AMP up your call conversions: 5 things you need to know

In Google’s world, site speed matters. And the search giant is pushing hard on AMP, its open source initiative to improve web page speed and performance for mobile users. But that speed comes at a cost for digital marketers. AMP eliminates scripts — including the scripts that help you track mobile calls.
Join Eric Enge and other AMP experts as they explore AMP’s pros and cons, as well as how leading technology providers are helping marketers identify AMP visitor sessions and track call sources. Implementing AMP doesn’t have to mean losing call tracking and attribution capabilities.
Register today for “5 Steps to AMP Up Your Call Conversions,” produced by Digital Marketing Depot and sponsored by CallTrackingMetrics.
The post AMP up your call conversions: 5 things you need to know appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Pick up the phone: Your best customer is on the line.

Marketers cannot ignore offline channels. Customers no longer see a difference between digital and physical. In fact, in this age of digital connectivity, inbound phone calls are on the rise. And it is often these customers who call directly to a business are a marketer’s most valuable asset.
In May 2017, Marchex commissioned Forrester Consulting to examine how customers who initiate an inbound call during the customer journey perform against those who do not. Through an online survey of 213 marketing decision makers in the US, we found that the phone customer converts faster, spends more and churns less.
Learn more. Visit Digital Marketing Depot to download “Pick Up The Phone: Your Best Customer Is On The Line.”
The post Pick up the phone: Your best customer is on the line. appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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Google’s ‘Manhattan project’: Home device with a screen to compete with Echo Show

Google generally doesn’t do as well when it builds “follower” products — think Google Plus or Allo. But there are other examples where Google has excelled with later entries (e.g., AdWords, Maps). Right now, Google Home is a follower product seeking to break out of Amazon Echo’s shadow.
On paper, Google should win in this market. It has a larger developer ecosystem. And it has a better assistant. But Amazon is being very aggressive by innovating quickly and offering a dizzying array of devices at different price points. Amazon also has a more powerful sales channel. Overall, Amazon is out-innovating the rest of the “smart speaker” market at the moment.
Amazon now has two devices with screens: Echo Show and the new Echo Spot. According to TechCrunch, Google is also working on a Home device with a touchscreen:
Two sources confirm to TechCrunch that the Google device has been internally codenamed “Manhattan” and will have a similar screen size to

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Apple switches back to Google search results for iOS & Mac

Apple has switched back to using Google for their search results needs in both iOS and their Mac operating system over Spotlight search, TechCrunch reports. Google and Apple spokespersons confirmed this with Search Engine Land via email.
The “search the web” results you get in both search interfaces will no longer be pointing to Bing, but rather will show you results from Google. In 2014, Apple officially dropped Google results and switched to Bing. Google and Apple have a deal that’s been estimated to be worth $3 billion, and it is unclear if this is part of that deal or not.
Here is a statement TechCrunch received from Apple:
“Switching to Google as the web search provider for Siri, Search within iOS and Spotlight on Mac will allow these services to have a consistent web search experience with the default in Safari. We have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible.”

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Google adds trending searches and instant answers to iOS app

With a new search app update for iOS, Google has added trending searches and instant answers. (TechCrunch noticed it earlier today.) It replicates a previously introduced Android feature which reportedly resulted in an outcry, causing Google to enable an opt-out.
In the “what’s new” discussion in the iOS App Store, Google says:

See searches that are trending around you when you tap on the search box to start a search
Get instant answers to your questions as you type them, before you even complete the search. Try it out by typing for “goog stock” or “how tall is the eiffel tower” and see the answer show up in the suggestions below the search box
Easily give feedback on any suggestions you see while typing — just swipe left and tap on the “info” icon

Here’s what it looks like:

The trending searches appear to be national rather than specific to my location. The data appear to be Knowledge Graph data, but it’s not

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Google Maps Android app adds ‘find parking’ feature to show you nearest parking garage

Google Maps is making it easy for Android users to find parking options.
The Android app now has a “find parking” button on the direction card that is displayed once you search for your location. The button leads to a list of parking garages and lots near the intended location.
Users can select their preferred parking option, and the app will automatically add it to their trip, along with walking directions from the parking spot to their destination.

