facebook ads and google adwords

What’s the Difference Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads?

Facebook Ads and Google Ads both offer businesses great opportunities for reaching customers.

We’ve all seen ads in our Facebook feeds and our Google searches, but what’s the difference between them?

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6 Powerful Online PPC Advertising Networks’ Strengths and Weaknesses

It’s difficult advertising online. It can be a struggle to find the right PPC ad networks. You have questions. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Google Ads? We’re here to help.

We will take advantage of Vantage’s experience in the PPC world to explain the strengths and weaknesses of some of the most popular online PPC ad networks.

By the end, you will have a strong understanding of which online PPC ad networks are right for you.
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QuickMobile Ranked 1st on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 List

We would like to congratulate QuickMobile, the global leader in enterprise event apps and one of our long term clients, on ranking first on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50TM list of the fastest growing technology companies in Canada. With a growth rate of 10,444 % over five years, QuickMobile also ranks 21st on the 2013 Technology Fast 500TM. While the Technology Fast 50 only ranks tech companies in Canada, the Technology Fast 500 ranks all technology, media and telecommunication companies in North America.

Vantage Congratulates Clio on Reaching Its 5th Anniversary

The team at Vantage was invited to Clio’s 5th anniversary event. Clio is the leader in cloud-based management tools for the legal industry and one of Vantage’s PPC clients. Part of the festivities was the announcement that they will be opening a new office in Ireland.

Hopefully we will get the invite to their new office in Ireland one day…If it is anything like their Burnaby office it will be spectacular!

At the event I also got to see their new iPhone app:

Google Introduces New Partners Program

Earlier this week, on their official Canadian blog, Google announced its new Google Partners program.  The main goal of the new Partners program is to “[bring] together [all of Google’s] existing programs under this new platform, making it easier for agencies to access Google resources, training, and support all in one place.”

What the new Google Partner Program Means for Agencies

Agencies and web professionals will be able to do all of the following in one place:

  • Become a Partner: Earn the Google Partner badge to indicate to your current and future clients that you are a trusted Google Partner.
  • Hangout with Google: Join an exclusive Google+ community to receive support from Google specialists and to talk with industry experts.
  • Connect with Customers: When you earn the badge, we’ll introduce you to potential clients through Google Partner Search.
  • Access Exclusive Content: Explore a library of the latest Google-created trainings, case studies, and pitch materials to help deepen your expertise.

The new program is not just about consolidating Google’s existing programs.  Here are a few of the addition changes I have noted so far:

  • Updated Certification Tests: The tests now consist of a Fundamentals, a Display and a Search exam.  It also looks like Google has done away with the Google Testing Center locked browser as the new exams are completed directly in your regular browser.
  • Additional Requirements to Become a Partner: Google has added 2 additional requirements for your agency to become certified, titled: Serve your customers and Follow Best Practices.  My initial thoughts is that integrating these directly into the program automates the agency audits that were previously completed manually by a Google employee.

What the new Google Partner Program Means for Businesses

Using the new, simplified Google Partner Search, you can connect with a trusted agency that has been verified by Google as helping their customers and using the latest best practices. You can also identify Google Partners by the Partner badge displayed on their website.

This is the new Google Partner badge

New Google Partner badge







To learn more about Google Partners, visit www.google.com/partners.

Vantage Invited to a Google Engage Event in Toronto

Vantage was excited to be invited to the Google Engage Event in Toronto this week. For those of you who don’t know, Google Engage is a program that supports Google Certified Partners who serve small to mid sized businesses. The event was centered around the launch of their new Google Certified Partner program, which I can’t actually go into detail about…Darn NDAs…

However, I can share my experience about actually being in the Google office. The Google Toronto office is fully equipped with an outdoor mini-golf course, candy bar, cafeteria and zombie artwork to keep the creative juices flowing…Not only that the event was fully catered, featuring mini-burgers with mini-mugs of Guinness among other things…

Here are just a few photos from inside:


Google Zombie Art


Google Mini-Golf

Google Mini-Golf

Steve picking up some loot

Steve picking up some loot

Google Ads Enhanced Campaigns-What you need to know

Google has made the one of the largest updates to Google Ads in its recent history. The update will allow advertisers to target multiple devices and locations from a single “enhanced” campaign much more easily. This is all part of Google’s long term initiative to make Google Ads easier to use for small businesses. The only problem with simplifying Google Ads is that it usually comes at the expense of control. A loss of control is bad for agencies and also for the user because it becomes more difficult to show the most relevant adcopy possible. Below I will outline the changes and what the implications will be.

What Are Enhanced Campaigns

Enhanced campaigns will allow a single campaign to target users by device, location and time of day differently. For example, the same adgroup could serve you a desktop ad when you are on your computer at work and then serve you a mobile specific ad when you’re on your iPhone during your lunch break. In theory, this should prevent people from having to build out campaigns for each device and location.

One of the biggest changes will be the use of bid multipliers to set your bid. Bid multipliers will allow you to bid differently based on device, location and time of day. All starting bids will be based off of your desktop bid, which means you must run ads on desktop.

Another smaller change is that they are going to lump Desktop and Tablet users together.

Why Are Enhanced Campaigns Coming Out

From the mobile side of things, Google reported the following reason for moving to Enhanced Campaigns:

“People are constantly connected and moving from one device to another to communicate, shop and stay entertained. In fact, a recent study of multi-device consumers found that 90% move sequentially between several screens to accomplish a task.”

What this really means is that advertisers need to run both mobile and desktop ads because it is the same user trying to accomplish the same task. The problem before, was that small businesses didn’t have time to create mobile only adcopy, so they just ended up running the same adcopy for both mobile and desktop users. This provided a bad user experience for people searching on mobile devices and a bad conversion rate for businesses. So Google set off to fix this by making it easier to create mobile adcopy from within the same campaigns as desktops and thus the Enhanced Campaign was created.

