Separating Search And Display Campaigns

Separating Search And Display Campaigns

The search network and the display network provide great opportunities for businesses. The search network allows you to show up when people are actively looking for you at the time. Presenting a solution when someone is searching is often a great converter for lead generation and e-commerce businesses alike. The display network allows you to advertise your business to people based on their interests or what they’re looking at. Not only is this great exposure, but when an ad is useful and relevant, it can be a great return as well. That being said, these two networks should not be combined into one campaign. The way they target people is completely different and hence, optimisation will be different. Separating search and display campaigns is extremely important and could save you a lot of time and money.

Different Behaviour, Different Campaigns

The main reason you should separate your search and display campaigns is because they’re targeting consumers based on two very different behaviours. With search campaigns, these are people who are looking for you at the time. Display, however, is trying to capture the attention of someone whilst they’re doing something else. This might not seem like such a big deal, but those two types of people will need different ads. Your ads will also depend on where it appears, too. One message might be captivating on search, but against the jumble of a web page, it might fail on a display ad. Similarly, bidding will be very different. Your conversion rates might be lower on display which means that your bids will need to be lower. Traditionally, display campaigns have a cheaper CPC than search. By combining search and display campaigns, you lose the ability to control the very important variables that could influence two very different customer behaviours.

Campaign Settings

Knowing whether or not you’ve combined your search and display campaigns can be tricky, particularly with all the recent changes to the Google Ads platform. When you’re adding a campaign, the options might seem fairly straightforward;

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

If you just want a search campaign, just click search right? Well yes and no, Google is going to try really hard to get you to include display.

After selecting your objective (if you have one) you’ll eventually come to a screen which gives you the network options;

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

This is Google’s default setting, and as you can see, they’re combining search a display networks in the one campaign. In order to make sure you separate search and display, you’ll need to untick that “Display Network” option if you’re going for search. It should be one or the other, not both.

If you’re working in Google Ads Editor, then the same problem is there too. Even when you select a Search campaign, Google by default will include the display network.

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

Make sure you turn it off! Change “Include Display Network” to Disabled.

What’s the true cost?

If you don’t separate search and display campaigns, it’s easy to forget what impact your display campaigns might have on overall costs and metrics. You won’t have as many options when it comes to optimisation. A lack of optimisation means wasted spend.

It’s not always the case that you’ll be tipping a fortune down the drain by doing this, but often it’s the lack of optimisation on the display network that causes the most problems. If you have combined search and display together, you can see their stats separately by going to Filter and then choosing Network (with search partners);

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

From there, you can see how things truly break down. In this example, the search network was getting all the conversions, while the display network wasn’t adding much value.

Separating Search & Display - Vine Street Digital

Each network has its own merits, its own benefits and can be tailored for particular business goals. It’s those unique opportunities that mean they’re always better when they’re treated separately.

If you’re not sure if your network targeting is correct, or you’d like to learn more about search vs display network advertising, feel free to get in touch to learn more!

Written by Gemma Renton

Positive Keyword Conflicts & Ad Group Negatives

Positive Keyword Conflicts & Ad Group Negatives

Variety is good, but watch for conflict!

Keywords are a fundamental aspect of Google Ads and pay-per-click marketing. When creating a campaign, it’s important to get a good variety of keywords to target as many relevant users as possible.

When you get down to the very fine optimisation of a campaign, often there are only very small differences between your different sets of keywords and ad groups. For example, if you were selling Rugs in Brisbane, one of your ad groups might include the term “Rugs For Sale” while another ad groups might contain the term “Rugs For Sale In Brisbane”.

Now, depending on what keyword match type you’re using, this might trigger a keyword conflict. If you’re using the “Phrase” or “Broad” match types, then it’s likely that someone typing in “Rugs For Sale In Brisbane” into Google will trigger terms in each of your ad groups, as “Rugs For Sale” is present in both.

Isn’t it better to show for more?

While it might seem like a good idea to cover all your bases and try to get the majority of the impression share, having keyword conflicts in your account can do a lot more harm than good. If both of these keywords are available to show, it essentially starts an in-house bidding war between your two keywords to see which one should show. This can cause the CPC of these keywords to jump up and can cost you a lot of excess money that you didn’t need to spend to land that ad position.

It can also really hurt the performance of a particular ad group containing the conflicted term. If one of the terms has a higher bid, it’s likely that the other keyword term won’t show as often. As a result, it will have lower visibility and experience less traffic.

Utilise negative keywords

The best way to combat keyword conflicts is by using negative keywords. On Google Ads, negative keywords can be set at a campaign level, or ad group level. By setting negative keywords at an ad group level, you can direct traffic to the ad group with the right keyword you want to show for a particular term.

Going back to our example, if you had the same scenario, but this time the ad group containing the keyword “Rugs For Sale” had the negative keyword “Brisbane” on the ad group, then the term “Rugs For Sale Brisbane” wouldn’t be eligible to show. That way, the search would automatically go to the “Rugs For Sale Brisbane” ad group.

Small tweaks like this can make a huge difference in an account. If you’re running a large account with hundreds of keywords, then it’s even more important to make sure that you’re not overspending and are getting the best performance out of your keywords.

Written by Lachlan Ward

Working From Home – Reflections On The First 18 Months

Working From Home – Reflections On The First 18 Months

Having a job where I can work from home is like a dream come true for me. In the past few years, I’ve moved countries three times (from Australia to UK, back to Australia, back to UK again). It’s stressful trying to manage finances whilst trying to find a job in a new city. I’ve also learnt, across various jobs, that working full-time in offices does not pan out well for me, health-wise. No matter how many yoga classes I go to and good lunches and eat and sleep that I get, it inevitably leads to me feeling trapped and suffocated.

So, you can imagine my relief and gratitude when I became a part of the team at Vine Street Digital! It’s been about 18 months now, which is a great time for some reflecting on how my experience has been. Here’s some of the things I’ve noticed.

Sudden Loss of Structure

The first thing I can remember feeling was a sense of… giddiness. It was thoroughly exciting to be able to work from home, but also so new and strange that I felt a bit disoriented. I had all these thoughts running around in my head,  like “You mean I don’t HAVE to get dressed? Or leave the house?!” Disclaimer: please, do both of these things, at least sometimes!

I had gained a new ability: to choose when and where to work. I didn’t really know what to do, or where to go! I’m someone who tends to work better with good habits and routines set in place, yet there I was without a routine. As much as I’ve struggled with commuting to real-life offices, it at least gave me a sense of structure.

But With That Loss, Came Freedom!

Once I got into the flow of things, I realised what an amazing opportunity it was to be working remotely. I could finally make my work fit my life for once, instead of trying to fit my life around work.

I can choose my work times to fit my natural schedule as much as possible. Depending on where I live at the time, I’m productive at different times of the day. In Australia, I find I’m often more productive and focused in the morning, especially if I wake up earlier and get myself ready by 7am. Sometimes half of my work day is done before 11am! But in England, I’m more productive at night time.

I can take lunch breaks at times that suit my weird eating habits, and if I need to go to an appointment it’s okay to do that too. Even better, if I find that I am having trouble focusing, I am able to step away for a bit to clear my head. Sometimes that means I’ll go outside for a walk – get some fresh air and the blood pumping!

Oh, and the best thing of all? I can pick what music gets played, and no one complains!

Feeling Connected to the Team

For me, the hardest thing about working from home is that I’m by myself. I really value connection, so having good relationships helps me to be happy. It’s important to me that I feel I fit in with the team. As an introvert, I need time to chill out and look after myself, which is time that I certainly get working from home. But I still want to feel like I’m part of the group.

