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Social Mobile User Engagement

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Vitrue explored how mobile users are engaging with social networks, in particular how they are connecting with brands on Facebook. Our goal for this whitepaper is to provide effective insights and engagement strategies for mobile social engagement. This information will allow marketers around the world to be prepared for the continued rise of smartphone and tablet proliferation, plus the rapid adoption of social networks. The insight and best practices provided in this study will answer some of the key mobile social questions that leading brands and marketers around the world are asking.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Minorities Seem to be Using Tablets Most

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Asian-Americans join Hispanics in early adoption of emerging devices

Asian-Americans are avid users of new devices and are among the first to buy tablets and ereaders. They join US Hispanics on the top rungs of the technology early- adoption ladder. eMarketer’s estimate of US tablet users shows that 14.4% of Asians have used tablets monthly this year, vs. 12.6% of Hispanics and just over 10% of blacks and whites. The gap will narrow as the years pass, but it will take until 2014 for whites in the US to reach the same tablets penetration level as Asian-Americans.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Tablets and Smartphones Used for Shopping In Store

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Tablets and Smartphones Become
Holiday Shopping Assistants

The majority of online purchases still made via desktop

This holiday season, consumers are consulting mobile devices for help
checking off items on their shopping lists more than ever before. Thanks in
part to the growth of tablet device ownership among US households,
consumers are using mobile devices for product research, online shopping and
to help make decisions while in brick-and-mortar stores. According to a Google
holiday shopping study conducted by Ipsos OTX, 77% of tablet owners plan to
use them this holiday season for shopping.

The Google study indicates that tablet owners have a higher likelihood of using
the devices for online shopping than smartphone owners. When it comes to
using mobile devices for in-store shopping though, roughly half of both
smartphone and tablet users said they are very or extremely likely to use their
devices—perhaps surprising given the typical tablet’s inability to fit into most
people’s pockets.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

TV Mobile Viewed More than Print

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US adults spend more time with mobile than print
magazines and newspapers combined

Despite an increasing fixation with all things digital—including online video
viewing—US adults are still watching more and more traditional TV, whether
it’s live or recorded on a DVR or DVD, eMarketer estimates. The average adult
consumer spends 4 hours and 34 minutes each day watching TV and video on
a traditional television set this year, up 10 minutes from last year.

Time spent with the internet and mobile phones was also up—by 7.7% and
30%, respectively—and while adults are spending less time than last year with
radio and print publications, the increases to TV and digital also mean an
increase in total time spent with media, to 11 hours and 33 minutes.

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Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Merry mobile Christmas: m-commerce takes off

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As shoppers hunt down bargains and gift ideas for the holidays, it will be hard for some to remember a time when they couldn’t pull out their smartphone and hunt down a store location, compare a product’s price, or scan customer reviews.

It’s only been a short while since smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad arrived on the scene in a meaningful way, but already these devices are having a profound effect on how shoppers behave and how retailers communicate with them.

Mobile shopping only makes up a tiny fraction of retail sales, but it is accelerating at a brisk pace. Last year, about 3.8% of all ecommerce sales were made on mobile devices, according to John Squire, chief strategy officer at IBM Coremetrics.

At the moment, mobile has grown to a 9% share of all online sales, but that number could rise to about 15% to 16% of all ecommerce sales over the holiday season, Squire said. The growth is even more impressive when you think that online sales are also accelerating.

It’s all about value

According to a Deloitte study, almost half of all consumers say they will shop for holiday gifts online — a double-digit increase from last year. This makes the Internet the No. 1 shopping destination, now tied with discount stores, for the first time since Deloitte added the channel to the annual study.

One of the main reasons is that consumers say they can find more competitive prices online, and increasingly these consumers realize smartphones and tablets are another tool they can use for this research.

Within the next five years, more than half of U.S. consumers will be actively using their mobile devices regularly for shopping, according to a recent study by L.E.K. Consulting.

This activity will drive m-commerce sales to about $31 billion by 2016, estimatesForrester Research. The figure represents a compounded annual growth rate of 39% from 2011 to 2016.

