Google Is Cracking Down On Mobile Pop-Ups: Here’s What Marketers Need To Know

So when Google announced its impending smackdown on mobile pop-up ads, it came as no surprise that the major reason behind it was to enhance the user experience.

For many businesses, the announcement carries major implications. Those that rely on advertisements as a primary source of revenue, for example, will be some of the hardest hit. To help you navigate this change, we put together everything you need to know below, from what the update entails to how to prepare accordingly.

What’s New in Mobile Search Results

Google on your smartphone
Google on your smartphone

Back in 2014, Google added a “mobile-friendly” label for search results that were optimized for such platforms – where text is readable without zooming or horizontal scrolling, and links are spaced well enough so that there’s a reduced chance of mis-tapping.

But two years later, Google has found that 85% of mobile search results are optimized that way. As a result, the search engine is doing away with that label, and introducing new mobile-specific ranking criteria.

And now, pages with mobile pop-ups – or what Google is calling “interstitials” – probably won’t be ranking as highly when these algorithmic changes take effect on January 10, 2017.

“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible,” Google’s official announcement states. “This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller.”

Not all pop-ups are created equal, though, so there are some specifics around which types of interstitials Google considers to be disruptive to the user experience. Some are legally required – like ones used by liquor companies that verify the user’s age – so they won’t impact the page’s rank.

According to the official statement, interstitials affected by Google’s crackdown include the following:

1.”Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
2. Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
3. Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.”

What Does It Mean For Marketers?

As we mentioned before, the companies that rely on these interstitials for income will be especially impacted by this change. They’re the ones who, as Emma Hinchliffe of Mashable points out, need that ad revenue to survive. Now, these businesses face a difficult choice: Rank, or profit.

But losing SEO traffic can “crush” these companies, says HubSpot’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Marcus Andrews. And that makes sense – 51% percent of digital media is consumed via mobile, compared to a lagging 42% on desktop.

Andrews suggests that, if they haven’t done so already, marketers solve for mobile SEO first. The pain that comes with changing a revenue model is inevitable, but shorter-term – and businesses that rely on advertiser dollars, he says, should figure out ways “to make money that don’t totally disrupt the mobile user experience.”

“Google is very focused on the user,” Andrews continues. “Marketers are always looking for hacky ways to increase traffic and conversion rates, and every once in a while, Google needs to make a correction to improve the user experience.”

That actually creates a great opportunity for marketers to think more about the user – both the experience, and what that person is offered. It’s what HubSpot’s Director of Product Development, Nicholas Holland, calls a “forcing function.” It makes marketers seriously consider the increasing overtaking of mobile technology, and what the implications will be on their overall business operations.

Basically, these developments from Google are a giant wake-up call to those who “create a bad viewer experience,” Holland says – especially those who might not even realize it. Now, they absolute must “think through alternative revenue methods.”

But what are those methods, exactly?

First – if it isn’t obvious by now – remove any pop-ups you’ve been using.

“As inbound marketers, we rely on driving relevant visitors to content,” says HubSpot’s Principal Product Marketing Manager, Jeffrey Vocell. “Interstitials, especially interruptive ones, do not provide a good experience, and in many cases actually block or limit the content that can be seen.”

That’s why your best option might be to create valuable content that draws the visitors that Vocell is alluding to. When you do that, Holland advises, you can focus on driving revenue – or at least leads – using calls to action and embedded forms.

Replacing intrusive interstitials with valuable content is a double-edged SEO sword. Not only are you giving the user what he or she is searching for – and improving your rank accordingly – but you’re also getting rid of the invasive pop-ups that, come January, would be lowering it.

What You Can Do Now to Prepare

If you’re freaking out about Google’s announcement, that’s okay – but please, don’t be. As we mentioned, these changes actually provide a great opportunity to use inbound marketing to generally enhance your marketing presence – on mobile, or otherwise.

Here’s what you can do to get ready for the rollout:

1. Ditch your interstitials – unless they’re required by law. Those include age verification displays, as noted above, and pop-ups that let your user know you use cookies.
2. If you relied on interstitials for ad revenue, figure out where that money is going to come from now.
3. Find ways to generate revenue without obstructing the user experience, and in a way that optimizes your page for mobile. Both of those factors will likely remain crucial to search engine rank.

Know that those solutions often exist in the content you create. Make something valuable for the user. By gating it behind a landing page, you’re generating leads – and eventually sales – in a much less intrusive way that brings visitors to you.

I hope this has been helpful. By Daniel Smith

The Popularity of Blogs As a Selling Tool

Blogging used to be seen as a social tool. It was a way of telling the world how you felt about things that mattered to you – and in a way that has never changed, even though many business owners have now cottoned on to the fact that blogging is a great way to attract new customers and visitors to their website.

