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78 [Not Overused] Holiday & Christmas Instagram Captions—with Templates!

78 [Not Overused] Holiday & Christmas Instagram Captions—with Templates!

How to make your holiday Instagram posts disappear:1. Choose image.2. Insert overused caption (I’m looking at you, “sleigh all day” and “tis the season”).3. Hit publish.

Poof! Your followers won’t even know you posted. 

The Instagram algorithm favors posts that get engagement, and the key to engagement is not just an awesome visual, but also an authentic and interesting caption. So if you want to make your posts shine, read on to find over 78 funny, inspiring, and interesting Instagram captions for:

Christmas
Hanukkah
Kwanzaa
Holiday season
But first, let’s start out with some tips and tricks to come up with captions that stick.

Holiday Instagram caption ideas

Here are some general ideas for coming up with Instagram captions to spruce up your December social media campaigns.

Use a lyric or quote, or put your own twist on it.Who cares if you’ve been bad or good when you have this precious face? [Photographer post] 
Do an online search for funny and creative holiday greeting cards.Whoever said “all is calm” has never been to our [house, office, gym, studio, etc]  around the holidays…

Try alliteration, with a twistChestnuts. Chimneys. Chocolate. Cheer. Chair pose. [Chihuahuas, CHEATERS!, etc. depending on the photo].
Try rhymingYou better not pout, but it’s okay to cry…when you run out of your [your product] supply.
Ask questionsWould you rather have your Spotify stuck on Dreidel, Drediel, Dredel, or Jingle Bells?
Put a holiday twist on something un-holidayStraight. Outta. The North Pole.If at first you don’t succeed…turn to the pros! [picture of your bakery’s Christmas cakes].
Search holiday hashtags and see what Instagram suggests. Or look at top posts for a particular hashtag and use it as your inspo!like start typing #funnyholiday… or “#inspiringhanukkah” 
Get personalWhile this is a very happy holiday season for me, it hasn’t always been that way. To those of you struggling this season, know that there are better years to come!
Share a memoryWhen I was a kid I used to [something funny]. What about you?
Give practical tips or helpful adviceKeep Sparky safe this year! Chocolate, macademia nuts, and salty snack foods can be harmful to your pooch.
Share a stat or factDid you know there are 16 ways to spell Hanukkah?
Side note: Why not go for great Instagram captions year-round? Check out these 80+ Instagram caption ideas and examples for any business.

Christmas Instagram caption templates

Sometimes, all you need for original holiday copywriting is a little prompt or the ol’ fill in the blank.

This holiday season, let us treasure what is truly important in all our lives, the reason for the season: [monkey bread/something funny]
Christmas comes but once a year, but when it comes we [get into gear/tremble with fear/persevere].
The best way to spread Christmas cheer is [an Instagram giveaway! / something funny/inspiring happening in your photo]
We wish you a Merry Christmas and [lots of good beer! / a merrier 
[Describe scene]….yup, that’s about right.
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but [these/my/our ___] are so delightful
Oh the weather outside is frightful, but you know what’s really scary?
And since we’ve no place to go [describe what’s happening in the photo/give recommendations]
All I want for Christmas is you(r amazing cookie recipe)
Christmas list when you were a kid: a piggy bank! a sleeping bag! a trampoline!Christmas list now: a mortgage loan. a good mattress. a nap maybe?
“[Insert something relatable],” said no one ever.
Silent night? More like [describe the opposite going on in your picture].
My ideal 12 days of Christmas: [off you go].

Image source

Your Instagram marketing strategy just got a whole lot more fun now, didn’t it?

Funny Christmas Instagram captions

Now I’ll admit, some of this may be slightly used. They’re on the fence but they’re good enough to keep using in your fun and festive holiday marketing.

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer, and receipts for all major purchases closest.
Apparently, being good for goodness’ sake was not enough motivation.
That warm feeling isn’t the Christmas spirit. I think you left the oven on.
It’s beginning to *cost* a lot like Christmas…
You had me at hoho.
I’ve decided to give everyone my opinion instead of presents this year.
Ho ho ho? Oh no no no.
Christmas has me feeling extra Santamental.
December 25th: the only day I become a morning person.
Gonna go lay under the Christmas tree to remind my family that I’m a gift.
“There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus.” – Bob Phillips
I wonder what would happen if I only jingled half of the way?
The only time of year in which one can sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of socks.

Inspirational Christmas Instagram captions

When in doubt, use a famous quote, a book or movie quote, or a lyric!

“Nothing ever seems too bad, too hard, or too sad when you’ve got a Christmas tree in the living room.” – Nora Roberts
“Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most.” Ruth Carter Stapleton
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” – The Polar Express
“Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand.” – Dr. Seuss
“Christmas is forever, not for just one day. For loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away.” Norman Wesley Brooks
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” – Dr. Suess

Hanukkah Instagram captions

Here’s a mix of funny, warm, and inspirational Hanukkah captions and ideas.

May your Hanukkah become brighter, lovelier, and happier each time you light your menorah.
Nes gadol haya sham (A great miracle happened there).
Keep your light shining bright year-round.
Eight nights, eight lights—an eternity of happiness.
“Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.” –Anne Frank
“There are two ways of spreading light: To be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”—Edith Wharton
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.”—James Keller
This Hanukkah, I wish for the light of faith, the warmth of home, and the love of family.
“Warmth of joy, the glow of prosperity, the sparkle of happiness”
Eight nights, eight lights—way too many [word rhyming with lights].
Dizzy as a dreidel over here.
I can‘t speak for your Hanukkah, but mine is LIT!
My secret to a happy, stress-free Christmas? I’m Jewish!
It would be a Hanukkah miracle if we could all come to a consensus on how to spell “Hanukkah.”
Let it glow.
Deck the halls with matzo balls.
Light, laughter, and lots of latkes.
“A little bit of light dispels a lot of darkness.” -Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi

Kwanzaa Instagram captions

Kwanzaa occurs every year from December 26 to January 1. It’s a celebration of African heritage focused on family, community, and social values. It has a slightly different tone from Christmas and Hanukkah, so these caption ideas are aligned with the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, self-determination, cooperative economics, collective work and responsibility, creativity, purpose, faith.

May the light of Kwanzaa bring a lot of happiness to your life. Happy Kwanzaa!
May the light of your kinara fill your home with peace and light your new year with love.
​​There’s the holiday spirit Kwanzaa is a holiday of the spirit
Unity. Self-determination. Cooperative economics. Collective work and responsibility. Creativity. Purpose. Faith
Umoja. Kujichagulia. Ujima. Ujamaa. Nia. Kuumba. Imani.
A family is like a forest when you are outside it is dense, when you are inside you see that each tree has its place.
“We will never know ourselves if we do not know our history.” -Maulana Karenga
Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.
Many hands make light work.
Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.
If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there’s no end to the number of things you can accomplish.
Faith is like radar that sees through the fog.

More holiday Instagram captions & templates

Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit like…
Sending love and holiday wishes from our bubble to yours.
May all that is meaningful be yours this holiday season and throughout the coming year.
Hope this holiday season brings you many great memories and reasons to smile.
This year we’re giving a whole new meaning to [tradition/cliche/song lyric].
The modern day version of [something out of a historic or 50’s holiday tradition or song].
Try out these creative holiday & Christmas Instagram captions

Use these holiday Instagram caption ideas, examples, and templates to be a refreshing change in your followers’ feeds this year!

Want more?

The 9 Best Free Google Ads Training Courses for Every Level

The 9 Best Free Google Ads Training Courses for Every Level

Things that are easy to learn: -How to do the moonwalk.-How to win friends and influence people.-How to ride a bike.

Sure, there are techniques, but a bike is a bike. People are people. And the moonwalk doesn’t evolve every month or have machines learning alongside you…

…like, say, Google Ads.

The Google Ads platform (and consumer behavior) is never in a resting state, so beginners and experts alike need training from resources that are recent, relevant, and reliable. Which is why I’m sharing with you the nine best Google ads training and courses available now. For each resource, I provide:

Course format, length, and topics.
Learning level and goals it is best suited for.
Something that makes it different from the rest on this list.
The best Google Ads courses for all levels

It’s hard to find a resource that is useful for advertisers at any level of experience, but these two fit the bill. You will often find this with written courses since they are easier to update than videos.

1. WordStream’s PPC University Google Ads course

Type: written content with visuals and screenshots
Good for: all levels of advertisers
Length: varies
Highlight: benchmark data, influencer-written content
I mean, what award-winning resource doesn’t include itself in a resource roundup? WordStream has been a go-to source for online marketing advice for over 12 years and is the home of the Free Google Ads Performance Grader—an account audit and optimization tool that gets run 10,000 times a month!

PPC University is a series of 5-10-minute articles designed to answer both the questions you have and the ones you didn’t even know to ask. The course is divided into three sections:

PPC 101: how Google Ads works, account set up and structure, key metrics, anatomy of an ad.
PPC102: keywords, match types, ad copy, extensions, bidding, ad scheduling, budgeting, and auditing.
Advanced PPC: remarketing, mobile-optimization, lead qualification, dynamic formats.
The articles are written by top PPC influencers and experts, so you won’t just get what you need to advertise on Google, but rather, to stay competitive, save time, and save money in Google Ads. Plus, our benchmark data is an annual favorite.

2. Google’s Performance Max guide and tutorial 

Type: written, interactive content with visuals and screenshots
Good for: any level, especially those using Local and Smart Shopping campaigns
Length: 15 minutes
Highlight: always-updated information, key takeaways, quizzes
If this feels arbitrary, hear me out. Performance Max campaigns have only just become widely available as of November 2021, so there isn’t a whole lot out there on it. And yet, given the ongoing shift to automation—and the fact that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will fold into this campaign type in 2022—learning the ropes is important for any level advertiser.

Google’s Performance Max campaign tutorial shows how to use this automated campaign type to advertise across all of Google’s channels with just one campaign. All you need is a free Skillshop account to get access. Through its interactive content, you’ll learn

How Performance Max campaigns work
How to set them up
Best practices
Tips for post-launch
And I never thought I’d link to a help article in a course roundup, but here we are. Google’s Performance Max Best practices guide is also super solid. This 10-minute guide walks you through setting up your campaign, with tips throughout every step and a video tutorial. Between these two resources, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing your performance with Performance Max.

The Best Google Ads training for beginners

The following two training courses are good for dipping your toes into the Google Ads waters. Between the two of them, you’ll get the key information needed to help you understand the basics of not just creating an account but also forming a strategy.

3. LOCALiQ’s Local PPC Lab

Type: written content with visuals and screenshots
Good for: beginners and local businesses considering Google Ads
Length: 25 minutes
Highlight: Google Local Service Ads, holistic strategy tips
If you’re completely new to Google Ads, there are some key concepts you’ll want to grasp before you even start touring the platform—like how Google Ads should fit into your overall marketing plan, how to build a strategy and measure success, and best practices to avoid common mistakes. Local PPC Lab is perfect for this, managing to turn the complexities of Google Ads into a simple (and very visually appealing!) course.

And make no mistake—while it is locally-focused, this course is the perfect fit for beginners and marketers of any business size. You’ll learn:

How Google Ads works and how to form a PPC strategy.
Keywords, match types, budgeting, landing pages, and ad copy.
Google Local Services Ads
Whether and how to choose a PPC partner 
4. Santrel Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with talking face
Good for: beginners with some familiarity with the platform
Length: 34 minutes
Highlight: Split testing, and see my three points below
Santrel Media’s Complete Google Ads Tutorial comes from co-founder Nate O’Brien. It’s the perfect way to tour the Google Ads platform once you have the prerequisite knowledge from Local PPC Lab. Yes, the course is helpful, but I also emphatically chose it for three reasons:

He doesn’t spend the first 10 minutes telling you how to earn three figures with online advertising.
He’s not so intense that you find yourself either holding your breath or sweating.
He says right off the bat that he used tutorials like this when he was first starting out.

Anyway, in this half-hour training, Nate will walk you through setting up your first ad and get you familiar with the basics of:

Campaign types
Conversion rates
Keyword research
Split testing
The course was created on September 8, 2021, so it’s recent (as of writing this post), and Santrel’s YouTube channel has 326K subscribers, so this is 34 minutes well spent. 

The best beginner to intermediate Google Ads courses

These trainings cover intermediate Google Ads strategies and concepts that don’t require intermediate experience.

5. Simplilearn’s Google Ads full course

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with voiceover
Good for: beginners and intermediates ready for Google Analytics galore
Length: 4h 40m
Highlight: Display advertising and Google Analytics
Simplilearn’s full Google Ads Course is five hours, but there’s a table of contents with timestamps so you can skip to the sections you want. Plus yo

In addition to walking through the steps to account and campaign setup, the course educates you on key Google Ads concepts to give you a firm footing. There’s also a heavy focus on Google Analytics and Tag Manager—which are essential for running successful campaigns. The training covers:

What Google Ads is and how to create an account.
Google Display vs Search Network and how Display campaigns work.
How Google Analytics and Tag Manger work and how to set up goals and event tracking.
6. Metics Media Google Ads step-by-step tutorial

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with talking face
Good for: beginners looking for a step-by-step training
Length: 1 hour
Highlight: uses a real account, covers keyword match types
The Metics Media Google Ads course was created by Simon Gorges, a full-time airline pilot (!) who has a YouTube channel with over 76,000 subscribers. 

