Trending March 2024 # How Google’s New Mobile Ad Units Will Increase Your Mobile Conversions # Suggested April 2024 # Top 12 Popular

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Just check out the graph below from a WordStream study proving that mobile conversions fall far behind conversions occurring on desktops and tablets:

Pathetic!

Think about it. When you’re cooking pasta while browsing your phone for new sandals and you notice the water boiling over, are you going to ignore it and proceed with your shopping? Absolutely not. Advertisers need to realize mobile searchers are not different people, but people in a different state of mind.

So, what has Google done to address this?

“When session lengths are compressed as they are on mobile, we need to drive people to answers more quickly,” Dischler said. “On mobile, people also expect more rich content. So we’re going to build products that work well on mobile first. For each vertical, we’d like to create a template that will lead to an answer.” So take a breather, Google has not forgotten about you!

Now let’s take a look into some of the most innovative features these new ad formats have to offer.

#1: Mobile Ads are Becoming More Visually Interactive

#2: Easily Compare & Read Product Reviews on the SERPs

Do you remember the last time you bought a car? You hopped online, did a search including the ‘must-have’ terms to find an affordable and practical vehicle, and hit “Buy now”, right?

Not exactly. You likely spent months comparing models, conducting research, reading reviews, etc.

Google understands how people shop. Searchers want to make informed decisions before purchasing. Whether it be booking a hotel room or signing up for a new credit card, a searcher is never going to choose the first thing they see. They also understand that, on mobile, the chances of visiting a bunch of websites to get additional information on various brands are pretty much nonexistent. Mobile searchers don’t have the patience, time, or attention span for this kind of investigation.

This is why Google introduced Google Compare in March to help shoppers compare car insurance directly through the SERPs. “Whether you’re a national insurance provider or one local to California, people searching  for car insurance on their phone or computer can find you along with an apples-to-apples comparison of other providers – all in as little as 5 minutes,” says the Google AdWords blog. “You can highlight what makes your business unique, whether that’s an ‘A’ rating in customer service or better discounts for safe drivers.”

#3: Revamp of Dynamic Search Ads to Make Your Life Easier

The problem with targeting searchers with keywords is that 15% of Google searches are completely unique and have never been searched for before, therefore chasing mobile specific keywords is a fool’s game. Luckily, Google has made huge strides with a complete revamp of Dynamic Search Ads providing a much higher level of transparency and lower level of keyword management.

Also, you don’t need to break a sweat about Google running the show because you will still have the ability to make adjustments on categories, targeted searches, ad text, etc.

#4: The Ability to Buy, Book, & Act Directly Through the SERPs

Mobile searchers are far too busy to visit a bunch of websites. They want to hop on Google, get an answer or complete an action, without having to go through a site full of hurdles and pages to get the end result. With additional hurdles on mobile comes a lack of motivation from searchers. “Eh, I guess I don’t really need that,” or “I’ll do it later,” the searcher thinks, and then sayonara to that on-the-brink conversion.

What are your thoughts on these new mobile ad formats?

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Coronavirus Pandemic: How Will It Impact The Mobile Industry?

Read: How to clean and disinfect your smartphone

Supply line disruptions are already happening

Some companies are reportedly already making plans to depend less on Chinese factories.

Some companies are reportedly already making plans to depend less on Chinese factories. The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Google has commissioned factories in Vietnam to make the upcoming Pixel 4a and will do the same for the high-end Pixel 5 as well. The same article says Google will use factories in Thailand to make some of its smart home devices. LG has also moved the manufacturing of its smartphones from China to Vietnam.

CNBC quotes research firm Kearney as saying it is feasible that many more companies will move manufacturing of modules and finished goods out of China. However, moving the entire component supply chain out of China could prove to be more difficult. Components are “a singular choke point as components are a necessary ingredient in modules and finished goods assemblies. This is very hard to move, as it requires entire ecosystems,” Kearney said.

The coronavirus outbreak will only accelerate the trend to make smartphones, and indeed many other products, out of China.

Shaking up trade shows and press events

In mid-February, the GSMA canceled the 2023 Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona out of coronavirus fears. That was before the outbreak even gained a large foothold in Europe.

The GSMA has confirmed to Android Authority that, following the cancelation of the 2023 MWC edition, it would “realign its priorities, including staffing, to continue to serve the evolving telecommunications industry and enable the rollout of 5G”.  The statement seems to suggest that some layoffs at GSMA will happen, but specifics were not revealed.

