Posts Tagged ‘Google’
in eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Google Analytics, Web Development
Aspdotnetstorefront offers lots of great search engine optimization opportunities (including the ability to pretty quickly add Google Analytics tracking to the entire site) which is one of the primary reasons that Beacon selected it as our go-to eCommerce platform many years ago.
However, the resources to set up these items are scattered about a bit, so I thought I’d note specific links I find useful when discussing these topics with clients and/or developers. Hope they are helpful and please be sure to include your own suggestions in the comments section below!
Online User Manual
- Google Analytics and eCommerce Tracking– http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-441-google-analytics-and-ecommerce-tracking.aspx (Version ML8) and http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-1035-google-analytics-and-ecommerce-tracking.aspx (MultiStore)
- Submitting your Site to Google Sitemaps (Versions ML8 and MultiStore)– http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-436-submitting-your-site-to-google-sitemaps.aspx
- Submitting your Sitemap to Yahoo! (Versions ML8 and MultiStore)– http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-437-submitting-your-sitemap-to-yahoo.aspx
- Search Engine Optimization– http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-505-seo.aspx (Version ML8) and http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-1029-seo.aspx (MultiStore)
- A/B Testing with Google Checkout– http://manual.aspdotnetstorefront.com/p-747-ab-testing-with-google-checkout.aspx
- SEO in ASPDNSF– http://forums.aspdotnetstorefront.com/showthread.php?t=17028
- Google Analytics Ecommerce tracking– http://forums.aspdotnetstorefront.com/showthread.php?t=16236
- The Token Analytics Article– http://blog.vortx.com/analytics/the-token-analytics-article/
Analytics: What’s the Deal With All These Numbers? – http://blog.vortx.com/analytics/analytics-what%E2%80%99s-the-deal-with-all-these-numbers/
- Google Analytics and AspDotNetStorefront– http://blog.vortx.com/analytics/google-analytics-aspdotnetstorefront/
Tags: analytics, aspdotnetstorefront, ecommerce, eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Google, google analytics, Web Development
Posted in eCommerce / ASPDNSF, Google Analytics, Web Development | No Comments »
in Google Analytics, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
Now that we have been practicing for some time, we are aware of good (and, bad) ways to employ social media. Opinions will vary about the “best of the best”. That is the beauty of the web, it always changes. From a book summary I read on social media, here are some of the best practices according to the author at this point in time. This is not an exhaustive, all inclusive list. The basics are covered and should align with your current techniques for using social media effectively.
There are multiple platforms* available for your content and they should be used relative to the target audience. Having likeable content is a fundamental criteria for success. Get your customer to listen to you and then….
- Listen first, and never stop listening - You want to know what customers think. Ask and they will tell you. Next, the most important thing to do is listen. Closing the loop by acting on what your customers tell you will prove that you not only listened, but that you understand and can do something about it.
- Define your target audience better than ever – There are many tools that allow you to focus on your true demographics for your product/service(s). Define them and determine what will make them “like” your content.
- Think – and act – like your consumer - Remember, it’s about them, not you. Don’t sell them; instead, provide content that is of interest to them. Get them talking about topics of interest and find ways to integrate your wares into their lifestyle.
- Invite your customers to be your first fans - Word of mouth (WOM) is key here. The more likes you get, the better your credibility. Be clear about your value proposition and define what is in it for them. Remember, there is no value-add if only your employees are interacting with your content.
- Create true dialogue with, and between, your customers - Related to listening and being genuine. Get them talking about you to leverage the WOM effect. When your customers share tips and tricks with others, it proves they are engaged. It also saves you from providing customer support directly. Help guide the discussion by acknowledging comments – and, correct where needed.
- Be Authentic - Get connected by demonstrating an interest in your customers. Personalize it by including your name.
- Be honest and transparent - You can spot a phony a mile away. Your customers can too.
- Integrate social media into the entire customer experience - Another fundamental for success and cannot be stressed enough. Make sure everyone who interacts with your customers has the same message and is aware of promotions and specials. Regardless of how they find you, it should be a consistent message. The last thing you want is a disconnect among channels and mismanaged expectations from your customers. If they are online, they can tell their network about you – the good and the bad.
- Don’t sell! Just make it easy and compelling for customers to buy - They already found your content and are engaged. Don’t insult them with a bland sales pitch. State the (relative) value proposition clearly and make it easy to “Add to Cart”.
Having a dialogue with your customers is easy using a social media platform. I would add that you keep in mind how you want to be treated. After all, we all are consumers in the end.
Tags: best practice, facebook, Foursquare, Google, linkedin, social media, Twitter
Posted in Google Analytics, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Other, Search Engines, Web Development
As a software development project manager at Beacon, I’m also proud to say that I’m both an NPR and data geek, so I was elated to hear a story this week that united all of my passions: Google Searches Are A Window Into Our Culture. The tool “Google Correlate” is actually a fascinating window into how people are searching for not only one specific term, but an entire web of other related (or maybe not-so-related) terms.
