Larry Kim's blog
When it comes to search marketing, SEO’s are from Mars and PPC’s are from Venus.Just over a week following the release of our War on Free Clicks infographic, dozens of whiny SEO’s have come out of the woodwork with ludicrous sob stories about how they purportedly tried and failed to get PPC to work for them and/or their client.
Sure, PPC isn’t easy – I get that, and I’ve even written a few articles about how some small businesses are struggling with PPC.But, seriously – compared to SEO?!! PPC is a total cakewalk. Like rolling off a log. Easy as pie.SEO, on the other hand, has recently become a complete nightmare-circus – I’m talking about the keyword analytics “not provided” brouhaha, Panda, Penguin, unnatural links notifications, the increasingly ridiculous and ... > Read more
Last month, we reported that the click-through rates on Facebook Ads average a dismal 0.04%, which is approximately 10x less than the equivalent display ad on the Google Display Network.Today, e-commerce store builder Limited Run is claiming that 80% of the clicks paid for could not be verified! The company is so unhappy with the results on recent Facebook ad tests, they're deleting their Facebook page entirely.
Do People Click on Google Ads?If you use Google search (and who doesn’t), you may have noticed that sponsored results (Google pay-per-click, or PPC, ads) have been taking over more and more of the search engine results page.Here at WordStream, we’ve noticed that too! So we decided to do some research into what impact all of these new, bigger, more prominent and engaging ad formats are having on the average Google searcher.
The results are astonishing:Clicks on paid search listings beat out organic clicks by nearly a 2:1 margin for keywords with high commercial intent in the US. In other words, 64.6% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online!Click here to skip ahead:Organic Search ListingAlgorithm UpdatesSEO vs PPCAcknowledgementsSurvey MethodologyNow, to... > Read more
Hello World!Just a quick announcement that I'll be participating in the Boston Product Management Association (BPMA) June meeting, this Thursday, June 21, 2012, at the Constant Contact offices in Waltham, at 6:15PM. It's not a free event, but anyway, here are all the details!Session TopicPanel Discussion on "Sophomoric Software: Going from Prototype to Production" hosted by the Boston Product Management Association (BPMA).
BPMA Session AbstractYou've received some seed funding and signed with a customer or two. Now you need to grow your base to bring in some real revenue and build a production-quality product. It's very exciting times but you may not realize that the light at the end of the tunnel may be the train. Attend this session to learn more from an experienced group of executives ho... > Read more
Breaking News!Adwords Releases New Live Chat Ad Extensions! Take a look at this incredible screenshot!What is the New AdWords Live Chat Ad ExtensionThis new Ad Extension appears to enable a live chat session by clicking on the "Live Chat" icon within the Google AdWords ad! The chat extension has not been announced by Google yet in any official capacity.
This exciting new ad extension builds on many other interesting ad extensions released by Google in the last year including:AdWords Communication/Email ExtensionsAdWords Social Ad ExtensionsAdWords Product Ad ExtensionsAdWords Call Ad ExtensionsAdWords Sitelink ExtensionsPersonally, I am very excited by Live Chat Ad Extensions in AdWords because it greatly reduces the the time it takes to speak to your leads, which should lead to higher conv... > Read more
In case you missed it, Syncapse yesterday announced that it had acquired Clickable, Inc.!! (Go to clickable.com for additional details!)Clickable had been at one point been a direct competitor of WordStream, but much less so in the last year because:Clickable changed their product direction away from PPC /AdWords/Search Engine Marketing and instead focused more on Social Media and Facebook Advertising.
Clickable changed their target market away from small and medium-sized businesses towards larger, up-market companies.I don't know much about the Clickable acquisition -- I'm just as surprised as everyone else! But here’s what I do know:We've seen a growing flow of customers who were ex-Clickable users in the last 6 months. SMBs need help with paid search / AdWords and we are laser-focused ... > Read more
5 years ago, I quit my day job and I started WordStream. The idea for my start-up was pretty simple: That paid search is potentially an incredibly effective way to grow your business, but unfortunately, you need to be a math wizard to make it actually work. Since most small businesses don’t have these kinds of skills (or the money to hire someone with those skills) our mission would be to develop software that would make it possible for millions of small businesses to be succesful.
In the last 5 years we’ve accomplished quite a lot! Today, we’re the industry leader in our market segment, we've developed innovative products and features like PPC Advisor and the 20 Minute PPC Work Week, we have many customers, and we’re growing remarkably fast! But it wasn’t always like this an... > Read more
Do SEO Footer Links work? Are SEO-optimized footer links at the bottom of your web pages any good for SEO or are they bad? (does it hurt SEO?). The official answer as of now is No - that SEO footer links don't work.Matt Cutts today announced at the SMX conference that: “We’ve done a good job of ignoring boilerplate, site wide links.