Other major trade shows that were scheduled to be held in March, including the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Geneva Auto Show, South by Southwest, the 2023 Google I/O developer conference, the E3 video game trade show, Microsoft Build, and most recently Apple’s WWDC have been canceled or postponed. Some job losses due to these cancellations are inevitable.

More and more major companies are now asking employees not to travel or to work remotely. All of Google’s staff in North America now works from home, for instance.

More and more major companies are now asking employees not to travel or to work remotely. All of Google’s staff in North America now works from home, for instance. If the outbreak continues to get worse during the spring months, other tech could be reconsidered.

In the long run, smartphone companies could make some major marketing and PR changes in a post-coronavirus world. They could decide it’s cheaper to hold online events to launch new products, instead of holding massive press events. We have already seen this happen with Huawei, Sony, and Xiaomi holding virtual press events.

If companies decide virtual press events can do the job just as well as a huge press conference or attending a trade show, we could see fewer of these events in the months and years to come.

Read: Best TV streaming services

Video game purchases, on mobile, PCs, and consoles, could also get a boost if quarantines extend to longer periods. Ironically, this crisis comes along just as streaming game services like Google Stadia, Microsoft xCloud, and NVIDIA Geforce Now are ramping up. Before the outbreak, there have been many doubts that such services would be popular. It’s possible that they could see an increase in use if people are forced to stay home or get isolated for long periods of time.

The worst-case scenario: A global economic slowdown

Up until now, we talked about the direct effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the smartphone industry. But the biggest effect, and potentially the most damaging, will be indirect, stemming from a potential global recession caused by the coronavirus.

Right now, we don’t know what the final economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak will be. If cases start to let up in the spring months, the final impact could be just a quarter or two of low to negative growth, perhaps mostly limited to industries with direct exposure.

If the coronavirus outbreak persists in the spring and summer months, or if it comes back in force in the fall, the economic impact could be much higher and broader.

If the coronavirus outbreak persists in the spring and summer months, or if it comes back in force in the fall, the economic impact could be much higher and broader. We have already seen global disruption in the travel industry, with some airlines cutting back their flights by as much as 20%. The International Air Transport Association recently said airlines could lose as much as $113 billion in revenue in 2023, depending on how widespread the virus gets. It’s the same situation with other sectors like tourism, hospitality, entertainment, and other services.

The problem is the world economy isn’t in a position to absorb big shocks. Part of the reason was the extended trade war between the US and China, which raised prices overall for many products. Much of Europe was already suffering from a stagnant economy, even before the coronavirus came along. In the US, the economy has been enjoying a record-long stretch of growth that was bound to end sooner or later. Even last year some experts were predicting a recession.

How Mobile Technology Will Improve Patient Engagement In 2023

Patient engagement was challenging even before the pandemic forced hospitals to reimagine healthcare delivery. With too few clinicians, too many patients and too much administrative work, care providers often lacked the time to provide comprehensive patient education and personalized follow-up. COVID-19 exacerbated these challenges and created new ones, but it also helped nudge the healthcare industry towards new solutions to old problems — and these solutions are increasingly mobile.

Over the past couple years, healthcare leaders have needed to quickly adapt their strategies, processes and technology to provide telehealth services. As the dust settles in 2023, innovative hospital leaders will once again reimagine care delivery. But this time, they’re not preparing for a pandemic; they’re preparing for the future.

How will leading hospitals use mobile technology to improve patient engagement across the care continuum — from the clinic to the hospital to the home — and deliver a connected, hybrid healthcare experience in 2023?

Trend 1: Smart hospital rooms with bedside tablets

Smart hospital rooms put patients in control of their experience with bedside tablets that let them access information, connect with their care teams and order hospital services such as meals or fresh linens. With the right integrations, bedside tablet solutions can even put patients in control of the room itself, letting them operate lights, thermostats, televisions and blinds.

Mobile configuration providers like Oneview and Equiva offer tablet-based solutions that can power smart rooms and empower patients. Built on familiar Samsung Galaxy tablets, these solutions engage patients with highly relevant, AI-enhanced educational content they can watch when they’re ready to learn, not just when the nurse finds time to talk. Instead of thick stacks of papers for patients and families to read, they get on-demand videos selected by their care team. And with electronic health records (EHR) integration, they can also view their own medical records, test results and treatment schedule. Not only does this improve patient engagement and education; it also lightens the load for nurses and enables them to spend precious one-on-one time with patients having meaningful conversations and answering informed questions.

