Local SEO: Snack Pack vs Ranking Locally. What’s the difference?

Local Snack Pack vs Traditional Organic Rankings 1

Ranking locally is something almost every business should be worried about. You want your website to be shown when people are searching for your product or service in your area.

But did you know there are two ways to show up on the search results page? There are

  1. The traditional organic listings, which have links to your website, and
  2. The “local snack pack”, which show businesses on a map, ratings, hours of operation, and contact information.

In some cases these results can be the same:

Local Snack Pack vs Traditional Organic Rankings

For other search queries it can be completely different:

Local Snack Pack vs Traditional Organic Rankings 2

Moz conducted a survey asking SEO experts what they thought were the top localized organic factors and they top snack pack factors, and neither of the top 5 were the same.

In this post I will go through the top 5 for each and let you know the basics about each factor.

Top 5 Localized Organic Factors

The localized organic factors primarily depend on what is happening on your website.

  1. Domain Authority of Website

Is your website new? Have you been penalized by Google in the past? Then this might be an issue for you. Domain authority is something your site builds slowly over time by providing searchers quality content.

  1. Quality of Inbound Links to Domain

Domain authority is also improved by getting high quality inbound links. When other sites link to yours, Google sees this as a vote of confidence that your site is important and will reward you with high ranking.

Beware of low quality links. If Google sees that you have a high number of low quality links, it may even hurt your ranking.

Here are some suggestions on how to build local links:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Host community events
  • Sponsor local charities
  • Create great community content
  1. City, State/Province in Landing Page Title

Include the location you want to rank for in your title. This means if you want to be ranking for “Carpet Cleaning Vancouver”, “North Vancouver Real Estate” or “Vancouver Web Design”, include those keywords in your title.

You’ll notice that we have “Vancouver Web Design” right in our title:

Local Snack Pack vs Traditional Organic Rankings 3

  1. Click Through Rate from Search Results

The click through rate (CTR) is the % of people who click your website after seeing you on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You can increase your CTR by including keywords in your title, having well written meta description, and by having a strong brand that people will know to click.

  1. Topical (Product/Service) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content

Does your website have the content that people are looking for? It’s important to have a specific landing page set up for every product or service your business has. This way when someone is searching for “product/service + location” you will have a page that can serve exactly what the searcher needs.

Top 5 Local Snack Pack Factors

Unlike the localized organic factors, the snack pack rankings depend on what is happening off your webpage. These factors include your Google My Business (GMB) profile, citations, and the location of you and the searcher.

  1. Physical Address in City of Search

Is your business actually in the city you want to be ranking in? If not, it’s going to be difficult for your business to be shown in the maps. Google only wants physical businesses showing up in the snack pack, so it includes a verification process when registering GMB account.

  1. Consistency of Structured Citations

Citations are mentions online of your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) across the internet. Google wants you to have this formatted exactly the same. This means that “300-602 West Hastings Street” is not the same as “Unit 300 – 602 W Hastings St”. You would think that Google would be able to figure something like this out, but the formatting has a large impact on you ranking.

  1. Proper Google My Business Category Associations

When setting up your Google My Business account, make sure you are picking the most relevant category or categories. If you are a restaurant that also does catering and weddings, you’ll need all three.

This is something that needs to be set up by the owner. If you have not claimed your account you will be missing out.

  1. Proximity of Address to the Point of Search

Google wants to show the results that are closest to where the searcher currently is. If I am in the Olympic Village looking for sushi, I don’t want to know what’s available in East Van.

Unfortunately as a marketer controlling where people are when they are searching is out of your control…

  1. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations

When building your citations, start with the basics:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Yellow Pages
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Canpages

These won’t just help your Google ranking, they will also drive referral traffic to your site. Also look into niche directories and social sites in your industry. Houzz and Homestars are great sources of traffic for Construction and Design companies.

Protip: Google your competitors and see what they are ranking for.


