The skills we teach deliver real ROI.

June 2015 archive

Web Seminar Recap: What is Online Advertising? An overview of the ways to advertise.

There are so many ways to get your company seen online. This web seminar gave attendees an overview on how the different advertising options can enhance your campaigns for the better. From newsletter banners to rich media campaigns, this information is good for any level of experience.

In this seminar we covered:

• Newsletter Advertising
• Banner Advertising
• Rich Media Advertising
• How Adsense works
• Adverting in Search Engines

This session was presented by Chris West on June 23rd.

Missed this seminar? Catch up by downloading the slides and recording here.

Content Marketing Campaign of the Week – John Deere’s The Furrow

Touted by Joe Pulizzi, the “Godfather” of content marketing, as a benchmark for excellence in content marketing, John Deere’s The Furrow magazine has evolved significantly since its first publication in 1895.

The magazine, available both in print and digital format, caters to the lifestyle and interests of current and potential customers. It was actually first established to provide education to farmers about new technologies and business. What The Furrow does brilliantly is integrate the interests of John Deere consumers with content that is relevant and aligns with their business.


While there are several advertisements in the magazine itself – my favorite is a spread in the Summer 2015 edition that says “Sit back, turn on the ballgame…and finish 100 acres by lunch” – the focus of the articles is about people and what is going on in the farming industry that would affect them. From a farmer distributing the best quality produce in Charleston to how a multi-generational family farm is integrating technology to be more efficient in cropping to the history of American-Japanese farming families forced from their land into camps during World War II.

Not only does John Deere feature this content in their magazine, it’s posted on their blog and then pushed out through social media, making this content multi-purpose. Quotes from the articles and great imagery resonate and draw people in. Their social media accounts are active and also follow the content marketing strategy of sharing content that is worthwhile to its consumer base, not just promoting its products.

With almost 100,000 Twitter followers, 2.3 million likes on Facebook, and The Furrow’s circulation of 1.5 million, it’s no wonder John Deere is one of the most recognizable brands in the world. But what will keep them at the top of their industry is providing powerful content for their consumers.



How to Use Segments and Filters in Google Analytics


There’s a big difference between segments and filters in analytics.  Segments let you change the view of the data during your session without making permanent changes.  Filters (done in the Admin section of your account) result in permanent changes to your data.  There is also an inline filter that you can use in reports that does not change data permanently.  (I wish Google would change this terminology because it confuses people).

Uses for segments:

Segments are found at the top of your Google Analytics screen and can be applied to any of the reports without changing data permanently.  They also work immediately so you can view your subset of data as soon as you apply the filter.  The use of “advanced” makes it sound more complicated than it really is.  Think of advanced as the data permutations available to you in the segment and not the complexity of the tool.

  • Big spenders - If you have an e-commerce site, revenue is a logical segment to use.  Assuming anything over $500 is a good amount of sales for your site, you can set a segment to view “Revenue > $500” and learn about the type of visitor that spends that amount.
  • Segment mobile visitors by desktop visitors - As mobile continues to grow, it’s important to know if their behavior is any different than those coming from a desktop.
  • Activity by hour of day – You can view conversions by time of day by selecting the hour someone was on the site taking action.  If most of your visitors convert between 9am and 5pm that may be the best time to post on social media and run paid ads.

The great thing about segments is the ability to see how it impacts data immediately.

So why use a filter?


Web Seminar Recap: SEO: The least you need to know

There is a lot of incorrect information about SEO that can result in Google penalizing your website. In this webinar, attendees learned about best practices for SEO based on Google’s recommendations. They talked about tags for your site, content, keywords, and what it means to speak to searchers versus search engines. The content of this webinar was geared towards the beginner.

This session was presented by Tina Arnoldi on June 18th.

Missed this seminar? Catch up by downloading the slides and recording here.

How to Add or Update a Credit Card in Your Google AdWords Account

If you’re not familiar with the billing side of your Google AdWords account, updating your payment method may be a little confusing to you. I had never even looked at the billing side of my AdWords account. So when our accountant told me we had a new credit card that needed to be used, I definitely had a moment of panic. To avoid what I went through, use the step-by-step directions below for updating or adding a credit card to your Google AdWords account.

  1. log into AdWords account
  2. Click “Billing, Account settings and Help” icon on the top right of your screen
  3. On the left navigation page, choose “Billing settings”
  4. The last option on your screen is “Available payment methods
    Select “+ Add a new payment method”
  5. Toggle “Credit or debit card” and input your new credit card information
    Toggle the “Set this payment method as Primary” and then Click “Save”

As you can see, it’s not very difficult to update your Google AdWords account but not staying on top of your account can lead to some missed opportunities.

Google AdWords is effective in driving relevant targeted traffic to your website which can generate new customers so making sure that your account is up to date is important.

The Least You Need to Know About SEO

women-telling-secretsSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever changing field with a lot of misinformation out there.  In a nutshell, SEO is the practice of ranking organically in a search, meaning the unpaid results online.  Once a month, I receive an email from some unknown company promising to increase my rankings almost overnight.  Unfortunately, some people find themselves working with unscrupulous companies like that because they desperately want that first page ranking.  However, one thing that does stay the same with SEO is that it does not happen overnight so a word of caution about companies that promise that. The good news is that it is possible to improve one’s ranking over time.  Here are some of the thing you need to know about SEO.

Technical SEO:  The overall structure of your site still matters: title tag, meta description, H1, and Image Alt tags.  These  items were described  in a previous post and still hold true, except for the last tip about authorship.  Profile pictures are no longer displayed in search results.

