Ad Copy – Appealing to Emotions

The Emotions of Ad Copy

Buying something can involve many emotions! The process of deciding to purchase goods and services is governed by needs and wants. As marketing professionals, being able to reach your audience in both pragmatic and emotionally appealing ways helps to make sure your ad copy stands out. Being at the forefront of your audience’s mind at their time of need is important, but speaking to both their needs and their wants can get you over the line.

Value Propositions

People use the internet to solve problems. You want to be the solution that your audience is seeking. Use your ad copy to indicate to your potential customer how you can solve their problems, rather than describing or reaffirming their problem. They already know what the problem is, so they want to know that you can provide a solution. This approach can also extend to the types of keywords you use, not just your ad copy.

When your customers use search terms to describe their problem, they’re expecting to see your ad provide their solution. Try varying up your keywords to include phrases regarding the problem as well as the fix. For example, if you’re writing ads for a plumber, think about the problems  people will call a plumber for: blocked pipes, toilets not flushing, and so on. Then think about the solutions, including “emergency plumber” and “fix broken pipe”. You can try out variations of keywords like this to find what works best for your target market.

Urgency

How much better do you feel when you get the last of something from the shelf? A limited edition? A bargain on the last day of the sale? Include timeframes in your ad copy if you’re having a sale, include stock numbers if you only have a few. Let your audience know that they’re going to get something amazing if they act quickly.

You can also use ‘implied urgency’ when writing ad copy, including what’s known as a “Call to Action”. These are phrases and words that instruct your audience to do something, for example: ‘call now’, ‘shop today’, ‘book your visit’. They are generally seen as an absolute necessity in your copy.

Mitigate Concern

Use your ad copy to reassure your potential clients that they are making a safe and beneficial decision. Are you licenced, experienced, popular? Do you offer a money back guarantee? All of these elements included in your ad makes your client feel safe to part with their money or time. Positive feedback is also a brilliant way to let people know that they should trust your product and service. Make use of sitelinks to your testimonial page, Google Reviews, and social profiles so that people can see that you’re well-connected, well-liked, and the obvious choice for them.

CTAs

Calls to Action are imperative when it comes to emotional ad copy. It is statistically proven that ads with strong Calls to Action have higher Click Through Rates and Conversions Rates than those without. Apparently, people want to be told what to do! Customise your CTA’s to your audiences and demographics. Make sure they are highly relevant. Tell your audience what their next step is, and they’re more likely to take it!

Feel free to get in contact with us if you have any questions.

Written by Kristen Boucher

Leading PPC Agency In Australia – Clutch 2019 Report

Clutch’s 2019 Report Features Vine Street Digital As Leading PPC Agency In Australia

It can be tempting to position a company as a jack-of-all-trades to provide a client with a wide range of services (some being more impactful than others). However, at Vine Street Digital, we focus only on the services that we do best. We deliver quality PPC management and results for clients.

We take pride in using our years of experience to help companies grow their business at a lower cost and higher output than hiring an in-house team. Our team (based primarily in Brisbane, Australia) aims to ensure each client receives the attention they deserve. We work meticulously to provide tracked and measurable information, routinely optimising account performance to ensure everything is on target.

Clutch Logo - Vine Street Digital

Recognition On Clutch.co

In the wake of a notably busy and productive quarter, we are pleased to announce that Clutch ranks us on their 2019 list of top PPC agencies in Australia!

Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews site that grades companies on a number of criteria including market presence, service focus, and reviews from past clients.

Clutch conducts reviews with great detail and integrity. They quote statements verbatim from phone interviews with a company’s clients. This helps ensure that the reviews are honest, in addition to being meaningful to potential clients.

We are fortunate enough to already have 8 positive reviews on Clutch’s website! Here is a lovely example of a recent review:

Clutch Testimonials - Vine Street Digital

 

Clutch’s sister sites, “The Manifest” & “Visual Objects”, also featured us!

Visual Objects is similar to Clutch in that it includes work statistics, rankings, and reviews. However, it also showcases businesses with outstanding creative design services, such as branding agencies or app developers. Visual Objects ranks us as one of their best digital marketing companies of 2019.

We are also listed within the top 15 digital marketing agencies in Australia by The Manifest. This site compiles and analyses practical business wisdom for innovators, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and mid-market businesses.

Our team is delighted and honoured to see that their hard work is launching our company to new heights! We will continue to do everything we can to help our clients succeed.

Thank you to the Clutch team for connecting us with new contacts and encouraging us to continue doing the best work that we can for our clients!

Contact us if you’d like to know more about growing your business with Vine Street Digital.

Courtney’s Tips to Stay Motivated Working At Home

Courtney’s Tips To Stay Motivated Working At Home

Working from home gives me more flexibility and freedom with where, when, and how I work. While studies have shown it can boost employee productivity, bosses can still have concerns over how efficiently time is used. When I speak to friends about working remotely, a common response is “I couldn’t work by myself”, followed by “I’d never get any work done”. It is easy to get distracted and lose motivation from time to time, but below are some rituals I follow to keep myself on the right track and on task.

Have A Set Wake Up Time

I’m really good at sleeping in and a big fan of the snooze button. And now that my office is a 30-second walk instead of a 30-minute commute, it is much more tempting to push back the start time. To keep me motivated and up early, I make myself go to fitness classes three times a week at 6:30 am. This hypes me up a bit, gets me hungry for some breakfast and ready to start the day. On other days I have a default alarm set for 7:30 am. There is nothing worse for me than losing half my day to sleep, so waking up early puts me in the right frame of mind.