I hope this helps you better understand why your business is ranking (or isn’t) locally on Google. If you have any questions about your company’s online strategy, I would be happy to chat.



How to Get Your Videos Ranking on YouTube

How to Rank on YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine?

Have you noticed that Google often shows Youtube video links on the first page for search phrases like

  • “How to format a table in google sheets”
  • “Best USB microphone”
  • “Setting up Apple TV”
  • Or “Spaghetti and meatballs recipe”?

Do you believe that people are generally lazy and would rather watch a video than read an article?

Then you should be considering using video in your SEO strategy. Videos are a great way for you to solve your customer’s problems and are another channel that you can use to get in front of them.
As advanced as the Google algorithm is, it can’t watch and understand videos. This is why it takes more than a great video to rank on YouTube.

If you are already creating great videos, here are some tips to help them rank better in YouTube as well as Google.

Get the right Keywords

YouTube Keywords should be slightly different than your website keywords. Google prefers to show YouTube videos on the results page when the videos are

  • How to …
  • Product reviews
  • Or tutorials.

Be sure to have your keywords matching these formats if you want them to be shown on Google. If you do not, then you will only be driving traffic when people are searching within Youtube.

Include your keywords in the right places

Make sure you include your keyword in the following places

  • Video Filename – for example lawn-mowing-tips.mp4 is better than VIDEO_456789.mp4
  • Video Title – the title should be at least 5 words long so you can include your full keyword. For example “5 Lawn Mowing Tips for 2016”.
  • Description – The description is something that is ignored on most videos. As I mentioned before, Google cannot understand your video. The description is where you can include a full recap for what happens in the video, at least 250 words. If there is a lot of talking in your video, but sure to include the transcript in the video. If there is text in the video, include that tool. Also include a link back to your website, ideally the page on your site that is most relevant to the video.
  • Tags – Tags don’t only help you rank for your target keyword, but they also determine when your video shows up in the related sidebar.

Build Links to the Video

Just like ranking factors for blog posts or other pieces of content, links matter. If you want your video to be ranking for competitive keywords, it will need to get more views than the competition.  Here are some ideas to drive traffic to your video

  • Embed Your Videos in Blog Posts – Every quality video should have a corresponding blog post on your site.
  • Post links in Q&A sites – People are already asking for the answer in your video on sites like Quora and Yahoo! Answers. These are perfect opportunities for you to link to them.
  • Send to your email list – If you have a large email list, let them know about the video.

Following these steps should get you ahead of your competition in video ranking. There are other things to also consider such as engagement metrics (like, views, time spent watching, thumbs up), but as long as you are producing quality videos and people are watching, the engagement metrics will follow.

If you have any questions on YouTube SEO or any other online marketing topics please let me know.


3 Keys to Rank on Google Maps

Ranking on Google Maps

Having your business rank high in google maps is becoming increasingly important. Not only is Google showing the maps at the top of the SERP (search engine results page) more frequently, but it is only showing the top three businesses.

How can you make sure that our business is being included in these results? There are a number of different strategies you can be implementing, but you must include these three things:
1. Google My Business account.
2. Citations
3. Positive reviews

If you include all three of these elements, you will give your business a very good chance at ranking in the top.

1. Google My Business

This is googles primary source for determining what your business is all about. It include your business name, address, phone number, description and more. When writing your description it is important to include your business’s keywords. It’s important to include as much information as possible in your profile.

You can claim your business by visiting (Google my business) and verifying by either a phone call to your business address or through having a postcard with a code sent to your business address.

2. Citations

Google doesn’t only rely on your company’s Google My Business page. It scours the Internet for mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). It is important the NAP are the exact same across all your citations. No variations.

Start your citation building on local and relevant directories in your niche. If you aren’t sure where to start, do a search for your keywords and see what non-competitor sites show up.

Same rules apply when creating these profiles. Complete them as much as you can, include keywords when applicable, and keep the NAP the same.