In this training, Simon walks you through running your first campaign, using an actual account so you can see settings that were chosen for particular goals. This is a great way to learn the basics but with context. Here’s the docket:

How Google Ads work
Account and campaign setup
Account structure
Bidding
Ad extensions
Ad groups
Keyword match types, negative keywords, Keyword Planner
There’s also a short segment at the end on optimization. Note that this course was created at the start of 2021, before our beloved modified broad match was dissolved into phrase match.

P.S: Look out for our Google Ads auction visual in his tutorial!

The best intermediate Google Ads training

If the beginner courses feel too slow for you but you’re not looking to get cocky, this Google Ads training is the right fit. It is called a beginner course, but it covers some advanced topics in a beginner-friendly way.

7. Jason Whaling’s all-in-one Google Ads course

Type: YouTube video—screenshare and talking face
Good for: service-based businesses on a budget
Length: 1h
Highlight: keyword intent, remarketing, ad messaging
Jason Whaling’s Google Ads training course is designed to take you from beginner to advanced in one hour. He educates you on the conceptual level while at the same time moving through tactical steps. You’ll learn how to run a successful campaign for just $5 a day, as well as how to incorporate keyword intent into your targeting strategy.

The agenda is as follows:

Google Ads networks and search partners
How to structure your account
How to set up your campaign
Keyword intent and targeting
Offers and messaging
Experimentation and bid optimization
Google Tag Manager
Remarketing campaigns
If you’re an eager beaver who also happens to be fascinated by Google Ads, you’ll be right at home here.

The best intermediate to advanced Google Ads training

If you DO want to get into the weeds of Google Ads but DO NOT want to get overwhelmed, these last two Google Ads courses are your destination.

8. Paid Media Pros’ conversion tracking tutorial

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare and talking face
Good for: intermediates with a conversion-optimized website
Length: 13 minutes
Highlight: the headache of conversion tracking made simple
Paid Media Pros is a YouTube-based learning hub run by PPC influencers (and WordStream PPCU authors!) Joe Martinez and Michelle Morgan. These two are the quintessential approachable experts, with authoritative but friendly advice and easy explanations.

The training shows you how to track conversions without having to import them from Google Analytics, by using the Google Ads Conversion Tracking Tag. You’ll learn three ways to set it up, with a particular focus on the Google Tag Manager (easiest) method. Here’s what to expect:

Conversions Manager overview
Website-based conversions
Conversion action categories
Manual Conversion Tracking Tag installation
Google Tag Manager
Tracking status column options
And keep an eye out for their bloopers video, it’s a treat.

9. Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bid strategies walk-through

Type: YouTube tutorial—screenshare with voiceover
Good for: advertisers looking to optimize budget
Length: 20 minutes
Highlight: bidding strategies!
Surfside PPC is a PPC-specific training company that teaches marketers and business owners how to promote their business online.  In Surfside PPC’s Google Ads bidding strategies tutorial, you’ll get a much-needed no-nonsense training on Google Ads bidding strategies, including:

All of the bidding strategies for Search, Display, and Video
Automatic vs manual
Which bidding strategies to use for which goals
Portfolio bidding strategies
How to set and change your bid strategy

Choosing the right bidding strategy can be a headache, but losing money by choosing the wrong strategy is an even bigger one. So take 20 minutes and set yourself up for ongoing performance.

Learn from the best with these Google Ads training courses [wrap up]

Whether you’re looking for a Google Ads crash course to get the quick and dirty, Google Ads tutorials to get the step-by-step setup, or advanced strategies to save time and money, there’s something in here for everyone. Let’s finish off with the complete list.

WordStream’s PPC University
Google Ads’ Performance Max campaign training
LOCALiQ’s Local PPC Lab
Santrel Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial
Simplilearn’s Google Ads full course
Metics Media’s Google Ads step-by-step tutorial
Jason Whaling’s Google Ads course
Paid Media Pros’ conversion tracking tutorial
Surfside PPC’s bidding strategies walk-through
Got any good recommendations for the list? Let me know in the comments!

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

You know the opening scene in the Lion King where Rafiki, in firm warrior I pose, presents Simba to the kingdom?The best time to post on Instagram is sort of like that. Except every marketing blog thinks it’s Rafiki. And Simba [aka the data] is like “I’m not so sure about this…”

So when is the best time to post on Instagram? There are approximately 39587 answers to this across the web. So who is right, who is wrong, and who just copied and pasted someone else’s data? Read on to find out:

The best time to post on Instagram, according to seven different sources.
Breakdowns by day, week, industry, time zone, and post type.
Tips and considerations when identifying your best time.
Is there a best time to post on Instagram?

Asking when the best time is to post on Instagram is like asking how much Google Ads cost. There are too many factors to give a definitive answer and it’s a moving target. It all depends on:

Day of the week (and even month of the year and trends of the year).
Lifestyle and preferences of your followers.
The goal of your post.
The type of post (regular post, Story, Reel, IGTV, Live).
The thousands of signals used by the Insta algo.
So the answer is yes, but that it’s different for every account. Even still, benchmark data can give you a solid starting point, and after slogging through the jungle of posts out there on this question, I came out with two core sources with up-to-date data: Later and Sprout Social. And make no mistake—each of these resources emphasizes the importance of identifying your own best time (we’ll get to that later).

Of course, this chart is the gazillion foot view, because we’ve got best times to post by day of the week, region of the US, vertical, and more. So put your helmet on to contain the blast that is your brain exploding.

The best time to post on Instagram, according to…

This post includes conclusions drawn by Later, Sprout Social, ExpertVoice, Hootsuite, Planoly, Statusbrew, and Influencer Marketing Hub. I was surprised to find that Hootsuite, Buffer, and Coschedule did not have benchmark data on this.

Later

Later’s report from August 2021 is based on a study of 35M posts, excluding Reels and IGTV.

Best time of day: 3am-6am
Best day: Sunday
Best day and time: Sunday 6am
Worst day: Weds and Thurs
When I first saw these times, I thought it was a mistake. They’re super early! What’s the deal?

Image source

Later says that for most businesses their Instagram marketing strategy is to post when their audiences are most active (9am-1pm), but this is when competition is highest. So if you post prior to that, you are likely to get more engagement, which will lead the algorithm to favor your post and give you a headstart in ranking. In addition, you make it more likely that you’ll show up in your followers’ Feeds on their first scroll of the day.

Here is Later’s day-by-day breakdown:  

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
5:00 AM
1am, 3-6am, 7pm
Tuesday
6:00 AM
3am, 5-6am, 10pm
Wednesday
6:00 AM
3-6am
Thursday
5:00 AM
2am, 4-6am
Friday
6:00 AM
2-6am
Saturday
6:00 AM
1am, 3am, 6am, 11pm
Sunday
6:00 AM
2am, 6-7am, 10pm
SproutSocial

Sprout Social’s best times to post on Instagram come from a study on over 20,000 of its users’ accounts. Its findings are opposite Later’s, as it takes the traditional approach of posting while engagement is high.

Best time of day: 11am-12pm
Best day: Tuesday
Best day & time: Tues 11am-2pm
Worst day: Sunday

Image source

It’s interesting to see that engagement in the evening starts to trail off earlier and earlier as we go from Monday to Sunday and that engagement starts earliest on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Here’s Sprout Social’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-3pm
Tuesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 3-4pm
Wednesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-4pm
Thursday
11am
10am; 12-3pm
Friday
11am – 12pm
9-11am; 1-2pm
Saturday
10am – 1pm
8-10am; 1-4pm
Sunday
9am – 4pm
8am; 4 – 6pm
 
 
 
ExpertVoice

ExpertVoice provides slightly different times but are more closely aligned with Later’s data. It doesn’t cite a source, other than an image sourced from “Latergramme,” which became Later back in 2016, so I’m not sure how accurate this information is. 

Best time of day: 9am-5pm
Best day: Wednesday
Best day & time: Weds 5am, 11am, 3pm
Worst day: Monday
Day
Best time to post on Instagram
Monday
11am – 5pm
Tuesday
5am; 9am; 6pm
Wednesday
5am; 11am; 3pm
Thursday
5am; 11am; 3-4pm
Friday
5am; 9am; 4pm
Saturday
11am
Sunday
10am – 2pm
Hootsuite

Hootsuite doesn’t have any recent information based on data studies, but it says that overall, the best time to post on Instagram is 11am on Wednesday. It takes the same approach as Sprout Social—to post when engagement is highest. It also shares the times that work best for its own Instagram audience: 8am-12pm and 4pm-5pm—which translates to wake up and lunchtime on the west coast, and the start of and end of the workday on the east coast. 

Best time to post on Instagram by vertical

Sprout Social also shares the best times to post on Instagram for eight different verticals:

Vertical
Best time
Second best time
Best day
Worst day
Healthcare
Sunday8-9am
Tuesday8am-12pm5-8pm 
Mon & Tues
Saturday
Media
Tuesday1-5pm
Wednesday 11amThurs 8-9am
Tues, Weds, Thurs 
Sun
Education
Friday4-5am
Thursday 2pm
Friday
Sunday
Nonprofit
Wednesday10am-6pm
 
Weds
Sunday
Restaurants
Monday9am-1pm
 
Monday
Saturday
Tech
Monday10-11am2-5pm; 8pm
Tues 10am-1pmThursday 12pmFriday 11am
Monday
Sunday
Travel & toursm
Thursday7am
Monday 11am-3pm
Thursday
Sat, Sun
Hospitality
Weds12pm
Thurs 3-4pm;Friday 8am-12pm
Friday
 
The variation among industries in this chart alone, and its differences with respect to the overall data shows you that the best time to post on Instagram for your specific business really is something you have to find out for yourself.

Best time to post on Instagram by time zone

Using data from its app users, including likes, comments, saves, and followers, Planoly came up with ideal times to post to Instagram based on time zone. The implication here is that lifestyles vary geographically. I believe it! Doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the answer to this question even more complicated…

Image source 

Planoly’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
PST
MST/CST
EST
Monday
8pm
4pm; 7pm
8am; 2pm
Tuesday
6pm
9am; 6pm

11am

Wednesday

9pm

4pm
3pm; 9pm
Thursday
6-7am
10am
4pm; 11pm
Friday
8am; 3pm
6am
1pm; 5pm
Saturday
4pm
3am; 6am
12pm
Sunday
5am
4pm; 5pm
12pm; 2pm
The best time to post to IGTV & Live

Statusbrew had numbers on the best time to post to Instagram, but it just repurposed SproutSocial’s data and at times inaccurately. It does, however, share best times to post to IGTV and Instagram Live—for what it’s worth.

Day
Best time to post to IGTV
Monday
8pm – 10pm
Tuesday
8pm – 10pm
Wednesday
8pm
Thursday
8pm – 10pm
Friday

4am; 12pm; 2pm

Saturday
10am; 6pm; 7pm
Sunday
6am; 7am; 3pm
 
 
The best time to run an Instagram Live is Monday-Friday, 12pm or 7-9pm. Check out our tips on how to run an incredible Instagram Live session.

The best time to post on Instagram Reels

Influencer Marketing Hub provides the best time to post Reels based on a study of over 100,000 global Instagram post and engagement rates.

Image source

Here’s Influencer Marketing Hub’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time to Post to Reels
Monday
6:00am, 10:00am, 10:00pm
Tuesday
2:00am, 4:00am, 9:00am
Wednesday
7:00am, 8:00am, 11:00pm
Thursday
9:00am, 12:00pm, 7:00pm
Friday

4:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm

Saturday
10:00am, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday
6:00am, 7:00am, 3:00pm
 
 
How to identify the best time to post on Instagram for your business

Chances are, you’re looking to find the answer to this question because you are looking to get the most engagement from your posts. So in this section I’ll provide some tips on how to identify ideal posting times for your account as well as how to improve engagement with your posts.

1. Use Instagram Insights

So maybe you want to target lunchtime for your audience. But lunchtime where? In California? Boston? Instagram’s native analytics platform (Insights) can help you with this, since it shows you:

Top locations
Age range
Most active times
Gender
With this information, you can see in which time zone your audience is most active and post accordingly (Planoly’s data would be useful here). Age range may also help in ballparking wake-up, idle, and bed times. 

Image source

Insights are only available for business accounts. Learn how to set one up here.

2. Think through your personas

Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your customers as human beings—their lifestyle, occupation, hobbies, family, education level, interests, and more. This is essential for identifying the best times to post on Instagram. For example, maybe lunchtime isn’t the best time to post for your audience if they’re more likely to eat with others or work out on their lunch break. And evening is probably not best for parents who are busy with putting their kids to bed. More questions to consider:

Why do they go on Instagram?
How much time do they spend on Instagram?
Who else do they follow?
Do they follow 100 accounts? 1000?
When are they likely to actually engage with posts vs just scroll through
How many times a day do they check Instagram? 
This information can help you to identify the best content to publish and when.

