Short tidbits about things worth knowing in the online marketing world.

AdWords PPC starter plan from Shimmer.

Shimmer Receives Multiple “Specializations” Accolades From Google Partners

The Google Partner program has rolled out a new feature, company specializations, that recognize and differentiate partners with specific expertise in certain areas. These specializations are only awarded to certified Google Partners that demonstrate increased performance and product expertise in AdWords products.

Google Partners can earn specializations in 5 areas:

  • Search
  • Mobile
  • Display
  • Video
  • Shopping | E-Commerce

Shimmer Digital Media is currently being recognized for expertise in Search, Mobile, and Display. We also expect to meet Shopping expertise criteria within the next few months.

The new specialization tags are a great way for us to demonstrate to our existing, new and potential clients that Shimmer continually strives to provide the absolute highest level of Google AdWords management services.

At Shimmer, we’re beaming with pride over our new specialist distinctions, and we are ever thankful to the wonderful clients who’ve allowed us to manage their search advertising and organic search optimization campaigns.

Best,
Craig Postlethwaite | Shimmer

PPC Management Pricing by Shimmer

PPC Management Pricing For Budgets Big & Small

Our updated schedule for PPC management pricing includes increased ad spend ranges. With bigger ranges, our clients can keep the same management fee while growing their Google AdWords and/or Bing Ads campaigns.

Our Google AdWords management fees are now some of the most competitive in the industry. We wanted to show some extra love to the long-time AdWords clients that helped to make Shimmer a Google Partner with a Top 5% performance rating.

Another Google Redesign — Increased Column Width

Google’s new layout includes a significantly wider column for search results. Beyond positioning space, this change impacts title and description elements important to SEO.

Google has increased the column for organic search results to about 600 pixels from 500 pixels.  The amount of whitespace between the results and features in the right sidebar has decreased by 5 pixels, from 65 pixels to only 60.

Source: The SEM Post

Google AdWords -- No more ads on right sidebar.

With No Google Sidebar Ads, Will Cost-Per-Click Increase?

No More Google Ads On Right Sidebar (Desktop Search)

If you are not aware, Google has rolled out a new layout for the display of ads on the right sidebar for desktop searches. Ads have completely disappeared from the right sidebar — and this is a global rollout.

What Does It Mean?

The general consensus is that Google is catering to the ever increasing use of mobile devices for online searches and web browsing. There simply is not enough real-estate [on the smaller mobile screens] to display eleven ads, and Google is implementing an ad display format that is cohesive across all devices.

The new layout will feature 3 ads on the top of the search results page, but sometimes a fourth ad will be displayed.

According to Google, an additional fourth ad may be displayed above the organic search results, but only for highly commercial queries.

Additionally, 3 ads will also show below the organic results — at the bottom of the page. This means that the number of Google AdWords ads that will display on a single search results page will drop from 11 to 6 (or 7, for “highly commercial” search queries).

Will My Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Increase?

We haven’t accumulated enough click data to be sure, but the answer is: probably.

It stands to reason: If the number of viewable ads drops from 11 to 6 or 7, those fewer positions become more valuable — and more competitive. Advertisers will, undoubtedly, increase their bids to ensure first page ad positioning.

THE GOOD NEWS

Higher cost-per-click does not necessarily mean you’ll need to increase your overall ad budget. Why? Because fewer ads on the SERP pages can lead to an increase in your conversion rates — reducing your conversion costs.

Quality score aside, your odds of getting the ad click just went from one-in-eleven to one-in-six/seven. All things even, and assuming you bid up to the first page, the new ad layout should provide opportunity for increased conversion rates. That said, attaining high quality scores for your keywords has now become more important than ever.

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Read Shimmer tips for quickly improving Google AdWords performance.

 

 

5 major AdWords management mistakes. Shimmer PPC.

5 Major AdWords Mistakes Ruining PPC Performance

The Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) platform has become an essential marketing element for most businesses, big and small. Done properly, AdWords can quickly deliver a mind boggling amount of high quality leads and/or online sales. Unfortunately, most businesses now know this, and AdWords has become quite competitive — and this drives up click costs. For this reason, it is more important than ever to ensure that your AdWords PPC campaigns are optimized to their fullest potential.