The political example given in the story was somewhat predicable (Democrats– veggie-loving, fitness buffs; Republicans– meat-loving, weight-loss program participants), but my own searches turned up some interesting results on Google Correlate. I am just starting work on a new website redesign for a well-known business school and was wondering what kind of associations I’d find if using terms related to that school (thinking I might be able to use this information with regard to site design and features). Here’s the terms I tried:
- business school– while many of the U.S.’s top business schools are listed, I was surprised to see the appearance of “art schools” and “art colleges” as correlating terms. Wonder if my client has considered cross-promotion with this demographic? Could a more “artsy” site design have benefits in this area?
- management school– like the “art” association listed above, I was suprized to find “hospital association” as a correlation with “management school.” Perhaps another marketing opportunity here? Would a site feature that included possible hospital careers be helpful to these visitors?
- mba school– oddly, this was a much more common search term in Utah than any other state. Not sure how we can leverage this, but I’m sure we’ll bat it around for a while!
Also, don’t miss the comic book on the Google Correlate site – fun! The most important point that the comic book emphasizes and bears repeating here– “Remember: Correlation is not causation.” Google doesn’t attempt to explain the correlation between terms, just show it to us in a manner for us to interpret and leverage. Happy correlating!
Tags: Google, google correlate
Posted in Other, Search Engines, Web Development | No Comments »
in Social Media Marketing, Web Development
Last week, the world of social media was temporarily rocked by an accidental leak from a Google employee (the world of social media moved on quickly because that is what social media does). Steve Yegge wanted to vent some opinions on Google+ in an internal memo, but accidentally made the post public. To their credit, Google has not tried to suppress the post after the fact – you can read it here. It is a bit lengthy, but I highly recommend taking the time to read it to get some pretty candid opinions from a Google developer towards one Google’s latest foray into social media.
In this post, Yegge expounds on some of the mistakes made with Google+ and makes some comparisons with an area where he finds Amazon.com & Facebook to be superior. What really stood out to me was Yegge’s take on products and platforms:
“That one last thing that Google doesn’t do well is Platforms. We don’t understand platforms. We don’t “get” platforms. Some of you do, but you are the minority. This has become painfully clear to me over the past six years. I was kind of hoping that competitive pressure from Microsoft and Amazon and more recently Facebook would make us wake up collectively and start doing universal services. Not in some sort of ad-hoc, half-assed way, but in more or less the same way Amazon did it: all at once, for real, no cheating, and treating it as our top priority from now on.”
“A product is useless without a platform, or more precisely and accurately, a platform-less product will always be replaced by an equivalent platform-ized product.”
It occurred to me that since this was meant to be an internal post from a developer for other developers, those without a background in development may not understand the differences between platforms and products within the context of this post. While the words can mean different things to different people across various industries (or even within this one), what purpose do they serve in this post to explain the [perceived] flaws in Google+ in relation to its competitors?
In this context, Yegge is criticizing Google+ for working on a closed system. This makes it a “product.” It is a versatile system with a variety of the features that people like in other social media systems – i.e. pictures, music, games, etc. But, at the end of the day, the user is beholden to the features that Google has created for them. Google+ is a pre-packaged product where the user’s ability to customize the experience is limited within the framework that Google allows. Think of it as buying a car. After purchase, you can add features like a CD player, power locks, keyless entry, et al. You can even change car’s color. But, you can’t drastically alter what the car is. If you purchased an SUV, you cannot remake it as a sports coupe.
Yegge argues that Google+ (and maybe even Google itself to a certain degree) should be looking at itself more as a platform. In this context, think of a platform more as a building foundation. The foundation is a necessity and provides some direction for what it to be built upwards. However, architects and foremen still have plenty of leeway on how to proceed. For example, look at the openness of Facebook. This was a system that originally served simply as a networking site. However, over the past decade, it has evolved into a site where people listen to music (Spotify), play games (Farmville, Mafia Wars), determine their genealogy, take quizzes, etc. These activities are done primarily through applications developed by third party developers. These are people with no affiliation to Facebook, but can still use Facebook as a platform to develop apps designed to work specifically within it. This means that every user experience is different depending on what apps they have installed on their page. This also means that Mark Zuckerburg and Co. have given themselves significant flexibility for the future. They do not have to dream of the next big thing, they will still benefit from it if occurs on their platform.
