A day at Google HQ

On Monday this week, team PracticeWEB got the early train from Bristol into Paddington. We were invited by the good people of Google to their Acceleration day at their offices in St Giles*.

Focus for the day was around how as an agency we can best help SMEs (in our case accountants and advisers) to get the most out of working with Google services to build digital presence and make the most out of advertising options.

Sessions followed on what Google UK see as three current trends in SME. These are mobile ubiquity, streaming video and artificial intelligence (AI) assistants.

In recent times Google updates have increasingly favoured sites that are mobile responsive (viewing format changes across tablet and mobile devices). Affectionately know as ‘mobileageddon,’ there is good reason why such importance is placed on this. The guys at Google fired some stats at us including:

  • in the US the total amount of traffic on the web viewed through mobile exceeded desktop way back in 2015. The UK and other countries are following this trend
  • 76% of people who search on mobile go on to visit a nearby business within a day
  • only 1% of SMEs have what google regards as ‘good’ load speed

See more info here

On the subject of video, the googlers told us that they expect this to be a huge growth area for advertising and driving traffic back to sites. Video receives the highest click through rate (CTR) of any format. Currently video is returning 3x more traffic view for view than standard display ads.

But video is only for big business with big budget right? Not so. I’m a Scotsman and my favourite price is free. There’s now an app developed by Google/YouTube called YouTube Director app. In it’s own words

“Create advertising videos from your phone with the free YouTube Director app. Choose a template, shoot and edit your promo video, and start advertising.”

If you can record video on your phone, you can use this. It’s so simple even my dear mother could do it (sorry Mum if you’re reading this).

The third part of discussion focused on AI assistants. What does that have to do with accountants? Well, certainly this part felt a little bit less certain than the previous two. At the moment, there is a lot of buzz around the term AI over in marketing world, I saw this during my time before I joined PracticeWEB while working on the mar-tech publisher

The most accessible part of the AI buzz is around the idea of virtual assistants & chatbots. Essentially, it’s an extension of your phone system or FAQ section on your site. Have a pop up automated service that can answer simple questions and in the process save your staff time and you money. It’s early days, the guys I used to work with have published a lot around this topic, see some more article here.

All in all a good Monday and worth the early start. Google lunch lived up to its legend too.

*Yes I admit it, the first thing I did was ‘check in’ at Google UK HQ. But you would too, right?

Want to talk about this some more? Drop Stuart a line here.

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