The “find parking” feature was rolled out in 25 US cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, DC, Detroit, Portland, Orlando and St. Louis.
In addition to its latest feature, the app has expanded its “parking difficulty” feature for Android and iOS apps to 25 international cities, including Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, London, Milan, Rio de Janeiro and Vancouver.
When available, the parking difficulty icon appears in the bottom of a direction card screen, and it ranks parking availability as “limited,” “medium” or “easy” based on historical parking data.

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Augmented Reality: Where are we now, and what does it mean for marketers?

Summer 2016 seems like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? Barack Obama was president, the Chicago Cubs were carrying on their 108-year losing streak and swimmer Ryan Lochte was busy fabricating a story about getting robbed at gunpoint while representing the US at the Rio Olympic Games.
One of the biggest digital stories to come out of last year was the meteoric rise of Pokémon Go. The mobile game brought augmented reality (AR) to the masses and effectively demonstrated the technology’s potential as a new platform for customer engagement.
Pokémon Go disappeared from the limelight almost as quickly as it appeared, solidifying its place as a pop culture curiosity that will almost certainly be covered in an “I Love the ’80s”-esque retrospective 20 years from now.
Pokémon Go’s story may be over for most, but what about its underlying technology? How has that fared over the past 12 months?
Well, augmented reality isn’t just for gamers anymore. It can be a major asset for

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Walmart offering voice shopping via Google Assistant and Home

Google and Walmart have announced a partnership to bring Walmart voice shopping to the Google Assistant and Google Home. Free delivery will also be available through Google Express, which is changing its pricing structure.
Though not discussed in either company’s blog post, the move is likely a response to Amazon voice shopping via Alexa devices. It’s also part of Walmart’s efforts to increase its e-commerce business and reach new audiences.
The initial use case will be product reordering, but beyond that, Walmart intends to use its data to make personalized shopping recommendations based on purchase history. The company also has ambitious plans for voice shopping and offline fulfillment:
One of the primary use cases for voice shopping will be the ability to build a basket of previously purchased everyday essentials. That’s why we decided to deeply integrate our Easy Reorder feature into Google Express. This will enable us to deliver highly personalized shopping recommendations based on customers’ previous purchases, including those

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Data: Consumers grow more demanding, impatient as brands fall behind

There’s considerable evidence that consumers are growing more impatient and less tolerant of poor or frustrating online experiences. There’s also increasing evidence that most brands aren’t keeping up with customers, creating significant risk and lost opportunities.
This gap is reflected in all the CX (consumer experience) research and reports coming out. There’s also a strong undercurrent of this theme in the Google “micro-moments” research and discussions. All the data about mobile page speeds and consumer abandonment support this idea:
The average U.S. retail mobile site loaded in 6.9 seconds in July 2016, but, according to the most recent data, 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. And 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with site performance say they’re less likely to purchase from the same site again.
Most recently, Google said that geo-modifiers (e.g., ZIP codes) have declined by 30 percent, even as local search volumes have increased:
[D]emanding mobile users now assume

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Google rolling out hands-free calling on Google Home to US and Canada

At Google I/O, the company announced that it was going to allow calling via Google Home. Now, Mountain View is rolling out the capability for the US and Canada in English, with Canadian French coming soon.
The device will permit calling to your Google contacts and businesses by voice alone. Alexa devices can call one another or users with Alexa apps on their smartphones. Microsoft’s Cortana has also promised calling capabilities via Skype. However, Google Home’s calling range is broader and more useful than the Amazon feature because it doesn’t require a corresponding app on the other end. Most business owners, for example, aren’t going to have Alexa devices to receive calls.
I wasn’t able to test the new calling feature because my Google Home told me, “Sorry, I can’t make calls yet.” Once it fully rolls out, users are supposed to be able to initiate calls by simply saying, “Hey Google, call…” Calls will then be routed over

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