Google News February 2018

We’ve been blogging about Google since 2007. A lot has changed in that time! Here’s a recap of the latest Google updates that we think will impact your business online that’s happened recently.

  1. Google Launches Beta Version of Brand New Search Console

    Google has rolled out the beta version of the new and improved search console and so far we’re liking how it looks. It was built from scratch and the way the data is presented allows you to easily toggle on the clicks, total impressions, average CTR, and average position.

    To access the new console click here and then click the “Try the new Search Console” link. See below for what that looks like.

    The most promising new feature is access to 16-month-old historical data. It enables year over year comparison which is great.  So the new search console currently includes index coverage, performance, and the ability to upload a new site map. All of the other features remain in the old version.

    Some stats we found on our site that were interesting: 273k impressions over the last 12 months (this is how many times we’ve shown up in search results), out of that number 64k were on mobile, and lastly we received 505 clicks from Google search. For the last year in total we have received just over 25k in visits. Some views below from the new console.

     

    The new search console will also help you validate newly fixed AMP URLs. The updated AMP status report will provide details into the specific Errors.

    As of now, the above-mentioned tools and features are the biggest highlights of the new search console. But it’s still in the beta and many tools and features are yet to come, so stay tuned.

  2. You Can Now Add Videos To Your Google My Business Listing

    Google was testing a new video feature in early January that allowed business owners and customers to add videos, related to the business. Allyson Wright from the Google My Business advertiser community announced that they have fully rolled out the video feature and now all business owners can add videos to their listing. These videos will be visible on Google Maps and local search results. Some important points to consider:

    • Videos up to 30 seconds in length are supported.
    • Videos will appear in the overview tab of the GMB Dashboard.
    • Customer uploaded videos can be found in the “customer” tab.
    • Merchant uploaded videos can be found in the “by owner” tab.
    • All videos can be viewed together in the “videos” tab.
    • After upload it could take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear. Once live, they will display where local photos do.

    The process to add videos is same as photos. Go to your GMB dashboard, click photos on the left and instead of adding photos, add the link to the videos. We just posted a video to our page so the video should be live within 24 hours.

  3. Page Speed Will Officially Be A Ranking Factor In Google From July 2018

    It’s 2018 and if your web page takes more than 10 seconds to load, then you are far behind! Nobody likes to wait minutes just for your page to load — they will simply hit the back button. Personally I hit the back button sooner!

    According to this study, 53% of the users will abandon sites that take more than 3 seconds to load. So it came as no surprise when Google announced that site speed will be a ranking factor within the mobile search results in July 2018.

    If you are not sure about your site’s speed, you can use the Google’s “Test My Site” tool. This tool uses a standard 3G connection to replicate what most people are using to surf the web using mobile. It not only tells you about your site speed but also gives suggestions on how you can improve. Our home page loaded in 5 seconds which Google says is “good” but according to the above study it’s “not good”. We NEED to improve our page speed ASAP. I’ll post a followup blog on how we improved our website speed and provide some insight into how we did it.

  4. Important Google AdWords Updates For February 2018

    There’s a ton happening in the AdWords world. Here’s the important stuff:

    • The Dynamic search ads allow you to target the entire website or domain name so that you can target a broad audience. However, Google has made some significant changes to it and the changes will go live soon. To know exactly how it will affect you, click here.
    • Google made changes to their algorithm for AdWords sometimes increasing budgets by 2X. Find out how advertisers are responding to it and does it really change anything within AdWords … find out.
    • Google and Facebook get the biggest slice of advertising cake. A recent study revealed that 25% of the global advertising spend goes to Google and Facebook. However, the number may drop soon as people are starting to allocate their ad budget to different platforms.
    • Google is officially removing the Adwords Review extension and all the performance data will be deleted by the end of February 2018.
    • Last year we saw shocking reports that YouTube ads were running alongside some inappropriate videos. It scared advertisers. Addressing the issue, YouTube has now made it mandatory for users to have at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours  of viewed content if they want to monetize their content (more below on this).
    • Remarketing is one of the best marketing weapons in your arsenal. Here’s a great guide on how to utilize it to the fullest.
    • What is Doubleclick adoptive re-marketing and how does it work? Find out more here.
    • Manually selecting placements to run display ads may seem like a good option, but it is not the right solution to click frauds. Also, it causes you to miss the flexibility of automated placements.
    • Remarketing is good but only if done in a balanced manner. Many advertisers overdo it and as a result, annoy the users. Although Google can’t tell advertisers to stop targeting a particular user, they may give the power to the users to block re-marketing ads coming from a specific advertiser.

