The Spectrum Group Online Where Visibility and Transparency Connect Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:00:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 48765153 What’s the Future of Display Ads? Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:00:17 +0000

Ads to the Left of you, Ads to The Right

A few months ago Bing announced that they would no longer be running display ads on their PPC network. The reason behind them dropping visual ads was, according to Bing, that they’re not bringing as much ROI for their users as search ads. This has long been the case, with display ads on Bing and Google, often being treated as a side dish to the main course that is search advertising. So with Bing saying goodbye to display, what does that mean for the future?

What Are Display Ads?

Display ads are the small adverts that you will sometimes see on a website that you’re browsing. Typically these ads will be shown by Google, Bing or another advertising network. The idea is similar to search advertising. A company will pick certain genres of websites and then create ads that will show on those sites. For example, if I sell sneakers I might want to show my ads on sports news websites.

In theory, these ads should be just as effective as search ads. You can choose to be highly targeted, picking demographic information, website genres and much more. However, in practice, they aren’t.

Sweeping It Under the Carpet

In the Google AdWords interface if you want to see where your ads are being displayed (which seems like a pretty reasonable thing to want to see, right?) you have to navigate your way through numerous different tabs until you can find your placement list. But once you get there and look at the sites your ads are being shown on, you see why:

display ads placement's list

If you take the time to check any of the URLs listed above you’ll see the quality of the site that these ads are shown on. The majority of websites that are hosting display ads are terrible websites, link farms, or sites that have content that has clearly been written by bots. The same is also true of the majority of in-app advertising that you can go through the display network.

Cleaning The Placement’s List

To be fair to Google, they are aware of this problem and seem to be trying to solve it. They have put special effort into filtering out false clicks from in-app adverts, and continue to try to weed out bad sites that are hosting placements. But it seems it’s like trying to hold back the tide.

What’s Next For Display Ads?

As website design has changed, and online advertising has evolved various different parts of paid advertising have dropped by the wayside. With Bing canning their display ads perhaps that is a sign of where display is going in the future. For now, Google and Bing are both focusing their efforts on search advertising, although Google has not yet stopped display advertising. It might not be long until they do.

What do you think about display ads? Do they still have a place in online advertising?

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Nogran SRO

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What is Semantic HTML5? Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:00:35 +0000 Markup Your Site To Get a Better Ranking

You might not know what the abbreviation HTML means, but if you are writing content on your blog, you’ll probably have used it before. HTML5, or Hypertext Markup Language, is the markup that search engines use to work out what is important on your page. Learn how to use HTML5 properly to boost your SEO rankings.

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It’s All About the Subtext

HTML5 is a way of marking up your blog post so that a search engine can quickly crawl through the text and find meaning. While search engines are intelligent, they are not yet at a level where they can quickly digest a 500-word article and decide what it’s topic is. So, HTML5 is there to help out, by pointing to the most important parts of the article that the search engine needs to focus on.

So how do you use HTML5 tags:

Tag Your Headings – <h> tags are probably the most well-known aspect of HTML. Making sure you use H1, H2, and H3 tags will show the search engine what to read first, second and so on. One important point to remember is that you should use <h> tags in order. Skipping from <h1> to <h4> because the size looks better in your post can confuse search engines.HTML5

Be STRONG – Using a strong tag in HTML5 is a way of emphasizing the importance of a word or phrase. It is not to be confused with using Bold to make it LOOK emphasized. You shouldn’t overuse strong tags around all your keywords. But using it to focus attention on one word, or phrase is helpful for the search engine.

EM tag – This helps put emphasis on a particular part of the text. For example, if you were saying; “This chicken is not cooked well” you would stress the “not” part of the sentence. So just like with speaking, adding em tags can help make it clear what the point you are trying to make is.

News Articles – If you’re covering current events or a situation that is changing rapidly, you may be interested in using either the DEL or INS tags. These tags will help you highlight which information has been removed, or changed if it is still relevant to the reader. For example, if you wrote about a major sporting event, and subsequently the result was altered you could use a del tag to show that you are aware of the changes in the result while leaving the article up.

Cite Your Sources – Another useful tag is the CITE tag. You use this if you are referencing the work of another person. If you are citing other online content, you can provide a hyperlink, but if you need to cite something else, a book for example, then you can use the cite tag to make it clear where you are getting your information. This will again help the search engine contextualize your work, and has the added bonus of helping your readers find your sources.

