Categories
Google Industry News

Google Gmail Introduces “Confidential Mode”

Google recently released an update to Gmail that allows users to send confidential email messages. The new feature allows users to send email that requires a PIN to open it. You have the option to send the PIN as an alternate email or if you enter the recipients cell phone number through the send process the recipient will be able to request the PIN via SMS message.

As Google explains on their own website, “You can send messages and attachments with Gmail’s confidential mode to help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time. Recipients of the confidential message will have options to forward, copy, print, and download disabled.”  → Read more from Google here.

If you are a G-Suite business user, you may have to ask your G-Suite Administrator to activate this functionality from the Admin console.

Once the feature is active, here is how to send confidential email →

  1. Start a new email message by clicking “Compose”.
  2. Look for the “Lock & Clock” Icon in the lower right of your composer to activate Gmail Secure Mode.
  3. Set the date that you wish to have the email message expire automatically and set how you would like the recipient to receive the passcode (PIN).
  4. Choose “No SMS passcode” and the recipient that is using Gmail will have direct access to open the email. Non-Gmail users will receive a passcode in a different email message.
  5. If you choose “SMS Passcode,” the recipient will get a passcode by text message. They will be prompted to ‘get’ the SMS message when they open the email so that it will make some sense to them. Make sure to have the correct cell phone number or they won’t be able to see the message.
  6. Click ‘save’ on the pop-up and then you are ready to send your message.

Here are a few examples why you may want to send confidential email that automatically expires →

  1. Sending usernames and passwords to a friend or colleague.
  2. Sending personal information.
  3. Sending a ‘legal’ notice or document that you do not want hanging around forever.
  4. Sending payment or credit card information.
  5. Sharing financial documents etc. etc.

Does the new ability to send confidential emails truly protect the message from outside prying eyes?

The simple answer to that question is NO.

The more robust response is MAYBE.

The Recipient can take a screen capture of the email with desktop software → The recipient will receive the message, after verifying the passcode, in a web-browser. I was not able to use “Clipular”, a popular screen capture plugin for Google Chrome to make a screen capture of the email message. I was however able to take a screenshot using my desktop screen capture application.

There is no easy way to forward the confidential email → The only way I can think of to forward the secure mail message would be to take a screen capture and then paste it as an image in a new email message.

The ability to ‘right-mouse-click’ and copy or view the source of the confidential email is disabled.

Summary

Sending confidential and self expiring email is a great new feature for Gmail. The general average recipient of an email will likely have no reason to try and defeat the process. That is of course assuming that the security is in place to protect the sender and the recipient.

Having specific email messages secure and ‘self-destructing’ is an excellent step in the right direction.

Categories
Uncategorized

Is Firefox Hello Going to Kick Google in the Hangout?

Live video and text chat has been around for a while, but web browsers are continuously looking for ways to facilitate seamless text and video chat. Firefox provides a useful alternative to Google Chrome when it comes to the Hangout.

Firefox Hello provides an in-browser tool for users to connect with anyone, anywhere via video, for free. If you’re unfamiliar with Firefox’s rollout of a new tool to help people connect, or reconnect, with friends all over the world, here are a few important things you need to know:

One-Click Entry

If you already have Firefox installed as a browser on your computer, you also have access to Hello. Using this video chat tool doesn’t require any additional program downloads, and starting a conversation is as easy as sending your friend a one-click invitation. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that.

No Sign-In Required

Unlike a video chat tool like Skype, Firefox Hello doesn’t require the user to set up a new account and go through the sign-in process every time he or she wants to use it. If you’re already using your Firefox browser, and you see one of your friends online, simply send him or her a link to begin your text conversation or video chat.

Desktop Security

Due to the fact that Hello is built right into Firefox, rather than being a separate application, the tool is incredibly safe and secure. Many users worry about video chat applications that can give third parties easy access to sensitive desktop information.

As a company, Firefox takes information security very seriously. In fact, it’s part of their mission statement and, thus, it underlines just about everything that goes on behind-the-scenes. When you use Firefox Hello to connect with friends across the world, you can rest easy know your conversations will remain private and secure.

Tablet and Mobile Compatibility

When designing Hello, Firefox focused largely on creating a tool that is easy-to-use on a variety of Internet-capable devices. It’s important to note that friends or family you wish to connect with don’t actually need to install the Firefox browser in order to join your conversation.

