The Vantage Buzz – November 2023


We’re already right in the thick of the holiday season for our e-commerce clients, and particularly for our American friends, we hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Did you know that the 5 days around Black Friday are responsible for approximately 4% of the total yearly online customer spend? And post-Black Friday, customers are still looking for that great deal!

We can’t emphasize enough that because this can be the most profitable time of year for your online business, checking up on your promotions daily (even multiple times during the day) is essential. Also, dig into what happened during your sale yesterday, and use the results (as well as last year’s day-by-day results) to apply optimizations to your campaigns and promotions based on your findings.

Be aware that you may want to make knee-jerk, impulsive changes to your promotions, so be sure to take your time to do a bit more digging before making any hasty adjustments.

Most importantly, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your loved ones this holiday season!

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Google Search regularly updates its search ranking systems to make sure they’re showing the most relevant, helpful content possible. And, a big core update (the 2nd in less than 2 months) happened in November.

Google Search seeks to reward content creators who share helpful, reliable content that’s primarily created to benefit people. If you’re already doing this on your website, then during the newest November Google Search Core Update you may have noticed you’re performing better in search results.

However, if you notice your organic site traffic drops right after a major Google Search Update, Google has a guide on how to self-assess your content to ensure your website is using the SEO fundamentals.

Helpful Google Links:
Q&A on Google Search Updates
SEO Fundamentals


How’s your online store’s user experience? During your Black Friday promo did you notice there were changes you could have made to your website, which may have helped to increase sales? Sometimes we have to learn from what we didn’t do in order to set ourselves up for success in the future.

Shopify outlines some great best practices to improve your customer experience on your online store.

User experience improvements in a nut-shell:
1. Prioritize function above all
2. Build sales funnels, not web pages
3. Capture attention and intention
4. Write user-centred copy
5. Make online store navigation intuitive
6. Always consider mobile e-commerce user experience

Are you maximizing your business’ sales potential by using all available direct marketing channels for your promotions this year? HERE are some top direct marketing channels for prospects who are determined to be likely buyers.

Are you using email marketing leading up to your business’ sales? As in, are you doing this right now? We’re in it people… sale season crunch time!

If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts this holiday season, we hope you’ve been connecting with your current customers and newsletter subscribers. It’s time to be bold with your marketing!

A few tips on your email marketing strategy:

• Don’t be afraid to go broad. This is the time of year when you can target those who have shown engagement over longer durations. Instead of targeting those who have engaged with your brand in the last 30 days, open it up to the last 60 or even 90 days.

• Be more aggressive with frequency because, during this time of year, your email might get lost in the sea of competitors.

• Re-engage with your loyal, returning customers. We know it’s important to acquire new customers, however, a separate more personalized email just for your faithful, repeat customers could improve their lifetime value.

• Compare against your business’ benchmark and not against a benchmark of vague, industry standards. Look at what you did last year and ask yourself how you can improve your brand’s success this holiday season.

General Intrigue:

This year, Shopify set a Black Friday record, raking in a 22% increase in global sales compared to last year! More info HERE.

The Vantage Buzz – October 2023


Happy Halloween! And now… welcome to the Holiday Season. With more and more potential customers flocking to purchase your product(s) in the coming weeks, we can’t emphasize enough how lifestyle images lead to much higher click-through rates than standard product images. Your potential customers want to actually see your product ‘in action’, rather than having to imagine it for themselves.

Even Amazon is aware of this. Amazon Ads has just come out with a new AI-powered image-creation tool, which strategically places your product against a relevant background image. According to Amazon, such lifestyle context can increase click-through rates by as much as 40% compared to standard product images. We’ll be working with our clients to ensure they have the best creative ready to go for their upcoming promo campaigns!

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


We’re always telling our clients that an effective landing page is key to getting that coveted conversion from an ad.

When a potential customer clicks on an ad and is taken to your landing page, what do you want them to see/experience?

