If you are running campaigns using Google Ads, you’ll want to link your Google Ads acccount with your Google Analytics account to get full analytics on the activity of the clicks you pay for coming from your Google Ads campaigns. To do this, follow the instructions on this Google Analytics support page.
Or watch this short video:
When you link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account, there are a couple of important settings to make sure you get right.
Import Site Metrics
When you link your Google Analytics account, you’ll want to make sure that you have the option to “Import site metrics” turned on. If you’re not sure if this is turned on or not, go to Linked Accounts and find your linked Analytics web property – click on your “view”.
You should now be able to see if “Import site metrics” is turned on.
Auto-Tagging is an essential feature that allows Google Analytics to import important Google Ads data such as conversion, cost, and campaign data into Analytics reports.
Unfortunately, auto-tagging is turned off by default! You’ll need to enable it to turn it on. You can do this in Google Ads left hand navigational menu under Settings/Account Settings
What If I Can’t See My Google Analytics Account To Link To It?
Make sure both accounts share a common Google account. If your Analytics account was created with one Google account and your Ads account was created with a different one, you will not be able to link your accounts.
Once you log in, you’ll need to fill out a short form with your preferred Site Title, Username, Password, and Email address.
Step 3: Celebrate Your Success!
You did it – You’ve installed WordPress!
Step 4: Choose a URL
Go to http://weblab.uni.edu/ and sign in with your CatID. You should see a page that shows your website plus a few options on the right hand menu.
For this class, we’re going to use a specific subdomain called buzz.uni.edu. This will allow us to have a shorter URL and a cooler domain than “We Blab”. You’ll need to choose a URL ending that matches your blog title and personal brand. It should be relatively short – omitting words like “The”, “and”, and “blog”.
This will be your “canonical” URL that you will use to promote your blog.
Step 5: Log In
You can log in by going to your buzz URL and clicking on “log in”. You should see a screen that looks like this:
Postgraduate study in Advertising can be a good way to develop as a professional and be better-prepared (and better-connected) for your career in the advertising industry. The top graduate programs in Advertising offer priceless access to plum internships and positions at large global agencies and cutting edge boutiques.
However, these programs are not for everyone – they require a serious time commitment to complete. To get the most out of them, you’ll need a focused mental attitude and disciplined work ethic. Get ready to handle some real challenges, high expectations, and tough feedback. They are also not cheap and are located in major metropolitan areas where the cost of living will be higher.
That said – let’s take a look at my shortlist of some of the top graduate programs in Advertising.
VCU Brandcenter is a highly-competitive graduate program at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond that is consistently ranked as one of the best graduate advertising programs in the country. With tracks in Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Brand Management, Experience Design, and Strategy – VCU offers a Masters degree that you can customize to your interests.
Because of its selectivity, reputation for excellence and rigorous curriculum, graduates of this program are highly sought-after by the best agencies in the industry.
Informative videos about the program and examples of student work (and alumni work) can be found on their YouTube channel.
Miami Ad School is one of the larger programs, with locations all around the world. Miami Ad School offers a full Masters degree, five portfolio programs, and a couple of shorter immersive bootcamps.
They are best known as a portfolio school, where students work in small teams to build an exciting portfolio of work in the focused disciplines of Art Direction, Copywriting, Creative Technology, Design, or Photography & Video.
Second-year students intern at well-known agencies as part of this program – providing great experience and networking opportunities.
The highly-regarded M.A. program at the Stan Richards School of Advertising & Public Relations at the University of Texas at Austin offers three areas of focus: Media Insights, Planning and Strategy, and Creative.
UT Austin is one of the few universities to offer a Ph.D. program in Advertising, making it a great option for students desiring to pursue academic research related to advertising who have the goal of someday teaching advertising at the college level.
The University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana offers an M.S. in Advertising or Strategic Brand Communications. UI has a well-regarded undergraduate program in Advertising that boasts the largest AAF college chapter in the country. With Illinois just a short drive from Iowa, this could be a good option if you don’t want to stray too far from home.
Know of other postgraduate study in Advertising programs? Let me know in the comments.
Google Ads allows you to control your costs by setting a daily budget for your ad campaigns. If you are running a search campaign, this means that Google will continue to run your text ads for search queries that trigger your keyword bids until your budget is exceeded. At that point, your ads will no longer be served for the rest of the day.
However – there are cases when Google may overspend. It is important to understand that setting a daily budget does not guarantee an exact spend – or even a spending limit.
Google may decide to “dip into your daily budget”!
