Tag Archives: google-advertising

SEM or Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Marketing is one of the things we do best here at Windy City Strategies.  But sometimes, people don’t exactly know what that is.  So this blog post is to help explain it to our clients who may not know for sure.

A search engine is something going to www.google.com and putting in a search term like “Chinese Food” in the search bar, or searching for something on the web on Yahoo, or Bing.  Google is the most popular search engine, so we will use this as our example.

According to Google:  “The primary objective of any search engine is to help users find the information, products or services they’re looking for online, quickly and accurately. When the user types a word or phrase, called a query, into the search engine, a set of results that are relevant to the query is displayed.”

So- if you wanted to find a law firm in Crystal Lake- you might type in the search field “Law Firm, Crystal Lake”.

Windy City Strategies provides consultation and services in all areas of Search Engine Marketing-

The shaded area at the top of the page is called Pay-Per-Click advertising- this is a paid section, where your advertising will be posted to the top of the search engine.

The paid results are in the pink area, and the organic  (or Google selected) results are in the green area.  You will notice that there are local listings first in this green area.  That is the location portion of Google’s results- which displays local results from where your computer is searching from.

Windy City Strategies will help your business soar in the ultra-competitive web marketplace through our proven Internet marketing campaigns. We manage Google, Yahoo, and Bing accounts and we offer pay per click campaign management services as well as search engine optimization, website development, and internet marketing consultation. Please contact us for a free proposal and analysis.

Facebook Earnings Increase

Facebook has had a major increase with many people using this website, but it still has to grow in both numbers of users and revenue. The major reason Facebook has seen a decrease is from people accessing Facebook on a mobile device, rather than using it on a desktop computer.

Facebook recently released their second quarter earnings for the year and the findings reveal that the number of active mobile users have increased by 51% over the last year to 819 million monthly users. Ever since Facebook updated its strategy in mobile advertising, there have been more that 1 million active advertisers, many of them including local businesses. This creates a great opportunity for not only these companies but a little bit of hope for our economy.

As for advertising, the numbers shot through the roof with an astounding $1.8 billion in revenue, which is a 61% increase from last year.  Almost half of the money that was earned from advertising, which was $1.6 billion, came from mobile advertising.

According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “People on average are spending more time on Facebook than ever before.” The numbers are there to prove it, showing that users spent over 20 billion minutes on Facebook during the month of June.

For more information about Facebook for your business, contact Windy City Strategies.

Is Pay Per Click Right For My Business?

What Is Pay Per Click?

Pay per click (PPC) marketing has rapidly become one of the most popular forms of online marketing. What is pay per click, you might ask?

Pay per click ad campaigns are paid keyword search campaigns in which users can click on your business’ ad, directing them to your business’ website, only charging you, the advertiser, a fee each time the ad is clicked.

In order for your campaign to be effective and prevent the loss of potential traffic to your site, it is critical to ensure that you are using valid keywords for your specific business. It is also for this reason that an effective pay per click campaign cannot be done only one time. It will take time, thought, and effort in order to ensure the most success.

Is Pay Per Click Right For My Business?

Here is how you can help drive more traffic to your site with your PPC marketing campaign:

  • Change and improve your campaign ads
  • Expand your keyword lists
  • Organize your keywords and ad groups
  • Analyze the data, improving your actions based on these results
  • Filter unwanted keywords, create a negative keywords list to refrain from using these again
  • Continually monitor your campaign’s progress

It may be essential to hire a PPC and Internet marketing firm, like Windy City Strategies, in order to effectively manage your AdWords account for you. Contact Windy City Strategies, Chicagoland’s leader in Internet marketing and web design.

Google’s Updated YouTube Click To Call Feature

Look out for a new look on Google’s YouTube call-to-action overlays on both mobile and desktop devices. The update will feature a single line call-to-action instead of the current two lines of text. This will give more viability to the content of the video, which is great for users.

One great advantage to this update, is that Google will be automatically making this change so advertisers will not need to adjust existing ads.

Google is making the change automatically, so advertisers won’t need to make any changes to existing ads. Along with the advanced look, there will be updated tracking available in AdWords for clicks and CTR which advertisers will have the ability to analyze data better.

Other improvements that we can see in months to come include improved column sets, more conversion segmentation options and accessibility to all metrics from the videos tab in AdWords.

YouTube product manager Avi Fein, recently said “We’re adding View Rate by default for all sets and are grouping sets of metrics by insight topic. This lets you see a snapshot of your campaign based on key objectives, as well as evaluate your overall campaign performance based on View Rate before diving deeper into individual targeting groups.”

Optimizing videos will be easier than ever by seeing all the metrics under one tab. Contact Windy City Strategies for more information and to set up your YouTube marketing campaign.

Should Search Ads Be Locally Relevant?

When you are searching for a restaurant or a specific store, what is the likeliness you will want your search ads to be locally relevant?

Earlier last month, Google shared some research that they had commissioned from Ipsos MediaCT and Purchased. Over 5,000 people were surveyed, in which they either through an online survey, or by logging their smartphone search and in-store activities into a mobile diary.

According to this research, 4 out 5 consumers said that they want search ads customized to their city, zip code, or their immediate surroundings. In addition, 76% of the surveys participants said that they search for local information from their computer or tablet from home, as well as 24% said that they do from work, and 18% from hotels. When it came to using their smartphones for searching locally, 53% say they search from home, 51% search on the go, and 41% search from the store or at the mall.