Five HTML5 Headliners

If you use these five basic HTML5 tags you will speed up the time it takes to get your site’s pages crawled by Google and help to improve their comprehension of your content. So get on the HTML train!

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Pexels
Photo credit – Bottom: Pixabay

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Controlling Your Data – Marketing Tools Fri, 17 Nov 2017 17:00:20 +0000 online marketing: Don't get cuffed

Don’t Lose The Keys to The Kingdom

If you’re working with an online marketing agency they will often suggest you use various third-party software tools, or applications. These tools can really improve your marketing and will enable the agency to work faster, which should save you money. But you always need to make sure you have a set of keys to these tools. So, which marketing tools do you need to keep control of?

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

SEO Management Tools

An White Hat SEO Management tool like Raven or Moz is fabulous in tracking keywords, rankings, and links. Similar to Google AdWords, you don’t want to start over and lose any data collected. Organic SEO takes time and focused effort. The power of White Hat SEO management tools is tracking over time and the ability to pull reports for strategic insights. No data = no insights. Don’t be left guessing cuz your data is in someone else’s hands. With that said, some clients feel that the online agency should pay for the tool since they are the ones really using it. Our view is that online marketing shouldn’t be a big black box. It should be collaborative and as transparent as possible. If you don’t want to pay for the tool, negotiate this point upfront. If your agency owns the account, then you run the risk of losing access to keyword tracking and ranking data. Ultimately it’s your choice; just know the pros and cons.

Domain Registration, Hosting & FTP

This one is so obvious I almost didn’t include it in the list. You want to manage registration of your domain (website url); you never want to rely on an online marketing agency to renew your domain name. Choose your hosting service wisely. Uptime and server management may seem like a commodity these days. However, you get what you pay for… in terms of service, security and impact on SEO.

Social Media

CAGEDCompany pages on social media platforms (like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn) should be attached to a principal’s personal page or someone who is trusted within your business. If you outsource social media management, you can grant the user access to each social network. However, we recommend using a social media management tool like HootSuite. This tool provides great flexibility and a variety of access controls.

Online Marketing & Sales Automation Tools

If you use marketing automation systems like Marketo or HubSpot, again you want to use common sense when setting up these accounts. An online marketing agency simply needs user access to help you integrate with your website, email marketing (Vertical Response, MailChimp, Constant Contact) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) or sales tracking systems.

Event & Payment Systems

If your business sells seats to virtual or in-person events, you’re probably using a payment and ticket selling service like Eventbrite.  Again, your online marketing provider can be a user but you should keep control over the account. Of course, bank account details should stay private.

One final piece of advice: never give your account information and administrative passwords to anybody. Rather, set-up accounts together in-person or via a virtual meeting with screen sharing ability. Lastly, never send usernames and passwords together in an email. Privacy online is an illusion.

Did I miss anything? What account type would you add?

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Nogran SRO

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Why Build WordPress Websites? Thu, 16 Nov 2017 17:00:42 +0000 Building From Solid Foundations

The Spectrum Group works almost exclusively with WordPress websites, allowing for a high degree of specialization in this stable and uniquely customizable platform. For those unfamiliar with WordPress, here are some of the basics.

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First, WordPress is the fastest route to a fully functioning website. Rather than hiring a designer, waiting and paying for numerous iterations, and then waiting some more…users can simply choose a theme and begin to input content. WordPress employs an intuitive dashboard for its user interface. No coding knowledge is required, making it easier to navigate than other popular content management systems (ex. Drupal, Joomla!).

Additionally, It is open source software that is created and maintained by a global community of enthusiastic developers. The result is an abundant directory of attractive themes and plugins (both free and premium), updated constantly to meet the latest web standards. In order to realize maximum benefit from all this creative input, software must be downloaded and self-hosted. vs – To host, or not to host?

Here is where the rubber really meets the road. There is a big difference between and Users who are willing to give up features and control in exchange for maximum simplicity might be happiest creating a free account within The result will be content that is actually hosted within a subdomain of the website. In this case, no plugins may be added.

This is far from optimal for businesses interested in building an authoritative online presence. None of the recommended SEO strategies can be manually applied. Nor can site functionality be expanded beyond whichever options come packaged within a theme.

Alternately, offers a free software solution to those who prefer developing self-hosted domains. This is the option Spectrum Group recommends, and will expertly provide hassle-free site setup and maintenance. Migration from other platforms can also be readily accomplished.

