Megan Marrs's blog
Over the past year we’ve watched the ranks of the dreaded term “not provided” rise and rise. In September, Google announced that it had begun its mission to encrypt ALL search data, making 100% “not provided” keyword data a reality.Chart by Not Provided Count shows increase in “not provided.
”What Does Not Provided Mean in Google Analytics?If you log into Google Analytics today, you’ll likely see the term “not provided” eating up the majority of your keyword data.Google is choosing not to show you the keywords that have been driving organic traffic to your site. But why Google, why? The official answer is that it’s done in the name of privacy, to protect the vulnerable users. Some theorize that Google is trying to hinder third-party software that makes use of Google ke... > Read more
What is Facebook Graph Search?Facebook Graph Search first launched in March 2013, allowing users to search for people, photos, places, and interests within the Facebook search engine. Facebook Graph Search provides custom search results based on your own personal data, including information in the profiles of your friends.
As you type a search query, Facebook Graph Search auto-completes the query, suggesting friendships through existing connections, Facebook pages, and apps, before finally providing web results.New Facebook Graph Search: Now With More Stalking Power!In recent months, Facebook developers have made Graph Search even more powerful, now capable of providing results on searches for:status updatesphoto captionscommentscheck-insThe updated Facebook Graph Search can also search fo... > Read more
Today we’re talking about multi-channel marketing – what it is, why it matters, and how to use it in order to better your business.Image from Get More Engagement.Multi-Channel Marketing DefinitionMulti-channel marketing is the practice of using multiple channels to reach customers. In addition to allowing businesses to reach customers through different mediums, multi-channel marketing also makes it easy for customers to complete desired conversions on whatever medium they are most comfortable with.
Multi-channel marketing lets the user decide, giving them a choice.In today’s modern marketing era, there are many channels a business can take advantage of in order to reach potential customers. These channels include:Retail storePPCWebsiteDirect mailEmailMail order catalogMobileWhy is Mu... > Read more
It’s every advertiser’s dream to create a viral video that gets plastered over Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (ha, yeah, because people care about G+). As we’ve discussed in previous posts, the chances of getting an ad to go viral are pretty low – you’re much better off creating educational or how-to videos that will gain a steady stream of visitors over time.
What about the 1% though? Those ads that practically promote themselves? One thing seems clear – most of them are utterly hilarious. Not just funny, but odd, quirky, and even downright bizarre. Today we’re looking at some of the weirdest, wackiest ads online, and examining why they are successful.PooPourri: Before-You-Go Toilet SprayThis video was what inspired this post – I was dying to share this ridiculously oddball... > Read more
Google voice search – because who has time to type these days? We all have better things to do, like binge-watching Breaking Bad or looking at pictures of babies trying to lift weights. Finger exercise was the last remnant of physical activity for office drones, which means this future is only a few decades away:Thanks Google!We could debate about how much Google had contributed to the obesity epidemic while improving our techno-lives, but to be fair, Google Voice Search is a pretty nifty move by Google.
Google has been continuing to build on its development, making our online activity even lazier easier.Last month Google did some upgrades on Google voice search, enabling Google search to connect with your other Google accounts to deliver personal information to users. In this post... > Read more
What is a Squeeze Page?A squeeze page is a landing page designed to capture opt-in email address from potential subscribers. The goal of a squeeze page is to convince, cajole, or otherwise ”squeeze” a visitor into providing one of their most sought-after and coveted pieces of personal data: the email address.
What Makes a Good Squeeze Page?As its name suggests, there is an element of intentional yet subtle forcefulness involved in a squeeze page. Think the Star Wars crash compactor scene. Squeeze pages should work a bit like that.It’s a trap!You don’t want to leave those golden geese a means of escape, and putting in as few hyperlinks as possible narrows the walls around your victims prospective clients. A squeeze page should act as an ultimatum for visitors – either take the offe... > Read more
We’re on a bit of a mobile kick lately – my last post was about mobile marketing basics, and today we’re diving head first into mobile websites.Image borrowed from MashableWe will be covering different approaches to mobile website design, mobile site best practices, and what you can do to easily make your site mobile-optimized! Get ready to touch, tap, and swipe your way into the world of mobile web design!We'll be delving into:Mobile Website StatisticsMobile Website Design's Biggest Rule: Keep it SimpleApproach #1 to Mobile Site Design: Creating a .
Mobi DomainApproach #2 to Mobile Site Design: Responsive DesignChoosing Between .Mobi vs. Responsive DesignMobile Websites vs. AppsMobile Website Examples: Learn From the Top Mobile SitesMobile Website AdsMobile Website Tips & Best Pr... > Read more
What is Mobile Marketing? I would tell you that mobile is the future of marketing, but really the era of mobile has already arrived. If you're not implementing some kind of mobile marketing strategy, you're already trailing behind! As you can see from the graph below, more users are spending larger amounts of time engaged with mobile devices than ever before.
