Quickstart: Remarketing on Facebook

Remarketing is a powerful form of Facebook targeting. If you’ve run ads on Facebook before, you know you can target by:

  • age
  • gender
  • interests
  • topics
  • demographics
  • geographic locations
  • and much more.

Remarketing is another type of targeting – it targets people who have been to your website. When someone visits your website, it drops a cookie onto their computer and allows you to show your Facebook ads specifically to those people.

It’s powerful, and it’s been shown to convert very, very well. All the big players in online advertising are using it, from Perry Marshall to Mike Rhodes.

Set Up Your Remarketing Code – ASAP!

If you do nothing else in this article, and you don’t even run an ad campaign, make sure that you setup your remarketing code and lists today!

As soon as you set up your remarketing code, it will start collecting visitor data and adding them to your remarketing list. That way, whenever you’re ready to start advertising, you’ll already have a list made.

To start:

  1. Go to the Facebook Ads Manager, and in the bottom left click “Audiences”. You’ll want to “Create Audience”, and select “Custom Audience”.
  2. From there choose “Website Traffic”, and here you can create your lists.
  3. Insert your domain URL and name the audience “All visitors – 30 days”.
  4. Once your list is created, you should be able to grab the Facebook tracking pixel. This is what you need to implement on your site! Either send the code to your webmaster, or implement the steps yourself. Make sure you install this code if nothing else!

Create Some Audience Lists

At the most basic level, you should create 3 main audiences:

  • All visitors – 7 days
  • All visitors – 14 days
  • All visitors – 30 days

The parameters of each list should be fairly self explanatory for you.

Creating Ad Targeting

When you go to create your Facebook Marketing ads, you can create separate ad sets that use each of these audiences exclusively. The way you would want to set it up is:

Targeting Ad Set #1: 30 days:

Custom audience: All visitors – 30 days

EXCLUDE: All visitors – 14 days

EXCLUDE: All visitors – 7 days


Targeting Ad Set #2: 14 days:

Custom audience: All visitors – 14 days

EXCLUDE: All visitors – 30 days

EXCLUDE: All visitors – 7 days


Targeting Ad Set #3: 7 days:

Custom audience: All visitors – 7 days

EXCLUDE: All visitors – 14 days

EXCLUDE: All visitors – 30 days


What this will do is create different time segments that you can measure conversions from. It will measure visitors at:

  • 0-7 days after visiting your site
  • 8-14 days after visiting your site
  • 15-30 days after visiting your site

Most often you’ll find that your 7-day cookie will have the highest conversion rate, because visitors are most comfortable with you within that first week of visiting your website.

This exclusion process is something you do when you’re actually creating ads though, not when you’re making your audience lists. If you aren’t making ads right now, then you don’t have to worry about this stuff yet.


Setup your remarketing code and audience lists as soon as possible so you can start collecting data. Then, create some ads using these audiences for targeting.

Doing this should give you a quick start to Facebook remarketing. These aren’t incredibly advanced strategies, but they’re the basics that will help make you profitable while advertising on Facebook.

Are You Tracking Phone Calls From Your Offline Ads?

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

We’ve talked in the past about using call tracking  to tell if your Google Adwords Marketing or other online ads are converting well, but have you overlooked tracking your ads offline?

This could include:

  • yellow pages listings
  • radio ads
  • billboards
  • newspaper ads
  • trade magazines
  • and anywhere else you might list an ad that’s not digital


Tracking offers you a degree of accountability that should be present in all of your marketing. If a publisher can’t prove their results for you, is your money really that well spent?

Unless you’re big enough to be running branding campaigns, sticking to a form of advertising that actually delivers results might be the best option for you.


The best way to track your calls is by using a dummy-number that reroutes to your business’s phone. You create a new number for each ad, that way you can track which one is driving results.

We’ve used companies like CallRail or CallTrackingMetrics in the past, with quite excellent results. These services have a cost associated with them, but it’s certainly worth it if you’re spending thousands of dollars a month on advertising anyways.

Hint: CallRail is more user friendly.

Local Numbers

One obstacle you might run into is finding local numbers. In Chilliwack, there are no local numbers available from any of the online call tracking services because we’re on the border of a long-distance area (is long-distance even a real thing anymore?).

This required us to call Telus and get numbers physically installed at our location before we could port them to the call tracking company. This was expensive, and takes several months (we’re just as upset about it as you are, we promise).

We only do this on local customers who require a local number. If you’re okay with using a toll-free or non-local number, then the process can be done in minutes using the above provider’s number buying service.


If you aren’t tracking your offline advertising, why not? Many people are just unfamiliar with tracking, but it’s a KEY concept when it comes to marketing your business.

