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

How 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 microtherapy 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 also 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.

CalmAnd of course, meditation can be a great way to get some space from your work. There are a great many apps out there for meditation these days. I usually use Calm. I love that it has different backgrounds with their own sounds (I stick with the beach) 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

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.