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Posts tagged with: Google

Conversion Funnel in Google Analytics

If you are a hard core Google Analytics user (like me), you are probably already familiar with Goals.

What is a Goal?

In simple terms, A goal is something that a site/business wants to achieve. So for instance, If its a E-commerce website, one possible goal can be the orders or sales that take place online. For a consultation firm, the goal can be to get the contact information of the client and so on.

In a typical buying process, a buyer actually goes through a series of steps to complete your goal. These steps, in traditional marketing are often referred to as AIDA model. AIDA stands for Attention > Interest > Desire & Action.

Funnel in Google Analytics

So basically in order to complete a Goal, a prospect will often go through these 4 steps or in other words will go through a sales funnel. At the top of the funnel, you will often find a lot of prospective customers who are probably paying attention to your market & also probably interested in your product, however as they go deeper into the buying process, many of them feel disconnected and lose their desire which results in them taking no action (no purchase/order/sales).

How can Google Analytics help with Funnel Visualization?

Google Analytics has everything that you need to keep track of your Website goals as well as to track whatever that is happening inside your Sales Funnel.

So for instance, a company like Dell comes up with an online offer almost every other day. One of their primary goal is to get as many order as they can for each of the respective models/units. With hundreds and thousands of visitors coming to Dell’s website everyday for various reasons, not everyone is actually becoming their customer (placing an order). Some visitors are probably just browsing, some goes deep into the order page and then leaves probably because they didn’t find the right configuration that they were looking for and some are probably just confused in the order process etc.

Unlike a physical store, where the sales person has the ability to communicate with the buyer and also read his body language to better understand the needs and wants, a website just doesn’t have that luxury!

It’s bascially up to you (the webmaster/owner), to look at what happens during each step of the sales closing process (i.e. conversion / sales funnel) and find a way to make each page in the process as helpful and painless as possible.

So how can Dell identify the visitors that goes inside the sales funnel but doesn’t complete the whole process? How can Dell find out why some of their visitors are leaving their site in the middle of an order process?

Google Analytics Funnel Visualization is the answer!

How to Set Up Google Analytics Funnel

There are plenty of tutorials (including the official help pages from google) that shows you the steps for setting up a funnel in Google Analytics [I included some of them at the end of this article].

So instead, I’ll share a video with you that sort of demonstrate the Google Analytics Funnel Visualization report in just 60 seconds! [Source: Google Analytics Blog]

So are you using funnels in your sales pages? Share in comments!

Below are some articles worth reading. Have a look..

Understanding the funnel Seth’s Blog

How to Set Up Conversion Funnels in Google AnalyticsPPC Hero

Funnel Problems in Google AnalyticsLunaMetrics

The True Purpose of Google Analytics FunneleCommerece Optimization

Using a Conversion funnelBruce Clay Inc.

Conversion Funnel 2.0Clickz

Goals and Funnel Visualization ReportVkiStudios


Tech Support for Your Parents: Google Tutorials

Good news for those who spend a lot of time teaching or helping their parents with their computer or internet issues on a day to day basis. Yes, I mean You! If you are a bit tech savvy, I’m sure you are often the Go-to-guy [ or go-to-gal ] to fix all computer/ IT issues of your parents, grandparents, neighbors, extend family, friends, friend of a friend and the list goes on…

how to copy paste - Google video tutorialsEven though personally I don’t really mind helping out when such occasion arises, sometimes it just becomes overwhelming if you happen to be the tech guy for a lot of people. Dealing with someone’s tech issue is never easy as most of the time you are not in the same location as the person who needs your help. Thus you try to provide help over Telephone or IM and often it does more harm than good. Lately as technology has advanced, I often just use softwares like – Teamviewer, GoToAssist or any other remote desktop clients to get control over their computer remotely so that I can do the necessary fix from my end and they can just sit back and watch.

But what can beat some good quality, short, easy to understand how-to videos produced by Google that covers a lot of those simple (sometimes annoying) problems/questions that often gets thrown at you. Google’s this new initiative can be accessed at: http://www.teachparentstech.org/ which is a really cool way for you to send a “how-to” video on a topic of your choice directly from the site. Currently they have videos on a wide range of topics like: Computer basics, World Wide Web, Communication, Multimedia & Search. Check out some of their sample videos below:

How to Make a blog

How to Share Photos Online

Take a Screenshot

How to change Desktop Wallpaper

For the rest just go to: http://www.teachparentstech.org/

Also check out Google’s video introduction of this initiative:

My Two Cents:

I think its a great move by Google, but not sure why its called – Teach Parents Tech? I mean parents are not the only people who needs help with tech. But anyway since Google now is into a much wider “consumer market” with their Android, Chrome Browser, Chrome Netbooks etc. overall its a very good initiative from the company to show everyone that they truly cares and in the process they may eventually push more people to their “cloud” of products.