Act Like You Are Going Into The Office

Courtney - Desk Workspace

Before you leave the house for work; you get out of your PJs, have a shower, and brush your teeth. You might go for a walk, have breakfast, or just a coffee. All of these things can help you feel mentally ready for the work day ahead. I don’t see why this should change, as you are still going to work no matter where it is. Doing these activities every morning mentally prepares me for work and keeps me motivated.

Have A Dedicated Workspace

I don’t like to bring work home with me, but since I am at home it’s important to keep business and leisure as separate as I can. The spare bedroom is set up as my office, and I try to stay out of the main bedroom and living room as much as possible during work time. I even use the second bathroom during work hours and stay away from my ensuite. I surround my work area with paintings and plants to keep things vibrant. I’m in the process of setting up my other balcony as a more relaxed second workspace since it’s got great natural lighting and a breeze. I’ve laid down fake grass, and more plants.

Know When You Are Most Productive

Vine Street Digital - Courtney's Tips to Stay Motivated Working At Home

I organise my day and tasks depending on when I know I’ll be most productive. I spend the morning in as much silence as I can – responding to emails, optimising and checking my client’s accounts. It’s also when I tackle anything I’m reluctant to do, so it doesn’t linger over me for the day. I’m more talkative after lunchtime, so that’s when my clients are likely to get a call from me. I leave all the big jobs for the afternoon when my brain has warmed up. That’s when I’m ready to analyse accounts and write reports.

Breaks, Breaks, Breaks.

Breaks are so important to refresh and recharge. It can be easy to get carried away with projects, skip lunch, or eat at your desk, but it’s important to learn to walk away – even if just for 15 minutes. I usually go for a 10-15 minute walk after I eat, and deliberately leave errands for the middle of the day to help me get outside. During business hours is also a great time to go to the gym (or run said errands in a shopping centre). It helps me avoid the chaos that is usually there outside of work hours!

We hope these tips will help you feel motivated as well! We’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas or comments.

Written by Courtney Wilkinson

Digital Marketing Strategy Overview

Digital Marketing Strategy Overview

Marketing Needs Guidance

Digital marketing is full of opportunities, but if you go in without a plan, you’re likely to miss the mark!

Your online presence should always exist to serve a greater business purpose.

Without context and clear goals, you’ll never quite know whether or not something is working, and you’ll be at risk of losing valuable time and money. Many business owners have difficulty selecting keywords, not to mention bidding on them. Sometimes owners create an ad without knowing what direction they want their campaigns to go in, and they let it run wild. This quickly gets expensive, and probably won’t be doing your business much good! That’s why we find it’s best to formulate your digital strategy early on.

When you engage with us, we’ll guide you through the process with tailored digital marketing strategy sessions. If you’re not sure where to start, or you don’t think your current strategy is working, we can help you find the right pathways to get the most out of your online presence.

Your Digital Marketing Strategy

When starting out, we’ll provide an audit of your digital presence, including:

  • highlighting key areas of improvement,
  • showing what your competitors are doing, and
  • advising you on strategies you may not have considered.

This lets us lay out what you’ve got to work with so far, and what could be done in the future. To create your marketing strategy, we need to know where we’re coming from, as well as where we want to go. The first step is always to learn more about you, your business, and what makes your offering unique. This will help us find your ideal customers and determine where they will be online.

Your online presence is also about return on investment – your investment of time and money. A digital strategy factors this in, plus the potential returns from managing it yourself or outsourcing it to a professional. We will discuss the goals for your business, including any ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) aims. We’ll also explain how we measure your goals, including tracking website activity and enquiries.

As part of your digital marketing strategy, we’ll go over some methods of how we can look at achieving your goals. This includes discussing any relevant platforms such as Google Search Ads, Facebook Ads, Bing Ads, and so on. Not all methods are recommended for all businesses – some marketing platforms will be more suited to one business than another. But we will break this down and explain what we believe would be the best fit for your business and your goals.

We will also discuss any potential challenges that may crop up, including strategies that we could try when attempting to overcome hurdles. We want to do our best to see your digital marketing campaigns succeed. If there are challenges that just can’t be beaten, even after trying multiple strategies, there may be instances where we come to the conclusion that PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing may not be the best option for your business. We don’t want you to be taken for a ride by any digital marketing agencies!

Moving Forward

Our focus is with small to medium businesses as well as brand new startups. We’ve worked with many different industries and use our years of experience to help see you succeed. Not every business owner needs a full digital marketing strategy. Sometimes you just need an expert to present you with some options and advise you on the best way to move forward.

Our initial consultations are always free.

Start now – contact us today!

Our Digital Marketing Services Explanation

Our Digital Marketing Services Explanation

What does Vine Street Digital offer?

When explaining what we do for a career to family or friends, sometimes it’s easier to distil this all down to “we create and manage advertising campaigns online”. But we cover a lot of ground in that simple summary! Here’s a quick list of services we offer:

  • pay per click (PPC) advertising/search engine marketing (SEM) management,
  • social media advertising management,
  • display & re-marketing campaign management,
  • website analytics & conversion tracking, plus monthly reports to give you valuable information on your business and your customers.

We work primarily with Google AdWords, as well as Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, and Instagram. Occasionally we may branch out to other platforms – feel free to discuss this with us! For now, let’s run through the following areas of digital marketing that’s available to you.

Digital Marketing Services Platforms - Vine Street Digital

Digital Marketing Services & Methods

Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing enables small businesses to appear on the first page of search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo without investing in long-term SEO. We recommend SEM for small businesses as they can work on smaller budgets, gain immediate data on return on investment, and ensure you catch your customers right when they’re looking for you.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising allows small businesses to engage with their potential customers in visual and targeted ways for minimal budgets. It’s popular on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This is also a highly flexible form of digital marketing which means that you can adjust your budgets and targeting as your business requires.

