Using Google Mobile Ads and the Provision of Impulse-Based Local Services

The 800-pound search engine gorilla is at it again, shaking things up in the virtual world. This time it’s extending the reach of AdWords -its billion dollar contextual advertising system -to mobile devices.

Google’s new Mobile Ads system delivers two short lines of text and a third line containing a destination URL (and an optional “call” link that dials the advertiser’s business) to mobile phones and wireless PDAs. The text-based ad can be used to target mobile users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany.

From an advertiser’s perspective, Mobile Ads is used in conjunction with Adwords. So, when someone searches Google from a PC the advertiser’s AdWords ad appears, but when searched on a mobile device the Mobile Ad appears. The advertiser should have a mobile-enabled website or landing page (written in XHTML, WML or CHTML), but theoretically Mobile Ads could be used simply to put a local business’ phone number in front of mobile users.

Now hometown advertisers can use Mobile Ads to lure prospective consumers to make local and, most importantly, impulse purchases.

Imagine a shop that advertises a time-based neighborly discount of 50% to local mobile users, who in turn drop what they are doing and head to the advertiser’s shop to make a purchase. Think of the possibilities for neighborhood businesses.

Google Ads is a giant step for location-based services.

Of course, it’s not as good as an advanced location-based service that uses embedded chip technology to send subscribers targeted discounts based on proximity to a shop -but, it’s nonetheless great that Mobile Ads can entice mobile users to pursue locality-based offers.

However, there are some general limitations.

First, even the most brilliant copyrighters/marketers would be hard-pressed to squeeze “motivation” into just two lines of text with 12 characters each. Second, mobile devices may not be conducive to the sort of on-the-spot analysis that most of us do when an offer interests us. We open another browser to search for alternatives, reviews, competitors, coupons, and other things to evaluate the offer -and even bookmark the advertiser’s site for follow up evaluation. Third, e-commerce check-out systems may prevent or frustrate mobile purchases.

In addition, people seem to use mobile phone searches primarily for amusement and to alleviate boredom. So, they would be searching for things like celebrity information, jokes, horoscopes, games, sports, techie info, and ringtones. Indeed, at least one major study of mobile search behavior (by Google, Columbia University and Carnegie Mellon University) supports this theory, indicating that many mobile phone searches relate to adult, entertainment and tech info. While there is evidence that wireless PDA users do search frequently for “local services,” I am not sure it’s prudent to assume they are also making purchases or visiting local merchants as a result of a search.

So, where does that leave us overzealous web owners?

If you own a website that offers “sticky” mobile content you could consider selecting the Mobile Ad option the next time you run an AdWords campaign. If you don’t offer mobile content, well, maybe you could use this as an opportunity to get a mobile-compliant website or landing page.

However, you might hold off on using Mobile Ads if you are looking to promote an ecommerce-based service -and especially a non-impulse service!

Of course, if you have an impulse or content offer I would start using Mobile Ads while the cost-per-click for various keywords is still low due to the newness of the program.

Finally, I should note that many wireless carriers have advanced location identification chips buried in their mobile handsets in order to meet the Federal Communications Commission’s E-911 public safety requirements.

It will be very interesting to see if Google finds a way to use that technology to further expand its services to include targeted, location-based advertising.

Tackle the E-Commerce Website Usability Qualms

Virtual market was never scarcely populated, but thanks to advancements like Zen cart eCommerce, magneto eCommerce development and likes, the zone now is certainly crowded. The crowd however is not making money. There are abundant reasons for this, but as the scope of this article is limited, let’s zero down on one of the most critical aspects and that is the E commerce cart usability.

With various possible ways one can attract traffic and even induce an initial purchase, however if the eCommerce store is not a convenient buy option or is not easy to use, it will repeal buys. The idea is pretty straight forward. Consider a situation where to buy an electronics item, you log onto a relatively new eCommerce website you have heard about. The home page is stuffed with product pictures and descriptions of all kinds and scrolling through all of it obviously seems a pain. But then it is justified, I mean naturally if there are so many products to be sold, the details will be posted. However, while this “seemingly natural” situation is defensible from the owner’s perspective, as a buyer you are all lost in the maze.

