Vantage Wishes Everyone a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Vantage would like to wish all of our friends, family and clients a safe and Happy Halloween!  And If you’re heading outside tonight in Vancouver then make sure to bring your umbrella!

We had our fun this past weekend dressing up like monsters, rock-stars, and yes even vacation Santa, but now it’s time to head back to the office for another year of being Pay Per Click rock-stars!

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.

Microsoft Adcenter is Now Bing Ads

It is official, Microsoft Adcenter is now Bing Ads. The new name is a bit misleading because if you advertise with Bing your ads will show on Bing and Yahoo search networks. Yahoo and Bing joined forces a few years ago to try to take market share away from Google. This merger did not really add up for some of the clients that I was working with at the time. One client was getting 15% of his conversions from Yahoo and another 5% from Bing. When they merged together, only 12% came from both Yahoo and Bing. It was disappointing to say the least and I still don’t know where the missing 8% went.

Anyways Bing Ads provides a really good return on investment compared to Google. There is just less competition on Bing, so you pay less per click. If you are US advertising I would highly recommend running Bing ads as the traffic is pretty good. In Canada, Bing is hardly worth running because it doesn’t get enough traffic. That being said it is really easy to import your campaigns over from Google Adwords. So give Bing Ads a try.

 

Google Engage Vancouver

 

Google just finished up with their Google Engage Certification Program Cram Sessions at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver.  The event, taught by Niko Downie from Google, consisted of four sessions that took place on August 28th and 29th.

Unlike the recent Google Engage event we attended in Seattle which focused on advanced PPC strategies and client relations, the goal of the Google Engage Cram Sessions was to help agencies prepare for the Google certification exams.

Since the Vancouver PPC team was already up to date with its certifications we didn’t have to attend the event, but whenever we hear the words Google and event in the same sentence you’ve got our attention.  And since this Google event was right in our own back yard at the Fairmont Waterfront, we just couldn’t say no.

 

 

Google is Clawing Back AdPlanner Data

Google is making changes to DoubleClick AdPlanner that will restrict the data it provides. On September 5th, you will no longer be able to research domains that are not part of the Google Display Network (more money for Google I guess). They have gone even further to remove demographic data ,such as, keywords searched for, videos also watched, house hold income and education.

Google seems to be clawing back more and more web data every day. Have you noticed that the number of undefined keywords (eg, not set or not provided) in your Google Analytics account is growing each day? Well this is all part of trend toward restricting data on the internet…

For better or worse it will be harder to tracking online marketing in the future. This should be a call to action to build your data now, while you still have access to it.

Vancouver Business Network Meetup

I ended up going the Vancouver Business Network meetup last night. The meetup speaker was Earl Flormata, from Loud Ninja Marketing, who was discussing funnels. It was absolutely amazing the creative ways that he has used various funnel strategies to grow his business.

What do funnels have to do with PPC?

Well the way we manage online advertising at Vancouver PPC is through optimizing for a target cost per acquisitions (AKA CPA). A target CPA is the amount you as a business owner are willing to pay for a lead or sale. Once you have your target CPA, we can then create an online advertising campaign that is designed to hit that target CPA. Now the cool thing about funnels is that they allow you to up-sell, cross sell and down-sell to people who have already purchased from you.

Math example:

Lets say your current target CPA is $5. Then we implement some funnel tactics and get people to purchase an additional $2.5 product. This means that each acquisition is now worth $7.50 and thus your target CPA raises to $7.50. Which means you can bid your online advertising more aggressively and get you way more sales.

The bottom line is that funnels can increase the average life time value of a customer, which in turn multiplies your online advertising results.

Google Certification Cram Sessions in Vancouver

On August 28th and 29th, Google will be running four training seminars over the course of two days. Taught by Niko Downie, Google Agency Lead, the seminars will cover both the basics and some of the more advanced elements of advertising with Google AdWords.

Check out what will be offered

Our team is already certified but we will be going anyways to see if we can gleam any nuggets of gold from it.

Note: I just took the Advanced Reporting and Analysis exam and it is extremely outdated.

Nobody Clicks On PPC Ads Right? Wrong!

There is a common misconception that nobody ever clicks on PPC ads. Well if that were true then Google wouldn’t be making billions of dollars each year. Plus we wouldn’t be in business…

Facts:

  • The top 3 spots get 41.1% of clicks.
  • Organic results only account for 14.8%  of pixels above the fold (the fold is the screen real-estate that you don’t have to scroll to see).
  • PPC Ads take up 85.2% of pixels above the fold on highly commercial intent keywords.

Check out this great infograph by WordStream:

Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) vs. Organic Search Listings (SEO)

© WordStream, provider of a Google Keyword Tool for Search Marketing.

Google Engage Seattle

The Vancouver PPC team just got back from the Google Engage event in Seattle. Google Engage is a program for Google Certified Partners, that helps agencies stay up to date on the ever changing Adwords platform. This event was geared towards advanced PPC strategies and client relations. Overall the event was a huge success and we got to meet a lot of cool people.

If  you need help implementing Advanced Adwords strategies please contact us.

 

Vantage is in compliance with Google’s Third-Party Policy.

We have successfully gone through the audit process to become compliant with Google’s Third-Party Policy. The policy is designed to weed out the companies who do a poor job of representing Google. It turns out that there are a lot of unqualified companies who are misleading their clients into thinking that they have some special affiliation to Google, when in reality they don’t.

The main points of the policy are as follows:

  • Third parties should at minimum provide advertisers with monthly data on AdWords costs, clicks, and impressions at the account level.
  • All third parties primarily serving small to medium-sized clients are required to provide the Google Disclosure Notice.
  • Third parties may not engage in unclear, deceptive, or harassing sales practices.
  • Third parties may not misrepresent their relationship to Google.
  • You may not make improper guarantees about Google to your clients.
  • You may not violate Google’s branding guidelines.
  • You may not improperly use AdWords accounts, or AdWords marketing or sales material.
  • The following violations will lead to immediate suspension: Pretending to be Google.

The full policy can be found here

I am very happy that this policy exists because it will increase the value of being a Certified Adwords Partner.