People using DuckDuckGo as their primary search engine is increasing as online privacy becomes a priority.
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Marketing on DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is becoming an increasingly popular search engine due to the fact that individuals are paying more attention to the tracking of their online activity being utilized by other search engines.  Restricting paid ads to the “usual” search engines which have historically held a majority of market share may be limiting your exposure to potential customers and clients.

If you’ve been thinking about incorporating DuckDuckGo into your PPC stack, here are some facts you need to know at a glance:

  • DuckDuckGo uses info from Apple Maps vs. Google Maps for location searches.
  • DuckDuckGo uses Yelp search results for ratings and review searches.
  • DuckDuckGo has about 1% of market share of all searches in the United States according to Stat Counter.  Data is based on usage from Feb 2018 thru Feb 2019.

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Search Engine Market Share

  • DuckDuckGo market share (users) in the United States has grown at an average rate of +75% over the past four years.
  • In SriLanka, DuckDuckGo is as preferred as Google, providing the same number of search results to the same number of users in that region of the globe. (More details from Quora.)
  • DuckDuckGo paid ads uses the same model as Google and Bing – you only pay for clicks, not impressions or a monthly fee.
  • More than half the searches on DuckDuckGo are on mobile, compatible with Apple iPhones since it’s using Apple location data.
  • Location based searches are just as valid on DuckDuckGo since search results are based on keyword. So when a user types in “Dentist in Smallville,” the location is within the query. “Near me” queries are typically made on a mobile device and therefore using the location data sent via the phone.
  • Use a Bing Ad account to run ads on DuckDuckGo.
  • DuckDuckGo has agreements with Amazon and Ebay, meaning product searches on DuckDuckGo will result in Amazon and Ebay results vs. Google Shopping results – good to know if you have an e-commerce site.
  • DuckDuckGo is not know for “influencing” user experience or attempting to include “ephemeral” messages on SERPs.  In fact, the attractiveness of DuckDuckGo to many users is that the search engine provides results based on nothing except keyword relevancy.
  • Remarketing and Retargeting are not available to users of DuckDuckGo since the search engine retains no user data.

For digital marketing help contact the Savvy Sister Marketing team.  We specialize in small and mid-sized businesses, and we empower business owners to understand their marketing and what increases their bottom line.  Call Now – We’ll Get You There.

avoiding pop up ads makes a better user experience - woman sitting at computer smiling
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User Experience and the Coalition for Better Ads

User experience is paramount in the new Chrome.

By way of explaining this, let’s travel back in time to the 1900s. Waaaaaay back in the early 1990s when AOL, Earthlink, and Yahoo were what people were using to browse the web, online advertising was in its infancy. Ads were strictly placement ads on specific websites, and sites were, believe it or not, actually indexed by human beings who would read content on a page and determine what type of query that page would satisfy. It was the wild west for online advertising because anything flashy, huge, multi-colored, and attention-grabbing was permitted.

avoiding pop up ads makes a better user experience - woman sitting at computer smiling

For best user experience, avoid pop-up ads and promotions on your site as much as possible.

Fast forward to late 1990s and early 2000, some genius college students realized what a horrible experience browsing the web was and decided to change that. Introducing Google. Google search engine was groundbreaking in that it would not show results that were paid, it would show results that were RELEVANT to the query.

Without getting into the AdWords bidding system, let’s just say that the algorithm scored “documents” (landing pages) based on their relevance to a query, and the amount that webpage owner was bidding to show their ad was a factor, but not the deciding factor. This immediately raised the bar for user experience. No longer were users at the mercy of the highest bidder. Google was the first browser to be user-centric and, therefore, rapidly became the most popular browser in the online world.

Since then, Google has set the standard for not only what is a good user experience, but what is an appropriate ad. Ads can no longer make outrageous guarantees or bait-and-switch. Advertisers are held to a fairly high standard because it’s built into the search engine algorithm that if the query does not match the information (images and text) on the page, that page ranks very low in both paid and organic results.