(Via Google Blog)


Google Introduces Social Sitelinks – Dumb Idea?

Google has recently introduced something called “social sitelinks” in the search results. Social sitelinks basically looks like normal sitelinks but includes your friend’s profile pictures/avatar, their name and the link to their profile. Currently its working for sites like: Twitter, Youtube & Myspace.

Mike Cassidy, Director of Product Management at Google wrote that Google Sitelinks are based on the same technology as Google Social Search – they are using the social circle of a user to identify relevant websites and user pages.

Example of how Social Sitelinks may appear in your search results:

google social sitelinks

If you want to see the social sitelinks in action, try doing a search for the term “twitter” in google. Note: This may not work if you are not logged into your Google account and you don’t have Google profiles enabled.

Even though I have both enabled, I couldn’t really replicate the screenshot as posted in the official Google blog. Thus I believe this may not have been rolled out to all users yet. However I just don’t see the point of Social sitelinks. I follow over 2000+ people on twitter, I wonder which 5-6 people are they going to shown as sitelinks and how are they going to pick the most important ones? And why would someone do a search for the phrase ‘twitter’ in the first place?

What Google Social Sitelinks Could Have Been?

Even though I don’t quite understand the current application of Google Social Sitelinks, I don’t totally discredit the idea. If social sitelinks works for other major sites that I read everyday e.g. Techcrunch, Mashable, Search Engine Land, Techmeme, NYTimes etc. then there could be rather an interesting implementation.

For instance, If I could just do a search on google for the term “Techcrunch” and underneath the organic Techcrunch listing get an additional 5-10 social sitelinks, which can basically be the most recent techcrunch links shared by my friends then I think that additional information will be pretty useful to me.

Just a thought…

So what do you think of this new Social sitelinks?4


Google’s Lesser known Search Operator – AROUND(n)

Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration recently blogged about a new Google search operator that totally missed my radar. But according to Googler Daniel M. Russel, who was the first one to write about this AROUND operator in early October 2010 – this operator has been around for over 5-6 years!

Google AROUND(n) Operator

AROUND operator is basically a proximity search operator that lets you find a phrase that happens to be in close proximity of another phrase. Previously if you have searched for a term like: pancake recipe in Google search (without any quotes), what it would basically do is search the entire web for the term “pancake” + “recipe” and will return the pages where both these terms happens to be on the same page (regardless of their proximity).

But then you may sometimes prefer to do a phrase search / exact match search where they can put your search term inside quotes, like “pancake recipe” and then Google will only return results where the word pancake and recipe appears together.

So in this example the results returned via the first technique is often ‘too broad’ and the latter is ‘too specific’. What if you want something that is in between? Even better, what if you could specify the exact proximity of your two keywords (in words) to get more desired results?

With this Google AROUND(n) Operator, you can do just that!

Syntax: Keyword1 AROUND(n) Keyword2 [Where n = number of words (proximity)]

So the same search of pancake recipe can be performed using something like this: pancake AROUND(10) recipe. Here I’m telling google to return all those pages where the keyword – pancake & recipe appears within the proximity of 10 words.

google around search operator

Some Notes:

  • If my keyword1 contain multiple words (e.g. breakfast pancake instead of just pancake), then you can use “quotes” to limit the search scope of your first keyword to only breakfast pancakes. So it will look something like this: “breakfast pancake” AROUND(10) recipe
  • The word AROUND needs to be in CAPS in order for this to work
  • If Google can’t find anything within the limit that you specified, it will just do regular ranking of the terms without the AROUND coming into play.
  • Barry Schwartz pointed out that Microsoft’s Bing also have a similar search operator called “near:n” which works pretty much the same way. You can read more about it here.

Google Launches Google Demo Slam

google-demo-slam Few days ago there has been a lot of buzz about this really mysterious website called demoslam. It was clearly a Google related website, but there were no official words from the Google team about that.

