Christine Laubenstein's blog

Five Ways to Repurpose Marketing Content

Ideally you would be able to produce multiple new blog posts, press releases, case studies and newsletters every day, bolstering your company's supply of marketing content and appealing to Google's love of freshness. But the reality is you are not a machine, and can only write so much during your workday.

Given time and energy limitations, it's key you find efficient ways to reuse, recycle and repackage your content (otherwise known as repurposing your content). Here are five ways to repurpose your marketing content to save time and get maximum leverage out of your work. 1. Tweak a blog post you've published and pitch it as a guest post. Google doesn't look kindly upon duplicate content, and neither do your fellow bloggers, but if the posts are significantly different, you should be in the... > Read more

October 18, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 0

High-volume keywords vs. low-volume keywords

This article provides a refresher on the difference between high-volume and low-volume keywords, the pros and cons of each, and the factors that can help determine whether or not a low- or high-volume keyword phrase should be bid on in your keyword advertising campaign. High-volume keywords   These keywords are search terms that have a large search volume.

In other words, many people are querying these terms on Google, Yahoo and Bing. One example is the keyword phrase “computer repair.” AdWords shows that worldwide there are 823,000 Google searches for this phrase each month.     The pros of buying high-volume keywords include: More people will probably see your ad. More people will probably click on your ad. More people may buy your product or service. These are some... > Read more

October 04, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 4

Why you should monitor the top search results for your brand keywords

If you’re a serious company you should care about how you appear to potential customers or employees on the Internet. People are always online nowadays, looking up information about a company before they do business or apply for a job. If someone searches for your company in Google, Bing, or another search engine, it’s important that the first page of search results contains positive information about your company.

  Here are a few reasons why you should control the first SERP: If someone finds a negative review about your product or service, they’re less likely to purchase it (or anything at all from your company). If someone sees people complaining about working for your company, they might not apply for a job there. If someone finds negative articles about yo... > Read more

September 07, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 0

What Is Modified Broad Match?: Using the Broad Match Modifier in PPC

Google recently introduced a new AdWords feature that lets you create keywords that are more targeted than broad match, yet have a greater reach than phrase or exact match. With modified broad match, you put a plus sign (+) in front of one or more words in a broad match keyword. The words that are preceded by a (+) sign must appear in the user’s keyword phrase exactly or as a close variation.

  The words that are not following a (+) sign will trigger ads on more significant query variations. This feature can drive more traffic than phrase or exact match, and attract more qualified traffic than broad match. What are examples of modified broad match phrases? Say your broad match phrase was “red purses.” That phrase could prompt ads on relevant query variations like “red bags,” ... > Read more

August 18, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

Selling Trending Items via PPC: A Success Story and Some Advice

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a small retailer in Alabama that profited from noticing and acting on a paid search opportunity. 365 Inc. first seized a market opportunity—late last year, knowing that the World Cup was approaching, the company ordered several thousand vuvuzelas (stadium horns).

They had a hunch vuvuzelas would become popular among U.S. soccer fans, which ultimately proved true.   As the World Cup drew near, 365 Inc. bid on vuvuzela-related terms like “soccer horn” and “stadium horn” from Google and Yahoo for between 15 and 30 cents per click. Its ads began appearing in search results, and as of July 1 the company had sold $240,000 worth of vuvuzelas (30,000 vuvuzelas at $8 apiece).   The company wouldn’t reveal to ... > Read more

July 27, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0

How to Write a Blog Post When You're Not Passionate About the Subject

Let’s face it. Sometimes you have to write a blog post on a topic you’re not all that interested in.  Maybe your boss told you to write it, or you know the post will appeal to readers, or the work will earn you a decent amount of money. Whatever the reason, writing about topics you don’t love can be necessary and even worthwhile.

  Because you’re not passionate about the topic, it’s important to make the writing process as painless as possible. Here are some tips for getting it done quickly and painlessly: Write on a full stomach. Well, your stomach doesn’t have to be completely full, but make sure you’ve had a substantial meal and perhaps a cup of coffee before starting the post. Food (especially healthy “brain” foods) and c... > Read more

July 19, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 1

Recommended Resources: Dana Lookadoo

This week’s recommended resource is SEO consultant Dana Lookadoo. Dana recently started a new SEO consulting company called Yo! Yo! SEO. Her philosophy is that businesses should be engaging in online conversations (which she calls shouting “Yo!”) in addition to optimizing their content for search.

