Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“Mobile”-ize your business with Google Sites

By the end of this year, it is predicted that over half of all Americans will own a smartphone. With 51% of consumers more likely to purchase from retailers that have mobile-optimized sites, is your website ready to take on this growing mobile trend? We understand that time is the most valuable resource for a small business owner, so to help you save time, we’re launching a new tool: Google Sites mobile landing pages. With Google Sites mobile landing pages, you can build a professional mobile landing page for your business in minutes, for free -- and without any coding experience.



You can set up your mobile site in just a few steps:
  1. Visit sites.google.com/mobilize.
  2. Choose from one of five templates for your site or start with a blank template.
  3. Choose a site name and URL.
  4. Give your site a description to make it easier for people to find.
  5. Choose whether you want your site to be visible to everyone or only certain people.
  6. Add text, images, buttons and gadgets to your site to help personalize it and deliver your message.
Watch the video below to see how easy it was for small business owner, Bob, to mobilize his business with Google Sites:




To get started, visit
sites.google.com/mobilize, and see how going mobile can boost your business!

Posted by Shiv Kumar, Google Mobile Specialist

Monday, June 27, 2011

7 Steps To Increase Your Adsense Revenue

7 Steps To Increase Your Adsense Revenue.

Many people build a website or blog with dreams of Making Money Online from Adsense revenue.  These dreams generally finish after months of frantically driving visitors to their sites through marketing campaigns, only failing to convert visits into clicks.

This failure leads to frustration, and ultimately quitting.  There is no need to quit.  What you need to focus on is
how to build your Adsense banners to compliment your blog instead of insulting it.  There are some simple ways to increase the amount Adsense revenue you generate.

How to Increase Adsense Revenue

1. Primacy
Primacy is defined as the state of being first, or foremost.  People in general have a short attention span, but it gets even shorter when on the web.  It is important to have your Adsense banner near the top of the page.  If they have to scroll to see it, there is a good chance they will move on before even noticing the banner.  This can be hard to do and keep your website looking professional, but it is possible.  You may have to forgot this step on some of your pages to keep the integrity of your site.

2. Blending
You should take your time and develop an Adsense banner that will blend into your website.  People are more apt to click on an advertisement if they don’t know it’s an ad.  If they are interested in the ad, they will click on the link provided without thinking twice.  This is also a good way to prevent your website from looking tacky.  Garishly colored advertisements are highly noticeable and will increase the bounce rate on your site.  It can ruin the look of your site and is an insult to the eyes.

3. Utilize Your Content
If you are able to show your post and content around the advertisements, it will greatly help to increase adsense revenue.  The advertisements will look like part of your text.  This will make it much more natural for readers to click on an ad. They are already interested in what you have to say, and now they are being given an option to continue on that topic. Increasing Adsense revenue is about providing your readers with good content, and a way to continue exploring that content.

4. Write Keyword Focused Content
The Google Adsense program runs off on content.  If you are unable to write specific enough content for Google to know what you are talking about, the ads may be untargeted.  This is because Google has to guess.  Keywords aren’t just for driving organic traffic, they are essential to obtaining relevant advertisements on your site.  Without relevance, your ads will lose meaning.

5. Create Multiple Banners
Different types of people will click on different types of ads.  One of the best ways to cater to everyone is to create banners with different styles.  You can experiment with each one and see which converts best.  There is nothing wrong with a little trial and error.

6. Make Use of Google Adsense Channels
It is important to know which pages are converting and which ones aren’t.  Google allows you to create up to 200 channels.  Why not utilize them all.  This way you can narrow down on your non-earning channels and optimize them through trial and error.  Use what Google has to offer.  They provide these tools because they want you to succeed.  If you are making money, so are they.

7. Traffic
Finally, and obviously, you need to increase traffic.  The more traffic you have, the more Adsense revenue you will create.  It is as simple as that.  Unfortunately gaining that extra traffic is not so simple, but that is a topic for another post.

Increasing Adsense revenue is about perseverance and hard work.  You will need to put in the time and effort to try multiple different approaches before you can rest.  Learn from others.  If you are a fan of a successful blog, see how they did it. Learn from famous blog and successfull blog is an easy way for you.

Where do they put their banners?  Emulate them because they are successful.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Discover new local gems with our new city pages

(Cross-posted on the Google Places Blog.)

Over the past six months, Google Places has ventured into Portland, Oregon; Austin, Texas; San Diego, California; and Madison, Wisconsin. Our goal for each of these campaigns was to celebrate the strong local business communities thriving in each of these cities. To do that, we’ve carried out a range of activities: hosted a bus tour to find the best barbecue in Austin, held a concert series showcasing some of Portland's favorite music venues, and met with thousands of small business owners to show them how Places can help them connect with customers.