Mobile Matters: Google’s Mobile Friendly update in April was referred to as “mobilegeddon” by many digital marketers.  This impacted search on mobile devices only, but is an important change for website owners as the number of searches on mobile devices continues to rise. For those who may still be panicking, Google offers a free Mobile-Friendly Test to see whether a website is mobile friendly or not.  If a site is not seen as mobile friendly in Google’s eyes, a list of suggestions are provided for improving the site.


Tips for How to Use the AdWords Display Network

Google’s Display Network offers opportunities for advertisers to get their ads in front of an audience outside of Rather than triggering the ad through a keyword search on, ads on the Display Network are shown on content sites when the ads meet certain criteria. This includes remarketing to previous site visitors, placing ads on specific channels, and targeting people based on certain demographics. Once you have a basic understanding of using the Display Network, use some of the below tips to stretch your advertising dollars and get the best return.

Consider your bid strategy: When you create your Display Network campaign, you have several options for how you want to pay for your ads. (This is found under Settings, Bid strategy). You can choose clicks, which is what you use on the Search Network, and is focused on driving people to your website. You can also focus on conversions where you are considering cost-per-acquisition rather than cost-per-click. Another option is Impressions, which is not available for the Search Network, and is good for branding because you get your name, message, and/or logo in front of a large number of people. Impressions are available for All features and Remarketing on the Display Network. With impressions, you can also focus on viewable CPM where the campaign is optimized for when the ad is actually viewed rather than when it is displayed.


Google My Business and Google Plus

Feeling confused about Google Plus, Google Local, Google My Business, and whatever else might be out there under the Google brand name? You are not alone. As Google changes the names of their products, it is hard to keep up. I’ll explain the differences and how to use them, but the primary goal of having your business found online has remained the same, regardless of the product name.

Google Places: Listings on Google Places appeared on Google Maps and Google Search like they do now do with Google My Business. People who had a Google Places account were automatically upgraded to Google My Business last year. Google Places was essentially a platform for managing business listings.

Google+ Local: This was previously known as Google Places and used by businesses to manage their online listings as well. It merely added the social features on top of the physical location. The “+” indicates the social features which is what people now refer to as Google+ and is how you can share information with followers.

At this point, just know that Google Places and Google+ Local functionality now operate as Google My Business.

Google My Business (GMB):  The short version is to no longer think in terms of Google Places or Google Local since Google My Business launched in the middle of 2014 as an umbrella for those features. With Google My Business, owners can claim or create their listing online which will enable them to show up in Google Search and Google Maps. This is also tied to Google Plus, used for personal and business pages, which is described below. The purpose of Google My Business is to provide one interface for managing multiple Google features.

Google Plus (+): This is where you can post updates (similar to Facebook), respond to reviews, and see how many people have viewed your Google+ page. (You can also do this directly from the Google My Business dashboard). Think of Google+ as Google’s social media platform.

Your Google+ page is created automatically when you create a Google My Business page. Once you have your Google+ page set up, make sure you claim a custom URL. This will make it much easier for people to find you than using the group of characters that it defaults to. If you had a Google+ page before you did your verification to be listed on Google maps, you can follow this support file to connect the two pages.

Ideally, you should post content on Google+ regularly to keep it fresh. And I already know what you’re thinking? “I do not have time to manage yet another social media channel.” I feel your pain. The reason you may want to consider it though is because Google+ posts may appear in search results on This can definitely give you an advantage if your competitors are not active Google+ users.

To further confuse you, there are different types of pages:

  • Individual pages: This is very similar to your personal Facebook profile. You can post updates as an individual user and is required for having a business presence on Google Plus.
  • Brand page: Is your business primarily online or do you work from home? If that’s the case, you can set up a Google+ Business page once you have your individual page. This will not show up on Google Maps.
  • Storefront or Service Area pages: If you have a storefront, you can create a page that will give you a listing on Google Maps. Service area businesses that have a physical location with employees primarily serving customers elsewhere, such as a taxi service, would want to select the Service Area option. If you check the box that says, “I deliver goods and services to my customer at their location”, you are a Service Area business.

Still a little unclear? The best place to start is by visiting, which is Google’s campaign to “Get Your Business Online”. Here you can see if your business shows up on Google maps, update it as needed, or create a new listing. After you do this, you’ll receive a postcard in the mail with a verification code to confirm your listing. While you are waiting for the verification, you can still set up some basic information for your Google My Business presence. Whether you choose to post regularly is up to you, but at the very least, make sure your general online listing is accurate.

Google+ Is It Still Relevant?

This post was originally published on

It seems like every other week there is a new article discussing the relevancy of Google+ as a social media marketing tool.

That, and the other popular headline, “SEO is Dead.” (This one has been circulating for several years and, folks, SEO is alive and well.)

As for the question, “Is Google+ still relevant?” we want to provide answers based on our own experiences with clients, rather than cast a general speculation.

Search Engine Influence

One thing we know for certain is, Google’s search engine results pages continue to be influenced by Google+ posts. (more…)

How to Set Up Conversion Tracking in Google AdWords

In a previous post, I discussed the need for AdWords users to think behind clicks to conversions. Let’s move to a step by step on the how-to for setting up conversion tracking on a web site.

What is the action?

Some potential actions are signing up for a service or email newsletter, or buying a product but what your actions are depends on your site and what these actions are is a question you answer outside of AdWords. Make sure you know what the conversion is and understand where this is recorded on your website.

Once you’ve done this off-line piece, you can go into AdWords and choose Conversions under the Tools menu. Choose the red Conversions button to get started and follow the below steps.


Naming a conversion is so easy that people may not realize how important it is. This will be used in your reports so make sure it is something that makes sense to all account holders – not just you.