Top 5 Digital Marketing Updates to Pay Attention To in 2017


1. SEOs (& All Companies) Need to Make Everything Mobile-Friendly. Right Now. 

mobile-website-tool-demandquestGoogle made a big announcement in November that they are starting to consider mobile rankings as more relevant than desktop rankings. Google says that the majority of their searches now come from mobile so they need to make sure their algorithm mirrors the trend. From Google’s recent blog post: “To make our results more useful, we’ve begun experiments to make our index mobile-first. Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.” This means that non-mobile friendly sites are going to start being penalized in search engine results. This also means that if your site is not mobile-friendly, it’s time to call your local Search Engine Optimizer because your number one priority in 2017 is to make your site speedy and mobile-friendly. You can check how mobile-friendly your site is here: and they will even send you a detailed report on how to fix any mobile compatibility issues you may have.


2. *Dense Content* Is Now Essential to Cut Through the Content Noise on Social Platforms

Holy overload of information, Batman! As we become more and more like the characters tied to their tech in the creepy yet mesmerizing Netflix series Black Mirror, we continue to post more (as do publishers and businesses) and in return, we have way more to filter through in our newsfeeds. Facebook changed its algorithm this summer to reduce the amount of publisher content that shows up in news feeds so we can see our “friends” stories more often and is currently taking aim at fake news on their streams. Even so, our attention spans keep getting shorter and we need to be bolder and more concise to stand out in an ever-growing ocean of white noise. In response, marketers should realize that dense content is necessary, making every line and every word count.

3. Live Video Streaming May Be a Way to Cut Through The Noise (Until It Isn’t) demandquest-mz-live

Do you want to know what’s happening IRL, right now? Facebook has been pushing their live technology for months with some success, including the first Presidential debate of the season, and since most people have faster Internet and crave in-the-moment content, more and more apps and platforms will also push “live streaming”. Facebook also just announced this week that Two-Person Broadcasting is also coming to Facebook Live. The updated version, which will go live later this summer starting with verified Pages, will now allow for two people in different locations to share a live broadcast. Live been on the upward tick for a couple of years and it will only continue to be utilized in 2017. Will you be live?

4. Mobile May Win in 2017 But Video Ads Will Be Close Behind

Not only do you need to consider going “live”, you should also up your video advertising game. As we get used to more and more live videos in our Facebook feed and Instagram Stories this year, video advertising is expected to amass $13.5 billion in revenue in 2017  – almost double its projected revenue from 2016. If you’re not ready to fully immerse yourself in video advertising, at least make an effort to learn how to use some of Facebook’s video features in the new year. It’s a tool that can help massively increase your social media reach and is well worth the investment. Google also just made Video campaign management easier with AdWords Scripts. They announced on Tuesday that they’re rolling out AdWords scripts support for TrueView and six-second bumper ad which means you’ll be able to programmatically create and manage video ad groups, targeting and other campaign features alongside your Search, Display and Shopping campaigns. The new script support is available for standard YouTube ad campaign types like TrueView in-stream, TrueView discovery and bumper ads – and they’re hoping to eventually expand functionality to additional campaign types like shopping. Check out The Latest YouTube Stats on When, Where, and What People Watch from Think with Google.

5. All Google Ads Will Soon Be Expanded Text Ads. 

This isn’t a prediction as much as it is a reality. We’ve been talking about Expanded Text ads for months and your deadline is officially approaching. As of January 31, 2017, AdWords will no longer support standard ads so you will not be able to edit or create standard ads but they will continue to exist alongside the new ads (until Google pulls them at some point in the future). Any ads created after that date must use the expanded ad format. You can read my post on how to easily update your current stand ads to expanded ads and how to optimize them in the new format:

6. Bonus Prediction: The Tech Bubble will Pop Again (We Predict 2018). dq1

Our founder Ted Kozlowski started his career in Silicon Valley and if you’ve ever wondered how insane the start-up industry is, check out this great new book, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble, by Dan Lyons, who’s a writer for HBO’s Silicon Valley and who is brutally honest about his time at Hubspot (marketing automation software startup) as a “beached white whale” in an overly upbeat, frat/cult-like work environment.

