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Mobile Monday: Week 6 – Keywords

Welcome to Mobile Monday, our weekly blog posting dedicated to providing readers with useful mobile marketing tips from Bob Bentz’s newest book “Relevance Raises Response.”shutterstock_283022702 (2) Every Monday ATSmobile continues to grant readers a brief passage from one of the most essential marketing books available for purchase today.

For our sixth week, we’re focusing on “Keywords”where Bentz discusses SMS Strategies and the downside of auto-correct.


An SMS keyword is the word that a consumer sends to a phone number, usually to receive immediate information back, and often to opt-in to a database to be marketed to in the future.

In the previous example (Text RESULTS to 84444), the keyword is “results.” The customer would put the short code number (84444) in the space where she would normally insert the phone number. Then, the customer would insert “results” in the area where she would normally insert the message.

Choosing a keyword is an important step in your text message marketing strategy, because the keyword offers branding for your product offering. When it comes to choosing a keyword, a business should follow these tips, by choosing a keyword that:

  • brands the business or promotion.
  • is easy to remember to gain the viral pass-along effect from customers and employees.
  • is just one word to avoid problems with auto correct.
  • is easy to spell.
  • is not an acronym.
  • does not include numbers.
  • is as short as possible.
  • is not some “clever” spelling of a keyword.

The primary keyword that a business will want to reserve is its own name. This keyword will be the master keyword that is used continually for generating opt-ins. This permanent keyword should be printed everywhere–on business cards, literature, t-shirts, outdoor signage, menus, and anywhere else that makes sense. If the business name is difficult to spell, clever, or contains multiple words, it may be best just to go with a single word keyword that best identifies what the business does. If a business wants to understandably reserve its difficult to spell brand name as a keyword, it should also consider reserving the potential misspellings of that keyword.

Choosing the primary keyword is one of the most important things that a business will do in establishing its text message marketing plans. Often, businesses have common names and the keyword that the business wants may not be available. A second choice may be to pick the primary product that the business sells, but a keyword like “pizza” is likely not going to be available at an online shared short code provider. If the primary keyword a business wants is not available, it is possible for the business to choose an adjective that describes the business such as “tasty” or “hungry.”

In addition to the primary keyword, businesses are going to want to use different keywords for various promotions. Some of these promotions may be short-lived and the business will be able to retire those keywords after using them for the short term promotion. Others may be annual events and the business will retain those keywords in their online accounts, because if they are released, another business may pick them up. The advantage to using new keywords is that it will get your regular customers participating in your texting program again and a business can place those users into a different database which may be helpful in segmenting for future promotions.

One of the great things about an SMS strategy is that there is a tremendous viral advantage to it. If a person knows that their friend likes to get their coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, they will pass along the keyword and short code to that friend. It is not unusual for a business to get 15-20% of its mobile coupon redemptions from viral sharing. But, the consumer may not remember to do so if the keyword, and the short code, is not easy to remember. So, it is always best to keep things simple when it comes to choosing a keyword and it is also best to use a memorable (vanity) short code.

Words that are compound words or two word keywords are also not good choices as keywords. A business might have the best cheesecake in the world, but “cheesecake” is not a very good keyword. That is because some people will spell cheesecake as two words (cheese cake) and some will intend to spell it as one word, but autocorrect “fixes” it for them. Automated SMS response systems cannot detect the user’s intent, only the exact spelling, so picking the wrong keyword could result in lost opt-in opportunities.

One memorable SMS promotion was a sweepstakes that gave away a trip to Hawaii. The advertiser chose the keyword “Hawaii.” Although a wonderful place, Hawaii is not a particularly easy word to spell. Moreover, some people include an apostrophe when spelling it. Hawaii was not a good choice as a keyword, because of the difficulty in spelling it. Acronyms such as “ATS” don’t make for good keywords either. That is because of that damn autocorrect which will inevitably try to change the acronym of your business keyword into a real word. Avoid numbers in keywords as well. It is confusing to think of texting a number to a number. But, more importantly there are that zero and “oh” thing. When it comes to texting, consumers don’t recognize what is a letter (O) and what is a number (0)!

Typing on a mobile phone is not easy. There are a lot of misspellings on the smaller screen of the mobile phone than on a desktop computer. Fat-finger misspellings are common problems on mobile. That is why using a short keyword is far better than a long keyword; there are simply less chance of a misspelling on a keyword with less letters.

Another poor idea is to use a clever use of a word as your keyword. A restaurant called “Finger Lickin’ Chickin’” may be a snappy name, but using “chickin” as a keyword is not a good idea. That is because a customer’s auto-correct is likely going to correct that word to the proper spelling of chicken.

One of the questions that is often asked is in regards to capitalization of keywords. Using caps or lower-case letters has no impact on the keyword so don’t worry about it. To make the keyword stand out, the best way to write a keyword in your advertisement is to use all capital letters, but if somebody uses lower case, the interactive text message will still work properly.

Some keywords are not available to a business. That is because the carriers have reserved those keywords already and they are not available on short codes. Keywords such as STOP, HELP, INFO, END, CANCEL, UNSUBSCRIBE, QUIT, and others are taken before the short code is activated in the marketplace.


SEO for Mobile is Not the Same as Desktop

Mobile SEO

Target, Rank, and Dominate Your Competition

As the owner of a website, you have several choices when it comes to optimizing your site for mobile. The first decision you need to make is: do you want to use your desktop website for mobile access? Unless your desktop website is optimized for mobile, we think not… as not too many are adept at showing their results on the smaller screen of the mobile phone.