Couch commerce

To look only at sales receipts, however, misses the broader influence mobile is having on the retail industry.

Take Thanksgiving. Much has been made of retailers such as Toys ‘R Us and Walmart Stores kicking off their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving evening. But many retail analysts expect the shopping will begin long before the doors open at Toys ‘R Us at 9 p.m.

Last year, the busiest days for mobile shopping was Thanksgiving, and this year the volume is only expected to increase.

So all those complaints about the millions of Thanksgiving dinners being ruined by the early start of the Black Friday madness miss the point that many Americans are already doing their holiday shopping in a tryptophan-induced haze from the comfort of Grandma’s couch.

“People aren’t really waiting anymore,” said Claudia Lombana, a shopping specialist at online payments service Paypal.

Better experiences

Another reason why m-commerce is accelerating is retailers are simply providing consumers with better experience. Most retailers have improved their mobile sites and some have developed applications to make it easier to shop.

There also has been a lot of attention paid to improving the way email displays on mobile phones, said Heather Blank, vice president of Strategic Services at Responsys. This includes increasing the font size of the emails to make them easier to read on smaller screens or making the call-to-action buttons bigger so they are easier to click, she said.

“The assumption is that people are going to be saving emails and referencing emails as they shop,” Blank said. Typically, about 10% of emails are viewed on a mobile device, but during the holidays that number could rise to 20%, she said.

Email remains a powerful tool for retailers, according to Blank. Last year, 89% of the top online retailers increased the number of promotional emails they sent during November to December compared with the earlier months.

And retailers have more tools at their disposal to make these emails more effective, according to IBM’s Squire. For example, retailers can tailor email messages to the types of products a customer is likely to be interested in, or they can send fewer emails if they detect recipients are leaving the emails unopened.

More valuable consumers

SMS text messaging is another area of focus, according to Blank. One reason for this is that consumers who opt in to email or to receiving texts from a retailer are likely to be a more valuable consumer.

This gives retailers permission to engage in promotional events that they might not with a broader audience. For example, Williams-Sonoma is not a retailer known for aggressive sales or deep discounting, but the company can provide special offers to their customers who opt-in for text messages. These deals help improve the relationships retailers have with these loyal consumers.

“There is tons of data that show multichannel customers (those who shop online and in brick-and-mortar stores) are more valuable,” Blank said. If you layer in that a consumer has opted to receive messages from a store and are also affluent enough to own smartphones and tablets, a portrait of an extremely valuable consumer emerges.

Look for the QR codes

This holiday season, you’re also likely to see more store signs and mailings that incorporate QR codes, which can be scanned by a mobile phone to redirect shoppers to a website. Retailers are using these codes for special contests and to provide shoppers with more information about products. For example, a shopper at Macy’s may be able to scan a QR code near a piece of Martha Stewart cookware and see a video of Stewart demonstrating how to use the product.

JC Penney is giving its customers an opportunity to attach voice messages to their presents using QR codes.

The codes, which the retailer calls Santa Tags, take a few steps to step up, but some gift givers are likely to appreciate the ability to add an extra touch to their gifts.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how well these products serve the consumer.

According to mobile ad network Jumptap and Comscore, nearly a third of mobile device owners have made a purchase with their device. Tablet owners are even more likely – about 63% of tablet owners say they have made a purchase with their device.

Gabe Donnini, a data solutions engineer at Chitika, a data analytics company for online advertisers, points out, though, that a one-time purchase is not enough to keep mobile sales growing. It has to become a “repeat, ingrained behavior,” but he sees the utility of the platform driving consumers to mobile.

“Mobile is empowering consumers to make good purchasing decisions,” Donnini said.

And at the end of the day, that’s what consumers want: the knowledge that they scored a great deal.

Filed under Marketing, Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Why Marketer Love for QR Codes Is Not Shared by Consumers

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Quick-Response Codes Tuck Media Neatly Into an App, but Only 5% of Americans Have Actually Used Them

Quick-response codes are everywhere these days, even the soccer field. This fall, a squad of London footballers shaved the back of their heads in the design as a promotional stunt. But consumers are not nearly as excited about QR codes as marketers are.

