Audio and Video
Over the past decade, video on the web has exploded. As bandwidth has increased, and more people have access to high speed internet connections the likes of YouTube and Vimeo have gripped the imagination of web users. Before HTML5, the most common method for including video on a webpage was to render it using Adobe Flash. YouTube and Vimeo continue to use this approach by default, but both have started migrating to a more accessible and standards friendly HTML5 version <video> tag. The HTML5 <video> tag, <audio> tag are fast becoming the method for presenting rich media content in a way that is compatible with all devices, including smartphones.
More recently, many vendors including Apple dropped support for Flash from their mobile devices. The HTML5 specification has long proposed native video and audio in the browser, as part of its aim to reduce the amount of code and work required to deploy common media types to the web. As with other HTML5 enhancements, direct embedding offers numerous accessibility benefits, and search engine indexing improvements over Flash.
The usage is simple: use a <video> tag to embed video, and an <audio> tag to embed audio, and nest within the tag links to the different formats in which you have encoded your media. There are two competing standards H.264 and WebM and many more for audio.
In order to use HTML5 to render video, you need to encode your video and audio into multiple formats and link to each format within the <audio> and <video> tags ensure every HTML5 capable browser will be able to render your media. For older browsers that do not support HTML5, it is also safe to use H.264 encoded video only and provide Flash as a fall back for those who don’t support H.264 files.
Both new tags allow for fallback content, which makes it a simple process to upgrade your existing Flash embed code to make use of HTML5 without excluding older browsers and no direct need for browser sniffing scripts.
The growing market for location-aware applications, where content is specifically oriented towards both the user and their current position. These apps take advantage of a hardware enhancement common to most smartphones running software from Apple, Google and Microsoft. HTML5 offers us the ability to query the user’s location and tailor our web content accordingly.
Translating the user’s location into something meaningful is made easier with the likes of OpenLayers, OpenStreetMap, Bing Maps or Google Maps, and each of these offers an API allowing you to pass in a location expressed in latitude and longitude.
Online marketers are constantly looking for ways to seize more of the large e-commerce pie while boosting ROI. One of the most effective ways to do this is through search marketing.
There are three simple yet often overlooked areas that search marketing professionals can address today to boost their online presence. These areas are account structure, device targeting and continuous testing. While these three categories may seem obvious, they actually tend to represent the most missed opportunities.
Account Structure:Since your account structure is the foundation for everything you manage — keywords, ad copy, device targeting, budgeting and dayparting, for example, it’s important to regularly revisit how it’s set up and managed.The account structure that worked a few months ago may need to be updated to make the most of the latest new features and ad extensions.
Consider Google Sitelinks. As you may know, Sitelinks are an ad extension that’s meant to help users navigate your site. Since Sitelinks are set up and managed at the campaign level; it means all ad groups within a campaign have to share the same Sitelinks. This is a prime example where you may need to consider restructuring your account in order to ensure that your Sitelinks are relevant to the search query.
More specifically, an apparel company using Sitelinks may want to separate the men’s and women’s categories into separate
campaigns to ensure that when someone searches for products for women, they are not shown Sitelinks for menswear.
Along with ad extensions, your account structure can also impact budget, delivery and Quality Score. Since daily budgets are set at the campaign level, it’s a good idea to place branded ad groups into separate campaigns from non-branded ad groups so you have better control over the budget spent on each category. For Quality Score, it’s important to keep a very limited number of keywords in each ad group to ensure relevancy to the ad copy.
While focusing on keyword build-outs and ad copy updates is important, make sure to revisit your account organization on a regular basis to maximize results.
Device Targeting: As mobile searches continue to expand, so do the targeting capabilities available for paid search advertisers. Google recently reported in its retail blog that the last back-to-school season saw a lift of 500 percent in mobile searches for back-to-school items. With growth like this, advertisers need to quickly take advantage of all available targeting capabilities.
Both Google and adCenter allow you to target mobile devices separately from desktop. In Google, device targeting is set at the
campaign level and allows advertisers to drill down to specific operating systems and carriers. Google has reported that advertisers who manage mobile in separate campaigns experience an average increase in clickthrough rate (CTR) of 11.5 percent compared to their mobile and desktop combined campaigns.
Within adCenter, device targeting can be done at the campaign or ad group level. The targeting options include all devices — desktops, laptops, smartphones and other mobile devices with full browsers. Keep in mind that your ad group settings will trump your campaign settings.
By adding this level of targeting, it allows you to monitor performance for mobile separately, manage bids to the specific ROI
of mobile, set separate daily budgets for mobile, and adjust ad copy for the ads you know will be shown on mobile or tablet devices.
Testing: All too often it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day management and lose sight of the need to continuously test every aspect of your paid search campaign; from keywords, ad copy and landing pages to bidding and targeting. A good rule to follow is that whenever there is a decision to be made, it presents an opportunity to test.
Like with any experiment, you need to follow these basic guidelines:
1. Select a variable to test (example: headline ad copy).
2. Keep the rest of the ad constant.
3. Determine your key metric. Typically for ad copy, your goal is to improve the CTR. However, you might want to test which ad copy message leads to a better on-site conversion rate or higher AOV. Remember, improving CTR is very beneficial for your Quality Score.
