In today’s episode, my guest is Ilana Wechsler, who founded a boutique digital agency called Green Arrow Digital, which specialized exclusively in Pay Per Click marketing.

I met Ilana while attending the Seller Summit conference and was so impressed with her body of knowledge that I asked her to come and share it on the show.

We all want more traffic. More traffic leads to more sales.

The problem is that the cost of traffic has been steadily increasing. In fact, ads on Facebook are now 70% more expensive than they were a year ago.

So, what is the advertiser to do, you ask?

Leverage other methods that are highly effective, yet more complex, and therefore, less expensive!

Enter the Google Display Network.

With over 2 million websites in their network, Google can offer advertisers a massive inventory of available ad placement, and if done correctly, the costs of these ads – retargeting in particular – can be quite enticing.

In today’s interview, Ilana walks us through some of the best practices, as well as the two biggest mistakes to avoid when advertising on the Google Display Network.

Full Transcript

Trent: Welcome back to another episode of the Bright Ideas Podcast.  I am your host Trent Dyrsmid and I am here to help you discover what is working in e-Commerce by shining a light on the tools, the tactics and the strategies that are in use by today’s leading entrepreneurs. 

And joining me on the show today who I’ll introduce just after we get through our sponsor message is a woman by the name of Ilana Wechsler. I met at a conference that I attended recently and I was super impressed with her particular body of knowledge. So before we get into that, let me just quickly bring you a message from our sponsor for this episode. 

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All right, it is a pleasure to have you on the show. This is our second attempt and hopefully this time we won’t have any problems and nobody’s got a cold and so forth; so welcome to the show.  

Ilana: Thank you, although I do have a puppy on my lap so we’ll see how we get it so I’ll get ahead of ourselves a little bit.  

Trent: This is true; this is true let’s hope the puppy sleeps all right. So for the people who I didn’t know you were obviously before we met at the conference for the people who don’t know who you are or aren’t familiar with your work, let’s start there who are you and what do you do?  

Ilana: Yeah, cool. So first, I’ll say Thanks for having me on your show it’s real honor to be here, so my name is Ilana as you introduce me and I guess the last 7 years have run a pay PC agency with a pay per click marketing agency where that’s all I did basically for 7 years for clients, managed to literally millions of dollars every year on behalf of people so I would say that I’m a bit of an expert in the world of Pay per click marketing. So Google ads and Facebook ads and just sort of I just thought I’d specialize in buying traffic. 

Yeah so I ran ad agency for about 7 years and now I’m focusing completely on teaching other people how to do exactly what I did in my agency for people.  

Trent: And that’s when I say I met Ilana at a conference I was in the audience after I think you spoke before me or after me I don’t really remember but I was sitting in on your talk and I was sufficiently impressed with your particular body of knowledge around the Google Display Network and the things that you’d accomplished that I really wanted to get you on the show so thank you for coming. 

How did you get started with online marketing and I think I might have had a small, small, small, small little role of that or something… 

Ilana: For your listeners, so I come from a culprit background, I actually used to be a Data Analyst in corporate world and sort of funds management. And it’s funny that these things like if you told me in 10 years’ time I’d be sitting here recording a podcast with you I never would have believed anyone because it certainly wasn’t part of my life plan. I left corporate world, I’m kind of not the typical story of I hated my job and I dreamt of starting my own business. 

On the contrary actually, I loved my work and I loved my job and I had every intention of staying but my life took a bit of a left turn when I had my first child. And for any of your female listeners who are working in a full time job in Australia, it’s particularly hard to work part-time and also bring up a child. So I made the easy-difficult decision to let go of my corporate career and spark another journey and that’s actually when I discovered you trip when I was trying to navigate the world of online marketing and came across your very old website. 

Now I know that doesn’t apparently doesn’t exist anymore and I was following your work that was such an amazing situation in Miami after my talk you came up to me and I didn’t know what you looked like but I knew your name and so I came up to me after my talk and I saw your name tag and I’m like, “Oh I know you” I was like a real completing the loophole, closing the league what they say with how I used to follow this guy. I used to follow your journey and seek your help in navigating the online marketing world. 

And then they vary my talk, it was really quite a surreal experience. So yes you definitely played a role that I tried lots of different things online failed at lots of different things. We should say more specifically but I started kind of — because I thought what are my skills? I had a lot of very good Excel skills so I thought that’s what I’m going to start doing, so I put an ad on what’s called Gumtree here in Australia which is kind of like the US equivalent of craigslist offering my Excel help and to my surprise, people responded to my ad asking for help with excel and do I used to build macros and link it with databases. It was quite complicated stuff I used to do. 