Outside of the Firefox browser, which is recommended, there are a number of other compatible browsers that support Hello, including Opera and Google Chrome. As long as your friends have a WebRTC-supported browser, they will be able to tune into your video conversation. Firefox Hello was also designed to work effectively with any size tablet or mobile screen, which puts it on par with Google-sponsored applications such as Skype or FaceTime.

When it comes to connecting with friends, business associates, and other acquaintances in a video chat hangout, it’s clear that Firefox Hello provides a useful, browser, friendly alternative. If you’d like to check out more about Firefox’s newest video chat tool, please check out their site here. If you’re looking for broader guidance to help you grow your company, please don’t hesitate to give the team at CAYK® Marketing a call at <span class="**403-456-0072**-CAYK">***403-456-0072***</span> today!

Categories
Google

How Important is Speed: Do Websites that Load Quickly Gain an Advantage in Organic Search?

Does the speed of your website actually matter? Can you lose users’ interest due to incessantly slow load times? The answer to both of these questions is a definitive “yes!” Your website’s ability to load quickly is paramount to retaining interested users.

Quick-loading websites have been found to outperform slower sites on nearly every front, including search ranking, user experience, and user engagement. Websites that load faster also tend to deliver higher conversions and more significant revenue.

Finding Optimal Speed

While it’s obvious that a faster load time will benefit your site, it’s important to be realistic with your goals. If you can get your website to load in under 1 second, that’s great! If not, you should shoot for a load time of, at least, less than three seconds.

Even if your website needs seven seconds to load, you won’t lose significant attention from users. That being said, you’ll still benefit from improving that load time. If your website needs more than 10 seconds to load, you’ll notice a significant diminishment in the number of users visiting your site and the overall revenue you can accrue from mobile sales.

Interesting Facts About Load Times and User Behaviour

While people are typically comfortable with load times up to 10 seconds, you might be interested to know that an astoundingly high percentage of users, 47%, expect web pages to load in under two seconds. In addition, 57% percent of people that visit your website will leave if your page fails to load in three seconds or less.

Interestingly, a recent study also determined that 75 percent of online customers will opt for a competitor’s site as an alternative to waiting an inordinate amount of time for your website to load. On average, two seconds has been found to be the preferable wait time when allowing websites to load.

Some websites have benefited from installing a progress bar that notifies users of the website’s “percentage loaded.” Studies have actually shown that a well-designed progress bar can extend load wait times to a maximum of 38 seconds.

That being said, faster has unanimously been found to be better. In a larger study between websites that load in 1 second and those that take up to three seconds to load, those with longer wait times have been subject to a 50 percent higher bounce rate, 22 percent fewer page views, and, perhaps most importantly, 22 percent fewer conversions.

Google’s Recommendation

When ranking sites for its’ search engines, Google prefers wait times of one second or less. As the web continues to speed up, Google will continue to value websites with faster load times more highly than those that take too long to load.

Even for mobile devices, Google recommends that designers make sure their pages will load in less than one second. This ultimately helps to ensure that users don’t abandon web pages because of their inability to deliver content in a timely fashion.

If you’re looking to speak to someone about your specific website needs, please don’t hesitate to give the marketing professionals at CAYK® a call at <span class="**403-456-0072**-CAYK">***403-456-0072***</span> today!

Categories
Featured Google Search Engine Optimization

How Significantly will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update Impact your Website?

Is your website already designed to be mobile-friendly? Are you prepared to conquer the upcoming changes in Google’s search algorithm? If not, it’s not too late! You still have about two months to make changes to your site before the new search algorithm goes into effect.

While Google making changes to how it ranks websites in their search results should be nothing new to you, the update that will take effect on April 21st is set to be one of their most significant modifications to date.

What the Update Means for your Website

Google’s recent announcement of an anticipated algorithm change that will favour mobile searchers means that Google’s search results will now rank mobile-friendly sites higher than their non mobile-friendly counterparts.

If your site lacks critical mobile-friendly characteristics, it will most likely fall in Google’s search results when the new algorithm goes into effect. Alternatively, sites that make changes to become more mobile-friendly will likely move up in Google’s search results.

If you run an indexed application, Google will now serve up information from your app in search results for signed-in users that have your app installed on their device. Your search engine ranking will also be somewhat determined by the quality and relevance of that information.

