3 Ways Health Data Will Impact All Marketers

The popularity of smartphones means that businesses are gaining increasing insight into what consumers want – and exactly when and where. Location-based technology allows anyone with a smart device to find the nearest3 Ways Health Data Will Impact All Marketers restaurant, or shoe store, or coffee shop, or even individual items in a particular aisle of a store. People who use fitness or health applications can track their activity levels and other important wellness factors.

Of course, as the prevalence of location-based data rises, so do privacy concerns. Though consumers are certainly warming up to this type of data sharing, there is an overarching fear about what it all means in the grand scope of consumer privacy. This is especially true when it comes to health data. When consumers are tracked in this realm, does it cross the strict lines of privacy that lawmakers have tried so hard to protect through legislation like HIPAA laws?

It’s an interesting debate, certainly. On one hand, better health tracking benefits patients and can save time in the event of an emergency. On the other hand, health data has always been closely guarded because it can lead to things like discrimination.

But what does it all mean for everyone else? What can all marketers understand better about consumers, based on the health data debate? Why should non-health related apps and services pay attention to what happens with the information allowed in health technology? Here are just a few reasons that what happens with consumer privacy regarding health data will impact everyone else:

  • Consumers will become more aware. As the health tracking debate comes to the public surface, consumers who knew very little about how their smart devices track them will start to learn more. They may not like what they learn – and it could spell trouble for marketers in the future.
  • Consumers will expect more. Think of all the things your smartphone already does for you: gives you instant internet access, reads you your texts and emails, reminds you when it is your mom’s birthday or when you need to make an important phone call for work. As each part of our lives gets connected to smart applications, we expect more intuitive measures from everything else. This mentality will be heightened even more if health apps are fully integrated in what we use our phones to do.
  • Consumers will look elsewhere. As the laws in the U.S. are put in place to provide privacy protection on health apps, consumers will learn more about how data is protected in other countries. Expect issues like the right to be forgotten online to surface with more vocal support from the general public.

Overall the adoption of health apps will lift the mobile technology industry by mainstreaming a necessary area into smartphone usage. It’s important for all marketers to understand the implications of health-based apps and what the laws end up looking like surrounding them, because it will impact consumer behavior and expectations.

What do you think the laws should be when it comes to health tracking?

Picking the Perfect Domain Name in 2015 and Beyond

Picking the Perfect Domain Name

When you set out to launch a new website, settling on a fantastic domain name is easily one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make. At the end of the day, a domain name is so much more than an easy way to find your site. In many ways, it can determine whether or not your site is successful. Use the following tips to select the best domain name possible.

Pick a Name with Staying Power

Domain name fads tend to wax and wane over the years. For instance, it seems like every other site that comes out nowadays dislikes vowels and has to have the letter “R” on the end. Tumblr, Flickr and Pixlr are some of the most egregious examples. Ignore the popular trends and find a domain name that hasn’t been claimed yet without becoming a soon-to-be-dated cliche.

Avoid Confusing Spelling Choices

The worst domain names are the ones that don’t feature a clear delineation between their constituent words. Repeating letters should be avoided at all costs. For instance, something along the lines of “SmartStartup.com” or “RusticCooking.com” looks terrible and can lead to errors when visitors try to type it into their browser bars. Pick a domain name that’s intuitive and won’t lead to spelling errors on the part of would-be fans.

Use at Least One Dictionary Keyword

While the intricacies of SEO are always changing, the focus on major and minor keywords does not. Your domain name should feature at least one moderately specific keyword related to the focus of your site that can be used to direct searchers to your content. Try to get specific but not too specific. For instance, a site about horseback riding should at least feature the word “horse” in the URL.

Make Site & Domain Names Identical

Some sites have domain names that don’t quite jive with their brand name. While that’s acceptable in some cases, it’s best if your domain name and site name are as close as possible. A business called “A1 Stucco Roofs” should use a domain name like “A1StuccoRoofs.com” for its primary website. This helps to eliminate confusion on the part of potential clients and solidifies the brand.

Use an Extension That’s Logical

Lastly, your choice of extension can have a big impact on the success of your site. A customized TLD is easy to get but not always warranted or wise. Most people want to see a “.com” or some other fairly common extension on a reputable site. A “.me” extension is fine for social media sites. Only use uncommon extensions if it makes sense in the context of your domain name.

