Ignite your digital marketing

New AdWords Experience Being Rolled Out

Posted on 21st Jul, 2017 by

Google has been progressively rolling out a new “AdWords Experience” this year, with the promise that everyone will have access by the end of 2017.

Given we’ve been granted access, we’ve had a poke around to see what’s new. Fortunately it’s more than just some UX enhancements.

The new AdWords Experience comes with the tagline, “Meet the simpler, smarter AdWords.” And with it comes the promise of the following benefits:

  • Create and improve campaigns based on your unique business goals.
  • Save time and get more done with faster access to the features you use most.
  • Gain actionable insights with new graphs and powerful reporting tools.
  • Same AdWords performance you’re used to, so your campaigns continue to run the same way you’re already familiar with. And, you can always switch back to the previous AdWords experience if you get stuck.

Exclusive new interface features:

  1. “Overview” page
    Aside from a revised summary view of campaigns, you’ll also get performance insights direct from Google ensuring you’re not missing any important trends.
  2. Bid adjustments for calls
    Now there’s more control over bid adjustments for call extensions which given the mobile focus for many businesses, will help ensure less lost impression share.
  3. Showcase Shopping ads
    Give customers a better insight into your brand by displaying a group of related products in the search results
  4. Audience manager
    Targeting options for both the Google Display network and Remarketing lists for Search ads have been grouped together in the same place. This should help streamline the targeting process.
  5. Promotion extensions
    Display promotions and special offers in your Search Network text ads to generate much higher engagement.

App developers will also now be able to import data from 3rd party app analytics programs to track conversions against their AdWords Campaigns.

Coming soon…

While there’s been some really impressive enhancements already introduced, Google still has plenty up its sleeve. The following items are due to be released soon…

  • Ad extension creation, management, and reporting for price extensions; extension segments; and the automated extensions report
  • Advanced editing, for example: automated rules and bulk uploads
  • AdWords Labs
  • Business data feeds
  • Download functionality in some pages
  • Custom columns
  • Drafts and experiments
  • Geographic reports
  • Compatibility: full compatibility with right-to-left languages; Edge browser support
  • The shopping subtype for video campaigns
  • The Gmail ads subtype for Display Network campaigns
  • Custom remarketing / affinities

There’s plenty of features currently and many more coming which should encourage AdWords advertising to make the shift to the new interface. If you’ve started using it, what are your initial thoughts?

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Effective or Annoying? Facebook Officially Releases New Messenger Ads

Posted on 14th Jul, 2017 by

Users will start seeing ads in Facebook Messenger as a part of a series of changes rolled out by the social media giant last week. Although this gives marketers a new way to reach their audiences, not all are on-board with the idea nor believe this is an effective way of marketing… 

Will users click on these ads?

Prior to now, Facebook Messenger has traditionally been used as a platform for users to connect and communicate with friends through chat, not learn about brands, businesses, products or services. Some have argued that because of this, users will not be interested in Messenger Home Ads.

We investigated this idea and whether users actually clicked on Messenger Home Ads. Interestingly for one client, we found that these ads actually received double the amount of clicks, compared to their respective News Feed Ads. Although this is a singular case, it does show that it’s possible to achieve clicks through Messenger Home Ads.

Are Messenger Home Ads disruptive?

Simply by looking at the images below, we cannot ignore the fact that Messenger Home Ads take up significant screen space, which could potentially interrupt the user experience. We believe one of three outcomes could occur because of this large size:

  • Users will intentionally click the ads
  • Users will accidentally click the ads
  • Users will hide or ignore the ads

Do Messenger Home Ads reach less people?

We found that compared to News Feed Ads, the reach for Messenger Home Ads is significantly less. This could be due to the fact that not all Facebook members use Messenger, or that not all users in Messenger are able to see these ads. Either way, we believe the best way to ensure your ads reach your targeted audience, is by ensuring your campaign displays across various placements.

How can marketers leverage Messenger Home Ads?

For some businesses, Messenger Home Ads may be an effective placement to add to your existing Facebook advertising repertoire. However for others, this could mean wasted advertising budget and negative ROI. The easiest way to see which Facebook advertising placements work best for your brand is by simply launching and testing the results of your campaign. You can read more about this topic here.

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Improve Your Website Performance With Google’s Updated Tool

Posted on 4th Jul, 2017 by

How fast is your mobile site speed? Google have released an updated free tool which not only analyses the load time of your mobile site, but also provides various recommendations for improvement.

It’s no secret that faster websites get more customers. In fact, 50% of people expect a site to load in less than two seconds, and 53% will actually leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. We all know how frustrating slow websites can be, which is why it’s more important than ever to design and foster fast, efficient and user-friendly site experiences.

Curious about your mobile site speed? Click here to test your site.

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Was There A Google Algorithm Update On June 25?

Posted on 28th Jun, 2017 by

If you’ve heard the buzz around a serious Google algorithm update on June 25, you’re not alone. While there’s nothing ‘officially’ confirmed as of yet, our data suggests otherwise.

Here’s a snippet of our SERP Monitor which shows the various fluctuations to Google’s search results over the past two months.

Search Engine Roundtable have also confirmed the likelihood of an algorithm update, posting various screen shots of tracking charts.

Although there’s been plenty of buzz around the topic, Webmaster Trends Analysis, John Mueller is yet to confirm these effects…

However, this update doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom for all. We’re pleased to see that a majority of our clients’ rankings have experienced positive results.

While we wait for an official confirmation from Google, our best advice is to sit tight. We’ve learnt from previous updates that Google algorithms can take days, weeks or even months to fully roll out, so making sudden changes to your campaign right now may not be the best idea.

As always, you can contact us if you’re unsure of anything or if you’ve noticed a change in your rankings. In the meantime, you can read more about this likely update here.

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Google Posts – Publish Local Business Offers Direct to Search Results

Posted on 27th Jun, 2017 by

After select testing to only a small group of celebrities, sports teams, sports leagues, movie studios and museums, Google “Posts” have been released to all local businesses.

In a nutshell, Posts allow local businesses to publish daily events, special offers, top products and other content, direct to Google Search and Maps.

And the best part is that it’s done in real time.

Allowing time sensitive offers to be posted direct to the search results is a significant promotional opportunity for businesses. We’ve already seen some impressive engagement results from the testing we’ve done for clients.

According to the Google release post:

With 82% of people turning to search engines to find local information, your Google listing is the ideal place to showcase what is unique about your business. Even when customers know exactly what they’re looking for, they still want to get to know the business and see what it has to offer. That’s why Google My Business is bringing Posts to local businesses — an easy way to help attract new customers and build relationships with the customers you already have.

No better time to polish up the local SEO component of your organic search strategy and leverage this important new release.

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Bonfire announced finalist for ‘Agency of the Year’

Posted on 20th Apr, 2017 by

The Event

The Bonfire team joined over 800 others from the Western Australian advertising, media and communications industry this month at the new Crown Towers Ballroom for the 2017 Oasis Ball and Campaign Brief Awards.

The Cause

Together, we celebrated our industry and raised funds for The Oasis Project; an initiative that supports the Salvation Army’s Crossroads West programme. This incredible programme is aimed at providing stable environments for young people who have had their home lives disrupted by their parents or guardian’s addiction, abuse or abandonment.

The Nominations

Bonfire finalist for Agency of the Year.

Loud cheers could be heard from our tables when it was announced that Bonfire was nominated for the ‘Agency of the Year’ award, and although we didn’t win the title this year, we were one of the finalists in this category.

Rene LeMerle, Bonfire’s Head of Marketing, finalist for Advertising Person of the Year

We were also extremely proud to see one of our own, Rene LeMerle, as a finalist for ‘Advertising Person of the Year’. Rene has been a valued part of our Bonfire family for over 12 years, and during this time has played a large role in overseeing Bonfire’s transition from ‘one of Perth’s expert digital marketing agencies’ to ‘Perth’s largest and most experienced digital performance agency’. Congratulations Rene, we’re lucky to have you as part of the #BonfireSquad!

Photo: Finalists for Advertising Person of the Year.

Final Word & Congratulations

Congratulations to all the individuals and agencies who walked away from the night as award winners, as well as all of those recognised as finalists. Thank you to Campaign Brief for recognising Bonfire as a leading agency in Perth and to Oasis Ball for allowing us to participate on the night and contribute to a great cause.  We’re already looking forward to attending next year’s event!

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EXPLAINED: HOW GOOGLE’S CROSS-DEVICE REMARKETING UPDATE WILL AFFECT YOU

Posted on 10th Apr, 2017 by

You may have seen this warning in Google Analytics, but what exactly does it mean?

Google have recently announced an important update concerning their Google Analytics Remarketing Audiences which will change the way advertisers and marketers target audiences online. Essentially, Google will now start showing ads to users across multiple devices for advertisers using Remarketing Audiences built with Google Analytics. Cross-device remarketing has existed for some time now for advertisers using remarketing audiences built within AdWords, however this method was a manual and laborious task, requiring considerably more time and technical ‘know-how’ to achieve.

This new method, using the very simple audience-building tool in Google Analytics, gives advertisers the ability to reach more customers across their omni-channel buying journey, a change which has brought this method in line with platforms like Facebook who have been doing this for some time.

But… Why?

Buyer behaviour is constantly changing. According to a recent study:

“Six in 10 internet users will start shopping on one device but will continue or finish on a different one [device].”

This means more than half of buyers are accessible through multiple platforms and why it’s now essential advertisers distribute their ads across all the devices where their consumers may be researching, considering or eventually purchasing.

Previously, if an advertiser built a remarketing audience in Google Analytics – or a subset of website visitors from whom they wish to retarget with specific ads – then they would only be able to reach them via browser cookies on a singular device. Now, by using signed-in user data, ads can be shown to visitors across any device which is linked to their Google account.

What Now?

Advertisers should reconsider the frequency and reach of their ads, now that they’re going to be seen across multiple devices. Ideally, each user should now see the same remarketing ads more times, meaning messages will constantly need to be fresh and appealing.

It’s also recommended advertisers review their website privacy policies to ensure these are compliant with their current privacy legislation in their area. In Australia, significant changes were made to the Privacy Act in 2014 – so, if your websites privacy policy has not been updated since then, you should review it. For all other questions or concerns, feel free to contact or connect with our experts on Twitter.

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AN INSTANT PARTNERSHIP YIELDS LONG-TERM RESULTS

Posted on 30th Mar, 2017 by

Bonfire and the Instant Products Group are no strangers, in fact Bonfire have been leading the digital strategy for two of its divisions since 2013. However, late last year we welcomed Instant Sea Containers, the third and final division of the Instant Products Group on board.

The Divisions

The Beginning

Entering an unknown industry, Scott Rawson – Founder and Managing Director of the Instant Products Group, knew he needed to engage his trusted digital marketing experts.  Confident in our ability to deliver results, Scott approached Bonfire to lead the digital campaign for the company’s newest division – Instant Sea Containers.

The Strategy

The digital strategy designed and implemented for Instant Sea Containers differed from those previously created for the other two divisions. Due to the niche nature of the sea containers market, we knew that a multichannel digital marketing strategy would be required.  Bonfire recommended a combination of SEO, AdWords and Remarketing to drive the strategy.

The Results

After a short 6 months, this campaign has yielded some impressive results:

  • 69% of all goal conversions are driven by digital marketing
  • 50,000 impressions from Google Remarketing
  • AdWords accounts for 49% of all website traffic
  • Keywords have increased by 2,016 positions in Google
  • 90+ interactions with potential customers through Facebook Remarketing

The Bonfire team would like to say a big thank you to Scott Rawson and the team at Instant Products Group for their ongoing support and loyalty. To discover how a sea container can be transformed into fully functional space, visit the Instant Sea Containers website.  To learn about the company’s other product and service offerings, visit Instant Offices and Instant Toilets and Showers.

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HOW TO OPTIMISE YOUR SITE FOR GOOGLE’S MOBILE-FIRST INDEX

Posted on 20th Mar, 2017 by

Ever since Gary Illyes’ announced Google’s mobile-first index (MFI) in 2015 and its official confirmation in late 2016, there’s been constant buzz around the topic. In particular, whether sites that have not implemented mobile friendly mark-ups and responsive website design are being penalised.

But before we jump to conclusions, let’s first take a look at exactly what the mobile-first index is and how it affects not only marketers, but all businesses with an online presence.

WHAT IS THE MFI?

In one of our recent blog posts, we mentioned the rise of mobile search and how Google have started to show a preference for mobile content rather than desktop.

The mobile-first index is Google’s way of responding to both the rise of mobile technology and recent statistics indicating that most Google searches now happen on mobile. This means Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of content, rather than the desktop version.

SO, I NEED A MOBILE WEBSITE?

The short answer is yes. The mobile trend is on the up and is showing no signs of slowing down, so as a business owner or marketing manager, adapting your website to suit this change will ensure your website’s ranking won’t be compromised and may give you a one-up from your competitors who are yet to make the change.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NEXT?