     

  5. Youtube’s New Monetization Policy, Not A Bad Decision

    Recently, YouTube has announced that it will demonetize all the small channels on the platform, as per the site’s new eligibility criteria channels need to have more than 1,000 subscribers, with at least 4,000 hours of watching within the past 12 months.

    The decision came after Logan Paul’s ‘suicide video’ incident. According to the company, the decision of demonetizing the small channels is taken in order to, “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.” The channels that fail to meet these criteria will no longer be able to monetize and will lose access to tools and features associated with the YouTube partner program by next month. If any channel fails to meet the criteria but, later if they manage to pass it, will be automatically re-evaluated in the new criteria. All the new channels joining the platform will have to, manually apply for evaluation.

    Though many are criticizing YouTube’s new policy and terming it as “favoritism” for big channels or “penalty” for small channels, we feel it’s not a bad decision.

If you’ve made it this far YOU are my hero. May the Google gods bless your website.

Warm regards,

Matt Ramage
Chief Emarketed Guy

Google Event Recap – Leadership & Coaching

google santa monica
My trip to Google was great! It’s always inspiring to visit a Google office. I’m blown away that this company was started by two guys going to Stanford just twenty short years ago. Emarketed and Google are the same age! But in case you didn’t know, we’re much smaller. 😉

Due to the nature of the content and method the trainer used to coach us, it was tough to capture it live on social media. So here’s a recap:

  • Interestingly enough the event didn’t promote Google at all. Besides the free swag and being in the cool space in Santa Monica, I was not pitched on Google. At previous visits it was a pitch fest.
  • The event was all about leadership and coaching. Our coach for the day was G.A. Bartick. He’s been consulting with Google for the last 5 years. He was great! He kept us engaged for the day and memorized all our names (there were about 30 in the room). He would call on us throughout the day so we had to be on our toes. Because of this, most of the room was present for the talk (I.e. Not checking email/Instagram/texts every 2 minutes). It was a good strategy for sure to keep the room engaged. He told us his secret for memorizing our names. Here it is:
    • Step 1: Listen – Really hear the person when they give you their name. Google PartnersIf you’re like me, you can forget within a nanosecond. So he said you really have to listen and be present.
    • Step 2: Name Association – Think of someone you know in your life who already has that name and link the two. Or make something up that’s funny. I tried it out later that day when I met a guy named Jesse. Since no Jesse’s came to mind, I thought of him as the legendary outlaw, Jesse James. Another example from the event was a lady named Tiffany. He pictured her with a ton of sparkly jewelry all around her.
    • Step 3: Repetition – Try and use their name a few times when you first meet them. Don’t overdo it, but do say it a few times. You can overdo it in your imagination. So with Jesse, over the course of a few hours, I repeated his name several times to myself. And now it’s stuck.
  • The role of a coach/manager IS to continuously improve the performance of the team. Something he suggested we do at the end of each day is ask ourselves if we improved our team.
  • More highlights from the day:
    • Catch people doing more things right and fewer things wrong.
    • Coach to the future, not to the past.
    • Managing expectations can be broken down into 3 key components:
      1. Set
      2. Monitor
      3. Reinforce
    • The Skills Transfer Process – With this one, he gave an example of doing a sort of trick with transferring a pen cap to different hands. He showed Larry from the audience how to do it and then walked away. Larry wasn’t able to get it. It was clear that was the wrong way of managing this process. Then he went through the below process which was clearly the better way to manage.
      1. Explain
      2. Demonstrate
      3. Practice with Coaching
      4. Observe
      5. Feedback
  • One on One’s – His organization advocates doing them monthly. I’ve been doing this quarterly for years with my staff but have been lax over the last 12 months. The monthly plan sounds like a lot of work, but it does feel like the right way to go. He gave us a short process we can follow:
    • Purpose of the meeting
    • Outline
      • Last month’s action items
      • Last month’s goals
      • Last month’s results
      • This month’s goals
      • This month’s action items
    • Input – As you explain what you’ll be going over for the meeting, you ask if there’s anything they’d like to discuss.
    • Transition – Is it okay if we start…
  • He also asked the person that we’re reviewing to take notes and send this to us after the meeting. This is good for many reasons such as a paper trail of the meetings and to make sure they’re  listening and on the same page.
  • And lastly be the tortoise not the hare. Check out the video! Don’t rush things. Be present. Be yourself. I really liked the video and discovered it was created by Issimo.