3. Use a third-party tool

There are a number of social media management platforms out there that offer more analytics than Insights, and even allow you to schedule your Instagram posts. These include Later, Buffer, HubSpot, SproutSocial, Autogrammer, Schedugram, and Tailwind. Some even have a feature that suggests posting times, like Hootsuite:

Image source

4. Know the algorithm

On June 8, 2021, Instagram published an update explaining its algorithm works. It gathers together all of the recent posts shared by the people that person follows and then ranks them according to thousands of signals, including:

Your post: content, location, video length, likes, interest metrics.
You: who is engaging with you and how.
Their preferences and behaviors.
Their past interactions with you.
So if you want to show up in the Instagram Feed, recency pales in comparison to engagement. The post says “In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo.”

Which leads to the next suggestion.

5. Go for engagement

Clearly, we can see that it’s not about posting at the best time, but about creating the best posts. This increases your engagement signal strength over time which wins you algorithmic favor. Here are some ways to optimize for those five interactions mentioned above:

To get them to:

Spend a few seconds on the post: Draw them in with a compelling visual, get them reading with a great caption, and keep them engaged with a carousel or video.
Comment on it: Ask questions, like would you rather/what would you do, here’s mine/what’s yours, what’s your take, fill in the blank, caption this photo, and more.
Like it: Make the post useful, emotional, unique, visually appealing, and in line with your core values.
Save it: Share useful information, like tips, tutorials, and ideas they’ll want to refer back to.
Tap your profile pic: Use the ol’ link in bio, and make it a nice pic!
Focus on creating engaging and interesting content first, then optimize by posting at the right time. Posting the right content at the “wrong” time is much better than posting the wrong content at the exact right time. For more Instagram marketing tips and (lots more awesome) post ideas, head to Local Social Media Lab—it’s a gold mine!

Some final tips

And the best time to post on Instagram is…. 

When you have attractive, useful, emotionally engaging content that aligns with your audience’s goals, pain points, lifestyle, and values!

Just kidding…kind of.

Only you can find out the best time to post on Instagram for your account specifically, but I think the more important question to ask yourself first is: How important is it to know? If Instagram is a small part of your social media marketing strategy and you’re mainly just using it for brand awareness, you can probably just go with the traditional ballpark ranges (late morning, early afternoon) for your posts. If you rely heavily on social media to meet your marketing goals, you may want to try out Later’s approach of early posting, and get into the research, testing, and tools. 

But the most important question to answer is: What are the best posts I can create for my followers? I know that’s not simple. But luckily the information and other posts linked to in this post will equip you to find this out and execute.

That’s all I got—if you know of any recent studies I missed, let me know in the comments!

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

But Really, When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram in 2022?

You know the opening scene in the Lion King where Rafiki, in firm warrior I pose, presents Simba to the kingdom?The best time to post on Instagram is sort of like that. Except every marketing blog thinks it’s Rafiki. And Simba [aka the data] is like “I’m not so sure about this…”

So when is the best time to post on Instagram? There are approximately 39587 answers to this across the web. So who is right, who is wrong, and who just copied and pasted someone else’s data? Read on to find out:

The best time to post on Instagram, according to seven different sources.
Breakdowns by day, week, industry, time zone, and post type.
Tips and considerations when identifying your best time.
Is there a best time to post on Instagram?

Asking when the best time is to post on Instagram is like asking how much Google Ads cost. There are too many factors to give a definitive answer and it’s a moving target. It all depends on:

Day of the week (and even month of the year and trends of the year).
Lifestyle and preferences of your followers.
The goal of your post.
The type of post (regular post, Story, Reel, IGTV, Live).
The thousands of signals used by the Insta algo.
So the answer is yes, but that it’s different for every account. Even still, benchmark data can give you a solid starting point, and after slogging through the jungle of posts out there on this question, I came out with two core sources with up-to-date data: Later and Sprout Social. And make no mistake—each of these resources emphasizes the importance of identifying your own best time (we’ll get to that later).

Of course, this chart is the gazillion foot view, because we’ve got best times to post by day of the week, region of the US, vertical, and more. So put your helmet on to contain the blast that is your brain exploding.

The best time to post on Instagram, according to…

This post includes conclusions drawn by Later, Sprout Social, ExpertVoice, Hootsuite, Planoly, Statusbrew, and Influencer Marketing Hub. I was surprised to find that Hootsuite, Buffer, and Coschedule did not have benchmark data on this.

Later

Later’s report from August 2021 is based on a study of 35M posts, excluding Reels and IGTV.

Best time of day: 3am-6am
Best day: Sunday
Best day and time: Sunday 6am
Worst day: Weds and Thurs
When I first saw these times, I thought it was a mistake. They’re super early! What’s the deal?

Image source

Later says that for most businesses their Instagram marketing strategy is to post when their audiences are most active (9am-1pm), but this is when competition is highest. So if you post prior to that, you are likely to get more engagement, which will lead the algorithm to favor your post and give you a headstart in ranking. In addition, you make it more likely that you’ll show up in your followers’ Feeds on their first scroll of the day.

Here is Later’s day-by-day breakdown:  

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
5:00 AM
1am, 3-6am, 7pm
Tuesday
6:00 AM
3am, 5-6am, 10pm
Wednesday
6:00 AM
3-6am
Thursday
5:00 AM
2am, 4-6am
Friday
6:00 AM
2-6am
Saturday
6:00 AM
1am, 3am, 6am, 11pm
Sunday
6:00 AM
2am, 6-7am, 10pm
SproutSocial

Sprout Social’s best times to post on Instagram come from a study on over 20,000 of its users’ accounts. Its findings are opposite Later’s, as it takes the traditional approach of posting while engagement is high.

Best time of day: 11am-12pm
Best day: Tuesday
Best day & time: Tues 11am-2pm
Worst day: Sunday

Image source

It’s interesting to see that engagement in the evening starts to trail off earlier and earlier as we go from Monday to Sunday and that engagement starts earliest on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Here’s Sprout Social’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time
Second best time
Monday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-3pm
Tuesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 3-4pm
Wednesday
11am – 12pm
10am; 1-4pm
Thursday
11am
10am; 12-3pm
Friday
11am – 12pm
9-11am; 1-2pm
Saturday
10am – 1pm
8-10am; 1-4pm
Sunday
9am – 4pm
8am; 4 – 6pm
 
 
 
ExpertVoice

ExpertVoice provides slightly different times but are more closely aligned with Later’s data. It doesn’t cite a source, other than an image sourced from “Latergramme,” which became Later back in 2016, so I’m not sure how accurate this information is. 

Best time of day: 9am-5pm
Best day: Wednesday
Best day & time: Weds 5am, 11am, 3pm
Worst day: Monday
Day
Best time to post on Instagram
Monday
11am – 5pm
Tuesday
5am; 9am; 6pm
Wednesday
5am; 11am; 3pm
Thursday
5am; 11am; 3-4pm
Friday
5am; 9am; 4pm
Saturday
11am
Sunday
10am – 2pm
Hootsuite

Hootsuite doesn’t have any recent information based on data studies, but it says that overall, the best time to post on Instagram is 11am on Wednesday. It takes the same approach as Sprout Social—to post when engagement is highest. It also shares the times that work best for its own Instagram audience: 8am-12pm and 4pm-5pm—which translates to wake up and lunchtime on the west coast, and the start of and end of the workday on the east coast. 

Best time to post on Instagram by vertical

Sprout Social also shares the best times to post on Instagram for eight different verticals:

Vertical
Best time
Second best time
Best day
Worst day
Healthcare
Sunday8-9am
Tuesday8am-12pm5-8pm 
Mon & Tues
Saturday
Media
Tuesday1-5pm
Wednesday 11amThurs 8-9am
Tues, Weds, Thurs 
Sun
Education
Friday4-5am
Thursday 2pm
Friday
Sunday
Nonprofit
Wednesday10am-6pm
 
Weds
Sunday
Restaurants
Monday9am-1pm
 
Monday
Saturday
Tech
Monday10-11am2-5pm; 8pm
Tues 10am-1pmThursday 12pmFriday 11am
Monday
Sunday
Travel & toursm
Thursday7am
Monday 11am-3pm
Thursday
Sat, Sun
Hospitality
Weds12pm
Thurs 3-4pm;Friday 8am-12pm
Friday
 
The variation among industries in this chart alone, and its differences with respect to the overall data shows you that the best time to post on Instagram for your specific business really is something you have to find out for yourself.

Best time to post on Instagram by time zone

Using data from its app users, including likes, comments, saves, and followers, Planoly came up with ideal times to post to Instagram based on time zone. The implication here is that lifestyles vary geographically. I believe it! Doesn’t mean it doesn’t make the answer to this question even more complicated…

Image source 

Planoly’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
PST
MST/CST
EST
Monday
8pm
4pm; 7pm
8am; 2pm
Tuesday
6pm
9am; 6pm

11am

Wednesday

9pm

4pm
3pm; 9pm
Thursday
6-7am
10am
4pm; 11pm
Friday
8am; 3pm
6am
1pm; 5pm
Saturday
4pm
3am; 6am
12pm
Sunday
5am
4pm; 5pm
12pm; 2pm
The best time to post to IGTV & Live

Statusbrew had numbers on the best time to post to Instagram, but it just repurposed SproutSocial’s data and at times inaccurately. It does, however, share best times to post to IGTV and Instagram Live—for what it’s worth.

Day
Best time to post to IGTV
Monday
8pm – 10pm
Tuesday
8pm – 10pm
Wednesday
8pm
Thursday
8pm – 10pm
Friday

4am; 12pm; 2pm

Saturday
10am; 6pm; 7pm
Sunday
6am; 7am; 3pm
 
 
The best time to run an Instagram Live is Monday-Friday, 12pm or 7-9pm. Check out our tips on how to run an incredible Instagram Live session.

The best time to post on Instagram Reels

Influencer Marketing Hub provides the best time to post Reels based on a study of over 100,000 global Instagram post and engagement rates.

Image source

Here’s Influencer Marketing Hub’s day-by-day breakdown:

Day
Best time to Post to Reels
Monday
6:00am, 10:00am, 10:00pm
Tuesday
2:00am, 4:00am, 9:00am
Wednesday
7:00am, 8:00am, 11:00pm
Thursday
9:00am, 12:00pm, 7:00pm
Friday

4:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm

Saturday
10:00am, 6:00pm, 7:00pm
Sunday
6:00am, 7:00am, 3:00pm
 
 
How to identify the best time to post on Instagram for your business

Chances are, you’re looking to find the answer to this question because you are looking to get the most engagement from your posts. So in this section I’ll provide some tips on how to identify ideal posting times for your account as well as how to improve engagement with your posts.

1. Use Instagram Insights

So maybe you want to target lunchtime for your audience. But lunchtime where? In California? Boston? Instagram’s native analytics platform (Insights) can help you with this, since it shows you:

Top locations
Age range
Most active times
Gender
With this information, you can see in which time zone your audience is most active and post accordingly (Planoly’s data would be useful here). Age range may also help in ballparking wake-up, idle, and bed times. 

Image source

Insights are only available for business accounts. Learn how to set one up here.

2. Think through your personas

Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your customers as human beings—their lifestyle, occupation, hobbies, family, education level, interests, and more. This is essential for identifying the best times to post on Instagram. For example, maybe lunchtime isn’t the best time to post for your audience if they’re more likely to eat with others or work out on their lunch break. And evening is probably not best for parents who are busy with putting their kids to bed. More questions to consider:

Why do they go on Instagram?
How much time do they spend on Instagram?
Who else do they follow?
Do they follow 100 accounts? 1000?
When are they likely to actually engage with posts vs just scroll through
How many times a day do they check Instagram? 
This information can help you to identify the best content to publish and when.

3. Use a third-party tool

There are a number of social media management platforms out there that offer more analytics than Insights, and even allow you to schedule your Instagram posts. These include Later, Buffer, HubSpot, SproutSocial, Autogrammer, Schedugram, and Tailwind. Some even have a feature that suggests posting times, like Hootsuite:

Image source

4. Know the algorithm

On June 8, 2021, Instagram published an update explaining its algorithm works. It gathers together all of the recent posts shared by the people that person follows and then ranks them according to thousands of signals, including:

Your post: content, location, video length, likes, interest metrics.
You: who is engaging with you and how.
Their preferences and behaviors.
Their past interactions with you.
So if you want to show up in the Instagram Feed, recency pales in comparison to engagement. The post says “In Feed, the five interactions we look at most closely are how likely you are to spend a few seconds on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, and tap on the profile photo.”

Which leads to the next suggestion.

5. Go for engagement

Clearly, we can see that it’s not about posting at the best time, but about creating the best posts. This increases your engagement signal strength over time which wins you algorithmic favor. Here are some ways to optimize for those five interactions mentioned above:

To get them to:

Spend a few seconds on the post: Draw them in with a compelling visual, get them reading with a great caption, and keep them engaged with a carousel or video.
Comment on it: Ask questions, like would you rather/what would you do, here’s mine/what’s yours, what’s your take, fill in the blank, caption this photo, and more.
Like it: Make the post useful, emotional, unique, visually appealing, and in line with your core values.
Save it: Share useful information, like tips, tutorials, and ideas they’ll want to refer back to.
Tap your profile pic: Use the ol’ link in bio, and make it a nice pic!
Focus on creating engaging and interesting content first, then optimize by posting at the right time. Posting the right content at the “wrong” time is much better than posting the wrong content at the exact right time. For more Instagram marketing tips and (lots more awesome) post ideas, head to Local Social Media Lab—it’s a gold mine!

