Playing with Knives! Fun with the Knife Tool in Adobe Illustrator

A frequently overlooked tool in Adobe Illustrator is the Knife Tool. Its main function is to cut objects into parts. I want to show you several ways we can make the Knife Tool more exciting and fun to use.

Cutting an object into pieces

You might draw the shape of a tree and have just one continuous shape. It may end up looking more like broccoli than a tree. To correct that, you could take the Knife Tool and drag from one side to the other to divide the shape into the leaves and trunk. Now you can change the colors appropriately – and even add some small details.

Cutting an object into a couple of pieces is useful when the need arises, however the truth is there are other ways to do the same thing, so often the Knife Tool is shunned. I want to show you several ways we can use the Knife Tool to create cutting edge designs.

Note:

Before we get too far along, it is important to note there are two sharp objects in Illustrator: The Knife Tool, located hidden under the Eraser Tool, and the Slice Tool which is found right above the Fill and Stroke icons. The Slice Tool has more to do with prepping work for the web and not what we want for these exercises, so let’s look at some ways to make using the Knife Tool more interesting!

Rando-Mosaic

(Note: Knife Tool works best by starting outside the square and ending outside the square – that way you make sure and cross all the edges.)

I remember doing this as a kid with colored pencils and construction paper. As the name implies it is a randomly created mosaic beginning with a white square and cut up with the Knife Tool. This might be the simplest of simple things to do with the Knife Tool. To add the color, simply select each area and add a Fill, or to give more interest use patterns, gradients or even color themes.

Broken Mirror

Begin with an oval filled with the default swatch Super Soft Black Vignette (or any dark to transparent radial gradient.)

Using the Knife Tool cut through from side to side and watch how the gradient behaves. It multiplies the vignettes and with some imagination can become a broken mirror!

(Note, be sure and lock the layer with the frame so you won’t cut it as well)

Designer Briefcase

Begin with a rounded rectangle, duplicate it. Select the back one, slide slightly to one side and color it gray. Add a handle for looks! Select only the top layer and using the Knife Tool design away. Holding the ALT-Shift (PC) or Option-Shift (Mac) will let you create straight or diagonal lines as in the middle example.

Or perhaps you want to customize a Zebra or Horse!


As mentioned above, some options for adding color are to simply use the selection tools and Fill to add color. This is easy enough when there are only a few areas. But if it is more complex using the Live Paint Bucket Tool may be the best choice. Select it all, and then click on a desired area with the Live Paint Bucket Tool. It should highlight the individual areas with a default red outline.


Adobe provides a small triple color preview box along with the Live Paint Bucket Tool. This allows you to quickly change colors by using the arrow keys to navigate through the Swatches showing you the previous, current, and upcoming colors.


Note: If you decide to use colors from the libraries, for instance a collection of gradients, and want to be able to scroll through them using the arrow keys simply select the colors and add to the Swatches Panel.

Create-a Scape

One other way to have some fun with the Knife Tool is to begin with an 8 x 10 inch rectangle and drag the Knife Tool through to create a Landscape, Cityscape, Back-scape, or Underwater-scape. Any kind of scenery you want to create. Using the radial gradient (here it is Sky 21) on the sky area and dragging the gradient upwards will give a great setting or rising sun. Small marks with the Knife Tool adds movement to the brook or create distant birds in the air.

Here are some other ideas for Create-a-Scapes!

Hint: When interior shapes are made with the Knife Tool it is best to zoom in close so you can make sure you are closing your paths. If you can’t select a single interior shape after you have cut it – say a fish – from the background area (water) you probably didn’t end where you started with the Knife Tool. Just undo and try again.

Summary

So there you have it, some fun ways of “Playing with Knives” when using the Knife Tool in Adobe Illustrator. Have fun and come up with even more ideas to use the Knife Tool.
For your convenience, I have added links to the Mirror, Briefcase, Horse and Zebra used in the illustrations. Any other illustrations or ideas start with a simple rectangle.

Mirror
Briefcase
Zebra
Horse

For more information, check out my website at denawilson.net and my book, “LEARN Adobe Illustrator CC, for Graphic Design and Illustration!” by Wilson, Lourekas, and Schwartz.

