Google Implements New Policy Against Interstitial Ads

News & Updates

Has it happened to you?

You pull out your mobile device or computer and search for Chinese take-out restaurants to order your dinner from, because you don’t feel like cooking tonight. Just when you get to the menu page, a pesky interstitial full-page ad invades your screen before you can get your destined webpage. If you’re like me, this is not helpful, and to be honest, it’s kind of annoying. I just want to order my moo shu chicken!

Most people find these ads intrusive, and more times than not, the user tends to abandon the website altogether when interstitial ads pop onto the screen. Luckily, that’s about to change.

Google recently announced that they will be releasing an “update to their mobile-friendly algorithm, penalizing sites that use giant app install interstitial ads,” stated Google. The update suggests that “pages with an app install interstitial ads that hide a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page, won’t be considered mobile-friendly. Instead of full page interstitials, we recommend that webmasters use more user-friendly formats such as app install banners. We hope this change will make it easier for searchers to see the content of the pages they are looking for,” Google Webmasters mentioned.

“Google recommends using App Install Smart Banners in Safari or Native App Install Banners in Chrome to replace interstitials. Sadly, these don’t present much in ways of design, which makes them a bad alternative for growth teams who need to experiment and iterate. The ability to do that is a non-negotiable because it’s by far the best way to increase users, engagement and conversions,” stated Marketing Land.

Are you happy with this new policy? Is the interstitial ad your friend or foe? Share your thoughts with us.

We Are Happy To Announce The Winner of Our Vermont Tech Jam Giveaway

News & Updates

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Did you attend the annual Vermont Tech Jam this past October? We were in attendance once again, and this year it was bigger than ever! The two-day job fair and tech expo brought together “dozens of Vermont’s most innovative companies and organizations all under one roof.” The event was a great opportunity to meet and chat with a variety of folks to talk all things “tech”! We also received a lot of resumes, so thank you to all of you who are interested in working with us. We truly appreciated the amount of people that took the time to come to our booth, to find out more about what we do!

If you did happen to stop by our booth, you may have noticed that we had a pretty sweet Tech Jam schwag giveaway that included both a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit & Pro Tech Tool Kit (valued over $250.00)! All we asked, was that you signed up to be on our mailing list and be entered to win. We are happy to announce that we have chosen a winner, and that winner is Laurie Brown, from Barre, Vermont!

Laurie, for the past 28 years, has worked as a School Transition Counselor, for the State of Vermont. She works with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to help high school students and young adults to think about possible careers and further trainings after high school and in turn, find them jobs.

We want to thank Laurie for stopping by our office and posing for a picture with her fabulous prizes!

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Winter Is On The Way: Prepare Your Website For The Holidays

News & Updates

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Whether you like it or not, the holidays are on their way. And this year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday both happen this November, for the first time since 2012. With these being two of the biggest shopping days of the entire year, it might be a good idea to start optimizing your business website now, so you can prepare for the upcoming busy season.

Below, find our checklist of 4 ways to make your website stand out this holiday and maximize your sales!

  1. Shopping Campaigns and Dynamic Product Ads: This year, expand your product-specific advertising moves into social with Facebook’s dynamic product ads. These ads help you promote relevant products to shoppers browsing your product catalog on your website or mobile app. The latest improvements will access more targeted up-sell and cross-sell opportunities so you can show complementary products to past purchasers. This year, broaden your engagement across the mobile app world and extend your reach into the Facebook Audience Network.
  2. Optimize for Mobile Visitors: Mobile devices (phones and tablets) accounted for more 48 percent of clicks on ads and 28 percent of conversions across global retail paid search advertising last season, according to Kenshoo. Optimizing your website for mobile visitors is crucial for the 2015 holiday season. Note that mobile is only one aspect on the way to purchase, so consider investing in cross-device tracking and looking at attribution strategies and place your learnings back into your optimization decisions.
  3. Emerging Channels and Formats: New advertising options could be another avenue to explore during this time of heightened competition. Some channels include buy buttons and Instagram advertising. Buy buttons have been popping up on a variety of websites, inlcuding Pinterest, Twitter, Google and others. With social and mobile commerce continuing to grow, the buy button could be the new way of purchasing online. The Instagram Advertising Platform supports three different formats: Image, Video & Carousel. Each format allows businesses to tell a unique story through a rich, visual medium whilst reaching users at the right place and at the right time. Aimed at driving clicks from the Mobile App to your website or promoting the download of your own mobile app, the new format will be a big win amongst businesses which have a Mobile focus or Mobile strategy in place.
  4. Keep the Customer in Mind: Whatever way you decide to prep for the holiday season, be sure to remember just how important your customers are, and put them first. Get your message and brand across to your shoppers with unique and creative ways to grab the attention and to personalize the shopping experience. And remember, it’s important to get re-acquainted with your customers who have visited you site previously. If you do not have the email addresses of your web visitors, consider collecting them by adding a newsletter sign-up form on your website. That way you can keep them informed and excited about what you have to offer.

