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Tag: Impact

The Real Impact of the Grand Theft Auto and Diablo Leaks

September 20, 2022 No Comments

When hackers release game information early, it’s the developers that suffer—not the players.
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Don’t Be Blinded By The Ad Strength: An Experiment On The Impact Of Ad Strength

July 16, 2021 No Comments

Don’t be blinded by the ad strength, focus on the performance! A higher ad strength doesn’t mean: better CTR, better conversion rate or better quality score.

Read more at PPCHero.com
PPC Hero


Turning reviews into opportunities for reputation and SEO impact

February 18, 2021 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Reviews are absolutely crucial to a business’s success and need to be acknowledged.
  • Engagement with consumers will positively benefit your business and bring in more reviews in the future.
  • Staying honest with your reviews will pay off in the long run.
  • Take most reviews as honest opinions about your business and work to build on them for a better consumer experience.

When a busy day means dinner will be takeout instead of home-cooked, chances are you don’t simply choose a restaurant at random. Most likely, you’ll use Google or Yelp to search for data on locations or types of food, and then, most importantly, you’ll look at customer reviews. With tacos on your mind, you may look for a casual Mexican restaurant or fast food. But what if it has less than four stars on Yelp? Scenarios like these have become part of daily life in the communities being served by almost any brand you market.

Reviews and web exposure

Customer reviews have played a significant role in customer choices for decades, and they aren’t specific to restaurants. In recent years their importance has increased exponentially and can even decide a business’s fate. With 93% of consumers using the internet to search for businesses — and 34% of those reading more reviews than before due to the coronavirus — it’s impossible to understate the importance of a good review.

Good reviews positively affect business exposure. The perceived quality of a company will contribute to a consumer’s eventual decision, and very rarely will a customer trust a three-star repair shop over a five-star one. Often, the three-star business will rank too poorly to be featured in Google’s sets of three local results, called “local packs”. Google’s local packs are meant to make it easy to find top results that match a customer’s query while suppressing less-recommended options. Exposure alone is helpful, but reviews impact both visibility in the packs and searchers’ ultimate decisions.

Increasing presence and reviews through engagement

Reviews generally follow the trend of highlighting a specific feature of the company that stood out to the customer — good service, speed, cleanliness, and so on. If there are multiple negative reviews, there’s a good chance there will also be specific issues reviewers are citing. There are two actions a business can take, ignore the bad comments or actively engage. Since only 48% of people would even consider using a business with less than four stars, negative customer reviews should be taken as serious critiques (at least most of the time).

A good way to immediately engage with reviewers is to simply reply via the owner response function Google provides in the Google My Business dashboard. Replies, thoughtful replies, can net forgiveness, understanding, and even a changed star rating for your business. Customers are more forgiving than you think and actively wait for owner responses. Even without incentives like coupons or gifts, they will appreciate the time and effort you took to understand their grievances. For smaller businesses, a few three-star reviews changed into four-stars can generate a meaningful boost in Google or Yelp search results. Direct communication increases trust from both current and future consumers and can lead to tangible business gains.

Staying honest and relevant

Faking positive reviews is nothing new in the business world. While review platforms like Google and Yelp have some safeguards in place for catching or filtering out fake reviews, they don’t automatically discover every review that violates their guidelines. This means that it’s often up to business owners to do their part by asking themselves whether it’s right to intentionally mislead consumers with false advertising.

The answer is, of course, no. Brands that lean on fake reviews in hopes of a quick gain in rankings or foot traffic may find themselves on the wrong end of lawsuits, legal penalties, business listing removal, and permanent reputation damage.

A far better approach for local brands that hope to enjoy many years of success in business is to commit to constantly earning and improving reputation through exceptional customer service. Rather than misleading the public with fake sentiment, embrace consumers as providers of both free quality control (in the form of negative reviews) and the best sales copy anyone could possibly publish about your company in the form of positive reviews.

When you receive an honest but negative review, consider it a mini-inspection one customer made of your business, citing elements you can often actively correct. A flood of negative reviews mentioning similar grievances may require fundamental operational changes to improve customer experience, prompting action on your part that can eventually lead to an enviable, lucrative online reputation. Your brand is so much better off when dissatisfied patrons speak up because stated problems can be solved, and when your public responses show how seriously you act on complaints, you’re offering rock-solid proof that your brand puts the customer first.