If you’re guilty of not having a mobile-friendly website, don’t stress just yet. There are some simple things you can do to get started:

  • Check your site is mobile-friendly. Before making any changes, we suggest testing your site first with Google’s Mobile Friendly test. This will tell you how easy it is for users to navigate your site on mobile and will also recommend some changes that can be made to increase mobile-friendliness.
  • Learn more about ‘mobile’. The best way to ensure you’re obliging by the rules is to educate yourself, and what better way to do this than by taking advice straight from the rule makers themselves? This Mobile Friendly Website Guide explains what is needed for an effective mobile site.
  • Implement. Whether you attempt to do this yourself, or you seek out the help of an SEO agency, it’s no secret you will need to make changes to your site to optimise it for the mobile-first index.
  • Rinse and repeat. If you’ve made changes, check the effect of those changes with the tool in step one. This isn’t the only indicator of a converted mobile site, but it will give you a topical view.

IN SUMMARY…

As Google begins to prioritise mobile pages, it’s important to ensure your site is not only up-to-date, but has also been optimised for search. Being mobile-friendly is simply one aspect of a digital campaign which should be used in conjunction with an overall strategy aimed at making your site easier for visitors to use.

Ultimately, it’s important to keep in mind that as more people begin to search using mobile, more opportunities will arise for your business to improve its offerings and better meet consumer demands.

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HOW TO HIRE A CREDIBLE SEO AGENCY

Posted on 8th Mar, 2017 by

Google released a document on Valentine’s day providing valuable insight into how brands should go about hiring an SEO agency, including guidelines on what to look out for and avoid when choosing and hiring an SEO specialist.

Included in this document was a video by Google’s Developer Programs Tech Lead, Maile Ohye. In the almost 12-minute video, Maile offers her advice on how to identify a legitimate SEO provider as well as what exactly constitutes ‘good’ (and bad) SEO. Curious to know which practices make the cut by Google? We’ve summarised the video below.

“An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website”

– Maile Ohye

GENERAL SEO HIRING PROCESS

Unfortunately, there are a number of SEO agencies out there who don’t play fair, often using illicit techniques in an attempt to manipulate search engines. These techniques, and the agencies that use them, should be avoided at all costs as Google does not easily provide ‘second chances’.

To avoid getting locked into a contract with one of ‘these’ SEO agencies, Google has provided an agenda to follow when interviewing and selecting an SEO provider. These are the steps Google recommends brands take when choosing an SEO:

STEP 1: Conduct a two-way interview – ask relevant questions to ensure they’re sincerely interested in you and the success of your business.

STEP 2: Check their references – the agency should offer you a list of clients willing to talk to you about their experience. If they can’t offer this, you should be cautious.

STEP 3: Request an audit – a good agency does their homework. Ask them to complete an audit, identifying any potential website issues and how they suggest to improve them, as well as what impact these changes are estimated to have on your digital campaign.

STEP 4: Decide if you want to hire – discuss with other decision makers within your business whether they think this agency is a good choice. Before deciding on an SEO agency, make sure all internal stakeholders are on board.

BONFIRE TIP:

You should leave your first meeting with a potential SEO agency feeling impressed and holding a proposal which indicates extensive research into both your company’s current position in the market, and your website.

ADVICE/KEY TAKEAWAYS:

In addition to the hiring process recommendations, Ohye also shared some useful insights on SEO basics as well as common misconceptions. Here are a few we found particularly agreeable and commonly find ourselves explaining to clients coming to us with limited search knowledge (or previous bad advice).

“SEO is not black magic” – SEO isn’t magic and it won’t work overnight. If an agency is promising instant rankings, avoid them, as they’re likely to be practicing bad SEO – this could cause irreversible long term damage to your domain and could greatly affect your digital standing with Google.

SEO suggestions should align with google best practices – ask the SEO to corroborate their strategy recommendations with supporting documents from Google e.g. an article from their help centre, a Googler response in their forum or a video (like this one).

Good SEO aims to improve the searchers’ entire experience – recommended changes should aim to not only create a search friendly site, but also a user-friendly site.

Quality SEOs will be genuinely invested in your business – they will be interested in learning about your business from a holistic stand point and genuinely care about your business goals, customers and other existing marketing efforts.

Good SEO takes time – allow 4 months to a year before you expect to start seeing real search results from strategy implementation. There are a lot of components in a good SEO strategy, and unfortunately no magic tricks to make them work faster.

An SEO’s potential is only as high as the quality of your business or website – investing in a user-friendly website will significantly help every SEO strategy implemented. You can’t build a home without a solid foundation.

“One of the biggest holdups to improving a website isn’t [the SEO’s] recommendation, but the business making time to implement their ideas.”

– Maile Ohye

IN SUMMARY…

The road towards finding a legitimate SEO agency is not an easy one. However, the outcome of your choice is vital to both the health of your campaign and business. These guidelines should help with the decision process and ensuring your business is left in capable hands.

You can watch the full video by Maile Ohye, titled How to Hire an SEO, here:

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