• An attention-grabbing image of the product you’re advertising.
• Information about the benefits of your product
• An explicit CTA button for purchasing your product or signing up for your offer
• Honest customer or client reviews
• The landing page loads quickly (a lot of ad networks view a slowly loading page as an issue, and it makes for a poor customer experience)

Basically, you want to give your customers the most seamless, visually appealing experience when viewing your product online, with the least amount of steps to get to your checkout or signup page. Be clear, be concise and be authentic to your brand and to your customer.

Here are some more tips on creating a successful landing page from Shopify.


Plan, plan, plan. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of planning your e-commerce strategy in order to set your business up for success.

We’re constantly planning and executing new strategies within our clients’ ad networks, recording all pertinent findings, and using these for future campaigns/projects.

And, if your plan for an ad campaign includes only one thing, we’d recommend it be looking at past, similar campaign results. This way, at least you’ll be able to implement what worked and not use what didn’t work. Also, having some comparative data is key to observing your business’ growth.

HERE are additional tips on setting up your e-commerce campaign for success, as you plan for your business’s future growth.

And, if you’re selling your product(s) online, are you using all available sales channels for your business in order to target different customer audiences, maximizing your sales revenue?

We make our clients aware of all the available sales channels for their e-commerce businesses. We strive to provide comprehensive information to help them maximize their sales potential. Remember, creating brand awareness and expanding your reach might not result in immediate sales, but it’s a critical part of a consumer’s purchasing journey.

Check out Shopify’s article which outlines the ‘10 Most Important Sales Channels for Selling Online‘.

General Intrigue:

Only in Canada does this happen… a moose became entangled in Halloween decorations.

Common Social Media Scams & Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Customers & Yourself Safe

We’ve been working with a number of our clients, providing them with awareness and actionable steps they can take against the rise of social media scams. In particular, we’ve been alerting our clients about a scammer impersonating Meta Business Support. They’ve been sending our clients messages, claiming they need login credentials in order to resolve an issue with the account. Let’s look at the typical scams that are currently circulating, as well as what you can do to help protect your business, your customers and yourself.

Common Facebook Scams Targeting Businesses & Their Customers

A particular scam we’ve seen our clients experience first-hand is a scammer impersonating Facebook using social hacking, in an attempt to steal login credentials via Facebook Messenger and emails. Here’s an article describing this type of scam in more detail.

Here are more articles on social media scams to be aware of…

17 Facebook Scams You Need to Take Seriously

Facebook Messanger Scams

Facebook Page Recovery Scammers

Hacked Facebook Pages Buying Ads

The Latest Social Media Scams and How to Identify

Steps You Can Take to Keep Your Customers & Yourself Safe:

  1. Regardless of what a scammer is claiming, first, do NOT click on any link they have provided you with.
  2. Do not download files or software coming from people you don’t know.
  3. Don’t answer/report messages that ask for your password, social insurance number or financial information.
  4. Do your own research by digging into your Facebook account directly, logging in to your admin page to view any errors or issues with your page.
  5. For businesses, you can enable Business notifications, so you’ll be alerted of any changes happening within your Meta Business Manager Account. More here.

For Additional Security:

  1. Use a password manager, such as LastPass, as it won’t enter your credentials into a fake site.
  2. Use a hardware security key, such as the LastPass Authenticator app, which is used as a 2nd form of authentication or as a Multi-Factor Authentication.
  3. Use trusted antivirus software and remember that it’s important to keep this software up to date and scan your devices for malware regularly.

Here’s MORE on avoiding scams on Facebook, as well as how to report a fake Facebook account or page.

In conclusion, we all have or will be at some point, the object of someones’ social media scam. The good news is that because it’s so common, there are lots of resources out there on how to protect yourself and your business against these fraudulent actions. Karma, anyone??

The Vantage Buzz – September 2023


Happy Fall! With the arrival of this season comes the swift reality that the 2023 holiday season will be upon us in a flash. First up on the holiday season calendar… Black Friday / Cyber Monday.

