The Ideal Positions Story

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Ideal Positions

  1. Under New Ownership

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    In 2004, Kelsy Anderson began a long-distance hike on the Appalachian Trail and what she thought were steps in the wrong direction, turned out to be leading her towards just the right path. In June of that year, Kelsy started Ideal Positions working from home with no equity funding and no loans. It was just her ingenuity at the kitchen counter of her studio apartment. Several months later, she cemented a working relationship with James “Shannon” Sullivan, who partnered in the company with her.

    In January of 2005, they signed their first lease for a 900 square foot basement space in the Stuart School Building in Arcata, CA and hired 5 employees almost immediately. By April 2007, big changes were in store for the company. On April 1st, Kelsy and Shannon reached an agreement for Kelsy to take over Ideal Positions as the sole owner. Later that month the company moved upstairs in the same building to a larger, 2,600 square foot office space in order to accommodate a growing staff. Very soon, even this larger space was not enough to keep up with the company’s growth! Next they moved into an office space twice the size in the Arcata Technology Center. In February 2016, Ideal Positions made its last and most recent move to a brand new office space near the airport in McKinleyville. Since its inception 12 years ago in Kelsy’s home, Ideal Positions has grown to a company of 20 employees with an impressive presence in the online marketing industry.

    Guiding the company from the beginning, Kelsy still remembers that feeling of getting her own private office back in 2007. In that moment, she recognized how far she had come from her kitchen counter. At the end of every workday, her favorite ritual was to go around the office locking up and turning off the lights. She would then pause to look over the office and the employees’ workstations, and bow to acknowledge the creation of this organization and the people who make up the soul of the company. This moment of pause kept her heart grateful for all the amazing people who promoted the strength and fostered the personality of the company into what it is today.

    It’s the personality of the company that Kelsy enjoyed seeing most at the yearly holiday parties. These have always been an opportunity for employees to interact in a more relaxed setting— always bringing out interesting and surprising parts of employee’s personalities, as well as the most heartfelt expressions of camaraderie and appreciation for one another. Kelsy has always considered one of her proudest accomplishments in her role as business owner as someone who was able to create jobs. Having a positive impact on those employees, getting to know them, and creating a positive working environment for all staff is something that she’s thoroughly enjoyed.

    Now, Kelsy has taken the next step on her journey. On October 1, 2016, Ideal Positions changed ownership, and Josh Babbitt, the SEM Department Manager who has been with the company since 2008 took the lead. Through all the trials and tribulations of the last 12 years, Kelsy came to realize that the two great loves in her life, owning her own business and being a parent to her 3 young boys, were in constant competition. Being a business owner is an intense and all-consuming responsibility that can make it difficult to be fully present in parenting young children. By deciding to sell the company, Kelsy hopes to be able to be the best parent she can to her children as well as take some time to return to her passions of hiking, yoga, and visiting friends and family. Since she regularly only had a few hours every week “off the clock”, she plans to spend this new time nurturing her family and her soul.

    What allowed her to be able to take this next step is knowing that the company will be in the very capable hands of Josh Babbitt. Kelsy describes Josh as one of the finest people she knows. In her many years of business, she has developed the ability to discern between someone that’s the real-deal and someone who is not. Josh is the real deal. He is the last person to take credit and the first to recognize others. His innate leadership ability makes people want to work hard for him and be on his team because he earns their respect through his hard work, humility, and competence. Kelsy fondly remembers a time when Josh asked for a personal day off. As someone who regularly works some of the longest hours and rarely takes time off, the request was out of the ordinary. But it was the premier of the new Star Wars movie and Josh could not miss this “once in a lifetime event.” It is this similar interest and passion in all things technological that sets Josh apart. He is a “technical wizard” and Kelsy has the utmost confidence that he will continue to stay two steps ahead in this ever-changing industry. Kelsy and everyone at Ideal Positions are extremely excited to have Josh take on this important role and cannot wait to see what the future holds!

  2. Updates to Google AdWords’ Reporting Intervals!

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    Last week, Google announced improvements to the AdWords system: more frequent updates of account data! Google has stated that clicks and conversions are usually reported in fewer than three hours, though other data may take six hours or more.

    This is a fantastic change for search marketers and advertisers alike! In the past, it’s taken days or even weeks to get certain critical types of data from your Google AdWords reporting—most notably search query data. After this change, search marketing professionals will be able to build negative keyword lists more quickly, which enables more efficient search query optimization. Long story short, your ads can now be served for more relevant searches faster than ever!