How to Make your Site More Mobile-Friendly

Seeing as how your search ranking will surely fall if you do not do so, adapting your site to be more mobile-friendly is essential. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can do so without completely redesigning your website.

One of the ways to improve the mobile-friendliness of your website is to allow Googlebot access to JavaScript, CSS, and Image files. This will give Google’s web crawling bot the ability to crawl these properties of your website to more effectively index your content correctly for improved overall rankings.

If you’re attempting to integrate mobile and desktop versions of your website, accurate redirects are a must. In other words, if mobile users are searching for a desktop compatible URL, your site should effectively redirect the user to the mobile-friendly version of your site.

As an Internet user, you’re most likely familiar with receiving a frustrating “Page not found” message when searching for a specific page you’re interested in. While the page might exist on the desktop version of your site, you also need to be sure that its’ equivalent exists on your mobile-friendly site.

Because most mobile users will typically wait less for a page to load than their desktop counterparts, it’s also essential that your mobile-friendly site loads quickly and completely. If you fail to do so, momentarily interested users will lose interest as soon as they gained it.

Text size and font choice are also two very important criteria when designing your mobile-friendly site. Because mobile devices are obviously much smaller than desktops, you must be sure that your site can be read on multiple different-sized screens.

As Google makes another important change to their search algorithm, it’s important that your website doesn’t get left behind. If you’re looking to discuss your company’s online marketing needs, be sure to give CAYK® a call at <span class="**403-456-0072**-CAYK">***403-456-0072***</span> today!

Categories
Calgary Marketing News Internet Marketing

The Growing Importance of Real-Time Marketing

The digital age of marketing is far from a new trend. We’re constantly plugged into social media looking for current world news and cultural events that will affect our business. Many businesses have already realized that they can take advantage of this constant connectivity.

These businesses are utilizing real-time marketing efforts to appeal to both current and potential clients who are constantly checking and updating their social media feeds. Embracing real-time marketing will help your company respond more quickly to events that you can leverage to drive interest in your products or services.

In fact, studies have shown that when real-time marketing is included in the marketing mix, consumer sentiment, purchase intent, interest, likelihood to recommend, and serious consideration all increase significantly.

When Does Real-Time Marketing Come Into Play

Many great examples of real-time marketing can be seen during any major sports or entertainment event. During the Super Bowl, for instance, your company can drive extra traffic by strategically tweeting live or utilizing trending hash tags that catch the attention of an audience that you wouldn’t normally connect with otherwise.

The recent partnership announced by Twitter and Google is set to have a huge affect on the real-time marketing world. Now that Google has agreed to list popular tweets in their search results, the impact of a well-timed tweet during a large event can have exponentially more impact.

For example, an amusing joke about a celebrity during the Oscars may not only be seen by those currently searching for that celebrity on Twitter, but it may now also reach those typing that celebrity’s name in their Google search bar.

The Importance of Preparing a Content Strategy

While posting content that promotes your brand on Twitter is a good way to engage plenty of users, the number of users that you can reach via Google is infinitely larger. That being said, a misconstrued tweet might also result in more critical feedback as a result of Google and Twitter’s newly formed partnership.

When you post something that has negative backlash on Twitter you can easily go back to delete the tweet before things spiral too far out of control. With the newly announced partnership, however, your tweet may remain in Google’s Index well after it is removed from Twitter.

This heightens the need for company’s to carefully consider their real-time posts before sending them out into the world. The hope is that this will encourage companies to improve the overall quality and originality of the content they post.

Real-Time Marketing is Impactful and Essential

According to CMO.com, while 60 percent of marketers admitted that they struggle to personalize real-time content, 77 percent of marketers surveyed felt strongly that real-time, personalized marketing was crucial to their business’ advancement.

Marketers surveyed by CMO.com also reported that their real-time marketing efforts lead to a better customer experience and, therefore, increased customer satisfaction. It has also helped companies improve their customer retention rate and many have also begun to explore the possibilities for driving additional revenue by creating personalized offerings that serve clients’ direct needs.

As a marketer, it’s essential that you understand the importance of real-time marketing and take the time to outline a strategy to reach a larger audience in light of the recently announced Twitter-Google partnership. By designing a real-time content strategy that capitalizes on popular news and events, your company will be able to appeal to an increasingly broad market.