With literally tens of thousands of WordPress themes and plugins available, and more being added every day, the task of choosing can be daunting. Benefit from Spectrum Group’s expertise. Use the most effective SEO and security tools, and don’t waste valuable time searching for what truly works.

Not just for Bloggers Anymore

Some may still believe that WordPress is just for bloggers. Not so! To date, over 56 million websites around the world are powered by WordPress. These include TechCrunch, CNN, National Football League, UPS and more. With its highly scalable design, WordPress gets the job done for both individuals and Fortune 500 companies alike.

What Spectrum Group clients experience is an attractive optimized site with reasonable maintenance requirements. Plus, it’s always secure! Combine a vastly growing network of software developers with an ingenious team of online marketing consultants, and prepare to be dazzled. That’s why WordPress.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Pixabay

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Online Reputation Management: 5 Must Dos Part 2 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:00:28 +0000 online reputation management and thick pavement chalk

In our Online Reputation Management Part 1 of this two-post series, we talked about the misconception you can delete untrue or less-than-complementary online reviews.  There are five must-dos if are tasked with overseeing your company’s online reputation management efforts. Here are the two more items for your to-do list:

4. Be Realistic

The best way to manage a bad review on such sites as Yelp or Merchant Circle is to collect good reviews. Most consumers are reasonable; they understand that differences of opinion arise from time to time. A negative review that is amongst a majority of positive ones shows realism and that you aren’t gaming the review system. Make is a habit of asking your raving fans to post reviews. A simple request is the only requirement. No bribes or incentives as the FTC frowns on that. If you want strategic customer testimonials, then hire a third-party to make it happen.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

5. Optimize Everything

The more your content is optimized, the greater the chances of having the positive information appear during organic searches. Be sure that your Website, blog, social media profiles are optimized. Link building is another way to help with your overall ranking. In most social media platforms you can link to your other profiles. Online reputation management also requires interlinking. Promote your blog and website on LinkedIn and Facebook pages. That’s one way to control your online reputation across various channels. Use keywords in your username so the search engines can serve up more positive references.

How can we help?

Need help in monitoring your online reputation? Want to effectively show how your business is different and a superior choice through customer testimonials?

We are The Spectrum Group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your online reputation management.

Contact Us Today »

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Content Marketing Audit Tue, 14 Nov 2017 17:00:14 +0000

All Content Is Not Created Equal

Content marketing requires a lot of content. If you want to create enough content to improve your SEO you should be writing at least three times per week, as well as promoting that content on social media. If you’re churning out articles at that pace, consistently, year on year, then at some point standards may waver a little. If you think they are, then perhaps now is the time to consider a content marketing audit.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

One thing worth bearing in mind is that you don’t necessarily need/want to rate all content equally. A key part of the audit is working out what the aim of the page is, ie what user need it aims to meet. And then find out how you might measure success in meeting this need. In some cases, a ‘win’ might be the user clicking on ‘buy’ or other call-to-action, in others, they might get what they want by staying a while and consuming the information on the page. In any case, when compiling an audit, you’re looking to see what user need the content serves and how well it does this. Spreadsheets are generally best. It’s a good idea to give each piece of content a unique identifier separate from its current URL. There’s plenty of further good advice in the book ‘Content Strategy for the Web’ by Halvorson and Rach.

Here are some interesting links on how to build a content audit from 4 Syllables and UXMastery.

Is Being Content Enough?

In general, I think of an audit as necessarily including judgment (as opposed to an inventory which could be generated completely automatically). And I strongly agree with Graham that you don’t want to treat all content the same (perhaps not even evaluating all as thoroughly). You’ll want to consider the sources of data and also, especially for a large site, ensure your spreadsheet remains high quality.

As to tools, one thing to consider is a toolset that allows “live” reporting, which is useful both for maintaining the quality of the inventory or audit and you can also track progress if there are multiple people involved in evaluating pages. One combination of tools I have used to good effect is Google Spreadsheets with Zoho Reports automatically pulling information from those spreadsheets for live reporting.

And as always look for ways to trim your content (here’s a case study that shows how to give your writing a diet)!

Content Marketing Audit Tools

If your audit will primarily be focused on a website, I’d highly recommend taking Content Insight’s CAT tool for a test drive. You’re still going to have plenty of manual legwork surrounding the review of each page, but CAT does a nice job of automating the initial inventory step (which can still take a lot of time) and then provides a nice interface for you to score the quality and dictate next steps for each page on a site.