Doing the prep for a sale ad campaign is just as (if not more) important as the ad campaign creation process itself. Here are a few questions to ask, that can help with your ad prep…

• Does the landing page you want to use for the sale have all the accurate details about the promo you’ll be running?
• Will the sale be using auto-applied discounts, or does the customer need a discount code?
• Do you have sale specific creative (ie: images/video)?
• What is the budget you’re looking to spend for the duration of the sale?
• What is your target audience for the sale?
• What is your performance goal… do you have a particular target return on ad spend or cost per acquisition for the sale?
• Did you run a similar sale the year prior? And if so, are your goals the same?

Doing the prep in a timely manner and having all the necessary creative material ready to go, at least a few days prior to the sale launch date, is so crucial. This is because ad networks, such as Meta Ads, take at least 24 hours to approve the ad. It also gives you time to ensure everything is in place to get the most ROI on your ad campaign.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Did you know, according to Google, 21% of consumers complete their seasonal gift purchases by mid-October? This is because major retailers start rolling out their Black Friday sales as early as September. Do you have your Black Friday / Cyber Monday campaign strategy ready to go?

We have noticed that our clients are running their BFCM promos over longer durations, as well as starting them earlier than they used to. No matter what your business model, this guide on creating a successful 2023 holiday season SEO strategy, can greatly help the performance of your digital advertising efforts.

Also, how can your brand conquer the Google search universe? Sending the correct signals to Google within your site content, still remains of the highest importance. Here are some SEO content strategies to consider in order to boost your brands’ online visibility.


The advanced capabilities of Apple’s latest iOS system, iOS 17, allows you to create dynamic 3D objects. This is a fantastic addition to your Shopify store, as it gives your online customers an elevated shopping experience, showcasing products in the same way you would in-person.

Could this be something that allows you to stand apart from your competitors during this coming holiday season? HERE’S an article with step by step, user-friendly instructions on how to use the Shopify apps’ new 3D scanner.

Is it time to market to your Gen Z customers? The highest percentage of TikTok users are Gen Zers, ages 18-24. They are often dismissed and not taken seriously. And we can all relate to this attitude towards young adults, as we were all there once upon a time. However, this is a generation unlike any other…

They’re the first generation of “digital natives”, never knowing a world without the internet. They are intelligent and are confident users of technology. Most don’t remember an age without smartphones.

Also, research performed in 2022 estimated that the disposable income of Gen Zers was more than double what was estimated three years earlier. When considering TikTok for your business’ marketing strategy, also remember that Gen Z is known as the generation that cares. They are socially conscious, hyper-aware of green issues, and expect the brands they engage with to be as well.

Here are some essential TikTok statistics from Shopify, which will help with your marketing efforts.

General Intrigue:

Well, it’s that time of year where kiddos go back to school. Did you know that in some parts of Canada there’s competition between school boards, and in northeastern Ontario alone, over $1M a year is spent on marketing? Check out THIS article to learn more.

The Vantage Buzz – August 2023


With Summer coming to a close and back-to-school being right around the corner, social media scammers are back-at-it as well. In particular, we’ve been alerting our clients about a scammer impersonating Meta Business Support. They are sending our clients messages, claiming they need login credentials in order to resolve an issue with the account.

First, do NOT click on the link associated with the message. In order to check if this is, indeed, a real message from Meta Business Support, login to your actual admin page to view any errors with your page and/or any issues that might cause a page suspension or disablement of a page.

HERE is an article further explaining what you can do in case you’ve received an email or message from someone claiming they are from Meta, and you believe it’s a scam.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Google Analytics 4 has fully launched and has officially collected a couple of full months of data. Although you can still view the previously collected data from the original GA Universal, it’s ceased to collect new data. And, in approximately 6 months time, you won’t have access to GA Universal whatsoever.