Some final tips

And the best time to post on Instagram is…. 

When you have attractive, useful, emotionally engaging content that aligns with your audience’s goals, pain points, lifestyle, and values!

Just kidding…kind of.

Only you can find out the best time to post on Instagram for your account specifically, but I think the more important question to ask yourself first is: How important is it to know? If Instagram is a small part of your social media marketing strategy and you’re mainly just using it for brand awareness, you can probably just go with the traditional ballpark ranges (late morning, early afternoon) for your posts. If you rely heavily on social media to meet your marketing goals, you may want to try out Later’s approach of early posting, and get into the research, testing, and tools. 

But the most important question to answer is: What are the best posts I can create for my followers? I know that’s not simple. But luckily the information and other posts linked to in this post will equip you to find this out and execute.

That’s all I got—if you know of any recent studies I missed, let me know in the comments!

11 Creative [Copy & Paste!] Holiday Customer Appreciation Messages to Send This Year

11 Creative [Copy & Paste!] Holiday Customer Appreciation Messages to Send This Year

To our valued customers,As the end of the year draws near, we’d like to take this opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of you for your support. Thank you for choosing us and we wish you a wonderful holiday season and happy new year!

How about sending something to your customers this year that is authentic—something they’ll want to read and that actually makes them feel valued? Today I’m sharing with you how to write a creative holiday message to your customers, with:

The dos and don’ts of happy holiday messages to customers.
50 non-boring words and phrases to use.
11 copy-and-pasteable examples and templates.
Read on so you can write a holiday customer appreciation email or social media post this year that actually means something.

Dos & don’ts of a holiday customer thank you email

I know, I know. It’s one small blurb, how much can there be to say about it? Lots, actually. In such a short piece of content as this, small details have big effects. Here are some vibes to aim for and how to get it right.

Simplicity

DO keep it short and use a conversational tone. This is an e-toast!
DON’T use sarcasm. 
Positivity

DO share good vibes and warm (inclusive) holiday wishes.We wish you health and happiness this holiday season and beyond.
DON’T be overly hyped; the holidays can be difficult for many people.It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year! We hope your Christmas is as amazing as you!
Visual appeal

DO use a picture of your team, or of you, or a tasteful graphic.
DON’T use memes (impersonal) or gifs (unless you can stop it from repeating).

Funny? Yes. Personal? Not so much.

Growth

DO give customers a reason to stay confident in your business. This year was a big one! We launched a new site, brought on five new team members, and started some exciting partnerships.
DON’T give customers a reason to roll their eyes.We crushed it this year. We hit a record with our website traffic and met all of our sales goals early!
Achievements

DO share what you achieved this year with the help of your customers.Thanks to your referrals, we’re now serving twice as many artists as last year!
DON’T just talk about yourself.We hosted 38 webinars, wrote 152 blog posts, and doubled our customer base!
Gratitude

DO be specificThank you for the kindness and energy you bring into our office each day.
DON’T overdo it (patronizing) or be generic.We appreciate your support.
Inspiration

DO refer to your mission.It is through your feedback that we find new ways to help seniors stay active each year.
DO NOT sneak in your selling propositionWe renew our commitment to you to provide the lowest-priced photography packages in the New England area.
Future focus

DO speak to an ongoing relationshipWe look forward to another great year together! Until then, enjoy your holiday season.
DO NOT include a CTA or sales promotionWe look forward to another great year together. Book your January appointment now!

How not to do a customer holiday greeting.

Words & phrases to make your holiday customer appreciation letter genuine

Take a gander through these words and phrases you can use that the other gajillion businesses out there aren’t using.

Delete “valued customer” right now

Gag. Don’t call them valued, make them FEEL valued through your messaging.

Dear customers
To our awesome customers
To our customers near and far, old and new
To all of you
To each and every one of you
To the Baker & Co. family
To the SparkLife community
To you and your families
Dear customers, partners, and your families
Friends
First name (if you have a small list and can MANUALLY do it).
Nix “exciting year”

“It’s been an exciting year!” And you’ve just killed the vibe by calling it such. 

It’s been a…

Lively
Rewarding
Exhilarating
Electrifying
Wild
Zestful
Refreshing
Bustling
Bright
Spirited
Rousing
Rigorous
….year!

“As we approach…”

The 18 Best Keyword Research Tools for Every Need [Free & Paid!]

The 18 Best Keyword Research Tools for Every Need [Free & Paid!]

You need a keyword research tool. You think easy peesy and do the ol’ Google search. Then you see that there are PPC keyword tools and SEO keyword tooIs. Long-tail keywords and broad. Social media keywords. Questions. Prepositions. Tools with suggestions. Tools with SERP and site and competitive analyses…

And then there’s pricing. Free forever, free (but not really), paid (but a ripoff), paid but more than you need.

So which keyword research tool is right for you? In this post, I share the 18 best keyword research tools for different goals, levels of experience, and budgets. For each one, I’ll provide

Who and what it’s best suited for.
Something that makes it different from the others in the list.
The real, no-nonsense price.
Let’s get into it.

The best free keyword research tools for PPC

There are plenty of keyword research platforms out there designed for both SEO and PPC (which I’ll get to in a bit), but these are the best tools to use for your PPC keyword research.

1. WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool

A free tool that comes with strategic advice? Sold!

Good for: Easy and headache-free PPC keyword research.
Unique feature: Popular keywords database for 60 verticals, with strategic advice.
Price: Free for the first 25 results, free for the rest of the results via email.
With WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool, enter a keyword or URL and you’ll get a list of relevant keyword suggestions, including related and long-tail variations, along with search volume, competition, and CPC for both Google and Bing. You can also filter by location (for over 23 countries), or industry (by 24 different verticals). The tool will provide the top 25 keywords right away. To get the full list, just enter your email address and you’ll get it sent to you for free.

We’ve also used our keyword research to create a database of the most popular keywords for 60 different verticals. Head to our Popular Keywords page, click on your vertical, and you’ll get the top 25 keywords for that vertical. This is great for identifying seed keywords and starting points for your campaigns.

Even better, scroll down on the Popular Keywords page to get tips on using high-volume keywords, and on the specific vertical pages to get tips for marketing in that space.

2. Google Keyword Planner

For information straight outta the horse’s mouth.

Good for: Intermediate to advanced PPC keyword research and account insights.
Unique feature: Bidding data and advanced attribute filtering.
Price: Free with an active Google Ads account.
With Google’s Keyword Planner, enter one or more keywords into the search box and you will see the following data for the keywords you entered as well as related keywords: average monthly searches, 30-day search trends, three month and year over year change, and competition (low, medium, high).

The refine keywords tool, which has been in beta since 2020, helps you to filter by specific attributes related to the keywords. For example, if you had keywords related to dry skin, you could refine by skin type, symptom, condition, branded vs non branded terms, and more.

You’ll also see what advertisers have historically paid for that keyword’s top of page bid. If you’re actively advertising, you’ll also see your ad impression share for that keyword as well as whether that keyword is in your account.

3. Microsoft Advertising Intelligence Keyword Planner Tool

^ Quite a mouthful—and an appropriate preview for what’s next.

Good for: Advanced keyword research for cross-channel marketing.
Unique feature: Robust list organization and keyword research templates.
Price: Free with a Microsoft Ads account.
The Microsoft Keyword Planner Tool offers a free Excel plugin where you can paste in a list of keywords and get a monster list of keyword recommendations—with volume, clicks, searches, CPC, bid estimates, match type, and [lots of] other metrics.

Now there’s a lot going on here, but there are a number of ways to organize and filter through the data. Here are four ways to do so:

In the traffic view, organize by device (not match type) to get a duplicate-free list.
Filter by age group and gender to identify keywords that are (and aren’t) right for your audience.
Paste in a list of URLs to get keyword suggestions and then check the device and keyword match type used for those keywords.
Find related keywords other advertisers are bidding on and see if it’s feasible for you to compete.
You can also plug the list of new keywords you come up with into the Google Keyword Planner and see what you come up with. You’d be surprised at how low-volume keywords on Bing are higher on Google, and vice versa! PPC expert Joe Martinez covers how to use the Microsoft keyword research tool here.

4. The search terms report (Google & Bing)

You get what you get and you don’t get upset. 

Good for: Search ad campaign optimization and (light) negative keyword research.
Unique feature: Information tied directly to your account.
Price: Free for active advertising campaigns.
The search terms reports in Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising show you the actual queries that have triggered your ads to show and get clicked on. It can help you to identify your top-performing keywords, new keywords to add to your list, and negative keywords too. With this information, you can make granular adjustments to improve your CTR, Quality Scores, and ROI.

Unfortunately, starting in September 2020, this report (for both Google and Microsoft) became restricted to show only terms of a certain volume (for privacy reasons), making it slightly less useful for finding negative keywords as it once was. Alas, it’s the only thing we have. And at least Google has added new data to the report to include queries that pulled in an impression—regardless of whether the ad got a click.

The search terms report is a free feature available for active Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising accounts.

The best keyword research tools for content ideation

You should always be maintaining your keyword lists for search advertising, but you’re somewhat limited in how much you can step outside the box or branch out. For your organic content, on the other hand, the sky’s the limit! Here are some of the best keyword research tools to use for blog and social media post ideation.

5. Keyworddit

Bear in mind that Reddit is the Walmart of web forums…

Good for: Content creators and social media managers looking for topic ideas.
Unique feature: Reddit keyword mining.
Price: Free
Keyworddit searches through Reddit posts, titles, and comments to find keywords and provide you with their search volume. If you’re unfamiliar, Reddit is a massive online community where people can join groups (called subreddits) for just about anything. Some subreddits are massive, like r/funny while others can be pretty niche like r/businessowners.

With this tool, you can’t enter in a specific term; instead, you choose a subreddit and the tool will pull keywords from posts and comments in that subreddit.

This can be helpful for getting blog post and social media ideas for your niche market, forming audience personas, or getting keyword ideas to feed into other tools in this list. If you click on the context button, it will show you Google search results for that keyword within that subreddit. You can also export the list.

Keyworddit is free with no catches.

6. Soovle (free)

Be prepared to time travel back to the 90s—but also to get new ideas.

Good for: Initial brainstorming for new keywords.
Unique feature: See queries for nine different platforms in one view (+90’s nostalgia).
Price: Free

With Soovle, enter a term into the box and it will show you the most popular queries for that term across 16 different search engines, including Google, Bing, YouTube, Amazon, eBay, Buy.com, Overstock.com, Walmart, and more.

You can customize the tool to show you only the search engines you want, drag queries into a saved suggestions box, and click on any one query to be brought to the SERP for that platform. 

While it doesn’t provide volume, competition, or cost data, it’s great for coming up with content ideas as well as understanding intent in some cases. Like who knew that YouTubers look for lawn mower sounds for sleep?

Head to “secrets” (haha) on the top right to get some more info on how to use the tool.

Soovle is free, through and through.

7. AnswerThePublic

Trippy video background…questions for days…it’s a mind-bender.

Good for: Finding question keywords, targeting People Also Ask in the SERP.
Unique feature: Keyword visualization
Price: Free at three searches a day, paid starts at $99/mo.
With AnswerThePublic, type in a phrase or term and it will show you the questions people are asking related to your entry. You won’t get any volume or click data, but you will get some cool visuals.

You can see this type of visual (or a list view) for:

Questions: who, what, where, when, why, which, can, and ho
Comparisons: vs, or, and
More: which, are, will, can, like.
I personally find it to be hard to digest the information, even in the list view. Luckily, you can export the data to CSV.

AnswerThePublic is free for only three queries per day. The paid version starts at $99 and offers more features like monitoring and alerts, customized viewing, data comparison over time, and folders.

8. QuestionDB

“Why are tennis shoes called tennis shoes and not just shoes or something.”

Good for: Finding blog topic and social media post ideas.
Unique feature: Over 32 million questions in its database.
Price: Free for 50 results per query, paid starts at $10/mo.
With QuestionDB, enter a broad keyword into the box and you’ll get queries from question websites like Quora and Reddit. It will show you related topics mentioned in the questions and also give you the option to strip the queries down to keywords only.

If you click “Show source link”, you can see where it came from and see the question thread in that source.

The free QuestionDB account allows 50 results per query with the option to upgrade to $10/month for unlimited searches, full results, and API access.

The best free keyword research tools for SEO

While the above tools are good for finding topic ideas, they don’t offer the data you need if you’re looking to create targeted SEO content, including blog posts, product pages, your homepage, and more.

9. Google Search Console

For reading your readers’ minds.

Good for: Optimizing existing SEO content and finding spinoff content ideas.
Unique feature: The most accurate and real-time reporting on organic.
Price: Free for anyone with a website.
Keyword research is just one of the many ways to use Google Search Console for SEO. Head to “Search results” in the left-hand pane and you’ll see the top queries that are leading your site to appear in the SERP, with clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and position for each.

