So many of our automated Data Studio Reports from Google have been sent out with strings of code instead of the information that has been entered into respective field. At this time, we are not sure what is causing this, but rest assured we are working on a solution.
We’ve just introduced a new service for businesses located in Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg, Virginia. Check out the details or view on our website.
Our unique local business visibility program allows you to choose the services and level of engagement you need to grow your business. Choose from services like drone photography, drone videography, video creation for ad and website use, Google My Business management, and Google Ads Express advertising —all with an eye on driving more local traffic to your store or to increase sales of your local services.
Flexible Local Business Program Options
You get to choose what makes sense for your business*, but having a professional recommendation can make all the difference in your results.
Drone Shoot Package
Our experienced FAA Licensed, insured, and supremely experienced drone pilot will work with you to create a custom drone package based on your needs. Prices start at $489 for 20 minutes of fly time and the creation of a custom 2 minute video using drone video and still aerial photography. (There is an additional charge for longer fly times based on the area to photograph, travel outside our two service areas, and the addition of music to the video.) Our pilot will provide a custom quote based on the review of your location and unique needs.
Google My Business (GMB) Account Set Up and Management
You may already have a Google My Business account and just need a review and monthly management or you may need help with the full set up. We can assist with GMB verification, verbiage for your page, add monthly posts or events on your schedule, and even mentor you on how to manage it all yourself after et up. GMB set up prices start at $289 or just buy our services by the hour for what you need, when you need it, on your own unique schedule or on-demand.
Google Ads Express Set Up and Management
Google My Business makes it easy to get started in a junior automated version of Google Ads called Google Ads Express. We can set up your first ad program and budget and teach you how to manage it. Or, test out Google Ads with Express and then move to the full professional version of Google Ads for results that are an investment in your business’ growth. Management prices start at $189 to get started with Google Ads Express through the Google My Business portal and help with Google Analytics tracking and conversion goals. (Your webmaster may need to install code on your website for Google Analytics.) We recommend starting with a $300 a month click budget. Clicks are billed separately to your credit card by Google Ads. We do not make a margin on clicks.
Move to the full professional Google Ads version with professional set up and monthly account management within 90 days and get a $150 credit from us on your set up service.
Monthly Management Options
If you need help managing your Google My Business page with monthly posts, event creation updates, or periodic introduction of new images, ask us about our monthly Google My Business management service. Monthly management of your GMB page starts at $189 for one event creation, one small 150-word post, and help with responding to most comments.
*Please note: our local business visibility program is tailor-made for businesses located in our service areas of the Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg, Virginia. Ask us if we can help you with a streamlined version of this unique program in your location.
It’s called three strikes you’re out – Google has instituted new penalties to get advertisers’ attention to policy violations.
Our concern is the number of false positives that we routinely see and the difficulty in resolving these issues due to the inability to just pick up the phone and chat to a Googler. Since Covid, Google now has an “ask for a call” option. It appears that support is now based in India. Many times the return calls we get are marked as No Mo Robo calls and are blocked by Verizon after one ring.
Management of this new program will be problematic. Here’s just one example – a client sells trailer hitches. Images are frequently marked as violations as Google thinks the image of the trailer hitch looks like a gun.
Here’s the full release that Google has sent to advertisers and account managers.
In September 2021, Google will introduce a new strike-based system to enforce against advertisers who repeatedly violate Google Ads policies. We will begin implementing the strike-based system on Sep 21, 2021, with a gradual ramp up over a period of 3 months, for the following policies: Enabling dishonest behavior, Unapproved substances, Guns, gun parts and related products, Explosives, Other Weapons, and Tobacco. The policy coverage of the strike-based system will be expanded to add additional policies in phases over time and advertisers will be notified each time new policies are brought within scope of the strike-based system.
Please note that this update does not impact the account suspension procedures for egregious Google Ads policy violations.
To help ensure a safe and positive experience for users, Google requires advertisers to comply with Google Ads policies. As a part of the Google Ads enforcement system, Google will begin issuing strikes to advertisers, which will be accompanied by email notifications and in-account notifications to encourage compliance and deter repeat violations of our policies.
An advertiser’s first policy violation will only result in a warning. But advertisers will earn their first strike if we detect continued violation of our policies. Advertisers will be able to receive a maximum of three strikes, and the penalties applied with each strike will progressively increase. Temporary account holds will be applied for the first and second strikes (for 3 and 7 days respectively), while the third strike will result in an account suspension.
An advertiser placed on a temporary account hold will be required to remedy the violations in question and to submit an acknowledgement form to resume serving ads. Following this acknowledgement, their account will be released from the temporary account hold state either 3 days after the first strike was issued, or after 7 days for a second strike. Advertisers can also appeal a strike decision if they believe it was issued in error. Ads will resume serving immediately after successfully appealing the strike. Accounts will remain on temporary hold if no action is taken by the advertiser to either acknowledge or appeal a strike. Strikes will remain on the Google Ads account for 90 days unless they’re successfully appealed.
