A lot has changed quickly in Q4 2014 with Google and for Search Marketers. Google is going to be including the mobile phone icon for mobile friendly websites. We have the launch of Google Now and Google has started losing market share to Yahoo! and Bing.
Firefox signed a 5 year deal to make Yahoo! their default engine. Siri is using Bing for search results still, Amazon launched Silk for their Kindle Fire, Facebook launched an ad network to compete with AdSense and Google is not having a good day.
So what does all of this mean?
It means you need to rethink your PPC, Mobile and SEO strategies moving into 2015. Although your focus may be Google right now, prepare your SEO and PPC for a multiengine marketplace in the near future. Especially if Yahoo! CEO Marrisa Mayer can obtain her goal of getting Safari and Apple Mobile search powered by Yahoo!.
Here is some of what our plans are for our websites and for our clients. We aren’t going to give everything away in this post, but there is a ton of thought here so I highly recommend you read and please share if you like it.
PPC, Social And SEO Strategies For 2015
In this post we are covering a bunch of theories. Here is a bulleted list so you can get through my rambles and to a topic that may be more interesting for you. If you have something you’d like to throw into it, please leave a comment with what you think will change in 2015 and and how you will work on it more. I’m writing this on very little sleep and in the middle of a ton of Q4 projects so if something isn’t clear, there are errors, etc… ask in the comments and I’ll try to get to them.
- Mobile friendly sites for Google and why you need to act now, but not worry 100%
- Facebook & Social Traffic – why the Google mobile icon isn’t as important depending on your business
- Adjusting your SEO strategy to make Yahoo!/Bing happy and a tool I am using
- Optimizing Bing/Yahoo! PPC more than Google
Mobile Friendly Sites For Google And Why You Need to Act Now, But Not Worry 100%
When Google launches their icon for mobile friendly sites, the goal is to help users on mobile devices find sites that provide a good mobile user experience. Just like showing author’s images, this is something that is good in theory, but could disappear quickly because it won’t be uniform or look nice in the search results. Having a mobile friendly or responsive site is very good for a ton of reasons, but adjusting specifically for the Google mobile icon isn’t necessarily one you should be focusing on right now with the marketshare shifts for mobile devices.
The first reason is that if your product doesn’t do well with mobile, cannot be shopped for via mobile or is not a good target for mobile traffic then who cares? However, if your site is not mobile friendly and you do have some conversions, even if there aren’t many, you may actually have a lot more than you think and may want to focus on optimizing your site better.
Your mobile customers or leads could be bouncing because your site doesn’t provide a good user experience. Never count out that your site, products or services aren’t good for mobile until you’ve tested with a legit mobile experience. This is especially important with the growing adoption of mobile devices and decrease in desktop.
If it works with PPC and on a desktop, then there is probably no reason that a solid mobile experience cannot bring in customers and leads as well. I’ve proven people with the mindset from my first statement in the second paragraph wrong many times and if that’s you, you’re potentially going to cause harm to your own company by counting mobile traffic out.
So why am I continuing to say don’t worry about making a site mobile friendly for the sole purpose of getting the mobile icon next to your site with Google? Google is the king with desktop searches. There’s no questioning that. However, if you look at the usage of social media sites like Facebook with mobile devices, if many mobile devices switch to Yahoo!/Bing because Marissa keeps winning, a ton of mobile traffic now belongs to non-Google owned companies.
Facebook & Social Traffic – Why The Google Mobile Icon Isn’t as Important Depending on Your Business
Think about it. Facebook search is powered by Bing already and Facebook users are more mobile than ever.
If Marissa Mayer can get Apple to agree to let Yahoo! power mobile search for iPhone and iPad, and mobile device sales continue to increase and desktop decrease, and Facebook continues with it’s Bing partnership, mobile is now in control of the Yahoo! and Bing algorithms. This means that you need to ensure your site is Yahoo!/Bing mobile friendly, and then Google mobile search friendly.
There will be a ton of Google mobile search out there, but the current trend is that a lot of the mobile marketshare is moving towards Bing/Yahoo!. Now is when you should start looking at your site being mobile friendly and focused on Google and Yahoo!/Bing. If Bing/Yahoo! start to take over mobile because of Firefox, Facebook, Apple, etc…, you could get a Bing/Yahoo! slap by not being ready,,,not just a decrease from the lost market share with Google.
Adjusting Your SEO Strategy to Make Yahoo!/Bing Happy And The Tool I am Using
Now that we’ve seen a shift with market share going to Yahoo!/Bing, it’s time to think about what you can do. Do not stop optimizing for Google, it is not going anywhere and will fight to gain whatever it loses back. However, you do need to pay attention to other tools like my client UpCity to figure out what changes make all three engines happy at the same time.