We can expect this trend to continue even further in the future, so get ready!How Does Mobile Marketing Work?Mobile marketing consists of ads that appear on mobile smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. Mobile marketing ad formats, customization, and styles can vary, as many social media platforms, websites, and mobile apps offer their own unique and tailored mobile ad options.Why You Need a Mobile Marketing StrategyYour busin... > Read more
Those new to SEO might be wondering what all the hullabaloo is about follow links vs. no follow links. Confused? Not to worry, we’re going to clear it all up.What is a Follow Link?To really understand what is going on with follow vs. no follow links, we need to provide a bit of background about how links work in the realm of SEO.
When a site page gets an inbound link, which is a hyperlink pointing to that page, the page gets a small SEO boost. Think of a link as a point, and the more links you have, the more points. More Points = Winning, like Charlie Sheen.Google takes note of these points, watching how many inbound links a page has and from what sites. Google figures, hey, if a lot of people are linking to a certain page, it must be a really good page! Let’s give preference in our se... > Read more
Yelp has become the most popular Internet rating and review site since its initial inception in 2004. Yelp founders saw that word-of-mouth was a powerful purveyor of new customers, but with the classic local community structure breaking apart in an online era, how could individuals know which businesses to trust? Yelp was the answer – an online review site in which customers shared their experiences, helping others make informed decisions about restaurants, auto-repair shops, and more.
Many review sites have come and gone, but Yelp has continued to be the most trusted source for local business reviews and ratings. Why? Yelp noticed that other review sites are far too cluttered with spam and ads, so they’ve kept theirs to a minimum. Yelp also focuses on long-form reviews rather than... > Read more
Banner ads are largely seen these days as fossils from the internet’s dinosaur period, back when blinking text was cool and Angelfire sites were all the rage.Such online billboard ads have long been considered deceased, dead, and buried, with few mourners grieving the demise of web banner ads. However, a new breed of banner ad has evolved and is on the rise thanks to Google, and they’re hungry for blood (or clicks.
Whichever is easier).Today we’re looking at the horrific past of banner ads, their new and improved counterpart, and how you can make banner ads work for you!Everyone’s (Least) Favorite Ad: Why Most Banner Ads Stink Just like the Iraq War, slavery, and parachute pants, banner ads are an ugly part of our history. They’ve generally been seen as a public nuisance and... > Read more
Ever since Google introduced auto-complete in 2004, predictive search has become a welcome part of our internet interactions, helping us search faster, find results quicker, and discover answers to questions we didn’t even know we had.As predictive search becomes more powerful, tools like Google Now have become capable of delivering relevant, personalized information to users, all but eliminating the need for search as we know it.
Will Google’s continued efforts in predictive search destroy search engines as we know them today? Is Google Now the beginning of a self-destructive path for the king of search?In this post we’re looking at all aspects of predictive search – how Google uses it in search engines, the role it plays on mobile devices and in new features like Google Now, and w... > Read more
Due to the popularity of last month’s post discussing the pros and cons of buying Twitter followers, we’re tackling another contender – Pinterest.Pinterest has become the internet’s photo-sharing darling since its explosion onto the social scene in 2011. Pinterest has become a haven for recipe swappers, DIY enthusiasts, designers, and more.
Some of the most popular Pinterest users get their content shared thousands of times a day, and a high number of followers serves as a green light for other users debating who to follow.A user’s number of Pinterest followers is another internet glamour metric, similar to Twitter followers. Just as with Twitter, having an army of inactive followers won’t do you much good, since on Pinterest the real value comes from repins, comments, and liki... > Read more
Why is Social Media Management Important?With so many different social media sites to post, share articles, and track engagement on, finding a reliable social media management tool to help streamline your social media tasks is pretty essential.Social media managing tools can help marketers save time, stay organized, and optimize their efficiency.
Today we’re looking at some of the top contenders for social media management systems. While some overlap, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. This guide should help you determine which tool is the best fit for your business.Social Media Management Tool ReviewsThe pricing design of these social tools is fairly consistent – there’s usually a set of plans ranging from the cheapest and most basic, to the more expensive and advanced. C... > Read more
We all know social media is a hugely valuable element of online marketing when it comes to building a customer base, search engine rankings, and brand recognition. As a major player, Twitter is one of the most important and popular social media networks frequented by users around the globe.Obtaining a high number of followers is a landmark goal of many Twitter users.