Thanks for taking the time to read my recap. I hope you have a fantastic rest of the month!

Warm regards,

Matt Ramage   

Chief Emarketed Guy

5 Reasons Why You Need to Start Looking at Voice Search for Your Business

5 Reasons Why You Need to Start Looking at Voice Search for Your Business

The way people search for things online has been slowly changing because of voice command options like using Siri on an iphone or the Amazon Echo in their home. Instead of physically typing in something you are looking for, you can easily activate a voice command option and save time and effort. When people are on the go they might prefer to interact with a device through voice command to get an immediate answer.

Because voice search has become much more prevalent in our daily lives it is now more important than ever for businesses to start thinking about using it for marketing and optimizing for voice command searches. These are some of the key reasons why businesses should be looking into voice search as part of their marketing plans.

  1. Voice Searches and Devices are Growing

Although physically typed searches still represent the majority, the amount of people using voice command to find specific answers is growing rapidly. It is estimated that by 2020 at least 50 percent of all searches will come from voice commands. As the searches themselves grow, the amount of devices catered to voice search continues to expand with new technology.

When Amazon released the Echo device, it represented a major shift in smart devices because it acts as a home assistant that can play music, answer questions and control other devices. With the popularity of the Echo, other companies like Google and Apple are now planning to release their own versions to compete with the product. It is likely that the market for smart devices that incorporate voice search will only continue develop and gain momentum.

  1. Keywords for Voice Searches are Different

Something that businesses using search engine optimization must consider is that when people use voice search they tend to use different terms and phrases to find what they are looking for. When people physically type something in, especially on their smartphone, they usually keep the search pretty short. Typically a typed in search would be about two words so that the user can quickly get a result and they don’t have to waste time typing in a long query.

With voice command devices, people tend to say longer phrases out loud because it requires less effort than typing and they can get more specific results. People are more likely to ask the voice search a longer question such as “where can I get the best vacation deals” instead of just typing “vacation deals”. People often ask things in the form of a question when using voice searches because they expect it to understand and respond like a human would.

  1. Stronger Search Intent

One of the things that marketers are trying to identify with certain search terms is the exact intent of the user when they are looking for specific information. The type of short two word phrases that normally occur when someone is typing a search can make it hard to figure out the person’s intent in their search. With voice searches, people tend to show much stronger intent that can be easily interpreted by search engines and ultimately benefits marketers.

When people use voice search they are usually using longer phrases that include question words like who what and where which tend to indicate a greater readiness for action. Marketers can start to optimize for these question keywords for voice searches and be able to convert customers who are ready to make a purchase.

  1. Local Businesses Benefit the Most

While most SEO is optimized for location, voice searches more often include terms such as “near me” or “nearby” which can bring in a lot of business to local stores. Mobile voice search is actually three times more likely to be used to find local establishments than through text searches. Businesses with a local physical presence stand to benefit the most from optimizing for voice search.

