This week’s PPCChat session covered different topics that were on PPCers minds. Implement consent mode, Google Ads limiting country targeting exclusions last week and more topics were covered by host Julie F Bacchini during the discussion.

Q1: What is on your mind this week in PPC? I will pull out topics and put them into threads to make conversations easier to follow.

I’m just FOMO’ing so much today because of SMX. Really wish I could be there. @BorisBeceric

I’m still processing Google Ads limiting country exclusions. I do not like what that signals. https://www.seroundtable.com/google-ads-limits-country-exclusions-37024.html @NeptuneMoon

@NeptuneMoon The exclusion exclusion worries me too. I’ve been thinking about the concept of guardrails or guide rails to get automated targeting/bidding working properly faster. Location is a very important constraint. @Pete_Bowen

Consolidation. I really don’t like how much of a Footprint a few companies have. @JuliaVyse

I usually do not exclude a lot of locations, I select ‘people in or regularly in’ under location settings. That takes care of the spillover that occurs due to ‘regularly in & interested in’. @alimehdimukadam

@JuliaVyse  yep, with great power comes great responsibility – seems they don’t consider that a bit. Also surprised how little Amazon has been in the news, it’s only ever antitrust cases involving Meta & Google. @BorisBeceric

This isn’t related to PPC current events, but I’ve been thinking a lot more about how to automate and aggregate data from multiple sources into one clean dashboard (e.g. shopify data, google ads data, and GA4 analytics all into one beautiful report that plays nicely together). I know there are tools for this, but I haven’t been able to find the right solution yet. Still seems like it would be pretty custom based on the client – anyway, if anyone has any thoughts they would be welcome! @MicheleJaeger1

Basically, I want to reduce the amount of time I spend on reporting @MicheleJaeger1

@MicheleJaeger1 I highly recommend app.agencyanalytics.com… it’s saved us so much time. @KimRoutley

Q2: Getting clients to implement consent mode was brought up just before the chat so please discuss that topic in this thread.

Consent mode really isn’t all too complicated o implement with the right partner or consent solution.
I think it is a no-brainer, especially considering G can limit your reach or terminate your agreement with them if they find you aren’t compliant with privacy laws. @BorisBeceric

Still feeling very confused about the implications of consent mode, and who is impacted. E.g. if you exclusively target the US in ads, but every once in a while have some visitors from Europe. Also, I’m still working through an issue with Shopify where I think enabling it screwed up our Shopify data. @MicheleJaeger1

Q3:  Google Ads limiting country targeting exclusions last week, how are you feeling about this?

Didn’t they also get rid of the report that showed where your ads were actually showing up (versus where it was targeting or matching), which is the one that told you what countries to exclude in the first place? @revaminkoff

Awful! it’s going to be a problem for serving, but also for billing.  @JuliaVyse

You can still see this data! But you have to build the report in Report Editor. Once in report editor, put “location” into the search bar at the top of the metrics column. Then choose Country/Territory (user location) to see where people physically were when they saw your ad. @NeptuneMoon

I think removing exclusions is going to potentially get them into hot water? At least I hope so? Playing around with what gets targeted is one thing, removing options to NOT target things is quite another. I’d imagine even big brands will take issue with this? @NeptuneMoon

Just wait until people run ads in countries they don’t serve plus paying that tax – also, many will never find out. @BorisBeceric

Exactly- especially as they are looser with some of the location matching in other campaigns. You now almost have to deliberately exclude countries you don’t want to show in, whereas before google was better at staying within your proactive targeting. @revaminkoff

I have excluded countries I’m not targeting for years for just this reason. @NeptuneMoon

This came up in a new account audit today. The target location was US. @alimehdimukadam

Google ads targeting

I really hope this is not testing the waters to bring greater restrictions on geo exclusions at more detailed levels too. @NeptuneMoon

Not that I love this “hack”, but language targeting can reduce ad impressions and clicks from other countries that do not prominently use the language of your target audience. @Realicity

G Ads will show in languages you don’t target too. @NeptuneMoon

@Realicity Those cushions are not going to shake themselves  @NeptuneMoon

So PMax can’t tell the difference between Quebec and France. That means our French Language campaigns sometimes get the French digital media tax even though we’re focused on store locations and we have NONE in France. it’s such a mess.  @JuliaVyse