In the near future, we’ll offer guidance and recommendations on the data export process, but in the meantime… How familiar are you with the new GA4 platform? Here are some great tips on becoming a GA4 pro, no matter what your skill level is.


This is old news, but also new news. Starting in November 2022, Shopify has been gradually rolling out a new checkout which limits Google Tag Manager in the checkout for Shopify Plus stores.

Even though Shopify announced that the official end date for checkout.liquid as August 13, 2024, we’ve recently noticed that some of our clients’ Shopify Plus stores are already being affected by the checkout.liquid file depreciation, resulting in Google Tag Manager code being ignored.

Checkout.liquid is a specialized Liquid theme file used to customize the overall look, feel, and functionality of the checkout of a Shopify Plus store. This functionality, only available to Shopify Plus merchants, had been providing them flexibility to customize and control the user experience during the checkout process.

If you’re currently using checkout.liquid, please refer to THIS article, which includes links at the bottom of the page, to learn how to upgrade your checkout customizations to “checkout extensibility”.

And, for the first time ever, US-based Shopify merchants will soon have the choice to offer their products to Prime members. Amazon is releasing a new Shopify app soon, which will allow merchants to add “Buy with Prime” to their Shopify Checkout.

HERE are more details on what this new app integration means.

General Intrigue:

Cold and flu season is upon us, but Kleenex won’t be a part of the action this year in Canada. Kleenex is discontinuing its product in Canada and according to THIS article, “The decision was likely made because profit margins on the product were thin to begin with, and inflation has consumers choosing cheaper options wherever they can.”

The Vantage Buzz – July 2023


As we approach August, we get reminded that September and back-to-school/Labour Day is right around the corner. We’re starting to plan with our clients on how to best transition from the slower Summer months into the next season, and we ask the question… do you have a social media marketing strategy?

As brands continue to ride the wave of social media marketing, a large percentage of marketers say they’re confident their efforts deliver a positive return on investment for their business.

Customers still rely on a consistent and confident organic presence from their favourite brands on networks such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. When a brand isn’t active on social media, customers can take that as a red flag that something is awry with the business.

So when we take it a step further, creating a social media marketing strategy (as outlined in this Shopify article) will show tangible results related to your business goals.

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The era of AI is here and it’s here to stay. So, how can we make it work for us? In order to build trust with your customers and to have them see you as a trusted expert in your industry, a blog on your website can be very valuable.

Sometimes it can be difficult to turn a blog/article idea into a concise, useful written piece to establish your business as a respected and trustworthy leader in your industry.

Google has a new experimental tool, their AI notebook, NotebookLM, which may help you in the near future. “The tool functions like a virtual research assistant, capable of summarizing facts, elucidating complex ideas, and brainstorming new connections based on the sources provided by the user.”


If a client offers free shipping for their customers, we want to know. It’s always something we highlight in our ad campaigns. Yes, free shipping can increase sales, however, there are different ways to offer it. HERE’S a guide to how you can be strategic with the type of free shipping you use, in order to make it work for your business.

Earlier this month, Meta introduced their new app, Threads, a conversation-based app nearly identical to the format of Twitter. Although Threads was quickly called the fastest growing app in history, it remains to be seen whether interest will be sustained in the long run.

What we do know, according to our sources at Meta, is that it’s suspected in approximately 6 months’ time Threads will start serving paid ads on its platform. Getting in on the ground floor of a new social and marketing network can be beneficial for brands, whether you’re new to the scene or established in your industry.

General Intrigue:
What ever happened to Jell-O? And will it make a comeback? Well, it would seem that they just rebranded for the 1st time in a decade!

The Vantage Buzz – June 2023


We hope you’re enjoying your Summer so far. This is an important reminder that Google Analytics Universal will cease to collect new data as of July 1st! However, you will continue to have access to its data for at least 6 months. We intend on offering more guidance and recommendations on the data export process in the near future.