The concept of blogging has clearly changed somewhat over the years, and while there are still people out there blogging about what matters to them, the format is now regularly bringing in fresh sales and new business to people who are players in the internet marketing field.

So why are blogs so popular in this way?

One of the main reasons is that online businesses have a tendency to be ‘faceless’. You cannot see the person or people behind that business and it can be all too easy to set up a bogus business that looks good on the outside but consists of nothing more than a way to fleece ordinary people of their cash.

Blogging helps to distinguish the honest traders from the bogus ones. It identifies those people who are passionate about their business and want to share the vast amounts of knowledge that they have on that subject.

This helps to establish trust between the business owner and their potential customers, and with links from their website to their blog they have an excellent chance of gaining new customers who don’t immediately buy something from the site, taking the time instead to explore first.

One of the advantages of having a blog as part of a website promotion drive is that blogs are generally viewed as being a ‘hands off’ form of promotion. They don’t directly try to sell to the customer in the same way that a website does; instead they strengthen the business by allowing the potential customer to find out more about that business and the person (or people) who runs it.

Most business bloggers do still have links from their blog back to their website, and they will also indulge in deep linking to pages within the site instead of constantly linking back to the home page all the time. This in turn helps the blog to build more backlinks to different areas of the website, building an even better chance of attracting more customers from the search engines, even though they won’t directly visit the blog at all.

It is perhaps ironic that a blog which is designed to help an online business develop and increase its profits doesn’t actually have to sell very hard at all. In the end it is all about adding depth and value to an online business – in effect the owner is taking the opportunity to show his or her potential clients that they know a great deal about what they do and can help their clients or customers accordingly.

In the end, a blog certainly can be a selling tool, but it is often one step removed from the selling process itself.

Web Profits specialises in search engine optimization, online marketing & web design, helping businesses generate profits from the Internet. For a free report on ‘The Secrets of Online Marketing for Offline Businesses’ visit Web Design.

Do Unlimited Bandwidth and Disk Space in Web Hosting Really Exist?

In web hosting today, customers demand is getting harder and harder to satisfy. Unlimited disk space and bandwidth seem to be compulsory on the packages that they offer. Companies which do not have this seem to loose out in the competition. However, can unlimited disk space and bandwidth really be possible? In the market today, it is possible with the marketing technique of Overselling.

Like we mentioned, Overselling is merely a marketing method for providers to describe their product or services. For an example, a company organizing a dinner for 50 people will provide 60 tickets for sale. With their statistics, they know that 5-10 people will not turn up. Therefore, they do not have any disadvantages at hand. However, this Overselling technique could be disastrous for your company’s reputation if used incorrectly.

In web hosting, this technique is very commonly used because competitors are found everywhere. Overselling could meet the demand of the customers. By doing that, they can stay in contention with other companies. Moreover, customers want to get more while paying less, this reason males the company even more reason to use this overselling technique.

Here is an example of Overselling used in web hosting. Company A is a company that is capable of delivering 20 000 GB of bandwidth and 2000 GB disk space. They offer a plan that offers 2000 GB o bandwidth monthly and 200GB storage space. They are able to do this because they calculated that 90% of their clients never use more than 10% of the resources they were provided. Mathematically, they can only accept 10 clients. Therefore, they are overselling.

For unlimited bandwidth, it is clear that it is impossible to be achieved. The bandwidth really depends on the resources that you are provided. They are the CPU Time, RAM Usage and Database Connection. Before unlimited bandwidth can be achieved, you will have to sort out the limited resource that you have. Company will usually state this in their terms of service ‘If a user is monopolizing a server resources, XXX Hosting Company has the right to immediately suspend the account for resource abuse. No refund will be offered.’ This is a way the companies trick their clients. Therefore, it is always better to choose a provider that has a good reputation backing their honest service.

Looking for an affordable web host Check out Lunarpages You’ll get 15,000/1,500 GB bandwidth/disk storage in less than $5 with them. More details on LunarPages web hosting here.
— by Justin Knights.

Useful Tools & Resources For Bloggers

No doubt you want to know what it takes to be a successful blogger if you are planning on launching your own blog. Keep in mind that a blog is something that requires patience and care and regular updating in order to succeed. You want to always be adding fresh and unique content to your blog so that you can stay ahead of your competition.

In this article, I will provide some recommended useful blogging tools & resources you can use to stay ahead of your competition.

The first item on the list of recommended blogging tools & resources is WordPress which is actually the simplest blogging software to use to build your blog. You can download this software at WordPress’s website. Just as a side note, the search engines love blogs and they also love WordPress blogs so this is another reason you will do well to make this your blogging software of choice.

Another useful tool you may want to use is a keyword research tool known as Wordtracker. At the time of writing this they have a 7 Day Free trial and you can find this resource at Wordtracker’s website. You want to have a main keyword that your blog is targeting and Wordtracker is an excellent tool to use for your research on keywords. There are also many free keyword research tools so you may want to do a search for this if you are on a tight budget.

