Health Practices for Remote Work Environments

Health Practices for Remote Work Environments

Prior to 2020, working from home for most people was something that seemed unattainable. With the pandemic forcing some workplaces into remote work for the safety of employees, there must be a focus on ensuring that each employee has a remote environment that is comfortable.

We now, more than ever, need to be aware of best health practices in the workplace. Not only for physical health but the mental wellbeing of employees as well.

Here are some practices employers can implement to assist their staff in being comfortable and healthy while working remotely.

Ensuring A Comfortable Remote Work Space

A practice that I experienced in a previous job was an assessment of my workspace by my employer, prior to assuming a remote position. The assessment included a checklist of ergonomic requirements as well as tips from other remote employees for making the space more comfortable. We were to set up our space and complete the checklist, then provide photo evidence of the space to the HR department.

Once approved, we could then commence the remote position. Not only did this ensure we were starting off on the right foot in a new work environment, but it also demonstrated care from the employer. This practice is something that could be effective on a wider scale for businesses who may be hesitant to implement new work options.

Health In A Remote Working Environment

Adopting a remote working environment can be a double-edged sword depending on the workplace and the particular employee. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some workplaces were forced into a completely remote environment within a matter of days to protect the health of the workforce.

For some people, remote working would have been a dream. However, such a huge change being enforced in such a small amount of time, although it was to protect people’s physical health, could have had an impact on the mental health and wellbeing of those affected. Any kind of change can be difficult, but with a complete overhaul of policies and procedures within a workforce, steps need to be put in place for the future of the workforce if it is going to thrive.

Employers need to remember that each individual is different. So, while some working environments are great for one person, a different approach may be needed for somebody else.

In my experience with remote work (my current position included), I would say work-life balance is something that not only makes an employee more comfortable at work but also has an impact on mental health. Even though I enjoyed my remote position in my previous job, the hours were regimented, lunch breaks were set, and even though I was at home I had no real control over my day. Over time, that started to take a toll, especially because your home is your work environment.

Allow Freedom Within Your Remote Work System

My previous employers were always hesitant to allow their employees to work from home. Perhaps it was because of a lack of trust, or a concern that autonomy may lead to lower productivity.

My personal experience of remote work with Vine Street Digital has been extremely positive. I find myself a lot more focused now that I’m able to set out my workday according to when I will be most productive. Having the ability to work flexibly has created the perfect work-life balance for me! I feel as though my performance has skyrocketed now, compared to how it was in a regimented office environment.

If I had to give advice to employers on how to keep a happy, healthy and productive workforce, I would have to say the biggest thing, in my opinion, is giving your staff a choice. If you provide your employees with the freedom to choose from a range of options that work for your business but are also diverse in the type of approach your employees can take, I feel as though employers would find they have a much happier and productive workforce than that of a business that is putting everyone in the same box.

Written by Zea Holmes

We have many articles about remote work! Here are just a few:

MyBusiness Awards Finalist 2020

MyBusiness Awards Finalist 2020

The team at Vine Street Digital is proud and thrilled to announce finalist status for the MyBusiness Awards 2020, in both the MEDIA, MARKETING AND ADVERTISING BUSINESS OF THE YEAR category, and the WORKPLACE OF THE YEAR category!

As the owner of an agency that focuses on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) digital advertising, Gemma Renton knows all too well the pitfalls and restrictions rife within many agencies in the industry. Noticing the burnt-out staff, low productivity, and unhappy clients, and burning out herself, Gemma knew something had to change. She created Vine Street Digital in 2015 as a way to combat these issues.

“We envisage a world where no one has to sacrifice their careers for their desire to travel, have children, or live rurally. We also want to level the playing field in terms of gender, disability, and race.” – Gemma

Vine Street Digital has operated under a remote-work model since its inception. The business is founded on the principles of honesty, trust, and integrity. Rather than subscribing to traditional office life, Gemma chose to give herself and her employees the freedom and flexibility of a completely remote work environment. Staff can choose their location and their hours of work.

“Fast-forward to the 2020 pandemic, while many businesses are implementing remote work for the first time, we’ve already been working from home in a way that promotes employee health during a stressful, difficult time.” – Gemma

It’s not only about liberating Gemma and her employees, but their clients as well. The freedom and transparency that Vine Street Digital offers to clients is a driving factor in their success. Their PPC management service is contract-free, and clients maintain complete ownership of all their accounts. This differentiates Vine Street Digital from the many agencies that try to keep a firmer hold on their clients.

Achieving finalist status in both the Media, Marketing and Advertising Business of the Year category as well as the Workplace of the Year category proves that Vine Street Digital is on the right track.

“To be the best agency to work with, and the best agency to work for – it’s exactly what I wanted.” – Gemma

Most of the Vine Street Digital team are currently based in and near Brisbane, Australia. However, two team members are in Victoria, and another lives in Canada. Those who are able to travel will join Gemma in celebrating and watching the awards live stream in her living room. The others will join in spirit!

“It’s a perfect excuse for us to hang out, have a bit of fun, and celebrate our achievements,” Gemma commented.

“Our ambition is to ensure that we continue on this path, and lead others by example. We’re inspiring better business. The MyBusiness Awards gives us an amazing opportunity to share our vision and promote change in the industry.” – Gemma

A focus on employee retention and wellness, and a business model that promotes quality work, means that Vine Street Digital is one of the few agencies hiring during a pandemic – not firing! The pandemic has shown the world that flexible, remote work is the way of the future, and has proved to the team at Vine Street Digital that they have countless benefits helping them to mitigate risk and grow during difficult times.

Written by Chelsea Zanki

The MyBusiness Awards is the benchmark for excellence in Australia and the largest independent awards program celebrating SME business owners and professionals. Award recipients represent a true cross-section of the SME industry, recognising the best of the best, highlighting and celebrating outstanding achievements, and providing winners with a desirable accolade.

“This year’s MyBusiness Awards carry more weight than ever, given the unparalleled hardship small- to-medium-business owners have experienced since the onset of 2020,” said MyBusiness editor Maja
Garaca Djurdjevic.

“That is precisely why we feel honoured to have this opportunity to celebrate business owners and shine a spotlight on those that have gone above and beyond to keep their businesses running and offer outstanding service and support to their customers and the Australian community at large. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their continued efforts. We wish you all the very best and look forward to celebrating your achievements in December.”

The finalist list features over 250 high-achieving individuals and businesses across 30+ submission-based categories. The awards ceremony and announcement of winners will be live-streamed on the 4th of December.

About Vine Street Digital:

Vine Street Digital is a digital advertising agency that focuses on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing across multiple platforms including Google, Bing, Facebook, and more. Their management services include a thorough analysis of their clients’ business goals and metrics to help deliver their desired results. For further information, contact Vine Street Digital.

Music While We Work Remotely

Music While We Work Remotely

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


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 one of my favourites 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 (via embedded YouTube videos) to add to the rain. It’s helped me discover even more music to listen to!

When I want some more control and variation for soundscapes, I use the 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 sound. On iPhones, they’ve even included the ability to oscillate the sounds! Sadly, that feature isn’t available for Android users, much to my despair.

As of May 2020, I discovered the music streaming community on Twitch, and I’m having a great time! I talk more about that at the bottom of this blog. 


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.


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.


I tend to get way too emotionally invested in whatever music is playing, so I tend to sort my playlists by mood. If I’m working with numbers, I need either total silence (which is easy to achieve at a home office like mine) or something low-stakes like a song about a guy who’s really good at pinball.

If I’m doing a repetitive task, I like to listen to a work-out mix to get into a good rhythm. Work-out mixes are the modern-day sea shanty.

And when I have a task that I can do in my sleep, I turn on my guilty pleasure playlist for a private karaoke session. No one needs to know that I know all the lyrics to Rapper’s Delight except for me and my roommates.


As the mother of a small child, I constantly have Wiggles songs stuck in my head. So while I work, I actually prefer to listen to audio books rather than music! The local library services give their patrons access to apps that allow audio-book downloads for free, so I take advantage of this service while I work.

If I am in the mood for music instead, I have a tendency to stick to instrumental music on YouTube – Celtic and Nordic themes that I can play in the background while I concentrate.


Music helps me concentrate – as well as being a great mood booster – so I always have something on in the background. I tend to play whole albums rather than playlists, but I love the curated playlists Spotify make for me, they normally get it spot on.

The music I play depends a lot on where I am in the week. I normally start the week off with chill synth/electro-pop style music such as Shura or Clairo. As the week goes on, I’ll put on artists such as Kali Uchis, Anderson Paak or Crazy P.

I definitely can’t pass up a touch (i.e a lot) of pop – queue Charli XCX & Dua Lipa – and 12pm onwards on Friday is the time for it!


I enjoy a wide array of music, it really depends on my mood on the day from pop and House to RnB and Rock. I love bands like Future Islands, Foals, Sticky Fingers, Smith Street Band, War On Drugs, Violent Soho.

When I’m wanting to get in the zone, I prefer listening to playlists with music that don’t have sing-along components.

I have a few go-to playlists on Spotify for when I just need steady background music including ‘The Office Stereo’, ‘Lo-Fi Beats’ and ‘Just Chill’. An odd one is the ‘The Sims’ from the original computer game. That music makes time fly by.


As much as I love music, I actually find it quite hard to concentrate with it playing in the background. I work best with my balcony open letting the city sounds in.

I find with songs I get super distracted and can’t actually focus on the task at hand, whereas with the natural sounds of the city it helps me to focus more and get my work done.