Finding a Home for Your Domain Name

Once you’ve nailed down a great domain name, the next step is to find a domain registrar to buy from. A good start would be Register.com, one of the outfits online that also boasts superlative customer service. Losing the perfect domain name because you’ve opted for a lousy domain registrar is tragic and ultimately preventable if you exercise sound judgement

Need to Know SEO: 6 Hot Tips

 

Innovation in the palm of your hands_Sept14Small businesses, bloggers, and marketers all want their Web pages to rank. Whether you have a little or a lot of experience with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you probably know that getting your site on that first page of results takes dedication.

Gone are the days of stuffing a page with keywords and gaming the system. What you must know for SEO for the coming year involves changing technology and adopting a more personal approach.

1. Optimize your Mobile Site Immediately

Google’s focus is turning to mobile and that’s not going away. Their Mobile Playbook clearly outlines the steps you should be taking. Websites must function perfectly on phones, tablets, and computers. While some businesses may need designs specific to each device, the overwhelming majority can give priority to mobile-friendly design that also tests well on a computer.

Current operating systems blur the lines between mobile and desktop display, so you can’t go wrong putting mobile optimization above desktop. You can’t expect mobile users to convert while using a that only displays correctly on a desktop browser, but a desktop browser will be flexible enough to handle a website optimized for mobile.

2. Embrace Location-Specific SEO Strategy

People use GPS-enabled smartphones to search for businesses. A Google study found that four of five people conduct local searches. They look for business hours, location, address, and product availability. Of people searching on the go, 56% are looking for local businesses. More than twice as many local searchers made a purchase within a day, compared to non-local searchers.

Regardless of whether it relies heavily on local customers, local SEO impacts your business. Claiming your name and ensuring your contact information is correct means that people who search for you will be able to find you, talk to you, and perhaps become your customer. It also lets your happy customers leave reviews for all to see. Bonus points for adding a high quality photo of your business.

3. Target People, Not Keywords

With the Google shift to secure search, keyword referral data isn’t trackable. Which means you must change the way you develop and track the usefulness of keywords. Communicating with your customers and potential customers is a valuable way to gather quality data about how they are finding you. Moz Academy put together a short lesson with to target your potential customers.

For better SEO, analyze your current and future customer base. What do they like? What are their interests? There are a few ways to do this: through your website analytics (track behavior and trends—where are they dropping off?) and by using tags/user-defined fields/social features in your CRM.

4. Organic Still Matters
The first quarter 2014 RKG Digital Marketing Report showed only 30% of site visits occurred via organic search. That’s a marked decline that led many people to believe that organic search is becoming insignificant. However, the number remained steady for more than one year. We also know that the method for collecting this data changed. A whopping 85% of Google search visits were keyword “Not Provided.”

Organic results come from having quality content on your site without shifty SEO tactics. People searching for exactly what you offer find you because your site is an authority on what they need. How could that be insignificant?

5. Include SEO in all your Marketing Efforts

Social media people, public relations people, even your copy editors must all understand why what they’re doing is important to SEO and how important search is to gaining customers. Ways to build this relationship across all marketing efforts will vary depending on the size of your business. Customer relationship management (CRM) software and project management apps can bridge departments and connect project stakeholders. , such as file sharing and Evernote integration, may be just the right tools to keep your teams on the same page about SEO.

6. Always Be Proactive

You’ve heard of or experienced Google penalties, bad link building, black hat SEO, and the ever-changing best practices for SEO. As Google continues to evolve to provide users the best page results for their needs, one thing remains constant. Really, it comes down to quality. Your site must contain quality content, be easy to use, and answer the question your customer is asking. By taking proactive steps, such as publishing authoritative content and disavowing spammy links, you can help fortify your site against search engine updates that seek to weed out low quality results.

Search engines are concerned with providing the best results to users. They will continue to refine their methods for doing so as long as there are people using the Internet. Be in the places your target audience is, giving them the information they need, on the devices they use. Always strive for quality because that is what search engines work to find.

Diana Doherty is a freelance writer specializing in SEO content, and is a contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She loves all things tech, photography, craft, military family life, and business. She earned her BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego.