Overwhelmed with questions about how to approach their media efforts in this time of Covid-19, organizations are seeking guidance and clarification. Google's Vice President of Global Marketing for Media Joshua Spanier decided to pinpoint five guiding principles for his team to focus on as they approach the new normal. We find these to be succinct, universal values that our clients and colleagues can rely upon. "Inside Google Marketing: 5 principles guiding our media teams in the wake of Covid-19" by Joshua Spanier is an important resource for those looking for values to reinforce with their teams and clients as we move forward into uncharted terrain.

1. Context, always

Though this is a global pandemic, its impact is local. We’ve found it helpful to carry that thinking into the evaluation of our marketing campaigns. Our global teams are providing guidance centrally, but we’ve found it’s best to trust each market to make decisions locally. In other words: direction from the center, but decisions on the ground.

At a very practical level, we have built out a centralized, shared spreadsheet for all paid and owned tactics across markets, so we can capture and learn from what is being decided locally. Every team around the world has access to this worksheet in real time.

One example of what we’ve learned from this shared context: As interest in news surges around the world, there are many more ad impressions being served in the news category. We’re having to ask ourselves, “In what instances are we comfortable putting our brand alongside news content?” This debate, and local nuance, has helped us make choices, especially around the use of paid social media. Local context is key.

Guiding question: Is this campaign right, given the current context in a local market?

2. Constantly reassess

As market dynamics change rapidly, we’re constantly reassessing campaigns, creative, and even our guidelines. What we decided two weeks ago isn’t necessarily appropriate today. The one constant assumption we have in this situation is that things will change. Because of that, we’re reassessing every possible touchpoint for our brand across paid and owned channels, from video ads to the automated emails we’re sending via customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

We’re asking ourselves every day, “Is this creative or ad placement right for this moment and in this context?” And when the answer is no, we pivot. For instance, we’ve had an Android campaign running that referenced being “out and about.” Was that OK in the U.S. market a few weeks ago? Sure. Today? Not so much.

Guiding question: Though we greenlit this campaign last month/last week/yesterday, is it still right for the context and moment?

3. Creative considerations

In the spirit of reassessing campaigns, we’re finding that all kinds of creative elements need scrutiny right now. From tone and visual imagery to copy and keywords, the context of our media buys needs to be carefully assessed. We’re asking ourselves these questions with every campaign, no matter the channel or size of spend behind it.

For instance, we don’t think slapstick humor is appropriate for our brands right now. So we’re holding off on some campaigns that were funnier in nature. We’re reevaluating creative that shows interactions like hand shakes, hugs, and high-fives, since social distancing is an important tactic for slowing the spread of illness. We’ve also reviewed all our Search ad copy to spot phrasing that’s now awkward — “virus checks,” for instance, have taken on a whole new meaning in light of this moment.

Guiding question: Are all of the creative elements — tone, copy, visuals, keywords, placements — appropriate and relevant to this new reality?

4. Changing priorities to navigate uncertainty

As business professionals, we recognize that we have a responsibility to navigate uncertainty. Through it all, we’re evaluating our media budgets through the lens of what’s most relevant to our consumers.

Our guiding principle as a brand, particularly in this moment, is to be helpful. And as people turn to technology for information and connection in these times of need, we’re mindful that some of our products — like Google Search, YouTube, Hangouts, and Google Classroom — can be more helpful today than they were even yesterday. In that spirit, we’re shifting our paid media priorities to brands that help more people get vital information or bridge the gap between what was once “normal” and their current reality.

For instance, our emphasis is moving to products like Search as people need information, YouTube as people need inspiration and know-how, and Hangouts and Chrome as educators turn to live streaming and digital lessons.

Guiding question: What are the most relevant brands, products, or campaigns our media can support right now, and do we need to shift budgets?

5. Contribution, at every opportunity

If there’s ever been a moment for us to come together and help one another, this is it. As our CEO Sundar Pichai wrote, “In this unprecedented moment, we feel a great responsibility to help.” We’re asking ourselves how we can help our consumers, our customers, and our partners — especially when it comes to our owned channels.

Every brand has its “owned media,” whether stores, websites, or even social handles. Across Google, we’re using many of our surfaces to help however we can. Take the YouTube homepage, for instance, that directs users to videos from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or other locally relevant public health agencies. We’re also taking a look at our brands’ social handles and evaluating how we can use their reach to amplify the information people need now. As the days go on, we’ll continue to assess our owned touchpoints for new opportunities like this.

Guiding question: What ways can our brand — and even our owned media channels — be helpful to people and businesses in this moment of need?

Please find the original post by Joshua Spanier on the Google website here.