Music has always been a massive part of my day. Working remotely has given me the privilege to play music all day, non-stop, which I definitely take advantage of.
I have a few go-tos depending on my mood, as well as the activity I am doing. I have specific playlists that I jump on when I’m driving, pottering about at home, or with friends. These playlists mostly consist of modern trap music, contemporary r&b, and alternative hip-hop.

When I am working, relaxing, or occasionally driving too, I will put on ambient music or something downtempo. Examples are artists like Brian Eno, Tycho, Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin. I often find that these relaxed tracks help me concentrate, as I’m not trying to fill empty silence with distracting thoughts; like the fact that there is no physical evidence to say that today is Wednesday – we all just have to trust that someone has kept count since the first one ever.

COVID-19 Update

We put together this post a while ago, but we like to update it now and then with some new discoveries. As of May 2020, we’ve been experiencing a global pandemic, and many people are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety.

Music is something that can be very helpful in dealing with stress, and it can bring people together. The team over at have put together a list of music streaming services that you may like to check out! This list is probably of most use to American audiences, as some of the services aren’t available in other countries (e.g. Pandora is not available in Vine Street Digital’s home country, Australia). But there are still great insights and takeaways no matter which country you’re in.

One of the platforms they haven’t mentioned is Twitch. Twitch is generally known as the site where you can “watch other people play video games”, but that’s not all it’s about. Twitch also has a huge community of music streamers! You’ll mostly see pianists and guitarists, some who sing and some who don’t. Just check out the Music & Performing Arts section of Twitch. You can find streamers playing all sorts of music, from pop and rock to video game and movie soundtrack covers.

How To Use Facebook Catalogue To Boost Your Online Sales

How To Use Facebook Catalogue To Boost Your Online Sales

There’s no denying that Facebook & Instagram are two of the strongest platforms in driving sales for e-commerce stores. With the ability to reach new and existing customers, these social media platforms are now a core part of marketing strategies across a range of online retail stores. As an e-commerce store, how can you make sure you’re making the most of the features offered by Facebook? Today, we’ll look at one feature in particular – Facebook Catalogues.

Tablet Shopping | Facebook Catalogues | Vine Street Digital

What is the Facebook Product Catalogue?

If you’ve run Google Shopping in the past, you might be familiar with Google Merchant Centre (GMC). You can think of the Catalogue Manager as Facebook’s version of GMC, as this is where you’ll house all your product data; including price, title, description, and images. In order to set this up, you’ll need to navigate to the Catalogue Manager. Depending on the volume of products and your website platform, you can either set the product feed up manually, through a website plugin, or with an existing feed file through GMC.

Once you’ve created your Facebook Catalogue, you can then create ‘Product Sets’. You can create Product Sets to group together specific items in your inventory with a range of filters such as brand or price. You’ll need to create these in order for you to run Dynamic Remarketing Ads – which we’d definitely recommend!

There are a few “best practice” rules when setting up a Product Set. However, the main one we’ll note today is that Facebook recommends you include more than 4 items in a Product Set. Including only a few products will limit your ads from delivering.

Ways To Use Your Facebook Catalogue

Once you’ve set up your Facebook Catalogue, there’s a range of features you can use on both Facebook and Instagram. All of these features provide another touchpoint for you to connect with your customers.

Dynamic Remarketing Ads

I’d be surprised if you haven’t come across Dynamic Ads in your newsfeed. This is where you’ll see remarketing ads for specific products that you’ve already looked at or searched for online. How do they do it? The Dynamic Ads match items from your catalogue with ‘events’ from your Facebook Pixel (installed on your website to track user actions). These events can include ‘product page views’ or ‘add to cart.’ These are great for connecting with customers at the bottom of the funnel, right when they are ready to take action and make a purchase. You have the option of displaying these as a carousel or single image ad.

Collection Ads

Collection Ad | Facebook Catalogues | Vine Street Digital

Collection Ads are a great way to showcase your products and provide an easier way for users to discover and browse in a visual and interactive way. The ad format allows you to display 4 items from your catalogue underneath a hero image or video. Users can then tap on items to learn more or browse similar products.

Facebook Page Shop

You can think of your business page as your storefront and the Facebook catalogue as the warehouse that stores your inventory. So firstly, you’ll need to ensure your Facebook page is set up as a Business Page. Once connected, your Facebook Shop will automatically update when you update the catalogue, so it’s easy to manage. The Facebook Page shop allows users to browse products, view product details, and select a size (for example). The user can then choose to ‘Check Out’ on the website.

Instagram Shopping

With Instagram Shopping, you can tag products within your posts or stories. People can then tap on these tags to see the product details such as price. Similar to a Facebook Shop, you’ll need to ensure that your account is set up as a business account and it’s connected to your Facebook page.

Why not get started with Facebook Catalogue?

If you’re an e-commerce store and you want to take full advantage of Facebook’s Ad features, why not set up your Facebook Catalogue! Contact us if you have any questions, or if you would like assistance with Facebook Catalogue Ads.

Changes to the Google Ads Search Query Report

Changes to the Google Ads Search Query/Term Report

This month, Google is stirring unrest amongst the Google Ads community by implementing serious changes in the way we can see search queries. Up until now, we were able to see every search query that triggers your ads. However, Google is now limiting this to only show queries that are “searched by a significant number of users”.

As PPC Specialists, we heavily rely on the Search Query Report. We use it to:

  • understand the way users search for our clients’ products and services,
  • find new keywords opportunities, and
  • reduce wasted ad spend.

We are already experiencing the limitations just a couple of weeks post-implementation. 

Cons of the new Search Query Report (SQR) limits

Less control over what we’re paying for

Gabrielle notes that this is another step that Google has taken towards limiting the control we have over campaigns. With this change, we have less control over which search queries are triggering our ads, and importantly, what we’re actually paying for.

Google’s update apparently excludes low search volume terms. Unfortunately, Google is seemingly disregarding the fact that it can take just a few clicks to generate large amounts of ad spend, especially in accounts where the bids are highly competitive. 

What if there was one specific word that we could either include or exclude in our campaigns that would affect future performance? We’ve already noticed that we’re not able to see some search queries that have converted. If it’s not searched a “significant number” of times, we’ll apparently never know what it is.

Fewer opportunities to find new keywords based on converting search terms

Lachlan explains that usually when a conversion is recorded in an account, his first action is to go to the search query report to see which query triggered it. He can then add it back into the account as a targeted keyword to increase the campaign’s performance. However, since Google’s SQR changes, sometimes the converting query is not available. So, without being able to know what the query was, he has to rely on the keyword that triggered it to keep bringing conversions in.

DSAs (Dynamic Search Ads) can be a valuable tool for finding new keyword opportunities. In fact, Courtney has some campaigns with budgets dedicated to DSAs for this very purpose. 

In the past 14 days, one particular client received two quality leads from this kind of campaign. Courtney noted that it’s a quiet campaign which doesn’t often receive much traffic nor conversions, so she was intrigued to see what search queries had triggered these clicks. But, there weren’t any search terms available for her to view. This same client had another ad group with 18 clicks from the past 7 days, but only 6 of those 18 clicks had viewable search queries.

This same issue applies to regular (non-dynamic) search campaigns and ads – it is already more difficult to find converting search queries to add back in as targeted keywords.

Higher difficulty to optimise campaigns to be as relevant and targeted as possible

Kristen points out that one of the imperatives of running a successful PPC campaign is ensuring that the traffic you attract is relevant to the services and/or products you’re providing. 

Our specialists can manage what keywords your ads show for by building and maintaining lists of “negative keywords” – keywords to be excluded from your campaign targeting. Regular reviews of the Search Query Report are how we identify irrelevant search queries which should be added to the exclusion list.

This helps create a more streamlined, cost-effective account. But without the ability to see all of the search terms, we run the risk of budget wastage with no way to optimise this. It’s harder to tell if we’re showing to the right audience or not.

Coupled with the continued expansion (and muddling) of what Google considers “close variant” matching, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ensure that campaigns are targeting the most relevant keywords.

Going forward

Google’s aim to “maintain standards of privacy”

Apparently this limitation on SQRs is to maintain Google’s standards of privacy. However, it’s unclear as to what this really means. It’s great if Google can keep personally-identifying information (PII) private. But, hiding masses of low search volume keywords doesn’t seem to be the best way forward.

Courtney has opined that if Google is committed to protecting privacy, one way could be to choose not to show for sensitive topics. This could help advertisers to stay in line with Google’s policies regarding topics such as abortion, sexual content, gambling, and so on.

Google’s push for automated campaigns

We’ve spoken with one of our associates who is in a similar boat. They’ve noted that Google seems to be pushing everyone to automation and smart campaigns. The effectiveness of automated campaigns is a whole other conversation. But, in a nutshell, it’s a system that’s far from perfect. It’s still incredibly important to carefully manage and cultivate campaigns – by hand, not by machine – to help them perform highly. 

Future effects

At this early stage, some of our staff haven’t noticed a massive impact to account performance. More so that it’s annoying that Google is limiting one of the most important features of Google Ads. Apparently, Google is investing in new ways to share insights with their advertisers. We have yet to see a clear picture of what this means and how it will affect the PPC landscape. Time will tell.

Now, more than ever, your campaigns require an experienced eye to make sure they’re at their best. Feel free to get in contact if you’ve got any queries and/or concerns!

Written by the team at Vine Street Digital

Writing Emails In Your Voice: Trust Me, You Won’t Be Sorry

Writing Emails In Your Voice: Trust Me, You Won’t Be Sorry

I just wanted to say thanks for reading this blog. I mean, I’m no expert, but I think that how we phrase things in emails is really important. Sorry if it’s blunt, but sometimes our phrasing can diminish the substance of what we’re trying to communicate. Does that make sense?