Updates To Your Sites Privacy Policy When Using Google Analytics And The Type Of Cookies Google Uses

The moment is upon you. You have just convinced your company to start using Google Analytics instead of the server side application your company once used. Did you know that you need to update your site’s privacy policy?
The advertising features activated in Google Analytics are: remarketing, Google Display Impression Reporting, Google Analytics Demographics and Interest Reporting and Integrated Services that require Google Analytics to collect data for advertising purposes, including the collection of data via advertising cookies and identifiers.

When you implement Google Analytics or any of Google’s Analytics advertising features on your site, you are required to notify your users of the following:

  • The Google Analytics Advertising features you’ve implemented.
  • How you and third-party vendors use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) or other first-party identifiers, and third-party cookies (such as Google advertising cookies) or other third-party identifiers together.
  • How visitors can opt-out of the Google Analytics Advertising features you use, including through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or any other available means (for example, the NAI’s consumer opt-out).

You must include a link to their opt out page.
You must also comply with the European Union user consent policy. For more information, please go to the EU User Consent Policy.

The Types of Cookies Google Uses:

Google uses various different types of cookies to run its analytics and advertising products. They are broken down as follows:

Preference Cookies: Preference cookies allow Google to remember how a web site’s structure, navigation or how your preferred language or region may have changed. Preference cookies are labeled as NID cookies. NID cookies have a unique ID, Google uses this to remember your preferences and other information, such as your chosen language (e.g. English), how many search results you like shown on your page (e.g. 10 or 20), and whether or not you wish to have Google’s SafeSearch filters enabled.

Security Cookies: Security cookies are used to authenticate users on your web site, prevent fraud and protect data from authorized users. Security cookies use SID’ and ‘HSID’ values which contain digitally signed and encrypted records of a user’s Google account ID and most recent sign-in time. The combination of these two cookies allows us to block many types of attack, such as attempts to steal the content of forms that you complete on web pages.

Process Cookies: Process cookies help make the web site work and deliver the user around the site. For example, the ‘LBCS’ cookie makes it possible for users to open up documents.

Advertising Cookies: Advertising cookies make advertising more engaging for users and more valuable for publishers. Some examples are:

  • NID and SID to help customize ads on Google properties, like Google Search.
  • ‘id’ or ‘IDE‘,DSID, FLC, AID, TAID, and exchange_uid. are stored in browsers under the domain doubleclick.net on non-Google sites.
  • The Doubleclick product itself uses a cookie named ‘gads’ that is set on a site a user visits.
  • Conversion cookies to track how many time someone clicks on an ad or buys a product.
  • Finally, Google uses cookies called ‘AID‘ and ‘TAID‘ to track device usage.

Session State Cookies: Session state cookies track information on how a user interacts with a web site. Google uses this information to improve a user’s browsing experience.

And last, but not least, the Google Analytics cookies, which helps web site owners track how users engage with their web sites and app properties.

Analytics.js Cookies:

Analytics.js sets the following first party cookies:

Ga.js Cookies

The ga.js library uses the following first party cookies:

Summary

To learn more information on Google Analytics cookie usage, please see “Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites”.

Whatever you do, don’t forget to update your site’s privacy policy. Enjoy!

Creating Actions In Photoshop To Increase Your Workflow

Creating actions in Photoshop is a great way to expedite your workflow. You may find that you often perform the same, monotonous task over and over on multiple images when retouching. Instead of taking the time out of your busy day to add each and every individual adjustment or tweak your layers to the inth degree, why not perform all of those individual steps with the press of a single button? That’s the thought process that drives Photoshop’s Actions feature.

Actions allow Photoshop users to record a string of Photoshop edits that can be performed in a specific order. While the default Photoshop actions leave much to be desired, creating your own actions (that meet your specific Photoshop needs) is as easy as pressing a button.

Creating An Action In Photoshop

To create a Photoshop action, you first must open the Actions panel. All panels can be found in the Windows menu at the top of the screen. If your Photoshop workspace doesn’t already display the Actions panel (which looks like a play symbol when docked to its icon), click on the Window menu and select “Actions.”

