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Dig Deeper into Data with Google Data Studio

The importance of data and analytics in the marketing world has been on a steady rise. In a study from Forbes Magazine, 87% of companies surveyed say data is the most underused asset within marketing. In the same study, Forbes said companies who adopt data-driven marketing are six times more likely to be profitable year over year.

There are many different platforms that store enormous amounts of data, but the tough part is understanding the data in order to make marketing decisions.

Most marketers today use Google Analytics and Google Adwords to track their website performance and digital campaigns. Google also offers a digital platform called Google Data Studio that allows us data enthusiasts to dig deeper into data much quicker and easier.

Here’s an overview of some of Data Studio’s features:

Easy Dashboard Creation

Google Data Studio allows you to turn data and analytics into easy and collaborative reports through data visualization. It gives you many flexible ways to present your data, including bar graphs, pie charts, time series (line graphs) and many more. It’s great for showing improvements year over year or from period to period.

Connecting Multiple Data Sources 

One interesting aspect of Data Studio is it allows you to connect and combine different data sources — like AdWords, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, MySQL and Attribution 360 — to showcase in the same report. If you are not an avid user of Google applications, you can upload any CSV (comma-separated values) document to create your report. Once the data sources are connected, Data Studio has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop method to help you filter and sort individual metrics and create your visuals within the dashboard. Click here for more information on how to connect your data sources. 

Easy Collaboration 

Data Studio operates like any other document on the Google Drive, which means it is open for easy collaboration. Once the dashboard is shared with specific users, they can edit and update the report. This means your company or client can easily see the reports without having to be granted access to accounts like Analytics and Adwords. Each dashboard can also be exported to a PDF file to be shared. 

Google Data Studio offers a way for anyone to eliminate hours of sifting through Excel spreadsheets and pivot tables to analyze their data. Once connected to a data source, dashboard reporting becomes quick, creative, collaborative — and a whole lot better looking.

Interesting in learning more about what Google Data Studio can do for your business? Contact us at 317-571-0051

By Broden Chapman, Digital Marketing Coordinator

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Google+ in the Wake of Authorship Demise

Google_author_blog

It’s the end of Google Authorship as we know it … or knew it. On Aug. 28, Google’s John Mueller posted, “Unfortunately, we’ve observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results.

Tiffany Whisner

Tiffany Whisner

With this in mind, we’ve made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results.”

As Forbes contributor John Rampton noted in his article, there were two main reasons for the death of authorship. One was low adoption rates by webmaster and authors. The other was authorship provided low value for searchers. Could Google+ be next on the chopping block?

 

Don’t downplay your Google+ profile

True, Google+ has nowhere near the ubiquity of Facebook or Twitter in terms of social media popularity. That could lead companies to dismiss Google+ because it isn’t where their customers are.

And that could be a huge mistake.

In February 2014, the New York Times reported 300 million people use Google+ and its affiliated apps each month. In her article, Business News Daily Assistant Editor Nicole Fallon said an active, complete Google+ business profile can really boost your search rankings.

With the right Google+ approach, you might even see better results than paid advertisements, said Phil Penton, president of Social Integration.

 

Boost your business presence

“It’s not about getting people to go to Google+,” Penton said. “Google uses those posts in other Google properties. If you do everything correctly, that Google+ post will show up in search. There are people searching for your business or industry, and [those posts] will come up, which is borderline free advertising for your business.”

Here are some tips to make the most of your organization’s Google+ presence:

  • Complete your profile. Your profile should be as complete as possible to draw relevance to your profile and the services your business offers.
  • Encourage customer reviews. Ask for reviews whenever possible, as it will benefit your SEO in the long run. If you get negative reviews, make sure to respond to them.
  • Use Circles and Hangouts. These features can help your company appeal to a targeted audience and establish brand authority. Content you post is included in the Google search results when any member of your Circle searches keywords relevant to your content. And many companies use Hangouts, a video chat service, for announcements, webinars and more.
  • Set up connected Google+ pages. Businesses establish credibility by linking their Google+ profiles with Google products like Maps and Google+ Local. “Any time you get a review or update photos, they will show up on Google Maps. The [profiles] that have the most up-to-date information do well,” Penton said.

 

We still live in a Google world

Even with the demise of Google Authorship, Google+ is still a goldmine for SEO. “The data Google is mining from conversations on the network gives them unprecedented knowledge of your value and the market that is likely to be interested in your goods and services,” said Janet Fouts in her Business 2 Community article.

Google+ may be more relevant than ever for brand and content marketers. It’s part of the Google algorithm. And the SEO value your content will get by being posted to Google+ shows it is more than just a social profile.

“Google+ is Google’s product,” said Ronn Torossian, CEO and founder of 5WPR. “Since we’re all marketers living in Google’s world, we should make a strong effort in delivering content to the platform.”

Have questions about Google+ and how to make it work for your business? Contact Coles Marketing today!

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Do Digital Devices Drive Behavior?

google_glass

Christopher Lloyd

Christopher Lloyd

Unless you’ve had your head completely buried in the ground the last few months, you’ve probably heard about Google Glass. It may have been in the context of all the cool features of the forthcoming device that you wear like eyeglasses — sort of a smartphone for your face.

 

It’s the next benchmark in making interaction with our digital devices even more seamless.

 

Check out this video for a demonstration of how it might look for someone to make phone calls, take photos or video or do a Web search via a visual heads-up display (HUD).

 

But the reaction hasn’t been entirely positive. Aside from jokes about resembling Lando Calrissian’s android assistant from “The Empire Strikes Back,” many people have expressed concerns about safety and privacy.

 

Just as many states and municipalities already have laws against texting while driving, using Google Glass on the road could present a danger. And some lawmakers are already considering legislation barring the surreptitious recording of people without their permission.

 

But as Luke Lancaster at The Richards Group points out, all sorts of other new digital devices are on the horizon — or already here. And they’re changing our behavior.

 

Some Toyota Prius Hybrids can project an HUD on the windshield to help with navigation, monitoring speed and fuel level or other common tasks. In this usage, a digital interface could actually eliminate distractions by making it less necessary for a motorist to take their eyes off the road.

 

New “augmented interactions” also extend to recreation. Every major video game console now offers some sort of 3-D controller system where players can manipulate the game through actions in real time and space. The Xbox One, just unveiled by Microsoft, will fully incorporate their Kinect system so people only need their own body to interact with the game.

 

“Clicking with a mouse begins to seem archaic and unnatural when a user can manipulate what is on the screen with intrinsic body movements,” writes Lancaster.

 

Voice-based interactions are making it simpler to do what you want to do, whether it’s with your phone, in your car or at home. Personally, I use the voice function on my Android phone to send texts, since I can’t stand typing on a tiny screen.

 

Increasingly, it appears that new ways of interacting via digital devices are not just following behavior, but actually driving it. Think about touch screens, once a novelty that are now ubiquitous in a myriad of settings.

 

Apple guru Steve Jobs was famous for not just filling an existing need in the marketplace, but creating devices that tapped into a desire people didn’t even know they had. Google Glass and other innovations could change how we interact with our machines … and each other.

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