3. Reviews

With the Google My Business and citations completed, Google will be able to index your business alongside your competitors. Now we have to differentiate yourself from them.

Reviews are the social proof you need to convince potential customers and search engines that your business should be ranked #1. It’s no mistake that the businesses with the most and best reviews are at the top. Your business needs reviews.

But how do you get reviews?

The answer is actually simple. Find your happiest customers and you ask them.
By adding these elements to your online strategy, you will be ranking in Google maps in no time.

196 Negative Keywords Missing in Your Campaign

Negative Keywords That are Missing from Your Campaign

So you’ve found your keywords, broke them into groups, wrote some compelling ads, and now you think you are ready to launch your AdWords search campaign.  When you review your campaign a few weeks later, you see a bunch of irrelevant search queries causing your ads to pop up.

These unwanted search terms are:

·         Hurting your quality score

·         Decreasing your click through rate

·         And costing you money.

Negative keywords are a great way to tighten up your targeting.

Let’s say you are an online window blind company. You will have “window blinds” as a phrase or broad match keyword. Your ads will show up when people search for “window blinds cleaner” or  “do it yourself window blinds” if you don’t have any negative keywords.

By adding in “cleaner” and “do it yourself” as negative keywords, you’ll avoid having your ads show up for those search terms.

Although every campaign is different, there are many keywords that I like to include on all my campaigns to make sure I am not wasting any of my client’s money.

Note: Review this list before putting adding any of these keywords to your account. If your campaign is selling low quality goods, courses, or trying to recruit new employees, these keywords will actually hurt the campaign.

Negative keywords:

  1. “soft ware”
  2. accessories
  3. accessory
  4. application
  5. apply
  6. applying
  7. artificial
  8. association
  9. associations
  10. avatar
  11. avatars
  12. bachelors
  13. bad
  14. bargain
  15. batteries
  16. battery
  17. become
  18. bitmap
  19. bitmaps
  20. blog
  21. blogs
  22. bmp
  23. book
  24. books
  25. career
  26. careers
  27. cheap
  28. cheapen
  29. cheaper
  30. cheapest
  31. class
  32. classes
  33. clean
  34. cleaner
  35. cleaners
  36. cleaning
  37. cleanser
  38. cleansers
  39. clip
  40. clips
  41. code
  42. college
  43. colleges
  44. compare
  45. comparison
  46. comparisons
  47. counterfeit
  48. coupon
  49. coupons
  50. course
  51. courses
  52. d i y
  53. degree
  54. degrees
  55. diploma
  56. diplomas
  57. direction
  58. directions
  59. diy
  60. do it yourself
  61. dupe
  62. employer
  63. employers
  64. employment
  65. engineer
  66. equipment
  67. fake
  68. faked
  69. faux
  70. for sale
  71. forms
  72. forum
  73. forums
  74. free
  75. gif
  76. guide
  77. guides
  78. hire
  79. hiring
  80. how
  81. how to
  82. icon
  83. icons
  84. image
  85. images
  86. inexpensive
  87. info
  88. information
  89. institute
  90. intern
  91. interning
  92. interns
  93. internship
  94. job
  95. jobs
  96. joe
  97. joke
  98. jokes
  99. jpeg
  100. jpg
  101. kit
  102. kits
  103. lesson
  104. lessons
  105. license
  106. licenses
  107. master
  108. masters
  109. mba
  110. measurement
  111. measurements
  112. mechanic
  113. mechanical
  114. on sale
  115. opportunity
  116. painting
  117. paintings
  118. part
  119. parts
  120. phd
  121. photo
  122. photograph
  123. photographs
  124. photos
  125. pic
  126. pics
  127. picture
  128. pictures
  129. pix
  130. plugin
  131. portrait
  132. portraits
  133. poster
  134. posters
  135. preowned
  136. questions
  137. rank
  138. ranking
  139. rebate
  140. rebates
  141. refurbish
  142. refurbished
  143. rental
  144. rentals
  145. repair
  146. repairing
  147. repairman
  148. repairmen
  149. repairs
  150. replica
  151. replicas
  152. resume
  153. resumes
  154. review
  155. reviewer
  156. reviewers
  157. reviewing
  158. reviews
  159. rumor
  160. rumors
  161. salaries
  162. salary
  163. school
  164. schools
  165. score
  166. scores
  167. scoring
  168. screen saver
  169. screen savers
  170. screensaver
  171. screensavers
  172. second hand
  173. secondhand
  174. snake
  175. snakes
  176. software
  177. supplies
  178. supply
  179. sweepstakes
  180. tech
  181. technician
  182. techs
  183. tip
  184. tips
  185. tool
  186. tools
  187. universities
  188. university
  189. used
  190. wallpaper
  191. wallpapers
  192. what
  193. work
  194. workshops
  195. worst
  196. yourself