At the bottom of the Actions panel, you will want to first create a folder for your new set of actions. This will help you to keep your actions organized and easy to find, export, or rearrange.

  1. Click on the “Create new set” icon at the bottom of the Actions panel and then name your set. Photoshop refers to folders/groups of actions as “sets.” You are now ready to begin creating your first action.
  2. Click on the “Create new action” icon at the bottom of the Actions panel. The “New Action” window will pop up and allow you to give your action a name, function key, or even assign it a color.
  3. After pressing “Record,” Photoshop will record every adjustment, movement or selection that you create.
  4. Perform all of the steps necessary to achieve the desired result you are looking for with your action.
  5. When finished, click on the “Stop playing/recording” button at the bottom of the Actions panel.

If you find that your action needs some fine-tuning after recording, you can still adjust it.

For example, if there is a step in your action that doesn’t always work, click on the carot next to the name of your action to display all of the individual steps contained within.

Find the step that is causing problems (a good way to do this is to click “stop” on the pop-up message that displays when an action has an error), select it and click on the “Delete” button at the bottom of the Actions panel. If you need to add something to an action at a specific point, click on one of the individual action steps and press the “Begin recording” button. Photoshop will begin recording your new steps and place them after the step you had selected before pressing the “Begin recording” button.

There are a few best practices when it comes to creating actions to ensure that your action performs smoothly:

  1. Record and play actions on flattened images with just a background layer. Actions need layer names in order to work correctly, and the only way to make sure that two images will have the same layer names throughout an action is to both record and play actions on flattened images. Alternatively, if you don’t want to record an action on a flattened image, you can perform your steps by using the Layer and Select menus to create and adjust layers instead of clicking on layers in the Layers panel.
  2. Only perform adjustments that affect the entirety of a layer. Functions that only affect a portion of a layer (i.e. brush strokes, cropping, etc…) will most likely be incorrect when played on an image other than the file you originally recorded the action with.
  3. Plan ahead. Know what you are going to do with your action (and how you are going to do it) before you go about recording your action.
  4. Test it. After recording your action, play it on a variety of images to see how it performs. If you find that your action doesn’t play nice with a specific type of image, you can adjust it using the method outlined earlier in this article.

Using Third Party Actions

In addition to recording your own, Photoshop users can also install and use actions created by others. There are many websites online that sell high-quality actions that can accomplish tasks that would otherwise take hours of work in Photoshop. There are two different ways to install third party actions: the easy way and the hard way. The simplest way to install a Photoshop action is to download the .atn file and double click it. After double-clicking the file, the actions are automatically installed in Photoshop. If that method doesn’t work for whatever reason, you can also install actions through the Actions panel. To do this, first click on the fly-out menu (in the upper-right hand corner of the Actions panel), select the “Load Actions” option, and select the action file.

Not sure what to create with your newfound knowledge of Photoshop actions? Here are a couple of our most used actions just to get your creative juices flowing:

      • Skin Softening
      • Cropping
      • Saving for Facebook without Compression
      • High Pass Sharpening
      • Film Emulation

Have fun!

The Powerful Return Of AdWords Device Bidding

If you spend a lot of time on the AdWords platform, then you know that 2016 was a year filled with changes and refinements. New advertising formats like Responsive Display Ads (RDAs) and Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) became important new options for advertisers. In addition to new formats, came some welcome changes to device bidding. Here’s how device bidding changed in 2016, and why the evolution is expected to continue.

Why make changes to device bidding?

Device bidding changes can be attributed primarily to one phenomenon-mobile. We’re seeing it everywhere from SEO to paid search – mobile is having a massive impact on all types of online marketing campaigns.

But what are the specific drivers behind the changes to AdWords device bidding?

First, it allows for separate bids to be set for desktop and tablet-centric ad campaigns. The changes also give marketers and advertisers the option to make mobile the centerpiece of their online advertising campaigns. With this further refinement of device bidding, advertisers will be able to set distinct bids for desktop, tablets and mobile devices.


Image source: Business2Community.com
Bid adjustments can now be set at the campaign level for all devices in AdWords.

