You can’t ignore mobile-friendly site anymore – Google updated algorithm to enhance mobile-friendly sites’ ranking

On April 21, Google changed its algorithm to favor mobile-friendly sites. When users search for something on their smartphones, the mobile-friendly sites will get a higher ranking while the websites that are not mobile-optimized will get demoted.

This big move requires website owners to ensure their websites are mobile-optimized on smartphones and tablets. There are quite a number of factors influencing the website’s search ranking, such as readability, easy-to-click links, responsive design and whether or not the website is using non-mobile friendly software (e.g. Flash).

Meanwhile, the search giant also announced that it will no longer show URLs in mobile search results, and replace the domain name with real-world titles. Rather than URLs, Google will display location of page in “a breadcrumbs-like format”, aiming to help mobile searchers better understand websites.

Therefore, if your company website is not yet optimized for smaller screens, you’d better to equip them with responsive design and well-structured URLs as soon as possible. The longer time your sites’ ranking downgrade, the more visitors you will lose. Mobile site with responsive design is highly recommended as it is considered to be more extensible to new devices, easier to maintain, and more effective from an SEO perspective when compared to a separate mobile site.

Modernizing your website to be optimized for all the screens, reduces impropriety on your website, and will ultimately lead to more conversions and revenue for your company. Action today!

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Hotel Marketing indicator – Online Reputation Management

Online reputation has become a key success indicator for marketers. For hoteliers, online reviews not only give the hotel management team insights into their operation performance, but also influence their revenue. A recent study by TripAdvisor states that while pricing is still the most important factor in accommodation booking decisions, reviews & ratings on review sites come next. As travel planning is becoming more dependent on online reviews and ratings, hotel owners are likely to increase their investment on online reputation management.

Marketers may refer to the following to start a successful online reputation management effort:

1. Review readiness: To determine which platform to engage (i.e. social media, forum) by studying relevant case studies and hear from practitioners.

2. Map out strategy: To define and prioritize objectives and goals. Examples to spur your thinking:

• Drive incremental bookings and increase revenue
• Improve ranking on TripAdvisor
• Increase guest satisfaction and loyalty
• Influence and engage in online conversations about your hotel

After defining the goals, establish a governance policy by identifying opportunities and risks.
Set relevant metrics. (# of comments, customer Satisfaction level, complaints vs. complements, time-to-follow up on actions, # of replies.)

3. Engagement: Analyze guest by developing personas based on behavioral information. Read hotel’s reviews from the top online (TripAdvisor,, etc.) in order to understand their needs. Reply to online reviews in a tone & manner that reinforce the brand.

4. Evaluate outcomes: measure and analyze the data.

5. Acquire feedback and learning: Regular meetings to highlight the key learnings from the outcomes and refining the strategies and measurement.

And the cycle repeats.

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You next big step to a more personalized marketing strategy

How familiar are you with personalized marketing? Did you try greeting customers and providing them relevant marketing content (e.g. email promotions) based on their profile in the lead database? Did you try segment them based on their transactional or behavioral data then engage them in customized campaigns?

We talked about the importance of personalization in our marketing campaigns in numerous articles and we believe the industry is fully aware of how personalization can help them win in the competition. Now, we would like to take a step forward to explore how automation can help us utilize the power of our consumer’s data.

Last week in AWS Summit in San Francisco, Amazon announced a new machine learning service which provides some visualization tools and wizards that can guide us to use the machine learning technology. By using these tools, they claim to be able to help the market building smart data-driven applications that can do an exhaustive analysis of past/real-time data, and also predicts what may happen in the future. We can imagine a lot of use cases on personalization for marketing, for example:
1. Optimize website content / flow based on customer actions
2. Use prior customer activity to choose the most relevant email campaign for target customers
3. Classify reviews using semantic analysis for providing more insights
4. Identify potential customers / customers who have high risk of attrition for plotting more effective engagement strategies

We are excited to hear this news given that one of the tech giants is leading this effort to make machine learning being more accessible in a lower price. But as this is still new to the market, we also believe it takes some time for us to learn how we can use this machine learning tools maturely.

Let’s celebrate this good start and look forward to improving our ROI by this kind of evolving new technologies.