Mobile and Online Deals Expected to Drive Holiday Sales Dollars

In a recent survey about holiday shopping, 64% of the people said they’ll be spending less on everyone this holiday season, so that means marketers will have to work a little harder to make sure it’s their company that gets the cash and not their competitor. The trick is paying attention to how and why people are spending and customizing your marketing efforts to match.

eMarketer has a nifty new report called, “Online Holiday Shopping Preview: What Retailers Need to Know,” that can help, but here are a few of the basics. 42.7% of the people surveyed said they would only buy gifts that were on sale and 36% said they’d be doing more comparison shopping before forking over the cash.

Twitter Usage on the Rise

As I noted in my other post today, Twitter is reporting some serious numbers. 145 million registered users and 300,000 registered apps for those users just to name a few. In the end though it’s just noise unless people are actually using the service.

According to research from Royal Pingdom the increase in number of accounts is translating to usage rates climbing as well.

About the numbers the Pingdom people state

Twitter processed 2.64 billion tweets this August, an increase of 33% over May. Not a bad increase over just a summer. In August, an average of 85 million tweets passed through Twitter every day.

And if you look at the whole year so far, the increase is even more impressive. Activity on Twitter has already more than doubled this year (August had 115% more tweets than January).

Keyword Research with Google Suggest Could Add 5,000 Visitors a Day!

I used to be a keyword research freak.

Seriously! If you found me at one of the big conferences in the early 2000s you would have likely heard me discussing the importance of keyword research. “Keyword research is the most important aspect of SEO,” I would say. “Target the wrong keywords and it won’t matter if you are #1 on Google or not.”

Yeah, I took it seriously.

I still do, and that’s why I’m sharing this experience from the WebmasterWorld forums. WMW member vivalasvegas follows-up on a report he submitted previously about the sudden loss of almost 5,000 visitors a day for one keyword combination.

Twitter Gives A Peak Under the Mobile Nest

Twitter has made some strides to get the mobile experience working better as of late. They have been very successful in this area which is critical since the geo-location movement promises to make mobile even more important in the not so distant future.

Evan Williams, co-founder of Twitter, gave some telling stats on the Twitter blog

Mobile users have jumped 62% since mid-April

16% of all new users to Twitter now start on mobile (it was 5% before Twitter started doing branded mobile clients)

46% of active users use some sort of mobile Twitter experience

78% of people who interact with Twitter still do so through — though that number includes people who use more than one app is the second most-used Twitter interface at 14%

Watchdog Group Takes Google to Task in Times Square

Consumer Watchdog’s has something to say about Google’s disrespect for people’s privacy and they’re saying it at one of the busiest intersections in the world.

The group has purchased advertising space on a 540 sq ft Jumbotron in Times Square and they’re using it to blast Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt. The animated feature is called “Don’t be Evil?” and shows cartoon Schmidt spying on children from the innocent trappings of an ice cream truck.

In a press release, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog said;

“We’re satirizing Schmidt in the most highly trafficked public square in the nation to make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights.”

Is There Any Room in Retail for the Small Business?

At least once a week, my husband laments the loss of a mom & pop record store we had near our home. They carried mostly used albums and rock and roll memorabilia and a visit there was like hunting for treasure on the beach. If we go to eBay, we can find all those same albums and more but it simply isn’t the same as flipping through stacks of worn cardboard and finding a gem you didn’t even know existed.

It’s a sad fact that the small business is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. comScore is reporting that small business is down 5.6% over last year with those dollars going to the big box retailers we drive by every day. Usually we blame it on the economy, but the big boys are seeing a rise in profits, so why aren’t the mom and pop stores seeing it, too?

AOL Renews with Google, but Nearly Ordered Chinese

Is anyone surprised that AOL renewed its search deal with Google?

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong was one of the executives that negotiated the deal the first time around–albeit while “playing” for Google at the time.

So, with AOL about as competitive as Yahoo in the search space, Google the incumbent provider, and Armstrong’s connections, it made a lot of sense to just push this one through quickly, so that AOL can focus on its new content provider goals.

Interestingly, although Microsoft was the other serious option for AOL, the company was rumored to have considered partnering with Yahoo. Er, doesn’t Yahoo get its results from Bing now? Maybe someone forgot to tell Yahoo that its not a real search engine anymore. Even more bizarre? China’s Baidu was in the running!