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How to Increase Your Conversions with Remarketing


Yes, remarketing can be creepy.  Once you visit a site, ads for that site may follow you around the rest of the internet.  You check the weather, there’s an ad. You go to your favorite news site; there’s the same ad again.  But if remarketing didn’t work, businesses wouldn’t use it.  It is possible to increase your conversions with remarketing.

Identify a valuable conversion

I realize that sounds pretty obvious!  But some use remarketing to bring people back to the site without necessarily thinking through the “why”.  Most sites have multiple options for macro and micro conversion, such as signing up for something or making a purchase.  If both of those are important conversions, you’ll run two campaigns with each of these goals in mind.

Get specific

The people coming to your site through remarketing already know who you are and what you are about from earlier visits. Now is the time to get specific and provide some detail about your offer.  A general message is not as engaging because it tells people what they already know. B Providing additional information that wasn’t shown in the initial ad gives them a reason to come back.

Base it on URL

Although you can market to those who visited your site in general, instead look at your site based on types of services and products you offer. You can then build lists based on people who visited the URLs for those specific sections. However, you don’t want to get too specific at first because your list may be very small, especially with a newer site.

Visitors who did not complete an action

People who did not complete a purchase are a clear use case for remarketing. If they added items to their cart and then left the site, that’s a great use case for remarketing. There can also be visitors that stopped somewhere in the lead generation process. If they filled out part one of your lead generation form, but never made it to part two on a second page, you can remarket to them.  (This is also a good reminder to review the usability of your site. Why do people leave after part one?)

Cookies = Buying cycle

You can set cookies with a default setting of anywhere between 30-90 days, and should set your cookies based on the buying cycle of your products.  Higher end, luxury items will have a longer buying cycle and 90 days may be the right setting for them.  Other less expensive purchases or items that often fall into an impulse buy category could be 30 days.

Change out the images

Have you ever seen something so many times that you no longer “see” it – or maybe even find it annoying? Change the images or colors of image ads in remarketing so viewers eyes are drawn to it as something new.  When you constantly show the same ad on the same sites, people can tune it out.  I can also get a little boring to see the same thing all the time. The advantage to you as the advertiser is the opportunity to test images in order to see which ones worked best.

Link the ad to what’s advertised

Such a simple suggestion, but one that’s often overlooked.  I’ll give an example without giving the company name. I saw a visually appealing ad on a weather site, displaying an item of clothing I would consider buying.  When I went to the site, I landed on a general page with that particular item nowhere to be found.  Needless to say, I was frustrated and left the site.  So whatever your ad is promoting (whether it’s remarketing or not), link the ad to the specific page for what is being advertised.


Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) let you customize your campaigns in the search results for people who have previously visited your site.  Since you know someone is searching for you, this is an opportunity to get your specific ad in front of them. This option may not yet be available for those of you with new sites, because the remarketing list needs to have 1,000 visitors before RLSA can be used.  As mentioned above, with the Display Network, you may want to get specific with your lists by targeting people who visit a specific page of your site.  But with RLSA, you may want to be broader as you build your initial list and base it initially on visitors to your home page. Either method you use, you want to start early in creating your list so it has time to build.

Remarketing is a great tool for advertisers when it’s done well.  Like with any marketing effort, know your goals and your audience and decide what it is you want visitors to do when they return to your site.

Using Banners in Online Advertising

Online advertising can mean the difference between success and failure in an online business. There are many different ways to get a better online presence and advertising is one of the faster ways to accomplish this.  Maybe you do not have time to wait for the results of social media or other methods. This article goes into a brief overview of the different types of advertising that an organization can possibly start utilizing.

Banner Advertising            

Banner advertising is the most common type of online advertising. This type of advertisement usually shows up either at the very top of the page or the right sides of the pages.  The reason this is the most common is because it’s easily visible without distracting the viewer from other content. The click through rate for these are also low because people are so used seeing them online. Usually either the banners are one static advertisement or multiple advertisements that are part of ad networks. Depending on the revenue goals of the organization.

Advertising Sizes

The sizes of your advertisements play an important part in the success of your campaign. If the advertisement is too small the customer would not be able to notice it, but if it’s too large or noisy the visitor will be annoyed and likely will not come back to your site. Below are some common banner sizes:

  • Expandable (970 x 160) – This size is useful because it is an expandable advertisement meaning once you scroll over the ad it will get larger. The visitor will then have a chance to click on it for more info.
  • 300×250 – This ad is a great size for any website. Usually this size goes on the right hand side of the website. Also, many companies use two of these ads to fill up space. One is at the top right and another is at the bottom right.
  • 145×145- This is a good size for email newsletters that you would like to put advertising in. Another way sites use this have multiple small boxes with different ads or affiliate links.

