We’ve moved!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 | 2:04 PM

Check us out on the brand new Google and Your Business blog.

Why the move? After being around for a couple years, we thought the phrase “small business” didn’t quite capture everything we were trying to say. It’s really about bringing you the stories, best practices and updates that can help you make the web work for business — large and small. Read the full announcement here, and be sure to update your bookmarks and subscribe to the new blog for updates.

Posted by Vicky Tait, Google and Your Business Blog Team

Help Desk Hangout: Learn about Google Earth Pro

Friday, May 25, 2012 | 4:36 PM


Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, Google Earth experts +Dan Cohen and +Alex Kain taught us how your business can use Earth Pro to help you visualize your company’s data. Missed it? You can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel (look for the minute-by-minute breakdown in the description so you can easily skip around):



Here are a few of the questions you asked us to answer during the Hangout:

What is Google Earth?
Google Earth’s client software that's used primarily as a visualization tool. You may have even used it once or twice to swoop in to the globe and check out your house! And Earth Pro is a professional product with a few additional features you can use, which we dive deeper into during the Hangout.

What are some features of Earth Pro that can help my business?

A ton! Let’s break this down into the highlights:

  • Advanced measuring tools: Quickly and easily measure and stylize complex polygons. Property developers and building designers can quickly estimate the area and perimeter of a property. Afterward, they can quickly stylize the polygon so it’s easily seen on their map.
  • Save premium imagery: Save premium images of the maps you create in Earth Pro for inclusion in your business materials. Save a premium image of all your customer locations to share with your investors.
  • Bulk data import: Import and stylize CSV files (with address or lat/long data), GIS shapefiles, or GPS data to include in the maps you create. Real estate agents quickly upload and locate all the properties in their portfolios by importing CSV files containing the addresses of their properties.
  • U.S. premium data layers: Take advantage of the robust U.S. Demographic, Parcel and Traffic Count data layers that are a part of the Earth Pro package. Architects fly to the location of their next project, use the parcel data layer to find the parcel number, and use the parcel number to find the zoning restrictions for the property they’ll be working on.
  • Movie Maker: Quickly and easily create high-definition movies. Nature touring companies create high-definition videos using Earth Pro that take you along the path of their tours.

Do I have to commit to buying Earth Pro upfront? 
Nope — just sign up for a free seven-day trial to see how you like it.

To learn more about how to get started with Google Earth Pro, check out our overview site (FAQs, customer stories, and more!). And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PT Wednesday May 30 when we teach you more about AdWords.

Posted by Vanessa Schneider, Google Places community manager

Small businesses talk about growing online

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | 9:03 AM

With so much advice about what businesses should be doing online and not always enough time to sort through it all, sometimes the most useful thing is to hear from someone that’s doing it right.

Recently in Detroit, Accelerate with Google was proud to take the stage with several local small business leaders for a panel discussion on growing businesses and relationships online. Joined by 80 other Detroit-area businesses at the Michigan Minority Procurement Conference, the panelists shared stories of their successes and challenges forming relationships in the digital age.

Google has worked with these businesses to help them grow their presence online, and they’ve really embraced a digital-first strategy to finding new customers. Here are some of their tips:

Amy Courter, Chief Information Officer, VisionIT
“A good starting point is to first define and align your strategy for being online. Determine your goals, audience, message and interaction. For VisionIT, our roots were in web development and part of this industry requires us to continually evaluate our online presence. The new age of marketing is about building brand, interest and awareness through customer loyalty and adding value for the consumer. As traditional models lose their efficacy, and inbound marketing gains popularity, we learn that it’s more important to earn people’s interest, instead of buying and forcing it.”

Leah Fairman, Director of Sales, Corporate Snobs
“Having an online presence has opened many doors for our company. We have been able to capture a particular market share in our business that our local competitors haven't due to a lack of their online presence. Getting noticed when your customers are looking for your products and services speaks volumes for your company. It sends the message that you are serious about your business, trustworthy and in tune with current technology. This makes you a serious player in your industry.”

Linzie Venegas, Chief Marketing Officer, Ideal Shield
“The most important thing that I have learned since I have moved to online space is that you must put someone in charge; this person must continuously evaluate your website as well as website presence. I have also learned that it is important to adapt to new technology. For instance, we are looking to move to Google Apps for Business, and this will save our company money and allow our IT people to work more efficiently.”

Later this week, another group of entrepreneurs we admire – some of the startup founders from the NewMe Accelerator – will sit down at Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and share their wisdom on growing their internet businesses. Google will also be there to share classroom-style workshops staffed by our team on how to grow and promote your business online, and mastering search engine strategies. The Entrepreneurs Conference has been a great venue every year for entrepreneurs to network and find successful strategies for growth, and we are looking forward to meeting some of you there!

Posted by Chris Genteel, Business Development Manager - Global Diversity

Introducing the Webmaster Academy

Monday, May 21, 2012 | 3:51 PM

As more and more customers are searching for products and services online, it’s important for businesses to have an established presence on the Internet. We’ve heard a lot of business owners say they’d like to learn how to do this, so we are excited to announce Webmaster Academy. Webmaster Academy will walk you through the information you need to get your site up and running with Google in easy to understand steps.

For example, the Academy has information about how Google Search works and how to create a great website for your users, along with information on how to use great (and free!) diagnostic tools such as Webmaster Tools. It’s divided up into easy, short lessons so you can track your progress. At the end of every lesson you’ll be one step closer to having a great website.

Stay tuned here for upcoming posts from the Webmaster Academy, including topics like:

  • An explanation of how Google Search works (get a sneak peek by watching this video)
  • How best to represent a brick and mortar business online
  • An introduction to Search Engine Optimization

We’re excited to share more with business owners of all sizes. Be sure to check out the Webmaster Academy and spend some time exploring!