You must track your ads, otherwise you’re just fire hosing money into the community. If you have expensive ads running, start implementing tracking this week so you can find out what’s working and what’s not.

Is Pinterest Right For Your Business?

Pinterest Is A Visual Network

People (mostly women) come to Pinterest for eye-candy. The most popular topics being:

  • food
  • home decor
  • beauty (new hairstyles)
  • fitness
  • fashion
  • weddings
  • children’s clothing
  • home cleaning tips
  • photography
  • celebrities
  • animals
  • parenting tips

With that in mind, you can probably tell if your business can benefit from Pinterest. If you don’t have a visual business, you’ll probably have a lot of trouble gaining traction here.

Pinning Photos That Gain Traffic

If your business does sound right for it though, then you’ll want to make sure you post creative, shareable photos. You’ll want to post images that are original, hopefully, pictures that someone in your business took (or your photographer).

This is an example of an image that would be good for Pinterest:


It’s great to have a professional photo, but it’s better to have one that’s interesting. This particular photo catches your attention because a power outlet in a drawer is such a convenient (and unconventional) idea. It works even though it wasn’t taken by a professional photographer.

If you can capture an idea like this, you’re sure to gain a ton of repins, which increases traffic to your site.

Bland corporate photos can still work if the content is substantial (ie. you’re showcasing a really beautiful kitchen), but professional creative shots gain more attention.

If your business remodels kitchens, you’ll want to showcase a more abnormal feature (such as the above image) that housewives will drool over, and then pin!

Because Pinterest is all about value, you’ll find that giving some special attention to your photos will bring huge rewards of traffic.

The question isn’t so much “Is Pinterest Right For Your Business?” as it is “Is your business right for Pinterest?” 

So which is it?

Gain Full Accountability With Call Tracking

More Accountability

We’ve talked in the past about tracking conversions on your website, but that doesn’t really cover tracking a customer who calls you from a phone. This is super important; it’s very possible that a majority of your customers will call instead of filling out a form. That’s a huge area of missing accountability. 

But if you have call tracking in place, then you have the full meal deal for accountability. You have:

  • conversion tracking (the online form component)
  • call tracking (the offline phone component)

But how do you track the calls?

How It Works

Using a piece of code on your website, you can swap the phone number displayed on your website with a fake tracking number. The customer then calls that number, which goes directly to your regular phone number.

At this point the customer is none the wiser, but you can now find whether your call came from:

  • Google organic search
  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • …and other sources

This is pretty fancy stuff, and it’s relatively cheap too. If you’re going to set it up yourself, you’ll want to find a provider that gives you toll-free numbers, keyword-level tracking, and call recording.

Call recording?

Record Calls

You automatically get data into how long each call was, and who it came from – this we know.  But you can also activate a feature to record the audio from calls.

We’ve all heard that little call whisper “Your call may be recorded for quality purposes”. What are they doing with all these calls?

 They’re doing exactly what you should be doing – listening in. Most call tracking software will give you the option to record the calls that come in, so you have an actual audio of every person that calls your business from your website.

As a business owner, this helps you in a few ways:

  • you can audit your processes to find out if your receptionist is doing her job well, and is friendly enough. Is her manner turning away customers?
  • you can measure exactly what customers are calling in for and buying. At that point you can see exactly how much money your advertising is making you.

Call recording isn’t for every business though. If you’re a medical practice for example, you might not be allowed to record your customer’s calls due to the confidentiality of your industry. 

For everyone else, there’s call recording.


  • with both conversion tracking and call tracking in place, you know exactly what results your website and online ads produce.
  • call tracking is dynamically inserted onto your website based on how the visitor found your website
  • you can record calls for more valuable data.
  • if you don’t want to record calls, then don’t.
  • you can even use call tracking on your offline ads to see if they’re producing results.

Adwords Conversion Optimization Series – Part 2: Hour Of Day

By looking at which times of the day your conversions receive the most ROI, you can eliminate the hours that don’t convert well.

  1. Start by going to the campaign that you want to improve. Don’t go into any ad groups though (you can check it ad group by ad group later).
  2. Click the “Dimensions” tab.
  3. Click “View > Time > Hour of Day”.
  4. At this point you should see all the hours listed from 0 (midnight) to 23 (11pm).

Just like part 1 of this series, you want to look at your conversions for each hour. Are there any hours that don’t convert (or convert poorly)?

Pay attention to your “cost per conversion” as well. If you have some hours that have a very high cost per conversion, you’ll want to pay attention to that and adjust accordingly (possibly removing that hour from your schedule).

