Pubcon Austin 2015 – The State of Online Reviews By Thomas Ballantyne

Thomas Ballantyne is an expert on local search. In addition, he also has some great expertise and insights into online reputation management. At Pubcon Austin 2015, he shared some insights into online reviews and how they not only affect businesses, but how businesses can affect them for good or for bad. Here are some notes I took during his presentation …

Thomas Ballantyne talks about online reviews and online reputation managment at Pubcon Austin 2015.Thomas Ballantyne is an expert on local search. In addition, he also has some great expertise and insights into online reputation management. At Pubcon Austin 2015, he shared some insights into online reviews and how they affect businesses as well as how businesses can affect them for good or for bad. Here are some notes I took during his presentation:

  • You can rate anything online – even stocks on The Motley Fool
  • User-generated content = reviews
  • Bazaarvoice found that millennials are 84% likely to be influenced by online reviews
  • User-generated content is more influential than website content by brands
  • Basically, millennials won’t buy without input from other online users
  • Consumers own your brand messaging!
  • Amazon has been doing reviews for 20 years and is the largest single source of reviews
  • Consider what your online reviews look like today if you are considering your online reputation
  • 88% of users say they look online before they shop – but most businesses don’t think online reviews are not important or “not fair”
  • 70% of internet users have never written an online review according to AYTM Market Research
  • Stars = clicks in the SERPs – we’re visual, so star ratings stand out
  • Stars also equate to more revenue
  • You can use Schema.org tagging to incorporate star ratings
  • Most businesses need a C.L.O. … a Chief Listening Officer
  • You don’t have a review problem, you have a business problem
  • Billing problems are the #2 reason for negative reviews – Customer satisfaction is the #1 – according to Yelp
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews … ask your customers for feedback

Hire people that will love your customers – that’s a great way to get great reviews

I think that last quote is extremely important. If you don’t encourage your team members to take great care of your customers, your online reputation will eventually suffer. I see this almost every day in my own ORM work.

Photo courtesy of Pubcon.

Pubcon Austin 2015 – 3 Killer Mobile Hacks to 3x Your ROI By Erin Sagin

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that mobile search is growing in both volume and importance. To help bolster your mobile marketing efforts, mobile paid search can be a great tool if you use it correctly. Erin Sagin shared some great tips during her presentation at Pubcon Austin 2015, and here are some notes I have from her session …

Erin Sagin delivers her presentation on mobile ad optimization at Pubcon Austin 2015Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that mobile search is growing in both volume and importance. To help bolster your mobile marketing efforts, mobile paid search can be a great tool if you use it correctly. Erin Sagin shared some great tips during her presentation at Pubcon Austin 2015, and here are some notes I have from her session:

  • It’s important to track your mobile conversions properly so you know what’s happening with your ad spend.
  • The #1 problem with lots of mobile ads is that people aren’t seeing them. Less space, fewer ads, so the competition is tougher.
  • Bidding strategies on mobile are very different than on desktop.
  • Phone leads are the hottest leads you can get – people are actively looking to talk to you.
  • Click-to-Call can be a real game changer
    • Filling out a form is OK, but if you don’t respond quickly to the lead it will go cold
    • Calls are 3x more likely to convert
  • Consider using call-only campaigns – can be very useful, and also gives call-only data.
  • If you’re going to favor phone calls, don’t put your ads out when someone isn’t there to answer. Pause campaigns during closed hours or set up a landing-page type ad during those times.
  • Make sure you’re staffed up enough to handle call volumes – “Call center staff training is the new landing page optimization for mobile.”
  • If you’re going to use mobile ads, make sure your mobile landing pages rock!

Call center staff training is the new landing page optimization for mobile.

I love this last quote. It’s important for us to remember that online and offline intersect in many places and we must be ready for that.

Photo courtesy of Pubcon.