There are a number of costly AdWords mistakes that are very common amongst beginners and AdWords veterans. For this article, we focus on the 5 mistakes we most frequently come across at Shimmer when taking on new clients with existing AdWords campaigns:

1. Not Utilizing Negative Keywords

Negative keywords are, by far, one of the most valuable tools for improving AdWords conversion rates and increasing return-on-investment.

Google gets 100 billion searches PER MONTH — and 15% of the keywords in those searches are new words that Google has not yet registered. Just take a moment to wrap your head around those numbers… scary, right? So it stands to reason that there can be tons of keywords that may be similar, or even related to your industry keywords, but not exactly the right keywords for your particular business. This is where negative keywords come into play. Negative keywords allow you to exclude certain words and phrases from triggering your ads, even though they may be technically relevant to the keywords you are bidding on.

 

EXAMPLE: Shimmer provides “AdWords Management Services”. For Shimmer’s online marketing campaign, we may bid on the keyword: “AdWords Management Services” — but we are not interested in paying for clicks related to training (in this particular ad group). In this case, “training” can be related to the words “management” and “services”, and if we are using phrase match, we could certainly receive ad clicks for Adwords Training related searches. Here, we simply create a negative keyword, “+training” and apply it to our ad group. This tells Google that we do not want our ad to display for any search phrase containing the word training. That’s it — Easy Peasy! We just eliminated a lot of potential clicks that would have cost us good money, and been a drag on our ROI for this particular ad group.

By utilizing a good list of negative keywords, you can exclude keywords that aren’t a good match for your products and/or services, and doing so can lower costs, improve conversions and increase return-on-investment.

2. Improper Ad Scheduling

This one is a no-brainer for some, completely off the radar for others. Unless you’re selling products online 24/7, your ad campaigns are probably underperforming if they are running at all hours and on weekends. Remember, a lead is always the hottest at initial contact. So, if you are a plumber that works 8am – 6pm, those ad clicks at 10:30pm are probably money you just tossed down the drain (eek, that was ugly ;). Furthermore, if your campaigns are limited by budget, and Google is spreading your budget across 24 hours, you are missing out on a lot of leads during your prime working hours.

Concentrate your ad spend budget on the days and hours most likely to convert.

3. Engaging In Bidding Wars

Don’t do it! Guys and gals, we see this a lot — some “king of the hill” mentality that compels you to bid obnoxious amounts of money to ensure your ad gets the top slot, then your competitor does the same, and so on, and so on. First, that’s not how AdWords works — there are quality scores to consider. Second, the top slot does not guarantee that your ad gets the click.

Perform ad position tests to determine best bids and slots for maximum ROI.

4. Not Utilizing Broad Match Modifier

Broad match is the default match type that new keywords are assigned in Google Adwords campaigns and ad groups. Ads may be displayed for searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches and other relevant variations.

Broad match modifiers allow you to exclude synonyms of your search term. Unfortunately, and too often, keywords are left set to ‘broad only’ match type, resulting in low relevance and poor conversion rates. 

Use the plus sign (+) in front of a broad match term to make it modified, exclude synonyms and increase relevance. Example: +keyword

5. Ad Stagnation And Lack Of Split Testing

At Shimmer, we’ve learned that ads can definitely get stale. That is, your ad may currently be producing wonderful results with great CTRs and excellent conversion rates. But at some point in the near future the ad will simply lose its luster or fall out of favor with modern Googlers.

Before an ad gets too stale and starts dragging down your ROI, start writing new ads, and start split testing to find the best performers.

Also, for ‘search only’ campaigns, we strongly recommend having a minimum of 3 ads (per ad group) in rotation at any give time — at least 2 regular text ads and 1 mobile specific ad.

Shimmer Awarded best internet marketing company of 2015.

Shimmer Receives 2015 Best of Cuyahoga Falls Award

CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH | August 12, 2015 — Shimmer Digital Media, LLC has been selected for the 2015 Best of Cuyahoga Falls Award in the Internet Marketing Service category by the Cuyahoga Falls Award Program.

Each year, the Cuyahoga Falls Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Cuyahoga Falls area a great place to live, work and play.

Mobile Search: Google mobile-friendly update

It’s Here… Google’s Mobile Compliant Smack Down of 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 is the big day, and I sincerely hope your business (big or small) was not one to ignore Google’s warning about the impending drop in search rankings for web pages that are not mobile friendly. If your website is not mobile friendly, the Google Smack Down is about to cause you/your business considerable pain.