And to my surprise I got work and then so I thought well I’ve got a business here so I need a website. So I bought Excel help that you add to my also surprised no one came to my website, honestly that sparked the journey of trying to get people to my accept help so come to you and that’s how I found you and as they say, the rest is history.

Trent:  So you decided to focus yourself on buying pay traffic. I think very, very early on in your journey and you’ve been focused on that one singular goal I think ever since if I can remember correctly.  

Ilana:  Actually I actually try to feel it marketing and oh you did. I did but I failed miserably knowing I mastered SEO and I basically mastered keyword research and SEO and that’s why I really cut my teeth on keyword research and then that kind of stopped working or I just didn’t like that game anymore. 

And then I flip the equation so I was a publisher where I had Google ads on my site hits SEO and keyword research. Google did an algorithm update which impacted me negatively and to hell with this cat and mouse game. I thought instead of being enemies with Google, I want to be friends with Google. So I flipped the equation and then focus solely on paperclip marketing.  

Trent:  And of all of the various paperclip channels, I know your talk was the Google Display Network was that the channel that you paid more attention to or is that just in the last few years was that your focus?  

Ilana: Yeah well, once again my journey in the paperclip and it’s also been a journey of discovery. So when I started my agency 7-8 years ago, it was only a Google Ads agency and AdWords agency. So I really picked up search with Google search it really quickly because of my keyword basic background. What happens is when you can buy search traffic profitably, you get to a point where you like, “Great, this is working, I want to buy more traffic” But the problem with search is works very well, it converts very well but you max out of that. You buy all that profitable traffic when you have a conversation with the client. I got, “Great, we would like to spend more” 

Well I say, ‘Well, I can’t make more people search for things we’ve bought all the profitable traffic that there is” We need to go to the next phase and that’s kind of where the Google Display Network came into it. And I have spent a lot of time and money mastering it but it really is an amazing aspect to the Google ad platform which is not very popular and I think people have become quite scared from it or was scared with it and therefore kind of left it alone which has kind of been my secret weapon because you know if no one’s really doing it it’s really, really great pride. And it wasn’t me and it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work; it just means that people can’t figure it out. 

So once I kind of cracked the code with it as such I really kind of doubled down on it and I started offering it for lots of my clients. And we saw some really good results. So it was the next logical extension once we nailed Google search to see if we could get the display network to work for their business so that’s kind of how I got into it.  

Trent: So for the folks who when they hear the term Google Display Networking what the hell is that? Let’s start there! 

Ilana: Okay, so it’s essentially putting a banner on somebody else’s website. So a publisher like New York Times for example might allow Google ads on their website. So you can’t put a banner on anyone’s Website. That particular Website owner needs to create a relationship with Google whereby they say yes Google you can have a set number of ad spots on our Website. And then when people visit their Website and click on that ad, that particular publisher gets paid.  

So there’s literally over 2million websites that allow Google ads on their site by which you are unable or able to put an ad on there. So for example, if I wanted to advertise my business and I want to advertise on the New York Times, instead of me having to go, I simply go to Google and say, “Hey Google, all your relationships that you’ve got with these publishers” Then I can get access to all of them simply through the Google ad platform 

Trent: And its traditional bid for exposure marketing here, you’re bidding on that particular score you’re actually. How does it work? You can’t say, “Hey, I want to be on the New York Times site” 

Ilana:  You can and you elect how much you’re willing to pay to be on there and subject to a lot of a lot of factors. It depends how much you pay but simply put, it’s effectively an auction. So how much you pay is contingent on how many of the people want to be there based on lots of lots of factors.  

Trent: So with 2 million sites in their network reviewing each of the 2 million to say I want this one and this one and this would be a bit of a laborious process to say the least. So from your experience what have you learned as the ideal way to figure out which side should I be on?  

Ilana: Yeah, I mean I think if I can just explain sort of a bit of a helicopter view of how you advertise. If you want to advertise, you decide where you want your ads to be and how you decide. Pretty much is broken down into two distinct categories. The first category is what’s called by the content on that particular website. Is it a blog talking about certain information? So, say I’m interested in cooking right which I am and therefore if I sell a cooking related product, I want my banner to be on cooking related websites irrespective of who that person is reading that website. 