Categories
Google

Are You Getting as Much as You Could be From Google?

Imagine for a moment that your very best customer came over for dinner and brought seven or eight of his colleagues and competitors, introducing each one of them to you personally. That’s probably not going to happen, but you could get an even more powerful set of referrals without cleaning your home or spending hours in the kitchen… all you have to do is get Google to start sending more qualified traffic to your website.

Google might not be the world’s largest company yet, but to those of us in the Internet marketing world there is no better bridge to do customers than the search and social media company that makes more than 2 billion introductions every day. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that our firm has been certified as a Google Partner, meaning we have gone through an extensive study-and-testing process to ensure we know the ins-and-outs of the company’s products.

What does that mean to you, as a client or someone who is interested in Calgary Internet marketing? Here’s what you need to know:

We can help you manage your search advertising. By gaining the certification, we’ve shown Google that we know how to set up search advertising campaigns, optimize ads, improve quality scores, and monitor accounts. In other words, we can help you with the basics and a lot more.

Our abilities go beyond simple text PPC ads. Although a lot of companies associate Google ads with text search results, the reality is you can market through images, their displaying network, and other search advertising tools.

We’ll be finding new ways to integrate search marketing for our clients going forward. Now that we’ve made our work official, will be looking for even more ways to expand our pay-per-click management options – and bring you more profit-building opportunities as a result.

This is an exciting event for everyone here at CAYK®! If you’re looking for a Certified Google partner to help you get more from your website and Internet marketing, call or email us today!

Categories
Internet Marketing

One Surprising Way to Improve Your Internet Marketing

Looking for an offbeat and unconventional way to improve your Internet marketing campaigns this fall? Try something radical – ignore Google and search engine optimization as a whole for a couple of months.

Before you start wondering how we’re going to defend ourselves against such heresay, note that we aren’t suggesting you give up the world’s largest search engine and its billions of users permanently. Instead, we are recommending that you take a break from obsessing about keywords, links, and algorithms.

If you were to do so, even for a limited amount of time, you might benefit from a handful of interesting side effects:

Better blog posts and other content. It’s easy to get blinded by keywords and links when you’re putting together posts, but that’s not what attracts readers (and ultimately those readers give you SEO results). By ignoring SEO, you can pay attention to producing clear, compelling posts that attract attention organically.

More focus on other Internet marketing avenues. A lot of the companies we work with fall into the trap of ignoring things like email marketing and PPC because they already have a profitable SEO effort in place. Who says you have to give up one just to enjoy the other?

Stronger social interaction. The same goes for social media, which often takes a backseat to SEO even though it can be just as powerful. Plus, the stronger your social following is, the more likely you are to enjoy a high Google page rank.

Ultimately, the goal would be to take these advantages and not just profit from them, but use them for a more comprehensive search engine optimization plan going forward. So you see, we aren’t asking you to give up SEO at all… just to consider not prioritizing it so heavily that you miss the forest for the trees.

Some things are just crazy enough to work, and we encourage you to give our non-SEO search-boosting plan a try this fall!

When you need the best in responsive Internet marketing, turn to CAYK® – Calgary’s most trusted team!

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Categories
Internet Marketing

How to Avoid Pulling the Plug on Your Internet Marketing Plan Too Soon

One of the great myths of Internet marketing is that you should expect to see results very quickly. Granted, promoting your business online can be much faster than traditional techniques like telemarketing or direct mail, but even the most well-researched and engineered campaigns don’t work overnight.

This is understandably difficult for business owners and other clients to understand, and also raises a tough issue: How do you give your campaign enough time to work without investing too much into something that’s never going to work? In other words, how do you avoid pulling the plug too soon, or hanging on to a losing Internet marketing strategy too long?

In most cases, the best solution is to look for indicators of progress that aren’t necessarily as obvious as a quick revenue spike would be. Some of these might include:

Traffic to your business website. If more people are viewing your business website than before, it’s likely that new leads and sales will also catch up before too long.

Phone calls from new potential customers. This is another sign that people are checking out your website and like what they see. Even if they aren’t buying right away, they might schedule appointments or ask for more information.

Emails to your company. If someone takes the time to email you and ask follow-up questions, they probably have a strong level of interest.