Getting those followers isn’t always easy though, which leads some innocent businesses to wander down the shady path towards the ominous castle black-hat, wherein lies the dark tactic of buying Twitter followers.With a simple swipe of a credit card, you can obtain legions of your own mindless Twitter drones! To buy or not to buy? Let’s review the reasons for and against buying Twitter followers.In this post, we'll be looki... > Read more
Measuring the success of various campaigns is a core aspect of a marketer’s job. It’s essential to see how your marketing efforts are contributing to the business’s bottom line. Yet according to Social Media Today, 70% of online businesses that utilize social media don’t bother to measure ROI.
It’s pretty shocking to discover that the majority of online businesses are conducting their social media marketing completely in the dark, with no clues as to how social media contributes to the success of their businesses. To be fair, it’s not entirely their fault – social media ROI is a difficult beast to tame, the bane of marketers around the world.Why is Measuring Social Media ROI Difficult?Some say that measuring the ROI of social media simply can’t be done! Like traditional bill... > Read more
Guess what WordStream readers?Our own Larry Kim is scheduled to speak at the upcoming 2013 Interactivity Digital Conference in South Beach, Florida! Larry’s session, “Reeling Customers in with Remarketing,” will cover the advantages of remarketing and top techniques for conducting a stellar remarking campaign.
(Check out the full agenda here.)The Interactivity Digital Conference 2013 runs through May 15 & 16, hosted at The James Royal Palm luxury hotel in downtown South Beach, Florida. The conference features 14 sessions with over 25 industry-leading speakers covering a range of marketing topics, such as SEO, analytics, PPC, email marketing, social media, and more.Tickets are on sale now, and for a limited time, WordStream readers get a special discount – just use Discount Code... > Read more
Facebook continues to be the reigning champ of social media sites, as the #1 spot where friends connect and share online. More than just a meeting place for friends, Facebook has grown into a venue for businesses to market themselves through interaction with customers and self-promotion.In this post we will be looking at seven ways you can use Facebook for marketing.
Whether you’re a big corporation or a small local biz, Facebook is a powerful marketing tool – it’s a great space to keep customers informed, develop brand identity, and broaden your reach.1. Making the Most of Your Facebook Business PageA Facebook page is a great free marketing tool for businesses. These pages let businesses identify themselves – not just through listing product offerings and services, but also by shar... > Read more
Recently I came across a creative and smart marketing strategy that I thought I'd share with you, the wonderful WordStream community. Preventing newsletter followers from unsubscribing is a goal of many marketers. The Fab marketing team has taken an innovative approach to combating unsubscribers, and today we'll be taking a look at their unique technique.
Fab is a company that specializes in design-oriented retail. The Fab website exists as a marketplace for finding unique art, jewelry, cookware, furniture, etc. They sell some pretty awesome items, and their descriptions are fun as well. Take the product below as an example: "Being human is way overrated. We’re all soft and squishy, we don’t have enough feathers or horns, and we definitely don’t roar as loud as we should. But all... > Read more
LinkedIn is the leading social networking site for professionals, so most business-to-business (B2B) companies should be putting serious energy into their Company Pages on LinkedIn.With recent renovations to the LinkedIn Company Pages, there’s more room for creativity and innovation when it comes to connecting both with other businesses and with consumers.
Here’s what your business needs to know.Why LinkedIn Is Worth Your TimeLinkedIn sometimes feels like the nerdy, awkward cousin of the cooler social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. LinkedIn spends a lot of its time organizing its pen protectors by color and enjoys making Excel charts in its spare time. Although social media socialites might feel inclined to give LinkedIn the cold shoulder, the business professional networking s... > Read more
Whenever you are looking to improve or gain mastery in a particular area, it is always smart to carefully examine the practices of those who are already doing a top-notch job. You can learn so much just by picking the brains of existing experts – our ongoing Ask The PPC Experts interview series continues to be popular.
Social media networks like Pinterest are no exception – looking at how others successfully use social media in a creative way will help you spark your own masterful ideas.Today we are looking at six unique Pinterest accounts and assessing what these Pinterest users are doing that sets them apart from the pack. Learn from them, and you’ll probably witness improvement. With better referral rates than Google+ LinkedIn, and YouTube combined, Pinterest is a social med... > Read more
The Google Antitrust Case: Is Google violating antitrust laws by using its search dominance to favor its own products in search results over competitors? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is trying to decide whether or not to sue Google for antitrust violations. A final decision about whether to pursue an antitrust case is expected before the end of the year.
