Tom Demers's blog
The conventional thinking on pay-per click landing pages is that they should be “dedicated landing pages”, should be “de-indexed”, and that you need to create individual pages for PPC versus organic search. There are a number of very good resources on landing pages that will tell you this.
There’s validity here; it’s most likely the case that you’ll optimize conversions by creating a separate landing page for PPC traffic. However, this post will tell you why in some cases it can be a poor use of resources. We’ll talk about why this is, and about when it makes sense to allow SEO and PPC to share landing pages. The Roots of Conventional Landing Page Wisdom So how did conventional wisdom become so conventional? The argument for creating dedicated landing pages for paid ... > Read more
The MadeUpCompany Link Building Kit This is an “internal link building template.” One best practice for companies hoping to attain high search rankings is to get company employees to link to your site. This document attempts to give a brief run-down as to how to go about requesting that your employees link to you.
The main things to note here are that: It’s too long – This could be considerably shorter. One reason it’s too long is that, personally, I would rather have one link from someone who had been properly instructed than ten from people who have a vague idea of what they should be doing. The potential for seeing four pages and not reading a word is definitely there, though, so keep that in mind. It’s not terribly specific – You could tailor this more to your industry, ... > Read more
Link building is often boring, time-consuming, and can be expensive. Not only that, but your website is usually ripe with low-hanging link fruit that you should be picking before you run around contacting every blogger who makes the mistake of offering up a bit of contact information. BUT that doesn’t mean you get out of it entirely.
Unfortunately, link building is one of these eat-your-veggies sort of search marketing activities: healthy but annoying. Luckily, there are ways of outsourcing your link building that don’t cost a dime. Outsourcing Link Building: Free of Charge There are a lot of great resources that will tell you how to build links, but we’ll focus on an easy one you may be overlooking: Let everyone else in the company do it for you! Getting Free Links The Easy Way So h... > Read more
I looked in my account this morning and noticed for the first time that Google is exposing something new in the new AdWords interface: This is interesting for a few reasons: It seems the impressions share report data (IS lost budget in your AdWords report) that many PPC marketing managers make use of in their daily work is now being exposed in the home dashboard.
It helps make Google money (notice there's not warning for budgets that are set too high...you're either eligble or you're missing out). It will lead to irrational bidding behaviour. The impact may be slight but advertisers will log into their AdWords accounts, see that their campaigns are "limited", and change the way they allocate money, upping their bids on AdWords keywords. It's important to point out that sometim... > Read more
I was playing with Google's new search options today, and I realized that search results for "related searches" was using some pretty goofy matching. Here's a normal SERP for the phrase "keyword tool" (click for full image): So far so normal. Then we click over to search options: Note the inclusion of a strange ad amongst a lot of ads that make sense.
Now let's drill down to "related searches" for this query: Google appears to use a different algorithm for search network partners, is that the case here? I've also seen the new search options be a bit buggy (in IE 8) so maybe this is a part of the perpetual beta phase that's being rolled out? I'm not sure how many people actually make use of search options (the text link seems to blend in), but it seems that... > Read more
The question “are long tail keywords dead for paid search” is fundamentally the wrong question. There are a few things at play here: The long tail of search is alive and well. The long tail of search queries is apparent in both paid and natural search marketing. The tail of keywords in paid search has actually become pretty short.
If you’re confused, it’s probably because the above three points assume a seldom-made distinction: Keywords are not search queries. A keyword is a word or phrase you’ve decided to target in your marketing efforts. A search query is the actual thing a searcher types in before they see your listing or ad and navigate to your site. It’s an important distinction when talking about the long tail and pay-per click marketing, because while the existe... > Read more
The SEO community is buzzing about Google's Searchology. In case you missed it, Google:Announced that they will support microformats and rich snippets in search resultsAnnounced that they will be rolling out search optionsAnnounced Google SquaredAnnounced some other stuffSo what does this all mean?Implications of Microformat & Rich Text IntegrationThis seems to be the most interesting announcement from an SEO perspective, at first blush.
It certainly has some implications for local search, restraunts, and people search, and it will likely eventually extend well beyond that. Michael Gray had a great article on optimizing HCards and microformatting information which is something worth reading up on if this will impact you in the near-term.Implications of Google Search Options The mo... > Read more
Snake oil 2.0 image credit to Hugh MacLeod Another "SEO as Snake Oil" Blog Post I read the umpteenth blog post last week that claimed that SEO was “snake oil”. The thing that struck me is that calling something a scam or snake oil for the sake of attention is the *real* snake oil. I’ll start by saying I think a lot of the rampant hyperbole and apparent misunderstanding here comes from a misconception about the term “SEO”.
I suspect a lot of activities I’d consider “SEO” related would be things the poster would just call “marketing” or use another term for. Regardless I think there are some opinions in this post that aren’t entirely unique to the poster, and so worth calling out. Either way, here are some excerpts from the piece that I found particularly troublesome: ... > Read more
Cluetrain Plus 10 - Thesis 66. Both of Us Are Sick to Death of Getting Our Information by Remote Control
There is a very interesting project underway over at Cluetrain Plus 10 where bloggers are creating content to speak to the 95 theses enumerated in the book. A bit late, I’ve decided to take a swing and offer something to the project (it’s a very cool idea; if you haven’t yet, hop over and check out some of the people who’ve contributed; lots of great stuff).
Anyway my question is 66: 66. As markets, as workers, both of us are sick to death of getting our information by remote control. Why do we need faceless annual reports and third-hand market research studies to introduce us to each other? Newspapers are struggling. Media is becoming more and more “social.” The advertising channels that are most effective are now the ones that answer very specific questions. The barrier... > Read more
I love log files, analytics, and looking in your own backyard for PPC keyword strategies. I think your own site's keyword database is the best and purest (though not the only) place to start your keyword research. Your site's keyword data offers you three things: relevance, accuracy, and relevant accuracy.