Did you hate that opening paragraph as much as I hated writing it?

Power in Communication

Being a completely remote business, emails are a big part of our communication. When you remove the face-to-face conversations, you really need to step up your email game. The words that you choose can break a relationship, ruin a strategy, and waste time. But they can also build trust, friendships, and respect. I have clients that I’ve known for years who I’d consider close friends, but we’ve never actually met in person. There’s a lot of power in the way you communicate, so it feels like a no-brainer to pay close attention to the way you say things.

It wasn’t until the other day when I was composing a tough email that I found myself really questioning my language. For the more difficult emails, I always say them out loud before hitting send so I can get a feel for how they’ll come across. As I read this particular email draft, I realised I had said the word “just” about 6 times, “actually” twice, and to cap it off, said “sorry” for no reason.

Ugh. That’s not me.

I’m a confident person, and yet there was nothing confident about this email. Why was I apologising for existing and making requests that were totally reasonable? I own a business and I’m awesome, dammit!

“Woman In A Meeting” Language

We can all accidentally or unintentionally undermine ourselves, but the reality is that it happens more for women in the workplace. This article from the Washington Post takes famous quotes and puts them in the language a woman would use if she were in a meeting. One of my personal favourites is a spoof of the famous “I came. I saw. I conquered”, or as a woman in a meeting might say;

“I don’t want to toot my own horn here at all but I definitely have been to those places and was just honoured to be a part of it as our team did such a wonderful job of conquering them.”

This “Woman in a Meeting” language, as dubbed in the article, was so ingrained in me that I hadn’t even noticed it. And the more formal or important a situation was, the more I found myself leaning on it.

For me, I fall into this bizarre “Woman in a Meeting” language because I’m trying to fit in. Times where I’ve been passionate about something, I’ve been called “emotional” or even “hysterical”. Some days where I’ve felt sad, depressed, or frustrated and I’ve expressed those feelings at work, I’ve been told to “put a lid on it” or “go do that in private” – basically the corporate equivalent of “you’d be prettier if you smiled more”. So eventually I learned that if I had something important to say, I had better say it in a way that would be received and heard. And unfortunately, that’s “Woman in a Meeting” language.

Just Not Sorry

I recently installed a Chrome extension called Just Not Sorry, and it has helped A LOT. The app highlights words and phrases that undermine your voice, like:

  • “Sorry”
  • “I think”
  • “Just”
  • “Does this make sense?”

Since using the extension, I’ve realised that I use these words and phrases far more often than I originally thought. It’s an excellent tool that’s made me more mindful of my language. I was a huge fan.

That was until I started drafting this email;

“I appreciate your understanding. I always want to be honest with you, especially when I feel that communication might be starting to break down.”

Squiggly lines appeared under “to be honest” and “I feel”, and I started second-guessing myself. Should I rephrase this? Maybe “I feel” just isn’t strong enough. I re-worded the email several times but I had that same feeling I had before;

Ugh. That’s not me.

Yes, as a woman I do lean on language that undermines what I’m trying to say, and it’s bad. BUT, my strengths are my emotional intelligence – my ability to connect with people and be genuine. Overly professional environments make me uncomfortable. I like saying “Cheers” instead of “Kind regards”. And sometimes, when I say “I feel”, it’s because I actually feel something. And I shouldn’t be hiding feelings or apologising for them.

I don’t want to undermine what I’m saying, but being my genuine self isn’t undermining my content. Being in touch with those things I used to hide at work – my emotions, my concerns, my frustrations – are the things that make me win at business. I shouldn’t have to translate my words to fit into a culture that doesn’t cater to, or respect, those parts about me.

Be Yourself

So my tip for you is this. Download the Just Not Sorry Chrome extension and look for the squiggly lines. But ask yourself if you’re apologising for your own existence, or if you really are sorry. Ask yourself if “you feel” because you can’t come right out and say it, or if you really do feel something. When you’re “just emailing to say”, read it out loud, does that sound like you?

Be the wonderful person that you are, embrace the whole of yourself at work, even the messy parts that wouldn’t fit in traditional office environments. Write emails in your voice. Trust me, you won’t be sorry.

Written by Gemma Renton

Tools To Get Your Local Business Online

Tools To Get Your Local Business Online

Local Business, Global Tools: How a digital presence is your key to bouncing back post-pandemic

The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a multi-faceted impact, not least of which is the effect on the business world. Small business owners have had to close their doors, lay off staff, and appeal to the government for support with varying levels of success.

Now that we are hopefully seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the changing face of business and the way we interact as a society will continue to impact on our local businesses and the way they attract consumers.

But it’s not all bad news! Whether you’re in the process of re-opening your physical storefront, transitioning to a full online presence, or completely starting over, there are tools available that you can employ to get your local business online.

Google My Business

Utilising this free tool from Google gives you prominent online real estate when people are looking for you or similar businesses. You can use Google My Business (GMB) to advise would-be consumers of your location, business hours, contact details, busy times, and so much more. This is a fantastic way to advise your loyal customers that you are back in action and also advertise to newcomers, tourists, or people visiting your area.

GMB also gives you visibility on Google Maps, so you can reach even more potential customers travelling into and through your location. It’s easy to update, and can even let other consumers see great reviews and testimonials. Lastly, a fully-optimised GMB profile will boost your organic listings in Google searches. With so many details and connections to other Google apps, it’s a great way to give your local business an online presence!

Facebook Business Pages

Facebooks pages are another free and easy tool you can use to stay in touch with your customers and clients. It is estimated that 2.5 billion people log on to Facebook once per month. Estimates also indicate that 1.66 billion people across the world are daily Facebook users. This means that your potential customers and clients are on Facebook on a very regular basis, and they want to communicate with you!

Similarly to Google My Business, you can update your contact details, business hours, and product range easily and instantaneously. It differs in that you can visually engage with your audience in rich and interactive ways that are not always about selling yourself, but also about building your audience.

Share images, videos, host live chats and demonstrations of your products and services. You can cultivate customers and enthusiasts who will help spread the benefits of your products and services to others they are connected to.

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC)

Using the targeted approach to advertising is paramount if you want to reach the right people at the right time. Pay Per Click advertising on platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads makes sure that your services are seen by the people who are looking for them, at the time they need them.

You have complete control over when your ads show, how much you pay for each click, and even what searches trigger your ads to show. If you combine this with targeted locations, you can be extra relevant to your local community.

Let everyone know that you’re back in business

Now more than ever, your digital presence could be the key to moving forward with your local business in our ever-changing society.

Give your business the best chance of staying on-trend, viable, and up-to-date by getting yourself online. It will help you make sure you’re available to your audience and customers when they need you!

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or would like a free strategy to help you get your business online!

Written by Kristen Boucher

Working From Home: The New Normal?

Working from Home: The New Normal?

Time was, working from home was the dream and people who did it could often be visualised sipping mai tais on their deck, Bluetooth headset in, Hawaiian shirt on. Cut to 2020 and a majority of the workforce is working from home in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. By all reports, working from home is nothing like we thought it was.

The difference between the current shift in working trends, and the original idea of remote-working professionals, is that the choice has been removed. Plus, for many workers, we’re also having to contend with our children being home from daycare and school, our partners also being sequestered in close quarters, and our general family equilibrium altered. We can no longer go to the gym to blow off steam, to the mall for retail therapy, or even to our local coffee shop for a catch-up with friends. Things are tough right now. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and just all-round irritable, you’re not alone.

The Vine Street Digital team are well equipped for the “Work From Home” model as we’ve been a remote digital agency since our inception. Of course, we’re all in the same boat with the isolation restrictions, but here are a few tips for you and your mental health, while you adjust to the New Normal.

Let Go of 9–5

If you’re new to working from home, some of the perks include no commute, a bit more time on your hands, and the ability to choose when you want to work. You may feel a little more freedom with how you structure your day. Be kind to yourself about scheduling your tasks. This is especially important if you have children underfoot or a partner to work around. For instance, get up a little earlier if you find yourself more productive in the morning. Alternatively, if you’re a night owl, save some of your work tasks for later at night once everyone has gone to bed (and you can have some quiet time).

Schedule Your Active Time

If you’re used to going to the gym or getting outdoors, this can be a huge adjustment for your day-to-day life, not least of which because exercise/fitness is so important to your mental health. When you’re putting together your new daily schedule, make time for exercise. No equipment? No problem, there are many fitness activities that require little to no machines, weights, or fiddly straps. Think yoga, running, walking, or plyometric exercises. Alternatively, consider taking advantage of the many fitness streaming programmes available.

Working around kids

If you’ve found yourself at home with young children in this time of upheaval, you might be feeling like tearing out your hair. You love them, sure. But trying to work, clean, cook, stay sane, and keep them entertained 24/7 is more than a full-time job – it’s closer to three. Keep in mind that you are not alone, and there are many groups on social media designed for stay-at-home moms, homeschooling, and entertaining little ones. Some tips that may help include working while they’re asleep, tag-teaming with your significant other, and having scheduled quiet time every day. They don’t have to sleep, but they do have to entertain themselves for a couple of hours so their parent/s can work. Feel free to relax your screen time restrictions if that’s going to help you stay sane and get some work done.

You need “you time”

Self-care seems like a vague concept at the best of times, but now more than ever the stakes are much higher for you, your work, and your family. It’s all very well to espouse clichés and sound bites (is anyone else sick of hearing “you can’t pour from an empty cup”?), but our reality is now so different that your health is the single most important priority on your list. Stress and anxiety are clinically proven to lower immune system efficacy.