    Keep in mind, some data is still only calculated once per day. This includes impression share, auction insights, and top movers data. Also, some data may update after the fact to adjust for invalid clicks or if a conversion is logged after a delay from the initial click.

    To determine what time of the day you may expect to see updates for different metrics in your time zone, consult Google’s support article on the subject here.


  3. Choosing the Right Search Engine Marketing Agency

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    This industry exists because many—if not most—small businesses have neither the time nor expertise to cultivate their own optimized Pay Per Click campaigns. There’s no shame in it: hiring an expert is a cost-effective means of increasing your incoming business so you can focus your efforts on making profit! Unfortunately, many small businesses have been let down by disreputable agencies and individuals in the past who promise you the moon, and have a harder time trusting someone to do better by them. Before hiring an agency, it is always important to educate yourself and learn how to vet your options to avoid scams and subpar service.

    Above anything else, the most important qualification for an agency is Google Partner status. Earning this status has stiff requirements. To quote Google, “your business is healthy, your clients are happy, and you follow Google best practices.” Google Partners are held to the highest standard and have access to resources that small businesses running their own AdWords campaigns do not.

    You can view Ideal Positions’ own Google Partner page here.

    Google has stated clearly that no one can guarantee a #1 ranking  on Google. Beware any business that claims they can put you in the first position 24/7! Reputable agencies need not rely on empty promises, and skilled agencies will practice strategic bidding over “ego-bidding” to get the highest return on investment. (Which is why Ideal Positions has a team of dedicated Campaign Strategists whose goal is to maximize your profits!)

    If an agency is anything less than transparent with you, that is a red flag: take your business elsewhere! The unique brilliance of digital advertising is that every ad viewed, every link clicked, and every dollar of ad budget spent is accounted for. Pay per click is precision marketing, and any good business will share data with you so that you know your funds are being used wisely.

    For further in-depth advice from Google on vetting third-party partners, we strongly recommend you look here.

    When determining which agency to work with, you need to ask the hard questions: Are your account managers individually certified? Will my account have a dedicated manager? Are your accounts structured to adapt to seasonality? Do you implement call-tracking and lead attribution in Google Analytics? Do you offer website development and consulting services to your clients to maximize conversions? An established agency should be able to answer all these questions with a resounding, “Yes!” At Ideal Positions, of course, we offer these value-added services and many more besides.

    Lastly, Google recommends going with experienced companies. Ideal Positions, for example, has been managing Pay Per Click campaigns for over ten years, and our team of Google AdWords Qualified Individuals have over sixty years of combined experience. Many agencies are faceless and impersonal. Not so with Ideal Positions. On our Staff profile pages, you can view every individual staff member’s Google badges and, while you’re there, you can get to know us a little better! We are a people-oriented business, and we really want you to know both who we are and what we’re all about.

    If you have any questions about our company, we would love nothing more than to demonstrate what we can do for you and earn your patronage! To read what other clients have written about us, please give our Testimonials directory a look here!




  4. Artisanal Search Engine Marketing

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    Many digital marketing agencies outsource the human element to automation software to cheaply build and manage their Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns. This hasty philosophy deprives campaigns of well-needed human expertise and insight. Advertising is, above all, a psychological effort: a handcrafted campaign is a smart campaign.

    Automated bidding systems regularly fail to discern search intent from queries. Because they can’t keep abreast of current events and the by-the-day changes search engines implement to their algorithms, “set-it-and-forget-it” campaigns are more susceptible to unexpected shifts in the search ecosystem. One sea change can end up drowning your advertising dollar!

    At Ideal Positions, our campaigns are steered by seasoned, qualified professionals who work closely together to bring multiple perspectives to every account. Three distinct departments are deeply involved in every account: Customer Service Representatives, Campaign Strategists, and SEM Team Members.

    Your relationship with our account management teams begins when you are first contacted by one of our Customer Service Representatives, who introduce our service and demonstrate how crucial it is to work with a trustworthy and experienced digital advertising agency. Our CSRs research the businesses we work with to determine whether you are an ideal fit for our services, and they have the expertise to determine an optimum advertising package for your needs.

    When we enter into a business relationship, we introduce you to your own assigned Campaign Strategist. Members of this department maintain close consultant-client relationships, building on the value established by our sales team. Your Campaign Strategist is your new best friend, your go-to contact at Ideal Positions, the person in your corner who will come to know your business’ needs and how we might best exceed your expectations. Together, we develop and implement powerful Internet marketing strategies unique to your business!