Meanwhile, when a happy customer takes the time to leave a positive review, make the respectful gesture of thanking them in return. Use the owner response space to express appreciation and, where possible, mention something exciting about your business like a new menu item or the debut of a new service that you hope they’ll stop by again to experience. Don’t be too sales-y, but do engage. Reviews, at their best, are two-way conversations.

If you’re just beginning to promote your business online and are feeling a sense of urgency about getting your first reviews, study the guidelines of the various review platforms and then create a compliant review acquisition campaign that yields results. But take it slow, too many reviews at once can result in removal, and keep in mind that you’ll be earning reviews for the life of the business you’re marketing. It’s a long hike rather than a sprint. Avoid guideline violations and center excellent customer service and you’ll be ahead of the review game from the get-go.

Miriam Ellis is a Local Subject Matter Expert at Moz.

The post Turning reviews into opportunities for reputation and SEO impact appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


Three SEO mistakes that can impact your search rankings

August 25, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Although Google’s updates have downplayed the importance of keywords, they are still important in your SEO strategy. It’s not enough to create content and stuff it with keywords to engage your target audience.
  • Ignite Digital is reminding us of the importance of understanding how keywords work. It’s not enough to pick the most popular keyword and add it throughout your text.
  • By not adding meta tags, you are reducing your chances of getting your content ranked and discovered through specific keywords.
  • A website owner that is having too many 404 errors is signalling Google that they are not frequently reviewing their website or that they have abandoned it. This wouldn’t contribute to good ranking in SERPs.

Search engine optimization can help you boost your brand while increasing your site’s traffic. Quality content that is relevant to your target audience can boost your authority to secure future SEO success.

However, it’s important to get the foundation right to avoid sabotaging your tactics.

Ignite Digital, an experience-driven digital agency in all aspects of digital marketing, have written a report with the SEO mistakes that we need to avoid.

Here are some of them:

Content created in partnership with Ignite Digital.

SEO Mistake #1 – Not doing keyword research

Every business wants to rank high in the search results. Using the right keywords can be the key to success.

That’s what makes keyword research a vital part of your SEO strategy. It can help you discover the best keywords to rank for and increase your traffic. It can also bring new leads to your website and help your business increase sales.

Although Google’s updates have downplayed the importance of keywords, they are still important in your SEO strategy. It’s not enough to simply create content and stuff it with keywords to engage your target audience.

The keyword research strategy is extremely important and can help you discover great opportunities for your business to stand out amongst competitors. 

Ignite Digital is reminding us of the importance of understanding how keywords work. It’s not enough to pick the most popular keyword and add it throughout your text.

Different types of keywords can serve different purposes. For example, you can use generic keywords to describe your business, your product, and your services. These are important for brand awareness.

You can also use niche keywords to be more specific. Long-tail keywords may not necessarily attract the same traffic as the general keywords, but they can lead to better business prospects since the search intent is more specific.

SEO Mistake #2 – Not adding title tag or meta description

The goal of search engine optimization is to increase the organic traffic to your website to improve your business success. You want to rank as high as possible in the SERPs to appeal to new or returning customers.

While you’re working on producing content of great quality, there is a crucial step that you might be ignoring. Adding title tags and meta descriptions to your pages can help your SEO tactics become extremely successful..

As you’re aiming to increase your search rankings, all your pages should be optimized based on what search crawlers want to find. In this case, meta tags are providing all the necessary information for each page and what it should rank for.

A meta description can provide an overview of what the page is about while the title can also include the keyword that you are ranking for. An effective meta description can increase your click-through rates and thus, bring more visitors to your site.

It’s important to be clear and distinct as you only have 160 characters to describe your content and your business. Your meta description should appeal to your potential customers to convince them to click on your link.

By not adding meta tags, you are reducing your chances of getting your content ranked and discovered through specific keywords.

Start by experimenting with the different ways you can present your content in just 160 characters. Think like a user and what would grab your attention to visit a website.

SEO Mistake #3 – Having too many 404 errors

Imagine you’re a user looking for “affordable bikes” as a search term. You’re looking at a meta description that resonates with what you’re looking for so you decide to visit the site. That’s when you see “Error 404” and no content at all.