Social media is a key way to start these conversations, Dana says. Facebook, Twitter, and forums are all ways to get people talking about you, coming to your website, and buying your product or service.   Whether or not you decide to hire Dana as an SEO consultant, her online presence can help you improve your SEO efforts. Consider checking out: Her archived blog posts about SEO. Before Dana started Yo! Yo! SEO, she wrote about SEO on her Pixel Position website. If you are looking fo... > Read more

July 12, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Best Online Marketing Blogs   |   Comments: 7

How to Find Your Quality Score on Google and Yahoo

The Quality Score of your pay-per-click ads is a key determinant in the amount you need to bid on keywords to secure a strong position in search engine results. The higher your Google Quality Score, the less you have to pay for your ad to appear in your desired position.For this reason, it's important to track your Quality Scores so you know how your ad campaigns are performing.

Low Quality Scores should prompt you to better organize your keywords, get rid of specific keywords, modify your ad text, or improve your landing pages (among other possible solutions). But first you need to find out what your Quality Scores are. Unfortunately, Bing doesn’t provide this information, but Google and Yahoo do. Here's how to find your Quality Score in Google AdWords and Yahoo Search Marketing.&n... > Read more

June 01, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 2

14 PPC Tools for Beginners

For whatever reason, you may not have yet partaken in a pay-per-click advertising campaign. Maybe you thought print advertising was more effective, feared the potential of click fraud, or have just been too busy to learn the ins and outs of the PPC advertising model. Now you’ve decided that PPC may be worth your while.

You’re doing your best to read all you can about the advertising form, determine your keywords, and set a budget for your pay-per-click ad spend. As you venture into this new advertising territory, there are many tools that can help you effectively shape your PPC campaigns. Here are 13 PPC tools for beginners:Google AdWords Traffic Estimator: Use this tool to get the estimated average AdWords cost per click (CPC) amounts for particular keywords and keyword phrases. ... > Read more

May 18, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 3

Bing PPC vs. Google PPC

Since the Microsoft Bing search engine was unveiled about a year ago, it has garnered a fair amount of media attention. Much of the attention has revolved around Bing’s potential threat to Google’s market share. It looks like Bing is indeed emerging as a danger to Google. Watch out Google! Bing PPC advertising is gaining ground.

According to Hitwise, in June about 5% of U.S. searches were conducted with Bing and 74% with Google. In April, however, about 9% of U.S. searches were conducted with Bing and 71% with Google.   It remains to be seen if Bing’s momentum will continue. But it is worth asking yourself whether its growing popularity should prompt you to consider advertising on its search results pages.   Before you make that decision, however, you should familiarize yo... > Read more

May 10, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 11

Five Great PPC Landing Pages

You’ve probably heard numerous times that landing pages should contain your keywords, be attractively designed, and provide sufficient information for the customer to make a sales or registration decision.   However, you might not have been provided with good examples of these concepts at work.

Worry no more. This article contains five examples of great PPC landing pages.   While viewing these pages, however, remember that you never really know if a landing page is effective unless you test it and look at conversion data. Rosetta Stone   This is the top part of Rosetta Stone’s landing page for its Spanish software offerings. I typed the keyword phrase “learning Spanish software guide” into Google, clicked on a resulting Rosetta Stone PPC ad, and this page appeared... > Read more

May 06, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 6

What Is a Good Click-Through Rate (CTR) for PPC?

If you are involved with pay-per-click advertising, one of the metrics you should be concerned with is click-through rate. Click-through rate is the percent of ad views that result in clicks, and it is one of the key factors in Google’s search engine results ranking formula. Ads with higher click-through rates get better quality scores and higher placements in Google search results.

This doesn’t mean, however, you should aim for the highest click-through rate possible. Why? Because each click costs you money. If your conversions aren’t keeping up with you click costs, then you will be losing money.  Click-through Rates CTR rate goals Below goal CTR Above goal CTR Optimize CTR Monitor CTR Change CTR goals So, what’s a good click-through rate then? Your ideal click-through rat... > Read more

April 26, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 14

How to Determine Maximum CPC in AdWords

If you are a savvy AdWords advertiser, or at least someone who wants more control over your AdWords account, you may want to consider setting maximum cost per click (CPC) for your keywords and keyword groups. AdWords offers automatic bidding for those who aren’t interested in setting their cost per click amounts manually.

But for those of you who are, you can follow these steps to formulate your maximum cost per click:   Our EightSteps to Optimizing AdWords Maximum CPC: Determine Profit Margins Set A Cost Per Acquisition Goal Pricing Strategies Conversion Rates Maximum Cost Per Click Research Traffic Consult First Page Estimates Optimize Your Maximum CPC for Profit 1. For each keyword or keyword group, determine your desired profit margin for each corresponding sale or sales lead... > Read more

April 19, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 4

Google AdWords Remarketing: What is Remarketing?

A couple of weeks ago Google announced a new AdWords feature, called remarketing, that lets advertisers display their ads on the Google Content Network to users who have already visited their website. The idea is that because many of these users have an interest in the product or service you are offering, the chances of them clicking on your ad and converting are higher.