Analytics and Conversion Tracking

As a business owner, it’s important for you to have meaningful information as much as possible in order to make strategic decisions about your marketing and sales efforts. We offer a stand-alone service to help you track your online presence and give you the information you need in a useful & easy-to-understand way.

Display & Remarketing

The display network can be a cost-effective way to gain high levels of exposure and to re-engage your website visitors. Display advertising has incredible options for targeting your customers including demographics, location, interests, placements, topics and more. Remarketing is essentially when you show ads specifically to people who have previously visited your website.

Google Shopping Campaigns

Shopping campaigns provide informative and visually engaging ads that encourage direct purchases. Your consumers will be able to see your product and prices before they visit your site – a very powerful form of advertising when you’re only paying for clicks!

Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants are provided to non-profit organisations that meet Google’s requirements. The Grants allow a monthly spend of $10,000 USD! It involves some limitations which benefit from regular attentive management, but they’re a great way to help get your message out to the world.

Wrapping Up

Whew! There’s a lot involved here in the world of digital marketing, but we’re happy to help if you have any questions. Talk to us about your requirements and we will work together to find the best solution for you!

Keeping Your Ads Fresh: How To Come Up With New Ad Copy

Keeping Your Ads Fresh: How To Come Up With New Ad Copy

Whether you’re using Google ads, Facebook ads or one of the many other PPC platforms, it’s important to keep testing your ad copy. In the case of search engines, testing ad copy allows you to constantly keep improving your ads so that they’re more relevant and more appealing to users. For social ads, we test ad copy to keep improving, but we also change up our ads to make sure people aren’t seeing the same thing over and over.

So with all this constant ad copy testing, how on earth are you meant to keep coming up with fresh ideas? It’s certainly a tricky one. Sometimes ad copy tests are very minor wording changes and don’t have to be ground breaking. However, it’s good to keep looking at your copy from a new perspective. Here’s just a few ad copy techniques that we use to help us keep ads fresh.

Ad Copy Technique #1 – Proof

A good angle for any ad is proving why you’re better than other people. Is your claim believable and why? You might want to consider including the following in your ad copy;

  • Celebrity endorsement
  • Personal endorsement/testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Social proof; number of followers, citations, media mentions
  • Use content with an actual demonstration of it working

There’s lots of ways to demonstrate proof, but a good ad copy technique is also to focus on numbers. Use statistics, savings, losses, price, percentages or dates, to help hammer home your credibility.

Ad Copy Technique #2 – Offers

Offers don’t always have to cheapen your brand or make you give something away for free. The idea of an offer is to help someone make a more informed decision, or to develop trust in a brand. Some offer types include;

  • Guarantee
  • Trial Offer
  • Free Sample
  • Discount
  • “No Obligation”
  • White Papers
  • % to Charity

Offers should sweeten the deal and instil confidence. They should never look like a deceptive scramble to win more business.

Ad Copy Technique #3 – Change your structure

Ad copy isn’t just about what you say, it’s also about how you say it. Sometimes minimal changes can help people to digest information more easily, or make your ad stand out from your competitors. You might want to consider utilising the following techniques when you test your ads;

  • Verb swapping & noun swapping
  • Capitalisation
  • Line Breaks
  • Repetition
  • Quotes
  • Dashes and Slashes
  • Exclamation Marks
  • Special Symbols like ™

These small things can be really fascinating to test. If information is easier to read or your eyes are drawn to it, it’s more likely to win the click.

Ad Copy Technique #4 – Emotions

It’s no secret that advertising plays to people’s emotions. The important thing is to do this in a responsible way, not a deceptive way. Emotions can be broken down into three core areas:

  • Feelings (e.g. joy, anticipation, surprise)
  • Vices (sloth, gluttony)
  • Virtues (justice, honesty)

Thinking about how you can tweak your ad in a different way to appeal to different emotions can give you a totally different perspective on your copy.

Wrapping Up

So you might be sitting there wondering how you could ever think of a different way to sell yourself, your product or your service, but I’m here to say that you do have options! These are just a few of the different angles we explore when looking at ad copy, and not all of the angles apply to all businesses. But sometimes it’s worthwhile simply considering these different techniques to give you a fresh perspective once in a while. Contact us if you have any questions on this!

Written by Gemma Renton

Ad Copy: Best Practice

Best Practice for Ad Copy

When you get down to it, writing Ad Copy for the Pay Per Click environment is about three things, your:

  • product or service
  • audience
  • point of difference.

But what are the rules of writing ad copy for Google Ads? What does Google like to see in an ad that just might place you ahead of your competitor? Here are a few key indicators you can use to make sure your ads are written according to Google’s standards.

Use Your Real Estate Wisely

We no longer have to cram ad copy into 30 characters or less. Google has expanded its ad formats, giving you the option of three 30-character headlines and two 90-character description lines. It’s best to use as much of this space as possible so that you can include all relevant details and create an ad that stands out. This includes the paths at the end of the display URL, for an added bonus. We often see ads without them filled out, but you could get an extra 30 characters using these sections. Just remember that the third headline and the second description are not always displayed. So, if you have any vital information, remember to include them in the first or second headline, and the first description.

Write Three Ads Per Ad Group

Considering the possibilities of the new, larger text ads, it’s worthwhile having at least three ads per ad group. Because extra text and extra headlines gives us so much more to split test and measure, writing three ads at a time and testing them with your audience allows you to analyse different elements of your copy and compare them to each other. For instance, you can test:

  • three difference landing pages,
  • three different calls to action,
  • three different services within your offering.

The combinations are abundant!

Don’t Over-Accentuate

Google is strict on ads being relevant, recognisable, and readable. They expect correct spelling and grammar where applicable, and it goes without saying that adult language is not allowed. In addition to this, Google doesn’t allow the over-use of exclamation points, question marks, or special characters that have the potential to make your ad look of poor quality. In fact, exclamation marks aren’t permitted in headlines, and only one is allowed per description line.