So have a cup of tea, read a book, buy an adult colouring book, or simply wear your fluffy slippers to your new work/home office (there’s got to be some perks, right?). Even if it’s for only thirty minutes a day, your mind will thank you for it.

Be Kind. To everyone, but especially to yourself.

Yes, you officially have permission to wear your pyjamas to work from home. You can work from the couch and you can have an extra cup of coffee. If your children have chips and nuggets for dinner again tonight, that’s okay. In this trying time, where you’re doing your best to keep things running smoothly, your ability to be kind to yourself will help you get through. Often attributed to the Buddha is the quote “if your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete”. In a world where things have changed so rapidly, it’s imperative that we remember to be kind.

Remember that all things are temporary! Our current situation is not permanent (although it feels like it when your laptop is propped up on the ironing board and you’re watching your twelfth rerun of Frozen II.) So make the most of this time to look after yourself and your family, enjoy the little things, and stay healthy!

Wash your hands!

Written by Kristen Boucher

Keeping A Home Routine For Work & Life – Part 2

Work & Life At Home Routine – Part 2

The coronavirus pandemic has seen people start to work from home and practice social distancing. It’s a difficult adjustment for many; the loss of structure of a daily routine can be hard. At Vine Street Digital, our default office is our home. We’ve written out what our average days look like, hoping to help those who are needing a bit of reassurance that it’s okay to do things at different times. You can read part 1 of our home routines here, and read on below for part 2!

A laptop, plant, and water bottle on a desk. | Home Routines | Vine Street DigitalCourtney

My daily “routine” continues to evolve as the months go on, depending on what I am doing in my life, although this doesn’t change my productivity levels.

Currently, my routine has altered due to watching a new Netflix series, so I’m going to bed later. As a result, I’m waking up at 8am instead of 6:30am. I go straight to my desk, to check emails. Then at 9-10am I’ll go eat breakfast and brush my teeth.

Sometimes I’ll go to the gym or attend pilates classes at whatever time I’d like to go (ideally the less busy times). I make my breakfast and lunch from scratch every day – from muesli, scrambled/poached eggs, and porridge in the morning; to fresh salads, pasta, and sandwiches during the day.

Overall, my work from home routine has allowed me to be more productive at work and out of work. 


A computer desk setup | Home Routines | Vine Street DigitalMy home routine is mostly standard, but with a few tweaks as I have two dogs and a toddler who also require my attention.

I normally get up around 7am and get bub ready and off to day-care by 7:45am. This involves breakfast, dressing, and hygiene all done in front of whatever is on ABC kids. I’m home from dropping her off by 8 and then I’m walking the dogs between 8 and 8:30. This gives me a great start to the day with some fresh air and sunshine and it settles the dogs, so they don’t dance around me all day.

I work from 8 – 1, normally having a 10-minute break for coffee and breakfast around the 11 mark. Lunch is at 1pm and I try to take it in the garden, collecting a little more vitamin D where I can. My afternoon is where I schedule any housework, cooking, etc before collecting bub at 4:45pm. We always shower at night so we can get up and go in the morning, and we always spend the half-hour before dinner back out in the garden, tending our fruits & veggies and running around on the grass with the dogs.


Due to a physical disability, I can only work an hour at a time. On a good day, I can manage about 4 hours. If I didn’t have a regular daily routine, I wouldn’t be able to manage these hours. 

9:30am – Wake up, make breakfast and watch something silly to start the day on a positive note. I’m rewatching Parks and Recreation at the moment.

10:15am – 1 hour of work.

11:15am – Brush my teeth, then get into my daily physio exercises which all takes around 30 minutes, but feels more like 10 minutes with a good podcast. (I’d recommend This Sounds Serious.)

11:45am – Jump back into another hour of work. 

12:45pm – Lunch break! I try to go for a short walk during my lunch break in addition to eating lunch. This would also be around the time I’d head out to the grocery store if I needed anything. 

1:45pm – Back to work.

2:45pm – Shower time! I have roommates who work 9 to 5 jobs, so it’s very nice not to have to fight for hot water.

3pm – The last hour of work.

4pm – Call someone! I live in Canada and my family lives in Australia, so this is a good time for me to call my loved ones. I like to take the time to do something relaxing, like a 15-minute meditation (but usually video games). 

5pm – Make dinner. I like my dinner like I like my parties: early.

6pm – Whatever the heck I want! Sometimes I have night classes to go to, other times I’ll be heading out to perform in a comedy show. I’m a very social person, so it’s important to me to make plans with my friends during the week. While I’m social distancing, I have plans for phone chats with a bunch of my friends and family.


I try to stick to a regular routine, but there are a few things that shuffle around.A desk setup with a laptop and two extra monitors. | Home Routines | Vine Street Digital

I’ve been starting work around 9 or 10am most days. If I have some particularly engaging tasks or big deadlines, I might work until 7pm or later, as sometimes I find it easier to focus at night time. Or, if I wake up super early for some reason and can’t get back to sleep, sometimes I will work for an hour or two (e.g. 4-6 or 5-7 am). I’ll usually make breakfast around 9.

If I have leftover food in the fridge, I can relax for a bit when I have lunch. Lunchtime varies each day, it could happen any time from 11am to 2pm. I might watch an episode of a show, play a video game, read a book, etc. Otherwise, I have to make food for myself, which is not ideal (I hate cooking and would love to hire a personal chef).

I have pilates class on Thursday morning at 9am every week, and I’ll schedule a variety of appointments throughout the month. Chiropractor on a Friday morning, physiotherapist on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, remedial massage on a Saturday, and so on.

Usually, I work every day (around my appointments) except Thursday and Sunday, as those are the days I can spend with my partner.

Due to social distancing and COVID-19 lockdowns, not much of this is happening at the moment, including seeing my partner (we don’t live together yet, sadly). So, I’m suddenly watching a lot more Netflix instead, and working my way through Far Cry 3 (yes, I’m many years behind). I’m also trying to remember to do more exercises and movement at home. A Les Mills online membership helped get me started. I love their Body Balance mixes, they combine tai chi, yoga, and pilates together.

I love the flexibility of working remotely. If I’m hitting a wall, I can take a break for an hour or so, go sit at the beach to get some fresh air, or I can do some stretches/exercise at home. I don’t have much of a routine for doing that kind of thing, it’s more as and when I feel I need it.

Wrapping Up

Thank you for joining us for part 2 of our home routines! Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Keeping A Home Routine For Work & Life – Part 1

Work & Life At Home Routine – Part 1

In the midst of COVID-19, many people have found themselves suddenly working from home for the first time. For others whose jobs don’t give them an option to work from home, they are suddenly stuck inside without their regular work and home life routine to keep them on track. We’ve seen posts on social media surrounding this issue, where even regular life admin, self-care, and hygiene tasks have fallen by the wayside. 

Our staff at Vine Street Digital work from home by default; we don’t have a regular office. We’ve had experience with having to craft our lives around remote work, where we can mould the day to our liking. It’s okay to do things out of the box, to break away from the idea of sticking to a 9-5 routine. 

So, here’s part one of our staff describing what their average day looks like! 

Work Life Home Routine | Vine Street Digital


My daily routine is fairly structured and is centred around staying active while WFH. Previously, I’d walk to the train and to my workplace. However, now my walk to work is from my bed to the office in the next room. To keep active, I wake up at roughly 6:30am, take my dogs for a walk, make some brekky and be ready to start work at 8am. 

I’ll normally go to the gym at lunch when it’s quieter, and finish with yoga in the afternoon. I’ll do the washing/housework during the week so that I can free up my weekend from boring chores. The best part of all this is that I’m normally finished with my daily routine (work, gym & chores) at the same time I was previously getting home from work. So, I have a much better work/life balance! 


My typical day starts with me waking up between 6.45 and 7.15am. I have a back-up alarm set for 7.30am but I usually wake up naturally on my own, which has been an amazing benefit of flexi hours. I start my day brushing my teeth, taking my vitamins & brushing my hair. I also take the time to do a skincare routine which is a nice “me-time” activity. Then it’s time to change out of my pyjamas. I don’t dress up or put make-up on, but I definitely pick a comfortable outfit for the day that’s not just sleepwear. 

Once I’m ready, I make my bed and I make it real nice. I tuck in the sheets, fluff & flip the pillows and put a throw on the end. My partner jokes that it’s like we’re living in an IKEA display room, but I love it. No matter how bad my day is I get to come back to a cosy bed.

Then, I take about 10-15mins to make the house nice. I open up all the blinds and let as much natural light in as possible. I pick up empty mugs and plates from around the house, throw things in the rubbish, and just generally straighten up the place. My home is where I work, so if things are overly messy, my day will feel messy. It also allows my mind to wake up!

Speaking of waking up, it’s time for a black coffee. I generally practice intermittent fasting (16:8 for all you fasters out there) so I don’t eat before noon, but I kept the coffee!

Work Life Home Routine | Vine Street DigitalOnce I sit down at my desk (usually at around 7.45-8am) all cylinders are firing. I’m most productive in the morning before lunch. So I tackle the big things first; analysis and complicated campaign tasks, big reports, strategies etc. Anything that I’m worried or stressed about also comes first. If I don’t get it out of the way, the whole day is stressful. But if I knock it over first I feel accomplished and on a roll.