So, we keep in contact regularly. Especially in the beginning, Gemma (the boss!) and I were talking every day over Skype, as she was training me up for the role. Once I achieved an independence in my ability to do most tasks, we didn’t need to talk every day as I worked. However, we usually check in every couple of days: say hello, have a quick catchup about our weekends, and so on. We’ve swapped to using Slack instead of Skype now, and we’ll have group chats with other staff members too.

Working from home does feel very different to the days of working together in a physical location where you could just turn to the person next to you and start chatting face-to-face. Sometimes I really miss having my workmates around me. But Gemma has suggested I could try going to a co-working space on occasion, once I’ve settled into my new life over in the UK!

Looking After Myself

Body

Working at a computer all day puts a lot of strain on the body. I’ve been told by multiple professionals (physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, the list goes on) that I should get up and stretch every so often. Setting a timer is a good way to remind myself of that! Do some stretching, go for a little walk, just move your body. Sometimes, I even go to do my grocery shopping! No more having to find time on the weekend when it’s supermarket rush hour (shudder).

I’ll even split up my work day but going out to grab some lunch, or meet a friend for a few hours (in which case I’ll do some work in the evening instead of the afternoon, for example). Working from home means you’ve got the freedom to do that. Plenty of office-workers can pop out and have lunch or coffee with friends too, of course. It’s just easier when your hours are flexible!

Also, for someone working remotely, giving myself the option to go outside and see people is something that helps not just my body, but my mind as well. It’s too easy to get stuck in my little work cave at home and not go outside… tsk tsk.

Mind

Sometimes I find it hard to separate my home life from my work life. It’s especially difficult as there’s not a lot of room where I live, so my work desk is located in the same room where I sleep. One day, this will change! Fingers crossed for a lottery win to build a home office, thanks.

Not only is it the desk location, but it’s the computer too. All of my paid work is done from the same laptop as my regular internet and social activities. I wouldn’t mind some further separation here! Gemma achieves this separation by using different users on her computer. So, instead of just switching Chrome browser profiles like I do, she actually logs in and out of her work mode versus her life mode. I might give that a go!

Oh, and one other thing. I actually get dressed before I start work in the morning. I know some people who even give themselves a ‘uniform’ or wear something reasonably business-like when they work from home, but I prefer to be more comfortable than that. My rule is that I can wear anything, even a baggy shirt and leggings, as long as it’s not what I slept in! Getting dressed helps get my mind ready, that it’s work time now!

Opportunities Gained By Working From Home

Honestly, the freedom is the most amazing thing! The flexibility of not only time, but location as well, feels like such a gift. I’m able to take my laptop with me anywhere, and as long as I have an internet connection I am good to go! I went on a trip to the UK in 2017 for five weeks, and was able to do some work in-between my travel times. In March 2018, I actually moved to England, and for the first time moving to a new city I didn’t have to worry about finding work upon arrival! Such a relief! I can now go wherever I want – sweet, sweet freedom.

Working from home presents so many amazing opportunities to go to different places and meet different people. I’ve been finding out more about how I best operate, and what makes me tick. It’s something I’m incredibly grateful for. I don’t think I’ll ever give it up!

Written by Chelsea Zanki

Hits, Sessions, and Users in Google Analytics

Hits, Sessions & Users in Google Analytics

Hits

Sometimes people will use the term “hit” to signify when someone has visited their page. However, in Google Analytics, it’s more about the actions that people take on a page. Google Analytics counts hits as “interactions”, which sends data to Analytics and is recorded as a user activity.

Some hit types can include:

  • Page (e.g. when a page is loaded on a website, or even inside a mobile application)
  • Event (e.g. when a user clicks play on a video)
  • Ecommerce (e.g. making a purchase online)
  • Social Interaction (e.g. clicking an embedded “Like” or “Retweet” button)

These hit types are sent to Analytics via a special tracking code, rather than the regular Google Analytics tracking code. So a regular pageview in Google Analytics will not necessarily be counted the same as a pageview that is a hit. Hits are specifically set up to include specific interactions that you want to capture.

Also note that hits in Google Analytics are not the same as hits in web server jargon. Those kinds are typically requests for files from a web server (such as a stylesheet, a HTML page, an image, and so on).

Sessions (previously known as Visits)

A session typically refers to a group of interactions that are made on your website, during a visit from a user, within a certain time frame.

The interactions can include those listed above in Hits, and the session can last until the user has been inactive for 30 minutes (by default, but you can adjust this time if you wish). If the user returns after this period is up, a new session will be started. But if they leave the site and return within 30 minutes, any activity there be considered part of the original session.

So, one user can create multiple sessions. Those sessions might be on the same day, or over a longer period of time (weeks, months). The sessions can expire or end due to a number of reasons, including from the 30 minutes of inactivity, or at midnight for the start of a new day.

If a user has come via a campaign, but leaves and returns via another, that’s again a new session. Whenever the source changes, the session changes, even if it’s still within the 30 minutes of the original session.

Depending on how the URL is tagged, a campaign may create a different session. If you let Google do its autotagging, each ad click generates a unique value and is seen as a new campaign. So, every click creates a new session, even if you’re clicking the same ad.

However, campaigns that have been manually tagged with UTM parameters have the same value. So, even if you click the same ad more than once, it is seen as coming from the same campaign and thus continues the existing session.

Users

A user is, basically, a unit that is recorded when someone visits your website. Users can be categorised in different ways, such as new or returning users. Possibly most confusingly: multiple users can actually be the same physical person. Sometimes there are discrepancies and double-ups.

When a browser loads your website for the first time, it records a new user accessing the site, and typically your browser will save a cookie for tracking. However, if the person clears/deletes their browser cookies, and visits your website again, it will register once more as a new user. And of course, if they use a different device or browser (such as Safari instead of Google Chrome), that’s another new user.

Users can also be counted in multiple ways depending on the source. So, if they first came to your website organically through a search on Google, they’re recorded as a new user. But if they later return to your website through a paid campaign ad instead, they’re new again!

If you visit a website within a certain time period, via the same browser, and the same method, you might count as a returning user.

We hope that helped! Let us know if you have any questions.

Written by Chelsea Zanki

What is Google Ads and What Does It Do?

What is Google Ads and What Does It Do?

Google is by far the leading search engine around the world, holding onto more than 90% of the market share of search engines.

It is used by more than a billion people around the world and it is used daily. So, with so many opportunities to reach people it makes so much sense to advertise on this platform. It has the power to transform your business: to reach hundreds, thousands, millions of people; and direct your customers to exactly where you want them to go.

That’s where Google Ads comes in. But it requires a bit of savvy management. You can see some great return on investments if you do it well. However, you could be throwing thousands down the drain with no benefit if it’s not done correctly!

What is Google Ads?

In a nutshell, Google Ads is an advertising service that generates ads in Google’s search engine.

When you search for a specific term, for example, ‘trailer repairs’, a list of results will come up for the term. The results are often a mix of “organic” results, and “paid” results. If you look at the results on the top and bottom of the page, you may notice that they are usually the paid ads.

Essentially, Google is matching a user’s search query to a specific keyword that you’ve nominated in your Google Ads account. You link Ads to those keywords to be displayed when a user searches for them. If all goes well, your Ad appears above or below the organic Google search results. Of course, where it’s placed on the page depends on a few things…

The Ads Auction

Those keywords that you want your ads to show for aren’t free, unfortunately! You can choose how much you want to “bid” on each keyword in what’s known as the “auction”. Google will take your maximum bid amount into consideration when pitting your keywords against other competitors. Many businesses will be competing to use the same keywords and will be trying to get to the top of the first page of results. In addition to the amount that you’ve set as your maximum bid, other factors will determine your ads position in the search results. When you get a winning combination, Google will choose one of your keywords that it deems most relevant to the search result, and show an ad that you’ve associated with those keywords.