Google just launched a new shopping platform that is positioned to compete with Amazon. The platform is characteristically Google-esque with a simple landing page that emphasizes the search features followed by sectioned departments.
In terms of aesthetics, the Google platform is far more attractive and user-friendly. The Amazon website, despite years of continuous upgrades, still has a  web 1.0 look, while the sleek new Google Platform looks entirely new down to its core infrastructure.
The simpler Google style is less busy than its Amazon counterpart which may be the result of fewer retailers integrated into their system. Right now, Target and Best Buy are the primary retailers promoting and selling their products via the site. 
In order to integrate your store with Google Shopping, you can apply via the Shopping Platform or via your merchant services account if you are already running Google Shopping Ads. Google directs interested retailers to their Shopping Actions site to learn more about becoming a featured retailer.
The new Google Shopping Experience uses machine learning to personalize a user's home page with recommendations for shopping. According to WordStream, the feature is derivative of Instagram and that makes it even more impactful as a platform:

By using machine learning to personalize users’ Shopping homepages, Google is effectively replicating the Instagram experience. In fact, they’re improving the Instagram experience. Google can use the data it collects not only to show users the brands and products they want to see, but also to predict the brands and products users may want to see. We’re no longer talking about a channel designed to simply capture commercial intent; we’re talking about a channel designed to inspire commercial intent. (Conor Bond, Wordstream, June 11 2019)

If you are already advertising using Google Shopping, you may already be linked to promoting your products on the new platform. Check with your ads manager, or contact Cote Media who can run a diagnostic on your Google Merchant Services Account.
If you are running any type of retail business that has inventory to sell online, now is the time to begin integrating with Amazon, E Bay and Google. Cote Media can link your inventory to all of the platforms to help you expand your reach and sell more products.
Coming later this year, Google will also allow shopping actions directly from Google Images and YouTube. 

Ready to start selling on Google? Contact Cote Media today! We can configure your merchant services account with Google to begin promoting your products immediately online. 

Want to execute a foolproof Search Engine Optimization strategy using WordPress? Install the Yoast plugin and always observe its suggestions when publishing online. Combine this with good content strategy, social media marketing, email marketing, and a responsive, fast website, and you are well on your way to climbing the ranks on Google to its page one.

What is Yoast? Yoast is a free WordPress plugin that automatically analyzes each page and provides exact specifications for optimizing your site for Google and Bing's algorithms.

After installed, the plugin will add a meta box at the bottom of every page editor. Using a simple green, yellow, red light system, the program alerts you to problems with your content that may prevent Google's bots from indexing your site favorably.

The program will also provide you with a detailed list of areas of your page that need improvement to comply with Google's algorithms. The tips are very specific and allow you to guarantee that your post is 100% compliant with the ranking system on Google.

Depending on your competition for your keywords, their use of these strategies, and the quality of their websites (responsiveness, page speed), using Yoast can make a considerable impact on your page rankings.  

An advantage of Yoast is that its engineers constantly tweak its analytics to algorithmic changes in search engines. When you upgrade the plugin, its analytics are re-engineered to provide you with the most current strategies for ranking high on Google.

Yoast helps Google read your site clearly so you can rank higher for your keywords online. After coding in your keywords to the meta box at the bottom of each page editor, you simply make sure the keywords are utilized properly within the post or page before publishing. 

You can also use Yoast to specify how your post will appear in Google search. The program also allows you to adjust breadcrumbs and other factors that the Google bots use to index your site. 

Even if you are an expert SEO writer, Yoast is a requirement for your site, especially in WordPress. If you have an efficient site that loads quickly and responsively also utilized AMP and other functions for mobile devices, Yoast will help your site rank.

Don't waste your time publishing online without taking advantage of Yoast. 

Want to install Yoast and start using it for your content strategy? Contact Cote Media today. 

Several analytics plugins are available for monitoring your website traffic and improving your users' experiences. The core analytics tools are Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics. 

Both platforms offer similar statistics and details about your users. The goal of both is to help you understand how users are reaching your site, who these users are, how they engage with your site, and how you can improve your site to meet their needs and yours as a business owner.

Several third-party programs are also available that offer to analyze the data and provide solutions. A chief complaint about both Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics is the data is very much raw and you must be able to interpret it yourself. In order to use this data, you must then know and understand approaches to each data point.

For example, the bounce rate is one statistic that both Facebook Pixel and Googe Analytics provide. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

While the analytics programs may tell you what your site's bounce rate is, it's up to you to find a solution if your bounce rate is poor and your visitors are jumping ship quickly. 