Not long before the pandemic, the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City equipped more than 450 patient rooms with bedside tablets. Patient rooms in newly renovated units also feature smart TVs that serve as a digital whiteboard and put the hospital one step closer to their goal of enabling truly smart patient rooms. Over the past two years, this solution has helped the hospital improve HCAHPS scores and decrease readmissions.

During the height of COVID, Mount Sinai also launched a scaled-back version of the bedside tablet solution across the hospital system. These devices helped isolated patients connect with loved ones and let physicians connect with inpatients using telemedicine solutions, thus limiting trips into patient rooms when the hospital needed to conserve masks and gowns.

Trend 2: Mobile clinical communications

By equipping every clinician with a smartphone and mobile clinical communications software, hospitals help them save time they would have spent tracking down colleagues. Instead of playing phone tag, they can simply call or text other care team members, and securely share photos, videos and files.

Leading clinical communication solutions can be integrated with EHR, nurse call systems and bedside telemetry machines to save nurses even more time. Instead of looking for an available computer to access patient records, or continuously hitting refresh while waiting on important lab results, nurses have patient information at their fingertips and can receive mobile notifications about urgent EHR updates. If patients need something, they can call, rather than pushing the nurse call button and forcing the nurse to trek down to the room for what might be a non-urgent request. And if an alarm goes off, the nurse gets a mobile notification, helping them to prioritize patient needs and avoid alarm fatigue.

Clinicians can use their smartphones to show patients medical diagrams, imaging results or other important visual information. In smart rooms, they can even broadcast what’s on their screen onto digital whiteboards to give patients a better view. They can also share information with patients and co-workers via interactive mobile displays like the Samsung Flip 2, a flip-chart-like solution that different care team members can update as they collaborate on patient care.

Trend 3: Shift to hybrid care models

Now that patients and clinicians have experienced the many benefits of remote patient monitoring and telemedicine, there’s no turning back. In 2023, health systems will continue to shift more care into the home, creating hybrid models that seamlessly blend traditional in-person healthcare with virtual care — supported by digital health technology and home healthcare professionals.

Hon Pak, M.D., chief medical officer at Samsung Electronics, puts it this way: “In recent years, healthcare has begun to shift from the hospitals to ambulatory clinics, and now into the home. As this trend accelerates, it’s forcing healthcare systems to rethink what should be done in hospitals versus lower-care or outpatient settings, and what can be done in the home. The really innovative health systems are not just building new hospitals — they’re thinking about centers of excellence and then building out virtual care services [that enable a] patient-centric experience while cutting costs.”

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Not only is telehealth usage increasing, but so are the use cases. For instance, remote patient monitoring was once used primarily to deliver post-acute care or chronic disease management. Now healthcare providers are using it for everything from virtual physical therapy and senior care to medication adherence programs and even drug trials.

Trend 4: Increased use of continuous monitoring, data collection and AI-enhanced connected care

Wearable remote monitoring solutions from providers like Vivify, HRS and Preventice (which put monitoring software on Samsung smartwatches) further enable hybrid care models by helping care providers gather important biometric data from afar, and around the clock. This way, both providers and patients have a complete picture of an individual’s health, not just the snapshots they get from taking vital signs during office visits. Advanced remote monitoring technology can also spot troubling trends and alert patients and their care providers and families about potential problems before there’s a medical emergency.

In short, virtual care is yet another way to improve patient engagement and enable the connected, hybrid patient experience of the future. And that future starts in 2023.

Google’s Gary Illyes On Amp And Mobile Search #Sejsummit

Gary Illyes has become a regular fixture in our industry, working with SEOs to get better performance in Google’s search results. He travels the world speaking at conferences and is involved in launching many of Google’s search products, like AMP and HTTPS rank boost. And finally, Gary’s also a great guy who was the first of all the Chicago speakers to answer my interview questions. 🙂

Want to see Gary and other speakers from The Home Depot, Grainger, The Daily Dot, and more? Chicago Early Bird tickets are on sale now!

You are a “Webmaster Trends Analyst” at Google. Can you explain what that means and talk a little bit about what you do?

I work on the webmaster trends team together with Zineb Ait Bahajji, Mariya Moeva, and John Mueller, but in my day-to-day, actually support more than 40 different teams in search, sometimes coding, sometimes setting up policies, and sometimes giving interviews.

In short, we are trying to make users’ and webmasters’ lives better, both behind the scenes and in more visible ways. To give you some additional context, we were involved in launches like the HTTPS ranking boost, App Indexing, AMP, and Mobile Friendly update.

