Google just let out a teaser video and we don’t know what to think. It’s a little ominous if you ask me. The ad sheds no light on what kind of phone this is going to be. But, after some simple Google browsing, I was able to determine Oct. 4 marks the release date for the new Google Pixel 2. Check out Google’s recent video ad below.
Thanks to Google AdWords, driving mobile app downloads is easier than ever. Originally the only option on AdWords for an app campaign was their manual app-install campaigns. With the launch of their Universal App Campaigns (UAC) two years ago, things have become even more a breeze. Now, AdWords is moving all app-install ads under the UAC umbrella, putting Google in the driver’s seat.
The rules of supply and demand are pretty simple, as demand goes up supply goes down and costs go up. This principal effects CPC and search advertising. It seems like marketers feel some sort of pressure to get their ads to the top of search results today. The pressure to be at the top has increased CPC to the highest it’s ever been, and it’s only forecast to keep rising.
When my co-worker forwarded me an email with a strange link that said “Open in Docs” I was intrigued. The link took me to a screen that asked me to log into my account and then proceeded to ask for permission to “read, send, delete, and manage your email” and also to “manage your contacts”. Ha! Why would I ever allow someone to manage my gmail? I deleted it immediately, but some people proceeded with allowing the phisher to have access. The link has been spread across the internet, affecting more than a million people.
On June 28, 2011, Google launched their social network product – Google+. The Internet went crazy. Rumors flew around about needing to whip up a Google+ profile for your business because Google would, in turn, rank you higher. That may or may not have happened – but most likely did. Now, March of 2015, Google+ is changing again. And, the Internet, once again, has gone a little crazy. Fun fact: search volume for the keyword “Google+” is up 122%, month over month! So, with that, here’s the scoop:
This week, Google announced that it was revamping its Google+ product, splitting the once all-inclusive social media platform into Hangouts, Streams and Photos. Soon after, many news outlets pounced on this news, proclaiming the end of a maligned platform that never saw as much use as Facebook or Twitter.
The thing is, Google+ isn’t going away. It might be called something else, but for those that still like posting updates and interacting with others socially will still be able to do so through Streams. Google may retool this area, as the concept of Circles and so on was never something that caught on with a majority of users.
Those that use Google Hangouts for chats, conference calls and video interaction will still be able to do so. Hangouts, in particular, is a strong component of the overall experience, as the free features it provides rival the paid experiences of many rivals like Skype, GoToMeeting, Lync, or even FaceTime.
Those that love the Photos feature of Google+ for automatically syncing photos from mobile and desktop, organizing them for you and allowing you to find them easily — that will still work too. I’ve tried a lot of photo backup solutions, and I still gravitate back toward Photos, because it integrates seamlessly with Android phones as if it were a native, offline photos app.
Using Google+ for social posting will still be important…
For those that want to get their message to the widest possible audience, streaming content on Google+ will still be important. Often, a public Google+ update will get a more favorable Google search listing than a comparable public Facebook post (and Twitter is only now going back to being re-indexed by Google). Many apps like Flipboard and HTC’s BlinkFeed still aggregate content from Google+, along with the other social networks, and I don’t expect that to change after the split.
Bottom line: Google+ got a bad rap, but whatever part of the social media network you still liked using will carry over — it’ll just be rebranded and might work a little differently. But, as with everything else Google has done, we will first complain, then adapt, and begin to find effective ways to leverage their changes.
Follow StrataBue on Google+
The digital marketing team at StrataBlue will also adapt and learn about ways to leverage Google’s new version of their social network(s). Feel free to drop us line if you want to talk – click here to fill out an online form now. Or, stay connected with us by following our own Google+ page! Click the image below to connect!
So a little fact about myself before I dive into this blog – I love the TV show The West Wing. Yes, I know, it stopped airing in 2005 but Netflix is like a drug. I’m not super political and as a quick disclaimer, this blog post will also not be political. With President’s Day occurring earlier this week, I felt it would be appropriate to talk about how the Internet and social media changed the ways in which the President and his staff disseminate information.
