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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.


Mobile SEO

Tips for Better Mobile SEO

Why Search Position is So Important for Mobile and How to Get that Top Position

If you’re marketing plan doesn’t include mobile, then your marketing plan isn’t finished.

The same can be said of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While much of the same elements that are critical in search engine optimization for desktop searches are the same as for mobile, there are some definite differences when you are trying to optimize a website for mobile.

First, it’s important to see the difference between click through rates by position when it comes to mobile vs. desktop searches.




You can see from the comparison above how gaining top positioning with a mobile search is even more important than it is with desktop search.

Listed below are some of the most critical things that I recommend when it comes to optimizing your mobile site.

  • Keyword searches should usually be shorter keywords as smartphone users are less likely to enter long tail keywords. Try or Google Adwords Keyword Planner to find short keywords and keywords that are similar to your primary keywords.
  • When choosing long tail keywords for expensive products on a mobile site, think of what the initial search will be for. Often, an initial search for a luxury or expensive product begins on mobile and the actual purchase is deferred to desktop.
  • Geo-target your site to mobile. Think about how people search for local businesses. Out of town people, for instance, might search for “family restaurant near Disney World.” Or, they may rely on their GPS and simply search for “gym near the Hilton.” Others yet may rely on voice search through Siri. Consider adding such keywords to your prominent responsive design site pages that target mobile search.
  • A good user experience is critical. Google will rank your site based on how many bounces (those that leave the site immediately) it gets and how often the consumer returns to the site.
  • Use the “thumb test.” If you can’t navigate your site with your thumb, then it’s likely not a good user experience and you won’t get the repeat use that Google wants to see. Your mobile site needs to be easy to navigate.
  • Don’t ever use pop-ups, Flash (iPhones can’t show it).
  • Speed load time is especially important with mobile since in many cases the consumer is searching where he/she does not have access to wi-fi. We have no patience when it comes to the web: 74% will leave a site if it doesn’t load within five seconds. Insert your website on Google Page Speed Insights to see how your site ranks speed-wise versus others.
  • Include video wherever you can, but put video on a page unto itself so it loads quickly.
  • One of the advantages to using adaptive design instead of responsive design is that you can design a mobile version of your site for each keyword as well as each device. In other words, an e-commerce site could have the product searched for at the top of the responsive design page.
  • You see the importance of a “less is more” approach to mobile web design. There are many reasons to only include the most important elements in your site.
  • Be sure to register your business with sites that are primarily made for local mobile search such as YELP and Trip Advisor.
  • Make sure you have your business listed at Google My Business In the Dushinski book, this was referred to previously as Google Places.
  • Put your phone number on every page and make it click-to-call so if the consumer simply touches it, they’ll dial your business. Think pizza takeout.

With more than half of searches expected to be mobile this year, you can see just how important mobile search engine rankings are for your business. These tips will help you climb the mobile SEO ladder.


(Semi) Last Call: Join us for our Google Partners Connect Event Wed. May 21


You’re invited to learn about various Google digital assets, including Adwords, and more about digital agency services when we host a Google Partners Connect event next Wednesday, May 21, from 2-3 p.m. at our King of Prussia office located in the Parkview Office Tower attached next to the Radisson Hotel and Valley Forge Casino complex.

Three Google executives will speak, followed by ATS Mobile, it’s casual and fast-paced, interactive, a chance to learn, and Google is sponsoring light refreshments.

The event is free, simply take a look at this link and let us know of your interest in attending and we’ll look forward to seeing you next week:




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:




Percent of Search via Mobile by Country

mobile search stats by country

What percent of search in your country is via mobile?

Google’s Matt Cutts said that he wouldn’t be surprised if mobile search exceeded desktop search in the USA this year.

Ever wondered what percent of search worldwide is done via mobile or what percent of search in Aruba is done via mobile phone, tablet, and personal computer?  Who hasn’t?

Check out this cool tool that will give you the percentage of search done by mobile worldwide and by every country.

Very cool.


Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Platform Comparison Market Share


How Many Internet Searches are Made Per Year?

Want to know how many internet searches are made per year in the USA?  Here’s the answer.

internet total searches

Annual searches made in the USA


Why there is Such Value Currently in Mobile Ad Buying

When it comes to mobile, if you are thinking like you did just two years ago, you are way behind the curve.

In 2012, desktop search volume declined for the first time.  This is because search volume from smartphones and tablets is taking a much larger share; in fact, it reached roughly 20% of all searches last year.  (eMarketer report, “State of Mobile Search 2013: Key Trends in Mobile SEO and SEM)

US marketers that ran mobile targeted search campaigns in 2012 saw click-through rates (CTRs) well above desktop averages, while cost-per-click (CPC) rates were below desktop norms.  Hence, the great opportunity that awaits those companies that are savvy enough to venture into the world of mobile ad buying: the rates for mobile ad buying are significantly cheaper than desktop rates!

Not convinced yet?  Take a look at where the market is trending.  By 2015, more searches will come from mobile than from desktop!

graph mobile search 2013

By 2015, more searches will be on mobile.


Restaurants: What’s Your Mobile Strategy?

We’ve long known just how important it is for restaurants to have a mobile marketing strategy.  That’s why we have a specific suite of mobile marketing products geared exclusively to the restaurant industry.

Not convinced?  Take a look at some of the facts from this study.

restaurant mobile search stats

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