Today RWW confirms that, Google Demo Slam (http://demoslam.com) is ON and its a place where Google wants everyone to make and submit their creative & entertaining tech demo videos that illustrates any functionality of a Google product. And later some of the best videos will be picked by Googlers and will be showcased on the Google demo slam website for user voting.

So far the videos there are pretty interesting & fun. Check out some of them below:

This is what Google says about Demo Slam:

Google Demo Slam

The Demos Slam preseason will start today and will be on for the next few weeks. If you go to the official website, you will be able to vote for all the weekly winners from the featured demos. I personally love the idea because this site will eventually become really beneficial for anybody who isn’t very tech savvy or for someone who is new to the Google universe.

Check it out today: http://demoslam.com and submit your own tech demos!


Youtube Instant – Find Videos Instantly

youtube instantIf you like what Google has done with Google Instant, then you are going to like this new Youtube Mashup, “Youtube Instant” – http://ytinstant.com/ created by a Stanford university student – Feross Aboukhadijeh.

yotube instant screen

With the same principle as Google Instant, this new youtube mash up lets you search YouTube videos and get instant results as you type in your search query. Currently only one of the best matched video is returned on the search result page and the video gets played automatically without availability of any sort of traditional YouTube player control (e.g. Play/Pause).

In an interview with AllThingsD, the creator Ferros mentioned that he coded Youtube Instant in 3 hours in order to fulfill a bet he had with his friend.

After the news of this service broke, YouTube’s CEO & Co-founder Chad Hurley informally offered Feross a job via Twitter.

So check out Youtube Instant: http://ytinstant.com/


Google Instant – Search The Web Instantly As you Type

google instant

Google has just rolled out a new product – Google Instant that lets you search the web instantly the moment you start typing your search query in Google’s Search Box. Googler Marissa Mayer called it “search at the speed of thought.”

According to Google, the average search takes about 25 seconds, and about 24 of those tick by while you’re either typing keywords or deciding which result to choose. Google has been working really hard over the years to improve the speed of their server, network architecture, internet backbone, browser technologies to deliver search results faster. And I have to say that they did a pretty good job on that. However there are certain human factors which are beyond Google’s control – for instance, what if the searcher can’t seem to find the right result, or what if the searcher can’t communicate what he wants via a search phrase etc. Google has tried to tackle some of the human factors with products like Google Suggest which is Google’s auto complete feature for search keywords, the auto spelling correction, related searches and so on.

But now with this new Google Instant, they really want to take everything to the next level. Google Instant takes what you have typed already, predicts the most likely completion and streams results in real-time for those predictions—yielding a smarter and faster search that is interactive, predictive and powerful.

Some Cool Features of Google Instant:

Truly Dynamic Results – Google dynamically displays lots of relevant search results as you type in your search query. You don’t need to click anything or even hit enter. This allows you to easily interact with your results and click through to the web content you need.

Auto Predictions – One of the key technologies in Google Instant is that it can predict the rest of your query (in light gray text) before you finish typing your complete search phrase. So if you happen to find what you need, you don’t need to complete your search phrase.

Scroll to search – Google Instant allows you to Scroll through predictions and see results instantly for each as you arrow down.

Google Instant – Demo Video

Check out Google Instant: http://google.com/instant


The Google Beat

google beat logoDo you like to keep yourself on top of all the latest trends & happenings around you? Then you must try out the Google Beat. Google beat is a regular video series with it’s host Anne Espiritu, who goes over some of the hottest searches on Google in the United States. The search data is compiled from Google’s very own public tools like Google Trends & Google Insights for search and they are presented in a nice High Definition video podcast with some context & news surrounding the searches.

Google Beat – Premier Episode 1

Google Blog officially announced the opening of the Google beat youtube channel today and writes:

Using data from Google Trends, Google Insights for Search and some additional tools, the Google Beat will give you a snapshot of some of the topics that prompted people to turn to the web over the past week. You’ve probably seen our previous deep dives into Google search trends, like our annual year-end Zeitgeist and posts here about search trends related to events like the World Cup, the Oscars® and beyond. Searches can be unexpected, and sometimes what’s popular one week could never have been predicted the week before (think of Falcon Heene, last October’s “balloon boy” or Steven Slater). We’re looking forward to seeing what our data will reveal.

So if you are interested you should check out Google beats premier video embedded above (or click here), and don’t forget to subscribe to the Google Beat YouTube channel to get the regular updates.