Posted by Garen Checkly, Search Quality Team

Measuring what matters for your small business

| 10:10 AM

Editor's Note: The SMB Blog team wants to wish everyone a Happy National Small Business Week! To kick off the week, we're continuing a new series we're calling Measurement Mondays. Stay tuned to the hashtag #MeasurementMondays on Google+ for ongoing tips and thoughts to help businesses measure the things that matter.

As a business owner, there are many different metrics that are important to you - like what were my sales this month, and how many new employees can I hire this year? Similarly, there are important things that you should be measuring for your online marketing efforts which can help you improve your customer experience and potentially drive more sales.

Here are five things that every business should consider:

  • Start by identifying the right goals for you: Think about the business objectives of your website and marketing efforts, and identify specific customer actions that represent success. For instance, maybe your goal is to drive foot traffic to your store or to boost requests for an online quote. Other goals like signing up for a newsletter, viewing an important page on your site, or filling out an inquiry form can also be important indicators. Just as every business is unique, the metrics that signal success will vary. But it’s crucial for every business to know what matters to you so that you can make the most of your marketing efforts.
  • Understand how to measure ad effectiveness: Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to create ads that drive people to your store or site to achieve those goals. The most basic measure of your online ad effectiveness is your clickthrough rate (or CTR) which is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (called impressions). CTR shows you how often the people who see your ad end up clicking on it, and a high CTR signals that users find your ads helpful and relevant.
  • See whether clicks are leading to conversions: It can also be important to see whether those ad clicks actually led someone to buy from you. To do this, you can use tools like AdWords Conversion Tracking, which is a free tool in AdWords that shows you what happens after a customer clicks on your ad. Did they ultimately buy something from your site or sign up for an email newsletter? By looking at how your ads impact conversions on your site, you’ll learn which keywords and ads are effective at bringing valuable customers which can help you invest more wisely.
  • Examine how online efforts are driving offline customers: For some businesses, driving traffic or calls to your brick and mortar store can be more valuable than a website visit. When people search for local products and services on their mobile phones, like a nearby hardware store or a local restaurant, they often prefer to call the business directly. With click-to-call ads, mobile shoppers can easily call your business directly from an ad that they see. Within your ad reports you can see the number of calls that were driven by your ad campaigns. Asking your customers at checkout how they heard about your company can also be an easy way to keep track of what is really bringing them through your door.
  • Keep measuring, keep experimenting: Businesses these days have no shortage of data available to them, and I know that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. The important thing about measurement for every business is to just get started and keep experimenting. Your customers and your business are constantly evolving, so remember not to set it and forget it. There often isn’t a right or wrong answer, but the data can reveal insights that help you win the moments that matter with your customers.
I hope these tips have given you some food for thought about how measurement can help you reach more customers and drive more sales. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how you can take your website measurement to the next level. Happy measuring!

Posted by Francoise Brougher, Vice President of SMB Sales and Operations

Help Desk Hangouts: Getting to know Chromebooks, Part II

Friday, May 18, 2012 | 8:00 AM

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we continued our conversation about Chromebooks for your business (if you missed the first one, check out our recap). Chrome product manager Glenn Wilson and Will Paulus walked us through the management console, which allows you to oversee your fleet of Chromebooks in a low-touch, scalable way. Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google and Your Business YouTube channel. And, if you’re interested in learning more about Chromebooks, fill out this form (http://goo.gl/pP0mg) to stay up to date on all the latest news and product announcements.



Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

What can I do with the Chromebooks management console?

Quite a bit! The typical actions include:
  • Setting configuration settings for your managed (enrolled) devices, like turning off Guest mode.
  • Setting configuration settings for users on your domain, like force-installing certain extensions.
  • Tracking device state, like when a device was last used, or what version of the OS it is running.
What about user login tracking? I want to know who the last person to use a Chromebook was.

We’ve heard this request a lot recently — it’s on our to-do list.

Will there be remote wipe available if the Chromebook is lost or stolen? Similar to the mobile policy in the management console.

First, it’s important to note that every Chromebook encrypts all user data, so even if it is stolen, there’s no way for anyone to get to your data without your password. Remote Wipe is on our list.

Can you block based on content type? Like block gaming and adult sites?

We don’t have content type filter in the management console; however, most administrators use a third-party filtering service to do this. You would simply set your devices and users to use the proxy setting the third-party service gives you. If you are interested in finding which filtering services work well with Chromebooks, please contact sales.

Be sure to join us for next week’s Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday May 2, when we discuss Google Earth Pro. We’ll be collecting your Earth questions early next week on the Google+ Your Business page.

Posted by Toby Stein, Google+ community manager

Announcing the next series of Learn with Google webinars!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 | 10:46 AM

Earlier this year, we introduced the Learn with Google webinar program, and we were delighted to see thousands of you show up to learn about a variety of Google advertising products and solutions. Today, weíre happy to announce the continuation of our series with 10 new webinars over the next few months. During each webinar weíll share tips and how-toís to help make the web work for your business.

Check out our upcoming live webinars below:

  • May 23 at 10am PDT: Getting Started with Google Analytics
  • May 24 at 9am PDT: Building Blocks of Digital Attribution
  • May 31 at 10am PDT: Introduction to TrueView for YouTube
  • June 5 at 10am PDT: GoMo: Mobilize your Site with Quick and Easy New Tools
  • June 6 at 10am PDT: Our Mobile Planet: Understanding U.S. Smartphone Consumers
  • June 7 at 10am PDT: Introducing Mobile Apps Inventory in AdWords
  • June 12 at 10am PDT: Get Local with ZIP Code Targeting to Increase Sales/Leads
  • June 14 at 10am PDT: Search Optimization: Tips, Tricks, and Tools
  • June 19 at 10am PDT: Bringing the Power and Control of Search to Display
  • July 10 at 10am PDT: Account Management Tools for Large Advertisers and Agencies

Visit our webinar page to register for any of the sessions and to access past webinars on-demand. Weíll be adding new webinars as theyíre scheduled, so check back regularly for updates. You can also stay up-to-date on the schedule by downloading our Learn with Google Webinar calendar to automatically see upcoming webinars in your Google Calendar.