Many users face similar problems and they end up disappointed or frustrated by the user experience. The common message of ‘page not found’ can happen to all websites. However, there are many cases that it shows up way too often. As a business owner, you might not even know that a page is not working.

404 errors can impact your website’s ranking. The more errors you are having, the worse it becomes for your SEO strategy.

It’s useful to know that Google is actually normalizing 404 errors. They are aware that things can change and that all websites can end up having such pages. However, it’s important to be aware of them and work towards removing them.

A website owner that is having too many 404 errors is signalling Google that they are not frequently reviewing their website or that they have abandoned it. This could negatively impact a good ranking in SERPs.

On the contrary, you can run 404 checks to locate pages that are not working anymore to ensure that they are redirected in the correct page.

If you’re still having a 404 error on your site, make sure that you are customizing it while including a call-to-action to improve the user experience.

There are many SEO mistakes that we can make at some point when working on our search strategy. To find out more about the most popular SEO mistakes and how to avoid them, make sure you read Ignite Digital’s report here.

The post Three SEO mistakes that can impact your search rankings appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


The impact of Coronavirus on digital marketing and effective solutions

July 24, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • Digital marketing is not a quick-fix solution to gain momentum. It does not give you visibility overnight. If you are using digital marketing techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing (SMM).
  • Consumer behavior has changed drastically. We all see a different consumer today. 
  • The pressing question remains, “What strategies should digital marketers follow?”  
  • Co-founder of Lbswebsoft gives you a quick look at some strategic steps that can help your digital marketing and ecommerce efforts during Coronavirus times.

The outspread of coronavirus disease (COVID 19) has affected everyone on the planet. This is for the first time in the history of mankind when more than 70% of countries – which include developed, developing, and underdeveloped nations  are under lockdown. It has already caused huge unrest in the global economy. 

People have lost their jobs and are left with no or limited sources of income, companies specifically small and medium cap businesses are shutting down. Giants are putting many of their processes on hold. A number of government organizations, too, have been closed down as a preventive measure for coronavirus spreading. 

How the coronavirus is driving new changes in digital marketing 

Coronavirus lockdown has halted many business processes starting from manufacturing, supply chain to logistics, and marketing.  

Some businesses have closed or paused their digital marketing activities temporarily, citing the health concerns of their employees. If you are on that side, what you will have in the end is drastically decreased online traffic, sales, engagement, conversation, and pushed down search ranking. 

Digital marketing is not a quick-fix solution to gain momentum. It does not give you visibility overnight. If you are using digital marketing techniques such as search engine optimization (SEO) or social media marketing (SMM) – I believe you are already aware that your implementations take three to four months’ time to give results. 

So, if you choose to stop working on digital marketing, you would see a severe downfall after a quarter or so.  

The solution

This is a difficult time for us all. You as an employer will need to keep your workers motivated in order to ensure that the work does not gets delayed or stopped. Asking to work from home will be a great support for your employees, as well as for your digital marketing. 

But the most important question here is, what strategies should digital marketers follow?  

Consumer behavior has changed drastically. We all see a different consumer today. As mentioned above, markets are closed, necessities are out of stock or being sold at 30% to 50% increased rates, buyers and their families are staying at home – some of which have lost their jobs and have limited sources of earning.  

This behavioral shift has changed the market scenarios as well. We have a completely different market to serve. 

With that said, we will need a different approach to marketing. 

Develop a short-term strategy and see how the market conditions behave

 A pro tip for digital marketing is – keep it flexible. If there are provisions for alterations in your digital marketing strategy, you would be able to adapt to any situation. 

Which strategy suits your business and which doesn’t – it can only be measured after it is implemented. Your digital marketing strategy should be flexible enough to come out of any situation. 

Moving back to the ongoing corona situation, you will need to develop a different, short-run strategy to implement during the lockdown. You can start by: 

  • Understand the audience 
  • Assess whether your product is in demand 
  • Evaluate the amount of website traffic and its source 
  • Notice how the user behavior on your website 

Prepare a marketing strategy around these factors. If your product is in demand, you can draw in a huge amount of traffic through your local implementations.  