In the last few months, we’ve been trying to make the point that not only is link buying like that not doing any good, we’re turning the dial up to let people know that certain link spam techniques are a waste of money.”What have your experiences been with SEO Footer Links? Are you finding that they no longer work? Is your SEO footer hurting your traffic? Let me know what you're seeing!... > Read more
In a final, epic victory of reason over complete and utter pandemonium, I dumped my Facebook IPO shares at the open today.This may come as a surprise to some, given that I wrote a pretty bullish case about the future of Facebook just yesterday, which in itself was probably surprising given that on Tuesday we published research that basically said Facebook advertising is awful.
So why did this confused and conflicted internet marketer sell shares of The Social Network?As in PPC management, buy and hold is for suckersWhile I still strongly believe everything I wrote about the long-term future of the company, timing still matters and it’s going to take a couple of quarters (or years even) for FB to figure out how to monetize its audience.Damn it, Jim, I’m a marketer, not a financial ... > Read more
In a dramatic triumph of hope over experience, I bought into the Facebook IPO hype today.I just got off the phone with my broker at Morgan Stanley and placed an order for 1000 shares of Facebook. (Morgan Stanley is one of the major underwriters of the Facebook IPO, and if you’re a client of theirs, you can actually place an order to stock at the IPO price before the company goes public tomorrow.
)It’s a pretty big investment for me and might come as a surprise to some, given that I recently published research on Tuesday morning that basically concludes Facebook advertising is awful. The research was picked up early on by Jim Edwards at Business Insider, and John Letzing at the Wall Street Journal, and Laurie Sullivan at MediaPost.As if to validate the research, a mere 6 hour... > Read more
Is Facebook really worth +$100 billion?That was Facebook's market capitalization, based on where the stock is priced for its IPO on Friday, May 18.I’m no investment analyst, but here at WordStream, we are experts on online advertising. Facebook’s valuation of $100 billion puts it at half the worth of Google.
Since both Google and Facebook generate most of their revenue through advertising (advertising accounts for 96% of Google’s revenue vs. 86% of Facebook’s), we can definitely weigh in on the worth question from an advertising perspective.So we decided to do a comparative analysis of the world’s largest online display advertising networks: Facebook vs. the Google Display Network.Facebook Ads vs Google Display Network Breakdown:Google Display Advertising vs. FacebookWill Faceboo... > Read more
Recently, we released what we believe to be the world’s most powerful and easy-to-use bid management software.Keyword bid management isn’t a new issue for search marketers, but, sadly, most of the bid management solutions available are still lacking. For example, you can choose from:Letting Google manage your bids for youTrying to manage keyword bids manually, by yourselfWriting your own bid management rules (either in AdWords or an expensive third-party PPC platform)The aforementioned options suffer from either a lack of transparency and loss of control, in the case of Google’s automated bidding, or are costly and complicated to implement.
In this post, I’d like to talk a little about the bid management feature now available in WordStream PPC Advisor, including how it’s different... > Read more
Recently a customer asked us, “Why should I raise bids on keywords that already have high quality scores?”I answered this question via email, but I thought I’d post the answer here too so everyone can benefit from this bid management best practice. Here’s my response:We’ve analyzed thousands of AdWords accounts and found a strong correlation between Quality Score and cost per conversion.
Meaning, if you were to look at the cost per conversion across the different keywords in your account, comparing the CPA of the keywords with a Quality Score of 1 to the CPA of Quality Score 2 keywords, Quality Score 3 keywords, and so on, you would see that on average, the lower your Quality Scores, the higher your average cost per conversion. (We compared these findings with our partners at Goog... > Read more
AdWords has announced changes to how the Exact Match and Phrase Match keyword match type options works. Previously, a keyword set to exact match in your AdWords account would only trigger ads for user search queries that exactly matched the keyword you specified (hence the name: exact match), and similarly, a phrase matched keyword would be triggered by search queries containing the phrase that you specified.
Soon, Google will be changing the definition of these keyword match types to behave more like Modified Broad Match. It will serve up ads for a far more diverse set of search queries, including:keyword misspellingssingular/plural formsstemmings (word endings such as "ing", "ed", etc.)accentsabbreviationsAs is always the case, Google claims that the motivation for the change is user bene... > Read more
Hello World! On Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 11AM EST, I will be presenting an AdWords Webinar on “How to Make an Impact on AdWords in 20 Minutes a Week”The focus of this free AdWords webinar will be the 20-Minute PPC Work Week, a powerful, inpactful PPC workflow that helps PPC marketers make the maximum impact on their AdWords accounts in as little time as possible.