    Finally, our SEM Team Members work behind the scenes as technicians—essentially, our grease-monkeys!—attentively minding the nitty-gritty of accounts, tweaking and torquing campaigns to maximize the profitability we deliver to our clientèle. Every member of the Campaign Strategist and Search Engine Marketing Teams are Google AdWords Qualified Individuals and Bing Ads Accredited Professionals, and they bring that knowledge to the worktable so that we will continue to earn your business each month!

    PPC advertising is both an art and a science. With the combined artistry and technical know-how of our diverse staff, we are certain to have greater success in navigating the turbulent sea of internet marketing together.

  5. Net Neutrality Win!

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    Good news, everyone! We’re excited to announce that, today, the US Federal Communications Commission approved a set of new regulations in support of net neutrality!

    These regulations essentially aim to prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from creating “internet fast lanes” (also called paid prioritization) to broadband and wireless access. This will include rules against blocking legal content and throttling traffic. In brief, the FCC is re-classifying the Internet as a public utility. The Internet is regarded as a common good for all, and its user base is a protected interest. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is quoted as having said, “The Internet is simply too important to allow broadband providers to be the ones making the rules.”

    There has been a lively debate for several years over whether a more regulated Internet will stand to benefit “the little guy” or to benefit large telecom companies, and whether this will level the playing field or discourage private investment in Internet infrastructure in the future. This FCC decision is in many respects a work in progress, and it is certainly the beginning of a larger legal battle. As a company that relies upon fair, equitable access to the Internet to do our business, Ideal Positions supports the open Internet, free of gatekeepers standing between small businesses and the customers we rely upon.

  6. Ideal Positions’ Upgraded Reporting System is Finally Here!

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    Best PPC Company Reporting Dashboard Graph ExampleBest PPC Company Reporting Dashboard Graph Example

    Your favorite Search Engine Marketing provider…

    —Ideal Positions—

    …is proud to announce an updated reporting system fully customized for our advertisers!


    Last January, Ideal Positions launched our very first client reporting suite.  Built in-house by Ideal Positions’ own development team, the reporting suite allowed clients to review the click, impression, and cost totals for their advertising campaigns for nearly any date range desired.  Our hope was to offer a reporting system that allowed our advertisers to quickly and easily monitor the most basic performance metrics related to their advertising campaigns without all the clutter and additional information offered by most existing third-party platforms, such as Google Analytics.  The response from our advertisers was overwhelmingly positive, which reinforced that we had made the right decision in investing in the development of the reporting suite.

    What we had to do next was significantly improve-upon the existing system.  We needed additional features to compare data over time, measure different click types (such as clicks to the ads’ header vs. phone calls from mobile users), and store reports.  We needed reporting based on device type, ad copy, and Ad Extensions.  Perhaps most importantly, we needed a way to have custom reports generated that could be stored for later use or transmitted to another department, and a way to automatically send reports to our clients that contain only the data that matters most.

    Ideal Positions’ staff has been working hard since last January to bring these features to our advertisers.  It’s been quite a process!  During this process we realized that the upgrades we wanted would be more easily achieved using a different platform than the original, so we ended-up scrapping the original reporting system altogether in favor of a system that we could update more regularly throughout the year.

    That new system is available right now.

    Interested?  Call Ideal Positions today at 866-609-3483 and ask to speak with your Customer Service Representative or Campaign Strategist.  Not already a client of Ideal Positions?  Give us a call now for a free quote!




  7. Ideal Positions’ Reporting Suite Has Launched!

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    As promised in December of 2013, Ideal Positions is launching a new Reporting Suite, and it’s available as of right now!

    Ideal Positions’ Reporting Suite is available to all current advertising clients that are working with Ideal Positions to drive traffic to their websites using Google AdWords and bing Ads.  To request access to your personal dashboard please contact your representative at Ideal Positions by calling 866-609-3483.  You will be asked to provide an email address that we can send an invitation to.  Once you receive the invitation, all you will need to do is follow the included link, set a new password, and you’re good to go!

    Once inside, you’ll find a simple, easy-to-digest report of the total volume of clicks and impressions sent to your website.  You can view click and impression data by keyword or by platform, and you can now see reporting for Google AdWords and bing Ads all in one place!  The default date range for the reporting is the last 30 days, but you can use the “Search by Date Range or Keyword” button to check activity for almost any date range you want.