Another less obvious reason that Google may be trying to make mobile more accessible is for financial reasons. Over the past few years, the average CPC has been decreasing because of the increase in mobile device clicks. Mobile device CPCs are typically a lot lower than desktop due to a lack of competition. By making mobile more accessible to small businesses it will create more competition and drive up the CPC.

What Problems Do Enhanced Campaigns Create?

Here are just a few of the major issues we see with the new Enhanced Campaigns:

  • Desktop and tablets are grouped together: You will not be able to target these users differently. This will be brutal for mobile app makers that want to target tablet and mobile phone users but do not want to target desktop users.
  • Search partners and Google search are grouped together: Search partners are Google search engines that run on other people’s websites. The click-through rates and conversion rates on search partners is considerably lower than regular Google Search.
  • No more mobile only campaigns: Mobile is now only available to targeted inside a campaign that is also targeting desktop and tablet.
  • Mobile bid is based off of desktop bid: This is bad because PPC bidding best practices for mobile and desktop are very different; When targeting mobile devices it is good to bid higher on head terms because people tend to use shorter search queries on mobile. On desktop if you bid high on head terms the ROI is going to be really bad because there is a lot of competition and the user is showing less intent.
  • Bid multiplier is set at the campaign level: They could of easily done a multiplier at the adgroup level and avoided the above mentioned issue, but they chose not to. So when you need to set a different bid multiplier you will now have to create a separate campaign.
  • Enhanced campaigns are not optional: In June all campaigns will be migrated over to Enhanced Campaigns.
  • Call forwarding is not available in Canada: One of the coolest features with Enhanced Campaigns is the ability to track call metrics for free.


Start testing Enhanced Campaigns by only switching over 1 campaign at a time. Then once you get the hang of things switch all campaigns over.

The Secret to Getting a Head Start on SEO

It seem like almost every week we get an inquiry from a company that is interested in SEO services and website conversion optimization but not initially interested in running Pay-Per-Click. There’s by no means anything wrong with this, but a consistent problem that we are presented with is that most of these companies’ websites receive far too little traffic to get high-quality, actionable keyword data for SEO, or to be able to do website conversion optimizations based on any statistical significance.

If we were to only provide SEO services to these clients, the limited data available would make optimizing for SEO a long drawn out process with website traffic gradually increasing over time as organic search rankings improved.

What most of these clients, and many companies that only provide SEO don’t know, is that running Pay-Per-Click is the secret to getting a head start in SEO.

There are too many elements from PPC that we include in our SEO strategies to mention so I’ll just go over the big picture:

1. We Use PPC to Do What SEO Can’t

With PPC we are able to instantly increase traffic to a website. Right away we are able to show client’s ads high in search engine results and bring in new customers.  Website traffic and conversions pour in along with that high-quality, actionable keyword data for SEO that we’ve been looking for.

2. Great SEO Starts With Great Keyword Research

PPC accounts are an SEO keyword gold mine! We get access to data that tells us exactly what users are typing into search engines that result in purchases from the client’s website!  With PPC we are able to optimize our SEO for traffic and conversions based on statistically significant data.

For some great info on how to leverage PPC data for SEO, check out this post by Tom Demers.

Google Ads Changes Spell Trouble for Neglected PPC Accounts

You might have noticed that Google’s search engine results page has been changing a lot lately. Everyday it seems there’s a new change or new addition. It’s even quite possible for you to see a new feature one day only to come back the following day and it is no longer there.

Having trouble keeping up?

Google Ads is quite similar in that it’s always changing.  If you don’t live and breathe PPC then it’s just not possible to keep up with the number of changes and improvements that are made to Google Ads on a daily basis.

A common site, seen multiple times per day on Google Ads:

A new Version of the Adwords interface is available

If you don’t keep up to date with the changes in Google’s search engine then the next time you go to make a search you could get a little confused, irritated, or just be delightfully surprised when you take note of a convenient new feature.  However, If you are an advertiser with a Google Ads account and you don’t keep up to date with the changes to Google Ads the consequences are much, much worse. Remember, Google is out there to make money too, so don’t think they have your best interests in mind when they make “improvements”.

Although many of these changes come as a blessing to professional PPC managers, they hardly ever have positive outcomes for amateurs with neglected accounts. At the very least, with a neglected Google Ads account you are missing out on new opportunities that your competitors are taking advantage of and you’re account performance is declining because of the improved competition.  While many small changes and missed opportunities mostly result in a steady decline in account performance, big changes that occur more frequently than you’d think cause neglected accounts to go completely haywire and waste thousands and thousands of dollars in no time at all.

Creating a single successful PPC campaign can be done by anyone, but delivering results time and time again is something else. Being able to consistently produce campaigns that achieve results in an ever-changing industry is the difference between amateur and professional Pay-Per-Click management.

Time to Update Your Google Ads Sitelinks

Google just announced that they will be updating their policy on sitelinks. For those of you who don’t know what sitelinks are, they are ad extensions that allows you to send people to different landing pages on your website. The new policy will force you to actually use different landing pages for each sitelink.

For the past couple years you could have all the sitelinks going to the same landing page, which defeats the purpose of the sitelinks from a users point of view. From an advertisers point of view, it was a best practice to send people to the same landing page so that you could control the conversion rate.

The change:

“Recently, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of sitelinks created with the same landing pages or the same content. So in the coming month, we will begin more proactive enforcement of our existing policy. Initially, we’ll focus on new and recently changed sitelinks. As your ads are being served, our systems will verify that your sitelinks meet the policy standards.  Sitelinks that don’t meet the standards will be restricted from appearing.”

– From Google

If you would like help updating your sitelinks please let us know.