Bug Bytes is a weekly roundup of the Web’s best links, blog posts, and news articles related to web design, application development, and online marketing. Continue the conversation and share your thoughts on these stories in the comments below – we’d love to hear your own insights!
With the advent of iOS5, users can now access over 200 new features for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Of those, Apple has provided insight into some of the brand’s favorites. While the Notification Center allows you to organize all of your alerts (email, text, social media…) in one place, iMessage streamlines conversations to allow seamless continuation across devices. Meanwhile, the PC Free feature removes the need of a computer for successful device ownership and allows your device to automatically backup or restore using the iCloud. Other favorites focus on new and improved functionality for existing features, such Calendar and Photos.
Insight: In the rollout of iOS5, Apple balances the new with the improved. Users are not only offered an opportunity for improved ‘known’ features, but expanded options for with-device interaction. As always, Apple proves a master of promoting its new offerings by tapping into both needs and wants, understanding how and why customers continually invest in their products.
A study by CrowdScience sheds light on how Internet users interact with, and are influenced by, online display advertising. While users are less likely to click on an online display ad, many still search for the advertised product or company after viewing the ad. Though varied by age and gender, common reasons for not clicking on ads include fear of viruses and a lack of desire to navigate off page. Younger users, the least likely to click on a display ad, were most likely to report ads going unnoticed, possibly indicating a desensitization to online display advertising.
Insight: CrowdScience’s research reflects two essentials for online display advertisers – the need to be relevant and attention-grabbing, and the need to measure online advertising’s influence beyond the click. As Internet usage and online display advertising evolve, attributions management (where the impact of all online marketing efforts are measured and valued against results) will be pivotal in attaining a true understanding of display advertising’s influence.
Keyword research is a task that’s often oversimplified and performed only at the start of an SEO or SEM campaign. When a project is expected to run for several months, or even years, agencies owe their clients the due diligence of performing data-driven research from the start and reviewing targets to ensure optimal targeting across the entire project. This article from Search Engine Land’s 100% Organic column provides a number of keyword research tips that focus on immersion within the marketplace, using multiple keyword tools, reviewing against competitors, and revisiting the numbers periodically.
Insight: Keyword research is often viewed in a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ manner, with SEO practitioners utilizing one tool for preliminary research and focusing only on rankings from that point forward. This article stresses the need to revisit and reconsider targets, particularly for long tail keywords, and sorting out keyword “candidates” from actual keyword “targets”.
In accordance with an initiative announced last month, Google Display Network has begun including +1s and annotations on its display ads. The goal is to incorporate social cues / recommendations into the promotional efforts, increasing the likelihood of clicks. The approach takes significant inspiration from Facebook’s advertising process, which associates “likes” with a higher chance of on-page display.
Insight: Although Google is playing a bit of “follow the leader” with Facebook, this change in display advertising behavior reflects the larger trend of aligning all interactive communication behaviors. Traditional advertising processes are taking inspiration from social media leaders, increasing the potential for personalizing individual promotion experiences. However, although heralded as a positive opportunity for advertisers, Google was smart to provide marketers and publishers the option to opt-out of this AdWords / AdSense feature.
Facebook privacy has been a popular topic of discussion amongst both social media users and critics. In response to feedback (and at times, backlash), the giant has taken steps to simplify users’ options to protect their information and identities. Incorporation of the Facebook Subscribe button allows individuals to subscribe to your public posts without requiring a friendship. However, the best line of defense continues to be use of one’s privacy settings, especially in regard to tagging allowances, ad presentation preferences, and app/website control.
Insight: Although Facebook is making efforts to better serve and protect its customers, personal privacy is still the primary responsibility of platform users. When using any social media or other online platform, it is important to understand not only inherent functionality, but also one’s options to personalize and manage use. Likewise, once membership has been established, one should strive to remain up-to-date on platform changes and the potential for personal impact.