Whether your goal is to engage the right customers in the moments that matter, make better decisions, or go bigger, faster, we hope that youíll use these best practices and how-toís to maximize the impact of digital and grow your business. Weíre looking forward to having you at an upcoming Learn with Google webinar!

Posted by Erin Green, Marketing Coordinator

Google Apps brings Brazos Bookstore into the 21st Century

Monday, May 14, 2012 | 12:06 PM

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Enterprise Blog.)

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blogger is Jeremy Ellis, General Manager of Brazos Bookstore, a neighborhood institution based in Houston, Texas.

Brazos Bookstore has been part of the Houston literary community since 1974. In addition to selling a diverse collection of books, we pride ourselves in connecting our community with authors from our area and around the globe. When the store’s ownership changed in 2006 and the possibility of shutting down became known, the community of Brazos fans petitioned to keep our doors open. Thanks to them, we’ve been able to continue our long-standing tradition where we host author events, readings and exhibitions from writers such as Walter Cronkite, Julia Child, Kofi Annan, and P. J. O’Rourke, to name a few.

                                                      

When I joined the staff in September 2011, Brazos was still operating in many ways as it did in the 70s and 80s. Employees would schedule the author series on a single paper calendar, and only one of our computers had email set up. All of our software was outdated, and the programs that were available ended up causing more roadblocks than value.

We needed a system that could better manage our day-to-day operations. Since I was already familiar with Google from personal use, moving the bookstore to Google Apps for Business was a natural transition. Today, all seven of our employees are able to access their email and calendars from any computer in the store, at home, and on their smartphones. This accessibility not only eases communication between the staff, but also keeps everyone up to speed on events, shipments and other activities at the shop.

Scheduling author visits on Google Calendar is easy, instant, and live, and it’s saved us from double-booking authors. I’m now able to easily collaborate with our buyer when we’re planning in-store events, which has streamlined the process for ordering books and helps me track book sales from author readings.

Google Apps has given us the organizational tools we need to continue serving Houston’s literary and arts culture. Our vision over the past forty years hasn’t changed, and now we have the technology to support our store for the future.

Help Desk Hangouts: Connect with customers using Hangouts On Air

Friday, May 11, 2012 | 2:09 PM

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, the lovely Amanda Rosenberg showed us how to use a Hangout On Air - the ability to broadcast a Hangout to the world - and heard some tips and tricks from two power users, pio dal cin and Dan McDermott. Missed it? You can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel (check out the video description for a minute-by-minute breakdown):



Here are a few of the questions you asked us to answer during the Hangout:

What kind of technical setup should I have for something like this?
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy equipment, but many users have found having a dedicated microphone and webcam, plus an ethernet connection, make for a much smoother experience. Dan and Pio make some specific hardware recommendations during the Hangout.

What should I talk about in my Hangout?
Get creative! Make an announcement to your customers, or demo a new product. Invite a panel of experts in your field on to discuss topics, and take questions from users via your Google+ page. Own a bakery? Show viewers how to make a certain recipe. Book store? Host a live author reading. There’s really no end to the possibilities. We see users come up with new uses every day — kick around your ideas with other Google+ users to hone in on something you’d like to try.

Who can join the Hangout, and who can watch it? Can I broadcast to a select group?
When you hit broadcast, Hangouts On Air are public for the world to watch live. A member of that “public,” however, can not join the Hangout; they can only watch it. To get people in the Hangout, you as the Hangout owner need to invite them.

Where does the recording of the Hangout live?
The recording will be uploaded to your YouTube account (if you’re hosting the Hangout from a Google+ page, the video will live in the account of whoever’s admin’ing the page at the time of the Hangout). After the Hangout, visit your YouTube Video Manager to see your video and make edits if you need to. Note: This video will upload to your account as a Public video; you can change the video at any time to “private” or “unlisted” via the Video Manager.

Why do I need to verify my YouTube account?
In order to record YouTube videos longer than 15 minutes, you’ll need to verify your account.

Anything else I should keep in mind?
Posting a recording of a particularly long Hangout? List a minute-by-minute breakdown (timestamps like 1:36, 5:47) in the video’s description so that users can jump to different parts of the video (like this). Also, practice makes perfect: None of us gets it 100% right the first time, but in no time at all, you’ll soon be a Hangouts pro.

Who has access to Hangouts On Air?
We’re rolling this functionality out gradually over the next several weeks. Keep your eyes peeled!

To learn more about how to get started with Hangouts On Air, check out this detailed technical guide, and if you still have questions, drop in to the Google+ discussion forum. And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PT Wednesday May 16 when we dive deeper into the world of Chromebooks (read up on our first Chromebooks Hangout).

Posted by Toby Stein, Google+ Community Manager

Manage multiple locations more easily with a new tool for Google Places

Tuesday, May 8, 2012 | 4:20 PM

Businesses with multiple locations have a big task in front of them when trying to manage their online presence. How can they connect their customers with the locations closest to them? How can they make data changes to a group of their locations all at once? The challenges of managing multiple businesses in the real world can sometimes carry over online.

We’ve heard plenty of feedback about how you want to manage your listings on Google, which is why we’re excited today to announce an upgraded bulk listing management tool for Google Places for business.

We’ve made many improvements and now enable the following actions:
  • Edit one or more of your listings’ data at once
  • Search through your listings, filtering by specific information or for listings with errors
  • Upload new listings using a data file or by adding them individually within the interface
  • Tell us how we can improve this new interface by clicking the “Give Feedback” link
Before you get started with the new bulk management tool, watch the video tutorial that’s relevant to you or visit our Help Center for more information:   


New user? Learn how to manage multiple locations.


Already managing verified listings? Here's what's new.

