Elisa Gabbert Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog

Corporate Blogging for SMBs: How to Get More Employees to Contribute to Your Company Blog

 Lots of small and medium-sized businesses have figured out that a corporate blog is good for business. The potential benefits of a well-run corporate blog include:Brand developmentSEO traffic and valuable linksOngoing inbound leadsBut buy-in is one thing. Actually creating and publishing new blog content on a regular basis is another.

Maintaining a regular publication schedule is a struggle for everyone, but it’s especially difficult for SMBs with their smaller budgets and smaller teams. You might not have a dedicated copywriter, and if you do, that writer is probably being pulled in multiple directions – writing copy for your email campaigns, landing pages and so on (oh, hi, to-do list!).A good way to make sure that you’re regularly publishing new content on your blog is to en... > Read more

October 08, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 12

Content Keywords FAQ: How to Use SEO Keywords for Content Marketing

There’s no content without keywords – unless you’re building a website out of nothing but images and video, which, frankly, we don’t recommend. So if you’re trying to get on board the content marketing train, you’ll need to be thinking about keywords. How do keywords fit into your content marketing strategy? Where do you start with keyword research for content marketing?Start here! These are the top 10 most frequently asked questions I hear about using keywords in marketing content.

Table of ContentsWhat’s the best keyword tool to use for content marketing?Should I target head terms or long-tail keywords in my content?How many times should we use the keyword on the page?Where on the page should the keyword appear?Is it OK to target multiple keywords on the same page?I publishe... > Read more

October 03, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 45

WordStream's Best of the Month, Back to School Edition

 September must be such a joyful month for parents – school is basically free child care, right?! Well, OK, only if you send them to public school. But at least they’re out of your hair for about 8 hours of the day.Why not get into that back-to-school spirit yourself and read up on our greatest hits from the month of September?  The Importance of A/B Testing: 24 Marketing Experts on Their Most Surprising A/B Test – I asked a bunch of awesome folks (AJ Kohn! Oli Gardner! Matt Umbro, Michelle Morgan and others from the #PPCchat crew!) to share their craziest A/B test results.

Refill your coffee – this is a long read but full of inspiring ideas for testing your own marketing initiatives.3 More (Yes, More!) Ways to Save Money on PPC – Here are a few more little tricks you c... > Read more

September 27, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 1

The Importance of A/B Testing: 24 Marketing Experts on Their Most Surprising A/B Test

 A/B testing stands for “Always Be Testing,” right? It should! Once you start testing various elements of your marketing campaigns – from PPC text ads to landing pages to email subject lines – you realize “A/B testing best practices” are only a rough guideline. You never know what’s going to work with your audience until you AB test it.

When I hear about an A/B test with surprising results, it always makes me want to run out and test everything. So I asked 24 marketing experts to answer one question:What is the most surprising or exciting result you’ve ever achieved in an A/B test? You can read their answers below. I hope you find these AB tests as fun and inspiring as I do! Here are the players:Aaron Levy - AB Test Where Your Form is On The Landing PageAJ Kohn - S... > Read more

September 25, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Interview Series   |   Comments: 21

DIY? No Can Do: More Companies Turn to Software for Help with PPC

There was a time when being a PPC manager necessarily entailed being an Excel ninja as well. Not a fan of spreadsheets? Then step away from the PPC account, my friend!In 2001, however, a tipping point occurred – the majority of companies no longer managed their PPC accounts using Excel. And the trend continues in that direction.

According to SEMPO’s recent State of Search report, the number of companies who manage their PPC campaigns DIY-style using free tools like those provided by search engines, Excel, or “a simple database” fell from nearly half (49%) in 2001 to just 38% in 2012. That’s a big drop! And a much bigger drop than the change from 2010 to 2011 (53% to 49%).Here’s the survey data from SEMPO (the exact question was “Do you or your primary search engine marketing ... > Read more

September 24, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 6

3 More (Yes, More!) Ways to Save Money on PPC

 Already followed all our other tips on cutting costs in your PPC account? Still want to squeeze more efficiency out of your campaigns so you have more pocket money for cocktails and handbags? I feel you sister. Here are even more ways to make your paid search budget go farther.See also:Five Ways to Lower Your PPC Campaign's Cost Per Action (CPA)Five Ways to Lower Your AdWords & PPC CostsWhat to Do When Your AdWords CPCs Are Too HighFive Ways to Squeeze More Efficiency Out of Your Best Performing CampaignsGoogle AdWords Quick Wins: Two Reports that Could Save You ThousandsAdWords Quick Wins, Volume 2: More Reports that Could Save You ThousandsWhy Is My Content Network Cost Per Click So High? 3 Mistakes New Advertisers MakeClose Your A/B TestsPPC ad testing always starts out with t... > Read more

September 17, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 13

When Did Google Give Up on the Long Tail?

Over the past year I’ve noticed that the Google results for long-tail queries have really started to suck. It often seems like Google just stops paying attention if I type more than three words. Case in point: I just searched “the french exit cilantro” and Google basically completely ignored the last word of my query:Spectacular fail: NOT ONE result on the first page contains the word “cilantro.