Wrapping Up

Google Ads is by far the most popular paid search platform used by PPC professionals. However, there are a number of secondary and lesser known platforms that are available as well. SEM can be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. There’s a common misconception that you have to be working with a large budget in order to see results – but it simply isn’t true! With the correct targeting, bids, and advertisements, you can ensure that you put yourself in front of potential customers when they’re looking for you.

Written by Oliver Clark

Tips For Learning Google Ads

Tips For Learning Google Ads

When I first began learning Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords), it was almost like cramming for an exam, or doing an assignment at 3am the day it’s due. There was an overwhelming amount of information that I had to learn at once, and it was difficult to comprehend it all. Fortunately, I had help from friends who worked in the industry. They helped me figure out the basics, and from there I was able to find my way.

I remember creating a dummy Ads account, familiarising myself with the layout, and spending time understanding what all the buttons and metrics meant. Once I got more familiar, I started to come up with hypothetical problems in fake accounts that I would try to solve, based on my knowledge of how Google Ads worked. I’d then check my solutions against all my source material to see if I was right.

As far as my learning material goes, there are a lot of websites and information out there that give really simple and easy to follow advice about starting and understanding Ads.

Learning Resources

One of the best resources I used was WordStream. Founder Larry Kim is a fantastic mind in the world of Google Ads. He provides a series of articles called PPC University, designed to give you basic knowledge for Google Ads and Pay-Per-Click advertising. Even better – it’s free!

PPC University - Learning Ads

Another amazing website I used was Moz. Moz is a bit more advanced and requires some basic understanding of Ads already. The articles on there are really well written. They cover important topics about all aspects of an Ads account, from specific device use, to ad copy messaging.

PPC - Learning Ads

Google Ads Learning & Support

Of course, probably the number one source of information for Ads would be Google themselves. Google have pages upon pages of information which covers every single aspect of an Ads account. Even to this day, Google’s articles are still my go-to source of information. I use them to find solutions to problems, or general information about Ads.

Learning & Support - Learning Ads

We try to learn everything we can about Ads and PPC to make us better at what we do. And from a client perspective, learning the basics can help you understand what’s happening in your account. It can even give you a better perspective of how Ads can help grow your business.

Let us know if there’s anything we can help you with!

Written by Lachlan Ward.

What Makes A Good PPC Report?

What Makes A Good PPC Report?

An important part of running PPC (Pay Per Click) campaigns is a good PPC report. You need to know if your PPC campaigns are on- or off-track, and understand what the track is in the first place. There’s no denying that PPC reports can be full of technical jargon and metrics. However, a truly great PPC report should come with context and lead to further insights.

Good PPC reports are also great for keeping your agency accountable, and to see if they’re really doing the job you’re paying for. So what makes a good PPC report? Here are some critical features your PPC reports should have.

A Good PPC Report is Goal-Focused

It should be pretty clear what you’re trying to achieve with your PPC campaigns. A good PPC report should tell you whether or not you’re hitting your goals. Goals differ between businesses, and it’s common for a business to have multiple goals with their PPC campaigns. Now when I say “goals”, I don’t mean broad things like “increase awareness” or “make more sales”. I mean clear, measurable things.

Some good examples are:

  • “keep the cost per conversion under $50″
  • “achieve x number of leads per $x spent”
  • “an ROAS above 200%”

A good PPC report will show you if those goals were achieved in the reporting time frame. Ideally, it should also be clear how well you managed to achieve those goals; and if you didn’t achieve them, how far off were you? Either way, when you open that huge list of metrics, the first thing you should be able to tell is “did it work?”

Metrics and numbers are nice, but they need to be put in context

There’s no doubt you’ll see some core metrics like Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Average Position, Impression Share, and so on. That’s all very nice, but these metrics and numbers need to be given a context. It’s good to have the report explain why things are the way they are. If your CTR went down, what does that mean? Why might it have gone down? Was it necessarily a bad thing? Giving context and an explanation of changes that were made, and how they affected your numbers, not only keeps your PPC manager accountable, but it can give you some useful insights.

The numbers you see are a reflection of how well your lead funnel is set up, how refined your audience or keywords are, the effectiveness of your messaging, and the optimisation of your website. If you understand your metrics more than just “it went up” or “it went down”, then you can truly assess your business, who you need to reach, and how best to reach them.

Comparing your numbers over time

A good PPC report should show you your numbers in relation to your goals, but also show you how things have changed over time. If you receive a PPC report each month, it’s great to see how things have changed in comparison to last month. I’m also a big fan of historical tables showing you month-to-month stats going back a year or two. This allows you to see if any trends are apparent, and if the results you’re seeing this month might be impacted by the time of year. Comparing how you did this month to how you did last month, or this time last year, is just another way you can put things in context. Plus, it can often be a great feeling to see just how far your PPC campaigns have come, so why not celebrate with every report?

What’s a report without recommendations?

After you’ve seen whether your PPC campaigns have reached their goals, why the numbers look like they do, and how you’ve tracked over time, the big question is – what next? Any good PPC report will come with a recommendation of what the plan is going forward. That way, you and your PPC manager will be on the same page of what the next steps need to be and what actions need to be taken.

Not sure if you’re getting a good PPC report?

Here’s what to do next

If you’re looking at a PPC report and you’re not sure what you’re seeing, you’re not alone. Many business owners receive documents full of metrics, numbers and graphs and find them a bit meaningless. Here’s  few things you can do as a business owner to make your PPC reports more useful;

  1. Ask your PPC manager for a written summary of the report so that you can gain context on why things are the way they are.
  2. If you don’t know what metrics mean, don’t be afraid to ask! There are no stupid questions when it comes to PPC!
  3. Make sure you have clear and measurable goals for your PPC campaigns, and make sure your PPC manager knows what they are.
  4. If you get reports on a regular basis, don’t hesitate to ask for additional ones that cover longer periods of time. For example, you might want to see an annual or quarterly report.

If you’re still not sure if your reports are providing you with the information you need, feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to provide a second opinion and provide reports that will help you move your PPC campaigns forward.

Written by Gemma Renton

Music While We Work

Music While We Work

Music plays a huge part in our lives! Here our staff talk through the kind of music they listen to while working.

Chelsea

The music I listen to varies a lot depending on both my mood and what kind of tasks I need to get done.

When I’m writing, I find it helps to not have any lyrics in the music. I’ve long been a fan of instrumental music from video games (such as Final Fantasy X), and have also been exploring Spotify playlists based on mood/purpose to discover more.

On the other end of the scale, if I’m doing some tasks that might be a bit repetitive and methodical, I pick something that gives me more energy. Knife Party is a bit of a guilty pleasure for this!

I also love a good rain/weather soundscape! Some years ago I discovered the website called “Rainy Mood”. The website has a looping rain soundtrack which is great on its own, but they also have a great collection of music (through embedded YouTube videos) to add to the rain. It’s helped me discover even more music that I like to listen to!

When I want some more control and variation for soundscapes, I use Rain Rain App on my phone. They let you pick up to three different sounds to put into a mix at one time. For example: a thunderstorm, a tumble dryer, and a washing machine, for some “rainy day at home” vibes. You can change the volume levels of each one, and in a recent update they’ve included the ability to oscillate the sounds!

