About Benjamin Blachère

French Online Marketer previously based in Sydney. Launched a Web Marketing Agency in Paris, SLAP digital where we help our clients to increase their traffic, the size of their membership databases as well as their revenues. Passionate about web marketing, I have previously launched my own website, a community for people in Long Distance Relationships.

Topics ...

  • Advertising
  • Analytics
  • E-commerce
  • General
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
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  • ... of discussion

  • Mobile
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  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Trends / Insights
  • Advertising


    Google Mobile Revenues

    Google, the company that is so often blamed for ‘doing evil’ and trying to get ad revenues from pretty much any of its users’ behaviours, seems to be actually missing out on revenues on Mobile phones.

    On the web, when you do a Google search, depending on the keyword you typed in, you might see 3 ads appear on top and up to 8 ads on the side or a total of 11 opportunities for clicks and therefore revenue for Google.

    However if you do a search for the same keyword from your mobile phone, which is happening more and more often and is expected to take over desktop web use within 4 years, whereas directly from the browser or using Google’s app, you will only see a maximum of 2 ads on top and 3 ads at the bottom…way below the related links so it is highly unlikely that anyone will click on it.

    See the below screenshots for searches performed on a desktop and a mobile for the highly competitive keyword ‘buy a car’.

    Screenshot Google Web Search

    Google Web Search Results with 11 ads placement

    Google Mobile Search Results Top

    Google Mobile Search Results Top with 2 ad placements

    Google Mobile Search Results bottom

    Google Mobile Search Results bottom with 3 ad placements

    I understand that Google’s focus is to offer the best experience and most relevant result to its user, and by forcing people to go through more than 2 ads on their much smaller mobile phone screen they might not achieve this and risk alienating their users.

    I also appreciate that the CTR on mobile ads might be better than on the web (6% – 8% better according to this article about Google Mobile on Mashable) but surely they must be working on some form of alternative revenue as Google Adwords is the main source of revenue for the business and they wouldn’t want to see this revenue divided by 2 once most people will have given up their desktop computer.

    Will follow this closely.


    How to promote your Mobile Application

    You are ready, you love your mobile application or mobile website, feedback from users is great, however there are not a whole lot of them at the moment and you would like this to change…

    Welcome to a mobile application world which has grown from a few thousands a couple of years back to over 200,000 in the iPhone Appstore and over 70,000 on the Android marketplace.

    So how can you get more people to download your app?

    There are obviously advertising options, however I will focus this post on free, SEO like, tips that will help you not only rank better within the marketplace itself (and for longer) but also create some buzz online about your app.

    On-Marketplace recommendations:
    •    Do an extensive Keywords research and use what you come up with in the App title and description text.
    •    App title optimisation – don’t use any weird characters.
    •    Optimize your description text – an old trick used to stuff it with keywords and include other successful app names but Apple is cracking down on this now, so don’t overdo it.
    •    Regular updates and releases – to make sure your app’s name gets back on top of the marketplace charts.
    •    Encourage reviews – again this is taken into account by each marketplace algorythm, and will help maintain your app as high in the rankings as possible.
    •    Make your icon active – highlight any call to action: “Sale”, “Free” etc
    •    Make the most of your screenshots.
    •    Consider Facebook Connect – as your app is then likely to rank when someone searches for facebook (which would be a LOT of people), but might simply help spread the good word about your ad.

    Off-Marketplace recommendations:
    Some of these tactics are pretty similar to traditional online SEO and Social Media strategies.
    •    Create a website or dedicated page to promote your application.
    •    Let your current customers know about your app: newsletter, links on your site, etc.
    •    Get them to link back to your webpage with keyword rich links, through link baiting competitions for example.
    •    Promote you applications within your other applications (if you have any!).
    •    PR releases.
    •    Add sharing functionalities in your app.
    •    Alert relevant communities – there are plenty of forums and website dedicated to the latest iPhone apps for example.

    All of these combined will help give your app more exposure and longevity. And to really have a winning strategy, you need to ensure that you capture this initial audience and get them to use your app.

    I would be really interested to head about any other suggestions!


    Earn more money with Google Adsense

    As a Google Adsense publisher, I receive regular email communications from their optimisation team. They have been very active lately, communicating multiple tips and news, and I thought I would put a post together collating all this info. Please note that even though most recommendations refer to blogs, they tend to apply to websites in general too.