And if it doesn’t fall into that category, you can lure them in by offering discounts and lockdown special offers like Neil Patel did by making many features of his Ubersuggest free and iCustomLabel.com did by offering free shipping during the lockdown. 

More focus on pay-per-click (PPC)

Believe it or not, cost-per-click (CPC) is proving more yielding for marketers during the corona lockdown. Since the supply of goods is limitedthere are fewer ads on leading marketing channels including Google Ads, Twitter Ads, and Facebook Ads. 

The traffic and searches both are highbut the competition and with that, the cost of paid ads have taken a downward trend. It could be great opportunity for your brand to gain exposure and increase traffic and sales. 

You can combine SEO, SMO with PPC in your digital marketing strategies. Here is how to get started on your per-per-click: 

  • Identify your ad and campaign objectives 
  • Discover the best marketing channel 
  • Determine your funnel 
  • Observe the results and refine your implementation 

Organize webinars and webcast

Webinars and webcasts have emerged as a great marketing tool in recent. 

In fact, it is the most engaging content type today. Stats show that more than 80% of users prefer watching brand videos rather than reading their blogs or scanning through their social network text updates.  

You can take this opportunity to engage with your audience anget new sign-ups and sales, eventually. 

If your physical events such as product launch, marketing seminars were canceled or postponed, through which you had plans to gain traction, you could still go that way. 

Just prepare a content strategy, choose the right platform, and assemble the pieces of equipment, and you are ready for your webinar or webcasting. 

Quick tips to help you get started with your webinar and live streaming marketing:

  • Always do a live-run test beforehand 
  • Use the questions asked for your blog topic 
  • Promote the event across social networks in advance 
  • And most importantly, plan the content and context of your webinar well 

The last point will require you to dig the trends and find an expert or two to be present at your event. 

Bottom line

When traffic and sales are down, a large number of marketers forget their customers. What they have their focus on is – sales, sales, and sales. 

But, who gives you sales? Your customers, of course. During the Coronavirus lockdown, people aren’t actually buying much. 

If you forget them, you will lose them. And getting new customers after the lockdown is over is going to be an intricate affair. So, the best practice is to – never actually forget them. 

You can stay connected with them on social networks. Just for a friendly reminder: Social network is a marketing channel – but that does not mean you should always use it to market your brand. Rather, use it to empathize with your followers, listen to their stories and tell them yours, and respond to their comments and mentions. 

Many brands are using social networks to show how they are contributing to the wellness of the communities during the corona crisis. If you are also doing social work, social media is the right place to tell everyone about it. It will help reestablish you as a responsible brand – which without a doubt would be a one up for your marketing success.

Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an Entrepreneur, internet marketer, and Co-founder of Lbswebsoft. He can be found on Twitter @bskathayat.

The post The impact of Coronavirus on digital marketing and effective solutions appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


US beat China on App Store downloads for first time since 2014, due to coronavirus impact

July 17, 2020 No Comments

The U.S. App Store’s downloads have surpassed China’s downloads for the first time since 2014. According to data from Sensor Tower’s Q2 2020 report, out today, the U.S. App Store saw 27.4% year-over-year growth in the quarter, compared to the 2.1% growth for the China App Store. During the quarter, the U.S. App Store generated 2.22 billion new installs compared with China’s 2.06 billion downloads, to regain the top position. This then translated to the U.S. beating China on App Store consumer spend, as well.

Contributing to the shift was the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on both China and the U.S.

The U.S. surpassed China on installs beginning in April and lasting all the way through June, the firm found.

China in Q2, meanwhile, was coming down from its own abnormally high number of downloads in March and April, due to COVID-19. But as its download figures began to normalize, the pandemic was wreaking havoc in the U.S., where it hit slightly later.

This led to the U.S. to see a surge in downloads, as suddenly the population was forced to work from home, attend school from home and entertain themselves at home with apps, games and streaming services.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Sensor Tower tells TechCrunch there was particularly significant growth in U.S. business and education apps in Q2, as a result. These categories were the largest contributors to the U.S. surpassing China’s installs.

Business app downloads grew 133.3% in Q2, followed by education (84.4%), health & fitness (57.7%), news 44.9%) and social networking (42.4%).