    Ideal Positions’ Reporting Suite was developed 100% in-house by our own Web Development Team, and was custom-built with our clients’ needs in mind.  Over time, we hope to integrate more tracking and analytics features to even better serve our clientele.  Of course, no reporting system will provide an advertiser with every insight needed to make the most of an online marketing campaign.  Ideal Positions’ Search Engine Marketing professionals still highly recommend the use of Google Analytics for measuring traffic volumes from all sources, as well as to analyze website performance both as a whole and by individual traffic channel.

    Have feedback on Ideal Positions’ Reporting Suite?  Drop us a line to let us know, and we just may include your suggestions in the next update!

  8. Guide to Sending Google AdWords Account Access Invitations

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    Many businesses approach Ideal Positions with tales of their longtime struggles with PPC marketing.  Some have spent years trying to “nail it” themselves, while others have jumped from one agency to another, looking for a professional with real skill and insight.  I’ve spoken with many businesses that have made admirable efforts to manage their Google AdWords account(s), making it most of the way on their own while still missing key best practices in account management and optimization.  Others setup their account years ago, and have never made efforts to improve performance over time.

    Whatever group your organization may mirror most closely, there are probably significant insights that Ideal Positions’ SEM Team can gain from having at least a basic level of access to your existing Google AdWords account(s).  For example, I was recently speaking with an attorney that had spent over $400k on clicks in his Google AdWords account since 2009.  We’re talking tens of thousands of clicks sent to his law firm’s website over the years.  This attorney knew he was seeing a good return on his investment, but he also realized that he had never received the benefit of having a professional manage his accounts.  Long story short, he knew there was room for improvement, and he was asking Ideal Positions for help.

    So I suggested that this attorney grant me Read-Only Access to his Google AdWords account.  Read-Only Access gives a user the ability to view critical reporting in your account, without giving them the ability to view your billing information, change account access levels, or make changes to your campaign settings, bids, keywords, and more.  It’s a “safe” access level that can be granted when you want a third party to be able to view your account, but not make changes.  This attorney invited me to the Google AdWords account, and as I suggested he granted me Read-Only Access.

    Upon viewing the AdWords reporting, I immediately saw signs of trouble, beginning with the account structure and basic organization.  Digging deeper, I saw that the attorney had his targeting setup in such a way that many of this clicks were coming from search queries that held no relevance to his practice!  Since 2009, with over $400,000 spent, a little over 52% of the account’s budget had been spent on clicks that had no hope of converting into clients.  That’s no typo – I really do mean fifty-two percent.  For example, one area of practice this attorney focused on heavily was criminal defense, and he was paying for clicks from search queries such as dui mugshots.

    By granting me Read-Only Access to his Google AdWords account, this attorney learned that getting a high volume of clicks isn’t enough to maximize your potential ROI using Google AdWords.  Proper account management and optimization means getting a high volume or relevant, valuable clicks that have a higher chance of converting into leads, and working with an experienced Search Engine Marketing agency and Google Partner like Ideal Positions can help you get there.

    How to Invite Users to an Existing Google AdWords Account:

    Some find that Google AdWords’ Account Access Settings can be a little difficult to locate.  To aid Ideal Positions’ existing, potential, and future clientele in locating those settings and successfully inviting other users, our SEM Department Manager Josh Babbitt has put together a short video that will help walk you through the process, and hopefully make sending out an invite as quick and painless as possible.  You can watch the video here on Ideal Positions’ YouTube Channel.

  9. Demystifying the Google AdWords Account Invitation System

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    At Ideal Positions, we offer all of our clients Pay Per Click advertising with full transparency. As part of our efforts to provide said transparency, Ideal Positions will grant clients access to the Google AdWords account we use to manage their marketing campaigns. Each client is able to view the activity in their account by being invited by Ideal Positions into their AdWords account, granting you the ability to see every impression, every click, and every keyword involved in the success of your SEM campaign. This level of transparency is a big part of what makes our service unique.

    In the interest of making this process as painless as possible, Ideal Positions’ SEM Department Manager Josh Babbitt has posted two easy-to-follow instructional videos to our YouTube channel. These videos will explain how to accept your Google AdWords Invitation for both users with existing Google accounts (such as Gmail or Google+) as well as users that do not already have an account with Google.

    To learn how to accept your Google AdWords Invite, please click on one of the following links:

    Video for existing Google users.

    Video for users that do not already have a Google account.

    For future informational video posts from Ideal Positions, please visit our YouTube Channel.

  10. Web Analytics: Why You Need It & What Ideal Positions Can Offer, Part 3

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    This post is Part 3 of a three-part series.  To get caught-up, see Part 1 here, and Part 2 here.