Starting today, you’ll be routed to the new interface whenever you click to upload or edit a data file via the Places dashboard, or by visiting https://places.google.com/manage directly. You’ll still use the Places dashboard to see your listing analytics and to perform PIN verification on single locations. Remember that your updates will still take a few days to appear on Google Maps.

We hope the new tool makes managing your business on Google Places much easier. We look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing your listings up on Google Maps!

Posted by Derek Wetzel, Consumer Experience Specialist, Google Places

GoMo: Mark your calendar to ‘Hangout on Air’ and learn how to build a mobile site in minutes

| 8:00 AM

Did you know that 40% of mobile web users reported that they’ve turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience1? With about half of all Americans now owning a smartphone2, it’s time for businesses to meet user expectations by delivering a mobile experience as good as the desktop experience. In short, it’s time to step up to the plate and build a site optimized for the mobile web.              
                          

Google can help. We recently teamed up with DudaMobile to release a free mobile site builder.  In three easy steps you’re able to get started with mobile: (1) enter your site’s URL, (2) customize your site and (3) redirect mobile users automatically to the new mobile-friendly version.  It’s free and takes just a few minutes to complete!

Join us on Thursday, May 10th at 1pm EST/10am PST and watch as Google showcases how two businesses, Top Mast Resort in Massachusetts and Sava’s Restaurant in Michigan, go mobile and build mobile-friendly sites--live on air.

You’ll see how Top Mast is preparing to take advantage of mobile travel purchase intent - which is five times higher than online travel purchase intent, according to InsightExpress.  You’ll also see Sava’s move ahead of 95% of restaurants that do not have mobile-friendly sites, according to a study by Restaurant Science.

Finally, you’ll hear from the CMO of Dudamobile, Dennis Mink; he’ll talk about best practices when using the mobile site builder and walk through important questions to ask yourself when building a mobile-friendly site.

Details on how to tune in:

  • Sign into Google+ on Thursday, May 10 at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST
  • Go to the Think with Google Google+ page
  • Look for the stream post and click to enter the live stream  
Be sure to set a reminder in your calendar! If you have questions before or during the Hangout, post them with the hashtag #GoMoSite as a comment on the Google+ page.

Posted by Suzanne Mumford, Google Mobile Ads Marketing

Source: (1) Gomez 2011 (2) Nielsen February 2012

Google+ stories: Meet Best Made Company (again)

Monday, May 7, 2012 | 11:22 AM

Editor’s Note: This is the final installment in a series of posts about small businesses on Google+ and their tips and tricks for managing a great page. Visit our YouTube channel to see all the videos in this series and join the discussion on the Google+ Your Business page. Thanks for following along!

Millions of businesses are now using Google+ to better connect with their customers. Since the launch of Google+ pages last November, we’ve watched as page owners hosted Hangouts with clients, announced news and deals in the Stream, and shared exclusive photos and videos. We’ve loved all the creativity out there and hope that this series has given you a few new tips for engaging with your customers on Google.

Over the last several months, we introduced you to some cool small businesses who had recently joined Google+, both here on the SMB Blog and on the Google+ Your Business page. The first company we introduced back in February was Best Made Company, a group of outdoor enthusiasts that specializes in designing and handcrafting wilderness supplies. We wanted to take one more look at their story as a final farewell to this series. Watch on as they create a magic moment for a very special pair of customers.



Want to learn more? Visit the Google+ Your Business site. And remember to visit all of our special guests in this small business series below at their +Pages and say hello!
Thanks for being a part of the journey, and be sure to share your own on the Google+ Your Business page.

Posted by Evelyn Lee, Google+ Pages Associate Product Marketing Manager

Help Desk Hangouts: Display Network Advertising with Google AdWords

Friday, May 4, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we discussed advertising on the Google Display Network with Googlers Dori Storbeck, Courtney Pannell, Joanna Kim, Neil Mendelowitz, and two Top Contributors from the AdWords CommunityKim Clinkunbroomer and Theresa Zook. The group shared tips and tricks for the Display Network, and the TCs shared some of their personal experiences. If you missed it, you can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel (check out the video description for a minute-by-minute breakdown):



Here are a few of the questions you asked us to answer during the Hangout:

Can independent consultants take advantage of the Display Network? 
Yes, anyone can utilize the Display Network for advertising their products and services; however, whether it is right for you may depend on your specific business and your advertising goals.

Where is the Display Network available?
The Display Network is available in all countries that AdWords serves.

Which clicks are more likely to become conversions search or display?
Search and display perform very differently, depending on your overall campaign goals.

What’s more effective: automatic placements or manual?
If you’re trying to reach a specific audience or target users who demonstrate a particular interest and you have an idea of some Display Network websites where you want your ads to appear, managed placements are probably the best bet for you. If you’re just starting out with Display, we would suggest opting into automatic placements at first and then reviewing the domains you show on to further refine and optimize.

If in your industry search approximate cpc is = to display approximate cpc why would you do display?(Besides the obvious increase in potential traffic.)
The Display Network is a great way to find customers that may not be actively searching for your product. Other than potentially increasing traffic to your website, you can potentially grow your customer base and get more conversions.

Tips on how to get JPEG ads approved quickly?
Our ad review turn around time is usually 1-3 business days. If your ads are under review for more than 3 business days, please get in touch with us or submit your ads directly to our review team.

For remarketing, how do I set the ad up to show people the products they viewed but not purchased?
You can create different audience lists so that you create an audience for users who visited your product pages and users who completed a purchase. You can then create a “custom combination” list to subtract those who purchased from those who visited your pages and did not purchase.

What is the difference between topics and interest categories? How are these compiled?
Topic targeting allows you to place ads on pages directly related to the topic you've selected, whereas interest categories allow you to reach users across the Display Network who have shown specific interests, regardless of the page they're currently on.

For remarketing, would you suggest using just one method per ad group, i.e., contextual, topic, interest, managed placements, or is it OK to mix them?
Remarketing operates by showing your ads to users on your audience list, so within your ad group, the audience list should be the only targeting you have set up.