Keep your copy smart, professional, and not over the top – you’ll be rewarded for it!

No Gimmicks

Think you might get a few extra clicks by including ‘click here’ in your text? Sorry to bust your branding bubble, but Google don’t like anything that might make your ad look like a gimmick, a scam, or an otherwise risky proposition. Google calls this kind of working “Trick to Click”, and it’s not considered best practice.

Use Your Keywords In Your Ad Text

To keep your ad as relevant as possible and to give it a better chance of showing higher, remember to include the keywords you’re bidding for!

And as mentioned earlier, with the new expanded format, we know that not all of your text will show for every impression. This means it’s super important to use your keywords in the parts of the ad that will display. Your first headline and first description line are both mandatory and will always be there, so add your keywords and your points of difference to them where possible.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it – some tips on keeping your ad copy within best practice standards. This gives your business the edge, not only in front of your customer, but in Google’s eyes too!

If you have any questions please let us know, we’d be happy to help you.

Written by Kristen Boucher

The Benefits of Google Shopping

The Benefits of Google Shopping

Google has constantly been telling us to make the shopping experience more streamlined for users. Their big contribution to this? Google Shopping. Unlike Google Search (where someone types in a query and get a text ad linking through to a landing page), Shopping ads present a product with a price that takes you straight to the item. Google has been encouraging the use of Shopping ads more and more, with several new features released just last year. That’s why it’s surprising that so many online retailers are yet to take advantage of these ads specifically tailored to their industry.

So, today let’s look at some benefits to Google Shopping, to try and sway those remaining e-commerce stores to jump on board.

More Qualified Traffic

Google Shopping tends to bring in more qualified clicks. Similar to a regular Google Search text ad, you’re only paying once someone clicks on a Google Shopping ad. Text ads can be difficult because not only do you have to be appealing in the few characters you have, but you also need to try and only attract qualified clicks through to your site. Paying for irrelevant clicks is really what turns any Google Ads campaign into a money-pit.

If you run an e-commerce store and you’re really wanting to make sure you’re only paying for clicks you want, Google Shopping is a great way to do that. When someone searches for something, you immediately see the product title, the price, an image of the product, and even shipping or promotional information. Plus, it even shows up next to other similar products.

This all means that, if someone clicks on your shopping ad, they have to be at least somewhat interested. All the information is given up front, and alongside other options. Unlike a text ad, so much specific detailed information is already available before you even pay for the customer to click.

Better user experience means better conversion rates

The whole user experience of Google Shopping is also a lot more streamlined than regular search ads. When someone does click on your Shopping Ad, it takes them straight through to that product page. They don’t have to try and click around your website to find what they’re looking for. Instead, the process is made extremely simple for them. This is a brilliant feature of Google Shopping, because it all helps to streamline the conversion process. Being taken straight to a product page means less clicks to the point of sale, which means less chance that your customer will get annoyed by your website, and disappear! This leads to a higher cost per conversion, and an overall better return.

Clear customer intent

Amongst all these features and benefits is the main gist of why Google Shopping can be so beneficial; it’s all about intent.

Shopping ads are designed to come up when someone’s query indicates that they’re looking to buy. Rather than paying for broad clicks via top of the sales funnel queries like “how do i…” and “what is a…”, you’re paying for people who’ve got their wallets already open. It’s this intent factor that lifts Shopping ads above Search just that little bit more. Pair this with how the ads show up, and where they go afterwards – then you’ve got all the good foundations for high ROI.

Goals tailored down to the product

Instead of a campaign that groups keywords together, Google Shopping campaigns group products together. Your entire inventory is there, ready to advertise and put into a structure that best suits you. Many e-commerce stores don’t have one blanket goal for all their products. Usually, the profit margins or sales targets vary between the type of product, or even between individual products.

One of the best things about Shopping campaigns is the ability to group products together in the context of their sales goals, and optimise from there. It gives you control over what you’re paying for in regards to traffic to certain products. You can then see the revenue resulting from that product & traffic. This leads to a better ROAS, and better insights into your customers’ behaviour.

In a nutshell, Google Shopping ads are all about catching people with a very clear objective – “buy something”! So if you’re an online store – why not put your product in front of them? If you’re interested in finding out how Google Shopping ads are set up and what a Shopping campaign might look like for you, get in touch with us today!

Written by Gemma Renton

Staff Work Spaces – January 2019

Staff Work Spaces – January 2019

Our staff all work remotely, usually from the comfort of our own homes. A year ago we posted our first edition of “Staff Work Spaces”, including notes and tips from our team on some components that they choose to use as part of their workspace. We’re kicking off 2019 with an update!

Gemma’s Work Space

Gemma desk staff work space

My workspace has evolved a bit in the last year, mostly to make it more comfortable and ergonomic. My previous monitors weren’t the same size or resolution (which wasn’t great). So, when they finally died, I upgraded to bigger screens that actually match! I got a little platform to put them on, which also has drawers. Now I can store things within easy reach.

I’ve also introduced a few new gadgets. I got AirPods which, I’ll admit, was initially a bit of a self-treat purchase, but they’ve actually been a big time saver. I can’t tell you how many times someone has called and I’ve gone “hang on let me just untangle my earphones”. Problem solved!

Another handy addition is the Rocketbook – it’s an erasable notebook that can convert hand-written notes into digital copies. As long as you use the correct pen, the pages are easily erased & re-usable. I hate keeping things on paper, but I also like doodling and writing things out, so this is perfect for me!

Also, I’ve moved into a new place in the last year. My desk is still out in a common area, but my printer and cupboards (and often flowers) are elsewhere in the apartment.