You can then filter by URL where you can first see how effective your keyword targeting is. From there, you can plug the other queries into a keyword research tool to see whether you should incorporate them into your post. For example, here are the top queries for our post on how to do keyword research for SEO and PPC:

This report told me to incorporate “easy keyword research” into the post.

You can also find queries for which your page is not performing well and which might be keywords to target with a separate post. 

Hence why we wrote the post you’re reading now.

Google Search Console is free for anyone with a website.

10. Google Trends

For when you want to know “is that a thing?”

Good for: Identifying the evergreen value of a keyword.
Unique feature: Real-time data and search history all the way back to 2004.
Price: Free 
With Google Trends, you can identify recent and popular keywords that don’t yet show volume in keyword research tools because they haven’t been around long enough. 

You can also use it to make sure a keyword that has solid volume in a keyword research tool is worth targeting. For example, “google goggles” has a search volume of 14K. But the Google Trends report shows dwindling interest:

If you were unfamiliar with Google products, this report would lead you to find out that Google Goggles is no longer! Not worth targeting if you want a post with long-term value. 

On the flip side, you can identify keywords that have low volume and competition but are growing in popularity. You can then target and rank for those keywords now to accumulate traffic, backlinks, and authority ahead of time. 

Google Trends is free for all, through and through.

The best multi-purpose keyword research tools for SEO—low budget

You’ll notice that the above tools are meant for those who have solid SEO skills and additional tools at their disposal. The tools in this section are meant to serve multiple purposes in one tool and are great for business owners or SEO beginners who don’t have an advanced SEO strategy or a large budget.

11. Free version of Semrush

Sort of like lawn seats…

Good for: Light SEO work for beginner to intermediate experience levels.
Unique feature: Assistance with writing SEO content.
Price: Free
I’ll cover the full version of this tool later on, but the free version of Semrush provides your basic keyword data like volume, difficulty, and CPC. It offers 10 queries per day, one project where you can track 10 keywords and audit 100 pages of your site, one SEO Content Template, one on-page SEO Checker Campaign, and one use of the SEO Writing Assistant.

This is probably the most decent free version of a premium keyword research tool out there.

12. KeywordTool.io

“Google autocomplete is a window into the soul of our society.” – Someone on the web.

Good for: Finding long-tail keywords for SEO and PPC.
Unique feature: Suggestions for eight different platforms.
Price: Free with no numerical data, paid starts at $69/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Keyword Tool uses Google autocomplete (which uses search behavior and data) to generate long-tail keyword suggestions for any term. Google autocomplete typically only gives you about five suggestions, but this tool shows you the hundreds of suggestions available. It will prepend and append the term with words and prepositions, and you can find suggestions specific to Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon, eBay, Play Store, Instagram (Instagram SEO is a thing!), and Twitter.

The free version of Keyword Tool allows you to sort out questions and prepositions and filter to include and exclude specific words within results (a maximum of five exclusions). The paid version (starting at $69/month) provides the full list of suggestions, data like search volume, cost per click, competition, and trends, as well as competitive analysis capabilities.

13. Growthbar

AI is not just for the big companies or experts anymore. 

Good for: Business owners and beginners in content marketing—with tech savvy.
Unique feature: Uses AI to generate SEO content outlines.
Price: Starts at $29/month with five-day free trial and seven-day money-back guarantee.
Growthbar provides the standard information you can expect from an SEO platform: keyword suggestions with monthly search volume, cost per click, difficulty scores, rank tracking, and site analyses with domain authority, keywords, backlinks, and even Facebook and Google Ads. Platform subscribers get a free chrome extension that provides this data as you search. 

The best part about Growthbar is that it will also create content outlines for you, including keywords to target, title, introduction, headings, word counts, images, links, and more. AI in marketing is a wonderful thing!

There isn’t a free version of Growthbar. Pricing starts at $29/month with a five-day free trial and seven-day money-back guarantee.

14. KWFinder by Mangools

For suggestions on getting suggestions…

Good for: Intermediate SEO for small teams on a budget.
Unique feature: Doesn’t just append or prepend to provide keyword suggestions.
Price: Free at five searches/day, paid starts at $29/month with free 10-day trial.
Aside from great copywriting on their website, KWFinder’s easy-to-use interface provides all of your keyword/SEO platform basics: suggestions, long-tail variations, volume, cost per click, competition, SERP analysis, and site analysis. You can search by keyword or domain as well as location.

A nice feature of KWFinder is that its keyword suggestions aren’t just the term you typed in with words appended or prepended to it.

The free version of KWFinder allows five lookups per 24 hours, with 25 related and 10 competitor keywords per lookup. The paid version starts at $29/month.

15. Serpstat

Good for: Intermediate SEO, PPC, and competitive analysis.
Unique feature: Shows a competitors graph as well as ad examples for a keyword.
Price: Free for 10 requests per day, paid starts at $55.
Serpstat teeters on the edge of both premium and budget-friendly keyword research tools. The biggest focus of this tool is competitive analysis. You can compare your site to a competitors and get a report on the top competing sites for any keyword. You’ll see how many keywords each site is targeting with organic content and paid ads, how many keywords they have in common with your site, and even examples of ads for that keyword.

The reports are separate for paid vs organic. Another cool feature is a visualization of your competitiors.

Image source

Serpstat is free for 10 requests per day, and the paid version starts at $55/mo.

16. Ubersuggest

For a streamlined SEO with a side of hand-holding.

Good for: Intermediate SEO and content marketers.
Unique feature: SEO difficulty score, social shares, content ideas.
Price: Free version is very limited (one site, three keywords per day), paid starts at $29/month with free seven-day trial available.
Similar to the content ideation tools above, Ubersuggest allows you to filter keyword suggestions by comparison, question, and preposition variations. And similar to the premium tools below, it offers the core keyword, SERP, and site analysis data as well as project creation.

One thing that differentiates Ubersuggest is it’s helpful annotations, like “The average web page that rans in the top 10 for this keyword has X backlinks and a domain score of X”. Another is it’s Content ideas feature, which shows you pages performing well for that keyword as well as their Facebook and Pinterest shares.

The free version is VERY limited (read: useless), but the paid version starts at $29/month with options for coaching and a seven-day free trial. Also, the free Ubersuggest chrome extension—which provides keyword data as you search on Google, YouTube, and Amazon—is quite useful.

The best all-in-one keyword research tools (premium)

These are hummers of keyword research. The all-in-one platforms, best for teams, experts and consultants in PPC, SEO, or content marketing, and/or large businesses and agencies. But it can’t hurt to explore the free trial versions. Here is the information they all share:

Keyword analysis: volume, competition, cost, interest trends, often separated by organic vs paid, and more.
SERP analysis: top-ranking pages for a keyword, including their domain rating, referring domains, backlinks, traffic, keywords, rank tracking, rich snippets, and more.
Keyword gaps: keywords your competitors are ranking for that you are not.
Site analyses: for your and competitors’ sites.
SEO audits: complete technical and content SEO audits for your site.
Integration with apps, plugins, CRMs, and reporting tools.
17. Semrush

“Semrush is like a lighthouse as I surf through the Ocean of Websites.” -Someone on the web

Good for: Advanced SEO and PPC for experts, agencies, and large businesses.
Unique feature: Content marketing toolkit, social media marketing, shows intent of keywords.
Price: Free version is pretty useful, paid starts at $119.95/mo with a seven-day free trial.
Semrush is often referred to as the gold standard for premium keyword research platforms (although ahrefs is catching up!). It offers over 40 tools and reports to help you with not only keyword research, but also content marketing, social media management, local seo, listing management, marketing analysis, PR, and more.

Image source

18. Ahrefs

“Ahrefs is like a bloodhound with content research.” -Someone on the web

Good for: Advanced SEO, link building, and click data.
Unique feature: Unmatched backlink index, unique click metrics, and Return Rate.
Price: No free version, seven-dollar seven-day trial, paid starts at $99/mo.
Ahrefs actually started as a backlink analysis tool, so it’s no surprise that with the largest backlink index in the world, it is the best tool out there for link building. For any link, you can find out when it went live, whether it’s do-follow or no-follow, its anchor text, and more. You can also check a site’s ranking history for any keyword, automate internal linking, analyze and monitor outbound links, see which links are bringing in the most traffic to any site, and find link opportunites and backlink prospects

One of it’s distinguishing features is unique click metrics. For any keyword, you  can learn how many searches result in clicks, the average number of clicks per search, the click distribution between paid and organic results, and how often people search the same keyword in 30 days (Return Rate (RR)).

Ahrefs does not have a free version, but you can try a $7 one-week free trial, and the paid version starts at $99/month.

19. Moz Keyword Explorer

“Moz is like the mac daddy of SEO.” – Someone on the web

Good for: Beginner to intermediate SEOs and PPCers who don’t need the bells and whistles..
Unique feature: Organic CTR and Priority Score. 
Price: Free for 10 searches/mo, paid starts at $99/mo.
Moz (the company) is one of the leading resources for SEO. It is the originator of Domain Authority, Whiteboard Fridays, and has a free Chrome extension that provides Page and Domain Authority for any page. 

It’s tool, the Moz Keyword Explorer, offers your basic keyword data along with rank tracking, site audits, and page optimization reports. It provides a Priority Score to help you identify whether a keyword is worth targeting, based on that keyword’s data and your “My Score”— a score you give on how relevant the keyword is to your business.

However, it lacks quite a few of the functionalities offered by Semrush or ahrefs, like SERP position history or the number of keywords a ranking result ranks for. The platform hasn’t been updated much since Rand Fishkin left the company in 2018. Nevertheless, it is a good platform to use if you’re looking for a less overwhelming and more intuitive platform. 

Moz Keyword Explorer is free for 10 searches per month, and the paid version starts at $99.

The best keyword research tools [recap]

And that wraps up the 18 best keyword research tools, for any level, any purpose, and any business. I hope you found it helpful! Here’s the full list:

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool
Google Keyword Planner
Microsoft Advertising Intelligence
Bing and Google search terms report
Soovle
AnswerThePublic
Keyworddit
QuestionDB
Google Search Console
Google Trends
Semrush (free version)
Keywordtool.io
KWFinder
Growth Bar
Serpstat
Ubersuggest
Semrush
Ahrefs 
Moz Keyword Explorer
Can’t get enough keyword research?

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The 8 Best (Free!) Facebook Ads Courses of 2021 for Every Learning Level

The 8 Best (Free!) Facebook Ads Courses of 2021 for Every Learning Level

The best way to learn is by doing. The thing is, if you’re looking to learn Facebook ads, “doing” involves spending money and competing against thousands of other businesses. So if you’re not careful, trial and error can quickly turn into trial and [drain your budget and morale] error.

Fortunately, there’s a slew of Facebook ads training and courses out there to get off on the right foot. So in this post, I’m going to share with you the eight best Facebook advertising courses currently available—all of which are free! For each course, I’ll provide the course type, length, level, and who it’s best suited for. 

The best Facebook ads courses for all levels

These courses are provided by influencers and experts in Facebook advertising. Use them to problem solve, learn new tips and tricks, or optimize for a specific goal. 

 1. WordStream’s PPC University Facebook Ads course

Type: written content with screenshots
Good for: all levels of advertisers who want to stay competitive and get the most of their budget
Length: varies 
WordStream’s free Facebook ads course has been a thought leader in online advertising for over 12 years, and is the creator of the Free Facebook Ads Performance Grader—an account audit and optimization tool that gets run 10k times a month!

In our Facebook Ads course, we provide a series of 10-minute articles where top PPC influencers and experts share tips, tutorials, and strategies that have worked for them. You’ll learn nuances of the platform as well as benchmark data to be able to understand and optimize your performance. The lessons provide strategic advice on:

Facebook ad copywriting
Best time to run Facebook ads
Lowering your costs
Strategies for local businesses
Must-know Facebook ad optimizations
What to do if your ads aren’t showing
Targeting and retargeting
Facebook advertising benchmarks

2. Kai Bax’s Ecommerce Facebook Ads Training 

Type: YouTube video with people talking and screen sharing
Good for: all levels looking to scale their ecommerce ROI through Facebook
Length: one hour
Kai Bax’s free ecommerce Facebook ads course comes from Kai himself, an ecommerce marketing influencer and founder of Bax Consulting, an agency focused on scaling ecommerce and info product businesses.

In this one-hour YouTube tutorial, Kai shares the process his agency uses to scale growth and revenue for its clients through Facebook advertising. He takes you from basic setup all the way to reporting, with commentary and tips to maintain profitability at every step. Just be prepared—he’s intense! (In all the best ways; he’s clearly passionate.) You’ll learn:

Account and campaign setup
How to measure your ads
Columns to use in reporting
How to make metrics-based decisions
Checklist to keep your ROAS on track to scale revenue 

The best Facebook ads training courses for beginners

These Facebook training courses are geared for beginners looking to understand Facebook advertising on a general and conceptual level. They are good for people looking to get familiar with Ads Manager and set up their first campaign

3. Simiplilearn’s Social Media Certification Program 

Type: eLearning video with animation, talking heads, screen sharing
Good for: beginners looking to run their first Facebook ad campaign
Length: 1.5 hours
Simplilearn’s free Facebook ads course was created by Paul Lewis, a Social Media and Digital Selling expert and lecturer for universities and corporate training organizations. It’s on an eLearning platform, so you can clearly see and move back and forth between lessons. It is comprehensive for social media marketing (totaling 49 hours), but lessons 7-10 are for Facebook advertising specifically.

