Tom Demers Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog
Today at SMX East (come visit us at booth 318 if you're at the show, by the way!) we announced a partnership with Acquisio, a paid search marketing and performance media platform designed for agencies. We recently announced a similar partnership with gShift Labs - both software companies will be leveraging the WordStream Keyword Tool API to offer additional functionality to their customers.
Acqusio has a nice write-up on the API integration and what it means to their customers. Not unlike the gShift announcement, the really exciting part of the partnership for us is the chance to work with really smart people and to have a cutting-edge software company leveraging our API and delivering our technology to their customers to help them succeed with paid search marketing. Intereste... > Read more
Google has an interesting tightrope to walk with their AdWords platform in that they have two central competing interests:They want to make the system intuitive to use and easy for the "tail" of AdWords advertisers to spend money with.They need to continue to make AdWords a profitable channel for the top advertisers, who represent the bulk of the money spent on their platform, and they need to present power users with access to power tools.
To date the way they've handled this is to offer defaults on the front end that encourage spending, with advanced features that help optimize larger spends available but less accessible (which possibly accounts for their alarmingly high client churn amongst small businesses).A great example of this push-spend-in-the-front-intelligent-features-in-the-back... > Read more
In the year plus we've been in the market, we've added a series of free utilities to WordStream.com, including: The Free Keyword Tool The Free Keyword Niche Finder The Free Keyword Grouper Several Free Search Engine Marketing White Papers Free Internet Marketing Articles The idea being that we're able to introduce prospective WordStream clients to our products and our philosophies and methodologies as a company.
Visitors to the WordStream site get something of value - a tool they can leverage to improve their search marketing results or content that offers actionable suggestions about how to get more out of search engine marketing - and in exchange we get permission to introduce them to solutions that we offer on a subscription basis. This is such a win-win for us, we thought other busi... > Read more
Recently I had a chance to pose a series of questions to Greg Gretsch, a partner at Sigma, one of our investors' venture capital firms. We recently recieved a second round of venture funding and while I was a member of the WordStream team when Larry got our first round of funding, I've never really been actively involved in raising capital.
I had a lot of questions around how venture capitalists view marketing programs and the search space, which Greg was nice enough to answer in his post on the marketing portion of your venture pitch. Greg spent even more time answering some of my follow-up questions via Email, and gave us the green light to post the answers on the blog. Since a lot of the audience here is either working in a marketing department, trying to learn SEO/SEM and grow them as... > Read more
We don't typically talk about specific feature updates to our own products here on the blog, but as early as tonight we're launching something to our customers and trialers that I think is really pretty interesting and novel, and actually may be interesting for people doing any kind of paid search marketing work, so I thought I'd share it here.
What is the New Feature, and Why is It Interesting? We've released internally (we're pushing it live to customers and trialers very soon) a WordStream dashboard. The reason this is interesting is because it's chock full of reports that you've almost certainly never seen before, and because it's a dashboard you can take action against. The core competencies for the WordStream product revolve around discovering profitable keywords, identifying ... > Read more
Elisa had a great write up on the new Google design, and I was able to contribute some thoughts in a piece that ran in USA Today, but I had some additional thoughts on the new design, Bing's design, and what it all means for search marketers that I thought I'd share here. The Bing/Yahoo Merger I mention in the piece that "the whole will be greater than the sum of the parts" when Bing and Yahoo finally consumate their search merger.
What I mean by this is that advertisers will be more likely to move to the single platform with better reach (BingHoo), and that Bing's access to their once-competitor’s technology will (eventually) make their algorithm better. Beyond that, the increased market share will be self-reinforcing; it’ll allow Microsoft to invest more resources ... > Read more
Every year Always On puts together a list that "recognizes companies with game-changing approaches and technologies that are likely to disrupt existing markets and entrenched players. " This year they've included WordStream on the list. As a young company, being included on these sorts of lists is validating for a number of reasons, but most notably we're impressed by: The Company We Keep - There are some very, very smart companies on this list solving some incredibly challenging problems.
Included in the list is a series of fellow Sigma Partners backed companies like Nasuni, oDesk, Responsys, and Zetta. The Process - Always On has a very discerning process for the selection of this list, which always makes inclusion more gratifying. Consistent Validation - Winning multiple awar... > Read more
Today we're announcing that we're launching a brand new affiliate program that will allow other Web publishers to promote our products - and get paid for it! This is a first-run, "beta" version of our affiliate program so we're welcoming feedback. In attempting to make the program a success for affiliates, their audiences, and of course for WordStream, we've created two types of pay outs for affiliates: Pay-Per Lead for PPC - We have a keyword management solution for pay-per click advertising on search engine platforms such as Google AdWords.
This product has it's own pricing and we offer a free trial and frequently have potential customers request a live demonstration of the product. As such, we've decided to pay for leads people drive to this product. Pay-Per Sale for SEO - W... > Read more
My favorite way to find quality blogs (and books and movies, for that matter) is via recommendation. Towards that end, I thought I'd share a PPC Blog you might not be reading (every so often we share a list of our favorite search and online marketing blogs). Aaron and Giovanna Wall of SEO Book fame have started collaborating on a sister site that focuses on PPC.