If you find these useful please let me know by sharing it on social media.

If there are any other keywords you always use, please add them into the comments.

3 Unique Gmail Ad Strategies You Need to Know

3 Gmail Ad Strategies You Need to Know AboutHave you noticed a few extra emails in your inbox? If you are using Gmail, you might have seen the new Gmail Ads, or Gmail Sponsored Posts (GSP).

These ads look just like promotional emails, except when you click on them, you see an ad instead of an actual email.

What are Gmail Ads

If you don’t use Gmail, you might not be familiar with its tabbed format. Gmail automatically filters your email so that all social content (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Meetup and other platform notifications) get placed in one folder, and promotional emails get placed in another.

This means that all of your newsletters you sign up for, or any travel promotions are all in one place.

In my promotional tab (shown above), I’m receiving ads from an airline company (WestJet). This is most likely because they are targeting people who are receiving information about flights. You can also see in the screen shot that I am receiving emails from Aeroplan, but I am also getting other flight related information such as emails from expedica.com.

When you click on the ad it can expand in the number of ways. Here is what the WestJet ad looks like:

Ads in Gmail Promotions Tab

Advertisers pay when you first click on their ad, which doesn’t necessarily take you to their site. Another unique feature of these ads is that they give the option to save the ad or to forward it to a friend.

Other different ad formats can include video, large image, and a mixture of text.

As an online marketer, I’m a huge fan of the Gmail ads for 3 reasons

  1. They get great click through rates
  2. Their CPC is very low
  3. You can target peoples inbox content

Great click through rates

After just over a month of experimenting with Gmail Ads, we have seen click through rates between 15-30%. This is much higher than any other display campaign I have ever ran.

The CTR is so high because you are able to have your ads showing up right alongside similar content that the person is expecting to see. Following the example above, I am more likely to checkout WestJet’s promotion when I am already viewing flight deals.

Similarly, if I’m looking for details on a shoe sale at my favorite store, or the weekly wine promotions at my local liquor store, I am going to be interested in similar promotions from competitors.

Lower CPC than other display methods

Gmail ads are still relatively new. This means that there isn’t as much competition. Less competition means lower CPC. On average my CPC in Gmail campaigns are only 1/3 of what they would be in other display channels.


You can target the content in people’s inboxes

This may seem invasive to some… maybe even to a lot of people… but for marketers this is amazing. This means if we want to target people who are receiving mail about pet food, dog toys or bird cages, we can target those keywords, or we can even target your competitor’s names or their domain.


Strategies for Gmail Ads

Because Gmail Ads are a relatively new frontier, there are a lot of opportunities for new targeting strategies for your online business. Here are a couple that I have found to be effective so far.

1. Targeting your competitors

Not sure how you are going to compete with your competitors who have large mailing lists? Easy! With Gmail Ads you can set your target keyword to be your competitor’s brand name or even their domain name.