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Video conferencing app Zoom, in particular, had a breakout quarter and even shattered the record for App Store installs, with nearly 94 million total downloads in a single quarter. The prior record had been set by TikTok, which had in Q1 2020 seen 67 million downloads in a single quarter. No other non-game app has ever surpassed 50 million installs in a quarter, Sensor Tower noted.

TikTok still had a strong Q2, with nearly 71 million App Store downloads in the quarter, representing 154% year-over-year growth. Its top two download markets were both the U.S. and China — the latter where it’s known as Douyin.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Mobile gaming was also a big hit in the U.S., as people stayed home under government lockdowns. Top mobile games by App Store downloads included titles like Save The Girl, Roblox, Go Knots 3D, Coin Master, Tangle Master 3D, Fishdom, ASMR Slicing, Call of Duty: Mobile and others.

On this front, Roblox had a stellar quarter as kids stayed at home and went online gaming, due to being disconnected from school and their playmates in real life. Roblox’s gaming app shot up the U.S. rankings from No. 11 in Q1 2020 to No. 2 in Q2, and achieved a new high of 8.6 million downloads in the quarter.

Rollic Games had two hits in the quarter, Go Knots 3D and Tangle Master 3D, each with over 5 million App Store downloads. Its Repair Master 3D title also came in at No. 20.

Both Zoom and Rollic Games were the only new top publishers to find themselves in the top 10 on the App Store in Q2, the report found.

Image Credits: Sensor Tower

Though the U.S. surpassed China in the quarter for the first time in years, the rest of the top five — Japan, Great Britain and Russia — remained the same as last quarter, though growing on a year-over-year basis.

Related to the surge of new downloads, the U.S. also surpassed China on consumer spending on the App Store for the first time since Q4 2018 — but that was only by 1.6% (around $ 53 million). In Q2 2020, the U.S. surpassed China by 14%, or about $ 717 million.

The U.S. also saw more significant quarter-over-quarter growth in spending during the COVID-19 outbreak, growing 20% between Q1 and Q2. In China, the consumer spending growth on the App Store was just 5% between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020, when it felt the full impact of the virus.

Mobile – TechCrunch


Five Google Trends charts that show the impact of COVID-19

July 12, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • The world is now starting to open back up and we are marketers are adjusting to how we can be effective in this new reality.
  • Search data can help inform the strategic decisions around store locations, hours, payment methods and so much more so that your business can make smarter and more informed decisions on how to be successful.
  • As marketers struggle to grasp the magnitude of changes, Jason Tabeling highlights five Google Trends that can serve as immediate insights.

We all already know that the impact that COVID-19 is having on the world. We have all been under stay-at-home orders for about 90 days. The world is now starting to open back up and we are marketers are adjusting to how we can be effective in this new reality. It’s really hard to grasp the magnitude of changes that are occurring around us right now and it will take some time and perspective for us to truly understand. Search data is a powerful tool that can help us understand how consumers are feeling and reacting to situations. Here are five Google Trend charts that I think help us zoom out a bit and understand some trends that I believe will change the way we operate forever.

1. Retail vs Digital businesses

The world of traditional retail is changing forever. Here is a comparison between Instacart and Whole Foods. Now I know you can say Whole Foods is really Amazon and ecommerce, but that’s sort of the point. Every business is a digital business even if those particularly aren’t owned directly by Amazon. Quickly each business has had to move to a digital model and as you can see from this chart Instacart had a massive surge, has since tailed off, but has significantly closed the gap on Whole Foods. Instacart and other like businesses (Ex. Chewy or Doordash) now have a customer base that is much more comfortable in a digital world and won’t be going back.

Google Trends - Retail vs business

2. Store hours

If and when a store is open is a big deal during COVID-19. Many stores, restaurants, and other businesses were forced closed. Some were deemed essential, and as states re-open are deciding when they should open. This leaves consumers searching to find out how their favorite shops are responding.

For businesses and marketers, this makes keeping your Google My Business (GMB) and other Location Data Management sources (Facebook, Yelp, Apple Maps) up to date. Knowing consumers are seeking information and relying on this information to take action is key. Google has even created new tags like, “Temporarily Closed” to help businesses communicate with their customers easier. Making sure this data is accurate and up to date has always been important and is just magnified by the uncertainty this situation has created for all businesses and consumers.