Personally I really like the idea and I did enjoy the premier video. However I’d love the videos to be slightly longer and cover some of the international searches too. In case Google hasn’t noticed, there are people who uses google search outside the U.S.


Adsense Content Ad Units Revamped!

Official Google adsense blog reported that Google adsense team is working on a revamped design of three of the Adsense for Content Ad units. The new units are more space efficient and visually appealing for users with the change in the layout of the text.

According to Google, they have done a lot of testing (I’m sure they have) and starting the first revamp initiative with the following ad units:

Leaderboard (728×90): the title, description, and URL are now arranged in rows instead of columns (except in the case when only one single ad is showing)
Medium and large rectangles (300×250, 336×280): the URL is now in the same line as the title

In addition to the layout, Adsense publishers may also see a few minor adjustments made to the font size. For instnace, the font size for the leaderboard with four ads is much more readable now compared to the previous version.

Here is a sample of how they may look like:

google-content-ad

My Two Cents: I’m personally very excited about this news from both Advertiser and Publisher stand point. I do like the new design/layout of the Adsense Content ad units and I’m pretty sure that this will have a big positive impact on the CTR. I am yet to see these units popping up anywhere on the web but as I understand, Google is slowly rolling this feature out to all Adsense publishers.

So what do you think of this new ad design? Share in the comments!


YouTube Leanback – YouTube for TV

youtube leanback - youtube tv If you are addicted to YouTube then you are going to love this new beta interface that youtube has put up – Its called “Youtube Leanback“. As the name implies, YouTube Leanback is basically all about letting you sit back, relax and be entertained by all the crazy cat videos great video content that YouTube has to offer. The best part of this interface is It works exactly like a TV channel; you basically tune in to YouTube Leanback and it automatically starts playing videos tailored to your interests and stuffs that you liked before. The videos play in full screen and in high definition. It doesn’t require any input from the user as it plays continuously one video after another. You don’t need to click, search or even browse for videos – you get them all automatically like a broadcast of a TV channel.

This is a basically Google’s move to put YouTube on your living room and essentially on all television sets & set top boxes that has access to the Internet. However I don’t quite like the way they recommend videos. I know its largely done automatically by the algorithm based on my preference & social graph, however I think Google needs to go one step forward here and find out a way to make these video content really ‘suitable’ for the living room. I mean, I may have came across a cat video and “liked” it on YouTube but that doesn’t mean that I am willing to watch cat videos all day on my TV.

How to get Youtube Leanback?

To experience YouTube Leanback yourself, simply go to www.youtube.com/leanback, and you’ll note that a selection of videos — your “feed” — plays immediately. This feed is created based on your YouTube settings and preferences. This includes videos from your subscriptions and stuff that your friends are sharing on Facebook (Provided that you have connected your Facebook account with YouTube). You can also watch the most popular comedy, entertainment, news, or more. And if you don’t care for the video that’s playing, use the right arrow key on your keyboard to skip ahead to the next video, or try the up/down arrows to search, access player controls, and browse channels and videos. The best thing about this interface is that you won’t need your mouse for this experience. Check out the video below to learn more:


Gmail Rich Text Signature

Adding a Rich Text / HTML Signature in Gmail was not natively possible before. So people had to download browser plugins or use different Greasemonkey scripts to make those ‘shiny’ signatures to work.

But thanks god that Google has finally listened to their users and started supporting Rich Text Signatures out of the box in Gmail. Simply go to your Gmail Settings page and the option will be right there for you. You can now customize your signature by adding pretty formatting, links, and images — or decide to leave things nice and simple.

gmail rich text signatures

The feature has also been added to all Google Apps users, so if your company has been using text based signature all this while – It is time for you to move to a more creative version of email signature!

Gmail now also supports a unique signatures for each email address that you have associated with your account. So you can use a different signature for each of the accounts that you use to send out emails from. On the Gmail Settings page, you can edit the signature for each account by changing the email address that appears in the dropdown menu.

[Source: Official Gmail Blog]


Google DevFest Malaysia 2010

google-devfest-malaysia-2010

Good news for Malaysia! Google DevFest Southeast Asia 2010 is now coming to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 16th of July.

DevFest events are a really great opportunity to learn more about Google technologies, new APIs & other developer products. Google DevFest Malaysia 2010 will give you a chance to meet Google developers and engineers in person and ask them any questions that you may have about the Google products. Best of all, DevFest events are free for all developers! However seats at Google DevFest Malaysia 2010 are very limited, so you need to register early.