Types of Advertisers

There are different ways you can advertise on your site. From having individual businesses pay for ad space to posting ads promoting your own services. Look at these options for the right fit for your needs:

  • Direct Advertisers-This means individual organizations will pay you to be on your site for a certain amount of time. Usually this can be on a month to month basis and prices would depend on how many page views your site has. Use google analytics to track this in detail.
  • House Ads – These ads are specifically for you to advertise your own products or services. If you offer ad space to other outside businesses, you can use this area to promote your services when there are no advertisers.
  • Ad Networks – Ad networks are groups of advertisers that rotate across the web based on the sites the visitors go to. A good example of this is when you are searching for cars on a popular car website and afterwards you see automobile ads on other sites you visits.
  • Sell by Impressions – If you want to offer multiple advertising spots on your site, you can do the share voice model. This means if you have four potential advertiser you can give them an equal spit of impressions.

Banner Positions            

Where you put the ad on your site is really important because you want the best click through rates. Here are optimum areas to use:

  • Top of Page –Useful area because people that visit the site will still have a good view of the overall content.
  • Right Side of Page – The right side also gives users the space needed to read content and decide if they would like to click on
  • Inside Content – If you put your ads here you want to make sure it is at the bottom of the content so your visitors will not get upset and leave. I wouldn’t recommend doing side banners along with inside content banners.
  • Interstitial – These ads get the most clicks because they are roadblocks that force the visitor to view the ad and take action. A good practice is only allow this ad to be shown once a day for each visitor.

Overall this is a good place to start if you are considering advertising as a part of your online strategy.

How to Design Landing Pages for your Paid Search Campaign

When developing a paid campaign, advertisers need to think beyond the ad content and have appropriate landing pages for each ad. Instead of using an existing page on the site and assuming that’s “good enough”, build one specifically for the campaign to ensure the landing page serves as an extension of the ad.  The worst scenario is when a user clicks on an ad and can’t immediately identify the connection between your ad and the content of your landing page.  That’s when you’ll see a high bounce rate as they become frustrated and try another site instead of yours.

Keep it simple

Simplicity applies in so many areas of your digital marketing efforts and a simple form is very important.  Do not ask for more than you need.  An ideal form will have only email, name, and a place for a message.  Sometimes if the offer is some kind of trial, only the email address is needed.  If you are convinced your form with 15 fields is simple, try this quick test.  In your analytics, look at the number of visitors to that page compared to the number of forms completed.  For example, if 100 people visit the landing page and 30 people fill out the form, it implies they changed their minds once they saw the level of commitment (i.e. number of fields) required of them.  If you still feel the 15 fields are necessary, at least do some A/B testing where some users come to this longer form and others are sent to a simpler version.

Use arrows

Use arrows?  We create a form and think it’s incredibly simple with no other directions needed.  Keep in mind though that users will only spend a few seconds on your landing page and if it’s not obvious what to do, they may not do it.  Don’t assume it’s easy because the people who designed the site tell you it’s obvious.  We all become consumed with our own areas of expertise, forgetting others don’t have the same benefit of being immersed in something all day.  With arrows on your landing page, you can point them directly to the call-to-action button.  Your page should only have a small amount of copy, but users may not even bother reading that and instead be ready to go ahead and sign-up for what you offer. Make it easy for them to do so.

Promote coming soon

It’s not too soon to start your paid campaign even if your product or service is not quite ready for launch.  You can create a very simple page with a “Coming Soon” message to build up some interest before you go live.

Include images

Pictures are still worth 1,000 words. Although you will have copy explaining your offer, you should also include an image that is related to what you are asking.  And it doesn’t hurt to also include your logo to establish your brand.

Keywords are still important

Landing pages for paid campaigns need to have the keywords in them that you bid on.  This helps improve your conversion rate because it reinforces the ad message.  Also, the page may still come up in an organic search, which means you could get some free traffic along the way.  Landing pages are not only for paid search.