Google Trends - Store Hours

3. “Contactless”

Check a Google Trends chart for anything “contactless” and you will see a very similar graph. The growth of all things contactless has spiked, delivery, payments, and pickup. This further accelerates the digital revolution. Cash has always been dirty, and in these times people are especially cautious. According to Times article paper money can transport a live flu virus for up to 17 days. This data point, plus all the CDC and WHO recommendations make anything contactless of interest for consumers.Google Trends - Contactless

4. “Curbside”

Curbside is very similar to “Contactless.” Both demonstrate the new ways consumers want to interact with brands. Having this type of pickup option allows consumers the ability to shop with their favorite brands, but not take the incremental risk of going inside the store. Consumers are looking for ways to continue with some sort of normal behavior, get out of their house, and not have to wait for shipping.

Best Buy for example had a curbside pickup at 100 stores in December and quickly accelerated to all 1,200 stores during the pandemic. Much like Contactless, curbside wasn’t even a term consumers were using until recently and we don’t expect it to go away any time soon.

Google Trends - Curbside pickup

5. Remote work

The way people approach their jobs has been forever changed. As you can see from the chart below remote work has been steadily growing since 2004, but has reached a peak over the last few months. This is especially interesting when comparing it to unemployment searches, which is a very sad side effect of the economy shut down. I’m hopeful that for those of us in digital marketing we can see this as a growth opportunity for talent across the country and world to work together to help make marketing stronger for these brands. To help them drive into a digital age that was a differentiator just 90 days ago, and has now been rushed into mandatory status for survival.

Conclusion

So much of our world has been changed forever. It is our job as marketers to help leverage the tools at our disposal. This is especially true for search engine marketing. Where we have the ability to understand how customers are thinking about our brands and the experiences they expect from us just be understanding how they search. This data is not only helpful for search campaigns but business strategy as well. Search data can help inform the strategic decisions around store locations, hours, payment methods and so much more so that your business can make smarter and more informed decisions on how to be successful.

The post Five Google Trends charts that show the impact of COVID-19 appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

Search Engine Watch


This Week in Apps: Protests impact app stores, FTC fines app developer, kids’ app trends

June 8, 2020 No Comments

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $ 120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People are now spending three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $ 544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

This week, we’re taking a look at how the civil unrest and George Floyd protests played out across the app stores. The events led some apps — including private messaging apps, police scanners and alerting apps, and other social communication apps — to surge, and even break records. Google decided to delay the launch of Android 11 beta 1 in light of the recent events.

We’re also keeping up with COVID-19 apps and how the pandemic is changing app usage and consumer behavior. Plus, the FTC fined an app developer over privacy violations in a warning shot for the app industry; Zoom faced criticism for its encryption plans; Apple launched an open-source resource for password managers; and more.

How the George Floyd protests impacted the app stores

Protests drive downloads of police scanners 

Downloads of police scanner apps, tools for private communication and mobile safety apps hit record numbers last weekend in the U.S., amid the nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd, as well as the systemic problems of racial prejudice that plague the American justice system. According to data from app store intelligence firm Apptopia, top U.S. police scanner apps were downloaded a combined 213,000 times last weekend, including Friday — a 125% increase from the weekend prior and a record number for this group of apps.

The group of top apps included those with similar, if somewhat generic, titles, such as Scanner Radio – Fire and Police Scanner, Police Scanner, 5-0 Radio Police Scanner, Police Scanner Radio & Fire and Police Scanner +.

Citizen, Signal and others spike during protests

In addition to tracking police movements with scanners, protestors organized and communicated on secure messaging app Signal. Meanwhile, community safety app Citizen, which sends out police alerts, also saw a jump in usage. According to Apptopia, Citizen and Signal both set daily download records, Vox noted earlier this week.

Citizen

Citizen’s app lets users see “incidents,” based on radio communications with 911 dispatchers, police, fire departments and other emergency responders. The app uses high-powered scanners to tune into public radio channels, then digitizes and transcribes the audio, and turns those into incidents placed on the map. But the app is popular because it’s more than a police scanner; it includes a social networking layer where users can react and comment. 

