June 2011 Posts from the Internet Marketing Blog
Google+ Has Arrived!Google’s new super-secret social project is finally being rolled out…to a select few, for now at least.But wait to you hear what Google + has got under its hood; more than just a pretty face (and it is quite attractive, thank goodness), the new social project tries to address the gaps and missing pieces in the current social network paradigm.
Vic Gundotra, one of the key players in Google +’s creation, explains:“We believe online sharing is broken. And even awkward…We think connecting with other people is a basic human need. We do it all the time in real life, but our online tools are rigid. They force us into buckets — or into being completely public…Real life sharing is nuanced and rich. It has been hard to get that into software.”Google + has done its... > Read more
Join us this Thursday, June 30th, to learn about advanced keyword research. We will be teaming up with our friends at ideaLaunch, a leading content marketing agency, to provide you with key insights into structuring your SEO and PPC programs logically and effectively. We will dig deep into the art and science of keyword silo development – the practice of designing your website to be more search engine- and user-friendly.
Our WordStream presenters, Founder Larry Kim and VP of Product Will Eisner, will discuss the following: Keyword research techniques to increase your reach and decrease PPC spend New tools that track the ROI and impact of your content and PPC campaigns Keyword silo how-to and why-to Campaign performance measurement tips Register today! ... > Read more
Corporate blogging is a great Internet marketing technique for multiple reasons. Not only does a company blog give the search engines more content to index (growing your trust factor), a business blog can be instrumental in building your online brand. Blogs are inherently social in nature, which means they are also a great way to connect with current and potential customers.
In short, a well-written blog can help all aspects of your web marketing campaign, including SEO.Here are five simple ways to better optimize your business blog for SEO:Write naturallyIt may sound like a “duh!” thing to say, but you’d be amazed at how many blog posts out there are crammed with keywords and anchor text. It’s the number one rule of any content marketing campaign: you have to write for human reade... > Read more
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of hot air floating around on whether or not SEO has seen better days. Last week I attended the MarketingProfs B2B in Boston and it was the topic of conversation for many interested marketers. Whenever I am asked this question I happily answer with, "SEO's NOT dying, it’s evolving.
It has simply expanded past the traditional borders of a website, and is moving into every aspect of SERPs domination."This new wave of SEO revolves around keeping the end user in mind. So instead of writing for the search engines, you NEED to be writing for the end users! And with all the new ways to claim real estate and communicate your brand within SERPs, there's no time for you to be dragging your feet.Being how SEO has evolved -- here are five best practices... > Read more
There were a couple of interesting posts in ye olde blogosphere this week about click-through rate (CTR) – specifically, organic CTR from the Google SERP. We all know CTR is an important metric to track in PPC, since it’s a huge component in your Quality Score and therefore affects your ad rankings and costs per click.
But on the SEO side of the equation, how important is CTR? Is it a ranking factor? And, similarly, can you extrapolate CTR and traffic predictions from Google rankings? What's the relationship between these two tricky metrics?CTR and Organic RankingsDavid Harry tackles some of these questions in a post on Search News Central called “Are Click-Through Rates a Viable Ranking Factor?” I have always wondered if they might be – as Dave notes, “it just seems logic... > Read more
In PPC we often run into the word “quality.” Google’s Quality Score has definitely received plenty of attention over the past few years, but whose quality is it measuring? According to Google, Quality Score measures quality for the searcher, advertiser, and the search engine.Quality Score is great and can help you get your account healthy, but it probably doesn’t mean anything to your business leaders.
If your job is to drive “qualified leads,” Google doesn’t get to define quality for your business—the business does. To your business, "quality" probably means more profit or higher revenue.Not only does the business want quality leads, the business wants hundreds or thousands of them, so our job is always a balancing act between quality and volume.Fortunately, we PPCers have... > Read more
Don’t be surprised if you start hearing people ask about your “klout”; no, it’s not a new brand of Greek yogurt or a bizarre cloud and drought weather phenomenon, it’s a measure of your social influence. Klout is a startup that measures users’ influence through social media platforms.