Google Analytics 4 is fully replacing Universal Analytics this coming Saturday, and if you haven’t already created a GA4 property, Google will do it for you, based on the settings in your Universal Analytics property.

If you have already created a new GA4 profile, you will want to check that your old GA Universal profiles have “opted out” of automatically creating a new basic GA4 profile. This can be found in the Admin / GA4 Setup Assistant section of your property settings (screenshot below). Some of our clients have many GA profiles that are no longer being used, and we don’t want new GA4 profiles created for them.

Click HERE for more info.

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Continuing the dialog about Google Analytics 4, check out the new GA4 conversion attribution settings.

Also, Google Ads announced significant changes to its trademark policy, worldwide. What are these changes, you ask?


Whether you’re new to e-commerce, or you’re an old pro, sometimes going back to the basics is key! HERE is a step-by-step guide on how to sell your products online.

You might already know your customer acquisition cost, but do you need tips on how to reduce it? HERE is Shopify’s take on why customer acquisition cost is important, how to calculate it for your store, and their advice for reducing it.

And General Intrigue:

Talk about a marketing explosion! Check out the latest movie marketing stunts behind the new ‘Barbie’ movie.

The Vantage Buzz – May 2023


In May we celebrated mom, and according to one of the largest online flower delivery services, UrbanStems, it recorded its highest day for revenue… EVER this month. Find out what types of website optimizations the company performed, which can be attributed to its incredibly successful month HERE. There might be some key takeaways you can use for your next promo!

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Here’s a recap of Google’s annual Marketing Live 2023 event, which covered new features and insights.

How well do you know your business’ audience? HERE are ways to get to know your audience better to improve your marketing strategy.


Do you need a refresher on social media marketing for your small business? Here’s a comprehensive guide.

Learn how the YouTube algorithm works in 2023 for your channel. It might just give you insights into what makes engaging ads on the network as well.

And General Intrigue:

Humorous marketing can be successful, but when you “break TikTok” due to one overwhelmingly effective idea, is it just a one-hit wonder? Find out more HERE on how Clancy’s Auto Body became a TikTok sensation in just over a week.

The Vantage Buzz – April 2023


April 22nd was Earth Day! Find out what one of the founders of this annual environmental event has to say about today’s Earth Day message HERE.

Your monthly ad-Vantage reading below:


Put your reader first by choosing the right content recommendation strategy for your website.

Top 3D virtual influencers have well over 1 million Instagram followers! What is a 3D virtual influencer and can it help your brand?


“Survey data shows 91% of businesses engage in video marketing…” We tell all of our clients that video marketing is key to great advertising hygiene! Learn more HERE.

Also, optimizing your website for SEO has a huge positive impact on online advertising. Here’s a very thorough SEO checklist from our friends at Shopify.

And General Intrigue:

Did you encounter any April Fools pranks this month? HERE are some big brands who famously participated in April 1st shenanigans.

The Vantage Buzz – March 2023


Happy Spring! As we welcome longer days with more light and receive a boost of energy this new season, here are some ways to improve your focus and concentration, while you juggle the responsibilities of your business.

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To survive a potential 2023 recession, with the right marketing strategies, companies can not only prepare for the worst but also come out on top. Learn more HERE.

Why should your business care about Customer Journey Orchestration (CJO)? Click HERE to find out. And, Google has a long history of famous algorithm updates, search index changes and refreshes, and their latest core update was a big one!


Are you building your brand for the future? You might need to already start paying attention to the under-13 set. If you wait until Gen Alpha has aged into their teens with agency, influence, and disposable income, it might be too late. Read more HERE.

Did you know that 9 out of 10 customers actively seek out reviews before they buy? Learn why it’s essential to improving your marketing strategy to get people to leave reviews, and how to get them.

And General Intrigue:

March 8th was International Women’s Day! This year’s theme was DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality. To inspire your professional journey, here are lessons from some women leaders.