Let’s talk about Google AMP (accelerated mobile pages for our readers who might not know). What types of sites will benefit the most from this feature?

The project is open to all players in the ecosystem – publishers, consumer platforms, and creators. In this early stage of the project, a group of publishers and platforms have come together to demonstrate how Accelerated Mobile Pages can transform the mobile web experience, but as I said, it is open to everyone.

Google is continuing to make mobile friendly search a priority. Which makes sense, as we all use our phones more and more. What is the point most SEOs or website owners miss when it comes to optimizing for mobile search?

Fortunately, the ecosystem is in a much better shape than a year ago on that front. I use my phone a lot for browsing the web, more than desktop, and I find that most of the sites I visit on my phone are actually mobile friendly. Sometimes it takes a long time to get the actual content even on wifi or on a 4g connection, that’s driving me insane. If I could ask one thing from the SEOs, it would be to decrease page load times on the sites they manage. It makes a huge difference for the users!

Your background is in journalism – how do you think that experience informs what you do now at Google?

That’s an interesting question. I’m very comfortable with giving interviews, both written and Q&As on stage, because of my background. It’s also an interesting twist: I used to do interviews, ask pointed questions, sometimes the same questions differently with the hope I’d get more information, but now I’m on the other side, and I get to answer those pointed questions. It’s an interesting challenge, and it’s also amazing to meet so many people from all around the world!

I saw that you travel a lot, so I have to ask: What destination is next on your travel wish list?

I don’t have a wish list, I just want to explore new cultures. If I had to pick a place, then it would probably be the Amazon rainforests, mainly to try to meet the indigenous people. It is quite fascinating how some of the tribes managed to isolate themselves from technology, it would be interesting to experience how they live, what are their interests, and why are they, in general, not interested in the world.

Thanks for answering my questions, Gary. See you in Chicago!

Don’t forget, you can buy your ticket for our SEJ Summit Chicago conference, taking place June 23 at the Navy Pier. Or, come see us in NYC Nov. 2nd!

SEJ Summit images via Paulo Bobita. 

Mobile Payments: Which Provider Will Win The Battle For Dominance?

With smartphone usage growing by leaps and bounds each year, payment providers are grappling to win control of the mobile payments market. Since total mobile purchases are expected to exceed $600 billion in 2013, it’s not an insignificant contest. Who are the current leaders? Who is best positioned to gain market dominance?

Mobile payment platforms can be broken down into two categories:

Those that bill the customer via their phone bill

Those that bill the customer via their credit card or bank account

Phone Bill Based Systems 1) SMS Payments

Some mobile carriers allow users to make payments to third-party merchants via SMS (text message). Typically, the buyer sends a text message to a specific shortcode, which returns a pin number that the buyer can use to access their order. The buyer is then billed via their monthly phone bill. Making payments through SMS messages is declining due to several issues, including implementation cost, lack of flexibility, payment delays, etc.

2) Direct Billing

Direct mobile billing allows users to pay merchants via their phone bills, but this system is more flexible than SMS billing. Direct mobile billing is very popular in Asia, and it is growing in usage in the United States for online games and other digital content. BilltoMobile, Boku, and Zong are three providers that offer a direct mobile payment platform for merchants. There are several ways the system can be setup, but payments are typically initiated from the merchant’s website, verified via SMS or through another method, and then completed on the merchant’s website.

Pros:

Easy for users – no need to type a credit card number (or even to have one)

 Cons:

Currently limited by most providers to about $100 in purchases per month

Costs for merchants are high

Only intended for digital purchases

Bank Based Systems 3) Google Wallet

Google Wallet allows users to make payments online from a mobile or desktop device or in-store using near field communication. Purchases are billed via the credit card the user has saved in their Wallet account.

Pros:

Has a head start on other providers, including Paypal, and is integrated into more retail stores

Cons:

Fewer features than Paypal

Only supports payments via Credit card (not via bank account)

4) Paypal

Paypal offers both a mobile website and mobile apps that allow you to send money, request money, and make purchases. Purchases are billed via a credit card or bank account the user has set up on their account. Paypal also supports in-store payments like Google Wallet does.

Pros:

Leading alternative payment provider online

Many additional features (send money direct to individuals, get a debit card, etc.)

 Cons:

Supported at fewer retail stores than Google Wallet

This screenshot shows the bar code generated by the Paypal mobile app to facilitate in-store payment.

