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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Navigating Google AdWords Acronyms

AdWords Acronym Guide 2016 | 39 Need-To-Know Google AdWords Terms

Anyone new to Google AdWords, and even account manager veterans, can quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of acronyms, abbreviated words, terms and phrases utilized throughout the AdWords platform and PPC industry. Heck, quite often, browsing through AdWords reports is like trying to decipher teenage text talk… srsly!

Here at Shimmer, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Google AdWords related acronyms, initialisms and abbreviations, along with their meanings — to get you up to speed and in the loop for 2016.

AVGPOS or AVG. POS. — Average Position: Average position is the statistic of how your ad typically ranks against other ads (competitor ads). In general, ad positions between 1 and 3 mean your ad is appearing in the top 3 positions.

An average position of 1.8 means your ad typically shows in the 1 or 2 slot, but with more appearances in the number 2 position rather than the 1 position.

Average positions greater than 3 will typically land your ad on the sidebar, at the bottom of the search results page, or on the 2nd, 3rd, etc. pages — the larger the ad position number, the further down the list your ad is showing.


BMM — Broad Match Modifier: Modified broad match lets you specify that certain broad match keywords must appear to trigger your ad. Use the broad match modifier for more precise control and to exclude keyword synonyms from triggering your ads.

Use the plus sign symbol (+) in front of a broad match keyword to make it modified. E.g., +keyword


BR — Bounce Rate: The percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one webpage.

Bounce rate is more commonly associated with Analytics, but analytics and paid search campaigns are increasingly more integrated, and BR has become more prevalent within AdWords.


CAC — Customer Acquisition Cost: The cost of a customer acquisition (CAC) simply means the price you pay to acquire a new customer.

Dividing the total costs associated with an AdWords acquisition by total number of new customers via AdWords, within a specific time period.


CLVCustomer Lifetime Value: CLV is a prediction of all value (net profit) a business will derive from their entire relationship with a customer.


CONV — Conversion(s): An AdWords conversion happens when a Google search user clicks your ad, then takes a specific action that you’ve defined as valuable, such as an online purchase, a web-form submission, or a mobile call to your business.


CPA — Cost Per Acquisition/Conversion Action: In AdWords, CPA is the amount you are willing to pay for a conversion (a specific action taken after the initial ad click).


CPC — Cost Per Click: The amount you pay when someone clicks your ad.


CPE — Cost Per Engagement: The average amount that you’ve been charged when someone expands your Lightbox ad.


CPLCost Per Lead: Same as CPA above.


CPM — Cost Per Thousand: CPM in AdWords means cost per thousand impressions. With CPM, you pay each and every time your ad appears (calculated per 1000 impressions), regardless of whether it actually gets clicked by the internet user.


CPP — Cost Per Phone Call: The amount you pay when someone performs a click-to-call action on your ad, or when a  phone call is derived from a forwarding number displayed on your ad.


CPV — Cost Per View: The amount you pay when a viewer watches 30 seconds of your video (or the duration if it’s shorter than 30 seconds) or interacts with your video, whichever comes first. Video interactions can include: clicks on the call-to-action overlays (CTAs), cards, and companion banners.

The CPV bidding option is only available when you choose to run TrueView video ads.


CR — Conversion Rate: The average number of conversions per ad click, shown as a percentage.

Industrywide, the average conversion rate is considered to be around 2.5%. But conversion value varies greatly by client — e.g., a 5.0% conversion rate for a campaign profiting $1.00 per sale can be far less valuable than a 1.5% conversion rate for a campaign profiting $1,000.00 per sale.


CROConversion Rate Optimization: A method (or system) for increasing the percentage of ad direct web visitors that convert into customers, or more generally, take a specified action (conversion) after the initial ad click.


CTACall To Action: In general, an online marketing call-to-action is an image, line of text, web-form, video, etc. that prompts your web visitor to perform some immediate action. The call-to-action is intended to improve conversion rate, as its absence may cause a visitor to feel less compelled to complete your online marketing objective.

For AdWords in specific, a CTA may be more compelling ad text that increases your chance of receiving the initial ad click.


CTRClick Through Rate: The rate at which users “click through” to your site from an AdWords ad. The CTR percentage represents the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown (clicks ÷ impressions = CTR).


DSTURL or Dest. URL — Destination URL (replaced by Final URL): The URL address of the page in your website that people reach when they click your ad.


DKIDynamic Keyword Insertion: An advanced feature that allows you to dynamically insert an AdWords keyword into your ad copy, based on the searcher’s query.

This feature allows you to have one ad that appears differently to customers depending on their search terms, making your ads appear more relevant and useful.


ECPCEnhanced Cost Per Click: ECPC is a bidding feature that automatically raises your bid for clicks that seem more likely to lead to a conversion on your website.