We hope you found this holiday website checklist useful. For any questions regarding any of these services, please give us a call and talk with a member of our team. We want to help you get the most out of your website, and keep your customers coming back!

Join Us For Our Holiday Party: Friday, December 11th!

Events News & Updates Uncategorized

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With all this warm weather we’ve been having, it’s hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner. With that said, we’re wasting no time planning for our upcoming Burlington Bytes Holiday Party and you’re invited!

Be sure to save the date for Friday, December 11th, beginning at 7pm. This year’s party will be taking place at our office (located at 2 Church Street, Suite 101, downstairs) and will feature catering from EB Strong’s Steakhouse, as well as an open bar (until we drink up our budget)! Get ready to bust a move on the dance floor, because DJ Cre8 will be on the turntables, playing all the hits!

We’re also working on some additional entertainment ideas, so stay tuned. After the party is over (around 11pm), join us at Nectar’s downtown for the after party ‘cuz we’re going all night!

Looking for an excuse to look sharp? Bust out your snazzy formal cocktail attire and dress to impress! Also, please feel free to bring a guest(s) if you’d like, the more the merrier!

We hope you can make it! Please visit our Facebook page to RSVP!

See you next month!

Get Your Business Online: We’re Hosting An All-Day Event Workshop On Church Street, Thursday, September 10th.

Events News & Updates

A few weeks ago, we announced that our office would be hosting a free Google workshop to help local Vermont businesses “Get Online and On The Map”.  We originally scheduled the event in the evening, however, we have decided to change the time of the event to an ALL DAY workshop instead. We will also be holding the event, outside on Church Street (outside of our office, located at the top of Church Street) from 8:30am-5:30pm.

We want to see local businesses in Burlington grow and prosper, and people in Burlington are looking for what you offer- and they’re looking online. That’s why we are teaming up with Google to host a free workshop to help you and your fellow businesses get online and on the map. The “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” is part of Google’s “Get Your Business Online” program and aims to bring community members, business owners, and civic leaders together to help small businesses succeed on the web.

Are you a business owner or know someone who is? Is your business already “On The Map”? Enter your business here, to see if is in fact, on the map! If you are on the map, you may have an incomplete listing. We’re here to help you add in all the correct information, so you’re ready to go when people search for your business online. Not already on the map? That’s ok too! We’ll walk you through the process on helping you Get Found on Google Search and Maps, and explain how to set up Google My Business, a free tool that helps you manage information displayed to customers on Google Search and Maps.

You may be wondering why Google is offering this service? Google states that “Local businesses are vital to America’s economic future. In fact, small businesses comprise half of the U.S. GDP and create two-thirds of all new jobs. And although nearly all consumers look online for products and services, many small businesses do not have any web presence at all. They believe every small business should be found online and they offer the ability to do this through Google products like Google Maps – for free. Businesses want to be found by their customers. Customers want to find updated information about local businesses. Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map was designed to help strengthen our communities by connecting local businesses and customers so they can easily support each other”.

Join us and invite anyone you think would benefit! If you’d like to come to our all-day workshop, please RSVP here. We hope to see you and look forward to helping you get #OnTheMap!

 

 

Facebook Announces New Update: Get More Control Over Your News Feed

News & Updates

On Thursday, Facebook announced it wants you to see the information you really want you see, as the online social network service publicized a new change to its News Feed. New tools can now assist you in sorting through the unfavorable, boring, unwanted information, typically from long-forgotten colleagues and acquaintances, and now, will let you choose a few dozen friends and pages to prioritize what will appear at the top of their News Feed, each time you log on.

It may seem like a effortless update, until you realize how much force Facebook’s News Feed algorithm holds over what we see. According to an article by Shareaholic , in 2014, “Facebook was responsible for about a quarter of all traffic, across the web.” When people are reading news from a website, almost one-fourth of the time, they found their news through Facebook.com. With more information than most people want to see (selfies, pictures of last night’s dinner, status updates, etc.) Facebook has become an influential source for news and information. According to Pew Research Center nearly half of Americans with Internet access use Facebook to read news and information about social issues including government and politics. The News Feed in Facebook is the “central hub” of the referral service, a hub that is quickly becoming the way most Americans get their information.

If you want to choose the friends and pages you want to see on your news feed first each time you log on, go to your chosen friend’s profile, and click on the box that says ‘following’ and select ‘see first’. Facebook’s computer software uses a wide range of information you provide to decide what to show. This will encompass what friends you interact with and how often, or what your preferences are, including photos, videos and more. On Thursday afternoon, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the News Feed update on his personal page. “Our goal is to help you connect with the people and things you care about the most,” he stated. Facebook recognized that this system isn’t totally foolproof, so it wants to give users a chance to set their own preferences.