” (They're also all from my blog; so much for domain diversity.) I was looking for a specific post on my blog about cilantro, and was trying to save time by Googling directly to it rather than going to my blog first and performing a search there. This used to work! Even on the second page, I didn’t start seeing results that included the word “cilantro” until halfway down the page, an... > Read more

September 14, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 28

25 Fast Facts About Bing Ads

In honor of this week’s change in branding from adCenter to Bing Ads, and as a counterpart to 25 Fast Facts About Google AdWords, here are 25 facts and figures about Bing Ads, Microsoft’s PPC advertising platform:With a single Bing ad buy, you can reach 162 million unique searchers using Microsoft and Yahoo sites (including Yahoo Search, Bing, and partners), which account for 30% of total search engine share and over 6 billion searches a month.

(comScore Core Search, January 2012)From June 2011 to June 2012, Bing stole 5% of Google’s search share. (Experian Hitwise)Bids on Bing tend to be lower, and the competition for keywords is lower. (Hubspot)Local, travel, shopping and health related searches account for 30-40% of total search queries. Sessions in these four areas on Bing are of... > Read more

September 12, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 12

Organic vs. Paid Clicks: These Are Not the Clicks You're Looking For

A while back we published a post called “Think nobody clicks on Google ads? Think again!” This post was based on original research revealing that roughly two-thirds of clicks for search queries with high commercial intent go to sponsored results.Recently, a new, related report has been making the rounds.

This study, carried out by GroupM UK and Nielsen, reports that 94% of total search engine clicks go to organic results, with just 6% of click share left for paid search ads.  This seems to contradict our results – one cheeky lad tweeted the link directly to us – but does it?In the strictest sense – just, you know, in terms of facts – the answer is no. The GroupM study was looking at overall click distribution in the UK over a one-month period, totaling 1.4 billion search q... > Read more

September 07, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 7

Tricks to Get the Click: 10 Tips for Writing Better PPC Text Ads [New Guide]

Our latest white paper, co-authored with the good folks at Hanapin Marketing, is now available for download! Below is an excerpt from the guide. Click here to download the full text of this new, free guide.Tricks to Get the Click: 10 Tips for Writing Better PPC Text AdsIf you want to sell products or generate leads online, a user-friendly, conversion-optimized website is Step 1.

But when it comes to search engine marketing, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if people never get there.Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements placed in search engine results and on other relevant sites can be an extremely effective means of driving qualified traffic to your site – one that more than pays for itself, if you’re doing it right.Even though you have to pay for each click on one of you... > Read more

September 06, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Copywriting   |   Comments: 4

Content Marketing Magic: Aligning Keyword & Content Types with Business Goals

Lately it seems like content marketing is the new SEO. It’s become a bit of a buzzword. But when you slap a trendy label on something, it’s easy to start overthinking it. Ten years ago, everyone with a website was producing content of one kind or another. Then we started worrying about SEO – how to make that content more visible and available to search engine visitors.

Now that “content marketing” is the word of the day, people are stressing about what “content” means and how they can “create great content.”But the truth is, for most businesses, your goals haven’t really changed. You’re still just trying to get people to your website to do whatever it is you want them to do – to buy your widgets, as it were. Advertising is one way to accomplish that; content marketi... > Read more

September 04, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 16

Google Knowledge Graph Gets Fancy with Slider Results at Top of Page

Yesterday, blanking on the name of the movie Magnolia, I googled the phrase “tom cruise movies,” and saw a really surprising result (click the image to enlarge):  Knowledge Graph on Steroids!!! This huge, sliding row of movie posters at the top of the page – very reminiscent of Netflix’s browsing design – is beyond eye-catching; it’s practically all I can see.

When you click on one of the movie posters, you’re directed to a new SERP, as though you searched for the name of that movie:  Larry saw something similar this week on his mobile phone while doing a tourism-related search:  What’s Going on Here?You haven’t forgotten my big conspiracy theory about the Google Knowledge Graph, have you? I suspect that Google is trying to train users to pay... > Read more

August 31, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 5

The Very Best of WordStream: August's Greatest Hits

I think it’s quite amusing that Kajagoogoo has an album called “The Very Best of Kajagoogoo” – I mean, can anyone name more than one song by Kajagoogoo? I think this is the one:Well this blog is no one-hit wonder! Here’s our very best of the month, the top 10 posts that got you reading and talking:Google SERP Dumps 5.

5% of Organic First Page Listings – Google recently slashed the number of first-page results for some queries from 10 to 7 (and 30% reduction!). Larry examines the SEO implications.Why SEO's (Sometimes) Suck at PPC Marketing – Larry puts on his fighting gloves and names some important differences in the mindset required to succeed at organic vs. paid search.The Long-Term Value of SEO: Does SEO Value Last Forever? – Larry (who, you might have noticed, was on a b... > Read more

August 31, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Why Are Popular Keywords So Hard to Rank for with a New Website?

 While digging through our analytics for question keywords (as outlined in “3 Ways to Find Questions to Answer in Your Content”), I found the following question: Why are popular keywords so hard to rank for with a new website? It’s a good question, although the longer you work in search marketing, the more obvious the answer becomes.