ECPMEffective Cost Per Thousand: ECPM is an estimate of the revenue you receive for every thousand ad impressions — (Total Earnings / Impressions) x 1000.


EPCEarnings Per Click: EPC refers to how much money you make per person who clicks on your ad.


GDNGoogle Display Network: A collection of websites, including specific Google websites like: Google Finance, Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube, that display AdWords ads. The network also includes mobile sites and apps.


ISImpression Share: The actual number of impressions your ads receive divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive.


KPIKey Performance Indicator: A business metric used to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of an organization.

Some common Key Performance Indicators in AdWords are: Quality Score, Click-Through-Rate, Conversion Rate, Return on Ad Spend, and Customer Lifetime Value


KWKeywords: Words or phrases describing your product or service that you choose to help determine when and where your ad can appear.


LPOLanding Page Optimization: LPO is the process of improving elements on a landing page (the web page that an AdWords ad redirects to when clicked) to increase conversions.


LTVLifetime Value: Same as CLV above.


NKWNegative Keywords: A type of keyword that prevents your ad from being triggered by a certain word or phrase. It tells Google not to show your ad to anyone who is searching for that phrase.


PLAProduct Listing Ads: Product Listing Ads are cost-per-click ads which feature a product image, and are tailored towards products and product categories vs. keywords.


PPCPay Per Click: Internet marketing model in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.


PPLPay Per Lead: Online advertising payment model in which payment is based solely on qualifying leads.


PRPage Rank or PageRank: PageRank is an algorithm used by Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results. PageRank is a way of measuring the importance of website pages.

Deprecation: The visible page rank is updated very infrequently. In October 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts announced that another visible pagerank update would not be coming.


PTRPhone Through Rate: PTR is the number of phone calls received divided by the number of times your phone number is shown (Phone impressions).


QSQuality Score: An estimate of the quality of ads and landing pages triggered by a keyword. Having a high Quality Score means Google thinks your ad and landing page are relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad.


ROASReturn On Ad Spend: The amount of revenue received for every dollar spent on an advertising source. This is a gauge of the effectiveness of AdWords campaigns.


SERPSearch Engine Results Page: The listing of results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.


STRSearch Terms Report: A list of search terms that people used before seeing your ad and clicking it. The search terms report is used to refine keywords so that only relevant searches cause your ad to show.


VTCView-Through Conversions: A measurement of online conversions within 30 days of a user seeing an ad on Google Display Network, didn’t click on that ad, but converted via another means.

PPC Conversions

ADWORDS REPORTING: Hard & Soft Conversions

Recently, I’ve had a lot of discussions regarding AdWords conversion rates and conversion costs. These discussions have taken place with existing Shimmer clients, potential clients, colleagues and even my wonderful wife — a multi-channel marketing whiz.

What I am discovering is that many folks don’t have a full understanding of how Google AdWords conversion tracking works, or how valuable conversion data is to determining the return-on-investment of a PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaign.


What do you call a conversion? What user action is important to you and your business? This is where many AdWords managers do themselves and their clients a disservice. You see, conversions aren’t easy to come by, and clouding reports with unclear conversion definitions often leads to inaccurate measures of campaign profitability.

Hard Conversions Vs. Soft Conversions
When crafting a search advertising campaign (and many other types of digital marketing campaigns), it is of the utmost importance that everyone involved understands how conversions are defined, and what their value is to the advertising project. The very first set of definitions should be those of hard and soft conversions…

Read The Full Article:  Understanding The Difference Between Hard & Soft Conversions

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.

Ad Remarketing (thumbnail image)

PPC & Remarketing – How To Make Warm Leads Turn Red Hot!

WHAT IS REMARKETING?  With Google AdWords, it is a functionality that allows you to position targeted ads in front of previous visitors to your website — while they are browsing other websites.

Remarketing isn’t new, but it has become easier to implement and is considerably more potent these days.

Given the above, it is easy to see how Remarketing, also known as ad retargeting, can be extremely valuable: Someone visited your website and browsed your products and/or service offerings, but did not convert (i.e. they did not place an order, request a quote, or contact you) — this is a warm lead.  Remarketing allows you turn up the heat on that warm lead by putting your brand, product or service back in view of someone whose already shown interest.

Google Remarketing is a powerful online marketing tactic because it allows you to remain connected with your target audience, even after they leave your website. It is especially beneficial where the sales process is long and/or competitive. Executed in the right way, Remarketing is widely recognized as one of the most effective forms of online marketing available as it ties so closely to the marketing mantra:  Right Person + Right Time + Right Message.

Google AdWords Remarketing by Shimmer PPC.

AdWords Remarketing Infographic (open image in a new tab for full size)