New comments on your blog. Although this isn’t as straightforward as a sales inquiry, lots of comments on your blog show that people are paying attention to your thoughts and ideas. Ultimately, that can only mean good things for your Internet marketing.

An increasing search engine rank. Lots of businesses get impatient because they want to rank first on Google, but steady improvement is a good sign, even if it doesn’t earn you a prime search engine spot right away.

Improvements in any of these areas could show that your Internet marketing plan is moving you in the right direction. You don’t want to make rash decisions when you’re already doing the right things, so use these indicators to gauge your step-by-step progress and make the best decisions going forward.

By David A. West  Join me on Google+

Categories
Google Social Media Uncategorized

How to Track the Deliverables of Responsive Internet Marketing

If you have done business with us recently, then you already know how excited we are to be able to bring responsive Internet marketing plans to so many companies in and around Calgary. One of the things we focus on with responsive marketing, of course, is continual improvement, rather than simply “sticking to what we’ve done in the past.”

In other words, we try to put our attention on the deliverables, rather than the individual pieces of an Internet marketing plan itself. But, what do those deliverables actually look like?

Here are a few of the things we pay close attention to:

Search engine positioning. By adding new content to your website, we help make it more attractive to Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Improving your search engine positioning is an important first step towards attracting more traffic, and eventually more online customers.

Social media following. If people are adding you to their lists on Facebook and Twitter, that’s another outlet for promoting your business and marketing messages. A strong social following makes it easier to find customers and build loyalty.

Email newsletter subscribers. When you have lots of valid, opt-in email addresses on your newsletter’s distribution list, you have a virtually free way to contact thousands of customers, and potential customers, all at once. That makes promoting new discounts, products, and ideas a snap.

Actual new customers. Naturally, keeping one eye on new sales and account openings is important, as well, since that’s the ultimate goal of your Internet marketing plan.

By looking at these kinds of figures, we can get to the heart of responsive Internet marketing and see what’s actually working – and even better, adjust our plans over time if needed. That way, we can always be sure that you’re getting the most for your money, and your Internet marketing campaigns are moving in the right direction.

Categories
Google

Why the End of Google Places is the Beginning of a New Opportunity for Marketers

In recent months, we have been advising our clients to take full advantage of Google Places, which had largely supplanted the Yellow Pages as the number one resource for customers looking to find local businesses to shop at and buy from. By incorporating maps, websites, reviews, and contact information all in one place – and on the world’s most popular search engine, no less – it was quickly becoming one of the most powerful Internet marketing tools around.

If you followed our advice, we have some bad news for you: at the end of May, Google Places ceased to exist. The good news? Everything that made it wonderful is still there… and in fact, there are more reasons than ever to keep using it under its new home in Google+.

In reality, this was a move that had been expected for quite some time. For those of you who aren’t that familiar with Google+ yet, it’s the company’s answer to Facebook and Twitter, and it’s growing by leaps and bounds every day. It already boasts hundreds of millions of users, and may even surpass the other social sites by the end of the year. It’s only natural, then, that Google would move its “Places” profiles under the newer and still-growing Google+ platform, which now features a “local” tab when you log into the site.

Expected or not, however, the change has some implications for businesses who want to continue to find more local customers:

It’s now easier for your customers to find you and share info. Not only does the integration of “Places” into Google+ mean that customers can share your information with their circle of friends and colleagues, but local businesses are now more prominent as part of Google’s normal search results. This is great news for companies with a strong following.

Reviews and feedback are everything. Like other social sites, Google+ seems built upon reviews and feedback. This is even more true now that they are offering free access to Zagat reviews, which tend to be more detailed and nuanced than the kind of typical star ratings we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the Internet.

Expect more mobile integration. With the popularity of the Android platform growing along with Google itself, expect to see more mobile web integration with the Google+ system as time goes on. Now is a great time to start working things like click-to-call and driving directions into your mobile business website.

Google+ content may start to influence search results. Although the engineers at Google have made it clear that +1 and Google+ data don’t directly influence search results or search engine rankings, it’s conceivable that they will in the future as more information becomes available.

The bottom line is clear: for companies of all sizes, right now is the time to get serious about ramping up your Google+ efforts. Why not meet with a member of the CAYK® team soon and let us show you how to get more out of your search and social marketing efforts?

By David A. West  Join me on Google+