Google DevFest Malaysia 2010

Date: July 16, 2010 (8:30am – 6:00pm)

Venue: Technology Park Malaysia, Ground Floor, Enterprise 4, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur


View Larger Map

Agenda:

– 8:30am – 9:30am – Registration
– 9:30am – 10:00am – Introduction
– 10:00am – 10:45am – Maps
– 10:45am – 11:00am – Break
– 11:00am – 11:45am – Chrome
– 11:45am – 12:00pm – Demos
– 12:00pm – 2:30pm – Lunch & Google Office Hours
– 2:30pm – 3:30pm – Social
– 3:30pm – 4:30pm – Apps
– 4:30pm – 6:00pm – Hackathon

Topics Covered: This year the primary topics of interest are – Chrome/HTML5, Google App Engine, Social APIs, Maps API and more.

For more info about the event & registration, visit the official page.

So are you going to Google DevFest Malaysia 2010?



Google Font Directory & API

Google Font Directory -Font APIIn the Google I/O conference, Google has announced a collection of high quality open source web fonts that they have put inside Google Font Directory and made them available for use by everyone using Google Font API.

The Google Font API gives a webmaster the ability to use a simple, cross-browser supported font from the Google Font Directory on any web page. The fonts have all the advantages of normal text: in addition to being richer visually, text styled in web fonts are still searchable, and doesn’t get distorted like images when they are zoomed, and is accessible to users using screen readers.

“Google has been working with a number of talented font designers to produce a varied collection of high quality open source fonts for the Google Font Directory. With the Google Font API, using these fonts on your web page is almost as easy as using the standard set of so-called “web-safe” fonts that come installed on most computers.”

How to use Fonts from Google Font Directory?

All the fonts under the Google Font directory are hosted in the cloud. You don’t need to download or install anything on your side. In fact your visitor doesn’t need to have that font installed on his computer to view your site.

As a webmaster all you need to do is to add a simple line of code on your website to call the particular CSS file for the font. For example, if you want to use Droid Sans, add this code in the HEAD element:

link href=’http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Droid+Sans’ rel=’stylesheet’ type=’text/css’ >

Then you can use Droid Sans in any CSS rule inside your stylesheet:

h1 { font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, arial, sans-serif; }

And you are all set! Due to the operations being performed behind the scenes, these custom fonts will even be recognized back to Internet Explorer 6! Isn’t that amazing?

Nettuts+ has a great video showing exactly how to implement this. I have embedded the video below:

Example of Google Font:

google font

The only few possible downside of this whole thing:

  • Google font server may go down! However, like any style-sheet, if the first font doesn’t load I’m sure it will point to an alternative. So your users will always see the text on your page.
  • If you are using a very uncommon font, that the user is loading on his browser for the first time, he may experience a bit of slowness. But as he browses more and more pages, all these fonts are going to be cached locally on his browser/computer. Thus things will be really speedy on his future visits

So why do you think Google is doing this? Apart from the fact that this will make the whole web much ‘nicer’, do you think google has any other underlying interest for doing this whole thing? Share your speculations in the comments!


Google Wants to Prevent Suicides

The world’s largest search engine – Google – is popular for making drastic changes to make its site better for its users. Recently, the search engine has attempted to help users who are probably thinking of committing suicide. How? Now every time a person searches for “suicide” or anything related to suicide, Google will show a phone number that the user can call to get counseling. The number will be shown beside a red phone icon. This number is a toll-free one and connects the user to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Google wants to prevent suicide

The word “suicide” or its other form must be present in the search query; for instance, both “suicidal thoughts” and “ways to commit suicide” will result in Google showing the phone number. Google has confirmed that the number will be put above than other results; the number will also be more visible than advertisement content. In this way, the search engine aims to prevent suicide in the country.

Google has conceived the idea for some time now; however, the idea was materialized only recently – on March 31. The main person responsible with this move is Dr. Roni Zeiger, who is the company’s chief health strategist. However, Dr. Zeiger admitted that the idea was not his; instead, it came from a similar action of the search engine to show a phone number (of the national poison control hotline) every time a person searched for “poison emergency”. This idea, in turn, was formed by a user of Google.

However, nobody is certain on how effective the change is going to be. The uncertainty may be attributed to the limited ability of a search engine to know about the true intentions of the user. For instance, the search query must contain the word “suicide” or other forms of the same word.

The service is only limited to United States at this moment.


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