Now, a new level of filtering is coming into play, and it’s largely due to the findings of the Coalition for Better Ads. The role of the Coalition for Better Ads is to, like Google, ensure that the internet is a PLEASANT experience for users, users find search results helpful, and advertisers are held to a very high standard of integrity and ad quality.

The Coalition for Better Ads has actually indexed sites that offer poor user experiences, and the new Google Chrome Ad Filter, which is built right into the browser, is utilizing this data to determine which ads show and which don’t. In other words, if your site offers a terrible user experience because of pop-ups, flashing text or distracting animations, or if your site has videos that auto-play, or prestitial ads with a countdown (the ad covers the page until the countdown ends), the Coalition for Better Ads has probably deemed your site “correlated with an increased propensity for consumers to adopt ad blockers.” That’s a mouthful, but it basically means the site is annoying, misleading or distracting to a user, and, therefore, is NOT offering a good user experience.

In summary, do NOT put pop-ups on your site.

Accessible websites CAN be affordable for small business owners.
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Accessible Websites – Is Your Site Compliant?

Accessible websites are becoming increasingly important.  Small business owners, especially those who have an online store, a brick and mortar location, or restaurant with online ordering capability.  A recent ruling in a South Florida District Court statedcthat if a store is online, handicap accessibility laws apply just as they would a brick and mortar location.

Many do-it-yourself web hosting services are addressing this issue, but if your site is outdated, you may need to update some elements to make it accessible to all.  Here are five signs your site may not be accessible:

  • There is no “ring” or “focus ring” around the selected element.  In other words, if you cannot visually tell where your cursor is on the site, or what element is selected either via color change or some type of highlighting ring around that element, you don’t know which element is “in focus.” Web Accessibility Guidelines specifically state that the element selected must have an indication which element has focus.  Worried about style?  No problem – use a box shadow, or underline text if it’s a menu item.  Those options can fit with any style, and will keep your site compliant and still looking classy.
  • Radio buttons and dropdown menus for choosing specific attributes of an item, (like toppings on a pizza, or size of t-shirt) may not always work with the user’s browser screenreader or other screenreader technology.  If you’re not sure if your radio buttons or menu choices are accessible, it might be a good idea to reach out to a webmaster who is versed in accessibility semantics.  Paying for an audit of your site, and some minor surgery will be worth it to bring your site up to date and be in compliance with accessibility guidelines.  More importantly, it will keep your customers happy, and returning.
  • You can’t tab through your site, OR you hit tab and you no longer know where the focus is. The basic accessibility principle here is that your site must be navigable via keyboard and not exclusively relying on using mouse/click to navigate to different elements on the site. Here’s a quick way to check that. Can you use the tab button on the keyboard to move through your menu?  If not, that’s a definite sign your site is not accessible.  A user’s ability to use keyboard shortcuts is vital for a site to be accessible.  Users with a disability that prevents using a mouse, or those who must use blow tubes to navigate a site need elements that can be selected via keyboard and not just click.
  • Low contrast, justified text, and crowded elements can make sites difficult to read and navigate for individuals with vision or motor disabilities.  If elements are too close together, someone who has difficulty using a mouse may struggle with navigation.  Red and green as well as blue and yellow are indistinguishable to individuals with color blindness.  If you’re in doubt, seek guidance from a local disability advocacy group, and, more often than not, they will thank you for reaching out and making sure that your site is accessible to all.
  • Minimal design helps those with cognitive difficulties like ADD, Dyslexia and Autism.  Minimizing the number of elements can help reduce their need to “zoom” and manually reduce the amount of information on a page.  If you think it’s busy, it’s too busy.
  • 2018 is bringing changes in ADA Accessibility / Website Accessibility guidelines, but thankfully, there is technology and experts out there who can bring your site into compliance and create a great user experience for individuals with disabilities. Hopefully these tips can help you determine if your site needs some improvement to make it accessible to all.  More importantly than following the law, a site that is built to accessibility guidelines is a solid website, free of major problems, and actually creates a better experience for all users, not just those with disabilities.

    If you would like more information on bringing your site into compliance with current Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) contact Savvy Sister Marketing today! We Will Help You!