Update Your Google Ads to Expanded Text Ads the Easy Way

Expanded text ads are not just a good idea; they’re a must-do. As more and more visitors come in through mobile, optimizing for mobile is essential. You can read about the advantages of expanded text ads here (as well as the guidelines) and when you’re ready to roll out your extended ads, here’s a step-by-step guide to the easiest way to update them by editing your current text ads:

If you’re familiar with Editor, go to the text ads you want to edit, select all and Export as Expanded text ads. Your ads will download as a .csv but in the expanded text ad format. Edit your ads to fit the new guidelines and upload them with the “Make multiple changes” tab of the expanded text ad section of your campaign. Double check your ads to make sure they make sense and look good and you’re done!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to expanded text ads editing:

  1. Login to your Google AdWords Editor and select the account you want to work on.
  2. Click on “Get Recent Changes” (It’s a good idea to always start your editing in Editor with a quick refresh of your campaigns. Start demandquest-adwords-editor-expanded-adsevery Editor session with Get Recent Changes.)
  3. Navigate to the campaign you’d like to edit and select all of the current text ads that you’d like to replicate.
  4. Scroll up to “Export As” and select “Export as expanded text”. Editor will create a .csv file of your current text ads in the expanded text ad format.
  5. Edit your ads to fit the expanded text ad format
    • Headline: Going from one 25 character line to two 30 character headlines (FYI, Headline One is more important in generating clicks than Headline Two)
    • Description line: Going from two 35 character lines to one consolidated 80 character line, take advantage of the new space
    • Customizable URL paths – Your Display URL will be automatically updated from your final URL with options for you to pick relevant URL paths (we recommend taking advantage of the URL paths)
  6. When you’re finished editing your ads to the fit the expanded format, go back to Editor, and choose “Make Multiple Changes” to the Expanded Text Ads section of the campaign you’re working on.
  7. Copy your entire list from your .csv file (including the headers) and paste into Editor. This should automatically populate the corresponding fields of the ads.
  8. Finish your upload and check your new expanded text ads to ensure that they fit, make sense, and are compelling to a user.
  9. Pat yourself on the back for rocking AdWords Editor and changing multiple ads without the headache of copying and pasting each one!


If you have any trouble with this, please let me know. We’re also teaching Google AdWords soon in the Twin Cities and as always, offer Google AdWords Audits. Happy editing!



3 Big Changes to Google AdWords

There have been a lot of announcements coming from Google regarding AdWords this spring and summer but what’s really going on? Here’s a highlight of the new features that will affect your campaigns now.

1) Expanded Text Ads: Google’s new ads are now 47% bigger which means there’s more room for essential information and they’reext ads performing way better than standard text ads are. Google rolled these out to appeal to the mobile users but they’re performing well in both mobile and desktop searches. Here’s how the new character limits break down:

  • Headline: Going from one 25 character line to two 30 character headlines (FYI, Headline One is more important in generating clicks than Headline Two)
  • Description line: Going from two 35 character lines to one consolidated 80 character line, take advantage of the new space
  • Customizable URL paths – Your Display URL will be automatically updated from your final URL with options for you to pick relevant URL paths

According to Google’s blog: “The shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon. It’s here. Every year, there are trillions of searches on Google and over half of those searches happen on mobile. And across the millions of websites using Google Analytics today, we’re seeing more than half of all web traffic now coming from smartphones and tablets.” This is the main basis behind the first change to the ad text structure in 15+ years and you’d better jump on getting your ads updated. As I mentioned earlier, they’re performing way better and starting October 26th, 2016, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve (we don’t know how for sure how long they will be served) and new text ads generated after that date must use the expanded text ad format.

2) What else is new? Price Extensions for Mobile.