Use reviews/testimonials

You may say what you offer is great, but what carries more weight is if other people say you are great.  Use reviews or testimonials that include not just the user’s name, but also the user’s company name so it comes across as more legit.  And always get permission first before using someone’s info on your site.

Remember to structure the landing page on your site with the goal of presenting the content as the solution to a problem.  In all aspects of your marketing, never forget that it is always about the customer and never about you.  Think of each page on your site as a different entry point to a conversation and create pages accordingly.  When people are on a page that is about what they specifically need and it matches the message that brought them there, they will be more engaged and more inclined to see you as the provider of their solution.

Advanced Tips on How to Use the AdWords Display Network


If you’re brand new to the AdWords Display Network, my earlier post introduces you to re-marketing, in-market audiences, keywords, managed placements, target by topic, similar audiences, interests, affinity groups, and demographics. Once you have an overview, read some tips for your bid strategy, campaigns, placement monitoring, overall design, and mobile-friendliness.  After those posts and some time implementing previous suggestions, you’re ready for even more tips on how to use the AdWords Display Network.

Combine Targeting: You can use a combination of the targeting methods available to find a very specific audience.  For example, if you choose keyword targeting with one of the other methods, your ads will be served within the context of a relevant article on a content site. This can be a good option if you find clicks from your Display Network ads are not bringing you traffic that converts.


Don’t overdo your targeting: If you combine too many targeting groups, your reach is reduced significantly.  If you combine a number of targeting methods and find that you are reaching too few people, broaden those groups to ensure you reach a larger number.  Another problem can occur if you overdo targeting because it becomes difficult to determine which targeting method is providing the best return. Keep your combination to a maximum of two groups when you start out so you don’t make your audience too narrow and so you can also get a feel for which targeting method has the greatest return.

Custom affinity audiences: An affinity audience is a group of people with similar interests. The custom affinity audience introduced by Google in October of 2014 lets you decide exactly who you want to reach.  For those who are concerned about being too narrow, immediate estimates are provided as the audience is built, which shows demographics and relevant affinities.  This real time feedback lets you make changes to your ads before you launch.


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.

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.


Content Marketing Campaign of the Week: Lyft

The ridesharing trend has skyrocketed in the past couple years in the United States. Specifically, Lyft has taken the streets by pink moustache and impressed marketers with their content marketing, earning them this week’s Content Marketing Campaign of the week. While slightly older rival Uber has more social media followers, Lyft outshines its main competitor for one simple reason:  memorable storytelling.

From its home page to the blog, Lyft focuses on people. It only makes sense considering the prime resource and the customer are both people, and each person has a story. Lyft has capitalized on the value of human interactions between drivers and passengers by posting funny and sentimental stories on their blog, and then sharing those stories and more via social media.

The Passengers

People use Lyft for a variety of reasons:  a ride to the airport, a safe way home, Lyft Line is even beginning in some cities as a commuting rideshare program. But we all know there are plenty more unique reasons, and Lyft loves to share them. The weirder, the better – their logo is a pink moustache, would you expect anything else? Here is one favorite:



The Differences between Native Advertising and Sponsored Listing

This post was originally published on

Native advertising and sponsored listing are two terms that you may have come across recently, especially if your company is involved in any form of paid advertising.

But unless you have been paying close attention to how online advertising has evolved over the last couple of years, you may have missed the distinction between the two. (There’s no shame in that; even AOL and Yahoo are playing catch up.)

To get you up to speed on the differences between native advertising and sponsored listings, we offer you a concise explanation that you can just as easily adapt for the next stakeholders meeting or impromptu networking.

Native Advertising

The simplest way to explain native advertising is that it is paid media that takes on the feel and function of the site where it exists, almost always a publisher or platform like Facebook, The Wall Street Journal or Mashable, for example.

Now, because not all sites are the same, how one site integrates native ads may be completely different from another site.

Case in point: Facebook native ads are placed in the newsfeed, whereas Google’s native real estate is within search results – although ads are placed along the top and sidebar.

The reason: it flows more naturally with the rest of the content. Rather than disrupting the user experience, native advertising caters to it.

Native advertising is about how the content looks rather than what it does.

Sponsored Listing

Sponsored listings, on the other hand, are paid ads that are prominently featured on websites in order to drive traffic to specific landing pages.

In many cases, the website that hosts the sponsored listing will place it naturally within existing, non-paid, content so that it mimics the qualities of the site.

If you noticed, we said that the content takes on the characteristics of the website…remind you of anything?

