The Westmark Group Blog

When it comes to Pay Per Click ads you want to get the most bang for your buck, but which search engine is going to give you that? Each one has unique features and benefits, so it’s hard to say but these are our thoughts.

For starters, Google controls 2/3 of the market between Google Search Network and Google Display Network. Google Search Network refers to the search features like Google Search, Google Shopping, and Google Maps. While Google Display Network refers to the other non-search based sites like Gmail, YouTube, or Blogger. The Yahoo! Bing Network offers similar options between the Bing-Search Network (Bing and Yahoo! direct properties) and the Bing Content Network (Bing and Yahoo! owned and operated websites).

Cost-wise if you’re looking for cheap, Bing is the winner. The cost per click on a Bing ad is 50 to 70 percent less than that of a Google ad. The impression cost is 76 to 90 percent lower, but it’s important to note that you’re also getting significantly less impressions using Bing. The CTR (click-through rate) is also exponentially higher on Google. So you may be paying less, but less people are seeing your ad when you use Bing. An advantage though is that there is then 36 percent less competition between advertisers on Bing.

When it comes to settings, Bing offers a little more flexibility in most areas (but not all). While Google AdWords allows you to adjust your budget by day, Bing Ads allows you to have either a daily or monthly budget. In Google AdWords you’re limited to location targeting at the campaign level, however Bing Ads allows you to adjust it at both the campaign and ad group level. However, if you like to get super organized with your ads keep in mind that Bing Ads doesn’t offer labeling, Google AdWords does. Google AdWords also allows for different sizing and format options for the images on your ads. Bing Ads doesn’t even allow for images with your ads, text only.

In conclusion, both platforms have unique advantages making it hard to declare a winner. If you’re looking for the cheaper option or more flexibility with your ads then Bing is definitely the way to go. Want an image with your ad? Looking for more impressions and a higher CTR? Google AdWords is the platform for you.

Instagram just rolled out their newest feature: Instagram Stories. Essentially on your profile or homepage you can upload content that expires after 24 hours. Sound familiar?

IG Story

As much as we want to say they have vastly different features and serve different purposes, we can’t. To be fair Instagram still has strides to take, they don’t have any of the filters that make Snapchat unique. Part of what has kept Snapchat relevant has been their use of Geofilters and MSQRD (face filters), the entertainment value. As of now Instagram’s story feature only has text and a drawing feature with a few options. So if you’re snapping a picture on Instagram don’t go looking for the “rainbow vomit” filter or your town’s Geofilter, you won’t find them.

Particular to businesses on Instagram, the new story feature is a blessing in disguise. Why? Now rather than having to build up an audience on two separate platforms, they can just focus on building up the audience they probably already have on Instagram. Additionally, the demographics of Instagram are far wider than those of Snapchat, whose main demographic is 35 years and under.

While it’s only been out for a day, it’ll be interesting to watch what kind of traction Instagram stories gets. Will people quit Snapchat? Which will businesses take to more? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, you can follow our Instagram stories @WestmarkGroup.

pexels-photo-28462-largeMonitoring your social media can be time consuming to do on your own. Many people have resorted to outside sources to do this for them. Here are some of the top places offering this service right now:

1. Mention

This website offers its services starting at $29 a month so you can monitor your online footprint and generate awareness for your brand. With this you get two alerts, up to 3000 mentions, and can login with one user. It draws content from many sources like social media, websites, and blogs. The downside of this option is that they don’t offer analytics or advanced search options with this plan. They also don’t allow you to export this data from their website, making reports more time consuming on your end.

2. Hootsuite

For a premium account the prices start at only $10 a month, and with this you get up to 50 profiles. However even with that many profiles you only receive one analytics report. The upside to this service is that it also offers bulk message scheduling and allows for up to 10 users.

3. Buzzsumo

This service starts at a pricey $99 a month, and the return on it isn’t great honestly. You get up to five users, but only 10 alerts. These alerts can be for link (to your site or another), domain (when new content is published), or author (new content from a particular author) alerts. This service does not offer Facebook analysis or advanced filters. In terms of reporting this means that you will need to find another platform to do so.