I take lunch at about 12-12.30 each day. Lunch is the time where I switch off my brain, so even my meals aren’t complicated. They’re either leftovers, or an egg dish; whatever requires the least amount of effort and thought. Because I like to turn off my brain at lunch, I tend to watch 30mins of Netflix – light stuff or comedies only! Recent favourites include Schitt’s Creek, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Bojack Horseman.

Once I’m back after lunch, I usually have smaller or less complicated tasks ahead of me. I also like to reserve my phone calls for the afternoons too. Phone calls, depending on the subject matter, allow me to walk around a little bit while talking which keeps me active as my brain and energy start to fade.

Most days end for me at 3.30-4pm and I have my routine this way because it’s also when my brain starts running out of juice. I sign off from my computer, closing down all work-related windows, and I head out for a walk. Having a walk gets me outside in a bit of sunshine, but it also allows me to debrief the day to myself as I listen to music. The act of going for a walk also breaks up work time and home time for me too. Since isolating, walks outside have been more limited. But YouTube yoga and a cup of tea on my balcony also make great afternoon routines.


Work Life Home Routine | Vine Street DigitalFirst thing I do when waking up is head straight downstairs to my coffee machine and breakfast. Then I’ll usually jump on the computer and check my personal emails, updates, etc. During this time, I’m also usually listening to a podcast about tech, football, or gaming.

Once I’ve finished with my own emails, I’ll start with my work emails. I always like to check my emails first because it allows me to pull tasks from them and set my day up. While I check my emails, I’ve also got my task list and calendar open for the day. 

Once I’ve done my emails, I’ll start work around 9am. I usually work until around 10.30am then I get ready and head to the gym. I usually get home from the gym around 12pm, then I shower and have lunch. 

Once I’ve finished that, I work until my tasks are done for the day.


My daily routine tends to depend on what kind of social plans I have that day or what I want to cook for dinner. Depending on this, I’ll probably start from any time between 7am-9am. Earlier if I want to finish early to get to a friend’s place, or later if I’ve been out for dinner the night before. I prefer the earlier starts, because it feels like I get so much more out of my day when I finish around 3pm. 

I’ll usually use my lunch break to go to the gym, because it’s not as busy during the day. So, depending on when I get motivated to do that is when I’ll take my lunch. This also helps me to break up the day and get out of the house. 

My days aren’t super structured, I just like to make sure I have enough time to get everything done and not be stressed about it. It’s really nice not having set hours like 9-5, because it takes a ton of stress off. If you’re more productive early in the morning, having the opportunity to start earlier is great. 

Wrapping Up

Depending on the restrictions in different locations, some of these activities (e.g. going to a gym) might not be possible for you, but hopefully, you’ve found something that sparks an idea of what you can do with your time. Perhaps you can adapt some of these ideas into your own routine!

It’s okay if things are a bit unstructured for you right now, but don’t worry. You’ll find something that works for you!

You can find part 2 of our home routines here.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us.

Working At Home? Stay Focused & Work Successfully With Our Tips

Working At Home? Stay Focused & Work Successfully With Our Tips

Pandemic or no, 2020 is a great time to begin working at home. As the world becomes further digitised and people want greater control over their time and resources, more and more businesses are starting to implement remote options for their employees.

There are plenty of benefits to having remote working arrangements, but it can be a hard transition for those who are used to working in an office. Staying productive and focused in your home environment can be difficult with so many of your creature comforts around you. Our team here at Vine Street Digital all work 100% remotely and face these challenges daily.

We’ve put together some tips on how to stay productive and focused while working remotely. Everyone is different, so some of these things may not resonate with you, but we’re sure you’ll find something that helps!

Work Space

If possible, a separate office – or at the very least, your own dedicated desk – is great. However, not everyone has the space for this in their residence. If you can’t have a separate office, maybe you can fit a desk into another room. You might find you’ll be more productive working at a desk than if you were on your bed or the couch. Having a second (or third!) monitor screen is a great booster as well. Sometimes I’m tempted to take my laptop somewhere else to work; but if I have lots of spreadsheet duties on that day, then there’s no way I’m ditching my dual-monitor setup!

If you can’t fit a full-sized desk, try getting a small laptop desk or tray. IKEA has some great options here: they sell a tray table that has space to rest your legs underneath. This is great for working from your bed or a couch/chaise lounge, especially if you are not able to sit at a desk (because of illness, disability, space, or other reason).

Also, set yourself up where you get some natural light. It helps you keep track of the day, and one of our staff says it helps them feel less isolated. If you have fresh air and see the world moving about outside, it feels less like you’re sitting in solitary detention. Plants are also great for this – introducing greenery and/or flowers into your space brings a sense of vibrancy and life to your surroundings.

Mental Boundaries

You’ve heard it time and time again: don’t bring your work home with you. It makes sense! But when you have to work from home, one of the most important things you can do is to set some strong boundaries.

Tell your housemates/family when you’re working, and at what times it might be okay to distract you. If you know you’re due for a business call, perhaps put a sign on your door to warn the other members of your household. Teach them that they can’t come and bother you all day just because you’re physically there with them.

Try to discipline yourself, too. When you’re working at home and have 24/7 access to your emails, work files, task list, and more, it can be hard to break away. It’s a slippery slope – ‘just 5 more minutes’ can easily turn into another hour or two of staring at the screen. Don’t let your work take over! If you think you might struggle with this, try setting alarms for yourself or bring in an accountability partner. Ask a friend/coworker/family member to come fish you out of your work hole if you’ve not surfaced by a set time.

Routines & Schedules

Speaking of time; keeping to a relaxed schedule on regular days can help with improving your mindset for work. Some of our team keeps their gym and lunch break times consistent so that it’s easier to manage their time, and they try to be at the computer by 8:30am, ready to work.

Figure out what times of the day that you’re most productive and see if you can schedule your breaks around that. If you usually hit a slump around 3pm, then schedule a break for 3pm. You could use it to do some yoga, meditation, cooking, singing; whatever helps you feel rejuvenated.

Maybe you’re the kind of person who gets a power surge in the evening? Great! Consider taking the afternoons off to do something relaxing, and come back to work with renewed focus. Or, maybe afternoons are your best time? Then use the mornings to tick off some smaller tasks, and save the afternoon for the big projects once your brain has warmed up.

Make sure your routine feels good specifically for you. Maybe you want to wake up later – you don’t have to get up early for the commute anymore!

This might be difficult if you are still expected to be online and available from 9–5, but see if you can make an arrangement with your boss. Try to find a compromise for you and your team. Perhaps you can start earlier or finish later, enabling you to take a larger break throughout the day where required.

Embrace JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out)

When you’re working at home (and you’re probably alone), you don’t have the regular hustle and bustle and accountability of the workplace. Take advantage of it! But do this in a healthy, productive way. Instead of the same old office playlist, enjoy the silence or your own music. Eat your lunch in peace, away from your desk, without worrying about someone coming to barrage you with questions and tasks.

Beware of what you might be tempted to do when there’s no manager looking over your shoulder. Maybe you’ll scroll Instagram on your phone or Google for your next holiday destination. Don’t get sucked into the black hole of the internet! What’s worked for one of our staff members is putting their devices on aeroplane mode and placing them in a drawer out of reach. You can also add plugins to your computer browser to restrict your access to specific sites such as YouTube and social media.

And remember, take regular breaks! Take the opportunity to stretch often, or dance around the room, whatever you’d like to do that makes you feel good. It’ll feel even better knowing that nobody is watching!

Communicate with your team

All the benefits of working at home aside, the reality is that sometimes it can get a bit lonely. Remember to keep communicating with your team. Whether you use a chat app (Slack, Skype, etc) or have the odd phone call, daily communication goes a long way to helping you feel more connected. You’ve lost the opportunity to pop your head over the cubicle divider to say hi to someone, but you can still send messages and give a few smile emojis! :)

Our team has implemented multiple ways to help us connect. These include weekly icebreaker questions, shout out Fridays, and a fortnightly pairing of team members to have a chat and get to know each other more.

Having a casual chat with your coworkers might not sound like a way to stay focused and productive, but it can increase your happiness and morale, which in turn can boost productivity. As long as you’re doing this in moderation, you should be fine! And of course, everyone has different levels of interactivity that they require to feel happy and comfortable. Sometimes it’s nice to have peace and quiet to be able to put your head down and work hard. But for when that’s not working, try reaching out to a teammate to have a friendly conversation. It could give you the boost you need to be able to focus on work again!

Final Words

Best of luck to you in your remote working arrangements! Feel free to reach out to us at Vine Street Digital if you have any comments or questions.

Written by Chelsea Zanki, along with tips contributed by the whole team.

Australian Small Business Champion Awards Finalists: Vine Street Digital & Gemma Renton

Australian Small Business Champion Awards Finalists: Vine Street Digital & Gemma Renton

Vine Street Digital is excited to announce that we are finalists in the Marketing Services category of the Australian Small Business Champion Awards. This award organisation has spent over 20 years recognising the achievements of small businesses throughout the country. They help to highlight the roles of small businesses in our communities, creating employment opportunities and contributing to our economy.

The digital marketing industry is one that’s often known for overselling and under-delivering. Noticing the burnt-out staff, low productivity, and unhappy clients, and burning out herself, Gemma Renton knew something had to change. She created Vine Street Digital in 2015 as a way to combat these issues.

“It’s important that Vine Street Digital advocates for workplaces that prioritise employee mental health. I want to return to authenticity. I don’t want people to be afraid of the messy parts of themselves and their lives.” – Gemma, owner.

The business is founded on the principles of honesty, trust, and integrity. Rather than subscribing to traditional office life, Gemma chose to give herself and her employees the freedom and flexibility of a completely remote work environment. Staff can choose their location and their hours of work.