Accounts suspended following a third strike will not be able to run any ads or create new content unless the suspension is successfully appealed. Learn more about suspended accounts.
Thank you for your cooperation.
The Google Ads Team
I have just received this notice from Google and we knew it was coming when the EU added taxes to Google’s activity.
|•||Ads served in Austria: a 5% Austria DST Fee added to your invoice or statement|
|•||Ads served in France: a 2% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement|
|•||Ads served in India: a 2% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement|
|•||Ads served in Italy: a 2% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement|
|•||Ads served in Spain: a 2% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement|
|•||Ads served in Turkey: a 5% Regulatory Operating Cost added to your invoice or statement|
|•||Ads served in the United Kingdom: a 2% UK DST Fee added to your invoice or statement|
Privacy challenges and changes are causing a paradigm shift in advertising. Not only is Google Ads impacted but all online advertising platforms including Microsoft Advertising, AdRoll, and others.
This is a complex topic, but I will work to make it easy to understand. Regulations and expectations have changed. The Chrome browser will be retiring the use of third party cookies in 2022. Many browsers like Firefox and Microsoft Edge are already providing users expanded privacy protection. With Google serving nearly 80% of digital advertising, it and the Google Ad platform will be hurt the most by these new privacy initiatives.
The bottom line is that third party cookies which are being degraded drive conversions as a user travels the web. Knowing more about you and what you share with Google (via cookies) and what browsers record about your activities online – drive conversions for advertisers. Take that away and advertisers will be less relevant to your needs. When advertisers struggle to make conversions and drive sales, Google is impacted as advertising dollars are moved to other advertising products.
81% of internet users this year became more concerned about privacy and personal data. 59% of internet users feel that their privacy is not sufficiently protected by the companies that they do business with. (From the Google Partner seminar on Planning for Privacy-Safe Growth.)
The challenges are real. Google has introduced an initiative to be used in Chrome and is hoping other browsers will embrace it. It is called FLoC Federated Learning of Cohorts. This initiative plans to anonymize data and then group users into clusters which it will use as audiences for ad serving. Already, Microsoft Edge and possibly even Firefox have said they will block FLoC tracking.
The difficulties are real for businesses advertising digitally. With less direct information, that was previously delivered by third party cookie tracking, the less relevant ads will be. Remarketing lists will be smaller as many users will not be able to be tracked. Fewer conversions will be recorded in the Google Ads control panel to be used by the bidding algorithms to adjust bids to deliver optimized results. There will be less personalization and fewer personalized ad served to you after you have done a recent search for a product. Google will have limited ability to create audience lists that will be meaningful that can drive additional conversions and sales. The list goes on.
These privacy changes are great for consumers, but for advertisers will require a shift in approach to reach relevant audiences to promote their products and services in a new privacy-safe way.
The key to this new world is the use of first party data. Here are my recommendations.
If you are not collecting email address for interaction with clients through form fills or purchases, you should plan on implementing that right away.
If you are not collecting client emails on a spreadsheet for marketing use, start now. If you are using customer relationship management software you should be downloading and then exporting your properly formatted customer list into Google Ads every six months (Google’s recommendation).
All businesses should be using Customer Match in Google Ads and then layer this audience over all campaigns. This first party data will help the modeling that Google will be doing in your account to help your advertising be more productive.
Review your Google Ads and Google Analytics tags – Google recommends use of the global site tag and an upgrade to Google Analytics 4. You may want to consider moving to Tag Manager as Consent Mode will be turned on in the USA in the very near future. Add the Google Tag Assistant to Chrome as an app then visit your website to see what tracking code version you are using now. You may need an updated.
Without data, Google expects to see conversions recorded in Google Ads decline. With data the hit may only be 5% or so. Google has stated that what data it cannot get from first party information, it will model. The less modeling the better.
It is important to know that even with these changes, your website is not impacted or your sales just your advertising. You still get the conversions it is just that the data on the sale or form fill no longer flows to Google Ads as it has before. With bidding algorithms using conversion/lead data to make bidding decisions it simply means that these tools become less effective in controlling costs and bidding effectively.
Overall, I want to express that I am not worried by these changes. In many cases I feel that the increased level of data protection is a good thing for the end user. What we want to do is to help all our advertiser embrace this new privacy environment and work to use that tools that are available to control the impact on their business.
We will be reaching out to our clients with an action plan to help address a number of these changes. Many of our clients have already been approached with a request to refresh customer match lists. More will be contacted in the near future to help them create customer match lists for the first time.
Our recommendation is to simply start by reviewing are you keeping a list of email address for customers and prospects. Can you offer a special download and get an email address in return to start building your first party data list? That is a great place to start.
Our team will guide you through the process in the month ahead with suggestions on steps you can take to have a privacy forward focus for the future.
For more information about McCord Web Services, a Google Partner, please visit our website to learn more about our mission and our services.
Update: as of late 6/24/21 Google announced that is delaying the Chrome cookie update until late 2023 due to advertiser concerns in embracing the new tracking technologies.