Apple Privacy Policy Affects Small Business'

Pumpkin Spice season approaches, and that means the next iOS is right around the corner. Just like the last couple updates, Apple has announced a repertoire of new privacy features for iOS 16 to help protect users’ privacy. Android 13 released just yesterday with some new privacy features as well but for now is still behind Apple. Data protection is important for users, but how does it affect the metrics you collect for effective of your marketing?

Data Collection and Privacy

The data you receive from consumers, users, and your audience is incredibly informative. Information like what products someone views or what pages someone visits, allows you to tailor your promotions or content to their interests. It lets you communicate effectively and efficiently. It shows you what marketing is working and what is not. All of that can help your company grow. That data and the metrics they create are incredibly important for your business, but for users, that data is also precious. It is something they trust you with, and they do not want that trust and their privacy breached. 

Data privacy has become an increasing concern on the internet. In a KPMG survey from last year, 86% of users were concerned about their data’s privacy. That worry is valid. The past month saw a dozen security violations with large corporations. A mother and daughter were recently shocked and angered when Facebook gave Nebraska police their private message logs. User information is not just a shopping cart or wishlist. It also includes more sensitive, personal information like messages, emails, addresses, and credit cards that users are regularly providing businesses. In turn, many nations and the European Union have passed legislation that restricts when, how, and what kind of data companies can collect. The FTC in the US announced just five days ago that it would be “cracking down on commercial surveillance and lax data security practices.” Software developers and device manufacturers like Apple have also been increasing the default privacy protections they provide. This is great for users’ security but affects the kind of information you can collect and how. 

Apple Privacy – Mail Privacy Protection

Last year, Apple released Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) as part of iOS 15. MPP hides users’ IP addresses so senders cannot see their location, related internet activity, or even whether they opened the email. That’s all potentially valuable information for a business or marketing team. Android lacks a similar feature, but in Canada, over 57% of people are using iPhones. In email tracking services, MPP can also falsely inflate your open rates. Any inbox with MPP active will be recognized in the tracker. However, MPP can open an email without the user ever actually opening and seeing the email for themselves. Unfortunately, a tracker cannot tell the difference whether this was an MPP “open” or your recipient’s. 

Those false positives lead to bloated open rates and a false, larger discrepancy in open-to-click rates. Most email services will allow you to ignore MPP opens, and it is best to do so. They are simply not a reliable or informative data set. Remember, MPP only affects open rates. Your click rates will still be accurate. Focusing on those clicks will allow you to keep track of your engaged audience and ensure your catering to their interests and preferences.

MPP will still deny other information that may valuable, such as location and other internet activity. The goal then, is conversion rates: getting recipients to visit your site, where they can provide you with more information. 

The End of Third-Party Data

The information users provide to your site when they access and use it is first-party data or cookies. This is any information you gather from your customers directly. For the past while, internet advertising has relied primarily on third-party cookies. Third-party data works through websites sharing information between one another. This is how Google Ads and Meta Business (Facebook and Instagram advertising) work. They use a user’s wider internet activity to target them with appropriate ads according to their browsing history. This is why if you put something in your cart on one site, you might suddenly start seeing ads for that very product elsewhere or even everywhere.

More recently, marketing has started moving away from third-party cookies. Some internet browsers have started blocking these trackers by default, like Mozilla Firefox and Safari (remember that 57% market share of Canadian phones?) Apple and Android have similarly been allowing users to block tracking in apps. Notably Google Chrome, which 65% of people worldwide use, still allows third-party trackers. Google has said they will also be blocking them for the past two years, but last month again delayed those plans to 2024. Third-party ads are still an important part of Google Ads, which makes up 80% of the company’s revenue. Similarly, Facebook advertising is a staggering 98% of Meta’s revenue. Those same ads have also been especially important for small businesses. The move away from third-party ad targeting is and will more severely affect smaller businesses that have relied on them to grow and reach potential customers and clients. They will need to invest into new marketing efforts.