Lachlan’s Work Space

Lachlan desk staff work space

Moving into my own office has really been beneficial to my work life. I like that when I walk into my office and close the door, I know it’s time to work, and I’m not distracted by anything going on around me. I also love having green around me in my office. Much like the rest of my home, having plants and greenery around puts me in a positive mood.
The best purchase I’ve recently made to my work setup has to be my bigger (main) monitor. I bought a 2K resolution monitor which increases my screens resolution to 2048×1080. I can now see more without having to scroll. This is incredibly convenient when working through spreadsheets, Analytics, or using the Google Ads interface – because now all the data is easy to see.

Chelsea’s Work Space

Chelsea desk staff work space

I’ve moved house (and country) a few times since the last time we documented our workspaces! I’m now in London, with my desk in my bedroom (as always?! one day I’ll have my own office!). The only place in the room that I can fit my desk is against the window. It’s nice to look out and see the sky, trees, and houses, but it’s not always great when it comes to glare and light pollution! I guess I just have to work at night-time more ;)

I’ve got a fabric square of “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa” as I’ve always loved this painting, and I like being reminded of the ocean. I have brought only a few crystals/gemstones with me from Australia, which are sitting just underneath my top monitor. Speaking of the monitor, I finally bought myself a nice one (instead of using crappy out-dated hand-me-downs…). It has a great display and colour profile! I can easily change the profiles depending on whether I’m working or playing computer games.

A notepad and pens are almost always on my desk, as I enjoy writing and taking notes with pens of different colours. And as usual, I’m in a house with other people, so I keep my headphones/earphones handy for blocking out noise. My purple drink bottle is always on hand as well. It’s 500mL stainless steel, and it gets refilled multiple times a day.

Kristen’s Work Space

Kristen desk staff work space

My work-space is set away from the rest of my house because I find it easier to concentrate in an office dedicated to my work. I really like to have a completely uncluttered desk, so I keep as little as possible in front of me. Having said that, there are a few things I can’t do without.

It’s really important to me to have lots of light and fresh air in my office so my windows and blinds are always open and the fans always on.

I love to collect crystals, so there’s always a few different shapes on my desk. Right now I have smoky quartz. They’re a nice counterpoint when I need to take my eyes off the screen for a break.

No matter how far we get into this ‘digital age’, I always find it helpful to write things down using pen and paper. Even if I rarely look at it, physically taking notes helps me to remember things, and makes reminders that much easier to see.

——

What kind of set up do you have for your home office/studio/desk? Do you work from co-working spaces or use a serviced office? Do you work from home or have a creative studio setup? Let us know!

Setting Cost Per Conversion Goals & Benchmarks

Setting Cost Per Conversion Goals & Benchmarks

When you’re thinking of starting up a Google Ads account, it’s important to identify the goals you’re looking to achieve. This becomes even more important when looking at metrics like Cost Per Conversion or your Return on Investment (ROI).

When we bring on a new client, the first thing we do is ask them for their Cost Per Conversion goal. Sometimes the client is already aware of theirs and can easily give us a number. Other times, the client may be unsure of thinking about their goals in this way, and may need more guidance in working them out.

What is a Cost Per Conversion?

A Cost Per Conversion (also known as Cost Per Acquisition and other such names) is essentially the amount of money you spend to achieve a conversion. For example, if you spend $200 on advertising and receive 2 conversions, your Cost Per Conversion is $100. It’s a pretty simple metric to calculate, but it gets more complicated when you mix it with a client’s Lead Conversion Rate & Job Profit.

A lead conversion rate is the number of leads a client is able to turn into jobs or work for a profit. So, if we get 10 conversions or leads to the client, and they are only able to turn 5 of them into profitable work, then their lead conversion rate is 50%.

Job profit is pretty much exactly how it reads. If you’re advertising for a job that gets you $500 from your customer, and your expenses for that job cost $300, then you’ve made a $200 profit. Naturally, this $200 can then be put back into advertising costs.

What do we do with these metrics?

These numbers are a vital step in determining whether or not Google Ads is going to be an effective form of marketing for your business. To calculate your cost per conversion benchmark, the mathematical equation looks a bit like this:

Profit From Job / Lead Conversion Rate = Cost Per Conversion Benchmark
$200 / 50% = $100

Both the profit from a job and lead conversion metrics are incredibly important to figure out what you should be aiming for as a cost per conversion. Notice above how it says “benchmark”. This is the “break-even point” for your business. This means that you’re investing the entire $200 you just made back into advertising, and you’re neither losing money nor gaining money. The benchmark is really only in place to determine the point where you begin to lose money. The lower you are compared to your benchmark, the more profit you make.

Let’s go back to our figures – say you run Google Ads for a few weeks, and your Cost Per Conversion starts to creep above your $100 benchmark. This is a big warning sign that Google Ads perhaps now costs you money instead of making it. This might change as the account progresses. Maybe your lead conversion rate increases which would allow your cost per conversion to increase a little. Or, maybe you now have a bigger profit margin on your jobs. In any case, it’s an opportunity to review.

Take Action

Google Ads is an ever-changing advertising platform and can easily turn into a money drain if you don’t have the proper foundations in place. Take the time to review your figures, set goals and benchmarks, and you’ll easily be able to stay on top of your spending.

If you want to know more, or are looking for help with your marketing goals, send us a message!


Written by Lachlan Ward

Four Benefits of Social Media Advertising Campaigns

Four Benefits of Social Media Advertising Campaigns

The world of advertising has come a long way in the last few decades. With the transition over the years from posters and billboards, to radio and television, and now to online advertising, businesses are always trying to stay up to date with the latest and greatest form of advertising. Enter; social media.