The mere fact that they are reading a recipe or a cooking demonstration article would deem them to be interested in cooking because why else would they be on that website right? So that’s I can choose websites based on the content or the keywords or the topics. All right and a completely other side of targeting on the display network is nothing to do with the words on the page but all about who you are as a person. So much kind of like Facebook ads where you’d get about the individual or what’s called identity based marketing, It’s the same on the Google Display Network where you can target based on who’s somewhat is. 

So for example, Google ever talks about Facebook having insane amounts of data on people. Well let me tell you Google have just as much if not more. They’ve been buying credit card data for as long as we can remember. They know when I’m going to buy something pretty much before I know I’m going to buy something. How do they know? 

They’ve got a huge ability to access data. Do you think about it. They own obviously Google.coms, they own the search network, they own Google Chrome, so they own that browser tracking all my browsing behavior. They own Gmail so they can scan through patching up. It’s pretty scary when you establish that they own YouTube which a lot of people go to YouTube to access information and boasted as being the world’s second largest search engine, Google Apps for business, they own the pixel phone so their development over the years has been joining the dots of all this data. So they know as I said when I want to buy something before I do. 

So, going back to who you are as a person they can spot unusual search activity they can so let’s say I’m buying a new car. They can spot that you know I don’t typically a lot of typically doesn’t look at car websites because if two hoots about cars. But if I’m suddenly Google searching you know the Subaru XP car, if I’m going to the Subaru website, if I go to Ford’s website, if I’m going to Volvo, Google’s goes, “Oh, hang on a minute, there’s unusual activity here, she must be looking to buy a new car or a used car etc” 

And all of those so called what’s called in-market, so they can spot this unusual activity and they could and then that is a targeting metric by which you as an advertiser could use.  

Trent: So when I as an advertiser, when I want to take advantage of the Google Display Network, am I using it strictly for retargeting or am I also using it to be able to use the phrase preterm to pixel people to put them in my audience and maybe the terminology is different?  

Ilana: You absolutely want to retarget people on Google and that’s one of the things I see all the time because I help people all the time with their online advertising and I meet people all the time who are doing a ton of traffic on Facebook ads. In fact where we met in Miami, most of the people I spoke to, that was predominantly where they were focusing all their efforts and outreach on lead generation was through Facebook ads which is fine. No one’s saying not to do that but they were not retargeting people on Google which is such a missed opportunity. So yes you can buy Facebook ads get those people to your website, on your website is the Facebook pixel and the Google pixel. 

And by getting them to a Website that is opening the door to retargeting on both those forms the beauty with retargeting on Google is the information that they give you. So say I go to your website today and a week from today and I leave not doing anything you can obviously retarget me on Google but what Google is going to tell you it’s going to tell you where else I went to on into EBS after I left your site. What articles did I read? What blogs did I visit? What content do I read that you can use as Intel in your other marketing. 

So to give you an example, because I find it’s easy to conceptualize with examples. In the case study I kind of used it in Miami was it so we had a client in the home building industry. They sell bricks and whatever kind of high end building equipment and they get a lot of traffic. So we implemented a retargeting campaign and we could see after they left this Website they would going to websites like Elledé and and which are home decorating and kind of online magazines. They tell us that they say yep you have this many impressions, you have this many clicks on these websites and with many leads. 

So then I start to think well hang on a minute if someone’s buying bricks and flooring equipment or flooring for their new home of course they go to these websites, they’re renovating. That makes sense, they’re looking for decorating ideas. So I can then say to Google, “Google, I want to show an ad on these websites for all the air traffic not just the people who’ve come to my website; that Google’s revealed to me that that’s where my target audience goes. But the next step would be to say, “Hey Google, I want an ad for all the website visitors that go to ElleDecor and home beautiful etc.. Because I want more of these kinds of people.  

Trent: It does make sense and how does doing that compare to doing the same thing on Facebook or the other platforms that are available? 

Ilana: It’s just the next step so it’s not like an alternative it’s not like you get to not do whatever you’re doing on Facebook. It’s just adding it to your campaigns or your advertising so you test it and if the cost per acquisition comes in at an affordable rate which often it does, then it makes sense to just do diversification of your traffic sources. 