UpCity is a an SEO tool who I do affiliate management for, not SEO (click here to find out about it). After testing it when we were in the contract signing phrase I fell in love with some of the original features. They’ve added plenty of new ones I am enjoying as well, but the big one for me is reporting. It provides you with ranking reports by day, week, month, time frame, etc… and by engine.
Because I have this in an easy to see report by keyword, and knowing which pages rank for what keywords, I can now watch progress as algorithm updates come up, changes that I made to help rank better during the updates.
Because I know what I was doing for Google, I can continue to track. By using the ranking report drop down to switch to Yahoo!/Bing, I can now see how those same changes that affected Google also impacted Bing/Yahoo!. Now that I have all three in one place, I know what makes each happy, what causes a negative effect and what can be done to create a happy medium for them all.
By knowing what will grow Yahoo!/Bing and Google at the same time, I can begin adjusting my strategies and try to make all three happy, while still providing the best possible user experience for my visitors. This is going to be key if Marrisa gets her market-share with Apple, but you also have to remember one more important thing, Mobile!
Although Firefox is a huge browser, a lot of the market share for Yahoo!/Bing is going to be mobile.
If you notice more business coming in (not only traffic but actual leads and sales) from Yahoo!/Bing, and if they continue to gain market-share, you need to focus on your mobile experience and optimizing your site and SEO for mobile search.
Google will still dominate, but there is a lot of money that can be made with Yahoo!/Bing because of their new and existing partnerships (which can be more mobile than desktop if Yahoo! wins iPhone and iPad searches).
In 2015, start getting ready to focus on Bing/Yahoo! for mobile traffic and SEO since Yahoo!/Bing have a good chance at taking a large portion of the mobile search market. You also have increases in mobile/tablet sales while desktops are still shrinking.
UpCity is a new tool in our arsenal and when combined with another one that I am reviewing on here shortly, it will replace a long standing SEO tool that I have recommended to a lot of people. All of the tools are great, but I’m finding that my UpCity and new tool combination gives me everything I could want and then more. I’ll be doing a post next year about the two together and why they are a must have combination.
Optimizing Bing/Yahoo! PPC More Than Google
One thing that I’m also doing is looking at is what is converting well in Yahoo!/Bing and what the margins are compared to Google.
What you might find out is that Yahoo/Bing could be more profitable, even if it isn’t as scalable yet. To try to determine this, you’ll need to take a few steps and then you can start to plan your 2015 PPC strategies.
- Split campaigns or at least tracking between mobile devices and desktops so they run individually
- Now measure conversions off of the same keywords as Google and export both side/side into spreadsheets
- Find out what your margins are for these products and then add those in
- Look to see what the AOV is and the lifetime value of the customer by engine
- Now start to determine which is more valuable via desktop vs. mobile
- Once you know what is more valuable, you can start to allocate by device, types of keywords and ad platform
We can see a potential gain in mobile marketshare for Bing/Yahoo! so if those ads are out performing Google, once the traffic increases start to happen it may be time to try testing more money in Bing/Yahoo! and see if your margins remain profitable. Even if your margins shrinks, there could be more opportunity. You may also find a different lifetime value of the customer coming in by engine.
A customer who has a high AOV but only shops once may be less valuable than a customer that shops with you multiple times and you only have to pay for once. If you need a quick burst of revenue, you can then increase spend in the high AOV ones. If you’re doing fine with money, you can take the initial losses and focus on the customers that will come back and shop over and over making you more profitable for the long run.
Now that we may have a larger divide and a multiengine marketplace, 2015 is the time to start really looking at and reevaluating your SEO, Mobile and PPC strategies. You may even want to add the Facebook network into the mix since many people will be testing it out and it has a good chance at building a large scale and reach since Facebook is a huge data aggregator and can hopefully drive relevant ads to consumers.
There is a lot more I wanted to write here, but I have to get back to work on projects for Q4. The shift in market share is a scary but a good thing. If Google has hit your site, you can now start to recover traffic and sales when the Yahoo!/Bing agreements launch. Now that Facebook has an ad network, you can try spending money there. If Marissa can take mobile search for iPhones, iPads and other partnerships, this gives you an even larger opportunity to work with a different engine and algorithm.
If your SEO, Mobile and PPC plans for 2015 are all Google centric, you may want to rethink part of them. Google is still an amazing engine, but some of the market is moving to Yahoo!/Bing. You can use tools like UpCity to help with tracking your progress and to help figure out what makes all of these happy. You can then use your analytics package to know where and how to optimize for revenue based off of the engine and channel. There is a lot going on with mobile especially in 2015 (especially with Google Now and predictive search). If your site and plans aren’t ready, you may want to rethink them and make them more of a priority.
All images were purchased from DepositPhotos or created by Adam Riemer Marketing, LLC.