The Circuitous Path to Separate Bidding for Desktop and Tablets

It’s been about 4 years since Google first introduced “Enhanced Campaigns.”
The introduction of Enhanced Campaigns constrained how advertisers would set bids for their ads on devices. It’s a commonly held belief that Google employed Enhanced Campaigns in part to nudge advertisers into taking the drive toward mobile search more seriously, and to persuade them to start bidding on ads running on mobile search.

What continued to frustrate advertisers was their inability to set up separate bids for desktops and tablets, even though campaigns can perform differently on each type of device.

What is the new approach all about?

So if you are an advertiser keen on setting bids at a granular level based on the device type, you can now start setting base bid adjustments for desktop, mobile and tablets. Previously with Enhanced Campaigns, this level of control was not possible.

With the ability to set individual bid adjustments for each type of device, advertisers can tie their base keyword bids to the type of device they feel is most important to their businesses, and from there, set bid adjustments for other device types.

In addition, advertisers now have a much bigger range for customizing bids, up to +900%. While many search marketers are already experimenting with the range of options available to them, these new bid adjustment options also allow advertisers to take advantage of the new features, without the necessity of building complex campaigns. Now marketers can make bid adjustments within a single campaign, which simplifies the management process, while still allowing them to utilize the new bid adjustment options.


Image source: AdWords.Google.com
To see data for your ads by device, you’ll need to segment them, as shown above.

Let’s Not Forget About Tablets

With this latest iteration of device bidding, base bids can now be applied to mobile campaigns, with modifiers for bids set for both desktop and tablets. Previously, with Enhanced Campaigns, AdWords professionals felt compelled to serve ads on all devices with shared budgets, with the only tweak available being the mobile bid modifier of desktop bids.

What had become a frustrating reality for advertisers seeking to set tablet bids separately from desktop, this update provides major relief. Because tablets are by definition a more “mobile” device than desktops, they are often used for different purposes, like entertainment or a quick web search—the tasks most of us don’t want to get up and move to their desks or offices to perform. Yes, I can be THAT much of a sloth . Still there are enough of us out there to make the bid adjustment option for tablets very attractive and necessary for advertisers.

Smart Bidding

In addition to the expansion of device bidding options released in 2016, came “Smart Bidding.” Smart Bidding is Google’s alias for conversion-based automated bidding, which was released last summer. No surprise, Smart Bidding is built off of Google’s machine learning methodologies. Diverse signals are pulled together to determine the best bid for your keywords, with data continuously updating to provide the “optimal” bids designed to maximize conversion performance. According to Inside AdWords, Smart Bidding “evaluates patterns in your campaign structure, landing pages, ad text, product information, keyword phrases,” and countless other data points to help identify the best, most relevant bid available.

What’s Next?

So what’s next on the horizon for AdWords? Last year was filled with changes and additions to the AdWords platform. In addition to Responsive Display Ads (RDAs), Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), and Device Bidding, users should expect ad customizers to continue to grow and shape the options and opportunities for AdWords advertisers.

Whether for purposes of studying for an AdWords certification, managing client campaigns effectively, or staying in step with paid search trends for your company, 2017 is going to be a year filled with new ideas and learning opportunities for AdWords users and marketers. Keep reading the iPass blog for the latest developments and changes, and submit your ideas for posts and the expertise you’d like us to share!

Useful AdWords Reports You Should Monitor

“You are wasting time and money if you are not monitoring your Advertising campaigns”

Once your AdWords campaigns are up and live, it is very important to monitor your advertising efforts. Monitoring AdWords campaigns will help you analyze if your campaigns are meeting your advertising goals. You can make strategies to improve your campaign to get the desired results once you know what is working and what is not.
Many advertisers will just spend their time looking into basic metrics that they get by default on their campaigns view, but there are more reports that you can use to view useful insights, helping you optimize your campaigns.
Below is the list of 5 important AdWords reports that you should always monitor:

  • Search Term Report: The Heart of Search campaigns. If you are not monitoring the Search Term report, you are just wasting time, money and effort! This is the MAIN report of the search campaign, which provides information about what users are typing in SERP and which keywords from your campaign have triggered user search terms to show your ads. The Search terms report gives you a very clear idea if your ads are being displayed for the right queries to the right audience. You can find out irrelevant terms and add them as negative keywords in your campaign, which will block your ads from showing for those terms. Also, you can find out new relevant keywords and bid on them.