Since the introduction of platforms like Facebook and Instagram, marketing and brand advertising has exploded. With a reported 9 out of 10 businesses using social media to market themselves, we ask the question; why is social media so popular to advertise on?

Here’s four reasons why it can be beneficial to advertise on social media.

Brand Visibility

If you look at any crowded place, you’re guaranteed to see a bunch of people using their mobile phones. It’s also likely that the majority of those people are browsing some form of social media. With so much of the world’s population connected online, it makes sense to advertise in a place where lots of people are looking on a daily basis. By showcasing your brand in a place where people are always looking, you’re likely to be seen way more often.

Customer to Business Connections

Social media allows you to post updates or images of your business. It also allows you to connect directly to current or potential customers. Customers have the opportunity to openly express their opinions of your business. You, as an owner or manager, are able to directly interact with users about their opinions and concerns. This helps create much-desired transparency, and can really help to improve your brand’s image and reputation.

Reduced Marketing Costs

Running a full marketing scheme can be expensive. When advertising on media such as billboards, television, or radio, it’s hard to get a fully accurate measure of the effectiveness of these sources, and they tend to be expensive. With social media, your marketing is digital and as such is able to be tracked and traced in a much easier way. You can also control your marketing costs on a more detailed and adjustable level.

Running a business page doesn’t have to cost a fortune and can easily be done as a side gig. If you’re just beginning, you can start small by doing up some social media posts yourself – without even going the paid/sponsored ad route. You just have to make sure you’re consistent and up to date. Of course, the larger the business, the more likely you are to look into things like Paid Facebook Advertising, or even outsourcing your advertising all together.

Target Audience & Brand Ambassadors

As I mentioned earlier, so much of the world’s population is connected online in contemporary society. This also means that your opportunity to advertise your business is open to the world via social media. A billboard only shows to the cars that drive past, but a social media post can be seen by almost anyone with Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and so on. You can, of course, narrow down the section of the market that your ad will show for. Platforms such as Facebook give many customisable options for choosing your target market.

A lot of companies even advertise their brands through people on social media. The term “Brand Ambassador” is essentially someone who is paid (or otherwise compensated) by a company to advertise their products using their social media status. In many cases for particularly large brands, they’ll use celebrities. Some examples of this include Adidas with Lionel Messi or Calvin Klein with Kendall Jenner.

On a smaller and arguably more personal scale, there are also ambassadors who build up a following over time just talking about their experiences with brands. They may be bloggers (for example in the lifestyle, health, or travel niches), vloggers (video bloggers) on YouTube, or Instagrammers. Word of mouth is a very powerful form of advertising. Coming from a personal blogger, it can be seen as more relatable to potential consumers, rather than coming from a movie star celebrity (for example).

Wrapping Up

Nowadays, advertising through social media is almost necessary to be able to have strong brand visibility and to be able to grow your business. Online-based companies like Amazon heavily rely on their social media advertising to market their business, and it’s really helping push them to be one of the biggest companies in the world.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us!


Written by Lachlan Ward and Chelsea Zanki

How to use Google Ads change history

How to use Google Ads change history

Google Ads is a complex beast. Actively optimising campaigns means there are a lot of variables you need to be monitoring and often adjusting. Keywords, bidding, ad copy, budgets, settings and targeting are just some of the things that you’d be looking at. With all of these changes, it’s worth being able to look back in time and see exactly what you’ve done. There’s a few reasons change history can be useful to your strategy and general management of your Google Ads campaigns.

Knowing where you went wrong…and right!

One of the major things you should look at when optimising your campaigns is anomalies. Look for changes in your campaigns performance that are out of the ordinary. Sometimes even seemingly small changes can affect your stats in a big way. This is where change history is important. It’s great for checking what changes you made, and when, and how they relate to a change in performance.

For example, let’s say one of your usually high-performing keywords is suddenly getting very few clicks compared to normal. There could be a few reasons for this, but a quick glance at your change history could help you understand what’s different. You might notice that you added a negative keyword that actually conflicts with the positive one. The brilliance of the change history section is that you can actually click an “undo” button and reverse it without having to navigate away. If things ever went REALLY bad, you could (in theory) reverse a lot of changes all at once. But hey, let’s hope it never comes to that.

It’s not all about the bad though. Your change history can help you understand the fundamental things you did to bring your campaigns to a new level. Being able to go back in time and see when you made all those ad changes and where is a useful summary to understand why all of a sudden, for example, your CTR is going through the roof.

Avoiding confusion

Have you ever logged into your Google Ads campaign, seen something, and thought “wait, I don’t remember doing that”?

It’s common for multiple people to have access to a Google Ads account to be able to see what’s happening and report properly. But when multiple people have access, there’s always a danger of multiple people making changes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, after all, doing all the work to maintain campaigns can be a big job and sometimes too big for one person. The downside is when unwanted changes are made. In a best case scenario this is just a miscommunication. In a worst case scenario, you’ve forgotten to remove access from someone you no longer work with and they’re taking their revenge. Dramatic things like that aside, the Google Ads change history can tell you who did what. This can help you make sure you’re all on the same page.

Remembering well into the past

It’s heading towards the end of the year and you’re discussing how to best capitalise on the holiday season with your advertising. Last year was great, but wait, what did we do again? Raising or lowering budgets, pausing or activating campaigns, and targeting new keywords are all things that can happen seasonally. When you only do something at a certain time of year, it’s sometimes hard to remember exactly what you did. You might know your general strategy, but it’s always worthwhile remembering those exact changes you made that worked so well last year.

In short, your Google Ads change history is like a secretary for your campaigns. It’s taking notes, even when you’re not. It’s a fantastic tool not just for optimisation, but also for accountability and transparency in the way that you manage your campaigns. While it’s often an overlooked feature, it’s one of the most handy things in your Google Ads arsenal. So when you’re wondering what’s in the future for your Google Ads campaigns, check your history!

