Monthly:June 2013

New Google+ Plugins For Your Website, With An Improved Look and Feel

UPDATE (11/14/13): All page and profile badges have been updated to the new visual style.

UPDATE (11/7/13): All +1 and Share buttons have been updated to the new visual style.

Today we’re launching a bunch of new plugins that help visitors to connect with you on Google+, directly from your website. These include:

A new Follow button 
The Google+ Follow button is a standalone plugin that — as you might expect — lets visitors follow you from your site. It’s nice and compact, so it integrates easily with your existing social buttons.

The Follow button is simple to add to your website. In fact, if you’ve already installed the +1 button, no new JavaScript is required. Just configure the plugin, add the markup to your page, and you’re all set.

You can already see the new Follow button on the following websites: Celebuzz, Cooking Light, Fitness Magazine, and Huffington Post.

A new badge for Communities 
Community managers have been asking for a way to attract members across the web, so today we’re introducing badges for Google+ Communities. These badges are highly configurable, making it easy to match your site design.

Community badge examples using Dark and Light color themes

When visitors click the ‘Preview’ button they’ll see your community page in a new browser tab. From there they can view recent posts (subject to your community’s privacy settings), as well as join. Returning to your site is as simple as closing the new tab.

Updated badges for Pages and Profiles 
Like the new Communities badge, the updated Page and Profile badges are highly customizable, including portrait and landscape modes, light and dark themes, and turning on/off items like the cover photo and tagline.

Profile badge examples using Light color theme
Page badges examples using Dark color theme

Existing badges will stick around for up to 90 days, giving you time to configure the new version for your website. After 90 days, we’ll automatically upgrade any Google+ badges to the new design.

Finally, today’s plugin updates include a new visual style that’s more consistent with the recent improvements to Google+. This includes the +1 and Share buttons, which will be updated automatically over the next few weeks.

We’d love to hear your feedback on today’s new features, so follow the conversation on Google+ and let us know what you think!

Posted by Raj Iyengar, Product Manager, Google+Read More

Helping retailers win with mobile

People today are constantly connected. They’re finding directions to stores, shopping, and even comparing prices instantly from their smartphones. In fact, 8 out of 10 smartphone shoppers use their devices to help make shopping decisions while inside physical retail stores. As a result, retailers now must account for new and complex paths to purchase.

While constant connectivity poses a new challenge in marketing, it also presents great opportunities. For instance, shoppers who use mobile spend 25% more in-store on average. Beyond mobile-assisted store visits, consumers are also increasingly comfortable with m-commerce, whether they’re purchasing directly from their smartphone or starting on a phone and later completing the online purchase on a PC.

Not surprisingly, at our recent Think Shopper summits over the past month, many retailers asked how they could win with mobile. Retail continues to be a major focus for Google, and we’ve invested in solutions to create great shopping experiences for consumers across all screens and improve ROI for retailers. We’re excited about our efforts and wanted to share some of the things we’re working on.

Insights to better understand constantly-connected consumers

Tools to create better mobile experiences
  • Creating a multi-screen website: To help retailers create great shopping experiences across devices, we published best practices on making your site work across multiple devices, especially on smartphones.
  • Search as you type: Retailers can integrate search as you type directly into their sites, tapping into the power of Google instant search results and making it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for from their smartphones.
  • Google Wallet Instant Buy: Retailers can improve their m-commerce experience by implementing Instant Buy into their sites, allowing mobile shoppers to check out in as few as two clicks.
  • Google+ Sign-In: Retailers that implement Google+ Sign-In enable their site visitors to easily sign in once with their Google account and switch seamlessly between PC and mobile without having to sign in again. This increases online conversions by removing friction from cross-device logins. Retailers can even present a ‘buy now’ button to consumers within G+ posts.

Media solutions that drive shopping conversions
  • Retail-focused ad formats: Retailers can promote their product inventory with shopping ad formats like product listing ads.
  • Remarketing: Retailers can also use remarketing to re-engage consumers who have previously expressed interest in a category or brand.
  • Enhanced campaigns: With enhanced campaigns, retailers can effectively engage today’s constantly connected consumers. Location extensions make it easier for mobile searchers to find a retailer’s store, and proximity-based bidding allows retailers to bid strategically for higher-value searches happening closer to their stores.

Mobile attribution models to better measure ROI and inform investment
  • Full Value of Mobile: Nearly 3 of 10 mobile searches directly result in a conversion, but they can often be hard to track. Retailers need to create new mobile-specific attribution models to more accurately track how mobile is driving customers to physical and digital stores, so they can invest appropriately. The Full Value of Mobile site and calculator helps estimate the value mobile brings through a retailer’s mobile site and apps, cross-device usage, calls and in-store visits.

We’re constantly adapting to changes in technology and consumer behavior, and are always looking for the best ways to help retailers connect with customers. Stay tuned for additional developments on this and other ways we’re helping the retail industry win with today’s multi-screen consumers.

Posted by: John McAteer, VP, US Sales

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Hobbyist game developers turn passion into business with Google AdMob

Kunal Verma and William Ferguson never imagined that coding for fun would one day become more than just a pastime. Both developers now independently run their own app businesses, Verma’s XigXag Interactive is a full-time job in India and Ferguson’s XandarMob is a side gig.

Verma’s apps have reached 1.5 million downloads on Google Play, his most popular ones, such as Kids Musical Toys Set, are catered to children. AdMob’s ad content control options are particularly useful for the demographic he serves. Verma’s apps are 100% free with a steady 99.09% fill rate. With AdMob, he makes 3x more income than he would at a regular IT job in India.

Ferguson’s word scramble app, Lexathon, has been translated into 19 different languages and downloaded 430,000+ times by a loyal user base that spends an average of 10 minutes on the app per day. AdMob Mediation allows Ferguson to maximize his fill rate and leverage multiple ad networks to increase his total revenue.

Find out how these indie game developers used AdMob to make a living from their hobby. Download PDF versions of the XigXag case study and XandarMob case study.

Posted by Robin Lam, Mobile Ads Marketing

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