If you could only choose between search and display and the approximate cpc was the same. Which would you chose and why?
This question really depends on your business and your advertising goals. In general, we tend to see advertisers looking for more direct response focus on the Search Network, while those who are interested in branding and remarketing might want to focus on the Display Network.

Of course, if you’re interested in both, we’d recommend creating a specific campaign to target each network individually.

Any suggestions on frequency capping numbers?
When you turn on frequency capping for a campaign, you can set a limit for the number of impressions you allow an individual user to have per day, per week, or per month, and you can choose whether this is applicable to each ad, ad group, or campaign. So ultimately, the frequency capping number you select depends on your goals and the size of your advertising endeavor. Kim and Theresa suggested numbers around 5-15 impressions per day for an individual user.

I know there is a placement tool in AdWords - however it doesn’t seem to show "all" of the websites available in the network. I have found sites displaying relevant ads, but I did not find it in tool. Is there another way to identify these potential sites?
Yes! In addition to our Placement Tool, you can check the DoubleClick Ad Planner for other sites that are in the Display Network.

To learn more about how to get started with the Display Network, visit our Help Center or check out the AdWords Community forum. And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout at 11 a.m. PT Wednesday May 9 — topic to be announced on the Google+ Your Business page early next week!

Posted by Dori Storbeck and Courtney Pannell, Global Online Advertising Associates

Google+ page stories: CoffeeCakeKC

Wednesday, May 2, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Editor’s Note: This is the seventh in a series of posts about small businesses on Google+ and their tips and tricks for managing a great page. Visit our YouTube channel to see all the videos in this series and join the discussion on the Google+ Your Business page.

Meet CoffeeCakeKC, one part decadent food truck (serving cupcakes, muffins, biscotti, and coffee cake) and one part delicious coffee. Their Big Orange Truck makes daily stops through downtown Kansas City. Brian Jurgens, or “Stubbie,” is an extreme hobbyist who started CoffeeCakeKC out of his love for the true flavor of coffee. Watch as he and his wife Melanie use Google+ to bring their followers along for the ride:



Looking to grow your followers on Google? Here are a few steps to get you started:

  • Like CoffeeCakeKC, add the Google+ badge to your site and connect it to your Google+ page. This badge lets people +1, see personal annotations, and follow your page directly from your site. Or, just install the Google+ icon. Whenever someone who visits your site clicks the icon, they will be taken to your Google+ page where they can follow your page and see your posts from then on.
Use Google+ badges on your website to direct customers to your Google+ page for the latest news.
  • Use Google+ badges on your website to direct customers to your Google+ page for the latest news.
  • People often turn to friends and family for help making decisions. The +1 button combines the power of these personal recommendations with the reach of Google, making it easy to start conversations and offer timely recommendations to your social circles across the web.
  • Connect your +1’s. Help people see their friends’ recommendations, wherever they find you on the web by connecting +1's for your website with +1's on your Google+ page and ads. Once you’ve created your page, you need to put a snippet of code on your site, and advertisers just need to enable Social Extensions in AdWords.
Connect the +1s for your website to your Google+ page and ads. This will help spread recommendations by your followers to their friends.
  • Connect the +1s for your website to your Google+ page and ads. This will help spread recommendations by your followers to their friends.
  • Learn more. Find additional tips and tricks for promoting your page at the Google+ Your Business site.

How are you growing your page’s community? Join the discussion on the Google+ Your Business page and tag your posts #mybusinessstory.

Posted by Evelyn Lee, Google+ Pages Associate Product Marketing Manager

Bringing Business Photos to more users and business owners

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 | 6:00 AM

Since April 2010, we’ve been testing and developing the Business Photos program, which gives users a virtual peek inside businesses through interactive 360-degree imagery. After hearing your positive feedback about how showing off panoramic views of your business interiors helps you attract potential customers, we’re excited to announce further expansion of this program. Starting today, in addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and France, this service is now available in Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Through the Business Photos program, if you’re a business owner in any of these locations around the world, getting started is easy. Just hire a Trusted Photographer in your area to take pictures of your establishment at a time convenient for you. Panoramas are created using the photos, and customers can easily find the resulting panoramic images on Google.com, on Google Maps, and on your Google Places listing. This self-service model, introduced several months ago, not only supports talented photographers in your local community, but also gives people who are thinking about visiting your location a sense of what they can expect when they walk through your doors. And if a local photographer isn’t yet available in your neighborhood, let us know so we can figure out where else to expand the program.

And whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur, we’d love to have you on board! We are actively recruiting more Trusted Photographers to bring imagery of more local businesses online for millions across the globe to see. Visit our website for photographers to learn more and sign up.


Click and drag to view the inside of Casa Artelexia in San Diego, California

And if you’re simply curious and want to explore businesses — from top-rated restaurants to exotic pet stores — check out this gallery of interior business photos on the Street View website.

Posted by Gadi Royz, Product Manager, Google Maps

Help Desk Hangouts: Getting to know Chromebooks

Friday, April 27, 2012 | 2:03 PM


Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.


In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we introduced you to Chromebooks — a fast, secure, netbook (did we mention fast?). During the hour-long Hangout, Google product specialists Adam Naor and Will Paulus walk us through the basics, and Chromebook user Eric Hunter shares his firsthand experience using it at his business. Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google Business YouTube channel. And, if you’re interested in learning more about Chromebooks, fill out this form to stay up to date on all the latest news and product announcements.




Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.


Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:


I'm a big Word/Office suite user. How do I make the switch to a Chromebook? Can a Chromebook work with these files? 
They can be viewed in Google Docs, or even converted to the Docs native format. Or, if you’d like to run Office on a Chromebook, you can do so through our Citrix Receiver App (and a Citrix server), or try on of the Chrome webstore Apps like InstallFree Nexus.