  1. Faster Response, Faster Results

One of the reasons people tend to favor voice searches when they are on the go is so they can get a quick answer and take immediate action. This is great news for businesses that want to convert customers and are able to get to the top of voice search results. People searching may choose you for the product or service they want without spending too much time comparing and reviewing other websites.

As long as you have listing on sites like Yelp with your hours, location and phone information you can get customers who need your services immediately.

Marketing for voice search can help businesses tap into a lot of new opportunities. Voice search is only going to become more important as people adjust to new devices that focus on voice command. Make sure to incorporate voice search in your digital marketing and SEO plan to get the best results.

Google Local Guides and The Importance of Reviews

Google Local Guides and The Importance of ReviewsYelp Elite Squad, meet Google Local Guides. Though Google’s program for City Experts was first launched in 2013, Google recently renamed and re-launched the program dubbed Google Local Guides in an effort to make a stronger local push.

What are Google Local Guides?

Much like Elite Yelpers, Google Local Guides have to sign up to participate in the program and meet certain criteria. Also like Yelp, Google’s program also benefits Local Guides based on a point system that is based on reviews. Local Guides get the opportunity to preview Google apps and services, receive 1 terabyte in Google Drive storage space, and even a chance to meet other top Local Guides at Google’s main campus!

What is Google’s Goal for Launching Local Guides?

Our first inclination is to “Yelp” a new or unfamiliar business. Yelp reviews can make or break a business. It can be said that the Local Guides program is Google’s effort to invite tech-savvy thought leaders to harness that energy and put it into Google Local instead of other third party review sites, like Yelp.

In influx in reviews for local businesses not only helps the business but it also helps Google. By bringing in more user-generated content, it gives searchers a reason to search, browse and stay on Google for a longer period of time…instead of clicking away and going onto another review site such as Yelp and Zagat.

Focus on Good Relations and Gaining Customer Reviews Naturally

Gaining user reviews in a “natural” way without explicitly asking is difficult and tricky. And yet Google and Yelp are making it more difficult for businesses to be visible without a good amount of positive reviews. Check out more about Google Local Guides in the video below and let us know what you think. Will you be signing up for Google’s Local Guide program any time soon?

Ways To Do Marketing Via Google

Ways To Do Marketing Via GoogleGoogle has been one of the biggest search engines around the world for awhile now. Everyday, millions of people around the world use the search engine to find websites and anything else they are looking for by putting keywords into the search bar and browsing the results. Many people rely on Google and other search engines on a day to day basis for shopping, communication, research, entertainment, and may others. Google uses an algorithm to present results each time a keyword is searched. This makes the search engine a powerful marketing tool. Here are a few ways that a business can market on Google.

Google AdWords

The Google ad word is one of the most exceptional tools through which you can do keyword research and find which keyword is most competitive and how many people have searched the keyword in a day, week, month or year. You can view all the statistics on Google AdWords that helps guide your marketing decisions. A business can run an advertisement campaign on Google through which your website will appear on top when anyone searches a specific keyword. This will cost some money, but it will encourage sales and increase exposure for your business. It is a good Google marketing technique.

SEO Vs. PPC

This commonly heard term in the marketing world stands for search engine optimization. It is the process that Google uses to get a website on the top search results organically. You do not need to pay anything to Google, but you have to continue to do search engine optimization of the website throughout the process to get on top. It is one of the greatest Google marketing techniques to build a brand reputation among the people.  Through the webmaster tool, you can manage SEO and analyze each of your page’s reputations in the eyes of Google.

Google Plus

Google Plus has been introduced recently but it hasn’t quite caught on like other social media websites. But you can still make your business page here for the sake of search engine optimization.

Ads on Google

You can also run an ad campaign through the ad word. In this ad campaign, you need to put images of your brand’s products and services to appear on other websites. This is so that when someone is browsing any other website, your banner will appear. It is one of the effective Google marketing techniques that can boost sales.