Our team has loved becoming a part of your local communities, connecting with small businesses and bringing Places users together. In the spirit of continuing that mission, we’re excited to introduce our new community city pages. Now you can get up to date info about all things Google happening in Portland, Austin, San Diego and Madison.

On these sites, you'll be able to browse a list of some of the top businesses recommended by Portland locals by rating, by category ("Restaurant"), and by filter ("Family-Friendly"). Check back often as we'll be continuing to build out this list of places.


You'll find a page featuring the latest news about the Google Places community, as well as a list of upcoming Google events in that city:


And if you’re a business owner, we've got a special page just for you. Use it as your one-stop-shop to find out how to manage your presence on Google. Bonus: These pages have a fun set of video testimonials from small business owners using Places.



We’ve got big plans for these pages, so stay tuned in the coming months to see what’s new.

Posted by Cecelia Stewart, Local Marketing Team

Google Offers beta launches in Portland, Oregon

(Cross-posted on the Google Places and Google Commerce blogs.)

Nothing beats a good deal, and during these couple weeks we saw that first hand. We teamed up with Floyd’s Coffee Shop in Portland to launch the Google Offers beta, a new product that brings Portlanders daily deals from local businesses.

On launch day, we asked Portlanders to sign up for our first deal: $3 for $10 worth of drinks and treats at Floyd’s, a local favorite. And you guys wasted no time! Starting at 7:30 a.m. the following morning, customers rolled in to Floyd’s to redeem and even scored Google Offers t-shirts.

  

Since Floyd's, we've also had Offers at the Uptown Billiards Club, Karam Lebanese Cuisine and with Le Bistro Montage, Ground Kontrol and Mississippi Studios and Bar Bar. And there are plenty more awesome deals on the way — in Portland and soon in other cities. Subscribe to our e-mails at google.com/offers to learn more about new Portland deals, and to find out when we’re coming to your city. If you’re a business owner who wants to set up an offer, just send us a note.

We’ve had an exciting first couple weeks, and we look forward to many more! Stay tuned to us on Twitter for more news and deals.

Posted by Kim Cianci, Account Manager

Monday, June 13, 2011

7 Tips to writing a blog post

7 tips to writing a blog post


Writing a blog can be as easy as baking cookies to one person, but much more difficult to the next. Professional writers will tell you that they find blog writing enjoyable. Those who are not great writers may be intimidated by the task however and may never want to learn how to write a blog entry. Writing a blog entry does not have to be painful however. It can be a lot of fun! If you are interested in blogging, but are unsure how to begin, use these 7 easy steps to writing a blog entry to get started.

Gather Ideas


The most difficult part about writing anything is deciding what you want to write about. Blogs are interesting because you can use them in several ways. You can use them as a personal online journal of sorts if you wish. You can also use them as a place to post your opinions and views. Lastly, you can use them as a place to put short articles of interest for others to read.


If you are choosing to use your blog as a journal, you might not need much planning. You will probably simply want to begin writing and see where it takes you. If you want to use the blog for your opinions or for articles however, you will need to gather ideas. Create a list of topic ideas that interest you. Use them to determine what your topic will be e.g. Money Making Article. After choosing a topic, make a quick outline of main points you want to include. This step may seem tedious, but it will make the other steps go much more quickly, so be sure not to skip it.


Choose a Tone


After you have chosen your topic and created your short outline, you will need to choose your tone. The most successful blogs are written in a casual tone, which is a welcoming idea to most non-professional writers. Don't worry about grammatical rules. Simply choose a tone that is like the one you would use when speaking with your spouse or a great friend. The tone should be friendly and stress-free.


Write Your Post


When you sit down to write your post, remember the tone you chose for your piece. Keeping the tone in mind put your topic idea and outline in front of you and begin writing. You should keep your blogs posts pretty short. They should contain your main point within the first sentence or two. Don't ramble on and on or you will risk losing your reader somewhere in the middle. You can strive to keep your posts between 300 and 700 words altogether. This may sound like a lot, but once you start writing, you will see that it will not take a lot of time to get to this point. Don't forget to write in a casual tone. Write exactly like you would speak. Avoid large words that some people may stumble over. Create interesting, yet simple posts for everyone to enjoy.

Use a Signature Ending

A signature ending is important for any blogger. You can choose to end each post with a specific quote or phrase. You can add your name to the bottom with a special symbol nearby. It really does not matter how you choose to end your post. Be sure to choose a signature ending however. A signature ending is a great way for regular readers to see that your post is ending. It can be a comforting sight for many readers as well and make your blog seem more personal.