The codes are a great idea in theory. They let marketers make all sorts of media — print, billboards, even packaging — clickable and interactive. When scanned with a special app downloaded to a smartphone, QR codes can call up links, text messages or videos. They can spark e-commerce or generate a lead.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a QR code on its keyrings offering more information on the car.

But in practice, while QR codes are affixed to everything from rental cars to Bratz dolls, only 5% of Americans who own mobile phones actually used the 2-D barcodes in the three months ending July 2011, according to Forrester Research. And those 14 million early adopters tended to be young, affluent and male. 

Experts cite three reasons that QR codes haven’t caught on. First, people are confused about how to scan them. Two, there’s little uniformity among the apps required to read them. Last, some who have tried the technology were dissuaded by codes that offer little useful information or simply redirect the user to the company’s website.

None of this deters marketers, who seem to be slapping the codes on products for all age groups and demographics.

“QR codes are definitely everywhere,” said Kelli Robertson, director-strategy for digital agencyAKQA.

The QR phenomenon is “another instance of shiny-object syndrome,” said Melissa Parrish, Forrester’s senior analyst-social and mobile marketing. “Something becomes trendy or sexy, and marketers feel they have to jump onboard to position themselves as innovative and make sure they don’t fall behind.”

Car-rental outfit Enterprise pasted QR codes on the driver-side windows of 1 million of its North American vehicles so passersby can get more information about the automaker.

JC Penney put the codes on holiday tags so that gift-givers could include a recorded greeting on the box — one of many QR-code programs from the retailer.

Codes should be accessible, and users should be rewarded for scanning them., which generates codes, published a list of the worst campaigns of the year. It included marketers and publishers with unreadable or obscured codes. Some were offered in areas with no internet access, which means a scan cannot load anything to the phone. Red Bull put QR codes on the subway, and United Airlines had them on in-flight magazines read primarily far outside cell-service range.

In a well-meaning misstep, MillerCoors partnered with Seattle bars and restaurants over the holidays so that patrons who had imbibed a bit too much could snap a QR code to get a cab. The effort assumed that revelers still had enough dexterity to aim a phone and get a clear shot.

“Marketers fall in love with tools and forget the reality of how they’re used,” said Ms. Robertson at AKQA.

The appeal to marketers is clear. Implementing the codes is far less expensive than developing a proprietary app. They offer the ability to measure consumer activity and can provide shoppers with information, freeing up salespeople and increasing productivity.

But what’s the risk of the many QR codes that are unhelpful, don’t work or are so complicated that it would be easier to enter a URL?

“If you are not paying off [the QR scan] with content that’s rewarding or valuable, then the experience falls flat and consumers won’t use it again,” Ms. Robertson said.

Despite low usage, marketers are staying loyal to QR codes.

Home Depot, for example, put QR codes on plants this spring so that customers could learn more about the items and which go best together.

A spokeswoman for the home-improvement retailer acknowledged that adoption has been slow, but the company continued to test the technology on artificial Christmas trees and lights.

“I haven’t found any brands that have totally scrapped the codes,” said Ms. Parrish at Forrester.

Education may also be an answer. Last spring, Macy’s did national TV ads on its QR codes, and shoppers who scanned them got informational videos from clothing designers. The initiative exceeded expectations and got positive customer feedback, according to a spokeswoman. Use of the codes tripled after Macy’s tweaked the content and offered shorter videos in the fall.

Filed under Mobile
Jan 4, 2012

Using CRM System Management Programs for Business

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Placing the customer suitable at the centre of the company is the be-all and end-all of prosperous Consumer Romantic relationship Management (CRM). To do which you have to know which your potential prospects seriously want and genuinely ponder your organization and after that use which to deliver much better items and services, improve buyer services and rise top line options – yes CRM has a goal it is not just a concept! First of all, check out this crm software comparison.