Based on more recent data provided to TechCrunch by Sensor Tower, Citizen was installed around 620,000 times by first-time users in the U.S. during the past week, an increase of about 916% compared to the week prior. First-time installs reached a record 150,000 on June 2, nearly 12x the app’s average of 13,000 daily first-time installs during May. On average, the app was downloaded close to 86,000 times per day, or 6.6x larger than May’s daily average. The app grew to be as high as No. 4 on Tuesday, June 2 on the U.S. App Store, and is now No. 32 Overall on the top free charts.

Signal

Image Credits: Signal

The firm also estimated that Signal had been installed by approximately 135,000 first-time users in the U.S. during the past week across the app stores. This figure represented growth of 165% from the preceding seven days, or about 2.6x that total of approximately 51,000 new installs. Signal averaged about 19,000 installs per day over the past seven days.

For comparison’s sake, Signal was downloaded around 269,000 times in all of May and its average daily number of installs was 9,000. That makes the average for the past week about 2x higher.

Signal is currently ranked at No. 137 among the top free iPhone apps on the U.S. App Store. Earlier, it was ranked at No. 107 on Tuesday, June 2.

This week, Signal also added built-in face blurring for photos, to help better secure the sharing of sensitive information across its network.

Nextdoor and Neighbors by Ring

The civil unrest also impacted neighborhood networking app installs, as communities looked to share information about the protests with one another. Social networking app for neighbors Nextdoor was installed by 185,000 first-time users in the U.S. over the past week, an increase of 26% from 147,000 installs in the week prior. The app also jumped up nearly 50 places in the U.S. App Store rankings, moving from No. 2,014 to No. 156 in the top free iPhone apps chart.

Amazon-owned Neighbors by Ring, where neighbors share alerts, including security camera footage, was installed by 36,000 first-time users in the past week, an increase of 89% from its approximately 19,000 installs the week prior.

Twitter has a record-breaking week as users looked for news of protests and COVID-19

Civil unrest due to the nationwide George Floyd protests drove Twitter to see a record number of new installs this week, according to data from two app store intelligence firms, Apptopia and Sensor Tower. While the firms’ exact findings differed in terms of the total number of new downloads or when records were broken, the firms agreed that Twitter’s app had its largest-ever week, globally.

The app saw at least 677,000 installs at its highest point, Apptopia said. Sensor Tower said it topped 1 million. Twitter also broke a record for daily active users on Twitter in the U.S., when some 40 million people in the U.S. logged into the app on June 3, Apptopia noted. For comparison’s sake, Twitter reported its app had 31 million “monetizable” daily active users (mDAUs) in the U.S. in Q4 2019, which grew to 33 million in Q1 2020.

The spike in installs was attributed to the protests, which were being watched by a global audience, and COVID-19, which continued to spread in worldwide markets.

Apps turn their icons black in support of George Floyd protests 

A small handful of apps did the equivalent of the Instagram black square by turning their icons black this week as a gesture of support toward the protests and civil rights. Participating apps included Reddit, Joss & Main and Shop Avani, for instance. Moves like this can be criticized as being merely performative, but one of the companies involved — Reddit — later followed up with real action. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanion on Friday announced he was resigning as a member of the Reddit board, and is now urging them to fill his seat with a black candidate. He also said he would use his future gains from Reddit stock to serve the black community, starting with a $ 1 million pledge to Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

COVID-19 app updates and news


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COVID-19 and its impact on ad spend

April 17, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • The COVID-19 crisis is affecting everyone, and every business is dealing or at least trying their best to deal with it.
  • According to Statista, the advertising industry is looking at a $ 26 billion loss in revenue as of early March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Ad spend declines up to 50% are expected across all channels, according to advertising professionals. 
  • The impact is big and there’s a lot to unpack, so let’s take a look at ad spend and explore some of the options available to advertisers in the coming months.

Needless to say that the current COVID-19 crisis is in its full swing. Many countries are in a complete lockdown and the impact is felt everywhere, including the global ad spend. The global economy is estimated to suffer $ 2.7 trillion loss, with the most significant impact happening in the third sector, with public services like hotels and restaurants in complete shutdown. 