Let’s take a look at an account and see which hours work well, and which haven’t. The identity of the advertiser has been hidden for their privacy.

<p”>Google Adwords Conversion Optimization

  • Although many of the early morning hours (1am, 3-5am) don’t have conversions, they also don’t spend very much. It’s simply a lack of traffic, so we don’t have to worry too much about limiting them.
  • Conversions at 3pm (1500 hours) cost quite a bit, around $342/conversion. It might be a good idea to remove ads at this time to help lower cost per conversion. The same goes for 1700 hours and 2100 hours, though they only have 1 conversion so it might be worth waiting for more data on all of these fronts.
  • 1800 hours (6pm) has VERY cheap conversions at only $68/conversion. This could be a lucrative time to increase the bid using an automated rule, and then decrease the bid afterwards. You might even increase your budget just for that hour of the day.

You can also pay attention to CTR if you’re wanting to increase your quality score (QS). By eliminating hours that have a very low CTR, you can increase your overall campaign CTR, which helps to optimize your campaign even further and get a better QS.

From there you’ll want to modify your ad schedule so that it excludes certain hours of the day. This will be on top of the “day of week” schedule that you did in part 1. If you’re not sure how to make an ad schedule, start with this Google support tutorial on custom ad scheduling.

<p”>This post is a shorty, so why don’t you spend the remaining 3 minutes you would have spent reading a longer article on analyzing your “time of day” data? In part 3 we’ll be covering the search terms dimensions report.

What Is Copywriting?

Simply put, copywriting is when you write words to sell something. In the business, we just refer to it as writing “copy” though.

When you read a billboard, the words on it are “copy”.

When you see an infomercial, the sales spiel before asking you for your credit card is “copy”. In fact, the whole infomercial is “copy”.

Any time you’re writing with the intention of those words turning someone into a customer, you’re copywriting.

Benefits Focused

You’re a salesman selling jackets. You tell the customer “this one is made out of Goretex”.

Pop quiz: is that:

  1. a feature? OR

  2. a benefit?

Think about it for a moment. Don’t read any further until you’ve reflected upon the question.

Do you know the difference between features and benefits?

The answer is: (a) – a feature. The jacket is made of Gore Tex, but that doesn’t really describe “what’s in it for me” to the customer – that’s what benefits describe!

If you were going to sell a Gore Tex jacket, you’d want to take the benefits of the jacket, not the features. So you might say that the Gore Tex jacket is:

  • waterproof (you won’t get wet in it!)

  • wind-resistant (so it acts like a windbreaker)

  • breathable ( you won’t sweat as much in it)

  • lightweight (you’ll feel like you’re wearing a feather)

Copywriting is benefits focused, NOT features focused. Features are nice for techies, but for the everyday consumer, they want to know how it will affect their life.

They don’t need to know that the jacket is made of Gore Tex, they need to know that it will make their sunday-evening hike easier because of how light it is.

AIDA – The Principles of Selling

Invented in 1898 by E. St. Elmo Lewis, the AIDA concept represents how to sell to someone, and any good copywriting follows the principle in some fashion or another.

It stands for:

A – Attention

I – Interest

D – Desire

A – Action

The last step of course is the one you really want – they buy from you (ACTION)!

The process starts by getting your ever-distracted customer’s attention. This doesn’t mean they care about your product yet, it just means that they noticed it. This often comes as a result of placing your ad in front of the right people (perhaps a full-page ad in Gore Tex magazine is the right place to sell those jackets!).

Attention is a result of advertising in some way. Occasionally an advertiser will use a very shocking ad to get people to notice (take this Old Spice ad for example). In most cases you need only design a headline or ad that really speaks to your ideal customer to get their attention.

Once you have their attention, you need to create interest in what you’re selling. This means that they want to know more, and it’s accomplished by positioning your product as the solution to your customer’s problem. If you can’t solve a real problem that a decent amount of people have, then you probably won’t be able to make many sales.

Before you can close the sale though, you need to turn that faint interest into a real emotion of desire: the act of leading your customer to think “I WANT THAT”.

Copywriting puts these fundamental concepts in place to lead your customer into buying something. It is benefits focused, clear, and it understands your target customer very well.

Take Nike’s slogan: Just Do It. This is the result of understanding their target market very well – athletes. They’re people who spend less time “thinking about doing”, but instead just “do”.

Not only is Nike able to relate their brand to athletes through this phrase, but it’s also conveniently subliminal (you know you want to buy our Nike shoes, Just Do It!).

Any time you have written sales material, it will benefit far more if a copywriter writes it (or at least reworks it).