Pubcon Austin 2015 – Google Strategy For Dynamic SERP Ranking By Loren Baker

Search is becoming more complex all the time. Each search can bring up many different results depending on who is searching, where they are, what they’ve searched for in the past, and more. Loren Baker shared some thoughts about mobile search during his presentation at Pubcon Austin 2015 …

Loren Baker at Pubcon Austin 2015.Search is becoming more complex all the time. Each search can bring up many different results depending on who is searching, where they are, what they’ve searched for in the past, and more. Loren Baker shared some thoughts about mobile search during his presentation at Pubcon Austin 2015:

  • Google search results are personalized down to the zip code and device.
    • This is very important to remember
    • SERPs can change dramatically from one geographic area to another
    • Localization (not local SEO) is something all site owners need to keep in mind
  • The true value of ranking is where you are in the SERPs and who is ranking just ahead and just behind you
    • You also have to keep in mind that Google is crowding out organic data with their stuff
    • Knowledge Graph is key
    • Google’s showing news, sports scores, weather, movie times in the SERPs from their own data store is changing the search landscape
  • Tools
    • SEM Rush – tracks at the city level
    • Authority Labs
    • Searchmetrics – Local search results
  • Localized Tactics for Competing
    • Local content!
    • Location-logical URL structure
      • Also consider searches by metro area
      • List locations this way as well
    • Work on sending your customers directly to your location page rather than to the home page. Why make them search twice?
    • Produce content local influencers will like, link and share
Photo courtesy of Pubcon.

Pubcon Austin 2015 – Back To The Future with Pay-Per-Call Marketing By Daryl Colwell

What’s old is new again. Alan K’necht brought this up in his book The Last Original Idea. Along those lines, Daryl Colwell shared some great information about online to phone conversions and how they can be a powerful way to build your business. Here are some notes I took during his presentation at Pubcon Austin 2015 …

Daryl Colwell waits for his turn to present during Pubcon Austin 2015What’s old is new again. Alan K’necht brought this up in his book The Last Original Idea. Along those lines, Daryl Colwell shared some great information about online to phone conversions and how they can be a powerful way to build your business. Here are some notes I took during his presentation at Pubcon Austin 2015:

  • By 2018 mobile search will drive 73 billion inbound calls to advertisers
  • Giving your customers a choice between filling out a form or tapping to call can increase conversions
  • Old & New Media – Inbound Calls
    • Used to be, people found the number in a directory and call
    • Now, they find the number in ads and people can click to call
    • Same thing, slightly different methods
    • Digital connection creates a human interaction
  • This can be very powerful in email, given how many people are using their phones at home
  • Studies show landline calls can last nearly 2x longer than mobile calls
  • Adding a phone number to a landing page can make the business seem more credible and can increase conversion
Photo courtesy of Pubcon.

Pubcon Austin 2015 – With Growth Comes Change: The Evolving Mobile Customer By Jeff Lancaster

With mobile internet use growing at a phenomenal rate, it’s important to web marketers to stay on top of trends. Jeff Lancaster shared some great information at Pubcon Austin 2015. Here are some things I jotted down from his presentation …

With mobile internet use growing at a phenomenal rate, it’s important to web marketers to stay on top of trends. Jeff Lancaster shared some great information at Pubcon Austin 2015. Here are some things I jotted down from his presentation:

  • Catalyst did a mobile study in 2014 and 2015 –
    • Large YoY growth
      • 24% more smartphone ownership
      • Not totally ubiquitous, but getting closer
      • 25-54 age group is the core users
    • Habits are evolving
      • Consumers are using their smartphones at home more than ever
      • On-the-go had a slight decline – “quick check” things are more apt to be done outside the house
      • People complain about battery life, too-small screens, and data limits
    • App landscape is changing
      • Dedicated app usage is actually declining slightly
      • Users seem to be settling on a core set of apps that they use all the time, otherwise they go to the web
      • Apps are being downloaded less, and uninstall rates are around 5.25%
      • Utility is very important [Youtility ala Jay Baer]
    • Millennials are driving the change
      • The younger people tend to use their phones at home the most
      • App usage is more prevalent among younger groups
      • They also tend to use more apps – apps didn’t decrease for this group as with others (see above)
    • 4 Things to Consider
      • At 68% penetration rate, we can’t avoid mobile any longer
      • How are you adapting to more at-home mobile use?
      • App development needs to be done responsibily. If you are going to make an app, make it very good
      • How are you considering your future customers
      • Catalyst.ca/2015-mobile