    What’s Google Adsense

    The official definition is that “Google AdSense is a fast and easy way for website publishers of all sizes to earn money by displaying targeted, unobtrusive Google ads on their websites. You’ll earn when users visit your website and click on or view the ads on your pages, depending on the type of ad.”
    AdSense is free and if you comply with Google’s program policies and eligibility criteria, signing up is really quick.For those of you not familiar with Adsense, check this link.

    Ad placements & type tips

    Most of the Google Adsense team recommendations were focusing on helping publishers to maximise their revenues – ie. increasing the likelihood that visitors click on the ads displayed by:

    • Implementing ad units above the fold near rich content, where users are already engaging with your site.
    • Placing the ads where they earn you the most revenue. In the heatmap for blogs below you can see the areas of your page which, according to Google’s research, perform best – the same applies to websites.
    • Using the top-performing ad formats: The most effective AdSense ad formats are the Large Rectangle (336×280), the Medium Rectangle (300×250) and the Wide Skyscraper (160×600). For long individual pages, embeding a blended Medium Rectangle into your post and add a Banner at the end is recommended. While for short entries, just placing one Medium Rectangle or Banner (468×60) at the end of a post is performing well.
    • Opting your ad units into text and image ads, so that all relevant, available ad inventory is competing to appear on your site. The benefits of opting into text and images ads are:
      - You can increase the number of advertisers bidding to appear on your site.
      - Both text and image ads will compete in the same auction to display on your pages.
      - Ads with the highest likelihood of effectiveness will be displayed automatically on your site.
      - You can display video and rich media ads.

    Additional Ways to earn with Google Adsense

    Link units
    They are often overlooked as a valuable source of revenue, publishers were reminded that link units are:

    • Relevant to your user: Particularly effective for rich content specific to one topic, link units display a list of links relevant to the content of your page. When a user clicks on a link, we’ll display a page of related ads and you earn from valid clicks on ads on this page. (see visual example below).
    • Space-efficient: Link units come in a range of horizontal and vertical lists, so you can be sure to find a format that fits your site perfectly. Try them above and below your main content or in your sidebar, and catch your user’s eye.
    • Another way to earn: You can implement up to three link units on your page, in addition to three standard ad units and two search boxes.

    AdSense for Search
    Adsense for search is used on a large number of websites and allows you to:

    • Improve the user experience: When users can’t find what they’re looking for on a site, they turn to search. By offering one or two AFS boxes on each of your pages, you can help the user find what they’re looking for without them having to leave your site. You can choose the content your users can search just parts of your site, your entire site, a network of sites you choose, or the entire web. You can even have one box for just your site, and another for the web. You can customise the search box, your search results page and your ad implementation, and you can even add keywords to tailor the results and ads to your content.
    • Retain the user: With site search and the option to open search results directly in your own page, you can keep the user on your site for longer.
    • Monetise the inevitable exit from your site: Users leave your site eventually. Accepting this is sometimes tough, but knowing they can find what they’re looking for via your search boxes is some consolation, and earning when they click on the targeted ads on your search results pages definitely eases the pain.

    Adsense for feeds

    Earn additional income: With AdSense for Feeds you can generate revenue by placing targeted Google ads inyour blog feeds.

    Adsense for videos
    If you come up with video content, Adsense for videos is a nice way to complement your ad revenues, as it allows you to add non-intrusive ads to your video and sit in the bottom portion of the viewing area. You will earn revenue when users view your video on youtube, on your website (youtube embed) and even when users embed your videos across the web.
    Check the video below for more information:

    Monitor and Optimise

    Custom Channels

    • To monitor your changes and watch your revenue grow, Google recommends to use custom channels. Custom channels can be used to help you track which ad colors, formats, and placements are most effective on your site, etc
    • To get the most out of custom channels, it’s best to track every ad unit. This way you’ll have a core set of reports that you can use to aggregate data from all of your ad units, or to combine in different variations to gain deeper insight into your site’s AdSense performance.
    • Make sure brand advertisers find your blog: By selecting the ‘Allow advertisers to target this channel’ checkbox on the channel creation page, you can enable brand advertisers to target their content to your audience directly on a CPM or CPC basis.