When you get your WordPress blog setup, one of the most useful things with WordPress is the amount of plugins that are available. Plugins add functionality to your blog. For example, there are plugins that will update Twitter every time you submit a post. There are others that allow you to put Social Bookmarking tools after your posts so that your readers can bookmark your posts which help you to get backlinks to your blog which drives further traffic to your blog.

Since you will want to stay abreast of what your competitors are doing another recommended blogging tool you can make use of is Google’s blog search. Using this tool you can find all of your competitors and check out their traffic generation methods. You can also see what marketing methods they are using to attract and retain their readers.

You should do a Google search and look up blog directories as there are many that you should submit your blog to. One of the most important is Technorati so, at the very least make sure you submit your blog to Technorati and ping them with every post you make.

I hope you take these recommendations and make use of them to build yourself a successful blog.

Christine Imamshah is a full-time internet marketer. Visit my blog at http://www.christineimamshah.com and be sure to leave a comment or two. For new and excellent Traffic training head on over to http://www.explosionalmarketing.com

Unlimited Bandwidth Does Not Exist Right?

Many web hosting providers offer “unlimited bandwidth”. So what does this really mean? After all, it certainly sounds good!

What is Bandwidth? It is the amount of traffic (data) transmitted to and from your website. So the more visitors you have looking over your website, logging into your website and buying items from your website, etc., the more bandwidth you are going to use and the more money you a re-likely to pay if you overpass your limits.

Now let’s right to the bad news: unfortunately, “unlimited bandwidth” doesn’t really exist. It’s strictly a marketing trick, a buzz word, an attention grabbing sound byte to get you to sign up with that particular hosting provider.

The best thing you can do is avoid hosting providers that advertise unlimited bandwidth. If you really think you can get unlimited bandwidth, read their Terms of Service agreement very carefully. You’ll see the true soon or late.

The hosting providers that offer unlimited bandwidth are betting on the fact that your site won’t use very much bandwidth – so it won’t be a problem for them and, even more importantly, it won’t be a problem for you because they don’t want to be the ones to have to tell you (1) that they tricked you in the first place (your website is now using too much bandwidth) and (2) you have to pay more because of that or (3) you need to upgrade to a more expensive hosting plan.

Several honest web hosting providers does not engage in such marketing ploys. but still offer a wide variety of Linux web hosting plans so that you can choose the bandwidth and disk space that best meets your needs. If your website business grows, upgrading to the next higher bandwidth plan is easy to do and prices can be very affordable also.

Home Business – Perfection is Not Required

Perfection is not required in your home based business. Action however is. As a new home business owner if you wait until all your marketing efforts are perfect you will never get started. This is a huge mistake made by many new business opportunity seekers.

Marketing is of course a key component to building your online business but having to look like the big internet guru’s is not required. The less professional you look the more real you feel and the more likely you are to get the attention of real people.

Here are some of the common items beginners feel need to be perfect and a few ideas to combat this perfection to get started:

Ads can’t be placed until they say just the right thing. When you’re first getting started you really don’t know what the right thing is to say. You have to test this over time. Once you find the right combination of words and method, enhance it. Just keep trying

Videos need to be perfect. I remember the first video I created. I wrote everything down memorized it, went to a nearby park to shoot it and hours later came back with nothing. Every time I made a mistake I started over. I was so worried about how I would be perceived by others that it was stifling my creativity. I never smiled, I got tong-tied with my words; it was a disaster. The next day I was watching my grandkids so I got them to shoot the video while I talked to them. They eventually got bored with the multiple takes; they simply could not understand why it had to be just right. I have since learnt that it’s OK to make a mistake and people still respect you for it. A bigger lesson is if you don’t like to be in front of the camera that’s OK too, do other things like Camtasia training videos or PowerPoint presentation. They work well too…

The perfect Website. This is an ever changing project. You will always be tweaking this, you need to accept that. You’ll be surfing the net and come across something you like and what to change yours. That’s why it’s important to use a tool that you can manage. If you’re not good with html then learn to use something like Squidoo, Blogger or WordPress to create your site, these are platforms which are easy for anyone to edit and create very nice looking websites.

Ah, the autoresponder campaign! New home business owners really anguish over this. They worry about what to say, how long should it be, should a sell or not, if so how often? Am I going to make people angry and have them unsubscribe? This too is a work in progress. At most you should always have a thank you email. There is not industry standard, but you will see most often written 2 personal or training emails, 1 sale, and then repeat as often as you want. If they unsubscribe say good-bye they weren’t likely to be buyers anyway.

What to say! Many people never get started because they worry about what to say to people. Will they sound silly, or maybe someone will ask a question they don’t have the answer to. Be yourself and be excited. If you don’t know the answer, be honest and offer to find out. But don’t let this stop you from getting started. — Cindy Floyd