But, by being a product over a platform, Google+ has determined that it already knows what its users wants and will be able to provide that experience for them. With over 40 million users at the time of this post, they are obviously doing something right. But for sustainability purposes, without being in a platform setup, Google will have to constantly be on the edge of taste in order to prevent from going the way of MySpace…
- EJW, follow me on twitter: @ejwestksu
Tags: amazon, facebook, Google, google plus, myspace, platforms, social media, zuckerburg
Posted in Social Media Marketing, Web Development | No Comments »
in Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing
Tags: Google, google analytics, Partner Summit
Posted in Beacon News, Beacon Team, Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Search Engines
- It is a constant battle with my middle and high school students to get them to use “authoritative sources” for school work (“but Mooooom, EVERYONE uses Wikipedia and my teachers don’t care!”). Having seen for myself the misinformation purposely posted on Wikipedia, I still insist on .edu, .gov, etc. sites for research and this tip makes that a bit easier (though the battle rages on…)
Search certain types of sites or just certain sites. You can search a wide variety of sites by inserting a close angle bracket (>
) symbol before the type of site you want to search. For example, [penguins site:
>.edu] searches for penguins across all .edu sites; and [crater image site:
>nasa.gov] searches for crater images across NASA.gov.
- Would have been soooo helpful on my three day, agonizing move across the country last year with the dog, two distraught teenagers and a dying minivan:
Find hotel prices directly on Google Maps. No more copying and pasting the address from one site into a map to see its location–for several major cities in the United States, you can easily see nightly rates when you search for hotels in Google Maps. Try it now: Search for a “hotel in Los Angeles” on Google Maps
- Not a particularly helpful tip, but makes you really want to be a “Google Master” doesn’t it? Or is that just me???
Gmail is a very deep program, with too many tips and tricks to list in this article. In fact, Google categorizes its Gmail user tips into four stages–white belt, green belt, black belt, and master. The tips for each belt can be found at Google’s “Become a Gmail ninja” site. There’s even a printible guide; after all, even ninjas forget their moves once in a while.
Tags: gmail, Google, mapping, wikipedia
Posted in Search Engines | No Comments »
in Not Really Computer Related, Other, Web Development
The internet is an ever-growing jungle of information. I found this graphic depicting some of the common activities on the web and the number of occurrences they appear every minute. Facebook, the social networking giant, has 695,000 status updates, almost 80,000 wall posts, and over half a million comments posted every minute. By the time you’ve read this post, Google will also have received just under 700,000 searches.
(Click image for full size) Source: Go-Gulf
Tags: Google, Internet, social media
Posted in Not Really Computer Related, Other, Web Development | No Comments »
in Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
Google+ is the latest social networking tool launched by Google end of last month. It’s extremely popular, already having over 10 million users despite being in ‘field-trial’ mode. If you are one of the lucky few who managed to score an invite for Google+ but don’t have a lot of friends yet, read below to see how to invite your Facebook friends. Even though Facebook has been trying very hard to stop users from making the switch over to Google+, there are a couple of ways left to export your friends list. Below is one of the ways you can export your friends from Facebook and import them into Google+. This method works for now, but it may not work for long if Facebook decides to block this too.
- First create a Yahoo Mail account, if you don’t already have one.
- Log into your Yahoo account and click on “Contacts” tab.
- Click “Import contacts” and select Facebook from the list.
- Log into Facebook if it prompts you and authorize Yahoo to import your contacts.
- Once you start the import, it could take a few minutes depending on how many contacts you have.
- Next, log into Google+, and click “View and edit” link right below your circles.
- Click “Find and invite” link on the top and click on Yahoo.
- Login to Yahoo and authorize Google+ to import your contacts.
- Wait a few minutes for Google+ to import all your contacts than you can add them to your circle. However, it seems like Google+ has some issues with importing contacts from Yahoo. This step did not work for me, but I know it works for most people. If it didn’t work for you, read the steps below to try an alternate method.
- Go back to the Contacts tab in Yahoo Mail, click on “Tools” dropdown and select “Export”
- Click on “Export” next to “Yahoo! CSV”, follow the steps and click export.
- After a few seconds, you will be prompted to save a file. Save it somewhere on the Desktop, you will need it in the steps below.
- Open your Gmail account, and click on the “Contacts” link on the left.
- Click on “More actions” to open the dropdown and click on “Import”
- Browse and select the csv file you just saved in step 3 above. And Click Import
- Wait for the list to be imported into Gmail than go back to Google+.
- Refresh the “Find and Invite” tab and all your friends should show up and you can now add them to your circle.
Let me know in the comments if this didn’t work for you.
Tags: facebook, Google, import
Posted in Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Pay-Per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing
Eight weeks down, two more to go. The past two months have really gone by quickly. I spent some time today reflecting back and what all I have done and learned so far here at Beacon. I’ve learned a lot, but I realize that there is still a lot I don’t know. Since this week was the start of a new month, I spent a lot of time this week working on transitioning the accounts I was working on to other members of the WMS team. This involved some meeting time and talking about what I had been doing, what I planned to do, and what steps could come next. The other major thing I did this week was to compile monthly reports for the clients I had been covering. Like I mentioned a few weeks back, that’s not the most glamorous task but it’s really not so bad. I found it very rewarding to see growth in the clients I covered and to see things I had done start to show results.
