In 2012, Google tapped Huge to consolidate, reorganize and redesign all of its websites housing information for the search giant’s advertising customers under a unified site. Google had always been a major contributor to the conversation around digital marketing, but its thought leadership was spread over 25 different sites—including Think Insights, Think Quarterly and many others. So Huge worked with Google to launch a primary destination for businesses, Think with Google.
The content hub provides an engine of insights for the industry, offering perspectives from Google and other industry leaders, consumer behavior data from proprietary Google tools, and ground-breaking research. User needs, business goals, and organizational necessities were our priorities. To address all three, deep collaboration was necessary. At Huge, we hosted daily scrum meetings, biweekly site demos, and frequent workshops to construct the best solution as efficiently as possible. And we worked side by side with Google in offices across the country.
A world of content under one site.
With so much varying content to work with, a strong content strategy was essential to the project’s success. After inventorying all the sites, Huge prioritized and recategorized content for the unified Think with Google experience, comprising thousands of pieces of content. Our content strategists worked closely with our user experience team to determine the optimal ways for users to access the content they’re looking for, as well as how to surface the most relevant and enticing content to more casual visitors.
Together, Huge and Google developed The Creative Sandbox, which showcases sample marketing campaigns that users can filter by the agency or brand behind them, as well as “experiments” that bring a data-driven approach to surfacing creative that really works. Advertisers can submit their own success stories, building an engaged community of industry professionals.
Think with Google also provides Planning Tools to present data in ways that are customizable across industries and platforms. Products allows users to delve deeper into seven of Google’s tools that are used most often by marketers far and wide. We’ve built a YouTube leaderboard that showcases a data-driven list of top-performing video creative, adding dynamic content and search functionality. As it turns out, the ads people choose challenge the notion of a traditional 30-second spot, and all of them drive measurable engagement.
The right fit for integration.
Huge also provided start-to-finish tech development, an effort which involved a complex integration with Google’s proprietary CMS and responsive design. Working closely with Google’s engineers, marketers, and tech team, we extended the site by using Google’s Custom Search to pull in dynamic content. Later, we undertook a large-scale technical migration of the entire site to the Google App Engine. By integrating the site with Google Analytics, we created data-driven modules and enabled performance measurement and optimization.
The site has seen a 50% year-over-year increase in engaged visits, and a 300% increase in sharing activity, all of which translate into measurable business opportunities for Google. Think with Google has also been met with critical praise, winning two Webby Awards in 2015, including the People’s Voice Awards for Business Products and Services, and two Gold prizes at the OMMA Content Marketing Awards in 2014, including “Best Overall Design of Website Content.”
Since launch, we’ve continued the partnership, making day-to-day publishing updates and adding new features and functionality. In 2015, we relaunched Think with Google with an entirely redesigned front end to adhere to Google’s Material Design. This relaunch, which was rolled out to Latin America, Canada and Australia, also included the development of a robust behavior-driven development (BDD) framework and automation test suite, and a host of platform tools including a bespoke publishing platform.
Additionally, we’ve worked with Google to roll out an internationalized newsletter opt-in site to allow marketers in 10+ new locales to sign up for Google’s marketing content. The form was built using Google’s Polymer framework, just as soon as it was officially released.
The focus of our work on Think with Google remains on being the daily destination for marketers—but as TwG evolves, we aim to push data closer to the center of the content to provide even more robust utility for digital marketing.