What's does Google’s support for Chromebooks look like? 
If you are a business user, you have access to 24/7 email and phone support. If you’re a consumer user, you can contact a Chromebook ninja M - F between 5:30am - 7pm PST. Here’s some additional information.


What happens with a Chromebook when internet access is limited, slow, or spotty?
The moments when you’re offline are increasingly rare. But with Chromebooks, we wanted to ensure that you're constantly connected with WiFi or 3G. Chrome also supports HTML5 offline functionality that allows applications or websites that support these features to run offline. Hundreds of apps in the Chrome Web Store today work offline like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, NY Times, Kindle, NPR, Angry Birds and more.


Where can I get a Chromebook?
If you represent a Business, School, or Non-profit organization, please fill out the form here, and a member of our team will get in contact shortly. If you are a consumer, you can obtain one here.


How does a Chromebook work with Google Drive?
Google Drive is going to be a core part of the Chromebook experience. We're building it to work seamlessly with your file manager and it will be coming very soon.


Would you recommend ChromeBooks as a software development platform?
Definitely as they have a terminal shell built in.


Be sure to join us for next week’s Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday May 2, when we discuss AdWords. We’ll be collecting your AdWords questions early next week on the Google+ Your Business page.


Posted by Toby Stein, Google+ community manager

Google Apps keeps music companies humming

Thursday, April 26, 2012 | 9:00 AM

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Enterprise blog.)

Music is a huge part of our culture at Google, and I’m really excited that the music festival season is just getting started. If you were at Coachella (which we livestreamed on YouTube this year) or have plans to go to go to another festival, you're probably just as excited.

Musicians, record labels, and music companies are using technology to do some amazing things, like producing on-stage holograms or experimenting with new online distribution models. It’s common for artists to launch their careers on YouTube, broadcast a performance on Google+ Hangouts, or connect with their fans using social media. But beyond the tech-coolness we hear a lot about, the music community is also taking advantage of technology behind the scenes - or rather, in the cloud - to develop their businesses.

I’m proud to say that some of today’s musical entrepreneurs are using Google Apps for Business. Whether it’s having the freedom to run a new indie record label, the flexibility to manage up-and-coming music artists on tour, or the ability to collaborate across the globe, Google Apps helps these teams focus on what they love the most - the music. We want to share three stories about awesome music companies using Google Apps to grow and evolve:

Music Clout is a startup formed by a group of guys with a die-hard passion for music. The idea is simple: create an online community that connects independent artists with music industry contacts and opportunities. They launched their company with Google Apps to make it easier to work together internally and with their team of contractors. Since their web development team works from Turkey, the combination of chat in Gmail and Hangouts allows them to instantly discuss website programming and other technicalities, while saving the team from high phone bills.


GHouse, a Boston-based record label, works with musicians from various genres, including electronic, reggae, rock, and country. Beginning as a side project by a college music student, it’s evolved into a full-time business. Initially, the team relied on a remote server and legacy software that were always stalling or crashing on them. They switched to Google Apps so that they could easily work together anytime, anywhere online, and on any device with Internet connectivity. With Google Docs, the team can easily share music tour dates and track all of their profits from the shows.

Founded in 2007, Fly South Music Group is an artist management firm out of Orlando, FL with satellite offices in Nashville and Los Angeles. The company set up Google Apps because it wanted a common platform for company email, calendars and documents that could be shared between all their clients, families, labels, tour managers and promotion coordinators. Today, it’s become essential to their workflow from scheduling to budget management with access to information from anywhere. This accessibility provides a whole new layer of transparency that keeps everyone in sync, especially while traveling around the world.

Google Apps has given these companies the built-in collaboration they need to communicate better, work smarter, and stay focused on bringing new talent and fresh ideas to the music industry.

Posted by Barbara Yang, Google Apps Team

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and...Re-think

Monday, April 23, 2012 | 1:57 PM

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Enterprise blog.)

There are about 9,000 community curbside recycling programs and 3,000 community composting programs in the United States. I’ve been recycling since I moved to California in the 90's, and in the U.S. we’re lucky that many communities have recycling and composting services. But there’s still more to be done – we only recycle or compost 33% of the 243 million tons of trash generated each year.

I’m encouraged to hear about some of the cool ways that people and organizations are coming together to re-think how we can recycle, reduce, and reuse. In honor of Earth Day, we’d like to share the stories of three organizations that take recycling to the next level, using Google products to help.



Andrew Sell started out as a personal hunter/gatherer of “upcycled” products. There are a lot of companies that manufacture recycled products by recovering difficult-to-recycle materials from landfills and turning them into useful items, and the market continues to grow. Recognizing a need to connect the growing number of manufacturers with consumers, Andrew created an e-commerce website, HipCycle, almost a year ago in Ocean Township, New Jersey with the budget of a typical startup. 

Andrew, or Chief Hipcycler, chose to manage his new company with Google Apps due to low costs, ease of set up, and the ability to provide custom email addresses @hipcycle.comto employees, contractors and bloggers. HipCycle also uses Google Docs to track order statistics and share them with manufacturers, Google Calendar to keep the social media team aligned on topics and timing, and Google+ Hangouts to communicate directly with customers. Google Analytics provides data on site traffic and activity.



Not far away in Brooklyn, New York, Eva Radke identified another opportunity to eliminate needless waste. Having spent 15 years working in film, Eva saw two trends: a growing amount of waste and a general desire for environmental responsibility in the industry. After film shoots, large, awkward items like furniture are brought to landfills and Eva became passionate about finding a better way to use the waste.

In 2008 Eva’s passion became a full-time non-profit organization that collects waste from the film industry and sells or donates the goods to students and partner charities. For example, a women’s shelter receives bedsheets and towels from Film Biz, allowing them to free up their non-profit dollars to spend on education and therapy for its residents. Eva says she doesn’t know where she’d be without Google Apps. Since day one, she’s been using Gmail to stay up-to-date while traveling and Calendar to schedule everything from set clean-outs to school trips to donation drop-offs. Google Docs allows her team to edit documents together and they rarely need to use paper, which helps them stay even more green.