When you go to the link below, click “Start Learning,” and create your free account (no credit card required). You’ll then have unlimited access for 90 days. In these lessons, you’ll learn:

How Facebook advertising works
Facts, stats, and terms to know
Walkthrough of Ads Manager
How to set up your first campaign
Campaign review, tracking, and reporting 

​​4. Facebook Blueprint’s Facebook training modules

Type: written content with visuals
Good for: beginners who want to understand Facebook Ads Manager and Commerce Manager
Length: 1-2 hours
Blueprint’s free Facebook ads training comes to you from Facebook, the world’s largest social media channel and now….Meta. The advantage with this content is that it’s always up-to-date. Plus, the courses are modular so Facebook mixes and matches them to create training tracks based on different learning goals.

When you go to the link, look for “Select a topic to get started” and choose “Start your advertising journey.” Between the start advertising and sell your products tracks, you’ll learn how to:

Set up your campaign objective and targeting.
Choose your placements and budget
Use Facebook Ads Manager 
Manage inventory with product catalogs.
Set up your shop and use Commerce Manager.

The best intermediate Facebook ads training courses 

In addition to basics and instructions, these courses cover the next layer of topics and concepts in Facebook advertising, along with general suggestions and best practices.

5. Andrew Zeng’s Facebook Ads Tutorial

Type: YouTube video with animation, talking heads, screen sharing
Good for: beginner to intermediates looking to grow an online business with Facebook
Length: 33 minutes
Andrew’s free Facebook ads tutorial comes from…wait for it…Andrew Ethan Zang, an expert in digital marketing, ecommerce, and online business. This 30-minute YouTube tutorial takes care of the usual setup basics, but goes into more depth on ad creative, funnel strategy, and campaigns using the conversions objective and engagement objectives.

Andrew provides time stamps and links to resources in the description for easy navigation. He also covers the basics of the marketing funnel and generating popularity and demand. You’ll learn:

Facebook ads account vs Facebook Business Manager
The anatomy of a Facebook ad
Creative design and tools
Ad setup, scheduling, and policies

6. Alison’s Facebook Advertising for Beginners course

Type: slides and screen sharing with voiceover
Good for: beginners to intermediates who want to know the dos and don’ts of Facebook advertising.
Length: 1.5 hours
This free Alison Facebook ads course is brought to you by Theo McArthur, an expert online marketer and Amazon seller. Like Simplilearn, it’s provided through an eLearning platform so you can move between specific chapters and take a course assessment. It does, however, have eight-second ads before each lesson, unless you go for the premium monthly plan.

The training offers a mix of general setup instructions, suggestions and best practices to follow, and common mistakes to avoid. You’ll learn:

Types of Facebook ads
Page and pixel setup
How to run a likes campaign
Custom conversions
Audience insights

7. Hubspot’s Facebook Ads Dollar-a-Day course

Type: eLearning video with animation, people talking, slides, and screen sharing
Level: beginner to intermediates looking to run Facebook ads on a budget
Length: 36 minutes
Hubspot’s free Facebook training course comes from Facebook expert and BlitzMetrics CTO Denis Yu. This strategy was designed by Dennis himself to focus on using frequent, lightweight touches to get widespread exposure on a budget. You’ll learn:

What the Dollar-a-Day strategy is all about
How to set up and measure it, with a strategy worksheet
How to build ad sequences with targeting/retargeting
How to create winning Facebook video ads

8. Coursenvy’s Facebook Ads Mastery Class 

Type: YouTube video slideshow with voice overlay
Good for: beginners to intermediates who want to understand Facebook campaign objectives.
Length: 1h 20m
Coursenvy’s free Facebook ads mastery course is essentially a written course turned into a slideshow with someone reading the content (but it’s not mind-numbing). So there isn’t any animation but every slide is an informative screenshot with tips overlaid on top. 

The course takes a deeper dive into the different Facebook advertising campaign types, sharing what each one is and how to set them up for success. It also covers additional topics like dynamic ads and budgeting—all with examples and pro tips. You’ll learn:

Facebook advertising terms to know
Account and campaign setup
Objectives to choose based on goals
Budgeting tips
Split testing
Facebook Dynamic Creative ads

The 8 best free Facebook ads courses (full list)

WordStream’s PPC University Facebook Ads Course
Kai Bax’s Ecommerce Facebook Advertising Course
HubSpot Academy’s Dollar-a-Day Strategy Course
Simiplilearn’s Social Media Certification Program
Facebook Blueprint’s Facebook Ads Modules
Andrew Zeng’s Facebook Ads Tutorial
Alison’s Facebook Advertising for Beginners
Coursenvy’s Facebook Master Course 
More ways to learn Facebook ads

What we have in PPC U only scratches the surface of content we have for you to learn Facebook ads. We’re always coming out with new posts to help you keep up with this evolving platform. Here are some more resources for you.

Learn Facebook ads costs

Learn Facebook ads optimizations

Learn Facebook ads post-iOS 14

Apple’s iOS 14 update and Google’s upcoming deprecation of third-party cookies have caused upheaval in the world of Facebook advertising. Targeting, tracking, and reporting is becoming more difficult. These posts will guide you through:

You now have more than enough material to understand, get started with, and succeed through Facebook advertising! Time to jump into the metaverse…

268 Catchy & Creative Business Name Ideas (Curated, Not Generated!)

268 Catchy & Creative Business Name Ideas (Curated, Not Generated!)

Did you know…Kodak got its name because the founder thought the letter K sounded strong and incisive?
Lego comes from the Danish “leg got” which means “play well?”
WD-40 was named so because the formula was finally successful on its 40th try?
My point is, you do NOT need a business name generator to come up with a creative name for your business.

I rest my case.

I know I know, pet businesses are easy for creative names. But creative doesn’t have to mean funny. It just has to have character.

So in this post, I’ll be sharing over 200 business names ideas and examples to help you come up with business names that are catchy, personal, cryptic, thought-provoking, bold, and more.

About this business name ideas list

The examples accompanying each idea are real business names, so use them only as inspiration. See the end of the post for ways to check for business name availability in your state and the U.S.

Here are the categories of business name ideas this post covers:

Creative business name ideas

There are so many ways to be creative with your business name. Here are just a few ideas.

Use (or make up) words associated with your industry

Think about adjectives that describe your customers or how they want to feel as a result of your products or services. For example, “intrepid” means fearless and adventurous—a good name for a travel company!

Percepta (security)
Exela Movers
Ibotta, Inc. (consumer services)
Wanderu (hospitality & tourism)
Aceable, Inc. (online learning)
Intrepid Travel
Defendify (security)(Plus, how freaking fun is this word to say?)
Twisters Gymnastics Academy
Aims Community College 
Kaboom Fireworks
Compass Mortgage
Marathon Physical Therapy
Semicolon Bookstore

Image source

Use an idiom, adage, or common phrase

We claim to hate cliches, but our brains inherently trust that with which it is familiar, so this isn’t a bad way to go. Plus, not all common phrases are annoying cliches. Try out idioms, famous quotes or lyrics, or just small bits from them.

9Yards Media
When Pigs Fly (food)
Light As a Feather (health and beauty)
More Than Words (retail)
Top It Off (fashion)
Bent Out of Shape Jewelry
To Each Their Own, LLC (beauty salon)
Like You Mean It Productions
What You Will Yoga
EBA’s (Everything But Anchovies)
Soft As a Grape (clothing and retail)

Image source

Go for something epic

There are tons of characters in history and entertainment that signify traits or qualities you may want associated with your business. Here are a few examples:

Atlantis Sports Club & SpaAtlantis is a legendary utopian civilization.
Saga InnovationsA saga is a long story of heroic achievement.
Atlas VenturesAtlas is the Greek god of endurance and strength
Titan alarm
Jarvis SurgicalJ.A.R.V.I.S is Just a Rather Very Intelligent System, a character in Marvel movies..

Then again, Jarvis is also a name that translates to “spear man” which also works… (Image source)

Catchy business name ideas

Catchy business names are easy and fun to say and stick well in peoples’ memories. Here are some ideas on how to come up with a business name that rolls off the tongue and plants itself in the brain.

Combine words

There are ample ways to be clever here. Just make sure that the word combo is actually easy and intuitive to say, and doesn’t just look good written out. For example, ValiDaTEk is clever (validate + technology), but is it “va-LID-a-tek” or “val-i-DAY-tek”? These are micro interruptions that can subconsciously deter someone from referring or even contacting your business. Here are some fun combo business names:

Groupon
Influitive
Spinfluence
Intellivision
Perficient (proficient, perfect, efficient)
Omnilert
Technologent
Securiteam
Innometrics
Give it a rhyme 

Want to know another copywriting psychology fun fact? The cognitive fluency of a piece of content influences how true or trustworthy the reader perceives it to be. And we all know how fluent rhyming words read (and get remembered).

Puzzle Huddle
7Eleven
Hobby Lobby
The Knickknack Shack
Los Amigos Taqueria
Plan4Demand
Chic Boutique Consignments
ElemenOPillows

The best part of the alphabet.

Try out alliteration

Alliteration is another easy way to come up with a catchy and cognitively fluent business name. Here are some alliterative examples for you:

Clickety Clack (game store)
Horizons for Homeless Children
Superscapes
The Tiny Tassel
Mighty Mule (security)
Decorating Den Interiors
Encore Electric, Inc.
Beet Box Cafe

Image source

Unique business name ideas 

“Creative” and “unique” are interchangeable adjectives, but for the sake of this post, I’m allotting this category of business name ideas to those of eccentric nature.

Go for colors, animals, or fresh produce

I’m not even kidding here. It would seem as though any combination of animals, colors, and organic matter is game for a business name—even if the name gives no indication of the business type.

Arctic Wolf Neworks, Inc (cyber security)
The Zebra (car insurance comparison website)
Purple Mango (this is the name for a cafe, a skincare and laser office, and a media company)
Blue Kite Web Solutions LLC
The Maroon Door (restaurant)
Unchained Carrot (marketing)
The Orange Goat (restaurant)

How to come up with a unique business name: Combine (1) color + (1) animal or plant.

Tap into onomatopoeias

Words that define themselves by their very pronunciation? Prime business name material. Plus, these words usually help indicate what kind of business you are. 

Thump Coffee
Clink Boston (a bar)
Clink Inc
Crunch and Munch (also rhymes!)
Crunch Fitness (not used as onomatopoeia, but still a fun word!)
Whoosh Auto Care
Beep Beep Auto School
Whizz Kids Tutoring 
Go for something over the top

This all depends on your industry, brand, and personality. For example, using slang or movie titles isn’t going to fly for an insurance company, law firm, or consulting business. 

The Breelancers (brie/cheese store)
Weed Man Lawn Care
Real Imposters Jewelry
Kerplunk Portables
The Codfather
Indiana Bones and the Temple of Groom

Can you even?

Smart business name ideas

These business names may not be as catchy or creative, but they contain words that are meant to reflect the value proposition or core values of the company. Keep in mind though, that this can put your business under extra scrutiny.

Reflect your core values

This could be a good way to keep your core values at the forefront of your employees’ minds. But again, they’ll also be at the forefront of your customers’ minds too—which can raise expectations. Not saying you can’t meet them—but no business can please everyone.

PrimaCARE (medical)
Kindness Animal Hospital
Patient First Chiropractic & Physical Therapy
Fidelity Investments
Tenacity (education)

Persistence and stick-to-itness go hand-in-hand with education and career success. (Image source)

Indicate your value proposition

Similarly, you could go with a name that highlights an element of your value proposition. Just remember that unfortunately, there are people out there just waiting to find a reason to to complain. The second someone has a hard time at your EZ Eyecare business, you’ll be sure to hear it from them.

Bottom Line Tax Services
B2B Salesify
Anytime Fitness (24-hour gym)
Holistic Business Excellence
One Stop Painting & Renovating
CustomMade (jewelry)
EZ Eyecare
Reliant At Home
EveryStep (home care)
5280 Digital (5280 feet in a mile)
Siteimprove (websites)
Forecast5 Analytics
Five Star Senior Living

Right idea, brave move. (Image source)

Small business name ideas

Most business name ideas can work for any size business, but here are some suggestions geared specifically for small businesses.

Use “people” words

While larger businesses and corporations might end their business name with their product/service (Apex Technologies) or a word with a large connotation (“group,” “corp,” etc.), small businesses can go with more personable “people” words. These often represent the founders or owners of the business.

The Moving Guys
Sister’s Restaurant
Ruggiero Brothers Oil
Angela’s Bridal
The Tree Fellas
The Coffee Girl
The Building People, LLC
The Wine Guys

The Wine “Company” just wouldn’t have that same small business feel. Image source

Try other languages or synonyms

One way to add a little creativity is to use a family pronoun in another language (if that language is relevant to you personally or your business). You can also use synonyms.