The situation further worsens, if the search box is not placed right above the fold. The sophisticated eCommerce design then seems totally redundant and the whole task of eCommerce website development fails to generate any returns. Despite putting in a diligent effort and thus making use of high tech shopping cart systems the php eCommerce development based website or Magneto eCommerce development driven online store or Zen cart eCommerce website fails to deliver.

How to Define Usability?

An eCommerce website design is considered usable if

1.It is easy to explore – it is not a puzzle a buyer is here to solve. The motive is shopping and shopping should always be easy and quick and fun. Nobody is interested in getting lost while attempting to navigate the path leading to the desired item. Breadcrumb navigation along with the requisite heads and sub heads is the solution.

2.It saves time and is convenient – An online store, which during the final stages of checkout displays the message ‘out of stock’ is certainly frustrating. Likewise unnecessary pop-ups and adverts are a turn-off.

3.It communicates security and trust – this is critical for a non branded set-up. Zen cart eCommerce is a fantastic open source platform and many are making use of this software to create shopping carts however, a user is not able to trust all. To foster this trust level few measures like placing trust certifications, portraying security badges and thus conveying security concerns are pertinent.

4.It is extremely straight and clear on the price aspect – You cannot trick and confuse a buyer more than one singular time, so don’t waste time and resources on anything like magneto eCommerce development, if this is the focus. An eCommerce website design is usable if it clearly elucidates the item’s net price along with all possible add-one like shipping charges, volume discounts, etc.

Ecommerce – Discovering Life’s Best Rewards

We’ve all seen those rewards based credit cards. You know, the kind where you spend a dollar and you get a free airline mile or you get cash back whenever you use the credit card. Some even offer points redeemable for actual merchandise.

Did you know that the individuals who gravitate toward reward-based credit cards might be the same individuals who develop their own online business?

When it comes to ecommerce there is a strong desire to access personal rewards.

Think about it this way – in a typical 9 to 5 job there is very little personal reward for exceptional work ethics and there’s very little penalty for weak work ethics. In most cases even those who try to do their best often feel forgotten when there is little reward for an amazing effort or result.

Some will even say they have gotten little more than an ‘atta-boy’ or ‘atta-girl’ for developing something that either saved the company significant money or brought in more work.

You see, while the world around you becomes more attuned to rewarding effort or loyalty it becomes harder to live within a framework where it seems inequity breeds inequity.

When a burgeoning entrepreneur begins to unfold the prevailing ideas surrounding a personal business they often see it filled with the potential for rewards. Yes, there are multiple risks involved, but for many the real risk may be in simply surviving in a job where they feel as if they will never experience the thrill of reward.

I do think traditional business is trying to involve their employees in the reward process, but many have been slow to develop meaningful rewards for employees.

Interestingly there are many online businesses that are a sideline for an otherwise full time employee. These forays into online business may provide enough reward to allow the individual to remain employed outside his or her online business pursuits. It could also be the catalyst to move that individual into full time online business.

Individuals are exploring options and opportunities to push forward with their dreams. The motivation is rewards – not just a paycheck, not just job stability, but rewards for a job well done and for goal advancement.

It could be that by exceeding personal online sales goals you might be able to reward yourself with a new purchase or a short trip away. It’s possible a reward could be as simple as music downloads you’ve been wanting or a new grownup toy.

It is amazing how motivational the idea of rewards can be to an individual who may be languishing in the subtle inference that they should just be happy they have a job. Business owners may not phrase it that way, but many employees don’t really feel that they are valued. Perhaps you can understand why. A credit card company will reward them for making a purchase and a business owner usually won’t extend a meaningful reward for positive contributions to the success of the company.

Online business continues to be the place where dissatisfied employees are discovering some of life’s best rewards.