Edit Your Work


After all of the writing is said and done, you should always edit your work. Editing is not always a fun thing to do, but if you want your blog to be taken seriously, you should go back over your work. Look for misspelled words and other common mistakes. Although you are not worrying about grammar, you should not misspell words. When you are certain your text is mistake-free, you can move on to the last step.


Submit Your Update


The final step to creating a blog post is to submit it to your blog. This is typically done via the blogging software. There is a spot where you can paste your text and click on the "submit" button. The software should do the rest. After submitting, visit your blog as a reader and check out your new update.

Give Feedback

The last pointed after you updating your post is feedback. Check your older post and the newest post to. Give a positive value to your readers as you know there is a unique visitors coming regularly to find what they need so if you take a little bit respect with this people  and give them good feedback then maybe they will jump into your list and being subscriber. 

That simple steps will makes your blog popular on search engine naturally.

Introducing Descriptive Terms in Local Search Results

(Cross-posted on the Lat Long and Google Places blogs.)

Whether it’s to find a great place for dinner or to grab a cup of coffee, I often look up places directly on Google Maps. Evaluating my options and making a choice just got even easier thanks to the list of associated terms that now appears directly in the local search results.

Starting today, Google Maps search results in the U.S. and Great Britain will include some of the phrases which are most frequently used to describe those places. These phrases come from sources all across the web, such as reviews, web pages and other online references, and they can help people quickly identify the characteristics that make a particular place unique. It’s like an opportunity to ask the business owner or its patrons “What’s good here?” or “What do most people get here?”

For example, if I’m looking for a place to relax and enjoy a great cup of coffee this weekend, I can see at a quick glance that Cafe Grumpy could be the perfect spot. Besides being known for their “latte” and “great coffee,” they have a “no laptop” policy — exactly what I was hoping for since I’d like to unplug and take a break from work this weekend.


Or if I’m planning to visit friends on the west coast and need to organize a night out, Rose & Crown could be an excellent choice given their “great beer selection” and “trivia night” games on site!



Whether you’re looking for local businesses in your neighborhood or in another city, these descriptive terms can help you find the places right for you. We hope you use these terms to discover new and interesting places on Google Maps, and watch for this feature to appear in Place search on Google.com and Google Maps for mobile soon!

Posted by Manjunath Srinivasaiah, Software Engineer

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The truth about driving traffic

You know it and you have learned it well. Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business. Without traffic, there will be no leads. Without a list of leads, there will be no money on the table, because the old idiom always say “The money is in  the list”.

So, a lot of online entrepreneurs face a lot of struggle dealing with driving traffic to their websites. Some sites are designed with the fanciest web animations and buttons, but they only survive for one year before going out of business; some only uses a simple HTML form and no more than three paragraphs of sales letter, yet it delivers millions to its owner on auto-pilot simply because it manages to drive tons of traffic constantly.

So how in the world do you drive traffic constantly?

Some propose to use a paid traffic method like advertising using Google Adwords. While some like to say that it would be better to use the free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methods for long term goals. So, which one do you take?

any method you take, paid or free, there is no short cut for endless and stable flow of traffic. Driving constant traffic is frustating. You will fail over and over again before you “get it”, whether using paid or free method.

The frustation using paid method is on the keyword research and targeting aspects. You will spent countless hours to test and re-test your campaign. Believe me, without proper guidance or eagerness, you will not be able to master the pay per click game.

How about free method, the SEO? This is also frustating. In order for your page to rank well, you need to look for backlinks, high quality and relevant ones, and if possible, a one-way back link.

Back a few years ago, social bookmarking sites like Digg was a gem in the one-way back link world for SEO lovers, but ever since get-rich-quick and adult-enhancement spammers exploited it, the sites put more and more strict spam filters.

Link exchanges are also a good option, but it is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of hard work contacting webmasters asking them for link exchange. Most webmasters nowadays only want to link exchange with sites that are maintained consistently and have good Page Ranks.

So, do you still believe that driving traffic is a piece of cake?

Yes, I still believe that driving traffic is a piece of cake, if you use “out of the box” approach. One unique approach that you can use is by providing a free report in a PDF format containing links to your websites and product sales page.

“But, this is old school tricks!”  Yes, I know it is old school tricks but it still works, if you do it right. A lot of struggling internet marketers say “Ah, I know that…”, but they missed to “practice” their knowledge. No more of that now. Get off your seats and make a free report about your niche, and make it good, because after all, a good content is the most important.