Why People Prefer To Do PPC Advertising

Why People Prefer To Do PPC AdvertisingWhen anyone launches a new website, the first thing they want to do is take it to the top results on a search engine. But due to high competition, it is not possible to take a website to the top results within days of its launch. Therefore, the best way to get a website to reach that status is by doing paid advertising. The search engine allows people to advertise their website on the first page of the search engine via paid marketing.

The term PPC stands for pay per click. Basically, a search engine gives you a complete ad word tool through which you can create ads for the search engine for a specific keyword. When anyone searches for that particular keyword, then your website would appear in the first position. Therefore, they charge a certain price each time a user clicks on the website. But due to PPC marketing, the search engine boosts your website ranking and takes you on the top. As a result, it helps you with search engine optimization.

So it is always a good strategy to do PPC marketing for your website to reach the top on search results. Normally, people do not click on ads and go directly to the websites that organically appear on the top search. But those who are very interested in specific products and services will be more likely to click on the ads and see the product. So if you have products and services that are relevant to their search, a customer is more likely to click and create more sales for your business.

It is especially important to do PPC for a new website to take it to the top of a search and increase the odds for generating good sales. Before starting the PPC campaign on a search engine, you have to do research on the keywords which are in low competition. Once your website gets ranked on a search engine on low competitive keywords then it would be easier to take the website on a high competitive keyword. Do not start working initially on high competitive keywords because other brands are strong on those keywords, causing your site to take longer to reach that kind of status.

How Effective Is Adwords Marketing For A Brand?

How Effective Is Adwords Marketing For A Brand?Adword marketing can be a very effective tool for any brand or company. It’s important to first carry out the research needed to create a successful marketing campaign with adwords. This involves selecting the keywords most relevant to your campaign and target audience. Keyword planner tools can help with that. Failure to do this research before beginning an adword campaign can result in poor performance. Timing is also of the utmost importance.

Keyword planner tools help you choose keywords that receive the most hits, and which are most and least competitive. Product categories are also taken into consideration. Certain categories will receive more hits than others. This helps your campaign focus on the keywords and categories that are getting the most hits and that people are searching for the most. Keyword planner tools help your company make the right decisions for creating an effective adword marketing strategy.

Another thing to take into consideration is the appeal and authenticity of your ads. This has an effect on the quality of your ads. The search engine gives scores for each of the ads and charges a price based on the ad’s quality score. If your ad’s quality score is on the higher side (around 9 or 10) then the price of the ads will be lower. If the quality score is lower (around 5 to 7) then a search engine will charge a higher price for the ads.

Timing is another thing to take into consideration when running an ad campaign. Determine what audiences you want to reach, where they live, and the time of day they’ll most likely be online. You have to run the campaign when the maximum number of people are online using a laptop, mobile device, or tablet. It would be ineffective to run a campaign at all hours of the day because not everyone is your target.

If your campaign requires a more specific audiences, such as residents in a certain city or a certain gender, then you must also take those factors into account. The search engine is very smart and targets the audience accurately and generates a good sale if you run the campaign properly. The adword marketing is very effective and useful for the point of view of search engine optimization of the websites. It really helps to build keyword ranking on a search engine. The adword campaign has a direct connection with organic optimization of website keywords.

Social Media Tactics For Your Business

Social Media Tactics For Your Business

Mastering Social Media is no easy feat. Its relatively new when looking at the history of the web, but we can learn a thing or two from the pros when it comes to connecting with your audience on a deeper level, and making Social Media work for your business. It’s all about your approach. If you’re a business struggling to make the most of social media, we’ve gathered some pro tips to simplify your efforts.

First off, it’s vital to be different. There are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of companies just like yours. With that kind of competition, try telling out-of-the-box stories. Create content that aligns with your value proposition. Even if your industry is not traditionally “exciting”, there’s always a chance to spice things up a bit with intriguing blog posts, fun explainer videos, unique narratives and more.