“Since working for Vine Street Digital, I feel a lot healthier and happier because I’m able to do the things I want – like going to gym or going out for lunch – while still being able to get all my work done.” – Lachlan, employee.

This opens the company up to employees from all walks of life. It creates a productive work environment and provides a remedy for the digital industry’s modern problems of burnout and high employee turnover. Vine Street Digital fosters an inclusive and accessible environment where staff can design their own lifestyle. Happy and productive staff lead to better results for their clients.

“We provide in-depth, rigorous analysis and improvement for our clients because we are a group of people who believe in transparent and authentic quality for everyone involved. Free from the pressures of inflexible schedules, long commutes, and unrealistic KPIs; our specialists and assistants can create their own work-life balance. This means that every time we sit down to work, we’re bringing the best of ourselves to what we do.” – Kristen, employee.

Vine Street Digital employees live (or have lived) anywhere from regional Victoria, to the Sunshine Coast, to the United Kingdom. Being able to take their work with them means that staff have the freedom to choose where they want to live. It’s also common for workers to visit their families on a more regular basis, working from their childhood homes in Cairns, Townsville, Gladstone, and Lismore.

“We contribute to many local communities, not just one. We have the option of employing people who don’t live in a major city, thus creating jobs where they may be limited options.” – Gemma, owner.

We envisage a world where no one has to sacrifice their careers for their desire to travel, have children, or live rurally. We also want to level the playing field in terms of gender, disability, and race. Staff with mental and/or physical disabilities have found working for Vine Street Digital to be accessible and comfortable.

“As a person with a physical disability, it’s impossible for me to work in a normal office environment. Both sitting and standing are painful for me. At Vine Street Digital, not only am I allowed to work lying down, I didn’t even have to ask.” – Rebecca, employee.

Our ambition is to ensure Vine Street Digital continues on this path and leads others by example. The Australian Small Business Champion Awards is a great platform to share this vision and promote change in the industry. Gemma herself is also a finalist in the Young Entrepreneur category (30 years and under).

The award winners will be announced on the 29th of August, 2020. Follow Vine Street Digital on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates!


Australian Small Business Champion Awards Finalist Gemma Renton | Vine Street Digital


Written by Chelsea Zanki

About Vine Street Digital:

Vine Street Digital is a digital advertising agency that focuses on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing across multiple platforms including Google, Bing, Facebook, and more. Their management services include a thorough analysis of their clients’ business goals and metrics to help deliver their desired results. For further information, contact Vine Street Digital.

2020 Telstra Women’s Business Awards Finalist Gemma Renton

Telstra Women’s Business Awards Finalist 2020

Gemma Renton, owner and founder of Vine Street Digital, is honoured to be selected as a 2020 Telstra Women’s Business Award finalistThe Telstra Business Women’s Awards are entering their 25th year of recognising and celebrating outstanding women who are revolutionising business. From thousands of nominations across Australia, Gemma is one of only 5 finalists in the Queensland Emerging Leader category. She’s excited for this opportunity to share her vision with others.

“My hope is that people will see that inclusive environments that encourage a work/life balance can also lead to higher productivity, efficiency, and profits. Essentially I’d like myself and Vine Street Digital to be the proof that this vision can work.”

Gemma created Vine Street Digital in 2015 after experiencing burnout in an industry that is too highly focused on the ‘hustle’ culture. Knowing there had to be a better way, she grew her business with foundations in honesty, trust, and integrity.

“I started my business so that I could control my own future. Being able to give that freedom to other people too is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”

She gave her employees the freedom and flexibility of a completely remote work environment. Seeing the company grow with productive and happy staff has validated Gemma’s decision to cut ties from traditional working methods.

Telstra Business Women's Award Finalist Gemma Renton | Vine Street Digital

Gemma Renton, owner of Vine Street Digital

As the owner of an agency that focuses on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) digital advertising, Gemma knows all too well the pitfalls and restrictions rife within many agencies in the industry. So, Vine Street Digital is not only about liberating Gemma and her employees, but their clients as well. 

The freedom and transparency that she offers to clients is a driving factor in her success. Gemma’s PPC management service is contract-free, and clients maintain complete ownership of all their accounts. This differentiates Vine Street Digital from the many agencies that try to keep a firmer hold on their clients. 

“We want our clients to stay with us because they’re happy with our service and because we can provide what’s best for their business; not because they are contracted to us.”

Gemma is passionate about inspiring and helping others to implement more flexible practices. She plans to use this award to get the word out about what she and her employees at Vine Street Digital are doing, and to encourage better mental health awareness in the workplace.

“The award would help me to highlight that the digital world doesn’t need to be filled with toxic cultures and employee burnout.”

The award winners will be announced on the 24th of March, 2020. Follow Vine Street Digital on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates!

Telstra Women’s Business Awards Finalist Gemma Renton | Vine Street Digital


Written by Chelsea Zanki

About Vine Street Digital:

Vine Street Digital is a digital advertising agency that focuses on PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing across multiple platforms including Google, Bing, Facebook, and more. Their management services include a thorough analysis of their clients’ business goals and metrics to help deliver their desired results. For further information, contact Vine Street Digital.

Vine Street Digital Receives High-Rated Reviews on Clutch

Vine Street Digital Receives High-Rated Reviews on Clutch

Vine Street Digital is a one-stop-shop for all of your PPC management needs. All of our PPC Specialists come from an agency background and have experience in paid advertising. We are ranked highly in Australia, and also have a global presence, with clients in multiple continents.

Our focus on one service allows us to dedicate time to perfecting our craft. We operate with transparency, making sure our clients stay informed about everything we’re doing and letting them know of all of the changes we’re making.

Our Reviews on Clutch

Clutch’s platform supports our business by publishing reviews from past clients on our Clutch profile. The most recently reviewed project on our Clutch profile is from managing Google and Bing advertising for a consumer goods company in Philadelphia.

We helped the client increase their yearly revenue by managing their Google Shopping & Search advertising and Bing Shopping & Search advertising; as well as expanding into a similar strategy for their Amazon PPC. The client’s revenue increased by 20% across all of their accounts, with some accounts even having growth upwards of 40%.

Reviews on Clutch | Vine Street Digital

“I was impressed with their willingness to be transparent. Their team is also results-oriented. Their model works well for us. Vine Street Digital is honest with our team when things aren’t working. Their team is open to fixing issues and trying new things.”
Nick Wicks
, Head of Digital at Fun and Function, LLC

We work with companies in a wide variety of industries. One example, as highlighted by our review on Clutch, is a solar energy company based in NSW, Australia. We managed their PPC ad campaigns across Google, Bing, and social media platforms. Some great results include the company’s click-through rate increasing by 16.5%, conversion rate increasing to 21%, and cost per inquiry decreasing by 46.5%.

Reviews on Clutch | Vine Street Digital

“Their weekly campaign updates and monthly reports on progress make our job easy.”
Mark McClurg
, Managing Director at Coffs Solar Energy

Thank you!

In addition to company profiles on their original site, Clutch also features companies on their sister site, The Manifest. The Manifest offers business articles and tips for starting and growing a business, or expanding already booming businesses.

We want to give a shout out to Clutch and all of their support, and of course a big “thank you” to our wonderful clients!

Reach out if you’d like to know more about us or what we can do for you, whether it’s search engine marketing, social media ads management, or even if you just have a question. We’re here to help!

How To Use Custom Labels in Google Shopping

How To Use Custom Labels in Google Shopping

Custom labels in Google Shopping are an effective way to set up and optimise your campaigns. You can already create product groups based on Product Type, Item ID, Condition, Brand, and Channel. But custom labels allow you to create your own filters based on anything you like.

The day I learned how to apply them blew my mind (thank you, Gemma Renton), and made managing my Google Shopping campaigns so much easier. You can create up to five custom labels, Custom Label 0 to Custom Label 4, and below are some ways you can use them.

Sub-Product Types

You can already separate products based on their product type in a Google shopping campaign, but there could be subcategories within this type you want to dive deeper into.

For example, imagine an online store that sells famous Australian brands such as Akubra. We know we can sort the Brand (Akubra) and the Product Type (Hats). Akubra’s hat range is exhaustive though, with over 100 different styles, such as Cattleman, Riverina, Avalon, Arena, Snowy River, Bronco… to name a few!

This store wants to create an ad group for each style so that they can monitor the search queries and control the bidding on an ad group level. Custom labels allow us to set up filters for each style and then split them up accordingly. Instead of breaking each custom label into an ad group, you might also like to just keep them in one ad group to observe the results from there and adjust bids as needed.

A screenshot of options for Custom Labels In Google Shopping

Best Selling Items

If you know what your best selling products are, then you could bid more aggressively for these products to increase search impression share and sales. If the Akubra Cattleman and Traveller hats were the highest-selling of the hats, these could be added to a ‘Best Selling’ custom label and bid on more heavily. You might also like to put your best selling items in their own campaign so they can be allocated a specific budget.

High & Low Profit Margins

The same as above goes for sorting products by high and low profit margins. Some of your products might have lower profit margins, therefore needing a higher Return On Ad Spend than products with high profit margins. In this situation, you could separate your high profit and low profit products into separate ad groups or campaigns to control their bids and ad spend.

Seasonability & Events

It is also useful to label items based on seasonality (Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring) or events (Christmas, birthdays, etc). For example, an online store that sells gifts might set custom labels to sort their cards based on events like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and birthdays. They would increase bids for Christmas cards in November and December to increase their Impression Share during this period of high demand.