Other programs differentiate themselves by providing this data AND tips readily customized to your system without requiring you to interpret any data whatsoever.

So if these programs analyze data and provide you with tips, why not just use them instead of Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel?

Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics are entirely free plus their data links directly into the programs you need to advertise to new and existing audiences. For example, using Facebook Pixel's data you can create custom audiences who can receive your ads.

Google Analytics is also linked to the Search Engine Console as well as Google Advertising. The Search Engine Console indexes your site within Google and helps improve your search engine rankings.

Ultimately, while there may be third-party apps that can interpret your website's data, Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics are requirements on every site. 

Looking for someone to install and / or interpret data from Facebook and Google? Contact Cote Media today!

Are you advertising on Google? If not, you may be surprised by the results you get from Google Advertising. Google Ads promote incredible visibility for your business or brand. You can also be very specific with who sees your ads. Google Keywords can also help you predict the audience for your ads. Even if you don't want to run ads, Google Keywords can provide incredible insights for the traction of your business concept.

If you have never tried Google Keywords for your business, trying it out to see the potential audience is recommended. You might be surprised at the detailed statistics you can see about your targeted audience. You might also be surprised that the keywords you may think will garner the most attention for your business aren't those you expect.

How do you access Google Keywords?

Using your gmail email address, start a Google Ads Account here:


A Google Ads Account is free and you will only be charged if you decide to run ads. Don't be worried about accidentally running ads. The ads platform is pretty complicated with multiple layers of campaigns and ad groups. Accidentally running an ad is actually pretty difficult! 

What's the path to the Keyword Planner?

From the main Ads dashboard, select Tools. You can see in the below image it is the wrench in the top grey panel.

This will open the tools menu, as seen below. You can then select Google Keywords from the Tools options. Under Planning, it's the first and only selection, Keyword Planner.

What options are available in the Keyword Planner?

The Keyword Planner offers two options. The option to generate specific keywords or the option to get more specific statistics on various keyword strategies. See the screenshot below for these options.

How do you find new Keywords?

After you select "Find New Keywords," you will be redirected to the keyword form. You can add multiple keywords that you are interested in for your business. However, it's probably best to only add one keyword to start so you can get specifics. You can always add more later.

What type of keyword information can you receive?

After you select your keyword or words, Google will generate details about your keyword. You can learn approximately how many people per month search for your keywords and also the average bid that other businesses pay to use that keyword in their ads.

For example, in the below screenshot, I searched for "Yoga." Google generated all the related terms for this keyword. You can then select the keywords you choose for your business and import them easily into an ad group for your business. 

Need help?

Interested in creating a Google Ads campaign or learning more about keywords? Call Cote Media today! We can develop a keyword strategy to generate more leads for your business!

Google Shopping gets a tough rap among many designers and advertisers. Some find the platform perplexing and challenging to navigate.

There's good reason advertisers balk on Google Shopping campaigns. Unlike traditional Google advertising campaigns, keywords are driven from the products themselves. Rather than entering your target keywords into the Google Ads platform, advertisers must make sure these keywords are in the original product listing. 

That's why it's important to partner with an e-commerce developer like Cote Media who understands all the nuances of online shopping from the get-go. This type of work can be streamlined well in advance of a website's launch. Streamlining this work vastly reduces production time and costs, as well as headaches when the store inevitably wants to start advertising on Google.

When's the best and most efficient time to create these keyword strategies?

Believe it or not, these keywords are best written and crafted before you ever upload any products to Shopify or your e-commerce channel. Where do you do this? The best time and place to craft your keywords is in Excel or Google Sheets in the original product spreadsheet before you ever upload it to Shopify.

Why create these keywords in the original product spreadsheet? By creating these keywords in the original product spreadsheet, you greatly reduce production time. You can quickly add these keywords line by line in one spreadsheet.

This also allows the developer to collaborate with the shop owner. Once the products are in Shopify, most shop owners do not want to meddle with keywords and other details. If you work on these keywords in Google Sheets BEFORE uploading them to Shopify, the client can edit the keywords themselves if they choose to do so.

What happens if you forget to add these keywords for Google Shopping in the original product spreadsheet?

In that instance, Google Shopping will default to your product title. But that might not be enough. If your product titles are insufficient or not what you seek for your Google Shopping goals, you will then have to edit the products using the bulk product editor.

You can still use the bulk product editor to add in these keywords in Shopify. However, it is far more efficient to have the keywords populated into the original product spreadsheet and upload them to Shopify. 

The problem arises if you need to collaborate with the shop-owner on the keywords and the shop owner does not wish to use Shopify. In that case, designers must receive the information from the shop owner and reenter it into Shopify. By collaborating from the get-go with the client on the keywords in Excel or Google Sheets, the production time for a shop is greatly reduced. 