Good old Google is always trying to help you get more clicks. According to its support site, it may “dip into your daily budget” and end up spending more than the amount you’ve told Google you’d like to spend.
“Dipping into your daily budget for other days in the month helps to optimize the performance of your campaigns and helps make sure that your ads can run a little more on days when they’re very popular.”
In other words, if there is a high volume search day, Google may overspend on your campaign to compensate for other days in the week when search volume is lower. In a statement in their Help documentation, Google poetically explains the reason behind this change:
“Internet traffic is like an ocean. Some days, there will be small waves. Other days, there will be great big ones. So, if your ads don’t show up much because of low traffic, then we’ll make up for that by showing them more when traffic’s higher.”
Ok, fine. But how much will they overspend? I’m afraid there’s worrying news on that count:
That’s right – Google may overspend 2x your daily budget to “help” you.
While this might make sense for a consistent monthly advertiser who has their keyword buys dialed in and optimized – it is frustrating for a new Google Ads user who is trying different strategies in short bursts to see what works for their business. Now a failed experiment may cost 2x what you expected it to.
I believe this should be an option – and not a default setting. Regularly exceeding daily budgets set by its customers does not create a sense of trust.
Help! I went over my daily budget!
While Google may decide to exceed your daily budget on a particular day, they claim that they will not exceed your monthly charging limit (Your daily budget * 30.4) over the course of the month. This means that if Google does overspend on one day, they might underspend on another day to compensate. This doesn’t help you if you’re running a shorter duration campaign – but it is some small consolation.
In short – your daily budget is an important tool to control your costs – but you must understand when and why Google might exceed it – and adjust as appropriate.
But what if I’m running a short campaign?
If you are running a campaign of limited duration (under 20 days), the implications of this new change are that you should either plan on spending up to 2x your stated daily budget – or set it to a lower amount as much as 50% under what you’d like to spend. Google has reportedly said that it is “highly unlikely” that a short campaign would consistently overdeliver by 2x the daily budget – but it remains to be seen how that plays out in reality.
Where can I find more information about this change?
Akismet is a WordPress plugin that protects you from comment spam. This begs the questions: “What is Comment Spam?” and “Why do you need protecting from it?”
What is Comment Spam?
The bane of bloggers everywhere is an incipient form of spam known as comment spam. Comment spammers will post seemingly genuine comments to your blog posts which praise the quality of your blog post.
Seems harmless, right? It sounds like they love your blog! Unfortunately, you’re being played.
Why Spammers Leave Comments
These commenters will include links to sketchy-sounding websites (such as 136710.claimapplewatch.com in the above example) on their commenting profiles. If comments are approved and published, they will provide that sketchy website with a backlink – which is an essential criteria in Google’s famous PageRank algorithm.
The more comments they leave (and which you and other bloggers approve to be published), the higher their sketchy website could rank on Google organic searches. It doesn’t matter to them if no one ever clicks on their link – just the fact that it is published on your site could be enough to generate higher organic rankings – and thus, more organic traffic.
The Real Annoyance
While you can moderate comments to prevent spammy comments from being automatically published, comment moderation can start to take a lot of time. Over time, you might start getting hundreds of comments a weeek – all of which need to be manually moderated. That’s when spammy comments can really start to become a major annoyance.
Manually deleting comments is no fun at all. It takes time away that you could be using to create more awesome content!
Akismet will automatically send obvious comment spam into instant obscurity so you won’t have to give it a second thought. You won’t be bothered by 99.9% of comment spam again – and if Akismet isn’t quite sure whether a comment is spam or not – it will give you the choice and let you decide.
Sound like a good deal? Ok – let’s get it hooked up!
Akismet is pre-installed as a plugin for every UNI blog that we’ve created for this class. You’ll just need to activate it by clicking on the blue “Activate” link in your Plugins directory.
Once you activate the Akismet plugin, you’ll need to set up your account. This is a little tricky, so follow along closely!
Log in to Akismet using Google
Akismet uses WordPress.com account logins to authenticate – but we are not using WordPress.com and the last thing we need is yet another account to keep track of. Fortunately, you can also authenticate with a Google account – first click on “Already have a WordPress.com account? Log in now.” link at the bottom of this page:
Ok, so that was a lie – we don’t have a wordpress.com account. But look at the next page – it gives you the option to log in with your Google account at the bottom of the page!
Name Your Price
Choose a pricing plan. When you get rich and famous you can get a commercial account and give Akismet big bucks for protecting you from comment spam. For now, just choose the Personal “Name Your Price” plan.