Sorting products by their colour is also useful. An online shoe store might want to know which colour shoes are their best seller on Google Ads. By setting up custom labels according to shoe colour, they can identify the number of conversions, Return On Ad Spend, Cost Per Acquisition, or whatever the goal is. Knowing this information can help them know where to bid more aggressively (or less). They could also apply ‘best selling’ or ‘high ROAS’ custom labels to these colours.

Naming products

You might be in a scenario where you want to bid on individual products. I find it annoying that you can’t automatically separate individual products by their names – it’s only by their Item ID. This usually doesn’t give you much indication on what the product is.

Normally, you’d then have to go into the ‘Products’ tab to see which exact products had conversions…but not anymore! You can set a custom label to display the actual title of the product. It’s so simple to do. When setting up a custom rule in the Google Merchant Centre, set the custom label to the Title attribute – and you’re done!

A screenshot of options to set a title Custom Label in Google Shopping

Wrapping Up

So there we have it, six ideas for how to use custom labels! Contact us if you have any questions, or would like help with managing your Google Shopping accounts. If you’d like to know more, we also have an article about the benefits of Google Shopping.

Thanks for reading!

Written by Courtney Wilkinson

Google Audience Types & How You Can Use Them

Google Audience Types & How You Can Use Them

Long gone are the days of using keywords as our primary targeting method for Google Search Ads. Now, we have the ability to target URLs (using dynamic search ads), remarketing lists, and more! In this article, we’re going to explore the 3 main Google audience types that you can use (asides from remarketing lists). After that, we’ve got a couple of options for targeting levels.

So, what are these Google Audiences?

Affinity Audiences

Google identifies these audiences based on their ‘habits’ and ‘interests’. Google creates a picture based on the pages a user frequently visits, the time they spend on the page, and their search behaviour.

Affinity audiences are grouped into generalised topics, so targeting with them can be quite broad. Google states that you can reach people based on a ‘holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions and habits’. You can find a full list of these categories from Google’s help article on audience targeting. However, a few examples are:

  • Banking & Finance – Avid Investors (People who actively invest their money, follow financial markets and regularly read financial or business news)
  • Food & Dining – Frequently Dines Out (People who frequently purchase meals at restaurants and other dining establishments)
  • Shoppers – Luxury Shoppers (People who prefer luxury brands and tend to buy high-end goods)
  • Travel – Business Travellers (People who travel frequently for business, typically by air and over several days)

In-Market Audiences

In-market audiences are users that Google has identified to be actively researching or planning. For example, they could be buying a product, or planning a wedding!

We know they’ve taken the first steps to actively seek out the product/service they are interested in. So, you can imagine that these audiences would be great for targeting users further down the buying cycle, in the consideration or action stage. Again, there’s a range of different categories you can select, for example:

  • Education – Post-Secondary Education (People interested in pursuing degree programmes or formal continuing education)
  • Gifts & Occasions – Wedding Planning (People interested in wedding planning services or products)
  • Property – Residential Properties (People interested in purchasing or renting residential properties)

Detailed Demographics

As the name states, these audiences are based on the demographics of the user. They are broken down into four categories:

  • Parental Status: Parents of children in different age brackets
  • Marital Status: Single, In a relationship, Married
  • Education Level: Current student, the highest level of education attained – i.e secondary school, bachelor’s degree or advanced degree
  • Home Ownership Status: Homeowners or renters

Google Audience Targeting Options

Once you’ve decided on your audiences, there are two levels of targeting options.


Firstly, this allows you to observe how the users interact with your ads, without narrowing the reach of your campaigns. We’d recommend starting out with this approach so you can see which audiences perform best. After that, once you have sufficient data, you’re able to add a bid percentage increase or decrease on each of the audiences.


On the other hand, this approach narrows the reach of your campaign to the specific audiences that you’ve selected. You would take this approach with a Remarketing List for Search Ads campaign. If you’ve determined that one audience converts better or perhaps is more valuable to you, you could create a campaign targeting that specific audience.

Wrapping up

So, why not give them a go! Test adding relevant audiences to your campaigns (under observation) to further optimise your campaigns. There are more advanced options you can take with custom or combined audiences, but they deserve a blog all to themselves, so stay tuned!

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

Written by Gabrielle Behm-Pike

5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Facebook Ads

5 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Your Facebook Ads

Running Facebook ads puts you in front of some really large audiences and can be a great source of revenue for any business. But with audiences so large and almost endless impressions to gain, it’s very easy to let your Facebook costs get out of control. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to reduce the cost of Facebook ads while still getting the results you’re after.

Many of the tips below relate to lowering your cost per click (CPC), but it’s also about culling wasteful spend from your campaigns.

Improve your relevance score

Your relevance score has a huge impact on your CPCs, so it’s important to try and improve this as much as possible.

Reduce the cost of facebook ads - Ranking | Vine Street Digital

Facebook’s Quality Ranking is a bit mysterious. It’s what Facebook calls an Estimated Metric, meaning that the exact algorithm to determine the score isn’t known. However, there are a few factors that we know to contribute to the score. Examples include feedback from people viewing or hiding the ad, engagements with the ad and the results it generates. As you can see, Facebook gives us the Engagement Rate Ranking and the Conversion Rate Ranking as clues about how it has come to the overall Quality Ranking.

The good news is that Facebook is pretty clear about what they don’t like. So to improve your Quality Ranking, you should avoid doing things like;

  • Using too much text in your ad’s image (or thumbnail of the video)
  • Withholding information or purposely being unclear about your offering
  • Using headlines that are over exaggerations and clear clickbaits
  • Using language such as “Like if you’re this” or “Comment if you’re that”

Facebook likes your ads to be clear and honest about who you are and what you’re offering. Take some time to review your Quality Rankings. Remember; the better the Quality Ranking, the lower the CPCs.

Remove low-performing placements

Where your ads show plays a big part in how well they convert. Firstly, some placements on Facebook are smaller and have fewer options when it comes to creatives, and simply don’t look as good. Secondly, other placements are in “noisy” areas of Facebook where they’re placed alongside a lot more competing content.

Placements affect what the user sees and how engaged a user is by the ad. Narrowing your placements can help to improve your CTR, which in turn improves engagement and can lift your Quality Ranking. And as we’ve learnt above, a better quality ranking means a lower CPC.

Reduce the cost of facebook ads - placements breakdowns | Vine Street Digital

I’d recommend segmenting your campaigns and ad sets by Placement & Device, to see how much you’re spending on each one, and whether it’s bringing you a strong return. Removing underperforming placements means you’ll reduce costs, whilst keeping the performance.

Split test your ads

Improving your CTR is a good way to get that Quality Ranking up and lower your CPCs. That’s why it’s so important to be split testing your ads. Even if you have an ad that’s tried and true, you need to be looking at possibilities to improve engagements at all times. Even minor changes can make a difference, such as the style of the image, the CTA on the button text, emojis or no emojis, and so on.

Split testing is also important because it keeps your ad fresh. If you’re noticing that your frequency is a bit high, it means that people are seeing the same thing over and over. Getting bored of an ad is a surefire way to reduce the engagement, so make sure you’re always A/B testing.

Check for overlapping audiences

If your audiences are overlapping with each other, then you’re spending money that you don’t need to. A competing or overlapping audience is where you target two different ad sets to the same audience. You’re already fighting other advertisers for those views, so don’t fight yourself!

The best way to check if your audiences are overlapping is to use the Audience Overlap Tool. Simply go to your Audiences, check the boxes next to the ones you want to compare, and click Actions > Show Audience Overlap.

Reduce the cost of facebook ads - Audience Overlap | Vine Street Digital
Image source: Facebook

Bidding against yourself is a surefire way to increase your CPCs, so get rid of those overlaps!

Implement conversion tracking

Conversion tracking matters! Facebook uses your results, conversion tracking, and pixel information to determine your Quality Ranking. Without accurate and complete conversion tracking, you’re feeding Facebook only half the story.

Conversion tracking for Facebook involves using Facebook Pixel. Not only should you put this on all pages of your site, but you should also set up conversion events and e-commerce information if applicable.

The other major benefit of having accurate tracking in place is that it opens up the use of remarketing audiences. Facebook will be able to collect audiences based on people visiting your site and the actions they take on it. This gives you a great chance to re-engage those users and retain your existing customers.

In conclusion

Reducing the costs of your Facebook Ads does mean changing quite a few technical aspects of your campaigns to bring down your CPC. Ultimately though, it’s about creating ads that are useful, relevant and honest, and putting your money where the conversions are happening.

If you’ve taken a look at these factors above and you’re still wondering what you can do to improve your Facebook ads, get in touch with us today!

Quality Score: How To Improve Your Ad Position Without Spending More

Quality Score: How To Improve Your Ad Position Without Spending More

Getting your ad to the #1 position on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) is something we all want for our accounts. Sometimes, unfortunately, it involves spending a lot on bids to try and outbid the competition. This can drastically increase your overall costs!

What if there was a way to improve your ad position without having to increase your bids? Well, there is! Thanks to a little bonus by Google: Quality Score. With a higher quality score, Google will reduce the amount you are required to pay to sit in better positions. On the other hand, with a lower quality score, your account can suffer.

Quality score is basically Google’s way of determining the relevancy and quality between your keywords, ads, and landing page. It’s made up of the following aspects:

  • Your click-through rate (CTR)
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group
  • Landing page quality & relevancy
  • The relevance of your ad text
  • Your historical Google Ads account performance

Although we aren’t able to tell the exact weight of each factor, we do know that CTR is the most important one. The more people that click your ad, the better the indicator that your ads are relevant.

