how to create a content matrix.

Noticing that my blog was still appearing for ‘content matrix’ I thought I’d tart it up with Google+ author tag, for that added element of engagement in Google SERPs.

I updated this a week or so ago – but still no author thumbnail in SERPs. What gives? Okay, the page was last crawled on 21st Jan but come on Googlebot!

How often does your blog get crawled / indexed by Google? If the answer is ‘very often’, perhaps my Google+ profile is being ignored…?

Let’s see.

How to create a B2B Content Marketing Strategy and Plan

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Content marketing. Don’t you just love it? No? Then read on.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve got lots to say on this topic. Mainly:

  1. How marketers need to *add* content marketing to their current efforts, not use it as a replacement of their current marketing channels in the face of budget cuts. Get real – content is *expensive*. Take a look at the go-to content marketing case studies often cited on the web. Notice a recurring theme? The majority are by huge brands with ¬£multi-million content and distribution budgets. Granted, they all claim to have saved millions since calling what they do content marketing, but hey, these guys were spending *a lot* to begin with. Also, try replacing the phrase ‘content marketing’ in their case studies with the word ‘SEO’. Notice anything?
  2. How we all mistakenly assume content marketing is something new when in fact we’ve all been doing it for a while – we just know it as something else eg SEO or PR

I say all this as someone who’s worked in both publishing and digital marketing since 1997. Content marketing is great. It means we all work. It means people are excited by online content, which is no bad thing. But please just be aware of the full picture before jumping in and betting the house on it.

Anyway, more on this later.

Broadly, there are four key elements you need to think about when it comes to content marketing:

  • Planning: audience needs and questions, buying cycle, answers to those buyers needs and questions
  • Content: production, format, sourcing and approval process, resourcing in terms of staff, support (internal staff / external agency help), related costs etc
  • Distribution: channels, paid, owned, earned, channel discovery and distribution process, resourcing and support (internal staff / external agency help), related costs etc
  • Measurement: as with most digital marketing channels, we need to measure lots of metrics and discover what they’re telling us

There are 000’s of ebooks, whitepapers and Slideshare decks on this topic and they all tackle the topic using variants of the four elements above. It’s essentially digital marketing (and all the paid media low cost tactics that go with that – if you’re smart) with a whole heap of content production thrown on top.

More on this soon…

Cycle Classic – London to Surrey 14th August 2011

To help London prepare for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, a London-Surrey ‘Cycle Classic’ test is taking place on Sunday 14 August 2011.

The event, which as the name suggests passes through Surrey, will let us mere mortals watch world class athletes compete – for free.

The race will pass through the following Surrey areas after starting at the Mall in London:

Walton-on-Thames 9.45am
Ripley Village 10.05am
Gomshall 10.25am
Westcott 10.30am
Dorking 10.35am
Box Hill 10.40am – 11.20am
Esher 11.35am

The official Classic Cycle website has lots of info on road closures and timings.