Larry Kim Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog

WordStream Scores a Spot on the Inc. 5000!

For the second year in a row, WordStream is listed on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America. We're incredibly proud of this honor, which speaks to the importance of successful, measurable PPC advertising for businesses across the country. This year, WordStream ranked #673 on Inc.

's annual list of the 5000 fastest-growing, privately held U.S. companies. And, as noted by BostInno, we're the 6th fastest-growing company in Massachusetts.Paid search is the advertising channel of choice for an increasing number of businesses, with advertisers spending 25% more on PPC this year over last. Our core purpose of bringing the power of search marketing to businesses of all sizes – with free grading tools for AdWords accounts and landing pages and now our free learning resourc... > Read more

August 22, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 4

RIP Exact Match and Phrase Match in AdWords!

Holy smokes! Google has today effectively killed off both the Exact and Phrase keyword match types in AdWords!While the keyword match types will still exist, starting in September, AdWords is redefining the definition of how keywords set to phrase and exact keyword match type will trigger search ads by applying close variant keyword matching – meaning your keywords will also trigger for misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents, acronyms and abbreviations of the keywords that you specify.

Close variant keyword match was introduced in 2012, and was already the default option when using exact match and phrase match – however previously you could opt out of it. Going forward, this is no longer the case. Here’s everything you need to know about this keyword match type shake-... > Read more

August 15, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 37

The 7 Best Questions & Answers from my Reddit SEO AMA (Ask Me Anything)

A few weeks back, I took part in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) in the Big SEO community on Reddit.I love participating in AMAs – they’re a great chance to see what’s really on people’s minds right now and which issues are causing the industry grief. Each one is also an opportunity to connect with marketers of all experience levels, across a range of industries and in different types of roles.

I definitely learn a ton every time I do one!I did an AMA on Inbound.org back in April and put together a list of the top PPC questions I was asked. This time, I wanted to share some of the super smart SEO questions the Reddit group had for me, along with my answers. Enjoy! (Also check out our Mega Collection of SEO Expert Advice from other Reddit SEO AMAs.)1. What’s Your Keyword Research Secret?... > Read more

August 13, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: SEO Marketing   |   Comments: 2

ClickZ Live: Can’t-Miss Social & Networking Events at #CZLSF

It’s almost here! Next week ClickZ Live, the conference formerly known as SES, will descend upon San Francisco for an intense four days of internet marketing training, inspiration and – the best part? – networking.If you’re an experienced conference-goer, you already know how difficult it can be to take everything in with just a few short days to do it.

Newcomers – get lots of sleep before you go and don’t forget your business cards. There’s always something happening in and around the conference hotel and the networking opportunities are priceless.Make sure you don’t miss any of these social and networking events in San Francisco next week:Mon Aug 11: Newcomers Meetup and Meet & GreetClickZ Live Newcomers MeetupIf you’ve never attended a ClickZ event before, plan to ... > Read more

August 05, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: WordStream   |   Comments: 0

Announcing PPC University: Learn PPC Marketing for Free

If you want to maximize your online advertising budget and get the most bang for your buck, you need a solid understanding of how paid search works and how to best manage your AdWords account. But where do you even start?Paid search marketing can be incredibly intimidating for beginners – there's a lot to learn and the industry is changing all the time.

Google AdWords is the most popular PPC platform, but can also be the most complicated for marketers to manage. In 2013 alone, Google made over a thousand changes to AdWords. It's almost impossible to keep up.That’s why we created WordStream PPC University: an organized educational resource enabling marketers of all skill and experience levels to take their AdWords strategy to the next level – for free!Millions of visitors have already... > Read more

July 29, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 2

New Dynamic Sitelinks: Google Gives Advertisers Free Sitelink Clicks

Google has given AdWords advertisers a pretty awesome gift: new dynamic sitelinks, free of charge, for the top three ad positions. That means Google will automatically generate sitelinks for certain ads, and clicks on those dynamic sitelinks won’t cost you anything.In their announcement this morning, Google said, "This is another example, like selling ratings, of AdWords tools adding value to your ads while saving time and simplifying campaign management.

" As with Enhanced Campaigns, Google is basically catering to smaller businesses who don’t have the time or expertise to set this stuff up themselves.When Adoption Is Low, Google Forces AdoptionThe big idea behind Enhanced Campaigns was to increase adoption of mobile advertising, since so many AdWords advertisers weren’t doing it on ... > Read more

July 25, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

Google Q2 Earnings Show CPC Down 6% Year over Year: Where's the Growth Coming From?

Google’s latest earnings call was a bit mixed – while Google saw a 22% increase in revenue over last year, bringing earnings to $15.96 billion in the second quarter of 2014, and the search giant narrowly beat analyst projections of $15.6 billion in revenue, their ad sales in the US and the UK, their two major markets, have slowed.