As the name would indicate, Cell Again buys and sells used mobile phones. With the rapid proliferation of mobile devices - and trend of consumers purchasing new phones every couple of years - there’s a seemingly endless quantity of second-hand cell phones. Tucker Nielson wanted to keep these phones out of landfills so he started CellAgain with just a few employees in Salt Lake City. The company has been so successful that there are now eight stores and 87 employees, which he expects to double this year.

With rapid company expansion plus growing franchise and wholesale operations, Tucker says that Google Apps has been his savior in terms of staying organized. Tucker set up Google Apps for CellAgain.com on his own and uses Gmail to stay connected to his management team from his own cell phone. He also hosts nearly everything in Google Docs, including company manuals, shift schedules, timesheets, job descriptions and more. And Google AdWords helps CellAgain make sure that consumers looking for a refurbished cell phone can find their local franchise or kiosk.

Each of these companies help keep environmental impact low and Google is working to do its part as well. We’re a carbon neutral company, and Google Apps (and all the products in our cloud) have a "net zero" impact on the environment.

Happy Earth Day.

Posted by: Chris Farinacci, Senior Director, Google Enterprise

Helping your business play big on YouTube

| 6:00 AM

With a global audience of 800 million monthly visitors to YouTube, every day can feel like you’re advertising in the Super Bowl, and one video can launch a business. To celebrate a growing number of businesses that have grown with YouTube, we are introducing our first-ever class of YouTube Marketing Ambassadors and making Google AdWords for video available to all.  

Our Ambassadors represent a group of 9 entrepreneurs who have used YouTube to “play big” alongside major brand advertisers. By creating videos that demonstrate their products, share what their customers say about them, or simply showcase how their business works, they’ve been able to drive sales and connect with new customers.   

Take Rokenbok Toy Company, for example. When owner Paul Eichen noticed that specialty toy shops were shuttering their doors, he started looking for a new way to introduce customers to his construction toy sets. Paul filmed and uploaded his first video to YouTube, and now it’s become his most effective form of advertising with 50 percent of all customers introduced to his products through YouTube.

To help even more businesses play big with video, today we’re introducing a number of new products, resources, and tools:

Google AdWords for video now available to all. Similar to search advertising - where you pay for clicks and set budgets with bids - we created a new model for video advertising. With Google AdWords for video, you only pay when someone chooses to watch your ad and you can create and manage video campaigns from the same platform as your search and display ads. You can create an account and start promoting your first video in less than 5 minutes. With AdWords for video you can:


  • Find the right audience: AdWords for video provides a range of options to reach the right audience. For example, you can promote your video by keyword to appear in YouTube search results, or you can choose to show your ad against content your customers are most interested in - such as sports or music. Connect with your audience on YouTube and the Google Display Network, which includes millions of websites. AdWords for video links to your YouTube account so you can easily start a video campaign with your existing videos.

  • Measure the effectiveness of your spend: On average, we’ve found that YouTube video ads drive a 20 percent increase in traffic to your website and a 5 percent increase in searches for your business (Google Campaign Insights, 2011). With AdWords for video you can find out how viewers are engaging with your brand during and after they watch your ad. You can see how many viewers watched your entire video, visited your website, stayed on your channel to watch another video, or subscribed to your channel, after viewing your ad.

  • Only pay for engaged views: With TrueView video ads you only pay when viewers choose to watch your ad so you aren’t charged when viewers skip your ad if they aren’t interested or have already seen your video. This means your ad budget is focused on viewers interested in your video. By displaying a call-to-action overlay on your video you can talk about a sale or specific offer to your viewers, share more information about your business, or drive traffic to your website.


$50 million in free advertising. We’re giving away $50 million in free Google AdWords advertising to help more than 500,000 businesses get into video. If you are new to AdWords, you can receive a $75 credit when you sign up. To put that into context, with $75 your video campaign can reach more than 1,500 of your most valuable customers on YouTube for one month. Request your free credit here.

Advertiser Playbook and support. To share best practices and tips on how video can be a core part of your business toolkit, we created a YouTube Advertiser Playbook. The Playbook covers everything from creating interesting content to promoting your video with ads. If you need help making a video, our My Business Story is a free tool you can use to create your first video. AdWords advertisers can also call our free phone support line, 866-2-GOOGLE, to get started with AdWords for video.

YouTube Ambassador program. To learn more about the YouTube Ambassador program please visit us on the Official Google Blog.


Hear more from Rokenbok Toys, one of our YouTube Marketing Ambassadors
If you have a video you want to promote, get started with AdWords for video. And, join our YouTube for Marketers page on Google+ to stay up-to-date on our latest video marketing innovations. Posted by Baljeet Singh, Group Product Manager, YouTube

Help Desk Hangouts: Engaging with your customers using social media

Friday, April 20, 2012 | 9:30 AM

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we discussed how your business can benefit from engaging with customers via social media. A few of Google’s community management superstars — Jacky Hayward, Sarah Price and Brian Rose —  shared best practices for building great content, collecting feedback and communicating with frustrated customers. Miss it? No to worry: You can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel:


Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

Why spend time using social media?

First, think about your goals. Sarah, who works on the Gmail team, says she doesn’t see social media as “an end in and of itself,” but rather as a tool to help her reach her goal of connecting with users: “I want to help users learn more about Gmail, [so] I use social media as a tool to share information. I have a goal that I want to have relationships with the users, that they have a relationship with the company and each other, so I use social media as a tool to facilitate those relationships.”

How do you attract new followers to your social media content?

There’s no trick or gimmick. Post interesting, useful content. Be real, honest, genuine, open — and the followers will come!

What kinds of content work?

Don’t underestimate fun. Eye-catching rich media (photos, videos) are always engaging. Be mindful of time zones and when you’re sharing (do you usually get more engagement in the morning, at night?). Also, people love having a connection with you and your brand, which you can do with something as simple as highlighting or resharing content by a customer.