On the next page, it will allow you to name your price. Since you are a student and your blog is not a commercial business, choose $0.
Activate Your Site and Enter Your API Key
Logged in? Good. Now you’ll be asked to “activate” your site and may need to enter your blog URL. Once you do so, you will receive your very own Akismet API key, which you can now enter in WordPress:
Enter your API key and click “Connect with API key”. Akismet will now be active and will start blocking spam immediately. If you’re curious, you can check in from time to time and see just how much spam Akismet is blocking.
The American Advertising Federation (AAF) is the only national organization that includes members across all disciplines and career levels in the advertising industry. In addition to professional chapters all across the country in every major metropolitan area, AAF also has hundreds of college chapters – including one right here at UNI.
If you’re a UNI student with a passion for advertising, digital media, and creative ideas, here are three big reasons why AAF is the best student organization for you.
3. You will expand your network of industry professionals
Why wait until after you graduate to get to know professionals in the advertising industry? At AAF we believe in making connections now.
You’ll visit advertising agencies in Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Minneapolis and Chicago.
You’ll hear guest speakers from local and regional advertising agencies, tech firms, design studios, and digital agencies.
You’ll get to hear a panel of ad pros speak about how they got into the industry at our annual “Meet the Pros” event.
You’ll have the opportunity to attend a career fair in Chicago sponsored by global ad agency Leo Burnett.
You’ll have the opportunity to learn about advertising internships – including the Stickell Internship program.
2. You’ll work on real advertising campaigns
The highlight of our year is working on a national ad campaign for a big name client through AAF’s National Student Advertising Competition (NSAC). NSAC is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss out on. This year, we’ll develop a multimillion campaign for Wienerschnitzel Hot Dogs and pitch it in Kansas City at the District competition. Past clients have included:
Ocean Spray Cranberries
1. You’ll make lifelong friends and meet cool new people
AAF-UNI gives you the opportunity to start making valuable professional connections across a multitude of disciplines that will be beneficial in your career in advertising.
At real ad agencies, creative designers work in teams with business analysts. Social media marketers work with copywriters. AAF gives you the opportunity to work with UNI students in other majors who you’ll likely be working with in the future!
If you think a career in advertising sounds like a blast – you should know something: It is. But you should also know that it’s a tough industry to get into – and you’ll need the experiences, professional contacts, and opportunities that AAF provides to get your foot in the door.
Oh, and did I mention that I’m the faculty advisor for AAF at UNI? ^_^
Some of my #unidigadv students continue their personal branding blog after the project is complete – a few just like to have it online to refer to on their resume or portfolio site.
If you just want to save your blog posts as work samples, you can always simply print them from your web browser as PDF files or use a screen capture app like the Full Page Screen Capture to take full page screenshots of each of your posts.
If you want to transfer your entire blog to a new location, it is easy to export your current blog and import it to another online location where it can live as long as you’d like it to.
This blog post will take you through the steps needed to migrate your WordPress blog from the UNI server to a new location that you will control and maintain.
1. Install the “All-In-One WP Migration” Plugin and Export Your WordPress Blog
Log in to your UNI WordPress account and mouse over the “Plugins” menu – click on the “Add New” option. Search for the All-in-One WP Migration plugin and click Install Now.
Once you have installed the plugin, click “Activate” to make it active. Then it will show up on your side nav bar.
When it does, click on the “Export” option. You should see a dialog box that looks something like this:
The plugin allows you to export to a variety of formats – the easiest is to export as a FILE.
Once you click on Export File, it will take a little time to compress all of your blog’s assets into one downloadable file. Once it is done, you’ll be prompted to download it to your local computer.
Once downloaded, save it in a safe place until you are ready to import it into your new WordPress installation.
If you’re not ready to import it anywhere yet – you can keep this file for future use. But if you’re ready to transfer it to a new WordPress installation, go to step 2!
2. Get a Web Hosting Plan and a domain name (URL)
The next thing you need to do is to get a shared web hosting plan. Shared web hosting means you get space on a shared web server. In addition to your WordPress blog, you could also host other websites for yourself (e.g. a portfolio site), your projects, or for clients.
Dreamhost offers the best shared hosting package that I’ve found. It includes no storage or bandwidth limitations, unlimited domain hosting, and one-click WordPress installations. They also include a free domain registration with an annual plan. For month-to-month billing the cost is $10.95 / month – but if you prepay for 1 or 3 years in advance, the cost comes down to $9.95 or $7.95 a month respectively.
If you Google “Dreamhost coupon” or “dreamhost discount” often you can find special deals on hosting plans that make it even more affordable.