 @NeptuneMoon Wouldn’t changing this setting to people in or regularly in fix bulk of the issues? @alimehdimukadam

Google ads targeting

You would think so, but not always. @NeptuneMoon

@alimehdimukadam it’s down to iOS14. Google is admitting they actually don’t know where someone is, and making it everyone’s problem. @JuliaVyse

Well, also that location is PII. @ferkungamaboobo

@NeptuneMoon Yes.  I believe that users in other countries are using devices/browsers/etc. set to the specific language.I see if with campaigns here in the US were Spanish searches come in from these devices.  Often specific keyword variation negatives will clear this up. @Realicity

Well, they also can’t locate you very precisely either @JuliaVyse – which when looking at country targeting is not as much of  problem (but clearly still is a problem). The bigger issue is Google thinks I am located 30 minutes from where I actually am. That is huge for local advertisers.@NeptuneMoon

@NeptuneMoon That reminds me of when I was at SMX East in NYC and gave a talk on Local PPC.  I showed how wifi and phone Location on/off combinations affect Gs ability to “locate” your current location. John Lee was in the audience, pulled up his phone and did a search with his WiFi off and Location Off. His phone provider AT&T was telling Google he was back in Louisville. @Realicity

Thanks for adding more context @JuliaVyse, @ferkungamaboobo, @NeptuneMoon . Wasn’t able to connect the dots myself. @alimehdimukadam

@Realicity we used to do an annual Florida trip and for months afterward, I got ads targeted for FL. I live in PA…@NeptuneMoon

You should ideally be using that “people located in” setting though, to try to make it better  – unless you have a travel client, etc. @revaminkoff

The taxes and service fees are making this problem so much worse than it was before – (I also have the Quebec / France issue, and it’s driving the client nuts) @revaminkoff

@NeptuneMoon not to mention B2B. due to my corporate internet settings, when I’m home I’m in Vancouver (west coast). when I’m in the office, still in Vancouver, it thinks I’m in Toronto. @JuliaVyse

Google doesn’t want people to know how the sausage is made. And they seem to view exclusions as restricting their machine learning from doing its job (shows who the machine learning is ultimately benefitting). I’m sure this is a minor thing at a system-wide level, but for some advertisers it’s mission-critical. @robert_brady

Q4: Is there a reporting solution that lets you pull all your data in one report – Shopify, G Ads, GA4 etc.) that you have found?

I’ve been using Swydo for several years now. Super easy to use and does what I need it to (pull in data from ad platforms, GA4 and Google Sheets). @Austin_Dillman

Yeah swydo is good. @BorisBeceric

I also use Swydo. @NeptuneMoon

Excel. I so rarely used unmodified numbers in reports which sounds like cooking the books, but it was more cutting out data that is a pain to do otherwise.  @ferkungamaboobo

I use Oviond. It’s been great! @alimehdimukadam

thanks all – I have found that I want to report using campaign groups (more on the product level) than the actual campaign level, so it’s been hard to find a way to properly automate.  I feel like I finally have a good Excel report, it’s just very time-consuming. @MicheleJaeger1

@MicheleJaeger1 Swydo lets you filter reports by campaign labels so if I’m understanding you correctly, this is something you could automate. @Austin_Dillman

@MicheleJaeger1  Automating the excel & connecting to Data Studio would help. I had a different use case, with the help of GPT-4 & Google Scripts/Solutions, was able to automate data collection in a Google sheet that was connected to Data Studio.  @alimehdimukadam

 @alimehdimukadam that sounds awesome. @MicheleJaeger1

Can Swydo pull in Shopify data? @robert_brady

Q5: How are things going on Meta for you all?