Non-US revenue (excluding the UK) of $7.7 billion accounted for 48% of total revenue. Their earnings per share were considered a miss as well, at $6.08.The proliferation of ads in emerging markets worldwide drove profits to $3.42 billion for the period, up from $3.23 billion in Q2 2013. More people are clicking on Google ads – a lot more. Total paid ad clicks were up 25% over last year and up 2% over the first quarter of 2014.However, the average cost per c... > Read more

July 18, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 2

The Smoking Gun: Deleted Google Author Photos Boost Ad CTR

If you’ve been following developments in the search industry lately, you’ll have undoubtedly have come across discussions about Google’s recent decision to remove authorship photos from search results. We reported on this soon after the change went into effect, and other industry thought leaders like Rand Fishkin wasted no time weighing in, either.

However, despite overwhelming support for the idea that Google’s decision was based on authorship photos’ impact on the CTR of paid search ads, some naysayers insisted that this couldn’t be the case. I wasn’t content to leave things at that, so I set about looking for evidence to support my theory – and I’ve found it.In the figure above, you can see that in a search for the term “negative keywords”, our paid search ad is the... > Read more

July 10, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 26

The Real Reason Google Plus Authorship Photos Are Gone

Googler John Mueller shocked the SEO industry last week with his announcement that Google is removing authorship photos and circle counts from the SERPs.The big question is: WHY? Why would Google kill a feature they had said would instill user trust in quality search results and help valuable content stand out?Why did they want us all to implement it in the first place?Was anything we were told about Google+ authorship markup and profile images in search true to begin with?It didn't take Moz's Rand Fishkin long to tweet his thoughts on the motivation behind the change:And even more pointedly:Since Google+ authorship and the rich snippets with photos in search results were implemented, we've seen eye tracking studies point to additional attention for the enhanced results.

We've seen researc... > Read more

July 02, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 20

Google Releases New Quality Score Info: What's Really New Here?

Google this week has published a new white paper on Quality Score and finally updated their 5-year-old video on how Quality Score works. I asked them “why now” and they said that it’s just time to redo the old stuff, but part of me thinks that they’re trying to quell a Quality Score rebellion that myself and others (including Frederick Vallaeys, etc.

) may have inadvertently started – the wording of some points in the new materials seem to directly reflect points that I’ve articulated in articles I’ve published in the last year.Image via Kirk Williams - @ppckirkAs usual, Google trotted out the same old “happy users,” “happy advertisers” and “happy Google” platitudes. It’s mostly a rehash of the same old Google fairy dust about Quality Score, but there are a ... > Read more

June 26, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 12

The Greatest & Most Complete Intro to Mobile PPC EVER

Get this: since last year, mobile paid search advertising has increased by 55%. Even crazier: Mobile PPC now accounts for one-fifth of total advertising spend.We keep hearing that advertisers aren't seeing great ROI from their mobile ad campaigns, though. Even if you’re making the investment, you don't feel like you’re getting your money's worth.

As mobile PPC continues to increase in value and surpasses desktop PPC…how can you tap into the massive opportunity of connecting with highly motivated, on-the-go consumers?Don't keep plugging away, following the old best practices – we've discovered that the conventional wisdom for desktop PPC is dead wrong when it comes to mobile. If you're doing what you've always done, you're sabotaging your own mobile campaigns.That sucks, right?S... > Read more

June 25, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0

Has Google Gone Too Far? Parental Status Demographic Added to AdWords

If you’ve ever read “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, you probably didn’t notice a chapter about Google tracking your parental status in AdWords. Well, this is exactly what Google is doing, as Parental Status is now a demographic subset that advertisers can explicitly target.This feature went live within the past 12 hours or so, and Google has yet to make an official announcement.

However, we’ve already seen it in action, as you can see in the following figure:Our resident data scientist Mark Irvine was the first of us at WordStream to notice the new feature. At this point, parental status targeting hasn’t been rolled out across all advertiser accounts – in fact, even some of our largest Managed Services accounts don’t have access to this functionality yet, suggesti... > Read more

June 20, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 6

Do Paid Search Ads Drive Brand Awareness?

What if search advertising were able to impact not just clicks and conversions, but top-of-mind brand awareness?This was the question Google set out to answer in a just-released study with Ipsos MediaCT. In it, they found that search ads have a positive impact on top-of-mind awareness, but also on unaided brand awareness – even when the searcher doesn't click the ad.

Search ads may be known as a direct response tool, but Google's research points to real value for branding, as well.The study, which consisted of 61 simulated search experiments involving 800 U.S. consumers, identified an 80% lift in top-of-mind brand awareness.In each of the studies, consumers were asked to perform searches for category-specific searches spanning 12 verticals. They then saw either a control page or a simula... > Read more

June 18, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 0

4 Things You Need to Know About Google's New AdWords Policies

Google is launching a “new and improved” AdWords Policy Center aimed at making policies more user-friendly and accessible to advertisers, according to an announcement buried in their AdWords Policy Help resources.The current AdWords policies will remain in effect until “around September,” when the new center will launch.