Google has a plethora of extensions for search ads and they greatly help to convert visitors as they offer the most relevant information a
ga2user is looking for. We have always been a fan of location, sitelinks, reviews, and others and now mobile advertisers have the options to feature price extensions. The new options for price extensions are flexible and easily adjustable. Google says the new price extensions are:

Easily updated. Change your item names and description whenever you want, keeping them up-to-date for sales and special offers. And good news—you can edit your price extensions without resetting their performance statistics.
Flexible and customizable. You can add price extensions to an account, campaign, or ad group, depending on which ads you want them to show with. You can also specify the dates, days of the week, or times of day your price extensions are eligible to show.

Be sure that your extensions line up with your landing pages so when your mobile visitor clicks on the “Women’s haircut – shampoo and style – From $70” takes the visitor to the corresponding landing page. Since they already made the choice from the extension, leading them anywhere else would create a frustrating user experience.

Learn more about all the AdWords extension options.

3) Google Maps to Feature Local Search Ads & Promoted Pins adwords promoted pins 2

Google Maps is wildly popular and Google AdWords users are currently able to use location extensions to promote their businesses on
the desktop and mobile version of Google Maps. Users searching on the desktop version of Google Maps will see Google Maps ads in the Local Finder above all other map results, this time with purple ad labels. The map also will note these locations with purple pins. These “promoted pins” will make it easier for advertisers to advertise in-store promotions and users can check out what is available at their local store. These map ads may also feature a Call button, Directions button, store hours, and customer reviews.

Google Maps has over a billion users and it accounts for nearly a third of Google’s mobile traffic. To get your ads on Google Maps, login to your AdWords account, pick the campaign you want, click down to Location Extensions and look for Google My Business under your Account extension.When your Google My Business account is synced with AdWords, any text ad in your account is eligible to show your local business information. You can also set up filters to assign addresses to particular campaigns or ad groups. This syncing process gets tricky when you have different accounts for AdWords & Google My Business or if someone else manages one of your accounts, etc. For more information about how to sync your accounts and set up your Ads on Google Maps, check out this step-by-step instruction for Local Search Ads on Google Maps.

If you’re in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area and want more information about Google AdWords, we have classes coming up soon which you can check out here: We also offer custom AdWords audits and training nationally and would be glad to help you get your AdWords campaigns performing better than ever.

All photos used from Google.

Are CPCs Are Going To Skyrocket? Google’s right-side Adpocalypse

We posted a few weeks ago announcing Google’s decision to stop showing ads on the right column of their search results page and we adswanted to update you on how this has been affecting campaign performance. For virtually all of our accounts, we bid to be in the top 3 (and now 4) positions in search results (with a few exceptions where we would bid for lower ranking on the right-hand side as it had worked for some of smaller advertisers). Over the past month, we’ve seen that our click-through-rates have increased and our cost per clicks have decreased even as we maintain our ad rank positions. We’ve also a positive bump in our quality scores so overall I think the ad placement change has been a positive one as it’s eliminated a lot of less relevant and less skilled advertisers from competing in searches with my clients. It may be too good to last but we’ll keep you up to date on the changes we see. Overall we’ve seen mostly positive changes and hope you have too.

If you’re not seeing an increase in CTR and decrease in cost per click, let me know and I can set up a free AdWords audit for you. You can send me an email and I can address your questions and set up a time to look over your campaigns.

We found a great article on Search Engine Land about the “Adpocalypse” that took an in-depth look at how other campaigns are being affected by Google’s recent changes. Here are some of the highlights: After looking at Merkle RKG data through the weekend, Andy Taylor says, “Overall, we haven’t really seen much impact to non-brand text ad click or impression volume yet. CPC has also remained roughly steady, but we’re still very interested to see how first page and top of page bid minimums shift.”

Click-through rates (CTRs) are up – Especially for ad positions 3 and 4.

Costs per click (CPCs) are static – We’ve found that our CPCs have actually gone down in cost.

Traffic is steady – No real surprise here, Google wouldn’t have changed their search engine results pages if they thought they would lose visitors or ad money.

Impressions are down – Again, no real surprise since there aren’t as many ads for people to look at on the search results page. We’ve also noticed that a lot of our competitors’ ads aren’t showing up as well when we search for our own ads which may mean campaign managers may have to make some adjustments to increase ad quality score.