Amigos Barber Shop
Tatte BakeryTatte means grandma in Hebrew.
Zio’s Deli Zio means uncle in Italian.
Aegis Chiropractic & Physical Therapy

Aegis is another word for the protection, backing, or support of a person or organization. (Image source)

Go for small words

Embrace the smallness of your business! Use words to emphasize small things, or better yet, small things with big power.

Tiny Rebellion
Small Giants
Think Big Work Small
Small Ax Creative
Small Potatoes Catering
Small Dog Creative
Tiny Legend Learning Academy

Make it known that you’re a small business with big impact. Image source

Add local language

Local businesses tend to be more authentic and personable, and consumers are generally inclined to support them. Feel free to amp up your business appeal by using local language in your business name. 

Local Bounti
Local Roots
Neighborly Software
Neighbors Construction
Nearby Notary LLC
Local 149

Bonus: 149 is this restaurant’s street address number. Image source

Now we’re going to head into some company names for specific industries, including marketing, media, consulting, technologies, and security.

Marketing company names

Marketing company names tend to contain words associated with growth, visibility, and attention.

Growthonics
ClatterChatter
Fewofmany
Volume Nine
Ignite Visibility
The Bureau of Small Projects
Idea Grove
KickStart Marketing
Digital Dive Marketing
She Runs It
Be Busy Being Awesome Agency
SmarkLabs
The Growth Co.
Creative Juice
Be Seen Solutions
Color 9 Creative
The Invisible Paintbrush
Obvious Agency
Brandopedia
Fill the Gap Marketing Limited
Empiric Marketing

Empiric means verifiable through observation. (Image source)

Media company names

I learned upon writing this post that media company names are the most eclectic ones out there. There isn’t really a common theme other than the fact that they’re all kinda quirky and fun.

Webpreneur Media
Medsnake Media
Big Honcho Media
Everglow Media
Clicky Media
Vibrant Media
Fearless Media
Splash Media
Velvet Media
Vertigo Media
9Yards Media
Redsprout Media
Bluesteak Media
Weekend Media
Fork Media
Idiotic Media
Tiny Milkshake Media

Because media company.

Consulting company names

Consulting company names tend to contain words associated with foundation, authority, collaboration, impact, achievement, and reward.

Acumen
Affirma
Answerport
Archimedes (greek mathemitician)
Navigate
Pivotal Resources
Advisian
Alliance Solutions Group
Allied Consultants
Anchor Advisors
Catalyst Consulting
Cognizant
Collabera
Data Driven Decisioning
Delegata
Diligent Innovations
Edge Strategies
Eight Revolution
Endeavor Partners
Experience Impact
Fusion Alliance
Fresh Squeezed Ideas
Genesis Consulting
Ground floor Consulting
Holistic Business Excellence
Ilumina Solutions
Incrementa (un)Consulting

Incrementa uses “unconsulting” as a term to indicate that the client is the real hero. (Image source)

Innosight
Integrated Insight
Optimity
Perficient
Plan4Demand
Proactive Worldwide
Protiviti
Sage Consulting
Sapient
Swingtide
Utopia Global
Visionary Consulting
The Prize
Technologies company names

Technology company names contain words associated with intelligence, forward thinking, agility, the ether (air and space), and connectivity.

2Gig Technologies
Airbyte
Alfatek
Aurora IT
Axle
Exacq Technologies
Excelero
Evolv Technology
Gecko Dynamics
Hello Ace
Hello Nerds
Ideas2IT
Innominds
Innoometriks Incorporated
Looking Point
Let’s Think Wireless
Matrix Systems
Nerd Crossing
Personetics
Quisitive

After all, as Francis Kingdom Ward puts it, “Questions are creative acts of intelligence.” (Image source)

Reef Technology (love this one)
EnableIP
Converged Communication Systems
Stratosphere Networks, llc
ThinkSys
UniVoIP, Inc
WeDigTech
SAGE Integration, Inc.
Savant Systems LLC
Scality
Sparkline
Technologent
 Plexus

A plexus is a network of nerves and vessels in the body. (Image source)

Security company names 

Securitiy company names use words associated with vision, strength, speed, readiness, and instinct.

3rd Eye Surveillance
4Front Engineered Solutions
ActivIdentity
Alpha Arseanl LLC
Bandit Solutions
Blackbelt Technologies
BlackHawk Products
Bombardier
BrickHouse Security
BullGuard

Doesn’t get much stronger’nat. (Image source)

Castle Defense 360
Champion Alarm Systems, Ltd
Datawatch Systems
Deep Instinct
Deep Sentinel
Defendify (this is my personal favorite)
Deterrent Technologies
Digital Guardian
Drawbridge
Eagle Eye Systems
Eye Spy Security
FIDO Alliance (Fast Identity Online)
Fierce Access Distributors LLC
First Defense
Fortified
GateKeeper Security
Glympse
Hawkeye Security
Scorpion Protection

A venomous sting operation? I’ll take it. (Image source)

Instantly Safe
Intellicam Systems
Intellicheck
Keeper Security, inc.
KEYper Sytems
LaserShield
LiveWatch
NestLabs
Nuance Communications, Inc.
Omnilert
Orion Networks
Preventia
Rapid Security Solutions, LLC
Reliant Safety
ReliaQuest
Safe Haven Security
Safetrust Inc
Salient Systems
Securiteam
SheildIT
Silent Sentinel Stealth Monitoring
Sting Alarm
Stone Security
Surety Security

Super catchy, rhymes, and uses alliteration! (Image source)

Threat Extinguisher
Tripwire
Ultrasafe Security Specialists
Videolarm
VigilEASE, Inc.
And remember, as mentioned above, these are real business names, so stay away from infringement by checking your business name idea with the ​​US Trademark Checker as well as entity name availablity in your state.

Have any cool business names to add to this list for inspiration? Let us know in the comments!

The 10 Latest Google Ads Updates: What You Should Know (AND Do)

The 10 Latest Google Ads Updates: What You Should Know (AND Do)

At this point, we know that resisting Google Ads updates is a bit like…

…herding cats.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t gather ’em up into no-nonsense roundups with the essential facts and tips! Read on to learn what you really need to know about the latest Google Ads updates, including:

Conversion goals
Deal features for Shopping
New budget report
Infinite scroll on mobile
New OCI helper tool
Enhanced conversions out of beta
FLoC testing pushed back
Upgraded ad extensions
Performance Max campaigns out of beta
Engaged-view conversions for video Display ads
Read on to get facts for your FAQs.

1. New conversion goals 

Date: November 1
TLDR: Conversion goals group conversion actions together to enable bidding optimization at the campaign or account level.
On November 1, Google announced the rollout of conversion goals. With this new feature, Google will automatically group similar conversion actions together into categories of actions (such as Purchases or Submit lead forms)  most meaningful to your business. You can then optimize for conversion goals by defining which conversion actions within that goal should be used for bidding.

There are three goals:

Standard goals: The ones Google automatically creates out of your conversion actions, for which you can choose to optimize bidding in any campaign.
Account-default goals: Any of the standard goals you tell Google to include and optimize for in every new campaign by default.
Custom goals: Goals made up of primary and secondary conversion actions. The primary action is the one you’ll use for bidding.
You can view data for conversion goals by going to Tools > Measurement > Conversions. Your existing conversion, conversion optimization, and bidding strategies will not be changed. But terminology is changing:

Action we suggest: Do a bit of a conversion action audit and think about which conversion actions you want your bidding to focus on and which conversion goals you might want to set as account defaults. Also, fix your conversion tracking hang-ups so you can get the most out of this new feature. 

2. New features for deal badges in Shopping

Date: October 28
TLDR: Your product listings with a deal badge can now appear in a Deals feed, plus improved reporting for these listings.
When running Google shopping campaigns, merchants can apply a “promotion,” “sale,” or “price drop” badge to their product listing if it meets qualifying conditions. Google announced in July 2021 that these deal-badged listings would now be more visible with a “see deals related to your search” prompt in the Shopping tab.

Then, on October 28, Google announced that now (and as promised), there is a designated deals feed, always accessible in the Shopping tab and which will also appear in regular Search for relevant queries (like “black friday deals”).

Note that the deals feed also appears on mobile.

This feed will show recommended deals for that user, based on their query and browsing behavior as well as the attractiveness of the offer and discount

In addition, Google has made improvements to the Merchant Center to show which of your products qualify for a deals badge, as well as performance data for deal badged products broken out separately

Separate reporting for deal-badged products is now available. (Image source)

Action we suggest: Test out a price drop, discount, or promotion now to get familiar with the new functionality and reporting so you can be successful throughout Black Friday and the holidays. Consider implementing a priority bidding structure to maximize your ROAS. 

3. New Google Ads budget report

Date: September 30
TLDR: You now have more insight into how Google spends your budget each day and month.
When you set your daily average budget for a Google Ads campaign, you are telling Google to spend your budget in such a way that averages out to that amount over the course of a month. This means it can spend up to twice your daily average budget on any given day if it means more clicks and conversions, and then counteract that by spending less on days when traffic or conversions are lower.

This is helpful in maximizing your budget, but advertisers have had limited insight into the fluctuations in their daily average ad spend. Google’s new budget report, announced on September 30, solves for this. With this report, you can view past and future data.

In the cumulative monthly spend section, you can see how much you’ve spent so far, how much your projected to spend, and your monthly spending limit. You’re also able to edit the budget number at the top to see how this might impact your performance.

In the daily spend section, you can see how much of your daily spending limit you’ve spent on any given day. In both graphs, you can hover over the data to see numbers for an individual day.

Action we suggest: Head to one of your campaigns and pull up the report. Take a look at previous months to get a feel for how it visualizes the story. For this month’s report,  play around with different average daily budgets to see how it can help you plan accordingly. Also, check out our Google Ads budget guide.

Are you wasting any of your Google Ads budget? Find out (and fix it!) with our Free Google Ads Performance Grader.

4. The mobile SERP now uses infinite scroll

Date: October 14
TLDR: Infinite scroll feature on mobile does NOT impact Ad Rank, DOES change text ad distribution, and COULD impact your metrics.
On October 14, Google announced that the SERP on mobile will now automatically load the next three pages of results as you scroll so you don’t have to tap “See more.” As a result, fewer text ads will show at the bottom of the SERP and text ads can now appear at the top of the second page and onward.

Does this impact Ad Rank? No. The way Ad Rank is calculated will not change and will be recalculated for each SERP—meaning your ad could show on more than one SERP for the same query.

Will this impact ad performance? Potentially. Your prominence metrics like top and absolute top impression share might change. Google says this may increase impressions in your Search, Shopping, and Local campaigns, thereby lowering your CTR, but that clicks, conversions, average CPC and average CPA shouldn’t be impacted.

Note that there is no change for Shopping and Local ad appearance, and that this is for US-English queries only. Google plans to make this available for additional countries and languages next year.

Action we suggest: Keep an eye on your PPC metrics and review these seven smarter ways to approach mobile search ads.

5. New offline conversions import (OCI) helper tool

Date: September 28
TLDR: This self-service tool helps you to view and analyze your offline conversion data in Google Ads.
We all know that your first-party data is becoming the MVP as third-party cookies will be going away—it’s privacy-compliant and your most accurate data. But not all of your first-party data is collected on your website. 

On September 28, Google launched the OCI helper tool so you can import and analyze your offline first-party conversion data (like calls) to Google Ads. This way you can integrate this behavior into your entire lead-to-sale customer journey and use that data to find similar high-quality leads.

The tool is a self-service platform that businesses can use to import offline conversions as well as implement conversion values. There is first a questionnaire to identify the right implementation steps for your business (depending on your CRM, sales cycle, and more).

Then it will ask you to fill four roles:

Project Manager: assigns the rest of the roles and communicates between them.
Digital Marketing Manager: with standard access to Google Ads.
Website Developer: with admin access to your website’s source code.
CRM Manager: with admin access to your CRM.
You can assign up to four people per roll, and you can assign multiple rolls to one person. Once the OCI tool has this information, it will put together a customized implementation plan with a progress dashboard and assign out tasks for each role accordingly.

Action we suggest: Give it a spin! And on a similar note, learn how to import all your cost data into Google Analytics here.

6. Enhanced conversions now available to all

Date: September 30
TLDR: All advertisers can now use this solution for accurate and yet also privacy-first conversion tracking.
On September 30, Google announced that enhanced conversions, introduced in the May 2021 Google Marketing Live Stream, are now available in beta for all eligible advertisers. Here’s why it matters:

Let’s say a user clicks on a Google ad on their laptop, goes to your website, but doesn’t convert; but then later returns to your site through organic search on mobile and converts. Third-party cookies, which track individuals, across the web, across devices, allow you to see this path from paid ad to organic search to conversion. Without them, the organic visit would be treated as a new user and new visit, not tied to the ad, and the advertiser would falsely believe that their ad did not play a role in the conversion.

With enhanced conversions, you take the first-party data you collect on users from the conversion actions on your website (name, address, phone, email, etc.) and send it back to Google. Google will then match this first-party information to its first-party information (Google user accounts) so it can connect a user’s behavior on your website to their behavior with your ads on Google properties, regardless of device.