These are the nuances of online Shopify set-up that only seasoned professionals like Cote Media can make you aware of. We learned these lessons through training and experience. We know how to build you an online shop in the most efficient manner from the get-go.

Google Shopping Uses Negative Keywords, Unlike Traditional Google Ad Campaigns

Google Shopping does not use traditional keywords for its campaigns. Instead, advertisers use negative keywords. What are negative keywords? These are words you do not want your ads to appear for in Google searches.

For example, in traditional Google Ad campaigns, you would put in a keyword like "Golf Clubs" if you want to be discovered for those terms. But in Google Shopping campaigns, you cannot do that. Those terms must be in the original product in Shopify. You can only add into Google a term you do not want to be discovered for in Google Shopping as a negative keyword.

Therefore, if you notice that you are appearing in searches for "Happy Gilmore" for your golf business, you can put the movie title as a negative keyword strategy. This allows you to prevent showing the ad to searchers who are not looking for your product.

Contact Cote Media today for a consultation!


Every business should have the help it needs to succeed on the web. Everyday, agencies and web professionals work with businesses big and small to bring us closer to that reality.” ~Google

Those were the sobering words of Google upon launching its Google Partners, a brand spanking new platform designed to give even more to digital marketing companies. So take notice world; Google has done something and it will save you all from yourselves. Although the mammoth search engine has not yet officially created its own reality, Google Partners hopes to bring them ever closer to that aim.

Google has always been digital marketers frenemy: delivering top-notch advances in the way they conduct business, but being totally absent and unreachable. Such is life when you’re an automated monopoly who wants the entire world to use its search engine to look up naked celebrities. But with Google Partners, it hopes to deliver a very useful and easy-to-use tool for all businesses to stay ahead of the curve.

Google Partners 3 Main Goals

We at Cote Media are as excited as a kid before Christmas and eager to rip open our new Google Partner badge.

Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road:

Great Literature Lives On

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 5.29.21 PM

Today would have been John Steinbeck”s 112 birthday so Google made him a doodle! That has to mean something!  Oh yeah, it means Steinbeck left a mark on the minds of those who are familiar with his work.  The big question is, do we understand what this mark means?

            We read a lot of books in grade school that made us question why such literature was “acclaimed.” Grapes of Wrath (1939) dedicates an early chapter to a turtle crossing the road.  A turtle crossing the road! Whether you’re in 8th grade or 12th grade, under average or above average intelligence, you can’t help but wonder “is this guy laughing at us, or is this deep?”

Some resorted to Cliff Notes to make sense of the metaphors and to hear what is being said between the lines.  Other didn’t read one page of the actual book and relied only on Cliff Notes.  Whatever way you got to the end, one thing was clear: those books were literally ahead of our time. (no pun intended)

Was it too anxious on the school”s part to assign such books to immature, under developed, unwilling minds?  In grade school, there”s a pressure to go with the flow.  If a majority of your classmates think the book is “stupid,” or they just don”t get it, it”s likely that we pretend not to get it or we go into the book expecting it to be a waste of time. Once we graduate, it’s like this veil has been lifted!  After throwing your cap in the air, those books are worth re-reading.

Adapting books to film has become a trend.  Is it because more and more Americans have a collapsing attention span?  We’re online casino dgfev so adapted to screens and scrolling that the thought of touching a paper page is becoming a distant thought.  Whatever the reason, an adaptation still leaves some people wanting to read the book first.  Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 remake of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book The Great Gatsby (1925), led to a spike in book sales (e-books and paper).  The film, rated PG-13, was full of flashing lights, pumping music (from modern artists like Jay-Z), and mesmerizing set design.

The millennium generation was one of many to read the classic in high school so it’s no surprise that we picked up the book once more before seeing the new film adaptation.  And this time it made so much more sense!  Is it because we weren’t asked to define every line, give meaning to each color, and identify all the metaphors in every chapter?  Could it be because we are different than the version of us who read the classic 10 years ago?  Or is it because there is such hype that this film would be a box office hit, and the novel is a classic, that we go into it expecting greatness?

Next month, John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men (1937) will return to Broadway, starring James Franco (This is the End) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids).  It’s not the same buzz as a film adaptation, but being back on stage after 40 years says something.  It says that the stories don’t change, but they are always reaching more people and in a new way each time.  Stories are timeless, in any form, and whether they are in a book, on a stage, or on screen, they are inanimate objects, a moment in time that cannot change.  Instead, the viewers are the ones who change.  So while the story may be the same that it was when read in a stuffy English classroom, we read a new message all these years later because we have changed.

