SMX Advanced Conference 2017 Recap

Josh, Mara I  got back from SMX Advanced in Seattle, WA last week. It was a very fun and educational experience. After 2 full days of knowledge flooding your brain there’s nothing quite like recovering from all that, but the knowledge learned there is incredible and very useful!

 

The Year Of Mobile (Been there done that)

 

I’m sure you have heard the talk of “The Year Of Mobile”. Lots of us have for years now and at SMX Advanced this year they didn’t hold back on throwing jabs about how that’s already happened. Mobile traffic exceeded Desktop traffic back in 2016. So when you hear people say “Is this year going to be the year of mobile?” you can inform them that it’s already history. It’s highly unlikely that mobile searches are going to drop drastically in the near future. In fact they will probably continue to grow more and more over the next few years.

There was some great information on how to utilize Microsoft Excel with Bing Ads to streamline account optimization. There was also a lot of talk about how Bing has some upcoming surprises in the near future. So this might end up being “The Year Of Bing”. There was also some talk on interesting targeting methods and information on protecting your brand.

 

That’s just some of what was gone over at SMX Advanced, but there was much more. As you can see it’s a lot to take in and this was my first year there, but I can’t wait to go back next year! Hopefully you enjoyed reading about my experience!

Celebrating Memorial Day

Today at Ideal Positions we celebrated our upcoming 4-day weekend Memorial Day holiday with a yummy all you can eat taco bar!  We had a great mix of chicken, carne asada, carnitas, and a delicious vegan crumble option!  To top off the tacos we had some amazing hot sauces from Humboldt Hot Sauce – yummy!

Eating lunch and enjoying the sunny day!
A yummy taco!

Our office will be closed Friday, May 26th & Monday, May 29th in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. We hope you have fun and safe holiday weekend!

Under New Ownership

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!

Ideal Positions’ Reporting Suite Has Launched!

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!

Guide to Sending Google AdWords Account Access Invitations

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.