Gmail’s New Meet Integration Offers 16-Person Chat, Streamlined Security & Personalized Options All from Your Inbox

Gmail’s New Meet Integration Offers 16-Person Chat, Streamlined Security & Personalized Options All from Your Inbox

Google’s recent assimilation of Meet with Gmail couldn’t have come at a better time – simplifying life for their users while giving popular competitors a run for their money 

With features like 16-person chat, tab/audio sharing, cutting-edge protection, and several other options, Google’s integration of Gmail with Meet is going off without a hitch.  

Growing out of Google Hangouts, Google Meet has several of the same elements as its predecessor but incorporates key characteristics from competitors.  Clearly borrowing Zoom’s aesthetic, Google takes things a few steps further, ironing out some of Zoom’s security flaws and offering a seamless user experience from the comfort of your Gmail Inbox.  As part of Google’s G-Suites personal cloud, Google is not charging customers for upgrades to Meet-related features like large video calls during a six-month period ending in September, allowing customers to familiarize themselves while providing communications services during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’ve seen time and time again customers and prospects coming from other solutions that have not been able to keep up or had concerns in security and reliability,” says Google VP Javier Soltero, pointing to New York City public schools’ jump to Meet from Zoom after the latter’s susceptibility to hackers led to cyber-classroom interruptions.  Soltero goes on to say not developing safeguards for free tools is “inherently wrong.”

Concerns of this matter are critical in business, as any breach in communications and security could have deep impacts.  Considering international demands for social distancing to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, Google’s new development comes at a pivotal time to assist corporations, institutions, and – most importantly – the everyday user.

Soltero believes this level of security is an evolution and will assist the global Google community “so the products they use at work, they can use at home.”

And critics seem to agree. 

Raul Castanon, senior analyst for workforce collaboration at 451 Research/S&P Global Market Intelligence pointed out, “The integration of chat and video communications into Gmail should provide a more streamlined experience in G Suite that better aligns with user workflows, reducing friction for the end-user.” 

“This should close a gap with key rival Microsoft, which has leveraged its dominance with its productivity suite to gain market traction for Teams,” Castanon elaborates.  “It should also strengthen its position against standalone ‘best of breed’ competitors Slack and Zoom, which have emerged as a competitive threat.”

John Kriney, OptFirst’s CEO, also heralded the introduction, calling it a “brilliant move.”  By “optimizing their opportunities” and simplifying the user experience, John sees the benefit to clients while capitalizing on ad revenue opportunities. 

Three Things about OptFirst Internet Marketing

These 3 differentiating factors makes working with OptFirst different than any other internet marketing company in the world!

John Kriney, President of OptFirst

Longevity of Performance

OptFirst was founded in 2001. Having almost twenty years under our belt gives us an edge in not only knowing what to do, but knowing what not to do. New companies entering the industry do not have the practical experience of growing and adapting with every new Google update. There are certain strategies being deployed by marketing wizards right out of college that we know were banned by Google in 2005. That kind of experience cannot be taught and does not readily exist in the online marketing space where new companies tend to have short life spans. That is why OptFirst has clients for 10+ years and running, which is over twice as long as the average marketing company has been in business. 

ROI Focused

OptFirst focuses on our client’s return on investment over everything else. John Kriney, founder and President of OptFirst, started in internet marketing after successfully ranking his own business, BodyKits.com, first on Google back in 2000. When he eventually sold BodyKits, he had a list of friends he was doing internet marketing for, copying the success he had with his own business. He then created OptFirst out of the enthusiasm of those first few clients. This background has taught him what business owners want from their marketing efforts. It’s not branding. It’s not traffic. It’s return on investment. That is why at OptFirst a positive client return is always our number one objective, because making money is the definition for every business and that is what we love to do for our clients!

Wide Campaign Expertise

What started out by doing the right thing for our clients has become one of our core strategic advantages in our expertise. Many marketing companies will tout themselves as a certain industry’s best choice. “We are the best in real estate marketing!”. While this approach sounds appealing on the surface, since that company will speak the right jargon and hit all the hot buttons in that industry, it really should create a red flag for any business owner. If an online marketing company is working with 10 real estate agencies – how can they promise top results to each one? How varied will their strategies and campaigns be? OptFirst works with a single company per industry per location. We have one Miami real estate agency that we work with, to get those coveted top positions. We do this with no loyalties or ties to any competitor in their market. Our work across many verticals allows us to see what is working in other fields and employ performing campaigns in areas that otherwise will not be attempted, for months or even years, by ‘vertical’ marketing companies. Commitment to our clients and expertise across all internet marketing is what OptFirst delivers.

Effective Marketing on LinkedIn

Effective Marketing on LinkedIn

Marketing on LinkedIn can be expensive and for that reason, many business owners and agencies disregard the social media platform when creating their online marketing strategies. However, we have found that LinkedIn can end up generating your lowest cost per lead, even if the click costs are higher. When you understand the different campaign types and how they work together, you can create a highly targeted, optimized campaign that can transcend industries on LinkedIn. Here are four tips:

  1. Utilize the Different Campaign Types
    We use a two-fold approach to reach our target audience on LinkedIn. We aim to show up in a user’s feed and in their messages. Creating this dual visibility allows us to present a concise message in feed ads, and then expand that message with more tailored specifics in the message ad. It also works to familiarize the user with your brand. Providing two touchpoint opportunities can increase click and lead rates.
  2. Remarketing with the Insights Tag
    In addition to having multiple campaign types, it’s important to have different targeting segments as well. Once the LinkedIn insights tag is installed correctly on your website, you can use your website data to create custom audiences and remarket to your website visitors on LinkedIn. When used in conjunction with a Google Ads and Facebook Ads remarketing campaign, you can follow your remarketing audiences across all major websites and social media apps.
  3. Use the Lead Gen Feature
    LinkedIn’s lead generation feature works exactly like Facebook’s. Users will not have to leave the LinkedIn website or app to send you their information. Typically, this streamlined approach will result in higher lead rates.
  4. Learn from your Results
    When you set and forget a campaign on LinkedIn your results will never be optimized. Analyzing your results week over week and month over month to adjust your audience segments are essential to any campaign growth. In addition to the targeting, creative should also be constantly updated. You don’t want to use the same ad text for months. Find what is working and use that as a road map to create something fresh and new.

