April 2009 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog
As a search marketer, one of my goals is to engage visitors and keep them engaged. I want searchers to find my sites, spend time reading content, click around, go deeper in the site, exhibit certain behaviors and convert. Two key performance metrics I rely on to measure visitor engagement are bounce rates and page views.
Having a site with a high bounce rate and a low page views indicates a negative user experience –a sign there’s something wrong with the website. Factors that contribute to high bouncing and low views range from poor content, to slow load times, to confusing site architecture, to a lack of proper visual cues. Yet another culprit may be a shortage of inline links: in-sentence or in-paragraph, contextual hyperlinks. In the next section, I’m going to discuss how aggress... > Read more
Launching a New Website? Query Analysis Can Make the Difference Between Thriving or Diving in the SERPs
One of the best ways to conduct keyword research is to explore your website’s data files. By looking at the search queries your visitors used to find your website, you discover new, proven keywords to optimize for. But what if you're a brand new website with no search data and you want to target a new query space? How do you find the right keywords to build your list around? For new websites, conducting a Competitive Query Analysis is very effective for researching keywords.
Running queries for keywords you're thinking of targeting gives you a very good idea how competitive a particular query space is among marketers. You also find out how high the interest level is for a particular query among searchers. With the results of your query research, you can chart a more informed keyword ... > Read more
Follow Friday: The Week in Search As is always the case in search marketing, this week left no shortage of valuable content. Here's what we found most interesting. PPC: Quality Score, Click Through Rate, and Behavior My colleagues sitting next to me can tell you that I'm a big fan of Brian Carter.
What can I say, I like his style. This week, he helps us demystify the issue of Quality Score by focusing on the relationship between click through rate and highly relevant keyword groups. Forget all the other factors that go into calculating Quality Score, he suggests, and focus instead on the one that matters most, CTR! Reduce the number of keywords in your keyword groups to improve relevance, and increased Quality Score and CTR will follow. Do you ... > Read more
In the last installment of this keyword series, we talked about how sharing information between paid and natural search marketing campaigns could leverage shared data to improve the results of both channels. We used the following graphic to illustrate the process of sharing information amongst PPC and SEO campaigns: The graphic above makes a lot of sense in the event that you’re: Launching a new site Launching a new product/product line/offering Attempting to target a new keyword vertical This cross-channel thinking can certainly be applied by anyone engaging in search marketing, but for our purposes we’ll focus on the process surrounding any of the above.
Step 1: Test Your Keywords with PPC First you want to generate a list of keywords. You can do this any number of different ways,... > 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
Follow Friday: The Week in Search What happened, what's about to happen, and what you need to know about the world of search engine marketing. Before we get to it, we want to be clear that we did not create the idea of a Friday Roundup, but hey, imitation is the best form of flattery, right? Here are some Friday Roundups that we especially enjoy: The Team at PPC Hero Rebecca from SEOmoz Virginia Nussey Google's New Interface: Wondering what Google AdWords and lollipops have in common? Thanks to AdWords' new ability to track multiple conversions, Dan has named these hyper-responsive customers and keywords "lollipops" as they're deserving, sweet, and warrant special attention.
Search engine marketing and candy? Finally something I can relate to! I'm also a fan of Amber's post from PPC... > 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
Fundamentally, we at WordStream believe in 10 critically important best practices that are the key for both paid and organic search success: (Drum roll, please...) 1. Your Keywords are a Valuable, Proprietary Asset Understanding the search queries that people actually use to find the products & services that are relevant to your business, and the way that you categorize, organize, and prioritize the keyword data represents a crucial piece of competitive intelligence.
Building a proprietary, comprehensive, up-to-date and well-researched keyword taxonomy is the foundation of any successful SEO and/or PPC effort. 2. Keyword Research Should be Personalized and Based on Real Data The problem with a typical keyword suggestion tool is it provides suggestions of keywords that might be rel... > Read more
Welcome to the WordStream Blog! We’ll be covering a variety of things related to Internet marketing here on the blog, but since we sell a keyword management tool, we thought we'd start there. So, in the next week, we'll be rolling out a series of keyword-related content. First, later on today we’ll be publishing our “search marketing philosophy”; a ten point search manifesto penned by WordStream founder Larry Kim.
Additionally, we’ll be publishing our Keyword Management & Optimization Guide—a series of series that will cover: The Value of Keyword Discovery & Expansion The Kinds of Traffic You Should Be Optimizing For And Finally: How Sharing SEO & PPC Information Can Improve the Results of Both Channels **Special thanks and a collective editorial hat tip on the ke... > Read more