But you could also take it a step further where if that works we’re having a banner on that particular website then it makes sense. Well hang on a minute. If those readers like my offer like my banner, it makes sense that I might target them on Facebook. So I don’t have to wait till they’re reading that article of that magazine. Those online magazines have a social media presence and it turns out Elle decor has three and a half million likes and Better Homes and Gardens about five million likes. I can then target them when they’re not reading that article. But when they’re scrolling through the newspaper The point is it’s just painting a very clear picture as to who exactly is your target audience and then you’re accessing them at various points for how they travel around the web. 

Trent: So for brands who haven’t yet really expanded much beyond Amazon because they’re having success with Amazon Pay per click for example where Amazon is maybe.  Oh I don’t know 70%, 80%, 90% of their sales and they’re and they’re looking at building enterprise value and they realize they need to diversify where their sales are coming from they don’t want to be due to too dependent to one what channel on one channel rather. These are probably going to be smaller brands that I’m thinking about so resources are always constrained. It’s not like they have had specialists and so forth. What would be some of the first steps that you would recommend that they take to begin that diversification?  

Ilana: Good question, so I mean I’ve gone to other Amazon products, I’ve been in exactly that same boat where I’ve been bootstrapping a brand new products put my products on Amazon and I was sending traffic straight to Amazon but at the end of the day Amazon owns that customer right?

So what I did and do for others which has been quite effective is just to build a very simple landing page on that particular device that I bought from my business and my ads are for some kind of offer where they go to that landing page. I have to enter their name and email address to claim that code whatever discount code that code is emailed to them and then they claim that code. Why I want to do that is I have to build a database, number one and two is to build a retargeting list by sending them to that landing page. I then have control on what I do on that landing page. I can put my Facebook pixel so that I can put my Google pixel on that landing page and I can retarget people. And once I retarget people obviously I’m going to get more sales but I’m also going to learn more about who exactly these people are. Where do they travel online? What information do they consume? What presses their buttons in that respect and I could build a profile of these people because I truly believe right at the end of the day the person who wins with marketing is the one who truly understands their customers. 

And so, if you can— say for example my product was in the sustainability and environmental niche and I did exactly this for my particular product. And I really did it like just to test it on myself first before I did it for clients. And it’s like it’s a product to help reduce plastic. So I did this and I could see of the people that left my website they were going to like website and, I can’t remember exactly 

But these are the kinds of people who are motivated to click on my offer for my environmentally sustainable product by implementing a Google retargeting campaign, I can say, “Well where else do they travel on the web” And then I can apply that knowledge in other areas of my marketing and I can target then tree hugger dot com on Facebook etc. and it’s the kind of thing that like you start somewhere where the best starting point is a retargeting campaign. And from that that we’ll see ideas for other areas and it’s always like where you end up you never dreamt you’d end up there but had you not started you wouldn’t you know.  

Trent: Yeah, so I get the flywheel effect because the more you go around the more other data sources you get the more top the funnel ads you can run but you just said the best place to start is with retargeting so I want to make sure that we don’t skip past the details of this.

So I sell this widget, I sell it on Amazon I’m using Amazon ads so I don’t really have any traffic to my website. Not in a meaningful way I might get some organic traffic here and there but I’m not running any campaigns and you’re telling me the very first thing I should do is retarget?  

Ilana: Well, that’s why I said, “You send them to that landing page with that offer” 

Trent: So look let’s stop there, so I’m going to need to maybe run some Facebook ads or some Google search ads to get him to go to my landing page to begin with? [Correct] So I can pixel them and then I’m going to retarget them. 

Ilana: Yes, so that’s one way, another way which I’ve done is I’ve written content on that particular website, ran Facebook ads promoting that content as well as Google display, on the JD an ad promoting that content just to generate traffic to generate that retargeting list. Then I can pixel them and see where they travel.  

Trent: Did you find that when you produced content and you ran an ad to content versus an ad to a traditional e-Commerce physical product offer; did you find that the clicks were less expensive? 

Ilana: The clicks were less expensive but that didn’t necessarily mean that they were interested in my product. [Yeah] So it’s one of the things that you need to test in your market as to how effective is that piece of content in filtering out people who are really going to be interested in your product. So in my particular product example, I had much better results sending them an offer that I did providing content. If your sole purpose is to understand your customer then you might find that promoting content is the way to go. 

But for me I was really just looking for the but for the buyers, up-sale cross-sell etc. So I have running in my particular product better. But you might find that both of those options are viable options and probably worthy of a test and you have to say for your own industry. 