The content is really strong, offering a very similar level of high quality how-to and industry trend material. They recently launched a very clever AdWords tax calculator that can help give you an indication of how much you might be wasting on paid search. If you haven't already it's definitely worth checking out and subscribing. ... > Read more
I was lucky enough to win a SEMMY for best 2010 PPC article. Many thanks to Matt McGee and David Mihm for taking the time to highlight various contributions within the search space, and thanks also to the PPC Hero blog for letting me put the post up there. I wanted to highlight some of the other winners: The link building category was stacked with three strong articles.
Our friend Garrett French churns out a ton of great stuff with staggering consistency, and anyone with any serious level of familiarity with the industry is familiar with Weip, who's similarly impressive in terms of consistently high-quality content creation. The blogs and blogging category is another deep one, with the Guide to Guest Blogging being a really great overview on how to effectively execute on external po... > Read more
It's been a really exciting first year for WordStream, and the WordStream team is growing (so much so that we had to move to swanky new digs to accomodate all the new hires), and we're looking to add a few more. Since most of our blog's audience is in the sales and marketing space, I thought we'd throw the job here to see if anyone's interested in applying.
And, to try to make the post a little more interesting for any of you who aren't looking to move right now (and because I'm poring over resumes and it's fresh in my head) I thought I'd put out a few tips that will help get you hired the next time you go to look for work (or at least would if you were applying for a job with the WordStream marketing team). How to Get a Job in Search Marketing (and Other Industries/Disciplines) We'll sta... > Read more
A lot of people have been writing interesting stuff and trying to get a feel for what's going on with Google's new real time search feature. It seems that Google is using two key factors in determing what does (and doesn't) get a real-time SERP box: Query Type - This is standard operating procedure for blended search.
Google looks at query type in determining when and how aggresively to integrate things like news, video, etc. Twitter Activity - This is the interesting piece, for me: it looks like Google is monitoring (via API or possibly by crawling) the activity of certain terms across Twitter, and integrating twitter results based on the amount of activity they see on Twitter. My methods for arriving at this conclusion are far from scientific, but it makes sense and I'll explain why I t... > Read more
Bounce rate has become a hot topic in the search community. It's a bit of a buzz word, and if you're doing any sort of SEO or even PPC consulting you'll likely have clients concerned about theirs. In analyzing a site's bounce rate, I like to look at three main factors: Bounce Rate Factor #1: Traffic Source Often times the place traffic comes from (search, direct, referral) can have a major impact on bounce rate and can be an indication of irrelevant traffic (some perhaps that you may be paying for).
There are a variety of ways you can quickly diagnose problems using analytics packages. Bounce Rate Factor #2: Page Content/Structure Obviously the way you’re structuring the page or the content therein may cause people to bounce quickly. By carefully syncing your pages' headlines with the ... > Read more
Not sure if this is getting rolled out everywhere but Larry spotted this last night and we're seeing it in a lot of SERPs: Pretty interesting. Really I think it's just more emphasis on domain authority. Not unlike site links and the search within search bar, a triple listing allows Google to crowd the SERPs with the single destination they've deemed sufficiently authoritative.
The criteria for attaining a double listing had been that you would need to push both pages into the cluster of ten a searcher was viewing. I haven't done a lot of testing but I find it hard to believe this is still the case, given the frequency with which I'm seeing the triple listing. What do you think? Is this an extension of the Brand/Vince update? Just a test? How aggresively are you seeing it in your SERP... > Read more
Our friend David Harry recently launched a new SEO community called the SEO Dojo. I've been a member through the community's "beta" period, and it is packed with a ton of great information and there are numerous "hardcore" SEOs offering up their expertise to answer questions and help drive discussions.
Some highlights: Ask the Experts & Dojo Chat - I haven't had a chance to be as active in the chat as I'd like but from browsing transcripts its obvious that there is a lot of activity and that there will be numerous SEOs eager to interact, answer questions and offer feedback. Knowledge Exchange - The forum area allows you to have your site reviewed, offer or shop for services, and more. Study Hall - This area is home to a lot of great SEO guides authored by David and the Dojo members. ... > Read more
Not unlike a lot of marketers who enter the discipline through the SEO door, my initial fascination with search marketing was the idea that you could promote and optimize a piece of content and generate large volumes of really specific search traffic. And, also not unlike a lot of marketers, I quickly realized that traffic is only a directionally significant metric: people visiting your site is financially meaningless if you can’t turn their visit into a business-driving activity once they get there (even if you're monetizing based on CPM, you still want visitors to go deeper into your site, create a relationship and return, etc.
). The following is a collection of resources surrounding website conversion rate optimization. There’s a lot of great content out there on the subject, but t... > Read more