Producers which make investments in crm software programs can discover also far more about their potential buyers and provide much more personalized items and solutions due to the fact they get pertinent data day-to-day in a way that lets them to find trends. Employing new company methods constantly includes an element of calculated risk but proper change management methods can lower this dramatically. The reason quite a few projects fail is located using bad undertaking execution. A lot of manufacturers have forced the mistake of speeding headlong into CRM devoid of a well believed out strategy. So when spending in much better CRM:

1. Possess a CRM technique because CRM initiatives started where there is no a method regularly bring about pain. Do not think of CRM as a undertaking isolated from the total business enterprise strategy. Hereby madness is situated. CRM only pursuits when there is crystal clear comprehension of why the organisation is performing it and how it should enhance company and loyalty, cut charges or increase revenue.

2. Choose the suitable CRM partner. The best CRM options are versatile and possess a full integration capacity with any various methods in your organization.

3. Understand the technology. Far too usually CRM is considered an IT venture – not a business initiative and it should not be imagined of like doing so; but doing so means which the business should recognize the know-how and which and how it can do for them and what it cannot do for them. The largest success for a crm system definition could happen from the coordinated endeavours business enterprise users, IT and vendor.

4. Focus more on business enterprise processes compared to technology. CRM is regarding an company’s internal and external enterprise techniques becoming a lot more “customer-centric”. Recognize your “purchaser flow”. The methods are merely the enablers, not an end in themselves.

5. Don’t try and layout the perfect CRM system that could encounter 100% of every single and every man or woman’s wish number and do not expect the new CRM product to merely mirror up to date business enterprise processes. Instead, understand which not all people can possess everything they say these folks desire and use the new methods as an chance to invent and use new techniques that enhance consumer services, lessen costs and offer much better client service.

6. Do not try to tweak the total group overnight. Go for the greatest important and highest achieve regions first. Take small, medium actions not giant leaps and bring the full organization with you.

7. Think about the person user interface and strategy it carefully. For individuals to use the system, it have to be useful to them and easy to use. Each added subject you ask the folks to complete, particularly obligatory versions, the better the chance which they should provide garbage or solely use the computer beneath duress.

8. In particular if you refuge’t implemented a CRM pc earlier than get help and anticipate to pay for it also if it is simply a day of a provider’s time to have the concerns. They’ll see the pitfalls that one can’t and you will not spend time and cash on trying to do things which can’t be done, anticipating them to happen in a sure way and then be disappointed or skip out on essential concerns that are necessary to effective implementation.

9. Make it someone’s responsibility to own the data, and to guarantee that it is correct and complete. Seems obvious but several tasks simply ignore this principal depth and CRM systems endure or fall by their data ethics and information quality.

10. Person approval is the solitary a lot critical success aspect for a CRM hard drive so make investments in training. Workout routine is important to making certain consumer acceptance. In no way let an untrained worker possess buyer contact.

Filed under Marketing, SEO, Social Media
Sep 27, 2011

Simple Way to Get Free Backlinks

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Building backlinks is the most vital factor to getting websites ranked. There are many different methods to build back links, some very simple, others more difficult. This article is about one simple and free method of creating back-links that is often overlooked, but can produce great results in terms of search engine optimization.

Blogger and WordPress are probably the two most popular cost-free blogging and site-building platforms. A Blogger-site can also be monetized with AdSense and other methods. does not allow any type of monetization, however. Still, both of these blogging platforms can be useful SEO resources. You can simply create a free blog on each of these platforms and instead of directly monetizing the free blogs themselves, create some content on them an link back to your self-hosted blog or site. In other words: Use the free blogs to create some backlinks and monetize your main site.

This can be a simple and effective tactic and you can expand it beyond and Blogger. These two are not the only free blog sites available. Not by a far cry. There’s also tumblr,, wetpaint, Vox, Livejournal, Doodlekit, Bravejournal and many more. Simply search for “create a free blog” on Google and you’ll likely find a dozen more sites like this.. You can add content and links back to your main site on each of them, creating your own little link-network.

In case you’re worried about how many posts you’ll have to write to build these links, just remember: You can use the same content that you’re submitting to article directories and post it to the free blogs. Particularly if you’re making use of article spinning, this will be no problem at all, since all the content will be unique.

It’s also worth noting that there are programs and tools like Web 2 Mayhem  that can automate the whole process of posting articles to many different free blogs. Free-blog-link-building couldn’t be any easier than that. Give it a try and get some backlinks and traffic going!

