Links from the show:
- People take more time to read emails on mobiles than on desktop
- Big makeover to AdWords coming this month
- Google Search Console send verification emails to webmasters by mistake
- www vs non-www does not matter
- There are now 3 billion users on social media
- Apple will launch a new watch with LTE support later this year
- Help out in the WordPress support forums – wordpress.org/support/view/no-replies/
When people get emails on their computer, they read through them. But on mobile, they tend to only skim, right? Well, maybe not. According to a study from Return Path, users actually spend more time in each email when on a mobile device, not less. Before we get into that though, this is A Brighter Web, episode #12, brought to you by all of us at GreenMellen, which includes me, Mickey Mellen, and some of my awesome coworkers and friends that you’ll hear in future episodes.
Our goal with this podcast is to share news, products, and ideas with you so we can all make the web a brighter place to be. These might be actual web tips, talking about strategy, WordPress plugins and UX, or it might be productivity ideas to help you get more done and free up your time to do great things. We also want to thank our sponsor ClickHOST.com. ClickHOST provides top-rate web hosting at prices as low as $5 a month. Visit clickhost.com/abw for an exclusive 20 percent off discount for listeners of A Brighter Web. Today, we’ll talk more about email use on mobile, a big makeover coming to Google AdWords, including or excluding “www” in your domain name, and much more. Let’s dig in.
Conventional wisdom seems to tell us that people would read through emails further on desktop than on mobile, but actual research shows the opposite of what you’d think. The folks at Return Path did some studies and found that 64 percent of emails on mobile were fully read, versus just 45 percent on desktop. Further, the abandonment rate, email open for less than two seconds, was 30 percent on desktop and only 15 percent on mobile. Mobile email use is even better on the weekend — 60 percent of emails opened on Saturday and Sunday are opened on a mobile device, compared with roughly 53 percent during the week. The takeaway from this is to make sure your emails are mobile responsive. It’s a bit trickier than building a mobile responsive website, but most platforms, such as MailChimp, make it pretty easy.
If you use Google AdWords, look for another makeover coming this month. According to Search Engine Journal, there’s an update coming that’ll apply only to mobile ads, but they’ll change how site links, callouts, and structured snippets are displayed. If you dig into AdWords quite a bit, you want to be aware of these changes to see how they’ll affect you, so check out the full article in our show notes.
If you’re like me, you may have gotten some notifications last week from Google Search Console saying that new users were verified to your sites. This was quite confusing to me because I knew they weren’t. Google did just confirm they sent some mistaken emails last week that weren’t really accurate for people getting those new verifications. So if you got any, it’s safe to just ignore them. Like I said, I got a few and it had me worried for a few days to see what was going on, but lots of people had it, and Google said it’s not a big deal and you’re safe to just ignore them.
Over the years, there’s been a lot of talk about whether or not you should include “www” in your domain name. Conventional wisdom has always said it didn’t matter as long as you force one or the other, and the same is true now. Search Engine Roundtable has a good roundup about how this works, but ultimately, it’s the same idea we’ve known for years. Pick either having “www” in your domain name or not, stick to it, and set up redirects to force users to one or the other. Some good examples are if you go to searchengineland.com, it’ll always force no “www,” so if you type in www.searchengineland.com, you’ll see the w’s disappear. On our site at GreenMellen Media, we always do force the “www,” so if you type it with or without, you’ll always see the w’s appear. Again, neither way is better than the other, and Google has made it clear that neither is better than the other. But do try to force one way or the other to keep things consistent, and you’ll be in better shape.
It’s a number we knew was coming, but now there are officially over 3 billion users on social media worldwide. This is approximately 40 percent of the world’s population. Of the 3 billion, Facebook leads the way with roughly 2 billion, behind that are YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, each with over a billion, and others like Instagram with 700 million are contributing to that as well. The full article is at Mashable.com, which we’ve linked in the show notes, so you can check it out. We’ll see how long it takes until we get to 4 billion.
There’s been yet another report that the latest version of Apple’s smartwatch will indeed launch with LTE support later this year, so you can use the watch without your phone and still get notifications and phone calls and that sort of thing. Now this was supposed to happen last year and it didn’t, so it still could get delayed again, but it’s looking more and more likely. The big challenge with this is battery life. Smartwatches have a battery that’s roughly a tenth of the size of the one in your phone, and adding LTE is a battery killer for those. They really want to make sure they last a full day, so it’s tough to do without.
Android Wear has had smartwatches with LTE for a few years now — a lot of different models that have had that. So if you really want LTE, Android watches can take care of it. But like I said, battery life is an issue and none of those watches have really sold particularly well. For me, I kind of see the angle for LTE. In talking to other folks, I see some places where it could useful, but I really want a fairly dumb smartwatch. Android Wear today is pretty much what I want — show me my notifications, maybe let me archive my email — I don’t really need all those apps and LTE, but I’m not every user either. We’ll see what people want in general, and it seems that LTE is something people are clamoring for, so hopefully they can get that to work with minimal impact on battery, and maybe even start packing some larger batteries in the watches. We’ll see what happens. Look for that coming later in the year, and we’ll see what Apple ends up doing.
My tip of the week for you this week is to go help out in the WordPress forums. If you use WordPress much at all, you have some knowledge you can share with others, and there’s hundreds and hundreds of people in the WordPress support forums that need help, and it’s up to people like you and me to help them. Now what you can do is use a helpful link that I’ll include in our show notes to quickly see all the posts that have been written that have no replies yet. I like to look at those no replies posts because these are people that are looking for answers. Some may be brand new posts, but others have been there a few hours or even a few days and still haven’t had an answer, so those are the ones I want to try to help out the most. If you go to: wordpress.org/support/view/no-replies, you’ll see all those no replies threads across all the forums and try to help out where you can. Again, I’ll have that link in the show notes, so you can go in and hopefully help some folks out.
That’s all we have for this week. You can find me on Twitter @mickmel (m-i-c-k-m-e-l), or learn lots more at: greenmellenmedia.com. You can find out more about the podcast, including show notes and links, at abrighterweb.com, or on Facebook or Twitter @ABrighterWeb. If you’re in the Atlanta area, come check out our meetup, held three times each month, and if you’re not in the Atlanta area, we post recaps on our site soon after each meetup. Either way, you can learn more about that at: abrighterweb.com/meetup. Thank you for listening.