Our experience using LinkedIn ads spans several industries. Our most recent launch in the education field was able to outpace competitors in such a way that LinkedIn reps asked us what our strategy was. The above outlines the basic plan you can start with to hopefully enjoy similar results.

How & Why to Claim, Create & Control your Google Knowledge Panel

Valuable Online Real Estate Available for FREE

Google users are noticing more and more knowledge panels when searching for their favorite artists, writers or companies. What’s a knowledge panel? It is the expanded section on the right-hand side of the Google result, and over the past year, Google is showing the knowledge panel more frequently. The knowledge panel is made up of a collection of aggregated information (dates, names, biographical details, net worths, popular songs, etc) found on 3rd party sites.

Knowledge Panel Getting Stronger

Google released the Knowledge Panel, aka KP, in 2012, but has been showing it more and more in SERPs over the past year. It is now one of the most valuable pieces of internet real estate a person or business can control, especially when using it in conjunction with a reputation management/building campaign. Here are the two steps to claim and make changes to a Google Knowledge Panel. 

Claiming a Google Knowledge Panel

Claiming a KP is done through a verification process and can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Google requires a valid governmental ID and proof of control for the social media accounts related to the person or business cited in the existing generated Knowledge Panel. FYI – a panel can not be CREATED, only CLAIMED. It must already be created by the Google Algorithm and then claimed through Google’s required process. Information from Google about how to claim an existing KP is available here

Verifying a Google Knowledge Panel

Once verified, changing information can also be an unfamiliar process since no information can be directly edited and changed instantly. Changing the information is done through a ‘suggest an edit’ submission by the verified Google account that controls that knowledge panel. All edits submitted (that can or will be approved) have to be cited elsewhere on the internet from a 3rd party source, much like the Wikipedia process of editing information on a verified page. Items that are available to change using this process are shown below.

Information that is editable in the Google Knowledge Panel

You Can Count On… Clutch Ratings & Reviews

OptFirst Internet Marketing – A Firm That Delivers!

At OptFirst, we specialize in integrated search marketing. We’ve found that search is one of the highest converting media opportunities for possible marketing spends.

Specifically, we put companies in front of the consumers by organic, paid and local search, as well as through Google Shopping, Re-Marketing, Facebook Ads, and Google/Bing maps. Research finds that whether a business decides to use paid and/or organic search to increase their online visibility is an important part of their overall marketing strategy. If a client doesn’t want to miss out on valuable opportunities, they need a partner agency that looks critically at the customer journey and has strong technical knowledge.

We’re always looking for new opportunities to grow and share our unique knowledge. In this light, we’re very excited to announce our most recent partnership with Clutch – a Washington DC-based ratings and reviews site that shows distinguished companies in different fields, including search marketing. Optfirst is listed 4th in their list of Top SEO companies in Miami.

For each firm on the site, there is an intensive research process. Chief among the factors taken into consideration are Clutch’s conversations with clients. In interview-style phone calls, clients are prompted to discuss the services they received, the results of the engagement, and other relevant aspects of the collaboration. Clutch has reached out to our clients to get an overall sense of our services and to ultimately determine if we truly deliver. We’re proud to say that of the 14 reviews published to our profile, we’ve received an overall 4.9-star rating!

Our clients have voiced their opinion of our work, and their feedback has been highly positive! For one client, we provided SEO services and PPC maximization, as well as website improvements and continued maintenance. Some of the changes include blog posts and the creation of a new payment system. We’re proud that this client was satisfied with the outcomes of the collaboration:

“Optfirst has exponentially increased traffic to many websites, in some cases raising conversion rates by 100% in just 2 years. Their robust metrics-reporting tool and customer service are second to none in the industry. Scalable to meet the needs of any sized company makes their team a great partner to grow with.”

The search marketing industry is always evolving, and here at OptFirst, we’re always trying to stay ahead of our competitors. We build websites that not only look great but also perform. Thanks to Clutch, we hope to engage new clients and improve their bottom lines through our unique search marketing practices!

AMP Impacts Organic and Paid Campaigns

AMP appears to have a larger impact than originally thought. Here is how it looks to impact organic and paid campaigns

SEO

Early 2016 Google announced that mobile pages that featured certain technologies, like AMP, would get preferential organic search positions in their mobile index results. – article here: Wired – Fast Loading Tech– Google announced later in 2016 that the mobile-first update would roll out in the first quarter of 2017. The short version is that Google is deleting their original, ‘desktop’ index and only using their newer, mobile index. The mobile index is the only index that will be used to index BOTH mobile and desktop results. What your site warrants to rank on mobile it will rank for both.– The target was Q1 of 2017 but announced a delay and that it will be rolled out throughout 2017 – article here: mobile-first delay article.

AdWords

On May 23rd Google announced that they will AMP their results and charge 50-60% of the CPC for Advertisers using AMP landing pages in their AdWords campaign.

In order to accommodate the mass need for business owners and advertisers to build AMP websites and landing pages we recently launched the beta version of our AMP page builder.