New Zealand Blog
Google news for Kiwis
Capturing the online Christmas opportunity with search
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
If you’ve been in to any large retailer in the past few days, you’ll notice that they’re already pushing Christmas in a big way. Too early, you might think? No way! The search trends we see on Google in New Zealand show that Kiwis kick off their quest to find the perfect Christmas present as early as
Despite the economic doom and gloom earlier this year, Christmas-related search query volume in 2009 is showing no signs of slowing down. According to Comscore, there will be hundreds of millions of searches performed in New Zealand this Christmas alone. In fact, we’re on track for the busiest Christmas period ever.
As you'll see from the chart below, while some offline retail sales have been suffering, mass merchant and department store search queries trump most other retail categories in New Zealand, growing 43% in just one year.
(Google internal data)
So what can you do to capture the online Christmas opportunity?
Don’t miss the boat! Consumers are extending their shopping cycle, so start your planning as early as possible (hopefully you've already done this!). Consumers also go through three distinct phases online. Early September and October are often the research months. November and early December are the buying months, and then there’s a last-minute burst right before Christmas Day. Plan the timing of your promotions with this in mind.
2) Tailor your message
Online ads tailored with festive messaging often have an increased click-through rate. Try different offers like price points (e.g. gifts under $50), special return policies or even free in-store pickup. Remember initially to keep your everyday ads rotating so you have something to benchmark against.
3) Have seasonal keywords ready
Consider expanding your Adwords keywords to cover festive-related terms. Volume for “gifts” and “presents” spike during the Christmas period.
4) Be flexible with your search budget
Be prepared to increase maximum cost-per-clicks as the Christmas period can bring increased Adwords auction intensity.
5) Focus on value
More so than ever, consumers are setting budgets, bargain-hunting, and seeking out value.
And lastly, don’t forget about the post-Christmas period. Boxing Day and the New Year period see sale-related search activity skyrocket.
To help Kiwi businesses make the most of the month before Christmas, we're excited to invite them to join in on a free $100 search marketing campaign we're offering Australian and New Zealand advertisers that have yet to try Google AdWords. This $100 Christmas bonus must be claimed before 31 December 2009 at
Posted by Matthew Davison, Google New Zealand
The Local Business Centre dashboard opens its doors to Kiwi businesses
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
If you're a local business owner, it's likely that Google plays a role in helping customers find you. And we're not just talking about your website — thanks to
, you may also be getting online traffic to your business listing.
Now, imagine if there was a way for you to get a better understanding of how those customers are finding your business information. Did they search for "pizza" or "pasta" to get to the listing for your Italian restaurant? What happens to traffic to the listing for your dental practice when you start advertising in the local paper? With information like that, you'd be able to make better, more informed decisions on how to drive more visits to your listing and attract more customers.
From now on you'll be able to do just that, thanks to a new dashboard feature we've launched in the Local Business Centre (LBC) (
). The Local Business Centre is a free tool that lets business owners control the content of their business listings as they appear in Google Search and Google Maps. All you have to do is add or claim your listing and go through a quick verification process to get access to the following kinds of data:
Impressions: The number of times your business listing appeared as a result on a Google.co.nz search or Google Maps search in a given period.
Actions: The number of times people interacted with the listing; for example, the number of times they clicked through to your business's website
Top search queries: Which queries led customers to the business listing; for example, are they finding the listing for a cafe by searching for "tea" or "coffee"?
The new dashboard will also let you dig into that data using all kinds of lists, maps, and graphs.
So how will you use the dashboard? The first thing you'll need to do is make sure that you've
claimed your listing in the LBC
. Even if you hadn't claimed it until today, you'll be able to use the dashboard, since we're automatically populating it with data from the past month. When you log in to the LBC, you'll notice a new "View report" link right under the statistics that we provide.
New information will be added every day, so you can check in often to see how things are going. All the data we share through the dashboard will be anonymous and aggregated, to protect the privacy of Google users.
To learn more about accessing and using the dashboard, take a look at the video below.
Finally, here are some tips to help Google users find and connect with your business:
Make sure your listing is complete and accurate.
Include optional information like images and videos to help your listing stand out.
Add information like opening hours, payment types, and additional details to help users choose among search results.
Make sure that the location of your business on the map is correct so users can find you - remember, you can always drag the map marker to the exact location of your business.
Make sure to list your authoritative business website as your homepage, since Google uses information from your homepage to help improve search results - take a look at the
Search Engine Optimisation Starter Guide
to learn how to help Google crawl and index your site.
Of course, be sure that your business name, physical address, and phone number(s) are correct - see the
Local Business Quality Guidelines
to learn more
Choose the most appropriate, specific categories for your business.
Pick a category from the list of suggestions to help Google to show your business for the right searches (although you can always enter your own category if the Local Business Centre doesn't suggest one that fits your business).
