As you know, when it comes to running an online business, the playing field is constantly changing, and you need to keep adjusting to stay in the game. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of staying current on how users are interacting with your brand, whether it’s on your site itself, on your social network pages, or via a search engine. What can you do to make sure you’re on top of things? Start by catching up with some recent news.
What You Need to Know About AdWords—Right Now!
Larry Kim of Search Engine Watch has some important advice about Google’s latest update to its AdWords Ad Rank algorithm. To summarize: if you’re not using ad extensions, you need to start right now, or you’re going to lose money and exposure. If you are, great—but don’t think you’re in the clear. Google is moving toward placing ads based on how well it thinks they will perform. If you’re running any kind of PPC campaign, we strongly suggest having a look at Kim’s recommendations (the accompanying meme is pretty funny, too.)
A Site Makeover for Foursquare
Foursquare isn’t most people’s primary social networking or search site. It doesn’t allow for as much content sharing and interaction as social media giants Facebook and Twitter and isn’t as popular for local searches as Google Maps, so many users may treat it like an afterthought. But all that may be changing in the near future, as the company launched a spiffy new homepage this week. As Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land explains, the Foursquare site now offers a personalized experience for users who have signed in, including personalized recommendations and detailed friend activity. Does this mean bigger things for Foursquare? Stay tuned.
Facebook Video Ads—A Big Gamble!
Over at Search Engine Journal, Sherry Gray has an interesting perspective on Facebook video ads, which should be popping up on our feeds (and very likely annoying us) very soon. She explains what a huge crapshoot it is for a company to advertise this way. On the one hand, the audience is enormous, and if you can communicate your brand’s message in an interesting, thoughtful way (Gray cites a recent Chipotle video ad that’s a real tearjerker if you’re at all passionate about locally sourced food—it was a huge hit.) On the other, rumors say these ads will be outrageously priced (“Superbowl-commercial astronomical,” says Gray), and if they’re not poignant or hilarious, users will ignore them or even be irritated by them (since Facebook overloads us with ads as it is.) With such a high cost of placing an ad like this in the first place, we’ll very likely only see the biggest companies purchasing space. How many of them have advertising and marketing professionals who are talented and savvy enough to create video content that Facebook users enjoy and feel compelled to share? Only time will tell.