As well as selecting who or what pages you want to see first, you’ll still be able to ‘unfollow’ friends so you won’t have to see them at all. This preference has been offered to people before, who do not want to take the awkward step of ‘unfriending’ someone, but would rather not read about what’s going on in their lives.

This update doesn’t address the problems with the Facebook algorithm, but, for the first time, it makes some of the feed translucent, giving users some accountability over what they choose to read. For now, prioritize and favorite what’s important you!

We’re Happy To Announce That We’ve Hired Two New Members To Our Team!

Careers News & Updates

Our office keeps growing and we’re thrilled! Burlington Bytes was started by owner Peter Jewett and partner Jay Di Vece five years ago in Jay’s garage. Since then, the office has grown from two employees to ten! Don’t worry, the ten us are not crammed into a garage anymore, the Burlington Bytes office moved into the Richardson Place building located at the top of Church Street one year ago. We’re now located at 2 Church Street, Suite 101, to be exact, in case you want to come by and visit us sometime!

We’ve been working hard during this Summer season and bringing on new people to our team is crucial during these busy months. Searching for the right candidate can take some time, luckily for us, we found the right people, at the right time! We’re so excited to share with you our two new members hired to the Burlington Bytes team! So, without further ado….

Monica Bilodeau is our new Front End Development specialist and was hired last month. She will mainly work on the front end development of sites and on daily support tasks. She is most passionate about bringing Computer Science to future generations of women and is currently working with initiatives such as, ‘The Braid initiative’, ‘Girl Develop It (GID)’ and various student groups and high schools in the Vermont community including our own at UVM (SWICS). Monica is majoring in Computer Science (BS) with minors in political science and mathematics at the University of Vermont.

Originally from Austin, Texas, Ben Godwin moved to Vermont last summer. He’s been a designer, developer, and creative director for well over a decade. During that time, he’s worked for a wide range of companies, from major corporations such as eBay and Dell, to scrappy startups, to boutique ad agencies. He joins the team as our Creative Director and is the newest member of the Burlington Bytes crew, where he’ll be coordinating with clients and the BBytes team to design and implement unique web and branding concepts. Ben lives in Burlington with his partner Kaja and their ginormous cat, Emma

We’re excited to welcome Monica & Ben to the team and feel grateful to be working with these talented folks!

Google Announces New AdWords Upgraded URLs Deadline: July 1st, 2015

News News & Updates

Are you currently using Google AdWords? This past February, Google announced a new AdWords Upgraded URLs format, to allow advertisers to use more features and options for tracking parameters. Upgraded URL’s have been in beta for API users for several months and have now rolled out globally to all users in the web interface.

With this change, “the landing page URL and the tracking parameters that make up the destination URL will be treated separately. The separation means that making changes to your tracking won’t necessarily send your ads back into editorial review and ad history and stats remain with the ads,” stated Google. If you are currently using URL tracking in your accounts, a deadline of July 1st is quickly approaching to transition to upgraded URLs.

So, this is what you’ll need to know beginning on Wednesday, July 1st, 2015.

Google wants you to prepare for the following changes:

1. Destination URLs can no longer be edited or created. Any new URLs will need to be created using the new Upgraded URL fields.
2. Destination URLs will be automatically moved to the new final URL field for any ad groups in your account that do not contain cross-domain redirect URLS. In your AdWords account, you will receive an alert informing you of any remaining ad groups that were not upgraded.
3. Any ads with destination URLs that have not been updated to Upgraded URLs will stop serving in a few months. Google will let you know 30 days before your ads stop serving by email with an alert in your account.

If you have further questions or need a more detailed explanation of this upgrade, this week’s Google AdWords blog post will give you the answers you need, to help prepare for the transition.

A Recap Of What Was Announced At Google’s 2015 I/O Conference

News News & Updates

Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O is taking place May 28th-29th in San Francisco, California. The two day conference is filled with “inspirational talks, hands-on learning, and a chance to hear more about Google’s latest developer products. The search giant is rolling out tons of new announcements, upgrades and upcoming projects. Let’s take a look at some of those big announcements from the I/O conference…

1. Android M

The first major announcement from I/O 2015 was the launch of Android M. Google unveiled that Android M will succeed Android Lollipop this year. Google stated that Android M, which is debuting as a pre-release version today with a full release happening later in the year, brings a large number of new features and performance enhancements. These new features include an upgraded copy and paste functionality, as well as an improvement to power management and USB Type-C support for faster charging. Android M will also offer improved app integration, with a new linking system, allowing apps to open direct and better app permissions system, letting the users to gain better control over the features apps can access.