Your Klout score is generated through a complex ranking algorithm that takes note of your retweets, number of comments on your links and other measures of your social influence. Involver + Klout = Customized Fan Page What has people talking recently is that Klout has partnered up with the social marketing platform Involver, and together they have some big ideas for Facebook fan pages. Brands can now create a Klout widget on their fan page which measures visitors’... > Read more
Finding the right agency to manage your PPC marketing campaigns is quite similar to making an internal hire – in addition to evaluating the agency's background and reputation, you'll want to ask a series of questions to help you better understand what they're about. For most businesses, the PPC agency with the right fit will need to meet your expectations in three areas:Depth of Expertise — Because of the complexity associated with PPC, you want to find a pay per click agency with depth of focus in the paid search space that can put adequate time and attention into the PPC area of your marketing efforts.
The agency should have at least one dedicated PPC manager who focuses solely on paid search. They need to be able to keep up with trends and accouncements in this rapidly changing spac... > Read more
At WordStream, we're a fan of guest posting as a way of building links and relationships. But sometimes you put in the effort to write a post and the blog editor rejects it, or never gets back to you at all. That adds up to disappointment and a big waste of your time.If you're about to embark on a guest posting strategy, here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind.
These tips will increase your chances of getting your guest post approved and published, links intact.DO read a few posts from the blog before you send something. You run the best chance of having your post published if it resembles what they typically run. Things to pay particular attention to include word count, reading level (beginner vs. advanced), and voice (serious, kooky, snarky, etc.). If the blog publishes guest postin... > Read more
While there are a variety of ways that webmasters and bloggers can go about marketing their services and promoting their content to earn revenue, one option that typically gets overlooked is the Amazon Associates program. In short, the Amazon Associates program an affiliate marketing program that gives site owners commission for customers they link into Amazon.
One nice feature of the program is that a reader/customer doesn't necessarily have to buy the specific product you link to; they can purchase anything on Amazon and you'll earn up to 15% in referrals. Truthfully speaking, not all blogs or websites will be able to make a large sum of cash from this program, but the Amazon Associates program is in fact completely free to join and is most definitely worth giving a tr... > Read more
For a limited time, we are offering a 15% discount on any subscription to our Keyword Research Suite. You'll save $50 when you purchase a standard subscription to the Keyword Research Suite by June 18 with code JUNE15. That's less than $1 a day for unlimited access to WordStream's full suite of best-in-class keyword tools, including: The Keyword Suggestion Tool: Leverage our huge database to find large numbers of keywords fast The Keyword Niche Finder: Find profitable new niches and clusters of related keywords to target The Keyword Grouper: Quickly turn a disorganized list into a manageable, actionable structure The Keyword Research Suite gives you access to way more keywords than free tools like Google's AdWords Keyword Tool.
For example, if you search on the term "ba... > Read more
On TechCrunch, Rocky Agrawal has been writing a series of posts about Groupon – which as you surely know recently filed for a $750 million IPO. But Agrawal is not writing about Groupon’s rapid ascent to success, but rather its, in his mind, inevitable downfall. In fact many in the tech industry believe that the company’s growth and business model are completely unsustainable.
In his latest post, “Why Groupon Is Poised for Collapse,” Agrawal argues that Groupon is “the equivalent of a loan sharking business”: Businesses are being sold incredibly expensive advertising campaigns that are disguised as “no risk” ways to acquire new customers. In reality, there’s a lot of risk. With a newspaper ad, the maximum you can lose is the amount... > Read more
The first question you should ask yourself if you’re looking for a Google Analytics alternative is, of course: why?There are a few key classes of reasons you might be unsatisfied with and want to find an alternative to Google Analytics:AttributionTroubleshootingReal-Time AnalyticsParanoiaIn this post we’ll walk through why you might be interested in any of the previous incentives to find a Google Analytics alternatives, as well as providing at least one possible free to cheap solution.
1. Google Analytics Alternatives for Attribution Typically the problem here is one you’ll want to solve with a system that’s significantly more expensive and more full-featured than Google Analytics, which is free. SEO Moz had a nice run-down of alternatives to Google Analytics from an attributio... > Read more
In the world of SEO, links are the currency of choice. The more quality, inbound links you have pointing toward your site, the “richer” your site is. Those links affect your site’s trust factor with the search engines, which impacts how well your site ranks. A link building campaign is designed to create unique links that pass their link juice (link credit) along to your site.