This means that your ads will show up to people who are using Gmail and are subscribers to their newsletter, or are receiving transactional emails. If you are using this method, think about segmenting your ad so that you are highlighting the competitive advantage your product/service has against that competitor.

I have used this strategy with a start-up company who landed their first $1,396.84 sale after spending only $48.34.


2. Targeting similar points programs

If you are affiliated with a well-known points program, there will be evidence of this in their inbox. Create an ad that shows how people can earn more points by using your product.

I have used this strategy with a company who is using “Air Miles Reward Miles” with their carpet cleaning business, who was having a difficult time finding new customers who cared. By showing related Gmail Ads we had a CTR of over 30% because we were only targeting people who were already collecting miles with other companies.


3. Retargeting

We work so hard to get visitors to our site, so it is important that we make sure they come back if they still haven’t taken any action.

Retargeting isn’t new for online advertising, but with Gmail Ads the strategy can be approached a little bit differently.

Since Gmail isn’t widely used for business email, most B2B companies won’t have the same targeting opportunities as the B2B advertisers. But with retargeting, this doesn’t matter. You can still retarget B2B users based on their browsing history, despite what types of email is in their personal email.


I hope these strategies will help you create or improve your campaigns. Let me know if you liked this post or if you have any other interesting strategies in the comments.



Google Snack Pack: What’s Changes & Does it Matter?

Google made a major change to the way they are displaying their local search results. The most notable change is that the local results are showing up in a 3-pack, rather than the previous 7, hence their name: Google Snack Pack.

Snack Pack By Google

The changes were made on August 6, 2015 and happened across all countries and industries. This post will cover:

  • what the changes are
  • how they might be effecting your business
  • and strategies you can implement to get to the top of the results

What were the changes?

Showing only 3 local business results instead of 7.

google snack pack pho example

This is the most glaring of all the changes. With only 3 businesses being listed, the competition at the top of the local results is going to be more cut throat than ever. The difference in click through rates between #3 and #4 are going to be staggering.

What about those who were ranking 4-7?

As Jennifer Slegg wrote on her awesome post on Moz, Google doesn’t make changes to their results without testing. “For Google to make this change, it is very likely those results weren’t clicked on nearly as much the top three.”

This means that maybe the gap between the #3 and #4 spot was already large enough and this was only providing the user a better experience.

Removing addresses and phone from the 3-pack search results.

At first I thought that removing the address and phone was a step backwards for usability. If proximity was my main concern in the search, I would want to know exactly where the business is and have the ability to call them right away. Right?

google snack pack pho exampleBut while removing those from the SERP, it also added other crucial bits. The information that is now being shown includes:

  • company name
  • rating average
  • # of reviews
  • Category
  • Distance from your current location
  • Short description

Ratings filtering

You can now filter the results by their rating. If you weren’t concerned with your 3 star rating before, you should be now. When customers are filtering their search, then are rarely looking for that 1-3 star tattoo removal company.

Make sure your business is has positive rankings. If you don’t have any reviews this could be a problem as well. If you’re in a competitive industry, you need to have a certain amount of reviews before you will even be shown.

Lower role with Google+

Google+ My business no longer has a direct link on the SERP, but this doesn’t mean it still isn’t important for you to have a My Business account. It is still where Google is pulling the bulk of their information from. It just means that it is no longer being shown as a “Google+ Page” link on the results page.

Your My Business info will still be shown, just in a different way…

Clicks open differently

google snack pack pho example expanded

When you click on the Snack Pack result, you are no longer taken directly to the website. Instead it slides open more information in shown to the left, including the maps location.

Here you will find the phone number and address that were missing on the main results page. You’ll also find review excerpts as well as more local ranking results.

This means that even if you aren’t in the top 3, you have a chance of being found.

But who would want to take that chance? Here are some tips to get in the Snack Pack.

How to get in the top 3

Back to local organic basics.