So what's new? Google has released a preview of the new center alongside their announcement. Here's what you need to know about the changes.1. If you're in compliance now, you won't be a rule-breaker come September… well, most of you, anyway.In their announcement, Google noted, "Almost all advertisers who comply with our current policies will also comply with the new policies."Yes, there will be fundamental policy changes that will affect some advertisers more tha... > Read more

June 17, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 9

Will & Larry's Most Excellent, Totally Replicable Keyword Strategy

Keyword research can be a tedious, thankless task – especially if you aren't using the results for maximum impact. Without keyword intelligence, though, you're flying blind. How can a marketer get the greatest ROI from their time spent toiling over keywords?More than keyword research tips, smart marketers need a comprehensive keyword strategy to guide successful SEO, PPC, and content marketing efforts.

We get it, you don't have time for the same old regurgitated "wisdom" you've been hearing and reading about for years.Together, Will Critchlow, co-founder/CMO of Distilled, and I have devised an all-inclusive, totally replicable keyword strategy for search engine success – one we'll share in an exclusive webinar next Tuesday, June 17.Not your average keyword tipsAttendees will review cas... > Read more

June 11, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Keyword Marketing   |   Comments: 6

No SEO, No Paid Search – So What the Heck IS eBay’s Search Strategy?

eBay along with researchers from the Universities of Berkeley and Chicago, have just released the final version of a study claiming that paid search ads have “no measurable benefit.” This is not really new news; we heard about the preliminary results last year, and pretty much everyone in search marketing had a good hearty laugh – because eBay has long been known for its embarrassingly crappy ad strategy.

The study is done now, and while it’s not completely terrible, it’s definitely misleading, as well as confusing in terms of what this says about eBay’s marketing strategy. In this post I’d like to go over a few points worth rebutting, especially when it comes to trying to apply these findings to the average Google advertiser out there.It’s Not the Channel, It’s How You Us... > Read more

June 05, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 7

Panda 4.0: Why eBay Just Lost 80% of its Organic Rankings

Poor eBay – they're having a pretty bad day. Thanks to Google’s roll-out of Panda 4.0 and the Payday Loan 2.0 update, eBay is suffering a massive loss in organic traffic and rankings. Adding insult to injury, they had to ask all users to change their passwords after a database hack.Matt Cutts kicked off the SEO hysteria yesterday as he often does, with a tweet:First released in 2011, Panda is a component of the organic search ranking algorithm designed to weed out low-quality sites, or those with "thin content.

" In its initial release, Panda affected approximately 12% of all search queries – by March 2013, Google had refreshed Panda 25 times, making it a constant source of aggravation in SEO circles.This update is particularly worrisome for webmasters, given that Google had stopped a... > Read more

May 21, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Google   |   Comments: 68

Gender Bias in Online Marketing: Data Shows Women Are Undervalued by 21%

Does the internet marketing industry have a gender bias problem? It’s something that’s been talked about before, but too often, those discussions are based almost entirely on speculation, a general sense that women are getting the short end of the stick. And the problem with speculation is that it’s easy to dismiss.

Moz’s recent industry salary survey provided some interesting data; they found that women in online marketing are paid less than their male counterparts, even at the same levels of education and experience. This sparked some really great discussion, but again, some may assume men just get the better jobs because of greater ability, better performance, or more ambition. But is this really the case?I recently ran across some internal data that really surprised me. I believ... > Read more

May 13, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Marketing Strategy   |   Comments: 34

New Enterprise Google AdWords Features Boost Efficiency & Scale for Big Spenders

A few weeks ago, Google announced major changes and updates to the AdWords platform, several of them designed to improve efficiency and scale for enterprise-class search marketers.Google wants to make life easier for companies with massive campaigns – for those who are spending hundreds of millions or even a billion dollars on AdWords.

Enterprise-level PPC marketers face unique challenges, given the complexity and sheer size of their campaigns.These new features were designed to increase efficiency, help brands scale their campaigns and make insights more accessible and useful. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into the new tools available to enterprise AdWords clients.Bulk Actions: Making AdWords Less "Complicated"In the new features announcement a few weeks back, VP of Products ... > Read more

May 08, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: AdWords Tips   |   Comments: 2

The 10 Best PPC Tips from My Inbound.org AMA (Ask Me Anything)

I recently had the opportunity to be the subject of an AMA (Ask Me Anything) at Inbound.org and was blown away by the response. Not only were there a ton of questions, but they were really, really good!These questions led to a lot of great discussion and advice on PPC and AdWords, in particular. But in case you don’t want to dig through the whole thing, here are my top 10 best PPC tips from the Q&A.

1. What's the greatest, but most underused, opportunity in AdWords?Q. Kyle Petzinger asked, "What would you say is the single largest, mostly unused opportunity that AdWords advertisers can take advantage of? I realize this is pretty open-ended, but feel free to just spit out the first 'OMG DO THIS. WHY IS NO ONE DOING THIS' thought that comes to mind. Thanks a ton in advance! Love your wo... > Read more

April 29, 2014     |   Written by: Larry Kim   |   Posted In: Paid Search Marketing   |   Comments: 4
 
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