New websites have difficulty ranking for popular, high-volume keywords for two primary reasons:New websites don’t have much site authority yet. The amount of on-page optimization you do when targeting a specific keyword is only half the battle. The Google algorithm takes site or domain authority into account when assigning rankings. Your site’s authority depends on factors like age of domain (hence, new websites necessarily have less authority) a... > Read more

August 28, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 13

Case Study: The Curious Case of Toolbar PageRank

Or, Why Does My Personal Blog Have the Same PageRank as a Search Marketing Site with a Huge SEO Budget?A couple of weeks ago, Google rolled out a new update to Toolbar PageRank. Victor Pan, our resident SEO “ninja,” dropped me and Larry a note, letting us know the WordStream site is holding steady at 5.

Out of curiosity, I checked the PageRank on my own blog. It was also a 5. Amused, I let them know, and Larry shot back, “You should be running our SEO meetings!”In case you don’t find this as surprising as we do, let me tell you a little more about these two sites:WordStream.com: We’re a venture-backed search marketing company that has been around for about five years. We primarily sell PPC management software, but we also offer both free and paid keyword research tools as well ... > Read more

August 20, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Blogging   |   Comments: 20

What Is Good SEO? The Debate Continues

 Larry stirred up quite a controversy last week with two posts that made some bold claims. First, he said that SEOs suck at PPC because they don’t approach it with the right mindset. (Later, he amended the post to say that SEOs sometimes suck at PPC – he also told me he was mainly thinking about himself.

) Then he said that the idea that SEO has more long-term value than PPC is a myth.This didn’t sit too well with some of our readers (many of whom are advocates for and practitioners of SEO – as, frankly, we have always been in the past). We had some vehement disagreement in the comments from people who thought Larry was over-generalizing or conflating “SEO” with webspam and unsustainable black-hat tactics. For example, Matt Bennett said, “you've taken your own experiences... > Read more

August 16, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 6

25 Fast Facts About AdWords

 Google was launched in 2000, with pricing based on a flat CPM (cost per impression model). It was relaunched under an auction model in 2002. (Search Engine History)An 18-year-old college dropout named Scott Banister is credited with the brilliant, multi-billion-dollar idea of pay-for-placement search listings, an idea later brought to fruition by Bill Gross at IdeaLab.

(TechCrunch)About 97% of Google’s total revenues come from advertising. (Google Investor Relations)Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)As of Spring 2011, Google had over 1.2 million businesses advertising on its search network. (AdGooRoo via Perry Marshall)The average click-through rate for an ad in the first position is 7.94%. (AccuraCast)&nb... > Read more

August 13, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 18

Just What I Always Wanted, Gmail in My Google Results … Wait, What?

How do you feel about private data in public spaces? Search Plus Your World was disturbing enough. If I do a Google image search for “ice cream,” it’s because I want some generic pictures of ice cream. I don’t want to find a picture of myself eating ice cream. I especially don’t want to find a picture of myself eating ice cream naked.

(I don’t have any nude photos in my Picasa account, that I know of, but it’s possible right?) And I especially don’t want a friend who is using my computer to find a picture of me eating ice cream naked. And if I’m borrowing a friend’s computer, I don’t want to find their naked pictures either! (I don’t know any male models.)And now Google has officially gone completely crazy. Yesterday they announced that search results will soon inco... > Read more

August 10, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 4

Zuckerberg, You've Got Egg on Your Face(book)

Dalton Caldwell Gives Mark Zuckerberg the BusinessI mentioned the App.net project – Dalton Caldwell’s vision of an ad-free Twitter platform – last week. Now Caldwell is making headlines for an open letter that he posted on his blog, called “Dear Mark Zuckerberg,” in which he recounts a meeting he had earlier this summer with several top Facebook executives.

As Caldwell describes it, he was hoping the outcome of the meeting would be “executive-level support for [his] impending product launch.” Instead, those executives informed him that the product he was developing sounded like a competitor to Facebook App Center. As you can guess, they didn’t like that. Dalton writes:Your executives explained to me that they would hate to have to compete with the “interesting product” I... > Read more

August 03, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In: Online Marketing Blog Roundup   |   Comments: 0

Week in Review: Link Warnings, Ad-Free Twitter & More

 Warning! Don't do something or something might happen, maybe?Google’s Link Warnings Run AmokOn July 19, like many other sites, we received a warning email from Google Webmaster Tools that Google had detected potentially harmful, unnatural links pointing to our site. The sequence of emotions went something like this: panic, fear, confusion, relief, irritation, then back to confusion.

The “relief” phase came when we realized the warnings went out to a huge number of sites – including SEOmoz, which I think of as squeaky-clean and unimpeachable. According to Ruth Barr, SEOmoz does “virtually nothing in the way of active link solicitation.” In other words, they have a huge and active community and they focus on churning out good content daily, so, as Ruth says, the links build ... > Read more

July 27, 2012     |   Written by: Elisa Gabbert   |   Posted In:   |   Comments: 0
 
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