The better the quality of the link, the more link juice they share. The overarching goal of any SEO link building campaign is to grow numerous links from many different, yet relevant, sources over time.The key to a strong and viable link building campaign is to take a slow and diversified approach. Search engines like to see a natural development of quality links, as this is a good indication that you are takin... > Read more
There is never a lack of Google additions and updates in the webiverse, and with several happening in recent days, it’s worth taking an in-depth look at the latest concoctions Google is brewing up.Getting Started With Google City SitesGoogle has started creating new city sites, which act as a central portal showing a variety of information in one central location.
The city pages show places, offers, events, business owner resources, and community blogs.The layout of these pages is fun and aesthetically pleasing. As a person who relies heavily on resources like Trip Advisor to tell me what to check out when visiting a new city, I’m looking forward to testing out the new city pages.For now city pages is only available for Austin (TX), Portland (OR), Madison (WI), and San Diego (CA).Check... > Read more
Is your Web copy only so-so?Maybe your pages aren't positioning in Google and Bing, and you're not sure what you're doing wrong. Or prospects are finding your site, but they're not taking action.Either way, you know something is wrong. You just may not know what it is.If your SEO copy isn't making you money, it could be that your writing has fallen prey to one or more of the 10 most common SEO copywriting myths, mistakes and conversion-sucking monsters.
Here are the typical copywriting boo-boos I see:Writing to a certain keyword density percentage.My all-time, top, #1 myth! Once upon a time, SEO experts knew that a 5.5% keyword density would gain a top spot in Alta Vista. Guess what – it's not 1999 anymore. Yes, include your keyphrases on the page. But don't write for a mythical keyphras... > Read more
In a few recent posts on how to get more volume on the content network and on getting more leads from PPC, we talked about leveraging the content network to expand AdWords campaigns and attract more prospects via PPC.Most advertisers know how to get started with Google’s search network, and even with creating specific content network campaigns, but an area that often trips up advertisers – particularly new advertisers or those who are looking to expand beyond their initial structures – is building out “display” campaigns using Google AdWords, or creating banner ads for display on the content network.
Many times the stumbling block here is more around designing the creative (banner ads) than around the mechanics of creating a structure for your content network campaigns.For that r... > Read more
For years the New Yorker has been running a caption contest on its back page, where readers submit captions to go with a punchline-less cartoon. Winners receive a signed print of the final cartoon. It’s a brilliant, sticky content gimmick, especially for a print magazine – it’s interactive and addictive and keeps people coming back for more.
(How many people subscribe to the magazine but only read the cartoons?) In May, the magazine put out a call for a universal caption that could fit any New Yorker cartoon, and this week they rounded up some of their favorite submissions. You may remember that last year, Charles Lavoie proposed “Christ, what an asshole” as the universal caption for all New Yorker cartoons, and frankly, most of the new submissions don’t... > Read more
For my money one of the trickier aspects of PPC management is the first few weeks of a new account, campaign, ad group, or product line. Many paid search practitioners (myself included) take a very data-driven approach to managing PPC accounts, so starting from scratch can be a little off-putting, particularly if things don’t get going out of the gate the way you’d hoped and planned.
In this post we’ll outline a few common early issues with new paid search campaigns and how to respond to them so that whatever accounts, campaigns, or ad groups you’re launching can bounce back quickly.Two Common Problems with New PPC CampaignsNew campaigns often suffer from similar issues to existing campaigns, but I find two major issues frequently plague new PPC campaigns unexpectedly:Lower volume t... > Read more
After a week of denial, yesterday Representative Anthony Weiner finally admitted to posting a lewd photo of his manly parts on Twitter. Following the commotion on May 27 when the photo in question was first discovered, Weiner made a loser mistake: he lied. Not entirely surprising, since realizing you’ve accidentally sent a photo of your personal bits into cyberspace while holding a spot in Congress would be enough to have anyone gathering up excuses.
The Tweet Not Meant to Be Seen Weiner, meaning to tweet the photo directly to a friendly follower, accidentally broadcasted the pic live—a reply-all disaster of gargantuan proportions. Weiner, realizing his error, tried to remove the post, but of course it was already too late and the drama spread like Nutella on toast. Desperately... > Read more
Based on my own experience building landing pages and a few landing page optimization (LPO) webinars and courses I’ve attended, I’ve put together some quick tips to optimize your landing pages for conversion. Because once you get a click you’ve got to get ‘em to convert, or the click is pretty worthless.