Is your site optimized for its physical location? Not sure? Then you might want to review a few areas on your site. Let’s follow the example used at the top of the page and say your local keyword is “Pho Vancouver”, but in any case your local keyword should be something along the lines of “Keyword + Location”. You need to make sure that this key word is in these places:

  1. The beginning of your title tag
  2. The H1 of your home page
  3. And in the first 100 words of your homepage’s content

There are other strategies you can use, but if you take care of these three you should have your basics covered.


Citations have always been an important ranking factor in determining search results. Citations are different mentions online of your business’s name, address, and phone (NAP). The more citations you have online, the more legit your company will seem to have on its location claim.

It’s important to make sure that all of your citations are using the name formatting. Google and other search engines do take not of this. For example “300-602 West Hastings Street” is not the same as “Unit #300 602 W Hastings St”.

Get your citations in order by using a service like White Spark. They can build your citations out for you much faster than you could ever do on your own, and for a good price. I’ve been using this service for a number of my clients and it has produced results in terms of local rankings. If you are serious about competing in the top 3, I would start here.


As mentioned earlier, your ratings mater. Both the quality of your rankings as well as the amount of rankings you have. If your competitors have a 4.5/5 average with 20+ reviews, you need to have comparable numbers.

Getting your customers to provide you with Google+ or Yelp reviews can be like pulling teeth, even if you aren’t a dentist! White Spark also provides a great free service on how to ask and show your customers how to give you reviews that will help you rank.

Protip: don’t send them a link directly to your Google+ or Yelp page. Google and Yelp take note of these links and won’t allow these reviews to show up in their rankings.


Links always matter for Google. They are essentially votes from other websites in favor of your website being important. These links, of course, need to be relevant. In terms of local search, these links should also come from local sources.

These could include:

  • Local directories
  • Local charities you are involved with
  • Or any other events your company is associated with


Ben Wood wrote in his post for Hallam Internet that AdWords would be a good solution for companies who have been snubbed in the snack pack.

“Even before this update, paid adverts dominated the majority of space above the fold within Google’s search results. However, for those businesses who used to rely on being found in Google’s seven pack of local results, Google AdWords can be used to ensure they still appear above the fold on the first page of results for their target keywords.”

This might be a good short term band aid, but isn’t a permanent. Organic results are going to provide you a better ROI in the long term. If you decide that AdWords is going to give you results immediately, I would still recommend that you invest some of your marketing budget into SEO.

Study Notes for the AdWords Display Exam

As I needed to renew my AdWords certification I was going over the Google Refresher videos and I thought that I should my notes online. If you are taking the test for the first time, or the 5th, it will be useful to keep this page open on a tab. If you haven’t already checked out my post on passing the AdWords exams, I would keep that open on another tab as well.

Hope this helps!

What is The Google Display Network (GDN)

  • #1 ad network
  • Reach 89% of the internet users in the world
  • Expansive number of diverse websites


Google Display Advertising = Non-text ads that use image, flash, video or other technologies, and appear alongside publisher content. (Can also show text ads)

GDN Increases your reach

  • Unique targeting options let you increase your reach, even if you already advertise elsewhere
  • Inventory cones from AdSense & DoubleClick Ad Exchange




Targeting Method Examples
Keywords Pages that contextually match the theme of your keywords
Placements You pick the sites, apps, and locations for your ads
Audiences Show ads to people who interacted with your site in past through remarketing or to people interested in certain topics through interest targeting
Topics Pages that match your selected topics, like music or agriculture.


Keyword Contextual Targeting

  • The theme of keywords in an ad group is used to match ads to the theme of a page in the GDN.
  • Use negative keywords if your keywords are potentially ambiguous.