Trent: And I would introduce a certain thing that I would encourage people to test with my motorsports experiment, it never became a brand because I ultimately realized I didn’t have the time to do it.  I did a sweepstakes and it was highly effective.  

I was able to get email addresses for 32cents from Facebook because I was giving away a package of 500 bucks worth of tools and had for example, I moved forward had it not ultimately decided to kill it and had I been retargeting I drove a lot of traffic to that landing page in a very short period of time and was able to build a 6,000 email list in 2 weeks.  

Ilana: Wow! That’s amazing. You can upload that email to Facebook, you could do it to Google but you need to have spent fifty thousand dollars in the lifetime of that Google ads a cats probably couldn’t do it with Google but you could get you could upload that database to Facebook, create a little lookalike audience from that and then take it from there. 

We did experiment with sending Facebook ads to the messenger but they claim that coupon code but we quickly realized we’ll hang on a minute we can’t miss target on Google using that method and we’re limiting out retargeting options, so therefore we stopped doing that pretty quickly.  

Trent: Were you using many channel or were using some other tool? 

Ilana: I was using the new tech but I couldn’t retarget on Google.  

Trent: Really, why not?  Because if I’m putting up the landing page in a workplace site…

Ilana: I didn’t send to a landing page, it was just a Facebook ad straight to messenger.  

Trent: Got it, yeah. Okay because you could put the landing page with a mini chart [correct] engagement experience on the landing page and you could pixel at that point in time. 

Ilana: Correct, I did not do that because I kind of wanted to be able to build that database and I have had that intelligence but it didn’t occur to me but yeah I guess this is so many ways to slice and dice it. In my experience, I just found the easiest was to create a simple landing page on the website. Very simple up to the offer and I just found I make sure I email that coupon code to people as opposed to putting it on the same page. I would then get real email addresses and then test at which was pretty good. So the poll person who owns that

Trent: Yeah I’ve used that one a couple of a couple of times myself. 

Ilana: So yeah and then we satisfy the criteria of being able to be targeted on both platforms which is really, really valuable. And you can also just to confuse people a little bit more, you can then also retarget on YouTube because it’s part of the Google ecosystem as well.  

Trent: And so in order to be able to retarget on YouTube you would have to have video add content obviously to be a pre-roll.

Ilana:   Correct, Yes.  

Trent: Which is not a huge undertaking but nonetheless, good to make the distinction?  So are there any common potholes that beginners fall into when they’re setting this stuff up for the first time? I’m sure there must be a couple things.  

Ilana: There’s probably two big ones I don’t want to bombard people with information but if we remember these two it will stand you in good stead.  The first is to prevent Google from showing your ads on mobile apps. You’ve got kids I’ve got kids trick. We’ve all seen our kids being on an iPad. They’re using the free apps and the ads come up and they click on the ad and then they go back. 

So you get a lot of inadvertent clicks by having your ads on mobile apps and that’s one of the sneaky default settings that Google puts in there or I call them Google land mines as such whereby it’s designed to really make Google more money and you to spend money. So you need to prevent your ads from showing up on Google Apps and it’s a pretty simple setting.  

So that’s number one and number two is you also need to also you know quite a bit of junk on the Google Display Network. So we have a– I guess a proprietary list of these junk websites that Bill topping our agency in the last seven years as being done in phones and dot xyz domains that are really junk placements. And also kids YouTube channels that kids just click on the ads because I don’t know what they’re doing exceptions.  

So we would also I’m happy to make that resource available for your listeners if you’d like. That’s where we get to simply copy and paste upload this negative placement list to your account and your ads will not be showing up on those junk placements. So definitely, have those two factors in play. Recently I audited a Google Ads account where they were allowing the mobile app placements in their account. Inadvertently they didn’t realize and each of these clicks won cost 10 cents or it cost 30 cents or cost five cents. But there’s literally millions of these apps it added in the Excel geek inmate needed to export it and do it quick on the table just to work out how much they had wasted just on these mobile apps. And it was in the order of about $35,000 over the lifetime. This is how it was. It was insane. So you definitely want to incorporate these two factors.  

Trent: And all of this is done through what was formerly known as Google AdWords and it’s now just come to Google ads. Is that correct?  

Ilana: That is correct; you said the Google ad platform gives you access to Google search, the Google Display Network, Google Shopping and YouTube, so it is a bit of a beast of a platform.  