Gemma

I enjoy a pretty wide range of music and have quite varied playlists. My playlists are mostly sorted by the decade the songs were released;

2010s | 2000s | 1990s | 1980s | 1970s | 1960s | 1950s | 1940s

I’m a 90s kid so there’s obviously heavy nostalgia when it comes to the 90s, 00s & even 10s. My parents are to blame for a lot of the music prior to the 90s. My father is generally into music from the 60s and 70s, while my mother played what she refers to as her “Daggy Dance List” which is probably responsible for my love of 80s music. Having previously done tap dancing and singing, I have a soft spot for Big Band Jazz as well. This all started a love of exploring music from the past. But, occasionally I’ll be won over by something more recent.

When I’m working, I like to listen to music that makes me happy. A song can be happy because it reminds me of a time, place, or person that makes me happy. Or maybe because it’s upbeat, or it’s just a plain old good song. So, even though I’ll sometimes dip into a decade while I work, usually my go-to playlist is my “Favourites“.

Many people choose to play music to help them focus or concentrate, but that’s not really what music is about for me. Music influences your mood, brings back memories, and brings me a lot of joy. I don’t like playing music that makes it sound like I’m in a hotel lobby, because that doesn’t make me concentrate! I always play music that makes me happy. After all, when I’m happy I’m more productive.

Lachlan

I always have some sort of noise while I’m working. 99% of the time it’s music, but sometimes it’s just having the TV on in the background. My favourite music to listen to while working is something that’s got a nice beat and isn’t too engaging, otherwise I find myself distracted.

Mostly I listen to Chillstep or different styles of Low Fi (Jazz, Hip Hop etc) – very melodic and easy to listen to while working. I almost always use Spotify. But sometimes I’ll just have a YouTube playlist on as well. There’s so much variety in these genres that I rarely find myself listening to the same tune more than once, which is nice.

Split Test Strategies – Ad Copy & Audience

Split Test Strategies – Ad Copy & Audience

Split-testing (also known as A/B testing) is considered best practice when it comes to PPC marketing, and even marketing in general. While it might be known by some fancy names or peppered with marketing jargon, the concept is pretty simple. A split test is designed to answer a hypothesis.

Some examples of that hypothesis are:

  • “which message is more appealing?”
  • “which landing page converts better?”
  • “should I get people to call me, or fill out this form?”

Whatever the hypothesis, split testing is designed to test one option against another to see what best serves your goals.

The Digital Marketer’s Lab

If you’re wanting to test something, then it’s time to channel your inner scientist. It’s often not enough to just have two different ads run against each other. You also need to consider the other variables at play. In a good science experiment, you’d often test something against a “control”. You create a situation in which you remove all other factors and variables – so you can isolate the one thing you’re trying to test. Unfortunately, in the marketing game, it’s very hard to put your ad or your landing page in isolation. This means it can be tricky to say with confidence which of your ads has performed better.

An example test

For example, you might be trying to find out whether you should include the price of your product in the ad copy. On one hand, including the price upfront might mean that only people who can afford your product will click. This would likely lead to a better conversion rate, and lower spend on your advertising. On the other hand, including the price upfront might alienate some potential buyers. People might need to see more value communicated to them before they can see the value in the price.

As a result, including the price might mean less sales overall. To test this, you run the ad with the price against an ad without the price. Each ad shows 50% of the time. Seems like a good test, right? It’s a good place to start, but there will be some things you’ll need to consider when performing your test.

How much data is enough data?

First you’ll need to decide how much data you need to make a decision. You’re probably not going to be able to answer your hypothesis with confidence if each ad only receives 5 impressions. Unfortunately there’s no hard and fast rule about how much data you need and it can vary between different campaigns. Some marketers like to get a minimum of 100 users, others prefer for that to be much higher.

When did you collect that data and is it reflective of “normal” behaviour?

You’ll need to consider the length of time to run this test. It might only take you a few days to get all the impressions you want to be able to make a decision, but what if those were only weekend days? Perhaps this behaviour would change if it were run on a Tuesday. Or perhaps the behaviour would change if it were run at a different time of year.

Consumer behaviour can change depending on the time of day, the day of the week, month of the year, or the season. You need only think of Christmas to understand just how drastically behaviours can change. So, if you’re running a test, you need to consider the “when as another variable that could impact your test. You may never know what “normal” behaviour is, but you should take anomalies into consideration.

Is it the test, or the traffic?

The idea behind a simple split test relies on your ad or your landing page being served 50/50. That is, the ad with the price gets 50% of impressions, the ad without the price gets the other 50% of impressions. You might see that the ad with the price is getting the best return on investment, and even the best engagement. It might seem like you have your answer – that ads with the price are best.

However, you need to consider whether it was the ad, or whether it was the traffic that affected the results. All impressions are not created equal, and perhaps the reason the ad with the price did so well is because it was showing up for people typing “buy product” instead of just “product”. Already, the traffic is more qualified, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the priced ad did better. This can be true of other factors as well – not just what people are searching for.

There might be demographic factors like if your audience are:

  • male vs female,
  • millennials vs baby boomers,
  • local vs international,
  • or even just have two different interests.

If you’re running a split test, you need to consider whether the audience had an impact on your test. After all, the price based ads might work well for people typing “buy”, but that might not be true for other searches.

For science!

Split testing is where science meets marketing. Unfortunately marketers don’t have lab coats and controlled environments to perform their tests. Often tests can take a long time, are complicated, and often need to be followed by more tests in the future. It’s for this reason that split testing has become best practice when it comes to PPC marketing, and to marketing in general. So if you’re not trying to test yet – it’s time to get those goggles on and start now!

Written by Gemma Renton

How To Make Your Phone Number Clickable On Your Website

How To Make Your Phone Number Clickable On Your Website

Nowadays so many people are searching for solutions on their mobile phones. If they visit your website, you want to make sure they can contact you as easily as possible! Here’s how you can make it happen.

Get Ready To Code!

Basically, you need to be able to access your website builder. Whether you’re using WordPress, Wix, Unbounce, or something else, you need to be able to edit the page and/or template that you want the phone number to go on. If you don’t have access, ask your site admin (or get them to do this for you).

Your phone number might be presented in different ways. It might just appear as text in a line or a paragraph, or perhaps you’ve got it as a button. Whatever the format, you need to enclose it within a hyperlink.

This is an example here. The green text below is the text that will be visible on your actual website. The blue text, however, is the HTML code that you need to use to create the clickable phone number link.

<a href="callto://+61755552345">+61 (07) 5555 2345</a>

If your phone number is present on your website already, in most cases you can simply replace it with the full link as above. Just replace our example number with yours, including the country and area codes. The green text can be formatted however you prefer! If you wish to remove the country code and the brackets, then go for it! As long as the formatting of the blue text is intact, you should be fine.

A Note On Variations

It’s also possible to do this using “tel” instead of “callto”, as below:

<a href="tel://+61755552345">+61 (07) 5555 2345</a>

The reason you might want to use “callto” is because it can give mobile phone users an option to use a different app such as Skype to make the call.

Desktop Browsers

Depending on the computer someone is using, they might be able to call on their desktop browsers! For example, on an Apple Macbook with FaceTime enabled, you’d be able to click to call the number.

When This Might Not Work…

Be aware that this may not work on all smartphones. It should work on a majority of them (including iPhone and Android devices), but there’s a chance that your customers don’t have a compatible phone.

Some smartphone browsers might even recognise a phone number and make it clickable without you needing to use this code at all. Handy!

We hope that helps! Let us know if you’ve got any questions.