 5) In-App Purchases

Both Apple and Google (Android) allow app developers to set up their apps so customers can use the App Store to make purchases within the app. A major drawback to in-app purchases is the high fees (about 30%) charged to the merchant.

Pros:

Developers, merchants, and users are already using the store

Cons:

Only intended for digital purchases

Very high cost for merchants

Only intended for app-based purchases (not in person or on mobile website)

 6) Amazon MPS

Amazon Mobile Payments Service supports mobile payments within apps or mobile websites, but it isn’t targeted at in-store purchases. Based on this limitation, we do not consider Amazon a major player for long-term dominance.

 7) ISIS

ISIS is a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless that will offer a mobile wallet, probably somewhat similar to Google Wallet. The service has not yet fully launched, but it will be well positioned to capture significant market share due to the resources and reputations of its backers.

 8) MasterCard PayPass

PayPass is a wallet service from Mastercard that supports online and in-store purchases, much like PayPal and Google Wallet. PayPass is still in Beta, but it’s definitely a player to watch.

 9) Visa

Visa is also launching their own mobile payment option. Users with Visa-approved, NFC-equipped mobile phones will be able to link their smartphones to their Visa cards and make in-store payments.

Who Will Win?

It’s difficult to predict which platform will be the mobile payments leader in the future, but here are a few ideas and points to consider:

PayPal and Google Wallet are both in strong positions and have a head start on some of the other players.

For app stores to have a strong position long term, they will need to drastically reduce their fees for in-app purchases.

Options that support payment via phone bills will also need to reduce merchant costs to compete.

While platforms from ISIS, MasterCard, and Visa are latecomers to the game, they are backed by huge industry players.

There is also an implicit hardware battle since in-store payments only work if the merchant’s equipment supports the payment platform the consumer wants to use.

Who will win the mobile payments battle? It’s really too early to say, but I am expecting an established player to become the leader. Only time will tell. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Image Credit: BigStockPhoto / leaf

Google: If Choosing Between Desktop Or Mobile Site, Choose Mobile

Google’s John Mueller recently stated that site owners should prioritize their mobile site if they have both a desktop and mobile version.

This topic was discussed in a Google Webmaster Central hangout held on May 1, 2023.

Question: Focus on Mobile or Desktop for SEO?

An e-commerce site owner submitted a question asking whether they should focus on improving the mobile or desktop version of site.

The site owner doesn’t have the budget to update both versions, and most of all wants to ensure their efforts are conducive to improving search rankings.

From an SEO perspective, on which version of the site should the owner dedicate their time and resources?

Here’s what Mueller has to say.

John Mueller’s Response

Ever since Google switched to mobile-first indexing, the mobile version of a site is the only one that matters when it comes to rankings.

Presuming the e-commerce site in question has been moved to mobile-first indexing, then Google is no longer crawling the desktop version.

To that end, Mueller says the mobile version is the one this site owner should be focusing on.

That doesn’t mean completely delete the desktop site, however, as there may be some users who only access the site on desktop.

Ideally, if you’re choosing between a desktop or mobile site, the best course of action would be switching to a responsive site.

If that’s not an option, due to budget restraints or any other reason, then focus on updating the mobile version.

When SEO is your number one priority, then you can’t go wrong with thinking mobile-first (just like Google’s indexing).

Hear the full question and answer in the video below:

“So, in general, if we’ve switched the website over to mobile-first indexing, which we’ve switched most websites over to mobile-first indexing now, then we would only be using the mobile version for indexing as a basis for understanding what is on the website…

[We would only be using the mobile version] as a basis for understanding the context between individual URLs of a website, so we would really only be using the mobile version for that.

Especially if you have a different version on desktop and mobile, then we would essentially just be using the mobile version there.

If you’re really in this, I’d say, tough situation, that you need to decide which of your versions is your favorite one to work on more, and if we’ve switched to mobile-first indexing, then I think the mobile version is probably the one you should be focusing on.

However, I wouldn’t say that you can completely delete the desktop version and everything will continue to be okay, because probably you still have a lot of users on desktop as well.

Usually my recommendation for people who are working on their website, and trying to figure out desktop or mobile, is to find a way to move more of the content to a more responsive design so that you just have one version.

If you just have one version to maintain then you don’t have to make that choice, and by fixing the content once then you’re essentially fixing it for all of your users.

So, moving to responsive design would make this a lot easier.

If you absolutely can’t move to a responsive design, and need to pick one or the other, and you really only care about SEO which is kind of tricky in itself, then the mobile version would be the one to focus on.”

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