woman listening to music on cordless headphones

Google Audio Ads

We are familiar with audio ads on podcasts, on free audio streaming sites and on traditional radio. Until recently Google audio ads were in beta testing but are now available to all advertisers. See Google’s announcement here. Google serves audio ads for YouTube listeners who are exhibiting signals of listening, such as accessing content through a Google Nest smart speaker.

What they show: A YouTube audio ad runs during long listening sessions and when YouTube is playing in the background.  It is essentially a video ad that is focused on the audio content.

While a voiceover is the standout feature of audio ad format, they usually display a visual component—like an image or animated graphic—on-screen as the voiceover is playing, almost like any regular video ad.

Best practices: 
  • Focus on sound
  • Have a consistent tone and tempo: For a 15 second ad, aim for 40 words when using a voiceover in the ad.
  • Include a call-to-action in the audio and in the video creative

Audio ads compliment other awareness-building campaigns such as Google Display Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads. With Google now offering audio ads, we could organize a campaign to place your audio ads on YouTube, as well as other networks to reach users on popular music and podcast streaming platforms.

Please ask us for details on developing and placing audio ads for your business.

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How Blocking Third-Party Cookies Affects Digital Ad Campaigns

The shift to tighter privacy has caused browsers to block third-party cookies. Safari and Firefox have blocked third-party cookies since 2013 and now Chrome, the browser with half of the global web traffic, has also chosen to phase out cookies in 2022 which raises concerns for online marketing. We have included a quick overview and recommend 2 articles linked below for more information on how the move to block third-party cookies will affect advertising on Google and Facebook publishing platforms.

Here is the first paragraph of the article which introduces the topic well:

Google announced that “third-party cookies are over — at least, as far as its ad networks and Chrome browser are concerned. This represents a significant change for the ad business and seems to be a step forward for privacy, but it’s also a limited one. It doesn’t mean that Google will stop collecting your data, and it doesn’t mean the company will stop using your data to target ads.”  – Source.

In a nutshell, third-party cookies improve targeting for online ad campaigns. A clear example is remarketing campaigns where a third-party cookie in your browser will trigger remarketing ads based on sites you have visited in the past. For this reason remarketing will be most affected by this change. Cookies are also used for advertising in the Google Display Network (GDN) where ads are displayed not only based on the context (the topic of the site it the ad is on) but on information from third-party cookies to determine what is relevant to a user.

Google uses cookies, but doesn’t need to. Google has enough first party data to continue providing similar services without using third-party cookies. Someone who wants to stay private and not be tracked will now more easily be able to avoid services that big advertising companies can get data from. So essentially you would not be able to target those users as accurately and not be able to do remarketing to those users who take steps to remain untracked. But you can still advertise using search ads which are keyword-based, contextual ads and Google and Facebook still have a wealth of first-party data to target ads on its publishing platforms. Note also that users can already opt out of Google ads personalization using Google’s ad settings.

“Google will still collect your first-party data — that is, what you do when you’re using its products, like YouTube and Search — and it will target ads to you based on it. That first-party data becomes even more valuable to advertisers as third-party data sources dry up. This is great for Google, whose platforms get billions of hits per day. In fact, the bulk of Google’s revenue comes from ads on Google Search — more than half of it, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report, and far more than it makes from its ad network that currently relies on third-party cookies. And because Google Search won’t be affected by the cookie ban, that data-based revenue stream will continue to flow.  – Source.

More reading on this topic:

The Death of the Third-Party Cookie: What Marketers Need to Know About Google’s Looming Privacy Pivots
Hubspot put together a good overview of what third-party cookies are and how online marketing will adapt once they are phased out.

Google is done with cookies, but that doesn’t mean it’s done tracking you
Focusses more on how Google will adapt to a third-party cookie ban


Happy Holidays!

This holiday season will no doubt be different from past years. Our line of work has allowed us to enjoy the comforts and freedom of working from wherever we want and we are truly grateful for this which is made possible by the relationships we have made with our clients. We appreciate you entrusting us to work on your website/ads.

We will be closed between December 24 and January 2. If there is something pressing please contact us by text message.

Happy Holidays!

Red Carpet Web Promotion


Learn About Website Marketing

In the past 2 months we have completely revamped and re-written the articles in our resources section to keep you up-to-date with changing trends and technology. (That is one of the things that I’m working on while business slowed down during the covid restrictions.) Each guide is divided into sections to easily find what you are looking for. It is a great education in website marketing provided by experts in the field. It will help you understand the tools available to promote your business online. Give it a read – it is like a free class!

Here are links to our articles for you to browse.

  1. SEO & SEM Glossary
  2. SEO Basics
  3. Advanced SEO
  4. Intro to Search Ads
  5. Facebook Ads
  6. Google Search Ads
  7. Google Display Ads
  8. Google Ad Extensions
  9. SEM for Managers 

Update on COVID-19 Ad Credits for Google Ads

On March 27 Google announced $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year.

Google posted an update yesterday (April 20) adding new FAQs on how the credit program will be administered.

See post with up-to-date information here:

One important question about eligibility that was on my mind is how they would identify small & medium sized businesses for this credit. Google Ads responded:

“We have a global team that is specifically designed to consult with and support the needs of small and medium sized businesses around the world, and the ad credits will be supporting those businesses. We work with SMBs worldwide from local stores to companies with hundreds of employees and many locations”.

Wondering how much your ad credit will be?  Google Ads says:

“The ad credit amount will vary by customer based on past Google Ads spend, and the country and currency where the business and Google Ads account is set up.”

We will contact each qualifying client when credits become available to discuss how to integrate the credits into your budget.


COVID-19: Credits for Google Ads for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this COVID-19 pandemic. See announcement.

This support includes:

“$340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers.”

Google search ads are a huge part of our business and therefore we are keeping up to date on the latest information on how to benefit from this Google credit. To date, Google has posted an FAQ page which includes this answer to “How and when will eligible customers receive the ad credits?”

“Small and medium businesses worldwide that have been active advertisers since the beginning of 2019 will be informed in the coming months through notifications within their Google Ads account.”

We will contact each qualifying client when credits become available to discuss how to integrate the credits into your budget. We are not sure where the line will be drawn or what criteria Google will use to distinguish between medium and large businesses as the credits are for small/medium businesses and not large businesses.

Facebook Ads

Facebook pledged credits for small businesses.  See details.

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. We’ll share more details as they become available.



Retiring our Videos Page

A lot has happened since we shot these videos 4 years ago. We have been very busy since that time with work for our clients and have not put any time into adding updated videos. With all the restrictions due to COVID-19 my email box has been less active this week and I have more time for housekeeping. It is time to remove the videos page from our menu and to work on updating our website.

See our YouTube Channel to access the videos for old times’ sake.




Website for album of music inspired by Antarctica

Just finished designing and developing the website for long time client Valmar Kurol and his collaborator Michael Stibor for their new album inspired by Antarctica. Check out their site:

They wrote:
“So I just checked out the website. I LOVE it! It’s so great. I love how interactive it is. And I love that you put the music right there on the website, and then divided it by movement. You did a superb job!” – Michael Stibor

“Great web site presentation of the CD and its story. It looks very clean, crisp and elegant. The music samples and corresponding track notes are convenient to play and read. Thanks for making this so free of clutter.” – Valmar Kurol