1. Limit the Number of OffersPut one offer on your landing page – don’t make people choose from multiple offers. Every time you make a person choose you risk losing them.2. Limit the Number of LinksLimit the number of links you put on your landing page – even try removing all the links leaving only the registration form. If you have multiple links on a landing page you risk taking a person off the landing page and losing them.3. Keep the Registration Form on the Page Whenever ... > Read more
“Conversions” can mean many things for a business, but the most important conversions are sales. Your marketing and sales teams can learn a lot by doing some dedicated reporting around closed deals. It’s great to know what activities are attracting interest (traffic, leads), but even more compelling and valuable to know what activities result in new customers in the books.
Here are 10 metrics to track on closed deals, if you’re not already gathering intelligence on those all-important conversion. 1. Lead source – You likely have at least a handful of ways of getting leads into your sales funnel. Which lead channel results in the most actual sales? PPC? Organic search? Referred traffic? Conferences? Social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)? Can you pour more... > Read more
With a ridiculous click-baiting title that made me laugh out loud ("Is Social Sexier Than Sex?"), Fast Company uses the auctioning of the domain Social.com as a jumping-off point for a really interesting question: Is the URL on its way out? Sex.com sold for $13 million in 2010. Now Social.com is up for sale and the bids open at $5 million, so it could easily surpass the cost of Sex, hence Fast Company's clever title.
Writer Kit Eaton, however, thinks hubbub over domains may soon be a thing of the past: A huge fuss erupted online last week because Google finally made good on its promise to adjust the Chrome browser so that the URL address bar could be removed. It's a style thing for now, freeing up more real-estate on the screen for the actual web content you're trying to access r... > Read more
Just over two months ago Google announced their Google +1 Button, and yesterday they expanded on the offering by releasing the Google +1 Button for Websites. Having been signed up for the Google +1 service for a few weeks now, I thought I'd write a bit about my experiences using it so far. Unfortunately, I haven't yet found it to be that helpful.
Does Google +1 Even Work?For starters, my understanding was that Google was going to roll out Google +1 data in their paid and organic search results in order to help get "Recommendations when you want them," as advertised on the Google +1 product page. Take a look at this screenshot:But what I’m seeing is that:The +1 data doesn't get updated very often. 1,401 people have +1'd Facebook and it's been stuck at that number for nearly a month now.&nb... > Read more
Many people start a blog with one intention: making money. While this is not a good sole reason to start a blog, it is a nice added benefit that comes with building up your blog with quality content and maintaining a decent amount of traffic.It’s not a mystery that you can make money from your blog, but many users often struggle with it and end up giving up altogether.
You cannot expect to make a lot of money when first starting out. You have to create a name for yourself and prove that your blog can stand on its own. While these five methods to monetize your WordPress blog are sure to come in handy, you’ll also want to take note of the essential tips for building and maintaining a successful blog.Pay Per ClickThis is one of the most popular methods used to monetize a blog and one of t... > Read more
Get ready for your site to have more buttons than an 80’s denim jacket.In the ongoing battle over social media, buttons seem to be a popular ammunition tool, attracting users like, well, a shiny button.It may be no coincidence then that today both Google and Twitter are releasing updated or new buttons that can be embedded in websites.
Google +1 Button Now Available for WebsitesWhen Google +1 was first released, the +1 button was designated solely for the search results page. In case you need a quick reminder, the +1 button allows users to recommend certain search results. +1 is Google’s next step in an attempt to beef up their social media influence (especially after Buzz’s relative flop).You can check out our post when +1 was first released for more info, and our review of Goog... > Read more
We received the following questions during our recent webinar, "Improving Quality Score." For more help with understanding and improving AdWords Quality Score, check out these resources:Quality Score Toolkit (this free kit includes a Quality Score worksheet, cheat sheet, white paper, and video)Quality Score FAQImproving Quality Score (webinar recording)Ultimate Guide to Quality Score (15 experts on Quality Score)Do site links improve CTR and Quality Score? According to data from Bigmouth Media, "ads that run with Ad Sitelinks typically result in an average click through rate increase of 30%.
" RKG reported similar results: "To take seasonal shifts out of the picture, I looked at the brand performance since the links were launched, and compared this data to the same time period last year. We... > Read more