In addition to the U.S. Government and European antitrust investigations, there are a number of private lawsuits by Google rivals that make claims of unfair competition or antitrust violations against Google.There is no argument that Google runs the world's most popular search engine, with 67% of the market. But has this market dominance been obtained through antitrust violations?The government’s escalating investigation into ... > Read more
The social media site Twitter, in only a few short years, has managed to forever change the way generations of people communicate. Whether sharing breaking news, announcing political victories, or mourning the deaths of our heroes, Twitter has become an integral part of the social landscape.We’ve made a list of the top tweets of all time – not just the most retweeted tweets (those titles are held almost exclusively by celebrities), but also the history-changing tweets, the momentous twitter events, and the minute messages that reflect just how much can be said in only 140 characters.
WordStream presents you the best tweets ever.The Best Tweets Ever:ObamaMarsPhoenixMount EverestOccupy WallStreetCrime FightingAnthony WeinergateBP Oil SpillKennethColeOld SpiceOprahCharlie SheenJustin Bieb... > Read more
If you’re involved with SEO, content marketing or any kind of web marketing, you’ve probably heard the phrase “evergreen content” and been told that your site needs to have it. So what is evergreen marketing, and why are evergreen articles good for SEO?Today we’ll be explaining the basics of evergreen articles, how to write an evergreen content piece, and why incorporating evergreen posts into your blog strategy is essential for killer content marketing.
Evergreen content definitionEvergreen content is SEO content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers.So Why is it Called “Evergreen”?The term “evergreen” sounds familiar even to the non-marketing ear because evergreen trees (usually the pine or fir variety) are often used to decorate homes at C... > Read more
Having a poor performing AdWords landing page is bad news – not only will Google be less likely to show your ads, but you are probably missing out on valuable conversions. It also negatively affects your Quality Scores, which means you end up paying more for each click.In an effort to be more “transparent,” Google now makes an attempt to tell you why your Quality Score for a given keyword is low.
One reason might be the quality of your landing page experience. If Google thinks your landing page experience is “below average,” it could hurt your Quality Score.According to Google, you should focus on three things if your landing page quality needs improvement:Relevant and original contentTransparencyEase of navigationIf Google has deemed your landing pages to be “below avera... > Read more
Well WordStream fans, I have some bittersweet news—I’ll be leaving WordStream soon to spend time in Europe.It’s been such a joy to work here and be part of our mega-marketing team.Normally a year isn’t all that long, but in startup years it’s a decent chunk of time. I started at WordStream during its haywire adolescent stage, and have had the unique opportunity to be here as it has come into its own and really begun to thrive.
Blogging and discussing the latest online marketing happenings with you guys has been awesome. While I’ll miss WordStream immensely, I’m excited about my travels and what’s next.Now dry those tears, this isn’t the end! I’ll be spending a couple weeks in Italy teaching a bed & breakfast some SEO basics, so I’ll continue blogging here from time... > Read more
Facebook Ads Whisper Sweet Lies While Kinect Emotion-Detecting Ads Slap You With the TruthA few weeks ago I encountered a bizarre advertisement on Facebook that caught my attention:I spent a moment trying to puzzle out how a decapitated baby head related to social work. The whole point of course is that it doesn’t—the creepy-baby-head-ad I encountered is a classic shock & awe Facebook ad, determined to capture a user’s attention with a strange picture with hopes that you might be curious enough to click through.
It’s quite the lowly form of advertising, banking on Facebook users’ curiosity alone to drive clicks. But this idea of embracing the “silly” factor that is ever-present on the internet can be successful for some, like the Plenty Of Fish ads made in Microsoft Paint ... > Read more
Sayonara May, Hola June! Here’s a quick roundup of what you might have missed this week, in case you’ve been stuck in Memorial-Day-beach-mode. Say Hello to Google+ LocalGoogle is shelving Google Places in exchange for new Google+ Local pages. The new Google+ Local pages are integrated with Zagat reviews (now that Zagat acquisition finally makes sense), and will allow businesses to connect better with customers.
SEL has a great comprehensive guide about what to expect when you’re expecting Google+ Local.Haters Gonna HateIn lieu of the new Google+ Local business pages, Socialnomics published a great blog post about how to deal with negative reviews. Here’s a hint: Don’t flip out! I will say though, I’ve seen some businesses use those “People Hate Us On Yelp” stickers and... > Read more
Generally speaking there are three kinds of website traffic: direct traffic, search engine traffic, and referral traffic. All are valuable and serve different purposes, but this post focuses on the third kind, referral traffic.Referral traffic is valuable in online marketing because it sends interested readers and qualified potential customers to your site from new domains.
It also provides added SEO benefits, since by definition referral traffic is driven either by an inbound link or social activity, both of which send positive signals to the search engines about your site.Need some of that sweet ol’ referral traffic? We’ve got you covered with five simple referral traffic strategies to help.Guest PostsGuest posts are a great way to build up referral traffic. Especially in light of th... > Read more