Don't be afraid to choose specific categories instead of broad ones. The important thing is that the categories are accurate and describe your business well. Google's search algorithm makes sure that users looking for "Book Stores" will see businesses in more specific categories like "Used Book Stores," "Comic Book Stores," and "Rare Book Stores" too.
Establish a strong, accurate presence on the web.
Make sure that information about your business on the web is accurate, and try to correct it if it's not. Google improves search results using information about your business from all over the web.
Encourage customers to review your business or to blog about it. Google uses these to improve search results too.
Posted by Andrew Foster, Google product manager
Promote your videos on YouTube and across the Web
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
There are now 20 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, which means it's no easy task to find the right audience for your video. How does a new band build a fan base and get buzz for their new single? Or how can a top brand test the effectiveness of new ad creative on YouTube? Not every business or video creator can rely on the word-of-mouth that turned Nike's video of
Kobe Bryant jumping over an Aston Martin
into a worldwide sensation. Sometimes people need a little help discovering what's new and relevant to them.
Today we've launched Promoted Videos in New Zealand, a way to place your video on related pages on YouTube and across the web. It's an advertising program that anyone - from an everyday user to a major brand advertiser - can use to help people discover their video. Promoted Videos will help you find a relevant audience wherever they are on the web, whether it's searching or watching videos on YouTube or browsing across Google's network of publisher sites.
Like Google AdWords, Promoted Video campaigns are targeted by keyword and priced on a cost-per-click basis. Starting today, you can also buy Promoted Videos directly in AdWords, which means it's easier than ever to run your campaigns and drive traffic to your videos. You can place your bids, select where you'd like your videos to appear (on relevant YouTube search results pages, video watch pages, and Google's publisher network), and set daily spending budgets all within the AdWords interface. Our aim is to provide a single destination for your overall Google ad buy, as well as give YouTube advertisers new to AdWords access to additional campaign tools. Check out this video we made for Australian advertisers to find out more (apologies for the accent!)
We know that many of you want your viewers to visit your website after watching your video, so we've built Call-to-Action overlays into Promoted Videos. Advertisers will be able to add a clickable overlay to their Promoted Videos, allowing them to drive viewers to a website off YouTube. This means you can track the performance of your video and whether your viewers are converting into customers.
We hope that New Zealand partners of all sizes will take full advantage of this opportunity to grow their audience here and around the world. Visit
to get started today.
Posted by Jay Akkad & Matthew Liu, YouTube Product Managers
Modifications to the Google Books settlement
Saturday, November 14, 2009
(Editor's note: This is a cross-post from the
Google Public Policy Blog
Last year, we joined with a broad class of authors and publishers to announce a settlement agreement that would make millions of out-of-print books available to students and readers in every part of the U.S., while forging new opportunities for rightsholders to sell access to their books. Tonight we submitted an amended version of the
Google Books settlement
agreement to the court.
We've travelled all over the world together with the authors and publishers to talk with people about our agreement, and over the last two months, we've read the many letters and briefs written to the court. We've also had discussions with the Department of Justice about the settlement.
The changes we've made in our amended agreement address many of the concerns we've heard (particularly in limiting its international scope), while at the same time preserving the core benefits of the original agreement: opening access to millions of books while providing rightsholders with ways to sell and control their work online. You can read a summary of the changes we made
, or by reading our
We firmly believe in the promise of the agreement, as do our many
. As Sergey Brin recently wrote in a recent
, "even if our cultural heritage stays intact in the world’s foremost libraries, it is effectively lost if no one can access it easily."
We're disappointed that we won't be able to provide access to as many books from as many countries through the settlement as a result of our modifications, but we look forward to continuing to work with rightsholders from around the world to fulfill our longstanding mission of increasing access to all the world's books.
You can find more perspectives on the agreement from authors and publishers
Posted by Dan Clancy, Google Books Engineering Director
New Zealand's favourite Google Doodles announced
Monday, November 9, 2009
Eight-year-old Amelia Abbott says she's not sure whether she wants to be an artist or a soccer player when she grows up, but here at Google, we're definitely lobbying for artist. Amelia's beautiful entry into the
2009 Doodle 4 Google
competition was picked by Google's original Doodler, Dennis Hwang, to appear on the Google homgepage for a whole day in 2010.
More than 40,000 Kiwis cast their votes to help us find four age group winners:
Years 1-3: Amelia Abbott, Hampden Street School, Nelson
Years 4-6: Abigail Sadlier, Awapuni School, Gisborne
Years 7-8: Sophie Arnold, Fairfield Intermediate School, Hamilton
Year 9-10: Emily Fountain, Epsom Girls Grammar, Auckland.
To our wonderfully talented 20 winners and their families from across New Zealand who joined us at
last Thursday - thank you for making it such a special day, and congratulations again on your wonderful achievement.
Visitors to Te Papa can view these winning doodles in the 'Our Space' area as well as on the giant Our Space TelstraClear screen on the outside of the complex next to Te Papa’s main entrance, for the rest of the year.
Posted by Annie Baxter, Google New Zealand
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