The other big thing I did this week was to sit down and map out a final two week plan to help market Beacon itself. I’m excited to be getting into this since my background from undergrad is marketing. Some of the things I am going to be doing involve PPC campaigns, setting up various tracking measures, creating possible promotions, and a few other ideas. This will be fun.
On a side note, I have been doing a lot of work with social media for several clients as well as for Beacon, and the more involved I get, the more I learn. I’ve always been comfortable with Facebook, but I never really have had much exposure to outlets such as blogs, Twitter, and Foursquare. That has changed during my time at Beacon. I’ve learned how to utilize various outlets to accomplish different tasks. For instance, I’ve learned that using Twitter can be very valuable for interacting with customers and is a great tool for promotional contests. Another thing I learned is that Foursquare, which is a location based check-in service, is great for driving foot traffic into a business. The way that is done is by first setting a location for the business within Foursquare. Then you can set up options where special offers will pop up on someone’s cell phone if they are running the Foursquare app and they are within a specified geographical area of your business’s location.
The final thing I want to talk about relates to social media as well. The “new kid on the block” is Google+. I was able to get an invite to join Google+ today. For those who are unfamiliar with Google+, it basically is a social media outlet similar to Facebook. There are subtle differences between the two that I have observed, but overall it seems to be more or less the same. The concept is almost the same as Facebook, and the only real differences at the moment are that Google+ calls features by different names than they are called within Facebook. I’m not entirely sure if it’s something I’ll stay with but I’m willing to give it the “old college try.”
Tags: facebook, Foursquare, Google, PPC, reflection, social media, Twitter
Posted in Pay-Per-Click, Social Media Marketing, Web Marketing | No Comments »
in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization
Yesterday Google made a post about their new +1 project available here http://analytics.blogspot.com/2011/06/1-reporting-in-google-webmaster-tools.html and how sometimes these new features don’t really have much impact until you are able to view the data associated with those features. Well that is what Google wants to make available to website marketers, managers, and owners by providing report data in two separate locations. The first is in the Google Webmaster Tools account and the second is available in your Google Analytics account.
The first new report in Webmaster Tools is the Search Impact report. Google provided an example report which you can see below. The most interesting thing that catches my eye is their primary focus on CTR and how this new feature affects that. I’ve been saying for some time that Google is placing a lot more weight on the CTR as a factor in determining your search engine position for an organic search. You can find a relevant post here. http://blog.beacontechnologies.com/google-seo-factors-2011/
This new report will allow you to measure the change in CTR associated with this feature. The higher the number of +1s the higher the position, the higher the CTR, the higher quality. It looks like this new feature is going to play a significant role in Google’s Organic ranking algorithm over the next several years. For the longest time Google had to rely on other websites “casting their vote” for another website’s authority in the form of links. This is what the Google algorithm was based on and what made it so successful. It was also what spawned a new industry of link building and manipulation of the results.
Google appears to be shifting from a website’s vote of importance to more of a personal vote of authority by allowing users themselves to cast their vote in the form of their “+1″. Their is no doubt that spammers will begin strategies to manipulate this but for the time being it appears that the web is evolving and understands that what people say is important is better than what a set of codes or website says is important.
So how do you make sure you take advantage of this and get a leg up on the competition? Google provides the information you need in your Google Webmaster tools account. Once you are logged in, you will need to click on the new Social link in the left navigation and then click on the “add +1 button” at the top of the reports pages. It’s a simple set of codes that references the primary JS file and the other to actually display the button.
Once you have the +1 button installed and are using it to it’s full potential, you will want to see how the users who have given you their vote of confidence interact on your website differently. Do they bounce less, access more pages, convert higher, spend more money, or any of a number of questions you might have? Well Google Analytics will help you answer these questions by automatically including these statistics in your UI with three new reports. Their is a social engangement report that segments your social users similar to a custom segment, then there is a social sources and actions report which allows you to see who does what actions from which social network. And then their is the Page report that allows you to see social metrics associated with pages so you can get specific with your data and tie it to specific content.
And as usual, you can create all kinds of drill down reports by adjusting the dimensions and other report features to create a custom view into your website user’s social behavior. We don’t currently have a ton of data in these reports yet because they are so new so we are still playing around and seeing what we can discover. There is surely more to come about this and I will post some updates to new posts as am sure this is going to be a hot topic for some time now.
Tags: analytics, ctr, Google, reports, seo
Posted in Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization | No Comments »