Graphic of a man and a women touching different parts of the website on a screen. There is another man off the sign holding an EU flag and a megaphone to their mouth

As a website owner, it’s critical that you ensure you are in compliance with worldwide laws regarding website cookies. If your business website has traffic from European countries, take the time to consider whether you are meeting the EU minimum website cookies compliance standards. If not then it’s time to make the necessary updates to your site.

Who Needs to Comply with the European Cookie Law?

The EU cookie law applies to any website which attracts visitors from the EU. Even if your business is located in the US, Canada, or elsewhere in the world, you need to make sure you are meeting the minimum standards when you have EU visitors. In order to remain in compliance, your website should not load or save any cookies until the site visitors confirm their decision via your cookie consent form. This form needs to offer the option to decline cookies entirely, or you will be breaking this law.

When designing your cookie consent form, another part of the regulations in the EU is the colours and sizing of the buttons. You must not force or influence the actions of the visitors, so the accepting and declining buttons must be the same colour and size. Another regulation to keep in mind is that in Austria, the use of Google Analytics to track website usage became illegal in January 2022. At the moment, this only impacts Austria, but there’s a chance we may see other countries follow this trend in the future.

Different Types of Cookies

To remain in compliance with EU law, it’s critical that you are aware of what cookies are in terms of your website. Cookies are text files that contain smaller pieces of data to identify your computer within a network. The data that’s stored within the cookies will be created by your server when you connect, and it’s labelled with a unique ID for your computer. The server can then read your ID and know how to serve you best.

HTTP cookies are created by a web server when someone browses your website. They will then be placed on the device or computer by the user’s web browser, allowing web servers to store information on your device. They can be used to track a user’s activity or save information that they’ve previously entered online.

Another type of cookie that you may use on your website is an authentication cookie. These are used by web servers to check that a user is logged in and the account that they are using. This stops users from having to authenticate themselves on every single page that has sensitive information, offering a better user experience while keeping your site secure. Finally, tracking cookies are used to create long-term records of a user’s browsing history. These are non-essential cookies, and so you will need to ensure you are receiving informed consent from your website visitors for storing these on their devices.

As you can see, it’s critical for website owners to keep in compliance with EU laws when they are attracting visitors from European countries. To help you keep up to date with GDPR cookie compliance, we highly recommend using this WordPress plugin on your site.

Contact us today if you would like us to look into whether your website is complying with the EU laws.

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!

Graphic of "How to make your website faster"

Website speed is the number one determining factor for if a visitor will actually see your website. You already did the hard work of directing them to it. Don’t lose out on potential business by having a website that takes over 2 seconds to load.

Here are our recommendations for testing your website’s speed and then improving it.

Checking your website speed 

Web Page Test is a great free tool that you can use right now to check the speed of your site. 

Google Page Speed Insights is also an industry favourite. Just enter your website’s URL and it will calculate the speed for you. 

Are images slowing your website’s speed? 

Oversize images can drastically slow down the speed of your site. A good rule of thumb is that graphic files should be PNGs while image files should be JPEGs. If your images and graphic files aren’t right, then you can always upload them into Canva, and re-download them as the correct file. 

Another great way to change the type of file is by using a file converter, you can find a bunch of these on Google. Rosewood uses Converter & Bulk Resizer

Clearing your Website’s Cache

A cache is a storage location that collects temporary data to help websites, apps and browsers load faster. So when someone is returning to your website, it will load faster, since the cache automatically stored a bunch of useful information about your site on their first visit. Clearing your cache will help to increase your website speed. A great tool to use is SEO Site Checkup, it is free and will check your site’s cache for you.

Outdated Software, Plugins & Apps

Outdated software such as the core wordpress environment, or supporting plugins could also be another reason why your website has slowed down. If you don’t have the time to make these updates yourself, let Rosewood do it for you! Contact us to find out about our Maintenance plans. 

Website speed is a critical determining factor for who actually sees your website content. People won’t wait around for ever. Make sure your website loads quickly, fully and securely for potential visitors.  Your potential clients, and Google, will appreciate it!