The idea of copywriting can take place in a 5,000 word sales letter, or it can be as simple as the 3 word slogan “Just Do It”.

It’s a vast subject that encapsulates the idea of selling in words. When you read words that are meant to sell, you’re reading copy.

Some Truths About Your Businesses Website Design (Part 3)

Last week in our website design series we covered credibility that you gain through professional design, as well as the need for mobile friendliness. This week we’ll take a look at expanding the functionality of your site, and some final thoughts.

New Tools

Especially if you’re upgrading your old site to WordPress, you’re going to find a whole new ecosystem of valuable tools available to you upon a redesign.

Things like:

  • eCommerce

  • SEO

  • website security

  • site backup

  • photo galleries

  • analytics

  • social sharing

…are just a few examples of features that have never been easier to implement at any time in history using WordPress. That’s not to say that everything becomes easy, but it certainly is easier now than it was 10 years ago.

Let’s not forget that a website built on a user-friendly CMS (content management system) like WordPress allows even you, the business owner, to edit your website.

It’s no harder than using Microsoft Word once your site has been designed. We offer hands-on walkthroughs for all of our web design clients so they never have to be held hostage to a web designer again for changes to their site).

My main goal in writing this whole series was to answer the question “why bother with a new site? Is it even worth it?” In some cases no, it’s not worth it.

You might not need a new site if you’re already following modern conventions (user friendly professional design, mobile-optimized), so I certainly wouldn’t encourage you to redesign if you’re already well represented. If you’re missing out on those key conventions though, you might consider a new site.

To summarize, a professional site:

  • builds credibility for your business

  • makes someone feel comfortable with you, and trust you more

  • lowers bounce rates

  • should be mobile-optimized

  • can indirectly increase traffic, especially if you take advantage of new SEO tools to promote your content

  • makes you feel proud to promote your business online! Don’t underestimate how much of a difference a little pride can make

Your website is the hub of your entire online business presence. Everything you do online should send people back to your website, so make sure it’s worth investing in.

You don’t necessarily need a new website (as I’ve qualified above), but you do need a good one.

Some Truths About Your Businesses Website Design (Part 2)

Last week we spoke about bounce rates and traffic in the context of a good web design. Here’s part 2 of that series.


Nick Eubanks makes the point that “design has become a legitimacy signal” in this search engine watch article. And he’s right. Having a great design for your website gives one message:

“We’re serious about what we do; we’re professionals.”

This is probably the main benefit of having a professional design (unless your old site is difficult to use, in which case a new one would provide even more benefits). Positioning your business as professional also positions your business as trustworthy.

“How does that make sense?” says the reader. “Trust is about not having people take advantage of you, right?”

Not true. Trust is about more than that. There are perfectly honest people out there who can’t be trusted. Do you have any friends who are always late when you schedule a time to meet? Or even worse, a friend who often won’t show up? I’m sure they’re very well-intentioned people, but for some reason they can’t seem to manage their time – you can’t trust ‘em!

There are honest people that you can’t trust because they don’t have the ability within them to make good on their commitments.

There are multiple layers to trust, and having a stellar website helps to deliver one message – “You can trust that we are competent”. It doesn’t let them know if you’re honest, but at least they know you can do what you put your mind to.

By the way, if you need to prove that you’re honest, try testimonials.

Device Friendly

This fits in the with the bounce rate section, as well as the traffic section. It’s been shown that if your website isn’t mobile optimized, Google may penalize your search results. I quote:

“To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”

Mobile users who have to pinch and drag their screens unnecessarily (because your site isn’t mobile) are more likely to bounce from your website (decreasing the effectiveness of your website, and possibly even your search engine rankings).

All of this is to say that you should have a mobile optimized website. Whether this is a mobile version of your site, or just a responsive design, it doesn’t matter (hint: we prefer responsive websites because they’re easier to maintain).

Unless your site was built in the last few years, it’s unlikely that it’s mobile-optimized. This reason alone is enough to consider a new, professional design.

If your current website is great but not responsive, you can always make a mobile version of your pre-existing website – it’s cheaper. If your site could use an overhaul already, the downfalls of missing out on responsive design could be a good motivator for redesign.

Next week we’ll cover part 3/3 of our web design series. It covers some of the great tools easily available to you upon a redesign, and some final thoughts.

Some Truths About Your Businesses Website Design (Part 1)

Why bother having a stunning website design? I’m exhausted from hearing different shallow excuses from webmasters as to why you should redesign your website.

Don’t get me wrong here, a shiny new website can make a HUGE impact on your business if done right, but not the classic excuses I hear from most web salesmen. I’m going on a journey to look at things from a more objective point of view.