So you’ve got Google Analytics set up on your website, and you know where people are going once they get there. But how do you determine where they’re coming from, out of all the potential sources?
Enter Google URL Builder. By using this simple, free tool from Google, you generate a string of tags which can be sent back to Google Analytics for tracking. The tags get added to the root URL so that you can later determine from where clicks originated — be it from social media, your blog, e-mail campaigns and even online advertising. Consistent use of this analytics code will enable you to track custom campaigns and determine a customer or potential customer’s entry point to your site, whether he or she converts into a paying customer, how long the customer spends on your site, where they exit from and so on.
The web address where you can access this free link-building tool is difficult to remember, so the best thing to do is Google “Google URL Builder” and click on the first search result that comes up.
There are many UTM parameter fields to fill out to generate the correct tags that get added to your URL, so let’s get started:
Step 1: Enter the URL of your website.
This step is going to change each time depending on what part of your website you are linking to, whether it be a specific product, blog post or offer.
Step 2: Fill in the fields below.
This is where the link comes from. If it’s an e-mail newsletter, put in “newsletter.” If it’s a Facebook ad campaign, put in “Facebook.” Be sure to stay consistent with word choice and case sensitivity so that future campaigns don’t get lost if you want them categorized the same.
How is the link carried from the source to the destination? If the source is newsletter, the medium is “email.” If the source is Facebook, the medium could be “social media.” Medium is broader than source.
This one’s optional and only used in PPC ads. Enter in the keywords that you’re paying for as part of a Google AdWords ad campaign(s).
This one’s also optional, but can be used in any form of online advertising. If you’re running AB testing in your ads, put something in here to distinguish ads from each other that have the same destination URL.
What’s the purpose in directing people from the source to the destination? Is it to promote a specific product, service, webinar, etc? Put the name of your custom campaign here. You may often have multiple different URLs built with the same campaign name, depending on where you’re promoting it.
Click Submit when you’re done, and your URL will now have a ? with a string of numbers and letters after it. Copy and paste this URL and use it in your campaign in place of the root URL on its own. As you get more familiar with URL Builder, you may even be able to generate code on your own, without having to use the building tool.
Tracking the campaign in Google Analytics
After you’ve generated a URL and pasted it where it needs to go, take some time for the visits to populate, then head to Google Analytics and log in.
Once you’re in your account, click Acquisition, then Campaigns. You’ll see your Campaign Name listed and can see analytics for the entire campaign. Click on the campaign name, and you can see analytics further broken down by Source and Medium, separated by a slash.
If you have more than one source or medium listed, you can click on each one and see analytics from specific sources and mediums. That way, you can compare how Facebook, Twitter and e-mail are doing in delivering people to the same location as part of the same campaign.
Using Google URL Builder and tracking code is an exceptionally useful way to keep an eye on how effective your organic and paid campaigns are doing, and whether you need to make any adjustments as you go. It’s also a great way to organize campaigns in Google Analytics so the data can be analyzed more effectively.
More than 150 million users use Google Plus every day and it’s your businesses’ time to jump on the Google Plus train to increase SEO rankings. You’ve created a Google Plus Business Profile… now what? Below I’ve highlighted five simple steps to get you started on your newest social platform.
1. Complete Your Profile – It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but simply completing your Google+ Business Profile with strong keywords will help you appear higher in SEO results. Take time to create a custom graphic for your cover photo and update your avatar to your logo or something recognizable for consumers.
2. Join Communities – Search, join and repeat. While your business may be a newbie to the Google+ game, there are several businesses and individuals with common interests out there interacting and sharing content with “Communities.” Communities are a great way to read up on your industry’s news, engage with brands and users and share stories on your page. (More on that in Point 5). Eventually, you’ll be invited to communities and you can create communities with a specific focus.