Trent: Are there best practices for campaign structure? 

Ilana: Definitely, campaign structure is very, very important, it’s the campaigns are sructured similar to how they are on Facebook where on Facebook you might be familiar with you’ve got campaigns and you’ve got your ad sets and your ads.  It’s pretty much the same on Google where you’ve got your campaigns and the ad groups and then within your ad groups you if you’re doing search you’ve got keywords or they’re tied to that ad. So it’s the same kind of hierarchy but structure is very important because you want to make for easy ongoing management and maintenance. So you structure it well so it’s clear and you know exactly where your ads are showing and why. And it also enables really good ad relevance and that’s sort of particularly true when you’re doing the Google search network. The classic mistake that people make is they create one campaign, one ad set and then in that one site one ad group and when it’s within that one ad group they throw like three hundred keywords that are not even related to each other. 

And the problem with that is that only one ad will show for all of those 300 keywords and that’s impossible for that one ad to be relevant with all this. That’s right. So you get— no way exactly. So you need good structure to force good ad relevance and then good click through rate and good conversion right.  

Trent: So it would be normal then to have one campaign with quite a few different ad groups in it and then potentially targeting the same product because there’s different batches of keywords that you would be targeting with each of those ad groups. And then there’s also whether they’d be search ads or display ads or that type of thing as well, correct?  

Ilana: Yeah kind of, I mean you definitely separate your search campaigns from your display campaigns and — But within the search you would create very, very tight keyword themed ad groups, five maximum 10 keywords in an ad group. That way, your ad that is shown speaks directly to that particular keyword that you’re bidding on because you might find different keywords; you want to talk about different benefits of your product. So yes, I might be going to the same place or they might be going to a different place but if they are we just might want your ad to talk about different aspects to it out hence the different sort of keywords and sort of matching it that way that makes sense?  

Trent: It does so for someone who has very little experience in Google ads, if I want to be able to split test, one ad variations targeting variations and so forth and I’m much more familiar how to do this with Facebook. What does that look— natively can you do that within the Google interface or do you need to use third party tools?

Ilana: No, no Google actually is really good at split testing. Way better than I found on Facebook actually. What I find happens on Facebook is one ad will get way more airtime than another ad and Facebook kind of quickly makes a decision which is the winning ad.

On Google, there is a setting that you can say by which you can say, do not optimize it to actually do an accurate split test. I want to give it to these two ads or three get equal airtime and therefore it’s way, way easier to do a accurate split test. And the beauty with that is that you can apply that knowledge to other forms of your marketing. So if you find one ad talks about benefit one, it really it sort of goes on about one of the benefits and your split testing that benefit one with a different kind of benefit. If there’s a clear winner well that makes sense to apply them in other areas of your marketing maybe your Facebook ads etc.. So it’s a really good way to split tests what leaves people and that’s really important information that you can apply in several other areas.  

Trent: Absolutely, okay we’re going to say…

Ilana: Let’s just add one more point; the beauty with Google search especially is that it’s the ultimate testing ground. You know exactly these people are searching for a product; they’ve literally just gone to Google and typed it in. So it’s the ultimate as why I always said it was the ultimate testing ground as to which benefit they prefer versus is another one because you’ve plucked out your ideal customer from the crowd by the mere fact that they literally just typed it into Google. 

The sheer intent based nature of the Google Search network is it’s such a good testing ground to see what moves them as well as what landing pages converting better etc.. So we’ve had many clients in our agency come through where they know they’re going to lose money on the search that way because that product is not selling for high enough or they’re in an expensive industry but they’re buying that valuable data that’s worth it to them for them to apply in other areas of their business.

Trent: So being good at keyword research is a pretty important part of this entire process, correct?  

Ilana: Correct, yes. Okay and you mentioned AHREFS as your sponsor, I mean they they’re really good at keyword research.

Trent: They are indeed and so for folks, I’m going to give a little plug to my old software platform. We have a floater which you can find it  

It’s a platform for creating standard operating procedures for whatever part of your business that you want to systematize. And one of the things that we’ve recently launched is a marketplace where we offer both paid and free pre-made Standard Operating Procedure templates and we happen to have a couple, one in particular for AHREFS keyword research. So if you’re if you’re going to check out the tool that $7 trial and you’re listening to the interview that we’ve just been doing thinking, “Hey, I want to try this stuff” and you maybe don’t consider yourself a keyword research expert. We have a very specific SOP that will walk you through the best practices according to the AHREFS team on how to do that keyword research correctly and that’s one of the things because for my software we’ve actually been doing some organic SEO as a part of our marketing and we’ve both my co-founder and I have both learned a great deal as a result of AHREFS and becoming a sponsor and starting to use the tool.  