Placements can include entire websites, specific parts of websites, apps, game sites, video sites

Automatic Placements Managed Placements Negative Placements
Google picks relevant placements based on your keywords and other targeting methods Pick your own placementsSet different bids for each site

Group placements with similar themes in ad groups

Exclude placements that don’t drive the desired results while still letting automatic placements find new sites 


Separate Search and Display Campaigns

The best practice is to set up separate campaigns for display rather than run them out of your search campaigns

Different settings may be more effective on different networks or for different campaigns types

Allocation different budgets more effectively


Reach and Frequency

Metrics in Reports

  • Reach – how many users have seen your ads
  • Frequency – how many users have seen your ad several times
  • Controls Targeting – frequency capping – limit the number of times the same user is shown your ad


Site category Exclusions

  • Some categories you can exclude – below the fold
  • Use the Placement Performance Report to find ideas for site categories to exclude


Display Planner Helps with Targeting

  • Generate Keyword ideas for contextual targeting
  • Generate Placement ideas for placement targeting


Targeting Tips

  • When adding new placements, set the bids at the ad group level until you get enough data to make decisions for individual placements
  • Waite 2-3 weeks to accrue some data before making optimizations



When CPM and CPC compete

What happens when two advertisers are competing on GDN and one is bidding CPM and the other CPC

CPM = CPC x CTR x 1000

Advertiser Bid Type CTR CPM Equivalent
Judy Max CPC=$1.00 5% $50
Rob Max CPM=$10 N/A $10


A single CPM ad can beat multiple CPC ads if its CPM is higher than the combined CPM of the competing ads.

What is Quality Score for Display?

Estimate of how well Google expects an ad to perform on a placement, based on performance on this placement and similar placements.

QS = Relevancy + CTR + Landing Page


Impact on Quality Score

Determines eligibility for an ad to participate in the auctionsHelps to determine the rank of the ad

Helps to determine the actual cost of a click

QS is not a factor



CPC: Cost per click

Conversion Optimizer

  • Targets a CPA
  • Advertisers still pay a CPC

CPM: Cost per thousand impressions

  • Great for branding
  • Only available for display


Goal KPIs Best Type of Bid
Increase site traffic Clicks, ctr CPC
Increase Sales or Drive ROI Conversions, Conversion Rate Conversion Optimizer
Raise Brand Awareness Impressions, enegagement, reach and frequency CPM


Ad Types

Text Ads

Easy to create and biggest reach

Best Practice: Always create a text ad, even when you have other ad formats to increase your reach


Image, Video, and Rich Media Ads.

  • Can only appear on Google Display Network and not on Google Search
  • Create your own or use the Ad Gallery (aka Display Ad Builder)


Ad Gallery

  • Save time with prebuilt templates and build ads at scale
  • Review all selected ad sizes and make edits for those sizes where the text and images don’t fit.


Create Compelling Ads

  • Have a compelling CTA to set correct expectations with users of what they can do when they click
  • Use a landing page that directly relates to what your ad promotes
  • Use colors that complement your brand
  • Include a visible display URL


Ad Policies

  • Don’t make an ad look like its interactive when it isn’t
  • Request a new review by creating a new ad or editing disapproved ad   (Google will re-review ads automatically)
  • Get metrics not available elsewhere (mouseover rate)
  • If your ads never change, users may stop noticing them
  • Find out with the Reach and Frequency reports
  • Enhance ads with additional information
  • Ad extensions available for GDN
  • Location extensions
  • Call extensions
  • You can edit ad extensions without losing historical stats

Ad Gallery Benefits

Why Ad Performance May Decline

Ad Extensions


GDN Tools

Display Campaign Optimizer

  • Helps manage bids and find New Placements
  • Set your target CPA and the display campaign optimizer automatically finds the best placements at the right prices to help you boost conversions.
  • Review conversions for ads, keywords, placements
  • Search funnels

Conversion Tracking

o   View through conversions

o   Assisted conversions


Analytics Columns in Reports

See 4 metrics in AdWords

  • Bounce Rate
  • Pages/ visit
  • Avg visit duration
  • % new visits


Placement Performance Report

  • See performance on sites and URLs where your ads appeared
  • Conversions
  • The exact URL where the ad appeared
  • Get ideas for site category exclusions


Ad Scheduling

Adjust bids for different times of the week.