That’s right; sponsored listings can also be a form of native advertising.

The sponsored listing is more about what the content does rather than how it looks, although it can be considered native if the ad is placed accordingly.

Have any questions?

We invite you to ask us any questions about paid advertising in the comments below, or just leave a comment as to your thoughts.

Fundamentals of a Logo

I like to view logos as if you’re shaking hands with a stranger for the first time.  The first impression is very important and is established within seconds. Logos give your brand personality and an image to fall under.  The logo for your brand should serve the purpose of supplying your brand’s message across multiple platforms so people know what your company represents.

So what makes a logo functional and appealing?

Psychology plays a huge role in successful logos and how your logo resonates with people emotionally.

COLOR – I would say color is one of the biggest components of a logo. What colors you decide to use can affect how your target audience views your brand.

Blue: Trust and security.

Orange: Confident and social.

Green: Balance and growth. Usually associated with health (note: Green is also the easiest color for the eyes to process.)

Yellow: Optimistic and warm.

Purple: Creative and soothing.

Red: Alert and exciting (note: We respond to red when we are hungry. Why do you think there are so many fast food restaurants that use red in their signage? They want us to eat there!)

SHAPE – To the consumer, shapes can mean various things.


Circles, Ovals, and Ellipses:  Projects a positive, community message. Also represents friendship, love, and unity.

Squares and Triangles: Projects a message of balance and stability. Also gives a sense of professionalism. But be careful because the sharp edges associated with blues and grays can seem distant and uninviting.

Type: The shape of your font also determines how your logo is perceived. Angular typefaces may appear aggressive, where as soft, rounded letters give a youthful appearance. A script typeface would represent elegance or tradition.

You can get a sense of what I am trying to say about how shapes can define your brand by viewing some of these examples.

There are also some rules to follow…


ms2Does your logo look as good on a billboard as it does in the corner of a letterhead? What about in black and white? A successful logo must be able to cross multiple platforms and still stay consistent. Some brands will add minimal variety within the logo, like a selection of colors to alternate between, a logo with a tag line and without, but only change minor details to where it maintains the brand image.

The Mohawk logo is a great example of a logo using multiple variations, yet still maintaining consistency in its image. Only minor details of the logo changed and the foundation remained the same.


An easy way to make sure your logo stays versatile and readable is to keep it simple; having one single feature of your logo stand out. You want your brand to become a recognizable symbol across the board, and simplicity ensures you can achieve this. It is also easier for the eye to recognize. For example, if you are driving down the highway and a logo displayed is excessive and loud, your logo will only be a distraction and unmemorable.


Unless you want to become a part of the white noise, don’t follow trends. Like every trend, they tend to fade and you will be forgotten in the fog. Make your logo unique to who you want your brand to be, whether it’s a customized font or a specific icon that sets you apart. A brand like Coca Cola has had the same logo for decades and remains to be an iconic brand in our minds. Now, achieving this is very difficult and you can hit or miss, but it is better to try to be original than follow the herd and lose sight of what your brand’s message. Don’t worry, even Coca Cola didn’t have their logo nailed the first time and went through alterations.


The possibilities are endless! Just remember to have fun and get creative. Here are a few logos that I think will inspire you.









Running Paid Ads with Bing


Since Google is the search giant, most marketers look to the AdWords network for their paid campaigns.  It seems to be a given for large companies especially to run some type of ad with AdWords – whether it is search, display, or a combination of both.

Even though Google seems to own search, Bing should not be ignored when it comes to cost-per-click (CPC) campaigns.  There are a number of advantages to this network in addition to your Google audience.  The obvious case for Bing is to reach searchers who are not on Google.  Yes, it is true.  Some people do prefer the Bing network for searching so perhaps you should be there too so you do not miss out on this potential goldmine of new customers.  Before jumping in with a Bing campaign, here are some considerations when spending marketing dollars there.

Less costly CPCs

Compared to AdWords, CPCs are frequently lower for keywords on Bing.  With a lower CPC for valuable keywords, this is a way to make marketing dollars go further – especially in verticals where CPC is incredibly expensive.  If you cannot afford to bid on your preferred keyword in AdWords, check the keyword cost in Bing.  You may be able to earn a decent ranking for your phrase on Bing that is very difficult to do on AdWords.  Small businesses with a very limited ad budget especially need to explore CPCs on Bing.