Leaving Third-Party Data Behind

So, while third-party cookies will still work for targeting Chrome users, companies should also focus their marketing on first-party data. Your emails and websites can still gather valuable information about your audience and customers as the world moves away from third-party data. As a result, marketing should focus on converting customers. Creative marketing on social media is a productive method for attracting and expanding an audience and convincing potential customers to visit your website. Effective email automations will have customers regularly returning. Fun, survey quizzes with a bonus discount code are a great incentive for customers to provide you with more detailed information.

Rosewood Can Help 

Currently third-party tracking can still prove beneficial for small businesses, but they will see increasing decline in ROI in this sector as Apple and other companies increase dedication to privacy. Rosewood recommends every business start investing into first-party data collection with effective social media, tailored email automations, and creative content that drives conversion rates. 

Rosewood’s web design and marketing services will make sure you are collecting and effectively using that precious data from (potential) customers. We will soon be officially offering email marketing services as well. We are familiar with a suite of both third- and first-party tools and services so you can learn more about your customers and help your business grow in the face of increasing internet privacy. With an elegant website and effective marketing, users will want to trust you with their information.

New Privacy Policy Changes Information Gathered From Customers.
Graphic of a megaphone in the centre, 3 green checkmarks to the right. Above the checkmarks is the iconic Google "G". Above the megaphone is a purple speech box that is empty. Below the megaphone and to the left is a green money bag with a white dollar sign in it. Beside that there is 2 starts. The title reads " Are Google Ads Worth It For Small Business?" At the very bottom of the graphic, there the Rosewood website address "Rosewoodmarketing.ca" and the Rosewood Instagram "@rosewoodmarketing"

Whenever you make a google search, you have probably seen Google Ads right at the top of the page. Considering the relationship between page visibility and number of clicks,  this is a great place to be.

However, running such advertisements is not cheap. Depending on your exact needs, Google ads could be quite expensive. Depending on how effective your ad is at converting and how much money is spent per click with PPC ads, it may take up a big chunk of your marketing budget.

So, you have to ask: are google ads worth it for small businesses? Will the increased traffic be worth the additional money I am spending? Keep reading on as we try to answer this question.

What are Google Ads and How do they help?

First off, we have to look at exactly what are Google Ads and how they help market your brand.

When you make a google search, you get a list of results. However, the first result may not be an actual result. It might be an advertisement instead. This would be labelled as ‘AD’ in bold text beside the link.

The actual search results could start from the third or fourth item in the list.

According to research, the top result on Google Search results gets over 30% of the clicks. The second and third results get 15-25% of the clicks. Most people tend to find what they are looking for in these 3 results and not bother any further.

If you want to be visible, you have to get to the top of the page.

To rank naturally at the top of the results, you have to do a lot of search engine optimization. You will have to implement keywords and anchors in your text, add trustworthy links and go out link-building, or optimize the website design and page load speeds. All of these are tricky, expensive, and don’t guarantee results.

What does guarantee you a position at the top of the page are Google Ads.

Advantages of using PPC Ads

There are some specific advantages to using Google Ads, besides showing up at the top of search results.

Ads only show up when users make a specific search. So, you are more likely to reach customers who need the exact goods or services you provide.

PPC Ads are also tailored by location. That means you could reach local users rather than faraway international ones. If you offer a physical service, local users are the main users. It’s crucial to target them.

It is possible to rank highly through natural SEO. However, that means that it is the page with the SEO content that will be listed at the top. This particular page might be a blog post rather than the landing page all customers should be directed to. Using ads, you can neatly avoid this problem by having the Ad link to the landing page.

Optimizing the Approach to your Small Business PPC Ads

In order to make the most out of your PPC ads, you should leverage some strategies! Here are some tips and tricks to consider:

Focus on Google Ads that Convert

Google ads are all based on PPC, or pay-per-click. That means you pay when someone clicks your ad. If they click on it and then leave without buying anything, then you have actually lost money. You definitely want to minimize cases where this happens!

