The ones that follow you around the Internet, the ones that pop up half way through the article you’re reading or the flashy ones at the top of a page. Adverts are everywhere and are ever more pervasive, invasive and persistent, until now.
Ad blocking, particularly in mobile advertising, is becoming even easier for the user to do, potentially plunging your advert, your money and your presence online into oblivion. Ad blocking has grown globally by 41% in the past year alone as more users are purging their pages in favour of a clutter free viewing that is of their choosing.
Ad blocking can be done from apps, software or automatically through a filter – again more so on mobile viewing, and now through Apple’s iOS9. In a bid to beat Google, iOS9 is now supporting ad blockers and, with the weight of Apple behind it, ensuring you’re still visible, searchable and still getting traffic is more important than ever.
So how do you do this?
Structure, Evolution and Organic
The term SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one that is easy to throw around and in theory, practiced by most. But the art of SEO goes a lot deeper than it first appears. Adding a few sensible sounding key words to the odd paragraph of your copy simply isn’t enough.
Once the structure and understanding of SEO is there, it’s fairly simple, providing you keep on top of it. It’s trend searching; ensuring what you have is what your target audience are looking for – one day it might be ‘Shoes’ until winter hits and the search is then for ‘Boots’ – though similar products, the terms are different and this then needs to be reflected on shoe shopping websites for searchers to continue to their site. Basically, it’s the tracking of evolution and revolution and updating your site frequently and accordingly, which will keep you on top of the game.
The beauty of SEO is that, other than the time involved, it’s free. A well structured, responsive and SEO organised website brings in organic traffic; traffic that you brought to your website, without any extra or added cost involved (like AdWords).
Though perhaps obvious, social media can play a massive part in keeping you high in Google’s rankings and again at no cost other than time.
Be interactive and friendly with your followers. Smaller companies can sometimes fall into the trap of “sell, sell, sell” to try and entice followers, but in doing so, bombard people with information, much the same as shoving an ad banner in their face – the ones users are selecting to ad block. Keep things light, visual and engaging and when appropriate, drop in a link to your product/site.
Being responsive and helpful to your followers or prospective followers can make a huge difference too and start the snowball effect, expanding your reach and allowing you to develop relationships with existing supporters.
Keeping it personal is driving promotion via social media onwards and why intrusive, impersonal and perceptibly annoying ads are being blocked more and more.
That little ping that goes off in the office every now and again is more than likely an e-shot marketing campaign, whether selling those winter boots, that holiday or even updating you that your food shop is due again. Emailing is an easy and direct way of getting a promotional message with a personal touch across to a mass customer base.
A catchy subject line alone can drive conversions and site visits, and on almost all smart phones, it sits patiently on the lock screen waiting for their owner to check the time and notice that little enticing message.
Email campaigns as well as advertising exclusive offers, products and information can also be a great way to give your customer an insight into what you’ve been up to, anything launching later this year and allow them to create a positive image of your company, all leading to more sales.
Whilst email marketing, unless built into your system, isn’t always free, it can be a great investment and can be planned and scheduled in advance and is something that (particularly if there’s offers etc) people are grateful to be told about. After all, they asked to be signed up to be told about these offers.
Utilise and Prioritse
Working SEO and social media well can almost eliminate the need to use paid online advertising, driving marketing and outgoing costs down and bringing in the right caliber and quality of customer up whilst maintaining a good ranking on Google.
This isn’t to say that you’ll hit the top of page one every time, but SEO allows you to gear your website to your customers’ specific needs and searches. Social media allows you to interact directly with your customers, something that you will learn from and be able to narrow down and refine your audience and their needs, whilst email marketing is a powerful tool that the customer chose to be signed up to and have products sent straight to them.
Choice plays a huge part in advertising. Did you asked to be interrupted when reading an article? No. Did you ask to be notified when a product is back in stock, or to get the latest offers and discounts? Yes. Whilst both advertising platforms provide the same kind of information – ‘we sell this’ – it’s about whether the customer chose to see it.
This indicates that whilst paid for advertising might boost sales, why didn’t the customer find you without that ad on the page anyway? If the SEO was optimised, you might not have even needed that advert.
For those companies relying on online advertising, perhaps review and put your resources elsewhere and prioritise long term searchability.
We at Mulberry Square can help with all of this. With a wealth of experience running online ad campaigns we can advise you if you’re concerned by the implications of ad blocking as well as help with your SEO, social media and even website building as well as so much more. Please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call.