David Herrmann (who is my go-to on Meta advertising) has had a lot to say lately: @NeptuneMoon https://x.com/herrmanndigital/status/1766152082887704818?s=20

PPCChat David Herrman

Each time I’m tempted to add Meta ads to my portfolio David rants about stuff breaking over there and I have a change of heart.  @BorisBeceric

Meta really frustrates us. We are currently dealing with a client account as well as ours that has been disabled for unusual activity. This is been almost one week. Their support is almost as bad as Google’s. @WillieCampos

It really is astonishing how terrible support on these platforms is for paying customers (advertisers). @NeptuneMoon

I would argue Meta’s support is worse than Google’s…@revaminkoff

@WillieCampos that’s their usual MO when an account gets frozen – little to no communication as they examine the potential points of entry. @BorisBeceric

@WillieCampos here’s a rundown of that situation:Prevent A Business Manager Compromise:
Spoke with our rep who shared with us that they were working with an agency partner who just had their BM compromised (hacked). When this happens Meta Freezes all assets within the account. This means not only your assets, your employees, but also your clients. So if you have 100 client accounts attached to your BM, even those you are no longer working with, they too will be frozen. And this can take days/weeks to sort through and fully understand how/why the compromise occurred. Meta looks at every source of entry to fully verify it was a hack and not just a bad actor within the account.
The reason you don’t hear anything while the account is frozen is due to privacy issues that limits the amount of information the internal team can share while investigating the compromise.
The main source of bad actors gaining access to an account? Former employees or agency partners still having access to the account. No this doesn’t mean they are the ones being the bad actors (while it can certainly happen) it is these accounts that most commonly get hacked from spam or phishing accounts gaining entry into your business account. So the things you can do to minimize this:
Remove former employees who may have at one time had manager or admin access. Even former employees that have access to running ads can be problematic as bad actors can still run up ad spend within accounts they have access to. Remove your BM from former client accounts because if they are ever hacked, your BM can be frozen as well, until Meta’s investigation of that compromise is complete. Make sure all active members of your team have 2FA enabled. Ensure there are at least 2-3 admins on the account as Meta sends a confirmation to 1 additional admin in the event that there is a status change of any of the other admins/managers within the account. @BorisBeceric

Thanks, @BorisBeceric for the rundown. @WillieCampos

It is amazing to me too how the manager account level is an afterthought as to how the system is designed to function. Like is was built and functions, but at its core, platforms are designed to be one advertiser one account with access. @NeptuneMoon

Cutting as much as possible. the local media rule here in Canada is just bullshit. @JuliaVyse

For sure, but then again everything in the platform is so clunky. It’s almost as if they built everything pulling all-nighters because they suddenly realized there are agencies running ads out of many accounts.@BorisBeceric

Q6: How about a “business of PPC” question. How do you handle when a client is late in their payments?

Used to be:

  • friendly reminder
  • not so friendly reminder
  • give deadline & stop work
  • cancel contract

Now I have most of my clients on prepayment, so now if money doesn’t hit the account, no work will get done. @BorisBeceric

I usually say something like “I was just reviewing my books for last month (or whatever time frame), and I noticed that I have yet to receive payment from my last invoice. Would you be able to look into that for me? Thank you so much!” @MicheleJaeger1

That has always worked for me @MicheleJaeger1

@BorisBeceric Totally agree on pre-payment. The pisser is that we can stop work on the account, but their campaigns still run. So yes, we are not actively working on them, but they are not off/not running. @NeptuneMoon

Something I am trying to figure out without sending reminders. @BorisBeceric If the billing is on % of spend, how can we raise an invoice beforehand? My query is more when agreements are at a % of ad spend with payment terms at Net 30. So essentially, March spends invoice get raised by April 3-4 with deadline of April 30. From a service provider’s perspective, it is Net 60. @alimehdimukadam

Our invoice software sends automatic reminders. If after 7 days we do not hear back from them, we send them a personal friendly email. Sometimes they can get lost in their inbox so that helps. If they still do not respond we stop looking at the account. After 14 days we assume they are ghosting us and we send an email that we have stopped managing the account pending payment. @WillieCampos

We invoice ahead of time based on the contractual agreement of ad spend. @WillieCampos

@alimehdimukadam You need clear terms and a much shorter window than net 60. If you bill percent of spend, you’d want to still bill in advance and then makeup differential in the next invoice if need be. @NeptuneMoon

Also, if you don’t already, spell out in your contract your payment terms and what happens if the client does not abide by them. @NeptuneMoon

As mentioned earlier: Prebill 1st of the Month – Bill for that month.  (March 1st bill for March work)
Reminders should go our around the 25th. Payment is due by end of the month.  (varies some by client)
If Payment is not received by when Invoicing is done on the 1st of the next month, another reminder is made. At this point we want to have identified any late payments and if the client may be having any issues we need to consider. During this 2nd month service will stop or be delayed as we bump current clients up in the work schedule.  This buys some time for the client to hopefully get caught up before we extend more resources to the account. @Realicity