Factors To Consider When Designing & Building Your Landing Page

Landing Page Design Factors

In this day and age, it’s basically a given that our customers have very short attention spans. Various studies are showing that our attention spans are diminishing further and further, from 10 seconds to 8 seconds to 5 seconds. We have 5 seconds for someone to look at our websites and decide if they’re interested in staying or not.

In this article I’ll talk you through some factors to consider when building and designing your landing pages!

Attention Spans & Fast Solutions

You’ve managed to get a customer clicking your ad on Google, Bing, or another advertising platform. Woo! So, now what? Well, in the aforementioned 5 seconds of attention span, you need to make clear:

  • What your landing page is about
  • The problem the customer has, and what your solution is
  • What the visitor should do next/now (what goal do you want them to complete?)

Avoid large blocks of text. It’s rare that someone will actually read it all! Get the benefits of your product/service out as quickly and clearly as you can. Depending on your design, you could do this a few ways. Consider visual aids (such as icons) – they can increase the speed of a customer’s understanding.

You could have:

  • a banner with your main benefit written clearly front-and-centre
  • a three-column design, featuring a different product type or service in each one.
  • a series of icons that each depict a benefit.

Goals Above The Fold

Think about how customers are going to engage with your landing page. What goal do you want them to achieve? Direct them to where you want them to go! Put some form of call-to-action (CTA) for them to complete – and put it above the fold. “Above the fold” is a callback to newspapers. The most important headlines were placed “above the fold” of a newspaper so that they could be seen from the pile of folded-up papers! In terms of websites, it basically means before the user starts scrolling.

So, think about your CTA. If you’re a service-based business (such as a plumber) and you tend to book clients through phone calls, then put your phone number at the top of the website! A commonly-seen location for this is the top-right corner. And for extra points – make it clickable/tappable! We’re seeing increasing amounts of users visiting landing pages on their mobile phones. Make it easy for these users to call you! If phone calls aren’t important for you, maybe put an email address there instead. Or, have a contact form readily available.

Customer Reassurance

Customers want to know they’ve reached the right place. Does the site meet user expectations? Remember, you want your landing page to have as much relevance to the search keywords as possible. This will help your ads ranking, as Google rewards landing pages that provide excellent relevancy. Give customers what they want and what they came there for.

Also consider your use of images, especially above the fold. This can vary a bit depending on your product/service and what you’re selling. Generally, images shouldn’t take up too much space, perhaps unless you’re a photographer and want to show off your best work straight away. They should also have a clear relation to the subject of the page, and ideally convey a sense of emotional or practical benefit for the customer. An example of this is the classic white-toothed smile for a dentist practice. Straight away, that image sells the concept of “being happy, and having beautiful teeth” to the customer.

And don’t forget testimonials! They are a great way to support your business claim and give your customers reassurance.

Wrapping Up

A good website functions well, provides the user with what they’re looking for, and converts those customers for you! Hopefully this article has given you some ideas. Let us know if there’s anything we can help with!

Written by Chelsea Zanki

For further reading on Landing Pages:

What Makes A Good Landing Page written by Gemma.

The Landing Page: Your Online Storefront written by Oliver.

Conversion Points, Hard & Soft Sells

Conversion Points, Hard Sells & Soft Sells

When it comes to advertising, using the right combination of words and phrases can sometimes make or break how successful your ads are. For the most part, it’s important to remain relevant to your business and to give useful information. But what about when it comes to your CTA – your Call-To-Action? Most advertisers will tell you that a CTA should always be in an ad as it encourages the user to interact with your ad. But what should it say?

Everybody loves the word “Free” and a lot of ads will use terms like “Free Quote, Free Consultation, Free Inspection etc” to generate interest and try to influence users to click their ads over competitors. Sometimes in other ads you’ll see terms like “Buy Now or Book Now” which are more direct and straight to the point. These two forms of CTA’s are described as Soft and Hard sells.

Soft Sell

A soft sell is a technique used to generate interest and improve engagement with the user. Users are more likely to engage with a product or brand that offers them something. For example: a free quote or inspection. Soft sells often don’t ask too much from the user – usually something simple like following your brand on Facebook or just signing up for a newsletter.

Hard Sell

A hard sell is a technique that asks a user to perform a specific action. This could include a phrase like “Book Now” or something more direct like specifically asking to purchase the product.

Call-to-action

When it comes to writing CTAs, I’ve often found that using a soft sell performs better. Nowadays, people are more likely to shop around for the best deal they can find. With companies offering quotes or inspections for free, it becomes difficult to persuade someone to use a product that isn’t offering anything except the product itself.

Let us know if there’s anything we can help you with!

Written by Lachlan Ward.

Display and Remarketing Advertising Overview

Display and Remarketing Ads Management

The Google Display Network offers a way for you to connect with your customers even if they’re not directly searching for you and your products/services. It can be a cost-effective way to gain high levels of exposure and to re-engage your website visitors.

Here is an overview of what you can do with display and remarketing!

Advertising on the Google Display Network

Display and Remarketing

Almost 80% of time spent online is spent outside of search. Users are watching videos on YouTube, browsing websites, checking their GMail, and so on. So how do you get your product in their sights when they’re not even looking for you? Use display and remarketing!

Through Google Ads, we are able to set up Remarketing and Display advertising campaigns. They use a variety of audience targeting methods to show your ads to your customers, including the following:

  • demographics
  • location
  • interests
  • placements
  • topics

Display advertising can be used to find new customers who may not have had contact with your brand before. Remarketing is used when targeting a specific audience that has previously interacted with you, who you wish to reconnect with. Audience lists for these remarketing campaigns can be created using data from Google Analytics.

Dynamic Responsive Ads & Image Ads

Responsive Ads are relatively new to the Google Display Network. Google provides the option to use their template ad generator to easily create a range of responsive ads. They allow space for headlines, descriptions, your company name and logo, plus an image of your choosing depending on the size of the ad. The design and layouts are limited to the template that Google provides.

Image Ads can be created and customised for your brand specifically, with much more freedom! It is advised to upload multiple sizes of ads to increase performance of a campaign. These are the five most popular sizes for image ads on the Google Display Network:

  • 300 x 250
  • 728 x 90
  • 160 x 600
  • 320 x 50
  • 300 x 600

Remember to keep your image ads on-brand – use your logo and match the theme (colours & fonts) of your website. Use a button as a quick & easy CTA (Call To Action) to encourage action from your audience.

Custom Image Ads

You have two main choices for custom image ads:

Single-image – this is a great budget option to get your message out there with a custom design
Rotating GIF – this involves creating a set of “slides” for each ad size that will loop endlessly, allowing more options than the single-image ad

There are a few ways to approach these custom ads. We can create numerous designs for you, which can increase differentiation across campaigns, for example if you are aiming for a couple of different target markets with different tastes. Or, we can create a base design where a simple colour or text change occurs across campaigns for greater consistency.

We are able to set up a template if you wish to take control of future variations of the ad yourself. This can be useful if you plan to use the same base layout of the ad and just change the text headlines from time to time. Otherwise we are of course able to continue creating further designs for you!

Chat to us about your requirements and we can make a plan together.

You can also see our Display ads and remarketing ads service page for further information.

Unwinding & Relaxing Around Work

Unwinding & Relaxing Around Work

Working remotely has the awesome benefit of flexibility. Picking our own work hours means we don’t need to try to cram our lives into the standard 9–5 day. We can choose when and how we relax and give ourselves some time away from the computer! Read on for our team’s examples of how they unwind around work.