In my AdWords Webinar, I will cover the following topics:Seven guidelines for achieving success in Google AdWords.How to use the 20-Minute PPC Work Week to make a positive impact on AdWords results in less than half an hour per week.Advice on the most common AdWords problems that I see every day in PPC accounts and how to avoid making those costly mistakes.After attending my AdWords webinar, advertisers will understand how ... > Read more
Today I’m thrilled to announce the availability of what I believe to be the world’s most powerful and easy-to-use bid management software.Keyword bid management isn’t a new issue for search marketers, but, sadly, most of the PPC bid management solutions available are still lacking. For example, you can choose from:Letting Google manage your bids for youTrying to manage keyword bids manually, by yourselfWriting your own bid management rules (either in AdWords or an expensive third-party PPC platform)The aforementioned options suffer from either a lack of transparency and loss of control, in the case of Google’s automated bidding, or are costly and complicated to implement.
In this post, I’d like to talk a little about the new bid management software now available in WordStream PPC ... > Read more
WordStream is partnering with renowned Google advertising expert and author of The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, Perry Marshall, to bring you a new webinar, Three Invisible Opportunities in Your Google AdWords Campaign!Join us Wednesday, March 14th at 3 p.m. EDT for a free online webinar event and learn:A simple, four-part formula for writing better AdWords ads.
A special technique for finding "holes in the sidewalk," your customers' biggest pain points.One of the greatest secrets of advertising masters, a blind spot for most advertisers that you can take advantage of!Join WordStream and Perry Marshall for this exclusive session on beating your competitors at the AdWords game. Space is limited so register now!About Perry MarshallPerry Marshall is the most-quoted authority and worl... > Read more
At WordStream, I take great pride in belonging to a team that strives to develop innovative new solutions for search engine marketing. Innovation and growth is helped immensely by having people with deep experience around - and so today, I'm honored to announce that we've added some very strategic talent to our WordStream advisory board.
The new team members include folks with tremendous leadership experience in the B2B marketing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industries, including industry giants: Constant Contact, LogMeIn, and VistaPrint and will help WordStream grow our success. Please welcome to the WordStream team:Carol Meyers, Chief Marketing Officer, Rapid7 - Meyers, the former CMO at LogMeIn and Unica, recently joined Rapid7 as CMO, leading the marketing team to drive Rapid7 into ... > Read more
This evening I was doing some SEO research, digging through some web server log files and came across a bunch of weird HTTP referrer fields like this one:http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CF4QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordstream.com%2Fblog%2Fws%2F2011%2F07%2F18%2Fmost-expensive-google-adwords-keywords&ei=WjhFT_yFGqW0iQKJ_u3aDg&usg=AFQjCNH6jAtufiEV9QQ4URJCPcqKj60iuA&sig2=R881GkyXe-xIhCnCm6pxaQI couldn't figure out what the q=&esrc=s string was because:The q= parameter was emptyI had never seen this esrc=s parameter.
There were literally thousands of HTTP referrer strings from Google containing the string: q=&esrc=s parameter set.I did some digging and figured out that "esrc=s" has to do with the Keyword "... > Read more
In the latest move to make SEO harder and increase Google revenues, Google yesterday introduced a new ad format called Enhanced Ad Sitelinks. This new ad format has some similarities to the existing site links ad format, but instead shows related ads in your AdWords account rather than your site links.
Here's what the new super-sized adwords sitelink looks like now:In testing, Google said that "ads with enhanced sitelinks were more useful and relevant" and "clickthrough rates were significantly higher than the same ad with traditional 2- and 3-line sitelinks." Obviously (duh), this has something to do with the fact that the new ads can occupy up to 3 times as much real estate on a Google SERP. It looks like a highly effective way to dominate above-the-fold search results, and further push o... > Read more
Thanks to everyone who helped us get the news out about our infographic: What Industries Contribute to Google's Revenues. A special thank you to John Abell at Wired, Jennifer Booton at Fox Business, and John Letzing at the Wall Street Journal, Noam Cohen at the New York Times, Eric Mack at CNET, Jeff Haden at Inc, as well as the guys at Black Hat PPC! In this post, I’d like to address a few of the questions that came up in the comment sections of our blog and other sites that covered the news.