@alimehdimukadam I do monthly flat retainer, scope creep baked into the fee. So in that regard, it’s a non-issue for me. @BorisBeceric

I do that, but I don’t adjust in the next invoice. Have to change that and raise an invoice in the same month. Maybe a hangover of my time working with bigger agencies, they would wait for the month to end and then calculate exact 10% of spend amount with a Net 30 term. They can afford that payment cycle. I subconsciously carried over the same practice. And it did bit me once, client ghosted by bringing Growth Assistants in-house, 45 days of management fees due to this mistake. @alimehdimukadam

@NeptuneMoon exactly, I have zero interest in assisting them with their cash flow. You wouldn’t go into a store and just carry stuff out of there and tell them you’ll be willing to pay in 60 – 90 days. @BorisBeceric

@BorisBeceric I can’t count how many times I have said “I am not a bank – I don’t offer lines of credit” @NeptuneMoon

All that being said, think about ways you can make it easier for clients to pay you quickly!

  1. Use an online billing system that allows for ACH payments or wire transfers.
  2. Take credit cards (build the fees into your rates or offer discount to those who pay via non-credit card method).

If a client is suddenly not paying or paying a lot more slowly, you’ll want to figure out why. And if it is a reasonable answer, work with them. If not, end it. @NeptuneMoon

@BorisBeceric I would love to make it a flat fee, I am internally conflicted with % of ad spend as a model. @alimehdimukadam

@alimehdimukadam I am a flat fee advocate. Message me if you want to discuss more! @NeptuneMoon

Love a flat fee!  @NeptuneMoon – any recs on online billing platforms? sometimes the manual ACH gets clunky with my clients. @MicheleJaeger1

Thank you, will do. @alimehdimukadam

My offer stands for any of you to message me about business of PPC stuff. Been doing my own thing for almost 25 years. @NeptuneMoon

Curious on flat fee model as well as we charge a percentage. Which is great for for us when it comes to larger clients but not so great for smaller clients. @WillieCampos

@MicheleJaeger1 I am using bill.com currently. I tried Freshbooks, but they could not do international payments. @NeptuneMoon

Ok, maybe we need to do a pricing chat again. We delve into that topic periodically! @NeptuneMoon

Since all Advertising (Google Ads, Facebook, etc) Clients we work with have set Monthly Budgets, we have moved to a % of Budget fee instead of % of Ad Spend. Easier to calculate at the beginning of the month and it’s clear ahead of time the budget and what the rough ad spend will be. @Realicity

@Realicity That is what we do. I need to start saying, “% of budget”, instead of “% of ad spend”.  I usually say its our contractual ad spend, but budget is the correct terminology. @WillieCampos

I am going to hit up @PPCKirk to join us for a pricing chat too. He always has great thoughts on this topic. @NeptuneMoon

We use Harvest for our invoices – love it – also sends reminders to clients when the bills are overdue. @revaminkoff

I saw Kirk at a conference last summer and we had this exact conversation. Bottom line is it seems to be a bit of trial and error for most Agencies to figure out what works for them for pricing. @Realicity

Kirk is always very thoughtful about this type of thing, so he’d be great to have in the conversation! @NeptuneMoon

I bill a flat rate for audits, flat rate for month 1 discovery and strategy work and then a flat monthly retainer after that. I have a minimum monthly retainer and won’t take on clients for less than that specific amount. I pre-bill for everything. Audits don’t start until a 50% deposit is received. Retainers are billed on the first of each month, typically with net 10-15 days. Sometimes I have to go net 30 for bigger companies but that’s my max. My clients and I like the predictability of the retainer model vs the variable costs of paying based on ad spend. The amount of work I do doesn’t fluctuate much based on how much my clients spend. Some of my client that spends millions per month require less of my attention than those that spend $30k/mo. @Austin_Dillman

I’d love to chat more about pricing specifically! yes, James was helping me think through a variation of % of Spend. I’ve prob changed my pricing model 12 times over the years.  Lots of opinions on it for sure. As a note that’s not just a plug to sell a book, my Revised Version of PPC Ponderings is being released on 4/1 and I talk about pricing in detail in an Appendix! @PPCKirk

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