Category Archives: Zenergy Works Blog

How Will The iOS14.5 Update Affect Online Marketing?

Transcript:

Apple has confirmed that it will require customer opt-in to be tracked by IDFA or “Identification For Advertisers” with iPhone and iPad users who have the new iOS platform sometime in early Spring of 2021.

How Does This Change Things?  When you visit websites, use search engines or use mobile apps, your activities, in most cases, are tracked using IDFA by advertisers like Google and Facebook to create a profile of what ads would appeal to you.

As it stands now, there are settings in existing iOS versions that allow you to opt-out.  The new version will require you to actually opt-in, or give permission to be tracked by IDFA.  This will result in less IDFA data being sent to advertisers.

I believe that less “big brother”, or more accurately, big data and machine learning for advertisers, is a noble cause.   However, it may come with a steep price.  Google, Facebook, and other internet platforms have to make money.  Right now, the data that is provided by IDFA creates huge income streams for these advertisers.  Without these income streams, there will have to be alternative income streams.

The actual effect on online advertising of this change is to be seen, but Google is reportedly going to follow suit with Apple to “keep up with the Joneses”.   Google is instituting a new program which is purportedly 95% as efficient as the current system.   Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC) is a solution that is with Google Chrome only that groups those with like interests into groups for ads.  All privacy will be preserved under this solution.

It seems that there might be a return to good old-fashioned online marketing based on searching for keywords or phrases as opposed to marketing based on interests and intent.  Will this drive the cost of google ads or Facebook boosts up?  Google Display and Facebook ads are some of the most affordable ways for our clients to promote their brands.  Will we return to an online environment where small-sized companies will not be able to afford to advertise extensively on search engines and social media platforms?  

I am confident that these platforms will figure these problems out, but the one certainty is that the digital landscape will again change in the near future.  Most advertisers should also strengthen first-person strategies like email collection, rewards programs, customer data platforms (CDPs), and automated marketing solutions like Sharpspring.

For more on this subject and other Digital Marketing and SEO questions, please go to our website at zenergyworks.com.

Thanks.  Please stay safe and healthy.

How Do You Know What Keywords Your Customers Are Using To Find You?

Many of my clients ask me how to better understand the keywords that customers are using to find their business online.  More importantly, how can NEW keywords that will bring more website visitors be found.  It is common knowledge that Privacy Settings in most browsers are making the keywords that are being entered into search engines more difficult to track in most website analytics.  Privacy settings that are currently being implemented in IOS 14 and Google Chrome will continue to make customer keyword usage and other browsing habits more difficult to track.

Here are some practical tips on how to determine keyword streams to use in your online marketing campaign.

  1. Closely track product inventory and types of services that you provide for your customers.  This will tell you what is most popular.  Be careful of bias in this, as you probably are not getting requests for services that you are not marketing for.  If your company is selling less of a service than competitors in your industry, look to marketing first before reducing prices or taking other actions to improve sales in that category.
  2. Talk to your team members who answer your phones, work directly with new clients or website requests for information/appointments.  Find out what goods or services are being requested by first time customers.  Consider emphasizing these goods and services in your online marketing campaigns.
  3. Use Google Trends to understand trends for search volumes for the terms relating to your business for as long as 5 years.  You can compare up to 6 search terms to find what searches are trending for your customers over time.
  4. Consult Keyword Research to better understand Search Volume, Competition, and suggestions for additional Keywords.  Keyword trends change over time, so please consider updating your research at least every 6 months.  Tools include Google Ads, Ahrefs.com, and SEMRush.com. 

Once the keywords have been found, what are some things that can be done to effectively deploy them into your online marketing plan.

  1. Use Paid and Organic Search Together to increase conversion.  When the search engine results page shows your company name in more than one place, it shows that you are a market leader.  
  2. Fully track website conversions on paid ads to get a sense of what Keywords are bringing you new customers.  It is not enough just to generate website traffic, but also to make sure that the traffic you generate results in new customers.  Track phone calls using call tracking phone numbers or services like Call Rail.  Contact forms and requests for quotes can be tracked through website analytics.  Google Ads Tracking Codes are effective in tracking conversions through Google Ads.
  3. Long Tailed Keywords for Voice Search on mobile devices (eg.”Pizza Parlor with Online Ordering and Delivery”).  Most of our clients see mobile searches be 40-60% of their total search traffic.  Long Tailed Keywords are very important, especially for local businesses and those who have significant percentages of customers 35 Years Old and younger. 

Eric Van Cleave is the Digital Director of Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa California based SEO and Digital Marketing firm.