After you make your free report, start distributing it. Use a newsletter and an autoresponder form. Contact webmasters and ask them whether they would like to share the report with their subscribers for free. Or better yet, lure them to sell your report for a profit just as long as they maintain your links in it. Now, can you imagine the effect of that report if one webmaster is willing to share it with 10,000 of his subscribers? Not to mention if those subscribers also share it with their networks and associates, the possibility is endless….

That is just an “out of the box” method that you can use.

Thoughts on Decoding the Digital Consumer

Next Monday I’m speaking on a panel at the NYT Small Business Summit. The theme of the panel is ‘Decoding the New Digital Consumer’ and since I know you can’t all be in New York, I wanted to share a few thoughts more widely.

We all know that online technologies have completely changed the way we find information. If I wanted to buy a new bike, for example, I’d visit a search engine to research my options and scour websites to educate myself on specific models. I might event visit YouTube to see bikes in action or check Twitter to see the latest announcements from certain bike manufacturers. When it’s time for a test ride, I would likely look up locations of stores and more information on my mobile device.

As a digital customer, I have endless ways to access information. And as a small business owner, you have more options than ever to reach me when I’m looking for your product or service. More options can also mean more effort. Here are some tips for understanding and engaging online customers:
  • Research your company. The first thing I tell any small business owner is to research your company online (yes, Google yourself! And also search on YouTube and Twitter...) to see where your customers are engaging with your brand. What are people saying about your company and where are they engaging on the web?
  • Go local. One out of every five searches on Google.com is location-based. Verify your business address on Google Places so you can appear on Google.com and Google Maps. With Places, you’ll receive a monthly email with insights on how customers are interacting with your page.
  • Talk to your customers. For businesses that fit well with two-way engagement (tip: not all do!), Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all great channels for social interaction. You can ask for feedback, promote special offers to loyal customers, and even provide product education for zero to little cost BUT a significant effort can be required.
  • Measure your efforts. Use a web analytics tool such as Google Analytics to understand your customers. With a simple piece of code, Analytics allows you to see which sites or search engines your customers visited before they arrived at your site. You can also see aggregated information on your customers’ geographic locations. So, for example, if you see a lot of visits coming from a certain city or state, you can target online ads to that region or make a special call out to these folks on your social media channels.
The online world has really leveled the playing field. Now, small business owners can reach customers they would not have acquired when marketing was limited to expensive TV and print ad campaigns. I encourage you to spend time researching your online customers and some of you should consider building and interacting with an online community of customers and prospects. Without even spending a dime, you can build an online presence and potentially expand your customer base and your business.

Posted by: Claire Johnson, VP of Online Sales

Saturday, June 4, 2011

5 Good reason to use Yahoogroups to start your ezine

Affiliate marketing

List servers and list serving software can be a TOTAL NIGHTMARE. Trust me, I know ... 



If you are new to Internet Marketing, or just new to the way of web business, and there's all these other things to learn and think about, there are five VERY good reasons to leave commercial list serving software systems alone for now and simply use a Yahoogroup to do all the work for you.

1. EVERYBODY Knows ... 





... what a Yahoogroup is, and even if they don't, they'll soon pick it up. By using Yahoogroups, you are tapping into a long, long established institution that is globally known and trusted; this will make it much easier to get people who don't really know you yet to subscribe to your ezine or newsletter.

2. Yahoogroups are very easy.

Even for absolute beginners, Yahoogroups are easy to set up and easy to manage. You don't have to worry about the vagaries of AOL emails, double opt in procedures, anti-spam declarations, unsubscription features or any of it, it's all taken care of for you. They also come with little sign up boxes and buttons, and the admin interface, although not exactly intuitive, can soon be worked out by trial and error.

3. Yahoogroups messages don't get caught in spam filters.

Spam filters are the SCOURGE of ezines and email delivery. When you send your messages via the Yahoogroups delivery system, this is not a problem; as Yahoo is such a mega beast, it has its own exceptions in mostly all spam filters known to mankind and your messages WILL at least reach their intended recipient

4. Yahoogroups have useful extra features.

You can do a lot with a Yahoogroup if you are willing to spent some time on it. Weblinks, an attractive group page, bookmarks, file downloads and more are all available for the beginner web entrepreneur to optimise and use, easily at that.

5. Yahoogroups are FREE.

Alright, so the group messages carry third party advertising, but that is a very small price to pay for access to a system that can easily and very elegantly serve hundreds of thousands of messages, that is reliable and steady and so well known. Other than that, there are no set up fees, no ongoing charges, and it's there for you whenever you want it.

Once you are ready to do so, you can export your list and put it on your own personal commercial list server systems, complete with technicians who take care of everything behind the scenes - until then, and if you haven't done this before, to simply use Yahoogroups for ezine delivery is a really good way to get started with your ezine and to build up your subscriber base.