    Part Three: Ideal Positions’ New Reporting Suite!

    Ever since Ideal Positions began offering Read-Only Access to Google AdWords accounts there has been a tremendous amount of feedback, both positive and negative.  The positive feedback was expected; many business owners find the level of transparency that Ideal Positions offers to be a breath of fresh air when compared to other providers they have tried in the past.  Providing access to Google AdWords directly ensures that the data is completely uncorrupted by any conflicts of interest, which can only be a good thing!

    Admittedly, we may have been a little short-sighted in that we didn’t anticipate a common negative reaction to this level of transparency: Google AdWords reporting isn’t the most user-friendly, easy-to-use interface.  We know that many of Ideal Positions’ clients enjoy the services we offer partly because those clients don’t have to worry about navigating or monitoring the labyrinth that is the Google AdWords Web Interface.  So, in an effort to provide greater transparency, I must admit that we may have fallen a little short of the mark by over-complicated the reporting process.  As an Internet marketing agency, Ideal Positions isn’t afraid to admit when we may have made a mistake, and I believe that fact serves to further accentuate the level of transparencey and honesty you get when working with us.

    In light of this experience, Ideal Positions is proud to announce a new, custom-built in-house reporting suite that is significantly easier to use than the Google AdWords reporting!  Our staff is really excited about all the hard work our developers have put into designing this new reporting suite, and we’re excited to enhance our clients’ experience by providing the metrics they care about the most in a simplified, easy-to-view format.  This new reporting pulls data directly from Google Adwords and bing Ads, so it is still 100% unadulterated.  Data is pulled automatically using  existing features available in Google AdWords and bing Ads, combined with custom software built by Ideal Positions’ in-house developers.  There is no data entry involved, and as such there is no room for typos or other “human error.”


    What Data is Available in the New Reporting Suite?

    Using the new reporting suite, you will be able to view the total number of clicks (how many times your ads were clicked on), the total number of impressions (how many times your ads were viewed), and the Clickthrough Rate (CTR) from Ideal Positions’ service, broken-down by keyword and by search engine.  With nearly two years of feedback from clients that have had access to the Google AdWords accounts that Ideal Positions uses to advertise their websites, we believe that this will be just enough reporting to be of value to our clients without over-complicating the reports to the point of obfuscation.  To see how these clicks are performing once the user gets to your site, Ideal Positions recommends the use of Google Analytics.

    In addition to providing reporting for the Google AdWords account that Ideal Positions uses to drive traffic to your website, the new reporting suite will now allow you to see how many clicks and impressions you are receiving from bing Ads!  Better yet, the reporting for both Google AdWords and bing Ads is now available all in one report.  You will no longer need to contact Ideal Positions to get a traffic report for bing Ads, that data is now available all in one place.


    New Reporting Suite Will Launch in Q1 2014

    At the time of this publication, Ideal Positions’ new reporting suite is almost ready for prime-time.  To get early access when the new suite launches in Q1 of 2014, like Ideal Positions on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or add us to your circles on Google+.  More updates will follow in the coming weeks and months.


    Lead Attribution and The Future of Ideal Positions’ New Reporting Suite

    Reporting on clicks, impressions, and Clickthrough Rate is only the beginning.  Over time, Ideal Positions plans to integrate automated lead attribution into the reporting suite, giving our clients even more direct access to metrics that specifically measure how many phone calls, contact form submissions, newsletter signups, downloads, and online purchases that are directly attributable to Ideal Positions’ advertising services.

    We’ve already set the wheels in motion to begin offering advanced call tracking using Google Analytics and Ideal Positions’ new reporting suite beginning in 2014.  Using dynamically-generated phone numbers, combined with custom-built landing pages expertly designed just for Search Engine Marketing, Ideal Positions will be able to track roughly how many phone calls you receive from our service, and even show which keywords were most responsible for generating the phone calls.  This data can be used over time to refine the allocation of advertising spend to the avenues that generate the most revenue for our clients.

    Additionally, we plan on integrating contact form submission tracking into the new reporting suite, also beginning in 2014.  For those of you that get more form submissions than phone calls, this system will play a key role in reporting roughly how many submissions are directly attributable to Ideal Positions’ services, and the data can be reported right there in the new reporting suite alongside the rest of your campaign performance metrics.

    Over time, we hope to create a one-stop reporting system for our clients to use that will provide the same level of transparency that Ideal Positions has become known for, while keeping a refreshing level of simplicity that will save advertisers both time and money.