Happy Birthday, John Steinbeck. Thanks for the memories!


battery life1

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling that police must obtain a warrant to search the cellphones of those they arrest is irrefutable proof that cell phones are no longer a technological convenience; they’re a major way of life. We bank from them, work from them, video conference from them, and sometimes we even place a call from them if we actually like the other person. The point being that they are an essential function in today’s marketplace.

But what about battery life?

batterylife 2

We swear we’ll sacrifice Pandora and any exciting app for decent battery life. Even as smartphones become more and more sophisticated, battery life is still a major issue. Android’s top-selling phones, including the Samsung Galaxy, are mighty powerful. But when it comes to battery life, it’s still a major nuisance. It’s safe to say that Android users would like to live a day without frantically searching for an outlet to charge their phones. But that may soon change.

Google recently unveiled its upcoming Android, dubbed “Project Volta,” which promises to tackle the obdurate battery problem. Here’s how it works: Something known as a “battery historian” provides greater insight on exactly what’s draining energy, while a battery saver mode allows cell users to squeeze up to an extra 90 minutes out of each charge by doing things like lowering the screen refresh rate. If this is all true, then Volta will have a dramatic effect on the way we use our Android phones. No longer will app developers have to worry about battery usage getting in the way of their app development.

While Google’s effort certainly sound promising, it would be wonderful if battery improvement applied to normal use, as opposed to being limited to battery saver mode. Regardless, Google continues to prove its willing to lead the way in cell phone development. It almost makes you forget all about Google Plus.


As much as we’d like to conquer the world solo, very few businesses can meet all of their clients’ needs in one stop.  That’s okay because success enjoys company!  If you’re getting a new business off the ground or jump starting one, a sure way to build your clientele is to go where your clients go: other businesses! We don’t suggest stealing business from the competition. Instead, round out what you can offer.  Team up with companies that compliment your own, and can work with you to treat your client like a super star!

There is one occasion that demands plenty of diverse businesses: the wedding!  A wedding party’s to-do list can be a mile long! By making everything as easy as possible, you’re guaranteed to have return clients or at least have positive news of your business spread like wild fire! The wedding serves as a great example to understand how getting to know your neighbors can benefit your business and your clients!

Step 1: Know your Client’s Needs

In the case of a wedding, the list of businesses needed for the occasion ranges from a photographer, a printing service for invitations, a caterer, baker, and the list goes on!  Point in case, you need the same list that your wedding party has so you can start to look for businesses to partner with!

We’re not saying to sneak into their laptop or smart phone and steal their list!  We mean brain-storm! You just might think of something they forgot, or maybe your business could give a wedding that unique touch!

Step 2: Satisfy Your Client’s Every Need

A client does not want to be going all over America to check off their list!  This might not be such a problem if everything is over the web, but being geographically close to a business is always the best choice.  The best ones to partner with are those that you know can get the job done, either through great reviews or personal experience!

Contact these businesses (plural), in person or online, to discuss how you can help each other out! Be sure to exchange business cards for in-person clients or a website address and pictures to post on your new business partner’s page. Also, in the world of social media, be sure to follow each other!

The Sassy Chic Boutique of Red Bank, NJ, gets a lot of wedding parties in the shop!  Owner Donna Orrechia guides her clients to their next destination, The Cheese Cave of Red Bank.

“They’re getting married and I know that they have a lot of parties coming up, and I just feel that that would really add something, add a whole new level to their experience.”

In a town built on independent shops, it’s smart for the businesses to team up! Keep in mind that if you only partner with one service, you could fall short. An extra incentive for potential clients is a discount they can receive when going from a partner business to yours!  It can be as simple as mentioning where they heard about your service.

Step 3: Get out there!

Don’t expect the clients to seek out your particular business, especially if you are new to the game or have been struggling.  Search for conventions and community events that can benefit your company. Don’t spend money or time on an event that will not return on your investment.

Like we said earlier, you might know a need that most clients forget.  If your business satisfies that need, or is unique from the competition in any way, you’ll want to get your name out there as much as possible!

To keep with the theme of making nice with the neighbors, pass on news of profitable events to the businesses you are working alongside.  By keeping them in the know, they will return the favor!  You’ll also be able to use your cross promotional skills at these events!

 Step 4: Success!

These steps don’t just apply to businesses that complete a wedding day!  They are a guideline meant to expand your horizon!  Whether your business is a small fish in a big pond or you’re surrounded by company, it’s smart to get to know your neighbors! By getting your name out there through other businesses, in their store or on their website, you can only multiple your chances of success!