How To Boost Your Quality Score

Now that we’ve established what quality score is, how do we go about improving it in your Google Ads account? Well, there’s a number of things we can do to help boost the quality score in the account. Below are some examples.

Keyword Organisation

It’s important to make sure that the keywords you use in your account are segmented appropriately. Lumping everything into 1 ad group might seem simple and easier to manage, but it’s very detrimental to the overall performance of your account.

Instead, look at grouping certain keywords together, based on how relevant they are. For example, let’s take the keywords “PPC management”, “PPC account management” & “paid online advertising”. To ensure our quality score is high, we could group “PPC account management” & “PPC management” into 1 ad group and put “paid online advertising” into another. This will allow us to tailor our ad copy to be incredibly relevant to our keywords.

Split Test Ads

Split testing ad copy is a great way to determine what users find most appealing. When split testing, it’s important to only change 1-2 things about each ad. That way, you can easily identify what does & doesn’t work. The goal of split testing is to find the ad that most people will want to click on, which will help improve your CTR and your quality score.

Optimise Your Landing Pages

Be as relevant as possible with your landing pages. For example, if you had an ad group that’s advertising “dining tables”, don’t send users to a page that has a huge range of different kinds of furniture. If possible, send them directly to a page that exclusively has dining tables. Remember, relevancy between keyword, ad, and landing page will help to drastically improve your quality score.

We’ve got a few articles about landing pages if you’d like to read up on the subject:

Wrapping up

These are only some examples of what can be done to improve your quality score and improve your ad rank without the need for excess spending. There is a huge range of things that could be adjusted in your account, but remember, relevancy is key!

So the next time you want to boost your bids to jump up the ad positions, take a look at the quality scores of each of your keywords and see if you can improve that first. It could save you a lot!

Feel free to reach out to us if you’ve got any questions!

Written by Lachlan Ward

Is Pinterest Advertising The Next PPC Channel For Your Business?

Is Pinterest Advertising The Next PPC Channel For Your Business?

Are you crushing it on Google Ads? Getting a great return on Facebook? Or perhaps you want to find new channels to promote your brand? Then let me turn your attention to Pinterest Advertising!

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, you can think of it as a platform of ‘ideas’ where users browse and search for inspiration on products and topics through visual ‘pins’. There are more than 300 million people that depend on Pinterest for new ideas with 83% of weekly Pinners making purchases based on Pins they saw from brands.

Whether you’re a big or small brand, based in Australia or internationally, Pinterest advertising can work for you for a range of marketing goals such as brand awareness or sales growth.

Pinterest works in all stages of the buyer’s journey from brand awareness, consideration, and to purchase. The combination of both keyword and interest targeting allows you to get your products and ideas in front of the right people, at the right time. Essentially, you can combine both the search aspects of search engine marketing (Google or Bing Ads for example) with the audience targeting of social ads.

Vine Street Digital - Is Pinterest Advertising The Next PPC Channel For Your Business?


One of our favourite things about PPC is the ability to track valuable conversions from our campaigns, keywords, and ads (among other variables). Pinterest Ads is no different! In fact, it’s a similar set up to Facebook in that you install a ‘basecode’ to your website and then create additional events in either Google Tag Manager or the backend of your website.

Currently, there are only 9 standard events available for Pinterest reporting but they cover the majority of key conversions that most businesses would require. These are:

  • Checkout (Purchase transaction)
  • Add to cart
  • Page visit
  • Sign up
  • Watch video
  • Lead
  • Search
  • View category pages
  • User-defined events

Campaign Objectives

You can choose your campaign objective based on your marketing goals. Do you want to build brand awareness? Increase traffic to your website? Or drive sales at the end of the user’s buying cycle? Pinterest has objectives for each stage!

Here’s how Pinterest recommends selecting your objective based on your goals, aligning with general marketing:

Build Awareness Drive Consideration Get Conversions
Brand awareness

Video views


App installs


Catalog sales


There are three main targeting options available on Pinterest, these are audience targeting, keyword targeting, and interest targeting. Secondly, there are two placements that you optimise for, one being ‘search’ and the other being ‘browse’.

Audience Targeting

Can Pinterest do remarketing? Yes, it can! You can set up audiences similar to other platforms and you can also customise these based on the actions of users – such as anyone who has added to cart or viewed specific content (providing tracking has been set up). You can also upload customer lists as well using a CSV file.

Keyword Targeting

This targeting method allows you to reach people when they search for a specific idea on Pinterest. Similar to Google & Bing, there are different match types available: broad match, phrase match, and exact match. You also have the option of adding negative phrase and exact match keywords to further refine your traffic.

Interest Targeting

This is where you can have fun! The idea here is to pick topics related to your brand so that you reach users based on what they are engaging with. Interest targeting is great for browse placement as users browse their home feeds for inspiration.

Pinterest Advertising - View of Targeting options for Category & Interest - Vine Street Digital

Ad formats

There are currently four different ad formats that you can choose from, and we’d recommend split testing these variations where applicable within your campaigns.Vine Street Digital - Is Pinterest Advertising The Next PPC Channel For Your Business?

Promoted Pin

This is your basic static single image Pin that you’ll likely be most familiar with.

Promoted Video Pin

Utilise engaging video content within your campaigns with varying lengths and sizes.

Promoted Carousels

Use multiple images and creating a compelling story for users to swipe through.

Promoted App Pins

These pins allow users to download your app straight from Pinterest, without leaving the platform.

How To Get Started

Firstly, you’ll need your own Pinterest account for your business. Once you’ve set that up, you’ll be able to create your business manager account where the ads are managed, along with reporting and analytics.

Similar to other PPC channels, the budget is really dependant on your goals. However, you don’t need a hefty budget – a minimum of $10/day is effective in driving website traffic.

Waiting are you waiting for? Get started with Pinterest today! Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like help!

Written by Gabrielle Behm-Pike

Automated Bidding Strategies: What, When & Why

The What, When & Why of Google Ads Automated Bidding

There is a range of bidding strategies to help achieve your marketing goals in Google Ads. It’s important to know what their purposes are, plus when and why they should be implemented. Understanding the different types of automated bidding strategies – and if they are right for your business – will assist you in getting profitable leads.

Enhanced CPC

This bidding strategy is suitable for when you want to drive more conversions, but still have full control over bids.

Enhanced CPC is part of Manual CPC bidding, and allows you to have full control over your bids on a keyword, device, time, and location level. It’s basically full control, but also provides some assistance when Google thinks a conversion is likely to occur. Enhanced CPC allows Google to bid up to 20% more on a bid for this purpose.

If you don’t have enough conversion data, then Enhanced CPC is a good place to start.

Enhanced CPC can be used across Search, Display, and Shopping campaigns.

Maximise Conversions

The goal of this strategy is to drive as many conversions as possible within your budget.

It isn’t concerned about your Cost Per Conversion (CPA). It’s objective is to increase conversion volume and it will spend all of your budget to do that.

If you’re already spending your entire budget and don’t have a target CPA in mind, Maximise Conversions is worth doing in order to increase the number of Conversions.

Target CPA

Target CPA bidding is great for when you have a specific Cost Per Conversion goal in mind.

Businesses in the service industry usually work towards a CPA goal, because they know how much an average job is worth, and how much they are willing to spend on advertising to acquire a lead. While it takes away a lot of the bidding control, you can still adjust your CPA targets on an ad group level. This is useful if you have an ad group spending too much with little return – you can lower the target so it spends less. You can make bid adjustments to devices, however, keep in mind this will alter the device’s Target CPA. For all other targeting options, it allows you to add -100% bids to remove a certain targeting completely.

There isn’t a minimum conversion requirement for Target CPA, but it’s recommended you have at least 30 conversions in the last 30 days. The more you have, the more data Google can take into consideration when bidding. It’s important to look back at what your CPA has been over the last 30-90 days and set your goal realistically. If your average CPA is $150, and you set it at $50, the chances of achieving $50 are unlikely, at least in the beginning.

Target CPA can be used in Search and Display campaigns, but not Shopping campaigns.

Target ROAS

This automated bidding strategy is for when you want to acquire conversions with a certain Return-On-Ad Spend (ROAS).

If you need to make $4 back for every $1 you spend in advertising, then your ROAS goal would be 400%. E-commerce stores usually work towards a specific ROAS goal, because with each sale varying in revenue, a specific return is more reliable than a CPA goal.

You need at least 15 conversions in order to use Target ROAS bidding. However, it’s recommended to have at least 50 conversions in the last 30 days – the more the better. We tend to wait until we’ve got at least 2-3 months of solid conversion data before switching over to this.

You can’t make small bid adjustments to devices, locations, or times. But, Target CPA does allow you to add -100% bids to remove a certain targeting completely. For example, you could add a -100% bid to computer devices, so the campaign just focuses on mobiles.

Target ROAS can be used across Search, Display, and Shopping campaigns.

Important Things To Remember

When implementing any bidding strategy it’s important to keep the following things in mind.

  • Know what your conversion goal actually is before choosing a strategy. Is it: Cost Per Lead, Return On Ad Spend, a certain number of Conversions?
  • Set your goals in Target CPA and Target ROAS based on historical conversion data. Understand what is a realistic figure.
  • Let new bidding strategies run their course for at least four weeks. This allows 1-2 weeks in the Learning period, and another two weeks in the Test period.
  • If increasing your targets, don’t go crazy. Adjust these gradually by -/+ 20%, and then review 2-4 weeks later.

Let us know if you need any assistance!

Written by Courtney Wilkinson