4. A Digital Marketing Firm

A digital marketing firm is going to give you the most out of your experience. Not only do you have someone frequently monitoring all of your accounts, there is no limit on the number of alerts you can set. They also will do all of the analysis for you and export it in a neat monthly report. This way all you have to do is sit back and relax. Though this option may be a little pricier than using a website on your own, the cost is justified because of the expertise and analytics you receive. You don’t have to do a thing; you’re provided with a full analysis and a game plan for how to improve in the future. The website you use might tell you your stats but it won’t tell you what to do with them or what they even mean for your business.



LinkedIn can be a great tool for any business to grow their network and build brand recognition. As with any other social media platform though it has a unique way to be successful. Here are some tips and tricks to up your LinkedIn presence.

1. Utilize LinkedIn sponsored updates

This way you are putting your content in front of key influencers. By doing so you build your credibility as an expert in your market and you increase your brand’s exposure.

2. Engage frequently and directly

You should be constantly posting and responding to comments on your page and on other people’s pages. Feel free to post plenty of company updates and news, this keeps your customers up to date and feeling in the loop with your company. Industry news tends to receive the most engagement and is the most sought after type of post.

3. Check out your page’s analytics

On LinkedIn you can view different things like the number of page views you receive or your unique visitors. By analyzing this information you can be a smarter poster in the future and grow your following even more.

4. Promote your page on other social media platforms, like Twitter or Facebook

Don’t hesitate to promote yourself on your other pages! This is the easiest way to grow your following on LinkedIn with people that already trust and respect your brand.

man-791049_960_720Email marketing is a big opportunity to directly target people who may be interested in your business. You’ve acquired their email somehow so they must have displayed some interest at some point, right? Here’s how to make sure you hold their interest.

  1. Personalize to your business

Make sure you have a clear voice and a personal tone to your writing that fits your business. This is your chance to show the person that will open the email what your business is all about.

  1. Have a reason for emailing

Make sure that you’re giving the reader something of value and aren’t just emailing them for the sake of doing so. Your content can be anything: advice or tips, a promotion, an article; just make sure it’s relevant. Email with purpose.

  1. Devise a clear and engaging subject line

Pull the reader in and make sure it’s engaging. Great headlines are questions or are relatable. A good tool for creating subject lines is a headline analyzer.

  1. Read your analytics

If you use a service like Constant Contact or Mailchimp, odds are they offer some kind of analytics for the emails you send. How many people opened your email? What was the click rate? The bounce rate? These are important things to take note of in creating future emails, adjust your content accordingly.

  1. Create a line of communication

This is your opportunity to speak directly to your audience. Ask questions and get your readers engaged, this will make them more likely to reach out to you or look at your website, for example.


What is Dynamic Retargeting exactly? It is an advertising strategy where advertisers can personalize the ads seen by users based on their previous behavior. They can do this by featuring products or content recently viewed by the user, or by showing other content that may be relevant to them.

The reason this is “dynamic” is because the information changes based on what data is known about the user based on their previous behavior during their time on your site. For example, this can be the items they have looked at or left in their shopping cart, their geographical location, or past purchases. So let’s say you went to a website and looked at a pair of shoes. Based on this behavior you may see ads from this brand advertising the same pair of shoes you looked at previously. Let’s say you bought that pair of shoes, you might see ads featuring socks. This is different from a static ad, where the content is unchanging and serves a broader audience.

Why is this important? What is the value of it? Results. Dynamic Retargeting results in a two to three times boost in click through rates as opposed to a static ad. These ads then have the best chance of generating web traffic. This is because of the convenience of Dynamic Retargeting ads, they allow a person to go back to a shop and save themselves the time of going through the website again.

So what’s the best way to go about Dynamic Retargeting? Start by bidding more on visitors who left a shopping cart with products in it, these people generally are more likely to spend. They intended to purchase something at one point in the first place. On the other hand bid less on visitors who didn’t view any products at all, they tend to have less of an intention to purchase something. You also should be retargeting for users who have visited your website within the last 30 days or so, beyond that they are less likely to return to your website.