Some things are greatly impacted by a well designed website, and others are not. Let us look together at which is which, and which is not.

Lowering Bounce Rates

A “bounce” happens when someone arrives at your site, and leaves without visiting any other pages. When someone bounces from your site, it means they have little interest in seeing what else you have to say. Needless to say, a high bounce rate is not good (over 70% especially is bad).

A poorly designed website can give you a high bounce rate, while a well designed site (with easy navigation) can decrease it. This is because visitors bounce when they don’t have a clear direction to go next.

But simply having a new site won’t decrease your bounce rate. Giving your visitors that “place to go next” is an important part of decreasing your bounce rate. More importantly than that though, is making visitors want to visit the rest of your site because the content on your site is so interesting – now THAT is an important way to decrease your bounce rate. Actually, it’s much more important than having a good design.

If you had very compelling and interesting content (think of your favorite website), it wouldn’t matter that your navigation wasn’t fancy or clear because your visitors would be so interested that they would knock over brick walls to find more of your content.

Think about every time a new album comes out. There’s always some up-and-coming computer whiz who finds a way to get early access to the album. He breaks into email accounts belonging to recording engineers – whatever it takes. Because the content of the music is so valuable that people are willing to hack for it.

I’m not suggesting that you make your content impossible to find, but I want to demonstrate the effect that good content has on people. They really will try hard to find more if it’s good enough.

On the flip side of that equation you might have totally boring content, but your site is easy to navigate – who cares? Why do I want to navigate your snore of a site anyways?

What if you had a compelling site, AND it looked great and was easy to use? Now you’ve got a winner! The bottom line is that content is more important than a good site design, but design certainly can help and is worth looking at.

You really can’t polish a turd. Although you can try.

Increasing Traffic Numbers

Although you may indirectly influence your traffic numbers by lowering your bounce rate, I want to note that a new site won’t dramatically increase your traffic. I’m sure it’s happened some time in the past, but that would be an outlier (not the norm).

The purpose of a new site is never to increase traffic, but to delight existing traffic (and hopefully persuade them to choose you).

You may be able to increase your sales by making some smart design choices in your eCommerce store, which is really a huge deal, but you likely won’t increase your overall traffic numbers in a big way. Think of a new design as adding a +20% multiplier to your efforts online.

Look for part 2/3 of this series next week as we talk about credibility and mobile devices.

Are Email Newsletters Still Profitable?

Email seems like an “old” kind of technology. I think back to the days of endless Viagra ads flooding your inbox (thank goodness for the spam filters we have today). If you’re not using email marketing already in your business today, it might seem irrelevant to you.

But it’s not irrelevant at all.

Email marketing has shown to make up 18%+ of overall business revenues in 2014 according to the national client email report – that’s nothing to sneeze at!

Compared to social media, way more people are using email. While 94% of internet users send and read email, only 61% of internet users have a social media account.

Beyond that, over 56% of digital marketers in the US find email marketing to be their most profitable online marketing (while only 37% say social media).

That doesn’t mean that these other forms of marketing aren’t effective – the % number just represents the proportion of people who find it to be their most useful marketing strategy – it doesn’t devalue any single option so much as it helps to pinpoint the “bread-and-butter” marketing strategies.

It shows that loads of digital marketers are finding email marketing to be extremely profitable.

There Are More Reasons That Newsletters Are Valuable

When someone receives your newsletter, they’re far more likely to be engaged with you. Not only is receiving an email subconsciously similar to receiving snail mail (it’s seen as more personal than social media), but you can even put the subscriber’s first name in your email so it really feels like a just-for-you letter – most email clients offer this feature.

You can bet that type of personal contact translates into more sales for your company.

By keeping in constant contact with your audience through email, you’re able to make them very comfortable with your company’s presence. And with comfort and familiarity comes sales.

You Own Your List

Spending money to grow your Facebook list can not only be a wise investment – it can be downright profitable. You should take advantage of every profitable marketing medium (social media) that you can, but regardless of the profit there still exists one inevitable problem:

You don’t own that list.

It’s unlikely to happen, but Facebook could shut down your page at any time. It’s happened in the past, and it could still happen. In the event that it happens, there are ways to reverse the decision, but the message is clear: you are not in control.

With an email list you own that list of emails that you’ve created, and the list has real equity to it if it’s well-targeted.

This reason alone is good enough to justify investing into your email list. Add in the profit and personal connection attached to email marketing and you’re only left with one question…

…is email marketing right for my industry?

The bottom line: email marketing is still extremely profitable, and until email addresses cease being an important part of our lives, it will continue to be relevant to digital marketers.