AdWords for Video

What is AdWords for Video

  • Place video ads on Youtube and the Google Display Network
  • Part of the TrueView family of ads

o   Pay only when the user decides to view the video

o   CPV: cost-per-view

  • Note: if you want to show display ads on YouTube, you can add Youtube.com as a Managed Placement
  • The worlds #2 largetst search engine in the world
  • Different search behaviours than on Google Search, making this an ideal addition to search campaigns
  • People search for emotions, celeberties, quotes, actions
  • Target demographically and engage users with sound and motion
  • “Watch” pages have the most ad impressions

YouTube Overview

YouTube True View

With True View ads, you only pay for interested users

  • In-search or in-display: pay when the user chooses to watch your video
  • In stream: when users watches 30 seconds or to the end for shorter videos
  • Bought on a reservation basis
  • Priced on a CPD basis – fixed daily cost
  • Bought through an account rep (not in AdWords)
  • Buy impressions at a fixed cost that varies by placements and country
  • Great for branding campaigns
  • Priced as CPM or CPC
  • Management and reporting done by Google reps
  • On schedule Indicator (OSI) – The percent likelihood the campaign will deliver all impressions booked.

YouTube Home Page Masthead


Video Tool

User the video tools to target specific categories of videos.

Best Practices

Have compelling opening image for Click-to-play ads

  • Use eye catching image
  • Inspire the user to act with a strong call to action
  • Use a non-commercial feels
  • Use comments and tags as ideas


Traffic may fluctuate as user behavior changes

Block Analytics Spam on WordPress Sites

block referral spam in google analytics using wp ban wordpress plugin

My Last (Hopefully) Post on Analytics Spam

Google Analytics has always been a great tool for online marketers to find out what is happening on their websites. You could log in and then see a clear picture of where the traffic was coming form, what people were doing on your site, and which of your marketing efforts were working.

Then referral spam arrived on our dashboards.

Referral sites like semalt.com, ilovevitaly.com, and buttons-for-website.com showed traffic pouring in with a bounce rate of %100, spending no time on your site, visiting no pages. This skewed the rest of your data that you relied on to tell you what was working on your site.

I have written posts on how to block spam site’s using Analytics filters, and have a page with a list of domains that you should be blocking. Now I have found an easier way to block referral spam using the plugin WP Ban.

Step 1. Download, install and Activate WP Ban.

WP Ban Referral URL Plugin

WP Ban allows users to block traffic from accessing their site by IP, IP Range, host name, user agent and referrer url from visiting your WordPress’s blog. It will display a custom ban message when the banned IP, IP range, host name, user agent or referrer url tries to visit you blog. You can also exclude certain IPs from being banned. There will be statistics recorded on how many times they attempt to visit your blog. It allows wildcard matching too.

For these purposes we only need to block referrer urls from the site.

Step 2. Add referral spam domains to the referrer URL list.

WP Ban Referral URL Spam

Be sure to add all of the referral spam site’s that I have run into as well as any other sites you are dealing with on your site.

Using Sprout Social to Schedule Posts with Images


I initially just started using Sprout Social for it great reporting for my multiple clients at work. It was an added bonus when I found out how easy it is to schedule twitter posts on there.

Not only does it automatically shorten your links for you, but you can also easily drag and drop photos right into the browser window.

The best image size to use for twitter posts is 1024×512 pixels. This will ensure that your image won’t be cut off so your followers will see the whole message. Tweets with images have significantly higher click through rates and number of shares.

When posting content you can also schedule it to be posted a number of times in the future. This is so important to do for twitter since most of your posts won’t be seen. In your followers busy twitter feed.

Posting Sprout Social

Are you using sprout social for anything else? I would love to hear more useful tricks.