Still have questions? Feel free to give us a call on how your business can benefit from Dynamic Retargeting.

Social media can be hard to manage on your own, and learning it can be even harder if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is our guide to starting social media management.

1. Determine your target audience

Who are your customers? What social networks are they using? These are important questions to ask in order to effectively use social media. There’s no use in using a certain platform if your target audience doesn’t tend to use it.

2. Use hashtags and search them

Hashtags make it easy to see what people are saying about you. Additionally, you can track specific campaigns by assigning them a certain hashtag. You can also use them to search your competitors.

3. Post what you think your USERS will care about most

It isn’t necessarily good to just write about what YOU care about, because your audience may not think it’s as important as you do. Make sure you are also using the right tone, this is not your personal page.

4. Engage

One of the most important parts of social media is building a relationship with your fans. This is how they trust you and your brand. You can engage with your fans by replying to their comments or liking their photos back.

5. Stay updated

Make sure you are constantly updating your page with new and exciting content! Post and post often, but this varies by platform and industry. For most industries though one post per day should suffice for Facebook or Instagram.

Search Engine Optimization, also called “SEO,” can be difficult to understand but everyone knows it’s important. SEO is strategizing to increase the number of visitors to a particular website by increasing its ranking in search engine results organically. Organically means that you aren’t paying to be listed higher.

Why is this important? The higher up a link is on the search results page of Google or Bing, for example, the more likely a person is to click on it. This is because Google displays links to pages that it considers to be relevant and authoritative first. Google measures authority by looking at the number and quality of links to that page from other websites. More visits to your page, means more potential customers.

So how do you increase your SEO ranking? The first step is to create good quality content. If your content is good, more people are likely to link to your content. Also the more relevant and quality pages that link to your page, the better. Next, make sure you are utilizing commonly searched keywords. These are search terms that are frequently entered by search engine users. If a term is searched more frequently, it is better to have it on your page so you can come up in those results! Lastly, you want to make sure you are updating your content frequently. New and exciting content makes people more likely to visit your website and to continue returning. With these tips you’re on your way to being the top search result!

One of the most important aspects of social media is the analysis of it. Otherwise, what’s the point? Analyzing your content and engagement is the best way to improve your social media game. Here are some of the top tools right now that you can use to do so.

1. Buffer

Buffer offers a free version of its services where you can add a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ account (no Pinterest) and schedule posts. While you can look at optimal times to post from this service, you don’t receive any other social media analysis. It also offers link shortening and tracking, similar to The other downfall of Buffer is while you can create content and schedule it out, you can only schedule up to 10 posts per profile and you can’t make a content calendar. It also does not allow for other team members or more than one profile per platform.

2. Followerwonk

Followerwonk offers a free version of their service as well. Here you can log into Twitter (it only does Twitter) and analyze your account, so long as it has under 25,000 followers. However, within this service you can’t analyze the optimal times for your account to be tweeting or even follow/unfollow within the app. The best feature of this service is the ability to know when your followers are active.

3. Iconosquare

Iconosquare, a service that used to be free, is now available for $28.80 a month (per Instagram account). In the basic version you get analytics on your posts and optimal times to post, but you don’t receive hashtag analytics or competitor analytics. You also can’t export your analytics results. It’s also important to note that

4. Quintly

Quintly is a free Facebook analytics service that allows you (in the free version) one dashboard and user for up to three profiles. The downfall of this service is that it only saves up to your last 30 days of data. It also does not have any support services or account manager service.

5. A Digital Marketing Firm

A digital marketing firm is by far the best way to analyze your social media. Not only do you get an account manager that will know your brand intimately, you also get constant support service. The best part is, you don’t have to do any of the work! Let the firm handle everything for you from content creation to analysis.


Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is a great way to drive traffic to your website when implemented effectively and when your website is optimized to convert this traffic to sales. With over 200,000 impressions, 4,000 click-throughs, and quadrupled sales figures; read on to see how we helped Sophie’s Corner revamp their online marketing strategy with PPC.