4. Make sure you get enough traffic so your data is statistically significant.
5. Monitor external factors. Your competition’s ad copy will have an impact on the performance of your ad copy, so it’s important to not simply live within your AdWords or adCenter account. Use the Google Ad Preview Tool to get an idea of a searcher’s
There have been numerous occasions where expectations don’t match results. However, testing provides the answers to your
assumptions of which ad copy will attract more traffic and which landing pages will convert more visitors before your campaign
Mobile payment is simply the capability to pay for a product or service using your mobile phone. Mobile payments can take place over the Web or can be completed in the offline world through contactless payment options such as Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).
All mobile payments fall into one of two camps, micropayments or macropayments, depending on the size of the transaction and how the payment is processed. As in nonmobile commerce, processing credit card payments (especially macropayments) usually requires that the merchant pay the credit card company a fee for each transaction. Credit card processing thus cuts into the margins of many mobile commerce solutions and must be figured into your business plan.You should also balance the potential revenue from mobile commerce with the credit card processing fees, as well as other hard costs and overhead that will be required to complete the transactions.
Micropayments are small mobile commerce transactions that can be completed on a phone and, in many cases, billed directly to a user’s mobile phone bill or to a credit card. These payments are useful for low-consideration purchases and the purchase of digital content. The most common types of micropayments are direct-to-carrier billing, subscriptions, and user accounts that are tied to credit cards.
(1)Direct to Carrier Billing:
One common instance of micropayments in the United States and around the world occurs when mobile carriers offer directory service (411) or premium SMS charges and downloadable mobile content such as ringtones or wallpapers. The carrier provides these goods and services, so they can be billed directly to your mobile phone bill.According to Wikipedia, 70% of all digital content in Asia, including traditional Web content, is purchased in this way. This type of mobile payment is ideal for the carriers. It is a simple and viable add-on to any mobile service plan and can be quite profitable. The carriers can bill customers directly instead of processing credit card payments and incurring merchant fees. Because credit card information does not need to be obtained, the processing of a purchase is quick and secure, and usually is completed within 10 seconds on a fast connection.
Carriers and other mobile content providers offer subscriptions to SMS updates that are charged to the subscriber’s bill in the same model. These subscriptions can be alerts about news, sports, weather, stocks, horoscopes, and the like, and the subscriber is generally billed for each text individually. These types of subscriptions are ongoing commitments, as with a magazine or a cable TV subscription, and subscribers must cancel or deactivate them if they want to stop incurring charges.
(3)User Accounts tied to Credit Cards:
Other types of micropayments can be completed via accounts where credit card information is stored and validated with a PIN or a password. In the mobile world, the most common company that uses this type of service is iTunes; people download music or videos directly to their iPhones. This format of payment is also quite common in the gaming and adult mobile industries, where users can pay for downloads one at a time.
Macropayments are used for purchases that cannot be billed as a micropayment. Prepayment, prompted mobile payment, full mobile Web transactions, and full brick-and-mortar transactions with proximity based mobile payment are the four most common types of macropayments.
A variety of different companies have begun to allow their customers to create prepaid accounts that are debited each time charges are incurred and that stop working when the money in the account has been spent. This mobile payment option allows account holders to track their spending and prevent charges for excess use of the service, by avoiding overage charges. Prepayment accounts are most commonly used for mobile phone bills themselves, but can also be used with public transportation and fast food.With this method of payment, users create an account, usually online, and submit an initial payment to start the service. Periodically, users are sent text messages to inform them of their account balance or remind them to add money to their account, otherwise known as “topping-up.” Because accounts have already been created, the customer has the option of repeating the payment amount and billing information of the last transaction, or adding different amounts or billing information to the account.
Restaurants are also beginning to test prepaid accounts, although so far this has mostly focused on the larger fast food chains. This mobile payment model works in exactly the same way as the public transportation scenario, but it can be a bit more complicated to implement. In fast food restaurants, the exchange is simple because food is purchased directly at the register, where the phone can be swiped over an NFC or RFID sensor and immediately deducted from the prepaid account, just as it would be with a debit card.
In more traditional restaurants, where the waitstaff either takes a credit card to swipe at a processing terminal or processes the card at the table wirelessly, there is the expectation to tip. In this instance, the signal from the NFC or RFID chip owned by the restaurant must prompt a screen that allows the customer to enter a tip. This is a bit more of a hassle, but you can preprogram the system to precalculate common tip percentages for the patron,making the process easier and quicker to complete.
(2)Prompted Mobile Payment:
Prompted payment is much like prepayment, except that the credit card on file is not charged until after the service is rendered. In this payment model, the service provider usually sends the customer an SMS with the total bill and asking permission to charge the credit card on file.Again, some carriers use this to remind their customers to pay their bill on time. In this scenario, the carrier sends a text message to the subscriber at the end of a billing cycle, notifying the customer of the total amount due and allowing him or her to respond with a preset PIN to pay the bill with the credit card information stored in the account. Prompted mobile payment is a great way to streamline bill payment or even charitable contributions because it can provide a cost savings over direct mail and can be used by a variety of different service providers, including home utilities, subscription TV services, and even childcare services.
(3)Full Web Transactions:
As on the traditional Web, entire transactions can be completed on the mobile Web without the need for an account or any kind of prepayment. Customers simply enter their credit card information, just as they would on the traditional Web. This type of mobile commerce is most commonly used by websites that offer some kind of mobile shopping experience.