If there’s one thing to acknowledge in the millennial generation, it’s that attention spans are at an all-time low. According to global studies, 50% of users only stay on sites for a maximum of 10 seconds. Hence the call for short but sweet micro-content. Less text, more visuals. Less detail, more vibrancy, color and design. Use simple words that get straight to the point, and ALWAYS use a POWERFUL call-to-action.

Another concept making waves in the world of social media is the ability to connect in real-time through live video. Periscope and Facebook are at the top of the global list. Live videos allow you to hold “in-the-moment” Q&As, show your customers what your business looks like during work hours, and most importantly, ignite more loyalty – giving you the chance to amplify your personality.

Social media marketing isn’t easy for businesses, but if you’ve got patience and a knack for keeping up with the times, it’ll be much easier than you think. Engage, engage, engage, and make sure your efforts always align with the heart of your proposition. Good luck – and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at any time for more advice!

“If You’re Not On the First Page, You Don’t Exist.”

They say a picture speaks a thousand words – but we beg to differ. Never underestimate the power of well-crafted copy written by a true wordsmith of the millennial generation. If you run a small to medium sized business in today’s fast-paced world, commissioning a talented and seasoned copywriter is one of your first keys to success.

You’ve probably heard of a little something called SEO. If you have – great. If you haven’t, this stands for Search Engine Optimization, and involves writing copy full to the brim with keywords that possess strong findability on search engines. Obviously, “If You’re Not On the First Page, You Don’t Exist.”Google being the top priority.

It’s all about optimizing your web page, and making sure it pops up on the first page of Google. After all, as the unwritten rule goes – if it’s not on the first page, it doesn’t exist. Flawlessly crafted copy in this regard will not only pump your recognition, but create something that people want to share, which will in turn boost your SEO even further.

But this is just the beginning, and we’re fully equipped with all of the word-molding tools to shift the global focus to your business, and slowly move your competitors to the sidelines.

Never underestimate the power of SEO copywriting! Call 800-WEB-5421 to take your business to the next level today.

Top 5 SEO Trends for 2016 That You Should Know About

2016-seo-trendsThe beginning of a new year is always filled with excitement and also apprehension. Luckily, SEO trends for 2016 aren’t completely “new” and shouldn’t take you by surprise. Here are 5 important ones to focus on:

1) Focus on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

We have talked a lot about optimizing conversion rates and we’ll say it again – CRO will be even more important in the years to come. The trick about this trend is that there are many different types of conversions and ways to track and optimize.

2) Search Query Trends Affected by “Digital Assistants”

Who, what, how, when, where, and why. These question-type queries will increase with the increasing use of digital assistance such as Siri (Apple), Cortana (Windows) and Google Now. Instead of focusing on singular keyword or keyword phrases, the trend has been going towards long-tail queries that are similar to natural speech when asking a question. This is perfect for meeting Google Hummingbird and RankBrain standards.

3 & 4) Domination of Google Knowledge Graph… and Google in General

If you haven’t noticed, Google has been making a great effort to keep searchers on the actual search results page without leaving or clicking through. Google Knowledge Graph (top or top right box in SERPs) is very prominent and useful. It has even been attributed to a drop in website traffic. A lot of people think this is unfair because Google pulls the information in the Knowledge Graph from other websites, in an effort to reduce the need for users to actually go to those websites.

As if Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t enough competition, 2016 will be the year of even more of Google’s presence in search results. Whether it takes the form of the carousel, paid ads, or local packs, it only makes sense that Google will dominate Google search results.

5)Social Media Indexed in Search Engines

Google has been crawling and indexing social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for some time now. The biggest change this year occurred in November, when Google announced that Facebook would begin to allow more of their pages to be indexed, even in-app content. Google has a similar deal with Twitter to crawl and index Tweets. The result? An even stronger relationship between social media and SEO.

If you have questions or need help with your marketing efforts in 2016, don’t hesitate to call Emarketed at (323) 340-4010 for a FREE consultation.