“Here’s what we learned,” states Bao Lam, Performance Ads Product Marketing Manager at Google. “People expect search ads to be relevant to their context and location. If they search for ‘car rental’ or ‘Mexican restaurant,’ they prefer ads that are customized to where they happen to be and that help them take the next steps in their shopping journey.”

Lam goes on to state, “More than 60% of consumers say they’ve used ads with location information like address, directions, phone number or a click-to-call button, and, more than 70% of consumers who have used location information in ads say that information is important. Consumers choose stores close to where they happen to be. 72% of consumers who searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within 5 miles.”

With all things considered, it seems that search ads are playing an effective role in ensuring your customers can find you, especially when they are searching locally.

For help with advertising your business, as well as increasing your business’s presence online, contact Windy City Strategies.

By Stephanie Brown

Google Ecommerce Analytics Update

Google has announced that it has released a new and complete revamp “beta” of its ecommerce analytics, which will provide provider better insights into the behavior of pre-purchase shopping and product performance.

With the new release of the advanced ecommerce analytics, statistics will now analyze how far shoppers get into the shopping process, where they leave, and help companies understand what products are viewed most, frequently abandoned and covert well.

Products lists are a new feature that will allow you to create lists for onsite merchandising rules and product landing pages which let you see lists and products that perform best as well as analyze how internal promotions impact sales, and the impact of remarketing campaigns.

If your company is interested in taking advantage of this beta opportunity, contact Windy City Strategies, a Google Partner who has dedicated account reps to will help excel your business online.

Google’s New Guide To Keywords

AdWords advertisers are always looking for the best practices for keyword targeting for search campaigns, and recently Google provided a new “guide to keywords.”

Some of the new items addressed in the guide focus on the relationship between search queries and keywords which are the main focus of search advertising through Google AdWords.  Items such as the meaning of a users search, the language a user uses, keyword length, expansion opportunities, negative keywords and more are all addressed more in depth than ever before.

As a Google Partner, this new guide is providing advertisers at our agency, Windy City Strategies, with outstanding new opportunities to expand AdWords accounts in order to have a better use of budget, CTR and conversions.

To take advantage of these opportunities and to optimize your AdWords campaign for the best performance online, contact us today.


Google Partners Certifications

Being a Google Partners, means agencies like Windy City Strategies have put an effort into making their businesses relationship with Google a top priority. As a Google Partner, agencies, online marking consultants and web professionals have exclusive access to a large range of benefits  which include beta programs, technical support, networking opportunities, training and additional tools just for agencies.

Windy City Strategies gained its partner status over a year ago when the program changed names and was a certificated company before that. The advertising professionals at Windy City Strategies have completed and received high honors in Advertising Fundamentals, Advanced Display and is now taking the new test for Video Advertising.

Google Partners Video Advertising certification will give Windy City Strategies the recognition for expertise specifically in video advertising for YouTube and Google Display Network. With the new certification we will be able to reach brand new clients who are specifically interested in video advertising and help give better support to our current clients who are running this form of advertising.

If your company is interested in video advertising or looking for a reputable company who is a Google Partner, contact the professionals at Windy City Strategies. We are a full service Internet marketing companies who has helped thousands of client succeed online.

Could An SSL Effect Your Google Ranking

It was about a month ago that Google’s Matt Cutts mentioned that he would like to see Google make and SSL site a signal in the Google ranking algorithm. While this has not happened yet, this is something many search engine marketing companies have been keeping up to date on.

While many people seems to be upset about this possibility, there could be some good reasons behind it. Have an SSL on a website, particularly for shopping carts is a great way to know if your working with a reputable company. Companies that do not have an SSL enabled might not be as easily trusted. If the SSL signal was to take place sometime in the future it is likely that it would not hold a huge weight within the algorithm. Google will still always want to provide the best user experience and content to users.

We all know the motivation to improve search rankings is a never-ending process, and if making it better is through making sites more secure, this isn’t a bad option. But then again, will Google launch a new algorithm update to penalize website that are more secure in order to influence search engine rankings similar to how it penalizes those websites who try to get links to get better rankings?

While we could spend endless amounts of time trying to figure out all of the Google algorithms, Windy City Strategies will leave the fine details to the Matt Cutt’s of the world and continue to improve clients online exposure by following all the latest updates and approved search engine marketing techniques.

By Alisha Lowans

Google’s New Rules For Google Shopping

As recent as last summer, Google started updating there Google Shopping platform and requiring its unique product identifiers to play a bigger role than before. This improvement comes because Google said it was improving support for merchant-defined multipacks. This new feed specification gave clarification for submitting multipacks and has now started recommending higher-quality images to be displayed.

Products such as customer goods, collectibles and antique items, which don’t typically have UPI (unique product identifiers) Google introduced, identifier exists attribute, and updated it’s requirements.

Google has really begun to be more specific on Google Shopping and even started disapproving products last year that did not have data for UPI’s, invalid GTINs and incorrectly used the identifier exists attribute.

In a new update earlier this week Google Announced….

1. Disapprove products with incorrect GTIN, MPN and brand

2. Demote products that incorrectly use the Identifier Exists attribute.

Google will continue to ramp up its approval and disapproval processes to make sure only legitimate products are available to online shoppers.

For more information about Google Shopping or to make sure your current data feed is approved for the Google Shopping Network, contact Windy City Strategies, the experts in Google Shopping and Pay Per Click Advertising.