Often hosting plans will include a domain name registration. You’ll want to select a domain that is relevant to your personal brand or your name. Note that many fun Top Level Domains (TLDs) are now available besides the common .COM, .ORG, and .NET.
Once you have a hosting plan and domain in place, you’re ready to install WordPress.
3. Install WordPress
Once you are set up with your Dreamhost account and custom domain, you need to install WordPress. Fortunately, Dreamhost offers a one-click installer for WordPress in the “Goodies” section of their web hosting control panel.
You’ll just need to fill out the domain and subdirectory (if applicable) that you wish to install WordPress into and click “install it for me now”.
4. Install the “All-In-One WP Migration” plugin and Import XML file into your new WordPress installation
Log in to your new WordPress installation hosted on your new Dreamhost account. Download, install, and activate the All-in-one WP Migration plugin like you did in step one. Then under the menu click on the “import” option.
Click “Import From File” and navigate to the exported file you created in step one.
It may take a little time, so be patient as it imports.
5. Check your imported content
Generally, I have found that exporting and importing works pretty flawlessly as far as the content goes – but you may have to do a few things to bring your site back to its former perfection:
If you used a custom theme, you’ll need to install and apply that theme on your new WordPress installation.
If you tweaked your theme’s customization options on the old site, you may need to re-apply those changes manually to your new site.
Once you’ve double-checked that all of your content imported correctly and that your site’s theme looks correct again, you should be good to go.
6. What about your old WordPress site on the UNI server?
UNI IT will automatically remove your old site – there is no need to do anything else on the UNI server.
That’s it! You now have a new WordPress installation with all of your old content running on a shared hosting environment.
If you’re using WordPress and want to easily customize the type styles in a pre-built WordPress Theme using the many open source typefaces in Google Fonts, you’ll want to utilize the Easy Google Fonts plugin.
For example, let’s say you’ve installed the Baskerville theme but aren’t crazy about the header typeface. How do you change it?
Using a test site that I created for demonstration purposes, let’s walk through the process.
Find the Style
The first thing you need to do is identify the CSS style that controls that headline text in the HTML file code. If you “view source” on the home page of your blog and search for the words “The awesome test site” you’ll find it in the code:
You’ll notice in the code that the header text “The awesome test site” is surrounded by an H1 tag that contains an inline style assigned the class “blog-title”. To view the current settings for this style, we’ll need to find and view the CSS file for the Baskerville theme.
In the same source code, do another search for the words “.css” to see all of the associated stylesheets on this page.
As you see, there is a stylesheet associated with the Baskerville theme embedded in the HTML code. Click on the link for that CSS code and load it up in a separate tab. Search for the style “blog-title”.
Bingo! There it is. Currently it has assigned the typeface “Pacifico” to the blog title style. Copy the style name here (“.blog-title”).
Create a Font Control
Now we’ll create a custom font control using the Google Fonts plugin that will allow us to modify this style. Back in your WordPress dashboard, navigate to the Google Fonts section under the Settings menu.
Here, you’ll want to create a new font control with the name Blog Title. In the “Add CSS Selectors” box, paste in the exact style name that you copied from the CSS file (i.e. “.blog-title”). Save this font control.
Customize Your Style!
Now if you navigate to the Appearance/Customize/Typography settings, you will see a new option available.
If you click on Theme Typography you should now see the font control you just created. Click “edit font” to modify the settings for this style. All the available Google Fonts will be available in the Font Family menu. I chose a typeface called “Didact Gothic”, which is similar to the Futura typeface.
You should see your changes in real time in the preview pane on the righthand side of the screen. Once you are happy with your typeface choice, save and publish your set. Your blog will now have a custom header typeface!
Google Analytics is used by tens of millions of websites worldwide – it is a free tool to help you track and analyze the traffic on your WordPress blog or website. This post will guide you step-by-step through the process of setting up a Google Analytics account and connecting it to start tracking your WordPress blog traffic using the very awesome MonsterInsights WordPress plugin.
You’ll need to have a functioning WordPress site available at a public URL to complete these steps. Note that these instructions are for installations using WordPress.org platform – not the commercial version at WordPress.com.
Ok, so let’s do this!
1. Create a Google Analytics Account
(If you already have one, skip to step 2)
Creating a Google Analytics account is quick, easy, and free. You’ll need to navigate your browser to http://analytics.google.com/ and log in using a Google account.