Here’s where to find the Search Term report:

  • Placement Performance Report: As the Search Terms report is the heart of Search campaigns, The Placement Performance report is the heart of Display campaigns! It shows specifically the website pages where your ads have been shown. You can look at the placement performance report and exclude irrelevant placements. You can also bid on relevant and good performing placements.

Here’s where to find the Placement Performance Report:

  • Impressions Share Report:
  1. Search Impressions Share: tells you the % of impressions your ads received compare to your competitors. ‘Search IS on higher side’ means that you are achieving a good number of impressions from all available impressions in the market. If it’s on the lower side, say closer or lesser than 50%, it means you are not covering the market and you need to improve impressions share.
  2. Search Exact Match IS: is the same as search impressions share, but here focus is on exact match keywords. It considers how exact match keywords are covering impressions compared to competitors.
  3. Search Lost IS (Rank): tells you % of impressions you are missing due to lost ad rank. If it’s on the higher side, you need to improve ad rank by working on bids and also work on improving the quality score of keywords.
  4. Search Lost IS (budget): tells you % of impressions missed due to budget of the campaigns. If it’s on the higher side, you need to raise your budget.
  5. Display Impression Share, Display IS (Rank), Display IS (budget): all three work the same way as explained for Search Network, but this focuses on Display Network impressions instead of Search Network.
  6. Relative CTR: tells you how your display ads are performing compared to other ads showing on the same placement. This metric is used to determine Google Display Network ad performance. If relative CTR is on the higher side, your ads are performing better compared to other ads. Higher is better!

Here’s where to find Impression Share metrics:

  • Auction Insights Report: This tells you-
  1. % of impression share you received among available impressions
  2. Average position you ad received against other ads
  3. Overlap rate tells you how another advertiser’s ad received impression compared to your ad for the same auction.
  4. Position above rate tells you how often another advertiser’s ads have shown in a higher position than your ad for the same auction.
  5. Top of page rate tells you how often your ad has shown on the top of the page.
  6. Outranking share tells you how often your ads have shown in a higher position than another advertiser’s ad for the same auction.

Here’s where to find the Auction Insight report:

  • Device Report: We have noticed major increments in mobile usage and the number of searches for mobile devices. Now it is very important to measure and compare performance for mobile and computers. You can check the device performance report and you can take strategic decisions based on performance on mobile, computers and tablets. You are allowed to make bid adjustment for all three devices individually. If you want to stop showing ads on any particular device, you can adjust bid by -100%.

Here’s where to find device stats:

Summary

Once your AdWords accounts have accrued good statistics, you should run the reports explained above. You will be able to make quick decisions which will help you improve performance and you will able to find out what is working and what is not.

What Makes People Click?

Whatever your business objectives, the primary objective of any ad campaign is to have brand visibility and get people to your Landing page. You may argue that visibility depends on budget, but whatever your budget is, getting the right kind of visibility and audience should be your priority.

Ads are a brand’s first touch point with a potential buyer and hence they should be used effectively. They serve 2 primary objectives:

  1. Attract potential customers with the right messaging at the right time
  2. Dissuade the wrong audience from clicking on ads

Here are a few things you could try to write more effective ad copies:

