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Zach Randall

Partner, COO, Lead Strategist

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ARTICLES BY Zach Randall

AdWords Next: Redesigning the AdWords Interface

Recently Jerry Dischler, AdWords’ Vice President of Product Management, posted a blog update detailing a pending redesign to the AdWords interface. Dubbed AdWords Next, this redesign will be rolling out progressively through the end of 2016 and into 2017 for select advertisers, so it could still be quite a way off for some accounts.

At it’s core, it’s all about mobile-first design. Based on Google’s Material Design, the goal is to create a visual language that synthesizes classic principles of good design with the innovation and possibility of technology and science. This will develop a single underlying system that allows for a unified experience across platforms and device sizes. Google’s Material Design is already at the core of many of the Google applications we use everyday, like Gmail, Analytics, and Maps.

The goal of the new design is to eliminate some of the clutter AdWords is famous for, and to provide easy access to the data we use everyday in our optimizations. We’re certainly excited to try out the improved workflows here at Big Footprint, and will definitely be providing an update once we get access to the new interface.

Read Jerry’s full blog update here, or learn more about Google’s Material Design.

 

For now, though, here are a few pictures of what you can expect.

Google AdWords Next Interface

Google Partners With Facebook…Wait, What?

Google and Facebook Partner

I’m filing this one in my, “never saw that coming,” folder. Last Friday Facebook and Google announced that they will be partnering to bring Facebook’s retargeting platform, Facebook Exchange, to Google’s Doubleclick. Google describes Doubleclick as an “ad technology foundation to create, transact, and manage digital advertising for the world’s buyers,” and it gives its users the ability to place and manage retargeting ads from multiple well-known ad exchanges. This partnership will strengthen Google’s placement in the market, and allow advertisers to buy Facebook ads who would have previously had to go through the Exchange, or just not bought Facebook ads at all.

In an afternoon blog post, Doubleclick’s Senior Project Manager, Payam Shodjai, stated, “Partnership has been key to Google’s success as a rising tide lifts all boats. So we’re excited to announce a new way to help our clients succeed by working with Facebook to participate in FBX, their real-time bidding exchange… …starting in a few months, clients will be able to buy inventory on FBX via DoubleClick Bid Manager.”

On the face of it this seems to indicate relations between these two Internet titans are starting to thaw, which is incredibly exciting news for agencies like Big Footprint. Now the only question is, WHEN will these two make Facebook ads manageable through Doubleclick Search? Doubleclick Search is a bit different than Doubleclick proper in that it allows advertisers to directly manage Paid Search accounts from multiple engines in one interface. It’s an invaluable tool for us at Big Footprint, and its bid-management and bulk operation capabilities make it something I can’t imagine managing clients without. So while Facebook and Google get warmed up with this retargeting partnership, I’ll just be over here dreaming.

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Effective Online Marketing For Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, your time is finite and often feels even more strained when you think about marketing. You must choose how to effectively utilize time, energy, and budget to drive the most impact for your business. So, how should you invest that limited amount of time? Where should you focus your online marketing efforts?

For starters, you probably have a website or a blog where you post new content. Consider your website the “hub” of your online presence. At the end of the day, your goal is to leverage this hub to drive new customers. To do that, your focus needs to be on expanding connections to the hub, not the size of the hub itself.

In the last two years, Google made changes to its algorithm allowing small businesses to outrank larger national players. It is possible, with your limited time, to improve your search traffic, but you need to focus your efforts.

Too often, small business owners are told, “You need to blog on a weekly basis to be successful online,” or “You need to create more pages about every service you offer on your website.” The problem with this advice is that increasing the size of your hub (based on textual content) doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to find it. We consider blogging important, but it’s a strategy you should emphasize as a lower priority with your “spare” online marketing time.

Consider the following scenario:

You can choose between two options to increase the number of customers coming to your store:

OPTION 1

Double the size of your store so that when people arrive you can conduct more business.

OPTION 2

Double the number of signs near your location telling potential customers you are nearby.

While increasing the size of your store may allow you to do more business, it won’t necessarily bring you more business.

If you have a limited amount of time to market your business online, focus on expanding the breadth of your online presence. Here are 5 specific tactics you can leverage:

1. Build contacts with your local press.

Try to create a newsworthy event with your business every 3 months and notify your press contacts of the news. Ask them to run a story on their website about the event. What’s a newsworthy event? Partnering with a local charity, school or library is a great way to be noticed – get involved with your local community in a positive way.

2. Review your local online directories.

Ensure these websites have your contact information posted correctly with a link to your website. If they don’t, find out how to get your information on their site. During your review, make sure to address Yellow Pages and other websites with local focus.

3. Ask Your Customers for Testimonials.

Direct your clients to post their testimonials on a site other than your own, such as Yelp! or your Google listings. Building content outside your store page will help to drive awareness about your business.

4. Monitor & Engage In Social Media.

Don’t just post on Facebook, instead monitor conversations and groups on Linkedin, and other social sites looking for opportunities to jump in with comments and suggestions that illustrate your expertise. Being helpful in the social space creates a huge opportunity to build your presence.

5. Offer Web-Based Coupons

Create coupons that can only be obtained from the web. Post them on your social profiles and link to them from comments and articles – just get them out on the web as much as possible. This can grab a lot of attention online.

Whatever strategies you decide to leverage, don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on increasing the size of your digital hub. You could build a super store, but without proper signage and exposure no one will find you!

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How To Setup Google+ Authorship Links

Below is a guide to make sure you have your authorship pages linked correctly to insure the author of your blog post/article shows up on the Google results page. This is one step in the larger Google process of making sure your website and Google+ pages are all working together to create a better web presence for your company/brand.

Guide to setting up Authorship Links for Google+