Relevance - You know these keywords are relevant to your business and your site's content, because people have already gotten to your site via these keywords. Accuracy - I find that actual traffic data is a much better indicator of actual traffic than playing around with the daily/weekly/monthly estimates from keyword tools. Relevant Accuracy - If I go to a keyword research tool and see that a lot of people are searching for a keyword, that's obviously useful data. But what would be ... > Read more
The Power of Data Sharing - How Sharing SEO & PPC Information Can Improve the Results Enjoyed By Both
Anyone engaging in search marketing should be analyzing SEO and PPC concurrently. By creating a data-driven Web marketing environment in which you can share insights from multiple channels, you provide yourself with a marked advantage over companies and marketers who segment their information sets. This is particularly true within search marketing itself.
Because of the input required for success in the two disciplines, SEO and PPC search engine marketing are often managed separately by everything from pay-per-click tools to agencies to in-house search teams. The implementation of strategies really can require significantly different skill sets. But the DATA offers a very important commonality that should be exploited by anyone attempting to truly “optimize” for search engines.... > Read more
One of the things being shown off at SES New York a few weeks back was Google’s new AdWords interface. It’s currently in beta and is being rolled out to more and more customers. There have been a series of in-depth blog postings and discussions about the interface as a whole. The new is definitely a lot slicker than the old: Versus… The first is definitely prettier, and you can certainly make your way through the interface more swiftly.
But what about new features? The most interesting feature for a manufacturer of PPC management software that focuses on search query data was the new search query report. Basically the interface lets you run a search query report in real time for a specific keyword, then add or set your negative keywords for the search queries related to that keywor... > Read more
NOTE: This is the second in a two-part series entitled Why the Most Efficient Frontier May Be New One: The Value of Keyword Discovery & Keyword Expansion. In the last installment of our keyword discovery and keyword expansion how to, we talked about the value of “discovering new graphs” and explained that, in many cases, it’s better to expand your keyword portfolio to new keyword verticals: The premise here is that ideally, instead of moving “up the ladder” and paying more money for every new conversion (forcing us to choose between volume and controlled costs), we would simply start another graph and find a means of generating more conversions for the same average cost.
To do this we need to unearth new, relevant keyword verticals. There are a few means of doing that:... > Read more
Why the Most Efficient Frontier May Be a New One - The Value of Keyword Discovery & Keyword Expansion
Continual keyword discovery in PPC search marketing is immensely important. There are actually a number of instances where strategically expanding your keyword portfolio offers more ROI than bid manipulation. The concept of "diminishing returns" and modern portfolio theory is applicable to more than just economics.
In a keyword portfolio, not unlike in a stock portfolio, there is a point in the optimization of a vertical when the work you put in and/or increased bidding will cease to yield the same (and often any) sort of return. This principle can be effectively applied to pay-per click management and marketing (Efficient Frontier has an excellent white paper on this concept as it regards paid search bidding here). Basically, the premise here is that there is a certain amount of “low-ha... > Read more
SEO Book offers an SEO training program for 100 dollars a month that gets users access to: A series of Training Modules A Community Forum Various Coupons A Competitive Research Tool (a white-labeled version of SEM Rush). I’ve been a member there for the last few months, and thought I’d share my thoughts about/experiences with the program.
Why I Like These Types of Programs Two things you’ll find frustrating about trying to learn and gather information in any space are: Noise – For every intelligent blogger/writer willing to sell or give away advice and ideas, there are legions who are some combination of lazy, under or misinformed, and/or sleazy. If you are new to a space or even just looking for information on a specific subject you’re unfamiliar ... > Read more
This is the third in a three part series on strategically targeting mid-level keywords. In the first installment, we discussed the value of the long tail and that you can reach the long tail by targeting the middle. In the second section, we discussed site navigation and information archtecture that will help you to rank for the middle and the long tail.
In the final article in the series, we'll show you how to build links and create content that will rank on mid-tier and long tail keywords. On and Off Page SEO for Mid-Level & Long Tail Keywords In the previous two posts in this series, we’ve discussed the value of long tail keywords, and we’ve covered how you can develop a long-tail-friendly navigation structure. In this installment, we’ll show you how to build links and create ... > Read more
This is the second section in a three-part series titled "Heads or Tails? - How to Profit from Keywords that Don't Exist". In the first post of our series we talked about the value of targeting mid-level keywords (keywords that bring a medium amount of traffic and are moderately difficult to rank for).
In this edition, we'll discuss how you can structure your site and link within your pages so that you can effectively target "mid-tail" or mid-level keywords. The final installment will be published tomorrow, so stay tuned! Optimize Your Site’s Navigation & Information Architecture for Mid-Level and Long Tail Keywords In attempting to rank for the middle of the long tail keyword graph down, step one is to create an intelligent navigation structure, or information architecture. There’... > Read more
This is the first in a three-part series on the types of keywords you should be targeting. Section two will follow tomorrow, and the final installment will be published on Monday, so stay tuned! Special thanks to Virginia Nussey, Lisa Barone, and Adam Viener for editorial contributions.
By strategically targeting keywords of varying competition levels you will see more and better qualified streams of traffic.At a high level, search engine keywords will fit into three core traffic profiles:“Head” – Popular, highly competitive, and broad keywords. These are typically one or two term keywords, such as “search marketing.”Mid-Tier or “Torso” – These are basically what they sound like: slightly longer keyw... > Read more