    1. Create tightly themed ad groups so that your ads are always relevant – This is one of the golden rules of campaign structuring and when done effectively, it can lead to a well thought out & planned structure. By clubbing closely related keywords together in an ad group, you ensure that your ad copy is too!
    2. Add as many relevant ad extensions as you can. But use them wisely – Ad extensions give users more reasons to click your ads. Use of extensions gives your ad added credibility with AdWords, which in turn means a better QS. Use sitelinks to be able to showcase different facets of your business & deep link to specific internal pages for added relevancy. If your objective is to drive online sales, adding location extensions may not help, but maybe a call out extension or a structured snippet giving more product information or USP’s to a potential buyer could help him convert sooner.
    3. Add your primary objective (CTA) and offers in your headline – This is one of the most important aspects of ad copy writing. Use of strong call-to-action helps direct your customer to the conversion funnel. Also, highlighting your product offers in the headline help attract and tip over the potential customers sitting on the fence. CTAs can also help dissuade top of the funnel consumers from simply clicking on your ads to find out more about the product/service instead of actually making a conversion.
    4. Check competitor ads for messaging changes – a lot of your sales depend on what your competitors are offering. Keep a regular check on your competition ads. In order to achieve the competitive edge, they may change a product offering or rates or simply change the overall ad messaging.
    5. Use the Display URL to add primary keywords to build relevance – the display URL should be used to help consumers understand where they will be taken once they click on your ad. If someone searches for Running Shoes for example, they expect to be taken to a page not with the full inventory of shoes but with shoes specifically meant for running. Doing this can also help the user take that decision to click on your ad faster. For example, for the keyword Running Shoes, example.com/SportsShoes may have a better CTR than example.com/RunningShoes.
    6. Generate a sense of Urgency with simple automated count down timers – This is a great way of utilizing the automation that Google lets you incorporate within your account. Addition of countdown timers is a very simple & easy way of building the sense of urgency for your customers. Clubbed with an offer, this can specially work extremely well for all e-commerce accounts across business verticals.
    7. Maintain/improve ad positions basis performance of keywords – It is not essential that all ads across accounts would always perform best at top positions. Users are now looking at ad content and select the most relevant result to their search term. Being at top positions does not guarantee a higher CTR. Test different ad positions and try and maintain the most optimal one for your ad group.
    8. The new ETAs from Google have an increased character limit to explore. The ads now have 2 headlines of 30 characters each & an 80 character description line. Utilize these character limits to the fullest. Use Special symbols like ™ or ® to showcase official sites. This improves user trust.
    9. Test! While all of the methods listed work across most of the accounts – they don’t always. Try out different variations of your text ads to see which perform best for your business. Try teasing a human mind (which can be easily manipulated!) with variations like “10% off” vs “$XX off”.

Summary

Whatever platform you may be advertising on, follow these tips to help you create effective ads that will assist you to bring in the right kind of audiences to your website.

How Can I Learn Google Analytics When I Don’t Have Access To A Functioning Google Analytics Account?

Easy! Back in August of 2016, Google Analytics released a demo account to help people learn and train on the Google Analytics application. The Demo Account is populated with real data from the e-commerce Google Merchandise Store and will include Google Analytics configurations that marketers typically set up in their own accounts, including Goals and Enhanced E-commerce. Users have Read & Analyze access to generate custom reports, alerts and annotations.

To model best practices in Google Analytics set up, Google has set up three views: a Master View, a Test View and a Raw Data View. The Master View or Main View is where you would actually look at the data for business reporting functions. The Test View is used for testing new treatments of data, filters, and special customizations, because you would not want any customizations to impact your business data until you were ready roll it out. In addition, the testing view can be used by your staging server, so you can monitor and QA your GA implementation before you roll out any platform changes. Finally, the raw data view just gives you a set of your raw data should anything happen.

It can be a helpful tool to use along with studying for your GAIQ exam via the iPassExam study course. To sign up for the demo account, you must have a Google account.

The demo account includes the following types of data:

  • Traffic source data including organic traffic, paid search traffic, display traffic, etc.
  • Content data which chronicles the actions of the user on the web site. It includes the URLs of pages that visitors look at, how they interact with content, etc.
  • Transactional data which includes transactions that occur on the Google Merchandise Store website.
    The account also has destination URL, time on site and smart goals set up.

Real-time Reporting

Real-time reporting is enabled in the demo account so you can see the Google Merchandise Store’s activity as it happens.

Enhanced ecommerce is also set up so you can see the shopping behavior and checkout behavior reports:

There are some reports that are not enabled. These are:

  • Audience>Custom>Custom Variables & User Defined Reports
  • Audience>Benchmarking>Channels, Location & Devices
  • Acquisition>Adwords>Display Targeting, Video Campaigns & Shopping
  • Acquisition>Social> Plugins
  • Behavior>Site Speed>User Timings
  • Obviously, the Publisher>Publisher Pages & Publisher Referrer Reports are not set up because this is profile was built on their ecommerce site which sells their merchandise.
  • Behavior>Experiments

The Master View also has some common filters set up like search and replace and Include Hostname. There are also some calculated metrics you can examine, which is also very helpful. There are some segments set up; annotations and shared assets.