Written by Gemma Renton

Google Shopping Promotions

Google Shopping Promotions

When you hear the phrases “Black Friday” or “Boxing Day Sales”, you immediately picture hordes of people going crazy inside of shopping centres. However, over the last decade, online shopping has become the new way for people to purchase items. It’s convenient as you can shop from home, and customers aren’t limited to just what’s available in person at a shop. Most retailers have transitioned from being just a physical store, to having both online and physical locations. There are even companies that don’t have physical locations at all, but are 100% online.

Being online can really help reduce costs for the business and the customer. Without excessive overheads to pay for, savings can be applied to products. This helps make the business more competitive and enticing for customers.

Google Shopping is an awesome platform for advertising sale items online. It can be very effective if you take advantage of features such as Promotions. Google’s Shopping Promotions allow you to stand-out from other competitors and helps you grab more attention from potential customers.

What is a Google Shopping Promotion?

Essentially, a Promotion is a specific discount or offer that your business has on either the product or shipping. These can range from something like “20% Off” to “Spend Over $100 For Free Shipping”. These promotions are shown on the ad just below the price and company name:

Google Shopping Campaigns - Vine Street Digital

Promotions are a great way to draw in more attention from customers. Create a special offer to try increasing CTR of your ads. People are more likely to view your ad if they know they’ll get a great deal. If your deal is better than other competitors, you’ll see a conversion increase.

Promotions can be used on both mobile and desktop devices, so you’re able to hit a much wider audience and further increase CTR and conversions.

Currently, the following promotions can be used:

  • Discounts, including:
    • Percentage off,
    • Cash back,
    • Buy 1 get 1 free,
    • Buy 1 get the second at a percentage off.
  • Free Gifts, including:
    • Giving the customer a free gift or free gift card with a particular purchase.
  • Shipping, including:
    • Giving free or discounted shipping.

Limitations

Of course, there are limitations to what can and can’t be shown. For starters, the Promotion can’t run longer than 6 months. The promotion must also be redeemed at the checkout. This means that the promotion can’t be already applied to the item before that item has been put through to the online checkout. This means that markdowns and advertised price reductions can’t be advertised as promotions. Also, your promotion must be a minimum of 5% or $5 off the advertised item.

Another important factor is that Google Promotions are only available in certain countries. Currently, Promotions are only available in Australia, UK, US, Germany, France & India. This should be taken into consideration when looking at selling internationally.

With so many different competitors in the same place, it’s much more difficult to stand out from the crowd through online shopping. Google promotions tries to help you do this by drawing user attention with a special deal or offer to help you increase sales.

Written by Lachlan Ward

Exploring Google Ad Extensions

Exploring Google Ad Extensions

Ad Extensions are a great way to add a more information into your ad and really make your ad stand out. From Phone Numbers and Business Locations to extra offers or extended services, they can really help showcase every aspect of your business. I’ll go into further detail about each extension below:
Google Ad Extensions - Sitelinks - Vine Street Digital

Sitelinks

Sitelinks are probably the most used extension in any AdWords campaign. This is the part of the ad that lets you add links to different parts to your website within your ad. Sitelinks can take up a lot of room on the results page and they really help make your ad stand out.

Google Ad Extensions - Call Extensions - Vine Street Digital

Call Extensions

Pretty straight forward. It’s simply a little button that lets people on mobile devices call your store directly from the ad. As an added bonus, Google has its own call tracking on these extensions which makes it really simple to see where the conversion came from.

Callouts

Google Ad Extensions - Callout Extensions - Vine Street Digital
Callouts are really little bits of information that can be added to an ad. The best way to use a callout extension is to save them for your unique selling points or special offers like “Free Delivery!” or “No Call Out Fee!”. The reason for this is because the character limit for each callout is only 15 characters, which doesn’t leave much room for a big description.

Location Extensions

Google Ad Extensions - Location Extensions - Vine Street Digital
As the name suggests, Location Extensions allow people on all devices to see where your business is located. Users can click the extensions to be sent to Google maps where they can get directions to your store. What’s different about Location Extensions is that they require a Google My Business to be linked to the AdWords account. Google then pulls the address information from the My Business account and automatically creates a Location Extension.

Promotion Extensions

Google Ad Extensions - Promotion Extensions - Vine Street Digital
Promotion Extensions are a great way to showcase any special offers or deals that you might be running. This can really help pull customers onto your website and is a great way to advertise your business.

You can even set dates for starting & finishing the promotion, making it very easy to control.

Price Extensions

Google Ad Extensions - Price Extensions - Vine Street Digital
Price Extensions are awesome for stores that have fixed prices on items or services. Essentially, it allows you to showcase your price in your ad copy. This can be really beneficial when it comes to people shopping around as you don’t waste a click on someone who is just window shopping.

Structured Snippets

Google Ad Extensions - Structured Extensions - Vine Street Digital
Structured Snippets are an extension that is perfect for people wanting to advertise a long list of services, courses, brands etc. Essentially, you can have a long list of things that is a good selling point to your business.

App Extensions

Google Ad Extensions - App Extensions - Vine Street Digital

An app extension is a little button that encourages people to download an app that you might have linked with your AdWords. When a user clicks the app extensions, they are redirected to their app store to download the app.

Message Extensions

Google Ad Extensions - Message Extensions - Vine Street Digital
A message extension is a little button which allows the user to contact you directly via text message. When someone clicks the message button, their message app will open with a message that you can preselect. for example, “I would like to arrange a meeting”.