Filed under Marketing, SEO
Sep 26, 2011

Life Without Cable TV For Life

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I recently moved states and in the whole process of trying to save a few bucks I have opted out of Cable TV service. I should let everyone know that yes I am a TV junky. I pathfinder probably a good 3+ hours of TV every day. I enjoy observance my local anesthetic news and a whole slew of online TV shows. Many of the shows I watch are on cable to channels only like the series Monk and Burn Notice.

It has been over a month since I moved and to be 100% reliable, I don’t miss having cable. I thought I really would but I don’t even want cable TV any more. Yes I still watch all my TV shows but only I now do it online. Hey I said nothing just about ditching High speed internet service.

Now many of you who are things of ditching cable to save a few bucks a month really should check online. Almost every TV show on the satellite is free to watch online direct from the producer on their website. Other places like Hulu and Fancast also allow a legal TV watching sense. The nice thing is you don’t download any of these shows. You just stream them. This way you are not taking up any estimator space. Some TV shows are not shown the same day they are on the TV. 

There are many advantages to watching online. My pet is you can pause the show and come back. You also get to watch the show whenever you want to watch it. It’s kind of like having Tivo only without the cost. Those who still want entertainment but not the TV cable bill now can.

There are some requirements when it comes to streaming movies and TV shows online. The first is you need to make sure you have a good High Speed Internet Service While DSL will work it should not be under 1.5 Mbps. Even at 1.5 Mbps you will most plausible notice your system begin a little choppy. To play the TV shows in HD you should consider a speed no less than 6 Mbps. 

For those who want to still watch live TV on their TV and not your computer LCD you can. The process is a little more complicated but there are many sites out there to help you in that area.

Final word of precaution to everyone out there. Nothing worth having is free. Stay away from torrent sites and do not download internet TV shows and Movie’s lawlessly. This will only cause you grave headaches down the road. There really is no head word in doing this when you can already watch hundreds of TV shows and movies online direct from the makers of these movies and on ad sponsored sites like Hulu and Fancast.

Filed under Marketing
Sep 26, 2011

You can use a Dynamic Database for your Basic Website Design

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Dynamic internet sites are sites which use programming code ( PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, CGI, Perl, Oracle, Java, Ajax, or ColdFusion ) to access information saved in a database and display that info on the webpage. Not all websites have dynamic necessities. Small businesses or basic information sites may not need a database but for large sites it might need to be considered.

A database aids to organise and store information so that information can be easily displayed dependent on the requirements of the internet site design. For example a domain designer may want to display the ten most popular products offered by a company in a given week, or the most often seen articles on their forum.

Some of the usages of a dynamic internet site and database are :

  • To display products and detailed product information replying to search parameters set by customers,
  • To display purchase information, track shipping of purchases, order records or shopping cart details,
  • To display or edit members profile information, membership details or records,
  • To display, edit or respond to member’s forum content,
  • To display search or sort results of internet site content based mostly on certain necessities such as date, popularity, topic, etc,
  • To display or edit calendar or event lists.

Do you require a custom Content Management System?

It’s feasible to have a personalized Content Management System ( CMS ) made. This way info displayed on a website can be constantly updated and manipulated without the requirement for visiting a web designer. This is often an exceedingly useful tool for sites which require regular updates and manipulation. The look of a CMS can be costly so it is sensible to consider if your website actually has dynamic wants. These are some straightforward inquiries to speak with your web designer :

How often does the info on your website need updating? If the site will change daily or maybe weekly it could be best to think about a database to make it less complicated to make some changes. If you internet site is relatively static with limited small changes then a website designer can be paid to mend the site.

How many products have you got? If a company has a little product line it is simple to control information on each article. A company with masses of products will not have the time to form page lists for each one. A database will cut back on the time required and make product changes more easily.

Do you need to gather and control shopper information? A company taking the details of many patrons can utilize a database which should simply sort and display customer information for use. A website which infrequently gathers client information could utilise a HTML form and save on the cost.


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Filed under Marketing, SEO, Social Media
Sep 25, 2011