It is a great strategy for your competitors to buy your brand name on Google Adwords. You invested time and money into your brand name and they reap the benefits by showing their ad every time someone searches on your brand name.
Should you stop them? Not necessarily:
If they are the bigger brand it may be smarter to advertise on their name and let them to continue to advertise on your name.
Since they are better known you will get more exposure than they will.
If they are not advertising on your name should you advertise on their brand names?
You have to consider the legal issues. Consider this recent case from Israel, where Dr. Dov Klein won a court case against Google because his competitors in the plastic surgery field had bought Google Adwords using his name.
The case was interesting because the case was outside of the USA. This means that you may be exposed under different laws which apply in different countries. In the USA the courts take a different view. Read this long article to see how a USA court views this issue.
Google Adword Trademark Lawsuit in the USA is different than the one in Israel
And the opposite is true. If you want to stop your competitor from using your brand name it may be worthwhile to start legal proceedings in a different country
Usability studies need to be done frequently on websites to make sure that you are not leaving money on the table. That is why we recommend doing fast and dirty studies rather than big budget infrequent studies.
Unfortunately many of you forget to test email/landing page interfaces. Before you send out email send it to people in the office and let them follow the links and make sure everything works and makes sense.
If Google would have done that they would receive many more conversions with their Israeli Google Engage project.
Landing Page Usability Problem Google Missed
The email stated that the program “just launched in your area”. That gave me confidence to click through.
Google launches Google Engage in Israel
Unfortunately when I reached the landing page it stated that “we can accept US & CA applications only.”
Landing page makes it clear that Google forgot to do a usability test
I think that most Israelis would simple ignore that as I did. In the Israeli culture:
It is a more egalitarian society with less respect for authority—even Google
We realize that people make mistakes and they forgot to update the landing page
There is a “can do” attitude
There is a tendency to test things
However in other societies I am sure many people will see the instructions that the form is just for Americans and Canadians and drop out of the funnel.
So when you do your usability tests on the email/landing page interface don’t forget to test people from different cultures. You will be surprised by the results!
Matt’s message on TED had nothing to do with webspam—his day job at Google. It is a road map on how to improve your life. Since it is difficult to change your behavior it is best to try something for 30 days. Learn more by listening to his lecture:
How Can Matt Cutt’s Message Improve Your Website?
The essence of the message is that to change behavior you should break down change into more steps so it is less intimidating. That way it is more likely that people will start a chain that will culminate in the behavior you want. Let’s say you are selling something:
You might first ask your website visitor to read a sample newsletter
Then you can ask them to sign up for the newsletter
After reading your persuasive newsletter they may then buy your product
If you are using Google Analytics you will see that GA includes the iPod as a mobile device. This may be misleading since behavior on the iPod is much different than on a mobile phone.
You don’t have the problem of a tiny screen. In order to get more meaningful results, I recommend analyzing mobile devises with the iPad taken out.
After you do that the first thing to do is check the conversion rate as compared to the rest of the website. If it is much less then your site may have major usability problems on mobile phones. Before you jump to conclusions check that the same kind of traffic is coming to both mobile and non-mobile devices. If it is not similar that could be the reason for different conversion rates.
Compare mobile bounce rates vs the rest of the site. If there is a big discrepancy you may see that your navigation system doesn’t work on some or all mobile devices. Flash menu systems don’t work on the iPhone.
Make sure you continually moniter the mobile segment as its importance is growing all the time. In light of this the Mobile Marketing Association has formed a committee to establish mobile analytics standards.
All of our clients show faster growth in mobile than almost every other segment.
One last tip: For most of our clients the iPhone and Android are the most popular mobile devices. Check your stats and make sure your Internet marketing people are testing your website using these devices.
Your boss tells you that the company needs a viral video fast. What should you do? There are two easy viral video paths. One is to have a company game the system which is outlined in this post.
Look at the Youtube stats (it is right under the video window) of videos which have more views than you would expect. You can see that many of the views come from India or other countries where you may suspect that someone may be buying views.
I prefer the second option: make a great video and use a company that specializes in this. They will have a head start on getting exposure. The company which did the viral video below has a subscriber module, and a track record that helps.
Youtube shows websites which helped this viral video get exposure.
Not everyone knows all the references in the video. Which makes it a good test for SEO companies interviewing new prospects. Anyone who doesn’t smile and know all the social media sites mentioned in the video would not be suitable for the job.
If you have a smaller budget then you will need to work harder. But that is a subject for another post.
It is safe to say that creating a viral video for companies takes tremendous effort no matter what strategies are taken.
Mobile phone access to websites is becoming more popular everyday. Although the percentage is still small, for some sites it is already significant. One of my clients sites has 14% of its visitors accessing through mobile devices.
Most people know that a mobile friendly site is important. Many websites have the standard tips. However there are additional issues that need to be considered.
On the iPhone and other mobile phones accessing numbers necessitates extra work
Think twice before adding numbers to URLs
Also, on forms, if you don’t need fields with numbers leave them out
On the iPhone there is a key for .com. Therefore .com sites are easier to type in than .org, .net or other TLDs
Since typing on mobile phones is much slower than on a computer—keep visitors typing to a minimum:
Shorter URLs are better than longer ones
Use less fields on forms
Instead of open fields use drop down menus for choices or radio buttons where possible
Give more prominence to linked phone numbers than emails. An email requires typing. It is much easier to click on a phone number and start talking
Use common sense to make things easier on you mobile website visitors and you will see your conversions increase.
I didn’t plan on testing the Israeli ISOC website. All I wanted to do was sign up for a conference. I received an error message that I have to enter the system.
The problem is that there aren’t any instructions on how to do this.
Israel ISOC Internet site has serious usability issues
Unfortunately there is no phone number, or other contact info available for me to sign up offline. When I backed up I did find a phone number but I just got a recording.
I am a resourceful website user and eventually found a tiny contact us link at the bottom of the page. It linked to a page with phone numbers. The automated answering machine didn’t give me good choices but luckily I found the right person.
She knew about the bug.
I can understand not having enough resources to fix a bug. But I can’t understand why they didn’t leave a more helpful message – with contact info so people can sign up offline.