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console? Do you need help building a Content Marketing audit?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Joe the Goat Farmer
Photo credit – Bottom: Joe the Goat Farmer

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Customer Loyalty in the Digital Age Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:00:49 +0000 Hearts & Customer LoyaltyFrom Buyer Beware to Seller Beware

Ten years ago how customers researched and purchased goods looked very different. Typically brands controlled the information and steps within the sales process.  Many companies also relied upon brand loyalty that fueled repeat purchases. Now, with the proliferation of smartphones, ease of online search, and changing consumer attitudes, the power is firmly in the hands of the buyer (caveat venditor). As online shopping continues to grow will customer loyalty die out?

Digital Disruption

According to an Accenture report entitled Customer 2020: Are you future-ready or living the past? “digital disruption is leading to an unprecedented erosion of brand loyalty across key industries.” It’s no surprise that customers are taking advantage of digital channels as they research products and share experiences. Poorly designed websites, underwhelming service experiences, and negative reviews fuel customer churn. In their research, Accenture describes this new shopper as the “non-stop customer.” Consumers are alert to new options, seeking and seizing opportunities, caring very little about who or where they are purchasing from.

What are the industries at greatest risk for digital disruption? Traditional companies in the retail, banking, and telecommunications who are slow to respond to these emerging customer behaviors. Banking, for example, is an industry that has had to adapt to change in recent years. Not long ago your bank would stay your bank for your lifetime. But now switching banks to get a better interest rate, or for other benefits, is becoming more and more commonplace. Shopping around is not just something you do for electrical goods anymore.

The Sales Journey Is No Longer Linear

Buying_CycleBrands are used to the traditional sales funnel, where they control the information that guides a prospect toward a buying decision. Now that process is controlled by the consumer, the sales journey is no longer linear. And that process is accelerated by the ability to view and interact with content across multiple channels. The Accenture report found the following:

  • 88% of consumers use at least one digital channel while looking for products and services — this is up 78% from five years ago.
  • 40% of consumers want more digital interactions than what companies are actually providing.
  • There’s a growing population of customers who seek digital-only forms of interaction

Factors Affecting Customer Loyalty

In Inc.’s article Brand Loyalty Is (Almost) Dead,  Contributing Editor Geoffrey James claims that “the Web weakens and destroys brand loyalty in two ways.”

  • First is the ready availability of user review and competitor information. As such, “buyers no longer need a brand as a guarantor of quality.”
  • Second is the perceived sameness due to outsourcing supply chains. Consumers see products as “pretty much the same regardless of whose brand has been stuck on them.”

Let’s look at Accenture’s 2020 research. They cite eight main reasons why brands lose customers:

  1. Customers are keeping an eye open for something new and are buying less from current providers
  2. Relying upon a first-contact experience that needs improvement
  3. Failure to capitalize on their website and other channels to make it easy for customers to prospect
  4. Barriers in digital service channels that customers want
  5. Customer service expectations are rising faster than companies provide
  6. Customer loyalty programs aren’t enough to prevent customers from switching
  7. Lack of compelling offers for winning back customers
  8. Non-traditional competitors gaining ground with customer base

Additional Buying Behavior Statistics

Mirror-image-280x186In 2014, PriceWaterhouseCooper conducted 7,000 online consumer interviews. Respondents across three continents were chosen to reflect the national profile in terms of age, gender, employment status and region. Their analysis noted that:

  • Only 32% of online shoppers followed brands through social media
  • 49% of customers don’t tell a retailer about their bad experiences
  • 69% of consumers will share their bad experiences with others in a month
  • Bad experiences linger 1.2 times longer than good ones

Additional PwC research found that the role of the physical store is changing. Stores serve two distinct purposes: 1) as a showroom where customers come for inspiration and to interact with products, and 2) as a transaction point to complete a journey started on the web or to seek service for products bought regardless of the purchase channel.

Boomers: A Traditionally Loyal Demographic & Their Buying Behavior

Immersion Active, a firm specializing in age-based marketing strategies, researched online buying behaviors for Baby Boomers, GenX and Millenials. Brands who target GenX and Millennials know they must have a strong digital marketing strategy. You might think there’s less pressure on brands whose main audience is older. Nope.

In fact, Baby Boomers are very comfortable browsing and shopping online. 85% reported they research products online and 66% of people over 50 routinely make online purchases from retailers. They also love coupons and sales — 75% are more likely to purchase if they have a coupon or loyalty discount. The ease of shopping around allows them to bargain hunt at their leisure.