    Block Advertisers
    And now a personal piece of advice: don’t forget that you know your users better than anyone else, even Google, so if you feel that some advertisers are not relevant to your audience make sure to block them in the set up section of Adsense.

    Section targeting
    This is a tip for the HTML experts only. With section targeting you can target an ad unit to a specific section of your blog, as well as block out irrelevant sections like navigational links. By providing Google with your suggestions, you can assist us in improving your ad targeting.

    More advertisers competing to be on your website

    AdSense just announced that it now allows some Google-certified ad networks to compete directly within AdSense, which means that advertisers from these third-party networks will be able to compete with AdWords advertisers to show on the Google Content Network.

    Allowing these ad networks to compete for your display ad space means that more ads will be eligible to appear on your pages, leading to potentially higher earnings in the long run. Our system will show the ads that will generate you the most profit, whether they’re from these Google-certified ad networks or the AdWords program.

    Useful links:
    View all Google Adsense Ad Formats
    Assist to Google Adsense Webinars & Webinar Archive

    Additional tips from the Google Adsense team in Australia:


    Have a business model before launching a website

    So many time I have come across new websites that look great or have some great features but have no clear strategy as to how to generate revenues.

    Up to a year ago those websites were counting on advertising revenues to survive. However considering how dramatically the CPM rates have lowered in the past 12 months, you either need to have massive volumes of traffic or reach a sought after niche audience to generate any decent revenues. Google adsense and other text based ads still drive revenues, but again you either need one very large or a large number of well optimised websites to see some serious $ coming in.

    Not everyone has the luxury to be Google, which came up with a great technology and finally found (stole?) a great idea to monetise their tool.

    That is why I especially like some websites that provide a real service and manage to have more than one serious revenue genration strategy. One I would like to mention is Betterdeal.com.au.

    This website is not the first of its kind, but it is clean and successful. Its aim is to help car buyers source the best deal possible.

    As a car buyer you need to pay a minimal fee to be able to post what type of car you are looking for. This request is then sent to the database of car dealers (who also pay for this service) for them to make their best offer to you.

    Everyone is winning: the buyer has made a great deal, the car dealer is reaching further than its local customers, and finally Betterdeal.com.au as it generated revenues twice.

    To me this is the ideal set up for revenue generation. However the trick is how to successfully kick off such a website. Because to get the buyers you need to car dealers, and to get car dealers to commit you need some buyers. I assume they gave some free trials to some car dealers based on some of the initial buying requests that came through.

    And, the icing on the cake, is that they could even get some advertising $ from car companies keen to change the buyer’s mind at the last minute.


    Display Revenues are down

    The latest survey by JPMorgan for emarketer.com confirms what everyone in the online industry has known for the last 9months at least… Display revenues are down way down (yes I said revenue, as I tend to see it from the Publisher’s perspective not the media buyers who are happy to see their costs go down!).
    But online publishers might feel better by looking at the chart below which shows that more people think that the costs of Newspapers, Magazines, Outdoor and Radio are down…It will be interesting to look at this chart in 1 year time once we will be out of the GFC.


    Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)

    The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) was launched by Google in March 2009. Think Google Adwords certification, but for Google Analytics. Google provides a free online course that covers web analytics techniques and Google Analytics implementation, administration, and analysis tools.

    I recently became Google Analytics qualified. Unfortunately Google does not provide a GAIQ certification logo like the one for Adwords Qualified Individual.

    The Google Analytics IQ online course and a link to the Google Analytics IQ test can be found at ConversionUniversity.com – I strongly suggest to anyone who uses GA to go and visit it as I have learnt a few things I didn’t know about:

    - Tracking Domains and Sub Domains
    Need to implement code on both domains (using the link method _VAR)
    Need to create a profile per subdomain and within each profile a filter only including subdomain

    - E-commerce
    Tracking code needs to be set up on top of page

    - Deal with Javascript and Flash website
    Need to set up event tracking and virtual pageviews
    The code needs to be added within the Flash Code

    It also got me thinking about things I should use more often:
    - Reverse Goal path
    - Implement Custom Report
    - Advanced segments
    - Motion Charts
    - User Define (try to distinguish, regular visitors to new visitors and analyse their behaviour)
    - It is also good to know that Regular Expression generator is located at http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=55572

    Will look into becoming Adwords qualified now :)

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