Oliver’s Experience

Unwinding - Oliver - Vine Street Digital

I call this the rewind, which is that I relax in the morning and then try and do everything at night. On my usual days I’ll get up early, go for a surf, or if the surf’s not working, then a run or gym. Afterwards, I usually like to spend about 30 minutes meditating and stretching to limber my body up. After that I’ll get stuck into whatever I need to do.

Usually I’ll play my instruments in the evenings, compose music, or have a jam with some friends to unwind. Then before bed I’ll read one of the many books on my reading list!

On weekends I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible, seeming as most of my time is spent indoors. I’ll try to be as active as possible: mountain biking, hiking, climbing. Whatever I can do to stay active helps keep my mind relaxed!

 

Gemma’s Experience

Unwind - Gemma - Vine Street Digital

Whenever I unwind I like to do something that turns my brain off or gets me immersed in something other than work.

My go-to is choosing one of my favourite TV shows and tuning out with a few episodes. My favourites are The Office, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Modern Family.

The other thing I love to do to unwind is to read. While I do read a lot of non-fiction books about business, I also love Stephen King books. I have a very large collection of them and they’re pretty much my guilty-pleasure go-to when it comes to reading. My favourite Stephen King books are Needful Things, The Stand, The Shining and Pet Semetary.

Finally, sometimes there’s nothing better than just having silence. Occasionally, all I want to do is to sit out on my back balcony, enjoy a cup of tea and just enjoy the scenery.

 

Chelsea’s Experience

Unwind - Chelsea - Vine Street Digital

One of my favourite ways to unplug is go for a walk along the beach, especially along the edge of the water. There’s something about the ocean rushing over my feet that helps me feel calm and grounded. Depending on the season and the weather I find there’s different times of the day that’s best for doing this. Working flexible hours means I can go whenever the beach is good, and get on with my work before or after.

If I’m feeling more indoors-y, I’ll read a book, put on a favourite movie / TV show, or read articles online.

Another way I love to unwind is with essential oils (I primarily use Twenty8 organic oils). Sometimes I’ll make myself a blend (which can be a pleasantly methodical procedure itself), or pick an existing favourite. Then I will use it in my diffuser/vaporiser, or maybe in a nice hot bath!

 

Lachlan’s Experience

Unwinding - Lachlan - Vine Street Digital

Unwinding after a long day at work can be easy or hard depending on what’s going on. Sometimes there might be an ongoing task that I am constantly thinking about even after I’ve finished working for the day, and other times once I’m done for the day, I don’t give work a second thought.

I’m pretty into video games so that really helps me get my mind off work after a big day. Because I’m usually so focused on whatever I’m doing within the game, I just don’t think about work.

Even something as simple as watching Netflix can help me unwind. Sometimes the best thing is just to sit down and do nothing to help you unwind.

 

Ad Delivery – Standard vs Accelerated

Ad Delivery – Standard vs Accelerated

Sometimes it’s better to take the slow path and the easy road. Other times, it’s better to put your foot to the floor and get aggressive with your Google campaigns. We’re going to explore two methods of ad delivery – standard and accelerated.

Google Ads can deliver campaigns in two different ways:

Standard Delivery is the default delivery method, distributing your ads evenly over the course of the day. This uses your budget slowly, so as to avoid depleting it early on.

Accelerated Delivery distributes your ad more frequently from the start of the day until your budget is used. It uses more of your budget earlier on, to show as many ads to audiences as possible.

So which one is the best for your campaigns? Are you better to get the ads out there as quickly as possible – to try hitting top positions before your competitors do? Or are you better to take the “safe” option, and get ad impressions through the entire day?

This depends totally on your business, what you’re selling, and the strategy you wish to adopt. It’s important to know the difference between both delivery methods and what it means for your Google Ads campaigns.

Standard Delivery

Standard Delivery is recommended as the archetype delivery method by Google. Google uses its algorithm to obtain previous data, check how often your keyword is likely to trigger, and how much it will cost. However, Google’s algorithm isn’t perfect, and as such the data might be different to the prediction. For example, if the algorithm predicts that the number of searches for your keyword is higher than it actually is, then your budget may not be spent for the day. Google will be holding back your ads, thinking that there’s more searches to come later. This can lead you to missing out on impressions, so you may not be seen as often you may like.

Essentially, because Google is predicting how many times your keywords are searched, this means you won’t show up every time a search actually happens. Instead, Google will calculate when to show your ads based on the budget you’ve allocated for that day.

Of course, if you have a relatively small budget, this can be somewhat beneficial. Your ads will be shown throughout the day at anytime, rather than every search. This may mean your ads are placed into auctions with fewer competitors, or have your less expensive keywords used.

With a limited budget this means at the very least your ad is likely to be shown anytime during the day. You’d then want to find out what day you get the best results. Look at the data to see what times you’re getting the best clicks, CTR, conversions, better positions, and so on. You can then create a schedule around what times and days your ads are going to be the most effective.

Accelerated Delivery

Accelerated delivery is a way to make sure that targeted budget will have a better chance of being used that day. Instead of being placed in a less competitive auction like in standard delivery, Google will place your ad into any auction that is suitable, so long as your budget remains.

Accelerated delivery will place your ad as fast as possible into search engine results. This means you have a higher chance to be seen before your competitors are (especially if they’ve got standard delivery on).

This does have a downside though – your budget might be used up more quickly. If you get a lot of clicks earlier in the day, you may not have enough budget to be shown at later times. But if those clicks are converting, then this should work out in your favour!

Accelerated delivery is great if you don’t use up your entire budget too early. Google will try to add you into each auction for page results as quickly as possible. So, it’s likely that you will receive more clicks overall than if you were to use standard delivery.

So What Should I Use?

Consider what you’re selling, what kind of clients you are hoping to reach, and what times work best for your product. Set yourself some budgets and timelines for testing. The best way to find out is to test each method and find out which one works best for you.

We can help you analyse and implement what method could work best for your business. Contact us anytime!

Google Trends: Fun & Educational!

Google Trends: Fun & Educational!

Looking at Google Trends is one of my nerdy PPC past-times. It’s a beautiful visualisation of trends in search that are both fascinating and informative. For a while I had it set as my screensaver, but it became way too distracting!

Google trends is not just an interesting window to the world, it can also help with keyword research in your Google Ads campaigns. I’m going to explore some ways that you can use data from Google Trends to assist in your marketing.

How Does Google Trends Work?

Many people would believe that Google Trends is providing the same data as Keyword Planner, but that’s a common misconception. Google Trends does not provide direct representation of a query’s search volume over time – it provides the popularity of a search query relative to other searches.

As Google Trends puts it:

“Each data point is divided by the total searches of the geography and time range it represents, to compare relative popularity. Otherwise places with the most search volume would always be ranked highest.

The resulting numbers are then scaled on a range of 0 to 100 based on a topic’s proportion to all searches on all topics.”

Google Trends gives you a great insight into popularity over time. So, other than putting in terms like “Crazy Frog” and getting joy out of a plummeting graph, how can it help you in a business sense?

Seasonal Trends

Google Trends gives you a great idea of seasonal peaks in search queries. Let’s take the query “Mother’s Day” for example.

Here’s trends from the past 3 years in the US:
Google Trends Graph - Vine Street Digital

For the US, Mother’s Day is the second Sunday of May so it’s no surprise that we see a huge spike in May. However, what is intriguing is when that search volume starts to rise. Seeing trends about when a search query begins to take traction each year can give you a good indicator of when you need to start advertising – it might be sooner than you think!