GenX is known for being a skeptical generation. Can they be loyal customers? Yes, nearly half of GenX internet users polled by CrowdTwist characterized themselves as extremely or quite loyal to favorite brands.

Dying a Not-So-Slow Death?

In her July 2016 Forbes article, Kathleen Kusek is ringing the death knell of brand loyalty. She’s worked on marketing strategies for such notable brands like Genentech, Four Seasons Hotel, and Pioneer Electronics. Here’s what she says about brand or customer loyalty:

  • Consumers are not inclined to be loyal as generational experiences have shaped them. By remaining loyal it means not exploring alternatives and thus missing out.
  • Major trends in marriage, religion, politics, and corporate America have reframed our expectations about surviving and thriving in the world.
  • Change is something we no longer avoid but embrace. And, our need for change is increasing at an accelerated pace.

Customer Loyalty & Price Sensitivity

In a 2013 article by MarketingProfs, an industry leader for marketing training and resources, examined a U.S. consumer survey conducted by Parago. The report found:

  •  74% of shoppers are more sensitive to price than they were the previous year
  • 80% of consumers look for deals, rebates and the best prices (up from 69%)
  • 46% used their smartphone to check prices
  • Price was the most important driver for every income level below $200,000

Ok, we expect price sensitivity for many products that we purchase on a regular basis. But what about luxury goods?

According to Luxury Daily, they explored the gap between ecommerce and brand experience. Citing research from Salesfloor’s 2016 Omnichannel Retail Associate Study, 58% of consumers feel that online shopping lacks the personalized attention they would receive when visiting a physical store. Alrighty, that makes sense. However as the “customer journey becomes more convoluted, luxury brands can no longer afford to view the online and in-store experiences as separate entities. Luxury Daily also quotes McKinsey & Co; they anticipate that the luxury sector will triple their online sales in the next decade. It’s not a surprise that ecommerce needs to be a part of that strategy.

Does Customer Loyalty Have a Heartbeat?

broken-heart-grungeWe know that purchasing behavior has drastically changed in the last twenty years; we’re now dependent upon search engines and the web for information. It’s not uncommon for our research — regardless of demographics — to bridge across devices. Our appetite for multiple touchpoints on various channels continues to grow. Our fear of missing out — even at the expense of long-term relationships with brands that we know and trust — drives us to explore alternatives.

So does customer loyalty have a heartbeat?

Maybe a faint one. Brands that rely upon what’s worked in the past will continue to fall behind. I suspect that customer loyalty will continue to morph into something else entirely. Gone are the days of traditional and unwavering loyalty. How we measure satisfaction and retention must change because our customers are demanding it.

How can we help?

What does your Analytics say about your customer loyalty? To you see customers coming back again and again?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo creditEric Silva, The Joneses


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Online Reputation Management: Must Dos Part 1 Wed, 08 Nov 2017 17:00:51 +0000 online reputation management is a collection if erasers

Don’t Read Your Reviews Before Going on Stage!

Recently I had a discussion with a prospective client who was looking for online reputation management services. They were dismayed to hear that you couldn’t simply delete erroneous and unflattering online reviews.

Their misconception was fueled by a seedy online reputation management company who,  for a mere $499 a month, promised to fix any problems and keep their online reputation clean. After a little bit of digging, it was clear this firm needed their own service as there was a slew of postings chiding them on their unethical and ineffectual practices.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

If you are responsible for your company’s online reputation management, here are three items to add to your to-do list:

1. Be Alert for Online Reputation Management

At the foundation of online reputation management is knowing what’s being said about your company. Set up Google Alerts to be on the lookout on what’s posted on the world wide web. Add your company name, nicknames and any individuals like your CEO or other high profile executives to the list. Alerts are also an effective way to keep on top of your company’s keywords and what others are saying.

2. Social Means Being Social

When you set up profiles on social networks like LinkedIn, it’s one way to control what information is available about you online. Don’t forget about your company’s profile as it can be an information resource as well. As with all online marketing, it can’t be a set-it-and-forget-it effort as the web is dynamic. Respond to requests to get connected and have a conversation. Lurk until you get comfortable, then chime in.

3. Positive Response to A Negative Review

If you get a negative review, stay positive. Respond quickly and avoid being defensive as that can say more about you then one customer’s cyber rant. Most often the person complaining just wants to be acknowledged. If they persist, not to worry.  If they continue without softening their view, others will recognize mean-spirited and unreasonable comments. By being positive, you have the opportunity to turn a complainer into an advocate by listening and solving the problem. That’s worth its weight in gold as potential customers see that you’re real and responsive.

