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Note: I just took the Advanced Reporting and Analysis exam and it is extremely outdated.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

SMX Advanced Seattle 2012

The Vancouver PPC team just got back from SMX Advanced in Seattle. For those of you who don’t know, SMX Advanced is one of the premier search engine marketing conference in North America. We had an amazing time and met some pretty cool people.

PPC Hero Conference

I just got back from the first ever PPC Hero Conference in Indianapolis and it was absolutely amazing.

While at the conference I had the opportunity to meet most of the staff at Hanapin Marketing. They were extremely friendly and very gracious hosts. I was actually surprised to hear that they had stopped offering other online marketing services eg, SEO. They were very adamant about specializing in PPC and how offering other services just distracted them from their PPC clients. I agree 100%, as specialization has always been the key to Vancouver PPC’s success. Although we still have SEO clients, we are not taking on any new SEO or Website Design clients in the future.

One of the best seminars was the real time landing page optimization. There was a panel of speakers, including Brad Geddes, who reviewed a hand full of landing pages right in front of our eyes. The interesting thing was that all the pages needed work. Some more than others, but the moral was that landing page testing should never stop.

Probably the funnest part of the seminar were the drinks at the end of the day. It was a good chance to meet a lot of cool PPC geeks. There were a few guys from Amsterdam, who had made the jump over the ocean just to be at the conference. Their agency was massive and had some pretty big banks on their client list. Then there were the team members from an online education company, who were awesome to have drinks with. One of their roadblocks was finding “good” PPC managers. I think this is a real problem in the industry because there isn’t enough formal training.

Even on the flights back from the conference I got to talk PPC. I met a guy from an agency in Utah, who’s agency was on the smaller side of things, but was still getting big results for his clients.

All in all it was a very good conference and I look forward to next year’s event in Texas.

 

Changes in PPC for 2011

The speed of change in online advertising is rapid and no year saw as many changes as in 2011. Keeping up to date on all these advancements is no easy feet, but I guess that is why we specialize in PPC. Here are just a handful of the biggest changes to hit Adwords.

Read more

Stop SOPA!

The big thing about SOPA is that it opens up the flood gates for mass copyright infringement, which would cripple the internet. On the surface it just seems like recording studios want to protect their property. However, due to the SOPA bill’s ambiguity it would allow any site to be shut down if it contains any user generated copyrighted material.

For example say you upload a video to YouTube and it contains the latest Justin Bieber song in it. Well according to the new bill that would be copyright infringement and allow all of YouTube to be shut down. I can’t imagine an internet without YouTube.

Check out the video below for a better explanation of the bill.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Interest Targeting on the Display Network

The product development elves at Google introduced a new way to target people on the Display Network using interests. Interest targeting is nothing new to advertisers who are familiar with Facebook ads, but it is a switch away from keywords for Google and could be a sign of things to come.

Interest targeting is really cool because you can target people who have shown interest in a given topic over the past 30 days. As stated on the Adwords Blog, here is how it works, “[the] system looks at the types of pages a user visits, taking into account how recently and frequently those pages have been visited, and then associates their browser with relevant interest categories”.

Interest targeting is not to be confused with topic targeting, which allows you to target people who are viewing content that contains a desired topic. Topic targeting does not take into account the behavioral factors of recency and frequency. However, it uses the same categories to target topics.

The behavioural profiling is getting a bit scary because of the introduction of Google+. Google+ allows Google to incorporate your profile likes and interest, with the behavioural data from their Search and the Display network to amass huge amounts of data on YOU. This data is then used to better target you with ads. Honestly, I don’t have a problem with Google using the data to better target ads to me because at least I will see more relevant ads. However, I could see how this would freak the average person out.

I highly recommend trying out Interest targeting. We have found that conversion rates are quiet a bit higher than topic or contextual targeting.

 

 

Become an Internet Marketing Professional

Wow I can’t believe it is almost March and I have not posted an article in almost 2 months. Ahh well the fact that I don’t have time for blog posts is a good thing…I have been so busy that I have had to train another person to help out. This brings me to the topic of becoming an internet marketing professional. There may not be many formal schools teaching SEO or PPC but the internet and your public library are full resources.



Step 1: Get Busy Reading

Most people think that just because a book was written 5 years ago on internet marketing that it is completely outdated, but I would have to disagree. Although, the tools may have changed the fundamentals of SEO or PPC have not really changed. To rank well in Google you still need to optimize your onpage factors and get in bound links. For PPC there may be a ton of new tools and ad formats, but the keyword is still king and knowing the difference between exact and broad match keyword is still important. You will always need to know the history of internet marketing before you can really start seeing patterns in new mediums.

I have read all of these internet marketing books. Plus most can be found at your public library.


Step 2: Take Some Internet Marketing Courses

I would recommend learning PPC because you can master it in a shorter time frame than SEO plus all of the skills you learn in PPC will help you in SEO.

PPC:

SEO:

  • The best Free SEO training I have found is the Challenge

Web Analytics:

  • I just finished the Web Intelligence course at UBC and it was awesome. Plus the analytics evangelist Avinash Kayshik had a hand it its design. It won’t tell you how to use Google Analytics but it will teach all the theory you will ever need regardless of the web analytics platform.

Step 3: Stay Up to Date

The web is changing daily so you had better stay up to date or risk becoming obsolete by reading blogs. By no means are the following blogs an exhaustive list of internet marketing blogs, but they are my favorites that I follow daily. FYI if you are saying to yourself WOW that is a lot of reading, well not shit it is a lot of reading, but that is what it takes to be a professional internet marketer in today’s economy.

PPC:

SEO:

  • SEOMoz
  • Most SEO blogs overlap with their content so pick one you like and stick to it

Web Analytics:


Step 4: Get Some In-House Experience

Go work for a web based company’s marketing department for a few years. You will learn a lot and plus it will allow you to get caught up with your internet marketing reading. Furthermore, you need time to apply all the theories you have learned from books, blogs and taking classes.


Step 5: Up to You…

At this point you can go work freelance, get into the affiliate game or find a higher paying job somewhere else. IMO I would highly recommend staying away from agency’s because the stress might just kill you and the lack of autonomy will hurt your learning…