Here’s the overall analysis from Search Engine Land:

  • Most advertisers are responding well to the change.
  • Advertisers’ metrics seem to have mostly balanced out so far.
  • Traffic and CPCs have remained relatively flat.
  • The losers are those who were at the bottom (positions 8–11). But even then, it’s nearly impossible to find examples of advertisers that have been totally and utterly annihilated.
  • Finally, it’s important to remember that this change is exclusive to desktop. Regardless of how you spin the numbers, it’s clear that desktop is becoming less of a focal point for Google.

Let me know if you have any questions about the new Google result’s page ad positioning and if you’d like a free AdWords audit. We’re also starting up our Google AdWords classes soon and would love for you to join us. You can register here

More Changes & Updates to Google AdWords

​Last week was a big one for Google AdWords news. Not only did they eliminate ads on the right-hand column of search results (you can read more about that here), they also introduced Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMPs with the purpose of creating a “better, faster mobile internet.”​ And our favorite feature last week was when they added a video campaign editing feature to the AdWords Editor which works great and has saved us a ton of time when editing & optimizing videos campaigns. You can check out a quick how-to video here: We’re also still really excited about the AdWords drafts and test features and have found some great insights while doing easy A/B testing. As always, if you have any specific questions about how these changes will affect your campaigns, please feel free to drop me a line or give me a call. I’d be glad to help you answer them. 

Here are some other great articles we found:

Fixing 404 Error Pages with Google Analytics – from Search Engine Watch:

Google’s AMP Project Gets Google Analytics Support – from MarketingLand:

Why your Facebook Ad Measurement is Messed Up – from Search Engine Watch:

DemandQuest Digital Marketing Classes Minneapolis – Spring 2016, 

As always, feel free to drop me an email (ted at and let me know if you have any questions about the new Google AdWords features.

Google to remove all ads on right side of page – effective immediately

Google decided last weekend to stop showing ads on the right column of their search results page effective immediately (Feb 24, 2016)​ and globally. According to Google “We’ve been testing this layout for a long time, so some people might see it on a very small number of commercial queries. We’ll continue to make tweaks, but this is designed for highly commercial queries where the layout is able to provide more relevant results for people searching and better performance for advertisers.​” You will still see product listings ads and the Knowledge Panel on the right column.

There’s speculation that this change is revenue driven on Google’s part; if there are less ads above the fold (there are up to 4 ads before organic results) there is more pressure to make sure your ads are in one of those top 4 spots. This will affect all advertisers  but especially those who consistently aim for the top ad rank position. There is also a more organic visual flow to having all the ads line up with organic results that is especially relevant for searches on mobile and tablets.

What does this mean for the average advertiser? Bottom line; it’s time to optimize your campaigns and add a Google Shopping campaign (Product Listings Ads) if you haven’t already. It will be really interesting to watch how Google Shopping campaigns fluctuate over the next few months while advertisers figure out what this move means to their current campaigns. PLAs already make up 42% of Google’s paid advertising and we believe these will be more relevant and important for cost effective conversions.

Analyzing and monitoring your campaigns right now is also crucial. Look into bid adjustments for certain times of the day, get rid of expensive keywords that aren’t converting and optimize your ads for a better quality score. Keep an eye on your ad placements and see if your costs are going up if you’re in the top 4 paid positions.

It’s also time to work on optimizing your Google Business pages and boosting your online reviews. With the increase relevance of the Knowledge Panel on the right hand column it’s a great idea to focus some energy on your free Google My Business listings as well. You can find more information about your listings here:

Here are some more articles about how this will impact your campaigns:


Search Engine Watch:

Ads will no longer be served on the right hand column.      


 Heat map example of where people look at search results.



Four paid ads above the organic results and Google knowledge panel on the right column.

Google Ads layout

 Google Shopping Ads (PLAs), one paid ads and just blank space on the right column. 

toro lawn mower   Google Search


Want to learn more about how these changes will affect your campaigns and how to optimize effectively? Join us for Google AdWords classes in Minneapolis starting March 29th. Click here for more information:

Interested in an AdWords audit and consultation? Learn more about our AdWords consulting services here: or call us at 612-460-8770.