Take Advantage Of What’s Trending Now

Google Trends isn’t just useful for Google Ads or SEO, it’s also useful for social media planning as well. When you’re finding yourself struggling to come up for ideas on what to tweet or post, taking advantage of current events could get you some great visibility. On the flip side, Google Trends can help you find out if you’ve missed the window on an opportunity. Even though an event might be over, there may be people still looking for it.

Find New Keyword Ideas Through Related Queries

When you search in Google, you’ll notice that it so helpfully provides searches relating to your query. The same is true on Google Trends and gives you a nice overview of not only what people search most often, but also what they’re searching most recently.

Here’s an example using the term “face cleanser” in Australia;

Google Trends Search Enquiries - Vine Street Digital

Not only does this tell me the obvious (use face wash as a keyword too!) but also gives me an idea of consumer priorities. It’s clearly important for Australians to use natural face cleansers!

Summary

Like anything in online advertising, you have to put it in context. Just because something is trending, does not mean you should post about it. The same is true for Google Ads campaigns as well. Just because people are starting to search for Mother’s Day gifts, doesn’t mean it will be profitable to just change your ads to Mother’s Day messaging. The benefit of Google Trends is to help you see anomalies, understand how searches differ across the world, and help you to plan and react better to the online climate.

But if nothing else, Google Trends is incredibly fun and interesting. Happy trending!

Written by  Gemma Renton

Staying Healthy While Working Remotely: Socialising

Staying Healthy While Working Remotely: Socialising

We love having the flexibility and time to be social that remote work gives us! Working away from the regular schedule of commuting to an office has so many benefits. In this post we’re sharing our staff’s experiences of enjoying remote work and socialising.

Gemma’s Experience

Socialising - Gemma - Vine Street Digital

I would guarantee that I’m more social now, working from home, than I was when working in an office. One of the reasons that I don’t feel isolated or lonely is because I have wonderful clients. I speak to them on a regular basis about their campaigns, but I also love getting to know them as well. I’ve got a great relationship with my clients, and talking to them never feels like work.

I also have regular social activities and hobbies outside of work. I have a group of friends that I play board games with once a week. We’re playing Pandemic Legacy which is like Pandemic except you play over a series of games – the things you do in earlier games affects what happens later. It is incredibly fun!

I also go to a book club with friends. Each month we choose a non-fiction book about business, productivity, creativity, or something that broadens our perspectives. This month is Happy by Derren Brown. The group is made up of my amazing and brilliant female friends. I take huge inspiration from them and really value their opinions. It’s a great regular activity, not only to be social, but to learn and flex my brain outside of work.

Oliver’s Experience

Socialising - Oliver - Vine Street Digital

Usually I’m by myself on my computer a lot. There’s no physical socialising (which would drive a lot of people mad), however I like to work alone. Initially it was a bit weird, because I’ve always worked and chatted with colleagues. But I realised I have no problem with my own company because it keeps me as alert as possible, and I can always chat online with the team.

Out of working hours, I like to have a beer or two with my friends. I’ve also learned over time to go out and chat with people outside of my friend zones. The principle is pretty much this, the more opportunity you put yourself out for, the more chance that you will find someone you connect with and may even be beneficial for both of you! It’s hard to get beyond the small talk but you can learn so much from a person if you really get to know them. Whether it’s the guy at the bus stop or the girl at the coffee shop, you never know if a new best friend is around the corner.

Lachlan’s Experience

Socialising - Lachlan - Vine Street Digital

Working from home has its benefits, but of course also has a catch. One of the biggest drawbacks is the isolation from colleagues. In today’s world, it’s easy to pick up the phone or send an email or IM to someone. But, something I miss (from working in an office) is being able to have a casual conversation with someone in front of me.

It’s true that sometimes working from home bring on a bit of ‘cabin fever’, so it’s nice to have other activities that get me out of the house. I play Futsal on Monday nights as well as go to the gym regularly through the week.

Other times I like to go into the city and spend a day walking around and shopping. The flexibility to be able to do that is one of the biggest perks of working from home.

Chelsea’s Experience

Socialising - Chelsea - Vine Street Digital

Finding time to engage in social activities was something that I found difficult when I used to work full-time in an office. But now that I work from home, I’ve got so much flexibility to be able to make plans with my friends! I’ve moved from Australia to England recently, and my group of friends here also have quite flexible work schedules, so we’re able to make plans together much easier than if we were working standard office hours. I can’t regularly see my Australian friends anymore of course, but we’ve had video calls and text chats, and I talk to my parents quite often.

My UK friends and I have been hanging out, chatting, watching movies together, walks in the park, all sorts. We’ve also gone out a few times to board game pubs/cafes, which is a great way to try new board games and enjoy each other’s company in a different setting.

Sometimes I miss having office/workplace relationships where I get to see my co-workers and chat in person. With the time difference (9 or 10 hours depending on daylight savings) it’s harder to line up times to chat. But I still have phone calls and Slack sessions with the team. I’m also considering finding a co-working space to go to at least once a week so that I can meet some more people and feel an ‘office community’ vibe!

An Introduction To Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner

There are a number of tools Google provides to help advertisers and business owners get the most out of their Google Ads experience. One of the most popular is the Keyword Planner. The Keyword Planner is a tool that gives information about keywords such as: Volume, Competition Rating, Average Monthly Searches & Suggested CPC/Bid.

Search for new keywords

For finding new keywords or finding search volumes, the Keyword Planner gives us 3 options: phrase, website, or category.

This option allows you to enter a general phrase or term that you want to base your keywords off and it will generate a number of related keywords. You are also able to put in a website destination and the Keyword Planner will pull keywords directly from the page. Google has some defined categories which are able to generate keywords. For example: Apparel > Clothing > Men’s Clothing.

Get search volume data and trends

This option allows you to input a range of keywords you have already generated and find out how popular these terms are. This can be an extremely handy tool when building campaigns and trying to determine if your keywords are popular enough to generate traffic.

Multiply keyword lists to get new keywords

This option allows you to input lists of keywords into the Keyword Planner and it will combine the lists to generate new keywords. This is especially handy for location based keywords. Say you have a list of 400 different locations such as “Brisbane”, and 400 general terms such as “Used Cars”. If you don’t want to sit down and individually add the locations to the general terms, you could use this tool to instantly get data on terms like “Brisbane Used Cars”.

Keyword Planner - Vine Street Digital

On top of this, the Keyword Planner also allows you to set a specific location. For example, if you only wanted to target Brisbane, you could set the location to Brisbane in the options and you would only see the volumes of keywords in Brisbane. This is especially helpful as a term might be popular in the whole of Australia, but maybe not so much in a particular city.

Google also allows you to target a huge variety of languages as well as adding negative keywords to further increase the relevancy of the keywords you receive. As a default setting, the Keyword Planner will show the past 12 months of data. However, it is possible to change this date range to go back as far as 4 years.

Written by Lachlan Ward

Getting Organised With Tasks – Finding A Method to the Madness

Getting Organised With Tasks – Finding a Method to the Madness

Something that I’ve learnt in the last few years is that I am a person who needs a good level of organisation to thrive. It became more noticeable when I started working remotely, away from the regular routine of commuting to an office. But an even bigger change happened a couple of months ago, when I moved countries. My entire routine has been turned upside-down!

So, I’m taking the opportunity to reflect on some methods of organisation that help bring a method to the madness. Below are some of the systems I’ve used to get through the chaos of life!

Capsule CRM: Client tasks

Capsule is the CRM (Customer relationship management) system that we are using at Vine Street Digital (at the time of writing this article, anyway). It’s the system in which we organise our client contacts, tasks, communication, and so on. Here’s a few things that I love about Capsule:

Setting own reminder tasks

If you’re not sure you’ll remember something, leave yourself a task to address it later! One of the things I like about Capsule is that you can set a task’s due date to any day/time you like, including a past date so that it becomes “Overdue”. When you do that, the task sits at the top of your list so that it’s in your face whenever you check your tasks.