Why is identifying influencers important?

Whatever your area of expertise, research who's producing great content and starting conversations among that field’s community. Find out what your customers are interested in and get involved in those conversations. Figure out who the people are that drive those conversations and build relationships with them. Connect your customers to other customers when you can — engaging them with each other will help them learn more and engage more with your product and brand.

Any time management tips?

The stream of social media content being produced every minute is infinite, so again, be sure to focus on your goals. Ask yourself what is most important for you to do first and start there, rather than trying to do everything at once.

Be sure to join us for next week’s Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday April 25, when we discuss how to get started with Chromebooks. We’ll be collecting your Chromebook questions early next week on the Google+ Your Business page.

Posted by Vanessa Schneider, Google Places community manager

Protect your business by understanding common phishing techniques

Friday, April 13, 2012 | 12:09 PM

Last week we introduced you to the concept of Social Engineering - manipulating people’s trust to gain confidential information. Phishing is a type of social engineering that can also be targeted towards businesses. We recommend you educate yourself and your employees to safeguard against this threat.

Recognize the signs
Phishing is a technique used to obtain personal information. The most common way a phisher obtains this information is through a spam email which appears to come from a legitimate source (e.g. a bank, a credit card company) requesting certain action to be taken. The email will usually have a link which will lead to a fraudulent web page and may have a form requesting you to enter personal information.

What many small businesses don’t realise is that phishing can happen over the phone, too (called ‘vishing’). In this type of scam the ‘phisher’ will try and get the information they want over the phone by making some kind of false claim (e.g. your IT department has requested you update your security software). Once the caller has gained the consumer's trust, they may ask the person on the phone to log onto a website to download a file to help solve the problem. The file may be infected with a virus which would give the Phisher access to your personal information.

Once scammers have 'phished' out your information (or potentially even customer information), they could use it in a number of ways. Credit cards could be used for unauthorized purchases, or information might be gathered for an identity theft scam.

Keep your Google account secure
As a Google product user, remember Google does not send emails asking you to update your personal information. We also never call customers asking for their passwords or requesting they download any programs. If you think you've received a phishing email that's trying to trick you into thinking it is from Google, don't reply to the email itself. Instead, report the phishing email to us.

To add an extra layer of security to your Google account, you can enable 2-step verification (and see video below). You will enter a code from your phone, as well as your username and password - when you sign in. If someone steals login information through phishing or social engineering, the potential hijacker still won’t have access to your phone.



For even more tips on keeping your business safe online, check out our Good to Know website.

Posted by Katrina Blake, Risk Analyst

Help Desk Hangouts: Get found on Google with Places for business

Friday, April 6, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we introduced you to Google Places for business, a tool to help you manage your local business information on Google. Joel Headley, one of our in-house Places gurus, showed us how to get started, shared some best practices and answered your questions. If you missed it, you’re in luck: You can watch the full hour-long Hangout on the Google Business YouTube channel:



Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

When a business simply relocates, what is the best way to set up the new address in Places?

You should report the listing with the old address as closed via the Report a problem link on the listing itself (under the “more” dropdown). Our team receives that report and puts a “This place is permanently closed” label on the listing, so that customers who know your business to be located at that old address will know not to go there. And then, create and verify a brand new listing for the business’s new location.

What are the gray labels on the map itself, and how do I get one for my business?

The little icons (fork and knife, etc.) on the map are called Place labels, and because those are generated algorithmically, there’s no way for you to manually add one for your business.

How do I get my Places listing to appear for certain keyword searches?

We don’t offer advice on how to do this, but here’s a great video about how we approach local search ranking.

What should I put in the description field of my page?

Think of the description as your elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet, and valuable to customers looking to learn more about your business. Don’t stuff it with a bunch of keywords — it won’t help you and it definitely won’t help potential customers.

When are Google Places accounts going to be connected to Google+ pages?

A popular question! We’ve heard your feedback, and we’re continuing to evaluate how these tools might work together in the future.

I went through the owner verification process, but for some reason user-generated content still appears on my page. Why?

Think of a business listing as a search result, featuring information pulled together from sources around the web (third party data providers, end-users, and, of course, business owners). When you owner verify your listing, this just means you now have access to other features complementary to the listing — like analytics or offers — and editing abilities via the Places dashboard. We allow the most recently verified edit to display on a listing — whether it’s from a user via the “Report a problem” feature or a third-party provider — in an effort to maintain an accurate and up to date map.

What are “at a glance” terms, and why are they appearing on my owner-verified page?
These descriptive terms are meant to give users a quick snapshot of what a particular business is known for. We generate these terms algorithmically, from various sources around the Web. There’s no way to add or edit these terms in your Places dashboard. See our article on reporting inappropriate terms.

I don’t have a storefront and serve customers at their location. Can I list my business on Google Maps?

Absolutely. These types of businesses are what we call service area businesses, and we have a whole Help guide on how to create a service area listing. Note that if you don't conduct face-to-face business at your location, you must hide your address per the Google Places quality guidelines. In your Places dashboard, while editing a listing, look for the “Do not show my business address” checkbox under the section “Service Areas and Location Settings.”

I’m having an issue with my listing, how do I contact support?

We have a support team that works with users to correct bad listing data and verification issues. Visit the “Contact Us” section on the Help Center homepage and you’ll see two options: Listing issues and Verification issues. Click the link that applies, answer the questions, fill out the short form, and hit Submit. Give a member of the support team a few days to investigate your issue and get back to you via e-mail.

To learn more about how to get started with Google Places for business, visit our Help Center or check out the Google and Your Business forum. And join us for next week’s Hangout at 11 a.m. PDT Wednesday April 11, when we discuss how to get started blogging using on Blogger. We’ll be collecting your Blogger questions early next week on the Google+ Your Business page.

Posted by Vanessa Schneider, Google Places community manager