What Is The Google Mobile-Friendly Update?

For this answer, we highlight a couple sentences from Google’s Webmaster Central Blog:

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.

Basically, Google is updating their search algorithms to include the mobile-friendliness of a web page as a significant rankings factor (on mobile searches). So, if your web-pages aren’t responsive or mobile compliant via Google’s guidelines, then expect your search rankings to drop on mobile searches.

What Does Mobile-Friendly Mean?

A mobile-friendly website is one that displays correctly on modern hand-held devices such as smartphones (Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc.) and tablets (iPad, Surface, etc.). The content loads quickly and is easily readable on a mobile device (i.e. no zooming is required).

[ Test your website for mobile-friendliness here. ]

Why You Should Care

Recent smartphone data released by comScore shows 76.7% mobile market penetration in the United States:

186.3 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones (76.6 percent mobile market penetration) during the three months ending in February, up 5 percent since November.

In addition to the above stats, consider the following:

  • In 2014, US adults spent an average of 2 hours, 51 minutes on their mobile devices each day.
  • In the final quarter of 2014, just under 30 percent of all online searches were made on mobile devices. That’s about 18.5 billion searches.
  • Mobile search advertising is expected to reach $28.72 billion in 2015
  • Mobile search will be 50% of the search market in 2015
  • By 2019, mobile ad spending is projected to rise to $65.87 billion, or 72.2% of total digital ad spend.

By now, the value of a mobile-friendly website should be very obvious. If your business has any reliance on web traffic generated from Google search, your business simply will not thrive without a mobile-friendly or responsive website.

Shimmer PPC & SEO Sacramento Office

New PPC & SEO Solutions for Sacramento, CA!

Hello Sacramento area businesses! We’ve expanded our local reach with a new location near downtown and just a couple blocks from the college, Sac State.

We’re looking forward to being in the neighborhood and providing Sac businesses with high quality Google AdWords management and SEO services. See our Sacramento office page for more details on our office location, business hours and available services.

Logo: Shimmer Digital Media

SHIMMER: WE’RE GROWING — THANK YOU!

2013 Was An Amazing Year For Shimmer, 2014 Is Off To An Even Better Start!

It’s a very exciting time at Shimmer Digital Media! For starters, 2013 was the biggest year ever in our six year history as a formal business. Biggest in eleven years — going back to when I began freelancing as a digital marketing professional.

First and foremost — THANK YOU! The support and loyalty from clients, colleagues, family and friends has been nothing short of incredible, and our appreciation is unmeasurable.

From clients that have been with us for many years like RCF Plastics, SOS Speedy and Lincoln Electric, to new and exciting business relationships like Kay-Twelve, The Arbalest Group and AAA Motor Transport — we can’t thank you enough for the trust and confidence you have placed in Shimmer.

National Rankings Success

By the end of 2013, Shimmer had received notice of a Top 10 ranking by TopPPCs as well as a Top 10 ranking by Best Web Design Agencies. Rankings are for Bing PPC management and responsive web design, respectively.

In February of this year (2014), Shimmer received a Top 30 momentum ranking out of 335 monitored Digital Marketing agencies via Signl, and a feature request from Best SEOs just this month (March 2014).

Currently, we hold a national first page placement in search results for our core expertise, “AdWords Management Services” as well as first page placements for hundreds of branded and industry specific service keywords.

This has us grinning from ear to ear, to say the least!

New Offices In Cuyahoga Falls, OH

To keep up with the growing demand for Shimmer services we’ve opened up new offices in downtown Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The next time you are in NE Ohio please stop by and say, “Hello!” If it’s a Friday during the summer months, we’re located right in the center of the “Rockin’ On The River” action! (NE Ohio’s longest running and highest attended outdoor concert series) — Great music, great food and more!

A New Website For 2014

We’re still working out some minor kinks, but the new Shimmer website is alive and kicking! A modern, responsive and clean flat design with more engaging content, easier mobile viewing, intuitive navigation and quick links to the resources you need now.

Again, Thank You.

It is such a great feeling knowing you do what you love for a living. So many wonderful people have helped to make this my reality. My little business is all grown up — I’m proud, and I am so very grateful to all those that have contributed to Shimmer’s success.

Thank you,
Craig