That’s why all PPC ads should focus on content that converts. The easiest type of content that converts are ads for buying. Suppose a potential customer wants to buy ‘Men’s Watches’. You can target that particular niche by focusing on keywords related to watches and purchasing in your searches.

Research Good Keywords to use

Just like with SEO marketing, it is necessary to use a good keyword in Google Ads. Ad designers should write keywords based on what kind of searches users will make.

Keyword research can be done through dedicated SEO marketing tools. Google Trends is also a limited way to get the latest hot keywords.

An example of a good keyword or phrase is “coffee shop near me”. This phrase is not just optimized for local search but voice search as well. People using voice search often phrase their search in that way, so the answers should give them an exact result.

Get Immediate Results and Track Them Easily

As I mentioned before, using SEO to naturally climb to the top of rankings takes a lot of time. You are fighting other SEO websites throughout the climb. It can be exhausting and unrewarding, no matter how much money you spend.

On the other hand, Google Ads is much more likely to provide a visible return on investment. You can track the exact statistics of your ad in real time. You can see how many people clicked on the ad, and then how many people browsed the website.

Real time metrics give you an idea of what to focus on. For example, potential customers click the ad for your online shop a lot, but then leave without purchasing anything. This indicates that your ad is effective, but the website needs more work!

Be Aggressive and Target Competitors Through Your Google Ads!

Targeting competitors with Google Ads is an unconventional strategy, but it works! The idea is that people will click on the top two or three links, not just one. So, if your site shows up just below the competitor’s site, you are getting a good chunk of profit from him!

Google Ads can be expensive. It is imperative that the PPC ads campaign is a success. If there are too few conversions, then it can quickly turn into a money sink. Keep a close eye on your ROI metrics and be ready to pull the plug if it turns out the ads are not helping your small business anymore.

Despite that, Google Ads are one of the best ways for a small business or brand to get its name out there. Various strategies can be used with Google Ads, which I have highlighted above. If you use them, your website will get a steady stream of visitors in no time.

If you would like to learn more about whether Google Ads is right for your business, book a discovery call with us!

Why ROAS is the most important metric in PPC Ads for Facebook Ads and Google Ads - Marketing Agency Newmarket, Aurora, Barrie, Keswick, Uxbridge

At Rosewood we believe in a well-rounded marketing strategy. 99% of businesses need a website, and a combination of organic and paid marketing to drive traffic to it. Finding the right balance of each is different per business and depends on your marketing campaign goals.

If you run an online store, this blog is for you.  We’re going to dive into ROAS, what it is, how to calculate it, how to set your benchmarks and what you should be aiming for.

What is ROAS?

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) is the value of the sales generated via clicks through your ads. Your return on investment, but in this case specifically your return on ad spend. In order to get an accurate ROAS metric, you’ll need to have Conversion Tracking setup & enabled on your website via Google Ads Tags or the Facebook Pixel.

The Golden ROAS Rule

The golden rule in ROAS metrics is that for every $1 you spend; you want to make $2.  This is an ROAS of 2.

How to Calculate Your ROAS?

Most platforms have an ROAS calculation built into them (Facebook Ads Manager and Google Ads). You can enable it but customizing your columns in the Ads Manager settings.  To calculate manually, you take the value of the sales and divide it by the cost of the ads campaign.

ROAS = Sales / Spend

  • Example:

    • Website Sales of $100
    • Ad Spend of $20
    • Calculate: 100/20
    • ROAS = 5

Article Key Summary

  • ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is like ROI but specific to ads.
  • Calculate ROAS = Sales / Spend
  • Golden Rule: ROAS of 2 or more
  • As long as your ROAS is positive, you want to keep spending money on your ads.
  • If your ROAS is negative, reduce your spend and tweak your campaign until it’s positive.

If you have an online store, ROAS is the primary metric we recommend you track.  Other metrics can be deceiving, such as Cost Per Click. This cost per click might be very high, but if it is translating into multi-item high-ticket sales and the ROAS is high – then it’s worth it.

For more information on Google Ads and Facebook/Instagram Ads, please reach out for a complimentary consultation. We love helping small businesses succeed!