A study recently published by the Network Advertising Initiative backs up this claim. It shows that behavioral-targeted online ads are more than twice as valuable and effective as non-targeted online ads.The unveiling of this Google tool follows a one-year remarketing beta period. About 500 companies, including Samsung, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Armani cosmetics and fragrances, took part in the product test.What ar... > Read more

April 09, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 4

Google AdWords Search Funnels: What Are Search Funnels?

Last week Google announced a new tool for its AdWords customers to measure conversions: Search Funnels.Search Funnels are a collection of reports that detail the Google.com search ad click and impression conduct leading up to a conversion. The reports, for example, show the number and percentage of conversions that were “assisted.

” Assisted conversions result from two or more Google searches. The user conducts a keyword search, sees or clicks on a particular ad, and then abandons the ad. Then, sometime within the next 30 days, the user conducts another keyword search, sees another ad for the same company, and clicks on it. A conversion follows. Search Funnels also show advertisers which keywords led to assisted conversions, the number and percentage of conversions that resulted fr... > Read more

March 30, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Analytics   |   Comments: 1

Pros and Cons of View-Through Conversion Tracking

A good way to evaluate the effectiveness of your display ads is to look at conversion statistics. Generally these stats focus on how many users performed a desired action, like a purchase, and what percentage of conversions followed a user clicking on the advertisement.   But online advertising platforms are starting to offer an additional measure of conversion performance: view-through conversion rate.

  What Is View-Through Conversion Rate?   View-through conversion rate is the percentage of users who view an ad and neglect to click on it, but within a certain period of time go to the ad’s associated conversion page and undertake the desired action.   Unlike click conversion rates, this statistic measures conversions that don’t result from clicks on the advertisem... > Read more

March 25, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Conversion Rates   |   Comments: 4

What Is Cost Per Action Advertising?

There are several ways to conduct online advertising campaigns. You can pay search engines or other Internet publishers hosting your ads each time one of your ads is clicked, every 1,000 times the ad is seen, or every time the ad prompts a more sales-related action. The third option entails a user clicking on your ad and signing up for a free trial of a product, registering for a free download, or buying your product.

Signups and registrations generate company leads, while sales generate immediate cash in your pocket.   With this type of advertising you pay the host an agreed-upon fee for each specified type of action. For leads that can mean a set amount, while for sales that can mean a set percentage of the sale amount.   This method of online advertising is called “cost... > Read more

March 17, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 6

Top 12 Small Business Marketing Blogs

If you own a small business, you confront a unique set of Internet marketing challenges to  create a innovative small business marketing plan. You may not have a large marketing budget, a substantial marketing staff, or expansive knowledge of the industry’s best practices. Luckily, there are blogs out there focused on helping small business owners advertise their product or service online.

Here’s a list of our top 12 small business marketing blogs:Small Business MavericksInternet marketing strategist Caroline Melberg updates her blog daily with concise small business marketing tips and commentary. Her latest posts deal with Yahoo Search’s viability, the importance of testing one’s Web pages with every browser, and whether Facebook should add a blogging feature.The Marketing Spo... > Read more

March 01, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 15

Ten Ways to Improve Your AdWords Click-Through Rate (CTR)

One of the best ways to save money on your AdWords campaign is by improving your click-through rate (CTR), or the percentage of viewers who actually click on your ad. A higher click-through rate leads to a higher Quality Score -- a grade Google applies to your AdWords keywords and ad groups. When you have a high Quality Score, you pay less for better ad spots.

  Here are 10 steps you can take to improve your AdWords click-through rate: Include promotional offers, attractive adjectives, and calls to action in your ads. People are more likely to click on your ad if you tout a special promotion, like free shipping. Also, words like “save,” “easy,” and “new,” and calls to action like “buy now,” “reserve today” and “call now,” can prompt a click. Put your keywor... > Read more

February 02, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 10

Top 11 SEO Copywriting Blogs

One of the best ways to learn how to write engaging and SEO-friendly website copy—and keep up with industry changes—is to read what the experts have to say. Plenty of blogs focus on the topic of online copywriting, but many of those blogs are not updated on a weekly or even monthly basis. Also, many of those blogs are little more than a promotional tool for a company’s product or author’s book.

We've saved you time by creating a list of the best copywriting blogs that are out there.   Here they are, in no particular order: 1. Copyblogger Copyblogger has a large following, with some posts getting over 1,000 tweets and 250 comments. New media writer/producer Brian Clark started the blog four years ago. It includes posts by him and other copywriting professionals. One of the fir... > Read more

January 19, 2010     |   Written by: Christine Laubenstein   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 13
 
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