Written by Lachlan Ward

Targeting Local Areas With Google Ads Campaigns

How To Use Location Targeting For Local Areas with Google Ads

One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is being able to advertise your business or product to anyone in the world. But what if you only want to target a specific location? What happens if you’re a plumber in Brisbane, and someone in Sydney asks for a quote on a blocked drain? If your targeting isn’t correct, Google might end up showing your advertisement to customers far outside of your desired range.

So, for example, if you’re a service-oriented business based on the north side of Brisbane, chances are you don’t want to drive to the Gold Coast for work. To help prevent showing ads to people on the Gold Coast, Google Ads allows you to set specific locations using ‘location targeting’.

We’re going to talk about two main ways to target your local areas – with campaign settings, and with keywords.

Target Local Areas Using Campaign Geographic Location Targeting

Google Ads gives you the option to target as closely as a postcode, or as wide as a country or the globe. As we’re talking about local areas in this article, let’s stick with targeting things like postcodes, cities, and states/regions. You can select areas by radius as well! So say you wanted to focus on Brisbane city with a 20km radius, just plug that into your Google Ads campaign.

We’ve actually talked a bit about this already in our existing article here: Using Location Targeting With Google Ads. In that article we go more into the specific technicalities of the settings.

Essentially, the aim here is to have a campaign that is location targeting your desired area, such as Brisbane. Then you set up ad groups for general keywords you desire, such as “plumber”.

However, we find that a lot of serviced-based industry keywords are really, really competitive. Because of this, the CPC’s are usually incredibly high on broad terms like “plumber” or “electrician”. But, by knowing where you want to target, doing a bit of research, and using suburb based keywords, you can really improve your performance as well as save money getting those conversions. Which brings us to using location keywords for targeting!

Target Local Areas Using Keywords

If you want to target an area like North Brisbane, with lots of suburbs inside it, we can focus our targeting further by using ad groups and keywords. To do this, we simply add the suburb name onto the end of a keyword. So “plumber” becomes “plumber Aspley”. This has 2 major benefits:

Firstly, it allows you to be more relevant to your user and allows you to customise your ad copy to show the suburb. This can increase the chance of a click and conversion.

Secondly, it helps to reduce the CPC. While “plumber” might be a hotly contested keyword which could cost upwards of $20 per click, “plumber Aspley” might be less contested, and thus probably costs less. So not only are you being more relevant, but you’re also saving money!

Splitting out a Geo-keyword campaign

In this kind of setup with suburb/location-based keywords and ad groups, we find it’s often best to have them in their own campaign. This helps us control it better alongside campaigns that are using generalised keywords with campaign geo-targeting settings. We don’t always start with a geo-keyword campaign right from the word go, but will run with a general campaign to begin with and see if the need is there.

Contact us if you need any help with your location targeting!

Written by Lachlan Ward and Chelsea Zanki

Chelsea’s Tips To Stay Productive Working From Home

Staying Productive When Working From Home

Working from home can be difficult when there’s no one else to hold you accountable! It takes discipline and willpower. Some days are easier than others, depending on what else is going on in my life. But these are a few things that I’ve used to help!

Tools For Staying Focused/On-task

Music

SpotifyCertain music can affect how well I work, but it changes and goes around in circles. I’ve started using Spotify to follow a few different playlists. I find that chilled instrumental music is good when I’m writing (having no lyrics in the music tends to help here). And Summer Waves works well as music that lifts my mood a bit but fades into the background just enough to not distract me too much. 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!

Timers

FocusKeeperI’ve had days where the Pomodoro method has worked well for me. It’s a method where you work for 20 minutes, take a break for 5 minutes, then repeat this cycle a few times before having a longer break of 25 minutes. I’ve been using Focus Keeper as a tool for implementing this method. If anyone has experiences with another app I’d be happy to hear your suggestions!

Having the timer is great to keep me focused on tasks, one-by-one. Sometimes it feels less daunting, especially when approaching a bigger task, to give yourself just 20 minutes to work on it in every ’round’. This way it’s also less tempting to multi-task too much or to compulsively check emails, which can be chronic time-waster activities that build up!

Know When To Have A Break!

Sometimes it’s tempting to keep pushing through a particular problem or task that you’re facing. And sometimes, it’s hard to know when to stop banging your head against that brick wall and just take a break!

I’ve heard it said many times, that if you just give yourself some space from a challenge that often the answers will come to you on their own. The challenge is learning to recognise when it’s time to step away for a while! If you’ve been trying to push through for a while and you’re still not getting anywhere, it’s probably time to take 5 (or 10, or 30)!

Productive Breaks For Body & Mind

As anyone who works at a computer all day can tell you – it feels terrible for your body. Make sure you get up now and then! Setting a timer (such as the Focus Keeper I mentioned earlier) is a good way to remind yourself of that! Do some stretching, go for a little walk, just move your body.

You could even take yourself out for a little date – get yourself some lunch at a cafe, or take a picnic to a local park. Just get out into the fresh air and sunshine! If you can, maybe even meet a friend for lunch/coffee. Going outside and seeing other people is something that can help not just your body, but your mind as well.

CalmMeditation can also be a great way to get some space from your work. There are many apps out there for meditation these days. I usually use Calm. I love that it has different backgrounds with their own sounds (I tend to use the beach or the rain) which can integrate with whichever meditation you’re listening to. Taking a step away and letting your mind focus on something as simple as your breathing can help you be productive. It’s not 100% guaranteed success though: sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn’t!

Back to it!

Hopefully you’ve found some tips in here that will help you get productive! I find usually having a good mind & body break helps me come back with fresh eyes and renewed vigour. And I haven’t even mentioned caffeine! I don’t drink coffee, but I enjoy the odd cup of green tea. You do you! If you’ve got any other tips or experiences you’d like to share, I’d be glad to hear them!

Written by Chelsea Zanki

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