Recurring tasks

Weekly, monthly, annually – when you tick one off, it will automatically create a new task for you, scheduled for the next appropriate date.

Set tasks for others

This works well for us as team members, especially when needing help with something. Gemma has set up a bunch of different tags/labels for tasks, such as “Advice”, “Admin”, “Account Work”, and more. If we’ve come across something that we might need another staff member’s advice on, we can assign them a task and label it with the “Advice” tag. Even better, we can have that task linked to the specific client our query is about. All of our team members can see all of these tasks as well, so they’re looking at a specific client inside Capsule, they can also see that there is a question raised and may be able to address it themselves.

Habitica: Personal daily tasks

Habitica is a gamified way to organise yourself and your tasks. If you’re someone who works well with a reward system, give Habitica a try! Create yourself a little character and get started. When you complete tasks, you earn gold and experience points to help you level up and get better equipment. You can do Quests with team members and collect pets and mounts. Be warned: it’s a bit cute and colourful to look at, so if someone spots it over your shoulder they might not think you’re working.

I used Habitica fairly solidly for almost a year and it worked well for a good portion of that time. It just got to a point where I realised that I wanted some more control over creating larger projects with tasks below them. Which led me to Todoist!

Todoist: Personal bigger picture with bite-sized pieces

Todoist Organise List - Vine Street DigitalTodoist is a task manager that I find great for creating “Projects” for different areas of my life. These areas include courses I want to study (even breaking them down into the modules inside so that I can tick them off as I go), exercise, events, and general life admin.

I just use the free version, which means I don’t get to use some features which could potentially be helpful (e.g. Labels), but I haven’t found that to be much of a problem so far.

Todoist is great for more than just managing my own personal projects though – I also use it as a list system. Some people have bullet journals for this sort of thing, but Todoist works for me. I have a “Stuff to Checkout” project in which I list books, movies, and more that I come across and want to explore later (see screenshot to the right).

Also, a note on the “Icebox” you can see on the screenshot. One of my friends told me about this! If you’ve got projects that you’re not currently working on, but don’t want to lose track of completely, you can put them in your “Icebox” for later. Love it!

Notepad & pen

Honestly, sometimes nothing can beat the good old notepad & pen. I always have these on my desk or close by! Sometimes I write down a variety of thought processes and ideas before deciding on which digital system I’ll use. Being able to organise my thoughts on paper first really helps because anything goes. You can write anywhere you want, draw circles, scratch things out, use different coloured pens on the fly. I mean, I don’t really need to sell the benefits of “going analogue” to you, do I?

Nutshell

In short: I love lists. I’m the kind of person who likes to see things laid out in front of me, broken down into bite-sized pieces, colour-coded… you get the idea. They help me organise my thoughts and projects. If you’ve got any questions or recommendations, I’d love to hear from you!

Written by Chelsea Zanki

Remarketing Audience Duration – How Long Should You Follow Someone?

Remarketing Audience Duration – How Long Should You Follow Someone?

Remarketing is a powerful way to re-engage your website visitors, close a sale, or up-sell to existing customers. There are numerous possibilities when it comes to remarketing and who you can target, but something that we get asked a lot here is “how long can I and should I follow someone?”

How Do Remarketing Audiences Work?

Remarketing audiences are usually collected via a tracking code on your site. This tracking code varies depending on which platform you’re using. For example, Google uses either an Google Ads conversion tracking code or Google Analytics code. Facebook & Instagram use the Facebook Pixel, and Bing uses their UET code.

When someone visits your website, the code tracks that visitor and adds them to a remarketing list. There are numerous ways you can decide who you follow:

  • demographics,
  • actions they took on the site
  • actions they didn’t take on the site
  • how long they stayed,
  • where (on the Internet) they came from,
  • the city they’re in

The options are enormous! Once you’ve decided on who you want to follow, you must then decide how long you want to follow them for. This is called audience duration or membership duration. In other words: how long do you want this person to be in this list?

Let’s say you want to follow someone for 30 days. This means that when someone visits your site, they’ll be added to the list and remain there for 30 days. Once those 30 days are up, they disappear from the list.

How Long Can I Remarket To Someone?

Your audience duration or membership duration limits can vary between networks and platforms. See below:

Platform/Network Maximum Audience Duration
Google 540 Days
Facebook 180 Days
Instagram 180 Days
Bing 180 Days
YouTube 540 Days
Twitter 90 Days (but they’ll only target users who have been active on Twitter within the last 30 days)

 

There are some exceptions to this depending on the options you choose, but this gives you a general guide. As you can see, depending on the platform, you can follow someone for a pretty long time!

How Long Should I Remarket To Someone?

This really depends on your goals as a business – unfortunately there’s not one single rule that will apply to everyone. There are a few main things you should remember when you’re choosing how long someone remains in a remarketing list;

1) Are my ads still useful and relevant?

We’ve all been followed by annoying remarketing ads that just aren’t helpful or interesting. When it comes to audience duration, remember that something may become less interesting over time. For example, say I’m shopping around for wine glasses online. I browse a few sites, then I’m followed for the next week with ads about wine glasses. That’s great – I’m clearly in the market for them right now and I don’t mind being reminded of some of the options I saw. However, after a week it might get a bit old. Maybe I’m not interested anymore, or maybe I’ve already made my choice. When someone is a hot prospect it makes sense to keep their interest by showing them remarketing ads. But, keep in mind that when they’re not so hot, your ads won’t be either.

2) Are my users seeing the same thing over and over again?

Not all users have to be recent in order for remarketing to be effective. Some products and services require contemplation and consideration before someone can make the leap. These long buying cycles mean that following someone for longer makes a lot of sense. However, the last thing you want is for someone to be followed with the exact same ad over and over again for 3 months. After a while, an ad loses its effectiveness. This is why it makes sense to have a range of ads with different messages all rotating in visibility. You can even choose to show an ad to someone for the first 30 days after they leave the site, and then a different ad for the next 30 days after that. Keeping your ads fresh is important. You don’t want them to get stale and have users start hating the repetitiveness of what you’re showing them.

3) Is there a compelling reason to come back?

If they didn’t convert the first time, you need to ask why. As I mentioned above, it could be because that person needs time to make a decision. However, it could also be because they weren’t compelled to convert the first time. If you are trying to follow the non-converters or the abandoned carts, then you might want to give them an offer they can’t refuse. Try 10% off their first purchase or similar discount. Perhaps there’s an important selling point that was missing from landing page that you can show to them.

Keep in mind that inviting people to come back isn’t just about getting them to buy something they’ve already looked at – it can also be about up-selling. Say I buy wine glasses; perhaps I’d come back for a great decanter! With Google’s long remarketing list times, you can also think about bringing people back when it’s time for another service. This works great for pest control, house-washers, or mechanics who offer a service that should be done on a regular basis. If you’re the one to remind them, they’re likely to be a client for the long term. Think of it like being on the call list for a dentist or optometrist – every so often they call to remind you to make an appointment for a check-up!

Summary

In summary, how long you follow someone depends on who they are, what action they took, and whether or not your offer is still compelling or relevant. Ultimately, it comes down to your goals as a business. Remember that not everyone is going to be worth following, and the best remarketing ads are ones that are useful, relevant, and fresh.

If you’d like to explore remarketing and find out how it could fit into your advertising, feel free to get in touch to ask any questions!

Written by Gemma Renton