So before we wrap, is there anything if you were interviewing yourself given what we’ve talked about and we’ve got one question left, what would you ask you? If I missed anything is what I’m trying to understand.

Ilana: I think we’ve covered a really good ground, I think if I were a listener and I would be wondering I mean the question that I would be wondering is what’s the best starting point which we covered and I say to people start with a retargeting campaign. What I would say to people which we have not touched on is to make no assumptions– to test everything, so that’s one and number two is with your retargeting campaign to test different offers. 

As somebody who has specialized for the last several years in online advertising, the difference in an offer which people want so an offer that converts very well versus one that doesn’t is like night and day. And honestly it’s that stock. So you might find that your advertising an offer which is mediocre and you think pay per click marketing doesn’t work for my business.  

You know I would say to you, change your offer, even slightly even if it’s the same in product. Change it slightly. Dress it up a little bit differently, call it something else but change your offer because it might just be how you dress it up that is not that enticing to people. So lots of people— lt’s kind of like the secret in the online marketing industry that people don’t really talk about as needing an offer that converts and I can send the best traffic in the world to a page. But if people don’t want what they are offering then no amount of good traffic is going away. 

This is going to have an amazing office and mediocre traffic and it was still that really well. So if you’re finding you’re getting mediocre results I’d say, change your offer and see if that resonates with people because once you get an offer that converts, then you are there, you’ve made it.  

Trent: Yeah. And using my sweepstakes as an example of just that when I started I put together my offer for the sweepstakes was $500 worth of power tools it was a collection of different power tools.  

And when I was running that offer early in the campaign I’m pretty sure that memory serves me I was paying 55 or 60 cents for an email address and then I decided to take that offer down and offer up a tool box, the rolling tool box also worth 500 bucks.  

And I mean the cost per lead went down by almost by half and the conversions were obviously substantially better even though it was the same five hundred bucks worth and everyone was just going to get a Home Depot $500 gift card anyway so they could have went and bought whatever the heck they wanted.  But what you showed them has a huge impact on their behavior.  

Ilana: Huge and people don’t realize it, they always take it personally or they say, “Oh Google don’t work for my business” I try to get into it. Well actually did you really test it. Did you test different offers? Did you test different creative? Did you test different headlines etc.. That’s the kind of stuff that you need to really test to then form the conclusion that it doesn’t work because I think people come to that conclusion way too quickly.  

Trent: Indeed! So for people– I know your agency is no longer accepting new clients because you’re making the transition; you’ve got a new website. If people are wanting and I don’t even know if you have any you’re trading stuff ready yet or even if the website is live yet uses  

Yes by the time this is published it will be live but I’ve run my online membership for the last 2 years now. I’m just putting it on a new friend need to me but it’s based on my old website of So that was where I had my online membership and my agency. But now the new home for the online membership is at and yes so you can go check it out there or if you like the stuff I talk about. I also have a podcast which you’re going to come on my show. You said yes to cool talking web marketing you can listen to Trent there.  

Trent: All right, wonderful, it was a pleasure to have you on the show, thank you for making the time. 

Ilana: Thank you so much.  

Questions Asked During the Interview

  1. Who are you and what do you do?
  2. How did you get started with online marketing?
  3. What have you spent the last few years focused on?
  4. How do the different ad platforms differ in terms of eCommerce?
  5. For brands who haven’t yet expanded much beyond Amazon, what are some of the first steps you recommend they take?
  6. When it comes to Google search, given your experience, what are some of the biggest mistakes that you see people making?
  7. How does the approach you take on Google search differ from what you do on Facebook?
  8. How does Google Digital Network (GDN) fit into the strategy?

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Today’s Guest

Ilana is a former data analyst turned PPC expert. She founded a boutique digital agency called Green Arrow Digital which specialized exclusively in Pay Per Click marketing. Her agency managed well over $30 million in ad campaigns across multiple platforms.

She now runs an online training membership at where she teaches business owners exactly how to run profitable digital ad campaigns. Ilana is also the host of a popular Podcast called “Talking Web Marketing.”

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