Marketing and sales are in significant decline as the customers start saving money due to fear and unemployment. More than six million have claimed for unemployment, and the Federal Reserve estimates that the unemployment rate may hit 32% in the worst-case scenario. 

The crisis is affecting everyone, and every business is dealing or at least trying their best to deal with it. 

The impact is big and there’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s take a look at ad spend and explore some of the options available to advertisers in the coming months. 

Coronavirus ad spend impact 

Advertising thrives on ROI and the customers simply aren’t spending at the moment.

According to Statista, the advertising industry is looking at a $ 26 billion loss in revenue as of early March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s a 10% decline in revenue and a huge impact on U.S. ad spend. Ad spend declines up to 50% are expected across all channels, according to advertising professionals. 

Traditional out-of-home advertising is impacted the most with a 51% ad spend decline in March/April. Digital media is hanging around 40%, while the best estimates go to social media and paid search, with 33% and 30% decline, respectively.

stat on consumer behavior and ad spend during COVID-19 times

Source: Statista

A forecast from emarketer shows similar results, the global ad spend is down $ 20 billion from the beginning of the year, and marketers should focus their ad spend on PPC and email

Retail demand is down 86% as shown by Amperity’s crisis tracker, mostly due to stores closing down, but online sales also continue to suffer, as online revenue drops by 70%. 

There are also some positives, with the Health & Beauty sector showing growth during the crisis. 

Most tech buyers also expect to spend more as a result of trying to adapt to the new measures and move to work remotely. B2B software sales are expected to increase. 

Ad spend is down across all channels, however, instead of stopping ad spend, marketers should refocus their efforts to more resilient channels such as social media, paid search, and email. 

While most businesses are suffering heavy losses, some sectors are thriving. 

Media consumption during COVID-19

Most customers are spending their time home, which raises the question, “What are they spending their time on?”

Media consumption has spiked all across the globe, with 36% users reporting that they watch more news, 27% watch more shows, 21% spend longer time social media, 18% engage in gaming, and so on. 

Streaming is thriving, Conviva reports a 26% increase in streaming during the pandemic.

Streaming, gaming, and online food delivery are on the rise. Visual Capitalist shows how quarantine impacts consumer internet activities.

Businesses looking to thrive with advertising in the current crisis should look to focus their efforts on popular media as that is where the customers spend their time. 

Takeaways

Social distancing is in full effect and we are all trying to take care of ourselves. 

As the global ad spend declines, some channels show more promise than others, and that is exactly where the focus should be. Businesses hit by the crisis should look to spend money on resilient channels such as search, social media, and email. 

It might be the perfect time to optimize your website with tools to improve performance and get more insight into what is working and what is not. Marketers should also look into automation solutions to improve the reach even when resources are lacking. 

Businesses are going to struggle for a while, but there are still opportunities to grow, especially on the channels mentioned above. Nobody can predict the full impact just yet, but it’s better to be prepared than to sit and hope for the best. 

What are some of the major impacts on your business and how do you plan to respond? 

The post COVID-19 and its impact on ad spend appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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This Week in Apps: Apple launches a COVID-19 app, the outbreak’s impact on social and video apps and more

March 29, 2020 No Comments

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the Extra Crunch series that recaps the latest OS news, the applications they support and the money that flows through it all.

The app industry saw a record 204 billion downloads and $ 120 billion in consumer spending in 2019, according to App Annie’s “State of Mobile” annual report. People are now spending 3 hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, rivaling TV. Apps aren’t just a way to pass idle hours — they’re a big business. In 2019, mobile-first companies had a combined $ 544 billion valuation, 6.5x higher than those without a mobile focus.

In this Extra Crunch series, we help you keep up with the latest news from the world of apps, delivered on a weekly basis.

This week, we’re continuing our special coverage of how the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting apps and the wider mobile app industry as more COVID-19 apps appear — including one from Apple built in partnership with the CDC, among others. We also take a look at the gains made by social and video apps in recent weeks as people struggle to stay connected while stuck at home in quarantine. In other headlines, we dig into Instagram’s co-watching feature, the Google for Games conference news, Apple’s latest releases and updates, Epic Games expansion into publishing and more.

Coronavirus Special Coverage

Social video apps are exploding due to the COVID-19 pandemic


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