The following is not set up in the view administration area:

  • Attribution Models
  • Custom Channel Groupings
  • Custom Alerts
  • Scheduled Emails
  • Shortcuts

Demo Property Set Up:

In the Tracking Info section the Sessions Settings, the User Id, Organic Search Sources and Search Term Exclusion are not set up. The demo property set up is linked to Adwords and Search Console and it is not linked to any other products like Adsense, Ad Exchange, BigQuery, Double Click Bid Manager, DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Search, Google Play and Postbacks. Obviously, permissions are not set up for you to access the Audience Definitions area but they do have some custom dimensions set up and a data import feed.

Tips on using the Demo Account with the iPassExam Google Analytics studying resource:

  • Keep the demo account open when you are working through the test prep questions.
  • Try to answer the question yourself first because you will only have 90 minutes for the test when you take it, so you want try to answer the question without having to look at the demo account or any other resource.
  • While it’s great to help you answer questions about the reporting interface, the Google’s help and developer documentation will be the best place to get all the detail you need on all the in-depth topics like configuration, cookies and other areas.

Summary

Keep in mind, the demo account has some limitations. You must have a Google account to sign up for the demo GA account. The demo account cannot be used with the Google reporting API. The link to sign up for the demo account is located in the Google help file on the demo account.

Your iPassExam GA prep course and access to the Google Analytics demo account should give you everything you need to ace that exam! Happy studying!

Essential Watching – The Google Mobile Exam Hangout

On the Friday 14th August, Google live streamed a Mobile exam refresher hangout, which was hosted by former Googler Fred Vallaeys. If you are planning to take the Mobile exam soon, then this hangout is essential watching, as it is packed full of information that you should know before jumping in. Fred discusses many topics featured in questions on the exam and there’s also a Q & A session after the presentation with helpful hints and clarification on some key points.

There were so many topics covered in the hangout, here is a brief summary of what to expect when watching:

  • An explanation of behaviors when using smart phones and mobile devices vs desktop.
  • The importance of giving users a good mobile experience and how that can be achieved through mobile site design.
  • What can be achieved through apps, including how to monetise apps and boost app engagement.
  • The advertising channels where your AdWords ads can appear, including Search, Display, YouTube and AdMob.
  • What can be achieved through the use of mobile ads, and an explanation of ad extensions that can be used including location, app, sitelink and call only extensions.
  • An explanation of the ad types that can be used to promote apps, including app install ads, app engagement ads etc.
  • Information about the ‘lightbox’ ad format and how it works depending on whether it is viewed on mobile or desktop.
  • Information about video ad formats including TrueView ad formats and the mobile video masthead.
  • Deep links, including an explanation of the different types of deep links available and what can be achieved.
  • Targeting methods, including remarketing from your apps.
  • Information about bidding strategies, including automatic bidding, flexible bid strategies and conversion optimizer.
  • Mobile bid adjustments and how to calculate a mobile bid modifier.
  • Information about measuring the effectiveness of a mobile campaign, including different conversion types.
  • Google analytics set up and requirements.
  • App analytic reports including the mobile app overwiew report and the mobile app behaviour report etc.
  • In app conversion tracking methods including SDK, Codeless, server to server and Install feedback.
  • An explanation and benefits of upgraded URL’s.
  • Counting calls as conversions, including the use of Google forwarding numbers and feature availability.
  • Terms used in the exam questions that you should be aware of, eg ‘showrooming’, ‘SDK’, ‘touch targets’, ‘auto exclusions’, ‘viewable impressions’ etc .

The exam is crammed full of questions about these topics, and you will be able to identify some of the scenarios used in this hangout as a base for the actual exam questions, so it’s really worth paying attention to all of the details.

Refresher Hangout: Mobile Advanced Exam