Another big announcement is called Android Pay which will allow people to use a “single tap” to pay for things either in apps or at brick-and-mortar stores. This new service will also offer rewards programs for customers that purchase items frequently. Android Pay will be playing catch up with Apple Pay which launched a similar app in September of 2014 as a mobile payment and digital wallet service. Google hopes to have mobile payments as one of the next big growth areas to tap into.

2. Project Brillo

Project Brillo is effectively an operating system for small scale devices, such as security cameras and light bulbs. Google has a plan to combine Brillo with another new system called Weave, which will allow these devices to communicate with other connected equipment and web services, giving users more centralized control over a lot of information. Android devices will auto-detect Brillo & Weave connections, allowing its users to combine connected devices more conveniently. The goal of Project Brillo is to help control aspects of you life with an easier, more functional way, so you can manage everything you need from one, single touchscreen.

3. Google Now On Tap

On Tap was the biggest improvement to Google Now. Google Now On Tap is “immediately accessible when consumers are on the Web or in apps. The service also deep-links directly into apps, right to the spot users need, without having to navigate from the homepage. There are no ads yet in Google Now, but they are not hard to imagine, stated Ad Week”. For example, say you are listening to a song on your cell phone and you want to know who the artist singing the song is. You can ask Google “who is singing this song?” and Now on Tap will produce a Google search response that will show up on your screen. The result is a direct answer versus a link showing up in your Google search match.

4. Google Photos

Google also announced a new re-launch of their unlimited picture and video storage app called Google Photos. This app is free and allows you to sort your photos into groups, making it more simple to manage and maintain your photo collections. Google Photos will allow images up to 16 mega pixels to be stored at full resolution. Photos that are taken in higher resolutions will be compressed, however, Google stated that the image quality will not be affected. New search features will automatically analyze and tag uploaded videos or photos, and the same editing tools available with Google+ will be available for Google Photos users.

These are just a few of the main highlights from the first day of the Google I/O conference. Day two is happening now, and surely other big developments in tech integration and advancement will be announced. So stay tuned!

The Vermont City Marathon & Relay Race Takes Place This Sunday: Let Our Nutritional Infographic Help You Prepare!

New Services News & Updates

This Sunday, May 24th, marks the 26th annual Vermont City Marathon. The marathon, which takes place in Burlington, is the largest sporting event in Vermont, with over 8,000 runners competing in the marathon & relay events. We thought we’d take this opportunity to say good luck to all the runners and we hope you have a great marathon experience.

Have you been training hard for the upcoming race? Have you been eating, sleeping and exercising regularly to make sure your in tip-top condition for when the big day arrives? Good nutrition and eating well are vital aspects to a healthy runner. Knowing which foods and drinks your body needs to stay fit can prepare you for that 26.2 miles you’re about to run.

Our in-house graphic designer thought a great way to educate runners on good nutrition, would be to make an infographic on “What To Eat The Week Before A Marathon”. We partnered with Whole Food Nutrition which is a group of Vermont based registered dietitians who have a passion for the power of the human body and love food. They provided us with the nutritional information used in the infographic we created below. Check it out…

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We want to let you to know that we’ve added a new service to our offerings and that service is INFOGRAPHICS! Infographics can be an educational, informative and useful tool for your business. Displaying a “graphic visual” with precise data, information or knowledge is a great way get the attention of your reader. In fact, studies show that 83 percent of the information we remember is based on visual impact. Still not sure why infographics could work for your business? Here are a few benefits to why they may be good for your digital marketing campaign:

1. Infographics are eye-catching. They are easier to understand than text. Good images, colors and content can make an impact on your reader.

2. Most people “scan” articles when they read them, often scanning the story for the most important material in a quick manner. It’s important to remember that the information that we’ve seen tends to stick in our heads longer then that of reading the information.

3. Infographics work well if you’re looking to share the content on the web. Some infographics that are published on a WordPress site or blog, typically have an embedded code to them. This code can help you automatically link from the original site to yours. They are also very shareable on social networks as well. If you have a well designed infographic, more people are likely to “share” “click” or “like” the post. This can also contribute to Google’s “page rank” algorithm, which can boost your SEO results.

4. Infographics can help you establish “Brand Awareness” for your business. Designing your infographic with consistent colors, logos, shapes and messages can help your customers remember your brand and what it represents.

5. Lastly, infographics are a unique and fun medium that can help you connect with your customers.

Infographics are becoming increasingly popular and are proving to be effective. The infographics that we can professionally design for you will be visually appealing, sleek and modern. We want to help you create an infographic that can take deep data and turn that information into a visual shorthand. Let us help you tell your story through a visual representation!

If you have any question regarding infographics, please give us a call at (802) 448-4001 and speak with a member of our team today!