2. Create a Web Property
Once you have signed in, you’ll need five key pieces of information to create your first web property to monitor using Google Analytics:
An account name (e.g. “Matthew’s Sites”)
Your website name (e.g. “UNI Digital Advertising Blog”)
Your website URL (e.g. “ids.uni.edu/advertising”)
An industry category (Pick one that fits)
Your time zone (Central Time)
Once you have your web property created, you will be assigned a Tracking ID by Google. This Tracking ID is all you will need to connect your WordPress blog.
Write down your tracking ID and open a new tab. Navigate to your WordPress blog and sign in.
3. Configure the MonsterInsights plugin
Now we will configure the MonsterInsights plugin in WordPress (If you don’t have this plugin, you’ll need to install it into your version of WordPress).
For UNI Digital Advertising students, this plugin is pre-installed for you – you can find it by clicking on “Insights” at the bottom of the left navigation menu.
You’ll have to authenticate your Google account to be able to configure Google Analytics to track your blog and to access your web property from WordPress.
Authentication involves signing in to your Google Account and pasting the authentication code into the MonsterInsights dialog box, then clicking “next”.
Once you have pasted the code and clicked “next”, you’ll choose the web property you want to associate with your WordPress blog. Choose the web property you just set up.
Cool – Google Analytics should be tracking your blog now!
4. Confirm that Google Analytics is Working Correctly
This is a fun one – kind of the equivalent of looking in the mirror to see if you’re really there. Go back to Google Analytics and select the “Real Time” clock icon on the left hand navigational menu.
Click on the Real-Time “Overview”. Now open a new browser tab and navigate to your blog url (the one you are trying to track). Once your blog’s home page loads up, go back to Google Analytics tab and look at the real time overview report. You should see this:
Nice work. You’re watching yourself read your own blog. This proves that it works and that everything is set up correctly. You’re done – go do something fun, like find animated GIFs of people clapping!
If you see 0 active users – something is not right. Go back to step three.
Update: You can also use the excellent Google Tag Assistant Chrome plugin or the Ghostery browser extension to check to ensure that the Google Analytics code is properly working.
Every semester, my UNI Digital Advertising students work very hard on a massive project: To develop a professional brand based on their personal interests using social media.
Let’s take a moment to praise their work and note a few special honors.
The Big Picture
It’s always astounding to me what my classes can accomplish in little under three months. By measuring our activity and engagement on social media, we can quickly evaluate our performance with quantitative metrics.
From mid-January through April 15, 2017, my 48 #unidigadv students accomplished the following:
Earned 27,707 pageviews from 11,346 visitors to their blogs
Tweeting is one of those things that seems very easy at first glance – until you do it every day in support of a professional brand. That’s hard work! Here are the top three #unidigadv Tweeps by Tweet volume (I only counted original tweets for this – retweets did not count!):
The real content was being generated on student blogs, where students developed unique and original posts related to their professional brand. They then attempted to organically attract an audience of readers – a difficult challenge!
Most Visited Blogs
We had twostudents who earned over 1,500 pageviews to their blog during the course of the semester – they did a fantastic job attracting and engaging their visitors. Browse through their blogs and see what they came up with:
Best Tech Blog
Brady Shively – ShivoTech
Brady’s blog focused on technical development (.NET, SQL, VB, etc) and often effectively used video tutorials to illustrate concepts or do technical walk-throughs. For example, he taught me how to run Windows 10 on my Mac using Oracle’s Virtualbox. I tried it – IT WORKED! Thanks, Brady!
Brooke Baumann – Girl Boss Fashion
I welcome any blog to help professionals dress more fashionably – and Brooke’s blog did that in a fun and lighthearted manner that is a welcome change from more stern and serious approaches. I will note that French cuffs were conspicuously absent from her post on Guy Boss Fashion.
Best Engagement Annie Goodell – A Good Cause Annie’s blog on cause marketing stuck up for TOMS after a professor in another class questioned whether their business model truly created shared value. Annie’s blog post advocating for TOMS not only engaged the professor in the comments, but also attracted the attention of TOMS on Twitter – who thanked her for her support.
Best Sports Blog Ryan Doser – Pinseeker Media
Ryan did a great job exploring the world of PGA golf and social media. His posts often utilized embedded social content and images to add visual interest and social integration.
Most Passion and Enthusiasm Christina Andorf – Strength is Beauty Christina was so passionate about exercise, health, and fitness that even I started calculating my macronutrients and planning out cardio workouts.
Personal Favorite Michael Duede – Recording Tech As a musician and amateur audio engineer myself, I thought Michael did a nice job introducing several audio concepts and giving examples from his studio work. A very helpful blog to anyone starting out doing audio recording in a home studio.