You may be thinking–and rightfully so–what is Google monetizing now? It’s your ad’s phone extensions. Google has announced that they are rolling out “bid for calls,” which shall henceforth be known as “PPCall.” The measurement of your call success will rely on the already-established Call Metrics. Previously, you were charged $1 per completed call to your Google number appearing in your PPC ad. Now, you will instead be able to opt in to a call auction where you can bid. We think this will be important for businesses in competitive spaces especially.
Google has said that companies that do not choose to opt in to call bidding will not be adversely affected. We found that hard to believe, but upon further investigation, we see that Google does allow for your ad rank to still be fair without using PPCall.
The normal ad rank formula is: Ad Rank = Max CPC Bid x Quality Score
For call bidders, it will look like this: Ad Rank = (Max CPC Bid x Quality Score) + (Max CPP* x Phone Call Quality Score)
*CPP is your bid-per-call, similar to CPC (cost per click).
In other words, call bidders still have to get good phone call rates (similar to click through rates) to get a good phone quality score. So just as your CPC is only one factor in your ad rank, your CPP won’t be the only factor.
Yesterday, all of Charleston’s Twitter accounts were excited to hear the announcement about ‘Project Bahamas,’ which was to announce which big software company was making the move downtown. Though we didn’t know for sure, we had a good feeling that it might be our friends at PeopleMatter. Alas, it was! And the even better news is that they will be right down the street (a stone’s throw) from the Visiture office. They had a big unveiling and pretty speech outside. They are looking to move in at 466 King by 2013 and will eventually also occupy 468, which is where Charleston Beer Works currently resides. As a side note, we hope that Beer Works will just be relocating and not closing. That’s our spot for sports games and cheap beer!
Congratulations, PeopleMatter. We look forward to your exciting renovations of the building and expansion of your company!
And to smooth things over, Google (ahem, Matt Cutts) sends out this precious Mr. Rogers PSA announcing that Google does not think SEO is spam:
As we’ve mentioned before, there are definitely ‘black hat techniques’ that you should absolutely stay away from, but for the most part, I don’t think a lot of people need to be told that SEO isn’t spam. It’s great for your website, your traffic, your usability, your rankings and more. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact us. We can make sure you know what good SEO is because we’re never going to recommend something shady like keyword stuffing.
Search is what makes Google fantastic. And with a healthy domination over the marketshare, I’d say that its reign as Share King isn’t in trouble. Yet Google’s foray into social continues with their new music store. In an attempt to oust certain music websites linking up with a certain social network (ok enough with the vagueness, I’m clearly talking about Spotify and Pandora integrating with Facebook), Google has announced that its music store will have strong Google+ integration. That is, if Google+ is still popular (I think its popularity is already arguable now) by the time this all gets put into motion.
Friends will be able to listen to a recommended song for free once (which is pretty cool), but then will have to buy it to listen again.
But my real question is: why is Google now trying to compete with Apple and Amazon for music?
Regardless of the answer, you could be seeing this new Google Music Store in just a few weeks.
And here I’ve been complaining about not being able to complain about much and then this comes along. Thank goodness; I was just beginning to slip into an Internet marketing news coma.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t great. Google has announced that they will stop providing the keyword search queries for signed-in users for their privacy and protection. This means that when you go to your organic traffic in analytics, you will only be able to obtain the keywords searched from users who are not signed-in. ‘What’s the big deal? Plenty of people aren’t signed in,’ you’re thinking. Well, today maybe it’s not everyone, but Google is definitely pushing for more and more people to stay signed in to personalize their search results. If you’re signed in, it’s easy to post things to Google+ and you get recommendations from friends in your search results.
So in other words, this could really complicate the SEO world. It’s important to know what keywords people use to land on your site so that you can better optimize your site and landing pages (not to mention easily generate conversion optimization reports); it’s also important for initial and continuing keyword research as well as link development initiatives.
We’re not fans, Google. Not fans at all. Feel free to sound off in the comments (disagreeing with us is always encouraged).
We’re often asked, “how long will this take?” when discussing any client initiative. We get it; it’s the Internet age and everyone wants everything done yesterday. The truth is, however, that anyone who tells you a specific timeframe (“get 1,000 readers in under a month”) or promises traffic/rankings is a crook. I never bold, italicize and underline things all at once, so you know I mean business. Marketers that promise you a certain amount of results, especially for things like rankings, traffic or followers, are doing something wrong. The truth is that every brand is different. The starting points are different, the niches are different, the time commitment is different, as is budget.
Marketers should design a plan around your business and brand that is innovative and unique. A one-size-fits-all solution is rarely (if ever) the answer.
So, in short, the answer to the “how long will this take?” is different for everyone. We use best practices as a guideline for instruction. There are a few rules that will apply to everyone but we never promise things we can’t deliver. Google’s algorithm fluctuates about as often as celebrities get divorced and remarried, so it’s never a safe bet to promise what the search engine will provide in the way of rankings and traffic. We try to manage expectations and give you outlooks based on previous clients in a similar space or market, but the truth is, we have to do more than look under the hood and kick your tires. Visiture looks to acquire our clients as more of partners; after all, the growth of your business means growth for our business.
Still scheduling all of your social media updates on an app like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck? It’s probably not the best idea.
It’s alright to schedule a post every now and then; for instance, if you schedule your blog posts, it’s perfectly fine to schedule them to go out to the social platforms. However, make sure that you’re doing this fewer times than not. It’s no secret that Facebook posts have a longer life than tweets, but Facebook is now punishing people who use third-party APIs like Hootsuite because they want brands and companies to engage with their followers and friends. That means being present and not just putting content on a robot and shoveling into cyberspace portals.
It might seem like this is unfair of Facebook, but they want to make sure that companies are listening to what their customers are talking about and getting in on the conversations (or starting them). It’s not about scheduling content for the masses; it’s about engaging with the individual–whether it’s a complaint, a praise or a conversation that is only loosely relevant to what you do. So Visiture’s best practices for social media updating is to actually do it. We will create a plan that works for you or just do it ourselves. The most important thing is that you maintain a good reputation with your current customers, generate new leads/sales and foster a sense of community around your brand. And it’s easier than you think.