Here it is again (click to enlarge), in case you missed it!And now for some Q&A’s about our Google Advertiser Infographic:Where Is the Legal Industry? (i.e., Where Are My “Mesothelioma” Keywords?)Here are the top 20 industries that spent the most on Google advertising last year.Finance &a... > Read more
The Industries that Spent the Most on AdWords and What It Tells Us About the State of the US EconomyOn the heels of Google’s “disappointing” earnings announcement last Thursday – they generated a whopping $37.9 billion in revenues in 2011 – we conducted our own analysis to determine the top 10 industries that spent the most money on Google advertising last year.
The results are summarized in our Google revenues infographic, also shown below (click the image to enlarge).Google AdWords Revenue:Top 10 SpendersRevenue DataRevenue SourcesGrow Your Business With PPCWe think that the results of our analysis reveal some surprising insights into the current state of the US economy – read on for more commentary.The Top 10 Industries that Spent Big on Google AdWords in 2011Finance & I... > Read more
Ring in 2012 with these 20 AdWords vouchers to help your small business marketing efforts. Please find below 20 adwords promotional vouchers worth $100 each - for a total of $2,000 in AdWords vouchers! These adwords voucher codes are totally free and you can use them to: If you're an advertiser, you can start a new AdWords PPC Account to get more customers If you're a PPC Agency, Give these AdWords vouchers to your new customers and apply the AdWords credit on their behalf Reduce sales objections: A $100 adwords voucher can help bing on new customers on AdWords without the risk!.
New to Google AdWords? Check out Our Most Popular AdWords Articles! To maximize the value of your free google adwords voucher, read some of our most popular Pay Per Click Marketing tutorials: PPC Budgeting B... > Read more
In today's print issue of USA Today, Byron Acohido reports on the trend of big search engine platforms (Google AdWords, Microsoft AdCenter, etc.), whose bottom lines depend on selling ads linked to search results — they are pouring millions of dollars into initiatives to help small and medium-sized advertisers (SMBs) make the leap to pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
In the article, I argue that it's all too common for small advertisers to waste money on poorly executed campaigns.Typically, they don't re-evaluate and optimize their campaigns, and therefore miss out on the opportunity to leverage a powerful marketing channel to grow their business.Read the full article, "Big search companies woo small businesses," in USA Today! ... > Read more
Meet the Web Metrics Guru in person!Our friend Marshall Sponder of WebMetricsGuru.com (a contributor to the WordStream blog) has written a new book called Social Media Analytics, Effective Tools for Building, Interpreting and Using Metrics.To mark the occasion, Marshall will be at a book-signing event at Aspire Restaurant in Providence, RI this Thursday, September 15, 2011.
Registration is limited but you can RSVP for free here!... > Read more
Looking for a good copywriter? We’ve got that guy, Ryan Healy, right here.Ryan Healy has helped countless businesses execute professional direct-response sales letters, emails, PPC ad text and other copy that really works to bring in new customers and bigger profits. If you don’t believe us, check out the extensive testimonial section on his site, Business Growth Strategies.
Here are some of the ways you can learn better copywriting skills from Ryan Healy:Ryan’s website features 10 free “explosive business growth” articles full of ideas and techniques for growing your business, including strategies for curing cash flow problems, improving conversions and outsourcing to experts.He offers a 39-point copywriting checklist to subscribers of his email list.Ryan blogs regularly. C... > Read more
R.I.P. Reputation Management – New Huge Google Sitelinks Kills Online Reputation Management Industry?
Quick! Google the name of your company. See anything you don't like? A Reputation Management service firm can make it disappear or so that was their sales pitch, that is, until now.Yesterday we reported on Google’s roll-out of new, huge site-links that appear on branded searches, which pretty much crowds out the entire browser screen contents.
Organic search listings not affiliated with the company (such as any damaging reviews) are pushed “below the fold” or to page 2 and beyond, where fewer and fewer eyeballs venture out to.And of course, buying a paid advertisement on AdWords for your company’s name can now even further push stuff below the fold since ads are now also huge.The Reputation Management industry has sprouted up in recent years to defend clients against potentially da... > Read more
Google this week has been serving up huge sitelinks for branded searches. Take for example, this organic search for "WordStream" and look at the huge sitelinks (highlighted in yellow):I've seen searches with as few as 2 huge organic sitelinks, and listings with many as 12 huge organic sitelinks. The new super-sized mega sitelinks take up the entire page! (Learn More: WordStream's AdWords Sitelinks Guide)SEO Impact of Huge Sitelinks in Google Search ResultsAll other organic search listings are now pushed down significantly "below the fold".
It's going to be very tough for an SEO to generate any traffic on branded keyword searchs. The new mega sitelink pushes the number 2 organic search result below the fold! And it's even worse when there are a few sponsored links above the organic sea... > Read more