Stay tuned for the rest of our reputation management tips out next week!

How can we help?

What do your links and content say about your site’s SEO? What does your data say in Search Console?

We are Spectrum Group Online, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss your website’s user experience and translate that into sales.

Contact Us Today »

Photo credit – Top: Mark Jensen
Photo credit – Bottom: Nogran SRO

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Is Online Shopping Killing Retailers? Wed, 08 Nov 2017 17:00:49 +0000 online shopping is on fire

Losses, Mergers & Closures

Recently K-Mart announced that it is shutting down another 28 stores across the US and K-Mart isn’t the only retail giant shutting down brick and mortar stores. Are big retailers finally feeling the online shopping pinch? It looks like mobile search is keeping more customers out of stores than ever.

Click for a free 30-minute consultation »

Big Box Store Examples

According to news reports, K-Mart planned to close 150 stores in 2017, having already closed 180 so far this year, and with another 28 on the way, it seems things are not going well for the Sears-owned retail giant.

Although they still have more than 1,000 active stores it is clear that they, and other retailers, are being pressured by the shift towards online purchases.

Is online shopping finally taking a big enough bite out of big box stores? It seems that the small screen is now a mighty force and retailers are now on notice.

eCommerce Stats for 2017

eCommerce continues to grow at an indicated 23% (year-over-year growth) in 2017. No surprise they also document an increase in mobile eCommerce with 52% of users now using mobile banking and 20% of Americans claiming to have made an online purchase while sat on the toilet.

The most telling statistic is that now 51% of Americans say they prefer to shop online, rather than in a brick and mortar store. This shows that the tide is slowly turning against physical retail stores.

Hungry for more online shopping stats? Check out the full report which includes more double-digit growth numbers.

Online Shopping Lessons for the Average Biz

So what are the important online shopping lessons to be learned from K-Mart’s retreat from towns?

  1. If you’re a retailer, make sure your online sales funnel is geared for desktop and mobile users.
  2. Mobile friendly websites are a must. We don’t recommend a separate mobile site; mobile friendliness should be built into your main online presence.
  3. Coordinate your organic SEO and Search Engine Marketing (aka AdWords or PPC) efforts. You’ll get a 30% organic lift while chasing market-share.

Did any of these online shopping stats surprise you?

How can we help?

Is your website mobile friendly? Not sure how to dig into your Analytics to find nuggets about your readers’ behavior?

We are the spectrum group, and we offer strategic and tactical consulting so you can monetize your online presence. Call us for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to discuss how to leverage customer testimonials.

Contact Us Today »

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Search Engine Market Share Fri, 03 Nov 2017 16:00:35 +0000 search engine market share is like a piece of the pie

Any Alternatives to Google?

Understanding (and leveraging) search engine market share is the basis for SEO. Are there really any viable alternatives to Google? In the post, we’ll explore market share stats for both desktop and mobile searches.

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Desktop Dominance

comScore releases search engine market share stats every year. According to the latest report, Yahoo has a measly 12.4% share of online searches, which shows it has rallied a little in recent years, with it previously as low as 9%. The same is also true of Bing who, while making some gains, has less than 25%.

Regardless of which study you use, Google is the dominant player for desktop searches. comStock reports 64% search engine market share for Google. Bing is a distant second or with Yahoo in third. But will it always be this way?

InspirationSearch Engine Market Share Mobile Stats

With mobile device usage continually on the rise, how is Google competing on the small screen? According to NetMarketShare, Google dominates the mobile device market for search… nearly 97%.  Note: this is real-time data with no sampling. Unlike comScore and Conductor, they use a sampling model to report their search engine market share stats.

Not included in either comScore or Conductor monthly reports is YouTube. Owned by Google, YouTube has more than a billion users. 40% of global viewers use mobile devices.

Interesting… Now What?!

While there are alternatives with regard to search, Google remains the overwhelmingly dominant player. That means that if you want to play online via organic SEO, you must abide by their rules. That means online marketers must:

  • Know Google quality guidelines
  • Insist that Webmasters follow the rules
  • Respect their human audience by publishing useful and quality content
  • Leverage video content for search
  • Monitor your website’s stats with regard to search engine type and mobile device access numbers

Are you surprised at any of these search engine market share statistics? If so, which one(s)?

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