The result is the third-party cookie benefit of cross-device conversion tracking, without the third-party cookies. And the privacy piece comes in because the transmitted data is hashed and will be aggregated and anonymized in your reporting.

There are three ways to set up enhanced conversions:

Manually with Google Tag Manager
Manually with the Google sitewide tagging
With API
Action we suggest: Start ramping up your first-party data collection and get more familiar with this feature at Google’s help page for enhanced conversions.

7. FLoC testing pushed out to Q1 2022

Date: October 1
TLDR: The removal of third-party cookies could be delayed once again.
As we know, Google will be removing third-party cookies at some point in 2022. Since this has a massive impact on advertisers, it is coming up with new features (like enhanced conversions, mentioned above) and technologies to help advertisers accurately report on and effectively target their ads. Not only does this help advertisers, but in general, consumers prefer to get ads served to them that are relevant.

One of those technologies is Google FLoC. No action needed, but this could mean that the death of the third-party cookie could  be prolonged.

Image source

Action we suggest: Make sure you understand about what FLoC means for advertisers and that you have the Google Ads tag on your site.

8. Upgraded ad extensions

Date: October 26:
TLDR: Upgraded ad extensions (old features taken away, new ones added) will replace existing ad extensions by next year. 
On October 26, Google announced that it has rolled out upgraded ad extensions. These extensions will have more features like the ability to pause but will exclude some existing ad extension features, including:

Device preference for mobile.
Call extension start and end time.
App extension ad schedules.
Price and structure snippet start/end time and ad schedule.
Upgraded extensions will eventually replace the current (soon to be legacy) extensions, but this will be over the course of the year. You can create upgraded extensions in the meantime (via the API or Editor), but note that reporting will be a little wonky. You will only be able to see the combined legacy and upgraded extension data in the summary view.

Eventually, the summary and table views will show the same data, but after August 2022, you will no longer be able to view legacy extension data. 

Action we suggest: If you use the API or Editor, try creating an upgraded extension now. Or if you’re not familiar with extensions, check out our Google Ads extensions cheat sheet—wwhich we’ll be sure to update accordingly!

9. Performance Max campaigns now widely available

Date: November 2
TLDR: Performance Max campaigns now available to all; Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will upgrade to PM in 2022.
On November 2, Google announced that Performance Max campaigns, released in beta in  October 2020, are now available to all advertisers worldwide. With this automated campaign type, you provide Google with images, videos, logos, and headlines, and Google will mix and match those assets into ads that can run across Search, Display, Discover, Maps, Gmail, and YouTube.

With this campaign type, automation optimizes your budget and bids across channels and you can see performance in the Insights page and Combinations report. Google also shared that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will both upgrade to Performance Max in 2022.

Action we suggest: Ecommerce and local businesses, get familiar with Performance Max campaigns now since Smart Shopping and Local ads will eventually get moved into this campaign type.

10. Engaged-view conversions now available for video Display ads

Date: September 27
TLDR: I mean, it’s three sentences:
Google announced on September 27 that engaged-view conversions (EVCs), which have been available for TrueView skippable in-stream ads, Local and App campaigns, are now also available for video Display campaigns.

EVCs, introduced in 2020 as a more robust non-click metric than view-through conversions, are conversions that occur on your site within a particular time frame after someone views your video ad for 10 seconds.

Action we suggest: Check out these seven video ad ideas and brush up on your Display ad design principles to get those engaged views going! 

Stay tuned for more updates!

The 10 Latest Google Ads Updates: What You Should Know (AND Do)

The 10 Latest Google Ads Updates: What You Should Know (AND Do)

At this point, we know that resisting Google Ads updates is a bit like…

…herding cats.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t gather ’em up into no-nonsense roundups with the essential facts and tips! Read on to learn what you really need to know about the latest Google Ads updates, including:

Conversion goals
Deal features for Shopping
New budget report
Infinite scroll on mobile
New OCI helper tool
Enhanced conversions out of beta
FLoC testing pushed back
Upgraded ad extensions
Performance Max campaigns out of beta
Engaged-view conversions for video Display ads
Read on to get facts for your FAQs.

1. New conversion goals 

Date: November 1
TLDR: Conversion goals group conversion actions together to enable bidding optimization at the campaign or account level.
On November 1, Google announced the rollout of conversion goals. With this new feature, Google will automatically group similar conversion actions together into categories of actions (such as Purchases or Submit lead forms)  most meaningful to your business. You can then optimize for conversion goals by defining which conversion actions within that goal should be used for bidding.

There are three goals:

Standard goals: The ones Google automatically creates out of your conversion actions, for which you can choose to optimize bidding in any campaign.
Account-default goals: Any of the standard goals you tell Google to include and optimize for in every new campaign by default.
Custom goals: Goals made up of primary and secondary conversion actions. The primary action is the one you’ll use for bidding.
You can view data for conversion goals by going to Tools > Measurement > Conversions. Your existing conversion, conversion optimization, and bidding strategies will not be changed. But terminology is changing:

For more help with conversion tracking, check out these 8 Conversion Tracking Hangups (& How to Fix Them!). 

2. New features for deal badges in Shopping

Date: October 28
TLDR: Your product listings with a deal badge can now appear in a Deals feed, plus improved reporting for these listings.
When running Google shopping campaigns, merchants can apply a “promotion,” “sale,” or “price drop” badge to their product listing if it meets qualifying conditions. Google announced in July 2021 that these deal-badged listings would now be more visible with a “see deals related to your search” prompt in the Shopping tab.

Then, on October 28, Google announced that now (and as promised), there is a designated deals feed, always accessible in the Shopping tab and which will also appear in regular Search for relevant queries (like “black friday deals”).

Note that the deals feed also appears on mobile.

This feed will show recommended deals for that user, based on their query and browsing behavior as well as the attractiveness of the offer and discount

In addition, Google has made improvements to the Merchant Center to show which of your products qualify for a deals badge, as well as performance data for deal badged products broken out separately

Separate reporting for deal-badged products is now available. (Image source)

For more tips and advice on your Shopping listings, head to this post: How to Optimize Your Google Shopping Feed for Ecommerce Success.

3. New Google Ads budget report

Date: September 30
TLDR: You now have more insight into how Google spends your budget each day and month.
When you set your daily average budget for a Google Ads campaign, you are telling Google to spend your budget in such a way that averages out to that amount over the course of a month. This means it can spend up to twice your daily average budget on any given day if it means more clicks and conversions, and then counteract that by spending less on days when traffic or conversions are lower.

This is helpful in maximizing your budget, but advertisers have had limited insight into the fluctuations in their daily average ad spend. Google’s new budget report, announced on September 30, solves for this. With this report, you can view past and future data.

In the cumulative monthly spend section, you can see how much you’ve spent so far, how much your projected to spend, and your monthly spending limit. You’re also able to edit the budget number at the top to see how this might impact your performance.

In the daily spend section, you can see how much of your daily spending limit you’ve spent on any given day. In both graphs, you can hover over the data to see numbers for an individual day.

You can use our Google Ads budget guide for more help on this topic.

Are you wasting any of your Google Ads budget? Find out (and fix it!) with our Free Google Ads Performance Grader.

4. The mobile SERP now uses infinite scroll

Date: October 14
TLDR: Infinite scroll feature on mobile does NOT impact Ad Rank, DOES change text ad distribution, and COULD impact your metrics.
On October 14, Google announced that the SERP on mobile will now automatically load the next three pages of results as you scroll so you don’t have to tap “See more.” As a result, fewer text ads will show at the bottom of the SERP and text ads can now appear at the top of the second page and onward.

Does this impact Ad Rank? No. The way Ad Rank is calculated will not change and will be recalculated for each SERP—meaning your ad could show on more than one SERP for the same query.

Will this impact ad performance? Potentially. Your prominence metrics like top and absolute top impression share might change. Google says this may increase impressions in your Search, Shopping, and Local campaigns, thereby lowering your CTR, but that clicks, conversions, average CPC and average CPA shouldn’t be impacted.

Note that there is no change for Shopping and Local ad appearance, and that this is for US-English queries only. Google plans to make this available for additional countries and languages next year.

5. New offline conversions import tool (OCI helper)

Date: September 28
TLDR: This self-service tool helps you to view and analyze your offline conversion data in Google Ads.
We all know that your first-party data is becoming the MVP as third-party cookies will be going away—it’s privacy-compliant and your most accurate data. But not all of your first-party data is collected on your website. 

On September 28, Google launched the offline conversions import (OCI) helper tool so you can import and analyze your offline first-party conversion data (like calls) to Google Ads. This way you can integrate this behavior into your entire lead-to-sale customer journey and use that data to find similar high-quality leads.

The tool is a self-service platform that businesses can use to import offline conversions as well as implement conversion values. There is first a questionnaire to identify the right implementation steps for your business (depending on your CRM, sales cycle, and more).

Then it will ask you to fill four roles:

Project Manager: assigns the rest of the roles and communicates between them.
Digital Marketing Manager: with standard access to Google Ads.
Website Developer: with admin access to your website’s source code.
CRM Manager: with admin access to your CRM.
You can assign up to four people per roll, and you can assign multiple rolls to one person. Once the OCI tool has this information, it will put together a customized implementation plan with a progress dashboard and assign out tasks for each role accordingly.

Access the OCI helper tool here.

On a similar note, you can also import all of your cost data, from Facebook and other ad platforms, into Google analytics. We show you how to do that here.

6. Enhanced conversions now available to all

Date: September 30
TLDR: All advertisers can now use this solution for accurate and yet also privacy-first conversion tracking.
On September 30, Google announced that enhanced conversions, introduced in the May 2021 Google Marketing Live Stream, are now available in beta for all eligible advertisers. Here’s why it matters:

Let’s say a user clicks on a Google ad on their laptop, goes to your website, but doesn’t convert; but then later returns to your site through organic search on mobile and converts. Third-party cookies, which track individuals, across the web, across devices, allow you to see this path from paid ad to organic search to conversion. Without them, the organic visit would be treated as a new user and new visit, not tied to the ad, and the advertiser would falsely believe that their ad did not play a role in the conversion.

With enhanced conversions, you take the first-party data you collect on users from the conversion actions on your website (name, address, phone, email, etc.) and send it back to Google. Google will then match this first-party information to its first-party information (Google user accounts) so it can connect a user’s behavior on your website to their behavior with your ads on Google properties, regardless of device.

The result is the third-party cookie benefit of cross-device conversion tracking, without the third-party cookies. And the privacy piece comes in because the transmitted data is hashed and will be aggregated and anonymized in your reporting.

There are three ways to set up enhanced conversions:

Manually with Google Tag Manager
Manually with the Google sitewide tagging
With API
You can learn more at Google’s help page for enhanced conversions.

7. FLoC testing pushed out to Q1 2022

Date: October 1
TLDR: The removal of third-party cookies could be delayed once again.
As we know, Google will be removing third-party cookies at some point in 2022. Since this has a massive impact on advertisers, it is coming up with new features (like enhanced conversions, mentioned above) and technologies to help advertisers accurately report on and effectively target their ads. Not only does this help advertisers, but in general, consumers prefer to get ads served to them that are relevant.

One of those technologies is Google FLoC (learn about FLoC and third-party cookies here). No action needed, but this could mean that the death of the third-party cookie could  be prolonged.

Image source

8. Upgraded ad extensions

Date: October 26:
TLDR: Upgraded ad extensions (with new features) will replace existing ad extensions by next year. Reporting will be a little wonky during the migration.
On October 26, Google announced that it has rolled out upgraded ad extensions. These extensions will have more features like the ability to pause but will exclude some existing ad extension features, including:

Device preference for mobile.
Call extension start and end time.
App extension ad schedules.
Price and structure snippet start/end time and ad schedule.
Upgraded extensions will eventually replace the current (soon to be legacy) extensions, but this will be over the course of the year. You can create upgraded extensions in the meantime, but note that you will only be able to see the combined legacy and upgraded extension data in the summary view.

Eventually, the summary and table views will show the same data, but after August 2022, you will no longer be able to view legacy extension data. Check out our Google Ads extensions cheat sheet to get more familiar with extensions in general—we’ll be updating it accordingly!

9. Performance Max campaigns now widely available

Date: November 2
TLDR: Performance Max campaigns now available to all; Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will upgrade to PM in 2022.
On November 2, Google announced that Performance Max campaigns, released in beta in  October 2020, are now available to all advertisers worldwide. With this automated campaign type, you provide Google with images, videos, logos, and headlines, and Google will mix and match those assets into ads that can run across Search, Display, Discover, Maps, Gmail, and YouTube.

With this campaign type, automation optimizes your budget and bids across channels and you can see performance in the Insights page and Combinations report. Google also shared that Smart Shopping and Local campaigns will both upgrade to Performance Max in 2022.

10. Engaged-view conversions now available for video Display ads

Date: September 27
TLDR: I mean, it’s three sentences:
Google announced on September 27 that engaged-view conversions (EVCs), which have been available for TrueView skippable in-stream ads, Local and App campaigns, are now also available for video Display campaigns.

EVCs, introduced in 2020 as a more robust non-click metric than view-through conversions, are conversions that occur on your site within a particular time frame after someone views your video ad for 10 seconds.

Stay tuned for more updates!