3. Circles are for People – Just like you “friend” or “follow” folks on Facebook and Twitter, Google Circles are meant to follow people. After searching for friends, business colleagues, influencers and so on in the search bar, you can categorize them by creating specific “Circles.” Consider the Circles as a way to organize people by topics. You can also tag people in your Google+ posts. (More on that in Point 5).
4. Use Hashtags – Why? Because it helps reach target audiences. Different content marketers have different opinions on integrating hashtags into sentences or waiting to hashtag them at the end of a sentence or paragraph. Bottom line, including hashtags helps to increase search terms.
5. Give Credit Where It’s Due – Relating back to Point 2 and 3, there are three basic principles to follow when using Google+:
- The +1 option is a way of indicating you like the post. When you are in communities or on a specific business or user’s page, +1 content you like and share a quick comment in the “Add a comment…” section. Sure, brands will appreciate your +1, but they’ll be flattered if you share your opinion on their content in the comment section.
- The right arrow is a way to share content from other business or user’s pages on your Google+ page. Add your own sentence about why you are sharing the content or why it appealed to you.
- Finally, don’t forget to mention users when you +1 or share their content. Similar to Twitter and using the “@” symbol, Google+ uses the “+” symbol. (Hence, Google+). You can tag users from your Circles and Communities.
Does your business not have the time to manage another social platform like Google+? Let us take care of the work! Reach out to me on Twitter at @whatupTUT or e-mail me at [email protected]. Better yet, be sure to add StrataBlue’s Google+ page to your circles!
When I was in the third grade, I cheated on my 7’s multiplication tables (sorry, mom and dad) and I’ve been cursed ever since with the inability to succeed in math. That same year, I achieved something slightly more noble and had a short story published in a children’s magazine. It was then that I realized I would manifest my destiny through creative writing rather than spend my life crunching numbers and manipulating equations. And yet here I am, about to justify the relevance of math and how it is molding my industry I work in.
Algorithms in Simple Terms
Kevin Slavin, an assistant professor and founder of Playful Systems at MIT Media Lab, said in his 2011 TED Talk that algorithms “acquire the sensibility of truth because they repeat over and over again, and they ossify and calcify, and they become real.” In layman’s terms, an algorithm is a mathematical code that is entered into a computer program by computer scientists that obtains “big data” from you, me and any other stranger on this Earth online.
Breaking Down “Big Data”
Big data can be defined back to 2001 when industry analyst Doug Laney separated it into three parts: Volume, velocity and variety.
- Volume: Ranging from transaction-based data to data from social media that is so large it is challenging to analyze it.
- Velocity: The speed at which all this information is being shifted through.
- Variety: Numeric data in traditional databases, information from applications, videos, e-mail, and beyond.
What the Pros are Doing
These three parts of big data are changing business operations for companies like Facebook, Google and Netflix because it’s aiding in better decision making. For instance, toward the end of 2013, Facebook replaced their News Feed algorithm from EdgeRank to Story Bumping. Story Bumping deciphers all the posts a specific user has seen and moves all the unread stories to the top. Netflix has their head in the cloud, literally. They are improving their online recommendation engine through “deep-learning” algorithms through Amazon’s cloud service. And can you even imagine your daily life without Google? Google computer scientists unveiled their newest search algorithm called Hummingbird that provides direct answers to complex questions.
Through all these different complex algorithms being created by, in my opinion, geniuses, big data is revealing insightful information about populations, segmented audiences and individuals. Social media account managers like myself are using this information to tailor how our brands target and nurture consumers to increase ROI.
Now here is a two part equation I can understand:
Computer scientists + Algorithms = Big Data
Big Data ÷ Analytics = Tailored campaigns for consumers that increase ROI
Want to chat about deciphering big data or school me on new and emerging algorithms? I welcome the conversation! Follow me on Twitter @whatupTUT or leave a comment below.