At ATS, with responsive design, we help you design a mobile website that will rise to the first page of the less competitive mobile search results.

Mobile, Local, Social.

We take the following options into consideration when doing the mobile design:

  • Page Speed — When on a mobile phone, users often do not have access to high speed internet connections. Therefore, traditional sites take longer to load. A mobile-optimized website will load quicker so that your prospect doesn’t leave for your competition.
  • Keywords — When optimizing your keywords for mobile, you should remember that users will often type in shorter keyword phrases than they would on a desktop search simply because its more difficult to type on the small screen.
  • Local — Local results are easier to obtain when it comes to mobile search. There is often less competition and if you think local, you will deliver the best results for your consumer.
  • Social — Those who use smartphones are more likely than those with feature phones to be users of social media. And, when it comes to search engine optimization, social media drives search results. We make sure that your mobile websites have prominent links to traditional social mediasites such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, but we also use more specialized sites such as Yelp, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon, and TripAdvisor.

Be where your customers are.

The key to mobile SEO is to be where your customers are. Our Mobile SEO services and a responsive design website will get you there… anywhere.


Learn more about Google and online advertising


ATS Mobile will present a tremendous opportunity for members of the Philadelphia-area business community to learn about several facets of Google marketing and the advantages of working with a digital agency, when it holds a Google Partners Connect event on Wed., May 21 from 2-3 p.m. at the company’s Parkview Office Tower suite adjacent to the Radisson Hotel and Valley Forge Casino in suburban King of Prussia, Pa.

The session will feature three Google executives speaking on insights to help small businesses, including using Google adwords for online advertising, and the best approaches of working with an online and digital specialized agency.

“Anytime you can partner with Google and receive helpful information it’s a plus,” ATS President Bob Bentz said  of the global search engine and online advertising giant.  “The information from Google experts will help businesses of all sizes learn more about online and digital marketing.”

In addition, ATS Mobile will review its mobile agency services, and light refreshments will be provided for this fast-paced and interactive session.

If you or a business you know of is interested in attending this free event, please RSVP by May 19 at this link:




Easy Link Building Tips

Everybody knows that link building is an important part of SEO, but rarely is there one person assigned to this important task so it often falls by the wayside.  ATS is currently running a contest through the New Year where employees are helping to build links with other sites.

“It’s a great way to get the entire company involved in the link building process, because we all come across linking opportunities from time to time,” said Bob Bentz, who organized the competition.

Here’s some of Bob’s tips for link building that the company uses to build links to the responsive design websites that we create.



Mobile Accounts for 17.7% of Google Search Ad Clicks

According to a new report from The Search Agency, the percentage of Google search ad clicks from smartphones has doubled from Q2 of 2012 to Q2 of 2013. Mobile now accounts for 17.7% of Google search ad clicks, up from 8.8% in Q2 of 2012. In addition, the report shows that desktop’s share of clicks has continued to decrease as it drops to 71% in Q2 of 2013.

Google Click Share by Device

Google Click Share by Device


Google To Strike Down Sites That Are Not Mobile-Optimized

In the fall of 2013, Google is implementing new mobile SEO guidelines that have the potential to seriously affect the rankings of websites for many Fortune 500 companies.  According to a report from Pure Oxygen Labs, 94% of Fortune 500 companies do not have the mobile presence that is required under these new guidelines. Google recommends that mobile sites have responsive design so that web pages will adapt to all mobile devices including IPhones, Androids and Blackberrys. As of right now, only 11% of Fortune 500 companies’ mobile sites have the recommended responsive design.

google mobile seo guidelines

In addition to having a mobile-optimized design, Google is taking into consideration several other factors  in the mobile SEO guidelines. Google will be rewarding sites that have strong mobile SEO, and will strike down on sites that have error pages, long load times and irrelevant redirects.

Now is time to improve your mobile presence before Google’s new guidelines are put into place. For more information on how to improve your mobile SEO and to implement responsive design, visit ATS Mobile.


Quarter 2: Mobile Search Continues to Grow

It should be no surprise that mobile search has continued to increase in Q2 of 2013. For the last several quarters in 2012 and 2013, mobile search spend has doubled on a year-to-year basis and this most recent quarter is no exception. According to a recent IgnitionOne report, spend on tablet search increased 116% and spend on smartphone increased by 106% on a year-over-year basis.  Search spend, in general, has increased by 7% since quarter 2 of 2012, showing that mobile search is making up a larger and larger share of the paid search market.

Mobile search spend continues to increase exponentially during the second quarter of 2013.

Mobile search spend continues to increase exponentially during the second quarter of 2013.

In addition to increase mobile search spend, the report also shows that clicks and impressions both increased during Q2.  Clicks increased by 104% for tablets and by 82% for smartphones. The number of impressions grew by 91% for tablets and 135% for smartphones.

For more information on mobile search and mobile marketing in general, visit ATS Mobile.


Why is Mobile SEO So Important?

According to a new study by Forrester Research, 54% of US adults said that they have typically found the websites that they have visited in the last month via organic search results. Following organic search results, social networking and links from other sites were also shown to be influential sources for website discovery.

In addition, several sources showed significant increases from 2011. In particular, links from email marketing increase by over 10% in the past year, and paid search also increased from 8% to 18%.

Organic search dominates amongst website discovery sources.

Organic search dominates amongst website discovery sources.


These statistics further support the importance of both desktop and mobile SEO. If 54% of your customers are going to access your site via search engine results, it is essential that you practice good SEO so that your website will rank as high as possible in search engine results.

For more information on improving your mobile SEO, visit ATS Mobile.

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